Chatterday! Open Thread.

This is our weekly Chatterday! open thread. Use this open thread to talk amongst yourselves: feel free to share a link, have a vent, or spread some joy.

What have you been reading or watching lately (remembering spoiler warnings)? What are you proud of this week? What’s made your teeth itch? What’s going on in your part of the world? Got any questions for your fellow FWD commenters?

Today’s Chatterday is hosted by a Death Star watermelon.

Watermelon carved to look like the Death Star

A note to commenters: Please, as with other threads, try to keep the length of your comments down. A usual guideline, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, is to stick to around three pithy paragraphs or so, and to avoid making back-to-back comments.

15 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread.

  1. I’m going to house-sit next week – a week of watching Bollywood and goofing off online and raiding the fridge.

    Oh, and the dogs. Those as well, I guess.

    I started a new medicine yesterday, Opana ER. The pain has been duller today, but most importantly, I woke up and the pain wasn’t as bad as it was the day before. When it hit last night, I wasn’t fully sleepy, just drifty, and at one point I felt like I’d gotten a shot – anesthetic or painkilling. It’s a 12 hour pill, so twice a day.

    And it’s hot. My goodness it’s hot. As usual.

  2. Holy cow, is that an AMAZING watermelon.

    I am currently re-reading Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and reading Charlaine Harris’s All Together Dead (book #7 in the Sookie Stackhouse series).

  3. My ankle has been hurting like hell all week, and I think I’ve just hit some sort of sensory overload limit. Everything that I try to do for the pain — TENS, ice, brace — just triggers a “stop touching!” response that’s almost worse than the pain itself. Right now, I’ve figured out how to lie down with that leg dangling a little off the side of the couch so that absolutely nothing is touching it. Still hurts, and I’m going to take a Vicodin for it soon, but at least I’m not getting the shivery squirmy crawl-out-of-my-skin feeling that I was getting when anything was touching it.

  4. I find that watermelon vaguely disturbing and I’m not sure why (beyond its obvious resemblence to a weapon of mass destruction, of course). I am in the middle of Yet Another Health Scare, and have finally had enough of stressing about it. Starting from today I am going to live as gently and indulgently as possible. I am not going to feel guilty about living in a messy house, or not being able to work whilst my office is so short-staffed. Instead, I am going to rest, and play with the cats, and curl up with my partner, and later, maybe, I will even go and plant some pansies in the garden if I feel up to it. And if I’m not up to it, I’m not going to feel guilty about it–or anything else related to Being Sickly–because I put way too much pressure on myself and that’s going to stop right now.

    I’m also quite excited about the new diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia because I think it marks a shift towards the medical world taking it more seriously.

  5. I found out yesterday that, though I am too old for my parents to get the standard state child tax breaks, there is actually the option of listing expenses to pay for schooling (and living while going to university) and get a non-standard cut depending on the amount (in Germany).

    This has liften such a huge weight of my shoulders, because I was feeling increasingly guilty over the fact that my clinical depression is making me slower to finish than the “average” student that we are all told to be, and thus I was relying on my parents financial help far more and longer than I wanted to.

    Funny, how something that is not set up specifically as an accomodation for people with mental illness can nonetheless function that way.

  6. @ Kaitlyn: I hope the new med continues to help with the pain, and you do not feel too drifty during the day.

    @ Ruchama: sorry to hear you’re in such pain and sensory overload. I hope it improves soon.

  7. If anyone is up for responding to this, it would be terrific. I’ve been on the receiving end of way too much “That’s not offensive, is it?” lately. I mean the thing where someone says or does something that’s anywhere from vaguely icky to downright horrifying, doesn’t get the response they were expecting/hoping for, asks if what they said was okay in some kind of loaded language or just zips right past the part where one would pause when actually asking something, and then proceeds to answer their own question, which is especially nifty when the question is about how I feel.

    What’s setting me off is I got “What happened to you?” from my eye doctor the other day. It was wrapped up in a bunch of other inappropriate, odd twists of conversation to get there, so by time the question came out I felt like I’d just been caught in a trap. I responded that it was an injury and that I don’t like to talk about it, which is pretty much my standard neutral response to relative strangers feeling like they’re entitled to part of my life story. (Newsflash: Most people don’t have warm, fuzzy memories of becoming amputees.) That’s when the question came, no pause, followed by a story about a wheelchair user in the doc’s congregation who was happy to share the story of how he became a wheelchair user. Because wheelchair users, like the Borg, are part of a hive mind. Interestingly, I had a shorter, less creepy version of this same conversation with same doc during my last visit a couple of years ago, so clearly my previous “I don’t like to talk about it” doesn’t get any weight in whatever poll he’s pretending to take about invading the privacy of wheelchair users.

    I hope it’s okay to just jump in and vent even though my previous comments have pretty much been limited to brief thank-yous. I’m just weary of medical professionals’ unprofessionalism and people trying to use my presence to validate the very behavior I object to.

  8. That’s not a moon… IT’S A MELON!

    I am super proud of my sister; last night she graduated from high school! And now I feel very old, because she is supposed to be a baby.

    Conversely, I am incredibly pissed about the letter I got from my healthcare plan. (I live in Massachusetts and have the opportunity to buy into a low-cost plan offered by a health insurance company that’s subsidized by the government.) They’re cutting all dental benefits other than routine cleanings – no fillings, crowns, caps, root canals, anything. HELPFUL. And they’re no longer covering hearing aids. At all. Which strikes me as an incredibly wrong-headed decision.

    Kaitlin, I hope the new med works out!

  9. The heat is really bothering me, I can’t go outside because there’s just no getting away from the sun and as soon as the sun hits my skin I can swear I feel it burning even when it’s actually not. It also makes my RA flare up terribly, everybody seems to assume that all RA sufferers will feel better in the warm weather and awful when it’s cold, not like we’re all sensitive to different conditions or anything!

    In other news, I don’t know if any FWD contributors have heard about this, but on Wednesday a man went on a terrible shooting spree in a semi-rural area of the UK, killing around a dozen people and injuring several more. It was of course a tragic event for all involved but, as I’d feared from the minute I heard the story, it’s led to a load of really unhelpful media speculation on the perpetrator’s mental health. Nobody knows very much about his medical history but it hasn’t stopped a bunch of media pop psychologists from explaining what mental illnesses could have caused him to ‘snap’. It’s all incredibly unhelpful and of course has brought out the anti care in the community folks in droves to complain about the supposed armies of dangerously psychotic people supposedly let out onto the streets by irresponsible ‘politically correct’ social workers and allowed to go on the rampage, nobody has bothered letting the fact that he doesn’t appear to have been diagnosed with any condition prevent them from using this as an opportunity for some good old-fashioned ableism!

  10. Nomie: no hearing aids? That’s upsetting. I could’ve sworn I’d heard a few months ago that MA was passing a law requiring coverage of HAs … I’ll have to poke my deaf friends about this and see if there’s organization happening to fight back. *sigh* My CI means I don’t need hearing aid coverage anymore, but I definitely remember that “hmm, can I afford to replace these aids” feeling!

  11. The end of a long, but very good week. Next week will be difficult though, and I have a lot to get done tomorrow and Monday. I’m a little nervous.

    Went to a march with my mobility scooter, and spotted a few other be-wheeled protesters there, which was great. Usually, if I go to a demonstration, I’m the only wheel-user, so it was great to see a few more of us there today. That was my happy factor for the day.


  12. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately…

    Ever since I was about 17 or so, I was always sure I would never have any kids of my own, for a number of reasons (my disabilities being one of them obviously). But recently – within the last couple of months or so – I’ve found myself re-thinking that position. This has come partly as a result of my family and friends who are pretty much all parents themselves now, partly as a result of putting my past into a more realistic perspective and looking at how much growth I’ve done in the last few years. Mind you, it’s not that I now suddenly feel a strong urge that I *must* have kids. It’s not a top priority for me and I’d probably still be content even if I never have any. And of course being single at 36, I know time is getting a bit short for me at this stage.

    But it’s just that I’m not as dead set against it as I used to be. But I would have to give it a LOT of thought beforehand, taking my disabilities into account and how they might affect the mental, physical and emotional stresses of raising children. So I’ve been trying to read anything I can find about PWD and their experiences of becoming parents. I’ve tried googling, but so far almost every hit I’ve come up with using a keyword search of ‘parenting’ and ‘disabilities’ seems to be geared toward able-bodied parents of PWD children and not PWD parents. Does anyone else know of any resources ie; websites, books organizations etc that might be worth checking out. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. 🙂

  13. I find pumpkins done in that fashion every year! As FWD’s self proclaimed Star Wars aficionado*, I will keep this in mind for passing along for possible Halloween Chatterdays! I am sure I can find Photos!

    *I am willing to admit that I have never discussed this title with anyone else at FWD, so if anyone feels slighted, I am willing to engage in a virtual lightsaber dual for the rights to this title. 😉

  14. @Astrid – the drift feeling hasn’t happened again, and it wasn’t that long – but I was on alert for anything. It is morphine, after all.

    It’s not perfect – the breakthrough pain has been HORRIBLE. And the medication for it is of a lower dose than I’m used to, so I may make an appointment to get my old dosage back.

    But I had a good morning Friday… even if the rest of the morning went downhill, I didn’t wake up in pain. I’ve been waking up in pain for so long, it doesn’t wake me up anymore.

    I don’t get why it worked wonderfully the first time and then stopped. Shouldn’t it have built up its pain relief? My body has always responded to medications quickly.

    And the best plan for the summer heat, if you can manage it (ah, the joys of being a student), is sleeping through most of the sunny evil parts… except late night tv sucks, even with cable. Hmph. But we keep the curtains shut, stay in a cave and ice cold water and holey/too short shorts and tank tops… and decent-length shorts and non-transparent tanks for formal occasions, like going to Kroger.

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