At the age of 24 I began to ask my doctors if I could be sterilized. Year after year at my annual exam I would state my case – each year unchanged from the previous year. At each visit my physician told me that I was too young, what if I changed my mind? But the reality was that I didn’t change my mind. In fact, my desire to not have children grew and grew with each passing visit.

[…]I had asked for a procedure for six straight years with no break in my desires, opinions, or beliefs. Why did the medical community continue to deny me of my personal right to sterilization? I attempted to argue with her, citing examples of several men who were allowed vasectomies at the age of 21, but she wouldn’t budge. My anger was fueled by such blatant sexism. What is the difference from an adult man deciding he doesn’t want to procreate and an adult woman making the same choice? Why can’t I be the one to decide what’s best for my life? And why, with the advancements in healthcare and women’s rights issues, were women still being forced into conforming to the societal definition of how women should conduct their lives? Society has begun to recognize how the stereotypical nuclear family ideals are outdated, yet at the same time these ideals are perpetually imposed – harming those who choose to live outside of this box.

Whoooooo needs health care? You. Here's 5 things you need to know for the last 5 days of Obamacare enrollment: 1. Everyone has to have health insurance, and if you aren’t enrolled by March 31, you’ll be fined $95 or 1% of your income (whichever is more money).
 2. Some people are exempt from paying the fine. For example, you don’t have to pay the fine if you’re not eligible for Medicaid because your state refused federal funds to expand coverage. 3. If you already have health insurance (like if you get it through your job or if you’re under 26 and on your parent’s plan), you don’t need to sign up again - you’re good to go! 4. Having health insurance gets you a whole host of benefits, like birth control without a copay, annual well-woman exams, pap tests, and other preventive care. 5. Health insurance or no health insurance, you can still come to Planned Parenthood for the quality care you need, when you need it. We’re here for you no matter what. Give a hoot. Enroll now >>
Charts: This Is What Happens When You Defund Planned Parenthood
Dozens of clinics have shut down in Texas, leaving nearly 200,000 women in search of affordable health care.

To all of you saying “There’s clinics that provide the same stuff as Planned Parenthood.” 

The Planned Parenthood clinics that anti-choice legislators booted from the state’s Women’s Health Program serviced nearly 50 percent of the program’s patients. Along with contraceptive counseling, the clinics provided basic screenings for cancer, hypertension, and other key problems. There’s no shortage of need: women in Texas suffer high rates of STIs and unintended pregnancies compared to national figures, and the state ranks 50th for diabetes prevalence in women. 

But last October, researchers at George Washington University examined five Texas counties and found that in order to effectively replace Planned Parenthood, other clinics would need to increase their caseloads two to five times.

Lone Star Circle of Care, for example, lost 62 percent of its Title X funding over the last year. Now it’s charging more patients a $20 to $35 fee for an annual exam. That’s still low, in part because Lone Star isn’t affiliated with an abortion provider and therefore hasn’t lost funding altogether. At Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas, on the other hand, the same exam can now cost nearly $100; before defunding, they were virtually free.

Miners in South Africa have some of the highest rates of silicosis in the world. Silicosis is an incurable and degenerative lung disease caused by breathing in silica dust, which is created in gold mining during blasting. Now, thousands of current and former South African miners are asking the country’s highest court for the right to proceed with a lawsuit against the gold mining industry. They argue that mining companies failed to protect their health. If it’s certified, the class action would be the biggest ever brought in the country.

Siporono Phahlam lives in a rural village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. He knows the impact of silicosis firsthand. For 32 years, Phahlam worked in a South African gold mine owned by mining Giant Anglo American. But when he was 51, he failed the mine’s annual medical exam. Phahlam says he was told he had silicosis and should leave.

Gold Miners Breathe The Dust, Fall Ill: ‘They Did Not Give Me Nothing’

Photo: Thom Pierce
Caption: Patrick Sitwayi, 57, lives in Upper Mcambalala and has silicosis from working in the gold mines for 22 years. Photographer Thom Pierce has been covering the miners.

REMINDER: Low-income folks in WA can still get repro health care through Take Charge

Hey, friendos. We know the world is scary right now (maybe it’s been scary for you for a long time. Maybe forever. Maybe the scariness is new. Either way, hi) and that you might be looking for solutions.

We want to remind you of one here in Washington: Take Charge. 

Take Charge is a program run through Planned Parenthood that offers free (YEAH REALLY) birth control and annual exams to folks who are low-income, regardless of gender. 

If you’re a single person who makes up to $2,452 monthly, you may qualify.

Go get a damn IUD. Get yourself tested. Get a check-up. Get Take Charge because it will be there for you even if the ACA gets gutted.


A Day in the Life

A typical day for me is something like this.

9:00- 8 week Shih tzu vaccine appointment. Owner doesn’t believe in vaccines.

9:15- Litter of found kittens presents for vaccines, and three of them are sneezing and have “goopy eyes”.

9:30- Pet store brings in a group of 3 guinea pigs with bald patches and flaky skin.

9:30- A man brings in his 15 year old cat who hasn’t been eating. For 10 days.

10:00- Bearded dragon nail trim and check up

10:15- Annual exam on a morbidly obese vicious pug (the game is to see if the exam can be finished before he turns blue, bites anyone, or squirts anal glands).

10:30 to noon- Vaccine appointments.

12:00- Lunch

12:05- Woman walks in with a chihuahua that fell off the bed last week and has been limping ever since.

12:30- Lunch break is over (no one got lunch).

12:45- More puppy vaccines.

1:00- Outdoor tom cat with a large swelling on his back side.

1:30- Parakeet that screamed last night and the owners woke up this morning to find blood all over the bird and the cage.

1:45- Walk in. Dog is coughing. But only when no one is looking at it.

1:50- Walk in. Snake with bad rat bite. Owner didn’t realize vets cost money, leaves.

2:00- Bathroom break.

2:01- Client catches me on the way to the bathroom. I end up discussing anal glands for 15 minutes. It is now time to go back and see more appointments. I still have to pee.

2:15- Pekinese with a squinty eye. Surprise! The owner brought all 3 pets but only made an appointment for one. The other two need vaccines.

3:00- Emaciated bearded dragon.

3:30- 18 year old emaciated Pug that hasn’t eaten, moved, blinked, or urinated in 2 weeks comes in. Owner wants to try antibiotics.

3:45- Kitten vaccines.

4:00- Dog comes in for scooting.

4:15- Phone call asking about monkeys. Will I see them? No. Fine then, will I see a tamarin? No… this is a monkey. What if it’s female? Call is transferred to the front desk.

4:30- Pomeranian fell off the bed and now can’t walk on its left foot.

5:00- A fire bellied toad with a swollen eye.

5:01- Vomiting yorkie.

5:05- Vomiting Pom. Since last Friday. But now its an emergency, company is coming over.

5:15- Macaw beak trim.

5:30- Kitten vaccines.

5:45- Broken dewclaw on a 125lb English Mastiff. He loves to sit in your lap.

6:00- Hit by car terrier mix.

6:15- Blocked tom.

6:30- Trying to send blocked tom to emergency hospital for overnight care. Another hit by car dog comes in.

6:45- Phone call. Are onions really that bad for dogs?

7:00- Onion toxicity dog.

7:15- Dog that has been sick for a few months needs to be put to sleep. (We close at 7).

7:30- Phone call. Can we see a dog with a laceration on its paw? Oh. They are in the parking lot.

8:00- We shut the phones off and flee the building.

8:45- Fiance says we need to cut our cat’s nails.

9:00- Bathroom break.

10:00- Bed. I have to be up in 8 hours.

[FAN ACCOUNT] Yonghwa - Middle School Days

Came across THIS FA:


From a story shared by YH’s middle school classmate (who uploaded a yearbook picture as a proof) @ DC JYH:

“I remember a few things. In 2nd year, during our annual physical education exam, we had to run 7 laps. 

The rule was set so that when no.1 runs one more lap fast enough to pass the last runner, the last runner gets a fail.

Yong Hwa was no.1 so when he ran almost one more lap than the last runner, I thought he would catch up. 

But without passing, he ran leisurely right behind the last runner so that he wouldn’t fail, smiling and cheering him up. 

I remember how because of him, the kids who were following couldn’t pass by and the last runner finished the laps.”

Such a warm, warm person even back then.

따뜻한 사람.

정용화의 중학교 동창이라고 자신을 밝힌 이가, 졸업사진 인증과 함께 정용화 갤러리에 남긴 글 中.

“기억나는게 몇개있는데 2학년 체력장때 운동장 7바퀴를 도는데 

1등이 한바퀴차이나서 꼴찌를 따라잡으면 꼴찌가 탈락되는 그런 룰이였었는데 용화가 1등이였음 

근데 꼴찌랑 한바퀴 차이나서 따라잡는줄알았는데 꼴찌하는애 탈락안할수있게

꼴찌 바로 뒤에서 설렁설렁 뛰면서 웃으면서 힘내라고 말하면서 안따라잡으면서 설렁설렁 뜀 

그래서 뒤에 애들도 용화때매 못따라잡고 그 꼴찌가 완주했던 기억이남”







訳:@chiyong0w Source

“For the 25,000 women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health care like annual exams, lifesaving cancer screening and birth control (most of them uninsured simply because the Governor refuses to expand Medicaid)…

For every woman who makes her own deeply personal and often complex decision about pregnancy—and does NOT need the help of a politician to do so…

For everyone who agrees that we will not go back to a time when access to safe and legal health care and the voting booth were rights reserved for the few…

For every woman and man who pledges to vote to protect a woman’s access to safe and legal health care—no matter what…

For every single mom who has lost her unemployment benefits and still pushes her children to reach their dreams…

For every woman who sends her children out in the world and is happy when they return safely—and for those mothers who have lost their children to senseless violence…

For every woman who knows that "Stand Your Ground” laws do not make her children any safer…

For every queer woman who knows that constitutional amendments don’t define her worth…

For every teacher who declines to sign her 25% contract and instead stands in solidarity with her colleagues…

For every girl who struggles to learn in an overcrowded and underfunded classroom…

For every young woman who works two jobs to pay for her college education so that when she graduates she can finally make as much as a man who graduated from high school…

For every person who respects and supports the women in their lives..

This is why we march.  

This is why we mobilize.  

This is why we vote.

- Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina CEO Janet Colm at the Moral March on Raleigh, 2/8/2014
"Big Pharma" & Privilege: Or Why I Wish Allies Would Stop Using This Phrase

A friend posts an article on Facebook about how the United States’ medical system does not meet the needs of those with chronic pain. This is a reality that I have experienced. This is a reality that I regularly speak to others who experience chronic pain have also experienced. About a month ago when I was at the doctor’s office for my annual exam, I overheard 2 medical workers talking about how they hate when patients say they’re in pain, because they know they’re over-reacting. I was horrified, but it wasn’t the first time I’d heard someone in the medical field say something like this.

Every test has risks. There are risks of false positives and false negatives. For example, a false positive is when an HIV test says you have HIV, but you really don’t. And a false negative is when the HIV test says you don’t have HIV, but you really do. Every test that doctors perform have very well-described false negative and false positive rates.

Tests come in all kinds of different flavors from blood tests and x-rays to physical exams. Anything that generates some sort of data can be considered a test. Zeke Emanuel recently wrote in the New York Times that we should skip our annual physical exam because it’s simply a bad test:

In 2012, the Cochrane Collaboration, an international group of medical researchers who systematically review the world’s biomedical research, analyzed 14 randomized controlled trials with over 182,000 people followed for a median of nine years that sought to evaluate the benefits of routine, general health checkups — that is, visits to the physician for general health and not prompted by any particular symptom or complaint.

The unequivocal conclusion: the appointments are unlikely to be beneficial. Regardless of which screenings and tests were administered, studies of annual health exams dating from 1963 to 1999 show that the annual physicals did not reduce mortality overall or for specific causes of death from cancer or heart disease. This lack of evidence is the main reason the United States Preventive Services Task Force — an independent group of experts making evidence-based recommendations about the use of preventive services — does not have a recommendation on routine annual health checkups. The Canadian guidelines have recommended against these exams since 1979.

And here’s the kicker:

Some are actually hurt by physicals, because healthy patients who undergo an exam sometimes end up with complications and pain from further screening or confirmatory tests.

Fascinating isn’t it? Ever think that an annual physical exam could harm you? The bottom line is that it’s simply not a very good test at all. It’s too blunt a tool.

But there’s a new kind of test on the horizon. It’s called wearables. There’s a big push from the wearables industry to force some sort of wearable ubiquity upon us.

But these wearables are, in fact, tests. They are tools to generate data just like blood tests, x-rays and physical exams. Some of these data-generating tools are exceptionally helpful and some are actually harmful not only for pain and suffering, but also for initiating costly further testing. They will have false positives and false negatives. They may diagnose diseases that will never actually harm us. They may diagnose diseases that we can’t do anything about. They may provide early diagnoses and force us to live with anxiety longer than we need to.

As wearables tread ever closer to tracking more medical values (blood glucose) instead of health values (steps taken), they may actually do more harm than good and we should be open to this possibility. Everybody thought that physical exams were helpful. They’re not and they may be harmful. We might find ourselves in the same predicament with wearables triggering further unnecessary and costly testing. I’m not saying it’s probable, just that it’s possible.


I had my annual eye exam yesterday, and one of the topics of discussion was my incipient presbyopia.  The mechanism and etiology of presbyopia are not well understood-but can be described as age induced far sightedness, or the inability to focus on near objects.  Typically it gets worse as a person ages, starting around age 40, progressing through your fifties and finally stabilizing for most around age 60.   In general, presbyopia stinks-you gradually lose your ability to focus on things near, notably text.  The etymology of the word, however, is awesome!  Presbyopia comes from the Ancient Greek word  πρέσβυς (présbus) meaning old man, which comes from a combination of the Ancient Greek πρέσ (pres) meaning before, going before and βοῦς (bous) meaning cow.  The sense is that the person trusted with leading and tending the cattle was an elder.  For the Spartans, the related title of presbyter was a very high rank, higher than senator, akin with president.  It was also often used to denote an ambassador.  The New Latin -opia  meaning generally a vision problem comes from Ancient Greek ὤψ (ops) meaning eye.  

Shout out to Dr. Carrie Hubble-best eye doctor I know, and I have been seeing eye doctors for—well—for a long time!