Tag Archives: ableism

Pokemon Go… Gently

Fellow Spoonie Pokemon Trainers! I’ve figured out a few tricks in order to get a good experience of playing Pokemon Go and not completely spending all of your spoons for several weeks.

  • If you close the app and just go to the home screen (don’t close it completely or you’ll have to go through the lengthy log in process every time) you can open it up again and your GPS/character will be wandering around for a bit. This counts as distance. I’ve been doing this for hatching eggs in Houston, where it’s almost impossible for even abled people to go out during the day in the summer.
  • Use Incense! You can attract Pokemon to come to you rather than spending spoons to go searching. You’ll usually get more common Pokemon (Bug and Normal types), but it adds up! The more stardust you have, the better.
  • Lures! You don’t have to walk too much when you’re at a Pokestop with lures. They come to you. Make sure you’re well stocked on Pokeballs.
  • Get a friend to drive you around. You’re in charge of catching Pokemon for them, though. Do not Pokemon and drive. It’s actually  hilarious trying to catch two at once. Maybe do this around a neighborhood or empty parking lots where erratic driving is a bit more forgivable.
  • Stock up on common Pokemon in your area (Pidgey, Rattata, Caterpie, Weedle, etc.) and their respective candies. Then, use your Lucky Egg and evolve them during that 30 minute period. You gain about 600 EXP when you evolve something, so with the Lucky Egg, you’ll get 1200 EXP for one evolution! You don’t have to use stardust to evolve anything, either.
  • Got a wagon? Use it. Have friends or family members pull you around. It’ll remind you of the good old days. They seem a bit better for rougher terrain than wheelchairs.
  • Here’s something I’ve discovered myself! If you’re in the same spot for a while, some random Pokemon just show up! It’s usually the more common ones in your area, but the more stardust you can get, the better.
  • How to get whatever Eeveelution you want: (Ok, don’t kill me if this doesn’t work, but I myself have seen two successful desired evolutions with this method. I’ll update it once I’m able to do this myself since I’m low on Eevee candy.) You nickname the Eevees before evolving them. It’s Rainer to get Vaporeon, Sparky to get Jolteon, and Pyro to get Flareon. This is based off of the episode from season 1 of Pokemon where the kid brother gets pressured to evolve his Eevee using an evolution stone. Please comment below if this method actually works for you! I don’t want to be spreading misinformation.
    Edit: I’m absolutely positive this is real. I’ve seen it about three more times and I’ve done it myself to get a Flareon and a Jolteon after getting two Vaporeon by chance. It works.
  • The curve ball. You can do this by spinning the Pokeball around in circles before you throw it. You can tell it’s charged up if you see sparks flying from it. It’s a bit harder to catch stuff, but you get an extra 10 EXP for doing it successfully.
  • Here’s one I’ve just heard recently. You can download the Ingress app and search for Pokestops in your area since the Pokemon Go app doesn’t map out outside your area. Landmarks are also marked in the Ingress app so you can plan out routes and breaks. Pokestops refresh every 5 minutes or so, so you can rest in a shady area near one and farm items and 50 EXP every time.
  • This is something I have been trying to tell myself, but know when to stop. I got really close to hurting myself from walking nearly 5 km in one go to hatch an egg. My knees and ankles were radiating with pain. I was surprised that people near me couldn’t feel it. Don’t do that. Ash wouldn’t want that. He knew when it was time to stop and take a rest for the day. There’s no need to feel like you need to compete with others that are playing. It’s just a fun game (that should’ve probably had a bit more time spent on it with all the server problems there have been, but I digress).

And as a final question to Spoonie Trainers: I know we all can’t go on a Pokemon journey, but what kind of life do you think you would have if Pokemon were real? I’ve always pictured myself keeping them as pets or guard animals – most of them being abandoned strays before I find them. This is the case with almost all of my pets, so I figured that wouldn’t change in this fantasy world.

Now please excuse me, two Eevee just showed up and I’m freaking out.

Edit: The game crashed as soon as I caught one of them. Of course.

 

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Mental health in lieu of physical health

Hey guys! I’m doing so much better than I was two months ago. I’m finally on Humira! I’ve had two doses already (6 shots total) and I feel already 100% better. Humira burns like crazy when you get the shot, but it’s a great trade off because I can finally eat things like a normal human!

But today I’m here to talk about something. Mental illness vs. physical illness.

It’s this BuzzFeed post that set me off today, but I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now.

Many people seem to think they understand physical illnesses more than mental illnesses. You often hear people saying to people with mental illnesses that it’s all in your head and you can stop being depressed by just thinking happy thoughts. They couldn’t be more wrong about that.

With physical illnesses, most people tend to be understanding if you have a cold or the flu, or even a migraine. They tell you to take some medicine and rest. You may even get reprimanded if you try to go to work/school again too early because you might get sicker.

When it comes to invisible physical illnesses, that’s the outlier no one expected.

I’ve lost count at how many people have suggested different diets to me instead of letting me eat what I feel comfortable with. How do you expect me to go paleo when I can’t even eat a salad without doubling over in pain a few hours later? I can’t go vegan or vegetarian, as much as I’d like to.

One time I tried kale and it came out looking the same way it did when I ate it. Painful? You bet.

I also like steak and chicken a bit too much to let meat go. Plus, chicken is one of the few things I can eat without any problems afterward.

I’ve also had people tell me “At least it’s not cancer!”

Like really, I’m supposed to be overjoyed that I don’t have something that can potentially go into remission and possibly get cured. Ulcerative colitis tends to go into remission if you get the right medication going, but it can come back at the drop of a hat.

I’ve heard general statements that my fatigue is all in my head and if I just workout more, I’ll be fine.

Yeah, you try telling that to my anemia. I’m sure it’ll start letting up after I pass out on an elliptical a few times.

What I’m trying to say is, that physical illnesses are often thrown under the bus when you’re talking about mental illnesses. I’m starting to get really tired of people refusing to see what they’re doing is destructive. When I say I’m sick, I’m fucking sick. It probably doesn’t look it, though.

I nearly died from blood loss because no one believed me when I said I was sick until it was almost too late. I never want to be that sick again.

Now, let this be known that I’m nothing but for promoting mental health awareness, but if your method of informing people is to compare it to making people doubt physical health, you’re doing it wrong.

Don’t forget that invisible illnesses exist. Mental illnesses are really just the cause of a physically “sick” brain. Really, mental illnesses are physical illnesses too. There’s a reason why medications often work wonders for people.

Mental illnesses should be taught alongside other invisible illnesses. However, most people don’t understand invisible illnesses and probably will never understand – not even if someone close to them has one. You can’t understand what it’s like to have an invisible illness unless you actually have one.

I learned this myself the hard way.

But you don’t look sick!

It’s a phrase that I’ve heard millions of times. It’s usually been meant as a compliment, but I often feel like it completely invalidates everything I’ve gone through. I usually turn to humor whenever I’m not feeling well, so often people can’t even tell whenever I’m feeling sicker than usual. Just because you can’t see what I’m going through, doesn’t mean that I’m not sick. Many people were surprised when I even ended up in the hospital. I guess that’s why I’m a little proud of whatever bruises I get from blood drawings and IVs. It’s really the only physical proof of what I’ve gone through. That and pictures from my colonoscopy, which no one probably wants to see but me.

There are times when I lose weight and gain weight because of various reasons, but it’s always awkward whenever people ask me how I’ve lost the weight. I haven’t consciously tried to lose weight since early high school, honestly. Now whenever I lose weight, it’s because my body hadn’t been absorbing any nutrients despite anything I’ve eaten recently. Also, by that point my appetite is completely gone and I wouldn’t want to eat anything anyways. I know people mean to comment on my weight loss as a compliment, but it only sets in the reality of my disease. 

Recently I was given my first infusion of Remicade because my body had stopped reacting to the dose of Prednisone I had been on for several months. Also, my most recent colonoscopy showed that my ulcerative colitis now affects my entire colon. It was a tough blow to take that day. I can really only hope that with future Remicade infusions, things will stabilize with my body. So far I’ve still been dealing with a lot of pain (both joint and intestinal) and bloating, but I can only hope that will pass with time. 

I’m still upset by the BBC and Dr. Sally Mitton releasing the information out on how IBDs are caused by junk food and antibiotics. Many people in the Tumblr IBD community are. We’re already looked down upon by society by our symptoms and it being seen as a dirty disease, but now we’re being blamed for causing our own INCURABLE disease! I don’t understand how people in charge of such important information could allow this woman to start spouting off crazy theories. Luckily, the Crohn’s and Colitis UK have said this:

“There has been no definitive scientific link made to any particular diet or food additive as being a sole cause of the disease. There are many possible reasons why a patient may develop Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, including genetics and a range of environmental factors. Each patient’s case is individual.”

However, the damage has already been done in this case. I hope that people who read this understand that there is no possible way that junk food is the sole cause of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Sure, many digestive systems haven’t evolved enough to fully accept the over processed foods that are cheap and popular among the younger generation, but there’s just no way. I won’t believe it until they track down a specific food and its possible ingredients that could cause this for thousands of young people.

To wrap this up, I’m going to tie in a “social justice vocabulary word”. Many may or may have not heard about it before.

Ableism: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities. Generally, ableism prevents disabled persons from having the same access to rights and services that average people have no problems obtaining.

Next time you judge someone for using a handicapped parking spot even though they have the proper documentation to use it, think twice about why you don’t think they need it. If you don’t think they look “sick enough” to use it, you’re being ableist, my friend.

I think I’ll talk about it more in detail tomorrow.