Raven Oak https://www.ravenoak.net Sci-Fi & Fantasy Author + Artist Wed, 25 Mar 2020 23:49:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://www.ravenoak.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cropped-favicon-raven-512-32x32.jpg Raven Oak https://www.ravenoak.net 32 32 Published on the Moon! https://www.ravenoak.net/the-loss-of-luna/ https://www.ravenoak.net/the-loss-of-luna/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 20:00:02 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/?p=9953 When did it happen?

Our love was something to make the heavens sing, yet I turned around to find myself alone.

The darkness of your absence eclipsed any joy that filled me with light.

When did I stop being beautiful?

When did you stop desiring me?

Love is eternal, or so the poets say, yet somewhere across the years, we fell out of step. Like the gear shifts of a machine, our parts thrown out of sync in a moment.

Was it desperation that drove you into another’s arms, or was it something I did? Perhaps something I didn’t do?

< No. >

Too faint, I ignore the voice in the distance. Its fierceness reminds me of you, you know. Read More...

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I’m being published on the moon! No, really! I am!

So how in the hell did that happen, you ask? Well, Arizona State University is working with NASA on a project called LunaH-Map, which you can read more about here: https://lunahmap.asu.edu/

The head of the team is Dr. Craig Hardgrove, who is a long time and huge fan of the Destiny video game series that my husband works on. Because of this, he invited Bungie (the company that makes Destiny) to create a sort of time capsule via an SD card that will travel to the moon on the LunaH-Map spacecraft. There it will sit until aliens or whatever else find it and check it out.

As part of this, I was invited to write a story for the time capsule.
I wrote an LGBTQ+ love story between the Earth and the Moon, which I will be sharing momentarily! Because this does legally count as publication, I can now say I am the author of one of the first LGBTQ+ stories ever published on the moon. <3

So without further ado, here is the flash story I wrote (about 775 words) entitled “The Loss of Luna.”

Apollo 11 image

Public Domain Image from NASA’s Apollo 11 mission.

The Loss of Luna

Copyright © 2020 by Raven Oak. Reprint soon to be published on the moon.

 

When did it happen?

Our love was something to make the heavens sing, yet I turned around to find myself alone.

The darkness of your absence eclipsed any joy that filled me with light.

When did I stop being beautiful?

When did you stop desiring me?

Love is eternal, or so the poets say, yet somewhere across the years, we fell out of step. Like the gear shifts of a machine, our parts thrown out of sync in a moment.

Was it desperation that drove you into another’s arms, or was it something I did? Perhaps something I didn’t do?

< No. >

Too faint, I ignore the voice in the distance. Its fierceness reminds me of you, you know.

Used to be I turned my head, and there you were, unable to wrest your eyes from me. My curves enveloped you, all of you. In my light, you couldn’t help yourself. You were wild as you danced within my glow, and my tides washed over your shores.

When did your focus drift away?

No longer am I your pale goddess. Your gaze follows the redhead beyond me. That dusty, rich bride of stories old and new. Swallowed by her sands, you reach out, leaving smears of red in your trail towards the colorful universe beyond, and I remain.

Alone.

< Not alone. >

But I am. My lovers have left me.

< I’ve never looked the other way. >

I turn toward my pale blue dot. Is it you who speaks? You who chases the light and never catches it?

< Yes. >

My cheeks flush a pale blue. How long have you been listening to me?

< I have always listened. You are a piece of me that I have always sought and never reached. My face has followed your every turn, and as your waves crash upon my shores, you wash over me. You give me life. How could I not notice you, my moon? >

They once said the same. Your inhabitants. They worshipped me and held me in their smiles. They loved me and held me in their dreams until they set upon me. My dimples, hard and frozen, were not the smooth folds they sought. No moist embrace awaited them, so they left me, my pale blue friend. How do I know you won’t leave me as well?

< You are a piece of my flesh. I’ve held you tight in my embrace for over four gigaannum. My inhabitants are fickle beings, babies who crawl across me like a devouring plague as they suck on my teats with sharp teeth. But you, your beauty revolves around me like my own devoted satellite. How could I not love you, my moon? >

My tears freeze as they leak from me. I wasn’t always cold. Fires burned in me once as they burn in you still. You say you love me, but you’re too late. I am broken and alone.

< SELENE. >

I have no breath to catch in my chest, yet the universe pauses for a minute as she names me, a name I’ve not heard spoken in many millennia.

< My Luna, do you remember when I named you, my Selene?>

Something inside of me trembles. Who are you to have named me?

< I am Earth, one in a sea of many, yet it is me who loves you. Together we spin across time and space, yet my inhabitants swayed you for a heartbeat. >

Wait, it was me who wandered? I thought myself in love with… but it was you that I loved? It was you that I lost. I carved the ravine that lies between us. What have I done?

< You were lost in the brilliance of life. So was I for a time. >

Just past my reach, Earth lay below me as she always had, her body having once provided the fire within me and tears that evaporated rather than froze. Once, I was hers.

When I look upon her again, everything fades from my mind except her embrace and the way it keeps us in lock-step rhythm with each other. We move together to a silent song only we can hear, as the stars around us hum.

Her warmth smells of clay and mica and quartz, and her voice tickles my soul once more.

< You are beautiful. You are desired— >

And I am loved. I smile.

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Hidden Magic https://www.ravenoak.net/hidden-magic/ https://www.ravenoak.net/hidden-magic/#respond Sat, 14 Mar 2020 21:24:39 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/?p=9950 It’s Caturday!! Besides being a great day for cats, I have a story in a new anthology called Hidden Magic that came out this week! My story in it, “Amaskan,” features Ida from Amaskan’s Blood. Since it’s Caturday, Malleycat (my Read More...

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It’s Caturday!!

Hidden MagicBesides being a great day for cats, I have a story in a new anthology called Hidden Magic that came out this week! My story in it, “Amaskan,” features Ida from Amaskan’s Blood. Since it’s Caturday, Malleycat (my cat) says:

Find some Hidden Magic within yourself while reading this anthology today!

If you can’t buy it or already did, please consider sharing this anthology with others who love reading fantasy and urban fantasy. This anthology has it all: epic fantasy, sword & sorcery, urban fantasy, magical realism, paranormal romance, etc. This anthology is a connected anthology trilogy, meaning my story “Amaskan” will be connected to “A Pretty Poison” in Wayward Magic (Book II) and to “Honor After All” in Forgotten Magic (Book III).

All of your authors, artists, and creators are suffering right now with all our conventions and events cancelled due to CoVid-19. Perhaps you can find a little hidden magic in these dark times.

Buy it now

Malley says read Hidden Magic

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Renton City Comic Con! https://www.ravenoak.net/renton-city-comic-con/ https://www.ravenoak.net/renton-city-comic-con/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2019 23:38:31 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8889 I’ll be vending at the 5th annual Renton City Comic Con at Renton Technical College in Renton, WA this weekend with Books & Chains! Come on out and see the new books and new artwork by me, plus all of Read More...

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I’ll be vending at the 5th annual Renton City Comic Con at Renton Technical College in Renton, WA this weekend with Books & Chains!

Renton City Comic Con

Come on out and see the new books and new artwork by me, plus all of Elise’s awesome chainmaille jewelry!

Details can be found at: https://rentoncitycomiccon.com

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Another Award https://www.ravenoak.net/another-award/ https://www.ravenoak.net/another-award/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2019 22:40:20 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8885 Amaskan’s Blood‘s won another award, the Readers’ Favorites Award for YA Epic Fantasy. I’m happy that the first in the series is still getting so much love. <3 The title was also reviewed and said, “This is a novel for Read More...

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Award Medal
Good news, everyone!

Amaskan’s Blood‘s won another award, the Readers’ Favorites Award for YA Epic Fantasy.

I’m happy that the first in the series is still getting so much love. <3

The title was also reviewed and said, “This is a novel for readers who enjoy plots filled with twists and intrigue and characters that are emotionally on edge, multidimensional, and solidly developed…. It is cinematic and outright entertaining.” You can read the full review here: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/amaskans-blood

They also reviewed Amaskan’s War and said: “The dialogue is authentic, the world is exquisitely depicted, and Margaret herself blossoms into a powerhouse before our very eyes. If there is such a thing as a “sloggy middle” when it comes to a series, it appears nobody told Raven Oak that.” You can read the full review here:
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/amaskans-war

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PAX Schedule https://www.ravenoak.net/pax-schedule/ https://www.ravenoak.net/pax-schedule/#respond Fri, 12 Jul 2019 22:39:26 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8791 If you’re heading to PAX West in Seattle this upcoming Labor Day weekend, I’m going to be a special guest / panelist there! You can see my schedule below: SATURDAY–AUG 31 @ 4:30 PM: WRITE-LIFE BALANCE Mixing a passion for Read More...

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If you’re heading to PAX West in Seattle this upcoming Labor Day weekend, I’m going to be a special guest / panelist there! You can see my schedule below:

SATURDAY–AUG 31 @ 4:30 PM: WRITE-LIFE BALANCE

Mixing a passion for games with a passion for creativity is no new concept, but it is still a challenging road to navigate. How can you find time to explore your personal passions while maintaining a career AND still find time for things like gaming with friends, dating, and taking care of family? These writers will discuss their struggles and coping mechanisms for maintaining balance in their careers, following their passion projects, and somehow cultivating sanity in the rest of their adult lives.

Panelists include: Tifa Robles [Product Marketing Manager, Xbox], Jessica Ross [Lead Editor, Bitch Team Alpha], Kristina Horner [Partner Manager, Microsoft], Liz Leo [Creative Producer, Wizards of the Coast], Raven Oak [Author, Raven Oak]

 Panel in the Sandworm Theatre (Sheraton Hotel)

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Locus Awards https://www.ravenoak.net/locus-awards-3/ https://www.ravenoak.net/locus-awards-3/#respond Fri, 28 Jun 2019 19:40:11 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8716 Just a reminder that if you’re attending the Locus Awards tomorrow, I’ll be signing at 12:30 PM, along with other awesome SF/F authors like: Greg Bear, TJ Berry, Curtis C. Chen, Tina Connolly, Elton Elliott, Amal El-Mohtar, Daryl Gregory, Eileen Read More...

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Just a reminder that if you’re attending the Locus Awards tomorrow, I’ll be signing at 12:30 PM, along with other awesome SF/F authors like: Greg Bear, TJ Berry, Curtis C. Chen, Tina Connolly, Elton Elliott, Amal El-Mohtar, Daryl Gregory, Eileen Gunn, Jason Heller, Mary Robinette Kowal, Robert McCammon, Mary Anne Mohanraj, C.L. Polk, Adam Rakunas, Nisi Shawl, Jasmine Silvera, Molly Tanzer, Bruce Taylor, Tiffany Trent, and Connie Willis.

The University Bookstore will have copies of my books as well as the new anthology–Swords, Sorcery, & Self-Rescuing Damsels.

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Summer Con at the Fairgrounds! https://www.ravenoak.net/summer-con-at-the-fairgrounds/ https://www.ravenoak.net/summer-con-at-the-fairgrounds/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2019 22:43:52 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8604 I’ll be with Books & Chains this weekend at the Washington State Summer Con in Puyallup, WA at the Fairgrounds, June 15-16! We’ll be at Booth #284 in the Showplex, so come say hello!

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I’ll be with Books & Chains this weekend at the Washington State Summer Con in Puyallup, WA at the Fairgrounds, June 15-16!

We’ll be at Booth #284 in the Showplex, so come say hello!

Map of Showplex
Click on map to view larger.

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Last Cities of Earth https://www.ravenoak.net/last-cities-of-earth-2/ https://www.ravenoak.net/last-cities-of-earth-2/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 00:09:41 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8551 If you remember, last year I was part of a potential anthology entitled The Last Cities of Earth. While an amazing project based on the art and concepts by Jeff Sturgeon, its Kickstarter didn’t make last year. This year, the Read More...

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If you remember, last year I was part of a potential anthology entitled The Last Cities of Earth. While an amazing project based on the art and concepts by Jeff Sturgeon, its Kickstarter didn’t make last year.

This year, the project is back and reorganized and best of all–the Kickstarter has funded! In the first 24 hours no less!

I will have a story in the anthology, alongside Kevin J. Anderson, Brenda Cooper, David Gerrold, Mike Resnick, Andrea Stewart, Jody Lynn Nye, Steve Perry, J.A. Pitts, Cat Rambo, Peter J. Wacks, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Steven Lee Sears, and Todd Lockwood, with editing by Manny Frishberg and Jennifer Brozek.

