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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 9: Fractures

This is my journal I wrote during the time I was homeless. It is broken up by week for easier reading. Feel free to read it on the web or download the complete .pdf version and print it for reading offline.

Week 429

Day 2997 - 9/14 - Probably not an allergic reaction

Today I feel sick. I am going in cycles of feeling better in the evening then bad again in the morning. Hopefully that cycle will stop and I will start to feel better soon.

I am fairly certain my chin cuts and all the scrapes on me, as well as possibly the blisters are an allergic reaction. I previously had issues with Axe body lotion before and it has probably been so long that happened that I forgot. I got some hair gel a few weeks ago and so on gaming Sundays and Tuesdays I've used it. So what likely happened is I had some on my hands and scratching got it below my skin. Also, a while ago I gelled my hair and then cut it while sticking up, then shaved, so on that day is likely when it was probably on my hands and got in my razor cuts and caused these leper like cuts on my face. So I'll definitely have to throw that away and try and remember to never ever use any Axe products ever again. Probably something used in their fragrances is what I'm allergic to.

I suppose today was ok after that. I felt pretty sick and was half asleep most of the day, but my feet were ok with being out of my boots and just in socks all day at the library, so hopefully that helps allow the blisters to heal. But with my face after bleeding or having a little puss when I wipe now and then I still feel very bad overall.

Day 2998 - 9/15 - All the nurses say yikes

Today I decided to check in at the school health center. I don't know why I don't remember that I can do that more often. I could even go to the regular hospital if I wanted. (With my free plan from the government by being poor I think a regular visit is about $20.) I asked for bandaids and if there was anything to help heal the wounds. They saw my chin wounds and said yikes. One asked to see another area, so I showed her my worst shin area and they again said yikes. She gave me a couple of fistfuls of ointments to clean things, but there was no real medicine. If anything it would have to be an antibacterial of some kind. So they made me promise to come back and wait for a time when the doc could see me on Monday.

I'm sure I'm ok though, well will be eventually. These are the exact same kind of scratches turned extreme wounds as when the doc first discovered that I had bad eczema and I had a terrible reaction to something. Considering I accidently have been using a different product from that same company a couple of times a week I still would guess it was a reaction to that. It likely got under my nails and on the razor, and so my scratched areas got infected.

I still feel pretty sick. Lots of mild fever and sleepiness. Though the pain from the sores and my feet and legs are worst, the cold has me very tired and icky feeling. Hopefully I can sleep well the next few nights and I can feel better. But lately I've been having a hard time sleeping.

Day 2999 - 9/16 - Swollen

Today was ok other than the pain of my various bad blisters. I still feel a touch sick, but really the pains have overtaken any illness. The weird thing is the antibacterial stuff has done some amazing recovery. But today, both of my feet are swollen to the point that there was no way I could wear my boots. Even my tennis shoes had to be let out as wide as they could go. And later in the afternoon I noticed my right foot was very swollen where I'd put the antibacterial stuff and bandaged it. It was swollen to the point that comparing it to the other foot it was easily 1/4" bigger, maybe even 1/2" bigger, probably 15% overall bigger if were to measure around the foot with a measuring tape.

It would be very weird if I were allergic to the antibacterial stuff. My right paw is the only spot that is really like that. It is below my right shin, which is the most affected area, so if that is some kind of poison or local reaction to something that could explain it.

I'm not really sure what is going on, just that it is. And all I can do is hope it gets better, and maybe Monday if it's not that the doc can give me some antibacterial meds that I can take to help.

Day 3000 - 9/17 - Still swollen

Today was ok I suppose, but I am still very worried about my wounds. My skin stuff is still about the same. Only really my face seems to be really improving. Which, I suppose, is the most important as that makes me feel the most self conscious. Though my shin ones, and more recently my right paw swelling, has me the most worried. This seems very beyond a general skin irritation type thing and again makes me wonder about some kind of poison running through my system. I will hopefully find out more on Monday when they sneak me in to see the doc.

Other than that I suppose I tried to enjoy the day as much as I could. I thought a bit about a new character for the pen and paper game. I thought about game stuff in general. But overall I was still extremely tired for a few reasons. And as such, the day seemed to pass slowly with nothing to look forward to.

I am hoping tonight I can sneak in to my usual spot early to hopefully recover my wounds and get some extra rest and tomorrow I will feel better. Only time will tell.

Day 3001 - 9/18 - Feeling sick from toxins

Today was mostly good. I had a restful time at school for a few hours in the morning. I took off my shoes and socks so my wounds could breathe. The church group was there as well, so I got to micro my lunch.

In the afternoon I had my pen and paper game. It was super fun. Unlike last time I didn't get hyper and interupty. In fact, I was kind of the opposite being super quiet. It was a mix of listening to the story, giving space to others since we lost one and the group dynamic changed, and being in a bit of pain and feeling sick from toxins.

My wounds aren't healing well. My chin ones are getting markedly better and may be gone in a few days, but the rest are about the same. And in a bit of worse news, the first few toes on my right paw are getting so jammed up from swelling and toxins that it is becoming difficult to bend the toes. It's not painful; I simply can't bend them very far.

So I am very worried about my wounds. Is it some kind of terrible toxin? Will it get better soon? Can the doc give me something tomorrow to help? At least with the swelling? And what of my feeling queasy and slightly faint? Is that a cold? Or is it stress and worry about my wounds? Or side effects of whatever toxin is wreaking havoc on things like my kidney or other parts? Hopefully I can get seen tomorrow and find some answers.

Day 3002 - 9/19 - Allergic and infected

Today I spent the day at school mostly waiting for my appointment to see the doc, hoping I could get in early. I suppose the waiting didn't matter, as the day basically passed the same as it would have elsewhere. The doc confirmed my suspicion that it started as an allergic reaction which triggered my eczema. But, perhaps due to the hair gel wearing me down slowly before that, apparently when it flared up some bacteria probably got in the affected areas, and that took hold in my skin and then my body had no way to fight it off. So now I am on two anti-biotic pill medications to help fight it off.

So far the medicines seem very promising. Within a few hours some of the scabbed areas were loosening their grip and a few peeled off with no effort at all. (Much like sun burnt skin when it's starting to flake.) Also, the blistering heat coming off the infected areas stopped and the skin in those areas have returned to normal temperatures (though they are still red around the wounds.)

She wants me to go back Wednesday to be sure things are clearing up, but already the swelling is down slightly, and areas that were some of the worst affected already seem to be calming down and clearing up quite quickly. So things may be much better very soon.

In the evening I played one of my pen and paper games. I like the group except for one guy. He was the one that was talking about min/maxing by taking a couple of levels of this and that for specific abilities so he could do everything himself. But more so I don't like him because he presents things in a very 'I need it so we are doing it and I don't care about others' way which railroads the group. Also, he railroaded me on several turns by starting his turn before I'd finished. And because he ignores others there was no stopping him to say there were other things I could have done. If he continues like that I'll bring it up with the DM, as that is not only incredibly rude, but it greatly hinders my learning my character, as well as hurting the entire group as the things I could have done may have had great impacts.

I'm still deciding if I like playing with strangers in open environments like this or not. Some people seem good, but others are like this guy and not people I'd choose to associate with, and others just don't seem to care about you at all. I think by the end of the year when these current sets are over I will carefully consider what I do and don't continue doing.

But for now I continue, one day at a time. There is my infection to worry about most of all, and tomorrow night is another game. But for now, hopefully I can get some sleep and recover well.

Day 3003 - 9/20 - A lot better

Today my paws are a lot better. They aren't nearly as swollen and I can walk almost normally. I'll still leave my boots off and use my tennis shoes through the weekend for maximum healing time, but I should be fine pretty quickly.

It's early morning and I've stopped by school because the library isn't open yet. It's pretty warm already. It's been super hot the past few days, to the point of worrying about what food is left in the car. But I would rather have things a bit too warm than too cold. I don't like cold at all.

But the day has just started, so hopefully I can rest and heal, have an ok time with my game in the evening, and today will be a good day.

Week 430

Day 3004 - 9/21 - Getting better

Today I am getting better. Some of my wounds are much smaller, and the swelling in my foot has gone down to the point that I can walk with almost no pain at all. Hopefully by the weekend the swelling will be fully gone and I can go back to my boots and have my ankle support again.

A couple of minor sad things did happen today though. First, I messaged the person about my campaign and was like we need to start basically this weekend or I'll have to close the group and consider it not happening. I just wouldn't have time to start a campaign once school started. She said the people were busy for a while and that was probably best. Closing the group seemed very sad.

The other sad thing was entering a voice over contest. I thought I did pretty well recording and submitted the entry. But listening to others I got sad. There is a huge gap between untrained people, like me, and those who have had proper training. I have a very long way to go before I could likely ever get any job, however short term, doing voice work.

Other than that it was a pretty ok day. I'm feeling better and excited for school next week, as my life can return to a more predictable normal.

Day 3005 - 9/22 - Preserved by not experiencing

Today was good I suppose. Nothing bad happened. And in the morning when I visited school things were open and I peeked in to my building and went to my spot. With no one around it felt kind of dangerous to be there, so I didn't stay, even though I would only be there for 30 minutes. It was warm and quiet and welcoming, something I've missed for quite a while.

But the time at the library was fine. Now that school is going it's almost entirely empty until the early afternoon. And even then most days it's still pretty quiet. I played games a tiny bit, but mostly I watched shows.

I did look around at some people 'my age' online who I used to know. They look like grandparents in some pictures. Many are gray, some have very noticeable wrinkles, few look happy. I wonder, with looking at least 15 years younger than I actually am; has my lack of life experience preserved me in some way? Has the lack of interaction with people, laughing, talking, crying, sharing, spared me from what would otherwise form wrinkles and other signs of age?

