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cast fetish, broken leg, recovery, updates from the couch, physical therapy

I’ve had an eventful week, I discovered what the term cast fetish means. Ever heard of it? Me neither until now.

Last week I had my 8-week follow up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon for my broken leg and the news was good. I was released to begin weight bearing. This week I’m up to half weight bearing. I’m not fully functional yet but I’m driving and it’s better than being stuck on the couch like I had been for the previous 8 weeks. 8 weeks is a lifetime when you are used to being on the go all the time. I felt like I was doing time or under house arrest.

When the doctor gave me the news that I could start walking with crutches, I was so excited. I nearly danced a happy dance until I realized that my leg might not be quite strong enough yet so instead I opted for a little wheelchair boogie. Oh yes, I did!

The thing is this has been a crazy, long eight weeks and if it weren’t for all the amazing people who have jumped in to support me and pick up the slack and just pray and cheer me up, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. Granted I’m still going through it but I feel like I’m coming out the other side. I can put some weight on my foot. That means everything. I never knew how much until now.

This experience has forced me to slow down and take inventory of my life and my health. I have reprioritized because the things I was racing around and breaking my neck to get to just aren’t that important anymore.

I’ve also garnered a new respect for toddlers. No wonder it takes them so long to learn to walk. It’s scary, especially with the possibility of falling ever looming. The last time I fell, my entire life changed.

I started physical therapy with elastic resistance bands on my broken foot this week. I was super excited because, in my mind, the more I can do to get back to normal the better life will be. My doctor has warned me that there might be setbacks but, you know me, I always think I’m going to be the exception so I went for it. I was all in at Tuesday’s physical therapy session and by Tuesday night, I was nearly in tears because my leg is so sore. That’s what I get for showing off.

There’s been some swelling and stiffness the last couple of days. I have another therapy session in about 15 minutes. I won’t lie. I’m kind of terrified. I want to keep moving forward. I don’t want to keep getting slowed down by pain but I guess that’s all part of recovery.

Of course, through all of this, I’ve discovered a bizarre, even seedy, side to broken bones. Throughout the entire ordeal, I’ve been posting photos and updates of my broken leg to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts because as a blogger, this is what I do. It’s been a great source of moral support. However, recently, I have noticed a rash of likes on my Instagram photos of my broken leg. Huh? Then it happened.

My Instagram profile is public because it’s part of my brand but I go through and block anyone who I get the “heebie-jeebies” from because there are photos of my children on there. So imagine my shock when suddenly there were tons of likes on every one of the photos I posted of my broken leg and most of those were from men who I don’t know in real life.

I was curious so I checked out their pages and every single one of them are men with fetishes for women with broken legs and/or casts. It’s a real thing.

Cast fetish is a kind of fetishism with an erotic concentration on orthopedic casts (plaster, polymer, bandage, etc.) It is usually related to the fetishes of feet, stockings, shoes and amputees. The sufferers usually like the opposite gender wearing casts on their limbs, using crutches, or limping around. Sometimes, socks and stockings will increase the attraction of the afflicted. Basically, these fetishists prefer their partners physically broken and for maximum pleasure, missing limbs.

It’s called a cast fetish.

I’ve never felt so dirty in my entire life. I mean, WTF, the thought of some creepy troll wanking himself to my dislocated ankle is disturbing to say the least. Are these men sadist who get their rocks off from seeing a woman in pain?

Then I realized there is an entire subculture of men with this fetish. In fact, there is porn that actually specializes in this sort of injury. What? I guess it takes all kinds. I won’t judge but I also won’t allow you to file my agony in your spank bank for later use. Sorry, I’ll have to block you.

What’s the weirdest thing you ever heard or saw on social media?

Did you know there was such a thing as a broken leg or cast fetish?

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How a Curb took me Out of My Sister's Wedding and Straight to the ER,broken bones, Wedding, broken leg, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

Last weekend, I fell off a curb. I know, it sounds hilarious because this is the kind of klutzy antics one might have come to expect if you’ve known me any length of time. I am the girl who is constantly and consistently rolling her ankle because of uneven sidewalks and misplaced, rogue pebbles. Go ahead, laugh. It really is like a cartoon but what happened last Saturday resulted in a severely broken leg and was anything but laughable or funny. Believe it or not, I’m not even being dramatic. I know many of you have been following along on social media because obviously when I’m sedated on painkillers and bedridden, I like to post pictures and updates. This is the story of that one time I fell 6 inches, got a broken leg, and destroyed life as I know it.

How a Curb took me Out of My Sister’s Wedding and Straight to the ER

Saturday, September 12th, my little sister (my best friend) got married. I was the maid of honor. We were looking forward to this moment for a year. She was so happy and I was ecstatic to see her glowing and really, ridiculously and honestly happy. The morning was spent running around picking her dress up and gathering last minute things. I woke her up and serenaded her with a crackly voiced giggling version of Going to the Chapel of Love that only a big sister can sing to a little sister. Then it was the usual excitement and clamor that would fill a house full of women getting ready for a wedding. Above all else, I wanted her to be happy and stress-free. Never could I have imagined that a broken leg and I would be the source of everyone’s stress that day.

READ ALSO: My Real Life is an Actual TikTok trend

Hair and makeup showed up. I busied myself making sure that all the last-minute finishing touches didn’t overwhelm her. I painted her toenails and lotioned her legs. I happily got her some breakfast and something to drink. I didn’t want her to fret over any of it. I just wanted her to enjoy this huge moment of her life. We talked and laughed as she had her hair done. I sat across from her doing my daughters’ hair as her make-up was done and when the time came, I helped to dress my baby sister for the biggest moment of her life. It almost felt religious. I never would have believed that after it was all said and done, a curb would take me out of my sister’s wedding and straight to the ER.

family wedding

As all the chaos and drama began to descend upon us as the house filled more and more with loved ones (as it tends to do), I helped to dress her as the photographer clicked away, capturing every single tear of joy and sigh of relief. We were all in the moment and happy. A broken leg was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.

broken bones, Wedding, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

As I stood there taping her into her drop sleeves, I saw the face of my little sister just as she was when she was 6 and I was helping to dress her for her First Communion; still, that little girl looking for reassurance and guidance from her big sister, me still wanting to make everything perfect for her. Eventually, we made it to the venue and I cried at how absolutely stunning she looked as she walked down the aisle. Then she became his wife and it was time to celebrate this amazing moment of true happiness in her life. But before the reception, we had a pit stop at a local park to take wedding pictures; this is where it all went wrong.

 broken bones, Wedding, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

Minutes before a Curb took me Out of My Sister’s Wedding and Straight to the ER

It was a breezy, gorgeous Saturday in September but we were all hungry and ready to celebrate. We took family photos and then it was time to take wedding party photos. We were losing daylight and the reception was getting ready to start as we hurried through the photo process. Finally, we were all headed back to our cars and to the reception. I was lagging behind, holding my sister’s bouquet and veil, as the photographer was taking more couple shots throughout the park.

READ ALSO: An Unexpected Side Effect of a Broken Leg, Cast Fetishist.

I remember looking back and thinking how beautiful she looked. Then, I decided to head to our where the Big Guy and our girls were already waiting. I looked at the Hummer that was decorated for the wedding that my sister was riding in and then I turned for one last glance at my sister smiling before I took a step down from the sidewalk to the parking lot. My last thought was, God, she really looks happy, and then my foot never landed on the parking lot.

How a Curb took me Out of My Sister's Wedding and Straight to the ER, broken bones, Wedding, broken leg, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

The Saga of the Maid of Honor’s Broken Leg Begins

In that terrible moment, my right ankle rolled. As it rolled, my left foot came up and tried to catch my balance, however, due to the combo of the wedged flip flops and a too-long dress, it got caught up and instead crashed down. At that moment, I heard the bones break and I felt the ankle dislocate. I was down on my right knee and my left leg was useless. I knew when I felt it that I would not be standing up. The pain was instant and unmistakable. I didn’t even have the strength to sit. I had to push myself over and sort of fall into the wheel (side of the car) of the car to my right.

I looked down and saw my ankle. My left leg was straight but my left foot was facing directly left and the bone was dislocated in such a drastic way that it looked like something you might see in a horror movie. As I scanned up, with all the bridal party and my entire family running to my side as I tried not to pass out from the pain, I saw that I was facing the beautifully decorated wedding vehicle and all I could think was, “Oh God, Please don’t let my daughters see me this way and please don’t let me ruin my sister’s wedding day!”

How a Curb took me Out of My Sister's Wedding and Straight to the ER, broken bones, Wedding, broken leg, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

My sister was still back in the park a ways getting her photos so she didn’t immediately see what was going on and luckily, my 18-year-old niece ran to the car to sit with my daughters so they never saw my ankle or me crying like a baby because I did. I was in such pain, there was nothing I could do but howl and cry like a baby until the ambulance got there. It felt like forever.

There is nothing quite like maiming yourself in front of literally all of the people that you love; all of my brothers, sisters, parents, nieces, nephews and husband. Everyone was in shock. The sight of impact was horrifying and I’m sure me wailing in pain was nothing short of pathetic and heartbreaking. I remember everyone trying to keep me calm and reassure me that everything was going to be ok but the pain, it was searing and took my breath away.

How a Curb took me Out of My Sister's Wedding and Straight to the ER, broken bones, Wedding, broken leg, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

I remember my brother and his wife, who have been through broken bones with their athletic children many times, one rubbing my back while my husband told me to look at it. My brother was telling me that, “It’s not that bad, Deb.” He was looking at my right ankle, the scratched and bleeding one that was only severely sprained. My other brother-in-law had covered my ankles in some effort to avert my eyes from fixating on the mangled mess that sat at the bottom of my left leg. To which I responded, “It’s the other one, Mother F*cker (or so he tells me, I don’t quite remember what I said, I was trying to stave off shock which I went into right about the time they had to splint me for the ambulance ride to the hospital).” He almost passed out when he saw the left ankle. It was truly horrifying and just the thought of it right now makes my leg hurt.

How a Curb took me Out of My Sister's Wedding and Straight to the ER, broken bones, Wedding, broken leg, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

Anyways, eventually the ambulance came and took me away and eventually my sister saw what was happening and ran over through a blockade of people who were trying to stop her. She wanted to come with me to the hospital but I wanted her to have the best wedding ever so I sent her to the wedding along with my children and the rest of my family, except for the Big Guy, I needed him. He is my rock. That man has been a saint since this all happened. I don’t know what I did to get so lucky but he is the most amazing man I have ever met in my entire life.

How a Curb took me Out of My Sister's Wedding and Straight to the ER, broken bones, Wedding, broken leg, wedding day catastrophe, brides maid, maid of honor

And all though breaking my fibula, shattering my tibia, dislocating my left ankle and having to have extensive surgery because the trauma was like that of a car accident and not a trip and even though my cartilage exploded into dust and my right leg is acutely sprained, it’s reminded me of how lucky I am to have the people I love in my life. My husband, my children, my in-laws, my friends, my neighbors, my sister and brothers and my parents are all in. They have rallied around me to pick up the slack and encourage me and pray for me. And you, all of you, your prayers and thoughts have meant so much to me.

I hate that this happened. It has put me on time out of my life for 3 months. My leg has to be elevated and non-weight bearing for 3 months. I’ve had to find rides and for my girls and people to help but it’s really shown me that I have a lot of people who care about me and, in honesty, I needed the break. I was doing too much. I would have never slowed down if it weren’t forced on me. In the end how a curb took me out of my sister’s wedding and straight to the ER is laughable, if traumatic, experience that I will never forget but it reminded me of what is important.