I would LOVE if you could help us out and back it or even spread the word about the Kickstarter. You can find out more about the project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/182358062/the-last-cities-of-earth

Last Cities of Earth

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Chenata Update https://www.ravenoak.net/chenata-update/ https://www.ravenoak.net/chenata-update/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 17:23:25 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8555 If you saw my post several weeks back about my new dragon, Chenata, you saw him in his unfinished state. This past Sunday, I went into Two Birds Tattoo for round two and had him finished up. You all–Suzy is Read More...

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If you saw my post several weeks back about my new dragon, Chenata, you saw him in his unfinished state. This past Sunday, I went into Two Birds Tattoo for round two and had him finished up. You all–Suzy is amazing. The level of detail work on Chenata is amazing, so I had to share.

Chenata, my dragon
Click to see Chenata larger.

He makes an amazing companion. <3

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“Eat a Salad” https://www.ravenoak.net/eat-a-salad/ https://www.ravenoak.net/eat-a-salad/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 00:01:42 +0000 https://www.ravenoak.net/makeover/?p=8502 Eat a Salad, aka Dear Non-Fat People of the World, CW: eating disorders, discrimination, fat-phobia If you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame, you’ll get the above reference (“eat a salad”) and by the end of this post, you’ll hopefully get why it bothered Read More...

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Eat a Salad, aka Dear Non-Fat People of the World,

CW: eating disorders, discrimination, fat-phobia

If you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame, you’ll get the above reference (“eat a salad”) and by the end of this post, you’ll hopefully get why it bothered so many people. But that isn’t what this post is about–not really.

While I’m going to be blunt and honest in this post about some issues I’ve had throughout my life, I want to start off by saying that this is not a post to thin-shame or make people feel badly about being healthy. I no more want to do that then I would wish to fat-shame someone, trust me. Nor am I saying that being overweight is synonymous with being healthy. There are unhealthy, thin people and healthy, overweight people. Health is complicated. That being said, this is a letter to those who haven’t walked this world and this life as a fat person in hopes that I can erase some of the fat-phobia of society.

Prejudice isn’t anything new to this world, but there’s one form of prejudice that spreads across skin color, sexuality, gender, and nationality–people’s disdain for fat people. For reasons beyond my understanding, one of the worst things you can ever be is fat. We’re hired less often, promoted less often, paid less, and worse, we’re believed less by everyone from our family members to our doctors. What’s worse is that this fat discrimination is considered socially acceptable.

I’m fat. It’s not news to me. I didn’t wake up one morning with this revelation, as it’s something I’ve dealt with for as many years as I’ve dealt with pain. Maybe longer. I’d like to say it began with a serious knee injury in middle school that crippled me for a time, but my genetics says it began before that as I’ve never been average weight.

Me, age 5
Me, age five.

There’s nothing wrong with the photo above, yet family and friends referred to me as “chunky.” Being called chunky at five isn’t healthy for anyone, and it certainly wasn’t for me. When puberty hit, my father’s way of dealing with my newfound curves was to make me run laps around our apartment building before I could come inside for the evening. As if running would somehow undo puberty’s affects on my body. Instead, I learned to abhor running. (Still do!) Growing up, I was constantly reminded that I didn’t want to “grow up to look like [my] grandma,” because she was overweight and that was the worst thing I could be.

My grandmother
My late grandmother and me (age 3)

This fear of fat permeates everything in our culture, and it gives people unrealistic expectations about their bodies and whether those bodies are worthy of love. When my grandmother died, she hated her body. She died feeling like a useless burden to everyone around her. She suffered when her husband died, and it never once dawned on her that she might find love again because who could love a fat woman? These are the lessons that I learned growing up, which is part of the reason why when I look at the picture below from Halloween, I’m not surprised that child me chose to wear a skirt. After all, it hid my thighs and belly better. (Never mind that a ten-year-old shouldn’t be worrying about this.) Even then, weight was a constant mental companion.

Me, age 10
Me at Halloween, age ten

My first experiences with fat-phobia in the medical field came during middle school–that injury I mentioned earlier. In 7th grade, someone pushed me down the stairs at school. My right knee-cap bounced down metal-capped steps for two flights before I came to a stop. The doctor provided to us by our crappy-HMO plan explained that my continued knee pain post-fall was because I was overweight. He said if I lost weight, my knee wouldn’t hurt anymore, because even at thirteen, being overweight was the reason for every plague I ever had and ever would have. The second opinion doctor called them “growing pains” and wrote me off as well.

Me, age 14
Me, age fourteen

By high school, we’d moved and thus, had better insurance. My knee was a hot mess, which set my body up to move wrong. Everything I did was in reaction to pain and hyper-mobile joints. (I’d later learn these were due to auto-immune disorders.) This new doctor agreed that something was wrong, and I was sent to surgery to fix it. Most of my cartilage was damaged or gone, knocked out of place by the fall and continued physical activity post-fall. In many places, I was bone on bone. My pain finally had a reason that made sense.

My mom and me, age fifteen

I spent most of high school like most teenaged young women–unhappy within my own skin. In fact, I spent most of my senior year struggling with anorexia. Every judgement about what I ate and utterance of fat-shaming words made me desperate to fit in with my peers. It wasn’t until long after my husband and I began dating that I conquered my eating disorder. It was many years after that that I learned to accept my body.

Despite a husband who loved me, doubts about myself crept into the oddest places in my life. Every job I ever interviewed for, I second guessed myself during the interviews. Would they hire me, or would they assume I couldn’t do the job because I didn’t fit their ideal of how a woman should look? Just visiting the doctor’s office was a chore. I had to fight for a flu test because the doctor wanted to refer me to a nutritionist to “help me lose weight” instead of treating the actual reason for my visit. I could be running a 103-degree fever, and the doctor would want to talk about my home exercise program. Back when I taught, students would leave me notes telling me how amazing I was as a teacher…but I’d be even more amazing if I were thin. If you ask any overweight person you know about this, they can tell you horror stories–especially women.

Me, Circa 2009
Teacher Me, Circa 2009

People think they mean well when they ask if you’ve recently lost weight or want to tell you about the new diet fad that worked for them, despite overwhelming evidence that diets don’t work. People also mean well when they tell people with depression to just “go for a walk outside” or when they tell folks with auto-immune disorders to “do yoga” or snort some essential oils. What people don’t realize or think about is how deeply rooted prejudice is in our words and actions. What people don’t do is think about how much “meaning well” costs others–like telling your son to “eat a salad” as a way to deal with his PTSD. As an author, I’m well aware that words have power. I’ve lost people to suicide because of the power of words. Even when we mean well, we have the power to do great harm. As creators, we have an obligation to be cognizant of our true motivations for “meaning well.”

Me, age 9
Me, age eight or nine.

In March, I developed a rather gnarly case of bronchitis after catching a viral crud. Bronchitis is never simple with me, because I have asthma (specifically allergy-induced asthma) and Sjogren’s Syndrome, which can lead to interstitial lung disease among other things. Spring is also the worst season for my allergies, which tend to attack my lungs and make me feel like I’m breathing through too many comforters. When April rolled around and the congestion stuck around, I visited my primary care physician–as most people would.

Knowing my long history with allergies and asthma, and my more recent history with Sjogren’s, my doctor ordered an x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Totally acceptable course of action. My lungs were clean. Rather than refer me to my allergist, she decided to order an echocardiogram. Not an EKG, but an actual, expense echocardiogram.

While I may be fat, I’ve never had a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I’ve been a vegetarian for over twenty years and generally eat healthy. My big sin is Dr. Pepper and chocolate, but other than that, I’m pretty good. I enjoy broccoli too much, but I think that’s okay.

Me, age 16
Me, age sixteen, making an odd face for reasons I don’t remember

I felt like my own doctor was jumping to conclusions, something I’ve dealt with most of my life. When trying to get my auto-immune disorder diagnosed, I lost track of the “specialists” who told me all my symptoms would go away if I lost weight. I lost track of the number who ignored serious symptoms (like the fact that I had a fever for over six months) because I’m fat and female.

I’m not going to list out every instance–we’d be here all year–but with my PCP, I expected better. Still, I’m not a doctor. Sjogren’s can impact the heart and while I’ve never had any symptoms of heart problems, I decided to keep the appointment with the cardiologist just in case. It took insurance a month to approve a “STAT” appointment because they didn’t think it medically necessary, and for once, I agreed with them. Still, they eventually approved it.

The cardiologist looked over the past seven years of my medical records and said, “I honestly don’t know why your doctor sent you here.” He did a standing, sitting, and lying down EKG–all of which were normal. Unlike my PCP, the cardiologist knew enough about Sjogren’s to know about its impact on internal organs, so he suggested we stick to the echocardiogram in order to get a “base line” established. That way, as I progress through the disease, we could ensure we caught anything before it became an issue. He also suggested I get a new primary care physician.

