Dealing with Anonymous and/or Abusive Comments

I do not engage in any conversation in my blog with anonymous posters.  I normally delete such messages without even reading them.  I started to read an anonymous poster’s response to “They Said/They Said” and stopped when the person presumed to tell me how I should feel about things.  If you wish to attack me or anyone else, have the courage of your convictions and sign your name.  Life is too short to enable cowards.

I also don’t like abusive comments.  They make me uncomfortable.  If someone makes you uncomfortable, it is OK to say “this makes me uncomfortable” and end the conversation there.  So I won’t be enabling abusive commenters here either.

In the case of anonymous (no E-mail) and abusive comments, I guess I can’t respond to them personally, but that’s no great loss.

Related postings

  • They Said/They Said

  • Creeps in Society

  • Sexual Abuse and the Pillars of Society

  • No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    They Said/They Said and Plunging all Fandom Into War

    [[Error correction – when I first posted this essay, I called it “He Said/She Said”  Not long afterwards, I realized that this title was completely wrong.  Only a few people doubt what she or he said in relation to what happened at Readercon this year.  The real problem has been what “they” said to further incite the situation.  OK, and I may be a “they” in this case, but I would really rather see reasonable discussion of this problem rather than general ranting, which is, sadly, what has often been happening.]]

    I’ve been very active in science fiction fandom since 1975.   We science fiction fans are generally people who love to read, love to speculate and love to argue.  But…an awful lot of us are socially awkward and/or bad tempered.  We don’t always read people well.  To use a Big Bang Theory analogy, there are many Leonards and Howards in fandom, and a few Sheldons, and not too many Rajs.  And these archetypes exist in both genders in fandom.

    When I got involved, there weren’t that many women in fandom. However, I always felt very safe in fandom.  I can think of a couple of times having long discussions with men, sometimes in their hotel rooms during SF conventions.  A few of them came onto me – a kiss, a grope, whatever.  I said no, and we just resumed our conversation.  No meant no, but an unwanted kiss did not mean I’d just been raped.  Fannish men were smart, right?  Fannish women knew how to stand up for themselves, right? By contrast, during my freshman year in college, I knew two women who’d been raped, and a third who was probably raped but was too drunk to know for sure (that was in a fraternity basement).  At the same time, I never heard about a woman being raped at a con.

    People in fandom seemed more enlightened about gender issues than people (especially men) outside of fandom.  Generally, but not always.  There was always a lot of discussion about the patriarchy and the move towards equality among some groups of us. The number of women now active in fandom approaches 50%, which is great.

    However, there are some trends in fandom that are making me uncomfortable. In particular, there was a recent incident at Readercon which was unfortunate, has been blown up way out of all proportion for a number of reasons.

    The basic overview – man follows woman, puts an arm around her, she says no, he follows her some, trying to apologize  (I think he was sent away 2 or 3 times).  I believe the woman involved, because of the way she described the man’s actions.  I’ve known the man for years, and can see him reacting in the way she described – he was really trying to apologize, and she just wanted to be left alone, which was her right.

    This incident, which probably happens at every convention every weekend, was blown up because the woman’s friends got very angry at the man, but also because Readercon has a conduct code, and, according to the code, the man should have been banned from Readercon permanently.  Instead, he was banned for two years, which caused a huge overreaction.

    Here are just a few of the things I’ve heard about this incident:

    • The man was likened to an infamous alleged child sex rapist who was very active in fandom until he got into trouble with the law.  For various reasons, his case has never gone to trial.  
    • A Hugo-award winner was criticized for mentioning the name of her longtime friend in her acceptance speech, who happened to be the man involved in the Readercon incident.
    • Some people have stated the man did nothing wrong.
    • Some people think he should be banned from all conferences for all time.

    I’m very much in the middle on this issue – while the man clearly misbehaved, I don’t think he did anything close to being banned from all conventions for all time.  But, to liken stupid behavior by a man to a man accused of child rape is particularly enraging. Rape is rape – a bad pick-up line isn’t rape.

    We need to try to be respectful of each other, but if we can’t be respectful, we should just walk away sometimes.  I got involved in two arguments I didn’t really want to get involved in again at Chicon.  In both cases, I walked.

