positive bleeding

I continue to improve, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine. My biggest problem right now is feeling better than I actually am – I almost feel back to my usual self, but I’m still nowhere near it. Twice now I’ve gone out to do things because I feel okay, only to have to cut the day short because I’ve overdone it and feel like soggy death. It’s an adjustment.

My blood does appear to be flowing again, which is both good and bad. The good: my snoring improved remarkably from the first night I was medicated. That isn’t to say that I got better at snoring, rather; the noises that so alarmed Ed had quieted considerably: I was no longer gasping myself awake or making horrible choking noises in my sleep. All the fluid that threatened to drown me every night is now flushed out in other ways, to the point where I have postponed my sleep study indefinitely.

It’s not all pee and solid sleep, though: now that my heart is sucking less, my skin is being a shitheel again. For the last 3 months or so, the only thing I was remotely happy about was that my breakouts seemed to be under control. Sure, I looked like shit and couldn’t breathe or sleep or eat, but my skin was clear, damnit! Now .. not so much. All the stress zits that had been repressed by my body’s inability to do fuck all are coming back to say howdy and it fucking sucks. I may never leave the house again – not because I don’t have the energy, but because I look awful. Why go outside? I have cats and Diet Coke and internet.

And a new mattress, too. Ed decided we needed to upgrade, so this week we got a fancy new memory foam thing. I love it because we were able to get rid of our huge giant mattress and box spring so our bed is now a full foot closer to the ground (much better for falling), and also it is all the comfortable ever. If this is how rich people live, I’m all for it.

I do miss adventures, though.

let’s do sports


I am a lousy patient. Resting is boring. I feel guilty (and annoyed) that I’m not better yet, but I really have no other “totes sick” experience to measure a good healing by. I haven’t spent any time in the hospital beyond day surgery since I was 7, when I had my tonsils out (and my tail removed 2 years before that). I’m struggling to take this as seriously as I should, but every time I try to do .. well, anything at all, I’m stopped in my tracks by a deep and unsettling exhaustion and clammy moistness, quickly followed by the guilts. I worked from home today, but wasn’t nearly as productive as I thought I’d be due to the aforementioned clams – even thinking makes me tired and nauseous and damp. I am (thankfully) not used to being Very Sick, and I don’t know what to do about it all.

I haven’t told my mother, either. I want to tell her, but I don’t want her to worry and/or nag me for the next 20 years. It’s times like this that I really miss having a normal relationship with my mother – I know it’s better that I just don’t get into this with her, but I can’t help but want someone to fuss over me and make me stay in bed and bring me presents. That’s what happens when you’re sick, right? It did when I was 7, so I assume it’s the same when you’re an adult.

Here’s hoping I have more success sitting upright tomorrow!

achievement unlocked: going home

I was literally opening my laptop to write up a whiny, self-pitying post full of doom and gloom because a) I’m still in the hospital, b) I hadn’t seen a doctor yet, c) the casual racism of my roommate was getting really old really fast, and d) Ed hadn’t come by to see me yet, BUT – I saw a doctor! I got an update!

We talked a lot, but two main things came out of this:

I’m gonna be okay!


None of this was my fault!!!!!

I was pretty much convinced that everything in my life – work, body, food intake or lack thereof, Diet Coke consumption, internet shopping habits, intravenous drug use, casual sex, puppeteering US politics, littering, using Easter Seal stamps but not donating, buying that cup of coffee a day instead of sponsoring little Ubuntu, not calling my mother regularly – had caused all the health problems I’ve basically since June. Doctor Awesome leapt to reassure me that this isn’t the case at all – basically, it was just bad luck. The rattling in June was environmental, but the triple threat combo of the flu, cold, and strep throat I had in November completely obliterated my immune system – something nasty got in and played games with my heart (against the clear advice of the Backstreet Boys). According to Doc Awesome, the heart should pump 60% of the blood it takes in back out again. Mine was operating at 20%, which made all the fluid go other places and be a jerk.

I’m getting a bunch of prescriptions for diuretics (a terrible word that makes me uncomfortable – diuretics is my moist) and beta blockers (take that, beta), and a new ultrasound in three months. Fixing my stupid heart will take some time, but at least we’re on the right path. I’m thrilled about that (I’m currently crying, but it’s 25% happy 75% butthurt), and glad that I should be feeling better (and able to get dressed in the morning without wanting to die) by the time spring hits. ADVENTURE! I CAN HAVE YOU AGAIN!

Thank you so much to everyone who commented, tweeted, facebooked, called, and more – you guys are awesome. And a super thanks to all my friends who kept me entertained while sitting here feeling sorry for myself. And I promise I will do everything in my power to stay out of the hospital from now on. :D

I am going to miss this awesome technology, though.

$11/day for “premium channels”!

unbreak my heart


It’s been an interesting 24 hours!

Last night around 9:30, I started to wheeze. I decided that the time was as good as it was ever going to get, so I asked Ed to take me to the ER in North Vancouver (closest one to our place). We got there around 10pm, and settled in for a long, long night of waiting.

Blood was drawn and x-rays were taken and the doctor determined that they couldn’t determine anything other than the fact that what I have is definitely not asthma. My blood was showing something, but more testing was needed to figure out what. They discharged us at 3am, and told me to be back at 7am for a CT scan. Okay then!

The ER visit itself wasn’t going all that well, because before we left the house I threw up .. which made all the rattling stop. As expected, when the doctor listened to my lungs, there was nothing amiss. Luckily (I guess) I had another barf attack at 2am, and violently and loudly threw up in the triage bathroom. This was enough to make the doctors say “wtf is that”, and soon after I was told I needed to come back in 4 hours. As shitty as that was, I was actually thrilled .. they were listening to me. They knew something was wrong. They weren’t going to send me home to keep an eye on things for myself. Praise Jeebus!

So, home. I managed to get onto the couch around 4am, and slept fitfully/sweatily for an hour before I had to get up and head back to the hospital. I took a cab so Ed could get more sleep, and checked myself in for some CT scans and bonus vein trauma. My veins have always been dicks when it comes to getting blood drawn or IVs inserted or my next fix, but today they were brutal. It took 7? needles, an IV technician, and finally the old standby – a baby needle in the back of the hand – to get anything in or out of me. I’m covered in bruises and sticky residue from my elbows to knuckles.

The CT scan was interesting, what with the injection that makes you feel like you’re peeing yourself, but when it was done they propped me up in a chair to await my fate. It was handed down soon afterward. The good news: there were no blood clots in my lungs. Hooray!

The bad news: heart failure.

The doctor was quick to assure me that “heart failure” is really a catch-all term for anything wrong with the heart that isn’t out-and-out cardiac arrest. Basically, all my symptoms were being caused by my heart not operating at 100%, which caused fluid to back up, which made my lungs work harder, which made it hard to catch my breath, and so on. I was going to be sent for an echolocation and an ultrasound, and we would see what was happening. Also, I’m pretty young and all, so do I want them to do everything possible to save me if it gets to that? Yes, that would be lovely, thank you. I understand it’s a routine question, but HOLY JESUS WHY.

I had the tests done, I ate my hospital lunch, and .. I don’t have any other news. I’m in the hospital overnight, as I have yet to talk to the heart doctor to find out what the bat test and ultrasound showed. I’m clammy and bored and don’t want to be here .. but at the same time, I DO want to be here. I’m almost giddy with relief that the doctors and nurses listened to me and realized something was wrong and ordered the tests that could solve this once and for all. The nurses here have been amazingly nice, I’m fully connected to the outside world thanks to Ed bringing my laptop and Renee working her wifi magic, and I’ve already had awesome visitors bearing flowers and sparkly pandas riding unicorns. Yes, I’m uncomfortable and filthy and they keep pumping my IV full of stuff that makes me pee the universe and wish I was at home, but I’m being taken care of and that’s all that really matters right now.

I haven’t spent the night in the hospital since I was 5 and had my tail removed. This is really weird.

More details when I get them, but for now, I’m #stillalive.

sdk (super duper kimli) update

Sorry about the pun – I’ve been elbow-deep in SDK documentation for weeks, and it’s starting to infiltrate my subconscious. Also, I am pretty super duper. You know, in case you missed that part.

.. actually, I’m not super at all. My health is probably the worst it’s ever been, and I can’t get help. I’ve been to walk-in clinics, used Medeo multiple times, called 811 to talk to a nurse, tried to get sleep tests done .. and it’s all failed. I’m no closer to finding out what’s wrong with me than I was two months ago, and in the meantime, things have gotten so much worse. If I stop to think about my symptoms, I legit start to cry because I’m so fucking scared and feeling helpless and like I’m going to keel over and die any minute, and I can’t get any fucking help.

I still can’t catch a full breath, and the fatigue is worse than ever. I’ve basically given up on leaving the house: I work from home 3-4 days a week because I just don’t have the energy necessary to get to the office. Every fucking thing I do winds me like I ran three miles – I can’t even get dressed without having to stop to catch my fucking breath. It’s scary and humiliating and I don’t know what to do.

My lungs rattle at night, making me cough, which makes me throw up. Rinse and repeat, every night. I’m lucky if I get 3-5 hours of fitful, rattly sleep. Every doctor I manage to see listens to my lungs, and doesn’t hear a thing – because the rattling only happens after midnight. I’ve recorded it, I’ve sent it to doctors, I’ve played it in people’s faces, and they ignore it. Want to hear? Click away. It’s awesome. That’s what I sound like every night after midnight, but no one will help me because it doesn’t happen in front of their eyes.

I look and feel like utter shit. I’m pale and blotchy and there are bags under my eyes big enough to smuggle dogs in. I feel fragile and broken and I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve been trying, with no luck – each doctor I talk to tells me to talk to someone else. Online they tell me to see a live doctor. Live doctors refer me to hospitals, but the referrals don’t come through. The sleep test equipment I got was broken, and it took another 4 weeks to get another loaner appointment. Assuming that equipment works, it’ll be 2-4 weeks before they can analyze the results. I don’t think I can do this for another 6 weeks.

Ed tries to anticipate what the doctors will tell me – that it’s my diet causing all this. That doesn’t help. I can’t eat because I’m so tired, and when I do, I struggle to keep food down. Also, most of the reason I’m afraid to see a live doctor is because I’m convinced they’re going to dismiss every symptom I have, because I’m fat. You can’t breathe? You’re fat. You can’t sleep? Fat. Tired all the time, throwing up every night, pink jellyfish in your lungs? So fat. I’m desperate to have some kind of medical professional take me seriously and look for symptoms beyond my size, but I’m terrified of being ignored – and Ed’s comments aren’t helping. He means well, but .. no. Stop. Please.

If this keeps up, I’m going to have to take some medical leave from work. I can’t cope anymore, I don’t have a family doctor I can see, and everything left of me is in the hands of people who have a website proudly stating:

The Clinic takes walk-in patients from 8am-9pm Monday- Friday and from 9am-9pm Saturday’s and Sunday’s.

I’m as good as dead. Who wants my stuff?

not an octopus

Good news, everybody! I’m not an octopus!

My fingers have been mysteriously ink-stained all day. I haven’t been fingerprinted recently (that YOU know of), and I don’t work in 1885 so I was a little curious as to where the stains were coming from, but then I saw something shiny and totally forgot about my hands.

Eventually, I went to the bathroom. I had taken off my jacket to pee (don’t ask), and when I finished my urinary business I flung the coat over my shoulders jauntily and prepared to exit the stall. It was then that I saw it – freshly sprayed ink all over the walls in a neat splatter trajectory.

What the fuck?

My first thought was that perhaps my jacket hadn’t been properly detagged when I bought it and some sort of security device had burst. A careful inspection of my clothes revealed this was not the case, so where was the ink coming from? And why was I spraying it all over the walls? Clearly, I was an octopus. It was the only logical explanation.

I was halfway decided on my new octopus name when I retraced my steps in the stall and realized that the ink wasn’t ink at all, but black water – and it was coming from the tank of the toilet. The building I work in was built before modern plumbing, and our toilets are terrible – so in order to stop the constant flow of water and actually have the toilet flush, I was reaching into the toilet tank to firmly press down the seal on the drainy thing, which would cause the toilet to fill, which would make flush go – and in doing so, coming in contact with the evidently filthy and oozing black rubber seal. This is problematic, so I am going to request a toilet-fixing stick. But in the meantime, I am officially not an octopus. Today is a good day!

my jam

The following things are currently my jam:

  • Every label artist collaborating on an album together? Yes please.
  • This idea to donate new or gently used slow cookers to the DTES, where they’ll be distributed to residents who’ve been taught how to make affordable, healthy meals using the power of slow heat
  • This actual jam (but don’t pay that price, it’s like $4 in Trader Joe’s or $5 at Pirate Joe’s)
  • I’ve been listening to a lot of Dessa lately because she’s awesome and she used to be a technical writer, so my dream of one day being a hip hop superstar lives on
  • These wrap bracelets are sparkly and fun and look pretty awesome, along with some great customer service and super fast shipping
  • The cast of the upcoming female Ghostbusters movie
  • Excitement over taking the train to Seattle tomorrow evening and staying in a Fancy Hotel (I’m crashing Ed’s work trip, I only pay for travel if London is involved)
  • This song
  • Crying for no reason
  • Insomnia

Not all of my jams are delicious.



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