juggling

Mar. 20th, 2019 10:50 pm
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
not braining content notes for this but There Are Some

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Stubborn positivity:
  1. A came home via the big supermarket the other evening, bearing gifts: specifically, cut-price nonsense geometric chocolates in a variety of flavours. I had in fact been eyeing that very box up every time I went past and feeling like I couldn't possibly justify getting it, so it was a Very Nice Surprise.
  2. Movement: my knee is still coping with increased resistance + cardio at gym, and I'm starting to feel like I'm getting meaningful exercise out of it, as well as increased stability/physio work.
  3. Kew is putting on a massive bullshit sculpture trail this summer, which I found out yesterday, and I am really looking forward to it. I am intending to make at least one evening-opening visit, along with hopefully multiple daytime visits. (Specifically, it's bullshit abstract glass sculpture by the dude responsible for the V&A chandelier, which I'm enormously fond of.)
  4. I have used up all the ravioli filling... and still have an eighth of the dough left, so that's going to get turned into another batch of tagiatelle, I think. (Dinner was ravioli. It was good.)
  5. M posted new fic and I spent Some Time rolling around in it and asking yet more questions.
  6. A is making great strides towards (i) sorting the Piles such that we can meaningfully get rid of them and (ii) putting things on Freegle (after Freecycle didn't bite). Order is emerging from chaos and it is doing my brain a good.
  7. I managed to leave the house today while it was actually still light -- down to the end of the road for a Pokémon raid (hiiii Shinx). AND on the way back from the gym we got a NEW SPECIES, which, yes hurrah good there had never previously been one of those spawned that I could actually get to.
  8. w8rose does a raspberry-and-passion-fruit cheesecake, it's currently cut price, and it's exactly what I wanted.
  9. I do in fact have a bunch of useful How To Humaning-related expertise, and I am in fact managing to help people make their lives better using it, and they are in fact learning principles and frameworks from me such that they can work more of this shit out for themselves independently, and I am pretty fuckin' proud of them.
  10. I am, very shortly, going to go curl up in a bed that doesn't actively hurt me, underneath an anger blanket, with a hot water Adam, and I am going to sleep.
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
I recently linked to an article pointing out that the "symptoms" used as diagnostic criteria for autism are... actually symptoms of trauma, in many cases.

I don't actually have much to say, now, but I ended up reading the NAS's page on pathological demand avoidance, which notes that one of the reasons it's useful to have a specific dx of demand-avoidant profile because... it avoids incorrect assumptions and diagnoses, such as Personality Disorder.

("Although a person might have these as well," it concedes.)

Which, given that at least Borderline Personality Disorder can in a very great many cases be usefully modelled as an entirely predictable result of prolonged and cumulative trauma... seems to me to be missing the point, rather, actually. In that: allistic parents (& allistic society) aren't actually, by and large, very good at raising autistic children without traumatising them (with the best of intentions! and a great deal of love!); the failure to provide appropriate engagement and reciprocity throughout childhood is unequivocally known to be profoundly (and cumulatively!) traumatising; and, per the above, (i) the diagnostic criteria for autism rely to an alarming extent on trauma, and (ii) at least one "personality disorder" clearly results from prolonged trauma.

I'm just... really not convinced that "let's pretend autistic-flavoured long-term trauma is meaningfully and clearly distinct from this other (differently stigmatised) way we traumatise people" is a useful approach.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
In that the actual fracture clinic consultant glanced at it and went "yeah, that's broken", so it's just that the generalists in the minor injuries unit aren't used to being asked to deal with anything this, er, minor.

Which also means I need to go back in another three weeks' time (because MIU said "... go in to see the fracture clinic ASAP", and the fracture clinic went "... it's not been six weeks, we really don't care") for another X-ray to confirm that my foot still contains bones, at which point I am theoretically cleared for a full return to normal activity.

As it is I actually stopped wearing the boot a... week or so ago now? Because it was initially helpful, but it was throwing my hips and knees out badly enough that now that the pain's subsided to "maybe don't walk up stairs on the balls of your feet, Alex" it's not quite worth it.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
1. I assume I have gone on at all of you who might be interested about how the PACE trial finding that Graded Exercise Therapy and CBT "cures" CFS/ME is a crock of shit? Just in case, it's a crock of shit, if it's not working for you the problem isn't you.

2. STATS QUESTION (because the last time I actually had to do any to pass an exam was circa summer 2008 and I have been resolutely ignoring the majority of it ever since): I have two datasets, one much larger than the other. For one (~2500 data points), the concentration ratio A/B is very uniform, makes a nice flat line when you plot it against B, *and also* This Other Quantity B' is also pretty uniform. For the second (~75 data points), the concentration ratio A/B varies over several orders of magnitudes, makes a nice *sloping* line when plotted against B, and there's also a lot of variation in B' (again, a few orders of magnitude). Is there... any useful way for me to say, in a scholarly fashion, "look, when A/B is uniform so is B', but when A/B isn't uniform B' isn't either", or...? (A/B doesn't have any straightforward correlation with B', it's the *range of variation* in both that I think might be correlated.)
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
Paper: currently at the point where every time I think I can write a sentence, I end up disappearing into the rabbit-hole of double-checking references and re-wrangling data for an hour or two. This is A Good Thing, in that it means that I've got to grips with the job in question sufficient to see the small manageable chunks, rather than burying my head in the sand about it. Of course I've just run into a bit of a dead end, at least until I can get my supervisors' input (probably in the new Gregorian year), but happily there are many other paths for me to branch off down.

Relatedly: PhD2048 is dangerous. I'd successfully avoided all previous iterations of the game, which unfortunately meant I wasn't innoculated when this nonsense started doing the rounds.

Foot: bruise came up briefly! Swelling was temporarily visible! Now at the point where I can walk on it around the house a little provided I'm careful and don't push it beyond, ooh, the bedroom-bathroom-kitchen-sofa route before I have a rest. In turn this means I'm wearing the boot a little less (it has so much velcro), which means I'm crossing my legs by default, which means I'm putting weight through my foot awkwardly, which... means I'm wearing the boot more again! But so it goes.

Thyroid: I'm feeling hypothyroid-ish worse again but my numbers are now pushing toward hyperthyroid! Still no autoimmune markers (and all my vitamins et cet are fine), not clear to me that the GP is actually aware that you plausibly want to end up "hyperthyroid" by-the-numbers when treating hypothyroidism, but regardless I'm intending to go back in the new year and ask for (i) free T3 levels as well as free T4 and TSH, (ii) trying adding in straight-up T3 in case there's a conversion problem ongoing, and (iii) a referral to an endocrinologist because I'm really bored of this.

Books: I kinda sorta ended up, on Wednesday, going into Foyles and then Fopp with awesome ex-housemate-C, who was briefly around; in consequence I acquired a present for Adam, an unambiguously-for-grown-ups book by Shaun Tan (I slipped and fell, it was by the checkouts, I flipped through briefly and saw the giant snails and succumbed), some Actual Pink Floyd Of My Very Own (for the listening to on our backs in the dark at 1am, sorry neighbours), and another couple of Carrie Fisher's memoirs (they were two for a fiver, It Had To Be Done). And, er, then going into Waterstones unsupervised, where books were Buy One Get One Half Price, which meant that I acquired a copy of Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race (having had the library ebook automagically evaporate from my device when I was 2/3rds through, due to disorganisation) and Mortal Engines (because I loved the film and wanted to know more about some of the worldbuilding and characterisation that were sketched for the cinema but were clearly explored in a great deal more detail in the source text).

Misc.

Oct. 22nd, 2018 07:31 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Today in doctors: I have bronchitis (I am forever amused that so many illnesses are just called [Greek for body part]+[Greek for "it's a bit cross"]) and an antibiotic prescription and stern instructions to spend some time steaming myself. Apparently I am to expect coughing for two weeks after the end of the antibiotic course, just Less Bad Than This. On the upside this has provided some helpful-for-my-brain calibration on "what's bad enough to bother a GP about" in this specific domain, so hopefully less time it'll involve less angst.

