Tags: health


Health & Stuff Update

So, back from the doc's.

I don't have an ear infection, but both my ears are completely blocked with wax left over from when I was sick and it's not shifting. So I'm stuck dripping oil into my ears until next week when I get an aggressive syringing. The pain in my ears is because the pressure can't equalise quickly, the heat and itching is because of the irritation rather than an infection. The really fun part is that having oil in your ears to clear the wax makes you a bit more deaf until it gets sorted.



I don't seem to react normally to any of these antidepressants, my side effects are peculiar and don't tend to conform to the literature. Essentially I seem to have very weird brain chemistry. There's a couple more different drugs we can try but the SSRIs all work in the same way and my reactions are likely to be similar. We've decided to stick with the Fluoxetine (Prozac) as its a known quantity and the drug that I've probably gotten on best with of the three I've been on. We're going to reduce my dosage from 40mg to 30mg (I was on 20 before). Hopefully that should lessen the side effects while giving me the good effects of the drug, all at a level I can cope with.

I've also been referred to the Community Mental Health team for additional support. I probably won't hear anything for months, they're stretched, but the extra support and expertise should help me cope with the dips more. The downside is that being on the 'radar' of the CMHT isn't always a good thing, it's like putting a flag up over yourself 'I have problems'. Still I feel that the expertise and additional help, especially given my odd reactions to drugs, is probably worth the risk.

So yeah, coping, can't say much more than that at the moment. Going to take at least a week to adjust to the 30mg dose, possibly as much as three weeks.

Thank you everyone for your ongoing support and understanding. It's appreciated more than I know how to show.

In an attempt to continue to be open about my illness...

Things I'll be discussing with the doc later today:

Ongoing Symptoms


Most of these have been lessened.

  • Tiredness during the day. (Unchanged).
  • Physical exhaustion without cause. (Lessened).
  • Lack of concentration. (Lessened).
  • Depressed/suicidal thoughts at night/when not occupied. (Lessened but persist for long periods, week/fortnight at a time).
  • Feeling of detachment from surroundings. (New).
  • Increased libido/frustration. (Slightly lessened).
  • Periodic episodes of high energy/focus (1-2 days a month/approximately) – Manifested in extreme work-focus, lots of ideas/enthusiasm for projects, overextension as I want to get a lot done in the time that I feel ‘normal’. Trying to pace myself proves impossible and overextension results in genuine mental and physical exhaustion and a lot of work I’ve made for myself when this passes. (Newish, hard to tell whether this is simply feeling normal).
  • Overreaction to minor setbacks. (Lessened).
  • Social anxiety/avoidance/desire to be alone. (New, social interaction was helping before).
  • Aches and stiffness (hands, back, legs, esp when walking). (Lessened).

I’ve tried taking my medication at different times of day but it seems to make no difference to any of the above.


Well, that's that...

That's that 30 day challenge done.

That was actually quite helpful, giving me things to write every day.

I'd appreciate it if readers could give me more topics to write about, either here or on my business blog. What would you like me to witter on about - if anything?

Give me some topics, top 5's, anything. Really helped me out brain-wise having a little daily task
Global Frequency


For those who haven't already been informed I should let you know that my post about depression a while back turned out to be true. That 'black wave' crashed over me just over a week ago on Sunday night to a degree I've never felt non-situational depression before. A sobbing mess of suicidal tension and self-loathing genuinely wanting to die. If I were any less able to separate my brain from my 'heart' I might have done something stupid.

I am, needless to say, back on the pills and having a hard time with them too, extremely sleepy, finding it very hard to work - though I'm muddling through slowly on my project for LPJ and I hope to be able to continue to freelance as my energy returns, even though the depression drugs tend to make creative work extremely hard to do.

People have said it's been helpful to talk about these things publicly, so I'll continue to do so, even though it feels like whining sometimes. The main thing I want to express to people is that there isn't anything specifically wrong that is upsetting me. This is a brain chemistry thing, there's no rationale for why, there's no direct problem to solve, no single thing bringing me down that can be blamed. Nice words and sympathy do make me feel a little better but they're not going to solve the problem - which can be frustrating for people who care about me.

Anyway... I can still work, I hope, it'll just be slow for a while.

Having a particularly bad day to today, so I thought it was best to 'come out' publicly again.

FWD: Pro-Test USA (For Colonial Readers)

Subject: The Pro-Test petition: Standing up for Science in the USA

Calling all our American supporters!

Most of you will already know that scientists in the USA, particularly those in California, have in recent years seen a worrying increase in the number of violent attacks by Animal Rights extremists. Last April Professors David Jentsch and Dario Ringach, along with and other staff at UCLA, decided that enough was enough and founded Pro-Test for Science (originally Pro-Test UCLA) and held a rally that was attended by over 800 scientists and members of the public. Since then Pro-Test for Science has gained the backing of important scientific societies including the American Physiological Society, the Society for Neuroscience and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. Pro-Test for Science members have spoken at scientific conferences and written in scientific journals about the importance of speaking out about the value of animal research. Only last weekend over a hundred Pro-Test for Science supporters held a rally at UCLA to counter the dubious propaganda being spread by animal rights activists.


Please show your support by adding your name to the Pro-Test petition, over 11,000 have already done so, and encourage your friends and colleagues also sign up.


Pro-Test for Science has its own FaceBook group at http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=145728920467 and I'd encourage you to join the discussions there.

Finally if you have any questions or would like to get involved* please contact Pro-Test for Science at http://www.facebook.com/l/f5dde;www.pro-test-for-science.org/contactus.html or Speaking of research at http://www.facebook.com/l/f5dde;speakingofresearch.com/contact-us/

Thanks and kind regards,


* For example through organizing a talk at your school or research institute, or by writing a guest blog piece on the value of animal research i your field of study.
just me

A Fresh Start?

Usually I start off a new year with a burst of energy, creativity and organisational impetus that carries me forward at breakneck speed for about three months until my get up and go, get's up and goes and I lapse back into a more normal routine again. This does, however, get shit done and usually gives me a solid foundation for the coming year. This year, I don't have that motivation at all, I think it's still the lingering effects of the exhaustion and depression, though I don't feel depressed any more and the morning after a New Year's night probably isn't the best time to try and feel motivated - though we did only stay in and watch Jool's Holland's 'Hot Punani' show and get mildly tipsy, nothing that bacchanalian for once.

This year's mainly going to be about business. The economy slow down has impacted a little though the evening out of the value of the pound back to old levels has countered that quite a lot. I do, however, need to concentrate on more commercial enterprises in order to succeed and move forward and that requires a fairly radical rethink of my plans for the coming year and a lot more publishing via others, commercialisation of existing product and concentration on my core lines.

On a personal basis I want to get out and about more and see people again, that requires money so is another motivation for shifting how the business operates at the moment, plus there are plans afoot that also require additional spondoolicks. It seems almost impossible to get people out to see us due to our location, though we have plenty of room and try to be hospitable hosts, so it seems this Muhammed will have to hire some Sherpas. Lots of people promise vaguely to catch up with us sometime, but it never comes through, often even if they invite us out there's never the follow up, so meh, one can but try.

Well crap, this all seems fairly business-like and on a bit of a downer doesn't it eh? Sorry, but I have no earth-shaking revelations, no real resolutions - other than to keep losing weight as I have been (until now, curse you Christmas, curse you) and to try, amongst everything else, to take some more personal time to do fun things and to try not to be as jaded. I'm also going to try and keep this thing a bit better updated.

I'm looking forward - though with some tredpidation - to what the U.S. will make of itself this coming year and, somewhat cynically perhaps, expect Obama to be assassinated sometime in the next four years, especially if he actually DOES anything.

Right, off over to apresvie  to lay out the business plans for the coming year.

Health Update: Public

Got my diagnosis today, still waiting on a couple of tests for 100% confirmation but we're pretty much sure at this point and I'll be starting treatment. I don't particularly want to go into it too publicly for 'historical' reasons but there will be a friends update with more info along in a minute.


I'm going to be pretty much useless for about three months, at least, so I'm looking for a little bit of help to cover that period and keep my business going. I have several products written up, art supplied, ready for release but I don't know that I'm going to be able to lay them out for sale. If anyone out there thinks they can help me with this, please get in touch.

The job entails...

  • A little bit of layout in photoshop.
  • Access to InDesign and the ability to follow an established template.
  • A quick read-through of the material to catch any last minute mistakes.

I can't particularly pay at the moment but might be able to manage a small remuneration or anything of mine on PDF that the people helping might want.

If anyone's really good at LJ layouts that'd help too as I really need to get my new company site up and running, but that's not so urgent.