melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Here is your handy-dandy quick reference to What Mel And Christy Are Up To, writing-wise, in the hopes that it will save our time and yours when you want to know what's up, what's next, are we going to revive X fic, are we making progress, blah blah blah. Please note:

**NAGGING WILL GET YOU NOWHERE.** In fact, nagging is counterproductive: Mel's writing juices positively dry up when she's faced with "write more write faster want want want", and then even Christy with a cattle prod can't keep things going.

Questions about progress on any of the fics listed here will be either ignored, or answered with something very brief along the lines of "check the sticky". Polite questions about anything not listed here by name will get polite answers. Rude questions about anything at all will get a Gundam despatched to stomp your house flat.

*updated 17 November 2014, about 2pm.*

State of the Mel: Directing minions!
State of the Christy: Busy!

State of the Website: Back up at a new provider!

State of the Other Websites: Since the collapse of the old House of Torment site, we've started putting our work up elsewhere. It'll take a while, but we'll eventually have full archives on and AO3.

State of the Writing:

- Hijacked by the plunnyjam!
--- Nurarihyon no Mago fic, Celadon: Up to Chapter 1.
--- Bleach sillyfic, Fight or Foreplay: Up to Chapter 6.
--- GW/Honorverse crossover: Up to Chapter 2.
--- GW/Bleach crossover, Bankai Wing: "Duo and Wufei and Heero and Nemu and Still Ghosts, Oh My" has been posted! Go read it!
--- Log Horizon fic, Respec: Chapter 2 is in progress, about 2/3 done!
Normal service will resume as soon as we can unjam our brains.

- Demon of Justice: Up to Chapter 43.
- Warped Mirrors: Up to Chapter 28.
- Alarums and Excursions: Up to Chapter 14.
- Rebuilding: Paused. We plan to resume it once DoJ is either completed, or at a point where switching between it and Rebuilding doesn't require a full brain reset.
- Viri & Hath: Part 2 started and percolating in Mel's brain. Part 5(?) already written and waiting for its turn.
- Everything Else: Hiding from the bunnies in the back of our heads. Progress is possible but not planned at this time.

[ profile] moon_angelica has created a Demon of Justice epub file that can be downloaded from MediaFire HERE!
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Not dead! Just busy, and posting on other platforms when I actually remember to interact with the world. :P

This is the brief version of the "what has been happening with Mel" update, to be followed by a more detailed explanation of various bits and pieces as opportunity presents.

- My gardening and fishkeeping adventures in the aquaponics setup in my homemade hoop house have produced one heck of a lot of tomatoes, leafy greens, and other vegetables and continue to be tons of fun.

- The cats continue to be furry rulers of all they survey. Holly keeps coming up with new ways to steal my yarn.

- The Handsome Hubby had a total hip replacement not quite two weeks ago. This one is going to get a very detailed post all to itself; highlights will include his surgeon saying "Wow, I'm amazed you can still walk" when he saw the 'before' X-rays, and the many virtues of keyhole surgery. For now I'll just say he was home in four days and is already down to using just one crutch more than half the time. Woo!

- We joke that he's beta-testing the surgeon for me, because once he's through his physio and able to drive again, I'm going to book MY hip replacement. Turns out that if psoriatic arthritis decides to go after your hip joint, it does a very good job of pretending to be osteoarthritis. (Surgeon on seeing my X-rays: "Oh yeah, you've got definite bone degradation here, and look, you can see how you've lost most of your cartilage space. See all these little pits in the bone, that's very characteristic of psoriatic arthritis...")
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Since my last post I have:
- gotten the two x-rays my new rheumatologist wanted (results: good, not much degeneration in the joints checked)
- gotten the TWENTY-FIVE blood tests he also ordered (results: no idea, presumably he will be very informed soon)
- started the aquaponics project I have wanted to do for YEARS (results: Mel is having fun playing with plumbing fittings and water!)

That last bit has resulted in a realisation. Which is, wow I've gotten really good at moderating what I do to avoid messing myself up.

Basically, I don't do stuff if it's going to hurt, as in "no I do not want to go for a five-mile hike thank you," "I walked quite a bit this morning so I will take the car to the shops instead of walking there," "I have made good progress on this craft project but I should stop now," and so on. It's gotten automatic, really, so it's sliding from a thing I do on purpose to a thing I do without thinking about it.

