medical

Taking pills when it’s difficult to do so

arrowhearts said to realsocialskills:
I was wondering if you knew of any tips or resources for taking (pill-based) medications daily when for a variety of reasons (anxiety, forgetfulness, bad taste, fear, etc) it is difficult to do so? Also thank you so much for the time and thought you have put into this blog! It has been very useful and informative to me!

realsocialskills said:

There are some potentially useful reminder/tracking apps for iOS, Android, and Apple Watch:

  • Mango Health, which is gamification-based and offers rewards/badges for taking your pills every day. (It’s not very flexible.) It also has notifications and reminders.
  • (If you like gamification, HabitRPG may also be helpful).
  • Medisafe, which is in no way gamified and isn’t trying to make you have fun or like anything. It’s just an app that tracks medications, gives reminders, and has a few other features. 

Getting help remembering from someone else:

  • Some people find it helpful to have someone remind them to take pills.
  • Or ask them whether they’ve taken a pill.
  • Or to bring them the pills.
  • (Both medication apps allow you to link another person to your pill-taking records, if you want to.)
  • This can also backfire, and isn’t the right option for everyone.
  • (One way it can backfire is that if you ask people for help remembering, they may think that it’s their job to *make* you take it, whether you want to or not.)
  • (Needing help with the logistics of pill-taking doesn’t mean that you need someone else to take over your medical decisions, but a lot of people think it does).
  • Some people also find that their anxiety skyrockets when others pay attention to their pill-taking.
  • Sometimes this is less of a problem if it’s mutual (where you remind someone about their pills, and they remind you about yours.)

Help can also be more occasional:

  • Some people need occasional help figuring out the logistics, or overcoming anxiety or other barriers. It can help to have people you can ask for occasional help, along the lines of:
  • “I need to take my pill, but I need to eat before I can take it, and I have no food. Can you help me figure out how to eat?”
  • “I can’t make myself take my pill, can you tell me to go do it?”
  • “Can you remind me that it’s ok to take pills and that I’m not being lazy or something?”
  • “I’m having trouble with the pharmacy’s online refill system, do you know how it works?” 
  • tl;dr: Needing help doesn’t mean needing others to take over, and it doesn’t necessarily mean needing supervision or ongoing daily assistance. 

If the problem is that the pills taste disgusting or are hard to swallow:

  • Sometimes this is a problem that goes away over time.
  • Sometimes if you keep tasting a particular taste regularly, it become less disgusting.
  • Similarly, many people who initially find swallowing pills difficult find it much easier as they get more practice.
  • You can also put the pill in a spoon of something like applesauce, yogurt, or pudding. That can mean that you taste and feel the pudding and not the pill, which can make swallowing easier for some people.
  • Some people find it helpful to chase pills with a liquid they like.
  • (A caveat about that:
  • If  the taste/sensation makes you feel sick to your stomach or like you’re going to throw up, it may not be a good idea to drink/eat something you really like right after. 
  • Because you can end up associating that feeling with the thing you like, and then develop an aversion to that too.
  • But if the nasty-tasty pills *don’t* make you feel sick, washing the taste away with something you do like can work really well.)

If the problem is irrational or mostly-irrational anxiety:

  • Reminding yourself that the anxiety is irrational can help.
  • Reminding yourself what the pill does and why you want to take it can also help.
  • And once you get used to taking the pills regularly, the anxiety may go away.
  • Some people find it helpful to think things like “This is scary, but I can do it, and it won’t always be this scary.”
  • One reason that taking pills can be scary is that it can be an unpleasant reminder that you need the pills. 
  • If that’s a barrier, it might help to remind yourself that you need the pills whether you take them or not. 
  • Or you might know that it causes side effects you hate.
  • It also might help to complain about this to yourself, along the lines of “I really !#$!$# hate having to take this pill”.
  • (Having to take pills can suck, and it’s ok to have feelings about it.)

If the issue is reluctance or reservations about the pills:

  • I’m somewhat uneasy about mentioning this, because logistical difficulty is often dismissed as unwillingness to take pills.
  • That said — sometimes the problem really is that someone is trying to force themself to take pills that they don’t really want to take.
  • Everything is harder when you don’t want to do it.
  • There are all kinds of reasons that people might not want to take medication. (Some good reasons, some bad reasons).
  • Eg: Some people feel ashamed of needing medication, or feel like they should be able to somehow will themselves to not need it.
  • Eg: Sometimes the side effects really suck. Sometimes side effects mean that a given treatment needs to be reconsidered.
  • Eg: Sometimes people take pills that don’t seem to be working, and that can be demoralizing.
  • Eg: Sometimes people are misdiagnosed, and prescribed medication that isn’t appropriate, (or suspect that they were misdiagnosed).
  • Eg: Sometimes things that seem like a good idea in the doctor’s office don’t seem like a good idea in day-to-day life.
  • Eg: Sometimes when people have been taking a pill for a while, they forget what it was like without the pill — but keep noticing the side effects. This can make it hard to feel that the pill is still worthwhile.
  • Eg: Sometimes people come under intense pressure from others to believe that a particular pill will fix things. This can get complicated if the pill isn’t actually the right solution.
  • (And there are any number of other reasons).
  • Sometimes the solution to this is changing your attitude towards your medication, and sometimes the solution to this is changing your treatment plan. (And sometimes it’s a combination of both). 
  • So it might be worth asking yourself: How do you feel about taking this medication, Is this a pill you want to take?
  • Why are you taking it? Why was it prescribed? Do you agree with the reasons?
  • Are you having side effects that suck? Are you questioning whether the side effects are worth it? 
  • Is there another option you want to consider, or does this seem like the best choice for now?
  • If you really are reluctant, err on the side of taking that seriously. You may have a good reason, and it may lead to needed changes.
  • If you think about it and decide that your reluctance is irrational, that can also be very helpful.
  • Either way, if the problem is reluctance, thinking through things and getting to a point where you feel confident that you’re making the right choice can help a lot.
  • *All that said*, it’s important to remember that taking pills can be hard for all kinds of different reasons.
  • Some reasons it can be hard to take pills have absolutely nothing to do with how you feel about them. 
  • Wanting to take pills doesn’t always make it possible to take pills.

Sometimes pills are easier to take if you associate them with an action you do every day rather than with a time. Eg:

  • If “take nighttime pill at 11pm” doesn’t work, “take nighttime pill when I brush my teeth” might.
  • If “take morning pill at 8am” doesn’t work, “take morning pill after I eat breakfast” or “take morning pill when I get into my car/bus to go to work/school” might work.
  • Or “I’ll take my pills when my kids come home from school and I’ve given them theirs”.

Sometimes changing where/how your pills are stored can make a big difference, for instance:

  • Keeping pills in the medicine cabinet can make it easier to take them when you brush your teeth
  • Keeping pills next to your bed can make it easier to take them when you get up and/or when you go to bed
  • If you frequently forget to take your medication, keeping some in your purse/ backpack/etc can make it easier to take it once you realize you forgot.
  • If you need to take medication when you eat, keeping the pills near your food might help.
  • Some people find pill sorters really helpful. They’re clear box-things with a box for each day, and at the beginning of each week you put a week’s worth of pills in them. This can also be a way to tell whether you’ve taken a given dose or not.
  • Sometimes you can get pills packed in blister packs, with a compartment for each day. 
  • (Birth controls are usually packed this way, and some pharmacies can pack any kind of pill this way).

If part of the issue is privacy:

  • Sometimes not wanting other people to know can complicate taking medication.
  • This is a common issue for birth control pills — and there are cases you can get for birth control packs that look like little makeup cases. (So you could keep it in your purse and it would just look like you have makeup).
  • (If you’re in a situation in which it’s unsafe for others to know that you’re using contraception, birth control pills may not be the best option. An IUD or Depo-Provera shots might be better. Planned Parenthood can help you consider options.). 
  • Similarly, it might help to keep pill bottles inside little containers that don’t look like pill things (eg: Claire’s has coin purses that are a good size for this).
  • Or to get a lockable toolbox and keep the key on your keychain.
  • Or to keep pills in your gym back if you have one — most people are going to assume there are gross sweaty clothes in there and be reluctant to look.
  • If you’re in college and don’t want your roommate to know about your pills, it might work to keep your pills with your shower stuff, and take them when you shower.
  • Or to keep pills in your backpack, go to the bathroom after class, and then take the pills there

If part of the issue is that they’re hard to afford:

  • If you’re taking a name-brand drug, look online for a coupon. A lot of companies offer them.
  • If you’re taking something insurance isn’t covering, GoodRx can often save you a LOT of money. (It tells you about coupons, and shows you which pharmacy near you has the lowest price.)

