Warning: Sick!

Post-Download lurgy

I am back from the Download Festival a.k.a. the Downpour Festival a.k.a. Drownload. It rained. A lot.

Nonetheless, we survived four nights of camping, including sharing a tent with my mother, who has literally never camped before due to a general phobia of everything it entails (e.g. spiders, chemical toilets, dirt under her fingernails, not being able to get properly dry, etc.)

However, due to having been rained on for three days, I now have a terrible cold. Yes, I know you can't catch a cold from being cold - but you can catch a cold from having your immune system lowered and being in close proximity of 85,000 other people, some of whom are carriers of viruses. I have pretty much every symptom known to be associated with colds, including a sore throat, high temperature, coughing, sneezing, blocked ears, all-over muscle aches, and puking. I feel like death warmed up.

Of course, this is a temporary situation and I should be better within a week or so. And I'm not trying to make everyone Give Me Attention considering the terrible news from Orlando over the weekend. But I suppose I feel that if there's one thing worse than living in a world where horrible things happen, it's living in a world where horrible things happen and being unwell. Does that make sense?

Download review will follow when spoons exist. I really do want to type it up because I haven't managed to for the past couple of music festivals I've been to, and I can barely remember Sonisphere 2014 now!
dino

Plans

I did not get around to booking for BiCon. The closing date for accommodation was just too early considering that I have no idea what my health will be doing in July. If I am not much better than I am now, I will be going splat and having to go to bed in the middle of the afternoon, at unpredictable times, and it seems fairly pointless to pay money to go away in that scenario.

Which means you might be questioning how come I can go to Boston next week, but that will be easier since I will have the husband and the boyfriend, both of whom are entirely competent carers for me. If we're out and about and I feel too wobbly to carry on, I can trust either or both of them to get me back to the place where we're staying and/or get food into me. Neither of them want to go to BiCon (they are both way too introverted), and I don't have anyone else who is familiar enough with my current limitations to act as a carer. (I know people who would be happy to ensure I got fed, but I wouldn't want to ask any of them to give up what they want to do at BiCon unless I was paying them, which is a whole other kettle of fish and... yeah.)

I still need to talk to my university, because I was supposed to be going back when term started on 18th April, and I am clearly nowhere near well enough to go back for at least a few more weeks. It's likely that I'll actually go back next term instead, as long as they aren't going to give me grief about the fact you're only "supposed" to have a maximum of 2 years (6 terms) "off" on breaks of study during a PhD course. I'd love to be back, but it would be a waste of everyone's time and my money, since I just about have enough energy to get downstairs on average once a day. The increased thyroxine and vitamin D are helping up to a point, but I am not magically better and dancing around full of the joys of spring.

Today is however a glorious day and I went out to vote for the Mayor of London and London Assembly. No prizes for guessing which party won my first choice, and even my second choice is pretty easy to guess. (Hint: I didn't vote for anyone in favour of leaving the European Union). Politics lately are stressing me out: the London Assembly election today, the referendum on leaving the EU in a few weeks, and the horrible, hateful candidate up for election as President of the USA. Honestly, if it weren't for that nice Mr Trudeau, I'd be hiding under a rock.

Also today I washed my dinosaur. Yay! for clean dinos.
flasks

Well, at least it's an answer

Went to the doctor yesterday. My TSH level, which was apparently 1.93 uIU/mL in October 2015 is now up to the truly appalling 4.13 uIU/mL. Suddenly my need to go to sleep in the middle of the afternoon makes sense.

TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone so the higher the number, the worse your thyroid is responding. Technically the "normal" range goes all the way up to 4.20, but the therapeutic range for thyroxine supplementation is much lower. I think they try to keep it no higher than 1.5.

So that alone would be a good explanation for exhaustion, but also my vitamin D has gone splat again. It's currently around 67 nmol/L. Since I am on a medication which destroys vitamin D, I take a supplement all the time. But when I was having tachycardia, I decreased the dose. Apparently this was a big mistake.

In unrelated news, I have a new phone and am struggling horribly with the official lj client for Android. What do you people use?
endurance

Several bits make a post

Yesterday and today, I've been wanting to talk to people but I have absolutely no spare energy with which to do so. I have reverted to taking 2000 iu of vitamin D per day as of today, because I'm shattered and not convinced that the 400 iu tablets are doing enough.

I'm supposed to be going back to College in 10 days or so, but I haven't sorted out any of the paperwork yet because it involves too much effort, and circular situations where I need a form from A to give to B and a form from B to give to C, but I can't get the form from A until I have the form from C. Gah! And right now, I am sufficiently exhausted that I am not even sure if I'm up to going back for this term. I really can't go back and then immediately have to take time off again, but I do need to get things like Disabled Students' Allowance in place again if I am going back.

Mental health has not been good in my little family this past week. We have all been depressed for no particular reason. Richard has been anxious, Grant has been tearful, I have been having nightmares. I know that I need to have my next trip to see Grant arranged as soon as possible, so it's settled and I have something to look forward to, but I just don't know when will be convenient. Since this year is a round-number birthday, I was hoping to do something special for it, but I am increasingly feeling that my original plan (go to Iceland again) isn't what I want to be doing this year.

While organising trips to various places, I have to decide if I am going to BiCon this year. I feel that it would be beneficial to me to be in bi space considering that I currently appear to the outside world as straight twice over, but it involves energy and organisation which I don't quite have right now. The deadline is apparently pretty soon though. Who else is going?

In other news, I have found some mysterious photos on my computer. I mean, they are patently photos of me and Richard hanging around in our hallway in January 2012, but it is mysterious as to why we took them. They are all exceedingly yellow and would require considerable correction in Photoshop to fix. I thought maybe Richard had bought a new camera and we were testing it out, but the numbering starts at IMG_6562.jpg. Weird!
poly

More Shifty pics!

I haven't had much energy for livejournal (or indeed, any sort of extended writing) the past few weeks. Today I was planning to write about what we did with Grant while he was here, but I got caught up in chatting on irc and have burned through my communication spoons. Urgh.

So have some more pictures:

The three of us on the 37th Floor of the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, London. 2016-02-21
On the 37th Floor with London behind us, 2016-02-21

Here is a another picture taken at the same time in which I exhibit a seriously smug face.

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poly

I haz a visiting Shifty!

Grant is visiting from the US. It's his first time out of North America and everything here is very very strange. He first got confused on the bus back from Heathrow because of how twisty the streets were, compared to the grid patterns that he's used to. "It's like driving around a Paisley!" he said.

We have done various things, including cuddling, eating, playing Elder Scrolls Online (Grant is such a nerd that he brought his non-laptop computer. Yes, a mini tower) and looking at museums and other such tourist "attractions". I will write more about that when it's not 3 am and we're not supposed to be up in the morning.

I'm sure that what you actually want to see are the pictures of us loving each other.

A couple of days after Grant arrived, in our house. Picture taken by Richard.
In our house. 2016-02

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richard

My relationship is old enough to vote!

Yesterday was my 4th wedding anniversary with Richard and our 18th anniversary of being together. Richard bravely staggered out of bed where he was busy dying of the man-flu, and we put on fancy clothes and went out to the Secret Surprise I had booked. This being vegan afternoon tea at La Suite West hotel, which is near Bayswater/Queensway.

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aibo, sleepy, cute

Bits and pieces make a post

Last night I dreamt that I was a werewolf and that my father was the Alpha of our pack, that he got kidnapped and I had to invoke the magic of the pack to rescue him. So far, not very surprising - I've been reading my way through Patricia Briggs' modern urban fantasy series again. But why was my father Nick Clegg?


I did not win NaNoWriMo. Actually, I barely wrote anything. Actually, I've barely been writing anything, anywhere. My new friend from Elder Scrolls Online was sad that I hadn't added her to my livejournal friends list yet and I said "I haven't written anything friends-only recently!". Not enough coherent brain to finish all the half-written stuff flapping around the place. Literally all I've written recently is a description of all my ESO characters and a writeup of an ESO Guild event.


I am sad about Lemmy and David Bowie's deaths, and very sad about Alan Rickman. With Lemmy and Bowie, I'm sad for my friends who were fans of them and for all the musicians I know who were influenced by them. Whereas I was actually a big fan of Alan Rickman myself. We watched Galaxy Quest at the weekend, mostly because we couldn't find the Dogma DVD in the mess that is our house. Fuck cancer all round, anyway.


My mattress is completely knackered, so I am waking up most days with extreme back pain and sometimes back and hip pain together. Woo. We have ordered a new one but it's going to take 8-10 weeks to arrive, since apparently companies don't keep "super kingsize" (6 foot/180 cm) mattresses in stock. Don't even ask how much it's costing. Dunlopillo latex beds for people who are allergic to dust mites are Not Cheap. We tried lying on Tempur mattresses (which are even more expensive) but found them very weird and far too soft. I thought I might like them if I had a pain issue where it hurt for me to be in contact with the mattress, but as it is I roll over far too many times to be on a mattress which completely contours to me, and fighting the mattress would simply make my back hurt more.

In related news, I have been back to the Pain Management Clinic. There is nothing wrong with my hip (which I suspected anyway) and they are going to do some more facet joint injections into my evil sacro-illiac joint. I look forward to being in less pain soon.


Shifty is coming to visit me on 8th February for two weeks! Yay!
richard

Richard in "Organising a gig" shocker!

Since I was ill with flu in December, I didn't manage to write about the very, very awesome thing that Richard did. We are fans of a musician called Ginger Wildheart - indeed, I have been a fan of his since 1994. Every year he does a gig on his birthday, which is 17th December. It's a very non-standard gig with a rotating cast of musicians, called the Birthday Bash.

This year it was postponed because Ginger was in hospital with depression, which sucks. Fortunately Ginger is getting better and the Belated Birthday Bash and Hey! Hello! tour are back on in April.

Richard knew that a lot of fans were flying over from elsewhere in the world and wouldn't have anything to go to. So he pulled together a pub meet. He spoke to a couple of venues and the guy who runs the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park said it would be no problem at all to host us. Even more impressively, Richard got Hollis and Davey from Love Zombies to play an acoustic set. (Hollis is also the new singer of Hey! Hello!). There were something like 50 people present over the course of the evening, including Ginger's legendary roadie Dunc.

I am just very, very proud of Richard for putting this event together, especially considering the short notice. Even more so considering that he is an introvert who finds dealing with people difficult. I doubt he'll ever organise anything this big again - it was a lot of stress for him - but I'm really pleased to know that he can.
Warning: Sick!

Feeling very sorry for myself

I'm pretty certain I have flu. This is despite having had a flu jab in October. I've been ill since Friday night with a temperature that stays over 38.0 deg C (about 100 deg F) despite taking paracetamol/acetaminophen to bring it down. I am coughing, sneezing, and aching all over, and over the weekend I also had nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. The digestive issues have mostly settled down now, but everything else is still present.

Woke up this morning with a temperature of 39.7 deg C (103.5 deg F) and considered calling the doctor or pharmacist because I was so very out of it that I felt scared. But half an hour after taking paracetamol, my temperature was a 'mere' 39.2, so clearly paracetamol was still managing to be antipyretic. I woke up later feeling absolutely freezing and was convinced that my fever had broken, but it was still 38.3 deg C. Eww.

The problem with paracetamol is that it's hepatotoxic enough that you can only take 4 doses a day; which considering it wears off after 5 to 5.5 hours, doesn't cover the entire 24 hour day too well. If I could take NSAIDs then I'd alternate paracetamol with ibuprofen, but NSAIDs make me stop breathing, which would likely be worse than having a fever :P

Have texted my parents and Tim & Peter to cancel Christmas. Apparently flu is contagious for 7 days after symptoms start, or longer if you have a bad immune system, so I will still be contagious on Friday. And frankly, I don't wish this on anyone. I'm nowhere near as ill as I would have been if I hadn't had the vaccination, but I still feel worse than I typically do for a cold - ill enough that I wish I could just sleep until it's gone.

At this point, I am actually glad that Grant is having to work all over Christmas and New Year, since it would be horrible to have him visiting while I'm this bloody sick. I just hope that Richard doesn't catch it. He's coughing his lungs out, but then he's been coughing since the last cold he had about a month ago.