Ok I’ll admit it at 24 years old I heard tapping out of nowhere in the pitch dark and my first thought was that there was a monster in my room…Yup not doing horror movies at night anymore…I clearly do not have the constitution for it.

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It’s Seriously Frustrating: When The Evidence is There But the Medical System Can’t Be Bothered to Give a Hoot

For a year and a half, I’ve been dealing with my health declining. For a long time, I felt like I was just chasing dead ends. I went from doctor to doctor just hoping that somebody could help me or be willing to help me. But the longer things went on the more pointless it seemed. Some doctors seemed amused or found my symptoms funny. Like “here’s another one”. One thing I found is if you happen to mention fatigue, as a young woman, be prepared to not be taken seriously.

I’ve tried rationalizing my symptoms in  almost every single way possible. And in the end thought maybe something is going on mentally. Maybe the mental and emotional stress I’ve been carrying for so long caught up with me.

But then there would be evidence that suggested that something was physically wrong. This year I’ve had recurrent infections one after the other. Tests that showed that. But my doctor didn’t think much of it. Antibiotics there done. But then my symptoms would start again I’d do a test it would show it was still there so he’d give me another one. Still there. Then he just gave up. So my infection symptoms persisted and I just ignored them because if your doctor doesn’t seem to give a care or lacks the ability to help you why bother. By this point I know this wasn’t the greatest decision but I’ve just been so TIRED of all of this.

The last few weeks I’ve been exhausted though, going through a slump. I decided that hey I have PCOS I know I have it. I went to see my specialist who I’ve only ever seen once. (he’s the new guy in my PCOS case). So I asked to start treatment. I think for the first few days the metformin he prescribed seemed to be helping but then I started crashing even harder. He’d suggested some routine bloodwork and I figured I should get it done sooner.

I guess part of this is me but there’s an option to view your labwork now. Out of curiosity I checked my recent results. And once again it follows this downward trend. In my last bloodwork test at least I was borderline normal though, and now I have straight up low white blood cells in 3 areas, then my bone markers are low too. Surprising? No. Not really.

The sad thing is if you read my blood results, checked my prior urine tests, listened to my symptoms you would come to the conclusion that at least there is either an infection that is still going on.

The sad thing is my blood work isn’t going to be reviewed by my GP till he gets back from vacation and my white blood cells and bone markers aren’t really my endocrinologists jurisdiction to deal with I mean he can look at them but my hormones are normal so he doesn’t have reason to interfere aside from call the doctor who is on vacation.

The saddest thing is I don’t even want to go to a doctor. I know I’m in pain. I know I’m not functioning normally. But I don’t want to have to go through this process anymore only to feel like an idiot for trying. I don’t want to have to debate with someone how low white blood cells isn’t normal for me. Yes, I am African-American but no it’s never been a problem and that if you looked at my tests you would see that they’ve been declining all year. I don’t want to have to be treated like I am wasting someone’s time and that I should just suck it up and get over this. Or yes I know I have low vitamin D I already take tablets for that, or whatever else they decide to fight with me on.

I just want to be listened to and offered some guidance even if it starts as simple as here let’s try this and see what it does.

The thing is all of this sometimes feels pointless. When I have crashes like this I know I am too exhausted to cope with my symptoms but then I also too tired to have to try to be helped when it leads to nothing. It can be a frustrating situation…

 

Tribulations of Online Dating: Messaging

One of the areas that can either gain you some points or make you really lose some is messaging.

Jumping the Gun or Not Jumping at All

Online dating sites are notorious for people not ever dating and just being on to chat. You can seriously talk to someone for months and never meet them. Personally, I don’t play that game. I am on an a dating service to actually have connection and date someone. So if by 6 weeks we aren’t making progress or haven’t made plans to meet I will probably tell you that it is time we end things. I know that’s not everyone though. A lot of people are actually just on there to chat but if you don’t intend to ever meet up with someone who does have intentions to meet; you should probably just be straight.

The opposite of this that some guys (and I’m sure girls) jump the gun. You literally exchange a few messages, and they want to get serious. I think this goes back to intention. I’m a laid back person I enjoy talking to someone over the course of at least a week and a half before we meet in-person (this may be a bit long) but I feel like with online dating I like to have a better idea of who I am talking to, they are a stranger after all. And sometimes they just really aren’t right for you and it takes a few days to realize it. The other jump the gun is the people you know clearly want to be in a serious long-term relationship or even marriage. But you shouldn’t ever be forced into something.

