thessalian: (facepalm)
"Opinions are like testicles: you kick them hard enough, doesn't matter how many you've got."
--Varric Tethras

This quote has come to mind a lot lately, as I've been lurking Tumblr the last ... what, couple of months? (Hi, fellow Tumblrs!) Tumblr's got the best bits of Livejournal (decent character limit, immediacy of picture posting rather than link-clicky) and Twitter (encouragement of brevity, immediacy of update so you're not spamming F5, easy reblogging), but it also has the worst bits of both venues ... which are frankly the same worst bits of every online community: the "audience + anonymity = arsehole" factor.

Add fandom, and it becomes a complete f'ing disaster area.

Fandom is great. Really, I love it. It allows like-minded people to enjoy the thing they love, as in-depth as they want to make it, in the company of their peers. People have opinions! Opinions are good! ...Well, mostly they're good. I mean, they're all valid; just some of them are made on some really flawed and frankly arseholeish grounds. Like, "This character I think is really really hot hooks up with this skanky nympho whore character and I think it's really gross!" ... for example. If you can't see a pairing, that's entirely up to you (or at least it should be; more on that later). If you can't see a pairing and think it's somehow so disgusting that you have to use that kind of dehumanising language to encompass your hatred and indirectly tar everyone who likes that pairing with the same brush? That's not cool. In that case, if I was going to speak against that opinion, it'd be about the language and grounds for the dislike, not the dislike itself.

...Mostly because I'm a little bit sick of being judged for not getting or liking some pairings and characters myself. I dislike the idea that every character with a passionate relationship - friendly or antagonistic, sibling or close friend, any relationship - automatically has to be screwing with the other party. However, the difference is, I don't hate ships of that nature - I just don't get it, and I don't seek it out. When asked, I'll say I don't get it and I will explain why in terms that don't actively call someone names for daring to like something that I don't understand. If no one asks, then it never has to even come up because I'm not going to jump on anyone who sees something I don't. It's their headcanon, not mine. I reserve the right to disagree - politely - and extend them the same courtesy.

Are people so sensitive about the opinions of others that, when given the chance to attack anyone who disagrees (that won't get them a smack in the mouth, I mean), they'll take it without hesitation? Is it so important that everyone agree with them that they'll lash out at people who don't? Are they that insecure, that desperate for validation?

I will lash out at people who act like bigoted, abusive, narrow-minded fuckheads, in the main. But I'm not going to lash out at someone who thinks that two fictional characters are boning when I disagree. I'm not that insecure, and I feel sorry for those who are that insecure. They can get the hell off my Tumblr dashboard, though. I don't need hate for my opinions, when I am expressing them in a non-hateful way. (Thankfully none of them do thus far, but you know what I mean.)

In other news, my belf pally discovered Deepholm last night. It's like Hellfire Peninsula, but worse. So far my main choices for completing my crawl to level 85 on my main are Underwater Nightmare (which is at least pretty), ForestForestForOHLOOKFLAMINGDEATH! (which has some pretty), or the Bowels of the Earth. Well, at least the XP is good in Deepholm, from the few little quests I actually did last night.

Also, I'm still ill. Still dragging myself into this blighted job feeling like hell every day. I think I'll be glad of the Christmas holidays mostly because of the four-day weekend it allows me. Blegh.
thessalian: (writing)
I want to put a sign up in this wretched cubicle of mine. I want it to say "PUT A HAND ON ME AND DRAW BACK A STUMP".

Look, it's relatively simple - I don't like people touching me unless I know them really well. I can tolerate it when I have no choice - crowded trains, lifts, incidental brushes when handing over money and taking change while shopping (though even that I'll avoid where I can) - but I don't like it. While I don't assume everyone feels the same way, I generally won't initiate contact with people I don't know well because it's better to not risk them being like me in their antipathy to being touched by near-strangers.

My office apparently has other ideas. If they want my attention so badly, I wish they'd ask. Verbally. Y'know, say "Excuse me?" I know I am generally in the middle of typing a letter when someone wants my attention, but they could at least wait until there's a lull in my typing if they're that worried about not being heard. Tapping me on the shoulder when I am in the middle of typing something just gets me on edge. I do not like it. I partly do not like it because it means that there is someone in my blind spot, deep in my personal space. I partly do not like it because I am fucking busy and would prefer to have people at least wait for a lull instead of stopping me mid-word. But I mostly do not like it because someone I do not know and/or may not actually like is laying hands on me. Maybe I'm oversensitive, but ... this is my body we're talking about and I should at least have some say in who or what comes in contact with it. I just don't like people I don't know well touching me when I don't know it's coming. I want the option to say 'no', even to something as relatively harmless as a touch on the shoulder. (And it generally will be 'no'; I just don't like it.)

Besides, everyone in my office knows that I am plaguemonkey at the moment. I shouldn't think they'd want to be touching me when I might pass on my cold/flu/viral infection/strep throat/whatever the hell it is I have that the doctors didn't care all that much about. And yet...

Maybe I'm just less patient about it today than I would ordinarily be because, despite getting to bed early last night, I am still exhausted, dragged out, aching and miserable right now. Even minor annoyances feel pretty major to me right now. I should be in bed, I know this, but that's not an option. If I'm lucky, I can get home early, but ... probably not. So I'll keep on truckin' and hope I don't fall asleep at my desk. Which seriously feels like an option right now. With my luck, though, I won't have anything but the weekends until the Christmas bank holidays.

Man, I hope they appreciate me...
thessalian: (facepalm)
Dear registrars,

I understand that you somehow feel that you are above and beyond the digital dictation system and that you must dictate everything on tiny transcription cassettes. Fine. However, there are a few rules that should really apply if you're going to circumnavigate a system that's put in place for your own benefit.

