Jo’s Weekly Questions – September, 2022
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

Jo’s Weekly Questions – September, 2022

Image from Pixabay. Because pretty.

I totally forgot to answer to Jo’s weekly September questions So here’s the whole month in one go!

1. How important is it to you that people remember, spell, and pronounce your name correctly? Why?

Very important! Because one is my name, the other is not to quote Data from TNG.

My real first name (Piia) is spelled with two “i” letters, and all through my school years I had to specify that, because it can also be spelled with one “i” and all the teachers tended to assume that the one “i” was the correct form for me too, not the two “i”s one. To confuse the matter further, another girl in my class had very nearly the same name and that name (Mia) could also be spelled with either one or two “i”s… but her name was spelled with one “i”. So we both had that problem, just in reverse! Teachers were always confused about our names! My parents apologized so many times for giving me such a troublesome name – it hadn’t even occurred to them that the one “i” spelling would be also an option and often assumed. Probably because the one “i” version is a foreign/Swedish version, and the two “i”s version is the Finnish one. But both spellings are probably both used as much so one isn’t more common than the other.

Even now, when I have to give out my name for a new doctor or a nurse, if they don’t have my information on their systems yet, I have to make sure they catch it’s with two “i”s, not one!

Pronouncing is always correct because no matter if it was one or two “i”s, it is the same.

2. Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?

When I was growing up hugging wasn’t really a thing in except in the immediate family (so children and parents, sometimes grandma), at least in my family, and I’ve lived alone since I was 17 so I’ve never got used to hugging most people. My friends, cousins and I don’t ever hug, it’s just not something we do except in exceptional circumstances like when somebody died or something like that. I don’t see them hugging their friends when we meet as a group, only their kids and SOs and parents. I do sometimes miss hugging/physical closeness with someone while living alone like I do.

That said, I have liked the “stranger” hugs I’ve received when my Dad died so I’m not categorically opposed to it or anything. It’s just not something my circles normally do. I normally only hug my Mom. And my Mom’s best friend and I sort of half-hug each other these days. It’s nice. Continue reading Jo’s Weekly Questions – September, 2022

Health Update
Categories Blog Health Personal

Health Update

This week has been a trying week!

On Sunday my period started two days early which – okay, good at least it’s not late which is used to be a common occurrence so I rather they start early than come late. But means that I have steady stomach pain for however many days I bleed and that’s felt like an extra cruel punishment on top of everything else ever since I got sick in 2008. Then on Tuesday Crohn’s Disease decided to join in on the fun and cramp really well! I was SO much pain for two hours before the pain meds kicked in – cold sweat, white face, weakness and feeling like I’ll faint, I got it all 🙁 Then after the pain meds kicked in, pain gone but felt still weak and weird and because it happened in the evening, a little of the weird feeling continued the next day too. This happens sometimes during my period since I got the Crohn’s diagnosis, so luckily I knew that the meds would help and I just had to wait for them to kick in so I didn’t really worry about whether I should go to the hospital or anything like that like the first time it happened.

Then on yesterday (Thursday) a migraine and lower back pain, and last night again a mild migraine and today Friday also the same lower back pain. I don’t get why the back pain all of a sudden – I used to have bad lower back pain in my 20s when I had too heavy periods and even in between, but when we got me bleeding less the back pain got better too and I’ve only gotten a little bit of a back pain during my bleeding days for almost two decades now. But yesterday and today it was bad again like it was before, although it has eased up the more I have moved. I don’t think I’ve pulled anything, but maybe I’ve slept in a bad position or something? I don’t feel it when I lie down but when I get up in the morning, I feel shooting and nasty twinges at first and then it starts to ease up but doesn’t go completely away as I move about. I hope this back pain doesn’t become a feature outside my period – I don’t want to have to deal with anything more – at least, not any more pain! Fingers crossed.

Other health related things… after I had the iron infusion in March, I noticed that my eyes focus better and don’t get what the optician and my doctor told me was “age sight”: that eyes get tired faster and it’s hard to focus them when you get older. I used have many times a week trouble focusing my eyes even first thing in the morning even though I had slept through the night. This went on a couple of years and nothing helped, not even getting new glasses. But after the iron infusion, it stopped happening until it started happening again now in September. My hand joints also stopped hurting after the infusion, and haven’t restarted yet. I don’t know what my ferritin is currently – in May it was 80, and in March before the infusion it was 20. At least ferritin of 100 is recommended for IBD patients in literature here, but that directive isn’t followed at all. I’d been trying to raise ferritin by taking oral iron supplement for years but it didn’t help. I didn’t think the infusion helped with the exhaustion, but maybe it did a little bit – because the last couple of weeks I’ve been terribly exhausted again, like I hadn’t been for a little while but I can’t swear the last time was before the infusion. It also could just be the legal stuff I’ve been dealing with (re: the adoption which I’ve written in another post) the last two months, and my Mom’s health stuff as well. It’s been mentally hard since the start of August so that could a major reason for my exhaustion too. Because I’m a spoonie and don’t have enough energy even for normal days, anything extra, whether it’s physical or mental, can hit me hard and mostly it seems to show as exhaustion and tiredness.

Sometimes I feel bad about always posting bad things when I do these health updates, but the truth is that I don’t have good weeks. My weeks are “okay” usually, and “bad” more often than I’d like. When days and weeks are “okay”, there’s nothing to write about. They’re just full of just routine and usual typical things which in my case, are either neutral (like going to grocery shopping, paying bills etc. etc.) or some kind of negative (the adoption thing, or when I have to deal with bureaucracy of being sick and/or unemployed etc.) or major or minor pain (I have pain every day, just the intensity and location varies)… things that don’t stand out of the rest. I’m so limited in what I can do due to pain and exhaustion that I don’t do things like go to concerts or movies or see my friends weekly that’d be positive to make updates about. I’m mostly limited to just being home on my own.

Good days happens sometimes but often I realize it actually was a good day only the next day (because if a day has been good but then I get a migraine in the late evening, well that doesn’t feel much like a good day anymore then because you mostly just remember the throbbing head pain) when I see that I had no notable headache the day before. And good day doesn’t mean I did something out of the ordinary – it just means I had notably less pain than most days. A truly good day is when I have no notable pain *and* I see my best friend or Mom, and these days are so rare – maybe only once or twice a year now. So “okay” is my reality the vast majority of time but it does make for boring updates. But actually I’m grateful for “okay” because back when I didn’t have Crohn’s Disease diagnosis yet and my headache/migraine was much worse than it is now, “bad” was 100% of the time for many, many years. So I’m okay with “okay”. Although I hope for more good days!

The Friday Five for 23 September 2022: We are made of star stuff
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

The Friday Five for 23 September 2022: We are made of star stuff

Answers to today’s questions at The Friday Five @ Dreamwidth.

1. How many stars can you see in the sky at night where you live? (Not looking for an exact number here, just a general description.)

Too many to count! On a typical clear winter night, the sky is full of stars!

In the fall when it starts to get dark earlier and then in the winter when the nights are long, you can see lots and lots of stars as long if it’s cloudless. The skies are often cloudy though.

Even in the biggest cities the light pollution isn’t so bad that you can’t see the stars if it’s dark out and clear weather. I love that! Most of the summer, the midnight sun night makes the night skies too bright so if you’re looking to stargaze in Finland make sure to come here between September and April or thereabouts. Northern Finland/Lapland is probably the best place for stargazing because all the bigger cities are in the south of Finland but even in our biggest city starry skies are normal due to less light pollution than in say New York or Paris and unpolluted air! Because our biggest combined cities, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area only has about 1 million inhabitants so even our big cities are tiny compared to metropolies of the world (and our entire country has only about 5,5 million people) so our skies are much clearer pollution and light pollution wise. As an example, I live about 20 minute bus ride from Turku city center (about 5 minutes by car), one of t ihe biggest cities in the country, and only have to step out my front door and see all the stars just by looking up if the sky is clear! In the mid-winter a day’s dark time is about 20 hours so plenty of time to observe the sky.

My favorite time of day is in the late fall and winter, when it’s at least almost freezing and the air is crisp and clear and it’s dark and quiet because it’s late, or early, and people are in their homes so the traffic is less than during the day, and you can see all the stars. That’s my favorite time to go for a walk, it’s so peaceful!

2. What is your favorite constellation?

I don’t care about the constellations. But my favorite nebular is Carina Nebula and this is one of my favorite photos of it that I’ve found:

I have so may images of Carina Nebula that I use as my laptop wallpaper!

3. Are you able to see and identify any planets in the sky? Which ones?

I think they can be seen here, but I can’t identify them.

4. Have you ever seen a satellite orbiting above the earth?

As far as I know, only on TV!

5. Have you ever seen a rocket blasted off into space?

Nope, only on TV! It’s my understanding rockets in general including the Finnish rockets, satellites etc. and ones Finland is involved in the creation and use of are blasted off into space by NASA in USA and/or ESA in French Guiana? In locations that are always in the Southern Hemisphere while we are almost at the top of Northern Hemisphere. I’ve never visited those places.

Bad News & Good News
Categories Adoption Blog Personal

Bad News & Good News

One bad news and one good news today:

Bad news – Mom’s hip displaced again today again 😞 Mom’s SO just called me, she’s in the hospital right now.  She had a hip replacement surgery about 1,5 years ago, and in last May it happened the first time. And now a second time 🤕 This isn’t a surprise just a disappointment; they warned her that it could happen again, and that it happens easier when it’s once happened already. They also said in May that if it happens again Mom will have a new surgery to try and fix it. So that looks likely now. And her other hip is also getting bad enough that that too needs replacement surgery sooner rather than later. Fuck frail human bodies!

Good news – the judge approved my weak-adoption-to-strong-adoption application! 💖 So now my legal status is what we’ve always thought it to be! 💖😊 I’m so happy (and stunned) it took less than a month 💖💖💖 from the date when I delivered all the necessary papers to the court to get it processed! I thought it would take months because so much is made of the courts being backlogged badly. This doesn’t help with the “heir of the biological father” thing, but now I can’t inherit my bio mother and she (or my bio family in general) can’t inherit me automatically 😊

4th COVID-19 Vaccine
Categories Blog Health

4th COVID-19 Vaccine

Got my 4th COVID-19 vaccine yesterday! Finally! Felt like THL sure did sat on it this time for my medical risk group despite the number of cases sky-rocketing during the summer 😯 and despite saying that the protection against serious disease only lasts a few months. At one point they said Finland would wait for the updated vaccines before starting the 4th round except for the worst medical risk group. Only thing was that at the time it wasn’t even known when those vaccines would be approved for EU and then for Finland, so there was an out-cry that it might be November/December by then and much too late for the autumn COVID-19 cases increase and THL changed their stance. Luckily. 

I got my 3rd vaccine in early December so I’ve been feeling more or less in danger all through the summer. Avoided crowds and kept safe distance from other people because of that, while still trying not to become a hermit.

So far the jab site is slightly red and the arm muscle is a little sore, but not nearly as bad as the previous times. Yesterday I suddenly got a worsening headache 1,5 hours after the jab, and I think it’s because of the vaccine. It came on much faster than my migraine usually does, and responded better to the headache meds. So I’m thinking it was a vaccine side effect, but can’t really be sure.

I don’t get it – the authorities and politicians handled the first two years of the pandemic so well, why has this year been so bad and the attitude even by the authorities seems to be that it’s over even though the hospital system is suffering due chronic under-funding and under-staffing of nurses and devalue of nurses’ jobs? As if suddenly COVID-19 isn’t putting more pressure than normal on the system that was already cracking under the weight of the pressure long before COVID-19 came along? Why add to that by risking having even more patients because they’re in risk for serious disease and complications and that then happening by not vaccinating them if the powers that be themselves admit that the vaccines prevents deaths and long intensive care stays or even hospital stays altogether? I trust science and doctors and tend to believe that organizations like THL does what is best for the nation, but sometimes it’s very hard.