Ironically, I pay others for the work I do. You may need to read that twice to let it sink in. I pay health insurance companies, doctors, and pharmacists to do a job that I actually do because they don’t – or can’t. Though it’s not on my resume, I’m a Professional Patient. I make the phone calls when I catch the mistakes because no one else has the time. I make the phone calls when my doctor doesn’t know what my other doctor said, even though they share a computer system. I call to make sure my prescription is filled on time. I call to make sure my insurance company will cover a service because it’s not clearly stated in my plan information. I call to challenge billing errors and then I call to follow up at least three times before it’s settled. Continue reading The Work of a Professional Patient→
I’m afraid of black men. Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about domestic violence. Really, this has nothing to do with black men. Except it does, for me.
I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is triggered when I see a black man on the sidewalk or riding a bike. This is because I have experienced domestic abuse at the hands of a former boyfriend who happens to be black. I hate this. I absolutely hate that black men are the trigger. Why? Because I love black men. I love everyone. I am terrified that my fear, which has nothing at all to do with black men, might show itself and make a lovely black man think that I, a white woman, hate him. Just because black men trigger a physiological response from memories being pinned to a bed, against a wall, and restrained in a bathroom by my former black boyfriend does not mean I hate black men. It just means that seeing a black man in a public space causes a fight or flight response in me: several moments of intense fear manifested by heavy breathing, a rapid heartbeat, and blurred mental acuity. The times that these triggers have actually been accurate – when the black man on the sidewalk has been my ex – my panic actually lasts for many hours while my brain replays the encounter along with memories of the abuse, leaving my body tense and my brain a mess. Continue reading I’m Afraid of Black Men→
I didn’t want to start this blog. I knew it would get me in trouble. The kind of trouble that puts me in front of a crowd of 200 people from around the world to talk about what it’s like to live with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I’m in trouble. Big time.
I didn’t want to dive into something bigger than I could handle – something that had the potential to amplify my voice into something like…well, like this conference I’m going to in San Francisco the first weekend in November. I’ve really done it now.
Rachael died the day before her daughter was due to be born.
But baby Ruth was already over four months old when Rachael died. She was born so early she weighed less than a pound – 0.95 pounds, to be exact. That’s less than the weight of a four-stick package of butter.
Our physical bodies are on loan to us. They will die. It is our spirit bodies that are unique and will never die. It is our spirit bodies that fall in love; our physical bodies only transmit it through touch. It is what we leave behind of our spirit bodies, our love, that becomes our legacy. Continue reading Remembering Rachael, Raising Ruth→