clevermanka: default (winter)
People who've had their uteruses removed, tell me about your experiences. All the details, even if you think you're the only one in the world who had your issue(s). I want to hear about general physical changes, life impact, how it changed your orgasms, your moods, your everything--good and bad.

I am looking at just a basic hysterectomy. I would get to keep my ovaries.

Editing this post to add that the main overwhelming reason I am resistant to a hysterectomy is I have (have always had) spectacular orgasms with penetrative sex. Like, really great, mind-blowing orgasms. I have okay orgasms with other types of stimulation, but they absolutely don't compare to the orgasms I have with PIV sex and I'm pretty sure the Great Orgasms are largely due to the uterine wall contractions I experience with PIV orgasms. I know I will lose those with a hysterectomy (obviously), but maybe there's something else I'll have instead?

So yeah, that's how important those are. I am making a decision that will affect my health for the rest of my life based on how it's going to affect my sex life.

Anonymous commenting is on, so people who might come over here to comment from Tumblr can do so, and also if you're more comfortable commenting that way, go for it. I've screened the anon comments, is all, so they won't show up right away.

My online activity is going to be sporadic today (I'm catching up on three days of missed work, and I have a two-hour meeting this morning) so I might be slow to respond, but I value everyone's input.
clevermanka: default (going well)
Not likely to be, anyway, so let's at least know that's off the table. The news is super shitty, though, and it's taken me over 24 hours to get to the point where I feel like I can put any of this into writing. Not only do I lack the language to communicate this (more on that later), but I know that the act of communication, makes the situation more real to me, thus putting me in the predicament of being even more inarticulate with my emotions.

Not only that, but the information from a live blood analysis I got on Friday keeps getting obscured and overwhelmed by the more immediate impact of Monday's discoveries at my consultation with the OBGYN surgeon about my fibroids.

This could be a very disjointed post.

Facts, as presented to me by the microbiologist who did my live blood analysis on Friday: I have Rouleaux, which is a blood condition where my red blood cells link themselves together (in my case, tightly stacked horizontally in long chains--like candy necklaces) and (in my case) form weblike structures. As you might imagine, this causes some basic problems. Like the inability of oxygen to easily travel around in the blood. Other issues showed up in the analysis, but the Rouleax is the big one, and is probably the first domino. Symtoms of Rouleaux are things like constant immune reactions, increased allergic responses, and fatigue. Causes of Rouleaux can be...tumors.

Which brings us to--

Facts, as presented to me by the OBGYN surgeon on Monday: The fibroid Dr. Harris found is much larger than I thought/understood. It's as big as my uterus and has basically taken over the entire back muscle of the organ. It is inoperable and cannot be removed. There is another, smaller fibroid and a polyp in my cervical canal. This might be operable, but the removal would be superfluous in light of the presence of the other, larger fibroid. I think we can all make the connection to that fibryod cyst (a type of tumor) to my painful and heavy periods. But can I make a connection between it and my autoimmune disease (and everything that has gone along with that)? Maybe. I'm using this as my own way to understand, so just come along for the ride with me, here, and tell me if you think I'm off-base.

My current thoughts on how I got here:

Hormonal birth control fucked me up. Studies are showing that HBC takes a serious toll on one's body, especially the adrenals. I believe it. I never had serious health problems or even environmental allergies until I was in my late to mid-20s. I mean, I was kind of frail, but I was active and high energy, if not athletic. I realize allergic developments in one's twenties is a fairly common thing, but you can't deny there's allergies and then there's my allergies. Anyway. I know the pill made me literally and immediately sick because the last several months I took them (nearly two years) were a constant search for a brand/dosage that didn't give me morning sickness. I'd been on them for years (nearly a dozen) before I finally gave up and started taking DepoProvera shots. All it takes is looking at a calendar to point to the fact that my thyroid issues started up right around the same time I started getting Depo shots. I point to HBC (the pills and the shots) as the thing that jump-started my autoimmune problems (allergies) and thyroid/endocrine issues (glandular stresses). I believe hormonal birth control is largely responsible, if not the number one direct cause, of my health issues today. Guess what the OBGYN surgeon told me was the only other option for dealing with fibroids like this, apart from a hysterectomy? Hormonal birth control.

I am faced with the choice of removing an organ that I very much do not want to remove, or put into my body (for basically the rest of my life, or until I remove the organ) what probably caused 90% of my daily health problems today.

