Pain of Being Unheard.

I am in my 30s.
I didn't realize until TODAY that it's not supposed to hurt when you get a filling at the dentist.

I don't respond to the numbing injections-lidocaine/marcaine- very well at all. I never have but dentists would not listen to me. I have been on numerous medications for years which lead to decay, and for my part I have not historically always been in the best position to take care of my teeth as well as I could have. I have assumed, my entire life, that going to the dentist to get anything "fixed" NECESSARILY meant an incredible amount of pain- because it always has previously.

Today showed me that doesn't have to be the case, but my serious avoidance of going means that I now face possible loss of essential teeth. Because having the feeling of a drill on or near a non-anesthetized nerve and not having someone listen to you about that pain is kind of traumatic.

I have had a fairly recent experience (last few years) of having a wisdom tooth extracted. I could feel everything- the doctor told me "it's just pressure" and all I wanted to do was scream. It wasn't just pressure- I could feel tissue and nerve tearing. While this was happening I also started having what I later realized was a panic attack. I was finally only given more anesthetic after, by reflex and out of fear, I almost hit the doctor for again continuing. ...but I could still feel it even after that.

When I say trauma- I don't mean "oh that wasn't fun"- I don't use the word "traumatic" lightly. I mean when people are not given control of pain it can easily become a subject of trauma. And it often is. This is called medical trauma in many cases, and it doesn't only happen to kids. Repeated related experience means I now get scared seeing doctors as well- literal fear, by association. Pain according to the individual feeling it is frequently disregarded by the medical professionals who are supposed to serve them. In my experience, my pain is frequently assessed by what a provider thinks it should be, how severe they think it might be, and not according to my report of symptoms.

I did not realize there was another way until someone acknowledged the pain I was feeling and did everything they could to accommodate me, rather than reluctantly going half way.

Listen to people when they say you are hurting them- regardless of your opinion on what "should hurt".


Tiny Actions in a Great Big Scary World

I'm feeling a bit powerless about a lot of the ignorance and fear going on around me. People are afraid of things they can't control right now, so they need to focus on something they feel they CAN control- which is one of thee reasons targeted hate and scapegoating happens.

I am doing what I can. I am trying to talk about, share and promote positive stories and experiences. Where, despite the unknown, the tense national atmosphere- people try to reach out to each other, try to increase communication and decrease mistrust, fear, ignorance, hate.

For myself, all I can really do is be the person I always try to be, someone I feel good about.

It has been hard lately because I feel this this strong atmosphere of tension, fear, frustration as well.

But here is what I try so hard to do: more than ever now, I try very hard to be aware of my surroundings in public. I pay attention to people. I try to more often put my damn phone down and just watch outside if I'm on the bus. If I am on the subway, I read the ads, try to lightly flit my eyes across people's faces and if I catch someone's eyes I smile.

I try to let people go before me if they are in a rush and I am not. I say thank you to bus drivers, cashiers, every one I can. I'm trying to make it ok, at least IN MY SPACE- to be friendly and warm a gain.  This is all I feel I can do right now.

I'm not superhuman- I am still cranky like whoa when I get into a debate online, I still grumble and moan. I catch myself sometimes saying or doing things that are probably not really necessary. Also I swear like a sailor [but I don't really consider that a bad thing ha]

I do try to treat those around me, with whom I have brief interaction, as though maybe if we had time it would be nice to sit down and have a coffee and chat.
Because these are strangers, and it just costs a smile, a minute or two of my time, a "thank you" or "have a good night"- it's not a lot of personal energy.

It's not silly to think small acts can inspire larger ones.
These are small acts, I know.
I'm hoping it's at least a start.


This thing I wrote.

I wrote this elsewhere but I'm trying to deal with this shit now and framing in a sort of FML, tongue-in-cheek, slightly morbidly funny way helps. 

One of my compulsions is avoidance- betcha didn't know that could be a compulsion, I sure didn't! ...also to clean and clean and organize and catalog and list and count and document and, and, and...

Playing the constant What If Game when your go to for stopping obsessions and fear is avoidance and a runner up is to clean and organize and straighten and create things to clean organize and straighten? Exercise in absurdity.

Then there's the repetition of "Don't Do That Wrong Thing You Are About To Do"- where you get caught in something like the inevitable Consequences of Time-Travel decisions loop, only its in your head and it's for real because you don't actually know if shutting the door half way is better than shutting it a third of the way ["leave it ajar"] while in your mind what you decide could actually affect the fate of your first born.

OCD: an entirely different type of "logic".


Thanks OCD!

Now's the time for that hat trick where my brain gets so stupidly convoluted with the non-logic that I have huge problems talking about psychiatry, psychology and/or neurology without having a freaking mental breakdown.

‪#‎ThanksOCD‬ ...because that's one of the things I really enjoy.


My OCD is a mogwai.

I was talking to a friend who also has OCD. More recently I tend to try to explain the OCD in a way that establishes that it is separate from me. It sort of helps in that it helps me cope with it better. The symptoms don't go away but I retain my sense of self and feel a bit more able to cope with the stress that the symptoms create ON TOP of dealing with the symptoms themselves. So this friend said she kind of sees my OCD as a sort of Oscar the Grouch type character.

I actually agreed but then modified it.
I am seeing it a little more like a mogwai. There are certain things that you can do to make it more likely that it will stay quiet and manageable. A cute little cooing fuzz ball, right??
Keep it out of sunlight.
Don't get it wet.
Don't feed it after midnight.


But then some idiot friend comes over and knocks a glass of water all over your OCD Mogwai, and suddenly it gets bigger or multiplies. Your clock is broken, so you start being late to things, and feed your now overwhelming OCD hoard after midnight. Now you are just screwed because over a period of like 48 hours your cute little cooing OCD fuzzball has become a snarling mob of scaly, crazy OCD fears.

So, yeah. My OCD is a mogwai. But my brain is wired to not take care of mogwais, which is why it's OCD and not "occasional weird thoughts that just drift through and are forgotten about".

This is why my brain can't have nice things.


You keep editing and cropping 
your goals 
and hopes 
and dreams 
to fit your reality.

At some point 
you wonder 
if it is worth 
the constant heartache 
to have them at all.


Fish Eye.

I was wandering about the internet, as I sometimes do and happened upon an article that discussed importance of lure choice when fishing. 

Do I even fish? Not anymore.

I used to fish all the time with my grandfather. What really gave me pause here is the discussion in the article of light/color and how fish are able to see the lure color which might compare differently to what we assume they can see as the lay person. 

Not much from me today but I wanted to share the geek. 
If you are interested in color and/or human sight I included a few related links at the bottom as well.

View From Below
Does Lure Color Matter Underwater?

Most keen anglers have a favorite lure or fly color, and swear that their choice will out-perform all other offerings. But just how important is color when it comes to lure and fly selection? Well, according to science, not very important at all!

Water progressively absorbs or blocks light of different wavelengths, meaning that colors effectively “vanish” one after another as “white” sunlight travels through the water column. The overall intensity or brightness of visible light also diminishes rapidly underwater... 


How does the brain interpret color? [seeing color]
What light reaches the eye? [the visible spectrum]
The Brain From Top to Bottom:[photoreceptors beginner] [photoreceptors advanced]
[I always recommend looking at The Brain From Top to Bottom, for anyone]