Friday, April 18, 2014

Not much is happening here

So not much of anything has been happening here. We leave for the UK in three weeks and I've still got a lot of things I need to do before we leave. I've done some things, like order a new compression sleeve and gauntlet because mine are quite ratty and aren't quite right, but I still need to get the tests that I committed to my family doctor that I'd do booked and done before we leave. I'm running out of days and I'm not feeling well.

At least this is a long weekend and I can rest. The denosumab must take up a lot of my immune system because anything else that uses it knocks me flat. We had our Twinrix boosters on Wednesday (which knocked me out Wednesday afternoon) and then I had my denosumab yesterday which was a double whammy to my immune system and left me exhausted and feeling unwell all day. I'm still not feeling my best and am taking it very easy today. That denosumab is a miracle drug but it does have its drawbacks.

Gozer is still getting her allergy shots. Giving her the higher amounts of the serum isn't as easy as the smaller amounts because I think she notices them a bit more. It'll be easier once we get to the maintenance serum because then she only gets 0.5mL which is a relatively small amount that she doesn't really notice.

And that's all I have... it's been pretty boring here. Boring is good, though, because it means that I'm not freaking out about how much I have to do in the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gozer gets shots

Allergy shots, that is.

Gozer finally had her first allergy shot today, and I'm the one who gave it to her! We'd tried to start the shots a couple of weeks ago but then the vet was going to be away and he wanted to be there to oversee Gozer, so we delayed until This past Thursday, which is when the vet recommended that we start. 

But then when I put the schedule into the calendar I noticed that her weekly maintenance shots would be on Sundays and that's just not convenient for Ian's parents (who will be looking after Gozer when we're away) or for us if we needed a vet to do it. I asked the vet if we could shift the maintenance injections to the next day and the vet said no, so I rescheduled the first appointment for Saturday.

The vet was pretty upset with me for changing the appointment focus on Thursday but it worked out well anyways, I think. I was able to spend time learning how to give the injections with saline which I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. It turns out that giving this kind of injection is really easy once you're shown how to do it. The first time I tried with saline, with the vet there, I completely messed it up because she didn't tell me how to hold the syringe or anything.  Once the technician went through it step-by-step I had a much easier time.

Gozer doesn't seem to have any adverse effects from the allergy shot. Interestingly, there are apparently two approaches to allergy shots: front-loading and ramping-up. In the front-loading approach, the injections start with high doses of the serum and then taper down and the ramping-up approach starts low and builds. Well, the vet thought that we were getting a front-loading type and that Gozer would need more supervision after the first couple of injections instead of the kind we're getting. Had they checked the email I sent with the dermatologist's information, they'd have known this and we wouldn't have had to wait two weeks to start the injections. Not that it matters in the long run that we waited two weeks to start the injections; when you're doing something for a lifetime, starting two weeks here or there doesn't make much of a difference.

Hopefully the next injections will go just as well and they'll help. Gozer has been panting more often as we've been walking out in the new spring weather. It isn't hot out - maybe 17C, max - so I figure maybe she's having trouble with the molds and stuff that are being uncovered once (almost) all the snow melted.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Doctor's appointment last week

Last week I saw my family doctor. I hadn't actually done my bloodwork or pelvic ultrasound or bone density scan before going but I'd already rebooked the appointment twice and I decided I really needed to just go. I did commit to getting all this stuff done before we go to the UK (I've mentioned that, right? My sister is getting married there in May so we're going to the wedding and will be doing some sightseeing as well).

The main thing we talked about was my antidepressant dose reduction. I'm at 10mg/day and I've been at this level for a while. I've noticed that I have more moods now than I did before, although there's nothing I can't mange. I definitely feel different than I used to before; I feel more human now and less fuzzy-headed.

My doctor commented that my affect was completely different than it's been in past visits. I was smiling and clearly happy, making eye contact, being engaged with him, and generally seeming pleasant and happy. Well, except for the fiddling that I was doing with my scarf - but I've always fiddled. It's one of the reasons that I used to smoke; smoking gave me something to do with my fiddly hands.

Anyways, my family doctor is very happy with the progress I've made and how well I'm doing now. He says that I'm not to try to decrease my antidepressant any further. He's concerned that if I decrease the antidepressant further, I might end up not doing well and it'll be harder to get back to this level. It's always easier to stay ahead of something like that than it is to keep ahead of it. It's the same with physical pain.

I'm ok with staying at this level; I'd known from the get-go that I might not be able to wean myself off of them entirely. And I have noticed a change in the way I feel at this level compared to the previous ones.  I feel normal right now but I have this sense that there's a fine line between this and me not doing well. So I'd rather stay at the level where I'm at.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Jeans 'n Classics show

Thursday night we went to see "One Vision - The Music of Queen" by Jeans 'n Classics. Jeans 'n Classics fuses a local orchestra or symphony and a rock band (and sometimes a local chorus group) to play the music of an artist or band. The music has been rearranged for  the fuller orchestral sound.

It was a very interesting show. I think of Queen's music as having a very full sound and I thought it would sound great played by an orchestra. I was right; the music did sound good. It wasn't a brilliant adaptation and the arrangement didn't add anything special to the music or enhance it in any way but it was still interesting to listen to and we both enjoyed it.

One thing that was super-awesome was that one of the backup singers was Rique Franks who voices the announcements on Showcase and Showcase Diva. She gave us a demonstration: "The following program contains sax and violins and viewer discretion is advised." Ha ha :)

The only complaint we had was about the lead singer. He tried to get the crowd riled up but the crowd wasn't all that interested in being riled up and he didn't really seem to get that. It was like he has a schtick that he had to run through no matter what - and that schtick needs to be updated. He also had a rather annoying tendency to spin his mike stand around which was visually disruptive. We could have overlooked all of that but he really didn't have the vocal chops to "do" Freddie Mercury. Occasionally the timbre of his voice was right but it didn't have the range and his diction and pacing were completely off.

While we mostly enjoyed the show, we much preferred the Classic Albums Live show that we saw a couple of months ago. Jeans 'n Classics was fun and all but Classic Albums Live provided a better introduction to the music and the musicians were able to both play the music note-perfect and enhance the music with the choices they made.

I might think about seeing a Jeans n' Classics show again, but not with this lead singer. And if I had to choose between the two shows, I'd pick Classic Albums Live.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Today is my birthday

It's my birthday! As Ian says, I'm exactly one day older than I was yesterday. Of course I don't usually describe myself as x years and y days old; I round down to the x years, so when that number changes, it's worth marking it and maybe even celebrating it.

Not that we did much to celebrate; we ordered pasta from Boston Pizza for dinner and it was surprisingly yummy. I've also been on a bit of a spending spree lately and I could call that buying myself birthday present(s). Because who doesn't want low-tarnish and firescale-resistant sterling silver sheet, wax detailer carving tools, sweaters, an assortment of twin sewing needles (they come in different sizes - I had no idea!), and awesome boots (black with laces AND zippers!) for their birthday? Not to mention a bunch of very tiny 1.5mm round faceted gemstones for use in some earrings I want to make, as well as a bunch of other tools and clothes.

I'm noticing this birthday more than usual, probably because today I'm turning 45 which means I'm in the next survey age bracket. I was in the 35-44 age bracket so I could kind of pretend that I wasn't all that old. But now that I'm part of the 45-54 age bracket, I can't really pretend to myself that I'm actually young anymore. I know that on the outside I'm no spring chicken but on the inside I feel like I'm just 25 or maybe 30 (although a better version of the me that I was when I was actually that age).

I don't know if everyone feels this way as they get older or if I feel this way because I wasted so many years trying to escape from reality. Back then I didn't think I was giving anything up but over the last few years, as I got mentally healthier, I wished I could have those years back. I'm coming to terms with the fact that those years are gone and that I have to let them go. That process had been going fairly well, at least up until today - because there's no better day to remind one of all the years that have passed than one's birthday.

Tomorrow I'll get back to accepting that those years are gone and I'm old(er). Today I'm celebrating the years I've been around ... and maybe buy myself some more "birthday presents".

Monday, March 17, 2014

Not much happening here

So.... it's looking less and less likely that I'll be finishing the Academy Awards red carpet post. The more time that passes, the less likely I am to finish a red carpet post, even if I started it early on. I just felt so awful for so long and I couldn't get it together to do the post.

Nothing much of anything other than me feeling sick has been happening. I'm feeling mostly better now but I still have a bit of a cough and my eyes are still a little icky and I'm still tired. It doesn't help that Gozer has taken up barking when we go to bed. We don't really know why she's doing it; I think it's related to me being in the bath.

At night we do our bedtime routine where she goes into the backyard, gets her cheeky stuff and her eye drop, and then she goes into her kennel for which she is rewarded a cookie and the kennel closes. I then run my bath and about 15 minutes later, she starts barking. It isn't just a bark; it's like a grrrrrrrrRUFF! The first few times, we took her into the backyard for a pee and tried to get her back into her kennel but she wanted a cuddle. After that, we ignored her. She continues barking every few minutes until she chooses to stop.

I think that stopping point is coming earlier and earlier now. The first time she did it, she barked all night long and kept us awake. Then she was stopping shortly after I finished my bath and went to bed. Last night I don't think she barked at all and I hope that this means that she's not going to do the barky thing again.

Aside from being a Barky McBarkerson, she's doing quite well. And so am I :)

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Green Day's American Idiot musical

We saw Green Day's American Idiot tonight at the Centre in the Square. The Broadway production was nominated and won a bunch of Tony awards a few years ago and since we like Green Day, we figured we wanted to see it.

Of course we knew absolutely nothing about the story or choreography or how the music made the story work or anything but that didn't stop us from going. Now we know that the show tells the story of a year in the life of three slacker/Generation X friends and the consequences of the choices they make during that year. I enjoyed the story because it wasn't a typically feel-good story where everything is wrapped up and great at the end; it was edgy and raw and had a kind of realness to it that you don't often see in musicals. I don't want to give you any more abut the story; if you want to know more, I'm sure you can find it online.

I will tell you that I wouldn't recommend the show to kids as there's simulated sex, simulated marijuana, and simulated heroin use during the show. Next to us was a family with two kids between seven and ten - I'm sure those kids will have lots of questions for their mom and dad when they get home.

The show runs about 80 mins long and runs without an intermission, which I really liked. It meant that the intensity of the show could be maintained throughout the entire performance and they didn't have to take time to get everyone in to it. They rearranged the music a little bit from the original album and reworked it to support multiple vocalists and a chorus but it was recognizably the same (and in some cases, I thought it was better). The choreography was interesting; the dancers were not all great at dancing in an edgy, raw way, which was sort of funny.

We also really liked the set, which was a huge black wall with a number of tv sets attached to it that were used to support whatever was going on. The stage was generally divided into three zones, each with its own lights, and there was also a general light show that was projected onto the wall. There was movable scaffolding, a couch, a mattress, and other items that were used as props.

Overall, we really enjoyed the show. It was a great story, a good use of music, an interesting choreography, and great sets and lights. We definitely recommend this musical if you get a chance to see it.