If you see a red flag, run

Down With The Red Flag
Liberal Unionist poster, circa 1905-1910. Courtesy of The Commons, Flickr.

Dear Internet,

Dr. H. has become pushy, for him at least, on what drugs I am and am not taking. I should not fault him too much, because interaction could mean death. But he’s been pretty insistent my Metformin script is causing the havoc with me as of late, and I have to say, he may potentially have a point. I was pulled off of Metformin, after being on it for years, last winter when my GP and I were attempting to figure out if I was diabetic or not when I was going through all my ankle surgery woes. I use Metformin for my PCOD, but since it’s original intent is for pre-diabetics and diabetics not on insulin, it made sense to pull me off of it to make sure my blood work was not throwing up false negatives.

This, of course, all starts before Dr. H. and I start meeting and I’m off of Metformin for months. I think I finally went on it back in March when I got the all clear from the orthopedic surgeon on my ankle and my GP that I was not diabetic. Hurrah!  Shortly after I start taking Metformin again, it was around that time when the sleepiness and other bi-product of lithium would appear and then disappear a few days later.

Since my sleepiness has been ebbing and flowing the last few days, I decided to do an experiment of my own by taking myself off the Metformin and see what happens. Oddly the day I stop taking it is the day I start my period, and I hope ultimately this doesn’t end up as a choice: regular, pain free periods OR less crazy.

Dr. H. wants me to start Wellbutrin this week as he’s also pretty convinced this will save my soul, thus once I’ll get my prescription filled, the regime will be:

  • 500mg Lithium, 3x a day
  • 1 mg of Klonopin, night (during day as needed)
  • Wellbutrin, morning
  • Daily vitamin, morning
  • Glucosamine Chondroitin, morning
  • Metformin, morning (On hold)

I’m ending the Glucosamine Chondroitin as it doesn’t seem to do anything for me anymore. I need to do more research into the vitamin shenanigans before giving that up completely. I’d like to get myself off as many drugs as possible in the end. Too much evidence is showing me a healthy diet and serious exercise regime is much more therapeutic rather than dosing me up with chemicals. Except for Klonopin, as that is the savior to everything.

In so far as exercise, TheHusband and I walked two miles yesterday and today I  did entertain the idea of rowing, so there is that.

I’m not terribly sure if it is because I stopped the Metformin today OR if my period started, but what I do know my sleepiness is not as terrible as the day has progressed as it has been for the last few weeks. This morning I still had coffee and later, a 12 oz Red Bull, but I felt like I kept my shit together while I worked and I did drink a lot of water, which later supplemented with a bottle of coke. Maybe my caffeine intake is spiked and I need to adjust that more? I did stop drinking caffeine when I was on the legal meth for my ADHD and didn’t really miss it. I’ve also done routes of stopping caffeine after say noon to help me sleep better.

Right now this is not so much as planning as it is talking out loud to myself. Like I said, the boring bits of every day life but one I would like to track with gusto.

Dr. H’s idea behind the Klonopin is if I take it at night, every night, then a lot of the stress and other triggers that seem to randomly come and go will be squashed. If I can sleep a full night’s sleep, deeply, without fretting then I own’t be tired in the morning, and if I’m not tired then I’m not mainlining caffeine of of a hooker’s ass, and well, you get the picture. The number that is counting up after my name in all these recent posts is the number of nights I’ve taken Klonopin before bed, so that I could keep track in some form.

After a week of this inhaling of my wonder drug at night, and still feeling like death warmed over on a daily basis, Dr. P. suggested I take Klonopin earlier in the evening, say between 6-7PM so that the entire life of the drug would have cycled through before morning. The reason why this is important is because by taking it at my usual time (9-10PM or so), by the time I get up in the morning, the drug has such a long half-life, it would still be feeling the zombie effects come morning.

Makes a lot of sense.

Even with all of the Klonopin inhaling, I am still having panic attacks. Nothing to the extent like they used to be, but they are still there. One popped up an said hello today at around lunch time, so I popped half a Klonopin and did some breathing exercises to exorcise that demon. No one has time for that shit!

My social feeds have been abuzz about Night Vale, the podcast that is eating up the airwaves. Told in the format of community updates of the small desert town of Night Vale, it is the most delightful podcast. The show has been on for over a year now and one of the lovely things about finding out about something long after it has started is that you can gorge on the episodes. I would highly suggest you checking this out.

Finally, after weeks of trying to make this happen, TheHusband and I were able to make homemade pizza for dinner tonight and I did not die! As I’m allergic to cow milk and I can tolerate sheep and goat milk, how would I fare with buffalo milk? Namely, buffalo mozzarella?

Apparently, in all of Grand Rapids, the locations to get true buffalo mozzarella are minute. Once we found a place, I grabbed some gluten free crust for me and made a wheat based crust TheHusband. Below is the gluten free version.

The taste? Not bad. I like thin crusts so that worked out well, the cheese didn’t spread as much as I had hoped, but as we bought only a single container, we weren’t sure how much would last for pizza. TheHusband made the sauce, which was sweet just as I liked it. Overall, probably the best version of pizza I’ve had since being diagnosed with my allergy and the ability to at least get gooey cheese was orgasmic. We will be making this again.

x0x0,
Lisa (Day #13)

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2012, 2003

A Woman’s Right to Shoes: Thoughts on Being Childfree

Dear Internet,

There is a small storm brewing in my neck of Twitter due to an article recently posted on Medium which posits the idea that those who are childfree (CF) should totes drop everything and help those with kids, because you’re going to change your mind so, karma! And, the article goes on to quote Whitney Houston, the now dead coke addict who farmed out raising of her daughter, because sayeth the dead pop star, the children are our future. OBVIOUSLY, then, a village must be taken and so forth.

There are loads and loads of problems with this article, namely it purports that:

  • People who are CF are so by choice (It’s never about they CAN’T, it’s always about they WON’T)
  • People who are CF have more time / money  ergo our time is not as valuable
  • CF people should support the choices of childful people because, “Children raised with security and love make better adults, and better adults make a better world in twenty-some years,” which supposes that this only happens when mom is cheering them on at a soccer game or dad soothing sick infant. These examples given also perpetuates specific family dynamics, which raised my heckles, but apparently these are the only examples/ways a child can be loved
  • The author cites the US as being one of the few countries where maternity/paternity leave as well as childcare and other social programs are abysmal for parents. I don’t disagree with these challenges, the US is terrible in many modern social practices but to place the crux of this on CF people as if we are the ones who control the government or that because conservatives reacted strongly to the idea of social care is somehow our doing, is downright preposterous, ridiculous, and a grasping at straws. Better social programs across the board benefit everyone, not just families.

Lastly, my biggest, uttermost issue with the article is that it forces me (and others like me) out. Now we have to defend our decisions (or reasons) of why we are currently CF to explain why articles such as this one, written supposedly with the best intentions, makes us gnash our teeth and shake our fists in anger. It is because of this article, and others like it, that continue to perpetuate stereotypes  and lifestyle choices as ones that were made not ones that were made for us, it forces us to defend our reasoning for our private lives which is no ones bidness. You never, almost never, ever see this for those who are childful, at least not in such public forums and with such regularity and acuity as directed to those who are CF.

And that’s bullshit.

Additionally, this perpetuation of the attitude is insulting, it’s degrading, it’s humiliating, and it forces us to put public a very private decision or choice while adding on the layer of if we are not parents or choosing to be parents, our lives are not even remotely complete. Everything that I’ve worked for, TheHusband has worked for, up to this time in our lives means jack. There is not a mini-Lisa running around so obviously I have failed at all the things.

I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my child bearing status in this space and it is not because it wasn’t worth discussing, but it was one of the few things of privacy that I didn’t want to to open up to the world. It begins with that I’m not sure if I can even have children, which I found out about in my 20s. I have polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), which means there are cysts on my ovaries, which makes my chances of getting pregnant downright miracelous. I’ve been told my chances of conceiving were less than 20%. Now that I’m older, and my child bearing years are closing down, even less. Maybe 10%.  Let’s add in TheHusband’s familial history of mental illness and my own mental illness, coupled with my family history of the same, and the wanting to have a child looks even less tempting. Let us not forget my mother had cancer of the vulva and my grandmother had cancer of ovaries, and what should be something pretty easy peasy turns out to be a big ole complicated and convoluted mess.

A lot of conversations stemmed on Twitter today about this, after I started ranting natch, and it felt like everyone, breeders and CFs, were pretty much in the agreement that the author of the article was a self-righteous, over privileged, lazy asshole who wanted someone else to raise her children.  It was not about a kumbaya “it takes a village” moment she was attempting to prostylize, rather, it was ALLLLLL about her. TheHusband, who is one of the most rational people I know, threw out her argument line by line by summing up her own inaptitude to handle her responsibilities so she’s shuffling them off to someone else.

No would disagree parents need help, and no one would disagree or shy away from giving them the help they needed, but to demand we do so simply because our responsibilities are different is absurd.

And painful.

Articles like this also bring up one painful point for me – it’s not so much that I won’t have children, but that my choice to have them was stripped away due to medical necessity. I don’t have an option to choose  whether or not I wanted to have kids – I was just told it was not going potentially happen. This fine detail point, this removal of choice, is the open wound I keep guarded and close to me, knowing the day will come (sooner then I had hoped) where I am going to have to grieve over something I may never get to have.

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003

dropping eggs

When I was about 8 or 9, I was in a convenience store (too high falutin to say 7-11) with my mom, when I started feeling sudden sharp pains going across my belly. I bended over in pain and my mother, worried, gave me keys to her car so that i could go lie down

once we rushed home (and i was obviously feeling a bit better), I went right into the bathroom and pulled down my pants. Splattered on my panties and thighs was dark red blood stains. My mother, a nurse, said not to worry. It wasn’t that uncommon and helped clean me up. She gave me a maxi-pad and showed me how to take care of it myself.

My mother was pretty liberal in those days and when the bleeding didn’t stop after the first day, she defended me in school when the teacher assumed I had been lying as to why i had to go to the bathroom. The probability in 1980 that an 8 year old girl could have her period just didn’t jive with her. The old bat died from alcoholism sometime after that, so again proof that karma works.

Anyway, my own body has been growing significantly since I was 8 years old (and anyone who declares that childhood is a wonderful time is full of crap and needs to stop seeing new age therapists) and just as my friends bodies have also changed. We have grown hips (or not), grown breasts (or not) and gotten taller (or not) and our faces have matured. when i look at pictures of me at the ages of 8, 14, 17, 21 and now 26; i still see the same “face” but i’ve also seen how it’s grown.

however my body has grown in different ways. I’ve gained and lost close to a few hundred pounds since I was about 15. My hair has changed color so many times that even I can’t remember what it was originally. My bra size has grown from a 34b to a 36d. My period, however, has been the only constant thing since I was 8 years old.

It has always been fucked up, and this is why it’s been constant.

After that incident when I was 8, I never was regular again until I was 13. My body, mature enough to have children, started dropping eggs once a month like clockwork. Then I started getting bad cramps, thrown in with severe depression before my period, and then stopped getting my period for months at a time. I wasn’t sexual active and knew I wasn’t pregnant. I wasn’t under any real stress other than “normal”, yet for some reason I wasn’t having my period.
We went to the doctors and found out I had some version of juvenile edometriosis and further testing from the “doctor” showed I “may” not be able to have children in the future. He put me on birth control pills and left me be.

Over the years, I’ve been on birth control as if it were life saving medicine. Without taking the birth control, the cramping would start, the heavy bleeding would begin and I would sink into a pms-induced depression that made no rhyme or reason. And! If I even so much as skipped a week or two because of I had forgotten to…

Okay, it’s now 11.12.98. This is one of the lamest and most tooth pulling chronicle.
The point being:
I got my period. I haven’t gotten it in three months. Now I feel all squeaky clean.