brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
So. Multiple friends have suggested I write something like this, because no matter how often I say it, I still get invalidated, scolded, told I shouldn't be doing it because it upsets people. And of course, it would be talking about my life, my disabilities, my personal health, in public forums.

To paraprhase a friend: "...taking someone's lived experiences as they apply to their particular disability and how it expresses itself, and saying that they can't talk about that because it will make other people feel bad, is not okay and it invalidates them to varying degrees. Different disabilities affect different people in different ways."

In other words, sometimes comparing things is bad. We are human. Humans all have problems. Each human has their own set of problems. Some humans want to talk about their personal problems in ways that other humans find annoying, upsetting, unsettling - but other humans find those ways comforting, eye-opening, powerful.

I don't know how else to say it, so I'll be blunt, and this time I am not going to pull any punches:
Read more... )
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Good news: I have personal anecdotal evidence that at least six grams of Inositol powder per day have seriously curbed symptoms of multiple anxiety disorders, OCD, and ADHD-Inattentive Type. It will take a few months to really see major effects, but combined with the new Cymbalta, the therapeutic inositol is a good thing for me. For ME. Mom sent me the inositol powder she had because she said it was too sweet. It's been replacing sugar in my coffee for a few weeks now. Besides, you need more inositol if you drink coffee.
http://www.integrativepsychmd.com/articles1/inositol

I'm almost recovered from this respiratory virus thing. Using Mucinex D has helped, although I'll be happy to no longer need it. I miss free deep independent breathing. Not even these qigong exercises work enough. But that is what modern medicine is for. And holistic medicine for balancing support. *drinks more Fenugreek honey tea with mangosteen powder*

The fibromyalgia flare that has plagued me for a full month is still in full strength, but I feel like I am too used to it. I wonder if that's a bad thing.

I see my general physician tomorrow anyway: We were planning on discussing my new positive relationship with Cymbalta and its amelioration of my worst episodes of OCD, ADHD, panic disorder, and nightmares. But mentioning something to kill a virus is a good idea as well. And the next day is my monthly pain specialist appointment. I plan on talking about the canned oxygen treatments I've been taking.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)

Hello, walking pneumonia,  it's been a long time.
Grump. Adam has shaken it off like a wet dog thanks to his supreme immune system. Me? BAHAHAHA NO. Grump. The virus teamed up with the fibromyalgia, spasticity, ataxia, epilepsy, and autistic comorbids. Adam couldn't get how I was too weak to lift a slice of beloved New York pizza to mouth unless I drank whole milk just for calories. It was hunger, viral illness, disabilities, chronic illnesses, altogether now. I'm eating slowly as much as possible now. My go to safe food during hunger fatigues is always dairy, since it saved my life in college, and it's been long debunked that dairy products make the body produce  more mucus. Second safety food is nut butter like cashew and almond, or peanut butter. Yesterday's sandwich of  smooth cashew butter with lingonberry preserves on multi grain bread was divine.

I'm super cold. My temperature is so low, I'm a brown dwarf. Husband's joke, he's the astronomy nerd. While I agree that I may not have enough mass to trigger internal combustion yet, the neuro-psychiatric chemicals and neurons running around the inferior parietal lobe are making jokes about how "less mass is the whole point lolz" and excuse me, I need kick my brain in the insula now.

Current encouraging meal: yellow rice mixed with crema, mushroom, and crumbled bacon. Really really encouraging flavor.

(Seriously, my basal temperature hovers around 98.3 normaly. Right now it's at 97.2... Husband is always amused that I rarely create my chi flow after meals. He's a furnace, instantly beginning metabolic burn so intense that he projects heat. Me? My core is cold. My chi might as well be ice. Since I do work a little with chakras and basic reiki, I know how often my solar plexus chakra is partially blocked. Weird thing is that the few times I did healing touch on friends, they mentioned that i projected cooling energy, like a burn being soothed or a soft autumn breeze.

I will see if I can start my metabolism furnace more quickly. Also, velvet cardigan!

brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
My general physician refuses to referr me for hyperbaric oxygen for what I agree is totally valid reasons, unless my neurologist and pain specialist both think it's okay. I just finished a scholarly article saying that there were no conclusive findings or great evidence that it did anything for brain damage. But we'll see what the other doctors think.


Oxygen Therapy or Hot Air? Bioethicists Say Treatment Doesn't Pass the Test - NBC News.com http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/oxygen-therapy-or-hot-air-bioethicists-say-treatment-doesnt-pass-n262791
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Holy random acts of kindness, Batman.
After getting my flu vaccine, I went to look at the cane rack, because they have this beautiful blue and silver one that looks like dragon scales, and I have been waiting for discounts and coupons so I could get it. The price is under twenty dollars, but still.
A middle-aged man who looked so much like Idris Elba that I did a second take, also reached for the blue silver cane. Our eyes met, I smiled briefly. He said, "You know, I bet this would make an awesome magic staff for cosplay."
I grinned and said, "Good plan! I should at least join a game just so I can brag. Or just be my paganish elf self and cosplay every day." Which was blurted out because my filter is so thin.
The Idris Elba lookalike chuckled. "I adore that idea. I just pray to all mighty Atheismo that we aren't going too deep. Like that Tom Hanks movie."
My jaw dropped. "Duuude," I said. "Futurama reference plus obscure D&D rip-off movie nee book reference? Cripple high five!"
We high fived and missed on purpose, stumbling. "Mild cerebral palsy, spastic hemiplegia" I said. "Mild cerebral palsy, diplegia mixed," he said. "And knee arthritis."
"And sciatica," we said in union, surprising ourselves.
"Fibromyalgia and epilepsy and autism too," I added.
He said, "My twin nieces are autistics! Their world is so awesome. I think they prefer me to my brother when they're in meltdowns, they talk about what's going on in detail."
"Awesome!" I said.
At this point, we had been staring at the canes and I had been avoiding too much eye contact. I was about to ask the Idris Elba lookalike about advocacy. Then I saw a gleam in his eye and sensed a topic shift. "Hey, listen," he said. "I'm a proponent of the pay it forward thing. I know we're strangers, but I do know enough about you that you really want the dragon scale cane."
I tilted my head. "Yeeeaah?"
"So, okay." He pulled some pieces of paper from his pocket. "I've got a buy one get one half off for this brand of canes. I will buy you your cane. What do you think?"
I blinked a few times. I looked at him. He wasn't hitting on me. He wasn't being creepy. He was just a fellow cripple offering help.
"Okay," I said, "thank you! That's really kind."
"Hey, the community needs all the assistance we can get from each other. Cripples helping cripples, you know?"
I smiled. "Totally."
As we walked to a register, he said, "I want you to know that I had no intention of hitting on you. I see your rings, and for all I know they could mean something else. But while I think you're a gorgeous-looking person, I have no plans on being a That Guy. I punch Those Guys on a regular basis."
"Huh?"
"Physical trainer. Not so much punch as pinch in sensitive areas. Men can be scum."
I giggled. "Hashtag Not All Men!"
He laughed. "Anyway, let me pay for everything." He nodded at my basket, which had a few comfort items. I immediately said he shouldn't, since he was getting me the cane.
He then put my basket on the conveyor belt, looked at me until I noticed that his eyes had gold rings, and said, "Then pay it forward. Help another cripple." The corner of his mouth turned up. "Even if it's just donating to help someone get better access."
I nodded. I was going to cry any minute. He paid for everything, put his things in two totes and put my things in two more totes. He saved me almost forty dollars.
He said, "I would offer you a ride, but my friend's picking me up so we can go back to Philly. It's been a great road trip so far."
I nodded. "It's cool. I'm going to take the bus home anyway." I was feeling giddy. "Well, obviously we had this encounter for a reason. So. It was lovely meeting you, clone of Idris Elba."
He threw back his head and laughed. "I get that a lot. Same to you, clone of Mia Sara. Anyway, I'm Laurence."
"Joanna."
We fist-bumped and he helped adjust my cane for my height. We walked outside together, and he stood at the curb to wait for his friend while I walked across the parking lot. I turned and waved. He waved back and kept looking at me. I realized it was to make sure I was safe.
I got to the sidewalk crosswalk and peered back. I saw him get into a green SUV. I realized I would probably never see him again.
I am definitely going to Pay It Forward.

***

Also! Links! For future reference!
http://www.neurodiversity.com/main.html
http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/associative-conditions/
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/10/03/autism-common-cerebral-palsy/18775/

***

Also!
PMS is vicious. Although with oral contraceptives, it's technically withdrawal bleeding rather than menstruation. Besides, I haven't truly bled in over a year. Being on the highest dose of birth control for over fourteen years will do that to some women.
PMS is vicious. A veliciraptor chewing through my pelvis. There's a photo out there of a plastic female human skeleton, with a toy raptor stuck head-first through the pelvic bone.
And the bloating and bizarre fluctuations on the bathroom scale.
Having slid back to psychiatric anorexia after failing to control neurochemical anorexia, I know damn well I should not stand on that scale especially during this time. I know damn well that numbers don't mean as much as how my clothing fits. But paranoia bred from life-long anxiety over disordered eating patterns is paranoia. And then there was the entire food=growth=death connection when I was little. And then there was being under a hundred pounds until my mid-twenties. And then there was the anorexia voices insisting that I needed to get back to that, being under five feet tall. I was never overweight. I used to weigh something around the high "set point" - but I have no idea where I've constructed this memory of being convinced to lose twenty pounds. Unfortunately, my illness has burrowed deep enough into my subconscious that my thoughts have turned to the classic hallmarks of anorexia: "I absolutely must be below X number or I will never feel right". The unwillingness to stop. The belief that everything is wrong. I know where I am. I know what's happening. I've been able to compartmentalize and separate enough so that I smack myself when those thoughts occur, so that I at least eat an apple or two, or cheese, yogurt, celery, even cheesecake or dark chocolate. My friends are with me.
Sag Harbor will happen next week, with Thanksgiving. Part of me is in a total blind mute panic. That part doesn't want to eat anything. That part wants to Be Good, Be Perfect. It doesn't matter that I'm over thirty, says the panic. It only matters that I am extremely small and I must keep being extremely small.
To bring everything around again: PMS is not helping. PMS is several numbers upward on the scale because of fluid retention, bloating... losing that fight to not overeat. PMS is barely fitting into the purple dyed jeans yesterday and having them slightly loose today. It isn't helping anything.

