Most nights, I am visited by nightmares. They range from “being chased by a crazed murderer” to “being swallowed by a tsunami” to “I’m late for a test in a class I didn’t know I have” to “It’s been a mistake, my mom/dad/cat didn’t actually die.” I wake up feeling sad, depressed, scared, and unrested. And so I wondered: What causes nightmares?

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Red and Mossy: A Brief History of Menstruation

As a historian, as a former SCAdian (medieval re-enactor), as someone who likes neomedieval fiction, the question I’ve seen pop up the most is: What did people in the past do about issues like menstruation? Most SCAdians use modern products under their historical clothing, and fictional series can ignore it. But obviously real people didn’t have that luxury.

This isn’t a comprehensive study of every time and culture (though if someone wants to pay me to do that. . . ). Instead, this is the kind of info you can use to inform your ideas about Game of Thrones or Skyrim characters. Menstruation through largely a historical European lens.

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Adventures in Rosacea

(Full disclosure: I have not had an official medical diagnosis and everything below is based on personal experience, individual research, and ol’ fashioned guess-work.)

For most my life I had ‘normal’ skin. Sure, there was the occasional break-out due to stress or a product my face didn’t agree with. Over the past couple years, however, my face started getting angry, red pimples with clear weepy… stuff in them (lovely). I put it down to turning 40 and normal changes in my skin due to hormones (fun fact: I was all ready to write an article about this for PMag called “Hormones are Assholes”).

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Stocking the Medicine Cabinet

Oh God, y’all, I think I’m gonna die. At the time I’m writing this, I’m on Day 4 of the world’s nastiest cold. I’ve gone through a whole box of tissues and a bag of cough drops, and I’m starting to lose my voice. I am uncomfortable and want nothing more than to crawl under my covers and marathon Buffy, Season 7 until my eyes fall out of my head. Or I fall asleep. Whichever comes first. Continue reading

Your Emergency Contraception Might Not Work. Here’s the Real Reason.

The European manufacturer of NorLevo, an emergency contraceptive pill that’s identical to many of the most popular morning-after pills sold in the US, announced that they’ll be changing their packaging to warn consumers that it may not work for some overweight and obese women. The FDA has announced that they’ll review the data and decide whether or not to require a similar warning. A closer look shows that their numbers may not be 100% accurate, but unfortunately, this isn’t the only problem with EC pills containing this hormone. Read on to find out what the media’s getting wrong and what you need to know. Continue reading

3 Facts You May Not Know About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In the past, I’ve written a fair amount about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, covering subjects like parenting, managing expectations, and just how I think I got it in the first place. Because I am still a relatively busy person when it comes to writing and involvement in my local creative community, it’s important that people have information about how this misunderstood condition affects a person’s life. I have limitations in what I can accomplish on any given day, but if I can use some of that available energy to help one more person understand why, then I have done some good. Besides, I’m certainly not the only one struggling with this illness, and the more information the public has, perhaps the sooner we will be able to effectively treat it.

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“Aren’t you Native American?”: Diabetes Prevention in Indian Country

Content warning: discussion of chronic illness, discrimination, dieting, sizeism, weight gain/loss

A year ago at this time I was 25 lbs. (11 kg) lighter, but not at much less risk for developing diabetes after having participated in my Tribe’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The Diabetes Prevention Program is a national program designed to target people and populations at high risk for diabetes and already designated as pre-diabetic. Let that explain how I got involved; according to the American Diabetes Association, “At nearly 16.1 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups.” Continue reading

Everything I Learned About Periods Working for a Major Tampon Brand

I spent a year and a half as the community manager for a major tampon and pad brand. I enjoyed opening with this at parties beacuse it always got a good conversation going. As a pro-woman, ra-ra feminist, I genuinely liked working with this brand and I learned a lot about the awesome people who genuinely want to do away with the period shame. Continue reading

Eczema and Pregnancy

Eczema sucks. It itches. It burns. It sets my entire body on a stressful edge. The most popular treatment by my dermatologist is to use steroid cream. When that didn’t work, she upped the level of steroids in the cream. But now I am pregnant. And steroids are a no-no. I have scratched my foot raw because it is an itch that I cannot ignore – I have even shed tears from the pain. Continue reading

Pregnancy Math: 20 Weeks by Whose Count?

Most of the recent abortion debate in the US has revolved around banning abortions after the 20th week. What many people (including lawmakers in at least one state) don’t realize is that there are two ways of dating a pregnancy – gestational age and embryonic age. Gestational age refers to the number of weeks the woman (or man, orother uterus-bearing individual regardless of gender identity) has been pregnant, while embryonic age refers to the actual age of the embryo/fetus. Yes, those are different numbers. Confused yet? Continue reading

The IVF Diaries: Baby Steps

Some of you may remember a post I wrote a few months ago about having Turner syndrome. (If not, it’s cool: I have a link!) In it, I spoke about having the condition, but somehow in my stream-of-consciousness writer ways it ended up having a bit of a focus on one aspect of Turner syndrome that (at least in my case and the other lovely Persephoneer who has said she has it too) can be very wearing: the inability to naturally conceive children. PLEASE READ WHAT I WROTE THERE BEFORE COMMENTING. No “Aww”s, please. Continue reading

Don’t Stroke Out

You’re 34 weeks into your pregnancy, and you can’t tie your shoes. You haven’t seen your feet from a standing position in two months. You feel like your uterus is going to fall out any day now, and this kid inside you is training for soccer with your ribs. You haven’t been able to walk up the stairs without taking a break in five months. You wake up one day and find that your face looks like Jabba the Hutt’s. Your heart is racing and you have a headache rivaling your worst party-like-a-rockstar hangover.  Pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy induced high blood pressure, is the culprit. You have a C-section, and all is well in the end. At least, you think it is.

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