Has a broken leg or any injury ever been a blessing in disguise in your life?

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broken leg, bridesmaid down, surgery, broken bones, wedding

It’s hard going from being an able-bodied person to a disabled person but my broken leg has taught me patience and to embrace living with a disability.  This morning I went for my 2-week post op check up. I’m not going to lie. I was a little nervous. I knew the minute that I fell, this was bad. The same way I knew the moment I awoke from surgery and overheard the Big Guy and the surgeon talking about how my injury was so much more extensive than he first thought. There were more pins then originally planned on, bigger screws and 2 plates versus the one we planned for. So, when I went in today, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I was nervous, for so many reasons. You my husband’s uncle had a bad break a long time ago and now he wears prosthesis. I know other people who broke their leg and never regained full mobility. I know this. It’s in the back of my mind. It scares me to death.

broken leg, disabled, disabled person, living with a disability

I am guaranteed a future filled with arthritis in my ankle. I know this. Right now, I am praying for a full, speedy and complete recovery. I just want to be who I was before the fall, as far as the leg is concerned.

I know that I needed to slow down. My life was a whirlwind and there was no slowing down in sight. I was missing things. I was too involved in the movement and not enough in the people and things happening around me.

This morning, I was terrified. This morning, I put on a brave face, held my breath and went in to get checked. My husband wheeled me in and I felt like this was unfolding as something happening to someone else. I wished it were.

I sat in the cold office, in the sterile room in complete discomfort. My mind was racing. Then the nurse came in and removed the splint. I looked down and almost passed out. Where I expected a 1-2 inch incision there was about a 10-inch incision site. As the nurse removed gauze after bloodied gauze, my heart sank. What the hell happened to me? My positivity was waning.

broken leg, disabled, disabled person, living with a disability

The nurse removed all the bandages and there was my leg, limp and small. It looked sad and feeble. I felt small and disabled. Then we went for x-rays. All I could see were the sutures; my Frankenfoot. It looked like a monster.

Stay positive, Debi. I said to myself. I mean, I know where there is a will there is a way. If I follow all of the directions, keep my foot elevated and iced as I’ve been told and put no weight on it until I am given the go ahead; it has no choice but to heal, right?

broken leg, disabled, disabled person, living with a disability

Then I see the emails, texts and messages all asking the same thing, “But will you have full mobility? Will it function like normal?” Normally, this would not bother me but after being mostly bedridden for 16 days, very emotional and after seeing the unexpectedly large incision, I cried. My heart sank and went to the dark place. What if my leg never works correctly again? What if there is a difference in size. What if I have a limp? What if I lose the leg?

It may all sound completely irrational to you all with your healthy bodies and souls but I am wounded and worse still, I know people who have lost their limbs due to trauma. I know people who’ve never walked right again. I want to be normal again, so, I’m taking it day by day.

I’m trying to see past the nausea, the scar, the recovery time, and the unexpected side effects of severe constipation, exhaustion and weakness. I’m staying positive or was until I was blind sighted by unexpected questions that make me second-guess all of it. Then I find myself crying, sad and feeling defeated.

broken leg, disabled, disabled person, living with a disability

So, while I truly appreciate all of the virtual hugs, heartfelt prayers, well wishes and pep talks, I could do without the question, “Will your leg fully recover?” It upsets me. The answer, so far, is yes. We expect a full recovery. If it turns out otherwise, I’ll keep you posted.

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Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

Last week, my family went to the happiest place on earth, Disney World, and I was disabled. We were all very excited. We’d been planning this trip since last year; everything got postponed when my life came to a screeching halt thanks to my slip and fall in my sister’s wedding last fall. Come hell or high water, we were going to Disney World. There was just a couple issues 1) my broken leg is still recovering (it’s an 18-month process y’all.) 2) the week before we left, I was in the ER with a severe gallbladder attack. I was far from 100% but I was going to Disney World.

Here is how I navigated the happiest place on earth with a messed up leg. I can tell you that it was no fun but I figured out a way to get around all of those parks and not end up back in the hospital. This post is just about getting around if you are physically disabled, I will write a separate post about eating at Disney World when you are on a restricted diet because, you know, I couldn’t just be hobbled I had to do it starving.

My advice for anyone who has a broken leg, is recovering from a broken leg, a sprained ankle, a bum knee or broken hip or just doesn’t do well with walking in high heat because they are sickly, especially the elderly…rent a wheelchair! I believe it’s $12/$13 a day or you can get 3 days for $30, which is what my husband did for me. But get to the parks early, especially the Magic Kingdom. Also, the wheelchairs are located to the right after you scan in but before you enter the park (the same place as where you rent the strollers).

Disney, travel, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled

I thought I could do it on my own. After all, I am 7 months out from the original break but I was wrong. I tried everything, ankle brace, ankle wrap, Kinesio Tape for the tendonitis, crutches and even took my walking boot. Nothing can make a recovering broken leg walk around the Magic Kingdom for 15 hours pain free, not even a strong will and multiple vicodin. Believe me I tried.

The first night we arrived, we went to Hollywood studios. We arrived around 4:30 p.m. we returned to our room around 10 pm, in those 5.5 hours, my ankle (that was firmly in a brace) had swollen up to the size of my calf and the pain was excruciating. I knew then and there that there was no way that I was going to survive the Magic Kingdom on foot.

A few things you should know about being physically disabled in a wheelchair at Walt Disney World:

Firstly, it’s not as embarrassing as you might think and don’t worry about your spouse or children pushing you around, they’d prefer that to hearing you complain and be in misery any day.

Secondly, if you do find yourself in a wheelchair, check with the cast members at each ride because some have steps and they will need to reroute you. Sometimes they just give you a fast pass and have you come back so you don’t have to wait in the long lines in your chair.

Thirdly, check when you go to the restaurants, some have special seating for people in wheelchairs and some you need to leave the chair outside but for the most part all the parks were very wheelchair friendly.

Fourth, check with cast members at each park about seating for fireworks and such. They are very accommodating and there are special seating locations for those in wheelchairs. It was very nice that they provide these spaces because it’s hard to see when you are at wheelchair level.

Fifth, and this is the important one, if you are not disabled do not rent the wheelchairs. Leave those for those people who actually need them. Laziness is not a disability. Also, don’t use the handicapped bathrooms; those of us who are actually handicapped need those larger bathrooms for a reason. A wheelchair does not fit in a standard restroom stall.

Disney, Walt Disney World, disabled, tips for getting around Disney when you're disbaled, travel

I won’t lie, being at Walt Disney World in a wheelchair was a humbling experience for me but, like most of these past 7 months, it’s given me a new respect for the disabled and respect for their situations. Disney did a great job of making the parks easily enjoyed by the disabled as well as the able bodied.

If it hadn’t been for the wheelchair rental service, the entire trip would have been ruined. If you find yourself, physically unable to walk Disney World, don’t be too proud to use the wheelchairs. They are there for those of us who are disabled in some way and need them.

Have you ever been to Disney World when you weren’t 100% physically?

 

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depression, perspective, friendship, Halloween, leaky eyed ghost

I’ve been experiencing some depression lately due to my broken leg. Really down, the kind where you look up and you see nothing but darkness. For all my issues, I’ve only felt this way 2 other times in my life… The hot mess years that I refer to as my teens and when I had my miscarriage.

Anyone who knows me, like you, knows that I’m a glass half-full kind of broad. Yep, I’m scrappy and a little rough around the edges but it’s a coping mechanism I’ve employed for most of my life. When life serves me a bowl full of rancid, rotten lemons… Chances are, I’m going to share it with you in a funny, anecdotal way that’s going to convince you that I’m going to be alright. I’ll probably even make you smile. I do it to help myself get through it.

I’m not the misery enjoys company sort. There’s enough bad, sad, no good terrible shit in the world. I don’t want to add to it. Plus, I’ve never thought of myself as a victim and I certainly don’t want others to. Nope, I’m a bootstrap girl. I pull myself up and I carry on, in fact, I’ll probably exceed your expectations because that’s just how I roll.

However, I’m human and sometimes when circumstances are beyond my control I can’t be that positive, happy person that I will myself to be. This usually happens when my body and my mind decide to both be broken at the same time. I can handle one or the other, but when it’s both… Sometimes it’s too much.

Thankfully, years of therapy, self awareness and a full capability of knowing when to accept the things I cannot change allows me to sometimes give myself over to it. There are somethings in life that simply demand to be felt, whether we prefer it or not. When this happens, all you can do is decide whether you want to be left destroyed in its wake or if you’re going to move on from the emotional, physical or spiritual hurricane that hits your life.

I’ve been in the midst of a very hard, leaky eyed ghost situation. When I say leaky eyed ghost, I mean that I’m feeling invisible and I’m finding myself crying a lot more than usual. It’s hard for me to get right side up from this injury because, quite frankly, I’m spending a lot of time these days in the vulnerable position of on my back alone with nothing but my thoughts, which have all been negative only ever so slightly peppered with breaks in the sadness.

I’ve been feeling lonely, helpless, useless and afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of how this is affecting my husband and the girls and afraid I won’t fully recover. I’ve been feeling afraid of everything. The worst part is that the entire world is carrying on while I’m just sitting here watching it all, being completely unseen.

It’s very unsettling to feel forgotten and even worse to realize that you could cease to exist and your world would simply carry on without you. The world will not stop to grieve for any of us for very long. It will go on just like it did the day before. That’s a hard, sobering truth to accept. There have been days when all I can do is cry, to feel alive. There are days that I’ve kicked and screamed just to make enough ruckus to remind the people I love that I need to be heard. I need them to stop and, just for a moment, make me the center of their world. I realize it sounds selfish and childish but it’s the only thing to assuage my fear of disappearing and the fear and vulnerability that comes with that.

Sometimes when you’re engulfed in the darkness, a change of scenery can change your entire perspective even if just for a few moments, hours, days… enough to get you to survive. That’s where I’m at as I type this.

My best friend, Niki, and her family are family that we chose. Her and I found each other freshman year of college 23 years ago. We’ve grown up together. We are the keeper of one another’s secrets and our friendship is built on mutual respect, trust and 100% unconditional love. I can tell her, literally, anything and there will never be judgement, second guessing or condemnation. The friendship is simple, unconditional love and complete freedom to be ourselves all of the time. She’s my chosen sister which means we will always love each other, even if one of us does something the other doesn’t particularly like. We love each other enough to respectfully disagree on occasion.

We had a trip planned to visit her and her family on our way back from our fall trip to Disney this past week. We cancelled Disney because I can’t walk but we decided we really needed this trip to soothe our souls. But the day before we left, the kids were arguing constantly, my leg was really hurting from physical therapy and it just seemed like a lot of work lugging a shower chair, wheelchair, a walker and trying to stay comfortable. We were all over extended. The girls were being so bad that the Big guy cancelled the trip but something at my core screamed for help. This trip was our lifeline and we all knew it.

This was my way out of the darkness of my depression.

depression, perspective, friendship, Halloween, leaky eyed ghost

So we loaded into the SUV at 4 am on Thursday and emotionally & physically exhausted we drove east, praying it would all work out but knowing this was our road to salvation, our reprieve from the darkness…it was just enough air to keep the darkness from suffocating and killing us all.

It’s Saturday night and we’ve done nothing extraordinary, other than simultaneously coexist in that comfortable silence that only comes from being around the people who love you for real; not in words and declarations but in actions. The people who know that your heart is heavy, your soul is beaten and your body is weary and they take you into their home and make it yours. The people who love you at your worst and only see the best. Words will never be enough to convey what this friendship means to us. But I’d like to try.

