This is a Hobby Site, Folks

Granted, there may come a time (and it may not be far off) when I slap an ad for an underperforming print-on-demand shop up in the sidebar, but this site is primarily a hobby for me. I enjoy writing. I enjoy taking pictures and drawing things. I enjoy building–and, sometimes, breaking–sites. I’m just a grown-up version of the kid who enjoyed making fake, hand-drawn, hand-written magazines with the kid next door… but with much better, much more public tools.

Beyond putting my URL on my social media profile, sharing post links with my wife, and occasionally sharing them on Twitter, I don’t want to promote this site. I actually get a bit squicked out when I realize that other people have looked at it, so I’m certainly not your target market for paid promotion.

I’m also not your target market for design services, paid or otherwise. Go back to that bit where I like drawing things. My tools have graduated from a no. 2 pencil on lined notebook paper to an Apple Pencil in Affinity Designer, and–even if my skills aren’t up to snuff–I also enjoy the learning process.

(If you want to teach me about designing my site, we may have something to talk about!)

Seriously, though, does anyone out there think I’m willing to pay for promotion or design services just so I can reach as many people as possible with photos of my new shoes and random public art? No? How about bad poetry, simple drawings, personal writings, and waxing nostalgic about baseball?

Still no go? Then we’re on the same page.

Your calls and email are fruitless.

And your targeting needs an overhaul.

I Have Hashimoto’s

My doctor(s) and I have been at odds for years—since early 2016—regarding my hypothyroid state and whether or not it should be treated. If you’re accustomed to searching the internet for thyroid-related information, you probably expect this to be a post about how my thyroid hormone levels are in the “normal” range, but that I still have symptoms, and how I think I should be taking—or upping my dose of—generic levothyroxine or Synthroid specifically or natural dessicated thyroid.

If so, your expectations are wrong.

I’m asymptomatic for hypothyroidism; my thyroid hormone levels aren’t horrible, but my free T4 and TSH levels aren’t normal, either; I’m afraid to take levothyroxine again, due to past experience (which actually was horrible); I don’t see the benefit of taking it, given my heart rate and energy levels; and my doctors want me to take it, anyway

I finally saw an endocrinologist for the first time—no mean feat, given that I was diagnosed with diabetes way back in 2004—a few months ago. I was in a big way of complaining—half-way to panic, because the whole arguing-with-people-who-know-more-than-I-do shtick is stressful as hell—about how I don’t even know if have Hashimoto’s or some other root cause, when the endo apologized.

She thought I’d been tested for Hashimoto’s before I was referred to her.

Well, now I have.

I went for a blood draw on the 7th of this month, and the results showed up in my online chart the same day.

My anti-TPO antibody level was 687 IU/mL, with a reference range of <9.

You may think that’s a bad thing, but you’d be wrong about that, too.

Sure, not having Hashimoto’s disease is preferable to having Hashimoto’s disease. But being hypothyroid with atypical presentation while not knowing what’s causing it is worse than being hypothyroid with atypical presentation and having the explanatory data.

Knowledge is power, y’all.

And, in this case, it’s peace of mind.

Ask questions when you’re uncertain.

And keep asking until you get answers.

Your Bully Mirror is Broken

I don’t have much personal experience with bullying. When I was somewhere around three years old, my mom and I were living in a duplex in a tiny Missouri town, having just moved there from a still small, but less tiny, town in Illinois. I would go out into the front yard to ride my tricycle, and the little boy who sometimes stayed with his adult brother next door would come out, slap me, and take my tricycle away.

My mom got tired of it.

One day, when I came in crying to her about the neighbor boy taking my tricycle, she told me that the next time he did that, if I didn’t “whoop”1 him, she would “whoop” me.

Sure enough, it happened again.

But this time, when he hit me, I hit him back.

He never hit me again. He never again took my tricycle away from me. Because my fear of my mother’s disapproval was stronger than my fear of being hit by the boy next door, my mom had successfully taught me to stand up for myself, and to stand up to bullies.

I’m a believer in teaching kids—and, sometimes, adults—both of those things.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, no matter how you interpret Amendment II of the United States Constitution2, no matter how much the right to bear arms—or restrictions on that right—matters to you personally, and no matter what you see as a solution for stopping school shootings in the United States, surely you can appreciate that the kids from Parkland, Florida3, speaking up about gun control, are just kids standing up to bullies.

Those bullies are formed of metals and codification, tradition and liberty, compulsory education and lethal force. But they’re bullies, nonetheless.

And it’s a complex problem.

What’s less complex, however, is the way some adults have chosen to treat these kids.

If you’re an adult who feels compelled to disagree with what any of the Parkland kids have to say regarding gun control (or anything else, for that matter), you should do just that. Formulate your arguments. Explain your rationale.

Tell them why they’re wrong.

But if you’re an adult, and your reaction to these kids expressing ideas that you disagree with is to publicly mock them, call them “snowflakes”, post doctored images of them, and spread lies about them, then—whether you choose to recognize it or not—you’re a bully.

You’re as much a bully as that kid4 slapping me in my own front yard, but on a much larger and more important scale.

You need to clean your inner mirror.

And, as an adult, you should be ashamed.


Notes

 

  1. Urban Dictionary: WHOOPIN. Accessed March 29, 2018. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=WHOOPIN
  2. The Bill of Rights: A Transcription | National Archives. Accessed March 29, 2018. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript#toc-amendment-ii
  3. “Stoneman Douglas High School shooting”. Wikipedia. Accessed March 29, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoneman_Douglas_High_School_shooting
  4. Who probably grew up to be a decent adult human being. No hard feelings, (name redacted), if you happen to stumble across this.