Feb. 29, 2020: Happy Leap Day!

image courtesy of johnhain via pixabay.com

I LOVE Leap Day!

I intend to enjoy it to the hilt!

Have a happy day!

Published in: on February 29, 2020 at 8:50 am  Comments (1)  

Fri. Feb. 28, 2020: Trying to Catch Up & Move On

Friday, February 28, 2020
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

I ran out of energy pretty fast yesterday. I only got a bit of work done at the library, and then I had to leave.

However, an editor with whom I’ve worked multiple times contacted me to ask if I had any pitches; they’re looking for pitches and would like to work with me again. So I’ll craft something over the weekend and send it off, and also craft a pitch for two other publications who couldn’t use what I recently pitched, but like my writing and asked me to please pitch again.

Another of my editors sent me the next two books for review, so I will work on them this weekend. Their publication is in crunch time, so I can up my reading, if I’m up to it physically.

The editor for the big article confirmed receipt and said they’re pleased with it. I hope this starts a long and productive relationship for us.

Worked on contest entries; almost entirely done with this batch. Which is good, because the next batch was just shipped. So I’m on track with all of that.

My friend’s scripts inspired an idea for a script of my own — very different from hers — which I originally thought I’d do as a radio play, but now I’m thinking to do as a gentle, fun stage comedy for the James Stevenson prize, which just opened again for submissions.

In other words, I’m starting to feel more like myself, and ready to do some of my own writing again.

Actually slept well last night, which was nice, even though I went to bed ridiculously early.

Was up rather early, too, and felt well enough to experiment with a new blueberry -chocolate muffin recipe. I substituted orange juice for milk, and honey for sugar. added in some baking soda, cinnamon, and then the blueberries and chocolate.

Had to get my act together to go to Yarmouth RMV to renew my driver’s license. A friend suggested I do it at AAA. Which normally would be a great suggestion, except for my negative history with them, starting when I had a breakdown on the NY Thruway at age 17 on July 4th, with drunken yahoos were shooting (yes guns, real guns) over the top of the car, and AAA said, “Oh, we don’t service that highway,” hung up, AND LEFT ME THERE (my friend and I were rescued by the cops, who got us a jump and then escorted us with sirens back downstate because it was a faulty starter, and if I’d slowed down or stopped, it would all be over). AAA has screwed me every time I’ve needed them, so I’m no longer a member. Things like refusing to replace my battery (when I paid for that service as part of my plan). Things like telling me they “couldn’t” give me a jump start for a dead battery because my car was in the garage, and therefore it wasn’t “roadside assistance” — then telling me I should roll the car down the driveway into the street. Riiiight. Jerk-offs. Plus, the last time we tried to get paperwork done there (our registration renewal), the clerk INSISTED that the paperwork from the insurance company was invalid because it carried an electronic stamp instead of a physically inked rubber stamp, and she refused the renewal. She told me I had to “go to the insurance company to get it stamped.” The fact that they do everything electronically (there is no office or agent here — I deal with them directly) meant nothing to her. Go and get a physical stamp, or no renewal. This is the 21st century, chickie doodle. Get with the program.

When we went over to RMV, they rolled their eyes at the story, said, “Yeah, they do that a lot over there” and processed it. In 5 minutes. When we’d waited 45 minutes for the clerk at AAA, who had NO ONE ahead of us, but was busy whining at her supervisor about her vacation time. And when we tried to get the paperwork for my mother’s passport renewal, they were “out” of the forms, and then they couldn’t figure out how to make the camera work. So really, why bother going there at all? They were great when my mom had to renew her license 5 years ago, but that’s the only positive experience we’ve had with them. And with all the paperwork for this “Real ID” bullshit (because it has NOTHING to do with “security” and EVERYTHING to do with control) — AAA is NOT going to be easier, based on past experience.

So I went to the RMV, prepared for it to take hours. With a bagful of paperwork up the ying yang. In and out with my new temporary license in under 30 minutes. Not bad.

After that was all sorted out, there were a slew of other errands to run, some time at the library, getting my mother’s blood pressure checked, and then, going home to finish reading my friend’s second screenplay and work on the books for review and finishing contest entries.

I’m going to do a little around the house this weekend, but want to focus on writing, reading, and healing. I need to get back into both my writing and my yoga routines.

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on February 28, 2020 at 11:31 am  Comments Off on Fri. Feb. 28, 2020: Trying to Catch Up & Move On  

Thurs. Feb. 27, 2020: More Needles

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Rainy, windy, getting colder

Yesterday at work with my client was fine. She’s off to Thailand today; let’s hope she stays safe and healthy.

I read one of my friend’s two scripts and loved it. I have a couple of notes, but not even a page’s worth, and a good portion of those are delight in specific lines. I will read the other one today or tomorrow. I want to send her the notes over the weekend, latest.

The referral hadn’t gone through to the other specialist, and that had to be re-sent; but I talked to the office later in the afternoon, and the second procedure is scheduled for March 20th, which is perfect. I have a day of prep at home; the procedure should take three hours from the time I’m in to going home, and I have the weekend to recover. It gives me a chance to get my equilibrium back from everything that’s happened in the past month.

Early this morning, I had to go and get another blood draw. Even though the technician missed the vein the first time (because that’s the story of my life with needles), she was gentle and kind, and it wasn’t too bad.

The weather is awful, but I’m getting a few things done at the library, and then going to home rest and work from home.

I moved upstairs to my own bed last night, for the first time since surgery. Had a trilogy of really bizarre dreams; post-anesthesia side effects. I had that the last time I was under anesthesia. Definitely missed Charlotte — Tessa was simply annoyed she no longer had the bed all to herself!

