Wellness Wednesday: Accessing Affordable Non-insulin Diabetes Medication
Difficult Seasons do End
God does not promise us a life without troubles. In fact, He is very up front and transparent about how we will struggle in life. Going through a difficult season is not pleasant, but just as it began it will come to an end. In 2018 I endured a very distressing time with the loss of my first child, but two years later I have been blessed with better days and now have a healthy baby boy. Going through the season of losing a child was very difficult and it seemed like things would never get better, but if I had given up I would not have been able to experience the joy of having a healthy son. There are three things that can help you survive a difficult season in life: (1) going to God’s word for strength, (2) relying on your support network, and (3) being still to allow God to work it out. Going to God’s word for strength will allow you to persevere during the most trying times in your life. It is His strength that can give us the fuel to keep going when we feel that we are completely empty. Many people find it helpful to have a few Bible verses memorized so they can easily meditate on God’s word when the enemy is trying to attack their mind. For me, not only do I read His word, but I also listen to a lot of God-inspired music when I am going through a difficult time. There are songs I listen to that in minutes can take me from a dark place to a place of peace. Let God’s word renew your mind and give you the ability to face your hardest days.We are not meant to go through life alone. Having a good support network is crucial for maintaining good #MentalHealth and carrying you through the hard times of life. Do not take the attitude that you do not need people in your life. We all need people. If you do not currently have a good support network, there are places you can go to get one. A church small group is a great way to develop deep connections with people. If you struggle with substance #Abuse , #Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can give you support as you get sober. Connecting with interest groups such as a hiking group, knitting group, or volunteer group is another great way to find people to connect with and have in your life to help you through the valleys. As they say, joy shared is joy multiplied, pain shared is pain divided.Lastly, sometimes we need to just be still. Many people are “fixers” and want to control and manipulate situations to get the outcomes they desire. However, many times when we do this we are reminded that we are not the ones in control . . . God is. Being still is very difficult, especially during a time in life that causes great emotional pain. Though it can be hard, being still can allow God to work in your heart, and sometimes we are the ones who need fixing, not the situation. God can take difficult situations and bring out good from them if we sit still and allow Him to work in our life. Difficult times are never enjoyable to go through but they will come to an end. Go to God’s word, lean on your support network, and as He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Do not cut the blessings out of your future by ending your life during a difficult season. You will get through this hard time and if you allow God to transform you, you will become a better person because of it. Good days are ahead!
5 Ways Financial Aid Stunts My Recovery
Part 1 of 2 Financial aid is necessary for my survival as a disabled person. I am grateful that I receive this assistance, but that doesn’t mean it has been a positive experience. I can be grateful for the money that allows me to survive, while also calling out the system for handling financial aid irresponsibly. Here are some of the ways that being on financial aid has slowed down my recovery process.
1. Surveillance Paranoia
Part of my Complex-PTSD from childhood is a sense of being constantly monitored. Whether I’m online, in my house, on the sidewalk, or in the most isolated place I can think of, I have always and still feel watched. Being on financial aid, I feel as though I am constantly being watched by the financial agency, and that if they see anything that indicates too much wellness they will take away my financial aid. This plugs directly into my CPTSD causing me to feel genuinely paranoid about being seen by the public or even posting on social media. This feeling has lead me to isolate myself from other people and avoid spending time in nature. This feeling has also caused me to miss out of opportunities to increase my wellness, as I am so preoccupied with performing my disability that I can’t fully participate. And I have to fight with these feelings in order to share my story and my experiences here on The Mighty.
2. Scheduled Re-Traumatization
Any interaction I am forced to have with financial aid workers is traumatizing. Sometimes I’ve been treated with blatant disrespect, contempt, and cruelty, and sometimes the workers are doing the best they can, but the system forces their hand. Either way, the experience is one of being denied my personhood, denied my lived experience, and often denied my most basic needs. These are all pieces of my original traumas from childhood. Since I am scheduled to renew my financial aid once a year, I am forced to re-traumatize myself at scheduled intervals in order to survive. This puts a halt to the progress I’m making with my physical health, often causes some kind of relapse or flare, and forces me to focus on crisis management rather than growth. This cycle can cause me to feel overwhelmingly frustrated, but I am learning to accept it as part of the process.
