Food Trauma: I Hate Food!

It all started about two years ago, when nausea became my constant companion. At first, I cut out sugar, Splenda and turned to the BRAT diet for my unrelenting diarrhea. Two years of struggling daily with these symptoms, recording food diaries and not finding any patterns have given me what I call “food trauma.”

These days, everything I eat gives me severe nausea and diarrhea. I’ve cut out all sugars, carbohydrates, and can no longer eat raw foods. Yet, I still have four or five bouts of diarrhea a day and battle 24-hour a day nausea.

At the doctor last week, I learned about my nonalcoholic fatty liver and was told that it was dangerous for me to keep taking the anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medication, as well as the medicine for the GI cramping. Now, I suffer in silence and the only relief from my symptoms is meditation, relaxation, CBT and visualization.

I should be gland that I have no appetite or food cravings and the thought of eating sends me into a severe panic attack. Nightmares about eating plague the little sleep I get. Rather, than feeling free from the terrible burden of food, I grieve and mourn. Will I ever enjoy food again.

It’s a great irony that I am a fat woman who hates food, and all the doctor appointments about my weight just add to the food trauma. During my battles to convince myself to eat, I can cite the doctors who threaten me with surgery if I don’t lose weight. The doctors want me to starve myself. Maybe if I don’t eat anything, I will finally lose weight, I think. If losing weight is the only way to “earn” the treatment that will make me more comfortable, then why should I force myself to eat.

This is the point, logic steps in. If you don’t eat you die, my brain says. So, I get off the couch, dump soup in a pan and heat it on the stove. Sobbing uncontrollably, I choke it down and set my alarm for three hours. That’s when I have to eat again to prevent hypoglycemia, mood swings and heart palpitations.

Now, thanksgiving is in two days. I don’t even want to go.

On the one hand, I won’t be tempted. I can freely watch people eat sugary desserts, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls, and not feel a pang of desire for pumpkin pie. Most people might call that progress, but I grieve for the days that I could eat a candy bar and enjoy the taste. I want to be able to enjoy eating again, but it is too late.

All I have left are memories. I daydream about eating pizza, sundaes, and drinking diet soda. I try to remember what they tasted like and how pleasurable eating them were.

The the worst part of my food trauma is that my steady diet of soups, jello, sugar free pudding and water as my only beverage hasn’t led to weight loss. It hasn’t improved my malnutrition or my constant dehydration (baths and showers improve my dehydration because I have thin skin, a symptom of severe menopause).

My stubborn weight won’t budge at 220 pounds, but my size 42 pants fall off my shrinking butt, and my baggy underwear no longer stay up.

I’m still fa, and the doctors never tire of threatening me with weight loss surgery.  My therapist laughs when I talk about food trauma. Fat people don’t get food trauma, he believes. I would argue, but what’s the use.

Would anyone treat a 220 pound woman who claims to have anorexia? Probably not.

(P.S. There are no pictures, because I can only find skinny women crying as they eat.)

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Stop Whining and Love Your Vagina

loving-my-vaginaEveryone can agree that having a mental illness is enough of a disability on its own, but, most of the time, people on the spectrum have other debilitating medical conditions, as well. Unfortunately, if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health issue and you have a hormonal problem that worsens those symptoms, you will have fight much harder than another person who does not have a mental health diagnosis.
This brings me to today’s topic: early menopause. I’ve had the symptoms of hormonal balance, since before I got my first period.
hormones
So, as my hormonal symptoms, I have really been struggling to come up with new things to try to bring me some comfort until I see the experts in November. In 23 days, I will be seeing endocrinologists at Cleveland Clinic. Counting down the remaining time is  a great way to reinforce the idea that there are doctors who are taking my symptoms seriously after 20 + years of mentioning them to medical professionals. 
dont-ovary-act
Today,  I tried to make myself feel better by searching for female bloggers who also despise their woman parts. Instead of validating my hatred for the parts of my body that define me as female, it broke my heart, and I need some comic relief to feel better again.
Women hate their wombs needlessly and for reasons that are ridiculous. There are uterus’s and ovaries in the United States, which are despised for doing their jobs. In America, vaginas get a really bad rap. So, I have the three top reasons women hate their vaginas and my related reasons for wanting a complete hysterectomy.
cartoon
Them: Menstruation.
Coming in as the 3rd most popular reason women hate their uterus is because it bleeds five days a month every month, which is exactly what it is supposed to do!
Me: Last year, I bled for 3 months nonstop – heavy bleeding with large black clots and cramps so severe I had to go to the ER for IV pain medication. Despite an ablasion and other surgeries, I still have severe pain in the same place. However, now that I am not bleeding from my uterus, the medical specialists keep telling me I need to get my gallbladder removed – but it’s the same pain!
 