Too Aggressive

I am passive but I assert myself when I need to. When it comes to online dating though you may attract sharks. People who are aggressive in the first message, maybe even subsequent ones. Sometimes people who you may not have responded to in the first message or try cutting things off with and then become aggressive. Here’s the thing. No means no. You don’t have to like it but once the other party asserts that no they don’t want something with you, you need to let it go. Spewing insults or just messaging them non-stop after isn’t going to change their minds about you in any positive way. If you keep it up you will most definitely find yourself blocked.

Drunk Texting

Drunk texting isn’t sexy especially after messaging someone. It’s like okay everyone has a good time but this tells me a bit about how you act when you’re drunk. Especially, considering I don’t know you very well at all and if this is one of the first impressions I am getting from you just know it isn’t that good. I really shouldn’t have to write about how drunk texting is a bad idea in general but if you want someone to take notice of you seriously then it’s bad idea.

Forgetting Someone You Went On a Date with Already

Have you ever been on an online dating site and someone you went on a date with messaged you forgetting that you’ve already gone on a first date and it didn’t work out…no maybe that’s just reserved for me. Just saying though it  puts you in a bit of an awkward position.

Assuming That No Answer Means They Haven’t Read it Yet

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I don’t message back. Sometimes it goes as far as reading a profile and knowing that I am dodging a bullet by not engaging with this person (sometimes these are those people who are more likely to spew verbal abuse if you aren’t interested). Or sometimes it’s just not right. You are human you are allowed to not be attracted to someone. Where things can get annoying is when you don’t respond and the person keeps messaging you. It kind of ties in with being aggressive but someone’s silence on an online dating platform shouldn’t be assumed as a yes. Messaging me non-stop when I haven’t replied to you isn’t going to make me suddenly interested. It’s best if you just stop.

Messaging When Your Match is Super Low

I’m not saying that those questionnaires are 100% accurate. They aren’t and it happens sometimes when you just aren’t compatible in a person who you have a really high match with. These things aren’t full-proof but there are some things to keep in mind. When someone has a very low match with you or even a high enemy match with you, it indicates that somewhere there are issues that you greatly differ on. That doesn’t mean you can’t work through it but sometimes it means checking where these differences are. For me personally I answer my questions seriously. If there is something that really is important I will tack it as so, and if there is something that really isn’t important I will tack it as unimportant. So though it isn’t perfect I know that I answer honestly. The thing is your match percentage is only as accurate as how honest/seriously you are taking it. If you aren’t all that interested in answering, you don’t care, or you are trying to put in what sounds right; it’s not going to be that accurate. So maybe the match percentage or views expressed aren’t totally accurate.

Either way if someone messages me and a really low match it doesn’t mean I’ll out right not take them seriously. But if your pick up is weak then I probably won’t pursue it.

Quality Responses

A good quality message can really lead to that next step in the dating process. Actually being able to talk to someone on online dating can be a really great thing. Honestly, for me even a good message consisting of a greeting, and a point from my profile is a great thing. Heck, introduce yourself the main thing is taking away things from each other to formulate a decent line.

Another thing to keep in mind is try not to hyper focus on one aspect of the person. Try to ask different questions about different aspects of their life to keep the conversation going.

I mean these things aren’t full proof but I think that the messaging is an important aspect of the online dating process, since online dating is so distant it’s important that you maintain the only form of communication you’ll be having with that person.

Dos and Donts of Braiding Part 2: The Fallout..Literally

 

So this post is in relation to the fall out of braids and even natural hair. It’s more of a catchall post but I hope it helps newbies to braiding or old timers who may be experiencing these problems and are in need of solutions.

So my mom is no newbie to getting braids but her braids fallout frequently. Sometimes it’s like she’s shedding them at work, in her car, at home, there are stray braids lying around that have fallen out of her head.

But falling braids doesn’t have to happen in excess like it does to her. These are some methods that I use and encourage others to investigate to help if they experience this problem or are looking into getting braids.

Natural is Best

When I was younger my mom taught me the very wrong way to do braids. Maybe you relax your hair out of necessity (like me) or you do it out of what you think is curtesy for the hair stylist but do NOT get braids after you’ve just relaxed your hair. Those braids can be heavy and relaxing increases the elasticity of your hair and offers very littles in the ways of an anchor for your braids. If you are going to relax and then braid you need at least 2-4 weeks minimum. Some professionals even say wait for 2 months! Trust me gals the kinkier the hair the better it is for braids. It’s that wonderful natural growth that will give your extensions something to hold on to.

Another suggestion for those of you who relax is seriously consider the style and time you’ve waited before relaxing before going gung ho with the length and volume of your braids, if you’ve recently relaxed and waited for a shorter time to do them you may to consider going simpler and shorter.

For those of you who are natural and considering relaxing it would be best to avoid the process all together. Stick to protein treatments and deep conditioners.

For those with chemically damaged hair, be cautious. If your hair is damaged I can see the appeal of getting braids and I know that braids can be an expensive venture. Being honest I’ve been in this position myself. But if you do have chemically damaged hair ensure that you wait long enough so that there is some new growth and that you approach your style with caution. I strongly suggest not going with an up-do for example. Also, make sure that whatever you decide be sure to consult your hairstylist/braid-stylist over the style. I love having longer braids but if I am going for my first braiding to help treat chemical damage I usually go for a more moderate length braid  instead of something that is longer with a greater potential of falling out.

For ALL HAIR make sure you condition, moisturize, and wrap your hair before braiding. You want your hair in prime condition for the workout it is going to get.

How long to Keep Em’ When to Re Do’ Em

The first part of this is how long to keep your braids in for. My mom usually knows because they are falling out at an exponential rate by that point and needs to take them out. You don’t want that.

Firstly, braids are not meant to be kept in braids forever. I know some people do but the general rule of thumb for this one is maximum of 2 months. I keep mine in for no 4 to 6 weeks out of practice. But seriously, keeping your braids in for too long once, or multiple times can cause damage to the tension of your hair. It can cause permanent damage to your hairline, and even in other areas as well. In some cases people can even develop alopecia as a result from too much tension.

Also the longer you keep those babies in the more of a pain in the ass it will be to detangle those suckers when the unbraiding process happens. To be fair size does matter generally the smaller the braids the worst the tangling process is. So if you are going micro (I know girl, you’ve sat there forever) but save yourself the pain and potential hair loss (cause I’ve been there) for having them in too long.

Take a Break From Braids

Some people can get away with this one and will be able get braids done back-to-back. But as a general rule for those of us who can’t do this taking a break from braiding is essential. Why is that? Look, braiding can  be protective but it can also be damaging. Your hair may feel more luxurious but it also tired from lugging around that extension for 2 months give it some time to breathe and regroup from that marathon. Though the jury is out a bit for this one the suggested wait time sits anywhere between 2 weeks and 10 weeks depending on sources. The main message here is that you may be like me and your hair can’t handle an immediate re-braid.

If you decide to wait a shorter period though, consider going with a looser, shorter, and more simple style. At least that way their is less tension on your roots.

Don’t Overstyle Too Soon

Let’s face it part of the appeal of braids is that you can style them in many different ways.

However, in those first few weeks of getting braids is also when your hair is at its tightest. As the weeks go by your braids become looser. So if you are looking to style into fun designs consider waiting until later in the braiding cycle as opposed to those earlier weeks or even days.

But as a generally rule of thumb stay away from over styling for the first few days and approach up-dos with caution.

Do your research

There is nothing wrong with doing research on the hair that will be used or the person that will be doing them. And trust me this makes a difference. I’ve seen the difference between a novice braider (braids for realz started falling out after a week on this poor ladies head) versus experienced (which could be those braids that last as long as 2 months). Also trust your instincts. Some hair stylists/braid stylists have their preference of extensions. Make sure you do your research about these extensions should you use them and how they should be treated before they become intimate friends with your own hair and scalp. i.e. do they need to be neutralized because they are alkaline? are they good quality? how should they be treated when braided?

Also if it is your first time (or really any time) braiding you be the judge of your braids. If they are looking ratchet or start to cause problems for you take them out. Maybe someone is telling you otherwise but ultimately this is your hair if you think something is fishy it probably is.

Now another part of preventing your braids from falling out or damaging your own personal hair is maintenance, maintenance, maintenance, and for that you will have to read the next post ;P