Life as an Extreme Sport

Snapshots in Chronic Pain

It’s been two hours. I hurt from sitting up straight without anything supporting my back. My face feels tired from smiling and forced cheer. The paper of the exam table feels like sandpaper against the back of my knees, and I lost feeling in my hands after they asked me to squeeze and press and push and squeeze again, for some indeterminate test of muscle strength, when the problem is my nerves. My medication history is nil at the moment; it’s been years since I’ve had anything prescribed to control the pain, and they know this. They’ve explained that they also cannot and will not ever prescribe pain medication for me–I’ll have to find a willing primary care physician. That’s deflating; why am I here? They hand me a cup to piss in on my way out the door. No pain medication, hours of going over my history, and I

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Long-term Antipsychotics May Be a Medical Mistake

I’ve debated whether or not to post this since seeing Robert Whitaker’s lecture slides and heard about the results of his talk to NAMI from friends who were there, but ultimately decided that since this is an actual personal issue for many people, due to your own health or those of people you love, it’s worth making sure the information is available as far and wide as possible. Consent to medication needs to be informed, blah blah bioethics stuff. Before the TLDR, the gist is this: evidence suggests that the best treatment for schizophrenia is not continual medication, and that a significant percentage of those with schizophrenia who did not receive antipsychotics or took them for a very limited time had better long- term outcomes than those who took them on an ongoing basis. And perhaps even more importantly, there’s significant evidence that the long-term use of antipsychotics creates a

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The Invisible Made Visible

While I have never been terribly quiet in discussing my disability, I also acknowledge that I am, for a disabled person, in a privileged class. I can “pass” as normal – that is, I don’t look outwardly disabled. There are a host of issues that come with this, including a lack of “validity” from both normals and disabled folks. (I don’t look “sick”, so how can I be “sick”? Comes from both sides of the aisle.) But, problems aside, I fully acknowledge that it is nice to go out in public and not have the public gaze focused on me. Been there, done that, definitely didn’t like it. Which is what makes this so strange I haven’t been visibly identified as disabled in a long time. When I fly, for various reasons, I normally fly United, and I pay for the upgrade that allows me extra leg room and space.

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