Education


If you’re looking for a charity to donate to, I’ve included links to the donation pages of the charities listed under each category. Most of these originally were posted as part of my 2016 holiday wishlist. Abuse and Sexual Assault 1in6 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence RAINN Animal Rights ASPCA Antisemitism ADL Capital Punishment National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Civil Liberties ACLU Disability Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Environment/Science Clinton Foundation EarthJustice GreenPeace NRDC Union of Concerned Scientists Human Rights Human Rights Watch USA for UNHCR Women’s Refugee Commission Islamophobia CAIR Journalism ProPublica RSF LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign Lambda Legal SPLC Trevor Project Poverty Alabama Arise Clinton Foundation Racism Black Lives Matter Mexican American Legal Defense Fund NAACP and its Legal Defense Fund SPLC Reproductive Rights/Feminism Center for Reproductive Rights Clinton Foundation EMILY’s List Guttmacher NARAL National Abortion Federation National Organization for Women Planned Parenthood She Should Run Women’s Refugee Commission If you have any suggestions for this list, please let me know.

Charitable Shortcuts


In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I loathe Donald Trump and don’t want the man to be President. I’m in the process of publishing a list of 2016 reasons to oppose him. Trump’s followers have a tendency to ask for reasons why people don’t like them and they tend to dismiss them as having no basis in reality. They even suggest that Mr. Trump has been misunderstood by the media and by people who’ve watched his speeches live. This list will hopefully show that Donald Trump has been advocating for some pretty awful stuff throughout his career as a real-estate-developer-turned-reality-television-star-turned-presidential-candidate. His “gaffes” aren’t new, nor is his bigotry. And alleging a 43 year campaign by the media to smear him and ruin his chance at becoming President is a big clue that he is the one who is saying things that are not based in reality. 132. Opposed to a living wage, then for it, then opposed to it… I don’t even know if Trump knows how he feels about raising the minimum wage at this point. He can’t keep his story straight if asked twice within a twenty-four-to-forty-eight hour period. I wonder if he contemplates raising the minimum wage while sitting on his gold throne. 133. Blamed concept of climate change on China. He now claims his 2012 tweet about China creating a climate change hoax was a joke. You know, like his hacking joke and his “blood coming out of her whatever” joke. It’s a good thing that Donald didn’t go into stand-up comedy because his comedy career would deplete the world of its tomatoes. Anyway, the supposed joke is something that he’s referenced repeatedly, even before he joked about it. If it’s really a “joke”, and “it isn’t, then even he doesn’t get it. 134. Taxing Chinese exports. He wants to put a forty-five percent tariff on Chinese exports. In other news, the zombie form of George III is planning on suing Donald Trump for using his shtick of supporting outrageously high taxes. 135. His claim of beating China in trade deals. He backed it up by saying that he owns part of a Bank of American building that he got from China in a war. Actually, it was a result of a relationship between Hong Kong billionaires and Trump after they helped rescue him from having to file another bankruptcy on a property; when the property was sold without his support, Trump waged a legal battle with them. That chunk of the bank building he bragged about getting was something he had to settle for after he lost the legal battle. 136. Said US leaders would invite El Chapo to become a citizen. Someone in his family or his campaign needs to take his Twitter account away from him. 137. Calls himself the least racist. Considering his lack of understanding of how even the simplest things work, it’s unsurprising that he considers himself to not be a racist. 138. Bragged about a former employee calling him the least sexist boss she’d ever had. Apparently, he didn’t realize that she didn’t say that he wasn’t sexist, just that he was the least sexist. 139. Stacie J. While Trump wants to capitalize on his fame from The Apprentice in this election, it’s important to remember every single time he did something flat-out-wrong on that show. Case in point, his treatment of Stacie J. Other competitors portrayed her as mentally ill because she consulted a Magic 8-Ball toy before her team did their tasks. He called her a “loose cannon” and fired her, violating the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. He fired her simply for behaving in a way that was perceived as being due to mental illness. 140. Trump stigmatizing the mentally ill. This is a continuation of the Stacie J situation. Because of Stacie’s quirky behavior he said, “This comes from two people, Stacie, that don’t like each other at all. The first thing they’ve agreed on is that you’re crazy…Stacie, if you have a problem, I don’t want you running my companies.” This suggests that Trump refuses to hire or continue to employ mentally ill people. This is backed up by his use of ableist terms like “nut job”, “crazy” and “wacko” to demean Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Elizabeth Warren. He conflates mental illness with crime and said that gun-free zones that gun-free zones are “target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill.” A man who willingly tears down the mentally ill should not be in charge of a country where 25% of the population is believed to have a mental illness; and at least two-thirds are either unaware of it or are going untreated for it. 141. Painted himself as the hero of NYC in New York Times article in 1983. According to Trump, he alone is responsible for Grand Central being renovated and hotel jobs being saved. 142. Doesn’t like compromise. He told Life magazine in January 1989, “I’m not big on compromise. I understand compromise. Sometimes compromise is the right answer, but oftentimes compromise is the equivalent of defeat, and I don’t like being defeated.” 143. He suggested success/deal-making is genetic; that people who don’t succeed are afraid to or are “life’s losers”. In 1984, he told Lois Romano of the Washington Post, “Some people have an ability to negotiate. It’s an art you’re basically born with. You either have it or you don’t.” In The Art of the Deal, Trump said, “Most people think small, because most people are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning.” He also said, “One of the problems when you become successful is that jealousy and envy inevitably follow. There are people—I categorize them as life’s losers—who get their sense of accomplishment and achievement from trying to stop others. As far as I’m concerned, if they had any real ability they wouldn’t be fighting me, they’d be doing something constructive themselves.” 144. […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #132-158



