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Free! ish.

Posted 2011.09.29 22.48 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

So this morning, the last of my IV medicine was pumped into my arm. Then the nurse came and the idea was to unplug me, remove the tubes and pointy things, and generally that would be the end of lugging those annoying IV pumps around everywhere.

Well, she did unhook the pumps, and most of the tubes. But she didn’t think my leg had healed enough yet. I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow anyways, and my doctor has already given me a bunch of pills to take over where the IVs left off, but nonetheless, the nurse was uncertain.

So she decided to leave the pointy thing in my arm, with just a few inches of tube, and a little cork (so to speak) on the end of it. If my doctor felt that the IV was not needed, then my doctor could remove it. If she decides that more IV medicine is needed, then they could try using that existing tube.

I was unenthusiastic about this plan. For one thing, that IV has been in for 6 days now and the nurse even said it might not be good much longer. Especially if there’s nothing running on it for 24+ hours to keep it open.

So why leave it there?

I wasn’t thrilled with how she corked and taped it either. It stuck out a bit and kept catching on my sleeve. And the actual end that a new tube would go into, she didn’t cover at all – so it could collect lint and stuff from my shirt.

By the end of the day, I had been to work for a few hours then come home, and somewhere along the way I did catch it on something which gave a tug and hurt. Then my arm got really itchy and I decided that I’d had enough.

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Mr. Blue, Mr. Grey [U]

Posted 2011.09.26 9.13 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Time to meet my two constant companions, who’ve been with me for the past seven days.

Messers Blue and Grey

Mr. Grey is not too bad, he’s smaller, a lightweight, and more managable. On his own, he’s fairly easy to handle. Mr. Blue on the other hand is bigger, and while not much heavier, ┬áhe’s more of a handful to keep track of. It’s the bulk, I think.

Mr. BluePresently, the final two IV bags that were prescribed last week will be installed into my two friends here. Today I need to find a doctor to make the call as to whether those last two hits of drugs will be enough. Will my two companions be leaving me tomorrow? Or will another RX be issued, so my Blue and Grey comrades can remain with me even longer?

Mr. GreyI’ll try my regular doctor first, and see if she will make the call. Otherwise, it’s back to the hospital (and the long wait that will entail) to get someone to decide what course to take.

To be honest, I won’t be sorry to see these two nylon fellows leave. They have a job to do, of course, but they are so clingy and demanding.

Naturally, I have gotten to know them over the course of the week. Not intimately mind you – it’s quite easy to ignore the urge to take things apart, when said things are directly wired into your bloodstream and are playing an important role in maintaining your health. I’ve even refrained from button-pressing. Mostly.

Through simple observation, I have figured how to reload them – removing the empty bag, spiking a fresh bag, resetting the reservoir volume counter. That came in handy yesterday when the nurse didn’t come by, and I suspect it will come in handy again today as well.

One ought to be proactive in one’s own healthcare matters.

Update: sounds like my friends will be staying an extra two days. Instead of parting ways tomorrow, they’ll be hanging around until Thursday.

Instax Pinhole Howto

Posted 2011.09.23 14.09 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

Last weekend after I put together that pinhole camera that uses instant film, I made a quick write-up and sent it off to the Lomography folks.

While I’ve been pre-occupied with health issues, it got published:

Instax Pinhole Camera

Pinhole Instax Camera - Tipster

And the Bad Week Continues…

Posted 2011.09.23 9.00 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Here we are, Friday already! Still waiting for the punch line from Monday’s running joke.

Instead, it just keeps going, and going.

They wired me up with two IV pumps and two tubes, to fill me full of two different antibiotics. And not a day’s gone by that there hasn’t been a problem. They go into shutdown alarm mode, and start beeping. (At 2:00 in the morning.) Or they act like they’re running fine, but when the nurse goes to swap in a fresh medicine bag, we discover that the old one is still half-full and the machine’s been cheating me.

Till last night, when everything shut down completely.

So come Friday and I’ve had half doses, missed doses, and now complete failure.

Now I’m sitting around waiting for a nurse who may or may not know what to do, may or may not be able to fix it, and in fact may or may not actually show up in a timely fashion.

If the failfest continues, I’ll have no option but to go back to the hospital and see if I can get them to fix it. My main concern is that they’ll just want to admit me – considering the ongoing failure that home care has been, so far.

I just really, really don’t want to get stuck at the hospital…

This Week is off to a Bad Start…

Posted 2011.09.19 12.23 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

It’s like the set-up for a joke, really.

First, despite the antibiotics and anti-inflamatories, my leg seems to be getting worse, not better.

Then at work, I notice I seem to have a fever.

So I call my doctor and she’s like, yeah, actually you should go to the hospital. Now.

So I go home first, and while I’m there I check the mail.

And the first letter I open starts with “Dear Prospective Juror…”

Now I’m off to the hospital, to see what else the day has in store for me!

Instant Pinhole Photos

Posted 2011.09.17 19.16 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a month or two. I enjoy pinhole photography, and am intrigued by instant film. So I wanted to combine the two – a pinhole camera that makes instant prints.

So this morning I finally decided to throw something together (in lieu of doing chores). I’ll post a detailed write-up of the construction later. The short version is, I used an Instant Back for the Lomo LC-A+ and built a pinhole-front to attach to the Instant Back. It was actually a very quick and easy project.

Here are some results:

Fuji Instax Mini film is rated at ISO 800, and I calculated the Instant Pinhole camera to have a 30mm focal length, and an aperture of about f/150. Under the overcast skies that came to about a 4 second exposure, which actually is a bit over-exposed I think. In the backyard, under heavy tree cover, this extended to eight seconds, which might be a bit under-exposed.

I tried some indoor shots but the Instax film suffers from big-time reciprocity failure – what should have been a 30-second exposure, looks like it would take over 2 1/2 minutes. So the Instant Pinhole is probably going to stick with sunny outdoor shots for now.

Found Film #5

Posted 2011.09.15 23.34 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

I recently acquired another camera (no, really!) via that auction site, and was pleasantly surprised to find it arrived pre-loaded with a roll of film. The counter was on 8, so as long as nobody had opened the film door along the way, there was a good chance it had usable images.

This is my fifth roll of found film. After complaining that I was never lucky enough to find any, suddenly it’s everywhere!

I went ahead and shot off the rest of the roll (kitty pictures mostly) just to get to the end, then rewound it and gave it a bath in colour chemistry. The roll was a store brand ISO 200, 24 exposure colour negatives. The brand was “PhotoLab.ca” and interestingly, it was marked as pre-paid processing. I don’t know if there are any PhotoLab stores around me, and if there are, if they still process film, and if they do, if they’d honour my found roll. And anyways, it’s way more fun to soup it at home.

As always, there is some suspense up till the moment you open the tank and look in for that first glimpse. There were images! The film was good!

It appears to be part of someone’s holiday snaps – either the start of the trip, or the end. I’m going to go ahead and say it’s probably from the end of the trip. I’m pretty confident of this, for two reasons.

First, when you snap a half dozen shots that include going to the airport, and then (presumably) being picked up at the other end, then you leave the rest of the roll in the camera unused, that sounds to me like someone went home and put things away. If they had just started out on the trip, they’d have used up the rest of the film, right?

Second, the person I bought the camera from was not local – the camera had to travel some distance to arrive on my doorstep… but the picture in the Taxi, and the pictures at the airport, were taken surprisingly close to me – in and around Toronto International Airport.

Anyhow, enough talking, and on to some images!

Film was souped in my (very old and tired) C-41 kit for about 24 minutes, at 68 degrees F.