urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I tried to post this before supper, but the ADSL was acting screwy again.

Earlier, I made it across the street to Iceland again, so we don't have to get takeout. (The fridge is down to condiments, pickles, and fresh veggies I don't feel like messing with right now, and the rest of the food stores are in about the same shape.) What we ended up with was frozen cottage pie with some frozen broccoli mix on the side, but I was really glad to find something easy-and-almost-nutritious that wasn't full of gluten. (Other than a little barley malt in the gravy, which has only been a problem once from a salad dressing made with malt vinegar.) Annoyingly, I had to get a few "meal for one" size, since the larger ones were apparently from a different manufacturer and full of wheat flour. If we don't eat the third "meal for one", Max will be more than happy to.

Special dietary requirements (GF diabetic here!) can be a huge pain when you don't have much energy available. Usually, I do a lot of scratch cooking, which is tastier and better for us anyway. But, especially with the kitchen time anomalies (an hour can, and frequently does, pass in the blink of an eye), that takes a lot of time and energy. Sometimes it's really nice to be able to just grab something frozen that's not twice the price in the small Free From section. (Which I am glad exists, don't get me wrong.) Something that's available not 300 yards up the street? Even better!

Last night, I finally had the sense to place a rather large Sainsbury's order online, which I'd been putting off. I had to set up a new account, but I think most of it was the old "should be able to drag myself to the store". :( I also had the sense to be less, erm, frugal and get some things that require less prep time and effort. So we should have plenty of food tomorrow, without anyone having to lug it home. That's worth way more than the $3.50 delivery fee for the £100+ order!

Even better: today I've mostly been managing not to kick myself over Not Trying Hard Enough. Bah.

Oh yes, I've also been having surprisingly good luck with just using water and a lot of scalp massage to wash my hair. After about two weeks, it's not greasy and smelly, which shouldn't be a huge surprise since that didn't happen when I switched over to conditioner-only washing. *wry smile* (People managed to have clean hair before this stuff was invented, after all.) My scalp was acting up again in spite of not using shampoos I'm apparently allergic to, so I decided to experiment, hoping it was an allergy to something in the conditioners. Especially since it totally cleared up when I was trying the ultimately too drying baking soda with vinegar rinse approach. That's improved a little, but it's early days yet. It may just be eczema, since it's the time of year for that to really start kicking in--even so, putting fewer chemicals on an existing allergic reaction sounds like a good idea!

The big surprise there? My hair seems to be loving it so far. It's shinier, and even the crown is holding more curl once it's dry, without added gel or anything. (Thick, fine hair with Botticelli curls is kinda renowned for weighting itself down and going flatter on top.) I think even the conditioner was drying it out too much, which is darkly funny since I avoided using much conditioner for years because it make my hair look "stringy"--i.e., less dry and frizzed out, with some curl definition. Using the CO wash method, I could tell it was time for a wash because it started to get dry and frizzy on top. (I think my thyroid conversion is a bit wonky again, and drying my hair and skin out more.) And I was using a heavier conditioner after the cheapo light stuff for washing!

Now I'm tempted to try using a little coconut milk instead of conditioner to wash with, and see what happens. On the whole, I'd rather get away from commercial products again if it's feasible, anyway.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am officially tired of the allergies. I got a flea bite about ten minutes ago, so now I've got itchy eyes and nose and am wheezing.

Punkin and Feist get Frontlined tomorrow, since we forgot this evening. Max and Mirrors had theirs last night. Gotta love it when the weather starts turning cooler. :-|
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Boomer is gone.

Neighbor Dude came back last night, saying that he'd been in IIRC Manchester after his daughter was in a car crash. I'd assumed he had at least one of our phone numbers, but apparently not. The movement up there was one of his friends, who was supposed to come by and get the pup, but I never saw any sign that he tried. ND did seem concerned about Boomer, at least.

At least he's back with Neighbor Dude on a trial basis. If he and New Girlfriend's dogs still don't get along, he's coming back to us; ND even mentioned changing the microchip info over to us. (Now he definitely has a phone number.) This is encouraging in a way, since presumably NGF is at least a little better at dealing with dogs, if she has two of them. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens, much as it chafes.

I've been more than a little sad and worried. Not too surprisingly, the little booger grew on me, and I was sorry to see him go. (Unlike Max, oh my.) Here's hoping that things work out well for him, either way.

Last night, I got back on the Stepping Out of Squalor forum. I have been extremely dissatisfied (read: overwhelmed to the point of near-paralysis) with the state of things around here for quite a while, but got a shove from the way I started freaking out at Boomer's dragging stuff around and making the mess more obvious. (We did some basic puppyproofing right after he came, and you could hardly tell within a couple of days.) It was overwhelming enough already, especially knowing that we're going to have to move at some point in the somewhat near future. One of [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands' posts, about procrastination, also gave me a push. Yeah, more inertia. *wry smile*

I found that forum (along with the Squalor Survivors site) very helpful before. But, I got discouraged and ashamed at the clutter reappearing in spite of my best efforts, and avoided the forum. Demand sensitivity and resistance also played in there; just going there felt like it carried a set of demands I couldn't handle, when I was already kicking myself. With any luck, I can stick with it and get some encouragement and inspiration through the near-inevitable setbacks, instead of just feeling like a failure and falling into the good old "growing up with a hoarder" learned helplessness. ("All the crap just comes back, and brings friends, no matter what I do--why keep trying?!")

I'm trying hard to pace myself, and not fall into the really unsustainable old clean ALL the things! mode:
Since I've exceeded my capacity for responsibility in such a dramatic fashion, I end up needing to take more recovery time than usual. This is when the guilt-spiral starts.

The longer I procrastinate on returning phone calls and emails, the more guilty I feel about it. The guilt I feel causes me to avoid the issue further, which only leads to more guilt and more procrastination. It gets to the point where I don't email someone for fear of reminding them that they emailed me and thus giving them a reason to be disappointed in me.

Then the guilt from my ignored responsibilities grows so large that merely carrying it around with me feels like a huge responsibility. It takes up a sizable portion of my capacity, leaving me almost completely useless for anything other than consuming nachos and surfing the internet like an attention-deficient squirrel on PCP.


Ouch. Entirely too familiar, even if I am purposely trying not to bash myself over the head with the "adult responsibility, why can't I do it?" thing these days. Combine real procrastination and demand sensitivity/resistance with inertia, and things can get ugly. But, keeping in mind that I can't do everything all at once in one giant frenzy, with any luck I can avoid falling into some of this pattern. And also avoid hurting my back, going into allergy/asthma/full-body itching fits, starting snapping uncontrollably at other people, etc. I'm trying to focus on what I am getting accomplished, which does seem to help getting around the demand resistance. I'm also wanting to try more backwards planning, as mentioned recently in an LJ community.

We'll see how this works out.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I'm back and semi-coherent, having spent the weekend in a prednisone-and-antihistamine-megadoses daze. (Slept most of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, actually.)

Thursday morning, I ended up in the local Urgent Care with a nasty rash all over, which started Tuesday but kept spreading and getting worse. I've got eczema, and am prone to allergic rashes, but this was something special. I wasn't sure if it qualified as an emergency, but finally decided that when (a) certain body parts are swollen to about 3 times the usual size, (b) you haven't slept because they're raw and on fire, and (c) you're wheezing from the allergy overload, it probably counts as urgent.

Ah, allergies! And unexpected culprits )

I'm very glad I didn't chicken out, and went to see about it. While I'm still pretty groggy today, things are much better than they would have been without the steroids!
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am beginning to wonder if some upwind neighbors are thinking, "Gee, it's a lovely afternoon, I think I'll go start a fire." Yes, they are burning some kind of wood again, and I think it's the same people. This time it's a big enough fire that I can hear some crackling from the patio.

Currently lurking in this end of the house, since my eyes start burning and itching when I go into the part directly downwind of the fire. Max is not overly happy about this, but Punkin is. The cats usually don't get as much attention as any of us would like during the day. Punkin is in my lap now, and very smug about it. :)

Whether I like it or not, it's past time to get an appointment with the GP for more allergy/asthma/migraine treatment. This is getting ridiculous. Some of the spasmy muscles will probably calm down once they're not getting racked by frequent coughing fits*--and I would rather avoid going through another year of at least daily "sinus" migraines. Urgh.

After we move (and insurance kicks in for preexisting stuff!), I am even tempted to pursue allergy shots again. I swore never again, but the series I had before did help for years. For now, some Singulair and migraine meds would help a lot. I may try adding loratadine again, in case it helps some (definitely not enough on its own). This is already getting old.

Ah well. With any luck, the smoke will clear some soon. Maybe I should take something for my head and some extra antihistamines with coffee, and try to head it off to some extent. No pun intended.

Maybe I can find something to post about when I'm in a better mood. *g*
_____________

* The kind that have scared multiple doctors. Ones without barrel chests and asthma, that is. My lower back is not happy with them, either, never mind the chest and shoulders. Possibly worse? It only occurred to me the last time I had asthma gone crazy from a cold that this might be exactly what's been keeping the back "bad" for the past 15 years. Your chronic cough may be truly chronic when... *facepalm*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
No wonder I was so grouchy and sound-sensitive yesterday; I had a migraine coming on. The smoke helped trigger it. It's much better now. Until I just looked it up, I had no idea that mood changes in advance of the pain were a common prodromal thing.

That would explain a lot, especially during periods when I've had frequent migraines/cluster headaches (including the majority dismissed as "sinus" headaches!).

Actually, the little bit of research was reassuring: maybe triptans will work, after all. When I asked the GP about it before, I was told that since I don't get auras, they were unlikely to help. As it turns out, the prodrome is more important there.

Apologies for the rantiness!

Smoke

Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:10 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Argh. Someone in the neighborhood decided to wait until (a) it's relatively dry out there, (b) allergies are already choking me, and (c) it's too warm to close all the windows, to burn garden debris.

OK, so they had no reason to know that "hay fever" is a paltry description for what some people downwind are experiencing, but they were surely aware it hasn't rained in a while. I wouldn't burn stuff out there at the moment. Then again, I'm used to not being able to burn things at least half the year, much less in a rather densely populated area.

Hmm, I really should try to get a fresh inhaler soon. 'Tis the season for maple pollen.

Just needed to rant a bit!

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