Thursday, April 20, 2017

Off to Healthevoices 2017

I'm heading to Chicago for the weekend for HealtheVoices 2017!

Chicago is one of my favorite places, so I'm excited to spend some time there with some of my favorite health activists in the entire world. It will also be great to see many of my Joint Decisions friends for the first time since our October summit.

Since I'm at the end of my master's capstone writing, I may not get a recap up as quickly as I did last year. Still, I'm excited to be able to share things I learn with everyone else via the interwebs.

PS: Janssen is paying my travel expenses for this conference. All thoughts and opinions expressed here or on social media are my own and do not reflect the thoughts or opinions of Janssen or Johnson & Johnson. 

And, yes, in case you were wondering, I will be binging on Do-Rite Donuts again.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How 23 And Me Helped Fill in the Blanks in My Ancestry

Growing up, I was always told I was Italian. Knowing what kinds of things I've been lied to about growing up, I decided I might as well try to figure that out for myself.

So, I snagged a 23 And Me kit and I'm not exactly Italian.

I knew that part of my ancestry on my mother's side had a collection of the UK and France, but I was unaware of the Scandinavian connection - something that's likely on my dad's side. He didn't know his own father and so knows little of the genetics of his side of the family.

Now I finally know more about my background without having to make guesses or rely on pesky 'alternative facts' I was raised on. I know what my background is and I can truly start investigating more about my family's history, something I've wanted for my entire life.

I also apparently have a high number of Neanderthal variants (one of which is associated with my height). From a health standpoint, they did not find me having any carrier status of the conditions they tested, though they do not test all variants of these conditions.

I move a lot during my sleep and additionally get less deep sleep - something 23 And Me picked up on easily. And they did say that I was predisposed to weigh more.

So that's fun.

The rest of what they tested or showed was stuff that is relevant to the present - what tastes I'm likely to prefer, eye color, freckles, etc. There are some things that weren't exactly correct - they say I'm likely to have lighter hair or consume less caffeine, for example.

Why 23 And Me?

One of the things that drew me to 23 And Me over other ancestry tests was that there was the health component. There was another major reason I chose them, though - research

They have done a lot of research on chronic illnesses from IBD to lupus and more. If and when they start to do research related to conditions I have, I'll be able to provide them a ton of already-processed data.

If you'd like to try 23 And Me, click here to use my referral link.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Best New Bed Ever: Tuft & Needle

We got a new bed - though the photo above is definitely not our room (but from the T&N site). The old mattress is still up and leaning on the wall along with crap (aka my extraneous pillows) on the floor.

Plus, I'm writing and T is on the bed, so it's funner to post pictures like this without his knowledge:

Anyway, we both were uncomfortable on the old pillow-top mattress - the first real bed I'd ever owned. T did some research and found Tuft & Needle

A huge portion of their website is dedicated to education. I already knew memory foam isn't the best for heavier set people like T and me. Springs were also not going awesomely. T&N mattresses are made of an adaptive foam providing excellent (but firm) support. It also wicks away heat which is badass because of my fevers, temperature sensitivity, and T's super warmth.

With their 100 night in-home trial and the fact that 'returned' mattresses are donated in the buyer's community, we figured why the hell not? Let's buy a bed!

The bed shows up in a cute box.

(from the T&N site)
You pull the mattress out, cut away the plastic, and let the mattress both air out and grow. 

We've been sleeping on the new bed about a week now and holy cow, y'all.

My joints are happier. My neck/shoulders don't ache when I wake up. Some of my nerve stuff isn't as bad as it's been - whether that's the bed itself or the fact that I'm getting restful sleep, I don't know.

What I do know is that this is a badass bed and I hope that everyone has one just as awesome.

This seems like an ad I know, but I'm just really freaking happy about this bed. The company is also hella responsive on social media and via email which is awesomesauce.