The Ultimate Guide to Helping a Sick Friend

This month, our wonderful Patreon donors requested an article on helping a sick friend. I couldn’t be happier, since this has become an area of special expertise for me!

I’ve spent the first months of my early retirement as a full-time caregiver. That definitely wasn’t the plan! My partner was diagnosed with a femoroacetabular impingement: the ball-and-socket joint of his hip wasn’t quite ball-enough, and the socket was too-sockety. So he had corrective surgery. Obviously, getting bone shaved off a weight-bearing joint ain’t something you bounce back from quickly. For him, it meant 6-8 weeks of bed rest, plus 5-6 hours of physical therapy every day, to fully recover within six months

Helping a sick friend is kind of a big deal.

And I wasn’t just taking care of him! While this was happening, a good friend got gender confirmation surgery. They stayed with us for the first part of their convalescence. And somewhere in there, our oldest dog got twelve teeth pulled. It was a lot to deal with all at once! Our house was overflowing with love and pills, pills, so many pills, and also sprays, and ice packs, but mostly pills.

So believe me when I say I’m bringing the full force of personal experiences into this guide to helping a sick friend. More than anything, it takes creativity to be helpful in situations where you feel powerless.

So I’m happy to impart this hard-won adulting wisdom. I hope you can use it to be the MVP of a loved one’s recovery.

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Your Yearly Free Medical Care Checklist

Your Yearly Free Medical Care Checklist

If you are an American who is lucky enough to have health insurance, you almost certainly have free medical care coming your way.

Several annual and semi-annual services are available to you with no copay—and you have absolutely no reason not to use them. Technically, you have already bought them, as their cost is built into the premiums you’ve already paid. And your body will thank you for it! Even if you feel perfectly healthy, establishing a baseline of health will help your medical professionals detect problems early.

Pro-tip: don’t wait until the end of the year to do all this stuff! Every medical office I’ve ever been to is slammed during November and December as everyone tries to use up their benefits. Schedule it now to avoid the crush.

Here’s what you should be doing every year.

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BONUS EPISODE: "What can I do to prepare for life in a post-Roe world?"

How to Prepare for a Post-Roe World (Bonus Episode)

In a good timeline, no one would have to prepare for a post-Roe world. Reproductive rights would be safely enshrined in our constitution, where they belong. Plus, ice cream would never melt.

Unfortunately, last week’s news made it abundantly clear that we’re in a crappy timeline. I accepted this news with horror, but not surprise. My faith in my elected representatives is as melty as a tub of Americone Dream left on the counter overnight.

But this isn’t the time to despair. It’s time to take action. Someone gave us the incredible gift of forewarning. We have two months to prepare. And there’s a lot of steps you can take to protect yourself and others in your community from the appalling consequences of forced childbirth.

Piggy and I hopped on an impromptu recording session to help our readers and listeners steel themselves for the fall of Roe v. Wade. And I’m thrilled to say we left our aimless thrashing and redundant moralizing on the cutting room floor! (Mostly.) What remained were actionable steps to help you prepare for a post-Roe world.

Listen below, or read on for a text transcript.

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The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting

The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting

I awoke last night in a cold sweat, gripped with the sudden realization that I have an incredibly comprehensive resignation checklist… and I’ve been selfishly sitting on it, to the detriment of the millions of Americans who’ve walked away from their jobs in recent months.

I recognize that this constitutes a top ten anime betrayal.

許してくれ。

I'm so sorry I didn't write this resignation checklist sooner!!

The thing is… I’ve been daydreaming about leaving my job for years. These plans have been a part of me for so long that I kinda forgot they were plans at all. Like, I don’t necessarily notice my own breathing, stretching, or constructing elaborate fantasies about leaving corporate America forever.

Planning to quit ahead of time is a great advantage, and not everyone gets it. In most states, people can be fired suddenly, for no reason. Other people need to leave their job abruptly because of absolutely untenable issues like workplace safety or harassment. Those people do not have the luxury of planning a soft landing for themselves. 

But if you’re planning to quit voluntarily, you can do what they cannot. You can be strategic. Y’know, like Light Yagami eating potato chips! And in doing so, you can extract a ton of value back from your employer and/or your government before you go.

I’m down to just one month at my job, and I’m systematically going through this list. It will save me thousands of dollars. It will also prevent a lot of logistical headaches for my future self. Because I wanna set her up with a low stress post-job lifestyle. Listening to the hold music for the COBRA continuation assistance hotline is not on my retirement vision board!

Here’s my ultimate resignation checklist…

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How To Get an Abortion (Including an Affordable, Safe, and Discreet Self-Administered One At Home)

How To Get an Abortion

Sometimes Piggy and I feel like we’ve written about every topic under the sun. Then we realize we haven’t written a guide on how to get an abortion. And we realize that no, indeed, Bitches Get Riches has only scratched the surface of topics related to finance, feminism, and fucks not given.

Abortion access has a staggeringly enormous impact on finances, whether you count that from a personal financial level or a global economic level. Yet it’s one of the least talked-about subjects in this space.

As an Angry Internet Feminist®, I’d love nothing more than to burn bright with the flame of moral outrage and say it’s because people are cowards. But I actually think a lot of people are intimidated by the topic because it’s a genuinely complex one to research, with laws varying by state and changing all the time. But it’s that complexity that makes it such an important topic to share with you, our readers.

We dream of a future where there are no barriers for anyone to seek out this common, safe, and morally neutral medical procedure. But for many people throughout the world, that future isn’t coming quickly enough.

So today we’re going to walk you through how to get an abortion! Including information on how to self-administer an abortion safely, affordably, and discreetly if you live in an area hostile to reproductive rights.

Today’s discussion obviously mentions pregnancy loss. We also touch on the logistical challenges of managing unsupportive partners and parents, but it’s pretty tame. No gory medical talk; no sexual violence.

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Coronavirus Reveals America’s Pre-existing Conditions, Part 1: Healthcare, Housing, and Labor Rights

This article continues in Part 2.

My fellow Americans… we’re currently in month 784 of 2020, aka The Plague Times, so let’s take stock:

It’s… a lot, I know. The facts are grim, and they’re only getting grimmer.

But if you’re feeling like all of this death, economic destruction, and tragedy came out of nowhere, I have even worse news for you: it didn’t. For the sad effects of the pandemic are neither sudden, isolated, nor unpredictable.

Rather, they are the results of a system that has been balancing on a precipice for decades. A global pandemic was simply the last push needed to send this car over the cliff and hurtling spectacularly to the rocks below.

The coronavirus has singlehandedly revealed the pre-existing conditions our country has been ignoring, denying, and dismissing since dinosaurs Ronald Reagan roamed the Earth White House.

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus: How To Protect Your Community and Your Soul From COVID-19

Hello precious readers. Piggy and I decided to halt our regularly scheduled programming to talk to you a little about what’s going on in the world right now: the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will be writing more about this topic very soon—particularly the financial and economic aspects, as they are ~*kinda our thing*~. So if you’re worried about how to handle absences at work, or being fired, or what to do with the money you have in the bank right now, stay tuned for more. We’re speeding up our normal writing schedule to answer questions as fast as we can. (Anyone can submit questions through our Tumblr. Patreon donors can message us directly.)

Today we’re going to reinforce the most important advice: how to be good at coronavirusing!

Which is to say: how to be a safe, respectful, engaged, and helpful member of the global community during this crisis where we need each other desperately, yet ironically should be physically avoiding each other!

And for that, we’re gonna need any viral researchers, vaccine synthesizers, medical professionals, state governors, and similar to go ahead and stop reading BGR articles. Piggy and I really agonized over this decision, but it’s final. I know we have a very witty and relatable writing style, but it’s time for you to Go Do The Thing. So go on now, y’all—git!

… Are they gone?

Okay. For the rest of you, we have great news! Your job is significantly simpler and easier. In fact, there are really only a few things you can do. Here’s what you can (and must) do to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

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Ask the Bitches: Ugh, How Do I Build the Habit of Taking Meds?

Ask the Bitches: Ugh, How Do I Build the Habit of Taking Meds?

Hey Bitches, Patreon supporter here! Friday I had my very first physical, which was covered by my insurance. I told my new doctor about starting back up on antidepressants to save me a visit/copay. He gave me a script based on the ones I tried before, plus Zoloft has been around long enough it’s super cheap instead of the couple hundred/month my last one was to start. The doc also agreed gardening would help with the depression. Any produce growing tips or motivation to make sure I actually stick to my meds this time instead of ditching after a few weeks?

Welcome, beautiful and vibrant Patreon donor! Congratulations on wisely using the low- and no-cost preventative healthcare insurance affords you. And thank you for this extremely relatable question!

Before I get too deep into this, I want to remind y’all that I am not a medical professional of any kind. I’m not even a financial professional. No—I am a self-important PowerPoint jockey who came this close to opening this site under a .net address! If you’re torn between listening to yourself, listening to your doctor, and listening to a random bossy Internet nobody, choose the bossy Internet nobody last, okay?

I’ve never personally been on antidepressants. So my direct experience here is somewhat limited. (Any depressive periods I’ve had in the past have been solved by irresponsibly ignoring the problem while feverishly spending all of my spoons trying to convince the people around me that everything is juuuuuust fine until suddenly, one day, it is. Don’t be like me. I’m trying to change.)

HOWEVER! I certainly know the joys of going on and coming off of meds.

O! The joie of hormonal fluctuations!

For various reasons not related to the desire to become pregnant, I’ve been on and off of birth control pills over the past few years. And lord, what a trip that has been.

Birth control is pretty damn weird. It’s a well-established drug. Millions of people take it. It’s not thought of as particularly volatile or significantly mood-altering. Some people feel no side effects at all. And yet… let’s go to the tape.

Kitty’s thoughts restarting birth control:

  • “Thank goodness for the overwhelming feeling that my body is hideous and disgusting—this sudden wave of self hatred is the helpful alarm clock announcing my period is starting soon!”
  • “Gosh, I can’t believe that guy cut me off in traffic! I’m gonna find out where his ancestors are buried, dig them up, and pose them humping each other on his front lawn.”
  • “Whither my dear friend Jawline Acne? O’er the purple moors? Beyond the mountain made of glass?”
  • “Now seems like a fine time to lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling until I muster the strength to attempt the impossible: move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.”
  • “Google, is this amount of period blood a ‘go to the ER’ sitch or…?”

Kitty’s thoughts coming down off of birth control:

  • “If somebody doesn’t bring me the puffy kind of Cheetos within the next nine minutes, the precious life my confused body is convinced I’m nurturing will NEVER GET INTO HARVARD.”
  • “I am actually kind of sure that if I concentrated hard enough, I could just Code Geass people.”
  • “I can’t believe how attractive I am. Oops, lil’ blood on the pillow from that painfully massive zit rupturing in the night. Anyway, regarding my undeniable sexiness, which rages around all of us like a wildfire—”
  • “I should probably sign up for skydiving now. Like, RIGHT now.”
  • “Google, can I get so horny I die?”
Blister packs giving me blisters, hack. (Waht.)

… So, letter writer, I feel you. I know exactly why someone would really want to start, but also really want to stop taking medication.

I’m going to assume that anyone who wants to start or stop a medication has thoroughly weighed their options, considered their best interests, and gotten their doctor’s blessing. I know that the awesome members of Bitch Nation will join me in this assumption! And none of you will leave judgmental, concern-troll-y comments about people’s medical shit.

So here are some strategies for sticking with any kinda meds!

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Ask the Bitches: How Do I Prepare for a Recession?

Ask the Bitches: How Do I Prepare for a Recession?

We’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about a hypothetical looming recession. The stock market has taken a bruising; bellwether companies are stumbling. Do such omens and portents mean that another recession on its way?

The good news is, we can answer this one very easily.

Yes. Another recession is coming.

We know this with 100% certainty.

How?

The same way we know with 100% certainty that Piggy and I will be dead within the next hundred years. It is in the nature of a living being to die, just as it is in the nature of economies to grow and contract. The sun rises; the sun falls. The tides go in; the tides go out. It’s just the way things are.

Sounds kinda shitty, right? It’s possible that, someday far in the future, someone will devise some new system that will smooth out or even eliminate these cycles. Maybe the nature of goods and services will change so fundamentally that economies will transform in ways we can’t even imagine. But that’s Phillip K. Dick stuff—innovations that live so far in a hypothetical future that they’re still science fiction. You should plan to endure these market cycles throughout your lifetime.

And yes, there are lots of things you can do to make yourself more prepared. Let’s go through them.

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Queer Finance 101: Ten Ways That Sexual and Gender Identity Affect Finances

Queer Finance 101: Ten Ways That Sexual and Gender Identity Affect Finances

Ah.

Gay rights.

That thing we don’t have to do anymore because they’re finally getting married!

Hold on please, my producer is speaking into my earpiece… Okay, my producer is saying that evidently legal integration into the institution of marriage is actually not the final and defining achievement of queerdom.

Our clear-eyed, big-hearted Patreon donors have requested an article on how queerness affects people’s finances. It’s good timing because I just finished watching The Haunting of Hill House and I’ve never felt bi-er! (And yes, before you ask, my official order is Theo > Shirley > Luke > Nell > dead kitten > Steven.)

I am ready and raring to accept my crown as queer queen of bummer-ass articles!

Note: Throughout this article, I will use the word “queer” to encompass all people who are not both cisgender and heterosexual. I’ll talk a lot about gay people and trans people specifically because those are the populations that usually have all the good scientific studies and economic surveys to shellac my ramblings with a gorgeous patina of Facts.

But we love all you aces, aros, bis, enbies, pans, polys, intersex individuals, questioners, queens, and whatever the hell other gender and sexual minorities I left out.

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