| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Thu May 05, 2016 3:39 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:20 am 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:50 pm
Posts: 3696
Location: The Bene
Does anyone with health issues have trouble talking to your non-vegan friends and family about them for fear that they'll just think your issues are really caused by your veganism?

I've been dealing with fatigue lately. Nothing too severe, but enough to affect my social life and the cleanliness of my house. Basically, after my work week, I feel like I need my weekend to recharge and seem to only have enough energy to do basic maintenance tasks (like dishes/laundry) and have little to no social energy (which even has an effect on whether I have the wherewithall to reply to e-mails.) I've always had less energy than my cohorts, but it's been getting worse as I get older, and comes from a combination of stage 2 kidney disease (inherited and luckily further asymptomatic aside from some manageable pain) chronic vitamin D deficiency (often linked to kidney disease AND living in Northern Europe) and a constant struggle with iron deficiency (due to heavy periods). These are all problems I would have whether or not I was vegan (and I did have the latter two before I went vegan), but the fatigue is getting worse as the years go by and my kidneys inevitably (but slowly) lose function.

I know my vegan friends are cool and understand that even vegans can have health issues that are not related to veganism. But I'm afraid that if I try to explain to my omni friends why I have been less social/haven't really been responding as quickly to e-mails, etc., that I'm being a bad vegan ambassador, because I'm not the paragon of health, and while I know that my fatigue is not related to my diet, I can't help but feel like they're going to think that it is. I don't think they'd ever say it, but I suspect they're going to see me as a cautionary tale. "I know this vegan and she's constantly fatigued, and it's only gotten worse the longer she's vegan."

Does anyone else struggle with this?

_________________
I ate the shiitake out of inappropriateness. - Hollie

Vegan Stuff in Belgium

VSiB FB page


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:17 am 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:10 pm
Posts: 3902
Location: in the middle
Yes, that is one of the reasons I frequently give people more information than I otherwise might, I feel obliged to tell people I was born with a deformed hip when they comment on my limp so they don't think I've got osteoporosis or something. Sucks, but it's just one of those things you manage the best you can.

_________________
"I go to the people with dirty onions and scrawny broccoli." - allularpunk

https://dropscone.wordpress.com/ - frugal recipes & finds in the UK


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:36 pm 
Offline
Moving To Sheepshead Bay
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 5687
Location: fjordfjord
Well, I'm a lot younger than you and since moving to DK, I've also become much more fatigued. Meaning both 'more easily fatigued' and 'needing more downtime' both because I'm working through lingering concussion issues. I don't have vegan-advice to offer, but I do have commiserating hugs. Lots of them. <3

_________________
ॐ लोकः समासतः सुखिनो भवन्तु
http://www.embracingtheworld.org


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:37 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:50 pm
Posts: 3696
Location: The Bene
dropscone wrote:
Yes, that is one of the reasons I frequently give people more information than I otherwise might, I feel obliged to tell people I was born with a deformed hip when they comment on my limp so they don't think I've got osteoporosis or something. Sucks, but it's just one of those things you manage the best you can.


Gad, that sucks that you have to even explain that to anyone. It would never occur to me to make any association between someone limping and veganism. I'm sorry you feel this pressure too, dropscone.

I've wondered myself if it's worth explaining my situation, because a part of me is afraid that even if I do, people are going to think "I bet she'd feel better if she ate meat." I know I shouldn't care, and I know my friends won't give me shiitake. It's more that being fatigued just reinforces stereotypes about weak, undernourished vegans. (Although I'm neither weak nor undernourished.)

