Category Archives: Blogging

broken ankle after surgery

My Life With A Broken Ankle: The Real Honest Truth

Good news: No complications for my broken ankle surgery.

Some of you may have read my blog about the Butcher Babies Meet & Greet that my dad and I went to in Corpus Christi. In that blog, I included the story of my fall. Just in case you forgot what happened, here is a short excerpt from that blog.

At around 5 AM, I woke up to go to the bathroom and feed the cats. It was dark, and I couldn’t see where I was going. I slipped and fell and heard something on my body crack very loudly. My first thought was, Well that sounded expensive. I start panicking because I didn’t know what to do. I yelled out for my dad to help me up because there was no way I could do it by myself. I felt bad because my dad should not have been deadlifting me off the floor because of his health. He helped me get into the chair. I waited there while my mom got dressed.

That was on May 30, 2018, and I was fortunate enough that I was only in the Emergency Room for a few hours. We were able to leave with just enough time to go to the Meet and Greet. From the moment my ankle broke, I knew I was in for a long road to recovery. In this blog, I will be sharing what it was like for me to break my left ankle. I am going to share everything because there’s a lot of things that I wish someone had told me that I had to learn the hard way. I’m also not afraid of sharing the embarrassing stuff. The picture on the left is a bruise on my foot from the fall.

The first week is the hardest because it’s a huge adjustment.

During the first couple of days, my brain and foot would not communicate instantly. There was a delay in the amount of time it took to move my foot without using both my hands. My biggest struggle the first week was going to the bathroom. I had an accident the first day and peed a little on the floor. I’m glad it happened because I needed to learn how much time I had to get to the bathroom. Thankfully that was the only accident before surgery.

They gave me crutches, and I was very wobbly at first. My second biggest struggle was remembering that I can’t use my left foot. I accidentally put pressure on my foot the second day and cried for ten full minutes. I didn’t forget after that. In the wide shot of my ankle (pictured below), you can see my skin is a blotchy yellow. Those are faded bruises. How I got so many bruises on the front of my leg when I fell backward is something I will never understand.

You can plan to read and watch movies all you want, but you’re going to end up sleeping a lot.

Currently, I have 20 items checked out from the library. I think I have read one book and watched 3 movies. I did, however, catch up on 13 Reasons Why Season 2. You start to feel bad that you’re sleeping too much, but you shouldn’t feel bad. Indulge in all the sleep that your body will allow because you will be begging for sleep later on.

There is nothing wrong with sleeping all day.

Try your best to stay off of social media, because it sucks looking at all the cool stuff your friends and family are doing while you’re stuck in bed. I had to cancel so many events due to my injury. I’ll be lucky if I can go out to dinner for my birthday this year.

I want to thank my best friend’s mom for being so wonderful. She made me this gift basket herself, and she dropped it off at the hospital. That was so incredibly sweet of her. I am celebrating 13 years of friendship with my best friend so his family is like family to me. I’m glad that so many people are thinking of me and giving me well wishes. I truly appreciate your thoughts during this frustrating time for me.

Here are some tips:

-Drink plenty of water, but don’t drink it too fast. Getting up to pee is a workout. It’s a 5-minute ordeal from start to finish.

-Don’t be afraid to ask for help going to the bathroom. It has been two weeks, and I still have someone go with me just in case.

-Get out of your head. It’s easy to give in your bad moods and take it out on other people. Be aware of your frustrations and anger.

-When sitting in a wheelchair, you can use a pillow to keep it slightly elevated and comfortable.

What to Expect with Ankle Surgery:

I can’t tell you exactly what happened during the surgery because I was under general anesthesia. They did numb my leg in two places. Do not wait until you feel pain to take your pain pills. The last thing I remember before the surgery was saying bye to my parents. They gave me all kinds of medicines to help me relax, and they worked pretty fast. You’ll need to figure out the difference between pain and discomfort. That distinction alone could help you a lot with side effects.

