Patreon Drive for July 1 Donations. Thank You for Your Support. Update Below the Fold.

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Please click the Patreon image in the sidebar or use the links below to visit my Patreon page. Thank you for your support. >>>>>>>>>

Thank you to my 13 existing Patrons!  I appreciate your support.

I would never ask to be rescued from a more or less natural death.  When I came here 3 years ago to treat my serious chronic illness with medical cannabis, I really felt like I was dying, that I had no choice and that even if I “lost everything” it would not matter.  My quality of life was nonexistent and I was so extremely ill that I thought either I would die from my disease (which I believe is essentially a terminal illness, or at least that it’s terminal without treatment) or that I would heal enough to go on with my life even if it looked much differently than it had before.  3 years later, I have “lost it all” having paid out-of-pocket for out-of-state lodging and treatment which has given me profound pain relief and significant healing from the ravages of my incurable and disabling autoimmune condition, Crohn’s disease.  While I consider this to be an unlikely and hard-won personal success and am so grateful that I was able to do that for myself, I am now facing something I did not expect: figuring out how to live into the foreseeable future with an only somewhat healed and temporarily managed illness and no money, no credit, no immediate eligibility for benefits and little or no ability to earn.

This is Mama and Chili, my 2 adopted shelter cats.  Mama is the calico and Chili is her now-grown female kitten and appears to be a ragdoll mix.  They are so happy being together and the 3 of us have been blissed out for 3 years living in a modest calm and quiet living space in a beautiful rural area.  Mama and Chili are indoor/outdoor cats and get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, grass to chew on and bugs to chase.  Please help us stay together!

Continue reading “Patreon Drive for July 1 Donations. Thank You for Your Support. Update Below the Fold.”

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What is Autism? The Crohn’s — Autism Connection.

In the last 6 years spent researching Crohn’s disease I have come across peer-reviewed medical research connecting inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — and autism.  Interestingly, it seems as if children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely than their peers to also have formal diagnoses and prescriptions to treat IBD.  Possibly, the diseased bowel of IBD sufferers lets through neurotoxins that poison the brain causing autism and ASD.

Another study suggests that mothers with autoimmune disease disproportionately produce offspring with ASD, specifically autistic male offspring, while female fetuses of autoimmune mothers die.  The idea there appears to be that autoimmune mothers produce anti-brain antibodies that attack the proteins in the brains of the developing fetus; for some reason, the male fetuses live and are born brain-damaged (read: autistic) while the female fetuses of autoimmune mothers are spontaneously aborted.  Of course, female autistics and ASD sufferers do exist, but where do they come from?  Not from autoimmune mothers apparently.  This in-utero brain damage is a similar (but not identical) mechanism to that which is thought to cause brain damage from neurotoxins poisioning the brains of bowel-compromised IBD patients.  And even though female fetuses are normally hardier than males, according to the linked study, female fetuses that are poisoned this way tend not to survive.

It has also been suggested, but is impossible to prove, that autistic behaviors somehow contribute to development of IBD through “picky eating” or other actions that alter the diet or other environmental factors of autistic children compared to their peers.

It is difficult to draw conclusions from the evidence that IBD and ASD are correlated, but it provides good food for thought.  And in the food-for-thought vein, for those who are interested, I would like to suggest another avenue of inquiry: the possibility of a shared characteristic and common denominator of IBD and ASD as diseases of malabsorption.  Specifically, that IBD prevents absorption and assimilation of nutrients from food, while ASD prevents absorption and assimilation of social and developmental norms.

For those who are interested in what is known and/or knowable about autism and the correlation between IBD and ASD, you may wish to stop reading here and start Googling.  For my purposes, I wish to postulate the following extremely offensive and decidedly original idea for those who are interested in that, and while there is certainly room for improvement and/or expounding, the following is as fleshed-out as I am currently able to offer.

Continue reading “What is Autism? The Crohn’s — Autism Connection.”

You Can’t “Outsmart” Trauma. That’s Actually Not How Trauma Works. Or, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Traumatized and Increasingly Unable to Function.

I’ve been thinking a lot about trauma lately as I contemplate my increasingly vulnerable and terrifying station as a chronically ill woman who will have to rely on the long-term care and concern of others if I am to survive.  For some reason I found this topic exceptionally difficult to write about in a coherent and meaningful way and in my experience as a somewhat seasoned social critic, that usually indicates that there is some thought-termination around the issue and that I am working my way through something that is not meant to be dissected and understood and that is probably the case here.  For whatever reason, this post seems like it just does not want to be written, and as a writer and a creative person I can and do respect that, so I am giving up on the idea of writing a proper post about it.  I have scrapped a dozen versions of this post and I’m glad they are gone.

But there is something that I — not my muse — would like to say about trauma, about women’s experience with trauma, how it affects us, and what little can probably be done about it.  But little is not nothing, and where there is anything women can do to avoid trauma and to avoid becoming traumatized, women seriously need to do everything in their power to avoid it.  The effects of trauma on our long-term physical and mental well-being are just too serious to ignore and we cannot keep letting this happen to us; we are told that “what does not kill us makes us stronger” but this is a reversal, and a lie.  And besides, there are probably worse things than death and it seems to me like trauma may be one of those things.  In reality, the constant traumas women experience that stop short of killing us only make us weaker, sicker, and less able to function.  For women, the effect of constant trauma is that we are neither here nor there — we end up the walking dead.

Continue reading “You Can’t “Outsmart” Trauma. That’s Actually Not How Trauma Works. Or, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Traumatized and Increasingly Unable to Function.”