Anyone else want to weigh in? What are some strategies you know of for dealing with pills?

Point of autism testing?

Anonymous asked:

What’s the advantage of getting formally tested for Autism? My Psychologist pretty much just offhand diagnosed me with Aspergers, though I’ve know I had AS for longer than that. Anyway, since my family and I already know, is there any reason I should formally test for it?

realsocialskills said:

I can’t tell you whether it’s a good idea for you or not.

There are several reasons that I think it may be worth considering.

One is that external validation might matter to you more than you think it does. I knew I was autistic before I was diagnosed; diagnosis still mattered to me a lot more than I expected it to matter.

One way is that it can matter is in your relationships with other people. If you want to talk about being autistic, being professionally diagnosed is likely to be helpful. That definitely made a big difference for me.

Another way that autism testing can be helpful is that it can involve testing for other things as well. That’s worthwhile partly because it’s possible that another diagnosis fits you better than autism (that happens sometimes), and also because it’s not at all uncommon for autistic people to have additional cognitive or physical issues.

Testing can give you information about cognitive and neurological strengths and weaknesses beyond a one-line diagnosis. It can also tell you about other conditions you might have. For instance, testing can sometimes tell you:

  • If you also have ADHD
  • If you’re having motor skills problems, and what kind
  • Whether your memory is typical
  • Whether you’re having reading comprehension problems
  • And various other things potentially worth knowing

All of that can be overlooked if you’re doing ok in school or if people are already attributing everything to one diagnosis. It’s good to know where you stand and what your cognitive strengths and weaknesses are. Testing isn’t always helpful for that kind of thing, but it definitely can be sometimes.

Testing can help you to get accommodations. For instance, if you have difficulty with handwriting and your testing documents that, it can get you the legal right to use a computer for writing tasks and tests in school and university. That applies to a lot of other things too. If there are supports or accommodations that you need and aren’t getting, testing might help you to get them.

This is also true if you’re in high school now and planning to go to college soon, even if all your support needs are being met in high school without documentation. You can’t assume that will continue to be the case in college without documentation – they may well require it, and it will be easier to get what you need if you already have proof.

One thing to consider if you are under 18 (or even under 21), is that diagnosis is often taken more seriously if you were diagnosed as a minor. This can affect access to services and support if you turn out to need help later in life. (It won’t necessarily make you eligible for help even if you really need it, but it does make it somewhat more likely.) 

Formal diagnosis also can sometimes open up the possibility of trying psychiatric medication to manage some symptoms. This can also be a downside to diagnosis if it might mean that someone will make you take medication you don’t want to take. Some medication can be really helpful for some people; it can be a really bad idea for other people.

Another downside to consider is that having a diagnosis closes off some options and complicates others. For instance, autism, ADHD, and psychiatric conditions are disqualifying for US military service, even in noncombatant roles. Some other jobs or programs you might want to apply to might ask if you have any disabilities or mental health conditions (sometimes this is illegal; sometimes it isn’t). If you have a diagnosis, you will have to either lie or disclose. That can complicate some things. 

Another downside is that getting diagnosed with autism might result in people trying to make you go to behavior therapy or social skills groups. If you’re an adult, it will probably be reasonably easy to avoid doing this. If you’re a minor, people might be somewhat more likely to succeed in making you go to bad therapy. (Although that might happen anyway even without a diagnosis.)

It also might become harder to get doctors to take physical symptoms seriously. Sometimes diagnostic overshadowing means that everything gets attributed to autism even when it isn’t.

That said, I think all and all, the advantages to diagnosis outweigh the disadvantages for most people, particularly most younger people.

tl;dr Overall, I think that if you’re autistic or suspect you might be, pursuing formal diagnosis is usually a good idea. That said, it’s a very personal choice and your milage may vary. Scroll up for some reasoning.

