Saturday, October 23, 2010

Icing, Severum Babies, and Surviving Home Alone!

Well, today my whole family went out to an orchid club thing. I was meant to go too, but a whole day of being out and about is wayyyyyyyyy beyond me health-wise at the moment. I stayed home alone and did other fun stuff, though =). 

I am proud because I tidied my room, and had a shower one after the other without passing out or getting too sick, and only almost clicked out one knuckle (tends to happen when I shampoo my hair!) It was hard, but I am glad that I did it! hehe. I was limping pretty bad by the end, though, lol! Legs didn't want to walk or support my body :P. I had some chocolate tarts and rested for a while before strapping up my very dodgy joints and heating up some pasta for lunch. The pasta dish was heavy and hard for me to get in and out of the fridge, but I did it! =D I had drinks stockpiled, so I wouldn't have to pour them (coz my arms and hands hate doing that; it's difficult, painful and I end up making a mess!), so then all I had to do was go sit outside in the sun and enjoy my pasta (and some extra chocolate tarts for desert, lol!) I only nearly fell over in the kitchen once =D.

After lunch, I fed the baby severums. Chomp (their dad) bit me :S. He has pretty sharp teeth - he easily got through my skin! He doesn't understand that I am giving his babies dinner; he is worried because I am going near them, and might hurt them. I feel bad for upsetting him, but there is no other food source small enough for them to eat in that tank, and I can't let the babies starve! The babies were very happy with their lunch - chasing it and gobbling! So cute! When they eat, you can see their little transparent tummies turn orange from the brine shrimp!

 <-- The two Chomp bites on my wrist!

Anyways, after that I had a rest for a while, then made some icingy decorations for our Halloween brownies! I had seriously underestimated how much energy it would take to make them! I was planning on making a few more things, but before very long I ended up at the point where I was shaking uncontrollably, having heart problems and nearly fainting. I figured I should really lie down before I fell down - especially since no one else was home to come and save me! 

I really like how my little icing decorations turned out, though =D. I made tiny pumpkins and little gravestones! They are drying on a tray in the kitchen. Kneading, dying and rolling the icing took A LOT of energy! I had to keep stopping and having breaks and taking deep breaths, lol! (And I confess, I ate some of the extra icing off-cuts... mmm =D - It was almond icing, which is pretty much the same as marzipan - smells delicious! Tastes even better! It reminds me of Christmas too, because it's what I use on the Christmas cake =D).

So since stumbling into bed and taking my afternoon dose of morphine, I haven't yet been able to get up again, lol! I am here with all my pillows (and I have many!) supporting my body so I can lie and type on my laptop =D. I have drinks, but no snacks... and I feel a little hungry after writing all that stuff about icing and chocolate tarts and pasta... My family should be home soon - and it's almost dinner time, so I shouldn't starve to death! hehe

~Adrielle =)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Really Busy Day

Well, today was a pretty busy day for me. I woke up too stiff and sore to move (as usual), and took my morphine tablets. They take a while to kick in, but once they do, I can get out of bed =). Mum brought me breakfast in bed because we were in a rush (because I had a morning doctor's appointment). 

Anywayz, in the rush, I forgot to take all nine of my other morning tablets. This is kinda bad for a lot of reasons, but it is most bad because the later in the day I take them, the more the prednisone seems to keep me awake at night :S. I am therefore (not) looking forward to a sleepless night of feeling dead tired, sick and playing Bejewelled 2 for iPad! :P On the plus side, for some odd reason, I tend to get higher scores when I play it in the early hours of the morning. Perhaps I can beat Fritzie69 and Sinistergoat's amazingly high scores tonight/tomorrow morning! hehe

Anyway, my doctor's visit went well. We had to go to the chemist before the doctor to pick up my iron needle prescription. As usual, the doctor was running late, so Kecap, Elle and I went next door to the bakery for a coffee. It was nice, but I wasn't having a great day fatigue-wise and it was kinda hard to sit. I had to lean on the table, and my elbows are sore, so that was a bit painful. It was even harder to sit in the doctor's waiting room; I kept almost falling asleep!

The doctor is sending me to a cardiologist now, because I finally remembered to tell her about the odd heart pounding feeling I keep getting. It has been happening on and off for ages, but the last few months, it has been happening daily, and is getting scary. My doctor seemed pretty concerned, and I have to confess, I'm a bit worried. I don't want to have yet another thing wrong with me, on top of Ehlers-Danlos, dislocating, painful and swollen joints, ME/CFS, asthma, depression, and who knows what else. 

My most recent blood tests showed that my white cell count was too high - indicative of severe and acute infection. The only thing is, I am no sicker than usual. No infection anywhere that I'm aware of! On top of the last lot of blood tests that showed inflammation and necrosis, I would like to know what is going on in my body and causing these results... My iron was also still too low. I start another course of needles next week. I have also gone down to 25 of prednisone this week... with some trepidation. Hopefully I won't go crazy this time, like I did when I went from 35 to 30... lol! That was SCARY!

I hope the rheumatological expert I am getting sent to in Melbourne can give me some answers, too. Apparently she solves cases that other doctors can't, and knows about odd and rare conditions. I got told today that I "suffer from many medical conditions, most of them unusual" :P - seriously, that is on my cardiologist referral letter! lol

After the doctor, we went to the chemist. I wanted to get an elbow support to try to stop my elbow from dislocating so often. It REALLY hurts! And it never gets a chance to heal - it just clicks in and out multiple times a day, whenever I lean on it, and is permanently swollen. The support I got seems alright - it offers support and keeps the area warm, but I don't know that it will really stop the dislocations. I hope it will! So far today, it has only half clicked out once. Supports are wickedly expensive. 

Then we had to go to Coles. I was in my wheelchair, but it is still so tiring for me, and it was a much bigger shop than I thought it would be. I was freezing the whole time in there! When we came home from the doctors, I couldn't rest that much because we had lunch outside straight away. It was a bit hard to sit out there, but I really like our new outdoor area! The morphine definitely makes it possible for me to sit up for longer periods of time. I came inside for a sleep straight after lunch.  

After resting for a bit, I came out into the kitchen on my way to sit in the lounge for a while. I have a really comfy reclining chair that I can sit in and play on my laptop without using much energy (and the chair is PURPLE =D). Anyway, while in the kitchen, I noticed that the axolotl tank had sprung a leak! Not a massive gashing one, but there was water coming out, and it was scary! Luckily, the tank was still under warranty, so we could get a free replacement, but my poor axols didn't like having to relocate to a bucket for the afternoon! 

I was too tired and sick to empty the tank, and my brain wouldn't think straight. I was at the "forget what you are saying while still saying it" stage, and my family didn't understand that. I guess it is a hard symptom to explain, and is probably just really bad brain fog. Anyway, I had to bargain with Elle and Kecap to get them to take care of calling the aquarium shop and emptying the tank while I went back to bed to sleep =( (yeah, I lead a great life). Feeling like that always makes me super depressed. It is just such a helpless and worthless feeling to not be able to communicate effectively, because it feels like people will think there's something wrong with me, or I'm really stupid. It would be nice if other people sort of understood, and it would be nicer if I could prevent it from happening!

When I woke up later on, I was reminded (by not being able to move) that I had forgotten my morphine =(. And it was close to dinner time, so I had to get up before it had fully started working. I had to sit outside before it had fully started working. Not fun. Tomorrow, I am definitely going to rest more and look after myself. No forgetting medication, no getting so tired I can't remember my sentences. It just really sucks. By dessert I was feeling a bit better =D (the morphine had kicked in!) So I ate ice cream with Elle and watched the turtles. Then I had to come in and feed all the fish (as a result of my earlier bargaining). It was hard, but I did it :).

In other news, our little canaries are nesting! It is very cute =D. We have never had baby canaries before, but these two seem to think they would like to start a family! Also, the severum babies have started swimming today! It is very exciting for us, and very tiring for the poor severum parents - they have to keep picking up stray babies in their mouths and spitting them back into the little ship statue that is their nest, and there are hundreds of babies going in all directions! We gave them some more food tonight, because it looks like it would be tiring! Our angelfish babies went to the aquarium shop to be sold today, too. I miss them =(. We kept two. I am still deciding what to name the little guy I kept. He looks like his dad, and is so cute!

Anyway, feeling rather sick, sore, headachey and super-fatigued now - probably because it has been such a big day for me. The horrible thing is, days like this take lots of days to get over, so I have that to look forward to. It gets so annoying, because there are so many things that I want to do! I hope tomorrow is less activity intense. I can only really handle short trips/activities with sleeps in-between (and even then, I suffer afterwards!). Today didn't have enough sleeps, and the trips/activities were too long! 

~Adrielle =)
 Our outdoor area:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The picture I am currently working on =)

Well, this month's theme for the Puzzle Pirates' portrait background contest is "Winter". I decided to do a scene with some seasonal decorations, and festive firs! What began as the picture you see on the left (drawn on iPad!), has slowly evolved!

I have now decided to try to use seasonal trinkets from the game as decorations on my festive fir trees =).

My drawing later evolved into this:
For anyone who is interested, I used mainly Sumo paint (a great free online drawing program!) and Adobe Photoshop CS4 to draw and arrange this outline =). I do the separate elements (eg. tree, decorations, bits of shack) on separate layers, which makes editing them really easy later on =).

I usually colour and texture my drawings using Photoshop.

Anyways, now the picture looks like this:

I am still planning on adding some holly to the tree branch, and some decorations to the shack =) Hopefully it won't look too crowded when I'm finished and it's all coloured in and textured.

Doing all of this gave me a great opportunity to practice drawing things I haven't ever drawn before, and to use tools I haven't used that often =D. It's fun!

At the moment, I'm not too happy with the candy canes. Might redraw them!

~Adrielle =)