davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

Yesterday I was fairly desperate to change the hours I'm awake, which had drifted to 2PM - til 6AM (this happens semi-regularly, my body doesn't seem to work on a 24 hour cycle, never mind the regular spontaneous crashes from overdoing stuff). So I'd stayed awake for 36 hours and at 2AM I was in bed, reading (Mishell Baker's 'Borderline') in the hope of drifting off to sleep, when the intersection of the book, me, and my writing sparked a thought in character voice: "I don't so much have brain-weasels as brain-wolverines."

I thought about it, sighed, got up and went downstairs to jot it down before I could forget it.1250 words later I'm not certain whether to call it a vignette, or a short story, but there's a twist in my protagonist's back story that potentially explains a lot.

And shifting my waking hours? I woke up at 3:30PM, {le sigh}

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
No particular problems, in fact there are a few posts either half-written, or half-planned, but I got back from Durham only to go straight into what's usually my most energy-depleting, if fun, weekend of the year, which left me with not a lot of spoons and doing my daysleeper routine. I'm hopeful I'm getting things back under control, though it may take me a while to catch up with what's being happening with everyone.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

Beyond my part in the Spartacus Network response to the Work and Health Green Paper, I wanted to do a personal response as I take a slightly different view of the Disability Employment Gap that Work and Health is supposed to challenge and think it's much more to do with employer/recruiter disability discrimination and tacit government acceptance of the same/reluctance to display employers in a bad light.

I'd set today aside to do that, as submissions have to be in before 11:45PM (and dyspraxic, so bad with deadlines and planning), so of course today was the day I crashed and burned and slept all day because of cumulative fatigue.

The consultation had 46 questions, I managed to answer about 30 of them between waking up and remembering and 11:30PM rolling around which was when I pressed submit (just in time, it wasn't exactly quick to respond).

Which means I couldn't thoroughly respond to Work and Health because it was too much work for my health....

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
The multiply-transatlantic parcel finally arrived this morning, the alarums and excursions around it claiming to be delivered last week were due to it being held up with a customs fee - VAT to pay - which I finally got a card telling me needed paying on Tuesday.  I wouldn't have minded the VAT too much if the Royal Mail's handling fee hadn't practically doubled it.

I may have been slighty more wound up about it than I realised as I'd no sooner glanced through the contents and confirmed everything was there* than my body decided I was going to sleep. Now. By my reckoning I'd already had 6 to 7 hours, and my body decided to double that.**

So it's 8PM and I just had breakfast....

I haven't been sleeping particularly well since early January when I came down with that blasted cold, I seem to have been on more of a 30 hour, or 36 hour, cycle than a 24, which keeps you functional, but in a state of permanently too knackered to do anything constructive, not to mention awake at awkward times of the day and it looks like it may finally have caught up with me. Hopefully I can get back to something resembling normalcy now.

* Except for the stuff that went permanently out of stock in the near year it took the main item to finally be published,

** Complete with two*** dreams about starting a PhD back at Lancaster and having a pleasant conversation with the fiercest of my old lecturers. There are also vague memories of being signed up as an officer for World War Three (and Case Nightmare Green from the Laundry Files), but that's down to the reading I've been doing. All of them surprisingly domestic, rather than kinetic.

*** Or one dream, interrupted, as I woke up in the middle of it, checked the time and picked up the narrative again when I fell back to sleep.



davidgillon: Text: I really don't think you should put your hand inside the manticore, you don't know where it's been. (Don't put your hand inside the manticore)

I finally caught up on the missed sleep that had turned Friday into a stumbling disaster by sleeping through most of Saturday.

But I couldn't work out why I felt so feverish when I finally woke up Saturday evening, I'd thought my cold was long past that stage and my whole head just felt unpleasantly warm.

I didn't realise what was actually going on until the wee small hours of Sunday morning, at which point I promptly face-palmed myself.

I was supposed to have changed my butrans patch on Friday. I'd just spent 12 hours in opiate withdrawal because I was too stupid to realise I was in opiate withdrawal.

