starting to be able to type again

I mean I often have to type one handed due to hands being sore, but now that I’m a bit more comfortable I can sit at my computer and do some of the typing and data management needed.

So my cunning plan for my image database has fallen over a bit as it is not future proof. So to future proof I need to create several hundred pages with all my categories now turned into tags. Less than ideal but functional, and not likely to break in a theme change.

So I am taking it as an opportunity to really refamiliarise myself with terms and to use the time stamp to help order them in a search. In fact that might really work out better.

first surgery done, life goes on

I’m not as productive as I had hoped. Unfortunately my erosion from my Rheumatoid Disease really requires a lot more rest than we can are usually lead to believe. And my normal methods of reducing strain can’t be applied as I can’t swap hands frequently.

So the new website, and even reading, is on hold for a little longer. A fortnight maybe? No heavy lifting and that really does mean anything that mimics heavy lifting- long key depressing is an issue anyway.

I have to admit so far it’s not actually much more painful than my usual- aside from any stretching near the incision, occasionally little sparks of neuron firing from there to my fingers or near my thumb .

I think I have noticed a specific relief though. I was hesitant about surgery as a lot of tightness has been across the inner wrist, below my hand. But I felt something happening in that region (not as pain! but a pressure from under my skin, and then a ping, again not pain) and while it feels bruised it feels a bit freer.

So far I think I’m healing faster than I expected, which is great- I heal slowly due to DMARD therapy. So I am being very diligent in wiggling my fingers and thumb- careful to not stretch the site. I’m very gently moving my wrist too. My experience is I can always do more physio as a result of less activity that I can repair after too much.

But I’m really surprised by how much it doesn’t hurt. I am even using a half dose of pain relief when it is needed (either mid afternoon or before bed, and that’s it.) But yeah my RA and carpal tunnel impingement in my right hand mean I should probably use a bit more, it takes up so much energy (physical and mental) to just be, let alone try and do.

It really did not help that a) an OS update that frooze my pc then forced a hard reboot b) to have a motherboard (that really does not like a specific brand of solid state drives) forget my ssd and so…. not be able to boot c) have a power cut just as I got my mobo to see my ssd (do not ask me how, there is a degree of weirdness there I can’t explain*) d) go through all of this again when the power came back on.

To try and repair this I had to take both metal sides off my tower, remove my ssds, remove all sata cables, try and put a cable back with one hand and only able to see with one eye as that side of the mobo butts right against the hdd enclosure!

But at least I can see why my os accidentally was reinstalled on another drive. It’s a fancy band and it showed up in my UEFI as a bootable drive. Oh heck to the no.

Anyway. I can probably avoid all of this again by either an entirely new build (which I could do myself sans any soldering- I can solder, but I am not going there with NZ mains being 240V and “dirty”) or a fancy brand ssd that I know will never get lost.

It then could happily transfer to a new build later if need be

*If I leave the UEFI open for a while it seems to sometimes eventually see it. I get no notification though and sometimes it doesn’t.

Another hint was to unplug all power for 15mins. Which seemed to work once, but not again. I even discharged all power I could. Soooo… a degree of magic for sure.

I could boot from disk but ugh, if my ssd can’t be seen then it can’t be seen. Also the disk is an older (still supported) version which would be a day of updates. If not more.

I wonder if there is another solution for a bootable disk.

still nervous still making

I have been sharing my sleeve patterning progress on Instagram (TheFrockChick) because it is such a cool exploration of extant patterns I know very well and how I would make them now.

I have managed to find a way to make the spirals work as spirals!

This is my prefered shape. But I have only seen this Dog Leg pattern for fitted sleeves. And I have a whole article to write up about those! So I went back to what I know is in the various pattern books for full sleeves and worked backwards to get something I think actually would have been the go to for tailors.

I keep my back seam, which allows for an opening to the cuff, and the angles of the panes are shallow at the top and acute at the bottom.

I will get photos and do a proper post about the whole thing but I managed to find a vintage saree woven with metal and a delicate scrolling design!

Normally that pattern would be a beige thread over most of the background but I checked all views (yay for sellers who show the entire length and the reverse of their saree!) and it is gold! the green is not ideal but I also know these respond very well to RIT colour remover. The main body is that pattern on red so I can even just avoid that altogether. There is also a lattice border for other projects!

A perfect match? No. But I agonised over this for so long that I decided to get a compromise in my budget that would also help in my teaching. The gold is metal. It responds very differently to even the very best metal and plastic combo. So I’m hoping to be able to share what real metal feels like and reacts. It is very hot to iron for one!

And when the Sartor Margarete fabric becomes available again I’ll be in on the pre-order!

All of this is three days before my carpal tunnel surgery.

I’m finding it hard because I am scared about the consequences of having a wrist so degraded by erosion. Infection I am prepared for. I have learnt what are danger signals and when to call in reserves. I’m just in a position where the damage from erosion is like 90% of my issues that I wonder if the risk is worth that 10% improvement.

But I also know that I will risk further damage to my nerves without this.

