Baby Poop Smoothies in the Age of Nuclear, Autism and Autoimmune Disease. Caveat Emptor Y’All.

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ca·ve·at emp·tor
/ˌkavēˌät ˈem(p)ˌtôr/

  1. the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

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Baby poop smoothies.  Have people heard of this?  It’s along the same lines as fecal transplants, where both are alternative treatments used to treat and even “cure” various bowel ailments from which people are desperate, absolutely desperate for relief.  People suffering from gastrointestinal dysfunction and disease are literally willing to eat, drink and/or rectally insert other people’s shit in order to make themselves feel better, and as a Crohn’s patient myself whose serious debilitating illness was not responding to conventional care, I understand what would move anyone to attempt drastic measures to relieve the pain and disability of a crippling gastrointestinal condition which can quickly make anyone’s life unbearable.

In my own case, I submitted to suffered through 2 years’ worth of ineffective and damaging Western medical treatment for my Crohn’s; the relentless agony of un- and undertreated Crohn’s disease was hellish and terrifying, and despite accepting treatment I was only getting worse.  When I saw what was happening to me, and that the path I was on would not lead to a good place, I took my health and life into my own hands and moved across the country alone to legally treat with medical cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana.  If I hadn’t done that, and was left to suffer through more Western medical treatments (or no treatment at all) I would have likely sought relief with various alternative treatments with little or no regard for their weirdness, offensiveness, or likelihood of success.  Although I had researched fecal transplants and found that they are not indicated for small bowel Crohn’s, which I have, I am sure that eventually I would’ve come across the concept of, and been tempted to try, the Baby Poop Smoothie.

Continue reading “Baby Poop Smoothies in the Age of Nuclear, Autism and Autoimmune Disease. Caveat Emptor Y’All.”

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Netflix Docu-series “Afflicted”. I Watched It So You Don’t Have To.

Thanks to one of my readers for the recommend!

The above is a vid made by one of the patient/participants in Netflix’s new docu-series “Afflicted,” a 7-part series which follows 7 chronically ill people around documenting their experiences with illness and treatment and which was pitched to the participants as a project that would give a credible voice to seriously chronically ill patients but which ended up doing the opposite.  This patient/participant basically disavows his involvement with the project and slams the director and others making creative decisions for lying to the patients about the nature of the show and the motive for making it, where the participants’ mental health (and by extension their physical ailments) were not taken for granted but rather were put up for debate.  There are also a couple of criticisms of the series online from the so-called “chronic illness community” framing the series as tasteless entertainment — an offensive medical mystery whodunnit crafted for the able-bodied to judge whether the symptoms and diseases these patients describe are “real” or all “in their heads”.  That’s a fair criticism of course and I will leave it for that community to rip it to shreds on the grounds of, essentially, ableism.  But let’s go further.

My main problem with this 7-hour series largely lies in the last half hour or so, where we see that nearly all the patients have shown vast improvements in their symptoms and qualities of life through engaging with various alternative treatments for their ailments.  For those who are wondering about the point and motivation behind this docuseries, I would suggest that it functions as effective pro-Alternative Treatment propaganda and that therefore, pro-Alternative Treatment propaganda is probably “the point” and the motive behind it.  If anyone cares to research this project to see who funded it, that would probably be a worthwhile endeavor as the only ones that come out looking good by the end are the alternative practitioners who have miraculously given most of these allegedly “crazy” patients their lives back, often despite themselves, although we never find out exactly how or why the treatments so consistently worked except via copious references to the “mind-body connection” and even the placebo effect.

Continue reading “Netflix Docu-series “Afflicted”. I Watched It So You Don’t Have To.”

Women Working. Abuse vs. Discrimination: Illustration & Analysis

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In my last post, I described what it was like being a young female practicing law where my clients often assumed that I was either a paralegal, secretary or something very much less than a credentialed licensed attorney.  The facts and evidence that I was an attorney did not matter: I was wearing a suit, explaining complicated and/or technical legal concepts to my clients, and vigorously advocating for them in court, and still many of them at some point in our interaction would ask “So when is my lawyer getting here?”

I wrote about this experience in the context of my own work history as an unskilled worker where I was often verbally and even physically abused or neglected, including being subjected to sexualized harassment, overwork and dangerous working conditions; condescended and talked-down to; and generally dismissed and degraded for being a young female as well as a “worker” and unskilled worker under capitalism and patriarchy.  My objection to this treatment was not based in “worth” or status-seeking, rather, I found this obvious abuse so troubling and so damaging that it negatively impacted my ability and willingness to work at all and therefore seriously undermined my ability to support myself and therefore to survive.  Because I was young, inexperienced, uneducated (and not yet a radical feminist) I had assumed that I was being treated poorly at work because I was young, inexperienced and uneducated and I concluded therefore that getting educated, gaining experience and aging would be the solution to the problems that I had identified and that I could transform (improve) my experience as a worker by transforming (improving) myself the best I could.

In the end, I found working as an attorney to be a humiliating and unsatisfying ordeal that did not solve the problems I had identified with being a working female.  But why?  I was no longer literally sweeping up after men, I wasn’t being aggressively treated like shit like I had been before.  As an attorney, I never had a client or some middle-aged greaseball (or 19 year old punkass) supervisor who smelled like dirty underwear simulate cunnilingus in my presence or spit “My way or the highway” in my face for the slightest perceived transgression, where under capitalism and patriarchy both actions function as rape- and death-threats.  So I had that going for me.

So what exactly was I expecting by becoming a lawyer?  To be treated like a queen?

Continue reading “Women Working. Abuse vs. Discrimination: Illustration & Analysis”

Storytime + Open Thread. Why I Stopped Wearing a Suit to Practice Law.

I have been feeling quite uninspired to write on the topic of Crohn’s and chronic illness lately, but this has happened before and seems to come and go.  What is there really to talk about without being redundant when it’s all kind of been said before?  If anyone has any original, interesting and/or nagging thoughts on this or any topic I hope they will feel free to comment below.  It may or may not inspire me to write more.  In the meantime, my thoughts are again with the residents of the Big Island of Hawaii many of whom were already displaced by the ongoing 3-months long lava eruption there and who now find themselves staring down the barrel of a hurricane.  Of course, many of these evacuees and displaced residents are chronically ill on top of everything else.  I hate to think of the effects of torrential rains, high winds and widespread coastal flooding on an active lava flow.  Godzilla vs. Mothra comes to mind.

And many of the existing lava evacuees, including chronically and terminally ill evacuees, are still living in tents, in cars, or sleeping on the ground.  A lot of them have reportedly had it with existing in shelters and because of that will not be returning to one anytime soon, even if they do reopen them for the hurricane (most of the shelters that were opened for lava evacuees have closed by now even though thousands of people reportedly remain displaced and even though the lava is still actively taking homes).  I’ve heard that there have been evacuee suicides and I don’t doubt those reports.  The seriously chronically ill live increasingly diminished and unimaginably stressful lives on their best days and natural disasters make everything worse for them and everyone.  I know how they feel, having been left homeless and ill myself following Hurricane Sandy.  The physical, emotional, mental and financial strain of being displaced and ill at the same time is truly not to be believed.

Continue reading “Storytime + Open Thread. Why I Stopped Wearing a Suit to Practice Law.”