Recuperation Nearly Complete

It’s been quite the bumpy road back to health, but the destination seems to be within sight now. I’m telling you, recovery’s tough when you can’t eat adequately. Happily, I’ve now drained all of that bloody awful IV fluid, and can fit things in my belly, which is delightful. I’ve lost weight, but not quite as much as I feared I had, and once I take the last antibiotic this morning, my body can get back to normal function. Huzzah. I shall now proceed to eat ALL THE FOOD. [Read more…]

Hooray For Clean Blood

I don’t have to go live in the hospital after all – my blood came back clean, so oral antibiotics will finish the job nicely. In fact, I’d be feeling almost myself again if it wasn’t for 8 liters of IV fluid swelling me like sausage. Oy.

I visited our UW Urgent Care down the road so they could make sure I wasn’t gonna die of pulmonary edema, and get advice on how to make this wretched fluid leave me. It was gratifying to hear the doctor talking to the nurse in the hall before he came in, incredulously repeating, “Eight liters?”, which words have been my mantra whenever I look at my incredibly ballooned abdomen, my bulging ankles, my bratwurst legs, and my lil smokie fingers. He determined that my lungs and heart were holding their own despite the reduced room, so all we need to do now is let nature take its course. We’re not trying drugs because my poor kidneys are already unhappy enough, so it’s best not to antagonize them. We’re going to check them again on Friday, and if they’re recovered but I’m still Water Balloon Woman, we can drug the fluids out then.

Good thing I don’t love salt, because he recommended I keep my sodium low. I’ve already cut back drastically, because carbonated sodas and I aren’t currently on speaking terms. And I don’t salt my food, so I’m basically free to eat what I want. Now if I can only free up enough abdominal space to eat lots of it…

I managed a trip to Target all by my lonesome, and was able to haul everything upstairs without total collapse, so it’s Dana’s Independence Day. B would’ve done all that, but he’d been awake all night worrying after I sent him home for rest and didn’t sleep until I emailed at 4am to let him know mild fever all gone. Then he slept through the morning, and his brother took the car, leaving him stranded. It was a nice, sneaky way to force him to take the day off, really, and he needed it. If I’d needed help, there are other people I can tap, but I don’t think he quite believes that. That poor kid is getting so much TLC from me when I’m fully functional again.

So now, it’s just a matter of tottering around on swollen pins, and grazing throughout the day rather than having meals, and trying to be patient while the last of the infection is murdered and the excess fluid goes away. I anticipate long periods of napping. I’ll probably take several days off from the blog now, unless one of those suddenly-better events happens, in which case we’ll get right back to it. And, of course, either B or I will update you if anything goes wrong. So don’t fret at radio silence.

I love you, my darlings, and can’t wait to be really-for-reals back!

Image shows a cat face-planted on a bed. Caption says, "I will nap... HERE."

 

 

 

Home for Now

Writing from me own bed, yay! I checked out against medical advice because my body was telling me it would conspire with the bacteria to murder me if I didn’t get real sleep. You cannot do that in a hospital, especially when they spend half the night fast-pushing fluids to try to raise your blood pressure. I’m not kidding when I tell you I’m carrying an extra 20 pounds or so of liquid under my skin. I’m swollen all over and my poor lungs have limited room to work, so I sound like a Victorian woman in an extra-tight corset when I talk or breathe. I can’t crouch down to get thing without my legs feeling like they’re gonna pop like water balloons. Luckily, my kidneys are functioning fine and doing their best to deal with the situation. [Read more…]

The Joye of Sepsis

Greetings from my hospital prison! Turns out this wretched little illness wasn’t just a kidney infection. No, the little bastard bacteria escaped into my bloodstream, after pretending they’d gone. I went to urgent care, and they pumped me so full of fluids I nearly popped, topped me off with antibiotics, and shipped me over to the hospital next door. Fun times. At least my female nurses have been unrelently awesome, my one male nurse was hawt, and all of the doctors so far rock, even though they won’t let me return to my memory foam mattress and cat.

B’s got me covered for fetching things and transport. He’ll also watch over my very upset felid. If all goes well, I’ll be going home tomorrow sometime. Probably will not be back to full Dana for a few days, though. Sepsis is srs bidness. However, I already feel miles better and am happily sucking down fluids, so I’m hoping recovery won’t take forever.

We shall see…

Thanks for your patience and well-wishes!

Gray kitten in scrubs walking toward right, caption says, "Dr. Tinycat to the OR, STAT!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently Ill. Back Soon!

I’m so sorry, my darlings, but my body has gone into full rebellion. First, Aunty Flow showed up, then I developed what’s probably a kidney infection. Alas, of course, it didn’t make its wretched self obvious until after every Urgent Care clinic closed. Sigh. B is a complete angel and rushed over with necessary drugs and fluids, so I’m feeling much better and the fever’s going down. If it’s still a thing in the morning, or worsens unexpectedly, he’ll whisk me off to brave the indignities of the American health care system. Whee.

I’ll be posting again ASAP, but it might take a few days. Apologies to those who are languishing in moderation – I am definitely not up for admin duties, but hopefully tomorrow! I’m now going to drink a gallon of green tea and pass out.

Gray kitten in scrubs walking toward right, caption says, "Dr. Tinycat to the OR, STAT!"

 

 

Hold My Calls, Pleez

I know, I’ve not been around much lately, and I’m afraid that’s going to continue for just a bit. I got sucked in to some rather intriguing sporkings, which also led to some new books, and I’ve pretty much been a 24/7 layabout. There will be payoff for you, I promise. I meant to have that for you this week, but then awesome personal life developments intervened, and well… I’m taking the rest of the week off. I’ll return next week, when we’ll restart our… well, interesting, if not exactly fun… Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education. I’ve got many posts written, just need to type them up. I’ll be introducing you to an awesome new earth science comic to ease your pain. It’s because I love you, and also because I got sent an advanced copy and fell in love with it.

This came up while I was searching for a suitable picture for this post, and I love it, and want you to have it: [Read more…]

Ha Ha Ha Whoops. Also: Help Me Keep an Eye on Creationists

I’ve had myself so buried in Christianist textbooks, frantically trying to get this talk pulled together, when I wasn’t compulsively reading about the awful things police in Ferguson are up to now, I haven’t thought to keep an eye on my email… and it turns out that due to unforeseen circumstances, FtBCon’s postponed anyway. We’ll be trying again in a few months. So what does this mean? It means you’ll still get a talk on Why Geology Matters – To Creationists, only it will be a much better talk, because I’ll actually have gotten through these books. Well, at least through all the geology bits of the books. Ye gods, it takes ages to fact-check and debunk this stuff now that we’re in to the portions of Earth science Christianists love to hate.

Image shows an orange kitten sitting in a terra cotta pot, with one paw over an eye. Caption says, "Whew! Close Call!"

Thank you, all of you who helped me calculate mammoth populations! You’re amazing. You’ll also love the resulting post, although it’ll take a while before it comes up in the queue – trying to do this stuff in order.

Now I’m going to ask you all now to do me another favor: over the next few months, would you keep an eye out for any news about creationists and geology? It can be things like creationists infiltrating the American Geophysical Union or Geological Society of America meetings (again), creationists trying to sneak “Flood geology” in or fighting earth science standards, creationists trying to pull the wool over journal editors’ eyes and attempting to slip religion in to science publications, anything like that. You can send tips to dhunterauthor at gmail.

Some of you who are interested may want to join me for a private dry-run of said talk when it’s finished – if you’d like to help me not suck in public, and be one of the elite, exclusive ETEVers who gets to hear it first, let me know. We’ll set up a Google Hangout and do the thing when I’ve got it all written. And, if there’s room on the schedule and you’d be interested in joining me for a panel on Women in the Geosciences, also let me know that.

But wait! There’s More!

[Read more…]

Your Wish List?

I’m relatively certain The Powers that Be™ are getting vigorous feedback from a variety of sources, but I figured we’d do up a list of wants and needs here just to be thorough. Now that we’ve got the new theme up, it’s time to make it moar awesomer! Dream big, I’ll compile, and then compare our list with what Ed’s given to our tech guru for fixin’.

I can tell you that Recent Posts in the sidebar for all FtB is definitely on the list already. (And no, you don’t have to repeat yourself: if you already said what you’d like in the previous thread about the theme, you don’t have to do it here.)

While you’re at it, let me know if you want threaded comments to forever vanish from the face of ETEV. Because I can make that happen if you want, yo.

And do tell me what you particularly like about the new theme, so we don’t inadvertently destroy it.

Also, a bit o’ a challenge! I’ve added a background. All the kudos to the first person who a) notices and b) figures out what it is.

Image is a black and white cat lying in front of a blank pad and a pen, looking up expectantly. Caption says, "You maek list. I pass it on."

I’m Not Dead! Just Sleeping Like It…

I think I figured out where my new medications put my anxiety: it transferred it to all of you! I didn’t mean to worry you, my darlings! Should’ve checked my email weeks ago… dear, oh, dear. All the hugs and apologies for scaring you!

Rest assured, I am alive, in reasonably good health, and much better spirits. Of course, the first week on the new meds was pretty rocky. The anxiety and depression vanished almost instantly, but I was loopy and slightly nauseous and couldn’t really think. Then they flipped the sleep mode switch, and so my routine has been basically see bed > lie down > sleep until dragged to day job > repeat endlessly. I’m not even kidding. Opening the computer became a Sisyphean task. I’d sit up, pry open the lid, then it snapped closed and the bed swallowed me again before I could open a page.

Image shows a cat face-planted on a bed. Caption says, "I will nap... HERE."

This has gone on for over a month, but is now getting better. I can even be awake almost hours at a time! And tonight, I can skim email and focus on a blog post. Woo-hoo progress!

Ye olde day jobe, which I am sadly stuck with until I get my medical stuff straightened out, has been utter chaos. After gods know how many years of the most obnoxious yellow walls and dingy swirly-patterned industrial carpet filled with more stains than design (and duct-taped down in places, not even kidding), they decided to remodel. While having us take overflow calls for about every type of phone we’ve ever offered. Even the ones we have no training for. While telling us to use their nifty new technical troubleshooting gadget. Which is horrifically broken. Which Starspider, myself, and others have desperately been attempting to fix for over a month now. Our master design guru had gotten part of it into excellent shape, with features that made all the reps on the floor drool. Only to be told a few days before launch that our nifty ideas had been scuttled, and our guru had to redesign the entire thing in less than a week. Stress? You betcha! I swear I thought that poor kiddo was gonna jump off the roof a time or two. But we got ‘er done, and our guru lives.

Needless to say, I didn’t have time to read email at work, or blog. But the new medication did the trick. I should’ve been ripping hanks of hair out and having a complete breakdown. Instead, I laughed a lot at the utterly predictable disastrousness of it all. Then I’d go home to my kitty and – you guessed it –

Image shows a cat sleeping with its tongue hanging out. Caption says "Drool"

Yeah, I have been incredibly exciting – if you like watching marathon snoozing. Add to that Starspider moving, and B needing help battling a doctor who doesn’t believe anxiety is really a thing, and having to change supervisors suddenly, and having people in meatspace need me for things every time I had a conscious few hours… yeah, I’ve been neglecting my online life big time.

And neglected you. And worried you. Which is bad. And so I’ve made arrangements with Starspider and B to let you all know if anything actually happens to me, so that you won’t ever have to worry again! They’ll keep you informed as to what’s going on if I suddenly go silent again.

The side effects from ye new drugs are fading, and I might have a combo that allows me to stay awake for more than minutes at a time after work, so I should be returning to blogging seriously here very soon. And the dreams – cinematic, incredibly detailed dreams that have the Muse rubbing her hands with glee and saying, “Hey, we can work with this!” Those dreams have provided me a story line or two which I’m pursuing, so it won’t be just geology and social commentary you get from me, I hope!

For now, though, it’s time for me to

Image is a gif of a tiny kitten yawning and falling asleep.

Adventures in Mental Health Care

You may have noticed from the fact I’ve flaked recently, but Wellbutrin stopped working in a big way. It did a great job removing depression at first – which unmasked an underlying anxiety that increased and increased and increased. Then it stopped working on the depression. Sigh.

My day job has spent the past several months jabbing the rage, depression, and anxiety buttons nearly constantly. It’s got to the point where I have nightmares about it, which added insomnia to the list. Double sigh.

And my doctor is on sabbatical so she can spend time with her kids. Triple sigh.

Image is a cat collapsed face-down on the back of a sofa. Caption says, "I love you, couch. You understand me."

It’s really hard to cope with change when you’re super-depressed and anxious, so it took me a while to work up the courage to go through the process of getting a new doctor. Luckily, a friend at work went from all storm clouds all the time to near-blissful happiness, and her doctor was accepting new patients. I saw her Tuesday. I bloody love both her and the new clinic. She was a lot more prompt and thorough than my previous doctor. She found me something that will, with any luck, destroy both the anxiety and the depression in one go. We’re phasing out Wellbutrin. I’ve got some Xanax to fill in the gaps while the new stuff gears up to full effect. She listened to me when I told her my tiny little body burns through ordinary doses of drugs in a flash, and dosed accordingly. And she also sent me down the hall to the lab to get my thyroid tested, which I’d meant to ask for and completely forgotten. I love docs who actually look for other underlying causes rather than just assuming you’re mental. [Read more…]