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Bed bugs: The smells warning of an infestation including a marzipan odour – TechnoCodex

December 31st, 2020 by admin

When bed bugs attach themselves to people or clothing, often in infested public places, they can be inadvertently introduced into homes. People can spot signs of an infestation in a number of ways, including by certain odours.

Many bugs emit odours called alarm pheromones, and bed bugs are one of them said Dodson Pest Control.

The site added: If a large group ofbed bugsis disturbed, such as when someone plops themselves on a bed that they have made their home, they may emit these pheromones.

Bed bug odours can also come from faecal matter.

Interestingly, bed bugs can smell different to different people.

Many people report smelling coriander, but another common description is the scent of spoiled raspberries.

Others report a strong acidic scent or that of almonds or marzipan.

If you notice an unusual smell in an otherwise clean room, it may be time to call in a professional.

If you do not smell anything, dont be concerned, as not everyone can detect an infestation through scent.

Some professional exterminators use portable devices to raise the temperature of a room to a lethal temperature, explains Mayo Clinic.

According to the health body, all stages of bedbugs can be killed at 50 degrees Celsius.

There are two roads to go down: chemical treatments and non-chemical treatments.

Chemical treatments are called insecticides substances designed to kill insects.

If you are attempting to eradicate an infestation without professional help, it is advisable to steer clear of chemical treatments, however.

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Bed bugs: The smells warning of an infestation including a marzipan odour - TechnoCodex

The Road: 100 Days of Travel in Pandemic-Ravaged America – Rolling Stone

December 29th, 2020 by admin

I lost my mind during the plague year. The fact that my country also lost its mind was of little comfort.

Maybe you lost your mind too. There were so many opportunities. Maybe you were hiding from an invisible virus in an oppressive New York apartment, listening to the sirens all night long. In the morning you went for a bike ride through vacant streets and came across a hospital where they were stacking bodies like cordwood. Or maybe you were sheltering-in-place in a small town, Zooming and doom-scrolling into the abyss, trying not to get called a communist by the no-mask mafia. And then you got a call: The one person who made the world make sense was gone.

My breakdowns were different. I have a Brooklyn friend who hasnt been to Manhattan since March. Thats not me. No, my meltdowns were mobile. Hotels were closed, airports were cleared out, and the borders sealed, but I still spent 100 days on the road in 2020. Heres the butchers bill: 16 states and five countries; 12,000 miles behind the wheel; another 30,000 in the air.

Memories were made: Passing out in a Qantas lounge shower at Heathrow. A Detroit woman describing the loss of her mother, aunt, and grandmother to Covid-19 as church bells rang. Shouting questions at Al Gore about the disappearing Earth outside a Davos restaurant ladies room. A dear friend disappearing before my eyes in a Chicago nursing home. Marching with Greta Thunberg in Stockholm with a 103-degree fever in February. Wondering if I gave her the virus. Not knowing if I had the virus. Tearing the fuel panel off my Hyundai SUV at the Beach, North Dakota, Flying-J Truck Stop, staring at the metal and saying, That was stupid, my friend. Drinking with 20 maskless Trumpers at a dive bar in downtown Tulsa, knowing this was more ill-advised than what happened in Beach, North Dakota.

I didnt set out to experience the dystopian version of the American road trip resplendent with Rapid City, South Dakota, bed bugs and nine nights in Tulsa. It just happened.

Well, thats not exactly true. As a reporter, Ive chosen a profession where no one comes to you. Dont get me wrong as a politician might say, it is an honor and privilege to do this for a living. I have talked with great men and men on death row, sitcom stars and a shark-tagging woman. All of them have helped me understand better my own ridiculous trip on this big blue marble. An appreciation for my job has only grown stronger as the death of print, true-crime podcasts, and a pandemic have decimated my profession. I now feel like one of a half-dozen dodo birds whose survival has more to do with chance than skill. Ive watched the greatest minds of my generation reduced to writing branded content. And, yes, I know I could be coming up with zingers for the Lands End catalog by Memorial Day. So I hit the road to report on a 2020 election disfigured beyond recognition by a pandemic. Uh, I also had the idea that no one would dare fire me when Im in North Platte, Nebraska. Right?

Some of it is personal. My father was a Navy pilot. I went to school in six different towns before high school. He was deployed six months a year until he was deployed permanently, killed in a plane crash off the USS Kitty Hawk, not far from Diego Garcia. Whether by nature or nurture, Ive inherited his happy feet, a quarterback rolling out of a perfectly fine pocket for a scramble that sometimes ends with a concussion.

Ive leaned into it. My running bit on the Twitter Machine is about Hampton Inns, where I always request a top-floor corner room, which I almost always get because I have Platinum Silver Ultra Something-or-Other status. As a purported grown-up, Ive lived in six different cities before moving to Vancouver two years ago. It hasnt come without a price. I can land in Austin, London, Detroit, or Tampa, Florida, and have dinner with a pal that night. Somehow, I have confidants in Indianapolis and Glendale, California. Alas, in Vancouver I know no one outside of my wife, son, dog, a kind Israeli scientist, and the Jethro Tull fan who is papa to one of my kids classmates. It can get fucking lonely.

Still, 2020 was going to be different. (This was even before the plague hit). I was going to meet people in Vancouver. Maybe volunteer at a soup kitchen. Pass on my lack of soccer skills to six-year-olds as an assistant coach. Id recently turned 50 OK, not that recently and the nonstop travel had shifted in my own narrative from swashbuckling storyteller to the old guy at the college kegger. In January, I drove aimlessly after interviewing a screen icon and pledged to myself that I would spend more time with my dear wife, perfect son, and Peanut the Wonder Dog. I felt old, and there were people who needed me.

You do not want to die in a Hampton Inn, I said aloud.

At that precise moment, I was running up the 101 to Malibu, 1,200 miles from home.

Im a one-man enterprise, but there are satellite offices. I have a spare pair of Sambas and a ragged but presentable Barneys dress shirt in Anacortes, Washington, Los Angeles, and in a Chicago high-rise, just in case I drop in on a whim, which is likely to happen a half-dozen times in a year. Icy and cold in NYC? Use some air miles and head with just a backpack to JFK and on to Burbank Airport, where I can be down the stairs and in a rental car in 13 minutes. I have become Americas Guest, trading anecdotes about Lindsay Lohan and Johnny Depp in exchange for a spare bed and access to your Wi-Fi password and all the Trader Joes taquitos in your fridge.

But 2020 presented a challenge. Covid-19 was shutting down the world. I had to stay in one place. The choice wasnt mine.

Turns out I underestimated myself. Any addict knows theres a way to get a fix when you need it.

One of my favorite memories before the plague hit is a simple one. A boy in a red hoodie, with a giant smile, sits in a faux airplane with a slightly nervous woman in a leather jacket behind him. It is my son and my wife. It is February 7th and we are at Legoland in California.

We are 38 days into the year and Ive already spun out a car chasing a Pete Buttigieg event in New Hampshire. Jane Fonda has clutched her dog closer to her chest in West Hollywood after I asked an impolitic question about her departed brother. Today, Im back from covering Davos and the annual conference where rich people try to fix the world without it impacting their richness. It was all a jet-lagged daze: Graffiti in the railway station proclaiming Eat the Rich. Crowded restaurants where pretty young things talked about Trumps speech moving the markets. Waiting an hour to get into Anthony Scaramuccis wine party and questioning all my life choices. Scaramucci! Not ordering the horse meat served on a slab of heated rocks. The endless line of black sedans belching filth into the air at an alleged climate conference. The horse pasture turned into a helo lot. Wondering what the fuck the point of it all was.

But that was all over. I am back in American reality, featuring cotton candy and a bric-a-bloc representation of a New Orleans funeral march. A bunk bed in a pirate room awaits. There are kids. So many fucking kids. Theres an evening disco, where the kid dances with his favorite Ninjago character Lloyd, Kai, Dareth? while parents drink rotgut wine out of plastic glasses. The boy is happy, so I am happy.

Then it hits me. I start feeling achy as I drive them back to LAX. I have a spare two days in L.A. before flying to Stockholm via London. Ive scheduled an interview with Greta Thunberg, the hardest get this side of Jungkook. The trip is on, it is off, and then back on. Im starting to feel terrible, but I dare not cancel, its the cover story for Rolling Stones climate issue. Besides, it is probably just bronchitis, a chronic illness for me. I try to sleep after takeoff, but a bone-rattling cough hits me over Greenland. Covid-19 is just a whisper, but theres still the flu or whatever bug has cried havoc in my lungs, so I spend most of my time in the bathroom trying to keep my germs in a confined space.

We land in London. My clothes are soaked through with sweat. I have four hours before my connection and I stumble through the international terminal until I find an airline lounge. I pay the grievous fee and within minutes Im in a private shower sitting on a stool. I grip the safety rails. I turn on the cold water. It feels good.

Thats the last thing I remember until I hear a sharp rapping on the door. An old woman tells me my 30 minutes is up. I crack open the door, and I cant tell if she is worried for my welfare or convinced Im shooting heroin into my toes. I put back on my clammy clothes and stagger to my connection. I land in Stockholm and the night is winter black. I flag the first car I see and climb in the back. It turns out to be a bandit taxi, but even the chiseler driver is concerned. He asks me if I want to go to a hospital. I say no, just take me to the Hilton. I nod in and out until we pull into the hotel driveway. He charges me an amount in kroner that in the morning I realize is the cost of three nights at my hotel.

I get to the room, fall on the bed with my shoes on, and everything fades. I awake in my clothes to the phone blaring. There is that familiar heart-attack feeling of not knowing what country you are in, much less which city. An elf is on my chest pounding me with his brass-knuckled hands.

I thought I had 24 hours of grace, but it turns out that Greta is only available today. In two hours. There is little I cant endure professionally with the aid of Coca-Cola, Imodium, and some legitimately prescribed amphetamines. I take a tablet and pour some Cokes from the executive lounge into a coffee pot and guzzle it like a Norseman drinking blood out of a skull. (If that is a thing).

Its Valentines Day and couples hold hands in Stockholms old town. I find Greta in the town square. Shes 17, but still seems like a tween in a purple winter coat. The one thing we have in common is exhaustion, but she is young and wears it better. It turns out she isnt just physically tired; she is exhausted with my country. A winter hat pulled down over her matted hair, she patiently outlines why even the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan with no chance of passing a GOP-controlled Senate, doesnt go far enough. I ask her about her now-famous stare-down with Trump at the 2019 Davos conference. I cant think about him too much, she told me. I would have no energy for anything else.

Soon it was time to march, but what she says stuck with me throughout the whole year. Its important to note this was still pre-pandemic and Trumps America had already exhausted the rest of the world. The march ended in a square on the other side of the city, next to a Burger King. Feeling better, I craved onion rings, but found myself stuck next to a talkative middle-age Swedish dad who had brought his kids to this childrens crusade. We struck up a conversation and I told him that I was American. He chuckled a bit.

I wonder if you get tired of always having to explain your country to everyone you meet.

The winter sun had already dropped below the Baltic when I made it back to my room. The Ritalin, caffeine, and adrenaline wore off and I crashed, whipping myself with self-recrimination: Why was I here? Why had I flown when I knew I was sick? Wasnt there a better way to make a living? How the fuck was I going to turn a 56-minute conversation into 4,000 words?

I listened to my interview with Greta through headphones. Id asked a classic People magazine question: What did we need to do to save the planet for her and her children? She didnt answer in jargon about zero carbon emission and banning fossil fuels. Maybe it was her Aspergers, maybe it was my exhaustion, but I hadnt digested her answer in real time.

We dont need to have the biggest car, and we dont need to get the most attention. We just need She paused for a moment. We just need to care about each other more.

I cried for a while and then slept for two days.

A couple of weeks later, as Covid-19 was moving from the international page to the evening news, I found myself in one of my safe houses. Hunter and Beth Wares home in Anacortes, Washington, is about two hours from mine in Vancouver. It has everything my crowded town house does not have: space, a view, an endless assortment of Costcos hermetically sealed hard-boiled eggs, and no toddler day care, with a dozen tykes screaming in French and English.

Hunter was a Navy pilot like my father, and he was a main character in a book I wrote in 2013 about pilots. His family had become treasured friends. The Wares now lived about 20 miles from where I spent the last of my childhood before my dad was killed in a plane crash. For years, the area around Whidbey Island, the last place Id lived with my father, had been a dead zone for me, but the Wares helped me reclaim it for my own. Their daughters were in college and their home had a room named Stephens Guest Room that included a placard with my name on it next to the bed, accompanied by a glass of vodka and cranberry, my favorite libation. I came here to write, eat, and when everyone was at work do my Risky Business dance as Pavement blasted on their sound system.

Id known Hunter for a decade, and the first half of our friendship had been spent talking about life and other shit from Bahrain to NAS Jacksonville to the command center of the USS Lincoln in the Persian Gulf, as he monitored Iranian fishing boats through binoculars. But that was all over for Tupper, his call sign in the Navy. He was now retired, had a good job that he could ride his Harley to in 20 minutes, and a perfect home where I was always welcome. All the transience of his deployments and multiple duty stations were at an end, he now had a solid home base, and something I still didnt have even though we were contemporaries. Now in Vancouver, I saw myself driving down and siphoning off a flake of his permanence for decades to come; with dozens of cookouts ahead of us mixed with good natured cursing as he tried to turn my boy into a Dungeon & Dragons enthusiast.

And then he and his wife told me they were moving. Their girls were grown and their parents were getting older on the East Coast, so they had taken a transfer to Newburyport, Massachusetts, a town not unlike Anacortes, but a five-hour flight away. I tried to be happy for them, but made several hundred bitter comments on our last weekend together. The morning I was to leave, I looked at a copy of The Seattle Times and saw a headline about the first American death from Covid-19. A virus I had first heard about a month ago in a European airport, on the way to Davos, was now here.

The Wares knew it too. Their moving truck was coming tomorrow and they were driving east, trying to stay ahead of the epidemic. I dont do denial very well, but I did that day. I gave them hugs, got into my car, and pretended like I would see that house again. I never did.

Then it hit. Deaths across Washington state. Then New York and New Jersey fell. Rolling Stone closed its offices. I live 3,000 miles away but it was still a stomach punch. I came up with the idea that the magazine could do a series of interviews on something called Zoom with actors, politicians, and musicians about how they were spending their time in lockdown. This made me feel useful for about six days.

The border was sealed, a not-so-discrete message that Canada understood that the United States didnt know fuck all what it was doing. My sons school closed, as did the lap pool, the rare place where I could quiet my yammering brain. Every day, we would take my boy into the Vancouver gloaming to kick a soccer ball or play Red Light, Green Light. One day, my wife filmed him doing a rap and dance, his coordination sadly inherited from his father:

Its all about teamworkWe must come togetherWork togetherIts all about teamwork

Shut up, hes six. And he was right. It was about teamwork and my country did not have it. Instead, there was a man with Bozos hair telling us to shoot bleach into our bones and that masks were for the beta people. There are only a few things I remember about those first few months besides Trump spewing nonsense every afternoon. I watched every episode of 30 Rock. I listened as my best friend told me his catering business was disappearing in L.A. I heard fear in the voices of my friends in New York. Still, I didnt know anyone who had Covid-19; the pandemic seemed unreal, something happening on the other side of a two-way mirror.

That didnt last. I read that Covid-19 had probably started in America much earlier, perhaps in Southern California back in January. I thought of my California-borne illness and it checked off many of the boxes the chest pain, hacking cough, the gasping for air, etc. At first, I was horrified. Had I been a superspreader on my Stockholm trip? Then Greta tested positive. Had I almost killed off the worlds best climate hope? (I did the math and she likely caught the virus weeks after I left. I hope.)

But that thought passed and my brain did a proud kick turn into rationalization. If Id already had Covid, I could get back out on the road! (This was back before anyone thought you could get Covid twice.) It was now May, too late for a test, so there was no way to tell for sure, but I didnt care. And as an American with a Canadian wife, I could cross the border with impunity. Well, not impunity I would have to quarantine from my family for two weeks in our basement when I returned, but that was down the road.

Maybe I was just another white guy believing in my personal American exceptionalism, but it seemed important and not just for my travel itch. I tell other peoples stories for a living just like a dentist pulls teeth.

Or so I told myself. I wouldnt fly. Instead I rented a Hyundai SUV and crossed the border at Blaine, Washington. I headed east. There were just 2,000 miles to go. The next morning, I got my hair cut at a Supercuts in an Idaho strip mall. The world was on fire, but I felt better.

On my way out east I stopped in Emigrant, Montana, a town not too far from Yellowstone National Park. Like every middle-age white guy, Id fallen in love with Montana, except I didnt fish or hunt; just listened to Jason Isbell a lot. I sat at a desk in an Airbnb with a view of the Madison Range and tried to finish a piece on Americas fascination with UFOs. This story seemed important before Americans started dying by the thousands. I had to make a call for the piece. The old man on the other line was kind and exchanged all kinds of alien information. But he was ill and housebound, and really wanted to know what was going on out in his country.

