The Whisker Project

Cat Whiskers – Urgently Needed!
Yes, you too can help save the insatiable needs of another crazy cat lady. Corie is collecting cat whiskers from her blog’s readers. Not that they all grow them, but maybe…
Until now, I thought I was the only one that collected cat whiskers. Yay! I’m not mad!
*thinks about this for a moment*

Blogging Brits logo

If any members of Blogging Brits find me, you may be interested to know about an image-map based code I have used to link to their site.
Inspired by Liam, I too wanted a logo that incorporated the full webring code. However, my version uses a Silkscreen font based mini-icon, which is then converted into an image map. You can see the result in the links to the right of this page.
Check out the extended part of the entry for the code.

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Google ads

I posted a few days ago about how amusing the google ads that were being shown on my site were in relation to my health.
The more I think about it, the more inappropriate it seems to have a blog about life with panic attack disorder and agoraphobia, and adverts for ‘cures’ running down the side of the page. So, I’ve deleted it completely.
I do get viewers who, according to my web stats, search for things like “panic attacks” and “venlafaxine” and get to my site. This is partly why I have links like tAPir and Venlafaxine Healing on the right. These are sites I have used myself, and have found to be a great help. This is the way links on my site will stay. Sites pertaining to health will be ones I have used personally, or checked out myself. Not adverts based on random keywords.


I wanted to make a comment about this news story, but I keep on deleting and restarting because I am just so lost for words. There is so much that bothers me about it – where do I start?
Okay, firstly, what was wrong with accepting the girls apology? Second, how on earth does an “anxiety attack” warrant a visit to the Emergency Room, let alone $900 worth of medical treatment? As I understand it, the visit to the ER took place the day after the girls left the cookies. How is that an anxiety attack? Anxiety and panic attacks are sudden, a surge of adrenaline within seconds of the trigger. Either this woman or the media need to clarify their definition of an “anxiety attack”.
Obviously, my opinion is formed from reading some of the various news items on this story, and I am not remotely qualified to diagnose this woman’s health issues by reading them, but something just isn’t right. It pains me that yet again, something in the news pertaining to anxiety has tarred sufferers with that negative brush.

Hi, I’m not home…

Since Thursday, someone has been calling my home phone number constantly. We have Caller Display, because thanks to my agora, I cannot answer the phone unless I know who it is. This number is with-held. Our answer machine message says something like, “we can’t get to the phone right now, please leave a message and we’ll get back to you”. I’ve often joked that I should change it to “please leave a message, it’s rude not to” because the amount of callers who just hang up pisses me off. If it’s so important that they need to call constantly for three days (not counting the weekend) why don’t they leave a damn message? Or write to us?
I have actually got to a point where I’m wondering if BT can do a trace…

This is Quite Funny…

When I installed MT 3.14, I decided to look into having Google ads on my site. As long as I could control the content, and it looked fairly unobtrusive, I thought I’d be happy. Plus, I could earn money!
At first, the ads were for things like “donate money to the (something) foundation” and they seemed like good causes, so I took no notice (in the respect that I let them be). I think it takes the google spiders a few goes to get the gist of what your site is about, and come up with adverts relating to what’s going on.
I’m just rather amused that I’m blathering on about how I don’t know how to control my panic and agora, and the ad at the side is saying things like “cure panic attacks – guaranteed!”

A Little Understanding, Please?

Yesterday, the BBC reported on the benefit reforms outlined by the government – namely the reforms regarding Incapacity Benefit. The benefit I happen to be claiming.
My first reaction was one of fear. The proposals outline a basic benefit, topped up if the claimant attends “job related assessments” and rehabilitation. I had flashes in my mind of my husband having to take time off work – again – to take me to these things, the panic attacks, the judgement from Benefits Agency officials because on the outside, I look ‘normal’. My fear soon turned to annoyance, and I clicked the link to “have your say”. I did, and clicked “submit”. Waiting for my comment to be reviewed by the BBC staff, I started to read some of the previously published ones.
I suppose it’s only inevitable that there are people out there who think that Incapacity Benefit claimants are a bunch of scroungers who don’t want to work, but I found myself yet again feeling judged. The BBC says it publishes comments that “reflect the balance of opinion [they] have received so far”. If this is the case, there are some very bigoted and insensitive people out there, who are content to make sweeping generalisations about people in my situation. It boils down to the same thing, over and over again. People who haven’t experienced mental illness, or have watched a loved one suffer, will simply not understand the complexities and the utter helpessness that these diseases effectuate.
My illness is very complex. Last week, I walked to the end of the street by myself, to ask a builder for a quote to fix my roof. Three days later, I was panicking over absolutely nothing in Sainsbury’s. No trigger, nothing. Just an inexorable feeling of drowning in fear. I can’t explain why.
Maybe the problem that many people have, is that mental illness is not a black and white thing. If I broke my leg, you could look at x-rays, see the cast. There’d be something tangible to give reason to my inability to walk. Mental illness isn’t like that. I look fine, if you saw me in the street, you probably wouldn’t give me a second thought (unless I was having a panic attack!). There’s nothing physically stopping me from leading a normal life.
I guess this is why my condition angers me so much. I’m in between. I’m not severely disabled, yet I’m not functioning ‘normally’. Healthcare provisions in this area mean that I’d have to cross town to get therapy. As I said to my GP, if I can cross town, I don’t need the therapy. In effect, I am stuck on my own, in a situation where I am having to make my treatment up as I go along. That’s what makes it so hurtful when people refuse to try and empathise.
The full list of comments can be read here.
footnote: I am aware that I have used the word ‘normal’ in this entry. It’s a word that I hate using, however in this case, I am referring to the ‘normal’ me – the me without fear, depression and panic.