brightrosefox: (Default)
http://www.bethesdahbot.com/
On Monday, I plan on calling my pain specialist or general physician and asking for a referral to The Bethesda Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center. It is literally next door to where my physiatrist and physical therapist offices are. And now that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been approved for things like cerebral palsy and muscle pain, I'm hoping that it might help ease up some chronic pain. A while back, Adam had bought a small canister of oxygen, which made some of my muscle pain disappear for a couple of hours.
So, who knows.
brightrosefox: (Default)
I did all my specialized personalized modified physical therapy exercises: The modified individualized Cripple Yoga with gi gong and isometrics, the stretching sets and cardiovascular sets, the strength training sets.

Now my body is ready to fall apart, lose consciousness, and catch fire. I hope I don't have those awful dreams in which my higher mind tricks me into thinking I am "healed" or some shit.

To head off any comments: When a person has various disabilities that are neuromuscular, muscuoskeletal, neurodevelopmental, and related to chronic pain of all kinds, healing exercise and healing workouts do not solve anything. There is no magic energy flow strong enough to tweak symptoms, syndromes, or conditions for the better. All it can do is slowly, carefully, mildly soothe and smooth out the cracks little by little. I'm going to fall over after I work out. It's going to take time and more, new pain. It's a cycle.

I already take [supplements that help with post-workout fatigue, with pain, with achy muscles]. I will list them if there is interest. No need to suggest anything. Eventually, I will feel mildly better, even though spasticity and hypertonia will just force everything back to normal, and then I'll need to play the game of "Is it palsy spasticity reset or epileptic seizure aura?"

This is an announcement: If you see someone with a disability like cerebral palsy and they are preparing for any kind of workout of exercise, don't make assumptions that they will automatically immediately need help from you. They know what they're doing, how to do it, why to do it. And they will ask for help if and when they need help.
brightrosefox: (Default)
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...
brightrosefox: (Default)
This is the greatest.
http://yoganonymous.com/watch-ultra-spiritual/

Good news: Apparently, most of this small weight gain is actual muscle. Who knew.
Annoying news: Everything hurts in such a very specific way everywhere that most forms of exercise make it all worse. The only things that seem to make it better are isometrics and mild qi gong and a few basic Pilates-style moves... sooo, physical therapy with a spiritual bent?

Also, I still have a stress reaction to even the idea of "doing yoga for pain". None of my doctors are surprised. Plus, the physical therapist suggested some lovely snarky replies to "Have you tried yoga for your pain?" - my favorite is still "Well, yoga tastes like artificial banana, and I hate artificial banana flavor, so I don't want any yoga, thanks." Second favorite is "Nah, I'm still trying that floating Jedi thing in the swamps. I'd rather take the Dark Side with the cookies."
Seriously. Don't yoga push me. I did try it, it was painful, I found other things.

Now I feel like mimicking that scene where Bart draws a picture of Flanders and chases Homer around with it yelling "Howdily doodily! Howdily doodily? HOWDILY DOODILY?" Luckily, I haven't been pushed in a while, and the last few times, I remained calm and cool, because I am still fucking awesome.

Addendum:
Also, it's really interesting: I am totally fine with basic yoga, with flow yoga, with restorative yoga. But it is the way people talk about it as though it helps everyone heal everything? That is what I gripe so much about. Maybe some poses will help ease cerebral palsy issues, fibromyalgia issues, joint issues. Maybe. For some disabled folks. But if I say something like "No, thank you, I've tried that, it was too painful, it made things worse, and I have found other exercises that help me," I expect people to, if not back off, then at least acknowledge my reasons. The actual fact that many pushers have brushed off my reasons and kept pushing is what makes me want to slap them with their yoga mats. So when I talk about an exercise by calling it a name that is also the name of a yoga pose, please please do not assume I have taken up yoga. It's just that "Warrior Pose" is far simpler than having to describe the whole thing.
Comments:
Anna Sirén: Yoga? Us? Really? ...?
Joanna Capello Paul: LOL, it is to laugh. But by gods, people love to try.
Anna Sirén: Jesus, I can't imagine you with your ankles behind your ears, and that's not an insult.
Joanna Capello Paul: OMG ow. Ow ow ow OW.
Joanna Capello Paul: I'm just glad other CP folks get it. I don't know what's so particularly special about yoga, but it's become so elitist in many ways. And if I say I'm "doing Child's Pose" or something, I feel like I need to add "not actual yoga because that is painful" because just because it's a stretching exercise doesn't mean it's a yoga pose.
Cara Liebowitz: When a teacher who knows how to handle Ceeps is doing it, yoga can be nice. *coughcough* Kara T. Billingham. Yoga at crip camp was great fun, if painful.
Joanna Capello Paul: My mom teaches a certain type of yoga to seniors in Southampton sometimes, and the moves are so simple they're barely even yoga. What bothers me really is this culture of yoga-ier than thou elitism, and gods forbid I perform a "yoga style type pose" that is not yoga.
Cara Liebowitz: I wonder if Kara and your mom know each other. Next time you're in the Hamptons, stop by The Yoga House, LLC and ask for Kara, tell her you know me. One of my favorite things about Kara's yoga was that she encouraged us to laugh if we wanted to.
Joanna Capello Paul: Hmm. I'll ask my mom! Have you spoken with Kara lately?
Joanna Capello Paul: *looking at website* Well, it's good that she teaches Kripalu. My parents' basement tenant, who is a massage therapist, is a certified Kripalu teacher.
Cara Liebowitz: We speak every so often here on Facebook, last I saw her was over the summer. She is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and so is her husband. Two very influential people in my life.
Joanna Capello Paul: I haven't been through Hampton Bays in a long time, but I do recognize that sign and building. I have a feeling that Kara and my mom have run in similar circles.
Melissa Boyer O'Doyle: I'd rather take the Dark Side with the cookies.
Heather Stover: I do vinyasa flow yoga and restorative yoga. It helps. With some things. It is not some magic cure for everything. If you're not into it people should leave you alone, your yogi wouldn't want you there with any less then a willing mind and heart.
Heather Stover: Gentle yoga classes are the bomb. I hate elitist yoga snobs.
Mad Miriam: You know you might just get people to back down more quickly by simply sating that you have a very satisfying home practice, thank you very much.
Joanna Capello Paul: ...except that when they keep nudging and insisting, I tend to feel backed into a corner, and I start snarling. I'm a very peaceful person. But I am also shy and isolated. I really don't like being pushed.
Mad Miriam: If your agreeing why are they still nudging and insisting?
Joanna Capello Paul: I really wish I knew. People are very odd.
Mad Miriam: I'll say. I'm sorry, I for one do not push cause well I know you have met the practice where you are at and since yoga means union isn't that the fucking point anyhow?
Joanna Capello Paul: Agreed. That's why I am so upset and pissed off when people don't seem to understand the whole damn point. Union is about, y'know, respecting people's choices. The fact that there ARE yoga practitioners who almost bully others into doing their kind of yoga - particularly disabled people - hurts me.
Joanna Capello Paul: For example, in the cerebral palsy support group I am in, there have been stories of non-disabled people pushing CP folks too hard, leading to injuries that were not fully recovered - physical and emotional. And that is just not right at all. And I feel like that is part of the weird elitist attitude that shouldn't even exist with yoga practice.
Mad Miriam: OMG Joanna Capello Paul I could not agree more, as a fairly mild arthritic I get the same shit and I don't get why its so hard for some teachers to understand that just cause I got into a really low lunge last week this week my knees and hips might just be too stiff to go there and that it does not mean I am not dedicated to the practice, it means I am listening to my body, something we should all aspire to do more often.
Joanna Capello Paul: Listening to our bodies! Exactly! I don't think people like that care about listening to the body anymore. You do what YOU must do for YOUR body. And I am so burnt out on teachers who don't listen. It's why I do restorative, flow moves with my mother over the phone.
I mean, I literally cannot be straight. When I try a lunge, or a pose that requires balance, I have to ask someone, usually Adam, if my body lines up. And when he helps get me into a straight aligned line, I start wobbling. It hurts. I am in serious pain. My body, my very bones, were never going to align like that. And so I need modification, compensation, compromise. And the fact that a lot of yoga practitioners have insulted me just for that literally created a stress reaction in my brain. So when I talk about yoga poses, I have to say "modified basic yoga" otherwise I start hyperventilating just from memories.
Mad Miriam: It is a myth that our bodies and bones can align to some artificial standard, we all all have such diffent experiences and phsyologies that make up who we are and it my mind if you are making room for the breath and creating sensation, but not pain you are doing it right. I totally agree through and think it is part of the problem with the comodifying of yoga, I think once upon a time, maybe there was the root of the notion that yogis practiced to access a place beyond pain and body and to reach a space where they could meditate and focus on breath and vein, but with institutions like lululemon and power yoga people see their yoga as about perfecting the body and not reaching past the veneer that is the body. Its fascinating and sick really.
Joanna Capello Paul: I appreciate you saying that, Mad Miriam. It makes me feel better, knowing that there can't be such "perffect alignment". I was always, always told that I'd never reach any ideal pose with cerebral palsy. So I stopped. And I found isometrics and just started doing meditative stretching, which was my version of yoga anyway.
Mad Miriam: Next time someone starts to push hard ask them if they practice Ahimsa, it is the first basic principal of yoga and translates into compassion for all living things, if they say "Of course." then tell them you do as well and intimately understand what is most compassionate for your body. Namaste.
Mad Miriam: I think all the wrong people have been foisting their opinions on you. I took up Kundalini yoga last year and the whole idea of it is that through the practice you are opening up channels on your spine for the kundalini energy to come spouting out of the top of your head, I expressed concern that I had a slight scoliosis in my spine and that according to this notion I was ineligible for kudalini enlightenment, my instructor said "No worries, the energy meanders its way around these things, it's like a stream." Thus I go with that notion.
Joanna Capello Paul: Ahimsa, eh? I shall look into it!
I have fallen in love with kundalini energy. I do what your instructor says, instinctively. I don't necessarily do all the poses and moves but I reach for that energy in my own way. Maybe one day you and I could get together and practice in our own imperfect methods?

*****
Copying stuff from other social media sites can be interesting...
brightrosefox: (Default)
...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!

***
brightrosefox: (Default)
Sleep last night was interesting and bizarre. A lot of acquaintances - and a few friends - have claimed that insomnia must involve only being unable to fall asleep or only being unable to stay asleep. I've got a form where I can do both perfectly well, but at the price of chronic pain physically, which also transcends my dreams which really should not be allowed to happen, and neurologically, which is not only a thing but which keeps parts of me both awake and asleep. Therefore, it takes too long to reach Stage 3 NREM, and Stage 4 NREM either is cut off or doesn't happen. REM itself usually happens at a time much later in sleep. Essentially, unless I set extreme alarm clocks, I will sleep for twelve hours easily and REM will happen in those last three hours.

This time, I had slept on and off throughout the afternoon in thirty minute bursts, which probably helped me get a more normal ten hours while still being woken by pain. But this time, my dreams were deep and amazing. Since I had finally just finished reading "The Winter Long" by Seanan McGuire - now my favorite Seanan book - the concept of Faerie in a Toby Daye meets Lost Girl style story exploded, and there was even a blog announcement by Seanan that the October Daye series would become a television series. For fuck's sake, there was a character embodying both Tybalt and Dyson. And then somehow I became the protagonist, as often happens, and my husband and I struggled to release a literally faceless mermaid into the ocean before she destroyed the land. There were tentacles and it was gross. But wow, lots of powers. Many, many powers. I always get powers in dreams, usually psionic, some form of psychokinesis, normally elemental. I still recall the dreams I had as a teenager where I was pyrokinetic enough to set a tree on fire just by waving my hand at it from the window of a room.

I am especially determined to wake up after nine or ten hours to dial back whatever toll the oversleeping is taking. Then, slowly, eight hours, just to see if I can handle that "average" 7 to 8 thing that normal people talk about.
Adam somehow gets by on less than 7 per night, sometimes 4 when he's out of state working 18-hour days as an IT/AV trade show technician and manager (he loves talking about his job, and it is fascinating work, since he gets to gain secret access to some of the most powerful places in the country and listen to some extraordinary science and medical research breakthroughs during conventions; even just setting up hotel rooms full of projectors, printers, computers, and video screens means being the on site technician when powerful things happen behind closed doors. There is also fixing stupid mistakes, frozen computers, and hours and hours of human error, but more hours means more pay, and he can carry entire printers up flights of stairs).

Also, I think making myself wake up earlier than what fibromyalgia wants will keep other things stable, aside from the obvious. Since going on Zanaflex, most of my systems affected by fibromyalgia have mildly stabilized, which is amusing, since Zanaflex is just a muscle relaxer. People in various support groups kept trying to insist that it shouldn't be happening and that Zanaflex is bad for me. They are so cute when they're trying to be the arbiters of other people's realities, especially regarding brain chemistry!

I'll see my awesome husband tomorrow night, or Thursday, when he returns from another work trip up and down the Northeast.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/dream6.htm
I really must try dream incubation. With everything. Dream All The Things. I've used two phone apps so far to record my sleep, and one of them quit. No, really. The other one just became boring.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Hello, Zanaflex. You definitely seem to be a great replacement for the baclofen. I think we shall get along splendidly. (Oh, I hope I won't have to add disclaimers about organ tests and knowledge of organic chemistry and pharmacology. That got annoying on Facebook.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

brightrosefox: (Default)
Dear Cerebral Palsy: You are making me angry. I don't like me when we're angry. Please to stop being so spastic and ataxic and hemiplegic and such. I will throw baclofen at you and also codeine because you are misbehaving. Stoppit.

Seriously, though, I feel gross. The fibromyalgia and the allergies are hitting me from all sides. My joints feel sad. Everything feels sad. I mean, in my body. My brain feels okay, although heavily fogged and stripped of some memory. Like, I actually can't remember stuff from yesterday. I remember Adam and myself running errands at a dollar/more store and at H-Mart, but I forget what we got. I don't think I had seizures. Just myalgia fog and memory loss. I had run out of some medicines, got more of them, but can't remember much else regarding that. It's similar to autistic inertia, but with fibromyalgia and disruptive cognitive tempo (ADHD) tossed in. The weather is dragging and heavy and I feel so, so heavy.
Sigh. Shrug. Meh.
brightrosefox: (Default)


Oh, Okay. That was very, very quick. Oh, that was less than a minute. So much energy, so much chemical screaming. Oh, Oh damn. My head is pounding. My fingers can't stop flying over this keyboard. I should go to bed. Oh.
Complex partial seizures are fascinating. Complex partial seizures that secondary generalize into Tonic Clonic seizures are even more fascinating and are rather grotesque. No wonder people were terrified in the past.
I remember grasping the leather chair arms to stop my body from catapulting away. I remember being aware of my mind, but not my body, as I watched my body from a window in my mind. I flailed and spasmed and strained and convulsed gently against the chair, and I fought gravity like a woman possessed. I was completely silent. My hair was flying all over my face. My body had no choice. Something had to release. Like a taut wire snapping. My wrists had strained from working to help my fingers stay gripped on the chair arms.
Things are painful now. Too tense. Tiny spasms now.
Oh, epilepsy. I do not appreciate you at all. Nope.



Also, I am technically okay. Postictal state has left me drained, exhausted, weak, tired, foggy, floating somewhere between hungry and not hungry.
I'm glad I wrote it down. The seizure, I mean. Sometimes I remember better.

Stretching, stretching. Massages. I don't remember what else.
Well, er. At least the ligaments in my knees feel less tight?
Also, seizure fogginess blended with fibromyalgia fogginess makes Joanna something something.

Also, according to my blog records, this was the first seizure in three months, so, hey, that's good.

http://m.livejournal.com/read/user/brightlotusmoon/tag/being%20alice

Yeah, well.

Aii.

Apr. 24th, 2014 01:39 am
brightrosefox: (Default)
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.
brightrosefox: (Default)
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.
brightrosefox: (Default)
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.
brightrosefox: (Default)
My modified Disablility Compensated Qi Gong exercises always help, mentally and spiritually and psychologically and physiologically. Like yoga, except Fake Yoga Cripple Style that is not actually yoga. (FYCS. FIX. Ha ha ha...) (Or hey, Fake Yoga Cripple Style Modified Exercise. FYCSME = FIX ME. Ha ha. Wow. Dude.)

But it isn't helping today. I'm too Hollow, which is my term for deep major depression. I'm too Postictal, after that unexpectedly awful seizure yesterday and its aftershock which were tiny seizures for hours. Emotional responses are foreign and results of emotion are mere symptoms, like crying and laughing. I will meditate again, do more qigong work, and breathe and much as possible.
FYI. I am having an episode of pure major Depression plus major Anxiety. This is accompanied by mild memory loss of the past two days. Everything is foggy. I know I should be upset about something, but I cannot feel upset. What is upset, anyway? I think I hurt myself emotionally yesterday. I wish I remembered what it was. I believe it started out with false happiness. Remember that weird assumption of some sort of hypomania? I think I was outside of my rational mind.

Back to special exercises.
People keep suggesting and recommending breathing exercises. I know all of that. I know people just want to share their personal remedies. I love it. Please don't think I am rejecting you. I love hearing your stories. Even the stories about yoga. I wish I could explain why just seeing or hearing the word yoga evokes a sad, upset reaction. It isn't that I am unable to do yoga. It is just that yoga extremists do not listen nor care about my need for compensation. My body was born crooked. I cannot form a proper straight line even if I held on to something. No amount of cajoling, insisting, or pushing different forms will change that. Please don't do that. Please just accept that I have to perform qi gong differently, and that qi gong included poses that are similar to yoga, and that yoga is not the greatest panacea of healing holistic practices. This is part of why I don't want to visit California, which makes absolutely no sense and makes me look prejudiced.

So. Please, please do talk about how much yoga is healing you, because that is beautiful and I am genuinely, honestly joyfully happy. But if you wish to suggest a yoga pose that can be modified for someone with a shaky, spastic, crippled body, please suggest an alternate form. That is all I ask. There is no such thing as a real panacea, even in the botanical world, even in the plant and herb world, and certainly not in the exercise world. It is entirely possible that I will find a set of yoga exercises that will really, truly help me, and I will join the ranks of yoga enthusiasts. Anything is possible. Nothing is off limits. Except evangelism. If I wanted something pushed down my throat, I will drink water mixed with special fruit and plant powders, like sea buckthorn and moringa.
This is coming from my years as a holistic enthusiast and pusher. I was bad. I was essentially an asshole. And then I learned that it was just wrong. I never want to do that again. Just because something works perfectly for me does not mean it will work at all for someone else.

Any form of good physical-spiritual combination exercise, be it yoga, qigong, taichi, strength training, cardio, dead lift weight, isometrics, plyometrics, dance, hardcore dance, etc, is wonderful and beautiful and strengthening, and will help everyone in some personal powerful way. That is the point of exercise.
I love you all. If you really want to help me, don't push me. Just guide me.
brightrosefox: (Default)


I had a seizure. I didn't mean to. It lasted three minutes. Complex partial. I'm so sorry. I suck at everything. I can't think. Word fail. Word flail. I'm sorry. I have to something something rest and medicine. I'm sorry about the seizure. I remember Alicia's kiss. I remember her peace. I remember Koan's purring, I remember Serena's embrace. I remember whiteness and vortex and confusion. I'm so sorry, brain. Something something take your Klonopin and Passionflower and rest easy.
Maybe winter. Maybe I don't know. Things hurt. I'm just cold. Everything is my fault.

brightrosefox: (Default)
http://www.lifeexpectancy.com/cp.shtml
http://www.scope.org.uk/help-and-information/cerebral-palsy/ageing-and-cerebral-palsy
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dmcn.2009.51.issue-s4/issuetoc

"The 2004 study by Strauss et al.9 appears to be the only published article that addresses life expectancy for older persons (age 60+) with cerebral palsy. As is usually the case, persons who are still fully ambulatory have life expectancies that are not dramatically shorter than normal, while those with more severe motor dysfunction have shorter ones."

"Adults with CP experience musculoskeletal problems and loss of function that non-disabled adults do not experience until much later (IOM). A study indicated that 75% of individuals with CP stopped walking by age 25 due to fatigue and walking inefficiency (Murphy). Another study on young adults with CP found clinical evidence of arthritis in 27 % of subjects vs. 4% in the general population (Cathels). These challenges result in chronic immobility, harming bone health. Elevated fracture rates in adults with CP are not well documented, however, documentation in children with CP (Munns), men surviving spinal cord injury (Bauman, 2001A) and stroke survivors (Sahin, Sato) does exist. Immobilization not only elevates fracture risk but also the risk for metabolic syndrome (Zderic)."

'Scuse me, I'mma start researching as much research as I can research about growing older with spastic cerebral palsy.
(Also, I recall when, several years ago, my chiropractor was "very impressed" that I was "doing so well and not yet debilitated" in my late twenties. That should have set off something in my thinky thoughts. Especially since I slid downhill after thirty without knowing a damn thing about why. And people vehemently deny that growing worse after thirty happens. HAH. And hey, I'm a fucking MILD CASE. Seriously, WHAT.)

Also: Dear gods, I've had people essentially accuse me of "lying" or "using negative thinking to make it worse." It is to laugh. No, really. Fuck that. Because this:

"Whilst there is not a wealth of published scientific evidence on the physical effects of ageing and cerebral palsy, surveys have highlighted some of the problems that people encounter. What is clear is that people with cerebral palsy age in the same way as non-disabled people (primary ageing) but some people with cerebral palsy may also experience secondary ageing effects. These are likely to be the long-term effects of the original impairment.
Below are some of the more common problems reported by people in their thirties and forties or, sometimes, a little earlier.

