I was supposed to get blood work done a week before my rheumatologist appointment this coming wednesday, but I keep putting it off. there’s one place in town that’s fully covered by my insurance, but I don’t want to go back there.
the last time I had blood work, I was getting a pretty full workup, in preparation for getting humira. So, testing my CBC, checking for infections, etc. I’ve had a lot of blood drawn in my life, enough to know which of my veins work best and basic procedure. Never had a problem with nosy/transphobic/sex shaming phlebotomists before.
she: huh. You’re getting tested for hepatitis.
she: so, what have you been up to? *sneer*
me 0.o …I’m going on immune suppressant medication, my doctor’s double checking so I don’t have a problem….
She: oh. (pauses for a moment). You know, when you came in here, I thought you were a boy.
she: I bet you fool a lot of people, huh?
When I do not respond, she decides to JAM the needle into my vein (and not the one I prefer). It’s rather painful, and there’s a burning sensation as the blood is drawn. she now seems angry at me for not playing along and being ashamed of my gender expression, or maybe for not being embarrassed that I’m getting comprehensive blood work.
When I went home, my arm was unusually bruised and swollen- I think she blew the vein. Which is sometimes accidental or just by chance but…I don’t think so, this time.
So now I’m going early monday morning, hoping this person isn’t there….just another new and charming source of worry. >.<
There’s some historians that believe that the wide-spread use of lead was a major cause in the decline and fall of the Roman empire. Why did they continue to use lead long after they knew it was toxic? It was cheap, very malleable, easy to work with, and the ones that were exposed to it at its most lethal level, the miners and workers who processed the lead, were considered expendable. Their lives didn’t matter. They were slaves.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Ep 7: The Clean Room)
I’m probably going to start humira tomorrow.
the pens were delivered, I’ve made an appointment, and I’m going to go. But I still say probably, because in the last few days I’ve begun itching all over, and I have clusters of blisters on my fingers. I feel like i’m being driven mad, I can’t sleep at all, and I’ve scratched to the point of leaving purple bruises. I know I need to point this out to the doctor, but I know this doesn’t really fit in with my diagnosis and I’m worried this will delay treatment further.
This is the first time that a specialist had ever seemed to believe me about my symptoms, so I don’t want to do or say anything to change that…
I got sick and took a break from people for a while.
Long story short: After being dicked around by a lot of doctors, I’ve been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. If you don’t have google, this is an autoimmune arthritis that mainly targets the spine—though in my case, practically every other joint in my body is affected as well. Especially my feet and hands. Eventually, bones fuse. This is not a good thing.
After several months of trying prednisone at various doses and having increasingly bad reactions, I’m waiting to to go on humira. the doctor’s office told me they were “processing” the prescription and the meds were on their way. This was repeated several times over several weeks. My mom called the insurance company for me and found out that I had been rejected weeks ago because the office didn’t enter the forms correctly. So, I actually spoke to someone in the doctor’s office AFTER I had been rejected, and had been lied to. This has left me entirely unmedicated for a month, while lurching from flare to flare.
This story is going to take a while to tell.
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These Women have Changed the World with Science - Too Bad a Man was Given all Credit
Graham vents, dysphoria edition.
Got a haircut without incident, and I really like it. But I’m having a strange amount of dysphoria about stuff that usually doesn’t bother me all that much. Namely that i have a narrow, “feminine” neck. It’s not something I’ve ever thought about before, but now everything else I’m dysphoric about comes roaring to the foreground of my mind. My hips are too wide and my shoulders too narrow. And while recently I’ve begun to like my jawline and cheekbones, I don’t like the fat distribution in my face. And then I notice, not for the first time, that my forehead and jaw look quite a bit like my older, deceased sister. Down to the texture of my skin. If I went on testosterone, would that change? I feel guilty about wanting to change, and I feel confused about wanting to see some semblance of her in the mirror.
I started binding because I thought “If my chest just looks flat I’ll be okay, I don’t need hormones and surgery”. And here I am, wanting both anyway, because binding isn’t enough anymore. I’m afraid that if I start to “correct” more of the things I feel dysphoric about, I’m just going to find other things about myself to hate, and I’ll have dismantled my life only to find it still in shambles. I’m starting to feel like a condemned building. A coat of paint and some new lights aren’t solving the problem.
[it doesn’t help that I’m 21 and jealous of trans people half my age. I’ve known I was trans since at least 2009, had a loudly lurking sense of it many years before then, but haven’t gotten anywhere. these kids are already “post transition”, whatever the fuck that means. I’m bitter and angry and then I’m disappointed in/pissed off at myself that I’m bitter. Slightly exaggerating about these people being half my age. I just feel really old and awkward sometimes, like I’m missed the boat on a “normal” adolescence/teen years and everything that comes with it. but maybe everyone feels like this. I really don’t know.]
I tried to register to vote three times when I was in college. Each time I failed to pass the “literacy” test. Only after the passage of the Voting Rights Act was I registered, and thank God Almighty, my parents voted as well. They were not activists but ordinary folks who wanted the same rights as the white people. Today, I feel the scabs coming off the old wounds and they are bleeding again. I knew people who were asked how many bubbles are in a bar of soap, or how many grains of sand are in a quart jar as part of their literacy test. I remember that the names of those who attempted to register were run in the local newspapers so that, by law, any registered (read white) voter could challenge their moral fitness to become voters. The real reason was to publicize who they were so their employers and Ku Klux Klan neighbors could take actions against them for having the nerve to think they should have the rights reserved for whites.
So much of our focus is on what the law did to help to emancipate generations of African Americans. However, the deep scars are still there in the form of emotional trauma (some friends of mine suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome), loss of family to death, broken dreams, ruined lives, and consigned once again to second and third class citizenship.
This is why I mourn today because the conditions for so many have not changed that much. Moreover, the gains we won continue to erode as we see in the dismantling of the most important piece of legislation on racial equality of my lifetime.