It’s just not the same equation that most people know, and even within RA patients we have different outcomes.

So. I will be very proactive and if my hand feels weird outside of what I know will be weird I will press for investigation.

I am still very much not okay though. But I am very definitely hopeful- any function I can protect or retain I am all on board for. Which is again why the equation is not easy- I want every possible therapy and help I can get hold of. It’s the risks that are unknown that are hovering.

Surgery in 9 days

First carpal tunnel surgery is on for next Wednesday. I am extremely nervous. It’s very common surgery, my wait reflected how many people get it done. I do need to check if my current skin problems will cause issues. So I’m seeing my GP tomorrow to get him to look at my hands and be honest. I am not sure if my DMARD needs to be stopped, not sure if there is enough time for it to make changes. As it designed to slow down my immune system it”inhibits the reproduction of rapidly dividing cells…” But this also includes skin cells and hair follicles. So this in effect is why skin infections are kind of doubly likely to happen.

So will nine days be enough to reduce that risk? Is 9 days long enough for me to get antibacterial cream working (is Bactroban being made again?) Ah ” elimination half-life of 14–18 days ” hmmmmmmmm. maybe?


SWTOR update

As per my previous post I have now caught up thanks to friendos 🙂 So yes, very latest mission (no spoilers.)

I think Malora is just miffed I’m basically wandering around in her gear but in no so serious tones. Space Candy Armour!

Ossus is really really lovely! And this mission was scaled well 🙂 I mean it is mostly exploring but it’s essentially a guide to doing dailies later. Or now. Might still keep on my GSI stuff to eventually get one of the vehicles.

The start of Jedi Under Seige, or middle(?), brings Vanilla characters back including [SPOILER]. This image is after saying Bye Felicia and this pose and the music makes it seem like this is not the last time we see them. I mean that expression right?

And just a moment to appreciate the beauty and care taken in creating the worlds we play in. This planet is starting to come back to life and look! It starts with moss!

All the scenery is beautiful and complex and the music and ambient sounds ditto. I do have to leave the game fairly frequently but all this gorgeousness is part of why I play. Story too.

Speaking of. By now I think most people know that the JUS expansion forces us into choosing sides. There are I think four results in total, but only two presented. It was really well handled. I am a bit hesitant still but so far I’ve been mostly able to play my main the way I always have- grew up under one faction, was not actually impressed with the way things are run, really didn’t like how anyone was handling power, and eventually gave up on the solo life to make a difference.

So I was able to make a few choices that reflect that.

limited time

Been a bit quiet. Everything takes a long time with my disability so I wind up a bit behind when I try to do a few things!

My new site is a bit on hold while I decide on future proofing, my book is on hold because it might require an entire restart of images! and my frocks are on hold because I’m just tired and overwhelmed.I do though have a lot to get started which is nice.

Fibro also makes things a bit slower too because it seems to set off muscle twitches and spasms and sometimes it will be a day sometimes it will settle in for a few days. And I can re-set it off again a day later by pushing that little bit further.

Which I did today.

On Thursday my friend came over to help me play SWTOR (it’s Saturday afternoon here as I type.) I need in person help on that, unfortunately, as it’s been points where it’s a forced solo mission but not scaled for story (apparently the other modes are all okay?) And though gaming is something most people do to relax for me it’s a full body activity and so not only do I need to pace for my hands I also need to pace for all the muscles in my torso holding myself upright and also keep my arms in place to take as much strain from my hands as possible.

I wound up with the same kind of cramping and twitching and spasms as I get when I am out travelling. But I was hydrated, had electrolytes, so I really can’t call that anything other than having a very definite upper limit of activity before I go splat. It’s not anxiety (panic attack) it’s not linked to hydration/food, it seems to be linked directly to length of time either walking, or sitting, or any other activity that involves half or full body immersion.

And that really is tough. It is well short of targeted ideas of physical activity. And it’s also rather short of any level of activity that builds stamina, muscle etc..

So while I know this, and I have lived with limits for a long time, and shifting limits at that. This is now very marked. I essentially need to treat one full day as two. I need my midday rest but it can feel forced or at times do the opposite of what I need.

To summarise, It’s probably a good idea for me to really train myself to divide my day into two and treat each as having a warm up, middle, and cool down. And I need to do a little a lot and accept that what used to take me a week now takes 6 months.

Ugh. I wish I was kidding.

Anne of Cleves research

Well my Nordrhein documentation in general is taking a bit longer to ready for sharing which has meant it is taking a bit longer to get the Anna specific information up.

I am trying to cite all my images. I have been cropping images of non-allegorical women and girls to get a very clear undistracted view of dress of the region. Right now I have about 114 left of 326 plus a few to add in as lower quality but good overall impressions. And then I can add in the skant printed depictions of contemporary dress. I’m also finding the handful of images that did not make it through the upload process!

In doing this though I may have some evidence of different attributions. But again I need to hold off until I get these files properly cited so that there is the full context.

And I have found a few higher resolution images than i worked so very hard to create but hey.

So at least I’m past the halfway mark.

that pattern book

It’s getting a bit out of hand so I will need to think of different ways to format it. And that may mean taking down the preview and working my way chapter by chapter.

I am at the point I feel my hand drawn sketches are much easier to understand than the line art but the line art over all allows for a book version to be flipped through with the figures and patterns in the exact same place which allows for quickly finding what is needed but also to see how the patterns develop from simple to complex.

The list of patterns I am adding is daunting mostly from trying to fit in with how the line art is produced. And expectations about scaling patterns.

But I do have a list. I’m slowly adding in the Spanish elements as they are built on the same principles (funnily enough) as well as outerwear. So this in theory should be able to be adapted for every style.

I have a totally different approach to cutting than pretty much everyone I teach. Which is making this book a challenge. For me I just need the pattern pieces. And that’s mainly to work out how much fabric to use. I know when to line with what and how. For many eras.

I definitely am a better renaissance era cutter and fitter because I have worked on other eras. How to get that into a book focused on a smaller window of time?

And the process of creating a test pattern is nearly the opposite of constructing a garment and neither have simple progression. There is a fair bit of going back and forth.

I need to find a way to explain that but without making the process seem daunting or, on the flipside, patronising.

variations on a theme- pain

I have not had a great day so have been avoiding creating a blog post but I’ve gone past into the “this is ridiculous” zone and so should be able to inject a bit of humour. If it doesn’t come across feel free to convert every full stop into a smilie.

My Rheumatoid Disease means I need to be very mindful of pain. Not just location, not just severity, but the type of pain. Pain as a result of trauma or inflammation is likely to result in damage and the sooner I can intervene the better.

So far so easy to understand.

However RA is not limited to the joints. It is systemic which means I can often attribute a pain symptom to something else and miss an opportunity to intervene.

Right now I am covered in small patches of welts caused by activity in my skin. I have nodules which are very well documented in literature, but I have been ignoring itchiness as a warning sign of activity. These welts last for months and only respond to steroid cream.

This is not psoriasis, though PSA is a related autoimmune disease.

It could be vasculitis which is bad so I’ll need to have them looked at. Do not google it. Really, don’t. Mine is not as bad as the images you’ll see immediately. There are some that it does look like- if you have ever grazed your knee on gravel it is much more like that, about the size and shape of forming an o with thumb and index finger. But a lot of them. Mine are very itchy, and I tend to forget that they are not just like regular itchy bites. They trigger it to be fair. But so has resting my elbow on my chair.

So itchy is a neurological and immune interaction that I need to add to my list of Things To Look Out For.

Fibromyalgia has been a very exciting layer of complexity. All the recommendations are pretty much the opposite of recommendations for RA. Which has meant learning the very specific causes of my different pain signals.

Muscular back pain usually triggers a bruised sensation in my skin. Other times and places it is burning, other times I get stinging like prickles.

These are not purely different flavours of pain they indicate what kind of intervention I need to employ. The bruised feeling starts to wrap around to the most common trigger points in the collarbone and hips and from there usually I have a very small window before I wind up with breathing issues and cramping. I think that these mixed up signals are related to fatigue; if they usually get particularly bad they lead to full limb cramping and a panic attack from that. It is very scary as the cramping pulls fingers and toes backwards far enough to hear cracking. This the panic and thus the escalation.

So while I do agree I have fibro I cannot just think the pain away but instead work out what the signal really means.

I can usually ignore the ghost pain in the toe I broke. That is very definitely a sensory illusion and one I can use CBT on very easily. The prickles and raw feeling is one I haven’t fully understood but it is easy to avoid when it starts as it is a touch response and only on specific patches.

The bruised sensation is triggered by touch and if it lasts only a few seconds after I can usually hydrate, stretch, move. If it lasts for minutes I have to apply heat immediately and rest. Or it will last for hours or possibly days.

It is very weird. And figuring out these patterns took a long time. And a lot of experimenting because none of this is in any treatment plan that I have seen. Not traditional, not contemporary, not alternative, nothing.

So this is a case of trusting the body but also learning how to interpret various signals.

css wrangling

Woohoo! I have been working on a new site to transfer all my research to- just to make it easier to find information, I’ll still be here with my own work- and finally have had some luck with being able to not only provide “raw” data (ie non-commentary images/text) but also my commentary and, and this has been the difficult part, a meaningful way to search through both for specifics.

So far I have got a timeline of NRW images up and have been able to use categories and tags on pages (including attachments!) and have been able to display archives as a grid. This at least lets me test the tags and categories until I figure out masonry to help with mobile viewers.

oh.. it already seems to be a bit responsive so that’s a bonus. I quite enjoy css so this is now a fun aspect of the process :0

Anyway. It’s not quite as nifty as pinterest (masonry) but is flexible enough right now to be able to add clothing terms to each image and if I decide that the term is perhaps not perfect I can update and it will update across all images. So much easier than adding a description to the content of each attachment page.

I was going to add new taxonomies but I’d like to keep it as simple as possible and not add too many functions.

But, all I need to do is add another level to categories for images.