self-care

Jul. 3rd, 2017 11:06 pm
jinian: (red scarf)
And cat care. These are the themes of my working at home so far.

I have had a non-patchy tongue for the first time since I can remember. I'm eating my vegetables. The cats can yell for fresh food when they need it and will actually eat, so they're seeming much stronger. I have enough money to buy clothes I've been needing and enough energy to do the shopping with.

Not everything is perfect -- I need to sort out better ergonomics and more exercise, COBRA is an asshole, and my allergies are still present enough to have given me a mild sinus infection -- but this feels like progress and like recovery. I nearly went dancing this past weekend, which I haven't felt up for in ages.

And I have a paper on DNA barcoding of wild kiwifruit to read and edit next! (This morning I carefully edited a paper on hysterectomies for trans men to avoid calling the patients "woman" or "she"; they had only messed up a little and their language doesn't use pronouns, but it's important.) I'm learning how to edit to a specific standard, I'm building stamina and speed, it's effort, but this is fun.

I'm still sad and afraid and lonely, but I have something really good to do while I keep working on recovering.

update

Jul. 1st, 2016 12:14 am
I am nowhere near caught up on LJ/DW because of silly issues in transition between browsers and programs that I need to use for work (and quasi-work like making dragon game festivals happen). However, a lot is happening. The most important things are:

(1) Shiny new baby ball python.

just in case of phobias )

(2) Shiny new trauma diagnosis.

(Secondhand. Usually happens to therapists, so writings thereupon are not terribly useful for my situation.)

Therapist: So I think this is what's going on.

Me: But lots of people have much worse bad things actually happen to them directly, I should be fine.

Therapist: Well, now you sound like a trauma survivor.

Me: >.>


Dragon game festival is going swimmingly, though people are a little less awestruck by our entire book than I was hoping. Managed to goad a friend into writing fanfic of it already, though. :D
jinian: (lost sakura)
Feeling down and having trouble concentrating the last few days. Still being sick doesn't help, of course. Allergist visit May 20!

I had a good time Sunday going to Civil War and Martsa with Beth and Sandry, and I made things at pottery class on Saturday.

Felt discouraged this morning and then pointed out to myself that my past few years have gone:

- Developed severe undiagnosed abdominal pain.
- Finished a Ph.D.
- Worked on a demoralizing project for a year.
- Moved across the country.
- Got dumped in a weird retconning way that gave me trust issues.
- Developed progressively worse abdominal pain.
- Had trouble doing the project I actually wanted to do because of illness.
- Finally got a diagnosis and had a difficult surgery.
- Lost my dad.
- Broke up with someone I liked because the relationship just didn't make sense any more.
- Lost my cat.
- Developed nonstop sinus problems.
- Got dumped in a particularly scalding way by the person I really wanted to be with.

(And, as usual for the litany of woe, I have probably forgotten some shit.)

It is a goddamn triumph that I get out of bed in the morning. So there.
Turns out when you have had sinus misery for about five months, and then you're crying really hard about your loneliness and how bad the world has turned out to be, you can give yourself a nosebleed.

Do not recommend.

status

Apr. 20th, 2016 11:31 pm
jinian: (garden yukito)
I got shoes! Amazing shoes. They're not the "Elle Woods Astronaut shoes" (akycha got those) but they are sorcery. They also ate almost my entire state tax refund. Totally worth it. (Relatedly, I have a blister on my toe that might be infected. Ow.) It's vanishingly unlikely that I'll win Fluevogs for ten years, but what if I did. What if I did.

Squeak would like you all to know that she is a CAT who PURRS and she is RIGHT HERE.

Tomorrow is my pottery studio's show opening! I don't plan to buy anything, but I do want to go show my support. And Friday is chiptune Rocky Horror, about which I am still ridiculously excited.

Hilariously, I felt like I was about ready to stop seeing my therapist for the time being after our next appointment... until she emailed me a couple days ago saying she'd have to reschedule because her father had died. WELP. Maybe I am not feeling so hot after all. Still overall hopeful, productive, and enjoying the springtime, just a higher screaming-inside proportion than I really prefer.

In completely different news, I've been re-reading SailorPtah's lovely His Dark Materials/Welcome to Night Vale novels, and I spent some time thinking about Dust. There's a bit where Cecil is carving wooden replicas of people's daemons, and Carlos thinks, of course it makes Cecil happy to increase the number of Rusakov particles in the world. So I was contemplating intention and art. Dust accrues to artifacts, because consciousness went into making them as they are. But what I usually do with pottery is more of a dialogue or meditation with the material. My goal is usually not to have a piece of a particular size and shape, but rather developing my skill or moving in a direction and seeing what happens.

I undoubtedly come out with an artifact, but it's a different feeling. Then I wondered what Buddhist potters feel is the point of their craft. I feel like my experience is qualitatively different from making specific pottery to order, but maybe the idea of Dust is... less granular than that distinction. :D
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Sinus CT was pleasant, easy, and painless... except for the part where I decided I should make sure they were inflamed enough to see the problem so I didn't take anything or use the neti pot the night before. Ow. I don't even know if this was necessary. I regret everything. (Appointment to discuss with the ENT is Friday morning.)

2. My pottery teacher was amused by my quadratic formula t-shirt, just like I thought he would be. One begins to wonder if he would bring his deft care, people skills, and nerdy tinkering sensibility to non-pottery tasks. In bed.

3. My home internet is complete shit right now. Most frustrating. However, I finally managed to download Rebuild 3 from Steam, and probably I shouldn't be allowed to play it after 11pm because I didn't get the amount of sleep I wanted last night. I'm not scared of zed, I just want to keep rebuilding Snoqualmie.

4. Std.daff has emerged! Based on my photos from last year, we're running about three weeks earlier in terms of spring bulbs. I'm told that if you average last year's winter and this year's winter, you get a normal winter. Today it's beautiful and sunny and I wore a flannel overshirt on my walk to work, no coat at all. (Possibly some people wouldn't do this in the low 50s? I WOULD.)

5. Currently I'm wrestling with last year's medical bills for my stupid reimbursement thing. I will get hundreds of dollars back, provided I can actually get the bloody hospital to give me a corrected receipt, and of course when I call in either it rings and rings or there's no one available and I should send email they never reply to. Gah.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
In getting-over-my-ex news, I have:
  • Watched a bunch of Leverage by myself.

  • Made waffles (and done some other nontrivial cooking).

  • Gotten to where going to the grocery store merely makes me feel badgerish rather than panicky.

  • Finally thrown out the food that I had made to share with them when they decided to disappear instead.

  • [TMI] Made it all the way to orgasm without accidentally fantasizing about them and veering off into anti-erotic misery.[/TMI]


In general awesome doings, I have:
  • Gotten my bike into rideable shape.

  • Made an apple pie and won work's (very small) Pi Day contest with it.

  • Kept up decently on my job.

  • Successfully taken almost all of my absurd medication schedule on time.

  • Given excellent presents to people.

  • Polled for dragon game festival themes, including having to contact someone I didn't know to check that we weren't stepping on any toes.

  • Managed a fuckton of drama about dragon game festival themes, including whipping up a storyline that incorporated multiple suggestions.

  • Appeared to have an actual immune system -- still not all the way better but quickly recovered back to generally-crappy instead of getting a bad cold.

  • Designed and drawn lineart for an elaborate (representational-plus-celtic-knot) mythical snake design on a bowl, to be further painted in underglaze.

five things

Mar. 2nd, 2016 12:03 am
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
1. Home from work today. Good thing I got a specialist appointment for Friday: this sinus thing is definitely swinging toward super shitty again.

2. Music mix for friend has consented to be cut down to three CDs' worth but no more. It is possible that I have some feelings of my own that I'm working through here.

3. Came up with a fun minigame for dragon game tomorrow. It's Applejack day of a My Little Pony-themed money-making event, so: profitbucking! Inspired by my teammate's amazing gif magic.

4. I really hate it when I feel too crappy to do things that are fun. I tried to play Necrodancer today but was not smart enough to make decisions in rhythm.

Actually, I also hate it when I feel too crappy to do things that aren't fun. Still badly need to shop for jeans and bras. Can I just stop feeling crappy in general, please?

5. At least the cats are happy, or they would be if there were at least one of me per cat who didn't want to do anything other than sit in the one position they find the most useful and gaze at them lovingly.
jinian: (grumpy)
I've had sinus stuff since at least the beginning of December. Two rounds of antibiotics, ups and downs (a norovirus is actually great for clearing your nasal passages), but still a problem. I'm on the verge of getting an ENT consult, but I realize that what with feeling terrible most of the time I haven't actually managed to do all of the palliative/slow-healing recommendations at the same time, and that that might be important.

I now have a 13-item checklist of what to do daily. I'll try this for a week and then get the probably useless referral. (Lots of stress and worry in having recurrent sinus ick for me; this is why I had to leave undergrad the first time and I'm very scared of it now.)

checklist for future use )

back home

Dec. 28th, 2015 11:12 pm
jinian: (lost sakura)
... back to crying and going round and round in my head. And now my stomach won't quit grumbling.

Maybe I'll take one of Dad's pain pills.
jinian: (no comment)
I'm behind on saying all the fun and horrible stuff that's been going on -- there's a lot of it -- but here is what's happened on my trip so far.

1. Woke up far too early before leaving Boston, and while cleaning out my bag discovered I had a razor blade in it by slicing the living fuck out of my right pinkie. This bled for over half an hour despite pressure, adequately distracting me from useful things like bringing along the key to the storage unit I have things in here in Seattle. I eventually stuck a cotton ball on it with a band-aid over the top, and it had stopped bleeding by my transfer in Dallas (after saturating the cotton ball and making a giant cotton-imbued scab). I ripped most of the cotton off and have been keeping it dry, since it seems to have sealed up all right. Probably could have used stitches, but timing prevented.

2. Too tired to do anything fun after arriving on Xmas eve. Came to Mom's and stared into space a lot, then went to sleep. The ongoing sinus thing was not helped by air travel.

3. Still exhausted on Christmas, but swapped gifts with Mom and cried some, then headed to my cousin's. Three out of five people living there had a stomach bug recently, but BCA swore no one had thrown up in two days and she'd disinfected the house thoroughly, so we got peer-pressured into going. (What did I come across the country for if not to see people, after all.) Had a pretty good time, would have liked to leave after about half the time we spent there as is usual for family gatherings.

4. Relaxing day on the 26th. Went to the hardware store to find paint chips for Mom's bedroom and bathroom now that she's moved upstairs into Dad's old space and planning to rent out the downstairs.

5. At 2:30am on the 27th, I started throwing up. At 4:00am on the 27th, Mom started throwing up. It went on for about 4 hours in both cases. I slept through as much of yesterday as I could, which also meant a good deal of knitting and watching Game of Thrones. Toward evening I managed some broth and saltines instead of just soda and water. (Exactly one person in attendance at Christmas did not get sick. The judgmental people looked with more favor upon those who'd decided not to come after that.) I'd intended to see people, but that was not happening.

6. The plan was for me to leave at 12:40am last night, with a transfer in Minneapolis. I was feeling awful enough that I rebooked a direct flight for this morning instead. I have now woken up far too early, of course, partly due to a very growly stomach. There is nothing in you, stomach, shut it. Feeling acceptable so far apart from that, though.

sick

Oct. 1st, 2015 09:16 am
jinian: (algae)
I am sick. Being sick is no fun. I rested yesterday, but now I feel worse. Must get the rent check downstairs today. Kinda too shaky and feverish to be doing that just at this moment. Nyquil, my old nemesis, let's do this.
jinian: (rarity hmm)
It turns out that, having bounced out of having been down since last year -- gigantic move, new difficult climate, unexpected breakup, worsening chronic pain, major surgery and recovery, death of a parent, heart attack of remaining parent, death of a pet, the thing is I am certain I am leaving things out -- I am having trouble forgiving myself for not being able to do things that I should totally have been able to do. Because now I can do them, so what was my problem?

(Boy, I really did not like it when my therapist forgave part of the cost for the appointment I missed because she figured I couldn't help it, either. I am supposed to be able to fix make do all the things, what is this doubting my capabilities?! Even when I don't, temporarily, actually have them.)

But right. I did not have the energy to do the work that needed to be done. There were weights on every part of me making everything much harder than it usually is.

The trick now is to figure out how to put my energy into the places it needs to go rather than skating along with the habits that used to be more adaptive and now are a bad plan.

update

Jun. 24th, 2015 11:03 pm
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Getting work done at work this week.

Good appointment with therapist Monday. After which I went somewhere I hadn't been before, got a Ms. Marvel trade and Squirrel Girl #4 and ate frozen yogurt, and eventually managed to find Good Vibrations. Treating myself and also being a quality person who does things in the world.

Hurt my neck as a direct result of GV visit and woke up with nasty headache. Unsure of cost-benefit here as both make strong cases.

Had an adventure with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks. After being confused by inferior maps and displeased with the hot soupy weather, we did find our rose-garden goal, and then there was a convenient and free train, and ice cream for dinner. Then showering. I remain very grateful for such an excellent partner and also for the central air at my apartment.

Getting real work done really, like, I did PCR today and ran it on a gel and all. Still working out some damnfool crap from my botched reappointment, but mostly doing well right now.

Spate of fun hectic planning on dragon game, unfortunately spurred by bad news of cool people leaving our subgroup. But I drew a trout with which I am pleased.

jinian: (bold bananas)
Provided a quick turnaround on an information request from our collaborator, even though it required some tinkering.

Joined the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators as part of my long-term job agenda.

Worked on some tricky gene sequences for the gene tree I need to make.

Interviewed a therapist by phone and made an appointment for later this week.

Received a notice of termination of benefits when I got home, which would mean I don't currently have insurance. Sent grumpy email to HR asking whether I should expect to have continuous coverage despite the administrative lack-of-job fuckup or instead contact the nice COBRA people, since, see previous, I have an appointment this week for which I expect to use health insurance.

Successfully initiated a good text interaction with Wim. (This took two tries, but it worked the second time.)

i am mighty

Jun. 3rd, 2015 01:19 pm
jinian: (mighty pea)
Today I am feeling too crap to do the work I would like to do, so instead I have paid my medical bills (in the sense that they are now on a credit card anyway) and written to my confusing health insurance people about getting counseling. If that means I cry at work today, then SO BE IT, I am great and anyone with a problem can go fuck themselves.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Saturday: Went in the afternoon to a local amusement park with a bunch of people. Went on three small roller coasters and one boat cruise as well as the scrambler which was inexplicably a rave. Came home in the car with a headache despite the good company, and discovered a slight fever on getting indoors, because apparently I am a frail Edwardian child. A good day, though.

Sunday: Saw new Mad Max, which goes to eleven thousand, and got Chinese food with humans. Overpeopled and lonely after, such a great combination. Very sore hand, really must go get prescribed things for joint badness. Random bleeding which should no longer be a thing, could only possibly be due to roller coasters, wtf.

Monday: Continued to use Grey's Anatomy as background noise/therapy while messing about leveling dragons and doing a lot of sewing. Some stuff came clear in my mind, or at least clear about why I'm mad that it's not clear. Ate a bunch of chocolate because yes I do want to be headachey forever shut up.
My mom had a minor heart attack yesterday afternoon/evening. She stuck it out at work for a while since random arm pain is just kind of confusing, but got her sister to take her to the hospital in the evening. She still needs a cardiac cath and they might install a stent, but it looks like the incident was minor and she shouldn't have lost too much heart function.

PSA: Women's heart attacks often occur with no chest pain. Mom had a pain in her arm below the elbow that gradually expanded to her back, followed by what felt like a long hot flash: flushed skin and excessive sweating. When she got to nausea, she realized the hospital was a good idea. Cardiac enzyme tests confirmed a heart attack.

(Hormone therapy puts many trans people at increased risk of complex health issues, so I would recommend watching out for alternate symptoms regardless of gender expression if that applies to you.)

Please take care of yourselves, everyone!
jinian: (bold bananas)
One evening last week, I was walking down the hill with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks past the community garden, and I saw a bright green bird in the undergrowth. What was a lovebird doing there? Unusually and luckily, the garden was actually open, so I went in and, with a little help, caught the bird. It seemed small if it was a lovebird, maybe a young one, and it wasn't going to make it outdoors despite its alertly biting the heck out of my hand as I held it. (In retrospect I think it was actually a parrotlet, not a bird I'd encountered before -- all green with a flash of blue on its behind, and the photos look right.) We were discussing how to keep a bird safe from cats at either of our houses until its owner should find it, but, also unusually and luckily, there was a cop parked right there, and I asked him what one should do with a found parrot. He called Animal Control and they came within about fifteen minutes to pick it up. They keep it for a couple weeks waiting for an owner to prove ownership by answering security questions, then send it to "a nice shelter" for adoption. The cop was very nice about the whole thing. I hope the bird is doing well; it had a bare tummy and some caked-on waste, but it seemed so alert that I think it was only messy because of its scary day out huddled on the ground.

Later that evening, there were magical cookies. I'd made some of my regular peanut butter cookie dough and just put it into the fridge. Keeping dough overnight vastly improves regular chocolate chip cookies, so when we baked some of the dough I wondered if it would be better. YES. YES IT WAS. Somehow butterscotch notes were in there, and the cookies were completely amazing. Had I measured the peanut butter? Of course not. As of last night I have now made another batch of dough, some of which is in the fridge right now, to see if the miracle can be repeated. Maybe the almond milk is important? We shall see.

In other news, I am going to Woods Hole (apparently some people haven't heard of it? most famous marine laboratory in the US) for a short course this summer! Being at the beach for ten days in late July will be great, and I will learn a lot about molecular evolution that's going to be very useful for my job. My mom says we visited there on my college tour (20 years ago, I remember nothing), and she wasn't impressed because it wasn't fancy, so it's probably exactly the sort of marine station I already know I love from Friday Harbor. Looking forward to it very much!

Also I am very brave today. I made an appointment to talk to my surgeon again about going on hormones to suppress the endometriosis, because I'm having trouble again already. I really hate being on hormones, and what she wants to do is a shot that lasts three months (so no take-backs). Potential issues include: BASICALLY MENOPAUSE, plus all the other wonders of getting sick more often and lacking mental focus that I've already had from hormones. This is fairly terrible, but apparently my other option is chronic pain, which isn't acceptable either. So, we will discuss it on May 6.

welp

Mar. 12th, 2015 09:44 am
jinian: (bad wolf)
I guess I'm not ready to go back to work today. It's not being there, it's being together enough to self-direct into doing anything remotely useful. If I'm at home I can rest, recover, and do laundry, so I guess home wins.

Luckily (well, not luck, it is a piece of why) I also didn't manage to tell work that I was coming back, so that's easy.

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hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

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