The Time I Asked For a Favor

I don’t normally ask for people to do this, but if you have a Twitter account, can you please report the user wnkpag3.

I’m literally receiving these homophobic comments and death threats because of my included tweet. The tweet I made was in response to the GoFundMe page set up for the owners of Memories Pizza after they publicly supported RFRA.

This user might not mean what they are saying, including other tweets where they are saying they have a planned date1 to attack LGBTQ individuals, but these are still threats. They’re still illegal. So, please, please, please, report this individual.

via Tumblr

I was told by one of my friends on Twitter that the account is showing up as suspended for him. It’s not showing up that way for me yet, so it may still need more reports before Twitter takes the threats seriously. Whether they’re taking them that way or not, I think they’re serious. I’m actually worried and it has taken a lot lately to rattle me online. I’ve also reported the person to IC3.

Larger versions of the images shared on Tumblr are below the cut.

Continue reading The Time I Asked For a Favor

  1. June 1, 2015 

I Get It

The #cut4zayn “trend” is something I can understand. I don’t mean turning it into a trend. But I understand being upset enough to react in a self-destructive way. I’ve self-injured off-and-on for most of my life. 

But the first time I cut myself? It was related to a boyband. 

In May of 2000, I had tickets to go to Nashville to see *NSYNC with my dad and Stephanie. I had had a hell of a time getting these tickets. Ticketmaster’s site didn’t work the morning they went on sale. I guess it was overcapacity. I thought I wouldn’t get to go because there were reports that all of the stadiums were sold out. I was disappointed, especially because this was my favorite group and I had missed a chance the previous summer to see their amphitheater tour. I was determined to see them. 

I took a chance at Blockbuster a night shortly after the website snafu happened and was able to get the three that way. 

The week before the concert, I got in trouble for not cleaning my bedroom. I know. I know. That’s a sort of pathetic thing to get in trouble for, right? Well, I did, and my mom said I wouldn’t be allowed to go to the concert. 

In that otherwise forgettable moment, something broke. Like I said, self-injury was not unusual for me, but I’d never done something as serious or dangerous as cutting. Mainly it had been superficial. Even the cutting that night was pretty tame. 

But, as superficial as it was, it helped clear my mind.1

I shouldn’t have done it. My mom changed her mind a little while later. I was still allowed to go to the concert. And I had a wound on my leg that I had to take care of and keep hidden because I knew that what I had done would be something that could get negative attention. So I obsessively cleaned it with antiseptic spray, pulled shorts down to cover it or just wore pants, and told no one. 

Aside from the cleaning, I did the worst thing you can do after hurting yourself: I hid it. And that led to guilt and stress, which made every little thing in life that much harder to deal with. I didn’t tell anyone until December of that year that I cut. And even after that I kept details quiet. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I shouldn’t have felt that, but I did. Because that’s part of self-injury. 

Cutting myself in May 2000 changed a lot about my self-injuring habits. It didn’t change what was really causing the SI, which wasn’t really the concert–just like I suspect Zayn leaving isn’t causing the cutting by the 1D fans. What led to that one bad act for me was a lot more complicated than being kept from a concert.

I’m not going to joke about the people who self-harm over Zayn. I’m not going to judge them. I’m going to hope that they get help if they’re serious about wanting to harm themselves. I’m also going to hope anyone who promotes cruelty or mockery over that sort of reaction gets some help. 

  1. I’m not saying that as a challenge or as a way to encourage any person to self-harm. 

Where the Books Live

A while back, I was openly complaining on Twitter about my local library’s lack of feminist texts written by actual feminists. I mentioned their account and got this response:

I had actually requested books before this tweet and those purchases were approved.1 I started to wonder what exactly they would actually approve if I started requesting more liberal and more graphic books. The table below has my “findings”.

Non-fiction was denied more often than fiction. Higher quality romance and erotic novels were denied more often than lower quality ones. Books with women as submissives and sex slaves were approved, but ones with Dommes and female switches were not. Books dealing with sex work were denied quite often. Books often associated with being liberal and with liberal movements (i.e. Occupy) were usually denied.

Several of the books that I requested that were denied were part of various series–ones that the library already has at least one book in.23456 Sometimes the book I would request would be the first book in a series. And it would still get denied.

Oh. Remember my original complaint about the lack of feminist books? It extended to the approval/denial process. Of the books on feminism that I requested, 72% of them were denied.

Book Title Author Status Fiction/Non-Fiction Age Group Genre/Topic
After Summer Abbott, Hailey Declined Fiction Young Adult Romance
American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives, The Abramsky, Sasha Approved Non-Fiction Adults Politics / Economy
Angel, The Reisz, Tiffany Declined Fiction Adults Romance: BDSM/Kink/Non-Traditional
Do Muslim Women Need Saving? Abu-Lughod, Lila Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / Religion
Erotic Slavehood: A Miss Abernathy Omnibus Abernathy, Christina Declined Non-Fiction Adults BDSM
Falling for the Backup Aleo, Toni Declined Fiction Adults Romance: Sports
Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women Acklesberg, Martha A. Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
History of Celibacy, A Abbott, Elizabeth Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
House is Not a Home, A Adler, Polly Declined Non-Fiction Adults Memoir / Sexism
I Want It That Way Aguirre, Ann Declined Fiction Adults Romance: New Adult
Infatuate Agresti, Aimee Requested Fiction Young Adult Fantasy
Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, The de Jour, Belle Declined Non-Fiction Adults Memoir / Sex Work
Prince, The Reisz, Tiffany Declined Fiction Adults Romance: BDSM/Kink/Non-Traditional
Resisting Citizenship: Feminist Essays on Politics, Community, and Democracy Ackelsberg, Martha A. Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry Agustín, Laura María Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / Sex Work
Sex Myth, The Magnanti, Brooke Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / Sex Work
Summer Boys Abbott, Hailey Declined Fiction Young Adult Romance
Twist Akins, Karen Requested Fiction Young Adult Science Fiction
Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice Raye, Kimberly Declined Fiction Adults Romance
Sex, Science, and Stem Cells: Inside the Right Wing Assault on Reason DeGette, Diana Declined Non-Fiction Adults Politics / Science
Uprising, The: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington Sirota, David Declined Non-Fiction Adults Politics / Economy
Passing of Starr Faithfull, The Goodman, Jonathon Declined Non-Fiction Adults True Crime / Sex Work
Rules for Radicals Alinsky, Saul Declined Non-Fiction Adults Politics
Female Eunuch, The Greer, Germaine Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility Greer, Germaine Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Obstacle Race, The: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work Greer, Germaine Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Immortal Craving Castle, Kendra Leigh Approved Fiction Adults Fantasy
Midnight Reckoning Castle, Kendra Leigh Approved Fiction Adults Fantasy
One Week Girlfriend Murphy, Monica Approved Fiction Adults Romance: New Adult
Second Chance Boyfriend Murphy, Monica Approved Fiction Adults Romance: New Adult
Four Years Later Murphy, Monica Approved Fiction Adults Romance: New Adult
Women’s Room, The French, Marilyn Approved Fiction Adults Feminism
Woman Warrior, The Hong Kingston, Maxine Approved Non-Fiction Adults Memoir
Feminism is for Everybody hooks, bell Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Sexual Politics Millett, Kate Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Gender Relations in Early Modern England Gowing, Laura Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
Proposal, The Ashley, Katie Declined Fiction Adults Romance
Pairing, The Ashley, Katie Declined Fiction Adults Romance
The Extraordinary and the Everyday in Early Modern England Walker, Garthine and Angela McShane-Jones Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
History of Rape, A: Sexual Violence in France from the 16th to the 20th Century Vigarello, Georges Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
Gender and Change: Agency, Chronology and Periodisation Shepard, Alexandera and Garthine Walker Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
Women, Crime, and the Courts in Early Modern England Kermode, Jenny and Garthine Walker Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
Crime, Gender, and Social Order in Early Modern England Walker, Garthine Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / History
Anything He Wants: Castaway Fawkes, Sara Approved Fiction Adults Romance: BDSM/Kink/Non-Traditional
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center hooks, bell Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Fear of Flying Jong, Erica Approved Fiction Adults Feminism
Full Frontal Feminism Valenti, Jessica Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches Lorde, Audre Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution Penny, Laurie Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton Clifton, Lucille Approved Non-Fiction Adults Poetry
Delta of Venus Nin, Anaïs Approved Fiction Adults Erotic / Short Stories
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism hooks, bell Approved Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Baise-Moi Despentes, Virginie Declined Fiction Adults Erotic / Crime
Essential Ellen Willis, The Willis, Ellen and Nona Willis Aronowitz Declined Non-Fiction Adults Essays
Story of the Eye Bataille, Georges Declined Fiction Adults Erotic
Yes Means Yes! Valenti, Jessica Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
Purity Myth, The Valenti, Jessica Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut Valenti, Jessica Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism
People’s History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play Zirin, Dave Declined Non-Fiction Adults Sports / History
Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference Fine, Cordelia Declined Non-Fiction Adults Science / Feminism
Pussy Riot!: A Punk Prayer For Freedom Pussy Riot Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / Politics
Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot Gessen, Masha Declined Non-Fiction Adults Feminism / Politics
Missionary Position, The: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice Hitchens, Christopher Declined Non-Fiction Adults Religion / Criticism of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict Chatterjee, Aroup Declined Non-Fiction Adults Religion / Criticism of Mother Teresa

