Wednesday, May 8, 2019

3rd of Iyar

Rosie had a vet appointment yesterday morning. Her matted fur had gotten so bad, we couldn't cut those patches out anymore. She also got a sore the night before under a patch of it. We weren't sure about her teeth, since she seemed to have a painful tooth not too long ago. When that happened, she was also doing something weird with drooping an ear to the side. She was due for a physical. So, she really needed to be seen. 

They shaved all the matted fur off. Almost down to the skin. It was very deep. The wound looks worse than it is, but they told us it was healing well on its own. Just in case, they gave us anti-microbial wipes to keep it clean. Telling us to dab it twice a day. They noticed she had gained a little more weight. Last time we were told she was a little overweight. Not good. Although, she's mostly muscle. She's very active. They ran some blood tests and we'll find out the results in a couple of days. Interesting to see that they're basically the same tests humans have done. Obviously with different norms. She also had her nails trimmed. She's been trying to pull them out lately. Sounds like she had a day at the spa.

She didn't put up much of a struggle with getting into the carrier this time. She might have been groggy, since it was in the morning. Didn't seem as traumatic, either. Maybe she wasn't groggy, and just realized that the carrier's not a bad thing? I don't know.

She seems a lot happier. She's still hugging me a lot. I've decided to use her grooming glove first thing when I go downstairs in the morning, and as the last thing I do downstairs at night. That way I can stay on top of keeping her fur nice. Especially as it grows. I didn't start using that glove when she was completely without matted fur (I think she's had them since we got her, it just wasn't as bad), so this will probably help a lot. I'll dab those wipes on her wound at around the same time. Easier to remember that way. 

I decided to feed her a little differently. She eats every time we're in the kitchen. There are 2 bowls. Originally one for Tasha and one for Rosie. Rosie has taken them both over (Tasha has a food bowl on the banister over the stairs), but I think Tasha sometimes goes down for a snack when we're all asleep, or she doesn't want to wait for one of us (obviously if Rosie's not there). She can't jump up there on her own anymore. So, I think it's wise to keep both bowls there for now. I'm giving Rosie less food at a time, only waiting until she completely finishes those bowls, cleaning them, and then giving her a little more. Before I'd fill them up to the brim, and halfway through she'd ask for more. If I'm constantly adding to it throughout the day, it ends up being too much. I waited until there were crumbs left today, cleaned them, and filled them about half as much as I normally do. She was not happy that I waited so long to give her more. She didn't seem disappointed with the amount. So, we'll see how this goes. It'll be hard to ignore her. She bites when I don't give her more right away. Cleaning it more often might encourage her to finish what she already has. It's just harder to clean them with what's going on with my hands/wrists. 

With Duolingo's Korean course, I'm halfway through the Seasons unit. I've decided to only finish the 1st level of each unit after I got more used to the alphabet. Seem to be doing ok that way. They added a 'league' section. I'm currently in the silver league, despite skipping some days lately. In fact, I'm in the top 10. Once you're still in the top 10 by the end of the week, you advance to the next league. 

Finally finished erasing and thinning the lines of that full-body Shadow drawing in Photoshop today. Only took me so long because I haven't been doing it often. Next, I'll connect some of the lines that weren't connected before, then I might color it in. If I color it in, I might add shading to it, too. It'll be interesting to see the final product. It already looks better than my previous full-body drawings.

Finally managed to get to some editing of Alliance today, as well. It's a little embarrassing, but I haven't done that in almost 2 months. I want to finish that soon. Hopefully I'll get to it more often now.

Watched Ghoul on Netflix. It's a 3-part Indian horror miniseries. There was a lot to it. They marketed it as a zombie show. It wasn't. The 'monster' was a summoned Arabic demon. With every person it bites, it can change it's appearance to look like them. I think it even can carry over the personality and memories of that person. Essentially creating a clone. It makes it's victims confront their guilt. If they're completely innocent, it won't touch them. One character in it was, and the demon seemed to protect him. The main character was a strong Muslim woman who was an interrogation officer. India was taken over by a brutal regime. People were assigned to certain sectors based on their religion. The ones who came to power were Christian and oppressed everyone else. They publicly burned books, restricted what teachers/professors could teach, interrogated people for no reason, punished people for being 'fake' Christians, etc. They were like Nazis. It was set in a not so distant future. It was interesting that despite being treated poorly, the main character still believed in the government. She even turned her father in. He was a professor and just wanted to educate his students more than what was on the syllabus. I'm not sure if I'm happy about the ending, but overall it was pretty good. 

Started watching Perfume on Netflix. It's a German detective show. Only 6 episodes, so more like a miniseries. The murder was rather brutal. The killer cut out her scent glands. As well as most areas that had hair. Cut off all the hair on her head. (Leaving her scalp intact.) The killer seems to be turning those 'pieces' into perfume. The only thing I'm not liking about it is the sex scenes. There are quite a lot and I've only seen the first episode. Maybe there will be less in future episodes? 

Friday, May 3, 2019

28th of Nisan

This is my wallpaper for May. It's Luffy from One Piece. Seemed to somehow fit the 'mood' of this month to me. It's a tough one, since the 7th anniversary of my mom passing away was on the 1st, there's Mother's Day, what would have been her birthday, and my parents' anniversary. All in one month...I didn't want something depressing, but also not something too upbeat, I guess. I found that the way they portray grief in One Piece is probably the most accurate I've seen. Especially with Luffy when he lost Ace (an adopted older brother). His initial shock (and what he felt/his behavior right after) seemed to hit close to home for me. It seems every character that has gone through it in the series copes with it differently too, which is more true to reality as well. I've realized there's no right or wrong way to grieve and everyone's different.

The month-long holidays for May are: National BBQ Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, Jewish-American Heritage Month, National Pet Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun.

For my elements calendar, it's on xenon. Apparently, it's used for IMAX movie projectors. It's sometimes used in incandescent light bulbs, which burns hotter and brighter than others. It gives off a pale purple color. The main pic's of lights spelling out Xe. (Obviously filled with xenon and lit up.) The other pics are of various different types of xenon light bulbs and lamps.

Hopefully I'll post a lot more often this month. Been a bit more difficult with the health stuff, Pesach, and trying to get other stuff done at the same time. 

Ended Pesach (or Passover) early on the night of the 25th. The holiday ended last Saturday. My gut was acting up with that diet, I was already stressed out with my health stuff, and it felt like it was long enough. I had one of my fave dishes at JJ's: smoked salmon linguine. I think that was perfect to end it with. They give you bread at the beginning, and then there's the pasta...Lots of chametz right there. Chametz is anything leavened, which we can't have during the holiday. We try to have 'chametz fests' when we end it. Being Ashkenazic (Jews of German and eastern European descent), I couldn't eat kitinyot either. That's legumes, rice, mustard, corn, etc. Takes a lot out of my diet. I think next year I'll eat the Sephardic (Jews of Spain and Mediterranean descent) way. They don't omit kitinyot. It seems like it'll be healthier for me. 

I'll see a rheumatologist for the first time on the 21st. Not sure if I can stand to wait that long, but that was the soonest they had. The receptionist was really nice and understanding. She put me on the wait-list, just in case. It'll be on what would have been my mom's birthday. That'll be interesting. She'd definitely want me to take care of my health stuff, and possibly have something good for dinner afterwards...It's all the way in Tacoma and in the late afternoon.

Saw my primary on the 25th. She was actually pretty good this time. Not flaky or blase about things. Maybe my massive amount of symptoms made her take me more seriously. Went well over the allotted 30 minutes for the appointment. (They don't give you much time unless it's for a physical.) Probably was there for twice as long. It was just so much to go over, and I didn't get through all of my symptoms. 

I told her my theory of what it is, dermatomyositis, and she agreed that it sounded a lot like it. I seem to be having most of the common symptoms. Since it can affect the muscles in the esophagus, it can cause dysphagia. So, even my dysphagia is common with people with dm. (As well as a lot of other muscle-related autoimmune diseases.) She told me that many people end up with more than one autoimmune disease, so it makes sense that I'd have something like that. 

She referred me to rheumatology (they were really fast in contacting me), ordered blood tests, and prescribed something for sleep. She can't prescribe much for the pain. Extra Strength Tylenol takes the edge off, but sometimes that's not enough. It's getting harder to live with. Especially, after about an hour of being in bed at night, my upper arms suddenly have extremely sharp pain. I don't know if it's my position or what. It's like the worst pain I've felt, but I can't do anything about it. No matter what position I turn to, it doesn't help. Even propping myself up or massaging it doesn't do a thing. The thing she prescribed for sleep doesn't help with something like that. It used to only be in one arm, but it's in both now. Usually, that pain goes away in the morning when I get out of bed. 

I've gotten all the blood tests' results. The general blood panel (things like blood cell counts) were all within normal range. However, some were the lowest recorded for me. They were really close to going below the minimum. I'm a bit worried about that. My TSH was the lowest it's been, but still within normal range. 

My CRP or C-reactive Protein was flagged as high. It measures inflammation. I'm more used to the sed rate test for that. The range is 1-7 mg/L. When I knew I was flaring and at my worst with the colitis it was 7.1. So close to the norm it probably could be considered that. My sed rate at that time told a different story. I was a little more than twice over the high end of normal with that. About a month and a half before my most recent result for the CRP, it was 2.7. The current one is at 12. That's a pretty big jump in such a short amount of time. It's concerning that it's almost twice as much as the high end of normal, too. I'm more inflamed, according to this, than I was with that first colitis flare...That's saying something. Makes me really curious about what my sed rate is. 

The ANA screen test was also flagged. It tests for autoimmune diseases. I think specifically for rheumatic (connective tissue; like muscles, joints, etc.) ones. The titers were 1:320, making it a positive result. It's positive when the 2nd number's above 80. This means I do have another autoimmune disease (or disorder). The pattern was homogeneous. This may help narrow down what kind, but many of them overlap. This is apparently just the first step in figuring out what it is. Knowing it's positive, I've read they run a bunch of other blood tests. For dm, I also read that they'd need muscle and skin biopsies, MRI, and possibly an electromyogram. I'd be ok with the MRI. Not so much with the other things. I guess I'll just see what happens. If it's not dm, that seems scarier. I have less of a clue as to what's happening if that were the case.

Close to a week ago, I noticed my hair was falling out while I washed/styled it. It's normal to lose some, since I try to do it every 3 days. (If it's a longer time, more hair comes out.) Loose hair builds up during those 3 days (a small portion falls out on its own), and most of it comes out during washing it. It had been slightly longer than 3 days since the last wash before that. However, it came out in chunks. There's usually a point where it stops coming out as I comb it. It didn't. It didn't even stop after the last step of styling it. My bathtub was full of it, since I stand over it while styling. It was worse when I washed/styled it on Wednesday. So much it scared me. It's coming off of me throughout the day more often, too. I'm ok with having it thinned a bit. I often feel it has too much 'volume'. However, I don't want it all falling out. I was so happy to be able to grow my hair out to as long as I wanted it (and style it) this past 6 or 7 years. To lose it would be very difficult for me. I hated it when it was short. At least it's not noticeable right now. 

I also can't seem to bend my left pinky finger much. It hurts if I try to push it. I can't grasp things with it. Of what little amount I can bend, it bends towards the right, not straight. It's also cold. My other pinky finger's slowly losing it's flexibility, too. The left one's not only painful, but annoying. Feels almost like it's just an extra limb that gets in the way. I joked that maybe I need to chop it off, but that sounds tempting in reality now. I know I'd be in more pain. Maybe with treatment it'll go back to normal. 

Wednesday, we (my parent and I) visited my mom's grave. Oddly, I was in the least amount of pain for the week that day. Maybe that was because mentally it put me in a different place? I don't know. It was a nice sunny day. After going to the cemetery, we went to a cafe that my parents would go to while I was at Sunday school. I hadn't been there in a long time. The brownie I got there was great. The iced chai was a little weird. Tasted more like apple cider, but was still good. There was a guy who tried to hit on me. He was very subtle and super awkward. Came off more creepy than anything. He sat next to me on the couch, talked to himself a lot, got up to talk to the staff and pointed towards me, stared at me occasionally while I drank, etc. I just tried to ignore that weirdness. Also, went to a market near it that Mom liked going to. It's owned by the same people behind our local market, only there's a lot more of a selection. We went to SuBI (short for Sushi Bainbridge Island) after that. It's been a while since I've been there as well. Mom liked that place, too. It was decent. They did the teriyaki a little oddly. The sauce was under the nicely cooked sliced steak, along with vegetables. It would have been better with the sauce over it. The staff seemed happy, which was nice to see. 

Went to the local trans group's meeting that night. I think she would have loved it. Would have tried to help as many people as she could. I'm not sure how she would have taken me being agender. It's one thing saying you're another binary gender. She'd probably 'get' genderfluid more than agender. Not having a gender can be too out there for some people. At the very least, I think she would have taken a while to mull it over. After that, I think she'd probably be very supportive and accepting of it. She knew I had 'gender issues'. That was her phrasing when I started to feel so weird in the lingerie department, and about certain fashion stuff. Maybe it'd be more of a: I knew something was up! Or: That makes so much sense! Wish I could come out to her, not just as being agender, but as being aro ace too. Went to Shari's after group. Everyone from that group managed to go there this time, too. I like when there are more people. I think she would have loved the slice of pie I got: s'mores galore. It's one of my faves. It's like a party on a plate. Teddy grahams, mini Hershey's chocolate bar, mini marshmallows (outside and inside), chocolate marshmallow fluff layer, whipped cream, and a graham cracker crust. 

Finished watching Mind Game, which was a Malaysian/Singaporean detective show. I think it was a joint project between the 2 countries. There were things I really liked about it, and some really not so great things. They seemed to be constantly drinking, in and out of hospitals, everyone ended up hypnotized at some point, Anni was the only one who didn't keep secrets (I think), the fight scenes were awkward looking, Anni's mole on her lower lip was really distracting, there ended up being way too much drama towards the end, and the cut scene music came in at the worst times (not during a transition to another scene, it would just happen). I did like that they made the characters feel like you were with family or really close friends, there seemed to be a lot of cool feminist overtones, Anni being the lead detective of a mainly male team was nice to see (she was tough and intelligent), it wasn't as predictable as it seemed at first, the cinematography was great, and more. So, I can't say I loved or hated it. It was decent. I certainly don't regret watching it.

Finished the 3rd season of Santa Clarita Diet. It was probably the best season. They left it off on a huge cliffhanger. The awful part of that is the show's been cancelled by Netflix, so there won't be another season. At least, not for a long time if at all. 

I started the new spring anime season last month. There's Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon-Slaying Blade). It's been great so far. The animation is outstanding. Looked 3D in a few of the scenes. It's essentially about zombies (they call them demons in the show). The main character's sister was turned into one, and he's trying to find a cure for her. To keep her from biting/eating him or others, he put a stick-like gag in her mouth. So, if she gets hungry, she just ends up drooling all over the place. She is more 'aware' than most, too. She's saved him numerous times already. Sometimes in really brutal ways. (She kicked a zombie's head clean off with one kick at one point...) I got to the point where he finished his rigorous training to become a demon hunter. His sister slept the entire time. That's 2 years. He was worried that she wouldn't wake up.

Gunjou no Magmel (Magmel of the Sea Blue) has been good, too. Reminds me of a couple of other anime I've seen. Magmel is a totally new continent that just appeared one day. It still hasn't been fully explored. People go there for many reasons, and a lot of them don't make it back home. Inyou mainly helps rescue people on request or carry out missions with them. The series is really dark and violent, and often there isn't a good ending for the customers. Zero helps Inyou by piloting a flying robot remotely. She's basically his eyes on the ground. Her robot can fight as well, but often doesn't need to. 

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin (Midnight Occult Civil Servants) has been interesting. It's basically about detectives protecting 'Anothers' and humans living in their jurisdiction. Anothers are like demons, fairies, angels, etc. All mythological creatures from around the world. The main character, Arata, is the only one that can hear and communicate with the Anothers. It's changed the way the detectives used to work already. Arata is recognized by many of the Anothers as Seimei, who was an ancestor of his. He apparently could communicate with them, too. One of the ones that knew Seimei (who now helps them with cases) is an Aztec coyote G-d named Huehuecoyotl. (Seems to be based off of the actual mythology of it. Interesting.) He's a huge trickster. He also seems not to care about if his clothes will be seen as masculine or feminine, which is an interesting side thing. There's a demon cat that's an old friend of his who also helps them.

Kenja no Mago (Wise Man's Child) is another. It's better than I expected. The main character, Shin, was reincarnated into a world with magic after he was killed in a car accident. He started life from birth in that other world, so he has vague memories of it. He was found and raised by Merlin, and once he got old enough he went with him to a magic academy. He's never gone to school before and lacks common sense. He's light-years ahead of his peers, though. Super strong. He just has to imagine things in order to create it. Even Merlin was surprised. He killed demons when he was little. In their world any animal (including humans) can be turned into a demon. They're supposed to be incredibly strong when they turn. He just killed a demonized human that was a fellow classmate. What was different was that that student was conscious. He could talk and feel. It'll be interesting to see where they take this.

2nd season of One Punch Man has been great. The animation's a little different, but it's still got all the other great elements. One 'villain', Garou, is trying to beat all of the heroes. He says 'kill', but none of the heroes have actually died when they lost. He had a chance encounter with Saitama, who he knows nothing about. Saitama thought he was trying to mug him and hit him so hard the ground gave way, he fell, blacked out, and barely can remember what happened. Saitama entered himself into a martial arts tournament in place of someone else. I think he mostly was curious about it and wanted to see if he could find someone stronger than him. That's essentially his whole thing. It's finding someone he could have a decent fight with. He's bored of fights that end so quickly. He hasn't done martial arts before, so he did mention he's curious about how they fight. He might end up fighting Garou in it. I don't know if he signed up, but he does use martial arts. That will be funny to see. 

Started watching the remake of Fruits Basket. It's going to follow much more closely to the manga than the 1st anime did. I loved Fruits Basket, especially the manga. That was much better, still had a lot of humor, but was more mature. The 1st anime ended when the manga wasn't even halfway through its run. It diverged from the manga early. I watched the anime first, but read all of the manga a few years later. The ending of the anime was odd. The Japanese voice actors weren't as great as the English dubbed ones. That's saying a lot. The design was slightly different compared to the manga. The creator of the series was really upset about how that 1st anime went. Nothing went the way she wanted. She was on staff as an adviser. She managed to get voice actors she liked, music she envisioned for it, have the design follow closer to the manga (including hair colors, and the eyes look more 'human' sized), and plans to have all of the manga adapted to the anime. They even list '1st season' on the title. It'll be great to see it all animated. I barely remember things from the manga. There were some cool characters I still remember that weren't in the first series. They also didn't accurately portray Akito and their story. I liked that they actually played around with gender and gender roles. Several characters are at least gender non-conforming, if not trans. Might have been another reason why I liked it so much at first. I rarely like shoujo anime. They're supposed to be aimed at girls, but many anime can merge into other categories like shounen (aimed at boys). I like shounen a lot more. This is different than many other shojo in the aspect that romance isn't a big element in the story, and Tohru seems more human and real than many of the other shojo protagonists. The story is unique in many ways. So far, I think it's doing better. Seeing the 'new' design animated took a little while to get used to, but I think it is better. I can already pick out some of the differences as far as the story is concerned. I think we're up to the point it diverged quite a bit from the manga. It was pretty early from what I remember.

3rd season of Bungou (Literary) Stray Dogs has been about Dazai and Chuuya's past. How Chuuya became a member of the Port Mafia, who he really is, how they got to know each other, etc. Also, gave info on what the previous boss was like. I think the next episode will finally be back to the current time. They did a similar thing with the 2nd season, which was on Dazai's past and how he became the person he is now. I don't know what the current story line will be, but it was nice to get a bit more background on Chuuya. He's a lot stronger than he seems. His main power's based on gravity, some sort of power related to Cthulhu, and another mystery power somehow related to the previous boss. He's not really human, either.