(tap tap tap) Is this thing on?

If anyone out there’s still reading, here’s where we’re up to.

When last we saw Our Heroine, (me!) I was having trouble eating.

It got worse.

To the point where I just couldn’t.

I just couldn’t eat.  The worst day I only managed 10 cherries all day.

And it happened that I had an appointment with my Very Helpful Psychiatrist that day, and my Very Good GP had copied the results of a blood test I’d had a few days before over to her.  “Caity, I was a physician before I was a specialist, and I have never seen some of these levels so low. You’re very sick.  I’m going to send you to hospital now.  You go home and pack a bag; I’m going to get you admitted this afternoon.” She made phone calls to make it happen and Mr Beloved and I headed home.

I was numb and in tears but so grateful that finally something was happening: and I didn’t realise how sick I was.  I was very malnourished.  Luckily my Very Helpful Psychiatrist has LOTS of experience with eating disorders – which, by the way I don’t have (no I’m not in denial!) and recognised that what I needed was hospitalisation so that I wasn’t in danger from refeeding syndrome.

(Refeeding syndrome is what happens when you haven’t been eating and suddenly you start eating again and your body has no idea what to do with the food – your electrolytes get messed up even more and in severe cases you can DIE. This is the simple version from the helpful dietician.  I was still fuzzy when she explained it to me so she had to use very simple words. )

Hospital was NOT FUN.  I’m just grateful that I have health insurance (through no good management of my own, you know who you are, thank you again for looking after me) that let me get into hospital straight away.  I know hospital isn’t meant to be fun.  Bed shortages (yes, even in the private hospital) and being under the care of several specialists made it a little more horrible that it might otherwise have been but we got through it.  Thankfully the hospital is only just up the road from home and Mr Beloved was able to visit every day and bring lots of books.  I got a lot of reading done – is there a worse place to try and sleep than a hospital? (I have problems sleeping anyway – it’s one of the things I am talking to the Very Helpful Psychiatrist about when I see her again tomorrow)

sleepless

They did some tests while I was in hospital – a ‘gastric emptying test’ which measured how fast  my stomach moved food through it : you eat a radioactive egg sandwich then try to lie very still for 2 hours on a very narrow platform while the CT scanner takes pictures. (Of course, once you’re trapped from neck to knee in the machine, everything itches – and you can’t move to scratch anything.) An ultrasound didn’t show anything out of the ordinary either.  I pushed to schedule the gastroscopy and colonoscopy as soon as possible while I was in hospital but then was too sick to have them. I have to go back in to hospital to do the prep and have the procedures next month (fun.)

My electrolyte levels are being monitored with blood tests every fortnight and I am almost back to eating ‘normally’ – within the limits of what I can eat, anyway.  Still no onions or any processed food with onion powder as an ingredient.  Which means – we cook from scratch.  Which we mostly did anyway, since it’s so much cheaper; but it’s annoying not to be able to just grab something like a tin of soup when you’re feeling blah and just want something quick.  Because there WILL be onions or onion powder in there, in sufficient quantity to make for a miserable night, or perhaps 2 miserable nights.

So what the hell went wrong, anyway?  Part of it was the depression that started in November – I lost my appetite. (When I saw the GP on Monday she mentioned that she had just been to a conference where she learned that one of the psych drugs I am on has been being used off label in the US for weight loss, since a significant proportion of patients report loss of appetite… ahhhh, light bulb!) But then something else happened that interacted with that – possibly an infection, possibly just a worsening of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that I have to learn to manage better.  It could be that the antidepressants we were trying triggered something. (Given the severe nausea that happened during the antidepressant trials, I wouldn’t be surprised.)   The gastroscopy and colonoscopy are to check that there’s nothing else going on: the specialist has said that he thinks I’m going to have to learn to live with the facts of IBS: it won’t kill you, it just makes you very miserable from time to time.

Meanwhile I am eating bread and pasta (NOT the gluten free versions) for the next month so that if there is a reaction to those to show up in the tests it will well and truly SHOW UP!

And in non-medical news… my dear nephew turned 21. Go NewSky!

hanneul makes pizza

We survived the Australia Day rain event (heavy and very inconvenient rain, but fortunately for us at least NOT a flood on the scale of the 2011 event… others down the range weren’t so lucky and had worse flooding than in 2011. We were only left with a soggy queen size mattress to dispose of, since of course my hospitalisation happened a day or so after we go the new mattress and before we could organise the skip to get rid of the old one.  Mattresses and other big rubbish are really hard to get rid of – hiring a skip/dumpster is about the only way.  I supposed we could hire a ute but by the time we load that and do multiple trips to the tip – just as efficient to load everything into one container and then get it taken away. Must organise that this week.

And uni starts again soon. I got a High Distinction for my Creative Writing subject in Semester 2 last year; I’m enrolled in the follow on subject starting at the end of this month. I’m looking forward to getting going on that again.

So. That’s it for now. Updated. Now I must go cook dinner.

Very long time no post…

So, where have I been?

Let’s just say, depression SUX. To the point where I had to withdraw (after the cut off date, which now involves additional paperwork to fix, groan)  from my Semester 3 unit for Uni, which really upset me; my psychiatrist was away over Christmas, and when my lovely and helpful GP and mental health nurse tried to help by getting me on to an antidepressant I had a VERY bad reaction to the first one (5 days of severe nausea) and then a fast swing back towards mania with the 2nd one just before Christmas… then my Dad got crook and had a quick 5 day trip to hospital in the week before Christmas (he’s doing much better now).

And I’ve been sick. On top of the depression I’ve developed this interesting new weight loss thing where things I used to be able to eat now make me sick.

Bizarro-01-06-13-WEB

Onions? FORGET it. Okay, if it was was just no onions I could live with that. But now it’s milk.  I made tuna pie (an old family favourite) the other night (without the onions) and spent hours curled in a ball on the floor in agony. Last night I tried a couple of tablespoons of light ricotta cheese  – big mistake.
A few nights ago we had some lamb stir fry – let’s just say the results weren’t pretty.  So no animal fats, onions, milk… nothing tasty. I am rather bored with what I can eat – small portions of grilled chicken breast, lettuce, and tomato.  Small amounts of things with gluten or baaaaaad things happen. I am having blood tests and an ultrasound and then I’m going back to the GP to see what happens next.

I now only weigh 86 kg.  Which would be LOVELY if it was intentional weight loss but it’s not so nice when you don’t really know why.  (Apart from the not being able to eat FOOD thing, I mean.) None of my clothes fit but I have nowhere to go out, so that doesn’t really matter.  For the first in time YEARS the doctor doesn’t have to use the fat chick cuff on the blood pressure machine (yes I know the proper name is sphygmomanometer, could you be bothered typing that?) even though I have wobbly upper arms – but the normal sized cuff fits anyway.

Mr Beloved is losing some weight too because he’s been eating less along with me – so I guess it’s not all bad… Miss Constance, on the other hand, is looking decidedly porky because I haven’t been walking her.

Today is the second anniversary of The Flood.  And it is a stinking hot day. We may get a thunderstorm later.  There have been bushfires across Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland, with a total fire ban across at least three states tomorrow.

Apart from that… not much to report.  Our wonderful Christmas pressie (thanks Mum and Dad) will be delivered on Tuesday arvo – a much needed and anticipated new mattress.  I’m a little nervous  – how can you tell from such a short lie down in the shop if you’ve chosen the right one? But Mr Beloved was so pleased with it, he could get up and down off it and we (crucially! and unlike the current old one) didn’t  annoy each other every time one of us turned over – something to do with pocket springs? Anyway, let’s hope it sorts out my sore hip.

So. More later. Ish.

 

Monday, not feeling very well.

Whoops. So the big walk yesterday? The lovely one in the park with the dog? Just one problem. THE FIBRO STEAMROLLER. Yep, today I am paying for my excess, with every muscle aching as though I have the flu.  It doesn’t make sense (so much about fibro doesn’t) but it apparently has something to do with the way that people with fibro don’t get rid of lactic acid in their muscles properly. Or something. That’s what the latest research says, anyway. All I know is everything hurts. Even my hair hurts. My eyelashes hurt, dammit.

Today the weather has turned and is threatening a storm later this arvo, and that doesn’t help either – barometric pressure and joint pain being connected as I have mentioned before.  Boring boring boring. I really need to find something else to write about but at the moment my life is about the little bit of university I do and the rest feels like just a whine about pain, with the occasional bit about the neighbours. That’s really all I do, that and go to the doctors.  Apart from that I’m exhausted.  This is my life right now.  Vertical and ventilated, remember, just need to accept that vertical and ventilated is a good day.

Mr B has been busy today: because it looks like we might get some rain, and because the right amount of time has passed, today was the day to scatter the seeds over Miss Kit Tern’s grave.  There will be a mix of blue flowers including swan river daisies, cornflowers, delphiniums and our old favourite, nigella damascena – love-in-the-mist.  That’s been my favourite flower ever since I asked my Nana what they were called. She had the blue variety planted on both sides of the path from the shed to the back door at the house in Leeton, under the mulberry tree and grape vines, and every year they would self-seed and come up again.

I only learned about the other possible colours – pink, white, lavender –  when I saw them on a seed packet a few years ago, and I don’t care for them very much. The blue of love-in-the-mist is part of the attraction.  That, and their hardiness: once they’re established they seem to manage pretty well on their own. We have some growing near the back patio that get the occasional splash when Mr B waters the carnivorous plants, but otherwise are coping in a dry season so far.

(If I was downstairs I’d dredge up some photos of artwork I did when I was at TAFE of some embroidery I did based on love-in-the-mist; but I’m not attached to that hard drive at the moment.  AAAAAND that reminds me that I really ought to be tackling the ^@%!*^&%@^%# sewing room anyway… )

Tuesday

Well, the Very Helpful Psychiatrist was indeed Very Helpful.  I can take another medicatíon to help with the worst of the tremors (which she says are definitely caused by the medicatìon for the bîpolar) and I can start to cut down on the short term medicatión to treat the mixed mania, and wean myself off it by the end of the fortnight.  YAY!  I still have to see the mental health nurse once a week, to make sure I’m not going off the rails, but that’s a Good Thing.

Today I saw my lovely GP and had my blood pressure checked (I’m sure it’s not meant to go whoosh whoosh whoosh thought my ears quite that loudly at night  – is it? But she says it’s fine) and was weighed again. I hadn’t lost any more weight, but I’m still not hungry for much of anything sweet. I had to moosh up the sliver of birthday cake the other day because it was just too rich for me to eat – all that butter and chocolate frosting just made me feel sick, not happy.  It wasn’t that long ago that I was the one making batches of the same sort of frosting for birthday cakes and enjoying it, but now they just taste  like too, too much of a good thing.  Like eating an entire block of chocolate when you only want one square.

I don’t know if that’s a side effect of the medication (maybe, because of the burnt tongue sensation?) but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I did eat most of a piece of date slice when we were out yesterday, but I felt sick after that, too – I could have stopped at about half instead of three quarters. (It was the first time we’d had a treat while we’d been out in months, so I wanted to not waste any, but … next time I’ll ask for it as takeaway and bring some home.)

The egg carton foam overlay has proved worth the money so far – Mr Beloved says he can certainly notice the difference as well.   I can’t feel the lumpiness of the mattress and the innersprings aren’t digging into my pressure points as badly. I’m still waking up with pain, and I’m not sleeping through the whole night, but it’s better than before we had the overlay. Not bad for $125.  Now once I get this uni assignment out of the way and start getting my days better organised, maybe my sleep patterns will get even better.

I heard back from my uni lecturer about the draft of my 2000 word story today  – ‘VERY strong’ – I know what I need to work on before I submit it on Friday now, and it’s just some minor changes and strengthening the climax part of the story, getting rid of some stuff that’s nice but less crucial. ‘Just’ doing that isn’t quite that easy, but it’s doable.

The important part is that it is almost all DONE. The dog has not eaten it.  I have not stressed out too much about it (apart from the occasional time when I have woken up and thought ‘arrgh, of course that part needs to change!’ but that was mostly last week.  Tomorrow should see a good few solid hours of hair tearing and then the draft should be ready to submit – with a rest day for good measure before Friday’s deadline.

I am looking forward to seeing my chiropractor in the next hour – regardless of what you might think of chiropractic (and I will go on the record as saying some of the theories behind it are a little wonky sounding to me) I do get relief when my chiropractor does the gentle manipulations that seem to put my hips and especially the area around my damaged L2 vertebra back where they’re meant to be.  I’m not going to knock it while it works. YMMV.

