Oct. 11th, 2012 10:59 am
kestrell: (Default)
Bored now. I would think it might just be me, but I'm also getting tired of seeing the MediClime alerts telling me"Your migraine is more likely to be aggravated in the next 24 hours. Please follow your doctor's advice as closely as possible."
I've given up chocolate, Coke, and real coffee. I'm now considering creating a goddess of migraines with a giant nail through her head and sacrificing chickens to her.
kestrell: (Default)
I started wondering about this last winter and could find no information whatsoever, so I'm posting to LJ/DW in hopes of mining the group intelligence. Considering the lack of info, *knowledgeable* guesses are welcome.

Can lightboxes benefit blind people? Specifically, someone like me, with prosthetic eyes and thus zero light perception?

I realize that the emphasis is always on light being perceived through the eyes but, as light is also absorbed through the skin, I am wondering if this could also have a beneficial effect. Is this idea absolutely ridiculous, or is it just that no one has bothered doing a study with blind people? Should I just go ahead and conduct my own experiment? (Okay, I'm pretty certain that the mad scientists are all for doing my own experiments.)
kestrell: (Default)
In this year of learning to live with menopause/depression/the season of the ongoing migraine, I have to keep reminding myself that being relaxed requires attention, as I tend to slip back into stressful ways if I stop paying attention, so
this post from LifeHacker
is full of useful reminders


Sep. 3rd, 2010 10:05 am
kestrell: (Default)
Those of you who know me in meatspace have probably heard me discuss the concept of helping, but I just thought I would revisit it briefly because I just moments ago experienced an incident of someone adding aggravation to my life due to his helping.

I was calling in a prescription refill, specifically, my birth control pills, which I have been taking on a three week cycle instead of the normal four, because skipping the fourth week significantly reduces the week of migraines I was getting during menstruation. The pharmacist I had today insisted that I was taking the pills incorrectly and, after my explanation, then insisted that the pharmacy quote could not unquote fill the prescription and I would have to get the doctor to make out a new one.

Now, obviously the pharmacy has been filling this prescription just fine for months now, so the quote could not unquote was suspect. I expect what he meant was the insurance company would not pay for it, which I knew already and have usually just said, fine, I'll pay for it as it is not a horrifically expensive prescription, but the pharmacist would not let me get a word in, until finally I got, shall we say, more emphatic.

So, to review:

1. Help should be treated like any other four-letter word referring to a shared behavior, namely, it should be safe, sane, and consentual.

2. In offering information or explanations, try to use the correct words to reflect what you actually mean. In my experience, the phrase "cannot" is frequently used incorrectly by people who are not in full possession of actual facts. Maybe it's a geek thing, but when people tell me "can't" I usually immediately question the statement, as what most people seem to actually mean is "I don't know."
kestrell: (Default)
The Web page claims that there should be plenty of flu shots in supply but requests that people RSVP by e-mail or Facebook, read about it at
kestrell: (Default)
My surgery yesterday went well so I'm back home, but mostly just fit for lots of sleeping and reading.

From The Green Man Review
comes sad news regarding Kage Baker.

Bleak midwinter indeed.

Green Man Review also includes a piece I wrote about the Lovecraftian tea party I hosted back in October, although some of the details and identities have been changed or even lavishly embroidered.

It couldn't have been any more atmospheric, for on that deep winter afternoon a dirty leaden light filtered feebly through the high narrow windows of the
Robert Graves Memorial Reading Room. Outside one could hear the 'Winter wind as it broke loose and raged about like a recently-escaped jinn woken from a centuries-long dream of vengeance, tearing down curtains of cold rain while all the leafless trees bent low as if they were nothing more than trembling supplicants before a mad and merciless lord.
continued at


Jan. 14th, 2010 04:36 pm
kestrell: (Default)
I had a list of things I wanted to do to get ready for Arisia this weekend but after coming home from my doctor visit this morning, my body decided it just wanted to nap. I'm hoping that this is its idea of planning ahead.

My GP recommended that, in order to help boost my immune system, I try taking Vitamin D and some Omega-3 in the form of flax seed oil capsules, so I am going to be doing that in hopes of not getting sick again before the surgery.

