[sticky entry] Sticky: Books read in 2016

Jan. 7th, 2016 03:59 pm
urbandruid: (Default)
Books read in 2015
129 books read last year.

The books, 2016:

1. Star Wars: Before the Awakening, Greg Ruka
2. Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler
3. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, James Patterson
4. Parable of the Talents, Octavia E. Butler

updated 01/07/15
urbandruid: (Headtilt Cylon)
Ugh, seriously? Every time I log into Livejournal, they've changed something else, and not for the better. There's annoying stuff I can't even find an opt-out for anymore. Example: I was just notified that someone (that would be me) uploaded a new icon to a journal (that would also be mine.) Duh, you guys?

I swear, I'd give that site up entirely if there weren't a few communities I was interested in joining or keeping up with, that aren't on DW.

Also, the ridiculiousness that is them charging $15 just for me to be able to use a username that's deleted and purged. Ugh. If it's been deleted and purged, there shouldn't be a problem. And nope, you guys can't have the $15 because I am never giving you money again, you've pissed me off so much. I came up with another username instead.

And then discovered that the community I was thinking of joining hasn't really been active since 2011. *sigh* And I just wrote a fic for these people, too. And created an LJ so I could join...

It's not my day for journal stuffs, apparently.
urbandruid: (Jaina / Pen Is Mightier)
Okay. So. I finally got started on the thing, even though I'm finding it easier to do anything but work on the novel. I've gotten a lot of random stuff done since I got on the computer, but very little of it related to the novel. This is gonna be a problem if it goes on like this.

I really want to delete everything I've written so far, and that's just not done. It's hard not deleting it. Physically difficult, not to hit the delete key and watch all these terrible words go away.

I do think I'm gonna have to start over, though. I'll keep the word count, but jeeze, this is beyond terrible and I can't do anything with it.

And if the NaNo site forums could stop giving me errors, that would be fabulous. Just saying. I've tried to post something like three times, and it's not happening. Fine. Not that important anyway.

Maybe almost 4AM, when I'm depressed and can't sleep, isn't the best time to be working on the novel. But once I actually get up for the day (I'm planning on going back to sleep at some point) I'll have to get cracking on some school work. I have a chapter of psych to read and a quiz to take, and some women's studies things I've been neglecting that are kind of due Tuesday. Oh, plus I have to decide for sure what I'm taking next semester, as I register Tuesday afternoon. Joy.

In regards to the novel, what I really want to do is scrap the idea and do something else, but I didn't exactly come into this with a backup plan. So I have no idea what I'm going to do at all. Yeah, this was such a good idea... *sigh*

Okay, I'm going to try and go back to sleep now.


Oct. 24th, 2014 02:17 pm
urbandruid: (Default)
Friday afternoon, and I'm here again with my laptop and my boredom. There are things I could be doing, but... yeah. I'm just not really in the mood to stare at the several hundred PowerPoint slides I have to study for next week's Cognitive Psych test. I swear, I can't believe that class is only four units. Seems like it should be five or six for all the stuff we have to do. But maybe that's just me being grumpy.

I couldn't get to sleep last night for the longest time, hence the three chapters of fic I posted over at [personal profile] aurordark. I was tired of staring at the inside of my eyelids, so I figured I'd get up and do something (somewhat) useful. I was eventually able to get to sleep, but I did not want to get up this morning.

Part of it, I think, is that it's staying dark later and later. The sun wasn't even fully up when I got to school this morning. Normally I don't go in on Fridays, but I had a couple meetings to go to today.

One, with the Assistive Tech guy at Services for Students with Disabilities, went really well. I actually went in to talk to him about these new electronic pens they have now, which can transfer your notes to computer. But after talking with him, I decided it wasn't going to work for me. He did have some really awesome ideas about how I can keep up with my notetaking, though. It's been driving me crazy that I can't get every word down, but I literally cannot write fast enough. So I'm not going to anymore.

I'm going to take my laptop or my Kindle and a Bluetooth keyboard and type my notes. I'm also stealing borrowing Mom's camera to take pictures of the whiteboard so I don't have to rely on my crappy drawing skills to copy diagrams and such.

I seriously wanted to hug him for that suggestion. And he apologized to me for the e-pen thing not working out. I was like, no, no, this is awesome, you've been so much help, thank you!

Now I just need to talk to my teachers and make sure they're cool with me typing my notes. I think they'll be alright with it once I explain the circumstances, but the thing is, given my disability, it doesn't really matter what their policies on tech in the classroom are. I have the right to reasonable accomidations, and that covers things like laptop use- even in classes where the professors don't want laptops being used. I'll try the nice approach first, and honestly with these profs I don't think I'll have any trouble, but I have backup in the form of the DSS office if I need it. Which is good to know, and takes a lot of the weight off my shoulders.

All in all I'm doing better today than I was yesterday. I feel productive for a change, like I"ve actually gotten things done. And they're things that are going to help me out in the long run.

I've got about half an hour before my second meeting, which is actually a psychology club workship where we're going to talk about classes for next semester, share dirt on what profs are awesome and which ones should be avoided at all costs, that sort of thing. Should be interesting. I register on November 4th, and I only have the most vague idea of what I'm taking. I know, I know... that's bad of me, I should have it more together than this. It's just that I get so caught up in the day-to-day school stuff, that I forget to plan ahead.

One thing I'm probably not going to do, which I'd considered, was a Women's Studies minor. I really wanted to do it, but it's 20 more units, and I'd have to take another research methods class. I loathed the psych one- though I did seem to have gotten the guy who's arguably the worst teacher of that class in the whole department. I haven't heard a good word about the guy from anyone who had that class with him, which at least makes me feel somewhat vindicated in thinking he's a nit-picky jerk. Anyway. I don't want to hang around for the extra semesters 20 more units would take me to complete, but I think I'm going to take a couple of random women's studies classes that appeal to me. I'm looking at one for next semester, History of Feminism, that looks pretty cool. If I'm really lucky the WS teacher I have this semester will be teaching that too. I really like her, she's very good.

I'll probably never take another class from the Cog Psych prof, but that's a whole 'nother story.

When I woke up this morning I really was regretting my decision to schedule the meeting with the tech guy, and to go to the club workshop, but now that I'm here and I've managed to survive most of the day without killing anyone or dying of boredom, I'm glad that I came. I got some very helpful information and suggestions from my meeting at DSS, and I don't see how the psych club workshop could fail to benefit me.

Plus, I'd just have sat around in my PJs all day if I'd stayed home, watching crap on TV and moping around the house. Sometimes I think it's good for me to get out of the house and have to be around people, even though sometimes I'm not awesome at that either.

I will say, though, that I'll be glad when this day is over and I can go home. It's been a really long week.

Also my arm is kinda sore from the flu shot I got yesterday at the health center, though it's much better today. It only hurts if I raise my arm past a certain point, which is much less annoying than the flu would be. Now I just have to hope everybody else on campus got their free flu shots and aren't spreading it around classes or the common areas. As I discovered last year- or was it the year before last? I don't remember- you can still get the flu if you get a shot, but it's much less horrible. More "hey, I feel kinda crappy" and less "OMG kill me now my hair hurts and I'm throwing up air." The latter of which, I've also had in the past, and, yeah, I'd love to never have to experience that again.

I guess I should start hiking across campus for the workshop soon. I'm just not that enthusiastic about the idea. I mean, I want to go, yeah, but it's literally on the other side of campus. But I chose to spend the day on this side of campus anyway because all that's out on that side are the science buildings. Oh, and the agriculture departments. There's no food over there unless you count the vending machines. Besides, the library has a Starbuck's.

I'm getting so spoiled in college, I swear. :)
urbandruid: (Technomage)
So... I seem to keep going for ages and ages between updates lately. It's not that there hasn't been anything to say, more like there's been too much and I hardly know where to start.

I'm writing this on one of the school laptops because I didn't feel like bringing mine today. The college has this cool thing where you can check out a laptop from the library for a few hours, it's really awesome. You can take them anywhere on campus, as long as you have them back by the time they're due. And do not be late, the fine is insane. (No, I've never been late with one, but it's posted on a big sign by the checkout counter.)

Anyway. School has been my main focus since I started back in August. I always try to take a couple easy classes and one more difficult one, and I always end up having more work to do then I think I will. Add that to the fact that it's midterm/paper season, as I call it, and... yeah. I'm lucky if I can catch my breath lately.

But things are better. Last month I had a sinus infection which wasn't properly diagnosed, so by the time they got me antibiotics, the first round didn't work and I had to go for a second, higher grade antibiotic to kick the infection. While still going to class, taking exams, writing papers... you know, life as usual. So that was fun.

Then there was the anniversary of my grandfather's death. If you've been following me on Facebook you know he died last September. We knew it was coming eventually, but he had a bad fall with a head injury, and just never recovered from it. I miss him. I think about him a lot when I'm at school because he used to teach out here, and I just... I wish he could have... Well, hell. I wish he'd never gotten Alzheimer's, that was the start, you know? Fucking horrible disease.

My family is coping mostly okay...now. But it was pretty rough for a while, especially for Mom and Grandma. I still worry about them sometimes, but it's me, I worry about everything and everybody.

You know, sometimes I think I'd just like to totally erase 2013. It pretty much sucked start to finish, with a few exceptions. And I'm not really thinking of any particularly good ones right now. All that stands out in my memory is the bad stuff. There was a lot of bad.

So... Mostly I post on Facebook these days (drop me a comment or an email and I'll shoot you the link) or on Twitter at @technomagecray. Both are friendslocked, but if I know you, I'll add you. Fair warning though, Twitter is where I mostly bitch about things I can't bitch about on Facebook because Mom and my aunt read it now. The joys of family networking. No, really I don't mind, I made the decision to add them, it just changes what I post a little. That and I don't totally trust Facebook's security to be as secure as they say it is. I don't want stuff coming back to haunt me later, so I'm careful about what I post.

