selenay: (Default)
For reasons that only my immune system can answer (and it doesn't talk to me much), my body has suddenly decided to cooperate with my meds. Of course, it decided to do that a week before I saw my new GP to ask for referrals. Good timing, eh?

I finally started to get a really good response to the Humira within 24 hours of each dose - back settling so much that I can bend at the waist and sit for whole half hours at a time, belly not hurting - and for a couple of doses, it actually lasted until a day or two before the next injection. The last two doses have stayed mostly effective all the way through.

It's Monday, I don't do Humira until tomorrow, and I can still bend at the waist, sit at my desk for long enough to get work done, and stand up for more than a few minutes without severe pain. I managed baking at the weekend. I got editing done at my desktop.

It's bloody marvelous.

My new GP seems pretty great. I got a good vibe from him - he understood what inflammatory axial (spinal, for us laymen) arthritis was like and he made IBD puns, so I think we'll get on well. The colonoscopy was deeply unpleasant and I'm unimpressed by my body's decision to resist the sedation until two hours after it was over, but it's done and I don't have much to worry about, apparently. Just have to wait for biopsy results, but GI Guy expects them to come back clear.

Now it's July, which means it's "try to write a huge long fic for Marvel Big Bang while keeping up with the Tour de France" season. With added novel editing. Yeah, this is going to be such a restful three weeks!
selenay: (Default)
*blows dust off the furniture*

So, that whole "I'm totally going to blog regularly, really!" thing didn't last through the end of the winter of hell. Whoops.

So, time to start again.

Where to start?

I'm enjoying the lack of winter. I'm over the moon that Agent Carter got renewed with a ten episode order. I have no words to express what I feel about the Hugos clusterfuck.

My back has totally borked itself and I've spent two months trying to get a new GP, because walk-in clinics are bloody useless for this stuff. Next Friday I'm seeing someone who *might* be my new GP. Cross your fingers? It would be nice to have some help and a referral to the right people.

I've also got a colonoscopy next week. The original plan was to do it later in the year, but I got offered an appointment on Friday for next week, after some bloodwork results came back. That's not worrying at all, obvs. I doubt my haemoglobin is low, so it's probably a raging white blood count and possibly some high inflammatory markers.

I can't imagine why that's happening. My back has only been a mass of inflammation since February. Although I'm willing to concede that I might be getting some belly pain that I've cheerfully been ignoring for a couple of weeks. Urk. It'll be interesting to see what the scope shows, anyway.

Guess I'm playing medication roulette again soon :-)

I have done so much reading. The only time my back is relatively not painful is when I'm walking or pedalling on my stationary bike, so I've had my nose in a book while I pace the house or pedal. So much fic reading. So many books.

Writing hasn't been easy, because sitting makes my back hurt, but I have managed to figure out an arrangement with my iPad and a keyboard that isn't too awful. I write in bursts and then wander off to read and pace for a while before writing some more. Working at my desktop only happens on weekends during my good phases of the day, so editing of any form has been horrendously delayed. Ugh. But I'm getting there.

Summer hiatus is upon us. I managed to keep up with most shows, but I've still got a few Sleepy Hollow episodes to watch and I didn't quite manage to marathon the last half of Arrow before Mum arrived for her annual visit last week. I'll be trying to sneak in the last couple of episodes whenever she's out.

I'm sure there must be interesting things for me to talk about, but the habit has gone again. Drat! Anyone got something they want me to write about?
selenay: (blackberry moment)
I'm looking at the week's weather forecast and making sad faces. So much snow. It looks like I'll be working from home tomorrow and possibly at the end of the week as well. I'll have to make sure I get groceries in before the storm at the end of the week.

It also looks like the weather is going to prevent me hitting the cinema at the weekend. Woecakes. I'm not writing it off completely, but I'll wait on buying any tickets for anything until the morning of, when I should know how driveable the roads are.

On the up side, my back has decided to behave entirely unlike my back and *get better*. It's so weird. A really good kind of weird. Usually when my back goes like it did last week, it settles in for at least a year of constant pain and ughness that takes over my life and wrecks any fun plans I might make.