Why I'm suspicious of optimistic doctors

The Uninspirational wrote a reply to my post on how disabled kids learn to be suspicious of optimistic teachers. They point out that the same dynamic happens with doctors:

This pattern, where somebody in a position of power expects their actions to somehow rescue a person they’re supposed to help in some way, is something I’ve experienced a lot as a patient within the healthcare system. Mostly with doctors but also with psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. It goes something like this…

I’d recommend clicking through and reading the whole thing. It’s a good post.

When people keep asking why you don't have kids

Anonymous said to :

I’ve had a hysterectomy and I live in a region where it’s very odd (like, statistical outlier odd) for a woman not to have kids by my age.

So it’s fairly common for people to continue to harass me about why I don’t have kids and not take any of the polite attempts at diverting the subject as hints to leave me alone until I tell them the truth.

Then when I tell them the truth they get mad and say that it’s too much information. Any advice for dealing with this?

realsocialskills said:

It might help to be direct about saying it’s a personal question.

I’m not sure how your conversations are going. I’m getting the sense that they might be something like this:

  • Them: So, why don’t you have kids yet? When are you going to have them?
  • You: Nice weather we’re having. But it’s summer and so it will probably rain soon. Do you think it will cause flooding again?
  • Them: Oh, probably. It usually does. But what about kids? Are you seeing anybody? Fertility doesn’t last forever.
  • You: So, I have this great new recipe for a seven-layer congealed salad.
  • Them: Children are a blessing. Life really can’t be complete without them.
  • You: That may be true, but I had a hysterectomy, so it’s not happening. Now can we please talk about something else?
  • Them: Why would you tell me something like that?!

It might help to add a warning layer before you tell them the truth. One possible layer: Saying it’s personal and that you don’t want to talk about it, then an immediate subject change:

  • “That’s awfully personal. I don’t like to talk about this.”
  • “That’s private medical information.”

Another possible layer: Asking rhetorical questions that warn them that they might not actually want an answer. This can make it harder for them to blame you, and more likely that they’ll back off:

  • “Do you really want the gory medical details?”
  • “That’s a very personal question. Do you really want to ask that?”
  • “Are you sure you want an answer to that?”

Another possibility: Answering the question in a way that’s a bit less graphic but still gets the point across:

  • “It just hasn’t been in the cards.”
  • “I can’t have children.”
  • “I’m sterile.”
  • “It’s not medically possible.”

If you’re in the South, there are some nuances about how to make people feel bad about asking inappropriate questions that I don’t really understand. (Which is part of the reason I don’t live there anymore.) It’s mostly a matter of affect. I know that it involves inserting a certain kind of pause and icy body language that tells someone they’ve crossed a line, but I don’t know how to do it or describe it well. If anyone who is better at that wants to weigh in, that would be welcome.

tl;dr If your attempts at subtly deflecting intrusive questions are failing, it can help to more explicitly say that the question is too personal and that you don’t want to answer it.

Anyone else want to weigh in? Do people intrusively ask you why you don’t have kids? Is there something that gets them to stop (or that makes you feel better)? Do you have experience dealing with this around other intrusive personal questions?

Therapy is better without true believers

Anonymous said:

I was wondering if you/ any of your followers have thoughts on mindfulness as a treatment for anxiety? It seems to be recommended by a lot of doctors where I live as something that always works and has no side effects.

realsocialskills said:

It sounds like you’re encountering a lot of true believers. 

“Always works and has no side effects” is not true of anything. That’s true believer talk; someone who is giving you medical advice ought to be giving you a more nuanced view of your options and the potential risks and benefits involved. If you can, it’s worth putting in effort to get a doctor who is willing to proactively take a frank and nuanced approach to treatment decisions. (Some doctors start acting that way if you ask them enough good questions. Some don’t. Finding good doctors who take your insurance can sometimes be hard.).

Mindfulness is one legitimate approach to managing anxiety that works very well for some people. It doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s not the only legitimate approach. I don’t have any way of knowing whether it’s something that you should try. (Both because I don’t know you and because I’m not an expert on helping people make that kind of decision.)

There are approaches other than mindfulness that some people find helpful. Eg: CBT, various types of medication, general psychodynamic therapy, art therapy, or working to accommodate sensory issues better so that you have less background stress. No approach is universally effective; no approach is universally safe. They all work to a significant extent for a significant percentage of people. They all also have risks and drawbacks.

