WTB: Better Neighbours

Been trying to write a proper blog post for ages. Brain not working enough. Decided on a list instead to get things down.

  • Blizzcon happened. Was amazing. Still not watched everything I wanted to (kept falling asleep) but I’m very excited for Warlords of Draenor and Hearthstone. Heroes of the Storm sounds good too.
  • Have been playing Minecraft recently. Currently working on automating all my machines and breeding bees. Advice from friend who has done bee breeding is don’t. There is a lot to it so he might have a point πŸ˜›
  • Sometimes playing World of Warcraft, especially flexi runs with my guild. Brain brokened = terrible healer. Still fun though πŸ™‚ My UI is buggy and I’m not well enough to sort it out.
  • Wanted to write something for the This is Autism flash blog. Wasn’t well enough. Instead read lots of blog posts and they were good. Linky -> Β http://thisisautismflashblog.blogspot.co.uk/
  • Health is not so great. Seems this time of year is not good for me. Told CFS team I was improving then a week later started deteriorating again. Having sleep paralysis and other scary symptoms again.
  • Neighbours are main cause of deteriorating health. They are being really noisy again. We have told the council and there are anti social behaviour cases against both upstairs and across from us (upstairs are worse but across has been bad as well). I haven’t have a full night’s sleep since across from us returned from who-knows-where.
  • Our key safe was stolen. Coincidentally, it was stolen after the upstairs neighbours were watching my carer use it. Because of that our flat and both communal doors have had to have the locks changed. That is a big hassle we could have done without. It also means we’re back to Johan opening the door for the carers, and he’s missing out on stuff he wants to do.
  • For now, my care and equipment stuff is on hold. My GP wants me to see the consultant again before having the case conference about it. I don’t think my GP realises how ill I am, as she keeps wanting me to go for hospital appointments and I’m not really well enough. I was discharged from the consultant as I was too ill to go see him, when I was doing a lot better than I am now. Constantly being asked about it is not helping.
  • I’m becoming less able to do certain stuff. Emails are impossible (I’ve been trying to write one for the past two months, and it’s urgent) as it communicating the information to someone else to write it for me. Speech is getting harder. Doing a food shop online is nearly impossible, and Johan is struggling as well. I am getting a bit concerned about it.
  • Had first McDonalds in over a year. Would be on a day where my digestive system was in full rebellion so I couldn’t enjoy it. It was the day Johan felt up to getting it though so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
  • I think I’m losing weight again. Can’t be certain but my clothes/pyjamas are feeling looser and Johan’s noticed my fingers are looking thinner. I really need to keep my weight up but eating is hard πŸ™
  • I have Christmas to sort out, especially Sammie’s Christmas and birthday presents. Her main Christmas present is ordered but I need to get everything else. I have some ideas but need to check they’ll work, which means writing that email…
  • I want to swap some of my distraction spoons (that I use for watching telly, gaming and reading) for doing stuff spoons (for use on food shops, emails and other stuff). Unfortunately when I’m not distracting myself then the pain and blehness and feeling horrendous gets worse, and that’s what is interfering with the getting things done.
  • I have not been on social networks or up to chatting much recently. See blehness and stuff.
  • I have finally caught up with the last season of Doctor Who and am looking forward to the 50th anniversary episode. Not sure if I’ll be able to watch it as it’s broadcast though I’ll try πŸ™‚
  • My Virgin Media TiVo box now has Netflix. This makes it easier to watch stuff on there without needing to turn my computer on first. Only UK stuff but there’s some awesome kid’s stuff I can watch when not well πŸ™‚
  • I have penguins. Penguins are awesome.

I’m sure I’ve missed tons of stuff, but at least this way I’ve got something down.

Minecraft is Awesome

I think I might not be very well. The last few days I’ve needed extra meds, have spent most of my time asleep, and have felt rather more rotten than is normal for me. I feel bad as I’ve mostly been asleep when the carer is here so they’ve not been able to help, and I keep needing to wake Johan up so he’s not getting enough sleep. I’m hoping this is just a blip and not a relapse.

When I have been awake and fully drugged up I’ve been playing Minecraft on my WoW guild’s server. Have set up some mining turtles on the mining world (Mystcraft age), created some Ender chests, and made myself some long fall boots (Portal mod), quantum leggings and helmet and a GraviChestPiece which means I can fly as if I’m in creative mode while in survival, as well as some other funky stuff. Johan has also been playing with me and we have teleporters set up between our bases so we can help each other out. We’re still way behind Lather on technology though, as he has all his machines automated and has a nuclear fusion reactor. He has helped us both out a lot though and meant we could take shortcuts.

