Self-Advocacy and Medical Problems


To all ritual abuse survivors and their inner ones of all ages –

I am looking for line drawings of small, simple things from nature – leaves, flowers, plants, birds, bugs. It’s for a journal project listed on GrassRoots. Send them to


Drop in on the RA/MC ZOOM drop-in group on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:30 PM Pacific Time. You are welcome to come weekly, but there is no pressure to attend. It would be nice if those who go to share their impressions of the group in this blog’s comment section. Hearing from somebody who has been to the group might make it easier for others to check it out. Eventbrite registration: 


The next poetry reading is on Saturday, June 25 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Pacific Time. It’s a bit different from the preceding ones in that it has a theme and all of the poets are members of the audience. The theme is “Being Victimized/ Surviving/ Living Fully.” Write a poem on one, two, or all three topics and bring it to the event. You may also use artwork or music to express yourself on the theme(s). You don’t have to share; it’s okay just to listen. Eventbrite registration:


Here’s one of my favorite recipes (I made it up). Slice cauliflower and arrange it in one layer on a plate. Microwave for two minutes. Cover with cheese and microwave for one minute. You can also use your favorite sauce. I like olive oil, garlic, back olives, and anchovies. Pasta sauce is good, too.


Self-Advocacy and Medical Problems

I live with labile high blood pressure. It’s mostly high, but, at times, it drops as much as 60 points for no apparent reason. This makes it hard to treat my hypertension and get my blood pressure down into a reasonable range for fear of making the lows go even lower.

And my lows are no joke. When I am a little below normal, I get fatigued. Then I get very fatigued. I find it hard to focus and get very little done. Then if I go still lower, I get light-headed. At this point, I lie down immediately to avoid falling. I think very slowly and have trouble making decisions.

A couple of times, I have passed out. It wasn’t scary because I wasn’t aware of it occurring, and when I came to, I was alright. A chunk of time was missing, just as if I had had general anesthesia. I imagine that’s what it must feel like to lose time when you are multiple. Me, I don’t lose time in the moment, except if losing one’s train of thought or forgetting something just said is losing a small slice of time. Events slowly fade away, like old Polaroids, and then are gone entirely.

I have learned that doctors are supposed to make a differential diagnosis and then form a differential treatment plan. They should think of all the things that could have caused this particular set of symptoms, then look first at a couple of the most common conditions, then at the most serious ones, and finally work their way through the remaining ones. Once they have the diagnosis, they have “best practice” guidelines to help them choose the most appropriate treatment.

My doctors have ruled out both the more serious and the more common causes of my blood pressure woes and have told me that they are left with “idiosyncratic labile hypertension.” This means nobody knows what causes it, but there it is, and you are stuck with it. (I hear idiosyncratic as, “It’s not our fault., you idiot.”) Varying types and amounts of medication do help lower the upper number, but nothing affects the lower numbers.

I got mad the other day and Googled “precipitous blood pressure drop,” not expecting to find anything I didn’t already know.

I was wrong. I found “postprandial hypotension.” This is common in the elderly, but practically unknown in adults until they reach the late sixties. All articles I  read said that it was not widely known, and not much research had been done on causes or treatments. It occurs because too much blood goes to the stomach and small intestine, leaving not enough blood volume to maintain a healthy pressure. Once the meal is digested, things return to normal. They know what happens, but not how or why.

With this small amount of knowledge, doctors can neither prevent from happening nor treat it. The best they can do is manage the condition.

I found only two management suggestions. One is to walk after meals for up to an hour. That is out for me since I can only walk about 300 steps at a time. The other is to eat six small meals a day rather than three large ones. I can do that, so I started to manage my own condition without medical advice.

I also searched and found three gerontologists that take my health insurance. This, too, made me mad. Wouldn’t it have been smart, at my age, to have referred me to a gerontologist to review my meds and suggest other factors to be considered? Is it a form of ageism that nobody thought of this? I look younger than I am, dress younger, and laugh and swear more than other women my age. Which is 84, by the way.

Moral of the story: we have to push past the voices in our heads that tell us the authorities are not to be questioned. Push past the fear, the triggers, and our passivity and be our own medical advocates.


Upcoming Holidays

5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day


7/4 Independence Day

7/13 Full Moon

7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

7/27 Grand Climax

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/15-4/23 Passover/Pesach (Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark andlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes


You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas –
Valentine’s Day –
Beltane –
Mothers’ Day –
Fathers’ Day –
Summer Solstice (corrected text) –
Lammas –
and and 
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –
Fall Equinox –
Halloween (personal) – 
Halloween (background) –
Thanksgiving –
Yule/Winter Solstice –