Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some more uni/health stuff

I'm so not prepared for lectures to start again next week.

My lectures this semester are all morning ones, which is annoying. I'd prefer afternoon ones because then if I had a bad night I could sleep in. At the moment I'm getting to sleep somewhere between 2am and 5am and sleeping for 9 hours which seems to work okay. If I get up earlier I'm tired and hurty all day and still end up going to sleep at the same time anyway.

I'm trying to think laterally to find a way to make things easier for myself. Would it be unreasonable to ask my department to videotape my lectures? That way I could sleep in if I needed to, and still attend lab classes and tutorials (which are in the afternoons).

In related news I heard from the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service at uni. I'm applying for Disabled Student's Allowance which will basically pay for any additional costs I have that other students don't, for stuff I will need for my course. Like a laptop and an ergonomic desk and chair, and all the textbooks I'll ever use so I don't have to lug them home from the library and hurt my shoulders/back, and maybe some funky software to help me sort my notes and essays out.

Anyway, it turns out I haven't actually sent the forms in yet. I'd forgotten I hadn't done it, and was starting to get worried that I hadn't heard from the assessment centre (they'll assess me to see what help I actually need). Shows how much attention I've been paying. Stupid brain.

Also I've been trying to catch up and I am so bored of stats and SPSS. Yawn.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Some moaning

After weeks of illness and months of not being well with the fibromyalgia, I emailed my university department today to say I'm not able to take exams at the moment.

I've missed so much work and I was planning on catching up over Christmas so I could sit the exams . But I've been ill, and I haven't done it. I'm much less tired now, although still coughing and continuous sore throat. But it's too late.

I'll have to take the exams in August. Which is okay, I guess.

I do have several issues though.

Firstly, I need to get a doctor's note to give to my department (who already have confirmation of my illness). This involves going to my doctor, which I hate doing. Last time they charged me £10 too, which truly sucks. Also there is no way for the doc to know what I'm experiencing, they can't measure my pain or tiredness or concentration problems in any way. So all they do is tell the uni what I've told them. I might as well tell the uni myself, it would be £10 cheaper.

Secondly, a more long-term problem. What if I can't do this whole uni thing? What if I'm always going to be missing lectures and lacking the motivation or energy to even start assignments (the last one I didn't even look up the title of the essay), and too underprepared and tired to do exams? It's the only thing I want to do besides sing. And a singing career is not going to happen.

I can see myself dropping out and spending my days doing nothing. Or getting a job which I hate and ending up on sick leave for months at a time. Or fighting with the government to get Incapacity Benefit or Disability Living Allowance or whatever. Never achieving anything. And that scares me.

It's so frustrating because I know I'm capable of so much. When my brain works, it works very well. I perform very well academically when I'm not feeling ill. I'm creative. I can problem-solve. I can hold vast amounts of information in my head and actually apply it. I'd be a great researcher, I'm a born scientist and I could make a contribution to psychology. I also have the ability to become a good musician.

But more often than not, for days or weeks or months at a time, I can't do any of that. I usually describe it as being "tired" - "I'm tired" is my most used phrase in general conversation - but it's much more than that. It's like being drained, and the fluid replaced with thick sludge. My body actually feels heavier, my eyes feel like balls of lead and they hurt when I move them. Even simple tasks like walking upstairs require a Herculean effort. Sitting down hurts my knees, standing up hurts my legs and back, lying down hurts my back and neck. In general, everything hurts - a dull ache like having your muscles squeezed past the point of discomfort. I have the attention span of a goldfish, I can't motivate myself to start anything and if I do start I abandon it once the energy of the initial enthusiasm has worn off. I take hours to fall asleep, then I wake up many times in the night and wake in the morning (or afternoon) feeling as tired as when I went to bed.
It's like Buy One, Get One Free tiredness.

I'm really not trying to elicit sympathy, just trying to explain. And I felt like a moan.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My eyes are leaking

Ever have one of those days when, although you don't feel sad or depressed, you get all teared up at the drop of a hat?

I've noticed this recently when watching Pokémon (don't even ask, I like it, okay?) - like when May missed the ferry so she wouldn't be able to enter the a competition and win the last badge she needed to be part of the Grand Festival, after all her hard work. It's not just sad bits either, the bits emphasising friendship and trying your best and all, and when they win too - it's like proud crying. Which is a bit silly over a cartoon - I suppose it's less pathetic when it's a "real" programme or a book or a movie or something.

Guess I'm just emotional. Some days more so than others, and I've only really noticed it the last few years - maybe as I get older I have more empathy or something.

I remember shocking some people at a LARP event once when my character's partner/fiancé/betrothed was killed in a skirmish. When I heard about it I actually cried actual real tears and was very upset - well to be accurate, my character Scarlett was upset and cried. Everyone assumed that I was either a) a much better role-player than they thought, or b) really upset "out of character" because the death had messed up my (in-character) wedding plans.

The truth was a little different - I wasn't really acting, I'd simply thought myself into how Scarlett would be feeling and so I genuinely felt the emotion myself. Essentially I was her at the time.

It's a strange one, the fact that so many of us can experience real emotions in response to something that doesn't even exist, like characters in a film or a scenario in a novel. Taking that one step further, I've even had emotional reactions to computer games.

Back when Tamagochis were the toy everyone wanted (late 90s), my brother got one and when he got bored of it after a couple of weeks I reset it and cared for it myself, just to see how long I could keep it alive. Every morning it would wake me up at 7am, which is practically the middle of the night, and I'd feed it, clean it and play with it whenever it was required throughout the day. Luckily my teachers at the school where I was studying for A Levels never noticed it so I didn't get it confiscated (they were banned).

Once or twice I didn't notice that it needed cleaning and I'd look at the screen to find several electronic poos and a very sad creature and I felt quite bad. Then one night, on day 31, I was in the pub and I heard an unfamilar beep. When I checked him out I realised he had "died" and I was so shocked and immediately I assumed that I'd done something wrong. Maybe I neglected him or he was unhappy or hungry... hang on, why was I feeling guilty for something that wasn't even alive? (Remember Brian Connelly? "It's a puppet!")

And my first Sims 2 character, Ria. I built her a beautiful (but cheap, lol) house, directed her to fulfil all her need and wants, helped her with her career and marriage. Then she became pregnant with my first Sim baby and had a rough time of it, always very tired and hungry and needing the loo constantly, and it was such a struggle to co-ordinate her eating and sleeping and so on. She was very near to having the baby when she collapsed on the kitchen floor and died of hunger and I'll admit that I cried over her, even though she wasn't "real" either.

I've discovered recently that there's a whole community of people out there who use the video functions in S2 to create short films - it sounds like a fascinating process and if I ever have the inspiration I may well have a go at it myself.

And now I've come full circle. I saw several of these Sim films last night, one of which made me cry. Have a look here, download and watch the "Winter's Here". If you don't have a lump in your throat the size of a small car at the end, and maybe a few tears, something's wrong somewhere.

Unless I'm just a big old baby.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A promotion

I'd forgotten about this.

We've set up a wildlife forum so we can share pictures and stories and advice about attracting and caring for wildlife. It's at www.sinergylarp.com/wildlifeforum if you're interested in joining us - I've added the link to my sidebar as well.

Some more searches

Because these are amusing.

Enid Blyton's audiobook downloads
bruckner choral "mr bean"
"can't run" "tight skirt"
pergolesi alleluia
"pie wedgies"
"warhammer porn"
I wish to know what is an alternative spice for rosemary
intersex breasts

And these were image searches:

free willy 2

free willy
little penis
hedgehog penis
hog penis
penis hog

There must be some disappointed people out there.

I know, it's been a long time

I'd like to say thanks to those of you who have kept checking back, only to find that I still haven' t posted... thanks for waiting for me!

So a quick update.

I haven't been well for a while. I've had various colds/coughs/sore throats/sinus problems for the last eight weeks or so, and while none of it was bad enough to put me in bed for more than a couple of days I've had no rest from general crappiness. I'm feeling much better now, all I have is a cough which is improving slowly.
Maybe it's the diabetes fecking up my immune system. I've never had a winter like this. At one point I was worried that I had meningitis because I felt so bad - presumably I didn't!

I can't remember if I told you guys that my (other) house sold back in September, so we have some spare cash for work on this place. Soon we'll have a new kitchen. Thank goodness for that, I hate my current one. It's ugly and old and dark and not well designed.

The carol book fundraising has gone very well, I'm pretty sure we have enough money for the books now so thanks to everyone who contributed. You're all stars. :)

I've recently started singing lessons, which although I've only had two so far (being ill I haven't been able to go for a while) I can tell they've made a lot of difference to my voice. My singing teacher is the guy who conducts the main SingSoc choir (the one whose car got stolen) and he really knows his stuff. He says my voice is good and that the only problems with it are things I don't know because I haven't had lessons. I'm working on sight-singing and breathing and supporting the sound in the correct way - it's very hard to change the bad habits I've picked up over the years but it does help so much. And it's fun!

And while I'm on the subject, I'm currently recording vocals for an album my brother is making. It's an exciting project, and although the music isn't really my style (it's kind of folk rock type stuff) it sounds good. It's fascinating to see how the sound changes as different musicians add their parts to the track - we start with my brother's vocals and mandolin part then I write and record the harmony/countermelody, then guitar, drums and bass are added by other people. And by the time it's finished it ends up in a different place to his first concep, but it works. It's certainly an experience.

Probably there are other things, but I forget. If they're important, I'll remember them later.

It's nice to be back. Especially as Blogger has finally decided to let me go Beta.