The zone is a relatively small area in the Originally from Pincourt, Karen Cox is running in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding under the Conservative Party of Canada banner in the upcoming federal election. The leadership of the federal Conservative Party announced Tuesday, June 18 that Karen Cox would be their candidate for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges riding in the up-coming federal election on October Everything from regional economic development to stable finances is an important factor for the region according to Cox.
Follow YLJ on Instagram! What else is happening in your community? Quebec flood zone moratorium curbs Hudson waterfront development. July 4, James Armstrong. John Jantak. This, too, deeply affected my mental health this Summer, resulting in a new process of naming my values, what I love about myself, and who I want to share my time, mind, and body with.
It is a tool of political violence. Thanks so much for supporting my work! Endingly Yours,. But to be given a timeframe, to be given a predictable outcome, is new to me. To feel pain lessen day-to-day is new to me. Early mornings are when I feel best. I live a quiet, loner life, and I like to be out of bed by , listening to the birds and feeling the potential of the hours ahead. One of the most satisfying feelings to me is waking before my alarm and being ready to get up. Sometimes I wake up to pee, and I stumble crookedly, medicated and disoriented, to the bathroom and back.
One night, my throat was so dry I woke up choking. Coughing is one of the most painful things post-hysterectomy — it feels like organs and flesh are being torn apart, threatening to rupture. The head of the bed has been raised, holding me in gentle repose. My eyes are closed but my purple glasses are still on, and the expression on my face is one of rest and relief.
I appear to be naked under my blankets, as my loosely-tied pale blue hospital gown has slipped, exposing my bare shoulders. The walls are beige and the bedding is various shades of blue and white. A breathing tube is inserted in my nostrils, and multiple needles are piercing the tops of both of my hands, held down with multiple layers of clear medical tape, with cords trailing along my arms, over the grip-handles at the edges of the bed, and connecting to a portable trolley of multiple machines and IV bags filled with clear fluids.
Lilacs peek from the edges of the slipped hospital gown. There are three plastic hospital bracelets affixed to my right wrist. My closed diary, softbound with rounded corners and a lavender elastic holding it shut, the cover of which shows colourful, abstract-ish purple, pink, and red florals, is placed on my lap. This post-surgery hospital-bed portrait, taken by my mom at my request, is one of my favourite photos of myself. Altering my body — be it through appearance hairstyle, tattoos, cosmetics , shape how my clothes fit, my various postures as I sit or walk , movements holding onto my cane, practicing yoga asanas, being mindful of facial expressions , or what-have-you, when done with a sense of autonomy, presence, and desire, always brings me closer to feeling more like myself.
I was a suicidal and self-injurious since single-digit-ages creature, and experiencing menstruation worsened my yet-to-be-verbalized dysphoria, substantially increasing the severity of my yearning to die or disappear. Visible from my chest upward. My deep violet almost-shoulder-length hair is in pigtails, and one of my barrettes — bright lavender plastic Goody-brand with three flowers — is visible.
The background shows lavender walls, lavender closet doors slightly ajar, blurred stacks of black and red milkcrates lined with books, and a few small shelves of found scrap wood screwed into the wall. Hanging on each knob of the closet doors are a lavender face-mask that I use for multiple chemical sensitivities on the left, and a black totebag with the classic yellow Nirvana smiley-face on the right.
Similar angle and details as described above, but my body has shifted, so the background is different. Lavender closet walls behind me, a glowing washed-out brightness to the left, where the sun is shining through my open window. The top of my dark wood nightstand is visible, with a white reading lamp and various mint plants in purple pots on top, and a lavender handkerchief draped over the edge. Beside that is a small white shelf with more plants, and small wooden crates holding plants and Hello Kitty dolls stacked on top.
Fake red, pink, and white roses hang from the end of a matte grey curtain rod. To the right, a black trenchcoat is hanging from a hook beside the closet doors. These are the final selfies from before being operated on. Now I have four incisions on my stomach, with little white stitches holding them closed.
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I have more stitches inside my vagina, keeping my organs from falling out of my body. With my hysterectomy, there was a risk of tearing open the edge of my vagina as my severed uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes were pulled out, thus requiring more external stitches. Thankfully, no tearing occurred. Professionals were kind and considerate. A tattoo along the edge of my hand is visible. Black ink in my own handwriting, which reads do the opposite. Blurred to the left side of the image is a small brown table with two empty, transparent vials with pink lids on top, and some plastic debris from the containers the needles were sealed within.
My view as this was happening was of the hallway behind the nurse, and other partitioned rooms where blue-gowned patients awaiting various surgical procedures were on beds or chairs, accompanied by a parent or partner. I felt safer bringing my mom into each room with me as we wound through the space instead of asking her to stay in the waiting room because hospitals are like mazes to me, and I was afraid of becoming lost, disoriented, stressed, or triggered. She looked down at the floor as I changed, and then we spent a long time waiting for somebody to come back after she opened the curtain for me.
We traded stories and advice, and I took more pictures.
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After the nurse introduced herself and explained what was happening next, my mom exited and hid around a corner as my blood was drawn. My nails are short and bare. Morbid, yes! I wondered if this information had been intentionally withheld by staff, and then offered carelessly and without forethought of me freaking out by my mom, but I appreciated knowing. A couple days after returning home, I painted my nails a shade named Late Night Lilac. Following are five more photos from this moment, showing the needle at various stages of insertion, and vials being filled with blood.
Also shown is the same small side table described above, but with an unwound blue tourniquet draped over the empty vials and torn packaging. Asking staff for permission to take photos during appointments often opens up a brief, though thoughtful, conversation around chronic pain and illness, art, and autonomy, as well as consent itself. Not to mention the extreme breach of privacy, confidentiality, and autonomy.
Not only has the practice of documenting my appointments via photos changed how I experience them, and how my body and psyche cope with repeated instances of frustration, invalidation, and carelessness within institutions, but I get to witness health care workers learning new ideas and perspectives that were likely unexpected when they showed up for their current shift. My left hand holding onto a white plastic rectangular package of SoluPrep Antiseptic Skin Cleanser, marked with the 3M logo on the top left corner, and containing black text indicating ingredients and directions for use.
A tattoo of a sprig of lavender growing up my thumb is within the frame, and my short thumbnail is unpainted. About two weeks before surgery, I had a pre-admission appointment. Instead, it was an intensive three-hour adventure, with dozens of sheets of paperwork to be filled out partly by me, partly by nurses , multiple professionals consulted, five vials of blood drawn, and careful and detailed instructions given on how to prepare for surgery. It was also my final chance to ask questions.
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But by the time the possibility of my hysterectomy started becoming more real, this was no longer true for me. It was an offhand comment, a joke. Aside from that line, her answers were helpful, as were those of my gynecologist and my doctor. My unpainted fingertips hold the sheet on my lap, with my lavender cane resting alongside. I realized only a few days before my appointment that the tights I usually wear would be not only inappropriate, but pretty much impossible. One of my final memories before being anaesthetized was signing one more consent form. Permission for my gynecologist to take pictures of my uterus as the operation was performed!
I was lying back as he held out the clipboard and a pen to me, oxygen mask affixed to my face. Documenting my appointments through photography has changed my experience of these excursions, and has been helpful for my memory, too.
Capturing a photo of the organs being removed from my body is related, but different. I imagined being numbed to the pain but conscious, holding onto my camera.
See a Problem?
I wanted this view held within a frame, to be able to recollect, re-visit. The ceiling, the lights, the scrubs, the flesh. I wanted close-ups, too. Scalpels, laparoscope, blood, veins. This painting was one of many in the long hallway leading to the surgical reception area. Painting shows a man in a red uniform with a staff and metal helmet leading a young, white-gowned girl to I-know-not-where.
The girl is holding her hands to her face, crying. In the background, two women look on, appearing stressed and frightened. Both have worried eyes. Absolutely not. Maybe it was. I felt slightly thwarted but undeterred. There was time to prepare to ask again, to ask somebody else, somebody more involved. Still, it was another victory to celebrate. Entering the operation room was the moment my hysterectomy began to feel real. A very brightly lit room with machines and screens everywhere.
I felt vulnerable without my cane, dressed in a hospital gown, housecoat, and paper slippers. I also felt like this was an initiation. I was directed toward the operating table in the centre of the room, and shown how to position myself and slowly lean back and lay down. They let me wear my glasses until I was sinking into unconsciousness so I could see and understand everything that was going on around me.
Before medical appointments, I usually take Tylenol 3 and Xanax. It was a joy. My appointment was booked for AM, with a requirement to check in before 6. Thankfully, although unable to consume food after midnight, I was allowed to drink water-based fluids up until a few hours before surgery, so I drank my usual black coffee. Heavy rain began to fall while I slept, and persisted most of the day. My mom had come from out of town to accompany me, and spent the night with a nearby friend. So I hold onto my tummy when I shift my body, when I stand up or sit down, and I do not twist or turn to the side.
My mind is constantly focused on the most infinitesimal feelings happening within my stomach. The way things roll, ripple, shift. What breathing feels like. My gynecologist, after the initial period of confirming my name, birth date, location, reason for my hospital visit, etc. Maintaining a conversation in the final phase of set-up is, I think, mandatory in these situations. I remember feeling talkative and kinda giddy, telling stories about some of my tattoos, thanking each person around me for their work, signing one more form, and then blank.
Actually, one more moment before blank. I was asked if I had anymore questions. I thought for a moment, as responded. Have fun! Unfocused backdrop of the photo shows my purple backpack atop a hospital table on wheels, and blurry aqua-tinted skyscrapers through the window. The initial stages of my recuperation were tremendously painful.
There was searing pain throughout my abdomen, inside and out, and I was unable to move my body beyond wiggling my toes and turning my ankles. When I awoke, I remember the sounds of multiple voices around me, but not much of what was said. I was aware of having survived, and of having felt nothing during the process. The multiple voices turned into bodies, wheeling my bed out of the operating room, through corridors, into an elevator, around another hallway or two, and then into another room, this one much more bare than the operating room.
Where stretchers felt bumpy, wobbly, and weak as they were pushed and pulled over bumps, stairs, and the ridges of automatic elevator doors, this bed held firm. And it was a new experience to me to be laying in a bed in motion, returning to consciousness rather than losing it. I thought it was a cute name and turn of phrase, something silly and memorable. To my surprise, I was assigned to a private room. I thought it must be either temporary, a mistake, or both. I also wondered if the wards were full because they were covered, and private rooms remained empty because they were not, and if that led to overcrowding, thus moving uninsured patients to rooms they would not see otherwise.
My mom came into the room with me, sitting in a chair in the corner by the window. I wanted to capture everything. Hysterically Yours,. Background is lavender walls and green, leafy plants. This is gender-affirming and pain-reducing medical care. My mobility will be, once again, reduced through the season as I recuperate. While my surgery is covered, pre- and post-care are not. Social assistance is not enough for rent and food, let alone health services, and the supplementary income I make through writing does not cover my mad-crip-needs.
The spines of my three books are showing, as well as a small ceramic squirrel and a ceramic acorn. Lavender wall in the background. Buy my zines and books. I have two novels, an anthology of the first decade of my non-fiction, and a bunch of zines. A Gift me with money for food and unexpected expenses. Dumpstering takes a lot of time and physical labour , and I will not have the strength to endure. Even raccoons need to rest and be cared for. Ideally, I could have a session weekly or bi-weekly throughout Summer and Fall, with an especial focus on recovering from my hysterectomy and continuing to treat my chronic pain and depression.
My hair is deep violet with pigtails, and I am unsmiling in deep purple lipstick. My lavender cane is resting against the exam table, with a clipboard of paperwork nearby. In the background is a hospital curtain, a small sink, a paper towel dispenser, and small garbage and recycling bins. Everything is white or beige. The short skirt of my dress is visible, the same tights described above, plus my hairy legs and black maryjane shoes on my feet.
My purple backpack is on the beige-tiled floor, and my lavender cane is resting by my side. To the right, a cabinet drawer is open, revealing a blue hospital gown folded inside. Think about me as you make magic under the Full Moon. Light a candle for me, anoint a special object, write my name on a piece of paper, send me a postcard. Celebrate with me wherever you are. As well as making sure I can access good food, a few friends have offered to help do chores around my home, like washing dishes, vacuuming, or cleaning the litterbox and taking out garbage and recycling.
Consider buying me a book from my wishlist. Lemon balm and rue plants are visible on a shelf in the background, as well as a purple Hello Kitty doll. Witches understand. Attending shows as a sick and disabled person makes me nervous — accessibility varies, and I never know what to expect. I prepare notes on access in my head, hoping for clarity, brevity, and assertiveness. I try to be patient. I often have to guide staff through various accessibility requirements and laws because they tend to be unfamiliar with them.
Seeing Marilyn Manson onstage using a wheelchair, his leg in a cast, was akin to a spiritual experience for me. Pink and purple spotlights are glowing. At some point within the last year or two, I started referring to various mobility aids colloquially as crip contraptions.
Chrome footrests, one holding his right leg in a stiff grey plastic cast, with his left foot in the usual black heavy boot, laced tight. It was a beautifully theatrical way of coping with pain and disability while performing. I admired his creativity in turning disability into a kind of performance art, the way his pain and sickness, rather than being hidden, something to be ashamed of, were instead integrated into the show, made more visible. I imagined a sense of love and care passing between each of them, imagined boundaries being negotiated, Marilyn Manson, that strange creature, asking for help.
I was supposed to see him in October — Amber and I were celebrating our 32nd birthday, and I was celebrating the publication of my latest novel, told from the point-of-view of a genderless teenager obsessed with Marilyn Manson — but the show was postponed after he was injured while onstage , crushed by prop guns towering over him as part of the stage set for the Heaven Upside Down tour. At this show, the one I attended with my twin, as he stood at the microphone, his wheelchair was parked below the crossed guns.
I have often imagined my cane as a weapon, so this configuration brought me a particular disabled-glee. And I felt immense joy and magic, such intense aliveness, sitting at their feet, embracing the noise, the presence, screaming along with my favourite songs. Almost close enough to touch. They both have long, black hair and a slumped posture. Marilyn Manson is on the left, wearing a buttoned-up peacoat, and Twiggy is on the right, wearing the classic Twiggy-the-model style mod dress that became so infamous and beloved.
Shortly after the injury that resulted in postponing the tour, Marilyn Manson announced that when the tour resumed, Twiggy Ramirez would no longer be joining him. His status makes it unclear whether Twiggy was kicked out of the band entirely, only for the length of the tour, or some other undetermined amount of time. He was kicked out after Jessicka of Jack Off Jill and Scarling fame told her story of being in a relationship with Twiggy twenty years ago, and of being abused and raped by him.
As a teenager, I romanticized and venerated their relationship and that of Marilyn and Rose, too, and then Marilyn and Dita… , even if only through images and a few lyrics, the actuality of their experiences with one another totally unknown to me. A goth girl with scars in love with a goth boy in a dress, both making strange, angry, uncategorizeable music, was enough to capture the attention of my young, lonely self, and to project whatever meanings I wanted to onto them from my own safe distance.
Visibly sick, medicated, and in pain, I was hyper-aware that Marilyn Manson was performing without his usual support system, without his best friend. I wondered what that felt like for him, and how different the show and the rest of the tour would be had Twiggy remained. As an isolated teenager who left school very young, I had a lot of time to develop total obsessions with celebrities, to feel a pretty crazy special connection with them, and as an adult, some of those obsessions remain close to me, and I find myself contemplating the personal lives of strangers more than I care to admit.
And this situation has given me a way of theorizing friendship and support through celebrities, in ways that might help myself and my readers apply these questions and ideas to our own lives. From watching them make-out in the video for Dope Hat circa , to watching their playful onstage interactions as an adult, and reading interviews with them discussing friendship and sobriety, their images and personas were among the first visions of some of kind of queerness that I had access to when I was young and isolated in a small town, days before the internet and before I could explore my own sexuality beyond watching Velvet Goldmine on repeat and writing fanfiction about Brian Molko and Jarvis Cocker making out yep!
They served almost as a kind of avatar of who I could become, of what my possibilities were I both identified with and was strongly attracted to girlish, feminine men as a teen, while struggling with my own gender and sexuality, with very few outlets for expression and almost no adequate language at all. Toward the end of the show, he danced and thrashed until he injured his leg. But he continued the performance. This Winter, I watched him perform using his gothed-up wheelchair, an electric model rolling him across the stage. Each time he looked in my direction, I wanted to raise my cane in solidarity with him I had a similar feeling when I saw Slipknot on tour with Marilyn Manson recently, and at least one member was using a cane.
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And while he screamed, he had his other hand, the other side of his body, leaning into the wall — he was obviously in pain and having difficulty standing. I really, really had this strong urge to hug him. When I read headlines about him doing this, I felt another kind of affinity with him — the artist in pain, the artist who wants to feel loved, the artist who is witnessing themself lose control of their body, feeling helpless. When my twin and I arrived at the venue, our bags were searched and our bodies were patted down. So I was plucked from the line-up and asked to step aside and wait for security.
The person at the door seemed unaware of accommodations for disabled folks, and suspicious of the meds in my backpack. Another security guard arrived and asked me to show him my meds, and to tell him why I needed an accessible seat. I need them. Also, yes please to making non-disabled people uncomfortable. The place had been redecorated, rebranded. On the balcony, we had black leather couches instead of white plastic lawn chairs, and low coffee tables for drinks, with storage underneath for our backpacks and cardigans.
There was an elbow-height glass barrier with a view of the stage and soundboard, and we were just as close to the band as we had been in the past, but higher up. None of the original members were. As Amber and I sat down on a couch and took off our coats, a few people gathered in front of us at the glass barrier, drinking and talking. But when Marilyn Manson entered the stage, I had the ability to stand. So Amber and I went to the glass barrier, and I held one hand on the railing, one hand on my cane, and danced through the entire show.
I paid a silly amount for it, and wore it while finishing my book. And I wore it to the concert, imagining the sequel, imagining bringing Indigo to the show with me.