Social media – Amberlynn Reid

Social media is a great place it can lead us to find out about so much. Whether it’s local events happening near or a breaking news item, it has revolutionised the world. But there are the exceptions to this …

This post isn’t to bully or be nasty to a person who is super-morbidly obese. But the Youtuber known as Amberlynn Reid is an American 28-year-old woman who started her channel marketing her “weight loss journey” and invited the whole world along on this adventure.

I have only been following this journey (not subscribed to her channel) for a few months now and she started her venture in 2011 and since then hasn’t lost any weight that she has already gained back. In fact, she has gained a further two hundred pounds so now in fact in near to 600lb although she has continuously denied she had reached it.

What people find toxic about is that she continually lies and manipulates the audience into feeling sorry her. She starts a new programme to try to lose weight and gives up on them after a very short time. People believe that she is only continuing her channel and uploading because of the money she is making. She doesn’t have a job outside youtube and physically not even able to stand for a few minutes which doesn’t allow her to apply for many jobs, not that she is willing or wanting to get into any viable employment.

No sponsors have appeared on her channel as of the date and I really believe none will. Her brand is too toxic for any product or company to be associated with her. Unlike other YouTubers who have courted numerous controversies and continued to grow in revenue and views, Amberlynn continues without any endorsement.

Sadly, I believe, she will go down in notoriety for being the first to live and slowly die on the platform as her size is now dangerously high. Despite numerous people offering to help her from everyday viewers to weightloss channels dedicated to losing weight, she has declined help.

It is only a matter of time before her gluttony finally catches up with her.

Going for tests

Being on a bit of high coming back from Prague there was a bit of me that was in denial. I knew I had to mention it to someone it was getting the courage to do so.

A few weeks previous I had noticed on the left side of my chest was a small pea-sized lump. I had previously a biopsy on the right side as I had some soreness in around the center of the breast. It turned out to be fine and they said it was due to hormonal changes.

This new lump seemed different. It wasn’t sore or giving me any discomfort but what I did find it was a round disc shape, which was nothing like the lipomas I have in the rest of my body. Apparently, they are common and most are small lumps of fatty tissue that do nothing.

I tried initially to book an appointment online and it would be another month before I could see anyone. Taking the decision to have a word with the practice sooner, rather than later, turned out to be the sensible thing. They asked me to come to the surgery the same day and they would see me even if I had to wait a while.

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A lovely doctor, who have seen before, examined me and she too found the same lump. She asked questions about family history and explained that she would refer me again to the breast clinic but this time I would only have to wait less than a week to be seen and it would be in a private hospital.

Not being sure if it was a government initiative to cut waiting times or the urgency to see a specialist that made that time quite short.

Then the ‘what ifs’ come. What would I do if it turned out to be cancer?

The mind then races and the worst thing you can do is look on the internet as this has millions of different stories and accounts of people’s experiences of being told they have a life-changing illness.

So Tuesday came and I had a mammogram and ultrasound on the area affected. It was the doctor performing this ultrasound that informed me that it was nothing to worry about another ‘fatty lump’. I had this confirmed when I went to so see the consultant surgeon.

The moral of this story is quite simple. I wasn’t going to leave something like this for another six months and hope it would disappear. That’s not an option. You face it and you move on. They say that most men who contract breast cancer do not survive it as they only seek medical help in the final stages of the disease. Men are stubborn. If you have a lump that you are unsure of please get it checked.

 

Charlie Gard

This my be a controversial post and might cause some people to stop reading my blog. I am not here to deliberately provoke. But I am simply stating my opinion and thoughts.

The disease that Charlie is suffering from is extremely rare. Infact, there are only a handful of known cases around the world. This poses problems for those who are treating him in hospital as trials for medication and treatment will also be in the experimental stage and have no guarantee of success.

The medical staff in the USA that have treated people with this terrible disease have only treated those who were not at the terminal stage as is with Charlie. It is at a point where doctors feel that Charlie should be allow to die with dignity.

When do our emotions stop and clear thinking take precedence? I know when mum was dying it was clear that little could be done for her in the latter stages. I would have done ANYTHING to have her here now. I miss her dearly to this day but one of the things that I as well as other family members had to do was think what was in mums best interests and this is what the courts have explained to Charlie’s parents.

We are only human beings and don’t work miracles. We can only work within the parameters for what we know now as far as medical and scientific research allows us. There isn’t a magic solution for everything.

Raymond Briggs (the author of The Snowman) said that he always tries to write in his books the subject of death. As you know, very sadly the end of the Snowman, he dies. Briggs feels that children shouldn’t be hidden away from death and it should be explained that it’s a very real part of life and I whole-heartedly agree with him.

For someone who has had a very real experience of people dying I have had to look at situations clearly and not let emotions dictate what is in the best interests of the person. Friends, grand-parents, aunts, parents and beloved pets have all died in my lifetime. It is what makes us human to allow us to show utter respect in the last stages of someones life.

impatient

Oh. I like that word. It describes a lot of people and a lot of situations. We want things now. A generation has grown up that has had access to the internet. No longer do we have to wait a week or two for something to be delivered to our down we can purchase something and have it delivered the next day, the next hour or (depending on our broadband) instantaneously.

I have had a bad cold over the past week and I wish it was gone. I am still mourning for the loss of my mother and I wish that was gone. I am wanting a new job and I wish I started tomorrow. But all of things I have mentioned take time to resolve.

All this combined with super fast communication has left people stressed worried and sometimes mentally ill. It has been reported that girls in Britain are more likely to be worried and stressed more than other similar developed countries.

09-IF-impatience

Can you put down your phone for more than thirty minutes? (apart from when you are sleeping) I know I am addicted to social media. It’s FOMO syndrome. The fear of missing out. I woke this morning worried as my phone was set to silent, thinking that I might have missed an important phone call. I hadn’t.

So I will try to be a little more patience. Stop beating myself up about things I cannot change. And perhaps leave the phone on silent a little more often.

London again

Been away. Yep. Another time away for Philip. This time I am hoping when I come home I am not ill again. Just thought it was an ideal time to get a break from taking a break. This time I was a lot more relaxed and able to enjoy the sites and sounds of London.

London is crazy. The people are crazy. Every day I hear car horns blaring and a constant stream of emergency vehicles sirens screaming down past the hotel at all times day and night.

I was able to have a quieter moment in Green Park on Saturday afternoon as the weather had turned from nice to the Mediterranean. Coming from the northeast and unable to feel the cold it was a little unbearable at times especially travelling on the tube at temperatures that would have rivalled my oven at home. Plenty of water and patience.

I decided to have a less “touristy” visit and take in some of the bookshops that London has. It was a great time although my suitcase now looks like I have done a Hatton Garden on a local library.

The good thing as well is I don’t have to justify these purchases to anyone when I return. Why have you bought all those books? My mother would have asked.

It was a time of reflection given the horrible terrorist attacks on Westminster Bridge. Seeing all those flowers and dedications somehow made something I just saw on the news very very real. It was difficult not to shed tears for those innocent people who had been caught up in it and those left behind asking the question why.

I did make an important journey to Marchmont Street to the home that Kenneth Williams grew up in. It was an important pilgrimage. I cried uncontrollably for a while when the reality hit that I was in a place where he frequented. It was a place of heartache and sometimes laughter for him. I was moved by the fact that he was honoured with a plaque in 2009 commemorating the place.

I did stop by Downing Street where there was a Stop the War protest of Trump’s bombing of Syria. I made conversation with a lady as I wanted to get their point of view on the matter. Her simple message was forgotten all the complications and points of view and see the violence for violence as not the solution. That’s a standpoint to start from. I saw her simple view as intriguing as well as frustrating. What is the solution?

Time to come home after a great few days away. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life. Looking for work and moving on from the past few years.

It’s been 22 years

I woke up about 6.30am on a day not too dissimilar to this one. Mum had shouted me down to help with dad again his asthma. It had got worse and she couldn’t get him to relax and calm down.

I came downstairs and dad was leaning over the sink holding himself up trying to breathe. I immediately called an ambulance as six months before we had been in the same situation and it was only the fact that dad had got to the hospital in time that they doctors manage to save his life.

I went upstairs to change and said that I would go to the hospital with him again but mum screamed my name and I came back downstairs quicker than I could. Dad’s head had fallen back on the chair I had sat him on and he wasn’t breathing. There was no pulse and we tried to use CPR.

For a moment I ran outside to see if there was an ambulance and mum continued with dad. I couldn’t believe what was happened it all seemed surreal somehow. Eventually, the paramedics came and they tried to revive him. They had asked us to wait in the living room while they did their best. Eventually, a local doctor arrived and must have worked to try and get some response.

About half an hour went by and the doctor came into the room where mum was sitting and I was standing.

“He’s dead, isn’t he?” My mum asked.

“Yes, I’m afraid he is.” The doctor replied.

I can still recall that day 22 years ago today like it all happened yesterday. Now that mum has gone as well it all seems a bit bizarre. Like it should have happened to someone else. Seeing both your parents when they have passed is strange but I am glad I had time to say goodbye.

I spare a thought who have lost children or siblings. How much harder it must be to lose someone you thought that would be with you all your life. Most people don’t get to choose when they die and some live long and happy lives.

If there is anything I have learned in all of this is that only life is priceless. Making each day count.

BBC – Stephen Fry

The BBC have been highlighting the issue of mental health with week of programmes about the problems that people have faced with getting a diagnoses and treatment. The first programme retraces Stephen Fry’s life and how he has had to adjust things to cope. Ten years on from his award-winning programme about a secret life of a manic depressive.

I cannot believe that it is ten years since he made the programme and four years since he visited a country of Uganda with it’s hideous and rampant homophobic views of their politicians who have passed laws deliberately target those in the gay community. Seeing it as a ‘sin’ which must be crushed and eradicated. The established church have a lot of serious soul searching in fuelling that homophobic view of gay people seeing them as some sort of curse or deviant negative force in the world.

It was good to hear on the programme the different experiences that others had in having to cope with serious mental illness. It isn’t just a matter of snapping out of mood of feeling sorry for yourself or long-term sadness.

I know that looking at recent experiences and having to evaluate my own health and life that I need to make sure that I am doing everything in my own power to protect myself from being swamped by the over-whelming feeling of worthlessness and look introspectively.

Having cared for my mother for such a long time and that being my entire focus I may I have taken my eye off the ball and not realised that I too must take care of my own health. Allowing myself to grieve and taking time to get my love back for life and the things I appreciate and care about.