On Australia Day I started the Couch to 5K running program, and I’m now up to week 4. For a while I was using a purpose built C25K app on my iPhone, but I’ve now switched to Runkeeper Pro, which is really excellent. It creates a GPS map of your run and automagically posts it online for you, but the feature I like most is that you can quickly and easily set up your run in intervals. It’s simple to set it up to coach you through an interval program, while playing your own track list in the background. It’s magic. So I have been trying to find the perfect song list to motivate me while I’m out there. Here’s the best set I’ve come up with so far:
1 A-team Intro / The A-Team / The A-Team
2 Nicotine & Gravy / Beck / Midnite Vultures
3 Gloria / Them / The Best of Van Morrison [Mercury]
4 Buddy Holly / Weezer / Weezer
5 Tainted Love / Soft Cell / The Very Best of Soft Cell
6 Lust for Life / Iggy Pop / Nude & Rude: The Best of Iggy Pop
7 Wild America / Iggy Pop / Nude & Rude: The Best of Iggy Pop
8 One After 909 / The Beatles / Let It Be
9 Back In The U.S.S.R. / The Beatles / Love
10 I’m Waiting For The Man / The Velvet Underground / The Velvet Underground & Nico
Catherine Howell tagged me today for a meme that requires me to post 5 things I think you probably wouldn’t know about me, and then tag 5 more bloggers. I don’t actually usually participate in these things, but this time I was so annoyed that I had forgotten my login details to my Educause blog that I set about hacking back in to my own account, and lo and behold I made it. So here goes.
- When I was 12, I went trekking in Nepal.
- I suffer from labyrinthitis, which has brought a new appreciation for a sense we rarely think about: balance. Nobody can see the effect of this illness.
- I’ve been to the USA 14 times in 14 years. The last time I was there was 2003. Most of these trips have been work-related, and I want to go back this year because it seems like such a long time ago that I was there.
- I’ve lived a double life since the early 1990s, as a member of obscure online communities such as The Foothills, Brainstorms and GCS. None of these communities has a special topic, they’re there for online discussion, and I met some of my best friends at them.
- Tonight I’m performing in the opening night of a dance show called ‘Elemental’ at the ADC theatre here in Cambridge, and I’ll perform every night this week, finishing on Saturday.
I tag dogpossum, Vike, Dozka, Barrington and Swingsuz.
Yesterday was I took one of the last steps in my quest for some answers about my dizziness. At least one of the last steps I will take before I leave for the UK. I went and saw a Neurologist. He was very thorough, and gave me a bunch of different tests as well as some I had already done. I gave him my whole history and he spent quite a while going through some other questions. He’s diagnosed me with something called BPPV — Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. He’s pretty definite about it. The way he described it was that one of my ears has got some little crystals in it, almost certainly because of the vestibular neuritis / viral labyrinthitis. I found a more detailed explanation on this page.
The ear that works tends to “push” me towards the ear that doesn’t work, resulting in spinning or movement. Anyway he reckons I need to try some home treatment exercises, which are also described on the page above. He also reckons that it works for almost all people within like a week, and that it probably won’t come back! I hope he’s right.
Okay, okay, so I haven’t been updating much lately. Well, at all. It’s just that I don’t have a lot to talk about. Well, there’s news, but for various reasons I’m not able to talk about it here yet. Maybe more soon.
I can say that I’ve been very busy lately. At the start of October I took over the coordinator role for my group and it’s meant quite a bit of extra work behind the scenes, on top of my normal project load. Some of it is boring, but some of it is quite interesting as well.
It’s hard to believe that we’re almost in November already and that MLX is only just around the corner. It’s a strange feeling not to have to worry about how the registrations are going, or to attend volunteer meetings at every spare moment.
The labyrinthitis continues, unfortunately, and on Monday I went in for an MRI, which was actually a much more greuling experience than I had imagined. Nothing at all like a CT Scan, which was pretty easy. The main difference is that the whole machine shudders and makes a huge racket, which makes you feel like you have your head inside a jet engine while it’s starting up. It’s very offputting.
I also wasn’t prepared for the strange feeling of the magnet sort of scanning around… it’s a very odd sensation and sort of made me think of weird science fiction brain probing experiments. The strangest feeling was my eyeballs sort of jiggling around as though they were being buffeted by an invisible force (which they probably were). I thought magnets only had an effect on metal! Perhaps it was just the vibrations of the machinery as it clunks around.
Whatever it was, I finished up with a king sized headache and my eyes were watering from movement. The funniest thing was they ask you to bring along a CD of your favourite music, which I did, but you can’t hear a bloody thing. First they shove huge earplugs in your ears, and then they turn up the volume so you can just hear it. But as soon as the scanning starts, you can’t hear anything else at all. I got up to find the medicos talking about what great dance music I’d chosen and smiling broadly, so at least someone was happy.
Well, I haven’t been able to post about it until now but it’s finally public. We’re not going to be coordinating MLX this year. It was a tough decision to make, but we’re both relieved too. I think it’s going to be really different for both of us to be there as attendees and just enjoy the vibe, and the new team is going to be great. I’m not quite sure if they know what they’ve gotten themselves into, but that’s probably a good thing. Here’s our announcement, made yesterday night.
Today I have been thinking about why I haven’t been blogging much lately. It’s simple really. I’m sick of hearing myself whine about being sick. It seems to be the main topic of conversation everywhere and with everyone, and it seems to affect just about every aspect of life. So I can’t be bothered writing about it here any more. I want to be over it. I want to just put it behind me like it was last week’s news. So I think I will.
You might think that going into hospital at 6.45am for a ‘day procedure’ requiring general anaesthetic and swallowing a camera so someone can snip some bits of your stomach and oesophagous out for tests would be bad enough. Indeed you might be right. However I’ve discovered that the three worst things about day surgery aren’t really directly to do with surgery at all.
1. Trying to sleep the night before. For someone who has never been under a general in his life I think I was pretty cool calm and collected about the whole thing. But it was just like going on a big trip — you just don’t want to miss that plane. So even though I got to sleep by about 10.30pm I kept waking up… 4am, 4.30am, 5.00am, 5.15am, 5.35am… etc. etc. The most annoying thing? We got to the hospital ahead of time and were directed by a security guy up to the doctor’s suite where we waited for 30 mins. When nobody arrived we finally found out we had been told the wrong thing and had to go to Admissions, one level down. Thanks, security guy.
2. Getting your car towed. Yes, I was sleepy and distracted, and it was dark when we arrived. However, it was still pretty stupid to misread the sign on Victoria Parade. I think I only read the part where it said we could park for 2 hours from 9.30am. Not the part that said TOW AWAY ZONE 7am-9.30am. Our brand new car is now sitting in a pound somewhere in the city.
3. Daytime TV sucks. Man, I always forget just how much. When Oprah Winfrey and Judge Judy are the highlights of the day’s viewing, “you got problems”. Talk to the hand because the face ain’t listening.
Anyway the doc says everything looks normal in my gullet, so that’s a positive.
Today was disappointing in a way, but I think it could work out for the better. I set to work to get my research project back on track after taking a well earned break and illness. I phoned the Law school to find out about the usage of DRALE this semester. They weren’t sure last time I checked. Now it appears that it is not slated for use until the Summer Semester with the JD group. That’s going to be too late for me because I want to complete my interviews in the next couple of months. On the upside, I’ve been thinking about other projects I could use for a while now and The Campaign is a good second choice. I’m now setting about reshaping my interview questions to suit. I believe my research questions should still work with only a couple of word changes (the ones that relate to Law specifically). Next I will contact the lecturer and then the supes.
One of the only good things about feeling unwell for a significant period of time is, of course, the feeling of relief when you have a good day. I caught myself saying to Lotte tonight “I feel so happy when I’m not sick”. She just laughed. But it’s really what I was feeling.
It’s all because of Slippery Elm. By last weekend I’d had enough of feeling nauseous all the time and was getting an increasing amount of indigestion too. It turns out that the uneasy stomach associated with this inner ear infection can result in gastric reflux. Great. So I decided to go off to the local Pharmacist and ask him what I should be doing about it. The answer was to take a strange substance called Slippery Elm after meals. It’s just the inner bark of a tree ground up. The stuff comes in capsules, which I just break open and mix into tea or aloe vera juice. It’s actually not all that bad tasting and man, it works. So if you’re ever feeling sick, look out for this stuff.
No blogging for a few days from me. Sorry about that. I seem to have been a bit to preoccupied with being dizzy to blog, and it all just seemed like more of the same, so I didn’t bother. Basically the story for the past few days has been the same — mild nausea and dizziness with occasional bouts where it becomes too difficult to walk/work/do anything. I went home from work on Tuesday and just had to sleep. Last night I didn’t have any symptoms until about 9.30pm, when I started to feel bad, and I just went to sleep early. Woke up feeling okay at 8am. The rest of the morning wasn’t so great, but I’m feeling mostly better again now.
Meanwhile the builders continue to cause havoc, but are progressing quickly. They’ve now put ducting under the house and today seemed to be shaping up to paint our newly repaired hallway wall. This is a very good sign because it hopefully means that there will be less dust around the place — no more sanding back the new plaster. Until they start work on the other walls at any rate. Lotte picked a good time to have two night shifts because yesterday the dust was all the way to the back of the house (including completely covering one of Lotte’s red shoes, turning it white).
Yesterday after some relationship troubles Ursi booked herself on a flight home to Zurich. It was sad to hear that she was leaving early, and when I responded to her message we arranged to meet up for a coffee to say goodbye. Unfortunately Lotte couldn’t come because she was at work. Anyway she was in reasonable spirits — quite philosophical really, and we talked about meeting up again in Herrang. She’s still deciding whether she’ll come back and study here next year. I hope she does.
With one thing and another this has been a challenging week for us and a lot of our friends. The Swede went in for surgery yesterday on her hip. I spoke to her last night though and she was doing really well. Sounds like the surgery was a big success, but only time will tell for sure. I hope next week will be a better one for everyone.