seventhe: (Cock: GIANT COCKFISTING)

Based on this, let's see how we did in January... For context, in January, I:
* Dealt with furnace break and repair for about 5 days
* Babysat my niece from a Thursday night to the next Monday morning
* Went to Pittsburgh with my partner to marry two of my best friends
* Got knocked on my ass for 2 days by a surprise sinus infection
* went through an absolutely horrible HR-centric clusterfuck which ended in having to terminate a previously (technically) excellent employee, which was draining

So, as much as I may not want to admit it, I didn't have as much weekend time as I would have liked. But also, I let things slip.

Let's see....

  1. Health:

    • I didn't make it to the gym at all. I meant to, but it did not happen. I need to make myself a true workout plan and stick to it.
    • I did actually eat pretty healthy (except that weekend in Pittsburgh where I said my words over lemon drop shots and we signed their marriage license making sure there was a nice beer ring on the paper) with food at home - not packing lunches yet. Also, I did clean out my fridge and pantry.
    • not sure on weight -- I had lost 5 lb, and then this morning I'd gained 5 -- I did just put my NuvaRing back in, so it may be hormonal water holding.
    • My dr and I have added a medication to my fibromyalgia treatment package (so I am now on Cymbalta, Lyrica, buproprion, buspirone, Mobic, and trazodone) and I have adjusted my supplement regimen so that I'm focusing on boosting my immune system which is at what may be an all-time low. I had the med adjustment period, but I am hopeful.
  2. Writing: I'm at 1/52 for the prompts (should be at 5/52). I did write two pieces for prompt #1 though?

  3. Art: I'm at 14/365 (should be at 31/365). It actually surprises me that I've done 14, although probably only 25% of them have been anything above the layer of crap. However, it means I should be able to do >0 arts this year - maybe I can keep up with it?

  4. Home: I haven't done this well. Although I did get the fucking furnace fixed; it's great when I can surprise the repairman because shock, I'm an engineer, and while I wouldn't necessarily start pulling out wires inside my furnace panel, I certainly know what a draft inducer blower is, and that it should not have water in it

  5. Mental: I've done OK in letting hobbies be chores. With this new medication plan I'm going through the grieving process of believing I would ever be a healthy, able-bodied person again.

  6. Work: I am taking huge steps in making it clear where my line is between assisting on a project and completing action items for it. I also had the awful situation I outlined above, which will be saved for another post.

  7. F&F: I saw my niece, and went to Pittsburgh to visit (marry) friends - with my partner, and we had an absolutely fantastic time with each other. I did ask him for support when I needed it while going through the horrible HR fiasco, and we talked a bit about where boundaries might be.

Rather than setting firm goals for February, instead I want to just pick three areas to focus in:

  1. GET TO THE GYM. THERE'S ONE RIGHT UP THE ROAD IN A DIFFERENT BUILDING ON THE WORK CAMPUS.
  2. Uncluttering. Laundry / clothes to donate is a big area of shame right now.
  3. Make up some ground on my art & writing commitments.

[EDIT] ok so I really like Markdown but there's something funny about this version of it that's making me mad

update

Feb. 8th, 2016 10:21 am
seventhe: Sev plays FFIII. (Oh. Okay.) (Refia: oh. okay.)
on Friday 22 January I had laser eye surgery: PRK, which is different than LASIK. Much grosser and longer recovery time.

I'm now in week 3 and everything is still blurry. I can manage to drive to places I already know, aka don't have to read street signs (grocery, wine store, work) and I've driven once at night. The computer screen is readable, but has a sort of haze over it that makes it tricky to work with.

I'm incredibly frustrated even though all things point to normal. I am not patience.

and that's where I've been.
seventhe: (Ondore: he lies)

So over my brief microsabbatical I decided on a list of things I want to get done by the end of the year: thus, New Year's Resolutions, in reverse, ie my resolution is to have this done before the new year. See? Get it? It's like I'm clever instead of backwards and wrong!

  1. Get Healthy [metric: exercise 3+/wk; lose 10+ lb]
    Content note / Note this: being healthy and losing weight are not always the same thing! Health has a unique meaning to every individual body!
    That being said: for me getting healthy and knocking off weight go hand-in-hand at this point in time. From May-September I ate poorly, rested poorly, drank too much, drowned in stress, and had no time or motivation to work out at all. That plus medication changes has resulted in what is, for my body, unhealthy poundage.
    I miss swimming. I miss yoga. I don't miss running, fuck running, but I miss being able to run I guess? I miss punching my bag. I want to have Korra arms. And I have, quite reasonably, 10-20 lb I could lose before being even close to "danger". (Trust me, I'm a Taurus; we don't diet.)
    This is something I can make happen by 01 Jan 2016.

  2. Inhabitable basement [metric: obvious]
    Right now the basement is storage, which is part of what basements are for, but mine opens up to my patio (and grill, and fire chimney) and has a nice little area by the windows where friends could sit and drink wine and grill things. I've two drum sets in my basement and my keyboard, all of which I have been missing desperately. (I miss music! I dream about pianos.) My workout area is functional, but not at all welcoming. My laundry area could use some sprucing.
    Much of the storage is related to the above, which means I just need to sort it and work through it. A good part, however, is my grandmother's stuff. She finally passed away in August (I am not sure I even mentioned it here; I was too broken by it to do so) and I do not mind storing her things forever but need to go through them and decide which way makes sense.
    This is, also, quite doable by 2016, and having those areas back in my life will please me immensely.

  3. Shame room --> Craft room [metric: obvious]
    I want to turn my spare bedroom into a crafting room, to house sewing / knitting / beading / anything else I may start doing. Right now it's a shameful repository of clothes-to-be-donated and a few boxes from moving (not original boxes - these were empty boxes that were repacked with "shit i do not want to deal with rn" and hidden).

  4. Plan for the greatroom [metric: having an estimate / loan]
    I have plans in my head to redo my entire greatroom, which started with my neverending desire to replace the horribly stained carpet in there and grew into a really, really epic floor plan. I need to get it from my head onto the page, then find a contractor who can give me estimates on time / cost to make it happen. Why not? Houses are investments, and my cafe-bar thing will be incredible.

  5. Work-Life Balance [metric: ???]
    I need to prove to myself that I can, in fact, work the kind of job that pushes all of my success buttons without killing myself. The next 3 months will be busy, as always, but not deadly, so it's time to fucking do it. I still don't know how to make a metric for this; maybe I can use success on the other Resolution points, because they won't happen if I continue to use my energy on work.

  6. Mental Peace [metric: ???]
    I went back through some journal entries and I've been in a massive depression funk since early 2014. That's too long. It has started to severely affect my health and my job. I need to attack this. I realize depressions don't "go away" but I haven't tried anything really and I at least deserve an effort.

  7. Write Again [metric: get some word count] No real comments. I just miss writing.

I stopped there, since there are really only 3 months left in the year, and they will contain not only the major hols of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but also the birth of my newest niece or nephew, so I'm well aware that this is a lot to do in that time frame. (Obviously they won't need to be complete, but I work better with deadlines, even self-imposed ones. Better to not let myself cheat.)

There. Public posting makes it real, right?

painful

Mar. 17th, 2014 08:42 am
seventhe: (SAZH)
Can we. please. have. mostly-constant. temperatures. More than five days in a row.

Lady Fibromyalgia-Arthritis Johnson thanks you.


In other nonsensible news, I may be considering signing up for a triathlon. A baby triathlon - sprint triathlon category: swim 0.5 mi, bike 15 mi, run 3.1 mi. I don't know why the prospect is so appealing -- it isn't like this body is running low on pain and exhaustion and thus has to pick up some more at the triathlon training store. This is a good idea, Sev, said no one. However, the thought of doing something stupid and violent appeals to me. It's cool.
seventhe: (Burger King: In the butt!)
Since I use this as a medical journal / history sometimes, I figured I would drop this in: yesterday my neck locked up again.

I realized that it hasn't done that - the thing where it actually locks and I can't move my head more than a few degrees on any plane of rotation, in addition to the stabbing pain - for almost a year, I think, so maybe those cortisone shots actually did something. However, no peace lasts forever.

I had to take the day off - which sounds more exciting than it really is, since I couldn't really do much (since I can't move) and I've now got a pile of things that need doing here - but today at least I can move, so I'm back at work.
seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
This just in: still alive.

I'm not even going to get into work here because the things people have done to me and the things I have done to people in the last six weeks belong in a horror film. One about fire and brimstone and lots and lots of swears.

More importantly, I finally got in to see the rheumatologist. I'd delayed calling because I am a busy and forgetful fuck, and then when I called there was a 6-8 week lead time on appointments, but I've finally been in to see an expert. Diagnosis re-confirmed, it's fibromyalgia. There's also some general autoimmune-disease stuff going on in there, but Fibro is an absolute.

(With fibro, there are these "trigger tender points" that are part of the diagnosis process: for people with fibro there are certain points on the body where the nerves are hypersensitive, so a normal touch feels like someone punching you directly on a bruise. Things I wasn't prepared for. The doctor was doing his check-over and hit the one on the knee and I screamed. I've always just thought bodies were sensitive there. Things I wish I'd known years ago.)

So I'm being taken off the escitalopram (anxiety med) and put on Cymbalta. The Cymbalta should be able to take the place of the Lexapro with regards to anxiety, and additionally will help deal with the fibro pain and sensations. I do get to keep my trazodone -- you can pry that sleeping pill from my cold dead fingers.

I'm on a starter dose for now, which will be increased if/as needed, and if Cymbalta doesn't work Lyrica's next.

As part of the prescription, I've also been "prescribed" exercise. The doctor says that mild (no strenuous weightlifting or sprinting intervals) exercise will help the fibro and, even though it hurts, will also help the Cymbalta work -- basically adding some exercise activity will give the drug the best chance to be effective as time goes on. As I would really like (one of) these drugs to be successful, I'm going to go back to the gym and just be gentle with myself until/as the drugs start to work, and then go from there. I'm thinking of restarting yoga in addition to that.

I am sure it won't be easy, and adding something else to my to-do list and daily schedule is moving in the absolute wrong direction, but I'm at the point where I've needed a reminder that my health is important even though it's complicated to care for.
seventhe: (Rosa/Rydia: duality)
  • Apparently my new sleeping pills work so well that this week I've managed to pull my flat sheet out of the bed/mattress entirely; it sort of flops out from under my blanket and comforter (neither of which I need in Ohio's quest to become Louisiana) like a sad detached piece of fabric, drooping towards the floor and doing me absolutely no good at all. I am not complaining; I am not sure I have ever slept this well in my life. Is this how everyone sleeps? I am so envious - and so happy to be getting there via drug :D

  • My first three days in the new job have been... incredible. I mean that in a good way and a bad way. Each day has actually been packed with the feeling of being productive: being useful, being effective, being efficient; I'm already making small changes and contributing to things in a way I think we've needed for a very long time. I love that part. That being said: I've already got two HR issues - one being one of my guys; one being someone not technically under me but as it relates to something I need to sign off on, it's also mine - and I've spent the past three days literally not having more than 15 mins uninterrupted at my desk (in my new! office!!!!!!) between phone calls and visitors and meetings, oh god the meetings, and shit I have to take care of and deal with and uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.
    I get the feeling that this job will be much more exhausting and much more fulfilling than my old job. Thank the lord I have sleeping pills. I cannot imagine taking this shit on with insomnia.

  • I went to PT today and then went for a 30min run/walk at the gym. Spoiler alert: That is too much activity when your body ain't used to doing anything. My neck and back hurt from PT; my legs hurt from running and I am tired as hell. (my body is crying, druuuuuuuuuuuuuug me) I am so fucking goddamn out of shape. :( I love the fact that I can get in the pool and swim for 30 mins and get out of the pool raring for more, saying to myself, "You shouldn't overdo it, ~1300 yards in 30mins is a good workout, don't break yourself further, take it easy" -- and I cannot run more than, like, 5 mins without needing a walking break. I now run like an 80-year-old woman. Hello, I would like to return this body and upgrade to a newer model, please.

  • Have I mentioned I love my night pills? I love my night pills.

  • In the last ~month I have been both home and home on time less than 50% of the days: it's more like 33%. I am so sick of people. Next weekend I may lock myself in the basement and not come out.

  • Happy 4th of July, American yos. Enjoy some awesome fucking fireworks.
seventhe: (Ondore: he lies)
This has been a particularly busy and interesting day. I had one simple checkup this morning but it blossomed into an all-day medical ~extravaganza~ ( /rupaul voice) that I'm simultaneously hopeful about, exhausted from, and dreading the slew of medical bills.

Today I had a checkup and discussion with my pain doctor, went to get a slew of x-rays on my lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint, went to my general doctor, got a major new prescription, and am having like a dozen blood tests done tomorrow. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. When I do something I do it thoroughly. I hope today results in some answers.

cut for medical talk )
seventhe: (Burger King: In the butt!)
  • Last night I took an epsom salt bath. I did some research that said epsom salt baths work for arthritis pain - the magnesium can penetrate the pores and help with inflammation. SO I went and picked up some epsom salts from Rite Aid (plain, along with a lavender variation and some other salts I found for aches and pains - with eucalyptus and spearmint?) and ran some hot water and I spent about 45 mins reading TIME magazine in the tub with the jets on and off as needed, and I do feel better today. Could be coincidence, but I'll take it. My neck is still stiff, but the rest of me feels a lot more mobile. And less grate-y and grind-y.

  • Last week I went to pick up my new glasses - mine are four years old and I'm finally starting to get vision headaches from the slightly-expired prescription - but they were wrong. All weekend I felt like my depth-of-field was off in my left eye -- turns out the axis of the astigmatism was 3-4 degrees off. (ASTM for lenses is 2 degrees I guess? That's great, when my vision is so bad that I'm sensitive to the actual margin of error?) So the glasses went back in to be fixed.
    In slightly better vision news, in the last two years it turns out that one awesome line of contact lenses has been extended into my prescription range - yeah technology! - so it's now possible for me to get good-quality contacts (that will correct my vision over 80%) that I can wear all day without feeling like there is sand gauging out my eyes. They're even rated to sleep in. For up to a week. That's right, I can wear them to a con weekend and not have to worry. Thank fuck. Too bad I can't contacts at work, but it will still be convenient to have for the summer. So as soon as we figure out my script, I'll be buying a million of those.
    I realize I'm quite lucky that my eyes can be (mostly) corrected and my vision is (mostly) functional. It's just hard to feel lucky staring down this $500 bill when I still don't have a new pair of glasses.

  • Spent the weekend declaring war on my lawn. I accidentally killed half of it trying to smoke out garlic mustard (Weed & Feed works great on the parts of my lawn that are actually grass; turns out there are a lot of weeds that look like grass but ain't grass, and that's how I murdered half of my front yard) and so I spent Monday mowing, re-treating the yard one last time to just get this shit over with, and tossing Grass Seed For Dummies everywhere. I also threw giant handfuls of "wildflower seed mix" on parts of my yard to cover up the fact that I don't give two epic shits about gardening right now. I actually love gardening and flowers but that is a hobby to be adopted at some future date, preferably when I am not exhausted, grumpy, and still unpacking.

