Rupi Kaur is shaking the world of poetry.Although she might not be for everyone, she doesn’t claim or try to be – I love that. Whether you enjoy her poems or not, you’ve got to admit you’d never read anything like it before. Like a breath of fresh air, her art combines visuals and rhythm in a simplicity that rejuvenates our minds.
Ever since reading milk and honey, I was personally blown away by the amount of wisdom and magic in such a tiny poetry book. By the time I reached the last page, I was in love with Rupi’s writing style, life outlook, and strength. And couldn’t wait for more of her poems.
At just 21, Kaur has already published three poetry books that use repetition, consonance, and alliteration to stunning effect. She understands on a visceral level something elegant about the shapes of letters, making our ubiquitous Times New Roman font surprising again by playing with its roundness, its potential for contrast. It is no surprise that each of her books has earned New York TimesBestseller notoriety.
So, it is with overwhelming admiration for her genius that I share some of my favorite poems of hers with you readers today. Enjoy!
It’s time for a #GirlBoss story – one about an incredible self-trained nurse who discovered a new, less-invasive treatment for Polio around the time of WW1: Sister Kenny
But, before starting this inspiring story, let’s begin with a refresher of Polio for those who need a reminder:
Polio is a disabling and life-threatening disease that spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis. The disease caused more than 15,000 cases of paralysis a year in the U.S. It was the most feared disease of the 20th century that became prevalent exponentially around the time of WW1.
Fortunately, a vaccine was invented and administered in the 1960s. And since then, there has been a 90% reduction in the number of Polio cases worldwide. And no cases of Polio in the U.S. since the 1980s.
With that said, read on for the incredible story of Elizabeth Kenny.
Born in Australia in 1880, Ms. Kenny was a self-taught nurse in rural Australia. She portrayed immense skill in her job and was adored by most of those in her care. Once WW1 began, she worked as a British army nurse on troopships.
(Due to her exemplary work on these ships, she earned the title of ‘Sister” for her service. Thus, contrary to popular belief, Ms. Kenny was not, in fact, a nun.)
Around the time of WW1, Polio was rising around the world. Most of its victims were children and young adults. Severe cases meant fever and body aches that progressed to varying degrees of paralysis in just hours to days.
5-10% of paralyzed polio victims died, and as many as 50% suffered from persistent, partial paralysis.
The conventional treatment at the time, advocated by doctors and physical therapists, was immobilization. Polio victims were given splints or casts to restrict the affected limbs’ movement and prevent further deformity.
One night, Ms. Kenny was called to care for a child whose symptoms included contorted limbs and a stiffly curved spine. As a self-taught nurse who practiced most of her career in a rural Australian village, Ms. Kenny had not encountered such symptoms before. She sent a telegraph to her friend Dr. McDonnell, who lived in a nearby Australian community, for a diagnosis and guidance. The diagnosis of Polio was made by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brack via Dr. McDonnell, who, in his telegram reply, told Kenny to treat the symptoms as best she could. He didn’t provide her with any further direction.
Thus, in doing so, Sister Kenny began wrapping the child’s stiff limbs in hot, woolen sheets, hoping to relieve what she called ‘spasms.’ She sighed with relief when the treatment seemed to work: the child’s limbs straightened. Yet, she soon discovered that the child could not move his legs. She assumed that the child’s muscles have forgotten how to move on their own. In an attempt to ‘re-educate’ them, she began gently massaging and exercising the child’s paralyzed muscles, enabling passive movement. She also guided him with active coordination. Soon, the child benefitted from her treatment and achieved a miraculous, full recovery.
After this patient encounter, she learned of five other similar cases in her town and administered the same technique to each diseased child. Almost inexplicably, they all recovered to the same extent as the first child. Kenny was able to cure all her cases to the point of the children being able to walk unaided.
Ironically, Sister Kenny was unaware of her immense discovery. It was not until she decided to visit her friend Dr. McDonnell that she learned about the recent Polio outbreak and its ‘proper’ treatment. Polio victims were generally treated by immobilization of the affected muscles, which requires splints, braces, and aids to assist in walking.
Ms. Kenny was shocked. She informed her friend of the six Polio-infected children that she had treated to full recovery and how she did so by mobilizing their limbs, not immobilizing them.
Of course, in realizing what Ms. Kenny has accomplished, Dr. McDonnell immediately takes her to see a colleague of his – an orthopedic specialist named Dr. Brack – at a local hospital.
When Brack hears her story, he quickly disregarded it as nonsense, fiction, impossible. He claimed that the children that she ‘cured’ must not have been suffering from Polio in the first place. Dr. Brack refuses to allow Elizabeth to demonstrate or treat acute cases in his hospital to fear the patients’ safety and well-being.
As Elizabeth begins to be convinced by Dr. McDonnell that she has discovered a new, more effective treatment for Polio, she begins to butt heads with Dr. Brack. Brack is convinced that she is a quack, primarily because she is not a physician, let alone not one specializing in orthopedics. Dr. Brack ultimately convinced the same to the entire orthopedics community in Australia and continued to be ridiculed. Despite this, Sister Kenny fought back. She opened up her clinic to gain notoriety and further prove her point.
Ms. Kenny’s legacy still lives on. Not only was she a nurse questioning physicians’ authority, but she was also a woman – and a very outspoken one, with no problem challenging the overwhelmingly male medical profession. But most importantly, in my opinion, it was Ms. Kenny’s fierce adherence to what was observed at the bedside that holds the most relevance today.
She thought that she could see and feel muscles improve as she ministered to her patients. She saw her patients recover at rates she believed were much higher than those treated conservatively. Who needed clinical trials when the proof was right in front of her? Her doctor-friend wrote, “the empirical evidence embodied in her patients’ recovery proved her therapy worked.”
Was Ms. Kenny correct? It is debatable. Her emphasis on early mobilization has come to be a mainstay of polio treatment and physical therapy more broadly. Yet, some of her claims about the nature of the disease and how patients recovered were eventually proved wrong. And the successful development of a polio vaccine in the 1950s made these debates much less pressing.
Yet, in an era of evidence-based medicine and reliance on large-scale clinical trials involving thousands of patients, her emphasis on bedside clinical observation flourishes. Ms. Kenny once wrote, “[her opponents] have eyes, but they see not.”
These days, we’ve gotta wear these masks whether we like to or not. Suffering from breakouts due to these new regulations is no fun.
For those who want to abolish mascne for good, and dream of clear and glowing skin with and without the mask, these tips are for you. Keep on reading if you’re interested.
1. Remove any and all makeup before you head to bed.
Your skin does a lot while you’re asleep. The cells are renewing; the tissue is trying to heal and moisten naturally. If you leave makeup on while you’re sleeping, you prevent all that lovely rejuvenation from happening. It takes 5 minutes – don’t forget to do it.
If you need a little more motivation to do so: visualize all of that residual makeup making contact with your mask in the morning. Think about all those breakouts you are going to prevent. Yes, that’s it. One foot in front of the other. You go, girl.
2. Wash your mask weekly (if it is reusable).
You wash your makeup brushes, your clothes, and your face, don’t you? It is necessary to clean your mask with that same logic if you’re leaving your home and wearing it often.
Just throw it in the washer along with the rest of your clothes. Avoid the dryer (to prevent any shrinkage) and let the mask air-dry for a few hours. Then it’s good to go.
3. Wear lighter face makeup.
This may sound daunting to some – but don’t worry. You can still wear your favorite mascara and eyeliner. And you can always touch up a few imperfections around your forehead with a bit of concealer and powder if you wish.
But avoid the heavy, sponge-set foundation, concealer, and powder regimen around your mouth, nose, chin, and lower cheeks.
Besides – if you’re in public, your mask should be on and covering these areas anyway, so there’s no need for this whole shebang (especially if it’s a hot day – the sweat + the makeup + the mask = torture for your pores.)
4. Invest in a silk mask.
The science behind this parallels the benefits of using silk bed sheets, silk pillowcases, even silk underwear. Silk is great for breakouts.
According to Dr. Sobel, “Silk is cooling, naturally hypoallergenic, and tends to absorb less moisture than cotton, so it won’t dry out your skin… Also, 100% silk does not clog pores.”
Happy pores = clear skin!
5. Be consistent with your skincare routine.
Invest in a great face wash, scrub, toner, and sunscreen for daily use. Don’t forget to do this since consistency is key.
I hope these tips help you out! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below or DM on Instagram (@her_runway).
(Looking for top-rated beauty products? Check out this article.)
With COVID among us, it’s easy to lose track of your fitness and let yourself go. I’m no professional athlete, but I definitely have slacked on working out. But not anymore; not for those who read Her Runway.
Listen up, ladies. Thanksgiving is approaching, Christmas will fly by, January thru May will as well, and then we’re back to #HotGirlSummer.
My BF has decided to take on 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 crunches every morning for a week (perhaps he came across this article). Anyway, I decided that I am doing the same, but divided by two (50 of each) (and the push-ups will be done on my knees). Alas, I’ve called it:
For 7 days, do this every morning:
These three body-weight moves can be done without any equipment and have ample opportunity for modification depending on your physical ability and health. These exercises will target your core, booty, and arms, respectively, although they all target more than one area and are great to do regardless.
WHY JUST 7 DAYS?
Because why not.
With that said,
I challenge you to join me.
Do this every day for seven days (modifications as necessary), and leave a comment below with how you’re feeling.
Come back to this article for a daily diary of how I’m feeling afterward, plus before and after pics after the week is up. Sore will probably be an understatement.
We’re human. We feel happy, sad, anxious, overwhelmed, relieved, jealous. And we all have one of those days. You know what I’m talking about – those days where you have sh*t to do, but all you want to do is crawl under the covers, erase your to-do list, scroll Pinterest, watch Youtube, binge Netflix, eat Ben n Jerrys, or play Animal Crossing on the Switch…
The next time you feel this way, I’ve got you covered. With these tips & tricks, you will feel energized and ready for some productivity. Keep reading if you’re interested.
1. WRITE A TO-DO LIST.
Take five minutes and quickly jot down anything you need to get done for the day. Writing things down makes you more likely to actually get it done. Crazy, right?
2. DRINK A TALL GLASS OF WATER.
Drinking a cold glass of water always wakes me up and leaves me feeling refreshed. If you don’t like the taste of water (like some people I know…), try spicing things up with some Crystal Light powder or flavor it by infusing lemon wedges / cucumber slices. 😍
3. TAKE A COLD SHOWER.
It is well documented scientifically that cold showers significantly boost your mood and productivity. It turns out, that high you feel after a long run or a good workout is exactly what occurs after a cold shower – your brain pumps out endorphins because it thinks you’re in “pain,” but really you’re just covered in cold water for a few minutes. Hallelujah!
4. EAT A HEALTHY MEAL / SNACK.
If you know me, you know I love a good salad. If you’re not a fan, there must be a favorite fruit or veggie of yours. Eat it. You will feel much better than binging that tub of Ben n’ Jerry’s, trust me…
5. CALL YOUR FRIENDS / FAMILY.
Give yourself a half hour to catch up with those you love. Especially if you’re feeling isolated during this lockdown, this is essential, and will boost your mood, and hence your productivity.
6. MOVE YOUR BODY.
A short walk around the block will offer you a change of scenery, while a Youtube Blogilatesworkout will have you really breaking a sweat. Whichever modality you prefer, you can’t go wrong with either.
Check out a compilation of most favorite quotes here.
8. GIVE YOURSELF A FEW HOURS TO RELAX.
Even the best of us require time for ourselves. You may be feeling burnt-out, especially during this pandemic. Remember that sometimes the best medicine is relaxation. Give yourself some time to do exactly what you wanted – take a nap, do a face mask, listen to your favorite music, read a book, play games on your Nintendo Switch. Check out my best self-care tips here.
Ultimately, make sure to never feel guilty about having one of those days. They happen to all of us at some point or another, and for some more than others. What’s more important is what we do to overcome these emotions. What are your favorite things to do on days like these? Leave a comment below.