baratron: (aibo)
Today I experienced the joy which is seeing a doctor who doesn't know me. Apparently my usual GP is on holiday somewhere warm, lucky woman.

So I was explaining to the doctor that I have had chronic fatigue and pain on and off since I was 13 and I'm now 40, and that I was concerned about the pain in my left knee. The last time I was in this kind of pain was March 2003 when I got diagnosed with hyperventilation occulta. It's a chronic fatigue syndrome type of pain rather than an injury sort of pain.

I explained that I was concerned because I am unable to do very much exercise because of my exercise-induced exhaustion, and now because of this pain I can't even do the small amount of exercise that I usually do. It hurts when I sit, it hurts when I lie down, it hurts when I stand, it hurts when I walk, it hurts when I stretch. Nothing that I know of changes the pain. Since some of my other joints are starting to get achey too, I am concerned.

Trigger warning: unwanted diet advice. )
baratron: (boots)
Today I have been ADULTING like a PRO. I called the Student Loans Company about the threatening letter which they sent me. To be fair, I have an income-contingent student loan, and they received information from the Inland Revenue to say that I was no longer employed, so they wanted to know where I got my income from, on the basis that I might be secretly earning a small fortune and secreting it away somewhere.

I still have to fill in the damned form, but at least they know that I called them and I'm not trying to avoid paying back the loan.

I also called EDF Energy to get moved onto a fixed-rate tariff that will cost £76 per month instead of the variable-rate tariff which costs £100 per month which we have been on because I didn't have the spoons to deal with it before. Now I am drenched in sweat and I don't think it's only because of the weather.

Why is adulting so exhausting? I mean, neurotypical non-depressed people manage it all the time.

Alexa thinks it's because of tuits/spoons. Adulting uses lots, and they have more of them. I think that explains how they're able to do it more easily, but it doesn't explain why it should take so many bleedin' spoons to do pretty straightforward tasks. I mean, it shouldn't be that difficult to either call or go through the website to change your energy tariff, when you're already being a lazy git and staying with the same energy company because you don't have the energy to start looking around for better deals. But apparently it is? (Actually, I did forget you could do it through the website. That would have made it a lot easier.)

I also still have to deal with Student Finance England and my university, but this also requires dealing with my doctor. I need proof that I've been too sick to be studying for the past year as well as proof that I am now recovered enough to go back. It's a bit too much considering I've been revoltingly ill with bronchitis for the past couple of weeks. I have recovered enough to only need double my usual asthma meds, rather than 6-8 times my usual dose plus oral steroids. But I've only been out of the house 5 times since 14th June, and two of those were doctor's appointments.

Blargh blargh blargh. So much ill. So little energy.
baratron: (boots)
I have successfully filled in my Disability Living Allowance (re-)application form. It only took me 6 days.

I have also successfully achieved a signed FP92A form, which is a Medical Exemption Form granting me free prescriptions for the next 5 years. Now I just have to wait for it to be processed.

I would be jubilant, except that I have entirely run out of spoons from all this bureaucracy.
baratron: (endurance)
Life's been a bit difficult lately.

I have screwed up my left leg in an impressive manner. I keep stretching my legs while still mostly unconscious, and somehow OVERstretching my left leg and waking up screaming. My thigh has been numb for weeks and sometimes I have odd shooting sensations up and down my leg. The oddest thing is a kind of burning sensation, but like ice rather than fire. Fortunately, that doesn't happen very often.

Neither my GP nor physiotherapist can work out what exactly I've done. It's clearly some sort of nerve issue, and it's clearly not very serious since I have most of my sensation; but it's weird and unpleasant and I don't like it. Also, whenever my left leg is bad, I end up throwing my weight onto my right leg as I walk around the house, and then it gets damaged as well. Joy!

On Saturday, I randomly stretched my legs, managed to overstretch my left leg YET AGAIN, and this time it feels as though I've actually ripped something inside because not only is my thigh numb, it's all puffy just above my knee. It's better than it was, but still not good, and it's taking all my spoons to deal with it. ALL my spoons. My ability to injure myself in my sleep is prodigious, but I need to figure out what the hell I keep doing to injure it over and over.

Also, partly as a result of the above, my sleep patterns are fucked. Absolutely FUBAR. I seem to now be on a cycle of waking up between 7 and 10 pm, and falling asleep about 10 am. This is so very broken I can't even describe it. And the sleeping pills I've been given, which work splendidly for when I can't sleep because of stress, do nothing for when I can't sleep because I'm not tired enough because I basically didn't come installed with the software for functioning circadian rhythms. I can be ridiculously tired - falling over with physical tiredness - and my brain still isn't sleepy.

Oh yes! And another thing! I managed to lose my Disabled Railcard on Friday 10th May! It was in my pocket in UCL Library, then suddenly not in my pocket by the time I got to the bus stop 5 minutes away. And I spent 45 minutes looking and asked in all the security lodges and so on. Clearly, someone picked it up. Whether they are now going to spend 2.5 years claiming reduced-price travel to which they are not entitled is a question which has been bothering me greatly, because it has my name on it, but not a photo. I have paid the £10 administration fee and have been sent a new card, but there's no way to cancel the old card.

There are issues to do with College which I can't even be bothered to attempt to write about right now. The only reason this post exists is that I've edited my irc rants into semi-coherent English. Also there is other stuff which I am not posting in a public post. Like all of this, really, none of it is the sort of thing that people need to worry about: but it is a source of stress for me.

It's really been one damned thing after another. None of them very major in themselves, but together overwhelming my ability to cope. I want a bit of breathing space without anything else going wrong for a while :S
baratron: (wolfy)
Those of you who were watching my journal last week would be forgiven for worrying that I had been horribly maimed or murdered by my research report, since I never got back to livejournal to tell you that I'd survived. Actually, no death or serious injury occurred, except to my stack of spoons, which went so badly into overdraft that it took almost a week of sitting on my arse on the sofa playing Oblivion before I could think about work again. (Yes, I'm going backwards - having spent something like 300 hours on Skyrim, and nowhere near finishing it, I decided to try Oblivion, the previous Elder Scrolls game. Which turned out to be a good thing, since it's much less immersive than Skyrim (the UI in particular sucks on Xbox 360), you can't ever forget you're playing a game, and it's easier to STOP playing and get on with something else).

I am now basically fine, apart from being extra-prone to nightmares. They've been ranging from so realistic that I wake up having an anxiety attack and am useless all day, to so over-the-top that they're obviously "just dreams". Like the one I had last night about BiCon, which featured such delights as the days in the programme book being in the wrong order, so the workshop I was running which I thought was at 12pm on Friday was actually at 12pm on Thursday, and us using many tiny classrooms in a huge university block, around others which were still being used for classes. (None of which would ever happen in real life). And someone giving a talk about protein science, which I went along to out of interest, discovered that a lot of it was wrong and wondered if I was supposed to pull the "I'm a PhD student in this discipline and you're talking bollocks" tag. (Why would someone give a talk about protein science at BiCon anyway?). If the tenses in this paragraph are bizarre, you can blame the fact I'm talking about a dream.

What else? We finally went to Whipsnade, and Saw The Bears. Photos exist, but are unlikely to be online unless I can persuade Richard (the perfectionist) to spend an evening sorting them out and posting them. The sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) were small and cute and not hugely interesting. The brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) were awesome and snuffly! We spent ages watching them since when we got there, they were mostly sleeping. Or at least, dozing - all bears have multiple stages of activity and rest during the day. So we had to wait for them to wake up.

Bear number 1 spent the whole time lying down, so she was quite beautiful but not very interesting. Bear number 2 spent most of the time doing bear yoga - sitting on her big bear bottom stretching out one back leg, then stretching out her front leg on the same side to touch it. Then she got up and started foraging for carrots and apples which the keepers toss into the grounds. Bear number 3 was way back in the forested part of the enclosure so we couldn't see what she was doing - but then she came forward and foraged too.

We also saw Very Squeaky otters, parts of red pandas (the rest hidden by foliage), a herd of wild boars, a wolverine, many penguins, Moosen In The Woodsen, and wolves. Which were very far away, and mostly doing impressions of wolfskin rugs. Also some obscure relative of donkeys, the name of which I've forgotten, unicorn rhinos, and giraffes. We did not see elephants because I was running out of wheelchair battery.

Unrelated to the above, I saw Rock of Ages at the cinema. It was immensely silly. I loved it, but then I am also the person who saw Blades of Glory on an aeroplane and went out & bought the DVD. If you love naff 80s hair metal/cock rock, watch Rock of Ages. If you hate it, don't bother.

Now I need to find someone to go to the musical with, since Richard hates all musicals.
baratron: (shiny)
Yesterday, when I went to bed, it was grey and drizzling, and I thought "hooray, that's my birthday rain". I've had less than 10 dry birthdays in 36 years. There's an actual reason for it, too, but I can't share it with you because it's from an old copy of The Times and they now want a login for it - even though it's from before they started charging for online content! You'll have to make do with my summary from the time.

Today I have received the best birthday present ever, which is a drawing from [livejournal.com profile] stellarwind. Everything in the picture is a reference to something in my life, and I don't actually EXPECT anyone to get all of the references, unless they're me :) It's still pretty awesome to share, though. I need an emergency spoon dispenser in real life, and the "thirty-six impossible hydrogen bonds" is both a double pun AND based on an actual problem that I've been having with my work.

I don't expect to get any more birthday presents until I have time to use them, which is fine by me. Work is being awful, and doing that thing it does of expanding to more-than-fill the time available. I've spent three whole days trying to get a program to work with certain files, and if my supervisors can't come up with a magical solution today, I'm going to throw them out, because I can't afford to waste any more time on this part of the project. I'll just write about the files which did work.

I hate being under an impossible time pressure.
baratron: (introspection)
It's amazing how many more spoons I have when I'm not in pain.

I still don't have "enough" for everything that I need to get done today, though.
baratron: (Default)
The past week has been generally quite wretched. I went to the doctor, and realised that my current level of chronic fatigue is (a) way beyond normal for me, (b) impossible to coexist with trying to do a degree. So I have been talking to my Department about applying for a Break in Studies. Which, by the way, SUCKS. I want to be healthy (or at least, within the range of "normal for me") and getting on with my work! I don't want to be at home, too ill to work, basically housebound, with nothing to do except play Sims 3!

I had some blood tests done but not all the results are back yet, and the doctor isn't going to look at them until they are. I'm hoping this will be tomorrow. I am also hoping that something obviously wrong and easy to treat will show up, since I'm bored rigid with being ill.

I need help to walk to the doctor and back. This is a round trip of 0.6 miles. And then I am in pain for the rest of the day. Yay. I'm thinking about renting a wheelchair or electric scooter so I can actually DO THINGS at the weekend. The inside of my house (and specifically my bedroom) is really not a very exciting place :(
baratron: (Sims 2)
My spoon levels are so, so low at the moment. My life consists of working for money, playing Sims 3, listening to the new Freezepop album, and sleeping. If I didn't work from home, I wouldn't actually be able to work at all, because I only have enough energy to leave the house once or twice a week. I lose two or three complete days a week to sleep as it is. Stupid body. Stupid chronic fatigue.

I remember fondly the life I used to have where I did college work and work for money at the same time, and still had enough spare energy to see people and go out for dinner a couple of times a week. Where did that go? I'd be concerned if I didn't have such clear symptoms of my particular chronic fatigue illness and a lack of symptoms of anything else - and if I was too tired to think, which mostly isn't the case. Various stuff helps - vitamin pills, more protein in my diet, the physiotherapy which I'm supposed to do all the time and mostly don't.

Though it occurs to me - isn't this Tuesday a second Tuesday of the month? Shouldn't it be Bisexual Underground? I have nothing else planned for Tuesday, so maybe I can sleep all day and go into London in the evening. That'd be nice.
baratron: (flasks)
I meant to get up early & go to the library today. But when the alarm went off, my back was hurting too much for me to stop being horizontal. In retrospect, what I should have done was take painkillers at that point.

I tend to resist taking painkillers unless it's absolutely necessary. Problem is, I'm not all that good at telling if it's absolutely necessary. Period pain? Yes, it doesn't go away by itself. If I leave it I'll be in screaming agony for three days. Back pain? Well, sometimes just lying down clears it. Sometimes a hot shower's enough.

Now it is 10 hours after my alarm went off the first time, and my back still hurts. I have taken painkillers, am sitting in my "special" orthopedic, back-supporting chair, and my back still hurts. Gods damn it.
baratron: (squid!)
Today I have dragged myself out of the house for the first time in... over a week. (I can't actually remember when I last left the house). Brought myself up to college, walking v e r y   s l o w l y, and got a taxi from Waterloo because my ability to deal with stairs on the Tube is, heh, laughable. Only to find the big shiny computer is still broken, so I can still do no more work here than I could at home (not that I've been working at home either - too ill). The main lifts are out of action until September because they are being replaced - this is probably going to be a very good thing in the long term, because I'm told by Estates that the lifts we had before were desperately under-specced, which was why they broke down all the time - but in the meantime it means walking out of my way to use the goods lift or the passenger lifts at the other end of the building. Which is hard when I'm flippin' exhausted. The library lift is broken for the umpteenth time, so I can't access the library out of hours because I have to ask a librarian/library assistant to take me upstairs via the goods lift and secret passageway. And I've just found out today that the lab stool that has been sent by my Disabled Students' Allowance supplier is the wrong one. It's a low/short lab stool, and I was supposed to be getting a tall one - so I could work at an actual chemistry lab bench like a normal person.

If you look at this web site (belongs to manufacturer rather than useless DSA supplier), what they have actually sent is the Opus Low Laboratory Chair, and they were supposed to be sending the Opus High Laboratory Chair. I don't know if this is like the laptop, yet another mistake made by the useless PA who typed up my DSA report, or if it's a mistake at the supplier's end. Certainly not very happy about it though!

And it'll take more spoons that I don't have to get it sorted out. Walking hurts like hell, I've still got my right wrist strapped up all the time except when I'm asleep, still can't write, open doors or turn taps with my right hand, carry objects of more than, say, 2 kg because of it (that's the weight of my laptop held between both hands, and it's taking considerable spoonage to move it around the house, especially if stairs are involved), and I'm sleeping for 12 hour blocks. Usually waking up panicky because that's all part of the hyperventilation occulta, which then makes me non-functional for a few more hours. And then feeling quite depressed, can't think why that could be </sarcasm>.

I need someone to come round and find/sort out all my taxi and book receipts, and shout at Student Finance England until they send me the claim forms (the normal claim form is on the internet but there is apparently a 'special' book claim form, gods only know where that one is secreted), fill in the claim forms, get a letter written from someone official at college to support the days when I have taxi receipts that aren't detailed enough for what they want, and reapply for DSA for next year. Oh yes - and get my house tidied so it's not a complete state, and get some academic work done.

Oh, and to add more fun, the door in the postgraduate office on the sixth floor has a broken lock, so you need to enter the code as you go out as well as when you go in, and hold the handle down to lock the door. I can't do this, because of aforementioned shitty weak wrists! So I don't know what I'll do if everyone else leaves before me tonight! Apparently no one has actually reported it! I'm hardly ever in this office - only here tonight because my brain was too fried for me to remember to bring my keys for the third floor office where I usually am, but some people are here every day - surely it's sensible to report a broken lock?! Am I asking way too much here?

Other things that have been eating my brain lately: trying to get access to the disabled areas at the Sonisphere festival. The thing they use to determine eligibility (apparently ALL music festivals and concerts) is whether or not you receive Disabled Living Allowance, which I've never bothered to try claiming because I know I'd only get the lowest possible rate, and the form is too depressing to fill in. So it looks like I'll have to do that, and get rejected, because that's how claiming DLA works (you apply, and even if you can't physically move without help, you get rejected, and then you appeal it). ARGH.

Oh well. I have tickets to go and see Peter Mandelson speak on Monday. That should be fun.
baratron: (introspection)
Life is strange at the moment. Still not on the right dose of carbamazepine because I am an idiot. I called the surgery last Wednesday to ask when the earliest telephone appointment with my doctor would be, and they said 11am tomorrow... so I didn't take it because I thought I'd be capable of getting into the surgery to see any old doctor before that. Duh. What I should have done was take the telephone appointment, and then if I did manage to see someone else, cancel it. It's not as if an appointment with my impossible-to-see doctor would have gone unfilled for very long.

So my head is in a strange place, and my sex drive is ratcheting up, and my moods are really quite unstable. And my concentration span is going all over the place - sometimes good, sometimes non-existant.

I'm also thinking that I need to do some serious thinking about my various relationships. Essentially, though I never thought it would be - my PhD is like a new primary partnership. I thought it would be more like a new job - it hadn't occurred to me just how life-filling (in the sense of "expanding to more than fill the time available") it would be. Let alone the fact it's always with me, financially-entwined, and of highest priority in my life. Really, it's a lot like a relationship, which is odd considering there's only one person in it. (Well, three, if I include my supervisors, but that just feels weird). I haven't had time for proper quality time with my other partners in months, but I don't want to split up with either of them because I really care about them, but my balance of time and spoons available are all out of whack. It's confusing.

It would really help with the feeling more in control of my life if I didn't live in an absolute fecking tip. I've no idea how we're going to get the house sorted out when I'm too tired during the week to do housework, and Richard keeps going away at the weekends for paintball events. What we need is to get it tidied up enough that we can get a cleaner. But we have too much random crap, and too much stuff that is actually quite important but looks like crap.

I'd quite like to play my bass guitar sometime, and go out to see bands, and have time to read books for pleasure, and fit in extra research that is non-essential but useful background reading. And I don't know how I can get it all in because going up to college three days a week eats too many of my spoons.

Don't actually want advice, by the way. This is more of an "everything is confusing and in flux" post than a "help, I don't know what to do" post. I am wondering just how much better my spoon levels will get when I finally get my Mac and can work from home instead of having to keep physically going to college. Might be that's all I need? :S
baratron: (sleepy)
I seem to be ill. Yesterday, instead of going to Oxford BiFest, I slept until 6.30pm. Eventually staggered out of bed, ate something, and sat on the sofa playing Pokemon and falling asleep. Went back to bed and slept until 2.30pm today, which is actually 3.30pm because British Summer Time kicked in overnight and they stole an hour from us.

I'm really not sure what's wrong. I'm sneezing a lot and have an itchy nose, but it could just as easily be an allergy as a cold. I just feel absolutely shattered and brain-dead.
baratron: (goggles)
There are lots of things that I could/should write about, but I frankly haven't got enough spare energy. I've been suffering from moderately bad chronic fatigue, then a cold, and I'm still chasing up college paperwork. My prediction of February for the student card is correct: as of today, I was told "once we have received payment and your status has been changed to E[nrolled] I will be able to print your ID card and send it out to you. [...] let me know when you have made the payment". I am thoroughly confused because Richard handed in the forms on Monday authorising the college to take payment from his account, and the person from Registry who emailed me acknowledged receipt of that paperwork. I/we can make the payment online, but we were under the impression that handing in those forms would make the payment happen. So we're wondering what on earth is going on.

In better news, my Individual Student Support Agreement is now finished and approved by the Disability Office, and has been sent to the departmental administrator for circulation. I'm suspecting that it won't actually make it to everyone who needs to see it, though. Fortunately, I have a copy myself and can always send it to people if necessary. I still need to write an email "with as much detail as possible" to sort out the issue I have regarding the twice-weekly semi-compulsory meetings at UCL; currently impossible for me to attend without a lot of spoons since you need a UCL swipe card in order to use the lifts in that building. (Even getting into the building requires steps, though I found a secret step-free entrance today. Not sure whether it's always open - it looks like the way in for deliveries/building maintenance people rather than students/academic staff). I've tried doing the stairs and it made me non-functional the following day. Today I managed it by simply asking random strangers with UCL swipe cards to operate the lift for me, but that takes spoons in itself. Apparently it should be possible for Birkbeck Disability Office to liaise with UCL Disability Office to get me access, but having to organise that is more spoons lost. "Normal"/"healthy"/non-disabled people simply do not get how much damn energy and enthusiasm a person loses in having to arrange basic physical access to resources/buildings - to say nothing of the extra emotional support needed in order to study with unseen disabilities such as mental ill health. It's taken me essentially a month to get to a state of 90% sorted with regard to access & support - and this is in a university with extremely good disabled students support!!

My new Needs Assessment for Disabled Students Allowance is booked for 4.30pm on Friday 12th February, at Roehampton with the same assessor I saw before. Hoping for a really positive outcome. Certainly I have a case for a new laptop, as mine is 5 years old and really slow and suffering of late. Meeting Philip and Katherine (my two supervisors) this Friday to discuss the specification of a computer that I need in order to run college-licensed software and access supercomputers remotely from home. (Wondering if I might be better off with a Mac than a PC - scary thought, that. I'm not really a "Windows person", but I'm definitely not a "Mac person" - [livejournal.com profile] meeping & I have horrible memories of the old Macs in the chemistry department at Imperial).
baratron: (gaming)
I have been working all weekend. My bank balance will be happy but my spoon balance less so. I'm feeling like I'm going down with a cold, which is entirely normal for me if I have to work 5 hours a day for two days. Yes, I know that's pathetic, but that's my health for you.

It doesn't help that on Friday I went shopping for birthday presents for Richard, which involved too much walking round central London. I seem to be "allergic" to London, in that I always have snot from hell the day after going there. It's probably pollution, and there probably isn't anything I can do about it. I bought him a new drum stool. The one he had was this piece of crap. Well, I suppose that's unfair - it was free with the drum kit and perfectly fine for free, but really uncomfortable and hard to adjust, especially for multiple users of different heights (see those notches? It can only have those 6 fixed heights). I've now bought him the top of the range Mapex "drum throne" that is basically the same as this but with a soft plushy top instead of a vinyl cover. It has a spiral like old-fashioned circular piano stools so you can get it to exactly the right height, and adjust it easily if someone else wants to play. The guy in the shop said that soft tops are better than leather or vinyl as they absorb sweat (and you sweat a lot whilst drumming). It is really rather comfortable. I did see a stupidly-expensive Yamaha drum stool (£130! You can buy an armchair for that!), but it was like the bench type of piano stool and way too big.

I have given him the drum throne right away because it was too exciting to wait. Also we're spending his birthday in Berlin watching giant dominoes fall because it's the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I couldn't possibly carry it to Berlin and back on the plane, it would take up all my luggage allowance! The other thing I've got for him is small enough to be carried.

Also, I "accidentally" bought this: Rock Band sheet music for Cello. I haven't played the cello in years again because it hurts my back (when I have Copious Free Time (TM), I need to figure out whether it is actually the position involved in playing the cello that's the problem, or if a different type of chair would help), but I couldn't resist. It was only £8.95, which seemed worth it even if all I do is look at the music and imagine playing it on the cello :) Seriously, since when have you been able to buy rock music scored for cello? You certainly couldn't when I was a teenager.

And we picked up Guitar Hero: Aerosmith because it was £14.99, and it turned out there were enough points on our Game Reward Card to get it for £4.99! It is based on the Harmonix Guitar Hero engine and so is awesome, unlike Guitar Hero: Metallica which is based on Neversoft's Guitar Hero World Tour engine. (Have I ranted about this before? Stupid purple lines!)
baratron: (goggles)
Not having much fun right now. Seasonal affective disorder is kicking my butt and I have about as much energy as an insomniac sloth. I need to get a lightbox to help, but there are too many different types for me to be happy just ordering one from the net. And I'm TOO TIRED to do research to find out which one would be best for me :/

I also need to get our boiler fixed because it doesn't work. Took me 40 minutes today and a lot of swearing and hitting the thing to get enough hot water for a bath. Richard was supposed to have sorted it out while I was away a month or so ago, but when I got back he insisted it was better. Now he's away in Florida and it's almost completely dead. Getting boilers fixed requires a) finding someone who's heard of our apparently strange and esoteric boiler and b) getting up early enough in the day to phone them. This isn't happening because I need to sleep for 12 hours a day or more.

Some interesting and fun stuff has been happening but I haven't had enough energy to enjoy it properly, let alone write about it.

Please send spoons.
baratron: (dino)
Just posted at great length about my Shiny dino experiment. Do read it if you're interested in things that are important to me (but aren't also important to the world-in-general). And yes, you're not missing anything - that really was my first post in over a week.

Still absolutely exhausted. Have spent most of the past week sleeping. Apparently 4 hours of dancing + a minute running outside to catch kasson as he was driving away = 6 nights of 12-15 hours sleep + back and hip pain + physical weakness (currently wearing a wrist support on my left hand WHICH I HATE) + general "glandiness". A good tradeoff? Yes! This is my life, and they're my damn spoons to spend. I only wish that it didn't cost me so many spoons to do things that other people my age would take for granted.

The only exciting thing that has happened this week is that I went to Brighton on Saturday to give Ludy her birthday presents (including this print). Missed all of Brighton Pride because I was too damned tired to get there during the day, and knew that my ability to walk was sorely limited. Did however meet L & her other partners [livejournal.com profile] oilrig and [livejournal.com profile] softfruit and have nice food with them, including cake. Had a strange experience at Brighton station featuring a rather drunk young girlie who insisted that I had been sitting next to her on the train down from Bognor that morning. Couldn't shake her off even after I showed her my ticket, which said clearly NORBITON not BOGNOR REGIS. Can't decide whether she was trying to scam me, fancied me, or was simply the worst pickpocket in the world. Eventually explained that I was going to meet my girlfriend who would not be impressed at my having another person along (did not mention my girlfriend's other girlfriend or boyfriend - occasionally, the default monocentric view of the world is useful!) and made a loud phone call in which I said I was going to The George. I then let drunk girlie wander off to talk to some other strangers, before diving into an alleyway in North Laine when she wasn't looking. Last time I saw her, she was asking for directions to The George (easy to identify when out of earshot, as it involved pointing further down the same street she was already in). Hopefully, she found someone with more spoons than me there to buy her some black coffee and put her on a train back home. Me, I managed less than two hours of socialising with people I already knew before going home with a headache from hell. 

I'm not going to BiCon. I officially can't afford it. Yes, there is a Helping Hand fund, but it is intended for people who can't afford to go to BiCon because they don't have money at all, not because they had money and spent it all on going to another continent to see their favourite band. Also I just paid my tax which was due on July 31st. Cut for mention of moneys. ). Blah.
baratron: (london)
Home from my travels. Think I'd have a serious case of anti-climax if I wasn't so tired :( Only managed to fall asleep a few minutes before the plane landed, so walking from the plane to passport control and the baggage reclaim was "fun" because I kept falling asleep on my feet. Even Richard (who could sleep for his country) only managed an hour and a half, and he was lying across three seats with his head on my lap, as opposed to sitting up like I was. Not good.

Got in and slept until 10.30pm or so. Now about ready to drop off again. Will be tired for a few days, I think. Have got through the trip on painkillers and vitamin pills, so it'll be a while before I've caught up on my spoon level. Argh.

Isn't anyone going to comment on my last entry?
baratron: (sleepy)
Argh! Does anyone have any spoons they could lend me for a few days? I'm physically and mentally exhausted (to the point where I've been having trouble walking) but I have to get this dissertation finished by 6pm tomorrow. Any kind of spoons will do - metal, plastic, wooden, beaten up, chipped, the one that you keep down the back of the sofa for emergencies... I'm hoping that I'll be given lots of spoons for my birthday, see, and I can pay you back then.

I will never, never, never, NEVER leave coursework until the last minute again. Well, at least, not until the next time that I'm sick or depressed and incapable of working in a more timely manner :/
baratron: (baratron again)
I am very amused that a Google search for "do not participate in temperature programmed desorption of ammonia" lists 19 academic papers about temperature-programmed desorption before my entry on the topic. Some of them aren't even about ammonia! That's just pathetic - why should a link explaining why you should do temperature-programmed desorption of carbon monoxide be above a link that explains why you shouldn't do it with ammonia? I don't know... ;)

I have several college-related things to talk about but no spoons with which to do this. One of them is serious (bad/stressful), the others are neutral to good. Am trying to arrange an appointment with my course director to talk about the bad one, but it seems to be national Go And See Your Tutor Week. At least, when I tried to get an appointment for today I was told "I will be around all day but I'm already seeing students at 3pm, 4pm and 5.30pm", and every time I walked past there was a blind over the door for privacy. He suggested I could pop by the lab to talk to him later, but the lab was completely full of people and apparatus every time I looked there, and I figured that anyone who was still taking measurements 15 minutes before the lab closed needed all the help they could get. (As well as it being unsuitable to discuss a possibly sensitive issue). Will keep trying.

With regard to college, I feel as though I want to say "I'm exhausted, but I'm coping" - but afraid to say that as if the act of articulating that I'm coping will make the Universe dump a load of crap on me. Does anyone else get this, or is it just me being weird again? My entire body hurts and I've still got so much work to do, but I'm basically understanding what's going on in most of my courses. I think my brain is working on the right level, which was the thing I was most afraid of not being able to do. Hmm.

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