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[sticky post] Things You Should Probably Know

In May 2004, when I was 25, while walking in Epping Forest, I tripped on a tree root, displaced something in my spine (opinion is divided as to whether it was a disc or a vertebra itself) and permanently damaged a nerve or nerves. Since then, I have mobility problems, sensation problems and chronic pain - but fortunately I am not paralysed. I can still walk with crutches, as long as it is not very far.

I'm on opiates for the pain, which is not otherwise treatable. But they don't get me out of pain and they don't prevent flare ups.

Fandom has saved my life and my sanity as I now spend several months of every year housebound. (The average is six months per year at the moment.)

As a result of my brain on pain and opiates (and my reaction), I also have chronic clinical Depression and an Anxiety disorder, for which I am also medicated.

Thanks to all of this, I was forced out of work in December 2008 and have not been able to work since. Yes, I'm one of those bloody scroungers living on benefits - if you pay UK tax, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Additionally, as well as the mood disorder, pain affects my memory, concentration and attention span and sometimes causes problems with words, such as dysnomia. The combined effects of my disability affect every aspect of my life, including my participation in fandom - and not least my self-confidence and my ability to *do* anything, especially with a deadline.

If talk about this sort of thing is not what you need in your fan-ish space, please feel free to defriend me, not friend me, or only follow/watch my fan-ish tags. No harm, no foul. I don't want to get anyone down, which is why I'm putting this up front.

My drawings and watercolours (such as they are and including attempts at fan-art) are here and here.

My Professionals fan-fiction is here (one ficlet, so far) and will also be at natsuko_fics if I ever write anything more.

Use Your Head to Live With Heart*

*Today's Thought from the Tea, which, like so many of them could be an excellent Bruce/Tony (MCU) prompt.

Bit of a blip since I posted the Poll (which is still open if anyone else - theemdash, msmoat, starkandbanner, anyone - wants to give feedback) since my godmother chose to tell me (at my Mum's birthday party!) that I'm basically ruining her life and she should be travelling and visiting John in Aus and going on cruises, not being tied to looking after me. "It's no life for her." Disability, chronic pain, mental health problems, a medical inability to work, and needing a Carer when I'm only in my thirties, was, of course, a choice I made and the life I always wanted. I was forgetting that. :-/

The number of responses my friends, family and parents' friends have to my situation boggles me at times. There are people who think I'm "inspirational" (which in the context of disability generally, I find a little uncomfortable - and these people certainly don't see me during my lowest lows or worst pain days!) and people who think I'm basically swinging it and I could do XYZ if I wanted to and tried hard enough. This included the official fire marshal at work who while designing my evacuation plan said that she was sure if there was a bomb or fire I *would* be able to run out of One Canada Square (aka Canary Wharf Tower, the tallest building Britain, where I worked). I'm pretty sure if the DWP thought that I wouldn't be receiving Employment Support Allowance - Support Group benefits! I'm pretty sure if my parents thought I was swinging it *they* woul not be helping and supporting me the way they do. But some people still think it's fine to tell me that to my face. And there's the ever helpful and sympathetic, "Well, it's only pain, isn't it? You can ignore that."

ETA: And I forgot to say that on 27th January this year, I had another denervation/surgical procedure on my back, under Dr A. So at the moment (and on-going, God willing?) I'm more mobile and in less pain than I have been for months. Although it's still a question of good days and bad days and a handful of REALLY bad days, even the really bad days have not been as severe as some of the horrible days I had in December and January and the good days have been both *better* quality and higher in number. I have been able to reduce my opioid dose and get to leave the house on a number of occasions in February and March so far and I even did a little bit of the Spring Cleaning/going through piles of papers alongside Mum.

However, I don't think the procedure is *as* effective at reducing my pain as the steroid treatments have been; but the effects should last longer than the steroids and the whole idea is to get me off steroids before I start to accrue serious side effects from long term use. And I still can't get off the prescription pain meds. :(

Is that a Real Life post or a Rant?

MCU Fic PeevesCollapse )

I realise it has been many months since I posted or even commented. While I miss you guys, I'm sort of wondering if I've left it *too* long and whether anyone is interested in catching up with me. I'm not even sure if I've done the poll right.

Poll #2064807 Reader Interests

Posts You Are Interested In Reading (check all that apply)

Personal / Real Life
Fandom Related
Rants / Pet Peeves
Writing Related (mostly me kvetching)
"Art" Related


Cabin Pressure
The Professionals (CI-5)
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Other Marvel-verse Movies


GAH! And also, BLURGH!

Apologies to all the people I owe replies - especially vanillafluffy @ comment_fic and starkandbanner for your PMs - but I have a COLD. :( Today is the first day since *last* Friday I've actually had coherent thoughts. (When I tell you I haven't even been reading anything...)

Summer Colds are miserable, evil things at the best of times.

Summer colds when you already have chronic health problems? If you have anything chronically wrong, your immune system is already under pressure and probably not at full capacity. Add in being house-bound for long periods of time and thus not exposed to as many germs and between the two, you *will* catch anything and everything doing the rounds.

And when you are coping with pain, fatigue &co on a daily basis anyway, your capacity to *deal* with even a minor illness is vastly reduced. I used to *work* with colds, sometimes even flu (once I was over the worst feverishness) as long as I didn't have any secondary infections, and sometimes even when *on* antibiotics if it wasn't a chest infection I was likely to spread with every cough. I remember being vastly put out when my boss once insisted on me going off sick; because it was "just a cold". But others had complained they were all going to get it with me sitting there coughing and sneezing. And in teaching - with the troubles of getting supply teachers - you had to be half dead to excuse you phoning in sick! (Teaching when you've lost your voice to laryngitis is an *interesting* experience. So is developing pleurisy due to your neglected flu.)

FRIDAY: Go to GP and chemist. Coffee with a friend. Start comment_fic fill. Realise I can't write comment-fic (this prompt wants - deserves - a good, LONG, juicy, meaty fic!). Have to lie down because of huge amounts of leg pain and lose the rest of the day in consequence.

SATURDAY. Storm. Storms also in my head. Ah - the joys of migraine.

SUNDAY: Why am I so sleepy.... And feeling blah?

MONDAY: *coughing* *sneezing* *two boxes of tissues* *DYING*


And so it goes.

HEAD COLD. Earache. Sore throat. I have no voice. I've eaten no "real" food in days (can't face it) just fruit and picked a bit at a stir-fry I made last night - and it's not exactly the weather for "cold" foods like soups etc. Even scotch is a no-go - my throat's so sore it just burnt and had no taste! So it's hot Ribena, ginger tea, lemon and ginger tea, hot lemon and honey, iced lemon juice and lemon sorbet, and stuffing myself with fruit for the vitamin C.

I don't recommend a fever on the hottest day of the year. Beautiful weather - and I'm in bed sneezing, shivering and sweating, alternately throwing the covers off and pulling them back up again and wrapping up warm. Not fun. :(

Still, if I caught it Friday and have had it since Monday, I must be on the turn now, so should be back to being me by Monday with any luck. (Touch wood; cross fingers; touch nose, touch toes; DV; God willing: don't jinx yourself, woman!) If you haven't heard from me by Wednesday and expected/deserve/hoped to, give me a prod. :)

Random Post Is Random

So, after the weird Professionals-Avenger fusion dream, I've now had an Avengers/Avengers fusion/crossover dream.

id est: Tony Stark (as played by RDJ in Marvel's Avengers (Assemble) and Iron Man) in the UK 1960/70s The Avengers, instead of Patrick McNee's John Steed - working with Emma Peel and Tara King (and LOVING it). LOL!

However, I don't remember any specific details of this one, let alone the full "movie in my mind", like last time. (Aren't you glad?!)

Does anyone remember my weird Bruce Banner feels from Yogi Teas? How about this for a tag? "Remember that the other person is you" :D :D :D

(ETA: Just made a cup of the Bedtime Tea blend, only to be told, "The Purpose of Life is to enjoy every moment". Something I really need to take forward with me whenever I wonder about life when I can't work etc. God, I LOVE these teas.)

My on-going Bruce/Tony fic attempt has ear-wormed me with Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All. Does anyone else have songs declare themselves the theme tune of their writings? I'm not talking about a deliberate playlist, but just a song emerging from your memory as expressing the theme of what you are trying to write?

In other news, we adjusted (reduced) my meds a few days ago and I'm suddenly feeling a lot more human and able to cope. Sorry about the last couple of Depressive posts. (Alternatively, I may just have hit the rock-bottom of this latest bout and be on my way up again.) But I'm feeling very different. Thanks again to everyone who commented. *HUGS YOU ALL*

I'm having physiotherapy/acupuncture tomorrow and seeing the doctor for a meds review on Friday, so *fingers crossed*.

Thanks for that, Brain.

I know people posting dreams can be boring, but this one, You Guys. THIS DREAM!

We are in a cemetary, standing at the the side of an open grave. The coffin has been lowered, the mourners are dispersing, but Cowley and Doyle are there. Wrecked.

[Where is Bodie?? OMG! Where is Bodie? Self you did NOT just kill Bodie!]


Bodie sits at a polished mahogany table, breakfast and coffee being served by a butler.


Cowley and Doyle talk. Bodie is undercover and they have faked his death after a terrorist attack.

Doyle's new partner is a CI-5 trainee. Tony Stark. [YOUNG RDJ, but not as young as he actually would have been in 1983. WTF, Brain?]

Doyle is prepping Tony to infiltrate the terrorists as their tech specialist. [Think all those Craig!Bond/Wishlaw!Q fics where they have to work together, Q going frontline with Bond as back-up.]


Members of Bodie's entourage are apparently in the terrorist group. The group is two (hetero) married couples, but the men are pretending(?) to be gay in a sauna/massage-parlour/hotel-place that Bodie frequents [Again, WTF, Brain? Or is this "Being gay pre-AIDS" Trope-time?] while the women are Bodie-in-his-millionaire-cover's companion/escorts/somethings.


