gigabahamut666: (thinking)
I've felt like I've been in a strange haze this past week. With all that was going on with my heart, I've not been doing as much work for my PhD which has frustrated me but my mind's just not been in the right state.

Today I had my appointment at the anti coagulant clinic, and it was a long day of waiting, for blood to be taken and to see the doctor. I've now got the prescription and I'm to see the doctor again on Thursday, basically to check how my INR levels are doing and then I'll be told what I'm to take to try and regulate the INR levels to around 2.5. I'm currently at 1.2. We're still waiting to hear from Dr Morrison about my case notes which will determine if I'm to have surgery or further examinations. My Mum is going to chase up the secretary tomorrow to see where they are up to.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was at the Liverpool vs Arsenal game. I didn't actually watch the match. I was helping the union I'm a part of, trying to hand out leaflets and also to stop our owners from entering the stadium, which I'm happy to say we were mostly successful with. One of them got turned away by police due to health and safety concerns (an angry mob of supporters :P). The son of the other owner managed to sneak it just at kick off which was annoying but we disrupted him anyway, and apparently he didn't leave until much later after the game since he was scared.

Anyway, I missed a lot of what went on because I stayed at the corner of the stadium called Flagpole Corner, handing out flyers which detailed reasons why our union is unhappy with the current ownership. There was an older Indian woman who was also part of the union helping out, and we were generally chatting to each other. Commenting on how some of our support just don't care when they should. Anyway, she was going to watch the game, but before she left, she came to me and handed me something. They were executive box tickets to the Wednesday game against Wigan. I was absolutely gobsmacked. She said that one was for me and the other was for my Dad. I had earlier explained that instead of seeing the game that day, I was going home to watch it with my Dad and that I didn't get to many Premier League games. I only really got to see the European games. So I guess from that, she decided to hand me those tickets for Wednesday and she explained that she was going to help me with the game after that. I couldn't believe the generosity of her. I was so stunned, I didn't even get to ask her name.

I spoke to my friend Paul (who is a committee member) and he was amazed too, but later said that I really deserved it. With all the help I've committed to the union, the signed shirt I gave away to Michael Shields, the worries with the TIA and my heart. I just kept saying I felt bad, like I didn't deserve it but he was adamant. So yeah, I wonder if Karma exists because things haven't been super great but those tickets are just a wonderfully generous gift. So I'll see her on Wednesday, and I will apologise for not asking her what her name was, and I'll be thanking her profusely.
gigabahamut666: (smile)
Yeah, I was always rubbish at biology but that's practically what was discussed today with the doctor at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. So it was a bit strange when I showed up as there definitely seemed to be a bit of a rushed, or last minute thing with me turning up today. Some people knew straight away why I was there, others seemed very confused and had to ask quite a few questions. My parents theory? That they know they've seriously screwed up and rather than there being a cancellation, they were trying to rush me in to make up for the mistake.

So after having an echocardiagram for what felt like the 100th time, I saw the doctor and gave him a full history of everything that happened and my previous history of having the holes in my heart checked. He then discussed the idea of what was going on. Sorry for those who know this already but I thought it might be good to explain it to those who don't understand it all.

The heart is made up of essentially two parts. The atria which are essentially the filling chambers, and the ventricles which pump the blood. These are then split up into a right side and the left side. Blood circles around the body, depositing oxygen and nutrients and returns to the heart with all the rubbish and things the body doesn't need. This fills up the right atrium, and is pushed out by the right ventricle to the lungs. The lungs act as a big filtering system, cleaning out all the crap including micro blood clots. Once cleaned and full up with oxygen, the blood returns to the heart and fills up the left atrium and is pushed to the rest of the body through the left ventricle.

The end...

Well not in my case. From birth I had two holes in my heart. One in the septum of the atrium and the other in the septum of the ventricle. The septums (what is the plural of septum? septi?) are what separate the left and right side of the hearts. These are called ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defects (ASD).

Now back to why I had a TIA. A Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is the result of a small blood clot entering the brain and stopping blood flow for a few moments before passing on causing no lasting problems. The question then, is how does a blood clot get to my brain. They had done tests and found there was no issue with my blood clotting abnormally, or issues with the arteries in my neck. The doctor at the Royal learned about the two holes in my heart and figured that this could have been the cause.

The issue is not with the VSD, since the pressure in the left ventricle is much higher than that in the right ventricle. So what happens there is that clean blood actually passes through into right side of the heart where all the "muck" is. The problem is actually in the atrium. The pressure in the left side of the atrium is only very slightly higher than it is in the right. So what can happen is that by any sort of straining, such as lifting things, coughing, walking, going to the bathroom, can cause the pressure in the right side of the atrium to be temporarily higher than the left. Which means the "dirty" blood can pass into the "clean" left side, which is then pumped to the rest of the body, including the brain.

So the situation we have is that the doctor at the CTC does not have all of my notes from when I was at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, and he has some notes missing from the Royal Liverpool Hospital too. So he wants to gather all of those. At the moment he can clear see the VSD but not the ASD. However I do remember clearly from my trip to Alder Hey about 10 years ago now, of being told I had both ASD and VSD. I got the impression that when the doctor found conclusive evidence of the ASD, he's going to perform surgery.

The way they are going to do this is through use of the Amplatzer Septal Occluder, which is surgery done using a catheter which avoids open heart surgery. This is a minor procedure and definitely not major surgery. I think this is going to be the route they will go though, unless the doctor is completely positive that the ASD is no longer there.

So that's where we're up to. Just waiting for the doctor to get the rest of my case notes and we'll be moving on from there.


Dec. 9th, 2009 03:32 pm
gigabahamut666: (sointheworld)
So just to update what Megan spoke about yesterday. The wandering secretary contacting my Mum's ward today to let her know that someone cancelled their appointment with Dr Morrison tomorrow and would I like it instead. My Mum said she couldn't refuse, so rather than waiting to hear on Friday whether I would have an appointment with him in late January or surgery on the 22nd of this month, I actually have an appointment tomorrow. So things seem to be moving a little quicker than initially expected.

A Dream

Nov. 21st, 2009 08:31 pm
gigabahamut666: (save me)
That song I posted yesterday gave me a little bit of inspiration.

If the video is blocked (WMG has blocked it from some countries), then please tell me and I will try to upload a version to photobucket.
gigabahamut666: (silence)
I had a copy of an album by the hardcore punk outfit Gallows, called Grey Britain. I hadn't properly listened to it since I obtained it, but while I've been feeling crappy (cold/man flu) I decided to listen to it all the way through. It's quite a bleak album, lots of negative themes about how bad Britain has gone, socially, politically and economically. I think this is shown the strongest in the final track of the album, which has the singer Frank Carter basically mentioning everything that is wrong. What really interests me with the song is how it starts so aggressively, but then after it's done, it leads into a really haunting section and then at 4:18 you get this really soft beautiful melody. Then it climaxes at 6:38 with a section that has repeatedly given me goosebumps.

Just a prior warning, the song title itself is explicit and again with explicit language in the song itself.
gigabahamut666: (thinking)
I think these have been about the internet for awhile now so you may have seen this already. I just really like these and thought I should post it. It's the things they talk (sing?) about that kind of drew me in to wanting to do Astrophysics. Learning about the Universe and trying to work out how it all ticks, it was something I yearned to learn more about. Right now, I don't really feel like I want to continue with my current path which would lead me to postdoctorate research, but this is probably what started me on it.

gigabahamut666: (smile)
I'm still not going to buy this game, but the Giant Bomb guys show how much fun this game can produce in the four player mode. Expect a little bit of swearing!

gigabahamut666: (whine)
So I had my TIA clinic appointment today. At first I thought how cool it was to have it at the Roald Dahl Centre. Only it turned out when I got there, it wasn't the right place and I was actually supposed to be in the Vascular Clinic. Not as cool sounding, meh.

The doctor said I had TIA, but he explained that the reasons I had it would be most likely different to why older people have it. He made sure to understand everything that went on, and checked out my history. His belief is that, the two holes in my heart may actually be the culprits, but he's not entirely sure.

So I had an echo done on my heart, which I've had done twice before, but this time I actually got to see it. I could see the jet which signified where one hole was. The person doing it said she couldn't see the other one very well though. She saw glimpses of it but couldn't really narrow it down. I then had the same done on my neck, to check the arteries and veins there.

I then had another ECG and finally they took more blood. It was weird though because they put the needle in, and then the woman must have had about 8 or 9 vials, and continously switched them as she took more and more of my blood. I was starting to wonder if it would ever end! >.<

So now I'm home. I'm going back in tomorrow so they can take my fasting bloods. No breakfast for me in the morning. And then they'll contact me to make another appointment with the doctor to go over everything. He advised me to drop the dosage of aspirin from 300mg to 75mg. I think my Mum is happy with that, I think she was a little scared with me being on 300mg. She didn't want me on that for too long.

The doctor also mentioned that I make sure I get my five portions of fruit and veg, and cut back on the chocolate cakes and stuff, lol. He said that more in the way that it's just good to lose weight. Of course with anything like this, being larger weight will put me at higher risk. I knew that anyway, but it's simple for the doctor to say that when I know I have issues with other foods.

Still I'm going to try. I have a good friend Paul who has the exact same problem with food as me. The only difference I've found is that he won't eat chips (fries). However, he's weaned himself onto pasta, starting with fusili and says that spaghetti is his favourite, just starting with small portions and nothing else added to it. He's now beginning to start on rice too. So I know if he can do it, then I should be able to do it too. Maybe it's just I'll find something different to help me along. I know I'm thinking of trying some Yasai Tempura at this restaurant ( I picked out for Megan's visit.

I feel better knowing what it is, and I think the doctor could see how I felt about it and he told me as I left that I shouldn't worry. I know I'm ok. Things are in motion and this will get sorted out. I'm not planning on going anywhere just yet :P


Oct. 9th, 2009 08:53 am
gigabahamut666: (silence)
I did NOT have a stroke.

Yesterday morning, when my right arm felt tingly and weird, and then the right side of my face went numb, and I couldn't talk properly, I really freaked. We've had adverts on the television which describe what happens during a stroke and they showed what happened to a person as this went on and emphasised the point of acting fast. This hasn't been on for about 6 months now, but I remembered it and so my first thought was that I was having a stroke. But I didn't have a drooping face, and it wasn't my entire side.

The doctor told me straight up, it was not a stroke. What he said was that if I was 65 years old, he would believe it was TIA. But because of my age he really would not expect that. He had me have an ECG (electrocardiagram), blood work (some of which gets back today, since my Mum works at the same hospital, she'll find out about it) and a chest x-ray. All came back fine.

He's told me to take one aspirin a day and I will be contacted by the TIA clinic in the near future. He wants to rule that out basically. I guess after that, they'll start looking into alternatives, but I think he just wants to rule that out immediately.

So no, I didn't have a stroke, and if there was something really wrong, I wouldn't have been allowed home. I even asked him about alcohol because of one of my fellow PhD students leaving for post doc work in California, and he just said, it was best to stick to Coke.

Apart from 1 minute or two and then freaking out about it for about 30-40 mins afterwards, I am perfectly fine.
gigabahamut666: (protector)
gigabahamut666: (silence)

I just felt like posting this. Not posted for awhile on here. I'm just glad justice was done in this case, but I think there is still another 96 waiting for justice.

Oh, and thanks Isa! I got my copy of Rose today. It's great ^_^
gigabahamut666: (Default)
So, I've been having a lot of fun with my computer over the last week or so. My computer likes to crash...alot. Both in Linux and in Windows. I was kind of blaming it on the whole moving things around thanks to my room being redecorated because I had really been struggling to work out what was going wrong. I've already reinstalled Linux about 5 times now. Anyway, my latest attempt to solve the problem is taking one of the two video cards out of the computer. I've notice immediately that the computer is now a lot cooler. The whole time I thought it was a graphics card problem as I noticed the crashes occured when using more graphically intensive programs. However according to the thermal monitor I was using, the hottest it was getting was about 75 degrees C and according to the monitor it's only supposed to start slowing the GPU down at 110.

Well at least my computer is clean of dust now. That was fun getting all the dust out. I just hope I solved the problem, but I've been lured into a false sense of security several times now, I'm not holding my breath this time. We'll see.

Anyway, on other topics, I'm listening to LOTS of Frank Turner. I enjoyed his work before when he was the singer of Million Dead, but he's really blossomed into an excellent singer/songwriter in his own right. Here's a few I've been listening to and the last video I'm posting is a great little video diary of his American tour.

Frank Turner Overload )
gigabahamut666: (Default)
List the first ten series that come to mind. Your friends will comment with the character from each series that they think you are most like. No favorites (...unless it's legit).

(Stolen from [ profile] secondlina, [personal profile] savvyliterate, and [ profile] earthstar_chan)

1. Slayers
2. Batman
3. Red Dwarf
4. Sailor Moon
5. Bleach
6. Full Metal Alchemist
7. Ouran High School Host Club
8. Saved By The Bell
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
10. Street Fighter


Aug. 3rd, 2009 03:05 pm
gigabahamut666: (protector)
So after panicking when my video wasn't put live by youtube because WMG decided that they had rights over a song they don't even own, I managed to file a dispute and now, I can share my AMV to the world! Phew!

Song Lyrics
All blossoms die in the light of our new culture
Find your belief in that which cannot be discovered
Countless lessons lie in every fever dream
A million voices asking, what does it all mean?

(Pre Chorus)
I've lost all direction
I've lost all my direction
And now I wish that I would have believed, could have believed
Nature's indifferent hands
To the bliss of our creation

We were born and raised (We're raised)
To live beyond (Beyond)
The heft and weight of a world undone (world undone)
Like a bird (In search)
From the North (For warmth)
Our hearts will roam in search of warmth

Two hands come together
Pray for greater yields
Two poles of a compass
Guided by a field
In the mind of every man
Two ghosts dance
Was this place made or was it here by chance?

Pre Chorus

Uncountable numbers written in new-fallen snow
I can hear the claws of the beast
Tapping at my window
Nihilist sleeps, and in dreams he sees God's face
Realize even disbelief requires a leap of faith

From birth to death we search for what's yet to be known
We hope and pray and ask, but we are never shown


4x Born and Raised (and Raised)
gigabahamut666: (snow)
So after the disaster of last time, I kind of lost my love for creating AMVs. I had a go and recreating the one that messed up but it just grew frustrating as I felt like I was wasting my time doing something I had done already. I just couldn't motivate myself.

I was at a wedding on Friday and as we drove home on the Saturday, there was a song I was listening to by Alexisonfire that really got to me and I couldn't stop from playing it over and over again. And then, as I had done before, I started matching up scenes from Slayers in my head with the music and the lyrics. And thus there was the spark of me trying again.

The program I'm using is being as fussy as usual. I've not lost timelines but I've had bits of it go funny. Luckily I've learnt my lesson and kept three copies of the file and so I always have a backup to rely on. It's just a lot of saving regularly and copying backups, but I know it can potentially save a lot of hassle. As usual just a preview. I guess just to gauge opinion, and also kind of a way to confirm that I'm at least trying in case it all fails again and I don't continue.

The song is by Alexisonfire who are from St. Catharine's, ON and are one of my all time favourite bands, and it's called Born And Raised. So I decided to call the AMV, Born And Raised To Slay. So another sneak peek.

gigabahamut666: (Default)
So I had a pretty epic crash which meant that despite regularly saving, my save file got corrupted and everything in the timeline for my AMV has disappeared. I was about 2/3rds of the way through and I really don't feel like going through it again to be honest. So that one is finished prematurely. I thought I would post what I last rendered which wasn't far from when the crash occured. *sighs*

Oh well, maybe that's a sign I should cut my AMV career early.
gigabahamut666: (candy)
Here's a sneak preview of my latest AMV. I honestly think this is already much better than my previous one.

To hear the rest of the song I have it posted already just two posts ago. Just so you know, the third verse I'll have Zel and the fourth verse will contain Gourry. As for the rest? I don't know yet but I'm just going to slowly make my way through it and have the clips match the lyrics as best as I can.



Jul. 19th, 2009 01:42 pm
gigabahamut666: (revolution)
So I've picked my guitar back up after not playing it for a pretty long time and it's neat to know that I can still play basic chords pretty easily. Of course I was always interested in the weird little complex solos in songs I like and so I've been forcing myself to try and play those, some bits with varying success.

Youtube Video Overload! )

And Megan? I will relearn this one for you too.


Jul. 18th, 2009 03:53 pm
gigabahamut666: (hero)
I feel a fun little Slayers AMV brewing.

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