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*izded*

Okay, after much lugging stuff around from one wrong room to the proper one eventually... I'm here in Cardiff again. Now to go and get my goop-and-chips dinner methinks.

The Plan

After many delays and much fussing about I will finally be going back to University this month. Or, more accurately, I will be arriving in Cardiff in a fortnight to move into Halls while lectured will start early next month.

You have no idea how incredibly excited/terrified I am about this prospect. Anxiety about my academic ability aside, I really am looking forward to seeing my strange and beautiful city again for more than a few hours at a time. I hope, I hope, I hope it goes okay. I've just got two more years to get through and I'm praying it doesn't take another five to do so.

Out of interest, could I do a handcount of Cardiff peeps to see if there's anybody left there that I know. I can think of a couple of you who should, in theory, still remain in the Weird City but I'll be the first to admit I've kind of lost track of things while falling off the face of the earth. So, anybody for coffee, tea and/or cake on the weekend of the 24/25th?

*blink*

There's rioting again in Birmingham, less than 10 miles from my house. I was too young to remember the last serious batch that took place in Handsworth and I'd hoped that it would never crop up again because the impact lasted a hell of a long time. I shouldn't be surprised though, people here are unhappy, tense and angry with a lot of things and the violence in youths is a major problem these days. I can only hope and pray this settles quickly, no matter how unlikely that is and that it doesn't spread across the rest of the urban sprawl of the West Midlands. I'd rather not see my home towns smashed to pieces and I'd rather not risk having anybody I know hurt in it. Selfish, I realise, but nela to all those caught up as well.

Constructiveness!

First, as always, is the Real Life stuff. Progress has been made, up to a point, but only after a few steps back on my part. I'm seeing the home team daily now as various problems are kind of reaching a head and both I and they want to stop it before it reaches that far. Meds have been doubled but it;ll be a couple of weeks before anything's seen on that front. I know the reasons for it aren't good but it is nice to finally have a support network of some sort, especially since dad's getting worse by the day.

I've been writing and actually completing stuff which is a nice surprise. I'm in a couple of fests at the moment so I can't really talk about those stories in too much detail, only that they flowed out well and I really enjoyed writing them. There's some art pieces floating about for the same reason too and again I'm happy with the way they turned out.

Creative Writing was today and I, for once, didn't end up writing a quick character study of someone from the Weird City. Well, sort of, ish. Anyway, I'm okay enough with it that I'm going to shove it up here for perusal if anybody wants to read it and/or comment. I tried to get a sense of melancholy to the piece and I'm unsure as to whether I achieved it. Anyway...

She had 26 hours to live.Collapse )

Med withdrawl sucks...

Gah, it feels like I've got a gyroscope constantly rebalancing in my head. One the plus side, seeing a psych who actually seemed to give a crap (and was just and confused and annoyed as I over my first guy telling me that 2/40+ is a representative sample of all anti-depressants) was a nice change and I honestly wanted to hug him at the end of my appointment for actually listening to my concerns and giving me a useful solution. So tomorrow I start on Prozac, an oldie yes but we'll see if it works. *fingers crossed*
Fentanyl and Mirtazapine do not mix. Like, really do not mix. So on the one hand, I know what the dissociative state and hallucinations were this weekend. On the other, I've got another reason to get an appointment with my psych and have a go at him. 'Cause Seratonin Syndrome is not a good thing.

Another day in purgatory...

So what have I done these past two weeks because it really has been eventful, if not pleasant but Events, when they do Occur, rarely are.

I did actually go on 'holiday' for a week to Malta, if you can believe it, with my grandad and a lady who really quite defies definition although if you'd asked be a month prior to now I would have said surrogate nan. The quote marks are there because that week was more stressful than if I'd just stayed in Dudley. There are many reasons for this and first among these is that my grandad's Alzheimer's is far, FAR, worse than what we'd been told. I honestly and truly love him, I can say without a doubt, but seeing him as he was was horrifying and upsetting beyond belief and is a fate I'd not wish on my worse enemy let alone somebody I love and yet I know that he's still got further downhill to go.

To make it worse, his 'carer' really isn't and even denies it to my face (as my nan said, she wanted the best but not the worst of him) and was wonderfully rude and inconsiderate the entire time I was there (e.g. I'm not aware that you could grab something off someone if you were the one holding the item in the first place - plus, throwing stuff in a person's face when they point this out is just childish). Bizarre not-arguments and accusations were pretty much all the conversation I had with her and they truly made my head hurt - examples can be given if needed and you can try and explain them to me if you want (it could just be me being thick).

