Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things I Like Thursday - Week 2 - Life Lessons Edition

Image by Trevir666 on flickr.com

I've been putting off buying a new air conditioner for a month now. Last summer, in early August, my old bedroom window unit (and when I say old, I mean like purchased-during-the-Carter-administration old) died a noisy death, and my landlord gave me a hand-me-down unit because you've got to be kidding if you think you can just waltz into the Home Depot in Georgia in August and expect to pick up a 5000 btu a/c unit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday One



Photos via Retro Camera for Android.

Thinking Out Loud

Some days I look at myself and it's like "Why are you behaving like a schoolgirl? Get a grip!" But then I wonder if all this talk of growing up and maturing is just a neat trick designed to make us less afraid of taking on responsibility. I have to admit I kind of like feeling like a schoolgirl every once in awhile, in the same way I'm happy to be carded at the liquor store. On the one hand, I often feel very alienated from my body and all its aches, pains, malfunctions, and failings. But on the other hand, my body *is* me, and I identify with and (generally) take a lot of pride (and even pleasure) in how I appear in the world. When my body ceases to exist, I cease to exist. Damn you, Descartes, and your stupid mind-body split.

I think this simultaneous connection to our bodies and alienation from our bodies makes the mental aspects of chronic illness and chronic pain—brainfog, headaches, sleep disturbance, cognitive problems, etc—the hardest to bear. It's like everything else is ravaged and all we have left is our minds. Until we don't anymore. And people who have never been chronically ill or disabled don't—can't—understand. I'm not a praying kind of girl, but I do hope that I get to keep my intelligence for a significant while longer. I'm not sure what I would do if I had CNS lupus and could witness myself declining, my mental faculties slipping away. I know that must come eventually, for everyone, but I hope it comes for me in old age, like a slowly emptying hourglass, almost imperceptible.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunscreen News and Reviews

Sorry, that rhyme was too easy not to include.

The FDA issued new labeling rules for sunscreen today. Though I'm tempted to say that they can pry my SPF 85 out of my cold dead hands, more-accurate labeling for sunscreen is actually really important for everyone, not just those of us with Lupus who deal with extra/harmful sun sensitivity.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

banning books ≠ "guiding what young people read" (or: the pitfall of nostalgia for teen innocence)

Several days ago, a friend sent me a link to this smart blog post, a response to an article in the Wall Street Journal that suggests most YA novels are "rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity" that doesn't reflect the reality of teens' lives, and that parents, teachers, and librarians should actively seek to prevent teens from reading these books.

Speaking of Lupus

If you have lupus—or know and love someone who has lupus—these short videos on WebMD, hosted by Christine Miserandino of the Spoon Theory/But You Don't Look Sick, are a really honest, moving account of what living with lupus (or any chronic illness) feels like.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some days...

I wish beer would magically make my wrists stop hurting. Clearly I'll need more beer for that to happen. And that might cause problems for other aspects of my general productivity.

My rheumatologist called tonight while I was at dinner. He didn't leave a message. That can't be a good thing.