urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Feeling kind of silly.

I've been regretting not being physically up to walking Max and taking him to the park lately. He hasn't been getting many walks at all during the week, since Ingvar is usually pretty worn out by the time he gets home. I got to thinking (worrying, more like) about it more, since work will be sending him to the US for several weeks soon.

Then it occurred to me that I've been a muppet. There are lots of people eager to walk dogs for £10/hr. or so. I've done it myself, and am hoping to get a pet care business up and running again once my health improves enough. And, yes, I'd consider this a reasonable and fairly cheap accommodation for anyone else.

We'd already discussed maybe getting somebody in to help clean a couple of times a month or so, in a very similar vein. Neither one of us is great at tidiness, besides my pain and fatigue issues. We're actually pretty economically privileged in the scheme of things, and won't starve if we pay somebody to help clean on that kind of schedule. But, yeah, I've also put off looking into that, feeling like I "should" be able to do it myself.

Still, it hadn't even occurred to me that we could get someone to help walk Max.

Ah, disability shame and lingering ghost poverty! *facepalm*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I became aware of a situation late last night on Twitter, but didn't have enough Sanity Watchers Points left to try to write about it then.

The post referred to: Anna Raccoon's The Orwellian Present – Never Mind the Future.

I have found the Mental Health Act (England and Wales) disturbing enough, with no real requirement that people be dangers to themselves or others to be locked up. Those requirements are easily enough manipulated where they do apply. Based on personal experience elsewhere, I know how easy it can be if you are perceived in certain ways for it to be considered (under draft provisions) "necessary for the health or safety of the patient or the protection of other persons that medical treatment be provided to him". (From the previously linked grounds for compulsion page.) I am not sure what has become of drafts since then, and it's not really important here: let it suffice to say that all the draft provisions I've seen (along with the 1983 version they're meant to supplant) make it appallingly easy to twist criteria to lock up pretty much anybody, with very little accountability. And nobody's going to make a fuss if the way the person's behavior is presented and interpreted comes across as weird enough.

That's appalling enough. Being able to do a total end-run around what few protections apply to people who fall under the Mental Health Act, while claiming you're not really holding them involuntarily--as apparently happened here? I don't have the words.

I can't find much more information about Stephen Neary's situation and would like to, but--again, based on my own experience and things I have witnessed--I find what is described hideously plausible. Reading about it left me shivering and having flashbacks (which I am well aware would make me far less plausible to a lot of people, to the point that I hesitated to mention it).

More on Deprivation of Liberty "safeguards" referred to in Anna Raccoon's post. Again, I have very little trouble believing that this could be twisted to create "arbitrary decisions that deprive vulnerable people of their liberty", For Their Own Good. That's a nasty mix of disablism and institutionalized arsiness for you. (See also the Stanford Prison Experiment.)

My own reaction was rather different from what near-inevitably came up in one discussion I did find (from someone who was at least trying to maintain an open mind):
There is a massive campaign with this petition on facebook and elsewhere on the net and I have not joined any bandwagons I've seen about it because as you say this is one emotive side to a story. I too thought it highly unlikely a 'tap' on the shoulder would instigate any incident reports, and them being unable to name a Vicar was more to do with confidentiality and safety rather than being unable to recall a name or that he didn't exist.


I had no trouble believing that once certain types of stigma kicked in, everything the (not very small-looking and "low-functioning") man did was viewed through a certain suspicious lens, and the Zakhqurey Price-style punitive "you are defying me, you inferior disordered so-and-so" factor kicked in as well--a tap on the shoulder would have been very likely to get written up as assault. And very few other staff members or people higher up in the system would object, since he is autistic/mentally ill/what have you after all, and it's probably for his own good.

Insisting that this kind of thing couldn't possibly happen absolutely reeks of privilege. I have seen people written up for less in institutional settings. The same goes for predictable agitated behavior in someone who is being held against their will in unfamiliar settings--autism is not required, but it sure does help! To me, it's just a bit surprising that they didn't have Mr. Neary arrested, as per the zero tolerance BS pointed out near the end of a previous post. (I am skipping quoting that, for length.)

Actually, what I have read about Mr. Neary's case (and I bet he doesn't get called that a lot!) strikes me as an excellent example of how differently criteria can be applied depending on how a person is seen in the first place. Sometimes that means that a tap on the shoulder (or making faces at someone) is assault, sometimes it means that trying to tackle someone down or otherwise restrain them isn't. Sometimes it means that the police get called just because someone is suspiciously sitting in front of a library or beaten and Tasered by them for sitting on a curb.

And, given the amount of abuse and disregard for basic human rights that people with certain disabilities run into every single day, insisting that the only sane and sensible thing to do is to wait for information that's less "one-sided" reeks even more of privilege. Very few people want to hear about the shit that does go on, and it's rarely considered "one-sided" when the people and institutions mistreating them are the only ones allowed to speak.

So, yeah, I would like to know more about Stephen Neary's situation, but I have very little trouble believing that something like Anna Raccoon describes could happen. And I went ahead and signed a petition, as little good as I suspect it will do--because there's really not much else I can do about it. I hope that some of you reading this will do the same, and possibly come up with some better ideas.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I'm trying to put a longer blog post together tonight, but thought I'd post something shorter on the disability-related concerns in the meantime here.

With the cold spell the UK is in now, I've been feeling extra-lucky to have a warm house and no serious financial worries. Especially after seeing reports like this: Britain is freezing to death:

People really suffering from the cold )
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
It is frustrating to have to choose between (a) taking a shower, (b) cleaning the fish tank, (c) going grocery shopping, (d) getting some writing done, or (e) cooking a decent supper, as a plan for the afternoon.

Today I went with the grocery shopping option (not entirely happy without the shower first!)--with a GF frozen pizza, some pre-cooked chicken to help balance it out, and some broccoli to dip into dressing for supper. On the brighter side, as of today Ingvar is now using up holiday time instead of losing it for the rest of the month before starting the new job, and he came along to help carry stuff home. Also, the bus drivers for both trips were less maniacal than I've come to expect, and I at least managed to get braced before the bus jerked into motion. So, less resulting pain (and/or falling over). And the post-shopping pain meds have kicked in now.

I'm looking forward to spending more time with Ingvar, with less stress. :)

On the not-so-bright side, Neighbor Weasel has the devil's own luck at avoiding the cops. Four of them were looking for him this morning, so he's up there now making a lot of noise. I may not like the legal system (or the whole "let's set up a state" thing) much, but I hope he is gone before long--whether they pick him up or he runs off to avoid them. Not quite enough to call them and say, "Hey, you were looking for the guy upstairs? He's up there now, being a noise nuisance. Please come and get him ASAP," however. :/ I just avoid him as far as possible.

Oh yeah, from another hard-not-to-overhear phone conversation, he apparently also does have a drug problem as suspected. (This is not a reason to look down on him, per se, but when it's some kind of stimulant that seems to make him act more violent and generally obnoxious? Yeah, I'll object.) From the way he keeps suddenly starting hacking and then bouncing off the walls--literally, a couple of times--I suspect meth. Whatever it is, it really doesn't seem to do him a lot of good.

ETA: We also had a power cut overnight, which killed an aquarium filter powerhead. Thank goodness that wasn't the main filter on the tank, or I'd have been heading to Tranquility Aquatics (good independent shop!) up the road instead of buying food. And I finally picked up some bird seed today, and want to make another feeder or two tonight, which should actually be pretty fun.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Some further evidence that this is, indeed, a viral problem I'm dealing with: my blood sugar has gone absolutely wild, without other factors changing remarkably. At this point, I think at least half the crappiness is down to hyperglycemia. I'm really not in good shape with that ATM, and suspect that I'd be feeling much better much more quickly (and hold up to the viral component better) if my blood sugar were back under some kind of control. It's had me scared, and even more worried about getting the house ready to move within a couple of months' time.

I've been stressing more about honestly not being able to get an appointment at the GP's (between medical PTSD and non-voice accessibility problems), which has probably not helped my health. (Especially since I'm suspecting I stressed my way into being vulnerable to icky viruses in the first place.) It's a very uncomfortable situation, which I haven't been able to see many ways out of. Being sick and drained of energy leaves me way less able to deal with just about everything else, in a "Help! I Seem to be Getting More Autistic!" kind of way. Stressing over it only makes things that much harder to deal with.

But, I am not feeling so trapped now, since I thought to look more into other options. Sitagliptin (Januvia), a DPP-4 inhibitor, is the only medication which has helped me so far, without any noticeable side effects. Apparently, it's down to poorly-understood insulin resistance subtypes whether a person will respond well to metformin or a DPP-4 inhibitor; a vanishingly small number of people are helped by both. At least, according to the doctor in the US who gave me the Januvia in the first place--and that makes sense.

So, I am tempted to try berberine, which is also a DPP-4 inhibitor (along with some other actions). There has been some promising research, and it seems worth a try after I track down a suitable supplement.

With any luck, that will at least help me get into enough better shape that I am capable of dealing with the GP, without so many worries about getting steamrolled, dismissed, and possibly even sectioned because I am obviously not in good physical shape, I'm behaving more "weirdly", and my verbal communication skills (especially in realtime) have mostly gone down the drain.

This GP has already shown a pattern of dismissing what I have to say, and it's hard to vote with your feet under the NHS. Small consolation: he's never said one word about my BMI, nor said anything to indicate he assumes I'm a couch potato--and even commented that, as fit as I looked already, diet and exercise probably wouldn't cut it. Lack of blamy comments is refreshing, even if some of his other behavior isn't. This is also the guy who didn't want to hear about persistent serious GI effects and symptoms of B12/thiamine deficiency from the metformin.

It irks me to have to do endruns and pay for stuff in the hopes that it will work--especially when I can theoretically get free prescriptions under the NHS--but accessibility is accessibility. And this is not a situation where "I guess you'll just have to do it" (complete with angry/exasperated tone) is of any help whatsoever.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Sorry I haven't been up to much interaction lately. I can read or write, but coordinating the two into commenting has been harder. Again, it's not that I'm disinterested!

Yes, I'm still down with this weird virus. It's proving to be quite the learning experience.

As you probably know by now, I've got some chronic health problems, which include pain and fatigue. Throwing the amazingly strong viral fatigue in on top of that has been making me look at and deal with some of the hurtful crap I've been telling myself all along.

It's painfully obvious just how ridiculous these self-judgments are, when I am undeniably very sick. It's also helped expose the perceived differences between a limited-term illness with its more understandable to a lot of people impairment (to go along with its clear beginning and end), and chronic problems.
Read more... )

This acute illness has helped me understand on a deeper level that, as part of the instilled perfectionism, I really haven't been accepting that the stuff I described in Culture, how we view human difference, and abuse also applies to me. Perceived caregiver burden, in dealing with your own chronic health problems? No better than laying it on other people. It's just as likely to lead to abuse, not to mention imbalance and unhappiness. Peace within yourself? That can be the hardest part.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
An excellent post, via [personal profile] torachan: poor people aren’t supposed to want nice things:

Your goal, Poor Person, should you choose to accept it, is to forget about any presumption of haves and have-nots. Your job, Poor Person, is to get as far away from the have-nots as possible in thought and deed and investment. Otherwise, you will tip people off to the fact you are or have been poor. They are only supposed to suspect that you have been poor when you approach the dais to give a motivating speech, or when you are filling out an application to fund more education for yourself, or when you have fallen upon dire straits but grow accustomed to those circumstances with aplomb. Then, dear Poor Person, and then only may you say, “I did not always blithely accept the presence of Nice Things in my life; I lived a joyless existence under the poverty line.”


Yep. Exactly.

I am not currently poor, but am still halfway expecting the filthy Grocery Checkout Police looks, over items such as mushrooms out of the reduced-for-quick-sale section. We got extra nasty looks when I was growing up--yes, I got them too, as the well-fed spawn of a Nasty Poor Person--because my mom kept us well dressed, by sewing in all that working-poor spare time she had. *snort* # And there she was, buying "luxury" items such as deeply reduced good cuts of meat, mushrooms and other fresh fruits and veggies, and (the chutzpah!) ice cream--with food stamps. And she didn't have the decency to act ashamed, but glared right back and occasionally asked them if they'd got their eyes full.

And that's just the grocery store experience.

I've been realizing more and more lately how much I managed to internalize the "you're not even doing paid work, you shouldn't buy things like nice new clothes--much less things like PDAs which might actually make you more capable of doing stuff" crap. I have been meaning to write something about how this kind of thing--combined with the "you should work yourself into a frenzy just to prove you are not a Lazy Slacking Freeloading Ass"+ baggage--has been helping me keep myself living in cluttered chaos. But have been too busy trying to dig myself out of said depressing, overwhelming, disabling chaos!

Even things that I would consider totally reasonable accommodations for someone else are apparently frivolous and greedy in my own case--another intersection of poverty and disability. And another twisted perfectionism-type thing that does not apply to other people, but only to me, even though I consciously know that this kind of thinking is based on a lot of totally screwed-up assumptions and is poison. It is absolutely ridiculous, and these messages are everywhere. If you are less-than-virtuous enough to be poor and/or disabled, you should not be seen to enjoy your life. And it's only right that what other people consider basics are luxuries for you.

From one rather good comment:
I personally don’t care if my neighbors spend their (astonishingly low) welfare money on whatever they want, including drugs. For real. It’s their money. I’m not gonna tell a WalMart worker how they should spend money that comes from profiteering off the sweatshop labor of children in poor countries. I’m not going to tell scumbag lawyers who have fancy cars “legitimately” that they should stop ripping people off and drive a beater. It’s none of my business. It is my business to try to change the capitalist system that sets us all up to be in this relationship where one person “gains” by another’s “loss”, but I’m not going to take that out on individuals because it’s not fair. It’s especially not fair because (as usual) poor people get picked on first.


Word.

# A lot of it with remnants from the sewing factories where she did piecework for years, no less. (And not so much of it for herself. :/) Then there was the cognitive dissonance when some snotty people found out she was educated as a librarian, but working as a seamstress out of necessity. "But, but...you're not stupid!" *headdesk* Not to mention the "But, but...I had you pigeonholed as lazy hillbilly/Indian/what-have-you trash!" factor.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Just a too-late note to some of my fellow bus passengers, on my way home a little while ago:

Not that it is any of your business why I am taking up one of the precious disabled seats, but, believe it or not, I am less able to stand when I am lugging home enough shopping that I have to fold my cane up and shove it in a bag. That sticklike object with a wooden handle at the top, which should be clearly visible while you're disapprovingly scrutinizing me? Yep. If I were even marginally capable of giving over my seat to an elderly person, I would do so.

I don't see you getting up. On either occasion you choose to glare at me. I guess a display of disapproval magically opens up a seat.

You, Mr. Where's The Fire, still yakking on your phone there? You really needn't be staring and scrunching your brows like that. I watched you shoulder a guy on crutches out of the way, paying no attention whatsoever to your surroundings in your rush to, erm, sit on a bus. *scratches head*

The change of expressions when I drag the cane out for balance (yes, while sitting) on a lurching bus? No thanks. The previous filthy, distasteful looks were bad enough; the exaggerated looks of sympathy are at least as insulting. Nobody should have to openly display a mobility aid to pass muster; bus seat policing is not your job. Really. And, yes, people really can appear to be fairly young and in a certain kind of corn-fed rude health, and still have trouble standing up on a moving bus. For any variety of reasons. And it's none of your business why.

Frustration

Jul. 6th, 2010 05:19 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I'm having a serious disability frustration day today.

The neighbor who called the council on us over our previously-messy patio has, indeed, been gone. Yay! But, over the weekend we got new upstairs neighbors. I'm relieved that they do seem to be pleasant enough, but now I get to readjust to the noise overhead. I'm very aware that it's not them, it's me. It's mostly just normal walking-around sounds--with a running toddler--but they keep startling me. It doesn't help that even having people walking around over my head is only something that's been happening the past five years or so; guess I'm additionally spoiled by detached houses.

I didn't sleep well this morning, even with the usual earplugs, so am groggy and more prone to overload and pain amplification today. It's hard to concentrate on doing much. And I keep jerking and tensing muscles (the SSRI-triggered bruxism has gone wild), so the myofascial situation is not at all happy. Sometimes I get really, really tired of the combo of sensory issues and hypervigilance. With any luck, I'll adjust to the sounds within a few days.

Also, with any luck, I'll get past the "if I can hear them, they can hear me" hangup, and stop trying so hard to keep my verbal tics under wraps or at least quieter. That is very stressful, in itself, especially when you're at home where this is usually not a concern. I still seem to have a lot of internalized shame going over the Tourette-type stuff, and at some level still don't want people to think I'm weirder than they might already. It doesn't help that we did have a horrible neighbor up there before who honestly started trying to bully me with her stereo whenever [personal profile] vatine wasn't home, for whatever reason, so I really don't want to do anything to "set off" the new folks. (Ridiculous/victim-blaming/futile as it is.)

The really frustrating bit, though? After they talked to me off their balcony/deck a few times, I have been avoiding going into that part of the house. And I have been enjoying spending time on the patio in the sun, enjoying the plants and the pond, to decompress lately.

The thing is, I want to be a good neighbor and not come across as rude, and I really didn't mind, say, lending them the socket set to take the packing bolts off their new washing machine. But that kind of interaction with people I don't know is hard for me on a good day. Which this has not been, so far, for those purposes. The auditory processing goes haywire when I'm tired and overloaded, which makes for extra joy. And avoidance. My brain still has to work overtime to make sense out of Estuary English, too.

It also just hit me a few minutes ago that my nerves are probably even more shot because I have been avoiding going back there to smoke. (Yes, I am well aware that it's lousy for my health in a lot of ways.) Nicotine withdrawal is probably not improving my general sense of wellbeing.

Sometimes I get really frustrated, especially when things I was always made to feel ashamed of get in the way of doing what I want/need to do. It is a relief, in a way, knowing now that I really can't help it and this is not a matter of Not Trying Hard Enough to be socialize on other people's terms. OTOH, it's not entirely comfortable being reminded that these are real problems, and trying harder won't help me look more "functional". Talk about shame: Damn, that is really just the way I'm made! ;) And that even if I don't kick myself so much over just not having the gift of gab, other people are still prone to putting some funky interpretations on it.

I am also frustrated because sometimes I just don't have enough spoons available to try to come up with workarounds for things that I can usually work around. So, I'm trying just to distract myself with music, and roll with things instead of catastrophizing.

I was going to write something along somewhat similar lines, inspired by a couple of posts I ran across: The Class Dynamics of DIY Clothing at Red Vinyl Shoes, and craft pr0n and how it’s killing America at Underbellie. But, the spoons won't stretch right now. Maybe I'll get to it later. At any rate, the problem is not just classism, but also ableism. And internalized ableism, in my case. I keep feeling like crap and getting frustrated because I can't do nearly as much art/craft/DIY stuff as I would like to and keep feeling like I ought to do. (Though coming more from a DIY-from-necessity background.)
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I just added a comment to [personal profile] lightgetsin's Disability flircle meme, which looked interesting.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
This started out as a comment on [personal profile] feliscorvus's recent Communication Annoyances, but it turned out that I had rather a lot to say on the subject. *wry smile*

This has turned out way longer than expected, but I couldn't figure out a good place to place a cut. So, I will go ahead and stick the rest behind one.

Communication, and mutual misunderstandings )
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Woohoo! I should now have working debit and credit cards again, after activating them.

How I went for months with no cards )

In a while, I'm planning to head off to break in the new card at Sainsbury's. Beforehand, though, I'm sorely tempted to make sure it's really activated at an ATM, to avoid potential embarrassment and phone calls to the bank at the checkout!

I also lost my Virginia driver's license in the wallet, so will have to apply from scratch once we hit California, which is really inconvenient in itself. (And expensive, since I'll have to get a driving school vehicle for the road test, with the DMV's weird insurance documentation requirements.) Virginia won't let you request a replacement online without the customer number on the license (helpful!), and I am so not going to fly back home just to go to the DMV. Next time I get my paws on a license, I'm keeping a photocopy in a safe place, with the passport one.

That should be fun for a while, especially since [personal profile] vatine has never really needed to get a license. Getting a British one requires a lot more hassle than just walking into a DMV branch (especially if you're a foreigner with chronic health problems!). Neither one of us wanted to mail our passports off to Swansea, and they require a remarkable amount of hoop-jumping if you have just about any kind of health problem (which includes "any mental ill-health condition (including depression)"#).* So we've both made do without.

At least his future workplace runs employee shuttles, so he should be able to get to work without too much trouble until I get things sorted out.
_____________

* Unfortunately, the weird phrasing seems to reflect some attitudes.

Dogs

Mar. 4th, 2009 04:29 pm
urocyon: (water)
We hadn't been planning on getting a dog, but I ran across a 10-year-old Staffie who needs a new home, and am sorely tempted to try to give him one.

This isn't just because I'm a chump when it comes to animals, though I'll freely admit that I can be. There aren't nearly as many people wanting to adopt older animals. Trying to find other arrangements for 15-year-old B.B. made me even more aware of this. It also isn't just because I love dogs, and miss B.B.--who made me realize just how much I like Staffies.

Spending time with B.B. again helped me realize just how much she was helping me day to day. I was aware that there are helper dogs for auties, but had taken for granted all the ways in which B.B. taught herself to help, beyond the basic emotional support. This was probably also a good bit of the reason my Nana made sure I always had at least one dog with me as a kid, without even thinking about disability! That wasn't just for snake protection. Having spent most of my life in mutually beneficial relationships with dogs, I'm really missing not having that.

Dogs and support )

Most of this help just falls under the category of "being a good dog friend," and reciprocity. I was mainly interested in the companionship and emotional support, but have gained a better appreciation for the practical side of things. Living with B.B., I just took that for granted. I don't expect a new dog to do all the same things, but with a little encouragement and training, s/he could provide a lot of support which the cats cannot. Not too surprisingly, it's easier for me to request and accept help from an animal, without feeling ickily vulnerable, as just part of the relationship.

My main concern here is, indeed, the cats. ([livejournal.com profile] vatine is a bit of a concern, too; even though he liked spending time with B.B., he's just not used to being around dogs.) This dog is supposed to be good with cats--again, can't expect him to love cats like B.B.--but I'm not sure how the kitties would react. I was not as concerned about B.B., when we were still hoping she'd travel OK at her age, since she puts out such a strong "ooh, I adore cats" vibe that she doesn't scare most of them. I would take great care with the introduction, of course, and sure do hope that's enough. At least none of these cats has had reason to develop a serious fear of dogs, unlike a couple of rescue kitties who have lived with me in past.** I've considered trying to find a small dog, preferably as a puppy, which they might find less intimidating. (But, that might remind Feist of a fox, and bring out aggression!) Max is an adult, but Staffies aren't very big, and he's old enough to have calmed down.

Decisions, decisions! I couldn't resist sending Max's human a message--before consulting anyone else :/--and should try to get back to her today.
______
* Pretty good description of the fun of a supermarket, even for an adult
** One was terrified of a tiny 8-week-old rescue B.B., to the point of leaving. He would periodically check back in, to see if she was still there! He and his littermates had spent at least a couple of days abandoned in a neighborhood with roaming dogs, at less than six weeks old. :/
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Looking through Vol. 1 of Travell & Simons' Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction--which I haven't bought, expensive as the set is--after it turned up on Google Books when I was trying to find a reference on short arms and ill-fitting furniture, I ran across some other interesting info.

Yep, it's probably a good thing I went back on the B complex, plus the B vitamins in Magnesium-OK. I was not remembering that, besides the swinging thyroid weirdness (which I've been getting again, from prolonged stress), the repeatedly uncontrolled diabetes will interfere with absorption and conversion of a number of things. Including B vitamins for which I'm showing signs of insufficiency, or outright deficiency in a couple of cases. The disturbing oculomotor weirdness (not to mention increased brain fog and fatigue) I've been running into lately may well be coming from being low on thiamine, for example. The ear infection has proven much harder to deal with because I was already getting dizzy from my eyes not wanting to focus properly, and probaby more directly from vitamin depletion.

I was also not bearing in mind that the ethnic liver chemistry may well be changing requirements for a lot of things--besides the lingering celiac absorption issues--as a large part of the "wild natural individual variation" thing. "Enough" determined statistically--mostly from samples of rather different ethnic background--may well not be enough of some things for me at the best of times. Judging by the traditionally high intake of a number of foods full of nutrients I seem to be running low on--like leafy green veggies, beans, fish, and nuts--back home, this would not surprise me at all.

Yeah, I'd recognized the feeling of being low on B12 again, but was blaming a lot of the rest on spending months* really running myself into the ground, with neglect and overt under/malnutrition. That likely had a lot to do with it, though in a more complicated way than I had thought. No wonder I've been craving liver, which is chock full of several nutrients I seem to be low on right now. (I think I will go ahead and buy some later, and [livejournal.com profile] vatine doesn't have to eat any.) Trying to get more of a number of things from food sources has not been enough, and no wonder! I may just need to set up a pill box to help me remember the supplements--which I may well just have to keep taking regularly, judging by this experience.

The good news is, assuming I get sufficient vitamin intake to work around the absorption/conversion oddness, apparently most of the symptoms should be much better within 4-6 weeks. I was starting to get scared by some of this stuff**, and it's reassuring to find a probable explanation which is easier to do something about than the nebulous "stress".

Another helpful thing is just finding out that I've got a "good" reason to be feeling pretty damned disabled right now. ATM, I'm too dizzy and clumsy to risk a jaunt through the shower--what with all the actual falling down lately--but am getting ready to slather on more deodorant and head out grocery shopping anyway. Trying to apply the same standards to myself that I would to a stranger on the street is a bare minimal goal, but it doesn't always work! I thought I had come to terms with having a pretty variable apparent functioning level by now, but it seems not completely. Ah, the fun of less obvious (not just close to "invisible") disabilities, and the mess of internalized BS which gets bundled with them.

At least this has provided a wake up call, making it abundantly clear that I really should slow down and take better care of myself. That is what I'm going to have to do for a while, and the omnipresent other considerations can go hang. Shame I'm going through another spell in which this kind of thing is needed for me to admit to myself that I really am dealing with disabilities--but, all things considered, it's a good thing I did get a jolt! Continuing to run myself into the ground, mainly to show myself that I can, is just plain stupid.

______
* I say "months", but this has been going on for the better part of a year now. No wonder it's catching up.
** And even more hesitant to bring some of it up to the GP, having been on the wrong end of iffy conclusions being jumped to if your problem is not a common one, way too many times by now. Watching how that kept happening with my mom did not make me any keener on reporting things like oculomotor problems, and likely being given Haldol for my troubles by the well intentioned. Especially since I'm looking more autistic these days, in part from dealing with the health issues.

Edit: This is also likely to get one's symptoms taken less seriously. Largely between "looking more autistic" and associated bad experiences, I have not hobbled screeching and whining in search of pain relief. And I manage to look more functional, and get more done, than probably 95% of other people with similar pain and other symptom levels; therefore, the pain could not possibly be that bad. Not being neurotypical--and not responding in an expected manner to high levels of pain--definitely helped my mom get into the situation she did. It's scary.

September 2011

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