Saturday, June 19, 2021

SHOULDER INJURY From Vaccine (SIRVA) ~ Read before getting the COVID vaccine! (NOT Anti-Vax)

Last year, I got a pretty unpleasant shoulder injury due to a nurse giving me a vaccine too high on my arm.

Immediately after the shot, it hurt like hell and I couldn't move it without aggravating the pain. I held my arm close to me and avoided rotating my shoulder to minimize the pain. I already mentally have a hard time doing tasks due to executive dysfunction (I'm neurodivergent), but the arm pain made it physically harder; especially tasks like getting dressed, washing dishes, and typing at the computer. I had to do a lot of things one-handed.

I thought the pain would go away eventually; after all, most vaccine-related arm pain does disappear after a few days. But it didn't go away. It lingered for weeks, which turned into months, without much improvement. So I did some research.

Eventually, I was able to put a name to it: SIRVA.

AKA "Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration."

Apparently, when a vaccine is given too high on the arm, it can cause a myriad of problems like tendinitis, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), bursitis, and rotator cuff tears.

My doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon, who took x-rays and diagnosed me with "tendinitis of the left rotator cuff." I also spoke to an attorney specializing in SIRVA injuries, and he agrees that my injury fits in the category of SIRVA. Luckily, I was able to receive some treatment that greatly improved my arm's condition.

I'm writing about this today because I don't want anyone else to suffer like I did.

Don't let my story discourage you from getting the covid vaccine--rather, please get your vaccine from a doctor you trust who is up to date on their vaccine administration training. And tell people you know (especially doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, if they are unaware!) about SIRVA. These are the best precautions you can take.

Getting a vaccine in a rushed or poorly trained setting may also put you at higher risk. Mass vaccination sites or pharmacies may not be as good as a private doctor--but don't take my word for it, that's just an assumption (I got mine in an emergency room, for reference, and the nurse giving me the vaccine seemed rushed). It's hard to know how well-trained any medical professional is when it comes to giving vaccines. The point is, make sure you trust whoever is giving you the vaccine.

Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists: Since SIRVA is caused by landmarking errors, please check out these resources and ensure everyone in your practice is properly trained. It will help the vaccinations go smoothly without patients enduring life-changing injuries.

Study: "Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration and other injection site events" includes information on SIRVA and prevention methods

HHS VICP Data

Prevent Shoulder Injuries During Covid-19 Vaccinations

More info on landmarking techniques + list of resources


TREATMENT AND COMPENSATION

If you have this injury, there are also steps you can take to get treatment and seek compensation.

TREATMENT

For treatment, I recommend seeking out an orthopedic surgeon or someone who specializes in shoulder injuries. You may need a referral from your PCP / GP (general doctor) to see a specialist. Treatment will vary, but may include physical therapy, steroid shots, or surgery in extreme cases (like a bad rotator cuff tear).

Below are some exercises for rotator cuff tendinitis given to me by my orthopedic surgeon. If you don't have access to medical care, it might be worth giving these a shot.


COMPENSATION

As for seeking compensation, you can file a claim via the VICP / "Vaccine Injury Compensation Program" with the help of an attorney, as long as your injury meets criteria and has lasted 6 months or longer. However, SIRVA injuries caused by covid vaccines are not currently covered by the VICP. We're hoping this changes soon; I'll update this blog post if it does. Skip to 11:08 in my video for more info.

If your SIRVA injury was caused by any other vaccine, you can file a VICP claim. You can find links to law firms who handle SIRVA injury claims in the description of my video.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Why charities cannot replace SSI (from my experience)

Why is SSI necessary? Why don't we rely on charities to support low-income disabled people?


I was reading about different political ideologies, and came across Libertarianism which largely doesn't believe in government safety nets like SSI.

I read different opinions from different libertarians (cuz like, everyone differs), and got a variety of responses to the hypothetical question:

"How would disabled people get support in a libertarian society?"

Libertarian 1: "The free market means they'll have easier access to work."
(Me: Fair, but what about the permanently and severely disabled who can't work at all?)

Libertarian 2: "They die. Not my problem."
(Me: Ouch.)

Libertarian 3: "Charities will take the place of government support."
(Me: Maybe for short term, but have you ever relied on a charity?)

That last response particularly caught my attention since I've had personal experience with trying to get help from charities, hence the topic of this post. 

(Note: This post is not meant to harp on libertarians, and not all libertarians share the opinions mentioned above. Reading about Libertarianism is just how I got to this topic.)

From personal experience, while charities can help with some specific short-term needs, most are simply incapable of providing substantial long-term support. Any support they do offer is minimal and sad (but really depends on the charity tbh).


CHARITY FOOD SUPPORT


Most food pantries only offer pre-packaged shelf stable food, meaning anything fresh is off the table, and those with food allergies will likely go without. So people like me rely on food stamps to feed myself without seriously compromising my health.

There are some rare exceptions though. I used to go to a food pantry that did offer fresh vegetables, fruit, and frozen meats, and that was a freakin' lifesaver. But I've never found another like it since.


CHARITY MEDICAL CARE


Charity medical care is terrifying. Once I had to wait 4-6 hours outside a church to get a cavity filled, only to be greeted by huge crowds / sensory overload, sermons in the waiting room (triggering for me due to religious PTSD / OCD), ancient medical technology (weirdest handheld x-ray machine I've ever seen), and dental students instead of fully trained dentists (I got the filling anyway cuz I had no choice).

Medicaid doctors and dentists aren't much better, but that's besides the point. I'd take a Medicaid dentist over that charity dental day thing anytime. (Though in any case, I can brush my own teeth better than the cleanings I've gotten covered by Medicaid.)

Many charities are also religious and actively try to convert you as you're receiving support. I'm all for freedom of religion, but I should also have the freedom to not be harassed when all I need is some food or a dental cleaning. Converting to a religion, adhering to their ideology-based rules, or being preached to (non-consensually, might I add) should not be a pre-requisite to receiving support, in my opinion.

I was able to tolerate these experiences because I don't rely on them 24/7. I am lucky enough to be on SSI. I'm certain I would die early of severe stress if I had to rely on charities. So thank the stars for SSI.


POVERTY IS A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM + RETHINKING "LAZY"

After my reading on Libertarianism, I did some searching (specifically on YouTube) to see if anyone else on the interwebs was noticing or pointing out similar issues with charity. Sadly, most of the top results were blaming the flaws of charity on "encouraging" dependency of "lazy poor people" and the failure of recipients to become independent after receiving such benevolent (*sarcasm*) aid.

While I'm sure some people do take advantage of charity and don't make effort to improve their life, it's awfully hard put forth that effort if the support you receive is so minimal that you're stuck in a stressful limbo of barely functioning.

I don't think everyday, well-off people would even want to accept the abysmal "help" many charities offer... because why on earth would anyone want wait hours in a line to receive a few cans of green beans? (Often, not even people who really need it are able to do this.)

The suggestion that the poor are simply "lazy" misses the fact that poverty is often more of a systemic problem than an individual onewhich is a major reason why one-time / short-term charity supports cannot magically fix someone's poverty or make them self-sufficient.

I believe that what's often deemed as "lazy" seems less about willful inactivity and more about responding to situational barriers. This thoughtful article sums it up pretty well.

In my search for material that addresses the systemic nature of poverty without degrading the poor, I came across this helpful video, check it out!


What's been your experience getting support from charities? Helpful? A hindrance? Downright impossible? Comment below.

Is there a better concept than SSI that could support low-income disabled folks just as well or better? If so, what would it would look like? I'm curious to hear what y'all come up with in the comments. (be respectful tho. :))

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Easy Rice Cooker Pasta Recipe ~ Autistic Survival Guide

I made a super simple recipe that could be manageable for autistic people, those with ADHD or executive dysfunction, disabled folks and other spoonies. I wanted to share it in a video, so here it is! Click here for a printable recipe.


What kind of life hack videos would you find useful? Comment below! I may make more Autistic Survival Guide videos in the future.

Monday, October 19, 2020

"Cursed Waters" Virtual Film Screening on YouTube

Join the nostalgia ride with me as we watch Cursed Waters live on YouTube!

Drop by my channel via this link (at the scheduled time) to watch: https://www.youtube.com/c/NeuroLushia
If you want to join the live chat, make sure you are signed into your Google account.

I will be available for answering questions and general chatting before and after the film. We may also have a special guest!

Watch the trailer here:

I recently advertised the movie in Pirates Online (TLOPO), my favorite pirate-themed MMO, in story format for an event called Dread Poet's Storytime. Listen to the story here for some snippets from the movie! (story transcript below the video)
Note: TLOPO has an annoying chat censor so I had to re-type some stuff xD lol


CW SHORT STORY TRANSCRIPT
There once was a lad named Eli Lark. Clever, eager and hardworking, if not a bit bratty at times... and poor as dirt.

Eli was working at the Dancing Monkey tavern, serving root beer to wandering sailors, when a mysterious bearded stranger with a particularly terrifying parrot tipped him off that a certain pirate captain was looking for some crew. 

It would be a prosperous venture for the poor-as-dirt Eli.

Twas good timing, as Eli's soulless old boss fired him that very same day in order to hire an ultimately more talented resident mouse ( literally... boss man was a little crazy. )

On his way home from work, Eli realized that he didn't know where to find the pirate captain that the bearded stranger mentioned.

In that same moment, he encountered a small cottage he had never seen before.  

He felt a strong urge to enter the cottage, so he did.

An old woman greeted him inside. She was a fortune teller, with voodoo and all that. Eli sat down to have his fortune told... mostly because the old lady wouldn't let him leave.

The old lady sat down, and a few moments of silence passed...

Finally, she spoke.

...

"Who are you? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE??" the scary old lady screeched, picking up a nearby stick with the intention to beat Eli with it.

"AAAAHHHH!!" Eli yelled. "I'm Eli! I'm here to get my fortune told!!"

"Oh, sorry..." the old lady apologized. "I am very forgetful. Now let's get started."

"I see in your future, there is a treasure. An evil man, and a woman! ...

And it will all take place on the island of Xixi. Great, GREAT evil rests on that island.

But you have to go, so have fun!" she said whimsically, handing Eli a small treasure chest as she shoved him out the door and slammed it behind him.

Eli stood dumbfounded... but at least he knew where to find the pirate captain now. The scary old lady had handed him a tacky brochure that pointed him in the right direction.

The young lad took a longboat, rowing out to an old ship with a squid emblem on the sails. He politely knocked on the side of the ship, and then scratched his head as a few barnacles fell atop his noggin.

"Who's there??" a voice... a FEMALE voice... shouted in response.

Eli felt nervous... he had heard of girls in the old legends, and know what they sounded like, but never in his life had he spoken to one.

"My name is Eli Lark!" Eli shouted back. "I've come to join your crew!"

"Well, come on up, Eli!" said the girl / woman thing. "I've been waiting for you."

Once Eli was aboard, the blue bandana wearing girl / woman thing shook his hand.

"I'm Elise Blackship." said the mysterious female. "Captain of the Squid."

Eli spoke several languages before finally landing on English.

"Nice to meet you." He finally said. "So... where are we going? Will we get treasure?? I'm so hungry lol."

"Get this man a biscuit, Dert." Elise gestured towards a pirate with striped pants and a dirty face.

"And to answer your question... we're seeking the treasure of James Vladimir. A cursed treasure it is, but among it resides the Stone of Xixi, a treasure that breaks all curses."

"Xixi? That scary old lady was right! This is my destiny!!" exclaimed Eli, dancing a jig in excitement.

Elise grabbed the rowboat oar and tripped Eli with it. "No funny business. What scary old lady? Who told you about Xixi??"

Eli relayed the info to Elise, and showed her the map. Elise lit up.

"You have the map??" she exclaimed. "Can we use it to find Xixi??"

"Not unless I get that biscuit you promised." Eli replied playfully.

Elise grumbled and gestured towards Dirt, who tossed Eli a biscuit. Eli wolfed it down immediately. Elise ignored his bad manners and asked more about the map, and together they went over the landmarks.

Eli was particularly interested in the duck statue on the map, by Xixi's shore. It made him giggle.


Time passed on their voyage, and Eli became friends with Rusty, the navigator; they bonded over their love of root beer and their dislike of intelligent mice who steal the tavern jobs of hardworking landlubbers.

Dert, the first mate, became like a brother to Eli. Many hours of card games and catching chickens felt like years of bonding.

On their way to Xixi, they were attacked by a ghost ship! These ghosts were also seeking the long lost treasure of Xixi Island and they would not tolerate competition.

After a long battle, they captured Elise's crew, including Eli.

"Where's your captain??" demanded the ghost ship's first mate, a rather crazed looking fellow who was petting his poorly made sock puppet.

Eli looked around. Captain Blackship was gone!

"I... I don't know." said Eli. He looked at Rusty and Dert, hoping they knew where Elise had gone. They merely shrugged.

"Well, this is no good." said the ghostly first mate. "Let's maroon them! We'll find the captain later."

They made Eli and his new friends walk the plank, and they fell into the ocean with a *SPLASH!!*. Eli would have considered it a fun ride, had he not been in danger.

"Stay calm, lads." said Rusty. "Swim slowly and save your energy. There's the island up ahead."

When they reached the shore, they collapsed from exhaustion. But at least they were safe. Eli felt somewhat anxious, but glad that his friends were with him.

Eli propped himself up enough to look at the island.

"Guys... this place looks familiar." he said, his eyes fixed on something straight ahead of him.

There on the beach was a duck statue. They made it to Xixi Island.

THE END BUT ALSO NOT THE END BECAUSE THIS IS ACTUALLY A FULL MOVIE I MADE AND YOU CAN WATCH IT ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL THIS THURSDAY ( 10 / 22 ) AT 7PM CENTRAL TIME.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

"Through My Eyes: Autistic Behavior" Virtual Presentation by Alyssa Huber

Tune in for my virtual presentation on autism, October 14th - 15th at the Northern Regional (Virtual) Conference on Developmental Disabilities! The event is free and open to the public. Check my events page for more info.

📅📲 Add this event to Google Calendar

  RSVP on Facebook

Presentation Title: "Through My Eyes: Autistic Behavior"

Description: "All behavior is communication or serves a function, and knowing what lies beneath behavior is crucial in any human interaction. This presentation discusses autistic behavior, how viewpoints of autistic people impact our interactions with them, and ways we can help them function better while encouraging healthy self-regulation."

I will post more information soon, with what time I'm presenting and the streaming platform(s). There are also other speakers, check out the brochure for more info... and keep scrolling for important website updates!


I hope to see you there!


WEBSITE UPDATE #1 ~ Event Calendars

I added two Google Calendars to the Events page! That way you can add any events you plan on attending to your calendar, or simply view any upcoming events in one place.

The first calendar, "Neurodiversity / Autism Events Calendar ~ Lushia's Neurodivergent Life" is for Lushia's autism related events, like discussion livestreams, speaking events, film screenings, and more. 

The second calendar, "Gaming Livestreams ~  LushiaGaming Calendar" shows all my scheduled gaming livestreams on Twitch. Tune in to watch me live and chat with me in real time!


WEBSITE UPDATE #2 ~ Visual Improvements

I changed the default font of my website to be more easily readable for those with dyslexia and information processing issues. I also lowered the contrast of the default font compared to the background. Examples of the change:

Before:

After:

If any part of my site is still inaccessible or hard to read, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

~Alyssa

Saturday, July 25, 2020

What Makes Me "Creepy"? Advice for Autistic guys on approaching women

This is for all you awesome autistic guys (and AMAB folks) out there who are attracted to women (and/or AFAB folks).

I know many (but not all) of you struggle to approach these lovely people for multiple reasons, and being perceived as "creepy" is a common obstacle--even if you are a genuinely nice person with the best of intentions.

For those who love and need in-depth explanations of social dynamics, I found a great video that thoroughly explains what traits and behaviors are often perceived as "creepy" and why. (TW for descriptions of sexual harassment)


Note: This video seems to mainly be aimed at guys (& AMAB people) but could be useful for other people as well.
--> Also, keep reading for a useful article on reading body language, it's definitely related.


HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO AUTISTIC PEOPLE?

Since many of these points can be attributed to social ambiguity and awkwardness (plus some relating to appearance management like hygiene... a struggle for some autistics), it's not surprising that autistic people sometimes "creep" out other people, especially neurotypicals.

Part of this may be due to differences in communication and social norms (autistics basically have their own culture), but I think it's multiplied when an autistic person was not taught how to properly navigate other people's boundaries. In these cases, it's likely that they could creep out other autistics, too.

If a cis woman, AFAB person, and/or autistic person has previously experienced harassment (which is quite common for our kind), violating their boundaries (even unintentionally), could set off their fight or flight. Even bordering on boundary violation could have the same effect and contribute to you being perceived as "creepy."



BODY LANGUAGE IS A FACTOR
Unfortunately... but learning is possible!

I hope that the insight in this video helps, so next time you approach a woman or AFAB person, you have a better idea of what kind of things could make them feel unsafe. But now that we know what to avoid... what do we do? How do we respond? And more importantly...

How do you even know if someone is uncomfortable?

A major answer is... Reading body language. (Unfortunately for autistics...)

Some people will outright tell you, but even in those cases, it's often preceded by some sort of non-verbal cue (even autistics do this!) that communicates their discomfort. Catching the discomfort early makes a huge difference.

Read this awesome article for specific examples of body language and possible meanings.


Social stuff is freakin' hard. I have mad respect for genuinely kind straight cis autistic guys who are trying their best to navigate social situations. It's frustrating when you want to connect but it's like a complicated game without instructions.

I hope my blog post, the video, and the article link provided you with some ideas of what to do and what to avoid, so the other person feels comfortable with you and you can connect more easily.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

"I am a disillusioned BCBA: Autistics are right about ABA" by NeuroClastic

This article, "I am a disillusioned BCBA: Autistics are right about ABA" by NeuroClastic is incredible. If you are considering becoming a BCBA, or putting your child in ABA (or if they already are), please read this article first. 

On another note, many Autistics are dehumanized and treated this way outside of ABA, too. I witnessed it happening all the time in special ed and other settings, and I had internalized those messages that I will not be loved and cared for unless I act neurotypical. It has been detrimental to my mental health.

Thankfully, I have been able to unlearn much of that in my adult years. I may not have been so lucky had I been put in ABA. 

ABA is like an intense, concentrated form of the gradual behavioral conditioning society pushes on autistic people.