I have been pregnant three other times; I have carried a nearly 10lb baby three weeks overdue, I have had a posterior breech labour with a spine sitting hard on my tailbone, I have endured 44 hours of hard labour and over 70 hours awake without food while I did it… and none of that has been as physically or emotionally challenging as the last few weeks of this pregnancy has become. Really and truly. I know I have weeks left to go, but emotionally I am simply done… and I have never felt like that before.
For the first time in my life I’m giving up on my goals of daily exercise (my walks) because the pain is so bad I really don’t think I can handle it anymore. After a particularly horrific stroll to the library with the family, wherein I leaned so heavily on Curtis that his shoulder his still sore two days later, I came to the conclusion that these walks are simply not worth it. We walked at half the speed we usually do, and still the pain was so bad that I was getting tunnel vision and stopping to heave into the bushes every few minutes. It was awful, and humiliating, and absolute agony.
I was determined to make it home and refused Curtis’ offers to go back and get the car for me; I did manage to make it without dying, but collapsed as soon as we arrived and I ended up curled in bed with a hot water bottle drifting in and out of sleep for two hours until I felt well enough to sit up in bed and use my laptop.

I hate sounding like those whiners on the DDCs who bitch and moan about how they’re soooo uncomfortable because of a tight belly or the occasional contraction and how baby just neeeeeeds to come out early to fix it… because really, I hate that kind of whining and strikes me as ridiculously selfish. I also get that this whining is also selfish, but I’m trying to stay balanced by not lending any power to the idea of my baby come earlier than she needs to, simply to relieve pain or discomfort. That’s a step over my personal boundaries and I can’t imagine being okay with that (at least, not in this situation).
For one, if she’s in there today she’s in there for good reason, and secondly any sort of ‘encouragement’ or ‘natural induction’ would put both my body and my baby at increased risk of complications including rupture and breathing difficulties (not to mention a longer, more difficult labour) so a few extra weeks of discomfort, even when it’s really really bad, is simply not worth that shit.

… But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be okay with giving up my dream of having another big fatty if she decided she was ready to come now. I’d be alright with that. Really.

I’m 38.5 weeks pregnant now. Fuzz is sitting between 0 and +1 station and hurting the fuck out of my pelvic girdle. I can feel her head about 2.5 inches up, and sometimes it’s low enough that when I walk around I am distracted by a “full” feeling of her head pushing into my vagina. It’s like wearing 7.5lb Ben Wa balls. This also contributes to some of the pain when walking: every time I take a step I feel a heavy stretching sensation on my cervix, which results in that electroshock thing that you get when you’re dilating. The resulting flinch causes a muscle spasm, which causes a contraction, and the loop goes on…
I lost massive hunks of my mucous plug last week sometime, and continue to have little dribs and drabs. I’m a very, very stretchy 3-4cm dilated but my cervix is still pretty thick and posterior. I know this from my own checking, not from the midwife doing it. She hasn’t offered and I haven’t asked, though she joked that I “shouldn’t” know these things and asks why I even have a midwife if I can do this all by myself (don’t worry, she’s kidding and the jokes are welcome). I generally leave my cervix alone, for obvious reasons, but after a particularly rough day of intense cervical contractions, plug and a bit of bloody show I checked to see if there was significant progress (no thinning, but a little bit of additional dilation… nothing since).
When feeling for the most recent change, I was able to easily touch Fuzz’s head. That never gets old. How awesome is it to touch and interact with your unborn child? Amazing. She has almost no fat on her; no forehead wrinkles that I could feel. I hope she has enough chub by her birthday to skip that whole “ugly newborn” phase, because skinny newbies look weird.

Note for those playing at home: none of this is an indication of impending labour, and is quite normal for end-stage pregnancy, particularly for multiparas.
Also normal: having a high, hard and closed cervix until you go into labour. I’m no closer to birth than a woman at the same stage who is closed tight.

Anyway, back to the nitty gritty details no one but other pregnant women care about.
At my last two appointments main midwife remarked that without the knowledge and experience she has in belly palpation, she would be coming up too small on my measurements due to my uterus going well under my ribcage. In my most recent visit with the backup midwife I had to correct her measurement and show her how to come up with the right one (she got 33, then 35, and finally 39 with the modified method of shoving the tape under my sternum to get around Fuzz’s heel). Both have said they almost never see babies carry that high… especially after dropping and engaging. I’ve never seen me carry a baby this high before. My belly feels smaller in an outward way, but much larger in a tall way, than any other pregnancy. It’s ridiculously uncomfortable, and really weird. I thought your uterine muscles became more slack with time and you were more likely to carry your babies larger with each subsequent pregnancy? This is like going backwards. I’m carrying like a first timer.

Recently she started settling in an anterior position, which means I feel her movements a little bit less than I did before. It’s disconcerting for a baby who often spends 12 hours a day breakdancing to abruptly drop to a few discernible movements per hour. My contractions also started up, and at rest I get a few an hour… but if I try and walk around I get them back to back until I finally give up and sit down again. Attempting to walk around the block, or to the store or whatever, results in unbelievable amounts of contractions. They’re not particularly painful, though often uncomfortable, but with how high my uterus is under my ribcage it does make it extremely difficult to walk through them.

I also managed to snag myself a free birth pool rental after learning that my midwife’s last pool broke just prior to my last appointment. I mean, I don’t need a big fancy-ass birth pool but I sure want one. I thought I’d have to settle for the classic fishy pool again. Midwife seemed briefly concerned that I had too much emotional energy invested in the idea of a waterbirth, and kept trying to reassure me that it didn’t matter where I gave birth. I tried to explain that I’m fully aware that I may not even have a waterbirth, depending on how things go, but that if I can have the super nice pool, I’d like to. I’m not sure that I was all that succinct, though.
Later I talked about this to Curtis, who summed it up perfectly: “Gearing up for the [ La Bassine ] and getting the fishy pool isn’t so much about fucking up your birth as it is trying to buy a Mercedes Benz and having to settle for a used Volvo”.

YES, THAT.

Fortunately, as previously mentioned, I did snag a Bassine. I have wonderful connections in the local birth community and was offered a free rental; she’s dropping it off next week with all the accessories.


I’ve officially given up on having any sense of dignity and just started using a cane wherever I go. It’s much easier, it’s much safer, it’s much more comfortable and I’m slowly adjusting to it. I’ve been told I should be using a cane for years now but my pride has prevented me from indulging in the practice. Admittedly, this is entirely about my vanity: I don’t like being stared at and treated like an invalid, I don’t like experiencing ableism every fucking day, day after day; I selfishly enjoy the passing privilege that comes with barely managing to keep my disability under my hat when I’m out in public. And I can’t do that anymore. Instead of feeling freed by using a mobility aid, I feel defeated. The attention I attract as a young woman (particularly a mother, or a pregnant woman) with a cane is… uncomfortable and excessive.
I find myself people watching for other young women with canes who look confident, sexy and interesting – and have seen one in the last two months. Everyone else was old. I did manage to see three young men with canes, but they managed to look rather dashing and didn’t seem to attract any negative attention. At least, not by comparison to the young woman in her 20’s with the high heels and nice legs who got a mixture of gawks and pitying looks. You lose all your sex appeal as a gimp, unless you’re being fetishized, and instantaneously become on par to a six year old child. You’re coddled, touched, stared at, talked down to and recipient to a constant stream of White Knights waiting to jump in and “help” … who then get mad when you don’t bend down and kiss their feet for all the wonderful things they’ve done for the poor, unfortunate cripple who was clearly unable to manage to live on their own for two goddamn seconds.

FYI: being a “good samaritan” after someone has clearly told you to back off is White Knighting, not you being amazing, and playing the angry cripple card at someone who is “ungrateful” just makes you more of an ableist fuckwad. Intent is not magical, and you still suck as a human being for immediately viewing people with disabilities as incapable or unable without your help and guidance.
IE. When I go out without a cane, I get good samaritans opening the door for me. When done they nod, I nod, and then they walk away. Much like how normal people are occasionally nice to others.
When I go out with a cane, I get people running in to do shit I didn’t ask, didn’t need, and didn’t want because they assume I can’ do it myself – when I ask them politely to stop, or say I don’t need it, I’m ignored. People invade my personal space, touch me, talk down to me and strip me of my independence. And when they’re done they stand there expectantly, beaming, waiting for my praise or the praise from other passers-by. That is no longer being a good samaritan, that is using people with disabilities to feel better about yourself… and accusing me of being ungrateful of their charity only proves my point.

I know I’ll get more used to this as time goes on, but for now it really bothers me. I haven’t adjusted to this, I haven’t lived this all my life, and I’m left feeling self-conscious and vulnerable as I get used to changing from “could hide it” to “really obvious”.
Last Thursday was a particularly perfect afternoon for this variety of fuckwaddery. After I dropped Xan off at preschool I went to visit my favourite bakery for coffee and a snack. I tried, unsuccessfully, to parallel park in front of the building but my hip would spasm every time I tried to do a full shoulder check while reversing and I’d end up having to stop hard when I flinched. Four failed attempts to get into place drew a line of seventeen cars who just waited there for me to finish even though the opposing lane was clear and they could have easily just gone past me. I kept waving them on, and no one listened. I’m convinced this is because they saw the handicapped sticker, because even if one guy would eventually pass the next would start to, only to stop hard as soon as he made eye contact with the hanging placard. Eventually I got so fed up I just sped out of the spot and parked around the corner. I’d have to walk an additional block, but whatever.
I nervously wondered if someone would have seen this, recognize me coming around the corner and would then give me those pathetic looks when I hobbled into the bakery. I took off my sweater and put on some shades in hope it would disguise my appearance enough to fool any of the patrons seated outside who would have witnessed my struggle. I waited an extra five minutes to make sure.
I felt stupid. I know this is stupid. Yet, I couldn’t make myself not care.
I got out of the car and hobbled over to the bakery. As I approached, I realized a mom I sort of knew from the preschool had just walked up. She was chatting enthusiastically with someone else. She isn’t exactly a friend, and hasn’t had any interaction with me in quite a few weeks so she hasn’t seen me since I started using the cane regularly… as I passed her she stopped in mid-sentence and openly stared at me, watching, mouth still partially open. I tried to ignore her. As I entered the building she scoffed and mumbled something about being ignored.
GEE I WONDER WHY I WOULDN’T WANT TO RESPOND TO YOU.
Inside I ordered my food and then sat down at a table and waited for my name to be called. A young man looked me up and down.
“How pregnant are you?”
“38 weeks.”
“Have you, uh, always had the cane?”
Pause. “No”.
“Oh, okay.” He walks away.

Translation: [if you always had the cane] how in the world did you find someone willing to fuck you?

My coffee came. The barista brought it up to my table as a nice gesture, without a pitying look, and moved on immediately without standing around waiting for me to slobber on her in gratitude. I appreciated that.
I was in a lot of pain and needed to take my pills with food, so I took that opportunity to take them out and put them on a napkin while I had a few sips of my coffee. A middle-aged man sitting across from me stared at me. I looked back at him, but said nothing. He made a point of looking at my pills, to my belly, raising his eyebrows, looking back at me expectantly. Back at my belly. Subtle shake of the head. Normally people might glance over and then glance away and go about their business, but not this time, this time I’m a young woman who is visibly, heavily pregnant and therefore it’s everyone’s fucking business what I’m doing “to” my helpless unborn fetus who undoubtably will be born with half a head and macrodactyly as a result of my carelessness.

I kept staring at him, thinking of a million clever responses and mentally practicing them in case he actually opened his damn mouth and said something about it.
“Oh these? I just found these outside and figured I should take them.”
“Well no I don’t *need* them, I just like the way they make me feel.”
“Don’t worry, it isn’t these pills I should worry about… it’s all the heroin.”
“What do you mean ‘pregnant’? These are for my inoperable stomach tumor.”

After another uncomfortable minute of the belly-pill-face staring contest, he looked away with another subtle shake of his head, and went back to his coffee. I got up and left the bakery.

When I got home my mom came down to talk to me about some unrelated issue and I ended up bursting into tears and ranting to her for 15 minutes about how much I hated feeling stripped of my femininity, independence and sexuality by a fucking piece of wood.
She admitted that as an older woman she doesn’t get the same kind of attention, but has noted on numerous occasions the kind of ableism I’m talking about. She also said that even at 65 she has people walk up to her and say things like, “You’re much too young to have a walker”, or, “arthritis only effects old people”. What is the point of shit like that? Really?

Curtis and I talked about it earlier today as we were out walking (successfully – hurrah!) and he noted all the weird attention I was getting from people. He suggested that it might be easier for me if I got a cane with a bit more personality. Currently I’m using a classic wooden hand-me-down from my mom, which also used to be my grandmother’s, so it sort of screams “old lady”. I think he’s right – I hope he’s right – and maybe having one that’s more “me” will reduce some of the pitying bullshit, and help me feel more confident using it.

Once we opened this dialogue, Curtis had a million ideas for what would constitute a better cane.
“What about that one made of bull penis? Oh, or one wrapped in leather! Hot pink? Flames.”
“Car flames!” said Xan.
“Purple is nicer,” added Tempest.
“Oooh, ooh! What about a black one, and then put space invaders stickers on it?”
“Okay, that would be pretty awesome.”
“Or one with interchangeable skins.”
“I don’t know that something like that exists.”
“You could DIY it. Then, you could pick a new internet meme every month to replace it with. Like a picture of Mount Doom with the caption, ‘One does not simply cripple walk into Mordor’.”
“… I love you.”


Quotes of the Day:

I was retelling a story to Curtis about the time I brought my mother to a health food store that had a big display of “Emu oil” in their front window.
“What’s emu oil made of?” my mother had asked me.
Without missing a beat, I replied, “Pressed emus”.
“OH MY GOD, REALLY?”
“Yes, just like baby oil!”
“OH G– oh wait. Fuck you.”
After retelling this to Curtis, he added, “It could be worse: could be emo oil.”
Me: “From pressed Emos?”
Curtis: “Made from the finest Emos.”
Me, imitating, “My life is pain.”
Curtis: “My legs are dangling, can’t you do this any faster? You’re even fucking up my death.
Me: “Can’t we get any better music for this? Why isn’t The Cure playing?”
Curtis: “No no, for when a pneumatic press is slowly crushing you to death, only My Chemical Romance will do”.

Xan has stopped tolerating “boy” underwear, and will now only wear “girl” underwear. He says this is because boy underwear has “a penis hole” (something we always referred to as a “circumvent”). We were buying him the boy underwear for the extra crotch space, as I thought it would be more comfortable and that he may find the girl’s underwear constricting, but apparently not. He started stealing all of Tempest’s pink panties and eventually we had to go to the store and buy several more packs to split between them.
He also stopped liking his more gendered “boy” clothes, and instead steals Tempest’s clothes to wear. The more “girl” gendered, the better. We get a lot of hand-me-downs, and him and Tempest wear the same size top (but not bottoms, much to his disappointment) so he can get away with his cross-dressing without looking like he’s wearing a tent.
Homophobics tend to immediately trot out the, “But he’ll get teased” trope in response to this behavior… but I’m pretty confident he’ll be fine, as he recently attested to in an interaction with another preschool boy.
Other Boy: “Are you wearing girl clothes?”
Xan, grinning: “Isn’t it great?”

Links of the Day:
Foremilk/Hindmilk – A fascinating look at how breastmilk changes during a feed, confirming what many mothers already knew: an ’empty’ breast makes a better, more filling meal. Scheduling feedings is bad, yo.
Our easy home birth – Another fantastic birth video. This is short, sweet, and not done by professionals… BUT it’s one of the clearest and brightest landbirth videos I’ve seen to date. Great shots of baby crowning over an intact perineum, mom relaxing and vocalizing through contractions, and a fantastic support circle of family and attendants. Also, as the head crowns and mom seems uncomfortable, her elder daughter touches her leg and says, “It’s okay mom, it’s almost out” – it brought tears to my eyes! So wonderful. What an amazing family this is. If more births were like this, we wouldn’t have this idea that it’s “too traumatic” for siblings to witness. Watch this and try to say these kids were anything less than fascinated and awestruck!
Scientists cure cancer; no one cares – Money money money moooooooney.
Limewire vs. RIAA case settles; Limewire pays RIAA $105 million… artists allegedly hurt by piracy receive $0 – See above.
Meghan McCain to Glenn Beck, “Don’t call me fat” – A response to Beck’s sexist ranting about how she should wear “a buqua” because her appearance makes him vomit, and it’s “the only thing that will fit her” after seeing her appear in a strapless dress (simulating nudity) for a skin cancer PSA.
Man tracks stolen laptop and has it returned, from 800km away – Twitter and Prey to the rescue!
Cat/man do – Good news: Cats have learned how to use tools! Bad news: these tools are made of humans.

Comments

comments

97 Comments

  • ryissa says:

    So I’m a new, random reader here but I wanted to comment on this post specifically because well, parts of it just called out to me.

    It’s very interesting to me to hear the view of a young woman with a visible pain condition (visible when using a cane of course). I’ve been the unlucky recipient of Neurogenic TOS, and while incredibly painful at times it’s also very much invisible.

    The ignorance and all out rudeness of folks is amazing, as you’re familiar with from what I gathered from one of your entries. I don’t look disabled, therefore I must be undeserving of any sort of help or assistance at all. And I’ve got stories to tell from other people I know with this condition. Oh do I have them! Let’s just say I’m terrified of getting a disabled parking permit even though some days I really need it.

    A friend with muscular dystrophy actually -recommended- I get myself a cane to put a visual on my pain. I hesitate. There’s a whole laundry list of reasons, but especially since using a cane with a disability that effects your arms is pretty ouch. There’s no easy way besides those wrist braces to say “Hey, I might need a little help here.” and even the braces have done squat for me in the past. If I do get a cane? It’ll be the craziest cane ever. It’ll rival House’s flaming one he had one season. Maybe I could paint myself a flaming arm brace?

    I did want to say belated congratulations on your little girl! You’ve actually given me some hope about having children, let alone natural childbirth, as someone with chronic pain. It sure as hell won’t be easy, but again, it’s given me hope that it’s very much doable. I’m leaving your blog tonight a happier woman!

    • admin says:

      It’s true, with a cane you do get a lot more positive attention (ie. help) toward your disability… but I’m not sure I’d be willing to accept the trade-off of all the negative attention. Since giving birth I’ve needed the cane less and less, and I’m hoping that’s the beginning of a trend where I can stave it off for at least a little while longer; I’m pretty happy about it, tbh.

      Also, thank you on the congrats! Giving birth with a disability and/or chronic pain is hard work, but I believe it’s possible to give birth in a way that is comfortable for you (whatever that may be)… sometimes you have to fight for it, though. With all the paperwork and “just in case” shit I had to do over the course of this pregnancy, I’m very grateful I had the midwife I did.

      • ryissa says:

        I’m glad to hear you’re able to use your cane less! I’m also glad I’ve gotten to hear the full story on its use as well. I actually hadn’t fully considered -all- of the attention I would get having something where people could see. There really isn’t an easy way out for people like us at all.

        You’re very welcome! I’m seriously grateful to hear from moms like you. It really helps settle the fears I have about well… everything! I’m definitely prepared to fight for what I feel is right for me when the time comes, but I think the outcome will really be worth it. Out of curiosity, how did you come to choose the midwife you did? I’m still probably a couple years away from children, but I definitely would like to be prepared as I can for when that time comes!

        • admin says:

          I actually met this midwife while doing a NILMDTS job. I was photographing a baby at 20 weeks who had passed, and she was the midwife who had delivered him and asked if she could be present. She helped me out, and as she helped she asked a lot of questions about how I got into the service. I was really impressed by her honesty and her willingness to be curious without acting like I was going to break into pieces at the mere mention of my son’s death. She was also super supportive and interested when I talked about having an unassisted birth. At that point I thought that I’d probably hire her if I was to become pregnant again, because finding a midwife that was capable of being THAT real with me about my unique history was something that was really important to me.

          • ryissa says:

            Unreal. How incredible someone like that would just cross paths with you! I’m happy for you that you were able to find her, or that she found you? Whether it was chance or fate I’m just glad everything was able to work out for you!

            Gah. Hopefully the above made sense in my medicated delerium, but in any case, you’ve got yourself a new ‘follower’ for sure here. πŸ™‚

  • twirlgrrl says:

    The comments on that cure-for-cancer article are really funny. They remind of the old days of lulz.

  • therachel says:

    I just feel the need to tell you that I’m a birthworker and love yer EL jayy so 38+ weeks means I’m checkin’ on you πŸ™‚ Sending posi-birthy-love from Chicago <3

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m also an random reader, but I wanted to chime in on the caffeine discussion. I am a barista (unfortunately), have been for 3 1/2 years. I do NOT automatically decaf pregnant ladies’ drinks. But I do, sometimes, ask if they would like decaf. I started doing this after one too many instances of “oh, shoot, can you make that decaf?” AFTER I made the drink. It’s a preemptive strike because frankly, I’m lazy. If they say no, I’m cool with that. And I have a daughter, I know caffeine isn’t going to make a baby be born with 3 heads or anything.

    I have been known to secretly decaf kids’ drinks because I can’t fathom serving a kid (and I mean like under 12) espresso at 10 p.m. In reflection, though, I should probably just let the parents deal with it. Hmm.

    • admin says:

      Asking if someone wanted decaf is TOTALLY different than sneaking it in. πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you’re reconsidering the caffeine in kids though. While this may not be everyone’s situation, caffeine in children is what led us to getting better care for Tempest. Before finally pushing forward with the observations and such, I read the research on stimulant vs. ADHD and ASD brains and experimented by taking her in the morning to STarbucks and buying her a caffeinated drink. I saw a difference. A small one, but there was one. I continued for two weeks to ensure it was directly related to the drink and not anything else… and at the end of it, decided to go forward.

      I’m actually the same way, I do not react to caffeine as a stimulant: it makes me focus. I’ve never ever felt a buzz or a high from it, and as a small child I realized that if I sneaked coffee from the pot I felt happier and more stable at school… even though the taste was so awful I couldn’t stand drinking it without gagging. When I was 12 or 13 I started drinking coffee “openly” every day, black, and that was why. πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve only ever done it at night. I figure if a parent wants to deal with a jazzed up kid all day long then they can have at it, but I feel sorry for the kid facing the next day after no sleep. It strikes me as irresponsible to buy your kid espresso 15 minutes before closing time. I don’t know, maybe it’s coming from a childhood where we weren’t allowed to have caffeine unless we were sick (then we got regular Coke instead of CF).

        Thank you for the insight, though. I never thought of caffeine as anything other than a stimulant. I was taken off of it for medical reasons before I got pregnant and now I can only tolerate small amounts or I get jittery, dizzy, and I can’t sleep for anything. You have me intrigued, though.

        • admin says:

          Even though I think your heart is in the right place, I’d find it hard to believe that (as a parent) that someone would willingly give their kid something that kept them awake AND HYPERACTIVE all night long on a regular basis… because seriously that would suck. πŸ˜‰ Poor kid nevermind.. poor parent! Haha!

          Anyway, thanks for the conversation – the feeling is mutual. πŸ™‚

  • leahfu says:

    Mayim Bialik(Blossom/Amy Farrah Fowler) just posed an article on home birth and why women shouldn’t fear it. Thought you might like it:

    http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/05/20/6682716-mayim-bialik-why-women-shouldnt-fear-home-birth

  • gardenmama says:

    Thoughts, in no particular order: How can you carry so high and so low at the same time? That has to be extremely uncomfortable! I remember the electric-shock-to-the-cervix/pelvis feeling very well. The only thing that helped was to immediately drop to my knees and howl at the moon do the cat/cow pose until baby stopped trying to drill through my cervix with his hand/head.

    You need a cooler cane and a top hat. Then you can sweep your hat off and bow people through the door in front of you when they rush to open it for you. Practice grand gestures in front of the mirror until you can pull it off with panache. It’s all about confidence! Channel your inner Lady Gaga and just nod and look down your nose at the little people scuttling around your feet to do your bidding. “Yes, it is a shame the a shark bit off half my left foot when I was saving that poor boy from drowning. But it could have been so much worse!”

    Nick doesn’t wear girl clothes, but then he doesn’t have a sister. He is fascinated by makeup and nail polish though. We all had a good laugh last week at swimming lessons when we noticed one dad who had all the toes on just one foot polished bright red. Now there’s a real man/dad!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Babyslime,

    I’m reading your blog for a few months now. And I wish you all the best and all the health with the new baby. You have so much power that I’m sure you will make it just perfect πŸ™‚

    About peoples help – of course there are so many idiots and selfish idiots, but still……I would prefer helping idiot when I don’t need it to uninterested smart-ass ignoring me when I need his help….wouldn’t you?

    I know, at the moment you are overstressed with your own life, but maybe knowing that people still care what is happening around them will help you to find peace ant patience with it? Just in case you really need that help some day from that selfish idiot :))

    Have a nice day and greetings from oversea,
    K.

  • I can’t contribute to the cane discussion in any particularly helpful way as I have no experience with it but what I will say is that if anyone could rock having a cane, I’m sure it would be you.

    I’m sorry people are general douches though.

    Good luck with the tall baby within in these last days/weeks.

  • victorymarch says:

    I love the idea of people trying to promote awareness on this issue, but I hate how sensationalist it is. Not only that, but how wrong some of the facts are. Mitochondria aren’t cells, for one thing. There IS concern about side effects of DCA- it’s not just some drug you can take without consequence. I read an article about this back in 2007 in New Scientist, and it made me furious that because this drug is off patent and cheap to make it wasn’t stirring up any interest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really interested to see what the results of clinical trials were, and I think it’s important to make people aware that there is a really promising new treatment option.

    It’s the wording and inaccuracy of facts that gets to me more than anything. To say scientists have cured cancer isn’t accurate (at this point) and to see something like this circulating and having people say “Cancer is cured, big pharmacy just doesn’t want you to have it” bothers me a lot more than “There’s a really promising cancer treatment, but big pharmacy doesn’t want it explored”.

    I know it’s important to be bold to get people interested, but I also think it’s important to be accurate with facts like this- people will still get excited about The Potential, I think.

    • lilmoe says:

      Yes, mitochondria being described as “cancer fighting cells” really bothered me too. I find a lot of medical related articles meant to have broad appeal tend to screw up the basic science when they explain new research and you are dead on with the sensationalism. I remember the hoopla regarding the “Man Cured of Aids” when in reality they in fact destroyed his immune system while treating his lymphoma (or was it leukemia?) and innoculated him with an entirely new cell line via bone marrow stem cells, a last ditch and horribly risky treatment that will never replace the current treatment for HIV for reasons of safety and quality of life, etc.

      • admin says:

        I remember that… Though personally I was much more taken with that special on TV some time ago about people who were naturally immune to HIV, related distantly to those from a European village that was apparently largely immune to the bubonic plague as well.

        • lilmoe says:

          Ooh, I never heard of that, will have to go google it, very interesting! Genetics are either your best friend or your worst enemy it seems. So unfair, you have these guys who are immune to both HIV and The Plague, and then you have groups like the aboriginals who are prone to alcoholism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression, and about 20 other diseases.

        • victorymarch says:

          I thought that was fascinating too! And how that immunity isn’t found in places that weren’t effected by a certain disease, and so it’s never found in people of African or Asian descent, as it’s a recessive allele.

          In fact, the cell line that they replaced his immune cells with was from a person who was naturally immune to AIDS. The cells lacked a receptor necessary for infection, and as a result the virus can’t get into the new cells host cells. Agh, so cool (At least i think…)

    • admin says:

      ITA with everything you said.

      I’d like to think most people understand this isn’t a “cure” in the traditional sense of the word, but you’re very right in saying how, “promising treatment for some” just won’t grab the attention the way that word will…
      I also took issue with the “totally safe zero side effects” idea. ALL medications and treatments have the potential for side effects.

    • admin says:

      Saw this graphic today, and thought of this thread.

      • victorymarch says:

        Ha, yes! I love that.

        I know what you mean, and I also want to think that people understand it’s not some sort of miracle cure, BUT, I remember reading in the same article I mentioned that people with cancer were going to great lengths to try to get some DCA- faking symptoms, buying it from people with metabolic disorders, and some were stopping chemo and radiation therapy in order to hunt down the drug. As understandable as that is (after all, of course you’d want to try everything, especially if the treatment you’re undergoing is making you feel WORSE), I have to wonder if wording it as “the cure for cancer” has anything to do with that sort of abandoning of treatment in favour of this untested option, or if it is really just people wanting to exhaust any possible avenue.

        Anyway!

  • Hello.

    I’m a random reader and I have a question totally unrelated to this post. I know you are about to give birth pretty soon, so if you don’t feel you have time to answer, that’s ok.

    It’s a camera related question. I have a really old point and shoot (digital), Fuji, but the quality is crap.

    I’m looking for some suggestions for a good easy camera. I’d love one that took great close up shots.

    What sort of things should I be looking for?

    Ideally, I don’t want to spend too much, maybe about $150-$200 (US dollars that is).

    I’m not looking for anything particularly fancy, just something to take good quality pictures when I’m on vacation or something, and would fit in my purse or pocket.

    My current camera is 6 megapixels.

    What are good numbers for megapixels, zoom, etc. I don’t need professional level. Good brands?

    Sorry for barging in on your thread. Thought you might have some good suggestions πŸ™‚

  • knottyrye says:

    omg. that video was so beautiful. i cried… i should be sleeping but i just want to watch homebirths all night long. i can’t wait!!!

  • altarflame says:

    The cripple walk into Mordor thing had me rofl.

    It is obviously not the same thing, but dude, I get so fucking tired of people like that old man in the coffee shop who assume my totally operable tumor-like hernia/diastasis thing here is pregnancy. I get baristas asking if I don’t want decaf; the looks at the liquor store or from waiters if I want an alcoholic drink are INSANE; I’ve had fair workers try to stop me from getting on rollercoasters and other such rides. People were looking at me like some kind of kink-crazed fetishist in the sex store the other night. Grant suggests a lot of different possible funny things for a shirt to say but I think “Fuck Off” might be my personal ideal :p

    • admin says:

      omg, in the last month or so I’ve had baristas try to slip me decaf THREE TIMES. It’s never happened to me before (that I know of), and this was a new chick at my regular place, but I was kind of pissed. The #1 reason I choose to drink coffee in pregnancy is for migraine control (as the caffeine often helps stave one off, or make it less intense when it’s coming on)… so fuck off.

      • fallingwthu says:

        Fucking hear you on that one. I have suffered all my life from migraines and headaches. With all my pregnancies I drank coffee, or tea, (tea was seldom as it made me gag) I would know if someone tried to switch it from caffeinated to decaf. I wasn’t that nice either, and would say “please don’t switch it” but they would try to claim that it was bad for the baby. “what the fuck do you know, it’s my body, and if I want to drink it to keep a migraine from happening then it’s my damn choice” they quickly learned to not switch my drinks. I find it rude and inconsiderate to not fill the customer’s orders. It’s not their choice or their right to think it’s wrong or right. Yeah, I know how that goes.

        • admin says:

          ITA. As a barista, your job is to make and serve coffee, not to secretly “Save the life of unborn babies” via your vast, vast ignorance on the topic of caffeine safety during gestation.

          • As someone outside the situation, it’s the “secretly” part that bothers me about this. If they genuinely believed (right or wrong) that serving you would do your baby harm, they should have the balls to say so. If a bartender is asked to serve a visibly pregnant woman a gin and tonic, do they just serve tonic and hope she doesn’t notice the gin is missing? Of course not.

            • admin says:

              I’ve actually had *less* of a problem being visibly pregnant in a restaurant and ordering a glass of wine, or other drink, than I have being visibly pregnant and ordering a coffee.

              SERIOUSLY.

              • fallingwthu says:

                Yes, this has happened to me as well. I think smoking is far more harmful then drinking a much needed glass of wine.

                But fuck, I don’t tell anyone anything, if I see a stranger do shit to their body, I remind myself, it’s their own fucking life.

        • gen_here says:

          Or I’ve overheard fast food workers in the past say something about giving a fat person diet soda instead of regular because of their size. And I’m thinking, “I hope to God you never do that to someone with PKU, because you could kill them.”

          • admin says:

            No words.

            Except that also? The fatphobia in that is atrocious. I just… but… I mean… argh. Where to even BEGIN!

            • gen_here says:

              Oh, I agree… I was just going at it from the no caffeine because pregnant without thinking of the migraine side.

              I’m fat, my mom was fat (was fat when she died, not that she’s now thin), cousins, aunts, uncle… etc. I’ve seen it all my life and it used to totally piss me off. Now I just know that their reactions aren’t reflective of who I am if I am okay with me. I may not want to be this size, and I’ve been taking steps for years to change it for myself (derailed by a long course in unnecessary steroids, for which the biggest fat-phobe ever doctor said, “Well stop eating so much – just tell yourself you’re not really hungry”). But having people “help me” because I’m obviously too dumb to know I’m fat or have no self-esteem and need a cheerleader to get thin (my midwife) pisses me off to no end. It’s the issue that you can’t hide. You (general) may be able to be a functional alcoholic at work, you may be able to be a racist who can bite your tongue occasionally. But like a cane or a wheelchair, you can’t hide fat – so obviously you need others to help you realize just how much you don’t fit in with everyone else… and they have the perfect solution for you!

              /soapbox

              • admin says:

                I agree with you. Strongly. I have my rageface on.

                And your doctor? What a fucking asshole. Ugh. A friend of mine talked about this with me some years back, saying that whenever she had to go to the hospital for some reason while pregnant they’d immediately take her blood pressure and assume she was diabetic, then act all surprised when she was in better health than most of them. OMG fat and healthy!? THE NERVE!

                • gen_here says:

                  omg – EXACTLY! With my first pregnancy, I edged toward the 300 lb mark… and I had ONE blood pressure reading that was something/90. Most of my readings were like 100/68. And I had an incredible doctor who saw me as an expectant mom… and that was it. Passed the glucose tests both times (glucola once, specific carb breakfast second pregnancy) with flying colors. Love her to this day – was told by my Bradley instructor-turn-friend that I had more natural births with her than the midwives in the hospital.

                  Then this time, I did have BP issues that flirted with 140/90 starting half-way through pregnancy. I was supported at the time with refusing the glucose test (because glucola made me extremely ill and I’m diagnosed as a celiac now, so the breakfast deal was out). Glucose readings were taken by a new doc and the ER when I was there with an intestinal bug – would you know that the fasting fat woman was 89 and 90 each time. When I had a big baby (9# 12oz), my midwife all of a sudden back pedaled to “you must have had a small sugar issue.” Never mind the readings, never mind that I had two other big babies (9# 3oz and 8# 8oz). And I was told that I’ve “just been lucky to have never had high BP before – it was a matter of time.” I came out of birth 20 pounds lighter than pre-pregnancy because I was so sick, and that was greeted with “doesn’t fitting into smaller jeans make you just want to keep going?”

                  Really? Do you say this to your clients that start pregnancy as a size 6? 12? I doubt it. So what makes it okay to say it to me? I mentioned that in my evaluation – where she told me she wanted honest opinions. I told her I’m totally open to discussing my review with her (the weight stuff wasn’t the only issue – I wish it was). Funny… I haven’t heard back from her at all.

                  • admin says:

                    “doesn’t fitting into smaller jeans make you just want to keep going?”

                    No. Words.

                    Holy fuck. If anyone had said that to me during this experience with hyperemesis, I would have fucking killed them.

                    • gen_here says:

                      You know what… thank you. I’ve been so upset about so many things with her labor/birth/postpartum care, I thought maybe I was just overreacting. Maybe I was just projecting stuff on to her. But hearing someone else say that things were bad when I told part of the story – it’s very validating. Thank you.

                    • admin says:

                      No dude, you are NOT wrong. You are NOT projecting. Those feelings are completely valid. Saying that shit to someone, ANYONE, no matter what their size is not cool. That’s judgmental and unfair. Not to mention fatphobic and even unhealthy… those kinds of comments insinuate that someone is ignoring your health and mental ability to cope with difficulties in lieu of pointing out your weight and how much you must want to change it. And honestly, regardless of whether or not you’re trying to lose, or gain, or stay the same… that should not be the priority here unless you’re SEEING A WEIGHT LOSS DOCTOR. So really? Fuck that. You don’t need that shit. That’s not cool.

                      Numbers are numbers and nothing more. BMI is a crock of shit and you can be healthy at a variety of sizes and shapes. Your overall health during this pregnancy is the only part of this that matters, and even if there WAS cause of concern over your weight, the midwife is there to help you control and care for those issues… NOT encourage you to lose weight while gestating.

                    • gen_here says:

                      Just to clarify, the jeans comment was at my 4 week postpartum visit. During pregnancy she was somewhat concerned about the low gain (5 pounds – I’d gain a little, get sick, lose more than I gained, repeat 4-5 times), but it was okay because I started out heavier. I wasn’t concerned because I knew I was eating well (nutritionally) when I could keep food in, but it worries me how those statements would be received by someone who wasn’t mentally good with herself.

                    • admin says:

                      And that’s a valid concern. When I went into this pregnancy with my midwife the first thing I said was that due to a history of ED I did not wish to have to weigh myself at any point during this pregnancy, and would prefer to treat health concerns by health symptoms and not numbers. I was prepared to offer evidence showing that weight gain ON ITS OWN as raw numbers is not correlated to increased risk. Thankfully my midwife was awesome and immediately said, “That’s totally okay!” and has refrained from even mentioning weight except when I bring it up.
                      Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a care provider that is that sensitive to EDs or other weight-related issues, and it’s really offensive that yours made those kinds of comments… and like you said, others may not be as mentally sound with receiving them. They could easily be triggers for those who are recovering from an ED, for instance.

                    • admin says:

                      PS! I just saw this thread and thought you might enjoy it. Lots of very validating things said here in regards to that FUCKED UP thing in Florida about not accepting pregnant women who are over a certain weight.

                      http://sf-drama.livejournal.com/3234753.html

                    • gen_here says:

                      I hadn’t heard about that. I do follow an ER doc’s blog that often posts about medicine in the news, and I know that FL is a hell of a place to be a doctor with lawsuits up the wazoo and very little protection for themselves/high insurance rates.

                      But the assumption that fat women 1) will have more complications and 2) are more likely to sue… insane! It’s all about legalizing prejudices. This time it’s about size. What’s to stop them from saying they won’t treat Catholics because they have too many kids and are more likely to have their uterus explode from overuse… or (insert group often stereotyped) because they’re lazy and poor and won’t exercise and eat healthy food.

                      If I ever do post my birth story publicly, I’ll have to link you. I got crap treatment from the OB on call, too. He complained over and over about how he hurt his back when he was first in to see me (not that he helped me in bed or anything) – and I guess I was supposed to feel sorry for him having to be there to help the dirty homebirther finish off having a baby. Yes, the fat lady hurt your back by just being present.

                    • admin says:

                      I AGREE 100%. This is a slippery slope, and it isn’t one that OBs and care providers should be getting into as it begins to mix prejudice with ethics.

                    • gen_here says:

                      Speaking of that ER doc’s blog, he finally tackled this news story as well. Be warned, he and his other doc and nurse buddies are all for being able to tell fat moms to go elsewhere or lose the weight first, and they don’t see how it’s classist at all, even when it’s pointed out to them. I was going to comment with some of the points made above. Then I decided it just, honestly, wasn’t worth the wasted breath. Their egos and “rights” as medical professionals will explain it all away.

                      http://www.epmonthly.com/whitecoat/2011/05/refusing-to-treat-obese-patients/#comments

                • gen_here says:

                  And this has gone totally OT… sorry!

          • twirlgrrl says:

            People do that to me quite a lot. I hate diet soda but I somehow end up with it suspiciously often. And I get nonfat milk in my lattes a lot too, when I never EVER order it that way.

      • lilmoe says:

        Why oh why is everyone so ignorant about caffeine consumption during pregnancy!? I am getting this too, and I drink frickin TEA! Totally got a sanctimonious lecture from the woman working at Tim Horton’s a week ago (who ultimately refused to serve me anything other than decaf), someone at the local coffee shop asked me 3 times if I was “sure” I “didn’t want the decaf instead”, and the deli across the street tried to substitute my favorite tea flavor with some decaf crap I didn’t want (though they did politely correct the order when I complained).

        Before I was pregnant I thought it was like, common knowledge pregnant people can safely consume caffeine but it’s like, no one working behind a counter selling the stuff actually knows about this. Why!? Ugh, sorry for the rant.

        Regarding the issues you deal with due to your disability, I am glad you write about this stuff because it’s something I would have no personal perspective on having only dealt with temporary injuries and the like. One thing that strikes me is I DO see the behaviors you complain about on a regular basis (the jumping in, not asking permission to touch you, not backing off when you say you are fine) and I end up feeling like a useless dipshit because I have a strong sense of my own personal boundaries and feel very very weird touching another person’s belongings even without their direct instruction. Case in point, the other day a lady with a boot cast dropped her crutch down the stairs she was navigating and rather than pick it up, I’m like, “can I pick that up for you?” Then after helping her I walk home and feel like I ask obvious questions and should get past it and learn to just jump in and help someone. But your writing has given me food for thought, and I appreciate that.

        • admin says:

          You’re very welcome.
          Hell, these last few weeks have been an eye opener for me… as I said previously I’ve enjoyed a passing privilege with my disability as I was able to keep it hidden for a long period of time, and now I cannot, and it’s overwhelming how quickly the world around you responds to that. You’ve immediately been othered, and it’s uncomfortable.

  • bluealoe says:

    I wish I had something inspiring and helpful to say about pregnancy…but instead I’ll just say I hope she decides to come soon. (Also, I had never heard the word “multiparas” before. I learned something new today!)

    This is absolutely not anywhere near the level of ableism and humiliation you’ve experienced, but it’s the closest thing I have to understanding it: My left leg is shorter than my right, and I walk with a slight limp. It’s always been like that, it doesn’t hurt, and I don’t even notice it. But every once in a while, I get strangers coming up to me and asking if I’m okay. I say “I’m fine, I always walk like this,” and usually they back off. But sometimes, they keep pushing…”Are you sure?” “Do you need to take a break?” “Should you sit down?” until I just want to scream “I’M OKAY, DAMMIT! GO AWAY!” It’s frustrating as hell, and I can only imagine how hard it would be to deal with that on a daily basis.

    When I ask them politely to stop, or say I don’t need it, I’m ignored.

    I think that’s the crux of the matter. It’s great that people are concerned and willing to help; NOT okay when you ignore your voice and treat you as an object to be taken care of, not as an independent person who is quite capable of making her own decisions.

    When I see someone with a cane or in a wheelchair, or even carrying a child or a large bag of groceries, I’ll pause, open a door for them, smile, and go on my way. (Pretty much what I would do for anyone, really.) I might glance back to check if they’re okay, but that’s it. I would never expect that person to praise me and gush over me and tell me I’m amazing for helping the “poor crippled person”. You should do helpful things because it’s the right thing to do, not because you want to be told how awesome you are. *shakes head* I just don’t get it. (But good for the barista for doing something nice without pitying you. We need more people like that.)

    I love your hypothetical responses to the belly-pill-stare-off. I wonder what he thought he was trying to accomplish? Does he really think that staring at you will convince you not to take your medication? “Gee, some guy thinks I shouldn’t take these pills. I guess I should just throw them away!”

    She also said that even at 65 she has people walk up to her and say things like, “You’re much too young to have a walker”, or, “arthritis only effects old people”

    Well, gee, I didn’t realize that! I was just using a walker because it makes me look cool!
    And arthritis only affects old people? What the hell??

    I love love love Curtis’s idea of a meme-cane. He is so awesome.

    Also loving Xan’s self-confidence. I hope he always keeps that.

    The homebirth video was fascinating. It was really interesting to watch a homebirth that wasn’t a waterbirth. I mean, I love waterbirths, but seeing different ways of having a peaceful and beautiful birth at home is great.

    And Meghan McCain handled Glenn Beck perfectly. I love her response.

    *hugs*

    • admin says:

      Don’t compare, dude! In fact I was kind of hoping you’d chime in on the topic because I figured you may have had similar experiences. I know that just the times you’ve visited here, people would do shit like wait to ask uncomfortable questions TO ME until you were out of earshot and I’m like, “seriously?”. I mean how hard is it to just ask a goddamn polite question if you’re that curious. I can’t speak for you, obviously, but for me while it may be still kind of obnoxious to field personal questions, it’d certainly be a lot easier to deal with if people were straight about it in my situation.
      Something else that occurs to me: you grew up and lived most of your life in a pretty small town, right? I wonder if shit like that might tend to blend into the background once people know you a lot more? And like you said, they’d just start forgetting about it. Like if I was still on SSI I know I wouldn’t get it as nearly as much as I do here where everyone is a stranger. Plus, I wouldn’t *mind* it as much on SSI because I know those people and I know they’re capable of being polite about it.

      • bluealoe says:

        people would do shit like wait to ask uncomfortable questions TO ME until you were out of earshot

        People seriously did that?! Wow, I’m glad I tend to be oblivious to those things. I mean, I appreciate that they didn’t want to offend me, but asking my *friends* about it? If you have a question, just ask me.

        I do think that it occurs more with people you don’t know. I mean, the people I see on a regular basis know about my limp, so they don’t make a big deal about it. But when I’m around strangers, I get more stares and comments. At least in Japan it isn’t as much of an issue; people stare at me because of my skin color, not my leg. πŸ˜›

        • admin says:

          Double the fun: gaijin and a NAB (non able-bodied)!

          • bluealoe says:

            I’m used to it by now, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I don’t mind it when kids stare. They’re kids, they’ve probably never seen a foreigner before, it’s what kids do. But the adults that openly start at me…learn some manners! Japan has a reputation for being a very polite society, but apparently that doesn’t extend to staring.

            The worst, though, is when people stare at you and then do shit like look away when you turn to face them. If you’re going to stare, at least have the courage to do it openly. Don’t fucking pretend like you’re not doing it.

  • Thinking of your current level of pain (after seeing a glimpse of it reflected in your face) makes me cringe. I sure hope that it eases up for you significantly once this wee girl is born!

    I wonder if you will get accustomed to using the cane and will learn to disregard the negative inflections from strangers… I mentioned that my dad has not coped very well with the disease himself– but then I got distracted and didn’t expand (leaving you with my mother– opps). My dad HATES the public scrutiny and pitying looks and attitudes he receives while out, so he’s basically hidden himself away from the world since his mid-20’s. TV and alcohol have been his only companions, as he’s let relationships go and has pushed most others away. He has lived only a tiny portion of what would have been his life potential. He solidly refuses to use a cane or any other aid that would call more attention to his disability. His stubborn pride has seemed to cost him a fortune in a life not really lived…

  • Anonymous says:

    Like someone else above, I, too, thought of the European-style “slip” as a possible underwear alternative that is cut very much like girls’ underwear with just a little extra room in the front – they also tend to be brighter colors and less traditionally “boy” than what is found in Canada/US (in fact, my youngest, Sophie, will often happily wear Simon’s cast-offs without even realizing they are boys’ underwear – can’t see passing off a pair of his American briefs quite so easily!!) I’d be happy to send a couple packs if you think it’s something he’d like to try. Pretty sure I could even find pink or purple, or just plain white that you could dye for him, if he really wants the look of girls’ underwear and just needs the extra space πŸ™‚

    • mamiecaisse says:

      Ugh – could have sworn I was logged in – didn’t mean to post anonymously (offering to send you stuff no less!) Sorry ’bout that.

      • admin says:

        LOL, don’t worry about it. By default anons are screened as I have about a dozen readers who do not have accounts and regularly note me – but I also get a LOT of spambots because my journal gets between 60 and 90k hits a month – so as long as the comment is safe I let it through. πŸ™‚

  • I hope you get less obnoxious behavior with a personalized cane. When I finally upgraded from a walker to a cane in high school, I found that using a tall wooden walking stick garnered less attention than a grandma cane. Mine was a bit wizard-ish but it was all the better to menace at stupid ass jocks who were rude no matter what.

    • gardenmama says:

      My dad made himself a kick-ass walking stick with an interchangable top that he uses at Renn Faires, but has also used when he’s f-ed up his back. He always gets lots of attention for it, but it seems like positive attention rather than the negative kind. Not sure if the same would be true for a young woman using that type of thing though πŸ™

  • uneko says:

    You seem to be doing pretty good with the customized cane things, but have an extra link: http://djmaccanes.com/index.html though they seem to have more dollar signs attached. But, hey, google spat it out at me.

  • thehobbit says:

    Being a newb to the emu oil concept my brain boggles that a store sells it since I have only known of its existence through the internets.

    I think when Xan becomes a teenager he will become my teen heart throb. I love that kid. I hope to God my sons are a tenth of how cool he is.

  • That cat video was fucked up. And will be going on my facebook, probably, lol.

  • ajlinda says:

    when you mentioned the cancer article, I thought it was going to be what I just read the other day. Apricot seeds cure cancer.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/027088_cancer_laetrile_health.html

  • Glenn Beck! From my town! It’s true! He got the key to the city last year. It was a proud moment, I’m sure.

  • allyphoe says:

    I’ve got a client with an emu farm – the oil actually is made of pressed emus!

  • danica says:

    I had to return to walking with a cane again these past few months, I gave birth to my son in January, shortly after, my daughter fractured her foot (she’s 2) so I had to carry them both around, I’ve got scoliosis, so this caused some discs to herniate significantly and effed up my back so badly that my husband had to buy me a wonderful female urinal (romance).

    I couldn’t walk, pee, shit or sneeze, all I could do was lie on my side, when I would walk, I would get crippling muscle spasms that would make me bubble snot and scream in utter agony and nothing helped, not that I could take anything anyways, because I am nursing my son and I have 2 kids under my care.

    I had to walk with a cane when I was younger because of a similar instance ,but back then I think I had more finesse and style, and didn’t have “haggard mother” tattooed on my forehead.

    I get the gimp thing, Since I was 3 I’ve been having had these sort of muscle spasms, I only know 13 years without them following surgery to temporarily correct 8 herniations and nerve damage, and I gotta say, I like the days spent without them. Not only were they embarrassing, they were really painful.

    I had surgery under 2 weeks ago to fix the herniation and a spinal fluid leak I’d had for some many of years, and to clean up a ton of scar tissue brought on by a botched back surgery 13 years ago.
    2 hours out of surgery this time around, i walked without a freaking cane and peed in the TOILET, it’s been gravy since.

    This recent birth, compounded with the depleted muscles that I have from having 0 activity other than ambulance rides over the past 8-9 weeks, having to shit on the floor, having to piss in a urinal, having to have someone else come take care of me, and my kids, while I lay on the couch nursing my son like I was a hog, ripped what little self esteem I may have once had away, and I’m hoping it’s not permanent.

    This is my cane, it’s the geriatric special. It’s not the old ‘cool’ collapsing cane that I had in my youth, it was black,ergonomic and had a sweet nashville pussy sticker across the front, it was beat up and ‘cool’ like an old skateboard, no, that one got stolen when I lived in Whistler, I get this silver one that every 80+ white hair gets issued when their hips give out,

    It’s now under the couch, it isn’t missed and it better not be making a re-appearance.

    I hope you don’t have to use yours for long, it’s not often I would see another pregnant crippled person either, my heart hurts for you and I hope your little wrinkly Daughter makes an appearance soon so you can get back to that awesome life of nursing, goobering over how cute she is and taking eleventy billion pictures.

    • admin says:

      Mine is exactly like yours, but wooden. Super grandma cane.

      Thank you for sharing your story. What you went through sounds horrific. Jesus. Also, WHO STEALS A CANE?! I mean really! I would’ve been so, so upset. πŸ™

      While the pregnancy has increased my day to day need for a cane, I’ve been on the, “should be using it” list for some time now and getting the hairy eyeball from my pain doctors when I avoid the question. Given that my AS has worsened considerably in the last few years I’ll need to start carrying one with me on a regular basis.
      After I recover from birth I’m *hoping* I don’t need it 100% of the time like I do now, but I do know it’s helping and makes a difference in how far/well I can walk… I just sort of wish it didn’t. :-/

      • danica says:

        I’ve been waiting to distance myself from the reality of having to hit all sorts of lows, before I officially ‘write up’ a lj entry, the more I mention it, the more I can have fun with it, now, if I have a bad day, I find myself saying, “well, at least I didn’t have to shit on the floor today”

        Frick, well I WAS initally like who the fuck stole my cane?! (insert drunken anger here) but I was also happy that I forced myself to walk without it and eventually after surgery, loonnnng after surgery, I found myself needing it less.

        I found using it this time around fucked me up worse, my scoliosis was made way worse because I was bearing a lot of weight on the bloody thing because of how weak my leg was, then my shoulders would slant, and my hips were just, mangled. Have you seen the collapsable ones? They fit into my purse (or diaper bag) for those days that I feel like I can be knocked over with a breath. I GUESS I’m only 11 days post op but still, it’s a nice security blanket if I’m feeling like I’ve done too much.

        • admin says:

          A collapsible one is what I ordered off Amazon! It’s on it’s way now. It works because some days I do a lot better, but it can hit me very abruptly and it’s better to have something with me all the time…

  • mussare says:

    I had a nice long comment about ableism and being a (relatively) young woman with a mobility aid but apparently LJ is not in favour of my posting it. Or possibly it will show up twice the comments.

    The useful bit was that my current cane is bright blue and came from London Drugs. It was about $30. It’s also covered in Dangerous Goods warning labels from work (let me know if you’d like any… the 1.1A [possible mass explosion] explosive hazard one is particularly satisfying for people who stare too much).

    • admin says:

      Thank you. πŸ˜€

      Also, I’m sad I didn’t get to see your original comment. πŸ™

      I’ve been thinking about the bumper sticker idea. I’m thinking I may actually try Curtis’ idea of some sort of cane I can change around. Tina said she saw someone with some sort of hollow cane that you could stick stuff inside, I wonder if that would work for the meme skin idea? Because truly, that’s an awesome idea…

    • admin says:

      found one!

      Although it has the hard, curved handle… which tends to hurt my hand.

      ETA: Found another one with a better handle.

      • mussare says:

        Ooh, cute! Put something legible inside… when I had to wear an eye patch and got sick of the staring, I wrote “my other eye still works” on it. The best is when people stop to tell you that that’s rude, but they only know because they were staring long enough to notice the writing AND read it…

        How did I not know about this site before? Regardless of handle, I find that installing a bit of that drawer liner stuff on the gripping surface definitely helps… though my current one has a built in cushion sort of thing, which is great.

        You know that military antiques store/weird crap repository on Government? I got a rapier cane there a couple of years back, but usually have to leave it at home as the temptation to actually use it is far too great. I mean, my gait ataxia is so bad that I wouldn’t have a hope in hell of actually hitting the mark, but still… I guess I could carry one of these for balance. “Hang on, this will only hurt for a second!”

        Flask canes? Yum! Is it wrong that I’m seriously thinking of buying this one?

        • admin says:

          LOL@the eyepatch. That’s awesome.

          The drawer liner stuff, you mean that rubbery grid stuff? I haven’t spent enough time with that to know whether or not it’s latex free… that’s my only concern.

          A rapier cane, or sword cane, was one of Curtis’ suggestions too. πŸ˜‰

          And holy shit that chameleon one is FUCKING BADASS!

          • mussare says:

            Well, you know, jeez. I know it’s a feeling you’re familiar with, but I still don’t understand what happens in the mind of an AB that automatically assumes that because someone is in some way impaired that they are automatically in fact retarded as well.
            Not that I’m neurotypical or anything, so it takes rather a lot to ruffle my social feathers… but it is vastly irritating. Especially that “public property” feeling you mentioned. Those kinds of things are the reason that I had my “this is what a high functioning autistic looks like” made up (ok, also the fact that people when they do find out, immediately tell me that there can’t be anything “really” wrong with me, as I am gainfully employed).

            I have a latex allergy too, and it seems to be ok. Though i hate to say it, I got it in a roll from the dollar store. The LD ones do make me itchy.

            … my chameleon cane brings all the ABs to the yard, and they’re like “damn, that’s too nice to be *yours*” … [I would love to write an intelligent post about this one day, this insidious idea that if one is not fully “able” one is not deserving of anything but pity, much less any comfort or joy in life. Unfortunately the times I think about it are usually the times I’m frothing with rage, and this does not for clever repartee make].

            • admin says:

              Yes and yes, to everything you said.

              The family therapist who sees Tempest CONSTANTLY makes comments about HFA to me, because it’s in my records… all this, “Are you sure?”, “But you don’t seem…” and so on. It’s worth mentioning that she exclusively works with children.
              She’s great and all, but damn that gets old.

              • mussare says:

                No kidding! The “Oh, I guess you’ve outgrown it!” comments are always nice too. I like to prod people into completing the sentence.

                “I don’t seem what?”

                “… well I didn’t mean…”

                “Yeees?”

                “Well, you don’t seem sufficiently … impaired/insert word of choice … to me.”

                At least then they’re usually embarrassed enough to sort of compensate for the frustration you’re feeling.

                Speaking of frothing with rage, the comments on this article are certainly good for that. “If you can’t afford to adopt, then don’t” … Nevermind all the accompanying asshattery that is usually goes with that and similar points of view, how about when the Crown doesn’t tell you that the three siblings you’re helping to keep together in adopting all at once all have FAS?

      • girlx512 says:

        I had a client who used one like the second and would tie it with various silk flowers, wrapping paper ribbons, and Beanie Babies. She also dyed her grey hair purple and was a general riot to be around.

        And instead of making a separate comment, I will say that the birth video made me all anxious; I was so DON’T TOUCH ME RARRRR during my daughter’s birth, all of those hands-hands-hands-all-over were freaking me out here. Though it was certainly beautiful regardless πŸ™‚

  • tau says:

    OMG, Xan and his Puck-ish antics are always cracking me up. I swear, he is going to light the world on fire as he gets older. I’d bet my hat on it.

    My 15 year old is a ballet dancer and has been since he was 5. There was some teasing when he entered middle school, but it didn’t take long for him to dispose of it and its never been an issue for him since.

    If we had let fear of other peoples opinions constrain his love of dance – he wouldnt be pursuing a career now. Glad to say hes on scholarship with a well recognized ballet program 10 hours away from where we live.

    I think watching our kids grow into who they are meant to be is the MOST exciting part of being a parent. Its almost as much fun watching your kids develop as it has been with my own. πŸ™‚ Children whos inner selves are nurtured do some of the most wonderful and interesting things with their lives.

    I surely hope you’re still blogging when they are 15 and up. πŸ™‚

    • admin says:

      Your 15 year old is awesome. Good for him for nurturing that confidence. πŸ™‚

      I hope I’m still blogging then, too. I’ve been blogging now since ’99, so another 10 years shouldn’t be too hard, right? πŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply