It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for July, 2019

Everything I did RIGHT and the one thing I did WRONG, when calling #911 to report a #DowntownMinneapolisSafetyHazard, 2 months ago….

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(picture of Thrivent Smith Lot at 7th St and 5th Avenue in DT East, the relevance of picture will be clearer in body of blog, picture taken by me, a few months ago)

Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained or credentialed medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in law enforcement or public safety. I do though deal with less than ideal situations as a private citizen and as an activist, and in this instance, when calling for help from emergency responders, it did fail me. I still will always recommend when someone is or if someone they witness is in crisis, they get help immediately by calling 911 or emergency services in your country of residence.

***
May 26th, 2019, around 7:30 p.m. :
“911, What’s your emergency?”
“My name is Alissa Kasen, I live at 72- 5th Avenue, a man who’s under the influence of illegal drugs, just walked by me, stopped suddenly and started screaming that he wanted wanted to blow up my apartment building, which he’s still sitting in front of”
“Can you please repeat your name and your building address?”
“Alissa Kasen, address is 72- 5th Avenue South, I created a diversion, and am a 1/2 a block away from him, at the Thrivent parking lot at 5th and 7th and I’m telling people not to walk in front of my apartment building, after trying trying to deescalate his anger, by acknowledging the hate he’s been subjected to, being Somali and he was angry that his race has caused him issues getting jobs, a place to live and women to date and I lied and said that I, Mayor Frey, Representative Omar and Police Chief Arrodondo is working against all the the Somali hate that exists. I don’t think he has an IED on him, he’s just enraged and looking for a fight”.
“Okay, we will send a squad, right away”.

Now what I repeated above, is almost verbatim of what I told that man, as well as what I told 911. That he was enraged, I didn’t think though he had an IED on his person, I described what he looked like, 5’6, approximately 120 lbs, Somali, tan pants, blue top and he was carrying a grey  hoodie.

The issue that still haunts me, 2 months later, is that while I described him perfectly, I did NOT describe myself, which I was a a heavyset female, with slightly messy red hair and unfortunately for me,  I didn’t describe what I wore or what I looked like.

And while I knew better to go back into my building, before I cleared my block, as we have handicapped door entrances that open and close slowly and that’s why I didn’t feel safe for me to go into my apartment building because he could’ve followed me in and also presented a safety threat to the residents in my building  and as well as I texted my boyfriend who  I was waiting outside for, as he was going to pick me up for dinner and I told him NOT to go in front of my building, as there was a safety emergency in front of it,  I made that one bad mistake, that really no one could blame me for, as I described the perpetrator, I didn’t think that I’d have to describe what I looked like, at all, especially not knowing at the time I called 911, that he’d confront me again.

From where I was facing, when I was in the parking lot next to my building, there’s no way that a squad could’ve come by to address the situation without me seeing it.

And unfortunately while they never showed in the 8-10 minutes I was waiting before my boyfriend picked me up at the end of my block, that man resurfaced again, after I concluded my 911 call,  angry that I lied to him, as I got away the first time from him, lying about a friend who had a medical emergency that I had to attend to.

Also admitting while he appreciated my kindness initially with having empathy for him and the prejudices he faced, he also admitted that his first thought when he saw me, was that he wanted to kill me, when approaching me that 2nd time. And he went from being maniacally like that, to asking me to have sex, give him drugs and money and asking if he could he hang out with me.

While I eventually as fear stricken as I was, able to kindly explain, I didn’t have anything to give him, that I did feel bad for him though and he let me be, he eventually started bothering a driver waiting at the light at 5th Avenue and 7th Street next to the parking lot next to my apartment building that 2nd time he found me and by the time my boyfriend picked me up, he had moved a block a way, where he was arguing with someone else.

I didn’t call 911 back right away, once my boyfriend picked me up. I did though a few hours later, called the non emergency number for the City of Minneapolis who did say they dispatched a squad .

I’m not accusing them of lying, what I am saying, 2 months later, is maybe because I wasn’t arguing or confrontational with the  erratic illegal unstable drug addict,  the 2nd time that when he approached me again,  the police who I never saw during that time period, at least, if they actually showed, didn’t bother to get involved, with me horrifically thinking my contact with a drug enraged stranger, was consensual, just based upon what I looked like, as I couldn’t have been clearer on what that man looked like.

