Monday, February 22, 2010


Maths tutoring...
So, I had maths tutoring for the first time since last May, the whole 2.5hrs, and it went pretty well. Still on the first chapter, but it's slow work. Particularly the binomial expansions & Pascal's triangle. (Curse you, binomial expansions!! Pascal's triangle, too, so damn confusing!) I was doing really well (as my tutor said to me & my mum) particularly as I remembered polynomial division, without having revised it. I like polynomial division, when it's not a complex equation, it's almost relaxing. Like simple algebra, you can just do it almost without thinking. Or like me talking about my illness in German. Becoming second nature, lol. So 1.1 is "Algebra of polynomials", and I covered the remainder & factor theorems, long division of polynomials & factorisation, equality of polynomials, solution of polynomial equations, equations reducible to quadratics, equations involving higher degree polynomials & Pascal's triangle & binomial expansions. Then it's on to 1.2 next week: "Systems of simultaneous linear equations"... With matrices, yay.

Stationery & payback time...
I have one notebook from last year for notes & working out, but then I copy out the examples & notes into a new notebook, in nice colours. (Scents, too, they're Smiggle pens.) That should help me remember more of the equations! Methods is blue, so it's a blue display book, blue exercise books, blue pencil case & butterfly binder folder. My hand was soooooo sore after tutoring, though. I haven't really needed to use a pen for more than 10mins since my November exam! Of course, my back was killing me, too, as punishment for getting up early, (woke at 6am, didn't sleep again) studying & sitting upright. I expected it, & I don't think it was as bad as it could've been. I took Nurofen before tutoring, for a headache, which dulled the pain a little. Then I had to turn to my Panadeine Forte, which I ration incredibly strictly. I should really get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon for my back pain & scoliosis; I saw one when I was 9, but haven't seen one since. Everyone goes "Oh, you have ME/CFS" ... And dismisses the pain.

A new routine?
I'm considering trying to get up each day between 11am & midday, & trying an afternoon nap to catch up on sleep, then trying to go without the nap. I'll find out which works best, because I've found sleep hygeine & sleep regimes to be a bunch of BS. They didn't help, they made me worse, or had no effect, no matter how many months I stuck at it. I've got an appointment at the gym for my personal training session on Thursday afternoon, which I can hopefully attend. I need a new pair of jeans & some t-shirts; so that's another reason to get out of the house! I'm going to try to go out as often as I can, I'm going stir-crazy without school, not being able to catch up with friends, all of the stuff that comes with ME/CFS. Even if it's just down the street to go to a cafe for a drink with my mum, that'll do. It's awful being stuck indoors. Even if there's really good shows on tv.

The 10th Doctor, gone...
Last night was the second part of the "End Of Time" specials. David Tennant's Doctor regenerated. Into Matt Smith. I am debating between giving the guy a go as a Doctor (by that, I mean 1 episode) or refusing to accept that David Tennant has left, & reliving the series on DVD. Repeatedly. I like the sound of the latter... I heard a rumour they're changing the TARDIS, to go with a changed Doctor. I'm sorry, but YOU CANNOT DO THAT!!! It's the TARDIS, the blue police box, & it will not work any other way. On a similar note, why couldn't David Tennant have stayed for another year or two? Just 'till I graduated from high school. It was nice knowing I could escape for about an hour, once a week, with an eccentric character like the 10th Doctor. (Who reminds my mother of the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker!)

Is there some comfort despite the 10th Doctor being gone?
There's supposed to be another series of Torchwood on it's way, or in the works... That's a little comfort, I guess. But Captain Jack Harkness is no 10th Doctor. Plus, after all that happened in 'Children Of Earth', how will Torchwood continue, exactly? Will it suck, like The OC after they wrote Marissa Cooper out of it? Hope not. Also, I like to consider myself as someone who isn't obsessed with looks, but... Matt Smith, 11th Doctor? Where's the quirkiness, the looks, a cool outfit? (Damn, that trenchcoat the 10th Doctor wore was so cool. I would totally wear one. If I wasn't so short, housebound & didn't live in a country that doesn't require trenchcoats!) I loved the 10th Doctor on sight. I had to take an episode or two to like the 9th Doctor, but he's still a bit too serious & military-ish for my liking. Just... I don't know if it's because I'm attached to the 10th Doctor that I hate the 11th, or it's actually because I hate the 11th. Just because. *mildly confused*

Skins. Yes, again.
At least there's still Skins. Thankfully. I finally watched episode 4 last night; it took me trying at least 10 links, none of them working past the 6 minute mark, but I tried the first link again. It worked, though it took several hours to load. I pause, then wait for the whole episode (or most of it) to load, then watch. I'm interested as to what will happen with series 5 & 6... Will they use Freddie's younger sister, & introduce her friends? The way Effy was introduced in series 1 & 2, only to become a lead character in series 3 & 4? Can't wait until series 4 comes out on DVD, or airs in Australia. It'll be in much better quality than online streaming!!

And, finally, back to ME/CFS...
I know that if I can sleep for more than an hour at a time & get 5+ hours' of sleep per night, my memory will improve, as will my ability to learn new things. This will, of course, be of immense help for my Methods exams at the end of the year. Either way, I hope to manage something around a 37 (scaled) & to do better in my Humanities & Literature subjects next year. Maybe a 40 for Lit, a 38 for Legal Studies? It all depends on my illness. I know I could get all marks in the 40's if I wasn't sick. There's no question about that. I'm sick of my life being defined & dictated by this illness that so many people see as fake. Right now, it's the lack of sleep & pain that is driving me insane. I could cope with one or the other, but they go hand-in-hand. It makes for fun times. I hope I start to improve soon. I don't know if I can get any worse, & I do not want to find out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My room

So, I'm going to try a sort of new lay-out for my posts...

An introduction: my room...

I spend a lot of time in my room. A lot of time not sleeping, watching DVDs, going on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'm also a messy person (not my locker, or when it comes to books, organisation, just my room) which annoys the hell out of my mum. So I did a massive room clean up, staged over several weeks. I cleared out my wardrobe. Filled a whole garbage bag of clothes to take to the Salvos, ones that I'd outgrown, never really worn, or just never fitted right. Also, my old school dresses I had been keeping for last year's muck up day. You get all your friends to sign your dress, you keep it forever. Figures I'd be too sick for muck up day!

My mum took a Killers poster I got for myself at Christmas, plus a Chris Grant testimonial poster (he's an AFL player) that I've had for... Well, months and months. Since I got my Western Bulldogs jumper last March/April. And The Killers poster is now near my bed, the Chris Grant one is above my desk shelf. They look great, but it meant I had to part with some of the print outs of Oasis and The Killers. When I say some, I mean, it covered half a wall. And I had to get rid of half that amount. I really want an Oasis poster now. Really. That would be epic. But I'm running out of wall space!! I might post pictures sometime, it's a matter of having some energy (or, just not be using next week's energy) getting the camera, taking the pictures, uploading to my laptop and then this blog. So, it may be a while.

Textbooks, and my desk...
My desk is also the neatest it's been since mum cleared it for school last year. (And that lasted for all of a day. I just did my homework and tutoring at the dining room table. You can spread all your stuff out there much more easily.) I've got some of my soft toys lined up, I've organised the drawers, all my stationery, so only functioning items can be found... I don't think I'll be scribbling a pen furiously, in the hopes it'll work, for a long time! I also threw out a lot of my school books that were never going to be sold. Old editions, or folders I'd kept for no particular reason, plus a whole lot of (now) useless notes. Japanese ones from Year 7. Idk why I was keeping those! But it's freed up a lot of space for the huge amount of study materials, books, folders, exercise books, etc. (read: crap) that comes with Year 12. I've kept all my German stuff, though. Right from Year 9. I still plan to study it at uni.

An epic tale - in a new, shiny (precious) hardcover edition:
I also put my new copy of LOTR on my desk. The books, not the movies. (God, I do read!! I have 3 bookshelves in my room, some of them double-stacked with books, and collapsing from the weight!) They're lovely, hardcover editions, divided into the 3 'books', with illustrations by Alan Lee, and they come in a box-cover-thing, and, yes, it cost $135 and I had to order it in especially, but it is SO WORTH IT. My copy (I got it when I was 7) is all-in-one, soft-cover, but with a particularly awesome drawing of Gandalf the Grey on the cover. I'm still keeping that one, for sentimental value. And I'm thinking about getting the same edition of 'The Hobbit' - hardcover, with illustrations, for my birthday. Anyway, these books will last for a long time, and there are just some books that have editions you HAVE to have.

Impulse shopping: some editions are forever...
My mum's copy of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is so cute. It's a Penguin, and the cover is in 3 colours, made to look like it's a child's writing, done in crayon. And there's a dead mockingbird on the cover (you know, lying on it's back) plus a list of the accolades the book's won. It is lovely, and it's not hardcover, so it will fall apart one day. But I'm always looking at 'To Kill A Mockingbird' in bookstores, in the hopes I'll find one like it. Now, the 'Tomorrow' series, by John Marsden. I bought every book as soon as it was released. And I started doing that when I was 9. Being 9, I didn't have a lot of money, or the foresight to buy hardcover. So I'm hoping for a boxset, because there's, like, 7 books, plus a 3 book follow-on series. Although the last 4 I have ARE hardcover, because that's all they were selling. Irritating.

Longing for stability...
I'm going to the gym today, (well, it's early morning, I'm not going until afternoon) I'm starting to see a personal trainer again. Starting at basics, obviously, I hope to build up enough strength to be able to (easily) carry my schoolbag, books & laptop next year, climb the ridiculous amount of stairs at school to get to classes, sign in, or go the library, and maybe be library captain again. Plus be able to study and do well in my subjects. Never mind celebrating my 20th birthday (I'll be old!) or going to the movies, just basic things like that. Things I used to manage in Year 11. But stability is one thing you can never have with this illness, and at some point, I need to realise that. I'm still feeling really achey, exhausted and sick. The 'flu-like' symptoms are getting worse, and I don't like it one bit! Plus my insomnia is here to keep me company, as always. I hope I can start to improve. Because I'm scared of what will happen if I get any worse.

Okay, so let me know what you think of the titles, and any ideas you've got for layout or readability. =)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time to stress!

Yep, it's officially time to stress. Distance ed is starting really soon. So is maths tutoring. And my mum and I are in the middle of filling out the distance education enrolment forms. Just got to figure out how to phrase my reasons for choosing distance ed. Obviously disability, but I need to convey the severity.

I've got my textbooks, folders, exercise books and necessary stationery. It's all labelled, too! (I must remember to buy spare batteries for my calculator...) Also arranged tutoring for the soonest date I could - 21/02; this Sunday is Chinese New Year, so the following one is best for my tutor. It's at 11am, but thankfully at home, not at the uni. I'd die if I had to get up at 10am, eat, dress, pack my books/meds/money AND get to the uni! So I guess I can get up at around 10.30, have something that won't induce severe nausea, but will keep me going for 2.5hrs, and get dressed. I hope it won't be hot, though. The uni has better a/c than my house.

I really miss school. Getting up a few days a week, putting on my uniform, and seeing kids. I know I'm too sick for it, but I still feel envious and upset when I see kids (even my brother) coming home from school, or leaving in the mornings.... I'm back to doing a bit of weight-bearing exercise, because I'll need stronger arms to carry my bag to school next year, and my books/laptop to classes. I'm thinking about seeing a personal trainer again, to get out of the house, have some structure, and hopefully improve my level of tolerance for activity and exercise related pain.

It's summery weather again, there were two days where it was less than 25*c, but now it's going to be 31*c+ for most of the week. Today is 35*c, I think. My sleep is totally screwed. I slept from 2am-5am, then got 20mins rest/sleep between 6am and 7.30am. I stayed up until nearly 10am, and had breakfast, then went back to bed, and managed to sleep again. 11am-1pm. If someone could just treat my sleep, they'd be treating my pain, nausea, and so many of my other symptoms. Right now I'm not coping with this amount of sleep. I can barely listen to music anymore, I can't go on Facebook chat, and watching DVDs is about all I can do. Interrupted sleep is killing me. I'd rather 4hrs' straight sleep a night than 8hrs' waking every 15mins.

I hope I meet new friends next year, and I really hope I can get out of the house enough this year. I've never liked shopping, but even buying CDs, or looking at sales is infinitely better than being house-bound. I guess it's back to watching Skins now. I'm in the middle of series 3. =)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Skins, The OC, and an ill teenager's escapism

I really love the tv show Skins. It airs on SBS and FOX8 in Australia, on free-to-air and Foxtel respectively. (It's always delayed by months, though, last year it aired here 6 months after it's release in the UK. Fail.) I love it because it's the closest I will ever get to being a teenager, it's funny, has great music, and is more realistic than The OC (which is what I used to watch when I realised I'd never be a teenager.) On Tuesday I bought series 1, 2, and 3 on DVD, and, suprisingly they were only $30 each! I've seen every episode in series 1 and 2 at least twice, but I still love it. I'm still waiting for episode 2, series 4 of Skins to load. Streaming is taking FOREVER, and Megavideo works best, but I can't find any links for episode 2 there yet. I've watched about 12mins of it so far, and I really like it.

I wish I was well enough to have close friends, or more friends who'd stand by me with  my illness. But I don't. That's ME/CFS for you; it drives almost everyone away, even your family and closest friends.

When I was 13, and watching The OC, I'd feel happy, and hope that one day I could go to parties (when I'd be better, at 15, like my doctor said) or go shopping with my friends, or even try drinking. Or have a boyfriend. By the time I hit 17, and had bought the first season on DVD, I didn't watch it for those reasons. I had to escape. From home, from being stuck in my room, from getting B+'s and A's when I could've been doing so much better, if only I could study. Then it'd depress me sometimes, because everyone was SO rich and SO happy, and I just wanted a tv show that was a bit more realistic. So I'd watch it to escape, but fume inside at times, too.

It's frustrating for me that my school has taken away admin privileges when they reimaged my laptop - so I can't download any programs or update anything (iTunes, Flash player, etc.) and that our PC is so slow it's going to die soon. Opening Microsoft Word can take 10mins and risk freezing or crashing the PC, and opening iTunes now takes up to 35mins, then waiting 10mins to open the iTunes Store, or a tab like 'Music' or 'Movies'. And, of course, iTunes periodically freezing. I can't use iTunes on my laptop because it's such an old edition, plus I can't download songs or update the edition. So I'm going to take my laptop into school soon, and ask for admin privileges to be reinstated, or for them to enable program updates with my username. Then I won't have to go near that damn PC unless I have to print.

I got more Ondansetron from my specialist, I'm limiting the useage to a few times each month, which is why I only got a script for another 10 wafers. I also got Panadeine Forte for pain (doesn't do much, but I can sit for a little longer when I take it) and will ask for something stronger next time. My specialist thinks all the stress at home and about school can't be good for me, but that there is very little that can be done about it. She's also writing the letter to the distance education region about my application on medical grounds, and thinks that a year off, provided I don't stress about my marks, will benefit me. But I no longer trust doctors!

I went to Officeworks on Thursday, and bought two blue exercise books, one small, one large. One for notes and the other for working out, etc, respectively. I'm reusing 3-ring binders/folders that were a gift from Christmas 2005 (they're from Borders, and are transparent, with colourful translucent butterflies covering them) for this year, for distance education homework, work/notes, SACs, Unit 3 work and Unit 4 work. I also bought a blue display book for notes and working out from my tutoring sessions, plus cheatsheets from each year of Methods, and new ones for this year. And I got butterfly labels for my folders and display books. They don't match, but go together quite nicely. I'll feel completely organised once I've covered the labels on the folders, so they don't get torn, and have bought and labelled my textbooks. Then I'll organise tutoring for an evening during the week, get my mum to fill in the enrolment forms, and I'll be set. I just hope I can get through this year.

That's about it; I'm kind of sleepy, and my brain is starting to shut down. (More than usual) Thanks for reading, and if you've got any ideas, feedback, or tips on how to make my blog look less boring, I'd love to hear them. I'm rather new to this blogging thing.