pre-health

The Moral Travesty of Trumpcare

Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, and substitute basically nothing. 

Trumpcare isn’t a replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a transfer from the sick and poor to the rich and healthy. 

The losers are up to 24 million Americans who under the Affordable Care Act get subsidies to afford health insurance coverage, including millions of people with pre-existing conditions and poor people who had access to Medicaid who may not be able to afford insurance in the future. 

The winners are wealthy Americans who will now get a tax cut because they won’t have to pay to fund the Affordable Care Act, and healthy people who won’t have to buy health insurance to subsidize the sick. 

House Republicans say they have protected people with pre-existing health problems. Baloney. Sick people could be charged premiums so high as to make insurance unaffordable. Trumpcare would even let states waive the Obamacare ban on charging higher premiums for women who have been raped — which actually occurred before the Affordable Care Act. 

America has the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. Private for-profit health insurers do whatever they can to insure groups of healthy people, because that’s where the profits are. They also make every effort to avoid sick people, because that’s where the costs are. 

The Affordable Care Act puts healthy and sick people into the same insurance pool. But under the Republican bill that passed the House, healthy people will no longer be subsidizing sick people.  Healthy people will be in their own insurance pool. Sick people will be grouped with other sick people in their own high-risk pool – which will result in such high premiums, co-payments, and deductibles that many if not most won’t be able to afford. 

Republicans say their bill creates a pool of money that will pay insurance companies to cover the higher costs of insuring sick people. Wrong. Insurers will take the money and still charge sick people much higher premiums. Or avoid sick people altogether. 

The only better alternative to the Affordable Care Act is a single-payer system, such as Medicare for all, which would put all Americans into the same giant insurance pool. Not only would this be fairer, but it would also be far more efficient, because money wouldn’t be spent marketing and advertising to attract healthy people and avoid sick people.

Paul Ryan says the House vote was about fulfilling a promise the GOP made to American voters. But those voters have been lied to from the start about the Affordable Care Act. For years Republicans told them that the Act couldn’t work, would bankrupt America, and result in millions losing the healthcare they had before. All of these lies have been proven wrong. 

Now Republicans say the Act is unsustainable because premiums are rising and insurers are pulling out. Wrong again. Whatever is wrong with the Affordable Care Act could be easily fixed, but Republicans have refused to do the fixing. Insurers have been pulling out because of the uncertainty Republicans have created.

The reason Republicans are so intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act is they want to give a giant tax cut to the rich who’d no longer have to pay the tab.

Here we come to the heart of the matter. 

If patriotism means anything, it means sacrificing for the common good, participating in the public good. Childless Americans pay taxes for schools so children are educated. Americans who live close to their work pay taxes for roads and bridges so those who live farther away can get to work. Americans with secure jobs pay into unemployment insurance so those who lose their jobs have some income until they find another. 

And under the Affordable Care Act, healthier and wealthier Americans pay a bit more so sicker and poorer Americans don’t die. 

Trump and House Republicans aren’t patriots. They don’t believe in sacrificing for the common good. They don’t think we’re citizens with obligations to one another. To them, we’re just individual consumers who deserve the best deal we can get for ourselves. It’s all about the art of the deal.

So what do we do now? We fight.

To become law, Trumpcare has to go through 4 additional steps: First, a version must be enacted in the Senate. It must then go a “conference“ to hammer out differences between the House and Senate. The conference agreement must then pass in the House again, and again in the Senate. 

I hope you’ll be there every step of the way, until Trumpcare collapses under the weight of its own cruelty. House Republicans who voted for this travesty will rue the day they did. Any Senate Republican who joins them will regret it as well. 

Chiron in the Signs & Houses

Chiron is a comet with a unique and erratic orbit. In the natal chart, Chiron is symbolized by the “wounded healer”. It represents our deepest wound, and our efforts to heal the wound. Chiron was named after the centaur in Greek mythology who was a healer and teacher who, ironically, could not heal himself.

Chiron in our natal charts points to where we have healing powers as the result of our own deep spiritual wounds. We may over-compensate in these areas of life. Chiron, as a wounded healer, first must face issues of low self-worth and feelings of inadequacy and learn to rise above these issues. Because the wound goes deep, and we may work hard to overcome the wound, healing powers are potent.

Chiron in Aries

Chiron in Aries affects the sense of self. They may find themselves on a voyage of self-discovery or need to overcome feelings of worthlessness when Chiron is placed here. Chiron deals with healing so they may need to discover ways of healing themselves. This sign is associated with headaches, head wounds and other injuries in this area. They may need to deal with an actual physical injury like these or it could be a psychological wound to their sense of self. If they look at themselves they will see their worth. They need to assert themselves and track their accomplishments take charge in order to heal themselves. They will learn to value themselves and how to care for themselves. They’ll find that once they value themselves, others will too.

Chiron in the 1st House

Indicates a journey of self-discovery. Possibly, there were restrictions in early childhood that will have had the effect on you of either retreating into yourself or having to fight to be noticed. There will be a need to find personal meaning in existence. Some will do this by being overly aggressive, others by withdrawing. Having a job or interest that is really enjoyed will give a positive direction to your life. 


Chiron in Taurus

Chiron in Taurus reflects a wound of neglect. At some point in life, they felt that they didn’t get enough of something, whether it was material things, or emotional, mental or spiritual attention. They feel unfulfilled and undernourished in some way. It all boils down to their sense of worth. Many people shop to fill these kinds of voids… to heal they need to look beyond this quick fix to their inner need. They shouldn’t deny themselves the simple pleasures of life… they need to learn to value themselves and treat themselves the way they want others to treat them. Love is all around. They were born to love and be loved. If they learn to value themselves, others will value them also. They should take time for introspection.

Chiron in the 2nd House

Indicates great self-confidence, so long as there are physical comforts. There may have been little or no affection or even inappropriate affection, in childhood. This could now be shown through stubbornness and a dismissive attitude to others’ opinions. You could be a great teacher of self-worth when you have dealt with your own issues. 


Chiron in Gemini

Chiron in Gemini deals with communication and the nervous system. They may need healing for the way they communicate. Maybe they are terribly shy or maybe they feel no one listens to them. Perhaps they feel unable to communicate clearly enough or feel they are not as smart as those around them. Whatever the problem, they need to take the time to learn how to overcome it. They should take some time and list the things they are very knowledgeable about. This will give them more confidence. They should spend time researching. They could practice speaking or writing in order to communicate their ideas. Chiron’s gift should be used to broaden their horizons in ways they didn’t think was possible.

Chiron in the 3rd House

Indicates, perhaps unintentional, criticism by parents or siblings about the way you expressed yourself, producing a lack of self- confidence. There may have been some injury to your voice or you may have been too shy to speak. Your thoughts and words may take time to be expressed so as to be correct. Any errors you make will be excused so as not to appear to be in the wrong. Do not let yourself be hampered by technicalities, and learn to admit to mistakes.


Chiron in Cancer

Chiron in Cancer may feel like an outsider. They may feel unwanted, un-nurtured and unloved. On the good side, they are very nurturing themselves. It is difficult for them to let others care for them. They may give to everyone except themselves. They may end up taking in every stray that crosses their path. They need to learn to give to themselves and cherish their own needs. This helps balance them and make them whole. Opening themselves up to accept love and care from others is a big step towards healing that inner hurt. If they can learn to indulge themselves once in awhile, they will begin to realize what they have been missing all along.

Chiron in the 4th House

Indicates an insecure early family life, so much so that feelings of abandonment or being the ‘black sheep’ persist. A lack of self- confidence may make you think doing anything with your life is a waste of time. You probably have a lot of time for other people and have great empathy. Try to bring out the unique you by using this feeling of being ‘different’.


Chiron in Leo

Chiron in Leo feels that their talents have been overlooked. Perhaps they feel they never got the chance to shine, or maybe they feel awkward or untalented. They have the gift to help others bring out their own creativity. The difficulty they have expressing their own talents may stem from being stifled as a child or forced to perform by their families. In order to help overcome these feelings, Chiron in Leo needs to find a way to touch their inner child and reawaken their creativity. It may help to do some creative play with their own children or to find a class that they find interesting. The unrealized potential is there, right below the surface.

Chiron in the 5th House

Indicates a feeling of having to take life too seriously, too early. You are easily deflated due, probably, to parents who told you that you could not do ‘that’ – though you would have known that you could. There will be a need to draw boundaries for ego survival. Though do not go so far as to cut yourself off from people completely. You are very creative but do not recognize it. Just do it.


Chiron in Virgo

Chiron in Virgo will usually have some kind of health issues to contend with. They may feel there are things wrong that can never be healed. This combination can end up being overly critical or obsessed with tiny details. They may also just give up and live in chaos. They may become hypochondriacs or neglect their own health. They must learn to deal with imperfection. This can be very difficult for them. On the positive side, Chiron and Virgo understand each other. They may be able to heal not only others, but themselves. Volunteering or working in health care may help them to develop a realistic approach to healing and turn them to a holistic approach so they can treat the whole person.

Chiron in the 6th House

Indicates a pre-occupation with health issues, maybe to do with accidents when you were young. You tend to obsess about your own health. You have great healing ability and when you have come to the point of dealing with your own issues, you will achieve great success in this field.


Chiron in Libra

Chiron in Libra suggests a relationship that needs to be healed, or maybe they got hurt or rejected in a relationship. Learning to ground themselves may help them deal with their sensitivity. They may get caught up in a codependent relationship or be abused. They may feel that every relationship they have goes wrong. By learning that they are whole on their own can come as a great relief. They create more balance by learning this lesson. Chiron in Libra may also learn that a partner can help them heal in some way. One of the lessons that may be learned with this combination is that conflict may lead to a greater sense of intimacy.

Chiron in the 7th House

Indicates a feeling of rejection to do with relationships, maybe the parents split-up or were distant with each other. You may marry early and there may be more than one marriage or close relationship. You are quite empathic and even psychic. There is a need for finding a balance between you and your partner – you are not one person. Find your ‘self’.


Chiron in Scorpio

Chiron in Scorpio may find their gifts of empathy and psychic ability are improved through their experiences. They may find that they grow in wisdom through the transformative experiences of life like birth and death. They may suffer a great loss in some way early in life or feel that something inside has died. They may be afraid of their own power or feel powerless. This makes them want to cover up their feelings of inadequacy with false bravado. They may worry endlessly about losing their possessions or loved ones. They can learn a valuable lesson to appreciate life, and that by losing something or someone, you can still become richer by what you have. They may become rather preoccupied with loss if they are not cautious. They can help others through their grief or stress with their great understanding in this area.

Chiron in the 8th House

Indicates losses through the death of loved ones but also gains through births. Personal desires will be very important to you, to the point of ‘anything goes’. You will have psychic abilities that, when trained, will be a great force for good. You could be a mystic with great insight.


Chiron in Sagittarius

Chiron in Sagittarius is indicative of a break with traditions or spiritual teachings that may cause pain. Life may seem like one long continuous spiritual crisis. They may decide that atheism or fundamentalism is what is right for them. They may feel they have no deep understanding or wisdom. It is common for them to feel that they are meant for glory but that something went terribly wrong. Depending on how Chiron and Sagittarius are situated, those with this combination may not listen to advice in those areas, such as finances, for example, or relationships. When they are modest about their knowledge, they will be more trustworthy when giving advice. Chiron in Sagittarius may feel confined in a mundane existence. By realizing that there is wisdom in their own heart, they will begin to heal.

Chiron in the 9th House

Indicates some crisis to do with spiritual teaching. A strong belief of one sort or another that must be channelled correctly to give the right balance. Being the eternal student should be enjoyable, not stressful, so take time to relax. You could be a very good teacher if your extreme opinions are modified.


Chiron in Capricorn

Chiron in Capricorn may be a workaholic in order to prove their self-worth. They were often rejected in some manner during childhood. They may feel ignored or unrecognized. They may spend their time organizing and trying to control everything. They could also go the other way and resist organization in any way, shape or form. They often feel they are working harder than everyone else to no avail. They feel a need for respect and status so much that they lose sight and don’t stop to enjoy any of their accomplishments. To learn this lesson, they need to know how to acknowledge their own value. If they stop and make note of their achievements, they will see that they already have status.

Chiron in the 10th House

Indicates a strong desire to prove your self-worth because of childhood rejection. Your need for status may become obsessive, and your good leadership quality needs to be controlled. Improving the lot of others, close to you, is admirable but not if it brings you down. It will only make you feel resentful and bitter. Try to accept yourself as you are.


Chiron in Aquarius

Chiron in Aquarius may feel uncomfortable in large groups. This may stem from feeling different when they were young. Social rejection makes them want to withdraw from the public and stay only with those with the same interests. They may feel disconnected or isolated. They don’t fit in. They have a real talent for helping others express themselves. They may find themselves only interested in new ideas or stuck resolutely to the old. To learn this lesson in healing, they need to learn to be themselves and cherish their differences. This can be a tough lesson, as it is difficult for some to be comfortable in their skin. Taking part in groups that encourage the expression of individuality can help them integrate this lesson.

Chiron in the 11th House

Indicates rejection from peers because of being ‘different’. You may feel some discomfort in large groups, so you only associate with people of like mind. You have a capacity for leadership, if only you would loosen-up with strangers – we are, after all, connected to everything and everyone. You have a special thing to do in this life, you ‘just’ have to realize what it is.


Chiron in Pisces

Chiron in Pisces is always in crisis. This is a universal level crisis, nothing small ever hits this combination. They may be religious or spiritual crises that keep this combination in a tizzy. They may be at risk for depression or drug use. They may feel they have lost faith in the universe. They may feel guilty even though there is no reason to feel that way. They may play the victim. They have an innate ability to attract those down on their luck and they try their best to help. They need clarity. Disillusionment and betrayal can make life seem harsh. They must learn that sometimes things happen for a reason. By examining their problems, they may find deeper insight and connection.

Chiron in the 12th House

Indicates nervous tension perhaps picked up from a close family member. You probably have psychic, empathic and healing abilities. Don’t keep shutting yourself off from people – they need your unique abilities. Help others by learning to use these ‘gifts’ – it will give great, personal benefit but you will need to be emotionally strong and mature.

Get Mentored!

I recently got the opportunity to meet with a bunch of premeds recently and besides remember the anxiety they radiate as a group (and I’m almost done with med school, poor things) but I also remembered that the one thing that would have made my journey infinitely less of a disaster and confusing was if I had a mentor.

Literally all of it. I was a mess y’all.

Anyways, I very quickly remedied this when I started medical school and I actually have multiple mentors now and people I can easily go to if I’m having trouble understanding the next step or if I’m feeling lost. It made such a big difference. Which is why I think everyone should get at least one mentor, especially if you plan on continuing education that has a lot of convoluted steps involved.  

While this is geared towards medical and other advanced education, I think these can work for anyone.

So here are some tips on how to get a mentor that works or you;

Who am I looking for?

You have a few options here, and fell free to utilize them all. The more the merrier. The ideal is someone a few steps ahead of you so they have enough experience to give you accurate, relevant and current advise, but not so far out they can’t remember exactly how to maneuver through your position. You’ll have a much easier time commiserating with this person since they went through what you’ve gone through not too long along without too many changes.

It is also worthwhile to have someone who has very significant experience but they may not be as easily accessible and be wary of when you’re doing things vs when they did things. Details tend to change quickly and someone, say, 20 years out of medical school won’t know the changes to application process to residency unless they’re directly involved with it or working with others in a similar position to you. That make sense?

And we certainly aren’t discounting people only a year or two ahead of you in your same program. It’s a goldmine of what classes to take, who to take them with, what resources to use, where to be and who to be seen by and all that jazz. So worth it.

How do I get a mentor?

The first step can be pretty intimidating because if you’re looking for someone who is ahead of you chances are you don’t know them super well, so asking them to be your guide on a very intimate process is scary. But don’t be discouraged, because it’s pretty easy to gauge when someone is willing to help you.

The first step is simply to ask. Ask in person, email, text, there’s no real wrong way to ask. The worst that can happen is they say they can’t do it. Thank them for considering it and move it. Someone will say yes eventually.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll be offered help, which you can take or leave at your leisure. You might also be assigned a mentor. These are more to use at your discretion. 

Won’t I be bothering them with my questions?

Nope. If they’ve said yes to you, they’re giving you full passage to ask what you need when you need it. Could the answer come later than you hope? Sometimes. I mean personally, I’m usually really good about emailing my littles back right away but sometimes it takes more time than it should. I’m a busy nugget sometimes. But generally any form of communication will work, unless they specify. Then just stick to that. Easy.

What should I expect from my mentors?

Your mentor should have a healthy positive believe in your goals, but also help you coordinate your goals to your abilities. Early in the process, it can be hard to see beyond the big goal and match that up to the little milestones. Mentors can help guide you across those landmarks and what to expect with your performance or what needs to change so you can meet those goals.

A mentor should be able to give you tips and tricks to success that they’ve learned overtime. Some things may be obvious but others are almost little secrets that are invaluable. Plus they can let you know what times you should be aggressive vs passive because that’s such a tricky line to figure out on your own. 

They should give constructive criticism without making you feel stupid or naïve. A lot of this will be new to you and mistake are expected. So if you don’t know something they shouldn’t make you feel silly for not knowing. But you also need to learn to take their perspective into account without feeling personally attacked. It comes with time.

Finally, you should expect some type of positivity, especially if you’re feeling a bit down. They’re not your therapists so don’t go that far, but you are welcome to say you’re feeling stressed or lost. Most mentors I’ve had, known and as a mentor myself feel like a little encouragement goes a really long way. Even a grumpy grump mentor can say good luck and you’re doing a good job every once in a while.

What if my mentor doesn’t like me after we’ve gotten to know each other better?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is do you feel like they don’t like you or do you know they don’t like you. Because some people just aren’t naturally friendly and positive but are still very willing to help you. Just because someone isn’t a ball of encouragement doesn’t mean they think you’re gross. Likewise if they give you a lot of criticism it doesn’t mean your on the outs. Some go overboard, yes. But some people are just wired that way.

If you know they aren’t vibing with you, or ignoring you, or being unhelpful it is okay to cut your losses and move on. You can find someone else.

What if I don’t like my mentor?

This is a little trickier. If they’re driving you nuts and you can’t stand them, just explain some of your concerns and if you feel like it’s too much slowly bow out. It’s okay. Just don’t offended anyone, we tend to all be pretty connected in this world, especially in the small medical world so tread carefully.

If your mentor is helping you and giving you information that is useful what you might want to do is back away from frequent conversation and just stick to updates, periodic questions and thank yous. They don’t have to be part of your every choice and move. But if someone wants to help you, let them.

Can I consider my mentor my friend?

Yes.

Can you tell them all your personal problems? Ehhh, use your judgement about how close your relationship is before delving deep.

Can I be a mentor and mentee at the same time?

Yep, I do it all the time. I just need to help everyone do everything. Hence the medicine thing. But don’t take on more than you can chew. Start with something little if you want to mentor and work your way up. It’s not as easy as it looks some days. Essentially, know your limits.

My mentor is amazing! How do I let them know?

Say so! Show gratitude! Send little gifts (and you might even get some back), thank you notes, tell them in person! Mentors are people too and they won’t know if they’re doing what you need unless you say so.

To all the mentees yet to be born go find a mentor to watch over you. They’re out there, really to shower you with knowledge. You won’t be sorry.

3

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving’s “village” — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

The afternoon light was gray but bright, flooding through tall, arched windows and pouring past white columns, illuminating the flag that covered her casket. Sprays of callas and roses dotted the room like giant corsages, flanking photos from happier times: Shalon in a slinky maternity dress, sprawled across her couch with her puppy; Shalon, sleepy-eyed and cradling the tiny head of her newborn daughter, Soleil. In one portrait, Shalon wore a vibrant smile and the crisp uniform of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, where she had been a lieutenant commander. Many of the mourners were similarly attired. Shalon’s father, Samuel, surveyed the rows of somber faces from the lectern. “I’ve never been in a room with so many doctors,” he marveled. “… I’ve never seen so many Ph.D.s.”

At 36, Shalon had been part of their elite ranks — an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pre-eminent public health institution in the U.S. There she had focused on trying to understand how structural inequality, trauma and violence made people sick. “She wanted to expose how people’s limited health options were leading to poor health outcomes,” said Rashid Njai, her mentor at the agency. “To kind of uncover and undo the victim-blaming that sometimes happens where it’s like, ‘Poor people don’t care about their health.’ ” Her Twitter bio declared: “I see inequity wherever it exists, call it by name, and work to eliminate it.”

Much of Shalon’s research had focused on how childhood experiences affect health later on — examining how kids’ lives went off track, searching for ways to make them more resilient. Her discovery in mid-2016 that she was pregnant with her first child had been unexpected and thrilling.

Then the unthinkable happened. Three weeks after giving birth, Shalon collapsed and died from complications of high blood pressure.

The researcher working to eradicate disparities in health access and outcomes had become a symbol of one of the most troublesome health disparities facing black women in the U.S. today: disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality. The main federal agency seeking to understand why so many American women — especially black women — die, or nearly die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth had lost one of its own.

Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why

Photos: Becky Harlan/NPR

hi guys!! i just wrapped up my first semester in college (thank the Lord), so i thought i should share some of the things i’ve learned with you.

