Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Baptize me in your cacophonous invocation

It’s Friday morning. The skies opened up this morning with sunshine and the seas are reflected from one side of the horizon to the other. Blue. Well, bluish. OK, it’s a bit hazy. And I am thousands of miles from the nearest sea. But the roofers are here and if you are a homeowner in need of a roof repair you understand the religious experience that is a contractor who actually shows up with “his guys”.

I am saved.

Three hours in and I am so over it.

The noise, noise, noise, NOISE!

Pounding. Dragging. Dropping. Banging. I get it! The roof was broken and it must be torn down to the foundation before it can be rebuilt. And the rebuilding won’t come easy or without a price

I so wish I were speaking metaphorically.

I surrender. Baptize me in your cacophonous invocation.

Really, what choice do I have? I did, in fact, ask for this. My insurance company did, in fact, demand it. Homeownership is a privilege that comes with a price. (she says as she writes the huge check)

Yes, I surrender to the lords of city codes and to the gods of hail and to the spirits of poorly made shingles sold by companies who are protected by liability time limits.

Yes, I surrender. I’d surrender out loud if I thought anyone could hear me over the incessant (albeit necessary) banging.

ShinglesCan you hear me now?

I’m going to pour myself another cup of caffeine.
I’m going to crank up my Hamilton playlist.
I’m going to pop a few Advil (leaving the Oxycodone in the bottle—something to write about on another day, a quieter day)
I’m going to visualize an intact roof that won’t leave me questioning my atheism during a storm.
I’m going to write…something…perhaps something ridiculous.
I’m not going to throw away my shot. (I love you if you got this)

Aaaaand now the door I bought doesn’t fit…

Check, please!

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Filed under Health and Wellness, Writing and Reading

We Are Skull Tumor!  

it is a toomahSkull Tumor would be an awesome name for a death metal rock band, don’t you think? Or, maybe something a little more my speed, a kick ass team name for bar trivia?

Unfortunately Skull Tumor is what I recently had removed from my body. Not quite so awesome or kick ass.

Over the last year I have not been myself. I blamed the lethargy on aging, diet, allergies, and obscure viruses I was certain I caught on my cruise to the Bahamas. I stopped writing, avoided going out, became one with my sofa, and pretty much accepted my new role in life as a hermit. My doctors were, as doctors tend to be (read here), dismissive.

“You have a cold.”

I was prescribed rest and hydration and over the counter medications to “make me more comfortable”. Apparently we were giving the cold hospice care.

Except this cold wouldn’t die. But I was beginning to think I might. I cultivated a successful coughing habit. I stopped sleeping. I hoarded tissues. I was miserable, and making my friends and family miserable, too.

I’d have moments of remission, but mostly I just felt sick. All. The. Time.

I stood in doctors’ offices and sobbed as I tried to explain that my leaking ears and stuffed up nose and pneumatic lungs were more than figments of my imagination. Do I need to cough up a piece of lung for you people?

“Well, the flu virus has been bad this year.”

I took it upon myself to see a specialist. I dragged my sick self to their office and begged for mercy. In about ten minutes they had me in a CT scanner and on the phone with a surgical scheduling nurse. A tumor–a tumor I had in the past–had returned. And this time it went all Schwarzenegger on me.

It IS a Toomah! (Yes, I know that’s not actually the line.)

This was Skull Tumor: Judgement Day (or Salvation if I was lucky).

I am special. This is a rare tumor. It accounts for 0.5-4.0% of Skull Tumors. Usually this kind of tumor is reserved for men over the age of 50. The first time I had it was in my early 30s. Yay me. It is often starts as benign but enjoys something called malignant transformation AND it likes to invade the bones. Oh, and it has been known to eat eyes (my interpretation of what I learned). If this tumor were a stock it would be set because it has, and I quote, “unlimited growth potential”. As a bonus it has a high recurrence rate.

So I was sick after all. And not with a cold.

Last week my doctor removed the tumor. While I was blissfully recovering from anesthesia in the surgical ward, my doctor took it upon herself to explain to my husband just how the tumor removal was accomplished. Words like aggressive, scrape, hooks, blades, invasive, and “had to really get in there” were used.

Fun times!

I’m a week out of surgery and doing well. To look at me you’d hardly know anything unusual happened. It helps that I have been blessed with a bottle of Percocet so my world may feel rosier than it actually is. But even with the pain and the swelling I can feel a difference. Most importantly: I can breathe. I can breathe in ways I didn’t even know were possible. And when one can breathe one can sleep. And when one can sleep one’s brain has time to shut down and heal and reboot and meet the next day with renewal of purpose. It’s rather incredible. Don’t take it for granted.

This morning I received my biopsy results. To paraphrase my doctor: that’s as close to malignancy as possible without actually having cancer. It means there is monitoring to do and the potential for future surgeries remains. But for now I am healthy.

I had a Skull Tumor. Now it lives in a jar in a lab somewhere. Where it once was there is only emptiness. And that’s a good thing.

Rock on!


Filed under Health and Wellness

Birth control is more than sheathing your penis in latex

It takes a special kind of misogyny to proclaim one has this whole birth control thing figured out and then stand there and mansplain the concept of the vending machine rubber.

Senator Cruz…Ted…honey, birth control is so much more than sheathing your penis in latex.

banana and condom

Is that a banana in your pocket or are you just trying to pass off condoms as comprehensive reproductive health care?

Look, I’m glad you took precautions when you were a college student—STDs are a bitch—but I’m going out on a limb now and guessing you probably didn’t need too many quarters back in your dorm days. If you had been sexing it up you might have learned that condoms are not god’s gift to women. And, in case your sex partners didn’t explain this to you back then, condoms are but one method of reproductive control AND, like the condoms, birth control is not a one size fits all proposition.

And here’s a bit of info you might need should this topic come up in a debate or town hall meeting:

When women vote they vote with full comprehension of birth control. SHOCKING, I know. But, since you feel you are grown up enough to be President I think you are old enough to know women are fully aware of and even initiate SEX…and sometimes they even like it! OMG! Yes yes yes!!!

(Shh…sometimes men aren’t even needed for the act, but that may be more information than you can handle right now.)

Teddy, since women discovered they actually enjoy sex they have taken it upon themselves to be prepared for it just in case their partner forgot to bring quarters for the bathroom vending machine. (FYI: glow in the dark condoms are NOT a turn on.)

And guess what, my little Cuban buddy, sometimes, and I hope you can handle the truth, women need birth control even if they are not planning to have sex. What?

I know you like to think any holes you stumble on down there are magical tunnels to a garden in heaven where they keep the babies, but it turns out woman are actual humans with more parts than most men know what to do with. True story!

Women are complicated, Ted, and we have complicated body systems. Believe it or not we have an entire inside of our bodies…we even have a brains!

Complicated bodies like ours require actual health care and none of that health care is available for pocket change in a bar bathroom. I won’t go in to all the details since it has to do with bleeding vaginas, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and other weird girl parts, but suffice it to say, your fifty-cent sausage casings haven’t got anything on the money we need for fun with speculums, pap smears, and prescription medications that are required to keep us in control of our procreation and, as it turns out, keep many of us actually alive and kicking.

I know you’re trying to be hip and cool with this whole sex and birth control thing but ignorance is your friend, Teddy. When you pretend to know more than you do you sound like an ass.

Unfortunately, the ignorance of men is not something women are willing to put up with any longer. Our health and safety are at stake.

If you and the rest of your conservative friends want to discuss birth control you had better spend some time earning a medical degree in gynecology and obstetrics first because it’s clear you haven’t a clue about what birth control actually does for women. And while you’re educating yourself I suggest you brush up on your social economics courses because all those ‘gifts from god’especially the ones thrust upon women without our consent!—are going need food, clothing, and shelter and the change in your pockets that might cover the cost of your vending machine condoms won’t cover the reality that is uninvited and unintended pregnancy.

Long live sexual liberation. Long live women in control of their bodies.

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Filed under Feminism, Sexism, and Equality, Health and Wellness, Politics and Religion