Fortunately it was easily enough fixed once I'd had a new patch on for a few hours, but I really hope this coming week is better than the last one!


davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)

That annoying thing when you wake up pre-dawn and two hours later it's still pre-dawn and you realise you're 12 hours out.

And then two hours later realise it's not the day you thought it was either.

I had to check the modification date on a file I knew I saved earlier to confirm I haven't entirely missed Friday, which means I was so tired Thursday and Friday have merged together in my head. I can vaguely remember thinking I must check Friday's webcomics, which is more confirmation, but I don't think I managed to actually do that. It also explains why there was one less helping of soup in the fridge than I expected at lunchtime.

I can sort of piece it together, Thurday night's sleep was more two or three hours trying to doze followed by eventually giving up and going downstairs, rather than actual sleep, but that led to a crash-dive onto the couch sometime late-afternoon, and staggering to bed sometime after dark. When I woke up and the alarm said 6:30 I definitely thought that was AM, not PM, so at this point I'm really, really glad I rolled over and slept another hour.

But that still means I may only have had 4 hours sleep in the last 56(?) hours.

I'm not sure I'll manage to get back into a proper sleeping rhythm, and at this point I'd even settle for nocturnally awake, until I'm rid of this damned cold, which is clinging on by the claws in the back of my throat and proving annoyingly difficult to get rid of. It's really not much more than sniffles and a cough, but just enough to disturb you as you drift towards sleep.


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
I'm headed North for Christmas with the rest of the family in the morning and I can't find my mifi hub, so getting online is going to be a case of wandering over to my sister's - i.e. intermittent.

Given which: Season's greetings to everyone, in whichever is your preferred format.

I'm hoping the break in routine will let me reset my sleep pattern so I'm actually getting more than 4-5 hours sleep a night, which clearly isn't enough. I'm fighting to stay awake right now for long enough to pack, though fortunately there's not a lot of packing needed. I'd say I was feeling exhausted, except I've just seen my friends who are caring 24/7 for their adult son who has brain cancer, and my gauge for exhausted just got reset.

Stuff I'm hoping to do while away: work on book 2; consider rewrite of book 1 based on [personal profile] yhlee 's excellent comments; promised beta read - planning to load this onto kindle in a minute for tomorrow's train journey; respond to two different government consultations - work and health and disability hate crime - both due by January; and possibly blog on disability hate crime as well as I just realised the way prosecutions aren't working in court can be construed as forcing disability hate crime to pass a double jeopardy test.

Of course most plans don't survive contact with reality.
davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)

I'm currently stuck in that thing where my body keeps insisting I fall asleep on the spot. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if I was getting 8 hours as a result, but it's been more like 4 or 5, or even 1 or 2, and that's just not enough. Worse, it means I'm tired enough any activity is triggering the fall asleep on the spot thing.

It's a good thing I'm off to spend Christmas and New Year with the family on Wednesday, as that will probably break the cycle. I haven't quite decided what I'm doing about internet while I'm up in Durham, it may just be intermittent access whenever I pop over to my sister's, or if I can find my MIFI hub I may buy a SIM and hope it lasts longer than the 2 hours of the one I bought last Christmas.

On the plus side, two years ago today I was being rushed through A&E with acute pancreatitis, so at least I'm doing better than that.

I spent 5 hours running errands today, and I think my body hates me for it. It wasn't meant to be 5 hours and it started quite well, I whipped through the stuff with my banks in Chatham - there was a really helpful guy on their helpdesk who did everything for me on the spot rather than sending me off to the teller windows, which made things much simpler. OTOH the Coastguard SAR helicopter was overhead and searching the river, which was a bit grim. But then I went to Rochester and it was full. I literally could not find a space to park at lunchtime. Presumably that was down to the Christmas Market in the Castle, but I couldn't park so I never got to find out. I went off and did some grocery shopping instead - okay some booze shopping, the bar is bare - and tried again at 3:30. Even then I only just managed to find a space, but at least I managed to get my repeat prescription (the one my GP forgot to do on Tuesday) and finally picked up my train tickets for the trip to Durham. God help anyone trying to park tomorrow if it was like this today.

So I came in and fell asleep. For 6 hours.

I hit a milestone on the car while I was out - 20k miles on the clock.

Since 2001.

And no, that isn't missing a zero

One of my friends was complaining on FB this morning that they'd just had an email about a delivery that excluded any useful information whatsoever about what was being delivered and who it was from. I'd no sooner commented on that than I found a card through my door from the post office. They have a parcel for me, with inadequate postage on it (fortunately only £2), and I need to pay up to get it. Of course there's no indication whatsoever of what the parcel is and who it's from.

I suspect it's the stuff I ordered from the States. In May.

I knew I was ordering in advance, I just didn't realise how much in advance. As soon as they indicated they'd started shipping a few days ago, it's been a nightmare as to whether it would arrive before I disappear North, because I'm away for longer than the post office hold onto parcels before sending them back. The postage is already extortionate, I really don't want to have to pay it twice. Delivery on Monday, hopefully.

On a completely different topic, one of the webcomics I read stopped updating over a year ago, with no real word as to what was happening. I noticed today it had been updated, and it's the author explaining how she had a breakdown, but is now recovering. Its fascinating to see someone talking about it so openly, and in graphic format.


davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)
.... falling asleep on the couch about 8PM and then waking up at 2AM having slept long enough there's bugger-all chance of getting back to sleep (but not the 8+ hours I need not to be tired). It's been pretty much constant since the end of Pitch Wars (1st week of November) and trying to get my clock reset means I'm staggering about half asleep all the time.  And when I do get myself reset back to waking at a normal time, the first time I do anything remotely physical, like going out for a coffee with friends, I end up falling asleep again,

Meh! {/End Whinge}

I'm headed up to Durham for Christmas next week (Christmas, how did that happen? It was September just a couple of weeks ago?), hopefully that'll be enough of a change in routine it'll let me get back onto the same schedule as the rest of the country,
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
So my usual response to being stressed is to find something I can obsess on instead in order to distract me. And I actually have several projects I can use for this, basically alternate military history stuff that can absorb however much time I throw at it.

The end of Pitchwars means I've now got a manuscript that needs sending out to agents. The idea of discussing a professional working relationship with someone (in the event they actually like Graveyard Shift), is stressful enough that the one request I had for a copy reduced me to a hyperventilating panic attack and a final desperate lunge at the send-key.

So I took some time off, which was sensible, and turned to one of my projects, which possibly wasn't. And then my lovely body decided to throw in its recurring trick of 'You've done too much, I'm going to fall asleep NOW.' Which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't reset my body clock to the idea it should fall asleep at whatever point that happens, usually in the afternoon. And unfortunately I'm not talking naps, I'm talking full-on 8 to 10 hours.

Which means I'm back to being nocturnal - though admittedly I've done so much on US-time during Pitchwars that I may just be used to it by now. Annoyingly I've twice thought I've gotten back to daylight scheduling, only for my body to do the Nope, falling asleep now trick on me, most recently this afternoon, slept from about 2PM until Midnight.

I'm gradually trying to shut down the obsession project again, so I'm not tempted to 'well, I'll just sieve all the relevant information out of this 200 page historical document and then try to sleep', but it's a slow process - and I need something to do when I'm awake at Oh, God, No! O'Clock. I've actually started work on a new novel, but it's largely at the thinking and plotting stage and not quite to where it can displace obsession.

Buried under this is the recognition I really do need to discuss anxiety and panic attacks (and their intersection with possible neurodivergence) with my GP, but ironically that's making me more anxious, especially as I'm stuck being nocturnal which makes scheduling an appointment bloody difficult.

And so that's why I've been fairly quiet for the last fortnight. Now excuse me while I go bury my head under a pillow!

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
I have actually written The End

Well, not quite, it was already there, but I have reached that line in the re-write.

All three protags now have a balanced input in that climactic chapter, and I've got a version of the last line that I like and that says what I want, at least for now.

And that torture scene still sends shivers down my spine.

I even got it down under 100,000 words, even if only briefly. (Current length 100,750 words, which considering I started with 121k means I've cut one word in six)

I've salvaged the fight with the undead St Bernard, because how can you have a climax in a pet cemetery on Halloween in a snowstorm and not have an undead St Bernard?

I've been rewriting for three weeks now, and I really, really need to take a break and sleeeeep for a week.

But for now I get to put it aside for a few hours and sleep.

And then I pick it up again and spend the rest of today and tomorrow idiot-checking it before sending it off to my mentors for line-editing.

Oh, and there was that one extra scene I was meant to be writing, that will be really difficult to get right.

And ...

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
Deleted 5700 words from the novel before breakfast yesterday, mostly as I hadn't actually been to sleep at that point, though the deletion was genuinely a morning thing, say 7:30 to 9:30.

Somewhat easier than it sounds as I just zapped everything not in the core Points of View. Surprisingly only needed about 100 words to patch over the deletions.

I was initially resistant to losing part of it, about 1600 words, as it completes a secondary character's arc (one of the bad guys), but I figured out a way to feed all that into the epilogue, in a way that actually makes the epilogue work better, so bye bye wordies....

I need to stop letting it affect my sleep, but with mentors in the US being up late does have advantages. I fell asleep about 12pm, slept until 3AM, woke up because my hips were splayed out again and not happy about it, and noticed KT had just posted a comment, so was able to have a chat conversation with her before trying to get back to sleep. I did get a homework assignment out of that, but seeing as it's read the Walker Chronicles, which I already like, plus the Jane Yellowrock books, which I've looked at, it's not too onerous. Ultimately I got a reasonable amount of sleep, but not really enough to make up for an entirely missed night.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

There's an inevitable progression when I'm in pain to disrupted sleep, and it isn't as if my sleeping makes a great deal of sense at the best of times.

Saturday's trip into town threw things into high gear, and I hadn't the sense to go find the painkillers when I got home (which worked very nicely when I was suffering the aftermath of the Athenian cobbles last week), which meant very disrupted sleep on Saturday night. Sunday wasn't  much better, and I spent so much time trying to arrange things so that I wasn't actually in pain (to a certain degree of success), that I ended up not actually getting to sleep at all.

Which meant come some indeterminate time yesterday afternoon I had about five minutes warning I was going to crash come what may. I got myself arranged on the couch, and woke up around 4AM. If I'd known it was going to be so long (possibly as much as 12 hours, I'm not sure), I'd have headed for bed and not couch. I thought that was going to mean another disrupted day today given how early I'd woken, but fortunately I dozed off again about 7AM and slept through until almost 11AM, which hopefully is enough to set me back onto the theoretically normal schedule of sleeping during the night, not the afternoon and evening.

Ideally I'd not stir myself today (and for most of the week for that matter), in the hope of persuading pain levels to remain low - they're almost non-existent as long as I don't move around - but I absolutely need to arrange a repeat prescription today, and the cupboards are looking extremely bare, also theres no beer or wine in the house and that helps with pain control, so I'll have to nip out later.

Here's hoping that doesn't trigger another inevitable progression....

(Fortunately there are no cobbles where I'm going).
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
After the last minute scramble to get my Pitchwars submission in I got to sleep sometime after 6AM and woke up at 9:30AM. This wasn't really enough.

Today was supposed to be a reasonably leisurely day before heading into London in the evening for a drink with friends, then various things got concatenated together.

The holiday prep I'd meant to do yesterday - a wheelie friend has strongly advised me to get my booked assistance with Ryanair for the flight home changed from 'to aircraft' to 'to seat', reminding me Ryanair are too cheap to use airbridges, so it's likely to be bus out to the middle of nowhere and climb an airstair in the middle of all the other passengers. She says she was literally trampled on the stairs once. This seems like a good idea. I'm probably not going to bother with changing booked assistance Aegean for the flight out as I'll have a friend on the flight and they used airbridges last time IIRC.
Printing out everything I need printouts of - hotel bookings, directions of hotels, where we're meeting etc, only I need new ink cartridges, and if I need to spend £20+ on ink, then I just happen to have a £40 HP voucher (for the laptop balls-up) that needs spending in the next couple of months - so new £80 HP Envy Inkjet to await delivery of (paid £30 with voucher and £10 off), which of course got scheduled for today.
Trains to from airports to book, with assistance.
Holiday cash to pick up from Post Office (ordered online yesterday. available after 1PM today).
Needed to get to cash machine to get cash for night out with uni crowd.

I was clearly running sluggish this morning, so decided to concentrate on what absolutely needed doing today.

Spent time waiting mugging up on a little Greek.
Printer delivered at 1PM, quickly up and running - reasonably impressed.
Headed into Rochester about 2PM to hit the cash machine and pick up my Euros from the post office

This is when things went wrong. I'd adjusted my footplates on the chair last night - I lowered them the other week and while more comfortable they've been catching on too many gutters etc, so they needed shifting up. The new multitool I bought didn't have the grip to unbolt them, so I used an adjustable spanner to loosen them, did the adjustment and deliberately didn't tighten them as hard, with the idea of being able to use the multitool if they needed adjusting again. Bad idea.

Right-hand footplate swung out of position within 10 metres, tried pushing it back, but it kept doing it, so I flipped it up and crossed right leg over left.
Got to cash-machine, out of order - took me three tries to notice because the screen is angled back - fine if you're reading it from above, not so great if you're reading it from chair height.
As I headed for second cash machine, left footplate similarly swung out of position, so flipped that up as well and curled my crossed legs back under the chair. This really doesn't do the efficiency of pushing any good.
Got cash, decided not to bother with Euros today (did I need the email notification or just my card? still need to check that, plus opposite end of highstreet with no footplates)
Got back to car, drove home.

Just short of home (fortunately last 100m), head starts spinning, clearly tiredness, by the time I pull into the drive I'm completely light headed. I got into the house, couldn't work out where the car keys were and turned around to find them sitting on the path outside. Absolutely no way I was fit to take a train journey into London.
So I sent a message to say I wouldn't make the get together, and was sound asleep in bed by about 3:15PM! 
Slept til sometime after 8PM or was it 10PM - I've got a bit of a blank between the two, so may well have woken up, then gone back to sleep.

Lessons learnt:
1) Fasten the damn footplates tighter
2) Get enough sleep!

And still got all the printing out and booking etc to do!

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
I could tell yesterday's lunch outing (seafood pasta, yum) had hit me hard - though my disabled friend notes I am doing better on the route back to the car, no stopping for rests anymore. Ultimately I think I fell asleep about 11PM, and it was a fight to stay awake that long, but I wasn't expecting it to be 12:30 when I woke up, and certainly not 15:30 when I woke up properly. 16.5 hours is a bit excessive - especially when I'd had about 12 the night before!

I wouldn't even have called myself particularly tired. Bendy body moves in mysterious ways*.

* Often literally, but that's a different problem
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
 Well I make that eight and a half hours, 11pm til 7am (plus sundry spontaneously falling asleep again in the middle of a sentence for the last hour), which is better than the four hours, or even two hours I've been dealing with for the last week or so, but still not really enough, and  I still had to make an "oh, shit, I'm going to be asleep in about two minutes" dive for bed last night - I did manage to get shoes and trousers off, but I'm fairly confident I slept with my glasses on and I was definitely cuddling the kindle when I woke up.

It would really be quite nice if I could get back to getting an adequate amount of sleep on a regular basis, this falling asleep at the drop of a hat (and the waking up again, wide awake, but not having had remotely enough sleep) is getting old.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
File today under odd.

I slept for 7 to 8 hours (which would normally be enough even if my body prefers a little longer), woke up, made it as far as the desk at the foot of my bed and dozed off again as soon as I sat down. Woke up after 20 minutes or so, started to read something, and woke up an hour later facedown on the desk with my forehead neatly pressed into my keyboard's wrist rest, and, with the brief exception of the daily waddle, which utterly failed to wake me up, the rest of the day has been more of the same, I've lost count of the number of times I've dozed off into a dream-state. I think I'll just give up on getting anything remotely intellectual (or not intellectual) done and curl up on the couch with a glass of wine.


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
David Gillon

September 2017

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