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FYI! Got my brain CD. The neurologist couldn't find anything out of the ordinary that was not already abnormal, etc. So I went and got the CD with my MRI and brought it home, and Adam turned it into a Power Point presentation. I wish so much I knew what to really see, that I could see with a neuroscientist's eyes. I can see my butterfly's broken wings. And the thinning of the corpus callosum.

Let me see if I can copy from the paperwork...

Abnormal dilation of both lateral ventricles with an asymmetric area of dilation along the mid body of the right lateral ventricle. Waviness and distortion of the lateral ventricular margins bilaterally. Dilatation of the third ventricle. Partial absence of the septum pellucidum. Generalized thinning of the corpus callosum which appears grossly intact. These findings likely represent developmental anomalies of the brain; however, these findings could also represent the sequela of in utero ischemia and periventricular leukomalacia. There is no evidence of focal abnormality of the temporal lobes.

Ahh, science. *basking in words*

Now, however... I am still irritated about the lack of EEG response. They tell me I was born with epilepsy - and there is the physical evidence in my brain creature right there. However, I feel... I suppose silly is the word. This may not be an ordinary kind of epilepsy where electrical activity shows up on EEGs. But... but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I guess. I just sometimes wonder, that's all.
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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
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This afternoon saw my session of physical therapy until I see the physiatrist next month. For now, all the alignment exercises have done very well. I will do them for the rest of my life. They're not only extremely gentle but extremely soothing. I could probably use them to combat anxiety a little. This pleases me.

I've been packing my laptop bag and a toiletries bag. I'll pack a change of clothes. Ten hours with electrodes on my head will be fascinating. Note to self: bring the leopard plushie. Maybe the dolphin too.

When I spoke to the technician from the EEG unit a little bit ago, I was told to get less than my normal sleep time, which is generally nine to twelve hours. I'll aim for six to seven.
I was told to come in tired, so that my brain would be more susceptible. This actually matched the stuff my neurologist told me.

It is very interesting to note that an online fight rarely triggers my epilepsy. It turns out that if the fight comes out of nowhere and makes no sense, I become bored and stop paying attention until something of interest happens.
Maybe I should wander into some random forum filled with concern trolls who are insisting that groups of invisible people are on their sides. Those sometimes make me twitch.

But, since my main triggers are fatigue, emotional excitement bad or good, fear, and probably other similar things, I might decide to watch a scary movie and not get enough sleep and maybe go online and read about, I dunno, for example... trolls treating autistics like not-people. That's good for some rage anxiety.

I I just finished Gaiman's The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. It was surrealist and psychological enough to guarantee interesting dreams. I may bring it to the medical building to read again along with the other books.

I think the most recent seizure was at least two days ago.That might explain why I feel bored, puzzled, and amused in a lab study way about stuff going on around Facebook and comic forums and other bloggery type websites I follow (I don't even touch Twitter).

Currently, I am feeling like an alien watching humans throwing random petty tantrums for no actual reasons. I guess they weren't getting the results they wanted.

Keep on being fascinating, internet.
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"...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.
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Via Facebook:

So, anyway, people seem to be asking over and over and over "Does CP cause X? Is X linked to CP?" and I keep posting websites as replies and I don't know who actually reads them...

http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/conditions/
http://www.neurologyreviews.com/index.php?id=25318&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=206306
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19528515
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/731306

Also, does anyone have full access to articles from sites like Medscape, NCBI, etc?
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http://friendly-crips.livejournal.com/204952.html
So, the comment threads have turned awesome and have been a ton of fun. We're still rolling. Starting with critiquing Temple Grandin's societal status as "that famous autistic" and moving to needing autistic representation to cerebral palsy comorbidity to mental illness and neurodivergence, this is one of the most fascinating off-topic threads I've participated in.
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History hurts. Repeating a painful history still hurts.

