Sunday, February 24, 2008

Doctors. Grrrr.

Elizabeth, over at Screw Bronze, was relating her frustration with her doctors, especially with how they ignore her activity level, assuming that she just lays about all day. This got me going:

Doctors will simply not believe that you are active. Maybe it's something they only do with women, but I have found it to be true ever since I was a teen. That's when I went to the doctor to ask why my hands and feet were always cold, and the fat, chain-smoking fool told me that I just needed to run a couple of laps every day. I was in high school. I took Phys Ed. I ran every day, slowly and badly, but I ran. I also regularly walked the three miles home from school. And Dr. Fool was telling me I needed to exercise.

Same crap when I asked another doctor about why I couldn't improve my stamina climbing the stairs and the hills. Never mind that I was doing it every goddamn day and had been for over a year, and it still wasn't getting any easier.

Same crap when my joints started dislocating or being constantly painful. I'm supposed to exercise? Hey, idiot, there are plenty of people less active than I am, and they never dislocate a single joint or lose the ability to turn a door knob.


Sore spot with me? Yes, you hit it.

Elizabeth then asked:
Your doctor experiences sound WAY more frustrating than mine - did you eventually start taking a large friend or a mallet?

So, I'm continuing my rant here.

Naw. I respond by mostly avoiding the doctors. No matter what happens, I generally feel that seeing a doctor isn't going to make things any better and will likely only result in pointless testing that reveals nothing useful. What good does it do to find out X, Y or Z if nothing will be done about it anyway? So I save myself the aggravation and just don't go.

When I have gotten things I needed, it has been because I knew exactly what I needed before I went to the doctor and demanded it. I knew I needed splints for my thumbs and fingers. I demanded I get them--though I first had to go through the hurdle of seeing the goddamn neurologist when I already freaking know that what is wrong with me is mechanical. Grrrr. When I badly dislocated a knee, and knew I needed surgery on it, the orthopedic surgeon kept putting me off, telling me to just stay off my feet for a while. Not like he ordered me up a wheelchair, either, so how does that work for over a month? I finally took myself hostage, a la Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles. When he started to give me the usual line, I stopped him and said "You said I'd be fine by now. So I must be fine. I guess I'll start going back to practice martial arts and walking up hills. Because everything is just fine now, right?" This I said though I couldn't bend my knee and it was still swollen. Amazingly, he scheduled the surgery to remove the broken bits of meniscus for the very next week. And he was, oh so surprised to find out that I had virtually no ACL left. And he had seen me reduce my jaw when my TMJ spontaneously dislocated (he was astonished), but he still couldn't put 2 and 2 together.

Of course, a surgeon eager to cut is just as bad and often even worse.

There was the idiot doctor that convinced my 89 year old grandpa to get a new hip replacement. No, my previously healthy grandpa did not survive that. He probably had another 10 years in him if he had just used a cane instead of a getting a surgery.

And you know what happened to my grandma.

I suppose I could talk about the failed surgeries for uterine prolapse that my mom had, that ultimately resulted in a failed surgery for rectocele.

So, as far as I'm concerned, doctors aren't worth seeing unless you already know what you need and can spell it out for them. And half the time, you are worse off for having consulted them in the first place. The worst thing would be to be in your position, Elizabeth, knowing something is wrong but not what to do about it, and thus having to be subjected to fumbling pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey testing month after month as things get worse. I've been in that situation, but I knew I wasn't dying, so I could opt to stop. I'm angry on your behalf that you are being treated as lackadaisacally as I have come to expect, when they should be pulling out all the stops to find out if there is something that will stabilize your condition.

edited to provide context and to clean up typos

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dear Canada

Can we borrow some of your judges?

I ask because I read this article in the Globe and Mail, which discusses why the Ontario Court of Appeal found in favor of Kevin Keays against Honda.

A couple of years after Kevin Keays's grim struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome began to play havoc with his work attendance at an Ontario Honda Canada plant, co-workers took to mocking his constant absenteeism with cruel cartoons and resentful ridicule.

With workplace morale in a tailspin and their patience spent, Honda managers decided the situation was at the point of no return. They fired Mr. Keays, spawning a bitter court battle that resulted in a record-setting damage award for him - granted by a judge who blasted the company for an "outrageous" campaign of intimidation against Mr. Keays.

The case is to be heard on appeal by the Canadian Supreme Court. Best of luck, Canada!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Against Stigma

Over at Writhe Safely, Flawedplan says what I have been thinking about the liberal response to incidents like the NIU shooting in WaPo Good, Huffpo Bad.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


My neck has been squeaking all day. And thus my head has been hurting all day and my gut upset. I had hoped it would get better but it seems to be getting worse. God, I hate the noise of squeaky neck.


My birthday was Valentine's Day. I spent the day with my daughter, who took me shopping. It was a great day, with my favorite companion and I both us finding jeans that fit and her not having any notable seizures, and both us our legs holding out much longer than usual. Because I spent the whole day with MD, I didn't get to spend any time with my parents until today. Mom was quite eager to give me a gift, but I didn't imagine it would be so wonderful.

First, she made sure I read the card: "Everytime I say or write [your name], I am reminded of my mother. Your grandmother loved you more than she could ever express and that is why I am giving you this gift. She would be most pleased and happy."

The gift is a necklace of crystals and silver that needs to be restrung. My grandmother wore it when her children were young, so my mom and her brothers slobbered all over it, tarnishing the silver. That makes it even better, I think.

I was named after my mom's mom, and miss her greatly though she died over 20 years ago. It was years before I stopped crying abruptly every day. Grandma was the pillar of our family.

Grandma wasn't always a pillar, of course. Her childhood and young adult years were hard and her choices not always the best. Her mother was an un-enrolled Cherokee; her father a teamster home long enough only to father another child. At twelve, Grandma was set out to work in the houses of better-off townsfolk. She became something of a groupie, leaving her hometown to be on the road with a vaudeville musician. She married her vaudevillian, but after 2 kids, he ran off, leaving her, a flapper and a stranger, in a small town. My grandfather was taken by her exotic looks and, an orphan himself, eager to step in as father to two small boys. My mom came along shortly after they were married.

Grandma kept her thoughts and feelings to herself. She didn't hug or kiss more than the expected hello and goodbye. But she was a never-ending fount of pies, cakes, home-made clothes, and wonderful summertime visits. I would spend a week with her and Grandpa, all by myself. I spent the time reading, daydreaming, and poking about. I'd help hang out the laundry on the line or ineffectually assist in her constant gardening. I'd try on every outfit in her closet--she never threw any of them out. She was order without rigor, standards without rejection. She traded plates of food with her neighbors at holidays, pumpkin pies and chocolate cakes in exchange for tamales. I am not sure that a day ever passed without dishes being returned or picked up--and no dish was ever sent or returned empty. Anyone who had any business with my grandparents came to the backdoor. Only strangers came to the front, and there weren't many of those.

Grandma had chronic health problems. Her doctors were way too eager to cut into her without really knowing what was wrong. In midlife, she lost both breasts and much of her back and chest muscle to a double radical mastectomy, but turned out not to have had cancer at all. Much of her bowel was resected, for reasons I never knew but that I suspect were due to prolapse and attempts to repair previous botched surgeries. She was prepared to die many times, but hung on, I felt and still feel, because we needed her so much. When she had been very poorly for many months, she asked when I would come see her. I made a point of going then, and she and I sat in chairs on her lawn. We talked a bit, but mostly shared time. I told her I loved her. Shortly after, her condition worsened. She refused any further surgeries and, having already said goodbye to her grandchildren, died. She was 85. Life came apart then, but I think that we've all put it back together pretty well.

There is no marker where her grave is. There is, instead, my mom. I'm nearly 50 now. Someday, it will be on me to be the marker she is. I hope I will be as good a neighbor, as nonjudgmental, as perservering, as wise, as my mom and my grandma.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

To Boldly Limp Where No One Has Limped Before

Incited to embrace my geek self by Emma (so blame her), I'm going to write a bit more about Star Trek and disability. I brought it up earlier, talking about "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" (ITITNB) in reference the the blind acupuncturist story.

Emma mentions Geordi, the blind engineer in Next Gen, asking how his situation compares with that of Miranda Jones. I'm not all that hep on TNG, so be ready to flame me with the hot coals of Trek wrath for my faulty knowledge on that score. But as to Miranda Jones in ITITNB, I will dare to speak.

