Wednesday, January 18, 2017

National Hot Tea Day!

Mood::iconicelandfukkiretaplz:


This was a while ago, but I love tea!:dummy:Why not keep celebrating it? Most of the time, I only drink water or tea. I currently have orange spice, and vanilla chai. Really tasty ones. I love almost every tea I've tried. Some of the ones I love are: chai (regular and other varieties), mint, green, chamomile, hibiscus, cinnamon (I've made this from scratch before), Jasmine, berry, ginger (sometimes), apple cinnamon, lemon, pumpkin spice, and more. I normally just add some Splenda to it. Depending on if it's something like chai, I might add a little milk to it, too. Tried it with mint, and that was interesting. Kind of like mint cream.



This will probably be a little long.:iconhanatamagoplz:I decided to get back to doing things with the local ace facebook page. I talked about how I recently found out I'm aro, and brought up the very basic sexual/romantic orientations. There are so many more than what the pic showed...:iconawkwardplz:I find it fascinating that there are more. On the whole, as humans, we're a lot more complicated than just being gay or straight. I don't think the general public understands this. I find it makes us more interesting and awesome.:w00t:However, I also was majoring in anthropology while in college, so that might shape how I view it.:iconseychelles-plz:It's lit.: The Study of Man. Most people say The Study of Humans instead. So, yeah, it's all about us. Many people don't know that their romantic orientation can be different than their sexual one. Even if you're neither ace nor aro. All of them share the same prefix. Some other ones that weren't listed: fray-: attracted to someone until they meet that person, then it fades (it's considered the opposite of demi-), lithro-: someone who does feel romantic/sexual attraction but doesn't want/need it reciprocated, abro-: someone who has a fluid or rapidly changing romantic/sexual orientation that fluctuates between different ones, and quoi- (or WTF-): basically, someone who can't distinguish between another type of attraction. For the last one, if they're quoiromantic, they can't really tell the difference between platonic and romantic attraction. I suppose for the sexual part, they might not be able to tell the difference between romantic and sexual attraction. I've mostly heard about the romantic version.  



I also wanted to bring up the idea of different attractions. Used how I feel, and where I land for some of it as an example. Like I did on here a while back. It's handy to learn about them, especially if you're aro ace. Just to get to know yourself better. Also, saying I'm aro ace describes what I don't experience, and I like to know what I do.:iconthailandplz:Doesn't mean the aro and ace part are any less important, just good to know more about myself. My strongest attraction seems to be platonic, and many aro aces might mention/go by it. Especially, if they want a queer(some say quasi)platonic relationship. I would love one. It sounds great!:iconfrancisplz:I'm pan this way. Meaning, gender doesn't matter to me in being really close best friends and/or being in that sort of relationship. It's the person themselves.



Interestingly, I've been encountering the 'do you consider yourself queer' question often lately. The most recent was on AVEN. I'm iffy with this word. It was used in a very hateful way in the past. Many people don't realize that it wasn't just aimed at gay people. Although, most of it was. There were a lot of assumptions, too. Some people used it against people who weren't considered 'normal' (either in the way they acted or looked), or in 'normal' relationships. It's still used in that way, but seems to be not as often now. Probably because many people have reclaimed that word.



With the original dictionary meaning, yeah, I'd probably consider myself to be. It means: strange, odd, different from the norm, or peculiar. I know people who refer to the greater LGBTQ+ community as queer. Interestingly, the Queer Movement, which sometimes separates itself from that community, considers people like me to be queer...:icontinoplz:I'm certainly not straight. If I ended up in a qpr with another woman or someone feminine looking, society might assume I'm lesbian or 'queer' anyways. I've read that people who aren't a heteroromantic heterosexual cis person, can call themselves that. It's a very personal thing, and no one but that person has a say on it. Again, unless that person is actually all those three things.



