I Love Being Sick Part 2: Probiotic Frenzy!

Welcome back to part two!

Guess what! I’m sick again! Some throat thing. It hurts, but my body feels GOOOOD!

One theory regarding the prevalence of autoimmune disorders is that we don’t get enough dirt in our diets that supplies the germs that support a balanced immune system. One of my friends recommended eating a spoonful of dirt from my yard each day. Could be beneficial, but I don’t know if the people who owned the house before us fertilized with chemicals, and also my dogs have recently acquired worms.

Back in the day, fruits and vegetables weren’t sterilized before they made it into our likewise grubby hands. There were bacteria on everything we ate and before you say eeeeeewwwwwwwwww, remember that those bacteria were what supported our immune system. They were good for us.

Now we wash, bleach, disinfect, sterilize, polish and freaking wax our fruits and vegetables. What does that do to these crucial environmental probiotics? It sends them on a cilia-raising thrillride down the waterslide of the factory’s drainage system.


And it’s a rusty thrillride.

I’m not endorsing any particular product. I haven’t even tried this one myself because I’m supposed to be off all probiotics until I poop in a box to send through the US Postal Service (hey! Maybe your meal delivery service package will be on the same truck as my poop!) where, upon receipt, really unlucky lab workers will test my doo doo for Klebsiella bacteria, a potential factor in ankylosing spondylitis. Since I’ve been putting off this shitty adventure, I haven’t taken my trusty probies for a couple months now.

When I resume, I’m going to try Just Thrive Probiotics. Composed of the bacillus strains abundant in nature that we just don’t get anymore, these bacteria are stable in the environment as well as inside the host and also act as an antibiotic, killing off only the bad bacteria. They form a shell that keeps them safe and viable through the gastric system.

I am skeptical about one thing. I’ve heard these kinds of probiotics help balance the immune system, but Just Thrive’s website emphasizes the immune boosting properties of each strain, which is not necessarily what someone with an autoimmune disorder needs. Maybe that’s just marketing though, since that’s what the general population wants.

One of the strains, bacillus coagulans claims to help patients with IBS and Crohn’s. I skimmed a few studies like this, this and this that confirm these claims. This strain also apparently supports anti-inflammation systems in your body.

Oh, and also BOOM! THIS, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-design, clinical pilot trial (*deep inhale*) that shows it reduces rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. SAY WHA? Sign me up, Baby!

According to the National Institutes of Health, patients taking immunosuppressants should exercise caution since it stimulates the immune system. FUCK THAT. I like to live on the edge.


I know I just talked about the one probiotic, and it TOTALLY sounds like I’m TOTALLY promoting it, but I’m not. No one has given me any money, but hey, if I’m going to talk about Humira by name, I’m sure as shit going to talk about my probiotics by name. Try them or don’t. It’s your life!

(Dear Just Thrive, If you DO decide to give me money, I’ll talk about your product in every post for the foreseeable future. Call me!)

Pillows Be Bitches

A couple months ago, I bought a down pillow for my boyfriend. Every morning, I get out of bed and play a game I call “Feather or Spider?”

It doesn’t help that I have bad eyes.

The reason we were pillow perusing at Bed Bath and Beyond is because I’ve been using the same pillow I got from a chiropractor 5 or 6 years ago. It looks like a yellowed, water-stained donut, and it stretches the pillowcase to the max. I’m no connoisseur of fine bedding sets, but I know this thing is weird, ugly and smells like hair.

I feel pretty good when I wake up on this monster, but it’s not comfortable to sleep on. I had this other pillow for awhile that had me dreaming of cotton candy, clouds, and bunny tails, but by morning my neck vertebra were backwards. Literally. I woke up like the girl in the exorcist.

I’ve been on the hunt for something that’s both comfortable and aligns my pleasantly misshapen body, but I have yet to find it. I’ve tried two memory foam numbers and I don’t get the national obsession with that shit. My head needs to be 10 pounds heavier to sink into it. It’s just like laying on a boulder smoothed to flatness by the quiet I passage of water and time.

Sorry. I’m in bed typing this on my phone, and I’m very zen because I just want to sleep but inspiration hit.

I’ve returned two of these NASA-grade pillows and the same worker was there both times, so she probably thinks I’m some serial pillow user who circles between all the stores in town, using a new pillow every night. I’d call myself The Snooze Snatcher and my super power would be using the store credit to the penny in the same visit.

If anyone has any pillow recommendations I’ll take it. Money is no option. I’ll take out a loan. I’ll sell my eggs. For the perfect pillow, I’d pay the price of a lightly used 2012 Ferrari.

Right now, I have a date with a certain blasé donut and these doggies have decreed it bedtime.

Dog or Spider?

VaccinationGate 2015

I know I promised you part 2 of my “I Love Being Sick” series, and I promise that will be coming out soon, but I needed to interrupt your regular programming with a little talk about vaccinations because holy shit have you seen Facebook?

No matter what side of the needle you’re on, here’s what it all comes down to:

We should always be questioning medicine and research funded by people who make the product being researched. There are so many historical examples of this from arsenic to opium to Dr. Batty’s Asthma Cigarettes.
dr-battys-asthma-cigarettes-lEven know, the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering drugs to control heart disease is in question as more research (like this and this) NOT funded by drug companies finds that high cholesterol does not cause heart disease. The creators of drugs are in it for the profit, and therefore, we MUST question them and do our own research.

I’m speaking to pro- and anti-vaxxers here. There are claims made by both parties that are unfounded, and if we all do research representing both sides of the matter, we’ll understand much more. When you research only the side you want to believe, you only find information that already supports your belief. I bet most of you haven’t read a single study. I’m not talking about an article where someone refers to a study, I mean a read study with an abstract and methodology and conclusions. THIS is where the real information comes from.

1. Autism – Not proven to be a result of vaccination. The study that started this idea was discredited. The vaccine component usually blamed for autism is thimerosal, an organomercury compound. What people don’t understand about mercury is that there are two types. Methylmercury is the really dangerous one you hear about, ethylmercury is its less bad brother. Thimerosal is made from ethylmercury, which is less toxic and moves out of the system much faster, reducing the risk for over-accumulation.

Between 1999 and 2001, the amount of thimerosal in vaccines was reduced to trace amounts, and no reduction in the rate of autism has been detected.

Here’s my beef with the autism issue. While people spend energy addressing it, the REAL issues get swept to the side.

2. Autoimmunity – THIS is what we should worry about. Repeat immunization can lead to autoimmunity (Hey! Ankylosing Spondylitis tie-in!) as shown in this study.

3. Blaming unvaccinated people for spread of disease – ANYONE can be a carrier. Vaccines reduce the risk of coming down with the disease, they do NOT kill the microbe. If a baby too young to be vaccinated catches measles, she may have gotten it from a long chain of vaccinated people passing the microbe around.

Diseases like measles and Ebola naturally come in waves. They recede, they come back, they recede, they come back. There’s another outbreak of measles in Toronto. This concurrent outbreak is unrelated to the U.S. outbreak; they are two different strains, and there’s no travel link between the two. This comeback is just the natural evolution of the disease like a Backstreet Boys reunion tour.

4. Data on vaccination effectiveness is often not represented accurately. Data reports that after vaccines, disease mortality rates plummeted. But if you look at that data, you notice the rates decreasing BEFORE these vaccines were used. As we advance our medical practices, sanitation and knowledge, mortality rates decline regardless of vaccination. Check out whooping cough’s plummeting mortality rates WAY pre-vaccine.

Pertussis decline in the United States 1900 to 1957

Sorry, boring chart graphic.



This is an apology for the boring chart graphic.

5. Necessity – Measles is less deadly than asthma where we live. In the U.S. in 2011, there were 222 cases of measles and 0 deaths, according to the CDC. In the same year, 3,345 people died of asthma, an illness we commonly think of as controllable. Sure, it’s riskier to people who have a compromised immune system, but so is a cold. Studies have shown massive doses of vitamin A and vitamin C to drastically reduce the rate of mortality from measles.

6. Efficacy & Trust – Pharmaceutical companies have lots of money and hang out with lots of government friends, and that means that they can fun studies that support the results they find beneficial. Merck recently got in big trouble when they were found to have skewed data that finds their mumps vaccine to be much more effective than it is. The case involves sexy stuff like monopolizing the market to drive up the price, false claims, improper testing and manipulated results, mislabeling and false certification with the FDA and CDC.

“However, instead of reformulating the vaccine whose declining efficacy Merck itself has acknowledged, the company reportedly launched a complicated scheme to adjust its testing technique so that it would yield the desired potency results.”

This lack of integrity pervades both sides of the argument. The Wakefield study “proving” an autism link was funded by a law firm hoping to secure some fine cash money by suing vaccination manufacturers.

“I’m not an anti-vaxxer, but part of the problem may be that the medical community is not trusted by the public. Everyone knows that studies on the same issue can produce opposite results. Who are we to believe if the medical community can agree on something?”

You find wisdom in the craziest places. I pulled that from the comments section in the article regarding Toronto’s measles outbreak. It about sums it up.

7. This fact – Furthering the trust issues, a law was passed in 2011 releasing pharmaceutical companies from any harm done by vaccines. Regardless of your take of general vaccine safety, keep in mind that even Tylenol was recalled due to dangerous quality control errors. When you take away the responsibility, you take away the consumer protection.

8. Superbugs – Like antibiotics, relying on vaccines can create superbugs that are resistant, stronger, more prolific, and more dangerous. Newer strains of whooping cough lack one of the proteins that the vaccine targets. What does this mean down the road? It means when there are breakthrough epidemics, they’ll be way, way worse. Here’s a Penn State study that finds the whooping cough vaccine enhances the development of the disease and may be the reason for the increase in prevalence in the last decade.

9. Eradication – doesn’t exist. Microbes of anything will survive, hang out with carriers, and infect when the opportunity arises. Travel to other countries will spark outbreaks. The goal of eradication is impossible, and we need to stop acting as if this new outbreak threatens it.

Do I feel for the families who are dealing with measles right now? Of course. I don’t blame them for feeling like victims of an unvaccinated population, but at the same time, we need to reassess blame, understand doubts and protect ourselves the best we can.

Would I vaccinate my kids? I don’t know yet. If that time comes, I’ll be researching the latest data.

Should vaccination be mandatory? No. Even with a suppressed immune system, I am pro-choice. Period.

I Love Being Sick Part 1: Establishing the Contoversy

Wow, what a rabble rouser I am. So against the grain and edgy. Look at me, claiming to enjoy being sick! I’m so spunky and different!

With a statement as controversial and polarizing as this one, I feel the need to explain before the riots start and get out of control and I’m pulled off my pedestal (what pedestal?) and tossed to the side in favor of a more normal person who hates being sick.

So there’s something that happens every time I get sick, and it’s kind of magical. I feel GOOD. I mean, obviously I feel crappy. Headaches, congestion, cramps, epic chronic nosebleeds, yeah, but my joints? Miraculously cured.

I have my own theories although I can’t confirm it via the interwebs. I postulate that when you have an autoimmune disorder, getting sick forces your overactive immune system to focus on the actual bad guy invaders instead of your own otherwise healthy tissue. Pretty simple. Pretty solid. Maybe not fact, but it’s the closest explanation I can come up with.

Every time someone around me gets sick, I’m like, “Hey, you wanna get ice cream and share a spoon?” “Hey, can I have a drink from your water bottle?” “Hey, stranger who lives next to the Starbucks Dumpster, wanna make out with me?”

I spent most of December and January rolling a gooey snot ball around in my lungs and coughing shit up. It felt pretty gross, but if I could have breathed better, I promise you my body would have felt great on a 10-mile jog. My head was all fuzzy, but my arms and legs were ready to go, strong as bull.

I want to invent a miracle cure. It’s simple. It’s cheap. But no one’s looking into it as far as I know.


I’m going to need to you to go into your little labs and do some research for me. No, no, no. Please put down the spring-loaded syringe pen and listen to me for a minute because I don’t really like that thing.

Step 1: Grab some Petri dishes and start cooking. Your mission, should you accept it (which you probably won’t because I’m talking to myself out here in interweb space), is to figure out a nice little germ that’s innocuous enough to not give someone any symptoms but will still attract the attention of someone’s immune system.


The perfect culturing medium

Step 2: Inject these germs into some autoimmune patients. Please be gentle. We’re tired of shots, and no, you don’t just “get used to them” when the liquid inside is actually made of battery acid and microscopic razor blades.

Step 3: Monitor symptoms. I’m sure you know how to record data and all that stuff. Keep tabs on everyone’s inflammation levels and stuff and see what happens.

Step 4: If you’ve created a mutant superbug that’s sweeping the nation destroying everyone in it’s path, you done fucked up.

Step 4 (alternate): If you have NOT created a superbug, you’re good. Keep going.

Step 5: If this little germ helps patients and does not cause any symptoms, MASS PRODUCE IT!!!

Until this process is done, I will just keep shaking hands with sick people and licking my palm after. Ah, the salty taste of temporary relief!



Look out for part 2 of this post next week in which I look at some germs you can get WITHOUT snuggling up to someone’s leaking nostrils — probiotics!

And with that, I leave you with one final thought:

The technical term for “gross snot and boogs” is “Bronchial secretions.” Visualize and enjoy!

Watch Yo’self

Well, I’m not usually one to shit on others’ work, but here I am doing it anyway.

The other day, I read a post on another ankylosing spondylitis blog, and I was straight up appalled. I just started following this blog, and this was the first post I read, and it made a pretty negative impression. Here are her own words. All bolding is my own, all grammar mistakes are her own:

“When I started doing therapy in the homes I would listen as any good therapist does and then get on with my treatment sessions. I didn’t talk about my health or my problems until one day I was seeing a woman who had a myriad of problems but none that were life threatening or debilitating. She was very negative and continually told me I couldn’t help her. I begun to get so frustrated wondering “Why am I even here?” I sat down on the floor and looked at her, letting all the pain I felt internally show upon my face, because up until this time she had never seen me grimace let alone hear me cry out in pain.

She asked me what was wrong so I told her my story.”

First of all, this therapist just pulled some Great-Aunt-Bessie-style passive-aggressive shit on this patient by sighing and looking sad to elicit an “ohmygodwhat’swrong” reaction so that she could tell her story. The scene I’m picturing is also just incredibly pathetic.

“I told her about the last two years and how my life had come to an abrupt halt. How I lived in constant pain, couldn’t walk, sit, lay without yelling, screaming or crying. She never said a word, but listened intently. When I was finished I looked at her with tears in my eyes and told her that ‘I wish I had just one of her problems for if I did and not any of mine I would be jumping for joy every time I woke up.’ After a few minutes I looked at her again and she said “I’m glad my health isn’t as bad as yours!'”

And that was where she elicited a “What. The. Fuck.” response from me. I’m no therapist, but I fo sho know people don’t pay them a ton of money for the great honor of listening to the therapist’s problems. The dangerous thing here is that she effectively trivializes her patient’s problems by saying they’re not nearly as bad as her own.

I’m sure she was trying to put this patient’s problems in perspective, but that’s not the way to do it. It’s unprofessional, unkind, unproductive, and I would have asked for my damn money back.

Let’s look at the next patient, shall we?

“Last week I got a new patient with a head injury and luckily for her it is not as severe as it could have been. Again we went through the poor me and pity me stage until I hit my frustration point… ‘At least you have a recognizable disability’ ‘People don’t just think all your injuries are in your head!’ ‘How would you like to have an invisible disease where everyone thinks your just crazy and making things up?’ Yep that did get her attention. ‘What do you mean invisible?'”

