Up and Down and Up and Down

Today I talked with my doctor, and she agrees I don’t need a therapist. She asked if I want one and I told her no, because a good therapist is too hard to find. So it is agreed, having made it through the Junely mess I am okay. If this changes I will reconsider my choice to stop therapist hunting. It seems my ability to step back and look at why I am feeling things defeats the purpose of a therapist. My constant questioning the universe is also healthy. I really like my doctor.

It’s time for the annual blood work and well… while talking I dislocated my jaw. Which hurts each time and leaves me hearing pain, which I mentioned after Sprite fixed it. I still can’t quite get it myself which is very annoying. I cannot feel how to work the bone back in, which made my doctor suspect it’s not a bone issue so much as the soft tissues are damaged. I have been holding my jaw up, and talking less and less. She noticed that my jaw doesn’t move much when I speak either, which has always been there to a degree, but it’s more noticeable now. I can talk around the “broken” sensation because the immobility of my jaw is common. I adapted and barely noticed it.

The adaptation springs from singing, you do not move your lips and jaws to make note variations, and I sing to speak but work to cadence this song to match normal patterns. So I can still talk. It’s not as loud but it’s clear and most people understand me. My friends who are hard of hearing cannot hear me as well however. That bothers me as those are the friends I speak to the most often. We’re adapting as we go, we humans. That’s the point of life I think.

I feel really good right now. I have had less emotional distress since my pain meds were upped, and my doctor agrees that this is probably related. The rain makes me dizzy still and yet I can go outside when raining to open the gate I just book it back inside after. It started raining once I went out to get her in. Normally my carer would but M the Carer is out sick. She came in and was obviously ill. It’s an allergic reaction to latex. I know she’ll be fine but she has to get treatment first. She didn’t want to go in to the ER until I promised her today was just a cleaning day anyway, where we were opening boxes and with the weather I wasn’t too into that idea. I also swore I would call her if I needed her. I added in I would try to not of course. Yes I will call her if I need her, it wasn’t empty words.

She’s been with me for three weeks, which is usually the time when things start happening and I start to have fomentation of doubts with carers. Still? Nothing. I still have no niggling doubts, the cats still trust her, the cleaning is still happening when the mops aren’t molding and sold out, and the cooking is still there. She made sure I still had food even though we cooked yesterday. I really feel safe.

Feeling safe is another up feeling, I feel safe for the first time in a long time. Not mostly secure but out and out safe. I close my door, pop the lock, and I can go to sleep. I still have dreams sometimes that are disturbing but that is my normal. I no longer have to run to mother or other in order to free myself from them. It’s been ages since I last needed to call someone out of fear of the night/sleep.

The last dream I had that scared me was only scary while I was asleep and was a rare dream where I wasn’t aware I was dreaming. I was trying to get to M by bestest friend evar, and he was up stairs. I had to find him, because there was trouble coming and if I didn’t he could be eaten by outer-space. I figure this dream has to do with my having gone out that day and been frustrated by accessibility issues, wanted to talk to him about it and he was unavailable for a few days straight. I often dream about him being out of reach when he is unable to talk for more than two days, and I dream about having to go upstairs and being stuck because of my need for the buttwheels. In each dream however, my chair is not the cause of the problems but the stairs are sentient and out to get me.

So between this and that and the other things are medically okay. We’re checking all my hormone levels because I had a period, aka RED ALERT. The thing was my period did the backwards blood thing again. For those who don’t know a period should get darker and more brown as it goes along. Mine starts out brown and turns bright red. This one also lasted for four weeks. However, instead of needing bed rest, being in horrible pain and screaming the entire time I was awake I was fine. More pain yes but not to the level that I couldn’t function. Normally my cramps feel like my spine is being ripped out, this time? Just crushed and that’s due to the location of my injury so that much pain is considered minimal. This is a red flag, again with the menses puns I know I know bad Kat. So we’re following the trail.

I am still thinking on my jaw, and how much I hate CT scans. However if there is treatment that could make it where I can talk without epic pain again, I want it. I am after all a blabbermouth. I cannot keep secrets, I cannot keep my mouth shut, and now I have to hold it shut? It’s just a little cliche. I can see this in Tim Burton animation style, some sort of morality tale about talking but there’s no real point to it. Plus the sensation is my jaw is lopsided. It is just weird. I don’t use that word much even about my body, normally I can figure it out before I even mention it to a doctor but nope. Totally weird.

Another up is Nymph. She is getting taller but not wider, she will be a very long cat. Her heritage is showing now, she is a minimum of 1/3 siamese. Her markings show this anyway, but her bone structure does, as does her miaow. It’s not a mew, it’s a squeak. She also has some Rex so her fur is curly but not visibly so, just to feel it. That adds in some very tall back legs. She literally stands an inch taller at her butt than her shoulders. Her ears and tail are much larger than the rest of her, and they are getting bigger. I am not sure if she will grow into them but she’s very adorable. She has figured out how to climb into my lap without claws, but this only works when I can sit a certain way.

Nymph has also figured out how to turn on and off my Windows Media Player with my keyboard. I have been watching Andromeda and several times now, including during my doctor’s visit, she has gotten her paws on my keyboard and pushed the play button. This requires some finesse as the play button is not located near the rest of the keys and each time she does this she has to get on my desk. At first I thought it was dumb luck but no, we had a play war for a few seconds. She hit play I reached over and hit pause. She hit play. I think she is smart enough to become a service cat, and she also is proving to be loyal enough. In the first year of life however she has to figure out what parts of a human are connected to the mind.

She figured out my hands are part of me but is working on the feet and a change of clothes throws her off. The rain makes me sleepy and the storm is getting a bit heavier so I am going to curl up in bed with the cats a bit early. I just wanted to post an update because I literally had nothing to say for a while.

Oh and for those of you who I owe lines? Working on it.


  1. I’m glad that, so far, this new M is working out. I hope it continues–you deserve to have someone you can count on and can feel safe with.

    “In each dream however, my chair is not the cause of the problems but the stairs are sentient and out to get me.”

    This makes sense to me. After all, in real life, isn’t it the wheelchair that frees you to move where you want to move? And the stairs that freeze you so that you cannot? I don’t have the experience yet of needing a wheelchair, but having had my own share of helpless frustrations as a deaf person, I can see why inaccessible stairs would be translated into something menacing in a dream. A sort of “dream metaphor” for what the stairs actually do in real life, albeit just by existing and not by intent. Hope this makes sense.

    “My friends who are hard of hearing cannot hear me as well however. That bothers me as those are the friends I speak to the most often.”

    I’m going to guess here that none of you sign. And I’m guessing you already use some combination of writing, typing, and gesturing along with speaking to help.

    Might it help if you and your hard of hearing friends were to learn finger spelling? (If needed, from on-line videos) I only lipread with a great deal of energy-draining conscious effort, and even then it’s imperfect. But in my current office, two of my hearing co-workers use a bit of finger spelling to supplement their speech. They spell the first letter of each word they speak. They aren’t spelling everything, just the first letter of each word. This means I still do need to lip read. But because they give me the first letter of the word, that can be a big clue for me to combine with the other clues I get from lipreading and from the little bit I can hear. (By definition, as a deaf person, I don’t hear enough to do without visual cues, but I hear enough that I do get a few shreds of clues that can slightly supplement the information I get from lipreading/fingerspelling) This makes it much easier for me to understand them.

    This method of communication would probably be useless with a deaf person who does not really hear or lipread at all. But it works pretty smoothly for me. The main difficulty is when they use a name of a person I don’t know well (because most lipreading depends on contextual cues, and names could be anything). And occasionally an ordinary word might trip me up too. Then the co worker will spell out that word more fully.

    If your friends are truly hard of hearing (able to understand most speech in super-ideal circumstances without the need for visual cues, but still struggling if listening is in sub-optimal conditions eg if too much background noise or if voice is too quiet) and not deaf (maybe able to hear some but still dependent on visual input to fully understand speech), then it occurs to me that they might be able to combine the little they do hear of your speech with a bit of finger spelling in a similar fashion.

    Or there is also cued speech, though I don’t know much about that.

    Finger spelling is, at least initially, pretty easy to learn. It does take practice to transition from mastering the alphabet (a to z in proper order) to actual finger spelling (remembering how to make an h when you need an h without first going “Um, a to g is like this, oh ok so h is this” which is what some hearing people need to resort to in the beginning šŸ™‚ ). And then it takes a little more practice to be reasonably fast with it. But if your friends were learning with you, then they would need you to be slow in the beginning so they could keep up with you!

    I am guessing that learning cued speech would involve a similar learning curve since it is about as simple.

    There is, of course, sign language. However, this does take a more protracted time commitment, including enrolling in classes. Whereas finger spelling (or possibly cued speech) is something that can be learned more quickly and starts to help right away, plus can maybe be learned on your own with the assistance of various on-line videos.

    Just a thought, perhaps you’ve already tried this or already know of reasons why it wouldn’t fit your situation.

  2. I actually do know how to finger spell and a few (very few) words in sign language. I am going to take this suggestion to the other people involved in this communications challenge and we’ll see if they want to try it. I don’t know their abilities but we usually use a lightwriter I think it is called, for one friend, and for another I just try to speak very loudly. It varies depending on their needs but I always try to remain flexible with the accommodations of others. I have asked but with my ability to speak loudly/at all fading, this suggestion could be super helpful! You are always so awesome Andrea, thank you.

    I am all excited now.

  3. Hope it helps!

  4. Good to hear that you are doing alright, in spite of the dislocated jaw. I worried about you. šŸ™‚

  5. WhatifGirl, that’s why I posted. I felt this post was almost inane because usually I write about things that feel bigger than this but then again if I only write about the bad I’ll burn out. I am working on uploading kitty pictures for a post about kittens and adorableness soon.

    As far as my jaw goes, I think finding out what is going on with the tissues will help find a solution. So it is still good, since my jaw would be doing this even if I acknowledged it or not.

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