This morning, I looked at my Facebook memories and realized that one year ago, the world lost Christine McVie, the luminary singer, keyboardist, and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac. As I remembered my shock at the sudden departure of McVie, a musician I’ve admired for most of my life, I remembered that one of her former bandmates was also recently on my mind.
Lindsey Buckingham, legendary guitar player, songwriter, singer, and former member of Fleetwood Mac, is running an ad on his Facebook page that I happened to see. I fully support Lindsey’s decision to support Planned Parenthood through Wear Your Music, an organization that makes and sells jewelry from guitar strings. In fact, I applaud it. For the most part, Planned Parenthood does good work, offering reproductive healthcare to people– men and women– who need it. Yes, Planned Parenthood offers abortions, but abortion is a very small part of what Planned Parenthood does… and if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you already know how strongly I feel about the need for safe and legal access to abortion healthcare. I do not, by the way, wish to argue about this point. I won’t be changing my mind.
It always amazes me how many trolls come out when an artist expresses support for something like reproductive healthcare. While many people were congratulating Buckingham’s decision to support a very worthy cause, plenty of other people– many of them men and older women who no longer have to worry about unintended pregnancies– were chiming in on how awful Planned Parenthood is, and how wrong it is for Buckingham to support it. Lots of people were commenting about how Buckingham’s decision changed their opinions of him… as if that is going to matter a whit to Lindsey Buckingham. I doubt he’ll lose any sleep over their outrage.
Poor Bill had to listen to my outrage at some of the braindead comments on Buckingham’s ad. It infuriates me to read the sanctimonious, slut shaming, and just plain clueless remarks made by people who insist that they care about the sanctity of life, as they vote for people who don’t give a fuck about anyone but the super wealthy. One woman commented repeatedly about how she’d rather Buckingham donate money to pay for ultrasounds for pregnant people who are considering abortion. When someone asked her how many babies she’d adopted, she responded that she hadn’t adopted any… but gives money to “organizations that do.”
That struck me as a strange comment. This woman is no doubt a Republican, and Republicans constantly yammer about how government needs to be smaller and less involved in people’s personal decisions. And yet, she feels perfectly fine about inserting herself in one of the most private and personal decisions a woman can make. I also didn’t see her commenting about what she does to make sure the babies born to women who aren’t ready to be parents have a good start in life.
I NEVER see pro-life people ever offering to help pregnant women with anything that would make pregnancy safer, and parenthood more feasible for them. I don’t see them offering to hire pregnant women, helping them pay for food, rent, or medical bills, or otherwise trying to make pregnancy easier for women who find themselves facing parenthood when they aren’t ready. They repeatedly bring up adoption as a good solution, but never seem to consider that pregnancy is physically and emotionally risky for some people.
Some of those babies born to mothers who aren’t ready for them are going to suffer from abuse, neglect, poverty, and other social ills, because, at this point, we don’t force people give up their babies to “good” parents. Moreover, left to their own devices, a lot of women who would want to have an abortion for the sake of convenience would do it as early as possible, if people would just leave them alone and let them make the decision without interference. The people who speak of carelessness and convenience don’t seem to realize that pregnancy shouldn’t be a punishment. Life is hard enough as it is. I wouldn’t want a very irresponsible person maintaining a pregnancy, especially if they don’t have any support. Republicans don’t want to support anyone or anything but the wealthy and the religious.
I have repeatedly stated that, personally, I don’t think I would have ever chosen to have an abortion. Thankfully, I was never in a situation where I would have needed to consider it. But that’s me– and that’s my choice. And I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when I still had the choice, if I needed to make it. Today’s young women are no longer guaranteed that choice. While a lot of pro-lifers remind everyone that pregnancy is prevented by abstinence, quite a few of those folks are men, and as almost every woman knows, men can be very persuasive when they’re in the mood for sex. Unfortunately, not all of them are willing to wear condoms.
Planned Parenthood has helped many people with reproductive healthcare issues that have nothing to do with abortion. The organization offers affordable, accessible care to people who really need it. As someone with master’s degrees in public health and social work, of course I support the valuable work they do. Someone else’s choice to have an abortion is NONE of my business. It’s none of yours, either.
Someone who doesn’t support Planned Parenthood posted that they were glad Lindsey was upfront about where the money would be going. I thought that was a reasonable comment. If you choose not to support Planned Parenthood, of course that’s your prerogative. I highly doubt the man who posted his thoughts on this was going to buy any guitar string jewelry, anyway. I mean, I support Lindsey’s choice in charities, but I’m not interested in buying guitar string jewelry myself. It makes me think too much about what a pain it is to change the strings on my guitar.
I have donated to Planned Parenthood, though, and maybe it’s time I did so again. That’s a cause I believe in, wholeheartedly. I just wish there was a way to donate that didn’t potentially put my credit card at risk. Last time I donated to a cause, my card got hacked, and it was a huge pain in the ass. Just a few days ago, someone got ahold of my old number and tried to use it for nefarious purposes. I wish those criminal dirtbags would get jobs.
Anyway… it saddens me that so many Americans think they need to weigh in on other Americans’ reproductive choices. Especially when MOST of them have no desire to do anything more than slut shame, scream about their gun rights, and vote for people like Donald Trump. It really saddens me how very ignorant people are. And frankly, it reminds me that I’m glad I don’t have any children to worry about… especially daughters.
