About Me

Relevant medical advice

Addendum to my nose report! If you remember the cartoon Home Movies, you may recall that some of the characters in its cast had a band. And that one of their songs was rather pertinent to my medical experiences this week. I give you:

Also, if you’re a fan of Heather Dale (and if you’re not, I recommend it, as her voice is amazing and I love her fondness for Arthurian mythos but also her song about Sedna), she has a song that’s medically pertinent this week as well:

Sadly, the Internet has failed me in providing a proper gif of Angel from the episode “Smile Time”, when he gets turned into a Muppet version of himself and demonstrates that his nose comes off.

I have also likewise been unable to find a gif of Rimmer from the “Parallel Universe” episode of Red Dwarf, where he’s telling Lister about his date with Lorraine. “Of course, she had an artificial nose. Tastefully done! Quality metal. No rivets.” ;D

(Both of these are of course referenced in Dara’s song “Sad Muppet”! Which I would point you at except Dara doesn’t have a public recording of “Sad Muppet” available yet. But with the chorus SAD MUPPET HAS NO NOSE, it’s arguably the theme song of this week too.)

The Murkworks

Our cat is ill :~(

For those of you who haven’t already seen me, Dara, or Paul posting about this on social media, last night we found out that our cat George has an aggressive cancer. It is very likely we’ll have to put him down some time in the next couple of weeks. 🙁

This has pretty much blindsided us. George had been in uncertain health this year anyway due to his liver, and has been on medication for that–but this was practically out of the blue and we had almost no warning, except for George acting a trifle weird and uncharacteristically needy on Wednesday night. Yesterday, he wasn’t eating or taking water, and he threw up–with some pink in it.

So Paul took him to the vet last night for an emergency examination. The verdict came back that he’s got an aggressive cancer. His lymph nodes had swollen, and his white blood count was very high.

Kitty’s on a lot of meds right now, his previous liver meds as well as painkillers and anti-nausea meds so that he can actually eat and take water. So he’s kind of logey and slow, but at least right now he is in fact eating.

There is never a good time for your pet to be ill, but this is particularly crappy timing given that I’m having the surgery this coming Monday. While Dara and I will be busy with that, Paul will need to take George in for further followups. So Monday’s going to be a barrel of fun all around. @.@

And I’ll just be hoping the little fuzzmonster makes it through the next week or so. I’d been kind of looking forward to letting him sleep in my lap while I’m recovering. Looks like we’ll both be doing a lot of resting.

Everybody hug your pets and tell them how good they are, okay?

The Internet

The great Dreamwidth Import Review is ongoing

Y’all may have noticed that I have not yet deleted my LJ. This is because I’m still reviewing the content port from LJ over to Dreamwidth, and it’s taking longer than anticipated. Because:

One: Holy hell, I posted a lot back in the day. Well, I post a lot now, too, only now it’s on Facebook instead of on a blog.

Two: I’m actually also taking the time to tag old posts for purposes of better finding them later. Which means I’m re-reading a bunch of them just to see what the hell I was posting about.

Three: Once I hit the point around 2008 or so when I shifted my home base of posting to my WordPress site, I’ll also need to be deleting a bunch of duplicate posts. Because for a while my posting trajectory looked like this:

WordPress->Dreamwidth simultaneous with WordPress->Livejournal

And then it became:

WordPress->Dreamwidth->Livejournal

Which means that if I had post ABC that went from WordPress out to both Livejournal and Dreamwidth, it could possibly have gotten comments on both LJ and Dreamwidth.

When further means that now that I’ve done an LJ->Dreamwidth content port, then I have some cases of the LJ version of a post and the Dreamwidth version of the post, both of which are now on Dreamwidth, having different sets of comments. This is confusing and I’m not sure if there’s an easy way to fix this, since there’s no way I can really copypasta comments off one post and put them on another.

Anyway, I’m in the middle of March 2004 and this will take a while, and will possibly be something I’m working on while I’m at Norwescon this weekend in between trying to sell books.

But now at least I dug up the old tool LJ-Sec, and I’m using that to delete multiple posts at a time, which is making things go at least a little faster. Just because LJ’s UI for deleting posts IS annoying if you have to do it one at a time. (Note: LJ-Sec only runs on Windows, but I can confirm that it will run on Windows 10 as long as you have version 3.5 of the .NET framework installed.)

In the meantime, I’m seeing a few more folks who’ve dropped off of LJ finding me on Dreamwidth, so if you’re reading me on DW now, hiya! \0/

The Internet

Comments are shut off on my LJ crossposts

Folks, as per my announcement earlier this week, I will be shutting down my LJ as soon as I am done with a thorough review of a content export from there to Dreamwidth. This is likely to happen some time this weekend.

Until that time, since my posts originate on my WordPress site and are crossposted to Dreamwidth, and DW crossposts in turn to LJ, I have set my Dreamwidth settings to disable comments on crossposted content. Moving forward, over the next few days, I encourage you to leave any comments either on the DW version of a post, or come straight over to angelahighland.com to leave comments there.

Likewise, Dara is also taking steps to deprecate her journal. She has posts up about this here (on crimeandtheforcesofevil.com) and here (on Dreamwidth).

I’m sad about having to do this, but less sad than I would have been if LJ were still my only blogging platform. But I’ve had a foot out the door on LJ for years, and the new problematic TOS is pretty much the last straw. If you’re an LJ friend, I encourage you to come on over to Dreamwidth. If you’re not sure if you want to commit to an account there, you can still use your LJ ID to leave comments on posts there!

If you do want to commit to an account there, note also that you can claim any previous OpenIDs as you, as per Dreamwidth’s Help post here. The reason this is useful is because if your LJ username shows up as an OpenID commenter on someone else’s imported posts, you can claim that ID as you, and that comment will then show as your Dreamwidth account instead. This is useful!

And again, if you’re already on Dreamwidth and I don’t have you in my circles there yet, let me know who you are!

Editing to add: Also changing my DW settings so that the footer for the DW version of a post should show up on LJ now.

About Me

So about that surgery then, here, have a FAQ!

I’ve been talking about this a lot on social media (mostly Facebook), but for the benefit of those of you who follow me via blog/LJ/Dreamwidth, here’s an update on that deviated septum surgery I’m supposed to be having!

What the hell is a deviated septum?

Aside from “the name of my next band” (because Deviated Septum TOTALLY sounds like it ought to be a band name), the septum is the tissue inside your nose that separates one nostril from the other.

When a septum is deviated, this means it’s not straight like it’s supposed to be, and if it’s badly enough off, it can cause problems.

So why is yours deviated?

Probably due to having been hit in the face when I was a kid, long enough ago that I don’t really remember when it happened anymore; I just know that my nose has been crooked most of my life.

What problems has this been causing you?

A number of things that have been going on for as long as I can remember, and which have been getting slowly but steadily more annoying now that I’m getting older, just because tissue does start wearing out as you age. Including:

  • Chronic congestion problems. I take a stupid number of antihistamines on a daily basis (Allegra and Claritin in the morning, and Benadryl at night, as well as Azestaline nasal spray), as well as semi-regular decongestants. Benadryl and Sudafed should not be food groups. I’M JUST SAYIN’.
  • Sinus infections at least once or twice a year.
  • Difficulty breathing through my nose, even when I’m just sitting working on the computer, or in a meeting at work. This is particularly a problem when I’m, say, at the dentist having my teeth cleaned or other work, and they tell me to breathe through my nose while they’re doing that, and I can’t. I have to consciously think to breathe through my nose, and even when I’m doing that, I don’t get enough air. By extension, this means my lips and throat get dehydrated fast during the winter, and I get chronic chapped lips as a result.
  • Snoring problems, which disturb my poor wife, not to mention waking me up at least once a night. This is most noticeable if I wind up lying on my back, but it also repros (hi I’m a software tester, this is how software testers talk) if I lie on my right side–with the added problem that I can hear clicking noises in my nose if I lie on that side. It’s only minimized if I lie on my left side, which means my left shoulder gets too much strain on it when I’m sleeping. Boo. Also, did you know you can make snoring noises while you’re conscious? This is really freggin’ weird. But I can do it!
  • I have recurring pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear which may or may not be a side effect of the chronic congestion; I’ve noticed it subsiding when I’ve recently had decongestants.

So what are you having done to fix this?

On the 24th I’m going in for a procedure called a septorhinoplasty. This is a combination of two different procedures, one to fix my septum, and the other to do any necessary reshaping of the nose to accommodate this. Since my nose is pretty crooked (I was diagnosed at fifty percent deviation of my septum, which has practically closed off my left nostril, FUN), the surgeon has to rearrange my nose as well as fixing the septum. A cartilage graft off my ear may also be involved if necessary to rebuild the septum.

This is going to be an outpatient procedure, and will take about 3-4 hours.

Thankfully, since this is a functional repair of my nose as opposed to just cosmetic work, my insurance is not balking about covering it. (This is the part where I am also very, very grateful that I do in fact have decent health coverage, and this, children, would be why I am holding on to a day job and am not trying to support myself with my writing full time. I don’t sell nearly enough copies of things to cover the costs of all the health situations Dara and I had to deal with in the last ten years!)

What will your recovery time be like?

Comparable to prior recoveries I’ve had to do. I’ll have about a week dedicated to full recovery at home, which will probably about line up with a course of pain meds. A week after, I’ll go in for the first followup appointment, at which point I may or may not be coherent enough to start working from home. I’ll probably be doing that until I’m physically back up to speed and can manage my usual day job commute.

Part of why I’ll have to stay at home will be that I’ll have bandages and splints on my FACE! And I’ll need to minimize any risk of disrupting that, as well as minimizing the risk of infection. I’ll have to spend some time sleeping with my head elevated as well, until the splints can come out of my nose. And there will be lots and lots of saline rinses to help make sure everything in there heals up appropriately.

Given this, my face is probably going to be VERY ALARMING LOOKING for a few weeks. There will be bruises and swelling as well as bandages and splints. I’m going to look like a disaster victim.

Oh WOW. Can we have pictures?

Maybe. I will not be coherent enough for selfies while I’m on a course of Vicodin, but Dara has a phone with a camera, and she knows how to use it. 😉

Since you’re doing another surgery recovery, will you do another Murkworks Movie Suckoff?

Yes. YES I WILL. Current main contenders are likely to be Frankenstein Unbound and Victor Frankenstein, and I have also had The Apple suggested. More recommendations are definitely welcome, although as always, if I’ve already seen it, it is automatically disqualified from a Suckoff. And if it’s been MSTed, chances are very high I’ve already seen it!

On a related note, this will also be conveniently not long after the coming of the new MST3K episodes on Netflix, so oh my yes I will be watching those too. But those won’t be part of the official Suckoff. 😀

And the end result of all this is going to be what?

Hopefully much improved breathing! And hopefully much reduced snoring! I am informed that there’s a chance that this won’t entirely fix everything, but there’s a decent shot at significant improvement, so I’m going for it.

As a side bonus, it might also give me improved breath control on my flutes and whistles. I will be keeping tabs on this once I’m recovered enough that I’m cleared to play wind instruments again (I’ll be asking the surgeon about this, most definitely). Note also that this is a contributing factor to why I’ve taken up the fiddle, just so that I can have a melody instrument in my arsenal that doesn’t involve my nose!

And that’s all pretty much it! Anybody have any other questions, leave ’em in the comments!

The Internet

Heads up: I am deleting my LJ in the next few days

So my Livejournal paid account status expired, and after a few days of mulling about whether I care, I have decided to go ahead and pull the plug on the account. There are a few reasons for this.

One, I don’t get many comments any more on the LJ account. The vast majority of my online interactions are on Facebook and Twitter now.

Two, while I can certainly afford the yearly paid account fee, there are better things I can be putting that money to.

Three, given that I host my own WordPress site on my own server, and I’m already mirroring my posts from there out to Dreamwidth, having an LJ account as well is kind of redundant.

Four, while I know there’s some nervousness out there re: the new LJ user agreement (see the discussion here, for example), this isn’t making me particularly more nervous about LJ being headquartered in Russia than I was before. But that said, I’m still nervous about LJ being headquartered in Russia, in no small part because hi I’m queer, and Russian law is currently heavily anti-queer, so.

For the small number of you who do periodically still answer my posts on LJ, I apologize in advance for the forthcoming inconvenience, and I hope you’ll consider keeping up with me elsewhere. There are a bunch of options for doing so, all of which are on my Contact page, which I will be bringing up to date shortly.

In particular, if you are also on Dreamwidth and/or will be migrating over there yourself in the near future, I am there as annathepiper. Or, you can grab the RSS feed for angelahighland.com and get my posts directly from the source.

I will be deleting my LJ as soon as I finish verifying that my last import of content from LJ to Dreamwidth went as expected.

Questions, comments, please let me know!