Surprising no one, Donald Trump Jr. is a-okay with the confederate flag, doesn’t get the ‘nonsense’ surrounding it. https://t.co/HUOiprNc3h — American Bridge (@American_Bridge) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr I’m southern and my family has been in America since the 17th Century. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr My family, unlike yours, fought in the Civil War. On both sides. One was captured at Gettysburg, so I'm going to — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr quickly school you on the flag and the war. The confederate flag represents support of slavery & denigrating people — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr on the basis of race. It also stands for hatred of and rebellion against the United States. If you find that flag to be — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr worthy of display, you are supporting a disregard of freedom, of humanity, and a disdain for this country, for its values. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr You aren’t saying you want this country to be great. You’re saying you don’t want it to exist at all. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 .@DonaldJTrumpJr The CSA’s leaders hated that flag after the war because they knew what it stood for, something you clearly do not get. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 I don’t have time for confederate flag apologists. — Janet Morris (@janersm) July 29, 2016 I’m really starting to wonder about the quality of private school education. I am definitely worried about the Trump campaign’s and the Trump family’s desire to dog-whistle racists. Of course, it might not be that much of a dog-whistle since Trump Spawn #1 also seems to be into InfoWars and Alex Jones. Something is definitely off if he’s into that. Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

Tomorrow is the big day. I get to see my cardiologist again. I won’t pretend to be excited about it. I’m not. I’m not dreading it either. I already know what to expect & that I need not expect the doctor to be all that personable.1   I have a feeling he will be a little nicer today than he has been in the past.2 I have discovered that doctors who might ordinarily be dismissive of me because I’m fat3 are super-excited to find out that I’m trying to exercise more & lose the weight.4 Of course, they also tend to go, “How can we let you exercise when your health is so messed up?”56 And I’ll be like, “Yeah, that’s what I tried to get across to you umpteen gazillion times before.”7 I digress.  He should be happy that I’m trying to do the healthy thing. I don’t know if he will actually be happy though. Maybe so.8 And I don’t know if he’ll approve of the exercising. I hope he will. I think he will. But I don’t know he will.9 I hope he won’t send me home in a holter monitor. I hate those things. They’re uncomfortable & they don’t go well with water, so it makes showering a no-go thing, and that causes the itching in my brain10 to go into overdrive. It’s not good when I start thinking I’m dirty.11 I know that UAB wanted a new echocardiogram ordered, but I don’t know if the cardiologist will want to do one. If he does choose to do an echo, it’ll probably be done tomorrow in the office.12 So if I go through one & find out the results before I leave,13 I will try to write an entry about it.  Oh, I went to the pool twice last week and again today. Last Friday, a woman asked me if all I was going to do was walk back and forth in the pool14 and asked how many more times I would do that.15 Anyway, I just shrugged & told her that I had no idea. Today she just smiled & headed to the other end of the pool.16  In other moments of awkwardness, this time online, there is this annoying ass group of people from Louisiana who just won’t go the fuck away on Twitter.17 LSU has let in some truly awful people into their institution as Freshmen for the 2015-2016 school year. Not only are they ignorant assholes, they know jackshit about SEC football. They thought my preference of Tigers18 wearing orange and blue meant I liked Clemson. Ew. When I pointed out that Clemson was orange & purple and not in the conference, they continued to harp on my “liking” Clemson19 and said there was no way for them to know that Auburn was the school I was referring to20 because they have lives.21 Anyway, they’ve kept my block button busy. I don’t understand how “adults” can be so childish. It’s just pathetic. They’re pathetic. I really pity them. Bless their ignorant little hearts, the real world is gonna eat them up.  Photo via Visualhunt.com He’s not. ↩Not that he’s a douche. He’s nice, but he’s not really the soft-eyed, overly compassionate type either. He’s the former head of the cardiology department at Huntsville Hospital, and the hospital is a top cardiac facility in the country, so he’s got medical skills. I’m in good hands. ↩So pretty much all of them. ↩Great self-esteem boost, guys. ↩Not a direct quote. ↩But “so messed up” is a scientific term. It’s gotta be. ↩I put off exercising for a long time for a lot of reasons, but the fact that various doctor<strong><em>s</em></strong> had told me over the years that my lungs or heart or joints or other issues weren’t healthy enough for exercise played a major part. ↩Fingers crossed. ↩That makes sense, right? ↩OCD. ↩OCD may look like a quirky, fun time. It isn’t. ↩They have a room where they do them. ↩Unlikely. ↩Bitch, I might be. ↩Until I’m hungry or tired or thirsty or some combination of these things. ↩Did I just level up on socialization? No? Damn. ↩I’ve blocked so many members of this one girl’s social group. ↩Not the cat kind. ↩Ew. ↩It’s called Google. ↩This is why they felt the need to tweet me on repeated occasions to compare me to Godzilla & various other monsters. Tweets they felt obligated to make because I don’t like Trump. Yeah, what awesome lives they must lead. There are shitlords out there who have more respect for others. ↩

Every Super-Fast Beat of My Heart



3:54 pm: The woman behind us got a call about her friend. The friend’s water broke…at 18-20 weeks. The woman & her entourage1 seem to think babies can magically develop really early if they’re girls. Not surprisingly, they think that this woman will have a healthy little girl twenty-something weeks early. This is embarrassing and sad. Embarrassing because everyone should know enough about science & reproduction to know this kid isn’t going to survive. Sad because it’s going to blindside them when they get the news & this is an already sad situation.2 4:17 pm: An office person is walking through telling patients how many people are ahead of them.3 She couldn’t find my name on the list4 & asked whether I was a work in. I told her no. She finally found me. There were four ahead of me. Two different patients sitting near me are next in line for their doctors. Another is third in line for hers.5 And a post-op patient’s family complained to the woman because they have a two hour wait ahead of them–they just got here. Seriously, I’m shocked at how much they’re complaining about it. Anyone who comes here has a long wait. And long waits have happened with TOC for decades. Their doctor may have had to perform a surgery or deal with emergencies. That happens. Not just at orthopedics clinics. Cardiologists, neurologists, pulmonologists, ob/gyns. About the only place where it’s unacceptable is at a psychiatrist.6 4:52 pm: I was first taken to the cast room. Now I’m in a regular exam room. The nurse decided that the cast room didn’t give enough privacy.7 The nurse called the new room “the Auburn room” because it had an autographed Auburn jersey in it.8 5:03 pm: My knee has arthritis & non-specific damage. I’m going to go back through physical therapy two days a week for four weeks & I may start at-home stim treatments. They’re also fitting me with a brace & prescribing an anti-inflammatory spray that has to be special ordered through a pharmacy in New York. If it doesn’t get better, I get to come back again. He said that they can’t do surgery on it to find out what damage is unless I go through more physical therapy.9 He seems to think physical therapy will make it all better. I’m very doubtful, especially since I’ve already had around two months of it. I think that if physical therapy was going to help that it would have started helping already. I think it’s her mom. ↩Comprehensive sex education & strong science education would not only prevent unwanted pregnancies and help standardized test scores, it would help people like this woman understand that her friend is probably going to suffer a heartbreaking loss. They might stop her labor. She might make it far enough to keep her child. But the odds aren’t in her favor. Like I said, this is sad. ↩My appointment time was 3:45 pm. ↩Eventually, I am going to develop a complex over this. ↩Six doctors were in this afternoon. ↩It can even be unacceptable there. ↩It had a curtain separating it from another–occupied–room. ↩So did the cast room. ↩I didn’t ask about surgery. ↩