    I am going to try to walk away from arguing about the Readercon incident in the future.  I’ve made my argument, I’ve said my piece, and I don’t believe this incident should be plunging all fandom into war.

    But, if there can be reasonable discussion of some of the issues around men and women in fandom, I’d like to be a part of it.  We can’t be afraid of each other.  Sadly, the level of vitriol around this incident can set the general egalitarianism in fandom back by decades.

    Related posts:

    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Ground Rules

    I generally agree with Don D’Ammassa’s “Ground Rules,” though I’m at the point where I don’t read Websites like Fox News or other sites not based in reality. I know all of the following are nothing but right wing propaganda: 
    • Barack Obama was not born in the US.
    • The CIA or other government agency was behind the 9/11 attack.
    • Creationism should be taught in schools.
    • Being gay is a choice.
    • Global warming is a hoax (the extent of human involvement is, on the other hand, a legitimate area of argument).
    • The Holocaust did not happen.
    • Obama’s health care plan included death panels.
    • A woman’s body can make a rapist’s sperm not impregnate her.
    • The government is going to take away your guns (I sincerely hope they will limit the kinds of guns/ammunition sold, but that’s a different issue).
    • Birth control is not health care.
    • Americans are taxed now more than ever and taxes for the richest should be decreased even further (there’s no evidence from recent tax cuts that “trickle down” helps the economy – it just puts more money in the hands if the rich)

    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Blast from my USENET Past: Sexual Abuse and the Pillars of Society

    [[Another in an occasional series of republishing some of my old USENET essays (in this case, someone reminded me about this as I’d forgotten it). Sadly, its even more relevant now than it was back in 1992, particularly when you think of the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State. Some attitudes never change]]


    Last week, a former Catholic priest admitted to a reporter that he had raped between 50 and 100 children in Massachusetts churches in the early '60s. This week, a local minister goes to court, accused of raping three exchange students living  in his house. 

    We, as a society, have a terrible time dealing with child abuse, especially child sexual abuse. We may admit that sexually-warped characters exist in the seamy underside of society, among the poor, the drug abusers and the prostitutes. But when accused sexual abusers are among the "pillars" of society, among the clergy, doctors, police, and educators, people become apoplectic. The accusation of sexual abuse, especially when the accused is a "good man," forces most into absolute denial of the issue.

    As a society, we have to be willing to listen when our children or our friends tell us that they are being abused. We have to support the people bringing the allegations, and, when the allegations are proven in court, we must be
    willing to sentence the perpetrators to long jail terms and to develop programs that attempt to rehabilitate them.

    We must all do what we can to stop the attitudes that promote sexual abuse. These attitudes include:

    • the idea that people own one another. A husband does not own his wife, parents do not own their children, and youth leaders do not own the children in their care.

    • the "blame the victim" mentality. Children do not seduce adults, and a woman in a miniskirt is not an invitation to a rape.

    • the "if I want sex, I'll get it" mentality. Sex should be an act between consenting adults, not a power play between individuals, one of whom may be too young or too scared to resist.

    • the "pillar of society" trap. In a community's haste to "be fair to" the accused, the victim is often ridiculed, harassed, and blamed for the situation

    Our society makes it almost impossible for victims to come forward. But the consequence of our silence is tacit permission, leading to even greater tragedies. A few years ago, in Massachusetts, a middle-aged man took to picking up teenaged hitchhikers and exposing himself to them. He raped at least one of them. No one ever reported him.

    When his 13-year-old neighbor vanished, he helped to search for her. The teenager's body was later found in his cellar. If one of his previous victims had felt comfortable coming forward, Melissa Benoit might still be alive, and Henry Meinholz might have gotten into treatment. Instead, this ex-church deacon has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, and the judge regretted the lack of a death penalty.

    Sexually abusers are sick, but they are not usually insane. Sexual abusers need to be held accountable for their crimes, and they need to be rehabilitated. And we, as members of this society, must take a more active role in discouraging sexual abuse, encouraging its prosecution, and supporting sexual abuse survivors.

    Related postings:

  • They Said/They Said

  • Creeps in Society

  • Dealing with Anonymous and/or Abusive Comments

  • No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    My Chicon Panels

    I’ll be on a couple of panels at Worldcon:
    Thu Aug 30 12:00:pm-1:30:pm 
    How to Moderate a Panel
    Veteran panelists discuss how to be an effective panel moderator, and offer suggestions on things to avoid.
    Janice Gelb Laurie Mann Teresa Nielsen Hayden
    Thu Aug 30 4:30:pm -6:00:pm 
    So You Think You Want to Run a Convention?
    A panel on the basics of con-planning and con-running.
    Deb Geisler Howard Scrimgeour Laurie Mann Milt Stevens Vincent Docherty
    Sun Sep 2 12:00:pm-1:30:pm
    Science Fiction In Memoriam
    A remembrance of authors, fans, artists, and actors who the science fiction community has lost since we last convened at Renovation.
    Laurie Mann Mike Glyer Steven H Silver

    Sun Sep 2 3:00:pm-4:30:pm
    Worldcon Heritage Project
    Fannish history exhibits are a way to connect fans of the present with mementos of the past. The Worldcon Heritage Project is working to collect, catalogue, and repair the publications, T-shirts, and other items from Worldcons past.
    Kevin Standlee Laurie Mann Mark Olson
    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Tale of Two…GROAN…Three Surgeries

    Original Version: February 1978
    Updated: July 2007
    Updated Again: July 2012

    2007 was a bad year for health issues in our household. Leslie started off the year on January 3 with her car accident (not her fault), and we got to know the Emergency Room over at Ohio Valley Hospital. Jim’s had some annoying neck pain, so he’s been over there for tests. And, since January, I had chronic pelvic pain. I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts in March. I’d had ovarian cysts removed previously in 1978. It turns out ovarian cysts are very common in DES daughters; my sister and I, both DES daughters, have had them twice during our lifetimes (so far).
    2012 was a rotten year for me healthwise. Cysts came back big time. So…this essay is a comparison of how ovarian cyst surgery was done in 1978, and how it was done in 2007, and if the process changed any in 2012.
    What follows is probably way too much information about medical conditions, so don’t say you weren’t warned. Or just skip to here, where I talk about how the surgeries were different.

    1977-1978: In about October of ’77, I had a routine gynecological check-up and was told I seemed to have some sort of growth near my left ovary. The doctor said he thought it was a cyst, and told me to get a sonargram. A few weeks later, the sonargram confirmed the cyst. The doctor prescribed surgery, and I wound up scheduling it for my 21st birthday.
    The cyst was mostly asymptomatic, though I was working a sales job where I stood up most of the time, and I had occasional dizzy spells. That might also have been from stress over the surgery, as I’d never had surgery any more serious than a tonsilectomy before.
    The afternoon before surgery, I went to Magee Women’s Hospital and had prep done – lung X-ray, blood tests, more exams. As Magee was a teaching hospital, I had my pelvic exam observed by a bunch of interns, which was kind of embarrassing. I was a little concerned about all the consent forms I had to sign, because they basically said I was signing away all future reproductive rights if they found cancer. I couldn’t not sign, but reminded the doctor I did have hopes of having a child some day.
    I think I was in one room pre-surgery, and was in another room post-surgery. Unlike almost everyone else on the floor, I felt fine. I remember talking to the woman across the hall who was scheduled for a late term abortion the next day. She was very sick and had several small children at home already (she’d pretty much gotten the “having this baby will kill you” talk). Whenever I hear about medical procedures getting politicized, I think of her.
    After various other surgical prep in the evening, they gave me a sleeping pill and I slept pretty well. Early in the morning, they took me into surgery, and I don’t remember anything until I woke up in the recovery room. I think I was told that everything was OK, and I’d just had a cyst. I was in recovery for a couple of hours, then brought to a new room. I don’t remember too much about the first day, other than Jim and a friend from our club, Dave, stopping by. The reason why Dave could stop in so soon after surgery was because he was a student minister; clergy could pretty much come and go in the hospital as they pleased.
    Next day, I was detached from various tubes and encouraged to walk, which I did. I remember being extremely sore and unsteady walking, but I practiced faithfully. The surgical floor was near the obstetrics floor, so I’d pass by the nursery and look at the babies. Periodically, someone would check my dressing or take my temperature. Meals included soup and Jello (which I avoid). I don’t remember what I was given for pain; I only had a standard IV for hydration, and, periodically, a nurse would shoot various drugs into a tube in the IV. Twice a day, I’d get a vitamin K shot in my abdomen. I learned you can’t cough or laugh after you have abdominal surgery. Let me correct that – you have to cough, but you have to cough carefully. It’s important to cough to keep your lungs clear so you don’t develop pneumonia. But you need to avoid coughing using all the muscles in your abdomen.
    Seeing my roommate’s condition spurred me to keep walking. My roommate was much older than me and had to have a total hysterectomy. She had her surgery the day after I did. I never saw her get out of bed over the next few days, and she wound up getting a special breathing apparatus to help keep her lungs clear. I’m not sure what happened to her afterwards, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that she didn’t recover.
    So after about five days of hanging out in the hospital, I went home. A nurse removed the top layer of stitches (this was a “bikini scar” – horizontal) which kind of tickled in a funny way. I was still a little sore, and getting in and out of bed at home was really tough (our bed in those days was very low). As my job involved standing and carrying things, I couldn’t go back to work for a month, even though I was only working part time.

