Dear hive mind: I’m getting a phobia of sneezing

So for about four years, since sometime after Jeffrey was born, I’ve had a clap of blinding pain right above my right hip when I sneeze or cough, unless I curl up a bit in advance. Or if I sneeze and the pain comes, curling up afterwards usually helps the pain subside. 

This could sound like a hernia, but there is no corresponding bulge, and, in the past few months, I’ve also experienced the same thing in the exact same spot on the opposite side. The pain is generally all or nothing, except for the time shortly after when it is subsiding.
I’ve also started to have the pain on standing up quickly which is frustrating. On Sunday, I stood up and the pain was searing and I immediately curled up in a ball on the floor while it ebbed and flowed. So it’s becoming more inconvenient.

I saw a doctor yesterday who thought it was not a hernia and suggested I have an abdominal ultrasound, though he warned me that such ultrasounds often look completely normal. Well, on scheduling it I was told the ultrasound would cost at least a few hundred dollars out of pocket, so it’s a no from me.

Has anyone experienced something similar, either after a C-section/pregnancy or independently?

If so, let me know!

Thanks,

Lizzie

On Understanding

One of my and Michael’s friends, Andrew, also has Cerebral Palsy. Both Michael and Andrew speak differently because of CP. However, this does not mean that they can understand each other; in fact, while I understand Michael perfectly fine, and while Andrew’s wife Carrie understands him perfectly fine, and I understand Andrew pretty well and Carrie understands Michael pretty well, Andrew and Michael sometimes have hard time understanding each other, as Andrew (a stand-up comedian and screenwriter) pointed out to me so refreshingly a few years ago.

Which is pretty fabulous, when you ponder it, and true on so many levels.

Such as:

You are not just one more student or dropout or kid or teenager or patient or old person or parent or teacher or tourist or homeless person or voter or insomniac or pedestrian or shopper or photobomber or billboard sign reader or tooth brusher or restaurant patron or general cluster of cellular activity. You are, in fact, quite uniquely each of those things that you are; no one else brushes their teeth or photobombs their friend’s selfies quite like you do.

And—just as Michael and I can communicate more freely than Michael and Andrew, so I find I can often connect with those who are of a different religion or heritage as well or better than those more like myself. Such as how I can connect with Michael, the ever optimist, more than I can connect with others who tend to be cynical the way I sometimes am.

And—every once in awhile, I don’t understand Michael, and when I talk too quietly, he doesn’t understand me. But we love each other, and I know that Michael and Andrew love and respect and admire each other as well. And, of course, you know that your parents did not understand the fascination you might have had with chewing on twigs when you were five years old. (Um, let me clear my throat for a moment). But they loved you.

And—just like others can love you even when they don’t understand you, you can connect with others you don’t understand. If you don’t understand someone’s words, you can connect over attentiveness or shared experience or social media or deep mutual respect. If you don’t understand someone’s lifestyle or choices, you can connect with them by looking for commonality or by understanding that you have a different background and different life experience, and simply appreciating them for the valuable person they are.

And I’m pretty sure I haven’t even scratched the surface—so much good in the fact of two friends who can’t always understand what the other is saying.

Birth Essay up on Her View From Home

I’m really excited to have an essay I wrote, This is What it’s Like To Have a C-section, up on Her View From Home. A fellow writer, Lani had read it and suggested I submit, which I really appreciate because I had thought it was just a simple birth story.

My second C-section was different in some ways, but both were tender and vulnerable experiences. ❤

Camping will solve all of your problems

Are you overwhelmed with mess? Wondering what the purpose of life is? Generally irritated at the world around you? Camping will effectively bring you purpose, let you have space from the world, and eliminate the messes created in your house or apartment for the duration you spend away. This tactic is actually quite compatible with children, at least as long as you…

  1. Camp in an area that is not infested by racoons
  2. Camp in an area that is not surrounded by a raging river/cliff drop-offs/mountain lions/virus carrying mosquitos
  3. Camp in an area that is within a few minutes of a grocery store and at least one fast food restaurant
  4. Have extendable arms
  5. Have more than two arms
  6. Have a magically appearing stock of sippy cups and clean water and goldfish and cheese sticks and veggie straws.

If you are interested in this approach to getting a new start to life and you own a home, you may want to consider buying a pet racoon. This nocturnal omnivore will eat through your various doors and walls and eventually require the demolition of your home. However, as you will still own the plot of land, you will be left with a very clean lot of dirt, with which to set up a spare, minimalist arrangement, perhaps with the aid of a tent. If you don’t own a home, you may want to forego causing any damage to your immediate building, as this will only leave you truly homeless and in debt, for you will have neither roof nor place for belongings nor–and this is the important part–a piece of land to easily camp on. However, with some preparation, you can notify friends or family of your camping intentions and spend increasing lengths of time camping in back or front yards. Suddenly, your clutter problems will be over and you will have the mental space to focus on the now, prioritizing the pressing need to keep you and your children fed and clothed and at a sustainable body temperature.  

New family pet included.