Coronavirus Outbreak + 16 Million Americans on Immunity Decimating Biologics = ??

I just spent about 10 seconds doing a back-of-the-napkin estimate on how many Americans are currently taking immunity-decimating biologics to treat autoimmune disease and came up with a figure of up to 16 million.  I got that from the estimate of up to 24 million having a diagnosed autoimmune disease and this estimate that 2/3 of diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis patients are taking biologics.  The figure of up to 16 million immunocompromised AI patients does not count those who are taking immunity-decimating chemotherapy or steroids to manage their autoimmune disease, but those have to be substantial as well, as the first line of defense is often steroids which leaves people vulnerable to infection.  For example, when I was first prescribed Prednisone to treat my Crohn’s disease, my research indicated that I should not use tampons to absorb my menstrual flow because my immune system would be lowered and having a wad of cotton festering in my vagina for 8 hours at a time could more easily become septic.

Who knows what the actual numbers are, but we can see that on any given day we have many millions of Americans and tens or hundreds of millions of people globally taking immunity-decimating medications to “treat” their autoimmune disease, leaving these people vulnerable to secondary infections like tuberculosis, hepatitis, fungal infections and more.  People with an ounce of sense, and who aren’t rendered temporarily insane/incompetent due to ongoing unmanageable pain and symptoms of disease, will rightly be concerned about the so-called side effects (iatrogenic illness and injury) of these medications including the effect (injury) of lowering their natural immunity to infectious disease.  Some of us have decided that destroying our immune systems, as dysfunctional as they may be, is not a reasonable solution to our problems, especially considering that biologics and other toxic medications often don’t even work, work well, or work for long to treat our pain and symptoms.

And for those of us who grew up amongst the 1980s AIDS epidemic, we grew up understanding how important our immune systems are and how deadly serious it is to have a compromised immune system for any reason.  We grew into and beyond puberty under what can only be described as a domestic terror campaign against “unprotected sex” in order that we not compromise our immune systems because we knew what could happen if we did: suffering from full-blown AIDS we would probably die a horrific death of secondary infections and cancers, covered in unhealing sores, starving to death from nausea and gastrointestinal effects, driven half out of our minds.  Of course, today, full-blown AIDS is not a given for many who contract HIV which virus is now manageable if not treatable.  And anyone who develops AIDS (assuming they have access to medical care) will be aggressively treated with immune bolstering treatments so as to avoid the hellish AIDS-related deaths we all saw happening in the media and which many people also experienced firsthand in our own communities, homes and lives.

Continue reading “Coronavirus Outbreak + 16 Million Americans on Immunity Decimating Biologics = ??”

Medically Futile Care as Ritual. Part II. The Political Intent and Effect of Flogging Corpses, Framing Zombification as “Life Support” Etc. What’s Going On?

In my last post I wrote about an article published in a British medical journal that admitted that medically futile care — care that is not expected to increase a sick or dying patient’s health or prolong their life — has ritualistic intent and effect on the population at large.  I did not pay to access the full article and the abstract did not detail the ritualistic intent/effect so I was left to surmise for myself what the intent and effects are on society as a whole when Western medicine in particular flogs corpses with no reasonable chance of being revived; prolongs the dying process with aggressive and violent transplants and surgeries, resuscitation attempts and so-called “life support” including intravenous nutrition and hydration, mechanical breathing and filtration and the like; artificially delivers and maintains genetically or congenitally nonviable infants instead of letting them die naturally and so on.

I have observed previously that Western medicine attempting to treat untreatable, incurable and progressive disease is also ritualistic and does not benefit the patient except to function as a means of compliance and confession where sick people, especially sick women, are expected to confess their sins of and accept a flogging for being failed producers/consumers under capitalism and patriarchy.  Thus I would include such ineffective care under the heading of ritualistic medically futile care although the article I was responding to did not address or include that type of futility.  As a radical feminist I reject patriarchal rituals on their face and refuse to participate in them at all where and when I have a choice.  I have resisted using the capitalistic patriarchal (Western) medical doctor’s office as confessional, and refused to accept the flogging of brutal treatments that will not increase my overall quality of life or even reliably delay my death, instead choosing to treat my otherwise intractable pain and symptoms with medical cannabis.

So the existence of medically futile care as (capitalistic, patriarchal) ritual does not seem to be at issue, being freely admitted to by researchers who frame these rituals as having a positive effect on society — an effect which transcends the abuse and pain suffered by individual patients who are subjected to it but do not themselves directly benefit from it in terms of an increased quality or even quantity/length of life.  So what exactly is the specific ritualistic intent and effect on society at large of flogging corpses, creating and maintaining zombified “undead” and/or profoundly impaired patients on so-called life support, artificially reducing natural levels of infant mortality and so on?