Getting up to pee before surgery was complicated, but getting up to pee after surgery is pretty much impossible. I’ve never used a bedpan before. It’s a very strange feeling. You have to lie in bed and convince your body to do something it never does. After an internal struggle with your brain, your bladder finally releases the pee. Unfortunately, once you get over that initial struggle your body thinks it doesn’t have to warn you anymore.

I’m not ashamed to admit I peed the bed. What’s crazy is that I didn’t even feel it. I didn’t feel it coming out and I didn’t even notice the bed or my gown was wet. The numbness is no joke. The struggle is real.

My ankle is 9.2234% metal right now.

I have 2 plates (one on each side) with 6 screws in each plate. I have one pin in the front of my foot, and 4 more in the back of my ankle. I have 19 metal objects in my body if you count the plates.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND WATCH WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

DON’T END UP LIKE ME. BROKEN ANKLES SUCK.

mundo zurdo

El Mundo Zurdo Conference 2018 at Trinity University

Today, May 18, 2018, I presented this video at the El Mundo Zurdo Conference. I also read a speech that I will include in this post as well. Please share this video with everyone you know.

            Before taking my first Latinx Literature class and being exposed to great female authors like Gloria Anzaldua, I felt a disconnect from my culture. I didn’t know that much about the history or current events from the country my family came from. Many of my ancestors were political activists, so I’ve always grown up around strong, independent women. I love the way in which Gloria Anzaldua writes about abstract concepts so unapologetically, especially during a time when it wasn’t safe to do so.

She was brave enough to give a voice to the marginalized, and I admire the strength in her work. I have a personal connection to Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera and her concept of mestiza consciousness. Anzaldua describes mestiza consciousness as “a consciousness of duality.” I am a mixture of many different beautiful cultures, but some of those cultures have been pitted against each other for many centuries before me.

Considering how long ago Borderlands was published, I expected her to work to be a lot more mainstream and to find a plethora of information about her. While there was some information about her, it wasn’t enough for me; I wanted to know more about this incredible woman. I was upset with myself for not knowing who she was before reading her work in college. I was upset with the Texas Educational System for never mentioning any Latinx authors even once. The one thing I regret the most about not being able to read her work sooner is that when I finally did read it, so much of my confusion regarding my cultural identity finally made sense. Her concept of nepatla, or “in-between-ness” was a tangible concept that I could understand and it helped define an identity that I had never claimed before.

When creating this biopic, I wanted to focus on the things that most people may not know about Gloria Anzaldua like information about her childhood and her education. From the time I first read her work to the time that I created this biopic, I have noticed a considerable difference in the amount of awareness of her image and work. When I went to The Latino List photography exhibit at the San Antonio Art Museum, I found a sticker set with pictures and quotes from Anzaldua for $15.

While I was happy to see Anzaldua and her image in a mainstream environment, it walks a fine line approaching the dangers of commercialization. Anzaldua’s image and quotes have been used on websites like Etsy, and promote Anzalduan ideas and concepts. There have been countless paintings created with her image, which is interesting because I could barely find more than a handful of pictures of her and none of her family.

She has become not just a Chicana icon, but she has become an icon for the marginalized and voiceless. In reading her work, many people have been inspired by her courage to embrace the freedom to be yourself in order to really figure the many facets of their identity even if it doesn’t exist yet. She has created an abstract language so that people can learn to understand themselves and others regardless of time, space, and geographical borders. I hope that with this video that I can let the world know about Gloria Anzaldua’s extraordinary life journey. She created a path for many of us to follow her in her footsteps and we must all do our part to continue to break down barriers and keep pushing the boundaries of what is socially acceptable.

one world that will help you increase your traffic goals

The One Word That Will Help You Increase Your Blog Traffic

I started getting paid to blog in late April. I’ve made $50 since then because I have been trying to figure out all the different ways to drive traffic to my blog.

