Category Archives: Medical

On The Mend

I’m finally starting to feel better, which is a nice change. Breathing is a bit easier, and my throat and ears don’t hurt so much, although I have developed a bit of a cough.

Mostly what I did for the past few days was read and sleep. I found the ebook part of my local library’s website, and I rediscovered a series that I’d enjoyed before, only now there are more books in it. It’s a murder-mystery series by Alan Bradley. The main character is Flavia DeLuce, and she’s bold and smart and very interested in poisons. She is highly entertaining and has her own chemistry lab, and she’s 11. I read everything that’s out so far, and I can’t wait for the next one… except I’ll have to, because it’s not due out until January ’15.

Mar just discovered the Faerie’s Air and Death Waltz.



He also found a YouTube video of people crazy enough to try to play it. Go to about 3:00.

I was in band for 6 years, so I can kind of read that. It scares me a little.

P.S. I don’t remember if I mentioned, but Ben’s teeth are out and he’s fine. The permanent tooth that was behind them looks like it might be moving forward, but teeth move at such a glacial pace that I can’t be entirely sure.

P.P.S. I also received my Bandelettes in the mail yesterday, and so far I’m impressed. I think I might have ordered them a touch too big, but I could be wrong. They’re comfortable and they haven’t fallen down, and I think they’ll work out great. Excited to feel well enough to try them out.


Sick, again??

Yep, this is something like the fifth or sixth time I’ve been sick this year. I don’t know why, because I usually have a pretty good immune system, but this year it seems to be on vacation.

I went to the doctor this morning. They’re having some very serious computer issues, so I couldn’t get an appointment, but I could walk in, so I did. It went fairly fast, which was nice, because I didn’t sleep much last night, and I walked out with a prescription for a Z-pak. I love those things. It’s 5 days worth of azithromycin, two on the first day, then one for the four days after that. And they’re not terribly expensive, which was nice.

I needed something to drink, so we stopped at Wendy’s. They have “homemade” lemonade, which I didn’t know about, and which apparently contains real lemons. I got that and a Frosty, because my throat still hurts like crazy, and when I got home, I had a slice of leftover pizza, half the lemonade, and my Frosty, then went back to bed. I slept pretty well, but I was woken up by the pain again in the afternoon.

I hope the antibiotics kick in soon. I’ve been taking generic Aleve to help with the pain, but it doesn’t do much. Ben has physical therapy tonight, so we’re looking at Wendy’s again, since chili and a Frosty sound really good to me. We got a keytag for $2 that means we get a free junior Frosty with every order, and that seems to help calm down my throat and ears, so it’s a win-win. At this point, I’m waiting for UPS to show up with my Amazon order, then the food, and as soon as I eat and get Ben to bed, I’m planning to crash again. Whether this actually happens remains to be seen, however…. my plans have a way of going awry all too often.

Quiet Days.

The weather turned again, rainy and cold. I’ve been snuggled up with my tablet reading, mostly. I haven’t been playing any Fallout because I installed a story mod that I really don’t like, but I wasn’t paying attention and saved over the save just before I started it. The most recent one I have is back in Dead Money, and the end of that was so frustrating that I’ve been reluctant to do it over.

Ben had a field trip to the zoo today, which I forgot about, and they weren’t back in time for his dentist appointment. It’s rescheduled for next Wednesday, which will be a total blast…. I should cancel his physical therapy, since I don’t think he’ll be in any mood for it.

Mar seems to be doing OK. I can hear him yelling at Dark Souls 2 downstairs, but that seems to be his favorite activity lately.

I’ve been reading the Stephanie Plum books, by Janet Evanovich. They’re fun and they don’t require a lot of brain power, which is exactly what I need. When the weather changes, I end up hurting. This time its not just the arthritis, but the bursitis in my right hip. It’s times like this that I wish I had insurance so I could get pain meds and cortisone shots again. Ah, the glamour of EDS. As if that’s not enough, Ben put my cane somewhere and I can’t find it. Its a nice one, as far as canes go, leopard print and adjustable height, but sometimes it’s still kind of depressing that I’m 35 and need a cane.

Possibly something more cerebral later this week.

Doctor Day

As in “Day of Doctors”, not an actual doctor named Day.

We went to the pediatrician this morning, and got a referral to a rheumatologist to get a definitive diagnosis for Ben. I’m not sure why EDS falls to rheumatologists to diagnose, but it does, so within the week we should get a call to schedule an appointment.

I really like Ben’s pediatrician. She’s really good, knowledgeable, friendly but professional, and she’s not afraid to acknowledge that she doesn’t know something. We waited in the exam room for a bit, though not excessively long, and when she came in, she explained that she’d been looking up EDS because she didn’t know much about it.

