Important Drug Facts: Marijuana

30 June »

Medical-Marijuana(Note: this is not real medical information)

MARIJUANA – ORAL

(mehr-uh-wah-nah)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): 1 Eyed Jamaican, Acapulco Gold, Accidental Tourist, Afghan Kush, Afgooey, Agent Orange, AK47, Alaskan Thunder Bolt, Alien Blues, Arizonan Western Light Purp, Australian Blue, Big Buddha Cheese, Black Rhino OG Kush, Blue Dynamite, Blue Satellite #2, Blueberry Haze, Brainstorm Haze, Buddahs Love, Cali Big Bud, California Dream, Cat Piss, Charlie Sheen, Dankey Doodle, Dr. Grinspoon, Dream Queen, Dutch Treat Haze, Fraggle Rock, Fruity Pebbles, Girl Scout Cookies, Golden Goat, Grand Daddy Purple, Green -O- Matic, Harvard Haze, Hawaiian Snow, Holy Ghost, Hong Kong Star, Ice Queen, Incrediberry, Island Sweet Skunk, Jack Flash, Jack The Ripper, Jorees Diamond, Jurassic Haze, Kandy Kush, Killa Crip Kush, Knock Out, Lamb’s Breath, Lemon Diesel, Lil Afghani, Louisiana Swamp Moss, Mandala #1, Maui Wowie, MK Ultra, Moonlight OG Kush, New Willies, Northern Lights, Orange Widow, Pakistan Chitral Kush, Perma Frost, Pineapple Express, Pink Lady, Plane Crash, Purple Bubba Kush, Purple Monkey Balls, Purple Urkle, Queen Green, Razzle Dazzle, Romulan Cotton Candy, Sticky Icky OG Kush, Sweet Cheese, The Palin, Tsunami Crush, Twilight Indica, White Widow, Yuckleberry Wow. No lie, this is like maybe .0001% of the brand names we found researching for the important drug facts.

USES: Marijuana is used to treat

  • anorexia in patients with AIDS,
  • nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy,
  • glaucoma (pressure in your eyeballs),
  • multiple sclerosis (MS),
  • or like whatever the doctor on the Internet says is wrong with me, bro, ’cause, like I got it real, real bad you know. I’ve got like AIDS in my glaucoma, swear to God,
  • For real, marijuana is good for everything. Everything. Like maybe if you were a firefighter and ran into a burning building to rescue orphans and got real bad smoke inhalation and your lungs were filling with fluid. Okay, so maybe marijuana is not good for that. But everything else. It’s the wonderweed that works wonders.

HOW TO USE: When taking marijuana, closely follow your physician’s instructions. You may take marijuana with or without food, before bedtime, when you wake up in the morning, on break at work washing dishes at Shoney’s, or like whenever, ’cause that job is hella boring and the only way you are getting through a shift without totally killing Tiffani is with some prescription strength, for real.

Do not take marijuana before or while driving. Marijuana may cause drowsiness or confusion like this one time we were baking in Andy’s sister’s VW Golf and got crazy lost before he asks this guy trying to change a tire which way is Krispy Kreme, and then we fell asleep and Andy left us in the Golf in like a thousand degree sunshine in the middle of summer with the windows rolled up and we woke up because we thought our shit was for real on fire. And like, he didn’t even save us a donut. Ha ha funny Andy you douchebag.

Contact your doctor if your condition persists or worsens, so he can write you a prescription for totally more marijuana. Marijuana is good for that.

Tell your physician or pharmacist if you have ever had an allergic reaction to marijuana, because oh hey — we forgot to say that marijuana is totally good for allergies, too. Here cut this part out and paste it up there with the AIDS and the glaucoma: also allergies.

Do not use marijuana if:

  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have heart problems or hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • You have lung problems from being a hero firefighter.
  • You have seizures (epilepsy).
  • You are bogarting that joint.
  • You have immune system problems, except AIDS, because we already said marijuana is good for AIDS.

