As if anyone could really forget the most quoted line in “The Avengers” — “I’ve got red in my ledger; I’d like to wipe it out” — it helps to have that line fresh in your mind when deconstructing what Widow does in the final act of what’s billed as a Captain America movie. Black Widow doesn’t wipe out the red in her ledger. No, she blasts her ledger out to the world, like it was the grisliest email forward of all time. We know from her heart to heart with Hawkeye that the shame she feels about what she’s done is real, and she hesitates when she realizes that taking down the bad guys means revealing her secrets. But she does it anyway, because she’s not just a spy anymore; she’s a super hero, and she makes a super hero’s sacrifice. (x)
AutoImmune Hives/Chronic Urticaria
This isn’t going to be a medically accurate post. This is about my personal experience with a shitty situation.
At the end of my first semester freshman year at college, I started having hives. I’ve had sensitive skin all of my life so they didn’t seem like too big a deal to me. Until the doctors freaked out about how big/how many I had. And put me on medication that made them come back a million times worse.
The picture is me, four years later, in the evening after taking an oatmeal bath and 2 antihistamines and wearing non-irritating clothing. The hives come and go and they usually aren’t quite this bad but every few months, every time I start to hope that they are gone for good, they come back.
What the picture doesn’t show is how my fingers were swollen enough this morning to make typing hurt. Or how the entire lower half of my face swelled up this morning. Or how it is uncomfortable to walk on the few hives covering my arches right now. Or how I went to the ER in May because one started to swell my throat shut.
And yes, all of that bothers me. But not as much as you might think. The itching is annoying but I can handle that. The pain sucks, but I can handle that. I can work a 5 hour shift on my feet in a restaurant with shooting pain up my legs because I forgot my morning antihistamines and still be fine.
What I can’t always handle is the way they make me feel. I have a pretty good self-body image, until these pop up. And while everyone’s shock, and pity, and comments like “I don’t know how you can even handle this. One bugbite and I’m going wild” actually make me feel better - because, Yes, I can handle the pain and swelling and doctors visits and itching - they remind me that some days, this issue is very visible. And let me tell you, nothing makes me feel sexier than getting undressed and feeling the bumps and hills all over my sides and thighs and seeing that scary-looking redness that a lot of people think might be contagious (trust me - it really really isn’t).
I worry about finding a partner who won’t be bothered by the hives. I worry about what my students might think when my lips start swelling in the middle of class one day. I remember the disdain and disbelief on new doctors faces when I tell them all of the medicine I take (especially that one in Spain) I worry about that panicky look my dad got this morning when he saw them, because he can’t handle them the way I can.
I’m not posting this for pity or comments or notes or anything. I’m posting for two reasons. 1. I need to *talk* about it somehow and right now the internet is my best venue. and 2. While I have never met another person with chronic urticaria/autoimmune hives, 3 times out of 5, when someone asks me about them, a nurse, doctor, nutritionist, random other student on campus, when I say that I have autoimmune hives, they know someone with the same thing and ask me about what it has been like for me. Medically, emotionally, for my friends/family. And it isn’t something that you can find a ton of information about. So I’m making this post.
To be honest, this sucks. And it is scary. And makes me feel ugly and weak and petty (for thinking that I’m ugly - and for getting so upset about a fairly transient and not-major medical thingy). But it is just another part of who I have been for the past few years. And I live with it.
Veronika Scott was a fashion student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit when her teacher, Stephen Schock, challenged her class to create a product that filled a need, rather than satisfying or creating a fad. Veronika’s design was a coat for homeless people that could transform into a sleeping bag, since in her city, she says, “you are constantly faced with the homeless epidemic.”
Not only did her design win a International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, it’s become the core of Veronika’s nonprofit organization, The Empowerment Plan, which hires people from homeless shelters and transition homes to help her make the coats. Now, three years later, the 24-year-old social entrepreneur expects that her team of 15 seamstresses will produce over 6,000 coats in 2014 — all of which will be distributed free of charge to people living on the streets.
Veronika originally designed the coats seeking input from people at a homeless shelter. After receiving feedback from people who used the prototype over a Detroit winter, she refined the design to create her final version which, in addition to being a waterproof and windproof coat and sleeping bag, also transforms into an over-the-shoulder bag with storage in the arm sockets.
When she started out, Veronika states,
“Everybody told me that my business was going to fail — not because of who I was giving my product to but because of who I was hiring. They said that these homeless women will never make more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — you cannot rely on them for anything. And I know my ladies enjoy proving everybody wrong.”
And, their impact is growing — according to CNN, which recently honored Veronika as one of their 10 Visionary Women of 2014, “The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a ‘buy one, give one’ program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.”
Veronika is also excited to show other clothing producers that local manufacturing is possible: “I think we’re going to show a lot of people: you think it’s outdated to do manufacturing in your neighborhood, but I think it’s something that we have to do in the future, where it’s sustainable, where you invest in people, where they’re not interchangeable parts.”
You can read more about Veronika’s organization on CNN, or watch a short video about her work here.
To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or how you can support their work, visit http://www.empowermentplan.org/
For a wonderful book about women’s great inventions throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything” for readers 8 to 13.
For those in the US who would like to support efforts to end homelessness and help the over 600,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness athttp://www.naeh.org/ or to find a local homeless shelter to support in your area, visit http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/
Important in so many ways.
so no one told you life was gonna be this way
your blog’s a joke you’re broke your otp is gay
it’s like you’re always just stuck waiting here
for a tv show that’s not been on for months, or even for years
but, tumblr’s here for youuu, when the tears start to fall
tumblr’s here for youu, like no website before
tumblr’s here for you, ‘cause you’ve got nothing else to do
Big dogs who think they are lap dogs.
this made me very happy
Oh my glob! The cutest, gentle giants!
The dead pool
omgf the skunk