Geeking by in May & June

Geeking by in May & June

As you can tell from how amazingly late this is, my May didn’t really go to plan. Well, the first half did. I’d planned for this to be just a single month update like normal, however, once I got started I ended up talking about most of June as well. Including the last two weeks, which is the first two weeks of June, also helps me catch up a bit too and is one less thing I need to schedule this month.

A Blogging I Will Go

As explained in last months Geeking by By, I was launching a new blog schedule this month and I was doing great. I rolled out the new Zodiac series, I had not one but two 10 things posts on the go ready to be completed in a few days – one for the following week and one for June. Transmog Tuesday was ahead of schedule with three completed sets ready, and the posts coming together without any rushing happening. It was great. Unfortunately what happened was not something that could be predicted nor was it anyone’s fault. We sadly lost Chris’ gran, and the following days and weeks naturally threw my schedule into upheaval. ((P.S. You may be wondering why I’ve said so very little about Chris’ Gran, while speaking so much about my own. It is not a slight to her; she was very dear to us and much loved. However, Chris is a private person and in this I respect his wishes.)) Despite everything I only missed two things; 10 things and Blog Links. I was so close to getting 10 Things done! I’m pretty happy that the changes I had put into place appear to be much more manageable and only under terrible circumstances did I have problems keeping up with the new schedule.

I’d planned to get back on track at the start of June, however, the UK got hit by a massive heat wave and while in Glasgow that meant for a few unpleasant nights, in London it’s absolutely unbearable. Since being diagnosed with ME I’ve become aware of an increase in my sensitivity to different things. Sound and light especially,  however, it appears that I am also extremely intolerant of heat. As I found out last week when I was visiting family in London, and after one of the hottest days nights I found myself with a violent migraine and hugging a bucket. Not fun. On the plus side I haven’t done that for well over a year. So despite the trials and tribulations with migraine medications this year, we are making progress! The heat was not conductive to thinking, let alone focusing on blog writing and plus I had other things to keep myself busy…

 

Family History

I have been fascinated with history for as long as I can remember. I know who’s to blame; my grandad. My mum’s dad, who we used to holiday with a lot and would take me around museums and point out things to me. He also loved antiques, and through him and my dad (who I’m pretty sure got it from grandad too!) I grew to love everything historical. So naturally my first degree was an Art History one. My love for art came from my dad’s dad, who I have a vivid memory of sitting down in his and nanny’s front room teaching me how to draw. You could say that my first degree is a combination of what they taught me. Sadly I never got to know him. He died when I was 5, so I have that strong memory and not much else to go on. So when I was given the opportunity to view old document and photos that had been released after my nan’s passing a few years ago, I snapped up the chance. I’ve spent most of the last 10 days with my head stuck in old documents, relics from World War II such as flyers from RAF dances, photos from my grandad’s RAF unit in various countries, and old photos ranging from my grandparents childhood up to my own childhood. I also managed to grab some time to raid a fraction of my mum’s photos which were gathered from her mother’s house after her passing. I got lucky and the one bag I looked through had a fantastic mix of old and young generations as well. I spent a lot of time using my parents scanner and now have a bundle of photos to edit and identify!

 

Meditation

I made myself a promise; from 1st May I would start doing meditation once a day. I knew I wouldn’t be attending a new mindfulness course for a while as I had to decline an invitation to the next one due to overlapping dates. That means the next one will probably not be starting until July or August. I wanted to get a head start, I wanted to go back and say ‘I’ve been working towards something’ and I guess a part of me wanted to stick a finger up at the meds that stopped me completing the course in January. I was ready to go then, I just needed to take that final step. You know that hard one, the one where you need to make yourself get your ass in gear. My meds were getting sorted, I was beginning to feel like a person again and I had a month before dissertation work really began. Now was the time to do this.

And you know what? I did it! I kept it up for two weeks solid. After that I still managed it once or twice a week, including once on the train down to London with a migraine. From the first session it made a difference, and I’m so glad it did because I needed that reminder. Without it I would have struggled to settle down, to push through those times when I couldn’t get comfortable or my cat was driving me up the wall. Thankfully the weather warmed up so I was able to coincide my meditation with kick his furry butt outside to get those five minutes of peace. I did try to up it to 10 every other day after the first week and it just didn’t work. I think I’m much better sticking to five minutes and just doing it at two different times of the day.

