sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
Had my dentist's appointment this morning, even though none of my teeth have even twinged since I made the appointment, of course. Didn't have to sit it the waiting room for too long, thankfully, as the longer I wait in medical waiting rooms the greater the urge to just run out screaming becomes for me. Dentist looked at my broken tooth from all angles, then took an x-ray of it (and I nearly choked on the x-ray plate that had to be inserted into my mouth because, despite being told, my tongue wouldn't relax and things got rather crowded in there. Then I had to wait for the results of the x-ray, all the while thinking that, if we were at the stage of taking x-rays, then something was going to have to be done to my tooth.

Nope. Despite all outward appearances, my broken tooth is actually perfectly healthy. Yes, both I and the dentist were slightly shocked by this. But no work needs to be done; just keep up the Corsodyl and the teethbrushing.

I swear, even if nothing else gets accepted after I die, I think I should donate my teeth to a dentistry school for scientific research.

So after that, I went to lunch... and my tooth started hurting again. But since it's been x-rayed and such, I can now put it down to my teeth suddenly deciding, after 37 years, that they want to be sensitive now. Which is fine by me, I bought Sensodyne toothpaste.

After that, I went to see Annabelle: Creation at the cinema, mainly because my brother's been prodding me to see it for weeks now. I admit, I wasn't expecting great things from it, so to say it was better than I had expected it to be might not be the most glowing of praise, but there it is. 12 years after their daughter dies, a couple take in six orphan girls and a nun after their orphanage closes. They're allowed to go anywhere in the house, except the dead daughter's room. But something in the room has other ideas, and soon the girls are being terrorised by an evil spirit, particularly the one girl with polio who can't run away.

I was all prepared to yell at the film for inventing a new and completely different backstory for the evil doll that had no connection to the first film (I haven't actually seen the first film, but I watched the CinemaSins episode on it), but the film did throw in an epilogue that actually managed to connect the two films without working itself into a plot knot. So there's that, at least. And yes, the film was a jumpscare-palooza, emphasised by obvious camera framing and orchestra stings that sounded like someone was tasing the strings section while kicking the woodwind section down a spiral staircase, but I suppose as jumpscares go they weren't too bad. Oh, and there was a brief shot of Sister Skullface of the Church of the Eternal Waking Nightmare, just to remind us that the next film will be all about her. I'd give it 3 out of 5.
sareini: Five Exclamation Marks, the sure sign of an unstable mind (Five Exclamation Marks)
My brother came down today and we went to see The Limehouse Golem at the cinema. It's a period piece, set in 1880 where a detective (played by Bill Nighy) is investigating a series of gruesome murders committed by someone calling themselves the "Limehouse Golem", and finds that his case is intertwined with the case of a music hall actress, Lizzie Cree (played by Olivia Cooke, who really does do helpless waif well) who is on trial for allegedly poisoning her husband.

It's a horror/Victorian serial killer movie that - thank Eris - does things better than From Hell could ever hope to. It also reminded me somewhat of The Prestige - partly because of the setting and partly because of the music hall/performance aspect of the story. Also like The Prestige, I figured it all out a little over halfway through the film and was right in all but two of my guesses on how the film would end (my brother still can't quite believe I realised the twist in The Prestige, but that's what years of film and creative writing study gets you - the ability to use narrative theory to ruin movie twists...). It's still a very good film though, because the twist was good rather than something nailed on to the end of the film to make the audience gasp a bit.

There's also a good amount of LGBTQ themes running through the film. Bill Nighy's detective had his career torpedoed by rumours that he was homosexual, and while it's never stated outright or hinted either way you get the idea that the rumours might have been true. There's also at least one other gay male character, as well as cross-dressing (I was also reminded of Tipping the Velvet there), and I don't know if we were supposed to wonder if Lizzie Cree was a lesbian or not, but it certainly crossed my mind. Definitely a film I'd recommend.

Edit: I should mention that there are scenes of gore and references and moments of child abuse and rape in the film, for those who are sensitive to such topics.

Unfortunately for me, my toothache returned. Well, it never really went away, but for most of last week it was more or less faint background noise, so to speak. Then today, while eating brunch before the film, it returned with a vengeance, and now I can say that I finally understand the phrase "throbbing like a sore tooth". I spent most of the afternoon holding mouthfuls of cold water in my mouth to try to soothe the pain, then taking painkillers and hoping for the best (It was good for a couple of hours, but the throbbing is coming back now.) So I've made an appointment with the dentist for Wednesday. Here's hoping that this either won't need very much treatment, or that said treatment will be easier than I'm dreading (between my severe needle phobia and a medical phobia, you could say I'm a little stressed out about it). But if it's this bad I need to get it looked at, and I can't just use it as an excuse to shift to a rice pudding and yogurt diet.

The Mist

Aug. 31st, 2017 12:07 pm
sareini: Bruce Campbell as Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep (Bubba Ho-Tep)
Last night I watched the first two episodes of The Mist TV series that's now up on Netflix.

Now, before I begin I need to explain that The Mist is one of my all-time favourite Stephen King stories. I first read it when I was 14, and it hooked me so much that I was waking up at 6am in the morning to read it before school, and even then I was getting so distracted by it that I kept nearly missing my bus. I loved every part of it. Second year Film Studies at University, I took a Scriptwriting class for which the final assignment was to adapt a scene from a book into a screenplay, and so I chose the scene where the "Flat Earth Society" leave the safety of the store from The Mist. I had a very specific idea for just about everything for the scene, and the theoretical entire movie - one of which was the idea of the film being shot in black-and-white which occasional flashes of colour - the red of blood, Mrs. Carmody's yellow pantsuit and so on. Years later, when Frank Darabont made his adaptation of the novella, I was delighted to hear that he had had a similar idea and had made a black-and-white version as well.

I was far less impressed with the film's ending, which I still think is one of the most mean-spirited and misjudged endings in cinematic history, but everything up to that point was great. So basically what I'm saying is that I'm possibly a bit biased and picky about this particular story.

With that being said... (spoilers) )


So after two episodes I'm at least interested enough to keep watching, almost overloaded as it is with shitty characters, because I want to see where it's going with the creatures in the Mist and how they're going to continue with the basic plot while still carving their own path, so to speak.

***

In other news, I'm sot sleeping at all well right now, and it's starting to make me feel unwell on top of everything else. I may have to start taking afternoon naps to try to catch up at this rate.

Toothache

Aug. 27th, 2017 10:36 pm
sareini: (unwell)
My weekend plans (which were mainly just watching mostly bad horror movies) got rather derailed yesterday when I woke up with toothache. This is something of a big deal for me because I don't get toothache. Ever. Never had a filling, anything like that. Had to have five teeth out when I was 12, but that was the usual "mouth too crowded" thing that most kids have at some point. I don't even have wisdom teeth (well, I do, but they'll never erupt or even try to erupt because there's simply no room for them). My teeth and jaw are misaligned as hell, to the point where I can literally only chew on one side of my mouth, but damn if they're not industrial strength. So getting a toothache is a bit of a big deal here.

What made it worse was that it appeared to be centred on my broken tooth. When I was 17, I got smacked in the mouth and one of my teeth got partially broken. True to form, I didn't notice for some time, and it never actually hurt, so I never actually bothered with it. (A trip to the dentist last year confirmed that there's not actually anything to worry about with it either.) I also had a headache, and some Googling brought up such suggestions as tooth infections and abscesses. I got worried. I talked to Ross about it, and he suggested trying to minimise things with some Corsodyl mouthwash and toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and to make an appointment with a dentist if it still hurt on Tuesday (damn Bank Holiday). So I went out and tried to work out which out of "Fresh", "Cool" and "Ice" was most likely to be like spearmint in mouthwash terms.

Then I talked to my brother about it, and he suggested another possibility to me. Wonky yet indestructible teeth is something of a family trait, you see, and he thought the toothache might have been because I got a piece of food stuck between the broken tooth and my gum - which had actually happened on Friday night. See, when food gets stuck between teeth and gums, the gums' response is to become inflamed and swell up to try to force the food out. Now, I'd gotten the food (a bit of onion, if you wanted to know) out on Friday, but that didn't stop the inflammation. And sure enough, that's what it was. Today the area's still ached a bit whenever I've been chewing something (because of course it's on the side that I chew on) but no other problems. Panic over.

And now I have mouthwash to swish around in my mouth every night to discover all the places I bit the inside of my mouth during the day.
sareini: (doctor)
I've not been feeling too well these past couple of days. I think it's all down to exhaustion after the weekend, but I wouldn't put it past anything to have caught something while in all the various crowds I was in on Saturday and Sunday. My depression and panic attacks have been making themselves known as well, and today I've suffered from repeated audio hallucinations of my phone ringing when it wasn't. Thankfully those were more annoying than anything else - hearing the phantom tones of Dare to be Stupid every now and then was just strange.

So I started work on Christmas presents today. I'm making Rachael a Hufflepuff scarf (yellow with spaced-out black stripes) and I'm also working on a Lizard shawl for my friend Kerry (although I might well keep this one and make her something else as it's a shawl I've wanted to make for myself for a while as well). I've been switching between them all day because I've not really wanted or been able to focus on one thing for very long. This is also why I've been watching random things on YouTube for most of the day as well. Somehow I've finished up on old episodes of Crimewatch UK.

A couple of random things I forgot to put in the last post about my weekend:

- I tried halloumi for the first time while visiting my niece! Over the past year or so Rachael has been suffering from severe emetophobia that's developed into OCD and a borderline eating disorder, because she's become so afraid of eating anything that might make her ill that she struggles to eat anything. She's lost a lot of weight because of it. She's working through it, though, and one of the foods she can eat is grilled or pan-fried halloumi. So she cooked us both some on Saturday night, and damn, that stuff is good. I'm going to have to get some for myself next time I manage to venture out to the supermarket.

- On the Sunday before I got the train back home the two of us went into Liverpool. Rachael wanted to get some beard moisturiser from Lush for her boyfriend, and I just wanted to see Liverpool shopping centre because I'd not been there since... last century, actually. It's changed a lot. So many of the shops I knew and frequented from my teenage years are long gone - Miss Selfridges, C&A, the huge Waterstones (although apparently that's just moved location) - and it now seems like every fifth shop is a coffee shop or Burger King. It was disorienting, to say the least. Also, the Lush store was nice, but the staff were really really over-eager to help. In my local store, you go in, they greet you and then pretty much leave you to your browsing. In the Liverpool store, we had three staff members come up to us to see if we needed anything within five minutes. And it was a crowded shop already, so I didn't really enjoy the complete lack of personal space. Also, the beard moisturiser was bloody expensive.
sareini: "Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says, 'Bugger'." from Blackadder (Bugger)
Ugh, but this week has been a mess.

The first half of the week was taken up with my mind waging a minor war against me. I would be lying in bed trying to fall asleep and I'd hear "voices" coming from "downstairs". Whether these were actually noises from outside that I was mishearing, or hypnagogic hallucinations I don't know, but the result was the same - bolt awake and lie there trying to work out what was going on for several minutes each time. I ended up having to remind myself that, if there was really someone else in the house, the cats would be reacting to it and they were still lying, dead to the world, on the bed or in the bedroom doorway.

I had a moment of thinking Nick was still here as well, which was disorientating more than upsetting, but still not something I want to be happening regularly (because of the disorientation).

My anxiety's been particularly high and the one time I went out this week I couldn't stop myself from thinking that everyone was watching me.

And then finally I had no concentration for most of the week, so I couldn't really get anything done. So thank you, broken brain.

Then, over the last couple of days, I've been suffering from a lurgy. Headache, aches in all my limbs as though I'd just hiked up and down a mountain, a slight fever, a feeling of being utterly run down and stomach upsets. Hopefully I'm starting to come out of it now (in that I ache slightly less today) but I probably still need to catch up on a fair bit of sleep (which I couldn't do today as I had to sit around waiting for a delivery of cat litter all day that didn't arrive until 6:30pm).

***

Creativity-wise, this week I mainly worked on the Rock A-Z cross stitch. I took a day off today, because my arms already ached without adding the pain of RSI from holding them in the same position for hours while I stitched, but I've finished up to the letter O, so I'm at least halfway through. I figure it's going to take me a little over a week now to finish it altogether.

I've also been practicing sock skills. I'm enjoying using the magic loop and toe-up patterns for knitting socks, but I'm still having the problem of ladders on either side of the sock from the magic loop. So far I've not had much success in correcting this; I'm either going to have to keep looking till I find a way that works for me, or just resign myself to the fact that I'm going to be crocheting the sides together when I'm done.

Finally, I think I've at last come up with a workable idea for a video review series to go with my blog. I'd originally thought I was just going to do video reviews of movies I'd already reviewed, but I kept thinking that was somewhat redundant at best. Then today I remembered the old Masters of Horror TV series from 2005-2007, where a whole bunch of horror directors got together and each made an hour-long TV episode, doing (for the most part) whatever they wanted. I'd been thinking about doing a review marathon for them at some point anyway, and so it struck me that trying out a video review format would probably work with them without disrupting the movie review portion of the blog. So now the next step is to start to properly learn how to use Premiere Elements 14, which has been sitting on my computer waiting for a year now. And also to work out whether I have a microphone that works, or if the part of my computer tower that I plug my headset in is in need of fixing.
sareini: Organising gods is like herding cats into straight lines. They don't take naturally to it - American Gods (Organising Cats)
I've spent the past few days really focusing on the A-Z of rock cross stitch for my brother's birthday, and I'm now halfway through J (for Judas Priest). The biggest problem I'm coming up against at the moment is using the special gold and silver threads I bought for accents, because they're thicker than regular cross stitch threads and so I also have to use a bigger needle when working with them just to thread them through the eye. Which also makes it frustrating when I mess up and need to unpick a few stitches. Still, the end result looks good so it'll be worth it.

The burstitis/mystery hip injury continues to be a pain in the... well, hip. The Deep Freeze gel helps to an extent so I can move about without too much pain, but if I go too long without reapplying it I end up hobbling round the house emitting little cries of pain while Callie dances around my feet, working on her Underfoot skills. I'm aiming to get a doctor's appointment on Monday (I couldn't Thursday or Friday as I had deliveries due and it would be just my luck that they'd arrive while I was out).

I got a letter this morning from E.on - I thought it would be about the complaint I made on Monday and it was related... but no, it was actually a letter from them gently telling me off (but still telling me off) for not letting the engineer in the house when I was trying to catch my cat to go to the vet. So I ended up on hold for 40 minutes with them before getting through to a very nice CSR called Paula to complain again (because even if I wasn't so anxious as to not want to let people in like that, if someone is about to leave the house when you call you don't get to throw a strop at them and storm off). A formal complaint has now been filed, mainly just to put this on record as it's not like I was ever expecting to get anything more than a general apology, and we're going to make the arrangements to get a Smart Meter fitted so that no meter reader ever has to darken my door again. I just have to speak to the landlord and then clear the front room (possibly easier said than done). That'll lead to me calling the Greenfields Centre again on Monday to see if I can speak to one of the people who are covering for my social worker while she's recovering from whatever terrible lurgy has afflicted her, because they're always offering me help with organising and cleaning the house.

Movie reviews for the week:

Martin (1978) - George A Romero's personal favourite of all his films.
Without Warning (1980) - Martin Landau stars in the film that inspired Predator
Without Warning (1994) - War of the Worlds-inspired TV movie that I think is pretty underrated.

Also, three times this week I've gone to the corner shop to buy milk for my cereal, then forgotten to buy it. Where is my helper monkey?

Burstitis

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:06 pm
sareini: (doctor)
I had plans for not going anywhere for the rest of the week, I really did. But as the saying goes, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

For the past couple of weeks or so I've been having a pain in my right hip. At first I thought it was down to sitting in a new chair at the computer, and did my best to change my posture to try to fix the problem. Plus, it only seemed to occur when I was getting up from the chair, so I thought little of it. But it didn't go away, and started getting worse - staying around for longer and happening when I turned over in bed or walked up or down the stairs. And the pain got worse as well.

I did some research on the internet, consulting Doctor Google, and came to the conclusion that it was most likely a case of Burstitis of the hip - annoying, certainly, but by no means life-threatening and treatable with painkillers. At some point, I told myself, I would brave the nightmare of the telephone system that my GP uses for appointments and get it looked at, but there was no rush.

...at least there was no rush until today, when I woke up to pain so bad whenever I did anything but sit that I was almost being sick or falling over, and painkillers were doing nothing. There was no way to get a doctor's appointment (I tried registering online and got told I could book one appointment online, but then it told me I couldn't book an appointment until I'd had an appointment, thus becoming a Mobius Appointment System) for at least three weeks, and I wasn't going to go to a walk-in centre or worse, A&E for something that, as painful as it was, wasn't going to kill me any time soon, so there was only one option left to me.

Hobble into town (or at least to the bus stop) and go to Boots the Pharmacist for some painkilling gel.

Thankfully the journey was more or less easy and I got myself a large tube of Deep Freeze gel, and thank Eris and all the little Discordian saints, it works! Not 100%, but enough that I can move around without so much pain that I honestly think I'm going to be sick with it. I've had plantar fasciitis, sciatica and a bladder and kidney infection that have all had me on bed rest for a week or more with the pain, and this hip pain was pretty damn close to them. Hopefully the gel will keep the pain levels down till I can see an actual doctor (fun times calling at 8am and praying to beat the rush of everyone else who needs an appointment as well).

I had plans to watch a dodgy 1980 sci-fi horror movie today and review it as well. Instead I've been watching mocked-up Emergency Broadcast videos and scaring myself half to death instead (I should explain all that in another post).
sareini: (tired)
9. A song that makes you happy
Not much explanation here )

10. A song that makes you sad
A little more explanation here )

The past couple of days have been annoying because I've been suffering from thunderstorm headaches a lot. My thunderstorm headaches often are like mini-migraines; focusing on the area above and behind my right eye so I get vision problems along with the pain. My usual treatment for them is to go lie down and take a nap till they hopefully go away rather than take painkillers, but things aren't helped when the promised thunderstorms never actually arrive and the pressure stays low and the weather stays humid, and my head stays painful.

But I managed to drag myself out of the house this evening and went to Tesco's to do some food shopping. I even treated myself with some coconut chunks (which I'll have to keep from Lily as she likes the taste of coconut) and a few other things. I also got a Robinsons "Refresh'D" Raspberry and Apple drink but I was not impressed. I don't know if it's just me, but every time I've tried something of Robinsons it's just tasted like flavoured liquid plastic to me, which is kind of ironic really.
sareini: (hiding)
According to the AccuWeather app on my phone, right now it is 25 degrees Celcius. For most of the day it has been 23 degrees C.

I am not one of those people who enjoys the heat. For one thing, I have severe hay fever that's been a constant companion for all my life (my brother is the same; he was once offered immunotherapy - basically they wanted to inject him with small amounts of pollen daily - for his because we're both so bad with it). It can start as early as March and be with me all the way to October or even November. Eyes itch, twitch, sting and swell shut; nose dries up so badly it bleeds spontaneously and itches, and the roof of my mouth and the back of my throat itch painfully, among other symptoms. So that's one reason to avoid going outside in this weather I am basically allergic to ALL THE POLLEN. ALL OF IT.

Secondly, I am possessed of a skin type that can be best described as "translucent". One of the reasons I don't bother with makeup is that even the palest foundation is usually still a few shades darker than my skin. Which wouldn't be that bad, except that I also don't feel it when I burn. I just go from 0 to lobster without any warning signs. And skin cancer runs in my family (I was 8 or 9 before I discovered that you don't automatically have to have all your moles removed when you reach a certain age. My mother was of the same skin type, and had grown up in the 40s and 50s on a beach in Ireland, back when they didn't know about the dangers of too much sun, so when I was growing up she was usually at the dermatologist clinic every six months or so to have another dodgy mole removed.) so I like to take precautions now. Generally those precautions are, "Don't leave the house in daylight unless you have to."

The cats have been enjoying the sun and the heat though. Lily has been back and forth on my desk in front of a window all day, lying on my keyboard and preventing me from doing very much while she suns herself. So at least someone is enjoying themselves.

Ugh.

May. 23rd, 2017 10:05 pm
sareini: "Do not fuck with Cthulhu" (Cthulhu)
I woke up this morning at 5am with bile in my mouth and literally coming out of my nose. Damn acid reflux. I've not suffered that in months, and certainly never that bad. And of course, after I'd dealt with it I wasn't feeling too well and so I stayed in bed for the rest of the morning.

So really the day started as it meant to go on, what with news of shitgibbons blowing up children at concerts, Sir Roger Moore dying at 89, the local ATM having a "moment" and telling me my bank had cancelled my card (it hadn't), and meeting someone I hadn't seen from before Nick died and having to give them the news. So I decided to retreat from the world again and started playing EVE Online again, now that there's a free option.

EVE Online appeals to me for the strangest reasons - I like the repetitive tasks like mining and exploration/scanning. They soothe me. Plus I can do things like knitting and crochet and watching movies while playing. Last time I played was just before Nick died though, and while I have a character who's very well kitted out for those things, I haven't decided if I'm coming back properly and if I want to spend money to play yet (I think some of her stuff requires a paid account). Plus I'm not quite ready to reconnect with my old corp just yet. So I created a new character to play around with. Her name?

Incontinentia Buttox.

I can't wait till the CSR who messages every new player within two days of them starting gets to me and sees that name. Hopefully they get the reference. If not I'll have to name a ship "Welese Woderick".
sareini: (cat)
I woke up this morning to find Callie licking my closed eyes. Apparently my role in life now is to be a salt lick for a kitten. It's the hay fever, of course; now that it's May and the weather is grudgingly admitting that it's springtime the pollens are really getting started, and of course I was already allergic to all of them even before the news of "super pollens" (pollens that have mixed with diesel fuels to be extra sticky in the mucous membranes) hit last week. Already my nose is getting runnier, my eyes more sore and prone to sticking closed in the morning (cat licks aside) and most annoyingly, the roof of my mouth itches more and more of the time. At least my life as it currently is minimises my contact with random free-floating pollen in the outside world.

In other news, I managed to be relatively productive around the house today. Did some small amount of tidying, typed up and published a review for the movie blog (The Void, in case you were wondering) and got as far as I currently can with the Shawl of Secrets. I'm now at the point where I have to buy the missing ball of yarn before I can continue, and depending on how things go on Thursday (another vet visit for Lily) will determine whether I can get that this week or at the end of the month. Still, it's a good thing it's not able to distract me right now, as I still have to finish that cardigan for my niece.

Possible Criminal Minds spoilers if you've not seen Season 11 yet )

Knitted shawl in browns, reds, oranges, yellows and greens
sareini: default (chocolate)
I went shopping in the daytime today.

That probably doesn't sound like too big an accomplishment; like it would be on par with "successfully posting a letter" or "having a telephone conversation with someone you vaguely know", but it's a pretty big one for me. Even before Nick's death and my complete breakdown and withdrawl from society, I was pretty socially avoidant and anxious about crowds, so now it's more like throwing myself willingly into a vat of acid with acid-proof sharks swimming around in it.

Normally, if I have to do any grocery shopping that can't be done at the corner shop 100m from my house, I do it in the middle of the night. After all, what's the point of having a 24-hour Tesco's in the area if you're not going to go shopping at 3am? Also it's quiet, there are very few other shoppers around, you don't have to get in a queue for perusing the Clearance shelves and the staff usually play classic rock or party tunes to keep themselves awake as they stock shelves. For someone like me, it's all in all a good time for shopping.

But at the weekends Tesco's closes at midnight on Saturdays because of the Sunday Trading Laws (bah) and so when I realised I needed to go shopping today I was faced with a decision - either wait until the early hours of Monday morning or go during the daytime today. In the end I decided I didn't want to wait. Also I needed batteries.

For me, going out at any time is fraught with anxiety, but daytime is the worst. There's too many people around, and I constantly feel that they're all looking at me, judging me, thinking and talking about me, mocking me. It doesn't help that I've currently got what would be several days' beard growth on a man adorning my face, of which I'm horribly self-conscious about but also too depressed to do anything about (it's a vicious circle) And supermarkets are always crowded in the daytime, especially at weekends. If I could I'd keep my eyes glued to the floor the entire time I was there so as not to make eye contact with anyone for even a second, but that way leads to being run over by a trolley. On the other hand, I'm probably one of the few shoppers who actually notices the people in the disability scooters. I'm not good in the taxi journeys there and back, either; too much traffic on the road for one, and any vehicle that comes too close (in my mind) to the car makes me flinch away from the side as though it's about to come through the door to punch me; and I live in constant fear that the taxi driver will try to start a conversation with me - especially if it's a driver who's picked us up in the past, because they inevitably ask where Nick is and then things get even more awkward.

But I made it through. I had to wait at the Clearance shelves for about five minutes because a woman with quite obvious OCD was there arranging everything on the shelves according to food type and size (not a shop worker, just a customer), but I can understand that urge and it seemed to be making her happy. I managed to not break down and buy a 12-box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (even though they had new Cookie Dough-filled ones) and bought foods that, when combined with other foods, will make complete meals and will last me a good while before I need to buy more. I also bought foods to snack on while watching stuff on the TV. And I bought the cats a treat of Sheba Tuna with Prawns, which was well-received.

Forgot to buy the batteries though.
sareini: default ("bad century")
Six years. It's been a while. Stuff's happened, obviously, since I was last here.

Nick died. November 17 2015 - so exactly 4 months ago. I got woken up at 4am by the cats biting my elbow (well, Lily was biting as Cracker has no teeth), heard the silence of the house and realised it was not a good silence, went to his room and found him dead in bed. Bronchopneumonia and sepsis, it turned out to be. He'd had a cough for several weeks but we'd thought nothing of it, mainly because of an advert that had been on TV a couple of years previously that went, "Had a cough for more than a few weeks? It could be CANCER!" and so whenever I mentioned the cough we'd laugh about that and he'd tell me it was nothing serious. All the other symptoms were masked by the ridiculous amount of painkillers Nick needed to take on a daily basis to do things like get out of bed and move about - he was on 40mg of morphine at the end because of the state of his knees and back. So neither of us knew anything until it was way too late for anything to be done.

It was very odd, telling his friends and family that he had died and then immediately following it up with, "He didn't kill himself." Because for the last few years, Nick's mental problems had been getting the better of him as well. I'd been his full-time carer for several years at that point, and it's pretty safe to say that looking after him was really the only thing that was keeping me going day-to-day. Because after his death I more or less had a complete mental breakdown myself and am now quite nearly as crazy as he was, albeit with my own spin on things. I don't leave the house very much any more, talk to anyone or do very much, because the outside world is really just too big and scary and overwhelming to deal with now. And it has far too many people.

So it's just me and the cats now. And it's two new cats too. Sandy sadly died in 2011 of stomach cancer, and Suki followed him 3 months later of old age and just being lonely. So now I have Lily, who's a ginger flump who barely makes a sound except when she's playing, but who loves to climb up onto the sofa or bed with me and snuggle and lick my nose (and occasionally nip it as a game). She's 12 now, but she neither looks it nor acts like it, which is a good thing as I don't think I could cope with losing anyone else for a good while. The other cat is Cracker, who we got about 6 months after Lily because she was getting a little bit too flump-y and we hoped that a playmate might help her lose some weight. Cracker is a skinny black cat with no teeth and inflammatory bowel disease, which means she uses the litter box a lot- hence her full title sometimes being Cracker the Amazing Pooping Cat. She came from a house with 21 other cats after being rescued from the streets, which made her the friendliest cat in the world, albeit with a lack of understanding about personal space that's remarkable, even for cats, and also one of the most anxious. She doesn't like being on her own - even more so now that it's just the three of us, and howls her displeasure if she finds herself alone in a room for more than 1o minutes.

I'm at university again, this time studying Creative Writing part-time. Well, that's the theory anyway, as I'm currently more or less on extenuating circumstances leave while I try to get myself back on my feet. My tutors are all very understanding, actually, as apparently I'm quite good at my course and they want to keep me on, but it's still difficult to get into classes when I can't face going out and I've got no money to do so anyway. Because of course, with being completely snooker loopy comes the fun of being unable to work and having to claim disability benefits... but we'll go into the fun and games of that in another post. Just rest assured that it's not really possible to live on £73 a week when £50 of that goes on heating and electricity, and that if it wasn't for the help of others I wouldn't have lasted this long.

I decided to start posting here again because I need somewhere to put my thoughts down, and because this is, in theory at least, a way in which I can reach out to other people in some semblance of socialisation. Because most days, other than the cats and my brother who calls every day, I don't talk to anyone at all, and that's probably not helping my mental state. I'm going to try to post something every day, even if it comes down to, "Still here, still not doing much but watching twitch.tv on the sofa." because at least I'm trying then.

Also, I can play with all my icons.
sareini: default (normal people...)
I was recently provided with a link to a website called Dyscalculia Forum. I think most people already know that I have dyscalculia, also known as numerical dyslexia. I wasn't diagnosed until I was in university - before that, everyone just thought I had really bad math skills. I'd also been aware of the fact that there were very few dyscalculaics (is that a word?) around - or at least, ones who knew that they were, in fact dyscalculaics.

Anyway, I had a look round the site, and found it very interesting. One part that I found particularly interesting was their "symptoms" page - there are considerably more symptoms than I'd known about (and of course, reading the list convinces you that you've got all the symptoms...)

Symptoms below here... )

Which makes 8 or 9 out of 11, I think...

Bleh.

Dec. 18th, 2008 01:04 am
sareini: default (discworld - mountains of madness)
I had to go to the doctor's today. The "feeling sick" that I had at the beginning of the week didn't go away, and instead was joined by constant trips to the bathroom, headaches, nausea, light-headedness and, this morning, rather excruciating stomach pain that made it very difficult, if not impossible, to work. the NHS Direct website didn't, for once, tell me to book a coffin and have a dance band ready to play Abide With Me, but they did suggest calling the helpline proper. Who promptly told me to get an appointment to see my doctor.

So down I went, at 5pm, to luckily see the best doctor in the surgery. After breaking his electronic thermometer and blood pressure machines, he told me that I had a fever of about 39-40 degrees celsius (that's about 102 degrees fahrenheit), which would neatly explain the light-headedness at any rate, and in general I had a moderate case of gastroenteritis.

Nick was disappointed; he was certain it would be kidney stones.

***

While I was out, I saw a billboard for the Twilight movie, which is opening over here on Friday. On the left-hand corner are Bella and Edward, with Edward kind of looming over Bella and glaring out at onlookers with dark circles under his eyes and a look that I think the publicists were hoping would portray intensity, brooding and/or attractive emo-ness. Instead, he looked like he belonged on Crimewatch UK in their Most Wanted Faces section - "Have you seen this vampite stalker?"

sigh. Sparkly vampires. What next?
sareini: default (Angry Princess (one))
So, for a few days now Nick has been having problems with his eyes which we assumed were hay fever related - not a big stretch seeing as he was sneezing non-stop as well, and it's that time of year. His eyes were incredibly itchy, and try as he might he just couldn't stop rubbing them. Clarityn also did nothing for him (although it did stop the sneezing).

Yesterday I'm woken at the ungodly hour of half one in the afternoon (shut up, I was up all night doing an STF with friends) by the sound of Nick in obvious pain in the bathroom. After a few minutes he comes through and asks if I'd mind going into town for him and getting him an eye bath as his left eye is rather painful.

Read on for the gruesome details! )

*sigh*

May. 11th, 2008 04:41 pm
sareini: default ("bad century")
I was going to post about things like the weather and one of my new all-time favourite movies here, but instead I have to go to the local A&E with Nick now, because Nick's hay fever has gotten him so bad that one of his eyes (yes, the actual eyeball) has swollen up (along with the rest of the surrounding area) and currently looks like he has a huge blood blister on his eyeball that's about to pop.

So instead you can hear me rant at great length about my local healthcare system when I get back.

Oh, and it's too bloody hot.
sareini: default (ME Awareness)
First off, the good news:

'Seven genetic types of ME' found

This is obviously bloody marvelous news. One of the biggest problems with treating CFS/ME has always been that, because there isn't a specific way of testing of it or diagnosing it (other than, "We've looked at everything else and come up with nothing, so let's say you have ME," which is how I was diagnosed), it's also pretty much impossible to treat. After all, if you don't know what's causing it how can you treat it? But this could pretty much start the ball rolling on getting further insights into the causes of CFS/ME, and as a consequence how to treat it.

Oh, and it's a score against the doctors and the like who kept on insisting it was "all in the mind".

In more general health news... Hay fever season is in full flow in our house. Nick has it, I have it and poor Jelli has it. The only one not suffering is Mac, and even he jumps when one of us sneezes.

All three of us have the itchy faces and skin - poor Jelli is the worst, as she ends up scratching herself so hard she makes herself bleed and gouges tufts of fur off her jawline. On the other hand, she still looks so much better than she did two years ago when we first met her and she was living outside and getting pwned by the pollen count. We're thinking we're going to have to take her to the vets to see if they can give hay fever stuff to cats (poor thing'll probably have to have an injection, but we're hoping that if it comes to that she won't go on a killing spree; besides, the last time we took her to the vets she was a little angel - surprisingly - and the worst thing she did was passively-aggressivly shed on the exam table).

Nick was pretty bad until a couple of days ago, when I went and got him some Clarityn. Before that, he was having sneezing fits that were lasting for five minutes at a time, and his eyes were threatening to swell shut. On the plus side, we think he's only allergic to the pollon that's about at this time of year (as opposed to me, who reacts to it all) so hopefully that should die down in a few weeks.

As for me... my face and arms itch. The membranes in my nose and the roof of my mouth have dried out and are itching. My eyes are sore and stinging. But all of these are relatively minor compared to my biggest hay fever symptom - I can't breathe. Yes, the pollen is now officially trying to suffocate me, and I get to spend half my day struggling to take a full breath. I know I need to go to the doctors with this, and I intend to try tomorrow, but the problem is that, unless I get a taxi, I have to walk - past grass and flowers and trees and through air full of the stuff that's apparently choking me to death. It's a Catch-22.

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