On top of that, my luck kicked in and not only did my phone get soaked and break but my wallet got stolen in the airport gate on the way back so I'm down ~£80 and my driver's license. Luckily, I had travel insurance but that cost me a lot anyway despite lady-person promising to sort that out before we left. Then again, if you can't book the airport taxi or pack for the right date what are the chances of you being able to do something as complicated as arrange travel insurance?

Right. Anyway. On to better things like the island itself. Hot. Very hot (around 30 degrees centigrade the entire time we were there) and gorgeous blue, cloudless skies. The architecture was superb, even the normal houses with lovely balcony columns and iron work all done in Tertiary limestones (thank you Natural History Museum in Mdina) with alien looking plants all over the place. I think I may be the only person on holiday that week to say I spent more time ogling plants than the barely-dressed and badly-burned people that were there. Okay, I did get burned on one day when even my factor 50+ sun cream didn't fully work. Horray for the nice local lady in the souvenier shop down the road from the hotel who told me to get the Aloe Vera lotion rather than the expensive brand-name Aftersun because that was bloody good stuff and worked better than anything I've used before.

So what did I do when I was there? Well, mostly stay in the hotel waiting for the other two actually - I only got out on three of the eight days we were there and one of those was on the last day before we caught the plane. I did Valetta (for 1 1/2 hours), Ta'Qali (pronounced t-ali) which closed just after we got there and Mdina in a rush tour of the north of the island. In those three places I did the wandering around the place staring at buildings and looking at souveniers like most but I also got to go to the Archaeology Museum in Valetta (OMG, wonderful place and beautiful exhibits, some of which can be seen below), the Aviation museum in Ta'Qali (volunteer run and a must see if you like engines or planes or history in general, again pics below) and the Natural History Museum in Mdina (which was full of creepy stuffed animals and despite a wonderful geology section was alas lacking in floral information). Umm, what else? The sea was warm and I watched crabs scuttle, seaweed float and urchins urchin for quite a while on a couple of evenings although I wish I could have gone for a swim.

I came back with a number of things, including a wonderful bug which laid me up until yesterday too dizzy to move and too nauseous to talk. Otherwise all the other stuff I like, among them being a silver, filigree, hand-made necklace which is Beautiful and was far too inexpensive for it's worth; a painting by a local lad on a Valetta craft stall of the balconies in the city in a pretty sketchy style with black pen and watercolours which somehow suit the object of the painting; presents of Mdina glass and lace for the family which they seemed to like and Maltese bread for my Mum which she did like because it was all she could go on about before I went.

Enough of me blathering on though. Piccies:

What I Did On My HolidaysCollapse )

I'll shut up now.

In passing...

Today I said goodbye to a dear member of our house as Bubbles passed away. He'd been ill for some time now but it was after we were told that his liver and kidneys were failing that we let the vet help him along more gently than he was going otherwise.
He was our dear, 'skinny stray' that we took in for six weeks over nine years ago. Never a lap cat (which at 9kg+ we were glad of) he was still very affectionate and had his own place in all our hearts, even dad's. The house is going to be so different without his lordship squeaking and demanding doors opened. I only hope that he had a good life with us and that he was happy. And if I had one wish it would be that we could have longer with him or, failing that, that I can get better enough while away next week that I can properly miss him when I return. Rather than this disconnected self I am currently.

Dear, giant catlet.Collapse )

 

For a pet, accidental or otherwise, you couldn't ask for better. Bubbles, cat-thing of ours, you will be missed.

Stalemate

Chess is actually quite difficult and far more interesting when you're explaining your strategies and reasoning aloud.

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Ho Hum

Quick update on how the eternal waiting period that is my life is going.
Health:
Physical is same as usual. Still in pain. Still losing weight. Am ill today because I have no immune system.
Mental... yeesh. Still not eating (the Depression Diet is a great way to lose weight). Still having trouble with sleep, etc. Dove House is great. Family, not so much.

Otherwise... going to fayera's Bridal Shower on Saturday which will be interesting as I've never been to a spa and it's in Birmingham which is handy. Writing again now, trying a longish story from the Weird City because I'm in a writing group courtesy of Mind and trying to work the bits and pieces of the plot out helps distraction wise. Drawing too - doing my prompts for various fests now and some of it's looking quite decent.

Downs and worse happening as usual but I've got a review coming up sooner rather than later with the Crisis team again because, well, things. It's hard to cope with how... much this has gotten since I took my Interruption of Study. I only, desperately, hope I can get it back together in time for me to be able to go back (who would have thought it wouldn't be the physical stuff keeping me away now, eh?). If not, maybe kinda sort of have a fallback plan. We'll see.

I think Hell was very, very cold yesterday.

So I finally had my post-op back review nearly a year after the operations. At the rather beautiful and remarkably empty Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham with a consultant who was born a two minute walk away from my house funnily enough. He lughed (and not in a cheerful way) when he saw who treated me previously and was a little concerned that my treatment was so... delayed from the onset of symptoms. Told me to ignore what previous people had told me and did various tests. Went wide-eyed at my scar(s) but then everybody does.
The results? Well, no more surgery for me - not that I would have agreed to any anyway. Instead, directed core stability exercises with my new hypermobility specialist physiotherapist, a referral to the health psychologists in Dudley for CBT and finally, replacing my max dose of Gabapentin with a new drug called Lyrica which is supposed to be a directed nerve pain drug specifically designed for people who haven't really responded to Gabapentin.
I went in not expecting much. I know I've pretty much reached all I can do with my back recovery wise. It's all just fine tuning now. It was nice to not just be dismissed with 'there's nothing more we can do, go away' or 'I've got to refer you to somebody else' or 'go home, take painkillers' or even another surgery go. It's good that I finally seem to be seeing the right people for both recovery and preventative treatment now (although I'll be doing the latter for years I've been told and am quite happy with that).
So yeah, that was a new experience for me. Yay for my continuing good luck on Friady 13ths.

Oh I had a good day today. I sat and poked and prodded at debatable points in a meeting at Dove House where I got my argument convincingly across. I then played chess and won one lost one (only because I was again debating and explaining thing during it and was distracted :P) *sigh* Oh frabjous day. I was actually myself again for a while rather than a big ball of neuroses. It's funny, I actually feel kind of heavy and woozy with being at peace. It's such a strange feeling. Now to see if I can get to a point where that's my normal state.

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I think I've done this one before...

I swear if dad tells me to essentially 'pull [my]self out of it' I will do something he'll regret.

I'm seeing the Crisis Mental Health team again because basically I'm having a bad time coming to terms with the fact that my back and joint pain's going to be permanent and they've pretty much ran out of options on the pain killer side of things too (Thanks Pain Management Team). The CPN was *here* today and dad must have been able to hear because he was only in the kitchen about 10 feet away. I'm going to be visited every other day to see how things go and I'll be put on new meds when the Citalopram is finished - handily the notes from Cardiff have arrived so they're not just flailing about in the dark, more flailing around in the dark with only a glow stik to light the way. And so he decides to have a shout at me because despite him doing fuck all today I cannot clean the guinea pigs at the same time I do it every day and must instead do them NOW even though I'm really tired, having back twinges and feel sick at the smell of his malt loaf cooking downstairs, oh and also sorting out the laundry and cleaning my/Bratling's room at that point in time. It's actually the shouting that gets to me most - he must realise by now that I Can't Cope with shouting and at the moment all it does is make my skin crawl, me cringe and, as an added bonus, want to cry. Helpful, Dad. Make the stupidly depressed girl cry. It's not like you're helping in any other way either.

Actually, only Mum seems to have any sense of how serious this might be. Bratling keeps telling me I'm better than I was as if she can only see the physical side of things although I think she is trying because she's having her own problems with shit happening in her life getting her down and Dad, well, he seems to be convinced I'll get all better (physically and mentally) if only I decided to do so. Like I wouldn't have done that already if I could. Like it even works that way. Gah.

