Merry Christmas!

To all my readers and friends, Merry Christmas! Or if you celebrate something else or nothing at all, I hope you have a wonderful day!

I’ve had an awesome Christmas so far. Yesterday Sammie came over for a bit to pick up her presents, which meant real life hugs and squishes were had 😀 Best present ever!

Today I’ve been completely spoilt with masses of presents, from lots of family and friends. I’ve been unable to get all mine to others sorted in time for Christmas this year, but I’m hoping to get those I’ve missed within the next week or two. My favourite was a gift from Sammie- she made a ornament of us two as penguins, me being purple and her being pink, hugging each other. Me being a purple penguin and her being a pink penguin has been our thing now for many years, so it means a lot to me. She also got me new penguin bedding and a matching cushion which are super cute 😀

Johan had bought me a telly for Christmas a few months ago, but surprised me with a Pingu ball (Hafu Pingu rather than telly Pingu), and Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle soft toys. My sister Meggy had visited a few days ago and she gave me an amazing super soft penguin which I love to stroke. My other sister Becca gave me some awesome penguin pyjamas and penguin stickers. Esther gave me some penguin fuzzy socks (I love fuzzy socks!) and an awesome penguin Christmas jumper. Other presents included penguin stationery, a loom band penguin and money/gift cards. Very very spoilt Danni 😀

I also saw my brother on Christmas Eve, which was a lovely surprise. I’ve spent most of the day on Skype with Sammie, sometimes playing Minecraft (with her and her friend), sometimes just talking. I’m so grateful that I’m well enough to speak to her, be on my computer, listen to a few Christmas carols and songs and hopefully later have Christmas dinner. I even managed to speak to my mum-in-law on the phone for a minute. Now is time to rest and hopefully I’ll continue to have a good day 😀

Vampires

Less sad today. Still don’t know why I was yesterday but never mind. Today was an okay day, though had an unexpected visit from someone wanting some blood, sent by my GP. I’m not entirely sure why but went through with it.

There is so much I want to do in WoW and I’ve not enough time/energy to do it all 😛 I’m so grateful I’ve been able to get on my computer so often though. I also played some Minecraft with Sammie and her friend which was fun, even though my sound sensitivity made it more draining than usual. There’s My Little Pony comics on Humble Bundle I might have to get as presents.

Fed up of the pain from eating. Is so tempting to stop completely, but I’m already malnourished and losing weight so it’s a bad idea. Today it was plain chicken breast and salad that set it off. Yesterday a sandwich (and later on a wrap). The day before, sweet potato chips and a milkshake. Pretty much anything that isn’t pure sugar and that’s dodgy too. I know wholewheat and really fibrous stuff is the worst, as it just clogs me up rather than helping things along, plus the pain is worse. Yet they include some of my favourite foods 🙁 When I’m well enough I should probably get some tests done to find out what’s going on, as even with the domperidone I’m still bringing up bacon from yesterday’s wrap.

What’s it like to be pain-free? I don’t remember. I’ve been in pain of varying amounts since I was 5 with no real let up. Maybe earlier, but my memory is fuzzy from before then. When I was a kid it was mostly reflux and joint pain (dismissed as growing pains, though they didn’t stop after I stopped growing). I didn’t even know it wasn’t normal. Now I’m just relieved I can get it down to bearable levels with tramadol. Dunno what I’d do if I couldn’t, other than be lying in bed unable to do what I can now. I’m grateful I can do what I can.

Penguins are awesome. Saw baby penguins on Facebook today, sent by a friend. They took away the rest of the sad from last night. Sometimes I just need to remember to be more like a penguin. Noop Noop!

Bedrooms and WoW and Stuff

A small bedroom with a single bed in the corner with purple bedding, a clothes rail with hanging shelves, and boxes with items in. There is clear floor space in the middle.
A small bedroom with a single bed in the corner with purple bedding, a clothes rail with hanging shelves, and boxes with items in. There is clear floor space in the middle.

I’m now nocturnal, thanks to sleeping most of the day on Thursday when I was meant to be going to the hospital. I’m not concerned about this, as otherwise I’m not doing too bad for me (so long as I don’t move, I’m not touched, and I don’t eat) and I figure it’ll sort itself out in its own time.

For Valentine’s Day I kicked Johan out so that Becca and I could sort out his bedroom. He went to see The Lego Movie (he really enjoyed it and said it was very good). Becca brought all the boxes in Johan’s room into mine so I could work out where things go, and after a lot of work (mostly by Becca) we got it sorted. When she’d finished, she made the bed, put Patricia (the penguin) and Charlie (the Jedi monkey) on top and took a photo so I could see.

Johan was very happy with this, and we decided that on Saturday he’d replace the single bed with the double bed I used to use, as there was now room to do that. He also moved the remaining boxes into the cupboard, dismantled the clothes rail, moved in the spare computer desk, and a spare kitchen cupboard we happened to have for his clothes (until we get him a chest of drawers). He’s now wanting to put his posters up (we can’t paint until I’m less sensitive to smells or able to disappear for a few days) so it feels more like his space. Since he’d been sleeping in what was effectively a storage room for two years, I’m hoping he enjoys having a proper room (and having the double bed- he’s yet to tell me which is more comfortable though).

The same small bedroom, mostly filled with a double bed with purple bedding. There is a computer desk in the corner, with a computer chair in front of it. There is very little space between the two.
The same small bedroom, mostly filled with a double bed with purple bedding. There is a computer desk in the corner, with a computer chair in front of it. There is very little space between the two.

This means our flat is getting closer to being sorted. Now the living room is the main room that needs working on, but that shouldn’t be as difficult as Johan’s was. We have a lot of boxes to sort through and I need to get some bookcases for all my books. The plan is to get a daybed frame and use that with the (now spare) single mattress to replace the sofa, so that if we do have someone staying over they’ve got somewhere to sleep, and maybe I’ll be able to lie down in the living room when I’m doing better. This is mostly because we don’t otherwise have room for all three beds (my hospital bed, the double bed in Johan’s room and the single bed) and that mattress is really comfortable so I don’t want to get rid of it 😛 Our sofa is rarely used as such anyway (Johan spends all his time in his computer chair, and I’ll be in my wheelchair if I go through there) so having a daybed is a better idea. We’ll also be able to use bedding and cushions to make it purple 🙂

Becca went home yesterday (Sunday). I think she enjoyed her stay here, even though it included a lot of hard work. It was nice for us as well- having someone else to talk to and just be with for a few days was good, and she has a pretty good understanding of my needs so I didn’t have to worry about offending her or upsetting her if I needed some time alone. We have determined that she doesn’t want to do personal care as a job, but she’s able to provide mine okay so it meant Johan got a bit of a break, even while he was here.

Since I’m not doing too bad, I’ve been playing probably too much World of Warcraft. In the last day I’ve got my Pandaren Monk Dannila to level 90, and my first Battle Pet to level 25. After I wake up I’m going to be doing some recruit a friend levelling with Becca, which will be fun. We’re currently level 56 and I’m hoping we’ll reach level 60 so we can get flying (I’m supplying the gold, as my gold making is ticking over even though I’ve barely worked on it recently). Now I’ve got my first max level battle pet I’m finding it much easier overall, so it shouldn’t be too long before I have several of them. I’ve got a list of goals for World of Warcraft so I have some idea what to work on, especially as different things require different amounts of brain power/concentration (I’m not well enough to raid at the moment but pet battles and levelling are fine).

I still can’t watch My Little Pony, which is frustrating. Not sure why exactly but I just can’t seem to understand what’s going on. This is especially confuzzling as I’m able to play World of Warcraft okay. The same thing applied to trying to watch the Winter Olympics- I had no idea what was happening, though the figure skating I saw was pretty. I’m managing to read okay (even if I can’t remember it afterwards) so I’m going to guess it’s a problem with auditory processing being particularly bad at the moment. That’ll also fit with me struggling to understand Johan when he’s talking to me. I need to get the subtitles on for Ponies but that requires brain power and mine is limited 😛

I’m happy. Johan has been cheerful recently as well. I’ve done some productive things (cancelled Netflix and Unblock US as we’re not using them right now- we’ll resubscribe when we want them) and I’ve got a plan for other things that need doing so I can sort them when I’m next able to. Even though I might need to wait until June to see my consultant (that’s when my next appointment is- I’m hoping for a cancellation) I feel like I can get things sorted and moving forward now. I still have some problems (my body does not like me eating- doing so causes bloating, nausea and pain no matter what I’m having) and I can’t get out of bed yet, but they will get better.

Preparing For An Outing

Tomorrow morning I’m going out properly for the first time in quite a while. I have a hospital appointment to see my consultant at my GP’s request. It’s not at my local hospital, so it’ll be the furthest I’ve been in well over a year (it’s in Newcastle so not excessively far, luckily). As I’m not currently well enough to sit in my wheelchair at all (unfortunately I’m yet to have a repeat of the good days last month) I’m going by stretcher.

This is a big event, and requires a lot of preparation. I’ve selected a pair of pyjamas that are fancy enough to be worn as day clothes, yet are still comfortable. With them I’ll be wearing my arm warmers, as they’re short sleeved and my arms get cold (and in the event I need a blood test, they’re easy to take off). I’ll also be wearing some warm bed socks in an attempt to stop my feet freezing. I’ll need my tablet in case I lose speech and to communicate with the outside world if I’m up to it, and my phone for internet.

