Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A long road

Last week I walked home from work, over the hill that was in the way. It took me 4.5 hours, partly due to a couple of mis-advertised roads and tracks on google maps, but I did it. The last 1.5 hours or more, were in darkness. At least I managed to reach 'back' streets as it was getting fully dark, but it would certainly have been easier in daylight! These streets were sometimes unpaved, grassy in spots, with very few street lamps.

Chandler track is steep. Really, really steep. For what seemed like an eternity, I was pushing upwards, stopping to catch my breath regularly. I was not at all prepared for such a hill climb. A few wallabies (or very small kangaroos) bounced away from the trail - it's the first time I've seem them in the wild. Other than that, and a flock of red-breasted tiny birds and the odd magpie, I saw no wildlife. There were no other people on the track, which was probably wise, seeing as it was dusk.

I was really disappointed that, no matter where I was, I could hear traffic. Sure, the noise receded, but it was always there. On a positive note, there was no litter on the track!

Mast Gully road is quite an incredible walk, down. It's also very steep, with no sidewalk, or even a good place to step off the road to make way for traffic. Luckily, cars were few and far between. Again, google maps misrepresented a few roads, so there were a few phone calls home to get directions. Especially towards the end, when I was exhausted.

4 restful days later, and I'm still sore and recovering. I'd love to do it more regularly, but the daylight hours are shrinking, and I won't be able to leave work early in the near future.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Disappointed

Unfortunately, it looks like the two new medications for fibro may not be of any use to me. It seems that there has not been any further development of anti-epileptic or nerve-relaxant medications for fibro. Most of the recent developments focus on anti-depressants and anti-inflammatories, both of which are essentially useless to me.

Duloxetine and milnacipran, proposed by the specialist, are based on anti-depressants. One in particular works very similarly to Effexor - a nightmare medication to stop. Three months of gradual dose reduction and another 2 months to get past the withdrawal effects (constant mini-black outs). Not something I ever want to repeat!
Most of the anti-depressants I have trialled do nothing or instead, worsen symptoms, and all seem to have awful side effects. Then there are the ones I'm allergic to. Yay.

I will stick with the tiny dose of gabapentin, the only thing that keeps me asleep at night. Strangely, my borg body has not yet adapted to this tiny dose!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Booked!

My trip to Japan and Germany in June has been booked and paid for - I'm so excited! Now I need to work out an itinerary for Japan. I'll be focusing on the northern Honshu and Hokkaido areas, looking at loads of parks, temples, castles, onsen and 'wildernessy' areas. I'm hoping to stay in ryokan for much of the trip, but not sure how to get up-to-date information and reviews. Next trip will be a southern trip to catch up with pen-friends and see Kyoto and Nara.

Now, I have a date by which I must improve my Japanese vocabulary and listening comprehension!! It's so much easier to read and write in Japanese that it is to hear and respond. ;>