margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
Are you fucking kidding me? 

I have many feelings on this.  They are all rage.

32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape per year is not "rare", and the 32,101 women whose lives are directly affected should be trusted to make the decisions that are right for them, not have to kowtow to what a delusional representative who has never met them, never heard their stories thinks is the right decision to make on their behalf.

Also, "legitimate" rape?  GTFO.

Hon. Todd Akin
117 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Voice: (202) 225-2561
Fax: (202) 225-2563

margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
For the record, one can watch the full documentary -- which I highly recommend -- here at PBS.  I loves me some public broadcasting, yes I do.

As all y'all know, I am going to be a nurse.  Having been interested in the body, all its weirdness, and all the Very Bad Things that can happen to the body, I tend to read anything I can get my hands on about epidemiology, the history of medicine (as I am interested in both history and medicine, the history of medicine is Very Much Relevant To My Interests indeed), plagues, pandemics, and assorted bacterial/viral/fungal Happy Fun Times resulting in the deaths of populations.

To say vaccines are worse than the illnesses they prevent is total, complete, and utter hogwash. 

Let's take the most famous example, the disease so feared it was the first to be eradicated from the globe:  smallpox.  Smallpox killed up to 60% of those infected and up to 80% of infected children.  It was implicated in 35% of cases of blindness in human history.  What is relatively unknown to most people is that in order to eradicate smallpox, governments began to require mandatory vaccination -- no exceptions.  In 1843, Massachussetts put the first madatory-vaccination law in place, and other states soon followed suit.  Within 60 years -- by 1897 -- the United States was almost completely free from smallpox.  The last naturally-occuring case of Variola major (the more deadly of the two strains) was diagnosed in October 1975.  The less-deadly Variola minor was last diagnosed in a naturally-occuring case on October 26, 1977.  Both cases were on the other side of the globe:  one in India, one in Somalia.

For those playing at home, that is within my lifetime.  I am only 34 years old.  We're not talking about hundreds of years ago, or even a hundred years ago...we are talking about less than 40 years in the past.  In the history of the world, that's practically nothing in the grand scheme of things.  And now most doctors or nurses wouldn't know what smallpox even looks like in the field.  They've never encountered it before, except perhaps in a footnote in an epidemiology class.  Maybe.

So that right there argues that vaccines are a damned good thing where the good of humanity is concerned.  Now let's look at some of the other vaccines, the ones to prevent diseases that have NOT been eradicated.  The ones the CDC still recommends.

Pertussis.  Whooping cough.  Sounds relatively innocuous, wouldn't you say?  Oh, it's just a funny-sounding cough, right?  Want to hear something that will make your chest ache?  Here ya go.  Pertussis really doesn't have any particular treatment beyond comfort care once you're infected...but that cough can make you vomit, faint, the blood vessels in the whites of your eyes to rupture, break your ribs, and asphyxiate to death on your own throat secretions.  Imagine coughing so hard your ribs break. The worst part about the whole disease is that babies that are too young to be safely immunized are the ones most at risk...because pertussis vaccinations don't give you lifelong immunity, most parents can carry pertussis -- and can wind up passing it along to their children.  In fact, in fatal cases in which a pertussis carrier can be identified, up to 80% of the time it is a family member of the dead infant who unknowingly exposed that baby to pertussis.  I can't imagine what sort of pain that must be for a family.

Measles.  Yeah, that rash that your grandmother lived through, but you probably didn't have to -- because your parents vaccinated you.  Sure, measles doesn't have a high rate of complications in healthy adults, but what about that person sitting next to you on the bus...the one you don't know is immunocompromised, because most people don't go around with a "I had a transplant and am on antirejection drugs" signs.  In immunocompromised populations, the fatality rate from measles is around 30%. 

While I'm at it, since the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine is the primary one Jenny McCarthy et al. froth at the mouth most about, there is such a hullabaloo raised about autism caused by vaccination and it is rage-inducing.  These people go on and on about vaccines causing autism, because apparently there's nothing worse in the world that autism.  I beg your pardon?  Autism is somehow worse than death?  Or causing pregnant women to miscarry is okay as long as your kid is neurotypical?  *flail*headdesk*flail*  These anti-vaccination people don't seem to realize -- in fact, their health depends on -- the herd immunity that the rest of the (vaccinated) population provides. 

So to say I Have Issues with anti-vaccination tropes is a little bit of an understatement.
margotvankapelle: (Default)
I just watched "The Vaccine War" on PBS. I have Deep Thoughts and Strongly Held Opinions on this topic indeed. More tomorrow when I have a real keyboard.

Posted via

margotvankapelle: (fridaylove)
Boe and I went out to a nice dinner (our weekly payday ritual) tonight, then he went off to the game store to play in his usual Friday evening Magic: The Gathering tournament.  There is something to be said for predictability.

It dawned on me, though, that I really don't have friends I hang out with or go and see on any regular basis...not since [ profile] cubsfan57 and her husband Brian-sans-LJ moved to Kansas.  To be honest, it doesn't freak me out the way that it freaks Boe out.  Bless him, he worries that he's just up and leaving me all by my lonesome, in which I will pine away in sheer loneliness.  But I'm far more comfortable being alone than he can imagine -- remember, he has Massive Hangups Indeed when it comes to being by himself, and it is difficult for him to imagine any circumstances in which he is comfortable being by himself for any length of time.  I mean that.  When we were first married, he used to follow me around a ~500 square foot 1 bedroom apartment.   Mercifully, I broke him of that habit about the time we moved into our house.

So anyway.  Being by myself isn't the awful fate for me that Boe seems to think it is.  I'm a bit of an introvert (although a very social one) and being by myself gives me an opportunity to function without being "on".  It's something that I do with every single person -- including Boe.  I am constantly "on", and Friday evenings give me the chance to drop the personae* just a hair.  It's quite refreshing.  Besides which, I DON'T have friends I can just randomly visit, or invite myself over for a cup of coffee, or invite over to our place to get mauled by the dog enjoy some conversation.  I'm pretty much a hermit.  School, work, the internet.  That's my social life.  And that's okay.  Between the social anxiety and constant failure on my part to measure up to how awesome my internet friends are, I'm not sure I could handle meeting y'all in the first place!

Can't convince Boe of that, though.  He worries for my mental health...but him getting that job was the best thing to happen to my mental health since I was put on Wellbutrin. 

*I have several.  At school, I am The Pendantic Wunderkind, at work, the Helpful Bakery Associate, at home, the Practical and Sacrificing Spouse, and on the internet, the Occasionally Witty, Often Bitchy Costumer Who Likes To Talk About Herself. Hence this post.

margotvankapelle: (Default)
I am so joining [ profile] housematehorror .
Today Random Gamer Guy was wandering the house with a blanket wrapped around his midsection...and nothing else.

I cannot believe that I actually had to tell a middle aged man that he needed to wear some goddamn clothes, since he's living in the same house as a woman he's not A. Fucking or B. Related to. And even the "related to" bit would be creepy as hell.

Seriously, a fat middle aged man who shits himself on occasion is NOT who I want to see wandering my house in a blanket.

margotvankapelle: (magic8ball)
I made a post in[ profile] adoption , and I wanted to throw it out to my f-list as well.  Let me know what you think, I am getting so very very turned around on quite a few issues (as I am sure you all probably already knew!), and I could really use advice on, well, everything.

When Boe and I have discussed adoption, it has been with the assumption that we'll probably be adopting from the foster care system, since the financial costs of that method seem to be lower than for private adoption, and it gives us the chance to adopt a sibling group (we're primarily interested in adopting a sibling group since they are traditionally difficult to place.)  However, my hormones have really done a number on me and given me a raging case of baby rabies. As in, OMG BABIESRITENAO! sort of baby rabies.  So in my idiocy, I've been scoping out private adoption facilitators, which makes the whole "wanting a baby immediately if not sooner" feeling stronger. 

In addition, Boe -- who has always wanted to have children with me -- is of the opinion that we should go ahead and start the classes and whatnot now and as far as finances go, we'll just work it out the same way we would if I wasn't infertile and we had an unexpected pregnancy.  On the other hand, I can't help but fret that the course of action that Boe is suggesting would be irresponsible...but I'll be 35 before I graduate, and Boe will be 47.  I mean, yeah, Larry King can father a baby at the age of 927265, but that doesn't mean that we can or should.

So what on earth do I do in this situation?  If it was a question of me not being infertile and we had an unexpected pregnancy, we'd just muddle through as best we could while trying to juggle sketchy finances and a newborn.  But in this case, where having children requires not only money, but time, effort, and one hell of a lot of red tape, the right path to take is not nearly as clear-cut.  Wait until I'm out of school, even though we'll be (depressingly) a lot older than the ideal? See if we can adopt even though we're not *quite* where we need to be financially yet?  Foster care adoption, private, or "lady, you are clearly way too nuts to have kids"?

I mean, 35 is -- in my opinion -- really pushing the boundaries of age-appropriateness of first-time parenthood.  And that doesn't mean that I'd become a mom at 35; the classes and stuff can take up to a year, then there's the wait to get a home study done, and then there's waiting to be matched, and and and and and.  Realistically, it can take 2-3 years for placement through the foster care system. 

Hell, if we knew that I could carry a pregnancy, Boe and I would have gone the "family friend and a turkey baster" route.  But I can't carry a pregnancy, and we can't afford fertility treatments at $10,000 per round of IVF, embryo adoption in this case requires a surrogate, and we certainly can't afford a surrogate -- which would require us to go through a lot of the same hoops as an adoption would to boot.

My life is not turning out to be anything like what I had hoped...hrmph.
margotvankapelle: (gungarter)
So the rape-apologist BS in sf_drama seems to have followed over to a post about Ben Roethslinberger on my Facebook...and one of my friends is totes spouting crap straight from the Rape Apologist's Handbook. I am so disappoint. And very, very angry.


Nov. 16th, 2010 12:35 pm
margotvankapelle: (globalwhining)
I can feel things start to go pear-shaped in my head, y'all, and I don't know how to avoid it.  This is not good.  Not with all the obligations I have, and with the knowledge that I don't have a single free weekend to just veg and get my head together until after the holidays.

Lemme see:

* I have 4 major sewing projects to get done before mid-December.  Do I have them started?  Of course not.

*  I have 1 psychology paper to write, and I won't know what I want to say until I sit down and do it.  Oh, and I sold my psych textbook to put gas in the van, so I'll have to borrow from a classmate to write the paper. 

*  Boe's temp job ended a couple of weeks earlier than planned, so that really screws with us.  At least we were able to pay the past due mortgage payments to keep a roof over our heads, so that's all right.  We also paid the water bill and have a payment arrangement set up with the electric company.  This just leaves the phones and the gas bill...and our phones were cut off yesterday, so I can't get in touch with anyone except via face-to-face and the computer -- when I'm at school.

*  I still want to sell off my stash, but without the phones, I can't take pictures and upload them to the internet.

* Because Boe was pulling 20 hour days, I was in charge of housekeeping.  I was keeping up with it all there for a while, but since things are starting to get a bit negative in my head, I haven't been able to get anything done...I just get home and sink into a stupor.

*  The brakes on the van are getting really frighteningly bad.  Grind grind grind grind grind. Oh, and the transmission is starting to go out, but in my mind that's not as critical as being able to stop when I need to.  At least it's just the front right brake, right?  Oh yes, and this *would* be the same van that we sunk $1000 into for brakes previously.  And the van won't be paid off til March.  Yeah, never buying from that place ever again.