In an unusual turn of events, I feel really good right now. I haven't taken any strong painkillers since Friday and my back is feeling the best yet today. Tonight I plan to try some light exercise on my bike to see how that goes but right now I'm declaring a miracle and enjoying this.

I'd been worrying a little about how I was going to handle the flights to England next month if my back was doing its thing, but it looks like now it won't be an issue :-D

OMG, my England trip is starting to look a little insane. Redemption will be so busy (I'm so freaking excited already despite my schedule, please drag me to the bar and ply me with Diet Coke if I look too frazzled) and my diary post-con already includes two theatre trips and a big family party. Plus I intend to find time for a day of books and fancy cakes in London.

One of my colleagues remarked that I don't seem to know how to do 'relaxing vacations'. I suspect he's right :-D
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
Cut for more back stuff )

My plan today is working from home and then curling up for some sleep as soon as I'm done. I managed to doze my way through some Private Practise DVDs yesterday so hopefully I'll manage the same today.

I'm hoping that I'll be reasonably mobile by Friday because it's my day off and I'd planned to take a trip into the city to visit the comic shop.
selenay: (bad day 2)
Cut for back pain stuff )

This is going to be a working from home day. Or it will be when I can finally get into the VPN, which is currently not working for me. At all. I'd planned to start early as I'm up and awake so that I can finish early if my back gets too much later. Except I can't log on and the help desk helpfully doesn't open for another hour.

In fact, it doesn't open until half an hour after my usual start time. I've sent emails to my boss and colleague about what's happened and will just see where I get to. Maybe the boss will credit me with the fact that I tried to start early and got locked out? It's been happening to everyone over the last month or so and I haven't used the VPN since November, so I'm irritated but not completely shocked.

This day is sucking so badly and it's barely 7am.
selenay: (bad day 2)
Cut for medical stuff )

I finally watched the first episode of Dollhouse yesterday (yay Netflix!) and I was very impressed. Not just because I have a minor (hah!) crush on Eliza Dushku, I was impressed because it's such a weird, uncomfortable premise and yet Joss is making it work and I want to know more. All hail Joss.

Speaking of the marvelous Joss, everything that gets leaked about the new SHIELD show is taking my excitement to higher levels. I'm trying to keep my squee low so that I'm not disappointed if it doesn't match the thing in my head, but...yeah. My squee levels are getting silly.

This week is hopefully going to be quiet and filled with reading, writing and plenty of time with my DVD pile and the baby blanket I'm making. In an ideal world, by the end of this week I'll have a completed circus AU fic, two books finished and I'll be officially past the quarter of the way mark on the blanket.

Let's see how life can fuck with that plan, OK?
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
Cut for health winges )

In other words, I am ouchy and uncomfortable. Please send tea and chocolate.

I have been doing the stats on my June reading and working out what my July priorities are. I think they can be summed up as: finishing reading the damn Hugo list.

Cut for more book details )

August will, I think, be lots of books that I've been saving as my reward for finishing the Hugos (new Mercedes Lackey, new John Scalzi, new Mira Grant book, Wolf Hall) and probably a fair bit of fanfic. I'm going to try to be good for the next three and a bit weeks and curtail my fanfic reading so that I concentrate on Hugo reading.

Expect some flaily arrgh yay joy on July 31st :-D

Yesterday I finally got around 2,000 words of Thing 4 written that I did not actively hate and declared that Thing a wrap. Woo! Now I get to write Thing 5, which should be much easier and lots of fun :-D I'm thinking that this entire fic will weigh in somewhere close to 10,000 words when I'm done which is the longest fic I've written for two years. Go me!

No PR Manager Deserves The Avengers is being edited and polished and I'm intending to get it onto AO3 by the end of the week. I apologise in advance for the insanity levels displayed in it. This was my way relief from the process of rewriting Thing 4 at least three times (I lost count).

I've got a kind of outline worked out for my [livejournal.com profile] marvel_bang fic and I want to start that next week. It's got alternate reality dimension jumping, two Coulsons, vampire!Clint, weird super soldier serums and plenty of hijinks. It's either going to be tremendously fun or the fic writing equivalent of a living nightmare.

Let's hope for option two, shall we? And remember that I can always take a short crack fic break if I need to :-D

Fun times

Jun. 19th, 2012 01:43 pm
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
You know that moment when you spot a phot of a stunningly hot woman on Tumblr and realise that your uniform kink may extend beyond police and fire to army fatigues and guns and then you search to find out who that woman is and where the photo came from?

And it's uncredited in all ways?

Yeah, that.

Today my "it's probably inflammatory arthritis but as you're already taking the meds for it and can't have NSAIDs we won't bother with a formal diagnosis fuck you" flared up. It's been a bad day for back pain and I may end up on the strong things tonight to get some sleep. Ugh. I suspect that this is related to the minor colitis flare that started three weeks ago. As I don't seem to be too sick, I'm giving myself a few weeks before I talk to Awesome GI Guy and potentially end up back on steroids.

My "no steroids in 2012" vow is looking less and less likely to happen *sigh*

I am cheering myself up by re-reading favourite Avengers fics in my spare time. Thank god for AO3 and .mobi downloads for my Kindle :-D I may, in a couple of days, progress to reading the actual fluffy YA novel that I'm supposed to be reading. After that I hope to have the brain power to tackle my next Hugo read.

Oh god, I've already reached the stage of having favourite fics and authors in Avengers fandom.

This evening, if I am in any way capable of movement by the time I get home, I plan to hit the bike (in hopes of loosening up my stupid spine a bit) and watch the first Game of Thrones episode while I do so. So far, my bike time is the only time that I can guarantee Mum-free TV time.

Sushi!

Apr. 26th, 2012 05:59 pm
selenay: (blackberry moment)
Today my tummy was less crampy today than it has been so my back has been a total bitch instead. Ah, well.

Awesome GI Guy has declared me healthy but worn down and in need of a holiday. My blood work is all well within range and although the cramping isn't a good sign, there is no other sign of anything and neither of us want to stick me onto unnecessary meds particularly when I've got a trip to England in just over three weeks.

It's possible that I've committed to rather a lot while I'm over. Oops? Mum is threatening to take over all cooking, cleaning, driving and other tasks for the first week after we get back so that all I need to do is drag myself out of bed and into work each day. We may need to negotiate on that...

Tonight I'm going out for sushi with friends. Woo! My order is half decided already: unagi maki, spicy salmon maki and one or two other things that I need to narrow down from my potential list of many favourites. Om nom.

Tomorrow my team is going out for lunch to Boston Pizza. Yup, I scoped out the menu already and I'm torn between a big order of wings or trying the baked ravioli which frankly sounds incredibly cheese-filled and thus amazing.

Note how non-freaked I'm being about food right now? This is a good thing. With all the food-related activities that I'm doing in England, I need to be happy and calm about food :-D

In a final food note, I'd forgotten how much I love plain Rich Tea biscuits. It's so tempting to nom the entire pack, except then I wouldn't have room for sushi later so that's not gonna happen. Nu-uh. That biscuit I just gobbled? You didn't see it.

There is a reason why I never, ever bring chocolate bourbons or custard creams to work. I'd eat the entire pack in a day.
selenay: (canon slash)
The appointment with the rheumatologist could definitely have gone better. On the one hand he examined me for hours with great thoroughness and admitted that the symptoms, history and reaction to steroids implied inflammatory joint disease.

He conceded that could be sacroilitis, which is the early stages of ankylosing spondylitis. I'd actually be happy with that because there are treatment options and doctors would be willing to help with the pain relief.

On the other hand, it should have responded to the Humira which is a big minus in the "Sel has proper back problems, not in her head" column.

I had run out of energy by then and didn't feel like explaining that the Humira only partially controls the colitis and needs other meds as well to keep me in remission. If I'd been thinking more clearly...

Anyway, he's ordered x-rays because if it's anything inflammatory, the damage of over six years of it should be visible now. If anything shows up, he'll contact me to come back in. Otherwise it's back to my GP for help, but as he doesn't like to prescribe analgesia, I'm on my own.

