Tag Archives: Houston

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.

 

Rose Tint My World

Yeah, I know I forgot to make a post yesterday, but it was for a good reason! I finally got out to do things! Outside! With people!

It’s been weeks since I’ve felt up to going out with friends again. In this case it was just one friend, but who cares. I feel great!

It was to see a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show in Houston. The dress up theme was Harry Potter, so that’s the main reason why my friend had invited me. I had wanted to go to a show before, but I’d never had anyone to go with. 

Not having anyone to go with is usually my main problem with me attending things. It’s either that or I’m not feeling well. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, it’s both. 

It was nice to escape into the world of Rocky Horror for a while and forget all these problems that have been happening. I live in fear of the possibility of having to get a colostomy bag someday in the future, but I have a plan that will make it easier to deal with. I have it all planned out. If I ever have to get one, I’m going to get a semi-colon tattooed on me. Partly for that deep meaning of me not being done with my life yet, but mostly for the pun.

Because of that, I’m ok with the idea.

I often use humor to deal with things. Self deprecation is a personal favorite, but sometimes I’ve had people take it as me being healthier than I actually am. That then usually causes me to push myself harder than I probably should, and then I get sicker. I end up in the hospital, make some jokes about getting super powers during my blood transfusion, make some poop jokes as I’m going through colonoscopy prep… It goes on.

And thus the vicious cycle continues.

My rose tinted viewpoint on life is my habit of escapism into fictional worlds. I take the well being of made up characters seriously. I have ever since I was little and had gotten hooked into The Babysitter’s Club book series. I had a whole bookshelf full of them until I eventually grew out of them. Each book was from a different girl’s perspective, so it was interesting seeing the story unfold with different voices. The characters were pretty diverse, too, at least for their time. I guess they were published in the 80s or 90s maybe?

I’m too lazy to look it up.

One time I had someone tell me that escapism was a bad thing. I still don’t understand why. I’m still with it in terms to keeping up with reality, so I don’t see anything wrong with it. Sure, my obsession with Harry Potter may have tipped over the edge every once in a while, but I’ve reeled back since then.

I say as long as you aren’t jumping out in front of your favorite band’s tour bus at every concert, I think you’re ok, but that’s just me. A rose tinted world is a nice distraction from pain.

 

Flashback

So today was the day of Houston’s Gay Pride parade. I wasn’t invited to go with anyone, but even if I had, I would say no in a heartbeat because my experiences there have been nothing but awful. 

The first year I went I was left alone by friends in front of the Smoothie King on Montrose for a good hour or so. Mind you, I’m barely over 5 feet tall. And I was alone in the middle of the fourth largest city in America.

I was super pissed.

Last year was even worse, I’d say. It was a few months before I was diagnosed and I was in full swing of my symptoms. I knew I shouldn’t have gone from the very beginning, but I just had wanted to have a good time with my friends. Even before I left the house, I had thrown up because I had rushed eating my food because they said they were ready to go. 

Once we got there, I was excited to see all the different people in Houston. This one little girl even wanted to take a picture with me because I had dressed up like a unicorn. It was super adorable, but soon the heat index of 107 got to me. I was severely anemic at the time and I didn’t know it, so I was extremely sensitive to the heat. I couldn’t even take a hot shower at the time without getting dizzy and nauseous.

I tried hiding out inside a Half Price Bookstore for the air conditioning and just the general comfort of being surrounded by books until an employee said that I couldn’t sit on the floor. I was too sick to argue, so I left. I wanted to do nothing but go back inside, but I faithfully trailed behind my friends as they saw other people they knew. I ended up just having to run to a trashcan to throw up the rest of what was left in me from lunch.

The worst part of Pride was that every restaurant and fast food place in the area had lines out the door of people who wanted to get in. My friends wanted McDonald’s while I just wanted to be bathed in ice. They got lunch while I got a Sprite.

Looking back, I probably should’ve gotten a water.

I talked to a nice lesbian couple while my friends ate their food. One of them wasn’t reacting very well to the heat either, so we complained about it until they left. I held my cold drink around my neck, hoping it would cool me down. Once they were done eating, we left back into the blazing sun.