So, yeah, that's what's going on in my little corner of the world.
margotvankapelle: (blunt)
Major changes have my head spinning all over the damned place, and I'm just trying to take things as they come, you know?  I can't talk about it, don't want to talk about it, and can't seem to make sense of anything.  Meanwhile, on the one hand, I am full of zen-like confidence, and on the other, well, there's worry, insecurity, and the potential for great amounts of pain, depending on circumstances.

Yeah, I know, this entire post has been made of total incomprehensibility.  That's ok.  I'm not sure that I understand it myself.

Everything's up in the air, and I can't say I care for that uncertain feeling much.  But there isn't anything I can do to change it, so there I am, just making like a barnacle on a rock, washed by waves and the tides, but still there just doing the only thing I know how to do:  be me.


Jul. 26th, 2010 02:09 pm
margotvankapelle: (gungarter)
I just mapped out my curriculum and course loads for the LPN program, and I won't be done until May of 2012. *sigh* This was longer than I wanted to take to get an LPN technical certificate. However, I also ran the curriculum and course loads for the Associate of Applied Science (RN) degree program, and *that* will take until late July 2012. A couple of extra months in exchange for 1. greater earning power and 2. an easier time finding employment? Yes please! (It's still irritating that it'll take me that long though. My life seems to be permanently on hold, and I am SO TIRED of it!)
margotvankapelle: (sealofapproval)

When last we left our intrepid heroine, she was foaming at the mouth and not making much sense.  This may or may not have had something to do with my decision to try to go back to Brown Mackie College to finish my ever-loving occupational therapy assistant degree.


Did you know, they refused to provide me a specific dollar amount for the tuition needed to complete my degree?  It's for a very good reason, I found:  I needed at least 80 credit hours to complete it, at $425/credit hour.  When I did *that* math, kids, I came up with a very, VERY disturbing figure:  $34,000.  To finish an Associate's Degree.  Not when Boe's Bachelor's degree cost just a shade above way, nuh-uh, no-how,  NO.  Absolutely not.


I have applied to Ivy Tech Community College, where tuition is the much more reasonable $104.00 per credit hour, to join their Practical Nursing program.  It should take me a year, year and a half at the most (I plan to take classes next summer if that will hasten things along), I will spend WAY less money, and it's still the medical field.  So it's not all bad...*whew*

Mom offered to loan me some of the tuition costs with Brown Mackie (she really would like to see me graduate college some time before she retires -- I'm afraid I'm the child she worries about the most, since I'm the least practical), but when I crunched those numbers, I called her up and told her that there was no way in hell I was going to ask her to whip out her checkbook and write me a 5 digit loan.  I can't do that to my mom.  So I promised her that I would investigate three different schools (Brown Mackie, IPFW, and Ivy Tech) and let her know what I found re:  costs, programs/curricula, and transferability of credits.  What I found suggests that Ivy Tech's Practical Nursing program is the best idea, using those three criteria, for me to get out of this $10/hr ceiling that I've been dealing with since, well, graduating high school.

Since my depression began to lift back in February/March, I'm finding it easier to *be* practical...and this is the longest amount of time without a major depressive episode since 1998.  Maybe I'm getting back to being myself again!
margotvankapelle: (bitchplz)
However, there is a good deal of plotting and planning to deal with this not-happiness, so oddly enough, it's improved my mood.  :-)


May. 5th, 2009 08:09 am
margotvankapelle: (crymeariver)
I've been following the Costume Con pictures on my flist, and i am jealous.

I wanna go!   /whine

(Of course, what on earth would I *wear*?  I don't have *anything* that's nearly that level of workmanship...I feel kinda lost in costuming.  I don't have a buddy to say, "Yeah, that looks great!" or , "Oh, honey, no."  Just me and my hopes and my knowledge that I am not as good as The Rest of Them Are no matter what I do.   Pride and insecurity, the twin stars around which my ego orbits! )


margotvankapelle: (Default)

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