Genetic Testing – Makes sense…

So, as previously stated, I’m 40 now. In my continuing efforts to get and stay healthy, I asked my doctor for a genetic test to not only determine my colon and breast cancer risk but to finally see what may be lurking on my father’s side of my DNA (since nobody knows who he is). The lab was frantically calling me and I thought “Oh shit. What’s wrong with me?!” What was wrong? Getting insurance approval for the test.

Okay. We go through what I know of Ma’s side of the family in terms of cancer and since it wasn’t breast cancer or anything that is classified as genetically related, the insurance won’t pay for the test. It will cost me $2,500.

After an interesting few moments of no heartbeat, I tell the nice woman I want the test because I literally have no clue what 50% of my DNA is. I can’t afford that. Of course there’s a payment plan or whatever but isn’t that interesting? “Hey, my genetics are a mystery and I would like to know my health risks. We don’t know enough about your genetics to qualify for insurance to pay for a test to determine your health risks and we will financially punish you for that.”

Lovely…

I need to know so, I guess I’ll just have to sell more books and stuff to make up the money.

Yay, American healthcare… 🙄🙄🙄

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Weight Loss Journey – Yeah, this again…

Over the course of lockdown, I lost some weight. No, it’s not bragging because in order to deal with the stress of a global pandemic, reduced income, wondering if I’ll stay employed at all… Basically the low-level underlying fear everyone had been going through; I was running up to an hour a day trying to make my way through Couch to 10k. 

Then we all got back to work and the weight came back. I didn’t have time for hour long workouts anymore. What I was doing is using my lunch hour to workout then eating lunch while I worked. If I felt spicy, I did an extra workout before bed. Going back into the library meant that no longer happened.

I’ve been trying to keep up with as much activity as I can. I got one of these: 

And if I’m not running, I use this for 20-40 minutes while I moderate programs at work. I restarted Couch to 5k to get my stamina back up and the workouts are shorter. I counted calories all over the place, cut out booze, increased my portions of vegetables, limited salt… And nothing.

I had previously discussed percription weight loss options with my doctor because while everyone tells me I look fine, I don’t feel fine. I did my annual blood test and all my bloodwork is perfect. My doctor was really impressed. So, I broached the idea again because I turned 40 this year and the older I get, the more likely my weight will start to affect my health.

And part is ego because I have some nice clothes I wanna wear and I’m too broke to replace my entire wardrobe.

This time, my doctor did recommend something to me: Saxenda. My insurance company gave me the OK and I started it last week weighing in at 230 pounds.

This week I’m down to 228.

Not gonna lie, I had some side effects. Mainly nausea but a couple of pepto tabs took care of that. I can aboslutely tell I feel less hungry. I’m on MyFitnessPal so keep track of what I eat. Feel free to friend me there if you want.

I’m really nervous to share this since I’m concerned I’ll make this public only for this to fail. But, here we are. Hopefully, I’ll hit my goals this time!

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Coming Soon: Fruit of the Dead Part 2!

Fruit of the Dead is a series I started back in 2018 and legitimately went numb on until recently. Yes, I should have a publishing schedule but I honestly had no clue where to go next at the time. But, I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming and prompt mining and my general output has been increasing. So, the second episode is in the absolute last stage of editing and will be up later this week!

 

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Lenni Reviews: “The Fall” Volume 1, by Jared Muralt

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Amid a mysterious flu outbreak, food shortages, and environmental crisis, a single father of two teenagers struggle to survive.

This was just… Ok. For an apocalyptic drama, this was surprisingly dry and if you’ve read anything in this genre before, this doesn’t bring much new to the table. The art style does its job and the characters left by the end of this volume are people I’d want to continue to follow. Good, but nothing special. 2.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Gunpowder Moon” by David Pedreira

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Set in the year 2072,  in Veteran Caden Dechert is in charge of a US mining operation on the moon. When a bomb goes off and kills a crew member, already strained international relations may turn the moon into a warzone unless Dechart can find the culprit first.

While I like Dechert and his crew and I wanted to find out what happened, this felt like a dry read. Not unenjoyable because Dechert is a relatable guy thrust into a crazy situation and has to figure out what’s really going on but I get the feeling you need to heavily be into space scifi to get into this. The conclusion delivers on some action though to make it all worth it. 3.9 out of 5.

 

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New Story! Djinn 2: Wendigo

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Yes, I’ve been quiet lately but it’s for a good reason! I stopped doing reviews for a bit so I could work on this story and it’s all ready! Djinn 2: Wendigo is the sequel to Djinn, and has the same main two characters but a new enemy! It will be released on March 4, 2021.

I also have a rough draft of the next part of Fruit of the Dead that I’m working on and I hope to have that out before the end of March. I won’t leave the blog idle; I have a bunch of reviews ready to type up.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 11, by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

I trust this isn’t spoilers for you at this point so, in this volume, Legoshi and Riz have their final showdown and Legoshi will have to pray the training he’s been though will help him stand up to a bear twice his size.

I like the way this panned out. It makes sense given the personalities and characters involved in all this mess. I also have to assume it’s not spoilery to say, it’s about damn TIME the police got involved. A student was murdered and eaten! I’m shocked Legoshi didn’t have regular run ins with a police investigation in progress. That would have made for some interesting conflict… But, as is, this was good. Great art in the fight scenes and even in battle, Legoshi is his goofy self. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mieruko-chan” Vol 1, by Tomoki Izumi

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High schooler Mieruko is cursed with seeing horrible, twisted spirits all around her; but no one else can. She just does her best to ignore them while also protecting her best friend from these things.

This manga is cute but oddly fanservicey with all the up skirt and cleavage shots. It’s really sweet how Mieruko just want to protect the people she cares about as best she can without revealing she can see ghosts. I won’t spoil it but there’s a story about a kitty that sold me on this series. All the stories are quick one shots so I’m wondering how this will progress and if there will be an overarching story line. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Lovesickness” a Junji Ito Story Collection

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

The collection of horror stories really shows Ito’s range as to what he can make horrible. I think my favorite is “The Mansion of Phantom Pain” but the entire saga of the cover character “Beautiful Boy and the Crossroads” is good, too. Super gory in this case, so be aware of that if gore is not your thing.

This is a solid offering with another funny story at the end featuring a fake poop. The volume leaves you with a laugh if you need to recover from the rest of the stories. 5 out of 5.

 

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