  • STILL NO NEWS ON THE JOB

  • Our birdfeeders are finally kicking off - it's like finch city on the one, and the tufted titmice really like the second one -- much to the everlasting joy of the neighborhood troll cat, who has already caught one of my chipmunks and has spent time staring up at the feeder like it's some epic cat buffet. GTFO. You're cute but if I can't pet you I don't want to feed you.

  • I am so broke. Like godsbefucked broke. Note I am saying broke - I am not poor; I've been poor; this is not poor - what I am is broke. Buying a house costs a lot. Taking care of the house costs a lot. JFC I want my savings cushion back. Looking at my net cash is giving me spasms.

  • I'm so not here mentally. I should have taken vacation this week.

seventhe: (FFEX: In the shadows)
  • Had my last surgical injection on Thursday. Turns out that it's pretty easy to forget that just because these things aren't hella invasive does not mean they aren't a big deal; I spent Friday attempting to do a bunch of physical-labor-type stuff around the house and was reminded that my system is still full of anesthetic aftermath at about ~3:00 when I seriously just... burnt out, like my body crapped out, like literally just stopped functioning, like someone had repeatedly punched me in the everything and left me for dead. Whooooooops. Lost a lot of the weekend recovering from that too; turns out overproductivity results in less productivity when your body sucks like mine does!

  • greeted with a 3-hour 3-meeting back-to-back boredom extravaganza this morning at work (boredom being relative; two of the three meetings were informative and the third gave me a platform to complain loudly about stuff so it wasn't really a waste of time; just not the way I like starting off my Mondays)

  • tired

  • Finishing up FFIV for [community profile] moogle_university; have been reminded why this game is special to me. It isn't that it's the "best" of the FFs or the best game I've ever played; it's just the correct combination of [nostalgia points] + [characters and plot points highly relevant to my interests] and will probably always be my favorite, which just proves that I have horrible taste in life.

  • HAS ANYONE / EVERYONE STARTED THEIR DOINK FIC/ART/WORK??? Every year I swear I'm going to blog more about the exchange and then every year I'm like, I'm just too tired. I have so many thoughts and they are all living in giant apartment complexes on the corner of "You can't talk about that in public Sev" and "no1currr" and so I look at that and go back to my fic and monitoring of our inbox and sigh, heavily.

  • I'm finally living in my own room...? I have my new carpet and the paint job is done and it's set up in a way that makes me feel happy and comfortable, and ... I like it? I've felt and been transient for years and I'm not sure I have words for how comfortable and safe I feel finally putting down roots in a place that is mine, that I own, where I am the one who gets to have final say on everything, where I have my own space and my own dominion and all things I've needed for years but haven't prioritized, where I can do whatever the hell I want. Including paint my study leaffire-orange and yellow, because I am dumb. Not having to answer to anyone is apparently the space where I am the most comfortable with myself; it is also a completely appropriate adult goal. don't question me.

  • where am I

  • oh yeah lunch
seventhe: (Life: stress out and die)
I am moved.

I am exhausted.

--this is a post that was supposed to go up yesterday but I had "one of those days" at work yesterday where people come down from Research to do things and I have to assist / chaperone (I am the highest-paid babysitter in the world some days) meaning I was on my feet manual labor from 7am-3pm minus lunch, which meant basically nothing else got done. I was so tired yesterday I had that grey ring of fuzz around my vision. Cool.

I am operating entirely out of my phone too because although I know where the computer is amidst the 31209487 boxes in my house, my dad packed up all my cords separately and neatly... somewhere in the third dimension apparently. Hopefully I will find them before it is August. This is a very helpful thing when you are running an exchange! >.>

I already love the house and being in the house. Even though my bedroom isn't ready and I won't have actually "moved in" to my own fucking room until this Sunday... I'm not entirely surprised to find that a partial but major source of all of the awful anxiety and depression I've been fighting lately is the should-be-familiar feeling of upcoming change, of not having an actual home, loss of foundation and safe place. Now that I've got that back, even though it's a fucking disaster world that doesn't look at all like "my place" and I'm not even in my own bed, I already feel more stable.

My everything hurts. Literally. The disc in my neck is sending spasming pain down my right shoulderblade; my lower back pinched nerve is sending electric shocks down my right ass cheek into my right hamstring like a glorified final boss. I have eleven bruises on my left leg, my knees hurt (???), I've gotten more headaches in the past three days than in the past entire year... I am apparently too fragile to move. good thing I will never do it again

I-- I swear I had more things to say but well this is what you get


edit: REPLYING TO COMMENTS VIA EMAIL IS FUCKING BOSS AS FUCK. DREAMWIDTH WINS
seventhe: (Rosa: pray)
So today I got injections into the trigger points in my muscles. It sucked. I blacked out, nearly vomited, almost cried, and was shaky for probably ~two hours afterwards. Conclusion: Highly Uncool.

medical details -- cut for the queasy or uninterested )

They hurt, but not like a ton - but enough that it sucked. They were also just the worst possible combination of pain, incredibly weird, and horrendously gross.

