I was shooting heroin and reading “The Fountainhead” in the front seat of my privately owned police cruiser when a call came in. I put a quarter in the radio to activate it. It was the chief.
“Bad news, detective. We got a…
Andy Hallett - the actor who portrayed Lorne - died tragically young. From a tooth infection. He had a dental issue in his late 20s, which got infected, and the infection got into his bloodstream, where it fucked up the muscle of his heart, along with its valves. He ended up dying of congestive heart failure at 33.
It’s kind of weird how closely connected your teeth are to heart health, but there it is. Partly it’s because infections of the jaw are close to the major blood vessels of the neck which lead directly to the heart. But there’s something else going on there, as well…coenzyme Q10, a supplement that’s proven to have positive benefits for people with heart disease, also improves gum health. So there’s some sort of periodontal-cardiac nexus o’health! Take care of your teeth, because it might prevent you from dying young.
This has been your Angel-related dental…heart health…post. I guess?
[Series of texts by @fatnutritionist, which read: “People are mad at me because they ‘work so hard’ to be fit or lose weight. They have told me this explicitly. It implies that they think my rejecting the values they subscribe to can somehow take away the fitness they’ve worked for. That is totally delusional. If you’ve worked hard for fitness, no amount of fat people rejecting stigma can take that away. So this is obviously not actually about fitness, at all. It’s about the other thing they ‘worked hard’ for: social status. They DO think, and they know, that the social status they have worked hard to earn, through ‘fitness,’ can be devalued. It can be devalued if the hierarchy that rewards them is crushed. Crushed by people rejecting stigma. We can’t take away your fitness or whatever weight you’ve lost. But we can devalue those things by destroying fat stigma. So they are afraid of us, and for good reason. If fat people aren’t stigmatized, then there is no more thin privilege. Remember always, fat people: People are afraid of you because you have an awesome power - to destroy the hierarchy. If they were not afraid of losing their place in the hierarchy, they would not come after you so viciously.” All tweets were accompanied by the hashtag, #notyourgoodfatty]
I’m glad you wrote in because it gives me the perfect opportunity to teach you some things.
Thing the first.
The severity of an illness falls upon a spectrum. A spectrum is a visual aid that represents two extremes on either end, and an infinite number of values in between.
Someone may have allergies, but they are not very severe. They may fall here on the spectrum.
Sick [————————————————-|—————] Healthy
Whereas someone who has very severe allergies might be here.
Sick [——|———————————————————] Healthy
So when you say you know a person with CFS, that doesn’t mean they have the same severity as me and it is foolish to compare our situations without that information.
Thing the second.
Comorbidity… “The presence of one or more additional disorders (or diseases) co-occurring with a primary disease or disorder.”
Comorbities can often make your primary illness more severe. An individual disorder on its own may not be debilitating, but when combined with another, it can make your health plummet.
I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is pretty severe.
Sick [——————|———————————————] Healthy
I have narcolepsy. Also quite severe, especially since I have been unable to find an effective treatment.
Sick [————————-|————————————-] Healthy
Here is the fun part. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome takes your restorative sleep and makes it very inefficient. My narcolepsy keeps me from reaching delta wave sleep, which is the most restorative. This conflict really messes with my overall health.
Sick [——|———————————————————] Healthy
Thing the third.
How do you rate the seriousness of illnesses? A soldier loses his legs to an IED. That’s pretty damn serious. But with therapy and prosthetic legs he becomes a paralympian. Is that more serious than a person dying of cancer? I have a friend who was hit by a drunk driver. He is paralyzed from the chest down. He told me that he would not trade illnesses with me. He has been able to travel the world. He has signed up for experimental bionic legs. He leaves his house every day.
My point is not that I think my poor health is more serious. My point is that various illnesses can limit you in many different ways and it is very hard to compare them. It isn’t a competition of who has it worst. We are all just trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Thing the fourth.
I HAVE A JOB. I run 3 websites, I have 2 webcomics, I have 2 employees, and I am slowly starting a photography business. I work hard every day that I am able. Most of the time I work from when I wake up to when I go to sleep. I have an income. I pay rent. I pay for food. I pay my bills. Yes, I do most of my work from bed, but saying I don’t have a job is insulting.
I am glad that the people you know are able to manage active lives despite their illness. That’s probably a lot harder than you realize. I’m living the best life I can within my limitations and so are they.
Asked by Anonymous
ICONIC WOMEN: The Mino of Dahomey or the Dahomey ‘Amazon’ Warriors/Dahomey Amazons.
From the late 17th century until the end of the 19th century, the Kingdom of Dahomey in the what is today the West African nation of Benin (sandwiched between Nigeria on the east and Togo to their west) an incredible regiment made up of only women, from within the Fon community, challenged and refuted gender norms by occupying spaces usually reserved for men.
This all-women Fon army was originally established by Dahomian king King Houegbadja, the third king of Dahomeny, who ruled from 1645 to 1685, with the intention of having these women serve as elephant hunters known as ‘gbeto’. Later, during Houegbadja’s son King Agadja reign during the early 1700s he developed the gbeto into an established bodyguard and warrior unit who became known as the Mino meaning ‘our mothers’ in Fon - a name given to them by the men’s army of Dahomey. During this time, the Mino gained one of their first major successes in being part of the Dahomey army that defeated the neighbouring kingdom of Savi in 1727. Their incorporation into the army was done to increase the size of the Dahomey military, thus appearing larger and more intimidating to their opponents.
In King Ghezo’s time, between 1818 to 1858, great emphasis was put on Dahomey’s army and military units, perhaps due to the growing threat of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the threat that neighbouring ethnic groups may have posed as a result of it. As a result, King Ghezo poured much of his resources into developing the Dahomian army, including the Mino, increasing their budget, formalizing their structure and training, and arming them with guns obtained from the Dutch through trade.
It is said that by the mid-19th century there were between 1,000-6,000 women in the Mino unit which comprised of both free Dahomian women and women who may have been taken as captives during war. Women in the Mino, sometimes referred to as ahosi (the king’s wives) were not permitted to marry or have children as the were considered wives of the king. This allowed the women to obtain positions of great power and influence as they were highly revered in Dahomian within the army - especially for their braver, and within society as well.
As European colonial forces began to move more aggressively throughout Africa in the 1800s, French forces on colonial campaigns in West Africa placed increasing pressure on the Dahomian Kingdom leading to an outbreak of war between French and Dahomian forces in 1890. The first Franco-Dahomian War broke out in that year with the Dahomey Army led by anti-colonialist King Behanzin. Part of the French forces consisted of Tirailleurs - French-trained Senegalese and Gabonese soldiers who had been recruited due to their countries being colonized by France. Despite the Dahomian army being greater in number, they were ill-equipped in comparison to the French and lost the war resulting in Dahomey being added to France’s colonial territories in West Africa.
This defeat also signified the disintegration of the Dahomian army and thus the women who the Europeans had referred to as the ‘Dahomey Amazons’. The last surviving Mino is thought to have been a woman named Nawi who died in 1979.
Someone needs to make a sci-fi animated fantasy or make a comic about or inspired by these women.
All Africa, All the time.