To accommodate my sensitivities, I’ll be taking my sunglasses, eye mask, ear plugs and ear defenders. Since too much light and noise make me much more ill I can’t be too careful there (hospitals are not known for being restful places so I try and avoid going there when possible). I’ve not found a decent way to deal with my sensitivity to smell so I’ll be taking an antiemetic and mints and hoping it isn’t too bad. Spare pads and wipes will come along just in case, and I’ll need my Hydrant to prevent dehydration. I’ve got a couple of blankets to try and deal with my temperature fluctuations, and will have a cushion or two to try and make it as comfortable as possible. I’ll also have my appointment letter, a short explanation of my communication needs/what to do in an emergency, and a list of important things to talk to the doctor about.

In a strange way, I’m looking forward to it. Getting out of bed is so rare for me that even going to the hospital is exciting. There’s a pretty good chance it’s going to make me crash afterwards (I’m currently so touch sensitive that even hugs make me more ill, and movement makes me feel horrendous) but we’re planning for that. I have lots of milkshakes and stuff in as my chewing is dodgy already and the easier ways to consume calories I have, the better. Seeing outside my bedroom will be fun (assuming I’m well enough to wear my sunglasses rather than needing my eyemask- otherwise I’ll just have to listen :P).

Since I last blogged I’ve seen the district nurse, who was the one to recommend getting stretcher transport when we explained my problems with trying to go by wheelchair, the CFS team who have shown Johan how to prevent my legs from unstraightening when I’m not well enough to straighten them myself and were reassuring me about stuff, the dietician who has prescribed some milk based supplements because of my new intolerance to heavy juice drinks (can have squash but not smoothies, proper fruit juice, fruit flavoured milkshakes or fortijuice) and my eating being really poor again, and the social worker who was doing a care review and she’s going to pass on our concerns for us (I’ve not been well enough to email the agency) and contact the doctor about getting the supplements. All those visits have meant I’m not doing as well as I was before them, but I’m not that bad for me.

Johan went to Manchester to see a ballet with Vicky, and my sister Becca came over to look after me, which was good. She’s also here now, originally to go see someone from the get back to work people (she’s in the work related activity group for ESA- they are doing the work related activity) and also just generally helping us out a bit. The break helped Johan a lot and he’s overall been more positive and able to cope. His trial for the raid team in World of Warcraft went well, so he’s now a permanent member and they’ve since got Siegecrafter Blackfuse Heroic down in 25 man, so there’s only two bosses left for them to kill. He’s really enjoying it and it’s good for him to have something to focus on There’s another discipline priest on the raid team that is his main competition, and he’s occasionally been beating him while less geared so that has made him very happy 🙂

I’ve been playing quite a bit of WoW, mostly doing my daily cooldowns, Timeless Isle dailies on Danni and levelling my lowbies. I invited Becca via Recruit a Friend and we’re levelling some characters together- she’s a warrior and I’m a hunter. I don’t know either class so that’s been interesting 🙂 For some reason I’ve not been able to watch television, even easy things like My Little Pony- my brain just can’t process it right now. I watched a little of the figure skating in the Olympics but I was absolutely exhausted afterwards, in a way I don’t get when I’m playing WoW. Danni is weird 😛 I’m so glad I’m still able to get on my computer and play WoW though, as it’s helping me cope with everything, especially since my digestive system really hates me now (recently it’s been taking between 12-36 hours for food to leave my stomach, which I know because I keep bringing it back up and it’s identifiable).

If I don’t blog for a bit then it’ll be because I’m recovering from the hospital appointment. I’m hoping it won’t take too long though as I have so many things I want to blog about as soon as I can 😀

Random Stuff I Can’t Think of a Title For

It feels strange that I’ll only be 26 for two more days. On Tuesday I turn 27. This is the first year I’ve felt like I’ve not really done anything of note- I got more ill and have spent more than half of it completely bed bound, but I’ve not been anywhere interesting, or done much.

Not sure what I’ll be doing on Tuesday. Have decided to get a nice takeaway that evening- either Lebanese or Sushi. I also want a birthday cake. Having a birthday cake is very important to me, especially since on my 16th birthday I didn’t get any (and I’d had two GCSE exams that day so my birthday being pretty much ignored didn’t make me feel better). Birthday cake is one of my favourite foods, especially with lots of nice icing.

I was torn between buying a new television or a new monitor (I’d saved a bit of money and got a refund from a cheap telly I tried and ended up not being as described- don’t say there’s a DVD drive if there isn’t!). I’ve ended up buying a 24″ Dell monitor, with a resolution of 1920×1200. I don’t like 16:9 resolution for my monitor (I need the extra height) and trying to find a 16:10 monitor these days is really difficult. This one has excellent reviews and I’ve bought a very good used version from Amazon to save about £40 on the new price, as it working is the most important thing to me. I’ll get the television in the future, probably around the time I get a Virgin box in my room (I’m well enough to watch stuff now and the streamed stuff isn’t quite as good as what I can get through the box). The new monitor will help me play World of Warcraft better and will make things a bit easier to see, so I’m looking forward to it. I could use the old monitor as a television temporarily (it has speakers and a HDMI connection) though I’m not sure I’ll be able to see it properly at a distance with my eyesight as screwy as it is.

My health has been variable. Had a good few days when it was really warm, then started going downhill a bit with lots of pain and mood swings and stuff. Was worried it was a relapse but it turns out I was about to start my period. First one that Johan has had to help me with (I have a Mirena coil which means I only rarely get periods- can go months or years without one) and he didn’t know what it was at first 😛 Luckily as I’m wearing pads anyway it wasn’t really any extra work for him. Seems to be nearly over so hopefully my body will settle down again, as I was enjoying not needing as many painkillers and hate being all moody.

The incontinence pads the NHS provided me aren’t absorbent enough. I think my urinary retention over the past year has stretched my bladder, as when it completely empties there is a lot of liquid- over a litre at a time. It’s rare I can get it to empty completely (have loads of issues with it) but when it does it was too much for those pads to deal with. Luckily I still have plenty of the ones I bought myself which can handle my bladder emptying, so am using them again until it’s sorted. Unfortunately my carer wasn’t able to explain to the district nurses the situation properly (I said we needed to change for more absorbent ones- she said I wanted to order more), so the district nurse said we’d contacted the wrong people and that I need another assessment as I think she didn’t know I’d just had one) so I’m going to ask the GP to sort it, if I ever see her.

It’s frustrating when I word things very carefully to make sure what I need is really clear and then people reword it to something that doesn’t mean the same thing at all. Happens all the time and means things end up harder than they should be. I’m not blaming the carer for this- she didn’t know that her wording wouldn’t work or that it was an issue for me, but it’s still frustrating anyway.

I have finished playing Katawa Shoujo (a romance visual novel set in a school for the disabled in Japan). My favourite route was probably Hanako’s, though I enjoyed all of them except maybe Shizune’s. Shizune is too manipulative and it brought up some bad memories. I sometimes got really frustrated with Hisao, the main character, as he often acted in ways that were too different from how I’d act. It was really enjoyable and I liked it a lot. It does contain sex scenes but they can be turned off (I still wouldn’t recommend it for kids though). I thought the portrayal of disability was pretty realistic, and I related a lot to Hanako, Rin and Emi (I have aspects of all of them, though Rin thinks closest to how I do).

I’ve also caught up with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I enjoyed season 3, but felt the ending was too rushed and confusing. It should have been split into two episodes. I don’t mind the outcome too much, but would have preferred more explanation. I’m interested in Equestria Girls which is coming out today in the US, so might have to see that when I can.

Still nothing from the OT or a social worker yet. I’m frustrated that I’m doing so well in some ways, but I’m stuck in bed because I’m waiting for an assessment. It’s not safe for me to transfer without a hoist and I’ve fallen too many times now to risk it again. I also want to rearrange my powerchair assessment but I can’t do that until I know when I’ll be able to get out of bed again.

My hair is annoying me. It’s a few inches long now and sticks out everywhere. I can’t get it to behave. I think I want to shave it all off as I much preferred it shorter and I’m still not able to look after it properly (touch makes me really ill). My noise sensitivity isn’t as bad now and I can be more upright than before so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get it done soon if I wear earplugs and things.

We watched the Sony presentation at E3 online, and have decided to get a Playstation 4. Johan has put in a preorder and I’ll be buying it for his Christmas/birthday present. It looks really good, and the price is lower than we were expecting. It’s the first console we’ve been so impressed by we want it as soon as it comes out. Will mean a bit of saving but not too much and it’ll be easily doable. Being bed bound has its uses. (The main reason I don’t just buy a hoist and things is I don’t know what ones to get without an assessment first- I’d be quite happy to buy what I need if I knew what it was I was meant to be getting. There’s also the problem of sorting out maintenance and stuff like that, where if I stick with NHS or Social Services they are responsible for it all.)

Hopefully I’ll hear something from someone soon. I’m starting to get bored in bed- I have been here nearly constantly since November so I think that’s understandable. If it does look like it’ll be loads longer then getting a television and things will at least make it more bearable. I’m happy that I’m nowhere near as ill as I have been- severe ME beats very severe ME any day 😛

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