And They Were Roommates

4: Hobbies (What We Do When We're Not Doing This)

February 18, 2021 Quaple Network Season 1 Episode 4
And They Were Roommates
4: Hobbies (What We Do When We're Not Doing This)
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss hobbies, making your brain pay out those GOOD neurotransmitters, and managing chronic pain in your relationships. Our intermission was also our first ever attempt at a Fun Facts With Fox (it was before we added shorter times, but we still think it's a fun listen!) As a peek behind the curtain, this is also our last episode that we recorded before we officially launched.

Do you have any feedback on our episodes? We'd love to hear from you as we settle into a regular structure for this podcast. You can comment anywhere you listen, dm us on any of our social medias, or email us! You can find links to everything and our email below.

If you loved this episode, please subscribe, tell your friends, and leave a comment! Want to help pay Foxglove and get access to amazing bonus content? Consider joining our fan community on Patreon. You can also find us on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. We answer at least one listener question every episode. You can email us at quaplenetwork@gmail.com with your questions about life, relationships, polyamory,  or anything really. 

A big thank to molly ofgeography for the use her song Hanahaki (Bloom) for our music.

And remember, we believe in you!

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Sage:

Hey, listeners, I'm Sage,

Sunflower:

I'm Sunflower!

Iris:

I'm Iris.

Foxglove:

And I'm Foxglove.

Sage:

And this is And They Were Roommates, a podcast about modern love, life, and everything in between.

Sunflower:

Disclaimer, we are not experts at being adults, we've just lived through a lot. And this week, we're gonna be talking about hobbies, making your brain pay out those good neurotransmitters, and managing chronic pain in your relationship. Let's get into it! Hobbies!

Foxglove:

Do we want to start with why hobbies are like, actually legitlegitimately good for you?

Sunflower:

Yeah, give us some science!

Sage:

Give us some fun facts, Fox!

Foxglove:

Science!

Iris:

Science at us.

Foxglove:

Um, so, the first thing I'm going to preface this with is that this is not me, a person with a bunch of mental

Iris:

It's not how mental illnesses work. illnesses, telling anyone else with a bunch of mental illnesses that if you knit, your depression will go away. Because I've heard that, and it's not true.

Foxglove:

Yeah, it's not how anything works, actually. I've never heard of any illness that will be cured by knitting.

Sage:

Man, I want knitting to cure something.

Foxglove:

I want knitting to cure several things. However, the thing that I am saying is that when your therapist, or... or something is like oh, knittingor like, whatever fucking craft, knitting is what I do a lot ofwill do some beneficial things to your brain, they're not actually just fucking making that up off the top of their head. Because, um, there's... everyone buckle in for a little bit of neuroscience. So there are two primary neurotransmitters involved here, they're dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is what we generally consider like, I don't know, like it's a it's like a calm pleasure hormone. And it's usually what you're deficient in if you have severe depression. If you're on medication for your depression, you're probably on an SSRI, which manages serotonin in your brain. And then there's dopamine, which is also a pleasure hormone that specifically pays out as a reward for finishing tasks. And like, as a way to provide motivation. It's what tells your brain to motivate itself. Brains are more complicated than this. I've boiled it down very far. But an example of dopamine issues is if you have for example, ADHD, like myself, you'rethe reason you struggle to start and complete tasks is because ADHD affects the way that your brain pays out dopamine. So for me, it's hard to do tasks with a lot of small pieces, because my brain will not give me the you know, punch card of like, you did part of a task, good job, here's like a little bit of dopamine for you. That's not how my brain works. So I just have a

Iris:

You can have little bit of dopamine. As a treat.

Foxglove:

as a treat!

Sunflower:

As a little snack!

Foxglove:

And for obvious reasons

Sage:

The good good brain chemicals.

Foxglove:

For obvious reasons, that does a number on my ability to concentrate. So ADHD medications, from what we can tell, affect how your brain manages dopamine.

Iris:

And hobbies

Foxglove:

And hobbies are a way...

Sunflower:

Just gonna pull in for a landing.

Foxglove:

IIlet me live!

Sage:

They were getting to the point! Eventually, in a roundabout way.

Foxglove:

I took my medication today, let me live!

Sunflower:

Tell it to give you the dopamine!

Foxglove:

The advantage of hobbies, unlike a neurochemical level, is that especially if you're doing something concrete, or something that has some kind of like, waypoint, like, if you're writing then you wrote, like, ten pages, or if you're playing a video game and you hit a save point, or if you're knitting and you finish a hat, you're... you're finishing a task, which means you can kind of like, jack into that brain circuitry for like, please give me the positive hormones, because I did the things that make you happy, and I finished a task and I made a thing. I especially recommend hobbies that produce something physical, like something concrete.

Iris:

Crafting!

Foxglove:

Crafts are good, or short of that, like I, when I'm really depressed, I write by hand instead of on my computer, because like, you can also get that drop from like, finishing a page. And the reason I go through this entire ramble is because today we're going to talk about hobbies, and we're gonna talk about things that we do that like, bring us joy alone, and that we do as a group to like, not just bring us closer together, like we've talked about before, but like, because we enjoy doing them, and because you're making your brain dump a bunch of pleasure hormones while you're around the people you like enforces that relationship on a neurochemical level, and it's good for you. And the reason I've done this whole ramble is that I really want to clarify, hobbies are not bullshit. They're like, they're good for you, they're an actual concrete thing you're doing to help yourself and like improve your quality of life. So like, I understand that we live in a capitalist hellscape that says that anything that's not your actual paying job is not worthwhile, but like, hobbies, they are good for you, they make you better at the other things you do, they make you better at your relationships. They're just good for you. Thank you for listening to my TED Talk.

Sage:

One of my favorite ways to make my brain pay out the good good dopamine is video games. Because video games have nice little things with checkboxes for your quest objectives, or the other stuff that you're supposed to be doing, and every time that the game checks one of those things off, it feels great, because real life does not have checkboxes for quests. And nothing is ever complete.

Iris:

Unless you have a girlfriend who really likes making to-do lists, and that's real life questing.

Foxglove:

Sun will sometimeslike, I write myself to-do lists, but sometimes Sun will write me to-do lists, and I just, I feel so accomplished when I finish them.

Sunflower:

I need like my own little spotlight, so I can sit in it like the wizard cat, like the glowy wizard cat that gives you quest items?

Foxglove:

We'll get you a neon exclamation point to hang over your desk.

Sunflower:

Yes!

Sage:

One of my other favorite things about video games though, in addition to checking off little quest tick boxes is observable progress in competency. For instance, you're in a racing game, and you want to get faster going around a track. And one day, you are super slow. And after a few more laps, you get faster, and getting better things is also extremely satisfying.

Foxglove:

This is also part of why I play so many games on my phone is because like, yes, I am on level 6000 of a match-three game, that's not a joke. But on the other hand, I'm on LEVEL 6000 of something. And so like...

Sage:

You've made it to the end of some of these games

Foxglove:

I have.

Sage:

when I did not even know that there was an end. And I am constantly shocked.

Foxglove:

Dopamine. It's nice, especially like, finishing levels? Mm. It's delicious.

Sage:

One of the other things that you mentioned earlier was writing, which also happens to be one of my hobbies, and the rush from completing a chapter of anything that I'm working on, or even just like, writing a set of words by the end of any given day, and just seeing the words on paper and being like, hey, I wrote a thing that exists in the world. I'm never going to show it to anyone, but it's there. It's, it's also very satisfying.

Foxglove:

I admittedly struggle more with like, that specific issue because again, I haveI have 'you only get dopamine for finished tasks as a whole' disorder. But I write fanfiction when I'm really struggling to produce original fiction because then I can like, finish a thing in a reasonable length of time and post it and then people give me validation for it. And that's nice. That's a nice hack. Also, handwriting I do a lot when I'm like, really struggling to handle like the fact that writing on a screen doesn't actually make my brain tell me I've done anything. Because writing by hand means that I have like six pages full of writing.

Sage:

Sun, you should tell us about drawing and coloring and stuff.

Foxglove:

Yeah, you're an actual art person!

Sunflower:

Mm. Mm. Mm. Not really.

Foxglove:

I mean you do art, which like, that makes you an art person.

Sunflower:

I get happiness out of having colors? I don't know if that makes me an art person. Yeah, I started doing things like... honestly, I really like the like, easy stuff, the like, either just coloring in like an actual legitimate coloring book, or like, I've been doing paint by numbers, which are really great. I need smaller ones that I feel like I can actually like complete and look at completely, because the one I've had I've been working on for like, since... Christmas?

Foxglove:

That thing is massive.

Sage:

Yeah that's been a project, which like It looks great, but like, wow.

Foxglove:

I think you got it before Christmas.

Sunflower:

I think I got that in April.

Foxglove:

Yeah, no, that's

Sunflower:

I think it was for my birthday.

Foxglove:

Coming up on a year on that one.

Iris:

And in your defense, you didn't start it right away because you were still in college. So...

Sunflower:

Yeah, it was like a fun treat for me for my graduation.

Sage:

And also like finding a space in the apartment to work on that uninterrupted is like... was a challenge.

Sunflower:

Is a challenge.

Sage:

Yeah, well, yeah, that's fair.

Sunflower:

Like I, it, it takes up all the space that I have it like my desk where I actually do my job working from home. So like, it has to be put away every day, and it's hard to like, take out a thing which takes a bunch of time. Anyway, drawing is really good because it has a bunch of colors. Colors are really good. And I've also found that likeI got an iPad for graduation present cuz my family's great. So I've been digitally drawing, which is less messy with less startup time, and that does hit the same like, ooh I did a creative thing today even though a lot of them I don't like, but even just like doing it and being like you know that's a tree! You would know that that's a tree. That I just made.

Sage:

They are identifiable trees, yes.

Sunflower:

Yeah. So like I'm big on that. I'm also a pretty avid reader. And I will say like, finishing books is like a real good

Foxglove:

Ooh, yeah.

Sunflower:

high for me?

Sage:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

Likewise.

Sage:

Wow, I can't believe no one else got to that.

Foxglove:

Yeah, no.

Sunflower:

We are, we are readers.

Foxglove:

Sun and I read semi constantly.

Sunflower:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

And you are absolutely right, it is the best.

Sunflower:

Iris, tell us about what you do for fun.

Iris:

I'm... I think my hobby is collecting hobbies. Because I love hobbies and I love doing a bunch of different things. So I'll just cycle between different hobbies. I've done embroidery. I've doneI love video games. Video games are always like an easy cycle back around to that. I even tried sewing for a while. If it's a craft, I've probably tried it.

Sage:

At some point, by the way, we need to put up on Instagram a shot of the embroidered pillow that you made because damn it is gorgeous.

Foxglove:

Yeah. I can't emphasize enough how much I personally will never be embroidering a pillowcase because that seemed aggravating. But. It's gorgeous.

Iris:

It was! You have to like, yeah, you have to hold your hands inside the pillow case the entire time because of course even though I own a sewing machine and could have sewed a pillow, I instead chose to buy a pillow that already existed for some reason that zipped up the back for some reason and then decided to put the design in a corner for some reason. And so that was a really long and tedious process. So I haven't embroidered since I made that really lovely pillow, but I'm gonna get back around to it again, because that's just one of my crafts.

Sage:

For listeners who can't see this, Iris is making hand gestures of physically inhabiting the pillowcase and it is very adorable.

Foxglove:

The tl;dr of it is that Iris stabbed herself a lot doing that.

Iris:

I did! It was really... it was just a lot but yeah, no, I reallyembroidery is probably my favorite craft that I've picked up because of the fact that it's just... it's so lovely and detail-oriented and small, and I like being able to embroider things that people who would want me to be like a proper young lady would be horrified by me embroidering, like curse words. Like 'Be gay do crime!'

Foxglove:

This is also why I do embroidery. You guys know my grandmother went to finishing school, right? She would hate me. I am so happy about it.

Sage:

Good.

Iris:

But um, but yeah, no, embroidery is really lovely, it's super cheap to pick up, which was really nice. And the projects that you can do can be like, super duper practical, super duper just like something you hang on the wall in an embroidery hoop, something that you give as a gift. It's just really versatile and you can make really small quick projects or you can do really big elaborate ones that take years. I saw somebody who embroidered an entire dress by hand, and it took them like a decade and it was beautiful.

Sage:

My God, it was incredible, though.

Iris:

Yeah, so I think it's a really cool thing, that's like kind of having a resurgence right now

Foxglove:

While we're all locked up inside.

Iris:

that I think is a really cool art form. Yeah, no, I think it's a really cool art form. But yeah, so I would say I'm a collector of hobbies, which is why I stayed quiet because I've probably tried all of the other hobbies that all of my partners do. Because I justI realized recently that I just like trying new things. So my hobby is trying new hobbies.

Foxglove:

You're so cute.

Iris:

And then cycling back to the ones that I actually was pretty good at.

Sunflower:

You know what's a hobby that I know we all do that we totally forgot about? Is also tarot.

Foxglove:

Oh yeah!

Iris:

Oh I do love tarot.

Foxglove:

I've done tarot since I was very wee.

Sage:

And you remain cursed from the first time you tried it?

Foxglove:

So, yeah, um, the relevant detail to this conversation is that my family used to live in a cult. We'll get into that later. But

Sunflower:

And that's just how the story starts!

Foxglove:

Yeah, um, anyway, short version is that someone started reading tarot for me when I was like eight months old. And then my parents left the cult when I was five-ish. Anyway, one of the very few things that I retained from it is that I do read a lot of tarot, and I sometimes read tarot for the whole group, and I really like doing that I think it's, I think it's a lot of fun, and I find it very soothing, and...

Sage:

You didn't tell anyone why you were cursed at it.

Foxglove:

Oh, um, yeah. So when I was eight months old, someone in the cult read tarot for me against my mother's very specific instructions. And they specifically, they pulled a bunch of Major Arcana and like, you know, royalty from the suits and stuff. But specifically, they pulled, they pulled the Tower for me, like for a self card, and I have pulled the Tower with freakish regularity ever since then. And it is, as far as I'm concerned, my permanent self card because every tarot deck I use is like, hey, would you like some chaos? And I'm like, no, actually, I'm good. Thank you for the, thank you for the offer, though. I'm good.

Iris:

They have multiple times, multiple times been like, oh, yeah, you know, the Tower is just kind of drawn to me and just cut a deck of cards and like the the fucking Tower has been there. And I've been like, yeah, that's just how you are as a person. That makes sense.

Sage:

I mean, it fits, unfortunately.

Foxglove:

Yeah it's um, it's a weird trick. It's a weird party trick to be able to pull out, to be able to just like, take a tarot deck, cut it in half and then like, pull the Tower off the top. But...

Sunflower:

Here Look, I found it.

Iris:

Yeah. And I think tarot is one of the things that we all enjoy doing together. And there are plenty of other hobbies that we all enjoy doing together. It would be really cool if we could talk about the difference between solo hobbies and sociable hobbies, bebecause I think they're both important.

Foxglove:

Both of them are good for your brain also.

Sunflower:

Yeah! Our, Iyeah, I'll talk about stuff. I don't know. We're all on this like whole, it's really great to have stuff that you do on your own that makes you happy without anybody else's input. Because it's great to have your own things outside of your relationship that you do that make you happy and bring you joy. And also, as Fox very eloquently put with some neurotransmitter talk and everything earlier, it's also really good to do things that make you happy around other people. And through doing random things and throwing some hobbies at a wall, the things that have stuck are mostly board games.

Foxglove:

Yeah.

Sunflower:

We play a LOT of board games!

Iris:

We do. And card games.

Sunflower:

And card games.

Sage:

We play Werewolf. We play...

Foxglove:

We play a lot of Werewolf. We play a lot of hidden rolehidden role games where like you are something and you lie to everyone about what you are.

Sage:

Yeah, we really like lying to each other don't we?

Foxglove:

We do!

Sage:

It's like, an interesting feature of our shared experience.

Iris:

It's because we're so painfully honest with each other all the time. And we have, we need to have a space for that like fun creative acting and lying.

Sage:

An outlet for our liar's instincts.

Iris:

Yes, exactly.

Foxglove:

Get the chaos out there so we can go back to being our normal, disgustingly functional selves.

Iris:

Exactly. Yeah. We, we really like games that involve like, murder mystery esque things like...

Sage:

Deception

Foxglove:

Deception. Deception in Hong Kong.

Iris:

Yeah. Deception in Hong Kong. That's a really good one that combines our love for hidden role games with our love for... well, Sun's love for true crime, primarily.

Sunflower:

My infinite love of true crime.

Sage:

Oh, and also games that involve stabbing each other in the back like Betrayl at the House on the Hill.

Foxglove:

We love that one.

Sunflower:

True.

Sage:

It's just 'At House on the Hill,' isn't it? Yeah.

Iris:

Yeah.

Sunflower:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

Sure. You said that confidently enough. I believe you.

Sunflower:

Yeah. And we also love that one because it's like, kind of hiddenit's kind of role playing game, but with more direction. So there's a lot less prep work.

Foxglove:

Yeah.

Sage:

The number of times that Fox has tried to kill us in that game.

Foxglove:

I constantly end up the traitor in betrayal. And it's delightful.

Iris:

It's a lot of fun.

Sage:

We beat you the last time, I was shocked!

Foxglove:

Yeah, one time I took over the world as an Ouroboros gfod. Last time I lost as basically Yog Sothoth from The Bifrost Incident.

Iris:

By The Mechanisms.

Sunflower:

That is an incredibly niche pull, guys.

Foxglove:

Yeah...

Sunflower:

Incredibly niche.

Foxglove:

All of my media references are very niche.

Sunflower:

Also, if you don't know who The Mechanisms are, maybe read the Wikipedia page first. And then listen to The Mechanisms.

Iris:

Yeah, they're a weird group, but we love them. And we also love tabletop RPGs. Tabletop role playing games, especially... Fox and I have a long history of playing them together since back in college.

Foxglove:

Yep.

Iris:

We started with Dungeons and Dragons. I specifically really liked to collect rule books and different systems of like more niche ones. I recently got a really cool one that combines my love for linguistics with my love for tabletop role playing games called Dialect.

Foxglove:

I like Dialect a lot.

Iris:

Super cool.

Foxglove:

Dialect was really fun.

Iris:

Yeah. They're doing really amazing work on like language preservation and like, talking about how languages die and stuff. Really cool group, please check them out.

Foxglove:

I DM a lot. I'm...

Sunflower:

You should use full words in case of non RPG players.

Foxglove:

Okay that's a fair point. In a D&D game, you have someone who's the Dungeon Master, and they're in charge of like, writing the story and playing all the NPCs. They're, they're, the video game, basically, to the player characters. And I do a lot of DMing because I am willing to do it. And also because I actually enjoy writing stories.

Iris:

You're a good storyteller.

Sage:

Bless you.

Foxglove:

Yeah. But mostly it's because the running joke is that everyone wants to play D&D, but no one wants to be the Dungeon Master.

Iris:

It's a lot of work.

Foxglove:

It is.

Iris:

Yeah, we've been having a lot of fun doing that sort of stuff. Some other things we all do together include... Sun and I especially love a co-op video game, especially a puzzle game. We're super into that. Or platformers, yeah. We really enjoy doing that. But generally, we all like to play couch co-op games together. Along the same line as like the true crime stuff, we really like murder boxes, like the murder mystery boxes that you get to solve a case. They also make a bunch of cool ones of like, escape the room or puzzles. We just started doing this recently. So I think these are gonna be like a new favorite hobby.

Foxglove:

I'm not gonna lie, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

Sage:

I was expecting the last one to last like... to like defy us for a little longer, but we just all the four of us sat down at a table and just cranked out the entire thing in one sitting and I'm honestly pretty damn proud of us.

Sunflower:

I do think it took us like, four hours. But we did do it.

Sage:

That's still one sitting. And I mean it's not like we didn't have breaks in there.

Iris:

And I'm pretty sure that's about how long a murder box is supposed to take.

Sunflower:

Yeah, um, yeah. Other

Iris:

Yeah, it's supposed to be like four to six hours. It's like a D&D session.

Sunflower:

Other cute domestic stuff we do is we often cook together.

Foxglove:

Yeah, we talked before about that as a date night thing, but that'sI would consider that also a hobby at this point.

Sage:

Absolutely.

Sunflower:

Yeah, like you have to eat anyway. But it's nice to like, spend some time with each other or like we'll wander in and out of the kitchen while somebody is cooking or like one person does prep work and like you have an assistant and then you have someone to talk to, which is really nice.

Iris:

Especially like elaborate meals, we tend to do those over the weekends rather than during the week.

Foxglove:

That's what I've done with my quarantine time period over the past several months is I've just gone out

Sage:

Surprising no one.

Foxglove:

and learned a bunch of really elaborate recipes where it's like, I'm going to take over the kitchen for all of Saturday. Everyone has to figure out their lunch in advance because you can't get in.

Sage:

All of your recipes for Indian foodyour, your scratch-made naan of justoh my God.

Foxglove:

I feel so victorious for figuring that out.

Sunflower:

Yeah. And also Sage and Iris bake together, and I'm really into it.

Foxglove:

Super cute.

Sage:

We need to make more cookies soon. Because we don't have enough sweet things.

Sunflower:

We should make more cookies today.

Iris:

We could do that.

Sage:

That's true, there's time.

Iris:

Yeah, we still never made that snickerdoodle cookie recipe that I really wanted to try. And we have all the ingredients for.

Sage:

Oh, sweet. Yeah, let's do it. Anyway, other hobbies that involve going outside that we haven't done for a while: going and exploring museums. We live in the city and have access to just a, an ungodly amount of museums, more museums than I have ever been in the same city as in my entire life. And there are still so many left to go.

Foxglove:

Our last group outing was to the Met. Was it not for that knight exhibit?

Sage:

Guggenheim or the Met?

Foxglove:

The

Sunflower:

We went to the Met for the

Foxglove:

The Last Kight, about Maximilian.

Sage:

Oh, that one! Yeah.

Foxglove:

I think that was the last time we like went anywhere as a group, and it was a long time ago now.

Sage:

Oh Lord.

Iris:

The last time we the three of us went someplace right before we all locked down. Sun, Fox and I went out and got tattoos. I don't think that's necessarily a hobby. But we do like to do a hobby.

Sage:

I think it qualifies as a hobby for y'all now.

Foxglove:

I would say so.

Iris:

Other domestic stuff that we do together. Reading aloud. We do like a storytime.

Foxglove:

Yeah I, we read out loud

Iris:

Read a book a chapter at a time.

Foxglove:

I'm currently reading my favorite obscure fantasy series to them one chapter at a time, which

Sage:

It's not going to be obscure anymore by the time you're finished blogging about it.

Foxglove:

I'm running a campaign.

Sunflower:

Do you want to drop the name and the author?

Foxglove:

Oh, yeah. My favorite series is The Chronicles of the Kencyrath by PC Hodgell. I also run another podcast about it.

Iris:

Do a plug!

Foxglove:

The Podcast Bound in Pale Leather, which I run with my mother. And it's real niche content guys. But it's a lot of fun to do. And so I've been reading those books out loud to my beautiful patient partners. And I likeI really like reading out loud though. So I appreciate you guys being willing to be an audience. I like it a lot.

Sunflower:

They're good books, we're not forced against our will.

Iris:

No, not at all.

Sage:

Do we want to talk about why shared hobbies are good? Because I have some thoughts.

Iris:

Yeah, go ahead, I think that would be a good way to tie a bow on this bit.

Foxglove:

Yeah, we talked a lot about the importance of like dates and spending time together. But I think hobbies that are like more casual are also really good.

Sage:

Yeah, I particularly like the extra understanding of everyone that I get from doing shared activities, especially with board games, especially things like hidden role games. I feel like I get to understand each of your just like, characters and your responses so much better. It justthe, I learn something new every time I get stabbed in the back and it is genuinely wonderful. Also, I don't think we covered this but there is a video game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes where you have to collectively band together to help person disarm a bomb. And theifthe ruthless efficiency that we have gotten to of getting through all of the challenges is kind of inspiring, honestly.

Iris:

It's a really good way to learn to communicate with a group of people. I highly recommend it to do it with your partner because it's a, you can do it just with two people. I also recommend it if you ever need to like, get a group of people on the same page for like a group project or something like that? Play this game. It makes you a brutally efficient communicator.

Foxglove:

I would say brutally efficient is the appropriate word choice there, yeah.

Sage:

Yeah.

Sunflower:

Also, this is a good one because you can play it digitally with a, like a computer, one side and a video chat open, because you're not supposed to be able to see the bomb anyway, only one person sees it. So. Distance things!

Iris:

Yeah! And any other thoughts on this? I have like one more tie it together thought?

Sunflower:

You have a bow?

Sage:

I have an individual hobbies thing, but not a collective hobbies thing.

Iris:

That's, that's fine, too.

Foxglove:

Yeah.

Sage:

Particularly, one of the reasons I really value hobbies is because I tend to get up in my own head too much for my own good. And having projects to work on really helps me like commit to thinking about something specific. And that along with making progress, it improves my mental state a lot. And I really value writing for that. Because the you know, as much as there's the whole initial struggle with like, there's a blank page in front of me, and I have to put something on and I don't know what it's going to be, making progress on a larger project, whether that's editing or writing something new, really helps me get out of that headspace and just produce something that I value. And on a similar note, like things like video games, or any of the other fun hobbies that we listed, like board games, just, they're the same thing. Like sometimes you just need a distraction you need to stop thinking about... whatever, you know, you do for work if that's if that's a struggle for you, or about...

Foxglove:

Whatever fresh crisis is happening?

Sage:

Yeah, any of thepick a, pick a crisis from the last year, honestly, it's, it's, it's valuable to be able to be distracted from that for a little while.

Iris:

Absolutely.

Sage:

And also, and this is the last thing I promise. I really like having individual hobbies because then we have stuff that we can all collectively come back and talk about, because we're saps and eat dinner together and stuff. And it's really cool to be able to be like, Hey, I have this exciting thing that I did today or learned today or made progress on and I always like all of the stuff that we bring to the table like that.

Iris:

Yeah, absolutely. I think the TL;DR is that you should go

Sunflower:

Yeah! out and get some hobbies, get some solo hobbies, get some hobbies you can share with other people, because I genuinely believe that hobbies are a part of being able to live joyfully. And I really want to, like, just put it out there that you should try to get rid of the notion that you have to be productive, and do, spend all of your time being productive or being an adult, because living joyfully is what makes life worth living. And hobbies I think is a part of that.

Sage:

That was

Sunflower:

Very cute. Jesus. Okay. All right.

Foxglove:

I think that's a good end of this, I think that's a good end of this bit! Musical interlude here.

Sunflower:

All right, friends. Now we're gonna try out a new segment called Fun Facts with Fox. And here are the rules. Each of us has prepared a topic for Fox to tell us about they have five minutes per topic before we move on to the next. And they have been able to prepare for each topic for accuracy, but most they already knew. First up is Sage's question. Sage?

Foxglove:

The OG fun fact that made it so that I was not allowed to give fun facts. Yeah.

Sage:

So, this is really kind of the question that started it all. This is the one where we made Foxwhere we required Fox to say 'fun fact' before relating anything that they considered a fun fact so we would know what we were in for

Iris:

To emotionally brace for whatever they're about to say.

Sage:

Yeah. So, um, Fox, tell us about horse fingers.

Foxglove:

Okay, so I think this fact is becoming increasingly common knowledge, which I'm delighted about because it's horrible, and I love it. Um, but I want to preface this with, first of all, any animal that you look at and think to yourself that it has quote unquote a 'backward knee' relative to how human knees work? That animal is probably walking on like, instead of a whole foot, they're probably walking on a fingertip or multiple fingertips depending on how many toes they have. Anyway, point is, the way horses specifically are designed because they are what's called an odd-toed ungulate, which means they only have one toe, their, their limbs are directly analogous to ours. But that was not common knowledge for a long time because of course, they don't have fingers. So what was discovered is that um, so the hoof bone which, fun fact, is called a coffin bone, like as in a casket. So a hoof bone is analogous to a fingertip. Theit's called a distal phalanges. You don't need to care about that. And then the, like, what's called a pastern bone which is right above the hoof is the first and second phalanges. So like proximal and medial phalanges. And then what's called the cannon bone is analogous to a metacarpal, or a metatarsal, which if you look at the back of your hand, the metacarpal is what spans from your first knuckle to your wrist. And the knee of a horse's foreleg fun fact is made of a bone called the carpus, which is one of the carpal bones in your wrist. And that's what you would look at and call a knee to yourself, if you were just looking at a horse without any expertise, the actual knee of a horse is further up the leg right up near their, right up near the body, because thethen they have, like, you know, the standard shit, radius ulna, humerus, etc, femur, tibia, whatever. Um, you know, bones. But the thing that I did

Sage:

You know, bones?

Foxglove:

The thing that I do really urgently want to share with you guys is that, um, so the way that a horse's four legs specifically is constructed, is that there's a cannon bone, which is again, analogous to a metatarsal, I'm sorry, a metacarpal because it's a four leg. I know what I'm talking about. Um, so a cannon bone is analogous to a metacarpal. And there's only one cannon bone, but there are split bones that are also metacarpals. So a horse's leg is essentially a middle finger with the pointer and ring finger to support the cannon bonehorse legs are very fragile, anyone who's ever dealt with a horse knows this. So it's, it's been known for some time that horses like technically have the, the core structure for like three fingers in their leg. But there is an embryonic phase of horse development where they have FIVE fingers, like it's a very brief phase, and it's pretty early on, but they do have like the full structure for five and the like outer two just kind of vanish at some point in there. And I'm just, it's, it's super, super cool. And anyway, the long story short of this is that a hoof, like what you would visualize on a horse as like the quote unquote foot is actually a fingertip bone, and is directly analogous to the very tip of your middle finger.

Sunflower:

That was beautiful and you still have a minute and 46 seconds left.

Foxglove:

Fuck yeah, I have a minute and 46 seconds left.

Sage:

So now everyone has to live with the knowledge that if they picture it right, they can just envision horses walking on four middle fingers

Foxglove:

That's correct. That's correct.

Sage:

instead of on four legs. And I wish I could rid myself of this knowledge. Thank you, Fox for this fun fact.

Foxglove:

Like I said, I think this is becoming increasingly common knowledge and I just, I love it so very much.

Iris:

I've just known this for so long, and hearing this ramble again, I still hate it.

Sunflower:

Yup, hate it just as much.

Sage:

Anyway, this is why we make Fox preface their facts with 'fun fact' so we can emotionally prepare ourselves.

Sunflower:

You just never know what's gonna come. Alright, Fox you ready for number two?

Foxglove:

Hell yeah, I'm ready for number two. Let's go.

Sunflower:

Could you tell us what cocaine was used for medicinally?

Foxglove:

Yes. Okay, so, um, I want to preface this with like, cocaine was originally isolated from a coca plant. Its actual, ooh, I'm gonna take a swing at this Latin name. Erythroxylum Coca?

Sage:

Sure.

Foxglove:

Believe me. Um, and it was originally used medicinally and as a stimulant, sort of recreationally by the indigenous people from where the plant was, is, was originally grown. And the thing that I really want to focus on is initially, on the one hand, it was used as a stimulant, sort of like coffee, like you, you would like chew the leaves and they would like, wake you up, they would kind of clear your head, like, you know, caffeine. But you could also

Sage:

I mean, but it's cocaine.

Foxglove:

Well, it's not cocaine yet, it's a coca plant, and that's an important difference. Um, and, but it could also be used as a topical anesthetic. So what you could do is you could like either, either like grind or chew or whatever, like render the leaves of the plant down into a paste, and then you could apply it to an injury and it would anesthetize the area. And so obviously a bunch of people discovered this. White folks, let's call a spade a spade real quick here. So a bunch of folks discovered this, and they were like, that seems pretty dope, let's try some shit out. Um, so then they started to like, try and fuck around with it and try and isolate it and figure out how to make it work better. Because that's what humans do when they find something interesting is you try to make it more of that thing. And so they isolated it in the 1800s. And then things got kind of weird.

Sage:

Story of the 1800s. And then things kind of weird.

Foxglove:

And then stuff got kind of weird. The anesthesia option was was really looked into a lot because it was, it worked really well as a topical anesthetic. This was after they had isolated it down into cocaine, which is now synthesized through a different method not directly from coca leaves. And specifically there was someone named Vasily von Anrep, who had like two jars of wof water and one had like salt water in it and one had like a cocaine salt dissolved into it. And then he had a live frog and he dipped one of the frog's legs in each and let it soak in the solutions for a little while and then he quote unquote 'stimulated the frog's legs in assorted ways.' That means he poked the frog with a needle. And discovered that one of the frog's legs that had been in the saltwater reacted normally and the other one that had been the cocaine didn't. There was also a guy named Carl Koller who decided to prove that it could be used for ophthalmology and applied a solution of cocaine salts to his own eyeball and then pricked it with a pin in front of a medical college to prove it worked as an anaesthesia. Anyway. This is why I check things ahead of time because I forgot Carl Koller's name.

Sage:

That's, yeah, I guess you would definitely remember the other thing.

Iris:

Thanks, I hate it!

Foxglove:

I know. Right. And it also, of course, people started to use it as cocaine like as cocaine. Um, you might be familiar with Sherlock Holmes, in the original Conan Doyle stories was known for a 7% solution of cocaine to like, quote, unquote, manage boredom. That was super common. It was just like available at drugstores, you could just fucking buy it. Coca Cola did have coca leaves soaked in it to extract the like original compound, not direct cocaine, they weren't putting direct cocaine in it. But that is why it's called Coca Cola. They had to take it out after the Pure Food and Drug Act in the early 1900s. That's not important. Additional Fun fact, they used cocaine to treat morphine addiction. So if you were addicted to morphine, your doctor would put you on an intravenous dose of cocaine holy. prescribed cocaine and you could buy it from a drugstore for real fucking cheap, and then you would use it to manage your fucking morphine addiction. The reason for this is that a bunch of doctors including motherfucker, Supremes, Sigmund Freud, had the official stance that cocaine was completely safe and had no ill effects whatsoever. And specifically, Freud's official stance was that it had no ill effects. It didn't have any after effects like a hangover like you might get from alcohol. It did not cause addiction. And he put out an entire work about this. He felt so strongly about this that Sigmund Freud put out an entire work called Uber coca. And it includes the description of cocaine cocaine's effect, that it was in no way different. I'm almost done. It was, quote, in no way different from the normal euphoria of a healthy person. And the reason that this is my very favorite thing is that I think it raises more acute questions about the mental health of Sigmund Freud than any other single sentence I've ever seen in my life.

Sunflower:

Nailed it. Eight seconds to spare,

Unknown:

it was perfect.

Iris:

I think we might need to shorten the amount of time you have to make it more stressful.

Sunflower:

We'll just shorten it by one minute. Every time we do this, like

Sage:

those are really traveling that like your manic energy. And I think it's very appropriate for particularly the side Well, yeah.

Sunflower:

Gotta say your meds are working now.

Foxglove:

Right? Yeah, my meds are working now.

Sunflower:

All right, ready?

Iris:

I'm ready.

Foxglove:

Let's do it. Let's go. All right. All right.

Iris:

So time to dip into some of our favorite queer history. light of my life. Jor joy of my days bane of my existence. Tell us about the pantless party.