I suppose it's a good thing, as I relate to people about 15-20 years younger far better than many 'grown-ups around my age'.

But I can't help but wonder how much longer will it continue? What good is looking, and in some cases even feeling, younger if it is only because I am missing out experiencing living?

Day 3006 - 9/23 - Ok for boots

Today was ok I suppose. I'm feeling mostly better from my injuries. There are still some bad spots, but overall they are healing well. Some spots are a bit itchy, but I think in maybe a week the worst spots should be healed. I suppose the best news is good in a test now they are fine in the boots. In fact, they feel a bit safer in boots as they wiggle less (so theoretically less irritation would occur.) But, as I said before, I'll continue to wear the tennis shoes through the weekend as I can just pop those off easily in the library and then let them heal better.

I guess it was an ok day overall. Though I should still last 1.5 years until my money runs out I am still worried about it. Things, good or bad, remind me all the time. Like for the past few months I've been looking at cheaper tablets to replace my dying iPhone 4. It occurred to me today it would be great to do that for school as my tablet would be much easier to take notes on since my laptop doesn't fit on the 'desk' and is always at risk of someone knocking it off as they pass by. (It's about twice as big as 'the desk', so students walking by can easily bump it.) But seeing that it would take about 16% of what I have left for the one I want most it's just way too expensive. Now I'd feel even worse if my laptop died due to use I otherwise could have used a tablet for.

But I try to hang on. I am recovering my wounds. The boots should be fine to wear, though I won't for extra healing. So for now that is something. And these days it seems best to only focus on right now.

Day 3007 - 9/24 - Expensive day

Today is a disappointing and expensive day. I finally remembered to make an appointment and get my tire that has a leak fixed and do tire rotation. But when I got there and the guy looked at my tires he said the first two were super bad and dangerous. I guess when I last did them three years ago I only did the back one. So I was forced into getting two tires, which was nearly $200.

That will throw off my plans quite a bit if donations don't come between now and a little over a year from now. That pushes things to just about the end of 2017, reducing my expected time by about 3 months.

I suppose it's for the best. It's better they be replaced than they fail in some way and I die in a crash or something. But still, it makes me again feel like even when things look ok and I should be safe for a while that I am not really safe. I still feel like I'm barely hanging on and can never get to a truly safe spot.

Day 3008 - 9/25 - Warm outside, cold inside

Today it was apparently very warm outside with the weather showing 85F, yet inside the library was chilly and air conditioned, as it always is.

I was extremely tied all day. I've had a hard time getting to sleep the past few nights. Even now six hours after getting to the library it only feels one or two hours later to my brain.

I didn't really play today. I sort of don't feel like playing, but more so I was simply too tired feeling. I've felt more than half asleep all day.

Hopefully I can sleep well tonight. Tomorrow is the start of the new school quarter and this will be extra rough as a major parking area will be shut down. I'll have to get up at least an hour earlier than I previously have been, maybe sooner, to be sure I can get there and get parked.

But I'm excited to go back to school. I'm excited to be helping in the classes doing my TA thing again. I'm happy I can have my regular spots to be again. I'm happy to go back to regular eating again. And with every quarter there is always the hope maybe this one will be the one I find friends, or maybe even a sweetie. It seems unlikely, as all opportunities seem unlikely to me these days, but I try to hang on to hope.

Day 3009 - 9/26 - A better game day

Today was pretty good at school. Though I barely got any sleep what with falling asleep late and getting up early, overall it was an ok day. It was a decent class, and after there were many who stopped by my spot and said hi. A few said it was good to see me, and it felt genuine. Though most don't know the extent of my sad life, a few did, so that was nice to hear.

In the evening the guy who had been kind of an ass with the gaming group the past few sessions was slightly less of an ass. Maybe he realized he was railroading and trampling on people and will ease back in the future. I guess time will tell.

I also basically was set to be out of meds today, so I checked in with the doc to see if I should be ok or if we should continue. My worst spots are still about 1/2 or so inch big, so I'm not fully healed. The doc said I was right and agreed with my assessment to keep going on meds. She gave me a lower amount of one, and it should last another week.

I guess despite all my worries about the recent extra loss of money today was a pretty good day. Hopefully I can sleep quickly and well and have another good day tomorrow.

Day 3010 - 9/27 - Defeated shower

Today I am still very sleepy. I again got up extra early. I tried the new routine of parking then walking to the shower, but I feel defeated because even that short walk tired me out and I have a touch of sweat. I'll have to get up even earlier on shower days to continue my old pattern of park near the shower then drive the quarter mile back to my regular spot.

It is quite and calm here in my spot and I should cool back down pretty quickly. I am just TAing for the next few days with my next class on Friday, so it should be a pretty relaxing and fun time.

I am still very sad. My life seems sad and stuck and there is seemingly little to nothing moving forward. But I am still very happy I can be around to help others along their path and maybe avoid falling into a sad position like I have.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2016
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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