Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pain continued

It is Saturday night. I have had both of my hands in braces since yesterday evening,  and my right hand since two nights ago. They're helping. But my emotional well-being, I guess, is not getting better. I am frustrated by the braces; there are an amazing number of actions that require bending my wrists. In addition, they don't help enough. My wrists still hurt. My left hand is okay-ish. My right hand was killing me by the time I finished eating a bowl of ice cream. Because I was holding a spoon.

I am also starting to be extremely sensitive to sound, such that the dining hall on a Saturday night, which is always uncrowded and in general is less overwhelming than during the week, had me finding a place to sit in the farthest corner of the room, away from everyone. The noise levels were difficult to handle, and I avoided the crowds that were around a band on my way home.

I do not understand why I'm so sensitive to sound. I'm fairly used to working around it, but it becomes more difficult when I'm sick or hurting. Sensory input becomes extremely overwhelming even when I'm the person contributing to it (such as playing music on my computer). I also start avoiding crowds, and any kind of public gathering, even when said gathering is just my friends, which I'm usually okay with. It just gets to the point where everything is too much. And then I start getting lonely, and withdrawing more. I don't know how to stop it, except to start feeling better, which is not in my control. I can take steps to feel better, and it helps for a while, but at a certain point it's really up to my body to heal itself. And I hate feeling this way. I hate how easily pain seems to win, simply because it happens day after day. It just gets hard to fight, hard to ignore.

Pain is isolating. It overrides everything else, and can't be shared. It limits my mobility, and my ability to do a lot of different activities. Even if it didn't, when I'm feeling this way, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to stay home, curl up in my bed, and have someone hold me. I want a cat to curl up next to me and start purring. I want creature comfort, but don't want people intruding.

At this point I can't even think about school work. Everything I could do  requires using my hands in some way. Either using a pencil, or typing, or holding a book.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wrist Issues

I am writing this with a dictation software. My wrists are in agony and some of my fingers are as well. I spoke to the Dean for students with disabilities yesterday, and had a discussion about deadlines, papers, and my disability. We figured out that I am in a flareup, and that that is why I have not been completing my work. I have been subconsciously avoiding writing a paper that I think I will enjoy because my wrists hurt.

I have since had two professors suggests my dictation software. But I am not used to using it, and it is really hard to write papers through dictation rather than with my hands. I need to get used to the software, but I do not know how, much less how to do it quickly in order to get a paper written.

I think I am also fighting the idea that I need to use it and have been since I bought it two years ago. This is another part of getting used to being disabled instead of temporarily able-bodied. It is a struggle to remember that there are things I can't do, that there are things I shouldn't do, and that it's not my fault. I am having a negative emotional reaction, such that it is hard to speak this without crying. I think I've adjusted to mobility issues, and to asking for help when I can't walk or at least shouldn't be walking far, but it is a lot harder to recognize and to admit that I can't do schoolwork at times because I am in too much pain to do so. I have not fully made peace with what my disability does to me, and having multiple suggestions to do exactly what I'm doing right now somehow makes it worse.

I don't know how to make this better. I know how to take care my wrists, and I know how to take care of my hip and my knee, so that with time they will heal. It's the emotional stuff that I can't–but I don't know how to handle. There are a lot of “should” and “should not” statements in my head. Things like, “I should have written this weeks ago,” or “I should be able to get this done now,” or “I should not ask for two extensions from the same professor on the same paper,” and all of this based on a conception formed a in high school while I was still able bodied. I feel like I'm annoying my professor by asking for the accommodations that are my right.

In short, I am struggling with my limitations, and I think with internalized able-ism. I am not sure how to move forward from here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog Note

I know posting has been light lately; my apologies. I hit midterms, then went on break, during which I wanted to do nothing so much as read, and then I was dealing with family issues as well as classes restarting.

I have a couple of posts in the works, including a series on "giftedness," and a reflection on cultural narratives and privilege.

Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

PMS and Birth Control

I've started recording my PMS symptoms in a regular place so that I can track what's happening. I have the impression that every few months, either my PMS, my period, or both, are miserable and I'm not sure why or if that's actually so, aside from vague references in my personal journaling before last month when it was really bad.

Last month I spent two or three days in a very low mood, unable to get the motivation to do anything I was supposed to do, including school work. I managed to do the short assignments due for my language class, and that was about it. Then, the first two days of menstruating were absolutely miserable, and far worse than what I normally experience. Normally, I have one day of heavy bleeding with cramping, etc., but can manage with just one dose of a medicine like Pamprin. Last month, I had two days of heavy bleeding and ended up holding my stomach every time I stood up, walked, or sat down because all of these activities jarred my internal organs and made me feel awful. Pamprin didn't really help, either. It was a few days later that I started to think about birth control to get this under control again. I suspect stress is throwing hormones off, but who knows if it will level out on its own?

This month, on the other hand, the most noticeable symptom I've had is increased appetite, both before and during menses. I'm a little confused, but I like this a lot better than ending up sobbing for half an hour after an Israeli film screening I had to go to for class. (It didn't help that I had no warning for how ... upsetting this film would be ahead of time. Need to talk to the prof about that at some point, actually.) That wasn't fun, and if I hadn't been PMSing it might not have happened.

So I'd like to try birth control. I went on it freshman year when my mother suggested it in case I became sexually active in college, but nothing happened at all that year, and eventually I gave up taking it because I didn't think I needed it. It seemed fine and a helpful regulator, if nothing else. Of course, there's also the consideration that I have a boyfriend these days and may end up becoming sexually active soon. But really, the horrible mood during PMS is what makes me want to take birth control again. Because I have a hard enough time keeping my mental health on a good track without hormones playing into it, too.