Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Long Story

Where to start?

Those of you who know me from high school may remember that I was often sick. That was Crohn's Disease, which I've had since I was 9, and culminated in me requiring part of my intestine removed in the early spring of 93. After that, the disease went into remission, and I spend most of my early 20s in great health.

I moved to Huntsville, staying the summer, taking classes and getting a job instead of going home, which made me officially an Alabama resident. Damn it was nice how much tuition at UAH dropped.

By January of 1996 I had an Alabama EMT license as a result of one of my electives. So I joined the Huntsville Madison Rescue Squad and volunteered with them for a decade. I was on the Board of Directors for 2 terms and got to play with the big boys when I helped plan the Huntsville International Airports' Disaster Response Plan (a full scale drill of a crash landing, which is required by the FAA every 10 years for every airport).

During that time my back started to ache and get worse over the years. I also had a minor flare of the Crohn's, so I had all sorts of tests, and that's when it was discovered I had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). The links will take you to the Wikipedia article for each, right click and open a new tab if to keep this one open.

The good thing is the treatment for Crohn's, the medications, also treat RA and AS.

During this time I met my EvilTimmy (hey, that's what my hubby calls himself online), and we got married 3 times and never divorced. First, we were married by Common Law (Alabama is one of the few Common Law states left) when I told Huntsville Hospital he was my husband, not my husband or fiancee. The moment we presented ourselves as married, we were under Alabama law, which was in 1997.

EvilTimmy is an Engineer and I graduated with an Art Degree, specializing in Graphic Design. I was hired by a military contractor to work on the Redstone Arsenal, and hubby was hired by a different contractor. We both needed at least Secret level security clearances. So we went to the Courthouse, since while the government recognizes Common Law marriages, the Department of Defense does not. Marriage number 2.

One year later, to the day it turns out, we were able to get a venue for the wedding ceremony for our families, since most didn't know about marriages number 1 or 2. It turns out our anniversary is November 17 of 1997, 2000, or 2001 depending on who we're talking to. We've been married 10 to 13 years. No children since we decided early we didn't want any and it would be detrimental to my health to carry a fetus.

Then, one day in April of 2004, while I was at work, I had a horrible dizzy spell. I left work early, got home by luck and muscle memory so I didn't end up in a ditch. That was the first major symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. While going through testing, I realized I'd been having minor symptoms for months.

Yay, even more meds. One med does start helping, I'm not having as many falls (my neurologist says I have to use a cane outside the house, and I mostly do), and my coordination isn't getting worse, at least.

But then comes the down side. It makes triggered an episode of paranoia and anxiety directed toward the computer. Not anyone on the computer, but the machine in general. I wouldn't fire up Photoshop, or get on the internet just to check the weather.

That's the last 15 years of my life, in a very large nutshell. Please don't take any offense if I don't respond to any comments, I may be having a bad day as far as the computer goes. Comment here or on Facebook, whichever you prefer. I only ask that here I'm Mira, regardless of what my Facebook name is.

Whew. That was a lot

Saturday, January 10, 2009

sunday catblogging and the CotC

It's getting cold outside, so Freya has started looking for warm spots inside to nap, mostly on or very near my lap or hip.


It's a web-cam shot, so not up to my usual standard.

And don't forget, at 18:00CDT (6:00pm for you non 24-hour folks) the Carnival of the Cats will go live at Three Tabby Cats in Vienna.

Monday, January 05, 2009

carnival of the cats

The Carnival of the Cats #251 is up over at The Whole Kitten Kaboodle. (Yes, I know it went live last evening, but better late than never.)

So go forth and view other members of the catblogosphere.

Friday, January 02, 2009

friday catblogging

Today it's Noah's turn to be the cat of the week.

Noah in cat bed 1

Noah, sound asleep in the cat bed I put on my art/beading table. He and Freya were taking turns sleeping in it. Otherwise, this happens:


Not. Helpful. In. The. Slightest.

I'm such a pushover when it comes to the fuzzies. Complete pushover.


Don't forget to visit Modulator to check out the Friday Ark then head over to head over to Carnival of the Cats to submit your link for Sunday's Carnival, hosted by The Whole Kitten Kaboodle.

Friday, December 19, 2008

friday catblogging

Today I introduce Isis, my parents' newest resident:


Don't be fooled by that innocent look, the dainty crossed paws. She should have been named Sekhmet because she is a little hellion. At least this is what the reports I've been receiving are saying. Yes, we know she's part something-point Siamese, we'll just have to see how her color develops and see what her points become.

