Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pain: Pt. 5

LOLCAT Weekly Roundup 10, courtesy of Maggie Jochild's Meta Watershed.

Emergency Root Canal

This afternoon I'm having an emergency root canal.

Two months ago I wrote pretty much these same words. It had been ten years before that when I'd previously had root canal.

Now it's been two months. In two days, I start driving for Denver.

SUCKS. Hurts enormously. Like someone hitting me in the face with a pipe.
Not to mention enormous expense which is again, NOT budgeted for.
Again, ouch.

This would be a good time for anyone who promised to donate in August and hasn't yet, to get their donation in. Note that I'm not starting a new fundraising drive. I'm just reminding people of existing promises. *smiles sweetly*

Don't have to write a new post on pain, nope... Two months ago:

It's been over ten years since I had an emergency tooth extraction. It was an emergency because the infection had gone too far for a root canal, and the pain was so intense I thought someone was beating me in the face with a pipe.

This is rapidly approaching that level of pain, and that's in the face of MASSIVE loads of penicillin, as well as three different pain medications along with drugs designed to ease how the pain meds work. (My pain doc just approved my increasing my major pain drug to almost double for three days.)

Feels precisely like someone is hitting me in the face with a one-inch pipe. (The scar on my left lower chin.) WHAM.

This is what Lower Manhattanite went through back in April. THE FUCKING PAIN... Pain: Pt. 2
And even after LM wrote his beautiful post over the weekend about dealing with people with disabilities, THE TITLE OF WHICH SHOULD CLUE PEOPLE IN...

Some Consideration, Please?

Some people persist in nagging me...


One of the larger pieces of bullshit disabled people often are hit with is, people who try and control us "for our own good."

"But Jesse... I was only trying to help. I thought we were FRIENDS." Gods... I can hear it right now.

Friends don't pull shit like that. Friends respect personal boundaries. Friends don't play concern troll with my health.

"Is this one of those times, Jesse, when you're not really angry at me? It seems to me that you've maybe taken a little too much of your meds and are having a reaction. You remember: just like that time last winter when you had to apologize to everyone. You just seem... off."

Wow... talk about misreading the space consistently.

How about, I wasn't mad, I wasn't even thinking about her/him. I was thinking about something else entirely. But it took 5 minutes to convince this person of that because s/he was CERTAIN that I MUST be thinking about her/him. Because of course my entire world at all times of the day and night, revolves around this person. 'Cause clearly, this non-family member whom I hadn't seen in person for a while, is my life.

Clue: Unless you're one of my REAL friends, one of the rare people whom a person who is seriously disabled TRUSTS, and actually invites (with words which come out of their actual mouth or hands, not imaginary conversations you have alone in your head) into their inner life to assist them in dealing with their disability... UNLESS that happens, what is really going on with me/the disabled person, is NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS.

If we want your help beyond a polite "Can I help you" we'll ASK. Otherwise, leave it alone.

Now pardon me... this cripple has to go get a car repair done, then have a root canal.

I'll do all that today without a single person at the car repair shop asking me if my medications are messed up, or if I need someone to make sure I don't injury myself as I hobble my way to my car. (They're just happy to take my money.)

This cripple will manage it by himself, searing jaw pain and all.

I'll let Maggie have the last word. I'm too angry. Gee Gidge... must be my medications.
Meta Watershed

Disability 101

If you suspect someone needs assistance in some way (and please, please, base this on their actual behavior and body language, not just the fact that they are disabled in some visible way), then simply ask "Would you like some help?" just like you would with anyone else. If they say "No", let it go, for g*d's sake. If they say "Yes", ask what kind of help they'd prefer. Use your common sense. Do not call the police or paramedics unless you've been asked to do so. (This is not a joke -- people in power chairs with certain kinds of movement disability often have to deal with strangers freaking out that they are in public on their own and calling 911).

Two major no-nos:
(1) Don't offer advice. No matter what. We LIVE with our bodies, we have thought of EVERYTHING that might pop into your head. It's not a sign of caring, it's a sign of your discomfort or panic at having to deal with what is ordinary reality to us.
(2) We're not here to satisfy your curiosity about "what happened" to us. If you're a good friend or family member who might possibly have the right to ask a personal question of someone with a disability, use the rule of thumb you'd apply when asking them who their baby's real father is or how much money they make each month. (Yeah, it's that personal.) Otherwise, turn your attention elsewhere. And if you ARE invited to ask questions, last on your list should be "What's wrong with you?" NOTHING is "wrong" wth us.

There's more...