I was pretty depressed and hopeless last night when I finally got home. It's looking like yet again my back pain has no origin, no soloution and no help available. The only good thing is that it has been behaving slightly better over the last five days. While it did not help with the rheumatologist visit, at least I can start to hope that just maybe this flare is coming to an end.

Mum is not going home tonight due to the border agency strikes tomorrow. Sis has to because she has work on Thursday. We're leaving for the airport in an hour or so and we'll know then whether her flight is going or not. Hope she doesn't sit on the Tarmac for too long tomorrow!

In other news, I think that I want the new Zelda game for my Wii. It sounds awesome.

Also, Infinity Blade for the iPad rocks :-)

I should probably get on with useful things like composing my Yuletide fic, right?
selenay: (don't mess with sj)
So, tomorrow I finally have my appointment with the rheumatologist. There three potential outcomes from this, listed in the order I feel represent the probability they will happen:

1) The guy will say nothing is wrong, I'm hypermobile and should expect increasing pain, stiffness and inflammation in my joints due to that.
2) The guy will confirm Awesome GI Guy's suspicion that I have ankylosing spondylitis.
3) The guy will confirm that I have some other form of inflammatory arthritis.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up about a useful diagnosis and treatment plan. Annoyingly, my back has been behaving relatively well for the last couple of days (so it's not been stupidly awful, just s bit achy and stiff) and it's my hip that's been the bigger problem. Ah, well, all I can do is hope something useful comes out of this.

I know one definite outcome: total exhaustion. Ugh.

Oh, goody

Oct. 28th, 2011 11:22 am
selenay: (blackberry moment)
The clinic doctor has given me Flexiril and instructions to hit the ER if the stuff doesn't help or the pain gets worse. Apparently sudden chest pains are serious business.

I wonder how much work I can do before the Flexeril sends me to sleep? Never had it before and I've been warned by the doc and the pharmacist that I'm likely to zonk out due to my lack of history for strong drugs.

I wonder how long it will take to actually make the pain better?
selenay: (bad fic)
I was going to be posting about Once Upon A Time, which I really enjoyed, or possibly reviewing the comics that I've been reading this week.

I was also supposed to be in my office fighting over use case models with my project team. Instead I'm working from home and wishing that I'd remembered to grab the phone before I sat down.

There isn't even a cool story behind why I'm working from home. I was folding my PJ trousers before my shower, so not doing anything particularly strenuous, when I took a breath and there was an incredible band of pain around my chest.

I think that I've probably trapped a nerve somewhere in my mid-back. It's very painful to breathe, bend, and use my arms. Turning my head is fine. It's a battle not to let all the muscles in my chest tighten up whenever I do something painful, because that just makes breathing even harder, and I'm slightly concerned because this is not the usual location for my trapped nerves.

There was discussion of going to the ER (not my top choice of Friday destinations), but I've agreed to go to the walk-in clinic to get things checked out. The fun part will be the NSAID ban due to the colitis. Normally I'd refuse muscle relaxants and stronger painkillers, but right now I'm pretty much willing to try anything.

Good thing Mum is still here. She'll have to drive me. And put my shoes on. And possibly help me get changed and into bed later. My biggest concern is that if this doesn't release by tomorrow, I may end up trapped in bed.

I want a refund on this body.
selenay: (bitchy trampoline)
Today has definitely been one of those days where I remembered why I felt so stressed just before my vacation and can't quite figure out why I thought databases would be a good career choice. Yeesh.

I managed to duck out early, though, to have a visit with Awesome GI Guy. He's very pleased with me and I'm officially back in remission :-) No change to the med schedule, we're going to see how I do for now.

I've got an appointment (finally) with a rheumatologist next month. The rheumy is probably going to order a ton of bloodwork, so Awsome GI Guy wants to be copied in on that rather than ordering his own bloods for next month and getting me stuck with needles twice in one month. Sensible guy. Awesome GI Guy also got a demo of just how nasty my back is being (I'd been sitting in his waiting room for a while, it got painful) and is speculating that this is ankylosing spondylitis. Not something that would shock me, given the UC and a family history of AS, but it was a surprise to hear someone admitting that it may be the cause.

