improperlyhuman: Burgendy text on black background: "Promoting Commodified Sex Positive Is Not Sex Positive" (pic#8372521)
At least, I think I do. The core issue seems to be discomfort with the female gender role. I know all about that. Whether the coping tactic is gender non-conformity/radical feminism or queer theory/tumblr identities/trans trending, the core issue is the same (in some cases at least). And I'm looking at these womyn and I'm seeing that many of them are so young. And I'm looking on Youtube and I'm seeing grown ass adults calling Milo whatshername misogynistic slurs and I'm a little afraid for these youngsters.

So I'm not gonna make fun of the queer young females any more. Not that I ever really did hardcore. I just made...I guess mildly derisive remarks. Like I guess "tumblr identities" falls into the derisive remarks category, doesn't it? And I'm probably gonna change that "queer nonsense" tag to something more palatable; to what, I don't know. Not that I believe many people will ever see it; I just like to be consistent.

Anyways, I'm over it. I own my frustration and repulsion with the misogynistic and unrealistic ideology behind some of it. That's all me; that's not them.

Goddamned therapist cancelled on me at the last minute and had the appointment time wrong! The appointment was supposed to be today; I clearly asked her to change the time to Wednesdays last week. She called me yesterday, Tuesday, saying that she wouldn't be available for our Tuesday appointment.

She did seem disorganized the first two sessions, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. And what choice do I have? No other therapist in town.

I was disappointed. I have to say things like this to myself because I guess I tend to be only vaguely aware of my emotions. Well, that's not so true in the past 5–10 years, but that's because they started to take over. That's why I was so uncontrollably angry for so long: I had no idea how to discharge the anger. I still don't! I heard tell that people should talk to other people about their emotions, but I sort of rejected that as not applicable to me because talking to people about my emotions has never felt good. But maybe it works some magic other than making one feel good...The magic called resolution. Ooooooh. I dunno.

lol I was just about to tag this post "queer nonsense." fail.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
Two important things happened today.

I went to a local blood drive. They would not take my blood because I have sickle cell trait. I think that's a new rule. They also seemed to have some new (and quite thorough) medical screening procedures. I've never been weighed before giving blood. 129.6 lbs. Even though my clothing and the food in my gut contributed to that number, I'm thinking that my thrift store analog scale (which has given me 120 lbs. naked and dehydrated first thing in the A.M.) is off a bit.

This is the same company that wouldn't take my blood when I was homeless. The rep told me that sickle cell trait blood sometimes clogs their filters! Wow. She said I could only give platelets and something else. I felt embarrassed for some reason and left. I did get a free T-shirt though.

Today I also finally returned the call I got from my mental health insurance company a week ago. After a bit of confused discussion, I got a phone number for the same shrink I'd tried and failed to contact before. Well, this number worked. I'm a little embarrassed that I have a therapy appointment next week. I hope that all I've learned about psychology will help me to make good use of this opportunity.

I'm trying to stop using the computer so much. This is difficult because I struggle to concentrate on anything else.

My focus on eating legumes for protein has left me not eating enough carbs. I was dying for carbs so bad, I had pretzels for supper.

I know I'll probably need some more carbs when I eat later. Millet and oat bran are the only traditional carbs I have in the house. I feel that I might get nauseous if I try to eat anymore damned millet, and the oat bran is reserved for breakfast. The grocery store has been closing early lately. My only other choices are snacks at the gas station and the single fast food restaurant in town. I don't really have the energy to go since I couldn't sleep last night, but maybe I'll go after I finish this blog post.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
Today I finally saw someone about my fatigue and joint pain (the latter of which is almost entirely gone). I was seen in another branch of the same clinic back when I was homeless, roundabouts 2014, so they have some of my medical history.

At the end of my visit, I received a copy of the summary of today's visit, which also listed issues from my medical history (why, I don't know). The summary says that I have a "history" of Asperger's Syndrome and Autism.

It gets better. Also listed was a history of Vitamin D deficiency, headaches, and chronic fatigue (those at least are accurate). Next to this list of conditions was a column entitled "Chronic," where every single condition was marked "N" (presumably meaning "no"). Autism not a chronic condition! Ok. Not even the "chronic fatigue" is chronic, apparently. The "Onset Date" for every single condition was today. LOL.

This is the clinic that referred me to the autism specialist in Sacramento (who refused to assess me after seeing my test results from the Berkeley school, about which I regret telling them). Someone probably got my Asperger's referral mixed up with an Asperger's diagnosis. Why autism is listed as a separate condition, I've no idea.

My doctor (who is actually probably some sort of nurse) just went through a questionnaire with me and sent me for a bunch of blood and urine tests: thyroid, diabetes, Vitamin D deficiency, and a bunch of others that I don't recognize. Rheumatoid something-or-other and a full urinalysis. I got all those done today. I didn't really need to go, so I'm worried that I didn't provide enough urine. I go back for my results in about three weeks.

I'm going to try to find funds so that I can afford the taxi service available to me through paratransit. People talking non-stop on the little shuttle today, both out of town and on the way back! I saw myself stabbing one of them. Then I started having tremors again. Tremors, whatever! I don't know what to call it.

And dammit! I had them right there in front of the doctor. And she did jack shit! Just asked me if I took medication for it.

My head shook so violently that it suddenly made my headache worse. I grabbed my head and said "ow," and so she asked me if I was ok, to which I replied, "not really." I told her that I was having tremors, and she asked me if that was the "sensation" I was experiencing. The hell?! I told her that it wasn't a sensation, it was actual goddamned movement of my head! My head was shaking back and forth! I was sitting there like three feet away from her while she was looking dead at me! Could she not see it?!

The neurologist had told me to go to the emergency room if these tremors happened again. But I didn't know how long I'd be in the emergency room, and I didn't want to miss the bus back home. And I wanted to get those tests taken care of so that I wouldn't have to drop another six dollars to get back into town just to have blood drawn. So I biked across town to the lab instead of going to the hospital (of course the clinic's in-house lab closed super early).

The Undead

Aug. 18th, 2016 08:40 pm
improperlyhuman: this icon is a picture of crowd of people with text "please stop breeding" (breeding)
After another tiring trip cross-town on an unfamiliar transit system, I saw the dermatologist this afternoon. I don't really understand what the hell went down during that appointment. The doctor said that my skin patches seem to be located around hair follicles. Maybe I'm just used to having bad eyesight, but I don't see how he could see that from as far away as he was. Hair follicles on my upper back?

He hypothesized that the problem was blocked hair follicles filling up with gunk and causing trauma to the surrounding skin as they tried to rid themselves of bacteria. You know what that sounds like? That sounds like acne. And he prescribed two different acne medications for me to try.

My problem isn't acne. There are no bumps, no pimples, no pores filled with gunk. There are just dry patches of scab-like skin that appear out of nowhere. I asked him how inflamed hair follicles could cause dry skin, and he said that it was probably the dry skin causing the inflamed hair follicles. Or something. I can't really recall, and listening and absorbing the information was not easy. I had to ask him to close the door because morons were talking right outside of his office.

Same old story. I couldn't think straight and forgot to ask if there were any natural remedies. I did, however, ask if the problem was perhaps caused by anything I was doing or anything in my environment. He said no, so that probably means he didn't have a natural remedy to offer. Doctors hardly ever do.

So I just nodded and went along with the plan. I ended up waiting for maybe an hour longer than necessary because I refused to wait in the pharmacy's check-in line behind other people. I watched Olympic diving and then went back when there was no one in line.

I got benzyl peroxide and a shampoo made of salicylic acid and sulfur. The check-in pharmacist advised me that benzoyl peroxide "dries out the skin." Not as a side effect, like that's what it's meant to do. Great. I complain about dry skin and get something to dry out my skin.

My other option (I needn't and probably shouldn't use both) is this shampoo that the doctor said is suitable for use on the body. The bottle indicates that it's dandruff shampoo. Wut. According to the description, however, it seems like it may do something for me: it gets rid of built up dead skin.

On the other hand, if my scaly patches are so easy to get rid of, why can't I just scratch them off? They bleed, leave scars, or both when I try that. They're undead skin; scaly and peeling like dead skin, yet still so connected to me that my body complains and punishes me if I try to force them away.

I am of course terribly leery of using this stuff. The doctor decided to not schedule a follow-up appointment because of the amount of time the medication may take to work (or not). I'm not gonna use this stuff long-term. If I use it at all, I would expect that my skin will get drier and I'll just stop.

My new phone arrived today. It's an Android. Knowing next to nothing about smart phones, I was unaware that Android is a Google invention. The phone is basically stocked with Google spyware. Merely using the phone requires me to accept Google's downloads and installations (there was no choice to opt-out, just a statement and a Next button).

I most certainly will not be using this phone for anything as long as Android OS is installed. I looked into open source mobile OS' and found two options, but neither supports my phone. The phone is a Coolpad, a brand/company I'd never even heard of before. Searches about replacing the OS turned up information about backdoor access that the manufacturer deliberately packaged with the OS. Lovely.

So I'll be sticking with my cheap, call-dropping, non–smart-phone and awaiting the day on which I can permanently chuck cell phones for a landline. I see something sinister in the deliberate distribution of spyware and cracking vulnerabilities with government-supplied cell phones. Hell, government-supplied cell phones are sinister in and of themselves because of the tracking possibilities.

I can tell when I'm on the right track with my thoughts and personal goals because my sex drive increases and I have a specific sort of pleasant thought that is almost impossible to have otherwise. But wanting sex and not getting is kind of a pain, so being on the right track isn't all unicorns and rainbows. Maybe the end of the track, the destination, is the part that's all unicorns and rainbows.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
The hunger. It's back. Definitely going back to 3x3.

The one shrink that provides telehealth has no openings for the forseeable future.

Someone from the VA called to schedule my "comprehensive evaluation," and I declined. Can't trust them. I just now had second thoughts. Maybe "comprehensive evaluation" is not what I imagine it to be, I thought to myself. Maybe it's just a bunch of questionnaires. But the first person I spoke to did say something about getting my complete history. Which is ripe for the wrong impression and the first step on the road to misdiagnosis.

The phone conversation was mildly awkward. I spoke over her several times. I hate that. I worry about people becoming irritated with it. I wanted to punch the wall after we hung up. Actually, I don't "hang up" anymore. I just press a button on my cellphone to end the connection.

So now what. I found a very comprehensive self-therapy website this afternoon, After taking some of the tests, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the results correctly and rather precisely indicated that I have anger problems (although that's not terribly difficult to determine), a sense of having been victimized, and a sense of not being seen for who I am. A lot of the symptoms didn't apply to me, so no bullseye, but good enough for a website.

What I did not like is that the whole concept seems to be predicated on the assumption that all of the included psychological issues are caused my unresolved childhood trauma. Um. Seriously? Maybe the doctor who created it just decided to leave out the issues that are not caused by childhood trauma.

I round of atris since I've started this post. Whenever I stop to think, I start up atris. Like I don't want to be with my thoughts. I don't know why; thinking about what I'm going to type next isn't (consciously) threatening; in fact, it's usually enjoyable.

I finally dragged myself out and took ole' Frederick III to the park late this morning. I sounded pretty good for someone who hasn't played in months. Got in my sunbathing simultaneously.

Fighting the urge to atris. Maybe it's just becoming a very strong habit, almost a reflex.

No night sweats these last couple of nights! I guess the doctor was right. I gave him a hard time for nothing. No, I didn't give him a hard time. I was just doing my due diligence as an informed patient.

I'm often worried about people being irritated with me for going into too much detail, being too specific, asking too many questions, making things "too complicated," and what they may see as belaboring points (which, to me, is typically just striving for clarity). This is apparently normal behavior for gifted individuals, but it's just a pain in the ass to some people. This is an example of the reason why I want a therapist who specializes, or is at least experienced with, gifted adults: what is normal for us is (or is seen as) pathological.

I feel empty and hopeless now that this therapist has told me that she doesn't have any openings. I will have to call my insurance company again and try to get another referral. I'm tired, literally physically tired, of being on the phone, I'm tired of being the special case that has to fight for insurance information, I'm tired of being alive. I don't like waking up in the morning because it feels better to be unconscious. That's what I'm really tired of: not being alive, but being conscious.

My new monitor cable will be here tomorrow, then I'll have this new computer to distract me for a while. This is what I do to avoid sinking into depressed inactivity now: move from one distraction to another. Treatment, but not a cure. The distractions interrupt my work.

And I want to go back to living outdoors. I know that would help me to feel better. I was thinking about a vacation up to womyn's land, but now that I can barely force myself to work, I'm not making the money I was making.

So I found a book that catalogues early science fiction, and it is exactly what I need! I've been wasting my time trying to find modern science fiction to read. The book costs fifty-five dollars. I want to treat myself

I almost started up atris just then. But I stopped myself just before I typed the command.

Like half the goddamned "women in tech" initiatives/orgs/whatever they're called have the word "girls" instead of "women" in the title. In my inbox right now is an advertisement for something called djangogirls. Is it for children or is it for adults? I'm tired of this infantalizing bullshit.

Oh sweet. Just looked at their website. At least the workshop is for females and not some "people who identify as women" bullshit. Something I wonder if people who organize and support such events even remember (or believe) is that the whole point of stuff like this is a little thing called female oppression, which males, "women-identified" or otherwise, do not experience, and that excludes whatever misdirected misogyny they willingly expose themselves to by dolling themselves up with clothes and grooming associated with an oppressed class (females). Well, not all, not willingly. Some probably genuinely don't understand that to be treated as female is to be treated badly. Must be nice to have the option to take off the feminine trappings and go back to privileged status.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
Times like today, I thought that getting the runaround with bureaucracy was what put me in a sour mood, but now I think that it's the stress of being on the phone for forever, the auditory alertness. The runaround is frustrating, but I don't think it accounts for the exhaustion and the mild depression. I assume my head hurts because I missed a mealtime. I was on hold for nearly an hour.

So I called Medi-cal mental health, and I actually received the name of a  possible therapist! The key, I think, was to ask for telehealth rather than e-therapy. However, the phone rep said that I couldn't receive telehealth at home, but would have to go to another site for it. Huh? That restriction contradicts one of the main purposes of telehealth! I don't know if it applies to me because I was told that the therapist I see should bill Medi-cal directly, not the mental health management company.

I am, however, worried about the implications of the fact that no Medi-cal rep I've spoken to seems to know that a separate mental health management company even exists. They keep referring me to the company that manages the medical portion of my Medi-cal. If I call the latter, they'll just tell me to call the mental health management company: back to square one.

There was only one telehealth provider in my area, and the rep said that he could not offer other providers because the search function returned results according to my address. I thought that telehealth was a special case that would allow me to see any provider in the state, but, according to the Medi-cal Omsbudsman's office, I was wrong. If I have a problem with this provider, I can file a grievance. More bureaucracy.

Another day spent struggling with the psychomedical establishment rather than working.

I left a message for that one provider to ask if she provides e-therapy and has experience with gifted adults. Of course she doesn't. But I tried.

Now I'm going to have some roasted ORGANIC red potatoes and some Gardein fishless filets that were on discontinuance sale. Another vegan item that customers apparently didn't take to. Not that I care too much, but the discontinuance of Amy's vegan macaroni and cheese broke my heart. It pays to live around other vegans.

The weather here is cool: thunder and sunshine.

Someone who posted an editing job to which I applied messaged me to say that my bid was too high compared to the other bidders. There is a horde of third-world freelancers on this site who continually bid insanely low rates, and this job was no different: the lowest bid was $3. For editing a 6000-word research paper. Western freelancers typically bid higher, but still low (in my niche, at least): the average bid was just under sixty dollars.

I bid $240. As far as I could tell, I was the best candidate: I specialize in the subject matter, at least one of the other applicants was not even an editor, one of them was from Kenya and had English errors in his profile overview, and the others I looked at all had zero work history on the site.

I am quite interested in the hiring market on this platform, specifically, the apparently absurdly cheapskate hiring choices clients make. They hire editors and writers who clearly fail at English. It would be better to hire no one at all (that happens a lot as well), as some of them seem to learn after they receive fail work and have to re-post the job and re-hire, sometimes begging for discounts because of the money they've already wasted.

This potential client's final message was composed in such poor English that I'm not sure what it even meant. This is in line (just a bit) with my hypothesis that part of this cheapskatism is down to non-English speaking clients' inability to to recognize proper English. The client has not rejected my proposal, which is unusual. I wonder why the client even bothered to message me.

I just looked at the job ad again; the average bid amount has dropped to just over fifty dollars, lol. I'm still the highest bidder. I think the point I was trying to make is that comparing my bid to these other freelancer's bids isn't really appropriate.

I'm procrastinating because I don't want to go back to work. I work 7 days a week; maybe I should take a day off.

Woot! I got an indie science fiction movie to watch tonight, that should unwind me. I LOVE indie sci-fi. Also got a new movie staring Ethan Hawke, who was super cute in Predestination, so now I want to see him again.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
The bad news is that the intern has no more sliding scale fee slots, and her regular rate is even higher than her supervising therapist's rate. Whut?

The good news is that Medi-Cal does indeed cover telehealth, including e-therapy. I exhausted myself with several different phone conversations to get at that info, including being told by the Medi-Cal Omsbudsmans office that it is isn't covered.

Now, how to find a Medi-cal therapist who provides e-therapy and works with gifted adults? Of course I didn't think of that until the phone conversation had ended, and the end of the business day had rolled around.

According to the supervisor who confirmed telehealth coverage, the company that manages the mental health part of my Medi-cal isn't even listed on my Medi-cal account, so it's apparently completely out of the picture. That company provided me with a database of therapists at least; now, I have no idea how to find one other than casting my net over the wilds of the whole Internet.

The therapist I see would have to bill for medical coverage, then, after getting denied, bill Medi-cal directly. What therapist would want to put up with that shite? I guess the same sort of therapist who would decide to join the Medi-cal network in the first place.

This entire affair is exhausting in a way that I cannot describe. Too much hope followed by disappointment, I guess.

Let's see if I've anything uplifting...nope, nothing really. I've been growing my duck tail and it kinda looks cool I guess.

One or two of the other freelancers are completing the work at an insane pace. I really wonder if they are doing a thorough job. I wish they would slow down so that I don't feel compelled to increase my pace. I've already missed a bunch of work because of the website acting up, I don't want to be out-worked on top of that. We don't have any explicit deadlines, so I don't see what the rush is about.

I haven't been able to concentrate on work. Unwanted memories and anxieties speed through my mind on replay.

For my exhaustion and frustration, I treated myself to a new book today. Gothic Novels of the Twentieth Century, I believe it's called. I am so hoping that I can find another lesbian gothic novel. In fact, there's another book I intend to treat myself to, one that is specifically about lesbian gothic fiction, but it's like literary criticism instead of a list of books, so I won't get much use out of it (I dislike literary criticism).

I just had a flashback to the UCSC humanities library. It was always so empty and quiet, a wonderful place. Especially the upper floors: they were tomb-like. There were innumerable intriguing books; I wanted to read ALL THE THINGS, but I didn't have the time.

Still not sleeping properly so I guess I'll go to bed early.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Today I called VA mental health to ask for a cancellation of my appointment request because I wouldn't be able to get there regularly. I also asked about the possibility of e-therapy.

Whoever is in charge there called me back surprisingly soon (woke me up from a nap and I was in a bad mood), and after some irritating back and forth (her calling the VA motor pool to verify that I couldn't get a ride, apparent misunderstanding that my only problem was a lack of transportation, rather than migraines, and actually telling me that I would have to use public transportation), I finally agreed to a single meeting with a provider. The purpose of this meeting is to determine if I am eligible for other programs, including VA's telehealth and the Veteran's Choice Program.

What I'm apprehensive about is the determination of my eligibility hinging on a "comprehensive" examination. I don't know what that entails, but I REALLY do not want to tell my whole life story to some shrink I've never even dealt with before; however, I also do not wish to hide stuff, which is tiring and difficult to pull of. Nothing comprehensive can be done in a single day any damned way.

I need some MONEY, dammit. Ninety dollars per session, where can I get that from??? I don't even know if the civilian therapist I want to see is available. I'm going to e-mail her right now.

I also asked if she offers a sliding fee. I know that the answer will be no. I hate asking for that type of thing. Horns crossed. I'm still feeling pain in my right thigh so I'm gonna have to stop squatting for a while :*(

I'm gonna lose my gainz, dammit. Gotta call the advice nurse tonight.

So I just got back from the grocery store (nearly eight dollars for a bottle of pumpkin pie spice?!) and the therapist said that she is booked but offered to share my information with a colleague whose work she supervises. The colleague is an intern, and interns usually offer lower fees! I'm excited and I hope that this works out. It's too perfect so far: giftedness speciality, e-therapy offering...the only missing piece is the price.

I wanted to talk about giftedness and resentment towards the gifted, but now I'm tired.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I've found two therapy practices that specialize in gifted clients. Both are about fifty miles away, so getting to either would kill me/cost a small fortune. Neither is covered by Obamacare, and Obamacare doesn't offer reimbursement at all.

In desperation, I took another look at the criteria for the Veteran's Choice Program (for which we have Obama to thank. Thanks Obama!). Hallelujah! I found a possible way to get the VA to pay: something called undue burden, which applies to geographical or medical conditions that complicate travel to the nearest VA. That definitely applies to me.

One of the practices offers e-therapy. Although I anticipate that listening to the therapist through my laptop speakers will be tiring, it'll probably be less exhausting than traveling to the office, and being able to receive care at home fits perfectly with my request for civilian care, which will be based on the migraines I get from traveling there to the VA.

The question is whether I have any medical basis on which to qualify. Although I have certainly complained about the migraines, I don't really have any medical evidence backing me up. I spoke to the neurologist a couple of times, but I did not accept the medication she offered and received no other care. I haven't been diagnosed with migraines (I don't even think it's possible to diagnose migraines). So I'll be waiting on a decision and hoping.

To prepare myself for a denial, I've begun trying to work more each day so that I can pay for treatment myself. I've been averaging about sixty dollars per day, and I want to ramp it up to ninety. It's not gonna be easy; everything past sixty bucks worth of work is the carpal tunnel zone. This discomfort and the utter boringness of the work result in my needing to take frequent breaks, so I'll end up sitting at the computer for even more of my day, which I definitely do not want to do.

I think my eyes are improving! I can do some computer work without wearing them. The next time I receive an eye exam, I plan to ask the optometrist to recommend the weakest prescription I can use. Then I'll just continue to decrease my prescription strength with each successive eye exam until I cannot function with anything weaker. I daren't hope to eliminate my need for eyeglasses altogether, but who knows what's possible.

My employment specialist e-mailed me today about my ongoing QA contract and the software I requested (MS Word and Adobe Acrobat), and asked if we could meet. When she asked me to explain something about the contract later at the library, she made a face that I really liked. Come to think of it, I couldn't read it (maybe there was nothing to read), but I liked it and it made me smile. She asked me if I'd done anything different, anything fun lately. Of course my answer was "no."

I'm tired again this evening and I'm afraid that it's depression :( Could be undereating, though. I had to cut my lifting session short yesterday because of it; I had 90 lbs. on the bar and it didn't seem safe to try to lift it again with so little energy. I didn't bother to bench or anything else, just bailed on my last set of squats.

I'm supposed to do some HIIT this evening. Let's see if I can drag myself to it. One foot in front of the other, that's all I have to keep doing. Of course, I don't really have to. But damn, wouldn't it be a shame to have put so much work into this body, only to kill it?
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I've had an on-and-off migraine for five days in a row now! This is a new record.

I had to re-edit my client's work with my brain running on low, so it took me hours and hours to get through less than 700 words. Afterwards, I was too exhausted to do anything.

Asperger's person updated Asperger's blog, and that's how I found out about this dramatic mini-series called The A word. So I downloaded bootleg version and watched the first two episodes. It's cool but there is too much other drama going on in the show. I just wanted to watch something about autism, not affairs and failing businesses. Ylectch.

I called VA mental health and was told that someone would call me back to assign me a provider. Unfortunately, VA mental health is within 40 miles of my home, so I probably won't be able to select a civilian therapist (there's still hope if they can't give me an appointment within 30 days).

I have a really bad feeling about working with VA mental health. I don't want to waste their time, but I'm still not sure I'm going to go through with it. I haven't been dealing with much anger lately (that has happened before, and I'm afraid it will come back), but I could have some new anger to deal with if this goes badly. I don't want to expose my unique and wonderful self to diagnosis-happy normie who is going to pathologize a bunch of my benign personality traits or spin some mythology about my being the way I am because of my childhood.

I don't even really want therapy, just some quick counseling. I'm not going to discuss my whole damned life, either.

falling asleep at the desk again, bedtime. i'm not gonna eat anything more than a banana, so I'll be sweating buckets again.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I did something right this time (probably staying hydrated). I was still out of it when I finally got in to see the doctor today, so I forgot to ask for dermatology and psychology referrals despite having discussed the latter with the nurse before my appointment.

The only medical problem I mentioned was night sweats. The doctor said it was caused by low blood sugar and told me to eat more at night. I was very dissatisfied with this answer. I eat more at night than I ever have since having been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, and my night sweats are the worst they've ever been.

I asked if there could be another problem, and he said TB! I declined the TB test because I didn't want to return to have the results read in two days. He told me to test my blood sugar when I wake up at night. If it's not low, then I'll know whether or not I have another problem. Ok. I've never tested my own blood sugar before. I hope the home blood sugar kit is easy to use.

He referred me for a colonoscopy because my sister (half sister, actually) had colon cancer. At the end of the appointment, he gave me a document for the front desk clerk. I promptly forgot and still have it.

I'd received a voicemail from my mom, so I called her while waiting for the bus outside the VA. The conversation made me very uncomfortable. She said that she'd called to set up a visit (today!), and wanted to visit me soon, and wanted to have a conversation with me. I'm making a scrunched up, creeped-out face at the screen. I don't wanna have conversations with her. She told me some bullshit about praying for me and both of us being on the path of the Lord or something because we both have blood sugar problems. Some Christians seriously need to learn how to talk to non-believers. Assuming they give a damn.

I didn't want to say outright that I didn't want to see her because I didn't want to be expected to answer the inevitable "why?" I tried to be vaguish. I said that I didn't really want any visitors. That's not really true because I don't mind if my sister visits. I just don't want my mom and my nephew to come over.

I don't, however, expect my sister to visit because things will get weird with her if I say that I don't want my mom and my nephew to visit. Not that it matters much; we have pretty much no relationship now, just that fake, shallow, "I'm related to you so I'll check in with you every now and then." I tried to have a closer relationship with my sister, maybe I didn't go about it the right way, but it failed. It's over. I don't even care anymore. We've never had anything in common anyhow.

My B12 levels are good but my Vitamin D is still low :( The doctor said that vitamins are better than sunlight. I asked him why. He made some non-committal sound like "yep" or "ok" instead of answering me. I sighed and asked him to answer my question. He said that being out in the sun causes cancer.

I am done with this doctor's broken Engrish. I should probably ask for the psychology referral before I ask to be assigned to a new primary care physician, however. Or maybe I should just skip the shrink. There is a very good chance that no one can help me.

I got my audiology report added to my VA medical records. I doubt that anyone will ever read it.
improperlyhuman: icon says: Radical Feminism: Females First. Always. (females first)
I was damn near throwing silverware around the kitchen, so I decided to call Obamacare mental health. I asked the customer service rep if I was just shit out of luck due to transportation limitations, and she put in a request for an out-of-network service search for me. I doubt there are any closer providers to be found, but I appreciate that nevertheless; best service I've ever gotten from this company.

I also sent a secure message to my VA primary care doctor. I explained that I hadn't come in for labs or made an appointment because of limited transportation options. I also finally got around to asking about switching to a female primary care doctor. I also also asked about a mental health referral and telehealth options. I know that some veterans have received telehealth care, I just can't figure out how to find out if I'm eligible and what's available.

I just received a response from the nurse. She confirmed that the message has been sent to the doctor and firmly reminded me that I'm due to be seen by April. To hell with that. I will not be taking three buses for nothing more than a check-up.

My VA social worker hasn't received a response from the transportation department that used to give me rides.

With my paratransit application, I now have four opportunities for accessible care that are up in the air.

I've come to see how much time I waste trying to get myself under control. I'd just been blowing it off as procrastination without examining the reason. It's 5 P.M. and I've accomplished almost nothing. I did make sure to call AT&T and cancel the suspension of my service. I will have to keep paying them and subjecting myself to the EM waves until the FCC settles this for me. I think that there is a good chance that this will end in my favor because the FCC employee who advised me to file a complaint mentioned a similar case in which the complainant (that's not the right word, is it?) was granted a decision against a telecommunications company who did not provide her with service.

I bought some unsweetened ketchup. It's nasty. But it was cheaper than the five-dollar bottle of ketchup I usually get.

My vegetable soup is ready.

Wondering if I should skip Stronglifts for the day. The backs of my thighs are sore. Nah I'll do it anyways. Skipping workouts is for invalids and WIMPS.

improperlyhuman: (Default)
I tried to get rid last night's migraine with something fatty: hot cocoa with coconut milk and even some coconut oil. I felt better, but it didn't last and wasn't enough relief. Then I decided to try something salty: a bag of potato chips. That seemed to improve the situation. I had a good workout, but my squats still seem wrong.

I decided that I didn't want to risk fooling around with some generic therapist, so I sought? searched for? did a search for? what's the proper terminology

a feminist therapist in the area. Based on profiles, I have three prospects. The one I wanted to see doesn't take my insurance and is expensive, over one hundred bucks per session. The other two accept out-of-network insurance, so I might be able to get Obamacare to pay. If I have to pay myself, the least expensive option would only cost me fifty bucks. She's also still an intern. Not ideal, but better than a generic therapist, I hope.

There's another rooster or frizzle chicken or something in town. I've been waking up before sunrise for the past two or three days. The crowing is so unobtrusive, I thought that I was rising earlier because I'd been going to bed early, but no, it definitely woke me up this morning. It doesn't even sound like crowing. Like last time, I can't tell where it's coming from. The situation is almost comedic.

So I feel like shit, I'm transforming into a zombie, I can't get work done, and my life is beginning to turn upside-down again. Just when I was beginning to think that living here wasn't so bad after all.

Getting to any therapy is going to be a big problem, so I finally scheduled an ADA assessment with the local transportation agency. I'm pessimistic about the outcome.

It's suppertime. I'm going to get some bananas. I had a revelation while I was lying in bed frustrated that I couldn't fall back asleep this morning, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I was in a great mood today, then my head started hurting out of the blue and I got the Runaround. With my health insurance. Again.

Once again, I didn't get my mental health intake, so I called for the fourth time. I was told that e-therapy isn't covered by Medi-Cal, which contradicts my research. Someone gave me a list of providers, and, of course, none of them are in my town. I was told that my medical insurance covers transportation. Really?! Hooray! After 1.5 accidental transfers (the second person picked up the phone and immediately put me back on hold without speaking), I spoke to the transportation specialist, who said that they only cover medical transport :(

So I called the state dept. of managed health care to find out if Medi-Cal is required to cover e-therapy and/or transportion services. The first person to whom I spoke misunderstand my question and transferred me back to my health insurance company. I called back and made sure to emphasize that the question was about California law. I was advised to file a complaint, but no answer to my question was forthcoming. If Medi-Cal doesn't even potentially cover what I want, it'd be a waste of time to file a complaint. Wouldn't it?

I was on the phone for quite a while, and mis-hearings abounded. The technician asked me if I had a gender preference for my therapist. I heard "ginger preference."

With a pair of long nose pliers and about half an hour of wrenching and groaning, I finally got the barbell out of the package. The sleeves don't spin very much. One of the main reasons I decided to get a quality barbell was to prevent stress from the weights spinning; the sleeves need to spin with them so that I don't have to work against the spin. I was surprised to find that the black coating on the shaft was a bit scratched up. All that trouble they went through to package it up like Fort Knox, and I still get a scratched shaft. Talkin' bout Shaft.

Also, Surprise! Wal-mart delivered on-time, so I got my Olympic weights this afternoon. The deliveryperson set them down just outside my door and said something about not being able to come inside. Whut?

Now I have everything I need for a REAL Stronglifts5x5 workout! I'll have to wait to see how the headache progresses before I can plan on starting tonight.

The bar weighs 33 lbs., and I ordered 55 lbs. of weight from Wal-mart. I wonder how long it'll be before I need more weights. I think I'll set a goal right now, out of sheer excitement. Wait, Stronglifts already has a goal built in: add 5 lbs. per week (or 2.5 for womyn :( ) That's my goal! To add 5 lbs. per week instead of 2.5. To hell with the guidelines! Sex is a social construct anyways, amirite? The physical limits of my body must also be a social construct. As is sexual reproduction. And menstruation. And body parts.

These low-wattage lightbulbs are the best thing ever. I've got a 15-watt blue one in right now. It requires like zero electricity (I think) and is easy on the eyes.

Another marvel is my new corkboard mousepad (all natural!). Although nothing more than a rectangle of cork, it seems to have cut down on my wrist pain.

I slept on top of the sleeping bag liner last night and suffered only very minor, relatively localized sweating.
improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
Starting to think that my tiredness is the result of a vitamin deficiency rather than disturbed sleep.

Finally got through voc rehab paperwork and got an appointment with my new counselor but where is my audiology report?! The counselor wants me to bring in medical records. I don't have much of that. The value of being formally diagnosed with stuff becomes clearer. I'm glad that I have proof of misophonia. I wish that I could have thought of this when I was at the autism center. Irritated with that doctor.

I didn't do jack shit when I was in the military. I was put on medical suspension and then discharged shortly after I'd finished technical school (and my supervisor hadn't been keen on starting my OJT, having told me on my first day that he never wanted to step on a plane again), so it seems odd that I would be eligible for veteran's benefits. I kind of feel like a fraud, and I have a lurking fear that someday someone will figure out that a mistake was made in the eligibility determination process. I suppose that's rather unlikely to come to pass thanks to the lumbering inefficiency of massive bureaucracies.
improperlyhuman: black and white icon with text "if you identify with gender, you identify with patriarchy." (gender)
Today social worker told me that it seemed like I wasn't doing much for her and she wasn't doing much for me. Wut? I think she got the idea that I wasn't going to keep trying the EFT thing because I said that I got distracted from it by my courses and didn't like the affirmation part of it. Also, she suggested meditation and I tried to explain that it was difficult for me because having an empty mind is torturously boring. I never said that I wouldn't do them, however. She said that I was a smart person (people always tell me that, what is up with that?) and that I could look up anything I wanted on the Internet. Am I supposed to be able to fix ruminative thoughts with information from the Internet? I've tried that already.

I don't really understand the part about me doing anything for her (especially since she told me that whenever two people come together, they learn from one another), except that she mentioned feeling like she couldn't "engage" with me because I barely look at her. I asked her what she meant by "engage" and she described it as having a conversation and working on things. I thought that's what we'd been doing all along! And I said so. Then I felt kinda crappy. I had felt comfortable with her. I hadn't been too concerned about acting normal. Then she had to go and take an axe to it.

It kind of messed up my mood for the day, so, to "do" something about it, I finally e-mailed that psychologist that has experience with womyn with Asperger's and I e-mailed two charity organizations about helping me to pay for it. Maybe that won't have any effect on this situation. It's just that it keeps coming up and I needed to do something to get this off of my mind. It could be useful for voc rehab and other services. Maybe even SSI. The last time I spoke to someone from SSA, I was told that I should have my SSI appeal decision roundabouts the twenty-fifth of this month, if memory serves. Good. The longer they drag it out, the longer I have time to submit records.

Rooster woke me up before five A.M. this morning. I called the cops and reported it; the dispatcher asked me if I wanted a call back. I said yes, if they could get me the unit number. No call back so far. They certainly couldn't have missed it because the creature was vocal all damned morning.

Hey! Another thing that messed up my day was the start of the monthly bloodworks. I had cramps today :( which I usually don't have when I'm exercising regularly. The difference is that I was doing cardio those other times. Is cardio the key to cramplessness? Or maybe I just need to be exercising for longer to get the effect.
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I went to VA acupuncture today and the doctor hurt me again. The needles didn't hurt much going in. The pain was caused by the doctor wiggling them around. Why did he wiggle them around?? My civilian acupuncturist doesn't do that. He gave me some info about a new migraine treatment called Cefaly. It looks like something off of Star Trek. An electrode is stuck to the forehead, by which it delivers impulses to the trigeminal nerve (whatever that is). He said I could try it after I'd exhausted my allotted civilian acupuncture treatments. Sounds good to me because I don't want him sticking any more needles in me.

I got a call today from the captioned phone company. They set up an appointment for installation a couple weeks from today. Hooray.

Made black bean brownies this evening. The recipe specifies way too much cocoa, so they are on the bitter side. Now I now why the recipe calls for half a cup of sugar (which is insane). I only used seven or eight turbinado sugar packets.

Felt like crap earlier today, much better this evening, back on with my exercise routine and even a little bit of libido all of a sudden(surprise, surprise. maybe it's the cocoa). Guess I was just stressed from going out so much this past week.
improperlyhuman: black and white icon with text "if you identify with gender, you identify with patriarchy." (gender)
I received my vision therapy screening results in the mail today. I'm not quite sure what to make of it because there's no explicit indication of whether or not I would be expected to benefit from vision therapy. The scoring system is odd: there's good performance, and there's poor performance. I scored good in binocularity, near acuity, and near point of convergence. I scored poor on distance acuity (duh, I'm near-sighted), focus change, and fusion (sustained binocularity). The example symptoms of the latter two match my symptoms.

There's another scoring system based on age, but it only goes up to age 15 or 16. For example, I earned the highest possible scores on visual memory and visualization (16 yrs.), but I have the fixation speed of an eleven-year-old. I guess. I'm shocked that I scored 13 on the logic and form reasoning. Logic is my thing. The score should be perfect. It was difficult to trace the symbols across the page, however.

Once I work up the energy for more battles with the psychomedical establishment, maybe I'll try to get the VA to pay for vision therapy, but that needs to wait a while because I'm approaching overwhelmedness with my current appointments. Physical therapy today and Wednesday, VA acupuncture tomorrow, social worker on Wednesday. 

I felt sad this morning. This is notable because I rarely feel sad. Content, amused, angry, frustrated, and anxious/ruminatey are just about the extent of my regular array of emotions. Maybe I was just going through weird psych stuff because I didn't eat enough earlier today. I felt weak, but I did not feel terribly hungry. I just guessed that I needed more food. I'm going to have to keep a watch on myself if I'm going to keep up with the new lower caloric intake; my ability to ignore or not feel hunger even when I need more food could lend itself to ill health.

The thrill of my new exercise routine is gone.

There was a person being treated right beside me at physical therapy today, talking to the aide. They were talking about how exciting it was to finally birth a girl after so many boys in the family because one can dress up girls and girls' clothes are more "fun" than boys' clothes. I wanted to, I don't know, puke my organs up against the wall. It is horrifying for me to listen to people, especially womyn, say that they enjoy putting the mark of patriarchy on children's backs. That's what "girls' clothes" are; a giant X on the back for delineating who gets the female treatment. It doubles as training gear. If these people like dress-up, they don't need girls; they need dolls.

The cherry on top was when someone came in looking for a lost item with three kids in tow. At least two of them were wearing heels. All of these kids were almost certainly under ten years old. HEELS. You see, you gotta get them started early on accepting the immobilization, discomfort, unnatural gait, and the form-before-function approach to clothing. I watched one of them totter out the door, her ankle twisting a bit. I don't have any more words that would do the experience justice.
improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
I went to San Francisco for my central auditory processing testing today! My bike's in the shop getting a brake job, so I had to walk to the bus station :(

I always case out vegan eats when I have an upcoming trip deep into the bay area. I arrived two hours early and had lunch, a beet and seitan burger with squash-cashew cheese and sauerkraut (which I didn't know came in purple!) and a side salad from the HellaVeganEats truck that was parked at the farmer's market. At first I was disappointed that the meal hadn't come with fries, then I found that it  was satisfying enough on its own. Wish I had gotten the full serving of sauerkraut and cheese instead of light. It was kind of expensive, but I wanted to support a vegan establishment.

I thought about getting the burrito instead, but there were no beans in it?! That's a damned wrap, not a burrito. And what's with everyone putting sweet potatoes in every thing now? It's like there's always some "it" food that people find a way to integrate into a million different dishes (or treat like the ultimate health food), up until the next one comes out. Chia is "in" right now; before that it was acai. Then they take the "it" food and mess up perfectly good traditional dishes with it, even going so far as to remove fundamental ingredients. Like a "burrito" with roasted sweet potato, but no beans.

After that, I wandered up and down the street for a bit, trying to figure out which way to go and sweating from the extra walking. I found the university and was half an hour early for my appointment. I was surprised to find a security desk just inside the door (the clinics had their own entrance, separate the school, apparently) and that I needed a visitor's badge. The school was very bright and new-looking; first school I've ever been in that had escalators.

The receptionist was out to lunch, so my arriving early did me no good. When she finally arrived a few minutes before my appointment time, I found out that I only had to fill out basic info and a one-page questionnaire about how much sounds bothered me. The doctor came out for me shortly, and we went back into the testing room. She looked into my ears and told me that I had a ball of wax that would begin pressing against my ear drum soon, and that I needed to use drops to soften it. My first thought was, "oh no, will that make sounds louder?" I actually thought about not removing the wax for a second. The incompetent nincompoops at my primary clinic apparently hadn't faxed my records, so she then stuck some foam earbug-like things in my ears and administered a hearing test. Immediately after that, we went straight through the CAPD testing. She offered me breaks, but I declined.

These are the tests I took, roughly in order:

The audiologist played successively louder tones and told me to indicate when the volume became overwhelming.  She repeated this in each ear, with several different tones. Only the first one ever became overwhelming. I think there was a miscommunication on that test.

A recording played words in each ear, one by one, and I simply had to repeat them.

A series of static-like sounds played for a bit , and I had to press a button if I heard beeping in the background.

There was a series of tapping noises, and I had to say how many taps I'd heard.

A series of groups of four notes were played one-by-one, and I had to identify whether each of the four was the high tone or the low tone.

A series of unidentifiable sounds played, some single some in VERY closely-spaced pairs (they could have been mistaken for a single sound). I had to say whether I'd heard one sound or two.

Then there was one long set of tests (15 - 20 min.) that got much more difficult. I barreled through it:

One voice seemed to be giving a lecture. I had to ignore this voice, tune in to the other (which played simultaneously) and say the words the second voice directed me to say. Same with the opposite ear.

Another series of quad-note groups. This time, I had to identify the pattern in terms of the notes' durations (long or short).

Then the testing got insane. I heard two different sets of numbers simultaneously, one set per ear. Six numbers total, three spoken one-by-one in each ear, and not slowly, either. I had to recite all six, starting with the three I'd heard in the right ear first, in the order in which they'd been played. I messed up and started with the left ear, not recognizing my error until I had to do the same thing, right ear first. Not sure the doc noticed.

Then two sentences simultaneously, one per ear, which I had to recite, again, beginning with the sentence that I'd heard in the right ear first. And so forth, the other ear.

Those two tests were the most difficult. Of course, I had a migraine building by that time. I can't even remember what the hell we did after that. The audiologist told me that the test was designed to exhaust the testee in order to reveal a breakdown in performance. I think they hit their mark.

She scored the tests while I waited! Then called me into a back room. She said that I'd been tested on speech-in-noise, temporal processing (dunno what that means), and something else I can't remember. I was breaking down at that point. The sounds from the street were beginning to get to me, and the glass in the large window was making distracting noises as well. She said that all of my tests results were in the normal range, although one was low (can't remember which). In fact, I somehow scored 100% on one of them?! The bar for a perfect score must be damned low, 'cause I certainly didn't get them all correct. We'll see when I get the report. I actually get to give feedback on the report before she creates a final draft and mails it to me! Wonderful.

I was surprised at how long she talked with me. She recognized that I might still have processing problems despite my scores, and informed me that there are some available treatment options, mainly software-based, but that they were expensive, and that she wouldn't recommend them given the combination of the price and her inability to guarantee that I would benefit from them based on my current skills. Based on my questionnaire and test scores, she said that I seemed to have misophonia. She said that she could make some recommendations if I began working with VocRehab again, and asked me about my future employment plans and my SSI case. She filled out, signed, and faxed the form I needed to get a captioned phone.

I was quite displeased to hear that the treatment for misophonia is desensitization. She asked me about how hearing sounds made me feel, and which situations moved me to don my ear defenders. She said that it was good that I didn't wear them all of the time, and very, very carefully and sensitively suggested that I begin to try to desensitize myself by removing my ear defenders thirty seconds before I get off the bus, slowly increasing this amount of time as my comfort level increased. She also suggested volunteer work in a quiet environment.

At some point, a truck that was louder than the others rumbled by and I covered my ears and started crying. She left the room and returned with a box of tissues. I can't remember what the hell else she said. The whole appointment lasted two hours and a quarter and I needed to be out of there. She gave me a copy of my cap phone application, I went back down the elevator, returned my badge, and then I had to wait for the security guard to open the metal bar thingee so that I could get out (what?!).

It was getting close to time for me to be worried about missing the last bus home, so I wasted no time walking back the way I came to hit up vegan falafel place before I left. Within minutes of arriving, the guy said something to me that I couldn't make out while standing less than six feet away, and after getting those test results, I was like, 'to hell with everything. I still can't understand people.' Just a tad pricey, especially the little square of baklava I got for two bucks. But hearing the guy who came in asking for flesh told that the restaurant was a 100% vegan establishment? PRICELESS. Tables turned for once.

I don't think the testing is terribly representative of my abilities because it was administered directly into my ears, which makes sounds easier to make out than they are otherwise.

I got down to the BART platform and was surprised to see the southbound side empty, and everyone lined up for the eastbound trains. I've never seen people line up for BART; they usually swarm inwards from every angle, some all but pivoting around the entrance frame to come in at ninety degrees. I figured it was a rush-hour-people thing and got in a line. When the train arrived, some people got on, but others just stood there, blocking the damned door. I asked why people were just standing there and no one said anything to me, although one person looked at me. I was so confused, I hesitated and missed my train. The hell? I finally figured out that they were waiting for other train lines, but why line up and block the path onto the trains? None of the subsequent trains that stopped were anywhere near close to being full, so it wasn't like a first-come, first-served arrangement was in order. I left the line. I felt stupid for letting their moronic ritual delay my trip home.
improperlyhuman: (dark Mulder)
I saw my clinic's social worker today. She said that my primary care provider had told her that I seemed to have traits of Asperger's Syndrome. o rly. The social worker thinks that my SSI case is weak. For these two reasons, she is trying to send me to a psychiatrist or get the opinion of a psychiatrist.

I'm like, is this Asperger's chapter not over yet? I've been trying to forget about it.

I got my ankle weights today. I put them on as soon as I exited the store. They are adjustable, with a max of ten pounds per leg. I tried to wear all twenty pounds, but it was too much, so I've got on six pounds per leg right now. I walk around slowly (like a boss, actually) so as not to injure myself.

I have been watching episodes of My 600-lb. Life on Youtube. Some of the patients get admitted to the hospital so that they can get weight-loss assistance. The doctor puts them on a 1000 calorie diet. 1000 measly calories?! I know that I would barely be able to deal with such a low caloric intake, even at my relatively small size. To put a 600-lb. person on such a diet without even first working up to such a high caloric decrease seems cruel and unhealthy. Such a large person would still lose weight quickly on a few hundred calories more per day. I thought that 1000 calories was considered to be the upper limit for a starvation-level diet.
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