Of course I'll put up with them if they help - procedures get better once you know what to expect; also they can give me a Xanax - but uh, it pretty much sucked.

Since trigger points are very individual and can be highly affected by variations in body chemistry - and since we all know how shite my body chemistry is - there's no good way to predict when I'll know whether or not it worked. Within a week I should have a better idea.

I spent the day lying on the couch or in bed or otherwise moving as little as I could because my body just felt weird, wrong, and I didn't want to think about it. Today sucked. :/
seventhe: (SAZH)
Yesterday I had an appointment for an evaluation at a Pain Management Clinic. This is the third doctor I've seen for the problem in my neck/back/shoulders: the first being my GP, who is the one that sent me for the X-Rays and MRI (and PT) and found the herniated disc; the second being the neurologist I went to see about the bulging/herniated disc and the MRI results, who was a super asshole that I actually flipped a proverbial table at and cussed out for being dismissive and spending too much time playing up his jokey mannerisms and not enough time listening to me; the third is this Pain Management Clinic specialist to which Doc #2 referred me to be evaluated for cortisone shots in my spine. (For the record, I will not be going back to Doc #2. I will eat nails first.) Keep in mind that there have been 2-3 week waiting periods to even get an appointment at these specialist places; my MRI was in October. The pain started in June. Just yesterday I actually spoke to a doctor who has an actual plan to help me.

Doc #3 was pretty great. He was a little slow - the whole clinic was - but it was the methodical, I'm-actually-thinking slow, which is okay when you're a doctor. But he listened to me, and actually evaluated me there (making me move around, looking at where the pain was, feeling around for trigger points) instead of just reading the notes from the nurse and the previous doctors. And we have a plan.

So, what Doc #3 told me was that basically, after listening to my descriptions/symptoms and feeling my actual neck/back/shoulders, he isn't sure if my muscles are jacked because my spine is fucked, or my spine is jacked because the muscles around it are fucked. He's taking me very seriously in terms of wanting significant pain relief: I'm scheduled for a cortisone epidural (steroid shots into my actual spine places) at the end of February. But since A) there's a long wait time for the epidurals anyway; B) shooting shit into one's spine is a fairly significant procedure; and C) there's a chance the muscles are the cause, not the disc; he suggested that we try something less invasive in the meantime to see whether it provides any level of relief. I have to say, I like this logic: I love a doctor who is cautious and tries the less dangerous stuff first, while I simultaneously love that he hasn't taken the more drastic option off the books (other doctors have done so, and I'm like no, dude, give me the big shit, I fucking need it). It's a good progression plan in my opinion.

So next week Tuesday morning I'm going in to have a steroid concoction injected into the trigger points in my muscles. At best, this will calm the inflamed muscles, relieving the stress on my spine and (maybe after multiple treatments, admittedly) solving the problem entirely. At worst, it will provide temporary relief until the end of February when I get the epidural injections.

I'm also on a sweet new cocktail of epic maintenance drugs to help me make it through the days on as little pain as possible:
- Super Advils (800mg; I have 90 of them) for general off-the-top relief
- a less-drowsy opiate for during the day that I can take at work, hopefully allowing me to not have stabbing pain while at my desk and on the job
- Vicodin to take at night, to help me actually sleep (Vicodin is at the top of the very short list of "things that actually help relieve this pain"), at a higher dosage than I had before
- a new muscle relaxer to take at night; previous ones didn't work well on me, but last night I was seriously in bed by 9:30pm so maybe there's hope for this one

I realize this is my first day on the new cocktail and it might just be a coincidental "good day" at random, but I do have to say the overall level of pain has already decreased. I don't feel like I'm being stabbed in the neck with a red-hot knitting needle at the moment, for once.

So I will get injections next Tuesday and then work with that and the new drug cocktail for ~2 weeks, at which point I go in for a check-up/eval with the doctor again to report back. From there we can do another round of the muscle injections, up/change the drugs, and/or reevaluate the need for the spinal injections. Thankfully, that checkup is before my next trip to the plant, so hopefully I'll be able to have some kind of relief before going back down to work those physically demanding 14-hour shifts.

I'm... I've been hopeful so many times and things haven't worked out. So this time I'm trying to be reasonably hopeful -- this is all new stuff we're trying, and so far I think the plan is good and the drugs are (as a VERY early judgment) working well.

We'll see.
seventhe: (FFEX: In the shadows)
I don't know what it is about being alone that makes me want to clean -- not just clean, I guess, but organize: re-organize, re-do. Unfuck. I really don't know why this mood can't hit me more often, and what it is about somebody else in the house that just mental-blocks me from having the motivation to go through the year's bills and sort them -- which is what I'm doing, with assistance from the world's floofiest and "most unloved" cat -- but there's something there. Who knows! I've got Ellie Goulding on and I'm sorting through things in my room and on my desk and feeling awesomely productive. My goal is to have my desk totally revamped and my computer set up by the time Becky gets back. We'll see.

solitude... and no plans... makes a Sev very happy.

The snap, crackle, and pop is brought to you by my lungs: that's the noise they're making every time I breathe in and breathe out. It's quite foul. And scary. Enough people have told me that I look/sound horrible and that I'm going to end up in the hospital soon that... I think I'm deluding myself as to how sick I actually am, just because other parts of me feel "okay".

I'm spending this entire weekend inside, and will be spending much of it in bed or otherwise resting -- today's spurt of activity surely won't last, and I really, really, really want to be over this by Monday.

So I'm spending a weekend alone in my apartment, being productive and resting in equal measure.

This is awesome. Yay introvert's happiness level.
seventhe: (Rydia: calls the monsters)
Turns out I've got a herniated disc in my neck. My C5-C6 has been janked out of alignment with the rest of my spine. Because it's herniated/bulged, it's pinching the nerves around it, which accounts for the pain radiating out of the spot (into my neck/back/shoulders).

I'm oddly--- relieved? about the whole thing. It's not that a herniated C5-C6 is great - it's not - especially when you're 30 and arthritic it's really not - but it's an actual diagnosis. Based on data, rather than "I think it's this" or "from the way you describe the pain, this" (who knows if I'm saying the right things?). Based on data. I'm a research engineer to the core.

I actually don't have a lot more information than that. I've been referred to a neurosurgeon who will take a look at the MRI and give me some more detail (my GP basically said the neuro could give me far more understanding of what was going on than he could) (also, of course, there's some kind of weirdness in the MRI (can anything about me ever be normal please), because the report said "herniated disc versus a bulged disc", which will need to be clarified with a neurosurgeon specifically). After that I'll have more details and the beginnings of a path forward.

Also I fucking passed out in the doctor's office because I don't know why. This has already kind of been an emotionally stressful week (month) (year) due to some assorted 'other stuff' and maybe I'm just more worked up about my body than I realized? Or just general stress/relief/shock...? I don't even fucking know. I felt totally fine. Then I was standing at the check out station waiting for my referral and I started to feel all flushed and skitty, started to feel that awful head rush coming on like I do when I black out (this has, unfortunately, happened enough that I'm 'used to it' and can recognize the signs); so I said to the nurse, I need to sit down like right now and she gave me her chair and I sort of made my way into it (had blacked out at this point but fumbled my way over there with some help) and apparently just passed out in her chair? Came up a couple [moments?] later, and of course when you KO in the doctor's office, holy shit. They took me over to another room to lie down and I had a blood sugar test and an EKG and a bunch of other shit and they gave me a lollipop and eventually pronounced I was fine (I kept saying, this happens enough that I'm pretty sure I'm okay, and the looks the nurses gave me like, uh, what? were awful and hilarious).

I don't even fucking know; I took the rest of the day off too and sulked in bed and accidentally a 2 hour nap with Marzy to ward off the splitting headaches I usually get when I pass out.

I. D. E. F. K.

So yeah, that's that. It's really gross right now in my head -- usually I do a ton of research on medical stuff (when I am on a prescription I always look it up in detail, even if it's a fucking antibiotic) but I can't even bring myself to read a lot of the stuff about herniated discs because I'm just like, ew, oh god that's in my neck. I swear I feel it more - like, it hurts more - now that I know what it is, which is great. Vicodin already doesn't really work; just what I need, more body weirdness. I'm so fucking depressed I'm at the point where it's easy to pretend I'm not depressed because I don't have any feelings right now, I'm a big blank empty sack, so it's pretty easy to fill it up with fake "I'm okay"s. askdja;lsdk;alskd;alsk;;;;;;;;;

So we'll go from there. The doctor said I don't have to limit any of my activity - he basically said, "The damage is already done; activity is up to your discretion; if it doesn't hurt, and you feel okay, you can do it" - so maybe I can just move forward here.
seventhe: (Edge/Rydia: no return)
Apparently we've moved the focus of this journal from "complaining about work" to "a DAILY UPDATE of what's wrong with my body."

The good news is, my tendonitis is almost completely gone! I can walk without the ankle braces and without lurching around like a really gimpy undead! The NSAID worked wonders on it and I'm going to be really careful for the next week or two - no running at all - to make sure it stays that way.

The bad news is, the muscle relaxers didn't do shit on my neck. So 5 weeks of PT: ineffective. Muscle relaxers: ineffective. NSAIDs: ineffective. Diagnosis: no one has a fucking clue.

To make a long story short, I have to get an MRI. This morning I went in for my pre-approval appointment. They're going to get approval from my insurance and then make me an appointment for it, which will hopefully be soon. Until then, I have a 60-day supply of Vicodin to take - mostly at night, to help me sleep with the pain, because if I take it during the day I have to stay at my desk instead of going out in the lab - which should help me deal with this.

the longer story )

Good times. One of these days I will be fun again. XD
seventhe: (Life: stress out and die)
There are some days I'm really glad I keep a journal; today is one of those days.

a history of my medical woes this year as told by my blog )

It's now 8 October. My neck/back/shoulders have been bothering me since mid-June, and I've been on a variety of medications pretty much constantly - and unable to consistently work out at all - since mid-August. And I've had bronchitis for 4 weeks straight. Holy fucking shit, no wonder I have been so depressed lately. :/

I've more or less come to terms with the fact that I've got a horribly underperforming compromised immune system; I get sick more than my peers, and it sucks, but after 30 years of it, I can more or less deal. What I hate about my body is when it does this slippery-slope bullshit, this cascading series of one fucking thing after another, when I'm constantly in pain for three months running (with no end in sight) and things just continue to hit and bombard me and it's like the second I get over one thing another has been incubating and just waiting for a moment of weakness to strike. I feel so unhealthy and gross -- not only because I am literally unhealthy, but because without being able to work out at all, my body just feels useless and horrible and flabby-lumpy in addition to being in large amounts of pain and flu-achy and generally grumpy.

It's seriously depressing. And I know depression is a wily beast - I've fought her before - but it puts me in the foulest fucking moods out of absolutely nowhere. I'll start coughing or I'll sneeze and I'm reminded that I haven't felt even close to 100% in like three months and suddenly all I want to do is crawl into my bed with a cat and not come out for sixteen consecutive hours days. I end up summoning the irrational RAGE BEAST on people who don't even really deserve it, because everything fucking irritates me and I'm so frustrated at my body and my weakness and myself that I just fucking snap.

I know that being on different medications for ~8 weeks running probably isn't doing my blood chemistry any good, really. And today at lunch I'm going back to the CVS clinic to have them check out this lingering cough, and if they say I'm still sick, I'll take the afternoon off. I feel like I haven't given myself enough rest -- but at the same time I feel like I've missed so much work lately for PT and dentist appointments and afternoons where Dave kicks me out of the lab because I'm still coughing bronchitis everywhere, so how the fuck am I not better yet?

Whine whine whine J F C.

Off to go attempt to cheer myself up.
seventhe: (Rydia: power)


The good news:
We actually did fairly well for how busted up our team was going into this (we had injuries, illnesses, training mishaps (or complete lack), or, in my case, all of the above). In fact, I'm honestly pretty proud of my teammates, more so than myself -- we were thinking that 4:00 would be a good time for us this year, and hitting 4:01 with my slow ass dragging us down is pretty impressive. *single crystalline tear* Thanks for being so awesome, team.

My own performance was, well, eh. I'm okay with it. I don't want to say "I'm happy with it" because I'm not, but seeing as I ran with bronchitis AND a pinched nerve, it's more that that's the part I'm unhappy about, not my performance. I'm not angry or beating myself up over anything, because there wasn't much I could have done differently. So, not happy, not mad: I'm okay with it. 7.5 miles in ~74 minutes (by my watch - the clock time above includes Hilldo and my relay handoff). Just under 10:00/mile pace. Not the best I've ever run, but I'll take it, given the circumstances.

And we're still in the top 35% of all the teams that ran this year. Not bad at all!

Also the good news:
Somehow it seems to appear that the shock of running 7.5 horribly hard miles in the freezing cold of morning has scared the bronchitis out of my system? I'm still coughing (and coughing up miracles of nature), but it's definitely receding at this point.

The bad news:
I'm in pain, yo

I've got tendonitis so bad I can barely put weight on either foot. It's Peroneal Tendonitis, from a self-diagnosis after some research in running forums and the like last night. I'm pretty sure it's a combination of a) my already weak and wussy ankles b) absolutely no training for 10 days because bronchitis, and inconsistent training before that because pinched nerve c) surprise!!hills, both UPHILL (which I trained for a little) and DOWNHILL (which I did not and I'm pretty sure did me in).

I'm at work, hobbling around like a total idiot, looking for the secret icepack and planning to basically stay seated at my desk all day long today screw you guys. It honestly feels like someone is stabbing both of my feet. It's horrible :(

The rest of me is pretty sore - my calves are screaming (part of the peroneal tendonitis) and my quads and hammys are very upset with me - but my feet definitely win the shit prize this time around.

The best news:
Despite all the pain, I'm totally done with running for this year.

From now on out, I only have to run when I want to run. I don't have to do any long runs. I don't have to do any tempo runs. I can just run an easy 3 when I feel like it, and if I don't, I won't. Maybe I'll heal? What is this healthy thing??

In fact, today I'm going to go to the pool and do an easy workout (I think the cold water and some stretching will actually help the tendonitis) because I can.

So yeah. Good work, J-Squad. Okay work, body. And now, to hobble to the coffee.
seventhe: (Tifa: bad)
My body's still busted up.

I've been fighting bronchitis for two weeks now. Some of it is my fault: I came down with it the week the Japanese Overlords were here, so I really didn't want to take sick time off of work and leave my discussions and presentations to someone else; I ended up just taking a lot of drugs and cough drops. I'm also dumb because I continued to run and work out for the first week because I don't like admitting defeat to my own body. When it didn't start to clear up on its own I went to a CVS MinuteClinic and got me some drugs for it, but I think working/working out through it has aggravated it and made it worse. That's mostly my own stupidity, and I probably deserve it, but the bronchitis just had particularly bad timing this year.

