On Meniere’s

Ménière’s disease /mnˈjɛərz/,[1] also called endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. The hearing loss comes and goes for some time, alternating between ears, then becomes permanent with no return to normal function. It is named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who, in an article published in 1861, first reported that vertigo was caused by inner ear disorders.[2] The condition affects people differently; it can range in intensity from being a mild annoyance to a lifelong condition.[3]
-From Wikipedia

I had an idea to do a 24 hour stream at some point during the summer for charity. I wanted to do it for something that most people aren’t aware of, is chronic and doesn’t have a cure. Meniere’s disease fit the bill and it’s something that I suffer from. Unfortunately it looks like there are no legitimate charities, patient support, or research organizations that focus on this disease.

It’s an exclusionary diagnosis. This means that people who are classified under this disease don’t have all the same symptoms, don’t have all the same triggers, and ultimately end up making drastic lifestyle changes to manage symptoms or simply get through the day. I’m lucky that my episode ended on a relatively good note. I deeply wish that there was some way for me to help others who are soldiering on.

Lately on the subreddit there’s not been a lot of chatter but something that’s been getting a lot of activity is a post about physician assisted suicide. Unless you’ve suffered through prolonged bedrest or similar situations you don’t really understand how helpless and useless you feel. Imagine feeling a little dizzy when you go to bed and then the next morning you can’t get up. Can’t see straight. Can’t even move without the world tumbling around you. Puking until there is nothing and then puking more. Learning to eat while lying down because you don’t want to scare your husband by not trying to eat. Feeling like a failure to your child because you miss them walking for the first time and your milk dries up because your body doesn’t have enough fluids anymore. I won’t lie and say I didn’t think about suicide. If my initial episode had gone on for a few more weeks it might have been a viable option for me.

I’ve always been a naturally depressive person and have always had a certain amount of anxiety. I think post-meniere’s it has kicked up to 11. Every outing is a potential trigger. Every time I physically pick up my children it goes through my head as a potential disaster. I wonder now if my Dad had meniere’s (there’s not been a clear link genetically) but I remember him holding on to the walls in the hallway of our home to walk to his bedroom and my mom complaining about the hand prints. I guess I don’t have anyone else to blame for the multitude of hand prints on my walls, I can certainly see the ones that have saved me from falling throughout the day. Of which there are many.

Some other symptoms are ephasia (a loss of words), congnitive issues, and (of course) hearing loss. All of which add to the overall stress and anxiety levels along with an absolute lack of control.

So why the heck isn’t anyone aware of meniere’s or other vestibular diseases? Why isn’t there a meniere’s day? A ribbon color? A charity to rally behind?

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GW2’s First BWE: My first time playing Guild Wars 2

I’m going to go in order based on screenshots and what I remember in my sleep deprived state, this is more of a run through of playing rather than a comment on the particular build we were privy to. That being said there will be some opinions on some details and tons of screenshots. I apologize in that I didn’t check the screenshots until last night and didn’t know how to take High-res ones until mid-Saturday. Tonight (Monday 4/30) we’ll be livestreaming our (@gwreporter) beta impressions for our podcast episode. Join us at approximately 11:30EST/8:30PST in our chat room. Continue reading

My husband is awesome

If you don’t play LOTRO or Guild Wars you probably won’t understand this and he probably will be upset that I’m blogging it. We had an epic conversation. I’ve edited out little bits to make it flow better but otherwise it’s intact.

Celeste
any ideas for ask an asuran?

Benj
pets.. i wanna know about pets and minis
are there going to be some new and unique pets for rangers?
and will there be more minis in GW2

Celeste
hrm, there’s not a lot of info on that
we can make assumptions and discuss
good idea

Benj
Will the menagerie make a comeback in GW2?
will it be more personalized this time around?
and most importantly.. can I ride a flamingo or warthog this time?

Celeste
no mounts confirmed

Benj
im not asking for a mount..

Celeste
they’ve said we won’t be driving anything either
riding it would make a mount

Benj
I’m asking for an emote that lets me ride my pet in town

Celeste
LOL doubtful.

Benj
an asuran on a cute piglet would be awesome
instead of their golums
next week talk about the awesomeness of owning your own area for your kinship in GW1 and why the hell we dont have housing

Celeste
LOL
no housing at release
*at release!*

Benj
cause i want a pen in the back of my house to corral my pets
not a friggin zoo

Celeste
LOL

Benj
i mean it takes FOREVER to get to where you want to go for a pet
i mean REALLY
cant i just keep my flamingos penned up?
and wouldnt it be cool if you had a crocodile tamed and when you came home it had eaten your flamingos cause you were silly enough to pen them together?

Celeste
LOL they’d never do that
too many combinations

Benj
i mean COMEON!
its The SIMS GW Edition

Benj
we get keeps for our kinship.. pets to tame.. costumes and masks for holidays and special events.. how much harder is it to make a house with a wardrobe and rideable pets?!

Celeste
I changed kinship to guild and i’m tweeting that.

Benj
oops
i prolly shouldve tweeted that
silly lotro/gw mashup

Celeste
lol

Benj
also.. related to LOTRO
what does it take to stroll down middle earth in the rain and get a friggin umbrella!?

Celeste
LMFAO

Benj
my armor will polly rust at that rate

Celeste
unless you’re a medium or light class

Benj
should make swords, axes, and maces become damaged over time in the rain.. haveta repair more often during the rainy season
i doubt GW will have mounts
charrs ride scorpions..
i dont think charr and horses would even get along
asurans ride golums that are already slowish
yous have to put a golum on a horse and thats just redundant
and might kill the horse

Celeste
ok, golem or gollum?

(The following message could not be delivered to all recipients: ok, golem or gollum?) OutLoud: NOOOOOOOOOO!

Benj
and I imagine the plant people have something against herbivores…..

And then he had to get back to work, but I thought it was worth recording how awesome and weird my husband is.

Make your own monstrous windscreen

At about 4pm on Monday I remembered that Tuesday is podcasting night (hey, we’re only on episode 3). I needed a windscreen for my headset microphone. You know, so I wouldn’t blow out my listeners’ eardrums again.

In other news Tuesday night also turned in to an angry baby noise exhibition. Follow through to see my very brief and not very informative tutorial. Continue reading

Longish weekend

LOVE

Steak & Shake 😀

This weekend has felt like a series of marathons back to back.

Friday night I met my dream home. I wasn’t expecting it and really, I’m still emotionally drained and torn over the house. It’s the most beautiful, charming home I’ve ever seen but in 5 years it will be way too small and I won’t want to let it go. It needs work, not a huge amount, but it is an old house (1926) so there might be a lot of hidden needs that we are unaware/unprepared for.

Early Saturday morning we got going to take Kiddo to a birthday party in McKinney. The drive wasn’t bad at all but it’s always kind of nerve-wracking for me to be around mostly unfamiliar people. Birthday boy’s Mum tried to get my number so we could start doing playdates during the week. Still trying to get the courage to even text her. In real life, I’m more than a little shy.

We drove out to Steak and Shake afterwards since kiddo was finally hungry to realize that Benj and I both were without ID and our regular bankcards. I managed to whip out my emergency card and save the day since we had already started our drinks.

Went home and napped. For 5 hours. It was probably the worst sleep I’ve had all week, but it still helped a lot. We were trying to get ready to go to another work friends party but Girly would have nothing to do with it. The nap was not enough for her!

Benj and I played some Terraria. I say some like it lasted for 15 minutes. At one point we ordered pizza and ate. By the time I went to bed we had played for 7 hours. SEVEN. I think if anyone from my Guild Wars group reads this they’ll be pissed I wasn’t doing all the dungeons we need before the next game comes out. I genuinely had fun goofing off with Benj in a great game and the kids actually let it happen. A rare and wonderful night indeed!

Now I said I went to bed after 7 hours. I didn’t say I slept. In passing before benj fell asleep at 2 I made sure it was okay for me to buy the next Harry Dresden book. Kiddo started fussing at 5 am, I was still awake and reading. Oops. I managed to sleep for a few hours after that.

Sunday was cold pizza for breakfast, WalMart to get kiddo new sneakers, and trying to get my quilt-top finished.

Embargo Denial–GW2 News Leaks

asura_thief1Let me go ahead and say this: I love hearing about the new features of Guild Wars 2, most of the time it gets me even more excited to play the game than previously. Keeping that in mind, the last thing I want is for someone to put that information out there without the express permission of ArenaNet. GameTrailers.com leaked some video that I’m sure some of you watched/heard/read about. By now, I’m sure most people have seen as much as demo players at PAX East will be privy to (aside from actually playing the demo).

There’s been a long history during the development of Guild Wars 2 that they release information in advance to help out community sites, magazines, and other media outlets prepare for announces appropriately. Unfortunately, time and time again the ball is dropped somewhere and it’s an awful experience for everyone involved (yes, even the fans). Think for a second if you had saved up for the past six months to go to PAX East to get some juicy news from the ArenaNet booth and that experience was suddenly ripped away from you by a few overzealous people. Kinda sucks, eh? We saw it happen several times already and I’m not going to place blame on anyone in particular, but after a certain number of times shouldn’t you be willing to double check the dates with your source? I’m sure some of you will disagree, but I think the experience is a valid point.

The other thing that really upset me was the way community sites/independent sites jumped all over it as if they were all trying to proclaim “FIRST” in their most obnoxious voice. What redeemed them in my eyes was the way people, when they found out it was “accidental” leak, almost immediately pulled the information from their sites in order to be respectful towards ArenaNet’s policies. But what really crawled under my skin was when ArenaNet then changed their minds in the middle of the day and let Massively know they could publish their article with information from GDC. After that, everyone else felt comfortable relisting the posts/threads/etc. I can dig it, but once it’s gotten out there do you really want to try and suppress it instead of just rolling with it?

I’m sure I’m not the first person to be upset over the whole debacle, but I may be the only person who’s going to applaud them over the way they rolled with it this week. The way the blog posts have come out, fluidly with abundant information that appears to have been prepared well in advance, tells me that they were ready with a lot of these posts for this week. Granted the Thief reveal wouldn’t have happened until Friday at PAX, but the majority of what we’ve read this week wasn’t about the Thief.

EDIT: I apologize for the weird stream of consciousness of the article, I needed to vent desperately and somehow my personal blog is servicing this area of my life.

Rift and Reservations

I spent a couple of weekends ago, playing the Rift beta 4. I was supposed to meet up with the MMOReporter crew eventually, but they’re all playing on the Defiant side of the game (boo). The only chance I have to run into them is if they manage to come through an invasion rift. I guess I can dig their love for machines rather than the Guardian’s religious zealotry. Honestly, I just like the areas for Guardians better. It’s prettier. It’s lighter. It just feels like the sunny side of the street. And I can get behind that sometimes 😉

I really want to play this game when it comes out. The game is so visually stunning and addictive that I absolutely should NOT purchase this game when it’s released. I already run into the problems with trying to keep up with housework, mmorpgs, family, and everything else. This game would most likely be the final nail in the coffin for one of those categories, and I’m sure you can guess which ones would suffer immediately.

There’s something about this game. You can attempt to pull back and analyze if it’s actually a good game and it’s an impossible task. The fact remains that it’s addictive. That something special that jumps out and grabs you by the proverbial gonads and makes you spend countless hours grinding away with too much satisfaction. After staying away from the Beta this time through, I can confidently say that I don’t really like Rift. Unfortunately that’s about as committal as I can be with that opinion. I could easily play it, especially if it offered a Free-to-play or freemium option. Now that I’ve been away from a subscription per month game for 6 months or so, I just can’t see myself paying monthly to play a game anymore.

Keep an eye out!

Yseangwen started a wonderful group blog over at the Replay Project. Basically it’s going to be a few gaming friends, getting together and reviewing games that they’ve bought but never finished. Eventually, I’ll be joining the group and writing reviews as well, though probably not as informative as the others since I’ll be having a lot of blogging to do over the next few months. If you’ve ever gone mass bargain bin diving and found your collection is ever-expanding but your playtime is shrinking faster than a Shrinky Dink, this is a blog you’ll want to keep an eye on. You know, when you’re not playing your video games 😛