I will sound very defeatist, pessimistic, exhausted, fed up, lost, and afraid to fight: I don't know if I can prevent my friends from using slurs and pejorative phrases that clearly insult disabled people. I know I can respond to "Oh get over it, it's no big deal, stop getting your panties in a twist, etc" with "Fuck off, you know I've asked you to stop." However, I can't fight. I cannot snarl every single time I am with a group and someone says that something (not a person) "is so ret***ed." Because I myself will feel like I am losing battle after battle and I am so tired. The people in my life, especially the assholes with hearts of gold who know they are assholes with hearts of gold, are willing to die and kill for me. I will defend them forever. I realize not everyone will respect my choice of family among these friends. But you know what, these friends know me, understand me, respect me, love me... even as their humor and sarcasm on my Facebook translates to what seems like ugliness. I watch "Archer" every week, after all. And as long as I have that battle axe gifted to me by my favorite asshole with a heart of gold, I can make fun of myself.
I don't know why I wrote all this. I dont know what my brain wants lately.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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)
Copied from Facebook, because it should be put here.
*
My neurologist is hilarious and awesome. And she thinks the same of me. We're gonna schedule a brain scan. And we traded quips and jokes about why the he'll I didn't get diagnosed autistic until last year. And she agreed that I am badly stressed and depressed for no reason and she desperately wants to help, and she wants to increase the Zoloft a bit to see what happens, and she's very pleased that the passion flower is helping me sleep, and she cares so much it makes me cry. She hugged me when we were done.
I told her that I feel like I'm on another planet with super caring doctors who really help, and she looked so empathetic and almost upset about the lack of such support. I heart you, Chang Ching Debbie Lin, super neurologist and friend to patients.
*
And here I thought they would take more blood. I must remember that the good veins are in my right arm. I'm impressed I was able to watch both arms being poked. That was a big needle.
*
And of course I tripped and fell flat on my knees and shins while walking through the grass. As I was using the cane to slowly get up, I heard a woman call out, and then a hand was on my arm. She asked me if I was okay, and asked if I was going to the bus stop across the street. When I said yes, she held my left arm and helped me the whole way and stayed until we were sure I was okay. Then she went back across. Funny thing was that we were right next to both the hospital and my primary physician office.
I'm home now, and both my legs are bruised, and I'm all stiff and annoyed. But the look of concern on the woman's face made me grateful that people care enough...
*

Indeed, it's never big things, never major or massive emergencies. It is just several little things, one after another or at the same time, building up day after day, never stopping.

Dr Lin Super Neurologist has written "chronic stress disorder" on the list (right next to intractable epilepsy, insomnia, cerebral palsy spastic ataxic, and myalgia as doctor-approved medical issues on that lab test print-out I took to the lab that took two vials of blood). When she had touched my shoulders, she had exclaimed, "Ohh, you're stressed. These muscles are far too tight, even for the cerebral palsy." We joked back and forth - I said, "You know those internet memes that tell you to think positive thoughts to eliminate stress? I hate those." And she said, "It's exactly like saying that the best way to treat a stress-related disease is to get rid of stress. Helpful, isn't it?" - and she was genuinely worried.
She gave me those physical tests where I had to push against her hands with my hands and legs, and my left side barely responded, and I watched her mouth turn down and her eyes fill with sympathy. When I said that my medications were working very well for what they had to work with, she was almost gleefully relieved. She does want me to see a psychiatrist, and she thinks increasing the Zoloft may help mitigate some stress with its ability to handle more than just depression and anxiety. She was happy to see me able to genuinely express my sense of humor, and she liked that I called my depression episodes "hollows". I truly feel better for having seen her and for scheduling the six-month follow-up. Brain scan ahoy.

I know so many people with intense diseases, disorders that must be monitored and treated with porcelain delicateness, with multiple medical conditions that leave doctors stunned and astounded that these patients are still alive. This is why I don't like to compare. This is why I hate playing games, even though sometimes I find myself pain-bragging without realizing. My small, numerous, chronic daily medical issues are nothing next to something as huge as, say, cancer or MS. But they are annoying.

These varied, various, multiple little pains and problems are indeed growing and they are quietly and slowly debilitating no matter how many Happy Thoughts tm I throw at them, and they will be with me for the rest of my life, and I will work with them and treat them as best as I possibly can, and I am doing my best to turn away from insistent voices that cry about magical panacea drugs/herbs/exercises and seek out whatever magic works for me, magic or not. And all I want to do is reach out and hold the hands of those who are being struck down with health problems no matter how many times they get back up, who get back up no matter how many times they are struck down, who just want to rest.
I just want to rest.
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Seizure happened in the kitchen. Jupiter meowed and rubbed against me while I crouched. Adam came in and gently lay me on the floor. My eyes were open and blank. Adam touched my face and reached for my mind, and I spasmed and gasped and blinked. I asked why I was on the floor. Adam helped me up and stood me against the large freezer. My memory is swirling. Alicia is holding me. Earlier, Adam said he told his boss, a fellow animal lover, that he needed an extra day to care for his wife. I rolled my eyes and said that was not necessary; that I was fine. Never mind. It was so dark and so white equally braided as order and chaos magics. I was spinning at ninety-nine percent light speed and thirty-five miles an hour. The world was elsewhere. A few seconds lasted a thousand years. Adam suggested I go upstairs and rest. Jupiter is suggesting a cuddle. I am thinking coffee and clonazepam and baclofen. I am made of light and love and pure order-chaos magic in its simplest form. I can give myself the right strength. May be that I can regenerate. As brightly and intensely as a Time Lord. I always shine enough for everyone.

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I had a seizure yesterday, recorded it on Facebook, and now must copy it it here, since I always do.

Soo, electric pain and spasticity are now preceding simple partial seizures, previously called auras, which lead to complex partial seizures, hey? Brain, you are awesomely bizarre. But we knew that. Long story short, cerebral palsy and fibromyalgia and epilepsy like to team up. BRB, fighting a seizure, probably not winning. See you all in a few minutes.

The sound of one hand striking a keyboard whilst electricity, burning, floods the semi-paralyzed other half of the body, spastic hemiplegia indeed... hypertonia, ataxia, except the brain has no pain receptors. so why is it burning, I laugh.
I have never been to space until now. Some place in space anyhow. My chair became a shuttle. My copilots were my human coping mechanisms called imaginary friends, yes I know the difference between reality and fiction, my girls are fiction, and if you think I don't understand, oh my you are badly mistaken, and how dare you assume, no wait, that was from a blog post comment thread, never mind.
There were so many stars, I think, at least shining spots far off in that darkness. There were nebulas everywhere. So much color. Maybe it was another dimension? I have never seen outer space like this.
Amara and Alicia held my hands the whole time. Alicia has broken away from the Wonderland force fields to interact with the rest of my brain. This means something neurologically, I think. She is now taking on more than just epilepsy. Oh. I see now. Thank you, Alicia.
I'm so tired now. But I must finish this. It is fading. NO.
I was in my own head, going ninety-nine percent light speed, felt like thirty-five miles an hour, that was a Futurama joke, I don't care if you are sick of my Futurama quotes, bite me. And then, and then, that prismatic explosion of every color blending into white, since that is how white is created, and a howling noise like a perfect wind screaming through alleys, and I was sliding off my chair save for my hands clawing grasping at the leather padded chair arms and my lungs were sucking in air and my lips were chapped and my mouth was dry and my neck hurt and I was shaking.
And Jupiter was meyowling. He is still meyowling. I have to go see what he wants.
You know those dreams where you wake up and realize you are still dreaming? No, I stopped, but it took a moment. My eyes were still open.
I am still open.

And now I must perform intricate physical therapy stretching qigong dance moves to force my left side to function. Love you too, epilepsy. Here comes a Soma pill to begin muscle relaxing and a Klonopin pill to begin mental relaxation. Go!

Update, December 11: Still postictal, but incredibly positive. Light-hearted, even. I feel like dancing.
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BTW, I'm officially on MediCare Part B (retroactive as of November) and earlier my Part C Aetna Medicare ID Card arrived, which won't be active until January 2014. It is all good. It will still save over a hundred dollars a month between all insurance and drug coverage. All my doctors are covered, all my drugs will be cheaper, and I have carefully read, re-read, and examined all the paperwork with a magnifying glass (no, really). So December's SSDI check will be less two months' insurance payments, and then January's check will also be less the Part C payment, but it is all good, because it is still cheaper than what I am paying under MHIP Carefirst in general. I feel... well, I don't know if "lucky" is the best word. But it is not as bad as it could have been. I mean, I also ride Metro and local bus transit for free thanks to being disabled and a member of Metro Access paratransit system.

Some fully able-bodied people like to scold me for feeling grateful that I am disabled enough to qualify. It's not about that 'grateful' feeling or that whole "skip to the front of the line" thing. It's not about any of that. It's... I dunno. It's about taking whatever disordered damage you have and turning it into a personal individual advantage that works in your favor. It's about accepting and embracing the awful pained cracked parts of life and seeing that they have been opening all these shiny doors, after slamming closed other doors so furiously that the whole building shakes and walls crumble. You may never be able to walk through those slammed locked bolted doors that most able-bodied people get to glide through easily, but you have all these other doors opening just for you, ready to lead you to places where you, personally, will feel more comfortable, accepted, embraced, and understood on a level secure with your disordered damage. It's not your fault, and the places these doors lead you are fully aware and have already set up a spot for you. You are always safe in those spaces in between.

Like... having mild disabilities. For example: Having mild cerebral palsy is like being in interstitial places constantly - interstice being a small space that lies between things; a space that intervenes between things. Neither completely here nor there. A space in between. A crack in the continuity. Mild autism in that nobody believes me until they spend a few word-filled hours trying to decipher my brain languages. Mild ADD and mild OCD and mild/moderate but fierce migraines and headaches and mild/moderate but fierce epileptic complex partial seizures and mild/moderate but fierce chronic pains and mild inflammations and and this and that. Mild mild mild. Haunting and interstitial. Never bad enough to cause me to be rushed to a hospital, never simple enough to merely pass by with a handwave. I am those spaces in between, as are many, many, many people with certain neurologies. We are in those cracks. Oh, they say, it's all right, they're not too bad, they could be worse, they say. And then what?

Any fellow disabled folk and people who understand want to chime in? Am I making enough sense here? I feel like I am.
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Some random rambling about my own mind, my imaginary friends, and how my mind likes to invent coping mechanisms that talk back.

One of my imaginary friends, Amara, who is the human coping mechanism in charge of all the neurochemical, neurodevelopmental fuctions, has been interacting with me more and more ever since Alicia (the epilepsy mechanism) and Serena (the pain, fatigue, psychological, neurobiological functions) urged her to show herself more often after I fell into a chemical depression with severe anxiety. Serena and Koan could only do so much.

Amara, at the beginning of her creation, was not even human; formless and elemental. These days, she is human shaped but she loves to take bits of my writerbrain as inspiration. Her ears are pointed and her eyes and hair change color with her moods. She likes to mimic my bone structure and basic figure shape, just with more muscle intensity. Serena says it's because Amara wants to show me that I am beautiful.
Also, when I saw a Google image painting of a woman with elf ears and a unicorn horn, posing with a unicorn, Amara insisted I make it my current Facebook cover photo. She made herself up to resemble like that character while still mimicking my features, including the horn that represents the third eye - just with chestnut brown streaks in her white-lavender hair and honey brown flecks in her intense blue eyes... although none of that is her true coloring. When she made herself human, her coloring randomly became alabaster skin, gold eyes, and pale flame hair, essentially inhuman. But she kept the mirror shape of my skeletal structure and body shape. She even plumped her lips, made her eyes bigger, and made her nose smaller, because she knew I desired that. It makes me smile, which I think she likes. She wears the same jewelry as me, the same clothing colors, the same makeup colors. She is determined to "reboot" the parts of my brain that are having trouble accepting the recent flooding overload of information about these disabilities and chronic illnesses. The name Amara means everlasting, eternal, immortal... which is why she was formless and elemental to begin with. I finally understand why I created her. And she wouldn't mind being the inspiration for any stories I write. I'm grateful for that.
She insists that my jaw, hair, and eyes resemble the jaw, hair, and eyes of Elena Risteska from Macedonia, which I agreed with and humbly accept with a simple thanks. The only way I even knew about Miss Risteska was through searching for shades of brown.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Elena_risteska.JPG
http://img27.fansshare.com/pic34/w/elena-risteska/1200/12861_elena_risteska.jpg
http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/18051115/Elena+Risteska+elena+r.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/p480x480/578088_479387062121006_1822646409_n.jpg
http://img27.fansshare.com/pic34/w/elena-risteska/1200/12858_elena_risteska.jpg
http://tekstovi-pesama.com/g_img2/1/e/28986/elena%2520risteska-10.jpg
She just wants me to feel better, to feel my own positive human emotions. Since Amara is still learning about humanity, she looks to Serena for help. In my dreams, they have amazing conversations.
I'm so glad I created these characters. They help keep me sane, emotionally stable, intellectually stable, and psychically curious. Also, every time I meditate and concentrate on my third eye, I actually feel a short unicorn horn on my forehead.
https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/1469926_10151743304270684_204893984_n.jpg
I just love that my own mind is creative enough to make up whole people with entire personalities, back stories, individual appearances, individual likes and dislikes, and actual behaviors. They mainly come to me in sleep dreams, daydreams, and meditations. My psychotherapist adores the fact that they exist, which relieves me. It's just one of those things that I, Joanna, have in my brain to help me handle all the stuff that life gives me. Awesome.
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This has been running around my head for a few weeks and I've been wanting to get it just right, so other people with disabilities and chronic illnesses can know that they're not alone and that if they're afraid, we can be afraid together.


