Would you rather…

…have leukemia or MS? Probably MS, yeah? If, say, MS were at all transmittable, which there’s no proof of, I would probably still rather have MS than leukemia.

And yet, despite this logic, the folks over at marrow.org say that you can’t donate bone marrow if you have any of the above conditions. I think the autoimmune label is very problematic in that people associate it with AIDS and thus assume that autoimmune disorders are highly communicable. Which makes the fact that marrow.org has a separate section for HIV/AIDS patients and they’re not on the general autoimmune list. So, like, you mean it’s a totally different thing? How interesting.

Basically, I didn’t appreciate being looked at like I was some kind of medical terrorist when I asked about my eligibility. I’ve never exactly seen people lining up to donate bone marrow. I hear it’s pretty painful. Sorry for wanting to help? Sorry for having a disease that I’m pretty sure is a) not transmittable and b) sucks less than LEUKEMIA? Like, fairly certain we can all agree that leukemia is the worst. Nobody ever goes “oof, glad it’s just leukemia” or “leukemia! Well thank god it wasn’t ____.” Leukemia sucks. People would probably prefer psoriasis or vitiligo or even MS.  Also, “People with MS have a life expectancy that is not really any different from the general population. The leading causes of death in the MS community are heart disease, cancer, and stroke.” (Multiple Sclerosis Foundation) I don’t think people say that about cancer patients. Cancer kills MS patients more than MS kills cancer patients. Basically.

Speaking of things that are ridiculous on the Internet…

I’m sorry, excuse me, what? Societies with a strict moral code? MS is an STD? Somebody funded this study in 2002? Didn’t we kind of have at least some of our shit together in 2002, world? (also, sorry the image is cutting off, if you click it you can read the whole thing)

I mainly find it funny because it’s ridiculous, but it also sucks that people thought that. The Internet, man. Bro. Guy. Bro.

Notes From The Great Beyond (Trauma Class)

Trauma class has been having some cool discussions about the nature of memoir/nonfiction.

Some questions on the table:

-does nonfiction exist? When we intentionally fictionalize (i.e., the details of a conversation) in order to convey truth, what genre are we in?

-if the emotions conveyed are real, do the facts need to be?

-if a biography is made less valid when the biographer has sex with the subject (cough, Petraeus), what does this mean for memoir? We obviously have an agenda when we write about ourselves.

-what exactly is the line between nonfiction and fiction?

-are likability and believability of the narrator related?

-are there topics that shouldn’t be written about? If so, what and why?

-if an author write fiction and then nonfiction on the same topic (fictionalizing it first for comfort’s sake, let’s say), are they plagiarizing from themselves? Is one of the works less valid?

Feel free to respond!

Just some things to think about, sad to be wrapping up the semester with a great group 😦 luckily we’re having some nice culmination activities to celebrate a great time (yay trauma!) together.

Love and trauma,


MS quote of the day? Year? Ever?

“You are so brave!” they gush, generally when I have done nothing more awesome than to roll up to the dairy case and select a carton of vanilla yogurt. “I could never do what you do!” Of course they could -and likely would- do exactly what I do, maybe do it better, but the very thought of ever being like me so horrifies them that they can’t permit themselves to put themselves on my wheels for even an instant.

-Nancy Mairs, Waist High in the World

Nostalgia. Because Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is one of those things that makes people think about tradition. Thanksgiving is all about tradition. At dinner, my mom quoted things that her grandfather and her father used to say at dinner when she was younger.

so it makes me think of other Thanksgivings which is mainly a positive thing

(but two years ago I fell asleep on the couch before dinner and nobody knew why)

I hate looking back and being able to see this coming.

Two summers ago my family went to the beach and the heat made me tired and I stayed inside a lot.

I want to be healthy again? Being in denial and not taking meds isn’t really going to get me there.

Oh right, that’s why I haven’t been blogging. Because I haven’t really been taking my meds. And I feel mainly stupid about it. And I’m feeling more and more angry about this whole disease thing. And discouraged. And scared. And not convinced that the meds are even going to work or do anything. And hey, doctors, if the lesions and the relapses aren’t causing long-term disability… what the fuck is?

But, anyway, things I’m thankful for (in no particular order):

  • parents who put up with me and love me and write about me and take me to get tattoo(s) and figure out IV lines for me and dressing changes for Ben and inhalers for Jacob. Being a parent in this family requires a terrifying amount of medical knowledge.
  • speaking of, brothers who are too cool for (public) school. I’m so glad we’re also friends now. I’m so glad I wasn’t an only child. I mean. Ish. It was nice while it lasted.
  • my whole collection of extended family. I love being related to you! Thanks for accepting mix CDs as gifts and the occasional strange-looking knitting and not hating me for forgetting to return phone calls and emails.
  • my friends. You’re all so wonderful. You do the best things. You’re pretty. I mean all of you.
  • trauma writing as a genre. (Thanks, Mom)
  • my professors. Smart people. Wisdom.
  • food. I love food.
  • Just a few specific collections of friends I’d like to pay special attention to (this is about to get icky and inside joke-y)
  1. Vocal Debauchery. A crazy bunch of kids with hearts full o’debauchery.
  2. Alpha Delta Phi. Way more siblings than I ever expected.
  3. International House! Where we care about important international issues and what’s for house dinner. Mainly that last one.
  4. The Keyform Krew. For making people say “oh right, I forgot your clique had a name” and for group texting and for third walls and for keeping warm, always.
  • Promethazine. Thanks, promethazine. You keep me from throwing up. Usually. It’s great.
  • deoderant. Right?
  • the Internet. Because where else could I get published?

Okay, it’s late, it’s not actually Thanksgiving anymore, and all of you are probably in food comas or carrying new food babies. Sleep well.