When I first started taking Adderall, it wasn’t prescribed to me — it was my boyfriend’s. It was 2006, and I had a fun but creatively unfulfilling job at a men’s magazine. On the weekends, I was determined to grow a freelance career that, god willing, would allow me to quit. Freelance writing, especially when you’re starting out, involves a lot of pitching, in particular pitching editors who don’t know you. It’s a lot of coming up with ideas, proposing those ideas, and waiting, hoping and praying, that someone, anyone bites and is willing to pay you a decent sum to write it. To be a successful freelancer writer, you have to be extremely motivated and focused.
I had the motivation. But focus was out of my grasp. I felt stuck literally and mentally. And being stuck make me anxious. Keep reading »
Taking the morning-after pill in a timely fashion has been one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to reproductive rights. Emergency contraception (which prevents ovulation so an egg cannot be fertilized, as well as thins the lining of the uterus so a fertilized egg cannot be implanted) is most effective if taken within five days of unprotected sex — but the sooner the better. Even though EC, in theory, became more accessible when the FDA announced it could be sold over-the-counter to women age 17 and up, that did not play out in reality. Women who live in rural areas, as well as women who live anyplace where a pharmacist can cite a so-called conscience clause and tell her “no, not dispensing that!”, still have to do a lot of frantic scrambling at an already stressful time.
But one college in Pennsylvania has a brilliant idea on how to make EC more accessible when it is needed most: Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, put a vending machine filled with Plan B in the health center. Keep reading »
Fact checking time! Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail in Colorado last night and referred to emergency contraception/the morning-after pill as “abortive pills.” This could be because he or his team genuinely doesn’t understand that emergency contraception (Plan B) and the abortion pill (RU-486) are two completely different pills. Or it could be because he’s irresponsibly trying to totally conflate the two for political gain, which I am sure would shock — shock! — you coming from an anti-abortion politician. (Is Mitt anti-abortion this week? I can never keep track!)
Let’s recap, very briefly: The morning-after pill prevents a pregnancy by stopping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — which could be fertilized by the sperm and go implant in the uterus — as well as thinning the lining of a woman’s uterus so a fertilized egg cannot implant. The RU-486 abortion pill, on the other hand, ends an existing pregnancy — as in, the fertilized egg has already implanted in the uterus and a fetus is growing. (I explain it all in more detail in this post.)
See? Two different things, Mitt. Keep reading »
When my friend asked me if I wanted to accompany her to a “Passion Party,” I said “Absolutely!” Whether or not I was in the market for adult toys was beside the point—I’m always in the market for a good laugh.
But surprisingly, what we got was more than a case of the giggles, a taste of chocolate-raspberry flavored lip gloss, and a penis-shaped pen (which I should probably take out of my purse before it falls out and announces itself to my co-workers). We got a lesson in confidence, self-care, and even chemistry, too. Read more …
Yesterday, cancer survivors, their loved ones, and loved ones of those who succumbed to the disease, reeled to learn that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the charity synonymous with breast cancer research, halted grants to Planned Parenthood.
The charity caved to pressure from anti-abortion activists who have the nationwide clinics under investigation at the behest of an anti-abortion politician (more about that here). Another factor is surely the hiring of Komen’s senior VP for Public Policy, Karen Handel, an ex-politician who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia in 2010 on an anti-abortion platform and was endorsed by Sarah Palin (more on that here).
Despite the fact Susan G. Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood mainly were used for breast exams for women who otherwise could not afford them, anti-abortion groups have targeted those charitable donations because some Planned Parenthood clinics also perform abortions.
But enough about ideology trumping ethics. What are we going to do about it? Keep reading »
I used to be really skinny. So skinny my ribs stuck out.
Everywhere I went, women said, “You’re so skinny! Oh my god. I’m jealous.”
I had friends that were more gorgeous than me, but it was OK, because I was really skinny.
“I wish I was as skinny as you,” they said.
I smiled. I said, “Nah, whatever.” Keep reading »
Things that happen when you refuse to eat anything but chicken nuggets for 15 years (like seriously, nothing else): You collapse from anemia. You have swollen veins in your tongue. Shortness of breath. Doctors tell you might die if you don’t stop. You have a house full of Happy Meal toys.
After a being rushed to the hospital struggling to breathe, 17-year-old chicken nugget addict Stacey Irvine admitted, “I’m starting to realize this is really bad for me.” Well, we’re glad she finally realized it. Time to force feed the girl some kale. [The Sun UK]
“Cured salted pork crafted as a nasal tampon and packed within the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly, effectively … this represents the first description of nasal packing with strips of cured pork for treatment of life-threatening hemorrhage in a patient.”
What that means exactly: The life of a Michigan woman, suffering from a hereditary disorder which caused uncontrollable nosebleeds, was spared by stuffing pork up her nose. Next time you get a nosebleed, you know what to do. Put some bacon up in there. [The Guardian]
I have no business watching a scrotum itch commercial, much less one in Japanese. But I don’t regret the minutes of my life I’ll never get back after watching this on repeat. There’s itching. There’s singing. There’s dancing (sort of). Why can’t Vagisil commercials be this funny? (I mean, outside of “Saturday Night Live.”) [Copyranter]
Most employers will be required to cover the full cost of contraception and other preventative services in their health plans under the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today. This means that women’s preventative health care like birth control will be available without co-pays or deductibles when Obama’s health care reform law goes into effect in August 1, 2012.
This past August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that health insurers would be required to cover birth control without co-pays following the release of a report by the Institute of Medicine. That independent panel of doctors had cited coverage of preventative health care, such as STD screening and birth control, in its recommendation of best practices.
(And of course the talking boobs on Fox News wasted no time asking what Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be forced to cover next — manicures and pedicures?!?! Really. Someone said that. )
Keep reading »