Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

October 27, 2014
by sarcozona

Good chronic pain and illness management

I’ve warned you off potentially bad chronic pain management programs and asked you to join a project improving a widely used program in North America. But if you’re looking for help right now, that isn’t very useful.

So, here are a couple resources for the here and now:

  • Not all official chronic pain/illness management programs are bad. The Walton Centre Pain Management Programme gets a stellar review from a commenter here:

    I recently had a pain management course in Liverpool (the Walton Clinic PMP) which was amazing and changed my life. Good courses exist – despite them being generic to chronic pain rather than for specific conditions. Just an example of two differences from the one I attended – weekly targets were not to be about things we learnt about on the course because they wanted us to try our best to do those things anyway (at the level that we could). They had to be about something else in our lives – like work or family or socialising. They also deferred to our knowledge. Every session was a discussion and the people contributing most were the pain sufferers, we have the most experience! Of course they were directed by the practitioners, and they imparted us with so many tools and so much knowledge about how chronic pain works but they also facilitated discussion and gave us the opportunity to share our experiences, advice and outlooks. They gave us some individual advice too – like physio exercises for problem areas. The course has been running a very long time, the practitioners are experienced and specialised and it’s generally a well organised programme.

  • The Professional Patient is writing a Guidebook for Navigating New Chronic Illness or Disability. So far they have five posts up. I hope when they’re done they bundle them up into anebook and sell it because it is exceptional advice presented clearly, helpfully, sympathetically.
  • How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard does an incredible job addressing grief, anger, and jealousy and how to cope with those feelings. There’s also a lot of good discussion of the lived experience of being in pain, the emotional effects, and how moderate your mental and emotional experience of pain. It never veers into blaming language.

Please add your own resources in the comments.


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October 12, 2014
by sarcozona

Migraine Memory

My memory is strange lately. I was talking to someone last weekend about my mother’s visit to Epiphyte City awhile ago. Then a few nights later, on the phone with her, she brought it up and I did not remember her visit at all – I denied that it had happened. She had to tell me many details of it before I would believe it and even more before I could remember the first detail.

This is one of many things that have gone wrong with my memory lately.

Perhaps migraines are eating holes in my brain. Perhaps that strange migraine I had a few weeks ago was really a stroke. Perhaps this is just how memory works.

Anyway, I’m having a CAT scan soon.

Stuff worth reading

Comment on Toxic academic mentors by GermanPostdoc
Bad supervisors have extraordinary power over people’s careers in academia

Frameworks for Understanding the Future of Work

Adobe’s e-book reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe—in plain text.
Considering how much of the ebook market is of the rather naughty variety, this is extra awful.

Step Inside the World’s Most Dangerous Garden (If You Dare).

The Ebola Patient Was Sent Home Because of Bad Software

How Do Your Drinking Habits Compare To The Rest Of The Country’s?
That’s a lot

Scenes from the New American Dustbowl.
The water isn’t coming back.

The Importance of Music to Girls. Trying to “protect” your favorite bands from t…

What’s Wrong With “America’s Ugliest Accent”
“Maybe it’s not always about class, but it’s never really about language. It’s about the kind of people who speak it.”

Let’s stop mixing up education and social capital
“It’s not what you learn at these expensive schools that matters, it’s the social capital that you accumulate”

Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It

Fashion this


Do you like the links I post? You might want to follow me on twitter, too. You may also like Epicene Cyborg, who is the source for many of the fantastic things I share.

October 10, 2014
by sarcozona

A case of pudding hysteria resolved with a case of pudding

2014-10-08 15.49.19Do you remember the pudding hysteria incident? If you do not, let me refresh your memory: coming out of a migraine, feeling terrible, I developed an overwhelming craving for pudding. When I realized there was no pudding, my migraine brain melted the fuck down and I cried and cried and cried. Then, struck by the silliness of crying over pudding at my age, I laughed and laughed and laughed.

A concerned reader of this blog took this situation very seriously and determined that it should never happen again. Earlier this week, I received a mysterious parcel in the mail. I opened the rather heavy box to discover an entire case of butterscotch pudding.

Nearly a week later and I’m still grinning about it.