Jones is introduced as an anomaly, a telepathic human who went to Vulcan to learn how to shut out the voices and emotions, both hers and others', that invaded her consciousness, as well as getting a respite there by being around people who knew how to keep their thoughts to themselves. She went on to become a psychologist, a profession in which being able to read other's thoughts might be an advantage. She's on board the Enterprise to assume a post as ambassador among a species that only communicates telepathically. That species, the so-called Medusans, are said to be so ugly that looking at them induces insanity. This is pretty unbelievable, since when Kollos, the Medusan ambassador to the Federation, is shown (to the extent that it is), it appears to an energy creature that can hide in a box. Maybe there's some sort of optical trigger that gets set off in corporeal minds, that is understood by those dealing with the unfortunates who had been exposed as "ugly." That I could buy, coming as I do from a personal background of migraines and seeing MD's seizure troubles; there's nothing like a bad flicker to make life unpleasant and painful.

OK, where was I? Oh, yes. Miranda Jones. Seems she was second choice for the job, which was originally offered to Spock. And seems she is feeling that others think she must be inadequate to the task if she was second choice, so one of her fashion accoutrements is a giant chip on her shoulder. The other is a fantastic web-like lacey affair that she wears over all her other clothes. It's quite lovely. I want one. And it is what makes Miranda Jones like Geordi LaForge. With it, she can sense the physical world around her, even being able to read heart rates and body temperatures. Seriously, why isn't everyone wearing one of those things? Looks great and beats the heck out of LaForge's plastic hair accessory. The other fashion accessory introduced is the IDIC, a piece of jewelry that Spock describes as representing Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Jones thinks he's wearing it rub in her face that he's a better telepath than she is. Whatever his reasons, the idea of IDIC plays throughout this episode.

Back to our story. The sensory features of Jones's fashion statement are not revealed to the command crew until well into the episode. Before then, she gets the opportunity to jilt a lover, who decides that he can change Jones's mind if he shortcircuits the mission through murdering Kollos. Bad Decision Dinosaur would approve, for the obvious result is bwahahahahaha madness (not your garden variety mental illness, but the kind common only in Gotham City). In his agitation, loverboy Larry overcomes the entire engineering crew, navigates the ship to some unknown place outside the galaxy, and conveniently dies. The Big Three decide that their only option to finding their way home is for Spock to mindmeld with Kollos, since the Medusans have mad skillz in interstellar navigation. Jones would try to stop Spock, so Kirk decides to try his own loverboy routine on Jones in order to distract her.

With Jones and Kirk alone in the ship greenhouse, we learn that Jones went to Vulcan not just to get telepathic training, but to get away from human emotion, of which the worst, she says, is pity. Totally convinced of his own irresistable charm, Kirk yammers on about how she's going to miss being with her own kind, seeing and touching other humans. He moves in to close the deal he's making, inadvertantly exposing his thoughts to Jones. Too late, she races to stop Spock. Kollos has agreed to the plan (Spock having worn some sort of red filter that makes chatting with Medusans no problem whatsoever for Vulcans). Jones protests that she could learn all about navigation intantly and that it would be less dangerous for everyone if they let her do it instead. It's at this point that McCoy spills the beans about her blindness, telling her that piloting a starship is not among the things that her accessability device allows her to do. Spock and Kirk marvel at her overdress, Spock obviously geeking out on the tech. Seriously, if circumstances were different, Spock and Jones could completely hang together. They're both aloof, intelligent, annoyed by emotional display and willing to take chances. Spock asks why she thought it was necessary to conceal her blindness, what with it being so handy in dealing with the Medusans. Kirk, who previously had been baffled by her comment about pity being the worst of all human emotion, now buys a clue into the social model of disability, completely seeing her point that there were people who not let her succeed on her own merits if they knew she was blind.

Kollos, in its box, is brought to the bridge and placed behind a temporary divider. The meld goes smoothly, the ship gets safely home, and Spock/Kollos forget to put the red filter glasses back on. Thus the unmelding results in a dangerously agitated Spock, who gets put down with a phaser and dragged off to Sick Bay. Kirk and McCoy implore Jones to mindmeld with Spock, in hopes that she can bring him around. She reluctantly agrees but after several hours, there is no improvement. McCoy is resigned to Spock dying, but Kirk wonders if Jones is actually trying, what with her being professionally jealous of Spock. He barges into Sick Bay, where he finds that Jones has removed her webbing thing. He doesn't mention it, but picks it up, looking at her as she keeps asking who has entered. He glowers in fury, taking her relative state of undress for indifference. He then launches into her, saying that he thinks she's a cold-blooded jealous bitch who doesn't care about anyone but herself, and that if Spock died, it would be her fault for not giving a rat's ass. He storms out, leaving Jones standing like someone just hit her in the face with a particularly smelly mackerel. Kirk tells McCoy that he wasn't sure he did the right thing, seems confused and troubled by her being actually blind: "She was blind. Really blind. Really in the dark." Or is he referring to her not understanding her own feelings? But Jones shows that she can take criticism, deciding that she really wasn't trying very hard. And how does she show this? She puts on the lacey overdress, right? Nope. She leaves it where it was, and turns around to put her heart into getting Spock back to his usual self.

