Did you know that about 10,000 “young” women will get breast cancer this year? I do now. I am one of them.
It all started while my boyfriend and I were away for a long weekend to celebrate my 29th birthday. We were lying in bed and I reached my arm across my body. There it was — a lump, in my breast. It was big, and it was bumpy; it felt like a mutant cauliflower had taken root in the soft tissue of my otherwise pillowy breasts.
This was new. Three short months earlier, I had had a breast exam during my yearly OB-GYN exam. My doctor didn’t feel a thing. I had always been hyper aware of my breasts, ever since an ex-boyfriend found a 2 cm jelly bean (which turned out to be a harmless fyberadenoma) and my doctor had told me that I should pay attention to it and watch for changes.
That jellybean was my first of what would be many biopsies. Keep reading »
Women would be forced to have invasive, medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds two hours before having an abortion if Republicans in Michigan get their way. A male Republican in Michigan’s state House of Representatives introduced a bill earlier this week similar to the one Virginia eventually backed-off of last year after public outcry. Keep reading »
Arkansas’ state House of Representatives advanced a bill yesterday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill is based on the medically unproven theory touted by anti-abortion advocates that 20 weeks is when a fetus can feel pain. Keep reading »
Greetings from zombie-land.
That’s where I’m currently residing as I go through antidepressant withdrawal. It’s a horribly dizzying place, filled with bouts of insomnia, nausea and an episode of neverending flu. It’s not a place I recommend visiting, and yet, I’ve found myself here because I decided to get off of Paxil, the anti-anxiety drug I’ve been on–off and on–for the last 10 years. And let me tell you, withdrawal is a bitch. Keep reading »
So, it has come to this. Facebook can be an indicator of your psychological state, says a new study done at the University of Missouri. More than 200 college students were asked to print out their Facebook activity and given the option to redact anything they chose from their timeline. The portions that they concealed were just as psychologically revealing as what they opted to share, the researchers found.
“The Internet is novel way to study human psychology because it can ameliorate some of the self-report biases associated with paper-and-pencil reports … Because of the real or imagined perception of anonymity, the Internet may allow unique access to the psyche,” said researcher Elizabeth Martin.
The mental health “findings” ranged from social anhedonia –people with a reduced desire to interact with others — to paranoia. Although therapists aren’t currently using Facebook as a diagnostic tool, they may start doing so in the future. Great. There’s no safe place to be crazy anymore. I wonder what it means if I post mostly stuff that I wrote on my timeline. That I’m a narcissist? [Mashable]
This essay was published with permission from Gender-Focus.
My spouse and I are seeking permanent birth control, and the entire process has been difficult. At this point, we are sick to death of unsolicited advice on the subject (Pro-tip: If someone you don’t know says they’re not judging you, they are judging you.) Everyone’s heart is in the right place, I can only assume. People think they are telling us new information that will keep us from making what they perceive to be a mistake. I get that they’re trying to help. But we continually find ourselves defending this very personal decision to total strangers. So to keep myself from screaming, I’m going to outline why the condescension disguised as concern is totally unfounded. Trust us. We’ve thought it through. Keep reading »
The Obama administration released new details this morning about which religious employers will be exempt from covering the cost of birth control under health care reform — which the Associated Press describes as a “broader opt-out.”
The Health and Human Services Department announced this morning that businesses which object must “self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission,” according to The Huffington Post. For example, you can’t just object to covering women’s preventative care if you are, for example, a religious Catholic who objects to birth control and also happens to employ people working at a nonprofit animal shelter. Additionally, if a religious nonprofit refuses to provide coverage of contraception, a third-party health insurer must handle the coverage for women who want it. Keep reading »
This story begins in a basement waiting room in Brooklyn. My boyfriend and I stare at our phones on a dirty looking love seat across from the reception desk. There’s no service, and cellphone games give me headaches, so I pick up an issue of Parenting magazine, even though I am not a parent and — thank god — this isn’t that kind of doctor’s visit. I’m not thirsty, but I drink a lot of water from the water cooler to occupy myself. It takes almost an hour before my name is called. The nurse is friendly, but she mumbles and I keep having to ask her to repeat herself. I am relieved when she asks me how much I weigh rather than making me step on the scale, but the anxiety rises again when she measures my blood pressure. The machine squeezes my arm and then releases it in slow puffs — panic, panic, panic.
Actually, this story begins on Christmas night. And the night before. And the night after. And all of the nights that I went to bed too early. This story begins with me apologizing. This story begins with my mother’s worried face. It begins with an unquenchable, inexplicable desire for sleep, which actually begins nine years ago when I was in 12th grade and became addicted to going to bed. Because that’s what this is really about. That’s the reason I am waiting in a cold doctor’s office, picking nervously at my nail polish, listening to the paper crinkle each time I move, and wanting very badly to pee.
I’m tired. I’m tired all the time. Keep reading »
Not only is Hillary Clinton creating a frenzy of 2016 election speculation and my favorite internet memes, but she’s also brought blood clots into the media spotlight. While the buzz has gone down, and you rarely hear commentators on CNN analyzing deep leg thrombosis anymore, the incident stuck with me. I, too, have blood clots.
In April of 2012, an unusual set of symptoms put my dear Bubbe, a retired oncology nurse, into a strange panic. She demanded daily, “Go see a doctor!”, as she was increasingly worried about my high fever, swollen glands and other symptoms that were unbeknownst to me as signs of lymphoma.
I, of course, remained completely ignorant of what my illness could be, only calling the doctor to avoid incessant nudging that had now spread to my mother. You’ll do anything promptly at the urging of two Jewish women.
It was only when my doctor told my grandmother it was not what she feared that I finally realized what all the fuss was about. I burst into tears and exhaled a sigh of relief all in the span of about five minutes in the waiting room, before I was strapped in for a series of precautionary blood tests. Keep reading »