Isis appeared early one morning, before Ra had risen in the East, hiding in the stump of a tree. Mom left the house to go to work when she heard Isis cry out from her hiding place in the woods, all the while an owl called out over their heads.

Mom crossed the road to the woods and called out to Isis, but she would not leave her shelter, for the owl was hungry and hoping to find a meal before Ra appeared in his chariot. Mom implored Isis to stay hidden while she returned to the house, to find Dad so that he could join her in rescuing tiny goddess.

Mom had to leave for work so she would not be late, but she guarded Isis until Dad appeared with light and food that was gooshy. The owl, being a creature of the night, left Isis and the bearer of light and food alone, retreating to its roost.

At the scent of the food that was gooshy, Isis appeared from her hiding place, somewhat bedraggled but still proud in countenance, as are all her kind.

Until she tasted the gooshy food and nom nomed without any pride. Dad was able to collect Isis while she nomed the gooshy food and carried her inside, where she now resides.

Friday, December 05, 2008

friday possumblogging

I'm hoping to start a new trend here - possum blogging, or opossum blogging, whichever you prefer. I know not everyone has one of these creatures readily available for photography, but then that's the fun of it. The photo-hunt at night. You might find one like this:


This is a juvenile, born this past spring and Momma Possum has finally said "OK, kid, you're on your own now." I know it's hard to tell scale in this photo so here are my estimates for size and weight: she (I think) weighs about 3 pounds, and is 12-16 inches from her nose to the base of her tail. Her tail was almost as long as the rest of her body.

But don't worry, this young one takes advantage of the stale bread I throw in the yard for whatever wants it and it also eats sunflower seeds that the birds scatter from the feeders. So despite not having a Momma Possum to gather food for her, this little one should be fine because I can't not feed the outside critters. Plus it's better to let something eat stale bread than send it to the landfill. [/environmentalism]

There is also a second, large adult possum that comes by every once in a while. More possumblogging yet to come from me.

...I think it will catch on. *nods*


Since it is Friday, be sure to head over to Modulator for the Friday Ark, where there are links to many other cats and critters for your viewing pleasure.

friday catblogging

It's a miracle! I remembered to catblog on Friday, instead of Monday rolling around and me saying "Well, crap" and trying to remember to post new cat pics.


If you think you see a bald patch on Eep's back, just above her tail, you are correct. Since she hates to be groomed, she doesn't get brushed as often as she should. She will tolerate being brushed for a completely random amount of time before she goes for blood. As a result, a pretty big mat of hair formed on her back where she can't reach to groom herself because of her fat ass.

The solution: a battery powered beard trimmer/shaver and some of my Valium. One for me, one for the cat.

After 45 minutes she was the friendliest she has ever been. All she wanted was to have her head skritched and to groom Hubby's hand. I got to work removing the matted hair and by the time it was all over I had removed a mat the size of my hand. Eep seemed relieved that that source of irritation was gone.

(I don't want to hear how I'm a bad cat Mommy; you spend a third of the summer in a hospital bed and see how much you get done around the house, including grooming a mean-spirited long hair cat.)

I just wish I had thought to take pictures of Eep while she was under the influence of the Valium; she could not get traction on the vinyl floor with her back legs, they just slid out from under her so she ended up almost swimming across the kitchen vinyl tile floor. I should have taken video of all of this.

Next bad idea - giving Eep a bath.


Friday, October 10, 2008

friday catblogging

It is autumn outside the Oubliette, and Callie has agreed to a photo shoot.

Autumn Comes to the Oubliette, Featuring Callie.
(Who came to the Oubliette in the fall as none of you may remember.)

First the contract negotiations. Callie is never happy with the first agreement her agent makes for her. Just a blip in the day's schedule, these things happen.

Negotiations complete, Callie does her sultry, come hither look.

Playful, sexy kitten pose.

Playful, silly kitten.

Proof she can do Star Trek, and sci-fi in general.

Go ahead, tell me I'm irresistible. You don't have to hold back.

Then, the shoot ends.

...and I want some water. Not the stuff from the bowl the other cats have polluted, but bottled water, from a glacier. Or an iceberg. One of those nice dark blue one, the really old ones.

Ahh, models. We all have our days when we're sure we're under-appreciated.


Don't forget to visit the Friday Ark #212 at Modulator.

If yesterday was Friday Catblogging, that means tomorrow must be the Carnival of the Cats at My Big Fat Orange Cat. For those of you who who like numbers and such, tomorrows CotC at MBFOC is number 239.

Monday, September 29, 2008

time dilation and having the plague

So, as you might have guessed, the previous post is pretty much a month late. It's not that I wasn't completely thrilled by David's phone call, but days start running one into another seamlessly.

Then I had the Plague and I died. Then I got better and time continued to not really have any meaning to me. Oh, I see this blinding orb move across the sky, then a smaller one moves along the same path, but that has no relation to time. The day and night doesn't mean the date has changed.

And even better, I've started to notice "cognitive impairments", or what most people call "brain fog". I'm hoping that it is side-effects from the Neurontin, which I'm almost maxed out on. If it's not a drug side-effect, *sigh* I don't know. I'm still not sure if I want to know if the cognitive impairment is permanent. Maybe it would be better to not know.

Hell, I may be more impaired than I think. I wonder what my current IQ score is. It was...well above average before all of this started, and the test I took off the interweb at the time which was within one or two points of a professionally administered test when I was in first grade. (time passes) Uh, yeah. My current score isn't as good. Don't start with the older one is, the more unreliable the tests are, and you have to take the exact version, blah, blah, blah. I did want to finish writing this tonight, so I took one of the first tests I found.

Even more fun, I may end up going to the Mayo Clinic. That's another post, because it's the only way to keep on track. But it won't be tonight because I'm saying f*** it and going to sleep with Top Gear in the background.

why, yes, i am a sci-fi geek


Over Labor Day weekend, I was planning on going to Atlanta to Dragon*Con. That would have meant leaving the house and heading to Atlanta the day after I was released from the hospital.

So no D*Con for me.

However, I did get a phone call from David Nykl, and so there was much happiness. Thank you, David, for the call and thank you Desi for arranging the call.

Although trying to find a quiet corner of Michael's (the craft store) to take the call was not easy, but damned if I didn't manage it.

I talked to David Nykl on my phone!

He also suggested that since I only live 4 hours from Atlanta, that I hop in a car and come see him in person. Trust me, that thought had already crossed my mind several times before he suggested it.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

the really short version, part 2

I just checked the date last post in August, and I was still in the hospital when I made it. So much has happened since then, it's not even funny.

First, I am out of the hospital. I was discharged the evening of August 27. In all seriousness, since then I have either been on my feet or asleep. If I sat down to try to blog, watch TV, bead, I would immediately fall asleep. If I stay on my feet, I stay awake and even alert.

I didn't have a C. diff infection. Officially, I had a flare of the Crohn's Disease. Personally, I think I had the stomach virus that was going around, and it just f***ed me over. With the Crohn's, any sort of stomach bug hits me harder than the average person. That's life for me. This was just the first time that I couldn't nurse myself back to health at home, assuming that it was a virus and not a full-blown flare of the Crohn's.

If it was the Crohn's alone, I needed everything I was given in the hospital. Well, I needed it regardless of if there was a virus along for the ride. Dehydration is dehydration, and IV fluids and meds were what I needed, along with nurses and patient care techs (PCTs) to take care of my physical needs.

So, since then I've been taking my medications, resting, and healing. I'm eating solid food and even been able to start eating some foods with a little more fiber in them which means my diet is becoming less boring.

There is still even more news, and it's a biggie. Stay tuned. OK, so I'll probably write it as soon as I eat and take a round of meds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

friday catblogging

Technically it's still Friday...

030 here's the catblogging.

The swing has made a comeback with a luxury, hand-made, flannel pillow. Oh, yeah, first class all the way. Freya likes it for a little while, if I put her in it first; she hasn't figured out how to get in it from the couch. The rest of the herd have varying opinions, which will be covered on Caturday.


Be sure to head over to Modulator for the Friday Ark. You know you want to....more kitties and even some other critters, some fuzzy, some not, for a little variety.

the really short version

My neurologist put me on even more Neurontin 2 weeks ago and every, and I do mean every, time I sit down to do anything on the computer I fall asleep. The Neurontin is working great, but getting used to the side effects is taking a lot more time than I expected.

Damn, you have no idea how lucky I am to have been able to stay awake long enough to do this. I need to figure out how to use the computer while walking or something, because as long as I'm doing something active, I'm not falling asleep. It's only when I sit down that it kicks in.