I'm also a little worried about LJ user selkiechick who found more things to transcribe into braille, like the souvenir book which I really appreciate but am worried that by the end fot he weekend she willhave found a way to turn the entire Con Com into tactile braille or something similar. There are these nifty braille talking tablets which not only offer the braille interface but pre-recorded sound bites that are activated when you touch certain locations on the braille pictures. Yes, that would be the interface to choose...
kestrell: (Default)
My eye surgery has been scheduled for Wed. Jan. 27. I'll be having the silicone implant and transplanted sclera removed, and once healed, will be getting a larger, orbital prosthetic for my right eye.

Also note that I'm listed as Alicia Verlager in the Arisia program.

Sat. Noon-1 Accessible tour of the Art Show
We meet at the art show for descriptions andopportunities to touch some of the art.

Saturday, 3PM
[168] Women Writers in Horror
Arisia schedule below cut )
kestrell: (Default)
So I havethis bad cold with a painful cough and, for some reason, insomnia that defies even sleeping pills, which doesn't make me any happier. I have an entire cookie tin full of various prescription and over-the-counter drugs and bags of cough drops, along with a collection of Alan Moore CDs (there's a reason for that).

My voice keeps going in and out but I've ordered more of the magic pralines
http://kestrell.livejournal.com/552277.html .

So, although I am hoping to be well enough to go to Arisia, I expect I will be pretty low energy, so I'm trying to find a ride to get to the hotel on Friday around noonish. I realize that getting to Cambridge by way of Dorchester is not exactly intuitive, but I would be willing to chip in with gas money if someone would be willing to give me a ride to the con.
kestrell: (Default)
And it even seems to be my own voice, not that of a dirty old man, hurray!

Special thanks go to the givers fo the magic pralines and my sweetie, who spent a week interpreting my whispers and gestures.
kestrell: (Default)
Thank you to L and R. for the real pralines--I had one last night and by this morning, I could speak at about volume 2, and by lunchtime today I could speak a little louder, so I think the pralines actually are making me better. And they are tremendously yummy.

I can't exactly say that *my* voice is coming back, though, as it seems to be the voice of a dirty old man. Christmas dinner could be very entertaining. (I once went to a "Come as you aren't" party as a dirty old man and it was lots of fun.)

What makes these pralines different from the Trader Joe's pralines: Trader Joe pralines are whole nuts covered in brown sugar and heated at a high temperature until the sugar candies, like the honey-roasted nuts one gets from the Mr. Nuts truck in Boston Commons.

Real pralines look kind of like peanut brittle, squares a couple of inches across with chopped nuts in them. The squares are not brittle, though, but gooey and creamy, not quite as dense as fudge.
Here is the place the real pralines came from
kestrell: (Default)
I started the new cycle of Prednisone and antibiotics yesterday but, while the inflammation around the eye began to clear up almost immediately, there was no effect on the sweats or the headache (it's actually eye pain but I experience it as a headache focused approximately behind the brow bone of my right eye), and I woke up at 12:30 a.m. this morning and was unable to get back to sleep with the headache, although I kept popping Ibuprofen. After Alex left for work, the headache seemed to get worse and I started to lose my voice, which made trying to contact my GP kind of challenging (my eye surgeon has gone on vacation, and is in Burlington, and she said for any furhter issues I should contact my GP).

It was about this time that I realized that the level of eye pain was beginning to bring back memories of my glaucoma days. It wasn't quite as bad as an acute angle glaucoma episode but, short of having blunt iron spikes driven into your forebrain through your eye sockets, what is? So I made the decision to stop telling myself it wasn't that bad and went over to Urgent Care.

It was my lucky day: there was a floorshow of hyper preschooler boy children and their dads who were stepping up to do their best to keep the high-level explosives contained. We were there for about two hours and the floorshow never let up. I was also pretty impressed by the boy who kept doing something that made him go "Ow!" pause, and then do it again with the accompanying "Ow!" Yes, I feel certain that this child will grow up to be someone who says things like "I knew the gasoline fight had gone wrong when..."

So I got into triage and they initially tried to tell me that I should go to Burlington to see my surgeon, and I got to explain at volume 2 with occasional drops to 1 that she had gone on vacation, she told me if I had any issues to go to my GP, and what I didn't say was that I had no intention of spending 2 hours each way on the MBTA while in pain. More waiting, more doctors, more explaining about how my surgeon was pretty certain my symptoms were not part of a systemic infection, and I got a diagnosis of some sort of virus and a script for Vicodin plus a lecture about how the Prednisone seriously lowered my immune system and I should just stay home as long as I was on it. It's also no good for me to get the swine flu vaccine because my system is already working hard, but I should gthink about getting the next round in the spring. For sheer information and an amazingly consistent pleasant attitude, the Codman Square health clinic is pretty outstadning.

I came home, had a round of drugs, and am now going to try to find a zombie movie to stream on NetFlix (as far as I am concerned, a year's subscription to NetFlix justifies itself just for being around on those days when you're really too sick to even read). I don't even like zombie movies usually, but today I feel zombies are just my speed. Zombieland is not available on DVD yet but maybe Quarantine?
kestrell: (Default)
My third round of steroids and antibiotics ended this weekend and all of my post-op infection issues pretty much immediately returned, but now more noticeably because for ten days I felt better than I had for a couple of months. Nothing is working on the headache and I am also running a fever.

My surgeon called me back a little while ago and put me on the same Prednisone and antibiotics combo that I was most recently taking for the next couple of weeks, and then said what we pretty much already figured out, that the sclera transplant was probably being rejected and that the entire orbital sphere--which is where these issues originally started--would probably have to be removed. That would leave two options. One is that the original sphere would be replaced by a much larger prosthetic, not the little bit of half-shell plastic which I have always had.

There is, however, a second option, and I want to say up front that my original reaction was that there was no way I was going to tell everyone this. I want my readers to know, however, that I am seriously committed to documenting the ins and outs of the prosthetic/cyborg lifestyle, even when it pains me to do so.

So the second option is that the surgeon takes some of the patient's own tissue and uses it for the orbital transplant. This tissue is typically taken from the patient's buttock. I'm a bit vague about the rest of the details because the surgeon was calling me from between surgeries and didn't have time to say more, but it does give one a lot to ponder.

And in case one craves more medical wizardry and tales of body parts scrambled interchangeably, here's a post about a blind man whose vision was restored using what I refer to as his "eye-tooth."

Yes, indeed, I should have some really good material about disability and technology for those Arisia panels I am going to be on. I wonder if I can find someone to turn my old prosthetic eye into a steampunk keychain?
kestrell: (Default)
For the past couple of weeks I've caught myself occasionally singing "All I want for Christmas is my right eyeball" (yes, I *know* it doesn't scan, get over it) but, after spending yesterday at the Lahey Clinic, it seems that is not going to happen. The surgeon did not do that little procedure
(squicky details in this post http://kestrell.livejournal.com/541426.html ) but I am on antibiotics and the steroid Prednisone

Prednisone has some of these side effects (I was already experiencing the side effects before I looked them up and confirmed them):
• sleep problems (insomnia)
• dizziness or lightheadedness
• flushing of face or cheeks
• increased sweating
• sensation of spinning

The silver lining here is that I am not overly worried about
• problems with your vision .

I do feel like thinking is kind of hard though, so I'm really glad I finished most of my holiday shopping earlier this week so I won't be stressing about that (and perhaps Father Cthulhu will bring me some cool eyepatches for Christmas). Also, LJ user issendai was kind enough to give us a ride to the clinic, which made the day a lot less gloomy, and the weather! I spent most of the time outside just repeating, "Wow!" and I really felt like it was a small mercy considering the monsoon that was going on yesterday morning.

After the appointment, issendai and Alexx took me to Trader Joe's, my first time, and yes, I believe that baked goods are the world's best pick-me-up, along with people who will spend an hour describing all the goodies at Trader Joe's (thank you to the incredibly nice employee who works at Trader Joe's and seemed dedicated to trying to find me all sorts of delicacies to tempt me). Let me just say, prahlines are kestrell crack (but, although the Trader Joe variety is really good, I think real pralines still need to be made by someone who has lived in the South).

The non-silver lining aspect of yesterday's visit is that the eye issues are not going to be resolved before Arisia, and at my next appointment I will, at the very least, be having another in-office procedure, and possibly have to discuss more drastic measures, like whether my immune system is rejecting the sklera transplant http://kestrell.livejournal.com/515040.html .
Also, I'm less certain that I will be up for attending Arisia and won't have a clear idea until my appt. on Jan. 7.

Now I need to go eat something so I can take another pill.
kestrell: (Default)
Yesterday I was all psyched for my appointment with the ocularist who makes my prosthetic eyes
and as soon as I sat down in the chair I announced "I want to change my eye colour!" and he said, "Why am I not surprise? I was saying earlier 'She'll probably want green eyes or reptile eyes or something,' " to which I replied "Well, only one green eye, the right one, but the left eye should be blue."

Into the resoudning silence I began to explain about Delirium which, okay, I can't blame him, that part is kind of hard to absorb all at once, but then he started to argue that mismatched eyes reflected badly on the ocularist so I countered with an explanation of fandom and how mismatched eyes were far from the weirdest thing going on there and he should really familiarize himself with the "Pimp my gimp" movement (man, I hate it when the humans try to stomp on my cyborg dreams).

But it all turned out to be moot.

It seems the ongoing eye problem I have been having with the eye healing (more about the squicky details below the cut) mean that I couldn't really have an impression made of the eye socket, which was the entire purpose of the appointment.

Instead I get to go back to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington and have another eye procedure done, and for some reason this is really depressing me. It's not life-threatening or even horrifically painful but it is going to mean another month or so of healing and so on and of course, my head hurts after being poked in the eye a few more times.

squicky details about eye surgery )
kestrell: (Default)
That's basically what my surgeon had to say, and she would not have been there by the time I made the two-hour trip anyway, so I'm much calmer now. I still wish it hadn't taken me three calls to her service and an hour and a half to get that opinion, though.

Certain sick individuals who shall remain nameless feel I should have waited on the bleeding from the eyes thing until Halloween proper, but you know I get so impatient...
kestrell: (Default)
I hate that.

Some people aspire to gothness, others have gothness thrust upon them.

I wouldn't be so freaked except that every medical person who says she will call me back has disappeared into a dark void, never to be heard of again, and it's been an hour. [profile] alexx_kay is coming home from work and we'll probably be taking the trek to Burlington, because local E/Rs tend to be kind of clueless when it comes to specialized eye emergencies.

kestrell: (Default)
Me and the house Internet connection spent most of the summer being pretty flaky, and I was wondering which of us would shape up first, but it turns out, not surprisingly perhaps, that we both managed to pull ourselves together at about the same time. The Internet access has been upgraded to a T1, so vroom!

My wisdom teeth extraction on Monday went pretty well, making my dentist happier than I thought any dental procedure could (but it's nice to see he is so enthusiastic about his work), and I had a post-op checkup with my eye surgeon on Thursday and get to spend one more month with an eye patch then I get my own upgrade to new eyeballs. Green? Purple? Purple? Green? We'll see.

I rinsed out tie-dyed shirts last night, making a turquoise tunic-style one for myself and a two shades of blue one for LJ user Alexx. Today I finish up the Loch Ness bedspread and the denim jacket, which were more work-intensive than I had realized when I decided to try those two projects. I did the bedspread in twilight colors, alternating stripes of dark purple, lavender, cerulean blue, and turquoise (the idea was to simulate the effect of a woven Native American blanket). We'll see how that actually turns out.

Okay, I know other people are looking outside their windows and groaning that autumn is here, but I actually really like this weather. Perhaps it is a holdover from when I was so light-sensitive from glaucoma, but really, kudos to the elementals for the nice work today.
kestrell: (Default)
I will be having my
eye surgery
tomorrow at 1 PM somewhere in Peabody, so I expect to be offline for a while. Just in time, too, because the headache has escalated enough that I had to take the serious drugs twice already today. Yesterday I had the medical history questionairre with a nurse and when she got to the part about whether I use recreational drugs I just snorted, because I actually can't wait to get off the drugs. I can't believe people pay good money in order to be this wasted. I would like my brain back now, please.


kestrell: (Default)

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