How am I still getting these intense waves of nausea?
I moved to PA in December ‘06. After years uninsured, I finally passed the 24 months you have to wait on disability to become eligible for Medicare in February ‘07. And immediately, my insurance decided to tell me that there was no way they were paying for my Effexor XR, which was working perfectly on my anxiety, and gave me generic Prozac instead, which I found out when I went to pick up what I thought was Effexor and was handed a bag containing a bottle of fluoxetine.
I spent… three, four months? proving to my insurance company that all the cheap old-school SSRIs did not work for me.
I had no way to titrate down from the Effexor, considering my insurance wouldn’t pay for it, so I had to ease myself down by drawing out the doses over a day and a half, two days, three days, and none. And let me tell you something: I have taken a lot of medications, and there is nothing in this world quite like Effexor withdrawal, as far as common pharmaceuticals go. Venlafaxine is a motherfucker to quit suddenly. I realized how bad it was when I had a oh-my-God-kill-me-please severe anxiety attack because my husband fell asleep in three minutes instead of five.
After ten days on the fluoxetine, feeling like I was stuck on a bobbing boat 24/7, with those awful waves of nausea, churning, all-over discomfort, I finally walked up to my pharmacist and asked “Is this normal? I know it’s not, but has it been enough time for my insurance to believe me when I go off it and not tell me I didn’t give it long enough for initial side effects to pass?” and they said yeah, anything would have passed after several days or a week at most, so I quit taking it. And had to spend a couple weeks afterward waiting for it to clear out of my body.
Two months on Celexa, giving it the full 6 weeks before it becomes effective and a couple weeks afterward to gauge the effect, which was to make my emotions completely flat and drab, keeping me from sinking into the deep depression but not exactly making things good; I was still having all the anxiety, laid over that languid, disinterested deameanor. I realize that sounds completely contradictory — and that’s exactly how it felt.
I tried another medication in between — Zoloft? — but at that point I had been without effective protection/treatment for my severe anxiety for so long that my brain was pretty much in shambles, and I can’t remember it very well.
That was when I realized that the medication I took as a sleep aid from age 12 to 19 was, in fact, an antidepressant, and it hadn’t helped either. I didn’t have the worst of the anxiety attacks, but I paid for it with the emotional numbness and extreme physical fatigue all day. Six letters: Z-o-m-b-i-e.
So I had to ask my doctor to tell my insurance company “Please, for fuck’s sake, give me my Effexor back,” and fortunately, they did.
In case you’re wondering, the reason I didn’t just say “fuck you” to Medicare and pay for the Effexor myself (as I had been doing in the half-year I had been taking it before that) is because if I did that, I would be paying out-of-pocket for it forever. If I wanted them to pay for it, I had to go through their cost-control Russian Roulette first to prove to them that the other meds didn’t work on my brain. And if I didn’t want to pay out-of-pocket forever, I was going to have to play that game at some point, so I might as well get it the hell over with.
Thank God for my privilege to marry a man with half-decent union-procured insurance. I fully realize there are multiple privileges involved in that. Because I lived life without it first.
Yep. I love how, when my rheumy asked if I had titrated down off the Cymbalta, I gave her a look and said, “Well, no, because remember when I was starting it and trying to titrate up and I couldn’t because the insurance wouldn’t pay for it? And it’s a capsule, so I couldn’t just cut it in half. So, yeah, I went cold turkey because I didn’t really have a choice.” And she just kind of looked thoughtful, then went on to the next point.
Really, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. To be quite honest, I’ve been hesitant to go back to a psych because they’re going to try to give me drugs again, and being off them is actually really good right now, even considering seasonal depression. I also FEEL THINGS. Yes, I get sad. It’s usually in response to something like this, reflecting on how insurance screws us over while it helps in other areas. It’s a NORMAL REACTION to things being fucked up. But I also feel joy for the first time in… well, way too long, anyway. And I hesitate to put myself into the hands of another psych who may or may not need some mental help of their own. (The last one tried to tell me, after a 15 minute interview where she did paperwork and asked me to repeat my answers to her non-sequitur questions constantly, that I’m bipolar. Um. NO. No I am not. I do not have manic phases, no matter how hard you try to con me into saying that I do. Because if I did, I would conceivably GET SOMETHING DONE on occasion instead of having crippling fatigue. Granted, it might not be something good that I’d get done, but it would be something.)
atlasien, who writes often on issues surrounding adoption, especially trans-racial adoption, reminds us of the myrid issues with the white American desire to snatch Haitian children away from other Haitians.
“What people in the PETA demographic fail to realize, or don’t want to realize, is that the WOMAN AS MEAT and POC AS ANIMAL and WOMAN AS PROPERTY and POC AS PROPERTY schema are still absolutely alive and well, absolutely entrenched in our current language and expression and understanding and visual rhetoric.”—fillyjonk, “Meat and metapors” (via meloukhia)
“If obesity experts genuinely want to reduce obesity rates, they need to stop pressuring people to be thin and actually acknowledge that body diversity is a given within any healthy population. Prescribing diet pills and re-wiring people’s intestines does not teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle, it merely puts them at risk of disordered eating, weight cycling, - and irreversible medical complications. Losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle are not the same thing. We need to see health as an ongoing, multifaceted process that does not stop once a number has been reached on the scales.”—
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”—
lets say some guy robbed a bank. (having sex) he knew that if he did, a risk would be getting caught (getting pregnant). so he did get caught, and he was sentenced to jail. (being pregnant.) you’re saying he has the right to not go to jail because it is against his will?
Having sex is not violating a law. This example is preposterous.
Being pregnant is a punishment, just like jail! Having sex is like robbing a bank… of morals!
And so the true motivation is revealed: women should be punished for being sexual.
I feel very very sorry for the children of anyone who thinks like this. A child is a child, and should be wanted and cared for as such. A child is not a PUNISHMENT.
“I will make it a priority to ensure transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance […] “It’s a social values issue. If you are born a male, you should be known as a male. Same as with a female, she should be known as a female,” he said. When asked to explain how such a mandate from the Secretary of State would benefit Michigan, he said it was about “preventing people who are males genetically from dressing as a woman and going into female bathrooms.””—
Okay, I ranted about this a bit earlier on Twitter, but I feel the need to repeat it here.
I absolutely LOATHE the bathroom panic defense for transphobic bigotry. Constructing trans women as rapists in a pretend show of concern for the safety of cis women is appalling, especially when you consider that people who hold this attitude normally also tend to be top in the victim blaming category when dealing with rape as a social problem.
Guys like this don’t give a rat shit on a blue plate about protecting anyone, they just get a fucking hard-on from controlling and bullying people. The fact that trans women get assaulted, raped, and/or murdered in mens bathrooms is likely part of what drives these assholes to push shit like this. Its “corrective” discrimination, putting the “freaks” in their place.
These panty-sniffing assholes need to be taught, forcefully, that the contents of anyone’s underwear or genetics but theirs is not their business and never will be, that they have no right to endanger people based on bullshit moral posturing.
And on a final note, they are actively advocating that men be allowed in women’s restrooms because they want trans men to use the women’s facilities. THAT is something that rarely seems to cross their minds.
I have spent a long time being told that I’m angry. Not only is this a shock to some people, but they don’t seem to view it as a valid emotion, especially from someone like me- female, physically nondescript, not at all intimidating at first glance and wearing a geeky t-shirt.
So. Here is a post about anger, and why I am angry.
“By Friday night, doctors will have to give up on treating newly found survivors—there probably won’t be any more—and start thinking about the long-term health effects of the disaster. Acute injuries that aren’t effectively treated, especially broken bones that are set improperly or not at all, may end up crippling patients for life. Blows to the head can cause a permanent decline of cognitive function. And even survivors who don’t outwardly appear to be injured may suffer long-term consequences of the earthquake, says Irwin Redlener, director for the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health: “It’s highly likely that we’re going to see a lot of patients who survive this trauma and then have exacerbations of existing conditions like diabetes and asthma, or who develop stress-related medical disorders like coronary artery disease and hypertension.” Mental health issues and post-traumatic stress disorder, which can set in any time in the six months or so after a diaster, will be “absolutely overwhelming,” he says, especially since many aid workers don’t speak Haitian Creole and won’t be able to communicate well with the people they’re trying to help. These ailments might sound like small worries to some in the developed world, but for Haitians, who already struggle under so many other burdens, they may be too much to bear.”—
Oh gods. I wish circumstances were different and would allow my husband’s parents to help… or that he or any of his siblings had learned Creole… or something… mental issues are scary enough, but when you can’t find a professional who speaks your language, I imagine they’re a million times worse.
“We know that the best predictor of human happiness is human relationships and the amount of time that people spend with family and friends. We know that it’s significantly more important than money and somewhat more important than health.”—Daniel Gilbert (via azspot) (via robot-heart) okay i admit, reblogged because dan gilbert was the psych professor i’ve paraphrased like twice today, and because he is awesome and i totally fucking love him! everyone go read stumbling on happiness! i bought it because i was literally like, dude, if this guy is half as good a writer as he is a lecturer this book is going to fucking rule. and it did! (via isabelthespy)
So, we had an earthquake here on Sunday, a 6.5. It was a little bigger than the little quakes we get now and then, so it attracted some attention. Notably, no lives were lost, and the most serious injury was a broken hip.
And then, yesterday, a 7.0 in Haiti.
And, already, the headlines, all along the lines of “what happened in Haiti could happen here!”
And, here’s the thing.
No. It can’t.
I don’t mean “no we can’t have a 7.0 earthquake,” I mean, “if we had a 7.0, the damage would not be nearly as severe. The loss of life wouldn’t be so horrific.”
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The United States is one of the wealthiest. California, back in the days when we had more money floating around, invested serious amounts of money in earthquake preparedness, retrofitting, an incredibly stiff building code, and code enforcement.
Yes, a 7.0 earthquake here would cause damage. But nothing on the level of what happened in Haiti. Nothing. And, you know, I think that’s something we should be thinking about; what happened in Haiti didn’t happen because there was an earthquake. It happened because Haiti’s infrastructure is shot.
I do a lot of thinking about the gap between rich and poor, and this really highlights, for me, one of the major differences. I have a reasonable expectation of survival in a 7.0 earthquake.
Haitians did not.
YES. And the reasons behind that, which very few people even REALIZE, let alone look at critically, are actually important.
Haiti was shunned because the slaves successfully revolted. They drove the French out and claimed the land for themselves. This sounds really simple, but it’s not when you examine it. These people, who had been forcefully taken from their homes and moved almost halfway around the world, who had been beaten and broken and ground down until about the only options they had were “work or die”… these people still had enough grit and tenacity and sheer stubbornmindedness to stage the only successful slave revolt in the entire western hemisphere, because to them, “die” offered better chances for them to live than “work as a slave” did, because they weren’t willing or possibly able to be broken and still live. It was (and is!) an incredible testament to the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.
For this, they were shunned. Because gods forbid that these former slaves actually get the respect they deserved for being actual living humans, never mind the respect they reached out and throttled from the hands of other humans who believed that because they happened to have darker skin, more melanin, that it was perfectly ok to beat them and rape them and treat them worse (as a whole, I’m sure there were some slaveowners who were halfway decent to their slaves) than they’d treat an animal, because animals were expensive to replace but slaves they could breed more of.
Because people were (and are, believe me, I don’t pretend this doesn’t happen now, it’s just not as overt) more concerned with money and using money as a way to keep score (who’s winning? what do they win? apparently the right to see everyone else as less than human) than with actual living, breathing, feeling, thinking human beings… because of this, Haiti has been quite literally shunned. Nobody would trade with them (I’m unsure of the status of trade embargoes currently, but I’m sure there are still quite a few), nobody would acknowledge them, nobody would admit they even existed, let alone that it’s a great climate to grow things like coffee and sugar cane… OH WAIT THEY KNEW THAT THAT’S WHY FRANCE TOOK OVER THE ISLAND IN THE FIRST PLACE. But when it was darker-skinned people that they’d have to trade with, and those who had the sheer audacity to go against white peoples’ economic interests? Pfft. Haiti? I have no idea what you’re talking about.
So Haiti had to attempt to make its way with no help from anyone. And they suffered for it, for daring to act on the belief that human lives are more important than making rich people richer. And yes, they’ve had bad government, but is that really so surprising? Yes, they’ve had trouble, and corruption, and the government has committed terrorist acts (as if the US hasn’t). THAT WAS THEIR EXAMPLE. That’s all they had to learn from once the first generation of slaves had passed on.
But I will tell you something I know from just the barest experience with them. My husband’s parents are immigrants from Haiti, and they embody all those amazing triumphs of the human spirit. Tough, stubborn-minded, willing to take things to the next level if necessary. Hard-working, dear gods, they make Latinos (who are very resourceful and hard-working… if you don’t believe that, tell me why we’re losing jobs to them?) look like they work half days. My mother in law worked, went to school, AND raised seven kids. My father in law has taken whatever job he could to keep a roof over their heads. And their mothers moved here because they actually have to work LESS here to maintain a BETTER standard of living.
Haiti has been ignored for far too long. I wish it hadn’t been a tragedy like this to bring them to the forefront of people’s minds, but at least now Haiti will get some attention. I can only hope that that attention results in some improvement for the people there.
O.O Oh geez, I don’t even know, there’s too many good choices! And “musician” is kind of broad and can mean a lot of different things. So I guess I’ll go with: My favorite band is the Decemberists, Colin is an amazing songwriter and musician and the rest of the band are frickin’ awesome musicians and everything else they do, although right now I have an unhealthy like for Kesha and Lady Gaga (I know, it’s weird, I don’t even know). There are a lot of songs I’d turn up the radio for and sing along, so that’s not a determining factor, nor is “willing to get up and dance to”, because again, LOTS of stuff.
Short answer: Too vague so I can’t really answer it. :)
“Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked. Conservatives don’t give a shit about you until you reach ‘military age’. Then they think you are just fine. Just what they’ve been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life… pro-life… These people aren’t pro-life, they’re killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? What, they’ll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it? They’re not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don’t like them. They don’t like women. They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state… You don’t see many of these white anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uteruses, do you? No, you don’t see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do.”—
She meows a lot. And obviously, an awful lot of the time, the meows mean “Hey! You! Person over there who I’m forced to live with! Feed me! DO IT! do it do it do it do it do it do it do it.” And, less frequently, she means “hey, you’re going to pet me now, just so you know. You don’t have a choice in any event, but I am awesome enough that I deserve to have all of my actions officially announced in advance.”
But other times, I just have no idea. For example, a lot of the time, she likes to meow at me as she wakes up. She wakes up, shakes her head, says MEOW really loudly, and then looks at me. And I will say something to her, and she will meow again. And again. Like this:
Mink: MEOW. Me: Hey Mink. Mink: Meow. Me: What’s up? Mink: meow. Me: Oh, well thanks for letting me know. Mink: meow.
And then she will go back to sleep.
So what is that all about? She doesn’t want fed, she doesn’t want pet, so what is she talking about? I always posit that she’s telling me about her dream — I swear she dreams, because she frequently meows and makes facial expressions while she is asleep — but I feel like that’s a pretty anthropomorphizing explanation, right? Then again, while it also seems anthropomorphizing, she really does sit there and wait for me to say something in response to her before she will meow again, as though she understands the structure of a human conversation.
I don’t know. Cats are weird.
Things like this are why I desperately wish I could understand cat speech. My Bluebell is part Siamese. She talks a LOT. And she does conversation form too - my dad encourages it :P “Oh yeah? Tell me all about it!”
This made me laugh, because it’s true. My cats do the same thing.
“Nicole, going downstairs, heard the end of the conversation. She knew, as she had always known, that Tommy loved her; she knew he had come to dislike Dick, and that Dick had realized it before he did, and would react in some positive way to the lonely man’s passion. This thought was succeeded by a moment of sheerly feminine satisfaction. She leaned over her children’s breakfast table and told off instructions to the governess, while upstairs two men were concerned about her.
Later in the garden she was happy; she did not want anything to happen, but only for the situation to remain in suspension as the two men tossed her from one mind to another; she had not existed for a long time, not even as a ball.”
-tender is the night, f. scott fitzgerald
I AM WILDLY BIASED. also, i will seriously reblog any tender is the night quote that shows up on my dashboard. but, the phrase “sheerly feminine satisfaction” is an example of “things i will forgive because the character is so well-constructed it makes up for it in my mind” (also, i can actually buy that this is how a specific character might experience this situation, especially in more-sexist times; you may ask, but is that really what fitgzerald intended? to which i reply: GTFO with your author intentionalism, and did i mention my wild, wild bias?) & that last paragraph, in context, is a really good example of
also, “she had not existed for a long time, not even as a ball” - look i just love that phrase ok
I absolutely agree that sometimes the returned affection of the gender you’re attracted to can change your life. Probably more often than many people realize and/or admit. Sometimes, that’s what makes you feel like you exist, like the rest of your life is a pale imitation of a life, a series of motions gone through for necessity’s sake, and having such a huge approval from someone who doesn’t know you from the inside out can really make the rough parts of life bearable.
Also, you are really selling me on this book, Isabel. :)
I have realized that I am most interesting if I have someone around to bounce ideas off of, discuss things with, or otherwise engage with. Me by myself? Very boring to other people. This is ok, because me by myself is interesting to me, at least most of the time.