Park Outing Photos

Since Ohio is under a shelter in place order right now, we aren’t allowed to go many places. The grocery store, the pharmacy, and local parks as long as there aren’t too many people already there (and yes, park rangers are turning people away after they reach a certain limit). Anyhow, my husband and I went to a nearby park and I took a few fun pics:

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Ohio Coronavirus Lockdown – How I’m Coping

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Here in Ohio we are now in an official lockdown, where only essential business is allowed to be out and about. I don’t have any official business, so I’m stuck at home lol. Being home all the time does start to get to you after a little bit. You don’t realize how much even small things, like being able to go to a restaurant, sit down, and eat affect your mood until you can no longer do them.

On the positive side, I am trying to stay busy. Today I did some cleaning and organizing around the house and it felt REALLY good. I would definitely recommend it to others stuck at home. Doing stuff like that makes you feel like you are accomplishing something, and it feels great to look around afterwards and see the change your cleaning up has made.

I’ve also been reading some, doing a lot of social media gazing, watching tik tok dances (a guilty pleasure of mine), doing puzzle books, and I took a few paid product review jobs through Upwork, just for something to do and to make a few extra dollars. So far I’ve signed on to review several supplements/vitamins (I loved the hemp gummies!), books, wrinkle reducing masks, a nail decorating kit, and a kebob maker. Hey, I get lots of free stuff that way too!

So how are you all doing? Are you under quarantine? If so, what are you doing to stay busy? Are you having any trouble with depression or anxiety? I know I have at times.

My LetsGetChecked Hormone Test Results!

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As I told you guys in a previous post, I partnered with LetsGetChecked.com, an online business that makes medical testing at home convenient and easy. They offer a wide range of tests, everything from sexual health tests to male/female specific testing, and wellness tests (all privacy guaranteed).

As I do with any business I promote, I used their service myself to make sure it was a good deal. I decided to do their female hormone test, as I have suspected for a while that I might be going into early menopause. The test did show an abnormality, but not in the way I was expecting at all! I figured if anything, my levels might be low, but I was wrong.

The test measures 4 biomarkers – Lutenising Hormone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Prolactin, and Estradio. Three of the levels were normal, but my Prolactin level was actually pretty high. Quite a bit over the average level. Normally this level is high during pregnancy and after birth (neither apply to me lol). Prolactin can also be high due to various health issues and medicine side effects.

Since one of the health issues that can make Prolactin levels high is hypothyroidism (which I do have a history of), I definitely need to see my doctor and have that looked into. If it isn’t that or one of the other health problems, it is likely my medicine – probably the psych meds from what I read online after researching my test results.

High Prolactin levels can cause the menstrual symptoms I attributed to early menopause (skipping or irregular periods, irritability, acne, hot flashes, night sweats, etc.), so this might be the answer I was looking for, even if it is unexpected. I am really glad I had it checked!

If you decide to try out one of the tests on LetsGetChecked.com, please use the code marandarussell20 for 20% off your purchase! 

Childhood Dreams Realized

You know one awesome aspect of being an adult who collects toys? You can make your childhood dreams come true by buying yourself the toys you wanted most while a kid but never got for one reason or another.

One doll I desperately wanted as a little kid was a Kid Sister doll. For some reason, it just wasn’t meant to be way back then, but I have one now! Just bought this little beauty on Ebay – a rare splurge for myself!

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Were there any toys you wanted badly as a kid but never got? If you came across it today would you be tempted to get it for yourself?

Cookie Monster and Elmo in Wonderland

I don’t know about you, but I need something cheerful to look at lol. With the Coronavirus apocalypse upon us, I want something that will make me smile and remind me of the cute, simple things in life. So today I’m sharing a couple coloring pictures from my Sesame Street Abby in Wonderland coloring book (by the way, coloring is a great relaxing activity if you find yourself stuck at home in quarantine!).

First, we have the Cookie Monster starring as the Cheshire Cat:

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And here we have Elmo starring as the white (er, red?) rabbit:

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Medicare Fees Mini Rant

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Am I the only one that thinks it is kind of messed up that you pay into Medicare all your life, and then, when you finally get coverage (either through age or proven disability), you still have to pay monthly plan premiums, deductibles, and don’t receive even basic care like prescription coverage without buying additional plans?

I know if you are impoverished enough, some of these fees can be waived or you might qualify for Medicaid to help out, but since I am married and my husband brings home a lower, middle class income, we don’t qualify for any of that help. I can understand why some benefit recipients choose not to get married! They pretty much penalize you for it.

I’m not complaining because I am the worst off in the world (I know I’m not). I guess I was just surprised to find out what the reality of receiving Medicare coverage is actually like. It honestly isn’t much different than commercial insurance in all the ways they find to charge you more for necessary healthcare.

At Home Medical Testing with LetsGetChecked.com

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My blog gets many offers to partnership with various companies, but I am always very picky about who I will partner with. I have two important guidelines I always try to stick to. First, I will only consider partnering with companies that promote things I would actually want to use myself. Further, I want to use their product or service myself to know the quality of what I am sharing. Secondly, the product or service has to be something that fits the themes of my blog and that I believe may genuinely be useful to some of my blog readers.

Recently the home medical testing company LetsGetChecked.com reached out to me. I liked how they offer a wide range of affordable, at-home medical testing options for sexual health, both men & women’s health, and general wellness. When I saw that they offer a women’s female hormone test, I decided to give it a try since I have been wanting to get that test done but my insurance won’t cover it and it is far more expensive if I get it done at a medical center. I have the test now and will do an update post once I get the results. I am hoping the test may reveal if I am indeed dealing with early menopause as I and my doctors have suspected.

I was curious about how an at-home blood test may work, as I am no phlebotomist, but it turns out they use lancets, similar to at-home diabetes testing, so it isn’t scary or complicated at all. I am excited to get the results of my test (which will be available online within a number of days after the test is returned). All of the testing is confidential of course, so there is no need to worry about your privacy being invaded.

In the future I may try their cortisol test as well, as I have always wanted to see how high my cortisol levels are. Other tests available include STD testing, hepatitis testing, fertility/prostate tests, a variety of vitamin/nutrient testing, tests for organ function (like liver and kidney), and colon cancer, lyme disease, diabetes, and celiac testing.

I personally feel that services like LetsGetChecked.com are most beneficial for people who have had certain tests turned down by their insurance, but still want to get those tests done, or people who have no health insurance at all and can’t afford the high costs of testing at hospitals and medical centers. Additionally, some may prefer the convenience of doing it all at home and not having to deal with insurance forms, waiting rooms, and medical personnel.

If you decide to try out one of the tests on LetsGetChecked.com, please use the code marandarussell20 for 20% off your purchase! 

A Couple Political Thoughts

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1) The Trump phenomenon has made me come to a rather depressing conclusion. I honestly do not think Trump is inherently more racist than many others of his social class and age, but the strong narcissist in him would do anything to please his adoring fans and many of them seem to WANT the racist rhetoric. They want someone to blame for the situation the country is in, and as always, the poor immigrants are an easy scapegoat.

It makes me rethink my own feelings about Hitler. Was he really that racist to begin with, or like Trump, was he simply a narcissist that wanted the adoration and noticed that the crowds cheered louder when he would scapegoat the Jews and other minority groups? I’ve seen some of Hitler’s speeches, and indeed, some of the loudest cheers seem to be for any kind of hatred toward the “others” as they saw them.

Is the real villain the narcissistic leaders who feed off the hate, or the cheering crowds who WANT the hate in the first place?

2) Also, as a Bernie fan, I really like Bernie – both his policies and his old-grandpa-get-off-my-lawn personality lol. BUT we must remember that it is the policies that matter most. A movement should never be about one person, it should be about ideas and goals. If we make the progressive movement about one person, or even a few people, then we risk the danger of the movement dying when those people die, disappear, or let us down in some way as most humans eventually do.

(The above are my personal thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I welcome discourse and even disagreement, but please keep it respectful! No name calling or personal attacks on other commenters either please!)