misc log.

Jun. 6th, 2015 09:15 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Brains et cet. )

Today I have learned the principles of how to make praline, and acquired a leather jacket from a charity shop for £15 and a pair of absolutely fantastic ankle-support-ish suitable-for-costuming boots that fit me perfectly for a fiver. Also I finally got around to getting my useless ex and [personal profile] sebastienne a griddle pan. Sunshine and ice-cream and stir-fry and brownies, yes. Everything is a bit flat and grey, but. Moments of small joy.

[brain log]

Jun. 3rd, 2015 05:44 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Content note for disordered eating (as distinct from eating disorder, but probably crossover) including discussion of calories.

Read more... )
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
Content notes: reference to depression, weight loss, survivalism, discussion of SSRI efficacy.

Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I got myself into bed last night then overwhelming world-is-wrong. So I reemerged and spent about an hour with TOL talking me down (I continue genuinely impressed that I'm willing to have her touch me when I'm panic-attacking) via media various, halfway through which I managed to talk myself into taking diazepam, and now via necking a pint and a bit of water and two mouthfuls of very weak tea I am starting to emerge from the hangover. (I should... probably remember to drink more water when I take benzos, heh.)

Highlights include: twenty minutes spent crying hysterically onto her ankles, absolute executive dysfunction fail, and having a screaming fit in the shower because unexpected texture. On the upside, I have discovered that having someone turn a shower on for me provides exactly the right kind of background white noise that... makes my brain suddenly start working again? So that's nice.

SO YES I think that's the (spontaneously) maddest TOL has seen me since 2012. Iiii'm going to increase my meds.

Meanwhile

May. 1st, 2014 01:10 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I dropped down to 30mg citalopram on Monday. Results are clearly skewed by having managed to miss bed meds (and had to catch up) three times in the previous ten days, but so far I'm not braining brilliantly, much much clumsier than usual (tripping over feet, struggling to stand for more than about 30 seconds at a time), and my sleep cycle's epically fucked. Withdrawal or just being ill? WHO KNOWS.
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
Yesterday was immensely frustrating - the machine behaved beautifully Thursday, I was all set to get data yesterday, and then there was a two-second power cut at 1am and it's spent the subsequent 24 hours sulking and is finally finally finally giving me numbers that look as though they'll be usable - culminating in forgetting to take my bedmeds last night, which means I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms. (They tend to start 12-18 hours after a missed dose, and involve going weird and light-headed and fuzzy. They're trivial to get rid of - take another tablet - but unfortunately there are reasons I take my psych meds at night, viz, they do a pretty good job of knocking me out; and I'm not sure which of "crashing out" and "brain zaps" is worse given the work I want to get done. So I am playing it by ear a bit, and if I decide it's necessary I'll split tonight's tablet, take half of it now, and catch up this evening.)

In any case, this means I'm going to be babysitting the mass spec today, if all continues well. What this means in practice is that I'm going to have very brief bursts of activity interspersed with a lot of sitting around by myself in a cellar, ergo it's time for: any questions answered.
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)
I'm going to be dropping my citalopram to my summer dosage a week on Monday, so the 28th of April.

If you spot me going a bit wrong and I don't seem to have noticed, I'd massively appreciate you pointing it out, but t'isn't any of your jobs; and I'll be self-monitoring with PHQ-9 all else aside.

(ps thank you to everyone going "what the fuck" about my GP; I think I'd got into learned-helplessness mode about the entire situation. I have Done Some Preliminary Investigation into potential replacements.)
kaberett: Blue-and-red welly boots on muddy ground. (boots)
I really was exhausted and miserable last night, it would seem: I forgot to take my bedtime meds, which unfortunately includes all of the psych meds I (a) really don't want to skip doses of and (b) really cannot take in the morning unless I want to spend the rest of the day asleep. :-/

(I think it has been upward of six months since the last time I did this.)

(Actually, I'm going to try taking the citalopram now and skipping the amitriptyline, because I like having vaguely stable doses etc etc.)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[personal profile] naamah_darling's launched a new blog: "I want to show people what living with my mental illness is like. Visibility is a major factor in reducing the stigma that surrounds mental illness. For many people, though, it’s risky talking about these things, for having “crazy” be the first thing people know about you. People have to keep themselves safe, and many cannot speak out."

And, you know, there's all sorts of reasons I think it's very important to talk - and talk publicly - about mental illness. So: hi. I have chronic depression with anxiety; I've been depressed at least since I was thirteen. I strongly suspect I also have undiagnosed PTSD.

I started medication when I was 21, because I couldn't put it off any longer. I'd delayed seeking diagnosis for so long because of the stigma: both medically, in that it would have been even harder to get my chronic pain diagnosed if doctors could happily dismiss it as somatisation, and socially/academically. As it is, I took a year out of my undergraduate degree, and every time someone asks about it I have to decide between the bland and anodyne "for health reasons" and the braver - and more informative - "I went very, very mad".

Crazy is a thing I am. It's a thing I can't hide, even if I want to: ask me, maybe, about the times I've suddenly realised, walking through a supermarket or shopping centre, that I've been muttering out loud for several minutes. Or, well, ask me about the way it impacts on my work.

But: "crazy", being crazy, isn't the bad thing here, particularly: it's hard, some days or weeks or months, but I am medicated and I have people and I have a counsellor and mostly, for the time being, I'm alright.

The bad thing is the way people react to "crazy": the way that in trivialising it they trivialise me, or that in fearing it or despising it, it is me they fear or despise, or that in being visibly crazy in public I put myself in danger - and in more than one sense this is not something I can control.

Here's another thing: it feels very strange to say "I am depressed" when my medication and support network are currently keeping me functionally not-depressed [most of the time]. But: I have endometriosis even when I'm not in pain; I have endometriosis even when my painkillers, or my GnRH agonists, or whatever, are working. And I am aware - and sometimes it is painfully, desperately aware - that the only things between me and my illness are my daylight lamp and 30mg a day - forty in winter - of citalopram hydrobromide. Like [personal profile] jjhunter says: and 'history of depression' means there's no defense/perfect enough to keep it from coming back; like Onsind say: yeah it gets better / but it also could get worse / tainted blessing, stubborn curse / and all the same, you just take it day by day (by day by day).

And that? That is why I am going to keep on talking.

Ten things

Jun. 26th, 2013 02:03 am
kaberett: A green origami stegosaurus (origami stegosaurus)
1. Six boxes packed (seven if you count the printer). The room is starting to look less like somewhere I live. Main computer also gets packed up properly tomorrow, iThink, but not tonight.
2. Exactly the right number of pairs of clean underwear (things I typically run out of first!) to get me through to having moved back into parents, done laundry, and dried it again.
3. Start of period still not, apparently, accompanied by debilitating pain, nor did I get much crazy. I don't know why, but it's nice.
4. Moorhen chick: I was heading home along Hobson's Conduit and heard cheeping, and there it was, under the roots trailing from the overhanging bank, and looking extremely dubious about the concept of floating.
5. [personal profile] randomling's willingness to watch Elementary with me, and to flex their critical faculties on the topic and challenge me to think harder about it (e.g. where are all the female police officers?). Also, they made [community profile] awesomeers, which is grand.
6. Salted caramel in the fridge, to be turned into salted caramel-raspberry-chocolate something tomorrow (still torn between cocoa-containing chocolate-chip muffins and brownies).
7. Giving my impostor syndrome a kicking (via making a post to [site community profile] dw_dev - I'm a bit baffled/overwhelmed by the idea that I've got to a point where I can legit ask senior devs to obey my whims and be taken seriously, but there we go).
8. Pulpy speculative fiction, and also the realisation that it genuinely is bad enough that I'm not interested in finishing the rest of the series at this point (bam! another three books off the to-read pile!).
9. [personal profile] ailbhe posted about their Etsy shop, and, well, their art always makes me really happy. (Bonus points if you guess which canvas I've got my eye on but do not quite feel I can justify buying rn.)
10. All of my people who had fantastic life-affirming surgery yesterday (yep, more than one!) have confirmed that they're alive and awake and doing okay. So that is nice.

Bonus good thing: 10 days on 30mg citalopram, and I am still stable. (A bit tired and weird, but I think that's to be expected from graduation week - I'm not getting the overwhelming intrusive thoughts I had last time I tried this. Calibrating what "normal sadness" feels like is kind of an experience, you guys.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Today's PHQ-9 score: 3 ("minimal depression", max score 27), at three days on 30mg citalopram. No intrusive thoughts this time (yet?).

mixed bag

Mar. 27th, 2013 12:03 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
+/- upped my antidepressants again. Intrusive thoughts were refusing to sit down and shut up, and I just don't want to have to deal with that bullshit at the moment. I'll have another go over the summer.

+ my magic wheels have been returned, and the one that was broken is fixed.

- unfortunately, the one that was working is comprehensively fucked. (Once I have made this post, my job is to e-mail them a photo going "er, realise I should've checked this over in the shop, but.")

+ went to a close-up magic competition at which Awesome Housemate C was performing. C was awesome, and so was Sweet Italian Queermo, and honestly the other Italian was also very sweet, but he was flustered and my table was a tough audience (we were all knackered), so.

- of the four competitors, it was Microaggressions Douchebro who won. This pisses me off because (a) he was not the most competent performer of those present; (b) he was shit at people with non-Anglo names; (c) he made a really shitty joke about autism; (d) he misgendered me and didn't bother asking my name (because I'd made an arch remark about point (b), I assume, and he didn't want to deal with having to call me Stanislaw); (e) he asked if he could touch my wrist, took hold of my wrist, then started making jokes about being on the Sex Offenders' Register; (f) honestly I am probably forgetting some of the other shit he did; (g) it was very, VERY noticeable that it was the old white Anglo guy who won, not the more competent Young Italian Queermo or the more competent Awesome Housemate C (who is neither a dude nor white).

+ I do also have a cushion and backrest for my wheelchair, FINALLY.

- I should've gone for the narrower backrest; and it only bloody takes imperial rather than metric allen keys (where the rest of the chair takes metric)

+ I got to see Awesome Housemate C again; wasn't expecting that to happen until after Easter.

+ I sent off my outline for my lit review, so far, to my supervisor; I got back a bunch of feedback today, and skimmed it before heading out, and I'm actually going to implement (some of) it this evening before going to sleep.

and it is at this point that I decide to bump it up to a net 10 good things...

+ I am really, really enjoying my current pulpy fantasy. So, so much. (Lisa Shearin, for the interested: it is incredibly, incredibly pulpy. It's first-person; the perspective character is an elven investigator with a family in the, ah, imports-exports business

+ I wrote a big long organise-y e-mail when the thought occurred to me, and created illustrative examples, rather than flapping uselessly at it.

+ I responded promptly to another e-mail that required actual brain from me.

+ I ate a lot of really, really tasty food. (Stem ginger ice-cream with pear and wild berries crumble! Sweet potato houmous!)

+ ... and if we ever leave a legacy/it's that we loved each other well: yes, thank you, Indigo Girls, that will do nicely as something for me to aim for. (... and so we're okay; we're fine...)

+ I have wonderful, wonderful friends, who keep an eye on me and nudge me about self-care and generally look after me.

+ Other Housemates have all left for the break, i.e. I have the place to myself, i.e. it's actually okay for me to listen to music on the big speakers according to my (currently somewhat disastrous) sleep-cycle, rather than faffing around with headphones (because of the vagaries of my set-up, this involves crawling around underneath my desk).

+ I have got the kitchen into a state such that my bedder cannot reasonably have a snit about that tomorrow (not that this will necessarily stop her), including washing up after Other Housemates (ergo I feel very virtuous).

+ oh, go on, have another: my ridiculously fancy cologne (gift of boything), which I feel a little silly about loving this much but there we go, has been cheering me up all day.

+ ... I'm surprised every time I realise how well this exercise works, in terms of refocussing me on positives and reminding me about good & cheerful things in my life.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
  1. I've applied to graduate, booked bands and hood, and ordered a suitable wing-collar shirt and white bow tie. I... can't quite believe this has happened, in ways that are a little scary and overwhelming, but there we go. I'll believe it when it actually happens.
  2. I've cast on a new shawl, Cornwall Coast, in a spirit of attempting to use up some of the stash (and because I appear to have become unfortunately addicted to shawls - unfortunate because I don't actually wear the blasted things).
  3. Past-self left enough food for lunch, and we had enough stuff in the freezer to Not Need To Brain this evening.
  4. Sometimes, what I need is the reminder that the small quiet room exists, and I can make it. Thank you, Captain Awkward.
  5. I have packed the important thing for tomorrow's shenanigans, viz, almost all of Korra on a USB stick.
  6. Chilli oil. Chilli oil that also contains small sad lumps of tofu and of peanut.
  7. Warm snuggly clothes, and superglue to stick things back together with.
  8. In spite of being An Bit Sad, I am still gently plodding away at the lit review; at this point, all I'm doing is digging out tables of data for subsequent use, but actually that is helpful, so.
  9. Fairytales. I'm reading a lot of them, at the moment, and they help a little.
  10. That essay I mentioned earlier - the one I've had simmering away for a little while - is starting to take, if not shape, at least coherence.


Some days this is harder than others. Today it was hard. I think this week has just been getting harder; I think it may be time to go back up to 40mg and see if that helps any. I don't know. I haven't experimented with this drug enough to know what half-lives and adjustment periods are like for me, at least not when decreasing doses.
kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
  1. I am nervously and tentatively writing a sonnet. It is the first stab at a sonnet that I think might end up complete; might end up any good.
  2. I spotted the panic and the unreason and I did not defeat it, but I fought it back (for now; for now) and built the foundations of a wall against it; I recalled that I decreased my anti-depressant dose as of Monday, and should keep an eye on whether to bump it back up next week.
  3. Two friends visited for afternoon tea; one I had not seen in any real sense in well over five years, and one I had not seen for several months. The former I am delighted to have reconnected with, and we're having tea again in about a week's time; the latter I am glad to have seen again, and I taught him how to wrestle hedgehogs use double-pointed knitting needles.
  4. I had lunch with my mother, and we talked about ourselves and the clan and statistics and INFINITE SUPPLIES OF FROGS and I felt calm and loved.
  5. The tulips she gave me when I received the PhD offer are dried and curled and beautiful.
  6. I found the wherewithal to file a lot of paperwork, and in so doing I discovered one of my favourite chocolates, which I thought I'd finished.
  7. I finished a delightfully pulpy fantasy novel, and I have the entire rest of the series to go (Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares series, for the curious; I picked up the second in the series from the library this time last year, and have finally got around to starting from the beginning).
  8. I showered. This was more difficult than it sounds, and has been for several days, but I did it.
  9. I have been able to provide specialist assistance to several people today - partly through being in the right place at the right time, but also because of some of the vast array of things I have learned over the past five years. As always when I notice myself being competent - notice myself having expertise - I am baffled and not a little grateful.
  10. I have been Plotting, and the first of the results are starting to trickle in through the letter box. (It was one of those "put together a care package for under £30, GO" 3am moments the other day; what can I say?)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I recently went up to 30mg citalopram daily, and the main result - if it is one - that I've noticed is that I've started doing stuff. It's not just that I'm more cheerful - that my baseline mood has shifted from "wretched" to "content", which approximately happened with 20mg - it's that my capacity to Get Shit Done has improved massively.

The areas where this is most obvious are learning and volunteering - and, in particular, getting my hands at least a little dirty with tech stuff.

For instance, some time ago I signed up to Stanford's free online Computer Science 101 course; it started two weeks ago; I promptly decided it was going too slowly, and am now a fair way into the Javascript section of Codecademy.

The CS101 course has the advantages of actual lecture notes - unlike, for example, their cryptography course, where it's obligatory to watch video in order to extract the information - and of letting you play around with images.

Codecademy, on the other hand, has the advantages of using actual Javascript, rather than hiding the real world from you (CS101 uses print(), rather than console.log(), among other minor travesties); and, at this stage, of being approximately on-demand. They're currently running a project called Code Year - which aims to teach Javascript, HTML, CSS and their intersections over the course of a year, for the sake of a shiny website or somesuch - but in addition to the basic "here's how variables work" weekly lessons, there's a number of side-projects in which you can build little games, which I at least am finding fun.

And it doesn't hurt that they provide you with ACHIEVEMENT BADGES every time you complete a course of lessons, either ;)


In the most practical sense, what this is doing for me is giving me confidence. My volunteering for dreamwidth so far has been focussed on things I think of as largely non-technical: I tag the posts in [site community profile] dw_suggestions and occasionally submit some, I cheerlead in #dreamwidth, I've done a code tour in [site community profile] dw_dev and written up how I did it. Now, however, I've got my Dreamhack set up; I've been assigned a bug (it's effort-minor but THAT TOTALLY COUNTS); and I intend to get it patched - or, well, let's rather aim for getting started on my patch, to reduce the risk of being eaten by sharks ;) - before bed today.


And this is really what CS101, and Codecademy, are about - for me. It's not the particular language: I'm not sure when Javascript is going to be relevant to me. My biggest problem at the moment (more generally?) tends to be confidence - oh, I can't do that, I'll think, I'll just make a mess of it, and then someone else will have to fix it, so I'd best leave well enough alone - and what these websites and these people are doing are telling me that it's okay to make mistakes and it's okay to not know everything and those are messages I pretty well always need to hear.

So thank you, #dreamwidth, and thank you the wider Internet, and thank you drugs. You're all great.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Oh, luteal phase. Oh, progesterone uptick. Oh, depressive downswing.

How I didn't miss you.

Medication review tomorrow, at which I will also get results of LEAST COMPETENT BLOOD SAMPLE EVAR. In general, the citalopram seems to be mostly doing a reasonable job of bringing my background mood up to "cheerful"; unfortunately 20mg doesn't seem to be enough when lolprogesterone. Unfortunately more than 20mg per day is contraindicated by the fact that I'm taking 20mg of omeprazole a day. Unfortunately I can't stop taking the omeprazole because of my long-term painkillers. Unfortunately, the citalopram might be making the painkillers less effective.

...

... on the plus side, I've just finished Braid, a game with a delightful time-travel mechanic and a REALLY OBNOXIOUS PLAYER CHARACTER. Luckily, you can mostly ignore the back story. (And I only cheated on two puzzles!)

(Other things I have played recently and heartily recommend apart from inevitable heterocentrism: Machinarium, an adorable steampunk point-and-click.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I have had REALLY VIVID DREAMS these last three nights, oh my goodness. One was about mooning after a person I have a crush on while they were just trying to have a birthday party, and I kept getting underfoot like a stray puppy; one about otherworldly monsters (think tentacles, and a mix between HP Lovecraft and the Howl's Moving Castle film) and boats and wheelchairs and rack railways; and I can't remember what the third was.

Also, results of the blood test came back: I do have very slightly elongated blood clotting profile-wossnames at the moment. To which I say one big fat I TOLD YOU SO, doctor who wanted me to believe that noses just sometimes go funny in cold weather, because I KNOW what my nose is normally like in cold weather okay and it ain't this -- but the upshot is, I'm going up to 20mg citalopram for a month and getting blood clotting retested in a month... and then we will put me on SOMETHING ELSE when it is obvious it has got substantially worse, lol.

GO GO RARE-SIDE-EFFECTS-PRONE-ALEX

(In slightly related news, I am disturbed by the fact that I've had spikes in stomach pain shortly after taking mefenamic acid... even though I am currently taking omeprazole as directed. Oh well, I'll chase that up sometime soon.)

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
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