LASIK, Mental Illness, and other Non Related topics

*What I’m Watching or Listening to Now*
Random Marathon on TV of some show I’m not really interested in.
*Random Question* OR *Random Quote*
Why is there still such a stigma against people with ANY form(s) of mental illness?

*Dates*B = Birthday; E = Event; W = Weekend; X = Closed

Holiday/Event Date Notes Marker
St. Patrick’s Day March 17 X
Purim March 24 JewFaq.org info about Purim E

*Medical*
*Eye Sight*
Earlier today I had an eye exam at the LASIK Vision Institute in Albany, NY and qualified for the surgery which I will be having next week. I can’t wait to be rid of these glasses and be able to see properly again. Ideally I’d be getting 20/20 vision, but hell, if they can just give me 50% better than what I have now I’ll call it a success (at least partially).

*Mental Health*
Out of nowhere I got an email today from someone from “Advocates For Health” and I’m not disputing it’s a legit email but it’s kind of strange that the woman mention it was in regards to a post that I wrote back in 2011. The email thanked me for mentioning Alzheimer’s and bringing attention to mental illness, which got me thinking. I skimmed over my old post and read her email a few times and realized it’s nice to have acknowledgement for raising awareness, but didn’t feel I really deserved it since I didn’t really follow-up on that topic so I decided to do it here, now. I was originally talking about “Chemo Fog”, which for people who don’t know, it’s common during Chemotherapy to either have temporary short-term memory loss (or just ‘overt forgetfulness’) and occasional long-term memory loss. However, in most people this condition usually resolves itself within 6 months of finishing Chemo, but in my case, not only will I probably never get those memories back, but I have an ongoing issue with both short-term and long-term memory. Now, here’s where I brought up Alzheimer since my memory condition is attributed to “Early Onset Alzheimer’s” and I have my good days and my bad. Over the last 5 years since I made that post I’ve written about my memory, my leg, my spine, and other numerous problems I have. I’ve had times when I’m talking to family or friends and I have gaps in my memory that span years now and I’ve been told it’ll only get worse. Tack on my depression and the other new medical issues brings a more heartfelt cringe to the phrase ‘same shit, different day’.

Anyway, in the email mentioned above, they wanted me to point readers to Sunrise House: (Quoted from email)

This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance. It includes dozens of the latest studies and external resources for the mentally disabled seeking assistance. We hope that the quality of this page and the importance of the subject matter merits inclusion on your page alongside the other resources you have provided – or elsewhere on your website.

I know my audience isn’t that big on this blog, but I would recommend anyone that even thinks they may be suffering of mental illness or know a family member/friend that might, you should read the site. I’ll admit, I haven’t read the whole site yet since my eyes are still a little fuzzy from the eye exam earlier. My eyes aren’t dilated anymore, but everything is still kind of bright.

I’m going to write her back tomorrow since it’s just after midnight and I need to take my medication, but I’d be interested in possibly working with them to help spread more awareness.

*Travel*
I’ve been travelling all over the state it seems lately and it feels good to get out, helps the depression a bit as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m going to talk to a friend of mine and hopefully talk her into bugging me enough that I post at least once a month or even weekly.

Category: Misc.

Almost a year…

Pre-warning, this post may just jump randomly from topic to topic and might not even be coherent to some people. I’m writing this in the order it flows in my head, so I can’t even keep all of it straight. P.S. I’m writing this on my iPad, so there’s bound to be random autocorrects that I don’t catch.

It’s been almost a year since I last posted on here. Mainly because when I do have the time to write, I can’t remember what I needed to say and when I do remember it’s when I’m not near a device to type it on and I forget by the time I’m near something.
I think because of my new medication some of my doctors are getting what they asked for from me and that’s the fact I think I’ve gained roughly 15 pounds in the last three weeks, yet I’m still below where they tell me I need to be. The good news is that all of the side effects these drugs have, the worse I’ve really come across so far is that I have to pee like all the time (but that just proves my new ‘gut’ isn’t just water weight or something).

My main server (not my hosting servers) died back in mid September and I haven’t had the money to fix it yet, so the last few months have been kind of boring and taking a toll on my depression. Don’t get me wrong, I do get out once in awhile and I have a few friends I kind of hang out with, but my life is far from ‘social’ mainly because I either can’t afford to go anywhere and do stuff or I always feel like I’m a burden on others, like making people wait around because I move slower than I used to… Or more often than not at a store when you can never seem to find an employee to help you have to rely on strangers to get stuff off shelves you can’t reach. Most people are nice about it but it only takes that one asshole that gives you the look like “Yeah, alright” or “Bet you’re probably faking it” since it’s not as common to see a guy in his 30’s riding around in the electric wheelchair, and for those that don’t know me personally most people guess my age in the late teens early 20’s.