ETA: Posted at the same time. <3

lutin wrote:
Well, I'm a lot younger than you and since moving to DK, I've also become much more fatigued. Meaning both 'more easily fatigued' and 'needing more downtime' both because I'm working through lingering concussion issues. I don't have vegan-advice to offer, but I do have commiserating hugs. Lots of them. <3


I'm sorry you're still dealing with lingering concussion issues, lutin! Lots of hugs back to you! <3

_________________
I ate the shiitake out of inappropriateness. - Hollie

Vegan Stuff in Belgium

VSiB FB page


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:13 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 21750
Location: Cliffbar NJ
I am so sorry that you're going through health challenges, and don't even feel safe to ask for support, without having to justify why it's not your fault for not just eating a steak (which would probably be hard on your kidneys right?). I feel like so much of it comes from the body-shaming, health shaming that seems so prevalent in our society. If you're not healthy, well clearly YOU did something to cause it, and people want to know so (1) they can avoid it and (2) give you advice. Few people seem to be willing to listen supportively without advising you. I don't know if there is anything you can do to explain that it's not veganism's fault, so I would probably withhold the information about my veganism if I could, which isn't always feasible, or just beg off and not give too many details, if you don't want uninvited input.

I saw someone post about her back pain from fibro and RA and it was immediately followed by "Well why don't you do yoga?" And she said "Thanks for the advice, but in my case, sadly yoga aggravates my pain" and was told "Oh you haven't found the right yoga instructor yet, keep trying!"

And I think people ascribe that same magical thinking to veganism - go vegan, lose all your excess weight, reverse diabetes and heart disease and cure all your ills. And while it may work that way for some, it really isn't a magic fix for everyone. Which is why you get shamed by vegans that "Oh veganism would fix that if you weren't doing it wrong (eating sugar, oil, junk food)" or shamed by non-vegans that "maybe you just need a steak?"

Because it's hard to have to acknowledge that some health stuff is shitty and terrible and happens to even the best and most careful people, because that means that it could happen to you.

I'm lucky, because at least I can point to a very specific and "healthy/acceptable" reason for my pain (ski accident), but even there, I know several people who had the same surgery and went back to running marathons and skiing, which is not something I can do. I walk wrong and fork my back up.

Sending everyone dealing with fatigue and chronic issues many good thoughts. I am wrecked today. I haven't gotten out of bed, and it was like a huge effort to make lunch. My husband stayed home all morning and watched our daughter and now she is watching all the videos. And I really hope that this is something that I can manage, because being this tired is so exhausting.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:49 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 21750
Location: Cliffbar NJ
I think people also love quick fixes. So "hey eat a steak and it will cure you!" is appealing to someone looking to help.

I posted about back pain in a crunchy group (because I am desperate enough to try anything even the wooiest of woos right now. I was told "cut out nighbshades! Cut out sugar! Cut out soy! Cut out gluten!" But no one ever qualifies it with "hey, some people experience relief when they do X." It's not sufficiently related, and many people who cut out those things still experience pain.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:46 pm 
Offline
Banned from Vegan Freaks.

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:53 pm
Posts: 356
I hear you. I have people straight up tell me that they think my health problems are caused by veganism.

I find it so frustrating because, among other things, if string cheese or whatever were some magical edible gene therapy that would fix my messed up collagen, then I would suck it up and eat a daily dose of string cheese that was massively over priced and only available through a special pharmacy that doesn't take my insurance.

Like, we're not all sitting here enduring significant pain, fatigue, and myriad other complications and just refusing to entertain some obvious solution that is out there for our serious illnesses. And I resent the implication that someone who hadn't ever even heard of my condition until I told them about it thinks they know what makes it better or worse. Nope. Wrong. Goodbye.

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. It really sucks to have this kind of worry about being open--whether because of veganism or just general worry about judging friends--on top of the fatigue.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:36 am 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:50 pm
Posts: 3696
Location: The Bene
Thank you, Tofulish and paperweight.

Tofulish wrote:
I am so sorry that you're going through health challenges, and don't even feel safe to ask for support, without having to justify why it's not your fault for not just eating a steak (which would probably be hard on your kidneys right?).


Indeed. And, in fact, there seems to be evidence that eating plant protein vs. animal protein can help slow the decline of kidney function.

Tofulish wrote:
I don't know if there is anything you can do to explain that it's not veganism's fault, so I would probably withhold the information about my veganism if I could, which isn't always feasible, or just beg off and not give too many details, if you don't want uninvited input.


I tend not to give out a lot of details about either my diet OR my health to new people in my life. The ones I'm worried about are the ones who I've been friends with for years, who know I'm vegan, but who think of my veganism as "a quirk". They know less about my health issues because I haven't had reason to talk about them much before. But now they are having an effect on my life, and I just hope these friends understand that I'm not allowing myself to become fatigued because of my (in their eyes) "quirky lifestyle".

Tofulish wrote:
I saw someone post about her back pain from fibro and RA and it was immediately followed by "Well why don't you do yoga?" And she said "Thanks for the advice, but in my case, sadly yoga aggravates my pain" and was told "Oh you haven't found the right yoga instructor yet, keep trying!"


Grrrr...

Tofulish wrote:
Because it's hard to have to acknowledge that some health stuff is shitty and terrible and happens to even the best and most careful people, because that means that it could happen to you.

I'm lucky, because at least I can point to a very specific and "healthy/acceptable" reason for my pain (ski accident), but even there, I know several people who had the same surgery and went back to running marathons and skiing, which is not something I can do. I walk wrong and fork my back up.


I've got an autosomal dominant disease, which means it was a genetic crapshoot. My (omni most of her life, now pescatarian mother) has it, so I had a 50% change of getting it. I was born with it. It has nothing to do with lifestyle. It turns out that a vegan lifestyle may actually confer some advantages, but no matter what I do "right", it's a progressive, degenerative disease, and at my age, I'm actually lucky that all I have to deal with are pain and fatigue (and having to pee a lot). Lots of people my age are already on dialysis or are waiting for a transplant. But it's a disease that very few people know anything about, and because I look fine, people don't get that I am not 100% healthy.

Tofulish wrote:
Sending everyone dealing with fatigue and chronic issues many good thoughts. I am wrecked today. I haven't gotten out of bed, and it was like a huge effort to make lunch. My husband stayed home all morning and watched our daughter and now she is watching all the videos. And I really hope that this is something that I can manage, because being this tired is so exhausting.


I'm so sorry you're having to deal with pain and fatigue too. Yep, this shiitake is exhausting.

paperweight wrote:
I hear you. I have people straight up tell me that they think my health problems are caused by veganism.

I find it so frustrating because, among other things, if string cheese or whatever were some magical edible gene therapy that would fix my messed up collagen, then I would suck it up and eat a daily dose of string cheese that was massively over priced and only available through a special pharmacy that doesn't take my insurance.

Like, we're not all sitting here enduring significant pain, fatigue, and myriad other complications and just refusing to entertain some obvious solution that is out there for our serious illnesses. And I resent the implication that someone who hadn't ever even heard of my condition until I told them about it thinks they know what makes it better or worse. Nope. Wrong. Goodbye.


I know, right? People do this with my partner as well, who has Crohn's. They tell him to eat lots of fruit with insoluble fiber, which would basically tear his poor inflamed guts to pieces. The idea is that he'll just have to suck up the pain and agony for a while but that it would cure him in the end. Um.... no?

paperweight wrote:
I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. It really sucks to have this kind of worry about being open--whether because of veganism or just general worry about judging friends--on top of the fatigue.


Thanks. Maybe I'm underestimating my friends. I mean, they tease me about my veganism, and they don't get it themselves, but they have always been kind about making sure there's something for me to eat, and are good sports about trying vegan food. My one friend made sure the caterers at her wedding had REAL food for me, and not some sad salad. (It was really good!) So maybe my concerns are coming more from myself and not wanting to give the impression that I, a vegan, have any health problems, especially "vague" symptoms like fatigue that people could so easily attribute to diet, even though I know it's a hugely common problem with this disease, no matter what your diet.

_________________
I ate the shiitake out of inappropriateness. - Hollie

Vegan Stuff in Belgium

VSiB FB page


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Talking to omnis about health issues
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:28 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 21750
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Sending you lots of hugs and good thoughts, and thank you for sharing so openly here. I am so sorry that you're having such a hard time and I hope you're able to get lots of support from those closest to you!

Do you think your friends might appreciate hearing what you said here - that eating a plant based diet is actually saving you from worse pain, needing dialysis or a kidney transplant?

It's so nice that your friends go out of their way to accommodate you, and I hope they continue to be a source of understanding and support!

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer