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A young woman struggles with oxy addiction and recovery. When her mom came to pick her up for drug court that morning, Stacy Nicholson was still high. She staggered to the door, fumbled with the bungee cord that kept it closed, blinked back the sunlight. "You ready? " asked her mom. Stacy and two of her cousins had been holed up for months in this rundown house, shooting crushed-up pain pills. Used syringes littered an end table. Stacy's mom had kept telling her: Someone in this house is going to die. Stacy, then 28, knew she was right.

"Okay," Stacy said. She twisted her long, honey-colored hair into a knot. She wanted to be sure she would have a change of underwear in jail. COURTROOM 10 WAS PACKED when Stacy and her mom, Sherry Alkire, slid into the back row. More than 100 women, most 20 to 40 years old, filled the wooden benches.

Just before 9 a.m., a thin, chestnut-haired woman in a black robe strode through the back door. The judge raised her arms and smiled. Soon the judge called Stacy's name. For a while, Stacy had tried. "I love you! " Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala. Oscar Alfredo Ramírez Castañeda had plenty to lose. Although he was living in the United States illegally, the 31-year-old had built a solid life. He worked two full-time jobs to support his three children and their mother, Nidia.

They had settled in a small but cheerful townhouse in Framingham, Mass., a blue-collar suburb of Boston. Oscar usually did his best to avoid contact with the authorities. Days later, Oscar sat at his computer in a living room full of toys, school trophies, family photos, a crucifix and souvenirs of his native land. Oscar's green eyes scanned the screen. "You don't know me," it began. The prosecutor said she was investigating a savage episode of the war, a case that had deeply affected her. Two small boys who survived were taken away by the commandos. "I know that you were much loved and well treated by the family in which you grew up," the prosecutor wrote.

By now, Nidia was reading over his shoulder. "This is a decision you must make," she wrote. "Malditos! " Navigating Love and Autism. What I never told anyone about her death - Mortifying Disclosures. Dead bodies do get a grayish blue/purple hue because blood pools in the capillaries and the body starts to decompose. It’s not smurf blue, but it’s not a pleasant shade. The ultrasound technician moves her transducer over my almost six-month-pregnant belly, sliding easily across the thick gel she’s spread there. The gel works as a conductor for the sound waves the transducer is producing in my uterus. Think of bats, a friend told me before the procedure. It’s the same kind of sonar. But as those sound waves bounce off bone and tissue and a black-and-white image of my baby appears on the screen, I cannot think of bats.

“Do you want to know the sex?” We’ve already agreed that we do want to know, even though I am already confident this baby is a girl. I am not surprised, but I am elated. My hands cradle my stomach. Hello, Grace, I say silently, certain she can hear me. When a person dies the body will begin to decay immediately. “OK,” I relented. Grace closed the lid on the blueberries. Pregnant in Putin's Russia - By Natalia Antonova. MOSCOW — "Russia needs babies" may as well be the unofficial slogan of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia Party.

The country is in a demographic crisis, shedding 2.2 million people (or 1.6 percent of the population) since 2002, and the government is trying to encourage more women to bring Russian citizens into the world. This year, when I unexpectedly got pregnant soon after receiving my visa to work in Moscow, I became a test case. Since the Soviet days, having a baby in Russia has been commonly understood as a nightmare of understaffed state hospitals and forbidding bureaucratic mazes.

Feminist author MariaArbatova's My Name Is Woman, an alternatively harrowing and hilarious account of childbirth in the 1970s, was the grim reality for many. Arbatova described being left completely unattended during the final stages of labor, which nearly resulted in her death and the death of her twin sons. The fall of the Soviet Union did not improve matters. Dr. "Blood! "Here! " Abortion saved my life. There’s this lawmaker out of Kansas, Rep. Peter DeGraaf, who has a lot to say about abortion. He’s currently best known for saying that women should plan ahead in case of rape and not expect their regular insurance to cover an abortion after an assault. And I could spend a lot of time discussing the flaws in his logic, or even hashing out when life begins, but what I’m really concerned about is the idea that anyone besides a pregnant woman should have a say in what she does with her body after finding out she’s pregnant. I’m a mom, and I love my sons more than anything.

And it is because I love them that I had an abortion at 20 weeks. It was my fifth pregnancy (I’d had two earlier miscarriages), and, as it turned out, my last. I was taking an afternoon nap when the hemorrhaging started while my toddler napped in his room when I woke up to find blood gushing upward from my body. Later I found out that the doctor had taken my husband aside as they brought me into surgery.

My stillborn child’s life after death. The official pronouncement of Thor’s death came an hour after his delivery, but I’d known he was dead since he’d come out without a pulse. If they’d been able to resuscitate him, someone would have told me. The hospital staff said we could have him for half an hour. Once upon a time, stillborn babies were whisked away and the mothers didn’t see them. But now hospitals let parents hold their stillborn babies, so they can say goodbye. No one seems to understand that first they have to say hello.

This is the story of how I said hello to my stillborn son. I’d fantasized about having another kid since my son Josh was in preschool. It was Josh, 16 years old by the time I got pregnant and a crazily imaginative artist, who’d given Thor his silly fetal name. And so, the morning after I delivered Thor, Glenn and I ate a wordless breakfast and drove to the funeral home. Mike, the home’s director, sat us down at a walnut-stained table and let out a sigh. I shrugged. Mike nodded. I gaped at him. The child I lost. I became an adult at the age of 38 when I held my dead daughter in my arms. Until that moment my husband and I had led a breezy sort of life, taking nothing terribly seriously. We moved to New York, had two children in swift succession and raised them in a loving if chaotic household where nothing was so bad it couldn't be laughed off with a shrug, a bad joke or a fatalistic, "Oh well, it'll work out next time.

" Then, a year ago, 35 weeks into my third pregnancy, my daughter died, and there were no jokes to be made. Many weeks after her c-section delivery, long after I had held her, and wept, and clutched the memorial box the hospital made for her with her footprints and her bloodstained blanket and the tiny hat, and wept more, I sat in my doctor's office and heard there was nothing wrong with Iris. It seemed somehow fitting that she had died in January. Yet it's hard to grieve when you have small children. My son, at 18 months, was oblivious to what was going on.

I still wanted Iris. Nadya Labi Reports on William Melchert-Dinkel's Suicide Chatroom Case: Newsmakers. Update, March 20, 2014 Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision, ruling that the language in the state's assisted-suicide law is unconstitutional. Update, March 16, 2011: Back in October, GQ correspondent Nadya Labi took us into the shadowy cyber-world of "Li Dao," a seemingly sweet nurse doling out advice in suicide chat rooms on how to best end one's life.

With the investigative sleuthing of a few people from all over the world, that nurse—who turned out to be a middle-aged man named William Melchert-Dinkel—was charged with assisting in two suicides. Yesterday, a Minnesota judge found Melchert-Dinkel guilty on two counts of assisting the suicides of 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji and 32-year-old Mark Drybrough. "Check Your E-mail" The three innocuous words seemed to offer Mark Drybrough the relief he sought. But after a year, the girl came down with a viral infection and then Mark did, and he never really recovered. Li Dao knew. "She told you that, too? " The diagnosis. I have breast cancer. A week ago, I had breast cancer, and the week before that, and the week before that.

Maybe five, eight, even ten years ago, the first bad cell split inside me, secretly. But I didn't know. This is how I arrived at knowing. Two friends of mine were recently diagnosed. When news of the first came, I felt sadness. When news of the second came a few weeks ago, I felt a different kind of shock. Around the same time, I'd became aware of a funny stiffness in a spot on my own body. I called my insurance company for a clinic referral, then dialed a few places on a list the guy in their Indian call center emailed.

I live online as much as I live offline. The women at the front desk were kind and welcoming. The mammogram technologist saw on my chart that I'd lost a loved one to ALS. I tweeted the waiting. The waiting-moment stretched out, and out, and out, and finally she returned. Where was that thing you felt that isn't anything, she asked? Here, I showed her. Dr. I Committed Murder. The Plano Suicides | Online Only. Photo by Mr Thomas. My mother has a theory about the ideal mode of Texan architecture: When you live in a place like Florida, it’s all about having views of the sea. When you live in Colorado, it’s all about looking out at the mountains. But, in Texas, what you want most is a house with a view of all that blue, blue sunny sky.

My family’s house, a slight variation on essentially the same blueprint for the tens of thousands of McMansions of Plano, Texas, is an expression of my mother’s sunny aesthetic: the second floor is mostly confined to the periphery, allowing space for the fifteen-foot windows that fill the rooms with relentlessly cheery light. The sun! I think I must have a photosynthetic nature. It was my seventeenth birthday, in February of 1999, and I was driving home from school. The sky out my windshield was faultless, another bright day of a winter drought.

School usually let out at 4:15 pm, but on that day I was driving home, and it wasn’t yet noon. Suicide is contagious. Tyler Clementi’s Suicide and Dharun Ravi’s Trial. Dharun Ravi grew up in Plainsboro, New Jersey, in a large, modern house with wide expanses of wood flooring and a swimming pool out back. Assertive and athletic, he used “DHARUNISAWESOME” as a computer password and played on an Ultimate Frisbee team. At the time of his high-school graduation, in 2010, his parents bought space in the West Windsor and Plainsboro High School North yearbook. “Dear Dharun, It has been a pleasure watching you grow into a caring and responsible person,” the announcement said. “You are a wonderful son and brother. . . . Keep up your good work. Hold on to your dreams and always strive to achieve your goals. One day this fall, Ravi was in a courthouse in New Brunswick, fifteen miles to the north, awaiting a pre-trial hearing.

His father, Ravi Pazhani, a slight man with metal-frame glasses, sat behind him. Enraged online commentary called for life imprisonment for Ravi and Wei, and Ravi’s home address and phone number were published on Twitter. In your sleep: 'If you have to die, this is a great way to go' It was the phrase "died peacefully in his sleep" that made me hesitate. Only a few hours had passed since my 88-year-old father failed to wake on the morning of April 23. He was a stickler for accuracy, and not much on euphemisms, so I paused when writing that in his obituary.

As a journalist, I try to avoid any details I can't verify. Did he die peacefully? Could he have awakened in terror the moment before? This single task my family doled out to me was in danger of making me miss my flight. "Was preceded in death by... " "Survivors include... " And, yes, "died peacefully in his sleep. " So I went with the cliches, every one of them, journalism be damned.

In the weeks to follow, though, I found myself returning to my initial pause, partly because of this question from friends: "What did he die of? " My answer-that-wasn't-an-answer - "He died in his sleep" - was usually followed by this response: "That's the way to go. " Is it? What is it you die of when you don't wake up in the morning? Her age? Insomnia | Online Only. Photo by Random Letters. Perhaps because I was born in the middle of the night I never have really associated the hours of darkness with wasting my time in sleep – more with being up and about and ready, I sometimes think much more ready than I manage to be in the day.

Insomnia started early for me, but it wasn’t about not sleeping, it was about being full of other things, being too delighted to let go and drop away. I’m told that when I was little I would go to bed quite obediently, but then for a while I would sing – small person in under blankets and singing, happy to elongate the day and perhaps fond of music, I suppose, I’m not sure. I had no work to engage me, no social calendar, no pressing concerns, I only wanted to be me, with my own restless skin, just following along behind my thinking. This was around the time when I can recall my parents tucking me in and then edging out of my room with, ‘I’ll just leave the door open a bit, so it won’t be dark.’

How Doctors Die « Zócalo Public Square. By Ken Murray| Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds–from 5 percent to 15 percent–albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. Of course, doctors don’t want to die; they want to live. Almost all medical professionals have seen what we call “futile care” being performed on people.

To administer medical care that makes people suffer is anguishing. How has it come to this–that doctors administer so much care that they wouldn’t want for themselves? To see how patients play a role, imagine a scenario in which someone has lost consciousness and been admitted to an emergency room. The above scenario is a common one. Things I have learnt from and about IVF. Encouraged by Belle & Tedra’s recent posts, and just loving Jim Henley’s recent comment: “I’d just like to say that all the ladyblogging about ladyparts and ladyissues only of interest to ladies around here lately has been awesome. I’m learning a lot from it”; I’m going to share some observations as I near the end of my third round of IVF.Embryos are not babies You might think someone so eager to have children as to undergo months of difficult and expensive treatment would have a hard-core view on embryos and babies.

You’d be right. Twice now, I’ve had two embryos placed in my uterus. Despite what we went through to create these embryos, I am left with the cold conviction that they were opening gambits, and no more. I believe more firmly now that an embryo is a step along the way to becoming a human, but it’s not a human. During IVF, women have frequent trans-vaginal ultrasounds to see how their ovarian follicles are developing and to measure the lining of the uterus. ***P.P.S. Lisa Chase Parenting Advice: My Father’s Magical Parenting. Issue 3: Sex & Death - Orphans. Now That Books Mean Nothing. Dog Crazy. A Message from Prison. My dungeon shook. To My Old Master. The Throwaways. Will’s Choice | BU Today. The Art of the Obituary. My Kasual Kountry Weekend With the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. What goes on in the mind of a sniper?

Not an Ike and Tina Thing | Vela. Interview With My Bully: When I confronted my bully about racism. The Long Goodbye - Features. Sick and Tired - February 8, 2012. How a routine jab sent me so mad I sobbed (and saluted) through the Royal Wedding - then became convinced I was the Messiah... Gray Area. Daddy Issues - Magazine. My Mother, My Daughter. My So-Called Ex-Gay Life. Pain Is A Gift, And Other Notes From A Terrified Father During A Seven-Week-Premature Birth. Twenty Citizens' Worth Of Blood Flowed Through Him: A Medic Confronts The Open Wounds Of Afghanistan. Fresno. Susan Gubar's Closing Chapters - Faculty.