I know that the library can’t afford to buy all of the books. I knew that going in, but some of the denials were more shocking than others. Some of the approvals were also shocking.

Most of the denials were accompanied by a suggestion that I use the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) program,7 which is supposed to be a free or cheap alternative to buying books. That would mean paying $3 to my local library for the request. Then, I could be charged up to around $50. For example, Baise-Moi would cost about $15 if I were to get it through the University of Alabama, $20 if I were to get it through Emory, and $25 (plus shipping) from the University of Illinois system. That charge would entitle me to using it for 2-4 weeks. The same edition of the book is available for $10.53 (plus shipping) through Amazon–new. If I wanted to by a used version, I could pay $4.21 + shipping. It would be cheaper to buy the new or used version of Baise-Moi than get it through the library’s ILL program. And that would allow me to own the book forever. What would you choose? To pay more than the book is worth to have it for less than a month or to pay full price for a book that you could keep.

With the requests and the suggestions to use the ILL program, I’ve learned a lot about the library. I’ve also learned that I need to save up in order to read some books. I probably should also cross some off of my to-read list unless I want to buy them, too.

  1. The Women’s Room, The Woman Warrior, and Feminism is for Everybody 

  2. Summer Boys and After Summer are books 1 and 3 in the Summer Boys series; the library has books 2 and 4 already. 

  3. I Want It That Way is the first book of the 2B Trilogy; the library has book 2 in the trilogy. 

  4. The Proposal and The Pairing are books 2 and 3 in The Proposition series; the library already has book 1. 

  5. Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice is book 2 in the Farrel Sisters; the library has books 1 and 3. 

  6. The Angel and The Prince are books 2 and 3 in The Original Sinners; the library already has books 1 and 4. 

  7. I won’t even start on my belief that ILL is a way of keeping poor people from accessing educational information; and how it causes me to hearken back to the way the Catholic Church used to hoard knowledge away from the poor. That allowed them to maintain control over populations and keep power in the hands of the Church, the government, and the wealthy. It’s part of what led to the Reformation. 


I saw a different resident in family practice today. She’s actually the doctor I saw last time I went in the OB/GYN department for my Depo at the clinic.1 Another rapid strep test was ordered. It was negative. My glands were checked. She mentioned that my tonsils were no longer swollen2 and that a gland in my neck was enlarged. My ears were clear. My lungs were, too. The end diagnosis was still the same: something viral. 

Her suspicion is that the virus my mom has is the same thing I have–and that either the strep piggybacked on it or that it piggybacked on the strep.  She said that if I didn’t improve in a week to a week and a half that I should come back. She said they might have to do a different culture of my throat to see if I’m growing something else in there. I’m hoping it goes away before then. 

I was just glad she wasn’t so dismissive and was pretty compassionate. I think I would have felt better about DK’s diagnosis if he hadn’t been so rude. It’s a lot easier to accept a diagnosis if you are treated like a person.3

  1. The resident who focused on my progress with weight loss & not the stalling out. 

  2. Actually, she asked if I still had tonsils because she couldn’t see them. 

  3. Protip: Never read forums like studentdoctor–it will ruin any positive feelings you have for doctors. 

Weak Little Bug?

I saw another doctor, who I will be calling Doctor Knowslittle, at UAB on Monday morning. He said that whatever was causing my symptoms after 9 days of clindamycin couldn’t be strep because and I quote, “strep is a weak little bug.”12 He also said that I wasn’t feverish because my temperature had yet to hit the 100.4 °F that some doctors still believe is the norm for fever in adults. Fever isn’t supposed to be defined so rigidly anymore.3

Anyway, he thought that I had mononucleosis or “some other virus” now and that that was what was causing my symptoms to worsen. To prove this, he ordered six blood tests: a CBC, blood smear, CMP, EBV, CMV, and a sed rate.4 The results came in this morning–or, at least, he saw them this morning and called me with them. No mono. No Epstein-Barr or cytomegalovirus. But I did have a high lymphocyte count.5 He told me that it “must just be another virus” because, again, he doesn’t believe that strep throat can continue after so long.6


As my symptoms are continuing to get worse,7 I will be going tomorrow to get checked out by a different doctor. Maybe they’ll have a solution to this whole mess. Maybe they’ll listen and not be dismissive.

But this doctor? I pity anyone who sees him8 and doesn’t get their condition properly treated. If he does this on strep and it’s complications and drug-resistance are so well known, then people with lesser-known issues are totally screwed.

In related news, because it was part of the blood count stuff, my anemia is coming back. Doctor Knowslittle didn’t notice it, but I did. My mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), which is the amount of hemoglobin relative to the size of the cell (hemoglobin concentration) per red blood cell,9 is low. It’s almost as low as it was in September/October 2012, which was after the small iron infusions, but before the big one. It’s the first time it’s been below normal at that clinic since then. My MCH, which is the amount of hemoglobin per red blood cell, was close (0.7 picograms/cell) to being in the low-range.


Another big clue is that my platelet is headed back up. If it hits 400, it will actually be too high, and that will probably happen because it’s a known sign of iron-deficiency anemia. It won’t get super-high, but it will continue to go up until the anemia is treated. Then it will drop off again.


As iron deficiency anemia is one of my primary diagnoses at UAB, it seems like Doctor Knowslittle would have been interested in why my MCHC was low. And that he would have compared the CBC levels from the past few years, but he didn’t.10 And it shouldn’t surprise me that he didn’t, since he’s so well-versed in streptococcus and how it works–and, like I said, that’s well-known shit.11 But a second year resident should be paying attention to this sort of thing. If he doesn’t now, he won’t notice it when he’s in practice on his own, and that could lead to badness.

Anyway, I will not be seeing DK again and I hope that whoever I see tomorrow (or at any other visit) is a bit more knowledgeable. At the very least, I hope they willing to do the research/get a consultation with their resident to make sure they’re not wrong. It’s better to be a doctor who admits they’re not completely sure than to be one who makes a bad call due to an inflated ego. If people are placing their lives and their health in your hands, you need to know what you are talking about.

  1. That’s why it’s never ever been linked to having antibiotic resistant forms or for serious complications for not responding to antibiotics, right? 

  2. Also, from the Concise Reviews of Pediatric Infectious Diseases article “Macrolide-Inducible Resistance to Clindamycin and the D-Test” by Charles R. Woods, MD, MS:

    Clindamycin resistance is common among health care-associated MRSA strains. Most CA-MRSA remain susceptible to date, but resistance rates vary by region. Pneumococcal resistance to clindamycin may exceed 30% in some areas of the US, while about 4% of group A streptococcal isolates are resistant.


  3. The Mayo Clinic says this about fever: “You have a fever when your temperature rises above its normal range. What’s normal for you may be a little higher or lower than the average normal temperature of 98.6 °F (37 °C).” 

  4. But not a blood culture, which could have been used to look for bacterial infections, including strep. 

  5. It is higher than it’s been the whole time that I’ve been going there. 

  6. Lymphocyte counts also go up for bacterial infections. 

  7. A few hours after coming home from the doctor on Monday, my temperature was at 100.5 °F. It took multiple ice packs, several doses of Tylenol, and at least 96 oz. of ice water to get it down into the 99.0-99.9 °F range. Sleep is getting it to 98.1-98.6 °F, but, about an hour later, it’s back in the hot and sweaty range. 

  8. And my dad is assigned to his care, so I’m definitely worried about him. 

  9. NIH 

  10. This is a pet peeve I have with a lot of doctors. If you order a test on someone that has had this test before, then you need to compare the test to the past tests to see how a person’s condition is progressing or declining. If you’re not going to check back, you either shouldn’t be a doctor or you should archive all of their old test results. And if you want to do the last thing because you’re too lazy to actually care about your patient’s history, then you should probably do the former suggestion. 

  11. Okay, I didn’t call it shit, but that works, right? 

And It Was All…Scarlet?

Last night I started developing a rash. When you have as many allergies as I do, rashes are something you pay attention to. And that’s even more true when the rashes occur when you have strep throat. I had two theories: clindamycin allergy or strep complication. One option is no more preferable than the other. 

A clindamycin allergy would mean that my body can tolerate exactly 0 antibiotics used for treatment of strep. It would make it likely that I would need to undergo some desensitization of penicillin. Or I would be fed the line, “maybe your body will fight it off.” A line that would look lovely as an epitaph on my Trail-side tombstone if I died of typhoid while I was in a wagon in search of the Willamette Valley in the mid-nineteenth century.1

A strep complication like scarlet fever would mean potential organ damage or sepsis. One like rheumatic fever could cause heart valve, neuro-system damage, and joint issues. It could also mean that I will have a totally confused medical professional on my hands. Because those complications are a sign the antibiotic isn’t working. And that’s a repeat of the 0 antibiotics situation. 

And what does my family think? It’s scarlet fever unless the rash turns into hives or anaphylaxis. I just need to make it around eleven more hours without dying or completely losing my mind and I may have my answers. 

But, like I said, there are no good answers. 

  1. Why, yes, I am a longtime fan of Oregon Trail

While We Were Out

I had to make a trip to the library and to Walmart on Saturday. I needed to return some books, DVDs, and CDs to the library, and I needed milk chocolate chocolate chips and pancake mix at Walmart. And on the drive, we talked about this bout of strep, the miscarriage she had after my parents got married, the almost miscarriages she had while pregnant with me, & about all the weird things I ended up inheriting from one or both sides of the family–including drug allergies and bad immune systems. 

Since some of those things are recessive, she felt the need to apologize for passing on those genes. She also decided she needed to apologize for ending up in a relationship with someone who carried similar recessive genes. She said that if she’d known, she would have done things differently and that she realizes a lot of my issues wouldn’t have happened if they’d had children with other people. 

Part of me is glad she is finally acknowledging something that’s been a sticking point in my relationships with both parents. But I also don’t like the realization because it means if they’d done things differently that I wouldn’t be here. I may wish for that sometimes, but I don’t really want it. I don’t like a lot of what I’ve experienced, but I really don’t know if I’d want to change that. 

If I hadn’t been sick or hurt so much, maybe I could have participated in soccer or volleyball or skating or taken dance longer. Maybe I could have had real Christmas trees and fewer doctor appointments. If I wasn’t mentally ill, maybe I would have graduated high school and not gotten my GED, maybe I would have gone away to school, maybe I’d be married and babied.

But things still could have gone badly. Or they could have altered important experiences–good & bad.  

If I hadn’t been abused or bullied, I might not have gotten so involved in online stuff. I would have missed out on amazing friendships that mean so much to me, even if I don’t act like it. If I’d been able to have a “normal” love life, I might not have gotten stood up on what was supposed to be my first date. I also might not have gotten to meet A and have an unconventional, but wonderful experience of important firsts.  

So, yeah, I’d love to have had a happier or healthier existence. I’d love if my parents could have had happy and healthy kids in a happy and healthy marriage–or happy and healthy marriages. But I wouldn’t be me. I might not even exist. And that is something I don’t like thinking of any more than I like being sick, easily injured, or painfully shy. 

I spent so long hating my body for its flaws, my brain for its issues, and my family for bringing me into existence. I don’t want to be like that. Not anymore. So I will deal with my drug allergies and my never-ending strep as long as it means that I get to keep being me. 

Thanks, mom, for wanting to spare me of suffering, but I’m good.