S4 E26 - 5:5:22, 9.22 AM
3:23PM May 5, 2022
Lee Skallerup Bessette
Hey everyone welcome to another episode of the other things ADHD podcast.
Oh the thing that once and together time all the time
I'm one of your co hosts Lee Skallerup Bessette
I also am one of your co hosts Amy Pope Morrison
Welcome back and no one gives you this because of course this is a podcast but I just have to say that my co host in Morrison's eye makeup eyeshadow work today is on point is very onpoint yes and she has a neon anyway t shirt on to and her eyeshadow matches the neon nama shirt and her nails too. So she is looking very slick whereas I'm sitting here in my semi dark basement
I put my makeup on just for this league because I could not stand the thought of having to stare at my status window. Yeah, so yeah, I've matched my my eyeshadow to my T shirt because why not? It's very gray and rainy here I thought I put a little bit of color on my face and my T shirt my enemy T shirt is Toshinori from My Hero Academia so no,
okay, I should have known that since my son is that's one of the ones he's obsessed with. But he has watched them out in the open anymore. So I know I'm not as as up on it. We have there are multiple screens everywhere as opposed to one giant screen in
Yeah, so so this is him in Toshinori form which is like scrawny with sticky od hair, beady eyes and coughing up blood, which is like essentially my entire vibe. Currently, it's like I may be a superhero and one guy's but like, I can't hold that all the time. And when I can, I'm a hot mess. That just feels like a great mood for today.
Okay, true though about like the it's either we are in superhero mode, or we are a complete and utter disaster. Yeah, right. Like there's no in between and that's just ADHD in a nutshell but like it really is. Superhero mode or
cannot function. Yeah, you're either like all my yelling Detroit thoughts Marshall.
Or you are Detroit getting smashed. They're like, no other options. Yeah, and
yeah, yeah, it's it's either it's either you're like you are either Super Saiyan or like that one. Oh, who's the one from Dragon Ball and she's from another what are the other dimensions? And she's like, Okay, well she's she's the same from another dimension, but she's like completely meek and mild and scared. But then she can go Super Saiyan and just goes like ballistic? With the rest of the time. She's like, Yeah, Right exactly. relatable as well. Who's gonna be this this is how we're gonna get comments on the blog is like you miss identify as a Dragon Ball care. Her name is actually this.
Yeah, like, sure. I didn't plan to talk about this. But now we're talking about it. Cool. Happy to be corrected.
Yeah, surprise. My son isn't like furiously texting me right now is like I have a feeling my mother got me got something wrong about Dragon Ball.
Getting a sixth sense. I've just didn't read my math class and all of a sudden my spidey senses tingling. somebody's mom got it wrong.
Oh, come on. Not poke him on Dragon Ball wrong. So So yeah, there I have no easy segue into what we're talking about today. There's no connection today apparently is not. My brain is like no, sorry. You're out of luck. Just make an awkward transition. All right, good.
Yeah. How about it's like, you know, speaking of getting it wrong, and being wrong. There you go. Yeah. So today, okay. I will manage the segue because it's unfair. I was making manage the segue even though I pitch you the topic sometimes like one minute before we start recording and I'm like, Okay, it's least topic now. He's going to introduce it. Our listeners will know, by I've had some interactions with medical systems lately. Around my facial injury and around you know, other types of things as well. You know, after my mom died, I went on a grief leave, I had to go through a doctor for that. That I had my ADHD medication, change drive, got medication started for my daughter. I've had like difficulties with prescription renewals around stuff. I find all of those interactions quite fraught. And as most of the internet already knows, so it's no big secret. I have a 49 year old woman currently going through perimenopause, which is a thing that didn't really have a name. People talk about menopause, menopause being like, oh, all this bad stuff is happening to you. But menopause. The technical term just simply means the one day that occurs 12 months after your last menstrual period. It's just a point on a line. It's not a it's not a location. It's just a point, right? It's like, there has a before and an after it doesn't have a now right? So perimenopause is that is transition is the before is that transition from like having your regular grown up menstrual cycles, however they happen to be, you know, through your 20s and 30s, when all of a sudden things start, like getting weird, right? So getting weird might look like your schedule changes, like your periods get closer together or farther apart, or they suddenly get a lot heavier or you start, you know, spotting at unexpected times, or your PMS suddenly gets way, way worse, or you start to gain weight for no reason. And that has to do with the anywhere from two to 11 years, to 11 years of making the transition in between having regular periods like a grown up and not having periods anymore. So I'm going through that right now. And it's it's relevant, I think, for this podcast, because, like so much else in the world, there are intersectional issues at play in seeking and securing appropriate medical care. And neurodivergent. middle aged women are at a particular conjunction at least of having a stigmatized form of neuro divergence that they probably had a hard time getting diagnosed with in the first place, much more likely to be diagnosed with mood disorders, that they are entering a period of life. The perimenopause period is wildly under research. I was about to say, under treated and like has scholarship that's full of errors and is rooted in deep deep sexism from the get go. And also, we're you know, just straight up women tend not to be taken as seriously as we might be by health care providers. And so, I've been surprised to find, with all of my privilege that I carry through the world that I've had a really bad time with doctors in the past year or so in ways that are making me panic, actually, you know, because doctors, the health care professions have things that we need, like I can't get my meds, right, my prescription we've had,
how many episodes have we done about getting trying to get meds right like
many trying to get meds trying to get your prescription renewed trying to get your prescription filled, you know, being labeled as a drug seeker at that pharmacy and like having your like all of this stuff like having your insurance not cover it needing it like in state prescription, like all of this stuff that makes it so hard or or, or all of that stuff? And yeah, so the medical profession has things that I could access through them that I cannot secure for myself, that I also do not seem to be able to secure through them because I have ADHD which women aren't supposed to have. And I'm going through perimenopause, which no one has historically given a shit about Yeah,
yeah. And so so here we go. Right. First off, no one gives a shit about perimenopause slash menopause. And so nobody really knows or understands anything about Not really. Second, is, now we're dealing with that we have diagnoses on our files that may or may not be taken seriously or be held against us. I know that there's a lot of research that as soon as there is there are mood disorders, depression, anxiety, that are on your files, then doctors are less likely to take you seriously and to believe that you know, yourself. And then to make things to make things more interesting and what increased research now this, again, is not a heavily researched area, but there is increasing interest in it. Or at least my algorithm has decided that I am increasingly interested in the intersection between perimenopause and menopause and ADHD. Were women self report saying that yes, now my ADHD has not been turned up to 11. But in fact, turned up to infinity. Yep. And so now we are trying to advocate for ourselves in a system that is predisposed not to believe and or understand us in a state where we are pre so free to pose to not being very good at it.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, right. So being a woman in a healthcare situation means you're less likely to be taken seriously. If we add a race other than whiteness into that this is 100 times more true. Right? So racialized women will suffer that penalty even more than white women. Having mood disorder diagnosis flags you as someone who is not a reliable narrator. Right. If I were to do this in literary studies, turn straight you are not a reliable narrator and so your your acts of communication will be decoded. symptomatically. Right. So your your words will be sifted for what evidence the doctor can glean from it not from what you are trying to say. But what from the but what they think that what you're saying means based on what they think they, they know about you. If you have ADHD, and your doctor does not believe that you have ADHD, they will now label you a drug seeker, right? Especially if you have medication for this disorder that they don't think that you have them. They're predisposed negatively towards you about that. If they do believe that you have ADHD, every problem in your life will now be attributed to that and you will not be able to be treated for other things. If you are in a body that is not of normative thinness.
I was going to just say, God forbid if you're fat, right? Absolutely,
the solution to all of your problems is to lose weight first. And we'll talk about everything else second, middle aged women become invisible and culture people are least likely to listen to us of all the women. What else yeah, if you happen to be more able bodied, you're better off if you have physical disabilities, you will be discounted, again, at the doctor treated as an object of pity. And God help you if you're autistic and have like maybe not the greatest ability to control your facial expressions when people are being dumped on around you. You will be disliked by your doctor. Good times.
Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, it's, it's a miracle we we anyone goes plus compound that with, you know, the availability of medical profession, the limitations of insurance, particularly in the United States, the shortage of specialists. It's a miracle anybody gets any health care at all?
Truly it is. It is,
you know, we have all of this science of modern medicine and yet somehow it but it's not for us, right? I'm not. I mean, I was about to say, I'm not sure who it's for. But I know it's for if we don't even have to get into that. It's fine. It's not for us, that's all yes. Yeah,
I want to sort of start, start, I say I'm like the student is on page 30, saying, Before we begin, I want to acknowledge that probably most of our listeners have had unhappy interactions with healthcare professionals. And I want to acknowledge that some of these can be soul and competence crushing simultaneously, right? Like when you say like, there's something really wrong with me, and they're like, why don't you have a bubble bath and try to calm down? Right? And it's your appendix or, you know, you have like, knee problems in there. Like, you should lose weight. And you're like, yes, but, but it's, but my knee is busted up right now. I would like some help with that. No, you don't need help with that. You know, all the kinds of ways where we, you know, go to the pharmacy and tried to get our prescriptions renewed, and they're like, No, you came two days too early, we cannot just give these out ahead of time to you, because there's a black market for it. And then you feel like a piece of shit. as it were. Yeah, or so the solution to all of your things is like have a bubble bath or lose weight, or these are very powerful drugs, little lady, we need to make sure that you're not abusing them. And also getting old sucks. You just have to get used to getting old and things don't work the way they used to. And your tummies gonna get a little bigger and your curves are gonna change and like, Please fuck off. So like if any of our listeners, I say, disingenuously, because I know all of our listeners have had some version of this experience where you get patronized by a doctor for suggesting an interpretation of something that's happening in your own body or brain.
Yeah. Have you ever experienced this?
Oh, gosh, yeah, I thought you've had out for a second. Sorry. Yeah. I mean, I've been I've been fair. I mean, other than it taking forever to get an ADHD diagnosis. I've actually been and, you know, the, the medication thing? I don't know. I don't want to minimize it. Yeah, there's the medication thing. Basically, just places not having the medication, right. They don't have enough of it in stock, and then you're just like, can I just get a few days then? And they're like, well, like, Okay, I could just like, if we'd rather wait until we get all you can take all 90 of them. I'm like, Yes, but that's gonna take five days and you have five pills. So can I have
maybe five pills? I've had this conversation as well because like they think I'm gonna go five days without the prescription amphetamines they've been taking every day for three years, right? That's not like, the pamphlet they'll give you, you know, with the drug will say do not abruptly cease taking these pills, right? Don't just stop taking them without consulting a doctor but there'll be like, we I only have seven pills left. This actually just happened to me this month when I went to renew. Because like, I knew I had another refill on it. So I waited until like two days before. Yeah. Because that way, they won't yell at me. And I renewed and then they were like, well, we can't fill all of this, you know, we don't keep this on hand was like, Well, you don't let me renew it until I only have two pills left. Right. So that's what I did. And now you're saying I should have renewed it earlier, so that you could make sure to have sufficient quantities in stock. And I was like, pick one. Like I literally said to them, pick one. So like, I will take what you have. And please no, it's going to cost me something of my executive function this week to have to come back a second time, right? To get the rest of my bills. Because this means like, in one week, I'm going to run into pills twice, and I'm gonna look at the empty bottle, go, oh, shit, I have to go pick that up. I hope they they have it right. And somehow this is like, construed as my fault, right? And your fault. It's like, well, it's, uh, Stop hitting yourself, that one for sure. is difficult to get your medication that you've been legally prescribed and that you are entitled to, and that everyone gives you the stink eye at the pharmacy every time you try to pick it up.
Yeah. And, um,
I guess I'm fairly lucky as well, in that the doctor my kids have is phenomenal. Oh, great. And she is also like, she's super empathetic. She is super, just like, on and and, you know, it's, it's just, she's, she's fantastic. But she's also, you know, she takes the time, not only to get to know the kids, but she takes the time to get to know you, or at least she took the time to get to know me as a parent as well. And so we can, you know, she'll check in and be like, Okay, well, how are you doing with all of this? Like, how are you? You know, and so she's that there's a certain? A, there's, there are affirmations, they're both, I think, for my kids, but she's also very good at affirming the parents experience. Again, at least with me, and I don't know
Well, that's family systems theory, right. So like, if a child has like a form of neuro divergence that requires like medical or behavioral or therapeutic intervention, like that child is not a solo agent, right? That child is a member of a family structure where they rank fairly low in the totem pole of family power and control. And it's difficult to affect a change in a child's life without having the parents on board. Right, like, so it's just really hard to treat one member of a family in that way. Right? That makes perfect sense. But like, as you say, that takes that takes some time, right? You have to get to know, the members of the family. And I mean, that's the kind of the relationship that that my family we'll have with our family doctor, like seem to have, I think until the pandemic, we would all sort of go in together, right? And kind of work things out. You know, that way, and having a family doctor, you go to a lot allows you a chance to build up a relationship with a practitioner who gets to know you as a human being right. So somebody who, you know, become their patient in my early 30s, you know, has a history with me as a fully fledged human being over 20 years already when it comes to be now I'm in the office like sweating and bursting into tears and getting angry. Oh, perimenopause, right, there's a context for that. That's kind of lacking when you don't have that stability of health care. And I think the thing that is striking to me, is how objectifying and pathologizing medical care can be right that, that I would like to think of myself as being, you know, a co creator of care, like, I have a problem in my body, right, like, what's going on with this weird hip that keeps dislocating and, you know, I'm gonna go in and I sort of, in my mind, picture this relationship, as, as you know, me and the doctor sitting on one side of the table together, going over a list of things that are are happening to me, and we're trying to solve a problem together. But I feel increasingly what tends to happen is I walk into a medical setting as a set of data points, right? Without agency that I am a pile of evidence. And the evidence is externally visible only to the doctor, right that I can't even decode my own experience, and I'm not a partner. In my own care, I am a problem to be solved, right? I don't have a problem that the doctor and I are gonna try to solve together. I am a problem that the doctor needs to solve so that I go away, right? Yeah. And it feels dehumanizing to me, like that's what happened. And to me at the hospital when, like I will say the the emergency room doctor that sewed my face back together did such a great job that the plastic surgeon and I went to see about some scar treatments, like actually said, like, was this from a procedure that you had done? And I was like, No, this is emergency room stitches. And he's like, Well, they're really well done. But I had such an awful experience because like, nobody said hi to me. Nobody looked me in the eye. Nobody would let me have a glass of water. Right. Nobody would address my my fears. They're just trying to pretend like I wasn't having any emotions at all right? If they could just have put a bag over my head. Right. So that I wouldn't have been a person I just would have been like a series of lacerations requiring sutures, I think that would have suited the drive for efficiency. But I experienced that as remarkably objectifying and de so objectifying, right didn't feel like a person. In those interactions. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know if you've had any experiences like that.