  • make friends during the first few weeks!! 
    • participate in all the “welcome week” activities. step outside of your comfort zone and be willing to talk to anyone and everyone—everyone else is in the same position as you. find friends who have similar values as you. do not become too close with anyone who will influence you to do things that you do not want to do. befriend the people you sit next to in class—maybe they can become a study buddy. establish your friendships early on. from personal experience, it is harder to befriend people who have already formed their own friend groups. 
  • join clubs!!
    • join them early on in the semester.
    • join clubs that are specific to your major! not only will you meet people with similar interests and career goals, but you will also receive important information (opportunities, research programs, etc.) and get more hands-on experience.
    • if you are on a pre-professional track, join a club based on your program. i’m currently in the pre-dental health society club at my school!
    • join any club that interests you, but try not to join clubs that frequently overlap—it is better to attend clubs faithfully than sporadically. 
    • if you’re a person of faith, join a (or several) campus ministry/group to get connected with people who share your same faith. a majority of my friendships have come from doing this and it’s like having a second family. if you’re a christian, join cru!! cru is awesome!!!!
  • scheduling
    • only take 8 am’s if you are disciplined enough to go to sleep at a reasonable time and to wake up at or before 7 am. 
    • try to end your school day relatively early so that you have the rest of the day to do any studying that you have to do, while you’re still awake and alert. 
    • try to avoid night classes as they are very long and will probably interfere with a billion other things you want to do. 
    • if you are scheduling back-to-back classes, make sure you have enough time to get from one class to the other. 
  • coursework
    • exams are so important in college. there is homework, though, but it usually only accounts for a small percentage of your grade. you should still complete it. all of it. try to accumulate as many points as you can from homework and other assignments in case you don’t perform as well as you wish on the exams.
  • time-management is SOOO important!!
    • learn when to say no to social events. you can still do fun things, but know when you should refrain from it. 
    • managing time wisely significantly lowers academic-related stress.
    • create a skeletal schedule for your week–add your classes, when you want to wake up/go to sleep, any club meetings that you have, what time’s a good time for lunch, etc. 
    • determine what times work best in your schedule to dedicate to studying. 
    • schedule your free time so that 1. you have something to look forward to and are less likely to get distracted, and, 2. you can take a break from everything and feel refreshed.
  • dealing with professors
    • respect them (obviously). 
    • form good relationships with your professors, but, for the love of God, do not be a kiss up. they can tell when you are or aren’t being genuine. 
    • visit them during office hours for any questions you may have. make it known to them that you do care about what you’re learning and that you’re not only trying to get an A. 
  • reminders!!
    • sometimes you will try so hard and your grade will still not reflect the effort you put in.
    • learning > grades
    • grades do not always reflect intelligence. sometimes, a lower grade could be a result of something else, such as poor time-management.
    • your GPA does not define you.
    • you are here to learn.
    • rest!!
    • you can do this!!
    • i love you!!

disclaimer: this post is based on my experiences and things i have heard from people who i have interacted with. this advice might not apply to everyone who reads it. artwork by: paul antonson

i will be adding to this! just wanted to get some of it posted! feel free to message me with specific college-related questions and feel free to message/reply/reblog with any advice you think i should add. :)

love, melissa (@studenting

I’m a trans woman on HRT. Can I get my partner pregnant if I stop HRT?

Someone asked us:

Hi, I am a trans woman (mtf), and have been on hrt for almost 3 years. I come from a family of very fertile males. My S.O. and I want to become pregnant. How likely is it that we might be able to make this happen? If I were to put my hormone regimen on hold for a while, would that be enough to make it happen? Or are there other things that we can do to make this work for us?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does typically lower sperm count. But taking a break from your hormone treatment may help your sperm count go up again. Typically, it’s recommended to stop hormones for about 3 months. However, there isn’t much research on this topic so we don’t really know how long of a break is enough to get to a sperm count where pregnancy is likely to happen. While there’s no guarantee that your sperm count will return, lots of trans women have been able to cause a pregnancy with their partner after taking a break from hormones. Some people freeze their sperm (cryopreservation) before starting hormones, but this is expensive, and doesn’t guarantee future fertility.

If you’re unsure of your sperm count and mobility after several months of not being on hormones, a semen analysis may answer some of these questions about your fertility. Some Planned Parenthood health centers offer this kind of testing, as well as urologists, reproductive endocrinologists, and other fertility specialists. You may want to consider Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) if you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant after stopping hormones for several months, although this is expensive as well.

Real talk: fertility testing and treatment can be really expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost, and finding fertility specialists knowledgeable and respectful of trans identities and health care may also be a challenge, depending on where you live. Your nearest Planned Parenthood health center may have info on good providers in your area. You can also ask the doctor or nurse you visit for HRT about your next steps and trans-friendly fertility specialists near where you live.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea for your partner to have a pre-pregnancy check up.

Best of luck!

-Emily at Planned Parenthood

New Studyblr!

Hi studyblrs! My name is Emme and I’m a new studyblr!


Get to know me!

• I am currently 16 years old and will be turning 17 next month!

• I am a junior in high school and I am currently taking AP Physics, AP Biology, AP English Language and Composition, AP U.S. History, Pre-Calc Honours, and Health Science 2! I’ll mostly be posting about my AP classes and math though!

• I’m an aspiring medical student and hope to one day be a trauma surgeon!


What I Love!

• I love binge watching Netflix (Stranger Things, Gilmore Girls, Big Mouth, Grey’s Anatomy, HTGAWM, Scandal, etc.)

• I read fiction and poetry!

• I play xbox!

• I also love finding new coffee shops and having coffee dates with my girlfriend!


I am so excited to meet new studyblrs and be a part of this supportive community! I am looking for new studyblrs to follow and hope my blog will soon grow! My own original content will be coming soon!


xx, Emme

Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget

For years, conservatives warned that liberals were “defining deviancy downward.” They said that by tolerating bad social behavior, liberals in effect lowered what was deemed acceptable behavior overall – allowing social norms to decline.

There was never a lot of evidence for that view, but there’s little question that Donald Trump is actively defining deviancy downward for the nation as a whole – whether it’s by lying, denigrating basic democratic values, celebrating tyrants around the world, using his office to build his family wealth, or stopping at nothing to win the presidency.

Now comes his budget. Budgets are overall expressions of values and priorities. Trump’s budget is cruel and deviant. He proposes to cut federal spending by more than $3.6 trillion over the next decade, much of it for programs that help the poor (Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security disability, and health insurance for poor children) – in order to finance a huge military buildup and tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Trump’s budget won’t get through Congress, but it defines deviancy downward in 3 respects:

1. It imposes huge burdens on people who already are hurting. Not just the very poor, but also the working class. In fact, among the biggest losers would be people who voted for Trump – whites in rural and poor areas of the country who depend on Medicaid, food stamps, and Social Security disability.

Yet will they know that Trump is willing to sell them out to the rich and corporate interests, or will they fall for the right-wing Republican propaganda (amplified by Fox News and yell radio) that the budget is designed to help people take more responsibility for themselves?

2. It sets a new low bar for congressional and public debate over social insurance in America, and of government’s role – far lower than anything proposed by Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. It pushes the idea that each of us is and should be on our own, rather than that we are part of a society that benefits from social insurance – spreading the risks and costs of adversity that could hit any one of us.

As White House OMB director Mick Mulvaney absurdly put it, the government should show “compassion” for low-income Americans but it should “also…have compassion for folks who are paying [for] it.” That illogic eliminates the justification for social insurance altogether.

The budget thereby frames the debate over Trumpcare, for example, as “why should I pay for her pre-existing health problem if I’m healthy?”

3. Finally, the budget eviscerates the notion that an important aspect of patriotism involves sacrificing for the common good – paying for public services you won’t use but will be used by others and will thereby help the nation as a whole, such as schools, roads, clean air, and health care.

Trump’s budget celebrates a cruel and virulent form of individualism – much like Trump himself. Until Trump, this view of America was considered deviant. But Trump is defining deviancy downward.

We are a better nation than this.

Can herpes affect my ability to have a child?

Someone asked us:

Can herpes affect my ability to have a child?

Genital herpes shouldn’t affect your ability to get pregnant, and people with herpes who get pregnant have healthy pregnancies, births, and babies all the time. But there are extra precautions you can take to make sure you don’t pass herpes on to your baby.

If you already have herpes at the time you get pregnant, the risk to your baby is low. You and your doctor or nurse will keep an eye out for herpes outbreaks during pregnancy, and your doctor may recommend taking some medicine to reduce and prevent outbreaks.

If you have herpes sores on your genitals when you go into labor, it’s possible to spread it to your baby in childbirth. So your doctor may recommend a C-section to avoid that. When a newborn baby gets herpes it can cause certain eye problems or brain damage. So it’s important to tell your doctor or nurse if you have genital herpes or notice any herpes symptoms during pregnancy. Many people have no idea that they have herpes, so talk with your doctor about getting tested for herpes when you’re pregnant.

If you’re pregnant and you don’t have herpes but your partner does (or they think they might), it’s really important to use condoms and dental dams anytime you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex during your pregnancy. It’s also really important to talk with a doctor or nurse about it. They may recommend that you avoid sex during your third trimester. They may also have your partner take medicine to lower the chances of them spreading herpes to you throughout your pregnancy.

Taking serious precautions is important because getting herpes when you’re already pregnant can lead to premature birth or even miscarriage — and the risk of problems increases the later you are in your pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor or nurse about STD testing and other pre-pregnancy health steps you can take. You can get testing and treatment for STDs, and other family planning help, at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

-Emily at Planned Parenthood

Survey Corps University {College!AU}
  • Eren: Star quarterback on football team. Pre-Law/Criminal justice major. Pledging for a fraternity.
  • Armin: Currently top of the 104th student class. Double majoring in marine biology and pre-med.
  • Mikasa: Health science major. Working a part time job at the school's library.
  • Jean: Captain of SCU soccer team. Business major-- specialty in entrepreneurship. In a fraternity.
  • Marco: Student council president. Psychology major. The campus saint.
  • Reiner: Captain of SCU's wrestling team. Major in business, minor in physical education. Alpha male of a fraternity.
  • Bertholdt: Star player on basketball team. Majoring in business.
  • Annie: Major in the health sciences. Hates everyone so she transferred to MPU.
  • Historia: Student council VP and representative. Major in nursing and a minor in children's education. Member of a sorority.
  • Ymir: No one knows her major but she can sure chug a beer. Somehow got into a sorority.
  • Connie: Won't stop changing majors. Member of the school's theatre club. Fraternity member.
  • Sasha: Major in animal science and minor in agricultural business management. Pledging for a sorority. The campus party girl. Head cheerleader.
  • Erwin: The head dean of SCU. Everyone wants to sleep with him.
  • Levi: Doubles as the school's disciplinary board leader and English professor. Erwin's right hand.
  • Hanji: The top biology and chemistry professor on campus. Always helping Levi and Erwin.
  • ----------------------------------
  • School Stats
  • School Colors: Green, White and Blue.
  • School Rivalries: Garrison University and MP University.
  • Mascot: Evan the Eagle.
  • Victory chant: "WHAT'S THAT EAGLE BATTLE CRY? V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!"
The Moral Travesty of Trumpcare

Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who last Thursday voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and substitute basically nothing.

Trumpcare isn’t a replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a transfer from the sick and poor to the rich and healthy.

The losers are some 24 million Americans who under the Affordable Care Act get subsidies to afford health insurance coverage, including millions of people with pre-existing conditions and poor people who had access to Medicaid, who may not be able to afford insurance in the future.

The winners are wealthy Americans who will now get a tax cut because they won’t have to pay to fund the Affordable Care Act, and healthy people who won’t have to buy health insurance to subsidize the sick.

House Republicans say they have protected people with pre-existing health problems. Baloney. Sick people could be charged premiums so high as to make insurance unaffordable. 

America has the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. Private for-profit health insurers do whatever they can to insure groups of healthy people because that’s where the profits are. They also make every effort to avoid sick people, because that’s where the costs are.

The Affordable Care Act puts healthy and sick people into the same insurance pool. But under the Republican bill that passed the House, healthy people will no longer be subsidizing sick people.  Healthy people will be in their own insurance pool. Sick people will be grouped with other sick people in their own high-risk pool – which will result in such high premiums, co-payments, and deductibles that many if not most won’t be able to afford.

Republicans say their bill creates a pool of money that will pay insurance companies to cover the higher costs of insuring sick people. Wrong. Insurers will take the money and still charge sick people much higher premiums. Or avoid sick people altogether.

The only better alternative to the Affordable Care Act is a single-payer system, such as Medicare for all, which would put all Americans into the same giant insurance pool. Not only would this be fairer, but it would also be far more efficient, because money wouldn’t be spent marketing and advertising to attract healthy people and avoid sick people.

Paul Ryan says the House vote was about fulfilling a promise the GOP made to American voters. But those voters have been lied to from the start about the Affordable Care Act. For years Republicans told them that the Act couldn’t work, would bankrupt America, and result in millions losing the healthcare they had before. All of these lies have been proven wrong.

Now Republicans say the Act is unsustainable because premiums are rising and insurers are pulling out. More rubbish. Whatever is wrong with the Affordable Care Act could be easily fixed, but Republicans have refused to do the fixing. Insurers have been pulling out because of the uncertainty Republicans have created.

The reason Republicans are so intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act is they want to give a giant tax cut to the rich who’d no longer have to pay the tab.

Here we come to the heart of the matter.

If patriotism means anything, it means sacrificing for the common good, participating in the public good. Childless Americans pay taxes for schools so children are educated. Americans who live close to their work pay taxes for roads and bridges so those who live farther away can get to work. Americans with secure jobs pay into unemployment insurance so those who lose their jobs have some income until they find another.

And under the Affordable Care Act, healthier and wealthier Americans pay a bit more so sicker and poorer Americans don’t die.

Trump and House Republicans aren’t patriots. They don’t believe in sacrificing for the common good. They don’t think we’re citizens with obligations to one another. To them, we’re just individual consumers who deserve the best deal we can get for ourselves. It’s all about the art of the deal.

So what do we do now? We fight.

To become law, Trumpcare has to go through 4 additional steps: First, a version must be enacted in the Senate. It must then go a “conference“ to hammer out differences between the House and Senate. The conference agreement must then pass in the House again, and again in the Senate.

I hope you’ll be there every step of the way, until Trumpcare collapses under the weight of its own cruelty. House Republicans who voted for this travesty will rue the day they did. Any Senate Republican who joins them will regret it as well.

Peanut butter and chocolate swirls

Another yummy and healthy snack! Peanut butter and chocolate swirls. Again very easy to make. What you need:

4 tbs peanut butter (almond butter or any other butter you like)

Dark chocolate 85% cocoa

2 tbs coconut oil

Melt the chocolate.

Then melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together.

Spoon into a muffin tray (don’t forget to use muffin cups). First the chocolate and then the peanut butter mix and swilr with a toothpick. Freeze for a couple hours.

Only 100 calories each! Isn’t that great for a pre-workout snack?

Enjoy!