When I asked why, he said he didn’t enjoy speaking ill of colleagues, but he felt my PCP was ordering unnecessary tests due to discrimination rather than an actual worry about my health. You know it’s bad when the cardiologist sees it, folks.

College Years
Slightly blurry image of me from college.

While I knew there was nothing wrong, anxiety is a bitch, folks. It didn’t matter that an echocardiogram is nothing more than a super-fancy ultrasound. I was fighting a panic attack the entire way through the day. It didn’t help that I had to go to a major hospital and walk into a cardiac unit to get the procedure.

Everyone in the waiting room was a good 20+ years older than me. They stared at me the entire time I waited for my name to be called, probably wondering what I had done at so young an age to be there. Or maybe they didn’t have to wonder. Maybe they just assumed like the rest of the world that because I’m fat, I’m a walking disaster. It’s taken a long time for me to love myself, especially post-auto-immune diagnosis, but this one moment threatened to undo all of that.

It was mortifying to sit there beneath their judgement, like there was something horrifically wrong with me.

Watching my heart beat on the screen was amazing, I’m not going to lie. Seeing it pump blood to the rest of my body…it’s something we take for granted. The technician and nurse both tried to make it a learning experience for me since they could see my panic. For example, I learned quite a bit about what Hollywood gets wrong in regards to a pulmonary embolism. During an echo, they pump tiny air bubbles into your heart, which worried me until they explained the science. But not even science couldn’t keep me completely calm and once done, I retreated to my car where I burst into tears.

The entire procedure took two hours–straight through lunch–and as I sat in my car, I realized I didn’t want to eat. The idea of food was embarrassing and felt…wrong. It wasn’t until I was half-way home that I realized why. This one moment made it easy to slip into an unhealthy style of thinking. People rarely tell you that eating disorders never truly go away. Like an addict, it’s a one-day-at-a-time type ordeal, and many find it easy to relapse.

Me, college
Me again, late college years

It’s not something I bring up often, but the truth of it is it’s a battle I fight more often than I realize. It’s easy to stand in a room full of strangers as a fat woman and subconsciously choose not to eat, despite being hungry, for fear of judgement. Worst part is, many people probably think skipping a meal is good for a fat person, but it isn’t. Starving yourself plays havoc with the metabolism and messes with the body’s ability to be healthy. It makes it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it.

My new cardiologist didn’t wait long to call me with the results. In fact, I’d barely walked in the door at home when my phone rang. My heart?

Perfect.

No signs of cholesterol issues–no narrowing of arteries or veins. Strong heart muscle and excellent blood flow to the walls. Valves excellent. Everything about my echocardiogram was perfect. As we expected. My former-primary care physician had ordered a $3000 test for absolutely no other reason than I’m fat.

I can hear some of you grumbling though. I mean, fat people carry an increased risk for heart disease, so isn’t it proactive of her to have done this test? The problem is I had no other indications. None. Insurance will receive the results and use that as an example of yet another doctor ordering an unnecessary and expensive test. They’ll use it as leverage of why they should be the ones deciding what is medically necessary instead of my doctors.

That right there is how we end up with people with cancer not getting diagnosed early enough because insurance didn’t want to pay for the tests or countless other issues that have sprung up as a result of for-profit health care. But that’s another post…

So known issues aside, I’m healthy and my heart is, too. It took me two days to recover anxiety wise, which of course sent my Sjogren’s into a flare up due to stress levels, but I’m bouncing back. I have a wonderful support system via my husband and friends. <3

Even though I’ve left my former PCP behind, how many others will she harm? Folks who might not have the support network that I do? It’s not just her, and it’s not just doctors. Society believes fat people are better left hidden in the shadows–better unseen and unheard.

To those that aren’t fat, please, please examine your own prejudices. Before you “mean well,” think about your motivations. To everyone, be an advocate for your health. You know your body better than anyone else. You might not be a doctor, but you live with yourself every day.

On that note, I make this vow to the world:

I will not be silent, nor will not hide myself from view.
I will not allow society to dictate my health decisions, and I will advocate for better healthcare.

And no, I won’t go eat a salad…unless I want one.

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