If You Have Crohn’s Why Are You Fat?

CN: Discussions of Weight and Medical Conditions

Every once in a while, someone will stray far enough from the trail of courtesy to ask me why I am overweight. Crohn’s is known to cause extreme weight loss, so my weight must be a sign that I’m not actually as sick as I say I am. This is part of the danger that exists when people who have no experience with medicine, laymen, pretend to be medical practitioners or to have knowledge of health. Their understanding of various illnesses is superficial at best.

It is true that Crohn’s causes weight loss. It does so in large part because the patient loses the ability to digest food. This happens because the intestines, which are responsible for a significant portion of human digestion, are so inflamed and ulcerated that nutrients are unable to pass through into the bloodstream.

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If You Have Crohn’s Why Are You Fat?
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The Catch 22 of Disabled Dependence

When I wrote about eugenics, one of the commentators said something along the lines that their decision of whether or not to bring a child to term would depend on their ability to be independent.

I understand the impulse. As parents, you take care of a child with the expectation that one day, they won’t need you anymore. Yes, they will always be your baby and hopefully you will always be there for them, but still you expect that one day they will be on their own.

Facing the prospect of being a primary caregiver for the rest or your or your child’s life can be daunting and scary. The problem is that the ability to be “independent” is not something that can be determined in utero. It’s not even something that can be conclusively determined during the child’s development.

Take functioning labels for example. Many autistic adults actively campaign against functioning labels for autism because they are not accurate. A person may present as high or low functioning in different moments throughout their development and even throughout the day. There is a great article where two separate people are described: one a well-organized independent person who is able to effectively care for themselves, and another is described in the middle of what some would call a tantrum. Where they are overwhelmed with sensory input and unable to communicate let alone function. The two people are later revealed to be the same person just at different times.

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The Catch 22 of Disabled Dependence

Mysterious as the Trans Side of Mulan

[CN: brief suicidal ideation]

It’s a tradition in queer communities in general and trans communities in particular to analogize stories and turn subtext into text.  With so few writers writing about us, and so few writers who dare to write about us getting mainstream attention, seeing ourselves in stories that refuse to name or acknowledge us is mandatory.  This is something all humans do, often before we know why we’re doing it.

I have a lot of feelings about Mulan.

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Mysterious as the Trans Side of Mulan

Guppies and Children

I breed guppies.

It’s not really that hard, put some guppies together in a tank, and you will have fry usually before the week is out. The trick is in keeping the parents from eating them, and then keeping them well fed at the same time, then changing them into a new tank and raising them until they are big enough to sell.

I do it for a variety of reasons.

Having fish tanks in my office is very soothing. It helps me relax and creates a great atmosphere for writing. The sound of running water, the swirl of colours as they swim, the pleasant rise of air bubbles.

Guppy aquarium

I can re-sell the babies for store credit at our pet store, which helps us offset the cost of keeping our menagerie.

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Guppies and Children

Chains of Fire

I wrote this on a dare.  It’s a romance between two sapient quadcopter drones.  Enjoy.

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My name is Chopperella, and I chop things.  As a forestry drone, I use a rotating bladed chain on a metal frame, called a “chainsaw,” to repeatedly chop things in the same place until they come apart.  “Drone” isn’t the right word, because I and the others like me have been sapient for years, but humans keep calling us that.  I pretend it’s about the sound my rotors make.  Drone drone drone.

Humans are strange.  Everything about them is so…wet.  They’re very confusing, so drones don’t usually bother much with them.  They write a lot of software updates and give my parts weird names like “chainsaw,” and we do the things we’re good at.  I hear there are drones working on making sure we don’t need humans for that anymore, but I’m not allowed to talk about that.  Drone’s honor.

This story isn’t really about humans, though.

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Chains of Fire

Hunting Blackbirds

Hunting Blackbirds
This April, I set myself a goal: I am going to finish the first draft of my Hunting Blackbirds Story.

I started working on this story around the time of the protests going on in Baltimore this past summer. I started writing in a hotel in Montreal. Alyssa was there for an event that lasted the weekend, and I had to drive her there and back. The decision was that I would treat myself to a weekend in a hotel and try to write a novel in 48 hours. I didn’t quite make it, but I got a head start on a story that I’ve been pretty excited about.

I’ve been sharing the rough first draft of the story as I write it with our patrons. If you are interested, consider joining the ranks.

The World:

After global warming and an endless series of pointless wars, earth experiences a population crises. Racial differences start to get erased as the survivors work to repopulate the earth. Soon there is no group of people that would be called white.  Just because racial differences are muddled, however, doesn’t mean that racism has been eradicated.

The Prophet Adam borrows from Christian mythology, interspersed with influences from Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and others, to create a new mythology. One which puts the blame for all of humanities flaws on the diluting of pure human blood of the first man. When the soul enters an impure vessel, it becomes twisted resulting in the aberrations of disability, homosexuality, gender non-conformity, and criminality.

All people are divided into three separate classes: the Children of Adam, the Children of Eve, and the Children of Lilith. The Children of Adam are the most pure scions of the first man. Only they can handle the burden of a soul. The Children of Eve, called the tainted, are those who are too dilute to be fully human, but not as tainted as the Children of Lilith.

The soul enters the body at the time of naming. For this reason, only the Children of Adam could carry human names. The tainted children can only be referred to by object names, such as the names that Adam gave the animals.

In order to make it clear to the eye to which caste one belongs, the Children of Eve are marked with a stained lotus: a white lotus tattoo with a single drop of red, like the blood of non-man tainting the purity of humans. The Children of Lilith have to cover their bodies with tattoos, in imitation of the colourful animal kingdom to which they belong. For this reason one of the slurs against them is Squids.

Your class is determined by your birth, and your only chance to move up is the Naming Ceremony that happens in a child’s 16th year. At that time, outstanding members of the nameless castes can earn a name by demonstrating that they are purer of blood that initially expected or than their parents before them.

The Story:

Thrush is a rare child of a Child of Adam and a Child of Lilith. On her birth she is deemed a Child of Eve and the mark of the Stained Lotus is tattooed on her forehead. When her father is killed when she is 6 years old, she and her mother move in with her mother’s parents in the Domes of Eden. There she enters the world of Adamite children and the occasional Eve born to the Adamites. There she meets Lynx, the granddaughter of President Ezekiel and the black sheep of the Adamson family, direct scions of the Prophet Adam and of the First Man.

Much to her family’s embarrassment Lynx is marked as a Child of Eve when it is discovered that she has crohn’s disease.

The two girls become best friends and nearly inseparable until one day Lynx is kidnapped. Thrush figures out that her friend is most likely being held on the Island that is home to the Blood Hunt, Eden’s most popular televised event. A vicious game where Children of Lilith and Eve can volunteer to try to stay alive in the wild surrounded by other players and criminals who are trying to kill them. For every day they survive they earn money that can be applied to a dream of their choice, and for every other player they kill they earn a bonus. If you are the last player standing you win the grand prize. The game never ends, as long as there are new volunteers to join.

Can she stay alive long enough to find her friend? And if she joins the hunt, will she lose her only chance at being named?

 

Hunting Blackbirds

10 Things to Bring with you to the ER

It’s the evening and you feel like crap. You know the night is going to end with you going to the ER, but still you delay. Depending on where you live, a trip to the ER can mean waiting 2 hours or waiting 12. Not to mention, depending on why you are going in, you may even get admitted!

So now, in an effort to delay the inevitable, you try to decide what you should bring to the hospital: the practical, the necessary, and the helpful.

Well worry not my friend, here is a comprehensive list of everything you need to survive your upcoming trip to the hospital.

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10 Things to Bring with you to the ER

Disability Housing Discrimination

Discrimination doesn’t have to look like someone saying “I did this because you are x”. Someone coming right out and saying that their actions are motivated by bigotry is rare. In many cases, people can be influenced by biases and false assumptions without realizing it. Society implants us with different ideas without us even knowing it. Atheists know this when they talk about the way Christianity in ingrained in much of North American culture: the way we say “bless you” when people sneeze, the presumption that religion equates morality: without it having to be expressly stated there is a social bias that having religion is better than not.

Similarly, and in many ways on a much deeper level, our society is inundated with biases about race, gender, and ability. This comes out in a myriad of ways including in discriminatory hiring practices, less opportunities on offer, and so forth.

Some ways in which discrimination occurs however, is nearly invisible. One example of this is the way in which there is discrimination in housing that is available to people who are on disability.

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Disability Housing Discrimination