Sunday…

I just walked up and down our back yard a few times, trying to work out the terrible clunk that happens in my hip when I walk if I’ve been sitting for too long. Step clunk, step clunk, step clunk.  I see the chiropractor on Tuesday and she helps, but I know one of the things I have to do is gradually build up the amount of time and distance I can walk again – I’ve let myself get stuck in a pattern of sitting too much. The weekends are worst: weekdays I usually have something I can schedule, whether university or doctor’s appointments, or just getting out to the supermarket; but Saturdays and Sundays drag on forever and I find myself stuck and in pain.

I’m not sure if it’s the medication for the bípolar or if the pain is causing it, but I’ve been getting the shakes.  I didn’t feel well enough to drive myself to class on Friday, so poor Mr Beloved got stuck doing the trip out to uni and back twice. Then I had to go to a birthday do for one of the scrapping girls – normally something I enjoy, but I was soooo tired. I had slept so poorly on our old mattress on Thursday night that I was seriously weepy about it, so when the scrapping girls mentioned that the egg carton foam topper thingummy had worked for them I thought it was worth trying – after all, there was no way we could afford a new mattress (about $1000) but we might be able to swing a new topper thing (a bit over $100).

Mr Beloved drove back to the other side of town again and we went home via Clark Rubber.  $125 later for this (which is properly called, I see, a ‘convoluted foam mattress overlay’) and $42 for the half roll version of this, which seems to be helping in the lounge chair – my neck is less sore, anyway) and so far we seem to be sleeping better. By which I mean that I have had at least one period of four hours of unbroken sleep, which is something of a miracle: I can’t remember that last time I’ve had even that long without interruption. (Broken sleep is something of a feature of fibromyalgìa, apparently opinion is divided over whether it’s a cause or a symptom – in any case, it SUX. Add in breakthrough pain, a bit of apnoea that the CPAP mask doesn’t entirely catch, and – well, it’s a wonder I’m not more tired than I am.)

Today has been accompanied by the interminable drone and beep beep beep beep of big diggers reversing as the railways work on some project just over the creek that involves moving piles of gravel from one place to another.  It’s been going on since about eight this morning and it’s after four as I’m writing this.  Lovely sunny day for it.

Not the digger across the creek.

Tomorrow we see the Very Helpful Psychiatrist again. I’m hoping that she will let me reduce the amount of Saphrïs that I’m taking (it burns my tongue, apart from anything else). Mr Beloved’s new spectacles are ready, so he gets to collect those once he’s had one more eye test that for some reason couldn’t be done while he was there last time.

In university news, I’m still working on my story that’s due on Friday. It’s getting to the stage now where I’m finding it really difficult to work out what to do to fix it before submitting it.  It’s just got to a point where I can’t look at it any more and see what needs to change.

That’s about all the news from here. It was freezing cold last night, 2.8 degrees according to the official record. Supposed to be about the same tonight.  Happy Spring, Happy Father’s Day, make sure to bring in the carnivorous plants in out of the frost. At least  Formula 1 is back from their summer break and we get to watch them tear madly around Spa tonight – one of the few older circuits left, seven kms of lovely twisty hilly racing. VROOOOOOOOOOM!

Another week, another post…

You wouldn’t think just trying to do one university subject and stay well would take up so much time, but somehow it does.

We had our hottest day here  in months  – the official temperature recorded was 24, but inside the house it got up to 27.  That was Thursday, and when the clouds eventually gave up their rain we got all of about 2 mm.  The overnight temperature was something like 10 above the average. Poor woolly dog is still in her full winter coat, but the temperature has dropped back down again since. (And she likes to snuggle under things, especially people clothes, when it does get cool.)

(Just back from the groomers – we do NOT encourage ribbons in the hair and they do not last more than about an hour!)

I had to go and buy clothes today though, since I have very few things to wear for summer – I’m back under 100kg for the first time since at least the end of 2003, and I need to look decent for university: it helps me, psychologically, if I feel that I am turning up looking my best. That means I like wearing (reasonably) good clothes and having some face on and my hair looking okay.  Most of the dresses I bought at TS14+ and have been wearing during the last few months will be fine for the next few months with the addition of short sleeve underdresses (instead of the long sleeve t-shirts and heavy opaque leggings I have been wearing them with).  $$$ but what can you do? I have found that the TS14+ clothes are lasting well and wash and dry really well – so in the end they’re much better value than the cheaper clothes that fall apart and don’t even last a single season.

