Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.
August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004]
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Wow. Eight hours sleep last night, probably the most I've had in a year!
Did I mention I found a Transformer advent calender at The Range?
Of course I bought it for me - you're never too old for an advent calender! - but then felt a bit guilty, as we really can't risk Kai having one because of his clean diet. So I gave it some thought, and over the last week have made him what may be the biggest advent calender in the world...
There are individual mini chocolate bars in the pockets (and a few non-edible fun things as well). I'm quite pleased with the way it's come out. Yes, it's simplistic, but I didn't have a lot of time (had to make it while Kai was asleep in the mornings).
The wol isn't quite as pretty as I'd like, but the 25 on the wing works well, I think.
And because I don't trust anyone -
It's very large - four and a half feet in length and correspondingly wide. Kai seems quite chuffed with it though!
He's feeling a bit better today - we went over to the nature reserve for a walk this afternoon. The report on Friday was that they couldn't find anything in his blood review, and he has no infection markers, so they think it's either a virus or the meds (same as the Thursday doctor). However, to be absolutely sure, he's booked in for a head MRI next week (because of the headaches he keeps getting), and then he'll have a thorough ear exam (to check if his occasional tinnitus has an obvious cause). Fingers crossed...
Friday, November 28, 2014
So after three days of Kai gradually feeling worse and worse, tonight he was worried enough for me to get him into the BHOC (his temperature is fine, rash the same, no obvious physical problems just increasing weakness, muzziness, pain and general ickiness). Bloods taken for review, ecg run and throat swabs taken, and he's staying for what's left of the night so they can repeat the blood review in a few hours, prior to him taking his tacrolimus meds. The dr we saw couldn't find anything obviously wrong, so she thinks it's either a virus brewing in the background, or drug toxicity. We should know tomorrow, before he has his pentamidine nebuliser.
I've just got back. I've been up since 7.30 yesterday morning, and really need to be up by 8 this morning. Is it worth while going to bed? I ask myself...
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Everything still going OK. We went for a walk this evening and watched the sunset at the Callington Rd Nature Reserve - very pretty and of course I forgot my camera...
We did watch Tf: Age of Extinction on Friday, and all enjoyed it (I loved it!) Both Kai and I want to watch it again soon, as it's so detailed it's very easy to miss things even the second time around.
We've nearly reached Season 3 of The Sentinel too - and I've picked us up the complete Twin Peaks, as Kai expressed an interest in it, and it is, of course, the definition of a cult classic. Will start that after The Sentinel.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Monday's appt was a little worrying - they thought, from his previous blood review, that Kai might have Epstein-Barr virus (extremely common, apparently, the one that causes glandular fever). Luckily his Monday review came back with all the virus markers negative, so that's all good. His RBC and platelets were down on the previous week, but not enough for them to worry about. We'll see what happens next Monday.
Sains had How to Train your Dragon 2, so I picked it up - along with Transformers: Age of Extinction which we're saving 'til Friday, since it's 2 hours 40 minutes long. HTTYD2 is an absolute delight, well deserving the 8.1 the IMDb gives it, hugely enjoyable. Although it rather threw me that the head of the Bewilderbeast looks startlingly similar to Megatron/Galvatron's head in TfP: Predacons Rising (best image I can find is here).
Later edit: there's a similar pic of the bewilderbeast here for comparison, but that image is a spoiler so only go look if you've seen the film or don't mind spoilers.
Kai is feeling generally noticeably better, we're still going for walks nearly every day, and his hair has started growing back. Not enough to tell what colour it's going to be, yet, but enough to provide some protection from the cold (over and above his hats, that is). I have his permission to post this photo (make the most of it, he doesn't like doing it!) so you can see. He's also looking much better these days: everyone at the BHOC keeps remarking how well he looks!
Finally remembered to ring for the results of my x-ray. News is basically good - my hip joints are normal with no unusual wear and tear, and no arthritis (yet), but I have a section of 'unfused bone' at the top of my left femur that might be what's causing the pain. I have to make an appt with Dr Reading for an examination, and may be referred to a specialist. Oh joy. In the meantime, it's not something to be too worried about, so I suppose I just take it as easy as I can manage and not carry anything too heavy. (Yeah, right.)
Otherwise things are trundling along as normal. I'm hoping to get back to Poppy before Yule...
Sunday, November 16, 2014
... where did the week go?
