Welcome to The Zebra Pit, formerly the Disability Depot! I’m Capricious Lestrange and I’m thrilled you stopped by to see what we might have to offer you. I initially started this blog with the main purpose of sharing tips and tricks on how to get along living with a chronic illness that forces one to live a mostly home-bound life, but I’ve found my focus to truly lie with becoming well enough to not have to live that life anymore. To that end, what I share here are the things I’ve found that are making that possible. I do this because what’s made me well is generally what I’ve learned from other people with the same conditions as myself and I want to pay it forward.
To that end, I primarily blog about the latest health information available on my conditions (listed below), share my experiences with various successes and failures with therapies, be they medicinal or mechanical, dietary changes, lifestyle changes and more. I’ve also blogged quite a bit about my experience with attempting to work a part-time job while on disability and what it’s like returning to work on SSDI, regularly post low FODMAP recipes, and share my entire supplement protocol, along with how to create your own to maximize your health.
It’s been a long road. Some of the things I have written no longer hold true for me, as the last two years have been full of exciting, positive changes and new discoveries, including the fact that after 17 years of searching, I finally have an official diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome! For several years, I had a primary diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), as they call it here in the U.S., but that’s all changed, thanks to finally finding a doctor who knows her stuff and how to properly diagnose EDS. While I do appear to have ME/CFS, it’s secondary to, and was caused by, my EDS. Of course, you can read more about that in my blog. My other diagnoses include Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which is more correctly stated is actually an inability to process carbohydrates and most likely the early stages of gastroparesis), Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines w/auras, POTS and MCAS. A couple of these things I’m still working on getting diagnosed.
In 2016, I was still bedridden a good portion of the time due to the severity of my POTS and my migraines, but thanks to many of the changes I’ve made to my diet, supplement protocols and new therapies I’m trying, I’m able to enjoy most of my time upright and out of bed, even spending several hours a week being active!
In my former life I was a teacher, poet and writer. I am unable to perform these tasks now due to the fatigue, migraines, anxiety and cognitive impairments my illnesses cause, but I hope to someday return to writing and poetry and I greatly enjoy the writing I do here. I do have to be very careful about how much I do, so my publication can be a bit sporadic. Bear with me, please.
I was also a very inquisitive, active person and I suppose that still comes out in its own way. I consider myself a lifelong learner and took a lot of classes. When possible, I still enjoy going to see plays, movies, opera, museums of all kinds and a few sporting events (mostly football, love the game). I used to love to travel and still dabble in photography though I don’t have anything more than my cellphone with which to take pictures anymore. On occasion, I do a pitiful job of dabbling in visual art, but it’s more for relaxation and self-expression for me than anything else. It’s a particular challenge with having poor motor control, but I suppose that’s part of what gives me the freedom to be okay with making mistakes despite my type-A personality.
My hope for this blog is that it will bring others the health and happiness that the things within have brought me. Some things may seem overly simplistic, others too complex, but all have proven to work quite well for myself and others and so I share them with you. May your travels be lightened by them!
In January, 2018, The Zebra Pit was nominated for a Liebster Award! We’re proud to have been nominated and hope it speaks to the quality work we’ve been doing. You can read more about the Liebster Award here, and see who we nominated in turn.
P.s. I call myself Capricious Lestrange because when I was studying vocabulary for the graduate exam with my ex, she read the definition for Capricious; inclined to change one’s mind, and added “that’s you!” I was offended at the time. I didn’t make the connection until many years later that the reason this was true was because I always had big dreams and since I’m emotive I always spoke them out loud, but often had to scale back or give up on those big dreams because the realities of my own limitations would soon set in. I’m also not exactly the conventional sort, so I came up with the pseudonym “Capricious Lestrange” because I feel the chronically ill are probably all looked at this way to some degree (and yes, it’s a tip of the hat to the Harry Potter Character Bellatrix Lestrange, who I may somewhat resemble on a really high anxiety day!). We’re all forced to make constant concessions because of our illness and often seem strange to “healthy” people for our “choices.” This moniker seemed to say it all.