Put in a few extra protections around the house; anyone who shouldn’t be there will get a nasty surprise. No, I’m not detailing them here — that would be counterproductive.

Tomorrow’s post will likely be quite late, since I have a bunch of scattered errands that need to be done first thing, and I’m sure everything will take ten times longer than it should, because — Mercury Retrograde.


Published in: on February 27, 2020 at 9:47 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 27, 2020: More Needles  

Wed. Feb. 26, 2020: More Medical Appointments

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Monday was tough, back at my client’s. Everyone was perfectly nice, but I only managed just under 3 hours, before I had to go home. Then switched out some books at the library, and went home to rest.

Worked on contest entries. The second batch of them will arrive any day, and I’m almost done with the first batch.

Went to be ridiculously early on Monday night, which means I woke up around 2 on Tuesday morning. Went back to sleep a little after 3 — and then was woken up a little after 5 when someone was on the deck with a flashlight. It was definitely not a car driving by — the double arc of light from headlights make a different pattern, even with the curtains closed. This was a single beam of light coming through the doors from the back room to the deck. Charlotte growled and puffed up to about three times her normal size. I sat up. Whoever it was ran away. I didn’t have my glasses on in time to see any details.

At the time of this posting, I’m still trying to decide whether or not to try filing a police report, to have it on the record. I’d like to have it on record; I also know that, because nothing actually happened, they won’t want to bother taking down the report. They will dismiss is as a post-surgery hallucination. Obviously, they won’t take Charlotte as serious corroboration. Well, when someone breaks in a few months down the line and I whack ’em upside the head with one of my cast iron frying pans, I don’t wanna hear any guff from the cops.

Physical first thing in the morning. I dreaded it. However, I really like my new doctor, and we had an actual conversation about what needs to happen when. She listened to me. She is firm that I am NOT to lose 30 pounds; she said it’s way too much. 15 tops. We talked about increased physical activity — yoga is great. I guess I’ll be using my mom’s exercise bike when she’s not! So that’s good. But tomorrow, first thing — MORE bloodwork. And the next procedure MUST be done sooner rather than later.

Went to work for a few hours. I hoped to do four hours Tuesday, and a little over four today, but who knows.

Will get my next review assignments tomorrow, and waiting for final acceptance of the big article. I want to create another pitch for a magazine that turned down a pitch for a particular piece, but wants more from me. I’m hoping that one of the two pieces I pitched another magazine on Monday will be picked up.

Not much to say, really. Just plugging along.

Going to try to do some serious healing this weekend. Hopefully, in the next couple of days, I’ll know when the second procedure is scheduled. I don’t understand why everyone seems to think no one has to work for a living, and can afford to take off endless amounts of time and still pay the bills.

Published in: on February 26, 2020 at 6:33 am  Comments Off on Wed. Feb. 26, 2020: More Medical Appointments  

Tues. Feb. 25, 2020: “Easing” Back in, Rather than Jumping

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Well, I’m back, sort of. Still very tired, and can’t do much. But I made it through surgery, and now we’re waiting for pathology results. And waiting for the second procedure to be scheduled.

Up at 4:30 in the morning on Thursday, was picked up a little before 6, at the hospital by 6:04. Pre-op went well. Very kind administrators and nurses. I had a gentle nurse who didn’t hurt me putting in the IV, and the anesthesiologist came by to talk to me, too. The pre-op is a ward, there were about ten of us being prepped, but the nurses really did protect our privacy. Out of the ten being prepped, I was the only one who had actually followed all the instructions. I met my OR nurse, who was also very kind.

I was given a Super Secret Code to give to the person who’d dropped me off (who I had to list as my Emergency Contact) and the person who was going to pick me up (who I had to list as my next of kin. They wouldn’t let me list my mother, because she is in her nineties). When I was worried about my mother not getting information in case something went wrong, my gentle nurse promised to take care of it, and also told me that my specialist was the kind of guy who’d drive over and talk to my mom himself if need be.

My specialist came by to answer any last minute questions. Of course, I’d come up with some, because I wanted to understand the science of a few points. He kindly took the time to explain it.

The anesthesiologist rolled me from pre-op to OR himself — his policy is that once he administers the first part of the cocktail, he does the gurney rolling.

Next thing I knew, we were rolling out of the OR, and I popped right up. He was rolling me again, and had to stop and put a hand on my shoulder — I guess I thought I was walking right out. He must have given me another hit of something, because I went out again, at least long enough for him to get me to recovery, which was set up like another ward, only instead of being in numbered bays, we were in lettered bays. (In case anyone is interested, I was happy with my number, numerology-wise, and my letter was the same as my middle initial, so I felt like I landed where I should both times. You take positive portents wherever you can find them).

My gentle nurse was there, and started laughing, because when she told me she and her husband were planning a trip to Ireland, I started telling her about National Trust properties. So they knew my mind was working, I guess, even though I was high as a kite.

I had a headache from not having coffee that morning — the only pain I felt, let me tell you, and they were nice enough to get me coffee from the break room. They thought it was hilarious that I wanted coffee.

Both my specialist and my anesthesiologist are ADORED by the staff there, because they are good at their jobs, good with patients, and nice to the staff. I was in the bay nearest the nurses’ station and did some serious eavesdropping.

I also found out that my specialist had specifically requested that anesthesiologist and the OR nurse for this procedure. It didn’t hit me until a day or two later that, although he was optimistic about it all, he was making sure he had specific people he trusted in place in case something went wrong.