To quote a friend:

"I’m not very functional. If you see me out and about, I’m either doing well, or I’m going to pay dearly for it later. Probably both."

What this means is that on the surface I might appear perfectly fine and normal in every aspect almost all the time. What this means is that as time goes on, I'm going to be worn down, exhausted, and unable to properly, correctly finish all the things I was doing well.

What this means is that if I have been able to recite entire poems, paragraphs, television dialogue, and instruction lists, I will be unable to do so when I go into a fog. I have been accused several times of lying about my memory disintegration, because if I can remember specific things constantly it must mean I have a perfect memory for everything. Here is the thing about the human brain and memory: Memory is insane. It is fickle. It lies all the time. It writes fanfiction of your life. Just because you can quote everything said by a character in a television show does not mean you have a good memory. It just means that when your brain is in a good place, you can quote everything said by a character in a television show - although these days I cheat by looking it up on Google because I actually can't recall everything. It just looks like I can. That's the trick. I seem so normal.
The point is, when someone is diagnosed with brain disorders such as memory disintegration, it means that it is happening now. Everything is happening now, has been happening for years, and will happen until death.

I have been accused several times of lying about my level of physical disability, because if I can walk and run without a cane for a few hours it must mean I don't actually need the cane or any sort of assistance. I have been accused several times of deliberately wanting my symptoms to get worse, of living inside my disorders so that I don't have to face reality, which aggravates and irritates me, since it is the exact opposite of what I actually do - reality is happening no matter what I believe, and my reality is that I am permanently disabled and I am not getting better. The thing about cerebral palsy is that patients as young as twenty-five will begin to feel physically aged due to wear and tear on their muscles, joints, bones, and nerves. This is called Post Impairment Syndrome.To quote: Post impairment syndrome is a combination of symptoms that affect adults with cerebral palsy. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, this combination includes fatigue, pain, arthritis and weakness that is often a part of daily life. This symptom is due to the muscle abnormalities and bony changes that happen as you age with cerebral palsy. You can use three to five times more energy each day than an able-bodied person just to complete your daily living activities. This extra expenditure of energy combined with the spasticity and extra wear on the joints is a hallmark symptom of adults who suffer from cerebral palsy.

What this means is that when I say that I feel sixty at age thirty, I really mean it. I am not exaggerating or subconsciously causing it. What this means is that no amount of positive magical thinking and no amount of disbelieving my conditions will make me better; I might feel better for a while after psychically insisting that I don't hurt too badly, but eventually that will stop working and the symptoms will strike even harder, especially if I have been highly active from my positive magical thinking and my belief that I was not in pain. What this means is that I can decide my symptoms are gone and my bodily systems will just laugh; for someone like me, there is no power to make myself not have symptoms. What this means is that my problems are not temporary inconveniences that I can massage, medicate, meditate, and wish away... when I explain that I feel decades older, I really mean it, and I cannot slowly heal myself just by forcing myself to feel better.

Having a permanent physical disability means that I cannot just recover easily. Having a chronic pain disorder means that I cannot just force pain to disappear. What this means is that no matter what, I will be living alongside my medical issues.What this means is that I am never the same from one minute to the next.

