Sunday, August 16, 2015

Life is Pee-autiful!

Hey guys!

Fun fact of the day: a newborn pees about every 20 minutes while a 6-month toddler pees roughly every hour. ( 

You may be wondering why I have chosen to talk about babies and peeing - wonder no more: I felt like it!

Having recently come back to Puerto Rico, I have been asked to help out with a baby and an elderly woman. The age gap allows for a pretty obvious contrast, however it surprised me how similar they can also be.

For example they both pee – A LOT. But Frances! Not everyone is the same! True… I guess I really shouldn’t generalize seeing as I have only two subjects to base this on. But then again, I guess I can say I will only base this post on these two subjects – problem solved!

Now where was I again? Oh yes, peeing.

I find it fascinating (I’m weird I know) how pee and babies relate. Like, how can they be completely comfortable peeing in a diaper while walking? Or how can they pee in front of anyone and everyone? Or how come they don’t care if it stinks, stains or leaks at all?  Honestly, there are no fudges given by babies when they pee. None whatsoever – and don’t even get me started on pooping.

On the other hand, the elderly (and even adults) see peeing as a social torture. Why do I have to pee again? Didn’t I just pee an hour ago? What will my friends think if I say I have to go to the restroom again? Omg... they want to come with me, but like, what if it stinks? And that’s only when you can do it by yourself- imagine having people help you do something you have been able to do for years! It’s embarrassing.

Wait! Hear me out.

I’m not saying that needing help is embarrassing but, as a person who has been in that situation before, the experience makes you feel weak, incapable and shameful.

But, why?

I’m not really certified to give a professional opinion, so instead, I am just going to give a personal opinion.

Somewhere along the way someone (I don’t know who but it sure wasn’t Peter Pan) told us to grow up and fend for ourselves. There was no manual or guide to help us, there was just a curt “grow up” command. So we did. We learned to walk, run, dance, get money, pay bills, find a mate, grow a family, and build a legacy. Then we forgot about how at some point in our life we would be caught in what I like to call the “Benjamin Button Effect.” This well-known phenomenon consists of feeling/becoming a child again (be it physically, emotionally, psychologically or socially). Our society often associates children with dependence, thus when we feel/become dependent on others we feel like children. Simple, right?

This explains why the elderly woman feels ashamed to tell me she needs to pee.

This explains why she refuses to let me help her clean up.

This explains why she looks away when it becomes inevitable for her to do it on her own and needs to ask for my help.

But the thing is that I don’t find it shameful or weak at all. In fact, I’m happy to do it because: 1. It is natural for our bodies to release waste, 2. I’ve been in that situation before, 3. She did it for me when I needed it and 4. She is my grandma and I love her very much.

Yeah, I’m obviously not going to lie and say it has all been peachy and rosy, but helping my nephew and my grandma has taught me that we all need help at some point. Maybe we won’t become dependent again or maybe we do, but that is ok. It doesn’t make us children – it makes us human.

So, remember! If babies don’t give a fudge – why should you? If you need to pee 24 times a day: be a baby and *Shia’s voice* Just Do It! If you need help peeing or doing anything else you have been able to do by yourself for years but are too afraid to ask: be a baby and *Shia’s voice* Just Do It!

Lol worst comes to worst, if you need help, just know I'm right here :)


Frances aka Fez aka Su Majestad

[Photo by David D License CC. Some Rights Reserved]

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Blame it on Lizzie, the Italian Man and Bocelli

Hey guys!

I hope you Glen Cocos missed me, because trust me - I did!

You see, when I decided to name my blog "Factor V Deficiency got me like," I didn't really think about how hard it would be to write posts since, thankfully, nothing has been happening with my bleeding disorder. Sure I have a couple of stories about bleeding episodes (don't panic!) but quite honestly some are gross and not really necessary at the moment. In fact, I even thought about changing the name of the blog but: 1. the site wouldn't let me, 2. I remembered my disorder was the reason I started the blog in the first place, and 3. I realised that just because the name makes reference to my bleeding disorder it doesn't mean I can't talk about other aspects in my life (Yep! The ones that aren't bloody!).

So I decided that today my post would be different!

In fact forget about bloody messes (pun intended) and think about a happy thought.

You have 2 seconds: Go!

Let me guess, did you imagine mozzarella sticks too?! If you did, I'm pretty sure we are soul mates! In which case, "How you doing ;)?"

Don't worry, I'm not actually going to be writing about mozzarella sticks today (I wish!) or keep hitting on you (unless you want me too...hehe joke). I actually plan to talk about my biggest dream (or should I say my dream destination?) that I KNOW I will make come true someday: visit/live in Italy.

Oh, the mere pronunciation of that 5-lettered word gives me chills - Italy, I-t-a-l-y, Ita-ly (ok, you get the point). Can this fact make me seem obsessed to a worrisome degree? Probably! But, "frankly, dear, I don't give a damn" (extra points if you know the movie I just quoted this from!).

I don't remember the exact day, time or location when my obsession began. However, I am pretty sure Hilary Duff, or actually, I guess her character Lizzie McGuire, would be the person to blame. Remember the Lizzie McGuire Movie? You know, the one where Lizzie graduates from High School and they take a trip to Rome where she is suddenly overwhelmed with fans because they all think she is an Italian superstar? Yes? Kudos to you Glen Coco! No? Geez, did you even have a childhood? Here, let me remedy the problem: (Yes, you are excused to go and watch it... no, you may not continue reading until you watch the whole movie and tell me your favourite scene. Capiche?)

Wait, where was I? Oh yes, Lizzie!

I will never understand why as a child I never asked Santa Claus, the Three Wise Kings, or anyone else for that matter to buy me the movie. I mean, I literally made my Grandpa go to our neighbourhood's movie store every weekend to rent it (in fact, sometimes I like to close my eyes and imagine that the guy in the back must have been either really grateful or annoyed by such loyal customers - regardless of his feelings the bottom line is that he profited from my whims AND he ordered two more copies of the movie. Talk about the real MVP).

Maybe it was Thinker Bell's magic at the beginning of the movie or the fact that it is a Disney movie after all, whatever it was - I was hooked. The scenery, the hot guy, the language (even though it was only a few words here and there), the hot guy dancing, the drama throughout the movie, the hot guy's voice, the vespa, the hot guy's smile, the singing scene, the hot guy's hair.... etc, etc, etc (extra points if you know the movie I just quoted this from!).

Thus began my burning desire to go to Italy and have Lizzie's experience, (although, between you and me, I doubt there could ever be an Italian superstar version of me, I mean, let's face it - Puerto Rican version of me is pretty superstar as it is) a desire that grew more and more when I moved to Florida in 6th grade.

What could possibly make me more obsessed with Italy by living in Florida? An Italian Man.

If you think I'm about to write a love story, let me assure you that my biggest concern regarding 6th grade relationships was wether I should drink apple juice with my burger - in case you are wondering, the answer is of course yolo. However, I guess you could say that this Italian Man helped me come to the conclusion that I wanted to marry another Italian man someday, yet hold your horses because this story is not really of love but of discovery.

We meet at a fundraiser dinner where I was one of the students chosen to express how the organization had helped us reach our success in school. You see, he was/is the husband of a woman who wasn't just a mentor to me but also a very close friend of mine. So naturally she introduced me to him and boy was I all over the place when he told me he was from Italy! In fact, my mind went into overdrive "OMGGGGGGGGG!An actual Italian Man! IN THE FLESH! Talking to me?! THIS IS GREAT!"

Needless to say I decided to bombard him with questions - most of them regarding food of course :)
Thankfully he wasn't freaked out haha. We actually hit it off and literally talked for a whole hour straight until dinner time was called. I wanted to keep learning more about Italy, but I had a speech to give.

Once I was done, I sat down and began to eat. The Italian Man stood up, went to his wife and whispered something. She looked at me, smiled, and said "You should do it." He approached me and asked if he could sing for me. I could feel my cheeks instantly blush. I had never really been asked that question before and here he was asking in front of anyone - I couldn't really say no, could I? So, I nodded and he began.

You know that feeling you get when your world stands still and yet your heart doesn't cease to accelerate? That feeling when you can see yourself balancing on a thread of yarn? When you want to smile, cry, laugh, hell even jump or maybe fall? Well, that pretty much covers how I felt when he began singing.

It was probably the fact that he caught me off guard with his question.