It's so the closest I can come is when I was and again, it's kind of a hazy memories, because it was when I was 17. So we're getting up on 30 years now. When I had appendicitis, right, um, and it's it didn't even burst. It was just a little swollen.
The Whirlpool one, which I
was like, hole, boy, what would it feel because I was in and I have a high pain tolerance. Like I've always had a fairly high pain tolerance. I always, you know, again, distance swimmer. You know, athletic, just, you know, had a fairly lousy
lousy interoception. Also, yes.
Yeah, exactly. So. So it was so much that it was like I was doubled over in pain. Right. And it wasn't cramps, and it wasn't any, it's so I was doubled over in pain. And finally, my mom took me to the hospital. And I was in so much pain, I couldn't even sit up in a chair. Like, that's how much pain I was in. And so again, didn't know what it was. So it's not even like I could have advocated it was just like, I am in excruciating pain in my midsection.
Yeah. And so you know, that
I remember lying down on the floor, which again, nasty, but at the same time, you don't care. I don't care. Yeah, you know, and I'm 17. So, you know, like, I think I'm invincible. So, and I can remember the nurse standing over me and just sort of like grunting. Yeah.
She can't do that. Well, she has a problem. She can't be here like that.
Oh, my God compliance culture in the emergency room.
And, and my mom bless her, was like, Well, I don't know what you want me to do with her. They're like, I guess we could get you a bed. And because it was also it was like, height of summer and the emergency room was crawling with, you know, isn't getting this is the 90s. This is Canada. Nobody has air conditioning yet? Not really. Right. Right, that we're making that transition from maybe we should get air conditioners in our houses, as opposed to like, what do we need air conditioners for? It's it's winter, nine months out of the year. Right. And so the emergency room was filled with elderly patients who are all dehydrated, right? And suffering from various forms of heatstroke. Yeah. And then there was me. So it was very overcrowded. It was very they got me Gurney, I was in a hall and I was in between two, two curtains. And they were fairly, you know, I mean, there was the Well, are you pregnant? No, I'm not pregnant. Well, we're going to test you anyways. Which right? Okay, so like, all right, fine, you know, a guess. But at the same time, no.
Right, like, but they won't listen, right? Because you're not the trusted narrator of your own experience.
You know, well, you know, I'm not what 17 year old in front of their mother is gonna be like, well, yes, sure. Act I am. And thank goodness, it wasn't anything more complex than an appendicitis, you know, so they, they did ultrasounds to try and see, you know, all of that kind of stuff. They weren't sure. They couldn't actually find anything wrong with me the first time. Because, well, because it wasn't burst. It wasn't really swollen. Right. And so they couldn't tell on an ultrasound what it was, they could just tell that there was nothing sort of abnormal, um, and then they sent me home but they said if this happens again, come back. You are definitely having an appendicitis. And so a month later, I woke up and sort of had the pain, but called into work and was like, I'm not coming to work, call my mom and like, come home and take me to the hospital. And by the time she got home, I was already back down on the floor screaming and pain. Sure. And that time, they were like, okay, they went in and then they took it out. And so it was you know, a All the bends well, but you know, independent, like, I feel like the appendicitis or an appendix is something that they recognize. But like, if something had been wrong with my uterus if something had been wrong, like if I had had fibroids or anything else like it's just yeah, I mean, I did they even paid any attention or caught it.
I don't know that appendicitis is usually the type of disorder that resolves on its own. Right. Like, it's not like it's infected. This is like one way or another gonna lead to you having it removed right now or not now. They send you home, right, like 17 year old, don't complain too much about your pain. You were probably hysterical and exaggerating. Again,
and you're and you're, you're dehydrated, because you're a lifeguard. You know, Have you have you been? You know, like, how much have you been working? And how much you've been working in the sun? And how hydrated are?
Well, right? Try to get some rest and maybe a bubble bath?
you're probably stressed. Like, I don't know what it is about medical professionals that are like, you could arrive with a broken leg with a bone sticking out through your quadriceps. And they would be like, is this really about stress? Maybe do less. Could your husband or partner maybe take a little bit off your plate? Like I know, this is it's a difficult time and like, you know, but like, Bitch, please, like my leg is broken, right? So like, maybe you're dehydrated, I don't really see what that has to do with like, visibly inflamed. Like, they'll touch this your side and they'll be able to tell like it is a bit swollen. Like you don't really need imaging for that you can get imaging and the imaging can be like a bit inconclusive. But if it looks like appendicitis, right, and it's causing you to turn green and lie on the disgusting floor of the emergency room, you need your mom to bring you like the app, take it out, right don't make you go back and be like, well, you know, she's really serious. And actually, yeah, they did. They did and, and like, this is the thing to that, that women's reports have their own pain are downgraded, right? Like, you could say, this is an 11 out of 10. And they'll be like, okay, but I don't really think you know what pain is because I play in a rec Hockey League, you know, and sometimes I get checked into the boards writing like, well, I've given birth, so yeah. Which is funny, because, as a rule, women tend to have a higher pain tolerance than men do. Like this has been studied, right? There's a racial component to this as well. Yes. That the pain self assess pain of black people is routinely disregarded by white doctors who are still in this like legacy from the slavery era of it's okay to beat enslaved black people because they don't feel pain. Right? Yeah. Or, you know, they are dangerous because they don't feel pain. They'll just keep like, this is how Michael Brown gets killed today. Right? It's like, all this thing about these like, impervious to pain, superhuman, monstrous black people, right? And so you can you can go in with the worst kind of pain and they'll be like, you're probably drug seeking. And here's one Advil and calm down, right? And this goes for it's normal. For us. It's normal for women as well. Yeah. And so like, we want to think about women's reproductive health. Like I know, there's a big movement around endometriosis right now, which is an incredibly painful condition in which uterine tissue grows everywhere throughout the body, like different places where it's not supposed to be. And it kind of binds your organs together a little bit. And then so when you have PMS, anybody who doesn't have endometriosis, when you have PMS, you know, like you get your unhappy uterus gets like, inflamed, and swollen and angry and crabby. Now, imagine if you had those tissues, like stuck through your liver and attached to your intestines. And what if your entire inner torso that whole bit of viscera, right between your lungs in your pelvis? Had PMS? Right? Yeah, that entire part of your body had PMS and and for years, like women have reported going to the doctor in their teens and saying like, you know, I'm soaking through, you know, overnight pads every two hours for seven days and I'm doubled over in pain and it hurts so bad. I threw up and they're like, Well, you know, welcome to womanhood. Yeah, it is a lifetime of pain. You know, it's it's you know, biblical story of you know, God
God punishing Eve right, making childbirth painful because like women deserve that I guess. So like here you have 14 year olds who are essentially anemic and incapacitated by endometriosis being like, Oh, well, periods hurt. That's just what it is. You need to calm down right? So many women take or have some birth control. That'll help. Yeah, take like 10 years of specialist visits before they actually get a diagnosis and often when the surgery is done. The surgeons are like, Oh my god, I can't believe you were still standing. And they're like, Well, I wasn't for many, many years. And so because that is like a disorder that happens mysteriously, to women's baby making parts and gets worse around menstruation. It's been discounted. You know, it's just hysteria, like literally problems of the uterus, right. And similarly with with perimenopause, which is like, going through puberty a second time, except you have a full time job and a lot of responsibilities and have to wear grownup clothes that you can't rip off every time you step into a building, because you're
so sweaty, and sometimes children who are going through puberty at the same time at
the same time, yeah, that's like a real trip, I have to say, right, so you can go to the doctor out. Well, here's something I learned this week, that enraged me so much. So we're all familiar with the concept of empty nest syndrome, right? Yes. So emptiness syndrome popularly is is you know, the kind of period of depression and sadness and aimlessness that mostly mothers go through when their children leave home to go to college or start their lives or whatever. Not identified by a sociologist, actually identified by a gynecologist, a male, gynecologist, say a male
in the 1950s. Yeah, because there was a woman in front of him saying, I don't feel like myself, right? I am quick to anger. I'm super irritable, I'm crying all the time. I can't sleep. This came on all of a sudden I you know, can I get like really hot or that I'm really cold. I'll be getting these headaches. All the symptoms, right? And the doctors like, well, they're there. You know, your kids just left home, and you're going to be in menopause. So you're going to be a bearing old true, of course, you're grieving the end of your womanhood. And since your kids are gone, your life has no purpose anymore. I mean, obviously, you're depressed, right? And you're you're acting out hysterically, you know, to come to the doctor and get some attention for your poor, empty, barren, meaningless, crone like life. That is where empty nest syndrome comes from, is a fucking medical doctor, who doesn't know how to treat the physical symptoms of a woman in front of him. And so finds an excuse to blame her for her own pain, and then attributes it to psychological causes, which you may find familiar.
Yeah, I've never heard anything like that before.
Yeah, right. So have you tried making lists? They say when you say I'm overwhelmed by daily tasks, right? I can't keep track of Have you tried making lists? Right? I think you're depressed or anxious, or I'm depressed and anxious because I can't get anything done. Yeah, I think it's ADHD, what we're gonna treat this thing from Well, no. And so many women have that experience to have finally going to their doctor super frazzled about what turns out to be ADHD, and being diagnosed with with anxiety and depression, which are diagnosis that both you and I have received right prior to our ADHD diagnosis. And for me, certainly, all of that cleared up. As soon as they had a diagnosis and an effective medical treatment for the physical problems inside my brain. Which was not like all the little lady should try a bit harder. Like maybe find a hobby. gourmet cooking possibly take up.
Have you tried? Have you tried yoga? Amy, have you tried
this No. This is the first episode. I'm sorry. This is the first episode you've ever listened to us. The Yoga is an ongoing joke because Amy not only tried yoga, but like is a certified yoga instructor. That's how hard Amy tried yoga.
So the Remington razors guy like I liked it so much about the company.
Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah, that's it. There we go. Gen X, that there's a reference for all y'all Gen Xers out there. And if you're not Gen X and do not get that look it up.
Tried ASIC yoga. Have you tried yoga? Have you tried? Have you tried yoga right so empty. So actually, that's
what I'm going through right now. Okay for myself. When it comes to like I want I am I am woefully out of shape. Right like I am just terribly, terribly out of shape. And I have put on weight. And I am getting older. And my joints we as we've spoken about before. We're not great in the best of times. Right? Like my knees have hated me. When I went the wrong way your knees these literally go the wrong way. My ankles go a template the different way than my knees I have to Yeah. And um you know I have very little core strength. I sit at my desk all day. Because I work from home I do not move nearly as much. You know I do coach but it is very low. impact and so far as I just paced back and forth, which is okay, gets me moving, but it's not great, right? And I know myself enough to say like, Okay, I need help, right? Like I would like. Honestly, I would like some physio to be able to strengthen my core enough. So I can actually do exercises properly, and not risk injury, I know from being a coach, and from my own experience, that if you don't have a good core, that the rest of it is just not going to work, right. Like we said, your score and bad joints is the recipe for injury. Exactly. Right. And, and I want to be healthier, I don't want to be out of breath. When I walk all six flights of stairs. I don't you know, like this, these are things that I'm noticing. And I'm like, Shit, I got to do something about this. But I want to do it smartly. And I want to, but then the it's just like, well try Pilates. And I'm like, but it's the idea. It's like, there's an interim step here. Right? And so it's like we're talking about, like, what kind of assistance is you want me to be healthy? I want to be healthy. I'm communicating to you the things that I need in order to make the steps necessary to become healthier. Yeah. And it's like, no, that's not how this works.
Maybe if we It's distressing me a little bit to hear you sort of describe yourself in these terms about healthy and not healthy. I mean, I think we're all doing the best that we can. I mean, yes, you might say, I have some goals. i My goals are I would like more movement in my I would like to climb the stairs without getting winded. These are things I can't do right now. I would like to have a stronger core so that my joints don't feel so at risk, right to have like, so, because I think I don't feel like
I'm gonna fall down the stairs every time I walk down the stairs, because I have no core strength.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly right. Like and to sort of say, like, I have these specific goals related to activities, I want to be able to do ways that I want to feel right, I don't want to be out of breath, talking on the phone, like, for example, right? Or whatever it happens to be and say, you know, like, I know what exercise is, right. And I know what healthy eating is where I'm stuck right now is I have some issues in my body that makes my preferred activities difficult to do without injuring myself. That is the problem I'm trying to solve.
And also to be able to do it consistently. Yeah. Right. Because now I also know the difference between Ouch, these are my muscles being sore, because I haven't used them in years. And Ouch. I just fucked something up.
