Hypochondria is your enemy

I’m well into my 4th month of my fun with pleurisy. I’ve had several chest x-rays now (all clear) and done skin prick tests, lung function tests and been seen three times by cardiothoracic specialists. The experts think I’m okay. I’m on some drugs (the first proper treatment) sodium diclofenac – an anti-inflammatory drug. The professor says that will fix me, and if it doesn’t he’ll run a CT scan. He’s pretty sure I’m okay. I’m back to see him in 8 weeks. 

Great.  So maybe I’m okay now. It still hurts, but very very very slowly it improves. Very gradually, almost immeasurably, but (I think) there is improvement.

But I’ll tell you what. After six months of feeling crap and being ill and being in pain, I’ve turned into a nervous wreck. Every sensation in my body is now analysed and re-analysed. A sore throat, a funny pain, a twinge, everything is treated with the utmost suspicion and fear. I’ve felt lumps in my throat. I’ve had headaches, and chest pains on the left (my pleurisy is on the right), I think just about anything it is a symptom of some new saga. 

The smallest sensation brings my mind racing and running through ridiculous and far-fetched scenarios. It’s got so bad that I’ve had to ban myself from looking at House. I’ve even suspected lupus.  

I wonder, once the pain is gone, (perhaps now, I can see the end of that tunnel) how long will it take for me to return to my “normal” anxiety levels.

The whole problem with anxiety is that is forms a vicious cycle of making you feel physically rubbish and that feeling makes you feel more anxious. It’s a bloody annoying thing. It’s well documented and I’m well aware of the process, but is that enough to stop it? 

My boys provide welcome relief.  “Daddy, I happy” D tells me every couple hours or so. He doesn’t know, may never know, what good medicine his words are.  The boys are both asleep now. I think I’ll go in and touch their little hands. It stills my heart like CBT never could.

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Google Chrome 1 Mozilla Firefox 0

It’s live!

I’ve been playing around with Chrome for a short while now, but I know enough to say this:

It rocks.

I cannot vouch for stability as it has been literally minutes since I’ve downloaded it. But there are new and clever features (not gimmicks).

  • The Crash Control is already 100% smarter than the rather stupid “restore previous session” that you find in Firefox. (including a Task Manager for your browser. Is the browser an OS?)
  • Incognito mode looks smart (IE 8.0 also implements this).
  • A start page!
  • The other thing I really hate about Firefox / IE, the stupid “download manager”, well that’s gone.
  • The developer tools look decent.

I’m sure this is only the tip of the iceberg, but I’m really excited about this. Well done Google. I hope FF can weather the storm.

Don’t forget that apart from the technology factor, Google also help to fund Mozilla, this is no big secret, Time put it very nicely:

Google has long been a patron of its open-source browser, and pays a kind of “click back” to Mozilla for directing its 200 million users to Google search. In 2006, the last time Mozilla released its numbers on the subject, Google had paid the company $65 million.

So quite how that relationship stands now is anyone’s guess, but it cannot be good news for Mozilla Firefox.

Like I said earlier today, Firefox is gonna get a beating.

Firefox about to get a beating from Google

As if things weren’t bad enough for Firefox as it is, Google are about to release their own browser Google Chrome.  Of course, Mozilla are not worried, but let’s face it, this is not going to help Firefox at all.

Developers will happily jump to the Google browser, because that is were the main action is going to happen in the next few years. And with IE 8 promising and delivering new features, suddenly FireFox looks old and tired just like it’s granddaddy Netscape.

Microsoft / IE stand to lose nothing from this at all (in the short term), and if there are any casualties it will be FireFox and not IE (for an opposing view).

When I originally started this, I was bitching about Firefox, having said that I’ld be very sad to see it go, so let’s hope it can somehow, against all odds manage to stand up to both Microsoft and Google.

When I put it like that, I suddenly realise what I liked about FireFox in the first place.

Incidentally, Google Chrome is now live. You can download it too.

3 months and counting. The joys of pleurisy.

My fun with pleurisy is not yet over it would seem. I was recovering quite happily and I think I may have over-exerted myself over the last week or so, and the pains feel as bad as they did 6 weeks ago.

It is really really boring. I’m not suffering from the acute form anymore (ie “not the super painful I’m being stabbed in the chest everytime i breathe” form), it is really just annoying, it can be quite painful if I do the wrong thing (move suddenly, twisting etc) but more or less it feels like a stitch. There is some tightness in my chest, and I’m not sure if that is anxiety or my lungs.