With Spock restored, Jones and Kollos prepare to leave the ship. Before departing, Jones thanks Kirk for the chewing out, saying that it enabled her to understand herself. After all, she had made it a point to block out her own feelings, so she really had become unaware of the scope of her motivations.

What did this episode really have to say about disability? Blindness was never presented as a hindrance to Jones in anyway. It was, in fact, a useful characteristic because it allowed her to deal with the Medusans directly. The disabilities she faced were societal (pity, and a lack of accessibility) and the usual individual ones that cut across the whole of humanity (jealousy, lack of personal insight).

Now, how does that one episode compare to the many in which Geordi figured? Well, Geordi doesn't feel a need to hide his blindness, so there's obviously been some progress. And for both, there is never a question among the humans about their right to existence as people with disabilities. I guess that's one of the lessons learned from the terrible Eugenics War of the 1990s. But I like that, for Jones, blindness is a trait that can be good, part of the entire package which makes her ideal for her job, and is otherwise no more important than the color of her hair. I don't remember Geordi ever being in a situation where being blind was an actual good, though I do remember a couple of episodes where it made him the weak link in the chain. I don't include having tech as part of the actual good. Jones being blind was good whether or not she wore the lacy thing. Geordi being blind was good only when being able to hack the banana clip was useful.

TOS took a similar approach to disability in "Plato's Stepchildren." There it turns out that Alexander's dwarfism is actually a good thing, because it has saved him from the fate of being an Insufferable Prick. He's the one that, as a viewer, you are expected to identify with: The little guy (both figuratively and physically) being pushed around by powerful interests mostly concerned with increasing their own standing. Kirk assures Alexander that, when he leaves the planet with them, that there will be plenty of other people of short stature and that being a dwarf wouldn't be any barrier to him. Even though showing rather than telling would be more effective, we are supposed to assume it is true. Probably that Eugenics War legacy, again. What I really like in "Plato's Stepchildren" is that Alexander--when given the choice--makes a conscious choice to identify as disabled in a society in which the only disability that matters is lack of telekinesis.

They were treating you the same way they treat me, just like me only you fight them. All the time, I thought it was me, my mind that couldn't move a pebble. They even told I was lucky they bothered keep me around, and I believed them. The arms and legs of everybody's whim. Look down. Don't meet their eyes. Smile. Smile. Those great people... they were gods to me. But you showed me what they really are. Now I know. Don't you see? It's not me or my size. It's them! It's them! It's them!

When offered the drug that would counteract his "biochemical deficiency" also responsible for his dwarfism:

You think that's what I want? Become one of them, become my own enemy?

Look at that. By himself, Alexander had adopted his society's disablism. But when he had the chance to bond with other non-telekinetics, he came to respect himself and understand the social model of disability. Isn't disability culture a beautiful thing?

Of course, not all is sweetness and light for folks with disabilities in the TOS generation. Despite all the progress made on other fronts, medical care for veterans injured in the line of duty remains grossly inadequate. Just ask Capt. Pike.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Short Bus, prologue

I'm currently reading Jonathan Mooney's new book, The Short Bus. I've decided to post reviews as I read it. Meaning, not only post for each part of the book, but in the manner in which I read. This means that there may be a lot of digression. Have you any idea how many good books I never finish because I get stimulated to think of something else with every sentence? Of course, you don't, because I have never told you before now. I'm intent on not getting distracted, so putting out my thoughts as they come to me should help. And afterward, I'll assess the book as a whole. If you are also reading this book, please feel free to throw in your own comments. (Full disclosure: Mr. Mooney gave me a copy to read, for the purpose of sharing my opinion.)

So, we get to begin with my favorite part of any book, the prologue. It's my favorite because I get a sense of what to expect. I'm a great one for reading the beginning of a book and then getting restless part way through and skipping to the end. And then reading the middle if I liked the end. I don't know if this will be one of those books that I get so restless I can't read straight through. From the prologue, I think the Mooney's writing style is inviting enough that I might be able to contain myself to see how the story plays out on his terms. Or maybe it will be so inviting that I just won't be able to help myself. We'll soon see, won't we?