Niki, thank you for always getting me and always loving me no matter what and thank you for such an amazing family that love us just as much as we love you. You are my sister forever and always, nothing can ever change that. I hope someday I can take care of you, the way you’ve taken care of us this past week. You’ve saved us by changing our perspective simply by changing our view. Where I only saw darkness a few days ago, I now see all the beauty, love and blessings that my life is filled with.

Sorry Nik, I know how much you worry about ending up in one of my posts but I had to share with the world how amazing you are 😉 Love you , hermanita!

I never knew a person could experience depression from a broken bone but its real and it’s awful.

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#DisneyCreatorDays #DisneySMMC Walt Disney creator, Disney social media moms celebration, Disney Creator Days, What is Disney Creator Days, Walt Disney World, Disney Corporation, castaway cay, Disney Creators Celebration, What is Disney Creators Celebration, #DisneyCreators,Disney, Credit Repair, financial security, financial freedom

Thank you CreditRepair.com for sponsoring this post. CreditRepair.com’s team understands that a credit score is not just a number; it’s a lifestyle.

The holidays are coming up really soon and with that, so does gift-giving, which is my love language. Whether you like to give toys, clothes, travel, or experiences (my personal preference) to your loved ones, at the root of all of it is the innate desire to bestow upon the people you love gifts; tokens of adoration and gratitude. We wait all year for this one day to give. Why do we wait? Oh yes, because that is when the sales happen and we’re trying to spend responsibly.

READ ALSO: How to have a Quality Fashion Wardrobe on a Budget

Since the day we had our girls, we’ve been head over heels in love with them. We wanted, and still do, to give them the world. I don’t feel like it’s wrong to give them special gifts, I feel like it’s a blessing to be able to do it. Giving is a salve for my soul.

Disney, Credit Repair, financial security, financial freedom, quinceanera, My why, why I am working to reverse my diabetes, family, Signs of diabetes, diabetes, diabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, how to reverse diabetes

But then the accident happened my own personal life-altering moment. I took a misstep in a bridesmaid gown and our entire world changed. I broke and shattered the bones in my left leg while completely dislocating my ankle. I had no idea how momentous one wrong step could be. It’s actually a good metaphor for life.

READ ALSO: Bridesmaid Down

It was as painful as it sounds and that broken leg nearly broke us. The bills were astronomical. Recovery included 3 surgeries over 3 years, countless hours of physical therapy and rehabilitation and the cost of renting medical devices to just be able to take a shower or get around my own house. I couldn’t bear weight for 12 weeks. I couldn’t work. All I could do was sit and watch as the entire world moved on without me. It took a village to pick up the slack and there were lots of unexpected, hidden costs involved.

Christmas rolled around that year and all my weary heart wanted was to give to those I love but how could I? I got depressed and when I’m depressed, it’s cliché but, I like to shop. Somehow it empowers me when I’m feeling helpless. So in the middle of hemorrhaging money on one surgery after another, I kept shopping. It wasn’t about the stuff it was about the joy it brought me to give the smiles on my daughters’ faces.

READ ALSO: Tips for Maximizing Your Disney World Vacation

That Christmas was a plastic Christmas. I couldn’t let my broken leg ruin our holiday. It had already robbed the girls of their Disney World trip, I wouldn’t let it take this from them too. As the medical bills began to roll in, when I still couldn’t walk, I had my husband push me around the mall in my wheelchair.

Christmas came and went. My cards were maxed out and the medical bills just kept coming, even when the paychecks were late; the bills never were. I wish the hospital’s billing department could give tips to the people who owed me money. Apparently, that scenario never works out in my favor.

Pretty soon, the bills were coming more and more frequently and the stress of owing money that I couldn’t pay and afford groceries at the same time, just became too much. I began to shut down. I stopped spending and started focusing on paying bills down and saving but the bills were already so high. I felt like I couldn’t breathe or move under the weight of it all. Meanwhile, my credit score was moving in the wrong direction.

We were in over our heads with the medical bills. We were drowning with no life preserver in sight. Humiliated and embarrassed, I didn’t want to ask for help. I’m an adult. I just wanted to hold on long enough to be able to fix it but I could never catch up.

Then one day, I had to ask myself, “Why should my children pay because of an unexpected medical emergency? Why should we be punished for a momentary lapse in footwear judgment on a warm autumn day? Why?” I was angry and I was sad. I was frustrated and I felt out of control and I didn’t like any of it.

READ ALSO: What’s a Quinceanera and how to plan yours

I was struggling with the idea that I had school tuitions, ballet, cheer, work trips, family vacations, and quinceaneras coming up that I had to pay for. The fact was not lost on me that college is coming sooner rather than later too. How was I going to afford all of it? Why should my family miss out on these important things to them because of debt that had nothing to do with them. It felt punitive.

Disney, Credit Repair, financial security, financial freedom, quinceanera

Bills kept mounting. I’d pay the bare minimum when I could. I used to feel like I would never finish paying off the medical bills because once I broke my leg that set off a chain of unexpected health issues and more trips to the hospital.

Worrying doesn’t help. You have to make a plan and take action. The first thing I did was call my creditors. I spoke to them, human to human. Explained the situation and they worked with us to help us pay the debt down without starving or damaging our credit score. This wasn’t a magic pill and we’re still working that plan. It was a Band-Aid. It takes time but it was a relief to have that life preserver.

The thing you have to remember is that credit is fluid. Your credit is not set in stone. Every single day is a new day for you to repair or destroy it. It’s your choice. One resource, CreditRepair.com is a leading provider of credit report repair services in the United States. Their credit professionals help educate and empower individuals like me achieve the credit score I want and the lifestyle my family deserves.

CreditRepair.com can help you make good choices because a credit score is more than just a number, it is a way of life. A credit score directly correlates with quality of life, not just because of the things you can afford but more importantly because of peace of mind and security. For me, and most people, debt and compromised credit cause unnecessary stress and worry and then you can’t enjoy anything. It’s a vicious cycle and sometimes it feels like there’s no way out. But there are resources available for just that. We just need to know they are available.

CreditRepair.com professionals believe everyone has a right to: Achieve their dreams. Increase their ability. Enjoy a lifestyle of greater opportunity.

CreditRepair.com’s technology provides its members with a personal online dashboard, a credit score tracker and analysis, creditor and bureau interactions, text and email alerts, mobile apps and credit monitoring. They give you the tools to be the master of your own financial destiny. They focus on your personal story and your determination to develop a healthier relationship with your credit and dedication to the process of changing your lifestyle and spending habits to achieve your financial goals. It’s very personalized.

I’m still working my way out of financial debt and learning better spending habits.

My credit repair goals are:
· Pay everything on time.
· Pay off all of my medical debt.
· To get to a place where I can pay more than just the minimum payments on credit card bills.
· Pay off debt and use my credit cards less.
· Carry low balances versus maxed out cards.
· Establish a regular savings schedule and contribution goal.
· Get any negative payment history removed from my credit report.

If your credit isn’t perfect, that’s ok. You can fix it with a little guidance and help from CreditRepair.com Get started today with your free consultation.
What are you waiting for? You deserve the freedom, joy and peace of mind that having good credit can provide. Your family deserves that version of you.

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Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

Our entire lives have been upside down and inside out since I broke my leg but we are learning to deal with it. Honestly, this broken leg has not just changed my life it’s upset the entire ecosystem of my family. It’s been a crazy couple of months so this Halloween, we fittingly went as characters from Inside Out.

joy

I haven’t been out a lot lately so I was really excited to take the girls Trick or Treating. The Big Guy was Anger, which made us all laugh since Anger is small and my husband is 6’5”. My oldest was Joy and my youngest was Disgust. The obvious choice for me was Sadness, to round out the crew, but I figured there’s been enough sadness so I chose to go another route. I decided to be Bing Bong.

Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

Why Bing Bong from Inside Out, you ask?

Well, I felt like I needed a little whimsy in my life. Though I must say, it’s a challenge trying to bring a child’s imaginary friend to life on Halloween or any other day of the week. I spent the night being confused for Katy Perry and Niki Minaj as the Big Guy wheeled me around the neighborhood.

Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

It was exhausting to be out and around in the chilly, autumn night air but at the same time it was invigorating. I felt like a human again. Hearing my girls giggle as they ran door-to-door trick or treating made my heart happy.

It’s funny how sometimes the simple things like being outside of your own four walls, participating in life can make all the difference. For one night, I felt like I got to escape my injury and do the things I’ve always done with my family. I felt normal and it was amazing, even if it was while I was dressed as an imaginary friend.

Inside Out, Halloween, trick-or-treating

In the end, maybe I looked like Katy Perry in a wheelchair with a broken leg and a crazy pair of Olivia Newton John sparkly hot pants and not Bing Bong. Maybe no one quite got what I was supposed to be but I needed it.

 

We all needed a little Inside Out to get right side up.

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dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

Have you ever felt like Samuel Jackson’s character Elijah Price in Unbreakable? I have; I do right now. A week ago today, in a fluke of epic proportions and yet another lesson in bad footwear, I lost my footing in a waterlogged yard and fell, not once but twice and something broke. Put it this way, on the second fall, I was pretty sure that if I had taken my coat off, I would have seen the bones in my arm completely out of their respective positions.

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of years, you know that I broke my leg at my sister’s wedding so severely that I had to have surgery to put my leg back together again. It’s what I affectionately refer to as my Humpty Dumpty Frankenstein leg.

A couple months later, I had to have a second surgery to remove 2 of the screws because all of the physical therapy in the world was not going to allow those screws to let me walk without a limp. It helped and I had an amazing surgeon through the entire ordeal so shout out to Dr. Beuchel who can perform surgical miracles and has the most pleasant bedside manner.

3 months later, my gallbladder decided it wanted in on the fun and I had 2 acute attacks in as many weeks. But since I was a week out from a Disney trip (the same trip I had cancelled the previous October due to the break) I went to Disney with a bum gallbladder and a restricted diet that nearly starved me to death and subsequent removal of a gallbladder that we found was not situated in the usual place. Thankfully, Disney is very accommodating to all diets but there were no Dole whips on that trip I did, however, find the soy shake at the Sci-Fi theater and the ratatouille at Be Our Guest to be uncannily delicious.

A year later, the swelling in my leg had finally gone down enough to remove the outer plate and screws from my leg. This was necessary because I was having pain wearing anything above a flat. I just had this surgery over Christmas break. It’s been feeling great, other than a little tenderness from the accompanying scope I had to remove all the built up excess scar tissue that was causing mobility issues. I was looking forward to going to Disney next month unencumbered. Then the unthinkable happened; a series of almost comedic if not almost deadly unfortunate events.

I went outside. The snow had all melted and I saw that Monday night’s storm had left a giant tree branch atop the girls’ trampoline. Afraid it might tear it, I got dressed went outside and tried to remove it from the netting. Let me explain, this is completely out of character for me. I usually leave all manual labor to the Big Guy because 1) I don’t particularly like it 2) I am accident prone and still, I did it anyway. The first mistake, going outside.

This was not well thought out. I still had my pajamas on. I threw on the first pair of comfy pants I found folded and pulled on my jacket and UGGS. Second mistake, UGGS. They are now in the flip-flop category of shoes that will never be worn again.

I went outside and saw that I could not move the log but instead of going in the house and accepting defeat, I soldiered on. I went to the front of the house to find something for leverage. Mistake number 3 and 4, not quitting and walking to the front of the house.

I spied a shovel by the front door and thought, hmm, this will work for leverage. I stepped off the front porch (next mistake) put my foot into the waterlogged, muddy yard and went down like a ton of bricks. When I went down, my first thought was, “OMG, the plate is out and this leg can break again. OMG, I broke the leg!!!”

I was at this point wailing like a baby and jumped up immediately. This was my 5th and fatal mistake because I immediately fell right back down, this time with my left arm outstretched searching for salvation but none was to be found.

I heard a pop and I knew, if I pulled off my jacket to look, the bone would be jutting out in the wrong direction. Covered in mud, I gingerly, while full on screaming and hyperventilating because at this point I might have been insane, pulled myself up to my feet. I was shaking uncontrollably and frightened. The pain was indescribable. I had to make it into the house without falling again but first I had to make it all the way to the back of the house, without losing my footing again because of course, the front door was locked. Instead of walking 50 feet in excruciating pain, I got to walk 500 feet.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

I made it, slipping and sliding and crying and screaming the entire way. It was around 9 in the morning so no one was around. I called my husband, who works on the other side of town, and told him to meet me at the hospital and I called my brother who lives a few blocks away and sobbed my way through telling him what had happened and asked for a ride to the ER.

By this time, I think my body was going into shock. I was shaking uncontrollably and feeling faint and vomity just like the time I broke my leg. Everything was hurting. I was just trying to get dressed and cleaned up before I couldn’t move at all. Swelling tends to do that to bone trauma.

Finally, we made it to the Emergency room where I had to wait for about ½ hour before they could get me back. After another 5 hours and several x-rays, they sent me home with a splint and the news that my arm was broke. However, they said they couldn’t see the break because of the swelling and they wouldn’t do an MRI. I had to follow up with my orthopedist. I left in pain and frustrated.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

Thursday, I saw the orthopedist. The verdict is that when I fell, I dislocated my elbow which, thankfully, went back into place on its own. While dislocating my elbow, the trauma from the impact and all the pushing and pulling taking place during the dislocation, I chipped part of my bone off. My doctor didn’t seem too worried about that. I, however, am concerned but thrilled that I don’t have to wear a cast to Disney this year or have surgery.

dislocated elbow, broken bone, slip and fall

I do have a horrific bruise and swelling to contend with today. I have about 3 months of recovery in front of me that includes another week or two of intense pain, a month of wearing a sling and a whole lot of physical therapy. But no cast or surgery, so I am thankful for the small wins.

Tomorrow, I’m going to buy some vitamin D and calcium because apparently, I am up for the role of Elijah Price in M.Night Shamalyns next installment in the series and I really don’t want to be.

The moral of the story kids? Beware life’s slick spots and make good footwear choices!

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sexual health, women's health, women's bodies

Sometimes as a busy wife and mom, my life can get pretty hectic. Probably a lot like yours. It’s not easy when you have to be 100 places at the same time and you have little people depending on you for survival. That’s a lot of pressure, in and of itself, add to that work, errands, husband time and the fact that I am not as young as I once was and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed pretty quickly.

The thing is that this happens quite frequently and when it does, I don’t feel like myself. Does that happen to you? I’ve noticed that whenever my life gets busy and I’m experiencing a lot of emotional stress, there are always accompanying physical ramifications. For example, when you’re stressing out over why the baby isn’t sleeping through the night and the next thing you know you get a monster pimple between your eyes or you remember in the middle of the night that you have to bake 50 cupcakes for the PTO bake sale and then you fall victim to a migraine.

I’ve had an extremely stressful few months recently. I broke my leg last fall which created a host of other issues, as you can imagine mostly because when you are confined to one place and can’t bear weight, you start to feel like a ghost in your own life. You can’t imagine the emotional stress that feeling irrelevant can put on someone. Makes you appreciate what it must feel like to be elderly.

Then this spring I started having gallbladder attacks which led to a surgery to remove a diseased gallbladder. If you’ve never had a gallbladder attack, I don’t recommend them. They feel like an induced labor with no epidural. This caused more emotional stress that manifested itself by physically wiping me out. On top of all of this, I’m pretty sure that I’ve entered perimenopause land. They say it can start anywhere from your thirties through your forties (or even earlier for some) and can last anywhere from 10 months to 10 years, so that makes it a definite possibility.

I haven’t noticed any major symptoms like hot flashes, irregular periods or lower sex drive but others like urine leakage (hello, giving birth to two babies with huge heads), fatigue (a mom’s work is never done), mood swings and trouble sleeping (well, I’m a mom and a diagnosed insomniac so this has been part of my reality since having kids) but other than that I feel like I’m 25-years-old. Well, except for the occasional vaginal dryness but I blame that on the stress. Not to be too graphic but sometimes it’s like a slip and slide down there and sometimes it’s like the Sahara. I adjust. I’m not giving up my sex life because my vagina is being bipolar. Hey, 2 pregnancies, a broken leg and wonky gallbladder didn’t stop me. I’m not about to let aging win the war. I’m not dead yet.

The thing is life slows down for no woman so we have to make time to take care of ourselves. Sometimes that means getting some extra sleep, sometimes that means taking vitamins and exercising, sometimes that means sneaking away to pee in silence and sometimes that means giving yourself a little help in the lubricant area. Hey, my mama always told me, “God helps those who help themselves.” I have no shame in helping myself to the sex life I want. If that means picking up some Vagisil ProHydrate then I will. Vagisil ProHydrate Natural Feel helps make my love life feel natural again without the dryness that comes with perimenopause.

 

Unfortunately, it quite literally, took me falling and breaking my leg and being completely bed ridden for 4 months to learn that lesson. So when your body is telling you to slow down or take care of it, do it. You only have one body and one life. Enjoy

What do you do to relieve stress that’s just for you and nobody else?

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romance, marriage, the romance of marriage,sex

The romance of marriage might not look anything like what you thought it would when you first fell in love. Then again, nothing ever does. Hell, I was the best parent in the world before I gave birth and I had a very specific vision of what my romantic life with the man I loved would look like. I didn’t know shit.

In the beginning, romance meant not being able to keep our hands off of one another. It was every minute of every day being together, or at least wanting to be together. It meant nights sitting on rooftops, snuggled together watching the stars and kissing. In the beginning, it was sitting in his lap, long walks late at night talking about everything and nothing all at the same time. We were in college and on that first night, we met and neither of  us was particularly interested in the other but by the end of that night, something unexpected happened; he was everything I never knew I always wanted.

We’ve been married now for almost 17 years now, which comes as a shock to everyone, especially since we got engaged after only 4 months of knowing one another. He said he just knew. I was a little less rash in the beginning but I knew I loved him and I couldn’t imagine spending my life without him.

The romance of marriage evolves as it goes on.

Over time, the definition of romance has changed as we have grown and changed. Before children, it meant long weekends together, eating at 5-star restaurants, dancing and laughing until out legs couldn’t support us any longer. Then it meant making our way back to our hotel room through a fog of alcohol and lust and making love until we collapsed in one another’s arms. Those were the days when everything was ahead of us.

Then on one particularly special weekend spent celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary in New Orleans and life took a pleasantly unexpected turn, we were “blessed” with the conception of our first child. Then, weekends away were no more. Date nights went into retirement for 5 long years but it didn’t matter, we were too tired and too broke to go out anyways. To be honest those first few “date nights” and most after that for a couple years, we spent eating take out in our pajamas in quiet and going to bed at a reasonable hour; sometimes sex happened and sometimes it didn’t and we were both okay with that because anyone who has ever been a parent knows that sleep is way more important for everyone involved. It’s not like we’ve forgotten that “sex” is what got us into this predicament in the first damn place.

Not that I’m bitter about parenthood. I love my children, as much as anyone can love children that are awake. They are my favorite children in the world. I can tolerate their whining almost constantly but we’ve come to a point in our lives where we fully recognize, with the help of some sleep, that our children are only a temporary situation. Parenting little kids is not a permanent status, not in the way it is today or yesterday or will be tomorrow. It is ever changing and evolving. It is amazing, terrible and fantastic all at the same time and I wouldn’t change a second of it (not even the colicky ones or the night terrors or the endless nights of sleeplessness). It’s the best thing I will ever do.

These days date nights are still pretty few and far between for the Big Guy and I. Not that we don’t enjoy a night on the town, it’s just that date night for us means kids sleeping over at Grandma’s and that means a whole lot of coordinating of dates and times because Grandma and Grandpa have a life (more than the Big Guy and I apparently). But sometimes, a couple just needs a date night; a minute to remember whom you were before babies. A second to remember why you used to forgo sleep and food just to devour this other person literally and metaphorically; why they were your everything. They are still there and you need to recognize that, out loud, at least occasionally. A little slap on the ass, deep kiss in the middle of the afternoon or a text that says, ” I can’t stop thinking about you sexy!” can go a long way in reminding them that you still find them to be an attractive sexual being, even if it’s buried under spit up and stains and a hangry attitude.

The romance of marriage is about loving someone so much that you can still see them, even when they feel like they have begun to disappear.

So we jumped through all the hoops, signed all the necessary documents and voila, 3 weeks later we got a date night approved and it was glorious. First, he took me to see a horror movie in.the.theater. That never happens. We are all about the Netflix and Chill situation. In return, I chose a restaurant that he had been wanting to try; a microbrewery in an old warehouse. It was by no stretch of the imagination 5-star but it was quaint and it was nice to be there with him. Hell, I was having such a good time sitting at our chalkboard table, sampling my flight of craft beers (totally out of my comfort zone) that I barely even noticed the herd of hipsters with handlebar mustaches playing chutes and ladders or some shit at the next table. Barely but obviously a little bit. Who the hell cannot stare at a handlebar mustache with a man bun and a Member’s Only jacket playing Chutes and Ladders? Seriously.

We ordered off of the very limited (as if it were secret) menu. My choices were a Nutella hotdog or a BLT with Gouda or some other 3 pub specialties. I chose the BLT because I was starving and needed something to fill my empty stomach that was fighting what I found out the next morning to be the flu. The Big Guy chose some sort of beef sandwich. But none of that was important, what was important was that there we were talking, drinking, laughing and being “us” with no one calling us mommy or daddy for miles.

At one particularly romantic moment of the night, I excused myself to the restroom only to return to my seat to find the words “SEXY!” with an arrow pointing to my seat scribbled in chalk on the table. Sounds simple, right? But it made me feel sexy. It made me feel like he saw me, for the first time in a long time. Of course, he soon followed that message up with his own message on his side of the table, directed toward the waitress, “ Check Please. I’m going home to have SEX!” It made me laugh. It made me feel wanted and we left the hipsters to their chutes and ladders. Sure, it was only 10 p.m. but that was really f*cking adorable.

On the way home I told him that I really wanted something sweet. Obviously, the hipster brew worx didn’t serve dessert unless you count the Nutella on the all beef hotdog. I didn’t. So he stopped by the grocery ran in and returned the sexiest man alive with a box of fudge pop tarts and a giant bouquet of wild flowers from the grocery store, just because…my favorite kind of flowers in the world. Apparently, I’m cheap and easy.

It wasn’t a five star date night by any stretch of the imagination but it had the same effect and ended the same way, minus the dancing until our legs gave out because since I broke my leg, it doesn’t work like it used to. Of course, leave it to him to make even that sexy because I’ll be damned if he didn’t give that ugly scar a little kiss while he massaged my leg that night, like he’s done for months while I’ve been recovering from this broken leg.

That’s what the romance of marriage is really about, falling in love with the same person over and over again throughout time. Choosing to love them every day.

What is your definition of the romance of marriage?

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