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)
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.


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)
Getting ready to put something in there, I discovered that I forgot to wash out the slow cooker crock after the last use, so it got a hot Oxi stuff soak a little while ago. Ick.

Yesterday I picked up a nice-looking pork shoulder roast from the reduced section, since Ingvar isn't here. (He really dislikes cuts with lots of muscle bundle divisions like the shoulder.) It's now in the crock, so I don't have to turn the oven on with the muggy, hot-for-this-climate weather. Later, I'll chuck some celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and fresh rosemary in there, and maybe a potato or two.

That was 1.5 kg of meat for £3. Rather a lot for one person, but I'm planning to mix up some Carolina barbecue sauce (a lot like peri-peri with slightly different ingredient availability that side of the Atlantic) and turn the leftovers into pulled pork. Actually, I've been craving the barbecue flavor, but we do have an open bottle of really yummy peri-peri sauce in the fridge. Max might get some of the leftovers, as well. :)

The potato is in question, since I'm strongly considering going lower carb--especially starch, since I'm particularly sensitive to it--again. Even before meds set off the insulin resistance, I don't think my body was set up to handle much starch happily. That dietary change helped with managing my blood sugar before, but I got kinda turned off it through its being absolutely necessary for the almost-year I was taking metformin, which causes malabsorption. (Scarily, this has been suggested as a very bulimia-like weight loss treatment.) I still stayed sick and semi-dehydrated, but less so. My glucose control was worse on it, probably from staying sick and dehydrated. *headdesk* When I finally stopped taking that, it was such a relief to be able to eat a lot of foods without being really sorry afterward. Our old friend demand resistance probably had something to do with it, as well.

Still, I felt much better when I was eating a lot less starch than I have been lately, even with a lot of care devoted to balancing. I shouldn't have to think about what I'm eating and when as much, going back to a lower carb diet. Not to mention making avoiding gluten much simpler. ;)

After we move and get settled into a house, I am sooo going to plant some Jerusalem artichokes. (I can't even find the Tsalagi name for them, which is particularly annoying in context.) We just haven't had room for a good stand of them here, and they're not wild for the digging.

The past few months, I've had to go back on meat, with my ridiculously high energy and protein needs right now. I was eating enough beans, nuts, cheese (already a compromise), etc.--and eventually sustainable wild fish, as a compromise I was vaguely ethically happy with--that I didn't have room left for a variety of fruit and veg, and it still wasn't enough. Now I'm not ravenously hungry all the time, and don't think I've lost further muscle mass. Which was getting to be a bit of a problem.

The thing is, medically necessary as this shift back to eating rather a lot of meat seems to be for now, I'm not ethically happy with the idea. At all. Even the RSPCA monitored "Freedom Food"-labelled stuff available here does not meet my standards; the animals are still too tightly confined and commodified. Most lamb and properly grazed beef are just about OK, if still raised specifically for sale as food.

If I were back home, I'd probably be doing an awful lot of shopping at Brush Creek Buffalo Store, and finding meat and eggs from other farmers I know to raise their animals decently. (That was admittedly easier with my non-autistic, extroverted mother around. Not only did she tend to work with/otherwise know people who would sell surplus animal products, she had the gift of gab and could easily find other sources.) Living in an urban area now, I can't investigate this in person. Much less have access to wild animals, which would be closest to ideal.

Then there's the cost. We are thankfully not poor, even with my being unable to work now. The cost of more meat is more of an annoyance. But, I have held onto enough poverty mentality in some ways that I'm already uncomfortable with spending about £2 more a day on food, now that I'm back on some meat. I learned well, and have to fight urges to be just plain cheap with food (and just about everything else). Going lower carb, that £2 will at least double, even if I compromise even more on the ethical considerations. Meat is really, really expensive in the UK. (Yes, I am used to--if not fond of the idea of--US meat subsidies. The difference is amazing.) The stuff from the Buffalo Store--direct from the owners' herd--is barely more expensive than lowest common denominator beef here. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by as much as I'd like.

And yeah, I also continue with the disability shame, feeling bad about needing to spend that much extra just for me even if it's directly health-related. Especially since I'm not doing paid work.

But, that's looking like my best option at the moment. While I could eat what I wanted to, within reason, during my brief Januvia jaunt, the medical PTSD is continuing to get in the way. And I need to do something to get my blood sugar under control. The situation is untenable. Needs must, and all that. :-|

September 2011

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