Jun. 8th, 2011

urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
The boiler repair guy came and went by about 10. [personal profile] vatine kindly stayed home to deal with him, and I managed to sleep through the whole thing. (Besides the social awkwardness thing, after getting one really skeezy-acting meter reader I'm still pretty sure didn't attack me because I was bigger than he was--and still kept sizing me up--I do not like to let strangers into the house while I'm home alone.)

You may have hard water when it takes two or three years for your boiler to get limed up to the point of cascading failure. Yep, we had to replace it not too long ago, and it's again to the point of "as much to fix it as replace it". (To the tune of about £2000, IIRC.) They didn't suggest any regular maintenance on the current one, but maybe some kind of preventative care will help the next one live longer. One drawback to the otherwise pretty cool and space-efficient combi boiler approach: it's complicated, with very little that is user serviceable. And you're not supposed to open them up and poke around without being Gas Safe certified. I was hoping there was some kind of minor flushing we could do or something to get some of the limescale out, but apparently not.

Ah well. It could be worse. It's June, the shower heats water (besides the dishwasher and washing machine), and we've got a space heater just in case.

And I'm reminded of this one: 50% of Americans Couldn’t Come Up with $2,000 in an Emergency (and I was surprised it wasn't more). Ghost poverty had me automatically half-panicking and hoping we'd be able to get heat and hot water back before winter, but, yeah, that's not a major problem now. As much as I still near-literally nickel-and-dime myself to death, even with me unable to work now, we're apparently in the top 20% of UK incomes.* (Which says a lot about inequality, actually.)

We're also on the second replacement washing machine in a few years. Even with regularly using sodium carbonate in the wash and running empty hot loads with lots of vinegar or citric acid, they've gotten crudded up with lime internally. But, you boil a pot of water and get lime scum on the top and a ring around the pot. I grew up on limestone karst, where there used to be a lot of mineral spring resorts, and never saw anything like the liquid chalk you get in London. I guess the softer stone makes a huge difference in ready solubility.

* This really struck me when we knew we needed at least an £800 boiler system flushing (no, insufficient after all!)--and Ingvar suggested going out and looking at Xooms. (ETA: And he's hardly prone to wild spending sprees. /ETA) I think my jaw was honestly hanging open for a minute there. I mean, I knew we weren't poor, but I'd been cutting back on food expenses and putting off buying things like a new pair of £50 walking sandals and a couple of shirts. Different assumptions and expectations based on experience, indeed. :-|
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Oh yeah. I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but a lot of all kinds of energy seems to have been going into recovering from the longterm D deficiency. (Now that I know what the symptoms are for me, it looks like this has been a problem to varying degrees for at least 15 years. Ever since I got put on meds that made me photosensitive and prone to overheating in the sun, surprise! :-|) On the plus side, the musculoskeletal pain is continuing to improve *crosses fingers*, to the point that plain aspirin is enough most of the time (if just barely). Most of the pain is from bones, not constantly spasmy electrolyte-deprived muscles now. I've yet to have a pain-free day, but it's looking possible again. OTOH, if anything the brain fog has been temporarily worse lately, and has really been getting in the way of replying after reading stuff. Reading/writing/working with language in general, actually; the first thing that usually goes for me.

But, given all the things vitamin D does in the body (since it's really a steroid hormone, not a vitamin) and the amount of bone remineralization that must be going on--since the osteomalacia got to the point of the pelvic fracture from a dog kick and my shinbones are not straight anymore--that side of things probably needs the lion's share of resources right now. So I'm trying not to worry about it too much.


Click through for a bigger version that's actually readable. I am not up to describing that image right now, sorry. (Was glad to find out that having trouble with that anyway is a common autistic thing.) And the hell of it is, that's far from a complete list, presumably for space considerations.

A lot of time and energy have also been going into doing things I just couldn't reasonably do before, like (patio) gardening and trying to get this house cleaned up. Which has been very nice in a way, especially since finding out there's been a "legitimate" named problem has kinda given me permission not to run myself into the ground so much. *shakes head* I still get worn out very easily, but it's so nice to be able to do this stuff in the first place! So, I haven't been online much at all lately.

Basically, I'm to the point that I'm feeling stronger and healthier enough to be able to appreciate (and keep getting shocked at) just how weak and unhealthy I'd gradually gotten. While I don't expect instant total improvement after the length of time this crap has been going on, with any luck the energy levels will even out a bit soon!

September 2011

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