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Persephone, Asha, Hecate

September 2014

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Oct. 26th, 2037

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

New user name, new self

Hello from the LiveJournal user formerly known as BrightRoseFox.
Due to a complex thingy involving problems with emails and such, I have changed my LiveJournal name, my Yahoo name, and my Facebook name.
Everything is now BrightLotusMoon.
If you know me well enough, you know why I am now BrightLotusMoon.
So, yeah. Just FYI.

Also.
Dear Lovelies:
Not only am I feeling so much better, I truly believe I am worth everything that people say I am. I have been getting messages, emails, phone calls, and comments from friends who have told me what I mean to them. I have been amazed and heartened and lifted and joyous.
I may be a moonlight witch, but I cannot access the magic of the moon without accessing the magic of the sun. And the moon is always there, her power extreme eternally. And the sun is always there, his power intense forever.
I feel bright and powerful and in full bloom, like a great lotus blossom beneath the full moon.

Jun. 8th, 2036

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

I'm not you. You're not me. But we're people. Yay us.

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

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

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

I don't know how else to say it, so I'll be blunt, and this time I am not going to pull any punches:
Read more...Collapse )

Jun. 14th, 2035

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

My brain to your brain. To the universe.

...hush now; let me speak...
And sometimes there are days when all you can feel is that pain-filled urge to fly and fall, and all you can think is "If only I could make the world fly and fall with my brain; if only I could win my own game, always."
Read more...Collapse )

Sep. 30th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

And life goes round

The replacement medical dog tag, which features the main medical conditions that essentially encompass most other syndromes - cerebral palsy and autism have so many comorbidities and associated disorders that most medics will get the idea.

medicalalertpendant


It came via a website called Sticky Jewelry. They're pretty awesome, and affordable. This came with a free cleaning chamois cloth and a free medical identification card on which to fill out vital information, like emergency contact, physician phone number, prescriptions, blood type.

The pendant I attached it to is an Etsy-bought custom-made ouroboros pentacle with an amber stone. It has a lot of power for me. Also, it's a fun stim.

Sep. 29th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

I do love MedScape

...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!

***

Sep. 25th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Humans are twatwaffles.

I want Soren Bowie to be my friend.

http://www.cracked.com/video_19092_4-types-bullying-we-are-shockingly-ok-with.html

Sep. 19th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Being Elsa: Pain triggers stress triggers pain triggers augh.

Because part of All The Therapy is blogging my feels. And this was short enough anyway.

'kay.

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

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

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

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

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

(Alice is from Alice in Wonderland and Elsa is from Frozen. Because of what happens to them. Etc. I actually still have not seen Frozen all the way through yet. I will, obviously, and it will be many times. But I relate desperately well to Elsa, her hidden aspects, her representing disability, autism, childhood abuse, chronic anxiety, PTSD, personal orientations, and her love for a sister beyond a potential unnecessary husband. I only have chosen sisters and I love them so hard like the stars.)

Sep. 18th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Words that mean things, always

http://www.autistichoya.com/p/ableist-words-and-terms-to-avoid.html

Okay, so naturally I disagree with several of these. I use Idiot, Moron, Crazy, Stupid, Lame, Gimpy, Cripple. In fact!...
Via Facebook:
BTW, FYI: When I am stressed, worried, afraid, or panicked, I turn to satire, wryness, flippant humor, self-deprecation, and dark humor to soothe myself. It's not that bad right now, but if I discuss any health issues with blatant dark flippancy toward myself, it's just a way of being okay with stuff.
I'm sure plenty of folks do this. Sometimes it's all about sanity and security! I am such a lame cripple right now. Hah.
BUT: I won't use ableist words without a warning note that I personally am not offended by a few (specifically idiot, crazy, moron, lame, gimpy, cripple - I apply them only to myself). Since they are known offensive terms, and I know this, I'll make a point to not use them outside of me, myself. However, if anyone has issues with my potential use of those listed words specifically, please let me know.

See, I think lists of ableist words tend to go too far. But everyone has their own hairline triggers and I ain't stepping on those wires. But I won't step on eggshells. I will apply trigger warnings and disclaimers because I know very well. One of my favorite insults comes from Futurama: "Asinine Morons." It feels so good on the tongue. I just like the word Asinine. Maybe Moron could be replaced with Coward, Jerk, Pissant. I don't know. I really love finding words and terms that I could use instead of words that obviously refer to disabled people in an unflattering way. The thing is, with disabled people being among the most marginalized of the marginalized groups, it will take a long time to alter the vocabulary or lessen the ugliness of the words.
I still refuse to use "retard" because it reduces a person to slowed developmental growth above all else. And really, the only time I've heard "retarded/retardation" was with plants. And there should be other words.

On to other things: My migraine, which has been slowly creeping since last night, is being gently soothed by caffeine, B-Complex, Boswellia, Magnesium, Aspirin. The Ayurvedic pills - Bacopa, Ashwagandha, Shilait, Turmeric, Boswellia, Fenugreek - have been helping slowly but surely. And the stuff I picked up while grocery shopping are helping beautifully too. Yay symptom soothing!

Sep. 17th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Living means...

...and then you find a blog post like this.
http://autistictimestwo.blogspot.com/2014/09/i-wanted-you.html
And everything you felt about being such, deep inside, comes up and out, and you catch it in a clear quartz prism, and you turn it and examine it, and you hold it up to as many lights as possible. And it is all beautiful and even those cracks and dark spots are beautiful.

People don't always pay attention when an autistic person is killed by their parent or guardian specifically because of words like "burden" and "burned out caregiver" and "mericful" and "for the best" and "couldn't take it anymore."

Like Kelli Stapleton - and yeah, typing her name made me feel a pain in my fingers. I have no emotion for her. I could hate her, but this is beyond hate. No sympathy. Kelli took her 14-year-old autistic non-verbal daughter Issy and attempted murder-suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning, rather than seeking actual help, therapies, and treatments for Issy and herself. And she has a cheerleading section. I cannot wrap my mind around this. People are supporting her, calling her brave, shattered, wonderful, because she "put up with lower-spectrum autism" in her child for so long that she finally snapped. Feel sick? Me, too.
This happens dozens of times a year, more, and rarely is it reported. Now, I didn't know until this past spring, when I began navigating the careful waters of autism activism. I can't swim. And some of my new friends are dragons. I keep a lot to myself. However, I need those dragons, those growling leopards, those night-seeing owls, to make sure I navigate.

The point is that when a neurotypicalm able-bodied person says "I love you because you are amazing because of your disability"... that is powerful. I have never, ever felt unwanted; I had intense, deep, powerful love my entire life. However, my social peers, educators, and adult peers obviously had different reactions.
One phrase I dislike is "Don't let your disability define you"/"Don't let your disability become your identity." I laugh a wry laugh. See, a congenital disability is part of what defines me. A congenital disability is part of my identity. I realize and understand completely when those phrases apply to acquired illnesses and acquired disabilities. But I'm someone who is, as they say, disabled and proud.

So that blog post is a big hug.

Sep. 13th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Companionship, stories, scars, and power

Copied from Facebook.

1 "When you’re going through a thing like this, you tend to latch onto ANYTHING that isn’t panic inducing and repeat it over and over to avoid the things that are terrifying..."

2 One time, a long while ago, I was having a panic attack, and so I shifted my thoughts to looking for a lost plush animal to move away from the panic, and I told Facebook because I have friends here who understand, and I was told by a random acquaintance that it was unnecessary to post about having lost a toy, that nobody cared because what good would it do, and that I should post more meaningful things.
Panic attacks don't care even more, but at least they start to fade once you work through them and work past them. Internet trolls don't. Especially not those who don't care what panic attacks do to specific people and how they get treated by specific people.
*quick deep breathing*
Goodbye, trolls. I turn away from you. I will quit talking about being harrassed and move on.
Also, panic attacks suck. So I am focusing on my stuffed animal toys and my cat Callisto, who is snuggled up with me like comfort.
That is all.

3 My phone case from Diztronics is deep blue with blue and silver glitter. It's like someone spray glittered the TARDIS. My Galaxy S4 is red, so it is amusing. :-D

4 I did a chaotic organization of medical supplements, loved toys, loved books, skin care; and all the patterns I'm seeing are making me squeal and dance. And now to watch all of Futurama on Netflix, and then Uncle Grandpa, and then The Amazing World Of Gumball, and today is a Soft Clothing day because my skin is being sensory processing disordered and hypersensitive to pressure. Etc. And The Amazing Amanda will understand because she and I are like autist sisterlings.
#littleAutisticthings

5 I decided that resistance bands are better than push ups for my capabilities and issues. Grab each end of the rubber band and lift up to my chest, pull and hold for one second and do as many reps as I can. It works various upper arm muscles, shoulder muscles, chest muscles, and ab muscles if I engage them. Then my brain sorts through patterns to connect to different muscle sets and brain signals that might work best with the hemiplegia. Sometimes I color code the central nervous system activities when I can. It takes a hell of a lot of meditative concentration and it doesn't always work. But it is fun and it is soothing.
Compromise, compensation, modification, personalization. My mother always made sure I could do stuff however I had do.
#LittleCerebralPalsyThings
#LittleAutisticThings

6 "So please, just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is alright. Because didn’t anybody ever tell you? Fear is a superpower. Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger.
And one day you’re gonna come back to this... and on that day you’re going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s okay, because if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind.
It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark so long as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it.
So listen. If you listen to anything else, listen to this. You’re always gonna be afraid even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But that’s okay because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home.
I’m gonna leave you something just so you’ll always remember. Fear makes companions of us all."
- Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 4 "Listen"
-Now one of my own personal fear litanies

And also, see, as a signature, I tell stories and engage in conversations as though my Facebook friends are already with me.
It is highly frustrating for some, and I've been harassed over it by random strangered acquaintances and bored trolls because they want to know stone details in rational and logical ways that are opposite from my whimsical spontaneous blurting out wordenings, but they don't realize that I am waiting to reveal, I am preparing those stone details for later in the story and that is how I work and how I brain, because a neuroweird brain like mine isn't very straight, it is curvy and looping and wavy and look over there at the shiny. Autist? Sure. Artist? Yes. Atypical neurology? Forever.
Details are for the comments sections, in which the story continues like a deep conversation. I never plan to engage conversations, but when it happens it becomes magical and it becomes anything.
And so this monologue in an episode about facing fear and patterns of lonely and alone and companionship and need, I see stories and conversations that veer everywhere across a dozen thought processes, neural connections zooming and smashing and spiking as ideas slam into each other.
Come, friends, fall into the story with me! We can converse in the comments. But don't be harsh. Be kind. Be clever. Be an empathic friend, not a severe critic. Be companions, and we will ride these blurted engaged stories buoyed by the strength of companionship.
Spoilers.
http://www.threeifbyspace.net/2014/09/doctor-who-804-listen-quotable-quotes-points-to-ponder/

7 "Scars tell the story of our lives, inscribed upon our skin. I’d not remove mine for the world." -Failure To Fire Comic via comments section
http://ftf-comics.com/?comic=face-reveal-2
It took me so, so long to accept the scars I had as a newborn. Like... three decades. Alex has acquired scars, so I feel that I have a sort of mental dissociation with that for some reason. I still feel irritated, literally and figuratively, with my scars, since no matter what they hurt but are also stories.
Discussion to continue in comments. I'm in a weird headspace.

Sep. 11th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

I can see my brain from here!

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.

Sep. 9th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Dreaming of coffee?

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.

Sep. 8th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Airports are fascinating

I should probably stop reading so many stories of airlines and the shit put up with by flight attendants.

This weekend, Adam and I flew to Atlanta for the Bar Mitvah of his niece, Jacob. Adam and his sister, Tina, were not close in their youth, and Tina was a fairly nasty young adult, spreading lies about their parents, but she's become lovely and less discriminatory. At the celebrations, she was very sweet and kind and devoted to making sure everyone is happy. Apparently, when Jacob and I began chatting about Star Trek and I recommended more science fiction, I became "the cool aunt". It'll be interesting to see how Jacob turns out in three years, at his brother Noah's Bar Mitzvah.

The plane, though. Everything was fine. It's been at least a couple of years since I last flew. No anxiety, no nerves. That three hour layover in Charlotte, NC, was fantastic. The four flights were absolutely uneventful. The Marriot room we stayed in was beautiful - Adam had checked that I was disabled during the booking, so we had a very accommodating room. During the long walks across each airport at Atlanta, Charlotte, and BWI twice over each, I was fine and alert, if not deeply fatigued bodily. Chronic pain cares for no airport walks. I sympathized with every flight attendant I saw.

Today, I mainly rested. Adam left for Boston, to return Wednesday night or Thursday. I'm always a little stunned and impressed that he does so well with travel, be it driving or flying.

Aug. 31st, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Acronymn Confirmed. Now I can get to work.

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

Aug. 29th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

"The gauzes [electrodes] do nothing..."

From Facebook, because I am very tired:

-So, here I am in my little hotel style room at an official neurology sleep center. My tech, Peter, is sweet and funny. I even have a big shiny red button to press when I need him. It's in a pack attached to my waist. My head is wrapped in gauze. Electrodes are hooked to my skin and wires are trailing at my feet. Adam took a picture. Go see!
The bathroom has a shower with a chair!

-LOL, gauze and sexy electrodes.
The reason for all this is because my neurologist is concerned about the several seizures per month. Hence, a ten hour EEG study. I get naps and Adam brings food. And when it's all done, the doctors will see if anything significant happened. Even if I don't have any seizures, this is a good move. For SCIENCE.

-Adam is bringing me lunch. And then, more specific tests will happen. Probably another nap? Apparently, the EEG has not shown any seizure activity. I haven't even needed to push the shiny red button yet, which amuses the technician.

-All done. I need a shower and a nap. Adam will take me home and then I'll wait for the neurologist to call. I'm actually disappointed that I never generated any seizure activity. It makes me doubt my brain.

-The days when you're just too exhausted to get back up and shampoo out the electrode goo from your hair. I'm just going to take a little nap. Then I'll get that shower. Just a little nap.
(Spoilers: I slept for one hour and took a really long shower with like three shampoos and two conditioners.)

Aug. 28th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Adventures In Head Stuff

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.

Aug. 27th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Make Notes, Always

Stuff to remember!

Quote on guarana:
""Guarana is one of those herbs that most people do not know much about, but should, because it is superior to plain old caffeine. The reason Guarana is superior to caffeine is for two reasons in my opinion. The first being that Guarana has more than just caffeine; it also contains two other stimulants in Theobromine and Theophylline. The second reason why Guarana is more effective is because it has different natural stimulants that seem to be released more slowly than regular caffeine so your energy levels seem not to spike and lull as much as regular caffeine. To add on to that, I will say that Guarana also contains Choline which is a powerful nootropic, as it increases mental function because it is a precursor to the vitally important brain chemical Acetylcholine. I enjoy Guarana because it really is an effective herbal Adderall replacement supplement.""

Stuff from Facebook:

I am starting to forget what it's like to have physical energy, like basic adrenaline and muscle strength. It comes and goes. I miss dancing and laughing. Maybe I can do it soon.

Okay. Okay.
It's fine; it's just a lost plushie owl. I'll find it eventually
For now, I can not focus on the bigger owl. I have a tiny owl, and I have that gigantic carnival owl. I also have the snow leopard, the massive carnival husky bigger than my cats, the Ponies, and the awesome Spherical Plushie Bunny. But I am still going to find that white and gray owl. It is so fluffy. You guys. It is so fluffy.

How funny. I looked in my bathroom mirror and wondered which foundation makeup I had applied. I realized I hadn't applied any makeup at all. It was a slightly alien feeling...
Those memes going around explaining "Why I Wear Makeup" and "Why I Don't Wear Makeup" are absolutely beautiful just to me. You know. Do not tell me I don't need makeup all the time. You are not me. I am not you. We can't obviously instruct each other's cosmetic preferences without consequence regardless. I personally need base concealer. Maybe you don't. We are both pretty.
It began with a severe anxiety-driven fear that my skin was covered in destructive blemished. It isn't ending. But it has traveled along a road that has begun healing.
Good enough, for now.