I guess I'm still trying to come to grips with everything that happened last year- my cat Samantha dying, my grandfather dying, the break-in and everything that we lost...

Today my Women's Studies prof said something about how there should be support groups for break-ins. Yeah, no shit. I'm not going to try and claim it's as traumatic as some other crimes that people could experience, but it was a major thing for me.

Mostly what I am these days is angry.

Well, no. Not angry.

Furious. Pissed, white-hot rage furious. That people could come into my house- my house! and take things we'd worked and saved for, and just shatter that sense of security that everybody ought to be able to enjoy in their own homes. Sometimes I start to think I've gotten over it, and then something will remind me, or I'll notice something else missing, and it's just like, really? Really, you bastards? You had to steal my favorite tote bag, too? Probably put my (stolen) Mac and Mom's (stolen) Toshiba in there. Fuckers.

The things I really can't get over losing are the sentimental items, and the laptop. Not so much the laptops themselves as what was on them, before I had the sense to back stuff up. I lost years of writing- and I know, you're all tired of hearing about it. Plus I should have backed up more often, which is just- yeah, I know. But seriously?

I'm lucky, that's the thing I have to keep reminding myself of. I was lucky not to be found and hurt, or worse. I get that. I just... Yeah. I hope they catch them someday, but I'll never know if they do or not. I didn't get that good of a look at the one who came to the door, and the neighbor saw them from across the street. Unless we get really lucky... *sigh* I think the police will probably catch them one of these days, because people who kick in doors in broad freaking daylight are just not that smart. But they'll never be able to tie them to our break-in unless they were stupid enough to keep some of our stuff and get caught with it. Makes me wish I'd had my initials engraved on the back of that pentagram necklace they swiped from my room. I figure karma will get their asses in the end, I just wish I could know about it.

...Yeah, this entry is a massive downer, and I apologize. Hopefully I'll have some better news soon.

Let's see. The psychology club is having a get-together tomorrow afternoon so we can all talk about what classes to take next semester, what professors are good, and stuff like that. Should be fun. It's a great group of people and I have a good time every time we get together, even if it's just an informational meeting. I went ice skating with them last year, fell on my ass and got off the ice real fast, but had a great time anyway.

I've been sick for every event they've had this semester, which sucks, but I'm hoping that's over. I am so tired of being sick.

Other news. I'm starting to look into graduate programs, which is scary as hell but necessary at this point in my career. The really scary thing is that I'm going to have to leave home, because the only school around here that offers a doctorate in clinical psych is a for-profit school, and, no. Plus my stalker is going there, and...yeah. Would prefer never to see her again if possible. It's bad enough she's at the college I'm at now, but it's a big place so I don't see her that much. And at this point I think she's more afraid of me than I am of her. That temper of mine was finally good for something- I think I scared the shit out of her the last time I spoke to her, when I told her to stay the hell away from me. At great volume.

Anyway. Grad school. Where I really want to go is UC Berkeley, but we'll see if they let me in. Not only do they have a great program, but the public transportation in the city is awesome, which is pretty much a requirement for anywhere I end up due to the whole no-driving thing. Which I'm coming to accept is going to be a permanent state of affairs for me. They just can't sharpen my usable vision up enough for me to even qualify for a restricted license, plus there's the whole practically blind in one eye thing. It just scares me too much to even think abot trying to drive with one good eye, even if they'd let me. So I've got to go somewhere where the public transit is good enough that I don't need to drive.

I've heard some nightmare stories about grad school, though. One of my professors, who's from a town around here, ended up in Kansas. Kansas. Another prof ended up in Tennessee, but that was Vanderbilt. I think I'd go to Vanderbilt if they let me in. Well, not if I got into Berkeley, too, but I would consider a good school. I kinda feel like they should be fighting over me, to be honest. I'm an awesome student, any program would be lucky to have me, right? ;)

I think I'm going to try and do NaNoWriMo again this year. I've done it once, but it's been a long time and I think I'm ready to give it another go. Even though it's in November, and that's a heavy month for school, what with being the month before finals and all. And even though I'm always busy as hell in November. I have a lot of free time in my days too, especially the ones when I have class- I'm on campus all day, and have very little to do aside from homework and reading in between classes.

Of course, I don't exactly have an idea yet, or not much of one. There's an old novel attempt I might restart, that I've been toying with since high school, but I dunno. It's this YA dystopian thing, and there are, what, a billion of those out there now? I should've written it in the 90's, and sold it when the dystopian craze first hit. (And why does the Firefox spellchecker not know 'dystpoian'? Stupid thing, I am ignoring you.) Anyway. It's about this girl and her friends, who mostly used the internet to communicate. In some versions they went to high school together, but split up to go to different colleges, and in other versions they only knew each other through the net. But they were the only real friends my main character had, so when the Evil Government hits and things to to hell, she tries to find them.

Anybody want a cameo? I promise not to kill you off unless you want me to. ;)

Yeah, the more I think about this, the more I think I'll do it. Why the hell not, right? I need to write something beside fanfic. And I'm still writing a good bit of fanfic (see [personal profile] aurordark) these days. My obsessions go in cycles- this past summer I had seaQuest DSV nostalgia, now I'm all about Gundam Wing. Not sure what'll be next, once the GW bug burns itself out. Maybe I'll get back to the Honor Harrington fic nobody reads, or the Harry Potter stuff. I like fanfic, though. It's fun, it can be frivilious or serious, and it lets me play with a lot of different things- styles of writing, tone, POV... yeah. This should be an [personal profile] aurordark entry. I'll probably go over there and ramble a bit on the subject when I finish this one.

Honestly at this point I'm just killing time till I can go home. I have no homework at the moment, and am not in the mood to do my psych reading. So, you get a tl;dr update. Sorry 'bout that.

I love October. I think in some ways it's my favorite month. It's finally cooling off a little, though I guess that's subjective- it's supposed to be 81 degrees today. But at least it's not 90, and it is cold in the mornings. I finally put my sandals away for the season and dug out my hoodies. Gods I love hoodie season.

I have an exam the day before Halloween, and a psych club meeting on Halloween itself. That should be entertaining. I'm not really sure if I'll do a costume- probably not. If my blazer still fit I'd dust off the Psi Cop outfit I came up with one year and see if anybody recognized it. I actually got somebody who did one year, it was great.

Otherwise I'm going to dye my hair a nice crimson red, dress all in black, and tell people I'm Sydney Bristow. And see if anyone knows who the hell that is.

I like my costumes obscure, apparently.

Okay, I think that's enough rambling for now. If you made it this far, thanks for listening. :)
urbandruid: (River)
Hey, guys.

Yeah, still alive. I've been busy, with one thing or another. Lately it's been house cleaning. Yes, cleaning my actual house. It's about as fun as it sounds, but it needed to be done. I couldn't find things, the spare room was a mess... It's looking a lot better now. My only problem is that I moved all the extraneous junk out of my bedroom and into the spare room/office so I could vacuum, and now I don't want to put the junk back, so I'm looking for other places to stash it. Which probably means I now need to tackle a closet...which I'm not exactly looking forward to. The closets are where old messes go to hide around here.

Anyway. So I'm on summer vacation, and when I'm not cleaning, I'm rediscovering my love for old dead fandoms, like seaQuest. Yeah, I know... but the first season was a touchstone of my childhood, and I just... I miss it.

Only problem is, all the LJ comms I used to go to for fic prompts are deader than the fandoms. Does anybody have a good place? It can be on Dreamwidth, or whatever other journal site anyone might be using these days. I could just use a little inspiration and am not sure where to find it. Or I keep finding communities that sound really good, and they're dead or closed. Even Theatrical Muse is closed, which is crazy. I can't help remembering how insane that used to be, and how much fun we had (okay, so we were making fun of people a lot of the time, but still.) We did some crazy stuff back in the day.

Jeeze, I think I'm getting old. :)
urbandruid: (Winchester College Fund)
Jeeze, LJ got messed up since the last time I bothered posting anything. Anyway...

Yes, I'm still alive. It's just that life has been crazily busy lately. It's also sucked a hell of a lot.

I have finals this week. I don't want to have finals this week. Actually, I don't want to have finals ever, but that's a whole 'nother story, I guess. I'm only really worried about one final, and of course it's today.

I guess I'll be glad when it's over.

I just can't help thinking how hanging out with my cat always helped me de-stress this time of year. I miss my kitty.

Somedays it feels like it's getting easier. Other days... not so much.
urbandruid: (Galen)
I'm sorry this is going to be so scattered and all over the place, but that's just the way it is. I haven't written for too long, and there's too much going on.

Practically all semester (since the end of August, anyway) I've been doing exactly what the doctors told me to do, and trying really hard not to do what I was told not to do. I've been taking it easy on the typing and especially on the writing things out longhand. I've tried to moderate my computer use, and people who know me know that that's a lot to ask.

And honestly? At the risk of fucking my hand up even more, I just- I can't do it anymore. I'm done. I'm tired and I'm stressed, it's two in the morning and I'm not sleeping, and I need this. I need to write. Need to do something.

Because, really? Behaving myself isn't helping as much as you might think. Long story short- I smacked the hell out of my right wrist in late August. I figured I'd broken it, hairline fracture or something. As if any of my medical problems could be that normal. Nope. It turned out to have aggravated something I've probably had for a long time, called a ganglion cyst. Which after taking a while to figure out what it was, the nice doc at the school health center stabbed a needle into and drained in October. And we figured, okay, the hand situation will get better now, right? The swelling will go down and the pain will go away, and it'll just- not be such a pain in the ass. Yeah. Didn't happen. Instead the swelling got worse, two fingers and my thumb started to go numb.

And I started to drop stuff. Just- sitting there and watching it go, like someone else had dropped it. Except it was me. Because suddenly I have no control over my own body, or at least my right hand.

So, now I have a new specialist for my collection. Orthopedist #2. Ortho #1 does knees and shoulders, I needed a hand specialist. So. I saw him... like a month ago, I think? Got myself scheduled for an (yet another) MRI and a nerve conduction test, because in addition to Return of the Cyst from Hell, he thinks I have carpal tunnel. Too.

So, Chris, you ask, do you have carpal tunnel? No clue. Because I don't see the doc again until the 4th of December. Yeah. So I have two weeks from this past Tuesday to go. Hanging out with my falling-apart brace from the student health center at school, hoarding the painkillers the doc there gave me for the really bad days.

Wondering if I'm going to need one hand surgery, or two. The number of surgeries I actually want? Zero.

And on top of it, one of the main ways I calm myself down, one of the main ways I keep myself together and just cope with things... is writing. Which I'm supposed to do as little of as possible. Which, yeah, I've been trying. And I just can't do it anymore. I'm typing with my brace on now, and it's slower than I'm used to, and I'm making more mistakes, but at least I'm getting some of this out. Other than talking to my new therapist, or my best friend at school, and my mom, I haven't been able to get a lot of it out. And there's a limit to how much shit I feel like I can dump on my friend L and my mom.

It's been a long semester, my first at real college. And the second or third week this happens, the start of the hand saga, and things have been insane ever since. I got to have someone else take my notes for a month when we thought the hand was broken, but after that- with nobody being able to say for sure what was wrong yet, there was no doctor to sign the Disabled Students form. Nobody to say, let's take a little pressure off this woman, let's make her do a few less things with the hand of doom. I have the form, which I'll make the ortho do something with when I see him in December. But right now I'm stuck doing everything. The only saving grace is that in the one class where I really have to take notes, he uses PowerPoint, and puts the slides online for us to print out. So I only have to write down everything that isn't on the slides.

Still, on the days when the hand is really bad, you can't imagine how much it hurts to write. How much it hurts to fill in the little bubbles on Scrantons for my tests. And thank GOD there are no essay questions.

My psych prof has us doing 'mind maps', these drawings to illustrate the concepts from our reading in our two textbooks. You ever try to draw with (probable) carpal tunnel and a cyst on your wrist? It's a bitch.

The whole thing is a bitch, to be perfectly honest. I'm unbelievably tired of all of it. I am finally, finally on break for Thanksgiving. I've only been looking forward to this for months, because dragging your ass through six units of upper division classes and learning your way around a new college is enough fun without the stress of constant, chronic pain. And the stress of the whole unknown 'what the hell is wrong with me this time and what are they going to have to do to me to fix it?'

But at least I've got some time now, and I'm going to try to do some fun stuff with that time. I've discovered I can't just not write, so I'm going to try typing in moderation (she says, working on this huge journal post, but whatever) and see how that goes. I've gotta do something, you know?
urbandruid: (Default)
In no particular order:

Get Eudora mail off the old computer
Buy license for StoryMill
Find (preferably cheap) graphics program for the Mac. That does not suck.
Buy license for Fetch
Defrag old laptop
Run scan disk thingy
Clean laptop screen (Mac)
Charge Kindle
Clean old school crap out of binder

updated 01/04/12
urbandruid: (Vader / Sith Happens (niicoly))
None of my icons are really grumpy or sarcastic enough for how I feel right now. Guess I should do something about that at some point. (Note to self: dump some of the BSG crap and upload a Snape icon or ten.)


So I was right about why my knee feels even more like crap than usual. Stupid temp. One of the regular people was back yesterday, and when I told her where the temp had put the electrodes- right on my bad knee, not on the muscles around it- she freaked out a bit. Yeah, I'd thought that was the problem, too. We also figured out why it didn't bother me right away- because we use heat or ice with the E-stim, and the knee had already been bugging me that day, so when the temp gave me a choice, I asked for ice. (If the PT had been there, I wouldn't have gotten to make that call- oh wait, the temp wouldn't have been around to screw up if he'd been there. Never mind.)

I'm so pissed about this I can't even tell you. The last thing I needed was another setback, especially when I'm starting back to school so soon. (Which, yeah, I'm trying not to think about yet, but still.) I'm going into my last semester at City (thank Gods!) and in order to graduate in May I need to be able to get through one more PE class, Dance Conditioning. I also, for the sake of my sanity, really need to be able to get back to ballet. I'm pissed enough that if not for the knee my teacher would've moved me up a level, but having to sit out most of the semester, he didn't think I was ready. I can't argue- I'm not ready. But I could've been, and that's what burns.

It's not that I'm a brilliant dancer, but I've been taking class for a year now, and I'm getting a lot better. And it's become a great stress relief, a great way to get away from everything else for a while. I've had a harder time dealing, without it, and it seems like things have only gotten crazier since I hurt my knee. I guess that's just my luck, that I need it more when I'm less able to do it.

I need to have a long chat with my PT about the ballet class and the dance conditioning one, which I'd hoped to be able to do this week, but he's still on vacation. Apparently everybody else is going to take Friday off, too, because I was supposed to have my second appointment of the week then, but they made me reschedule. Not happy. Also not happy that my new appointment is next Thursday. The idea of taking basically a week off from PT does not thrill me. Sure, I need to let my knee calm down a little, and I've got exercises to do at home (a lot of exercises, to be honest with you) but there's stuff I do at PT that I can't do at home.

I'm actually almost tempted to call my grandmother and ask her if I can use the gym at her place, since they've got a treadmill and an exercise bike, and I sure as hell don't. Maybe this weekend, since we'll be over there anyway for New Years' stuff... But the idea that I'm worried enough about my knee to be willing to put up with Grandma... Yeah, that frightens me a little.

In other news, I'm going out today with a friend. Yeah, nobody faint. We met in the hell that was Behavioral Stats, survived it together, and are looking forward to slogging through Health 1 this coming semester. I figure we can keep each other awake. Anyway, we're going out to lunch, and then, honestly, I dunno what we're gonna do. I'm so bored I'm about to go stir crazy, so I really don't care what we do.

Even if we spend all day watching DVDs at her place. I won't be stuck at my house.
urbandruid: (Jaina / Invisible Girl)
I have to be at PT in half an hour, which is great, really, because I feel like crap. Depression is kicking my ass, and my knee hurts like hell. I blame (at least in part) the temp who was running the office on Friday while the regular PT and massage therapist were off. The temp seemed very nice, but she put the electrodes for the E-stim machine in entirely the wrong places, and now I'm the one who's suffering for it.

Not looking forward to this in the least.

More when I get back.
urbandruid: (Constant Vigilance (lovesoldier))
Dear Disabling Students,

Do you think it would be too much trouble for you to send my last Stats exam before the final BACK to my teacher? Because right now I have a big fat zero for a test I probably aced, it's bringing my grade down when it just went UP, and I'm FURIOUS.

I've spent most of the day having panic attacks, freaking out, and curled up in my chair sobbing, but I'm really over that, and now I'm just PISSED. I know it's the end of the semester and you're busy, and I DON'T CARE. I need to know what I got on this test so I know what my grade is going into the final; I expect it to go up and I'd planned on doing some celebrating this weekend, but nooo, you have to get all stupid and lackadaisical about everything as usual, just when I most need you to actually DO YOUR JOBS.

It's actually really easy. I took the test. I saw you put it in the envelope. Now put the envelope in the prof's mailbox so he can POST MY FREAKING GRADE.

I'll be back on campus on Tuesday to take my Stats final. I'll also be seeing you charming people. So you might want to have it fixed by then. Just sayin'.

No love,
urbandruid: (Mythbusters Gasoline (beahogan))
So today is my annual eye exam. I only made the appointment Tuesday, and I figured that wouldn't give me enough time to stress about it.


I think, for me, any amount of time is enough to stress. It's not that I think anything is really wrong- yeah, I know I said that last year, too- it's just the irrational fear that comes with having to do this every year, when you're me.

I've had an eye doctor since I was two days old. And even though I know this is where all my medical stress in general comes from, even though I understand it so clearly when I'm sitting in my GP's waiting room and wigging out even though I just need to chat about my asthma or other meds, I tend to forget that this is where it came from. That this is the root of my medical trauma.

It's not that I think my doc will find anything wrong. It's the fact that if he does find anything, it's pretty much guaranteed to be bad. And when all you basically have is vision in one eye, 'bad' can be kind of epic.

So I'm feeling nervous, and freaking out a bit, and trying not to do either. It'll be fine. It's always fine. (Except when it isn't.)

And, note to self for future reference: Re-reading the journal full of ophthalmological horror stories? Not the best way to chillax. Really. That thing you wanted to look up? Look it up, y'know, later.

Anyway. I think I'll go find a book to read or something.

More later, unless I get dilated, in which case I'll be zoned out in front of the TV until my vision stops being all blurry.
urbandruid: (Default)
First of all, thanks to everybody who commented about Grandpa. I was really worried and I figured, the way things have been going for my family lately, when we got news it'd be bad.

Thankfully, it wasn't. Grandpa's CT scan came back clear. Nothing major at all, no broken bones or concussion, just a hell of a lot of bruising.

Earlier this week we got even more good news. The doctor decided Grandpa had been on too many meds, so took him off a few of them. Monday Grandma called to see how he was doing, and the news was so good she called Mom at work.

They had a guy in playing guitar for the residents, going from room to room, and Grandpa was following him around, dancing in the halls with a big grin on his face.

Best news I've had in way too long.
urbandruid: (Beverly / Crushed)
This isn't the update I wanted to make, when I finally got myself together enough to do this. Not that it was ever going to be cheerful, not with everything that's been going on around here.

I started transcribing bits from my (paper) journal last month, because I didn't want to write any of it twice. Because getting that stuff down took so long- I was at it for ages. I'd write a few lines, a paragraph, a page, and then I'd have to walk away from it. Do something else. Think about something else. Be someplace else.

Too much has happened since I typed that stuff up for it to be enough of an update now. Which is too bad, because it's probably going to take me half the afternoon to write this.

In short, very little has gone right, and a lot has gone wrong, since we moved Grandpa into the Alzheimer's unit. Oh so foolishly, we thought he was resigned to being there. Not happy, but resigned. It turns out... Not so much. And he's deteriorated mentally now to the point where he doesn't understand why he has to be there, all he knows is that it's not home, it's not where Grandma is, and it's not where he wants to be.

And for the past... well, pretty much since he was diagnosed (back in '07 or '08, I think) he's done pretty much whatever he wanted, when he wanted. Grandma saved the arguments for the important things, safety issues, stuff like that. So if Grandpa wanted to go for a walk around the grounds of the old folks' home, or leave twenty minutes early for lunch in the dining hall (because he never, ever remembered that they'd backed up the time, and started serving later)... We just went with it.

It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so serious. Actually, sometimes it's hilarious anyway. Grandpa, bless him, does not want to stay in the Alzheimer's unit, and has discovered a new talent. For escaping. Yeah, from the locked Alzheimer's unit. It turns out if you lean on the gate to their enclosed courtyard for long enough, it opens. It also turns out that Grandpa was not only able to do this, but is in good enough physical shape (despite arthritis in his hip) to nearly climb over the bloody fence.

How, you may ask, did we learn about this new skill set? Mom and I were over at Grandma's one day, at her apartment after visiting a bit with Grandpa and leaving him at the unit. We were getting ready to go out and do some shopping, when the door opened. And there he was. Only Grandpa, I swear...

After that, it got a lot less funny. He's entered into a stage of the disease where he's getting violent and combative. I hate writing that, because it's the disease entirely, not Grandpa. He has a temper, or so I'm told, not that I ever saw it, but last month he threw a (small) table through the glass front door of the unit. (No, I don't know why they made the front door glass either. Even the social worker who runs the unit thinks that was stupid in the extreme, and the new Alzheimer's unit they're building won't have one.) He's also shoved staff and other patients who were between him and the front door when it was open.

He's physically healthier and stronger than any other resident in the unit, and it turns out they weren't really- aren't really- set up to handle someone like him. So first the staff tried keeping a closer eye on him, and when that didn't work, they hired an extra aide. Yep, the economy may suck, but someone gets a job out of this mess.

And not that this was in any way good, but it's been all downhill from there. There were so many escapes and incidents of him being violent and aggressive, even with the antipsychotics and antianxiety drugs they had him on, that the overall head of the retirement home basically stepped in and insisted that Grandpa be moved, temporarily, off site to a more heavily locked-down unit until he works through this phase and/or the meds get stabilized.

It's not that none of us understand where she's coming from, but nobody was happy about the move. We were all pretty pissed, actually. Especially since right up until last Monday Grandma was convinced- and pretty well convincing the rest of us- that it wasn't going to come to that, that she'd talk them around or they'd tweak the meds, or... Honestly, I don't know why I believed her. Grandma's not reliable about these sorts of things, she has too much of a tendency to tune out things she can't or doesn't want to deal with. Maybe it's just that I feel like she lied to my face, telling me last Sunday that she was sure it wouldn't happen. Then calling Mom on Monday and saying they'd moved him.

Mom was pretty pissed about that. We were quietly not speaking to Grandma for a couple of days. But it was done, and if we still had way too many questions and not enough answers... Hell, we'll sort it out somehow, you know?

So, today. Grandpa's been at the new place about a week. None of us have seen him for ages, because having us visit really agitated him and they had trouble getting him calmed down. It's been so bad that my aunt and her husband, and my great-aunt and great-uncle were here weekend before last, and I don't think any of them saw him, even though my aunt's in Reno now and the greats are from Massachusetts, and get out here on average of once a year. And, we weren't supposed to visit for two weeks while he settled in at the new place. Which was about when they'd hoped to move him back to the Alzheimer's unit at the retirement place where Grandma lives.


But, I thought, okay, if he can go home then, back to the unit that's more familiar and the place where Grandma can visit easily, the place I know, and the staff I've met, who like Grandpa and who we all have a relationship with... I thought I could accept not seeing him for a bit longer, if it meant that.

Then today- the first day of my spring break, by the way- the phone rings. It's the hospital, looking for Mom because they need some info on Grandpa. So I called Mom, she called them back... Grandpa fell at the new place, we're not sure on the details yet, and they called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Where they were having some trouble getting anything coherent out of him, because while the paramedics were, one assumes, told he had Alzheimer's, they failed to pass that on to the ER staff. Idiots, idiots, idiots!

In related WTF? news, nobody but nobody could get hold of Grandma. Mom tried, the hospital tried, apparently the Alzheimer's unit people tried too. No dice. So Mom dashed out of work to go to the hospital. She tried to send me an email from her phone telling me what'd happened, but we think she lost it when she had to close her phone in a hurry, so as not to get yelled at for using it in the ER. Anyway, I never got it, so I had to get the story from her via illicit cell phone call.

They had to take him for a CT scan, which sounds like an adventure and a half. They sedated him a bit, but Mom still had to stay with him in the CT room, lead apron and all, to keep him kinda sorta calm enough to get the scan done. They tried it twice, so I'm assuming the second one came out okay.

So, Mom spent half the afternoon at ER, trying to keep Grandpa from trying to get out of bed (a really nice security guard had to help her hold him down at one point...) and reminding him that he had to keep the C-collar on his neck. Naturally he hates it and wants it off. Naturally he keeps trying to get out of bed, even though Mom says he was making the most awful pain faces she's seen in a while. He's bruised up all over, too, and Mom told me something in the area of his stomach seemed to be hurting him a lot, which freaks me the hell out. Please Gods let it only be broken ribs.

They hadn't gotten the CT results back last I heard from Mom, but Grandma had finally shown up (still don't know where she was, and am a bit pissed at her, but what else is new?) so Mom went back to work. Grandma's supposed to call as soon as she knows anything.

And all I can think is, the new place has an 8-foot fence. Gods and Goddesses, I hope he didn't try to climb the fucking thing!

Updates as I get them. And an update on the rest of my craptastic life when I'm not so freaked out about all of this.
urbandruid: (River)
I don't know how to say this. I've been trying to find the words for it maybe since Christmas, when I knew something was wrong. Or at least since New Years', when I learned what it was.

Around New Years' we found out that Grandpa can't stay in the apartment at the retirement home with Grandma anymore, that he's slipped too far. We started making plans to move him into the Alzheimer's assisted living unit. Had a meeting there with the social worker who runs it, even my aunt and uncle drove down for it. It's a nice place, a very nice place actually, as these things go. I think Grandpa will be safe there, and maybe, someday, he might be happy there. It's the best we can hope for, and I'm so thankful my grandparents have the money to afford this kind of care.

But a part of me hates everything about this. Sure, I knew it was coming, someday, but actually facing it is something else. Especially when Grandpa doesn't want to go. He's still with it enough to understand on some level that he has to go there, to live, and he doesn't want to go. And it breaks my heart. It's breaking everybody's heart.

And tomorrow his room is finally ready. Grandma moved some stuff down last night, nothing heavy I hope, because hell, that's all we need, for her to throw her back out or something. Tomorrow, Mom and my uncle John, and I, are helping them move furniture and whatnot.

I'm dreading it. I'm dreading the reality of it, of moving my grandfather into a place he has to be, and leaving him there. Dreading leaving him behind a door you need a code to get in and out of. I'm afraid he'll be upset, that he'll forget or not understand why he has to stay there, and why we can't. I'm afraid I will lose it and start crying, and he won't understand why. Or, maybe worse, that he will.

And because I can't have just a family crisis, I have my own. I'm a lot better from the cold from hell I've had, but I'm still coughing. Mom is pretty bad with it still. (Mom also has hypothyroidism and pre-diabetes, which we're also trying to cope with.) And me? I'm severely, deeply depressed. I have a C in Behavioral Stats that I'm struggling and maybe going to fail to keep. (I also have a test today that I kinda sorta partway understand the material for.) I'm also sucking at ballet, and too tired/depressed/whatever to practice like I should.

It looks so simple written out there like that. I am profoundly depressed. But those words encompass my whole world, sometimes. The part where I have to struggle to get out of bed. The part where I wonder why the hell I should bother. The part where I drag myself through classes, and homework, hours spent in the library killing time, when sometimes I'm not doing my homework, even though I should, because I just can't. I open the book, pull out my pencil and paper and calculator, and then I just stare at them. Sometimes I take a stab at some problems, sometimes not.

If I can't do the work, I can't pass this class. I try not to think about that too hard.

I have good days, relatively speaking, days when I almost feel normal. I can tell that today's not going to be one of them.

It's going to rain. Probably a lot. And I have to take the bus home. The bus, which has been an hour late far more often than it's been on time this semester. But I have to go. I have a test to take, then an hour of class to try and get through. And hope I understand.

And tomorrow... Mom's taking me to my ballet class at the college, then- I can't even remember if she's going over to the folks' after she drops me off or not. Probably we're not going till I'm out of class. Dunno, I'll ask her I guess. Anyway, I'm dreading that, and then I feel guilty for dreading it.

Oh, and did I forget to mention we're all worried as hell about Grandma, too? Because she's been forgetful and spacey for a while now. Too. She's always been a bit of a flake, but lately it's gotten really bad. We're all hoping she'll be better once she's not Grandpa's 24/7 caretaker anymore. We're hoping. Because if not...

Mom and I joke about a couple's suite at the Alzheimer's unit. But it may actually not be that funny, except in the black humor sort of way that we have. And that scares the hell out of me, too.

Meanwhile, I get to drag myself to school and take my exam, like everything is normal in my life. I don't even know what that word means anymore, and probably wouldn't recognize normal if it bit me.

So, yeah. All my weeks have been hard lately, one way or another, but this one... This one's gonna be really, really hard.


urbandruid: (Default)

January 2016

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