SIDE EFFECTS: Some for real side effects that can happen when you take marijuana include asthenia. Get it? Ass. Thenia. Ass. Thenia. It’s like when you get weak or lazy or couchlock or whatever.

Another side effects you can get are palpitations, tachycardia, vasodilation and facial flush. Palpitations is totally the name of the Emperor in Star Wars. It is. Yes it is. It is. Bro, it totally is. It totally is. Totally is. Yes, it is. Totally is. That’s totally the dude’s name. For real. Look it up. Look it up. Look it up. Look it up. Look it up. Look it up. Look it up.

What was I saying just now? Oh, yeah. You can get abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, too, while taking marijuana — but mostly that only happens to people who are on chemo already so maybe, it’s, you know, maybe the CHEMO. Just sayin’.

Marijuana may also cause slacking, slack-lining, slacktivism, hackey-slack, and sixth-year senioritis. Marijuana may also definitely cause the guitar solo in Creedence’s cover of “Heard It Through the Grapevine” where they just play the same thing over and over for like an hour. Great tune.

Some other side effects include amnesia, anxiety, ataxia, confusion, depersonalization, dizziness, euphoria IS FOR REAL THE WHOLE POINT, hallucination, paranoid reaction, somnolence, and thinking abnormal but what is normal, right? Like what was normal for dinosaurs was just walking around naked and then the comet hits and it gets really cold and maybe this one dinosaur is like ‘yo, there’s totally all these warm little fuzzy creatures running around – we should make shirts and hats’ but the other dinosaurs were like ‘whoa, Nerdceratops, that’s abnormal thinking’ and so the one dinosaur was all alone wearing his shirt made out of tiny mammals and he felt super smart but then the other dinosaurs all died and he was like OH MY GOD I’M THE ONLY ONE LEFT OH NO OH NO OH NO and then at his funeral it’s just this one angry lemur whose mom the dinosaur wore as a poncho and the lemur pees all over the dinosaur’s grave and then later evolves into a caveman and that’s why humans rule the Earth, right? What I’m saying is ‘abnormal thinking’ is just what BIG BROTHER calls your imagination, for real. Abnormal thinking is what keeps you from being just another froze-ass dinosaur wondering why there’s so many furry animals running around throwing snowballs. Don’t be a frozen dinosaur. Minds only work like parachutes. Think about it.

Oh, hey — look what’s not on this list of side effects: death. Like nobody ever OD’d from too much marijuana. It’s like impossible to kill yourself with marijuana. Like the only way you could die from marijuana is if you smoked so much weed that your mom and her boyfriend staged an intervention and got you signed up in the Army and you got sent to Afghanistan but guess what THERE’S TONS OF WEED IN AFGHANISTAN HA HA so you go Operation Enduring Freebase on your buddy’s Talibong and you’re so high you have no idea what the sirens mean anymore when the for real Talibong starts RPGing your camp and then MAYBE you could die from marijuana. But maybe maybe maybe also you survive and get diagnosed with PTSD and guess what’s good for PTSD? Marijuana. Hells yeah. Totally happened to my friend’s cousin. So death is NOT a side effect, bro.

Other possible side effects that occur in less than 1% of burners including conjunctivitis, fecal incontinence (HA HA ANDY HOW YOU LIKE THEM DONUTS NOW!), myalgia, depression, nightmares, speeth diccifulties, tinnitus, vision difficulties.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome, because you know what’s good for side effects….? That’s right, bro: marijuana.

(Note: this is not real medical information. Drug information adapted from RXList. Graphic adapted from The Daily Chronic. Consult your doctor, for real.)

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Another solid review for League of Mortals

17 June »

Iris at Sometimes, It Is Lupus reviews the greatest novel ever written about me getting sick…

It’s a highly believable, highly readable story, with some pain, some humour, and a lot of poo.
[…]
I loved this book. I had trouble putting it down – in the end I read it in two sessions.  It would have been one, but I needed to sleep.

Thanks, Iris! You know, it’s interesting to me that I wrote it to be easily read in short stretches, but so many people are taking it down in a couple or so sittings.

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What Awareness Really Means (hint: politics)

17 June »

underpantsgnomesawarenessIn and amongst our illness communities, we talk all the time about ‘awareness’ – but what does that word even mean? How does it get us closer to a cure?

Skim off the slogans and the ribbons, and ‘awareness’ boils down to a claim about, well… justice: that our disease does not get its fair share of attention, money, and other resources. The problem is that ‘awareness’ then becomes a popularity contest for diseases, which is a terrible way to decide what’s fair or just.

The idea of ‘awareness’ with respect to diseases started with AIDS in the 1980s. Back then, AIDS affected mostly gay men and IV drug users — and both groups were heavily stigmatized. As a result, the growing AIDS epidemic was met with a slow response from public health and government officials.

‘Awareness’ for the AIDS movement was a plea for justice: a demand that patients with AIDS be treated fairly and proportionately. Awareness sought to close the gap between how AIDS patients were being treated, and how they should be treated. It was not so much that AIDS advocates expected a cure: it’s that the President of the United States could pretend AIDS didn’t exist, that made awareness so vital.

Seeing the success of the AIDS movement – especially the red ribbon – the breast cancer movement adopted similar tactics in the early 1990s. Breast cancer also suffered unfair stigma, and the movement emerged from advocates involved in women’s health and feminism. Again, awareness involved a basic claim to justice: that women’s health issues be treated fairly and proportionately. But the breast cancer movement also pushed the idea that awareness could and should lead to a cure, implying that the only just outcome is the complete eradication of the disease.

Today, many people worry that breast cancer awareness is out of control: the social stigma against breast cancer is almost completely gone, research for the disease gets billions of dollars, and there are real problems with over-awareness. The movement that won so many victories shows no signs of stopping, and the result is that breast cancer dominates women’s health to an extent that’s harmful to women who will die of something else – and statistically, that’s a large majority of women.

Meanwhile, many other disease groups have adopted the AIDS/BC model, and now awareness and the disease-specific advocacy drives a fierce competition for public attention and research dollars. Several years ago Harold Varmus, former director of the NIH, appeared on The Daily Show to explain that this competition is actually bad for science: advocacy for disease-specific research often ends up taking money from other diseases, or from basic research, and not increasing the overall amount of money for disease research. (Even when groups raise money, what they spend on research is usually about 1/10th of government spending on the disease.)

So whenever we talk about the need for awareness — especially when we link it to the goal of a ‘cure’ — we have to ask: “awareness compared to what?” Is our disease really that unknown? Are the resources we are asking for really best spent on our disease? If we think ‘awareness’ is going to lead to a cure, the missing step in between the two might be that some other disease is not getting cured in the meantime.

Granted: most people probably don’t see this baggage when they use the word. They probably mean ‘awareness’ in the sense of ‘I wish more people knew about my problems’ – which is fine, and even important to say.

But we should be careful that our awareness campaigns generate the right kind of attention for our disease. Many people with IBD will remember the CCFA’s terrible bathroom ads. Along similar lines, Sara at Inflamed & Untamed has a great post on an awareness project done well. The ‘Ice Bucket’ challenge, for all its apparent success, taught most people nothing useful about ALS. Awareness campaigns can and often do minimize the painful and tragic aspects of our illnesses — the very things we want and need other people to recognize.

In that sense, what we really want is not awareness, but knowledge. ‘Awareness’ is a car commercial; knowledge is a Consumer Reports‘ review. Awareness is a blurb; knowledge is reading the book. ‘Awareness’ is flirting; knowledge is a relationship. And the best way to generate knowledge is to talk about our experiences with illness – openly and honestly – to anyone who will listen. With awareness-as-knowledge, we’re no longer insisting that the only helpful response to our disease is a cure.

We want other people to know what we’re going through: we want them to recognize our suffering and acknowledge our humanity. That’s what AIDS awareness efforts did so incredibly well. That’s what I see most people asking for when they beg for ‘awareness’.

That’s just not what the word means anymore.

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That Ehoow Post Is Bullshit.

9 June »

ehoowbrainIf you are sharing Ehoow posts about IBD, Crohn’s, UC, whatever – stop. It’s bullshit. The whole site is a content mill designed to drive ads. This photo right here: it’s the view you get when your head is up your ass. Pull out already – and stop sharing Ehoow articles.

When you share an article from Ehoow, I know you didn’t read the whole thing. Ehoow doesn’t write any articles: they copy/steal them from other pages. They at least usually put a URL – but not, you know, an active link – to the source article. So for the brain article in the picture, the link is to Livestrong.com. If you read the whole thing, you would have gone to the URL to figure out what it said.

But wait, there’s more: Livestrong.com is a commercial website licensed by the Livestrong Foundation (livestrong.org) to use the Livestrong name. It’s a for-profit site using a cancer non-profit’s name to sell ads; their mission is to make patients “empowered through food, fitness, and inspiration to pursue their best life because eating well and staying active are critical components in preventing cancer and fighting other illnesses.” If you have IBD, that should piss you off. Lance Armstrong is an asshole for a million reasons, and Livestrong.com is high up on the list.

But wait, there’s more: the Livestrong article at least lists sources for its research. When you read through the actual articles, you discover that the author is misrepresenting the research. Here’s the article:

A study published in the March 2014 “European Journal of Internal Medicine” noted that individuals with Crohn disease show an increased risk of mini-strokes compared to those without the disease.

That study actually says: “CD was not associated with an overall increased risk of ischemic stroke”. Here’s the LS article again:

People with Crohn [sic!] disease exhibit increased anxiety and depression compared to those without the disease, according to a September 2014 report published in “PLoS One.”

That study had 21 subjects with CD – which is not enough to make a valid conclusion – and also looked at people with IBS (who had worse anxiety and depression) and wasn’t really about anxiety and depression in the first place. Here’s the LS article again:

Compared to healthy patients, as described in the January 2013 issue of “Neurogastroenterology & Motility,” patients with Crohn disease show reductions in gray matter volume in many regions of the brain.

That study actually does say as much, but it also says the researchers can’t tell whether the disease came first, or the brain changes were pre-existing; it also “does not take into account other important factors such as the number and severity of relapses, the kind and the duration of treatments.” So – and this is extremely likely – it could be the treatments we take (e.g. prednisone) that are permanently messing up our brains, and not the disease itself. That’s a huge distinction to make.

I could do this all day – except that I have better uses for my time. The point is, the Ehoow article is bullshit copied from a Livestrong article that is bullshit. The people doing this don’t care about us, our diseases, or the research on that disease. They are using our curiosity about those diseases to sell ads. Please stop rewarding them by sharing those articles.

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Passive-Aggressive Class Notes

5 June »

Jamie Dithers reports from New York City that sister Beta Gammas Rachel Albrey and Stacey Speck visited for a long weekend. They painted the town BeeGee pink even though Jamie had to work on Monday and bought all her own drinks, but Jamie says she is always glad to be a free hotel for her friends.

Kacey Winterberry and David Pirk finally tied the knot last June in a beautiful wedding in sunny Kiribati in the South Pacific. Classmates Adam Kirschfield, Laura Broggs, and Darian Galp ʻ04 were there to represent Firmback Hall. Kacey writes, “I invited lots of ʻBackers, but only three made it. I guess folks were busy. It would have been great to share the best day of my life with more of my best friends from college, but it was fine.”

Michael Kanderschmid published his second novel, What Fire We Bring, and is now on a cross-country book tour. Mike says it is great to see classmates at his events but donʼt buy the book only just because he worked really hard and put his heart and soul into it, if you donʼt want to.

Samantha Robowski MA ʻ05 finished her Ph.D in anthropology at U. of North Florida, and is looking for adjunct jobs in the Chicago area. Says Samantha, “Finally… UNF was my eighth choice, but I am so grateful to the professors who wrote recommendation letters that were sealed so I couldnʼt read them. Iʼm just glad to be done.”

In real doctor news, after a two-year fellowship in Baltimore Robert Lippercut is now a practicing anesthesiologist in Des Moines. Robert says he looks forward to sharing some laughs with junior-year roomies Kyle Wanger and Tyler Peridot at the next reunion even though they never shared their pot or Adderall with him when they wanted to get high in the room.

Jane (Alterbrook) Myersby JD ʻ06 MBA ʻ08 and husband Randall ʻ02 MFA ʻ08 recently celebrated the birth of their first child, Elden Heathcliff Myersby. Jane took three weeks off from her job in corporate litigation for the birth and Randall is busy as ever running his experimental non-profit art gallery J-Vois, so if they donʼt find a nanny soon they will probably just give up the baby for adoption or whatever.

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I Sent This Letter To A Doctor Who Pissed Me Off

2 June »

stampMy gastro retired, and the practice suggested a new one. She was mean. I wrote her this letter, put a stamp on it, and mailed it:

Dear Dr. [xxxx]

I want to apologize for my demeanor at our appointment last Thursday. I have some anxiety issues with respect to physicians, and they were in full force that day. I probably seemed defensive and upset, and I know that is not conducive to a good patient-physician relationship.

That said, I think it best that I find another provider. Part of my reaction was to how one-sided our conversation felt. I have had Crohnʼs disease for 20 years, and my case has been unusual and difficult in many respects. This has forced me to learn about my illness, stay up on trends in research, and pay close attention to my body and its signals. You would have to search hard to find a patient more knowledgeable, more capable, and more invested in their care. None of that seemed to matter to you at all. You were treating a disease, not a person.

I have been sick long enough to remember when physicians could do that freely – but those days are over. The prejudice that allowed physicians to lord over their patients is no longer excusable. So your attitude was a shock – like finding segregated lunch counters – and I did not know how to respond. I am sure you feel proud of the hard work that got you into that room, but keep in mind that what you endured is not a fraction of what I had to go through to get there. That you had trouble recognizing that fact was baffling and infuriating.

From my deep experience with this illness, let me say that when a patient complains of ʻpainʼ, you must take it seriously. The idea that pain is only real when the patient has obvious bowel inflammation is bad medicine. Physicians cause tremendous harm to patients by not taking pain seriously: nothing is more depressing or discouraging, or more alienating. One source of my anxiety is that a gastroenterologist told me my pain was irrelevant, during the worst flare of my life; my despair drove me into suicidal depression. You reminded me how much I wanted to kill myself back then.

My disease has taken a great deal from me: my career, my vitality, my sanity, my self-esteem, my hope. But by far the worst aspect of this disease is that it leaves me beholden to physicians who donʼt actually give a shit about me. It took a lot of work and a lot of pain, but I finally got to a point where I donʼt need that brand of help. So while Iʼm disappointed that you wonʼt help me get better, I am very much relieved that I donʼt have to let you make my life any worse. I worry your other patients are not as lucky as I am.

If you wish to be helpful in your practice, you must learn to regard those patients as partners and equals in their care. Until you do, you will never be able to really help them – and you may well hurt them.

Sincerely,
(Duncan Cross)

I never heard back.

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League of Mortals Official Release!

1 June »

League of Mortals - so hurt it's funnyLeague of Mortals is now officially released! You can buy your very own copy – or a thousand –  for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and many, many more… It’s the funniest, rawest, most honest novel you will ever read about coming of age with illness.

Buy League of Mortals from Amazon. (free preview!)

Buy League of Mortals from Barnes & Noble. (free preview!)

Buy League of Mortals from iTunes. (free preview!)

Buy League of Mortals from Smashwords. (free preview! multiple formats!)

The ‘soft launch’ was mostly a success: I decided to keep the book at Smashwords, but also go ahead and upload it to Kindle Direct. In the process, I re-read and did one last edit of the whole thing: I am very proud to say that this is the best novel on illness I have ever read. I am confident most readers will agree. More below the break on versions, but after lots of work wrangling it into shape, I am really pleased at how everything looks in the various formats.

This being the official launch, I now have to ask for your help in getting the word out:

-If you’re active in social media, please tweet or post a link to this page to your favorite group, forum, community, whatever. Let folks know it’s out there….

-If you’ve read the book, please put a review of it on your favorite ebook site. If you can’t make up your mind, Amazon is probably the best for me, in terms of visibility.

-If you have a blog or other publication, please review or blurb the book there. If you want a review copy (free, obviously), let me know via email. I am also available for interviews, can do an excerpt, guest post, whatever.

-If you liked the book, if it helped you, if it meant anything to you: let me know. I love hearing from readers.

This is a big day for me, so I really appreciate you sharing it. If you like the book half as much as I enjoyed writing it, I’ll consider my job well done.
(more…)

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Now There Is A Club For Pet Cancer

29 May »

The endless proliferation of cancer clubs is a source of amusement (or annoyance) for me, so I was amused (or annoyed) to find my cat’s veterinarian handing these out this week: it’s an ID tag with a little rattle inside and this logo on the front…

petcancerIf you go to the URL, you learn it’s a Petco/Blue Buffalo PR thing, which I sort of guessed because I recognized the buffalo logo from my cat’s highly expensive no-grain cat food. I have to feed her that (and take her to the vet regularly for steroid shots) because she has an autoimmune disease in her mouth. Long time readers will know that I pioneered the pet disease awareness movement with my ‘Lickstrong’ Foundation, bracelet for which here:

bracelet I guess pet cancer is a bigger deal than whatever is going on inside Stripes the cat’s mouth, but it occurs to me that the Petco/Blue stbaldkids people are going about it all wrong. If you want an effective cancer campaign, what you really need is adorableness. Witness this St. Baldricks’ ad (which I always read as St. Baldkids, though that’s probably deliberate on their part).

 
Anyway, even though I am dubious on the merit of their cause, I thought I would help the pet cancer people with this hastily-done poster based on the same principle. Who wouldn’t want to help a helpless bald kitten feel better?
catcer
That should help spread the word.

(Kitten photo adapted under fair use doctrine from Naughty Nature – http://www.naughty-nature.com/Kittens.html)

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Women Who Rock: The Mynabirds

28 May »

This is the new video for The Mynabirds single, “Semantics”. I am really looking forward to this album – I plan to preorder it on vinyl.

Mynabirds - Lovers Know

A couple years ago, I realized that maybe 80% of my music collection was by men. And suddenly it was very weird that I was listening to a bunch of dudes singing things like, “I need you baby, ooh-oh…” Once that thought had formed, I couldn’t shake it.

So I began a project to add more women to my music collection – especially artists currently recording and performing. I have an eMusic account: my rule is that half of my monthly credit has to be spent on women (or at least woman-fronted groups).

Probably my favorite group so far – definitely top three – is The Mynabirds, lead by powerhouse Laura Burhenn. She did vocals for the Postal Service, which I was not a huge fan of, but her solo/Mynabirds work is outstanding. It’s fun and soulful and edgy and smart – it sounds like a little like top 40, but it’s much deeper and more complex.

This song, “Generals” – from their second album of the same name – got me hooked:

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Their first album, “What Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood”, was also very strong. Here is “Let The Record Go”:

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I assume The Mynabirds will tour behind the album in the fall, and I really hope they come to the DC area. I would love to see them.

If you live in the DC area, they are opening for the Pixies at the 9:30 Club this Sunday, which should be a great show – I’m deeply bummed that I can’t go.

If you haven’t heard The Mynabirds before, check them out. And if you have suggestions for women I should listen to, let me know.

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Yes, That Is Really Me

26 May »

IMG_0390_lznMy loyal reader(s) might have noticed some changes lately, in particular a new photo. In fact, some have asked: “Is that really you?” The answer is yes, but that raises another question: why?

When I started this blog, I was in a grad school program. The professors and administrators gave me a really hard time for my illness – as in, weren’t helpful at all, held it against me, etc. And when I decided I wanted to blog, I knew they would punish me if I used my real name. So I adopted a semiblogonym.

About two years ago, I dropped out of that program. No degree, no nothing – just a ton of books nobody wants, a ton of student loan debt I don’t want, and an electric guitar I call “The Doctorate” that I bought with part of my tuition refund. Even though it was the right decision, dropping out launched me into a major depression, and it took me a couple years to get back on my feet.

My loyal reader(s) will also know that I have a policy of not blogging about family, except that I sometimes mention them using elliptical phrases. So when I write something like, ‘My Primary Beneficiary decided to add a dependent to her policy,’ I trust readers will correctly infer my role in that process.

Along with that decision, it was also decided that I should probably have a full-time job, instead of the piece-meal and part-time work that I had been doing. Many jobs in my field require the kind of background check that does not look favorably on semiblogonymous online personae, so I started planning to shut down the blog and my Facebook account. Some of those jobs were with the government: if I didn’t have depression before, USAJOBS made damn sure I got some. I sent out resumes and cover letters, and heard… nothing.

Meanwhile, although some women like to make ‘birth plans’, it turns out that in most hospitals there is a place called the ‘antepartum’ ward, which is where women go if their birth plan is not happening. They just kind of stay there until something else happens. Some women have doctors who pronounce it ‘anti-partum’, which is alarming until you figure out what they really mean. Some women are also lucky enough to have unemployable spouses who can help take care of them in the antepartum ward for weeks on end, even though that spouse has a real phobia about hospitals.

(Given that it’s my strict policy not to blog about my family, you’ll understand if I never, ever post a picture of any child possibly biologically related to me. But just hypothetically speaking, if I did spend a lot of time in the hospital waiting for somebody’s baby to show up, and just hypothetically that baby spent a short while in the NICU, then you could probably expect that baby to have looked at some point very much like the one in the photo linked behind the break at the end of this post.)

So after a couple months of all that purely hypothetical drama, I realized my job search was completely off the rails, and that I am now a stay-at-home-parent-or-guardian. On the one hand, this was bad news vis my student loan payments. On the other hand, it was good news for my money-losing blog, in that I can be more open about who I am — though not 100% transparent, because I still have to insulate some folks from my bullshit. I can at least post a real picture of myself.

And then I saw a job vacancy for a blogging gig, where I would get paid to blog about research for IBD. More on that soon, but the short version is that I got the job. Part of that was putting out more posts in the last month or two, to show that I can actually produce content — so that’s why the uptick in activity here. The job is very part-time, and pays me less than half what my student loan payments cost per month, but it is paid work and should be fun. Point being: most of my IBD related blogging will now happen on that site, and this one will be used for more general blogging.

I also decided I really wanted to self-publish League of Mortals, after a year or so of rejection from agents and publishers. If you are one of the dozen or so who have bought copies, thank you so very very much. And also, I apologize for the typos, because it turns out that I only thought about doing the final proofread, but did not. I am working on a better draft, so email me if you want a replacement copy. And since the promotion of that book is now my sole responsibility, I now have to step up my game online. (You’ll notice my posts now all have little ads for the book at the very bottom.) That means more activity here and in social media.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on around here, and why all the changes. Thanks for keeping up with me, and I’m glad I can be a bit more open with you going forward.

(more…)

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