Given the Gawker mandate to be glib and ruthless, whether or not they know what they’re talking about, I won’t pretend to be shocked by a dashed-off remark in Monday’s post on Kate Middleton’s pregnancy:
The Palace also reported that Kate was admitted to the hospital today with “hyperemesis gravidarum,” which is what they call regular old morning sickness when you are a princess.
Nor, for more or less the same reasons, was it surprising to watch the ladies of “The View” dismiss the duchess’s condition with a flurry of bubbly interruptions, ignoring a nurse’s earnest response to Barbara Walters’ half-hearted question about whether HG is serious: “It can be,” the nurse said sheepishly. (In an open letter to the duchess, HG sufferer Betsy Shaw gives Kate “permission to slap” Walters.)
I have no idea whether Kate has HG or not. But the fact remains that it can be a brutal, crippling condition that goes largely ignored and untreated, partly due to its overlap with ordinary pregnancy sickness and partly to our attitude toward suffering and the suffering of pregnant women in particular. As Atul Gawande noted in an indispensable 1999 New Yorker piece on nausea and vomiting, “A surprising number of doctors still believe in the discredited Freudian theory that hyperemesis is due to an unconscious rejection of pregnancy.” Little seems to have changed since the last century — or the one before, for that matter. Keep reading »
As a beauty product enthusiast (one might also say “hoarder,” if one were being less kind), lipstick is one of my very favorite things. At any given moment I have a bare minimum of 5 tubes rattling around in my handbag… and another 500 at home. When I buy a new one, (which I do, often) I consider the color, the texture, the packaging, the longevity of the formula, and sometimes, let’s be honest, just how luxurious it looks and feels. What I am definitely not thinking about, however, is what goes into it. Keep reading »
I feel like I’ve been writing/talking about cheese a lot lately. I have no idea why. I barely even eat cheese. I need to explore this new cheese obsession more thoroughly. But that can wait.
First this: the cheese you see here is made by a woman named Christina Agapakis as part of collaborative study being conducted at the University of Edinburgh and Stanford University on Synthetic Aesthetics. Agapakis grew this cheese with bacteria from the human body. She describes her human cheesemonging process is as follows:
“Swabs from hands, feet, noses, and armpits were inoculated into fresh, pasteurized, organic whole milk and incubated overnight at 37° Celsius. The milk curds were then strained and pressed, yielding unique smelling fresh cheeses.”
Keep reading »
Pediatricians should discuss emergency contraception with their teenaged patients and even write advance prescriptions, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended earlier this week. The morning-after pill should be taken 120 hours after unprotected sex, but is more effective the sooner it is taken. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, Plan B is almost 90 percent more effective than saying “No babies no babies no babies!” three times fast. Advance prescriptions, the AAP, explained, would help prevent teen pregnancies and put MTV’s “16 & Pregnant” franchise out of business. Keep reading »
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms including bloating, cramps, headache, and mood swings that occurs consistently during the ten days prior to the start of menstrual flow and vanishes either shortly before or shortly thereafter. In other words, it’s what I like to call Hell Week, and that’s a drastic understatement.
In addition to the aforementioned typical symptoms, I also experience extreme fatigue, intense food cravings, insatiable hunger, unpredictable bouts of crying, and sporadic emotional meltdowns that often result in reevaluation of every major and minor life decision I’ve ever made. As I sit on the couch drowning Oreos in gallons of milk and contemplating joining the Peace Corps, it’s hard to remember these symptoms are just temporary. One Hell Week left me with a visceral hatred for my husband after he flushed my Oreos down the toilet. In retrospect, I can’t blame him. He watched in absolute horror and disgust as I shoved whole cookies, two at a time, into my mouth leaving crumbs all over my face and chest in a futile attempt to eat my fabricated pain away. He likened me to a crack fiend, so flushing the cookies down the toilet was probably a necessary intervention. Keep reading »