My one doctor said it’d be good for me to write stuff down and it’ll help me work through some things but also it may help timeline if/when I start showing worsening signs of memory loss. I’ve looked at a bunch of those “1 a day” apps where you either take a photo or write something about your day everyday and it’d be a great idea, but I already have the foresight to know that shit might last a week before I forget once or just said to hell with it and it’d make the whole thing a moot point anyway. I’ve still got to get a primary care replacement for my last Doctor that moved to a different city but I’m so not looking forward to the whole ordeal of explaining all the shit wrong with me to yet another person when I wish I could just say, “I’m fucked up, physically, mentally, and emotionally, but here’s the medications I need, I’ll be on my way now.” 

New topic… Navient (formally Sallie Mae) are the biggest bunch of assholes. For the longest time (up until a couple months ago) they kept screwing up my student loans. If you’re a person on SSI and/or Disability, you can request a forbearance or deferment that pretty much means you don’t owe any money now, but they still add the interest to the loan and resume payments usually in a year (or get that extend by another year if you’re still on assistance). The problem I have with these morons is they would call me and say something like “You’re $3000 behind on your payments, we can take a check or credit card over the phone. How will you be paying your bill today?” And first off, the dollar value they tell me is wildly sporadic, sometimes it’d be like $200, other times I’d be closer to $5000. Each time they call I have to explain EVERYTHING all over again about the disability, they’ll say they are checking the account and they apologize and will process my account so I’d be caught up FOR A YEAR. They guarantee me every fucking time, “You’re all set and have no payments for a year” and 2 to 5 months later, they’ll call and do the same dumb shit. That’s sadly not even the worse part of what they are doing. I recently attempted to do some debt consolidation and although all my student loans are pushed, they keep reporting to the credit agency monthly saying my debt went up or more often than not that I’m late on the payments. So, legally I don’t owe them a fucking cent, but because they refuse to report the proper information, the bank sees an extra $57,000 worth of debt that I can’t do anything about which total kills my debt to income ratio. Therefore, I’m in too much debt to have enough credit to pay off my debt. Seems a little ass backwards to me. The bank I went to had a very nice loan officer and she tried her best to get me approved for what I needed, but now I’m stuck in a limbo/hell with no idea who to talk to next to try and fix this. Social Security is a pain to deal with so I can’t ‘borrow’ money from a friend of family member that even though I’d pay them back as if it was a bank loan because for about a day the money would sit in my bank account before going off on it’s merry way to the credit card companies, it’d count all that as income and use it against me. I’ve attempted a bunch of different searches online for the recommended way to do debt consolidation while on assistance and most of the things I could fit into 1 of three categories. Someone else asking similar questions, sites/people giving kind of shady advice or services, and sites that seem like they are trying to up sell you on shit you don’t want or need.

I have a doctor appointment in 6 hours and still haven’t gone to sleep yet. Sometimes I hate my life.

I don’t get how the government expects people to live off the low amount of money they give. If you take a ‘normal’ person that work for 40 hours a week for an average of 50 weeks, that’s 2000 hours of work. Sadly in the area I live in, there’s a good chunk of the working class that doesn’t make 40 hours a week. However, I’ll still use the 2000 hours for my example: at $8 an hour, that’s $16,000 so it’s kind of safe to say that most people in this area make probably $12,000 or more and I make less than that.

If I continue to make this many mistakes while typing I may have to start having someone proof read my posts before I make them public. Speaking of posts, I’m going to be revisiting my protocols posts and not only update those a bit, but add some new stuff, like adding Atom as an alternatives to Sublime and kind of do a tutorial on setting up a basic web development environment.

I may either edit this post or create another post later today/tonight but I think this is good for now.

Category: Uncategorized

What the hell……..??

§ Recent Changes §
I’ve written at least 3 or 4 posts since the Destiny one that I thought I had set to auto post on certain dates, as well as a handful of drafts with ideas, etc. that I wasn’t ready to post and it appears that none of that worked. They obviously didn’t post and the drafts have all disappeared. I know it wasn’t a hacker or someone trolling me… which means I either did something stupid, I don’t remember like deleting the posts or my memory is getting worse. My guess is that latter…

On any note, here’s only a little of what I had written since I can’t for the life of me remember 99% of it. First we’ll start with some of the medical cause it’s always on my mind.

§ Medical §
With the stigma of mental illness, we’ll start by ‘rehashing’ some old posts with new information. I’m too lazy to check the date, but I’ve occasionally talked about another person over the last year or so and have mentioned that they were diagnosed with schizophrenia… I still haven’t asked for permission to talk about ‘them’ specifically, but anyone that knows me personally may be able to venture a guess at who I’m talking about… (please don’t guess publicly). If you haven’t figured it out already, knowing that I’m not only related to him, but we’re close enough for me to be concerned as well since it can be hereditary. Well, the good news so far is that although it took a few months, his doctor’s managed to find the right mixture of medications and doses that not only does he not show many signs of the illness, but he’s actually changed and became more sociable then he had been prior in his life. It’s a struggle every day, not just for him, but for all of us involved, and it’s gotten to the point that most of my medical issues are ‘put on the back burner’ as they say. I don’t mean this is a “Hey, I’m sick too, pay attention to me…” or anything along those lines since I’m sure I could come up with better reasons for people to pay attention to me and trust me, I hate being sick and dealing with all the issues I have.

Keeping that in mind, this is my blog after all, so might as well update you on a bunch of my fucked up problems too… It’s been about 4 or 5 months since I started seeing a psychiatrist (again) and it seems to be helping although we haven’t really talked about anything specific really. For example after I originally got sick my doctor (oncologist) advised to me to go because of the inherent depression and/or denial most Cancer patients initially feel and that doctor (psychiatrist) said in our very first meeting something along the lines with: “Let me start by saying, I don’t have cancer so I can’t pretend to know what you’re going through and if it’s something you want to talk about, we can, however I suggest, at least for now, we focus on non-cancer related issues because it ‘may’ help in the long run.” And for some reason, that statement just clicked and although we didn’t ignore the cancer, instead we started out talking about my experiences in the Military and moved on to some other general topics, giving me a feeling of ‘normalcy’ instead of the typical ‘Why me?’ that a lot of people go through. Fast forward to the current doctor and none of the medical stuff has really come up… (yet). We did the typical start where they ask the basic questions about your past and shit (for paperwork, not really for ‘where do we start?’ kind of thing) so we talked about the military for like 20 minutes total, some other ‘big’ events in my life, yadda yadda yadda… and the main focus most of the time is about a 50/50 split between a girl or about the fact that over the years, I’ve pretty much stopped going out and socializing, never have any friends over… barely have any contact other than the occasional conversation online or going to/from different doctors. There’s been times where I was just like “Fuck it, I’ll just go to a bar and see who’s around” but either something comes up (no money, too much pain) or I get there and the fucking place is empty so there’s no one to talk to anyway and I’m not going to spend $2.50 – $4.00 per beer when I could buy some and drink alone at home drowning my sorrows… which defeats the purpose.

Not that anyone would care, the girl mentioned isn’t a potential girlfriend or anything remotely interesting… and I’m only clarifying that because I slipped up and just mentioned my blog to her so there’s a chance she may read this.

Enough of the ‘head shrink’ type of stuff and we’ll move on to the fact that I’m pretty sure my memory is getting even worse and I’ve started to notice other issues I hadn’t seen before. Thankfully I’m not hearing voices or anything along those lines, but I’ve noticed a few times while talking for example I would either slur my speech or outright screw up a word. I’m not talking about a simple Freudian slip, but saying something like I did on a recent phone call where I asked a friend “Can you come over and help me move a pen” when I meant a fucking couch. But the more common thing I’m noticing is my hand-eye coordination which doesn’t seem to be affected while I’m typing for example, but there’s a game on my iPad that I play a lot when I get bored but I’ve noticed that when I reach to touch a box I swear my eyes see my finger over the correct thing, but when I touch the screen I’ve either hit the box on the right or above the one I want… I’ve tested the sensors on the iPad and confirmed it’s not the device malfunctioning but it’s my sight. I can’t even play the game with my right hand anymore because my hand will shake too much that I can’t keep my finger steady (I’m left-handed) and it makes it so I can’t play while laying on my left side which most of the time is the more comfortable position for my back and leg. Thankfully at this stage it only appears to be an issue when I’ve been awake too long so it might just be as simple as that, but having insomnia for around 15 years now I’m unsure what is ‘sleep deprivation’ or potentially something scarier.

As I stated, thankfully I’m not at the point where I’m hearing voices, but I do hear some noises that I have no real proof if they’re real or not since most of the time when I ‘think’ I heard something, it’s usually something in the distance and never really gives me a ‘that could be someone talking’ type feel, it’s more like a tapping noise or other sound that can usually be explained away.

Enough depressing crap, let’s move on to something new that I’m doing to help keep my mind off the above…
§ Replacement to College §
I finished college years ago at this point, but while working on a new project last week I got stuck trying to deal with some database injection among other things. It turned out that the imports I had written worked fine but due to some PDO limitations I couldn’t do everything required via AJAX and had to rewrite parts of the database to accommodate the changes. While doing research on the problems I decided to check some of the tutorial sites I’ve used in the past like Udemy and although none of the free stuff they had would give me the required knowledge I had some coupon codes that allowed me to purchase over $2,000 worth of courses for a very sizable discount. Udemy isn’t just for programmers, the have all sorts of courses covering Photography, Learning languages, Health & Fitness, Music and more… some are even free. With full disclosure, Udemy has not sponsored or endorsed anything said here, but if you click this link, and sign up you can receive $5 in credit towards your first course.

§ Closing §
There’s a lot more that I had written and amazingly there’s still some that I remember, but it’s almost 5am so I’m going to post what I have so far and create some voice memos to remind me of the other topics and will hopefully remember to write again soon.

Category: Misc. | Tags: , ,

Destiny….

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Like every year around E3, people go nuts about new games and this year is no different… There’s a few games that have really peaked my interest. I have to admit the latest from Bungie, original creators of “Halo”, the aptly named “Destiny” which is planned to have content for the next ten (10) years… giving you the potential feeling that your character will have a real destiny, was something that I had mixed feelings on. Don’t get me wrong, it looks fantastic, seems like it has an interesting story but the way my gaming habits have changed I wasn’t sure if I wanted to dive into something knowing it’s supposed to be this expansive, so I haven’t pre-ordered it and actually started to kind of ignore some of the videos and news about it. That is, until tonight when I got my Destiny Alpha code… at least now I’ll have a chance to check it out before doing the typical ‘plop down $65 and hope it’s good enough to keep my attention for more than a few days/weeks’. I was originally going to pre-order the game to get the Beta code and just cancel the order before release (if I decided not to get it).

Destiny

I don’t dare install it until tomorrow or Sunday since I know if I do I wont get any of my other work done and I really got to finish cleaning so I don’t have to listen to any more bitching. Funny thing was, if I didn’t get the Alpha invite, I was going to finish Watch Dogs before doing another run of South Park: The Stick of Truth.


Side note, I have a lot of other stuff on my mind that I was going to write about as well, but I’ve procrastinated enough on some of my ‘required’ work.

Category: Misc.

Random Stuff, plus some updates to the custom protocols…

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*What I’m watching or Listening to Now*

Not much of anything since one of my 3TB drives died and took just over 2.5TB of video with it.

*Custom Protocols Update…*

First things first… (Using latest version of browser mentioned)
Firefox:
“Sublime Text” Protocol: Completely working
“Speak” Protocol: Does not encode/decode properly… (fine in Chrome) a.k.a. “This is only a test” whether urldecoded or not gets converted to “This%20is%20only%20a%20test” (since %20 equals a ‘space’) therefore NirCmd will actually say “This percent twenty is percent twenty only percent twenty….” etc.

Here’s the fix for ‘Speak’ in Firefox: (Will only work if you have PHP installed on your development system)

@ECHO OFF
TITLE Archigos NirSpeak
MODE CON COLS=50 LINES=3

ECHO.
ECHO                 Ignore this window

FOR /F "tokens=1,2,3* delims=/" %%a in ("%~1") DO (
  SET Protocol=%%a
  SET String=%%b
)
FOR /F "tokens=1* delims=" %%a in ('php -r "ECHO urldecode('%String%');";') DO SET Talk=%%a
nircmd speak text "%Talk%" && EXIT

Chrome:
I’m not sure when (too lazy to look it up), but with one of the updates to Google Chrome they essentially blocked the use of custom protocols (also called “Handlers”) to a certain extent. The new rules are something akin to your web application “must register the custom URI into Chrome and that it MUST be from the same domain”. This is mainly for security in Chrome Apps, but since we’re doing it for testing, I doubt any of you that are willing to write the C++/C# code required for URI Registration would bother with doing something like this… (however, if you’re interested, you can read about that here.)

Thankfully, getting around this limitation is rather easy for what we want to do, but be warned, make sure you fully trust whatever protocols you use with this method because it essentially turns off all of Chrome’s security for them. Both my Sublime Text and Speak Protocols are safe if you follow the directions, but you could essentially write one that could do harmful actions very easily.

Open up the command prompt and enter the correct location from below based on Operating System:
On Windows 7/8/8.1, the path is: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data
On Windows Vista: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data
On Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data

Once the window opens, you have to make sure Chrome is CLOSED because it writes data to the “Local State” which you need to edit (preferably in Sublime Text). If you need to open the “Local State” file in a different editor, make sure that the application doesn’t append a file extension (ex. *.txt)

Inside the “Local State” file, which is in the JSON format, you’re looking for the section called “protocol_handler” which should already have a few entries in it and look similar to the following (line numbers are for demonstration here, the section should be kind of close to the bottom):

  "protocol_handler": {
    "excluded_schemes": {
      "afp": true,
      "data": true,
      "disk": true,
      "disks": true,
      "file": true,
      "hcp": true,
      "javascript": true,
     "mailto": false,
     "ms-help": true,
     "ms-windows-store": false,
     "news": false,
     "nntp": true,
     "shell": true,
     "snews": false,
     "vbscript": true,
     "view-source": true,
     "vnd": {
       "ms": {
         "radio": true
       }
     }
   }
 },

Once you find it, you’re going to want to add two lines to this file (I placed them so they stayed alphabetical like the rest)… setting the value to ‘false’ means that the protocol will be used, and ‘true’ means ignore it for security reasons.

  "protocol_handler": {
    "excluded_schemes": {
      "afp": true,
      "data": true,
      "disk": true,
      "disks": true,
      "file": true,
      "hcp": true,
      "javascript": true,
     "mailto": false,
     "ms-help": true,
     "ms-windows-store": false,
     "news": false,
     "nntp": true,
     "shell": true,
     "snews": false,
     "speak": false,
     "subl": false,
     "vbscript": true,
     "view-source": true,
     "vnd": {
       "ms": {
         "radio": true
       }
     }
   }
 },

As you can see on lines 17 and 18, I added both protocols that I created and made sure to match the names used. If you only created one of them, do NOT create an entry for the opposite one. Save the file, open Chrome, test your page with the protocol examples… if you don’t have one, create a new PHP file accessible from ‘localhost’ and paste the following code for a quick and dirty test:

<?php
  $filename = urlencode(__FILE__);
  $string   = "This is only a test...";
  echo "<a href='subl://$filename'>Sublime Test</a><br />";
  echo "<a href='speak://$string'>Speak Test</a>";
?>

*Testing Environment*

A few people have asked once or twice about possibly doing a full write-up of my main test environments (both Web Design and HTPC related) so if people post a response on Facebook if they are interested in either (or both) I’ll possibly create a new page on this site dedicated to it (because it’ll probably be multiple posts and pretty long).


*In regards to last post*
I left this to the end of the post so those looking for the technical stuff above could skip it.
The person I was talking about still wishes to stay anonymous for as long as possible, mainly due to the stigma I had previously mentioned, but stated that since I mentioned it already I could give a little update. Now, it’s not uncommon for people undergoing the initial changes from mental illness to think “No, I’m normal, if you don’t see/hear/etc. it the way I do, you’re the one that’s wrong” and I think the main problem with the first few sets of doctors were that they did NOT take this into account and observe the behaviors shown and it didn’t help, that he apparently withheld a lot of information for this same reason. I think it was around the third set of doctors we found that started to notice not everything was being said, or that some things being said weren’t necessarily the truth (not that he was intentionally lying, it was based on his ‘distorted’ point of view). This doctor narrowed things down to the point where they debated on if it was some form of extreme bi-polar disorder or (as I suspected) Schizophrenia, the latter ending up being the actual diagnosis.

I think when I was invited to see the doctor with him so the three of us could talk together and I could point out my observations or when details were misinterpreted helped him realize the extent of the paranoia and other symptoms were. The doctor gave him a different type of medication and although most of the symptoms seemed to lessen, you could tell he was still struggling with things. Thankfully, sticking with the current doctor, changing medications and/or dosages a few times, and other forms of support, he seems to have gotten most things under control and for the most part, none of what is going on is noticeable to those that weren’t told at least something prior.

Category: Misc. | Tags: