zeborah: I found this humerus (humorous)
The neat thing about healing from a significant injury is that pretty much every day you gain awesome new superpowers. You just wake up in the morning and bam! you're Steps Into Underwear Without Leaning On Dresser Woman!

Other recently acquired superpowers:
  • walking downstairs with only one foot per step

  • walking without a walking stick (thank goodness: I was turning into Quasimodo with the strain it put on my shoulder)

  • standing on one foot for, like, six seconds almost

  • bending my foot when walking so some of the weight goes on the toes (but not too much because there's still more bruise-matter than muscle around there) thus reducing my limp

  • running for several metres to catch the bus

  • and as of today, getting into and out of my sturdy ankle-boot without completely unlacing it, using a shoehorn, and/or feeling any discomfort at all


There's this lovely moment in a recent Once Upon a Time episode where Gold has been stuck outside Storybrooke without magic and (I don't think this is really a spoiler, it was always narratively inevitable) he finagles a way back. And as, limping with his cane, he crosses the border, he just straightens into an easy stride and flings his cane off into the bushes by the road. So much empathy with the black-hearted villain in that moment: it's a wonderful feeling.
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
I couldn't quite pull it off this time (well, I was still hopeful but the nurse got dubious so I deferred to her judgement) so she got out the AC-powered rotary cutter thing. I was all "I totally trust that you're not going to slip and cut my foot off but how about I don't actually watch" but she did in fact not slip and cut my foot off. Also she then brought me some flannels to wash the poor neglected thing with, though really it needs a good scrub.

Then another round of x-rays, and then a chat with the doctor (waiting room in between each of these, and for long enough that I got through an old issue of Future Fire - the first two stories of which I particularly enjoyed - on my pretty Kobo Mini in its pretty new case) and the bones were healed enough that I got to put my other shoe on (with some difficulty due to stiffness) and go home.

This was actually the first time I'd seen the x-rays myself. Basically there'd been a chip off the knobbly bit at the end of each of two bones in the big toe. You can still see the line between chip and bone now, but it's fuzzier as things mend. There was a chart on the wall in the waiting room which made the bone-healing process clearer but I was too far away to read the terms for the different parts of the bone.

Anyway my toes remain undesirous of bearing any weight so I'm still using crutches for any distance and one, or at least my cane, around the house. But despite this I'm feeling instantly much more mobile. This is because within a room I can just move around, so dishes and cooking is frictionless, and between rooms I have at least one hand free, so I actually got to carry my dinner to the couch on a plate tonight instead of in an old and increasingly fragile takeaway container in a bag hung around my neck.

I did spend the rest of the day on my couch as per usual, getting through only a modicum of work-from-home due to a fit of feeling grotty. This was not unexpected. I don't understand the mechanism by which removing a cast releases grottiness into one's system, but it is clearly a thing so I was prepared for it.

Back to work tomorrow. My requirement for sleep has reduced from 11 to 9 hours/night but today may be an exception, see above, so probably about time now to head off for that.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
11 hours sleep a day seems a good average at the moment.

Last Tues pushed myself a bit much and stared getting rsi symptoms. Woe ensued, and ordering geoceries online which was nice, then a colleague brought in foam to pad my crutch handles and instant relief.

I then spent time investigating ereaders. My old brand is no longer made so settled on Kobo Mini. But then it emerged after emails to customer service that's out of stock too. Luckily another colleague found one on TradeMe and I even won the auction.

Oh also I went to the doctor and got ears syringed so can hear again properly. You are spared more detail by my ereader having a browser like a singing pig and this being my experimental first post from it.
zeborah: Zebra standing in the middle of the road (urban)
In the end I did completely rest yesterday, and went to bed at 8:30 to allow for plenty of sleep. I don't think I needed all of it in the end but decided to enjoy the dreams.

(As opposed to the dream that ended yesterday afternoon's nap on the couch, a flash in which a cyclist ran over my foot and I woke with another (painless) muscle spasm. A little adrenaline, not too bad but still, just the once is just fine by me. It reminded me of a dream I had right after the February quake, again a flash of slipping in liquifaction and waking with a jolt.)

I got picked up at my gate by a friend/colleague, who likewise returned me to it this evening. My ambition is to at least bus to her place and back, but discovered (getting from carpark to office) that my arms aren't quite as strong as I'd thought. The supermarket trip on Thursday fooled me, probably because while it took a long time, that time involved lots of stopping and standing. So, darn. The bus home might be within my capabilities though: the busstop that way is particularly close to my house.

At work I put a dalek under my desk and a cushion on top for my foot. This was about as perfect as one could get without a custom-made desk so not perfectly comfortable but pretty good. At one point for a tea break I tried sitting on the bed in the sickbay (next to my office!) with my laptop, but the wireless in there is hopeless so I won't be remoting in from there any time soon.

So, as probably anyone with any kind of mobility issue already knows, fire doors are an accessibility nightmare, specifically the spring-loaded ones. I bet there's ways to make them not be, because there's ways to do anything you're willing to spend money on, but my workplace hasn't implemented them. (Honestly I consider it one of my major achievements last year to have got momentum going to get a glass pane put in that particular fire door. It's a major thoroughfare coming from the tea room and the number of near-head injuries and near-scaldings was terrifying.) Slightly counterintuitively, it's a lot easier to pull the door (because you can pull it all the way open and then just go through) than it is to push it (because you aren't forward enough to push it all the way open so have to try and do it in stages which does. not. work).

I got stared at by All The Students as I crutched my way through the quiet study zone to the lift to take my ACC forms down to my boss.

Also everyone I work with wanted to hear the story. For some reason "I ran in front of a car" just inspired more questions, though I once got away with "I ran in front of a car. Don't do that." I should have made little cards with the URL of my blog post printed on it.

By the end of the day my foot was holding up pretty well. A bit of swelling, I'd guess, but not as bad as even Saturday after just a few hours at the 90th birthday party. Will duly rest for the remainder of the evening of course. Also my colleague doesn't work Wednesdays so I'll take those as work-from-home days for the next few weeks.

The scab on my knee has reached the point where any member of homo sapiens sapiens (and a lot of other species of mammals, come to think of it) would want to pick at it. I am womanfully refraining, not only for the usual reasons which, to be honest, probably wouldn't suffice, but also/really because there's a numb patch of skin about there so I wouldn't be able to tell if I was picking to the point of would-be-pain. --I didn't notice the numb patch until today because that area's always been Bruise-Don't-Touch!!! but nerve damage seems unsurprising all in all and neither my intuition nor Dr DuckDuckGo find much reason to worry about it at this stage.

My hearing seems to be coming right! <knocks on wood> Not normal yet, but a definite improvement. I'm testing by rubbing my fingers by my ear: before I started the olive oil treatment the doctor suggested, I couldn't hear a thing by my right ear, now I can hear the lower tones, just still missing the higher ones.

State of the Scaredy-Cat: hiding from the crutches behind the couch, which seems an improvement on fleeing the house.

<ponders icon choice> Oh oh I can't believe I didn't think of this one for my first 'got into a road accident' post. Better late than never! --LiveJournal users will have to either click through or live without my frankly awesome array of thematically deployed zebra (with occasional Helen Clark) icons, sorry about that.

(Need more thematic zebra icons. Never too many.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Despite my trepidation I've managed to sleep pretty much through the last three nights. Usually about halfway through the night, my foot even stops feeling like it's being twisted into some unnatural shape and starts feeling like a foot again, almost as if the cast didn't exist. It's a lovely feeling while it lasts.

Also on Friday I achieved the desperately needed washing of my hair. Clean hair feels so good.

Oh and Friday's other achievement was that after a good night's sleep I remembered that I have a slow cooker. So that's how I cooked my tomato soup. Then I brought it to the couch in a thermos cup I have: the lid doesn't seal watertight, but as long as I have other things in the bag around my neck to keep it upright it restrains any sloshes. And so I had tomato soup and it was good.

On Saturday I had a minor milestone in the shower. Until now I've been taking my crutches in with me, because otherwise I can't so much as turn around. They don't look prone to rust but it's still seemed suboptimal. Yesterday I managed to leave one out and keep the other in the corner that gets splashed the least. But today I discovered that, bracing myself on the various walls and corners in the shower, I could manage not only to stand (the heel is okay for standing still) but even turn around as needed. So the crutches got to wait outside where it's dry.

Another achievement was that it was sunny outside so I thought I'd go for a hike down to my mailbox. (I got a letter from the district health board about my crutches, and a letter from ACC accepting my claim based on the hospital notifying them of my injury. The bureaucracy of communist death panels cannot be halted!!!) And there were all these weeds in the garden and I weeded some of them! And then dumped the weeds on a nearby concrete step to shrivel by themselves because taking them to the green bin required more logistics than I'd planned for.

After lunch I got picked up to go to a church friend's 90th birthday party. This was as rambunctious an affair as it sounds, me being the youngest person in the room by two or three decades, but sitting up with a foot elevated on another chair while straining (with one's good ear) to distinguish conversation near you from the general hum of a large room is still hard work, so when I was dropped home again I lay straight down for a nap.

I've yet to decide whether I'll try for any major achievements today. On the one hand, I could trek to the local library (usually about a 6-minute walk) to get some DVDs. On the other hand I could rest up in preparation for going back to work tomorrow.

The cat meanwhile is being slightly more tolerant of my crutches. Mostly for those moments when I'm pouring out her kibble, but progress is progress. She's also currently sitting warmly next to me on the thin ledge of couch I'm not occupying. Alas it's a cooler day today so pretty soon I'm going to have to get up, turn the gasfire on, and close the doors, and before I've even started all that she'll have fled again...
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
Mum drove me to the hospital this morning and I got my plaster cast taken off (it's called a "chop" but all they did was snip the bandage holding it onto my ankle and then I got to pull it off myself) and got a new fibreglass one put on. It's purple and I'll take a photo when I've got the energy to get the camera from the other side of the room.

The doctor's letting me go back to work next week. (I've since made a carpooling deal with a colleague; the doctor also suggested ACC might pay taxifare on the grounds it's cheaper than my salary.) Also they gave me a shoe-thing to wear for walking on the cast. Except this is a cruel joke because I'm only allowed to put weight on my heel. Try walking with your weight only on your heel. Now try it with a cast wrapped around the rest of your foot bulking it up and adding to the weight your ankle muscles have to bear in holding it off the ground. Now try it when your bruised knee can't really flex at a speed anywhere approaching that required for walking. I managed an awkward shuffle and then I gave up and went back to hopping. Maybe when my knee's better it might be manageable.

Despite the fact that he was a bone doctor I managed to bully some advice for my blocked ear out of him. (He suggests olive oil. Or alternatively going to my GP. The olive oil seems to be helping a little, at least sneezing is a bit less painful, but I probably will end up asking at the GP too, even if only when I go to renew my asthma meds and ask after the flu vaccine.)

On the way home I got Mum to take me to a supermarket and we stocked up on food. I experimented with the trolley but no, so Mum pushed it while I hopped, and going up/down four aisles was about enough of a stretch for my current stamina. But I now have fresh fruit including bananas (I keep waking with muscle spasms, so far not painful just "I don't get to move during the day so doggammit I'm going to move at night!" but I see the potential) and lots of flour (for pancakes and potentially bread if it ends up easier to make than to shop) and milk and eggs and muesli and pizzas.

Then I sat on my couch for the rest of the day and got tiny bits of work done.

There was a little discomfort and I figured that's justified considering the amount of exercise so took some ibuprofen. Then for the first time ever my toe decided to hurt a bit. And just general having-a-cast-sucks-itude: my foot gets this kind of sensory deprivation so I'm not sure if it's feeling tingly or I'm holding it at the wrong angle and straining muscles or something's chafing or pressing where it shouldn't. Generally something feels funny but if I so much as wriggle my toes then it all feels normal again for about a minute and then something else feels funny and it does my head in.

I took an afternoon nap which helped except it left my bruised knee stiff again. And the cat was scritching at the living room door (shut to keep gasfire heat in) and of course by the time I get over there on the crutches to open it she's fled the house. And I'm sick of sitting down and my foot feels funny.

And I have heaps of milk in the house and it's a cold day so brilliant idea let's make tomato soup, comfort food. Except as dinner time approaches reality sets in: that requires waiting in the kitchen to stir the pot and make sure it doesn't boil over, and then it requires somehow transporting this hot liquid back to my couch and I just can't even.

So I got a supermarket pizza out. Trufax: this is on doctor's orders. (He warned me going back to work would be tiring and get used to ordering in pizza.) And then I burst into tears because I only wanted to heat half the pizza and the chopping board and knife were a whole step away.

A jellytip icecream solved the immediate crisis(*) and gave me sufficient energy to work out how to bring the resulting hot pizza back to my couch. (I think I need a new tag for my couch.)

(*) I understand other countries don't all have these and can only presume it's because there's a limited supply and we're keeping them to ourselves as we clearly deserve to.

But my foot still feels funny in places it's not possible for anything to be wrong with - seriously I saw them put the cast on and it's a work of art - and the cat has fled the crutches for the umptieth time and I'm super grumpy and tired and I clearly need to get more sleep.

Which I'm going to do. I'm just not really looking forward to its recuperative powers because (random muscle spasms aside) I'm not sleeping that well because foot and if not foot then bruises and the cat curls up right where I want to try shifting to. So I tend to wake up after a long night's exhausting sleep thinking "Oh thank goodness it's time to get up now" and then I check the time and discover it's only 3am and I have to keep sleeping.

But-so-anyway I don't think I can really cope with nice/reassuring/helpful comments at the moment, but what would be really lovely would be links to amusing things on the internet I can distract myself with tomorrow.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
So Boots hid under the bed while I was getting ready for bed last night.

The downside of sleeping in the spare room is that the bed is just a single, but she did manage to find sufficient space to join me on it. So passed the night.

In the morning, I like to exercise my left knee in a possibly vain attempt to get the circulation going before moving my encasted foot to the floor, because by then it's been a while since the last anti-inflammatories and there will be mild pins and needles. Boots interprets this movement as "getting up now" and when I don't follow through immediately starts with the head-butts to encourage me. Of course when I give in and do get up, picking up my crutches causes her to flee the house.

Ten hours go by, during which I do a full day's work from my couch, launder the stinky cat blanket, pick a courgette, and nuke a pie for lunch. Finally Boots comes home demanding food, I reach for my crutches to prepare it for her, and she flees again.

Cats.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
I'm continuing to take it super-easy (the cast and crutches rather enforce this actually) but it is nice to come home to my cat.

I prepared by taking a proper shower this morning, so that if I fell over there'd be someone to help and if I didn't I'd know that I was capable of doing it. Following which success I took a wee rest and then I succeeded in making breakfast and bringing it out to my chair in the dining room (by moving it from one horizontal surface to another, taking a step, repeating all the way).

Then I rested basically for the rest of the day, just eating lunch at the big people's table and spending a few minutes chopping salad for dinner before my (non-injured) leg got tired because it's not used to standing with those muscles. And after dinner I packed and got dropped off home.

So far I've customised my environment by opening all the doors and by dragging a chair into the bathroom, because it seems like this could come in handy for all sorts of reasons. And I'll sleep in the spare bedroom because it's an easier bed to get into and out of.

Boots fled when she heard the scary crutches again, but shortly afterwards came back in the house. As I'm on the couch, not going clunk clunk, I got greeted vociferously and she's now happily exploring the open doors and nomming her food. So now I need to get her to come here so I can show her what this terrifying clunk clunk-maker is and get her used to it before I get ready for bed.
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
Actually they seem to finally be getting rid of the (I presume) lactic acid, which is lovely: it makes it easier to eat and easier to find a comfortable position to sit or lie in to avoid pins and needles. It's really amazing how many muscles you use to lie down from a sitting position.

My knee which is bruised on the left (ie outside)? So I finally last night found a comfortable way to lie on my right side, the only problem being that I thereby discovered a sore spot on the inside of my knee. This morning I found there a brand new giant bruise. Presumably extra blood descending right through everything else in the knee to the lowest point, or something. Bodies are weird.

Got driven home for a visit for more clothes and to feed the cat. We arrived at the time of day Boots would expect me home anyway so she came running and miaowing in delight/demand. Then she caught sight of the crutches and shrank back. I continued haltingly inside while my sister placated the cat, and even lured her into the house, but when she saw me using the crutches again it was all too much and she fled.

Have felt a little bit of the blahs descending, which is unsurprising but something to stave off if I can. When mild, they're most easily banished for me by some kind of achievement and as I was sick of sitting around as well I decided I would help make dinner. So I chopped two zucchinis and put them on the stove to boil (and then my sister pulled the rest of dinner together and brought it all out to me on a tray). And afterwards I went and got myself a glass of milk and rinsed out the empty milk bottle. So now I feel like a super-achiever and am resting on the couch again.

But tomorrow, if All The Muscles behave, I might actually be able to go home and look after myself: I'll just have to chunk everything into short bursts and carry things in a bag around my neck or something. And Boots will have to get used to the crutches.
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
I have mentioned before that Riccarton Road is my nemesis; this time for different reasons.

So there I was, crossing the road to transfer buses to go and try on some awesome shoes my sister had pointed me to. Half way across, and the traffic was moving slowly enough (though clearly about to speed up) that I thought I could dash in front of this red car to get the rest of the way.

In my defense, I was right. I got past the red car, and it was the black car coming up beyond it, moving somewhat faster, that hit me. I'd forgotten that (semi-official?) other lane there.

It seems likely that it was my elbow that hit the windshield (my elbow is barely hurt but the windshield got a great big spiderweb). I definitely remember tumbling through the air, and my head impacting something. My memory doesn't speak much to chronological order, but a witness says that was the road. I also remember the expectation that I was about to be hit by more cars, and the fleeting but profound sense, not easily put into words, that I had just made a very very poor life choice. I was I think about 80% expecting to be killed and was quite unwilling and chagrined at the idea.

Then there were people helping me up to support me getting off the road. My leg hurt a lot but I was most careful of my head because I have sufficient second-hand experience (naming no names) of concussion and post-concussion syndrome to be super paranoid of such. I didn't think I'd lost consciousness and more importantly witnesses didn't think so either, but I knew right away that it was a good bang. In retrospect I can understand why people say they 'saw stars' but it wasn't really like that. It was primarily like wearing a bicycle helmet made up of a buzzing which muffled everything, and secondarily the buzzing was kind of like the 'snow' static on an old tv screen except yellow.

So sitting on the footpath it became clear that I had a giant bruise on the left of my knee - this is what hurt the most, in that "How can I position this so that it will stop hurting?" agony that has no satisfactory answer. Also I spotted a bruise on my foot under my sandal and there was of course the huge bump on my head. The buzzing subsided but any movement of my head made me dizzy. I was shaking in shock and expected to get cold so put my coat on at one point, but wasn't actually cold. People were asking if I was normally this pale and you know I'm awfully pale but I bet I was even paler than normal.

Someone was calling for an ambulance and someone else got some ice from the nearby McDonalds. Due to instructions from the phone I wasn't allowed to eat any of the ice which disappointed me because my mouth was super dry. But mostly I was anxious to assure people that a) it wasn't the driver's fault and b) I wasn't going to up and walk away before the ambulance got there (I've seen someone do that though less injured after all).

The ambos (after their initial check) got me into the ambulance in this cool orange wheelchair. It folded out like a campstool, but then it had a belt and they could wheel me on it. Various questions - I told the story many times over the next hours - from the ambo and a cop though just identity stuff there, she met me at the hospital later to get the statement. (I spotted two police cars. Not sure what rated the second one; hopefully it was just a slow evening and not some pile-up I didn't notice, though that's possible since I wasn't noticing anything outside my immediate vicinity.)

Once the ambulance was off, I was allowed a bit of water from a pottle, which they then held for me because I was shaking amazingly and uncontrollably. My teeth were chattering so hard I was consciously keeping my tongue out of the way. They also gave me a bunch of ibuprofen and paracetamol nom nom.

Also they tried to take Blenheim Road in order to avoid traffic on Riccarton Road. Lol. As much as Riccarton Road traffic is my nemesis, even I'm forced to admit that Blenheim Road is never the solution. It took something like half an hour to get to the hospital. At least I was feeling much better by then.

ED was a bit more boring. Short version: I had an instinctive aversion to putting any weight at all on my left foot; dizziness all gone but some weird pressure in my ear, like after you've gone swimming. They couldn't see anything so probably just dislodged wax or something. I got x-rays on the foot - the bruise spread across the top of the foot just before all the toes start, that is all the toes except for the big toe. It turns out that the big toe, almost completely unbruised and sans pain, was the one that was broken.

Once they'd checked I wasn't showing signs of concussion or of internal injury I was left alone quite a bit so I thought I'd get out my e-reader. My e-reader was not in my bag no matter how hard I looked. I eventually resigned myself to the fact that it must have been in my hand, got thrown across Riccarton Road, and suffered some fate less fortunate than my own. (RIP, Pocketbook 360: you will be missed. Shall have to start investigating a replacement.)

When I finally got sent for a cast therefore I eagerly read the osteoporosis poster on the wall. A nurse noticed me doing this and pointed out I'm a bit young for that but it's not like they'd given me anything else to read.

Now, at some point while still on the footpath someone asked me how I'd get home from hospital and I somehow still figured it for 50/50 calling my family vs catching a bus home by myself. Haha. I lost this illusion fairly quickly (especially remembering I'd need to be observed for concussion), but it still took the nurses who put the cast on to convince me that I was not in fact going to go to work next day as usual. Seriously at that point I felt fine: I'd have been careful and kept taking the pills and allowed extra time to move places with crutches and kept my foot up on a chair all day but why not?

They explained it to me and today at my parents' house I felt it: that thing where I was in shock and shaking all over? that was adrenaline firing up All The Muscles. And today All The Muscles are aching. Especially the ones I never knew existed, like the muscles that chew and the muscles that move things around in your mouth so you can chew more effectively; as well as the muscles that hold your neck up and the muscles that help you sit up or even just shift to a more comfortable position.

I did today do some work from home because Bored, but not as much as I'd originally planned because sitting in one spot is distractingly annoying and also the few other things I had to do (eat; bathroom; get driven home for laptop and change of clothes and to feed the cat, and back to parents' via pharmacy for drugs) take extra long.

Anyway though I'm basically incredibly well off considering. Just on orders to be off work with my leg up for a week; then they switch this temporary cast (space left on the side to allow for swelling) for a more long-term fibreglass one, which I can apparently pick the colour for. I'm thinking purple.

Then I'm really hoping I will be able to go back to work, though there may be a lot of working from home in my near future: my work is very flexible about that sort of thing, but I hate it because my laptop is very awkward with the kinds of tasks I have, and yet putting my leg up on a 75-minute bus commute is even more awkward. So we'll see.

Oh also another cultural thing, which is they've given me ACC forms, which is public insurance for accidental injury, in a similar way to how we have EQC for earthquake property damage. I gather the idea was so that we wouldn't have to resort to suing people in order to be able to pay medical bills etc. You know, the usual commie death panel stuff. So I was reading these forms before being discharged, which is how when asked by a hospital aide for the umpteenth time what happened I could much more succinctly answer, "Ped vs car".
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Apologies in advance for another boring post. The short version is: eating food is good for you.

I did get over the worst of the laryngitis thing a good while back; was only off work a few days. (Things that ended up really helping the cough: the experimentally-proven warm moist air; keeping hydrated; cough suppressant; and salbutamol. I keep forgetting that when it comes to anything to do with my lungs, salbutamol is almost always going to immediately improve the situation.)

However it has been lingering on, unhelped by a Bonus!Rhinovirus of about ten days ago. So have got a tad tired, and the housework's suffered accordingly, and similarly grocery shopping and the will to cook, and thus haven't been eating properly, and thus have been lacking energy, and so on and so forth.

Until Sunday I piked out of my ordinary commitments--

(Meaning: I missed the bus to church, attempted to walk instead, realised my blood sugar was way low so stopped at a grocery to buy breakfast, wasn't able to eat it all, made it to my parents' house and sat on the couch for several hours; then phoned friends to cancel my normal Sunday evening visit, and went home to sleep for several more hours. After which--)

--made myself buy groceries and cooked with them. I also cooked and ate food on Monday and today, and also along the way got some more extra sleep; and then today, by complete random happenstance, minor items of housework have started achieving themselves.

(Possibly it helped that if I didn't do the laundry soon I was going to have to raid my go-bag for clean underwear.)

So I think I might possibly be getting functionally better, albeit with the occasional coughing fit (eg tilting my head back to drink the last drops is contraindicated because it stretches the throat and coughing) and singing two or three tones lower than normal. Planning to book annual leave for this Friday just to solidify this whole healthiness thing.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
I planned to write something about all the awesome cool things popping up in town around the rubble.

Or about how absolutely awesome my new job is.

Or some other things maybe apart from who am I kidding, I was never going to get around to those.

Instead I'm going to revert to one I didn't have the heart to write two weeks ago or three months ago.

You see, back in the mists of time, I can't even remember why, a chunk of the corner of one of my front teeth had to be filled with composite. Three months ago, this filling came out while I was chewing on a (cold therefore a bit toffee-like) Shrewsbury biscuit. The dentist duly replaced it for me.

But then, two weeks ago, right at the start of a long weekend, the replacement came out in (of all things) a bread roll. And then when the dentist was back in her office there were still no appointments available for eight days. Luckily after a while I worked out what and how I could continue to eat without ouchies, otherwise I'd have got very hungry. Anyway and so the dentist duly replaced it for me this Wednesday afternoon free of charge (or as I'm calling it, 'under warranty'), and carefully made it shorter than last time so there'd be less pressure on it.

So, everyone, guess what happened this evening barely two days later? That's right. And guess what was I eating? Nothing, that's what. I was just absentmindedly scraping my teeth across my lip as I always do when it gets dry, and I guess the torque got it where (one presumes) just biting something wouldn't; or I don't know. Whatever, this is official "You have seriously got to be kidding me" territory, and I guess means that if the dentist even wants to have anything to do with me again I'm going to have to go full on and get a crown instead.

Also my php include refuses to work when I use an absolute instead of a relative path and I don't understand why. I need to use an absolute path because this itself is an include and might appear in files in multiple different directories so the relative path breaks for obvious reasons. --Oh, never mind, I worked it out and fixed it. Now I can go to bed and dream of disintegrating teeth in peace.
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
So on Saturday night on the way home from visiting my family, I stepped off the bus onto a bit of uneven pavement (possibly a patch over an #eqnz pothole which subsequently sank further, who knows) and my right ankle went sideways and I landed on my left knee. Ankle got sprained, knee got scraped raw -- luckily I was wearing a long skirt so it was scraped raw relatively cleanly, all the skin ending up on the inside of the skirt.

I rested the ankle over the weekend and it was fine enough that when I went to the doctor on Monday he vetoed crutches on the grounds that they'd be more trouble than they're worth. This was a bit disappointing. :-( But I worked out a bus schedule that doesn't require the normal 10-minute fast walk each morning and evening (just a few minutes hobbling instead) and got a kind colleague to bring her car on Wednesday so I could avoid the 20-minute walk it'd have taken to get to a seminar we were presenting and otherwise have been wearing ankle-boots (in summer, sigh) and putting my foot up when and where I can.

It's just kind of frustrating when my computer at work kicks me off to rest my wrists and wandering to chat with colleagues for the duration involves limping on both legs (stiff ankle and knee that for the first half of the week stung to bend).

(Oh, also mosquito bites, to which I'm allergic; on the right muscle they can swell up to almost the size of my whole hand. A few years ago there were no mosquitoes in Christchurch. They were the thing you got on holiday to remind you that there's no heaven on earth. That they're allowed into Christchurch, where I already have to go to work every day, is truly the sign of an unjust world.)

Anyway, both knee and ankle were getting better except today I got home and discovered new and exciting bruises on my ankle, so although the doctor said ice is no good after 48 hours I've changed my mind about listening to him. Alternating the ice pack with the lavender hot pack feels quite soothing.

--

In other news, I've got proofs of a journal article to look at, and made some professional blogposts people seem to like, and finished a White Collar(1) fanfic which I may get around to posting when I like it enough, and I think I know how to finally finish that Amy/Rory 9-parter I've been neglecting. There are several other fanfics I want to write. The White Collar/Doctor Who crossover would be glorious except I don't know how Neal will get Amy and Rory out of jail so it may never happen. I suspect the one about Madame Kovarian is unfortunately closer to half-started than half-finished, but that one I actually believe is true (even if Moffat doesn't know it, though he might), so if I don't transition back to original fiction then I'll attempt to plough through that next.

So I'm feeling fairly productive. Though I do need to chase up my contractors about making sure that their to-do list sufficiently matches my get-them-to-do list (just for the lols, since they painted my toilet earlier this month the earthquakes have already cracked the paintwork again, but that's probably another claim along with the slightly sunken toilet floor); and find out what I'm meant to do about my mortgage whose anniversary is coming up.

(1) Also I watched the new episode of White Collar, so oblique spoilers containing writer-ish thoughts )
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
and also swears a lot when the other hand touches anything at the wrong angle.

So yesterday I got a random flare up of what I presume is RSI because I can determine no other cause. Can't determine much cause for flare-up either, but hey, RSI. (I have perfect ergonomic set-up at work, and restbreak software, and ridiculous amounts of stress, oh wait.) It manifested by barely being able to use the left hand for anything significant without pain, and got worse from there. Like, "In order to use my right hand to scrunch up this used tinfoil, I shall pick up said tinfoil in my left-- F#$%@ no I won't."

Anyway so I didn't use said hand all yesterday (and yes, am being super careful of the right) and closed computer last night to watch movies and slept really carefully and still found it aching if it lay in the wrong position. Also any given right position became a wrong position after one minute at best.

So I got out of bed with my elbow, washed my right arm with difficulty, didn't even attempt washing my hair, and gave up entirely on the whole bra thing. Currently typing with right hand, restbreak softeware set on paranoid (doing lots of gardening between times), left hand in heatpack so it's warm enough for me to occasionally dare a few gentle squeeze-stretch exercises because circulation is good.

It seems to be getting slightly better.

--Oh Boots, I appreciate your interest in my lap, but there's really no room today.

Today's to-do list includes getting more anti-inflammatories from the chemist; booking in that massage; and getting an upgraded computer so I can use Dragon without everything freezing. (It might even fix Firefox's memory issues too...)

Right hand tiring. Now seems a good time for a walk to the chemist.
zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
The old saying is that you don't know what you've got until it's gone. But I think as often you don't know what you've lost until you get it back again.

So a couple of months ago I started noticing that the muscles at the back of my right knee would be a bit stiff when I stood up from sitting a while. No biggie, a few steps would always set it right. It was just weird that it'd keep on stiffening up again every time.

I thought maybe I was sitting too much, and made sure I got plenty of gentle exercise. This hasn't been difficult: post-quake I'm walking a lot more than usual: an extra 10-15 minute walk to get to work, often a couple of 15-20 minute walks during the course of my daily duties, and maybe 10 minutes going home. Tuesday evenings there's an additional 10-15 minute walk to choir, Sundays about the same to meet a friend. None of this seemed to make a difference, but the brief stiffness wasn't inconveniencing me in any way.

Still, I thought, a couple of months is a long time. I was making plans to discuss it with the doctor next time I visit for my asthma prescriptions. And over the last several days it did seem to be getting a little worse. Not sore. But occasionally a tiny bit uncomfortable, briefly, until those steps had stretched it back to normality.

Mid-week, however, I had this brilliant idea. I remembered how, when I'd had a sore back, with tension causing pain and pain causing tension and everything going downhill from there, the wonderful pharmacist had given me miracle Voltaren. And I thought maybe the same cycle was in play here and could be fixed the same way. So I took a small dose (since it was only small discomfort) three times (for luck), and discovered I was right.

And every single time I stood up yesterday I'd do a double-take and then grin gleefully, because my knee just worked.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Things that don't seem like an excellent idea #1: Rubbing a cut on your knuckle as you go to empty your chemical toilet in the communal tank. I don't think it came into contact with anything more problematic than the basically-clean exterior of my own tank. I rubbed hand sanitiser into it until it stung while I was there, and when I got home washed it thoroughly and slathered with more hand sanitiser and then Dettol antiseptic cream. No signs of gangrene yet.

--

In my previous post I meant to wax more philosophical on the progression from the early day or few of relying on our own stocks of water; then a week or so of queuing for water; then boiling all water, and now six and a half weeks later being able to wash an open cut in it straight from the tap.

(Still to come: not needing to conserve it for the sake of the sewage system; and not needing to have it chlorinated anymore. Not sure which will happen first.)

...I don't have much philosophical to say about it. Just that it's fascinating to watch the regaining of civilisation. When I see people on Twitter complaining about how we haven't fixed all our roads yet (apparently Japan has or something? I know they've fixed some roads super-rapidly, but all of them to brand-new? I'm sceptical); or people in the news complaining that a hotel and Civil Defense are conspiring to keep them from retrieving their NZ$27,000 engagement ring (the building's yellow-stickered! that means it's safe for the public to wander through in search of a ring, right?!) I can only assume that either they're really really really tired, which is perfectly understandable, or that they don't have a clue just how bad the earthquake hit us.

And when it's a Tweep who lives out of town, or, well, the $27,000 engagement ring speaks for itself -- I find myself favouring one of these possibilities over the other.

The thing is, lots of things broke. People have fixed a lot of things. And it's not anyone's fault, nor even government's, that the huge lot of things that have been fixed remains almost overwhelmingly outnumbered by the lots of things that broke. There's a whole scaling issue here, folks! <flail>

I think I shall walk to my parents' this evening instead of busing bussing going by bus; see if it loosens up some of these rocks in my back.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
The boil water notice has been lifted for Christchurch. It's so nice to be realllllly sleepy and wander into the bathroom and think "I should brush my teeth" and then just turn on the tap and brush your teeth and not get gastro.

Or at least I assume I didn't get gastro. If I do, the Christchurch District Health Board will have some 'splaining to do.

Random things: I changed my view of the Dreamwidth interface from Tropo-thingy Red to Tropo-thingy Purple. It's weird but a very awesome colour. Celerity's cute too but maybe too much of a change for me.
--On Dreamwidth: I like Dreamwidth a whole lot and believe in its goals and ethics and business model, but I don't think it's the One True Way. One of the things I like about it is that the people running it say it's not the One True Way and are supportive of the existence of other ways, including LiveJournal, both in what they say (currently they're suggesting people not import LJ content to DW while LJ deals with the DDOS attack) and in how they design (in maintaining/increasing interoperability). They do take opportunities sometimes when issues arise elsewhere to promote their points of difference in terms of design and ethics, and I think it's valid to see that as smug or opportunitistic though obviously this is not how I see it myself -- I see it as being justly proud of what they've created and as letting people who've been hurt by something know that there's another option out there iff they're interested. But anyway I think there's plenty of room for alternative interpretations and especially alternative choices: a healthy ecosystem is a diverse ecosystem.

My ereader has shipped, woot! I feel like phoning up my parents and saying "Is it here yet? How about now?" Also this morning I got an email from a friend asking for advice on what ereader to get her father-in-law. Guess what thread I pointed her too?

The last couple of days I've felt a bit more stable. I don't think it's coincidence that this kicked in approximately the same minute that my leave request was approved. I really must make it a this year's New Year's Resolution that I'll take leave before I need it, and also try to line up the next bunch of leave shortly after coming back from the previous bunch so I've got it to look forward to when stressed. (Last year's New Year's Resolution was: When sick, take one more day than I think I need. I'm very grateful that I have sufficient sick leave available, and have been sufficiently healthy over all, that this has been possible, because it's stood me in very good stead.)

That said, I do have a touch of indefinable blahs today. Doesn't help that I need to go shopping for socks and warm slippers and also for groceries. --Oh wait, if I go there I can in fact get both from the same mall. Cool. But I am looking forward to my local mall opening again. About four weeks ago they said the supermarket'd open in four weeks. A few days ago (when I emailed them to say ~"Lighting your fluorescent sign while you're closed wastes electricity and is false advertising and means when you do open no-one will know the difference") they told me it'll open in five weeks. At this rate, by Christmas it'll be opening as early as 2013.

(They also said that it doesn't waste that much electricity: "around $280 per month, cheaper than most house holds." I think they overestimate the average household a bit, though it's hard for me to judge as my circumstances mean I'm definitely much under average. Also they seem to have completely missed the remainder of my argument, saying that "we will need the sign on to let customers know we are re-opening" which makes no sense. If you have the sign on when you're open and when you're closed, the only thing it tells customers is "We may be open, or we may be closed, who knows?")

Blah. Don't want to go shopping. I hate shopping.

I need a massage. Conveniently I have a voucher for a massage. Inconveniently voicemail informs me they're currently unoperational - I'm not in the least surprised, given their location (Pilgrim Place - near the CBD - and concrete slab) but oh yeah, I lack all resilience to disappointment. On the plus side they should be back up and running mid-May, which is a month and a half before my voucher expires and no doubt I'll still need a massage; plus there's a place I've visited before which I know is up and running so I just need to get a few seconds of energy and go for the phone again. --Ooh, even better, webform!

...I know what else the problem includes: I've turned exothermic. The last couple of sunny days have been great, but now cloudiness returns. I really must call someone to come look at my gasfire, and hope they can get here before Easter.

I vote spaghetti on toast for lunch. I distinctly recall there being some bread left in my freezer.

ETA: Dinosaur Comics vastly improves weepytimes.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
Taking the bus is tiring. I think it's not so much that it takes anywhere from 2-4 times as long as usual; I think it's mostly that it's really hard to resist looking out the window and seeing the ruins of used bookstores (bricks and books comingled), and of churches (open-air pews and curtains flapping in the frame of a stained-glass window), and of houses.

If you live in anything resembling an earthquake zone, resist the temptation of firewalls. A firewall seems like such a good idea at the time, but it's really really not. Not if you want four walls.

Some houses and walls remain standing thanks to hastily-erected wood-frame buttressing.

Army tanks in full camo continue to crawl our streets. Yesterday on Moorhouse I saw a couple handing a bunch of flowers to a soldier. I smiled. Then I realised that the flowers were lilies and were more likely intended to be taken to somewhere like the CTV building. Cut for stout hearts )

On campus a hastily erected sign says "City bus". I learned in due course that this meant a bus belonging to the city, not a bus going to the city; in fact the only bus-belonging-to-the-city that passes there is one of the few that never goes to the city at all. Communicated this to some minions of the Progressive Restart folk so hopefully it will wend its way up the chain and get something done about it before things are back to normal.

Not the new normal. The new normal changes every few hours. The eventual normal, I guess.

I got enough energy to call the plumber; he'll contact me again next week. Shower pressure seemed normal today. I don't understand that shower; never have, really, it's just I know what settings worked in the old normal.

Last night I smeared toothpaste on my toothbrush and then noticed a drip fall from the tap: I'd wet the toothbrush under the tap instead of with kettle water. I stared at it for a while but was too tired to boil it then and there, so just rinsed it with the kettle water and went on. If I get gastro I know who to blame.

The Fraction Liquefaction video made me smile the other day. (Warning: May not be comprehensible to those outside ChCh/NZ.) This morning I watched it again and it made me so cheerful I cried. Cried properly for the first time. My eyes have leaked before, sometimes heavily, and occasionally I've managed a half-hearted sob but until now that's as far as my energy's extended. So having a proper cry was fantastic; albeit poorly timed, because then I had to rush off to catch my bus.

We drove over the bridge on Moorhouse, newly repaired. It felt disconcertingly vertiginous.

They had counsellors at work today. The original plan was for them to be in offices for us to visit, but one seemed to have got bored waiting for someone to turn up because he came out and wandered the workrooms instead. He seemed satisfied when I told him that I'm okay with not being okay: that is, it's rather evident that I'm an utter mess at the moment and happy as I was feeling this morning there was never any way I'd be able to get through a conversation with him without my eyes leaking, but there's no point attempting to fix it with sympathy or counselling or sleeping pills(1) because there's nothing to fix, really; it would be more worrisome if I wasn't feeling crappy. Been here before in September and I know how it goes: I just need rest and time.

(1) I mention sleeping pills not because I've been sleeping badly (I'm not) but because the doctor spontaneously offered them to me when I went to my regular checkup the other day. I declined but accepted the offer of a flu jab instead. Flu jabs are like breath mints: if someone offers you one and you're not allergic you should always accept it.

Today I also talked to my manager about next week's timetable; sounds like it can be arranged so I can go in for longer chunks of time (possibly less often, that doesn't matter to me so much) so I don't keep spending more time travelling than on campus. --Though a later email doesn't take this conversation into account. Meh, no doubt the situation will change a couple times more over the weekend.

Picked up my asthma medication from a pharmacy nearby that I never knew existed because I always went to the one in the mall.

On the sewerage system:
"The first task was to flush silt out of all pipes, which was expected to take up to four months, before assessing the damage and beginning repairs." [Source: The Press]

The sounds of the earthquake - I love how she says "Ooh, there's a big earthquake" in approximately the same tones as one might say, "Ooh, it's started raining". Of course then the earthquake keeps going, so, yeah.

The house keeps making little #eqnz wobbles today. I don't understand. Ken Ring didn't say anything about 1st April!

My back door is going through a phase in which the lock actually works as intended. (When it doesn't work as intended it still works, it's just when you unlock it it stays locked so you mustn't pull it shut behind you unless you've got your keys with you. Of course since the earthquake you have to make some effort to pull it shut behind you anyway so that's all good.)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
I put on a red top today in the hope that it'd distract a little from my bright red chest. Judging from the "Holy shit!" that emerged from the mouth of my friend when I shrugged off my poncho, it wasn't entirely successful. (It's better than it was. It just doesn't look any better.)

Have had similarly bad luck with buses today. Went to get the one to church this morning and either it was early (unlikely since I'm so near the terminus) or it was just missing, but in any case I ended up waiting half an hour for the next one, in the rain with an old munted umbrella (my normal umbrella being stuck in my out-of-bounds workplace - I should buy a new one but that'd require catching a bus somewhere). So I was half an hour late to church (slightly less emotional than last week. One day maybe church will stop making me cry at all!) After that I waited about an hour for what should have been a half-hourly bus to get home. Thankfully this time I was at a stop with a bus shelter.

(Insert here a comic interlude in which I attempted to extract my freshly-baked brick of bread from the breadmaker -- Christchurch humidity is hell on bread. It's possible to make a loaf rise, but requires a great deal of effort and a certain amount of divine intervention -- and ended up just putting the whole pail-thing in my bag.)

Then coming to my friends' I went out to catch my bus on time and... again it just didn't come. This time I decided to hop on the first bus that did come along, so ended up going through town instead of via the suburban route. It wasn't too bad: bus #1 went to Parkside (ie Hagley Park), from there I switched to the link bus that goes to Bealey Ave, and there -- well, I did have to wait in the rain (but fortunately under a yew tree, which helped) for my bus, but only 5-10 minutes, and that took me right out to my friends' place.

Have started writing again! Will see how this goes. Could work well, or I could get stuck exactly where I got stuck in 2002. At least this time I can avoid my originally planned ending of "the kidnapper marrying the princess who's now suitably tamed" - this is a direct quote from my notes to self and intended with a certain degree of irony and I always meant the kidnapper to be reformed and tamed too, but even so, Self, what were you thinking?
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
This naturally swings wildly from "Eee, dead of cute!" to "Argh, quit chewing on the keyboard and putting my laptop to sleep (how are you doing that anyway???)!"

<attempts to recollect the day>

Sponge bath in a bucket. Didn't run the tap long enough to get hot, but supplemented with water from a kettle for sheer luxury. (Quite unneeded really: the friction:water ratio is high enough that even cold water isn't uncomfortable. But warm's even nicer.) Made for a good demonstration of why they call it "grey water".

Church service was nice - very sunny, big crowd. Crowd included various news cameras. I got interviewed by some Australian TV station, I think; Mum by a radio channel. I think I wasn't too wildly incoherent, but did have to resort to the blandest cliches imaginable. A couple of text articles about it: Stuff.co.nz or Herald (reuses text but its photo is of our service). Of course there are minor lacunae and inaccuracies: in addition to arriving on bike or foot plenty of us came by car (though I did walk partway I guess), and the scones and water (not tea) came after the service, not while singing.

Another article on Christianity and the earthquake.

I promised photos of sandcastles! Here are some my Mum took - the nearest structure in the first, three towers connected by a wall, is the one I helped with.

I got a flyer in my mail! I think it was delivered by the Student Volunteer Army; it's got information about where to get help and there's a copy online (pdf).

My asthma is distinctly acting up. (No preventative for a week + stress + dust. Today I wore a dustmask while walking, and wasn't the only one.) My normal pharmacy has no answerphone message so I ended up ringing HealthLine and browsed the Ministry of Health website while listening to a long recorded message. There was an option to talk to a person but I thought I'd see if my question was answered first. Apparently one can get emergency repeats from any open pharmacy. I'll call the nearest one tomorrow to double-check on that before hiking over.

Heard from an old manager. Dozed. Watched Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which isn't up to Criminal Minds' standards, but nor is Criminal Minds these days. Updated the church website - we never officially launched it but it seems like a useful thing.

My mood dropped steadily through the day; in retrospect unsurprising. By evening it was a huge chore to make myself make dinner. I think tomorrow I'll try making dinner in the morning.

Darn it, we're going to have to pick up books again :-) - the photo and the story further down by the same guy are from my branch. But y'know, we're kind of used to this by now. And actually, if that's the worst he saw, it's not nearly as bad as last time.

In "I cannot brain, I has the dumb" news, I've taken to wearing a wee bag around my neck for my cellphone, asthma inhaler, and most especially a notepad to remind myself what I'm planning to do next. :-)

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zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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