We intercut between training scenes at CI-5 HQ, not just with Tony Stark and Doyle, but the two of them and Bodie before he "died" and the op itself

The terrorists are dead and CI-5 won. WAY TO GO TEAM!

Except, shit, no one realised that one of the terrorist couples has a teenaged son.

This boy goes after Tony [my dream didn't explain, WHY HIM, but maybe it has something to do with the MCU shitting on Tony all the time] with weapons his parents left randomly around the hotel room in the Big 70s Gay Hotel.

Tony starts crying. "I could have taken torture. Even electricity. Did it have to be GUILT?!

Bodie and Doyle stop the kid before he can do more than make threats and yell, all, "You killed Vatti und Mutti!!"

The film/episode ends with Bodie and Doyle on the balcony of the mansion. Doyle brings Bodie a CRATE of strawberries [think the IM2 Gift!Fail] and they kiss.

Tony and the kid are on loungers by the pool, talking.

And then I woke up.

May. 10th, 2016

With Gareth Malone's Invictus Choir (the first episode not only made me cry, but also made me phone my parents to make sure they knew they are the only reason I am still here after 12 years of disability), the ads with HM The Queen, HRH Prince Harry of Wales and Mr and Mrs Barack Obama being all "Bring it!" etc etc is it ME?? Or should the Invictus Games not be dismissed as "some games or other"??

Please Advise

If you had previously left postive feedback on a WiP but something happens in the latest chapter which totally puts you off reading, would you bother to comment telling the writer so?

I hate leaving negative feedback, but she claimed that my last comment was the best she'd ever received and was all excited... and I won't be reading or commenting again.

I want to SQUEE! :D

So, who watched The Night Manager last night? I know what I'll be doing for the next 5 Sunday evenings.

Olivia Colman and Russel Tovey were brilliant... but of course, the BIG NAMES of the all-star cast are Tom Hiddlestone as Jonathan Pine (the eponymous hero) and Hugh Laurie as Richard "Dickie" Roper. Not much Roper, yet - but oh, Jonathan Pine. Hello - competency, decency and foreign language skills! Although Hiddles has the worst handwriting I have ever seen... (I'm guessing from the international locations and All-Stars that if this is not already airing in the States, it soon will be?)

(Is it wrong that Richard Roper gave me pre-Iron Man Tony Stark feels? I mean, his company is Iron Last Ltd, we first saw him talking about how he's an entrepreneur and philanthropist and then we find him arms dealing?! Not really a spoiler, that, as it was the set-up and even in the newspaper TV Guide recommendation...)

Someone tell me we can talk about this!!

My biggest fear is that, with a trip to St Thomas's coming up on Friday (a 4pm appointment, about 4 hours' travel away, so, with leaving home in time to have lunch THERE pre-appointment, it looks like being an 11am to 9pm day, IF he's running on time with his clinic hours, so that'll be fun), I might be comatose next Sunday! (And yes - also, worthy of squee, I am FINALLY seeing my consultant again after last year's tests etc, so please God, he's actually got a treatment programme for me. GIVE ME MY BLOODY STEROIDS! I want to be able to stand long enough to wash my hair on a regular basis! And cook dinner and not be too knackered to eat it. And do the washing up every day. *sigh* Oh, the dreams and ambitions I have! Also, someone in the NHS can't read a calendar. 2nd November to 26th February is a very strange six-to-eight weeks.)

Getting WiPped Into Shape

February's challenge over at ushobwri is to pick a WiP from your files and dedicate the month to doing something with it (finishing would be good). I should probably have gone with something that just needs me to do some typing and a few more scenes, or even that poor partly-posted Professionals fic at natsuko_writer :(

But since I was on a roll with the Avengers fic I talked about here (under F'lock because it's for avengerkink and I'm anon at the comm and wanna stay that way at the moment) having written 5k in a week and having existing scenes I could tweak for the prompt, that's what I'm working on. I'd like to get another 10k before 1 March and at least have a beginning to post to the meme. Touch Wood. DV. Crossed-fingers.

Okay, so halotolerant said she would (because she is as kind as she is awesome) but before I create the Group (of just her atm), I'd like to ask msmoat , splix and taste_is_sweet , since you expressed an interest when I started waffling about Avengers and Science Boyfriends, if you have any interest in being added to the Custom Group where I hope to post scenes before they go up on the meme. Not looking for a beta-read or edit, but just general reassurance as to whether it sucks balls or not.

Though if any Americans feel like telling me about vocab problems, I'd appreciate it - seriously, WHAT do Americans call a "petrolhead"? I'm assuming it's not "gashead", but you know what they say about assuming - a bit like what my Dad used to say about what "thought" did. ("But I thought...." "Yeah, well, you know what thought did, don't you? Thought he'd only farted and he'd shat himself.") And does anyone in the world other than me call themselves "hag-ridden" when they've had a bad night's sleep due to bad/weird dreams?

(Also, taste_is_sweet, sorry I bailed on you last night, without saying anything, but I had a cascade of "broken scripts" and then I couldn't get back into Google Hang-outs (I mis-typed "Hang-ups" at first, which might be telling!). Sorry - and many thanks for your encouragement! :D)


Dee Natsuko

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