And that's why he's Awesome :-)

Anyway, tonight is supposed to be miserable out there so I've done a short yoga practise and will be skipping class tonight. Instead I shall curl up with some TV watching. Yay.

Things I still need to do on the new computer:

1) Install iTunes
2) Switch Mcafee licence (I have until 12 Nov. to do that)
3) Install an HTML editor
4) Set up office VPN
5) Install and set up Thunderbird

It's a short list, but a couple of those are time-consuming things and I've not had much time after work this week. This is largely due to back pain. Argh.

I am really very hungry. Time to heat some chilli, methinks.
selenay: (bad day)
I had a really bad night with my back (it doesn't like my lying any more than it likes me sitting), so I'm tired and grouchy due to lack of sleep. Today's busy-busy plans have been cancelled due to the tiredness and the grumpiness. We went out and bought All The Groceries (that is a lot of food in my fridge) and I'm doing some bits and bobs on the computer before I curl up with a blanket and the telly.

Dear England and Romania: please play interesting rugby so I don't fall asleep.

I suppose it will give me time to catch up on teevees...

Stupid back pain.
selenay: (grumpy time lord)
Cut for ranting about back pain )

In other news, I decided on Haagen-Dazs last night (mmm, chocolate peanut butter) and watched Percy Jackson on Netflix. Fun movie! It was a relaxing evening and the injection went really smoothly: barely hurt at all for the first time in a while, didn't nick any blood vessels and no bruising. Wheee!

Then I went to see whether I could get the first Percy Jackson book for Kindle, to see how the film measured up, and discovered that only the fifth book and onwards are available for ereaders. Fail.

The mother descends in four days. I have already reached the 'cleaning the shower with a toothbrush' stage of panic cleaning. It's a good thing I'm out tonight and tomorrow night because I'm not sure the house would survive my panic cleaning needs. And I should be too thoroughly exhausted and sore on Friday to even think about cleaning. See, there's a benefit to back pain!
selenay: (bemused Doctor)
This weekend I have A Plan. It's a good plan.

There will be getting up early to buy groceries so that I have time for chores and exercise before lunch. Then there will be an hour or two of quiet book time before the main event: the cinema for X-Men: First Class. I've heard a lot of good things about it, I love X-Men movies and this is one that Mum definitely won't want to see so I want to go before she arrives (eleven days! Eep!).

If my back isn't screaming by the time I get out of the cinema, then I'm taking myself out to supper. Either I'll go to one of the places near the cinema or to my favourite sushi place, depending on what I feel like at the time.

Just in case my back is being a bitch, I'm getting in a frozen pizza so that there's the option of going home and sticking that in the oven. There is also the phone and the local pizza place if even sticking a pizza in the oven is too much like painful work.

Why yes, I do need to plan these things. Not only do I not do spontaneous well, I've got a back that doesn't like me sitting for long so a cinema trip needs to be well-planned with a post-cinema recovery plan in place. I'm going to need to be really well-planned for Harry next month. There is no way that I'm missing that!

Cut for work-related stuff )

Today I made a silly mistake and forgot to take anything for my mid-morning snack. I finished my little bags of Cadbury Animals biscuits and planned to either take a packet of custard creams (love them so much it's insane) or some little bags of Cadbury Fingers. But I forgot. Our vending machine is filled with a combination of crisps that I don't like and chocolatey peanutty treats that are banned in our nut-free office. No, the logic of that escapes me, too. Anyway, vending machine was unhelpful for supplying a mid-morning snack and there were no baked goods hovering in the office today. Of all the days to not have baked goods in the office...

I was in the middle of cursing myself and feeling all self-pitying when I spotted the box of Ritz crackers on my desk. I love Ritz crackers and these are my emergency-snack-needs box, so I totally nommed a bunch with my morning cup of tea. Not quite the same as tasty biscuits, but at least I haven't ended up eating my lunch stupidly early.

Note to self: bring noms to work tomorrow! And replenish the emergency snacks drawer!
selenay: (bitch please)
Cut for complaining about programming woes )

Cut for complaining about health woes )

- I essentially mainlined nine Glee episodes in just under a week. Now I have no Glee until September :-(

- Is it crazy that I now want to write Santana? The bitchiest girl on the planet?

- Or possibly endless Kurt and Rachel friendship fic?

- With a side-order of Santana/Brittany?

- Or that I've hit up AO3 already looking for lovely long Glee fic?

- That I can put onto my Kindle because AO3 has a .mobi download option that is awesome?

- Stop me, I beg you. I need another fandom like I need a hole in the head.

- Or encourage me. That also works. Doctor Who doesn't have much femslash potential for me but Glee did even before Santana came out.

- Apparently due to a crazy American holiday, there will be no Doctor Who here tomorrow. I am going to be forced to commit crimes in order to watch it. And this is why Canadians are often resentful towards Americans.

- Today I have cereal for lunch. This has nothing to do with me being totally exhausted last night (well, maybe a lot) and means that I definitely cannot have cereal for supper again. Apparently living on raisin bran is not an acceptable diet.
selenay: (bemused Doctor)
OK, yes, I know. Still haven't done my write-up of The Impossible Astronaut. I promise, tomorrow there will be a write-up of both episodes. I can confess that yesterday I did a re-watch of last week's episode. Just to solidify events in my brain, you know?

My back is easing up a lot. It's done to an irritating niggle most of the time and I can actually remain relatively unmoving (say, to read a book) for several minutes at a time before needing to do a bit of gentle, painful stretching to stop it seizing up. I was even able to do a short work-out this morning, including a bit of running, without problems.

This is much better than Thursday, when it took me a very long time crawl from my bed and my arms and neck were seizing up if I stopped moving for even thirty seconds. It's also better than Friday, when managed to get up for the royal wedding but it was a close-run thing and I still needed to do a lot of gentle and incredibly painful stretching just to keep things moving.

Hopefully in a few days, I'll barely remember that I had a problem!

I'm afraid that I'm a bit of a monarchist and I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's wedding. I barely remember Charles and Diana. This kind of thing tends to be a once in a generation thing, so I decided to absorb it all and enjoy it. The Dress, obviously, was one of the big things and I thought it was absolutely gorgeous and just perfect. Hopefully it's also going to be a big influence on bridal wear for a good long time, so there will be more brides in beautifully elegant dresses and fewer in strapless monstrosities a size too small. Darling, you're supposed to look beautiful and glowing on your wedding day. Not uncomfortable and vaguely disappointed that your dress isn't sexy enough.

The Abbey was one of the other highlights of the day. It looked amazing.

As for the groom, he looked fabulous as long as he kept his hat on. Then we were all reminded that he's inherited his father's hairline. Poor dear.

Still, they looked genuinely happy and I couldn't help grinning like a loon as they walked up the aisle, obviously trying hard to look solemn and noble with little grins slipping out anyway.

Finally, I want to look and move like the Queen when I'm 85. Damn, that woman just gets better with age.

Today I took an important step in my battle with food neuroses. I took myself out for lunch. I'd been vaguely thinking about fish and chips, but trying not to dwell on it and freak myself out. Then I got into the restaurant, smelled burgers and plunked for the meal that had caused a total freak-out two weeks ago. It was delicious. I only ate a few of the fries (which were very good) so that I didn't overburden my tummy, but I managed the entire burger and still feel great several hours later.

OK, yes, the work-out this morning may have helped slightly by making me both more relaxed about what I ate and making me really incredibly hungry when I got there. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not (relying on work-outs to counter-act some of the flail), but right now if it gets me past one of my silly food-rule hurdles then I'm going to enjoy it. At least for once I was hungry when I ate. That's been a rarity for a while now.

Ow, still

Apr. 28th, 2011 10:12 am
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
My back is definitely borked. Ow. Called in sick to work. Hopefully this will follow the usual pattern from when this happened two years ago and get better in a day or two.

For now, I'm doing lots of gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to stop things seizing up now that I've finally made it out of bed and I'm trying not to curse too loudly. Argh.

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