Saturday, July 24, 2021

Moving On (and other things spoken)

Friday’s dog walk was lovely. Every walk with my three lady friends is wonderful. I am so, so lucky to have made their acquaintance.

Sheba took her sock off and ate her foot raw again. I made a new sock for her foot and worry that this may be something I have to do forever. I wish I knew why she hurts herself so much that she can’t walk. I mean, I feed her well, walk her often and we are always together. It’s such a mystery. I may visit the vet.

Things that people say to me: “Get over it. Move on.” “Get more counselling.”  “Calm down. Take a deep breath.” It’s said in kindness; it’s said to provide aid.

The doctor asked me: “Do you make these seizures happen? Can you show me one?”

If you can’t get over it, are you weak? A failure?

 So, I go to counseling. I feel a perfect fit with my therapist. I go for five years with three “tome outs” when I didn’t see her. 

She listens and diagnoses me, first, with PTSD, and later adds Functional Neurological Disorder. (FND). I get hooked up with stuttering support groups, and my therapist links me websites on FND and psychogenic seizures. My therapist, the groups and the websites are all about living with the conditions. None of them are about getting better.

I live in a world of stimulants—triggers. No one—not me, not Dr. Shoja, not the people in the stuttering groups, nor in the FND community—talk about losing symptoms. It’s all about management.

Dr. Shoja provided supporting to me through a very difficult time. I like to think I that I transitioned in her care. I like saying “transitioned” because, right now, people are sympathising that process—mine, however, was not in gender. 

So don’t tell me to get a grip or move on. And don’t suggest counselling. I did that; I traded “sharing” for absolution and acceptance through understanding. Saint Shoja! 

Don’t’ tell me to take a deep breath. What you’re seeing is a seizure. I’m not in control; I can’t breathe slowly. I would if I could. When you tell me to breathe slowly, you make me feel worse. You are presuming that I’m capable of control. You want me to change my behavior and that makes me feel worse. 

I've moved on. But ' moving on" doesn't mean my symptoms disappear. Moving on means I feel much, much better at living with them. Stop wanting me to get better, for my symptoms to go away or lessen. Accept me as I am.

I wondered if I would die on that Code Blue morning. I spent nine days starting sentences with, “what if….” Being alive trumps all. Even life with my symptoms. My preferred noun is “normal,” as in, “No advice on symptom management required.”

The doctors fixed my body but bruised my soul. Their questions and assumptions fueled this rant. My quiet scream. 

I came to Gabe as part of my symptom management plan. It would be fair to say that I’m hiding, and I found an excellent place to hide wide open. The reaction of this community to my recent plight made me feel proud to be here. I feel more “of here.” 

My experience with the doctors is that it has made a person already afraid of “out there,” more afraid of it. That’s just how it is. Move on… but stay happy.

Three fucking heart attacks. Makes me think. Moving on, keeping a madman’s diary. 

This morning, I’m going to walk with Stacy. She’s a great woman and a physician specializing in reproductive medicine. She always has very interesting things to talk about. I’ll read and putter the rest of the day. Next week is busy, so chillin’s in my bones.

Now that it’s mid-Summer, everything vulnerable to drought is dead. Our once uber green and lush trails are now golden and parched. Here are some shots of my walk yesterday afternoon with Her Highness:

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