1) If you do not have a dictaphone, find one.
1a) Ditto dictaphone tapes.

2) If you are going to borrow a dictaphone from your colleagues, take their tape out of it first.

3) If you cannot find a tape and insist on dictating an entire clinic on top of the one the other registrar has already dictated on that tape, for the love of every god, mark it down on the tape's envelope.

4) Likewise ... leave us the gods-damned notes for the clinic you just dictated.

If you do not follow these simple rules, the following things are very likely to happen.

- Secretary finishes typing long clinic
- Secretary notes that there are no more notes
- Secretary thinks that tape is done
- Secretary erases tape
- Secretary dumps tape back into collective of tapes for use of registrars
- Letters do not get typed
- People get in trouble
- You look like you never dictated it

In other news, I finally dragged myself to the doctor for this vicious 'this is worse than a cold' thing that has been plaguing me for the last three weeks. I don't like seeing doctors for this kind of thing, mostly because it has been amply demonstrated to me that they honestly don't give a shit. You wait two hours for someone to actually see you at all and, despite the symptoms that have not gone away and have only worsened over the last two weeks, I got a shrug and a "come back if it gets any worse". See, there's always a question in these scenarios whether the infection is viral or bacterial. Thing is, if you listen to patient history, it's generally easy to tell which it's likely to be. So, when even a cursory Google search tells you that you're at high risk of things like this being strep throat if your immune system's being overtaxed because of fighting off a cold (which I have been) or by a terrible lot of stress (hello; my job), and the patient tells you that they had a cold a few weeks ago, started showing improvement and then suddenly got worse, odds are high that it's strep throat. I know that we're supposed to be careful about using antibiotics on things that don't need them so as not to breed antibiotic-resistent bugs, but on this one, handing over a penicillin prescription is playing good odds. Except they're not, in this case. I cannot afford to spend another two hours in a waiting room for someone to tell me to do what I was already doing when things got worse.

I should be more charitable, I know that. For the most part, the NHS is there when you need it. It's not the NHS itself I'm annoyed with - it's those parts of it who really don't give a shit so long as they don't get complained about or fired. I've had some bad luck with doctors lately in that I get the ones who handwave stuff I can't afford to just let sit around, and it really puts me off seeing anyone unless it's by ambulance. When it's something like some of the migraine shit I've been going through, or something like strep where the bacterial infection can spread to some pretty important bits of the body if left untreated, that's not the kind of thing I really want to think about.

I see a lot of different sides of the NHS, and I wouldn't be without it, but it does need a major overhaul. Let's start with sacking a few useless managers and all of the individuals who only still have their jobs because of how hard it is to fire people from the NHS (particularly the ones languishing in admin jobs of all pay grades; I'm talking gross incompetence and outright laziness here as sacking offences) and hire people who will actually do their jobs properly.

Essentially, all I want at this point is colleagues who don't linger for 45 minutes over overloud conversations and a qualified medical person who is going to actually pay some attention to the fact that I might actually be sick with something that requires more than paracetamol and vitamin C to treat. I can't afford to be this far off my game, not even if Christmas is coming up. It's not like I get anything but the bank holidays off...


Dec. 20th, 2010 07:26 pm
thessalian: (Shy)
Wow, more regular posting! Shame it's all to complain.

Today was one of those days where the world was clearly telling me that I should not go into work. There was a feeling of impending flu, that kind of thing. But I have to be there, so I got up and got dressed and got out.

Fuck, I wish I hadn't.

So the first thing that happened was I reached the train station, headed for the stairs leading up to the platform ... and slipped on a patch of ice I hadn't noticed. It was one of those probably really impressive-looking falls, too; where there's actually a split-second where you have time to realise that your feet have totally gone out from under you and this is going to hurt. And then the impact shocks you so much that it doesn't actually hurt at first. Next thing I know, I'm on the ground on my left side, well aware that at least half my weight landed on the point of my elbow but not feeling much but dull incipient pain, with two guys trying to ask if I'm okay over whatever noise I was blaring on the headphones that hadn't entirely slipped off my ears. I told them I was okay. I thought I was okay. So I went to stand on the platform and wait for my train.

The train that approached the station about ten minutes later should've been there twenty minutes previously. That boded ill. And by the time it arrived, there was so much pushing and shoving and cramming that I couldn't even get near a door, much less on the train. By this point, I was starting to hurt, and hoped that the next train would A) not be long in coming and B) maybe have a seat available. It is to laugh. The next train arrived thirty-five minutes later and I only got on it because a crush of bodies forced me there. Me with my bruises and my made-of-pain. Still, I survived, and finally managed to get to work.

I got through about five hours of that, determined to at least clear my desk before I bogged off to A&E because everything - walking, moving my arm, breathing - hurt like hell and the fingers of my left hand were numb. My hospital does not have an A&E department. I therefore hopped a bus and got to a nearby hospital that I knew did have an A&E department, because I used to work at said hospital. They took my details and told me to sit down in a completely jam-packed waiting room. Half-hour later, I saw the assessment nurse, who said she'd send someone out with painkillers. Forty-five minutes after that, painkillers had not yet come but I was seeing a doctor, who told me that my ribcage was sprained, noted that my left arm did not straighten as thoroughly as my right one did and sent me to X-ray. Twenty minutes after that, I was having X-rays taken of my fucked-up elbow, and still no damn painkillers. Finally, it was back to the doctor, who gave me farm-grade pain-death and a prescription for more of same, told me that the bone was only bruised and sent me on my merry way with orders to 'take it easy for a few days'. Yeah. Right.

So the running: Left leg bruised beyond from hip to knee. Left elbow bruised down to the bone. Sprained ribcage. I AM MADE OF PAIN. And public transport is fucked enough to make any attempt to get to work and home again a trial even when in good physical condition. And yet I am still going to drag my bruised carcass to work, mostly because I have no real choice in the matter. I hate being holiday cover. Oh well, at least there's not that much to do.

So my Christmas present is apparently pain. Can I remind the universe at large that, while purple is my favourite colour and blue and black are in the top five, particularly in terms of my clothing colour choices, bruises are not a fashion statement?


May. 21st, 2009 02:39 pm
thessalian: (Default)
Day 3 of the stomach flu from HELL. And I can now just about manage to sit upright for extended periods. ('Just about' meaning I can faff online for a little while but don't ask me to move or I will probably throw up or worse.) Seriously, this is vile. I can just about keep food down if I'm careful but ... well, let's just say that the aftermath isn't much fun. On the whole, I can't imagine what anyone can actually do about this, doctor-wise, but if I'm still this way come Monday, it's back to the GP. Whoo. Gods, can't I be healthy for five minutes?

I dunno what this does for this week's schedule on Chaos Magic podcast. I can probably record, but man am I not in the mood. I may improve over the weekend, or I may just get it done anyway. However, I can't imagine that the editing is going to be any fun. Not that it ever is, but I can't feature spending three fucking hours editing breaths and coughs and suchlike out of a podcast when I feel this crappy. I suppose I could do it in stages... Oh, hell, I dunno. Right now all I want to do is go back to bed but then again, I also don't. I am so bored it's unbelievable but I don't actually have the energy to do anything. So there am I buggered twice over. And all the while I feel like crap.

Maybe there should be a hot bath or something. Might help. I also might risk a cup of coffee on the grounds of needing to get some enjoyment out of life.
thessalian: (bugger that)
So, after my wait, I see Fetus!Registrar.


Essentially, he ignored or interrupted everything I said about any symptoms that did not involve the head pain. I tried to tell him about the hard time I was having stringing sentences together and miscellaneous other problems, and those got ignored. I wasn't even allowed to get as far as some of said symptoms before he started asking questions that brought us back to the pain aspect of things, going through over a decade's worth of headache-related medical history without listening when I tried to come in with, "But there are all these other symptoms now". During the routine testing, when he asked me to follow where he was moving his finger with my eyes, he asked if I was getting double vision, and when I explained that actually, I couldn't even focus enough to tell him that much (I was tracking on movement alone; any other detail was truly beyond me), he ignored that too.

He then proceeded to outline a treatment plan for the head-pain, and nothing but the head pain. Which would be something if half of what he outlined hadn't been tried six years ago. And yes, he knew that the 'low-dose antidepressants that are good for migraine prevention' angle had been tried in my case because I told him so. The only difference in treatment is this stuff I'm supposed to take when I have an attack and then can't take any more if it doesn't work because you can only use the stuff a couple of times a week without risking analgesic overuse headache. I don't know what part of "attacks hit a minimum of four days out of every seven" he didn't understand.

Worst part? He didn't even prescribe the meds himself. Instead he talked about writing to my GP and recommending that said GP do all the prescription stuff. What he doesn't seem to understand is that a) this is going to be a time-consuming process if it has to go through channels that way and b) WE ARE COMING UP ON A FOUR-DAY BANK HOLIDAY. He won't even have the letter dictated until Tuesday.

In short, while I am otherwise engaged on Tuesday (interview to deal with getting my NI number sorted out once and for all), Wednesday is going to heavily involve getting an appointment with my GP to get a second opinion. It will take even longer, but at least I stand a better chance of getting someone who will listen to me. Also, when I get my copy of this stupid, "Please prescribe this patient these meds" letter, I will look at the name on it, and then I will contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service and ask the procedure for making a formal complaint. I appreciate that shit happens and it was good of them to squeeze me into the schedule despite not being on the clinic list for the day, I really do. But if you're going to make that kind of effort to see someone, maybe listening to the symptoms involved might be a worthwhile thing to do? So it's not a total and complete waste of time?

Fucking gibbons.

Oh yeah, and Lynn Cullen gets a mention on TV Tropes. It will just never wither away and die, will it?


Apr. 9th, 2009 01:21 pm
thessalian: (vengeance)
I'm not sure where the gibbons are - Royal Mail, the local NHS Trust central appointments office or the local NHS Trust hospital's post room. I'm not home yet; I haven't seen a doctor yet. I am in the local library (where I had to go to return some books anyway, but still), which at least have free internet facilities, to give an update on the gibbons.

I turned up at the hospital and found main outpatients with 20 minutes to spare. Go, me. As I arrived, some lady was being told that her appointment had been rescheduled and they'd tried to tell her but she'd recently moved and her address hadn't been changed on the system yet. I had no sense of foreboding whatsoever as I handed in my appointment letter and said I had a 10am appointment. I should have had, really, because the next thing that happened was the receptionist telling me that my appointment had been rescheduled. For yesterday. I don't know why the totally random reschedule - no one bothered to tell me - but what they told me was that they'd typed up a letter on 3rd March that never got to me. Yeah. That's helpful. So like I say, I don't know where the gibbons are. Anyway, since it was a new appointment and I got marked as Did Not Attend through no fucking fault of my own, a DNA letter got sent to my GP and they removed me from the system. And according to the receptionist on duty, the earliest they could fit me in again was July.

I swear, I nearly cried. I tried not to give the staff a hard time, but I did have to explain that I had been going through this for months, there have been Casualty trips and I could not wait another two months to be seen because my situation was deteriorating in a quick and worrisome way. Thankfully, the secretary who was called on to pull up my notification-of-reschedule letter was very nice and basically told me that she would see what she could do to get me seen today. There's always one, I suppose, to make up for the receptionist who just wants people to go away, from the look of her. In any case, in the meantime, a nurse took my blood pressure and so on to get it out of the way in case I could be seen that day and I was told to wait.

And so I waited. And waited. And waited. And watched the receptionist and the secretary converse with what I assume to be some sort of doctor (registrar, probably - too young to be a SHO and certainly too young for a consultant, which I only say because he looked about half my age). The receptionist took the line of, "She has another appointment! Everyone's busy!" and the secretary took my side. Long story short? I have an appointment with the registrar at 2pm today. By that point, there was no point whatsoever in going home, so I hung around Barnet for a bit, and now have to head back so that I can make my hard-won appointment. I'm tired, hungry and all-around miserable, and I hope this whole rigamarole was worth it.

thessalian: (cynical)
So I went to A&E.

...Want to know how glad I am that I didn't follow [ profile] therealsherbs' suggestion on going last night? (Then again, maybe they'd have taken me more seriously had I shown up in an ambulance...)

I got in there at 'round about half-twelve, half-blind and in a severe amount of pain, and gave some rambling version of why I was there to the receptionist because I just wasn't capable of anything else. She then just put it down as 'severe headache' (well, that boils it down, I guess) and took details like date of birth, next of kin, etc. Then told me to sit down and wait.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. In an A&E waiting room with lots of windows on a nice bright sunny day. In rather uncomfortable metal chairs that the person behind me kept kicking. When I couldn't focus on my book for longer than ten minutes at a go. For TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Possibly more; I lost track around 3pm.

Anyway, nurse finally called me in and I got blood pressure and heart rate checked and she asked me if I could move my neck - you know, the whole, "Look left, look right, look up". (No, Miss; I am not going to look up directly into the light source for the room; or did you somehow miss 'photophobia' in the recently reiterated list of symptoms?) The nurse asked if I had taken anything for the headaches and I told her no; she said, "Well, how do you expect to feel better if you don't take anything?" Cue having to explain analgesia overuse headaches to a medical professional, right after letting her know point blank that even higher than standard doses of over the counter analgesics just don't work for me. She said something about a doctor and a blood test and sent me back to the waiting room.

An hour and a half or so later, doctor calls me in. I am forced into a horrible hospital gown, which I stayed in for all of about 20 minutes (which is good in some ways, I guess) and subjected to various tests. Cue penlight to the eyes, multiple times, intensifying the pain. The doctor listens to my chest, does a bunch of nerve tests, doesn't seem to take it amiss when she has to scratch the living shit out of the soles of my feet to get the reaction she's after, never does a blood test or even suggests a scan, says something about meds and talking to me with a temporary treatment plan in a bit and sends me back to the waiting room.

At this point, I have no idea how long I waited - only that it was starting to get dark by the time I finally saw the doctor again. She didn't say much that was comprehensive, to be honest; it boiled down to, "It's good that you'll be seeing a neurologist and we'll see if we can get your referral moved up" and a painkiller that works well for people who can't hack codeine for some reason or other. It's not that I can't hack codeine - it's just that it doesn't work, but never mind. Thing is, I have to go back tomorrow to pick up a full supply of it because they don't stock it in A&E, it's apparently not available at the chemist and the hospital pharmacy was, by this point, shut for the day. She did apologise for not being able to sort more, said that I needed to be under a neurologist's care because even if this is just my migraines amping up, it's obvious that I need to have them managed by a specialist, and sent me on my way.

It occurs to me that A&E departments are busy places and they probably won't send people in for scans unless they've had multiple black-outs or a physical injury of some sort. But it was worth a shot, I guess, even if it was an uncomfortable, frustrating, painful shot that left me near tears in reception on at least four separate occasions. Now we see if the new painkillers work. I'm trying the lowest possible dose at the minute - 50mg, upping to 100 in a few hours if that doesn't work. 400mg per day is my maximum, apparently. Good to know. Though I almost hope this shit doesn't work because the way my headaches tend to last, I'll be taking these fuckers for awhile and I employed Google-fu on this shit; there are fucking withdrawal symptoms. I've got enough addictions, thanks.

So ... that was my birthday. Painful, frustrating, and generally No Fun At All. Yay for turning 32.


Feb. 9th, 2009 07:11 pm
thessalian: (sick)
So today, I woke up with a total inability to deal with any light source. I mean, at all. Currently it's better, but my head is still killing me and I'm lethargic, slow of thought and tired despite having more or less slept through all those nasty daylight hours. [ profile] dodgyhoodoo has suggested that I try going to A&E (Accident and Emergency, for all you non-Brits) as a shortcut to the whole "I can't see a neurologist for two months" issue because this is making our financial situation more and more untenable.

So I went to NHS Direct to see what they had to say about the matter. Clicked on the little "How to handle this particular health problem?" quiz-ish thing they give you to keep people from needlessly ringing for an ambulance or something. First question when narrowing it down to adult headaches? "Do you have a headache that is not going away and is preventing you from doing anything?" Answer, of course, is 'yes'.

Solution: "Ring 999. Go directly to A&E. Do not pass go, do not collect £200."

...Um. The GP never told me this. So I decided, "Hey, the headache does die down sometimes, even if it never goes away", and tried again. After that, they ask about rashes - obviously worried about meningitis. No rash, moving on. "Are you incapable of dealing with light sources, have a stiff neck and/or back, or are you sluggish, tired and/or confused of thought?" Um, yes, yes and yes.

Solution: "Ring 999" again.

.....Oh fuck. Okay, why did my GP not say anything like this? If the faceless website that is trying to discourage people from cluttering up A&E is telling me to ring for a fucking ambulance, how is the GP not saying, "Um ... right. Go to A&E; tell 'em I sent you" instead of asking for a referral that he knows (hell, that I know) is going to take weeks to come through? Though it's possible that the GP did ask for an emergency referral and the Appointments office at Barnet just didn't oblige. That and the blasted headache is the only thing that's keeping me from really wanting to firebomb the entire GP surgery at this point.

In short, I'm not ringing an ambulance. I've managed to get through the last several weeks without dying; I don't think it's all that bad. But I am going to Barnet's A&E tomorrow because hell's bells, maybe they're just trying to catch meningitis sufferers early and that's why they're really careful about people with long-term headaches but either way, a headache that lasts with only bits of waxing and waning for months is probably more serious than a two-month wait would suggest no matter what the cause.

Which means, in short, that I'll be spending my birthday in an emergency department waiting room. I should've checked sooner, I really should've. It would have spared the household a lot of problems and me a lot of pain.
thessalian: (sick)
I has the monumental headstabby. This is never good. Nothing from the hospital about my neurology referral yet, so I wait. And wait. And fret. And get sick to fucking death of the symptoms et al.

But enough about that - you've got as much of the state of my health as you're getting, and now for something a little less AAAAAAAGH! 'Kay?

Some of you may know that awhile ago, I stated the ambition to podcast the HIPPIE stuff. Now, being as I am incredibly shy (literally - most people don't actually believe it when I say that, but I am; it's just that I also really like people), I've been sort of sneaking up on this slowly, by degrees. I got the headset in October. I took it out and looked at it in November. Did it again in December. Then a couple of weeks ago, it moved from the sitting room to the study. Today, I've actually taken it out of the packaging! (Ooooooooh.) I've even looked at the cables and am pretty sure I know what connects where. Sure, I hate dicking around with the wires at the back of Eshu, but I figure I might even get the thing tested by tonight! Now I just need to decide what to test it with.

Which brings me to another thing: the website is looking pretty bare at the moment, and I was thinking last week that it was time to shunt some of the drabble over there. So over the weekend, assuming my head doesn't explode, I'll be working to put a sort of 'featured drabble' on site, as well as a couple of other bits and pieces to give people the idea of what I'm doing with this. So far, as a suggestion for what needs to go up there, I've had 'black powder, cheap'. (Thank you, [ profile] therealsherbs - seems that your drabble prompts come out with some of the best results.) Anyone else got favourites? I really ought to look back over the leftover drabble prompts and see what there is for the scavenging in there - I haven't been writing enough lately. (Okay, I have had a reason, but that somehow doesn't make me feel any better about it.)

Though I have been poking at chapter 17. I know where I want it to go, it's just not getting anywhere. I think it's reliant on Mike not hiding in his attic anymore. Which might be wildly out of character, given that most of the rest of the housemates are yelling at one another, but hey. Natural curiosity might just do it. That or, "I'm not dealing with this without my coffee". Anyway, maybe writing will distract me from the feeling like some little guy's inside my skull with a paring knife, jabbing at the tasty tasty headmeat behind my right eye.

Dear NHS,

I have served you well and faithfully for years. Please to be speeding up my neurology referral so I can continue to do so.

A NHS-hospital-centric temp.
thessalian: (bored)
I don't know what's worse - the pain, the other symptoms, the fret or the rampant screaming boredom.

The issue at hand here is that I cannot actually focus on anything. While normally during my bad migraines, the only way to ignore the pain is to wholeheartedly throw myself into something else - reading, writing, RP, FFXI, even idiotic flash games - that just isn't working at the moment. I can't focus enough to really do anything for any distinct period of time, when I keep seeing weird I-dunno-what that isn't there out of the corner of my eye and there's flashy spots in my immediate field of vision. This is making me ever so slightly nuts.

Then there's my sleeping patterns, or lack thereof. Now, I'm not great about this sort of thing at the best of times. However, last night was particularly bad in that, despite getting to bed at a 'normal' hour and actually being sleepy, I simply could not get to sleep because of this ringing hum in my right ear that lasted for a good four hours. I still haven't had enough sleep because when I woke up at about half-ten, after four-ish hours' sort of interrupted sleep, I decided that maybe just not napping in the day, no matter how tired I am, might help. I doubt it, but I can hope.

I meant to actually go out today, but I only made it as far as Waitrose on the grounds of it being an effort to walk a straight line. I'm feeling a bit better, but that's partially because I've been stationary for the last few hours. Headache, yes, and feeling a little woozy, but better. Still, you can bet that if I move, it's going to be bad. If I had the energy, coordination and stamina, I'd be throttling someone or clawing the walls about now.

I remind myself of [ profile] beepbeep's situation at times like these. Sure, it's frustrating that the NHS takes awhile to get referrals out, particularly in cases like these when it's starting to be less an inconvenience and more an actual worry, but the fact is that if I were living in the US right now, I'd be screwed to the wall. I'm not going to be one of those infuriating patients who insists that everything get done RightNowThisMinute when it's literally impossible under NHS policy, mostly because of how long I've worked in the NHS. I know how it works. I know that there are waiting lists and clinic lists that can't be overbooked and other people in straits similar to if not worse than mine and that these things take time. I certainly don't expect a referral letter in under a week. However, this does not mean I am happy about any of this. I'm bored and frustrated and hacked off and worried. I try not to be, at least that last, but I am. And I'm not actually capable of fixing the boredom. Arrrrrrgh.

This week is more or less a write-off, I think. I may risk the painkillers again - given my conversation with my GP, no one's going to accuse me of this all being analgesic overuse headache, mostly because I don't generally use analgesics because they don't help very much. Still, anything is better than nothing at this point. That and more idiotic flash games because I can't focus on much else and Sims 2 takes too damn long to load and is too iffy in any case.
thessalian: (sick)
I've been trying to focus on Other Stuff in the LJ of late, but I think it's probably about time to go into the health stuff.

So I get migraines. These are pretty bad, generally speaking - photophobia, raving pain, the light spots when I close my eyes, yadda yadda yadda. I'm not entirely used to them, but at least I know what they are, what my triggers are and how to deal with them as best as possible. Inconvenient and occasionally vaguely crippling, but at least we're not dealing with an unknown quantity here.

...Well, we weren't, anyway. Recently, however, the symptoms have become a bit more disturbing. Firstly, there are the pinpoint headaches - recently centred in a couple of spots along the right side of my skull. My typing's gone to hell - typos, transpositions, slowed speed generally, for no apparent reason, when the migraines don't do this to me normally. Sometimes I just lose a really simple word that I had a minute ago, and have to grope for it. The spots of light I get when my eyes are closed now make appearances when my eyes are open, my vision swims more and more often of late, and every so often I hear this deep hum in my right ear. There's something not right here, and so yesterday I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor. I was picky about the doctor, understand - there's only one at my surgery that I can really stomach, even if [ profile] dodgyhoodoo does think he's smug. He's also the most competent GP in the place, and I speak from experience.

I had to wait 'til 5pm to see him, but when I did, I ran through the list of symptoms (mostly the pinpoint headaches, the light spots and the humming) and he immediately went, "Sounds like it's time for a neurologist to have a look". Now, I had expected to have to ask for a neurology referral, because I'd personally like the opinion of a specialist at this point, so I guess it's not a bad thing. However, with the way the NHS is at the moment, generally speaking they will not refer unless they actually have to. Given the 18 weeks thing they've got going here, it's a miracle anyone gets to the hospital at all. So having that conclusion immediately pounced on, when he wasn't referral-happy when I was having the symptomatic hiatus hernia thing the other year, is a little sobering.

I'm dealing with this as best I can, but I have to admit it's not easy. I know the symptoms of tension headaches and migraines - I've had 'em for years now - and these are not them. I know how melodramatic it sounds, but every so often it hits me that seeing lights and hearing noises that aren't actually there is called hallucinating, and that is never a good sign. This stupid entry is taking longer than I thought it would because stringing a sentence together actually takes effort, which is new and disturbing, and worse yet, I'm actually having a vaguely hard time reading. This is on top of the pain. I'm coping reasonably well on the emotional level, but the fact is that while it could be anything, 'anything' that is likely wrong with your brain is rarely an easy fix. So ... yeah, I'm kind of scared, and I think I have the right.

This also means that my hopes for completing Suicide Blonde in time for the ABNA are totally scuppered. I've been off it for over a week because of this and I'm in no state to bash out something that I'd actually be proud to submit. I'll RP or play FFXI or whatever as and when I can but I'm probably not going to be remotely on form when I have to type more than a few macro keys. You can imagine how this thrills me when I can't even find distraction in taking to bed with a book at the moment.

So ... yeah, you may have to deal with hearing me blab about FFXI in here for awhile because I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the state of my head and I'm really fit for little else right now. (To be honest, I'm not even fit for that, but if I don't find something to do, I'm going to go spare.)


Dec. 22nd, 2008 05:48 pm
thessalian: (deathgnome)
I love my supportive, shiny-happy linkshell. I really, really do.

See, I decided to unlock Scholar in FFXI today. Cut for slightly long-winded detail. )

Now, the point. After all this, I went to cheer to my linkshell about my accomplishment. The response I got? "Enjoy a job that doesn't let you have a spell 'til level 4 and is useless 'til level 10..." They did admit that the job is great at higher levels, mind, but ... c'mon. I was all excited. There could have been at least a "Good for you!" or "((Congratulations!))" *sigh*

In other news, my sinuses are killing me, I'm still snurfly as hell, I can barely lie down without needing to hack my lungs up, which means I can't sleep until I'm literally flat out exhausted and then my sleep patterns get screwier than usual. *whine* When will the stupid flu end? However, I have Lipton chicken noodle cup-o-soup, my favourite comfort food in such situations, so it's not all bad. I should forage for dinner, though. Cup-o-soup is great, but it's not ... you know, solid food.
thessalian: (sick)
*hacksnurfwheeze* Okay, a bit more upright-capable now. What started Wednesday as malaise, achy and a bit of a sore throat turned into a nasty dose of feverish, aches n' pains, chesty cough, sinus kerblooey, there's-a-cat-climbing-up-my-throat-and-using-my-glands-for-chew-toys traditional pre-Yule flu. So mostly, I've been in bed, alternately dozing, reading and hacking my lungs up. Which is part of why I haven't been around at all the last few days. I was not alone in this - poor [ profile] dodgyhoodoo came down with it the same time I did so there we were - both more or less floored. Yay, pre-Yule flu.

The reading, at least, has been fun. I've been hacking through 'A Song of Ice and Fire', which is always fun. As previously stated, I loaned my mother the first one and she loved it so much that she ran out and got all the rest of them, so I am in possession of the two I was missing to get to the point where George RR Martin left off (and may not pick up for another three years - now I know how people who still occasionally nag me about TLAS feel, except George RR Martin gets paid). Now, [ profile] tithenai suggested recently that I take my time and not rush to read the last one, but what does one do when one's stuck in bed and the books are right there? Though I'm actually really liking "A Feast For Crows", which surprises me a little because [ profile] tithenai, who is sort of my guru on all things 'Song of Ice and Fire'-related, didn't seem overly keen. I'm liking the fact that we see a lot of Cersei's point of view for a change, so she's not some near-faceless asp in the rushes, good for nothing but to be a two-dimensional villain. I also like that we see more from Brienne's point of view, given that I never really got her from the two-parter that was book three. I can wait until the next book for news of Tyrion, and I was getting a tiny touch sick of Jon Snow anyway, and cut for spoilers )

That's not entirely all I've been up to of late, anyway - the few times I've been able to be upright, I've been hacking away a little at FFXI - hitting macro keys has been about all I've been good for the last couple of days. Besides which, there's actually a Christmas event I'm willing to be part of this year. Instead of chasing a bloody treant around Windurst, what happens is one is given a list of NPCs, at which point one goes charging around the area delivering gifts to said NPCs. Once one has done so, one goes out and starts smashing 'Astral Boxes', which occasionally drop Christmas items. Some of these are Rare/Ex, which means they can't be sold, but the things that can be sell for anywhere between 150 and 1k gil with the festive moogle NPC types. And every day, you have to start all over again, delivering presents to the same NPCs and on and on. It's worth it for the gil, mind; for someone who's desperately saving up for a Tele-Yhoat scroll so she doesn't have to go farming Ivory Lizards for it, and the spell Holy, and any number of other things, that level of easy money is not something to sneeze at.

Oh, and yes, I have been writing. Even with a bit of a rejiggle of chapters on the HIPPIE novel, chapter 15's nearly done. There would have been more if I had been remotely up to writing the last couple of days, and I did consider plugging in iMisc and doing some writing while bedridden but damn all, I just did not have the energy. So that's for the weekend, along with wrapping a couple of Christmas presents and stuff.

So ... yeah, more or less okay, finally somewhat mobile and, while still achy and stuff, better than I have been. Hi, and sorry for the once-again disappearing act.
thessalian: (yay)
I know it's 5am. I know I'm tired. I know my head is fucking killing me and I still feel nauseous.

I also know, however, the following things:

1) That I have enough paid leave accrued to cover three days of sick leave.
2) That Obama has won the US Presidential elections, after the last tally of 333 votes to something like 158 at last look, due to a quite classy concession speech by McCain.

These things are what will allow me to sleep, more or less peacefully, for the first time in days.


A Now Far Less Stressed Canadibrit
thessalian: (NaNoWriMo)
So NaNoWriMo begins ... and I am more or less in agony.

After a week of an unsuitable office chair and cold-but-dry weather (with the exception of the mid-week snow), it's now cold and wet and miserable. Which means my sinuses are flaring up and various of my joints are aching due to more-or-less premature arthritis, which hits me just about every winter now. Afflicted joints include knees, lower back and (and this is the real kicker, given) wrists. I am hoping the painkillers kick in soon. This is 'orrible.

However, it is not going to stop me. I have plans and grand designs and ... you know, stuff like that. I am going to design HIPPIE Home Base properly in Sims 2 - it's based on a place I used to live in Leicester and is just a teeeeeeny bit weird - while working on word count. There shall be word count by the end of the day; I don't care if it hurts.

Right. Lunch. Cola. Writing. Go!
thessalian: (sick)
After a relatively long span of decent health, I is ded of flu. We're talking shaky, achy, tired-but-can't-sleep, probably slightly feverish, bad sinuses, gribbly everything flu. I am not overly impressed by this. However, I am determined that today at least will not only be spent in bed with a book and a whimper.

Today, damnit, I am going to at least try to get some writing done. Little world-building for the NaNo here, some extraneous other-story work there. If nothing else, it will alleviate the infernal boredom.

Note, however, that I said 'try'. I don't know how good a job I'm going to do when my sinuses feel like they might explode and I've typoed every other word in a simple journal post. Still, I've had less than three hours' sleep so maybe that's vaguely understandable.
thessalian: (sick)
And a very happy birthday to [ profile] the_blonde_one!

As a present ... well, it may not be a drabble based on any of the prompts - hell, it may not even be drabble - but you will have something HIPPIE-related to read through by the end of the day. Damnable migraine notwithstanding. *emphaticnod*

Yeah, it's been a bad few days, what with RID and a nasty migraine. Plus last week I finally realised that chocolate is one of my migraine triggers, so ... well, it's a good thing I prefer gummy sweets, is all I can say. Still, no chocolate in any quantity of note if I don't want to spend three days in agony? *whimper*

...At least it wasn't coffee. Gods, that would be a fate worse than death...

The other news that's fit to print, really, is that the last couple of days have been trying to get a scene run with [ profile] courtcat79 and [ profile] therealsherbs' Sidhe characters. On the one hand, this is great fun; I am reminded once again that I am evil and that no one seems to mind (I am reminded yet again of [ profile] cholten99 saying, "I only come here for the abuse!"). On the other hand, the time zone thing is a little frustrating. What with two of us being in the UK and only one of those is insane enough to stay up to the obscene hours of morning I usually do on a workday, and the other one being in the US, our overlap window is a bit short for a scene of any decent length. So we're doing it in snippets and that's alternately fun and frustrating as we look for a decent pause point (or a cliffhanger; I can live with that). It could be worse; at least in chat-based RP, we have scene logs to remind us of what came before.

Today will probably not see a continuation of the scene, though. [ profile] therealsherbs has a trip to the gym planned and as for me ... well, if I'm feeling up to it at all, Thursday night is Wish List Night on my LS in FFXI. This week I have the urge to ask whether anyone wants to help me with my Rank 5 mission. If I keep this up, I'll get Rank 6 in no time and I'll be able to join the gang on their Sky and Sea runs. I also need to remember to return Ctown's Noble's Bed, and work out what I'm going to do about the storage space I don't particularly want to lose by handing my Mahogany Bed over to [ profile] dodgyhoodoo (he's hurting for Mog House space worse than I was earlier this week). Then again, there's that quest involving an armoire, which I'd need to buy in San d'Oria, and ... ye gads, I have quests to do. Which is just as well, because I'm skint again. Or rather, I will be once I've shelled out for the spell scrolls I need. There has to be a list...

...Of course, if I'm not up to it I'm going to end up curled up in bed, whimpering. Either way.

Right. Back to the grind. I will get through today; really, I will.
thessalian: (innocent)
Deathgnome went to Aht Urghan yesterday. I dunno why; I just had a yen to actually see the place, so after a trip out to Selbina to pick up a spell scroll I needed (Haste) and a fishing trip on the ferry from Selbina to Mhaura, I just waited for the next ferry and headed out to Aht Urghan Whitegate.

First thing I noticed were the beasties on the ferry. They conned as Easy Prey, when I finally got up the nerve to go out and check (I didn't know if they aggroed, see) so after some fairly unsuccessful fishing, I decided to go out and kill one of the crabs, which couldn't be that bad really, right?

...It took down Stoneskin in two hits, Blink in another two and nearly killed me before I killed it. And the worst bit? I didn't even get credit for killing it because by the time it was falling over, we'd arrived in the city and it didn't register. So ... suck.

Aht Urghan is crowded. Mostly with people at a rather higher level than me. It seems that someone with the full complement of Tele spells could make a killing in that area, but beyond that, all I got were quests. Lots and lots of quests and missions and things. I'm debating actually doing them, but I might wait until I'm a bit higher level. You know, for the lack of death. As it is, I think what I'll be doing next is Tele'ing myself out to Dem and doing another bug broth mission, as I blew 20k on Haste and another 10k on maps of the area, so ... at about 45k gil, feeling a bit skint. Then again, I want to at least see the scary funky zones before I Tele myself out of the area, so that's what'll happen when I'm next on.

In other news, went to the doctor today. Antibiotics for the lose. But at least I got the good GP, the one who never dumbs things down for me because he knows I'm a med sec and is efficient while still being thorough. He listened to the symptoms, listened to me breathing, prodded various bits and bobs for any danger signs "just to be sure it's not something really sinister", wrote me up the same prescription as [ profile] dodgyhoodoo got for the same thing (and when told that's what he was on, he grinned and said, "Heh; doctors really all just say the same thing, don't they? Sort of comforting.") and sent me on my way. So with a little luck, these won't take as long to kick in as they're taking for [ profile] dodgyhoodoo. That'd be a bonus. Really all they're doing at the minute is making me sort of nauseous.

So I'm sick of being sick. How're you?
thessalian: (sick)
So it looks like my weekend plans are entirely cancelled, which is probably a good thing considering that I still feel like utter crap. I was supposed to be going out to lunch with Mum today but I didn't think I could cope with that, what with the snurfling and the hacking and the rest of it, so I cancelled with her yesterday morning and we're probably going to end up doing that next week. I'd have still considered at least trying to get to [ profile] mitchy's to fix her computer, but she asked for a postponement on the grounds of being busy and stuff, which I don't mind because I'm not sure I could handle the train journey. As it stands, it looks rather like I'm going to have to hie off to the doctor's on Monday if this doesn't improve, because pounds to pastries I've got the same chest infection kinda thing that [ profile] dodgyhoodoo's got and ... well. Yay.

So now I need to find alternate Things To Do this weekend. Of course, having no energy to speak of scuppers a lot of what I could be doing, but I've never really mastered the gentle art of sitting around doing absolutely nothing. I have a couple of errands to run anyway, so there'll be the killing of various birds with the one stone, I think. Then I'm going to be as sedentary as my low boredom threshhold will allow.

One of the things I was considering was picking up the new(ish) Sims 2 Kitchen & Bathroom Stuff Pack. Amusing thing about that particular Stuff Pack is that it turns out that EA didn't set up the new fridges to do any of the neat stuff that comes with Seasons or FreeTime. Of course, now that I've sat down and thought about it, I can kind of see why - it's not like everyone even has the new EPs. But instead of providing a downloadable patch on the Sims 2 website, they left it as it was and let the Sims 2 fan community fix it themselves. So one of the motivations to get the new Stuff Pack is to finally get to shut down the Firefox tab I've got devoted to a fan-patch that allows one to use the new fridges fully. On the whole, while I get that not everyone has all of the EPs, and EA's busy working on Sims 3 (which looks really awesome, by the way), I wonder if making the fans do their own patch-work after making them pay for the product is really the way to go. Fan-created content and stuff is one thing, but maybe fan-fixes are going just a touch too far?

So the running - change into a T-shirt that's not stained from the inside out with Vaporub. Pad out to do a bit of shopping, because if nothing else, we need dinner fixings, I need to top up my pre-pay cellphone credit and I'd like to try to find some cough syrup that doesn't taste like aniseed-infused tar. Possibly get some lunch. Come home and collapse.

I kind of envy [ profile] dodgyhoodoo. He's at least got the energy to try getting into the city proper to go take pictures of stormtroopers at a sci-fi con. I struggle to get farther than the front door.


thessalian: (Default)

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