Even when I wasn’t actively meditating I found myself employing elements that I’d learned from them. I’ve just been using videos from Youtube (you can see my playlist here) as I’ve found I can’t meditate to a male voice and the recordings we were given with our course are a male voice. Therefore, each youtuber has a slightly different technique and I’ve picked up a few things from them. The one I use the most is from, and it’s simply ‘breath in happiness, warmth etc.’ and ‘breath out negativity, anxiety’ and it’s been helping me a lot. Especially at the end of the day when I was starting to get really bogged down with anxiety and negative thoughts for some reason.

 

Future Plans

Obviously getting back on track with my blog and meditation are top of my list. This week is going to be my scheduling catch up and hopefully *touch wood* I can get things under control again. As I said, the new changes seem to be working so it’s just a case of getting them in place again. I’m also going back to reviews! I have two in the works and a few more on the way, plus I just won a massive prize bundle of beauty products which I cannot wait to try and intend to review as I go! I’m planning to put together an actual list of products (mainly beauty, and some stationery/bullet journal ones too!) so that you guys can let me know if there’s something you’d like me to feature first. Thanks to a random chance encounter on my train back from London I met a lovely lady who I’m talking with about working on somethings as well, so watch this space *wink*.

Despite everything I’ve also managed to keep up with my dissertation work so by the end of today I’ll have finished stage one of my ‘get back into work’ plan. Stage one sounds very simple, but keep in mind that even the simplest tasks for someone with ME/CFS can be the hardest. I knew I couldn’t just throw myself back into it and hope to float; I’d have sunk and I don’t just mean metaphorically. I’d have sunk mood wise too. I’d have felt useless, and more importantly overwhelmed so I had to start slow. I’ve written about half of it and the “official” dissertation period is three months (ish – ish because I can’t remember the exact deadline date in August :P); June, July, August. So I’m ahead of schedule because I’ve done the reading, I’ve got my notes and research and half is written! That doesn’t mean I can slack though and I don’t intend to – I can’t. Everything takes me thrice as long. So back to ‘stage one’. I started by reading through just one page of my first draft a day, making notes and highlighting anything that sounded wrong or I felt needing clarifying.

I’d intended to finish stage one by the end of May, so I’m a bit overdue but to be honest I’m thrilled that I’m not that far behind. I’m also feeling pretty confident with actually starting stage two and three. Two is re-reading my notes on the rest of dissertation and catching up on what needs to be written now that I’ve reminded myself of where I was going with my arguments and discussion. Step three will be starting to actually write up the next one, and go from there. I do need to get signed off by the doctor though to be able to officially go back to my studies so hopefully next week I can confidently say ‘yes I am ready’. I definitely do feel that we changed the meds at the right time and that we are on the right track with the new ones so that helps a lot.

I’m not going to go into much gaming stuff this time around as I’ve got some plans for that. So just a small update; picked up Destiny 2 in last months Humble Bundle (woot!), been working on World of Warcraft stuff as usual, and Chris has gotten back into Terraria and we love playing it together so we’ve been playing that again too.

 

Over to you

How have your month and a bit been? Do you fare well in the heat or do you hate it like me? Have you completed a dissertation/thesis? If so, what was it in? Let me know in the comments, as always I’d love to hear from you <3 Thanks for reading and keeping up with my geeky life!

Geeking By in April

Geeking by in April

Last month disappeared in a whirlwind and April crept by so slowly! It wasn’t an easy month in many ways and a lot of work got done behind the scenes rather than on the front of the blog. I did work out some awesome things that I am happy to finally share with you!

 

New Blog Schedule Thingie!

Totally technical term there, however, it is an accurate one because I am using ‘schedule’ in a lose way. I need something flexible so that I don’t get overly flustered or bury myself in work or guilt for not getting work done. I am hoping to start getting this up this month. Like I said, I’ve been putting the ground work in for a bunch of stuff behind the scenes even if I’ve not actually posted anything. So here’s a sneak peek of how each month will hopefully start to look!

Zodiac Series – Taking over from the Birthstone series this will be on the same thought train but on a smaller scale. I’m setting up one pinterest board with a section for each zodiac sign filled with products based on each sign, as well as links to fashion and beauty gurus explaining how to identify your specific sign’s style. The accompanying blog post will have a lot less work in it and more information gathered from resources with some examples I’ve found and I’ll highlight some of my favourite products I’ve found on my hunt. Most of the links will be on the pinterest board though so I won’t need to find and edit 100 odd images this time.

