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C. Diff Kills, Dengue Hurts, Lumps Suck, Oh My. {Antibiotic Frustration & Caution}

Like I mentioned, this past week was the longest I have been away from the blog--- ever. And if it weren't for the posts I had scheduled the previous week, it would have been two weeks away. I've been saying I've had something going on but I wasn't sure what. All I knew was that my blood work kept coming out "perfect. perfect. perfect." but something wasn't right.

Well it turns out there was a few things going on. Nothing particularly health related---- mostly a lot of cause and effect type situations and complete unexpected finds. I do urge you to read through this--- even if you're not sick and in need of antibiotics and even if you're as healthy as can be (like I was).

Okay, So I've started and re-started this post ten million times (slight exaggeration). It's just that each day is so different. Sometimes I'm getting better, sometimes it seems like I'm getting worse, and some  days I'm getting calls from the CDC that they did in fact find Dengue antibodies in blood--- confirming that this month has been one incredible shit show. You know though, the main thing I want to talk about it just antibiotic use-- I mean, sure we all hear warnings and things like that, but it's pretty surprising to me how little doctors will actually say about the serious side effects and consequences--- at least the doctors I've dealt with.

You know, I'm not against modern medicine or western medicine. I've taken ibuprofen for headaches and wrist aches. I got some extra shots before heading to india. And I've taken antibiotics and other meds before. But I do try to stick to the more natural side as much as I possibly can. It's been a long while since I've taken an antibiotic. And with the exception of my wisdom teeth removal, it's been a long time since I've taken anything other than advil for... well, anything. I've given Alex a lot of flack in the past two years for taking (my own personal opinion here) too many antibiotics. It's been a long time since he has, but over and over again I would tell him it wasn't a good idea to do it. And yet, I found myself in a position, saying "better safe than sorry" taking the antibiotics, and ending up with a deadly superbug in my gut. I feel a lot of frustration over the whole thing. I'm having a hard time understanding why these things aren't more well known. I mean, and even for myself, who's dealt with candida issues in the past (thanks to-- you guessed it, an antibiotic)-- I really had no idea what the reality of c.diff could be.

C.diff kills 15,000-20,000+ people a year. At a minimum. Yes, it's true that many of the people who die from it had previous complications or are in nursing homes--- but thats not the only people who die from it--- and even if it was, thats NOT OKAY. And the reason for c. diff? Most of the time? antibiotic use. The cure for c. diff? More antibiotics. And even then, there is a 20% return rate. I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated for myself in taking the first antibiotic in the first place. And I'm frustrated that the isn't a bigger focus and warning of this bacteria.

So do antibiotics create C. diff? No. C. diff. spreads easily. Spores break lose and sometimes-- in one way or another end up in your gut. I had c. diff in my gut. There's a good chance YOU have c. diff in your gut. And that was all fine and dandy, because I am (or was) a healthy person, with a healthy gut. All my good bacteria (flora) kept the c. diff in check I take probiotics, eat fermented food, keep my sugar intake to a minimum, and keep my vegetable in take very high--- I was good. Until I took an antibiotic. And BOOM, all good flora in my gut was killed off and the c. diff took over. And just like that, you're stuck. I'm stuck. I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle trying to regain a months worth of malnourishment, dehydration, and whatever else. Do I still have c. diff? Yep. I'm fighting it. I'm fighting this deadly bug away, fighting what seems to be the remains of a viral infection, fighting my own anxiety and fear, and fighting to get my vitality back.

I was weeks out with the c. diff. I lost ten pounds. I now suffer from tremendously low blood pressure. I shake when I eat. I would have probably died had one doctor not finally admitted me and given me the proper stool test. That is real. I'm in an okay place now, but it got bad. Really bad. I'm cringing thinking about it. And I'm nauseous of the thought of it ever coming back. Because it could--- and hell, it hasn't even left yet. How do you know if you have c. diff in your gut? You really don't, so whatever you do, proceed with unlimited caution when it comes to antibiotics.

So what else is new? Well, like I said, A Dengue confirmation. Yes, really. C. diff and Dengue. Where did I pick up Dengue? Who knows. A mosquito in India? Maybe. But the reality is, I was hardly bit there, and the mosquitos found me since coming home--- at least 15 new bites in my own home in one week. Anywhere is likely. What else? It's been a shitty month guys. No pity parties here, but it's been shitty. The doctors also found a lump in my brain. What is it? Honestly, I don't know yet. Hopefully nothing. Hopefully another lump to add to my cystic collection (I have them in my ovaries, one in my kidney, one the size of a golf ball moved from my breast, I have lots of lumpy friends in me). Hopefully something that doesn't grow any more than it should. Could be anything, but in my head, the doctors are right about this one, when you look for something, a whole lot of other things will come up. This came up. I do plan to follow up in the next month--- once my overall health is better. But for now, the joke my mom keeps telling people, is that I should play the lotto--- because really, what are the chances of all of this?

Oh how fast things can change in one month. I've grown more fearful and fearless in the process. Countless moments of sheer horrific panic. And countless moments of feeling this need to embrace life and just run--- run as fast as I can-- everywhere. I don't have the energy now, but I will and I don't want to hold back. Life is short. And life is stupid amounts of fragile. Cheesy yes, but there is absolutely zero promise of tomorrow--- or one hour-- or even one minute. We're here right now. That's the only guarantee we have. We've gotta love every crazy minute and make every single moment worth it.

Thanks for being here guys-- for being part of this crazy, whirlwind life.

I've made a timeline of this past crazy month--- mostly for my own records, but absolutely to share too, in case you were curious of how this all came together (or fell apart-- depending on how you look at it). I feel like I should keep pressing on how serious antibiotics are and the deadly things that can come from taking drugs that are too easily handed out--- but I won't. But do do do please second and triple guess everything you put in your body. You've only got one body, and you're the only one responsible for it, so do all the research and fight for it.

Flowers Forever

There are a lot of things that are up in the air this week, but I do know two things to be very certain: 1. it's good to show love to the people in your life &2. flowers can make any day, home, room, brighter--- and I've maybe been obsessed with flowers for too long. (okay, sort of three things).

While in the hospital this week, I received a shipment from Bouqs--- the most beautiful floral delivery service I have seen to date. Seriously though--- it's hard to find more stunning flowers. Alex and Marlowe opened up the packages and got to work creating perfect little bouquets for me and placed them carefully around the house. I was happy and sad about this. Happy because it was so sweet to see that not only had they done this, but also documented it together for me to see later. Sad because I had intended to give the pink and yellow roses to miss Marlowe because those are her absolute favorite! But in the end of it, the flowers were here, picked by me with love and then put together and scattered throughout the house with even more love by them, so it's really only good things surrounding these flowers. And like I said, there really are no prettier flowers--- I mean, look at these things!

a photo by marlowe.  

And also? Bouqs is not only beautiful, fresh, and easy, but all the flowers are also grown at sustainable, eco-friendly farms that follow strict and responsible farming practices. This is key. They're certified by Veriflora as well as The Rainforest Alliance--- so there never has to be concerns of rainforest devastation or anything like that--- all you have to worry about is who to send them to or  what room to place them in ;) If that alone didn't sell you (that was what sold me), then it's good to add--- Bouqs' flowers are cut the day you order and shipped directly (no second and third party) to your door for the freshest, longest lasting flowers ever. A gorgeous win all around.

And with mothers day around the corner--- I'd give these 10 thumbs up (I'll need some extra friends for more thumbs please)--- no cheap-o candy or glued on teddy bears, just gorgeous, straight from the farm florals that any mom, grandma, daughter, anyone can appreciate. I mean if it means anything to you guys, my mom walked in and gasped. And then proceeded to ask me ten million questions about the flowers-- because she agreed, she had never seen flowers so bright, fresh, and gorgeous in her life.

Ready to order some (just in time for mothers day!?!?) yes yes yes! Click HERE to receive 15% off your order by using code: BLOOM15 today! Hooray!

Oh, and ps. there's always free shipping from Bouqs!

& If you're interested, you can watch a video HERE. I was amused ;) 

Hi There, I'm Sort of Back

So for those who don't know--- I know a few of you guys have been concerned--- I was in the hospital all last week. I'm home now, but not necessarily better-- but still on the serious mend. I started writing a post last night to update on whats going on and to share, what I think, is useful knowledge--- but my energy is still on the low side. It's a work in progress.

The short update: I caught a case of C. Diff. from the antibiotic, Cleocin, I took last month. And a lot of other stuff happened in-between. My once striving gut is now struggling. It's going to be a long battle. I'm working on the longer post--- but I didn't want to leave this space empty any longer, because I've never been away from the blog this long. I'll have another post up tomorrow and probably the next day too. In the meantime, I'll be in and out of doctors visits (two today alone) and I'm working on building up my now malnourished body.  I hope you guys do continue to visit this space--- and I hope to have it back to normal sooner rather than later, because I really do love this place. Thanks for being here. I'll be back. Good vibes greatly appreciated.


ps. thank you for all the emails. seriously. means a lot. 

Pictures Of Recently Enjoyed Things

not very recent, still fun. 
(gonna miss you, lady.)

girls dream.

I'm all like "weeeee! Im going to have glorious skin!" and alex is all like, "please no, too many bottles. do you need this many things?" and I'm like, "weeeeeee!" 
new things from: under aurora (love the coconut spray and spritz', so good!) and image skincare (from here in Florida--- like, down the street, haha!)

But see, then I organized everything, so it's cool. 
see natural bathroom tour here.

no worries, I didn't want those anywhere particular, guys. 
no, we were cleaning, it's cool. see child in background, haha.

I suggested we consider upgrading to a kingsize bed--- he said no, I already don't cuddle enough. But see, bed hog. 



and a garden cookie date, cause I do share. 

out at night and still alive. 

I'm not sure what this face is, but I want to squeeze it. 
and my friend, Brandy designed this adorable little (organic) dress

the only time I left this house this week that wasn't for a doctors appointment of some sort. an ice-cream date with no vegan options--- I got juice and felt extra healthy. Alex got ice-cream and felt extra hefty :) I'd say we both won.

Right before I ate this, I whispered, "I love you, I do I do"

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! 

Fun Shopping For The People Who Don't Love Shopping

If you couldn't guess by the title, I don't love shopping. In fact, I really dislike shopping for clothing. Home stuff is another story (love you home good shopping), but clothes? pft. Thats not to say I don't like new clothes, because of course I do ;)  I think it's safe to say we all do.

I teamed up with LE TOTE this past month--- which has been conveniently, pretty awesome. LE TOTE is a fashion rental service that basic gives you an infinite closet. I like it because I get to choose what I like, without going to the mall and also because it's like using and recycling clothing with no waste. There's no guilt about wearing a garment only a few times and sending it off. You can keep up with new trends, get new stuff, without constantly buying new clothes. I've mentioned it before, but more times than not I have buyers guilt about clothes--- hence the whole not loving to shop vibe.

Other perks about LE TOTE: its pretty fun (just scroll and click styles and garments). And I like that there's free shipping: both ways. And for someone who hates going to the post office, this is another huge perk. Your tote comes with a pre-addressed postage stamp-- no lines required. Just drop in the box or you can even schedule a mail pick up!

Yes, I don't like going very many places--- or at least crowded places. It's cool.

How LE TOTE works: 

1. You sign up and pay one monthly fee.
2. Fill out your profile and 'like' all of your favorite pieces by clicking a little heart button--- this adds the pieces to your 'closet'.
2. A stylist will curate your tote with items in your closet and items that fit your style (I basically only said yes to black, blue, white, and grey).
3. They email you 24 hours before your tote gets shipped out so you can peek into your box! And if you'd like, you can swap out items and customize your box even more!
4. Wear your tote (3 garments, 2 accessories) for as long or as little as you want! 2 days, 3 weeks, however long or little as you please!
5. Send the whole tote back in the prepaid envelope and LE TOTE will send you a new tote immediately. Loved something? Hold on to it and send everything else back. This lets LE TOTE know that you'd like to purchase the item! They charge the card for the items you loved and kept and then send a new tote.
6. You keep winning at life, away from the mall and perhaps surrounded by puppies.

this post could also be called: when I tried to take a picture on a chair and got love attacked by puppies. Again, I'm VERY good at posing

or: fashion styling by marlowe with an incredibly great accidental dog prop.

easy peasy mail back. 

So basically, LE TOTE is perfect for you if:
-you hate the mall
-you're a hermit who likes to dress well
-you get buyers guilt from shopping
-you don't like commitment
-you want new things, but hate to shop
-you don't want to waste your time, you just want awesome stuff chosen for you
-you just want to try something new

Want a discount? Click HERE to get 20% off. No code needed, just use the link and you're good to go! If all else fails use code: "OHDEARDREA"

Perfect right? Hooray!

ps. how do we feel about my pants? It took my a while to get them over my butt. I'm still back and forth between I want to be loud and proud about my hispanic thighs (and booty) or if I should just step away.