Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Before I get to my blog, I want to say I'm very thankful for the comments on my last blog. I was honestly worried that I would get a lot of hate and backlash for posting about my joy, but I was pleasantly surprised at all the positive comments. Anyone who doesn't agree with me, I hope you find peace with your opinions as I have found peace with mine.
Now on to my blog...
Talking with my ARMHS worker today helped me come to a realization that I've had inklings of for the last few years but never really put together until I talked it out with her.
My medical conditions have physical side effects that cause mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. (For example, most of the serotonin - a feel good hormone - is in the digestive tract, so having a malfunctioning digestive tract will inhibit serotonin and cause depression. Also, having my blood sugars sometimes plummet into the 30s and 40s - which would make many people unconscious - forces the body to release hormones that mimic the fight or flight response, leading to extreme anxiety and even panic attacks.) This means I'm pre-disposed to mental health conditions, and it is due to a PHYSICAL issue and thus not within my direct control. I can't force my body to release hormones and chemicals properly. Because most of my conditions are incurable, untreatable, and/or I've failed treatments, this means I will always have to deal with depression and anxiety in one way or another. It also explains why mental health medications only make things worse and/or do the opposite of what they are supposed to do, and why I can go through multiple cognitive treatments and know all the 'right' things to say and do but it doesn't help much either.
My PHYSICAL issues are causing mental health issues. Due to the severe lack of support I had growing up, severe bullying, and a whole lot of screwed up crap, that worsened the effects of the physical issues I've had since I was a baby, when the mental health problems arise, my brain kicks it into overdrive and essentially drives my hope and optimism over a cliff. This causes a downward spiral that continues for hours or days. It's essentially a catch-22: the physical causes mental causes mental causes physical... so without addressing what starts the problem it will never change.
The irony here is that the physical doctors are trying to cut and run saying the mental health issues cause the physical issues (which is absolute crap). The mental health doctors tend to give up because every treatment they try will fail at addressing the underlying physical problems. So I'm stuck having to address this on my own.
Starting today, I need to do things differently. I understand FAR MORE about the physical causes of my mental health issues than any of my doctors, so I need to pay attention. I need to identify when they symptoms are occurring and ALLOW THEM. Just feel all the crap instead of trying to stop it like the doctors want me to (or hide them as I was forced to do growing up). Then, as the feelings ease, distract myself with something so the follow up mental health doesn't come charging in and taking over. Essentially, I need to acknowledge and accept that I can't stop the depression and anxiety that comes from the physical issues I have. They will always be there; BUT, they are temporary symptoms that last only while my body is having its temper-tantrums (such as when my nervous system goes haywire, when my pain level goes sky high, when I blackout and go unconscious from lack of blood to my brain, when my blood sugar plummets, when my digestive system doesn't want to work, a direct link between TOM & a huge increase in depression that could be PMDD, etc). I can't control the physical. I CAN control the after-effects where my brain takes all that bad, snowballs it into a mountain, then explodes it into an unending mess of horrible-ness.
I know this is going to be crazy difficult for me. I have to tune into my body even further and find the line where the uncontrollable physical symptoms end before the controllable mental health issues start. I have to dive into the emotions that are forced upon me, then step out of them and into an intellectual mindset where I can figure out what is physically happening to cause them. I can tell you this is going to suck because I have to totally retrain my reactions. But it is something I must do. The doctors can't do anything and keep giving up, so it's up to me now.
I'm not posting this to endorse anyone else trying this. In fact, PLEASE DON'T. I'm painfully unique and have spent hundreds of hours researching my conditions, have been through years of trying dozens of conventional treatments, and I am embarking on this quest under the supervision of my ARMHS worker.
I've posted this blog for accountability. I also have memory issues, so I want to be able to remind myself of what I'm trying to accomplish by doing this. Hopefully my sparkfriends will also be able to gain some understanding about why I am the way I am, and forgive the times I'm silent, negative, and/or fall short of what someone might expect of me.
Monday, May 13, 2013
This blog is going to be a bit controversial. I am not posting it to start an argument or to put down anyone else. My beliefs are my own and you are welcome to yours; I just hope that we can agree to disagree and have respect for each other. That being said, I am posting this blog from a state of love, respect, and appreciation. Any responses that are disrespectful or demeaning will be deleted. Responses that are opposite of my views but are respectful are okay.
Now that I've gotten the disclaimer out of the way, here is what I want to talk about.
Live and let love. This is what I believe. If someone is coming from a place of love and respect then they will wish the best for others, even if they disagree with them. If a person is coming from a place of hate and prejudice, they will expect that their views should define others' lives and wish horribleness on anyone who disagrees. We can disagree on others' actions while still wishing the best for them.
