Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong
shadesong

Tired Girls

I'm currently reading All In My Head: an epic quest to cure an unrelenting, totally unreasonable, and only slightly enlightening headache, by Paula Kamen. 'Tis what it sounds like - she's had a terrible headache for ten years that's consistently failed to respond to treatment.

But I bought the book because it also becomes an examination of the stigma against female health complaints. Invisible disabilities, like her chronic headache, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, et cetera, things that are still sometimes dismissed as female "hysteria", if only subconsciously.

I'm going to reproduce here a bit she wrote about an acquaintance with epilepsy. Everything between the lines is by Paula Kamen. Note: She uses "marbles" like the Spoon Theory uses "spoons".

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..."I went on a new drug for my epilepsy and gained fifty pounds. The entire time, I was thinking, 'This is what Paula was talking about.' I had to get in touch with you and tell you." We commiserated, and she told me that she was going through a very difficult time, being fired after taking too much time off work for sick leave. Her epilepsy had worsened, and she was constantly fatigued. Just talking on the phone to me now was consuming much of her energy for the day. I was surprised at this limited marble level, as I had just considered epilepsy a problem that people deal with episodically, during attacks - which I'm sure many people also assume is the case with headache sufferers, forgetting the weakness it often creates. She was in the process of suing her school, a lawsuit she eventually won. We shared drug stories, realizing that we had been on almost all the same antiseizure medicines (also used for headaches), complaining about how dumb they made us. "Yeah, when I'm on those drugs, it's hard for me to even read magazines at the health club. Even sometimes Entertainment Weekly is too much, with its ironic references. I stick to something easy, like Us, with paragraph-long articles. That's about at my level," she said.
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It's always a bit of a relief when someone sees and understands that.

Unrelated: Did everyone see the Blog-A-Thon post this morning? eyewrist says it disappeared from her friends-list, is why I ask.
Tags: epilepsy, quotes
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