Still full of muscle exhaustion beyond muscle exhaustion. Still in muscle pain beyond muscle pain. However, the rest of the vitamin boosted coffee has kicked it, the moisturizers made my skin feel much more awesome, and the plain cake doughnut I just ate was delicious.
Besides, I have several couches and a bed to collapse on.

Aug. 26th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Painbot says: All I Know Is Pain

Some postictal stuff happened. Some preictal stuff happened. I don't recall the ictal stuff. Yesterday and the day before were fascinating blanks. My entire lower back, from muscle to nerve, screams in pain and then cries in pain. That has been the normal thing. So, normal Shrug.

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

The extracts of mangosteen and noni have done their best to help with pain and such. I approve.

Aug. 17th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Also, some words shine like stars.

"...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.

Aug. 14th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Yay physical therapy!

Really, that's all I wanted to say. The physiatrist prescribed twice a week sessions for an hour and a half. My therapist, Michael, looks like a cousin of actor Jensen Ackles. We are doung slow gentle sets that engage all the muscles in my lower back, pelvis, and thighs.

Also, the Zanaflex has been fantastic.

Aug. 13th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

It's real, and it's not leaving, so deal.

So, yeah, this one's for folks who might read this and think something is "wrong" with me:
I'm fine.
I am not depressed right now. I feel well. Please don't contact me thinking I'm falling into a state of, as someone eloquently put it, 'delusional levels of crazy". Seriously, let's get through this without someone messaging me just because I "don't sound right."
Something awful happened, someone died, and since that someone was extremely famous and extremely beloved and died in a specific way and had a specific illness shared by millions of other people, this will be talked about. In fact, this is talked about a lot; but it can take something big, like a celebrity death, to get it out and open.

This isn't even about Williams anymore, although for a long time he will be its centerpoint. This is about something that is still mocked, teased about, and shredded in rhetoric and literal disbelief. It must be easy to say "Just smile, just cheer up, it's not that bad, people love you." That's not how this works. Maybe it needs another name.

http://www.avclub.com/article/robin-williams-depression-and-very-real-struggle-s-208070
Quoting:
" "My mind played one thought over and over, which was “Kill yourself.” It was also accompanied by a constant, thrumming pain that I felt through my whole body. I describe the physical symptoms because it helps to understand that real depression isn’t just a “mood.” "
Quoting:
"It might not have been that simple for Williams, though. We may never know what kind of therapy he went through, though if his empathetic performance in Good Will Hunting is any indication, he must have at least known therapists in his life. He could have even been through everything and still felt like he had no choice. In the wake of his death Monday, a lot of Twitter eulogies noted that “if you’re sad, you should say something,” and while that’s probably true, for so many people who are depressed (one in 10 Americans), it’s not that easy. You’re constantly crippled with sadness, unwilling to burden those around you, or unable to ever pull yourself out of it, even with that help, even with that shoulder to cry on. Once someone gets so depressed that they really dig themselves into a hole, it’s nearly impossible to ever fully get out without real long-term work, and even then, they might still remain a little muddled, a little muted, kept under glass and without a real way out into the world."

That is powerful. This whole thing is heartbreaking. And you know what, yeah, I do want to keep talking about it.

Aug. 12th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Because discrimination in so many ways

http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2014/aug/12/robin-williams-suicide-and-depression-are-not-selfish

And that's the last I want to say on this. Not because several people called me crazy for expressing deep thoughts, but because I'm out of words.
Actually, one more thing: I had assumed I'd feel upset at being called delusion level crazy for sharing my thoughts on the depressive suicide of a beloved actor and comedian to whom I looked up. I was wrong. I wasn't upset. I was puzzled and then exasperated. If someone doesn't understand even after explanations, I need to allow myself to end it and concentrate on my well being.
That's all many of us can do.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Much eye-rolling

Well, then. That was the second time someone contacted me and said, "I read your blog and I'm worried because you sound so crazy. It's no big deal if some stranger died. It doesn't affect you. Why are you so sad?"
And I truly don't think that my answer of "It's my blog; I'm venting my thoughts. It's nothing you haven't seen before." was placating.
Like... um. Hi. Have you met me? I'm verbose. I'm also mentally ill. Between verbosity and illness, I love to ramble on about life, mind, the universe. To read something I write and automatically conclude that I am "high levels of crazy" is insulting. Thanks, readers. I love you too.
It's basically the same attitude as "Well, maybe Autism Speaks wants to eradicate autistic brains and never bothers to actually help with services for autistic people, but have they hurt you, personally? Why do you fight against them? They're probably doing good things."
It makes my brain hurt. So much. Mainly because ignorance up the ass.

No, I'm not making my journal friends-only. I'm happy to show, publicly, that I know what people think. And that I know how irritating they can be. And how very little they know about who I am. Sucks to be them.
But yeah, I talk about mental illness and how deeply that sort of thing affects me. I use words that might not appear "rational" or "worldly" or "down to earth."
I'm skeptical to a degree, but I'm about thisclose to moving away from the skeptic movement entirely. It's full of assholes.

Aug. 11th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

When the water is too deep, when the darkness is absolute, and no one understands why you scream

I'm crying over the death of Robin Williams this hard because people have already started in on the bullshit rhetoric that severe clinical depression isn't supposed to affect the rich and famous. That "If their life is so perfect, why are they so depressed and suicidal" bullshit.
No. Nope nope nope. No. That’s not how it works. Do not insult people like me who deal with clinical depression. No.
Most of his film roles featured depression and mental illness heavily. I'm seeing comments like "He did all those roles with a purpose because he knew what it was like, so how could he do this himself etc" and I cannot help but feel rage...

O Captain, My Captain.
He really was a man I looked up to, in several ways, and one of the greatest actors I've seen.

Look, I've lived with clinical major unipolar depression all my life. To my brain, it's a chemical imbalance - it affects an organ so vital to my existence that not treating it means irreparable damage. There have been plenty of arguments all over about what depression is and isn't: Disease? Disorder? Illness? Emotional Syndrome? People have questioned and fought against the very idea that it is a neurochemical imbalance. People have insisted that depression does not even exist outside of emotional states.
There are depressed patients who are able to live with this illness without medication or therapy, basically using mind over body and lifestyle techniques. That's fine. That's great for them. Sure. Unfortunately, most of those patients will try to push that lack of real medical treatment on other patients, which can be dangerous. And the state of mental health services in the country I live in is awful. All I know is that I when my symptoms rise up, I care for myself as best I can - and try to educate others as best I can.
Right now, I'm in a really really bad place. I'm not in a depressive state. But I'm irrationally upset, anxious beyond reason, physically hurting from emotional agony. That is not a joke, dear detractors of Robin Williams and his battles with clinical depression.

I promised myself I would get away from the internet until I could breathe without screaming and sobbing. But I've already been getting emails and messages from friends wanting advice, as though I might be their Boggle Owl in a way. I want to help. I need to help. I live to help.
I will stay away from forums and communities. Tomorrow, my husband takes me to physical therapy, and later I can unwind fully. But to everyone I love: You know where to find me. I'll still be your Bright Lotus (someone gave me that nickname and it stuck).

I took my own drug treatments. I'll be all right.

http://greensh.livejournal.com/444686.html
http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-depression-if-not-a-mental-illness/000896?all=1
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

Aug. 8th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Muscles relaxed

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.

Aug. 6th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Little ball of hiss

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

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

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

Jul. 29th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Persephone, swimming in white gold

Sometimes I forget that this is the place I can always come to when I need to vent.

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

So, anyway.

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

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

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


So, anyway, all my medicines and treatments have been wonderful and ideal. Yay.

Jul. 17th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

My Father Is Amazing

http://sagharboronline.com/sagharborexpress/page-1/a-mural-for-masons-in-sag-harbor-31918


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Jul. 15th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

He's not heavy... I am.

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.

Jul. 11th, 2014

Persephone, Asha, Hecate

Cerebral Palsy Comorbidity links and such

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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