Probably anyone reading this blog knows what a short bus represents. That's the half-size bus that the designated "special" kids ride, rather than have them ride with the "normal" kids. There might be a reason for having a separate bus pick up some kids. Goodness knows that your average school bus is barely accessible to your average, homogenized kid. You might think that the short bus should thus be representing inclusion and acceptance. But not every kid on the short bus needs special transport. No, there's something else going on there, and right away, Mooney gets to the heart of it by climbing back on the short bus. What the short bus represents is segregation and stigma, a singling out and demoralization of those who are different. But maybe it can also represent community and identity under adverse circumstances?

As a boy, Jonathon Mooney was diagnosed as having learning disabilities, and spent most of his early education in anguish.  Mooney talks about his feelings going to the special classes, and his frustration, to the point of suicidal despair, with the insistance of the system that he "try to be normal." I can see this is going to be a book exploring how ideas of normality are used to degrade those who just won't be homogenized. He admits that the message finally became his goal, that he sought to become normal, to avoid the "freaks" lest he share their taint. He thought he had accomplished this after his graduation with honors from Brown and the publication of his first book, Learning Outside the Lines.  He had pretty much acheived supercripdom, being introduced on his book tour as having "overcome" his serious learning disability.  But while he's on his book tour, encounters with children and adults who have not "overcome" bring him around to accept the part of him that he had been running from.  The process of acceptance leads him to buy the very symbol of his difference and stigma, a short bus, to take on tour throughout the United States.  To do what?  To celebrate his release from the constraints of The Normal? To seek out others like him?  He had thought it would be Afterschool Special material, but having shaken off that notion, went ahead with his road trip.  Ooh, good prologue.  I know to expect an interesting tale of adventure, but not what that adventure will bring.


Digressive thoughts I'm willing to share:

By the by, this whole short bus thing is somewhat later than my own childhood experience.  Back when dinosaurs walked the earth, there were no learning disabilities. You were either "normal" or you had "retardation". Everyone who went to school, went to the same school as everyone else in the neighborhood, and we all walked.  If you couldn't walk, you didn't go to school.  Of course, there was still segregation and shame attached to learning disability, whether it had a label or no.  Kids with Down syndrome were in a separate part of the building and had separate recess (I really don't remember any kids in that class not having Down syndrome, but that might be a trick of my memory) and we were given the distinct impression that they were somehow under quarantine.  Kids with less pronounced learning disabilities were mainstreamed by virtue of not having resource to the modern panoply of labels.  Though they did get to enjoy the segregation enforced within the classroom of being made to sit or stand in the places of shame, or spend a great deal of one on one time with the principal, and if any of them had masochistic tendencies, they were in luck, for there were all sorts of interesting techniques of humiliation and pain available to the educators of yore.  

Troublesome students nowadays seem to get labeled autistic and sent to the resource room. There wasn't much in the way of "resource rooms" as they are now known.  But they weren't unknown, either.  Without my parents' knowledge, I was sent to the resource room equivalent for reasons that were never revealed to me as a child but that my parents finally divulged not too long ago.  Seems my stutter and tendency to write things backwards, and some picture I drew in second grade, did not meet with approval, so for two years, I was pulled out of class to go play Uncle Wiggly and Candyland with a couple of other weirdos.  Well, that's all I remember doing there. Childhood was very confusing.  Oh, wait, I think there may have been phonics and flash cards. At any rate, they succeeded in mostly replacing my stuttering with speech hesitation and overpronunciation of consonants.  And really pissing my parents off, who put a stop to it when they finally found out. Oh, I should say, I never heard it called a resource room back then. It was the "counselor's office," and only quiet oddballs ended up there.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Blind acupuncturist

A woman in Austin is trying to get licensed as an acupuncturist. She was turned down the first time, despite passing her classes and test, for the simple reason that she is blind.

My first impression, gathered from the article I read, was that the state licensing board was acting out of prejudice:

Meng-sheng Lin is the licensure committee chairwoman, and the Dallas acupuncturist said she's inclined to repeat her vote against [Juliana] Cumbo's application.

She said she's trying to fulfill her duty to protect the public.

Lin said acupuncture can lead to bleeding that if unnoticed could pose a contamination risk.

Good grief. A blind acupuncturist might cause bleeding? Heck, my sole experience with acupuncture was with a sighted acupuncture student, who seemingly mistook me for a voodoo doll. I have complete confidence that a blind person couldn't do any worse, and might potentially do something novel, like pay attention to what they were doing. I would sooner try it again with Ms. Cumbo.

But maybe I'm just being silly. Maybe, like piloting a starship*, acupuncture is one of those things that blind people just can't do.

But, no, apparently my first impression was the right one. Google Book Search brings me Understanding Acupuncture, by Stephen Birch and Robert Felt. In Box 3.2 on page 96, they relate Birch's "good fortune" in studying with a blind acupuncturist. Perhaps the Texas licensing board should buy themselves a few copies of this book.

There's a whole tradition in Japan of acupuncture being done by blind practioners. Some fellow named Waichi Sugiyama invented the insertion tube for the needles way back in the 1600s. Did I mention he was blind? He then went on to found acupuncture schools to teach the craft to others who were blind. Both the Kiiko and Toyohari acupunture styles were developed by blind acupuncturists, though also taught to those who have the misfortune of being distracted by vision. A third of all Japanese practioners are blind.

I'm now seriously wondering about the credentials of the Texas acupuncture licensing board if they don't know this history already.

edited 2/9/08 when I finally remembered the wording I was going to use


*Star Trek, Original Series, "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" Dr. McCoy reveals Miranda Jones' blindness when she demands to be taught to navigate the ship. I rather like the episode overall--McCoy felt that her blindness was nobody's business up to that point. Maybe few writers in the 1960s just could imagine adaptive technology well enough to consider that perhaps blindness might not be the barrier they thought it must always be to driving anything? Aside from that, the message of the episode, that pity is inappropriate and serves to hinder the person objectified with pity, is well done. Jones has the regular assemblage of human failings, which drive her relationships and behavior, but among them is not her blindness. If she has a "handicap," it would be her telepathy--the superhuman sense she has--because it makes her extremely uncomfortable around other people. But that, too, is accepted as just part of "infinite diversity." OK, enough geeking out. Well, for the moment.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Isn't Yahoo in violation of the ADA?

According to Yahoo's service agreement, there is no recourse for people who have seizures from exposure to their blinking ads except to stop using their service:


This is ridiculous. It would be a simple matter for them to include a preference for non-blinking, non-strobing ads and backgrounds. Shame on Yahoo.


It's 1 AM. Every damn joint hurts. I dislocated a pinky trying to get up from my chair. Why did I think it was unnecessary to get splints for my pinkies? (Note to self: Next go-round on replacement splints, get pinkies armored.) It's a good thing there is a backspace key, because I am having quite a time of it trying to hit the right letters with enough force to make the keyboard work but not much that I dislocate the other fingers and half the time I hit the wrong letter or hit a letter and nothing happens. I really hate that--expending force to no effect other than my own discomfort. It makes me feel like I am out of phase with this dimension, going through the motions of a human body, but unable to have any proper impact on my physical surroundings. I should go take something so I can go back to sleep, but that would mean that I'd have to get up again and I'm not sure I have the will to face that again. Oh, and my muscles are spasming.

On the bright side, I'm in a good mood. I don't remember when the last time was that I slept through the night, but at least I've gotten four to six hours of sleep every night the past couple weeks. Beats the hell out of the previous two weeks, in which I was going 24 and 48 hour without sleep, and then maybe crashing for the usual four hours.

I've had a nice week all in all, even making gluten-free bread twice! And my kitchen is relatively clean despite it. I realize this is why I am aching so much. Standing to cook is exhausting, and my kitchen is not very me-friendly and can't be made to be so. So I over-extended myself this way (bwah ha ha. Sorry. EDS joke). And a friend is coming over tomorrow to help me clean house.

I'm currently reading Oliver Sack's Migraine. I'm taking an historical approach to it as an artifact of attitudes toward invisible disability. He wrote it back in the paleolithic era of 1968 and his revision was in 1992, so I have to keep in mind that he is representing the best in medical thought at the time. Otherwise, his depiction of migraine, as well as epilepsy, as partly psychogenetic would have me screaming in anger so loudly you wouldn't need me to blog to know how I feel about that attitude.

So. Will returning to my reading help me sleep? Or will it just get me riled up? Perhaps I should just fire up Joost and look for the most boring program they have available. There is one show that I know will always put me to sleep, but, alas, I don't know its name, and I am sure it isn't on Joost. It's about the Nazi fire bombing of London. While the subject is interesting, the presentation consists of a lot of flame images and sounds, with a soothing, even narration of the sort normally employed to quiet small children. If anyone knows what it is, and where I can get a DVD, I'd appreciate it. Sleep on demand will be mine at last!