profilepicturedecision.

I decided to join LinkedIn today, to help my future you know? I have the option of uploading a photo of myself because people like to see who they are reading about. I get it. So I decided to browse my Facebook photos. Upon browsing I realised something, I have no “professional” photos of myself. I am either posing with someone or with a weird face or I’m in my car (not exactly safe, though I am at stoplights when I take them…usually). So I decided to find my top five best pictures that represent me. The real me.

You may vote if you wish. I’m leaning toward #1 personally. Mostly because I look so adorable in my little helmet.

1. This picture shows that I am both physically fit (seasonally at least) and safe (helmet). Both are good qualities for an aspiring teacher. Not only do I practice proper safety, I can also chase after children if they escape. Or at least run them over with my bike.

Safety first!

Safety first!

2. This picture shows that not only do I have impeccable taste in men (IT’S CHANNING TATUM…*cat call*), but I also have celebrity connections (celebrities have money…school districts usually need money…need I say more?). It also shows that I have a super goofy fun side (obviously).

Celebrity connections.

Celebrity connections.

3. This picture shows that I am good with kids. Which is obviously necessary for teachers, though my students will be slightly older. It also, again, shows my fun goofy side. Also, companies use kids in their commercials to sell products…everyone likes adorable kids right? So…Emma, work your magic!

I like kids.

I like kids.

4. This picture shows my amazing fashion sense. It is both professional (heels, vest with a beautiful flower thingy on it, scarf) and it shows my personality (boxers, sweats, warm hat, funky socks). This would make a great interview outfit. I would totally get the job in this little number. Bonus that I look super confident…like I could take over the world or shape “eager young minds”.

Professional yet personal.

Professional yet personal.

5. This picture shows that I am young. Because I am young I can better relate to my students…because I am young, hip, and cool…or because I look like I’m 15. But come on, look at that face…so adorable right?

I'm 28. Not 15. I swear.

I’m 28. Not 15. I swear.

– gypsyjess.

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weddingpersonality.

Today out of sheer boredom I decided to take a wedding quiz. I know right? WHO IS THIS PERSON.

I’m full of surprises and nobody is as surprised as yours truly. Who knows what I might write about next?

YIKES.

I assure you my blog was not hacked nor am I on any sort of illegal substance.

Or am I?

JUST KIDDING.

Don’t call the cops. Please.

Seriously. I was kidding. So don’t call them.

Truth is, sometimes I have these things called “girly moments”. They’re kind of like an out-of-body experience really. I’ll be sitting at my desk writing a paper and decide I need a break so I start Googling. Once I start Googling things will start to peak my interest. Today I was on Pinterest, to be specific, when I saw a link to find our wedding dress personality. Or something like that.

So I clicked on it. Realised it was not what I wanted. Thus resulting in me Googling “What does your wedding dress style say about you?”

I really did type that. Remind me to delete my browsing history later. Lest someone see that and laugh.

So I found a quiz. Clicked on the dress I liked best (though not MY dress) and here are the results.

Oh you noticed the “MY dress” did you? DON’T JUDGE ME. Yes, it so happens that I do have my dress picked out. No I am not engaged. Or seeing anyone. But why should that matter? I’m a girl. I can have girly moments. SO WHAT.

This is my wedding dress. Sort of.

This is my wedding dress. Sort of.

Also, WEDDING CAKES.

Notice how cake is plural. As in, multiple cakes. Seriously though, who can choose just one flavour?

MY WEDDING WILL BE BEST WEDDING.

Okay. The real reason you’re here. My wedding personality.

Your Personal Style:

Eclectic and very unique. You don’t follow fashion. You prefer to create your own trends.

Who knew yoga pants and hoodies were so unique and eclectic? They must have seen my Pinterest closet which is a million times nicer than I mine will ever look.

Your Ideal Wedding:

Just the two of you, saying your vows while skydiving or flying around in a hot air balloon.

As long as my groom doesn’t mind me A.) vomiting, B.) huddled in the corner of the balloon basket while rocking, sucking my thumb, and singing “Soft Kitty” to myself, or C.) Passing out.

Your Philosophy on Marriage:

It’s a risk like everything else, and hopefully a big adventure.

This is very true. Scary true. I am terrified of having a boring, mundane, or marriage of routine. Obviously those moments will occur but if my entire life is like that, kill me now. Good thing I am easy to please and see adventure as anything from going to a movie to going on a road trip (short or long) to “trying something new” (yes, I am talking about the “s” word).

Your Perfect Marriage:

Having someone to share memories with, without feeling tied down or constrained

I am a committment phobe. I want a buddy to hang out with. I don’t want an overly serious relationship. I want a best friend. One I can laugh with, get mad at and know he will like me (and visa versa. Obviously), goof off with, and just enjoy life with. That shouldn’t be too hard right?

– gypsyjess.

Why I use Pinterest.

I don’t use Pinterest to find delicious recipes or plan my imaginary wedding. I use Pinterest to find pictures of hot, shirtless men and funny pins that show off my wicked sense of humour.

Find me on Pinterest. Search Jessi Falk. Prepare to laugh your butt off and to be mesmerized by the hotness.

– gypsyjess.

isplurged…

So today I splurged on myself. But it’s a splurge that I know I won’t regret (like I usually do) because I will get a lot of use out of it AND it will help me get in shape and cycle better!

*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*

I GOT CYCLING SHOES AND NEW PEDALS!

Aren’t they beautiful!

Now I just need to figure out how to put the clips in them and use them without killing myself! I’ve heard horror stories of people falling many times and with as clumsy as I am…*gulp*.

Now I feel like a “real” cyclist. Move over Bradley Wiggins!

Just kidding. I will never be as good as him! Nor would I want to. I’m not that dedicated.

In other news, my foot still hurts. Surprise. My friend thinks I may have fractured my toe. She told me to go get it x-rayed and checked out. I asked her what the doctor would do if it were fractured. She said they’d tell you to rest it and probably put it in one of those really cool looking shoes. I told her I don’t have that kind of money to get some fancy picture of my foot taken and to be told something I already know.

Doctors are overrated sometimes.

So I “promised” her I wouldn’t cycle for a few days (which is torture) and I would try and prop it up as much as possible. Thankfully, because I nanny, I am able to sit on my butt a lot. With the exception of walking to Subway for lunch, we sat around and watched movies all day.

Random fact about myself. I have not been sick, with the exception of seasonal allergies and of course my stomach issues, since January 2011.

My secret?

I don’t load myself up with drugs at the slightest cough, I don’t use hand sanitizer every time I touch something, and I let myself be exposed to some germs/illness. My immune system is super tough. I substitute teach and a lot of my subbing is done in the Special Needs rooms. Special Needs kids = snotty noses and being sneezed on. A lot. Sounds gross but even spending an entire year being on a college campus and in the classroom, I am exposed to all kinds of sicknesses. None of which I have gotten.

I’m also German. Which means I’m super tough. And I’m Australian. Which means I’m super cool.

Moving on.

I am now going to go finish my brownie, listen to some new “The Killers” music, and figure out how to put my clips on my shoes.

Enjoy the following video of my new favourite “The Killers” song:

Auf wiedersehen und gute nacht!

– gypsyjess.

incaseyouwantedtoknow.

1.    What time is it?

2:38pm.

2. What is your sign and your birthday?

Leo. August 15, 1984.

3. What type was your first car?

1995 Toyota Tercel.

4. Name four jobs you’ve had in your life?

STNA, intern at Scotts, video store, and substitute teacher.

5. If you could have any job, what would it be?

Anthropologist/Archeologist.

6. What are you most afraid of?

The dark, heights, certain things I really want in life not happening.

7. What is the last movie you saw in a theater?

Five Year Enagement I think.

8. What are four movies you would watch over and over?

Forrest Gump, Nacho Libre, Band of Brothers (not technically a movie though), and The Last of the Mohicans.

9. Place of birth?

Syracuse, NY.

10. What are four places you have lived?

Syracuse, NY; Melbourne, Australia; Wooster, OH; Penn Yan, NY.

11. What are four places you have been on vacation?

Naples, FL; Germany/Austria; Atlanta, GA; Aderondak Mountains in Upstate NY.

12. What are four places you would rather be right now?

Germany, Austria, with my Niece and Nephew, doing something fun.

13. What are the four best places you have ever been?

Germany/Austria, Australia, New Oreans, and Upstate NY.

14. What are four websites you visit daily?

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, iwastesomuchtime.com.

15. What are four of your favorite foods?

NY style pizza, Chinese food, lobster, and my mums meat pies.

16. What’s your new favorite food?

I don’t know that I have one. I haven’t really tried any new foods recently. Sadly.

17. Which do you prefer, ketchup or mustard?

Depends on which food it’s going with. Hot dogs = mustard only.

18. Which do you prefer, hamburgers or hotdogs?

Both. But I prefer natural casing hot dogs.

19. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?

Not really.

20. Favorite Drink?

Milk.

21. Favorite ice cream?

Hagaan Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter.

22. What’s your natural hair color?

Brown/auburn.

23. Ever been toilet papering?

Sadly no. It’s on my bucket list.

24. Ever love someone so much it made you cry?

Yes. First experience was with my niece.

25. Favorite CD?

I have many favourites.

26. Favorite day of the week?

Thursday. I don’t know why but I’ve always loved Thursdays.

27. Favorite Restaurant?

Depends on what I’m craving. I guess current top four would be Mellow Mushroom, Old Bag of Nails, Red Robin, and anyplace with good steak.

28. Favorite Flower?

Cherry Blossoms.

29. Favorite sport to watch?

Rugby. I like hockey but don’t really understand all the rules. And soccer sometimes.

30. Disney or Warner Brothers?

Disney.

31. Favorite fast food restaurant?

Taco Bell or Sonic.

32. What color is your bedroom carpet?

Light tan.

33. From whom did you get your last e-mail?

The Clymb.

34. What do you do most often when you are bored?

Go online, ride my bike if the weather is nice, or take a nap if I’m tired.

35. Bedtime?

What’s that? Lol. Whenever I’m tired.

39. What four still-airing TV shows do you love to watch?

Bones, 30 Rock, Duck Dynasty, and The Killing.

40. Favorite TV show of all time?

Bones.

41. What are you currently reading?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

42. What are you listening to right now?

Mumford & Sons.

43. How many tattoos do you have?

Three.

44. How many pets do you have?

None.

45. What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Read my Bucket List.

46. What’s on your mouse pad?

I don’t have a mousepad.

47. What is your favorite board game?

LIFE.

48. Favorite smell?

PINK, fresh cut grass, D&G Light Blue, and fresh baked bread.

49. Least favorite smell?

Farts.

50. Favorite colors?

Turqouise, orange, pink. I love all colours.

51. Least favorite color?

Brown.

52. Future (or first) child’s name?

Elliot for a boy, Amelia for a girl.

53. What is most important in life?

God, family, and friends.

54. Do you like to drive fast?

Yes.

55. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

Nope.

56. What’s under your bed?

Nothing. I currently sleep on a mattress on the floor.

57. If you could meet one person dead or alive who would it be?

Oh boy. So many. Probably Sacajawea. She was pretty BA.

58. Okay, someone alive…?

My future husband, if I haven’t already.

59. Storms: cool or scary?

Terrifying.

60. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

My personal belief is that the chicken came first. However, I have no evidence to support this theory. Just a gut instinct. LOL.

atozofme.

Interesting stuff. Check it.

 

A. Age: 27.

B. Bed size: Queen.

C. Chore that you hate: Dishes.

D. Dogs: None.

E. Essential start to your day: Stretch. Potty. Check weather.

F. Favourite color: Turquoise.

G. Gold or Silver: Silver.

H. Height: 5’8″

I. Instruments you play: I used to play the violin. Now I play nothing.

J. Job title: Substitute Teacher. Soon to be student [again].

K. Kids: Someday [soon I hope].

L. Live: Ohio

M. Mother’s name: Kate.

N. Nicknames: Jessi. J-Wow. Waldo. Coach. Puddin’ [from when I was a baby]. Jessa-kurr [how my dad’s accent makes my name sound].

O. Overnight hospital stays: When I was born.

P. Pet peeve: Bad drivers. Mean/rude people. Ignorance. People with no self-respect.

Q. Quote from a movie:  “PREPARE FOR GLORY!” – “300”.

R. Right or left handed: Mostly right. I can use my left some though.

S. Siblings: Two brothers.

T. Time you wake up: Depends on where I’m subbing that day. Anywhere from 5am to 7am. Or if I’m not working, 9ish.

U. Underwear: White and yellow striped today.

V. Vegetable you hate: Onions.

W. What makes you run late: Myself usually.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: On my knees. Torso [stomach, intestines, etc]. Finger. Face. I think that’s it.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Everything I make is yummy.

Z. Zoo animal: Penguins. I love penguins.

ahistoryofmystomachwhoas.

*WARNING: Contains dialogue about poop and toilets. Not for the sensitive or easily queasy.*

When I was a sophomore in college [2004] I began having stomach problems. At first I just thought I ate something and my body was taking awhile to get back to “normal”. However, I soon realized that my stomach was not going back to normal as quickly as I wanted/expected it to. So during a visit home, I went to the doctor.

She did a typical check-up. Asked me a bunch of questions. Drew some blood. The routine procedures. My symptoms? I would get sick almost every time I ate. At first I thought maybe my body was just rioting against the poorly prepared cafeteria food I consumed three times a day. But even when I would cook my own food or go out, I still had a problem. Needless to say, we were both a little baffled.

Before all this started, I didn’t even know what a stomach ache felt like, I hadn’t had one since grade school. I could eat anything I wanted and be perfectly fine. Now, I would be curled up in a ball after I ate [in between trips to the restroom]. And, I was in the best shape of my life. I was running up to 5 miles a day and working out in my free time. So what could it be?

Weeks passed and my doctor finally called. All my tests, were normal. She said if I didn’t feel better by Thanksgiving, to come see her again.

A few more torturous weeks passed. I couldn’t go out to eat unless I had access to a bathroom. So the whole dinner/movie night, not happening. Unless we did movie/dinner. I was scared to eat and when I did eat, I would get extremely nervous which only made it worse. Sometimes the pain would be so bad, I would cry. Sometimes I felt nauseous, sometimes I would be in a cold sweat, sometimes I’d feel dizzy. These weren’t “normal” stomach aches.

Finally, Thanksgiving came. I called my doctor and set up an appointment. I met with her quickly before leaving to visit family in NY. She did a urine test, another blood test, and a few other tests. She rechecked my symptoms. Still nothing. So she decided to give me some medication to try. A stronger version of PeptoBismol [which I was drinking by the gallon at this point, not really, but close. I had three bottles in my fridge]. They helped a little but not a lot. I made it through Thanksgiving, the last few weeks of school and finals. Then I was home for Christmas.

More tests. More negative results. Finally, she suggested I have an ultrasound done on my gallbladder.

So we did.

It was normal.

Then, a few months later, a CT scan of my stomach/intestines/etc. I had to lie totally still for an hour. That was rough.

That came back normal too.

More months passed. More blood/urine/stool tests.

All normal.

So then we started trying to figure out if I had any food allergies. So we started on special diets.

Diet #1: No dairy. I love all things dairy. I prayed it wasn’t lactose intolerance.

Diet #1: Fail.

Diet #2: Gluten. No pasta, bread, cereal, etc. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Diet #2: Fail.

Diet #3: No red meat. Almost as bad as dairy. I love steak.

Diet #3: Fail.

Diet #4: Spicy food/high acid food.

Diet #4: Bingo.

I stopped eating spicy food. I stopped eating red sauce [i.e. sauceless pizza]. No more spaghetti. No more Mexican. Nada. That was rough but for the first time in a year, I could eat without being in nauseating pain. I was on cloud 9.

That lasted for a few months. Then the stomach aches returned.

Another round of tests. All negative.

Then my doctor suggested I see a specialist. She had exhausted all efforts on her part and felt it was most beneficial for me to see a Gastroenterologist. So I went.

More tests. More questions. I became very comfortable with talking about my bowels by this point. Not even a flicker of blush would appear on my cheeks. He suggested, after seeing I had already had an ultrasound, CT scan, stool test, blood test, urine test, and diet changes, that my only other option was a Colonoscopy.

What is a Colonoscopy do you ask? Well, that is when they take a tiny little camera attached to a long tube and shove it up your…

butt.

The only good thing about this procedure…the drugs. Happy drugs. If I had no moral/personal convictions I’d totally do drugs. They were awesome. To say the least.

Moving on. A colonoscopy checks your large intestine for abnormalities such as Polyps and ulcers. [I’m thinking about starting a new “page” on here devoted to Medical Terminology. Look for it soon.]

Your large intestine is connected to rectum which is connected to your anus, which, as we all know, is where poop comes out of. [See Figure A below]

Figure A

I was “awake” for the procedure. I put “awake” in quotations because I was supposed to be in a “twilight sleep” which means I wasn’t supposed to remember it. Apparently I have a high tolerance to drugs and so they had to up my dosage mid-procedure which means, I remember the first half of it. Yes, it was quite uncomfortable. I cried. Partly because I was drugged. Mostly because a strange man was shoving a camera up my butt all in the name of medicine. And I was lucid enough to remember.

I still shudder at the thought of it.

He also took a biopsy while he was in there, i.e. he snipped off a little of my intestinal wall. Don’t worry. Neither I nor my large intestines noticed.

He sent the biopsy to the lab which, surprise surprise, came back normal/negative for cancer. Thankfully because the “C” word, had been tossed around a bit by now. Which terrified me to no end.

He also wanted to do an endoscopy in the next few months. It is basically the exact same procedure, only through my mouth and into my small intestine. That one, was horrible. Again they gave me the wrong dosage of happy medicine and so I began gagging and dry heaving. They had to remove the tube, give me more meds, calm me down, wipe my tears, and then start again.

They took another biopsy. All tests came back normal.

By this point my stomach issues had been going on for a little over two years. Still no diagnosis. They checked for Crohn’s, Celiac’s, Endometriosis, cancer, Polyps, gallbladder problems, etc. All normal.

Finally they decided to do another elimination process. This time with medications. They tried at least three or four different kinds before they found one that worked, 85% of the time. When they found the winner, they found the diagnosis.

And the winner was…drumroll please….

IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, i.e. super sensitive stomach.

They basically told me there was no cure and I would just have to figure out what I can and can’t eat. They told me I’d “learn to live with it eventually” and to take my medicine before each meal. Simple right?

I laughed. And I’m still laughing today. “Learn to live with it”. Hmm…interesting. And the medicine? The side effects were almost as bad as the IBS. So I stopped taking it. Now I just pop two Imodium mid-meal. That seems to help. 75% of the time.

————————————————-

That was in 2007. Four years ago. And I still haven’t “learned to live with it”. Simply because, it’s different every time. I could eat A on Monday and be perfectly fine but on Wednesday or Saturday, I’m sick.

There was a time just recently where I went two weeks without getting sick at all.

When I was in Germany. More on that here.

But other than those two, glorious weeks, it’s been constant. And it’s getting worse again. I can’t eat anything, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g without getting sick. I feel lethargic and weak, I’ve been having headaches a lot, my joints ache, my short-term memory sucks more than usual, my ADD is getting worse, and many times after I eat, my stomach swells so much I look pregnant. Bleh.

I sound so pathetic. Ugh. Whoa is me. Whaa!

I know I need to exercise more but since I have little to no energy, it’s hard [is that really an excuse though?]. I know I need to eat better but it seems almost everything here is processed or has tons of chemicals in them. Unless I buy organic everything, which is super expensive, I’m stuck eating chemical infested foods. It’s a viscous cycle.

Any advice? Pearls of wisdom? Are any of you licensed medical professionals who could help me? Please?

In the meantime just pray for my tum-tum. My swollen, painful, tum-tum.

Thanks.

– gypsyjess.