Saturday, May 18, 2019

Leave My Uterus Alone!

Yup. Here it comes. The abortion law post.
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The internet is booming with rage. From Tweets, to Facebook posts, to Instagram...women are outraged. Men are outraged. Trans and non-binary are outraged. As they say: Abortion does not just affect women only.

The new laws passed in Georgia and Alabama won't allow abortions even in circumstances of rape or incest.

They won't allow a 15 year old girl to abort the baby of the stepdad who's been raping her.

They won't allow the mother who could die if the child is carried to term to abort to save her own life.

Women from these states can serve time in prison for seeking help in other states who haven't passed such abortion laws yet.

Read this article from CNN about Missouri's abortion law that just passed. Read how old, cis, white males talk about women and abortions. A republican representative pretty much claimed that most rapes are "consensual"...um, what?! And he also stated that women are given 8 weeks ( "plenty of time" ) to abort after a sexual assault, if they want to.

Do you know that most women don't even know that they pregnant until about 8 weeks?!

This entire situation is bringing us back decades in women's rights. 

Why do old white men think they have any say in our reproductive rights? I feel like representatives think that women choose abortion like they do the shoes that they wear for the day. Do they not realize that abortion is a difficult decision for anyone? Do they not realize the psychological and physical disadvantages of having an abortion?

I have never personally had an abortion/been pregnant, but I feel that no one should have a right to tell me what I can do with my body. Fetus or not. I am very much "pro-choice".

But legislative officials see my body as a vessel for a life that I have no right to terminate--whether it be for my own safety, because I was raped on my way home from a night out with friends, because a family member raped me, or really...for any reason I feel it necessary. 

Do you know how many children are homeless in America right now? Per AIR's website, that number is 2.5 MILLION! So, to me, these reps are stating that they would rather women have children that are unwanted...thus causing this statistic to grow even more, than to have women abort the fetuses they don't feel they can adequately care for. 

Honestly, it's no one's business as to why someone has an abortion. And, in my opinion, it should remain that way. 

No one should be forced to carry a child who will be deemed mentally or physically handicapped and will have no quality of life.

No one should be forced to keep their rapist's child.

No one should be forced to make a decision that they don't want to make. 

Hell, the government also feels that we shouldn't be able to receive birth control for free or reduced cost. They feel that feminine hygiene products are a "luxury" that needs to be taxed. Per axthepinktax, women spend an extra $1,351 a year simply because we have vaginas! EXCUSE ME!? They feel that women who have sex are the devil, yet male culture praises men being sexual.

I understand the logic behind a fetus being a human being, the fight on "when the heart begins to beat", etc...but I also feel that, just like with a BIRTHday, day 1 starts the day you are actually born into this world. And you know what else? That is my opinion and it doesn't have to be yours too. 

I know women who have had D & C procedures due to miscarriage; they aren't fun. You bleed for days. You get horrible cramping. Oh, and you also deal with the psychological repercussions of losing a child. What woman WANTS to sign up for that?!

On that topic, I read while browsing the internet that women who miscarry may go under investigation?! WHAAAAAAAAAT?! Why are we going backwards as a society?!

What happened to civil rights?!?!?

I'm scared. I'm scared for our country, our healthcare system, and society as a whole. 

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

No Food or Drink After Midnight...

"...this includes no breath mints, chewing gum or cough drops. And don't smoke!"

Patients who undergo any procedure that requires general anesthesia are told these instructions. Sure, you may hear slight variations but for the most part that is the rule. Don't eat. Don't drink. 

You may think we are just being cruel. You may think that we are just saying it for our health. But really, we say it for YOUR health. Here's why.

When you are put under general anesthesia, your organs go to sleep also. Your brain, your stomach, the like. It's like being asleep but also in a coma. Sometimes you will have a natural airway ( no breathing tubes ) and, for longer procedures, you may be intubated. Intubation is done either down the nasal passage or the throat to deliver oxygen during your procedure. So if you hear "being tubed", that means you would receive an endotracheal tube during your procedure.

Anyway, back to being NPO.

NPO is shorthand for "nothing by mouth", meaning you haven't eaten or drank for the designated amount of time. This is important because you can vomit, aspirate and potential cause life-threatening problems.

Let's say you come in for an endoscopy ( scope of the esphagus and stomach ) and, before your procedure, you eat a piece of toast with butter and jelly. Your stomach must go through a process to digest any food that you consume. It takes about 6-8 hours for your food to digest and pass through the stomach. Meaning, stomach acid is still flowing and the potential for vomiting is still there.

While under general anesthesia, all of your reflexes are inactive. This includes the reflex that keeps you from choking. So let's say you vomit or regurgitate that "light breakfast" you ate an hour before your procedure. Your body cannot react to that food coming back up, and the potential that it goes down "the wrong tube" ( aka. your lungs ) is quite high. Food aspirated into the lungs can cause breathing problems that can lead to aspiration pneumonia or even cause the need to have a chest tube placed for drainage. In severe instances, aspiration pneumonia can lead to death.

It's not anything to mess around with, so if a patient presents to their appointment stating they only had a bite of a soft pretzel or smoked a cigarette on their way to our office or drank water an hour ago, they must be rescheduled. The severity of the situation can literally be life or death. 

Patients have no qualms researching things on Google or YouTube when it comes to their impending procedure, but very little look to see WHY we ask you be NPO. 

And if you didn't know before, you know now.

Monday, May 6, 2019

"C'mon And Get (Meta)Physical, Physical"

Stones.

Crystals.

The power of energies and healing. 
 
 
When I was young, I collected stones. I'm not absolutely sure where the "passion" came from, but I recall receiving polished stones as birthday and holiday gifts, and even receiving a book that explained the stones from my Nanny. I was obsessed. I had salt rock and Tiger's Eye and Rose Quartz and a BEAUTIFUL Amethyst cluster. I kept them arranged in a plastic jewelry-making box ( 2, actually ) And I added to the collection extensively during my 4th grade year.

My teacher would give us "coupons" in 4th grade whenever we did something good/nice/etc. We could save these coupons and trade them in for polished stones. I loved this. I had so many stones and I loved every one of them. Mostly because they were pretty, as I didn't really understand the power of stones and crystals so young.

When we moved to Florida, the stones came with. But the summer I decided to move back to PA with dad, only basics were taken. I left behind many nostalgic items...including my rock collection. I'm still upset about it to this day...and I'm fairly certain my Mother got rid of them...along with many other items I cared for. 

ANYWAY, Danielle and I went to the National Apple Harvest Festival this fall and there was a vendor selling stones. I decided to grab about $10 worth. Then as time progressed, I really thought about restarting a collection. I love stones and what they represent, especially now because I'm older and have a better understanding of their energies. So over the weekend I decided to visit my local metaphysical store; Gracefull Heart in Carlisle. 

It was my first time in the store. Well, it was my first time in ANY metaphysical store honestly. And as soon as I walked in there were stones galore! I was in heaven. Hematite and Jasper, Turquoise and Quartz. Stones carved as skulls and dragon flies. Incense. And bookshelves full of books about chakras and crystals, meditation and yoga. For such a small store there was SO much to look at. I didn't even get a chance to take everything in. I'll definitely have to go back and take my time looking through everything.

Listed below are a few of the stones I got on my adventure and what they represent based on the website https://www.healingcrystals.com/:

Blue Goldstone

A beautiful deep blue with sparkles galore, this stone helps with uplifting/self-confidence, positivity and optimism and is said to be calming to the spirit.

Hematite

A metallic gray stone, it aids in emotional balance, diffusing anger, to dispel negativity and help with confidence.

Garnet

A red/brown stone ( also my birthstone ), garnet deals with compassion, honesty, loyalty and dignity. It is to help with relationships and willpower.

Amethyst

I have this stone in cluster and polished form. Amethyst is to aid with anxiety, coping with changes, decision making, peace, nightmares, motivation and reducing stress. I love amethyst in its cluster form, and the stone is a beautiful 
purple hue.
 
From right to left: clear quartz, garnet, rose quartz, tigers eye, banded carnelian, citrine quartz, amethyst, goldstone, green adventurine, hematite, magnesite, botswana agate, yellow jasper, lepidolite, amazonite, prehnite ( I think those are all right...)
 
Whether you believe in the healing powers of stones or not, they are beautiful specimens. Keep them in your pocket, in a pretty bowl on your table, by your nightstand, wherever! You can use them, or just showcase them! 
 
 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Not-Your-Grandma's Crafts

I've been trying to get back into crafting for stress relief. I come home from work five days a week emotionally and physically exhausted, so I've decided that I need something to preoccupy my hands and mind again. I've dabbled in crochet, knitting, scrapbooking, painting...but lately, I've been doing cross-stitch. 

My Michaels haul
Now, I'm not talking pretty little kitties and birds and such. This is not your grandmas cross stitch. Let me show you:


I'm talking phrases like "Don't be a Cunt" and "Eat Shit and Die" type of stuff. Crude humor. Inside jokes. With some little hearts and flowers for effect.

I first decided to buy a little cross stitch kit from Walmart just to see how I liked it. I didn't read the instructions and just did what I thought made sense. I took that little kit and, instead of constructing the picture on the sheet, I wrote 'idfc' and a heart. From there, I was "hooked".


My first ACTUAL project was a cross stitch for my favorite podcast My Favorite Murder. SSGDM!


But lately it's more floral with bitchy little quotes to go along.

I do plan to sell them. I'd like to open an etsy store but, after talking to another fiber artist, she said that they take a decent chunk out of your earnings. It's something I truly enjoy doing and it helps me be creative and decompress, so even if no one wants to buy them I'll keep making them just for me.

If you're interested, though, I'm up for taking commission pieces!


Hell, maybe decades from now someone will find MY cross stitch in an antique store..."shut the fuck up" and all...


Sunday, April 28, 2019

DoorDash Came To Carlisle!

I'M SUPER EXCITED, Y'ALL! 

I came home yesterday to a flier in my mail for DoorDash, and I was like, "Wait a second..." so I searched their website with my zip and...WE JUST GOT DOORDASH!


So if you don't know what DoorDash is, it's a food delivery service. They will pick up your food at any of the participating restaurants in your area and deliver it straight to your door. I guess Harrisburg has had GrubHub/DoorDash/UberEats for a good while now but it's new to the Carlisle area. I was always having to order from the same 5 places if I wanted anything delivered, which kinda blew. 

Getting on the app yesterday, I could see the handful of restaurants that work with DoorDash and I was super excited to see Carlisle Thai, Aya Steakhouse and the GMAN on that list.

 My flier offer was $5 off an order of $15 or more, and when you sign up now you get 30 days of free delivery. It looks that most restaurants in town have a $1.99-3.99 delivery fee usually, and your cost will also include a service fee ( like most delivery apps include now ) So the first restaurant I tried was Chipotle.

Apparently some Chipotle's offer delivery, but unfortunately Carlisle's does not. So the app works as such:

You load the app and check out the restaurant you want to order from. Once selected, you can review the menu for the food you want to order. You pay the restaurant directly through the app and they will start to prepare your food. A Dasher will then take approve your pick up and head to the restaurant of your choosing. Since the food has already been paid for, the Dasher picks up the food and delivers it straight to your door. It's helpful because there are few select restaurants in the area that offer delivery--so you're pretty much left with Pizza Hut/Dominoes/Papa Johns and a few random restaurants here and there. After a long day at work and you just don't feel like cooking or going anywhere, DoorDash is a great alternative.

If you'd like to try the app, you can follow my code to get $7 off your first order when you sign up. I've used the service twice so far ( as of Sunday ) and I'm very pleased with it thus far. And hey, it never hurts to try! 


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Respect People's Boundaries, For God's Sake!

I feel like in the era of #MeToo, this shouldn't even warrant questions. 

There should have to be no discussion.

And there should be no excuses.

Respect people's boundaries, folks!

If someone is not into hugging, don't just hug them. Be respectful and ask, "Do you mind if I hug you?" I know too many people who aren't all about touchy-feely relationships with others no matter HOW close they may be to people. They simply do not like to be touched. And you know what I do if I want to give them a hug or put my arm around them to console them?...I ask first. Simple as that.

We have NO idea what other people have been through. We have no idea their traumas or their upbringing or their background...and even if we do, that should give us even more reason to respect other's boundaries. It shouldn't become a game like "let's see how much we can pick at so-and-so until she gets mad". NO! Actions like that show blatant disrespect for a person and that you clearly do not care about their boundaries. It doesn't make someone finicky or rude to have set boundaries...but those who don't want to respect them make it a point to act like they are such.

Sexual trauma.

Physical abuse.

Feeling uncomfortable.

They don't like you.

Or just because.

These are all valid reasons for wanting personal space. Actually, ANY reason is a valid reason. Because it's their body and it's not yours to pick/prod/touch/hug/caress/squeeze/etc.

In a survey done by NPR they found that 81% of women have been sexually harassed. 41% of those women were touched. But I'm not just talking about men not respecting women, but men disrespecting men...and women disrespecting women. 

I understand that sometimes people use physical touch to show empathy or to try to convey that you're there for them, and even I struggle sometimes. To show a patient that they are important to me and that I'm going to take care of them, I sometimes touch their shoulder. But I need to stop. Because, out of respect to them, I do not want to belittle their boundaries. And I think everyone should make a conscious effort to do the same. 

Also, it's not all about physical boundaries...sometimes people cross verbal boundaries far too often. As an off-putting joke or attempt at humor. But there are things you just should NOT joke about; 
-death
-addiction
-religion
-lack-of religion
-family
-personal appearances

To make a joke about someone's family member being dead is not funny. To call someone ugly is not funny. To belittle someone because they believe in ( a ) God and you don't agree. These are not "jokes" and making fun of such topics like that shows that you have very little respect for others. Things like this just aren't funny.

Yes, I respect that people cope with hard-to-swallow topics by using humor, but for Christ's sake KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! 

If you know someone is touchy about certain subjects, do NOT make ill-fitted jokes. They are unnecessary and show that you are narrow minded. You hurt feelings ( whether that was the intent or not ) and you lose people's respect. And it shows your ignorance and blatant disrespect towards them and their thoughts/emotions. 

So in short: stay in your lane, think before you speak, remember that everyone has traumas that you may know nothing about, everyone reacts to things differently and JUST BE RESPECTFUL!








Monday, April 15, 2019

The Plight of the Empath

( six months later )


Why hello world! It's been a while, I know. I haven't been keeping up with this thing. But I want to get back on it. It hasn't been at the top of my "to-do" list for quite some time between work, seasonal depression, life, therapy, appointments and "living the dream" *insert eye roll* I've been journaling, though, so that's been my blog for the last half of a year. Then again, sometimes it's nice to bitch it out passive-aggressive style to keep people's ears perked ( lol )

Today I wanna harp on the advantages and disadvantages of being an empath

Dictionary.com defines empathy as: 


em·pa·thy
/ˈempəTHē/
noun
  1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
    synonyms:affinity with, rapport with, sympathy with, understanding of, sensitivity toward, sensibility to, identification with, awareness of, fellowship with, fellow feeling for, like-mindedness, togetherness, closeness to;
    informalchemistry
    "what is really important about learning a language is learning empathy for another culture"

  2. So, in Layman's terms, empaths feel other people's emotions/pains/turmoils/happiness/etc. The good, and the bad. And some empaths feel so deeply and feed so much off of other peoples energy that it affects their daily life. 

I am one of those empaths.

I am very cognizant of changes in peoples behavior/tone of voice/demeanor. I catch on to inflections and body language. Even minuscule changes that people may not even be aware that they are doing...I will see.

...and when I tell people I feel peoples energies, they look at me like I'm insane. 

But I do.

At work, in my daily life, with friends, with family. And I react to that energy...be it negative or positive. 

It's a blessing and a curse. 

"Jenn looks mad", "Are you okay? Having a bad day?", "You look unapproachable and scary".

     1) I'm in my head 100% of the time. I'm stewing about what has happened to me, what has happened to someone else, what's going on around me, what I've heard, what I've seen, etc. I'm quiet as a defense mechanism so I don't flip the fuck out at everyone regularly. 

     2) Just leave me alone, then! There's no reason to instigate/get butthurt when I don't want to talk. It's my prerogative. 

When there is a lot of drama/negativity around me, I put myself in my bubble. I keep my nose down and do what I need to do. Especially if it's about someone I care about and I really just want to fly off the handle. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" is my motto when it comes to this stuff, because most likely I'm infuriated...and it's usually because of a narcissist. I know that bringing up ANY issues with a narcissist is going to go nowhere--they see nothing wrong in what they say or do, and they will fight you tooth and nail to prove that fact. So I just keep my mouth shut.

This is just an example of an empathetic issue that I deal with:

If your goal is to tell someone when they aren't doing something right so that the behavior can be corrected, you cannot beat around the bush. If you are too worried about being everyone's friend that it affects your ability to express important facts, that not only causes you to lose peoples respect, but it also potentially causes more problems for the person it involves. If it is your obligation to mediate and help someone to be better/fix problems, don't you think that person needs to know the real issues so that they can be fixed accordingly? But instead, you are too worried about being someone's friend that you actually make matters worse. 

I even tested this theory, without either persons knowledge, to see what was truly done. And you know what was discussed? Nothing. More focusing on friendly conversation rather than discussing the true issues at hand. But then, if I call out the person out about anything, I get the response: "Well, there's always two sides to the story..." Not if either person was aware I knew anything...


So now, I have to go through my daily life reliving this...harping on it...dwelling. Because I see unfairness/injustice/cruelty/misunderstanding/preferential treatment/etc every-damn-day.

When someone is treated unfairly, I feel it.
When someone is suffering with loss, I feel it.
When someone is lonely, I feel it.
When someone is having a bad day, it makes me have a bad day. 
I chameleon to my surroundings, whether I want to or not.

If someone that I see regularly is constantly complaining and having bad days, I feed off of that. You are what you surround yourself with. But what if you can't help it? What if you're stuck in the climate and it's out of your control? It's hard, when you feel everyone's energy all the time, to just turn it off. 

It's hard when you see a sad story on The Dodo or the like, to not cry.

It's hard to mask feelings everyday but simply just...shutting down. 

My empathy is a plight at this point in my life. It's a curse. I feel so much all the time that it now makes me angry. It makes me angry for myself, and for others. When people can't catch a break. When people are complaining all the time. When I can't be with the people I care about. When I am torn between love and hate. 

I used to use empathy to an advantage. Consoling hurt friends, making someone's day brighter, trying to be a "ray of sunshine" to someone having a bad day. But after numerous years of getting shit on by those who didn't appreciate me/taken advantage of for my kindness, my empathy has morphed. Instead of focusing more on feeling things from others and trying to fix them in a positive manner ( ie. a "thinking of you" note, a small gift, a gesture, a night out, etc ) I now absorb everyone's negative energy and it leaves me exhausted and resentful of many people. 

But when you feel SO much...ALL the time...it's not a switch that you can just turn "off". 

If I let my empathy rule, I'd have no job, no relationships, nothing. Because I'd call out people constantly for being shitty. I'd be fired, have no income, be lonely and sad. But even so--I feel like society is ruled by ego maniacs. Everyone is out for themselves only and could care less how their actions affect other people. At least when I'm dwelling, I'm internalizing it and not just being blatantly rude to the people I want to be.

Yet, those ego maniacs cannot STAND that someone doesn't like them or disagrees with them. So they pick. And pick and pick and pick. Because "HOW DARE YOU!"...how dare someone see through you. To the selfish, cruel, self-absorbed person you are. 

Burn the w(b)itch!

I see through people and they hate it. I stand up for the underdog, and people hate it. I feel for those who get bullied, picked on, felt sorry for, or aren't as "likable". 

And I see when people only talk about themselves, when they have that air about them like they feel they are better than others, when they are more worried about how they are perceived than actually helping people, when they have a "high sense of self" ( arrogance )....and I don't want to associate with people like that. I don't want to be friends with shitty people. I've been there and done that...and I'm over it. I'm done. I shouldn't have to play nice with assholes if I don't want to. I'm a grown ass adult, and if your vibe is shitty...I don't want to be around you. 

Simple as that. 

My empathy is my biggest blessing...because I feel for people; I care for people; I hurt for people. But it's also my biggest curse...because I see people; I read people; I hear people.