I am taking both these items of information (yeah, both—see, you forgot about the Rouleaux business too, there, didn’t ya?) to Drs. Khosh and Jonah, but I need to make my decision within three weeks or I’m screwed insurance-wise. Anyway, I can’t imagine any herbal treatment that actually shrink and remove cysts. If I’m wrong on that, pipe up in the comments, but I want solid research and reviewed reports, not hippie websites.

Whew. I feel better. Not good. I don’t feel like I just got punched in the stomach, at least. It makes it more real, but it also makes it a little easier.

Yesterday, when I was dealing with the emotional fallout from the surgeon’s report (as well as the physical discomfort from having a fucking uterine biopsy), I had no idea how I was going to write about this. I even groaned to [ profile] mckitterick, I have to write about this. He told me I’d feel better afterward, and I have to admit I scoffed. A little. But now that I’ve written it out, now that I have my language for it, it is easier to process. He was right. I can’t emotionally process something without appropriate language. I guess it comes as no surprise that communicating basic facts about my situation is the best way for me to emotionally process it (Vulcan 4lyfe).

So here we are at a new stage of Finnegan Begin Again. This time, it's a physical crisis coupled with emotional growth! My favorite.
clevermanka: default (gas mask)

[ profile] spacefem put up a good post about how to speak to an audience that can, I think, also apply to the written word.

An angel of the dueSouth fandom uploaded a crap ton of screen caps that I'll be making good use of in my various fanart pieces.

Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, October 27: Gas Masks. That wraps up the Vaguely Creepy October collections.
clevermanka: default (sin like you mean it)
Reasons to get down. Reasons to jump around.

I'm on week four of tracking my energy levels. It's been an interesting experiment. I don't know if my increasing energy is actually increasing, or if I'm able to better notice that I have more good days (than I thought?) by recording them, or a combination, or maybe the journaling has forced me to have a better attitude, or or or ...but things have improved.

So that encouraging! I still have low days, but I'm gonna have low days and that's just life. I'm considering decreasing or ceasing my sessions and supplements from Dr. Jonah for a couple months to see how I feel. That would be a lot of money (and time). The few weeks I've taken off from driving to KC every week has, perhaps, helped my energy level increase. The hormonal supplements from Dr. Khosh will remain very much in my daily use, though. I've seen what happens when I go off those and it's not fun.

I leave for Indianapolis tonight to visit the folks for a few days, so I won't be around much until Sunday. Ciao, bellas.
clevermanka: default (yikes)
Lin-Manuel Miranda will be ill the day of our performance.

Lin-Manuel Miranda will step down before we go.

Lin-Manuel Miranda will die before we go.

[ profile] mckitterick will die before we go.

I will die before we go.

Our plane to New York will crash (it can crash on our way home, whatever).

There is a rule about Broadway Wednesday matinees that only the understudies perform for those.

The Rodgers Theater will burn down the week before.

We'll get lost on the way to the theater.

We'll be murdered on the way to the theater.

We'll forget our tickets at home.

Our tickets will be lost in a house fire a week before the show.

I'm sure I'll be adding to the list as the day progresses.
clevermanka: default (begged for it)

I actually, literally, honestly, started crying at my desk.

[ profile] mckitterick totally wins Best Partner Ever forever.

clevermanka: default (bonecruncher)
For those of you wanting more takes on Crimson Peak, may I offer two favorable and lovely reviews, one is from local horror notable [ profile] orrin and the other is from [ profile] beren_writes.

And here's something for all my friends who I know want another Joss Whedon smackdown critique.

[ profile] mckitterick bravely listened to Act 2 of Hamilton with me last night. About a third of the way through he asked "is this just a continuing trainwreck until the end?" and I said yeah, pretty much but he kept listening and agreed that even though it's sad it's also very very good.

I'm not going to say I looked up if orchestra pit seats are still available during our Spring Break but orchestra pit seats are totally still available during our Spring Break. Not cheap. BUT AVAILABLE.

Can we talk for a moment ([ profile] curieuse, I'm looking at you) about the stylistic differences between King George's song (click the play option at the top) and the rest of the score and how that corresponds to the completely-different-from-everything-else tone of King Herod's song in Jesus Christ Superstar and how might that be intentionally referential? I hope so. I know LMM is a huge musical theater nerd I really want this not to be coincidence.

ETA: found on the toast, this Hamilton analysis/review from Talib Kweli.


Oct. 20th, 2015 09:01 am
clevermanka: default (bonecruncher)
Once upon a time, I did Things. Lots of Things. [ profile] redheadfae once remarked that I was the busiest person she knew. I did yoga, bellydance, went to concerts, socialized/partied--all in a week's work! My planner (I've always had a planner) was filled with activities and events. I always had something going on. I loved it.

Last night I got home from work, ate dinner, and was so worn out that even though I didn't want to sit in front of the television for the rest of the night, that's what I did because I had no energy for anything else. I wanted to do some yoga god damn it, but I couldn't do strength poses (low energy + strengthening poses = bad combo) and I'm on a no-forward-bends diet right now because last week I indulged in some restorative forward bends and fucked up my right SI joint/sciatic nerve again.

[ profile] mckitterick was a doll, though, and listened to the first disc of Hamilton with me. He enjoyed it but I'm not sure how tonight's experience of Disc 2 is going to go. Act two is just kind of a train wreck, emotionally. Alexander Hamilton, man, you made some really bad life choices.

For your reading pleasure, today, I give you from today's Toast Link Roundup this charming story about an antique dildo and some great real life ghost stories.

[ profile] mckitterick and I had a great conversation about ghosts after we saw Crimson Peak. He posited that ghosts might just be things/beings/energy that we cannot see/perceive because they're so far from our spectrum of visibility. Rather like dark matter. All around us, but unknowable. I am unsure if that's a comforting thought or an unsettling one. Maybe a little bit of both?

I easily admit that I'm not convinced that ghosts (insert your own concept of unknown manifestations of energy here) aren't real. I'm pretty sure I lived with one in the house on Tennessee. It would regularly hide my birth control pills and other things. Occasionally it would pour water in the middle of the kitchen floor. And the back of the house always had a creepy vibe (both the downstairs back, which was the mudroom that led to the basement and my almost-outdoor back bathroom and the upstairs back, which had a window that looked onto the alley and a door that led to the attic).

Who's got their own personal ghost story to share?

Oh! And today Tumblr is Tuesday, October 20: Creepy Buildings.
clevermanka: default (horror-based idea)
There's not a person who knows me who'll be surprised that I loved Crimson Peak. But even I didn't anticipate to what extent I would absolutely love this movie. Let me articulate (try to articulate) why.

Without a doubt, this movie is beautiful. I am completely sympathetic to the fact that there are people who don't appreciate this genre of movie, but anyone who cannot admit it was beautifully filmed is just flat wrong. The sets perfectly communicated the feel of a scene. Did you/the characters feel trapped? Lost? Overwhelmed? Confined? Safe? The sets were just as much a part of the plot of a scene as the actors. The costumes were spot-on. Sumptuous (and appropriately gaudy on some minor characters) and detailed but still worn by the characters rather than the other way around (which can happen in period pieces). The effects were beautiful, too. I loved the depictions of the ghosts. Scary books for kids in the 70s were pretty gruesome--a surprising number of details of dismembered children and malicious evils were found in those pages--and I read a lot of them. The ghosts del Toro envisioned for this were the closest thing in appearance I've ever seen to how those ghosts looked that I imagined when I was a child.

But the cinematography. Oh, the cinematography was the real clincher. With his use of (dated, archaic) transitions between several scenes, del Toro conveyed that he was making a modern version of a Gothic romance where the only updates were the general capabilities of current film-making and and perhaps (perhaps) a more complex story-telling. The first time one of the iris-style fades happened, I was taken a bit out of the story because it was something we don't see in modern films. When it happened again, it because obvious that del Toro was using the style of fade to tell the viewer "Yes, we made a straight-up old-fashioned Gothic romance and you are going to watch and experience it on our terms," and I thought that was delightful.

I'm not going to get much into the plot because I know a lot of people haven't seen it yet. Let me detail a few more specific things that made this movie such a glorious experience for me without giving away too many spoilers (at least no more spoilers than you'd get in the previews).

Hiddleston. Obviously. I mean, just obviously. I realized I'm biased, but he's amazing. When it comes to current actors with the ability to simultaneously convey multiple complex emotions without speaking a word, I think he's second only to Martin Freeman.

All the actors were great, though. Mia Wasikowska portrayed a bookish anti-socialite without slipping into a shy, backwards Jane Eyre-esque model (and since she did a wonderful Jane Eyre, that was impressive and a relief). She was reserved, but her passion and drive when she came into her own were entirely believable. Jessica Chastain underplayed Lucille's role perfectly--she could have devolved into shrieking melodrama, but didn't. Charlie Hunam's character was also understated and perfectly played a bit dull. I completely understood why the character of Edith was uninterested in him as anything more than a friend without losing any sympathy for him.

The mood developed slowly, and at one point I thought it was really time to start getting scary already, but then I remembered I was watching del Toro's movie on his own terms. Once I sat back and let it happen when it happened, it was lovely. It was rather like watching a slow motion train wreck. You know it's going to end horribly, but you don't know the details of how so you can't stop watching. It's the details of how that build the tension and when Edith starts putting the pieces together, everything else starts falling apart in perfect timing.

I love how Edith is not a shrinking violet. She might not be an aggressive person, but she knows her own mind and desires. There's the sex scene which we all know about from the trailers, but what the trailers don't show is how Edith, not Thomas, is in control of what's going on in that bed. It's wonderful.

And of course, the ending. Del Toro have repeatedly said this is Gothic romance, not horror, and I agree. But it is also heavily invested in the horror aspects of this type of romance and there are some things that had to happen and they did. I'll leave it at that unless someone wants to discuss spoilers with me in the comments. I left the theater completely satisfied with the ending--a feeling that was certainly absent when I saw the most comparable movie to this, Radcliffe's Woman in Black, a few years ago.

[ profile] mckitterick and I caught an early Saturday matinee and two hours after we got home, I still had a tight feeling in my chest from All The Feels this movie gave me. It was just. so. good.
clevermanka: default (bonecruncher)
[ profile] mckitterick and I saw Crimson Peak yesterday. I have a lot to say about it, but there's a ton of shit I gotta do today (food prep, laundry, housecleaning since we lost our housecleaner GOD DAMN IT, and with a bit of luck and timing, getting laid again because holy fuck Crimson Peak you guys).

For now, I'll just say if you like old school (and I mean old school) gothic romance, creepy-ass shit, and drop-dead gorgeous cinematography, get your ass to a theater for this one.

A gift

Oct. 14th, 2015 08:44 am
clevermanka: default (rayk fall)
I can't go into details, obviously, but I just received my due South Sekrit Santa assignment and you guys it is so perfect for me I actually started to tear up just a wee bit. This piece is gonna be amazing.


Oct. 13th, 2015 09:23 am
clevermanka: default (going well)
Ugh. I had a post written up, but apparently I'd written (and then tried to save it) in the window for an entry I'd been using as storage for several links but then I marked it deleted in a different window and... post gone, links gone.


Sooooo this is what you're getting today.

Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, October 13: Skulls.

Nine albums

Oct. 7th, 2015 01:49 pm
clevermanka: default (shake shake shake)
I just posted this to my Tumblr, but thought I'd recreate it here, if people wanted to comment. I've adjusted for LJ formats, usernames, and applicability.

[ profile] write_out and [ profile] splix both tagged me ages ago for this, and I am a bit embarrassed it took me so long to respond but not too embarrassed to do it, obviously.

Music is hugely important to me, as you’ll probably infer from my long-winded explanations of my choices, under the cut. But favorites are so difficult for me since my tastes are mercurial and largely dependent on my mood (which is also changeable from moment to moment).  So let’s go with what I would claim today to be my favorite nine albums (tomorrow it could be different). Alphabetically, because after the emotional work of picking them at all, there’s no way I can additionally rank them.

Click for my explanations and justifications )

Obviously the tags I put on there aren't applicable here, but I would love to see responses from people who either aren't on Tumblr, or who I didn't tag there. Hm. Now that I think of it, I should have limited my tagging to people who are only on Tumblr, and then tagged the LJ-also people, here.



Oct. 6th, 2015 09:13 am
clevermanka: default (gas mask)
Today's Tumblr collection is Tuesday, October 6: Decay.

I have some content/updates, but I gotta wrap up some job-related things first. Hope to talk with y'all this afternoon.


Oct. 5th, 2015 12:24 pm
clevermanka: default (dS icon 1)
Dear due South Sekrit Santa,
I would like something different this year. Instead of a love story about two people, or even a non-love story about two people, I want a story about the internal life of one of the women of due South (I picked Frannie, Elaine, and Thatcher). I want to hear about her hopes, peeves, pleasures, and other aspects of her world and her own self that have put her in her current place in the world. I want this to be an exploration of character, so you don't even have to worry about a plot! It can be an exchange between her and one of the other two women, or it can be an internal monologue. I didn't choose any relationships but if you want to ship, say, Elaine and Frannie in order to fill my request, that's fine but certainly not necessary for me.
clevermanka: default (made-up 2)
I'm gonna make myself this for lunch today. Archiving recipe for myself here )

I'm not gonna worry about the peppers I don't have on hand, and I'm gonna use carrot puree instead of squash (because I have carrots). I'll be using regular eggs, leaving off the garnishes entirely, and eating it as a soup , but...I bet it'll still be tasty.

I'm so happy to be able to eat chicken eggs again (as long as I don't make it a daily habit, things seem to be fine).

I did the first part of my roots last night and slept in the henna (leaves SUCH a nice color deposit even though nobody ever gets to see this stage) so now I have to apply the indigo and let it sit for about an hour. I told myself last night I could have my tea and internet until 10:00, but didn't count on the fact that I'd be lazing about in bed with [ profile] mckitterick until 8:40. So now I'm a bit behind my expected morning schedule but it's Sunday and I feel like wah I just wanna relax but there is laundry and food prep to be done in addition to assuaging my vanity about my hair, so time to get to it.
clevermanka: default (changed priorities)
Here's an amazing helpful insight into how to talk to MDs about your health issues. I don't know how much this would have helped me when I was searching for help, seeing as how standard western medical treatment of my eventual diagnosis doesn't differ from the standard western medical treatment for my misdiagnosis back when I was relying on standard western medicine (standard western medicine can generally go fuck itself), but I'm certainly going to try this if/when I have future problems unrelated to Hashimoto's disease.

In the Paleo world (I still use the term Paleo to describe how I eat even though I know it's not accurate and sometimes Paleo people are assholes and sanctimonious but so are Feminists and Vegetarians and anyone else who belongs to a group larger than one person) there's a certain amount of...disdain? disapproval? of sweeteners. Which I completely understand. They can set off addiction cravings--even the "natural" ones like honey. Or stevia. But you know what? I'm not allergic to stevia (like I am a billion other things) and a few drops in my morning tea don't set off cravings for me, so I'm having the fucking stevia in my morning tea. Until I'm convinced that those ten or so drops, total, spread over my two cups of tea a day, are hindering my health goals? FUCK YOUR RULES.

The change in price on my bloomers meant I sold six of them yesterday. Six sales! That's more than I've had total this year. The goal of the store was to help me decrease my (enormous) stash of quilting and novelty cottons. Maybe I should keep this price? It means I wouldn't be compensated 100% for materials, but hell, some of these fabrics I purchased over ten years ago. Does it really matter that I get full price for the materials? I'm a vocal proponent of not doing things for free and always getting paid what you're worth, but if marking them ten dollars less per pair is better helping me achieve the goal of getting this stuff out of my house? Might be worth sacrificing my principles a bit. Any thoughts?

I've been awake for two hours, mousing around the house to keep from waking [ profile] mckitterick, but now I am starving and out of things to do quietly. Wake up, [ profile] mckitterick! I know you've had a super-rough week with not enough sleep and too many obligations but COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.

clevermanka: default (punk kitty)
I just dropped the price on all my bloomers by $10. If you've been put off because of the price tag, now's your chance to grab a pair for only $20 plus shipping.

clevermanka: default (post-dance)
Monday was another crushingly-tired day. It was bad enough that I resolved to start tracking my fatigue (again, and for real this time). Here's my scale:

1 - Non-functional. Call in sick to work. Nothing is happening today.
2 - Barely functional. Distracting brain fog, difficulty moving limbs. Capable of completing only the minimum of activities.
3 - Functional. Fatigued, but able to do one or two things after work (for example, make dinner and watch a movie). This is my version of normal.
4 - Above functional. Can get through the workday and participate in an evening activity that requires physical movement (make dinner and then sew, do yoga, or attend an event outside the house).
5 - Energetic. Able to maintain enthusiasm for job tasks and excited to do something mentally or physically engaging after work.

Monday was a 2, bordering on a 1. Yesterday was a 3. Today's back to 2. Other than Friday's experiment with the Berocca supplement, I don't remember the last time I experienced a 5. Being depressed about that doesn't help, though, so...


clevermanka: default (Default)

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