mirrorshard: (Default)
2009-09-08 06:31 pm
Entry tags:

Benefits applications & disability

Or, Why filling in the forms really is hard work, and why the process sent my mental health spiralling downwards.

A lot of you, O my readership, have been on government benefits or had a partner or close friend who has, and for you there is no need to explain that it really is unpleasant, counterproductive, interminable, and soul-destroying. On the other hand, there's a pervasive sense amongst some sections of the British public (and the media) that benefits are money for old rope; all you have to do is fill in a couple of forms, turn up to a couple of interviews, and then you're living the life of Riley.

So here's how it works. )
mirrorshard: (Terrella)
2008-12-28 01:55 am
Entry tags:

Neurochem, diet, & depressive symptoms

The amino acid tyrosine, which is found in "high protein" foods, gets metabolised to dopamine, which acts to produce (nor)epinephrine. The technical term for that is adrenergic (producing adrenaline) - this ties in with something I found a while back about possible variants of (pseudo)hypoglycaemia, ie. showing the symptoms of hypoglycaemia (which amount to "adrenaline has eaten all your blood glucose and is rampaging about looking for something else tasty") without a noticeable blood glucose drop.

Dopamine is easily oxidized, so foods high in antioxidants are a good idea. The classic quick-and-easy option for that is green tea.

Usual symptoms of low dopamine levels are lethargy and sluggishness - dopamine is what makes the brain light up, basically. This is of course a vast oversimplification.

Phenylalanine also produces dopamine - it's found in nuts, seeds, pulses, and fish. And in diet Coke, but it's not worth my drinking that.

The amino acid tryptophan is metabolised to serotonin in the presence of vitamins B1, B3, and B6.

Leptin potentiates the satiety response, which is one of the things that disappears quite quickly when blood glucose drop symptoms hit.

(Notes from Hemat's Orthomolecularism - check on this one)
Insomnia correlates with hypoglycaemia.
Specific against hypoglycaemia: vitamin C/chromium/Zn. Glycerine is not recognised by the pancreas as a sugar. Fructose uses the same metabolic pathways, but may raise triglyceride levels (WTF?) Thiamine/pantothenic acid for sleep.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2008-11-24 11:15 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I'm back from a weekend in the Raj - well, in Belper, actually. Which for those of you who (like me) had never heard of it is a small town near Derby. Nineteen of us stayed in a converted Baptist chapel and read through (the television adaptation of) Paul Scott's Raj Quartet novels. It was a lot of fun, with some fairly intense dramatic moments, and a certain amount of dressing up in Indian clothing and eating Indian food.
long )
mirrorshard: (Default)
2008-09-07 10:37 pm
Entry tags:

Sunday stress

I knew the acoustics in the Pembury Tavern were bad, but this evening they were truly appalling, and that (combined with the low light level and the fact that I'd managed to get Show of Hands' Crow on the Cradle stuck in my head) meant I couldn't stay nearly as long as I'd hoped to. Apologies to whoever I missed!

I managed to walk off most of the stress (it takes me an hour and twenty minutes to walk home from the pub - there might well be a more direct route, but I haven't found it yet) but I'm still decompressing enough that I can't put on any more music, and when a housemate came home it felt as though he was shouting down the corridor. Which he doesn't, of course, but after a couple of hours sitting in a noisy hard-walled room and trying to follow conversations my ears are unpleasantly oversensitized.

Camomile tea will help.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2007-12-22 12:47 pm
Entry tags:

Inevitability

I suppose it was too much to hope for that we could see the year out with no deaths.
So: Doris Kelly, 1920-2007. Rest in peace. Survived by three children, ten grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and innumerable friends.

Up till two years ago, she was still as sharp as a needle - we used to do the Guardian crossword together, and she always kept a keen interest in the news. Her memory never failed while her mind lasted, but then she developed Alzheimer's and drifted a great deal.

We've been waiting for this for awhile now - when she went into hospital two years ago, we were preparing to mourn her then. She did stabilize afterwards, and her last year was happy and peaceful, in a good residential home. So this isn't a huge shock, but it's still a large part of my life so far gone.

The funeral is on Monday the 7th of January, so I'll be travelling to Colchester for that.

If you pray, spare a word or two for my family, please? If not, then good thoughts and feelings are always very welcome.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2007-03-19 02:19 am
Entry tags:

Party invitation

On the 9th of April, I'll be reaching the pleasant and venerable age of 30, and not at all before time. So I should like you all to join me to celebrate the impending event on Saturday the 7th, here in Leytonstone.

Partners, friends, favourite snacks or drinks, and best wishes are all welcome. Pets only if they can behave off the leash and indulge in polite conversation. No presents, by request, and don't feel obliged to kill trees for cards on my account either, but any tokens of appreciation you do want to give will neither be rejected nor underappreciated.

Food will happen, and there will be crash space for anyone who doesn't mind sharing the living room. We're only a few minutes' walk from the Central Line, and proper directions will be provided on request.

If you can't make that date, it would be nice to see you anyway, and one thing I have plenty of is free time, so suggestions would be nice.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2006-12-07 06:02 pm
Entry tags:

Enneagram results

Presented without commentary as yet. The results surprise me rather, and I'm really not sure I believe this test. Whichever it was - a browser crash lost me the URL.

Type 1 - 2
Type 2 - 3
Type 3 - 2
Type 4 - 7
Type 5 - 4
Type 6 - 7
Type 7 - 4
Type 8 - 2
Type 9 - 5
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-11-27 05:06 pm
Entry tags:

Perfectly ordinary miracles

Today was the last funeral service for Meg, my grandmother - we'd already had one, but since a lot of her friends hadn't been able to attend, we decided to make an occasion of it when we went to scatter her ashes. We went out to Springwood, near West Bergholt - my grandparents founded a naturist camp there in 1953, and all their children were brought up going there, in three acres of old, dense woods. My sister and I went there in turn, and eventually when my mother died in 1997, we scattered her ashes in those same woods, and planted a rose tree for her.

I went over to look at it, as one does, and - well, I'll let this picture speak for itself.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-10-03 10:20 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

...and aren't five-minute mood swings fun.

One of the consequences of this sort of mood is the sensitivity it gives you.

Good news, bad news, good food, good books, small pleasures, bad news.

Stay tuned.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-10-03 09:57 pm
Entry tags:

Anansi Time

You know that feeling you get, when you just know that you could do anything you wanted that night, because the world is exactly the right shape to fit in the world-shaped hole you have - you know, that one, right there.

Or possibly it's the other way around - but that means admitting you were the wrong shape to begin with, and who wants to do that, so let's stick with the hole we have. It's not all that nice, but then what did you expect you'd find when you dug a hole? Sky and fluffy white clouds? Most times, all you find down holes is dirt. If you're lucky, you get worms. So the world fits in pretty well, and you know something? It looks good on you.

The classical metaphor for this mood is surfing, catching the wave just at the right moment and riding that narrow line of sweet water. But I've never done that, so I'll refrain, and use a homelier metaphor instead - cross-country riding, you have to balance just right, ride the movement and keep yourself on top of the curve, and when you feel the horse take off - well, you know how they always say, it feels like flying?

The first time I flew, leastways the first time when I was old enough to appreciate it, I thought, this feels like showjumping. And the great thing is, you don't have to come down again for ages.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-10-01 05:05 am
Entry tags:

Welcome to the Quiet corner

Or, our Old Friend the Unreliable Narrator says Hi. He is your Old Friend too, right? I'd hate to think anyone of the calibre and distinction to be reading this journal wouldn't know him well already.

for the benefit of new visitors )
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-07-01 05:16 pm
Entry tags:

58 Questions Meme

From [livejournal.com profile] hellison - trust the loud Irish woman not to stop at twenty.

Read more... )
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-06-20 11:52 pm
Entry tags:

Parties

And how much better it'd've been if herself had been there. Though the live roleplaying froth wouldn't've been very much to her taste at all.

Miss you, hon. Without you, the compass is missing one of its arrows, and up doesn't seem nearly so certain anymore.
mirrorshard: (Default)
2005-02-06 02:54 pm
Entry tags:

Sentimental mood...

...and missing herself.

Not long now, though.