I had the same nurse as looked after me pre-op looking after me in recovery, along with a second nurse, most of the time. I didn’t need much; I just got out my book and read. They helped me to the bathroom once, but I was fine. My second nurse was called away to do something else for a few minutes, so they had someone else cover for her — and she started telling me that this procedure was only a Band-Aid, I should have had the more radical surgery, and I’d just be back in a few months.

Life being what it is, that was just when my specialist walked in, checking on me before he went back into the OR. He said to her, in a kind, but firm voice, “That is between me and my patient.” She scuttled away, and he excused himself to talk to the supervisor and had her switched to some other patients. He was absolutely polite and calm during the whole thing, but firm.

He came back to make sure I was okay (I was); he’d wanted to check on me, in case I’d been released before he got out of the next surgery. (I’d been squeezed in between people who’d been scheduled for months). He also wanted to make sure I called the office if anything worried me between now and the time we have the follow-up in three weeks.

The nurse called my friend, and I texted, and they were there shortly. My friend had to go trucking all the way to the other side of the hospital to get my prescription filled, and they I was wheeled out to the car. Which looked like Mt. Everest from where I was in the wheelchair, but they helped me in.

Brought back memories of being a candy striper, let me tell you.

I felt fine when I got home, and hungry. I made myself eat a light meal for lunch and a light meal for dinner. Watched a DVD and went to sleep early.

My nurse advocate called that afternoon and seemed surprised that my surgery was today — for some reason, she had it down as pre-op. I know we had a conversation — could not tell you what it was about.

Charlotte was a good little nurse. I have to say, through this whole thing, Charlotte stepped up as a Good Kitty. She was with me all the time. Willa is a little upset, and Tessa doesn’t understand why I’m downstairs — she can hear my voice, but I don’t come up. But Charlotte stays right next to me, walks me to the bathroom and back, etc., etc.

The good feelings stopped Friday, when I felt I’d been hit by a steamroller. Friday was pretty miserable. I didn’t feel too bad when the hospital nurse called early in the morning, but felt worse as the day continued. I had a bad night, and by Saturday morning, I was pretty disheartened. Charlotte was helpful and cuddly and purry through it all.

But by midmorning on Saturday, I started feeling steadily better. I read A LOT on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, a mix of books for fun and books for review. Yes, I was coherent enough to know what I was reading. Plus, they were good. Re-read a bunch of Helene Hanff’s books, and read Adrienne Miller’s memoir, IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, about her time at GQ and ESQUIRE. She’s ten years younger than I am, but she was starting there at the same time as I was making the leap to Broadway, and we missed meeting at a bunch of events over the years. Anyway, it was a very good book.

Cooked dinner on Saturday, which was harder than it should have been.

Slept decently well. Sunday morning, I went out for about an hour, just to see if I could: Target and Trader Joe’s. Needed about three hours to recover.

After lunch, I turned around the edits for the article and wrote one of the reviews.

The charging cord for my phone broke — because, of course it did, Mercury Retrograde. Fortunately, I have a plethora of cords from other dead phones from which to choose.

Made chicken potpies for dinner Sunday night, which turned out well. Glad I did a big grocery shop before all this started.

Had a bad night again, Sunday going into Monday. Charlotte was right there, to purr me through it.

Up early on Monday, wrote the second review. Looked at the edits again for the article.

Attempted to go to work at my client’s for a few hours on Monday morning. Also sent off the article edits and the review. Some office tasks, especially those involving Mercury-Retrograded electronics just about reduced me to tears a few times.

Then home and resting.

I have a general physical this morning, and then I hope to go to my client’s for a few hours. Then rest. I dread the physical. All I can think is, “Now what? What more tests/needles/hell will they come up with?”

I’ll have to ease back in, not leap back in. That’s the way it goes. But I’m working on a few more article pitches. And I need to get another slew of LOIs out by the end of the week.

I also have to get my driver’s license renewed this Friday at the RMV. Can I tell you how much I RESENT having to have what they call “Real ID”? What fucking authoritarian crap.

On that happy note, I’m trying to do some more healing. I’m frustrated that it’s not happening as quickly as I’d like. My specialist warned me that this surgery is too often trivialized and treated as something that takes a day and then you’re back to normal schedule, and that’s not the way it works. Every time I get frustrated, I remember what we talked through, and try to be a patient patient.

But it’s difficult not to get discouraged, especially with external pressures for things that have to happen on a certain schedule over the next few months. I wish I lived in a place where health care wasn’t a luxury. Had I moved to Iceland instead of where I did ten years ago, this wouldn’t be an issue. But here I am, so I have to make it work.


Published in: on February 25, 2020 at 6:07 am  Comments Off on Tues. Feb. 25, 2020: “Easing” Back in, Rather than Jumping  

Mon. Feb. 24, 2020: Easing Back In?

image courtesy of tpsdave via pixabay.com

I’m posting this ahead, because I’m not sure I’ll be up to writing any posts in time for this. Let’s hope I have a good update soon!

Published in: on February 24, 2020 at 7:10 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 24, 2020: Easing Back In?  

Fri. Feb. 21, 2020: Recovery Day

image courtesy of jennyzhh2008 via pixabay.com

Today is my recovery day. I plan to stay quiet.

Published in: on February 21, 2020 at 7:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. Feb. 21, 2020: Recovery Day  

Thurs. Feb. 20, 2020: Surgery Day

image courtesy of Myriams-Fotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Today is surgery day. I’d appreciate it if you could hold a good thought for me.

Published in: on February 20, 2020 at 7:05 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Feb. 20, 2020: Surgery Day  

Wed. Feb. 19, 2020: Almost There

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Tomorrow is surgery day. If you have a moment to think a good thought for me, I’d appreciate it.

At this point, I just want to get it over with. I’m moving between discomfort and pain, and the exhaustion grows exponentially.

Some guy with zero credentials is on the Internet yapping that a woman can “go back to work the next day” after this type of surgery. Um, no. Maybe some women HAVE to, because so few of us ever have the luxury of being sick, but I’m following doctor’s orders and staying quiet for the weekend. Which is still much better than the recovery would have been from the original, more radical surgery.

Today would be my friend Pam’s birthday. We lost her in August of 2018 to a rare form of cancer, and I’ve been thinking of her throughout this whole process.

While the original doctor last week was all gloom & doom, the specialist is far more upbeat, and we won’t know for sure until the pathology tests come back in a couple of weeks anyway. So let’s get it damn over with.

When I got home Monday from working with the client, I was exhausted, and could hardly move for the rest of the day. Read a bit. Watched the end of MURDERLAND. It’s a brilliant acting exercise, but as a full production, it didn’t quite work for me.

Slept through the night into Tuesday, which is better than waking up and fretting.

Charlotte is trying to learn to be a writer’s kitty. When I work on the computer, she settles into her bed (which I put in the window, on top of one of the non-working printers) and she stays with me. It’s kind of cute.

Tessa is reclaiming the entire upstairs, so hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before she comes back down again, too.

Willa just tries to go with the flow. She was worried Monday afternoon, at my lethargy. She kept checking on me, gently tapping me with her paw, every few minutes.

Let the landlord know about the date for the Energy Assessment. If they come in the morning and are done by 1, great. If not, they have to reschedule. I’ve had it with strangers stomping through the house every few weeks, having to lose work because of it, all because suddenly the landlord has to deal with something he ignored for the past three years and doesn’t want to cough up the cash. It’s not my fault if he’s spent the rent money we paid in on other things.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that we’re forced into this circus of an additional energy assessment because he never made any of the improvements advised by the last one; if they look at the date and the fact nothing was done, they’d deny the loan.

Meanwhile, we’ve had a furnace limping since autumn and can’t keep the upstairs warm.

Update: The “assessors” will be here at 9:30 in the morning that day, done by 11:30, so we should be fine. That gives me a couple of hours to shower and get ready for the follow-up tests. At least that’s working out.

Went in yesterday to work with my client for a few hours; left when I was too tired to go on, and losing the ability to concentrate. Swung by the library to drop off and pick up books and DVDS.

Came home, exhausted. By the end of the day, the last few days, I’ve been in tears out of sheer exhaustion & frustration. Took a bit of a rest. Then we vacuumed, mopped the floors, and did a bit of the set-up for Thursday.

My arm still really, really hurts from where it couldn’t hold the port for the CT scan. It’s not healing. Seven days later, it should be. I wish someone would take it seriously.

Most people are being great and supportive. However, there are some who are demanding that I change what I need to get through this and heal to what they need to feel noble. I have one person who has berated me for not being willing to be on the phone multiple times a day, because she’s “worried” about me.

Phone on a GOOD day is a nightmare for me, because of the hyperaccusis. Phone now? Any more than is necessary with the medical professionals? Out of the question. And to tell me that I’m supposed to increase my pain and misery to assuage her “worry”? No. Not my job. My job is to set my boundaries and put my healing needs and tools into place so I can heal. Not to accommodate someone else’s ego. I was also berated for posting here and on social media instead of instantly answering emails. Well, I can get the information out to most people here and on social media. I answer emails as soon as I can. It’s not going to be instant for the next period of time. It just isn’t. It might be ten minutes. It might be an hour. It might be tomorrow. Rewriting the same information 20 times a day to separate people is too much sometimes. I’m doing the best I can. Heck, there are some hours when BREATHING takes every bit of energy I have. Crossing the room has to wait.

For some reason, I’m craving the scent of rose, so I’m using rose oil. I’ve set out rose and lavender candles and incense (along with rosemary and sage for cleansing/antibacterial). I have an array of healing crystals to put around the bed. and a recovery menu put together from Kripalu and Moosewood recipes to speed healing. Everything is soft and cozy. At the very least, it’s a calm space to promote healing, and I intend to mix the best of modern medical science with the best of alternative therapies. There’s no reason for them to cancel each other out, when they can support each other.

I’m scheduling this to post, so I don’t really know what Wednesday will bring. I intend to go in and work with my client. In case I can’t come back in next week, I have everything they need all set to go — just hit the “send” or “post” button. If I’m the one doing it, it’s done and I don’t have to worry. The magazine editor confirmed receipt of the big article, and said we’d work together to make sure any revisions got done on time. She said it absolutely should not be one more stress on me this week, and for that, I am deeply grateful.

I have my “out of office” up on the gmail account. I will still be checking it when I can, but there will be delayed responses, depending on how I’m feeling.

One more trip to the library, to pick up the last few things that have come in. Then, we set up the sofabed in the living room, and I do the pre-op prep. I’m supposed to hear from the hospital sometime between 1-4 PM today as to when I should be in on Thursday, and then we get it done.

I doubt I’ll sleep much; no matter how much medicine has evolved or how simple this procedure is (as opposed to the one originally suggested), it’s still surgery. Even if it goes well, the pathology could come back less than what we hoped. Or they could find more than they expected during the procedure and have to adjust. Or something else could go wrong. There are just possibilities, not absolutes, until one is in the middle of it.

All I can do is prepare myself the best I can mentally and physically, go in with the best attitude I can, and hope for the best, while preparing as best I can for multiple outcomes.

In the meantime, be kind to each other, and live your life by your own rules, not somebody else’s.

Catch you on the other side, sometime next week.



Published in: on February 19, 2020 at 7:56 am  Comments (4)  

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020: Preparation

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Yup, Mercury’s gone retrograde just before I have surgery. On the one hand, it’s not a good time for surgery; on the other hand, Mercury retrograde is about resolving issues hanging on and preventing one from moving forward, and that’s a good definition for what I’m going through, so I’ll work with it. Plus, it’s happening just a few days before the dark moon, so that’s going to help with the blood loss. (The closer to the full moon, the heavier any bleeding, because blood is our interior tide).

Friday morning, as I stated in Friday’s post, I had my pre-op, got some stuff done at the library. I told my book review editor I’d have the other book review for her on Monday, and what was going on; she was very supportive. Even getting in the review yesterday, it was early. Sent off the big article, and told that editor what was going on, and that I could turn edits around early in the week, but otherwise it would have to wait until next week. Haven’t heard anything from her. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she took Friday as well as Monday as part of the long holiday weekend, but I’ve gotten the article to her FIVE DAYS EARLY. If she comes at me tomorrow to turn it around — no. It’s the day before my surgery. If I get it today, I could turn it around tonight and send it off tomorrow, but if it comes tomorrow, it has to wait until next week. I busted my ass and used up most of my energy to get it in to her early. (Update: she’s being lovely and supportive, so my worries are for naught — details in tomorrow’s post).

I’ve been working with my book editors on new deadlines — I can’t be in galleys and final revisions right now. We have to adjust. They’re 100% supportive. We’re also talking about whether and/or how to handle the Corona virus in The Nautical Namaste Series. There are several different routes we could take, although I doubt any of them will show up in DAVY JONES DHARMA at this point. We are discussing how what I’m going through now will add some depth to one of the subplots in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Went in to my client’s late Friday morning, and we finished the designs for the 2021 collections and sent them to Thailand. She goes next week.

Came home around 1 PM and hit the wall. I slept most of the afternoon, and even the most basic tasks were just too much work.

Ate — I’m making sure I eat, whether I feel like it or not. Watched the last of THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW. Went to bed early.

Had trouble sleeping. Up on Saturday. Had my mom drive to us to the grocery store, so we got a few additional things for the coming week. Made apricot/honey/almond/orange bread. Researched iron-rich foods. Taking too much of the iron supplement makes me sick, so I’m taking slightly less supplement, with more iron-rich foods. Turns out I like a lot of them, and have been craving them anyway.

Worked on the book for review. Napped in the afternoon (and people who know me know I am not a napper). Tessa purred beside me.

Made the sardine/fennel pasta from Dorie Greenspan’s book. It’s yummy. Felt better about a half hour after eating it.

Wasn’t up to watching DVDs, so read instead.

Charlotte and Willa are both worried. They lost their original human to illness, so every time they smell hospital or medicine on me, they worry.

The arm the CT port/IV technician hurt on Wednesday looks AWFUL, is still horribly bruised, and I have trouble using my right arm.

Slept so-so. Didn’t feel up to making the whole wheat bread. The medication I’m on for the moment has side effects, which are starting to get to me, the worst being absolutely ridiculous mood swings. I have to keep reminding myself I’ve lost perspective, and not make long-term decisions until I can think clearly and review all the evidence. I levelled out slightly on Sunday and Monday.

But I was still angry at the paperwork that arrived from the hospital on Saturday, about pre-op prep. I’m responsible for keeping track of my things WHILE I AM UNDER ANESTHESIA IN THE OR or else I should expect everything stolen. Because this hospital is too fucking cheap to have security. There isn’t any. There are signs claiming there are cameras, but no security. Anyone can wander anywhere they want in the hospital at any hour unchallenged. It’s one of the things that has made me uncomfortable every time I’ve had to go there.

I’ll be lucky to have my clothes to return home in.

They can bite me.

I have follow-up tests on the afternoon of the day my landlord wants to have the “home energy assessment.” I told him they can come first thing in the morning, and have to be out of here by 1 PM, or it has to be rescheduled. We HAD this done already. To make us go through a bunch of jackasses stomping through the house again right now is ridiculous. Nothing has changed in the intervening years; everything’s just gotten older. Probably that’s why the landlord is getting it again — because he didn’t do any improvements based on the last one, and is going to pretend it didn’t happen.

Took it easy Sunday. Made arrangements with a friend to pick me up from surgery on Thursday. She’s making it easy-peasy, no drama, which is how it should be. I also specifically asked her because she won’t let the hospital admin bully me on the way out when I’m still trying to get re-oriented after anesthesia, and, based on the pattern of this past week, that’s EXACTLY what they’ll try to do.

Again: bite me.

I was making arrangements with the library the other day, letting them know what was going on, and making sure I get anything back that has holds on it, and extend whatever I need to extend. The librarians wee lovely.

Unfortunately, some random patron eavesdropped and commented, “I can’t stand being around people who are sick. I don’t do sick.”

I turned around and said, “I don’t do assholes, and you aren’t part of my life anyway, so back off.”

Again, since the 2016 Election, people are encourages to be their worst selves. There was no reason that individual had to make ANY comment. The person could have kept her mouth shut or walked away. But no, she had to make a comment, knowing it was inappropriate and hurtful. She deliberately set out to cause harm.

Leaning into my meditation and yoga practices doesn’t mean I’m going to allow people to be deliberately hurtful.

Finished the book for review. Sent off my review yesterday. The next set of books has arrived, and I’m excited to dig into them.

I have a ridiculous amount of books stacked near my recovery area. I ordered more, which I hope will come in by Wednesday — Helene Hanff’s books, which are charming and fun.

Rested and read a lot on Sunday. Roasted a chicken. Noodled with some ideas, but didn’t do any real writing. Got a different, more potent iron supplement that’s already showing me improvement. CVS was selling 30 of the pills for nearly $15. Target had the same one but 180 pills, for $6. Considering I have to take 4 pills/day right now for the next three months, I got it at Target.

Tried to clean up some of the branches that fell from the last storm, but didn’t get too far. Just didn’t have the energy.

Charlotte managed to climb to the top of the big bookcases in my writing room and run around along them. She’s very proud of herself.

Started watching MURDERLAND. The acting is wonderful, but I don’t like the fractured storytelling and repetition from different angles. A little bit is great, but this is too much. From the two points of view? Great. But the same scene from the two points of view repeated six times? No, thanks. Structurally, the storytelling doesn’t work for me.

Woke up about 4:30 on Monday. Didn’t feel too bad. My injured arm is still in bad shape.

Went in to work with my client for a few hours. I can’t afford to miss work. I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and I need money coming in right now.

If I hear one more news “report” about the lack of skilled workers, I will scream. There are plenty of skilled workers. It’s HR that’s useless, only interested in running resumes through algorithms & treating people badly in interviews. They want skilled workers? Don’t insult them with stupid tests and demands for unpaid labor. Want to retain your workers? Pay them fairly and treat them like human beings. It’s not that hard.

I’m playing each work day by ear right now. Working until I get tired, then stopping. Doing a little writing, but not much. A friend sent a draft of her screenplay to read while I recover — can’t wait.

Planning on going in to work with a client for a bit today. Will swing by the library to drop off/pick up books. When I go home, we’re going to vacuum the house and mop floors, so everything is clean. Tomorrow, when I come home, we will set up the living room as my recovery room.

I won’t know when I’m going in on Thursday until late Wednesday.

I have some placeholder posts scheduled, but I don’t expect to post much until sometimes next week (I’ll have something go live tomorrow).

I just have to survive each day, before I worry about the next one.

Published in: on February 18, 2020 at 7:10 am  Comments Off on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020: Preparation  
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Mon. Feb. 17, 2020: Intent for the Week: Survival

image courtesy of tookapic via pixabay.com

Monday, February 17, 2020
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde
President’s Day

If you’ve been following the blog, you know I’m currently facing some health issues, and will have surgery later this week. During Mercury Retrograde, which does not make me happy.

Therefore, my intent for the week is: Survival.

Going back to basics here!

What’s your intent?

Published in: on February 17, 2020 at 7:02 am  Comments Off on Mon. Feb. 17, 2020: Intent for the Week: Survival  
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Fri. Feb. 14, 2020: Keep on Keeping On

image courtesy of JillWellington via pixabay.com
Friday, February 14, 2020
Waning Moon
Cold & Snowing
Valentine’s Day

Yesterday wasn’t too bad. I made my mom do the driving, with me in the passenger seat giving directions, so she’d get comfortable in the car again and learn her way around. After a few minutes, she seemed to think she’s Speed Racer. She’s used to driving the Autobahn in Germany, so little Cape Cod road speed limits are an adjustment.

It was pretty funny.

But she’s more comfortable in the car again, and I’ll have her do the driving tomorrow when we go grocery shopping.

Got some work done at the library, dropped off books at Sandwich Library, stopped and updated my nurse. The arm that spat out the port is painful. Not discomfort — pain — and looks awful.

The CT results were pretty good, but there was one worrying thing — so my original doctor insists on scheduling another procedure for that as soon as the first surgery done. I keep hoping they can do it in one procedure, but no such luck. They can’t schedule the second until they know how I’ve come out of the first.

The scheduler called to book the surgery — and tried to put me off until March 20. I said no, I was told it had to be next week. She said nothing on the paperwork said so. I told her I SAW the doctor write it on the paperwork — he did it right in front of me, and he actually has nice handwriting. I also told her that my body could not tolerate the problem that caused the need for the surgery for another month, which is why everyone has been rushing me from test to test. I will be dead. The doctors want it done next week. She said, “Well, you’re on medication.” I repeated I am not waiting for a month, and the doctor wanted it done next week. She said, “Well, they don’t understand how this works.”

I was getting ready to contact my nurse when the chastened scheduler called back. The doctor put his foot down. Surgery is scheduled for next Thursday, February 20.

My pre-op was this morning. Easy-peasy, the doctor is going to make sure I’m not battered. The bruised arm looks even worse today and hurts like hell. I have a bunch of follow-up appointments to look forward to (ha) in the coming months, much of which will depend on how the pathology tests come back from surgery. But the doctor is optimistic, and happy that the medication change has made such a big difference so fast.

Worked on the article and finished it around 10:30 last night. I sent it to my editor this morning, with an update on what’s going on. I can turn around revisions early next week, if necessary.

Did a few things at the library, headed in to a client’s to work for a couple of hours and finish a big project. Then, I’m resting for the weekend. I’m wrung out, on every level.

Next week will test my endurance.

Have a lovely weekend!


Published in: on February 14, 2020 at 9:57 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. Feb. 13, 2020: Procedures Continue

Thursday, February 13, 2020
Waning Moon
Rainy and cold

Quick post over on Gratitude and Growth.

