Saturday, May 31, 2014

Farewell May

G'day all!

It is almost June already.  Where has the year gone?

This May has been interesting.  It is a month of changes, of farewells - both my parents died in May, many years apart - and this year is no different.

Dunno what it is about May but if it weren't for the beauty of spring and early summer here, I'd go a bit nuts.  (More nuts.)

My love affair with dogwoods continues...

A while ago, DH was approached by a recruiter.  This happens quite often - the IT industry is really quite incestuous and they are always on the lookout for good people.  They thought that he was a different person of the same name, but it turned out that DH was in fact the right guy.  They had discussions and then those turned into interviews, and the upshot is that DH is leaving Amazon.

We are not leaving Seattle...

This means getting new visas.  Yay!  Not.... Every time we have to get new visas, we have to do mounds of online paperwork.

Sorry, that is I have to do mounds of online paperwork (and sometimes real paper paperwork too!).


Magnificent peonies

We also have to supply fairly current photographs for the visas.  That took some effort because there is a problem with having nice, brightly coloured walls.  They a) are not the neutral background required and b) cast odd coloured light and shadows.  That took a while to sort out and may have involved some image manipulation of the background (but not as much as the time in California when the girl changed the white balance of my passport pics so much that my hair went brassy yellow, my skin a ghastly shade of grey and my eyes violet!  I looked like some sort of vampire with my pale, unhealthy skin and bloodless lips...).


Not Cecile Brunner - it's apricot and is Perle D'Or

So Canada is nice and close and the US consulates there issue our sorts of visas.  The waits were three weeks at Calgary and Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal but Ottawa had a three day wait so I start lining us up with to go to Ottawa.  We've never been to Quebec and thought it would be interesting.

When I tried to book the actual appointment, the system said there is a
one
hundred
and
thirty
one
day
wait for appointments in Ottawa.

I need some flower pics to calm me down.


You'll find out why!

Now this is after I've just spent two and a half hours putting answers into webpages over and over and over - like we have done this several times before, no we are still not terrorists, no we have no intention or desire to do naughty naughty things whilst we are in the States, why can't we just say yep, nothing's changed except the job?

Lots and lots of flower pics

When DH leaves his old job, we have to be out of the country within ten days.   Yes you read that right.  Ten days.  It's part of the terms and conditions of our visa - cos after all if you've been living somewhere for a couple of years, it is easy to just pack up and leave, isn't it?   Doesn't leave much time to get organised, and a wait of 131 days before the new visa appointment, let alone the visa being issued would equal losing the house, the car and bankruptcy.  And DH had already resigned, just not left quite yet.

Sometimes even flower pics don't help

Or even the cutest, silliest pants
I've ever had

Or silly shoes

Or pics of the Space Needle
with the rose "Graham Thomas"

So I had a meltdown.  A full on sobbing, tearful, snotty meltdown.

Not even knitting calmed me down.

Plus this was all on the day of Mum's deathiversary (at least in Oz), so I was already a bit wobbly.  23 years now.

Now it is sorted, mostly.  The new company is flying us to London.  England.  Hopefully we won't be there for too long as I want to get back to Seattle in time for the naked bike ride - I've been anticipating it for months.  (Must get the bike in order and see if I can manage to ride it with this stupid lung condition.)
 

Rose "Pat Austin"

Oh, yeah, I also saw a pulmonologist to see what if there is a medical opinion about my lungs.

There is!

I have greater than average lung volume and the diffusion of O2/CO2 across my lungs is more than adequate (127% of that expected).  I have a small area of scarring at the top of the right lung, almost certainly from radiotherapy, and my breathlessness is not caused by lung problems.  My lungs are in excellent shape.

Well dang!  But good.  But dang!

Cute dianthus/clove pinks

He made me breathe in and out whilst he listened to my lungs and then made me take big breaths in and out, and was surprised by the noises I make (it's embarrassing to make weird groans and honks, and I make weird groans and honks.  Sometimes it just sounds like I'm getting ready to speak or saying hmm, but other times it is loud and obvious).  But I think it put him onto something.

He looked at the CT scan taken waaaaay back in ?October? and showed me a shot of my trachea (breathing tube).  He noted the weird position of the right vocal cord and also that my trachea is bowed inwards, partly blocking my airway, on the right side below the vocal cord.  He thinks this is causing the problems.  (The otolaryngologist never even mentioned this...)  My trachea should be a straight tube, not a bowed on one side one.

Foxgloves have always fascinated me.
Yep, I stick my finger in them.

What can be done about it?  Wait and see.  Hopefully when the vocal cord issue is fully resolved my trachea will fix itself up too.  At least he acknowledged that it is distressing to not be able to do aerobic stuff or manage a conversation whilst walking.  He suggested I try actively breathing out through pursed lips when doing more aerobic work - it might help hold my trachea out as the air in my lungs and airways will be at higher pressure and it might reduce the bowing when I breathe in.  Maybe.  A little.  He also asked me a heap of questions that I think may relate to MS, Lou Gehrig's Disease or even lupus.  Bonus!

I'm so tired of wait and see.  My whole frigging life is full of wait and sees.  Cancer.  wait and see if you are going to die - what fun!  Now this.  Extra bonus fun!

I liked this combo.

It is hard to go forth and live your life when you become restricted in what you can do.  I used to ride my bike places.  I used to walk up the hill and see things, admire the gardens, go to the beach and the Locks.  I used to walk lots of places.  I used to get up and dance like a crazy thing and do aerobics at home.  Now I drive the blasted car - it is good to have the car but I want to be able to walk without thinking I'm going to die because I can't breathe properly!  I'd like to be able to dance without having to do slow, gentle dances.  I only have one last specialist to see (a cardiologist) and then I'm done, but now that DH has quit, our health insurance ceases soon and the new one hasn't kicked in yet.  I'm sure the old one is very pleased to get rid of me, but the new one won't be happy!

There has to be a sunset shot of the mountains
across the Sound!

Vevo prettiness

I finally finished a cowl/wimple that I started last year.  The pattern is Vent D'Est Vent D'ouest and the yarn is Madtosh laceweight (whatever it is called) in Stargazing, not Cousteau!


Now with extra cheesy grin

What else has been happening?  My outrage at my government's budget still simmers.  My conversation with first ex continues.  I've swapped over to using Chromium mostly rather than Firefox because the recent Firefox update exposed a memory leak that has plagued Firefox ever since I first started using it, and when it slows a machine like mine with massive amounts of memory and disk to a crawl, it gets pretty peeving.  My obsession with 2048 has settled down somewhat, mostly because I discovered something truly truly amazing.

I am sure I am not the only person who wanted to be an astronaut when they grew up.  I could think of nothing more wonderful than going into space and walking on the Moon and seeing Earth as a marvellous big blue and white marble.

Well I'm most unlikely to get into space but I can do something almost as good and with none of the hassle of having to use the equivalent of vacuum cleaners to pee and poo in, or having reconstituted meals and ahem reconstituted water.

Watching Earth from the International Space Station is doing wonders for my geography skills, and is just enthralling me.  All of my experience is of Earth, and seeing Earth from outside its atmosphere is astounding.   All life that we know of except for a handful of astronauts exists on this one fragile planet.   Seeing the oceans and islands and continents rolling underneath the ISS is addictive.  I keep hoping that I will see my home city but so far I've not managed it in over a week of watching.   In the meantime, I remain enraptured by my planet, enchanted by what I see.

South Australia looking SE towards Victoria, Australia

anon!

2 comments:

  1. So, Are you moving to Canada?!?! But you've just bought a house!! Lucky you've got nice flowers around you to calm you down. Pretty peonies. Well, you get a nice trip to London. I love your cute frilly pants. I'll be thinking of you and hoping all is going well.

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  2. I know what you mean by: "It is hard to go forth and live your life when you become restricted in what you can do. I used to ride my bike places. I used to walk up the hill and see things, admire the gardens, go to the beach and the Locks. I used to walk lots of places. I used to get up and dance like a crazy thing and do aerobics at home. Now I drive the blasted car - it is good to have the car but I want to be able to walk without thinking I'm going to die ", Not being able to function normally can be sooo frustrating! I used to love bushwalking, that is something I had to give up on a number of years back. Now my aim is to be able to walk 20 minutes, perhaps the ambulatory rehab will help me achieve that. I guess we all need to play the cards we are dealt with in life :)

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