I am very glad to see women in Texas suing the state over the ridiculous and extreme abortion bans there. I wish most of them would simply leave the state. It’s so dangerous to be a woman in a state where doctors are afraid to do what is medically correct, because they don’t want to go to jail, get sued, or lose their license to practice over the abortion issue. IT IS A DECISION THAT SHOULD BE PRIVATE… just as private as John MAGA’s prostate surgery is. And just as sacred as John MAGA’s guns are…
I’m still thinking about what today’s fresh content will be about, so meanwhile, here’s a repost from January 18, 2018. I am reposting it as/is, with minimal edits.
Leave it to George Takei to provide early morning food for thought. He’s always posting controversial stuff that gets the masses “talking”… or posting. This morning, he posted about model Lauren Wasser, who, in 2012, lost her right leg to an infection. Wasser, who is now 29 years old, was 24 when she experienced flu-like symptoms while menstruating. Wasser was a tampon user and evidently unaware of the risks of toxic shock syndrome, a life threatening bacterial infection that can sometimes come about through tampon use.
Wasser went to a birthday party the night the infection started and her friends told her she should go home because she looked unwell. As the night progressed, Wasser grew more ill. Her fever rose to 107 degrees. Her kidneys were failing. She had a heart attack and very nearly died. Fortunately, there was an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, who recognized the symptoms of TSS and removed the offending tampon. Wasser’s condition improved, although her mother and godfather were told they should plan her funeral. Later, doctors told her that she needed to have her right leg amputated or she would die.
Five years after her dramatic medical ordeal, Wasser has also lost her left leg to TSS. It was the article about her second amputation that I read this morning, just as the coffee was hitting my brain stem. As horrifying as I realize being a double amputee is bound to be, I was also horrified by some of the nasty comments left by readers. Some of them apparently think Wasser is wrong to try to bring awareness to how she got so sick.
Wash your cooter and change your tampon?
I dunno, maaan. Y’all always be cuttin’ eyes at each other like something may have to go down one day so you don’t wanna get too friendly with each other.
That’s why dudes love seeing gals make out so much: Because we just wanna see y’all gettin’ along. #GirlPower
Yeah I don’t get it. She made a dumb choice and is trying to blame the manufacturer. All tampons come with a warning about TSS and say to leave in no longer than 8 hours. It was also pretty much the first thing you learned in sex Ed. I’m sorry she went through that but there is no crusade to be had.
This is just a sampling…
I will admit, I did laugh inwardly at the one person who compared this situation to that of adults eating Tide laundry pods. I laughed, not because I think the two situations are comparable, but because I don’t understand how in the world some people can think eating Tide Pods is a good idea. If I was going to comment about another person’s stupidity and lack of self-preservation, it would be in response to that trend, which seems incredibly foolish to me.
Wasser’s case, however, just seems very tragic to me. There she was, a perfectly normal, young, healthy woman living life. She did what countless women do every month. She got her period, used a tampon, and came down with a near fatal infection that almost caused her death and robbed her of both of her legs. I can’t understand how some people think she should be criticized for getting so sick and wanting to share her story. Isn’t it enough that she’s lost her legs?
I do remember hearing about the risk of TSS in the early 1980s, when I first learned about menstruation. I have never been a tampon user myself. I tried them a couple of times and they were never comfortable, so I have always stuck with using pads. Some people say that menstrual cups are the best thing going now, but I’ve never used them. Since it appears that I’m now in perimenopause, I see no reason to try them now. I haven’t had a period since late November. This is the first time since I was 14 that I’ve missed a month. To be honest, it’s kind of a weird feeling knowing that my chances of motherhood are now practically nil. Where did the years go? On the other hand…
Anyway, I will be glad to be finished with the whole experience of having periods. I’m sure some of my readers will be glad when I stop writing about them, too. ETA in 2023:If I make it to New Year’s without having a period, I will be officially in menopause. Yea!
As for Lauren Wasser, I feel nothing but empathy for her situation. She’s fortunate to have friends and family who are willing to help her. Not everyone is so lucky. I applaud her for being brave enough to speak out about her experience. TSS is rare, and it doesn’t just happen to women who use tampons. However, the risks of TSS associated with tampon use should not be overlooked. I agree with the commenter who mentioned that reading the warnings on boxes of tampons is somewhat akin to reading the terms and conditions on Apple products. Plenty of women use tampons and don’t know the risks of TSS. Lauren Wasser’s case puts a tragic face to what can happen. I think she should be supported rather than criticized. And if her story saves someone else’s life… or just their legs… so much the better.
You might say today’s post is a continuation of the one I wrote on Monday. I probably shouldn’t write this, because no one seems interested in the post that is parenting it. But I’m not known for having the ability to let things go. 😉
As I was sitting here pondering what I wanted to blog about today, now that my Armenia series is finished, I considered a few topics. There’s the controversy over Dolly Parton’s impressive Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader outfit for her halftime show on Thanksgiving Day. I have seen the performance, and I think Dolly rocked it. She looked pretty awesome in that costume, and she showed a lot of moxie for wearing it. I mean, she’s 77 years old! I know a lot of 17 year olds who would not be able to wear that outfit without looking completely ridiculous. Dolly can still pull it off. I say, let her wear it, and STFU… but that’s just me. I am with Dolly’s younger sister, Stella, on the haters out there. Shame on them!
Then I found myself listening to the utterly puke worthy 80s song, “I’ve Never Been to Me” by Charlene. I’ve been making an 80s nostalgia playlist, and even though that song makes me kind of nauseous, I decided to download it, anyway. It was on a compilation album that had a bunch of other songs on it that were either much better, or were also guilty pleasure hits from that era. I may have to write an in depth post on Charlene’s song about how it’s better to be a married woman with a child than someone who’s been all over the world and made love to kings. I mean, I guess I get the point that being attached to someone and having a family can be wonderful. But so can travel and independence and experiencing new and interesting things. Not everyone wants to change diapers and stay in the same place where they went to high school.
Then, after I finished some of the mundane Wednesday chores I do, because I’m a housewife, I ventured to RfM (Recovery from Mormonism). There, I saw the contentious thread I referenced in my earlier post had been updated. It was already a long thread, so after two new responses, it was closed. The transgender poster who had called out “overly helpful diva”, had responded to another poster who had taken great pains to be sensitive and helpful. The other poster had written that she didn’t want to “psychoanalyze” the transgender person. And the transgender person responded:
I don’t need a psychoanalysis, I just need you and [others] to listen.
About eight months back anybody started a thread about a fundie school refusing to play another school and it turned into a cesspool of bunk science and cissexism, the belief that trans people are worth less than cis people. I got sick of hearing posters who dealt with Mormonism and its abusive hierarchy demeaning trans people in a similar way so I called them out for it.
That’s when I found out this board tolerates transphobia more than calling transphobia out. Read it for yourself if you have the stomach for it.
I don’t need to debate people who consider my loved ones “less equal.” And over something as childish as throwing a ball or running.
Again… this isn’t an issue I know anything about, and it’s not something for which I have particularly strong feelings. However, I do think I can muster some empathy for this person, because they have experienced discrimination and adversity. They are trying to share their perspective. I understand that it probably is very frustrating, because for so long, no one cared at all about those who are transgender. They were basically just labeled as freaks and perverts.
Now, in 2023, some people are starting to listen to them and realize that they have needs that need to be expressed and addressed. At the same time, I also think it’s unrealistic to expect people to change their opinions and perspectives on a dime. That kind of change is going to take time. I’ll probably never see it in my lifetime. It might happen after I’m dead, provided the Earth doesn’t self-destruct. The main thing is, I think people should try to have some empathy and an attitude of helpfulness and kindness. At least at first.
Once again, overly helpful diva chimed in, even though she wasn’t specifically called out or addressed in the above comment. Her response was this:
You feel lots of rage. That means you’re right.
Once again, she contributed a dismissive, discounting, sniping, and just plain rude and unempathic comment. Why did overly helpful diva need to add that snarky barb? Hadn’t she already posted enough? I think she’s repeatedly made herself quite clear. But she obviously didn’t think she had posted enough, because she had to have the last word… and sadly, the thread closed with her parting shot. For once, I’d like to see someone else have the last word in their online interactions with her.
You see, it’s not that I don’t think overly helpful diva sometimes makes good points. She is good at arguing, and as it was pointed out in that thread, she is a “talented researcher”. But she seemingly lacks the ability to soften her approach and realize that sometimes, the other person has a point, too. She behaves like someone who can never be wrong. And while she has no problem calling me and other people out when she thinks we’re out of line, she is not one to accept the same treatment from other people. When she gets called out, she becomes condescending and patronizing. If that doesn’t work, she’s sarcastic and rude. She’s a hypocrite.
I’m not even trying to say the transgender person wasn’t also rude. But that person has a personal stake in this argument that is beyond just being a woman who has fought for fairness and equality in sports. Add in the fact that the transgender person also grew up in Mormonism, and you have someone with a lot of raw feelings. And, it just seems to me, that if you’re constantly going to be taking a superior attitude toward people, maybe you might have some compassion for what that person has been through and continues to endure. That, to me, would be more impressive than resorting to sarcasm and rudeness.
Or, if it’s not possible to be compassionate, perhaps just shutting up would be preferable. Simply let that person have their say without chiming in with unnecessary insults. I mean, someone who really is superior would do that, right? It was the advice overly helpful diva gave me when I addressed the MEAN person who insulted Arran when he died. She unhelpfully advised me not to respond to the “troll”, even though I did so in a basically even-handed way. Perhaps she should heed her own advice and restrain herself from “adding fuel to the fire”, as she put it, and offering advice nobody wants or needs.
I feel sorry for the moderators on RfM. They have a tough job. Between people who are hurting deeply due to religious abuse and family dysfunction, arrogant people who can’t follow their own advice, and people like me, who write about these incidents, it can’t be easy to run that board. But one thing I would tell the moderators, if they cared about my opinion, is that people who act like the “overly helpful diva” are not conducive to encouraging communication. She may not outwardly tell people to shut up, but her overbearing insistence that she’s always right is a barrier to conversation. I find her very off putting, and knowing that she might chime in on something I post makes me hesitate to post anything there anymore. Sometimes, it actually feels unsafe.
In fairness to “overly helpful diva”, there are other rude and abrasive people who post there, too. I just don’t seem to clash as much with them. I, for one, have developed a distaste for a certain male atheist who posts on RfM. I think Alexis knows of whom I write. He bothers me less than the overly helpful diva, though. I just skip over his posts. It’s too bad. There are a lot of interesting, intelligent, and very kind people who hang out on RfM. When it’s good, it’s really good. But when it’s bad, it can be downright terrible. I’ll always be grateful to RfM for introducing me to some good books and music, too. I’ve found a lot of the people there have great taste in things to listen to and read.
Anyway, I just wanted to get all of that off my chest. I’m not saying the “overly helpful diva” is 100 percent wrong in her opinions about this particular issue. I’m saying that her delivery sucks, and she turns people off by being an all knowing, condescending, sarcastic jerk. And the older I get, the less time I have for her, and her ilk. 😀
I was never much of a fan of George W. Bush’s. On the other hand, I’d love to have him back in the White House over Donald Trump. Back when Bush Jr. was in office, people thought he was the antichrist. I can remember my sister actually calling him that. At the time she used that term, Bill and I were kind of appalled. We were more conservative then, and still had basic respect for Presidents, no matter who they were. Donald Trump has kind of ruined that mystique for us. He made a joke of the US Presidency.
Anyway… W is on my mind this morning, not because I want to write about his time as POTUS, nor because I want to bash Donald Trump. I’m thinking about Bush II because of his famous gaffes. One in particular is sticking out to me today. On November 6, 2000– almost 23 years ago to the day– Bush was in Bentonville, Arkansas, no doubt on the campaign trail. And he said, “They misunderestimated me.”
I’m assuming Bush II meant that people “underestimated” him and his ability to take care of himself or, perhaps, cause issues for other people. It’s usually a mistake to sell anyone short, especially when you don’t know them very well. People do it all the time, though. I suppose it makes things easier for them in the short term. Someone pops up as a “problem” and the person looks at them, gauges the threat, and blows them off, only to have that person later hand them their ass.
Bill and I are both the type of people who get “misunderestimated” a lot. People make assumptions about the type of people we are based only on what they see and perceive. They don’t take the time to get to know us, and assume we’re weak. It doesn’t occur to them to look at history, or consider things that aren’t immediately obvious to them. They underestimate everything from our maturity levels to our cognitive abilities to our level of fear of the unknown. They bluster at, threaten, or ridicule us, thinking that will get us under control. Then they’re surprised when we pull the rug out from under them and they land on their asses.
I am reminded of this phenomenon this morning as I was looking at my Facebook memories from 2017. That was one of the more challenging times in our marriage, as we were dealing with a truly terrible living situation. At the time, I was part of a Facebook group that, frankly, I never should have been in. It was aimed at making fun of people. The group had started off fun and lighthearted, but then the original creator of the group later decided he didn’t want to lead it anymore. He was a pretty healthy person who didn’t encourage anything dark or cruel, so it was kind of a sad day when he decided he didn’t want to run the group. I’m still “friends” with him, although we don’t interact much.
The formerly fun group was later taken over by a couple of folks who were also fun, at least on the surface. One of them is a person that I once admired a great deal. But then she showed me her true colors. I decided maybe she wasn’t as honorable as I thought she was, and disassociated from her. In retrospect, that was the right thing to do, as she later proved to me that my initial impressions of her were correct. The other is a person that I used to think was funny and basically an okay guy. He, too, showed me who he really was… It wasn’t a pretty sight. But, for awhile, it was still a fun group. We had barbecues that were a blast, and that convinced me that these were good people who were just having fun.
Anyway, in 2017, things had gotten pretty stressful for Bill and me, mainly due to our awful living situation at the time. Our landlady was being very abusive, and it was having a bad effect on both of us– but, especially me, as I had to deal with her more often. I was still in the Facebook group that was once fun, but had turned kind of sinister and mean spirited. There was a guy in that group who had oozed toxins to me. I had him blocked, because I could tell by his antisocial comments and behaviors that he wasn’t a good person. He used to laugh and brag about deliberately upsetting people and causing problems for them, plus he had a lot of misogynistic crap openly visible on his profile.
The group leader for whom I had once had respect found out I had blocked the toxic guy. For some reason, she shamed me for it. She made it seem like I was being unfair and judgmental. I respected her opinion, so, I unblocked him, and he later picked an online fight with me that showed me that my initial impressions of him were correct. He was the kind of person who would go way below the belt just to “win” fights with people. Looking back on it now, I can only assume that he had a really shitty childhood, and that’s what had turned him into someone who gets off on being mean to other people. I don’t know, nor do I care. He can rot in Hell.
Because I was in kind of a weak place back in 2017, I lost my resolve to protect myself. I let other people gaslight me into doubting what I knew to be true. I went along with the group… until I wised up and got away from them. I won’t say it wasn’t painful. I thought I’d liked these people. I found them entertaining and they rescued me from loneliness and boredom. Then they showed me who they were, and what they actually thought of me. It stung, but once I came to terms with it, I was fine. I was moving on with life and we were handling ex landlady with a well-deserved lawsuit that she ultimately lost.
In 2019, someone from the toxic Facebook group sent me a private message and suggested that I rejoin. She claimed that the group members had been reminiscing and remembered how entertaining I was. They supposedly “missed” me. I decided to respectfully decline, which I’m sure pissed her off… because they were hoping I’d either respond in a dramatic way, or eagerly accept, so I could be the butt of their jokes. In retrospect, I probably should have ignored her completely, but at that time, I still thought she was someone friendly. I now know otherwise, and she’s not in my life anymore. I noticed that she didn’t respond when I declined… That pretty much says it all. Especially since the so-called good leader wasn’t the one who asked me to come back to the group. She’d used a flying monkey to do her dirty work. How typical… and childish.
The 2017 era Facebook post that reminded me of all of this stupid drama was from someone else who turned out to be a fake friend. She’d tagged me in a picture of a shirt she’d seen at Target that read “I can’t adult today”. I’m not really sure why she tagged me. It could have been because I hate the trend of people using the word “adult” as a verb. Or maybe she was trying to say I was a childish person (and she’d be verywrong about that).
I noticed that she got a response from the Facebook group leader for whom I’d lost respect. She wrote something along the lines of “I can’t see her response because I’m blocked. But that shirt seems about right for her.”
I saw her response some time later, when I unblocked the former group leader. I thought nothing of it at the time. Now I realize she was trying to say she thought I was a childish person… which is an interesting observation from someone who was running a Facebook group expressly for making fun of people and didn’t even have the spine to speak to me directly. I’m ashamed I was ever in that group. I should have left it a long time ago, and trusted myself when I disassociated from her the first time. But, like a lot of people with dysfunctional backgrounds, I was carefully trained to doubt myself.
I also distinctly remember seeing her scathing comment about me in her group, as Bill was still a member at the time. She left her scathing comment about me about something that actually had nothing to do with her. I’d had a fight with the toxic, misogynistic guy, and had left the group because of him, and because I didn’t want to be around someone who was that hateful toward women. She wasn’t part of that fight, as she was living in a different time zone and it was long over by the time she was even aware of it. It had nothing to do with her at all. But she took the misogynist’s side, and was pretty mean to me when I was feeling legitimately hurt. And part of the reason I was feeling hurt had to do with something that had nothing to do with that toxic asshole guy OR her stupid Facebook group. She didn’t care enough about me to ask about it. She just denounced me publicly and showed me that she’s a fake bitch.
I guess that was what was especially hurtful to me. I once truly thought she was a good leader. I thought she had character and depth, and was a lot smarter than she gave herself credit for being. I never thought of myself as smarter or better than she was; on the contrary, I think I was just fortunate enough to have grown up with parents who had the money to send me to college. She joined the Marines and had a career until she retired. That is something I doubt I could have done myself, and I really admired her for it. She paid me back by stabbing me in the back and insulting me publicly. Her good friend and effective leadership act was just an elaborate facade. Deep down, she has no real strength of character. She only spoke to me so I could be the butt of her jokes.
Well… I learned something from that experience, and that’s that many people aren’t worth trying to befriend. If they show you who they are, believe them, and don’t give them another chance. And anyone who expects you to gaslight yourself, doesn’t care about your well-being, and mocks you for taking care of yourself, is neither a friend, nor a good leader. As she had underestimated me, I had grossly overestimated her as a person.
One of my real friends who knows me well shared something with me on November 5, 2017. It resonates a lot.
I’m so tired of people who can’t be real… and don’t appreciate people who are original and authentic. I’m tired of people who expect other people to ignore their own needs, so they can temporarily feel better about themselves. But, so many of us are carefully trained to be this way… we are taught to be “nice” at all costs, even if it causes harm. I was expected to be quiet about misogynistic crap being spewed by a man that I knew was toxic. I was expected to let him harass and humiliate me. When I opted out, I was accused of being “childish” and abandoning someone who wasn’t even involved in the initial incident. Who cares if just being around someone misogynistic and abusive like that literally makes me feel sick? I’m supposed to put that aside, so everyone else can get their “yuks” at my expense.
And then, a couple of years later, when I’ve broken away from that mess, they try to “Hoover” me back… No thanks. What’s really sad is that I fell into that shit in the first place. I thought Ex had taught me well, that I can opt out of the drama and not get involved in it in the first place. I guess sometimes we need a refresher course in self-care.
Looking at that memory on Facebook brought back the memories that has spawned today’s post. But today, I did something healthy in response to it. I untagged myself from the photo and hid it from my timeline, since I couldn’t delete it. Next year, on November 5, 2024– provided I’m still living– I won’t have to see it or remember what spawned it. I don’t wish any of those people ill, by the way. I just don’t want to waste mental resources on them anymore. They aren’t worth it to me. But they’re probably worth it to other people who know them better than I do. I’m sure to some people, they’re more genuine. I would sure hope so.
As for crazy ex landlady, she also horrendously misunderestimated us, and she paid dearly for it. I’m hoping it was bad enough to get her out of the landlady business. I did look at our former house on Google Earth, and it looks like there are German cars in the driveway. Good. Because if she’s their landlady, I know there’s pretty much no way she’ll be trying to screw them the way she tried– and failed– to screw us, and probably a lot of other Americans who were intimidated by her stern “Oma” act. They will more likely hold her to the straight and narrow of German landlord/tenant law than Americans will. That was ultimately our goal. I think it would be even better, though, if she sold that place and retired.
It’s true… I’m silly, giggly, blonde, and sometimes too emotional… but I advise you to never mistake that for weakness, stupidity, or childishness. You probably don’t know me well enough to discount the things I’m capable of doing. And if you’re laughing at me for writing this post, I hope you won’t ever engage me. I don’t need you in my life, either. I’d rather be alone.
I got a rather late start this morning. Or, it was late by my standards. I usually get up between 5:00 and 5:30 AM most days. Today, I got up at about 4:00 AM to answer the call of nature, went back to sleep, and didn’t wake up until almost 7:00. It was pretty nice, actually. I don’t have a real need to be up at 5:00, but I often wake up then, because that’s when Bill gets up most days.
After almost 21 years of marriage, I’ve come to follow his patterns because it’s easier. I’m also pretty productive most mornings. I like getting things done early in the day, so I can fuck off later… or maybe do something musical. I did make a video yesterday, expressly for Alex. I posted it last night, but had to repost this morning, because I somehow neglected to get the very beginning of the song. I think it’s because I was getting tired. I had the song about 85% nailed within a few minutes, but I can be a perfectionist about recordings. I think the take that finally made it to video was #30. I’m not sorry about that, by the way. It kept me busy and distracted.
Below is the link to the edited video without the missing opening measures.
So… about today’s topic…
As I was looking at my Facebook memories, I found an intriguing post from 2018 about how some doctors have a tendency to focus too much on a person’s weight when they present for examination. Below is a screenshot.
Because I’m a masochist with too much time on my hands, I decided to look at the comments on the original post. I wasn’t surprised to find the usual belittling, insulting, victim blaming, shaming, arrogant, condescending, armchair psychoanalyzing, and all of the other shitty behaviors that comes at people who dare to comment on posts such as the above one. What’s especially funny about this post is that it’s from before the pandemic, when everyone and their brother had gone to the Google School of Medicine and Public Health. I’m surprised I survived the worst of the COVID era… although it’s entirely possible that we haven’t even been through it yet. You never know what the future holds.
Lots of people– mostly women– were sharing their personal stories of being dismissed, lectured, and treated with condescension by healthcare providers. And as they tried to relate to the cartoon, they got more of the same shit from perfect strangers with “correctile dysfunction”. It’s a waste of time trying to have a meaningful dialogue on social media, since so many people feel the need to show their metaphorical asses to everyone, rather than be courteous, and have basic empathy and kindness for their fellow man. I’ll admit, it’s easy to fall into that pattern of behavior, especially when someone is egregiously obnoxious.
I read quite a few posts before I got to one that made me stop in my tracks…
This is all I ever hear. I am severely overweight. I need my knees replaced but insurance won’t do it till my BMI 35 or lower. I can’t walk or stand very long due to the pain. I cant do water aerobics because I cant get out of the pool by myself and the gym is not allowed to help me. I cut my fat, cholesterol and amount of food I eat but I’m still not losing. I know it’s the lack of exercise but my doctor just keeps telling me to try harder. No help declined my request for physical therapy where I can get help in and out of the pool. My depression is so bad I am thinking of ending it all.
I really felt empathy for this woman. I don’t have problems like she does. I can still walk, and get up and down stairs. Hell, I recently explored several caves, which required some stamina. The first one, which had 456 steps going down, then up again (so 912 steps), was pretty difficult for me. But I still managed to do it without any ill effect. My knees are still good. I don’t have bad ankles or hips, either. I do have some lower back pain, which I know would be helped if I lost weight and got a new mattress. But overall, I have a pretty resilient body that has historically been ridiculously healthy. I think I inherited my parents’ strong constitutions. Dad died at 81, in spite of being an alcoholic and having Lewy Body Dementia. Mom is still going strong at 85 years old.
I’ve gotten away with not seeing doctors for many years, and I will admit, I mainly avoid them because I don’t want to waste time or money being lectured about a complicated problem that can’t be immediately solved simply because a doctor ordered it. I’m not stupid. I know it’s unhealthy to be overweight. But when I visit a doctor, I expect immediate help with the specific problem that brought me to their office, not lectures and shaming by someone who doesn’t really know anything about me other than what they see.
If I’m sitting on an exam table with a problem that needs to be addressed immediately, I expect it to be addressed ahead of lectures about my weight. Especially if the doctor doesn’t actually have advice that will work, and isn’t based on actually knowing something about me, and my lifestyle. It’s not helpful to simply tell someone to eat less and move more. If it were that simple, we’d have a lot fewer fat people.
I could identify with this woman’s predicament. I certainly don’t know what led her to be as heavy as she is/was in 2018. The simple answer is, she somehow took in too many calories for her body and didn’t exercise enough to burn them off. But what caused her to consume too many calories? What caused her not to get enough exercise? What is the best way to help her get back into balance? How can she be helped in a way that isn’t demeaning, insulting, and self-defeating? How can she be convinced that she’s worth helping, rather than just giving into despair and “ending it all”, as she put it.
There were a lot of comments on this particular cartoon post. Some of them spawned separate threads of their own with a bunch of responses. They were often tit for tat, “let’s compare qualifications” types of comments, that were unhelpful. I’m sure you’ve seen those types of comments yourself. They have a lot more to do with a person’s ego and personal biases than actually offering anything helpful to the conversation. But, if you’re unclear on what I mean, have a look at this exchange …
During my recent pregnancy, I gained very little weight and my OB told me I obviously led a very healthy lifestyle, but I also had to have extra ultrasounds and was considered “high risk” because of obesity. The disconnect between weight and perceived health is real.
A guy who doesn’t know this woman at all wrote this response:
what disconnect? The more weight you have on you the harder your heart has to work, it’s basic a&p, there is a very distinctive line on what your weight should be according to your structure (height, muscle fitness, genes ect) and if it’s not within those parameters (that medical professionals studied and developed for longer than you have been alive) then yes by medical definition you are overweight, and there’s not a single person in the world that’s overweight and is healthy, it’s medically and physically impossible.
A different person took him on, writing this response:
Considering how little information is on your profile it looks like you’re not a medical professional. You need to stop acting like one. As someone who’s actually studying nutrition and psychology none of what you said is true. Infact most healthy people are overweight. Being in peak shape with little extra body fat has been proven to make you less able to fight disease. There is morbidly obese, you can start having health issues due to weight at that point. But do you know what the number one indicator for chronic disease actually is? Prolonged stress.
Bold guy came back with this comment and a link:
I hope you’re joking, you went digging into my profile, which is private, and you determined I wasn’t a medical professional because my profile is private, excellent use of brain cells.
I’m not going to respond to rest of the gibberish, as this article singlehandedly dismantles the said gibberish, I suggest you read it before you plan your next stupid internet excursion.
***I’d like to point out that you control what’s public on your profile. Whatever is publicly posted on your profile for people who aren’t your “friends” is not “private” information. If you don’t know that, you probably shouldn’t be on the Internet, let alone working with people who have medical problems. I’d also like to point out that I don’t think this guy has ever helped anyone, if he has, in fact, ever worked in healthcare. ***
Italics person wrote:
a Heath line article lmao, yeah you’re probably not a professional otherwise you’d mention creditials other than just working in a hospital and bring up something literally any idiocy could Google. I’ve been a CNA going on 7+ years. Working in homecare, LTC acute care and a rehab unit. Stop spreading misinformation. I’m using real science. I’m studying for a PHD at MNSU. Getting into research not the clinical side of healthcare. Having little body fat does not a healthy person make. BMI doesn’t take into account muscle mass and nutritionists don’t like using that as a form a measurement. How someone feels should be the determine factor for health. Flexibility, good eating habits and overall strength and mental well-being are signs of good health and healthy people come in all shapes and sizes. People who push their body to limits to fit into strict guidelines aren’t going to be any more healthy than an overweight person, who is active, gets good rest and good nutrition. Infact that person putting their body through intense stress in order to be aesthetically easing may be less able to fight off disease and might be prone to injury. If you actually care about those you take care of, check yourself.
Bold guy– a supposed “seasoned” physician’s assistant, came back with:
I’m not going to read this bs story, I’ve been an ER PA for 3 years, prior to that I was a paramedic. (Count in the 5 years of school in between)
It’s not pushing your body to “limits” it’s eating healthy food and exercising. The less weight you have on you, the less your heart has to work, are you just not understanding that aspect of human anatomy? Do you not understand that your heart is the most important muscle in your body, and you destroy it by poor diet.
That article provides FACTS, Percentages… pulled directly from government statistics (please see sources before you just throw away important information just because it doesn’t agree with your rhetoric) if those OBJECTIVE SCIENCE backed statistics still don’t change your mind, then go on eat like shit, be happy, and I’ll see you in morgue before age 50, have a nice day, I’m not going to argue with a CNA who claims to know more than doctors.
***I’d like to know what drew this guy to work in healthcare. Was it just the paycheck? He doesn’t seem to care about people.***
Italics person wrote:
what Nutrition education do paramedics have? My professor for my emergency classes was taught stuff by me about both diabetics and my own personal congenital heart defect. You work in acute and emergency care you aren’t qualified to speak about chronic conditions
More from bold guy:
“insert 5 years of school” Why do you think it takes a few month to become a CNA and a minimum of 5 years to become a PA and that’s extremely fast. Do you see how stupid you sound? Go on and find a provider at your hospital, tell him what you told me here, show them this convo, you will be slayed.
***Really? Why is he in healthcare? I want to know.***
Italics person wrote:
7+ years experience accounts for more than a few months don’t you think? Also read, I’ll be in school a lot longer than 5 years to complete my degree. I’ll I had to explain to my GP what the phrase neurdivergent meant. Y’all need to see people for people. Your patients are individuals.
More from bold guy… If he really is a PA, he shouldn’t be.
wtf dude you are delusional, I have already completed my school, and my fellowship… you’re a CNA…you assist nurses in completing my orders and clean up shit… and you’re trying to explain medical ethics to me… just blows my fucking mind, the audacity
More from italics person…
again seriously fucking read, I’m a PHD candidate and I should show this shit to your employers if you can’t respect the people who do your fucking grunt work you shouldn’t have a position in healthcare. I have other coworkers who are in medical school and do the same job as me.thinking I’m unintelligent because I’m a CNA..It’s pretty shocking that I do have to lecture you about ethics. You should know better.
Bold guy continued:
good grief…. I don’t have to respect idiots that spread misinformation because they’re obese and want to fit in, you don’t think we have those? Fucking HR nightmare; funnily enough they are always doing some “masters or PhD program” it’s like literally the same story. And they never win and always get fired, because they say stupid shit and talk back to providers.
You keep living in your fantasy world that in 5 years you’ll graduate or do whatever, that’s a long time, and you ain’t done shit yet, because you’re just a cna, that’s it, those are your qualification, and end to your scope of practice, and your knowledge as far as I am concerned. 7 years ago I was still and EMTB, not even a P, now I’m a PA-C, and you’re telling me I should listen to you
Response from italics person:
Just a CNA, like I don’t hold the hands of patients while they die. Ive had a career for nearly a decade and “I haven’t done anything yet”. Nice dude. I feel so fucking sorry for anyone in your care. I’m screenshotting shit and finding out your employer. I am an HR nightmare. I bet they would be really interested to hear about your neglect of obese patients and disrespect of your coworkers. Just because I didn’t have the money to go to school till recently doesn’t mean I’m not any less valuable in an emergency situation. I’ve saved many a life and helped many people cross over because I’ve worked in both hospice and acute care. Been a scheduler too, that’s some shit. I’ve had on weeks on call and worked shifts that are 24 hours and given CPR and both lost and saved a life. I’ve held people waiting for paramedics in pools of blood trying to stop bleeding after finding a bad fall, been a first response for people having seizures or strokes on and off the clock. Just cause I don’t make as much money as you doesn’t mean I have less knowledge or less experience. I can’t do things out of the scope of my practice because of my license that doesn’t mean I just wipe ass and if that’s something you turn your nose down on you arent fucking qualified to do your job.
You are what is wrong with healthcare. Some young ass bro of a PA, the seasoned RNs that work with you most likely think you’re useless. That’s like saying you don’t know shit cause you don’t have a PHD.
And italics finished with:
Basing your medical opinions of the very strict parameters of BMI isnt in line with current nutritional standards. Maybe you need to go back to school too. Overall weight doesn’t account for muscle mass and looking at a obese patient and thinking that what they need to do is simply lose weight without trying to assess what caused the weight gain in the first place is setting you up for some malpractice, and any good clinician right now shouldn’t have the fucking time to argue on Facebook
I wasn’t going to include the entire above exchange because it’s so long. However, I think it’s a good example of what I mean when it comes to these kinds of conversations people have on social media. Notice these two supposed healthcare professionals quickly devolved into personal insults and “sword comparisons” of their supposed qualifications. Neither of them seem very professional, although if I had a problem, I think I’d rather deal with the CNA who is getting a PhD.
—You can be the greatest clinician in the world, but if your personality is so arrogant and insufferable that I can’t even stand to listen to you, you can’t help me. Moreover, if the PA is calling people names, using profanity while citing credentials, and demonstrates general disdain toward people who need help, he is not someone I want to waste time seeing, let alone paying for medical help. He is immature, abusive, and just plain doesn’t care. With his crappy attitude, maybe he should work in a laboratory, instead of with patients.
There were a number of tit for tat arguments like the one above, and they got a bunch of comments. Yet here was this comment from a poor woman who actually needed REAL HELP. Not only was she suffering physically because of her weight and the negative health effects obesity has had on her body, she was in so much emotional and physical pain that she was thinking of “ending it all”.
Her post got six replies, one of which came from one of the “experts” who were arguing above (the CNA, who wrote of needing breast reduction surgery, rather than offering concern or empathy). Only one person (not the CNA) offered to listen to the lady who expressed her desperation about her situation, and even with that offer came unsolicited advice with some well-meaning encouragement. The rest of the commenters offered diet tips and medical advice, even though no one even knew her personally, and it did not appear that any were actual healthcare professionals beyond being a CNA. Unsolicited advice is almost always uniformly unhelpful.
I didn’t even read all of the comments on this cartoon. I was led to the conclusion that asking for healthcare is a crapshoot. It made me wonder what the point of it all is. We’re all going to die sometime, anyway. And if you have the choice between being lectured, shamed, belittled, and discounted and then PAYING for that treatment, when you are certainly going to die at some point, anyway, and just getting on with life for as long as possible, free of charge, albeit in pain– well, I can certainly see why some people avoid going to doctors.
I just think it would be so much better if people would just be kinder and more empathic, and less focused on trying to show everyone how “smart” they are in comment sections on social media. I don’t know the woman who posted about wanting to end it all, but I’ll bet there are people in her life who love her and would miss her if she died. I’m sure they want her to live and thrive. I’m sure she’d rather live and thrive, too. What she needs is actual help from people who care about her welfare, not more discounting, and arrogant comments about how she just needs to lose weight– with absolutely NO real help with how to accomplish that end.
Well, this post is way too long, and I’ve got other stuff to do. So I’m going to end here, until tomorrow. Hope you have a nice Thursday.
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