What are you seeing? How is it out there? asked Harry Reid, formerly U.S. Senate majority leader. I didnt know what to say except mumble.

I sure as hell wished you were still in charge of the Senate instead of the toxic reptile from Kentucky.

Reid laughed softly.

So, how was it out there? The thing about spring Covid was that it was everywhere and nowhere. Montana hotels were open, but you had to get your fried chicken from a takeout window. I gave a worried man 10 bucks so he could drive his truck from Livingston back home to Butte. He had been waiting a month for his unemployment benefits to kick in. A few hundred miles away, a friend sold his Jackson Hole apartment in record time for an obscene profit. The gash between the affluent and desperate in America had never been deeper.

The road was no different. On a Saturday in May, I took the Beartooth Highway through Yellowstones mountains. Yellowstones west entrance had just opened up after a pandemic close and I drove on an empty road past ghost lodges, where road signs compelled you not to stop or get out of your car. (I did once, to say hello to a herd of buffalo. It was the right thing to do.)

Beartooth is often described as the most beautiful road in America, but as I hit 11,000 feet I had renamed it the scariest as fuck road in America. My head ached from the altitude and the seemingly endless twists and turns.

Then I came around a bend to a clearing and saw a remarkable sight: There were cars parked on both sides of the narrow road. Kids slalomed the road on skateboards while skiers in shorts and anoraks hiked up a glacier for a last run. I got out of my car and promptly sank up to my groin in wet snow. Thankfully, I was wearing linen shorts. A bearded dude did doughnuts on his snowmobile. Up the road some old bastards were fishing through the ice. I beamed even though my testicles were frozen. After 90 days of darkness Id found a glimpse of magic America in all its joy and idiocy.

It should be said there was not a mask in the whole bunch. It was a time when the Mountain West remained untouched by the virus. It was a time that would end soon enough.

About an hour later, I hit the town of Red Lodge, Wyoming, still bobbing up and down in my seat, rocking out to a Conan OBrien podcast. The sun was out and a grandfather and grandson in matching overalls were hard at work in a front yard. It was straight out of Norman Fucking Rockwell. I looked again. They were hammering in a Trump 2020 sign. I pulled into a gas station where I got some reception. I checked a Covid-19 tracking site for the latest statistics. There were another 1,171 Americans dead. I drove on.

I was headed for Michigan to report on the Covid tragedy there. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had issued stay-at-home edicts to save lives, particularly in minority communities where the plague effortlessly skipped from house to house and church to church. Whitmers opponents reacted by storming the capitol in $40,000 SUVs, brandishing rifles, and demanding their right to haircuts and Buffalo wings. This was 2020 America.

There was a side benefit: I could check in with my mom, who lived all alone just outside of scenic Flint, Michigan, the city we moved to after my father died. I tried my best to stay safe on my drive or as much as a middle-age man with a weakness for curly fries could. A trucker friend warned me that rest areas were Covid hot spots and should be avoided. A buddy drove from Iowa to L.A. in a van, living on Imodium and excreting into a slop bucket. Like many things Covid, there was no evidence at the time whether you could die from using a Kalamazoo urinal, but I avoided them. Sort of. I pissed behind dumpsters in rest areas if I could get away with it. That is, if the rest areas were open. My stomach is weak and so is my resistance to Arbys. I once emptied my bowels on a deserted farm road, my only companions being hand sanitizer and a Hilton hand towel.

The farther I got away from the coast, the more I hit seemingly sensible white people offended by my mask, even though it was quite stylish and had been made from leftover scraps of Liberty of London fabric. I stopped for gas somewhere in Big Ten Country and a lady at the next pump noticed my Canadian license plates. Oh, honey, you dont have to wear a mask here. When I left it on, she stared with dead eyes and slammed her gas tank shut. Then I hit the industrial Midwest around Minneapolis and Chicago, and the masks came back into style.

Around the same time, George Floyd was murdered. I tuned into AM radio from Minneapolis and debated detouring, but wasnt sure what another reporter could add to that tragedy. Instead, I watched a half-dozen kids in Ashland, Wisconsin, hold up Black Lives Matter signs in a town that consists of 0.5 percent African Americans. But for every positive reaction there was a negative one. The next day, I slowed for a deer in Michigans Upper Peninsula, only for the buck to seemingly dive for the back quarter of my SUV. He popped up and then reeled into the bushes like a drunk at last call. Traumatized, I pulled into a nearby rest area and told a woman smoking while walking a dog what had happened. She dismissed me with a wave of her cigarette. You have to speed up or those dumb fuckers will kill your car. I could not help but look at the back bumper of her truck: Trump sticker.

I finally reached Detroit and checked into an Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns slightly more upscale uncle, which was now affordable, since who wanted to stay in a Michigan hotel in May? The manager told me occupancy was running at about 15 percent. I looked down from the top floor into the atrium, and out the window at the idled Chrysler corporate headquarters across the road, and I could see a state dying.

Not that the state had a choice. By the time Id arrived, Michigan had already lost 7,000 citizens, largely black and urban. It was here that I found a country on the brink of some sort of civil war consumed with county-by-county fighting. One day, I drove over to Hamtramck in Wayne County to visit with Biba Adams, a black Detroit writer who had lost her mother, aunt, and grandmother to Covid-19. On the radio, a WJR morning jock bleated about the dangers of George Soros and the authoritarian regime that Michigan Gov. Whitmer was creating in the state. Biba and I sat outside and she told me about her family; loyal Chrysler employees, gospel singers, and beloved movie partners. Now they were all gone. It was her birthday.

Biba Adams on the porch of her Hamtramck, Michigan, home with a picture of her mother who succumbed to complications from Covid-19 on June 19th, 2020.

Rachel Elise Thomas

That afternoon, I left Biba and drove 33 miles to New Hudson in Lenawee County, a Detroit suburb that went for Trump over Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points. I stopped at the New Hudson Inn, a bar populated by Harleys and a stand selling corn dogs and cotton candy. Nearby, a telephone pole holds a stapled poster with a picture of Whitmer, hands in shackles, with the words Lockdown for All, But Not for Me. I met with Brian Cash, a long-bearded ardent right-wing protester who kept saying Fuck Whitmer when he wasnt asking me if I had rolling papers so we could share a saliva-laden joint.

Back in Hamtramck, Biba and I marveled at how white Michigan was approaching the plague.

Its a privilege not to have anyone affected, Adams told me. Because if they did, they would be in a panic. They certainly wouldnt be worrying about their hair. African Americans make up only 14 percent of Michigans population but accounted for 40 percent of the states Covid-related deaths. To Adams, that meant the rest of Michigan could check out: If its a black problem, its no problem at all.

Naturally, other Michiganders disagreed. Spoiler alert: They were all white dudes. In Milan, Michigan, I met with a man with a giant Ron Paul poster on a wall and a semi-automatic mounted nearby. He told me of a friends restaurant that had been closed down just before St. Patricks Day, his buddys biggest revenue day. He then told me the restaurant had recently reopened now that the virus had temporarily faded. I asked him how his friend was doing. He snorted and sneered. He asked me to wear a mask and I left.

It took all of my limited professionalism to not call him an asshole and leave. But as I drove away, I wondered what had happened to my country, where men saw death all around and their conclusion was it was a power grab by the governor, who had a perverse desire to see her states unemployment hit 20 percent. None of it made sense. I headed back to Detroit for a peaceful walk near Wayne State featuring black clergy and Gov. Whitmer. The chants and songs were uplifting, but my first thought was they all were about to be roasted by the right for not social distancing, even though they were all masked and outdoors, where the virus spreads much slower. I was depressingly correct: The memes were up before I got back to my car.

I felt low, so I stopped in to see my mom, who lived about an hour way in the somewhat embarrassingly named Grand Blanc. Maybe she could help me make sense of the madness. This was somewhat ironic because Ive built a large part of my design for living on the premise that my mom never made sense.

We sat on the deck of her house, where she had remained isolated for three months. Her little rat dog provided her immeasurable solace, even if he made me contemplate canine homicide. But she seemed of sounder mind than almost anyone else Id met on my drive. She told me of her neighbors who helped her with snow plowing and leaves. They seemed supernice, but one night the lady let slip a Michelle Obama joke involving an ape and my mother stopped her. You make another joke like that and we cant be friends, she told her. If you knew my mother, a confrontation-resistant child of the South, you would know how remarkable this was to me.

I never wanted to hug her more. But I couldnt.

The world has gone crazy, Mom said. Just completely crazy.

The author in one of his stylish face masks.

Courtesy of Stephen Rodrick

A few days later, I found myself in Tulsa for the now-infamous Trump rally. A day after I arrived, a civil-rights group was carrying an empty casket to City Hall as a protest against the historic loss of land rights for black Americans. The procession found itself on the other side of a chain-linked fence separating them from Trump supporters who were already in line for the Donalds Saturday rally.

Two men in Trump T-shirts smiled wickedly and held their fire until the pallbearers were out of earshot.

Hey, is Al Sharpton in that coffin? Is that why it takes six of you to carry it?

Now, Im no Sharpton fan. In fact, I once wrote 6,000 words on how he is a scam artist who ruined lives with his lies about the Tawana Brawley case. Still, I moved toward the fence line with fists clenched. A stranger grabbed me.

Its not worth it.

He was right, of course, and the two dudes melted into the crowd. Ive rarely felt such rage in my life. Maybe it was the right-wing radio I listened to on the 15-hour drive, first as a joke and then as an obsession, counting how many times a white guy could say, We all know this epidemic will end the day after the election. Or maybe it was getting booted out of the downtown Hampton Inn because the Secret Service had requisitioned the whole place, including the breakfast bar. The hotel was nearly adjacent to the BOK Center, where Trump would speak on Saturday, so I was sent over to the Tulsa Club, a stately hotel where the staff had big smiles; the rally had doubled their hours.

Why was I here? A large part of it was my chronic case of FOMO disease. This was Trumps first major rally of the pandemic and general-election campaign. Hundreds of thousands were expected. Could be the gateway to a second term or a second wave of death. Or maybe both! Who knew?

Expecting passion, I found the emptiness of American ideology that had moved from the quiet corners and empty spaces online to the mainstream. One morning, I found myself in front of two sixty-ish women in Q T-shirts at Jerrys Deli in downtown Tulsa. I asked them what it all meant. They smiled like door-to-door evangelicals and asked me if Id heard the good news about the return of JFK Jr. and an America that would be united by Donald Trump. The funny thing is when I asked for details why JFK Jr., for instance they just kept smiling and telling me it was all out there on the web.

I didnt find the American spark of revolution, just sedated Americans high on their own fantasies. I was heading back to my hotel the night before the rally when I stumbled upon a large man in an American-flag polo shirt and matching floppy hat chatting up a summer-solstice wizard.

Im here for the history, said the man. This is the first time in American history where a president has just said Fuck you to the doctors and scientists. Tim Lilly was the gentlemans name and he had driven up from Dallas to sell flashing American-flag pins for five bucks.

The markup was only 40 percent, so he had to sell a lot of them to break even. Ill admit, I was a bit drunk, having dipped into a dive bar for two shots of vodka to help me forget Id prioritized another America-in-Decline shitshow over my family. By now, my logic was in the toilet because if I really wanted to be there for my boy I would not be drinking in a bar filled with unmasked Trumpers who had been sleeping on the street for 48 hours. Lilly was persistent in closing the deal.

You buy one and Ill sing The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

I bought and he sang. Not bad.

I then asked him about his history theory.

Trump is putting it all out there. Hes going to be right or wrong, Lilly told me. His cherubic face lit up like one of his flashing flag pins. Well know in three weeks!

He anticipated my last question. I know, I should be concerned because Im heavyset. He shrugs. But Im not.

The last I saw of him, he was walking past a woman in a Make the Democrats Shit Their Pants T-shirt.

The next morning, I walked over to the press check-in to pick up my credentials with the idea of not going into the actual pit of Covid, but the line was so long I headed back toward the outdoor festivities adjacent to the arena. I was just going to hang for an hour. Before I knew it, my temperature had been taken; I was given a bracelet and pushed toward a stage, where a band was murdering Hallelujah. (Poor Lenny Cohen!)

An hour later, the doors to the arena opened, and I joined the mild crush of humanity. I still wasnt planning on going in, and when I reached the entrance I told security that I didnt have a ticket.

Oh, you dont need a ticket. Cmon in.

I sprinted to the upper deck for some social distancing, promising myself Id skedaddle once it started to fill up. I had an hour or two to kill. I FaceTimed with my wife. I did a lap around the arena and saw Herman Cain walking to his VIP seats. (Cain would die of complications from Covid-19 just six weeks later.) I ate two hot dogs. And just before Donald Trump spoke, I tweeted a 12-second video of the empty blue seats in the upper deck, and it got 8 million views.

A note taken by the author on the road.

Courtesy of of Stephen Rodrick

After the rally, I waited at a downtown Dominos for a pineapple and ham pizza. It took a while. When I walked out, pizza box under my arm, sirens were wailing. On the corner, Black Lives Matters protesters blocked a bus full of National Guard soldiers leaving the area. I saw a young couple in Trump caps looking scared, the tiny teenage girl squeezing her boyfriends hand. A young black woman saw the two and approached them slowly. You guys will be OK. She pointed up toward a less-congested street. Go that way and you can avoid all the mess.

I stayed in Tulsa for another week writing up a dispatch from the front and finishing my Michigan story, the hotel clerk saying hello every morning with a combination of kindness and pity. I wrote on a scrap of stationery Finish Story and Go Home. But I write slowly. Downtown was deserted with the exception of the occasional teenager on a scooter screaming down 4th Street. I felt ancient.

Repeatedly, I thought of the black womans moment of humanity. I wondered why, until it struck me: Id seen like-minded people being kind to their own communities and hateful with men and women who looked different and didnt share their view that Covid-19 was a George Soros-inspired hoax. The black woman saving the scared couple was the only time I witnessed anything that resembled actual grace.

She got me through the week.

I drove home on a combination of highways and back roads. One day, I wasnt sure what state I was in until I emerged off a dirt road near Edgemont, South Dakota. I took a turn and found myself before a small YMCA with an outdoor pool. I couldnt believe my luck. I got out of my car with my trunks in hand. Through the fence, I was met by the glare of two mothers paddling with their young children. Rarely, have I felt more unwelcome in my own country. I got back in my car and drove away.

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The Road: 100 Days of Travel in Pandemic-Ravaged America - Rolling Stone

Comedian X Mayo On The Importance Of Supporting Black Businesses – Forbes

December 26th, 2020 by admin

X Mayo is the host of SoulPancake's new series "By Black."

Known for her writing onThe Daily Show With Trevor Noah, as well as her sketch comedy series Who Made The Potato Salad,X Mayo has made it her mission to highlight diverse voices. Shes doubling down on that mission as the host of the new SoulPancake show By Black, a series that explores the richness of Black creativity via interviews with entrepreneurs across industries. The series has featured entrepreneurs such as Teri Johnson, CEO of Harlem Candle Company and James Lindsay, founder of Rap Snacks.

For(bes) The Culture caught up withX Mayo to chat about her role in By Black, the importance of highlighting Black businesses and her journey to landing career opportunities like The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.

For(bes) The Culture: First off, how are you?

X Mayo: Im doing really well today. 2020 has taught us to take things moment by moment, and right now I'm great! Im in Vancouver working, which is a blessing.

For(bes) The Culture: How have you been keeping busy during this quarantine period?

X Mayo:I have been up and down. When it first hit I was in my hometown, Los Angeles, and the pilot I was about to shoot got shut down, I had to fly back to NYC. I knew the pandemic was real because I got to LAX from Long Beach in 25 minutes. That has to be a Guinness World Record. After the first three months of quarantine, in classic NY style, my next-door neighbor got bed bugs and I said oh hell to the nah nah nah. Even though we got our apartment checked and we had no bed bugs, I was a nervous wreck! I packed up all my stuff, grabbed my essentials and flew back to LA. I felt like the world was ending anyway, and I said, If imma die, Im gon die laying on my momma chest. Now that I have my LA apartment, Ive been much better. LA is home, my familys here, theres so much natural light in my apartment and space!

For(bes) The Culture:Youre the host of this super cool new series called By Black that inspires folks to support Black businesses. Can you talk more about that? How did this come to be?

X Mayo: By Black is an incredible series that highlights Black entrepreneurship while educating our viewers on the barriers these specific brands and products have had to overcome. By Black aims to demystify the process of being your own boss, and to remind everyone that we as Black people have and will continue to thrive and make our own lanes amidst any obstacle. This series is the brainchild of our producer Hakeem Allen. Hes with SoulPancake and wanted to do this series especially given the times were in now. He saw the need for Black people to be featured and supported on a large platform.

For(bes) The Culture: Why do you think it's important for people to support Black-owned businesses?

