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Bah. (Mostly.)

Some days are just...not the best. Not the worst. But not the best.

Today's lessons:
Back up your data. Go on. I'll wait. That's more important, trust me.

Sometimes it is better not to bother writing a comment. I got fussed at today for commenting on a LJ post. It upset me, but all I replied was "Ok, sorry" and then de-friended. Not a safe space for me. Okay then. Working really hard not to judge all of that segment of the population by one bad reaction. (Hormones complicate everything.)

Is your personal data backed up yet?

Mark has a puffy area on his elbow. Uh-oh. No no no. Got enough bills, better just be excess fluid. Good thoughts plz.

And here is something good.
When you finally get all the dang ducks to stay lined up, it is better. Thanks to topiramate to control migraines, Alex brought home first semester all As and Bs. He is at last his cheerful, smartass self. And he will get to graduate with his class on June 3rd, something that means a great deal to him.

How are you, whenever you read this? :)

Update to the update previous :)

Mark is improving still.-- his white count is now in the normal range!! WOOT. His weight is too low now but that will change as soon as he is off the antibiotics and can digest properly again. Probiotics help a lot but they're no substitute for one's own healthy intestinal population. Also the drugs fatigue him, so getting done will let that ease off, too. He's got a lot of recovery, but we're well aware what the alternative was. A lot of things are on hold while his body and the drugs do their thing. That's okay. Well, mostly okay. ;) We're at the 'hurry up and be done so we can get back to pretending we're immortal for awhile!" stage now.

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Two weeks ago today, Mark showed me a swollen spot on his upper left arm. In retrospect, we wish we'd understood what it was. The next day it was worse, but then he spent that night very sick with a flu, in & out of the bathroom all night, and Saturday that had ended but he felt bad. Sunday he woke over that, but the arm was a lot worse.

Off to the ER.

As soon as nurse Monty got his vitals he put in a port and started IV saline, and the doc started an antibiotic. Readings didn't improve, 2nd port to push as much saline as possible, reading still bad (minimal fever but low blood pressure and high heart rate). A tipping point was hit where he wasn't responding fast enough and became the "Emergency-Emergency-Emergency" call on the floor. Not long after that, the doctor operated to put in a central line (in the neck, tricky but fastest for antibiotic distribution). I was in the room for it all. (Dr made sure I wasn't going to faint on them. :) ) Nurse Monty got the operation stuff cleaned up, then said "Well, I can't really do anything about that pool of blood there." I was bringing up the camera app as Mark said "Take a picture" and posed. If you want to see it you'll have to ask me in person, but in light of his improvement it is gruesomely funny. He does love Halloween.

It took them six or seven hours to get him stable, at which point they moved him upstairs to PCU (constant telemetry of vitals and checks every 2 hours). He was groggy of course, meds and feeling that sick will do that. Thus began a week of sleep deprevation, at first for all the vitals checks, then discomfort, and now, well. They pumped a LOT of saline into him along with the antibiotics. It's coming off pretty quickly now, but he'd been rolled out Saturday carrying 36 extra pounds, suddenly. Breathing was difficult, and everything was swollen. It's wickedly uncomfortable. Should you need this, be prepared - I had to go buy some larger clothes for him while his body gets itself back to normal.

He spent four nights in PCU, then inbetween there and a regular bed they removed the central line and put in a PICC line with two feeds (shoulder/chest) to continue the antibiotics. He allowed as how that process was not pleasant. He was discharged Saturday, a week later. He watched the home care nurse as she set up Saturday night's IV, did the same Sunday morning, performed the process himself with supervision for another two days, and has been doing it all himself ever since. It would have taken me another day or so.

Every day he's more his normal self, as I slowly succomb to a stupid head cold. Figures, right? Bodies.... He should get the PICC line removed on Christmas Eve. The gift of life, for which we thank SCIENCE. (Not looking forward to the bills, but oh well. Better than the alternative!!)
So, there's this. The list is just.... well. I hate to say it, but this is simplistic.
http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-nine-types-of-pre-exclusive-relationships/

But to be fair, it's extrapolated from text messaging codes, and it is entirely possible that the writer was guessing or going on limited information.

In one, the author specifies that more than one is fine. In another there's the line "there's no reason that, as long as you're both single..." Wait, what? Make up your mind, writer. I realize they're talking from a monogamous POV because really, that is the majority relationship "style" ideal - so far. But the context was sex with your ex, so...

If you click the link to see the original post, it's on a dating site that wants you to sign up to see anything (fair, but no thanks).

My general reaction to the list is, the "it's complicated" that finishes out the title above is the most honest, because seriously none of these categories is exclusive to most or all of the others. Relationships are complicated, particularly in their beginnings. Sometimes figuring out a label is helpful - but only if your other person figures it out with you. And I'd like to add "Um...friend" to this, though it's not a text code. I guess UMF would work. It's somewhere betweenTalking, what I'd call Friend-friend, and Lover.

The words we choose are important, but it's far more important to be clear with the person about whom you're talking than it is to match a term on a list in your own head. Definitions are important and assumptions are the mother of all fuck-upable moments.

dangerous hospitals

"Looking back at the healthcare battles of 2009, what was frustrating is that what was called the healthcare debate was, for the most part, a health insurance and economics debate. There wasn’t much attention paid to whether the resulting healthcare edifice would actually help sick people. Add to that the fetishization of efficiency–which is the antithesis of public health preparedness*–and Texas Presbyterian, in hindsight, seems rather predictable."
http://mikethemadbiologist.com/2014/10/17/something-to-know-about-texas-presbyterian-hospital/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
I am damn tired of CEOs hired for jobs for which they are unqualified and about which they give zero shits. STOP DOING THAT! FFS and for hospitals? EGREGIOUSLY IRRESPONSIBLE!

The Princess and the Witch

So in other news, Necronomicon looms large now, seven days away. This is when ALL THE THINGS have to GET DONE. Putting on a three day multiple track science fiction, fantasy & horror convention with volunteers, even when it's your 33rd one, is an act of faith. Experience is invaluable, but really? Then you take the leaps, and trust. http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm in case you're curious. :)

My child Alex, he is being awesome. Maturity and a medication that works have given him a very good Senior year so far. He's got straight As and his teachers actively enjoy having him in their classes. The latter's almost always true, the former hasn't happened for several years while he struggled with motivation and migraines. The acid test for the med will be this spring, typically his worst period for migraine. Fingers crossed. The drug is Topiramate, and he's on a relatively low dose of it, so there's room to bump that if we get enough of a warning. I'm watching, I'm ready. And may I add a hearty fuck you to those who think "big pharm" is the enemy. You lot are morons. (I take a blood pressure med daily. Mark takes a horribly expensive shot three times a week (was daily) to prevent worsening of MS. So Yeah. Shut it.)

Motivation came via his therapist, who cut through assumptions and whatnot to help him identify what motivates him to do assigned work, with a reward system in place to facilitate his doing things possibly for profit once he graduates. Her first assignment for him was to price out what such a system would cost, and document that. He found that exciting. :) So he's earning $20 for every week his grades are As and Bs, toward a powerful desktop computer and software for youtube and voiceover work. (Dude has a nice deep voice.) It delights me that he is doing so well, with this combination of help, body changes, and methods. Go Alex!

She also has made it legally imperitive that his teachers stay in contact with me regarding his work and grades and behavior. One of them also suffers migraines, she understood. When I told Alex that, he expressed genuine relief. So, I surmise he was not believed in earlier years. (This makes me always want to stay with him, but I think that would have been worse. Sigh. Parenting is hard!!!)

Next month I want us to attend the local HCC campus open house, to acquaint him with that level of higher education. It's where he'll take Spanish II, regardless of whether he attends there, or at a 4 year school, or does something else. A second language is good for brains, and earlier trouble in school prevented the required two years by his Senior year. (I did look into homeschooling. For several reasons, that was not for us.)

Mark is already working on Halloween things. Our party this year will be fucking EPIC. Just sayin'.

The reflecting pool is back between here and the barn, after a single hard rain yesterday. More forecast all week. Gee, thanks, Nature. Not like we have CON PREP STUFF to transport there and back or anything. But hey, at least it's not a hurricane. Actually, if one would just pass by us close enough, it would suck all this moisture away with it. http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/ ... But, no.

Garden's a mess. Seriously, no paths anymore, actively dangerous if you don't know where they were! With my left foot suffering plantar faciitis, I'm supposed to avoid uneven ground if I can help it for awhile, and I've learned that leaning forward makes it hurt, so. I am actually hoping for a hard freeze in December. If you want free plants, bring shovels after I can find things again (December through to March 1), and we will empty large sections. It's time to downsize. Also, I will be selling the 100+ year old bricks I was given, I think there are about 300 of them. I love them, but - downsize. I don't need them. I do like money though. If you live in the Tampa area and have a truck and a lot of help to load & unload, let's talk. :) Somewhere in this Journal I posted photos of the two piles, before I used one and part of the other. There was some drooling, as I recall.

What else. Oh, I finally finished the first draft of that novel I started almost 20 years ago, and sent it off to two people to read. It's a long sucker. If neither reader tells me parts that need to go away, I'll be surprised. This is a superhero story, but it's not comic book "normal." The main protagonist is a short fat bearded guy. Incidentally his family is polyamorous. And happy. So, yeah. Not typical.

Today friends sorted through costumes and puzzled out what to wear next weekend. Eek, Necro's in one week!!!

Dude, where's your brain?

It's very weird how for awhile a person will appear reasonable, but then he makes a rather long-winded comment on one of my G+ posts... and the truth comes out that he's actually a raging asshole.

Like, he thought he could, I don't know, make me agree with him by stressing that he was being "reasonable"?

Who thinks like that?

good boy!

So, Mark and Alex and I went to the first Conference Night of this, his final high school year. And it was good.

We went to talk to the two teachers in whose classes he had a C. All four of the others are As. Spanish 1, which he struggled so much with two years ago, is clicking for him this time. I am so glad! He'd missed an assignment (he thought he had turned it in, but she hadn't gotten it) so she had him do it right there, and he got a 100%, and that moved his grade to an A. w00t! Then we went to the opposite corner of the school to talk to the English 3 teacher, where he handed in the syllabus with contact info that he was supposed to hand in the first week of school. That too moved the grade from a C to an A. It was also fun to talk to both teachers, who obviously enjoy having Alex in their classes.

I am very happy. :D

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