what’s up with that thang?

Here I go, here I go, here I go again –

Girls, what’s my weakness?

UV Rays.

Yesterday was the first fully glorious day in Actual Summer. The sun was shining, birds were singing, bees were trying to have sex with them (as is my understanding) .. so we went on a boat. We’ve rented wee speed boats in Horseshoe Bay multiple times before, and it’s always an amazing way to spend a few hours. We packed up snacks and drinks and Shan and took off on our usual route, stopping to say hello to seals and dream about living on a tiny island.

It was wonderful.

Less wonderful is how I managed to completely forget that a) the sun is hot and b) there was sunscreen in the snack bag that I really ought to have used. I burned my exposed parts to a deep, crispy red, and they all hurt like hell. According to the internet, I now have seven kinds of skin cancer caused by Sun Poisoning, all of which can be exacerbated by every single medication I’m on. I didn’t know that! Was I supposed to know that? Goddamnit, I don’t have time for this! I’m already broken!

This is why I can’t have nice things, like skin.

sure was pretty, though

sure was pretty out, though

 

 

in which my life suuuuuucks

It’s our last day in Barcelona. Instead of roaming the city, eating tapas, and being romanced by swarthy Spaniards (all of whom want to sell me a selfie stick), I am sitting in my hotel room all by myself having an epic pity party: I’ve been sick for the last 2 days with what is most assuredly the most disgusting and horrible stomach flu I’ve ever had in Spain. The only thing I can keep down is fruit and fruit-based beverages, which makes Barcelona a pretty damn convenient place to be. There’s amazing and bountiful fruit all up in this bitch (“bitch” referring to both myself and the city).

Oh good, a delightful sea breeze just blew the shutters of my hotel Juliette balcony wide open so now I can see the sunshine and gorgeous city I’m missing out on. That’s nice.

I’ll upload my photo gallery when I have a better internet connection, and share some stories when we’re home. Illness aside, I’ve had a wonderful time in Spain – we’re already talking about coming back at a time when Ed’s brain chemistry isn’t made of what my stomach is producing at this moment. That will be lovely. If you’re ever in the mood for some winter jamón, I can’t recommend Barcelona in February enough – the weather is fantastic, it’s less crowded (which is kind of scary, I can’t imagine this place in the summer), and see above re: bountiful fruit, should you come down with late-vacation rectal failure.

You’ve been lovely, Barcelona. I will return, and we will make like the Erotic Museum until we’re both dehydrated and in need of pubic grooming. Until then, I am sad and sick and lonely and sad and really kind of pathetic but damnit, I’m missing out on a third of my vacation and that fucking blows.

just me, my germs, and this marzipan bumblebee.

gone viral

I’ve had a sore throat for 5 days. I thought it was caused by whatever the precursor to Korean Fan Death is, but when it didn’t let up I booked an appointment with a clinic. I was mostly in “wait and see” mode, but the online doctor requested I go see someone in meat space because she interpreted my blood results as my body trying to fight something off that likely wasn’t related to my slacker heart. Tired of not being able to swallow without making faces, I caved and booked myself in for a prodding.

The appointment was an epic shit show from the beginning. I hate walk-in clinics, but they’re my only real option in cases like this (even though we all know how well that worked out for me when I was trying to diagnose why I couldn’t breathe). Luckily, the clinic I use has an online appointment system so you can skip the wait. I booked myself an appointment last night, but when I arrived, I was told the doctor I was supposed to see wasn’t even in today, and there was an hour wait to see anyone. I was pretty furious at this, because I didn’t exactly want to sit in a crowded waiting room full of sick people – it’s why I used the goddamn booking system in the first place – but I didn’t have much of a choice: my sore throat had progressed in alarming and disgusting ways. I sighed, and took a seat to begin my wait.

.. and that was when an elderly Japanese lady asked me when my baby was due.

I stammered that I wasn’t pregnant, and I know the lady felt pretty terrible about asking me, but it still took all my willpower not to cry in the waiting room. The tears welled up several times, but I held fast onto my towering anger at being in this situation at all to keep them at bay. Finally, my name was called, and I was whisked away to see a doctor for a total of 96 seconds.

She looked at my throat and took my temperature, and came up with a verdict of virus. It’s not the Return of Strep, which is good – I was more than a little terrified that the cycle of slowly dying aloud was going to start all over again – but other than that, everything sucks. There are no drugs they can give me for this. I’m just supposed to wait it out, but in the meantime, I’m in pain and am sad down to my very bones. We’re supposed to be leaving for Seattle in an hour or so, but I don’t know that I should go – technically I’m contagious AND have a weakened immune system, both of which point to a sequestering. I could get other people sick. Other people could make me sicker. But .. I’ll miss Ali’s birthday and partying with people and having fun. I don’t know what I should do.

I’ve never before been asked if I was pregnant, and MAN does that sting. I made it home before collapsing in a puddle of tears, and now I am literally sobbing into some cheesecake. It is perhaps a little clichéd and counter-productive, but if there was ever a time that called for cheesecake, this is it. I am a sad, sad Kimli.

oh, you

In British Columbia, there’s a website called myehealth.ca that allows you to view your test results before you see a doctor. It’s pretty cool, and leads to a lot of Googling to find out exactly what you’re dying of. I had blood drawn yesterday in an attempt to find out why I’m so damned itchy (going on 8 months now, it’s getting worse, and it’s spreading), but before I had even viewed my results I was having an excellent time:

I forgot my password. No big deal, that’s what password reset functions are for. Submitted my email address, got the recovery link, opened it. Website wants me to verify my identity by answering a security question.

“What year did you graduate high school?”

Okay, that’s simple enough. Enter the year, and click OK.

“Incorrect, please try again.”

Well, shit. There’s only one answer to this question, and I know I didn’t enter it wrong. What could it be?

Hmm .. I wonder.

“What year did you graduate high school?”

I typed in “I didn’t”, and pressed enter.

“Thank you! Please enter a new password.”

Past me is fucking hilarious!

I’ve been trying to keep myself away from my blog, because I’m not very much fun to be around at the moment. “I’m itchy” seems like such a small thing, but when it’s a third of your body, intensely uncomfortable, and nothing gives you relief .. well, you’d be pretty cranky too. A great man once roared at the top of the stairs “I’M AT MY LIMIT! I’M AT MY LIMIT!”, and that’s me right now. I’m quite figuratively at my wit’s end, and have sobbed myself to sleep more times in the last few weeks than I’d like to admit. I’m hoping that my blood will show that I’m full of bees or something, but I’m far more terrified that it’s not going to show ANYTHING and I’ll be told that nothing can be done to ease my extreme discomfort. I think people who avoid going to the doctor generally fall into one of two categories – those who are afraid something will be discovered, and those who are afraid nothing will corroborate their symptoms. I’m in that second camp. Don’t tell me my itching is nothing, I have dozens of bloody welts that beg to differ.

I still have some Googling to do, but so far my blood says I have too much potassium, slight lipemia, and high C Reactive Protein sensitivity. I also have a high white blood cell count, a teensy bit more RDW than the norm, too many monocytes AND lymphocytes, extra neutrophils, and too much ferritin. I have no idea what any of that means, but the internet tells me all those things could be elevated due to …….. a viral infection. Which is what I have in my heart. So yep, that checks out.

A running theory about my itchiness (other than the penicillin allergy) is that it’s just my body overproducing in response to all the bad shit going down. I’m not a doctor, but those results seem to lean heavily in that direction. Unfortunately, that’s the diagnosis I’m most afraid of because I don’t know what, if anything, can be done to make my cells stfu and calm their tiny cell tits already. Antihistamines do jack shit, so this isn’t a traditional allergy. I dunno what it is. Perhaps I will let someone who can actually read those results tell me what the dilly is, instead of wildly gesticulating about my fate.

So itchy.

How’s by you?

goddamn lung babies

Running theories of what could be wrong with my lungs, WebMD edition:

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea
  • Paranoid Narcissistic Dystopia (coincidentally also the theme of the next 7 Assassin’s Creed games)
  • Pulmonary Edema
  • Catastrophic Heart Failure
  • Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (not really, I’m just amazed at the number of letters in that)
  • Bilateral Basal Crackles (delicious with pepper jack cheese)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Night Asthma (not to be confused with Night Moves)
  • Nocturnal Emissions
  • Lupis
  • Lung Babies

I’m still alive .. BUT FOR HOW LONG?!

the canadian thing

It’s 3:45 in the morning, and I’m trying to figure out a) if I need to go to the hospital, and b) how to get there without disturbing anyone. I don’t want to wake up Ed, because he’s sleeping. I don’t want to call 911, because then someone would have to deal with me and I don’t want to make work or cause any trouble. I could take myself, but then I’d be stranding Ed who would eventually learn where I am and possibly want to get to me. What to do?

I can’t sleep because my lungs keep filling with fluid. I Googled furiously to see if I should go to the hospital or not, but all that did was convince me that I am experiencing heart failure which makes me panic and then my breathing sucks even more. All things point to getting immediate care, but I don’t want to bother anyone. That seems so rude and unnecessary.

Truthishly, I’m scared out of my fucking mind and trying to distract myself. I’m still rattling, but it seems to be easing up a little .. but I know as soon as I try to lie down, it’ll be back with a loud annoying vengeance. I’ve tried talking to doctors about this, but nothing has come of it – the rattling only happens at night, so I can’t demonstrate how bad it is during a daytime appointment. Last time it was near this bad I actually recorded myself wheezing and attached it to my Medeo appointment request, but the doctor couldn’t open the file. That’s part of why I want to go to the ER, so I can SHOW SOMEONE how bad the wheezing is – it sounds like I’m pouring a goddamn glass of 7-Up when I open my mouth. That is not normal.

My body figuratively started to fall apart on me about 15 hours after I turned 40. Is this what getting old is like? I haven’t felt truly 100% since June 17th, back in my carefree 30s. These days, I’m all about a complete inability to sleep, not being able to breathe properly, and itching. I don’t really like those things. I think I need a new hobby.

Going to go try to bed again. If I start wheezing immediately, I’ll ignore my Canadian sensibilities and call for help (but I will feel guilty as fuck for doing it).

It’s so funny. I always thought I’d die trapped in a burning building because I was too busy live-Tweeting the fire to evacuate, not by drowning in my sleep.

file under “good to know”

So about that penicillin allergy .. yeah, I’m still totally allergic to penicillin.

Also, stupid. I’m very stupid. Can’t forget that.

Timeline: I was prescribed Amoxicillin for my strep throat. It worked wonders on me, and I was feeling better a few days into the medication. I finished up the meds I was given (albeit a little slower than recommended – I am not good at medicine) and continued about my merry way, until the strep came back a week or so later. This time, I was prescribed straight-up penicillin to flush it out of my system; a heavy dosage meant to kick germs to the curb as soon as possible.

During this time, I dealt with the other crap the end of 2014 had decided to dole out to me: a cough that wouldn’t go away, waking up every morning at 4am to bolt to the bathroom and noisily throw up nothing at all (or my favourite, nothing at all but bile and chunks of phlegm), chest rattling so loud it kept me awake every night until around 3am, at which point I’d get an hour of sleep before the barfing started, and a mysterious itch along both forearms that could not be soothed. I’ve managed to get all of these issues under control, save for the last one: I’m itchy all the goddamn time, and nothing helps.

I assumed it was just my annual winter skin freakout, so I went about treating my forearms in the usual ways: moisturizing to combat dry skin, antihistamines to control the itch, even more antihistamines to knock me out at night so I don’t scratch in my sleep, swearing, etc. Nothing helped. It wasn’t until last night at Friendmas during a conversation with my favourite Yunn that two and two were put together: the itching I’m experiencing is probably a reaction to the penicillin, to which I was allergic to once upon a time*.

OH. 

Suddenly, everything made sense. Some quick Googling has shown that I am most likely experiencing a common side effect to the various forms of penicillin I’ve been ingesting, which is a horrible non-stop itch with no accompanying rash (thank dog) that starts several days after you stop taking the medication. Everything lines up perfectly, although I’m highly concerned about what comes next: this itching started after the Amoxicillin, but before the penicillin. I’ve already dug a hole in my arm from all the scratching, and both arms are covered in bruises and tiny scabs. In short, I’m a hot mess. A busty, itchy, hot mess.

I’m thrilled that the strep throat seems to be under control, but I would love for this itching to stop. I look like a junkie, with the clear discomfort and constant scratching and nervous twitching (which is only because I have not yet had any caffeine today).

*: A long, long time ago, it was written into my file that I’m allergic to penicillin. I assume this was from when I was a baby, and when my tail was removed. However, I’d never experienced the allergy – I just went by a decades-old note in a file somewhere. I asked about it once, and was told that “these things go away” so I was probably fine to take penicillin if I needed it. Strep throat seemed like a really good reason to need it, so I just went with the flow .. only to find out that no, I’m still pretty (mildly) allergic to it. I got lucky this time.

*scratch*

shame on me

I think my kidney infection is returning, which is about as much fun as you’d expect. That alone would be bad enough, but I’ve got some other symptoms that have me running to the Internet to diagnose myself to save paid professionals the trouble. It’s never a good idea to do this; less so when it’s disgusting – and besides which, I haven’t had any luck at all. Based on the happenings in my pants, I either have sixteen cancers OR I’ve been having a lot of unprotected sex with diseased strangers in my sleep. It’s clearly an either-or situation I’m dealing with here; there couldn’t possibly be any middle ground that could be dealt with using antibiotics. Nope. Impossible.

I know I said I didn’t have any resolutions for 2013, but I did whisper some to myself when no one was looking and I am DAMN SURE that “no more kidney problems” on the list. Also, I thought my vagina and I had worked our differences out and we were cool now. This is not a good time to learn that my womanly garden is a back-stabbing bitch out to sabotage me – I have hilarious things to do, and all of this is cramping my style (no pun intended).

Ow, and fuck.

sick as a bat (but more fun than that)

As you might be able to tell by my lack of words, I have collapsed into myself and died. I am posting this from an alternate timeline; one in which I do not have the death cold that is making its way around my circle of friends. In this timeline, my throat doesn’t feel as though I spent the weekend fellating sandpaper, my head isn’t paralyzed with rage and/or island rhythms, and I’m not trying to push a watermelon through my left fallopian tube. I doubt the last one has anything to do with this cold, but it fucking hurts and these cramps could stop any time now. Hey, stupid eggs. There’s nowhere for you to go. Why don’t you just lie down and dissolve into goo already.

I don’t have time to be sick, but if I had to be sick, I’d rather it was this week than next. I did have to miss a fancy tango party last night, but I am determined to be well enough to do my duties tonight: Madama Butterfly opens at the Vancouver Opera on Saturday, and I’ve received a call to arms. I’ll be at the dress rehearsal tonight, acting as Opera Ninja – follow along on Twitter for some top secret behind-the-scenes opera snark.

I have to admit, I LOVE being the Opera Ninja; even more than attending the actual opera. For one, I get to have my laptop out and in use during the performance. Also, I tend to get the entire orchestra section to myself; something that’ll come in very handy tonight for me and my germs. I’ve got an extremely short attention span (as most of us do these days – hey, is that a bird?), so multitasking during the opera is very natural to me. What ISN’T natural is sitting still for 3 whole hours and not checking email or Twitter or the internet. All hail the Opera Ninja! Here’s to behaving myself on someone else’s Twitter stream!

I’m slowly but surely settling into life on a Mac, but it’s not without some swearing. Getting my iPhone squared away has been the biggest challenge; because I was on Windows before there’s no easy way to transfer my library from one machine to another. I had to manually move around 700 songs, and started the new library from scratch which was an enormous pain in the ass. I still haven’t synced (sunc?) my apps; I would have to delete all 300 and reinstall them all which would remove all my saved games and important lists and I just can’t do that. There are other hiccups too – I can’t RDP into my Mac, and I sorely miss the things I would do on my home computer that I can’t do at work. I’m constantly pressing the wrong keys – control + ? at home; alt + ? at work. All those stupid little Shockwave games I used to play are now a thing of the past – they won’t run on MacOS. Moving my pointer to the corner of my screen does nothing in Windows 7, and it makes me sad.

.. but Leonidas is seventeen kinds of sexy, and I am enjoying the amount of power I now wield (even if most of it is going unharnessed just yet).

I have to go back to the Apple store today at lunch to see if they’ll give me a free iPod. Can’t hurt to ask, right? Sure, I don’t need it – I’ll likely either sell it or give it away – but if I had known they’d be offering a free iPod with purchase of a Mac less than 4 days after I bought mine, I’d have waited. So, I’m off to ask. Assuming I make it there without collapsing.

I want to go back to bed. Hopefully I won’t pass out or vomit on anyone today.

happy ninja is happy

pubic service announcement

You need to have your vagina inspected.

All sexually active women should have a pap test done once a year. It’s a pain in the ass uterus, but it can save your life: having regular pap tests can prevent cervical cancer. The test looks for abnormalities in your cervix that could become cancerous down the road, so regular testing can detect these things years before it turns into a Lifetime Movie of the Week.

Do it. Do it now. Canadian ladies, call up your doctor and make an appointment. If you’re like me and don’t HAVE a doctor because you aren’t spewing out babies, there are clinics that specialize in sexual health and can do a pap test for you: go here if you’re in BC, or here if you’re in the rest of Canada.

If you’re in the US, congratulations on the changes to your health care system. Don’t wait to get your pap tests done, though – you should be able to get a free or low cost pap smear done via your National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Call your doctor and/or the number for your state today, and give your lady bits a workout.

Cervical cancer is a bitch. Just look at this list of symptoms of intermediate and advanced stages of the disease:

  • Intermediate Stages
    • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
    • Bleeding or spotting between periods
    • Painful intercourse
    • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Advanced Stages
    • Pelvic or back pain
    • Urine leakage
    • Weight loss
    • Anorexia (appetite loss)
    • Fecal matter coming from vagina
    • Kidney failure due to obstruction of ureters

That’s gross, dude. None of those things sound like fun. Urine leakage? I already have a bladder the size of a walnut and have been known to literally wet myself – only by a drop or two, but still – when I can’t get to a toilet in time; why on earth would I want to sign myself up for pee leaking if I can prevent it? And look – “fecal matter coming from vagina”. That’s horrible. Pooping is disgusting enough; pooping out your girl junk? That’s just plain nightmare-inducing. All of these horrible, horrible things can be easily prevented: get a pap test. 30 minutes out of one day once a year is not at all too much to donate to the long, healthy, happy life of your vagina.

I must confess that I, too, I am guilty of neglecting my lady garage. My last exam was several years ago, when I was trying to have my tubes tied to avoid accidental child-bearing. This is stupid of me, because I have a history of abnormal pap smears and should be getting tested every damn year like clockwork. So, I’ll make you a deal – I will have my pap test done before the end of April. If, by May 1st, I have not written a lengthy update about the state of my vaginal affairs, I will donate $100 to PETA (I was going to say I would donate to something Glenn Beck supports, but I just can’t do it what with all the vomit suddenly in my mouth. I don’t agree with PETA’s methods and would not voluntarily give them money, so this is a viable alternative).

What are you waiting for? GO SCHEDULE YOURSELF A PAP TEST! If you want more information, check out the LACE Campaign or the BC Cancer Agency. It’s good stuff. I love your vagina almost as much as I love my own, so make sure it’s healthy.

Err, and something for the men:

not shown: boobs; beer

Also, men should go have a prostate exam.

Just sayin’.