Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Comic con? No thanks.

This time of year just like in August I am asked two questions back to back multiple times. Are you going (or Did you go) to Comic Con? Why not? Since it has been a while since I posted a chart, this is as good as time as any:

This chart represents what I have done at various sci-fi cons from '09-'13 that do not involve things like working at a table, eating, hanging out, and most of the parties with the Marscon 2011 party bus filled with live music the exception.

What each one means:
Music: I decided to include comedy and filk since both of those events involve sitting in a room watching music performed.
Gaming: Either a planned event like I attend at Gencon or a pickup game.
Dealer's room: Where things from clothing, jewelry, games, figures, comic books, and toys are sold.
Costuming: Though many are dressed in costume, there are events specifically for people to display their costume and often perform in it.
Ceremony: Most conventions have an opening ceremony where the con chair and the staff address the convention as a whole. Some cons have a closing ceremony
Media: An event involving a person (or people) most of whom appear in movies or on tv.
Panel: A room where people on a panel discuss preselected topics of interest to those in attendence.
Science: Some conventions have an area devoted to science or technology where a person can learn about those fields.
Food: Some cons have events based on a specific food like chocolate.
Art: Many cons have an art show where people can bid on or purchase pictures, photographs, drawings, or sculptures.
Misc: Some events at a con don't fit into any other category like water aerobics, the propatorium, or massages.
Author: Where a person who has penned a work of literature either discusses it or reads from it.

So what does that have to do with Chicago Comic Con which I know as C2E2 in April and Wizard World in August? Both of those events do not have music or gaming. That is what they are. They feature a large room where many dealers have things to sell as well as plenty of places to wait in line to get an autograph from someone or to see a panel where people talk about their past or current show/movie. The times I have gone was spent walking around the dealers room looking at things as well as waiting in line for an autograph.

The party scene at Comic cons (as well as at Dragon*con) is different also. One either has to hold one, be someone, or be an attractive woman to go and I don't fit in any of those categories so there is really nothing there that is worth my time let alone the high cost.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Another puzzle piece uncovered

Trust me, I know I still need to make my chart showing who performed with who on stage at Marscon. It has been physically difficult for me to sit at the computer and make it. That is why I am mostly in the chat room only during my show. I have also had problems the last couple of months entering and exiting cars especially after work.

A couple of years ago, my doctor wanted me tested for diabetes after looking at my previous blood test thinking I had it. Since I lost confidence in her after I got the flu a couple of years ago, I did not go. This year, I started to show signs that I was actually diabetic and had my best friend Carrie convince me to make an appointment after Marscon and show up so I would not bail.

My doctor tested me and determined that I was not diabetic. So, she did a physical and upon realizing that I could not reach down to remove my socks and me telling her that tying my shoes has become so difficult that there have been occasions where I removed my shoe to tie it referred me to a rheumatologist.

I spent far more time than I anticipated on Monday explaining in detail my orthopedic history and my current symptoms, getting fully examined, and getting x-rays and a blood test. She explained to me she believes I have psoriatic arthritis which is inflammatory rather than medical or orthopedic. The pamplet she game me listed the symptoms which other than swollen fingers and toes, fits my situation.

The condition happens when white blood cells attack the lining in joints especially after activity causing stiffness and pain. There are modern medicines which make white blood cells less active but can leave a person open to infection. The blood test was to see if I am a candidate for that.

When I got home Monday, I called my mom to tell her. She stated that is what my father had. Since psoriatic arthritis is also hereditary, the diagnosis makes perfect sense. Researching it more, I discovered that cold, dry weather can trigger this type of arthritis and realizing that my father started to have physical issues as a 50 year old man during the winter of 1978 when it was below freezing for 40+ days even confirms my suspicions more after the winter we had this year. Since it went undiagnosed in my father until 1993, there was significant damage which a few years later forced him to use a cane, then wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Yes, the (color of the 3XL shirt I was wearing) elephant was addressed. Though being obese does not help my situation, I could have developed these symptoms even if I weighed what I should.

I then started to think... A few years ago in June I was lifting large sheets of paper, stopped to go to a meeting in a chilled office, and strained my back. For at least 10 years, I would struggle walking after taking my break at work. Both of these issues are explained by this.

Last night I showed my sister the pamphlet along with my record of blood tests at the bowling alley during her league night. She pointed out to me the 86 year old in her league which created jealousy from someone who had to give up league bowling at 28. I also talked to my nephew who was practicing about many things with bowling. I wonder if my physical situation was a factor 20 years ago when I made my IT band no longer suitable for bowling.

Though I am glad to know about this today, I do wish I could have found out 2 years ago when my father was still functional. I never could understand why he would end up in bed from pain after doing anything remotely physically stressful, chugged Excedrin, and walked like a cripple after he turned 50.