But I look at that blue and silver dragon scale cane, bought for me by a total stranger with the same disability as me, and I think the best way I can Pay It Forward is to make sure someone I care for stays as mentally healthy as possible...
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
...I do need to get an account of my own, mind you.

A friend posted this, so I'm sharing.

****

You need a (free) Medscape account to read this (you may, er, need to fudge a little about *technically* being in the healthcare profession . . . my opinion is that those of us who need to spend significant time managing our medical care are roughly equivalent to being at least *part-time* healthcare workers.) ;P

It's important to stay up-to-date on this, because medical continuing education programs don't necessarily require keeping up with specific disease criteria, and may be more general in nature -- plus, the trigger-point/tender-point exam has been around for so long, it's a matter of habit with some clinicians. You will be best-armed to manage your own care, if you walk into your appointments without assuming that your doctor is necessarily knowledgeable about the *most* recent research.

"[T]he 2010 criteria was to create diagnostic criteria that were more user-friendly for clinicians to use in practice— for example, reliance on the tender point exam, which we know may be incorrectly applied in practice and be misleading in suggesting that FM is primarily a muscle or tendon problem as opposed to being primarily a problem with sensitization and dysregulation of the CNS. The new criteria rely more on pattern recognition of the constellation of chronic widespread pain along with other characteristic features such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, cognitive dysfunction, and irritable bowel symptoms—symptoms that may occur either as an independent entity or in association with other chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis."

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/831471

Also, a recent study has shown that fibromyalgia patients process multiple types of sensation differently, not just pain sensations:

"Brain scans of patients with fibromyalgia showed that they processed nonpainful stimuli, such as sound and touch, differently than the brains of people without the disorder. This may explain why patients often complain of hypersensitivity to sensations in everyday life, author Marina López-Solà, PhD, from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Boulder, told Medscape Medical News.

"What we wanted to know is whether in fact there was something in the brain that would account for these feelings in response to stimulation that is not painful in nature," Dr. López-Solà said. The study, published online September 15 in Arthritis & Rheumatism, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that patients with fibromyalgia processed visual, auditory, and tactile sensations with reduced brain activity in primary sensory processing areas, combined it with higher activity in sensory integration areas such as the insula, compared with individuals without fibromyalgia."

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/831831

Please feel free to quote and repost anywhere -- just please don't attach my name to it, since I don't want to lose access to *my* Medscape account. Thanks!

***
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Because part of All The Therapy is blogging my feels. And this was short enough anyway.

'kay.

I'm having a Being Elsa day. My symptoms are awful and well beyond control, and the smallest thing triggers the fibromyalgia pain and the mild C-PTSD symptoms. I cannot even hear or read someone speak from the cult of positive thinking without internal screaming.

I've seen many other friends here having similar issues. I'm not dealing with a terminal disease, but said terminal friends keep reminding me that we are all "In This Together" (that's my current ringtone. It's from Apoptygma Berserk).

I admit, the Being Elsa days seem to counter the Being Alice days (Being Alice is my code for epilepsy, seizures, and postictal aka post seizure state. Being Elsa is a new code for mental illness and neurological disorders including all chronic anxiety, social phobia, chronic stress disorders aka complex post traumatic stress disorder, sensory processing disorders, and some co-existing conditions linked to spastic ataxic cerebral palsy).
That was much words but I was born full of words. I blow word raspberries.

I totally do have gleefully joyful fun talking about my medical history. Interested friends have told me that I tend to discuss it clinically and technically, as though describing a patient who is not myself. I've been told that my medical and scientific wordening as a curious patient has helped fellow chronic illness patients examine their own conditions closely to find ways to help treat specific symptoms. That is such an honor.

Anyway. Is anyone else having their own version of a Being Elsa day?

(Alice is from Alice in Wonderland and Elsa is from Frozen. Because of what happens to them. Etc. I actually still have not seen Frozen all the way through yet. I will, obviously, and it will be many times. But I relate desperately well to Elsa, her hidden aspects, her representing disability, autism, childhood abuse, chronic anxiety, PTSD, personal orientations, and her love for a sister beyond a potential unnecessary husband. I only have chosen sisters and I love them so hard like the stars.)
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Sooo, you know how I've been chatting with my neurologist a ton, and also with my psychologist? Neither woman has spoken to the other. But they both recently gave me the same diagnosis.
(Now, I need to stress that I am perfectly aware of the "Stop relying on so many diagnosis labels, it's just medical stuff, what does it matter, why do you care, why do you think people would care" cliche that has been poked at me by, well, many healthsplainers and people who just want me to stop talking so much about my medical history, future, and present. And yeah, I get that. But guess what, I don't care.)
The neurologist was kind of relaxed about it at first, and after I left her office I didn't really consider it. Not until that one session with the psychologist, when she looked at me with tears in her eyes.
It's just that the neurologist used one term, and the psychologist used a different term.
And I would love words from those who are there. Because fuck it, it does matter.
http://www.psyweb.com/articles/depression/chronic-stress-disorder
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Some postictal stuff happened. Some preictal stuff happened. I don't recall the ictal stuff. Yesterday and the day before were fascinating blanks. My entire lower back, from muscle to nerve, screams in pain and then cries in pain. That has been the normal thing. So, normal Shrug.

I've been reading books. I've been watching the Simpsons marathon on FXX when I can. Occasionally, I've fallen asleep to it. What a lovely idea.