Continue reading “Medically Futile Care as Ritual. Part II. The Political Intent and Effect of Flogging Corpses, Framing Zombification as “Life Support” Etc. What’s Going On?”

If A Disease Is Untreatable, Incurable and Progressive, Is It A “Medical” Condition at All? Ft. Trans Criticism.

I have seen it pointed out elsewhere that some “conditions” for which the medical establishment offers consumerist goods and services are not actually bona fide medical conditions at all and are in fact money-making schemes advanced by wealthy investors and others who stand to make a fortune off of anyone stupid, naive or deranged enough to accept them.  The conversation I am most familiar with pertains to the medicalized transgender movement where people are persuaded that they can achieve the impossible through medicalized interventions, in that case, that “transgender” individuals can change their biological sex through consuming expensive and dangerous cross-sex hormones, puberty blocking drugs, and surgeries including castration, so-called “facial feminization” surgeries and others.

Whether anyone accepts the psychological or physical transgenderism of individuals or not, the issue remains that there are billions of dollars to be made globally on this phenomenon and thinking people are prone to thinking about such things.  “Follow the money” is a familiar admonition and politically-minded people understand what that means.  They generally accept the reality that where there is money to be made, there will be corruption and wealthy people and entities working in the shadows to further their own interests.  In the above-linked article by Jennifer Bilek entitled “Who Are the Rich, White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology?” she asks and answers that question and names names.  She concludes that it is “Exceedingly rich, white men (and women) who invest in biomedical companies [who] are funding myriad transgender organizations whose agenda will make them gobs of money” including billionaire businessmen George Soros, “Jennifer” Pritzker and others. And it’s difficult to argue with that conclusion which is demonstrably true.  But let’s go further.

Continue reading “If A Disease Is Untreatable, Incurable and Progressive, Is It A “Medical” Condition at All? Ft. Trans Criticism.”

It Might Be “Ok Not to be Ok” For a Few Days But It’s Definitely Not “Ok Not to be Ok” Forever. Aka Chronically Ill. But Wait! There’s More.

Stop gaslighting everyone Jessie J!  This song and this sentiment (that it’s “ok not to be ok”) seem to be very popular amongst the very young and “neuroatypical” Tumblr crowd suffering from, among other things, anxiety and depression.  Reading the comments under the YouTube video reveals a lot, well, it reveals a lot of the same thing: young people feeling “not ok” and suffering through dark times only to reemerge triumphant in the end, and probably on addictive and expensive psych meds that will likely cause serious and even permanent side effects like involuntary muscle movements (and death).  That counts as “ok” apparently, and the “not ok” is “ok” if and only if it doesn’t go on too long and as long as you “get help.”

Of course, the side effects iatrogenic illness and injury from the psych meds themselves, including permanent neurological disability and death — and the “not ok” those cause — are worth it as long as the person is made ok now, for the time being.  Whatever “ok” means in this context because I sure as hell can’t figure it out other than that “ok” seems to mean “compliance” and specifically, willingness to engage with and submit to capitalistic patriarchal medicine.  Compliance and submission = ok.  Does this sound like it’s actually ok to not be ok?  Or does it sound like a bunch of shit?

And what happens when people are “not ok” for a long time, or forever?  Just ask someone who is chronically ill how friends and family perceive their illness once it’s gone on for months, years, or a lifetime.  In my own case, when I lost my apartment in a hurricane, had to move in with my ex-partner’s mother and was getting sicker by the day, my friends and family harassed me constantly for “updates” about the hurricane damage, my housing situation and the status of my health but I soon realized they weren’t looking for truthful reports so much as they were demanding constant assurances that I was Ok and that everything was fine.  When the truth was I had never been so not-ok in my life and considering the nature of my incurable, progressive disease I was unlikely to be “fine” ever again.  No one wants to hear that!  Hearing that makes them feel not ok!  And healthy people have to feel ok all the time no matter what, even at the expense of sick people and sick people’s ok.  So is it really ok to not be ok?  No.  Sick people have to learn to fake it if they want (or have no choice but) to maintain these relationships.  But there’s more.

Continue reading “It Might Be “Ok Not to be Ok” For a Few Days But It’s Definitely Not “Ok Not to be Ok” Forever. Aka Chronically Ill. But Wait! There’s More.”

Underpants Gnome Logic: Treating Crohn’s Disease with Biologics. An Illustration. (Phase 1. Destroy Your Immune System. Phase 2. ?? Phase 3. Feel Better).

The Underpants Gnomes from South Park have this critical thinking thing down.  Exactly as well as anyone taking (or giving) biologics to treat autoimmune disease, anyway.  I wish there was more rampant discussion about this literally everywhere, but if there is I haven’t seen it.  The best I have seen is this post by RA Warrior (links within) addressing Big Pharma propaganda, specifically how Big Pharma lies about every facet of autoimmune disease including how disabling autoimmune diseases are, how effective the treatments are (necessarily including a cost-benefit analysis considering the iatrogenic illnesses and injuries inherent to Big Pharma treatments including biologic treatment) and how these diseases progress.

In fact, autoimmune patients know too well that the reality of living with an incurable, untreatable and progressive disease — and autoimmune patients often live with more than one — exists in stark contrast to the messages in these propaganda campaigns: these diseases are often extremely disabling and cause systemic (not merely localized) effects; the symptoms including pain and disability are NOT treatable, where they do not respond, do not respond well, or do not respond for long to conventional treatments including biologics; and autoimmune diseases are progressive where you will be lucky to just stay the same and not get worse.  None of this is consistent with the claims that autoimmune patients can “get their lives back” with any Big Pharma treatment, let alone a treatment that destroys your immune system like so-called biologics do.

Continue reading “Underpants Gnome Logic: Treating Crohn’s Disease with Biologics. An Illustration. (Phase 1. Destroy Your Immune System. Phase 2. ?? Phase 3. Feel Better).”

Cheryl Went the Other Way. On The Path Not Taken.

Recently I met Cheryl, a member of my adopted community here in the Middle of Nowhere, Cannabis Central, USA.  Cheryl is a bit older than I am, used to be a writer of religious texts.  Even had one published before self-publishing was a thing.  A bona fide published writer.  Writers are a weird bunch (obviously) and Cheryl is certainly weird, and was probably a bit (way) off even before she got sick — like me, Cheryl is seriously chronically ill.  I haven’t asked about her diagnoses but like many chronically ill people and especially chronically ill women, she likely has more than one illness, and it is likely that at least one of her afflictions is an autoimmune disease.  As I am learning, these illnesses, for whatever reason, tend to travel in packs.  I personally only have one that I know of — Crohn’s disease — but since moving residences 2 weeks ago and finding myself unable to get out of bed much and wracked with head-to-toe pain and crippling fatigue ever since, I am once again wondering if I have another one although I have learned through reading other Crohn’s patients’ testimonies online that Crohn’s all by itself is enough to render anyone the barely-walking dead and that is indeed how I feel.  Cheryl, on the other hand, has been buried under her particular prison for years.

Continue reading “Cheryl Went the Other Way. On The Path Not Taken.”

You Can’t “Outsmart” Trauma. That’s Actually Not How Trauma Works. Or, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Traumatized and Increasingly Unable to Function.

I’ve been thinking a lot about trauma lately as I contemplate my increasingly vulnerable and terrifying station as a chronically ill woman who will have to rely on the long-term care and concern of others if I am to survive.  For some reason I found this topic exceptionally difficult to write about in a coherent and meaningful way and in my experience as a somewhat seasoned social critic, that usually indicates that there is some thought-termination around the issue and that I am working my way through something that is not meant to be dissected and understood and that is probably the case here.  For whatever reason, this post seems like it just does not want to be written, and as a writer and a creative person I can and do respect that, so I am giving up on the idea of writing a proper post about it.  I have scrapped a dozen versions of this post and I’m glad they are gone.

But there is something that I — not my muse — would like to say about trauma, about women’s experience with trauma, how it affects us, and what little can probably be done about it.  But little is not nothing, and where there is anything women can do to avoid trauma and to avoid becoming traumatized, women seriously need to do everything in their power to avoid it.  The effects of trauma on our long-term physical and mental well-being are just too serious to ignore and we cannot keep letting this happen to us; we are told that “what does not kill us makes us stronger” but this is a reversal, and a lie.  And besides, there are probably worse things than death and it seems to me like trauma may be one of those things.  In reality, the constant traumas women experience that stop short of killing us only make us weaker, sicker, and less able to function.  For women, the effect of constant trauma is that we are neither here nor there — we end up the walking dead.

Continue reading “You Can’t “Outsmart” Trauma. That’s Actually Not How Trauma Works. Or, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Traumatized and Increasingly Unable to Function.”