    2007: Early in January, I started having pelvic pain not related to my period. This was very depressing, as my periods had been getting very painful, and to be in pain almost every day was annoying. And it was yet something else to disturb my sleep. Between the move and everything else that went on last year, I hadn’t seen a gynecologist in nearly two years. Luckily, it turned out there was one nearby, and I arranged to see her in early March. Dr. Rosado thought I probably had a cyst. “Been there, done that.”
    She sent me for a sonargram. Sonargrams haven’t changed a whole lot over the last 30 years, except for the addition of the “transvaginal probe.” Think vibrator-like device on a wire, that provides a slightly different angle on the pelvis. The sonargram tech said she found at least three cysts near the right ovary, one uterine fibroid, but nothing that looked particularly bad (tumors tend to show up as dense spots on sonargrams, while cysts are more diffuse). They said I had to go back for a follow-up sonargram in about two months, to make sure the cysts didn’t just go away. Apparently, in some cases, they do.
    So I arranged for a follow-up test and waited. The pain wasn’t all that bad most of the time, but it was chronic. I wound up having to take Aleve about twice a week when it got particularly bad. The cysts showed up again on the May sonargram. And then I was told it might be another six months of wait and see, since they weren’t getting any bigger.
    My gynecologist sent me for additional tests to make sure that we were only dealing with cysts. Additional tests sometimes make some straightforward things not so straightforward. And, after the second sonargram, I started having pain on the left side as well as on the right. But the good thing about the extra tests was that they, temporarily, put me on the fast-track for surgery. I was hoping to have a laparoscopy, but my doctor said I’d need a full incision as I was now having pain on both sides.
    So surgery was scheduled and I went for pre-op tests – a chest X-ray, an EKG and blood work. But then other insurance issues, and my doctor’s busy-ness (she’s an OB/GYN and a surgeon) kept delaying the surgery. In the middle of all this, I saw Sicko. I was very relieved my insurance company did not appear anywhere in the documentary! I can deal with being jerked around, and even delays, both of which were very annoying, but it’s not nearly so annoying as ultimately being denied care.
    Finally, surgery was confirmed by the insurance company, the doctor and the hospital. My doctor tends to be fairly conservative, and I did say I’d prefer to have the bare minimum removed. She thought I’d have to have one ovary removed because it looked like some of the cysts were actually in the right ovary. But unless she saw major problems (like cancer), she thought it was unlikely I’d have anything else beyond the cysts and an ovary taken out. Being older and having had a child, I didn’t feel quite as uncomfortable about signing the surgical permission forms this time. I also felt better because my gynecologist and my surgeon was the same person, rather than being two different people. And I think it helps to have a woman do gynecological surgery, because I suspect they’d be a little more conservative in this area than a man might be.
    I spent the night before surgery at home, not eating, and drinking the ever popular “Go-Litely” (if you’ve had a colonoscopy, you know the drill). We had to get up at 4:30 the next morning, so I could get to the hospital by 5:30.
    The OB/GYN floor at Ohio Valley was new and very quiet. I had a room at the very end of the hall; at the time I thought that was because there were many patients there. However, the hall was almost empty. All the rooms appeared to be private rooms, which was very nice. I’d never had a private room in a hospital before.
    Two nurses came in to help get me ready for surgery. I have tough veins to find, and I hadn’t been allowed to drink anything after midnight. So I was dehydrated, which makes the veins even harder to find. Getting an IV line inserted is tougher than just drawing blood, and the nurses tried three times before giving up.
    You also have to keep repeating who you are, what your doctor’s name is and what surgery you’re about to have. I remember meeting with the anesthesiologist and talking to him briefly. My doctor stopped in to say hi, and then I was wheeled off to surgery. They finally got the IV in and I was out pretty fast after that.
    I remember waking up while I was still intubated, which was psychologically tough for me to handle. I remember my doctor saying everything was fine, but was too upset by the breathing tube to be calm at that moment. I was taken to recovery, and went through about the longest 10 minutes of my life (I have a terrible gag reflex). Finally, they decided I was awake enough to be extubated, which was tough but fast.