Increased levels of pain and discomfort
Osteoarthritis (pain and stiffness in the joints)
Increase in spasms
Increase in contractures (shortening of muscles)
Less efficient motor control (body parts involved in movement)
Joint problems
Tight muscles
Gastro-intestinal (digestive system) problems
New or increased back pain
Emergence of or increase in incontinence
Loss of joint flexibility
Reduced energy levels and fatigue"

"Many people with cerebral palsy push themselves to their physical limit and thus have little in reserve. Consequently, recovery can take much longer following an injury or illness and, unless there is a rehabilitation programme following the injury or illness, recovery to previous levels of functioning may be slow."

I know that most people have no idea where their fibromyalgia came from I know where mine came from.
So, you know. WAARGGHHARBL and all. I've mentioned I keep looking for NIH studies so I can be a guinea pig, right? I mean, NIH is, like, a 20 minute Metro ride away.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Thanks to another trip to Michael's craft store, I have a new set of Faber-Castle Pitt artist pens below Fine, and Calliope has a Beanie Boo dolphin to cuddle, which she has been doing. I have an owl, which seems to work well as a knee pillow.

We went to the nearby Whole Foods as well, where I found my loved chocolate hemp milk, Guayaki Yerba Mate energy shots in Lime Tangerine, Orgain Chocolate Nutrient Shakes, a bottle of Acai+10 Superblend with Seabuckthorn and Mangosteen, and the rare Badger Balm large Lime lip balm. Adam picked up some fabulous cheeses, and a Coffeeholic Cream Cake for me.

Mom called to chat about an NPR medical science podcast about migraines and the placebo effect, and I revealed that forty percent of my smaller headaches can be slightly reduced by intense meditation after taking certain supplement pills. Good talk. Doesn't work all the time, doesn't work for the more intense symptoms, but I know how powerful placebo effects can be for mild and minor pains sometimes.

Luna and Calliope seem to be starting a... well, a tolerance, on Luna's side. As long as I give Luna attention first, she is nice to Calliope during cooperative play, feeding, brushing, etc. As long as Luna Moon knows she is still the precious queen and Calliope Io is submissive, there is peace. And Jupiter has been gently playing with Calliope, with the occasional soft bap on the head. I am pleased overall.

So, while at Whole Foods, I was limping down an aisle with my blue aluminum cane, right behind a tall man who had the same cane, in sparkly black, and we smiled at each other. "So, how are you?" he asked. I said, "Oh, well, the back pain and sciatica are acting up. How about you?" "Yeah, I'm going to need hip replacement and knee replacement soon," he said. "Oh, ouch," I winced. "I can't imagine. I mean, I'm 34, I was born with cerebral palsy, I'm still learning how to use this," holding up my cane. He nodded. "Yeah, my whole left side has been crazy for years." "Oh, mine too! I have spastic hemiplega on the left! The chronic pain has been getting worse for a long time, but I don't need surgery. Yet!" We grinned at each other. He looked around forty or so and over six feet. I could see right away that his joints were bothering him. "Well," he said, "You look absolutely lovely!" I smiled widely and said, "Thank you! You too!" He grinned back and thanked me, then said, "I hope the pain reduces as much as it can." And I said, "Same for you. Good luck with the surgeries." We said our goodbyes and hobbled off. It was as though we had been friends who hadn't seen each other in a while, commiserating in that cripple language that stays away from "Feel better" and steers toward "I hope your symptoms ease up" which, well, we all understand in the chronic pain community.

And that got me thinking. People tell me "You look beautiful/lovely/great" and of course the silent "even though you're in pain" follow-up. And I actually honestly don't mind that at all. It isn't an insult to me. I know they're usually talking about my chronic pain specifically, not my disabilities as a whole. It's an unspoken thing - "You're chipper and glowing and not letting the pain show, rock on with your badass self." I know that so many cripples would see it as a back-handed compliment and insult, because it totally can be. But for me... I guess it lifts my spirits, especially and specifically when a fellow cripple says it and even able-bodied people who may have invisible illnesses. It is something I need to hear from other disabled folks, because even when I think I look hideous and shitty, to hear someone tell me I look great despite my pain makes me happy, which in turn makes me feel psychologically and psychically better, which helps me try to combat the symptoms, etcetera.

So, my fellow chronically ill and disabled folks, how do you react to such a comment? Is it an insult or backhand compliment for you? Is it a lovely compliment? Do you view it differently when it is said by other chronically sick and disabled people as opposed to able-bodied people?
brightrosefox: (Default)
Well, hello, 2014. It's not your fault that I have been feeling like fresh hell since, oh, December 31st. It's just how it is.
We have snow, ice, and cold. I got legitimately and honestly mocked by someone from Minnesota who called me a *ahem* "pussy whiner* for mentioning that any temperature below 20 F damaged me severely physically. I wrote a scathing note back which shut her the hell up, and I invited her to come down during the height of summer, upon which she exclaimed "but I'll burn up!" and to which I replied, "Oh, sweetie... it's not even that hot!" aand the conversation was over. I posted my feelings on Facebook, to which I got several agreements.

*Dear people used to cold climates who are seriously, non-jokingly, honestly, deliberately laughing at, judging, and mocking people used to warm climates:

Okay, look. I know, we're whining and complaining because our freezing is your Tuesday. Okay, maybe we should just suck it up and wear more layers. But you know what? After living in this sort of climate for a very long time, something happens to our bodies and our blood. Just like you. That is why a hideous drop in temperature makes us rise up and scream, or, what you call whining, while for you it's just another snowy happy day across the killer ice. Because your biology has grown so accustomed to your climate and your weather, you may be literally unable to now understand how difficult and painful it can get when one minute it is just under forty degrees Fahrenheit and a few hours later it is just under ten. It is an actual, physiological, biological shock to our systems. And for those of us living with chronic illness, disabilities, and disorders that get worse when the cold comes, it can be viciously, horrifyingly painful in ways you may be unable to realize. I don't blame you for calling us whiners and pussies. In fact, I'm gonna pat you on the heads and smile and say, "Okay, sweetie..." in a soft voice. Because that is all I can do right now to keep my frozen fingers from smacking you. I'm sure you would do the same for me if you came over during a light heat wave, which we call Thursday, and start complaining that you were burning up possibly to death, and I laughed at you and said "Oh sweetie, it's not even that hot!". And then I would just smile and hand you a cup of ice water.
So. When I say my joints are exploding with fiery pain drawn from the most intense magma, that my muscles are locked in howling agony as a sensation of pure horrific icy cold runs through them, that my nerves and blood vessels actually begin to scream if I step foot outside in less than twenty degrees F no matter what I am wearing, then I really fucking mean it with no hyperbole. And so I will ask you in a quiet, raspy voice to not ever tease me again about how cold I think it is here in central Maryland. Because pain is pain is pain. And I can still stab you with an ice pick and that will still be pain.
Smiley face!*

I am still in that pain, sooo... mmhmm. I've put on plenty of sweaters, too. I mean, joking is fine. But seriously making fun of my pain issues in cold weather is never a good idea.

Also, I wonder how I can still have allergy issues when it is this cold. Wait. No, I don't. *bites lip, facepalms* Carry on.

Life is well enough. Adam made dough, and then made cinnamon rolls, and then made icing out of powdered sugar and labneh, which is a form of liquid kefir strained yogurt from the Middle East. Probiotics and whatnot. Adds a fantastic tart tang. H-Mart is a wonderful multi-country grocery store.

I have been sleeping too intensely, or rather dreaming too intensely. It's caused me to sleep too hard. But those dreams, oh, they are creative and inventive as hell. My brain really needs to stop playing fanfic with the TV series 'Lost Girl'. I've been reading detailed recaps of season four, via Canadian blogs, since that season only begins here this month, whereas Canada is around eight episodes in. I guess I do prefer spoilers, sweetie.
brightrosefox: (Default)
I had so much amazing sushi it was amazing. I watched with amusement as one friend requested lobster miso and got, literally, a bowl of miso with a lobster claw in it... in the shell, and no tools save for chopsticks. I wanted more sushi, and they let me have more sushi because I fucking could, oh my gods, even the waitress was impressed.
I walked around a shopping area at night with friends and I didn't have a cane and it was all fine, and I socialized easily with four good good people, and when I woke up in the late morning, I hurt so badly that the only way I could get out of bed and walk anywhere, say, to the bathroom, was to put myself back into a half-asleep state.

And then... then, I got asked to weigh in on a discussion about how "our organic bodies must learn to heal themselves without medicine blah blah blah" and I was too tired to give a smackdown, so I just warned that HOLY NAKED CATS CHRONIC ILLNESS AND DISABILITY DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT YOU ETERNALLY FLOATING-HEAD HIPPIE WANNABE. Never tell someone who needs certain medications to function to just quit those medications, or you will have to deal with some very, very irritated cripples.
Like, HI, this drug here, synthetically derived from that plant over there, is saving my life, and fuck you. Yes, yes, the medical community likes to "push" drugs and all, but sometimes those drugs keep people alive, so seriously shut your rainbow-dribbling mouth.
I have spent over a decade writing essays and blog posts about this, starting from that floating head holistic hippie phase of Only Supplements and Essential Oils and Meditation, to Okay This Requires a Chemical Drug So I Don't Die But Can I Still Take The Supplements to Goddammit I'm Just Going To Balance Holistics, Botanicals, and Pharmaceuticals forever.
And the next person to use the words "poison" and "Harmacy" in conversation with me will be threatened with getting hidden completely if not blocked from my forum feeds. Because I really am a serious holistic and scientific advocate for various healing plants and botanicals. I am a shaman in training. But chemicals come from various places. And sometimes, the chemicals extracted by scientists have a better effect than the pure volatile chemicals.
You think side effects from FDA drugs are bad? Eat a whole plant and spend a few hours writhing in hallucinatory agony. And GUESS WHAT: some people never even get bad side effects. Trileptal. Zoloft. Baclofen. Soma. Tramadol. Codeine. Klonopin. Guess what? I'M NOT A FUCKING ZOMBIE. Guess what else? I AM BETTER THAN I HAVE BEEN. So you know what? Float on. The cloud are gorgeous up there.
But my body cannot organically heal itself, sorry. If you're on of those people who like to say, "I'm not against pharmaceutical drugs at all, but have you ever considered just letting your body work on itself naturally?" You will be met with raucous laughter that would make the Joker question my sanity.
I have been dealing with this since my early twenties. I'm gone through the ENTIRE gamut of medicines after being raised literally on vitamins and homeopathy and various therapies and acupuncture. I will not claim to be an expert. But I've had life experience.
So hey, if you're going to cheerfully toss out a casual, callous thought about how someone shouldn't take a pill anymore and see what happens, you really don't know. You don't know. And this is why I try to go out there and help educate, advocate and activist. Because if I don't, people will remain head-floating.
I was once head-floating, and it was a good high while it lasted. This is why many of my friends are scientists, medical doctors, medical students, researchers, etc. I ask a lot of questions. Because I never want to be that head-floaty again.

Anyway. I applied a cream with special oils to my chakra points on my feet, palms, and ears, and my forehead. I took my "harmaceutical" drugs. I stretched. I did acupressure. I meditated. I did my personal compensated form of qigong (of which yoga is only a small part, so don't bother), I recited various phrases to relax myself and let my darker emotions drain away.

In conclusion: If I specifically as for opinions about something incredibly specific, I ask that people stick to that topic. Unlike my friend's post, which was derailed by a hippie wannabe who happily invalidated everyone by insisting that all we need is our own organic body to be healed. Sorry, friend. I hope that drug is going to work well for you! I've never tried it, as I haven't needed it. But I'm happy to help with research.

Anyway. Sushi makes things better. Lots and lots of sushi. Lots. Sushi.
brightrosefox: (Default)
'Kay, so there is strife among the girls today. Poor Calliope, poor Luna. Separate gooshyfood plates this time. I sensed Luna's desire to just be left the fuck alone for a while, so I kept making safe spaces for her everywhere, sing-song speaking her name, treating her like the only cat in the world. She is still the Queen.
Calliope has picked up on the "You hiss at me, I hiss at you, but whatever" thing. She is still submitting. She is still confident. She is still, "Yeah, okay, cool. Yeah, I get it, we need to work on our issues. And by we, I mean you." If she sees Luna, she will meow with intent and force. Her nickname right now really is Pinkie Pie, and sometimes Fluttershy for her casual sweetness.

My worries about Luna will hopefully start to fade within several days. She just... she really needs time to herself. Calliope is bouncy. This is a new young cat who is wildly excited to be in such a big place after a month being in a small cage. She wants to be friends. She wants to show her gentle personality. But Luna needs her space, and if Calliope runs after her, that space is intruded upon. I understand. Even when Luna herself was in the shelter cage for a month, she was a quiet, space-needing kitten. Even after we took her home, she instantly mapped out safe spaces for herself. I will treat Luna like a Queen always, but I will also deposit Calliope's cheek scenting on Luna via boar brush, so Luna can relax and eventually realize that there is no harm. Hell, they even slept on my bed with me after Luna hissed and snarled. Luna will only lash out if Calliope brushes up against her while Luna is trying to relax. That is completely normal and understandable. I would still love any advice at all.

Also, every chronic pain issue I have is attacking at once. I feel hideous. The good news is that all my cats are being loving and supportive.

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