Now, I’m not getting thousands of views per day as much as we’d all like to. I was at a point a few months ago where I would maybe get 5-10 people to visit my blog but I wasn’t promoting it like I am now. I had a Facebook page and Twitter but I wasn’t using them like I should have been this whole time. In this blog, I’m not going to tell you ALL the ways to increase traffic because some things work better for some, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. I’ve seen a million of those blogging income reports, and even though it inspired me to want to get that point one day, I had to be more realistic.

There’s only one word that will help you gain more traffic and that word is GOALS.

It’s important to have goals to get anything done in life. Without goals, you’re just aimlessly working towards something without a final destination in mind. If you want to make a successful blog you have to figure out what that means to you. A good rule of thumb for new bloggers is to set a goal of 1,000 views per month. That’s less than 35 page views per day. If you aren’t getting that kind of traffic, take a look at your blog, or have someone else take a look, and figure out ways you can improve.

If you get 35 views or more per day, you know you’re well on your way to completing your monthly goal. If 15 people visit your blog per day, but you don’t have any goals, you’re happy with 15 people because at least someone is reading your blog even if it’s just your friends and family. At 15 views per day, you’re getting 450 views per month and most people would be happy about that, but success is about growth.

The first thing I did was sign up for every free course that I could and the first thing they suggested was to overhaul my social media accounts. The courses were mostly about Pinterest, but they have given me a lot of solid information that I was able to use across all my social media. For the last year or so, my Twitter profile had 2,400 followers and I was stuck for many months. I started posting my blogs and affiliate links on twitter and just being more active in general. Even though I’m not getting a drove of new followers, I do get a couple of followers per week so it has increased and has stayed steady over the last few weeks.

I designed a new logo for my Facebook page and set up links that I really enjoyed on StumbleUpon on a schedule so that my page would appear to be active. Sharing articles from Stumbleupon also increased my followers on there, as I now have 100 followers. I’m still struggling to get new Instagram followers, but according to Google Analytics, I am getting a handful of people to click the link on my profile.

I’m still navigating my way through Pinterest but I changed my board covers to the same background with different text to look more like a brand or business. If you haven’t already, you need to convert your Pinterest to a Business account. It’s free to do and you get access to analytics that can be very helpful. I’ve also been pinning a lot per day and I check my Pinterest stats every 3 days.

In just over a month of implementing these newly learned strategies, I now have 5,000 average daily views and 25,000 average monthly profile views on Pinterest. Of course, I learned this means nothing if they aren’t clicking your link though. Before I changed the board covers, only one person had clicked the link. It took about 4 days since my coding is a little rusty, but I finally enabled rich pins. Rich Pins are essential to getting traffic on Pinterest, so I would look into that if you haven’t already. Since my new changes, I’ve had 31 clicks. 31 clicks out of 25,000 people are nothing to boast about, but small progress is still progress.

I made some personal goals for June and July, but I didn’t want to share my strategies until I could show some results.

My goals for June were:

  • 1K+ Pageviews and Unique Pageviews
  • 100+ New Users per week (500 new users for the month)
  • A penny per day in AdSense (minimum $0.30 per month)

This is what really happened:

  • 1,052 Pageviews and 819 Unique Pageviews
  • New Users:
  • Week 1: 66
  • Week 2: 34
  • Week 3: 87
  • Week 4: 389
  • For the Month of June: 604
  • Money for May: $6.81 ($2.81 more than the previous month)
  • AdSense Money: $1.81

It’s important to note that I got 2 ad clicks during June. I would have made $0.11 just purely based on views.

My goals for July are as follows:

  • 2K+ Pageviews and Unique Pageviews
  • 200+ New Users per week (1K+ New Users for the Month)
  • $5 this month from AdSense

Here is my dilemma: I had 443 page views yesterday (July 7, 2017) and I have already received 825 Unique Pageviews for the month of July and 627 New Users the first week. With those 400+ views, I got 2 ad clicks and I earned $3.33. That’s already half of the money I make per month. My question is, should I change my goals for the month to reflect the change and continue to challenge myself or be happy with the progress and keep it going the way I have it now (100, then 200, then 300, etc.)? I’d love some feedback, so please leave a comment.