It still haunts me, that happened, even though I get harassed a lot, even as as unkempt female, as I look like in public frequently, that others may think I have no standards, when I’m out and about, as it’s not my idea of a good time, hanging around dealers, erratic illegal drug abusers, people prone to criminal activity and people asking me for money, sex and cigarettes all the time.

But the difference is, 2 months ago, I did call 911 for help.

So, I guess going forward, should that happen again, not only will I have to explain of what a violent drug and sex seeking perpetrator looks like, I guess I’ll have to describe myself, so a mistake isn’t made, just because I’m NOT attractive that I would want attention like that.

I love our Minneapolis First Responders, whether they be police, fire or HCMC staff.

But, I should’ve never been put in that situation. Had that man been any farther foregone, it’s not a stretch that he could’ve killed me or someone else, given how irrational and enraged he was.

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A really important warning for those who exercise at an athletic level or strive to, in really hot weather that you can actually DIE from doing that….

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(Picture of me, circa either 2004,2005 or 2006)

Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained medical professional i.e. a physician. Nor am I a currently licensed as a Certified Personal Trainer like I was from 2005-2007.

When it comes to exercise at any time for any human being, should be cleared for exercise by a physician who treats you in person and it still could help when starting out to those who are professional athletes, to still get evaluated, supervised and advised by Certified Personal Trainers and/or Exercise Physiologists.

But the reason why I am writing this blog and why I think my opinion is still needed as a former trainer, will be clear, from a medical activist point of view. Thanks!!!

***

There is a lot of things I used to do, both cardio and strength training to get that above body, 15 years ago.

The one thing I did NOT do once I started working out at an athletic level both before and after getting my certification, as a personal trainer,  was work out outdoors during a heat wave.

It had NOTHING at the time to do with the fact I had already had gastric bypass complications and issues with really bad labs, super low blood pressure and reactive hypoglycemia and those pesky gastrointestinal bleeds, as the endorphin high alone, was worth my workouts.

It had everything to do with the fact, that I knew that in addition to having to worry about increased risk dehydration and heat stroke, I also knew that it could increase my risk for exercise induced hyponatremia, that I couldn’t necessarily self diagnose, even with formal training, when in that state.

And I wasn’t going to risk it.

It’s a whole new different world now and I can understand in the digital era and in times of influencers, the multitude of reasons why people stay pretty faithful to their fitness regimens, to keep up with their fitness goals.

What I don’t understand is why anyone has to do that in extreme weather, OUTSIDE, when professional athletes have died in camp workouts and during marathons during heat waves.

And a former NFL Super Bowl champion Mitch Petrus died last Thursday night due to heatstroke, after working during the day outside.

SO, this is why I am gently reminding people that it’s not safe to be super active, even for those who are athletic when it’s super hot out  and it could potentially be fatal.

But again, we are in a different era than when I was in my fitness heyday, that’s why I’m chiming in as someone’s who’s currently a fat former disabled activist who’s credentialing as a CPT lapsed more than 12 years ago.

We live in a digital society that people think it’s okay to shame people for being fatter or thinner than they should be in the digital era, where thousands of people at once, can be subjected to hatred on what they look like.

I didn’t want to write this blog, truthfully.

I am better suited to activism where in the case where heat stroke could be a threat to vulnerable people without a voice, need to hear about the warnings.

But the public, law enforcement and media is doing a good job informing them of that.

Unfortunately, I and no one else should think that there is privilege in a case where people are able to execute actions that could be fatal to them, regardless of where they fall on the socio-economic and fitness level spectrum.

And hyponatremia is just not talked about as much as it should be.

So hear/here is your warning, if you want or choose to start or maintain some kind of fitness goals for yourself and do that when it’s oppressively hot outside, actually outside, do what you need to do, but heed the disclaimers above, that it could be fatal to you, regardless of how physically fit one is.

OR find an air conditioned place to exercise in.

Certain signs that the body gives should be heeded when in distress.

Feeling nauseous, lightheaded, headache regardless of temperature should ALWAYS be a sign to stop a workout or any kind of activity outside regardless of temperature.

The issue where exercise induced hyponatremia gets tricky, is usually it happens in those who knows about the dangers of dehydration and heatstroke, when working out when it’s super hot outside, but don’t realize that being overly hydrated can cause EIH and it can have devastating consequences, such as cardiac, renal and neurological failure, if not death.

The chance of it happening to you?

Highly unlikely.

Probably the same or less as needing a gastric bypass reversal or injuring your rotator cuff on a “Baby Annie” when testing out to get a certification  ( one has to have a certification in CPR, before testing out for a certification as  personal trainer, and because as a parent, I just got recertified in CPR and First Aid for babies, children and adults in that era, as I had a young child in home ), both things which have happened to me.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a warning that it’s not necessary to work out when it’s super hot outside and that we need to discuss this more.

So that innocent people don’t die / aren’t catastrophically changed physically and cognitively, as this is completely preventable, as far as when and where to work out is concerned.

And I make no apologies for wanting and wishing that a lot of heavy duty marathons/intense exercise events weren’t in the middle of Summer.

There is no privilege in anyone, if they are dead!!!

So let’s at least have a conversation about it, ok?

Note: Anything that’s NOT constructive, will NOT be posted.

Also Note: You aren’t going to convince me that a special population of people, i.e. like people who are Obese who want to work out need to in any circumstances, like highlighted above, because their Obesity is more immediately urgent to rectify.

So, don’t go there, OK???

 

 

 

#InTheEndItReallyDidMatter

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(Note:I’m reposting this blog on the 2nd anniversary of Chester Bennington’s death, as while privately I love his music and will celebrate his life and his contributions as an artist, as an activist for suicide prevention, because I personally talk about parental suicide and trying to remove the stigma with that, I believe there needs to be more support and conversation, of how we can help those who are suicidal, if their depression has a chance of NOT becoming fatal and how to best support the families and friends, if tragically, it’s NOT)

Trigger Warnings: In this blog, I write both seriously as an activist for suicide prevention and awareness, as well as trying to support loved ones who lost loved ones to suicide. Which in addition elaborating on what it takes sometimes, to manage  my own mental health issues. As well as what I go through with my own particular mental health issues.

The point I’m trying to make, is I will ALWAYS recommend that people in crisis get help from a clinically trained professional, in acute care facility, if necessary.

Which a lot of times, it is NECESSARY.

But knowing I’m probably the last person to be willing to do that, I put these blogs out there, hopefully to help those who it may benefit, who may be in serious emotional distress and are at risk of their depression being fatal and for those who lost loved ones and are in despair and/or heartbroken, at the loss of their loved ones. And it has helped people.

However, the last thing I want to do is trigger anyone, if topics such as suicide and suicide prevention (from a patient who has mental health issues and one serious suicide attempt and activist perspective)  are a trigger, please don’t read.

**********************************************************************************

“it starts with why

it doesn’t even matter how hard you try

its so unreal

even though I tried it all fell apart

all i know

it doesn’t even matter how hard you tried

I had to fall to lose it all

in the end it doesn’t even matter

what it meant to me  will eventually be a memory

I tried so hard and got so far

but in the end it doesn’t even matter

I had to fall to lose it all

but in the end it doesn’t even matter

“In The End” -Linkin Park
(disorganization of lyrics partially mentioned intentional/no copyright infringement intended) ”

Taking a deep breath, because I really don’t want to write this blog, but hoping that it helps someone.

It happens to be, as more time goes by post suicide attempt in August of 2008, my old life both before, during that time and after it, to present time, doesn’t get to be anymore closer of being a  distant memory.

It happened to be, and it’s not something I’ve blogged about, that while I have multiple blogs talking about my “one and only” suicide attempt and the consequences of it, I have not talked about, that I would’ve probably made my attempt, 3 months earlier, is that because I had someone I love dearly, someone I can’t identify, who was potentially suicidal.

So I had to bizarrely, get them the help they needed to be strong enough to not die of their depression, even though my own life for me was so physically and emotionally unbearable, that I knew and could only hold on for as long as I did, knowing that my pain would eventually end, once they were stabilized and in my misguided thinking at the time, that everyone I loved the most, including that loved one (who did extremely well after intensive professional help) , would be better off without me.

I realize how messed up that is. Now. And for the last 8 1/2 years. And I’ll make my point and I’m going to admit somethings in hopes of helping other people, that I’d rather not be admitting, but if it helps someone in crisis and/or in despair, it will be worth sharing it.

It happened to be on Thursday morning, which I was debating on purchasing Linkin Park concert tickets, for that above mentioned loved one and I, for the concert that was scheduled in St. Paul, on August 15th, which would’ve been 3 days after the 9th anniversary of my suicide attempt, when a few hours later, it went viral that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, had died the same way his friend Chris Cornell did 2 months prior, by suicide, which my loved one took really hard.

Part of the reason why that loved one took both deaths so hard was the fact that I did try to commit suicide, 9 years ago. And Linkin Park and Soundgarden was music they used to cope with, as they saw me medically and mentally disintegrate.

I related more to Linkin Park, during that period of time in my life, during my deepest depression that led to my suicide attempt. While it wouldn’t be something I’d be comfortable sharing, normally, I am now, plus a few other things, in hopes of those who are suicidal and to help those who lost a loved one, because the song “In The End”, was a song that help me identify why I felt suicidal, I did try so hard and in the end I thought it didn’t matter, nor did I think my life or myself did, feeling such a feeling of failure and being in such unbearable medical and mental health pain for as long as I was.

The main thing I’ve learned as an activist of sorts, is that not everyone can be saved, that their depression is going to be fatal to them, when it comes to suicide prevention and/or awareness. It’s not anymore of a choice to them, then having an incurable fatal “medical” disease versus mental health.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not dedicated to trying to be an activist for suicide prevention and awareness.

IF I’m to be truthful, I’ve been suicidal since my suicide attempt in 2008. The only difference between why I am alive now, versus thinking my life and everyone’s life that I know and love the most will be okay, if I died, as I could’ve NEVER thought of leaving them, otherwise,  is that I know at least in the last 7 1/2 years, that I’ve managed to stay alive even with medical near life ending crises, is that the people I love the most, will NOT be okay, if I die from my depression issues.

And it’s a very mixed blessing that I realize that the only thing I can do for my children and my family is not die from mental health issues, I can’t really do more than that.

And sadly, that’s really they only expectation they have of me, at this point.

For me to have any quality of life, though and this is what I realize, because I know better than to think that people who commit suicide, don’t know or care about their loved ones or they are selfish, which they aren’t.

There’s been a lot of discussion since Chris Cornell’s  and Chester Bennington’s deaths which would suggest otherwise. They had kids, didn’t they care enough about their loved ones, to get help or get better????

PLEASE don’t make that assumption or give that impression, as that ONLY  stigmatizes suicide and mental health and it doesn’t help those of us who have depression and/or other mental health issues that can be fatal and it doesn’t help the loved ones, they/we leave behind, for those who die this way. Or who tried to, in the past.

It’s making a hurtful and horrible impression that if we loved our loved ones, enough we’d find a way to stay alive. And not ever contemplate, let alone attempt suicide, which only hurts people, it doesn’t help anyone.

A lot of people will  NEVER understand the multiple and multifaceted reasons that play into deaths due to suicide, but if you wouldn’t tell someone who’s dying of any other disease, that they should get better because of those who they will leave behind, please DON’T for a second, make that impression on someone who’s mourning the loss of a loved one due to their depression being fatal to them and/or those who’s depression is at risk for being fatal to them.

As much as I’d love to say, it’s a wonderful miracle that I’m still alive, it doesn’t feel that way, most of the time. I’m not saying that my life is worse than it was from 2006 to 2011, but it’s not amazing, either.

While I can give myself some credit for having to survive some crappy things, and by sharing them, with this blog, as it has helped some people, I realize that people have been through much worse and handled it better and sometimes that makes me feel really bad about myself, especially as it applies to myself as a mother, who loves my kids more than anything.

For me to have any quality of life, though, and it what helps my depression and mental health issues not be fatal for me, I’ve had to realize that I have to care about myself for myself.

My love for others, as much as I wish it was different, cannot be the only reason why I’m still alive and that I make the attempt to have any quality of life, which does help, especially in cases, where peace of mind for those of us who have limited amounts of that, is so sporadic.

What saved my life post suicide attempt, when in mental health crisis, but not in medical crisis, status post “one and only suicide attempt” in 2008, is that I have the luxury of not doing ANYTHING when in crisis.

Meaning I don’t have to deal with people like most people do. I live by myself and can sometimes take life one hour at a time, which is my deal with myself when in crisis. It also helps me in a non judgemental way of trying to be kinder to myself, of having mental health issues and realizing that I’m doing the best I can and I can usually realize  1/2 the time am grateful for the things I’ve been able to experience because I’ve managed to live this long and try to concentrate on that, when on days, it seems like more of a curse.

I’m not medicated for my mental health issues, either. For the last 7 1/2 years. Both my long term PCP and my former psychiatrist saw that the severity of side effects are not worth the risks, especially since the therapeutic benefit is minimal at best with most psychotropics for me. And I don’t just get severe side effects from mental health meds, but meds in all therapy classes, so it’s not a manifestation of my mental health, that those meds don’t work, it’s an unfortunate medical fact about me, that my own clinical professionals also acknowledge.

It’s not an ideal though way to live for those of us who have a host of depression, mood and personality disorders. Nor is my being total hypocrite when it comes to not seeking clinically trained professional help, any longer even though I still struggle.

I realize some of the irrationalities of my thought processes. I know not every clinically trained professional is going to treat me like an unstable drug seeking hypochondriac who’s also seeking attention, but enough have. And I’m grateful that I have one long term amazing PCP who does a unique patient tailored approach to my care, which I wish other providers would do the same.

And while it’s working for me, it doesn’t work for most people, though. And if I’m to be truthful, I can only try my hardest, I can’t guarantee that no therapy and no meds and a love of my family is going to guarantee that I won’t ever need intensive help that I’m not so quick to get and the irrationality of that.

However my first blog here on WordPress, where I found myself in a system, that I couldn’t get out of, I think plays a large part of my trying to find some balance and meaning to my life on my own, as well as all the time I have. But it’s not ideal.

So, I cannot overstate the importance of not only seeking out clinically trained medical and mental health professionals and realizing that if you don’t find one who is helping you, that you hold on, until you find the help that is right for you that gives you the chance of lessoning, if not eliminating the risks of your mental health issues being fatal to you.

And what that may require evaluation and treatment in potential combinations of inpatient and outpatient care and trying to find different medications, if current medication regimens aren’t working, to find the right combination of clinically trained professionals and/or therapy medications that will work.

And professional help can help those who lost loved ones where it doesn’t become a risk for their depression being fatal to them, as well.

I can only hope that we lose the stigma of mental health issues once and for all, so that people can be in their best health. And what that looks like, is just as unique as we all are.

But we can’t do that without removing stigma and judgement from mental health issues. As well as having more options for evaluation and treatment both in pharmaceutical and non pharmaceuticals treatment therapy options.

I wrote this blog, in hopes that people will try to get past stigmatizing suicide, to provide support for those who’ve lost (or nearly lost) loved ones due to suicide and/or accidentally died due to overdoses. And tried to help by sharing what is working for me, when in crisis and what that crisis can look like, even though I realize it’s unconventional and that it may not work for most people, depending on what they feel their options are, which are obviously not many depending on the severity of a depressive episode and/or other mental and/or medical health issues.

But again, I’m NOT  a clinically trained provider. I only know what I do about so many of these issues by either personal experience or those who I’ve helped personally since 2010 via social media, and in almost the 4 years that I’ve been blogging.

But I do believe that clinically trained professional help is best. But I also understand better than anyone (as I’ve discussed on multiple occasions the bias I face when seeking medical attention) why some cases, such as the bias I’ve experienced, that in my case it causes more duress than it alleviates.

Links for Suicide Awareness, Prevention and support for survivors:

http://www.nami.org
http://www.befrienders.org
http://www.save.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Note: I would’ve wrote this blog sooner, but I’ve had technical issues that make blogging almost impossible at times with having internet and device issues.

I was able to edit blog on 7-28-2017 with links that can hopefully help.

Also same rules apply, judgemental or non constructive responses will not be published. I’m okay with a difference in opinion, if shared respectfully and mindfully. Thanks!!!!!

limited legacy…

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Important Disclaimers: This blog will be combination of both personal and to achieve an activism goal. I’m not a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in matters of law enforcement or public safety.

If you or someone you know is in medical or mental health crisis, at danger of hurting one’s self or another, please seek acute professional in person help in a proper facility or contact 911 and/or emergency services in your country (half my readers aren’t in North America). Thanks.

“If you want something done, give it to a busy person…” -My Mother

I haven’t blogged for awhile.

The one thing I’m NEVER now in the last 11 years is busy.

Doesn’t mean I am still not doing some kind of work with my advocacy in situations that are life and death for someone like I do with my blog and those who are in crisis medically and or mentally due to gastric bypass issues, because I still am doing that.

But I am profoundly sad in a lot of ways, even though I know how lucky I am.

My maternal grandfather passed away exactly 50 years ago, today.

My Mother who was 21 and pregnant at the time with me and both my parents who had in common that they were the 4th and final children of mothers who had them in their early 40s.

On both sides of my family, maternally and paternally my grandparents and those before them and since, raised productive positive good loving people with good intentions.

Obviously, I’m somewhat of an anomaly, other than I haven’t been in really any legal trouble, when I worked, I worked. I was what I was until I wasn’t, as far as being a loving present never married single mother.

I’ve tried to explain the best I can and will continue to do so, as long as it’s constructive to myself, those I love the most and others whether they have or  may not have the words or ability to identify how they feel when living and or nearly dying from an unprecedented, interrupting/interrupted and inconvenient life circumstances to ourselves and others lives.

It would probably surprise most people for someone in my case, where I identify as a medical, mental health and suicide prevention activist that I don’t personally think about much life or death with all this time I never expected to have.

However, I think about my legacy, a lot.

I think what I want for those I love the most, personally.

I think about what I want for human beings, as an activist and am able to act on it more, as far as being a blogger activist is concerned.

I could be okay with my legacy being the wordy reversed chick with medical, mental health and cognitive disabilities who tried to make sure what was the most painful and life changing about my issues that had consequences for others, wasn’t in vain, if I wasn’t a mother and a daughter who did that.

I don’t cry very often.

But I did early this morning, cry while  thinking of my Mom who’s had to spend most of her adult life without her father, as my maternal grandmother died at the age of 98, who’s spent her whole life while people are alive and when they are gone, of doing the right thing by them and having to have an adult daughter who faltered the way I did.

I cried for my son and my daughter in law, her mother and my potential in the future grandchildren ,as my daughter in law’s mom passed due metastatic breast cancer, a little a month after her 49th birthday, 8 1/2 months ago and she was a wonderful mother, mother in law,  sister, daughter, aunt and friend and she would’ve been an amazing grandmother to grandchildren that she never got to live to see and positively love on them.

I cried for my son and daughter who do have a mother who’s still living but has had to apologize for bad things I did and good things that they deserved that I never did or could not continue doing.

And while my ability to articulate that to them, as well as others who are complete strangers helps the strangers to them, more than it helps the ones I love the most, is a mixed blessing.

I’ve talked more the little I’m on social media about my advanced health care directive and having a DNR/DNI request and a body bequeathment to the hospital I had my gastric bypass and reversal and that I will talk more about on here, in the future.

I think more conversation needs to happen about personal life and death wishes and/or requests that aren’t rooted in suicidal ideation, addiction, extreme adversity and/or mental health in our society.

I’m not digressing.

Legacy is literally about what you leave to others.

I don’t want to have a non, bad or long life.

It’s bad enough I’ve really have never finished anything I’ve started.

I don’t want to have an irrevocable  bad legacy that does absolutely nothing positive for the ones I love the most now and the ones they will love in the future, who I would’ve loved had I been here, without me being here to see it or positively affect.

I guess while I try to figure out what I can realistically do for those I love and what I’m going to leave them with , I can try and start a discussion and safe place for people who think about legacy, that is and isn’t monetary or in my case isn’t even tangible.

Anyways, this is my musings about life, love and legacy.

Feel free to share yours, if you want.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not be reduced by them”- Maya Angelou

Note: Anything NOT constructive will be published.

Blog being published while it’s still the July 13th, 2019 here in the United States.

 

 

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