Writing What You Don't Know: The Assistants

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by jacktrash, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. witchknights

    witchknights 27 Bold Enchanter Defends The Fearful

    I can Brazil-ify things for you!
    I was also my grandma's primary caretaker for about seven years. She has Alzheimer's, so i can talk about the early stuff; it started showing particularly strong after an injury that made her stay in the hospital for a couple of months.

    Also, does anyone have any kind of experience to help me with figuring out the optimal size of a nomadic group and how much cattle they'd have if they're also hunters-gatherers? asking for a friend dragon age fic
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  2. Silvereye

    Silvereye 89 White Paladin Traverses The Cosmos

    I'd like to ask about chronic pain. How does it influence your day-to-day thoughts? If you're not currently having a flare-up, do you consciously think about it or does it become a background thing you work around unconsciously (I hope I didn't word this wrong)?
  3. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin


    I sometimes hesitate to use the label "chronic pain" to describe my hand problems, largely because it fades into the background if I'm Doing It Right, but it's... technically an accurate label for what I experience when I look at the diagnostic criteria. Specifically, I have nerve damage in multiple nerve systems in my hands and arms, along with mild arthritis in my hands, and my tendons have a tendency to get more easily irritated; all due to an extremely severe repetitive-stress-injury episode in college.

    Because it's my hands, I have to be very aware of it even when my pain levels are low - being conscientious about what I'm doing with my hands, how I'm holding things, what I'm pushing against, and what I'm asking for help with can make the difference between a day where my pain never spikes above a three and I retain functionality to type late into the night and a day where in the evening I'm mostly helpless. This is kind of blurring the lines between chronic pain and disability, maybe? I'm not sure what the distinction is. I am totally happy to answer more specific questions, though!
  4. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    I mean, I definitely have chronic pain. But my high pain days also tend to correlate with loss of hand functionality, which isn't as much a pain issue as structures in my hands being kinda broken issue, and I'm not sure where to draw that distinction :/

    And yeah, constant pain is so different from incident-specific pain.
    • Like x 1
  5. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident POTSie potato.

    When my pain goes up really harshly from its usual number for a length of time I'll kind of go static on other things till it goes down or I get used to it. I'll be hyper-aware of it if it's a big flare, or if it's coinciding with me knowing I have things to do. In my case it's because being upright is already hard with my condition, and being in pain makes me go down even FASTER so it's like "Well, shit, thanks a lot body 8/" Other times it's so gradual a build or I just wake up to a higher pain and I don't notice anything except that I'm limping and more irritable than usual.

    If I knock something or a joint slips or something is tangibly wrong that I can lessen with treatment I will complain loudly about it though. Because it's a pain that should be able to LEAVE and that SHOULD BE DONE NOW and then when the treatable pain leaves and the other stuff's left behind it just.. kind of exists. It's there, and annoying, and it makes every task a question of if I'm running on my POTS timer, or if I'm going to start being in pain as well. It's tiring being in pain, it dulls my thoughts when it's higher numbers, and my thinking is clearer when it's low for longer lengths of time.

    Though, I think at this point if I wasn't in some kind of pain each day I'd be either startled or EXTREMELY suspicious as to when it was going to punch me in the face and then be hyper-focused for the first hint of it.
    • Like x 2
  6. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    Can confirm @Lissa Lysik'an my usual method of communicating when nonverbal is just to type on my phone and show it to someone. I can usually comprehend speech when I can't produce it myself so I haven't had to make people write me things, but it's irritating that more people aren't willing to just. write stuff and show it to you.
    • Like x 2
  7. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident POTSie potato.

    Oh, uh, also. Aside from pain I can offer info on
    POTS, blood pooling and light headedness, IBS, paranoia and things along the schizotypal side of things with BPD, losing parents to long illnesses (alcoholism and multiple system failure), prolonged neglect in childhood, emotional abuse in childhood, marrying your best friend, being a not-very-involved-at-all army spouse and probably other things I'm forgetting. My memory bank thread might be a pre-existing gold mine for half of those things and I'm chill talking about anything I could help with.
  8. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    Yeah, I don't feel up to making a whole list, but if anyone knows I Know About A Thing feel free to ask or to ping me in if I don't see a question!
  9. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    my chronic pain is in my lower spine and pelvis, so it's not really possible to live my life without being reminded of it every time i move. you would be amazed how few motions and gestures it's possible to make without using your spine or spinal muscles! so even when it's on a low simmer, i can forget about it if i'm super immersed in something like a game or book, but as soon as i shift position, cough, turn over, etc., it reminds me it's there. and yeah, i consciously think about it, because i have to be pretty careful how i move, and also because i have sensory processing disorder and can't ignore sensory inputs at all. and thanks to the funtime combo of chronic pain and SPD, i'm always just a little bit overloaded just from the background noise of pain.

    during a flare-up, i'm just getting through it. it's about as overwhelming as a bad cold or a pukey flu. so that sucks. :P

    anyway, the thing i think most folks don't understand about chronic pain is that it's boring. it's just tedious as fuck to have to deal with this irritating and limiting thing all the damn time. it's like the world's most annoying advertising jingle playing over and over in your bones.
  10. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    That is such a good metaphor, omg.

    But yeah for me it's... I have chronic pain that jumps around a lot because apart from my sacroilliac joint being LOTS inflamed like all the time, I have lowkey inflammation in a lot of other joints and problems from faulty relieving posture in all the rest.
    When I'm good at self-care I plan around the pain. I wear things that keep the most commonly painful areas warm (because warmth helps me relieve the pain, but that's not universal), I wear shoes I know I have less tendency on going into a fucky posture with, I take blankets and pillows with me, I ask for help with opening things more, etc. I try to be more aggressive about getting a place to sit on the train or something.
    For me I'm just more aware than usual that certain parts of my body exist and how I move them on low pain days and will consciously do things like adjust my position to relieve strain if possible.
    I will additionally have to frequently switch how I sit (I can't stand long anyway because fucked up lower spine and fucked up hip and slightly fucked up knees and general weakness so taht is somethign I have to plan around) Or I will go really stiff and it will hurt a whole lot to then change the bend of my knee for example. So I might ahve gotten distracted and not shifted in a while I will just be in mind numbing pain for a bit until that goes down again.
    On high pain days I will probably grumpy and irritable and hate everything and forget thing as mentioned. I will also be more tired and probably sleep more. It's distracting and a little dizzying and it affects how willing I am to do literally anything, because instead of being able to look forward to doing things, every step of the way out of the door or even just to another room just means a thing that will be either exhausting or exacerbating the pain or both.
    The dumb thing is if you are used to being in pain constantly, you don't necessarily notice being in pain more so sometimes I don't realize I've been in the middle of a flareup until someone tells me I'm being a shitty little pissnugget and should stop taking my mood out on everyone else, or I start whining to someone or I'm asked to actually quantify my pain and go "it's like an 8 and... oh."

    (Also a lot of people with chronic pain have a slightly different relationship with the pain scale in general. The whole "My 3 is your 7" thing. That's why the nurse at the clinic I go to once a year tells us to use the scale around the rule of "5 is where you start taking pain killers" which only barely works as is with so many people CONSTANTLY taking pain killers but it's a little better as a metric thanvague words.)
  11. Deresto

    Deresto Took the last piece of pizza

    here's some things that might be interesting that i've experienced:
    • what it's like to go to a school in the middle of nowhere with grades from k-12 for all of elementary. the school size was something like under 30 students and was on an old nike missile site.
    • what it's like to go to a huge home school co-op for high school (with added bonus of untreated depression)
  12. Imoyram

    Imoyram Well-Known Member

    i can probably talk about these
    • going to a k-8 school in a smallish canadian town. I could recognize probably 75% of students there.
    • coming out in 2014 ish as bi and having nobody care, either way? (ie: unexpected reaction to coming out)
    • rural canada?
    • rural canadian middle school
    • i've been to the canadian museum for human rights three times for about 8 hours each, so 24ish hours.
    • french immersion rural school
    • french immersion and french + english culture everywhere
    • i went on an exchange to quebec?
    • numerable road trips over the years with 5-6 people in the cars (3-4 children)
  13. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    5 is where you start taking painkillers? then what are the lower numbers for?

    (i'm only half joking. i sometimes take painkillers when i'm at my 3 to prevent ending up at my 7 after mild exercise, and stuff like that. but i guess it'd be different if painkillers actually, you know. made the pain go away. instead of just dulling it and tempering inflammation.)
    • Like x 1
  14. Aniseed

    Aniseed Well-Known Member

    some stuff i can talk about that might be helpful

    • being afab
    • being some form of confused genderweird
    • being a lesbian/feminine attracted
    • dating cis guys when you don't even like to date them because you feel like you have to at least be bisexual to not be 'weird' and get disowned
    • coming out to parents as an adult and getting a not entirely positive but mostly just lukewarm reaction
    • having a transgender partner (soon to be wife, hooray) and not really ever having complicated feelings about it
    • having hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
    • having ADHD
    • having depression
    • having anxiety
    • having very poor executive function
    • tendency towards dissociation and derealization
    • going nonverbal
    • self injuring
    • having c-ptsd (complex post traumatic stress disorder)
    • experiencing emotional flashbacks from weird triggers
    • having a narcissistic abusive parent and an enabling parent
    • having a narcissistic abusive grandmother who partially raised us
    • having a sibling who abused me but was also pitted against me by the abusive parent
    • having a large extended family full of abusive people all with their own history of being abused
    • living with emotional, verbal, and mild sexual abuse as a child & teen, and somewhat as an adult.
    • experiencing covert/emotional incest
    • experiencing an emotionally abusive relationship with a partner
    • being in a relationship with someone nearly a decade older than me that wasn't good and a lot of it actually had to do with the huge age difference
    • running away from home as a teen (15 yrs old)
    • getting caught after running away from home and having to live in the aftermath
    • going to community college
    • living with other non-family people
    • existing as a fat feminine looking person in a world that hates fat people and especially fat feminine people
  15. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    yeah, i tend to describe it in terms of like, "my baseline is 'morning after a good workout' sore, rising to 'flu aches' level if i'm being somewhat active, and spikes of 'broken bone' if i step wrong or turn around fast or something." of course, i have no way of knowing if body aches maybe feel more severe to people who don't live with them 24/7 -- it's the problem of subjectivity. *shrug*
    • Like x 2
  16. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    I should dig up and translate the actual wordsed pain scale I got at the clinic. It's v good. A lot of words but v good.
    • Like x 2
  17. iff

    iff Well-Known Member

    Some stuff I may know something about:
    Rural Spain
    Social anxiety
    Being an exchange student in the US in high school
    Gifted-ish student-ness
    Barcelona livin
  18. Stuff I know about:
    • Growing up in an interfaith family (Lapsed Catholic & Reform Judaism)
    • Gifted student-ness
    • Academic life (grad student, tenureline faculty. Ask Me About Committee Drama!)
    • Being a ladyperson in a dude-dominated school and profession
  19. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    Just poking this to keep it on first page. If you want to write about a life you haven't lived, here's resources. AND you is invited to ask - don't wait for someone to say "Hey, I'm X, Y and Z living in W type of place". Just say what you want to know about and those of us that live it will answer (probably in a different thread for the details).
    • Like x 1
  20. Xitaqa

    Xitaqa Secretly awesome

    Okay, writing a cis female character in middle school in the early 90s, looking for behaviors that would be spotted by bullies as fodder for picking on her. Moirail mentioned that in her age group (about ten years later than the story is set), it was the norm to use body spray after gym class and a girl who didn't would often be mocked for smelling sweaty and whatnot. Not sure if this was a thing as early as say 92 or 93,or if there would be similar locker room customs that must not be violated?

    I'm also admittedly not as familiar with bullying among girls as I am with the physical aggressive model typical among boys that age, any insights there would be welcome too.
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