We then saw that the crowd fences were being set up, so we started walking to find a good spot. I stood, leaning on the fence for a while until I felt like I had to sit down. Even with the white dress I had on, I found myself sitting on the curb of a Houston street next to a completely full trash can, sipping on my Sprite and eating the ice until it was completely gone. I was beginning to grow nauseous again and there was nothing I could do. I looked around desperately, hoping against all hope that I wasn’t going to throw up.

It happened.

I had no choice but to throw up next to the trashcan after a brief warning to the people around me. Luckily there was a nice group of older Hispanic women who basically dumped the ice from their cooler on me and tied my hair back within seconds. It was the most refreshed I had felt all day.

Once I was cleaned up, those same women handed me a Gatorade and I sipped on it while the parade finally started. Even though the sun had set, I was starting to feet overheated again because of the people around me. I had to go sit for the rest of the night in the side street watching the rest of the parade alone from afar until a friend came to join me later on.

But as I sat on the curb, slowly drinking the Gatorade, a teenage boy came up to me and said, “You are the saddest unicorn I’ve ever seen.”

I blearily looked up at the voice and saw the concerned faces of him and his friends peering down at me. I had been hoping to be left alone because I didn’t want to be a bother.

The boy held out his hand to me and I saw something small. I took it and saw that it was a tiny toy pink dolphin. I turned it in my hands to closely inspect it.

“It’s a good luck charm,” he said. “Please don’t die.” He and his friends smiled at me and then walked away together to watch the parade.

I’m pretty sure it was that tiny pink dolphin that got me through the rest of the night.

How to be cool

Today was a gross day. It rained for several hours this afternoon and then by 5 o’clock the sun started beating down like nobody’s business, making Houston the sauna swamp that it’s always wanted to be. The only reason why I was outside was because I had to represent the organization I’m an officer for at my university (The Rex Fleming Players, whoop whoop!).

When I did this last summer, I nearly passed out from the heat because I was severely anemic at the time. Instead of passing out, though, my body reacted as if I were having a vicious bout of food poisoning. Being alone at the table at the time, things were extremely rough. I honestly have no idea how I got through that afternoon.

What really needs to be addressed is how to stay comfortable in this awful hot, humid weather when you have a chronic illness.

  • Water. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Water is EXTREMELY important when you’re outside in the heat. Drink water before and after your time outside.
  • Ice. It’s a good idea to use ice for a lot of things, but you need to be careful with it. Don’t go jumping into a pool of it right if your body’s overheated. That’s a one way ticket to getting sick and your muscles shocked. Also, if you’re working out, don’t drink ice water. It’s really bad for your kidneys. Save it until your body is ready.
  • Air conditioning. It’s an absolute lifesaver. I’m really lucky that I live in one of the most air conditioned cities in America. Don’t push yourself to stay outside longer than you need to. You have other things to worry about than getting a tan.
  • Thinner clothing. Modest is most definitely hottest in this case. Don’t be afraid to wear a tank top and shorts every once and a while. Your body will thank you.
  • Sunscreen. This isn’t really a way to stay cool, but with the thinner clothing, your body is more exposed to the sun’s evil rays. Skin cancer isn’t cute, so apply as suggested by the back of the bottle. I recommend the spray on sunscreen because they dry really quickly.
  • Shade. If you must be outside, shade is your best option to stay in. If you’re in a situation where you’re unable to be near it, either find a way to ask someone to accommodate to your needs or an umbrella will do nicely.
  • Electrolytes. These are super important. I knew a kid in high school that ended up having to be life-flighted to a hospital because he actually drank too much water and didn’t have any electrolytes in his body. Wait until after your time outside is over in order to fully recharge what you’ve lost. Gatorade, Powerade, or any sports drink will do fine. Don’t drink too much of it though because the sugars in these drinks will cause things to be counterproductive. 
  • Popsicles and ice cream. Because who would want to say no to these? Otter pops are super cheap at almost any grocery store and they’re also a personal favorite of mine.