Brace Yourself 


Ladies and gentlemen and everyone else, I am seriously alarmed by the diagnosis that my doctor, now a second-year-resident, made the other day. I thought that she said I had popliteal tendinitis. The diagnosis on the patient summary was pes anserinus tendinitis. These are very different tendons. Now, if you don’t want a bit of an anatomy lesson, I’d say go now. I’ll only use tables and not cadaver images,1 so if you’re interested, but worried you’ll see some limb of a dead dude, there is no need to worry. I promise that I won’t be really gross about it, but if anatomy just isn’t your thing and you want to skip this entry, that’s totally fine. Since all good anatomy lessons start with the basics, maybe we should start at what a tendon is. A tendon is a type of connective tissue that connects the muscles to the bones or to other muscles. Ligaments connect bones with other bones. Bones are the things that you drink milk for, unless you’re lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy. I present the popliteal tendon, which sits right at the “knee” above the fibula in the back.  The fibula is the bone on the outside of the calf. It’s the bitty bitty, in width, bone that keeps the ankle stable and holds the muscles in place. Injuring this tendon is pretty rare unless you injure other things in the knee. Symptoms of popliteus tendinitis are inflammation, pain, swelling, or tenderness outside of the knee. The more the patient does before it is treated, the more likely the patient is to build up scar tissue and that causes pain every time you move the joint. This is the pes anserinus. The pes anserinus is a group conjoined tendons of three muscles that insert onto the front and inside part of the tibia. The symptom of this type of tendinitis is pain that develops on the inside or center of the shinbone about 3 inches below the knee. Now, where does the pain happen to reside? The worst pain is on the outside of my knee. It is toward the back of my knee. It hurts when I bend my knee. It hurts the more I used it. The minor pain on the inside of my leg and on the front of my leg is actually above my knee. I’m not diagnosing myself. There are tissues of different sorts making up the area in and around the knee. I’m not going to say it’s one or the other, but I am going to say that if it’s the pes anserinus, then it’s probably a case worthy of some peer-reviewed studies. It would have to be the weirdest case ever. The diagnosis is why I am alarmed. I told the doctor exactly where it was hurting. She even examined the outside, back area. But she not only suggested a part that is in a totally different area, she officially diagnosed it. And the attending2 signed off on it without actually examining the joint. I shouldn’t have to know the actual make-up of the knee joint because that’s their job. Doctors spend all of those years in school studying anatomy. When they get to the Residency program of one of the best medical schools in the country, they should know the structures of the knee and what sides those structures are on. She only has this year and next left in her residency, and this is something she should have known before she even became a resident. Even as a family practice doctor, she should know this stuff. If she was planning to be a psychiatrist, I wouldn’t be so scared, but family practice doctors deal with joint injuries. Mistakes made in treatment could cause grievous injury to otherwise healthy people. This is scary stuff. Cadaver images would be what you would see in an anatomy textbook, so consider yourself lucky. ↩AKA the main person my family is calling “the idiot” for prescribing NSAIDs to a GERD + Gastric Bypass patient. ↩

It Doesn’t Even Go There