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It's been a very interesting couple of weeks, to say the least.

Let me preface this by saying that I have been prone to back spasms for years. They started when I was in my twenties, usually happened during or just before my period, and could be handled by having my back cracked, a hot bath, and plenty of ibuprofren. Most were in my lower back, but sometimes it would be my shoulders. I didn't like them, but they were part of life.

A couple of months ago I started getting different back spasms. These weren't the usual hot, tight, cramping pain of a period-related back spasm. These usually centered just my right shoulder blade, where my bra hits, and were hideous, solid bands of agony. Painkillers didn't touch them, they seemed to have no relation to what was left of my monthly cycle, and a hot bath only helped to a certain extent. The first one, which started just after midnight, was so bad it woke me up, and left me literally sobbing in the bathtub, half-convinced I was having a heart attack.

It passed, I felt fine, and like an ass I figured it was just a muscle spasm and went on my merry way.

Well. Two Fridays ago I had lunch (an Amy's Southwestern burrito), and within minutes of finishing the pain started. I immediately removed my bra, took four ibuprofen, and tried lying down in the supply room at the office. Nothing much helped, and by the time I was ready to leave I was in a serious amount of pain. I was due at a friend's house to watch movies, and since she's an EMT and her mother's a retired nurse, I told them about the pain. They gave me a wonderful liniment that helped, Tracy noticed a knotted muscle just under my right shoulder blade, and between that and a massaging chair, I felt a lot better by the time I left.

The next day the pain was back, only worse. And worse. And worse. By Saturday afternoon I was writhing on the kitchen floor, howling in agony and praying for relief. I finally called my doctor, who told me to head to the ER because it sounded like kidney stones. I went to the local hospital, was given a shot of morphine and a CT scan, and told there was no kidney stone, it was probably just a muscle spasm, and sent on my way.

I slept most of Sunday.

Monday I went to work, still a bit achy and tired, and was fine...until I went to the bathroom and saw that my eyes had turned yellow.

Jaundice.

I immediately went to my doctor's urgent care. They saw me immediately, took blood and urine samples, and told me a) I had been having a gallstone attack, and b) I was off work for the next two days, no arguments. They also scheduled an ultrasound for the next day and told me to come back on Wednesday for more bloodwork. The ultrasound showed that yes, I'd had a gallstone pass, and yes, there were still stones in my gallbladder, and when the Wednesday bloodwork showed that my pancreas was now involved, I was ordered to the ER at our regional medical center and told that I was to stay until admitted, no arguments.

I griped, but didn't argue. This is why I'm sitting here writing this, not in the ICU or possibly dead.

Friends, I had a condition called gallbladder pancreatitis. This condition results when a gallstone blocks the duct emptying from the liver, stomach, and pancreas, and the pancreas reacts by going into overdrive and producing about 1000x as many enzymes as it needs to. This is a serious, serious condition, and the only treatment is immediate removal of the gallbladder after the pancreatic enzymes are back in the normal range. In my case it took a day in the ER on an IV line, no food or drink by mouth at all, before this happened.

So. I had my gallbladder out on Friday, spent Friday night and all of Saturday in the hospital, and was discharged after more tests and a clean set of labs on Sunday morning. I'm now on a no-fat diet, low fat foods to be reintroduced gradually over the next couple of weeks, with my current diet based primarily on lean meats, fish, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Red meat will become a rare treat, ditto pizza. I *may* be allowed to go back to whole milk cheeses in small quantities, but not immediately. Junk food is out, permanently, unless there is absolutely no alternative (at a convention or on the road and there's nothing but a McDonald's for the next ten miles...and then, have the salad). My life and my eating have been forcibly changed, and it will probably add years to my life because I'll no longer have the luxury of eating processed, fatty crap.

I ducked a bullet here, boys and girls. I really did. Still trying to decide if I should take action against the local hospital that didn't notice the gallstones on the CT scan (or inform me that I was born with one kidney, which I was completely unaware of), but that's something to be discussed with my surgeon when I speak to him on the 17th. For right now I'm home, recovering, and grateful beyond words that my urgent care doctor refused to accept my insistence that I felt fine and trusted the blood tests to tell her what was going on.

I'm alive. I'm not going to waste that.

Thanks for listening.
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Title: Hess v. Stark, et al.
Artist: Gabbi
Author: Ellid/Gabbi
Rating: M for implied sexual content
Universe: MCU AU
Word Count: 12934
Warnings: none
Summary: Tony Stark inherited many things from his father: mechanical genius, a thriving company, piles of money, and a class action suit because dear ol' Dad never came through on that !#$@$!$! flying car. Little does he know that his current teammate and unacknowledged crush is one of the plaintiffs even though he was frozen in a plane crash at the time....

Link to fic
Link to art




My thanks to Gabbi for her wonderful art, and to the mods for organizing this challenge. This is my first fic for this pairing, and I really enjoyed writing it!
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This was unexpected.

A few weeks ago I decided to try the on-line version of Jeopardy to see if I could possibly get on the show. I didn't do as well as I thought I would, and quickly forgot about it.

Lo and behold, I got home from a terrific night at the Symphony, and what did I find in my e-mail box but an invitation to go to New York on May 25th for an in-person audition! I thought about it, decided that I had nothing to lose, and so responded in the affirmative.

So. It looks like I will be in New York on the 25th. Given that Amtrak would require me to be on the 6:30 am train (yuck), I am considering going down the night before and finding either a cheap hotel room or crashing with someone...suggestions? Possible sites for couch-surfing? I am clean, quiet, and neither drink nor smoke, and will avoid cat jokes if desired....

I'm fine

Apr. 16th, 2013 07:09 am
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I'm out in Western Mass, two hours from the bombing, but I know the area well. I'm still crying inside at the carnage inflicted on the innocent.
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Now on Ao3, complete, my first long MCU fic:

<http://archiveofourown.org/works/572602/chapters/1026011>Captain Fraudulent
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Memeage: what I would do if $N dropped into my lap in some legal non-taxable (or post-tax) way:

$10: the best turkey burger in the world, at Miss Florence Diner.

$100: Pay for my hotel room at the Circlet Press retreat in April.

$1000: yardwork on the Last Homely Shack.

$10,000: Pay off credit card.

$100,000: pay off all debts, take a vacation in Europe, have the Last Homely Shack completely cleaned and fixed up, and start looking at condos in Northampton or Florence.

$1,000,000: All of the above, $500,000 into retirement funds, and the rest donated to the ACLU, NARAL, and MassEquality, in equal shares.
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Title: Captain Fraudulent, Chapter 4 of 10
Pairings: Tony/Pepper established relationship, Steve/Peggy friendship
Rating: PG for occasional swearing
Warnings: Kardashian bashing, insults slung against Fox News, small yippy dogs, PTSD, and the gentrification of large parts of Brooklyn. And kale. Lots and lots of kale.
Disclaimer: this story was written solely for amusement value, not profit. No copyright infringement is intended, and I freely admit that I don't own a blessed thing except the ludicrous plot.
Summary: SHIELD did its best to help Steve Rogers adjust to modern society, but they completely forgot to warn him about the 24 hour news cycle. Oops.


And

Title: Captain Fraudulent, Chapter 5 of 10
Pairings: Tony/Pepper established relationship, Steve/Peggy friendship
Rating: PG for occasional swearing
Warnings: Kardashian bashing, insults slung against Fox News, small yippy dogs, PTSD, and the gentrification of large parts of Brooklyn. And kale. Lots and lots of kale.
Disclaimer: this story was written solely for amusement value, not profit. No copyright infringement is intended, and I freely admit that I don't own a blessed thing except the ludicrous plot.
Summary: SHIELD did its best to help Steve Rogers adjust to modern society, but they completely forgot to warn him about the 24 hour news cycle. Oops.
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"The Place Where Heroes Are Made," is live on the Circlet Press web site in the brand new anthology What Happens in the Tavern Stays in the Tavern. Written under the name Sarah Ellis, it's a tasty little bit of erotica about a very special tavern and the woman who runs it.

Even better, it's part of a great new anthology from the premier fantasy/SF erotica publisher. Enjoy!


http://www.circlet.com/?p=4452
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Title: Captain Fraudulent, Chapter 3 of 10
Pairings: Tony/Pepper established relationship, Steve/Peggy friendship
Rating: PG for occasional swearing
Warnings: Kardashian bashing, insults slung against Fox News, small yippy dogs, PTSD, and the gentrification of large parts of Brooklyn. And kale. Lots and lots of kale.
Disclaimer: this story was written solely for amusement value, not profit. No copyright infringement is intended, and I freely admit that I don't own a blessed thing except the ludicrous plot.
Summary: SHIELD did its best to help Steve Rogers adjust to modern society, but they completely forgot to warn him about the 24 hour news cycle. Oops.
Note: This is where the cute little fic about art and celebrity suddenly took an unexpected turn. Forgive me.
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I have, much to my own shock, committed Avengers fic. Here is where you can find it, if you're interested.


Title: Captain Fraudulent, Chapters 1 and 2 of 10
Pairings: Tony/Pepper established relationship, Steve/Peggy friendship
Rating: PG for occasional swearing
Warnings: Kardashian bashing, insults slung against Fox News, small yippy dogs, PTSD, and the gentrification of large parts of Brooklyn. And kale. Lots and lots of kale.
Disclaimer: this story was written solely for amusement value, not profit. No copyright infringement is intended, and I freely admit that I don't own a blessed thing except the ludicrous plot.
Summary: SHIELD did its best to help Steve Rogers adjust to modern society, but they completely forgot to warn him about the 24 hour news cycle. Oops.
Note: This was supposed to be a fun little romp about art, celebrity, and the modern media. 32,000 words later, I'm only halfway done, and it's not nearly as funny as intended. I'm posting the first two chapters tonight and will post future chapters on Saturdays until I'm done.
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Toby Jones will appear as Dr. Arnim Zola, the doughy little Nazi scientist who designed most of HYDRA's WMDs. There's also a rumor that Hayley Atwell will appear as Peggy Carter, which probably means that the reunion scene Joss Whedon wrote for the Avengers but never filmed will take place in this movie.

This sounds like it's going to be awesome.
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Snupin Santa assignment is on its way, 18 minutes ahead of deadline.

*falls over*
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Idiot Ex, who has never once apologized for his actions toward me, is preaching on the message of atonement at his church in Greenfield in a couple of weeks.

No, I am not making this up.

No words except hysterical laughter on this. What an IDIOT.
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Part III: The 1940s

There is so much going on in the (half) decade before Captain America did a Flight 93 into the Arctic ice sheet that I’ve broken this post down into segments for those who only need a quick reference. Here goes nothing:
Read more... )

There’s plenty more, but this should be enough for most needs. Have fun!
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"Superman and Captain America Go To White Castle."


AAAIIIEEEEEEEEE
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Which sets a very different tone for the movie...and why I am not surprised in the slightest at the identity of the only Avenger who actually appears in this scene?

Avengers alternative ending.
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I recently started going through a cache of old photographs taken by and of my dad during his teens and early twenties. They range from some pictures where he's in, I kid you not, a white dinner jacket, hair slicked back, looking like a young lordling, to one from his student teaching days at Ohio University.

The most interesting, though, are the ones he took during World War II. Dad was in the 66th Infantry Division, the so-called "Black Panthers," and didn't actually get to France until late in 1944. He didn't see much combat but he seems to have had a great time, based on the number of pictures of the tourist sites in Avignon, Arles, Nimes, and Paris (including some beautifully framed shots of the undergirdings of the Eiffel Tower). There's also a hilarious series of pictures of his buddies sacked out on their cots, either asleep or reading (and in one case, yelling at Dad), which leads me to believe that Dad didn't necessarily ask permission before whipping out the camera.

The best, though, are some small black and white shots Dad took in - wait for it -

Adolf Hitler's home in Bavaria

I can't tell from the pictures whether Dad actually visited the Berghof, Hitler's main residence, or the Eagle's Nest, his tea house, but whichever it is, the RAF sure bombed the hell out of it based on the one exterior shot. The real interest is the shots of the interior, which included Hitler's private movie theater (damaged), his bathtub (relatively intact except for a few missing tiles), and (I swear I am not making this up) his toilet (missing the lid, and captioned "Also Hitler's" in my father's spiky handwriting).

Best of all, some wag wrote "BILL KOLACEK TITUSVILLE PA" in the 1945 equivalent of a Sharpie on the surround for the bathtub. This was probably as close as PFC Kolacek could get to bathing (or worse) in the tub, but it's pretty hilarious.

To the best of my knowledge, I am the only person in Easthampton, Massachusetts, who owns a photo of Hitler's toilet. Words fail to describe how special this makes me feel.
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And nervous have I been about posting this thing, God knows why...but here it is.


Title: We Regret To Inform You
Rating: G
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Summary: The story of a life, in three letters of condolence to three different women.
Notes: There really was a 107th New York Infantry, mobilized in 1917. They were sent off to train in South Carolina on September 11, 1917, and sailed for France in May of 1918. They saw heavy combat, including the Second Battle of the Somme in September and October, and suffered heavy casualties. And yes, several of the men were named "Rogers," although I have been unable to determine if any of them had the first name Joseph.


Read more... )
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