Blood clots (by )

The doctors are now pretty sure there's blood clots lurking in Sarah. They may get the scan tomorrow, which will reveal how many and where.

They say clots are considered a dangerous condition. Not for the baby, which of course they can pluck out with surgery if Sarah seems unable to keep it supplied with blood for any reason, but for Sarah - they can dislodge and zoom round the circulatory system, then wedge somewhere, causing heart attacks or brain damage; the kinds of things that kill people or turn them into vegetables.

Sigh. I was just beginning to think that the part of my life where the things most precious to me were regularly taken from me due to things beyond my control might have been coming to an end. Perhaps not.

Diagnosis? (by )

Well, today's news is that Sarah had to endure the insertion of a cannula and the taking of an arterial blood sample, which involves a special extra-painful needle.

However, after much consultation of doctors, they now think she has pneumonia, and probably blood clots too - either in her legs, lungs, or both.

So she will be there at least a few more days while they give her more antibiotics, along with injections to thin her blood, and take her for an ultrasound scan of her kidney (which appears inflamed) and some kind of mysterious scan (apparently it's not an MRI scan, but it had better bloody not be a CT scan with a baby inside her - and a CT scan wouldn't be that good for soft tissue work, would it?) for blood clots.

But the stress is starting to show on both of us now - when she was told she was having another arterial blood sample today (which was very painful the last time), she got a bit tearful, and when I visited this evening, she really didn't want me to go home. And I'm starting to fold under the strain of knowing I need to move house at the end of the month, while at the same time everyone I do any work for seems to have decided that the end of this month would be a REALLY GOOD TIME to put a deadline.

You see, I normally thrive in critical situations; I become rational and quick-thinking when other people panic. But, it would appear, I can only maintain this for four days in a row before I start to do some very out of character things like snapping at people.

Avalanche functions (by )

One way of looking at the design of a cipher is that you are taking a small fixed-block-size cipher of known good design, and finding a way to extend the security of that small block cipher to a larger block, potentially variable sized.

For example, stream ciphers (and their close cousins, 'cipher modes' like OFB, CFB, and so on) work by splitting the message into smaller blocks and applying the mini-cipher to each block in turn; but if they did that with the same key each time, the result would not be particularly secure for various reasons - weaker than the mini-cipher - so they use various means of causing interrelationships between the mini-blocks.

This brings about a property known as "avalanche"; namely, changing a single bit of the input should cause 'cascading changes' such that (on average) half of the output bits are changed, meaning that the new output is as related to the old output as two independently chosen random bit strings.

Still in hospital (by )

Well, the medics seem unsure as to exactly what's wrong with Sarah, so they're keeping her in the wards for observation.

They think there's some kind of infection afoot, so she's on antibiotics. Her heart rate still keeps getting high, and she seems to be having trouble regulating her temperature correctly (always either freezing or boiling), and she gets breathless if she walks ten metres to the toilet.

But the baby still seems perfectly healthy! 🙂

Haircut! (by )

After not having been to a hairdresser's since somewhere in 2001, I have, in the interests of safety when working with metal, not getting it caught on things and hurting myself, not getting it blown across my face, and not getting it sticking to food between plate and mouth, I have had my hair cut.

New hair

It feels SO GOOD. Oh, and it will save in shampoo costs!

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