tanarill: (Science!)
Also, I kind of fell down on my official Omer-counting duties, so I will get those out of the way first. Today is the thirty-eighth day of the Omer which is five weeks and three days into the Omer.

The thing is, I am really not a hypochondriac. I don't got looking up things for 'light fever, mild headache, scratchy throat' to mean because to me that means common cold. I just . . . I am a biochem grad student. If I think there is something seriously wrong I will go online and look up those symptoms, and if they are symptoms of a bad enough thing I'll go ask a doctor.

The last time I did this, I turned out to have Crohn's disease.

This time, I have pneumonia.

Don't worry! The doctor said my blood-oxygen level is fine, and I am otherwise healthy and not in pain. I have antibiotics (to which I am not allergic) which should be clearing it right up. But still. If I go into the ER and say things like "I think I have pneumonia, my lung is gurgling," I'd really rather be wrong about it!
tanarill: (Science!)
So this week I was debating going to seminar, because the email said it was about salmonella and metals and I am not terribly interested in infections bacteria-based disease. But then I went because I had to be on that side of campus anyway, and I am so glad I did.

Guts Under Here )

Is Shot

Oct. 21st, 2011 08:37 am
tanarill: (Default)
Things about the person in the room directly below mine:
she speaks like a valley gurl
she likes pop music
she calls her friends 'bitch'
she is vocal during sex
she does not understand the meaning of the word 'quiet'

Should I attempt to have a talk with her?

Today, I had a semi-Adventure: I took the bus system to get to an unfamiliar doctor office. Weirdly, the buses here are at the station on time, give or take two minutes. It is the weirdest thing, I planned out my trip and then everything worked. So I got to the doctor's, and I told him my story. After about ten minutes, he was all, "So . . . if your Crohn's is under control and you feel great, why are you here?" Then I explained and he gave me a prescription for more Effective Medecine. ^_^ And I took the buses back. Yey!

Now I have just returned from the land of the Chabad. They don't do Simchat Torah the same way all the other people do Simchat Torah. Although there is still lots of food (Jewish Event!) and lots of dancing, they seem to think that making people-towers four people high is a good idea. Also they do this dance which goes "say l'chaim;" a "l'chaim" is a toast, which means "to life," and it is said over an alcoholic beverage. They were using a vodka so hard it was pretty much just alcohol >.< and so not only are they making people-towers, they are doing it as they became progressively more inebriated.

Also, the Chabad house here is the rabbi's actual house, where he and his wife and their children (somewhere between three and five, I was unable to assign children to parents) live.

So, in short: I have a place to go for Friday nights, and it will include lots of food, a variable number of drinks, children, and other people, and at least some amount of prayer. Huzzah.

For a closer, a bit of a conversation.
MW: A lot of brilliant scientists were Jewish.
Panda: Are.
Me: Well of course. Jews have drive. Jews have focus. Jews have mothers who are like "do you want more chikkin?"
MW: [laughs]
tanarill: (Default)
Today is the eighth day of the Omer, which is one week and one day into the Omer.

There is a local support group for Crohn's/Colitis. MW went to the meeting last month, and pestered me into going this month. I did not feel that I would like it, but actually it was not bad. I am not sure I will go again, though. These people were those who had had serious internal bits removed - as in, all of the colon, on some of them. Compared to them, my little shot once every two weeks is nothing, and I felt a little like I didn't belong. They also kept talking about the importance of being positive and not feeling sorry for oneself, but I never did; I was diagnosed on a Tuesday and by Friday I was tired of people giving me sympathies instead of just letting me take my meds and get on with my life.

Finally, MW (who found them) is the kind of person who needs people to talk at, usually at volume into the phone in her annoying on-the-phone voice, but I am not. Talking annoys me, as does background music and anyone who feels the need to leave the TV on for noise. In addition, people annoy me, usually by thinking more slowly than I do*. Sometimes by thinking stupid things, like "if God wants her to live than she will" rather than "if God didn't want her alive we wouldn't have things like hospitals and penicillin." Anyway. Unlike MW, I'm not someone who needs a lot of people, so a support group is kind of superfluous.

Besides, I decided on day one that I was not going to live my life around this disease; I was going to master it and live my life regardless of it. Going to a support group, especially when I don't need it, seems kind of . . . living around Crohn's instead of beating it. So even though it was not a bad experience, I really don't know that I'll go again.

*Not that they are less intelligent than I, because lots of them are brilliant professors. Nor that they know less than I, because lots of them know things I can never hope to understand. They just don't process information as quickly, and time lag it takes for people like that to catch up with me is too short for me to do anything useful while at the same time being long enough to notice. So. Damned. Annoying.


Jul. 26th, 2010 02:07 am
tanarill: (Science!)
So, what's happened at ChezA (where I am staying)? Nothing much. It is Ellie's birthday today, so that means we all have cake, but Ellie is being moopy because she thinks she's Old. Win some, lose some.

I want to play Patapon.

Annnnnd . . . I may need another colonoscopy. The steroid med works, but the other one doesn't, I think, and that's annoyingly bad because it means that when I get off the 'roids, I'll go back to internal bleeding. I dislike this idea lots. So . . . internal camera it is. Le siiiigh.


May. 6th, 2010 10:29 am
tanarill: (Bitchin')
So maybe I ought to post.

I'm not sure what to post, aside from saying that in research-land we managed to get some green (!!) nanoparticles. Green is good - other people have managed to get them but whether they are gotten is kind of hit-or-miss, and we think we have figured out why. Consistently getting green is, like, the holy grail of this type of research. Next up: bovine hemoglobin (which is essentially the same chemical as human hemoglobin but, for obvious reasons, a gajillion times cheaper).

In ficland, I have been writing an xxxHolic AU, but it is veeeeeery slow. Mostly is is slow because finding primary sources on Edo Period, just pre-Meiji Restoration, Japan is very difficult. If anyone has such sources I would be quite grateful.

I'm also still writing stuff in Khemet, but it is very difficult. Set is an uncommunicative bastard, in addition to being a massive ball of Issues. He is probably going to get into a screaming argument with Horu about this. Ise is, of course, not helping; fortunately, other gods will . . .

And Carebear has gotten herself on a Rorschach trip, which means I went back and reread Watchmen so as to be able to RP with her. I had forgotten how depressing it was. I think my Dan is a little too intellectual, but Rorschach is pretty much all instinct, so they balance. 9I love the way his name is pronounced RAW-shock, it's so him.) I may be turning those into a fic, it depends on how she feels about it.

And in horrible ick news, I believe I have stopped responding as much to the steroid drugs. The abdominal pains are back,at least. I shall ask Dr. BZ about it when I go home for the weekend. I hope I'm okay :


May. 2nd, 2010 10:13 am
tanarill: (Science!)
So, as you may or may not know, the family is moving to California. We are renting the Michigan house to Awesome Jonathan. However, he is in that house now, and we must stay until JJ's graduation on June 6. This creates a temporal mismatch.

The six weeks or so between are being spent . . . at the house of Dr. BZ. Yes, that Dr. BZ. His wife the Pearl is apparently a longtime friend, which is how we knew about Dr. BZ to start. What this means for me is that I get my labwork back pretty much the day it's done.

So, about my blood: It's normal. I have a few low deviations from norm on a few of the measures, but I am pretty much back to healthy. And that makes me Happy.

Next up is getting me off the steroids, so I am just on the immunosuppressants. (Which were not responsible for my cold as much as the fact that the entire biochemistry department had had it first. Just my luck to get the version that survives everyone else while my own immune system was compromised . . . )

Also, anyone on this list read xxxHolic? I need a beta who is into that fandom :D
tanarill: (Science!)
My general physician, Dr. F, is fantastic. But the on-call doctor when I had the colonoscopy, Dr. B, needs to work on his bedside manner a leetle. However, since he was the on-call doctor, he's who I got. Fortunately, Dr. BZ, whose house we will be living at for a few weeks while JJ finishes high school, is an intestine doctor*. Even more fortunately, he specializes in Crohn's, and in fact I am his somewhat-over-two-thousandth Crohn's patient.

I went to go see him today. He said I have textbook Crohn's, which is good in the sense that what medical regimen I should be on is well-known. Not so good in the sense that my chances of gastrointestinal cancer just shot up four hundred times, but I'd rather know than not know.

He took me off the Pentasa (yey!), and is instead putting me on a drug called Imuran. Imuran is an immunosuppressant, so it will drop my body's ability to fight infection somewhat. On the other hand, it will also drop my body's ability to fight itself. On the whole, slightly longer common cold recovery time > horrible constant gut-bleeding. Unless I prove to be allergic to it, which happens to 5% of the population. One of the few times I'm hoping not to roll a natural 20.

Current pill count: 15 a day.

He also had his people suck some more blood. I psychically predict that the result will be thus: I am still anemic, but less anemic than I was. Because eating 900% of my daily iron requirement each day has to be doing something.

Finally, he says in a month we're going to start weaning me off the Entecort. This is because Entecort is a steroid, and steroids are not just responsible for 'roid rage. They will seriously Fuck You Up if you stay on them for very long, so once we're sure it has done it's stop-attacking-healy-job, I'll be dropping it. (Horrible Dr. B said this as well.) At which point I will be taking a manageable five pills a day, all at breakfast.

So it looks like this horrible thing of utter ick will end up being a background concern after all, and MW's insistence on trying to talk to me about any of it was not only unwanted but totally unnecessary. Such is my life . . .

*There's probably a fancy word for it, but that is what he is.
tanarill: (Science!)
Dear Internet,

Let's play a game. The game is called 'Let's Count the Number of Pills tan Takes.' I think it is fairly self-explanatory.

1. Zoloft, so I don't try to kill everyone around me with a blunt knife
2. Levora, so I have periods
3. Multivitamin
4. Vitamin D pill
5. Entecort, which is bringing the Crohn's down to a maneagable level, x3
8. Pentasa, which will maintain the Crohn's at a maneagable lever, x2
10. Iron
11. Vitamin C, to help be absorb the iron

12. Pentasa, x3
15. Iron
16. Vitamin C

17. Pentasa, x3
20. Iron
21. Vitamin C

. . . seriously?

On the other hand, we no have definitive proof that this is doing something, because on Friday I was checked and my anemia level has gone from 8.9 to 10.1, with 13 being a healthy number for me. So that's good.

But This Shit Must Stop. For reals.

That is all,


Well, Fuck

Mar. 18th, 2010 03:23 pm
tanarill: (Science!)
I have Crohn's disease*. It's autoimmune, and therefore not curable. I'm limited to controlling it by taking, no joke, ten pills a day on top of my other pills . . .

Man, I feel old.

*Warning: that link contains pictures that you might want to avoid, if you are squeamish.

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