Day 20 – Cuddles

Tuesday night I decided I wanted an alcoholic drink. I’m lucky in that I don’t have alcohol intolerance any more, and alcohol reduces my pain, anxiety and muscle spasms. If I didn’t have a family history of alcoholism and didn’t have to stop my painkillers to drink I might have it more often, but I keep it as an occasional treat. I also get quite giggly and it’s a bit harder to judge if I’m overdoing it.

Being in less pain meant I could cope more with touch, and I ended up having lots of cuddles with Johan. Since I’m normally in too much pain for even a short hug, this was very much wanted. Not being able to have hugs very often is one of the hardest parts of being this ill.

I ended up sleeping most of Wednesday, only waking up when my digestive system did. Which is fine when there’s someone here, not so much when I have to wait 90 minutes for someone to come help me. Being incontinent sucks sometimes.

Using a toilet again is one of the goals I’ve had on my list for several years now but I’ve yet to manage it. Silly body not liking being upright and incontinence meaning I don’t get enough warning to use the shower chair as a commode.

Otherwise sleep is good. Not being able to choose the times of it sucks a bit, and I feel horrendous when I wake up, but not sleeping means less cope and more worse symptoms. It did mean this blog post was late but I don’t mind that.

Day 19 – Minecraft Skins

Had a better day today. Had diet cola to give me a bit of a boost and it helped massively with getting rid of zombie brain mode. I like caffeine, just don’t want to get to the point where I’m dependent on it as I already have a bad enough headache without adding another.

Someone from the opticians came out with some purple frames for me to try and I was able to find ones I liked for both my normal glasses and sunglasses, so that is good. I should get them in a week or two. I’m looking forward to being able to see properly again!

There were workers outside finishing off deholing the hole. We think they’re done as there are no longer barriers, though the new pavement surface was still steaming when Johan took the photo. I managed to get my headphones on and listened to some music so the noise didn’t affect me too badly (yay for being well enough to listen to music!).

Spoke to Sammie on and off after she finished school. She is much happier than she was yesterday which I’m glad of. For the past few weeks she’s been working on some trans flag based skins for Minecraft and today she finished them! I promised I’d share them with the world as I think they’re awesome. (Sammie isn’t trans, she’s just very supportive of her trans friends and family.) There are boy, girl and non binary options with different skin tones and for both 3 and 4 pixel models. I’m really proud of her 🙂

Link: Trans Minecraft Skins

Day 18 – Something Goes Here

Brain is zombie. My nap yesterday turned into a full sleep so this is late. Progress was made on filling in the hole, which is good but the noise was exhausting. Silly body getting worse from noise.

Tried free from Tiffin I got from Morrisons as it was the only one they had. The texture is slightly off but it’s still really nice. I’d get it again. I don’t need free from foods as luckily I’m fine with dairy and gluten and stuff (or at least it’s no worse than eating anything else) but it is good that there are tasty options.

This blog post was kinda pointless but it’s still Monday in Hawaii so it’s not too late.

Day 17 – 20 More Random Questions

I spent most of the day asleep and my brain is mushy so answering more questions today. As I’m on my laptop it’s doing the list differently from yesterday.

  1. Are you a dog person or cat person? – Cat. I really like dogs but I love cats more. If Johan wasn’t severely allergic to them I’d be asking the council for special permission to have a cat (as we have a communal entrance we’re not usually allowed cats or dogs here).
  2. Are you a fan of any sports team? – I like watching football and cricket. For football, I support England, Iceland, Liverpool FC, AFC Wimbledon and Gateshead FC (both men’s and women’s). For cricket, I support England, Iceland, Durham and Lancashire. I’m s member of the Dons Trust (owners of AFC Wimbledon) and I donated towards the Iceland cricket team.
  3. Are you a good cook? – Before I got ill, I was pretty scared of cooking, because it tended to involve hot and sharp things that could hurt (and frequently did because I’m clumsy). I did make an okay chicken and mushroom risotto and roast dinner though, and I miss my orange soup (carrot, butternut squash and sweet potato).
  4. Are you an early adopter or late adopter? – I used to be an early adopter, getting the first Android phone (T-Mobile G1 in the UK) and often running beta or even alpha versions of software. More recently I’ve been content waiting a little bit before getting things. I only got WhatsApp a few days ago.
  5. What is good about how you are living your life right now? – I’m mostly happy. Having lived for over a decade with severe depression, I didn’t think it would ever be possible for me to be happy again. I also have some amazing family and friends that make life awesome.
  6. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? – Not having Severe ME would be good. Either that or my anxiety/panic attacks. They suck.
  7. Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had? – At school, Mrs Gregory, my year head and French teacher at my second secondary school. She believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. In college, my tutor Louise, who basically saved my life at one point.
  8. Who is the first person you message when something exciting happens? – This is the purpose of the group chat with Johan and Sammie. For most things, I want them to know at the same time.
  9. Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows? – Yes.
  10. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? – Yes. So can Sammie. Johan can’t, so he calls me a show off when I do so 😛
  11. Can you whistle? – Sometimes. I used to be able to be able to reliably but not so much since I got really ill. I can no longer whistle with my fingers.
  12. Do you remember your dreams? – As I wake up multiple times during sleep, I usually end up remembering a couple of them. I’d rather not when they’re nightmares.
  13. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away? – I save special ones in my memory box. I have a couple of cards that I put on the wall as they’re so pretty.
  14. Do you sleep with the lights on or off? – Off. I also wear an eye mask so the light from elsewhere doesn’t bother me. I press a button on my tablet and it starts my sleep tracking and turns the lights off at the same time, which is awesome.
  15. Do you have a garden? – Technically yes. We share one with the other flats in the block. Unfortunately there are steps to it, so I’ve only seen it once (from the doorway) and never been in it.
  16. Do you have any allergies? – Yup. Hay fever was the first I noticed as a teen. Then I became allergic to amoxicillin, citalopram (an antidepressant) and plasters. I also have random reactions to various other things like going outside, many perfumes, and at least one type of food (possibly green bell peppers but I’m not 100% sure). I have intolerances to some medication (not allergic but side effects are unbearable) including paracetamol, codeine and oramorph. I suspect there’s something fishy going on with my immune system.
  17. Do you carry a donor card? – I don’t have a physical card any longer, but I have signed up to the donor register and made it clear to Johan that I want anything that’s usable to be donated. I used to carry one as a child.
  18. Do you have a best friend, if so, then who? – Johan. I’m very happy to be married to my best friend 🙂 I also have a small group of very good friends who I know I can turn to if needed. I’m very lucky.
  19. What is something that amazes you? – Many things. The universe. New discoveries. People’s capacity to love and help others. That we exist.
  20. What is at the top of your bucket list? – This is a hard question, as there are so many things I want to do. Going on holiday with Johan and Sammie would be pretty high. On the more extravagant side I want to go on a plane and see penguins in the wild. If I could be healthy or even reliably able to get out of bed, that would be amazing.

Day 16 – 20 Random Questions

Back when blogs were bigger (mostly before everyone was on Facebook), there used to be these blog surveys that would go around the various blog communities. I always enjoyed them, so I’m taking some I found by randomly googling (from and answering them here. As it’s my blog, I’m just picking some I want to answer.

1. What is your full name? – Danni Dominie Brennand.

2. What does your name mean? – Danni comes from Daniel, meaning God is my judge. Dominie comes from dominus, meaning lord or master, but this particular spelling can also mean a schoolmaster in Scots or a minister. Brennand comes from old English meaning burnt hand. I didn’t know that when I got married.

3. Are you named after anyone? – Not that I can remember. I think my mum just liked the name, but I could be wrong.

4. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? – I already did 🙂 My mum always wanted to call me Danni, but was told it wasn’t a proper name so I was baptised Danielle. I changed it via deed poll to Danni a few years ago. If I had to change it to something completely different, maybe Alex. I’d have gone with Sammie but I already used that for my daughter.

5. Where did you grow up? – I grew up in Liverpool. Despite years of trying, I never did manage a Scouse accent. Mine is best described as generic northern English. Interestingly, Sammie still sounds quite like me despite us not living together since she was three.

6. What would your parents have named you if you were assigned male at birth? – Bartholomew. I was born before the Simpsons came out so I think I had a lucky escape there.

7. What is your biggest accomplishment? – Surviving severe depression. I still have significant mental health issues with anxiety, panic attacks and flashbacks, but I now want to be alive. It took a lot of help from many awesome people and a decent amount of luck to be able to recover from it. I still sometimes wonder how I managed to survive and am now mostly happy.

8. What is your biggest fear? – Personal? Pain. To a ridiculous degree. I have many phobias all of which come down to being afraid of pain. I’m scared of needles, fire, boiling liquids, knives, ovens, falling, traffic and wasps among other things. The silly part is I live with constant severe pain and deal with it relatively okay, but I’m still scared of things that would be much less painful. I’m also scared of something bad happening to my loved ones, especially Sammie and Johan, but I think that’s more understandable.

9. What inspires you? – People, especially those I know, overcoming major obstacles to achieve their goals. I’m lucky to see examples of this frequently.

10. What is the most important thing in your life? – Silly answer? Penguins 🐧. Serious answer? Sammie and Johan.

11. What has required the most courage of you in your life so far? – Admitting that I was too ill to look after Sammie. I love her so much and wish that we could live together, but it’s better for her to be living with her grandparents. I’m really happy that I’m able to be a part of her life still via the internet and visits.

12. What is your favourite drink? – Hot chocolate with whipped cream, sprinkles and marshmallows.

13. What are your favourite foods? – Chocolate, bananas, chicken and sweet potato. I’ve had various combinations but not all in one dish before. When I’m able to cook again I’ll have to do some experimenting.

14. What is your favourite holiday destination? Of the places I’ve been, Talhenbont Hall in North Wales. It’s beautiful and I have some great memories from there. I’d love to go back some day.

15. What is your favourite type of clothing? – Comfortable, preferably purple and with penguins on. When I could stand I loved spinny skirts. I also like a shirt and tie. I mostly wear t-shirts or pyjamas now, being in bed nearly all the time.

16. What is your favourite way to pass time? Playing a game in the company of my favourite people. We don’t need to be talking or even interacting (though that’s still great), just being comfortable together in the same space.

17. What was your favourite subject in school? IT. I was good at it, I loved using computers and there was very little handwriting involved.

18. What was your least favourite subject in school? For most of it, art. I was terrible at it and could never get it how I wanted. I had an awesome teacher for it in year 9 though so it was fun that year.

19. What was your favourite TV show when you were a child? – This changed depending on age. Some I remember include Rainbow, Wacaday, The Queen’s Nose, The Demon Headmaster, The Worst Witch, Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. When I was 13 I got really into Star Trek and that’s still one of my favourite shows.

20. Are you scared of heights? – Nope. I’m afraid of falling, because it’ll hurt, but so long as I’m strapped in or safe then I really like them. It used to surprise people when I was younger that I had no problems with tall rollercoasters or climbing as I was so scared and anxious otherwise.