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 🙂

 

Flu 1, Heather 0 aka a blog hiatus

Flu Hiatus

Well, technically it’s Flu 3. That’s the amount of times I’ve had flu in my life and each time it’s left a lasting memory of the god awful feeling of death. I don’t know why flu always hits me so hard. The first time was when I was a teenager and I ended up missing the last few weeks of school right before summer, the second time was 2 years ago and was the trigger for chronic fatigue syndrome. Every time it takes 2 weeks minimum for me to get back to normal, and every time I curse the idiot that went out in public while contagious, thank the flu vaccine for covering me most of the time and listen to my fiancé cursing me when he contracts it from me. We’re both in terrible rough shape with it this time around; me with my 6 diagnosed health conditions and pending diagnosis (yes, still pending, don’t ask) of chronic fatigue syndrome and him with a litany of health problems that include gall stones, chronic pain and a newly discovered rare and super serious (as in the deadly kind) heart condition.

I’ve pretty much been his carer 24/7 since December, and now with us both down with flu it’s becoming even more difficult to keep up with everything. So I’m grudgingly suspending blogging for at least a week. In light of everything, blogging isn’t really important, however, it’s been a life line to my sanity. Therefore, I don’t want to stop it or put it on hold indefinitely. Since my CFS started a year and a half ago I’ve been gradually fighting to keep going, and a lot of stuff has been put on hold. I’m now officially nearing my final deadline for my dissertation, and to be honest, I want it done. I want it off my conscience, off my plate and I want to say ‘hey I can still do this!’. I’ll be back, and in the mean time, you can hear my flu-like woes and rants on twitter @Justgeekingby 🙂 Healing thoughts and energy are readily accepted, as is chocolate and ice cream (sore throat and fever, it’s allowed :P). ((Banner image from Public Domain Images.))

Taking a Mindful Break

Memories

It’s been a while since I wrote a personal post. I’ve just been doing prompts, linkups and weekly series and getting more and more frustrated with that fact. It’s great to have regular content, however, I’ve had zero energy to actually do anything else. April was just a mess, and while May seemed to begin with a fresh start it has devolved into the same as April. Pain, fatigue, migraines. That’s my daily routine right now and yes, it sucks beyond belief. On top of that I’ve been adding a pile of extra stress, from the important to the mundane, and I’ve realised that I need to stop for a bit.

 

A Mindful Break

About 4/5 weeks ago I started a mindfulness CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) course. I’ve done a lot of CBT before, but the mindfulness bit is new and is making a big difference.

 

Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally, to things as they are.

 

A big part of this is redeveloping my relationship with my body, something I’ve been considering a separate entity with a mind and will of its own for many years now. I’m trying to learn and understand what my body wants and needs by listening to it, and by doing so without judgement. That is why I’m taking this break. Initially for a week, I’m going to listen to what my body wants and do what it needs. That doesn’t mean no blog work entirely; if I want to do it, I’ll do it. But there will be no to do list, no plans, just spontaneous and mindful action. I’ll be posting this weeks #TransmogTuesday because I can delve into my pre-created supply of sets and because I just started this feature. However, yesterday was supposed to be the Birthstone series post and yeah, it just wasn’t going to happen. So I’m planning on a week, with new posts coming next weekend. I’ve also got physio starting this week on top of my MCBT so it seems like a good time to have a light week.

 

My thoughts on going back to Physio (again)

thoughts on returning to physio

Tomorrow is my first physio session with the Centre for Integrative Care, which is a homoeopathic hospital designed for people like me who have multiple health conditions; “Most patients referred to the Centre are experiencing chronic pain, chronic low energy, and/or chronic low mood or anxiety”.

I’ve had plenty of physio before, I know what to expect, and I know what goes on. The thing that is making me really nervous is that this is an NHS physio. Last time I went to see an NHS physio I ended up walking out of the appointment because the woman was extremely unprofessional. Instead of concentrating on what I needed, I got a speech about how she has hypermobility and is s perfect (stick thin) example of how you can be active and healthy with that condition. Yeah. My doctor was not impressed either. I ended up going private (shout out to Glasgow Physio centre who have an amazing, supporting and friendly team, highly recommend them!) and made more progress in one session than I did in 8 years of on-off again NHS physio.

The problem is that a normal NHS physio is there to get you back on your feet and out the door asap so they can move onto the next person. They are only able to concentrate on one part of your body at a time, not which part is hurting that week. Do you have any idea how amazing it is to go to your physio and say ‘my neck’s been bad this week, can we take a look at it?’ and actually get help there and then? I will hopefully go back to Glasgow physio centres, but right now I need to find out what is happening with my body which means being with the Centre for Integrative Care and being referred for their different services.

The biggest worry is walking in and being told it’s my weight, again. I already have had the ‘you need to be active’ spiel from the consultant – although he was very nice and understanding about it – and the fact that I’ve lost over 2 and 1/2 stone since November is in my favour. I’m working on it, just not actively. It’s like my dissertation work; I’ve been so ill and then I get something worse. Here’s just the last few months; ill in January with glands, February chest infection, March still the chest infection (I think, I can’t seem to shift it) and a stomach bug for 7 days. That’s just the last few months. The last few years have been as bad. I’ve gradually been going down hill until the last year and 1/2 my body has finally had enough. They believe I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which fits all the symptoms and is another chronic long term health condition I’ll have for the rest of my life. It’s depressing thinking of it like that, and I need my new physio to be able to work with me and how that makes me feel. I don’t expect them to be a therapist, just understanding and supportive while also pushing me.

So fingers crossed!