I found this Pleurisy Forum, which looks useful, so may hang out there for the next 3 years or so. Phah.

It’s almost fun there because you hear of cases so much worse than your own, that you start thinking maybe you are ok.

For example:

My mother has had pleurisy for 16 weeks now. Along with the severe pain she also feels very ill and I am becoming increasingly concerned. She has had about 10 lots of antibiotics and a chest xray.

(from http://experience.patient.co.uk/discussion.php?t=20516)

Admittedly I’m going on to three months now, which is almost 16 weeks, but at least I haven’t had that many anti-biotics.

I’ld also thought I’ld some of these alternative treatments. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am seriously against hippy shit like this, but doing something has got to be better than doing nothing. Maybe.

More trouble for Firefox as IE 8.0 in beta

IE 8.0 beta looks pretty sweet from what I’ve seen. Last week, I reported that FireFox 3.0 really sucks, and now Microsoft have added to their woes.

Here is the bad news for FF:

  • A new standards mode:

    “The brand-new implementation of Standards mode in Internet Explorer 8 offers the best viewing experience of web pages created according to the latest web standards.”

  • There are CSS improvements, support for data URIs, AJAX enhancements and support for DOM storage.
  • There’s a new tool for developers that includes a DOM inspector, a JavaScript profiler, a color picker and ruler, options to outline objects, disable CSS and validate web pages. For me, this is the #1 reason why I still (occasionally) use FireFox.
  • Inline search: now you can search inside a page from an elegant bar similar to the one from Safari. (This is MAJOR issue for me. Currently in IE, searching in page can be QUITE painful, IE attempts to search the page after each keystroke. So if you are in a very long document and you want to search for “stupid” when you type the first letter ‘s’ it starts parsing the document looking for s’s. This usually results in me having to terminate the stupid thing.)
  • Notepad wasn’t the best software for viewing the source code of a page, so IE8 includes a simple text viewer with syntax highlighting. Too bad that you can’t view the source code for selections.
  • InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer 8 helps prevent your browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and usernames and passwords from being retained by the browser, leaving no evidence of your browsing or search history.”

All in all, real new features, FireFox when is 4.0 coming??

Pleurisy update: another two weeks pass

2 months + 2 weeks after initial pleurisy pains

I went to see my GP the other day so that he could listen to my chest. He said it sounded clear, but that 2 and a half months was a long time to have these pains. But since they were gradually improving, he was quite happy with that. In addition I have not yet been discharged by the hospital, so they will give me one final once over before they let me go.

More or less I feel ok now. I still can just about feel the pains in my right side (ribs) when I take a very deep breath. My chest still feels odd at times (maybe I have poked it too much looking for pains)  but I do feel a slight tightness when I take a very deep breath. There seem to be slightly tender areas on my left side (this is NOT where I have my pleurisy). I’m trying not to worry about this weird sensations too much. I’m yet to confirm if these are anything at all.

The last two nights I have woken up with pretty bad pleurisy type pains in my back. I’ve brushed these off as me sleeping in a bad position (I’ve changed position and woken up feeling more or less ok).

Firefox 3 sucks

It seems to be another crap browser from Mozilla, anything after 1.4 seems to have sucked to me. To add a little perspective, it is not the most crap thing ever, not in the same league with Window ME for instance, however, it does have issues which make suckage.

Why does it suck:

  1. It crashes alot
  2. It seems to have real trouble loading flash content (some sites work, some don’t).  You cannot break Flash and expect someone to use your browser.
  3. It’s a memory guzzling pig

I really don’t get what it brings to the party that IE7 doesn’t already (now) have.

I’m not looking to start a flame war, but I don’t care about Linux and Unix users, they are stuck with Firefox and it is half decent; and when compared to the other browsers non-windoze users have on offer, it must look pretty sweet. But seriously, for Windoze users, compared to IE7 it offers no advantages whatsoever.

It’s a shame because a long time ago it was pretty sweet, and was without a doubt, a better browser than IE5.x and IE6. But since IE7, I really don’t think they can make that claim anymore.

The Web Developer toolbar is the #1 reason I still have it installed on my machine.

I’m not alone, I found another blog who reports about the suckage, he has spent more time on this and has articulated it much better than I could. This one too. Oh have them all.