Tag Archive | Star Trek

Dark Frontier

We took mum home about six weeks ago now. Since she has been gone I have tried really, really hard to relax and largely failed for some reason. I don’t ever seem to be able to properly relax.

I thought that reducing stress would help my physical health but instead, somehow, it has just got worse and worse; despite which, all the results of all the testing I was sent for, and all the various referrals to different consultants have come back negative. My MRI showed no obvious evidence of damage from my bike accident. Endocrinology didn’t find significant evidence of Cushing’s. There would appear to be an intermittent excess of cortisol, but there doesn’t appear to be a tumor either on my pituitary or my adrenals. The non-significant levels don’t justify more testing.

It would appear to suggest that my cortisol levels are likely related to anxiety. Anxiety that I wasn’t consciously aware I had.

I have reverted to my previous agoraphobia. Agoraphobia of course is a sign of anxiety, but somehow I didn’t connect it. Now that I don’t have a group to go to, I pretty much don’t go out unless I have to. I go to church on a Sunday (and once I went twice!) and I go out if husband drives me somewhere. But largely, I am hibernating and hiding.

I hadn’t realised until recently what the source of all my issues were, but a chance conversation on twitter, together with a conversation with my eldest child has forced me to confront some very dark and disturbing issues from my past going back to my childhood.

I’m not sure whether I want to dwell on that here. I have other places to talk about mental health and spiritual abuse (for that is what it was, if anybody is interested to look at that).

The question is, how to move forward. I know that I have to confront my past if I’m to get through it and get well and recover mentally and physically. Talk about it, write about it, meet with other survivors, they say. But just thinking about it has made me more physically ill than ever.

I prayed at the end of last year that God would reveal the true source of my illness so that I could get well. I really thought I was on to something when I the doctor suggested Cushing’s. I think she was right that cortisol is a big issue. But the cortisol is actually (probably) in response to trauma. I wasn’t ready to consider that, but now that I do it all makes sense, and I just want to cry. I have to open up a whole Pandora’s Box I thought I had long buried. It makes me feel vulnerable, like a little girl again.

If I still have any Star Trek fans following me, you will recognise the name of the Voyager episode in which Seven is confronted by her past – in which her parents took the risk of studying the Borg, thinking they wouldn’t be harmed, but not only are they harmed but they allow their daughter to be harmed, taken by the Borg and raised by them, and in turn Seven goes on to commit atrocities on others as a Borg herself. It’s a very good metaphor, for me, effectively being raised in a cult-like church, and later going on to do harm to others in the same vein (in particular, I regret, my eldest child).

It’s not easy to face.

They’re Civilians! Civilians with Partical Weapons!

Apologies for the rather long hiatus in posting. Life as a full time (mental health) carer has been very taxing indeed, and I have found that my life and ‘free’ time has no longer been my own and, when I have had free time, I have been too exhausted to use it productively.

There have been lots of things going on, and there are lots of things I could post about but I will have to think about what and how much to share, why I’m writing in the first place and who my audience might be.

Since the Autumn I have also been battling with the NHS system to get to the bottom of my health issues. I now have an official Consultant-led confirmation of the diagnosis of ME, although disappointingly that doesn’t seem to help much – the general gist of things is that they can’t really do anything very much to help me. But I have seen a neurologist and will be referred back to the Pain Clinic apart from other things.

Additionally, my GP has been looking for evidence of Cushing’s Disease. It is considered a ‘rare’ disease, but it is on the list of endocrine disorders that should be ruled out before diagnosing either Fibromyalgia or ME as well as Adrenal Fatigue/ Exhaustion. It’s actually in a way rather the opposite of Adrenal Exhaustion since AE is a lack of adrenal hormones (the adrenals are exhausted) whereas Cushing’s is an excess of adrenal hormones – in particular, cortisol, which may be caused either by overuse of steroid medicines or the presence of a pituitary or adrenal tumour.

After various stages of testing, I have an appointment for a kidney scan (primarily to find out why my blood pressure is so enormously high and resistant to meds), and I’m waiting for the results of a new MRI. My GP said that, even though my cortisol levels appear normal so far, if there is no mass on my kidneys she will order an adrenal scan as there is obviously something not quite right. So no results yet but I feel as though I’m making (slow) progress at last thanks to my lovely GP who is the first to take me seriously and keep on testing until we find the truth.

That’s all for now. I do plan to come back to blogging. If you’re reading, please let me know. If it’s only for me I may still post as I find it therapeutic. Talking of therapy, my therapy of choice is still Star Trek. Top marks to any Trekkie who is able to identify the episode – I’ll give you a clue, it’s from Star Trek Voyager – from which the title of this post is named. (I used it as I’m in the middle of an upsetting episode in real life, that has me confused and questioning everything I thought I knew, but that is for another day.)

LLAP

The Forest Dark

I confess I spend quite a lot of time on the internet, simply because my illness limits my activity and I can’t get out much. I have multiple twitter accounts, and (don’t tell facebook) multiple facebook accounts. You would hardly believe how much I dislike facebook, given that fact, but I really do. There is almost no control over what you see in your timeline and it’s not fun anymore. None of it seems all that fun anymore.

The fact that I have so few irl friends here has meant that shutting myself off from social media recently has left me really isolated, and I’m probably not doing myself much good.

But without a job to go to, and without young children to meet at the school gate, it seems nigh on impossible to make real-life friends at my age. We have been down here 5 years now, and I have one friend. One. And it has not been for lack of trying, believe me.

If it were up to me, I would move home in a flash. But it’s not even an option. I am stuck in this beautiful, lonely place.

“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
And the straightforward path had been lost in strife.” — Dante

It’s one of my favourite quotes, one that I have felt affinity with for many years. (Although I still haven’t got round to reading the book. It’s on my list.)

But perhaps I really do have a tendency to ‘glass half empty’, because I remember feeling like this before all the awful things happened to us, back when we were living in our own house, in the city.

And I remember feeling that I was in a kind of ‘wilderness’ even when we lived there, surrounded by people.

Janeway-and-Chakotay-Shoulder-Massage

While I have been away from facebook and twitter, I have been indulging in a bit of Star Trek fan fiction fantasy (a bit of writing and role play). If you’re familiar with Star Trek Voyager, the scenario is that – in the episode Resolutions – Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay, infected with a parasite that only allowed them to live on the planet where they became infected, have to be abandoned there alone while the crew go on without them.

In the series, a cure was found and they were rescued and resumed their journey home to Earth. But the fantasy is that the crew never return for them and so they live there on New Earth together, fall in love and have a family (in fact this is what the writer of the episode, Jeri Taylor, originally envisaged). Of course, I am Janeway and husband is Chakotay in my fantasy. All that’s missing is a tattoo.

I like the scenario because, quite apart from the romance, I love the idea of being stranded alone, having to pioneer a homestead, grow our own food, make our own clothes, tame animals and raise livestock, and being completely free.

So why do I hate it here so much in real life? I’ve had 5 years to think about it. The reality is that we don’t have any land, we don’t have a homestead, we can’t even keep chickens here. The country is no better than the city if you have no money. In fact, I think it might be considerably worse in some ways.

And I am beginning to think that I don’t actually like people very much (although it’s probably just sour grapes. I’m pretty likeable, what’s their problem?! Nobody smiles, nobody talks to you – it really is the most unfriendly and unwelcoming place I have ever lived in, and the beauty doesn’t make up for that). There are far too many people around here to allow my fantasy of being alone, pioneering on the planet.

So, a way forward? I can’t see us ever being completely happy here, even if I could make friends. I think that the only way to get happy is to get going and move away. I just wonder how far we’d have to move to get the kind of place we want and need at a price we can afford.

Star Trek Mysteries

starTrekTOS

OK, OK, I know I said that I would be posting my Star Trek posts over on The Bajoran Exile, but I had a dream! My first Star Trek TOS dream!

In my dream, the filming of Star trek, the original series, was being used as a cover for a jewel theft, in which Gene Roddenberry was the victim.

The thieves found that the jewels were no ordinary jewels, however, but granted the bearer invisibility and so the jewels themselves were being used to cover up a series of other jewel thefts and of murders!

It was all very stylish, with everybody wearing classic 1960s costumes.

There was a theft and murder at a country house, followed by another foiled attempt in which the thieves (who were part of the TOS crew – possibly red shirts) attempted to go back to Roddenberry’s house to see what else they could steal but they were apprehended.

Rather than call the police or bring them to justice, the lady of the house – Majel Barrett – persuaded the thieves to give up the invisibility jewels to her! (She had smacked them over the head with a frying pan in the dark, so had not realised they were invisible until afterwards!)

After this point, the thefts were to be carried out under Majel’s direction. What she didn’t realise though is that the jewels were cursed, and everybody who had anything to do with them were bound to come to no good. The thieves themselves were found dead before any more thefts could be arranged.

And then so finally, a plan was hatched between the members of the cast to safely dispose of the jewels, which involved a relay of people across a body of water (surreptitiously delivering one invisible member at a time) but, in the end, William Shatner decided (having charmed the jewels out from under Majel while Gene was away) that it was his responsibility to take the invisibility jewels out of harm’s way, and THIS was why Star Trek’s Five Year Mission was cancelled too soon.

~

I think the analysis for this is simple – too much television over the holidays – a mixture of Warehouse 13, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Star Trek, obviously. I’m supposed to be writing crime/ murder mystery for Jano2016, but I don’t know, what do you think, is there a book in it?! 🙂

LLAP

The Bajoran Exile

I thought I would let you guys (and gals?) know that, in my slightly housebound/ bedbound state, fuelled with the passion of misery, I’ve been writing like crazy, just not here.

I decided to indulge one of my passions, namely Star Trek, and have started a whole new blog, The Bajoran Exile. It’s actually something of a resurrection of a blog that I used to write about 8 years ago now, but which got deleted while I was incommunicado (actually, the whole platform was deleted) when we lived in Devon with no internet connection.

ds9

I haven’t abandoned this blog, but I do get bored quite easily. Sorry. I may have to change the furniture around a bit. But if you enjoy the idea of Life, the Universe and Everything looked at through the lens of science fiction, pop on over and take a look.

Really and truly, it’s all the same old stuff really – grief, misery, anger, frustration and red-headed fury (that’s why I identified so much with Kira Nerys of course). I will try and make this my happy place.

I’ll still post reviews here of any books, films or music that isn’t science-fiction related, plus my dreams (even though they do occasionally feature Jean-Luc Picard. There’s a confession. Plus, if I have a burning desire to share my opinions on current events I’ll post it here. (I bet you’re waiting with baited breath. No?)

I haven’t had a huge amount of interaction really, so I think that ultimately (although I would like more interaction – comments and suggestions are welcome, constructive criticism only please though, please) I am writing for myself, for my own pleasure and amusement, to make sure that my (formidable) brain doesn’t turn to mush while my body seems to be deteriorating.

I did, though, a few days ago – in a very dark moment – post a challenge/ threat/ slightly suggestive of suicide note on Facebook, throwing out a ‘fleece’ for God, saying that if I wasn’t healthy by the end of 2016 that I might leave the station (DS9 of course). I don’t normally feel like that, I’m not suicidal, I’m not even sure I’m depressed. But my quality of life right at this moment is pretty damn pants, and I don’t like it. I don’t intend to allow my body to deteriorate much further.

So, unless I have any remarkable dreams to share, or a miraculous Christmas recovery, my next post will probably be along the lines of drawing up New Years Resolutions. But I do reserve the right to be completely fickle and change my mind. Catch you on the other side.

LLAP.

 

 

Veganism for Klingons

I had a little thrill yesterday, to discover that one of my favourite Star Trek people, Michael Dorn (@akaWorf) is a vegan, and we exchanged a couple of tweets last night. I have been thinking for a while about wanting to go vegan, and I think this might just be my catalyst.

You all know, anyway, that I’m basically a (Celtic) Klingon married to a Vulcan, right? 🙂 I do love my Vulcan, but if Michael Dorn said the word, I’d be off in a shot! Sorry, honey! ;-P

I have been vegetarian on and off for maybe 20 years, but probably more off than on while I was bringing up my children.

For now I would describe myself as a flexitarian, pescitarian. That is basically what I have been for the last few years. I eat fish occasionally (tuna and salmon mainly) but not meat, and I try to lean towards mostly vegan or vegetarian meals.

I’ll be honest and say that I’m not sure I could commit to being a vegan permanently, although I would like to. I have tried to go vegan several times – I have made three concerted efforts:

– In 2009 I went on a raw vegan diet, and stayed on it for about ten weeks. While I kept to it, I felt pretty amazingly good, but I found it too much of a challenge to keep to, in terms of time and expense. (I seemed to spend all day in the kitchen and was constantly hungry.)

– In 2012, I tried to go vegan again – starting with the Vegan Society’s Vegan Challenge, to go vegan for 30 days, and kept to it for just over three months…. But I got really ill that time, more about that later.

– And then, this year, I tried to go vegan for lent, but failed about halfway through. Main reason for failure: chocolates on Mothering Sunday! To be fair though, I had a *lot* going on this lent, what with being evicted and all, so I definitely indulged in a spot of comfort eating.

I suspect that I might have had more success if I had been more prepared in terms of having a good stock full of vegan foods in the cupboard, and since the rest of the family are meat-eating, milk-guzzling, egg-lovers, maybe I need a separate space for my food and their food.

Here’s the health issue though: I got very ill in 2012, and almost ended up in hospital with digestive problems and suspected Crohn’s / Ulcerative Colitis (both of which run in the family).

I believe that it was due to re-introducing wholewheat / granary bread and soya into my diet after not having them for years. I’m obviously sensitive to them.

I suspected for a while that it might be a gluten sensitivity, but with experimentation, I have discovered that I can tolerate small amounts of bread and pasta (although for some odd reason, potatoes seem to be a problem, which is so unfair because I love them).

My quandary really is that, if I have to go easy on wheat, potatoes and soya, will I find enough to eat as a vegan (that won’t make me fat!)?

What was that?!

Yes, you read it right. Because I have PCOS, my body doesn’t respond well to carbs. I’m currently overweight, and would *love* to lose weight by going vegan, but believe it or not, when I went vegan in 2012, I put on a lot of weight! It seems counter-intuitive, but there it is.

If I need to keep off the carbs altogether, what could I actually eat? Would I be back to the raw food?

I’m not sure what to do, how to go about it, or how to ensure I don’t get ill again.

But I think I am going to try. I want to try. So any advice, websites, recommendations, tips, recipes or food ideas you have that might help me, let me know!

Move Along Home

Just a quick update to tell you that we have moved – we were very blessed to be offered something so quickly: not a Council house, but a Housing Association property.

There were a few sleepless nights when we weren’t sure whether or not we would get what we needed, but in the end we got the place that we asked for.

Pretty amazing really, when you hear about families being held in B&Bs because no houses are available.

It’s not ideal – there is hardly any garden at all, and there’s no garage and very little storage (we have had to put at least a third of our belongings, including the children’s trampoline into a storage unit); plus, since it is a brand new house, there are no floor coverings at all, just concrete and bare boards, and no curtains (not even curtain rails), and since moving house is an expensive business, money has ran out completely this month.

So I’m feeling mostly bright but with the occasional low.

If you are a praying person, please do pray:

– that our previous landlord will refund us with the complete deposit so that
– we can get curtains and floor coverings (we would prefer laminate or vinyl to carpets)
– that we will be able to get a BT landline soon so we can have phone and internet again

I can’t post any photos because I am limited to my mobile phone with a poor signal (I am missing wifi!)

The title of this post is a reference to a Star Trek DS9 episode, where Commander Sisko, Dr. Bashir, Kira Nerys and Jadzia Dax become trapped in a dangerous game, where they are the pieces being moved around by the players, and they have very little control. They just have to try and make sense of the clues and work their way throught the maze. I must admit to feeling a little bit like that. But in the end, the game is over, it all comes good and they’re all saved.

I’d like to breathe a big sigh of relief, but I feel like the ‘game’ isn’t quite over yet and I’m waiting for normal life to return.