Fade Profile picture
21 Nov, 26 tweets, 5 min read
I've been saying this in various replies, but might as well stop repeating and put it here, for my tiny audience of (let me check) 1086 people, of which I assume about 500 are bots.

So, Thanksgiving last year. In the ER.
I woke up with abdominal pain. Thought it was unexpectedly untimely cramps, but it was relentless and horrible. I canceled plans to meet up with friends. Could barely take the dog to the patio. Friends online convinced me to go to the ER. (I took a rideshare.)
The ER was, unexpectedly, nearly empty. Staff had me checked in at the desk (with a handy vomit bag, which I had to use before finishing my paperwork) within five minutes, in a bed within ten. They said it's like that; Thanksgiving is always either empty or overwhelmed.
A doctor showed up to prod, and make serious faces, and get me some pain meds. They ran some urine tests, and went hmmm. Then sent me to an MRI. Then to an ultrasound. (Which remains the most painful experience of my life.) This was the course of a few hours, stunningly fast.
The conclusion was that I had a baseball-sized cyst in one ovary, causing partial torsion. (I'm told if I had full torsion there, I would've been screaming, not just crying.) They scheduled surgery for me that afternoon. I made arrangements for friends to get my dog.
They popped me into a tiny ambulance to take me across the bridge--it was so strange to ambulance across the bridge I'd walked across so often, biked across a few times, taken the light rail across often--to the pediatric hospital over the river.
The morphine had worn off. I hadn't had anything to eat all day, nothing to drink since morning coffee, and was desperately thirsty. The nurses kept reassuring me I could drink something after surgery, which I understood, but still felt woeful about.
They had to delay the surgery a few hours because the anesthesiologist was dealing with a child who'd come in with a major eye injury. (Understandable.) Pediatric hospital, see, because they have the best equipment & staff for dealing with uterus-related organs in surgery.
I finally went in around, I don't know, 7pm? Had a nice chat beforehand with the anesthesiologist, who explained exactly how it would work, and the surgeon, who did the same. She emphasized they'd try to save the ovary, but there was a risk it'd have to go.
I woke up some time after 11pm with a desperately sore throat. A nurse gave me the most delicious fruit juice popsicle known to the world. Spent the night there, since they didn't want to send me home at midnight in the ice and snow. Friends online assured me the dog was fine.
The next morning, I had a peculiar hospital breakfast. Checked online friends (more dog assurances) with what phone battery I had left. The surgeon came by to chat in person about what had happened, and my freshly removed ovary.
She explained in fascinating detail the lengths she'd gone to, trying to save it, but how the bleeding wouldn't stop despite some exciting bleeding-stopping gel (the demo video for it involves, I am told, an anaesthetized pig having its throat slit and resealed).
But after hours there, she decided that the risk to me and blood loss wasn't justified by the continued attempt to save the darn ovary, and out it went. Very reasonable choice.

A friend picked me up, and I spent that night on her couch, with my anxious dog, groggy and loved.
Spent some weeks recovering. Abdominal surgery, even with the tiniest little entry holes and absolutely excellent care, is pretty rough.

Anyway. All of that is to say...
I could get that standard of care, that speed of treatment, that deep and personal attention to my needs and attempt to save an organ that eventually had to go, not just because of the excellence of that hospital and its staff, but because so few patients were there that day.
You don't want to get in a car accident, or have a heart attack, or have an ovary suddenly decided it's gonna twist around and put you into debilitating unceasing pain, and find your local hospital is overwhelmed with covid patients.
And you don't want to be the covid patient who's removing staff from people coming in for that, either. Do you?
All of the "I weighed my risks, and I'm willing to take this" in the world doesn't change that your risks affect other people. The other patients. The exhausted frontline staff in the hospital. The friends doing dog management, picking you up, covering your work or classes.
I was alone in the apartment (my flatmate home for Thanksgiving) having a perfectly isolated solitary Thanksgiving, and I directly affected the work of... oh, at least a half dozen, maybe dozen people in the hospital. Plus a half dozen friends coordinating dog management.
Four people in a family who took care of the dog, picked me up, delivered me back home, let me huddle on their couch.

Two colleagues who covered my classes for more than a week.
Despite the song I desperately loved in adolescence, I am not a rock, and I am not an island. I feel pain (at 8am on Thanksgiving morning), I cry (when the morphine wears off), and doing /nothing at all/ still ended up with a medical emergency affecting many people.
Some people are going to get affected like this in the next few months. People always do. That's part of why we have ERs and surgery theaters and surgeons and nurses and anesthesiologists and hospital kitchens to send peculiar oatmeal upstairs to groggy patients.
Please. For yourself, for your friends, for your family, for the other patients, for the staff, for the strangers you've never met, don't put any more pressure on this very strained system than is already there. And there's so, so much pressure already.
We're all in this together, whether we'd like to be or not. There's no escaping that. Even if you think you're that bubble or that island.
And now I should take this very patient dog to the patio.
(Also, gotta keep moving because I'm dropping off a care package today on the doorstep of the friend-and-their-family who took in my terrified dog for two nights, and me for one, last year.)

(Might wave through the window. But nothing closer, right now.)

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More from @fadeaccompli

20 Nov
It's a Nancy Drew day! Will any puzzle make us as angered as the pipe sauna one? I hope not! twitch.tv/djnrrd
"Wait, the wolf brought us a geiger counter?"

"She's a good wolf brent."
Streamer: "Who's a good doggo? Oh, a good doggo!"

Chat: "Oh no, we're domesticating!"
Chat 2: "Do not pet the wolf!"

Streamer: "Do not worry, you can't pet the wolf in Nancy Drew."
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
Have reached the point of this pandemic where I have serious ethical qualms about going home for winter break, despite quarantine & test & masks & everything else I can think of to make it safer. Hell.
Okay. More or less canceled Christmas.

I mean, I am not canceling my flights until the last minute just in case SOMETHING somehow makes this safe, but the plan is now to not go home for winter break at all.
I'm not even angry at people being irresponsible individually. This kind of thing only works if the government not only regulates properly, but has earned enough trust among citizens to get the buy-in.

I'm just very sad.
Read 10 tweets
19 Nov
God, do I feel up to watching the live stream for tonight's announcement? I'm not sure. Maybe if they spend at least 50% less time on talking up Minnesotan virtues before giving the facts.
Okay, I'll watch it, but while playing Hades. I can pause whenever it's important.
Ah, they're using the term "paused" for a bunch of things that need to be, uh, not done to reduce the number of people dying. So there's that.

No in-person dining, gyms, sports, theaters. Personal gatherings, parties, receptions. Inside and outside.
Read 5 tweets
6 Feb
Oh gosh this chapter has a list of the primary areas of invective in the Roman tradition of oratory.

Yeah I am definitely going to list them for you.
1. servile heritage
2. barbarian (non-Roman) background
3. having a non-elite occupation
4. thievery
5. non-standard sexual behavior
6. estrangement from family and community
7. melancholy disposition (?!?)
8. unusual appearance, clothing, or demeanor
9. cowardice
10. bankruptcy
Read 40 tweets

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