35 Random Facts

35 Random Facts

In honor of my 35th birthday, I’m going to tell you, gentle reader, 35 random facts. After 35 years, my brain is full of them. So here they are, in no particular order. [A couple of these contain affiliate links.]

  1. The teddy bear was orginially inspired by and named after President Teddy Roosevelt.
  2. It’s “octopuses,” not “octopi,” because “octopus” comes from the Greek, not the Latin. #knowyourdeadlanguageroots (also per a friend who is rather obsessed with octopuses).
  3. Extra dry champagne is sweeter than brut champagne.
  4. The aardwolf of Australia eats insects.
  5. The book as we know it – the codex – was originally made popular by the early church, which published all four canonical Gospels together – they fit really well in codices.
  6. If you get a chemical burn from, say, cutting jalapenos, pour milk on it. (There are other palliative options.)
  7. “Rocky Mountain oysters” and “prairie orders” are “polite” ways to say “bull testicles.” They serve them at nice restaurants here in Colorado.
  8. Anyone who creates a Target Circle account can get 1% back for all Target purchases.
  9. The average number of arms possessed by a human on earth is < 2. Still, there are more human arms than people on the earth. (Just think about it.)
  10. Despite the fact that she won Oscars in 1969 and 1978, among MANY other appearances and awards across the years, Dame Maggie Smith blames Downton Abbey for a fame that makes going out in public tricky business for her.
  11. Sleep apnea can significantly impact your brain functioning. Get that snoring checked and get you an ASV or CPAP or something.
  12. Endometriosis occurs across race, ethnicity, and nationality, in an estimated 10% of women.
  13. It takes an average of 7-10 years from the onset of symptoms to accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.
  14. Surprising brands that now carry up to at least size 24:
  15. Purple is the opposite of yellow.
  16. Early on in WW2, the USSR trained dogs to be suicide bombers. The idea was that the dogs, strapped with bombs, would run under the German tanks and blow them up. But they trained the dogs using their own tanks, so guess which ones the dogs ran under in the canine unit’s first battle. (For more, check out this article.)
  17. The spy and mastermind behind Argo, Tony Mendez, was also an accomplished artist. (HT: Retropod)
  18. Edible gold flakes is a thing.
  19. Pink used to be the “boy” color and blue the “girl” color. (See?)
  20. Juan de Pareja started life in the early 1600s as a biracial slave. He was inherited by the acclaimed portraitist Diego Velazquez. He became a painter in his own right, and was eventually freed by Velazquez and became part of his paid studio staff. There is an excellent, Newberry Award-winning middle grade novel about Pareja.
  21. The name “Lauren” is from Latin and means “a crown of laurel leaves.”
  22. According to ancient Greek myth, the first laurel tree was originally a nymph named Daphne who had the unfortunate luck to catch the eye of Apollo in one of his rapacious moods. He chased her when she refused him, and as she ran through the woods, she called out to the river god who was her father for deliverance. His solution? Turn her into a tree. Apollo was a sore loser and made her leaves his symbol of triumph and victory, which is why Olympic and military victors were crowned with them in the Greek and Roman cultures. He would so have not survived the #MeToo era.
  23. The crust of a baguette is formed by evaporating water.
  24. Pan sauces are really quick and easy to make, and add SO much to a sauteed chicken main course.
  25. The name “Rosamund” means “horse protection.” Maybe that’s why I like it.
  26. There is a little bit of all three primary colors in every naturally-occurring color. (per an artist-cum-teacher friend of mine)
  27. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ran around with Marie Antoinette in her home, and he thought she was very nice because she was so kind to him when he slipped on the slick marble floors and fell.
  28. Michelle McNamara (Patton Oswald’s late wife) played a significant role in the catching of the Golden State Killer because she rebranded him as that. He’d previously been known by a variety of names: Visalia Ransacker, East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker. By pulling all these different monikers together under one encapuslating (and catchy) title, she brought to public attention the full scope of his evil.
  29. Dr. Pepper predates Coca Cola.
  30. It is more likely that a sex trafficker in SE Asia will be struck by lightning than prosecuted for his or her crimes. (Noonday Collection)
  31. Sighthounds (e.g. greyhounds) do not have the smelling capabilities of the stereotypical dog, which is why if they get loose they cannot find their way home by smell, the way your lab or poodle could.
  32. 95% of diets fail, and most people gain more than they lost.
  33. Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.
  34. Originally, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and I & II Chronicles were just Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The I & II come from them being so long they didn’t each fit onto a single scroll.
  35. We all know about Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, but there are currently three other reigning popes: Pope Tawadros II of the Oriental Orthodox Church (a.k.a. the Coptic Orthodox Church), Pope Peter III of the Palmarian Catholic Church, and His Divine Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria Theodore II of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

What Is Even Happening Here?

What Is Even Happening Here?

Warning: This post is one of them “awareness raising” posts. It’s about “women’s issues.” Endometriosis, PCOS, periods, ovulation kits, sonograms, all that stuff. It’s not gonna be that gross, but there will be a fair amount of gross. So if you’re easily queasy on account of good ole Aunt Flo, you might want to pass on this one. 

You want to know something crazy? Last Sunday was the seventh Sunday in a row I’ve made it to church. I’m pretty sure that hasn’t happened since I hit puberty.

So you would think that means I’m doing well, right? But unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The trend of late has been fewer days in debilitating pain, always a good development. (My normal the past few years has been about 8 days down, and recently I’ve gone from 11 bad days down to 3! This month has been worse though.) But my cycles are all over the place – the last three have been 37 days, 44 days, and 26 days. I’m on Day 24 of my current cycle, but I’ve been in horrible pain for several days and spotted from Days 17-21. This premenstrual spotting thing is new, as of last month. As in, it’s never happened before.

I’m not ovulating, and according to the vaginal sonogram I had done on CD* 14, my body isn’t even really trying that hard.

This is so freaking confusing and frustrating. I used to be able to reasonably predict my bad days. I used to be able to prepare. The apple cart may have had some sketchy looking apples in it, but at least it was upright. Now the dang thing has flipped over and I don’t know how to do life like this. I barely sorta knew what I was doing before; now I’m all at sea again.

The next step involves something I didn’t know existed: meds to force my body to do what it’s supposed to do. We’ll force a period, force ovulation, and find out whether, once my body is doing what it should be doing, life isn’t less painful.

But – and here’s the really fun part – it looks like we may not have much time to work this out. The parent organization of the hospital where my doctors work is in negotiations with my insurance company, and if an agreement is not reached by May 1, I’m gonna be back at Go without collecting $200 when it comes to Houston doctors.

“Normal is just a setting on the dryer” indeed.


*that’s Cycle Day, for you normal people

 

The Sixth Day of Christmas (because I skipped the fifth)

The Sixth Day of Christmas (because I skipped the fifth)

So here’s the thing about endometriosis/PCOS/pelvic pain – at least the way it manifests in my life –  it totally derails your plans sometimes.

If I could have picked something to be an advocate for, I would have had one hell of a list to choose from. Black Lives Matter. Ending abortion. Adoption. Good theology. Good theology of sex among Christian women (especially single Christian women – purity culture has had its drawbacks). The sufficiency of Scripture. Discipling women. Mission work with Bedouins. Freeing people from slavery. Streetwalking with Jesus. Making dangerous streets safe again.

Instead, I get to talk about disorders and diseases of the female reproductive system.

Now, don’t get me wrong, those other things matter to me a great deal. Hopefully I will be able to help on some of these fronts at least. I can write about them a lot – and I’m sure I will. But with my illnesses, I feel that I bear responsibility for raising awareness and talking about what it’s like to live with chronic pain. I’m trying to figure out how to value Jesus in

This isn’t what expected 31 to look like for me. But here it is. And you know, it’s beautiful, even in its brokenness.