There is no other news. My life consists of nearly nothing but medical stuff and trying to not completely fall apart in all senses of the word. Hence the not posting for long periods of time.
It's been a rough couple of days and I can't say it's going to get better any sooner. I spent last week sleeping 18 hours or more a day and currently I've been up well over 24 hours now and still going. This is the least of it. I've had to try and convince the nice psychiatrist bloke (after being given the runaround yesterday where I was sent to the wrong place after two months of extra waiting and so missed that appointment) that I really having problems with existing. Again my notes are not here so all I can do is hope he believes what I'm saying - there's no reason at all to lie to these people who I desperately need to help me. It shouldn't take 6 months for notes to move from one bit of the NHS to another. Then again it shouldn't take 9 months for a routine checkup that's supposed to occur 6 weeks after surgery. I think he sort of realised how much trouble I'm in but couldn't quite fully grasp the complete pile of shit that is my situation here. Pain and horrible depression. Panic and spasms. Oh glee. One thing that was said really struck me - am I right to blame the NHS for the situation I'm in? Certainly I've had way more than my share of fuckups which directly result in some of my more annoying but more trivial ailments but I think he thinks I'm just after someone/thing to blame for my situation. *shrugs* I shall re-read my journal and see what the past has to say. In amongst my rantings there's got to be some facts to be picked out.

Ai. More updates next week after yet more appointments and, on a much lighter note, going to see Ed Byrne live. Oh, and a chav being mauled by a bear, as requested, will be shown.

Oh Frabjous Day! Caloo Calay!

As I've said to the 4 people I talk to on a regular basis these days, my social life is pretty much entirely taken up by medical appointments. I'm now being referred to specialists in Birmingham because Dudley has run out of people to look at me apparently. I don't know, maybe something can be done because while I'm back to around 60% of fit and healthy I'm not in a state to go look after myself yet let alone go back to uni. Ah, we shall see. And it'll be easier in halls hopefully because I can't do a house anymore for a myriad of reasons.

In other, less exciting news, an update on the drama with the indescribable that is my aunt. She's being investigated for benefit fraud for stuff she's done over the years including working while on the dole, faking the extent of her illnesses and charging people rent while receiving housing benefit etc. I may have pointed the way a bit in my anger after what she'd done to grandad but as everyone on DLA is being rechecked this year it was going to happen anyway. Her enjoyable retaliation was accusing my dad with harassment and getting him a police caution for things I'd done and she knew I'd done. Of course, she's going to have fun because she keeps sending us ridiculous letters and cards which, after the police caution of her own to leave us alone, is harassment under the legal definition. It's being left at the moment as it is but we're keeping records of everything she does for when she inevitably tries something again.
As a result though, this whole fuss has affected my grandad so much he's going to have to into care very, very soon and much earlier than we'd expected. Thanks creature I'm ashamed to share genes with.

On the other hand I'm very much extremely bored. Gimme something to draw if you like (a creature, prompt, word, phrase, situation, whatever) and I'll scan it in and post it up for you.

Still alive

Just absolutely bugger all going on really. Read Sherlock Holmes and loved it, attended many medical appointments with yet more to come and now sharing a room with the Bratling because she's just as bereft of everything as I am currently.

As I'm so very, very bored I'll do another meme thing. Gimme a topic to draw, a word, phrase, quote or something specific and I'll come up with something, scan it and put it up here. It'll make up for me having no drawings on my walls at the mo'.
There are no words to describe my aunt at this moment. This morning she decided to destroy what is probably my grandad's dying wish by trying to sneak out of his house to go back home an hour before the taxi was due to arrive to take them both on a 3 week trip to Malta. My grandad has Alzheimer's so he can't go on his own and with the best will in the world my nan couldn't have packed and sorted things out to go with him instead in time. She wasn't going to tell him she was leaving - she was going to let him find out on his own. It's also too late for his to get a refund on the trip so he's down over a grand. My nan's had to cancel her Christmas plans with her family (she's technically my step-nan with four grandchildren of her own) and this might well kill my grandad as besides everything else he's really not in the best of health.

I wish on her everything we've suffered and more. I hope she realises that the whole family's going to basically disown her for this but she probably won't. As my mum put it - she's so far up her own arse she won't even realise what she did to her own father is wrong. Stupid spiteful selfish bitch.

Oct. 26th, 2010

I could write about the rediculous amount of uninteresting recovery stuff I've done over the past two months but it'd only be repeating things I've put down in this journal before. Maybe later I'll do a highlighted version.

I will, however, tell people that I'll be back in Cardiff for the day this Saturday. Anybody interested in getting drinks and having a catch up before I disappear off again?

Oh FFS

Haven't got my loan. Won't get my loan until people get their act together and process my Interruption of Study application which I sent in last month. Plus I have to prove I have rent to pay, explain why I have rent to pay (what a binding contract isn't enough?), prove I'm too ill to go to uni and why I have to have the entire year off and basically beg and plead for them to give me some income to live on, please? Hence the subject title. Oh and Dad's not helping by shouting at me that it's simple - just up and leave - except that it's really, rally not. Besides the binding contract I signed, there's the matter of my belongings and where they're going to go (no room in this house) or how they'll be moved. But what happens when I'm better and I go back? Where am I going to live? I'm not staying in Dudley the entire year anyway, as soon as I'm healthy enough to do things on my own again I'm going back. Granted it's probably going to be in the new year now more likely but that's still a lot less than a whole year away. 'Cause you know I do have other ongoing medical situations up there.

Fuck. Lets hope I have better luck with the DLA doctor visit on Monday. Backpay from February would be nice if I could get it. It'd certainly take care of the NO (well, £12 to my name) money situation.

It's just ridiculous, the whole fucking thing.

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So yeah, I'm sat in a chair. Go me.

Told you so... again

So, I had no sleep last night as the last of the Fentanyl in my system wore off and I was in incredible pain. Maybe snatches of half an hour 45 mins? Ah well, I'll try and grab hold of the Pain Team today to see if I can get a Fentanyl patch as in theory my physio also probably starts up today as well. Joys.

In other news I got my sister to scan some of the better stuff I've been drawing - most of which is for fandom fests so I can't show you yet but there are one or two I can show you though. Okay, well two.Collapse )

Lastly, a very belated prompt fulfillment - Persephone's Garden for puredeadthingy - Sorry the scan didn't come out too great, I'll have another go at it when it's me scanning them and not the Bratling. I also have 'an angel dreaming' for you at some point but, again it'll have to be when it's me scanning them.

Jul. 25th, 2010

Some dqys you just can't win. I've had the physios, plagues that they are, come and torture me for a little while not believing that occasionally rest is good for you or at least more helpful when you're wired to three different ponts at three different points, maybe waiting the three days until two of them are 'supposed' to come out might be a good idea. Don't mind me though, I'm only the one having spasms when I try to move like you want me to and why yes, that is how I get up, fuck off. I could tell you haw much I've been moving around while I've been here but that's a moot point because as soon as I do get to moving around again, hey! another operation. I'm also nearly certain that they did domething to the nerve on the right side of my back this time round because I keep having spasms.
I also wish people would realise that just because the table's near me (if the table's near me) if it's not in arm's reach, I Can't Reach It. I apologise for being awkwared that way but I am not elastigirl.

Also, be quiet lady next to me, you're very annoying.

Jul. 24th, 2010

Went into sugery at half six after nearly 24 hours NBM and only one hour on a fluid drip. Came out at half ten. I love Fentanyl as actually *works* as opposed to morphine. However, recent TMI events of the last few minutes mean that I still want a bloody transfer to a decent hospital or at least one that is nearer my parents.
Ai, time for my weekly operation as I head becak into theatre to have a drain put in my back. Woo.

Third Time's the Charm...

Right, now to explain more than in the voice post I made.

I got through the operation at near enough midday but then had a fever, migraine and nausea for the rest of the day and the night. Yesterday was spent mostly recovering from it as well. Today I can look at light without my head hurting, so yay. I do still have loads of wires ans canulas sticking out of me and to look at me you'd think I'd done something horrific to my arms the way they're bandaged up. They don't know what was coming out of my back was yet but I'm taking their lack of panic a good sign. I just wish they'd tell me more. I'm supposed to start physio again today. Let's see if we can get on with it without having yet another operation, yeah?

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“Heya, so yes I'm still alive, that's pretty much about all I have to say, hello all and I'm still alive connected with many many many wires from every limb imaginable, but you know come visit if you want, and yeah so. Bye.”

Auto-Transcribed Voice Post - spoken through SpinVox

Third Time Lucky?

I'm going into theatre again. TMI insideCollapse )
I'm first on the list so should be over there soon. Wish me luck guys and I'll see you on the other side.

Update on the less-crippled-than-before

So been poked and prodded, twisted and turned. The result being that after nearly 24 hours of sleep yesterday I feel a lot better and might actually be able to do some of the physio today. I'll have a go anyway. I think today might give me an idea whether I'll get out sooner or later. I also seem to have been adopted by the little old lady in the bed next to me because I drew her a picture. Now I have two people to write to when I get out.

Enough about me though - how are you people - give me an update on how things are with you?