Today I got the result back for the first piece of assessment for CWR1000, the Creative Writing subject I’m studying this semester: 83/100, and that’s for 15% of the overall mark for the semester. Not enough for a High Distinction (that takes 85) but I’m  very happy.  It was for a 500 word piece of pure description: no narrative, no plot, just describing a place, person, or emotion.  I chose to write about a place, my bedroom at our old house in Wagga.  I did a solid job, but need to let loose with more poetry, more abstract and imaginative language in my writing, says my teacher.  I can do that. I’m looking forward to doing that.  I am in the middle of a first draft of what will end up as a 2000 word story (due 7th September) which is worth 25% of the mark for the course, so I will make sure I incorporate his feedback into the new piece.

Mental health report: I think I’ve turned the corner on this mixed mania episode (and there was a collective sigh of relief).  The medicat1on (Saphr1s) at the higher strength seems to have done the trick (or maybe I would have got there on my own – that’s the damn trouble with B1polar, you never can tell, but it’s too dangerous not to treat it just in case things go disastrously wrong and you wreck your life and your relationships permanently). In any case, I am grateful to be back to my somewhat saner state of mind. It’s still a bit wonky but my sleep patterns have noticeably improved, and I’m not so up and down-y all the time now.  I am staying on he higher dose until I see the Very Helpful Psychiatrist next, then we get to wean me off, and then we see how I go. Fun times.

And the cockatiels are setting up the nursery again – Mrs Bird has a lovely new cornflakes box, which Mr Bird is modifying.  No signs of eggs yet, but there could be baby birds by Christmas… if that happens successfully we’ll eventually have to give them away, since Yarrow, our baby bird from the flood, has taken up residence in the only spare cage.

That’s about it from here this week.  The kookaburras have just started laughing so either they’re setting up their nursery too, or we’re in for rain in the next couple of days (they’re better than the Bureau of Meteorology at getting the big storms right).

 

 

 

Odd.

So I saw my lovely GP today, mostly to get (yet another) form signed for the Great Big Government Department Which Controls Our Lives.  Since I’m having a bit of a fibromyalg1a flare we decided some blood tests would be a good idea, and then she asked ‘Have you lost weight?’

‘Yeah, people keep asking me that…’

Turns out, yes, I have.  Another 10 kg since I last got on the scales in March, and another 7 cm off my waist.

Ah.

That would explain why those jeans looked odd now. And why the fat-chick-size pantyhose I bought kept falling down: I just attributed it to them losing their stretch in the wash. Didn’t occur to me that I might have needed the slightly smaller size.

I don’t know my waist measurement, I was too shocked by the number on the scale – 107 kg – to pay attention to the tape.  When I left Canberra I weighed 103 kg. I have been as large as nearly 130 kg.

Really, none of this…

The thing is, I haven’t been TRYING to lose weight.  With the insomnia, I have been exercising even LESS than usual.  I’m still eating donuts if they are marked down at the supermarket or we feel like it. So… I’m not jumping up and down with joy at the weight loss until I’m sure I’m okay, you know?

That sounds awfully pessimistic.  Maybe it’s just because we’ve stopped having sweet biscuits in the pantry, I’m not baking, and I’m just not eating as much now that I don’t  take that wretched atypical-anti-psych0tic ser0quel anymore. (I will be forever grateful to the Very Helpful Psychiatrist for getting me OFF that horrible horrible drvg, and on to something which works better for me.  If it was the only thing she had ever managed to help me with it would have been enough to earn my trust forever.)

And, burying the lead in a big way: today I got the result for Essay 2 of last semester. 87.5%. Which is an HD. And if I’d actually written an introduction I could have gotten a higher mark, so oops, eh?  Before I have to do any more subjects that need essays I think I’d better get some help with how to write the darn things.

Still no official result for Semester 1 overall but if my maths is correct (and it rarely is) I *think* that means an HD.  I’ll let you know.

Mammogram…

(Last week I had a mammogram.  Tuesday, June 12, it was.  I wrote most of this post then.)

On the morning of the mammogram there was a murder of crows cawing on my house roof as I went to the loo in the early morning.  The day before I’d seen a huge black crow fly onto a neighbour’s roof with a lump of  meat in it’s beak – not  a torn piece, but a pink, glistening square, almost like someone had fed it a lump of cut chicken breast.

We see a lot of crows in winter.  Not like I was looking for omens or anything…

I wasn’t scared of the mammogram, this was at least my third, maybe my 4th time.  I’d asked for one because of my sore right nipple in the cold weather.  And it was two years since my last mammogram anyway, so I was due for another scan.

