baratron: (corrosive)
My last couple of posts were interesting for me, since quite a few people commented who don't usually say anything here. Indeed, I didn't even know some of them still read my journal. It's nice to know people are still reading, even if they don't have the energy to comment very often. Hi! *waves*

Long-term readers of this journal will remember that I used to have an evil gall bladder. Now I have a mostly quiescent gall bladder, except in three cases:
1) If I eat too much fat.
2) At certain times of the month.
3) If I take codeine.

(1) is easy enough to deal with - it's hardly the end of the world to avoid fat, especially since the amount I'm able to eat these days is enough for me not to feel hard done by. (2) and (3) are more of a problem. I can't stop having menstrual cycles (not without aggravating other health issues), and gall bladders are known to be affected by oestrogen. That's one of the reasons why it's mostly women and "fat people" who get gallstones - oestrogen is fat-soluble. And of course, the main time I take codeine is when I have period pain.

So last night was epic "fun" - trying to make sure I took enough codeine to deal with my evil uterus without simultaneously aggravating my evil gall bladder. Paracetamol alone was no use: it was wearing off in 2.5 hours, and you can only safely take it every 4 hours. (And only 4 doses in a day, which is "great" when you wake up with pain in the middle of the night). I can't take NSAIDs because I have an anaphylaxic-type reaction to aspirin and ibuprofen - severe wheezing and throat closing up. So opiates are my only option. Literally. I'm not even sure that I can use a TENS machine right now with the weird back/leg neurological thing I have. Not until the doctor from the pain management clinic stops being shite and actually gets back to me with a new appointment :/

Ahh, bodies. Especially bodies that are broken in multiple ways.
baratron: (sleepy)
Blargh. Have basically done nothing for over a week. Was ill, went to the doctor, otherwise stayed in bed or lay around on the sofa. There's nothing quite like having a nasty virus while it's the time when a woman bleeds for a week but doesn't die. My evil gall bladder decided to start poking me again, for several days, but I refused to give in to its demands. (Gall bladders are remarkably sensitive to oestrogen levels - it's why it's stereotypically "women" and "fat people" who get gall bladder problems. I knew the pain would sod off once I was past that point in my cycle). Read a few books, played a lot of Oblivion. No functioning brain for anything else. My sleep patterns have become well and truly inverted.

And fixing them is hard, because it is Too Dark. Hilariously, the UK and Europe are still in "summer time" (or daylight savings, as the Americans call it). Australia is in "summer time", it doesn't make any logical sense for us Northern Hemispherans to be as well!

Tomorrow I have "volunteered" myself to be in College for 1pm, since it's the only time in the whole week that Philip is available to demonstrate the technique I need to use for the next part of my synthesis. Hooray - I love getting up in the morning! (Yes, it will be morning - I'll have to be up by 11.30am at the absolute latest to get in on time). I also really hope that none of my chemicals have decomposed sitting around for a couple of weeks waiting for me to get in and finish the synthesis. They're supposed to be stable, but I have no proof of that. Urgh.

It's officially Time To Start Using the Lightbox. I'm charging it right now.

blergh

Dec. 7th, 2010 06:10 pm
baratron: (Warning: Sick!)
Ergh. I feel really ill. Not only are my back, legs and uterus all being evil, but my dear old gall bladder's decided to get in on the action as well. I have spent the weekend eating painkillers.

Today I went to college and threw up thanks to the gall bladder, who is evil uterus's best friend. (When one hurts, so does the other). Have now eaten a couple of oranges and drunk some fruit tea (no fat!) and am sitting in the British Library trying to work. Will consider it a good day if I don't pass out or throw up again.
baratron: (Default)
I still have the sinus infection, period pain and achy joints. But now I am also having a gallbladder attack featuring so much pain that if I didn't know what it was, I'd have gone straight to the hospital. (I did actually collapse in a heap on the floor when I was trying to go to see my counsellor, stupid me for even trying). As it is, I don't seem to have a fever anymore, so it's not a gallbladder infection, so there's no actual need for me to see a doctor. Probably it's just whining about hormonal changes (apparently gallbladders are sensitive to oestrogen) and the fact I couldn't take my ursodeoxycholic acid for a few days. I just need to keep lying here in bed and taking lots and lots of lovely drugs.

But talk about one's body completely falling apart all at once!

