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Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House (A Memoir) May 4, 2014

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards, Your Responses Requested!.
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6 comments

Copious Regarrett33aders, as you can see from our previous post, we are currently exploring the topic of singles with chronic illness. As we have discussed before, unmarried people face a good deal of discrimination not only socially, but economically as well. Social security, health insurance, retirement savings plans–all of these are governed by laws that can very negatively impact singles. So we asked ourselves, what about unmarried people who have severe health problems? How would all the legal and financial discrimination affect them?

We would love guest posts on these (or other) topics from singles who are battling difficult, ongoing diseases or disabilities. But in the meantime, we are pleased to introduce you to an upcoming new memoir written by Nika Beamon, who is the author of I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out and a chronic illness survivor herself. She is available for speaking engagements about her books and related topics and can be contacted at denali17@optonline.net. For more ways to follow the book, see the end of this post.

Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House

WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK:

Anyone who has a chronic illness. (Para 1)

Anyone who has cared for someone with a chronic illness. (Para 2)

Anyone who has treated, or attempted to treat, someone with a chronic illness. (Para 3)

Anyone who has not had a chronic illness. (Para 4)

Anyone who influences health policy in the U.S. or other countries. (Para 5)

WHO SHOULD NOT READ THIS BOOK:

The faint of heart.

SUMMARY:   Beamon writes raw. Her memoir chronicles her journey from a hospital-worthy hemorrage on a first date to scorching headaches to intestinal polyps to a 104 degree fever and an ongoing combination of all those symptoms, plus many many more. You the reader make the scary journey along with Beamon. Neither you nor she knows what’s wrong with her, or what freaky thing her body might do the next day. Not until the very end of the book.

1. Anyone who has had a chronic illness–even one that is fairly easily diagnosed and stabilized–has probably experienced at least one Doctor with Attitude who avoids eye contact and only half-answers your questions, especially if he or she can’t figure out what’s wrong with you. Nika meets many such health care professionals. Survivors of mysterious chronic illnesses will recognize themselves in her dogged search for someone, anyone, who can tell her what’s wrong.

2. Anyone who has cared for someone with a chronic illness will identify with Beamon’s boyfriend, Bryce. Beamon paints a stereotype-shattering picture of Bryce as both dedicated caregiver and thoughtless philanderer–at the same time. Bryce is a living metaphor for any long-term caregiver who (hopefully) loves or respects their “patient” but eventually starts to feel the strain of constant medical jargon, pills pills pills, a forlorn attitude by the sick person, and maybe, in extreme cases, the physical stress of helping the ill person move or medicate. This frustration doesn’t mean the caregiver has stopped caring about the sufferer. It just means the caregiver struggles with conflicting emotions, the confusing kind that probably encouraged (but was no excuse for) Bryce’s sleeping with other women (a habit he’d had even before her sickness). Yet he still provided invaluable support to Beamon. . . But what if she had been socially single, you ask? Well, her parents often stepped up to help as well. If she had not had a nuclear family, she would have had to rely on friends, and no matter how much her friends loved her, it might have been harder for Beamon to accept extreme amounts of help (the kind she needed) from them, because we’re just not conditioned to think of friendship that way. (Note I’m speaking my own opinion here, not referencing anything Beamon says in her book.)

3. Anyone who has ever treated, or tried to treat, someone with a chronic illness, especially a mystery chronic illness, will recognize themselves in at least one of the puzzled doctors Beamon seeks out for help–internal medicine practitioners, surgeons, gastroenterologists, neurologists, and more. They give her endoscopies, colonoscopies, pills pills pills, and more than one tube up her nose. Most of the doctors fall somewhere along the scale of mildly assholish to major prick, until. . . but I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

4. Anyone who has NOT had a chronic illness will learn from this book to feel a little less sorry for themselves when they have some dumb cold.  Heck, I myself have a fairly serious chronic illness, but even I flip through the Misdiagnosed manuscript whenever I need a mental ladder out of one of my sludgy wells of self-pity.

5. Anyone who influences health care policy will–hopefully–be horrified at how much Beamon had to struggle, as detailed in all the paragraphs above. They will–hopefully–be horrified at how often she had to take her health into her own hands, seek out her own doctors, and research her own condition(s) and symptoms. Fortunately she was able to fight this battle off and on throughout her sickness–but many chronic illness survivors are not so lucky. They can’t work and must rely on disability, or they don’t have insurance, or—or they’re single, and these problems become amplified for them. Look at the crowded rooms of the startling public hospital in which Nika accidentally stays for several days; it is bare-bones, not super hygenic, and even possibly dangerous (for example, her wallet is temporarily stolen). This is where the unluckiest chronic illness victims end up–if they are poor or under-insured. Perhaps, given the legal and financial discrimination against singles, more unmarried people end up in substandard facilities than do coupled people. This study has not been done, but it should be.

Hopefully Beamon’s book will be one step towards opening the dialog about singles with chronic illness. Read it, people, and start talking! Thanks!

–Christina

P.S. Keep up with Nika and Misdiagnosed here:

Blog site: http://nikabeamon.com/
Social Media Sites: https://twitter.com/MCBeamon
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/70022821825/
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/nika-c-beamon/4/b02/621

Photo credit: garret_33

 

Seeking Happily Ever After, Ever After! December 8, 2013

Posted by Onely in film review, Great Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards, Reviews, Some Like It Single.
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2 comments

Copious Readers, several months ago Onely was excited to view and review the independent pro-single-women film Seeking Happily Ever After.  Now it’s more widely available on DISTRIFY, where anyone in an English-speaking country (for now) can rent it from their own computer. (Distribution in non-English-speaking countries has not been implemented yet due to the cost of subtitling.)
Producer Michelle Cove provides some statistics that drive home the need–or rather, the market–for pro-singles films such as Seeking Happily Ever After:

• The number of single women has more than doubled over the past three decades. –2011 General Lifestyle Survey Overview from the Office for National Statistics
• In England, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, approximately one in five women in their late 40s remaining childless. –Yale Global Online, 2012
• In Australia, almost 1/3 women aged 30 to 34 do not have a partner.–Census statistics
• 62% of U.S. residents 18 and older have never been married. –U.S. Census, 2011
• In Scandinavia, the majority of mothers in all social classes are unmarried.—Sociologist and leading researcher on men and masculinity
• In Spain, 92% of women do not censure the fact that they have had a child without a partner.—NSI (National Statistics Institute)

Buoyed by the success of Happily Ever After, we at Onely hope that one day someone will make a film about single men. Granted, women are more immersed in the White Dress Marriage Myth and hence the greater need for a film such as SHEA. But a positive film about unmarried men would be interesting too. Any takers?
–Christina

Happy Anniversary…. To Us! July 2, 2011

Posted by Onely in Great Onelies in Real Time, Great Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards.
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11 comments

Copious Readers,

It’s that time of the year again… When we head to the local Walgreens or CVS, stare desperately at the quarter-mile-long display of Hallmark cards, and wonder why, out of the thousands of anniversary cards to choose from, none of them – not one! – adequately articulates how we feel about beginning Onely three years ago.

Sigh. Guess we’ll just celebrate by enrolling ourselves in another cheese-of-the-month club and hope our little blog project doesn’t call it quits.

But seriously, we are wondering what occasions merit an annual celebration for you, our well-adjusted, single-and-happy friends, in lieu of the traditional couple-centric “anniversary.” Sure, there are work anniversaries, but we figure those are few and far between, given how often the average worker changes jobs or careers in this day and age. People might celebrate the anniversary of buying a house, or graduating from college, or turning in one’s dissertation, or choosing to move to Beirut to begin a career, or the first time one went to Trader Joe’s, or the first white hair…. (apologies for the free association!)

Lisa celebrates the anniversary of adopting her dog, Kitty. Christina celebrates the anniversary of ___.

Ahem. Full disclosure: Lisa told Christina to fill in the blank, but Christina couldn’t think of anything. After Christina cursed out Lisa for not making the test multiple choice, she realized why she couldn’t think of any milestones or memories that she celebrates regularly: she doesn’t know any of their dates. She doesn’t know the date she moved to Germany, or the date she left Germany, or the date of her first Chinese class, or the date she quit her underpaid job, or the date she adopted her beloved cats. She had never been programmed to remember dates of anything, except related to romantic relationships (or birthdays).  So going forward, Christina decided to just randomly assign dates to some of her favorite memories. For example, she will now celebrate the anniversary of her first Chinese class every September 13. And every November 13 she will celebrate the day Alvin and Theo came to their new forever home.  In fact, she may have one anniversary per month, like a picture calendar (or a period).

So, what is it, Copious Readers? What do you (or will you) make a point of celebrating annually, in spite of the fact that Hallmark makes no cards for the occasion? And perhaps a more interesting question: How do you celebrate?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

— Lisa and Christina

Honorary Onelers: Corporate Version! June 9, 2010

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Honorary Onely Awards.
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3 comments

Today Onely would like to honor Morgan Stanley. After some hefty research involving a happy hour with friends at a sushi restaurant, I learned that Morgan Stanley provides (at least in some circumstances) health insurance benefits to non-married couples. My friend’s friend “Monique” is moving to Budapest to join her British boyfriend “Kurtis”, who works there for Morgan Stanley. She quit her steady government job to do this, so she’s taking a bit of a risk (and all the more so because Hungarian is a very difficult language–after all, they spell my name Chrisztina!).  Kudos to Morgan Stanley for making things a little bit easier for her as she embarks on this adventure.

Copious Readers, what other firms are singles-friendly? (And we’ll also take snarky stories about couple-crazed companies as well!)

–Christina

Great Onelers in History: Abigail Adams April 13, 2010

Posted by Onely in Honorary Onely Awards.
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Ok, technically Abigail Adams was married. But Lisa and I believe that married people can be Onely too–they just have to work a little harder at it maintaining their independence. Abigail Adams paid her Onely dues, at a time when Onely just wasn’t done.

Her husband John was one of the U.S.’ “Founding Fathers”, the second president, and generally a busy statesman who was away on business–sometimes across the Atlantic ocean–for much of their marriage, while Abigail ran the estate and managed their finances. They seem to have had a respectful and affectionate union, and John trusted her investment sense, which turned out to be far more acute than his.

Even though she had no legal right to John’s money or property, she put aside funds for her own use/payment, telling him she was doing so, as if it were the most natural thing in the world–at a time when such actions were not at all natural. She accumulated a good amount of wealth that she willed to a number of her female friends and descendants, even though she had no legal right to compose such a document. Her husband honored the will, even though he didn’t have to. Therefore, we decree that John Adams is an Honorary Oneler as well.

I got all this info from a great article by Woody Holton in American History magazine.

Copious Readers, do you know married people who defied the conventions of their time (past or present) and should be named Honorary Onelers?

Christina

Photo credit: Adams National Historic Park; Gilbert Stuart

Worldwide Onelers: Afghanistan July 3, 2009

Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards, We like. . ..
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4 comments

In this NPR Morning Edition broadcast, an Afghan woman randomly dialed numbers until a young man picked up at the other end. Over several weeks they exchanged multiple giddy phone calls, talking about their lives and eventually becoming boyfriend and girlfriend–but always and only over the telephone. Eventually their calls tapered off, but for a while they defied the convention in Afghanistan, where according to the broadcast single men and women just don’t mingle. 

I got to thinking how privileged we all are here in the U.S. (and other places) to actually have a choice of whether to be single or not. (more…)

Honorary Onely Award: The Bronx State Supreme Court April 21, 2009

Posted by Onely in Honorary Onely Awards, single and happy, We like. . ..
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6 comments

Onely is happy to report a refreshingly pro-single bit of news:

A New York woman has won a race-against-the-clock legal bid to harvest her dead fiance’s sperm.

Did you catch that? A SINGLE woman was allowed to harvest her fiance’s sperm after his sudden death!

human_sperm_image

This was so surprising to us, in fact, that when Christina sent me this article a few days ago, she (ever-the-singlist-vigilant) wrote: “This would never be allowed if she were single.”

But … luckily for singles everywhere, Christina misread the article!

And so, we’re happy to grant the Bronx State Supreme Court an Honorary Onely Award for listening to UNMARRIED Ms. Marrero and allowing her to harvest her fiance’s sperm after his death (which, okay, we both find a little bit gruesome, but to each her own, right?). (more…)

Honorary Oneler: Hillary Clinton! January 27, 2009

Posted by Onely in Honorary Onely Awards.
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4 comments

hillary-clinton-faces-horizontal

Way back in October, I wrote this post about my debate with Christina about why I think Hillary Clinton did not divorce Bill way back when it would have seemed appropriate for her to do so. I suggested then that we nominate HRC for status as Honorary Oneler – and now that Clinton has been named our 67th Secretary of State, Onely officially names her as an Honorary Oneler! (more…)

For Rent: Spouse or Cat January 25, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Honorary Onely Awards.
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7 comments

Recently I got an invitation, to a rather large formal party, addressed to a curlyquey “Christina C. and Spouse”. 

Turns out, while I’ve been wasting time joking with my friends about needing a rent-a-boyfriend for just such awkward occasions, the Japanese have actually gone and created such a service

Such services appear to be much less about sex and more about creating an image for the customer. You can rent relatives to bulk up the crowd at funerals, or play-act with you as a mother, or father, or spouse–either to give you practice for interacting with your real relatives, or just to give you the experience of what it’s like to fight with your father, or flirt with your husband. (more…)

ONELIES GONE WILD: Onely does Costa Rica December 15, 2008

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards.
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3 comments

 

I’m going to Costa Rica. Why? Not because everyone tells me how gorgeous it is. Not because of the wealth of ecosystems. Not because of the pelagic snorkelling. Not because the Ticos are friendly. Not because I’ve never been to Central America. No. I’m going because two summers ago, my boyfriend and I bought flights to Germany. He did the booking, then he dumped me and uninvited me from the trip, leaving me single and saddled with an 800 dollar credit with Continental airlines. Months ticked by, and I couldn’t decide what to do with the ticket. I had poor health and no great motivation to go anywhere, especially because it seemed that all the Continental flights from DC to anywhere had to first make a jig-jag through Newark, New Jersey. Not a big deal, but it irritated me, as things will when you’re irritable. Meanwhile,  the ticket was nearing expiration. (more…)

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