3. Mental Illness Fixation
I have been on financial aid for several years, and during this time I have also been seeking medical diagnoses for the symptoms of chronic illness that disable me. My doctor when I had my first flare wrote on all my forms that I have anxiety as my main medical problem, which I have always known was false. The financial agency has been working from this assumption ever since, even though I’ve had several more recent doctors write that my main problems are my physical disabilities. Financial aid continues to ask me to seek mental health programs and psychiatric care, even when it is inaccessible to me as a disabled person. They have made it harder for me to find answers for my physical health problems by requiring me to ask for treatment and referrals that I don’t need, while wasting my time and precious energy. And they’ve made communication between my doctors and I harder, as they regularly become confused about testing or treating me for the sole purpose of checking off the financial workers list, rather than for my health and well being.
4. Reinforced Shame
Internalized shame is another overarching theme from my CPTSD. Financial aid plays on this expertly by casting doubt about whether I’m sick enough to deserve aid, sowing guilt for needing help at all, and openly judging what they think a poor person should and shouldn’t be allowed to do or have. Financial aid makes me feel shame for being disabled at all, for looking unkempt, for being hungry, and for asking for help. When I am in need or appear to be in need, financial aid tells me I am unworthy of human decency and kindness. Financial aid also makes me feel shame for not being disabled enough, for dressing nicely, for eating well, and for offering help if I feel able to. When I am doing well or appear to do well, financial aid tells me I am unworthy of joy and health. Under financial aid, anything I do and anything I am is implied to be wrong and shameful.
5. Community Division
Financial aid does a great job of dividing people, even those with common interests. Financial aid divides us by deciding one of us deserves help and the other doesn’t. They divide us with the concept that you only ask for help when you’re at rock bottom. They divide us by ensuring that we rely on them, and not each other, by giving us less than we need so we are unable to share and collaborate. They divide us by telling both society and participants that receiving financial aid is a sign
Back when I was 18 i started to have symptoms of nausea and stomach discomfort and pain. I ended up going to the doctor and I went through a few tests. During the time I waited for tests and for the doctor to find out what was wrong I stopped eating.
It felt like it was easier to not eat so I didn’t have to go through the discomfort and nausea. Sometimes vomiting.
Next thing I knew my doctor sent me to an eating disorder clinic. I really just went along with it as I thought my doctor knew best. I mean I was in the right age range for an eating disorder, I was in an activity that could create eating disorders (figure skating) and I was already diagnosed with depression and anxiety since I was 10 years old. so why shouldn’t I trust the judgment of my doctor that it was an eating disorder.
At the Clinic I remember looking through the application and I just couldn’t think that any of the questions applied to me. I ended up not going for any of the programs. Thankfully my symptoms went into remission around 19 years old.
By 2021 Summer the symptoms started to get worse again. And I went back to the doctor. Throughout the fall and winter I went through doctors appointments for many things including all symptoms related to my stomach.
Summer of 2022 I worked with the dietitian and I was put on a trial gastroparesis diet. Turns out it was helping me. Thankfully the dietitian pushed my doctor for a stomach emptying test to rule out gastroparesis.
Finally in September 2022, at 22 years old I found out I had gastroparesis and not an eating disorder. I’ve been so thankful that the dietitian had helped me.
It’s been a lot to process that I was right about something physically was wrong and it wasn’t an eating disorder all along.
Love is forever. Grief is forever.
My grief journey began 27 years ago, when my mom died incredibly suddenly and unexpectedly -- six days after Mother's Day. I was 8 years old. Last year, after many years of feeling lost in terms of finding my passion/purpose, I started pursuing a path of grief support and education. I completed two programs to become both a Grief Support Specialist and a Certified Grief Educator (and I'm starting a third program this coming week). I also launched an Instagram community last year, over Mother's Day weekend, centered around grief support/education that has since grown more than I ever imagined and brings me so much fulfillment as I've made so many meaningful connections and feel I've been able to help others struggling in their own grief journeys.
What I most want people to know is that grief doesn't end -- and it's not supposed to. If you're "still" grieving a long-ago loss (or even one that perhaps wasn't that long ago, but by society's misguided and unrealistic standards you should be "over it" by now)...I want you to know there is nothing wrong with you. Below is a brief excerpt from an essay I wrote and had published by a site called Grappling with Grief:
"Grief is love in another form. If love never ends, why would grief? We will never stop loving those we have lost, and we will never stop grieving their absence in our lives.
Playing The Devil's Advocate When Talking About Able-Bodied People Dressing Up As Disabled People For Halloween
In one of my previous opinion pieces I stated that people should not dress up as a disabled person during Halloween. Sometimes people dress up as disabled historical figures and don’t even realize it (and it isn’t even their own fault to some extent). That is because some famous people with invisible disabilities have done a good job of hiding their disabilities, thus giving the illusion that they are not disabled. This is where I think we shouldn’t criticize people for dressing up as historical figures that have a disability. One rule of thumb I go by is “If this person was able to get to where they are without support programs for those with their disability, would they still be successful?”. Another rule of thumb is asking,” When can you use person-first language to describe the person and also have no descriptors change”, that is the time when it is ok to not criticize others who dress up as a historical figure with a disability for Halloween. If at least 10% of all adults have an invisible disability, you are likely to find a handful of people dressed up as historical figures with learning disabilities at any Halloween event.
Whenever people talk about Elton John, Edward Snowden, and Julius Caesar, all epileptics, their disability is almost never mentioned in the conversations about them. One could call Greta Thunberg an activist instead of an autistic activist: since anyone can memorize the amount of CO2 a sweatshop produces. One thing people in the United States don't talk about when mentioning Greta’s rise to fame and success is that she is a “nepotism baby”, even though she attributes her success to her autism. Also Elton John’s, Edward Snowden's, and Julius Caesar's epilepsy didn't get in the way of them doing their work at the height of their careers. Almost all the people dressing up as Greta Thunberg, Julius Caesar, Elton John and Edward Snowden aren't doing so to mock disabilities. In their context, those people are dressing up as famous influencers whose achievements define them more than their disability.
However, unlike the celebrities above, you cannot separate Helen Keller from her disability while having a conversation about her. If Helen Keller didn't have a disability she would just be known as a woman with a university degree. You also cannot separate Temple Grandin from her autism when talking about her, as her autism has played a huge role in her inventions. If Temple Grandin didn't have autism, she might have just been a veterinarian instead of someone who revolutionized the way livestock are treated and cared for.
Another problem within the Halloween costume debate is when able-bodied people treat adaptive equipment like accessories. I've heard of stories of “emotional support peacocks” and “emotional support pigs” pooping on planes, which can lead to people questioning the legitimacy of actual guide dogs. People who need adaptive equipment to do regular tasks is another situation when a person can't separate themselves from their disability, even if they are able to hold a regular job. An example is Walter White Jr from Breaking Bad. Despite the fact that his personality has a bigger influence than his physical disability in terms of his relationships with other people, he couldn't do every day tasks without his adaptive equipment.
Time for change
In society the Criminal Justice system, recovery programs and mental health services are not supporting or respecting our rights ! They say that they treat us with respect and dignity but the fact Is they don't and never will! if we don't start speaking up and fight to be seen then we allowing the world to think that it's ok to put us down, define us as people who can not function successfully in our society.
I wi never let anyone tell me who I am and what I can and can not do. In Broward county schools ,mental health services,recovery programs,courts and police are the problem. They dont have any idea how to help us because they dont listen to you or care . Over the past 7 years I have experienced discrimination, hate, and disrespect from the police, the medical services and the court system. It has been years of PTSD and fear for my life and my safety. I have been asked to prove that I was a teacher and that has worked for Westchester department of community mental health, homeless out reach, alternative to incarceration . They think that because I asked for support to get me to the hopstal when i new i wouldnt go if it was left up to me and I was concerned about my mental health makes me incompetent or incapable of living a productive life. I am smart ,intelligent ,and very passionate about making sure that I and all of us never have to be seen as anything less then who we are
I am asking all of you to please help me out I want to make sure that our rights are being respected by everyone.
If you have every experienced discrimination or hate ,disrespect and mistreatment at from those who are supposed to be helping us and making sure that our rights are enforced tell me about it! I want to share our stories with others to show the real facts from those who have experienced these
If we speak up and speak out we can make the world see the truth!
More Travel Tips for People with Parkinson's
Here are some more things to keep in mind as you travel.
Hats and sunscreen
I never leave home without at least one hat. Many of them are packable, so take a couple. You can always look chic wherever you go. Don't forget that we are more vulnerable to Melanoma and other skin cancers. Take a good sunscreen with you so you don't have to look for it while you are traveling. My dermatologist recommends Elta MD Broad Spectrum 46 and I have been very happy with it.
From Carol Clupny, author of The Ribbon of Road Ahead, who just returned from a 67 day trip to Europe:
Using a walking stick to navigate the cobblestone sidewalks. Oh those cobblestones! I have great stories about wheelchair assistance. And because of the wheelchairs, I did not have any trouble carrying my trekking poles on the plane. I found disability assistance to be very good in Europe. There are even programs that an individual could access on trains. I was boosted up to a back door of a plane on a lift in Latvia and had a personal assistant who took us through the entire airport and even showed us how to buy train tickets in Munich. A small suction cup shower bar. I used it a lot! (note that many come in pairs. You probably need to take just one with you.) Pack light. Plan clothes to layer. We had only carryon-size roller bags and a backpack each. A drain cover to stop the sink when you are rinsing clothes. (a great idea for those sinks that won't hold water). Piece of shower line. We were able to buy Sinemet in a pharmacy by only showing the bottle. (and it was very inexpensive) Be aware of discounts for seniors, disabilities, and care partners in museums and attractions. We usually spent less than 50%We happened upon a 9 euro train ticket that allowed us to ride any type of public transportation in Germany (EXCEPT the intercity fast trains) we traveled for two weeks on 9 euros!!!
More travel tips from Parky Boy from his March blog post.
Choose luggage that you can cope with – this may have changed Aim to go at the pace that you need, especially when navigating transport hubs – because only you know Control anxiety and stress as much as you can by having everything you need very accessible. This may include Covid pass and locator form, which we’re not used to carrying. Take a few days more medication with you than you need – just in case If you’re flying, take a few days medication in your hand luggage (with, of course, toothbrush and knickers) – just in case. Carry on enjoying enjoying traveling
I'm new here!
I'm here because I have a son who has suffered with depression and anxiety for years. It began around 15-16 years old, and he is currently 42. He made it through college with good grades, and only a little drama, and worked for a number of years. Since 2014 he's been hospitalized in various programs for more times than I can remember. He has been treated with numerous medications, talk therapy, and most recently he's undergone ketamine treatments. Early on in this journey, the medications and hospital stays helped for a while, but as time goes on the depression and anxiety return more quickly and intensely after each one. The 12+ ketamine treatments have been essentially worthless. I think he enjoys a lunch out, or a movie, or some activity, and he will occasionally take a walk with me, but the depression and anxiety return immediately after the activity is over. He has learned and knows about self care, how exercise, eating right, etc., are key to feeling better, but does not actually follow up with any of these practices. I am at a loss as to what more I can do, other than be here, talk to him if he likes, take him places occasionally, and help support him and pay the bills as much as I can. It's very sad, I've watched his youth fly by without any enjoyment.