I believe women deserve the same rights as men. I believe rights shouldn't be determined by skin color. I believe disabled & differently-abled people should be allowed fair chances to succeed just as 'normal' people. I believe GLBTQ people should be allowed the same rights as straight people. I believe in civil rights. We don't choose the sex we're born with. We don't choose our race. We don't choose how our well our bodies will work or what our natural talents will be. We don't choose what traits we're naturally attracted to, whether it's legs, chest, abs, butt, eyes, or whether they're male/female.
Today, I am proud to be a Minnesotan. On Thursday, the MN House approved a Gay Marriage bill. Today, the MN Senate approve the bill. The governor will sign it tomorrow at 5 pm. Starting August 1st, 2013, gay marriage will be legal in Minnesota. We will be the 12th state to legalize gay marriage and the 1st in the midwest to do so with legislation instead of the courts.
If you have ever asked a gay person "when did you choose to be gay," try asking yourself "when did I choose to be straight?" Unlike most people, due to unique experiences in my life, I have spent a lot of time asking myself about my sexuality. I see beauty in many types of people and I don't like to immediately exclude anyone from my definition of 'attractive' due to sex, race, abilities, etc. I want someone to love who loves me, so I need to be open to love. I want to find a man to love; I also want to believe in the love of everyone.
There is so much I could say on this topic but I will leave it here. I wanted to express my joy at the success of this bill and I have done so. I hope many others are joining me in celebration and those who are against this bill will find peace and acceptance as they experience no harmful effects of this legislation.
Friday, May 10, 2013
For my fellow Twin Cities metro and western Wisconsin Sparkers, I'm going to share with you some inside information. I'm not someone who normally does 'ads' for services to convince people to use them. But I am this time because I have great appreciation for this guy. He has no idea I'm doing this, and he deserves the recognition.
Anyone in the area who needs a plumber, consider calling St Croix Plumbing & Drain Cleaning. Todd Jadwin is the owner and he is a wonderful guy who really puts his heart into his work. He's done several jobs in my house and he has never once let me down. He's accredited by the BBB. He also has tons of great reviews online, so I know I'm not the only one who calls him for all plumbing needs!
St Croix Plumbing, Todd Jadwin
Disclaimer: I am NOT getting any reimbursement for this posting. He doesn't even know I'm doing it.
The work he has done for me:
Removed and replaced improperly connected pipes under my kitchen sink & adjusted connection to garbage disposal that was being damaged by the previous owner's error
Corrected housing code violation for tubing of sump pump water, including exterior modifications and insulation of the new pipes
Emergency phone call for broken water softener after improper installation caused the connections to explode and spray water everywhere; I didn't replace the softener so he connected the pipes together, making it easy to install a new one in the future
(Today) Removed broken faucet in shower/tub by removing & replacing copper pipes, reattached new faucet
Every job was done well and I have not had any further problems, though he always reminds me he's only a phone call away should a problem arise. I'm confident in all of his work and very glad I happened across his reviews online when I needed him!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I've had an idea for a blog rattling around in my head for weeks now, but I haven't been able to thoroughly put into words what I want to say. The topic seems simple, but the response is not. While I continue to work through it, I wanted to share something very important to me, but something many people have absolutely no understanding of.
If you know a little something about me, you know I have multiple severe medical conditions. It sucks. That sums it up, right? It totally sucks. (For those who don't know anything about me, please read my sparkpage.) But while several of my diagnoses are rare, one of the worst is so ridiculously common (1 in 25 people in the US are afflicted) while being so disgustingly misunderstood or flat out unknown by most that it'd be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. After all, isn't it true that one of the most basic human functions is to eat? How can one survive without being able to eat? If someone isn't eating, it must be a mental problem, not a physical problem, right? Most people can't even consider the possibility that something could go so wrong in the body that eating is no longer an option. Just because many people don't know about gastroparesis doesn't make it any less dangerous.
G-PACT is a non-profit organization supporting and fighting for people with digestive tract paralysis. The founder, Carissa Haston, is one of TENS OF MILLIONS of people who are living with DTP, some for many years. Please read this blog/note she wrote to help others have a chance to understand what it is like for us:
Please note that there is a WIDE range of symptomology and presentations of gastroparesis, so what is true for one person is not true for another. Still, many of us hide what we're truly feeling and dealing with in order to make others more comfortable. (After all, most of society revolves around food so we must learn to accept our misfortune and watch others partake in the joys of being 'normal'.) Because of another's naivety I will often be cautious about how I present myself. It's not fair, but it is what it is.
But so help me, if I have one more person tell me that I'm 'lucky' to look like I do, that I don't understand physical or emotional pain, I don't know what it's like to be misunderstood or bullied, or that I need to suck it up I am going to lose my patience and go on a tirade of epic proportions. I DO NOT DESERVE TO SUFFER EVEN MORE THAN I ALREADY DO BECAUSE OF SOMEONE ELSE'S PREJUDICE OR IGNORANCE!
Thank you for your consideration. (Sorry I yelled; I get incredibly frustrated when it comes to how unknown and misunderstood GP is and the actions/words of some people in relation to this condition.)
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