It was probably the fact that I was on the spot.


It was probably the fact that I wasn't really expecting his talent.


It was probably the fact that he forgot to mention he was going to sing an opera song.


It was probably the fact that he sang to me in ITALIAN.

To say that his whole performance was beautiful doesn't do him justice and neither do the words marvellous or mesmerising.  Maybe spellbinding and hypnotising come pretty close? All I know is that I left that night mind blown and changed forever. I remember how when we were getting in the car to go home I literally told my mom "I'm going to marry an Italian man." She of course replied "Oh, Frances you don't know that." My response to that was basically "Yes, I do. He is going to be a great cook, a marvellous singer and a very charismatic man. You know why? Because he is going to be Italian." (*scoff* and some people say you can't create your own fairytales.)

Now, I was obsessed with Italy and I had discovered that my fairytale prince was Italian (honestly, sometimes I still think he is - then again Lizzy ended up with Gordo instead of Paolo, so maybe thats a sign).  And that was only the beginning! Then came Fettuccine Alfredo, Romeo and Juliet (set in Verona), Leonardo DaVinci, Luciano Pavarotti, Michelangelo, Frank Sinatra, Vatican City, Andrea Bocelli, more movies (DaVinci Code, When in Rome, Letter's to Juliet), etc, etc, etc.

More than 10 years have passed since this obsession/fever/mission to visit/move to Italy and search for my "Italian Man" began and yet, I feel like I'm still at the beginning of this weird and crazy journey. However, as peculiar as it sounds I do believe that one day I will go to Italy, ride a Vespa and meet an Italian man - who may or may not be my prince. After all, life is a road and regardless of the circumstances a Vespa seems like a pretty awesome-legit way to travel down it (with precaution of course).

As to you my prince: wether you are from Italy, Russia, India, Afghanistan, or even from Puerto Rico know that you don't have to have a marvellous singing voice haha. Wherever you are, just know I'm right here :)


Frances aka Fez aka Su Majestad

[Photo by  darthmauldds License CC. Some Rights Reserved]

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My first time went a little like this

Hey guys!

Its only been a couple of days since my first post but the outcome has been A-MA-ZING! I have been able to start "Mission 5" (aka the search for other Factor V Deficiency buddies) and help advocate for my undercover FVD buddies (yep, I just came up with that) PLUS I have also found out that a couple of my friends and/or a member of their family have a bleeding disorder! Super cool if you ask me :)

I admit that while this has been my favorite part so far, there has also been another great advantage to starting this blog  - getting people's attention.

After writing and sharing the first post, I wasn't really sure how people would react to me writing about it. I mean, those that know me can tell you that I can get really personal in a matter of seconds (like, 0 to a 100 real quick). But it doesn't matter whether I'm willing to get personal or not with my peers, friends and even strangers - the question is: do they care and are they willing to listen? And apparently they do. I have gotten so much support, concern and questions (mostly about my period) in these last few days about what it is like for me. This is something that I wasn't really expecting but I'm so grateful and touched by it, which reminds me: THANK YOU MY BEAUTIFUL GLEN COCOs!

In honor of all the questions I was recently asked, today I have decided to talk about the first time I got my period and how it has been for me ever since. Yep, I'm about to get REAL personal up in here and before you try to tell me "Frances be modest" - um, no. Does this topic make you feel uncomfortable and claustrophobic? Press the x in your window - it should close and go bye bye (if you still feel like is not enough: please stand up, take a walk, ponder about life, etc - I promise: it WILL eventually get better).

Now, without further ado:

* Period: Shark Week, I'm-dying Week, It's-That-Chocolate?-Give-It-To-Me Week

There comes a time in every young woman's life when the uterus decides to pledge allegiance to the monthly (and sometimes bi-weekly or weekly) torture of releasing bloody waste out of the body. Does the uterus care? Nope. Do you? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!

Sometimes the young woman is aware of this new change because someone in her family or maybe even a friend reveals the knowledge of its proximity and how to take care of it - unfortunately I was not. I know you are probably thinking: "WHAT?! You have a bleeding disorder, how could you not know?!" The answer to that is quite simple: culture. You may or may not know this but my family and I are originally from Puerto Rico. Back in the day you didn't really talk about any of that (in some places its still taboo) plus my family is super hush-hush and conservative about all that kind of stuff (obviously, I'm completely opposite).  Maybe this is the reason why getting my period for the first time was so shocking, scary and a moment of wtf-is-going on?!

It was the last day of my swimming classes. I was excited but I was also kind of pissy because the day before I had gotten into a mayor argument with my mom (I was 11 and at that age I literally argued about everything and anything). I decided to wake up and get ready before my mom got the chance of changing her mind of letting me go (she had told me I was grounded the night before). Anyways, I went to the bathroom and peed but then I realized something was different: there was blood on the toilet paper - like, a lot.  Not going to lie, my world literally stood still for a minute and yet I couldn't get my mind to shut up:  "I mean, here I am bleeding, with a bleeding disorder, and I am not supposed to bleed, and my swimming classes end today, and Im pretty sure I am dying, and I just can't believe I am going to die before I get my swimming certificate - like, really?" Once I realized I was still alive however, I decided to do the only thing that made sense at the time: I took a big gulp of air and screamed "MOM I'M DYING!"

After checking, double checking and triple checking, my mom was finally able to inform me that I wasn't dying - I was just getting my first period. I was relieved to say the least, but I was also mad that I hadn't known about it before. Nevertheless, my mom and my aunt sat me down and gave me a run down of things: I had to start using pads but not tampons because they believed it would get stuck inside of me (I swear some of these urban legends are hilarious), I couldn't go swimming during my period, periods were painful and periods usually lasted a week.

I memorized the information and began my journey into a period-filled-world. Little did I know that periods were going to bring me a lot of trouble - pain-in-the-butt kind of troubles.

Two weeks into my severe period - yes, I said two - it suddenly stopped and the world turned sunny, happy and wonderful! A week passed and the cycle began again - a pattern that would continue for another month.  If you are wondering what it feels like to have a severe period of two weeks and a week of rest in between - its basically hell. 

My mom quickly decided to take me to the doctor because that couldn't be normal.  I learned that the first time you get a period it can be irregular for a few months and sometimes even a few years because your body is still learning how to adapt to it. However, we couldn't really wait for my body to adapt at its own pace since after all it was blood that was leaving my body - something I really needed to stay inside of me. 

We went to the doctor and she advised that I should start using birth control to regulate it. I wasn't aware of the stigma around birth control at the time so I happily agreed without really knowing what I was putting in my body. We started with the pills but that quickly lost its magic so we decided to move up a level : the depo-povera-shot-level.  And it was wonderful - on paper. Yes, my period was finally regulated, in fact I wasn't really getting it at all! Yet, there were some downsides to it. Ever since I can remember boobs have been a part of me. Matter of fact when I was 11 I was already a C cup- yassss! But once I got the depo shot everything went up a few notches. For example, in just two months I gained 40 pounds, 2 bra sizes and my body was suddenly filled with stretch marks (something that is obviously normal but I had never had them before and these were long - especially the ones on my shoulders). Add to that my moodiness, and my constant cravings and the doctors worry about my weight and my depression and my self consciousness about my body and my hormones - ugh I was literally a Latina Hulk in progress. 

Once I realized that the depo shot was annoying and not really worth it (which took me 3-4 years by the way) I told my doctors I wanted to be off it. Oh, their faces were priceless!  Their eyes screamed "are you insane?!" while their mouths simply asked "What?!" "Why?!" Not going to lie, looking back the scene was pretty funny. But their questions were pretty valid - why did I want to come off it? Simple: I was tired of being told I had to lose weight, trying and not being able to and then getting really depressed about it. At first they didn't understand what I meant, I mean, the shot was being put on me consistently and I was still the same weight (185 lbs at the time). So instead of arguing with them, I asked them to compare the records with me from before and after I was given the depo shot. Voila! They saw the same thing that I saw and told me we could try getting me off the shot!

I was able to lose some pounds and show them I was even more right :) The world turned sunny, happy and wonderful! For about a year and a half.

My periods had been pretty good for a while but somewhere along the way my uterus remembered it had made a vow to torture - so, it began. I tried to keep it together, but in the end the uterus won. (Tun -tun-tannnnnn!) I went back to the doctors to discuss birth control possibilities (by now I was aware of what they actually were used for but I didn't really like them that much because I had always wanted a family and I didn't want anything to affect the possibility of me getting one). The first option was the depo shot and I shot it down like nobody's business. Then came the second option: pills. I happily obliged because although they stopped working for me at the beginning, they could potentially work for me now. And they did! For about a year and a half.

Not going to lie, by this point my doctors and I were pretty annoyed. They thought that the best option for me was to use the depo shot but I refused to use it again. So we looked for other options and the answer was Mirena: an IUD with progestogen. I agreed to it and an appointment was made with the OBGYN to put it in. I later found out that you aren't really supposed to put the Mirena in until you have had some children (but it is sometimes still done) and you REALLY aren't supposed to put it in if you are not sexually active - they forgot to tell me that VERY IMPORTANT detail. 

How did I find out about this? Well as I was laying in the bed with my legs on the stirrups, the OBGYN (which by the way, she wasn't the one I usually saw) was preparing me for the IUD insertion and suddenly gasped. 

"Wait you are not sexually active?" 
"No, why?"
 "Ok, I need you to take a deep breath" 
I took a deep breath not really knowing what was going to happen and suddenly I felt this sharp pain and heard a pop - she had broken my hymen. Talk about a painful first time, huh? I saw stars, constellations, galaxies, freaking black holes. My skin color, which is usually a chocolate chip cookie dough color (I have a lot of black freckles), turned to a pale-deadly-white color. It was awful. I couldn't decide if I wanted to throw up, sleep or crawl to my grave - yep, that bad. 

But thankfully I got better and the Mirena worked! Until it mysteriously disappeared from my body - LITERALLY. One day it just went puff and I didn't notice. Yep, it sounds crazy but its the truth. In fact I have sonograms, x-rays and even transvaginal ultrasounds to prove it. So where did it go? Probably down the toilet. You see another detail they forgot to tell me was that although it is pretty rare, Mirena's can actually fall out on their own. It is no surprise then that my body decided to be like "Hey wanna be more rare?! Sure!" - you know, keeping it real with the "rare" me.

Maybe it was the outcome of the Mirena falling out or maybe it was the fact that I actually became sexually active during the window of it falling out, whatever it was - it regulated my period. At first I didn't have it for almost four months, but then it began again and it was regular! One week of period with a great improvement - the course of it was also regulated! What I mean by that is that it no longer was a lot of bleeding for a whole week, now it actually went low-med-high-med-low flow. And the best part of all this? My body is doing it on its own! 

Thankfully the pattern has been the same for almost two years now and hopefully it will keep being that way. If by any chance my uterus decides to rebel, again, I am pretty sure we can work around it - lol just not with the depo shot or the Mirena!

Hopefully you gals don't go through what I went through, but if by any chance you do and/or you feel like the world is falling apart- just know I'm right here :)


Frances aka Fez aka Su Majestad

    [Photo by Lucas Cobb License CC. Some Rights Reserved]

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I raised my hand and got an answer I wasn't expecting

Hello everyone! My name is Frances Rivera Pacheco and I have Factor V Deficiency - a bleeding disorder. Wow, that sounds so curt. Let me try it again.

What’s up? My name is Frances Rivera Pacheco and I have a bleeding disorder called Factor V Deficiency. Ok, that sounds so informal. *Sigh* Let me try it one more time.

Hey guys! My name is Frances Rivera Pacheco and I'm a 20-year-old college student who is obsessed with mozzarella sticks, books, nachos, people's love life, pasta and dancing. I have many aspirations, dreams and goals in my life and yet what the majority of the people that love me focus on is how I plan to achieve all of these since I have a bleeding disorder. (Yass - this is perfect!)

Maybe you know all about bleeding disorders or maybe you don't know what a bleeding disorder is. If you are aware of bleeding disorders and what they are (you go, Glen Coco!) - you may skip to the next paragraph. If you are not, then sit down and let me teach you about it :) According to Healthline, a bleeding disorder  "is a condition that affects the way your blood normally clots. When you get injured, your blood normally begins to clot to prevent a massive loss of blood. Sometimes the mechanism that causes the blood to clot fails, resulting in rapid or prolonged bleeding. Bleeding disorders don’t always affect blood leaving the body. There are many conditions that cause bleeding to occur under the skin or in the brain." (For more information: To recap all those wonderfully long and boring words: a bleeding disorder affects the clotting process. But what does this mean for those who have it? Basically we have to be very cautious and prepared for any situation that may make us have a bleed externally or internally. It can also be painful and torturous to us - don't even get me started on my period. Don't worry tho! We have come to learn to live with it and have fun!

Now you know what a bleeding disorder is which means that in a few seconds you will get to learn about mine specifically- Factor V Deficiency.  According to Healthline, Factor V deficiency, also known as Owren’s disease or Parahemophilia, "is a very rare blood clotting disorder that results in slow or prolonged blood clotting after an injury or surgery."(For more information check out this link: In short,  I have a very rare bleeding disorder, which in case you are wondering (or are about to wonder) is usually found in 1 person out of a million. Yeah, talk about being special.

Fortunately, there is someone else in my family who has it and I don't feel so alone. However, she is younger than me and its kind of hard for me to picture what life can be like in the future since in all my 20 years I've never met anyone else (besides my family member) who has it - that is, until I raised my hand at a hemophilia symposium this weekend and I got an answer I wasn't expecting.

The "Powering Through Florida" panel was being hosted by Patrick James Lynch (aka this really attractive guy with severe hemophilia A who also happens to have his own mini web-series on YouTube about Hemophilia that is hilarious! Check him out at: with the purpose of inspiring us to keep living our lives and to not limit ourselves or our possibilities in life because of our health limitations.  They also advocated for us to be more involved with our Hemophilia communities since they were the ones that would support and understand us better than any other community. Patrick, for example, is an actor, writer and director who found his hemophilia community by advocating to and for others about Hemophilia. Bobby Monohan talked about how he recently found his hemophilia community when he decided to use social media and hash tags to find them. Liliam Bervis, on the other hand, spoke about how being the only woman with Von Willebran's disease back in the day in her hemophilia community made her want to find more women like her. Out of the four present in the panel, Allie Cashel was the only one who didn't have a bleeding disorder. As a young woman with lime disease, Allie spoke about how when she was younger she felt like an outcast since she didn't know others who had lime disease and how finding stories for her book (You can learn more here: on lime disease actually helped her find a community she didn't know existed or that she needed.

Through the whole thing I keep thinking to myself "These people have found their community and even though I love the whole Hemophilia community, I don't always feel like I fit in. Then again, what exactly am I doing about it ?" I realized right then and there that I HAD to ask them for help and tips because if they had managed to find others like them - so could I. I took a long time because my sister always says I ask too many questions (What? I am very curious homosapien ok), but then she asked a question and I felt entitled to finally ask mine. So I raised my hand and before I knew it, Patrick is talking about how he is pretty sure he knows another girl, who happens to be a blogger, with Factor V Deficiency and how he will connect me with her. No joke, I wanted to cry. In fact, the best way to describe this moment would be in Fresh Prince's words "Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down." I mean, here I was asking a hypothetical question that I've asked before expecting nothing but tips and instead I get an actual name of someone who is like me. Plus she is also older than me, 32 to be exact! Like, HOW FREAKING AMAZING AND COOL IS THAT?! Now all I have to wait for is to see if she wants to meet and share stories and tears and laughs and even cookies! In short - I am pretty damn happy right now!

I believe God makes everything happen for a reason. Because here is the thing, you would think that by me being super outgoing and a writer (meh, getting there really) I would have already found the way to find another person with Factor V Deficiency. I admit however that the reason it took me so long was because I had this fantasy notion of "they are somewhere out in the world hidden from me and I shall find them - eventually and unexpectedly" which is why I never put myself out there since I was sure it would happen on its own. I mean it literally took me 20 years to ask for help, yet in the end it did happen that way: "eventually and unexpectedly" but that was because I finally put myself out there. Can you imagine how long it would have taken me if I hadn't? The horror!

After finding out about this 32-year-old me, I began reading some of the posts in her blog and I realized that I was missing the opportunity of finding others like me. Who knows how many 1-in-a-million girls and guys are out there wondering, "where in the world is my Factor V Deficiency buddy?"

Don't worry guys! I know you are out there - in the meantime,  just know I'm right here :)


Frances aka Fez aka SuMajestad