baratron: (poly)
I haven't been posting more than comments because it's been too hot to switch my computer on. My laptop is "built for extreme gaming" and therefore has two heavy-duty fans, one for the CPU and the other for the GPU. Unsurprisingly, it belches out A LOT of heat. Given that it's been over 30 degrees C during the day and even over 25 at night, I haven't had much desire to add to the house temperature. I've been playing Dragon Quest VII on my 3DS instead of Elder Scrolls Online on my computer, and just checking in with my Guild for 30-60 minutes at 3 am when it's as cool as it's going to get.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I shall be 41, which is quite shocking. I don't FEEL like I should be middle-aged yet - even if extended life expectancy means we now have "early" middle-age from 40 to 55 and "late" middle-age from 56 to 70 or 75, and you don't become "elderly" until you're properly decrepit. One of my birthday presents will be a visiting Grant, which means I am now attempting to do battle with entropy such that there will be enough space in the house for him to stay.

To do... )
baratron: (willpower)
I'm sitting in Starbucks on Wardour Street waiting for Richard to get out of work. Someone's broken the only lift into his building so I can't wait there, and Westminster Council hates wheelchair users so much that I can't easily get around Soho by myself due to a severe shortage of dropped kerbs. So I didn't have a great deal of choice. I couldn't even get to Costa because it would have meant hurling myself off 4 inch high pavements and then driving along the road. I value my teeth a bit too much to risk that sort of thing.

I really need to organise some sort of petition/protest/shoot a video showing Westminster Council just how fucked up their access around Soho and Covent Garden really is. That would, however, require spoons, which are in short supply at the best of times.

I'm sure I owe you guys an "I got home from my travels safely" message, but I have been far too ill since I got back to manage anything. Nothing new, "just" severe period pain combined with my usual back/hip pain, the combination of which has required eating enough painkillers that I've been too sleepy for coherence. Joy! "Conveniently" I had an appointment at the Pain Management Clinic already booked for Monday. But it was hard to fill in the pain questionnaire when I'd been lying flat on my back groaning because of my uterus for days.

So after a week of doing absolutely bugger all, today I've got up & gone into London. Earlier it was sunny but not warm, now it is positively freezing. It was 30 deg C in Canada and I got irradiated by strong sunlight every day - here it is a maximum of 18 deg C in the middle of the day. Positively autumnal, and I miss my summer. Going out for dinner with Richard and his vegan colleague who is visiting from Canada. Richard has been unimpressed by the way his company has been treating this guy, e.g. yesterday they went out for steak even knowing that nowhere that serves decent steak in London also does vegan food at all.

I'm tired. Life could be a lot worse, though.

Hmm.

Aug. 7th, 2014 04:28 pm
baratron: (introspection)
Also, I am "impressed" that I just wrote a rant about my uterus instead of spending the energy on:
(a) writing up what I did at BiCon
(b) writing down the list of books I've read recently and what I thought about them
(c ) writing down the list of bands I've seen recently and ditto
(d) anything else of social or political importance.

I'm sure this says something. I'm just not sure WHAT.
baratron: (black)
My uterus hurts. It doesn't hurt quite as much as it did on Monday, when I got my old copper coil taken out and a new Mirena coil put in, nor as much as it did on Tuesday when the strongest over-the-counter codeine was barely touching the pain, but it's definitely hurting a lot more than I like.

I believe that the theory is to get all of the pain out of the way now and then it won't hurt much for five years. Especially since copper coils are known to aggravate period pain and the Mirena is supposed to lessen it, but it's like my usual menstrual distress ramped up to ten. Super cramps, dreadfully aching legs, needing to pee approximately every 5 minutes (okay, once an hour), and severe digestive TMI. And this despite the fact I am eating bucketloads of "happy tummy pills" for the over-40s. And I'm only 38! (The "over-40s" pills contain 6 strains of intestinal bacteria rather than only 3).

But it's just that it's gone on so long. If you don't already have a Mirena, then they insist on putting it in during or immediately after your period. And I had the worst bloody period that I've had in years during BiCon. A full week of really bad pain and extremely heavy bleeding by my standards. (I recognise that "heavy" for me is "average" or even "light" for some poor female-bodied individuals, but that doesn't make it acceptable!) And then followed up by another few days of pretty much the exact same symptoms.

Bored of hurting now, can I stop soon?
baratron: (flasks)
So, I've been wanting to get a Mirena coil fitted for a while. I like the permanence of my copper coil, but I don't like the way it aggravates my periods. I've always been extremely reluctant to use a hormonal method of contraception because I have extremely bad PMS (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) - indeed, whether I am officially bipolar or "just" have violent reactions to fluctuations in my hormone levels is something that neither I nor my medical professionals have ever worked out. But the Mirena delivers the hormones directly into one's uterus, and as a result may be much more suitable for women with severe PMS than the Pill. More importantly, it may also offer protection against endometrial cancer, which runs in my family.

I discussed the Mirena coil with my GP a few months ago, and she went through all the pros and cons with me then. But I have "a thing" about not liking my private parts to be seen by the same doctor who I see for everything else. Y'know? I like one doctor who sees me clothed and a different one who sees me naked. So for years I've been going to the only evening Family Planning Clinic in my local area. I like it because it runs from 6.30-8.30pm, meaning I can usually manage to get there, and the doctors they have there are actual gynaecologists, meaning that all they do is look at women's private parts and mine is therefore not very exciting.

So yesterday I finally acquired enough spoons to call the Clinic and I got asked a number of questions by the nurse. Cut-tagging this simply to avoid setting off work filters, not actually private at all. )
baratron: (corrosive)
Joy! Our kitchen ring main has died. I was heating up hot chocolate and heard a fizzling sound, and the microwave stopped working. So did everything else that runs off that ring main.

Like a Sensible Person Who Understands Electricity, I went to the fuse box. Where I found that the kitchen ring main fuse had not tripped. I flicked it to off anyway, waited a few seconds and back to on, but there is still no electricity to the kitchen. Richard reckons it might need a new circuit breaker.

Even better: the fridge/freezer is plugged in somewhere behind itself, and it's too damned heavy for me to move. So I can't actually unplug it and move it onto the downstairs ring main until Richard gets home from work.

Also, I am having TMI )

Ow.

Apr. 10th, 2014 08:18 pm
baratron: (corrosive)
Today I have period pain and it's bad, so I am whining.

I also have knee pain and wrist pain because Richard is in Canada again and I'm having to do a lot more for myself. My wrist support makes the inside of my wrist itch, but my wrist is agony without it. So I've had to cover the inside of my wrist with an antibacterial cream, then attempt to put a dressing over it, then attempt to wrap a wrist support around, all one-handed. Also the first-aid supplies in this house need replacing, and "sensitive" latex-free plasters barely stick at the best of times - let alone over cream and when they are a couple of years old!

I hurt so much and I am valiantly struggling to do work, despite the pain and despite my mother talking to me even when she can see there are spectra on the screen and a notebook in front of me, but I might have to give up soon because this is just ridiculous.

Also I need to type a long post requesting help for a friend, but that isn't going to happen with my wrist in this state.
baratron: (Warning: Sick!)
Haven't found time to update for a few days.

We're now staying in Montréal until Saturday 16th February, and flying home that night. I'd been hoping to get to Toronto to see my alt.poly friends there, but Richard now has to work until Friday. The combination of snow and a heavy electric wheelchair makes it too impractical for me to travel alone, and it's far more hassle than it's worth to lug all our stuff to another city for only one day. I'm sad about that because there are a number of people in Toronto who I really like and don't see often enough, but at least [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj and [livejournal.com profile] clawfoot should be passing through London in May on their way to Paris.

We saw [livejournal.com profile] papersky on Saturday, which was lovely - the first time we've met up in over a decade. Put it this way, when we last met in person, her son was 9, and he's now 23. She provided a place to stay for Richard & I on our very first holiday together. We had virtually no money, and got some sort of young person bus/rail pass which allowed us to travel around South Wales for a week. We stayed with Jo in Swansea, and with some other alt.poly people in Cardiff, and in a dodgy B&B in Merthyr Tydfil in between the two. It was one of the most educational trips in my life, and I could expand upon it at length, though it would make me cry - since I am a person who cries with most strong emotions. I should do so sometime, when I have spare time for writing.

Today I am Ill. It's nothing serious, only period pain. It will pass with time and hormone levels. But right now, I can't get out of bed. It's partly my fault - yesterday, I lost my stash of painkillers and opted to continue with our plans rather than run around looking for a pharmacy. After shopping for tools and a printer and TV for Richard's work, we went to the Jardin Botanique and looked at many strange and wonderful plants in greenhouses. Then I completely lost my temper because of pain and had to be placated with Maple Toffee Popcorn (like normal toffee popcorn only made with maple syrup, and amazingly without animal content), and ended up spending an hour sitting in a Second Cup watching curling on the TV because I was too ill to move, waiting for my painkillers to kick in. I still do not understand why the yellow team was throwing the red stones and vice-versa, nor why Alberta was playing "Canada". If it was Team Canada from the Winter Olympics, why aren't they in Sochi? Very confused about that.

I wrote all of the stuff above before Richard's laptop decided it was out of battery, hours ago, and now I hurt too much to carry on. More tomorrow, when I will hopefully hurt less.
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.

Update.

Aug. 21st, 2013 05:54 am
baratron: (endurance)
Ah, fuck. About an hour ago, Richard pointed out that I might be horribly weirdly depressed because of the new medication I just started taking. Given that (a) it interacts with all the antidepressants and mood stabilisers I'm on and (b) it is also an antiepileptic drug, this does not seem unlikely. Given that (a) it does not seem to be doing me any good yet and (b) I'm on a low enough dose to just stop taking it, we are thinking that perhaps I should do that. Frankly, if a medication makes me want to be dead, I don't want to take it. Though I'm prepared to risk starting up again when I'm not in luteal phase when my moods are always wobbliest. Will consult doctor on this.

I have to say that provoking gender dysphoria in someone who is happy with "human female" 90% of the time is one of the weirder side-effects I've ever seen, but I suppose it comes under "abnormal thinking". Not that gender dysphoria itself is abnormal, just that it's not normal if you're usually able to cope with your body not quite fitting your internal gender. (TMI comments removed for the benefit of any gentler reader).

I have been downstairs to make chocolate crunchies, which consist of melted chocolate plus golden syrup plus corn flakes, stuck in the fridge for half an hour until they set, and eaten two of them. I also *somehow* found the energy to unload and reload the dishwasher, so it's running now.
baratron: (black)
I am having the worst case of premenstrual dysphoric disorder that I've had in years. I stayed up until 9 am this morning because I felt so awful - a strange combination of feeling miserable and tearful and fighting the urge to self-harm while simultaneously praising the fact that I have effective enough mood medication now that I can say to myself, quite honestly, "It's just hormones, you'll feel fine in a day or two". I slept for as long as I possibly could in the hope of feeling like a human when I woke up. Except now the body dysmorphia that I always get with PMDD has spiralled into full-blown gender dysphoria and something in my brain is trying to tell me that having breasts is wrong and this body shouldn't have them. Ever tried ignoring breasts when they feel like two massive itchy sacks of WRONG on your chest and you can't move your arms without touching them? Eh.

I am Okay because I'm well-enough medicated that part of my brain keeps thinking rationally even when other parts are being crazy. But it's not pleasant. When I first went onto carbamazepine (an antiepileptic drug used as a mood stabiliser), I didn't have any mental PMS symptoms at all for about 2 years. It was lovely! I still fell off stepstools and down the stairs and cut myself accidentally through sheer clumsiness (why is that a symptom of PMS? Dunno, but it happens every month for me), but I didn't randomly hate myself or my body or want to die. Then it gradually crept back, but only every other month. In the same way, that menstrual cycle is always worse for hypomania mid-cycle, pain and bleeding at ovulation, and period pain. Does one of my ovaries fire up more hormones than the other one?

Normal service will be resumed within the next 3 days. Hopefully as soon as possible, because I'm not sure I can take much more of this mentalism. Argh. Hugs welcomed, advice not welcomed (since I've already explored all of the treatment options with my doctor).
baratron: (Sims 2)
So, today I've been having period pain so bad I felt as though the entire left side of my abdomen was going to explode, making it Opiates or Death time. Blargh.

Possibly as a result of this, I did something I swore I was Never Going To Do Again, and booted up the very terrible Sims Medieval. Much ranting on irc occurred, since I couldn't remember anything about how it works. The camera mode is greatly restricted compared to Sims 3, and while the Medieval sims look like Sims 3 sims, they aren't - if you take a sim created in one game and put it in the other, you get HORRIBLE MUTANTS. I didn't even remember that Medieval is the world's stupidest version of The Sims, since you can't actually build anything, which is the Fun Part. Also, while I've long known suck at making characters who look like real people, I'd have thought that making a character from one game in another game would be easier. Not even SLIGHTLY!

Anyway, thanks to Tailon on PokeCharms, who has a *very* good eye for attention to detail, this happened:
Sim Martin?

He's still not perfect: in particular his nose is too long and mouth are too wide, since apparently Medieval Create-A-Sim lies, but that's very recognisably Martin Septim.

Utterly lovely pics of pixel men )
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.
baratron: (ankh)
Today I am emo as hell. My stupid hormones decided that last night should be "Stay up reading slash fiction and weeping" night, and as a result I feel emotionally wrung-out. There's a whole load of things I should be doing today, including Important Paperwork about my Disabled Students Allowance, filling in my lab notebook before I go in tomorrow, and washing my hair which has reached that "ready to crawl off my head" stage of vileness; and all I feel like doing is lying on the sofa eating chocolate. It really doesn't help that my period started early, so I'm having the depression and mood swings at the same time as the physical pain and bleeding.

Ugh, hormones. We hates them, precious.

*grump*

Apr. 27th, 2012 12:18 am
baratron: (black)
I am currently "enjoying" a "SURPRISE!" period :( Thinking about it, it's right if you ignore when my last one happened (which was ridiculously late) and instead count 2 x 28 days from the one before. Apparently, my body/hormones are going for some sort of extreme 5 week/3 week cycle now.

Nonetheless, I have wasted the whole day asleep, and my sleep pattern may indeed be as broken as it was before. We shall see.

A surprise period explains why I was so utterly exhausted & tearful the other night - it was clearly PMS. I prefer that as an explanation to "my drugs have stopped working". Still, I really feel like all I do is have menstrual cycles these days. I'm either having a period or having mittelschmerz or waiting for my period to start. And I'm sure I have at least another 20 years of this to look forward to! Yay!

In other news, I need good wishes for the safe location of my lab chair. It was "temporarily" living in my office because there wasn't enough space in the lab, and I hadn't started doing any synthesis yet. Then "they" made us move office - twice, in the space of a week. I didn't bother to go in during this because my sleep patterns were screwed up; also, the email I got was after the event, which pissed me off since if they'd sent it 12 hours earlier, I could have moved my own stuff. Dragged myself in yesterday (which I could do with congratulations for) only to find they have actually bought us new desks!! and almost all of the furniture from the old office has disappeared. (We still have the same crappy broken chairs though - I'd have preferred to keep my old desk and have a new chair). I've lost the contents of my old desk because the drawers were locked - though it's only a box of tea, packet of paracetamol & box of sanitary towels, so not the end of the world. But I'm rather concerned about what's happened to the lab chair - which belongs to me not to College, cost rather a lot of money, and was funded through Student Finance England. They're not going to pay for another chair if some idiots at College have thrown the old one out!

And no, I don't need advice about this just yet. I know who to talk to. It's just an underlying worry to go on top of all my usual anxiety.
baratron: (boots)
Back at home, doing last-minute wedding preparations. Things that have annoyed me today:

1) The booklet on how to get married provided by Hammersmith & Fulham Council specifically says "If you would like a particular piece of music that may be 'special' to the two of you, please bring it along to the register office before the day of your marriage." The booklet on weddings, which I don't have right in front of me to quote, even says that music must be approved in advance by the Senior Registrar! So why, when I turned up with a CD today, was I told that I could have just brought it tomorrow?

2) Whole Foods in Kensington were being sucky. Last Tuesday or Wednesday, I went there to enquire about how to order cakes. I wanted to place an order for 2 x 7" vegan chocolate fudge cakes. I was told by the Bakery assistant that not only was there not a form to fill in, but they always make several of those cakes fresh every day so there is no need to order them. Well, today I went, and there was all of ONE 7" vegan chocolate fudge cake. As a result, there is Not Enough cake. Grrr.

3) Richard forgot to buy (or tell me to buy) a pocket watch. So now he's complaining that he can't fit his wristwatch under the strange sleeves of his wedding outfit, and it's too late to do anything about it. I tried looking for pocket watches online, and the cheapest ones available in shops which exist in Kingston were £150 (and quite ugly). I only know two people who might have one to borrow, and one of them lives too far away to be any help.

For people who want to know why anyone needs a watch at a wedding, Richard always needs a watch. It's a Richard-thing. He feels undressed without one and indeed, often walks around the house wearing only underpants, a watch and his ring.

4) Our menu, which looked so good on A4 paper, looks awful on A5 paper. A5 is half the size of A4 - I've gone from formatting it as a flat, double-sided sheet to a four-sided booklet. But it just looks ugly. I have to figure that out before I can go to bed.

5) I have period pain. Gah.\

12 hours to go...
baratron: (goggles)
Well, the ultrasound yesterday entirely failed in the obvious and not scary categories. Need to talk to the doctor about it, but I think what I actually have is non obvious and scary. Bah!

There's no sign of any cysts in my ovaries. Apparently they look fairly normal. There are a whole load of small growths in my uterus. None of them are fibroids that should be big enough to be causing pain (I still remember [livejournal.com profile] the_siobhan's Killer Attack Uterus that was twice the size it should have been). However, small growths in my uterus are totally not what I need, given the family history of endometrial cancer which, if accounts from my grandmother are to be believed, may be in the process of attacking my cousin. Godsdamnit!

Endometrial cancer is not hugely terrifying by the standards of cancers, since it's slow-growing, and if it's caught early (and anything under the age of 60 counts as "early") you have a very high chance of recovery. However, my mum suffers horribly from the anti-estrogens and androgens she's on (given that many transsexuals feel better once they have the "right" hormones, it makes sense that the "wrong" hormones would make a cissexual totally miserable), and her thyroid has packed up completely from having her ovaries removed (and her doctors don't seem to be giving her enough thyroxine), and she has osteoporosis, and she's really not very happy or comfortable most of the time. This is not a future I want for myself.

I probably have at least 10 years before I have to start worrying, but it depends on how much pain my lovely uterus decides to give me. And I was really hoping that I hadn't inherited this particular set of genes!

I wish my old doctor hadn't retired. He was really good at putting things into perspective. The new one is nice, but doesn't know me that well. I don't need to hear that the current set of growths are benign because that's how my mum started too, so it's not reassuring.
baratron: (introspection)
Today at 2.10 pm I have an appointment at Kingston Hospital slight TMI ) to try to find out whether I have an ovarian cyst, or what. I am hoping for something obvious and not scary. Best wishes would be appreciated.

[livejournal.com profile] nitoda is coming with me. I am glad that someone is, since I am still somewhat phobic of the hospital.
baratron: (face only)
'Cos three things make a post, right? (This is actually four).

[21:41] My ovary (or whatever) is really flippin' hurting again. I want to know when i'm supposed to be getting it scanned.

[22:53] I used the Hyperbole & a Half Pain Scale to determine if I needed to take my ovary to hospital. I decided it was about a "5", as in "Why is this happening to me??". It's not time to get it prodded in A&E until it's up to a 6 or 7 (I'm pretty sure I have to be crying with pain before it's worth going to the hospital in the middle of the night). I seriously need to chase up that scan though.


[01:49] I don't mind molecules with a whole load of different names, but it gets positively insulting when there are a whole load of NUMBERING schemes. Geldanamycin is case in point - what IUPAC thinks is carbon 19 is what people using the old/ biochemistry/ natural product name think is carbon 17. Given that the IUPAC name is hideous then referring to it as geldanamycin makes sense - but it gets ever so confusing when you have names of derivatives based on adding and removing groups from carbon 17 - when the "official" name calls that carbon 19!

And I've just found a molecule (Radicicol) that can be numbered from 1-18 consecutively OR from 1-6 (round the benzene ring) and then from 1' to 12' (round the rest of it).

Mind you, if you ever want to have a fit of the vapours, try looking up the official IUPAC name for plain old glucose.


[04:25] Gods, the weather here has been VILE for HOURS. Driving wind and rain non-stop since about 9pm (it's now nearly 4.30 am)


[04:39] Did I mention that I'm wearing a pair of Richard's socks? The stupid boy was supposed to get my socks out of the washing machine & pair them & hang them on the line on FRIDAY. Today, I went downstairs with a load of dirty sheets and found them all still in the machine, smelling really revolting since they'd been damp since Friday. So I've had to rewash them, which meant I was completely out of clean socks.

Richard's socks are horrible & scratchy, & make my feet itch.
baratron: (Buttercup)
I'm trying to work. My possible ovarian cyst is hurting like holy hell again. Why is it such a git? Haven't received any letters about it yet, so no sign of when I'm going to get a scan done. And, to add further insult, the cervical smear test I had done was "unreadable" and I have to go again in January. ARGH!

I seriously think the number of women I know who have problems at some point during menstruation and/or reproduction far exceeds the number of women I know whose girly bits do everything they should & nothing they shouldn't for forty years. (Honestly, I think I know one woman who has no pain at all during periods, had a comfortable pregnancy, and gave birth easily. I'm sure that everyone else I know has had problems with at least one of those three).

I swear the whole female reproductive system is badly designed.

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