We came back and hung around the house a little until the dental appointment. Mar took a nap, because neither of us slept much or well last night, and Ben snuggled with me while I edited and tested a radio mod for Fallout 3 called iPip. I finally got it working, so that was nice.

The dentist appointment was much easier than I was worried it would be, mostly because they took Ben back by himself and I didn’t have to be in the room. I gave the nurse/hygenist the EDS information I’d printed out, and she actually read it, which was nice. They used nitrous, and she said it worked really well; they put the mask on him and he asked, “What’s that funny smell?” and then just went boneless, for the most part. She mentioned the adult tooth that’s taken up residence, and explained how the process of them coming in works. Apparently, the adult teeth somehow “saw” through the roots of the baby teeth, and that’s how the baby teeth fall out. That makes sense to me, because the adult tooth Ben has is lightly serrated, but actual adult front teeth aren’t.

Anyway, he has an appointment to get both bottom front teeth pulled next week, to make room for that rather large adult tooth. I am somewhat optimistic about his tooth moving into place well, because EDS lends itself well to teeth moving, and even if he does need braces, they should work fairly quickly, though he’ll have to wear a retainer for longer than usual. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I suppose, although it sounds like it will be less painful this way, with a shorter amount of time needed to actually move the teeth. They just require more persuasion to stay where they’re put.

By the way, if anyone is curious about EDS and the things I printed out, I can do an entry about it and about my experiences with it. Google can tell you the clinical information; how it actually impacts day-to-day living is a bit harder to understand.

In geekery news, I ordered my tablet! We came into a windfall and I ordered an off-brand tablet (Latte, for the inquiring minds) as my Mother’s Day present. It came in and it was pretty good for what I wanted, which was internet and e-book reading, although it was a little slow. Still, no big deal; I could work with it, and it was a lot easier to type on than my phone. I got up the next day and things seemed fine, but I glanced over and the screen was flashing. I unplugged it from the charger and tried to turn it on, then plugged it in and tried to turn it on, and… nope. So I returned it. I sent it back Monday and got my refund from Amazon today, which is pretty impressive to me.

One of my online friends had sent me a link for a Lenovo ThinkTab, refurbished by Lenovo, that was $9 more than the no-name tablet, with free shipping (from, who I’d never ordered from before, but I trust the friend that recommended it). Even better, it’s a bigger screen, a quad core, and double the memory. The website said “we ask that you allow 10-14 working days for shipment. Although, often times, items ship much faster than this.” I certainly hope so; I’m excited to get it! Once I have it, I might attempt making a cover for it. I remember seeing a tutorial somewhere online, and it didn’t seem outside my skill level. Yes, I know, I have other projects in various stages, but this is something I can do when the weather isn’t conducive to painting. I think I have enough fabric remnants to make something nice, but I’ll have to figure out how to get some thin but sturdy flat plastic. Maybe plastic canvas? Something to think about.

More dental nonsense.

Tomorrow is the big day: Ben has an appointment with his pediatrician at which we’re going to confirm the EDS diagnosis, hopefully (she pretty much agrees, but I’m not sure she’s put it in his chart, and Mar is extremely insistent that we have it in writing, because reasons), and then we go to the pediatric dentist. She was kind of weird last time, asking why anasthetics don’t work. I don’t freakin’, know, lady, I just know it’s true. I admit I was kind of pissed that she was dismissive of my reluctance to go to the dentist. She asked something to the effect of how I feel about the dentist, and I hesitated, trying to figure out how to put my feelings into words, and she cut  me off with, “Oh, so normal then.” Uh, NO, because of the aforementioned “anasthetics don’t work” issue? When I know that going to the dentist is going to result in 3 or more days of pain, both from the procedure and from the repeated and prolonged dislocation of my jaw, I would venture to guess that my attitude toward dental procedures is not at a normal level.

Anyway, I printed out a bunch of stuff for her and highlighted the relevant parts, and some abstracts that I can’t access but she probably can, and in the process I learned that EDSers tend toward high cusps and deep fissures; in other words, our teeth are shaped in such a way as to invite cavities. That was another thing that pissed me off, the way they all acted like we just let Ben have as much sugar as he wants and never brush his teeth. It’s not like he’s sitting with the sugar container and a spoon as soon as he gets home. I got the “no sugar” lecture THREE TIMES. Again with the treating me like I’m stupid, which definitely does not do anything to endear you to me.

I found it interesting that just reading about dental procedures stressed me out to the point that I was lightheaded. Gee, no, I just have “normal” anxiety about the dentist. That’s totally normal, right? I hate the dentist, and I always have. I even have trouble watching Little Shop of Horrors, and I think I might have a lingering dislike for Steve Martin because of it, even. The worst part of dealing with Ben’s dentists (both of them have been dismissive; the first one I asked him about Ben grinding his teeth to the point where it wakes me up if he’s in the same room, and he said, “No, Mom just needs to calm down.” Twice. EXCUSE ME???) is that I don’t know a. how to make a complaint, like how to word it so I don’t get dismissed again as a “hysterical female” or the equivalent, and b. if it would make any sort of difference anyway.

So I’ve decided that, in an effort to not get stressed out thinking about tomorrow, I’m going to do a Let’s Play on a Puce Moose mod that I recently discovered. I’m going to have to restart it, because as I started it, the UPS guy showed up with a new toner cartridge for the printer and I had to print a return label for my Mother’s Day gift. Quite depressing; I got a tablet and it died less than 24 hours after I got it. Hopefully I’ll get the refund soon, because I have my eye on a Lenovo tablet instead of a no-name one. Used, obviously, to get to where we can squeak by fitting it in our budget, but I almost literally drooled when I saw the specs.

I’m off to put Ben to bed and then play my mod. It’s called The Mantis Imperative, and it looks interesting.

Personal Stuff and a partial Mod Review [spoilers]

I’m feeling better, after two days of Augmentin. I didn’t even have to take any DayQuil today, and I can breathe! Now if I could just remember to take the stupid horse pill on time…

We had a bit of a windfall and I’m getting my Mother’s Day present early: a tablet with a keyboard and case. Yay! Now I can read my ebooks without squinting or having to turn the page every other second. (Yes, I really do read that fast. Yes, my eyes really are that bad.)

Ben is getting an adult tooth! Unfortunately, it’s coming in behind his baby teeth on the bottom, and he hasn’t lost any teeth yet, either. I have to admit it’s kind of freaking me out, because teeth freak me out in general. I wasn’t prepared last night when he came to me and asked, “What’s this thing behind my teeth?” and there was a couple millimeters of tooth sticking out! He has a dentist appointment next week, though, so we’ll talk to them about it. Ugh, though, the thought of it makes me shiver.

I’ve been playing Tales from the Burning Sands, and I think I’ve pretty much reached the end of the storyline. It is EXCELLENT, and involving, and HUGE. Tiger Manufacturing makes another appearance, although I’m not sure I’ll ever end up getting the second weapon, since I can only get it if I beat a text-based RPG, and so far, I’m not doing well at all.

The story, especially the first chapter, is really heartwrenching. On the technical side, Puce Moose has kept up his usual high standard of technical expertise, as well. And if you get stuck, he’s helpful and patient, although I can’t imagine how many times he’s answered the same question. At least in my case, though, it was just a matter of me not looking in the right places.

As a bonus, there are certain items to collect, and when you get all the Easter corn, you get to go into the Easter room! I haven’t managed it yet, although there was a very nice person on the forums who gave a list of cryptic clues that helped immensely. There are two that I can’t figure out, and then the one for the aforementioned text-based RPG, as well.

Overall, highly recommended.

The State of the Infection (Personal, mostly)

I have antibiotics, yay!! Especially since my sinus infection has been getting worse, according to the deepening shade of yellow when I blow my nose. I plan to sleep most of the day tomorrow to try to kick this thing, but we’ll see if I can. It depends on the temperature and whether or not I can breathe.

I played through most of Burning Sands today, and it’s great. I even took notes so I could remember everything I want to discuss. Hopefully I’ll finish it up tomorrow so I can write about it. I’d like to get the Fallout 3 mod I’m playing through done tomorrow, too, but I think a dialogue trigger didn’t get tripped, so I’m waiting to hear back about that before I write about that one. I added some more FNV mods today, too, so I’ll comment on those as well.

And now, it is bedtime.

Mod impressions in Fallout: New Vegas

Yes, mods for a game that’s not Fallout 3! I’ll be going back to discuss the current mod I’m playing in F3, but I wanted to talk about mods for F:NV.

First of all, I love mods. They make games new again, at least for me. That said, I will always play through a new game first without mods, unless it’s something like DSfix for Dark Souls, something that fixes something broken in the game. But since I usually get games months to years after they’re released, my games don’t usually start out broken. (I think I have a fairly flexible definition of “broken”, though.) Anyway, my point is, I love mods for replays, especially when they’re done well and really add to the game.

I want to talk here about two mods in particular: NVInteriors and Tales from the Burning Sands. NVInteriors adds interiors to buildings that were boarded up or looked like they should have been accessible but weren’t. It’s actually a fairly large project, with multiple people contributing, and the files I got have 24 new explorable buildings, plus a “find all the things” quest that’s kind of cute. It’s really awesome to wander around and find something that wasn’t there before.

Tales from the Burning Sands, however… well. Puce Moose has relocated from D.C. to the Mojave, and he brought his unique brand of quest mod with him! Seriously, this is a really good mod. The story for the first chapter really touched my heart, and the second chapter looks like it’s going to be nice and creepy. Gene-spliced animals, anyone? Plus there are quite a few “find the things” bits thrown in for fun.

On a personal note, as soon as Mar gets paid, I’m getting antibiotics for this sinus infection. UGH.

More about Heritage Home, and Real Life.

I just found some areas I’d missed in Heritage Home, and I am very impressed with this mod. I thought I’d gotten to the end of the mod and that was it, but there are still two (possibly three) flamingos to find, and some mixtapes, and obviously I need to go through all the areas I’ve been in with a fine-toothed comb to make sure I didn’t miss anything else! As I told the author, this is going to be the mod I measure all other mods against. I’ve been fortunate in the mods I’ve installed so far, and I’m looking forward to Heritage Home: Part 2.

I’m still sick, but we had to get Ben’s feet measured for his orthotics today, so we did. It didn’t take long, and afterward we went to Denny’s for gaming night. (I’m a cat chick who answers to the name of Catnip. Not her real name, but it works for now. Mar’s a drow. It’s an interesting campaign setting.) It was fun, although I’m not sure I was braining enough (or able to hear enough) due to this cold to contribute very much. I actually in-game got beaned in the forehead with my own weapon at one point. We had to leave when Ben got squirrely… well, more so than usual. And now I’m about  to take some off-brand NyQuil and go to bed. Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to, and we haven’t gotten a present yet. Maybe when I wake up things will make more sense….

Personal Stuff

This has been a challenging month. It started out with this on the 5th:

A creative and beautiful design... drawn on the walls and ceiling in marker.

That afternoon, we went to what turned out to be a wedding. They kept it a secret so people wouldn’t feel the need to dress up, etc. It was pretty fun, and the bride was beautiful. I was pretty worn out, though, so we left fairly early.

On the 10th I ran 2.25 miles, a personal best, and hung out with friends, and started this blog. Still proud of that personal best.

This week has been exhausting, though. Tuesday morning, I found out that Ben had been stealing candy and eating it after bedtime because he woke up with a Laffy Taffy stuck in his hair. So that explains some of why he has a zillion cavities. I got it out with the “mom” trick of rubbing it with oil, then combing through to get it out, but it was not fun for either of us. As a result, he’s not allowed to have any candy for the foreseeable future.

Now, some backstory: I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or EDS. It’s a genetic connective tissue disorder, where one type of the collagen my body makes isn’t right, resulting in some very weird symptoms, like stretchy ligaments resulting in unstable joints, unusual sensitivity to temperature extremes, and anesthetics not working well. I have had my dentist inject the highest legally-allowed amount of Novocaine in my gums and I STILL felt it when he tried to pull that tooth. (I ended up going to an oral surgeon for that one.)

Tuesday Ben went to the dentist for fillings. He had the topical anesthetic, but we’re pretty sure (as is his pediatrician) that he has EDS as well. So he felt it when the dentist tried to inject the Novocaine, and he freaked right the hell out. I don’t blame him, but I must have left my brain at home that day because I forgot that I have a tendency to get lightheaded when Ben’s in pain. To the dentist’s credit, as soon as Ben started trying to escape, he backed off and gave us a referral to a pediatric dentist. I’m pretty sure Ben didn’t notice that I wasn’t doing well, so yay me… he didn’t need something else to stress out about.

Wednesday he went to the podiatrist. It kind of took forever, but the doctor was really nice and was actually about to suggest that Ben has EDS, because he’s really stretchy. I was kind of amazed, because EDS is kind of rare, and we’ve found three doctors who know what it is: the podiatrist, Ben’s pediatrician, and my doctor. The podiatrist gave us scripts for orthotic inserts for Ben’s shoes and physical therapy.

Today I was supposed to go help my best friend pack because her family is moving, but I wasn’t feeling well and I missed the train to get there. I spent the day sleeping.

Tomorrow we go to get the inserts fitted, and then we’ll have to go back to pick them up at some point. After that, tabletop RPing! Saturday we have a birthday party, Sunday is Easter, which should be interesting given Ben’s candy ban, and Monday we go to the pediatric dentist. Tuesday I’m going to my best friend’s to help her pack since I didn’t go today. Wednesday Ben starts physical therapy, which is supposed to be three times a week for… six weeks, I think? The prescription is out in the car or I’d check. Thursday hasn’t been claimed yet but might be the pediatric dentist again; they said we’d probably have to go twice to get all the fillings done. Friday is probably going to involve physical therapy and possibly either more RP or fencing, depending on the weather, and Saturday is the big moving day for my best friend and her family.

Of course, that also doesn’t include school for Ben, me getting my financial aid straightened out and maybe signing up for some summer classes and definitely fall classes, and however many boxes of custom swords we get for work that have to go out, not to mention the stock swords that have to go out as well.

But then there’s things like this that make me smile:

Ben's feet sticking out of a box.

Ben's top half sticking out of a box. He's smiling.

Bring it on.