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

Hahahahahaha.

Hahahahahaha.

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

I came down with diverticulitis.

Again!

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

Wow.

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.

Hahahahahahaha.

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?

Sigh.

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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

More Fancy Pants Updates

So the first order of business with the fancy pants GI doc (beyond not listening to me at all) was to test me for SOD.

Naturally, all the spasming stopped right before the nuclear imaging of my biliary ducts. Save for a week this past May, the damn ducts haven't stopped twanging like a banjo for over a year.

The imaging showed no issue.

Which was no surprise given how normal my gut is at the moment. (I cut out some foods while on vacation, just naturally, and seem to be uncovering some additional sensitivities that might be a trigger. Right now, it twinges after I eat and occasionally spasms, but is remarkably well-behaved.)

So I cancelled the upper GI scope. There didn't seem to be much point in continuing with this specialist. If the imaging had shown SOD, I might've stuck around, but, you know, there's nothing wrong with me according to them (except IBS, so they say, and there's nothing they can do for that, apparently).

Plus...I tried to go up after my nuclear imaging thing and ask them about updating my medical record and no one cared.

I asked for a nurse's appointment so I could update their records, but nope, no go.

Call me a wimp, but I'm just not willing to undergo anesthesia when their attitude is so cavalier. I've done procedures in this medical system and I've seen their pre-anesthesia s.o.p. and this bullshit ain't it.

Also, I don't know why I need a scope. That was not explained to me. The primary impetus seemed to be the fact that I hadn't had one in two years, not any actual medical issue. (God, that appointment was really horrible.)

My thought at the moment is to go back to my regular GI and ask about testing for Celiac's. And keep an eye on my TSH and pray my ferritin/iron goes up.

I did find a multi-vitamin I can tolerate (sort of) but there's not much iron so I'm not sure how much help it is.

Oh and I received a survey on the fancy pants GI doctor, which I thought was unusual. Either they're new or they're bad or both. Anyway, I politely explained my issues and I hope someone somewhere gives a shit.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Wish I Was Making This Up

Lots going on here. I hope I can frame it all coherently. We just returned from a lovely vacation full of seafoam green water and lazy mornings. It was a fantastic break and I'm thankful it coincided with finally feeling like I was over the diverticulitis. 

The big news on the health front is I finally got into the fancy pants hospital system, and so far, it is a disaster. No one wants to listen or properly review my case.

The appointment veered in strange and wild directions, from revoking various diagnoses to invoking other diagnoses and back again as the specialist played catch-up with the medical records. It went a little like this:

"You did not have pancreatitis.

Why did they take your gallbladder? It was fine.

You don't have Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. If you did, the ERCP would have worked.

You probably have IBS. Yes that can be point specific and high up under your rib cage.

Oh, I see. Huh. There were stones*.

You probably did have pancreatitis.

They did need to take out the gallbladder.

Still not sold on the SoD and still thinking you have IBS.

But I'd like to test for Celiac's and do some imaging on the SoD."

All of this was addressed to my husband, by the way. Which is why I bring him on some of the more critical appointments. He is allowed to exist**. I am not even allowed to speak. To wit, I was never permitted to explain I have been gluten free for a while now in response to the idea that I might have Celiac's Disease***.

So I had to pay for useless blood work because I wasn't able to get a word in edgewise and there was zero interest in anything I had to say. Everything I said was immediately shot down and negated. This is "care that cares****" folks. Lucky me!

If I had realized the blood work required me to be eating gluten, I would have attempted to be more vocal about it. Stupid me. I thought the specialist knew what they were doing. Gah. At least I was able to send a follow-up email later on explaining I no longer eat wheat.  

I have no idea what's going to happen from here. Do I do a gluten challenge? How do I mitigate the asthma and manage the risk of wheat + flu?

And I guess we'll be finding out if I'm somehow the only person on the planet with IBS so high up in the rib cage that it feels/acts like pancreatitis. Out of curiosity,  I read hundreds of patient accounts about their experiences with IBS and I don't match any of them.

I don't care about the diagnosis at this point. Call my GI stuff whatever the hell you want, just optimize my system so I can function. I get the feeling the gastro thought I was arguing against IBS when what I really wanted was for them to LISTEN to me already. 

My 'questioning' of the IBS diagnosis was focused on the lack of attention to details and the forcefulness with which I'd been put on mute as a patient. I mean, hell, just slap a ball gag on me when I walk into the exam room why don't ya? Or I could just not come to the appointment at all since my presence, apparently, isn't all that important.

As for the specialist...if they keep this up, I don't know what I'll do. Maybe they'll chill out. Maybe the various tests will offer some clarity and give me enough credibility that I'll be allowed to have a voice. It's really disheartening to have finally broken through the administrative dysfunction at this place and get an appointment only to find out this is the kind of doctor I'm stuck dealing with.

AND on top of all the BS above...My medications weren't even updated and I haven't been in this medical system for a decade. So they're planning to do general anesthesia for a scope, but have no idea what meds I'm on, what I weigh or what has changed in my health history. I'm going to go have to hunt someone down and bug them about updating their system. 

Or is it not important to know these things before you take someone's life in your hands? 

*Stones were news to me! No one ever told me!

**The problem is the hubby isn't so hot at medical stuff. He could tell the appointment was bad, but didn't have any idea of what to say--since he was the one with all the respect--to get it back on track.

***You know, Celiac's is a real possibility. 

****I made that slogan up.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Since You Asked

This is how my writing is going...

The same day my stomach blew up...

I had a call with Ama zon's HQ, which was/is kind of a big deal. 

It was for a special project I'd been invited to participate in.

I white knuckled my way through the call, because you can't not take a call from Ama zon when you're an indie. These calls can make you.

But I don't know if I'll be able to make their deadline now.

To avail myself of the opportunity with Ama zon, it was essential to have a very productive week the week I got sick. I needed to make word count, not be stuck in the ER and down for the count with pain.

I'm very behind now. I was distracted by the diverticulitis. The pain was so bad, I tried to just sleep through it as much as I could. Focusing on anything else seemed impossible.

Other than my body fucking up my writing career, everything is going okay. I have a fan base and avoided Kindle Unlimited, which has insulated me somewhat from the worst of the latest changes in the industry. (A lot of folks just saw their income evaporate overnight because the put all their eggs in KU.) My last book performed well--not a break out hit but a solid seller with good conversion to my backlist (i.e. they bought the other books in the series). This year won't be as rich as last year, but I'm still a profitable writer.

I'm surviving.

And I think I'm done posting for a while...unless something else happens that I feel the need to write about.
 . 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

This Much Fun Is Illegal

1. I ate plain scrambled eggs today! That has been the highlight of my week so far. So it goes first.

2. I wonder if I subconsciously knew something was up when I wrote that Update post. I could have posted any time...why right before I get sick? Interesting. I did have some weird stuff going on, but I thought it had resolved and I couldn't tell ya if it was related to what happened later or not. No clue.

3. The antibiotics are kicking in so the pain is not as bad. I might be pain free by tomorrow. Just in time to go out of town and squeeze my bloated belly into a formal evening gown while making nice with relatives I can't stand. That should be interesting. 

4. I seem to have a cold now. And a canker sore. I would say it's stress BUT the ER was filthy. I mean, truly filthy. Everyone was professional, but I kind of don't want to ever go back due to the filth. 
 
I've never seen anything like it.

There were used gloves on the floor in my room and in one of the bathrooms. The toilets had old smears of urine/fecal matter/blood all over them. I actually had to clean a toilet before I could use it. 

When I was in the waiting room, even with as much as my stomach/groin/legs hurt, I had strong urges to clean things up. There was litter everywhere. Empty bags of chips (yes, plural) all over the place. As I waited, someone dumped a whole bottle of formula on the floor and left it there (perhaps, like me, they knew there were no towels in the restroom).

So I imagine I've picked up something from that environment. It seemed like a place where a cold or flu (or ebola!) could fester. And I can believe the toilet seats could give someone herpes...or chlamydia or gonorrhea. Ha. Maybe that's where all the STDs are coming from.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My New Weight Loss Diet

It's not a good one.

Spent all day in the ER.

I was thinking possible appendicitis.

Fever + 48 hours of non stomach flu abdominal pain + elevated white blood cells.

They were thinking chlamydia or gonorrehea.

I told them, "I'm fat, forty-two and too tired for that much excitement."

They remained skeptical.

And since I have a vagina and abdominal pain, they had to be sure I wasn't secretly a whore.

I'm not.

I think they were surprised.

Anyway, the CT scan came back with diverticulitis.

The pain is excruciating.

(This is how I know my pancreatitis was/is mild.)

I regret turning down the pain meds.  Advil doesn't touch this. Not even close.

I have to keep reminding myself, I don't do well on narcotics and they don't really help either.

But I am still wistful.

And not eating.

All this GI stuff runs in one side of my family. I used to have great digestion but it looks like the DNA is catching up to me.

PS: Everyone was kind and compassionate while also asking me over and over about STDs (as if I would know that without a test anyways). This was the only question that was repeated. They (seriously, more than one) had this look in their eyes like 'oh yeah, you're gonna have it' which got to be kind of weird. WTH?

PPS: Hemoglobin is going down based on the ER bloodwork. I'll likely be anemic with the next menstrual cycle.  Damn it.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Update

I don't have breast cancer, which I believe was the big question I left hanging back when I last posted. I have felt guilty about not updating that, but at the same time, I'm not convinced that anyone reads this blog so... Sorry if I left you hanging. I didn't think you were real.
 
(Also, I'm having lots of computer issues and I can't remember my password to log into this site from the new laptop. Ha. So I have to have the patience to deal with the finicky computer that remembers how to get on here.)

As for the rest of my health, I'm going to attempt to update by theme...

Asthma

It's been an interesting year. I had both flu strains. Strain B shut down the kiddo's school for a week. We all got it and it wasn't as bad as strain A, but it was persistent. It took me 6 weeks to get the asthma under control. Kiddo and I ended up with sinus infections to boot. The whole thing sucked and took about 8 weeks total to clear up.

Overall, control has been poor and I have ended up on a lot of steroids. Fortunately the HPA axis did not suppress, so I have that going for me.

Gallbladder/Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

I have no clue what is going on. Near the one year anniversary of the gallbladder surgery, I had a week where everything was perfect and I thought I was healed and then...it all started back up again.  More recently, I had a touch of pancreatitis for a few days (that was exacerbated by a particularly bumpy bike ride). So this is going to be an ongoing challenge, I think. 

I find if I take the muscle relaxants at night for several days that it can get mild flares under control (and I only start feeling stoned on day 3 so I can still drive...for a while anyway).

And the food sensitivities don't help, either. (Yes. I still have those. I know. I'm special. Believe me, I would prefer to be normal.) I also don't digest food so well, and weird food sensitivities aside, lots of things upset my system.

Energy (Adrenals etc...)

A.m. cortisol levels were at 17 the last time they were tested, so thumbs up on that. I do have fatigue and weakness, though. For the last year plus, when the birth control pill pack ends, my energy falls off a cliff. (This happened during the HPA Axis suppression as well and then cleared up as I recovered only to come back with a vengeance.) I've mentioned it to the OB/GYN who just shrugged and told me I could skip my periods and that was it. Since they didn't give me enough pill packs to really do that, I can't opt out as much as I would like to. If it's a vacation or a special event, I'll do it, but otherwise, I suck it up.

This fatigue is pretty much as bad as adrenal insufficiency fatigue, except it's not my adrenals. I found one other person with PCOS who experienced the same energy drop off, so maybe it ties into the PCOS somehow. It is debilitating. I don't cook for my family. I don't write. I nap a lot, which is unheard of for me. My brain hurts (literally under my skull) when I have to think. It's awful and I'm not sure there's anything that can be done about it, which is frustrating. I'm losing ten days a month to this bullshit. 

Some blood work came back recently showing some potential issues that might be confounding things. My thyroid is (possibly)  starting to go. Not abnormal yet, but it made a significant jump in that direction. The graph looks like a hockey stick. I will be requesting more blood work on that and we'll see what shakes out.

And I have no idea how I'm not anemic. Somehow I have normal iron levels, but the other levels that feed iron levels are off-the-charts low. Like, there's almost no ferritin.  RBCs are hanging on a wing and a prayer. All the other iron markers are wonky.  I am always on the cusp of anemia, so I'm not totally shocked, but these lab results are way worse than usual. 
 
I'm supposed to be taking iron supplements but my gallbladder-less system can't tolerate them. Like, at all. And the PCP seems to not give a shit so...I guess I'm going to have to become anemic or find a new PCP before that happens who will be a little more proactive.

Exercise

I'm biking again and it was way easier than last year...until I got the B strain of the flu. That strain hit my muscles and my legs have really hurt as I return to exercise. Way beyond what would be normal for reconditioning after an illness. I'm talking a month later, it still hurts like a razor is shredding the muscle fibers in my legs. It finally seems to be resolving, though. I think. At least the last ride went well.
 
My time per mile still sucks and I wonder how much of that might be the low iron and changes in the thyroid. I just can't go. I keep trying and nothing improves. Imagine every workout feeling like the first time...that's where I'm stuck.
 
I've started physical therapy for my knee. Doc says there's not much hope of improvement, that the problem is likely chronic at this point. It sounds like my options are baby it forever or trash it further to the point where they are forced to try surgery.

One step forward...a hundred backwards. That's my exercise theme.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Raining Bullets


1. Here are the dietary constraints my body visits upon me, please tell me what to eat for dinner.

-No fat. Biliary ducts and pancreas can't handle it.

-No sugar/carbs. Prediabetic.

-No salt. My blood pressure is very salt sensitive and I'm finding it impossible to avoid. Worse, I crave the stuff.

-No wheat. The asthma is wheat sensitive.

-Easy on the nightshades. I can handle some, but too much will cause problems with the biliary ducts and produce reactions like a raw and red eczema patch on my neck along with joint inflammation. Potatoes are okay though, except for that no carbs thing.

So yeah, you try cooking for a family with all those limitations. It's not easy. I'm down to yogurt and a Good Greens bar for breakfast and lunch in the hopes that I can then handle a heavier dinner. Actual results vary.

Invite me to your house for dinner and we'll have a super awkward conversation about all the things I can't eat. That's really fun and not at all weird.

Also, I've begun to fear tomatoes. They can do mean things to me, but I never know when it's coming.
 
2.My mammogram didn't come back clean. So I'm going in for more imaging. I'm pissed. How many things are going to go wrong? They see something, but they aren't sure if it's anything so...come back.

How long I waited for the mammogram appointment? 6 weeks.

The follow-up appointment? 48 hours.

In this case, speed does not exactly inspire confidence.

3. We are more seriously discussing adoption as a way to grow our family. I'm too old and my body is too weird for me to be pregnant again (much as I loved it).  I have tried to be satisfied with one child, but whenever we go out to eat and we sit in a booth, that one empty space  reminds me it needs to be filled.

(I'm sure that sounds silly, but for me it's a bittersweet moment.)

My family isn't done.

I don't know if adoption will work out. I'm not sure my house will pass a home study in terms of bedroom space and the mammogram thing needs to be dealt with (obv.). Also, I'd like the kiddo to be a little bit older. Maybe 8 or 9 just so she's a bit more developed and hopefully able to better handle the split in parental attention.

We would adopt here in the US, in case anyone was wondering. Don't know what age yet. Younger than the kiddo though.

4. Fucking eczema. That about sums it up. Skin stuff is a bitch. Damn. I went to the grocery store last week, and looking at the receipt, I realized 15% of my grocery money went for lotion. Sheesh. Between that and the prescriptions and the custom made lotions, I'm into it for at least $300 at this point. And nothing really works--even with using OTC steroid cream once every 3-4 days.

Aquaphor at least keeps the pool water from aggravating the kiddo's eczema. So swim team is happening if nothing else. If we can keep her skin from cracking and bleeding, she'll have a successful swim season (meaning she trained consistently, we're not doing meets yet, if ever).

I'm counting down to Spring because that's when the eczema will finally retreat. I cannot wait.

Next year, we'll start OTC steroid cream once a week in September. Maybe if we do that we can head it off.

5. Random life stuff.

Kiddo is into Egypt and we've been geeking out as a family about Cleopatra, mummies and pyramids. To my delight, my kiddo will sit and watch documentaries with rapt attention. She's reading her way through a pile of books on the subject and has memorized most of the hieroglyphs, which we didn't know until we took her to a museum program and she started translating them into letter equivalents.

My husband has fashioned a playhouse pyramid out of cardboard for her. She's been very busy decorating it with her Egyptian stencil kit, while I hover in the background, wiping proud tears from my eyes.  I love seeing her engrossed in something like this, and it is a joy to find ways for her to learn/experience more on a hot topic.

At school, we are dealing with social aggression and it's not been fun. Bullies suck and school response has sucked even more. It's been tough for all of us to navigate the issues that have come up. I hear it just gets harder which is....rather deflating.

(Side note: Is there a genetic component to bullying? We have three generations in a row that bullies have targeted. I know bullying is common, but it's interesting to me that there seems to be a familial thread. My husband and his siblings weren't bullied, but we were in my family. What makes the difference? Or is it that social skill deficits/whatever it is that triggers targeting are transferred from one generation to the next via (faulty) modeling and they can't pass down what they don't know?)

(Side note 2: To the mom who incessantly tells me no one ever bullies in her kid's school because the school is so awesome and they won't tolerate it....IF your kid has never complained of being picked on, here's a NEWSFLASH: You have to consider that YOUR child is the bully or the bystander who does nothing.  Social aggression is a universal experience. If any school had the magic formula to abolish aggressive behavior, it would be world fucking news.Please shut up. You're being a jerk.)

Writing-wise....I am bad at math. So bad you probably shouldn't trust my 15% mentioned above. So, basically, I grossed more money than ever last year from writing, far surpassing my previous Fortune 500 gig.

But.

It never once felt like I had that kind of cash flow coming in, to the point, where I thought I'd made less money.

Clearly I need to improve my accounting, which I'm putting some things in place to do that. However, even with improved tallying, I can't figure out how to harness my cash flow and allocate it properly to maximize it. I never know what I'm making from month to month.

It used to be, I knew at least the next 60 days of income. Now, I have a publisher for some of my stuff and those statements and checks are quarterly. I never know what they will be. Worse, at the moment, they're the biggest chunk of income.



And my income is objectively in the toilet at the moment, but that doesn't mean the whole year will be like that.

So...how not to suck at small business money? I don't know.

The actual writing is slow as always. The flu fubared my writing flow and I'm struggling (STILL!) to get into a groove. What do you think I'm doing here? Procrastinating. That's what.

I'm going to sign up for some art classes as I'd like to expand into other creative outlets for business and personal reasons. Business-wise, I want to learn how to illustrate children's books as well as improve my Photoshop skills. That being said, my hands are finicky arthritic things so I'm not sure if using them even more is such a fantastic idea or how great my fine motor control will even be, but I'm going to dip my toe in and see what shakes out.