Blog Links – I really liked the idea of a blog links list, however, I failed to find a way to make it work. Instead I’m incorporating this into a smaller blog series, so once a month I’ll pick a theme or type of blog link i.e. website listings, linkies, book related, etc. and post a list of 10 of them.

Tramsmog Tuesday – Old news really in comparison, but I love it and I will be bringing back my World of Warcraft Transmog Tuesday back every week.

10 Things – This one is purposely vague because I wanted something that didn’t have a real definition, something that I could just do what I wanted with each month. If I wanted to do 10 crime tv shows, or 10 cute animal tops then I could. This will be the wild card every month 🙂

Geek on the High Street – I love this series, but it was sooo unorganised, no real time frame and so many faults. Then I had the revelation to make it a monthly themed feature! I can plan it around upcoming movies, events (Star Wars day, for example) and so on.

Geeking By – You’re currently reading it! The monthly update of my personal life, blogging, studying, goals and, of course, geeking!

Let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂

 

Surviving

I never did a word of the year this year because I just couldn’t decide on one. Now four months in and I’m pretty sure it’s going to end up being surviving. That is literally what this month has been about. I have felt guilty at the lack of productivity and moving forward, but to be fair I don’t see HOW I could have functioned. At this point I’m just happy I managed to keep basic things like clean washing and stuff going! I mentioned last month that I chose to swap medications and this month was the horrible period of no meds and starting new meds aka still having no meds because they haven’t kicked in yet. I was doing ok until about the 16th and then it has literally been a migraine every. single. day. Yes, over-exaggerated punctuation is needed for that one. It has been hell. In a weird way it was a relief because for a while there I was like ‘oh crap, what if these aren’t migraines, they’re something else like sinuses or stress etc.’ and then my body went, NOPE HAVE THEM ALL! I had one last night, currently as I write this I have a niggle but so far I’m ok *crosses fingers, touches wood, prays to every god imaginable, sacrifices first born*.

I started the new medication for migraines a week ago so it should start kicking in soon, however, it’s a slow building one so I up the dose again in a week anyway. It’s been making me super dizzy but that IS a well known side effect and it seems to be adjusting. It is also helping me sleep better; my previous medication wasn’t a drowsy one, while the one before was so I’ve been missing that kind of medication just to help knock me out at night. I’ve noticed since the ME/CFS set in that sleeping has become harder for me, and also even more essential because to put it in basic terms my body is a very leaky fuel tank. Sleep is replenishes the fuel and my body is just leaking it all over the place, so I have been needing 12 + hours for several years now. I’m just getting myself back to a 12 hour rotation this month and being on this medication I’m actually sleeping better and waking up feeling more refreshed. So yey for a side effect working for me. Also, I may have been a little TOO happy that weight loss is a side effect….

That brings me onto the other medication which for privacy reasons I am purposely not naming, sorry, just some stuff is private and some people aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Since stopping it my appetite has really decreased and considering I was on this for over 11 years I have to wonder how much it has added to my weight gain. I also started protein shakes for breakfast as planned so hopefully should start to see some change soon. I started the new medication today, and had to giggle at the warning label; do not eat with grapefruit. Seriously not an issue for me. I do not eat fruit (I can’t stand the texture!), and not a huge fan of the taste of grapefruit juice either.

 

Getting down with the Dinos

(aka Battle for Azeroth alpha)

We started wandering around Zandalar in the alpha and will continue to do so in the beta. There are so many cute dinos every where! I may have gotten just a tiny bit distracted…. 😀 So far the quests have been super fun on the horde side, I hope the alliance ones are just as good – we’re keeping them a surprise until BFA actually launches. I tried to play discipline, but I am just so out of practise with it and possibly even out of love with it now. It just doesn’t suit my play style any more so I’m playing as shadow – and holy void energies batman, we have actual AOE! You can see all my screenshots so far over here in the Battle For Azeroth gallery. They DO contain SPOILERS so look at your own risk!

 

In other Geekery

I’ve been working my way through more DC comics, catching up to date and getting my head hurt with some timey wimey stuff. I’m still with the bat family and have a few of them to catch up with, and I’ve also read The Flash, Teen Titans and the Dark Metal event now too. I also completely fell in love with Supersons, the adventures of Superboy (Jon Kent) and Robin (Damian Wayne). It is hilarious, heart warming and absolutely brilliant. The bad news is that it has been cancelled and will be ending 🙁 Damian is a complete little git, but he has a heart of gold and him and Jon are adorable together. Next up is Justice League, Titans and the Doomsday event. TV wise it has also been a catch up time with NCIS, Private Eyes, Bull and Criminal Minds.

 

Over to you!

And that mixed bag of fun was my April, how did yours go?

 

((This months banner graphic is from my personal scan collection. It isn’t yet available to the public but you can find more over at my public gallery 🙂 ))

Geeking By in March

Just Geeking by in March

Umm…. where the hell did March go?! It feels like I just finished February’s geeking by post, and I almost didn’t realise this one was due out. Woops! It really doesn’t feel like I did much at all for most of this month and then bam, The Sci Fi Weekender convention (22nd – 25th) was suddenly upon us. Since I’m dedicating a whole post to that experience that might mean this monthly update is a bit on the wee side of things. ((Image from Public Domain Images.))

 

All Clear

Let’s start with what has been the elephant in the room for me for a while now; my chest x-ray came back perfectly clear. Yep, nothing at all. I literally blurted out ‘really?!’ at my doctor because I was so sure I’d seen something in the x-ray and because I had been feeling that rotten. Fast forward a few weeks and I’m weaning myself off my migraine medication and lo and behold, I start to feel better. Apparently the one I was on did wonders for my migraines and then I had the massive infection at the start of year and it triggered a nasty side effect. I’ve now stopped it completely and about to start the 2 weeks of 0 medication before starting a new one. My doctor has also referred me to a headache specialist, which considering I’ve had migraines since I was 17 and have never seen one, sounds like a good plan.

I’m also stopping one of my main medications to swap to a new one. I’m on a high dose, it’s not working as well as it used to and it’s an old medication so my doctor recommended changing it. It’s a scary process, however, I’m at that stage of my health conditions where it is just about fine tuning my medications. Now’s the best time to do it as I have plans later on in the year.

 

Blogging

With each month that goes past I feel like I’m getting more organised and in control again with my blog. There’s a slow and gentle increase in activity from my end of things and I’m happy with the progress I’m making. I’d hoped to start a new blog series this month, and eventually I realised I was not going to get to it this month. That wasn’t a big deal, it’s something I could easily shift to the next month. Next month I’m hoping to just continue as I am and not over do it.

 

To Azeroth!

The last few months I’ve been talking about how Chris and I have been playing Divinity 2, this month it took a back seat as Chris got back into World of Warcraft and has been playing catch up. He now has all 110 characters, and I’ve been helping him complete the Broken Shore and Argus campaigns one by one. It’s so much fun and also so hard watching him play through all the class hall campaigns and mount quests because I am sooo bad at keeping my mouth shut about spoilers. I don’t do it maliciously! I just get overly excited or forget and let something slip /facepalm. We are big WoW nerds so we talk about the lore a lot, and there’s just so much lore and stuff to discuss from the class quests.

We also got a fantastic surprise this week – Battle for Azeroth ALPHA invites! We’ve had beta invites before, however, these are our first alpha ones and I’m sooo excited! Realistically I know I don’t have the energy to stream or video, so I’ll be posting stuff on my blog instead. So if you’re interested keep an eye out! We’ll be playing through the horde storylines as we play Alliance main and want to keep that side of things a surprise for when the game goes live. We’ll be taking a small peek at Alliance side, such as exploring zones but we’ll be avoiding quests and storylines. There will, of course, be loads of screenshots.

 

Diving back into comics

I finally broke my reading hiatus! Last year I read through (most of) the DC New 52 comics. If you don’t know much about comics, especially the big guns like DC and Marvel, there tends to be different lines that usually act as a relaunch of the universe and character storylines. So the New 52 was a useful place for a newbie like me to start, and I read most of the big story arcs. I tried to read some of the smaller ones, and succeeded for a bit until my enthusiasm tailed off and I got distracted by something else. I’d been putting off starting the new line, Rebirth, which would take me up to date rather than playing catch up because I felt completionist guilt. That lasted until this month 😛

I finished off (aka caught up to current issues) Wonder Woman first; when I first started reading DC I’d accidentally read her Rebirth arc first, got thoroughly confused and popped back to the New 52 line. That meant I didn’t have much of her left to read, so I quickly headed into the Bat family starting with the man himself, moving onto Detective Comics, Nightwing, Batwoman and Batgirl. I’m now onto Red Hood and the Outlaws.

I also popped my head out of DC to read the new World of Warcraft chronicle which was really interesting, exciting and actually personal for me because the lore has finally caught up to in game events. It was great fun and really made everything come together and feel epic. It’s hard to put into words, I guess the best way to describe it would be to say that it made it feel like we’d been a part of something bigger and not just playing a game. That sounds silly, however, WoW has become as much about the community spirit as it has the game and for me the Chronicle solidified that.

 

Time to Weigh In

Ironic subtitle since I haven’t actually weighed myself yet. I needed to pick up some new clothes before we went to the convention and had a big shock when I saw myself in a full length mirror for the first time. Holy crap I’ve put on so much weight. I mean, I knew I had put some on. I just didn’t realise how much. I wasn’t happy, and thankfully I was buying clothes in Yours Clothing which is a plus sized clothing chain in the UK which helps women feel comfortable with their size. I was at least able to buy clothes that made me feel better about it. Now that my chest problems are sorted out I need to get my health and weight sorted out. I loved the keto diet I went on; it worked amazingly well and I know that works best for my body now, which is great. Problem is I have zero energy to prepare and cook all those fabulously tasty and healthy meals. So I’m heading for the protein milkshakes to replace my breakfast and lunch, and starting gentle exercise. Doing so will help my energy levels and help combat the fatigue so I can get back onto the keto diet.

 

Telly Catch Up Time

I did spend most of the month on my Silent Witness binge, and then I went to a sci fi convention and came back wanting to watch alllll the shows. I’ve only caught up with Hawaii 5-0 so far. I watch a whole bunch of crime tv shows, so there’s all those to catch up on, as well as some sci fi/fantasy ones (including comic based). You can see what I’m currently watching by checking out (or following me!) on Trakt.tv, a site that lets you ‘check in’ and track tv shows and movies.

Hawaii 5-0 was an interesting one to start with because there were some major cast changes. Two of the main cast left at the end of last season due to a contract dispute (which to be honest, I agree with them and their reasons, but of course I’m sad to see them go). Both of their characters have been written out as off doing their own thing, which means there’s some new recruits Tani and Juni and Eddie the dog. Yes, I am completely and utterly in love with that dog. I am so glad he stuck around rather than being a one episode wonder as happens in so many crime tv shows. I’m missing the old guys, yet I do love the new ones especially Tani. Danny refers to her as a “female you” to Steve in the first episode and yep, she is! She’s totally holding her own against the guys and the older team members, while still showing vulnerability and youth. Lou has taken her under his wing, and it’s great to see them bonding. I’m also super happy to see Adam is now a cast regular. I always liked him as a character and an actor, but honestly, it really did just feel like he was always in Kono’s shadow. Now he’s finally not just Kono’s love interest and has a chance to shine.

I’m only up to the mid-season finale (as I probably will be with all my shows as I catch up), so I’m really curious to see what happens next. They really did leave that on a big question.

 

Over to You

Apparently I had more to say than I realised! How was your March? Personally April for me usually sucks, so I’m not looking forward to this month at all. Anything excited planned this month? Let me know in the comments!

Geeking By in February

February Update

It was really difficult to find the motivation to write this catch up because February seemed to just blow through our lives and leave a heap of snow in it’s wake. Here in Glasgow we got hit pretty badly and we still have snow on the ground now. We were quite literally snowed in, which is a first for me. Here’s a few pictures and you can also see a few videos of the snow on my instagram. ((Image from Public Domain Images. Brushes by morfachas.))

 

Gaming Bullet Journal

I seem to have splurts of activity with my gaming bullet journal, and recently I’ve been delving into the world of transmogs from Legion and Argus world bosses and rares, so this has lead to a bunch of new trackers! I’ve tried to vary my page design and styles to make them a bit more interesting visually. In some cases being more adventurous worked, while in others it back fired spectacularly. I’ve also slowly working my way through my hidden artifact pages. I decided to add illustration to them which has been harder so it’s taking longer to complete.  For now there’s just a few pencil sketches which I’m hoping to eventually colour and outline in pen. I’ll be continuing with that through March and also working on some trackers for achievements. Here’s a few photos of what I’ve been up to, but once again my instagram is the best place to see what I’m up to if you’re interested in following my progress!

Credit for the inspiration for my gaming journal goes to the fantastic Bujo Gamer Girls group on facebook!

 

Please click an image to view a larger version.

 

 

Gaming in February

While January was all about Neverwinter, in February we moved on to a new game; Divinity 2: Original Sin. I’d never heard of it but Chris is a youtube junkie, especially game playthroughs and had come across it. He got so annoyed at not finding a decent playthrough that he ended up getting it for us both with his birthday money! He also picked up the first game for himself and that looks good too, so I might try that out t some point. Unlike our usual games, Divinity 2 isn’t an MMO, it’s a co-op game with turned based combat. It took me a while to get into it because the controls are quite different to my usual games, however, I’m really enjoying it even if I do occasionally hit a friendly target instead of a bad guy… (Chris is used to it).

You can choose to create a character from scratch or pick an origin character which is a character with a pre-written background and storyline. While we’re both creative in character creation else where – me in online RPGs and him in tabletop RPGs – we love the story element of video games. Most of the games we play have a rich story and it’s really important to us, so we chose two origin characters. The abilities and spells are really dynamic in the sense that you don’t have a set talent tree; you can play an elemental mage and then throw in some rogue skills too. You just need to put points in the right abilities and get the books to learn the spells. We’re into Act 2 at the moment and while it’s slow going because we are very thorough, it doesn’t feel like a slow grind. You’re always doing something, finding a new clue and so forth. I’ll do a full review when we’re a bit further through the game.

In World of Warcraft I’ve been finishing up my class order hall campaigns and mount quests! Once they were done I turned my attention to Argus and have finally gotten all characters through that campaign too. As a result of completing all the class mount quests I managed to hit 300 mounts and now have a gorgeous blue cloud serpent in my collection. For March I’m going to be starting to farm some transmog gear, mounts and pets again and maybe get some leveling done on my second paladin. She’s the last one to get to 110 and I want her completed before we get the next expansion and start leveling the allied races.

 

Silent Witness

Silent Witness is a British crime TV show that is now in it’s 21st season. It follows the lives of pathologists as they work with the police to solve crimes by giving them evidence from the dead, aka the silent witness. I would describe it as a much more serious and hard-hitting version of Bones; there’s not so much humor, hardly any mad experiments and no grand conspiracies.  It started in 1996, so I was about 11 and it wasn’t something that I really grew up watching. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve caught the most recent seasons and after watching the end of the last season I wanted more. I have a habit of going back and watching old British crime shows right from the beginning. I’ve done it with a Touch of Frost (I’d watched a lot of this when growing up but never all of it) and then more recently with Prime Suspect (after watching the new 1973 prequel). So Silent Witness has been on my list for a long time, however, as you can imagine 21 seasons worth is a lot. It got put off until I felt that nagging need to do it and so I bit the bullet and started way back with season 1.

I’ve always been a fan of Emilia Fox and really like her character, Nikki, and her relationship with the team. I came into season 20 with the team fully formed and obviously had been working together for a while, so I wanted to know how they first met. Nikki isn’t the first lead character; originally it was Amanda Burton’s formidable Sam Ryan and it took me a while to come around to her. It didn’t help that Sam was a strong female character in a time when they were very new and still frowned upon, so the first few seasons feel like it’s just about who she’s sleeping with. Eventually in about season 3 she takes on a Professorship and the real work begins. Things get more serious, bigger and the show begins to touch upon every day issues that really hit home. In the 90s it’s AIDs and the IRA, and then more recent seasons have covered immigrants and disabilities. The later, at the end of season 21, was very tough to watch and thus well written and acted. One of the main cast is the wonderful Liz Carr who herself is disabled and an advocate for the disabled, so it was a particularly important issue for her to see raised in a show.

I’m currently two episodes into season 12, and loving the current team dynamic of Leo, Harry and Nikki. From the looks of the posters the team remains the same for a few more seasons before Harry leaves and Jack (a current cast member) joins.

 

Health

I have inadvertently left the hardest part until last. I spent the whole month struggling with my chest and breathing, and ended up getting an x-ray; only to find that everything is clear and healthy! It should have been a happy moment, instead I’m left wondering what now? I was so sure something was wrong, something that could be found and fixed. Of course, my health is never that simple. My doctor is now in the process of taking me off the new migraine medication which helped my migraines immensely because it can cause respiratory problems as a side effect. Her thinking is that there was an infection, and then the side effect was triggered or kicked in and it’s all rolled into one big mess. As she pointed out, the new medication hadn’t solved the migraine problem entirely; they were less painful but still frequent. So this is the next logical step, however, the timing sucks because we’re away at a Sci Fi convention in a few weeks – right smack bang in the middle of me lowering my dosage /facepalm. I’d been looking forward to no migraines this year after having them for three days last year! Unfortunately my breathing has been so bad that I can’t wait, and it’s a toss up between that or the migraines hampering my fun. Once I’ve weaned myself back off this medication it’s time to try another one – and we’re running out of options. I’m being referred to the headache specialist as well, which considering I’ve been suffering from migraines since I was 17 is probably a bit overdue.

 

Over to You

And that was my February! How was yours? Did you have any bad weather? Anything interesting happen? Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

Geeking by in January

January Update

My life very rarely goes according to plan (this January especially), and the past year has been a lesson in accepting that. In doing so I realised that I’d completely shied away from posting personal blog posts, hiding what was happening in my life and especially anything related to my health. I’d comment about it, usually to apologise for a late post, and that would be it. That doesn’t jive with the whole point of this blog, nor with my way of living and I realised that I’ve fallen into a pattern of shame and anxiety about what other people think. In trying to cultivate an image of myself as professional and reliable, I’ve forgotten an important fact; I can be those things and be disabled. My disabilities are a part of me and will always impact my life. I’ve grown too comfortable with the idea of hiding my disabilities in fear of what future employers will say, and the thing about ME/CFS is that I cannot hide it. All my other conditions I can work around (don’t stand for too long, sit down, medication, supports etc.) but this one? It can’t be hidden, it refuses to be hidden and it has taken complete control of my life even to the point I’m censoring my own blog. No more.

 

Every month I’m going to be doing one of these ‘Geeking by in….’ posts to sum up the month before. Sometimes it will be very health oriented, a place where I can be frank and honest about my healing journey. Other times it might be more geeky, detailing what I’ve been watching, reading and playing. There’s no expectations, no limit, just me talking once a month. ((Image credit: Public Domain Pictures. Brushes by morfachas.))

 

A snowy & icky January

I am not a fan of snow. I hate it. It’s beautiful and serene to look at, especially up here in Scotland, but going out in it? It’s hell. Going out in it when you’re really really ill? It’s a definite FML moment. I avoided most of the weather because I was too sick to even leave the house at one point. I spent a week and a half curled up in bed, and sadly not even my own bed. My fiance was sick as well and suffers from insomnia at the best of times, and so me coughing up a lung or two and waking up every 2 hours was not conductive to his sleep at all. Neither of us liked being a part, and it was a mutual decision. As much as I’d joke about him kicking me out of bed, it was a logistical choice for both of us. We have never really slept apart since we started living together 10 years ago, with the exception of December 2016 when he was in hospital for a few days (which was literal HELL for me). It didn’t help that I ended up with Milo, one of our cats, as a room-mate. Well, technically I did move into his room so I should be glad he tolerated me at all! He seemed to understand just how sick I was and quickly slipped into nurse mode. If I was too sick for him to sleep with me he’d sleep in his radiator bed at the end of my bed and keep an eye on me.

I guess I should say what was actually wrong. Our family seemed to get this monster virus which has since been dubbed ‘the plague’. It seriously knocked us all on our asses, even the healthy ones were down for a few days. Chris’ cousin got it first, then his mum and then us and it seemed to have a horrible habit of coming along with an infection. So you weren’t just sick with the virus, you had something else on top. Both me and my mother-in-law had infections and Chris seemed to get full on flu with an almost dangerously high fever. For me the virus hit my throat and voice box, while the infection developed in my chest. I was in so much pain I couldn’t swallow my meds at one point. I’d already had an emergency doctors appointment on the Friday and was told ‘it’s a virus’ and told to gargle stuff, and by the Monday I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t speak. It was terrifying. I’ve had sore throats a million times as a child, lost my voice a few times but this really messed with my head. I was in so much pain, I was literally living for the next dose of pain meds. Due to the chest infection my body was determined to purge my body of what was filling my lungs… and of course my throat couldn’t comply at all.

It took two courses of antibiotics and I’m not even sure it’s fully gone now. The virus has thankfully buggered off to whatever evil place it appeared from. There’s been a few twinges from my throat, but no golf ball sized glands or trouble swallowing/speaking. I’m not bring any mucus up, no blood (it was tiny amounts but still scary), but my chest feels tight and like a sponge that’s getting heavier. I’m needing to take my blue asthma inhaler more than usual, and right now I’m just keeping an eye on it. My doctor said to call if there was no change and she’d arrange an x-ray, however, there has been change just not what I’d call a full recovery. I’m going to see how I am over the weekend and maybe put a call in next week.

 

TV Bingfest

When I’m sick I do two things; I read and if I’m too sick to do that I binge watch tv and films. I was way beyond the level of consciousness needed to read so tv it was! I started with Private Eyes, a Canadian detective drama and then headed onto Marvels Inhumans. Then I ended up watching an episode of Lucifer with Chris and it totally re-sparked my desire to watch it – to be honest, I don’t know why I hadn’t finished catching up with it, just for some reason I kept forgetting. Which is odd because I loved what I’d watched previous! So I binged watched the rest of season 1, then 2 and everything I could of season 3 until I got to the midseason cliffhanger. I then turned my attention to one of the shows I wanted to watch badly last year and didn’t quite get to; Lethal Weapon. I was a little unsure about it which is probably why it took me so long to try it. I’m a big fan of the movies and was very relieved to find that the tv show is spot on!

 

Gaming Habits

Over the holidays Chris and I had a talk about MMOs we wanted to play and catch up on, and made a pact; we’d (well, me, I have a tendency to get bored and wander off to a new one…) stick it out and play through each game in turn. So while down in London we started to play Neverwinter, the Dungeon & Dragons MMO. We’d played it a bit before but never really seriously. Chris was eager to give it ago since he has gotten into D&D with his friends and me, well, I’m up for anything that has a story. A few days ago we hit 70, the max level, and we’re now working our way through the campaigns. The plan is to try to finish them all before we move onto the next game, but some of them are sooo long so we shall see. We’re going to see how far we’ve got at the end of February and re-evaluate that plan.

Otherwise I’ve been playing Starbound and World of Warcraft on my own. I finally got into Starbound and spent many hours over the holidays smashing my head against the wall in frustration. Being ill curtailed my playing a bit, and I’ve headed back into WoW more as a default. For Christmas I got a portable hard-drive so I could transfer a mass of files off my pc and make room for more games. The problem was I could only have so many installed and so I couldn’t just go ‘ooo I fancy a bit of Fable, let’s pop in and play around’. WoW is my go to game, especially when I’m feeling really ill and can’t focus so I naturally turned back to it when I was well enough to crawl out of bed again. I’ve been finishing leveling my alts and all are now 110 (small exception of my second paladin, but she’s an extra) so I’ve just got the Shaman, Warrior and Rogue order hall campaigns to finish off now.

Allied races have just been released and while I’m excited, I’m not quite ready to go on a full levelling slog with them yet. Chris is currently not playing WoW so right now we’ve chosen to focus on Neverwinter and leave the allied races be. We’ve got until September or so before the expansion comes out so there’s no rush, and to be honest, if we rush it we’ll just be left twiddling our thumbs before the expansion. I have plenty to keep me busy in WoW and it’s better I play catch up than start even more characters.

 

Bujo & Planning!

I’ll be talking more about my word of the year in a later post, but planning and structuring my life is a big part of it and also the best way for me to get a handle on my fatigue. I like to keep my personal bullet journal clean so for the past year I was using an additional notebook in which I created a rough weekly spread. Then while browsing amazon I came across these handy things called weekly planners (like this one) which are already drawn out and even have a little bit extra for notes. I was beginning to get a bit lazy with my weekly spreads because it took me time to draw them out – even as rough as they are it still took energy that I wanted to spend else where – so I asked for one for Christmas. I got a lovely one from Busy B (this is the one I got) and it has been great!

 

I’d hoped to start my personal bullet journal again in January and of course, that went completely tits up thanks to the plague. I’m about a month behind where I wanted to be so for now it’s not a top priority, so hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be back to that. I picked up a second gaming journal because my first one is almost half full and it’s all WoW stuff so far! I clearly need a second one and I’m looking forward to starting that soon.

 

How was your January?