So, let’s catch up on the past few days. I went in to work, although slightly altered hours. One big client project went out yesterday afternoon. I hope to go in for a few hours’ late tomorrow morning for another one. Got out a grant proposal. Got out a book review. Worked ahead on client email blasts, so all they have to do is hit “send” over the next few weeks. Rearranged some booked time at Cape Space — they were so lovely and understanding.

Went in to work on Tuesday, because it was better than staying home and fretting. Got the call for my appointment with the specialist that afternoon. Put in a few hours’ work and headed over.

The specialist was very young, but again, very kind. He disagrees with the first doctor and her dire prognosis. He refuses to do the radical surgery that the first doctor suggested. He said it’s not necessary. He wants to do a much less radical procedure that he believes will solve the problem permanently AND serve my overall health much more in the long run. Normally, I’m for as little surgery as possible, but as I said, “I want you going in there only once. I don’t want to do this in increments. Do all the excavation in one procedure.”

He said that it wasn’t necessary. He said too many women have the radical surgery done when they don’t need it, and it results in further health complications as they age. He believes, according to what he saw during the examination and my other signs, that I don’t have any of the markers indicating the radical procedure is necessary; instead, the blood work, etc., indicate otherwise. I am slightly anemic, and we’re working on that. He upped the dose on the medication I was prescribed on Monday night 3x the original dose. He wants to increase the iron intake from 50 mg 2x/day to 325mg 2x/day. He wants to fast track the surgery for next week — but it will be in that morning, home in the afternoon.

I felt much better.

Went over to the hospital to get my bottles of barium goo. Berry flavored. Right.

Stopped and talked to my nurse/advocate on the way home, to keep her updated. Upped my evening dose of the medication, and within less than an hour noticed the improvement.

Didn’t sleep well on Tuesday night in spite of exhaustion.

Trouble getting up on Wednesday — I’d fallen asleep right before the alarm went off.
Drank my first bottle of goo at 8 AM. Not as bad as I feared, but it made me really cold. Five, ten minutes after I finished, I was fine again, but it was weird.

My friends, both local and afar, are rallying around, which is great. I know I can call on them if I need help. I made arrangements to be driven to the hospital on the day of the surgery and picked up, whenever that may be, because my mom doesn’t think she can find the hospital or find the way home. I also have the offices of Elizabeth Warren and Julian Cyr in case things get complicated and I need more of an advocate to help navigate paperwork, etc. So far, my nurse/advocate and the administrator there have handled everything and it’s been smooth (except for CVS, who always tries to screw their customers). But I keep reminding myself that when CVS was so awful with my mother a few years ago and I pitched a fit to corporate, the regional manager gave me his cell number, and the few times I needed to use it, he handled the issue in less than a half hour.

Went in to work and worked with the client. Came home, drank my second bottle of goo an hour before the appointment. This time, it made me so cold I was shaking and my teeth were chattering. Again, it stopped five minutes after I finished, and within ten minutes, I was fine.

Went in for the CT scan, and things went south fast. The technician was having a bad day, and I was at the end of 72 hours of battering tests, so I was at the end of my resources, and that did not make for a good pairing. I warned her about my fear of needles. I told her that my veins were difficult, which was the root cause of my fear. She told me I had to get over it. Not the best bedside manner.

The first time she put in the port, in the same arm where the blood draw, it hurt like hell and my vein spat it out. “Ptoui.” Not the sound you want. Or the result you want.

It kept hurting like hell. She bandaged it, went to the other side, discovered she didn’t have the right size needle she wanted (bigger, of course). So I had to wait until they hunted it down. She jammed it in. It was uncomfortable (although nowhere near as painful), but stayed.

Then she told me to get up and walk over to a row of chairs until I was called. “With this in?” I asked.

“We’re not gonna carry you into the room,” she said, and flounced out.

Um, excuse me? I’m lying on a gurney with a vein spread open. I’ve never had this done before and don’t know the protocol. How about not being an ass? I’m sorry she had a rough day, but that was uncalled for.

A few minutes later, I was called in and prepped. I hated the sensation of the saline flushing, and the iodine injection wasn’t fun either, but it wasn’t too bad. The disembodied voice instructing me when to “inhale” — “hold your breath” — “BReeeeathe” was a little weird, but, whatever. The sensation of the contrast dye was odd, but it wasn’t terrible.

I told them about the reaction to the barium drink and got a shrug and, “I’ve never heard that before.”

“I thought it was strange, so that’s why I’m bringing it up.”

Not like they gave a damn.

The port was removed, the arm taped. So both arms are hurting, but especially the right, where it spit out the port.

I had specifically asked, when I picked up the goo, if I had to make arrangements to have someone drive me home, and was told, unequivocally, “no.”

Ha! Good one.

My mom had come with me, but she has no night vision and couldn’t find the way back. I was having trouble gripping the steering wheel. Not to mention that I’d been through 72 hours of battering tests and I resented the fact that I had to drive myself the hell home after this one. My own fault for not making arrangements, but it didn’t change my upset.

Went home, made dinner, took my medication. I felt like I’d been beaten up, both physically and mentally. My right arm, in particular, hurt a lot. Plus, there were after effects from the barium and the iodine. Nothing awful, but they were there.

Went to bed early.

Slept through the night.

Woke up feeling okay. A little sore, but pretty normal, and certainly better than I have for the past few days, except for my arm. There is a bruise on my right arm that is 4″ wide and 5″ long and it still hurts like hell.

Library for a bit this morning, then over to Sandwich Library, then home to finish the article that goes out tomorrow, and the next book for review.

Will probably stop by to talk to my nurse. Waiting to hear about the scheduling.

Charlotte is having anxiety attacks. She and Willa lost their original human due to medical issues. She remembers that hospital smell. I finally said to her, “Charlotte, not everything is about YOU.”

She looked at me in complete surprise, with that, “But of course it is! I’m a CAT!” expression.

As long as she is with me, she settles down. The minute she can’t see me, she panics.

Willa is being Willa, getting on. She brings me toys to make me feel better. Elsa used to do that — believing the right toy could solve anything.

Tessa lies beside me and purrs.

I contacted my landlord to let him know I’m having surgery and the furnace replacement needs to work around that. It’s NOT EVEN SCHEDULED. Now, we were having furnace issues back in November. It’s February. For fuck’s sake. He said there needs to be a Home Energy Assessment before the loan is approved. We had that about seven years ago, when they took all my light bulbs. He said it’s scheduled for March 13, and he’ll be there. I said if it’s too close to the surgery, it won’t be happening. It should be fine, especially if my surgery is next week, but come on, for fuck’s sake.

I researched the replacement furnace. Even if he goes high end, it’s 2-3 months’ rent. We’ve been paying rent for 10 years, with very little work done on the house. I know what the taxes are. I know what the homeowner’s insurance is. We’ve paid in almost half the value of the house. So stop dicking around. You had four months to get it in, and now that I’m having surgery, you expect it to work around the requirements for a LOAN? No. You will damn well be on MY schedule at this point. I was there for the estimates. They were willing to schedule it ASAP and have it done in a day. It should have been done before Christmas. Furnace and plumbing issues were part of the reason we didn’t go to Maine for Thanksgiving.

My acupuncturist in NY did a distance healing — unasked. I’d just let her know what was going on and asked her to keep a good thought for me. She’s the most wonderful healer I know, and it made a difference.

I let my yoga/meditation teacher know what was going on, because I won’t be at the studio for the next few weeks. I also asked about booking one of her Reiki sessions after surgery to speed the healing. She said absolutely; in the meantime, she’d like to give me the gift of a distance healing session, and would send me the details.

Well, she did. A list of stuff she needs to do the healing – which I don’t feel up to putting together. Although the first session is free, I’m supposed to book 4 session at X dollars, and book my post-surgery Reiki session now.

Um, what? First of all, I can’t book anything definite now because I don’t know when the surgery is; I’m waiting for the booking and then the pre-op booking and whatever else has to happen. I can’t make that type of commitment. Quite frankly, I don’t have the energy right now to gather a list of stuff she claims she needs for the healing and get them to her.

Remember, I do distance healing. I don’t need seven different items to do it. My acupuncturist did a healing on Tuesday for me, without needing a list of stuff and commitments to specific times and all that – she simply did it (unasked).

I told her I couldn’t do the distance work right now, but I would book the hands-on Reiki after the surgery, and I didn’t know when it would be.

She argued with me,

I was in shock, and, frankly, I’m hurt. I respect this is her profession. I believe she should be paid for her profession. That is why I wanted to let her know I would be booking a paid, post-surgery session.

She comes at me wanting money now – when I’m already stressed about medical costs and lost work – and telling me that what she “needs” for the healing “only takes a few minutes” to put together.

If I say I CAN’T right now, that means I CAN’T. I am measuring my energy, prioritizing it, and directing it. I am NOT at her beck and call. Also, I have to make sure I direct my financial resources carefully over the next few months. I can’t take on much more new work this month, and I will be missing work hours. It means I’m taking an ill -timed financial hit. I have some decent chunks of change coming in from work already submitted, but it’s down the line, not right this minute. I need to be careful. Committing to several hundred dollars additionally is not something I can do right now, until I know what the immediate costs (including any medications I need to pick up on my way home from the hospital) are.

Again, I DO distance healing for people. I know what’s involved. I do distance healing for complete strangers (without payment) when requested.

On top of that, when she had surgery a few months ago, I did distance healing for her every night for two weeks AND offered to run errands, cook, go grocery shopping, do laundry, etc. She didn’t take me up on the errand running, and I certainly didn’t expect her to offer anything like that (in fact, I’d forgotten about it until I thought about the whole situation for awhile).

While I respect that this is her profession, and I absolutely believe in being paid for work, I feel like she is preying upon my situation and vulnerability right now. I said thanks, but no thanks. Especially not accepting my refusal to do exactly what she wants when she wants it. She made an offer; I asked for details. I couldn’t fulfill what she says she needs for this to work, and I told her upfront, before wasting any of her time and energy. To argue with me about it, especially when I’m in an accelerated schedule of tests and upcoming surgery, is inappropriate.

It makes me re-think my relationship with that particular studio. It also makes me wonder if she is the right choice for post-surgical work, because the trust issues I had with the studio last year are, once again, raised.

And also, damn it, ANYBODY who does not respect my boundaries during this time is going to get a new one ripped.

We will prep the living room as my recovery room — set up the fold out couch. I won’t have to do stairs, the bathroom and the kitchen are right there. I can stack my books nearby and watch DVDs if I feel like it.

Anyway, getting in what I need to this morning, and then focusing on completing the article this afternoon. I got two more quotes on Tuesday that I’m weaving in, a couple more tweaks, a polish, some subheadings, and we’re good.

I’m having my mom do the driving, so she gets comfortable in the car again, at least during the day, because she will have to be able to go to the grocery store, etc. over the next few weeks.

Reading, writing, resting. That’s the agenda.


Published in: on February 13, 2020 at 10:02 am  Comments (5)  
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