In brief - slow (very slow but noticeable), steady improvement. Kai's been out for four walks (one with Ken) and is finding it easier all the time, though he's tired the next day. He's determined to get strong again as fast as he can though. His excellent appetite should help!
Yule shopping is well underway (folks' parcels were sent off Thursday and arrived yesterday).
Picked up How to Train your Dragon - in advance of HTTYD 2, which is supposed to be out tomorrow, hoping to pick it up right away - and watched last night. Absolutely loved it.
Garden tidy-up continues. At some point I have to fill in all the gaps in the greenhouse with bubble wrap and set my sulphur candle going (then perhaps my cucumbers will grow next year). Everything is now planted except the viburnum - it's not going to sit well where I had planned, so we're going to have to find another position for it.
Still desperately tired. And aching. Legs seem to be getting worse: now waking up at least twice a night with the pain. I forgot to ring for x-ray results on Friday: will try to remember after tomorrow's BHOC appt.
Trying for an early night. Think it'll happen?
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The garden is pretty at this time of year, even on a grey drizzly day...
Monday's appt went well, everyone still very happy with progress. It was cold and sunny: we went for a nice longish walk in between blood review and seeing the doctor. There's a pretty 'woodland' walk along the side of the hill behind the hospital (I'll try to remember to take photos next time. It's very pleasant and flat, designed for patients to get some fresh air, gentle exercise, and see something natural rather than walls), then a little way down and back up 'cardiac hill'. Kai managed it better than me, although he is very tired today.
We got back before ten (would have been earlier but I had to pick up some more MMF at the onsite Boots) to find my trees had been delivered and left on the patio area, as requested. Made Kai lunch, dived out for a Sains shop (specifically to pick up X-men: Days of Future Past) then we planted them up in the veg bed. Going to look beautiful next spring! I'll take photos then, they're pretty much bare branches right now.
After dinner we watched the new film, and enjoyed it, though I could see the plot holes this time round. It was fun though!
Today is dull and drizzly. However, it seems the problem with the DVD recorder is just with one tape, as it will happily record everything else, so I'm still transferring stuff. Ken's archived material today - the 1987 Second Tiverton Fire Show (great fun, and Ken was in it), a Wire programme filmed at the Galleries that Ken was also in, and currently the Most Haunted Live (2007) which was filmed in Bristol. All four hours of it. [headdeskheaddeskHEADDESK] I cannot adequately express how much I hate that programme. I shall need to bleach my brain when it's over, and I certainly deserve a medal...
Hoping to finish the curtain for this room after lunch.
I probably forgot to say we're watching The Sentinel, an ep a day - halfway through Season 2 now, and thoroughly enjoying it. It transferred surprisingly well and the quality is fine.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Two thirds of the way through...
It's been completely manic. In the past four days Kai and I have been for two walks while the weather's been nice, one of them to the Callington Road nature reserve; I've done vast amounts of Yuletide shopping; Ken and I have planted the tamarind, cornus and escallonia out the front, the two red cyclamen and the new hibiscus out the back, the tulip bulbs are planted, and Ken's dug the holes up at the top ready for the trees tomorrow; I went to Sth Briz Community Hospital for my x-ray, via the town to search for scarves for Kai (he's feeling the cold, and not having any hair isn't helping. I found a couple of quite nice ones in charity shops); we're nearly halfway through The Sentinel season 2; and we found time to watch Winter's Tale, which I picked up reduced at Tesco. (We enjoyed it. It's only inspired by the book - which is one of my favourite five of all time - but it gets across the ambience of the work surprisingly well. I could have done without the heavy-handed angel/demon thread though).
There was a lot more but I'm tired and my memory is a bit hazy. I still have to plant my irises, and X-men: Days of Future Past is out on DVD tomorrow - will need to pick that up - and I still haven't finished my last curtain, but otherwise the basic clearing up and sorting out of the house is not far off being done. There's always fine tuning, of course, but I do that as I go along.
Have decided to do duck à l'orange for the 25th December, been a while since I've made it and we do like it. Unfortunately I've left it too late to organise anything for our anniversary this year: the Glassboat is booked solid right through December and into January. Pity - it's our 25th and it would have been nice to go there. However, with Kai recovering we've decided not to bother with anything very special out: I've bought a good pork joint to roast and we'll all watch a film together after dinner instead.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Another quick update...
Monday's appt went OK: he was given prednisolone (steroid) tablets to take.
Tuesday Kim picked me up and we went to Almondsbury Garden Centre, where I bought a Greensleeves apple tree and an Opal plum tree with the cash the in-laws sent for Yule presents (and which arrived that morning!) They're being delivered on Monday and will grow very happily up in the veg bed. Dropped into B&Q on the way back for large plant pots: going to try to get Kai's little trees repotted tomorrow. It was a lovely trip out and fantastic to chat again. Thanks Kim!
Today's appt was very quick. The biopsy came back saying it wasn't GvHD, although the staff member (don't know his rank - not a doctor but more specialised than a nurse...) said it still could be and the cells to prove it may not have been in the sample... The rash has faded almost to nothing, though, and Prof Marks has said Kai can stop using the cream and start reducing the steroid tablets from tomorrow. Everything is still going very well (I think he said the chimaerism has sorted itself out? It got a bit technical at that stage. I'll try to find out more on Monday), the tiredness is only to be expected, and he must try to keep a little more active. Oh, and around day 100 he'll have a full blood work up, lung function test, and (oh joy) another bone marrow biopsy. Hopefully the last...
The weather was gorgeous today, after yesterday's rain, and we walked down to the park after we got back. Kai managed to make it to the top of the hill - first time since he fell ill! The view from there is lovely:
We've worked out several other walks we can do that won't require too much work, too, so will be incorporating them into the schedule.
And my doctor rang. She's organising a hip x-ray for me: I'll get up to the South Bris Community Hospital (again) on Friday.
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Catch up again - it's been busy.
We were all set ready to head to the BHOC for Kai to have his skin biopsy and pentamidine (which Prof Marks says he should start again to make sure he's protected against respiratory problems over the winter period) on Thursday when they rang us - ten minutes before the taxi was due to arrive - to postpone until Friday as the pentamidine wasn't ready...
[growl] I had my Friday all sorted out, me into town to get shopping at Wild Oats and Better Food (it takes proper planning as they're so far away) and pick up presents as I made my way back into town, then I'd planned to head out to Wyevale Garden Centre via Toys Я Us (to check Transformer figures) and Pets at Home to pick up crickets for Rosa. However, Ken had got annual leave that day and volunteered to take Kai in so I could still have my day off, bless him. Though actually, by the time I got back after that sortie I was too tired to go out again, so used the time to get some bits and pieces done in the house.
Went to Toys Я Us/Pets at Home/Wyevale today instead (in that order - walked out and got the bus back). Wyevale were having their end of season sale: bought a pretty mauve hibiscus to accompany the blue one, a japonica for screening, and a good tall cornus, also for screening, all at half price. Also picked up a viburnum, hopefully for screening at the back. We have a lot of planting to do and it's supposed to rain tomorrow...
Kai is still feeling rough. He came back with a steroid cream, which I've been helping him to apply but which so far hasn't done much good. He's aching and his skin hurts and he's completely exhausted all the time - going to speak with the doctor on Monday.
We both spent Samhain in the Endless Forest... Last year I was but a faun and it was snowing: this year I was a stag, and it was mist-shrouded with blood red flowers falling like leaves...
We joined everyone (and the Big Zombie Deer, the focus of the Samhain romps) on the bridge at the pool...
Travelled to the ruin (baying produced huge bubbles instead of sounds last night! Great fun!)
Then spent some time at Die Drinkenplatz, where strange and mysterious things happen on a normal day. Last night we had rainbows...
Random roses -
A lightning strike (Kai tells me I should post that one to the forum, as to his knowledge no-one has ever screencapped a lighting strike before. I'd like to blame my superfast reflexes but actually it was just luck...)
Giant rocks appearing from nowhere -
And strange pods that puff out square... uh... bubbles? Smoke? Seeds?
Then we all headed off with the BZD and suddenly everything went dark...
Then an eerie - but very pretty - reddish light came over everything...
And we ended up at the 'playground' -
... where the light once again changed to red...
All very exciting and lots of fun!
Tonight it's just been noisy here. I think everyone celebrated firework night tonight instead of the fifth, but no doubt there'll be nothing but bloody fireworks from now until next weekend...
Oh, and my blood tests came back normal across the board. Which is good, though it doesn't help to explain the constant pain. Will have to make another appointment and see where we go next.