What this means is that I really need to quit talking about my health conditions with people who don't want to know. I make too many assumptions when acquaintances and random people ask about my conditions. I have to remind myself that they don't want to hear about it. I have to remind myself that people will start thinking that I do want to live inside my medical conditions if I talk about them in so much detail. I have to remind myself to simply say things like, "I am reasonable" and "I'm disabled with cerebral palsy" and to expand only if asked. When I get scolded, snapped at, accused, and told that nobody wants to know about my medical issues, I often don't understand what is really happening. I need to remind myself that social interaction means holding back. And this is why most social interaction makes me want to curl up and hug a book, because books don't scold me for trying to talk about myself. Also, cats. Cats just want me to pet them.

****
Long quote, which I am quoting because many people I have met over the past few months literally do not believe that my health is declining on its own, and they literally believe that I could just make myself feel better with magical thinking, ie positive thinking, law of attraction. This is also why I've joined support groups. Being told "You're making your disability worse on your own" is starting to chip away at my optimism. I'm making this public so those new acquaintances can read and come to their own conclusions.

All Americans are living longer than people did years ago, and people who have cerebral palsy (CP) are no exception. For people with disabilities, however, living to an old age is a new phenomenon. We are just now learning what it means to grow older with a disability.

Although much of the information we are gathering on the topic is discouraging, there are strategies to make aging with a disability a more successful experience. “I have seen many advances in diagnoses and treatments since I was young,” said Bonnie Witt, an adult who has cerebral palsy. “People with disabilities are living longer, more productive lives. Doctors who treat adults with disabilities are navigating uncharted territory. This is a fairly new area of medicine, so—in a small way—we are pioneers.”

Symptoms of Aging Appear Earlier

People without disabilities reach the peak of their physical function between ages 18 and 25. After that, their abilities decline about 1 percent per year. At age 70, therefore, people without disabilities are likely to have about 50 percent of their top lung function, 50 percent of their peak kidney function and so on.

Even before their abilities begin to decline, however, people who have disabilities typically don’t reach the same highest points of physical function that people without disabilities do. And when the decline begins, it might be steeper in people who have disabilities. Author and Professor Bryan Kemp reported that people with disabilities show a decline of 1.5 to 5 percent per year after reaching their highest level of physical function.

In addition, people with disabilities experience aging-related changes years earlier than their non-disabled peers do. Although study results vary, aging-related changes generally occur 20 to 30 years after the onset of a disability. For people who have CP, such changes can occur in the 20s, 30s or 40s.

Pain Is Common

Pain is the most common initial problem for adults with CP. Studies show that most of the older adults who have CP report daily pain. One-third report constant pain.

The hip, knee, back and neck are the most common sites of pain. Medication is the most common treatment for pain. Studies show that 92 percent of people with CP report that exercise helps their pain symptoms, but only 49 percent report that they exercise even infrequently. People with disabilities use other methods of pain treatment, such as biofeedback or counseling, less frequently than people who don’t have disabilities do.

People with CP who walk have the most problems with pain, because their gait and movement patterns cause abnormal wear and tear on their bodies. That leads to arthritis. Twenty-five percent of people with CP who walk as children lose that ability as teens or adults. Others stop ambulating in their 40s because of pain. For all people with CP who continue to walk, distance is compromised—in other words, they can’t walk as far as they used to.

Additional Issues

People who are in pain typically experience more fatigue than other people do, so they tend to do less and rest more. When people are less active, they lose strength and endurance. Less strength means less ability to perform necessary or enjoyable activities, and it results in a decreased ability to care for oneself. That, in turn, can lead to depression, a need to ask more from family members or a need to hire more assistance. The effect on relationships and the corresponding financial consequences are obvious.

Falls are very common in adults with CP. Reports show that 40 percent of adults with CP fall at least once each month, and 75 percent fall every two months. In fact, falling is so common that most people do not even think of reporting the falls to their doctors.

Because the risk of breaking a bone increases with age, it’s important to improve strength and to plan movements, as much as possible, to reduce the incidence of falls. Other problems that occur in people who are aging with CP include increased bowel and bladder problems and more joint contractures.
***
brightrosefox: (Default)
Because I can never recall the actual daily Pain and pain relieving supplements off the top of my head that I personally take:
MSM, Pau D'Arco, Sangre de Drago, Sea Buckthorn, Vinpocetine, Nymphaea Caerulea, Serrapeptase, Noni extract, Mangosteen extract, Cayenne extract, Kava extract, Passionflower, Ashwagandha, L-Tyrosine.
There we go!

(Disclaimer: My body is not your body. My pain is not your pain. My chemistry is not your chemistry. My neurology is not your neurology. Your mileage may vary.
If you choose to research these supplements, and especially if you choose to take any of these supplements be reasonable, rational, and cautious. These supplements may not work for you the way they work for me. They may not work at all.
If you wish to purchase and test any of these supplements, I suggest the following websites: SwansonVitamins.com, Vitacost.com, PuritansPride.com, which all make quality products that I trust. I am not responsible for anything except what I type and say.
Please do not ask me simple questions that Google can answer, such as "What does this/that supplement do and how and why?" If you are unable to do a Google search, tell me why and I shall provide links. However, I am not a medical practitioner and I only study holistic medicine as a hobby. I do not know everything. It is your responsibility to do your own research and make your own decisions. However, I am happy to answer questions about how these supplements have worked with me, why, how, etc. Please holistically drug yourself responsibly.)
brightrosefox: (Default)
So, stuff.
My body and brain have been up and down in normal chronic pain ways, and now that I'm medically on the autism spectrum with Nonverbal Learning Disability, my doctors and therapists can focus on more specific treatments for the sensory and communication issues, and I no longer feel I need to justify why I do so many weird and fucked up things that make people angry. I'm not gonna use any of my disabilities as an excuse, because I find that revolting, but I will merely say, "Look, I'm super neurodiverse and I have issues, so just hang on a minute while I get my brain in order, okay?" I don't think I have ever been neuro-typical.

I've been venting on Facebook more than LiveJournal, which i find backwards, but I have so many friends on Facebook who are immediate and who know exactly how it is. I refuse to leave Livejournal, since it has been my home since late 2001, so I plan on writing here more and more, copying between here and Facebook.

So, I have been in a major depression episode for several weeks now. It has been quiet and lurking, like a huge tar pit, and every so often a creature rises with flashing claws and strikes and I break down and my insides begin screaming. It happened last night, while Adam and I were eating the rabbit stew he had slow-cooked. I randomly, suddenly began sobbing in heaves into a napkin, and Adam placed his hand on the back of my head gently - it's a gesture he does to Mikey to let Mikey know he is there and to guide Mikey in his blindness, and he's been doing it with me ever since we met. Adam began massaging my neck and shoulders, and then I began gasping and rasping "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so so sorry..." and Adam asked "Why?" and I gestured violently at my body and rasped, "THIS. I just... I just... I can't. I fucking can't. I can't even eat a whole meal with out..." and I sobbed again and he held me and held me, and I cried about how broken I was and that i was a horrible housewife and how I couldn't do the things he needed me to do sometimes, and he said, "Honey, it's okay. You are so important. You pay our bills, you make the appointments, you keep the house from exploding, you remind me to take of myself. I bring in the money. I may break my back doing it, but you're already broken and it isn't anything you did, and that's okay. It's all okay. Everything is okay. I love you."
We had moved to the couch, and I cried and cried while he held me, and Jupiter came over and sat like a sphinx on us and purred with his entire body and we pet him and scritched him, and the creature in my brain faded.

Adam needed to wake up around five in order to go to his IT/AV shop in Virginia and then to New York for a job overnight. We went upstairs and prepared his luggage and had sex that comforted me and made me happy with the afterglow jokes, and then later, Luna came over in one of her precious rare moments and settled between us on a small pillow to purr us to sleep.

I still have this weird lump in my throat from... so many things. I still need to print out that form that my new psychologist needs for insurance and such, and on Friday, our second appointment, we may try hypnotherapy. I'll tell her about the spectrum thing just so she keeps it in mind. I think we'll get along just find.

I sent back the forms to get Medicare Part B, and once I'm enrolled at the end of the year, I shall enroll in Part C with Aetna, and then things should be cheaper for me. Next week will be the dentist and then the pain physician.

I still need to eat more.

And then... and then, there is this. Found and shown to me by the magnificent [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling, it is the absolute ultimate expression of what I've been calling The Spear Theory (as opposed to the spoon theory).

