Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Tales of a Wannabe Graduate School Dropout ~ Conflicting Issues for Women

June 3, 2009

As much as the whole recent events more than watching the weather tends to bother me, I had to bring up a certain instance that came up this weekend that threw me into such a frenzy that I didn’t quite know what to do.

Dr. George Tiller, a physician performing legal abortions in Wichita KS was killed on Sunday as he was walking into church. He was targeted as one of the few physicians in this country that can legally perform late-term abortions. Have I said the word legal enough? So, here’s what I think and so if you’re ready to flame this blog, be forewarned that I’ll just delete your comment.

Yup, that’s right, I’ll delete it.

So, here goes: Do I agree with women that seek out late-term abortions not because they medically need them but because they want them? No. Do I agree with late term abortions in general? No. But, given the fact that Roe v. Wade is still considered a case that’s over…yes folks, it’s over…
…than I can’t take a choice away from another woman. I don’t believe that my Catholic upbringing makes me obligated to be pro-life. I think my Catholic upbringing says for one thing…it says that I have to open my heart and allow the free will that God gave us needs to be used in an applicable manner.
Like it drives me crazy when people ask me constantly how I can rationalize my biological scientific background and being Catholic. I don’t think they have to be counter intuitive. It’s a hard situation where I can’t really voice. It’s a hard situation. All I know is this: It’s not the Catholic thing to do to MURDER someone while they are on their way to church. MURDER isn’t Catholic. Whether you believe that abortion is murder, that’s fine that’s your choice. But to hell and high water if I think that it’s okay that someone who is out there supporting the rights and privileges of women be killed because of doing that.

Rest in peace Dr. Tiller. Thank you for supporting the rights of women.


The Case of an Uncurable Optimist

May 8, 2009

What a fabulous night. I watched the new special: Michael J Fox: The Adventures of an Uncurable Optimist.

After his stint on Inside the Actor’s Studio, I had revived my passion for Michael J. Fox. A huge fan of his in the late 80’s and early 90’s in a variety of shows and programs especially Family Ties, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease I didn’t quite know what to think. I had walked away from some of his work (Bright Lights Big City wasn’t great) but I started revisiting his work as he has become a true spokesperson for one reason.

Being happy. He explored a variety of things last night, from the Gross National Happiness in Bhutan (I google mapped it, I didn’t know where it was either) to the uncurable fascination with the Chicago Cubs, despite the 100 year losing streak. An insatiable attitude for life, happiness, family. It put a new spin on things, and made me for the first time in a while, just happy to be here.

A lesson in good business practices…

May 1, 2009

I’ve got to come out and commend Sports Authority for stepping up to the challenge and helping those of us out here with mobility issues. For those of you that don’t know, my girl Marin defended her dissertation Monday. We went out and partied at the Metropolitan (Go Fed Hill go!) and my sole literally came up and off my tevas. Now, given my crutchiness, I basically need Teva’s or something with a rugged durability to prevent myself from shattering bones. I rarely wear flipflops places because I’m scared of hurting myself the way I did in the mall that year. That’s a story for another time though.

So, I was in the midst of replacing my Teva’s. I walked into the Dicks, they had nothing. I went to the Sports Authority as a last ditch effort, and low and behold…beautiful new Teva’s. I said…okay M….and I walked right up to the manager, explained how long I had been on crutches and could he help me out?

This is the 2nd time this same sports authority (For baltimore folks, it’s on Rt. 40, Catonsville) has helped me out by selling me two left shoes. I paid full price for them, and didn’t care…these shoes will last me lifetimes, and I don’t have recent additions to my right foot graveyard.

That being said: Shop early, shop often, shop online. They are a company to support and acknowledge for their help to the disabled. Thanks Sports Authority.

Bringing curiousity to the masses…

March 31, 2009

So, I wanted to parlay a story that I read in today’s addition of the Explore Howard. See here for the actual story.

So, let me take you back to 2007. Kirk Mercer was driving home from work on the Baltimore beltway, like hundreds of people in this area do everyday. Coming from Liberty Road, he interacted with Michele Bosley who was driving at 60 mph, and passed out behind the wheel of her car. They crashed and Mercer was killed. Bosley’s sodium level had dropped to dangerous levels due to an anti-epilepsy drug she was taking to prevent seizures and that’s why she passed out.

Today, Bosley was sentenced to 10 months home detention, 5 years probation, and a 10 year suspended prison sentence. However, the judge in the case said that if she ever gets behind the wheel of a car again he’ll throw her into jail faster than she can start the engine.

I was conflicted when I read this article. Why you ask? Is it a tragedy? Absolutely. Is it terrible that Mercer’s children will never get to experience their father first hand in their adult years? Yes. Could it have been prevented?


As much as I’m a firm believer that any disability should not prevent you from the daily goings on of your life or what you want to accomplish, I know that I was taught the day that I started having problems with my health that to a certain extent you have to know when to say when. It’s a horrific loss of independence, but you think you might have seizures, you don’t drive. But, to play devils advocate here…they didn’t go into this in the story but it made me wonder.

Was she 1 year seizure free? 5? 10? 6 months? If she was seizure free, it would lead me to assume as a patient that I was okay to drive. It’s like taking medication. If you’ve been on narcotics forever for chronic pain, driving won’t be an issue, right? Or maybe it will. That’s the thing. Medication, not unlike most things is only as good for the person after trial and error. If there wasn’t therapeutic drug monitoring, people like me wouldn’t be employable. But, here’s the thing about this.

I feel like to a certain extent I take an additional burden on by being disabled and a science PhD student. It’s as if I’m not only getting my PhD for myself and my career, but for the disabled community. That somehow we can “do it”. I know it seems silly when it comes out here written all out like that, but cmon. How many disabled professors have you seen on college campuses? Not many right? So when this article came up today, it left me conflicted for a couple reasons.

1. I feel like to a certain extent, I don’t have a disability that will put another person in bodily harm. Now, if you’re walking in front of me down the stairs and I trip and fall down the stairs….yes I’m taking you with me. However, I will admit even myself there have been times that I have been in unrelenting pain while driving and there’s not a dang on thing I can do except scream and scream because I’m in the 3rd lane and out of four you don’t want to pull over on the shoulder of the fast lane and changing lanes twice just seems like something to concentrate on other than driving and not killing anyone.

2. In the law, I wonder if there are clauses of blame without neglect. Meaning, yes this person did something. But, was it true neglect? She was taking her medication regularly. The medication was the problem. How could one judge tell one person that they are truly responsible after that?

3. If I had sat in that womans shoes, I don’t think I could ever live with myself. Now, this isn’t something like the tragedy of last summer it’s different. That was with blame.

So, I am curious. Is the woman at fault? Should she go on disability and not work? Find another way to work? She’s being a productive part of society and something tragic has happened.

Meanwhile, I must add a quick recommendation here to the ladies of Shapely Prose some resourceful women that linked the great piece I saw in Jezebel the other day about dressing your shape. Bravo ladies for good work out of Chicagoland my home away from home.

Speaking of Chicagoland, go check out Ask’s Top 29 places to live. It will give you some good insight ladies.

When there’s just a bit too much going on…

February 4, 2009

I have been trying my best this year to take off the excess weight that I gained in battling my constant thyroid problems. I made the decision to follow doctors orders and get a personal trainer to start me on the path of fitness. That was not easy finding that money, let me tell you. I’ve been following up with doctor after doctor. It’s been okay. Honest. I’m making slow strides, and I’m grateful that despite the my busy schedule, despite school, stress, and my long distance relationship I have been making good strides.

So, there’s always a variety of “support” groups that are available here online. I found one, and although I initially found that it was a decent support group, I find myself stuck in that weird limbo of your 30s. There was a weird limbo when I was in my 20s, and now in my 30s. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s interesting because some people read my stuff and I’m sure think, “She’s just a punk kid.”
I very rarely throw my knowledge out there. I don’t know why I think that I’m not confident about it, I’m just not…and that’s okay. I don’t need to throw my education down people’s throats, and I think when I finally get frustrated enough and throw it out there I get trampled on.
It’s aggravating.
So, I’m back on my own. That’s okay.

A Post that wasn’t meant to be…

November 15, 2008

So, I initially was going to write about my current ongoing obsession of the Twilight movie that’s coming out, but today was a bit of a shock to me. I initially was going to write how crazy people can be.

One of my girls got hit by a car today. Thankfully, she’s fine, but I’m sure it scared her shitless. Scared me! I felt bad that she was by herself. That’s all. She went to the hospital, and the shoutout went out that something happened, I think it scared us all a little bit. But, it made me happy that she was okay, and is now resting comfortably. As shaken I was by the incident that might not have been, I must admit when I ordered take out from a great place that is here in Baltimore, they didn’t give me a total over the phone. So, I figured that $20 would be worth it. Well, it was $20.75, and the guy was so nice he said, “Don’t worry about it.” Didn’t take a tip or anything.

I felt terrible and wildly proud of my city and the area I’m from more than anything.

So, thank goodness M I’m glad you’re okay. What a day!


November 13, 2008

You know I’ve started figuring out that because I write this stuff everyday.

I’m terribly critical. Of like…everyone. I have this thing, I hate having my time wasted. It makes me nuts. I spend my time being exhausted because I’ve got so much to do, and not enough time to do it.
It was good today, because we had this talk today, as well as having a couple meetings. I’m excited for what’s left to come…

…I just hope my body will keep up with me.

A sigh, a cry, and a sadness

November 4, 2008

No folks, it’s not that my work isn’t going right…it’s not that anyone is any sicker than they were yesterday.

Yes folks, today I’m going to take just a second to whine.

I had to go to the BJ’s tonight, just to get a few things, nothing special. I started thinking about how I was going to do things. See, if you’re on crutches like I am, you have to think about how you’re going to do things, make sure you don’t fall, how are you going to carry something, etc.  So, I go in fully prepared with my Harris Teeter bag (let it be said, I’ve never been in, but my mom speaks volumes!) and although one butcher helped me, I can’t tell you how awkward and weird it was.

I felt awkward. I felt helpless. There’s nothing worse to me than feeling truly helpless. I hate it.  So, I got my band aids, and my oj and headed to a self check out, and normally at grocery stores, etc…I have people that typically will come and help. I tried to get that OJ into my bag about 10 times until someone else came to help. I got it, but the staff? Was sitting there watching.

I hate that. I’m not your side show. I’m not saying that I can’t do it, although sometimes I can’t…I can, it just takes me a little time, but good god….just ask some time would ya? Please? I know sometimes there are people out there that get offended, but some of us, that are on the verge of tears…

…actually appreciate it.

An Interesting 1st Day

November 2, 2008

So, as NaBloPoMo started today, I didn’t feel like I had much to write about initially.

Till Ma got sick.  I find myself in an interesting predicament with her being sick. My mother has been there since day one of my birth defect and how it has degenerated and how it has affected my life. Even now, I’m 32 years old, she talks on a daily basis about what she can do for me.

She contemplated not even calling me.  Said I would worry.

Well no kidding!!!!!!! But, we’re her kids, we’re supposed to worry right? It made me confused. Then I figured it out.

She doesn’t want us to worry, because she’s so independent.

She doesn’t want to bother anyone, because she’s sick, and can’t bring herself to ask for help.

Doesn’t necessarily want help.

Needs to be alone to heal.

Just showed me one thing:

Maybe the saying is true.

I’m becoming my mother.

The Last Lecture ~ Randy Pausch passes away

July 25, 2008

The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor from Carnegie Mellon passed away today. He spoke about childhood dreams.
If you are in academic work, you need to watch this.
If you have hardship in your life, you need to watch this.
If you have ever been discouraged, you need to watch this.
It’s worth the time. Watch this.

Rest in Peace Randy, we’ll keep working on Pancreatic Cancer for you. We’ll come up with something, honest.