Broken Down…

CN: disability as inspiration, car drama

 

I have been babying my car for a while now – no extra trips, no long trips, no diversions, no resting on the side of the road until the pain subsides. The reason? It hasn’t been serviced in a while. It’s, technically, not even my car, and technically, my parents are responsible for upkeep and servicing, and this is part of our complex deal where I get to live in a house and not the street and in exchange have to do random things like let them know where I am at all times, half their shopping, and filter media. I am not, technically, homeless, so I don’t do anything to upset this.

So when I went to my mum and said ‘the car needs servicing’ and I had to wait until there was money, and wait until they came up so the (male) mechanics could talk to my (male) dad instead of me, with a side of “but you can’t talk how could you do it yourself anyway”, I waited.

 

Until today, when I was on my way home from a blood test, feeling very wrong (and the way I was treated there could be a post of its own…), I went over roadworks (I had forgotten to avoid them), and the car started making a sound that wasn’t normal, even for this car, because that conversation was two years ago.

Continue reading Broken Down…

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Escalations and Revelations

CN: gender-related medical stuffs, codeine drama, pain, discrimination, medical ick, brief mention of suicidal ideation

 

Did you know it’s possible to be in so much pain that you forget to take pain meds? To forget they even exist, that there’s a way to make it not all-consumingly awful?

 

I didn’t. Now, this is me, we’re talking about. I refused anaesthesia for my last surgical procedure, twice, and the thought of taking it was highly amusing. The one before, I insisted on only using a local, and that for reasons of muscle relaxing only and, because I wasn’t allowed to type in the OR, and they didn’t ask the right question, I went through that without the local actually having an effect. (Try saying ‘it’s not a sharp pain, it’s an I-can-feel-the-needle-on-my-bone-and-that’s-not-normal-pain in sign with your bad arm being held, dislocated, above your head and the other arm covered by a blanket and held down and stroked for “comfort because you’re so brave, don’t you like being touched?”. Yeah. That’s about right.) This pain was no greater than my normal pain. After my appendectomy I was able to drive and function within three days, and the nurses controlled my pain meds because I was just like ‘but it doesn’t hurt more’. I can’t tell you what my “worst” piercing was because they don’t bother me. If I am complaining about pain it is black-out-in-the-toilet-after-throwing-up pain. The stuff I used to be able to get up to is more extreme than any of the fics I’ve written, and I used to be unmatchable because nobody else read ‘dark’ as anything other than ‘mild angst’.

 

So this morning, I was knitting and watching TV, and I looked at the clock and was like it has been three hours I can’t take my meds yet. Continue reading Escalations and Revelations

Let The Dam Walls Break

CN: medical discrimination, transition, gender-coded medicine, gender discrimination, gender dysphoria, medical drama

 

I have spent the last few months in a haze of hurt and rage and mostly hurtful fear.

 

This is not because I asked, again, for my thyroid to be checked (it’s meant to be checked every six weeks, but because I had one test show normal instead of low, there must not be a problem!) and was turned down. This is not because I am repeatedly called by the wrong name and afraid that if I insist on my pronouns and correct, chosen name, I will lose my meds and therefore my lifeline. This isn’t even because every time I go to the doctor now the receptionist starts writing to me and then throws a huffy fit when I type ‘I can hear you’ and refuse to respond unless I am spoken to by someone who faces me when they speak.

 

This is because, in July, the gynaecologist who promised me that I would get my transition surgery this year, flat out asked me if I was trans, and then told me that the pain was psychological so he couldn’t do the surgery. He then gave me tissues and asked if I was crying, because I was in so much pain from sitting in his office on a chair with no padding and a high back and in the middle of a hot flush. Apparently, ‘but menopause is really bad!!! some people can’t get out bed you know!!!’ is a total justification for refusing what I was promised.

Continue reading Let The Dam Walls Break

Cooper Cronk Is Not A Legend

Everyone calling Cooper Cronk a legend for playing with a broken scapula is enshrining this nation’s problem with pain management in crystal and exacerbating the issue.

 

Cronk had access to superior pain management through his team (he had at least 4 painkilling injections throughout the week, most of us are unable to access any).

 

Any suggestion of duty of care to players from the team is being met with bullying and harassment (and remember, workers compensation for sports injuries is the rare exception, as professional sports aren’t covered for precisely this reason) on social media, because playing through the pain is to be praised because of dedication to the team/the sport, yada yada.

 

But the real issue is that while people like Cooper Cronk, Adam Elliott, (etc… etc… etc… and so forth) are publically noted for playing through injuries, people like Bowen Lockwood are left with no financial support and the inability to work after doing so. People like me are further stigmatised for not being able to do things because of chronic pain because ‘famous people (with access to instant, personalised, expensive, dedicated medical care that non-professional-sportspeople cannot hope to have) can do it so why can’t you?’. Every player who doesn’t play through an injury (potentially making it worse or opening themselves to longer-term or more significant consequences) is automatically not-a-legend because of it – even when not playing is better for the team, even when playing should logically be impossible. Every player who retires through injury or through medical advice due to long term consequences or because not being in pain is more important to them than throwing a ball around with mates in a bubble-world, is not tough enough. And that then flows down to us, the people who don’t work because standing is excruciating, who don’t get out of bed because walking is exhausting, who live in the dark because lights hurt, because if Cooper Cronk can play a Grand Final with a broken shoulderblade and painkillers, why can’t we?

 

Because we don’t have access to that kind of medical care (let alone effective or partially-effective medication), because when we ask for it we’re made to wait or told it’s not that bad or we don’t need it or if we just went back to work/ate better/lost weight/gained weight/wished on a star we’d be fine again, because people like Cooper Cronk can do it so everyone can and if they don’t they’re ‘less’.

 

Now, excuse me, I’m an introvert and with all the crap going on that I, as a non-professional non-sportsperson who is ace and non-binary, have to deal with in order to be able to walk from my computer to the kitchen and back, I cannot actually cope with online people, let alone discuss it without ending up in a rage-induced panic attack, so I’m going to go be alone and try not to cry for a while longer, because I have to stockpile spoons just to function.

 

 

PTS*

cn: ptss, chronic pain, gender stuff (inc. references to surgery)

 

I had an appointment with previous-doctor last week. He somehow got hold of my test results, and despite trumpeting himself as a super-duper in-demand expert, said “well you have reasons to feel like crap”, “that doesn’t make sense you’re not fat and you don’t drink”, and walked out. He likes to walk out when he’s done talking and talk over me typing so I don’t get to actually ask questions. So I followed him out, signed the Medicare form, and the receptionist didn’t ask if I needed a new appointment so I didn’t make one.

 

Apart from that, I haven’t left the house in two weeks. I only just, two days ago, convinced myself to do the washing and wash the clothes I wore to the test. I didn’t check my email for over a week and I still have some that I can’t make myself read.

 

This would be a classic PTSS episode, but for one thing. I don’t know if it was the test that triggered it or not.

Continue reading PTS*