Foxglove:

Okay, so for context for this, you need to know that a dude existed named Baron von stuben. You might recognize him as the guy who turned a bunch of jackasses in Valley Forge into a functional army. He was Prussian. That's all you need to know. Actually, you need to know one more thing. And that additional thing is that he was not exiled, but like, politely encouraged to leave at least a couple countries based on quote unquote, I'm like, Huh, actually, what's what's the phrase exactly a unseemly affection for his own sex. So like, I get it, I get it. Like it the the viewpoints of queer people have changed a lot over time periods like sex as action versus sex as identity very different. But this guy was gay. Let's just admit that real fast. And so he was brought into Valley Forge by George Washington to turn the American army into a functional unit because it was just a bunch of jackasses with muskets. And he was brought to Valley Forge in 1778. It was a horrible winter, everyone was miserable. And the thing that was kind of shocking was that this guy who spoke zero English, except for a handful of curse words, and had to be entirely translated for by a couple of assigned aides to camp. He was really popular with the troops because he was really likable and he like, was a soldier. He was a career military man and everyone like, recognized a certain amount of Kindred spiritedness. Also, there was a guy named Benjamin Walker, who upon meeting Baron von stuben stupid Yvonne Stevens comments on him was that it was like an angel had come down to earth. Walker stayed with him for the rest of his life and inherited his estate. That's a side story though. Anyway, so during the whole debacle that was the winter of 1778 into 1779. There advanced even decided that everyone needed a little bit of a morale pick me up. Um, and so he arranged for one of his other aides to camp one of the people he had brought with him because he of course showed up with like, Three pretty young men. Very heterosexually showed up with three pretty young men and then fell in love with the fourth. And so he had one of his aides to camp put out an announcement that he was inviting all of the young officers who were really struggling under the circumstances of the revolution to come to a party in his quarters because he had an actual cabin like this. This is also part of the whole like Valley Forge was a shit show and nobody was sleeping in good arrangements except for the higher ups. And so he was like, everyone can come to like my quarters, which are actually nice. I have good rations, you guys can like come and hang out criteria. Quote, none shall be admitted who does not have who has a whole pair of breeches, which is why this is colloquially known as the pantless party because you're not allowed to come in if you are wearing an intact pair of pants. So some people tore their pants, but cloth was kind of in short supply. So most people just took their pants off out the door and joined the party that way. The other thing that is really important to me, that people are aware of is that the people who were assigned to Baron von stuben as his translators and aides de Kamp, by George Washington were general Nathaniel Greene, who spoke French and therefore helps translate john Lawrence who did not speak French but was one of Washington's aides to camp and therefore was helping out. And Alexander Hamilton who spoke French helped translate and it was also one of Washington's aides to camp. The reason that this is important to me, that people know is that it matters enormously to me that people know that like we all sit around and pretend that the founding fathers were like serious adults who knew what the fuck they were doing and like, definitely 100% all three of those people were at this party. That's the end of my story.

Iris:

Wait, what about the word there? Something to do with shots?

Foxglove:

Oh, yes, actually, this. First of all, this was our country's first underwear party. This was also the first time at a party that we have a historical record in our in the country of America that flaming shots were served. We do not know exactly what they were but they were called salamanders at the time. And all we really know from the time about quote unquote salamanders is that that probably meant they were on fire. And also because as a superior officer von stuben would have been a very feet one of very few people with access to a large amount of alcohol, like a sufficient to throw a party. So anyway, there was there was like this one time during Valley Forge where like for morale, there was an underwear party with flaming shots,

Sage:

flaming shots, the only true patriotic drink.

Foxglove:

Honestly, as a side note, Baron Vaughn Stephen and his men showed up in red coats. And there is a anecdotal story that they were almost arrested at the port for being British, despite the fact that none of them spoke any English. credible.

Iris:

Thank you for that anecdote.

Sage:

I love to say genuinely Fun fact. Unlike

Iris:

a genuine fact.

Foxglove:

Yeah. I mean, I think the cocaine facts are also very fun. Yep. A frog and cocaine. Yeah, that is a fun fact. Different eyeballin cocaine.

Sage:

When you're when you're editing, please do not cut out this long sigh. Valid.

Iris:

Thank you. Yeah, so this has been fun facts with Fox. You can find more of these on our Patreon.

Foxglove:

Yeah, I um, you can also find more of these by being in my vicinity for more than an hour.

Sage:

Confirm. Yep. All right. We love you and your fun facts, even if some of them believe us scarred for life.

Foxglove:

I think they're all very fun. Discard is a little heavy handed.

Sage:

I would say that's debatable.

Sunflower:

I feel mildly mildly distressed.

Foxglove:

Horses are an evolutionary train wreck. And I they're very fun. cheetahs are basically slinkys. So like, it's not like horses are alone in this.

Sage:

Alright, you had your fun facts. You got to stop no more.

Iris:

Time to switch over to answering an audience question. Just as a reminder, you can send us questions via email at Quaple network@gmail.com. That's QU a PLE network@gmail.com or through any of our social medias or via Patreon. This week. Our question comes from Katherine, one of our first Patreon subscribers, which is very exciting. As a reminder, our Patreon Subscribers get bumped to the top of the question queue. So if you're a subscriber and you have a burning question, we'll get to you right off the bat. So Katherine's question is, it's hard to be in a relationship where one person or people have chronic pain and another person doesn't. How do you manage that? Now to level with you this is going to be a greatest hits of managing chronic pain because this is a big topic and we are almost certainly going to come back to it at a later date in more depth.

Foxglove:

We really are going to get back to this at a later date. Definitely because we sat around and talked about it and we ended up having like an hour long conversation. So specifically, we're going to focus on chronic pain in relationships today.

Iris:

Yeah, because we're going to talk about chronic pain but also disabilities more generally down the road. It's definitely going to be at least one main topic if not more, and if we get any Further audience questions, please feel free to submit them. However, a living with chronic pain, Fox, do you want to set it off?

Foxglove:

So for a little bit of stage dressing as it were, Iris and I both have what I would classify as physical disabilities. Yeah, I have a hypermobility disorder that affects a lot of my connective tissue and can cause me It tends to cause me pain all the time. And in addition to that has some various other fringe problems. I'm wearing a sling right now because I closed a window and something cracked really loudly in my shoulder and it hurt a lot. And that's, that's pretty common for me. Iris, do you want to talk a little bit about yours? Yeah, absolutely. So

Iris:

um, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at seven years old. So I've been

Foxglove:

Oh, there's an actual name for my disorder. It's Ehlers danlos Syndrome. Sorry, I forgot.

Iris:

Yeah, so I've been living with chronic pain since I was seven. Somewhere in there, I eventually got a Fibromyalgia diagnosis tacked on, especially once my my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis went more into remission. So that's mostly what I deal with now is just that like, kind of systemic chronic pain. And both Fox and I deal with these disabilities that also fall into the category of not just chronic pain, but also invisible disabilities, which, unfortunately, a lot of chronic pain you can't see. Yeah, so yeah, we have some strategies for how to navigate, both have like having these disabilities but also, like navigating your relationships and your partnerships with with these

Foxglove:

because I mean, to be blunt, it can be hard to like navigate the initial phases of a relationship, like if someone is not used to working around someone who has chronic pain, like those initial phases can be kind of Rocky. And like, I think there's a lot to be said for like a high degree of honesty and compassion and patience from all parties initially, as everyone involved kind of learns a new language. Yeah, I think is the way I would put that

Sage:

there was definitely, yeah, there was definitely a learning curve for me, as well, because Iris and I worked together for a pretty long time before I knew anything about your disability. So I was used to assigning you to lift heavy items or be on your feet all day, sometimes for multiple shifts, because that was just kind of the situation that we were in at the time food

Foxglove:

service. And

Sage:

then when we became better friends, and eventually became partners, I learned that this was something that you had been facing literally the entire time. And I had to radically recalibrate my just assessment of you as a person, and like what you were

Sunflower:

like what's safe for you to do? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Iris:

Definitely

Sage:

a good way to sum it up.

Foxglove:

And son, you did you want to talk, because you have kind of a different situation than like, here's like, my base level of pain. And I go up from there where you tend to have flare ups instead.

Sunflower:

Yeah, I have a slightly different thing. Because I don't really live with pain on a day to day basis. It's more like flare ups and different stuff. I have endometriosis, which is super fun in every way. And it's relatively managed on a day to day basis. But I do have cysts that happened randomly at will, because whatever, this got away from me, but I also like have like three to seven days out of each month that are incredibly uncomfortable and can sometimes be immobilizing. it but it really like depends. So mine really ticked me off guard. So it's a little different from like, yeah, like Fox and Iris like wake up every morning with pain. And I get surprised. So which is really fun.

Foxglove:

Yeah, there's pros and cons to both of those.

Iris:

Yeah, the universe just decides to punch you in the face.

Foxglove:

On the one hand, it's easier to learn to ignore it if it's there all the time. On the other hand, having days where I wasn't in pain sounds nice.

Sunflower:

Yeah, exactly. So like they're very different things. But I definitely think like, the big thing that I've learned is like, I know how to take care of myself and I know what I need. But the most important part of like living with people who have chronic pain is starting to get to know what their like, easy. First three things are when they're in a lot of pain. So like if they're really feeling bad in the morning, it's like oh, have you tried like your tea that makes you feel a little better? Have you? Do you want your heating pack? Do you want me to throw that microwave for you? Is there like a food that would make you happy today? Like what what can I do to like help support you in like, making you feel better faster?

Iris:

Yeah. And I think a big part of being a partner who lives with chronic pain is learning how to be honest about it and learning how to communicate effectively. Because like Sage said, we'd known each other for a really long time before he knew that I had disabilities at all. And part of is it's a very common thing. And it's very understandable that some folks with disabilities who have the ability to hide it, because it's invisible, choose to hide it because there's a huge stigma against it. And you might not be promoted, you might not get that job. And like, I'm really in a place where I consider it to be a huge privilege that I'm able to be out as disabled at work right now. And that's something that I do a lot of advocacy around. But because of that, you might have a partner who, or a friend or a, or a partner or something who might come into it, and not know anything about disabilities or might not even know that you're disabled. And there's a lot of learning that needs to be done there. But also, everybody needs to unlearn internalized ableism. It's just a part of our society. And even as a disabled person, there's a lot of work to be done to like, learn how to climb out from that. Because it's hard. It's hard every day.

Foxglove:

Yeah, especially since I how do I want to put this, I've always had chronic pain issues and joint problems and stuff like that. I didn't realize that was a typical until probably about four years ago. And so for a really extended period of time, I worked really hard to be compassionate with the people around me. But I was really, really hard. I was like brutally hard on myself. For most of college. My my strict policy was, if I wasn't running a fever or to injured to walk, I was going to class, I think I missed maybe two days of classes per semester, through my entire college career absolute maximum, including every illness, every injury, every time I passed out all of it, I also faint a lot because of my disorder. So that meant that, especially after I got to a point where I couldn't just sort of ignore my disability away anymore, I used to work as an EMT. And I'm sure it's shocked to hear that working as an EMT with joints that don't work, I hurt myself a lot really badly. And I'm probably not ever going to be as healthy as I was before I started that job again. And like once I was in that position where I had to pay attention to things, it was really hard for me to learn to be honest with the people around me about being in pain, because I was used to ignoring it. And I was used to pretending that it was fine. And so like, that is I would say the predominant responsibility of like a person who has chronic pain, it's that you can't expect someone to read your mind. You can't expect them to Intuit that the reason you're struggling to like do dishes today is because standing hurts. And like On the flip side, it's the responsibility of a person who doesn't have chronic pain and has a partner who's learning to tell them that to like, be compassionate and work hard to like deal with that internalized ableism response of like, well, but you know, you said you do this chore or like you have to like pull equal weight in the household or whatever. And like taking time on both sides to really kind of sit with that response and like learn to get around it. I still guilt trip myself all the time for when I'm like, I can't do any more work today, because I can't sit up. Those are hard things to learn to admit. And you have to learn to admit them because the people around you can't read your mind.

Sage:

Yeah, one of the hardest things for me since I met all of my partners in the service industry, is undoing all of the bullshit that the service industry teaches you about working through the pain, which is just, you know, a more extreme variation on what all of society does, which is if you are not feeling great, you work through it, because that's what you do you work for the capitalist overlords until you die. And you're

Foxglove:

really failed. But

Sage:

don't ask me that. Yeah, the the amount of ableism that I've internalized and had to unlearn over the past weeks and months, and that I'm still dealing with is staggering. I mean, like, in addition to the fact that both Fox and IRS have disabilities, Iris, you got hit by a fucking truck, and we're at work. Like two days later, I got into a car accident and came back to work two days later, like, people shouldn't be expected to do that. And it makes me genuinely angry, that we live in a society and work in have worked in workplaces that just don't see disabilities as a valid, a valid thing at all, and that aren't accommodated and aren't even acknowledged in most cases.

Iris:

Absolutely.

Sunflower:

I think it's also important to say like people who live with a high degree of pain too. It's also like, we have to give leeway to other people who are also in pain, because it makes you you know, like the ableism around us in our capitalist society and all of these things and also sometimes your parents make you really like jaded, you know, and they'll tell you like your pain is normal. That's a standard every person thing and like not everyone handles pain the same way. And like you can't know what another person is going through. And like, yeah, it also doesn't matter if they're not in as much pain as you It might be debilitating for them. And like that just is what it is.

Foxglove:

Yeah, the impulse to compare pain, I think is a really important thing to avoid. If you're someone who lives with chronic pain or if you if you have a loved one who lives with chronic pain, because like a, if you are in pain all the time, then obviously your pain threshold is going to be different. And it's important to be compassionate to the fact that someone else not being in pain all the time is a good thing.

Iris:

Yeah, yeah.

Foxglove:

I understand that it can be sometimes hard to deal with, but it is a good thing. And you should want that for your loved ones. Absolutely. But on the other hand, like I think that one of the things that I as a medical professional before I had to like actually learn to talk about this about my own physical health. One of the things I learned to ask people as a medical professional was like, Are you in a lot of pain for you? Like what what is your pain tolerance, like because like, my pain tolerance is insane. You can do whatever you want to me and I'll be able to sit there and take it so like, you know, if a doctor is like, this is gonna hurt a little I'll be like, okay, and like, it's important to be able to ask people who you know, are in pain a lot, like, okay, you're saying you're in a lot of pain, I need you to be a little bit more descriptive, because like your pain tolerance is really high. Absolutely.

Sage:

One of the things that ended up affecting me is that a few years back, I slipped while I was still in college, I slipped on ice and went down really bad on one knee. And one of the terrible ways that ableism fucked me up because I was like, Okay, this hurts a little bit. But like, I can still walk, and it ended up I probably broke something. And I still live with that injury. And it's not that bad. Like, it's not debilitating, but like, you better fucking believe I noticed that on a day to day basis. And I wish I'd gone and seen someone I wish I'd taken it seriously. And I society can just do so much better at Yeah, believing pain is a thing and acknowledging and accommodate I'm

Foxglove:

obligated mentioned here of the fact that we all grew up in the American healthcare system. And so ongoing problem until literally this calendar year, when I'm 23 years old, I have never had good enough health insurance to deal with any chronic health problems. And so like obligate mentioned, or the fact that the United States health system really fucking just the cherry on top of this whole ablest Sunday,

Sage:

us, America give us that sweet, sweet single payer,

Foxglove:

I would take anything, I would take a government option, baby steps, I'll do

Iris:

anything. And I just want to pull this back around to managing chronic pain within relationships real quick. So here are irises top three tips for chronic pain in relationships. One, which we've covered a lot is dealing with, and I'm learning internalized ableism. And just working on that with patients compassion and understanding.

Foxglove:

Try not to crucify yourself

Iris:

yet with yourself and with your, with your partners to learn about fluctuating capacity. This is something that my therapist taught me and that I've been working on really continuously for the last, I don't know, six months, I can commit to doing something today on a good pain day that I won't be able to do tomorrow on a bad pain day. And everybody to a certain extent has fluctuating capacity, we all have good days and bad days. That's especially the case with chronic pain. So you have to learn how to understand what your capacity looks like. And also learn what things are able to be dropped, and what things are absolute necessities to get done. And just figure out and dial in, on what you can commit to and what you aren't able to commit to. And I especially want to highlight the fact that like, this is something that's really hard, and is something that like is a continuous work in progress. I'm a yes person. I always want to do everything for everyone all the time. So a big part of me learning about fluctuating capacity is me learning to say no, sometimes on my good days, so that I have more spoons and more capacity on my bad days.

Foxglove:

And I think that's really important in a relationship because I mean, like I mentioned this earlier, but if you have chronic pain, and that means that for example, on a bad pain day, you can't stand long enough to do the dishes or like I do all of our audio editing, if there's a day where I can't sit, because my back is too messed up. It can be really hard and scary to learn to tell your partner that or partners because it feels like they're going to be angry at you for letting them down and for like expecting them to do everything for you because like you're a delicate wilting flower. And it's easy to get into that headspace and I think it's what you're not you're not a delicate Well, you're not prefaced with that. But it it's so important to be able to have an explicit conversation with your partners about that fear. Like I said, Straight up. Remember when we started talking about doing this podcast, I sat everyone down and I was like, there are days where I can't sit at a desk, and I can't really stand I have to lie down because like, something is just wrong with x joint, and I just can't I, I can't handle how much pain I'm in if I do XYZ thing. And like, I'm really scared that you guys are gonna be upset with me if I feel like I can't work and I'm letting you down. And like being able to have that conversation and be honest about it was really terrifying from my angle. But like, it meant that we're all operating on the same page. And we're all operating with this, like, understanding of they want me to be okay, like everyone is working toward the same goal. And that means that some days, some people do more. And some days those people do less and like that's okay. And being able to discuss the concept of fluctuating capacity with the people you love. And making sure that everyone is on the same page is like absolutely fucking crucial to like having a relationship while you have chronic pain. 100%. Would you guys say that's accurate?

Iris:

Yes. Oh, yeah. And then I have one more tip, if you live with chronic pain and want to figure out how to navigate your relationship with your partners and chronic pain. It's learn how to do the real kind of self care which what I'm talking about with that is there's like multiple different kinds of self care. And one of them is like the industry of self care that's very like commercialized and it's all about like spa days, and treat yourself and all those different things. And listen, that can be really enjoyable, really good for you and really fun sometimes. But there's also this like, real digging deep type of self care. That's the hard stuff, the unpretty stuff, the stuff that's like, okay, I am going to learn to take my pain medication, before I start feeling really bad. Or I'm going to learn how to

Foxglove:

put on a brace before I actually do something stupid.

Iris:

Yeah, I'm going to learn to turn off the TV because blue like a half hour earlier, because then I can get to sleep. And sleep is really important for my chronic pain not flaring up, or whatever it is that literally helps your physical and mental health and well being is frequently not pretty. But it is really important. And it's important to learn how to do that for yourself, but also to learn how to communicate those things to your partners and communicate the things that they can do to help because of course, they love you. They want to be able to help and they can't fix your chronic pain. So giving them little things they can latch on to that they can do when they know you're in pain. Like Yeah, you're in pain. You're you shouldn't be getting up and walking over to the microwave and standing there for three minutes. Will your heating pack is new. So like I struggled to let people do

Foxglove:

things for me. This is a challenge personally. Yeah, but

Sage:

we're adding you. Yeah,

Foxglove:

the others are like hey, do you wanna? Do you wanna heating pack? Yeah.

Sage:

We want you know, to her.

Iris:

Yeah, so like Sunset at the beginning. It's learning how to do the like learning how to communicate those things to your partner of Yeah, they can heat up the water for tea for you, they can put like, get you an ice pack. They can get you your brace that those little things matter a lot in a relationship with somebody with chronic pain. And learning how to take care of yourself is also learning how to teach the people around you how to take care of you as well. And there's no shame in that sounds like a good stopping point. I'm sorry, one more thing. I have one more thing to like just No, but that was your three. You said three. I said three. It's not another tip. It's just like a PSA. For if you're a person living with chronic pain, living with any disabilities of any kind, from one disabled person to another, please know you're not lazy, you're not a burden. And you deserve to have your pain taken seriously, especially by your partners and your loved ones.

Foxglove:

I would say that last one is the key. Yeah. As a person with chronic pain, it's important that you take your own pain seriously because it will mean that your partners take your pain seriously.

Iris:

Yeah. So just like you're doing a great job. We love you. We're very

Foxglove:

proud of you doing a great job,

Sunflower:

take some Advil and get a heating pack. And I'm not actually I'm

Foxglove:

gonna On that note, I'm gonna put ice on my shoulder.

Iris:

Now we can tie it up so I just wanted to do that little PSA.

Sunflower:

Yeah,

Sage:

cool. All right, that's been us the cool as always a big thank you to Molly of geography for the use of her song honey hockey bloom for our music comm Find us on Twitter or Instagram at at wr underscore podcast, on Tumblr at copple dash network or even by email at Quaple network@gmail.com. Toss us a question or an advice topic. We love hearing from you. And of course go ahead and check out our Patreon at the at wr podcast. If you want to tip Fox for editing work. If you love our podcast, please share with your friends and leave a comment wherever you listen. And as always remember, we believe in you

Iris:

Hi