Jail-cell.jpg
Them: My uterus kills my babies!
The second most popular reason that women hate their anatomy (drumroll, please) is. . .”miscarriage.”
Me: Oh, my god. My uterus never killed a baby. Thank God. That would really suck. Point one for my womb. 
Kidding aside, I am comforted by the fact that my uterus does not keep “killing babies,” which means I am intelligent enough to realize that if my womb can’t menstruate properly, it won’t be able to handle a pregnancy. As a result, my uterus will never murder babies and it can look forward to a life of freedom from the persecution that comes with committing a felony. 
vagina-looks-like-a-turkey
Them: It’s so ugly!
To my horror, the most popular reason woman hate their women parts is because they’re ugly. First of all, they don’t seem to know that vaginas do not hang outside of the body, and if they do, it is a surgical emergency and they need to go quickly to the ER. 
Me: I can’t identify with that. My womb is tucked inside my abdomen where it belongs. Point two for my uterus.
I’ve never seen my vagina, but a surgical ob/gyn told me it was beautiful and textbook perfect.
I will be happy to trade for an ugly one. Seriously, if you want mine, email me. 
I guess the moral of the story is:
keep-calm-and-love-your-vagina-2
Conclusion: My vagina wins. Despite the fact that it tortures me every single day, according to a reliable source my womb is beautiful and it’s not a murderer, so I should probably stop despising it.  
It must be true that no one really knows how good they have it until they start comparing their life to those more fortunate than them.
I may be fat and menopausal with greasy hair, but I can rest easy knowing that my vagina is beautiful.

Autism and Potential

Potential: There are no Limits!

potential

There aren’t very many things in this world that truly bother me, but it really bothers me when professionals and parents set limits for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Often, when people find out that I have an autism spectrum disorder, the most common response is

“My [son, daughter, nephew, niece, grandchild, etc] has that, but he’ll never be like you”

First of all, few of those people know the severity of the symptoms I’ve overcome. All these people know is that I’ve overcome a lot. They assume that the severity of my no limitsdisorder has to be less than their child’s. I don’t buy into this.

No one really knows the potential of any child on the spectrum, or any child period. Children are smart, so if they hear that they aren’t good at science over and over again, they believe it and their skills in science suffer. They are prone to think that if this is hard and my parents say I’m never going to be good at it, then why should I try?

I don’t blame them. Math is more difficult for me than Reading and Writing, so I would rather not put all that effort into it, either. I often use the excuse that I’m a “word” person, not a “numbers” person. But my parents pushed me all the way to college Calculus.They didn’t let my first grade breakdown over the loss of my number line stop them.number line

My Personal Story:

When I was diagnosed with ASD as a child, and the doctors told my parents about the limits that would hold me back, they didn’t believe it. Thank God for that! They never told me about the diagnosis, so I didn’t learn I had an ASD until I was in my 20s.

impossible

Sure, my life was hard and my parents pushed me, but I wouldn’t be here today if they’d accepted those limits and attached them firmly to my development. Instead, they worked hard to prove the doctors were wrong. They never told me I was on the spectrum, rather they told me I was a creative person and that’s why I was different from everyone else. After all, creative genius and madness are strongly connected. They also told me that the people who change the world are different from everyone else. So, if I am different, can I change the world? It could happen, they said.

Without knowing about the ASD diagnosis, I had no excuse to not give 100% to everything I did. There was no chance for me to give up and say that if something was hard, it wasn’t worth the effort, because I would never be good at it.

reach your potentialThe lesson is that no one knows the potential of any child, whether they are on the spectrum or not. Imagine if Bill Clinton had been told he would never be good at politics. Do you think he would have become president? What about Tesla? Do you think he’d still have invented Tesla coils if his parents kept telling him he would never be good at physics? The list goes on.

Granted, being told your child has an autism spectrum disorder is scary, but you must not lose hope. No one, not even you, knows your child’s true potential.

The best treatment for ASDs is individualization. Learn about your child’s likes and dislikes, and keep in mind the skills they might need to be functioning members of society. Use their loves and obsessions as rewards and push them hard, especially when it temper tantrumscomes to socialization. Sure, they will kick and scream and resist at every corner, but if you keep with it, they will surprise you. I guarantee it.

Life is hard, and so is parenting, but don’t let that stop you from giving your child what they need to be a success in their life and on their terms.

success

I write well!

I can write a novel

When people ask me what I do, I reply that I am a writer. Words and language are my special interest a consolation prize for my autism spectrum disorder. Writing and reading comprehension are a result of my obsessive study. I’ve put hours of hard work into understanding written communication. It exasperates me that most of the people I meet  believe they have the ability to write a the next great American novel. Often, they comment that they’ve always wanted to write a book.

My response: I’ve always wanted to build a spaceship and visit “the star” Pluto, but I readily admit that I don’t know anything about rockets or jet propulsion. But, I don’t walk around telling people I can build a functioning rocket without first learning about space.

rocket science

Why is it that writing is so accessible when rocket science is viewed as a difficult subject to master? Why do the people who have not studied language and don’t know the parts of speech believe they know quality of writing on sight? This view is disrespectful to those, like me, who can identify high quality written work and explain why it is high quality. It is equally disrespectful for me to go up to a rocket scientist and tell him I can build a better rocket than him.

During my foray into the publishing industry, I’ve discovered those who write well, don’t go around bragging about their abilities. In fact, true “experts” seem to believe that there is always a lot more to learn about their discipline.

For me, part of the reason I write, is because it is challenging to write well. Language is evolving, so there is always more to learn. In addition, there are many different kinds of writing: persuasive writing, nonfiction, memoir, essays, blogs, emails, poetry and, of course, the novel. When I grow skilled at one type, I move on to another.

Part of the problem is that people are misinformed and believe writers write the way they speak. Verbal and written communication are in no way related. The fact is that just because you speak well doesn’t mean you will write well.

social mediaIn this modern technological age, it’s easy to fall into a trap and believe you can write well. After all, the majority of our communication is written, but texting, social media and emails are not the same as writing. At best, they resemble speech in that they can be truncated and repetitive with an obtuse meaning. Miscommunication occurs regularly using these avenues, because many people forget about nonverbal communication.

When speaking, our meaning and emotion are conveyed with body language, facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice and inflection. So, taking nonverbal language for granted when messaging and texting, there is no context to use to determine what the other person is trying to communicate.

When writing, if one is aware of nonverbal communication’s role in speech, one uses words to establish the meanings and emotions the reader experiences. This cannot be achieved effectively without knowledge of sentence structure, parts of speech, grammar and words.

grammar

In our society, writing well is a rare skill, but the common belief is that people who spend the day texting and on social media write all day long, so they must be excellent writers. However, give one of these people a sheet of paper and ask them to write something and they are revealed as frauds.

Spelling, grammar, punctuation and meaning are not things most people think about when they post of Facebook or text their friend. Yet, they should and if they were good writers, they would. I do. I revise every few words I write a few times for meaning and with a consideration for audience.

My point to this rant is that the next time you consider becoming Steven King or J.K. Rowling, think about what you actually know about language. Writing a novel is not a “get rich quick scheme.” It’s much easier to win the lottery, especially if you don’t want to put in the work. Although, filling in those sheets is another skill to master.

lottery

So, budding novelists out there, ask yourself if you like words and language? Do you know the difference between a noun and verb? What parts of speech make a sentence? Can you tell the difference between to, too and two or its and it’s? What is an apostrophe and how is it used?

Most importantly, would you like to know those those things?

comma joke

The last question is the most important.

If you aren’t interested in these things, play the lottery. It’s better odds.

If you are, though, buy into the hype and begin your own study.

grammar

“Public Television”

Yesterday, my husband and I went to a restaurant and had a meal. We did not have a great time. I ate and fled. What was supposed to be a relaxing time with my husband was such a struggle that I came home and napped for an hour or two. The culprit: Television in public or “public television.”

When deciding to eat in, I completely forgot one of the reasons we eat takeout. Television. Yes, I said television. Television watching is no longer restricted to living rooms. Television is everywhere, especially restaurants with bars who tailor to sporting events.

televisions in restaurnatstelevisions in restaurnats

There were seven televisions in the dining area we sat in. Seven! I counted. As if that wasn’t enough, there was also two different radio stations and a group of people behind us talking. To make it even worse, the three televisions in my view were turned to three different channels. Thank god I couldn’t hear them, too. I might have lost consciousness. LOL.

This is appalling, and it seems to be a symptom of how technology is affecting our society. Can we return to a simpler time? Please reference the photo below. Four people. One television. Now, refer to the picture above. It appears to be four customers. Yet, there are about 10 televisions. That’s six extra TVs! What a waste of electricity!

one televisionone television

This is one of many examples of how technology is changing our society. It seems that the world is evolving for the benefit of the majority. People are different, so why does society have a “one size fits all” mentality? Is it any surprise that more children have difficulty focusing and socializing?

Seven televisions in one room does not teach children to develop their ability to focus. If they get bored, they just switch TVs. As for socializing, it’s not possible to spend “quality” time with someone in a room with seven televisions and two radio stations.

It also explains why people are more and more freaked out by silence. Silence used to be humanity’s main state of existence. However, without the television to focus on, people would have to listen to their own thoughts. This is as terrifying for some people as restaurants are for me.

panicpanic

I may not be like the majority, but I have no desire to have more than one television in a room. I prefer silence, and am proud of that. As for listening to my own thoughts. I can’t imagine what it would be like without their constant companionship. Silence gives me time to learn about myself, and that is a gift no television, phone or video game console can measure up to.

When was the last time, you sat in silence and listened to your true self?

Isn’t the World Grey?

 

allwrong, allright

As someone with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of the many things I’ve worked on in therapy is my tendency to think in black and white. I learned the world is made up of gray areas., and went on to learn not to take sides. I learned to compromise and how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing side.

Unfortunately, the more I interact with NTs (neurro-typicals, people not on the autism spectrum),  the more I realize their tendency to think in terms of opposites and ignore compromise. Why can NTs get away with black and white thinking, but not people with autism? It boggles my mind and frustrates me to no end.

Examples:

  • Democrats vs. Republicans – Other active parties exist like the Green Party and Independent American Party. Voters can even register as an independent, which is not being affiliated with a party.  This is the box I checked.
  • Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice – The pro-lifers take this debate one step further into Pro-Life vs. Pro-Death. No one is against ending a life. It’s impossible for humanity to be for death, and even more improbable for people to be for murder, unless you are a serial killer. I hope most of us aren’t serial killers.
  • Vampires vs. Werewolves – A result of the popularity of The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer, that battles it out on  the urban fantasy scene. Recently, its evolved into vampires vs. werewolves vs. zombies.
  • Religious vs. Nonreligious –  I could write an entire blog on how black and white religious creeds are. Some of the staunch Christians believe it is Jesus leads to heaven vs. Nonbelief leads to hell. My idea of the debate is Religious/Spiritual vs. Nonreligious and not Spiritual.  If I had a quarter for every time someone told me I was going straight to hell, I wouldn’t need a job to pay my bills.

braf quote

I’m sick and tired of the following conversation:

Religious person: Hi. I’m XXX. How are you today?

Me: Fine. It’s nice to meet you. (Isn’t it rude and inconsiderate

to bring up religion when you meet someone?)

Religious person: Do you believe in Jesus?

Me: I’m not sure. I’m agnostic.

Religious person:  (one of two replies)  a look of confusion accompanied by                                            stammers or “What does that mean?”
Religious person: But do you believe in Jesus?

Me: I believe in a higher power that is beyond our

jesus lord and savior understanding.

Religious person: (more confusion                              indicated by forehead wrinkles)

If you don’t accept Jesus into your

heart, then you won’t be saved,

and you won’t go to heaven.

Me: I have to go. I forgot to do                                     something.

I hurriedly rush off.black and white

These days I side-step the conversation entirely.

Religious person: Do you believe in Jesus?

Me: I’m wiccan. (I am not actually wiccan, but Mother

Nature religions fascinate me, so do islam, Hinduism, etc)

Religious person looks around, makes an excuse and

disappears.

jesus vs satan

My point is that NTs should have to attend therapy, too. It’s human to think in black and white. People use this as a way to understand the world exactly like people on the spectrum. It’s a form of prejudice to force this therapy onto people with ASDs, but not the rest of humanity? People with ASDs have enough difficulty fitting in. The solution is not to force us into therapy to change something that we actually share with NTs.

What do you think? Do you think in Black and White? I love to hear from my readers, so share the love in the comments sections.

comment below

Update: Just Discovered Anime!

bleach

I am a book person. I love the written word and I think in pictures, so comic books are difficult for me to read, since the pictures on the page do not match the pictures in my head.

Recently, I have been sick with the influenza virus and the headache was so bad, I couldn’t read. Enter Anime. I don’t know a lot about anime, so I am going to list a few I am watching. Hopefully, you guys can give me some good suggestions. I love crime and detective anime like Psycho-Pass. I also really enjoyed “Wolf and Spice,” “Sailor Moon,” and “Bleach.” I’m not sure where I should go from here, though.

So, please share your favorite anime series and movies in the comment section, so I can check them out.

Thanks! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Autism Tip of the Day

declutter

 Organization is a skill, and you can learn it!

I had a mother who was into organization, so I started young and have improved every year. Organization is not a trait you are born with, it is something you can develop at any time in your life. Plus, it’s a great way to cope with autism.

I use calendars, filing systems and lots of lists to keep myself on track. I even have a scheduling book to schedule time to do specific tasks including sensory deprivation and relaxation.

In addition, , I developed habits and have one place for my keys, phone, purse, wallet, etc. This saves me a lot of grief, because it prevents me from losing important things. As for non-important things, I still use pens, papers, books, erasers and especially white out several times of a day, so I keep a stash of these things in one place so they are easily replaced. Believe it or not little things can make a HUGE difference.

To avoid becoming overwhelmed, take small steps. Organizer the bathroom one day or pick spots for important items, etc. It is small steps that will win you the race of recovery.

Below are some links to get you started.

links

http://www.hgtv.com/topics/organization/all/index.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Organized

http://orgjunkie.com/start-here

http://www.xojane.com/diy/how-organize-your-stuff-without-spending-any-money

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/HomeOrganizing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh2DYkF3Sac

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2snD6_rLmxWSUQ-VYXZa4w

Weekly Lesson: Celebrate Survival

surviving quote

This week has been a roller coaster ride, and yet I’ve pushed through it all. People who have been through trials and tribulations deserve the right to be proud of coping and even celebrate one’s survival. I think society does not give enough importance to survival. Rather, they focus on their winningbelieved failings and completely miss the fact that they are still alive and breathing – even if a little worse for wear.

The fact of the matter is that life is about survival. No one is perfect. If you reach the end of the day and don’t take the time to celebrate surviving, you won’t be able to gain a more positive outlook.

So, if you can, take some time today to consider what you’ve been through and celebrate that you are still alive (even though you may be battered, weak and exhausted). The important thing is that you made it through.

Please feel free to share your stories or quotes below. I love responding and always return the favor.