What I've been up to (oddly personal entry)
Note: This entry is super 'cool story bro'. You have been warned.
So some friends and I wanted to play a ROM hack and we went through the showcase. We settled upon Flora Sky since we've played pretty much everything else at or near completion. While I was here the nostalgia was pretty overwhelming, lol. I'm nearly 18 (11/11/11, baby, been looking forward to it for a decade 8D) and when I joined PC I was. Um. *counts* Well, it was in 2004, 6 years and 11 months ago, which makes me 11 at the time? LOL, I AM SO BAD AT MENTAL ARITHMETIC, DERP. I've grown so much since then. I'd like to think that, while I've changed a lot, I'm still at heart the same person when I was 11. I didn't have much self esteem then, I was really awkward, and I was even more impulsive, but these things have changed as I've grown more comfortable with who I am.
I'm still terrible at staying active places when I say I will. I guess not knowing half the community and things having changed (a lot of them for the better ... seriously, PC looks so damn spiffy right now, and I don't see so many database errors @_@) made me feel a little strange when I'm more comfortable other places. But PC has always been super welcoming and I do like to drop in now and again to see how my friends are doing. <3 Even if we don't talk, I'll never forget the people here, who were so instrumental in my early adolescence and formative internet years! lol ^_^
So, what I've been up to. Umm, I've always liked video games, but this year I started playing more games on Steam and such. Right now I'm addicted to Team Fortress 2. I added my Steam ID to my profile -- my username is triplecharmed, if anyone's interested. Mostly you'll just see that I've started up TF2 though.
I changed from an English major to a Computer Science major. I've always wanted to be a virologist but I've finally accepted that while my disabilities mean the kind of virology I'm interested in (laboratory work dealing emerging viruses, BSL4-tier viruses, etc.) is not really feasible for me, it doesn't limit me from doing things that make me happy. In the last few years I've developed a major interest in web dev and programming, and CompSci jobs are far more suited to me than laboratory science. I can still follow virology news with a passion and I'm always going to be learning, always.
Possibly (and hopefully) the most negatively life-changing thing I've ever had happen to me occurred this year. In March I was diagnosed with temporary hearing loss, which turned out to be permanent, near-total hearing loss in my right ear (April diagnosis), but that was only a precursor. Basically, I'm now half-deaf and half-blind (something I cope with by a) getting on with it b) joking about it). I've lived with a near-blind left eye as long as I can remember, so in that sense (HEH) I was already equipped to adapt to only having half a sense. It turned out, though, that the hearing loss was from a benign tumour that grew on my vestibulocochlear nerve (the nerve in the brain that deals with sound transmission and balance). The tumour had grown over the past seven years to 4cm in diameter (if anyone wants to see a badly-taken phone picture of my MRI to see how big the tumour is in comparison to my brain, just comment and I'll gladly upload, haha 8D;) which is an absolutely massive size for a brain tumour. In short, the tumour had swollen to such a degree that it was placing life-threatening amounts of pressure on my brain and crushing my brain stem.
This was very frightening for me and my family and I spent a month in hospital, two weeks pre-surgery and two weeks after. The surgery was slated to damage my facial nerve and weaken movements in my face, but thanks to the miraculous work of my neurosurgeon, it didn't. 99% of my tumour (as much as could be removed safely) was taken out and I may have to have follow-up radiotherapy, but it's far better than, say, a year of chemo, and hopefully it won't recur. It's made me incredibly grateful and appreciative of life, and full of love for those around me. I feel that my rejuvenated ability to feel positively about things around me, from small mercies to miracles, is a huge blessing, because I'm happy. I've finally overcome my depression and after I came out of hospital, I went off my antidepressants, which I've been taking for years to deal with my severe anxiety and depression. For the first time in seven years or more, I can say I'm a happy person.
Right now I still walk with a walking frame, because my brain is essentially relearning proper balance after the damage my nerve took, but I'm glad I didn't sustain brain damage or have to learn to walk again etc. I'm very happy to be alive and as healthy as can be expected, and I go walking most days to build up strength. I'm back to studying through distance (because I'm several hours from my university, commuting is out of the question, and after my tumour, well, I won't be leaving home for awhile... lots of doctor appointments, still building up my health, follow-up scans, etc.) and I'm really happy that my life is back on track.
Also: when my brother was in Japan with school, he went to McDonalds and bought a Happy Meal. The toy he got was a PokéBall with a keychain, and when you press the button, it opens up to reveal an image of Kibago (uh... Axew? >.<) and emits a random noise (KIBA KIBA! and so on). He gave this to me at the start of this year and I have it attached to the basket of my walking frame. XD I also have both an L and a P-plate attached (they stand for Learner and Provisional licenses, and you have to put them on your car when a person with a learner / provisional license is driving) to it.
Sometimes when I am pushing my walking frame along people refuse to get out of my way. My uncle taught my mother a trick, and she's passed it along to me. Basically, I push forward while looking directly at the person who's headed towards me (I usually steer around, but it's hard steering those things compared to changing your course as you walk). Usually this freaks them out and they move, but if not, I just navigate around them. Onward!
So, that's what I've been up to :3 I'm glad to see at least some of you haven't forgotten me, and I hope you've all had a lovely time since I saw you last.
Posted August 2nd, 2011 at 9:14 PM by Zet
Posted August 2nd, 2011 at 9:17 PM by Melody
Posted August 3rd, 2011 at 4:25 AM by champagnepapi
Posted August 3rd, 2011 at 12:35 PM by Jack O'Neill
Posted August 3rd, 2011 at 1:26 PM by Cherrim