But the room was so very hot.  First image, no problem, boob squished, picture taken.  The image takes a little longer than usual, the radiographer was explaining to the trainee, because my breasts are so very dense.

I’m in position for the second image, but then suddenly

“I feel very dizzy…”

…and then…

…I’m crawling on the floor, shouting at the people I don’t recognise, people wearing hospital uniforms, and I think I’ve been admitted to the psych ward again.  “I don’t where I am, I don’t know where I AM?!”

“It’s ok, dear, you were having a mammogram and you fainted, it’s okay…”

Oh.

It’s not okay.

It’s embarrassing.  But it’s nice and cool, here on the floor, so I think I’ll just stay down here for a while and keep saying “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry…” while they bring in the doctor and cover me up with the paper gown and put the pulse-oximeter on my finger. (Wireless pulse-ox, very cool!)

“96%” I hear someone say in the distance. “Ma’am, can you get up off the floor now?

“Um, it’s nice and cool down here, it’s so hot in the room, I think I’ll just stay here a little longer.”

“Okay, try and get her up on the bed, do the ultrasound when she’s ready and the rest of the films today if you can” and the voice leaves the room.

The young radiographer leaves with the doctor to check the films and the trainee gets me a glass of water once I’m up on the bed.  I keep saying how embarrassed I am. I joke that it’s just one more experience for her training.  She tells me that I will probably have a bruise along my jaw and chin where I hit the floor – they couldn’t catch me, they could only try to stop me hitting myself on the equipment as I went down.

Eventually we get on with the ultrasound (goop, ugh) and then when I’ve wiped myself down, we go back over to the squishing machine.

This time I the radiographer says she won’t do any explaining, “just in case we have another incident” and I try to reassure the poor trainee that it really wasn’t her fault.

We get through it, I get dressed, and leave.  I sit in the car for a while and rummage around in my bag for the emergency muesli bar I know is squished somewhere in there.  Once I’ve eaten it and feel steady enough, I drive the five minutes back home.

And I don’t sleep at all that night.

Or the next.

I pick up the films on Thursday and of course I read the reports despite the “CONFIDENTIAL X-RAY REPORT ENCLOSED. ONLY TO BE OPENED BY DOCTOR” sticker sealing the envelope.  No malignancy, just a 6 mm cyst where I knew it was hurting.

I see my kind and lovely GP on the Friday,  and she laughs and says everybody opens the envelope, you’d be mad not to.  So now we wait and see what happens – no point doing much unless things get a lot worse.

But I’m still having trouble sleeping – because when I fell, I really hurt my hip again – and my knee, and my neck, and I think I flared up my back injury from when I fell and fractured my L2 vertebrae 10 years ago.  The pain is baaaaaaaaaaad.

So my sleep patterns are more out of whack than usual. Which is upsetting.  And worrying.  And because I had a recent depression I am anxious about having a manic upswing, which can happen when you don’t get enough sleep, and it’s all a bit chicken and egg because sometimes not sleeping is a symptom and sometimes it’s a cause…arrrrrgh!

I have a couple of weeks to try and get my sleep patterns back to something better… and then the new semester starts.  And the class that was going to be in the middle of the day on Thursdays has been moved to an EIGHT A.M. START on Friday mornings.  Go ahead, laugh, everyone who knows me knows how bad I am at mornings – this is really going to test my commitment to this course.  To get there for an eight am start I need to be in the car no later than twenty past seven, which means I have to be dressed and eating breakfast at least an hour earlier than that because I AM REALLY BAD AT MORNINGS.

SERIOUSLY bad at mornings.

Maybe they’ll decide to move the class again yet….

 

It’s been… a week.

So I got my assignment in on time, Yay.

After wasting YET ANOTHER HOUR of tute time going over the assignment AGAIN!  *headdesk*

Fair dinkum, there had better be close to full damn marks for EVERYONE for this bloody thing.

Then – lessee.  Saturday I made a cake (Rose Levy Beranbaums’ fabulous Chocolate Domingo cake, with masses of chocolate ganache icing) to take to the girls I usually see during the week, but we had to hold our get together on a Sunday because everyone had other commitments and we had to celebrate Tammy’s birthday.  That was ok – fun with the cake and pressies.

Monday, Tammy and I went shopping – not something I normally do and it was EXHAUSTING!  Just trying on clothes at one shop. For three hours!  I bought a dress and a long sleeved top to wear under it, and a scarf.  Lay-by-ed another top (and it was on a better price than shown on the web!)  Just wanted a couple of pieces that weren’t so – daggy, you know?

Then uni on Tuesday – the lecture actually made sense this week, and it was such a relief to get back into the course CONTENT instead of the !@^(%# library assignment!  We have two weeks uni break now, so I’ll be using my couple of hours of uni work per day to try a get a little bit ahead and start writing the essay, which is worth 40% of the mark for the course.

Wednesday was group therapy, which is always very tiring.  Ugh. Especially so this week – stuff came up that I didn’t cope well with, and I got left til last, so I was wrung out when Mr Beloved came to collect me – Ia cup of tea and then had lie down, put my CPAP mask on and just sleep for three hours.

Thursday was Toowoomba Show Day, a public holiday, so no uni.  And I slept. A lot.

I was supposed to meet with the girls to celebrate my birthday (which isn’t until next week but one of them was going out of town) but I just COULDN’T.  I was done.  I just can’t do things that many days in a row. Just can’t.  Physically or mentally.

Which brings us to today.  I slept in again, then ran a few errands (post, library, supermarket for a couple of essentials) and now I’m worn out again.

Both of us are in the grips of allergy season – I don’t know what’s flowering but I wish it would stop already, it’s costing us a fortune in antihistamines!  And I’m back on the asthma preventative.  Blaah!

So that’s me – tired, grumpy, sniffly, menopausal, and several other of the dwarves Disney didn’t want to mention.

Next week: More trauma therapy.  Oh goody.

 

 

Adventures in University Work – and it’s not even Week 1 yet

It took me over two hours to write a short three paragraph response to the”Introduction” thread for my university subject.  To be fair, there was a three part question that needed to be answered, and it involved choosing one or several of 14 headings at the top of a complicated diagram of “the genealogy of communication”, and the two hours included thinking time… but… *HEADDESK*!!

But I’ve now completed as much of the online work for Week 1 as I can until my other textbook gets here. WHICH HAD BETTER BE SOON.  Ah well, next time I’ll know to choose my subject further in advance and order the textbook earlier.  Yeah yeah, I know you probably don’t reaaaally do much in week 1, and I know I’m supposed to be all “P’s get degrees” BUT I’m trying to get a leeeetle bit ahead where I can just in case, you know?

First lecture is on Tuesday morning.  I hope I can sleep on Monday night.

I am nervous about being able to take notes  – but because the course is offered both on campus and as an external/distance subject, I should have access to recorded versions of the lectures.  My fibromyalgia has flared up again, and I can’t hold a pen to write for much more than signing my name (and even that’s a bit dodgy.)  Typing’s not too bad so long as I rest fairly often.

The university offers a LOT of disability support – it’s one of the reasons I decided to enroll at USQ.  And I have my shiny new laptop, which poor Mr Beloved spent 10+ hours getting set up and making backup disks in case of catastrophic failure, and getting my desk all organised with the laptop at the right height, additional keyboard below and a second screen for ease of reading texts at home – everybody say “awwwwwwww!” – isn’t he the best!

My (Summer) at home desk

[as always, clicky for biggy].  As you can see, a phone book brings the extra monitor to just the right height, and the hi-tech laptop stand is re-purposed floorboards from a long-demolished Canberra govvie house.  (Nothing in the shed is JUNK. It’s all  waiting for a use… well, most of it.  I admit some of my stuff needs to go.  Ahem.)

Shiny New Computer also came with Kindle for PCS already installed. Wheee!  I am rapidly learning to do more screen-based reading – and since my assignments for uni can be submitted electronically (and get marked more quickly if I do so) I’m going to have to get used to not even printing out a copy to proof read. Another tree (and more expensive ink) saved each time…

And now, as usual, I have to go eat.  I forget when I’m down here on the computer until I get reallllllly hungry.  So nice to have that change now – I’m very VERY glad to be off the horrible Ser0quel, but I still need to up the d0se of the new med1cation – which I can’t do until I see the Nice Psychiatrist on the 5th of March.

And did I mention it’s VERY wet here again? I am really considering that a clothes dryer is no longer a luxury but a necessity – unless we want to appear in public in bedsheets.