It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If a Tree Falls in the Forest...

and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If I have a nightmare and wake up in the middle of a horrible panic attack, did I really have a panic attack at all? You know, cause if no one saw me, I must not have had one. [image description: a fallen tree in the forest]

I haven't done a bipolar post in awhile, so I think I shall.

To continue from my last post, I thought I'd comment on another note in my DSS file, this one from September 2008, written by the current person I am working "with" from there. I copied the note originally because it contained reasoning for the denial of a note taker due to my need to leave class during panic attacks (the justification at that time makes some sense). I must have just stopped reading it there, knowing I needed it in order to be able to succeed at properly overturning that decision. It wasn't until I was flipping through my papers in the cab on the way home that I noticed what was written further down in that note. I almost started laughing in the cab, but I had to contain myself.

I was laughing because the note was written by someone who is an LCSW-C (licensed certified social worker clinical). The note actually says that "no faculty have reported witnessing 'panic attacks'." (the words "panic attacks" were in quotes throughout the entire note). It was as if to say that since no one has ever seen me have a panic attack I must not have ever had one. Especially with that whole quotes thing going on. I'd really like to know who it was that decided this person should be licensed. They should have that ability taken away.

Take a look at the diagnostic criteria for a panic attack. How many of those can you actually see? You only need to have 4 symptoms out of a list of 13; it is therefore entirely possible for someone to have repeated panic attacks that no one ever sees. The fact of the matter is though, that with me you can see it. You just have to know what you're looking for. But until you have the training and experience to notice the difference in my spasticity levels without even looking at me (I have a doctor who could notice me in the tiniest corner of her eye); until you can spot the difference between how my hands and arms are positioned, the decrease in the range of motion in my knees as I attempt to be able to exit the room; until you realize that my neuromuscular disorder impacts the presentation of my panic attacks; until you realize that I'm 24 and not 5 and I have the sense to leave the room before I start hyperventilating, you need to just keep your damn mouth shut. The people that pass me out in the hallway ask me if I'm ok. Maybe you should consult with them?

I laugh every time I so much as think about the notes in my file from that woman, because if you can't laugh at the absurd situations in your life you will never survive. This situation is absurd because what LCSW-C doesn't know these things? It's absurd because of all of the other interactions I've had with this woman. It's absurd because of other notes she wrote in my file, such as the one from this past May, where she talks about counseling me about "being emotionally available to learn."

I just looked at my shrink, "Can you tell me when I'm going to not be bipolar, because that date would be helpful for me to know."


Adelaide Dupont said...

Never mind that nobody sees them (panic attacks).

I have had them often enough, and the thing is that they are repeated, and interfere with your life.

Which is to say you would do things or avoid things you wouldn't if you didn't have panic attacks.

Adelaide Dupont said...

And isn't it great to have a doctor who can and does see you - out of the corner of her eye?

Cheryl said...

Yes, yes it is great. She is never allowed to retire. I wish she could go to school and bitch slap them... that would be amusing...

And you should see the note, "no faculty have reported witnessing panic attacks" C'mon, SERIOUSLY?

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