Today in cookbooks:
  • the copy of The Fat Duck Cookbook that I had espied in the window of a closed charity shop yesterday was... still there. So I popped in to make its acquaintance, having already told myself very firmly that it was probably going to be twenty quid and I wasn't to get it if it was more than a fiver and anyway it was probably offputtingly mostly meat... so I sat there leafing through it, increasingly absorbed, and finally grudgingly checked the price. Which was £6. So I got it, obviously.
  • while browsing the library shelves for more of the Leiths books, I came across an actual copy of smitten kitchen every day, found a sticky-toffee-pudding waffle recipe, and decided I needed to bring it home for A to poke at (his current favourite waffle recipe -- have I talked about the waffle iron here? -- is a lightly tweaked version of smitten kitchen's essential raised waffles, adapted to work better and more consistently with our set-up, and writing it up For The Old Blog is on my todo list), and then to my mild outrage found... a recipe... for porridge... I'm actually plausibly willing to eat, neatly solving at least some of my breakfast problems (provided I use non-calcium-fortified milk): caramelised pear baked oatmeal.
  • ... and also The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry, which looks like a fascinating memoir of a year (two years?) of study at Le Cordon Bleu, so I intend to nestle into that good at proper.
  • finally in Today In Cookbooks, I continue getting on very well indeed with the Leiths How To books; I think this attempt at sourdough is going to be my best yet, possibly to the point that I get to tick "get competent at sourdough" off my culinary skill acquisition list for the year ("learn how to make neat pastry" is also tentatively in the running for getting ticked off, again thanks to Leiths). I will find out tomorrow.

This week in allotment: compost bin had cooled down a fair old way again due to running out of food while I was in the Peak District, but I gave it a big feed onnnn Saturday, and temperature was rising again by Sunday evening. (I'm about to have another big feed for it, because I'm using up the last of the frozen veg stock in tonight's stew and therefore boiling up a new batch from the scraps bag, which will then go to become More Vegetables.) The squash is recovering well from the powdery mildew; the damage is increasingly less miserable. I only have one large fruit ripening up, though, so I'm not convinced I'm going to get a whole heap of them this year even if I do let them just keep going in the unseasonable weather. The spinach, however! Is doing magnificently! So our future contains A Lot of spinach.

This week in HOUSE: A has indulged me A Great Deal on the topic of DIY, including an IKEA trip to acquire (1) a blackout blind and (2) a curtain rail. The idea is to make the living room both more lightproof (for when we have guests staying) and warmer (because A has pre-existing Big Velvet Curtains that will cover the French window nicely, in addition to the current slightly flimsy blind); he put up the blind last night while (heteronormativity!) I was making pasta sauce (using tomatoes from the patio and courgettes from the allotment...).
kaberett: Chibi Zuko stands on a tiny rock dinosaur spouting water (zuko-dinosaur)
Please tell me lovingly but firmly to book a damn' GP appointment?

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ETA poked at NHS 111 online; GP appointment now booked for 17:10 i.e. about five hours' time. Thank you. <3
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
In the sense that I tried Yet Another GP at my local practice (the one I saw for trigger finger, who was generally great), and he was good about it all.

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kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
i.e. post-operative follow-up today: the removal of dressings was followed by mild surprise at just how much I'd healed up and how contented the scars look. I'm informed that the grafts have taken well (but that I shouldn't scrub too hard in the shower, which implies I'm permitted to shower properly again); the staples have all been removed; I'm going to resume power-assisted wheelchair use; and I have cheerfully given my permission for pre- and post-operative photos to feature in his portfolio, so, you know, that'll be happening once he gets his act together to put one up. Cheerful recommendation for Mr Morris of Plymouth and Truro in every regard; please by all means put people who'd like more detail in touch with me.
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
So! I have now been on thyroxine for about six weeks. In that time, my miserable symptoms have entirely resolved (no more cystic acne! more energy! better sleep! normal gut service resumed! I'm not cold all the time!) aaaaaand my serum TSH has dropped from low end of normal (0.64) to "subclinical hyperthyroidism" (0.26). The thing is, to some extent this was expected because supplementing thyroxine, and on the other hand it was already dropping steadily prior to thyroxine supplementation!

... and I'm seronegative for thyroid peroxidase antibodies buuuut (a) those aren't the only ones out there, and (b) some people are just seronegative for all of them. Also (c) they're v low concentration and fluctuate a bunch even then.

So! Is it masked hyperthyroidism, where the hyperthyroidism causes hypo-like symptoms because hysteresis? Is it autoimmune hypothyroidism, which would fit with my other conditions, with no antibodies detectable because I like being difficult? Is it something else altogether? Are they going to take away my thyroxine and just leave me weeping and investigating the grey markets? WHO KNOWS. But hey, I can buy it off the internet if they do. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
My bloods a few weeks ago had T4 at ~10% lower than the test in November, both right down at the bottom end of the "normal" range. A previous screen (~4 years ago) had much more middle-to-average numbers.

Given my cluster of autoimmune conditions, I'm going in for follow-up bloods to screen for thyroid antibodies on Tuesday. If they show up, we'll start treating me with thyroxine; if they don't, we'll keep monitoring. (I actually specifically asked if the thyroid antibodies screen was one it was worth doing, and my excellent GP's response was "good idea".)

This is me doing a relieved flump.
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
I have been meaning to write this up for a while and have just had cause to do so elsenet; ergo, have a copy of Alex's Algorithm For Choosing A New GP. It has served me pretty well thus far.

Comments and additions welcome, as ever. :-)

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Uuuupdates

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(1) I am a bit groggy and out of it post Minor Medical Procedure for Mystery Menstrual Symptoms; A was v good about shunting me around the hospital when I was too sore to particularly want to push myself/bringing me things/etc. Everything looked healthy; I was a Model Patient; biopsy results are unlikely to show anything concerning, so ??????????

(2) House viewing this morning was VERY CONFUSING. It has a garden! That contains a well-tended hydrangea, and rose bushes, and fruiting apple and plum and probably-cherry (there's definitely a cherry, I'm just not sure whether it's ornamental), and maybe a crabapple, and a vegetable patch, and a patio. And a nice kitchen. And the conservatory would be dining room/games room/music room and would be lovely esp. in the rain. So now I'm just trying to convince us (... myself) that we'd actually be able to fit the furniture into it, which is currently proving Difficult; I am intending to ask to have another viewing and actually take a tape measure this time. (Wider wheelchair just about fits in the front door. It's rampable. I should be able to get a powerchair in. There's an airing cupboard for letting dough rise in. Etc etc etc...)
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Two major things: Yet More Lung Tests (I get to find out results on the 26th) and pain clinic psychologist assessment (physiotherapist will be happening tomorrow afternoon).

So far so good on the fluoxetine -- I'm not now getting BV every time I spend more than about two hours using a wheelchair (I am still managing to set it off occasionally, but by "occasionally" I mean "when spending all day travelling internationally after a solid preceding several days of Out And About In A Chair", which is consistent with other folk I know seeing slooow returns to baseline after discontinuing mirtazapine due to unacceptable side-effects). I'm still under-medicated (in that I'm irritable and weepy), so that's not brilliant, but I'm seeing my GP on Thursday, whereupon we will bump up the dose.

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kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Tomorrow lunchtime (I know this is late notice sorryyyyy if it helps any I haven't really done my other prep yet either) I have the opportunity to provide a high-profile medical school with advice on how to make their OBS&GYNAE teaching more inclusive of and welcoming to trans patients.

I think I've got the factory-default uterus setup pretty well covered, but I want to make sure that I am representing (as best I can) trans people who *don't* have that set of factory-default anatomy, and their/your concerns about accessing gynaecological health care.

If you would be willing to drop me a line about your thoughts, in comments here or in private message or in e-mail, I would be super grateful. <3
kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
... the time from waking up to the first hate speech directed at me by a Leave voter was three hours.

She was an NHS employee providing me with necessary medical care.

She told me that Leave was a good result for the NHS -- because it can't cope with all the people who don't work, don't contribute, demand scans and MRIs, expect free prescriptions, even expect free paracetamol rather than buying it themselves.

She was cutting a dressing off my hand.

She asked me what I thought.

I thought: every single one of those things you listed describes me. I thought: I have just been told by a medical professional that I don't deserve care. I thought: there is no way I'm telling you you just described me. I thought: I'm terrified.

I'm white. I'm third generation. English isn't my first language but people can't tell unless I tell them and I certainly *sound* posh. I don't look Jewish until you put me in a room with the rest of that side of my family. I can, if necessary, leave the house without a wheelchair.

I pass. This is what I got while passing. I am terrified for the people who can't.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
(content note for mention of misgendering with a happy ending!)

Popped in today to talk about additional paperwork for academia purposes. He's perfectly cheerful about writing a letter to the effect that I'm well enough to resume studies, but the amount of physio/medical appointments/etc I have to do isn't compatible with working full-time.

We also got chatting about sports wheelchairs and The New Chair (I've just booked train tickets to go and pick it up and I am so excited) -- I get the impression he's a cyclist, and therefore goes oooOOOOOooh when you point out you've got Spinergy wheels on, and that wheelchair wheels are basically the same thing as high-end bike wheels.

And while he was distracted by all that, he referred to me using an inappropriately gendered pronoun in the notes he was making, caught himself, apologised appropriately, and rephrased entirely without input from me.

I genuinely hadn't even noticed that he'd spent the past however-long-it's-been carefully making sure that he doesn't misgender me in my medical records.

I am doing a small good cry about it, okay.

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kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
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