Priorities With a Spinning Head

My blog and website have been moved again! Now it's again built statically from local markdown and uploaded to a server that only uses pretty minimal html, css and other files. Previous website was using Wordpress which I was increasingly annoyed with due to various issues. So I started working on it mid-July. In retrospect a very weird choice. Note: this post contains some mostly non-graphic descriptions of a major medical issue.

Mid-July I started working out how to get my website out of Wordpress – I'd noticed it was serving SO MUCH CRAP. Ad trackers and random JS loading everywhere. If I moved off Wordpress, I could simplify the text I edit, what browsers need to download to read what is mostly just text, etc. The Wordpress editing UI, and in particular the mobile one, was the reason I switched. I don't have to "maintain" a site! I can just edit on my phone and post! But it hadn't really turned out that way. I disliked how it worked and I disliked how it looked but changing it was always a pain. Anyway, it's a fun project to go back to "self-hosted". I picked Zola because Rust is fun. It has some quirks but it forced me to decide what was important to me. Did I REALLY care about having the /YYYY/MM/DD in my post paths or would just having nginx redirect any attempts to reach that route work? I also got to do fun things like picking my own preferred font that works for my vision issues -- Atkinson Hyperlegible.

I got everything exported and roughly generating static results locally fairly quickly. I actually tried Hugo too at first since that's the "popular" non-Jekyll choice these days (Jekyll is what I used before moving to Wordpress). So I moved onto figuring out hosting. I COULD do something like Netlify or whatnot, but one motivation for this project was so I would have a host up on the internet where I could put stuff for little projects or just to have a place to drop a file that was under my control (mostly). A friend suggested Hetzner was pretty good and their prices are much better than Digital Ocean, so: done.

On the night I was setting up the virt, I started getting a massive headache and decided it was time to take a break. Headaches per se don't bother me because I've always been prone to them. I am also too tolerant of being in pain (mostly by ignoring it) that often I don't even notice I am until REALLY in pain. Not really a healthy behavior but one I've had for a long long time. I rotated from my computer – my "office" is along a wall in our living room that I throw a curtain around for meetings – and was about to get up to go take some ibuprofen. I lost some time. I dropped my phone. My partner says I had some kind of jerk or spasm. I went to use the toilet. I felt weird and tired and in pain but not a lot more. Then I was talking to my partner and it was clear he wasn't understanding me fully. I was having what I would later dub "speech issues". I thought I was saying something perfectly reasonable but others weren't comprehending what I meant. Ultimately we went to the ER where they didn't find anything so followup with your primary care doctor or come back in if it happens again. So we went home. I started scheduling appointments. My primary care doctor of 13 years had just retired so scheduling was a pain but I did it fairly quick. Not being able to speak correctly unsurprisingly spooked me and overcoming the "oh god I hate phones" dance was fairly trivial.

The scary part is stuff kept happening. I didn't have any more complete losses of time, but was having speech issues more frequently which I was starting to notice and could take a break to "fix it". I was also more and worse headaches and eventually nausea and some other symptoms. Eventually I got in for an MRI and they found something. It was extremely terrifying because a large mass in the brain is not something you want to read about in the MyChart iPhone app but apparently the "standard" for this stuff with major medical for-profit companies is to just automatically send the patient a scary report before their doctor has even had a chance to call them. I did not have the will to not read it because if they are sending it to me obviously I should.

At that point I was having at least small issues every day so we ended up going to the ER again because trying to get something scheduled via normal referral seemed like it would take a very long time and I was worse since even the day before. At the ER, they said I was having seizures. It's now been about two weeks since I had a brain biopsy. They thought they might have to remove a bunch more tissue as well but didn't end up needing to (well, yet). This process involves them cutting open part of my skull, taking samples and doing various things to the tissue, then placing the skull piece back with some titanium to hold it in place. I am now a cyborg with a cool scar. Which I keep saying to make a joke of something quite intense (the further details of which would be gross to add here). A treatment plan etc isn't really sorted out yet so continuing to joke is the only option. Well that and do fun stuff as I'm able to on the absurd drugs I am taking.

Anyway this post is going up just to have a way to publicly say something about something very intense I'm going through that I've determined has been affecting me for a while and will no doubt continue to affect it in the future. Lots of folks we just never told what was going on and I haven't been publicly posting about it but there are lots of folks who know me casually or not who I think would like to know even if they won't learn much more. It's not like I'm going to spend time emailing you all (sorry not sorry).

Also I wanted to post about migrating my website again! A silly ritual I seem to do every few years. This year it seems I was in a very weird headspace for the entire time and what a weird thing to prioritize while sick. I actually flipped DNS to the new site literally the day of my MRI appointment. What a weird choice! I'd had what I now recognize as a seizure ON the trip to the appointment.

Note: do NOT send me email or other contact directly unless you already know me well and would have felt comfortable sending me an email just to say hi or catch up about something not so scary. I do not want advice or random contacts.