Another passive-aggressive comment that makes me cringe. Again, not a therapist here, but I’ve learned from my meager life experience that being passive-aggressive never leads to a healthy solution. I also have some (many) problems with the term “invisible disease,” so look for that in an upcoming post.

I totes cringe-giggled when she basically said, “At least no one thinks your head injury is all in your head.”

“Again I told my story and the look on her face was priceless.”

Ok. Here’s where my interjections get more frequent. Priceless? PRICELESS? I’m glad she’s using her story of pain and anguish to shock a patient into replaying a MasterCard commercial.

I honestly told her that I would rather have her head injury because if I did something people didn’t like I could say ‘Sorry I have a head injury!’ but when I don’t get up and clean the house or go to town to get groceries it doesn’t go over to well when I say ‘Sorry my back/legs hurt!’ People see your pain as real but my pain is just in my mind.”

Holy balls. This “therapist” is killing me. What kind of educated person says they’d rather have a head injury? I’d choose ankylosing spondylitis ANY day over a head injury that would increase my risk for seizure, stroke, mental trauma, partial amnesia, Alzheimers, blod clots, nerve damage, paralysis, or anything else on this god-forsakenly long Mayo Clinic page.

Also a statement like, “Sorry I have a head injury!” opens you up to a hell of a lot more schoolyard jokes than, “Sorry my back/legs hurt!” In my family, I’d die before admitting I had a brain injury. I have uncles and cousins who would latch onto that and NEVER let go.

Her logic is faultier than that balsa wood racecar I made in shop in junior high. Since when does it “Not go over to [sic] well when I say ‘Sorry my back/legs hurt!'” I’ve asked male strangers at Target if they could reach top-shelf tampons for me because my shoulder hurts, and they’re like, “Yeah, no problem, Mate.” Not ONCE has anyone said, “Prove it, ya big old faker. It doesn’t LOOK like your arm’s severed mostly off the rest of your body, which is the only way I’d ever in a million years believe you were hurting.”

This “therapist” is projecting her insecurities about her own illness onto her patient who she’s supposed to be helping with HER insecurities regarding her injury. I’m really hoping this is pro bono work. At the end, she says that both patients are now happy and healthy, but I suspect they were faking it like hell as they backed out of her office and into a better therapist’s care.

She’s dismissing the gravity of both of these patients’ REAL problems by relating them to her own, which are different but no more severe.

As AS patients, it’s easy to get pulled into the pity party. I spent a couple of years there, and even now every once in a while, I belly up to the pity bar and order myself up a couple fingers of strong woe-is-me.

But as human beings we need to remember that we’re not the only ones suffering. When someone is complaining of their cold symptoms as you struggle to walk, it’s hard to remember your empathy. You want to shake them, but they honestly feel like crap just as much as you feel like crap.

Never negate anyone else’s problems. You can step away and refuse to get involved if you don’t like it, but you’re only doing damage if you act like this my-shit-stinks-worse-than-your-shit “therapist.”

Screw New Year’s Resolutions

Because the year is new and stuff, millions, nay, billions, of people around the world will promise to hit the gym, stop nagging, do better at work. “What’s your resolution?” someone will slur at you around their seventeenth weak gin and tonic as his metallic purple NYE!!!!! crown slumps over his ear. “Blah blah blah,” you respond as no one listens or believes you’ll actually stick to your goal of blahing.

What’s my resolution? Nothing. That shit don’t fly with me. That’s why I’m biting my thumb at our Gregorian NYE and reviving this blog three days early!

Now I can’t promise I’ll post on a regular basis. I might forget about its existence again for another year, but I’ll tell you what. If you subscribe and you tell your friends about it so they might subscribe, you’ll get an email every time I post. You can click on the link, and I promise I’ll only give you my best stuff every time.

Check out my past posts for funsies in the meantime.

I’ve got a drawer full of (digital) drafts that I’m ready to unleash on y’all so get ready for some brand new ankylosing spondylitis fun!!!


I’m back, bitches!

“Kitty Killer” or “Cat (de)Capper”

Well, I killed a cat yesterday. He was black and he crossed my path, and even though I crashed into a guardrail trying to avoid him, I still fared better than he did. So I think we can rule out that little superstition.

During the slaughter, I hit my head on the driver’s side window. Boo hoo. I think I strained a muscle in my neck, too, but it had been hurting anyway, so who knows?

Sickness #1: I wasn’t even off the road before I called my supervisor to tell him I wasn’t coming in. Then I realized, “Seriously? My first phone call after an accident in which I almost leapt a guardrail and drowned in forest is Coffee Shop (TM)?”

I managed to pull into a parking lot nearby, climb out of my smoking (ok, steaming) car, and drag myself to a curb. I sat on that curb, ass in dirt, hugging my knees in my Coffee Shop (TM) uniform while fit yuppies walked past me on their way to Step Aerobics and Pilates classes. When I stopped crying, I called my boo. He was calm and struck out into the night/morning to pick me up.

Sickness #2: It then took me almost until 7 am, two hours later, to call my parents, knowing a call this early in the morning about a car crash would probably send them to the hospital with matching heart attacks while I struggled with the insurance all by my lonesome. Here’s how the conversation went when I finally called:

Phone: Ring ring ring (my dad’s phone because he’s less of a panicker).

“What’s wrong?” Damn. My mom answered.

“Good morning!” I sang it all cheerfully because no one can be that chipper in a neck brace or on a gurney, so that would put her mind at ease in that regard.

“What’s wrong? It’s early.” Damn.

“Oh, nothin’… Where’s dad?”

“Still sleeping. Why?”

“Oh nothin’… I’m fine, but my car hit a guardrail.” Here’s where I smiled smugly at my carefully chosen syntax. Let’s dissect: By saying “My car hit a guardrail,” it implied that I was standing there safely at a crosswalk or on a cloud or something, and my anthropomorphized car suddenly couldn’t take the stress of the garbage I throw on the floor or the overextended distance from one oil change to the next.

Car accident

This is what happens to anthropomorphized cars when left to their own devices.

“Oh my God. Are you ok? Oh jeez. Where are you? Was it just one other car? Was anyone hurt? Are the police there? Are you off the road? How many stars are in the sky? What’s the meaning of life? How do you do advanced calculus? I’ll wake up Dad.”

No one had a heart attack thanks to my well-crafted sentence.

After I found my warranty information, my boo brought me back to my car and left for work. Waiting for the tow truck, I thought, “Hm. I hit my head. Could I potentially have a concussion? I’ll worry about it when I wake up from this nap.” Because who the fuck cares about a concussion when you’ve been up at 3 a.m. for three days in a row?

I sat in that car, its bumpers all crunched up, me hugging my knees in my Coffee Shop (TM) uniform while fit yuppies walked past me on their way back from Step Aerobics and Pilates classes.

This, as some of you know, was my third large (expensive) car issue and second awkward tow truck ride of the summer, in which the tow truck driver says, “So what do you do?” glances at my Coffee Shop (TM) uniform and says, “Oh,” and in which I reply, “So what do you do?” glance at the hulking beast that is dragging me and my car and say, “Oh.”

Silence ensued.

Good thing is that there are no mechanical issues and the damage to the body isn’t as horrible as the pre-dawn darkness made it seem. There is, however, blood splattered across the driver-side doors. Meow.

To add injury to injury, I passed the corpse once when Steve picked me up and again when he brought me back. And AGAIN when the tow driver took me to the car shop. I saw it from every view but, curiously, never saw a head…

Aside from all this “humor,” I feel like an asshole over it. What if it was little Timmy’s cat who he got for Christmas and named Tinsel? What if there were a brood of kittens still suckling from those weird lines of teats cats develop, like, all over their stomachs?


“No, I said BIG boobs.” Ok, I know this isn’t a cat, but TIT’s a far more dramatic (and disturbing) visual.

I love animals in the way that compelled me to wear t-shirts of galloping horses and howling wolves when I was younger (you know the tie-dyed ones where it’s like running horses superimposed on a bigger horse or a pack of howling wolves superimposed on a bigger wolf). I also saved up $60 in birthday/Christmas/found-on-the-dryer money to buy a set of tapes (yes, tapes) that supposedly taught you to speak telepathically to animals.

Don’t rush out and buy it.

Since I can’t bring him back, I have to honor that dead kitty by being the best I can be. I have to help others more. I have to work hard and enjoy life more.

Or maybe I’ll just stop giving decaf to rude customers.

A New Job! Wait, no, just ANOTHER job.

The good news is that I got a new job as a copywriter. In the last two days I’ve been compared to Elaine from Seinfeld (hate that show)…


Probably because we have the same pantsuit.

…and Peggy from Mad Men, which I’m not sure is a compliment or insult, and I will presently immerse myself in all five seasons to decide whether to thank or punish these people.

Style: "Mad Men"

In this case, I just wish we had the same suit.

Rather than me think about it, though, why don’t you tell me who I am in the following poll (answer correctly, I can see your name when you vote (not true)).

Well, thanks for your time! I will tally the results and then start talking/dressing/acting like whichever person I have been decreed to be.

I am pretty damn excited for this job. I will be writing the item descriptions for the store’s website, and mind you, it is a pretty big, pretty famous store. Like, a lot of people will read these descriptions in which I say things like, “Wear these Superman undies and save lives — in only your underwear” (not the best, but I’m not in the zone right now), and “Your boo will absotively swoon when you don this little polka dotted, princess-wasted, over-hemmed, fully-tulled yellow dress thing” (I have a bit to learn about fashion).

Also, I will include the word “swoon” in at least one piece a day because my friend/fashion-and-art blogger over at The Corn Fed Artist dies a little every time a swoon is born.

But, my co-ASers, this good news does not come without a bit of reality.

The job is a contracting job, which I’ve stayed away from since I was diagnosed. I’ve come across some great contracting opportunities, but didn’t even bother applying because to those of us who need insurance, we can’t just leap out of the fat, secure arms of insurance at our current job, even if it pays minimum wage.

We take these drugs to take back our lives. They let us run free and live for today and carpe diem and do, like, 70 other platitude-things, but what does it cost us in the end? We can’t pack up and teach English in the Australian outback to Aborigines. We can’t backpack around South America for a year. We can’t even take a contracting job that pays more than our current coffee-shop job.

And hence, I have said, “Full-time? No thanks! I will work here thirty hours a week, and I will keep working my minimum wage job 24 hours a week, and I will work myself into an early grave!” Because even making so much more an hour will not cover the cost of freaking Humira.

On the bright side:



I got a job!

UPDATE: My Zombie Eye

So you guys remember that time I wrote about that time I had iritis and my eye got really gross and ugly and I scared people’s pants off in the drive-thru as I handed them their coffee and then I got steroid eye drops and my eye got stronger than Arnold?

No? Screw you. Go read it.

Anyway, as I was writing it, I was thinking to myself, “Cruel world! Why do you not have a picture of an iron-pumping eyeball? How could you forsake me?”

And even as the world forsook me, my friend at Clip Snark did not. Though her blog post about her search for this image is very modest, she told me the truth of her harrowing journey o’er hill and vale, past hungry antelope and grazing tigers, ‘midst people who would sooner suck the eyeballs from your face than give you the time, though she had no need of knowing the time as the nights turned into days and the days into scorching and freezing weeks.

Fret not, my readers, her journey was not fruitless. She finally found the lost city of Atlantis’ giant underwater power pyramid crystal. Swaddled in neoprene and surrounded by scuba tubes, she pressed the ancient key (won from one of the afore-mentioned cannibals in a pocket-knife fight to the death) into a notch on the side of the crystal, and a door opened.

She wildly swept aside silly items like the lost Excalibur, the Holy Grail, and Davy Jones’ middle school gym locker as her oxygen tank got dangerously low. As the very back of the secret compartment was a computer, already powered on, connected to the Bermuda Triangle’s wifi, and open to a clip art website.

She clipped (pun!) the entire desktop to her scuba belt just as her oxygen ran out, and a dolphin she had saved from a rabid shark grabbed her in its teeth and pushed her toward the surface.

She has delivered to me now a clip art image of an eyeball lifting weights. My Excalibur. My Holy Grail. My Davy Jones’ middle school gym locker. When the world forgot about me, she did not.  When Microsoft Office turned its back on me, she did not.

I’d show you this image Clip Snark sacrificed so much for, but it’s like 10 bucks to buy the smallest size, and I’d rather buy shoes.

On (Not) Bluffing and Pride

I have that bad kind of pride that gets you into trouble. I’m a firm believer in principle, which also gets you into trouble. 

When I was little, I’d bluff to try to get my way. “I won’t eat this meatloaf. I’d rather go to bed without eating.” I really didn’t like meatloaf. Because it’s a LOAF of MEAT. So gross. Have you seen the way it moves?



Go watch Better off Dead. You won’t regret it.

Even though I didn’t like meatloaf, I didn’t hate it. And I would sure take that over going to bed without dinner. I was bluffing, and I thought I’d win. I was aiming for some other dinner, hoping my mom would get up and cook me a little something special and not so gooey.

My parents, however, knew that I was bluffing, and also had their own damned plans to win. 

“Well, I guess no dinner then, huh?” 

I stared in thinly veiled shock before I turned around, walking slowly to the stairs, awaiting the inevitable “wait-come-back-I’ll-make-Mac&Cheese,” but it never came. And as I have the bad kind of pride and won’t be made a liar, I marched myself straight up those stairs with no dinner when I would have eaten the meatloaf over nothing.

Did I learn my lesson? Oh no. I did this many different times in many different ways. 

Right now, ma boo and I are in a bad situation with the neighbors who live below us. They are aggressive, threatening, and they have told their family members, police, and our landlord that we smoke our crackpipe out on the patio amongst a barrage of similarly heinous lies. If they would just ask, they would know we keep our crack smoking in the attic. 

For the last year, we have kept our landlord apprised of the hostility in which they respond to the pitter patter of our little feet across our apartment. We hear a near constant stream of obscenities pouring through the carpet while we tiptoe around, having trained ourselves to walk like freaking cats, so much so that I’ve sprouted whiskers and become allergic to myself.

We told our landlord that we don’t want to be in this situation anymore and we’d appreciate if he would just tell us whether they are staying or going because if they are staying, we are going. He told us that he was kicking them out on June 1st.

Oh, how we rejoiced! The champagne! The fireworks! The flappers dancing about in all their finery. It looked a lot like this.

But due to the Great Calendar Shortage of 2013, June 1st became July 1st, and July 1st became August 1st. Well, let’s just say things escalated in the last week, and, as I don’t take my landlord’s word that they will indeed be gone by August 1st, now we’re definitely out of here. 

We have told our landlord several times in the last couple of months that we can’t live in constant fear anymore and that we are looking at other apartments. 

Well, we found one the other day, and now we’re moving. When we called the landlord to tell him, he had this to say:

“Well, I understand that these are special circumstances, but I usually like thirty days’ notice.” Oh, well we will remember that next time.

Mr. Landlord, we were not bluffing when we told you we were leaving. We were not bluffing when we told you we feared for our safety and would not stay in this situation for any longer. We are not bluffing now with all these boxes packed up and ready to go. We gave you far more than 30 days’ notice, and it is not our problem if you thought we were bluffing. 

Sorry this is not my typical post. We are unhappy with the events that have unfolded and hate to leave our dream apartment.

However, we are excited on moving day to show our lonely embittered neighbors how many family members and friends love us and are helping us move.

And our family members and friends are excited to stomp really loudly and slam the door every thirty seconds.

Now we’re packing. And I Instagrammed it in the most depressing filter I could find: