Saturday, September 12, 2015

Good News Bad News

The good news...I didn't end up on antibiotics after all. I had a fever for a few days with diverticulitis type pain but it failed to progress. The doc and I played it by ear and once the fever broke, I was in the clear.

So that was good news.

The bad news...

School started and the kiddo caught a cold, which I now seem to have.

And my colon (I know exactly where it is now!) bothers me off and on. There's something going on in there. I just wish I knew how to make it stop.

I can't wait until the GI stuff hits me at the same time as the respiratory stuff. Won't that be fun?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

All the Wrong Things on Repeat



Sorry. I'm to that point where all I can do is laugh.

I came down with diverticulitis.


Just 4-5 weeks since I recovered from the last bout.


I'm not completely sure why it happened again. I was taking a multi-vitamin (that has iron) off and on and when I didn't take that, I popped a Slo-Fe every few days.

I thought that would space out the GI side effects so that I would be okay.

Apparently not!

The one lucky thing was I had a GI appointment the day I really started to get sick. I knew I was having some kind of issue, but didn't really feel all that sick until I had to walk to get to the GI's office. Suddenly I felt weak and just 'off'.

Whadda ya know? I had a fever and didn't even know it! And, oh yeah, I was bloated like a blimp but had failed to recognize it, telling myself I was just getting fatter and really needed to step up the exercise/diet.

The way it started was different this time (ostensibly because I hadn't eaten any food that would make it worse). I had pain on the left side of my lower abdomen and in the pubic bone area (right where the colon is). It hurt to pee. A lot. I started holding it as long as I could. And then I had some weird lower back/tailbone pain.

The onset wasn't as debilitating as the first infection and at least I knew what was going on. Kind of.

I was able to get antibiotics and avoid further escalation of the infection as well as the ER. Downside? Augmentin for ten days is a lower level of hell.

Aaaaaand exercise has been derailed. Again. Not even 2 weeks out from the damn cold.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet

Shh! Don't speak too loudly. Make sure you weren't followed, too. I seem to be healthy. For more than five seconds this time!

Working on getting back into exercise and *oof* it's ugly. Starting from somewhere below zero in terms of fitness.

And I have the steroid munchies. Argh. (Yep, the cold was that bad.)

I'm trying hard not to be frustrated about it. Don't think, just do, right?

I really should be wrapping up edits on my next novel, but, instead, I'm over here procrastinating like I want a gold medal in slacking.

So much going on around here! I need to get my act together!

Kiddo starts school next week and, after some diligent advocacy on my part, she will be accelerated in math. I pushed for it, not because my kiddo is a brilliant special snowflake, but because she finished the last school year hating math and telling herself she was bad at it. She's ready to check out and give up on math and I am fighting to keep her engaged. (I've also told her she's not allowed to hate math until 5th grade. By then, I figure she'll have enough experience to know for sure that she can't stand numbers.)

If the math acceleration goes well, I may ask for a full grade skip. We'll see. It's not just about being smart, because of her early fall birthday, she's really a full year older than the rest of her class. Developmentally she's way ahead of her current peers and I am wondering if she should just go be in the grade that matches her age.

Her test scores support a grade skip. She has perfect scores on the assessment tests, which is one of the data points used to determine if a child should grade skip.

But we'll see how the math skip goes, first. It could be a disaster. We won't know until we're all sobbing over math homework in September.

As I said, I'm wrapping up my next novel. Not sure how this one will go. It's a transition book. I had to do a lot of world building and managing the aftermath of what happened in the previous book. So...fanbase will probably like it, but it's not likely to grow legs and sell much beyond that.

Which means, I need to stop spending time on it. Time to git r' done and move on.

My next project should be more commercial. And in a series with good sell through to the other books.

Just have to find my work ethic, focus and perhaps some chocolate. Like maybe a feedbag of Nutella.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Know Why I Had Diverticulitis

Iron pills.

The GI effects of iron pills were profound for me. Feosol triggered such awful diarrhea, I felt sick and couldn't leave the house as it was nearly continuous. I actually started to lose weight. After four days, I had to stop, hoping to also stop the diarrhea, but instead, the side effects of the iron somehow interfaced with my gallbladder-less system and produced bile salt diarrhea.

For three weeks straight.

I had to resort to cholestryamine powder to get things under control.

I had't needed it since the surgery to take out my gallbladder, but thanks to iron pills, I had to take it for weeks.

When everything seemed to go back to normal, I tried Slow Fe which was constipating.

Intensely constipating.

Then I ate some popcorn, which didn't go over so well. My system immediately had a negative reaction to it.

Within 40 hours or so, I had a fever along with severe abdominal pain and was in the ER wondering if I had appendicitis (the pain referred to the right).

And that is how I developed diverticulitis.

Without iron pills, knowing how bad my gut felt on them, I firmly believe I would have never gotten sick.

Monday, August 17, 2015

High Impact

I seem to have a few different posts brewing, so I'll be around for a bit.

As I always say, my exercise theme is two steps forward, one hundred steps back. It's is super frustrating. To the point where I don't know why I bother at all.

I have complained about my knee on this website for over year, but I never did anything with it because I had too many doctor appointments already for the GI stuff that started causing problems. It wasn't like I could really exercise then and, believe it or not, I don't actually want to go to the doctor. I don't enjoy it. It's not fun.

So I pace myself. I will defer appointments for non-urgent issues while I deal with whatever the crisis du jour is.

This is why my mammogram was a year late. I waited until the GI stuff had stabilized.

Anyway, this is what exercise has looked like for 2015 and I think it illustrates nicely the challenges of trying to have any healthy habits at all when your body insists on throwing curve ball after curve ball at you.

January: No exercise. Recovering from flu+asthma.

February: Able to exercise.

March: Flu (strain B this time)+asthma + sinus infection. No exercise.

April: Asthma+ sinus infection. No exercise.

May: Able to exercise.

June: Able to exercise. Woo! Two whole months in a row! Feeling lucky, I started PT for my knee.

July: Diverticulitis. Cancelled PT. No exercise, although I had increasing daily activity by the end of the month which has to happen before I can start working out.

August: Losing at least two weeks to this cold.

So 50% of the time, I'm not able to exercise. Some years are better, some are worse, but the only thing I can count on is completely de-conditioning multiple times throughout a year. I get to start at zero over and over and over again. It's not demoralizing at all! She said brightly.

And my poor knee is just doomed. I couldn't finish all the PT sessions because of the diverticulitis and then, of course, my karma being what it is, the doctor cancelled their follow-up appointment with me. I took it as a sign and just gave up.

My body has filled the medical agenda with other things.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hostile Take Over

I made all these lovely plans this week. Exercise. Play dates. Putt-putt. A business meeting with my admin with a side of splash pad for the kids and then...I got a cold.

Not just any cold.

This thing has aspirations.

It's hegemonic.

I forgot my place.

I don't get to make plans.

I don't get to be healthy on any kind of regular basis.

What kind of dumb bitch am I to think I can do anything? To think I can count on being able to show up and follow through?


Yeah, it's *just* a cold, but I also *just* finished up the diverticulitis. It's not like I'm coming into this with all this amazing health behind me.

I haven't had a bad cold like this in a while, which makes me wonder if I'm going to go back to catching every little bug around me. This happens every few years or so. I don't know if the bugs mutate and outpace my immune system or if it's some other causative factor but man does it suck.

And now I have to go make sure I have prednisone because this cold might come to that.

PS: Some more on A mazon. I found out half the authors never received the contracts that were promised to them by A mazon's management. They published their stories anyway (whereas I would have walked).

We all spent days wrestling with their upload interface (which is an internal system they use for their imprints, it's not what indies use.). The upload process was so bad, we actually developed a drinking game based on all the glitches!

THEN as if to punish us for our cooperation in the face of their incompetence, they promptly shoved all of our books into the wrong category.

So picture fiction shelved in cookbooks. We weren't coming up properly in their search engine results AND our sales were displacing books that should have been ranking in their category (so they were screwing more authors than just us!). Imagine Nora Roberts' books taking over the entire cookbook category and its bestseller list. That's what A mazon did. Good luck selling any books beyond your fan base! Sheesh!

What a travesty of a project. I will never work with them again. I can't picture a scenario where there's enough money in it for me to subject myself to these people again.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

About Celiac's and A mazon

1. Celiac's.

It did cross my mind before. However, the way this all started was with a rash, asthma and flu-like symptoms. I didn't have digestive issues. Every time I ran across someone who had Celiac's they were often ranting about how being 'glutened' had caused them to have to wrap themselves around a toilet for three days. Since that wasn't me, I thought I just had an allergy or a weird food intolerance/inflammation thing.

Now I do sometimes have digestive issues after eating wheat. And the rash. And asthma. And sneezing. And joint pain. And brain fog. And a bulging stomach that everyone thinks is a hernia but it's not. And chronic low iron with occasional bouts of anemia.

The one good thing about the fancy pants specialist is I took a deeper look at Celiac's. I have no way to know for sure, but while I don't have much in common with IBS patients, I do mirror a lot of what Celiac patients say. Not everyone With Celiac's has digestive issues and some have only mild digestive issues.

That's me!

I might just be that weird.  Who knew?

2. Regarding my A mazon project. OMG. I killed myself finishing the damn story they wanted, working through feeling like crap thanks to the diverticulitis and part of my vacation, and they left me hanging. They managed to get everyone else the contract but me. So I couldn't do anything. Couldn't plan marketing. Couldn't coordinate with the other authors. Nothing. I was in limbo.

A mad limbo that fueled some furious bike rides where I swore under my breath for the entire five miles. I was SO. MAD.

I'm still pissed. You have no idea. I showed up. I did my job. They wanted XYZ, I gave them XYZ and ABC and 123. Where was A mazon?

I watched everyone else get their contracts and start organizing their marketing campaign week after week while I got bupkis.

Then I started getting 'the contract is coming' emails. A whole string of them. And still no fucking contract.

Three weeks later...I finally get the contract. AFTER I'd already gone through the mental gymnastics to make lemonade out of my lemons. I'd made my peace with it, was prepared to move forward and had figured out a way to make good money. I'd even stopped following up, but they sent me the contract anyway!

Damn it!

I had to reverse my entire mental game and opt back in because I decided I wouldn't back out of my initial commitment.

So, seething with resentment, I made like a team player and signed the contract. There were other authors involved and this bullshit hurt them, too. Not that A mazon cared.

I'm waiting to see how much money I'm going to lose on this. It was always the case that I could make more on my own. This was not a money move, it was a PR and networking-with-A mazon-management move...which has failed spectacularly as I'm now that author, the one who kept emailing and emailing and emailing about the fucking contract.

Which, in the end, I didn't even want anymore, but felt honor bound to accept.

So I made no friends at A mazon*, things got weird with the authors because no one wanted to speak ill of the Master**, and I'll make pretty much no money.

Go me.

I am going to have to do a lot of deep breathing exercises to find my Zen on this one.

Sometimes I wonder if the person at A mazon was the GI specialist's twin or something. They were both SUCH special treats. How did I get so lucky?

*Not much of a loss. Sheesh. Corporate paychecks sure do make people complacent. Wish I had the luxury of that kind of laziness! Rep me, don't rep me. Merch my books, don't merch my books. Whatever. I've got work to do. Call me when you're back from your three hour lunch.

**Everyone was hoping to impress A mazon, so no one dared acknowledge what was happening to me lest the mighty Z on have NSA level access to our email accounts. (Given that some authors were sending Z on screen caps of confidential conversations last month, attempting to curry favor via tattling, this is not an unjustified level of paranoia.) (Yes, authors are crazy. So are readers.) This whole thing was a fucking author pageant. I thought I could be a contender, but I have zero patience with people who can't do their jobs. Do your job or leave me the hell alone because I will not smile and nod when you've proven to be incompetent< -- pageant fail.