Tues. June 30, 2020: Die For Your Employer/Die For Tourist Dollars Day 43 — Surgery with Mixed Results

Tuesday, June 30. 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy, stormy, humid

Venus went direct on the 25th, so at least a little pressure has eased.

I thought I’d scheduled a post yesterday. I’m sorry I didn’t.

I was on a clear liquid diet, pre-op, on Wednesday. Miso soup and white cranberry-peach juice for breakfast, chicken broth for lunch, more miso for dinner. It was pretty good.

Went for my COVID test in the morning. Very well organized. A few seconds of discomfort when they jab the swab up your nostrils, but that’s it. Everyone very nice.

Home. Info full quarantine. Checked in with a client, designed some A/B ads, got out an email blast. Participated in Remote Chat, which is always fun.

Got the call from the hospital. My surgery was scheduled for 9:30 the next morning. A relief to get in there in the morning, and home as soon as possible.

The COVID testers only call if it’s a positive. So, once the deadline passed and no call, I started the rest of the prep, which was awful, I had side effects, and I was up all night, miserable.

I got ready in the morning, and got a call at 8 AM, asking me to come in an hour and a half early.

I got there, and was sent to the OR. Um, I knew it was surgery, because they had to remove something, but had been told it would be a simple procedure. Originally, I was told it would be done in the office.

So I was prepped for surgery, much like the last time, and a little thrown by it.

Unfortunately, it took 7 tries to get the IV in. SEVEN. I was upset. I also felt guilty (which, looking back on it, I shouldn’t. It’s not MY fault they can’t hit a vein. But it hurt like hell).

They finally got a pediatrics nurse to get it in.

Then some guy starts yapping at me, and I finally asked, “Are you the doctor?” And then I deliberately mispronounced his name, which threw him.

He said yes and corrected the pronunciation of his name.

I said, “Oh, okay, it’s just that I’ve never met you or talked to you before and you’re about to go digging in my insides. I’ve dealt with more than a dozen people while I’ve been lying here in pre-op and I’m trying to keep them all sorted. Now that we’ve been properly introduced, what’s going on?”

He said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m a little presumptive sometimes” and then we talked about the surgery.

The nurses were howling. They told me later the male patients usually start sputtering and the female patients are often in tears. They never saw anyone stand up to him before.

So we had a chat about what was going on. I was a little disconcerted, because no one seemed to know why I was there. Why didn’t anyone read my chart? I’m not the professional. I’m the patient. I know, in basic strokes, why I’m there, but not the details.

I told the anesthesiologist that, especially after all the trouble getting the IV in, I didn’t want to know anything.

When I came out of it, the doctor said, “You should thank that CT technician. This surgery probably saved your life.”

Turns out it was much more complicated than anyone had told me, and, if I’d blown off this surgery (as I was tempted), by the time I knew something was really wrong, it would have been too late, and needed very complicated surgery.

So now I get to wrap my head around that and worry about the results of the biopsy.

The nurse called my ride, I got dressed, and off I went home.

I was too rattled to really sleep, but I also couldn’t do anything. I’d saved back some of the pain pills from the last surgery. Of course, they were on the list of things I couldn’t take. But I didn’t really need them.

To keep myself occupied, both the miserable night before surgery and the day after, I read the first four books in Martha Wells’sMurderbot series. I loved them. So clever, and funny, and full of action, and full of heart.

We’d set up the living room again for recovery. I ate scrambled eggs for dinner – I hadn’t eaten solid food in 48 hours, but that’s all I could stand.

I went to sleep early, and slept through the night for the first time in who knows how long.

Friday, I got some material off to a client. Heard back that she’s going in a new direction for something. She’s going to try to push me to do work that needs someone with different skills, and there will be problems going forward. So I need to find a replacement client so we can part ways soon without me taking a major hit to my income.

I got out one LOI, and then back to bed.

One of my nurses checked in with me, to make sure I was okay. I am. I mean, I’m healing. “Okay” is relative at this point.

I heard from one of my other doctors, who found out I was having this procedure; he checked in to see how I was doing. He was the one who talked me into going through this second surgery; I wanted to blow it off. But he’d been right about everything else, so I went forward. It’s a good thing I did.

I have the same post-anesthesia effects I had last time – first day or so, I have a runny nose, and then I have a few days of a scratchy throat.

I have to monitor my temperature twice a day for two weeks, to make sure I didn’t catch anything at the hospital.

My arms are so bruised from the failed attempts to insert the IV. I have track marks and bruises. I’ll have to wear long sleeves for at least a week. And I need to heal before I go in for blood work.

I managed to go down to the library for a curbside pickup and got more books. Read Donna Leon’s BY ITS COVER. I love that series.

But it was not a productive day, by any means.

I got in touch with the guy who mows the lawn; he came and did it. It looks better, but I need to put fertilizer on it.

I did not sleep well on Friday. I was up by 3 AM, fretting.

Saturday morning, I moved the two potted trees on either side of the front door to the side. They’ve grown through the years, and don’t look right there any more.

I was working on cleaning out the front beds and found a wasp nest attached to the siding in the front, near the front door. I’m so sick of the damn wasps. It never occurred to me they would build there.

I didn’t want to go back to Hyannis Country Gardens, but I know where everything is there. So I masked up and drove over.

I am never going there again, even once this is all over. Wearing the mask around your neck is not wearing the mask. Staff and customers did this (register staff were the only ones fully masked). The place was packed.

I grabbed my wasp killer (you have no idea how much strength it took not to spray the Sliding Mask Skanks). I grabbed some lawn food. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

I felt safer walking alone at 2 AM in NYC’s worst neighborhoods than I felt in that store.

Our numbers are going up again in MA. Not as badly as in down south, but going up enough to be concerned.

Not that anyone else here is. Because, if you’re not rich around here, you’re expendable and expected to Die for Tourist Dollars.

Came home and took out my fury on the wasp nest.

Rested a bit; once the buzzing died down (pun intended), I brought some of the oversized red geraniums from the back to flank the front door. They look good, and it’s good Feng Shui.

I couldn’t work in the beds, so I took myself to bed and rested for a bit. I read Ellen Byron’s PLANTATION SHUDDERS, and loved it. Excellent book, and I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

Soaked in a bath of Himalayan Salts for a bit. Cooked dinner – nothing fancy, I’m easing back in.

So the Sociopath was informed in March that Russia pays bounties to kill American soldiers? And keeps making concessions to Russia? I hope the military turns against him, once and for all. We have a sociopath calling himself “President” who is not only actively killing citizens with a pandemic, but allowing our enemies to kill our soldiers for profit. What’s his cut, I wonder? Because he does nothing without an eye to personal profit.

Why would anyone think the GOP will do anything about it? Remember, only a year ago, over Fourth of July, 10 GOP Congress people traveled to Russia to genuflect.

Those 10 should have been arrested the second they returned. But they got away with it, and here we are.

No wonder the EU is banning Americans from travel. Good for them.

And the airlines who are going to start flying at capacity? I hope they all go under. And why the hell is ANYONE flying right now?

The selfishness and stupidity are overwhelming.

Moved back up to my bedroom by Saturday night, and had a good night’s sleep.

But sat on the deck early Sunday morning, weeping, because I feel overwhelmed on a personal level, and on a broader, societal level. I’m sick, exhausted, and don’t see a way forward in anything.

Rested most of Sunday morning, because that’s all I could handle. I read a delightful book called RAISING THE BARRE by Lauren Kessler, about her journey to dance in a production of THE NUTCRACKER as an adult. So well done, on so many levels. However, I did lose a bit of respect and felt disgust when she skipped part of the tour that was the reason to write this book in the first place because of “family commitments” and because she was teaching a writing workshop. That, hon, is why you’re not in the business. The show comes first. Always. Life fits around theatre (or, in this case ballet) for professionals. Theatre does not fit around life.

