I've been considering a few name changes. I've actually been thinking about it for a long time. The one that you would see would be here on The Pink Tee Shirt is actually two name changes.
When I started blogging in 1998 My blog was named emiliasdance, and it was housed at Opendiary. That was back in the dark ages of social media when everyone was supposed to be anonymous and come up with pseudonyms. My pseudonym was and still is emmy. It was also before I became a professional patient. It wasn't an e-patient blog at all. The main reason to write the blog and the main subject was the very messy and hurtful divorce that I was going through. I was very angry, and understandably in a major depressive state. I couldn't express my anger around my children and withholding it was adding to the depression. I have always dealt with my depression by keeping a journal, so I was excited that I could do it anonymously in a place where even if my children were bloggers on that same site (and they weren't) it was highly unlikely that they would rat out my blog. They never did find it.
I continued writing that blog, but the subject changed dramatically over the seven years that I blogged there. After my divorce, it became about losing my home and then about my son joining the Army and participating in the invasion of Iraq.
Two years after starting the blog I was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, and those were some of my first e-patient posts. At the time I hadn't discovered medical blogs. It never occurred to me that doctors and nurses would ever take the time to blog. I always thought that they were way too busy to waste time like that. It equally didn't occur to me that a vast number of other patients were also using online journals to express their experiences, or that those blogs could be empowering to other patients with the same conditions. I just needed a space to record what was happening with me.
In 2004 I was diagnosed with my second chronic and life threatening condition. Just two months after my son came home from Iraq the first time I was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer. Unlike my experience with LQTS my posts became almost exclusively about Breast Cancer. With 8 months of treatment, there just is a lot more to write about than with the 2 appointments that I had with LQTS. With that I think I actually did become an e-patient.
In the almost 8 years since my diagnosis with cancer I have added 16 more separate diagnoses to my list. Most of them are just pains, like Lymphedema and Reynauds. Some of them like Metabolic Syndrome and Pernicious Anemia are OH SH!7! diagnoses. And now I write about a host of of conditions. For that reason I
As part of this name change, I want to come out of the closet and use my own name. I originally chose emiliasdance and the nick name emmy because of the need for anonymity. When I was a child my imaginary friends were fairies named Emilia, Adrianna and Chloe (yes, I was a strange child). I don't know where a 4 year old would come up with names like that. It is possible that they were suggested by one of my older sisters or even my grandmother. She named my mother Miriam Jeaninne. I named my children Tim, Matt and Mollie. But in my 4 year old imaginary world Emilia was the spokesperson for the group so I became emmy on my blogs. The thing is now most bloggers do so by their real name. And it does seem like a cowardice to hide behind a pseudonym. I dislike how people hide behind anonymous to leave nasty comments on other people's blogs. It is time to own up to my own name. From now on, I will just be Lisa, which is my birth name. It is less recognizable when leaving a comment because half the female population seems to be named Lisa. But it is what it is.
The other name change that I am considering is my last name. When I divorced in 2001 (yes, it took me three years to finally get divorced. It was a really messy divorce) I wanted to change my name back to my maiden name. I had always regretted having taken my ex-husband's name. It felt like I gave up my identity. My maiden name is an ancient name. I can trace it back to the 1100's. My father was a direct descendant back into the dark ages. My ancestors were written about by Shakespeare. And I had given that up. Also, I got the feeling that my dad was hurt when I kept my middle name and didn't adopt his name as my middle name. When I divorced I didn't change it back because I had a young daughter and my sons were already angry about being rejected by their father. I didn't want them to see it as me rejecting them also. Then when I was told that I had cancer my biggest anger was that I was going to die with the name of the man who rejected and betrayed me. The effort to change my name at that time with all the challenges that I was facing health wise seemed overwhelming so I just kept my married name. Now I'm ready to just be me. I want my name back. I'm getting a big hefty tax refund back from both the state and federal government this year thanks to my daughter's educational endeavors, so I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I have been called by my married name for all of my adult life, almost twice as long as I was called by my maiden name, yet it feels so right to be me again. Maybe a rose isn't a rose by any other name.
Warning! If you have a strong gag reflex or a weak stomach, stop reading here. The second post will gross you out.
The Grunge that Goes Around, Comes Around
To say that work this week has been a challenge is to say the least. An urgent communications crisis and a department meeting in one week should never happen. But that it did saved my rear. The intestinal stomach grunge pukefest has hit the communications department hard this week. It started on Monday when the manager that I gave up animosity toward for lent last year called in sick. This was a first for him. He works 80 to 90 hours a week so as to not have to go home to his family. He hired a mini me who is somewhat more tolerable than he is. She also called in sick as well as six other co-workers. OK, well we are a big department. We can handle it, right? Tuesday another 6 people called in sick, including one of the other chronically ill people in our department. She is totally put in danger of death by this grunge so I was getting upset. On Wednesday an urgent communications crisis hit and we were ground zero for the response team while missing 12 players. Fun times, oh yeah! Lent manager emailed me telling me that he was sicker than he has been in years so he thought he wouldn't be in to MC the department meeting on Thursday. OK, well step-in manager and I could handle it because it is pretty much set up now anyway...except, I needed to go into Lent manager's cube to find the Recognition Awards write-up for the meeting. Yuck!!!! Lent manager is the second most disorganized person in the department (yeah, someone else looks like a paper tornado hit her cube. Whatever happened to the idea of a paperless society? It was a good idea). To find the write-ups I had to touch every one of 50 piles of files and paper on his desk...twice! I was so freaked out that I bathed in Lysol wipes when I got back to my cube. Above I have a picture of my dried out hand to prove it. On Thursday we were in day 2 of urgent communications crisis, but I was having a crisis of my own. Lent manager was still out, step-in manager had become deathly ill and called in as well as two of the scheduled presenters. My back was against the wall, and I didn't have the authority to call the meeting off. However, because of the urgent crisis the department VP called the meeting off. Fortunately it was too late to cancel the catering. I became the hero because I could release the department from an unpopular meeting and invite them all to a casual luncheon instead. We all win, right? Best department meeting we've had in the 12 years I've worked for the company.
Friday morning I woke up feeling a bit bloated. Nothing, right? But as the day progressed I developed increasingly severe diarrhea. Yeah, thanks Lent manager. Looks like I'm going to have to give up animosity towards you again this year. What can other chronic manager and I do for you? I have this problem with leaving my phone and my debit card on my tray in the cafeteria. I can't tell you the amount of debit cards and phones that I've had to replace. Anymore, I don't allow myself to place them on my tray. So they went into my back pocket. Nice and safe I would say. I was in the cafeteria for break when the grunge hit me. I left my tray on the table to go to the nearest bathroom. I unloaded the vilest amount of grunge that you can imagine. That was awful enough, but when I stood up my cell phone and my debit card fell out of my pocket and you have already guessed where they landed. My choices were few. I could replace my phone and card at an economic and pride expense or I can reach in and get them out. Deep heavy sigh! I did the latter. Yuck!!!! Oh Gross!!! But did I really have a choice to flush my phone? My debit card? Hey, I gave myself a shot on Wednesday. I'm a tough cookie. Don't believe for a moment that I wasn't grossed out. I took them both to the sink that has warm water and washed both of them with soap. Then, my ex with his glorious penchant for mistiming decided to call...no, there was no way I was going to put that phone near my face. I texted him that I was in a meeting and I would call him back later. Good thing little white lies don't send you to hell, right? Back in my cube I scrubbed both the phone and the card with Lysol wipes and left the battery out of the phone until everything dried out. I still haven't made any calls with that phone. I think it's going to take a few days. However, I was very conscious of the moment when I handed my debit card to the grocery clerk. Shoot, I sure hope I'm not spreading the monster grunge to everyone in Woodstock.
So, anyone want to borrow my cell phone?