Update: things are looking up
Thanks again for all the support at that low point. I am, thankfully, feeling much better now. Not too surprisingly, I had gradually gotten more depressed and trapped-feeling than I realized. Just articulating some problems and feeling more like I could look for solutions, instead of just feeling helpless, actually made a big difference.
We’ve also had more sun lately, and I’ve been remembering to use the replacement light box more, in spite of the immediate sensory badness there. (It’s just too glary and headache-inducing to tolerate at all, used as recommended right after I get up. But, better later in the day than not at all. It’s still unpleasant with the sensory issues, but just about bearable–and totally worth it, from past experience.) The seasonal factor was bad enough at about 37°N; the exaggerated version still sneaks up on me sometimes at about 51°N, with the relatively rapid changes in available light. 😐 And Mr. U keeps half-joking that I need to see Stockholm in the winter! I have also gotten back on the Pill*, to help straighten out the hormonal weirdness that was going on, and that has already helped my general mood. Besides reducing pain levels, which also–surprise!–improves mood and frees up spoons. Including for things like, erm, eating better/enough, which should help get my own hormones back on track.
But, thanks to all of this, I have even been able to get out more often, which has also helped cheer me up some more. Plus, I managed to finally pick up things like a new winter coat (after at least five stops, to find one that actually fit) and decent ankle boots to help keep my feet dry and toasty when I do go out, with heels that shouldn’t bother my knees or back. I actually like the bit of added height from about a 2″ heel, but my musculoskeletal system does not these days. At all. Hard to find boots without even that, right now, but thank goodness for Clarks! They even stock half sizes, which seems unusual in the UK. A UK 7 fit in the ones I picked, but I often need a 7.5 (about a US 9.5/European 41). I may go back and look for some taller boots, too. Their sizing actually seems pretty consistent, but I am still not about to order any kind of shoes without trying them on.
OK, this is not really relevant to anything else (though it did prompt me to want to do another post on finding clothes), but finally being able to get out and do things like find appropriate clothes for, erm, going out did provide more relief than I would have expected. While I’m still dealing with some depression and the practical problems that helped get that going, things are looking up.
I haven’t been able to get as much discussion going with Mr. U as I would have liked, yet, but I have fought feeling like a nag and kept mentioning some things I needed help with until he remembered and actually did them. And said that we really need to turn clearing some clutter so that we can get the boiler and washing machine fixed into a cooperative effort. To agreement. And I plan to just hand him trash bags and set him to collapsing some of the pileup of empty cardboard boxes after he gets back from a trip to Dublin. (Well, maybe after a little rest.) So, I’m also feeling a bit more optimistic there, if still pretty frustrated.
I was just going to add a couple of update paragraphs onto the beginning of the post I set out to write, but it grew. Especially the parenthetical bits turned into endnotes. As usual. 😉 The “keep the rambling down” spoons are still in pretty short supply. *wry smile*
* Even if, thanks to a variety of reasons, I had to do like s.e. smith (and so many other people) again, and order from Dodgy Pharmacy. (Not so much for gender-based physical dysphoria, but “try not to vomit and/or pass out”-level pain and some other dysphoria which is honestly helping build up more of the other kind of dysphoria.) This time I found that it was actually cheaper–not to mention quicker–to order from a UK-based one, under the “oh yeah, I just couldn’t get to the doctor’s for a refill!” dodge. That was only like £20 all told, for three months’ worth with next-day shipping (FYI, for anyone in the UK who might be able to use the info), but here you really can get free (taxpayer-funded!!!11!) birth control through the NHS if you can deal with the gatekeeping.
And, erm, don’t have a reasonable expectation of getting treated like shit and openly insulted, even before you mention menstrual suppression as a goal or try to explain that it should help the sacral fracture heal if it isn’t getting yanked on and displaced monthly.** I got denied combined pills by two different doctors on the basis of age, “high” (lean) BMI of 27 or 28, and smoking before I hit 30. Seriously. Now I’m 37, and not even going to try that again. (Actually, after my last pap smear appointment, I couldn’t even make another one when I got the notice in the mail. And am still having anxiety attacks thinking about it. I couldn’t even write about all of the badness, partly from unwarranted shame over “not handling the situation properly”, but yeah. When I can force myself to even try that again, I am going to take someone else into the examining room whether the medical personnel like it or not. It was that bad an experience.) I know there is a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, and am totally willing to deal with that as part of the cost-benefit analysis here; that should be good enough. It’s called informed choice/consent, and having a uterus (plus assorted xenophobic reactions) doesn’t somehow cancel out that bare minimum necessity.
** I can find absolutely no medical mention of this problem, even with the number of people who get pelvic fractures in labor from exactly this kind of strain, often with underlying vitamin D deficiencies. And the number of “women of childbearing age”, as they put it, with osteomalacia. It’s thrown under the women’s health umbrella, after all, so a low priority to even investigate. 😦 Much like the prevalence of brushed-off “try not to vomit and/or pass out”-level pelvic pain, in general, and the common endometriosis brushoff. (I suspect that I’ve got that, too, like an estimated 10–22% of people with an endometrium. My mom had symptoms, too, so I just thought it was normal. No urge to try to get it checked out, on the whole, especially since the most common treatment is combined pills and I am not about to let anybody cut on me. I didn’t even know there might be a link to allergies, as mentioned in the last link, but sometimes it seems like every medical issue I’ve ever run into has some connection with allergies!) That brand of medical neglect of half the population is another story entirely, but it does piss me off.
And it’s hard to avoid sounding essentialist here, even as a nonbinary person; that’s society for you. 😐 Prompted by a good recent post at Binary Subverter: I’m able to give birth, that doesn’t make me a woman.