Always. Forever. I am my shield and these are my spears. Because spoons can only do so much. The spear theory leaves me scarred and shattered and covered in the blood of my pain monsters. And after I recover and refresh there is a new set of shiny spears waiting to be hurled, broken, stuck in the bodies of my pain monsters, and repeat.
And as I rest and recover, spoons are there to help feed and nourish. But there will always be more spears.
I am a pain warrior. A warrior in an old way.
http://internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com/post/61136577036

And Naamah's thoughts:
http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/633319.html

It is too perfect.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Note: Seizure.
Dreamstate. Melting clocks, supernovas, galaxies whirling like pinwheels.
The looking glass shattered when I fell through. Alicia my guide held me tight and whispered, hoarsely, "Those hands of time and space will not move unless you stop watching."
The melting clocks began to burn.
Alicia was screaming for Amara to come get me. Wonderland looked like a rainforest on LSD.
Amara slid her cool hand into mine and said, "Neurology is hell, and then you live."
I was wrapped in a silk cocoon, shoved through a broken cracked pathway of shorted neurons and synapses. Amara was with me. When we broke through, I heard Serena say, "I'll take her now. Thank you, sister." And I heard a kitten purring so loudly it made me vibrate, and I felt pure comfort. I managed to mumble, "I need Amber to wrap me in safe." But it had already been done.
I love my spirit guardians, also known as my human-shaped coping mechanisms, also known as my creations with minds of their own, also known as awesome psychological methods.

In a discussion with Naamah yesterday, she referred to me as "so inscrutable zen-master... really at peace with the fact that sometimes, things don't make sense... and don't need to." I used to quote Chang Tzu without knowing it was Chang Tzu: "Use understanding to understand what can be understood with understanding, and then stop." and when people asked, "Wait, how many 'understandings' are in there?" I would reply, "Yes, exactly."
And so Naamah suggested that if Serena had a companion, it would have to be a little koi-colored calico cat named Koan. Today, my mind remembered that and ran with it, constructing a six-month-old calico kitten with koi patterning, named Koan. And she will be infinitely gentle, patient, and a deep lover of head-butts, cheek nuzzling, face licking, lap sleeping, and Being There When I Need Her.


I'm back in reality. I must rest now. Hi. I believe the seizure lasted approximately two minutes. I can type, with exhaustion, but reading is becoming fatiguing. I will do things to recover. Yes.
brightrosefox: (Default)
In the past week, I have learned some fascinating things about cerebral palsy that I honestly never knew and which truly puts many things into perspective.

1. We tend to exert more energy than others - around 3 to 5 percent daily.
2. We tend to have higher, faster metabolisms. For some, this can lead to clinical, neurological "nervous loss of appetite" - not always the eating disorder, but an actual screw-up between signals being sent between the brain and the stomach. Some of us do develop eating disorders at some point in our lives.
3. 75 percent of us will lose our ability to walk by age 25, or at least we will begin a slow decline, and of that percent, most of us will need walking assistance devices such as canes, no matter how mild the cerebral palsy.
4. After age 30, most of us will begin to rapidly decline physically, neurologically, physiologically, and psychiatrically. Our neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems will quietly suffer and lead to conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuralgia, migraines, TMJ, sciatica, seizures, sleep problems, and breakdowns of connective tissues.
5. A vast percentage of us have clinical depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar, and other major mental illnesses.
6. A huge percentage of us have sensory processing disorders, spatial relation difficulties, and memory problems that can get worse after age 30.
7. Even the most mild cases of CP may wind up needing permanent care and assistance by age 60.
8. No amount of exercise, yoga, dietary changes, nutritional boosts, positive thinking, holistic treatments, or pharmaceutical treatments can completely slow the progression of syndromes and disorders comorbidly associated with cerebral palsy. While the damage done is static and non-progressive, the repercussions from that damage will continue to affect the brain and body for the rest of the patient's life. It is not our fault, we cannot and must not fee guilty or ashamed, and we must learn that it is completely all right to ask for help.

***

Excuse me, I need to go cry quietly for a while.
You know my phone number if you wanna call and chat. If not, and you wanna chat, message me. I'll probably be crying.

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