Aaaaaand then I get caught up in a fun project and just Do Things without thinking about whether or not I am overdoing it - not even big things! very minor things! there was shopping and then there was building one little bell siphon! - and then holy cow I am wrecked. Like, ow. Really ow. Ow in all sorts of places.

...but I'm still having fun, so I will be doing more today! Just, er, sitting down as much as possible while doing it, and being more mindful of how I'm bending...
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Soooooo, uh. Remember how I was kinda annoyed at my rheumatologist, because I found out that my IBS could be linked to my arthritis and she never mentioned that? Plus the whole bit where I didn't feel like I could ask her questions because she always responded kinda angrily, like I was questioning her authority or some bullshit like that, instead of just wanting to know more details about what is happening to my actual body HELLO.

Ahem. Anyway. Saw my new rheumatologist this week. And now I'm more annoyed at my previous rheumatologist.

You know what else is related to my arthritis? All the tendon issues (achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, etc etc) I've had through my entire life. That's part of the whole syndrome. Which, by the way, is almost certainly psoriatic arthritis, not rheumatoid. Previous rheumatologist just said rheumatoid, and then when I brought up that someone on the internet had asked if I had ridges on my nails because that's a symptom of psoriatic arthritis (and yes I do indeed have ridges on my nails), well that's where we get into the angry reaction stuff, and after she got done snapping at me she admitted that yes, it probably was psoriatic arthritis, but she was calling it rheumatoid because it was all basically the same but if it was rheumatoid then it was easier to get approval for subsidies for the Really Expensive Treatments.

...Which she then never fucking applied for, so there was no fucking point in dancing around what type of autoimmune arthritis it was, was there?

Oh, and then we get to the bit where previous rheumatologist really wanted me to lower the dosage on the steriods that supplement my main meds, but never actually said why until I looked things up online and discovered, hey, at this dosage I have a 30% chance of developing cataracts. New rheumatologist is right up front with that, and about the bone demineralisaton that long-term steroid use can cause (didn't know much about that, thanks previous doctor), and is doing the paperwork to try to get me onto the hoopy expensive medication, and has also explained the other reasons why he really really wants to get my arthritis under better control, which are that irreversable progressive damage is happening to my joints and tendons all the time (I knew that) and that slowing it down is good (I knew that) and that the longer it goes uncontrolled the higher risk of stroke and cardiac problems I have (WAIT WHAT THE FUCK WHY DID MY PREVIOUS DOCTOR NEVER MENTION THIS SHIT WHAT THE HELL?!?!?).

Fuck SAKE.

There was also about a ten-minute stretch in the middle of the appointment where he kept asking, "Okay, did [previous doctor] try you on [drug name]? No? How about [drug name]? No? Did she try [drug name]? No? Did she test you for [thingy]? No? How about [other thingy]? ...No?" And he never said a single disparaging word about my previous doctor, but damn, I think he wanted to. He's also wayyyy more supportive about me wanting to continue IVF than previous doc ever was.

Right, so, one thing that my previous rheumatologist wanted to do was to get me back on methotrexate - and she wanted this A LOT, the last couple of appointments I had with her were basically "How are you doing? Still trying to get pregnant? Well I can't put you back on methotrexate while you're doing that, let me know when you stop, keep taking painkillers in the meantime, bye." One time it wasn't "when you stop," it was "when you give up," which as I'm sure you can guess did not sit well with me. Now. It is possible, and I'm giving her tons of the benefit of the doubt here, that she wanted to get me back on methotrexate because the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will not approve the hoopy expensive arthritis medications unless you have been on methotrexate for at least six months and two other drugs for at least six and your arthritis has not been controlled by them. I was on methotrexate for more than six months all right, but maybe she felt that it was long enough ago that the PBS wouldn't count it. Maaaaaybe she wanted to put me back on it as the first step in getting me the better options.

And maaaaaaaybe if that was her reasoning she should have fucking told me that. And maaaaaaybe she should have done the paperwork for those better options back the first time she put me on methotrexate and it didn't work. Maaaaaaaaaybe I think that even if she was working towards getting approval for the hoopy drugs she was still a shitty doctor and maaaaaaaybe I'm really glad I'm not going to her any more. Maaaaaaaaaybe I'm kinda pissed off that I didn't get fed up enough to fire her years ago.
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Today, I have had many cups of tea. I have taken fish oil capsules (which I couldn't while I was on the Boring Diet From Heck, and really made my joints unhappy). I have eaten numerous tasty, tasty things that were definitely not on the Boring Diet of Boring Boredom.

My digestive system has been behaving almost perfectly. Right up until the last day of Stupid Boring Food it was going *twang poing gurgle STAB ick GAG rumblerumblerumble OW* and today... nuffink! O_o;; Have I scared it into submission? Did my taste buds threaten to put a hit out on it if it didn't shut up and let them get some fun?!

[ETA: okay scratch that it didn't last :P]
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)




Nov. 1st, 2015 06:29 pm
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Well, as time goes on it's becoming clear that whatever else is going on with my stomach, the limits on what I can and can't eat have definitely changed.

I've been back on the strict FODMAP diet for about a month now, and yeah, a few of my symptoms have improved. I used to only react very minimally to lactose - I got some mild gurgles from it if I drank a full glass or more, nothing that actually bothered me, so I didn't actually bother restricting it at all. Now? Well, one of the things that testing has shown is that I am producing virtually no lactase enzyme at all. Normal range is 20-150 (no idea what units they're using). Me? I have four. My dietician says she's never seen levels that low in any of her clients before. So yeah, lactose BAD, as proven by an extremely small serving of icecream that, wow, I shouldn't have eaten. Yeah, the list of things I'll be able to eat on the Diet Of Doom should say lactose-free vanilla ice cream, I forgot to type that in and Da Hubby didn't make the connection and bought the ordinary type and I was still in "oh it doesn't bother me much" mode aaaaaand... wow that was painful. So! No more lactose! At all!

Another thing that I used to eat in moderation is garlic. Garlic (along with onions and a bunch of other tasty tasty things) contains something called Oligos-fructans, and back when I was first working out my possible diet we established that I could have some without suffering. It had to be fresh, not dried, and I did have limits - I couldn't eat French onion soup, for example, or eat anything where the ingredients listed 'powdered vegetables', but I could cook stock with onions and garlic in it and then use that stock to make other stuff, or put a little fresh garlic in a recipe. We're going to have to work out my new limits, and I'm pretty sure they're going to be lower than before... because Hubby went out and got lamb kebabs on Thursday, and he ordered mine with mayonnaise, but he'd ordered garlic sauce and the girl making them put the same sauce on both and because that's the sauce I usually get (and I wasn't paying attention) I didn't really notice until I'd eaten half of it aaaaaand... again, wow, that was painful. I'm still getting stabby twinges three days later. It's entirely possible that my new limit is going to be "haha NOPE".

A'course, even when I am eating strict FODMAP with no accidents, I'm still not doing great in the stomach health department, so this alone isn't going to fix things. I go on the Diet Of Doom after seeing my dietician again on the 11th, and - as I believe I may have mentioned LOUDLY before - I really hope that doesn't turn out to fix the rest of my symptoms. I want to find out what's wrong and fix it, but if I have to choose between "stomach pain" and "insanely restrictive diet" for the rest of my life I am not gonna be a happy little Vegemite. (Which, incidentally, is fine on the FODMAP diet but very VERY banned on the Diet Of Doom.)


This update is brought to you by Da Hubby cooking some absolutely delicious-smelling lamb shanks for dinner, using a recipe base that he remembered I had eaten before without problems, and then finding out that they've changed the fucking formula and garlic is now the first ingredient.
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Starting about November 11th, this is what I'll be stuck eating for at least a few weeks:

bean sprouts
green beans
cabbage (green, not red or purple)
brussells sprouts
iceberg lettuce
leeks (just the green bits)

'plain' bread (spelt or otherwise wheat-free)

cottage cheese
lactose-free milk

fresh fish (not salmon, tuna, or prawns)
fresh meat (no marinades or stuffing etc)
chicken (ditto)

plain biscuits
plain potato chips

gluten-free cornflakes

canola cooking spray
canola / sunflower / safflower oil

rice (not jasmine, basmati, or wild)
plain wheat-free pasta

lemonade (i.e. Sprite, not stuff with actual lemons in it)
vanilla icecream
pampas or home brand puff pastry

If it's not on that list - including things like 'pepper' and 'lemon juice' and 'herbs' and 'anything that might add a little flavour' - it's not gonna be in my diet. And all of the above has the caveat "can't contain any of these additives":

Colours 102, 104, 110, 122, 123, 124, 127, 129, 132, 133, 142, 143, 151, 155, or natural colour 160b (annatto)
Sorbates (200-203)
Benzoates (210-219)
Sulphites (220-228)
Nitrates, nitrites (249-252)
Propionates (280-283)
Gallates (310-312)
TBHQ, BHA, BHT (319-321)
Glutamates incl MSG (620-625)
Ribonucleotides (627, 631, 635)
Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Anything identified as an 'artificial flavour'

Annnnnd I need to find some toothpaste that isn't mint-flavoured, and scent-free laundry powder, because apparently even that can Do Things if you're reacting to this shit.

If I go on this diet for a few weeks and nothing changes, I will be flinging all the restrictions out the window, because HAHA FOOD WITH FLAVOUR BITCHES. Seriously, I have been warned, even doing things like caramelising butter or slow-cooking meat to develop the flavour increases the levels of the chemicals I'm trying to cut out by doing this.

If I go on this diet and it helps, well, I'll be stuck on it for a while, but we'll be doing challenges to work out which foods are problems, and the range of things I can eat will gradually expand again.

...still hoping this doesn't fix it.
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Saw my dietician Tuesday, as part of the Things I Have Been Told To Do To Cope Until Whatever This Bullshit Is Gets Fixed.

The good news is that there are two possible likely causes of my current neverending gastric distress! Both can be managed with diet! And even if neither is the cause, finding that out will be more information for my gastroenterologist to use to get a diagnosis quicker! So yay.

The bad news is, holy fuck I'm going to run out of things I can eat.

Possibility #1 is that my IBS may have kicked itself up several notches. To test this out, I have to go on a stricter version of the diet I'm already on for the next three weeks. Annoying, but not a problem. If this fixes my gut problems completely (unlikely) or helps a bit (likely) I'll have to go through all the rigamarole of finding my new limits again, been there, done that, still not a problem.

Possibility #2 is that I may now be reacting to an entirely different set of foods as well as the ones that set off my IBS, because my stomach may have decided it no longer likes salicylates, amines, and/or glutamate. These are naturally found in a whole lot of foods, and - because something out there hates me - the diet you have to follow to avoid them is pretty well the opposite of the diet I have to follow for my IBS. Like, there is ONE fruit (bananas) that is allowed by both diets, and that's only if they're not very ripe. After three weeks on the strict IBS diet I have to add in the avoiding-particular-natural-chemicals diet, and the list of foods I can eat will abruptly get very, very short. (Gotta avoid all the preservatives and artificial colours at the same time, too.)

Perhaps the best way to explain this diet is by quoting one line from the NSW Department of Health website: "As a rule, the tastier a food is, the richer it's likely to be in [these] natural chemicals."

...So. Uh. Dinner's gonna get boring. And I will have to give up tea.

My dietician: "You can still drink coffee!"
Me: "I don't like coffee." ;_;
My dietician: "...You might have to learn to."

I'll just be over here hoping that Possibility #2 is NOT a winner.
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Went to see the gastroenterologist yesterday.

...Okay, anyone who's chronically ill (and especially any woman who is chronically ill) knows how good it feels when you talk to a doctor who gets it. A doctor who listens, and believes you, and actually explains what they're doing and why and what they think about your test results and... generally treats you as a reasonable person who, y'know, understandably would like information about your condition and agency in deciding how to investigate and treat it. So! My gastroenterologist is lovely and I have more testing booked for January and a plan for what to do until then and I am entirely happy with him and my treatment plan!

In not entirely unrelated news, I have decided that I am going to fire my rheumatologist.

Did you know that rheumatoid arthritis often causes stomach/gut problems? Including IBS? I did not know this until I did some research this week, and I asked my gastroenterologist yesterday, and he thinks it is entirely possible that my assorted digestive problems are caused by my rheumatoid arthritis. It is one of the possible causes he will be looking into, and is in fact the reason why he's doing specific test A before specific test B, and... anyway, yes, rheumatoid arthritis can = gut problems. It is a Known Thing.

It is a Known Thing that my rheumatologist has never once mentioned to me.

I have been seeing her for... six years? About that. I have had IBS for at least two. I have asked her if my arthritis medications might have caused the IBS, so it's not like she didn't know I had it. AND YET. Not a word. So, either she doesn't know of the possible connection (bad), or it didn't occur to her (bad), or it did occur to her but she dismissed it without ever investigating the possibility or telling me about it.

I would not have a problem with "This is sometimes a thing, but I don't think it applies, because (reason)." I do have a problem with "This is sometimes a thing, but I don't think it applies, and I'm not going to check, or even going to mention it to the person most affected by the possibility." And since I already had a couple of less-serious gripes about her, well, I'm going to get a new referral from my GP and GOODBYE. :P
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
And apologies for not replying to the nice people who have messaged me asking if I am okay. I kinda am.

By 'kinda' I mean 'usually I am mentally OK but physically haha, nope'. :P Arthritis continues to suck, IBS is reasonably well controlled but still kicks up horribly when I eat something I shouldn't (either because of stubbornness/stupidity or because either it wasn't labeled or not labeled well enough), I now have a new thing going with my stomach that my doctor is still running through tests trying to diagnose so we can treat the damn thing, and I haven't been well enough to work in a month. I am wayyyyyy low on spoons.

We continue to try to write. It continues to happen very, very slowly. Eventually there will be a chapter of something. Yay!
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
WELP. Life goes on and health goes up and down and IVF still doesn't do the trick... damnit... and work demands attention, and what with one thing and another even if stuff gets written I flake on posting it! Aaaaaand then my computer dies. D'you know how much fun it is, posting from my phone? It is not fun. That is what it is.

I am sorry. Please don't blame Christy. It's not her fault. :P

(........also there's a WoW expansion. OMG. To quote Norcumi, "Those fools! They gave you MINIONS!" XD)

Bankai Wing part 5 )
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Just feeling like death warmed over. :P

Sorry for the continued hiatus - Christy and I have been writing a bit, and trying to write quite a bit more, but my immune system has officially given up on me and is letting everything through. The latest crappy bug took over two weeks to diagnose, had my doctor worried that I might have diverticulitis (which... no. No thank you. I do not need another damn chronic condition), and requires treatment with a sledgehammer antimicrobial drug that is actually making me sicker. (Temporarily. I keep telling myself that. Temporarily.)

So... uh... yeah. Sorry. I can't write when I feel like this, characters would die messily. :P
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Hey all,

Just a heads-up to apologise for the slowdown in writing lately and to let you know it might continue for a while.

To make a long story short, Da Handsome Hubby and I started IVF earlier this year, hormonal stimulation for egg collection is NOT fun, I did get pregnant but things have not been going well for several weeks, and now I am... not pregnant.

Writing will resume when I feel up to it. Until then,

- Mel
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
...okay, this was actually written and ready to be posted about two weeks ago, and I COMPLETELY FLAKED on doing it. Uh. I blame... stuff. Life stuff. Including the fact that Christy and I just spent five days in another city, three of 'em attending a convention (having fun and buying way too many anime t-shirts). ;)

Bankai Wing: Heero and Nemu and Ghosts, Oh My )
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Fight or Foreplay part 6: Make It Look Good

Continuing the completely and totally INSANE Bleach silly fic, by Mel and Christy. Now with actual plot!
(Kenpachi + Ichigo + Grimmjow, Ulquiorra + Orihime, AU, OOC, language, moderately crackfic)

Fight or Foreplay 6 )
melredcap: (AARGH!)
Arthritis is flaring.

Weather changes on Friday as Canberra remembers it's supposed to be autumn here now, to cold and wet, and my joints go *SPROING* and suddenly I'm hobbling.

Weather changes again last night, getting a bit better, and instead of improving with it my joints go "NO FUCK YOU WE DON'T LIKE CHANGE" and I can't sleep

annnnd now I have a migraine.

ffffff I just wanted to play Diablo with Leah today
melredcap: Cute chibi sketch of me by Asuka (Default)
Augh, apologies for the delay in posting this chapter - it was kind-of finished weeks ago, back from betas and everything, but I have been in a complete "dear gods, editing is NOT HAPPENING" headspace. So. That's sorted. Here you go. :P

Warped Mirrors chapter 28: Vas-y! )
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 09:31 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios