The First of 2020

Happy 2020!  It’s already February; where has the time gone?  The past week has been a wild one, in terms of weather.  Earlier last week it neared 70 degrees with six confirmed tornadoes touching down a few days ago.  Now it’s back to just above freezing temperatures.  I almost wonder if I’m back home in Minnesota?  Seeing as I just felt all four seasons in the past week …

I received notification that I passed my phlebotomy certification.  Being certified hasn’t helped much as far as getting job interviews.  I had one a few weeks ago but wasn’t offered a job.  I did, however, make a great “mistake” of answering a local phone call!  It was the US Census calling about the application I put in April of last year.  I went in for fingerprinting a few days after that, and a week ago I submitted my onboarding paperwork.  Now is the waiting game for training to start.

I will be meeting my mother in Las Vegas the first week of March.  We’ll be spending four nights together and we’re looking forward to it very much.

I hate when others are right.  There.  I said it.  I’ve been told you don’t truly know anyone until you meet them in person.  This can be true as I’ve recently found out.  Someone I once cared about married a mutual friend.  I think I’m upset mostly because I was cut out in favor of this other person.  If they had talked to me I would have been accepting and understanding.  Instead, I’m ghosted by those I care about and it sucks.  I told “Spyder” the long story of everything and they helped me identify great qualities in myself I never saw.  To the person(s) who ghosted me, if you’re reading this, I forgive you so I can move forward.  I’ll be here if you want to start over.

Feeling Free

So, so much has happened in the past few months.

One of the people I played World of Warcraft with became my neighbor in March.   My literal neighbor.  As in right across the breezeway neighbor.  He has gone through a few personal issues over the past few months, and I’m glad he could trust me.  We both renewed our leases so we’ll be neighbors for another year.

My father-in-law passed away earlier this summer.  Death brings out the worst in people and I’m keeping all the drama I’ve witnessed out of this blog.

I visited my family over the Labor Day weekend.  As usual, I also went to the Minnesota State Fair.

I’m very happy to say I’m psychiatrically stable. After going through a few doctors and many medication combinations, I have finally found something that works for me. I feel great! I have a few days a month of depression but my doctor assures me this is normal and I shouldn’t need additional medication to manage it.  Also related, I fired the therapist I had been seeing for over three years and found a different therapist who has been helpful in getting over this hump.

My left side has gotten progressively weaker.  I noticed symptoms started in July.  At that time I was unable to clip my own fingernails.  I thought it was an issue with crappy clippers, but I was unable to clip with my left hand and was fine using the right.  I am unable to open chip clips or push buttons on key fobs.  I have poor grip on my left side; I can’t hold objects or carry heavy items.  I had two nerve conduction studies, an ultrasound, and an MRI on my left arm and hand.  I go in next week to get another ultrasound and to discuss the results of my MRI.  My left leg is also weak.  I had an MRI on my lower back and am going in for a follow-up in a few weeks to discuss that result as well.  My leg weakness prevents me from walking up stairs normally and causes my foot to drop.  I have extreme difficulty getting in and out of the tub, still.  I want to know what’s wrong with me.

I’ve been studying to become a phlebotomist.  I take my national certification exam in January.

My spouse and I went to Las Vegas after Thanksgiving.  We bought tickets at the last moment, as in hours before takeoff, and settled for a cheap, yet nice, hotel off The Strip.  The flight there was on a wide-body plane, which I’ve never been on until then.  It was more comfortable than I imagined.  When we landed in Las Vegas, the airport had never dealt with a plane that size so accommodations had to be made which took a few minutes.  We got to the hotel late and had White Castle delivered, then had a few hours of rest.  The next morning, Saturday, we rented a car.  We drove to Green Valley Ranch for the breakfast buffet and then went to Fry’s to browse.  While there, I spotted the always-win rubber duck claw machine and adopted five new ducks.  We then made the long drive to Valley of Fire State Park, and left in time to have the best clam chowder ever for lunch.  We went to the Fashion Show Mall and then retired to the hotel and had that prime rib buffet which was severely disappointing.  We left Sunday afternoon.  It was a very short vacation, but fun one.  I ended up walking my bum off and my legs were not forgiving for days.

Something I’ve been reluctant to post publicly but decided to since I don’t want to hide anymore:  I “came out” to my spouse.  I identify as a poly, demi-sexual pan-romantic.  This means I love more than one person, I don’t have sexual feelings for people unless I have a strong romantic connection with them, and I am attracted to many gender identities.

just.

I was selected to receive just. products for free or at a discount in exchange for my unbiased review.  TMI warning:  I’m going to discuss menstruation and menstruation products.just.

“just. was created to take the drama out of choosing period protection.”  No dyes, fragrances, or chlorine bleaching.  just. pads have a 100% cotton top layer and just. tampons have a 100% cotton core.  I like what I use but just.’s product content of cotton, instead of rayon, piqued my curiosity.  I also wanted to learn more about chlorine bleaching.  When I talk about my current product, I use a combination of o.b. tampons with an Always daily liner; or a Softcup (which I just recently learned has been rebranded to Softdisc.)

First I will share my experience with the just. pads.  The pads come in two absorbencies:  super and overnight.  Being a larger lady, I purchased the overnight pads.  When I opened the package, the first thing I noticed were how thin the pads were.  I tried to keep an open mind, but I kept thinking, “these are paper thin pads and I don’t think they will protect well.”  The top layer of the pad is very soft and I could tell it was cotton.  It has a much different feel than my current product.  For science, I tried to rip a pad apart with my hands, but nothing happened and the pad seems to be strong.  The adhesive was weak and the wings were the only reason the pad stayed in place.  I use pads for backup protection, but used this product as first-line protection to try to get an honest review from me.  I wore one for under an hour and I realized I had to change it.  Another hour, changed it again.  I thought to myself, “I don’t have time for this.”  I have an IUD so my periods are extremely light.  This pad wasn’t absorbent.  At all.  I’ll leave it at that.  The thinness of the pad was okay, I suppose, but I’m one who prefers the non-thin pads because they seem to work better than the ultra thin pads.  The just. product is no different.

The just. tampons come in a plastic wrapper and a plastic applicator.  I have a feeling that the just. products are developed toward women who are careful about what they put into their bodies, and not the environment, because these tampons aren’t being advertised with buzz words such as “organic” or “better for the environment.”  That being said, I prefer tampons without applicators, and if I had to use a tampon with an applicator, I prefer one made from cardboard.  just. tampons grow in circular width, which is nice since I know there are some brands that grow in length or width at just a few points.  In this aspect, just. are comparable to my current product:  ideally, they will conform to my insides.  Two hours later I feel like something’s not right.  The just. tampon has leaked because it’s not absorbing.  I don’t want to get graphic, but the blood is seeping down the sides and down the string.  I take it out and it’s not even absorbing.  I tried two other times and had the same result.  Thankfully I had used backup protection.

I read about chlorine bleaching online from a variety of sources.  This hasn’t been a thing in the United States for years so honestly, I think this phrase is a marketing gimmick.  All major manufacturers of tampons in the United States do not use chlorine bleaching in their manufacturing process.

Based upon my usage of these two products, I’ve come to one conclusion:  cotton might feel better, but the products definitely don’t absorb as well as their conventional counterparts.