I’ve been enjoying Minecraft and it’s been a good distraction, but after becoming massively nauseous this morning I’ve realised while this ill I should probably rest more and play less Minecraft. Blizzcon is this weekend and I want to be well enough to watch that so I think I’ll skip the computer for a bit. I’ve not really been playing WoW the last week or so but haven’t minded the break too much. I have so much I want to do and not enough energy or health to do them all πŸ˜›

I’m glad my brain is working a little better now though than it was. I’ve been reading ebooks and fan fiction, mostly teen and young adult dystopian fiction, and though I’m still a lot slower than I used to and my recall is terrible I am able to read them, which is good. Will be a while before I’m back up to three books a day (partially as I don’t have unlimited money and the library’s ebook range is tiny compared to their physical range, partially as I’m so slow) but I’m managing two or three a week now. I’m tracking the books I want on Goodreads and Luzme- the latter tells me when those I want are reduced in price so I can pick them up while they’re cheap or free πŸ™‚

So a mixed bag really. The last blog post I wrote I pressed publish before I’d finished writing it on the Android app, and was too out of it the fix it then it had been too long so I left it. At least I’d finished the paragraph before publishing πŸ˜› We ended up having one ring at the door on Halloween but Johan wasn’t coping so didn’t answer it. I wish I could have as I’d love to have seen some kids in costume having fun (I heard them and they sounded quite young).

Tonight is Bonfire Night. I can’t see fireworks from my bed so I’ll keep the ear plugs and defenders ready and hope they’re not too noisy. Maybe next year I’ll get to go to the organised display as it’s not too far away. We’ll see πŸ™‚ In the meantime the penguins are looking after me so I’ll be fine.

Reading and Book Reviews

I love reading. I’ve been reading since I was two and it’s always been my biggest obsession. I can’t not read- if there are words, I have to read them (this can cause problems when I’m meant to be concentrating on something else). I used to be able to memorise everything I read, which was brilliant but I lost that ability as a teenager.

Until I got M.E reading two or three books a day was perfectly normal. I loved both nonfiction and fiction. I’d go from reading a favourite children’s book to an encyclopaedia to a text book or a classic novel. A lot of my love of the internet is because of how much there is to read, with wikis, fan fiction and blogs as well as traditional websites on any topic I could think of. Even my use of Twitter is mostly reading, as it’s my best way of finding out what’s happening in the world and with those people I’m friends with or interested in. Reading is what I do best.

Despite my love of books and reading, I don’t like writing book reviews most of the time. At school I’d only review as few books as I could get away with (in one class reviewing two when I’d read more like twenty). I don’t like analysing books, picking them apart for hidden meanings, thinking about the quality of writing instead of what the message actually is. When I try to write a book review I always feel I can never quite do it justice. Some of this because I can’t always identify my own thoughts and feelings or put them into words. Mostly though it’s just because most writing doesn’t interest me anywhere near as much as reading does.

I’m glad book reviews exist. As I’m not well enough to read everything now (and can’t read normal books as they hurt too much) they enable me to choose what ebooks to buy, and I enjoy reading them just for enjoyment as well. I’m amazed at how other people are able to write so well about something they’ve read. I guess it’s a bit like how I’m always impressed by writers telling stories in such a way I can be there, something else I can’t do.

I love books, stories and reading. I’m just not very good at writing about them.

Computer Games are the Best Distraction

I have spent most of the last month playing computer games, which is good. Mostly World of Warcraft (enjoying Flexi with my guild and Timeless Isle stuff, and levelling a couple of new characters) but I’ve also been playing a bit of Minecraft (Feed the Beast Ultimate) with my WoW guild on their server, and on Monday I got a beta key for Hearthstone. I’m so happy to be well enough to play lots of computer games πŸ™‚ It does mean I’ve been not as social on Twitter and messengers as I was, but it works better for distracting me from the pain and blehness πŸ˜›

I’ve also been watching a bit more television. Since the cricket has finished Johan wasn’t watching the big telly in the living room, so he brought the telly in here and he’s now using my old monitor with his computer. This works better for me as I can see it properly and can change the volume (something I couldn’t do before), and it works for Johan as he now has four monitors connected to his computer (two of them are mine). I’ve been watching a bit of Penguins of Madagascar and The Great British Bake Off, so not much concentration needed but they’re fun πŸ™‚

I’ve also been able to be propped up more in bed by raising the head on good days. It’s getting easier and I’m slowly raising how high I am sitting up so that hopefully I’ll be able to do it more. I have to be careful not to go too high though as then I feel really dizzy and faint, and I need to use my neck pillow for support or my head flops. Still I’m happy that I am improving a bit in that area πŸ™‚

The two areas I’m still doing really badly in are movement and touch. I’m still very weak and if I overdo the rolling over (normally trying to grab stuff that’s fallen or slightly out of my reach) then I get a lot of pain and muscle weakness (and often feel dizzy and nauseous as well). Being touched (or having too much pressure on me) causes me a lot of pain and general worsening of symptoms. Having a bed bath will make me feel terrible for a few days so only happens occasionally. The combination means getting out of bed isn’t going to happen unless absolutely essential until I can get a hoist, as at the moment Johan has to drag me (lots of Β movement and touch which is nearly unbearable).

I’ve tried twice to get to the hospital for my gynaecology appointment. Both times Johan had got me into my wheelchair only for the ambulance people tell us they couldn’t take me. The first time the ambulance wasn’t big enough and he didn’t have the straps. The second time the ambulance was big enough, but again they didn’t have the right straps. Each time we have to rebook the ambulance and contact the department to make sure they have a hoist available incase I need an examination. It is getting very frustrating. The worst thing is if it were at the hospital 5 minutes away Johan would be able to get there- he’s already dragging me into my wheelchair and less than 5 minutes on the bus is actually less stressful than the patient transport ambulance for me (we’re lucky to live in an area with a decent accessible bus service). For some reason though my appointment is near the MetroCentre, which is a good 20 minutes away and means I definitely need an ambulance. I’m also worried about the lack of emergency department there- I hope I won’t need it but I was doing a lot better than I am now when I ended up in A+E from a normal outpatient appointment a couple of years ago, and being so far away from home scares me.

We ended up moving servers again. That was fun (not). Sorted now and I think everything will work out better. Going without my emails for a few hours was hard πŸ˜›

We’re also having issues with social services and the care agency not understanding my needs. They don’t understand autism and the need to know what is happening and when. I think I need an advocate. Not got the energy or the spoons to figure it out though (it requires a different type of spoon to those I use for gaming- I’ve tried not gaming to do other stuff and it doesn’t work unless I know exactly what to do and I don’t in this situation). Johan is also struggling so I want to find a support worker to help him. That is also hard and beyond me at the moment.

I bought a new Nexus 10 as my old Transformer was dying. It works so much better than my old one and I’m really enjoying it. Johan is a bit jealous, as he only has the Nexus 7 πŸ˜› I was trying to hold out for the announcement of the next one but my communication difficulties when my Transformer was misbehaving and the fact we’ve not heard anything yet meant I just went for the current one. I’m so glad I did though and I’ve ordered a purple case to try and protect it and make it look pretty πŸ˜€ I’m also doing well with saving for Christmas and should have no problems there.

Today I am grateful for medication that works (even a little bit), warm penguins, and sunglasses. They help. My friend Kirrus sent me a little penguin and a penguin keyring and some postcards (I think- hoping I not got them confuzzled with something else) in the post which was awesome. Pocket Pennies sent me a purple penguin hat which is very me πŸ˜€ Happy Danni πŸ˜€

Pan the (big) Purple Penguin

Danni holding Pan
Danni holding Pan

I’ve not blogged for a while because I’ve been finding it hard to think. I went into the care home and it went as well as could be expected really- didn’t get a bath because the newly installed adjustable one I’d be able to use wasn’t getting any water, but did get out of bed for about an hour one day and washed my hands in a sink on the way home (it’s strange the things you miss when bedbound sometimes). Johan had fun with his friends. A week later Johan went to visit his dad as it was his birthday. I wanted to go but not being able to get out of bed is a minor problem.

My hospital bed was installed before I got home and it has been helping so much. It has a specialist pressure relieving foam mattress that means I now get to sleep for about 5 hours before needing to roll over, a massive improvement over the 60-90 minutes I previously got. Being able to raise my head and legs as I need to by myself is also really helping, and the bed goes really high so it’s good for carers and means I can look out of the window. Most of the time it’s at the lowest level which means if I’m doing okay I can reach the floor through the safety rails- useful as I drop things a lot πŸ˜› We were also given soft bumpers to cover the rails (not needed at the moment but will be good if I become more ill) and a transfer board for when I improve. The district nurses are awesome (we had to have them out again a couple of weeks ago due to my bowels not working properly and getting bunged up, and they sorted me and were nice doing so, and then yelled at social services to say we needed more help).

We had visits from Indigo Jo and Pocket Pennies during August which was brilliant. I’d not met Indigo Jo before in person (though we’d spoken a lot online) and he’s just as friendly in real life. Penni had been here last year and it was lovely to see her again as I’d been missing her and she’s one of those people who it just feels right being around. It also meant Johan got to have hugs which he’s been missing as I’ve not been well enough to have many. Unfortunately the neighbours (or their visitors) were causing issues during both visits, and they’re getting worse again. Right now neither of us have the energy to do anything about it (and there’s not much anyone else can do right now either).

I got a birthday present from my friend Sarah and it was this amazing crocheted purple penguin. Her name is Pan and she is amazing. She is mostly dark sparkly purple with a lilac tummy, stripe above her eyes and the inside of her wings. Her beak and feet are orange and her eyes are black. She’s much bigger than Purple Penguin and is more serious, but I love her loads. I have awesome friends πŸ˜€

A few days ago Johan got upset as I was looking through photos and videos of me before I got M.E doing a high ropes challenge with my college class four years ago. It was about two months before I got ill and although I had depression fatigue then (and had needed a nap that day) I was able to take part and really enjoyed it. Most of the time we live in the present so the comparison of how I was then to how I am now as a bit much for him. I’m not as ill as I could be but needing help with the smallest tasks is very different from the fiercely independent person I was then. I get a bit sad about it sometimes but I’m hopeful that I’ll improve in the future, and even if I don’t I can have as good quality of life as possible.

I’ve had a bit of an upset tummy the last few days which has not been fun. Luckily the nurses sorted out the right pads for me so it’s been bearable. I’ve started watching kitten cam (http://new.livestream.com/FosterKittenCam/TheLooneyFosters) which makes me happy. Penelope the kitten has a very similar personality to Penelope the penguin which is funny πŸ˜€ When I wasn’t well enough to go on my computer myself Johan put it on for me.

Johan is attempting to fill out his PIP (Personal Independence Payment, replacement for Disability Living Allowance) form. He’s finding it hard to come to terms with the fact he’s disabled, and the form highlights all his difficulties and not his abilities. Because we both struggle with communication we’ve been unable to ask anyone for help filling in the form and it’s unlikely we’ll be able to in such short notice now, but luckily we can both speak DWP. I’ll be trying to fill in the bit from “someone who knows you well” (typing it, obviously) as it now specifies a family member or a friend. When I was less ill I was able to help Johan more but now I’m too ill to even do prompting for food and stuff, and it’s showing in the fact we’re not really coping. What isn’t helping is the care agency is messing us around, not responding to my emails and it’s making us both very anxious. It means it’ll be even more important to go on direct payments if I can find someone to help me open a bank account for it.

When I’ve been up to it I’ve been playing some World of Warcraft. I’m mostly concentrating on some gold making (learning how to be a capitalist- in real life I’m more socialist but then again, in real life I don’t go around committing genocide or casting magic either) and levelling my night elf druid Myranda. She’s currently level 67 in Outland and I still don’t really know how to play her, but pressing random buttons seems to work (I’m a Boomkin). I love flight form though so sometimes I just play at flying really high, falling and then turning into a bird just before I hit the ground. One night when I couldn’t sleep a random level 90 decided to take me and another person through dungeons as they were bored, and that was a lot of fun. I’ve tried playing on Danni but I don’t have the concentration for high level stuff really, and the same applies to playing other games. I’m glad I can do what I can though πŸ™‚

I’ve got lots planned for the future. There are lots of films I want to watch, ebooks I want to read, TV shows to catch up on. When I get a hoist (currently under discussion) I’m wanting a shower and to be able to work on being in my wheelchair so I can go into the living room and maybe go out. I also have an appointment with a gynaecologist soon to try and sort my coil out, which will be fun. When I improve I have friends and relatives to visit, places to go, and penguins to see. I have a couple of jobs that I really want to do, I want to return to education (either part time or full time) and I want to help people as a thank you to all the people who have helped me.

In the more immediate future I want to work on my bedroom a bit. It’s a bit of a mess and I’d like to get it more organised and sorted, and that would mean that we’d know where everything should go as well. I want to put the old bookcase (with all but one shelf missing) behind the door and use it for storing pads and related stuff. I’d like to get a bookcase with shelves to put some of my books on roughly where that bookcase is now. The stuff I use occasionally I want to put in a big box I have, and all paperwork I’d like to put in some boxes so we know where it all is (I used to have it all organised by type and date but I’m not able to do that now). I also have pictures, posters and penguin bunting to put up to decorate it a bit until I’m well enough to have it painted. Johan needs to have his room sorted so he can have the double bed in there and we’ll be getting a daybed frame to use the single bed mattress with for the living room (will be good for me when I can get in there, and for people staying over. It’s a very comfy mattress so I don’t want to get rid of it).

While typing most of this yesterday I got a sudden feeling of being incredibly ill, with chest pain, a sense of impending doom (I felt like I was dying even though I knew logically I wasn’t), nausea, dizziness and difficulty being able to concentrate on anything else. I ended up falling asleep thanks to the cyclizine Johan gave me to deal with the nausea bit, and I’m a lot better now (by my standards). That is something I never want to experience again as it was very scary and if I’d not been feeling so terrible I’d have asked for a doctor (I felt too ill to deal with anyone so seeing a doctor wouldn’t have been a good idea- it makes sense to me at least). I didn’t tell Johan quite how bad it was yesterday as I wasn’t able to verbalise it, and he told me off this morning for not doing so. I don’t know why it happened but I really hope it was a one off thing.