Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sad News, Beads and the Duck Pond

Well, the last couple of days have been a bit tough for me. I haven't been having a very good time with ME/CFS, and my emotions seem to be going fairly crazy! I've been suffering with what my doctor likes to call "migratory arthralgia" and "migratory myalgia", which pretty much means joint and muscle pain that moves from place to place. It is a symptom of my ME/CFS, and it gets so bad sometimes that it is difficult for me to move around, sit up for long, or sleep. I tend to limp around on bad ME/CFS days, and this symptom (combined with the fatigue that makes me too tired to really lift my feet and walk around with ease) is the reason. I sometimes feel like I look like a swamp monster emerging from the mud to come attack mortals!

Anyway, yesterday I had a very bad experience. All of our baby axolotls died. I have no idea what happened to them. They had seemed to be going so well, but then they stopped eating. We had a funeral for them all today. There was only one viable egg left, and this morning it hatched. I know the odds are stacked against this little guy or girl, but I can't help being hopeful when I see it swimming and eating. I have him/her in a bowl on the table, and I am partially changing the water every few hours to keep the oxygen levels up, and to combat the waste from uneaten food (the babies that died were in the big tank, and I didn't want to risk that something in there wasn't quite right for babies). I hope I'm doing the right thing by this little guy. We tried so hard with the others, and did everything we could. Nature can be so cruel =(. 

I would really like to thank all of my awesome Twitter and Facebook friends (and, of course my real-life family) for their support and kind words to me over the last few days. I don't know how I would survive without these awesome people to talk to! =D

On a brighter note, today I got some new beads =). I haven't had the energy/inclination to actually string any beads yet, but I have been collecting packets of beads that I like over the last few weeks (so that when I have the energy, I have them here ready to string!). The packets that I got today are seed beads of all different colours! One pack is rainbow bright colours, and the other (that Ellenya picked) is pastel colours. I can't wait to make something with them. I have to dig out all my other bead packets from under my bed (where all the crafty stuff I buy/find goes to dwell... lol!) 

By the way, Ellenya is a great wheelchair pusher. She took me in a gift shop with all glassware and very narrow aisles, and didn't hit anything! =D I guess I looked a bit crazy in the shops coz I was wearing sunglasses indoors in the middle of winter, but the lights in there seemed really bright today, and my head and eyes started killing me! lol My sunglasses are pink and have little diamantes on them =). I get my new actual glasses tomorrow, which is exciting too!

After that short shopping trip, we went to the duck pond again for lunch. The only problem was, by that time I was really tired, and Kecapmanis had packed all the groceries on top of my wheelchair in the boot. This meant that the wheelchair was impossible to get out. I therefore had to walk over to a very unsupportive park bench to sit and have lunch. My back and legs were totally killing me, and the seat had no arms to lean on for support. It was also too high for me to lean back against the back of the seat while still having my feet on the ground. Basically, it was very hard for me to sit on! Lol! Also, it was freezing cold at the duck pond, which didn't help! I needed help to walk back to the car, too, which made me feel like a frail old lady! lol! Despite all that, though, I am glad we went. I like getting out of the house! Especially when it is out into nature to watch cute ducks in the sunshine (would have been nicer if there hadn't been a freezing wind! lol!). 

Anyway, as the brain fog is now well and truly setting in, I better stop typing before I start rambling! 

~Adrielle =)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Last Two Days =D

Yesterday, we went to a lighting shop to buy a new light for our lounge room - since ours exploded and dropped blue sparks on me AGAIN the other night. (That light is scary! I was always worried it would start a fire or something!) The lighting shop was cool, but difficult for me to look around in because bright lights and ME/CFS (which gives me a kind of hypersensitivity to bright light) don't particularly mix well! (I wasn't having a very good ME/CFS day anyways, but the chance to leave the house was too tempting!) The lighting shop had some really nice stuff, but everything there was so expensive! I have to say, I'm really glad that I wasn't the one paying for our new light fitting! The aisles in the lighting shop were quite narrow, and most of the things in the shop were made from glass. I was worried my wheelchair would bump something expensive and I would have to pay for it! :S Luckily, Ellenya is a good pusher, and nothing got broken =D.

After we bought our new light (which came in a very large box that had to fit on the back seat between Ellenya and I because it wouldn't fit in the car boot as the wheelchair takes up too much space), we got some Red Rooster and went to the duck pond. It was nice =D. All the duckies were coming up to us, but feeding them isn't allowed. They were doing their best to make us feel guilty/intimidated! Ducks are so cute!

After we ate lunch, Elle pushed me so that we could go for a walk around the pond. It is a pretty long way - it is a big pond/wetlandy thing with lots of frogs, the occasional lizard, parrots, and lots of ducks and other water birds. It is a really nice place, and even though it is next to a free way, it is so peaceful! The sound barrier thingies really work for blocking out the sounds of traffic!

In other news, most of our axolotl babies are doing well (apart from two poor little guys who we lost just after they hatched =( - one had a very small and poorly formed head, and the other was not the right shape - so I guess maybe they died from genetic disorders or birth defects or something). Some of the eggs are yet to hatch, but so far we have five axolotl babies that are acting healthy at the moment. They are eating daphnia and learning to swim! I so hope that they survive to become big healthy happy axolotls. We have been feeding them twice a day up until today. They weren't acting hungry this morning, so we are going to feed them once a day today to see how they go (the axolotl website says to feed them 1-2 times a day, depending on their wriggliness!) There is some food in their tank, just not food that is being agitated so they think it is alive, lol - so we are not sure whether they might be finding and eating that. They tend to wriggle a lot when hungry, and they are just twitching now and then at the moment. It is a lot better for me if they only want to eat once a day. I have terrible trouble feeding them with my energy levels and pain in my hands and arms from ME/CFS :S. Feeding takes a long time and it is hard for Ellenya to do on her own.

Speaking of big smiley axolotls - I am a little worried about my Artemis. We had a sudden temperature drop of two degrees celcius yesterday when we were changing their water, and she has been acting a little stressed since then (more frequent trips to the surface for air, occasionally sticking her head out of the water, and generally looking a little straggly - although, Artemis tends to go through periodic straggly stages - I have no idea why! The water quality in the tank is always good). The tank temperature went back to normal overnight, which I hope is good. I generally make sure that the temperature doesn't drop by more than one or two degrees in any given day or night, and that any temperature change is gradual.

Artemis' graze on her side completely healed within a day, so I am hoping that is sign that she is in good health (their filter got knocked or pushed down a few days ago (I think by Almondy) and I think she must have tried to squish past it when it was too close to the statue and hurt herself on it. It wasn't a bad injury, but she is my baby, so I panic!) I have the filter pegged to the side of the tank (as well as suction capped in four places) but it still sometimes gets pushed by stubborn axolotls who dislike going around obstacles...

Well, last night and this morning I was inspired to draw some silliness! I added some "What do you do with a drunken tailor" Puzzle Pirates fan art to my YPPedia art page =D (click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures). I may get around to colouring them in yet, but at the moment I kind of like them as outlines!

Today we got our new lounge light installed, and it is actually bright enough to see by! The other one was so dark! I'm so pleased with it! It will mean I will be able to sit in my comfy (and very back-and-arm-supporting) purple armchair and do cross stitches when I have enough energy to! At the moment, I am working on a large cross stitch of some orchids. I am hoping to have it completed by the orchid show (which is around September-October) so that I can enter it into the orchid craft competition =D. I am marking off the little squares I have sewn on the pattern to try to combat my terrible short-term memory (which is yet another annoying symptom of ME/CFS), and so far I haven't found any mistakes!

My family are all going out today, but I am not well enough to go. I am feeling sick and tired and sore with ME/CFS, and my legs don't want to walk =(. At least I can still type and play on my computer, though =D. I think I might go and have a snooze in a minute, or lie in bed and play with my iPad and then have a snooze hehe! That iPad was so worth buying! It is lightweight and so portable and easy to use! I can check my Twitter and Facebook, and chat to people on it (when my hand has the energy) from my bed! =D =D =D. It also has a calendar and it beeps me reminders of important events/things I have to do! It is also pretty nice that it has a hot pink cover on it! Shame I couldn't find a rainbow one... hmm.... I wonder if I COULD find a rainbow one!

~Adrielle =)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hatching Axolotls & My Doctor's Visit!

Well, about a week ago, we were given some axolotl eggs. We have been watching them grow inside their little transparent eggs since we got them, hoping that they would hatch! A few days ago, they started to wriggle inside their little eggs, and the day before yesterday, they started hatching! =D It is so exciting! The picture on the left was taken the night before last, and is of our first little hatchling, and an egg that hadn't hatched yet. (I have also posted some short videos of day 1 and day 2 on my website - day 3's video is coming soon!).

Last night, we had two hatchlings. Today, we have at least six little hatchlings, and four of them are eating already! (They start to become hungry within 24-72 hours of hatching from their egg - up until then, they sit still and survive on left over yolk that is in their tummies. When they start wriggling around, it means they are hungry! The four little hungry ones have been feasting on daphnia - and once they have eaten, their little tummies fill up with food and you can see it!!!) The picture on the right is of three of the babies that are eating so far (surrounded by daphnia!) You can see that they are developing patterns! They are very cute, and are learning to swim around!

The remaining eggs that haven't hatched yet are all looking good and wriggling too, so they should hatch any time! There are even some little guys who look almost black still in their eggs - so we have a fair bit of colour variation =D. (I had always wondered whether all brother and sister axolotls came out the same colour - it seems they don't!)  It's hard to believe that in a few short months, these little creatures (who are now around a centimetre in length) will be similar in size to my Artemis!

In other news, I had a doctors appointment today. I got all the forms for the next round of "rule everything out, and make sure nothing new has cropped up" blood tests. I have to fast for twelve hours before I have the tests. I guess that means that on Monday I'll have to get up early and go visit the vampires/blood collectors before breakfast (and then get something nice for breakfast, I hope! lol).

Today, I also asked my doctor about the increasing frequency of my dislocating bones, and she said I am just weird! lol! She said that usually I would be sent to a physiotherapist to learn exercises to help to strengthen my muscles (yeah - all of them in every joint throughout my entire body... would there be enough hours in a day to do all those exercises?! lol!), but because of my ME/CFS, she doesn't think I would have the energy to do any of the exercises, so at the moment, there is no point (I used to have great physios when I was in the circus, before I got sick with ME/CFS, but all the strengthening exercises I tried really did nothing to stop my bones from going out). Anyways, my doctor is going to research and try to find out why I am like I am, lol! When your doctor says you are just weird, and that you tend to have weird illnesses, what hope do you have?! lol! (It was all in fun - she is really a good doctor, and helps me out a lot with my ME/CFS and other medical stuff!)

~Adrielle =)

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Eye Test, Hair Cut, Slow Internet, Awesome Family and ME/CFS!

Well, today was a pretty good day for me, ME/CFS-wise =D. I am really happy, because it is the second good day that I have had in a row - and it has been a really long time since the last time that happened. I am beginning to think that I might be starting to get over my bad patch!

Today, I went for an eye test. Eye tests kinda make me nervous, lol! I don't quite know why. Every time I go, my eye sight has gotten a little worse (I am short-sighted), and my bank balance suffers! This time, I am getting really nice glasses, though! They are purpley-red, and have little flowers cut out of the arm bits! I think they are really cute! I also have to get new contact lenses. At least I will be able to see properly now =D, and if I get another eye infection (I tend to get them from time to time) and can't wear my contact lenses, I will have glasses that are the right prescription - so I will still be able to see!

After the eye test, Kecap, Ellenya and I went to get our hair cut. I love getting my hair cut! It is kinda tiring though. I didn't get anything too dramatic done this time - just a trim and a tidy-up of the layers that are in my hair. Ellenya got lots cut off hers - it is quite short now! (Looks nice! =D) After getting our hair cut, Ellenya and I went to buy some hair dye. Ellenya is awesome for pushing me around in my wheelchair so I get to see/do stuff! =D I bought us chocolate for after dinner (McDonald's - such a healthy day! lol! I did have pasta for lunch, and fruit toast for breakfast, so I guess it wasn't that bad... was it?!) I was going to buy more multi-vitamins, but they were so expensive! I figure I can wait until we go to the discount chemist (I only ran out today).

By the time we got home, I was really exhausted and really sick. My tummy (and the rest of my body) doesn't like it when I overdo it... lol :S. Later, it was very hard to walk down my hallway. One of my legs decided to go all numb and not work properly. I was exhausted and in pain. I collapsed on my bed and could hardly move. Ellenya was nice enough to feed my axolotls for me =). I love my family (and I include all of my pets in my family!)

I slept for a while, and now I am up and still able to type! I am so happy that I am having some good days finally! It was getting very hard to cope with all the bad days in a row, and it felt like each day was getting worse/harder. Now I feel like there is a bit of a light at the end of this bad patch's tunnel! Lol - I know that it might seem a little sad that having to be pushed in a wheelchair and getting sick after just sitting up for a couple of hours is considered a great achievement, but it so is for me!

Tomorrow, I am hoping that someone will put dye in my hair, and that I will have the energy to sit up til it sets, and then rinse it off. I got blue hair dye =D hehe. I like bright colours! I hope it turns out nice! 

Anyways, I have about 26 hours until my Internet goes back up to its normal speed. I CAN'T WAIT! I can't load hardly anything (and it takes me like 100 refreshes to get anything that will load to load). It is very frustrating, especially as I use the Internet to connect to people, and to chat with my friends! (Not to mention playing games and Facebook apps! lol) It will be nice to be able to look at links that my friends post, and to download the next tutorial for my online animation course! I can't wait to be able to use DeviantArt and Puzzle Pirates and the YPP Forums/YPPedia again, and to load and edit my blog without having to refresh 100 times! AND I NEED TO SEE SINISTERGOAT'S PICTURE! /sigh. Yes, I think I am an Internet addict! lol!

~Adrielle =)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Puzzle Pirates, Awesome Art, Axol Eggs and ME/CFS

Well, today I wasn't having a very good ME/CFS day. Luckily, my internet seemed to work quite well in the morning, so I could play Puzzle Pirates and play around on the internet! I got a new portrait in Puzzle Pirates =). Also, the very lovely and astoundingly talented Kirppu drew me the most awesome avatar! (Well worth the 15 or so times it took me tonight to refresh the page until the picture finally loaded! /me slaps internet!) You can see it here! I love my Puzzle Pirate and Twitter friends - they can always cheer me up!

Bad ME/CFS days always make me feel kinda depressed (I was diagnosed with depression a few months after I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. It was pretty much connected to the fact that my life as I knew it had kinda disappeared, and I was having trouble adjusting to life as a chronically ill person who could barely walk around). I guess it is only natural to get more depressed when you have bad ME/CFS days and feel more sick, sore, unable to concentrate or move around easily, and are stuck at home. Hopefully tomorrow I will have a better day. I am really hoping to be well enough to go out shopping in my wheelchair. Might not happen though, because I have to clean the axolotl tank, and that will take energy. I am hoping the new pebble substrate will be easier to clean than the gravel was. The axolotls seem to prefer the pebbles, and they love hunting earthworms in the rocks (who knew earthworms can live in a tank for three days?! Oh, wait - not when hungry axolotls are stalking and sniffing around in the rocks for them...) I still feel mean about the live food, but I want my guys to be healthy. They really love catching and wrestling worms!

In other news, our axolotl eggs are looking slightly brownish on the outside of their clear sack. I hope that isn't a bad thing. I remember last time they had eggs in the aquarium they turned brown and still hatched, so fingers crossed!

Anywayz, my head is aching, so I think I might take some Panadol and have an early night (again) lol!

~Adrielle =)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Axol Beans!

Well, yesterday we got given some axol beans!!! (Tiny bean-shaped baby axolotls growing in eggs!) It is so exciting! We hope we can look after them well, and that they will hatch into healthy baby axolotls! The photo on the left is a little hard to see, but that little white beany-looking thing is an axolotl baby inside a clear egg! There are at least eight eggs in there at the moment, so hopefully everything will go well and we will have some babies in around one or two weeks time! They need to double in size, and grow a head with gills, and a tail before they will hatch (you can sort of see that one of the beany shape is thicker than the other - this will grow into the head, while the thin end will become the tail =D). Then, after they hatch, they grow legs! It's really exciting! These eggs aren't the babies of my axolotls, by the way =). It is possible that they are Almondy's relatives, though! (Almondy is the cute guy in the other picture!)

If anyone would like to see a photo log of how axolotl eggs grow and develop, see here =) Our little eggs are around day five or six at the moment =D. It is pretty cute when (around day nine or ten) they start actually wriggling and moving around in their eggs! 

~Adrielle =)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cleaning, Hanging, and Etching! =D

Well, last night I didn't get to sleep until the early hours of the morning. It was very annoying! I woke up at around 10am though, so at least I got some sleep eventually! I finished my etching of a cat on copper foil today (there is another picture of it here). It was a kit thingy from Lincraft - they give you the picture and a scraper tool, and you scrape out the picture! It was a lot harder than the packet made it sound... Especially since my hands are slightly evil and keep hurting and not doing what I want them to do. I am proud of myself for finishing it =D I did it a bit at a time.

Also today, I cleaned my room. It wasn't very messy, but it still took a lot of energy to clean it! I hung up all the pictures that had accumulated and were stacked on top of my shelves. Hope they don't fall down - they are currently being held up by drawing pins stuck into the plaster... lol! It usually works well, but these pictures are slightly heavier than any I have ever hung on my walls before.

After all that (not much really, but for me it was a lot!), I had to sleep for the whole afternoon. I am still dead tired now, and my hands are so sore it is very difficult to type! At least my splitting headache has gone =D It is so hard to get stuff done when you have ME/CFS. When you do have some energy, you just know that doing anything is going to have nasty after-affects. Mostly I pace myself, and try to find a balance between stretching myself, and not overdoing it. Today I think I kinda overdid it! Lol! But it feels good to have finally got some things done =D

Tomorrow night, there is going to be an orchid club meeting at my house (hence the cleaning). That is a good thing, because it means we get an awesome supper of cakes and slices and things! Hehe - I just hope it doesn't go too late. Anyways, hope this blog wasn't too disjointed. My mind is all over the place tonight coz I am so tired! I just felt like writing about what I did today =)

~Adrielle =)

Friday, July 9, 2010

My morning out! =D

Last night, Ellenya and I noticed that our tiny turtles' shells were getting softer :S. They have been recovering from shell rot, and so have been dry docking (which means that they were living on a towel in a roller-box under their special lights, and weren't allowed to get wet). Because they haven't been in their tank much, they hadn't been getting their calcium from the calcium block that is in their water. Ellenya and Kecap took them back to the vet today. They are going to be ok - they need calcium suppliments to harden them up though.  I love those little guys - I hate it when they get sick/soft! It makes me worry!

Also today, Ellenya, Kecapmanis and I went shopping. I was really glad to get out of the house (even if it was in my wheelchair) to see some different scenery! lol. We went to this awesome discount store that sold all brand-named stuff for really cheap! I got the most amazing handbag for like a third of the normal price, and another plain handbag (which was some flash brand apparently - I've never heard of it, lol! I usually shop at Target coz I can't afford brands! Lol). It was really cheap at about a quarter of the usual price. I got lots of undies and bras, too! lol! After we went to that shop, we went to Lincraft, and I got some really nice glitter oven-bake polymer clay. I am planning to make some jewellery and some flowers and stuff out of it. Then we went and had lunch. I had Chinese food! =D On the way home, we went to get some earthworms for my axolotls. We ended  up going to three different shops. Is there an earthworm shortage or something? lol!

When we got home, I was so exhausted that I just fell asleep and didn't wake up until late afternoon. When I woke up, Ellenya and I played with some Bend-and-Bake polymer clay that I got a while ago. We made dolls of our Puzzle Pirates characters. I also tried to make an orchid. I am wanting to make a small group of orchids to show at the orchid show. I always enter some of my art in the art section of the competition, and I have never not won a first or a second in the last about five years that I have been doing it! I like getting the chance to show off my artwork. There is a craft section in the competition too - I'm not sure whether clay work is art or craft. I guess it is probably art, coz it's sort of sculpture - but they have odd rules.

Anywayz, I fed my axolotls some earthworms tonight. Artemis LOVED them! From the first sniff, she went psycho, chasing the worm and snatching it! I dropped one and she chased it and tried to get it. I was worried she would try to eat it off the ground and accidentally eat gravel, so I tried to stop her by gently putting my hand in her way. She got mad at me not letting her chase her treasure, and tried to grind past me! I was worried she might have hurt herself, but she seems ok. I'm glad that I finally found a food she really likes. She isn't a liver or a meal worm fanatic (altho she does eat them, just not very enthusiastically). Almond wasn't as fond of the earthworm. I don't think he liked how much it wriggled! I eventually convinced him to eat half of one, but he wanted meal worms after it. I worry about not feeding almond enough, because when he is hungry, he becomes bitey towards his tankmate, my baby Artemis! He eats a lot lot lot more than Artemis does, but then, he is twice the size and rippling with muscles (she is growing and getting more muscly too, I have noticed). I love my axolotls!

Anywayz, it is getting late, so I think it might be my bed time. Nighty night!

~Adrielle =)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Annoying Dislocatedness

It's been a while since I have written in this blog. Since last time I posted, I've rediscovered the fun of sewing cross stitches! (There are some more pictures of the sea shell ones I did last week here).  This week, I am sewing a mouse!

Anyways, I have also had some health annoyances this week (other than ME/CFS for a change!) Since I was 11 years old, I have had this ligament problem throughout my entire body where my ligaments are too long/loose to hold my bones properly. Roughly every 2-3 months (sometimes more often), I dislocate bones. So far I have clicked out knees, fingers, wrists, toes, a shoulder, and hand bones. It's not usually that bad, coz my joints are so loose they can... er...relocate easily. But it hurts and swells and I go all shaky afterwards.

Occasionally, though, the dislocation causes more than just some soft tissue damage (the worst time, I ended up with the bone in my knee fracturing down the middle :s I was on crutches for around eight weeks; other times the joints just won't stop swelling and I need anti-inflammatory tablets to make them go normal-sized again; and once my thumb just went so stiff after it clicked out that I couldn't move it properly for weeks!) My worst fear when I was younger (and still a bit now) was a bone going out and me not being able to put it back in again. Now, I am kinda scared of getting arthritis from all the dislocations as well!

Once my wrist went out when I was hanging onto a railing. It was facing the wrong way and I couldn't let go of the railing with my hand. My fingers were just clenched tight, and wouldn't let go! It seemed like it took ages for me to force the arm bones to line back up with the hand, but it probably was les than a minute. As soon as it was back in place, I could move my fingers again and let go of the railing. It was scary! Lol! A few times I couldn't get my knee back in straight away, but I've learnt that forcing my leg straight is the key. I've also learnt that the longer a bone is out, the more it hurts after it goes back in, and the longer it takes to get better (apart from the fact that it is absolutely unbearable to have ur bone in the wrong place relative to your other bones! That feeling is pretty indescribable).

Anyways, the night before last,  I went out for dinner and ended up at the stage where I was so tired with ME/CFS that I couldn't sit up anymore. I really wanted to stay and try to look all normal - so I was kinda leaning oddly and holding my head up with my hand. Then I dislocated a bone in my hand - it just kinda collapsed and went click! Luckily it went straight back in again. Then my teeth mysteriously started chattering, lol - I guess probably from shock or something. Anyway, my hand was pretty sore, and I couldn't sit up anymore, so I ended up going out to the car park and sleeping on the back seat of the car. The temperature was below zero degrees celcius- it was cold! Lol - all the windows were fogged up by the time I woke up.

Then, yesterday at lunchtime, I dislocated my left knee. It was being evil all night and was stabbing me with pain. I couldn't sleep, which is especially bad when you have ME/CFS to begin with. I've noticed that since I got ME/CFS, I am a lot more likely to dislocate bones when I am really tired than I am when I am having a "good day" - Just to add icing to the cake on bad days! lol!

Over the years, on the numerous times I have had to go to doctors, physios, the hospital, x-ray pplz and a knee surgeon, I have been told that I have "a ligament disorder". However, I have never actually been officially diagnosed with anything specific. I have decided that next time I go to my doctor (which is later this month) I am so not leaving her office until she tells me why I am like this. No one else keeps clicking their bones out! It's just not normal :S and it hurts! lol. I want to know why I am the way I am.

~Adrielle =)

I updated my website a few days ago, and added some more pictures to my DeviantART gallery too!