Nothing is 100% effective, ever. No treatment or approach works consistently for everyone. People are complicated, and many things about the brain and body are still not well-understood. For many issues, there are wide ranges of legitimate and possibility-legitimate approaches. Trustworthy doctors and therapists are honest about this.

Further, everything that is powerful enough to have good effects is powerful enough to have side effects. Some people have this weird misconception that if something doesn’t involve medication or surgery, then there are somehow no risks. In reality, there is no risk-free approach to improving the way your mind and body are functioning. Anything that’s powerful enough to cause good changes runs the risk of causing bad changes. (The risk is not always high, and even high risks are often worth taking.) 

Does anyone want to weigh in with experiences with mindfulness? What are some things you wish you’d known, or that you think it would be helpful for the person who asked about this to know?

tl;dr Mental (and often physical) healthcare decisions are complicated. Some approaches work amazingly well for some people. No approach is effective for everyone. Every approach has risks and drawbacks. If you are seeking professional help, it’s worth looking for someone who is realistic and honest about likely outcomes, potential risks, and the range of treatment options.

theojoiegrise:

kinsara:

warning for anyone with a panic disorder or aversion to loud or startling noises

people may not warn you of this but if you ever get an MRI, there are a lot of very loud and sudden sounds that accompany it.

you can listen to a quieter version of them here so you can know in advance what it will be like

please spread this around, nobody told me about it ahead of time and it was not a good experience.

theojoiegrise said:

I second this. Mine was part of a study about autism, so they did warn me and give me earplugs to wear AND earphones to block the sound (it was still really annoying but I could stand it.) If you have one scheduled it might be good to ask the staff to have that.

kinsara:

warning for anyone with a panic disorder or aversion to loud or startling noises

people may not warn you of this but if you ever get an MRI, there are a lot of very loud and sudden sounds that accompany it.

you can listen to a quieter version of them here so you can know in advance what it will be like

please spread this around, nobody told me about it ahead of time and it was not a good experience.

a perspective on doctors and therapy

thegreatgodum replied to your post “thoughts on good therapy”

I think of doctors/therapists as expert consultants, like a tax agent. their job’s to do a lot of specialised research & be able to summarise it for ppl who don’t have the time or ability to do it themselves so those ppl can make informed decisions.

realsocialskills said:

I think that’s a good way of looking at one way doctors and therapists can be helpful. There are also a few other things:

Good doctors and therapists often have a lot of experience working with a lot of people who have similar problems.  That can lead them to develop a lot of useful intuitions that you can’t get just from reading research even if you have a lot of time to devote to it. 

They also often have access to supervisors with more professional experience and wisdom who can help them to check their perspective. 

(The intuitions of the doctors and therapists you might consult are not infallible and can go badly wrong. The same is true of their supervisors. But they can also be very, very useful).

Also, if you have a chronic condition, mental illness, or neurological disorder, you will probably often deal with doctors who are less familiar with the current research on your condition than you are. This is particularly the case if your condition is relatively rare. Doctors/therapists can still have useful expertise in other ways in that situation, for instance:

  • Someone who doesn’t understand why an IUD is necessary treatment for your condition may still know how to insert one safely
  • Someone who doesn’t know anything about autism might still know useful things about recovery from trauma
  • Someone who doesn’t know why one medication is a better treatment than another for your condition might still know how to monitor for toxic side effects and interactions with other drugs

In any case, no matter why a doctor or therapist is helpful to you, they’re an expert you’re consulting. If they start acting like a brain slug and try to prevent you from thinking or acting for yourself, that’s a major red flag.

Medical red flags

Content warning: this post contains graphic descriptions of medical ableism. Proceed with caution.

snouted replied to your post:

Oh man yes and anyone who pushes you with THEIR goals (instead of working w you to push your OWN goals) is bad news.

realsocialskills said:

Yes, and that’s not mental illness specific either. Most conditions of any sort involve choices and tradeoffs.

For instance, if you go to a doctor for help with a functional issue and they keep pushing normalization-oriented surgery unrelated to your actual goals, that’s bad news. (“Here’s how we can make you look more normal” is not a good answer to “I’d like this to stop hurting.”)

If someone ignores your concerns about side effects, that’s also bad news. (Sometimes they will be entirely right that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. But if they’re not listening or respecting you, that’s bad news.)

If someone calls you drug-seeking when you ask for help managing chronic pain, that’s bad news. If they only care about addiction risk and aren’t at all interested in treating your pain, that’s bad news.

If someone pushes something like “quality of life” in order to dissuade you from having treatment that is clearly necessary to your survival, that’s *really* bad news. (This happens to people who need feeding tubes or tracheostomies to survive, among other things.)

Medical treatment involves choices. A doctor who doesn’t think that your choices matter is bad news.

medical red flags

Content warning: this post contains graphic descriptions of medical ableism. Proceed with caution.
snouted replied to your post: Anonymous said to realsocialskills: …

Oh man yes and anyone who pushes you with THEIR goals (instead of working w you to push your OWN goals) is bad news.

realsocialskills said:

Yes, and that’s not mental illness specific either. Most conditions of any sort involve choices and tradeoffs.

For instance, if you go to a doctor for help with a functional issue and they keep pushing normalization-oriented surgery unrelated to your actual goals, that’s bad news. (“Here’s how we can make you look more normal” is not a good answer to “I’d like this to stop hurting.”)

If someone ignores your concerns about side effects, that’s also bad news. (Sometimes they will be entirely right that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. But if they’re not listening or respecting you, that’s bad news.)

If someone calls you drug-seeking when you ask for help managing chronic pain, that’s bad news. If they only care about addiction risk and aren’t at all interested in treating your pain, that’s bad news.

If someone pushes something like “quality of life” in order to dissuade you from having treatment that is clearly necessary to your survival, that’s *really* bad news. (This happens to people who need feeding tubes or tracheostomies to survive, among other things.)

Medical treatment involves choices. A doctor who doesn’t think that your choices matter is bad news.

Document communication

This post may not apply to all of you, but I know a lot of you work with people whose communication is impaired, so:

I’ve come to believe that if others are reporting that someone has no communication, it is important for others responsible for their care to do everything in their power to counteract this.

Being perceived as noncommunicating is dangerous. It can prevent someone from ever being listened to. It can also lead ableists to withhold medically necessary care because they believe that person’s life is not worth living. 

You can’t reliably assess someone’s receptive communication unless they have expressive communication that you can understand (and even then, it’s difficult). Being unable to respond is not the same as having no understanding, and it’s wrong to assume that people don’t understand. So, really, no living person should ever be described as having no communication. That may not be in your power to fix, but keeping it in mind will help you to treat people better.

Beyond that, most people who are described as having no expressive communication actually do. Don’t be led astray by someone else saying that someone is “noncommunicative” or “nonverbal”. Unless the person they’re talking about is in a coma, they’re probably wrong. If you look for communication, you will be able to listen to them better, and also better able to protect them by documenting their communication. So look for it, and document it, and tell other people who care for them. Their life may depend on it, and the way they’re treated almost certainly does.

Some specific things you can look for:

  • Do they turn their head when you come in?
  • Flap their hands when they’re angry or happy?
  • Vocalize?
  • Say words that may or may not be communicative? 
  • Try to get out of their chair?
  • Sing?
  • Become more calm or agitated when you speak to them?
  • Make eye contact?
  • Say numbers?
  • (There are any number of other things)

Everyone with voluntary control over any part of their body communicates. If you’re working with someone, learn their communication and do what you can to make it known that their communication exists and matters.

I have rosacea, a condition that tends to cause frequent and sometimes even painful (like a sunburn) blushing. By working out more often and increasing my cardiovascular health, I found that my face got red less often, stayed red for shorter periods of times, and got less intensely red. The anon may have rosacea, but whether or not s/he does, I think it’s worth a try – hey, it’s a good thing. You don’t need to run a marathon – just push yourself a little, break a sweat, 3x a week, if you can.
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know anything about this, so I’m posting without commentary. Has this worked or not worked for anyone else?

Dealing with unwanted blushing

pinkxxkiss:

realsocialskills:

I’m not sure if this falls under social skills, but is there a way to prevent blushing? whenever I talk to people my face gets abnormally red and everyone comments on it (what’s wrong with your face, are you ok, etc) which only makes me blush more. i have social anxiety as it is, so talking to people is hard enough without my face feeling like it’s on fire. thank you
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know of a way to avoid blushing. I’m posting this in hopes that one of y’all does.
One thing that occurs to me is that maybe wearing foundation would help? The basic purpose of foundation is to be opaque enough to hide marks on your face, so maybe it would hide blushing? I haven’t tried that, but it seems like it plausibly might work.
Have any of y’all tried using foundation to hide blushing? Does it work? Do you know other things that work?

pinkxxkiss said:

Another suggestion (to foundation, which can really help, even if it’s just a light layer of powder) is to go to a Doctor. My face is super red a lot of the time and I also have pretty serious long term acne. I’ve found that when my acne is more under control (ie my medication for that is working) my face is usually far less red.

As well as acne there’s rosacea, which can be mistaken for acne, but is also very treatable. It can cause so much facial redness, but actually be treated.

So, basically, if you can go to a GP; do so. They might be able to really help you. (And there might even be other underlying, and treatable, causes they could help you with.)

Good luck! :)

How to get a blood test or other lab tests

macabreweirdo:

realsocialskills:

When you will need a test, you can’t assume that doctors office will have the test. Whether an office has it or not varies, even if it’s the kind of test that is commonly offered in a medical office. 

That is also true of labs. Not all labs have every test, even really common tests. (This is particularly true in big cities with multiple labs).

Some labs will only do certain tests at particular times of day.

Some tests require fasting.

Some tests have different rules at different labs.

Some tests require a prescription from a doctor.

Labs will usually make you bring a prescription, a credit card, your insurance card, and a photo ID. Some labs do not accept cash.

If you can use phones, it’s a good idea to call ahead when you are trying to arrange to get a test.

A potentially useful script:

  • I need test x.
  • Do you offer that test?
  • Do I need an appointment?
  • What time can I come in?
  • Do I need to fast?
  • What do I need to bring?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?

macabreweirdo said:

As a note, if you are doing a lab test that requires fasting, ESPECIALLY if you’re getting blood drawn, bring something to eat afterwards! And I mean, immediately following the appointment. I can’t stress this enough. You’re probably going to be woozy from the combination of having blood drawn and fasting (most places require 12 hours of fasting). This goes especially if you’re driving yourself to your appointment. 

How to get a blood test or other lab tests

When you will need a test, you can’t assume that doctors office will have the test. Whether an office has it or not varies, even if it’s the kind of test that is commonly offered in a medical office. 

That is also true of labs. Not all labs have every test, even really common tests. (This is particularly true in big cities with multiple labs).

Some labs will only do certain tests at particular times of day.

Some tests require fasting.

Some tests have different rules at different labs.

Some tests require a prescription from a doctor.

Labs will usually make you bring a prescription, a credit card, your insurance card, and a photo ID. Some labs do not accept cash.

If you can use phones, it’s a good idea to call ahead when you are trying to arrange to get a test.

A potentially useful script:

  • I need test x.
  • Do you offer that test?
  • Do I need an appointment?
  • What time can I come in?
  • Do I need to fast?
  • What do I need to bring?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?

A suggestion for doctors

A lot of people have trouble talking to doctors. A lot of people have trouble raising concerns unless they’re explicitly invited to do so.

It can be helpful to ask at the end of a conversation something like “is there anything else you wanted to talk about?” or “Are you experiencing any other symptoms?”

That can make it more possible for people to say things.

[Image description: protestors with a banner: This “clinic” lies to women.] 
  bebinn : 
 
    How To Identify Crisis Pregnancy Centers    
 Crisis pregnancy centers, or pregnancy resource centers, disguise themselves as medical facilities, but usually have no licensed doctors, nurses or counselors. They often appear under “Abortion Alternatives,” and may have names similar to abortion clinics nearby in order to confuse patients into entering their buildings instead of the real clinics. 
 Once you enter a CPC, their mission is to prevent you from getting an abortion at any cost. They will use misleading language, delay tactics, emotional manipulation, intimidation, and outright lies to either persuade you against abortion or to make you miss your appointment. The worst part? It’s all completely legal and funded by federal dollars. 
 CPCs do their best to appear as legitimate abortion clinics, so how can you tell which is which? Here is a list of red flags for CPCs: 
  The words “crisis” or “resource” appear in the center’s name 
 Their ads use language like “Pregnant & Scared?” 
 They offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds 
 When asked if they provide abortions or contraception, they will not give a direct answer 
 The waiting room has biased pamphlets, sometimes with graphic pictures labeled as abortions 
 They attempt to make you feel guilty about considering abortion 
 They offer baby items, such as diapers and formula 
 They downplay the effectiveness of contraception and emphasize abstinence 
 They emphasize the dangers of abortion (Fact:  fewer than 0.3% of patients experience complications requiring hospitalization ) 
 They discuss the false connections between abortion and  breast cancer ,  infertility , or  mental illness , often referred to as post-abortion stress syndrome 
 Regardless of how you talk about the pregnancy, they refer to “your baby,” the “preborn child,” “post-abortive women,” and say that you are “already a mother.” 
   More on CPCs  
  How to Identify CPCs  
  Beware of Fake Clinics  
  Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice  
  CPC Warning Stickers  
 A list of licensed abortion clinics in the United States can be found on the  Abortion Assistance Blog . 
 
 I don’t know that much about this through my own personal knowledge, so I can’t vouch for everything in this post. 
 What I do know is that a lot of people who strongly oppose abortions are willing to be absolutely horrible to pregnant people in order to prevent them from having one. 
 (You can see that in the behavior of abortion clinic protestors.) 
 And I’ve definitely seen these deceptive ads for crisis pregnancy centers on Facebook and in the phone book. (And some that are aimed at convincing pregnant teenagers to give birth to provide a baby for childless couples to raise in a closed adoption). 
 I think it’s a good rule that a legitimate clinic will give you a straight answer about which services they do and don’t offer. (For instance, not all Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortions. The ones that don’t will tell you that they don’t.)

[Image description: protestors with a banner: This “clinic” lies to women.]

bebinn:

How To Identify Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Crisis pregnancy centers, or pregnancy resource centers, disguise themselves as medical facilities, but usually have no licensed doctors, nurses or counselors. They often appear under “Abortion Alternatives,” and may have names similar to abortion clinics nearby in order to confuse patients into entering their buildings instead of the real clinics.

Once you enter a CPC, their mission is to prevent you from getting an abortion at any cost. They will use misleading language, delay tactics, emotional manipulation, intimidation, and outright lies to either persuade you against abortion or to make you miss your appointment. The worst part? It’s all completely legal and funded by federal dollars.

CPCs do their best to appear as legitimate abortion clinics, so how can you tell which is which? Here is a list of red flags for CPCs:

  • The words “crisis” or “resource” appear in the center’s name
  • Their ads use language like “Pregnant & Scared?”
  • They offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds
  • When asked if they provide abortions or contraception, they will not give a direct answer
  • The waiting room has biased pamphlets, sometimes with graphic pictures labeled as abortions
  • They attempt to make you feel guilty about considering abortion
  • They offer baby items, such as diapers and formula
  • They downplay the effectiveness of contraception and emphasize abstinence
  • They emphasize the dangers of abortion (Fact: fewer than 0.3% of patients experience complications requiring hospitalization)
  • They discuss the false connections between abortion and breast cancerinfertility, or mental illness, often referred to as post-abortion stress syndrome
  • Regardless of how you talk about the pregnancy, they refer to “your baby,” the “preborn child,” “post-abortive women,” and say that you are “already a mother.”

More on CPCs

How to Identify CPCs

Beware of Fake Clinics

Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice

CPC Warning Stickers

A list of licensed abortion clinics in the United States can be found on the Abortion Assistance Blog.

I don’t know that much about this through my own personal knowledge, so I can’t vouch for everything in this post.

What I do know is that a lot of people who strongly oppose abortions are willing to be absolutely horrible to pregnant people in order to prevent them from having one.

(You can see that in the behavior of abortion clinic protestors.)

And I’ve definitely seen these deceptive ads for crisis pregnancy centers on Facebook and in the phone book. (And some that are aimed at convincing pregnant teenagers to give birth to provide a baby for childless couples to raise in a closed adoption).

I think it’s a good rule that a legitimate clinic will give you a straight answer about which services they do and don’t offer. (For instance, not all Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortions. The ones that don’t will tell you that they don’t.)