X Mayo: Its important for people to support Black-owned businesses because they do not have the [same] capital and/or resources as other groups. When you buy from a Black brand, youre participating in building generational wealth that has been largely unachievable for the Black community. Black businesses stand tall in spite of the often impossible, unjust circumstances stacked up against them. As they strive to provide Black and beautiful services to a growing world, it is important to support them.

For(bes) The Culture: What do you hope people take away from this series?

X Mayo: What I hope people take away from this series are inspiration and the tools to start their dreams right from where they are.

For(bes) The Culture: In addition to hosting By Black, youre also a writer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Can you talk more about that role?

X Mayo: I got hired at my job in October 2018. I was performing improv on a weekend team at UCB with a producer named Zhubin who was on the show and I had no idea he worked there. I was set and ready to move back to LA and had no money when I got called to interview. I was beyond shocked. I walked [into] that interview with less than a dollar to my name. I had to use my moms Uber account to get there. When I got in the interview, I couldn't believe I was sitting across from one of the biggest comedians in the world. Trevor is so talented and I respect him a lot. On God, I owe Zhubin my first born. He supported me wholeheartedly, and was willing to take a chance on a new writer. This job has changed the trajectory of my career forever.

For(bes) The Culture: How has your experience been so far?

X Mayo: My experience has been life changing because I can add extra cheese and avocado on everything! But for real, to be able to pay my rent on the first and take care of my family is the best feeling. Its been rewarding to be challenged as a writer. Im in a room with people who are more experienced, so they forced me to step my game up. Before The Daily Show, I used to view people whose writing process was different than mine as wrong. Thats 100% not true. This position has afforded me the opportunity to work with different personalities and writing styles, which has stretched me as a comedian and as a person. Ive grown so much even as an actor because I know why Im funny, so Im more confident in my choices on stage and on camera.

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Comedian X Mayo On The Importance Of Supporting Black Businesses - Forbes

Co-op and Condo Annual Bedbug Reports Are Almost Due – Habitat magazine

December 11th, 2020 by admin

Dec. 10, 2020

When it comes to Local Law 69, Dennis DePaola likes to stay ahead of the curve. The law requires all multi-family residential buildings, including co-ops and condos, to file an annual bedbug history with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31. With the deadline looming, DePaola, an executive vice president and the director of compliance at Orsid Realty, already has all his paperwork in order.

The Annual Bedbug Report must detail any units that had infestations during the previous 12 months, which ones took eradication methods, such as calling an exterminator, and whether those efforts were successful. We keep all of those records for our properties throughout the year, log it on a spreadsheet and send out reminders that it needs to be kept up to date, DePaola says. That way, when December rolls around, the team in our compliance department simply goes over each building and files the report electronically by the deadline.

That review and filing process is just the culmination of Orsids bedbug-fighting protocol. Anytime there are reports of bugs, we typically work with the buildings super and resident manager and bring in a testing party right away, DePaola says. His inspector of choice? Specially trained canines, who can sniff out live bedbugs and viable eggs hiding in tiny nooks and crannies in beds, sofas, wooden furniture and behind walls, which no mere human can easily find. Out of an abundance of caution, Orsid takes an aggressive approach by testing units adjacent to the affected apartment as well as the ones above and below it. If we do 3B, well also do 3A, 3C, 4B and 2B, he explains. We call it our cloverleaf approach.

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If an infestation is discovered, we immediately do remediation, because the last thing you want is for the problem to spread, DePaola says. The law requires that buildings use a pest-management professional who is registered and certified by the state. We have several companies that we work with, DePaola says, since we dont want to be pigeon-holed with just one outfit. Several years ago, when bedbugs became a real issue in New York City, virtually all of our buildings passed policies on remediation. Most of them specify that the cost of regular testing and extermination will fall on the building.

After the annual report is submitted, the information is posted on HPD Online, which lists a buildings bedbug history along with information about complaints and litigation, violations and charges. Local Law 69 also requires that the history must be posted in a prominent place within the building or given to residents when signing or renewing their leases.

If a building fails to file an annual report, its still not clear what the penalty will be. Its more likely to be analogous to failing to file a property registration, DePaola says, which has a $250 to $500 civil penalty.

The good news for co-op and condo boards is that the law, which was enacted in 2018, does not appear to have had a chilling effect on apartment sales. Yes, bedbug histories are now publicly available online, but the legal obligation to disclose that information has been around for years, DePaola says. And we havent found that infestations affect sales. We thought people would be backing out, but extermination is very effective these days. Weve immediately eradicated bedbugs in every reported case except one building, where we had to chase them around for a while. But we got them in the end.

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Co-op and Condo Annual Bedbug Reports Are Almost Due - Habitat magazine

‘I Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease After 8 Years Of Pain, Dizziness, And Fatigue’ – Women’s Health

November 20th, 2020 by admin

I have always wanted everyone around me to feel good all the time, and that's innate. When I was in kindergarten, I remember seeing my teacher crying, and I went over to her to help make her feel better. It doesn't matter what I'm going throughI could be at my worst, but if my friends call me, I'm there.

That mission became the core of the two Instagram accounts I run as a full-time influencer. For almost a decade, I posted brightly colored photos of my busy lifestyle as I moved to New York City and traveled to incredible places all over the world, with the goal of inspiring others to live their best lives. But behind the posts, I was struggling to live mine.

Daily migraines, full-body rashes, and bouts of dizziness made it hard for me to get out of bed for yearsand doctors couldn't pinpoint what it was. After all, if you don't feel good yourself, how are you supposed to encourage others? I needed answers.

I first noticed something was off eight years ago, during my freshman year of college.

I've had bad stomach issues my whole life and have played a game with myself since I was very young called, What Am I Allergic to Today? But it wasn't until I moved into my dorm at the University of Florida that I started noticing my symptoms getting worse. I often had extreme fatigue and dizziness, terrible migraines, and I would get the craziest full-body rashes lasting for three weeks at a time.

I remember walking to class freshman year and everything felt completely upside down; I was so dizzy and so lightheaded. It was absolutely terrifying, but I began to normalize it and would place blame on what I thought could be my diet or drinking too much coffee.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

I was eating a vegan diet at the time and consuming soy in excess, so at first I chalked my symptoms up to a soy allergy (which I had). My symptoms kept rapidly getting worse, and anxiety set in. I was so desperate to find answers, I got quite creative. I blamed symptoms on the self-tanner I was using, then convinced myself there were bedbugs in my dorm. I got my entire apartment fumigated (goodbye, $500), but there were no bedbugsand I still had full-body rashes and crazy symptoms.

I saw multiple doctors, both at school in Gainesville and at home in Boca Raton, and nobody could pinpoint what was happening. My doctors said I was young, healthy, and totally fine, and just advised me to add more meat back into my diet. But the rashes and dizziness continued.

Eventually, I learned to live with feeling faint 24/7. By senior year, I was getting rashes daily on my thighs, back, and inner arms that were so uncomfortable. The fatigue and brain fog persisted, and I would also get bad headaches almost every day. My anxiety was at an all-time high. But the craziest part was that I was used to itit had become my normal.

I eventually became a full-time influencer, and my goal was to help people feel their best. But I was secretly struggling to do that myself.

After college, I quit my 9-to-5 office job at 23 to be my own boss, focused on growing my two Instagram accounts@lexie1225, where I share my daily life, motivational content, workouts, and travels; and @girlwithagourmetpalate, where I share gourmet recipes, the best restaurants and cafes around the world, and tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. All I wanted to do with my life was help people feel good and live their best lives, but behind the scenes I was feeling sicker than ever.

I would wake up every morning feeling like a zombie, barely able to fully open my eyes until 3 p.m. Everyone who follows me knows I love a Starbucks coffee, but I was drinking almost five a day because I couldn't function without that extra boost. I would post about my daily workouts, but I got to a point where I would intentionally choose a spot in the back of a class in case I had to stopI once accidentally punched myself in the face at Rumble Boxing because I was so disoriented. I shared videos from my personal training sessions at Dogpound, but there were many days I would show up and end up asking my trainer, "Can we go get a smoothie? I can't do it today." I felt defeated, confused, and overwhelmed.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

I've always tried to be as authentic and real as possible on social media, but I never felt the need to share the negative parts of my day because I didn't think that that would be helpful for anyone. I always tried to focus on sharing the most positive content I could because I believed thats what would bring people the most joy.

In 2020, I finally started to get to the bottom of this mystery.

While doing all sorts of testing and blood work and trying to figure out what was going on with my body, I had the incredible opportunity to train for the Los Angeles Half Marathon in April 2020 with Nike and 20 other women. When the pandemic hit, the half marathon was canceled, but that didnt stop me. Even though I was having full body tingles and numbness in my arms and legs, I ended up running the race by myself in Boca Raton. It was also the confirmation I needed that I was actually sick. After mile four, I could not feel the left side of my body at allit was a total out-of-body experience.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

By April 2020, I truly couldn't function. I could barely eat, had the scariest vertigo, and couldn't stand straight. I felt like I was living on a boat. My mom, who I was lucky to be quarantined with, literally had to walk me to the bathroom. I would wake up at 3 a.m. having full panic attacks, barely able to breathe.

I genuinely thought I was dying, but being that we were in the early stages of the pandemic, I was also terrified at even the thought of going to the emergency room. But two of my doctors, who I was speaking to remotely, encouraged me to go. When I finally did, I spent five hours therethe hospital referred me to an outpatient doctor and sent me home with antibiotics because my case was not considered an emergency.

I had been doing some research online during quarantine and connected with another influencer I had become good friends with, Jordan Younger, who shared her experience with Lyme disease, an infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. I had zero memory of ever having a tick on me, but her symptoms sounded so similar to mine. I did a Lyme symptom checklist on LymeDisease.org and my score was a 184the site said a 140 was considered high.

I asked the hospital to test me for Lyme disease, and my suspicions were confirmed.

I tested positive-high for Lyme, and the doctors were able to confirm that I had been bitten by a tick from the United States. I had this moment of, Holy $#!&, all of these things I've been feeling and experiencing finally have an answer.

I spent the next month getting pretty much every test possible to make sure all of my organs were working properly and there wasnt anything else going on. I got blood taken, a number of MRIs and brain and body scans, a series of hearing tests, eye tests, stool tests, urinary tests, and more.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Even though I finally have a diagnosis, I'm still healing, processing, and finding compassion for myself. After starting treatment remotely, once I felt good enough, I moved to Los Angeles for a fresh start. I'm so grateful and very fortunate to have access to some amazing medical and holistic doctors out here that are helping with my treatment, which includes everything from shots and intravenous antibiotics to herbal remedies and supplements.

For me, right now, I am taking it day by day. With Lyme, just like as in life, you have to go with the flow and adapt to the ups and downs. There are days when I wake up and my head feels a little clearer, and other days, I wake up with the worst migraine in the world and can't lift my head off the pillow. What is truly crazy is that the way I'm feeling right now isn't the way I have to feel foreverfor the longest time, I just thought that was life.

I want to turn this adversity into my power. I was always afraid to overshare on social media, so I kept a lot to myself, but I think Lyme is a gift that I was given to both spread awareness to others and to truly learn my own strength. If you catch it early, it's a lot easier to treat, and you don't have to spend eight years of your life wondering WTF is wrong with you, like I did. I want to encourage anyone who may be experiencing symptoms similar to mine to please go get tested.

I ran around nonstop for so long. I was always traveling, running to meetings and events, and trying to fit everything I possibly could into a day. I almost feel as if I was running away from finding out what was truly wrong with me. Nowadays, I often don't have the energy, strength, or mental health to write the book Im working on or fully inspire people the way I want to. But accepting that you're sick doesn't make you a slackerit is just an obstacle that is here to make you stronger. If you are out there living with a chronic illness, take a moment and give yourself a big hug. You are a badass. You are loved. You are strong. You will get through this. And I will too.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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'I Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease After 8 Years Of Pain, Dizziness, And Fatigue' - Women's Health

‘I Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease After 8 Years Of Pain, Dizziness, And Fatigue’ – Yahoo Lifestyle

November 19th, 2020 by admin

Photo credit: David Avalos

From Women's Health

I have always wanted everyone around me to feel good all the time, and that's innate. When I was in kindergarten, I remember seeing my teacher crying, and I went over to her to help make her feel better. It doesn't matter what I'm going throughI could be at my worst, but if my friends call me, I'm there.

That mission became the core of the two Instagram accounts I run as a full-time influencer. For almost a decade, I posted brightly colored photos of my busy lifestyle as I moved to New York City and traveled to incredible places all over the world, with the goal of inspiring others to live their best lives. But behind the posts, I was struggling to live mine.

Daily migraines, full-body rashes, and bouts of dizziness made it hard for me to get out of bed for yearsand doctors couldn't pinpoint what it was. After all, if you don't feel good yourself, how are you supposed to encourage others? I needed answers.

I first noticed something was off eight years ago, during my freshman year of college.

I've had bad stomach issues my whole life and have played a game with myself since I was very young called, What Am I Allergic to Today? But it wasn't until I moved into my dorm at the University of Florida that I started noticing my symptoms getting worse. I often had extreme fatigue and dizziness, terrible migraines, and I would get the craziest full-body rashes lasting for three weeks at a time.

I remember walking to class freshman year and everything felt completely upside down; I was so dizzy and so lightheaded. It was absolutely terrifying, but I began to normalize it and would place blame on what I thought could be my diet or drinking too much coffee.

I was eating a vegan diet at the time and consuming soy in excess, so at first I chalked my symptoms up to a soy allergy (which I had). My symptoms kept rapidly getting worse, and anxiety set in. I was so desperate to find answers, I got quite creative. I blamed symptoms on the self-tanner I was using, then convinced myself there were bedbugs in my dorm. I got my entire apartment fumigated (goodbye, $500), but there were no bedbugsand I still had full-body rashes and crazy symptoms.

Story continues

I saw multiple doctors, both at school in Gainesville and at home in Boca Raton, and nobody could pinpoint what was happening. My doctors said I was young, healthy, and totally fine, and just advised me to add more meat back into my diet. But the rashes and dizziness continued.

Eventually, I learned to live with feeling faint 24/7. By senior year, I was getting rashes daily on my thighs, back, and inner arms that were so uncomfortable. The fatigue and brain fog persisted, and I would also get bad headaches almost every day. My anxiety was at an all-time high. But the craziest part was that I was used to itit had become my normal.

I eventually became a full-time influencer, and my goal was to help people feel their best. But I was secretly struggling to do that myself.

After college, I quit my 9-to-5 office job at 23 to be my own boss, focused on growing my two Instagram accounts@lexie1225, where I share my daily life, motivational content, workouts, and travels; and @girlwithagourmetpalate, where I share gourmet recipes, the best restaurants and cafes around the world, and tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. All I wanted to do with my life was help people feel good and live their best lives, but behind the scenes I was feeling sicker than ever.

I would wake up every morning feeling like a zombie, barely able to fully open my eyes until 3 p.m. Everyone who follows me knows I love a Starbucks coffee, but I was drinking almost five a day because I couldn't function without that extra boost. I would post about my daily workouts, but I got to a point where I would intentionally choose a spot in the back of a class in case I had to stopI once accidentally punched myself in the face at Rumble Boxing because I was so disoriented. I shared videos from my personal training sessions at Dogpound, but there were many days I would show up and end up asking my trainer, "Can we go get a smoothie? I can't do it today." I felt defeated, confused, and overwhelmed.

I've always tried to be as authentic and real as possible on social media, but I never felt the need to share the negative parts of my day because I didn't think that that would be helpful for anyone. I always tried to focus on sharing the most positive content I could because I believed thats what would bring people the most joy.

In 2020, I finally started to get to the bottom of this mystery.

While doing all sorts of testing and blood work and trying to figure out what was going on with my body, I had the incredible opportunity to train for the Los Angeles Half Marathon in April 2020 with Nike and 20 other women. When the pandemic hit, the half marathon was canceled, but that didnt stop me. Even though I was having full body tingles and numbness in my arms and legs, I ended up running the race by myself in Boca Raton. It was also the confirmation I needed that I was actually sick. After mile four, I could not feel the left side of my body at allit was a total out-of-body experience.

By April 2020, I truly couldn't function. I could barely eat, had the scariest vertigo, and couldn't stand straight. I felt like I was living on a boat. My mom, who I was lucky to be quarantined with, literally had to walk me to the bathroom. I would wake up at 3 a.m. having full panic attacks, barely able to breathe.

I genuinely thought I was dying, but being that we were in the early stages of the pandemic, I was also terrified at even the thought of going to the emergency room. But two of my doctors, who I was speaking to remotely, encouraged me to go. When I finally did, I spent five hours therethe hospital referred me to an outpatient doctor and sent me home with antibiotics because my case was not considered an emergency.

I had been doing some research online during quarantine and connected with another influencer I had become good friends with, Jordan Younger, who shared her experience with Lyme disease, an infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. I had zero memory of ever having a tick on me, but her symptoms sounded so similar to mine. I did a Lyme symptom checklist on LymeDisease.org and my score was a 184the site said a 140 was considered high.

I asked the hospital to test me for Lyme disease, and my suspicions were confirmed.

I tested positive-high for Lyme, and the doctors were able to confirm that I had been bitten by a tick from the United States. I had this moment of, Holy $#!&, all of these things I've been feeling and experiencing finally have an answer.

I spent the next month getting pretty much every test possible to make sure all of my organs were working properly and there wasnt anything else going on. I got blood taken, a number of MRIs and brain and body scans, a series of hearing tests, eye tests, stool tests, urinary tests, and more.

Even though I finally have a diagnosis, I'm still healing, processing, and finding compassion for myself. After starting treatment remotely, once I felt good enough, I moved to Los Angeles for a fresh start. I'm so grateful and very fortunate to have access to some amazing medical and holistic doctors out here that are helping with my treatment, which includes everything from shots and intravenous antibiotics to herbal remedies and supplements.

For me, right now, I am taking it day by day. With Lyme, just like as in life, you have to go with the flow and adapt to the ups and downs. There are days when I wake up and my head feels a little clearer, and other days, I wake up with the worst migraine in the world and can't lift my head off the pillow. What is truly crazy is that the way I'm feeling right now isn't the way I have to feel foreverfor the longest time, I just thought that was life.

I want to turn this adversity into my power. I was always afraid to overshare on social media, so I kept a lot to myself, but I think Lyme is a gift that I was given to both spread awareness to others and to truly learn my own strength. If you catch it early, it's a lot easier to treat, and you don't have to spend eight years of your life wondering WTF is wrong with you, like I did. I want to encourage anyone who may be experiencing symptoms similar to mine to please go get tested.

I ran around nonstop for so long. I was always traveling, running to meetings and events, and trying to fit everything I possibly could into a day. I almost feel as if I was running away from finding out what was truly wrong with me. Nowadays, I often don't have the energy, strength, or mental health to write the book Im working on or fully inspire people the way I want to. But accepting that you're sick doesn't make you a slackerit is just an obstacle that is here to make you stronger. If you are out there living with a chronic illness, take a moment and give yourself a big hug. You are a badass. You are loved. You are strong. You will get through this. And I will too.

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'I Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease After 8 Years Of Pain, Dizziness, And Fatigue' - Yahoo Lifestyle

Bed Bug Guide – Experts on bed bugs and bed bug extermination

October 28th, 2020 by admin

BedBugGuide.com is designed to educate and inform the general population about the risks of bed bugs, in addition to offering advice and tips on preventing them from spreading. We use real case studies from bed bug sufferers combined with helpful tips to help you and your family eliminate the bugs and and stay bed bug free.

Weve been operating in the bed bug industry for 4 years. In that time we've developed an incredibly effective, safe solution to completely eradicate bed bugs from your home.

As anyone who has suffered from them will tell you - bed bugs are no joke.

Theyre more than a harmless phrase that you say to your kids at bedtime.

More than folklore, or a problem that only affects the lower classes.

Bed Bugs are now present in all 50 states and the epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. According to a study by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, bed bug numbers increased by over 500% between 2004 and 2009. Certain states such as Ohio, went from zero bed bug related issues, to hundreds of calls to pest management companies in just a few years.

13% of Americans have either experienced bed bugs personally, or know someone who has. Alarmingly, this figure has actually increased from 10 years ago, with families in urban areas (80% of the US population) being more at risk than rural ones. There have even been reports of bugs appearing in laundromats, on public transportation, and in movie theatres.

Its not just the average US home either - in 2010 clothing giant Hollister had to temporarily close its flagship store in New York City after a reported bed bug outbreak.

The adult male bed bug can live for up to one year without eating. And, the adult female lays up to 250 eggs, with these eggs being near invisible to the naked eye.

Even though the physical effects of beg bugs are harmless to humans, youd be a fool to discount a bed bug invasion as anything less than serious.

If youve never had bed bugs before it can be a terrifying experience to say the least. The paranoia alone is something that keeps you up at night in a state of worry and anxiety. The emotional pain and distress that comes with them is a traumatic experience. Its a position that no one wants to be in, especially no one with a family.

BedBugGuide.com aims to separate fact from fiction when it comes to dealing with bed bugs. Helping you, the consumer, make informed decisions if you do happen to find yourself in a situation where you are forced to deal with them.

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Bed Bug Guide - Experts on bed bugs and bed bug extermination

The benefits of hospice – Citrus County Chronicle

September 30th, 2020 by admin

Douglas S. had a very hard life. He was living in a hotel in Homosassa and was very ill when he was brought onto hospice service. When the admission nurse arrived she quickly realized he had little food and was unable to care for himself. He was unkempt, there were feces on the floor, an oxygen concentrator that was filthy, and the room had bed bugs.

During this visit, Douglas confided to the nurse that he was running out of funds to continue living in the hotel. Quickly, she admitted Douglas onto HPH Hospice services and communicated his living conditions and financial circumstances to the care team.

Because of the generosity of the Citrus County Community Charitable Foundation and a grant they awarded to the Citrus Hospice Care Center, HPH Hospice was able to immediately moved Douglas to the care center. When he arrived he had a sore on the top of his foot from a rat bite, his beard was long and mangled, he was filthy and he had bed bugs in his belongings.

The staff immediately gave him several baths, a haircut, and shaved his beard. They fed him and treated him like he was royalty. They had won his trust and he confided in them some aspects of his life.

He shared that he had a son who had been estranged from him for many years. He also shared that he was a Vietnam veteran. With tears in his eyes, he shared what it was like when he returned home from Vietnam. He and other veterans were not respected, and once he was even spit on for being part of that war.

The team rallied and arranged for a bedside veteran pinning ceremony. During the pinning, Douglas became very emotional and cried. He stated that this was the first time anyone had thanked him for his military service. He could not thank the team enough for the recognition.

As an added blessing for the patient, the team worked diligently to locate Douglass estranged son. They found that he lived in New York City and was working as a security guard at Mount Sinai Hospital. They contacted him and talked about his dad. The son recounted that he also was a military veteran and was a decorated Marine.

Unfortunately, due to the stay-at-home orders from the COVID pandemic, the son would not be able to come and visit for one last time. The care team arranged to provide a FaceTime visit for the father and son, to allow them to reconnect and say their goodbyes.

During this very emotional encounter, Douglas asked his son for forgiveness for being less of a father than he deserved and thanked him for growing to be a better man than he was.

Very shortly after the Face Time visit, Douglas developed respiratory distress. He died two days later. His son expressed that he was so very grateful to the team for the care they gave to his father. He was at peace knowing that he and his father had resolved their hard feelings and his father died with respect, dignity and honor.

This story was submitted on behalf of the Citrus County Community Charitable Foundation.

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The benefits of hospice - Citrus County Chronicle

The Onion Dip: Who Needs Parties, Friends, and In-Person Class? I Have Fruit Snacks. – The College Reporter

September 22nd, 2020 by admin

By Sarah Nicell || Staff Writer

A couple of days after moving into my new home in Bonchek, I Facetimed one of my best friends from back home in Jersey, Rebecca. She was very curious to learn about how my college experience was going.

How was the move-in? Is everything situated?

It was a workout, I confessed. I lugged suitcases up the stairs by myself and dropped my mini-fridge in the elevator.

Oh. Your family couldnt help you? she questioned, raising an eyebrow. Rebecca is attending Montclair University, a school that is a short train ride away from New York City and has somewhat looser coronavirus restrictions. Its not the place I ever imagined for myself, but she loves it there and was able to make friends quickly through her suitemate.

Corona, I offered, which seems to be the universal explanation for everything at this point.

Can I meet your roommate?

In response, I panned to the sitting image of my stuffed goat that my girlfriend bought for me from CVS, who now resides in the empty desk chair in my dorm room. Say hello to Gerald.

She frowned.

So youre all alone? Her voice was drenched in pity. This observation was not necessarily true. Despite my mom, my dad, my twin, my sister, my pets, and my snow globe collection all being in another state, I had my own sense of normal within my jail cell of a dorm.

That feels exclusionary to Gerald, the three browning bananas in my micro-fridge, my string lights held up with dry Scotch tape, and my one dollar zebra print pillows that I bought from Thrift Village that may or may not contain bed bugs. Say youre sorry to the bed bugs.

Gross.

This conversation represented my early college experience quite well. With necessary virus restrictions preventing us from having the opportunity to offer more than a greeting to those that live just one room down, the reality of isolation quickly set in. All alone with my thoughts for a good week of quarantine, I had lots of time to ponder my circumstances.

And you know what? Its not that bad. Who needs college when you have fruit snacks?

Who needs parties when you have a bed that requires some professional Mount Everest climbing training to get up into?

Who needs friends when you have bingo games with four people on Zoom where every single persons microphone is turned off and the winner is promised merchandise you never technically receive?

Who needs dinners out with friends when you can have the luxury of walking only ten feet to quickly grab a cold personal pizza and flee back to your room to avoid disease?

Who needs in-person classes when you have patchy wifi, a mute button, and sleep deprivation?

Who needs any of it?

Despite the horrendous nature of it all, I have found myself surprisingly satisfied with these new circumstances. Yes, a sneeze is a modern equivalent to yelling Fire! in a crowded movie theatre. Yes, orientation was less of a meet-and-greet and more of a binge-watch. Yes, the most socialization I get most days is an outdoor class where the lawnmowers and acorn-yielding squirrels are far louder than my professor. Yes, some days are hard.

Most days are hard.

However, we are working through this crazy time together, whether we can agree on the best route for our current situation or not. Before my arrival, I was not familiar with Canvas, had never lived without my family, and had no clue what a DipDeal was. I still dont, really (can someone explain?), but I live in solace knowing that at least half of the student body buys at least five smoothies per week with them at Blue Line. I recommend the Maui one.

I have never been one for excessive optimism, but I think things are truly going to be okay. Ive figured out how to properly do my laundry, I havent locked myself out of my dorm (yet), and I still have enough fruit snacks to fuel a kindergarten class.

So, the moral of the story is: if anyone is hungry, I have lots of snacks in Room 124. Like, an exorbitant amount of snacks. But only come if you are in Bonchek. Because of COVID. God, maybe I do need college.

First-year Sarah Nicell is a staff writer. Her email is snicell@fandm.edu.

Read more here:
The Onion Dip: Who Needs Parties, Friends, and In-Person Class? I Have Fruit Snacks. - The College Reporter

How To Look For Bed Bugs – Bed Bug Infestation New York …

September 20th, 2020 by admin

How to check for bed bugs: Vermins are the little oval-shaped pests with a coffee-brown color that flourish on the blood of human beings and animals. An adult bedbug can grow as much as the size of an apple seed, and it has a flat body. However, after they feed, their bodies will experience swelling and will have a reddish hue. Though these pests do not fly, they can move incredibly quick in walls, floors, and ceilings. Female bed bugs can produce numerous eggs over their life time. These eggs are so small; they are nearly the same size as a speck of dust.

Young vermins are referred to as nymphs. They shed their skin at least five times before they reach maturity. Nevertheless, they need to consume blood before they can begin shedding. If they are exposed to the perfect environment, bed bugs can grow in simply a month and lay three or more generations each year. Though frustrating, they do not transmit any form of the disease.

If youre wondering how to check for bed bugs, you must know that being incredibly tiny, insects can enter your house unnoticed. They can connect themselves to clothing, travel luggage, couches, throw pillows, bed linen, and other family products. Their flattened bodies permit them to get in narrow areas, even those with a width of a credit card.

Nevertheless, insects do not have a breeding ground, though they typically come in groups in concealing areas. Typically, their hideout includes box springs, bed mattress, headboards, and bed frames. These are practical places for them to feed upon their victims in the evening. In the future, they might spread out through different parts of the bed room, huddling into any covered areas. They likewise tend to scatter to surrounding houses or rooms.

Considering that bed bugs eat blood, having them in your living location does not suggest that you are unhygienic or dirty. As a matter of reality, you can even discover them in houses and hotels that are spick and period, in addition to those that have clutter.

The More You Know: To find out if you have a bed bug problem, you might want to start by seeing a bed bug up, close and individual. Heres what a bed bug looks like.

Before we discuss how to check for bed bugs, its important to know when they bite. Usually, bedbugs are active during the night and they usually feed on sleeping individuals, biting, and sucking blood while their human host sleeps. Utilizing their long beak, they pierce through the skin and drink the blood for intake. Their feeding process takes at least 3-10 minutes prior to they become satisfied and move away undetected.

Initially, bedbug bites wont sting, however with time will become scratchy and irritated. Compared to flea bites that are normally found in ankles, bedbug bites are discovered in parts of the skin that are exposed while sleeping. Furthermore, the affected area does not display a red area in the middle, unlike flea bites.

People discover it tough to discover a bed bug infestation since they are minute pests. In truth, the irritation from bed bug bites is normally related to other causes, including mosquito bites. In order for you to understand how to find bed bugs, you need to discover how to check for bug bites. By being able to differentiate a bed bug bite, you can safeguard against these annoyance bugs and totally free your house from such problem.

Bed bugs bite into a human by placing 2 tubes into its skin. One tube secretes saliva that makes the bite location numb. This likewise thins the blood, so its simpler for the bug to consume it. The second tube is referred to as the feeding tube and is used for one purpose just; sipping the blood from the human.

Its not surprising that vermin bites are tough to discover. Not only are their bodies tiny, however their bites are likewise impossible to see utilizing the naked eye. Normally, when people are bitten by bedbugs, they generally complain about a subtle pinch while they sleep at night. But despite this, usually, the bites wont instantly trigger soreness or swelling on the skin.

Nevertheless, later on, irritation and inflammation will appear once your skin responds to the saliva of the vermin. In the case that you experience this, it means that you have already been bitten a number of times and your room has now end up being a den for bed bugs, which can potentially result in a break out. Bed bugs enjoy biting in rows. They generally feed for 3-4 times along the part of the skin they travel to. The pattern of the bite is in some way associated to flea bites, and this is the primary reason misdiagnoses always happen.

If theres something that bedbugs abhor, its light. Thats why they constantly strike throughout the night when their victim is fast asleep in an infested bed. It is impossible to capture living bed bugs in your bed linen. Nevertheless, when figuring out how to look for bed bugs, there are signs that will tell you if they are feeding upon your skin. These signs include the following:

You Might Be Interested In: Learning you have bed bugs can be a shock. And it frequently requires expert intervention. However, here are some home remedies for bed bugs you can follow.

When bedbugs are satisfied with their meal, they go back to their safeguarded space up until they are all set to feed once again. The significant feeding locations for insects are bed mattress straps, buttons, creases, and tags. When trying to find how to discover bed bugs, take note that these locations are convenient since as it is where they can easily find and connect to their victims.

As mentioned previously, you need to watch out for bloodstains, husks, and feces to figure out if your bed is vermin plagued. Moreover, you can also look for nymphs, fully grown insects, and eggs. The fastest method to analyze your bed mattress is by utilizing a flashlight and an old credit card.

Carry out these easy steps:

If you believe you have actually discovered all there is about how to inform if you have bed bugs, bear in mind that there are eggs to consider. Insect eggs are small and round, which are practically comparable to a poppy seed. However, these eggs are loosely put on the bed mattress or bedding, where they are typically laid by an adult bedbug and are simple to scrape and remove from the fabric.

On the other hand, mature and nymph bed bugs have a transparent color. With this, their blood usage is visible in their stomach in the kind of a red dot. Typically, a mature bed bug is comparable in size to a grain of rice.

You can instantly remove any insects from material utilizing the same technique that you use to check your bed mattress and bed linen. When considering how to inform if you have bed bugs, bear in mind that although bed bugs dont have the capability to leap or fly, they are quick travelers. Generally, they crawl onto individualss clothing and attach until they find potential bed linen to infest.

To assist you determine further insect infestation in your fabrics at home, follow these easy actions:

Get a trash can or tarp and use it to capture fall out husks, eggs, or feces when you wave loose materials such as drapes, clothes, and linens.

Before you throw away vacuum bag or cylinder, look for signs of eggs, nymphs, vermins, and husks.

Thoroughly examine the creases and seams of your family furnishings. You can utilize an old charge card, just like what you finished with your bed mattress, to scrape undesirable feces, husks, and eggs.

Earlier, we talked about how to tell if you have bed bugs based on their hiding areas. So how do you capture them? Because bed bugs are afraid of the light, they are difficult to eliminate considering that they stay in dark areas. You require to carefully search every dark corner of your house to catch them.

Below is a list of a few of their typical hiding areas:

Bed bugs are well-known for infesting numerous houses. Being minute; they can fit in any little and dark area in your house, infesting your beds, bed mattress, and other fabric products each time they have the possibility. They go undetected most of the time, that makes them a problematic bug.

Nevertheless, because bed bugs reside in nests, an infestation will produce a smell that is in some way similar to cilantro or coriander. If you occur to discover this unusual smell, call a credible bug exterminator right now. They are educated in taking down these bugs, and they can prevent a damaging break out.

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How To Look For Bed Bugs - Bed Bug Infestation New York ...


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