Also I had an absolutely HORRIBLE nightmare this morning after Richard went to work and had to phone him to make sure he wasn't dead, even though I did know it was "only a dream" that Probably triggery for some )

So yeah, if anyone wants me, I'll be in a cave, under the covers of my bed, going "eurgh" :/
baratron: (dino)
Had a fairly meh weekend due to my entire body crapping out on me on Saturday. I'd wanted to go to Birmingham BiFest but with my back, legs, right hip and left ankle all hurting, I wasn't going to manage 4 hours on trains. Even my gall bladder decided to get in on the action! I haven't had gallstone pain that bad in years. Instead I spent 15 hours asleep. Woo.

Yesterday was much more interesting. Richard & I went to see Ghost Forest in Trafalgar Square. It's an exhibition of tree stumps from rainforest trees in Ghana. Some of the trees had been felled sustainably (every tree in the rainforest there is numbered, and you can only take a certain quota of trees from a particular area in a 40 year period), others had fallen naturally. It was particularly useful to have the exhibition there because Nelson's Column is a similar height to the mature trees, so you had an immediate reference for the size of them when living. Also the plaque alongside each tree had a simple graphic comparing it to Nelson's Column (like when blue whales are compared to London buses, or in a video game info screen where you see size of monster compared to your character). Richard took lots of photos and I shall prod him until they go online.

Today the exhibition was being taken down, and sometime this week the trees are going to Copenhagen for the climate change summit. I don't know if there is a comparable building to be a size reference there.

I like the story about the Denya tree not wanting to leave the ground.

Ouch.

Mar. 2nd, 2009 03:58 pm
baratron: (corrosive)
About the time I finished my last post, the world started spinning around and I had to go and lie down. The night then featured Extreme Nausea Mark 3 with Massive Dump Of Acid Into My Small Intestine and Argh Gall Bladder Attack No. 150 (approximately). Plus vomiting. Lots and lots of dizziness and vomiting. Until 3 am.

I still don't know whether something in the combination of meds I took triggered nausea, whether one of the meds I'm taking is bad for evil gall bladders, or whether it was just the usual "gall bladders are sensitive to oestrogen" thing. Or even whether it was the fact I took my multivitamins & calcium in the evening, figuring that doing without them for a week while I'm on doxycycline would mean I'd be non-functional by the end of the week. But it was nasty, with extra nastiness on top.

And today I am full of paracetamol, dihydrocodeine and Buscopan (a.k.a. hyoscine-N-butylbromide) and am still in screaming agony from the combined uterus and gall bladder attack. Dear body, if you want to kill me, just get on and do it quickly, rather than all these mini episodes of d00m.

Ambush!

Sep. 21st, 2008 07:01 pm
baratron: (Warning: Sick!)
There's nothing quite like having a killer attack uterus and a gallstone trying to emerge at the same time to make you feel ambushed by your own internal organs. Yesterday involved 165 mg of dihydrocodeine (equivalent to 330 mg of codeine, supposedly), which according to Wikipedia, should have been enough to make me away with the fairies. Me being me, it just made me slightly dizzy. The day also involved nowhere near enough sleep followed by several hours of lying in bed curled around my belly followed by vomiting followed by finally getting some sleep. I don't like pain.

But I dragged myself out of bed to go to the Wildhearts' 15th Anniversary of "Earth Vs the Wildhearts" show, which was awesome. I've always liked Shepherds' Bush Empire as a venue - something about the incongruity of being in such an old theatre to see a rock band. It also has plenty of seats with a good view of the stage, so you don't feel like you're missing out if you do have to sit down for most of the show. The band were on top form - Ginger was being nice to the audience (!), while he & CJ seem to be actual friends again these days. And the concept of playing the whole of Earth Vs in order would have been great, if they'd managed it... somehow, they skipped from "Miles Away Girl" to "News of the World" and "Drinking About Life" and had to come back to "My Baby Is a Headfuck" and "Suckerpunch". Oops. Then there was a break, for people to smoke or buy beer or go to the toilet - how civilised! followed by all of the B-sides from the Earth Vs era. I was surprised how many of the fellow 30-something fans knew all the words to the songs on Earth Vs but didn't know any of the B-sides. Personally, I was delighted to have "Girlfriend Clothes" and "Two-Way Idiot Mirror" in a setlist. And so civilised - to be able to see a band and breathe all the way through. It was being filmed for a DVD. Guess I'll be buying that, then :)

And then I went home and made & ate tomato rice and slept for 12 hours, interrupted only by the need to take pills throughout the night. Today, the uterus is less evil but the gallstone is still making itself felt. Think I'll be on the special ultra-low-fat-with-painkillers gallstone diet for a while :/
baratron: (test tube)
I meant to post the results of my blood tests, seeing as I got them on Friday. Apparently my liver function is all well in the middle of the normal range (I've forgotten the exact number). My TSH is within the range of normal, but somewhat on the high side - mine is 3.81 uIU/mL and the normal range is 0.4 - 4.0 uIU/mL. This means that I do not have hypothyroidism yet, but probably will within the next 20 years. Yay :/ But the reason I wanted it measured was to find out where it was because I suspect I'm likely to become hypothyroid later, so it wasn't a surprise.

My cholesterol level is great. My LDL ("bad" cholesterol) is 1.7 mmol/L, and the target value is less than 3 mmol/L. My HDL ("good" cholesterol) was 2.4 mmol/L, and apparently is super awesome! A desirable level of HDL is greater than 1.0 mmol/L and is associated with average risk of heart disease. A good level of HDL is 1.5 mmol/L or more and is associated with a less than average risk of heart disease. Also, you have a lower risk of heart disease if HDL is more than 20% of the total cholesterol level, and my HDL is 58.5% of the total!

Admittedly, this isn't the most exciting news in the world ever. I mean, I've been vegan since 2005, and the only significant plant source of cholesterol is avocado [1], which I don't eat. I also eat vast quantities of soya, and soy protein supposedly lowers "bad" cholesterol. Nonetheless, it's pretty cool, because 80% of gallstones are made of cholesterol, and lower cholesterol levels may reduce your chances of getting them again.

[1] iirc. Wikipedia is being entirely unhelpful on the subject at the moment, as the current entry on cholesterol manages to claim both "Plants have trace amounts of cholesterol, so even a vegan diet, which includes no animal foods, can have a high amount of cholesterol depending on the diet and oils used." and "For example, to ingest the amount of cholesterol in one egg yolk, one would need to ingest about 9.6 litres (2.1 imp gal/2.5 US gal) of pure peanut oil." Now, one egg yolk is something that many omnivores eat every day or every other day, but I seriously doubt there's a vegan on the planet who ingests 9.6 litres of peanut oil in a day! I think someone with a clue needs to edit that.
baratron: (baratron again)
Or anyone else on a low fat diet.

I had a craving for instant noodles, but the noodles I have here (Sainsbury's vegetable instant noodles, suitable for vegans) are so high in fat that one packet gives you a staggering 26.6 grams of fat! I can't *eat* food that fatty without getting really ill. So I took the flavour packet from the noodles & made it up with normal spaghetti, broken into small pieces. It was good! Would've been even better if the flavour packet was fresh and not expired in 2006 (not a problem from the health point of view, because there isn't enough FOOD in those flavour packets to go off) ;). The original noodles, however, would've been inedible because they're all full of palm oil, which like all vegetable oils goes rancid after a couple of years.

YAY DELICIOUS JUNK FOODS!
baratron: (science genius girl)
Am halfway through the huge stack of marking. 6 down, 7 to go. Discovered I really *do* need a rubber stamp which says "Carbon only has 4 bonds!!". I'm sick of writing that.

I also want to moan about having to mark exam papers that reek of cigarette smoke. Technically, if the kid is 18 it isn't any of my business what they choose to do with their bodies - but it's ewww.

Today I got to tell one of the kiddies that if she carries on doing the amount of work she's been doing, she'll get a D for her A-level rather than the B she needs for university. She has 5 written exams to sit for chemistry, and she's only done a handful of past papers for 1 of them. She seems to suffer from a total inability to THINK for herself. It bothers me that her parents are PAYING for her to not learn because she doesn't do her share of the work. Also, the lazy students tend to blame me when they get bad marks.

Stupid quote of the day: "Some herbicides have helped eradicate malaria (2-4-D) in some countries."

Also, I think I might have worked out what's going on with my digestive system, and it's rather interesting in a totally TMI sort of way.
baratron: (dino)
It's been a long few days. Let's do this in the Yay and Boo style that other people favour.

Saturday:
- 4.5 hours of work starting at 11.30am.
+ Saw Tim & Peter.
+ Peter is my personal computer fairy, bringing me a "new" laptop for Ludy plus an official Microsoft Office 97 install disc. Don't ask what I need it for (will explain later).
+ Went out for dinner at the nice Italian that's not open on Sundays.
- Wanted to go to sleep before Tim & Peter had even left (impressive, considering that they are morning people and I'm not!).
- It took me/us 5 hours or so to reinstall Windows & put all the new software onto Ludy's "new" computer. Got to bed far too late.
+ It was kinda fun to put music I like & think she'll like and photos of us/things meaningful to us on the computer for her. I get why people like to be computer fairies now!

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday )
baratron: (what's this?)
Well, my gall bladder stopped being evil. But I still lacked sufficient spoons to go to Polyday. Had a high temperature & headache & period pain & legs so achey I was limping in the house, so there's no way I could have made it up the hill to the station, let alone across London. I miss the people I didn't see, but at least the smoking ban means it's not my only chance to see people for 6 months.

Today, the headache is (mostly) gone and the period pain is manageable, but I still have a temperature of 37.4 °C 90 minutes after taking paracetamol. It's not obscenely high, but it's high for me (my usual is 37.1 °C at this time of day) and high enough that I can't quite think straight/right. And I'm not sure what to do about it other than take paracetamol - go to the doctor and say "I have a high temperature but no other symptoms?!". It's pretty clearly my usual chronic fatigue/glandiness thing, except my glands don't actually seem to be swollen. I'm about 95% sure that they'll look at a temperature of 37.4 and decide it's within the range of normal - never mind that it's high for me, or that the hospital panics and starts feeding you paracetamol if it goes above 37.0 (a problem, when my normal temperature is 37.1!). Blah.

How is life treating you? I want to hear all the gossip & scandal!

ow ow ow

Sep. 20th, 2007 11:14 pm
baratron: (angry)
Blargh. My gall bladder hurts :/ I just had to go & find pills that I don't normally need to take :/ I have eaten entirely usual food today - in fact, towards the lower end of the fat scale. So it's "probably" hormones.

Now, it is normal for my gall bladder to play up at this stage in my menstrual cycle, and it's even within the realms of "normal for me" for it to hurt this much at this time. However, the last time it was freakin' hot and throbby to this extent was the Brighton BiFest I missed because I was eating lots of opioids and lying in bed watching the wibblefairies. I'd rather like to not have that happen this weekend, thankyouvermuch.

Prayers to $deity_of_choice for continued gall bladder health gratefully accepted.
baratron: (introspection)
Finally acquired enough concentration to work on the tax return. I'm entering data from my accounts book into the Big Spreadsheet O'Doom, reasons being:
a) entering data onto the spreadsheet doesn't feel like working on the tax return, so I can do it without making myself completely stressed out.
b) once the data's on the spreadsheet, the computer will do all the calculations for me.

But it's weird. I'm doing the tax year 06 April 2005 - 05 April 2006, which means I keep seeing the names of students I finished with TWO years ago. This is especially weird when I consider the ones who only had two or three lessons then disappeared. Also, the time of this tax year coincides with the time I was bloody ill and going in & out of hospital at the rate of middle C. There are these large gaps in the book when I was just too ill to see anyone. And it's making me a little uncomfortable to remember that.
baratron: (pokemon girl)
Dear metabolism,

When the hell are you going to get with the program and realise you need to work harder to keep me warm? The non-consensual weight loss thing happened last year and I froze my arse off in clothes that were too big all of last winter. I did think you'd have figured out by now what size our body is and how much natural insulation we have, but obviously not. It'd be really nice if you could speed up, or whatever, so I don't have to sit here in a centrally-heated room wearing underwear, a vest, long-sleeved t-shirt. two jumpers, leggings, a thick cordruoy skirt, socks, slippers, a blanket and a hat just to stop myself from actively shivering. Mammals are supposed to be warm-blooded, damnit.

No love,
h-l.
baratron: (corrosive)
Gah. Didn't go to Cambridge yesterday. My gall bladder was hurty, and it's a bad idea to travel too far from home in that state in case it decides to go critical. Granted, it wasn't that bad and this is the first time since March that it's been even as bad as it was yesterday (I hope this is grammatical?), but I didn't want to push my luck. Also, I was snotty & wheezy & just generally felt like death warmed up.

So I will have to attempt to meet [livejournal.com profile] nmc next Saturday "for breakfast" when he passes back through London. I'm somewhat afraid of what "for breakfast" might mean, but I'm hoping his flight leaves from Heathrow rather than Gatwick. If so, it's reasonably trivial for me to get up, stagger 10 minutes down the road, and get on a 285 bus. I don't even have to be awake for that, just functional enough to move. 55 minutes of bus journey is usually long enough for me to wake up :)

I'm in a BAD MOOD. Went into town to buy Guitar Hero II, and although Game had a huge poster of it in the window, and the release date poster behind the counter said 10th November, there was no evidence of it in the shop. After wandering around inanely for about 10 minutes because Playstation 2 games have been shunted off to occupy a space barely bigger than the GameCube section (WTF?), I eventually found a sales droid. He consulted the book of release date stuffs, and discovered it has for some reason been pushed back to 24th. I want to play the Trogdor the Burninator song! _And_ I want to hear the new Freezepop song! Bah! *eviscerates whoever was responsible with a rusty spork*
baratron: (black)
There are lots of kinds of physical beauty. Modern Western society has decided to focus on a particular type that, for female-bodied people, is tall, slim and willowy. This idea of beauty is a comparatively new thing. If you look at portraits painted at various times over the past few centuries, you'll see that curves were most definitely in fashion for a lot of that time. Victorian women wore bustles to try to make their bottoms look bigger. Georgian women have soft, plump features like babies. In Rubens' time, zaftig was most definitely in.

According to a Cosmopolitan magazine in my doctor's surgery, in some modern African societies, women go on a diet before they get married. But rather than going on a diet to lose weight, they diet to gain weight. For, in a land where famine is common, fat is prized. Being fatter increases your chance of surviving if food becomes scarce, so increases your desirability as a breeding partner - which is, apparently, what our brains are subconsciously looking for even if you're childfree by choice. Makes no sense to me, but that's biology for you. (I wonder whether anyone has done research into what people look for in a same-sex partner?).

It's about 'fat' and 'beauty' and their lack of mutual exclusiveness - it _shouldn't_ be triggery, but I don't know where your buttons are. )
baratron: (grinning)
There are now "a few" "small" stones in my gall bladder!

This is a Very Good Thing. When I had the first ultrasound in July 2005, there were tons of the buggers. Even I could see them with no training whatsoever - they appeared on the mostly black & white ultrasound picture as coloured spheroids which sparkled & "spangled" as I moved around. There was also lots of "sludge", which is mostly what was causing me pain.

So the gallstone-dissolving medication is working, and no new gallstones have formed. Hooray!

This does not, of course, guarantee that my gall bladder won't spontaneously start producing more stones in a year, 5 years or 10 years - but it means I'm ok for now :)
baratron: (goggles)
The rest of the Belgium photos will be posted when I acquire sufficient spoons to do so. Sometime, we need to buy the non-free version of Photoshop, so it has macros, as it's quite tedious to have to resize a whole camera-worth of photos myself. (Granted, there are always some I'd want to resize manually, like if I want to refocus on part of the photo - but those are usually only 1/3 of the total, if that.)

Some of you are going to get random parcels from me over the next few days/weeks. [livejournal.com profile] hoopycat & [livejournal.com profile] veryfineredwine are getting the Belgian chocolate they "ordered". [livejournal.com profile] lindsical is getting the football papers I said I'd send. [livejournal.com profile] ailbhe is getting some dairy-free chocolate with vanilla cream filling that I found plus a newspaper article about homeschooling.

Tomorrow I have an ultrasound to find out what the current state of my gall bladder is. It's a little under a year since the last one, and I'm terrified. I know I'm much less ill than I was, and I've introduced a lot more fat into my diet without ill consequence (still doing low fat, but not ultra low fat - I'm eating about 20-30g of fat a day, rather than less than 10g. As a comparison, the guideline daily amount for "sustainable weight loss" in the UK is 50g for women. However, my weight has been stable since I changed to this amount.). But there is the possibility that the gallstones have gone "quiet", which means they're still there but just not hurting much - in which case, I could end up with acute cholecystitis again in the future and have the whole hospital thing to deal with.

We're going to Paris at the weekend! Richard decided the only way he was going to get some paintball "business" sorted out was to go and speak to the person about it, and he asked if I wanted to tag along. So I have to amuse myself on Saturday, then we're going to Aquaboulevard on Sunday. Suggestions of museums I might want to go to welcome. I "did" the main attractions (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur) when I was a teenager. I like science & modern art, and I don't much like Old Masters at all unless they're weird like Hieronymous Bosch.
baratron: (dino)
This recipe was borne out of my desire to make a low fat tofu cheesecake. My old recipe involved vast amounts of melted chocolate, soya cream cheese and soy cream, plus a base made of crushed digestive biscuits (graham crackers for the USians) and melted margarine. Clearly, this is something that is not good for evil gall bladders.

Anyway - so I made this as an experiment and it turned out pretty well. It got fed to several non-vegans who all oohed and ahhed about it, and it is in fact so rich that you can't eat it on its own - you have to put fruit and/or vanilla custard with it to try to "dilute" it a bit. At the moment it's 10.8% fat, and I'm thinking it would be possible to reduce that by increasing the ratio of cocoa powder: melted chocolate, and actually removing some of the chocolate altogether as it just doesn't need that much flavour. Treat this as a work in progress.

Read more... )

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