That, right there, is why I managed to be one of the 11% who actually MAKE it to Broadway. Commitment and priority to the work. And why dancers can do what they do.

My arms really hurt from the bruising of the failed IV attempts.

Got out 5 LOIs, then sat out on the deck for a bit, reading. Watered the back, where I’d put down lawn food and fertilizer. Couldn’t face another wasp battle in the front.

Tackled the mending, because the light was good, and I need true daylight at this point to sew. Got a good part of the stack done. Still have a few pieces, including socks.

Managed to sleep through the night on Sunday, up early on Monday, normal routine. Because, you know, the cats like a normal routine, and it’s all about the cats. Arms really hurt from the IV bruising.

Annoyed by people on social media who beg for followers, then deride people who support them. I don’t have time for that b.s.

Also annoyed because people are asking to come visit. As in show up and stay a few days. In a pandemic? I don’t think so. Close friends understand it’s not viable. We’re going to make plans to see each other WHEN IT’S SAFE. It’s the borderline “acquaintances” who are the problems. The ones who stay in touch because they see us as free accommodation in a tourist spot they want to visit. I can’t believe how many emails I’ve gotten in the past two weeks that are “oh, we’re going to be in your area on vacation for a few days. We’d love to see you. Can we stay?”

Nope. Not doing any hosting this summer. Sorry you think just because the government decided to recklessly reopen, I’m going to put my life in danger so you don’t have to pay a hotel bill. Not happening.

Absolutely dreaded going in to the client’s on Monday.

Didn’t get a lot done on BARD Monday morning. I had to research mandolins and mandolin making before I could write the scene. Then, when I referenced something from an earlier chapter I found an enormous mistake. I have to go back and fix it, or it will throw the entire book off. I’m so annoyed with myself.

But that’s what I get for not making tracking sheets up front. Serves me right.

Discouraging, but my own damn fault.

Onsite for the client wasn’t bad. Staggered hours, lots of precautions. Only a little overlap, so we’re in synch, and not full staff (the way it should be, but isn’t on Wednesdays).  The client expects me to pull off the type of advertising campaigns that large companies with huge design and advertising budgets do, and she expects huge returns within 48 hours. That’s not realistic. She keeps sending me ads with “do that” — I can’t without design tools and time and professional photographs of product, and a budget to spend for placement.

Came home, wiped out.

I meant to only peek at the online course I’m taking on FutureLearn on The Book of Kells from Trinity College in Dublin. It was so interesting that I went through the entire week’s work. Which was pretty cool.

I decided I should brush up on my rusty Latin, and was looking for a way to do that, when, on Coursera, I stumbled across The Miracle of Human Language, from University of Leiden, where I’d studied the International tribunals a few years back. I signed up and started work on it. It’s fascinating.

That course will help me as I develop languages for books like DRAKECLIFF and other fantasies.

I was still worn out, and ran out of intellectual steam, so I stopped.

I also bought Sharon Hurley Hall’s SHADEISM. We’ve been talking about race, inspired by her most recent writings; this book will not only expand my understanding, but it will be good background for ELLA BY THE BAY.

Then, the phone rang.

It was the doctor.

As I wrote above, that’s never good news. They only call if something is wrong, never when it’s right.

The doctor had even improved his bedside manner, which worried me even more.

The news was mixed: there were some cancerous cells in what was removed, but at the tip of the polyp, not the base, and the cells scraped from the lining were clear. He believes he got it all. Originally, he wanted to see me in a year; now, he wants me back for another procedure In six months (um, Happy Holidays to me?). We’re going to treat it like another full-blown surgery, and hope it’s just a look that reveals everything is clear. He was upbeat and reassuring about it – which meant I wasn’t sure whether to go with it or worry more.

Something else to wrap my head around. Disconcerting, to say the least.

But what else can I do other than keep on keeping on?

I do have to behave as though I’m immune compromised and stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds, socializing, etc. I told him that was the plan for the foreseeable future, anyway.

He promised to take good care of me. I thanked him (which surprised him) and he rang off.

I’m a little tired of 2020 piling it on.

I need to talk with my primary care doctor in the next day or two, and come up with a plan for the next six months. Losing weight and getting fit will have to be a part of it. I already eat pretty well, and I’d cut out most beef and quite a bit of pork out. I will have to continue with that. I’m glad I can cook.

I want to lose 20 pounds, the doctor wanted me to lose 10, we compromised on 15 (which I have not lost), but I think I want to go back to 20. I feel better when I weigh less.

I’d already started up core work again on Sunday, so I will do more of it.

I’d love to walk around the neighborhood, but the clumps of Maskless Wonders make it a non-starter.

Much as I hate the exercise bike, the exercise bike it is. If my 95 year old mother can do 30 minutes a day, 7 days a week, I can work my way up to similar.

But I’m rattled.

Went to bed early; slept through the night.

Up early today. Have to fix BARD today, so I can move forward on it. There’s a deadline looming. Got two rejections on LOIs because they want someone with more experience in the tech sector. Which is understandable, but they SAID they wanted someone to communicate what they do to a more general audience. At least they responded, and I got responses from the companies themselves instead of a third party recruiter.

Client work. I have to come up with a new strategy for a struggling client. I have a few ideas, but I wish I had more time with them, because it’s hard to focus right now.

Classwork for Miracle of Human Languages later, and then maybe purging a few boxes in the basement. I need to get back to that.

I can’t believe it’s almost July. It’s hard not to feel defeated.

Especially when you look at the rampant corruption and stupidity people are getting away with, with absolutely no consequence.

Going back to the page will help. I hope.

Peace, friends.

Mon. May 12, 2014: Reading, Writing, Contest Entries

Monday, May 12, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Busy weekend. Friday was a good day at the library, albeit a busy one. Got a bunch of reports done, some new books on the shelves, prepped for today’s board meeting, dealt with all the little issues that come up to help patrons.

After the day was over, I headed to a different library, where a colleague and I culled entries for the third contest I’m working on — making sure the payments and entries matched, and then making sure that they followed the submission guidelines. Not able to follow directions? Gone! This is the real world, people. If you’re so arrogant you think you’re too good for “guidelines”, guess what? You’re wrong.

Came home, cooked dinner, went back to work on contest entries for the second contest.

Up early Saturday morning. Did some work on the TRACKING MEDUSA edits and the next two Big Script Episodes. Two trips to the dump with recycling and yard waste.

By 10 AM, I was headed to Osterville LIbrary to hear Patry Francis speak about her new book THE ORPHANS OF RACE POINT (which I ordered for our library –and it’s on the shelf). We’ve been communicating on social media since THE LIAR’S DIARY came out, but this is the first chance we got to meet, and it was fun. My boss was also there, and we had a nice chat.

Came back, worked all day, mostly on contest entries.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, so we had a nice day, doing whatever Mom wanted. I also finished the contest entries, finished the write-ups, and sent them off.

Did a lot of work sitting outside on the deck — it was so lovely out.

I did some reading for myself, too: Donna Leon’s latest release, BY ITS COVER (which is set against a library, which makes me happy). She’s trying something very post-modern with her last few books, and, much as I hate to say it, it’s not working for me. She’s stopping just before the climax. We KNOW who did it, and what happens next, but it actually happens offstage and there’s no breath of resolution or how that particular case changed Brunetti. I’m struggling with it. I respect her choices, I understand closing the blind on a life still in progress, but I’m getting frustrated with these abrupt endings.

Also reading Ann Patchett’s book of essays, THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE. Love it. She spent some time at P-town’s Fine Arts Work Center. She talks about people who say they want to write and don’t, and says, “I believe, more than anything, that this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers.” (p.30). She’s very generous, and, based, on my own experience, I heartily disagree. What I have seen, in workshop after workshop after workshop over the years, is that people don’t write out of a combination of laziness and lack of commitment. They like the idea of being a “writer”, but they don’t actually want to sit down, put in the work, or learn the craft, and I have no patience for that.

Patchett also talks about people who come up and tell you they have a great story that YOU (the writer) must write, and how she struggles to be polite to them. I’m done with being polite to these insulting asshats. If I’m feeling generous, my response is, “Here’s my agent’s number. If there’s a first contract offer and a check for ten thousand dollars on her desk by 10 AM tomorrow morning, we can START negotiations. Anything less than that, forget it.” When I’m not feeling generous, I say, “No, I don’t HAVE to write YOUR story. I’m busy working on my own.”

I’m done with these people who think writing is easy and they’d do it “if they had time”. It’s about more than time. It’s about work ethic and talent and commitment and craft. It is a specialized skill, in the way that brain surgery and plumbing are highly specialized skills, and the better we are at it, the easier it looks.

Disagreeing with her in these particular essays doesn’t make me love the book any less, and I certainly appreciate her generosity of spirit.

Today’s focus is all on the TRACKING MEDUSA edits, the next two episodes of the script, and revising the first two.

The inspector is coming for his yearly making-sure-we-renters-are-following the rules. Put in fresh batteries for the smoke detectors, even though I changed them all on the Equinox.

I have some new story ideas spinning, on which I jotted some notes, and there’s a Mermaid Ball meeting this evening in Buzzards Bay.

Back to work!

Devon

Fri. May 9, 2014: Library, Scripts, Contest Entries, and Edits

Friday, May 9, 2014
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cool

Busy day at the library. A lot of it was spent coaxing our machines to do what they’re supposed to do — what should have been a fairly straightforward project took much longer than it should have. A solid reminder of why I loathe Microsoft and how much happier I am with my Mac. However, I also got some other work done, on outreach for the theatre collection and to writers, encouraging them to use our library as a resource and even write their books on site, polish my report for the board next week, etc. There were also all those things that come up during the day, to help patrons find something they want, and to deal with the dozens of issues that come up during the day that need attention to keep the collection running so patrons can get what they need when they need it.

Today, I’ll be finishing up the big project from yesterday and printing a lot of book spine labels, along with everything else. A few things came up yesterday that I need the Circulation Director to teach me how to do properly, too! Always something new to learn, which keeps things fun.

Before I’d gone to work, I’d polished and sent the second episode of The Big Script Project. I’d integrated notes from the first episode that affect the second episode, and tried a few things that are easy fixes if they want a different direction. Later today, I’ll get started on Episodes 3 & 4, which need to be delivered next week, along with the revisions of Episode 1.

The next round of edits for TRACKING MEDUSA arrived yesterday morning (I think I mentioned that in yesterday’s blog post), so I’ll turn those around this weekend, finalize the Series Bible for it, and do the “Odd Word Sheet” for “Severance”, which is the next Amber Quill release coming down the pike for me.

Stopped at the store and the liquor store on the way home from the library. Had a glass of wine on the deck — Tessa was pouting and wouldn’t come out. Cooked dinner, and then got to work on contest entries. I have one stack to finish up over the weekend, and I’m supposed to meet with a colleague after work to go over entries on another contest.

Donna Leon’s newest release, BY ITS COVER, is out (and I got it, I’d put it on hold). It’s set against a Venetian library. I’m in heaven! Now, I just have to make sure I carve out some time over the weekend to read it.

At some point, I also have to get gas for the mower, fire it up, and start mowing my lawn, before it looks like a jungle!

Have a great weekend, all, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Devon

Hey, if you want a fun read for the weekend, pick up a copy of my ghost story, “Lake Justice”, released by Amber Quill Press here.

Published in: on May 9, 2014 at 5:50 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 9, 2014: Library, Scripts, Contest Entries, and Edits  
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