In between ripping out the drywall of my website I totally forgot to plug this. I got Real Life™ published for the first time for an op-ed I wrote a few weeks ago!

In itself, this is kinda a big deal. I’ve never been mainstream published before. It’s a little bit surreal, like some sort of functional adult alien has taken over my body. But on top of that is the subject matter. Because this article details a lot of the shit I’ve been dealing with regarding being sick and having to rely on welfare the last couple of years.

I didn’t realise just how much my condition has taken over my life until I wrote it all down. And it’s not even just the health aspects, though that is, of course, still a steadily burning dumpster fire. No, it’s also the fact that when I’m not dealing with shitty symptoms, I’m dealing with shitty bureaucracy and shitty treatment from people in place to uphold it.

So yeah, that’s what this article’s about. It seems to have resonated with at least 10,775 people too. So that’s…rather depressing. But that’s a subject for another post.

For now: yay I’m published! Go read the thing!

PS: It’s under my legal name which is in the process of being changed so don’t get too attached 😎

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that’s chronically misunderstood. Unfortunately, those doing the misunderstanding are sometimes medical health professionals. When I say I’m lucky to have found my gynaecologist first-go, I’m not being flippant. I did my research — read patient reviews and investigated qualifications — but so do a lot of people who wind up receiving sub-par care for this shithole of a disease.

I’ve since learned a lot more about what endometriosis is and what the industry standards for treating it are. If I had to shop for a gyno now, I’d have a lot more questions. What follows is a bunch of them.

Quick caveat: I’m not a medical professional. The following advice is the result of living with this disease, talking to specialists, and a lot of painstaking research. I’d encourage you to do your own reading, talk to your own specialists, and educate yourself about endometriosis. If you’re unsure about a course of treatment being offered to you, get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion. Doctors aren’t infallible, especially when it comes to this trashfire of a condition. But neither are randoms on the internet (like me).

The following questions are ones I’d be asking if I were shopping for a gynaecologist right now. I’m hoping they’ll serve as a jumping off point that encourages you to be proactive in your own treatment. Because, unfortunately, that’s the current endo landscape right now.

Do your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and trust wisely. You’re Fox Mulder and the truth is in your uterus, pals.

Mulder and Scully from the X-Files
Like Mulder, Scully is the only medical doctor I 100% trust

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I sell art through Redbubble and Society6 and they both have their pros and cons. I personally prefer the print quality of Redbubble’s apparel but Society6 really shines with their homewares products. I mean you can get boobs on a shower curtain. The absurdity of that speaks to me on a personal level.

Which is why I was genuinely excited when Society6 launched wallpaper earlier this year. I design a lot of repeating patterns. Wallpaper was my time to SHINE.

Or it would have been. But all my patterns to date don’t tile as a perfect square.

Instead, I’m dealing with this shit:

Screen shot of a rectangular pattern tile not fitting the Society6 wallpaper default

Note the cropping at the bottom and top of the pattern tile. If I tried to upload that, the resulting wallpaper would look like this:

Groooossssss

The obvious solution is to design patterns so that their tiles are square which I’ll be doing from now on. In the meantime, I’m rejigging my old patterns to fit the new format and it’s a fucking pain in the ass. So I figured what better way to really feel the burn than to document this process for you guys.

You’re welcome.

I’ll be using my Relaxolotl pattern as a guinea pig today because it’s one of my best sellers.

Also, I’m a bourgeois snob who doesn’t like learning new programs so the following is all Adobe Illustrator specific. You can, however, apply a few of the tips and tricks to your own programs and/or processes if you work with something else.

Onwards!

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In 2016 I had to leave a job I loved because I was too sick to work. I’ve since had two surgeries, cultivated an essential but bank-draining team of medical specialists, and developed a truly spectacular tolerance to painkillers.

For me, Endometriosis has been a nuclear bomb dropped on my life.

Scientifically speaking: Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when cells similar to the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) decide they’re strong independent cells that’re gonna strike out on their own and make it big, Mama! Endometriosis growths are commonly found in the abdominal cavity of sufferers – getting up close and personal with your abdominal walls or your local organs. Some cells dream a little bigger though, migrating into organs like your bladder or bowel.

A woman's nose
Then there’s that free spirit who finds his calling in your fucking nasal cavity

In severe cases, the inflammation from endo growths can cause your organs to stick to your abdominal walls (or each other). Think Shelob’s cave from Lord of the Rings but the web is scar tissue.

Oh but wait, there’s more.

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A masterful story is a lot of things. It carries plot, characterisation, tension, meaning, and absolutely, unequivocally does not make its audience go, “What? Where the fuck did that come from?”

The Sixth Sense
Not to be confused with, “What? Where the- oh. Ohhhhhhh!”

The WTF reaction from your audience is one of the fastest ways to get people to hate your story. There’s a reason people froth at the mouth when discussing the Deus ex Machina trope. People hate feeling left out of the loop.

The loop, in this case, being the Setup/Payoff cycle.

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