Nature is Sad

ElephantsMourn

This reminds me of an episode of the series Africa by David Attenborough where the mother leaves the herd and waits with her calf while it dies from starvation and dehydration.  A number of people complained about the scene:

One viewer wrote on Twitter: ‘That poor baby elephant and the poor mother having to watch her baby die! #tears had to stop eating my dinner. BBC #Africa warn me next time.’

Another added: ‘How heartbreaking watching the baby elephant calf die and the mother can only walk away. I’m in tears here.’

- Emma Reynolds, Mail Online

Thirty-two complaints were received, sixteen for the calf’s death, and another sixteen over the apparent use of emotive background music throughout the episode.

I really only have one thing to say here: nature is a pretty terrible place sometimes.  Bad things happen.  The job of a nature documentary is to show you the realities of this.  Like the show’s producer said:

We are obviously concerned that some viewers have been upset,’ said [James] Honeyborne. ‘As soon as you look at an animal not as a species but as an individual, you do get drawn in and your empathy for that individual character will increase.

‘It is part of the process of looking deeper and creating that more immersive experience.’

One other thing, I thought we all knew that elephants mourn much like humans do?  It’s not exactly a new concept.

Now this has reminded me of a really traumatic scene from a nature documentary.  There’s a Nat Geo documentary called Leopards of Dead Tree Island.  There’s a video here of the events immediately proceeding a cub breaking its pelvis after falling while climbing a tree, and it’s final interaction with its mother.  I still find it incredibly sad, so watch at your own risk.  The video also seems to autoplay once you open the page.  I’m not sure how far through it is until the cub appears, I can’t actually watch it again.

Well that took an unexpected turn.  Here’s photo of a not-dead baby elephant:

baby-elephant

Nature: it’s a pretty nasty, cruel place, but it’s pretty awesome too.

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If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae

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That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.

The Trials of Being the Owner of a Vagina

This post is going to be about vaginas and labias.  Generally mine, so just the one vagina.  If you have no desire to read my complaints about said vagina or her health, or public waiting lists for gynecologists, then consider this your fair warning.  I’m going to be a little detailed, but purely in a clinical manner.  Feel free to go here instead.  Immediately following there is a cute animal buffer, below that, you were warned.

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For a while now my vagina and I seem to having problems with getting along.  I’d had enough of it, so decided to see a nurse.

I explained to the nurse that I was sore, all the time, occasionally itchy, occasionally crampy along the vaginal wall spontaneously (these cramps are nothing like period cramps, which I haven’t had since October 2010 when I started taking Noriday), my labia minora had shrunk to half its previous size (I used to be a outty, now I’m an inny), and the smell had… changed, it wasn’t bad, it was just different.  And there was also that I haven’t been able to have sex comfortably in about a year.  Lubrication is generally fine, but most of the time it hurts like a mofo.  She had a look, took samples to be tested, and said everything looked normal, but suggested I also see the doctor.

One of the problems with labias and vaginas is that because there’s such a variety from person to person, there’s a huge range for what is considered normal.  Unless you happen to see the same person more regularly than once every three years for a pap smear, but not so often that they can’t notice slow changes over a period of time, then things are generally going to look normal. (Does that make sense? I think it makes sense.)

I get to the doctor, explain all of the above again.  She takes a look as well, thinks I may have some thrush, but it generally looks fine.  Tells me to get some blood tests to check my hormone levels, and to wait for all the results to come back.

While the nurse actually treated my concern about my labia minora seriously, I did feel that the doctor just kind of brushed it aside, like it wasn’t something to be worried about, that I must have been mistaken in my recollection what my own vagina/labia minora used to be like.

So I wait for the test results to come back.  A couple of days later I get a message saying results all came back negative, there’s no infection of any kind, and my hormone levels are all normal.

I asked the doctor to please, send a referral to the hospital so I can see a gynecologist.  I told her that I know something isn’t right, even if the test results don’t agree.  She said that she would, though it felt like she was doing it begrudgingly.

And now I wait.  I’ve been placed on the routine waiting list, and should receive an appointment within the next six months.  And while I wait, I continue to feel that I’m somewhat failing at being a wife because I can’t have sex.  Even if J tells me otherwise, it sucks.  I don’t know what else I can do about it, if there is anything I can do, and it makes me kind of sad.

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If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae

Creative Commons License
That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Free to Good Home

We need to find somewhere to rehome Pedro.

While he’s awesome with all humans, including children, he is nothing but a giant bully towards Coffee.

It’s not fair on either of them to be in such a stressful situation, and this has been an incredibly hard decision to make.

I have placed an ad on Trade Me with all the details for those interested.

Please spread the word and hopefully someone will be able to adopt Pedro, giving him the happy life he deserves.

The Second-Guessing

Today I came across a post on xoJane.

This excerpt really spoke to me:

Living with a mental illness is a study in survival. Every day, every emotion is questioned. What is this? Am I happy or am I starting to head towards mania? Is this an honest sadness or is my brain breaking again? Why is it breaking now? What is so different now than yesterday? Why me? Why this?

To say it’s frustrating is to minimize how paralyzing it can be. And then there’s the shame. Having to decide who to reveal to and when. If I meet someone I’m interested in, do I tell them that sometimes I shrink away or do I wait until it happens? Revealing too much too soon can end it before it begins. Waiting too long results in confusing behaviour that ends things as well. No matter how you play, someone isn’t going to understand.

- Bassey, Does That Make Me Crazy? Living With Bipolar II

How do you know that what you’re feeling is normal? Do other people feel the same way? We are only able to access the information inside our own heads, not others. It’s like trying to work out if other people see colours exactly the way you do. The way someone else sees perceives sea green (for example) maybe the way someone else sees perceives purple, but that’s the way they and you have always seen it, that’s what we were taught as children. It’s impossible to work out if you and I see things in exactly the same way, just like trying to work out if people’s emotions and internal, mental reactions to every day events are the same.

I’m not sure if what I’ve said above even makes sense to someone else… I know exactly what I mean, but of course you can’t see or hear my thoughts inside my head, or feel the way that I’m feeling.

Sure we all know that the majority of us will get a similar feeling of sadness from something, a feeling of happiness from something, feeling of anger from yet something else, but how do you know if the feeling that is triggered inside you is the same level that someone else will be feeling. What is the ‘normal’ way to be feeling about things? Do we really all get days were we feel extra sad, or days were we feel extra happy for no known reason? Or there might be a reason, but then you start asking yourself if the way you’re reacting and feeling is more extreme than someone else would be in the same or similar situation (or at least I personally do).

Then you get a whole other problem where you start to second guess whether what you’re feeling is a ‘true’ emotion, or are you just faking it so well that even you can’t be sure yourself whether it’s real or not.

And there’s issue where you start asking yourself why you find particular things triggering for mania or depression. Situations like getting low blood sugar, not getting enough sleep, even just stubbing your toe. Do other bipolar sufferers find these or similar events can lead them into an episode?

Over the top of all of this, there’s this thought gnawing away at you in the back of your mind, “Is this diagnosis really what’s wrong with me? What if I just display all the symptoms because that’s what I started believing I had? What if I’m actually a hypochondriac, and the reasons the medication works is because I believe it will work and therefore it has a placebo effect?” (Though in saying that, not all medication has worked for me, some making things worse, others not having any effect.)

I know there’s some of you out there that will read this and start to worry. You don’t need to, I’m ok :) Really this is just me thinking aloud, wondering if there are others who feel the same way as I do, and looking for some enlightenment.