I haven't done any kind of cardio (running, swimming, or elliptical) in a week, and I haven't even done weights since last Friday. I've also been sleeping like a goddamned fiend - last Thursday I took the afternoon off sick, took a 4-hour nap, got up and ate and read a little, and basically went back to bed and slept for 10 hours - so it isn't like my body doesn't know something's wrong. I pretty much slept away the entire fucking weekend. At this point I'll probably just rest right on through to the Marathon Relay on Saturday, other than PT today. It's going to be a pretty horrible race for me. :/ I'm sure it will be fun hanging out with everyone, but I'm really just not looking forward to the running bit.

PT doesn't seem to be doing much yet. Every time I seem to think things are improving, it then gets worse. I know from experience that this unidentified friend in my neck works in horrible synergy with the rest of me - so when I'm sick, or when I have really bad insomnia, it's way worse - so for now I don't know whether my bronchitis is compounding the issue by way of general aches and pains, or if it's actually worsening. I just -- I thought PT was supposed to provide some kind of relief (as well as fixing what's broke)? Other than the traction machine (which I may actually propose to) it doesn't really seem to do much in terms of relief.

I just get really depressed when I constantly feel like shit. (surprise, feeling like shit makes you feel like shit?)

I'm really ready to not be coughing and dizzy all the time, and I'm super ready to not have constant pain in my neck/shoulders/back. :/

In marginally less whiny news:
  • I've contacted my advisor, I'm trying to pick up my literature search again, and I'll hopefully talk to her and go to some group meetings this month :/ (file under: other things I am not excited about)

  • This weekend I somehow managed to pull together a decently respectable Terra costume for NYCC. There's still plenty of things which can be done with it, but it's more or less going a lot better than I expected. It would be nice to have one 'constant' cosplay that I can wear wherever. (file under: upcoming nyc drunk vacation)

  • I'm almost finished with a stupid scarf I've been working on for like a year (I lost the pattern okay .___. ) and I have lots of epic plans for scarves and cowls and hats and fun things to knit for the winter. (file under: things i will not end up doing)

  • Work is somewhat in a lull right now, which is both nice and epically worrisome. No further developments there right now.



I'm trying to at least enjoy the weather. Autumn is my favorite season, and I love that it's colder out. I love the way the air smells, and I love the colors that are coming out. I just wish I felt better to enjoy it. :/

[edit] also I dyed my hair red. and that's really about it.
seventhe: (Ohayo: THAT OTHER GUY)
  • Today is the first day I've worked in 2012 and not had a single meeting. The next after this? 05 March. What the hell.

  • At 620 comments - and growing - I'm pretty sure this is the greatest FF Kissing Battle we've had yet. Even if you're not on a team, come on in and play!
    • I'm writing tons of Final Fantasy / Gundam Wing crossovers. SHOOT ME.

  • So I've been diagnosed with arthritis in my big toe. The injury's a long story; the tl;dr version is that I'm off any kind of high-impact stress on it for 2-3 weeks and I maybe shouldn't run very much in my future also (depends on how it "heals" (since arthritis doesn't exactly, you know, fix itself: HEY CARTILAGE. GROW BACK ALREADY)). On one hand: OH DARN I DON'T LIKE RUNNING ANYWAY. On the other hand: I am a stubborn Taurus fuck and I don't like the idea of my body winning the war against me when I'm only 30 years old. CUE ANGST AND SPACEHEARTING.

  • Oh, and I'm on goddamned prescription drugs again. AGAIN. (No drinking for 2-3 weeks? LIKE FUCK YOU SAY.)

  • It's 20 February and I have yet to do a single goddamn thing for my graduate thesis. I hate school so much.

  • Speaking of not working on grad school: !! My schedule for the next few weekends is like being PUNCHED IN THE FACE WITH AWESOME. It goes like this: DISTANT WORLDS --> BJORK (!!!!!!!!!!) --> possible trip to the plant which is shitty --> PITTSBURGHCON --> LESBIAN GARAGE SALE SHIT SHOW --> Acen --> MY GODDAMNED 30th BIRTHDAY --> Katy's graduation --> CABINCON PART I ("A HOT TUB IS NOT CAMPING"). I am really not leaving my 20s quietly.

  • I cleaned up my tags on DW this afternoon. I'm finally back under 1000. I really need to do the same on LJ, but LJ lacks the AMAZEBALLS "tag merge" tool that Dreamwidth has, for when you type a tag in just a little bit wrong and end up with 3 variants on the tag, "I am a vain fuck." (This is a true story!).

  • The word "amazeballs" was actually in TIME magazine BTW.

  • Zero ships 3x4 is one of the most hilarious things I've read all day. I would easily say "the most hilarious" on any other day but as the other things going on in my email right now are (1) a serious discussion on which crossover troll fic idea is the lube for the other and (2) the creation of an Opera in at least 14 movements about The Shit Show Of Our Lives, there's some stiff competition in my Inbox today. Nevertheless, read that shit.

  • I have not played more than a couple hours of FFXIII. Don't judge me. So far the PS3 has basically been a very expensive way to steam music and Netflix. Winning.

  • Going to rewatch some Sherlock this week. Might have intelligent thoughts about it. Might just reblog more shite on Tumblr.


And that's the news.

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