The extracts of mangosteen and noni have done their best to help with pain and such. I approve.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
"...Williams died by the claw of the ghastly inner monster that severe depression lodges in the human spirit, losing a long fight with the unholy ghost." -Brain Pickings (included is a link to a book referencing clinical depression to a holy ghost)

In my last session with my therapist, I kept calling depression The Hollow and a Dark Ghost and The Nothing and, naturally, true pure abyss. In such violent howling emptiness, there could be sound and fury, signifying nothing. And sometimes there is just nothing. Fury would be an emotion, after all.
(And I know why depressed people don't tell the tale, lest they be called an idiot. They'll be mocked today. And tomorrow. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And they are heard no more, and as they are poor players, life is but a walking shadow. Out, brief candle. -And people wonder why we get angry when mental illness gets blamed for so many blameless things and things where mental illness is completely not ever the blame. This is why we can't have nice things.)

People always ask me why I cry when I say I am hollow, empty, ghostly, feeling nothing. Isn't crying an emotion? they say Doesn't it mean you feel something? they say. I think Allie Brosh, who wrote the greatest description of depression I have ever read in her blog Hyperbole and a Half, said it best: It is just something that is happening.
Because I don't feel like crying. I'm crying because my body is having a reaction. A symptom, if you will. Something needs to release. Some sort of physiological reaction must occur, lest I literally fade into ghosts.

I understand some of the reasons Robin did what he did. I don't know why he did what he did. No one knows why. No one can know why, because no one is Robin.
People have the same thoughts and feelings and illnesses as Robin had, and they see everything he saw. But none of them and nobody will ever fully purely viscerally know, truly know why he, Robin Williams, the funniest man of a thousand laughs, physically participated in his own death. Only Robin Williams knows.

Cool story, bro:
Someone who survied her own suicide attempt once told me that for her, there was only pain, agony, chaos, and the kind of despair that consumes utterly. Beneath it was a nearly robotic thought process. Any emotional thoughts came from a distance. As she began the process, she became enveloped in a still emotionless sedating transcendent serenity, and time slowed down, and she literally had no more thoughts. Since she was stopped by other people, she couldn't tell me much more. But she told me that during recovery, she experienced every single one of those sensations at once, from the pain and chaos to the calm transcendence. It took a lot of sedatives and intense biofeedback to help her out of that state and she was put on suicide watch again for a few days. They allowed her family to bring in her kitten, which helped so much that she now advocates for cat therapy when treating mental illness. I think of her when I talk to attempt survivors. I only remember her first name and some day I will forget some of her story. But she lives a different life. Not better nor worse, just different. She has learned lessons. She doesn't regret things. She still battles symptoms and switched to a new drug regimen and still does biofeedback. She hasn't had any suicidal ideations in over a year. She also treats her cat like the most important sentient being in the universe, since he helped save her life. Cats are awesome.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Really, that's all I wanted to say. The physiatrist prescribed twice a week sessions for an hour and a half. My therapist, Michael, looks like a cousin of actor Jensen Ackles. We are doung slow gentle sets that engage all the muscles in my lower back, pelvis, and thighs.

Also, the Zanaflex has been fantastic.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
So, in my cerebral palsy support group on Facebook, someone posted asking about all the other conditions we all have that may and may not be related to cerebral palsy. I commented quickly in a very instinctual pattern, then realized that a part of my brain must have been saving it up in a fantastic pattern. I think this at least two dozen things.

Spastic and ataxic cerebral palsy... plus: epilepsy, autism, fibromyalgia, sciatica, asthma, hypersensitivity, sensory processing disorder, migraine disorder, anxiety, unipolar depression, chondromalacia patella, disorded spatial perception problems and depth perception problems, TMJ, lordosis, dyscalculia, OCD, ADHD-inattentive, anorexia recovery, light bladder leakage, seasonal allergies, sleep disorders, extreme myopia, chronic lumber back pain, eczema, panic attacks, generalized joint pain, generalized nerve pain.

They look like nothing but words. Words and labels. But they are identity bits. They are definition bits. I am not like people who are so adamant about not letting disabilities define them. Or take over their lives. Or whatever the latest platitude is. I know damn fucking well that chronic medical conditions are not the big thing in my life, not the main definition, not a thing I allow to control me. In fact, it is insulting to know that people assume that. However, look at that bunch of words. That bunch of words means things, to me and all my doctors and all my specialists and all my therapists and all my -path doctors. When I went in for physical therapy earlier this week, I listed every single thing because the guy asked me to, because neurology and psychiatry is interconnected with physiology in so many ways. People who are not involved with medical science or medicine in general love to assume I am lazy, that all I think about is being "sick" and that all I want to talk about is my medical health. I wish I were as telepathic and clairvoyant as they are. And also, fuck them. See, in cerebral palsy, spastic hypertonia alone can cause a disabled body to automatically, instinctively expend three to four times more energy than a regular normal able body. And see, in fibromyalgia, chronic muscle fatigue alone can cause a disabled body to automatically, instinctively expend five to six times more energy than a regular normal able body. I am terrible at math, but at least I can figure out the mechanics of physical energy output during basic everyday tasks, like walking. I could legitimately literally say that it is not my fault that I get extremely exhausted, fiercely fatigued very quickly during any task. I could say that and it would be absolute truth. But to most able-bodied folks, it would be another excuse.
I'm just writing this to tell them to fuck off. It isn't easy to "just ignore those idiots" as supportive folks like to say. Words wear you down, like storms against stone. But the more I remind myself that those detractors can fuck off, the better I feel about my life.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Sometimes I forget that this is the place I can always come to when I need to vent.

There has been pain, pain, pain, fatigue, pain, and tests. I had a brain MRI because the neurologist wanted to have an updated picture of my brain. She wants to make sure that the issues I've been having are not necessarily seizures but severe hypertonic spasms. Next month, I will have a video imaging EEG for eight hours to see how often I have seizures.
None of this worries or bothers me. I almost don't care anymore.
I hurt. I'm exhausted. Whatever. This is life. Like... my mom keeps wondering what I can do to "make it better" and at this point I just spin the wheel of answers. Nothing makes chronic pain stuff "better" - it just lessens the symptoms.

So, anyway.

"In the best known version of the Greek myth, Persephone is dragged down into the underworld by Hades, whose title is 'Pluto.' But in earlier, pre-patriarchal tales, she descends there under her own power, actively seeking to graduate from her virginal naïveté by exploring the intriguing land of shadows. 'Pluto' is derived from the Greek word plutus, meaning 'wealth.' Psychologist James Hillman says this refers to the psyche-building riches available in Pluto's domain. Hades, he says, is the 'giver of nourishment to the soul.'" - Rob Brezsny

"I am channeling my matron goddess Persephone today. In the original myth, she chose to descend into the world of Hades in order to gain knowledge of the shadows. Hades had a power to nourish the soul, which patriarchal translations misinterpreted. There was no abduction. There was no assault. I always sensed something beyond the stories.
In my own Joanna way, I see Persephone as brightness and Hades as darkness. The lotus and the moon. Mage of light and mage of dark.
The story of Persephone and Hades is probably one of the most misunderstood, misrepresented, and mistaken relationships in mythology. I have never been so relieved to see my suspicions confirmed."

I am still obsessed over the original myth of Persephone and Hades - how she so willingly and deliberately descended into the shadows, how Hades in fact was nourishment for souls. I grew up knowing that Persephone was one of my goddesses but I didn't like the patriarchal story. How wonderful and relieving to know that there never was a kidnapping. The more I meditate on my connection with their relationship, the more I feel powerful, relieved, relaxed, and free. I may one day figure out enough lucid dreaming to really communicate with the part of the gods that resides in my Higher Brain and Subconscious mix. You know, the Quantum Psychic Consciousness.
Oh. I'm professoring again. Cough.
In conclusion, polytheism is awesome and if you can connect to the deities that call you, it can be enlightening.


So, anyway, all my medicines and treatments have been wonderful and ideal. Yay.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
I feel ill in multiple ways, right now. I feel fatigued and dizzy, and sleepless. It should turn around soon. It is so hard to think well while the world spins. As the world falls down, you know.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Seriously, though. This toothbrush containing edible gold, bought at H-Mart, made in Korea, seems to really do something. I've taken colloidal gold before. It was good to my teeth. The toothbrush, with nothing but herbal powder, actually seems to make my teeth feel clean, smooth, and hell, even detoxified. I don't even know if that can be a thing. I used it dry a few times and got the same sensation. DeoLife toothbrushes. Gold, bamboo charcoal, silver. I get the silver and the charcoal, those are famous for being antibacterial and such. The one with the gold calls itself detoxifying, removing plaque build-up easily. I am skeptical, but there seems to be some interesting evidence. My teeth are certainly whiter.

So, "Orphan Black" is still awesome. "Black Box" is still interesting despite possibly turning into a "magical mentally ill doctor always saves the day" stereotype. I mean, I really need to see more than these first two episodes, and I hate that a mere two episodes in it is already being torn by critics. But I mean, it's like watching my life in an alternate reality. What if I were a neuroscientist, dealing with my own neurodivergence and mental illnesses, able to help my patients precisely because I could connect to them on such a specific level... I need to keep having faith in the show, except for how Catherine doesn't want her fellow doctors to know she is bipolar, even though they probably wouldn't give a shit. Like, the boss was saying that any doctors with medical conditions needed to report them, since that one surgeon with the brain tumor had a seizure during a brain surgery and became suicidal. I realize that my disabilities and invisible illnesses are my private business. But if I were a specialist working in a hospital, in charge of brains, I might understand that my supervisors might want to know about my specific mental illnesses, you know, in case I had an episode. I don't know. I find Dr Black a bit untrustworthy with her addiction to her mania. I realize she has wanted to keep her bipolar private for her own Reasons. But I don't think that is helping anyone, least of all her daughter. I mean, there is a teenager involved, who is already displaying symptoms of her own. Does Catherine really need to stay under that radar if it might cause damage to her kid?
Thoughts, anybody?

Also, this is something I wrote on Facebook and might as well copy here.

***
http://chaoslife.findchaos.com/aging-agility
Perhaps I should attempt this "Max Capacity" exercise thing they describe in the comments. So far, kundalini has done nothing for my joints, but I am a smidge looser, so. As I told a friend, I am maintaining a broad sense of humor. Spastic hypertonia plus ataxia equals falling over and bruising myself. Which must be laughed at. Lest I go mad. But, you know, I learned something very important: Now that I have made the very personal decision to do a very specific type of yoga on my own, with no suggestions from anyone, I feel that I can better combat health zealots.

Speaking of, I so called it: A commenter posted this: "Not to be a bother but… If you did a little more exercise… I mean, there are 80 year old people that can do a perfect arch, so the age is just an excuse to do not do anything!"

Ahh, health preachers. Everyone knows what's best for you, and obviously you cannot think for yourself. It's like partisan politics, but way more personal. One side wants to be a coddling Mommy, one side wants to be a strict Daddy, one side wants to be a weird Uncle, nobody wants to actually help you without taking something for themselves. It's fun to sit back and watch, though.

And you know what, guys? I am actually going to ask for yoga advice. Specifically, though, regarding kundalini. I need suggestions for very light, gentle stretches that are good for osteoarthritic knees and hips. In particular, the ligaments are ridiculously tight due to palsy, and they keep tightening back up after any kind of exercise.

You see, I have been having intense dreams in which so much pain has been concentrated in my knees that dream me is often unable to stand and walk without screaming violently, both within and outside the dreams. It has gotten to a certain point in which I start lucid dreaming and become afraid that I cannot change the dream pain. I become afraid in the dream of moving in certain ways. In my dreams, all my fears and anxieties and obsessions are released, naturally, and not even using my cane eases them. It never helps that nobody notices, not unless they are unknown dream people. Too many dreams have taunted me about my friends not seeing these struggles, being too far away, requiring me to walk helplessly until I find relief.
A couple of dreams ago, I was in northern Brooklyn, trying to reach my childhood neighborhood of Midwood, along Kings Highway in southern Brooklyn. No taxi would take me after sundown, and this I was forced to walk and walk, and it did not get better. I had no magic powers. The dream people around me could only walk with me and talk to me.
The dream abruptly dropped me in a Metro station in which the escalators and elevators were broken. It may have been Wheaton, which has the longest escalators in the Western hemisphere.That is indeed a nightmare. For anybody, anywhere, regardless of health. Fitting that it would be in my dreams.

Back on topic: I would love advice on how to apply physical and emotional exercise to my unconscious mind.
However, please do not tell me to stop taking traditional medical treatments. Please do not bash my pharmaceutical medications, since they actively help my symptoms. If you want to see what type of supplements I take that are anti-inflammatory and joint supporting, check my Notes section for a post that lists all my medicine before making a supplement suggestion. Chances are that unless it is an extremely obscure herb, or an unusual TCM medicine, I have tried it.
Eh. I'll post that medication list.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/joanna-capello-paul/take-all-the-pills/10151028056823107
***

I cannot say I am well. Am I ever truly well? I mean, the only reason I consistently talk about symptoms is to remind others that we can work with all of this crap. Many of my dear fellow chronically ill cripples want to keep their posts sharing pain to a minimum, which I support, respect, and understand - because, really, it's the same thing day after day. I think the main reason I'm a frequent updater is because I get so many questions, so many please for help, so many requests for advice and suggestions and just words of love. And those things, I can give.

Also I think I may be in a depression episode. It's taken a couple of weeks to realize that. It's so... light. So subtle. Huh.

So. Other things...

http://juststimming.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/truth-is/
"What if being cured didn’t fix those things?
Because ultimately, if I took a cure, I’d be surrendering. Instead of fighting for my right to be treated and valued as a human being regardless of disability, I’d be letting go, giving in, and letting myself be changed into someone easier, someone acceptable, someone convenient. And I want to be clear– there is nothing wrong with wanting things to be easier or wanting to feel safe or accepted or just being done fighting. That just means that you’ve been asked to be much, much stronger than everyone else for much, much too long.
But if, in order to be safe I have to stop being me?
Then I’m really not safe at all."

http://erinmccolecupp.com/2014/05/01/blogging-against-disablism/
"We are prone to feeling defeated because it’s a battle just to get our muscles to move us out of bed every day, so telling us to “be more positive” in the face of that is kind of insulting."

Sensory Processing Disorder. Cerebral Palsy. Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. ADHD-Inattentive. Major Depressive Disorder. Multiple Anxiety Disorders. Autism. Fibromyalgia. Chronic Stress Disorder. Hypersensitivity. Spastic Hypertonia. Migraine Disorder. Chronic headaches. Chondromalacia. Sleep Disorders. Dyscalculia. Sciatica. Chronic Back Pain. Lordosis. Rhinitis. Asthma. Recovering Anorexia.
Oh, absolutely. Being told to "be more positive" is indeed kind of insulting.

My mom keeps telling me that I've fixated too much on being autistic, on advocating, on activism. She suggested that I just BE. I'll take it.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Okay, so. This new show on ABC, "Black Box", which has really polarized critics. Some people hate it even though it's only had one episode. The creators insist that it may change how we see mental illness and neurology.
The main character, Dr Catherine Black, is a brilliant, innovative neuroscientist who tries to hide her severe manic bipolar disorder. Except she loves the way she feels during manic episodes, so she often discards her medication, runs out and becomes hypersexual, has hallucinations, becomes a different person. She realizes this and understands the extreme consequences, but finds it hard to stop. Her psychologist, who is wonderful, is worried. Her fiance, who she kept in the dark for a year, winds up liking her hypersexualized, aggressive manic self. Her brother and his wife are raising her daughter, born when Cate was a teenager, who doesn't know that Aunt Cate is actually Mom and who is displaying symptoms of bipolar.
There will be melodrama. There will be intensity. There will be exaggerations. Patients who suffer from all sorts of conditions that Cate will be able to work with thanks to her personal holistic insight into the complex brain. Cate will be shown as an exaggeration of a bipolar patient, and it may lead to audiences arguing over the benefits and dangers of drugs, treatments, holistic treatment, psychotherapy. We shall see. So far, I liked the pilot episode. But it might turn into a "Grey's Anatomy" or even "House" style show, with drama on top of drama, further polarizing audiences. We shall see.
http://blogs.indiewire.com/criticwire/black-box-abc-kelly-reilly-reviews
http://www.avclub.com/review/black-box-its-protagonist-flawed-endearing-203589
But so far, Catherine Black may as well be me in a separate reality, if I had gone for neuroscience in college.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/television/2014/04/23/abc-black-box-bipolar-doc-with-cure-for-what-ails-everyone-else/edYtT036PpTSUZ8ZOrokKM/story.html


Okay, so, there's me. I've been having horrible headaches, neck pain, jaw pain. Probably highly interconnected. I blame the weather for the most part. Every morning finds me ninety years old, performing bed yoga in kundalini form for cripples. Thankfully, the combination of my pharmaceutical and supplemental drugs work really well. I have taken advice and started ignoring naysayers who insist I do This or That and stop doing That or This - my health is my own. To quote The Prisoner: My life is my own. I will not be pushed. Yes, yes, I appreciate all the suggestions for this medicine, that yoga practice, this therapy, that device. I am deciding how to proceed with my doctors.
All the pain and stiffness and aching and stabbing fade into the background when I work, ie writing, which is the best thing. The supplements for ADHD work well enough so I can concentrate, but I need to eat more often, because I take after my father, like when he's outside carving stone forgetting to eat for hours. Small meals several times a day works best. Nut butter-fruit preserves sandwiches on whole grain bread do wonderful things. Grilled cheese sandwiches, with avocado if I have it. Yes. Oh! I have a slice of cheesecake with which to treat myself!
A walk around the neighborhood, quad cane in hand, was helpful enough, after push-ups, weight-lifting, leg stretching. I do what I can.

Also, on an LJ community for disabled people, I was asked to find links for cerebral palsy and comorbid conditions, and I want to remember them, so this:

"Well, I started out Googling cerebral palsy + comorbidity. I joined a private CP group on Facebook and discovered some extraordinary - and disturbing - facts about aging with CP. I'd be happy to try and answer any questions. Many people have no idea. I am spastic-ataxic hemiplegic, left side, born 12 weeks premature, developed periventricular leukomalacia aka white matter death, and at age 35 have actively gotten worse. CP itself is a static condition that never changes, but the syndromes associated with it do progress. In fact, many people with CP don't believe that it gets worse.

http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/conditions/
https://www.clinicalkey.com/topics/pediatrics/cerebral-palsy.html
http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2012/10/cerebral-palsy-and-autism.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20654035

These are just some of the articles. I can give personal insight as well. It's very fascinating. "

Aii.

Apr. 24th, 2014 01:39 am
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Nnngghh. No. Nope.
*breath*
PAALSYY. *fist-shake*
*also literally*
*also thumb in palm, finger flexion wrist flexion, shoulder internal rotation contracture forearm pronation, elbow flexion, clonus... plus spastic hypertonia anyway and also fibromyalgia flare, also stabbed hips. Because fuck everything, that's why*
...*mutter*

A hot bath was mentioned. I requested the amazing secret to getting in and out of a bathtub when it hurts bad enough to scream. It seems there is no secret, just more pain and doing things anyway, because decisions. Magnesium salts, then. Magnesium oil massage, then. Yes.
AUGH. IT HURTS. CRIPPLE SMASH.
Oh, hey, the narcotics and muscle relaxants and anxiolytics are starting to do things. Heeeyy.
Still hurts, but heeyy. Walking. Look! Stairs seem possible again!
Still hurts, though. Just meh now.

Look, I keep telling them, mild counts. Children who have it grow up. Into adults who have it. Adults who are still disabled. Adults who are disintegrating as they age. And mild still counts. Just because I am not using a wheelchair doesn't m-
Oh, fuck this. I'm exhausted. I already went through it with them about the autism and the partial seizures and the OCD and the ADHD-Inattentive and the dyscalculia and the lordosis. And the pharmaceutical drugs alongside the holistic drugs. And I like talking to educate. But they don't seem to be listening well. They make me tired.
http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/symptoms/eight-clinical-signs-of-cerebral-palsy/
*

http://unstrangemind.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/labels-are-for-soup-cans/
This is beautiful. Although, I've heard the term "identity" used in place of "label" and I think that's a cool alternative. But I, personally, will use the "label" term for myself, only. If someone else is fine with it, I'll apply it with them. If someone is anti-label, I will use whatever they use.

I've seen similar issues in gender: Some genderqueer and genderfluid people who do prefer the terms "male-bodied" and "female-bodied" often get scolded for not using "assigned male/female at birth" - but if that is the term you wish to apply to yourself, nobody should scold you for it or insist you change. If a person doesn't want to use the term "label" for themself, they shouldn't have to. But nobody should scold or insist that others stop using labels as identification.

It's like that whole "You shouldn't define yourself by your disability!" I would ask, "Why not? It is a huge part of who and what I am." Then again, I believe this may be part of a divide between those who were born disabled or acquired it so early in life that it is all they know, and those who acquired it after a life of ability/being able-bodied. For example, I take my being disabled seriously, and I have always seen it as a strong part of myself. However, because I was always told to not define myself with it, I learned to push that part down. Now I feel free to express it, now that I've been surrounded by new friends and acquaintances who feel the way I feel, which is wonderful and refreshing.
brightlotusmoon: (Magic Goddesses)
But anyway.
Cerebral Palsy Person Problems!
Everything hurts, blah blah. The left side has loss of sensation, loss of proprioception, extreme forearm pronation with shoulder internal rotation contracture and elbow flexion with wrist and finger flexion and thumb in palm and severe muscle stiffness with inability to completely flex fingers, plus supination of foot, curling and clenching of toes, hip stiffness. The right side has extreme sensation, including stiffness of shoulder and leg as well as severe pain sensations of burning, clawing, electric, throbbing. Mild seems to have climbed a ladder to Moderate, which can happen when a cerebral palsy patient ages past thirty years.

And so, the usual drill. Shake it off, deal with it, slap a bandaid on it, walk it off, quit whining, stop that negative thinking, here's a giant positivity pill, good news it's a suppository, snort this rainbow powder, do these six magic yoga poses every morning to heal all your things, eat this magic plant, swallow this magic pill, do this exercise routine, eat these rainbow colored foods, drink this happy potion smoothie, chant this happiness mantra until your neurons and glia cells become rainbow-colored. And the stuff that people without cerebral palsy recommend because they have had so many happy potion smoothies they are certain all negativity is evil.

But anyway.
Healthful balance of holistics and pharmaceuticals and personal choices!
Also, research into successful treatments combining holistic science and pharmaceutical science. Because SCIENCE.

But anyway.
http://www.orthobullets.com/pediatrics/4129/cerebral-palsy--upper-extremity-disorders


Also.



Delirium. Because So Many Things And Fish.

Also.



Death. Because Too Many Things. And Pain.

And.





Rachel Grey. Because phoenix rising. Because renewal always. Because Jean Grey is still dead, yet not finished.
brightlotusmoon: (Magic Goddesses)
So, I had what I considered a palsy victory and agony simultaneously.

Depressive episode gripping me hard enough to draw blood, I walked out - no cane, because medicine and meditative stretchy exercise like whoa - and took the Metro to Twinbrook, walked the ten minutes to Congressional Plaza, shopped, stopped to eat sushi, and carried two bags back to the Metro, right side burning and feeling ripped open while palsy left side felt ghost-like and nearly numb. Got to Shady Grove again, took the bus and stopped at the Redmill Center right near my house community, went to the CVS and bought drug refills, limped and shook and spasmed and gasped as the bus dropped me off across from my townhouse community, walked with three bags that felt like dead weights, stopped to get the mail, went home, went upstairs, collapsed, and very weakly, feebly flailed and flapped and cried out "Yay, I did it, go me!"

I got myself belated birthday gifts, especially because the Rockville Ulta now carries
It Cosmetics, which is my top favorite makeup brand in the world, which I just learned today so it was like a cliche of angels singing. I'd been waiting for my Ulta to acquire It Cosmetics since last year, when the Silver Spring Ulta announced they had the brand and that Rockville would get it this spring. YES. I was also flush with coupons and points so I splurged: I got the new liquid peptide foundation and the new thin-brush peptide mascara; and also Ecotools brand konjac facial cleansing sponge made of konjac fibers, because konjac is one of the most awesome internal and external cleansing fibers in the world.

I was in horrid pain, honestly awful bad bad pain, pain that was like trauma pain... and I was happy. Because PAIN pushed me on. And VICTORY. It was nearly joy. And joy is something above emotion, after all.

I knew that my cane might have made my hands more full. But the fact that I was capable of doing all this without a cane... it was just... well, you know. Hemiplegic spastic ataxic cerebral palsy, spastic hypertonia, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, sciatica, lordosis, migraine pain, major depressive episode, autistic symptoms making everything loud and bright and I could barely look in people's eyes despite cheerful conversations. I did STUFF. I did stuff that made me feel good. I will be in pain for days. But I did it! I think the agony will be worth it, the codeine and the tramadol and the baclofen and the clonazepam and the capsule supplemets of devil's claw and MSM and cayenne and mangosteen and noni vinpocetine and oh my gods I can hardly walk and I am shaking all over and my muscles feel torn up and I want to break down in tears.
But I am proud of myself?
*wipes away tears*

Damn, I really hurt...

...and I forgot to buy milk.
It's okay. I have enough coconut cream, coconut milk, and sweetened condensed milk to work with my coffee until I can get to Giant. Plus a hand mixer blender device to whip it good. At Giant I can grab a lightweight jug of kitty litter and a half-gallon of whole milk, and canned cat food. I can bring a backpack plus a tote to see what will fit how, so I can take the cane.
I'm twitching so much. I wonder if this entire day was one big seizure trigger. Fuck.

Now, today, the day after, I am slowly preparing for my first meet and greet appointment with the new psychologist. My last one got too expensive after I switched to Medicare, and this new woman will work on a sliding scale, with my mother willing to help.

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