It was interesting, after my response, someone immediately said if I'm not having sex with another woman, than I'm not queer (he had this in relation to being LGBTQ+). And, people are just trying to recruit others into the LGBTQ+ community. This was before I went into 'detail'. One of the funny things about this is: no one knows who a person is truly having sex with.:iconkikuplz:Society can certainly make assumptions, but unless people tell them (or, I guess, caught them in the act), they don't know. If I was in a qpr with another woman (or someone presenting femininely), would they know about that sort of relationship or would they assume? Some outsiders think qpr's look similar to a romantic relationship. Another funny thing: what about straight trans people, bi people, pan people, etc.? Do they not matter?



The LGBTQ+ community is certainly not trying to recruit people. There is gate keeping. (There's also some gate keeping within the ace community, which I find odd.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:) Although, I've seen most of that online at places like Tumblr. It's really disturbing looking at some of the ace 'discourse' on there.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:There are those who think aces don't belong at all, and the A really stands for ally. That boggles my brain. There are those who say that there are only the 4 main letters, and everyone else is trying to grab up resources or something. These 2 'factions' are dwindling in number. Thank goodness. Some say they are accepting of ace people, but turn around and say except for heteroromantic aces.:iconromanoplz:Kind of erasing their ace identity, and thinking only the romantic one matters. They do a similar thing with aro heterosexuals. Some aren't sure what to make of aro aces. We're either aliens, or 'of course' we belong in it. Kind of funny to me.:iconlaughingplz:



Reading about the Queer Movement, they have a different view, like I mentioned earlier. It seems much more accepting. Also, the LGBTQ+ community has a lot of infighting going on, and each 'letter' has their own issues to deal with. Even the L and G parts have some separate issues. It's a lot more complicated than people think.



After I mentioned a lot of this, he kind of had a flustered response. (I didn't go into the qpr thing, which I now think I probably should have...:iconswissplz:) Saying that his opinion is based off of what society thinks. If LGBTQ+ people want to use a different definition, then that's going to make things more complicated like you outlined. He somehow thinks that they're 'redefining' it for political reasons, too. What? The question wasn't necessarily asking would society deem you as queer. The question was would you yourself use it? These are 2 different things. Oh, and the Queer Movement can be different. Many LGBTQ+ don't like using that word still. There was so much wrong with his responses, I was amazed by it.:iconchibigilbertplz:I love how they asked this on facebook, and I didn't mention I was aro ace at first. They politely asked what I was, even though it was on a public ace page. When I said aro ace, they immediately said: "Of course you are!" A nicer response than I was hoping. My post that explains things in detail on AVEN has more likes than his response to it. Kind of a little boost in confidence.:iconranranruuplz:I still am unsure of using it for myself. I like the idea, though.



Anyways, we had 2 new people join that local ace group, and it seems as soon as I posted about attractions and such, they dropped it. We had 11 before they dropped out. That seemed cool. I hope I didn't scare anyone away with the attractions thing.:iconpolandplz:I actually deleted that post, since I was unsure of it. Might be easier to discuss it in person. I have a hunch it was more the fact that we haven't met yet.



I wanted to wait until we had more people. Very recently, I read a couple of other ace groups' minutes, and they started with around 3 people. We have 3 times as many. So, maybe it really is a sign to start meeting.:iconeestiplz:I'm also unsure about groups like this. I created a group in high school, but it wasn't about something like this. It was about promoting diversity. I've led several other groups in the past (some after high school), but again, it wasn't the same. I haven't attended an actual ace meeting before, and everything I've seen has been online. There isn't a 'guidebook' either. Some other specific groups train people before they let people lead local versions. There isn't anything like that out there for these. Leaves things wide open, and we can really make it ours. Having no 'guide' for it might be a little awkward at first.:iconusaplz:Maybe my background with groups will help.



Reading some of their minutes, I've gotten a few more ideas, too. One of the ones that started meeting in India occasionally does quizzes during their meetups. The most recent one I saw was on sexual/romantic orientations. That would be kind of fun, and familiarize people with the terms. Although, there are so many...Interestingly, that group mostly had allies. That's still cool to see allies supporting aces.:iconyayhanatamagoplz:



I think, our group has 4 allies, 2 people on the ace spectrum, and 3 (including me) who are ace. That's actually not a bad combo. I want the people on the spectrum to have a voice/be represented, too. They're important. Having close to half being allies might be good, as well. Others can learn, support, get the word out to aces they might know, educate others around them, etc.:iconchibinitalyplz:



So, I made a few polls to iron out the details of actually meeting. We'll most likely meet at a café. At least, for the first meeting. I think there are rivaling cafes at the moment in one of the polls. Not many people have actually responded, so I'll wait for a bit to see what happens. The person who has filled out all the polls, seems to be ok with having it during the weekend. That might actually be really good, considering some people are freer during that time. We could probably do more things, too. Wherever we end up for the first meeting, at least, I hope it'll be a place that's ok with people bringing desserts. One of the things I thought would be nice, and end the meeting on a positive note, would be to have a dessert potluck. There's the ongoing joke in the ace community about what's better than sex. The most popular was cake, but many are strongly for pie. So, to appease people from both sides and others, I thought it'd be just whatever dessert you want. Or, maybe on the first one, we just order desserts from the café itself...:iconchibiswedenplz:I don't know. It'll be exciting to see how this group turns out.


A few days ago, I made a list of 'trigger' and 'good' foods. The trigger ones are ones that are more likely to upset my system. Even if I'm supposedly in remission. They can still do things like irritate the damaged areas. With the good foods part, they're the ones that are calming, easily digestible for me, and don't affect me much. This was a good thing to do, since I usually just remember 2 of the trigger foods. Don't usually remember any of the calming ones, either. Here are the trigger ones I have so far: corn, popcorn (unsure about other corn products yet), beef summer sausage (unsure about other sausages), certain raw vegetables/fruit with peel (not sure exactly which ones, but some of the most likely: pears, apples, celery, carrots), bell peppers (I suspect), pickles (unsure), whole grain (I think), some whole nuts (at least, having a lot of them). As you can tell, I haven't narrowed down or looked into some of these more.:iconwtfromanoplz:But, it's a good guide. Good foods: fish, eggs, dairy (one of the most calming for some reason), most cooked/peeled fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, couscous, rice, smooth peanut butter, challah (and other breads like French and sourdough), cream of wheat, bananas (almost as calming as the dairy, and it's an exception to the cooking fruit thing). Quite a bit, but I know there probably are more. Also, adding cinnamon helps, too. Garlic doesn't seem bad on my system. Trying to decide if that one is calming or just ok.:confused:Everyone is different. So, what might be my 'good' food, might be someone else's trigger. Dairy seems to be the most divided one, though. In the facebook group I recently joined, there was a question about whether dairy is a trigger for people. It seemed like half said that it was one of the worst triggers, and the other half said it was the most comforting. Some said they could only eat dairy during flares. Very fascinating indeed.

Got the biopsy results back yesterday. They apparently had 12 of them this time. I think that's more than last time.:wow:It seems, from those samples, that the left side of my colon is worse than my right. That's what I gathered from reading about it. The odd thing is most of my really intense pain is on my right. This is going by samples, so it might be different with the whole thing.

Also, we don't truly know what's causing the pain. Although, after looking it up, many people feel similar pain when they have scarring in their colon. Recently, in that same fb group, there was a question about if anyone has pain with the scarring even though they're in remission, too. Most, if not all, were saying yes. In fact, some said it was much worse pain than what they experienced when the disease was active. So, in my case, it might be the same. I thought if it was in remission, I wouldn't feel pain anymore. It sucks.:iconhongkongplz:It's a different type of pain than the one I felt when it was active. Hard to describe to someone who doesn't have it.

If it's too damaged, scarred, and/or painful many people have to have surgery. I'm scared by that idea, but if they take away the damaged parts, I might feel better. If I flare afterwards, the disease won't be damaging those areas further. If the whole thing is taken out, which I highly doubt, (and if it were UC) I might not have to deal with it coming back. (It'd be different if it was really Crohn's.) With that, it takes at least a year to recover from, and you have to have either a 'pouch' on the outside or inside. Many eventually get the internal one, but everyone starts with the external one. It also would take even longer to recover from. That sounds like fun...:iconohboyamericaplz:

They also said that I have some architectural distortion. I'm wondering if that has to do with the walls looking thinner when I compare it to pics online. That'd be interesting. I find a lot of this fascinating. Looking at it from the prospective about knowing my inner workings, kind of makes it cool.
 

Managed to get some editing done of Sweet Endless Terror, too. Close to halfway through that. There are slightly more errors than I expected, but it's still nothing like editing Alliance.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Colonoscopy


Mood:

Had my colonoscopy yesterday afternoon. I really hate the prep for it, although this time it was better.Used a full pitcher of a miralax/Gatorade mix. It called for 2 weeks worth of miralax. That's a lot.:iconawkwardplz:I'm more used to the daily dosage. It didn't dissolve all the way when I started drinking it, so it tasted pretty bad.I had golytely last time, and couldn't stomach more than a glass of it without an anti-nausea pill. Even then, I didn't make it to the halfway mark. I only threw up once this time. It was a lot, though. I think it was a combination of how the first 2 glasses tasted/smelled, and the effects of what it did to my body.It was just too much. It was dissolved enough for the other glasses that I didn't taste/smell it. I'm not used to having regular Gatorade, and certainly not 64 oz of it. (Had to have half of it that night, and the other half yesterday morning.) If I get it, it's normally G2, which is lower in sugar. Of course, I usually get the smaller bottles, too. I think they suggest Gatorade, because of the sugar and electrolytes. Probably lose a lot of that stuff during the 'prep' process. Wouldn't you lose whatever you would take in for the Gatorade anyways? The whole thing was a mess, but I got through it.:iconsighingplz:

Also, when I woke up yesterday morning, I had one of the worst knee cramps I've ever had.It locked up, too. I couldn't get it out of a bent position for a while. It was so painful, and scary. On top of the other stuff, it just added to the ordeal. I think it was because of all the nutrients I had lost.
Last time it was with Group Health in Seattle. This time it was the Digestive Health Specialists in Tacoma at their Endoscopy Center. Kind of interesting that they have a special building for it. The other building, across the street, is where I see my new gastro. It's called the IBD Center. So, a lot of the other stuff related to IBD is done there. They even have an infusion center there. It's near my gastro's office. Infusions would be for meds like Remicade. (I think it's Remicade. I sometimes get confused between that or Humeira...^^;One of them is by infusion, and the other by shots.) Nice that it's all in one area, and that this stuff is essentially all they do. They basically had a mini movie theater in part of the waiting room. The seats were nice and cushiony, and had an interesting cozy looking design.

The nurse that checked me in and did my vitals was interesting. She really loved my coat. I was almost thinking she was going to take it from me.It's really old (several years), and the buttons to the inner lining were ripped out. So, couldn't use it after that. It's not as warm as it looks. I still like it a lot, though.

Apparently, my vitals were better than she expected. She kept telling me about how most people's blood pressures are really high, since they're really nervous about it. Mine was in the mid-normal range. Just a touch higher than what I've been lately, but really good. She was impressed. She also said my lungs sounded fine, and my heart sounded beautiful. Yay!At least, those were good.

I had to tell her about my IUD or Intrauterine Device. It's normally used for birth control, but in my case it keeps me from hemorrhaging. An amazing lifesaver. Anyways, since I told her that I don't get periods anymore because of the IUD, she said she's obligated to have me sign a pregnancy form. That was kind of funny. First, it would be very difficult to get pregnant with the IUD in place. Second, kind of hard to get pregnant without a partner... 

There were about 4 nurses, the gastroenterologist, and an anesthesiologist for the colonoscopy itself. Beforehand, they were all fussing over me. They got the IV in without a problem. Normally it takes forever. They had the heart and oxygen monitors facing me, so I watched it at the beginning. I tried to lower my heart beat as much as I could. Almost for fun, and to calm myself down. It got down to about 58. Most of the time it was around 68 to 70. It went slightly higher as I was talking to the gastro. He wanted to know more about the last one, the symptoms, etc. Last time the nurses wanted to know more about the self-publishing process, which isn't really that exciting. This time we talked about food, telling me it's ok to eat whatever I want after and to just go easy on myself, and possible restaurants to go to afterwards. Actually got me hungrier than I already was.

I felt really heavy and droopy right after they gave me the anesthetic. It really knocked me out for the whole thing. Last time they used something else, and I woke up in the middle of the procedure. Glad I didn't this time.
Later, I woke up in the recovery room, and the nurse there told me to try and pass as much gas as possible. They have to pump air into it in order to go through, take pics, take biopsies, and look around. I had so much air still in me when I went to bed, that it was very painful. Even painful to breathe.I had tried my best to 'let it out', too.

After that, the gastro talked to me about his initial findings/interpretations. It seems my colitis is in remission, but it was damaged so badly from when it was active. So, I have a lot of scarring throughout my entire colon. He said that the scarring can make it difficult to function like normal. As an example, he talked about a permanently scarred hand. The hand wouldn't be as flexible or be able to grasp like before. He said there are meds that can help, biopsies might give more insight, my gastro might have more to say, and there might be other treatments.

They took biopsies every 10cm. That's more samples than last time, which is great. Apparently, I have abnormal vascularity, too. I'm still not positive about what that means, and he didn't mention it. It was in the notes they gave me, though. It has to do with the veins being bigger than normal because of the inflammation. That makes some sense. Wouldn't they go back to normal if the inflammation is better or not there (still unsure) now?

Also, my IC or Ileocecal valve (the valve that connects the small intestines with the colon, and that's near the cecum) was wide open. It's not supposed to be during the exam. If it's stuck open, the 'waste' can splash back into the small intestines, cause infections, and other stuff. Wahoo!If it's stuck closed, it can cause constipation since it'll keep the stuff from moving on. Eventually causing obstructions, perforations, etc. I'm wondering if it was stuck closed before (maybe partially closed), and that was causing the constipation. Maybe the laxative forced it to stay open. Either way, it's weird.

I like that they gave me a copy of the pics of my colon. I always think it's a cool thing to be able to see what's inside me, anyways.I can actually see the scarring myself, and I'm not a doctor. The walls, to me, seem thin compared to other 'normal' pics of it online. That could be another problem. I still think parts of it look awfully red or 'angry'. Not as much as before, but still visible to me. The whole thing looks scary to me.I'll see what my gastro has to say about it. Also, it should be interesting to see the results of the biopsies.

Oh, and I hope I can be get on some sort of pain meds now. That's been the hardest part: the pain.Once I take care of that, I'll probably finally be able to sleep (normally, not like right now). When that happens, other things might start to get better.

Later, we went to the Cheesecake Factory. I wanted a large dish of good food, and usually they have that. After all, I hadn't had food in 2 days, and was on a very restricted diet for 2 days before that. I got their Chicken Di Pana. It had thin breaded chicken sitting in a wine and butter sauce, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. There was way too much broccoli, and the chunks were too big. The rest of it was really good.I thought it was a decent meal, too. Ate all of it, except half the broccoli. I rarely eat like that. When we got home, I had a slice of lemon meringue pie. That made things even better.:iconfeelingfullplz:

I still feel a bit out of it, very sleepy, and it's been hard to focus on things today.I guess the anesthetic is still in my system, and my body is worn out from what it went through the last few days. Maybe I'll sleep even better tonight. Also, I'm not caring what I eat today, or even the portion size. I know it'll probably bite me in the butt later, but I feel like I need to have at least one day where I don't have to think about it. I think it's worth it.

Since I basically ran out of Jdramas to watch, I decided to watch some of the movies/specials on my list. Saw Shiritsu Bakaleya: Koukou The Movie. It had been so long since I watched that series, I forgot about most of it. It was kind of cute, but not the best special.

Saw the Ouran High School Host Club live-action movie. Been a while since I saw that drama and the anime version. I thought it was pretty good. I think the series pushes gender norms quite a bit. Haruhi's dad is trans (male to female. She still refers to her as Dad), and Haruhi herself dresses and tries to act like a male student. She's one of the hosts. She was kind of forced into that role, though. She broke one of the club's expensive vases, and she couldn't afford to replace it. So, they made her join as payment. I forget why she was wearing the male uniform in the first place. They didn't know about her being a girl until quite a bit later. The only thing, that I've read, people have a problem with the live-action version is that most of the actors are in their late 20's. The characters are supposed to be in their teens...Oh, and in this movie they had a Korean actor. That was interesting. His English was a lot better than the others. They didn't speak it that often, though.

Saw the Lupin III live-action movie. I haven't watched much, if any, of the anime. The manga's from the late 1960's, and the anime was on and off starting in the early 70's until the 80's. So, it's a really old series. This movie came out in 2014. Apparently, I watched a Japanese dub. The original was mostly English, from what I've read. People were complaining about how horrible the English was, and I didn't know about it. I guess I saved myself on that. I love the actor who plays Lupin, Shun Oguri. So, I thought that would interest me enough to watch it. In addition to the Japanese actors, there are a lot of actors from Thailand, China, Korea, one from Australia, and one from America. Interesting mix. They also visited a few countries. It seemed like a big budget type of movie. The movie is based on the beginning of the story. It follows Lupin as he forms a gang of thieves to steal a necklace from his rival and a crime boss. Kind of reminded me of the James Bond movies/series (not as good, though), only they're thieves instead of spies. They only steal from the rich. It was cheesy, funny, and semi-decent. I liked it, but it wasn't that great. Kind of fluff.

I also saw Neko Zamurai, or Samurai Cat. I actually liked this one a lot. It was cute, funny, serious at times, about how important pets can be, against animal cruelty (one of the 'elders' mentioned that killing a pet is worse than killing a human), etc. It's based on the old Edo era. Kyutaro is a ronin who takes on small jobs hoping to serve someone in the future again as a full-fledged samurai. That part, and his past, reminds me of Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. He's very serious and doesn't talk much. Except he thinks a lot, and his thoughts are heard by the audience. He's hired to kill a cat by a family. The cat is from a rival family, and is about to be 'married off' to another cat from another family. The family who hires him has a dog. Most of them also have something against cats. Anyways, just as he's about to kill the cat, he can't, and ends up taking her home. He turns into a cat lover over time, too. There's a drama of it, too. I might watch it. It's interesting, and better than I expected.

Ao no Exorcist, or Blue Exorcist's 2nd season just started. It's following the manga, which is great. I get to see it come to life. I don't like that they started it all the way back when they didn't trust Rin. It was an annoying part to the story. Later on, I totally get why they didn't trust Shima. There are a lot of reasons behind that one. And, they've made it so we're still on the fence about him. This is based on the Kyoto arc. I'm wondering how far they'll go. Like, will they go further than that arc? Maybe they'll just start another season with the next arc. Kind of would be similar to Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) in that way. I wouldn't mind that. I'm glad it's back, though.

Gintama, my fave anime, is back now as well. So happy about this one!:la: Although, it's bittersweet since it'll end soon. Not sure when, or if the anime will just keep going past what the mangaka has planned. That would be awesome, but I doubt it. I wish it could last for a lot longer. It's off to a great start this time. However, all the comedy was within the first few minutes. Then, it was back to the same seriousness as the last arc was. It's great, but we need more comedy mixed in with that heaviness. There were a lot of surprises, too. I saw there was a recent OVA or special. It's about a love potion where the characters fall for each other, but they're weird pairings. If I remember correctly. So, if I really want a bigger dose of their comedy, I should watch that.

Youtube (it's been a while, and I like to share what I fave. Plus, this can be an added fun thing, on top of my somewhat scary health news):

Naruto:

Fukigen na Mononoke (haven't seen too many amv's for this series, and it's pretty good):

Servamp (haven't seen too many for this one, either. A funny and cute amv. Fits a little too well with some of the characters):

Kuroshitsuji:

Mob Psycho 100 (this one's like a trailer):

One Punch Man (the first one's like a trailer, too):

Fairy Tail (I miss this anime! There's talk that it might come back soon, though. The first amv has a snippet of the dub, which is semi-cringe worthy. The subbed version's better. At least, there isn't much of it, and it's good other than that):