    I was only in recovery about an hour, and I was much more comfortable once I was breathing on my own. There was a guy to my left, and at one point two heavily gowned nurses brought a patient with a staph infection (a jolly thing to hear in a recovery room!). Before I left recovery, Dr. Rosado gave me the good news in great detail – the cysts weren’t in my ovaries at all, so she didn’t need to remove either ovary. But the right Fallopian tube was filled with fluid and twisted, so she removed that tube and the cysts. Some of my pelvic pain had been caused by endometriel adhesions, most of which she removed. It turns out I have endometriosis, which shouldn’t be a huge deal since I don’t plan to have any more kids and menopause generally stops endometriosis. But that does help to explain why I have such bad menstrual cramps every month.
    Back in my room, I just laid back and watched TV. I called Jim (I’d foolishly only given the hospital his work number and not his cell phone, which meant they couldn’t get through since he was always in phone meetings). He was relieved everything was fine and went around notifying folks (I’d left my cell phone home; it generally didn’t work in the hospital anyway).
    This time, I was on a morphine drip for pain relief. It’s the sort of thing that administers morphine in your IV, but if you feel particularly uncomfortable, you can press a button and get a tiny hit. I can’t say morphine did anything for me other than suppress the pain and give me an odd sense of time. So I was in bed all of Friday. Jim and Leslie came to visit in the evening; the only other patient on the floor went home that afternoon. It was very quiet. But I slept very poorly. The ventilation was very noisy, and I was in some plastic leggings that inflated and deflated to help prevent clots. They also helped prevent sleep!
    I finally fell asleep and woke up with a little headache and general sinus discomfort. When a nurse came in to take my blood pressure and temperature early in the morning, I asked if I could have some saline nasal spray (remember, this isn’t a medicine). She said the doctor would have to order it (sigh).
    Dr. Rosado stopped in around 8:30 or so, and she said I was looking good enough that I could get generally detached from bags and IVs and the like and could start to eat again. I told her my sinuses were acting up, and she said Jim could bring in saline spray and Pseudofedrine. She also removed my dressing and said everything looked fine. This time, I have a vertical incision a few inches below my navel. With staples. Now, they take the dressings off early, and you have to look at it to make sure it’s not infected. I don’t like to look at incisions, but take a quick look at my reflection (I know, this is silly, but…) when I’m in the bathroom. So far, it looks uninfected. The staples come out on Thursday.
    Once off the IVs, I took Percoset about every four hours. It does a good job suppressing the worst of the pain. There was some incision pain, but it was minor. And I’ve found walking and moving around much easier than last time. Not sure if it’s because I knew what to expect this time, or if the pain medication is better at relieving the pain while leaving you reasonably steady on your feet. Or maybe a vertical abdominal incision is ultimately less painful than a horizontal incision (which gives better cosmetic results). However, they do tell you not to drive while you’re on Percoset, and since I’ll be on Percoset for about 10 days, I can’t drive until late July.
    The main weird side effects I had post-surgery had nothing to do with the surgery itself. My blood pressure has stayed high throughout my hospitalization, to the point that they couldn’t use the standard automatic blood pressure cuff on my starting on Saturday night. My right arm still has bruises from the automatic-inflate cuff. They started using the old fashion hand-pump pressure cuff and got results that were high. My doctor prescribed blood pressure medication, which brought my blood pressure down in about 12 hours.
    Worse than that, after Dr. Rosado said I could go home Sunday morning, I developed a horrible migraine. I hadn’t had a migraine so bad in a few years (for that matter, I hadn’t had any kind of a migraine since our cat died (I was very allergic to her)). Since my blood pressure had been so erratic, I couldn’t take a Pseudofed (my migraines are always related to sinus problems and Pseudofed helps). They gave me Coricidan, and I sat with Jim my darkened room for about an hour until the worst of the nausea went away and the headache diminished slightly. Hot compresses also helped some. But I was surprised that the worst pain I had during the whole hospitalization was from the migraine, not from the surgery. And I still don’t quite understand why the Percoset did almost nothing for the migraine.
    About an hour after Jim arrived, I was ready to go home, but I was so uncomfortable that I sat with my eyes closed and my head in my hands when my doctor stopped by to say so long. She said I could stay longer if I needed to, but I reminded her that since I thought the hospital air was causing the migraine, I’d rather go home. After an afternoon of sitting on a chair in the family room with hot compresses, the headache finally went away at about 4pm.
    Now I’m three days post-op, I feel a little dazed and slightly in pain, but I wound up taking a walk around the block twice today (this “block” is nearly half a mile). Today I’m treating myself to watching all of the LOTR movies and doing some minor Web catch-up. I think I’m writing reasonably coherently (maybe a bit much on the “TMI” side, but I did warn you).


    2008-2012: The ovarian cysts came back about a year after the second surgery. Since I assumed I was getting ever closer to menopause, I felt I would wait them out this time. I kept changing gynecologists because they kept telling me the same thing – more surgery. After 2008, I didn’t have any major trouble with the cysts, so I had a sonogram every year to make sure they didn’t grow. Gradually felt a little worse over the winter of 2012 with more pelvic pain. On March 12 (Jim’s birthday), I felt awful, with severe pelvic pain, diarrhea and a urinary tract infection all at once. I went to a doctor for some tests and had to choose another new gynecologist who could see me that week. I was miserable and even spent a few days on the couch or in bed, not really doing anything than trying to make it to the bathroom. The new gynecologist, Dr. Rock, sent me for tests. A cyst we’d been watching for four years had grown from 3cm to 12cm over the last year.
    And that meant surgery.
    I did decide to defer the surgery until after a long-planned trip to Alaska was over, as sometimes it can take longer than 2 months to be fully recovered from a hysterectomy.  This turned out to be OK as the pain/illness from March was much better in April, May and June.

    July 2012 Surgery

    I had a complete hysterectomy on 7/12. I had other issues in addition to the cysts, and since I was 55, I was in agreement with my doctor that I needed to have one – that waiting for menopause to finish wasn’t going to work. The surgery went pretty well, though it was more complicated and I was under anesthesia for about 4 1/2 hours. I was very nauseated when they woke me up (and, luckily for me, they had extubated me before waking me up), muttered “nausea” and they gave me something for the nausea right away, so I didn’t throw up.
    As I’ve lost over 20 pounds since 2007, walk more, eat better, and take a Benicar every day, my blood pressure was very well controlled. No BP spikes this time.
    I brought saline spray for my nose and used it frequently once I was in my room after surgery. I also had arranged for a standing order of anti-migraine drug (probably Compazine) that I could take if I developed one. I did have mild sinus discomfort about 2 days post-op and a little headache, but no migraine!
    Getting over a hysterectomy is more involved than getting over a cyst surgery. I’m still walking slowly, but I’ve generally had less pain than in previous surgeries, which seems counter-intuitive. 2 1/2 weeks post-op, I stopped taking 200mg of Ibuprophen at night.
    Lost another 5 pounds since the surgery. I was told to eat whatever I wanted to, including more red meat, so I’ve been doing what I was told. Just walking about a mile a day. Have a follow-up with my surgeon on 8/1, and should be cleared to drive at that time (which I was).
    Felt well enough to go to Confluence about 2 weeks post-op, which I enjoyed even though I was in my room more than usual and left around noon on Sunday. It was just good to get out and see people. I should be more with things by Chicon.
    Feeling pretty good and am walking about 2 1/2 miles a day.  Incision is healing slowly but it is healing.  Surprisingly little pain – a few twinges, that kind of thing.  Felt better than pre-surgery on 8/6 as I spent the morning out running errands and had lunch out.  Also bought myself a gift – a new knapsack as the old one is about 10 years old and is getting frayed.  Today, I am tired, but have been doing some light housecleaning and watching Third Rock from the Sun DVDs.

    The main differences for the same surgery between 1978 and 2007/2012 were:

    • more pre-op testing
    • more surgery delays (in 2007, due to insurance; in 2012, due to my wanting to wait until after the Alaska trip)
    • better pain management in 2007 (the self-administered option is probably a good idea), tolerable in 2012
    • many fewer nights in the hospital
    • private room
    • radically different wound management (removing the dressing after 24 hours; staples instead of stitches)
    • woman surgeon (2007), male surgeons (1978, 2012)
    • better hospital food in 2007 (Ohio Valley made a lovely BBQ pulled pork sandwich and didn’t serve Jello!), but the one solid meal I had at UPMC Mercy in 2012 was a massive plate of carbs and the glueist oatmeal I have ever tried to eat
    • in 2012 at UPMC Mercy, nurses came in every few hours to take your BP, which was less annoying than being on a autocuff overnight. However, I didn’t sleep the first night after surgery in 2007 or 2012 due to being required to wear “pneumatic boots” to prevent formation of blood clots.
    • The recovery room at UPMC Mercy had windows. Even though it was a dreary day out, having some connection to the outside world during recovery was very nice.

    I was bored out of my mind by 5 or 6 nights in the hospital the last time; 2 nights in 2007 and 2012 was just about right.

    Pathology Report

    I also finally remembered to ask for my pathology report. I thought sure I also had fibroids, but I guess not:

    • Adenomyosis (enlarged uterus – 231 grams (60-70 is normal)
    • Proliferative endometrium (meaning I still could have had a period if I hadn’t had a hysterectomy)
    • Unremarkable cervix (with a tiny cervical opening)
    • Abscessed left ovary
    • Lutein cyst and follicular cysts of right ovary (the largest cyst was 6cm, meaning one had shrunk since the March sonogram found a 12cm cyst)
    • Unremarkable Fallopian tubes (though the pathologist could only identify one tube and said the other tube was difficult to discern. One had also been partially removed in 2008).

    Related Postings

    July 2013: My Uterus – A Look Back

    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Blast from my USENET Past: Women’s Clothing

    I joined USENET newsgroups in April 1988 due to the good graces of Massachusetts-based geek Jim Murray.  He was running USENET on a home system and wanted to offer it to others.

    I’m pretty sure I made a USENET post or two on Rodney King back in 1991, but I haven’t been able to find them.  But I did find some other old posts.  So, from time to time, I’ll go back and grab old posts I made.  There was no date attached to this posting, but, based on the signature, it was from the spring or early summer of 1993 (before we moved to Pittsburgh).  The issue I was complaining about here is something I’ve never changed my opinion on:

    Downloaded from a USENET archive:

    From: lmann@jjmhome.UUCP (Laurie Mann)
    Subject: Clothing (Was  Re: male/female mystery [ Re: Dumbest automotive…])
    Lines: 41
    In article <>, (Wen-King Su) writes:
    > This has me thinking.  Is there a biological reason why women can’t put
    > their keys in their pants pockets like men do?  I have two pockets on the
    > back of each of my pants.  I put my keys in one and wallent in another.
    > Many of the pockets even have a botton on them so I can close them securely.
    > Everything is that much simpler for me.  Why can’t women do the same?
    > Is is biological (ie, not enough room for a bigger bottom plus keys and
    > a wallet) or is it the way they are raised by the parents? 
    It’s not biology at all, it’s clothing design.  Women’s clothing is
    generally designed to be as non-functional as possible.  It’s only been
    in the last five years or so that you could buy women’s pants with
    pockets deep enough to carry anything in.  Previously, deep pockets were
    virtually unknown in women’s clothing.  Skirts generally have better
    pockets now, too.  Dresses, espcially fancy dresses, are still pretty
    hopeless.  I often hand my driver’s license over to my husband if we’re
    dressed up to go out somewhere, so I don’t have to be encumbered by a
    If women consistently bought functional clothing, and boycotted the
    manufacturers who refuse to make functional women’s clothing, I think
    manufacturers would tend to bow to market pressures.  There’s
    an interesting chapter in Susan Faludi’s Backlash that described
    what happened the LAST time clothing manufacturers ignored the
    need for functional women’s clothing.  The manufactuing industry
    lost millions.
    From a woman who would rather buy men’s clothing WITH decent pockets and
    long legs and high waists than women’s clothing without….
    ******** lmann@jjmhome.uucp (Internet) Laurie.Mann (GEnie) *********
    ** Claiming that sex education leads to irresponsible sex is like **
    *****  claiming that driver education leads to car accidents.  *****
    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Rodney King, 1965-2012

    I think Rodney was basically a decent man who did some bad things but was treated horribly by many people in Los Angeles. The cops used him as an excuse to savagely beat a black man. Angry people used his trial as an excuse to behave savagely. On the day of the LA riots 20 years ago, King could have gone into hiding, but instead, clearly very shaken, stood before the cameras and begged for calm. He could look beyond the injustice done to him to ask people to not do injustice to others.
    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Write Your Representatives to Keep Student Loan Rates Low

    Dear Representative Murphy

    I’m writing to ask you to think of a clever way to keep student college loan rates low.

    It is not at all surprising that Republicans are suggesting “raiding a slush fund,” this “slush fund” being money set aside for preventative medical care for women and children.  Please remind me why we’re not supposed to believe that you Republicans are waging a war against women, when your leaders like Boehner want to fund student loans by defunding medical care.

    Why aren’t you funding student loans by defunding subsidies to industries making obscene profits, like much of the oil & gas companies and factory farms?

    Middle class and poor college students need cheap college loans.  It frequently looks like the Republicans want a permanently  uneducated underclass without health care.  Remember, while you have won your district in the past, many of the people you are supposed to be representing are not Republicans.


    Dear Representative Boehner

    I’m writing to ask you to think of a clever way to keep student college loan rates low.

    It is not at all surprising that you have suggested “raiding a slush fund,” this “slush fund” being money set aside for preventative medical care for women and children.  Please remind me why we’re not supposed to believe that you Republicans are waging a war against women, when people like you want to fund student loans by defunding medical care.

    Why aren’t you funding student loans by defunding subsidies to industries making obscene profits, like much of the oil & gas companies and factory farms?

    Middle class and poor college students need cheap college loans.  It frequently looks like the Republicans want a permanently  uneducated underclass without health care.  Remember, while you have won your district in the past, many of the people you are supposed to be representing are not Republicans.

    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.

    Which “We” Are You Talking About?

    Commentator Charles M. Blow wrote an interesting essay called “We Are Not Stupid,” in which he wonders how people can follow Romney.

    The answer, sadly, is that some Americans are profoundly stupid when it comes to voting.  In 2008, one set of “we” voted for McCain even after his team chose Palin.  A larger set of “we” (including me) voted for Obama.

    This year, a surprising number of “we” came out for Santorum, one of the most stunningly out-of-touch presidential candidates in recent memory.  Many more still support Romney, despite not having done anything for the people since helping to set up state-wide health care in Massachusetts when he was governor there.  I think at that point in time, he was trying to out-Kennedy Ted Kennedy, a rich man with at least a few clues about government supporting people in need.  Now, like most other Republicans, Romney wants to reduce the debt on the backs of the workers (especially government workers) while giving the rich a pass on tax increases.

    Some of “we” seem completely incapable of figuring out that an America constantly at war, with an ever-widening gulf between poor and rich, consistently vote against their own self-interest by voting for Republicans who are only interested in helping the rich and not the whole country.

    Politicians, religious leaders and business leaders have been flim-flamming Americans for generations.  Sometimes, they’re just after our money or our support, but the politicians are also after our vote.  We have to carefully evaluate where the politicians come from, and how they’ve evolved over time.  While Obama has made mistakes, I have more trust in him, particularly after getting an initial health care bill passed through an incredibly hostile Congress, than I do for any Republican candidate.

    No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics.