Archive for the ‘Random Remedies’ Category

Styes, Chalazions, and Cloves, Oh my! A Holistic Remedy For Your Swollen, Bumpy Eyelid

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

I’m not going to get into definitions of styes and chalazions, but I suffered with a chalazion for about a week until my friend A insisted on whipping up a clove infusion, over my protests that I was handling it just fine. It wasn’t the first time I’d gotten one, and before it had gone away on it’s own. I’d been applying warm washcloths as compresses, but only succeeded in making the skin around my eye raw and sensitive like that worn spot that develops under your snotty nose in winter. At times it seemed to be getting worse.

My friend A was born and raised in Morocco, where she learned this home remedy from her mother. She gave me a single clove to chew on while she worked. She instructed me to soften the tip with my front teeth, and then dab it along my eyelid as I would with an eyeliner. It stung a bit. I don’t think this served any functional purpose except to warm me up for what was to come.

She presented me with a brown liquid in a cup – clove mashed into room-temperature water. She dabbed a bit with her finger and motioned around her entire eyelid and underneath. I did as she said: “Go all around, keep the eye closed.”

The sting crept up slowly and then hit with the force of a jalapeño, but a thousand times worse, because your mouth is used to that sort of thing and your eye ISN’T. I gasped and whined at how much it stung. She insisted I wait. I reached for the wet washcloth on the table in front of me, which elicited another “Please, please! Wait!” She didn’t stop my hand or move the washcloth out of reach. Just this quiet plea followed a promise that the sting would go away. My eye poured tears while we both fanned my face, and I wondered for a culpable moment if there was any reason this woman I’ve known for 6 years, that my daughter looks to like an auntie, would harbor the kind of ill-will that would prompt her to want to blind me. Oh yeah — if you try this at home, DON’T do it alone the first time, or you’re likely to call 911 to report that you may have accidentally blinded yourself. THAT is how much it hurts. Have a fan or AC closeby, the cool air will ease the burning feeling. Keep your eye closed.

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How NOT to pass your pre-employment drug screening

Monday, February 20th, 2017
tie-straighten urine-sample smoking-joint

I consider pre-employment drug-testing to not only be a violation of one’s right to privacy, but an extremely misguided way to judge a candidate’s fitness to do the job. Back in 2002 when I was in my twenties and the economy was in the toilet, I needed a gig badly enough that I was willing to put up with it. These days I would never consider working for an employer moronic enough to insist such a thing, but of course that’s a moral standard afforded with dumb luck and a bit more seniority in job-market. This post is specifically about Marijuana, no other substances.

1. Book it.
Find out as early as you can, and make the appointment as far out as you possibly can. You will need this time to get the THC out of your system, which lingers for 30-45 days.

I was a temp, it was the post-9/11 recession, and one of my staffing agencies finally had something for me at an Investment Bank downtown. A weekend graveyard shift, salaried, across the street from the wreckage that remained of the Twin Towers. Fucking miserable. But work is work, and it’s better than none. I learned about the piss-test at the end of my interview with the Presentation Center manager, who took herself, and all of it, very, very seriously. It was to happen after the paid two-week training I was about to start. In retrospect, I think this must be a deliberate attempt to let people cleanup and get the narcotics out of their system. If they were really trying to catch anyone, they would spring it on you, right? They outsourced the testing to a dingy little Diagnostics Clinic up on 34th street, and it was up to me to call and make the appointment.

2. Stop smoking, start exercising.
THC bonds to lipids (a.k.a., fat). When that fat is metabolized, the THC comes out in your urine. This tends to occur at a relatively steady rate, regardless of cleansing. Given that the half-life of THC metabolites is 7 days, most people will be below the testing threshholds in 3-4 weeks. So if it’s too late to have a smoke-free month before test time, you need to try to get rid of as much of the fat in your body as possible. Exercise like a mutherfucker, and:

3. Diet, and then STOP.
Because you want your body to convert your fat reserves to energy, instead of the new fat you are consuming, you need to reduce your fat intake in the weeks leading up to the test. A couple of days before the test, you want to keep whatever THC is still in your body IN, by slowing your metabolism down to prevent any more THC from getting into your urine, and providing new, un-thc-tainted sources of fat to metabolize. That’s when you STOP exercising, and start piling on the bacon. In a nutshell: get as much THC out of your system as you can in the weeks before testing, then a couple days before test time, keep whatever remains in.

What I did instead, is get one of the “cleansing” drinks from a smoke shop, which I drank the day before. I would not recommend this.

4. Piss in that cup.
Some people try messing with the test-taking process, but I’ve heard too many amusing anecdotes about this backfiring. Anyway, they test the temperature to make sure it’s fresh, so good luck figuring that out without it coming out of your 98.6 degree nether-regions.

I was given the privacy of a bathroom with a closed door, but I’ve heard of other clinics where you have to go with a clinician standing right next to you.

5. Screen calls.
Because if you fail it, you’d better have time to come up with a fancy excuse and hope they either don’t give a shit or will give you another shot. You need this crappy gig.

It was a week after actually working at the Bank, that they left a message on my answering machine (remember those?) saying I needed to retake the drug test. I didn’t pass — but I didn’t exactly fail either (there was no indication of THC reported). Instead what was flagged on my report was “Low Creatinine levels.” What is Creatinine? Creatinine is a waste product of protein metabolism. As an indicator of drug-use, it’s dubious. Women have lower creatinine levels than men, vegetarians have lower creatinine levels than meat-eaters, and people with low body-mass have lower levels than people of high body-mass. The point is, they are testing levels of all sorts of other stuff in your pee to make sure you aren’t trying to hide something. Color, pH, and creatinine, among other things.

SO my creatinine levels were low. Why? It could have been the headshop drink I ingested. But how would that lower levels of protein metabolism? My hypothesis is that I would have received the same results had I NOT ingested the headshop drink. Because I’m female, slender, and was vegetarian at the time. Had I known about Step #3, I might have escaped this fated curveball. I felt vaguely vindicated when bit of web-searching revealed that Delta was facing a lawsuit from one of it’s pilots who was fired over test results indicating low creatinine levels. However this did not help my situation. They expected me to re-take the test. Obviously, having presumed that no news is good news, I had reverted to my sinful ways.

5. WAIT before reverting to your sinful ways.
Everything takes time, including clinicians analyzing your precious piss, writing up a report, sending it to your manager, and her opening the email or snail-mail and deciding what it all means in the scheme of her painfully narrow world-view. Give it a couple weeks to filter up through the powers-that-be before you go packing your bong. Oh fuck it, you’re not going to listen to me, you’ve been thinking about that huge joint you’re going to roll for weeks as soon as you bust out of that clinic. Which is why you will need to:

6. Come up with an excuse to buy some time.
You will have to repeat steps 1-5.

When I called back to innocently ask what the drug test result could possibly mean, I had recruited my friend D to lend me his phone, which had caller-ID block. I knew from previous temping gigs that all the banks had caller-ID on all the phones. If I was going to claim I was out of town visiting family for the week (which was perfectly appropriate, given that my shift was the weekend shift and I was off on the weekdays in between), I’d better not call from a local number.

Much to my surprise, the unimportant and unimaginative HR person that had been tasked with managing me and my drug test snafu was NOT at all pleased when I cheerfully informed her that I would not be able to book another appointment at the clinic immediately, but would be happy to do so upon my return at the end of the week. So up the chain of command it went to the manager that had interviewed me, and my staffing agency rep got involved to smooth feathers and mediate.

6. Keep your cool.
The type of people that want to drug-test you are generally inflexible, unintelligent twats, and may want you to jump through a few more fiery hoops in order to justify their existence.

“BUS TICKETS??” I exclaimed. The bitch manager wanted to see bus ticket receipts from my fictional trip. My agency rep calmly explained that there was some suspicion on the other side. I complained that this was ridiculous and invasive and that I had thrown out the ticket stub. She asked if I could save the return ticket receipt. I said I could. This satisfied her and she said she would let them know.

7. Get by with a little help from your friends.
When I hung up the phone (D’s phone) after this last exchange I turned to him, flabbergasted. I think I started to cry. The tears dried quickly as despair was consumed by determination to weasel my way out of this. D remembered that some friends of his HAPPENED to be doing a gig in the same city that my fictional trip to visit family was, and he called them. They were coming back Friday night. They said they would save their stamped bus ticket stubs and get them to me.

8. Pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
All I had to do was wait out the rest of the week. I had played their game.

The next day I got a call from my staffing agency rep. What a job that must be. Have you ever heard a little kid say they wanted to be a staffing agency representative for investment banking temps when they grow up? And you never will. She informed me that they rescinded the offer of permanent employment, and they would like to bring me on as a temp. Of COURSE — they had just spent all that money training me, and I was already well-liked both personally professionally amongst the raucous and easy-going weekend staff, who either didn’t know or didn’t are about the drug test. To let me go would present a loss of time and profitability. Or maybe they didn’t want to pay for another drug test. Maybe they needed to have the last jab, who knows. I happily accepted, for I had wanted to remain a temp anyway. It was a shitty job at a shitty time, and the following year during a slump when they laid off all the temps, off I went, never to be drug-tested ever again.

Where the fuck are all those people now I wonder.

Stop itching: A few things to prevent and treat mosquito bites

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
garlic peppermint mosquito

Got bit? Cut a clove of garlic in half, and rub the cross-section over the bite. I just tried it on my 2-yr-old and after a mere 10 seconds she confirmed that the itch was “fixed.”

Avoiding the bugbites in the first place is of course, far better. Eating 1-2 cloves of garlic the night before exposure has corresponded to me being bit less than my comrades — but not reliably. There seem to be multiple factors involved in one’s appeal to the little bloodsuckers.

So I try to have a bottle of essential peppermint oil with me when out in nature. They hate the smell and will avoid you for the most part, however if persistent enough to find a patch of unanointed skin, they will go for it. So I put a few drops on my hands, rub them together, and then rub my hands over any exposed areas. BE CAREFUL around your face. Peppermint oil, even just the fumes, will STING your eyes. So I’ll rub my anointed hands around my neck, and a little at my hairline, but never closer to my eyes than this.

Cure a yeast infection – with just yogurt!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Stuff you’ll need:
-organic, sugar-free, plain yogurt cup(s)
-organic, cotton tampon(s) (without applicator)

Directions
Place the tampon in the yogurt cup, string-end up (see photo). If your tampon has an applicator, remove it so you’re only working with the cotton portion. Leave the tampon in the yogurt to soak for 10-15 minutes — it should be at least twice it’s original size when you remove it. Insert the tampon into your vagina, as you would normally when getting your period. Leave it in no longer than 8 hours.

Repeat this process until you feel relief and see a normalization in your vaginal discharge, and then continue it for another 24 hours to ensure you’re killing off lingering excess candida. The number of days necessary will depend on the intensity of your infection. Yogurt is pretty benign, and nothing I have researched indicates that one could “overdose” or create an undesirable imbalance by prolonging treatment. I haven’t had a serious infection in years – but these days if I start feeling a lil itchy, I’ll do this and just once overnight is enough. I prefer to approach feminine health as a perpetual awareness and management of one’s flora & fauna, rather than “OH NO I have contracted an infection, I must ERADICATE it and then I can STOP THINKING about my nether-regions.”

If it doesn’t bug you to eat a yogurt cup that’s just had a clean tampon in it, do so. Why waste it? Your body can use that additional acidophilus when consumed orally!

Prevention
Stop consuming sugar. Just stop. Next time you eat a candy-bar, see how your honeypot feels the next day. Kind of itchy, right?

Stop taking the pill. Now I was on the pill for years and never had this problem — but I have personal acquaintances that suffered for YEARS with chronic yeast infections because of it.

Eliminate white flour & fermented foods from your diet. Here’s a list from wikipedia.

Wear natural fibers, loose-fitting clothes. Or heck, just go naked or without underwear. Air is like the best remedy for everything. Unless you’re on fire.

RU486 (Mifeprex/Mifepristone): Buy the abortion pill from an offshore online pharmacy now, save yourself $500 later

Friday, November 9th, 2012
author’s note: this article has generated some informative discussion! The following have all been recommended as reliable websites delivering legit drugs.
aidaccess.org
alldaychemist.com
zeepharmacy.biz
allwebmeds.com
daynighthealthcare247.com
Prices and shipping times seem to vary a LOT and are subject to change – please read the comments to learn about others’ experiences with these companies. The websites listed above may be now more reliable than www.privatedrugstore.eu — some commentors have indicated that since I posted this (Nov 2012), reliability has decreased.]


Nope, I’m not even kidding — www.privatedrugstore.eu has totally made my YEAR. The only downside is that I had to wait a MONTH for it to arrive, which had me on tenterhooks. Which is why I’m saying, stock up now, even if you aren’t pregnant, for every modern, empowered lady should have it in her medicine cabinet, for herself or a friend in need. The earlier you take it, the better, for you can achieve success with lower dosages and subsequently lesser side effects (google some mifeprex/misoprostol studies to see what I’m talking about) and the longer you wait, the statistically lower your chances of complete abortion become (which means you’d have to go to a clinic anyway to finish, if you only get it partially).

Doing things the “normal” way, and why I think it sucks
Now, the typical, recommended, approved, tested, documented blahblahblah method of chemical abortion in the United States is this: you go to a clinic, or your ob gyn, explain to them you’re pregnant and you don’t want a baby, and then they administer between 200mg – 600mg Mifeprex to block progesterone and “loosen” the uterine lining, then 800mg Misoprostol 12-72 hrs later to induce the contractions to get things “flowing” as it were. Then they bill you for $500. Or maybe you have to pay it upfront, depending on where you’re going. I have a FEW problems with this process:

1. Cost. WTF.
$500, are you NUTS? I’ve got a mortgage and a kid to take care of. I can only think of about a billion things I would much rather put that money towards. I don’t need financial stress on top of the crappy feeling that I screwed up and accidentally got pregnant. At the particular online pharmacy I bought from they even sell a combo package — you get the SAME thing that they administer at the clinics for $500, for $45. If you’re super broke, skip the Mifeprex, cuz you can even buy TWENTY 200mg Misoprostols for $27 (That’s 5 abortions). Ideally the regimen is started with Mifeprex, but I have managed to successfully terminate with a single Misoprostol when I caught it very early on, I think my period was about a week late at the time. If you’re super-early, one Mifeprex alone might work but it’s a bit riskier, because the thing you ultimately want is for the placenta to detach from the uterine wall, and if you’re more than just a couple weeks along, just blocking progesterone for a few days may not be enough – you need those contractions, which is what the Misoprostol does.

2. Privacy and simplicity, or lack there of.
I can go into a drugstore and take care of a yeast infection without explaining the gory details to anyone, why the heck can’t I do the same if I discover my period is late? I have no problem whatsoever with anyone terminating a pregnancy, but something I totally hate about American culture is either the feigned look of empathetic pity you get from people that have never been through it, or on the more extreme end I have heard of judgmental gynecologists insulting their patients’ lifestyle. Or yet worse, if you’re in a red state, you might not find a place to serve you at all.

3. Time.
I hold a full-time job at a technology firm, take care of my baby daughter, make time for my partner (her daddy), play 3 sports, and pursue my artwork on the side. And occasionally like to have a social life. Why should I have to schedule appointments at a providers convenience instead of just buying what I need over the counter or online? Not to mention, they usually make you wait until you’re 6 weeks along – so you get to be all stressed out about it for a while instead of taking care of it immediately.

4. Dosage.
This is an interesting one. After the time I took just one Misoprostol when a week late, I had come to the conclusion that they REALLY overdo it — that the 800 mg of Misoprostol was responsible for causing contractions so intense you feel like you’re giving BIRTH, and that the same could be accomplished with much less. However this time around, I’m led to believe it’s the Mifeprex + Misoprostol combo in the system that is responsible for vomiting, diarrhea and knee-buckling contractions. Even so, I think they over-prescribe the Mifeprex. One 200 mg Mifeprex is likely to make you a little dizzy, a little nauseous for a few days, but not enough to need to take time off work (for me anyway), and it’s enough to get you bleeding by day 2 or 3. I’ve read “official” recommendations that state 400-600 mg taken all at once. Ugh. I don’t know what that does, but I don’t imagine it’s pleasant.

My Recent Experience
So here’s the whole saga from start to finish. I’m going to mark it by LMP (Last Menstrual Period). So week 4 is when I was expecting my period. Week 5 is when I realized “oh shit, I’m a week late.”

Week 5 – 6
Having clearly miscalculated ovulation due to some post-baby irregularity and neglecting to take my usual herbal precautions due to being busy to an insane degree, I found myself a few days *late.* I got a test from the drugstore, and lo, there appeared the faint line confirming my worries. Crap. For a week I went with neem suppositories and ingesting massive amounts of Cotton Root bark, none of which, did a damn thing. That’s when I started looking around online and reading up on “illegal” pharmacies. I found one forum where commentators discussed online pharmacy ratings (I think stuff like pharmacyreviewer.com or pharmacychecker.com or something but I can’t remember), One person questioned the low rating of a pharmacy he had bought from numerous times with positive experiences. The discussion meandered into the “why” behind the low ratings, and some suggested that large “legitimate” pharmaceutical companies purposely do this to try to undermine competition from companies selling the same drugs for a fraction of the price. Huh. So I followed one commentators link to privatedrugstore.eu, found what I wanted, hesitated, pondered, worried I was going to be the victim of credit card fraud, or that it might not work, and a hundred other unpleasant scenarios, before I finally purchased 1 pill of Mifeprex. Why just one Mifeprex? Well, after one of my chemical abortions under the supervision of an RPA, I had started bleeding on day 3 after taking the initial Mifeprex, but before I had taken the Misoprostol. My hypothesis was that ALL I needed to do was block progesterone, and poof, the pregnancy would be weakened enough to leave my body without inducing contractions. So OK, I was wrong, so for chrissake, don’t do this.

Week 6 – 10
My order was placed, all I had to do was breath deeply and wait. This is easier said than done. Especially when the first trimester is making you tired and hungry but you’re keeping it to yourself instead of beaming and exclaiming to everyone that you’re pregnant while demanding their subway seat, or pork chop, or chocolate cake, etc. This can be lonely and stressful unless you have someone close to share it with. Week 10 – 13
So the Mifeprex finally arrives. Whew. I was able to track it online, but there was about a week delay due to extreme weather conditions affecting the post office. It came in a small padded envelope, there was a postage stamp from Singapore, and nothing on the outside indicating what it actually was. The pills were in a foil blister pack like the image at the beginning of this post. I swallowed it, and around 24 hours later, started to bleed. Hallelujah. However, it didn’t continue. By 48 hours after I had taken it, the bleeding had slowed and then stopped. I got online to see what this means in the context of a miscarriage and found out it’s medical definition is “threatened miscarriage,” that it happens with some frequency, and as long as the fetal heart-rate remains strong and the placenta is intact, the pregnancy will in all likelihood continue. *sigh.* So I did a little more research, because the Mifeprex is expensive, and I was starting to get worried that I had missed the window to terminate with a non-invasive method. I REALLY did not want to go into a clinic and have my insides vacuumed out. I found an inspiring medical abstract that encouraged me to place another order, this time for Misoprostol only – 20 x 200mg pills. Here’s the text below:

Multiple-dose vaginal Misoprostol and single-dose misoprostol plus oxytocin for termination of second-trimester pregnancy.

Zangeneh M, Malek-Khosravi S, Veisi F, Rezavand N, Rezaee M, Rajatee M.
Source: High Risk Pregnancy Research Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Science, Kermanshah, Iran. mzangene.59710@yahoo.com

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To compare 2 different methods-multiple doses of misoprostol and a combination of misoprostol and oxytocin-for termination of pregnancy in the second trimester.

METHODS:
Between 2006 and 2008, 120 women undergoing termination of second-trimester pregnancy in 2 hospitals in Kermanshah, Iran, were enrolled in a randomized trial comparing 2 treatments. In each treatment group, an initial vaginal dose of 600 μg of misoprostol was placed in the posterior fornix. After 6 hours, an intravenous infusion of concentrated oxytocin was given to women in group A, and 400 μg of vaginal misoprostol was given every 6 hours to women group B, up to a maximum of 4 doses. The outcomes were compared via χ(2) and independent t tests.

RESULTS:
Within 30 hours, 96.7% of women in group A and 96.7% of women in group B delivered successfully. The average duration between induction and delivery time was 12.3±6.0 hours in group A and 12.1±6.0 hours in group B (P>0.05).

CONCLUSION:
The use of misoprostol with oxytocin, and multiple doses of misoprostol gave similar results for termination of pregnancy in the second trimester.

Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 22261129 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Week 13
So this time it only took 2 weeks to arrive. From what I read from the forums on offshore pharmacies, is a little more normal than one month. By this time I was starting to gain a little weight and my breasts were getting bigger. This is no fun – I urge you not to wait so long if you’re going to terminate, seriously.



Photo of what I received – labeled, dated blister packs. Regardless of where you order from, I think if it’s not sealed, accurately labeled and stamped with an expiration date, I probably wouldn’t trust it.

The night they arrived I decided I would take 2 pills (200mg each) vaginally before going to bed, instead of 4, as I had done under the supervision of medical professionals previously. Why? I was afraid of the pain and vomiting and diarrhea I had experienced when doing things the proper, clinic-approved way, with Mifeprex followed by 4x 200mg pills of Misoprostol; I thought this unpleasantry could be avoided with a lower dosage. It took about 3 hours before I felt pressure in my lower back, like a heavy period. I began to bleed. The next morning I awoke, was still bleeding, but hadn’t seen any evidence of a fetus or placenta, so I knew I was still pregnant. The bleeding continued, but subsided somewhat throughout the day. So the next night, I decided to do the same, with 3 pills inserted vaginally instead of 2. Again, similar results – after about 3 hours I had some lower back pressure, like a period, also accompanied by some minor chills but nothing crazy. I followed it up with 2 more pills, I’m not sure how many hours later, but I’m assuming around 4 since the chills had subsided and I was presumably past the ‘peak’ amount of medicine in my system. The following day I continued to bleed some, but again, the products of conception were not expelled. So the third night, I decided to do 4 pills. I felt some back pressure, bleeding, and at one point a few chills but nothing too intense. The next morning, I started feeling some very heavy cramping, not unlike labor pains. I breathed heavily and bent forward to ease myself through it. I was in the bathroom standing at the vanity when suddenly my pants became soaked in a clear fluid. My water had broken. I got onto the toilet, and a moment later everything came out – blood, lining, placenta, and a fetus about 4-5 cm long. I fished it out of the toilet to examine it and put it in a glass container. Later on I wrapped it in a flower bloom, said I was sorry, and buried it at the base of one of my plants. This is another reason I recommend not waiting so long to terminate — a well-developed fetus is not really something you want to look at, unless you are super relaxed and emotionally settled about this sort of stuff. Very early on, it’s a tiny blob, but it gets to look more and more like a little person the longer you wait. Nothing in the world could have outweighed my RELIEF that I was not going to have another baby, but all the same, it’s kind of icky, even if you’re a freak like me and totally fascinated by that shit.

Conclusions and recommendations
This experience taught me a few really important things, which I will pass on here. I’d also like to point out that I have no medical certification of any kind, and according to most rational people, have absolutely no business giving out medical advice. Now that that’s out of the way:

1. There DO exist offshore, illegal pharmacies, selling legitimate drugs. How you decide to trust one, well, that’s tricky. I threw caution to the wind and just decided to trust that it would arrive, that I wouldn’t be overcharged or have my identity stolen, that it was the correct drug within it’s expiration date, and that everything would be OK. Is this how all of them operate? I doubt it. All I can recommend is this one particular website I used – privatedrugstore, providing it is owned and operated by the same people that are doing it as I write this. I’ve included a screenshot of the site I bought from below for reference, in case it closes or the domain name gets bought by someone else.

privatedrugstore.eu screen capture

2. Expect 2-3 weeks for shipping, and longer if extreme weather conditions or other disasters delay the post office.

3. Mifeprex is not necessary at all. In fact, FUCK Mifeprex. Without the Mifeprex, you can rest assured the process will be pretty mild. Mifeprex alone is responsible for a bit of queasiness. Mifeprex & Misoprostol in the body together equals a couple of miserable hours doubled over in pain, vomiting up bile, and chills up and down your whole body even with 5 blankets on top of you. With Misoprostol alone, it’s like a heavy period; the most intense part will be the cramps a few hours or a day after you take the pills, when your cervix starts to open up to let the products of conception pass. This is the not fun part, so be sure not to be at work or school when it happens – do this stuff on a weekend. And if you’re trying to hide this from your parents or whomever, make sure you can get the bathroom to yourself.

*EDIT* July 2019 Ok so I wrote the above based on MY experience, but that’s not necessarily going to be YOUR experience. The efficacy rate for Misoprostol alone is 85%. The efficacy rate for the MTP kit is 95%. There is research on successful termination with Mifeprex alone, albeit limited, but it would appear that blocking progesterone alone for a few days can be a much gentler experience than inducing contractions. Side effects will vary. I think a prudent approach when ordering offshore is to order 1 Mifeprex and a dozen Misoprostol. Try out the Misoprostol alone, and you have a high chance of success. If it doesn’t work, then have another go, starting with the Mifeprex followed by the Misoprostol.

4. If you can afford it, order a little more than you think is necessary. Ordering just the Mifeprex and no Misoprostol, in retrospect, was a dumbass thing for me to do. And even with the Misoprostol, maybe because I was goofing around with dosage, or maybe because I was over 12 weeks along, I ended up using 11 pills in total. 4 x 200mg pills following a progesterone-blocker is generally recommended for up to 9 weeks LMP. So there’s a few factors to consider – it’s very hard to say in this case that it was specifically the 4 pills on the last night that resulted in success, OR if it was the multiple attempts across 3 nights that did it. When using herbs (for anything – a cold, a bacterial infection, whatever), slow and steady usually wins the race, e.g., you don’t generally take one dose and BAM, expect results, that’s a more recent phenomenon of modern medicine & technology. In any case, it’s comforting to know there’s extra if your first attempt doesn’t work. I also still have 9 pills in my drawer, for a rainy day.

5. Dosage… If I was to do it all over again, here’s how I would approach the important issue of DOSAGE: 4x 200mg pills vaginally of Misoprostol, each night upon going to bed, until the products of conception are expelled. This is mainly for convenience — if you lead a busy life, night time is probably the only opportunity you have to be prostrate for several hours. I’ve also received the recommendation to do it early in the morning – set your alarm for 5:00 am, insert the pills, and things will get going by the time it’s just getting light out — which can be a much less scary time than the night to try something out when you don’t know precisely what the outcome will be.

*EDIT* July 2019 Since corresponding with so many women about their experiences, I’m changing my stance on this. These medicines affect every woman differently, and there IS NO one-size-fits-all approach. You might be successful with the MTP kit, with Misoprostol alone (2-12 200mg pills), or with Mifeprex alone (400-600mcg in 2-4 doses over a couple days). Or you might not — you might have to tinker a bit and take some of this and then some of that over the course of a few days. Hell, you can terminate successfully in one way, and do the same thing a year later, and the stuff DOESN’T feel/work the same! When I originally wrote this, I still believed it was preferable to terminate a pregnancy under the supervision of a healthcare professional, but not anymore. I believe each woman has to have the freedom to play around with the pills, listen to her body, and make adjustments accordingly, and this is the path to a 100% efficacy for medical abortion. Doctors are severely limited in what they prescribe. BTW, would you say the healthcare industry, including the doctors and researchers publishing papers, is a female-dominated industry? Nope. Buncha old sexist white dudes driving that wagon. So why are we asking them to tell us how our bodies work or for permission to figure it out? Blow me.

6. Open a new email account
to make your order, because once they have your email address, prepare to get SPAMMED with offers from other online pharmacies.

7. Schedule an appointment with an ob-gyn for a pelvic exam, after you believe all the products of conception have passed, to ensure the process has completed. If you experience heavy cramping after you believe everything has passed, you might have a uterine infection, and you should go to urgent care to be prescribed some antibiotics. Lie and say you had a miscarriage. Once you’ve been bleeding for a few days there won’t be any evidence of the stuff in your vagina or your system.

A few words on the whole damn subject
It seems to me that the FDA is making what COULD be an easy, private, inexpensive process, a royal pain in the neck. Why? Maybe to cover their butts from getting sued, in case you aren’t administered enough, and you have to go in for a surgical abortion if it doesn’t work. Either that, or its some Republican conspiracy to make pregnancy termination so incredibly unpleasant that you’re more likely to go through with the pregnancy, because god only knows, what this planet needs is more PEOPLE. I HAVE read that more than one key person has resigned from the FDA over the decision to stall Mifeprex’s over-the-counter availability – because they felt it was for political reasons and NOT grounded in health facts.

I think a common question this raises in most of our minds is “well, SHOULD it be so easy?” For many, the idea of a new life hangs in the balance, and some inner voice suggests it’s immoral for women to repeatedly seek abortions. To a woman that does not want a baby, I think the point of sperm meeting egg, or the point of a zygote implanting in the uterine wall holds little significance. I think many take desperate measures, when simple ones are not available. If there is zero detriment to the health of the woman in question, if it is inexpensive and doesn’t take her out of work — well… is it such a bad thing? I’ve read about Sylphium in ancient Cyrene, that physicians recommended it once a month for “preventing anything from forming, and eliminating anything that might be there.” Granted, ancient times were considerably more brutal than modern civilized ones, but in this one aspect – the lack of public scrutiny and controversy of women’s handling of their fertility, I cannot come up with a logical argument against it.

I know one day I may have to answer these questions for my daughter. And I know that it’s possible that one day, when she is a teenager, she’ll come home to tell me she’s pregnant and not ready to take the step of being a parent. If that happens, I want to be able to offer her an easy, simple, shameless and inexpensive solution. On the other hand, I don’t want to encourage her to go out having lots of unprotected sex, or to ignore holistic preventative birth control and the workings of her cycle because it’s just so easy to pop a pill. I want her to treat her body and temple with care and deliberation, and never to be at war with it, or at the mercy of it’s hormones or maladies, or to believe that it’s something to be controlled only with the help of big pharma.

Another important point of consideration, is the zero benefit + great detriment of unplanned pregnancies on the whole. I have seen instances in my own social circles, where slower child development *appeared* to correlate with mom not knowing that she was pregnant for the first few months. Like every mom, I watch my child’s development with care and concern. Even knowing from the moment her daddy and I decided to try and make a baby, even with taking all the precautions and supplements from the moment i thought she might be in my tummy, and pouring over countless books and forums about what I could do to help her growing little body and brain, I still worry. I still fret over details. I am relieved when I read that she’s on schedule with crawling, babbling, each new tooth that comes in and each new facial expression she gives me. Maybe it’s silly, but everyone with a kid knows what I’m talking about. It’s hard not to judge yourself, when you judge the progress of your little one.

This is not to say slower development is mom’s *fault*. It is the world we live in. Perhaps there was a time when not knowing one was pregnant for the first month or two had little impact on the health of the child eventually born. But these days, what with mass-produced food so lacking in nutritional value that one NEEDS supplements throughout pregnancy, what with lifestyles abounding with fast-food, alcohol and radiation, what with statistical evidence that fasting/dieting during the first critical months creates spikes in birth defects 9 months later, my opinion is that each pregnancy SHOULD be planned and nurtured. This doesn’t even touch on the implications of a social structure that leaves individuals with little to nothing in the way of social protections if they aren’t blessed with the luck of the marketplace. A woman knows when it’s a good time to have a baby, and when it’s not. And this is of greatest consequence to the ultimate health and happiness of our society, and planet.