Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Dead tigers

Jon Weinhart in Los Angeles is going to be prosecuted for animal cruelty, including the mistreatment of tigers and other animals kept at the shelter he set up. Californian authorities found 90 dead tigers and leopards, including cubs, at his home, in various stages of decomposition in freezers and pens, after a tip that Wienhart may have been keeping a tiger cub and two alligators without permits. They also reported that the conditions these animals were kept in were filthy, and alleged that various tiger body parts were being sold in Asia for aphrodisiacs (up to $40,000 per tiger). Weinhart's 8 year old son was also found to be living among the tigers and alligators, causing Weinhart and the boy's mother to be held on suspected child endagerment. I can't believe people would do this to such beautiful and endangered animals, let alone children!

GPS enabled sheep

In order to stop over-grazing in some areas of Ireland, sheep have been fitted with GPS transmitters to track their grazing patterns. Hopefully scientists will learn why sheep graze some areas and not others, to see if the sheep really are at fault, rather than other environmental factors. Next there will be GPS clothing, so parents can track their children!

Monday, April 28, 2003

John Howe - new pics

John Howe keeps adding more and more pictures to his amazing website, two of the most recent being Volcanic Dragons which was for an Anne McCaffrey cover, Forces of Sauron a vignette for The Map of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

Friday, April 25, 2003

1.5 years of 'free' water

My landlord rang me earlier this week, to request that I forward him payment for the water bills. It looks like Yarra Valley Water had continued to supply water to the property for 1.5 years without having complete billing details, and did not send any bills in this time! My landlord paid the outstanding bills for last year, but the bill for the most recent quarter has been moved to my new Yarra Valley Water account. I am amazed that they supplied water to a property for so long without bothering to find out who they should be billing! The agent had said they would set up the water account, and I wouldn't have to do anything. I had assumed all this time that water was included in rent. Guess I was wrong. Hopefully there won't be too much to pay, I've still got a $400 gap payment outstanding for the surgeon (yet to receive anaesthetist and pathology bills).

Update on me

Looks like gym pays off - my blood pressure was excellent while I was in hospital (110/70), whereas it had been a bit high for several months before gym. I'm also recovering exceptionally well, Bernie puts it down to staying in hospital overnight. I think I'd have to add that to being looked after, not having to do cooking, cleaning, or anything for several days, thanks to him. It has probably also helped that I didn't have a net connection for a week (the phone line died due to water destroying the line under the road), and thus couldn't worry about work (as much), and procrastinated very effectively watching lots of cable and reading eight books so far.

I should get on with my honours work now. I am looking forward to being able to go back to yoga and belly dancing, and really wish I could afford the belly dance DVDs I've been wanting to get for so long. But the surgeon's bill, water bills for the past 2 years (see a later post), visa, and obscene phone bills need to be paid off first.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Back from hospital

The operation was 'suprisingly easy' as the surgeon reported last night. Only a few spots of endometriosis were found, and a couple of adhesions on both ovaries were removed. Not at all what they expected (no bowel involvement at all). It seems there was absolutely no smeared endometrial growths back at all, which is great.

I am recovering well, better than the 3rd op, and they sewed me up very carefully. Stitches come out on Thursday and I should be completely fine to start work again in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately the diagnosis is the worst possible - I have adenomyosis - tested by needle biopsy from a couple of lumpy boggy 'protrusions' in the uterus wall.

The MRI I had about a month back showed I didn't have adeno, so I was completely unprepared for this diagnosis. As I still want the option of having kids (even though the adeno is likely to prevent this from happening) I don't feel ready to make the only decision I have available for treatment - a full hysterectomy. Although there is another form of treatment (partial endometrial ablation), this wouldn't work on me as I also have endometriosis (need to remove the source of the oestragen - the ovaries). *bah*

Adeno is meant to affect women who are much older (40s), not me! The surgeon has suggested that we try other methods for pain management (as this operation is unlikely to have helped at all). So next up, is chinese medicine, naturopathy and diet analysis. And I will need to keep a strict and heavy exercise routine, with lots of yoga to keep mobility in the area. I may also need to stay on hormones to control the growth of the adeno - it sounds like it has got a lot worse since the operations 2 years ago. This is going to take some time for me to come to terms with :-\

Monday, April 14, 2003

31 hours no food (add fleet)

MMmmm... only clear liquids (not red, purple or blue) allowed for the next 22 hours, then absolutely nothing till my operation at 7am on Monday morning. Oh yes.. and fleet preparation, the most lovely drink I have ever had. Think of clear petrol (not that I have ever ingested petrol), that wrenches your stomach and innards out, and is so hard to drink, yet somehow I have to have two glasses of it (and another 4-5 litres of clear liquid). Really, I'm just complaining. I've done this 5 times before, and each time is as bad as the last (except for when I tried Picoprep and found I reacted very badly to it, so had to switch back to Fleet).

Surgery

It feels a little odd to be going into hospital yet again, and really not be nervous - it's a little unreal still. I guess I'll get the nerves tomorrow. At the moment, I'm just hungry! (and feeling weird about turning all my computers off!) For those who wish to contact me, Bernie will be checking my email (and forwarding urgent student mail to someone who can deal with it), if I am in there for more than a couple of days. I will hopefully be in the Freemasons hospital until Wednesday if all goes well, and I don't need bowel surgery. If I do need additional/more complex surgery I'll be staying anything from 5 days to 2 weeks at the hospital. So... I'll wish people a happy Easter now, just in case, and I'll post the results whenever I get back.

Monday, April 7, 2003

Brave?

A friend mentioned last night that I was very brave to put details of my health and my past abuse online. I not sure I am though. My motivation is to help people in the same/similar situation. Partly it may also be due to having to hide things for 14 years of my life, that and lying are my two major character hates. It's interesting to see how others view it. If I ever get abused/looked down on for putting that information online, I don't really care, because the person doing that has not understood my motives, and perhaps wouldn't go out of their way to help people in those situations. Why should I be a 'private person' when my experiences can help people?

Anyhow, thanks friend, I hadn't looked at it like that before :>

Sunday, April 6, 2003

$4 Million for emotional distress?

An exiled Iraqi has been awarded a $4 million payout for surviving an assassination attempt, awarded on the complaint of emotional distress. What about all the others in the world who are suffering - the survivors of rape, torture and abuse, who more often than not, are completely ignored, or still suffering?!

Saturday, April 5, 2003

BCP - higher cervical cancer risk?

A new study seems to contradict previous findings that the pill decreases the risk of ovarian cancer, and can instead double the risk if used for more than 9 years. The study was only on current users of the pill, and more research is needed to see if the risk drops once the use of the pill is stopped. However, the study was done with very little information, and the research needs to be broadened for the evidence to be conclusive. Extended use of the pill is already fairly firmly linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.

I wonder what massive hormonal changes (Zolodex, Lupron, the 3 yearly pill, etc) do to the risk of cancer (cervical, ovarian and breast)?