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On It's All In Your Head: A Conversation About Being Sick Without a Diagnosis

I think the gender/mental aspect of this is really interesting. My mom had what in retrospect was really bad endometriosis for years. Her male doctor told her the cramps were in her mind. My sister has issues with ovarian cysts that were dismissed by doctors until she had to be taken in for emergency surgery to remove an ovary. I used to (and still rarely) get migraines. All of these were dismissed by male doctors repeatedly, and downplayed or explained as "psychological" issues.

None of them were life-threatening, but all of us had about given up hope of living without pain until we saw a female medical practitioner, and in each of our cases the three different doctors listened to us and were like "shit we are going to take some real action and fix this" -> surgery for my mom and sister, and I finally received specialized medication that allows me to almost never get migraines and treat them immediately when they occur.

I cried in gratitude when I went back to my doctor. Like, sobbed - because no one had taken me seriously, and with very little fanfare and zero doubt she SIGNIFICANTLY improved my quality of life.

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm 1

On [A Joke About Things Not Rising]

I don't know...it sounds to me like Natasha just had exceptionally uninspired English teachers. I'm only a couple of years younger than the author, and I too attended an overcrowded public school - but the novels I read in high school stayed with me and still impact me today. We also read a lot of nonfiction (whenever anyone brings up reading nonfiction in school as if this is a NEW AND UNCONSIDERED concept, I am genuinely confused). My lit - hell, even my other humanities classes - read and discussed plays, short stories, memoirs, and all sorts of other formats. We read In Cold Blood, Shooting an Elephant, some Joan Didion pieces, Fast Food Nation...and others from that list.

Of COURSE students should read novels (and everything else!) The answer is not getting rid of an entire writing genre.

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm 2

On My Beauty Regimen

@dracula's ghost Seriously though. I just read things with a pen now, so that I can correct the errors in all of my printed materials. Otherwise the grammatical mistakes make me twitchy.

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm 0

On Now That I'm Married, I Only Use Crystal

@muddgirl Pretty much every wedding I have ever been to had a dollar dance. I did not realize that this is a regional custom... I loved dollar dances as a little kid because it was the only time I wasn't intimidated to talk to my cousin (or whoever was getting married) who looked all fancy and weird.

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm 0

On A Migraine *Just For You*

I started getting migraines in elementary school, and I still do, but MUCH more rarely. I've figured out that for me, the most important thing I can do is keep to a regular sleeping/eating schedule. They tend to pounce when I am sleep deprived and starving. (I once read a research article that said this is pretty common with migraine sufferers, because the brain is more reactive to stress?...or something)

My migraines sometimes start as sudden vertigo - I feel like I'm drunk, only it will be in the middle of work and I'm sober. If I don't catch it, the pain gets really bad. On occasion, they hurt so bad I throw up, although more often than not I'm just miserable. Light hurts, and it is really hard to focus on anything else. I will sometimes find myself crying or silently bargaining with God (which is kind of embarrassing, because I definitely do not believe in a personal intervening God - but man, when you can think of nothing but pain, things get weird).

I did see a neurologist at one point, when I was suffering from rebound headaches from too frequently medicating my migraines with ibuprofen, and she rotated me through a bunch of the migraine treatments until I found one that works. I'm bad about keeping it on hand though, because insurance doesn't cover it and I always run out of packs or am without it when the migraine hits.

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm 0

On What Is the Worst Possible Job for You?

@ clara morena I am a high school teacher, and while it is not THE WORST job I could imagine having (worst: temp worker in data entry at a bank), it does cause me so much anxiety that I am often sick to my stomach in the morning before work. It is just constant interaction with people, running between classrooms, and madness. And while I like working with people, you have to be an extrovert to the max. I am so antisocial when I am done teaching.

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm 1

On “This book is a warning of how bad things can get for a single man looking for beautiful, feminine, sexy women"

@Bebe I'm pretty sure it worked on me when I was 16 (by a high-school aged peer) because teenage girls are pretty much exactly the insecure demographic for which the technique is designed.

The only time I have seen an adult try it on me, it was via OKCupid messages, and it just puzzled me (prior to being ignored).

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm 1

On Friday Open Thread

@Passion Fruit My dad grew up in a pretty conservative family and has very clearly struggled throughout my life with changing gender roles. He used to volunteer at my elementary school with the PTA (he worked nights, while my mom worked days, so someone could always be home with us). The women in the PTA made fun of him for being the only man there, and he just kept showing up (thus providing his daughters with a great example of defying sexist expectations).

He was always sort of anti-feminism, in that he though feminism = bra-burning man haters, until I went to college. I studied a lot of international gender issues, and after arguing with my dad I eventually caught him re-employing all of my points in a Facebook argument.

I think he is a great hope story, because he has totally not been a perfect intersectional feminist all of his/my life, but he takes seriously all of our conversations and is open to changing his mind :)

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm 5

On Friday Open Thread

@zamboni Do you have any non-bedbug-infested friends in the area? That sounds like the worst, and a definite situation that justifies finding somewhere else to stay immediately, using all networking skills available.

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@adorable-eggplant I also vote portabello mushroom stack OR eggplant parmesan. I have rarely had good pasta at a wedding, and I feel like vegetarian pasta is the most common go-to. Also, they don't tend to be especially filling.

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm 0