Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Tale of the Left Half of My Left Foot

Last weekend was Opening Weekend of the Bristol Renaissance Faire!

[wait for audience roar]

I KNOW! And it was just as awesome as I knew it would be, despite certain people not being there when they totally usually ARE there.
(yeah, I'm looking at you, Loki or, I guess I'm NOT looking at you right now. Dammit, Loki!)

The weather was hot and humid, so my asthma was SO NOT HAPPY, but that's why I carry an albuterol inhaler in my pouch. I'm not going to die of asthma for the sake of authenticity. Besides, have you see what I wear? I'm definitely NOT authentic. Well, that and the fact I whip out a DSLR at any given second.

Speaking of that DSLR, I chose to wear my cross-body strap on Saturday. I thought that by wearing the camera instead of basket-ing it, I'd take more photos. Well, I didn't. All it did was make BOTH my shoulders tired. See, I usually carry my basket on my right arm and I carry my mug in my left. If I get completely fatigued, I'll carry my basket in my left hand for a while. But mostly, it'll be on my right arm (crooked into my elbow). Well, by having the cross-body strap on, all I did was create drag on my other shoulder, so by mid-afternoon, my shoulders were just killing me. I went back to the basket-ing for Sunday.

Surprisingly, I didn't have any extra pain. My body wasn't in agony (I was a little itchy from the humidity, but no extra pain). And on Sunday, I even forgot to take my Vicodin before the final joust. (Just in case you don't remember or didn't know of this blog, this is what happened 3 years ago when I forgot to take my Vicodin before the final joust). I remembered about ten minutes after the joust ended, so I took it then (because I STILL had to walk up that damn hill). The only pain I was suffering from was in my left foot. That stupid, stupid left foot. Not even the whole left foot, just the left half of the left foot.

I finally figured out a way to describe the pain in the Left Half of My Left Foot. You know when you're sitting down and your foot falls asleep? And then you get up to stand and your leg crumples under you and suddenly your foot is on fire with a thousand white-hot sewing pins and knitting needles burning through your very bones? THAT. That's the feeling I have in the Left Half of My Left Foot almost all of the time. Right now, I'm seated at my desk with my foot resting on top of my man-sandals, so The Top Part of the Left Half of My Left Foot isn't so bad. But the second I slip into my man-sandals, that white-hot agony will be there.

The Monday and Tuesday that followed were normal days, except for the Left Half of My Left Foot. I wasn't in any extra pain like I've been for years after a faire day. Even my human knee didn't hurt. (my shoulders were a bit achy, but that's because of the camera/basket thing I talked about above). In fact, I wasn't in any real Not-Foot-Related pain till Wednesday, but that pain was the tendinitis in my shoulder letting me know that rain was a-comin'. Yes, "a-comin'" because that's how you say it when you have a body part alert you to its arrival.

So, I'm going to mark this up as another success for that Generic Cymbalta for fibro. So far, so good. I'm not going to be excited or overly complimentary. This is good. That's all I'm sayin'.

And now, let's talk about photography OPENING WEEKEND!! And there just so happens to be photos. As usual, ~here is the link~ to the entire album of Opening Weekend photos. And below are a whole bunch of them. Just take a look at whichever you want- the link or scroll down. How can I NOT love the faire? These people are awesome.

OH!! SIDE NOTE- I nagged convinced my son to come along to Bristol finally! He's going to come with me on Sunday!

Now, on to the photos!!

Sir Mauldron, Baron of Blackburn! (FACEBOOK)

Tournament Joust

Sir Maxmillian, the Jousting Earl of Braden! (FACEBOOK)

Tournament Joust

Duchess Anastasia of Warwick! (FACEBOOK)

Duchess Anastasia of Warwick

Sir Edgeron of Aquataine! (FACEBOOK)

Sir Edgeron of Aquataine

Don Vincenzo di Scicilia! (FACEBOOK)

Tournament Joust

Squire Archer!

Tournament Joust

Squire Freya!

Tournament Joust

Tournament Joust

Tournament Joust

Awwww, yeah... I missed this!

Tournament Joust

Squire Savvy and Squire Murley!

Joust to the Death

Dandelion fairy!

Dandelion has a new friend

By the Sword!

By the Sword

By the Sword

By the Sword

The Royal Falconer (Flight of the Raptor)

Royal Falconer

Royal Falconer

On Sunday, Mauldron's horse had a bad hoof, so instead of "on with the show" and causing further harm, he opted not to ride in the joust. Instead, he sat in the stands with the audience, walked around to other areas, talked to kids, and was otherwise genuinely hilarious. This is my favorite shot from that whole thing.

My favorite shot of the whole weekend

This is Alexx, Sir Maxx's new horse. The Lady of Chivalry is riding him at Bristol while he continues his joust-horse training.

Joust to the Death- Sunday

Friday, July 3, 2015

Some kind of update... (and the pun was intentional)

Hi there. I know it has been over a month since I updated. Not much has really been going on around here. I never did call my knee surgeon about my stupid knee. It started to feel better and now it only seems to bother me if I spend too much time standing or walking. The good thing about the faire is that I can absolutely go at my own pace and sit down a lot. (faire starts next weekend, by the way. July 11th is opening day).

I had a six-month followup at the VA hospital today. My blood tests look good and while a couple things are a little elevated, that'll change as soon as I get my ass moving next weekend. The Disabled Guy came home from his yearly Trip of Stupidity in May, then left again three weeks later. He got back on Monday (four days ago). On Tuesday, we had an extremely heated discussion (if by "heated discussion" means "all-out shouting match") about our central AC (heated discussion... AC... yeah). It seems that he's cold. I told him I can't have the house over 72° because the summer humidity sets off my asthma (which is mild) and exacerbates my fibro issues. And not even the pain issues, that's being pretty well controlled at the moment by the Generic Cymbalta. I'm talking about the under-the-skin itching, swelling, and general lack of sleep... that sort of stuff.

He kept yelling at me about how cold he was and I said that he could just put on a hoodie or something. He yelled again about how he was cold and I said- surprisingly not yelling- "You honestly cannot be mad at me for having a medical condition!" I had to repeat that a few times and added a few terse: "Fibromyalgia is a legitimate medical issue. So is asthma!" I get the feeling one of his less-than-reputable relatives (not naming names, but my kids would know who without me even saying) told him that fibro was fake.

Trust me- it isn't. And not just basing that on my own experiences, I say that because it is damn near impossible to get the VA to diagnose anything that is considered an "invisible illness" or even just a chronic illness (like, say, arthritis). So the fact that the goddamned VA hospital went through all that it has to actually diagnose me with it, well... that's a fucking legit thing. (I also found out today that my doctor had to jump through hoops, promise her firstborn, and sacrifice a small animal to get me on that Generic Cymbalta. Apparently, the VA is a dick to fibro patients *ding* (that's a CinemaSins joke)

Anyway, the I told the doctor about the conversation- minus the actual asshole behavior, because nobody really wants to hear about The Disabled Guy not being funny- and she said: "When it comes down to 'being cold' versus 'possible death', you win. When it comes down to 'being cold' versus 'severe physical discomfort', you still win." and we joked about it. Then she added: "Even though we're using a joking tone, even mild asthma isn't funny. Make sure he knows that."

I told him. He wasn't very responsive because he was watching old war movies and then eventually he was catching up on "Game of Thrones" episodes. (when he comes back from his visits to his family, he's cranky and extremely well... asshole-ish. There's a lot of extremes in living with a stroke person. Especially since his stroke is of the old-school variety. A few minutes after our blowup, he was back to normal and talking about me having two feet). I don't know if anything I said to him sank in through all the talk of dragons, random soft-core sex scenes, and whatever the hell else goes on in that show.

But, I did learn something good at my doctor appointment- the reason for my ridiculous amount of fatigue is that my thyroid has yet again gone a little wonky. So my Synthroid dosage is going to be tweaked a little. That's good news because it means that it can be fixed and it ISN'T the fibro! And that means that the Generic Cymbalta still seems to be working.

I am very awake right now- at 227 AM as I type this- because when I went to bed at 10 PM, my legs and lower back/abdomen area decided those millions of hairy-legged spiders wanted to set themselves on fire and crawl out through my skin. I'm pretty sure that was caused by the fact I had a fasting lab today (which meant no caffeine, no food, and no Vicodin in the daytime) and I had to speed-walk through the VA hospital. For some reason, I have to go in, walk halfway down one wing of the hospital to the lab, then trek all the way to the other end of a different wing to pick up a piece of red card stock with my name on it, and then go all the way back to where the lab was to the clinic where I see my doctor. Today, I said: "It'd be nice if you'd move this office, I dunno, a little closer to the clinics." They agreed, but of course, that's not going to happen.

I'd like to talk about photography, but all I got is the same old stuff. Macro flowers, raindrops on leaves. I've been adding text to photos from last season at Bristol and doing my "countdown" by uploading two to four photos at a time. If you'd like to see it, here's the link to the Facebook album. And since I don't have much else going on at the moment, here's some photos of bubbles I took last week. The pink-tinted blob in the bubble is a reflection (refraction?) of the extremely bright pink shirt I was wearing.

Day 132 of Year 6- I'm the neon pink blob...

Bubble photos-

Bubble photos-

Bubble photos-

Bubble photos-

This is my 365 self-portrait from day 121 of Year 6. I'm blowing bubbles while being back-lit by my flash. It took a lot of attempts and a lot of dripping bubble solution on my shirt to get this shot.

Day 121 of Year 6- Bubbles!

And, for funsies, here's my 365 self-portrait from day 125 of Year 6. People were sharing the article about how zookeepers and such were "Pratting" with their animals. So, I did the same with mine.

Day 125 of Year 6- Pratting...

And I did take some macro water drops, so here are a few...

Raindrops on roses

Bleeding heart leaf/leaves

Bleeding heart leaf/leaves

Bleeding heart leaf/leaves