The funny thing about chronic illness…

Is that over and over again you mourn your healthier body. Last night after speaking with one of my doctors I’ve been told they’re reasonably assured I have another chronic condition.

Another. Chronic. FUCKING. Condition.

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I’ve about McFucking had it with being Chronically ill. It’s only in the last 20 years or so that the link between health and mental health has been prominent.

It can be incredibly isolating, and scary and confusing. I’m thankful and lucky to have a support system but even with all of us the medical system is so woefully impeded at every possible turn in order for the medical industry to turn a fat profit.

As I write this having woken up already nauseous and gotten out of bed because it hurts to lay down with a fresh diagnosis rattling around in my head I am feeling just a little bit forlorn and throwing perhaps not a pity party but maybe a pity pot luck, I also feel frustrated and angry.

Many people I know have to go through this process over and over again, some because of their weight, which has been a factor for me. Doctors will ignore anything wrong with overweight people. Which leads to tons of undiagnosed problems, and in many cases serious illnesses missed.

In the last year, I’ve lost about 150 lb, as I’ve been saying to friends “Don’t get me wrong – I’m still fat as fuck, but erring closer to average American obesity rather than TLC series obesity. I eat my feelings, and clearly, I’ve had a lot of fucking feelings. Every doctor has congratulated me on this that I have seen, and I don’t think it is bad on the face of it – however I lost this weight because I have been too sick to eat or keep food in my system for more than 20 minutes on some days, with regularity.

Just last month was literally one of the happiest days I can remember in a long time, I went out with my mother and sister to my favorite comic book store in the world and got a warm hug and an invitation from someone I’d dare even call a friend.

Then we went to the beach in Asbury Park – I’ve never been to that boardwalk and it was beautiful and accessible!! I was overjoyed to participate in summer activities with my wheelchair that I hadn’t taken part in for some time, and I was even able to walk around a bit without my cane!

Then I compare that to this morning, fighting off a new infection, my hips, lumbar and neck already screaming before breakfast, which I can’t eat, the slight termors in my dominant hand, the migraine looming just under my temples, and I just feel pissed off and defeated and scared.

The only way forward for me personally is forging on to treat and abate the symptoms and try to give my wrecked immune system some healing in any small way. Mostly this is just an update about how I’m sicker, but still alive.

I also want to give a shoutout to @butyoudontlooksick on Instagram who I’ve started volunteering with as their Press team lead.

I am trying to take this pain and make it useful, I’ve been giving BYDLS all my extra spoons and I think they’re doing something really great, more than any of us can really conceptualize. Helping others feel less alone by being open and honest about all my bullshit is a tiny step personally, but if it helps even one person feel less alone in a body that is failing them over and over, why the fuck not?

Possibly the longest 4 months of my life…

Welp. Let’s go to the scoreboard Cotton –

02/08/2020: Booked Wedding Venue
02/12/2020: Changed therapists (old one threw a tantrum.)
02/17/2020: Abdominal Ultrasound (Bonus panic attack on the table.)
03/02/2020 :(Mystery sick for 1.5 years) Oncology appt (Cancer free.)
03/01/2020: Tarot Class with Bonny
03/05/2020: Start streaming with Stamps and Jacob, try to keep TOS.
03/10/2020: First confirmed case of COVID in Philly
03/23/2020: Cancel a ct scan / Xray that I really needed because COVID.
04/04/2020: 5 year anniversary with Joe.
04/08/2020: Fiance’s mom gets COVID. A week after my dad’s best friend.
04/18/2020: My younger cousin (26) dies.
04/19/2020: Grandfather has pleurisy.
05/08/2020: Former friend tries to drag me into a very public meltdown.
05/09/2020 -Present: Dealing with random DM’s and the fallout from that.
05/13/2020: Uncle is given 2 months to live.
05/16/2020: Find out a close friend’s health issues are deadly.
05/20/2020: Father has a heart attack, can’t visit ICU because COVID.
05/22/2020: Dad is home and mending (Holy shit. Thank bob.)
05/24/2020: Uncle is given 2 weeks to live.
05/26/2020: Uncle is given days to live.
05/27/2020: Give myself a chemical burn breaching my roots.
06/05/2020: Fiance having MAJOR reconstructive foot surgery.

+ 20 to existential crisis / dread
+ 20 to depression
+ 20 to anxiety
– 60 to resources
r100 for pain/exhaustion/nausea.

Memento mori is either a blessing or a curse. Some of the dates might be slightly incorrect, you’ll have to forgive me as the construct of time is starting to lose all meaning.

I’m still here. Lost, frustrated, in pain, stressed and worried, about myself – I’ve lost 100lbs this year, unintentionally (not to say it’s not on balance a good thing, just, not having answers to health problems is unsettling to say the least.)

Worrying about everyone else, about the repercussions of what is happening in the world right now.

There are good days, there are, but the bad days are bad-er than Sam Jackson and it’s overwhelming. At least the dispensary delivers now. Silver linings. Even then…

I do have support and a safety net. There are people who listen to me bitch about all of this, some are friends, some are family, some I pay by the hour. Sometimes just getting it out is comfort.

Sure, YOU will probably be fine.

Since the break of all the Covid news, back when it started in Wuhan, it wasn’t cause for concern around here.

It’s another country, it’s nowhere near us. Then it was Italy, and even when they said that the world needed to take notice and do better than they did, the response from many was still a blithe ‘So what?’

If it’s not in our backyard we don’t think about it or consider it a threat, and even now, when it’s on our fucking porch banging on the door; people are still not taking things seriously.

I know I’m not the only one saying this but it’s not about if *you* think you’re going to catch this, we all probably will. You will more than likely become a plague carrier with a slight cold, maybe bad flu.

You will touch someone, you will touch your face, you will cough on someone, you will share space with someone where you don’t sterilize common household areas… because you… I don’t even know, don’t think it’s real? Think you’re immune?

None of this would be problematic if that’s where it starts and ends but it’s not, so many vulnerable people, not just the elderly, but handicapped, immunocompromised, autoimmune sufferers, diabetics. These people are at the worst risk.

If you know me personally, Hi there! Some of you are probably putting me at risk, along with people you love and people you will miss. I’m sure if you think, there’s someone in your life that falls in these categories, so for the love of FSM think about how you’d want people to act in this kind of situation if it was them on the line. (Spoiler: it is.)

I have been wondering for the last 3 months as my health has fluctuated severely, in my darkest moments, if I will make it to my own wedding next year. In my heart of hearts, I believed I would.

I’m not so sure right now.


New Year, who dis?

There’s a line from a Black Sabbath song where Ozzy laments being ‘Sick and tired of being sick and tired’.

I know how the prince of darkness feels honey. As many of my friends and loved ones know, my health has been a struggle for years. None of which was helped out by a major car accident, residual trauma, chronic pain feat. bulging disc L4 + L5, herniated disc, nerve damage C7, Hip bursitis. I also have sleep Apnea, T2 Diabetes, Asthma, Edema, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and severe gastro stuff. I got the whole damn alphabet right now.

Exhausted, burnt out and sick would be understatements. Existential crises sprinkled on top for added flavor. I don’t say any of this to complain (well, maybe a little) but to explain what the current state of my body and mind are. In the last 12 months, cumulatively I spent about a month admitted to the hospital.

We got engaged this year (October 2019), and are planning to get married in October 2021. I am BEYOND excited to have the best party ever surrounded by my favorite people. (Mick, mom said you have to save her a dance.) I’m even more excited to spend the rest of my life with my person.

I’ve lost near to 80lbs in the last year too (not all of it on purpose, though, that’s the goal.) and we’re working on the ever near-toppling Jenga tower that is my body and brain. I don’t have any new year’s resolutions per se, just to keep trying, and keep showing up.

I know now is when people make resolutions and promises that may or may not be kept. If you’re struggling with it all, or maybe just having a bad day; keep going. Stay here because you deserve to be here, and you deserve to have a life worth living. Whatever that looks like to you.

I don’t know how regularly I’m going to be updating, but I am going to try to show up more often because that’s most of what life is. Showing up, for yourself, for the people you love, and for the people who love you.

Hello World…

So, what happened? Where have I been? Where is PhillyGeekGirl?

Let me ‘splain… no, take too long. Let me sum up. I lost my entire website due to having no back up and a lapsed hosting account that I just wassn’t paying attention to.

Eventually I vowed to re-do all the back posts and start over again with the help of the wayback machine (hence the latest posts prior to this being from 2016). Who abandoned that task with wreckless abandon? You guessed it! This gal! I was waiting for the perfect time to relaunch the site, but that doesn’t exist so here I am!

Once again, here we are. I have no idea what this is all going to be, but I didn’t have any solid plans when I started PhillyGeekGirl. I’ll probably write about cons and events, people I’m really excited about, chronic pain and disability and trying to get right with myself.

In case you’re new; I work for a delightful videogame remix label, I’m a weird, loud nerd. I was also in a life altering car accident about 6 years ago and I am trying to navigate undoing a lot of damage from that as well as a lot of damage I’ve done to myself.

It only made sense, since everywhere else on the internet, I go as Ellyrox, we’ve changed the site over, I’ve imported a ton of back posts from PGG and beyond (still working on adding more), enjoy!

Peep our badass logo thanks to @Vickorano! You can check out more of her work here.

In the last few years I’ve gained so much in the way of friends and perspective… If you made it this far, good for you! I don’t know why either of us is here in the cosmic sense or specifically this, but thanks for hanging out to see whatever the hell this turns out to be.

(Btw, Hi Mike, old chum. I hope you are happy to see the blog again)

Hospital Blues

So guess who’s got two thumbs and spent a week the hospital? This gal! I’m okay, but it turns out, I got the beetus.

The most hilarious part of this whole thing was doctor after doctor walking into the hospital room, seeing my fat ass in the bed and going “So, how long have you been Diabetic?” and me answering “Uh, now, right now, this just happened.” and watching someone with 7 years of schooling fail at back peddling.

Sadly this also means that I missed MAGFest this year. My sister was kind enough to collect some autographs and well wishes for me, which was awesome. Everyone was really sweet to her. I made her go without me and signed my ticket over to my moms so they could still have a good time. Steph got to see NSP live in concert.

After MAG, while recuperating I got to spend some time with some of my favorite people over at Micks, where we heard the song Harry made about Mick’s panel appearance at MAG. Apparently, I missed a good time.

Monica and I bein cuties

Chris, Monica, and Mick chillin.

Valentines was fun, up until the whole hospital thing.

RIP David Bowie

I can remember sitting cross-legged on the floor of my then best friends attic, listening to LP’s on her parents record player. Among introducing me to Monty Python and George Carlin, we would sit on that floor and listen to David Bowie (David Jones) albums. I also inevitably heard David Bowie on the radio and saw him on MTV in my household growing up. My father, king geek among my circle, has always had eclectic music tastes, and fostered me to have the same, so of course I took to Bowie like a duck to water.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Labyrinth. For all the puppets and creatures in the movie the things that have always stuck with me were Jareth the Goblin king and the music. ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ bizarre and oddly captivating, an early sci-fi cult classic. Velvet Goldmine, while not staring Bowie is undeniably based on him. If I were to go on and list everything the man has ever done, this would be a very long post, and wouldn’t do him justice.

Bowie consistently reinvented himself and his music, he has been a special hero to the weirdos and outcasts since the 1969. Generations have discovered and held dear his music, style and pop iconography. I’m no different. Most of us never got to meet or know him, but many of us love him because he understood us, somehow with a preternatural sense to make those who didn’t belong feel like we have a place in the world, or at least feel like it was Ok not to belong.

Today the world has lost a truly amazing artist, nothing anyone will write can fully describe his lasting impact.
I leave you with a few of my favorites from Mr. Jones.

Unhappy Holidays

I know I joke a lot on here about things, but there’s been a lot of mental health posts around the web as of late, for anyone who may find this relevant, you’re not alone. Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Boxing Day is the time to be together with family, exchange gifts, love your fellow-man, etc. For many of us however it’s a stressful anxiety ridden gauntlet. Worrying about finding perfect gifts for loved ones, worrying about money, about time, and about one’s own march toward their inevitable grave. (Haha, oh my god, seriously how are people not just constantly freaking out about that?)

While it seems like most people are living their lives with carefree and gleeful delight (How?!), you get up go to your job every day, come home and plan for family gatherings feeling like an empty skinwalking husk of a person. Autopilot has taken over and while you may be meeting your responsibilities and possibly even socializing inside your brain is trying to kill you in one way or another.

You may feel hopeless at times, you might feel that all of the trimmings and materialism are pointless rituals; meaningless in the grand scheme of life. You might feel manic, and then crash hard. You won’t always feel that way. The moments where your mind and heart seem to conspire against you is not who you are all the time, and it’s not your reality. Please try keeping that in mind this holiday season, and remember there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

Sidenote: Searching stock images for ‘Holiday Stress’ might be enough to cheer you up.

In fact, if you need to talk to someone, here are some resources:

In the US: Chat anonymously with an Active Listener: 7 Cups of Tea | Live Chats: (2pm-2am ET) or | National Eating Disorders Association or 1–800–931–2237 | S.A.F.E. Alternatives for Stopping Self Abuse or 1–800-DONT-CUT (366–8288) | National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 1–800–273-TALK (8255) or en Espanol | The Trevor Project (LGBT crisis intervention) or 1-866-488-7386 | Rape Abuse & Incest National Network or 800-656-HOPE (4673) | SELF INJURY RECOVERY | Vent online HERE or HERE | HAVE AN MOBILE APPLICATION FOR ANXIETY! | In the UK: The Samaritans or 08457 90 90 90

Learn More and Get Involved

To Write Love on Her Arms | Half of Us | Love is Louder |Self Injury Foundation



Happy Holidays and stay safe.

Kick your NYE hangover with Willam at Kung Fu Necktie

Once you’ve opened your presents, eaten pie and cajoled with far flung family and friends (sometimes involuntarily!)  get your ass to Kung Fu Necktie on New Years Day to see one of the funniest queens out there, WILLAM. (Tickets) In light of the upcoming hometown gig, Willam was lovely enough to answer a few questions for you, our dear readers, start your year off right with an excellent show and a tight tuck.

Willam is a former (controversial) RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, an actress who has appeared in several major TV shows and films, and a model for OCC Cosmetics, American Apparel and Marco Marco. He’s also an accomplished performer with a Billboard No. 1-charting solo album and the host of Willam’s Beatdown, where those less fortunate on the internet get their asses handed to them with Willam’s sharp wit and even sharper tongue.

PGG: First of all, I want to thank you, I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you! I’ve loved Queens since my first pridefest at 15, and you are by far my favorite! Philly is your hometown, what do you get excited about coming back for?

Willam: The best part about coming home to Philly is all the stuff I can put in my mouth. Friends, food, still-drunken Mummers with low standards.

PGG: Do you play video games, if so, what are a few of your favorites?

Willam: I only play Mortal Kombat and anything Mario. Madden sometimes, too. (Editors note: Solid choices!)

PGG: Do you have a favorite aspect of drag? Least favorite?

Willam: My favorite part about doing drag is making people laugh- whether it’s because of my jokes, my poorly applied makeup or whatever I put in my butt on stage. My least favorite is answering the same questions over and over.

PGG: When you started doing drag, did you find your style quickly? How has that evolved over time?

Willam: My style in drag is just an extension of my normal style.

PGG: You’ve been painted by some of the best MUA’s in the business, do you have any looks that you loved in particular? What are some of your go to make up brands?

Willam: Really? You’re asking the face of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics what their favorite makeup brand is ? F’real? The fuck you think I’m gonna say? NYX? OCC is obviously my favorite brand. For lashes, I love Makeup Forever and Sugarpill. I use Scott Barnes Body Bling and blush a lot too. (You can check out OCC Make up here.)

PGG: Did you think when you were starting out that you would become a ‘household’ name?

Willam: That’s like planning to win an Olympic medal because you know it’ll go with your outfits. That’s not how it should work.

PGG: How long does it take to film an episode of Beatdown? What is a typical day on set like?

Willam: BEATDOWN takes up my full day usually when I do it. It’s basically stand-up for a few hours that then gets chopped down. I’m exhausted by the end.

PGG: Do you feel like a role model for others coming up in the drag / lqbtq community?

Willam: I don’t feel like a role model and I don’t care to be.

PGG: Do you have any advice for young queer / lgbtq fans?

Willam: No teeth.

PGG: What’s coming up for you in 2016?

Willam: I have a book coming out in October from Hachette called Suck Less: Where There’s a Willam, There’s a Way and I’m continuing my YouTube asshattery at

Come out and see Willam on 1/1/2016, check out his videos and follow him on twitter!

Tis the season for the Force to Awaken

We’re 10 days away from the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So look, like every good nerd, I am excited about the new Star Wars movie, I wonder though if I am excited enough. I don’t plan on camping out, or even seeing it opening weekend (serious eff opening weekend crowds), and I might not even see it the following weekend, but I will definitely go see it.

While many other fan boys and girls are virtually peeing themselves in anticipation, I am just neutral about the 7th installment to the saga. Yes, I like what Abrams has done for Star Trek, and I don’t have any issues with his other work, but the Star Wars franchise has been pretty well beaten into the ground.

In order to blow my mind this movie is really going to have to work for it, and no I’m not mad about there being storm troopers of various races. How unmitigatedly self centered and stupid do you have to be to assume that in the future there’s only going to be white clones in the clone army? No. Stop it. You’re cool with aliens that look like Gonzo, but not a black dude? Get the eff outta here with that noise.

Are you going to check out Star Wars The Force Awakens? Will it be a Midnight showing, or something more low key? Let us know!