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(no subject) [Dec. 20th, 2014|11:24 am]
So: I saw this story:

I realized there was another way to imagine it. I felt I could describe it, but decided to try writing it instead.

cut for length, and for potentially disturbing end-of-world imaginingsCollapse )
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YES!!!!! [Nov. 26th, 2014|02:13 pm]
(Re: the subject, I'm now flashing back to an old Dilbert cartoon. Dogbert asks what happened, Dilbert responds, nothing, he's just practicing in case something good ever *does* happen.)

In the past few weeks, I've
1) recognized that an XML "shredding" procedure was the root cause of performance problems, and that the problem wasn't with any other part of the server infrastructure,
2) realized that there may be unexpected behavior with (feature redacted) causing (behavior redacted).
3) Puzzled out a really tricky spinlock contention issue, and
4) maybe figured out the root cause of a long running case that might come down to a faulty driver.

Every now and again, it does me good to remember that I'm *really* good at my job.
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Good visit with the sleep doc... [Nov. 25th, 2014|11:01 pm]
I met with my new sleep doc today. I was a bit hesitant to work with a sleep doctor because my symptoms don't map well to a sleep disorder.

Well, my sleep doc agrees. But she points out that sleep disorders present a thousand different ways. And... well, I can't argue. And she thinks it merits ruling out. Which... well, that was part of the goal.

I like her. She listened, we talked back and forth, she recognized that I'd done a lot of thinking about this and engaged me on it. She also has the sense about her that she'll consider it a personal affront if she can't do something to help.

She is sure that whatever we need to do, it will require a full sleep lab. But these days,insurance starts with an in-home sleep lab to test for apnea. If you have moderately severe (or worse) apnea, this catches it, so they can go straight to testing what level of CPAP you need. So I guess it saves some money. But she reckons we'll need the full sleep lab to catch, or, alas, rule out sleep issues.

Thankfully, the home sleep lab can be done next week, and then we can look for the full deal.

I find it interestingly ironic that I woke up at 4am today, when my appointment with the sleep doc was Monday. Oh well.
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Lousy few days but maybe getting better... [Nov. 18th, 2014|09:51 pm]
So, Sunday, I made the horrible mistake of walking 3 miles on the treadmill, and was exhausted and felt lousy on Monday. That wasn't really the horrible mistake - trying to exercise gently is a reasonable mistake, and I was just walking.

No, the horrible mistake was doing it while having lousy memory flashbacks of an ex- who's memories have been hounding me.

She was the only one who actually made me feel damaged - broken. The one who made me ask whether I should just stop any form of dating.

Don't mix risk of depression with already depressing obsessions...

But I got through Monday, and I got through today, and things started to improve. So I hope tomorrow will be better still. I hope so. It's been a sucky couple of weeks.
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Recent spiritual discussion [Nov. 13th, 2014|10:17 pm]
Last month, at my shamanic circle, I had one of the first spiritual challenges sent to me in a long time. Most of the time, well, just living life is challenge enough. And if you don't understand that, you don't understand the nature of mental fatigue.

But I had asked a friend to journey on whether I was following the right path for healing and he pointed out that there was a third path I needed to walk upon, an old injury.

I don't remember the actual wording - that's the nature of a good spirit message, is, the wording doesn't actually matter.

(Well - not to me. To some people the precise wording might actually be very important. But to me, words are how I sculpt ideas and a different wording doesn't matter as much, so long as it displays the right portion of the idea properly. Spirit messages come to you in the language you understand, and for me, the ideas are what matter.)

The question was asked whether or not I love myself. Which is stupid, isn't it? I've learned to overcome a great deal of self-criticism. I was bullied, and rejected, and lonely, and I'm flat out weird so I've frequently been misunderstood and I've lost many friendships and relationships due to weirdness, and I've come to accept those things as part of life - sad parts, but real parts. I had the wonderful experience of a manager *so* bad that I had to learn to believe in myself, because I realized I could be wrong, but I'm incapable of being *that* wrong. So, yeah, I love myself.

Except... except.

See, I'm *tired* so frequently. I have so little mental energy.

And so much of life is being there. And I'm so rarely *there*. Not because I'm not willing to be but because, damn it, y'all don't realize how much *energy* a person expends just being there.

That, coupled with the number of times when I've lost friendships or had relationships end... I don't believe anyone's going to stay, that it's all a matter of time. And in a real sense, that is a lack of love for self.

If I really felt I was lovable, I'd probably believe some people would stay, would continue to love me... I wouldn't be so ready to accept that things will end when I stop being fun or useful.

So there's that. I need to learn about that. Because even if my neurologist finds something, the odds are still high that I'll have some serious limits that I need to accept, that I can't let have me thinking they make me "just as worthless as I am now."
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While on the subject of my health, a question for the fitness minded [Nov. 7th, 2014|03:16 pm]
Here's something that's bugged me a bit.

Imagine this. I'm on my treadmill. I'm working pretty hard. It's a physical effort, right? And my heart rate is rising, but it's only at 148, 150 - and let's pretend that this is back in my 30s, just so you don't say "dude, you're going to be *50* soon enough".

It will start to hurt. Emotionally. I feel like I could just scream, or tantrum. I often wondered, how the *hell* did people *do* this? And I assumed it just had to get better. (It did, in the sense that the amount of energy I could expend to hit that point increased, but whether I was jogging at 5 mph or 6.8mph, once I hit that heart rate, I tended to have that reaction.)

It doesn't quite hurt *physically*. I mean, it definitely doesn't hurt physically. It's *uncomfortable* physically, but it's not like it's painful. And my body doesn't experience failure, okay? I can sometimes break into tears, or fly into a bit of a rage *and keep walking/jogging*, in no danger of missing a step. It hurts like deep disapproval of someone you dearly love and respect, like the whole world is crushing down on your soul, but I know my body hasn't reached a limit.

And again, *my heart rate isn't near the danger zone*. This is key. If my heart rate was at 180, hell yes, my body is screaming for oxygen, that's why I feel like that.

More importantly, when I hit 150 on my cardiac stress test, I felt this thing click, but none of the indicators they were reviewing showed so much as a blip that concerned them. The cardiologist said that *whatever* was affecting me, it was *not* my heart. So... let's just trust them. Because who opens themself up to huge malpractice suits if they're not 100% scientifically certain? And I kept going on the stress test until my heart hit the 170s. So, yeah, I still had capacity.

Could someone who's done heavy exercise over a time tell me if I'm right in calling this out as very strange? Military folks, or folks who were competitive athletes, or who trained as if for competition?

(Maybe this is a stupid question, but I'm feeling scared and a bit despairing, so I'm trying to think and analyze to ward off the emotional bogeymen.)
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Wires removed... [Nov. 7th, 2014|09:09 am]
The four day EEG is done. I exercised hard the last two days, and triggered some symptoms, but I think they were minor. They have EEGs of me being super-fatigued, which may or may not help. There are EEG markers for mental fatigue, and if my doctor can prove that I have that, it might open up some avenues for exploration.

("But it won't," says my brain. Which is in despair state, because I didn't have any blatant symptoms except very briefly today, and because the Provigil is too dangerous for me to take - four days after stopping it, my mouth and throat are still healing from the damage. Since I'm not ketogenic, I planned to enjoy some foods I rarely or never eat - but I can't because my mouth is too sore.)

And there's always a chance - a desperate chance - that my EEG shows something that I considered normal, but to a trained neurologist says "that's definitely pre-seizure or mild seizure activity". After all, I have no idea what's normal. And there is an instance of exercising triggering extreme emotions - which was my hope would be seizure-like.

And I still have the standard EEG to do and I know how to prep for that... exercise hard the day before and the day of (about 2-3 hours prior) and then go in.

But I won't deny it. I'm not feeling good. I'm tired, my mood is low (both of these due to the heavy exercise). Of all the weeks... I felt like I could feel something starting a few times, but each time, I was able to pull back from it.

Um. A warning here: I've been having symptoms for 20+ years. Please don't suggest that having four relatively good days is good news. I've had good days, good weeks, maybe a good month once in a while.

In addition to this, my dry eyes act up when I exercise, and they've added a new "trick" to their repertoire: my vision is going cloudy sometimes.

On the plus side, my doctor has agreed to prescribe higher doses of Ritalin, or Adderall, or even the dex-based meds for fatigue for me. And there's still Strattera, which is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Since I can bull through my fatigue if I'm excited or emotional, maybe pumping up norepi will help.

There's still hope, even without answers. It's just hard to feel it right now, in part because my body is worn out.
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Kind of good news... [Nov. 6th, 2014|12:23 pm]
I exercised this morning, prior to my last full day of EEG monitoring. I've achieved severe fatigue. Um... yay? That was the goal. Going to exercise again later today or tomorrow, hoping to trigger a better defined event. Going to *hate* myself for doing this.

(And, going to post this now because it can take me far too long to proofread when I'm fatigued.)
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Dear lord, I hope they find something... [Nov. 3rd, 2014|10:15 pm]
Well, in one sense, I'm vindicated.

I've done enough carbohydrate loading that my body couldn't be in ketogenesis. I've been feeling buzzier, and less focused, and after a relatively gentle workout, I had a period of moderate fatigue.

I'm definitely seeing something going on.

I'm also aware that, wow, my symptoms really suck, because I'm finding myself awfully hesitant to do the things I know are likely to trigger them. But I'm doing them. Two modest workouts today, and if the glue holding my electrodes on continues to hold, I plan to push a bit harder over the next few days.

I started this post yesterday night before bed, and I felt like I was pushing the words through a layer of molasses. It gets worse - that's one of the milder aspects of my symptoms. They'd been worse earlier in the day, and they can get a lot worse than that.

It's not that the fatigue makes me stupid, I can see that the words I'm grabbing for are there, but just not coming to mind, and when they do, I'm not sure how they feel any longer. Is this the right tone? Did I miss some crucial connecting thought? Does this all still make sense? It's hard to tell because I can't quite hold the thoughts in my brain well enough to check the connections.

There's no chance that my symptoms aren't real, and no real chance that I haven't latched on to some of the causes. And that's partial vindication to me, as I mentioned.

But when I'm in this state, my mood crashes easily, and I'm filled with the thoughts of how little it matters if I know a lot about my symptoms and how they're triggered if medical science can't find anything wrong that it knows how to fix.
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Oddness - wanting to share, but nothing to explain [Oct. 31st, 2014|10:25 pm]
So... about, dear lord, three years ago, I had a bad case of sciatica. Scary bad. "Am I disabled?" bad. I said it was in "my hip" but my doctor told me, no, that's my lower back, or my leg.

Well, I understood what she was saying, but... damn it.

Well, a massage therapist finally wrung the tightness out of my piriformis muscle, and that stopped a lot of the pain, but I still felt something was "wrong" with my leg. It felt turned out.

I went to a few physical therapists, but none of them seemed to have any idea what was going on. One thought that I was having serious hip issues - while I was running 3+ miles a day! Others just never seemed to approach the area having problems.

I later learned that there are two big, major muscles - the psoas muscle, and the ileacus muscle. They attach through your pelvis to your upper thigh. And I became a bit obsessed, because they both pass through the bottom of the pelvis in the groin region, and I felt like I had a steel cable embedded in my left groin.

I can't explain what I did. I just kind of kept up my awareness of the muscles that seemed too tight, and not working quite right and kept trying to find the way they should work. I kept thinking about lengthening and strengthening them.

And the pain got better, and started to shift.

This past week, I suddenly realized I could kind of shift my hip in a way that wasn't painless, but felt like it was close to where the hip was supposed to be, and it felt like I had some muscles fighting back, but... well, they weren't fighting *quite* so hard any more.

Previously, I'd been working mostly from the leg - trying to use the leg to force how the hip moved, but now, I feel like I'm engaging the lower back/hip. I feel like I'm knocking on the door of having a normal stride again. (Not that you would have noticed my stride being *ab*normal before now... but I'm starting to think that dancing, or martial arts, might not be out of my reach. Assuming I can ever handle the physical exertion without going all fatigued, of course!

Adding to this, I pushed my doctor to let me try Provigil which seems to be having good effects, and Monday, I do my four day EEG. I'm kind of hopeful that things might be on an upswing for me.

Here's hoping life is treating you all extremely well - I know I haven't been "here," in both senses of the word, that much recently and hope to be more present, more often, in the future.
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