Thursday, November 10, 2016

A plea for decency

I try to keep politics off of this blog. It is designed to be a safe space for people to learn about their disease, not a soapbox from which I rant about the state of world affairs.


Since Tuesday there has been a spate of hate crimes being perpetrated by those who feel that the election of Trump gives them  a mandate to target immigrants, the LGBT community and Muslims. No matter what your political affiliation, this is morally abhorrent, and must be stopped immediately.

It does not matter if you feel that immigrants endanger American society, that the LGBT are sinful, or that Islam is a dangerous religion. These are human beings, and we have an absolute responsibility to treat each other with dignity. Let me repeat: this is not dependent on whether these people are a threat to you. They are still people. If you stand by while people write white supremacist messages on black peoples' cars, or while a Muslim woman gets her headscarf ripped off her head, then you are tacitly supporting evil. We have a duty to protect everyone, regardless of who they are.

If you happen to be Christian, then this duty extends further: you have an absolute religious obligation to stand with those being attacked right now. (Other religions have similar teachings; I'm just less familiar with them). Christ's entire ministry was spent ministering to the marginalized members of society--some of whom were clearly sinners. It is a fundamental and non-negotiable part of the Gospel of Christ to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Period.

As a cis, white, Christian woman in a heterosexual marriage, I am, like many, a little at a loss to know how to help if I don't actually witness a hate crime. I can only make suggestions:

1. Contact your local mosque and ask if there's anything you can do to support their community.
2. Contact your local LGBT alliance and do the same.
3. Contribute to the ACLU, which is trying to protect the victims of hate crimes.
4. Speak up whenever you hear hate speech.

Please let us learn from history...

When the Nazis came for the communists,

I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
-Martin Niemöller

Sunday, November 6, 2016


So, here's my excuse for not updating this blog recently:

The heir to the Rolland fortune is due on Mother's Day, 2017. Needless to say, they're following this pregnancy very closely. Not only do I go to the usual pre-natal appointments (where the nurses are great about calling my rheumatologist with questions), but I have a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, who specializes in high risk cases. Which any lupus patient is, by definition. He says, however, that the fact that I am in remission makes it far more likely that the baby will be ok; generally lupus patients have an increased rate of miscarriage.

The good news is that my disease is under control, that I have good health care coverage, and that my rheumatologist very carefully tapered me off my immunosuppressants in preparation for this. Doing so took several months, but was necessary because drugs like CellCept can harm a fetus. I am still taking plaquinel, as it decreases the chance of something going wrong. Also, I do not have SSA/SSB autoantibodies or anti-phospholipid syndrome, which are strongly associated with neonatal lupus and other problems. So we're crossing our fingers and hoping for the best.

Boy or Girl?

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the "gender reveal" parties. If that's your thing, go for it. But it's not ours, so I'll just say that I had cell-free genetic testing done (which is fantastic--they can draw the mother's blood and make sure that the baby doesn't have any trisomies like Down's Sydnrome), and found out that it's a genetically health boy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Just a reminder...

Early voting has started in many states. Don't forget to vote; whatever your political ideologies happen to be, you cannot deny that this is a critical election.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Bartolome Day!

This comic pretty much expresses how I feel about Columbus Day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The other side of the opioid epidemic...

Sometimes, in the drive to stem the opioid misuse epidemic, physicians forget that some patients really do need painkillers. An excellent article on the subject can be found here:

Edit 20 July 16: Another article can be found here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I'm alive, really...

So sorry for the lapse in posting. I lead such a wild and crazy life these days that, just yesterday, I found myself knitting at an epidemiology conference while sipping decaf. Woo! If that's not partying hard, I don't know what is. But in all seriousness, I've just been busy. Relatively healthy, I'm happy to say, but busy. Child death reviews take a lot of running, apparently. I find myself at the Medical Examiner's office, in suicide (prevention) conferences, etc.

On the plus side, I've been married for five months now, and I'm still happily married! That's gotta be a record in today's world. Last weekend my husband and his friends were outside, building new porches for the house. I took a look at the situation, deducted the chance that I would lose a limb if I tried to help, and decided to cook for them instead. A little overly domestic, maybe...but so much less blood loss involved then if I'd picked up a tool and tried to help! I'm not known for my handyman skills, sadly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016's baaack!!!

Those of you with lupus know what I'm talking about. That feeling like someone has tied 50 lb weights to your arms and legs. A basic inability to keep one's eyes open for more than 45 seconds straight. The need to nap after taking a shower in the morning. An unbelievable caffeine consumption rate.

That's right, folks, lupus fatigue has put in an encore performance, and it's a doozy. Not so nice, since I'm supposed to leave (armed with sunscreen and, thanks to the Zika Virus, mosquito repellent), for my honeymoon in the Caribbean in two and a half weeks. Yay! So why get hit with this now? I'm otherwise pretty healthy...blood counts have dropped slightly but nothing there seems no reason for this energy-draining state. But that's the way it goes.

I'm due for a Benlysta infusion tomorrow; hopefully that will help a little bit. In the meantime, there's not a whole lot I can do except try to make it through the day without falling asleep at my desk.