Various and Sundry

Yay, I finally got a working calendar on this thing again! EventCalendar 3 was updated to work with WP2.3, so all is well. I just have to enter everything back in. Feh.

I dyed my hair burgundy today. It had been about 4 years since I last ventured into the world of unnatural hair colour, so it was kind of fun. It looks like I dipped my head in a vat of merlot.
Because of my Lupus and all the medications I’m on, I actually did the spot test beforehand to make sure no weird allergic reactions would happen. Nothing did happen, and now of course I have several burgundy little hairs on my inner elbow.

Tomorrow my mom and I are going to visit my grandpa. His 90th birthday is this Wednesday. This is the man who has a letter tacked to his wall from Good Samaritan, telling him that he has the rare distinction of being dismissed from hospice care due to being too healthy. Heh!

Speedy?

This site was loading incredibly slowly, and I finally decided to experiment with plugins, because I knew that some plugin must be causing the delay. Lo and behold, the thing sped way up when I deactivated Bad Behaviour. Don’t know what in that script would be tying things up, but it appears that it was. So now I’m trying out Akismet.

Speaking of slow, I think snails are amusing. And I found a Swatch watch with snails on! Isn’t it cute?! Heehee. It’s called Schneckentempo. I’ve wanted a Swatch since high school, when my friend worked there. I’ve always had a fascination with clocks and watches for some reason. This thing has a nice hefty *TICK* to it too, which is fun.

I’ve adopted a new pet fishie as well. He’s a beautiful Betta, and fairly young. Has a great personality for a fishie.. active but not crazy like the one that was next to him on the shop shelf. He stares at me when I stare at him. 😛

Just a Little How-Do-You-Do

I finished reading Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk last night. Quite an interesting book! I enjoyed it. His writing style is certainly different. I found another of his books, Choke, accidentally abandoned on a bus stop bench yesterday on my way home, and thought about rescuing it, but it was in kind of bad shape and slightly damp from the rain. So I left it there. I’ll buy my own.
Now I’m going to start Brave New World, which some people seem to be surprised that I’ve still not read. Ah well.
I’m filling in the time between novels by quickly catching up with volume 12 of Fruits Basket. It’s been months since I read that manga, and I’m now missing 2 or 3 volumes after this. It’s an expensive hobby, reading manga, at $10 a volume 😛

Mmm, green chai with honey and milk.

Yesterday I went to see my rheumatologist for the first time. She’s quite nice, and fairly young, which I like. I prefer my doctors to be on top of the latest treatments. She asked me all the routine questions, checked all my joints, was amazed at my reflexes, took a good look at my knees since they’ve given me the most trouble. She’s pretty sure they’re just all floaty with water and still sore from the Lupus attack, and they should get better with time. She sent me off to radiology to get them x-rayed just in case of arthritic damage. I saw the pictures from across the room, and my bones looked fine.. if there’s any problem I’m sure she’ll call me next week. She also decided to put me on Plaquenil, a very common drug for arthritis & lupus patients. It will help balance out the symptoms and permit better tapering off of this horrible Prednisone.
After that I went in to the lab and got my bloodwork done, yipee. Scary thing: I’m starting to not be nervous when about to get needle-jabbed.
Hah, I looked up Plaquenil on WebMD and saw this gem:
“It can reduce skin problems in lupus and prevent swelling/pain in arthritis, though it is not known exactly how the drug works.”
Yeah, it’s not known exactly how anything works with lupus. I brought a book about the disease to my grandfather, and he said “I read that book cover to cover and I think it’s just what they call it when they don’t know what the hell it is!” heh.

Today I’ll be meeting mom at her new office (they’ve got the accounting gals working overtime to fix a bad server fuckup [6 months of records into digital oblivion = many hours of data entry]) and we’ll go out to lunch and to Knit/Purl. Then back here to pick up my 4 loads of dirty laundry and to her house to wash and knit and bake banana bread and watch movies. Yay 🙂

Blustery Day

Waah, my Samsarin PHP widget seems to have an error now that I’ve upgraded WP! No matter how many times I deactivate, delete, re-upload, activate, check – whatever is in the 1st PHP widget shows up in every other PHP widget. I can’t figure it out. Hopefully it’s a temporary bug related to WP integrating the Sidebar Widgets function into the core code. I’ll miss my few little plugins!

I finally installed a quotes plugin, don’t know why I didn’t find it before. Sometimes I’m blind. Yay for having random quotes on my site! 😀

In real life news, I’ve had a bad couple of days emotionally. I’m tired of the state of my apartment, but I am either too busy or too ill to do much about it. Everyone demands my attention, and I have had NO time to myself for a couple of months now. I’m going crazy. And the prednisone has caused my face to swell up like a pink balloon.. people say I don’t look that bad but when I look in the mirror it disgusts me. Diuretics are barely helping at all.

But I have a haircut appointment this afternoon, so at least my hair will look cute for a few hours. It’s starting to get rather scraggly.

What’s Been Going On

Well, I found out last week that I have a lifelong disease. It’s quite treatable, but there is no cure.
I started out with the weirdest symptoms back in December, and kept getting worse and more tired. Eventually I was almost too exhausted to work, I had puffed up, and then the stomach pains started. I went to the doctor and they suspected pancreas problems, but I had labs and ultrasound, and they only found some oddities in my blood. By two days later, I felt worse, and the toxins in my blood had doubled and I had gone horribly anemic, so I was shipped off to hospital for more bloodwork than I thought I had in me, and a lovely kidney biopsy. After ruling everything else out and reviewing the symptoms, the diagnosis is Systemic Lupus – an auto-immune disease that was trying to kill my own kidneys, blood vessels, connective tissues and other stuff. I was pumped full of IV drugs and pills for four days before being released.

Been resting, gaining some strength back. I’ll be going in to work for 4 or 5 hours today.. they need me, and I need the income. ^_^;

This has been a very interesting two weeks. Went from tired to exausted to sick to really sick to hospital.. my body still doesn’t really like the drugs they’ve got me pumped full of. Why would it, they’re suppressing my immune system! But, it’s either have little immune system, or have a full one that’s trying to eat me alive. Hm.
However, the main drug I’ll be taking for at least two years, is a drug they give transplant recipients – an anti-rejection chemical concoction that I have to take 4 of every day. And the stuff is a bloody fortune. $200 more per month than my damned apartment. I must say I am incredibly lucky that I have a single father who is willing to shell out that much money – I have no idea what I would do otherwise. I just spent some time on a prescription assistance site and found that through those I can only save about $100 each month even off of Costco’s price.. sigh. Have to call the drug company and see about their assistance program. I wonder if they only offer that program to real transplant recipients or if they count Lupus patients too…
The Prednisone I’m on is screwing with my metabolism, blood pressure, and senses. Luckily I will be slowly weaned off of that crap. My hearing is heightened to an almost bothersome point, and I can smell bad things better. I need to get after my Converse. 😛

I never thought I’d end up with a lifelong disease/disorder like this. I guess no one ever thinks of something like that. And the diagnosis could have been much worse. Even Diabetes is sometimes harder to manage than Lupus, and though I now have to get weekly blood tests (only for a few months hopefully) it’s much better than having to stick myself with insulin every day. I don’t know that I could do that. With Lupus, I just have to keep up with my meds for a long while, and watch for symptoms. Now that the disease has come out, I REALLY have to stay completely out of the sun.. I already had to with my fair skin, but now not only can I burn, I can get horrible rashes. Greaat.

But thanks to my wonderful friends and family, I’m getting through the stress and looking forward.

Now Andrew, if you read this, you can laugh – I really should live in a plastic bubble 😉