Lupus?

After years of watching Hugh Laurie play the character Dr. House, and having just started watching season one through Australian Netflix, I was quite surprised to have my haematologist say to me that it could be lupus today. The good news, all those vials of blood they took a fortnight ago have come back to clear me of whatever he was testing for, but has shown an increase in ANA, something that could indicate an autoimmune disorder. Now I have to wait another fortnight to find out if my body is attacking itself or not. 

I don’t feel sick, or look sick. I am sleeping a lot, so there’s perhaps still some fatigue there, and I haven’t had any other symptoms other than perhaps my hand heating up last week, but that went away. The heating, not the hand. My lymphocyte count is also up to 1.4, not great but better than the low. 

Creativity…

Creativity isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I’ve never been good at writing short stories or putting to paper the thought processes that go on inside my head. I remember all the way back in primary school another student writing a great short story one class that was read out proudly at the end. I can’t recall whatever I came up with. So when I have creative assessments at university, I struggle a lot to make sense of them. Luckily, some of them give me a way out, a way forward.

This blog entry is about a subject I’m taking called Pop: Encounters with the Arts and Humanities. It’s a core unit and a strange one at that. I hope my creativity in this entry will shine through the images I want to share, from a unit I took last year on photography. At the end of the unit I was asked to showcase my best images from the session, but not to elaborate. Here I’m going to take it a step further.

"Gull"
“Gull”

I took 69 photos that day. I was stood at the end of the runway at Coolangatta, taking photos of planes as they landed. I’m not terribly good at plane-spotting, but it’s a hobby I’m having a go at. A lonely seagull came to see what I was doing, probably thinking I had food, and allowed me to rattle off some photos. I did better with the seagull than the planes, and that’s how it made the cut.

"Selfie"
“Selfie”

Anyone that knows me knows that I like to travel. If I could, I’d just travel all the time, because for me it’s as much about the journey than it is solely about the destination for most people. I just love flying, and of course why wouldn’t you when you have shiny cards that get you into lounges. On this morning I was flying with friends who share my passion to Sydney for the night. I had just finished a champagne breakfast so was feeling a bit giddy, and couldn’t resist playing with the fisheye lens.

Task 11.3
“War Memorial”

That night, in Sydney, I was given the chance of photographing the Australian War Memorial in Hyde Park at night. With virtually no one around, I felt I pulled off some really nice photos, again using the fisheye lens.

"Night Sky"
“Night Sky”

A few weeks later, still playing with the fisheye lens, I tried to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way. It didn’t pan out for me, probably due to a number of factors but the amount of nearby light pollution I’m sure didn’t help. The photo didn’t turn out too bad though, even with part of the house visible in a corner.

Another Pass

Received another Pass in The Nature of Narrative. I had been hoping for better of course, but as this latest grade is a draft assessment, with the final assessment a re-work based on the feedback, so I am hopeful I can improve the work dramatically to complete the unit with a higher grade. 

Health

Today I went to a new doctor, one who specialises in haematology. The reason being, my regular doctor has noticed my white blood cells and platelets count dropping of late, and it’s a cause for concern. There’s only so much a GP can do before I need to be referred on.

Nothing really to report from today, met the new doctor, did a small physical and now I have a blood test coming up for 17 different things… I expect I’ll be giving a lot of blood that day. I don’t find out the results of all that for 2 weeks.

The main issue was explained to me as follows, a normal persons “lymphocytes” range between 2 and 7.5. My value in that test was as low as 1.2. If the value drops below 1, they’ll do a bone marrow biopsy… not exactly something I want to experience.

As I’m not sick, or don’t appear to be at least, the cause for the drop needs to be found. It could be an interaction with my Epilim medication, however if that’s the case, I need to find different anti-convulsants.

For now, the only thing I’ve noticed are increased headaches. Not all the time, but sometimes, when I do get them, they hurt a lot. Also a little nausea. But it comes and goes, so it might not even be related.

Pop Credit

This morning I received my first marks back on my unit “Pop: Encounters with the Arts and Humanities”. A solid 21/30, giving me a Credit is a good start I think. Like the unit “The Nature of Narrative”, this unit is solely online, but unlike narrative, I’m not terrible at comprehending what to write.