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They took another 2 pints today. I *feel* okay, but a bit tired. They've taken about 4 pints of blood inside of two days. My hematocrit has decreased significantly and the headaches, respiratory issues, and aches have either diminished or disappeared. Basically. I'm feeling great. Also, everything has a sort of...hmmm...shine. Much like how I felt when I first started treatment for my polycythemia. Two days in a row the nurse has done damn near perfect. She took something that could have been horrible for me and turned it into an almost pleasant experience.

Oh, I did a year in review post over at my blog: http://www.ravensnpennies.com/2017/01/carpe-blogiem-2016-year-in-review.html#.WHWaxPkrKM8

Snow Day

Jan. 7th, 2017 10:24 pm
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Snowed here. Playing video games because I can't concentrate on much else. Head is still achy from too much blood. Might not get drained on Monday because of snow. I'm afraid I'm having to cancel ANOTHER week of games till they can get at least one phlebotomy appointment in. :-(
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All that excess blood causes bad headaches. Couldn't get in early to get them to drain it. So now I have to wait till Monday. I'll probably feel better tomorrow as that seems to be the pattern. For now, I'm going back to sleep. I have to show tomorrow.
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...and I'm making too much blood. Abnormal even for my abnormality. My hematocrit - how much of my blood is hemoglobin vs. plasma/serum - raises about 0.033% per day (normally). When I get a phlebotomy (my hematocrit must be higher than 45.0%) they drain me until it's less than 42%. Thus it takes about 3 months for me to go back up. This has been the pattern for a LONG time (pretty much since diagnosis). But something changed. Maybe it's because they took the PICC out or maybe it's because of all the stress lately (stress has a huge impact with this disease - Polycythemia Vera if you don't know). My last infusion visit was 11/7/16 - so 57 days. When I went in for an emergency visit today my hematocrit was 56.8% (at 60% the chance that you die from a stroke/heart attack/etc. raises exponentially. 67% or higher is where you have to be hospitalized and bleed hourly. Since my previous numbers were 41.6%...this means my hematocrit rose a SHARP 0.26% every day. It's why I had headaches, soreness, fatigue, and lethargy at the last half of last month.

So they're getting me into an emergency appointment at the infusion center sometime this week and doing cancer screens. Polycythemia Vera often turns into cancer for most folks. It may not for me because I don't have the typical version (YAY ME). But they want to make sure. Which I'm good with. It's unlikely as hell (don't worry!), but I'm nervous about it.

Whew. Back to the work mines. I plan on taking off a week on Friday to play Diablo's Darkening of Tristram event.
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Blargh. Been a bit off lately due to some fatigue. Probably depression (holidays suck around here - too many people died around them), the weather (mother nature hates us all), excess blood cells (yay, polycythemia!), or maybe a bit of all of them.

Finished up the last PC for the Aeon "V-Team" today - well I'm FINISHING up the PC. Still need to use Vehicles to knock out a battlesuit. I need to also chart plots and stuff, but that never takes me long. I do have some troubles:

1) I need to stat out a "rewind time" power.
2) I need to work up some other time powers.
3) I need to create some orichalcum weapons and a shield.

I woke up late today from a twisted dream. In it Nimbus and I were sitting on a park bench staring at the sun. There was a clockwork frog sitting next to us with three clockwork flies. Then, sunday the sun *shifted* 180 degrees and we were...somewhere else. Like in the shadows of the real world, but not. Then Nimbus began to speak to me "Oh, boy. You're not supposed to be here." I of course, freaked out because my cat was talking. Then a man in a white rabbit head/mask appeared with a pocket watch.

"Finally. A successor," it said and removed the mask. It was just a guy. He explained that I could see the cracks in things and that was how the light got in (Leonard Cohen in my dreams, man.). That the world was full of cracks that let you travel to other dimensions. And that's when things went CRAZY NUTS. Somehow, the White Rabbit took me into the fourth dimension and I was a hyper-fractalized being spinning in and out of existence. Then we went through a door and into this...place. It was some sort of pocket dimension filled with knick knacks from all over the world and time. WR explained that he wasn't the first White Rabbit nor was the man before him. It was a title passed down as was "the Alice" (but he never explained that in the dream). His job was to keep the dimensions separate but partially conjoined. Since I saw the crack if was now my job as his successor to take up the mantle. Then he showed me this room where everything was two-dimensional and I became two-dimensional and then another room where I became one-dimensional. Just a point in space. It was so disturbing that I woke up with a start and took a while to get back to sleep. Crazy right?
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Man, it's been one of those days. Ended up waking up late for New Year's dinner to find that my mum was late getting dinner prepared. Ended up helping with that. We fried about 15 lbs. of chicken, made homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, sweat peas, collards, black-eyed peas, mac n' cheese, corn muffins, and some brown and serve rolls. Then I got to do the dishes and clean up because I didn't want her to have to do it (she had stepped away to deliver some food to my aunt).

Basically my day went to hell. I had some stuff I had to do and I BARELY made the deadline.

I need to go shopping tomorrow and then Tuesday is the dreaded Hematologist's appointment so they can pull a freaking 5 gallon bucket of blood out of me for more tests (ALL THE BLOOD. ALL OF IT).

Wednesday I'm going to do a "online mixer" for my Aeon guys since we haven't seen each other in almost a month. Stupid adult responsibilities.

Oh, whoever sent these crystal skulls for an X-mas present, har har har. (No, seriously, it's hilarious. Where did you get them you magnificent bastard? My current supers campaign has crystal skulls as a theme and I thought this was awesome as hell.)

Ah well. Off to do more work.
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Not liking the idea of having the LiveJournal servers in Russia I did an export from LJ to here and so here I am.

I'd like to try and do at least a weekly update here with all my non-RPG stuff as just a general "thought dump." So I'm going to try that again... Here's to hop[ing I stick with it.
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So I'm in my 4th week of doing this now and I've had to give 1,000cc of blood every trip in. I may be getting used to it (I haven't passed out since the second week!), but it is no less tedious. It's not just the time (it takes abotu two and a half hours), but they have to manually remove 50cc as at a time via a syringe. You may think I'm exagerrating, but I can feel them pull the blood out of me like juice through a straw shoved in a juice box. My arm gets hot and the blood just pours out like rivers of crimson. (I can also taste the saline they put in me, but that's neither here nor there.)

I had (as usual) an excellent nurse - let's call her Lizzy - who was dismayed that I might be among the five percenters who had to give blood on a weekly basis. She knows about my phobia and has gone to great lengths to make me feel comfortable while in her care. She is, without a doubt, a stellar nurse. But she's also a genuinely good person. She remembers my name, she's hiliraous (her stories about her kids and husband are funny as hell), she remembers what we talk about when distracting me, and actually cares. She even twitter-stalked me a bit which resulted in this exceedingly funny conversation today (which I abbreviated on Twtter):

Me: *looking down at the gigantic bag of blood (which you can see here)* "What do you guys do with my blood? Is there no way it could be saved or donated somehow? I mean I seem to be producing basically a bag a week of the stuff."
Lizzy: "No, we can't actually give this out for public use. We send this to the government labs at DARPA for testing to see why you clot so fast without actually suffering vascular truama for their ARES super-soldier project...."
Me: *huge eyes* then *shifty eyes* "Waaaat?!"
Lizzy: "I mean we destroy it in the incinerator...like all other medical waste."
Me: *scowl*
Lizzy: *laughs* I found your Twitter - I don't use it myself, but you and some of the people you were talking to were joking about mutant healing factor - and I do love me some Hugh Jackmen [she makes that sound only women can make when they are sizing up a man like a peice of steak. Sort of a half hum, half grunt] - but that healing thing ain't far off the mark. Never seen a PICC close up that fast.
Me: You Twitter-stalked me! *laughes*
Lizzy: I did. You gonna tweet that? *hands phone*
Me: *typing on smartphone* Yes. Yes I am. And I'll journal it later too.

Like I said. Funny. Did her best to put me at ease and it worked. I stopped by my friend TA's house for a few hours and then came home and got to work. Knocked out a bunch of emails, all my bonus goals on my weekly schedule, and all my Patreon stuff. So far, it looks like my revamped Patreon is working the way I wanted it to and I've been able ot fulfill my requirements. I haven't gotten more patrons (I broke even), but my backers liked my new reward levels and pledged more. I honestly hope to get some more folks, but I need to put out new material to attract some new patrons - maybe get some of the more respected GURPS designers/players to say "Hey, look at this! It's pretty great." To do this I'm going to be working up a complication from my website here soon as a PDF file available only to patrons and finish laying out one of the adventures I wrote.


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C. R. Rice

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