Which is not you know, that isn't. That's not conducive to repeat, you know, getting into a hell of a routine. Yeah, right. Like, I'm not gonna get into a routine if I fuck something up every time I try.
That's right. Yeah. If every like bout of exercise needs, then two weeks of convalescence after that's like not really what you're looking for. It's hard to it's hard to get stronger, when you have to take two weeks off after every exercise session to get better.
Right. And and the answer is, is well, you should lose weight. And I'm like that. I'm stuck in this loop now
of Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so like, yeah, so the first thing is always gonna be like, Oh, well, all the problems, you know, that you have can be solved by doing more exercise and losing weight. And you're like, but what I'm trying to tell you is, there are barriers, right? Physical, medically treatable, barriers to this, right. And so yeah, so you might try this is absolutely not your fault. But you might say, like, I have been in my life and active person, the thing that takes me out of being active is my joints blow out, right? I become injured because of whatever, I think I would benefit from occupational therapy or physical therapy, because I would like my body to be stable enough so that it can become strong, right? I mean, that's hard. They'll be like, Well, I'm gonna decide what you need. And why. Right? Because they won't really listen to you. They'll look at you and be like, Yes, you are out of shape. You're like, okay, but I came here and I told you that right? Yeah, like maybe I wouldn't say out of shape. I mean, because the shape that you're in is your shape. Right? You might Yes, I have goals, right. Like I had lost some fitness. Yes, I would like to regain but I am struggling with that. Because I have these issues in my body that I am looking for help with. Yeah. Yeah, it's hard to get word in edgewise.
It is and I think the other thing is, is that we've and we've talked about this before with movement in ADHD, right? Like how do we how do we make this sustainable how do we incorporate it and so there's there's the very real physical barriers and then there's also the psychological not psychological but the it's also physical. My brain chemistry also is not
executive function variance, the
executive function barriers and it's, you know, It's like if I could come in and do this, right? And then there's also again, there are very important reasons why this is necessary. Not like not for me personally, again, because I'm from a place of privilege. But you can take time off of work to go to a doctor. You can't take time off of work to go to the gym. That's true. Right? That's true.
Like I get it the opposite to the sweet spot there. Yes. gym with a doctor? Yes,
exactly. Right where I can, I can use sick time I can use you know, even if it's family medical leave or what? You know, whatever it is. I have a doctor's note. Yeah. Whereas I don't get doctor's note for personal trainer, and the copay is a lot higher on a personal trainer, ie there is no copay, you know, just straight up. Yeah, you pay straight.
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that that's not a conversation you can have with your doctor where like, you'll be like, you know, in order for me to meet the long term goal both of us have right of getting my cholesterol or my blood pressure into numbers that we would both be comfortable with or getting, you know, the number of like, exercise minutes per week that the CDC says is healthy for me, we both have that goal, right? Here are some of the barriers that are preventing me from getting there. And you can't say to a doctor, like you can tell me to do Pilates, but like, structurally, it's better for me, my lifestyle, my budget and my body to go to physiotherapy because they get mad when you presume? No, yeah, their job and not your they won't let you know your own body, but they also won't let you try to talk like a doctor about it right. So you cannot speak in the autobiographical eye about how you are feeling because you are just a body of evidence, right? You are not a narrating subject, and nor can you speak in the dispassionate language of medicine because you are not qualified to speak in that language, according to that doctor, right. And that's incredibly frustrating when what you want, especially as a woman, because healthcare has been structured against our best interests for a long time. So something I learned about about perimenopause treatments is like early treatments with estrogen therapy where like, like elephant dose level estrogen therapy, because, you know, it was like, Oh, more estrogen will be good, because these women like, you know, they're drying up and their boobs are smaller, and they don't want to have sex and they cry all the time. Let's just make them women again, right, with maximum amounts of estrogen. This is where the cancer risk comes from, right is this massive amounts of estrogen. And then afterwards, like it's another one of these things with with studies that are called up too early, or studies that are targeting the wrong population, or studies that don't control for various kinds of risk factors. And I'm telling you, if this was like a penis enhancement drug, the studies would continue, but because it's middle aged, women's bodies are like, you know, this is too complicated. And possibly litigious, and I guess they're just gonna sweat for a few years, we're gonna be conservative and say, Don't treat this at all. Just muscle through it, right, which is sort of sacrificing the kind of daily life like I actually almost cried at the doctor yesterday. And I said, this was supposed to be my time, right? I felt like I was just coming into my own power. My kid is largely self sustaining. I, you know, had my ADHD treated, I'm at a stage in my career, I get to make more decisions. And now, I don't sleep anymore. I'm in a fog all the time. My motivation is not great. My follow through is not great. My overwhelm is substantial. Every time I eat breakfast, I get the sweats my heart racism, I have to lie down for half an hour because there's something wrong with my digestion. Like there's a whole bunch of things systemically going around. Like it was like these. These are physical things. And they were like, do you think about self harm? It was like,
right there like you might be depressed. And I actually said like, I'm depressed because I can't sleep. Right? That is why I am crying all the time, because I am on catastrophically low levels of rest. And they're like, do like, do you find yourself plagued with worry? I'm like, I'm worried that I'm never going to sleep. My worries do not seem unreasonable. I am worried I'm going to like mess things up at work because I'm so impaired by lack of sleep, and I'm so kind of overwhelmed by these, like hot flashes when I do a trivial amount of walking between one spot and another and then I forget things and like it feels like untreated ADHD going through perimenopause. Because yeah, Virgin is a dopamine agent, dopamine reception agent, of course. Right? Of course it is. And personally, I like I'm going to the doctor with these physical symptoms. And they're like, you know, you seem really upset. I'm gonna well, you would be upset. Like if your body pooped out like I gave Running last year, because all of a sudden my body gave out like I just couldn't handle the exercise anymore. And I was like super overheating all the time and, and things were going wrong and then I couldn't digest and I was like nauseated all the time. And, you know, these other things were happening that like, if you look it up, it's kind of attributable, like, all of this happened at the same time that I started. perimenopause, right, and you go to the doctor, like, well, this is a very long list of issues. I mean, we can't deal with all of this and want to find that I'm like, but I think it's the same issue. Yeah. Right. And they're like, Would you like to have some depression meds and like, I'm not depressed. Like, I can't tell you the number of women who've like written to me or shared with me, you know, that they'll go to the doctor with these like, unbearable physical symptoms, you know, for years of going through perimenopause. And every single last one of them was told to take a vacation, and maybe some antidepressants, right? Yeah. As if being upset, being upset that you're, like, going through so many pads on your period that you need to take iron supplements because you become anemic? Or like now that you only sleep one night out of every three, like, like, somehow it's pathological to be upset emotionally about that, right? Yeah. But the problem is, like, if you could just manage your mood better, there's nothing we can do. For your body is really kind of amazing. Yeah, really just was very shocking to me. How much I was being patronized yesterday. And I made lists like, I want it to look official, right? I made Yes. And my doctor earlier because I've been going to him for this for a little while saying like, I need some help with this. And he keeps trying stuff on me that's like not working. And then I look it up. And I'm like, Well, I don't think it's working because of this. And I actually brought a computer with me yesterday, and I had like 10 tabs open of like, bring this to your doctor. And then here's a study from an obstetrics journal that's published through the NIH on PubMed, and two more PubMed studies. And then like, you know, several other here's a research program at a university that's like doing this stuff. And like, they were like, oh, you know, you can just get so confused if you read too many things on the internet. So I'm sorry, how are you fucking shitting me and say, I actually
have to put the warning on this.
I snorted. And I rolled my eyes. And I said, really,
Because this is
what I do. It was amazing to me. It was suggested to me that I needed to take depression meds was suggested to me a bunch of things that the doctor who seemed me yesterday had obviously not read my chart, or did not know anything about me, because I actually had to say, like, let's just like, let's save some time here. I'm a normative Wait, I have a vo two Max between 43 and 45. I get 10 to 15,000 steps per day. I know how to eat well. I am a trained yoga and meditation teacher and I take enough bubble baths. Thank you. Next, right? Can we, um, like if I am anxious and worried it is only insofar as I am obliterated by lack of sleep and don't really have my emotional regulation, but also have legitimate things to worry about. Right? And yet, and yet the whole appointment was like You need to calm down. Oh, are you depressed? Don't believe everything you read on the internet? And I was just
this isn't the internet. This is a fucking database
anyway. I know. I know. And so I just thought it was, you know, is another thing to me. That was just so surprising. And I shouldn't be surprised that with my tremendous privilege, I am walking into these rooms where I can still be completely erased, right? Just like at the hospital where, you know, I was told my fears about facial scarring. Were really not worth discussing at all. And then I had the console with my doctor who told me to come get my stitches out because he hadn't actually read my report from the hospital that said I had dissolvable stitches and upset me unduly and now I'm going into this like feminine reproductive health care. And it's clear that they don't know very much about it at all. And that step one is like Are you suicidal? And step two is would you like some depression meds and you just need to accept that you're aging. I don't have a problem with aging. Yeah, I have a problem with like, full body sweats and nausea. Every time I eat a meal. Like that doesn't seem like aging. That seems like something's wrong. Right? It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask for medical treatment for that. But honestly, I was so upset. I came home and I cried. And I cried and I cried and I cried. It just strikes me that well, and we know too that I know you shared this article about how ADHD symptoms just get worse in perimenopause, too. And so to find a practitioner who acknowledges that your ADHD exists, and also that perimenopause is real, and has done any work at all into understanding the interaction between those two systems. It's vanishingly small, vanishingly small. And it's kind of terrifying to think that you're the person in the room who's probably read the most scholarly literature about that. And you're the one in the room who's the least reliable narrator, according to the authority structures, right? Yep. Yeah. So what do we do Lee? What can we suggest to people? Is it enough to sort of say, like, I see you, listeners having a shitty time at the doctor begging for your meds, asking to not be called crazy.
I mean, I'm sort of right now, because I'm thinking also about friends on social media, who are sharing their own stories of being disabled and navigating the healthcare system and not being believed. And like, I'm, I'm sort of at the let's just burn it all down. You know, which is not helpful, also illegal. And
yeah, you can't bring that to the pharmacy to get either
know, exactly. And I mean, and for a lot of people, it's just, you know, the answer is not be your embodied self. Right? If you could somehow be someone else, be that someone else? Because that'd be better. Because they'll take you seriously. And again, not a solution, not a solution. So I think, I think there is something though, about finding community like there is there is something about finding community and finding a group of people. I mean, this is again, where online spaces can be so invaluable. Right? There is Don't believe everything you read on the internet. But then there's also probably a subreddit somewhere where there's a bunch of Gen X menopausal women, with or without ADHD, who are, you know, sharing resources? Yes. Maybe not on Reddit, maybe it's Facebook for us? I don't know. But I mean, I've got it, you know, like this is, this is where those those weak ties, as we talked about, that's right. Where we are, I mean, we're sharing information. You know, and I mean, women, we've always had to do that, and it sucks. But we have always excelled because we've had two informal sharing of information, the back channel, right, the back channel, the Whisper network, whatever you want to call it. marginalized communities generally, have always had their own networks where they share information, right about treatments about which doctors to see about which doctors to avoid. About if somebody finds the bingo terminology, of if you use this word. Yes, this word and then all of a sudden, everybody's like, Oh, my God, thank you so much. Like somebody just looks into it or like, right, you know, is tried 70,000 times in the 7070 1,001st time, the right word, and then, like, puts it on blast everyone by you are a menopausal woman say this? I don't know what that word is. Sorry, either. Yeah, exactly. But, um, but and I, and I think that that's one of the things we can do is try to find that community. And if it's not there, try to make the community which, you know, again, puts a lot of onus and work on us. But they're not going to just all of a sudden fucking change for us. Unfortunately, it's not gonna happen.
Yeah, I mean, I think you're right, I think this is how it works is that partially we develop a language in our own communities, right? A language where we can, in a more collective way, give name to the experiences that we're having, so that it looks not just like, oh, one crazy lady one off? Yeah, right. And I think sometimes participating in those groups, like in the ADHD groups that I know you and I have been in is that you see people in real time discovering, oh, that was ADHD the whole time. Right, the way people begin to recognize themselves in certain types of lists of symptoms and say, Oh, actually, I do that. I never thought of it that way. You know, like, when I went for my, my Psycho educational assessment, and they'd asked me if I stemmed, and I was like, No, but I do, right, because I failed to recognize my stems as stems. Right. And so how many women are downplaying their symptoms of various sorts of things, as you know, as we're encouraged to do like, just try harder, right? Or make a list or like go to yoga, you know, you're upset because like you're depressed, just get some coping skills, do some meditation, right?
Buy some cool like pajamas?
Yeah, bye Some cooling pajamas like, Yeah, I can't really do that like at work, but cool. That's great. Just so just so the
answer also sorry, the answer is also always more capitalism.
More capitalism. Yeah. Buy these things like there's some supplements you can take. This is why like, the supplement industry is so big, right? Because doctors just ignore you and your actual problems. Yeah. So like, I have found it tremendously useful to just sort of like, you know, read something like Jen Gunter spoke on menopause or like that other one. I can't remember the name of the author, but it's called what fresh hell is this? That's a yes to. Because then you get language to be like, oh, all of these things that are happening to me are probably related to perimenopause. So I'm going to put them in a big list. And I'm going to insist I'm not going to allow myself to be talked out of this, right? Because now I have the language. And now I can see other people have collected, this information that shows us is pervasive and ignorant, right. So that really helps. And I know you and I talked before, like either you or your kids went for all of your diagnosis. I was like, this is the kind of practitioner you want. These are the things you want to say like I remember you and I have like big backchannel DM conversations about like, they're gonna say this to you. And then you counter with this. Right? Yeah. And that works, because the medical system closes ranks around itself. And it has its preferred ways of thinking about things and like God help you. If you're part of some kind of underserved or under diagnosed community, it's really hard to break through status quo understandings, right? If you always just look like a one off. And it's easy for you to be dissuaded from advocating for yourself, if you go to three doctors, and they all tell you the same thing, which is you should probably just take some depression, that's and maybe do some yoga, right. But if being in community can help us insist on the validity of our own experiences, and develop a common language around expressing those experiences to healthcare providers, at some point, we will prevail. Yeah, either individually or collectively. And either we will just be enough of a pain in the ass that our own individual doctors will help us out. Or, collectively, we will be such a pain in the ass that status quo practices will change. Yeah,
exactly. And I mean, there is something around the solidarity of that to where you get enough people together. And yes, we can all advocate for ourselves. But suddenly, we have critical mass to advocate for larger change.
Mm hm. Yeah. And we actually,
you know, provincially state level, you know, it's, there is there is a real power in that, and that it's really interesting to me, because this has been happening again, with the ADHD diagnosis is that, you know, all of a sudden, all the girls are girls, women, that I got along particularly well, with all of a sudden, we all have been diagnosed with ADHD. It's not all of a sudden, there's a reason why we all got along really, really well. That's right. And we all walk, you know, it's the it's almost like the domino effect. Right? Like, you know, and, and it's can be a domino effect, because you and I talk about it openly, that people are like, Oh, shit, that is what I do, too. And that's why we got along so well, because we both did this. And we didn't think each other was weird, but like, well, if it's teaching you and we share this, you know, 27 other traits. Maybe it's
ADHD in me in me also. Yeah, he also.
So I get to read these resources that they shared, and I'm gonna, you know, like, we said, back channel and say, okay, here are the roadblocks that you are probably going to face here are the, you know, here are the word like we found the magic words.
Yeah, that's right. We found the magic words and like, the next thing that happens from that is like, they'll suddenly say, like, I'm seeing in women's magazines now. And in my Apple news boss, it's like women in like midlife being diagnosed with ADHD women in their 30s being diagnosed with it. Maybe you have ADHD, right? This is the wave we're in now. It's a lot of women. I was diagnosed at 35 and I didn't know my province full time. And now we get like shadowy and it's like, you should go check and get checked out if this is you and like, wait for it in a year and a half. Mark my words because I tend to not be wrong about these things. Yeah, the backlash will come that will be there is an epidemic of ADHD among 30 Somethings and older women is it just that their lives are too busy and they're cheating by getting these pharmaceutical crutches so they can do it all and be at all no blame the millennials right? Oh, forget the Gen X. It says it's going to be like millennial hustle culture. They always got participation prizes and helicopter parents and now they need to take prescription stimulants so they can continue to be like ruining everything you know, because Millennials ruin stuff right? Millennials ruined paper napkins and stuff. So now cereal as well. And everyone's cereal. Yeah, and they they ruined like silverware and fancy dishes and stuff. I don't even know. I don't even know but like that's what it's going to be now because it's gonna be like whoa, whoa, whoa, like women never used to get diagnosed with ADHD and now incredible numbers of women are getting diagnosed with ADHD it must be too many diagnoses, right? Like this is the same thing as we see with the autism diagnosis I was about to say I was right. But what what happens is that the very narrow diagnostic instrument that looks only for the worst cases or looks for all the cases within a particular demographic and nowhere else becomes a bit more capacious, and then it becomes more capacious still, and then everyone who missed getting a diagnosis, it's like now all of our passport offices have like, six our lineups in front of them. Because everybody who did not get a passport during two years of the pandemic is going to get a passport at the same time. But nobody is saying this is an epidemic. Yeah, of international travel. They're like, Oh, you know what, people could not get passports before. So there is a backlog of people who need passports, like people don't say that about ADHD for adult women. They don't be like, Oh, these women made it through their whole lives in desperate need and never got it. They're like, whoa, whoa, why is this all happening at the same time? It's an unmet need, right. And then the next thing will be that the diagnostic criteria become so broad that it will become evident that ADHD traits are just part of the natural spectrum of human diversity, and that there are areas within that spectrum that require medical intervention, and some of which are just on the weirder end of normal, right? The same thing with Dr. DOS, like oh, you've broadened autism so much, it's meaningless. Like it's really not it's kind of normalizing that kind of gradations of traits and characteristics and their manifestation, like everybody goes through menopause. For some people, it lasts for two months, and some people lasts for 10 years. Some people need medical treatment, some people don't some people need depression meds, but nowhere near as many as doctors seem to think, right. So so similarly, say we'll wait for the ADHD in an adult women backlash and it'll be it'll blame the women, and then it'll blame doctors, and then it'll blame pharmaceutical companies. And then we'll have another wave of ableism we'll follow upon that. Mark my words,
which I've no I, I, I believe you, I'm, I'm waiting for it. To be honest. I'm like, we can't have nice things. And this is a nice thing right now, in so far is that people are getting the help that they need, and getting the diagnosis that they always should have had. And, you know, being able to live their lives better. But, you know, we can't have nice things, right. Like, we can have nice things. But so but anyway, go ahead. No, I was gonna say I think that, you know, menopause makes it a little bit different because like, we literally all go through that. And yeah, right, like, at different times and for different reasons. But all of us eventually all of us with Uterus Uterine, the URI
Moodle, as Santa Gatsby calls it, the whole kitten, caboodle whole kitten caboodle.
All of us, we are, you know, we will go through it. And, you know, it's, it's grim. And no, I don't think I'm understanding that, that nobody has paid attention really to it or care to until it is really funny. I still think it's hysterical. How everybody forgets about Gen X women. But like, wasn't, wasn't the boomers, going through menopause that got any attention go into it. It was the Gen X women going through menopause. They all took their
their HRT. They all took their hormone replacement therapy and also like, in our mother's generation, so many women had elective hysterectomy is, yeah, yeah. Like, if you're being troubled by perimenopause, if you have the whole Santa Gatsby says kit and caboodle taken out? Well, now you're in menopause immediately. Right? Yeah. And they'll give you hormone therapy for that. But what if you wanted to keep your internal organs right where they are, but manage your symptoms of the transition from one state to another, like, that is not where healthcare is right now. Like, it's just, it's just not and Yeah, and so it may be, it's gonna seem like there's, you know, suddenly an outbreak of whiny Gen X women that no one will notice who are suddenly demanding that their perimenopause symptoms be treated. I mean, maybe it's because we're in that generation of women who has not simply the educational attainment that's the highest of all time, but also the occupational attainment, right, like we are more of us in higher positions in the workforce. And when you're going through this, it's hard to work, right? And many of us have professional identities where, you know, thinking about empty nest syndrome doesn't really make a lot of sense for us, right? I am happy that my child is becoming more independent. I have things in my life I wish to accomplish right? I'm not sad. I'm not sad
and they're not leaving anytime soon either.
Yeah, and they're not leaving anytime soon, either. Right, so, so sort of demanding that the normal processes that our bodies are going through that can produce more or less distress kind of depending on our individual profiles. It's a spectrum right? deserve to have some medical care attached to that. That isn't like a major abdominal surgery of removal of essential organs and then chemical supplementation at high levels for a very long time. Doesn't seem like like too much to ask for. And yet, you know, here we are, here we are. Here we are.
Yeah, here we are. Yeah, Genex there's,
there's a whole Yeah. Oh, I didn't tell you. What, I didn't tell you the worst thing that happened yesterday. I miss,
there's, there's worse but wait, there's more. We're like, look sick.
I know that female reproductive hormones are involved in joint laxity like you know, when you get pregnant and like your pelvis kind of separate. And because it has wider because it has to, but like, you know, like many women get get problems with their sacrum and stuff because those like very thick ligaments that hold your pelvis together kind of loosen up when you're pregnant. So same deal in perimenopause with these hormone swings, they produce joint laxity. And if like me, you are a marionette with strings that are too long anyways. I've been having these incidents where like, I stand out from a chair and I dislocated my hip. I have to whack it back into position, which is great. You
said that before. But yes, that's still
Yeah. And so like I mentioning this to the doctor as a part of my probably hormonal symptoms. And she's like, Oh, you might have Ehlers Danlos. I'm like, Yeah, I know. Like the hypermobility test, I like got 100% on maybe. And she's like, well, we'll send you we can send you in for genetic testing. And I said, Why? Why? Yeah. She's like to see if there's a genetic component. And I said, why? What difference does it make? Right? I'm like, does that change the treatment options? And she said, Well, no, I mean, but you will might like to know. And then she looked at me, and she said, Oh, I guess you already have kids. So like, you wouldn't really need this for prenatal screening. And I was so shocked. This was an outbreak of eugenics in my fucking appointment, where I wanted to get hormone treatment for very menopause. And I just looked at her,
Oh, my God, my hand, my head is in my hands. And I'm rubbing my face, because I just cannot right now that go almost lost
my shit. Because at this point, I already told her that I'm ADHD and autistic and that I know that ADHD symptoms often get worse with perimenopause. And that might be why my symptoms are so bad. And, and here she is, like trying to send me for genetic testing so that he will presumably be able to selectively abort any offspring that might turn out like me. And I said, Oh, it's too late for that. I already produced one genetically flawed child. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks. Right. And she just looked at me and I just looked at her. And I was enraged. And then I wanted to cry. And then I got too hot, right? Yeah. Yeah. Under my mask, too. Like, I just thought I did not come here for that, right. Yes. Genetic testing. I am not a science experiment, right. I was just like, Yeah, so like, watch out, once you go to the doctor, because it may go down like that. Yeah. So I guess all we can counsel is like find yourself some feminist writers who are tackling some of these issues right now. Please know that whatever flavor of neuro divergence you carry with you, if you are in a female body that has a uterus and produces female hormones or if you are in a body that takes female hormones as part of your female identity, you will go through some version of this where your ATG is going to get worse. Right? And that that's that's a thing and it's okay if you feel like shit about it, and it's okay if your doctor gaslights you because everybody's Doctor gaslights them, so it's not you, that's the problem. It's probably your doctor.
And the whole medical system, let's be a whole nother product of the whole system. It's individuals acting within his access system and racist system enable a system. Yeah. You know, not not to forgive it not to be like, it's okay. It's just the system but like, they are a product of their magical education's.
Yeah. For lack of education or lack of right. Yeah. So like, you know, go for help with your bad periods and leave with a referral to geneticists to make sure that people like you aren't born.
What sounds right ask for nice. Sounds about fair. That sounds
all right. What I asked for and like also, this is embarrassing. Like I did this when I went to the hospital to like I was aware that I was going in to talk about middle aged lady problems. And I must have spent, like, 40 minutes trying to pick out an outfit that It made me look like the right kind of middle aged lady. Right, which is the privilege I have. I wanted to look expensive, but not old, I wanted to look hip, and cool. But high income, right, I wanted to look not easily dismissible. Because sometimes I can manifest that with my body and my speech and my class position and my racial location and my body size. And it did not protect me. And so God help anybody who's walking around in a less privileged body than me. But but but no, there's no embodiment. You can bring no amount of respectability, no amount of like bookmarked PubMed tabs, right? That you can bring no amount of yoga teacher training, that you can bring no high socioeconomic status and capacity to take the vacations they're always urging us to take. None of that will help you if you are saying things that your doctor is not ready to hear at all, or from you. So do not blame yourselves. Dear listeners, it's not you. But you can come bitch about it on the internet with me and Lee, and whatever group you want to be part of, and I'm sorry, we're all all often going through this. And it's no wonder that neurodivergent people get less health care than others, that fat people get less health care than others that racialized people get less health care than others. Because you have to weigh it is worth is it worth going into the doctor when they may or might not treat the problem I have, but I have guaranteed to hate myself by the end of this appointment. Right? And that's on them. Not on us. Not on you do listeners? No.
No, no, I'm
Look, it sucks. It sucks. It sucks.
But you're not alone in the sucking. I don't know, it doesn't make it really better. But it makes it a little better. I think
maybe it makes it a little better. Makes it a little better. be armed with that knowledge listeners that if you've got your diagnosis, I know that you had to fight to get it. Right. And if you get your meds refilled every month, I know you've had to fight to get your meds refilled every month. I know that people have told you that you're crazy, that you're imagining it, that it's all in your head that isn't that just an excuse. And I know that you doubt yourself and your own experience of your own experience. And why can't you just cope with it? Why can't you just cope with it? Nobody else has a problem with that. Right? But I will say that all of that is part of your disorder and that people treat you like that and don't listen to you is not on you. And I know how hard it is for you, dear listeners to listen to your own body to listen to your own needs. And don't let them take that away from you know, find some community. Get strong in your resolve to understand yourself and keep trying to communicate that to others. And if you can't, that's on them.
Definitely. Well, with that. We will say farewell. And good luck. And I am ready writing on Twitter.
And I am Did you walk on Twitter probably in my underwear lying on the floor trying to stop sweating.
That's a nice visual. Great, I love it. Thank you. I'll send you I'll send you I'll get your address from you because it's all my memory and I will send you cooling pajamas
amazing we'll try to have a fun episode next week
maybe yes yeah and also probably maybe have a fun episode because we should be taking a break soon for the summer we should yeah, instead of everybody a break for the summer. So we will be back next week. Thank you so much for listening. You can always email us at all the things email@example.com as well as visit our website
a little bit of calmness there really
are Am I putting humor my sending people again? Okay, where are we live on the internet somewhere live
on the internet. Oh my God, no, you amazing where everything.
Bye, everyone. We'll see you on the internet.