Category Archives: Health

I have given myself a title

I proclaim myself to be Queen of Ridiculous Injuries. A few years ago it was a bruised bone caused by running over my foot with a shopping cart. Earlier this year, I tweaked my knee dancing in the kitchen (and inadvertently knocked over the first domino of my diagnostic process). Years ago, I tripped over a tree limb while wearing a sousaphone and bruised my shin. I’m not counting all the times I’ve fallen up or down the stairs or tripped over the air or run into walls (all of which my kids suggested I add to this list). Now, I’ve taken a pibble head to the knee mid-zoomie.

I’m doing what I’m supposed to do – rest, ice, elevation – but there’s not much that can really be done otherwise. If the swelling isn’t down tomorrow, I’ll have to call in. In the meantime, I’m just a grumpy, miserable, limpy lump who can’t even make it up the stairs.

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Girl stuff is difficult

I’ve never been a real girly type girl. Growing up, I didn’t like the frilly dresses, rebelled against pink, and preferred my hightops to mary janes – much to my poor very girly mama’s dismay. I think that’s one of the reasons my mom was all for my hippy leaning goth aesthetic as I got older – I wore dresses again and flouncy skirts and beautiful heels – even if they were all black in color, they were fancy, flouncy, and twirl-worthy. I used to wear makeup every day and do my nails and hair, the whole shebang. And I haven’t done any of that in 17 years or so.

I haven’t worn any sort of makeup on a regular basis since I was pregnant with my oldest kid. I’m not sure if it’s the medication or the RA that’s making my skin stupid – red splotches here, dry there, greasy over there, and just an uneven mess – but it’s awful (even if the husband swears he can’t tell because he’s a very sweet liar face). So, I’m trying to be a little more put together and I’m mostly discovering that either I’ve forgotten how to do makeup entirely or makeup has seriously changed in all that time. Really, it’s probably a little of both. And apparently, I still prefer the hippy leaning goth aesthetic but sparkly. I really love the sparkly.

Tutorials and videos make the whole process look easy – it should be easy – but it’s not. Everything looks like a muddled fuddled mess when my skin isn’t allergic to it in the first place. I’ve been picking up samples all over the place as I can, trying to find things I can actually use but mostly, I’m just slapping stuff on my face, covering most of the red places, and being annoyed that it doesn’t look right. My nails are brittle and stupid and, apparently, I’m not supposed to use acrylics on my meds. Seriously? Bah. My hair is too fine to do anything with. Basically, I’m a ball of complaints and half of what I try makes things worse, not better.

I did get a really great witch hazel sample from Maple Holistics that, so far, I’m not reacting to, even though it does have aloe which I usually react badly to, but it needs a week or so to really know for sure. I’ve had more samples work out than not which surprises me a lot – maybe my skin is getting a little less reactive in my old age. Well, at least on my face. I am having some other skin issues I’ve never had before but they’re all part and parcel of either my disease or it’s treatment so, what can I do but work around that or cover it up.

I do wish it wasn’t so complicated or difficult (or freaking expensive!) to make myself feel pretty. And no, there will be no pictures until I’m confident that I don’t suck at it (and until I’m looking at smaller numbers on the scale). I wish I could get my favorite V ladies – Val Garland and Ve Neill – in a room for an hour so they could teach me how to do this properly as I am a very bad Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest student.

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What a Difference

medication (or the lack of it) can make! We’ve started tapering my already low dose prednisone and I’m feeling a lot less … boom. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it. It’s like I was feeling things too big if that makes sense. It couldn’t come at a better time as I always get weepy in December and this year, Thanksgiving is already going to be difficult. I’m a little more sore and achy than I was before but I’m definitely willing to push through that in exchange for not flipping out over everything or feeling like I want to cry all the time.

I’m definitely not going to win NaNoWriMo this year but I will have a draft for Leilani and Blake’s second book before the end of the year and I’m really happy with that. I have a lot of projects in my head, it’s just a matter of putting them on paper. It used to be I could work five projects at once but my brain is not working with that right now so, I’m going to have to focus on just one. If I can write a minimum of 500 words every day – which isn’t really that much when you break it down – I can get all of my projects finished. I’m really excited for some of them to get out of my head and into the hands of readers. I expect to have Hunter’s Hell finished by the end of the year and Eldercynne Knight by Valentine’s Day and Gods of the Fallen by my birthday. In that order. If I keep it in that order, maybe I’ll get done a little faster because I am super excited by Gods of the Fallen – some of the ideas are just so neat to me. I’d also like to get back to my poetry a little more but I have to figure out how that will fit into my writing schedule.

I think there’s more of my anxiety and depression rearing up than I usually like to admit to. I don’t think all of my sleepiness is just RA related and I know my inner critical voice is just going bananas over every misstep I’ve ever made in my life. It’s not like this part of things is new, I should be old hat at this by now and have it under control already. Except we all know that’s not how these things work in the real world.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’ve got plenty to be thankful for, even if this year has been just a gaping hole of I’d really rather not. The kids are awesome, the husband is awesome, they’re all healthy and that’s enough for me right now. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend some time with family and eat some yummy stuff. Tomorrow, I make pumpkin pie and a veg and that’s all anyone is expecting of me and that is glorious.

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Filed under Health, Interesting, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, WIP, Writing

Stuff and Things

I am still plugging along on Hunter’s Hell but I’m not counting on winning NaNoWriMo this year. The ideas are there and solid but the fingers are not quite cooperating the way I’d like. I’m about 10,000 words behind I think, give or take, but I haven’t started today’s words yet either. Even if I don’t manage to win, I’ll have a complete draft well before Christmas and that’s really what matters.

I went to my rheumy last week. I’m not entirely sure I like him yet – I’m definitely not really comfortable yet but I don’t really expect to be this early yet either. Fortunately, we are starting the process to drop the prednisone so hopefully, that means I’ll go back to having next to no panic attacks or crying jags in the middle of Kroger. He also upped the other med – but mostly it just makes me sleepy and a little forgetful and that’s not terrible. I’m having some increased pain in my hands but I expected that also so I’m not terribly worried about that either. It is what it is. I’d like to be closer to normal but I can’t make things happen any faster so there’s no point in being defeatist about it.

Next week is Thanksgiving here in the states. I am not looking forward to it this year. This will be the first year without my Dad and if I think of my mom most around Christmas and Halloween, I think of my dad around Thanksgiving and New Years. I’m not saying I”m going to start eating sauerkraut because ew, but I’ll be thinking about him and all his superstitions anyway on the first of the year. On Thanksgiving, I’ll be missing his sweet potato flambe for sure. It was my favorite from the time I was ten. I’m really glad my husband doesn’t really get it – really glad – but there’s a part of me that just wants to be miserable and maudlin and be left alone. That’s not how it’s going to work but that’s what I want to do.

I’m finding NaNoWriMo is a bit difficult this year without my cheering section calling to see how many words I’ve gotten. I don’t think I realized how much I appreciated having someone who was invested in my successes and failures and progresses.

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Filed under Anxiety, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Winding down

The fair is done and my whole body is feeling it today! I met some interesting people and made some good connections and even sold a few books. I have some new stuff to get up on Etsy this week but not today – my fingers and knees are hurting. I’m falling behind on the book but I’ll catch up during the week when I’m not trying to make stuff too.

I’ve got bloodwork and a doctor’s appointment this week and I’m really hoping I can get off the prednisone ASAP. I do not like it at all. I had been doing so great with my panic attacks – I haven’t had many to speak of in a long time and now they’re getting to be a little bit regular and I don’t like that at all – I’ve been there, done that, wouldn’t like to go back there. I also blame my newfound weepiness on it too – I’m crying at the dumbest stuff. I burst into tears in Krogers because they didn’t have the breakfast my youngest son requested. I cried at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, not for that movie but because I was so upset that the role of Batman did not go to Joseph Gordan-Levitt who deserved it (and the story was perfect for it!) but to the guy I don’t see as anything like Batman (so much so that I haven’t even watched it). Both of those things are upsetting but neither is really honestly cry-worthy. I’m a lot quicker to get mad too and I really don’t like it. The other meds, it is what it is. My nails are terrible, my skin is terrible, but my hair isn’t falling out and I’m not hurting anywhere near as bad as I was. I’ll do as I’m told because, as much as I don’t like one of the ladies in the office so much, the doctor himself seems to know what he’s doing and for sure he knows more than I do.

I’m going to get some words today but I am not going to push too much with my fingers today – they need some recovery time right now. I’m in an interesting place in the book though, some ramifications from the events of book one are coming to light and no one knows what it means longterm just yet (not even me!), and the new plot is getting a little convoluted and the connections are starting to come to light and it’s just beginning to get exciting. This is my favorite part of the process but I’m a little worried that I’m coming to this point too early so I might have to toss in a small distraction or two as they figure stuff out. This is the sort of stuff that makes me remember why writing is my all time favorite thing to do.

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Filed under Anxiety, Crafting, Crafts, etsy, Event, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Holistic Hot Mess

If Dirk can be a Holistic Detective and Bart can be a Holistic Assasin, I can be a Holistic Hot Mess because it’s all connected. (I really need to read the books – the show is fun)

I’m not working on making the universe better or balanced or whatever but still. I’m starting to think I’ve been a super clutz all my life to prepare me for the hot mess that is my body at the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on crutches so, when I needed them because everything was swelling and hard to walk on, I had them at the ready. I had the ace bandages and the carpal tunnel wrist braces. I did have to replace my stabilizing knee brace because it was better than 20 years old and had a funky funky smell. I’ve also added a new selection of wrist braces and thumb splints and bought myself a cane. And now, my foot is being cruel and hurty so I’ve strapped it in the boot I got when I ran over my other foot with a shopping cart a few years back. No way I’m getting a shoe on it but I’ve got stuff to do today.

Most of this post occurred to me as I was going to bed after digging said boot out of the pile of useful things and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I am to have all this stuff so I don’t have to try and acquire it when I’m already hurty. Lucky being relative and all. Hopefully, it works enough for me to run the errands that need run and go to my support group tonight. If I need to, I’ll add in the crutches too. I may even have to cave and use one of the motorized scooter things at the grocery store – fair warning if you see me, stay back, I’ve never used one before!

 

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Little Things Make All The Difference

Thumb Splint arrived!

My thumb splint finally came! It’s certainly not an all the time thing and I’ve already ordered a second one because it’s like night and day with typing. My fingers aren’t so bad most of the time but my thumbs make me feel like having thumbs is more than overrated. I’m still not up to speed but it’s definitely better than 50 words per minute! I might just make NaNoWriMo work this year after all (and be able to get back to doing some transcription stuff too maybe).

I’m doing some preparation for NaNo this year – mostly in the form of research because I have a pretty good idea of the major plot points in the story this year. Which likely means that it will go completely sideways and the book I think I’m going to write will not be what gets written. I do love the research part of writing – especially when it’s strange or mythological stuff I’m researching. This time around, it’s mostly underused monsters. I’m pulling some from wrong sorts of places on purpose but I promise, it’ll make sense that they are where they are.

If I manage to finish this book’s zero draft in November, I’m probably going to try again in January and do the second book of the Eldercynne trilogy – which is all it’s planned to be at the moment. I have about half a draft on that one which is why it isn’t a nano book.

If you are also doing NaNoWriMo and want to be buddies, I’m Shade53. I don’t spend time on the forums really because I get sidetracked and sucked in too easily and I have enough distractions with all the other stuff I’m supposed to get accomplished in a day but I’m happy to message or race.

And that’s a couple hundred words with no screaming thumb. I will, however, need to cut a little piece of fleece to cover the strap – it’s digging in just a bit on a tender spot on my wrist – but what a difference a little bit of fabric and some metal can make!

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Better Enough

Things are getting back to normal-ish at my house. I can do dishes without dropping them, I’ve only needed my cane one morning this week, I can go up the stairs like a typical person (not down yet though, I’m still going sideways down the steps), and I can type. For five minutes at a stretch and half the speed I’m accustomed to. I’m hoping that, by NaNoWriMo (which I AM doing), the medicine I’m on will be working well enough to help me finally get the sequel to Hunter’s Crossing written and not languishing in a pile of notes, snippets, and scenes.

I ordered a thumb splint that I hope will be here in plenty of time to adjust to wearing it and typing with it. Most of my problem is in the left hand, thumb, wrist, and elbow. I’ve looked into thermoskin gloves, wrist warmers, and stabilizers. I’m pretty willing to try anything. I’ve looked into speech to text but I haven’t found one I like enough to use (plus I’m still trying to get over the whole talking to myself like an idiot thing – I write because I sound stupid when I speak dang it!).

I’m having some of those moments, I can feel the depression trying to say hello, trying to sneak in and take root. This isn’t an unusual thing. In fact, it happens pretty regularly but this year it’s compounded by the RA, the weight gain because I’m struggling to be active when moving hurts (and food is my blankie), and the general feeling of uselessness. Nothing has really worked to dig me out in the past so I’m trying something new. It seems silly but it’s not not working. I haven’t worn makeup for about two decades and, being a writer,  there’s not much call to get properly dressed every day, so I’m trying to do that too. I figure, if I’m going to be healthier than I’ve ever been (and I must be as I’ve seen ALL the doctors in the last few months lol), I might as well try and look it. I’m still not leaving the house too much so no one really gets to see it but, strangely, it’s making a difference anyway.

I got tagged in those pretty picture things on FB by a bunch of ladies. I won’t do them as I haven’t taken a picture I like in more than a decade but they partially inspired the whole trying to look like a functional person thing. For years, I’ve extolled the value of fake it till you make it but I don’t always follow my own advise. I’m trying to. I’ve joined a few groups – one focusing on getting healthy and an RA support group – and I like both of them a great deal. This year has been one of the worst I’ve had but that doesn’t mean I can’t make something good come from it before it’s done.

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Filed under Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Weird, Writing

Missing People

I am definitely more emotional than usual – whether it’s the year, the situation, or the prednisone, I have no idea. It’s also getting to be the time of year when I get the most sentimental and weepy anyway – creeping up on the anniversary of my mother’s death. I’m missing my dad something fierce as he was my go to when I have a crappy day or wanted to vent or just talk about nothing. I’m struggling with this year in general but this season especially. It’s weird because this is my favorite time of year complete with my favorite holidays and I haven’t even started decorating yet!

I know the meds are not doing enough yet – my hands and feet feel like fire, it’s hard to walk, and I am ending every day in tears without much that can be done. I have a call in to my doctor to see if there’s something we can add, change, whatever but, in the meantime, it is what it is. Honestly, it was worse earlier in the year but we’re creeping back up on that level.

I did buy a cheapo cane to use and decorated it with stickers – which my oldest thought was silly since the first stickers were cartoony girl heroes – Wonder Woman, BatGirl, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn (not really a hero so much but still) and my last Supernatural sticker. Husband put one on that says “Stupid Fast” to be funny. Which it is. Eventually, I want to get something interesting and pretty – or at least more stylish – but for the now, covered in stickers works for me. I’m on the hunt for a Hedwig sticker and a Death’s Head Moth sticker.

I’m trying not to get too down and not writing down the poetry in my head – no one wants to read that mess! It’s hard though. Even knowing that I always dip a little into depression this time of year, I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it and all the losses, all the pain, and all the shit of this year, really really isn’t helping. I’m definitely more touchy than usual and it’s hard because it’s confusing to the youngest boy who really just wants me to be able to do stuff properly again (me too, kid!). And that’s about all the typing I have in my fingers today.

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Well, OK then

I didn’t get much in the way of words down yesterday but I did get some background work and some research done for Hunter’s Hell (working title for Lei and Blake’s second story). I’m really probably too pleased with some of the ideas I’ve been having for it and I know not all of them will make it into this book but hopefully, there will be more stories to tell when it’s done. Yesterday, my hands were really sore. Today is better but today is also errands day so I’m probably not going to get much done outside my head.

I don’t know if side effects tend to show up 30 hours after taking methotrexate but it looks like that’s what happens with me (at least on the first dose). It wasn’t too bad just a headache and some general stomach upset. Yay Pepto and Yay sleep, even if I’m not sleeping well. If this stuff makes the hurting finally stop, a little weekly headache is more than worth it. Now I just have to hope that next week is as kind to me. I know it’s going to take a while before this stuff starts doing what it’s supposed to do and I’m  on oral prednisone until then which I really don’t like but it is what it is. I do need to pick up a cane today as I’ve been using my late father’s and there’s a bit of a wiggle in the handle and it belongs to my oldest son and I don’t want to break it. Hopefully I won’t need it much longer but my ankles and knees and feet just aren’t always sturdy, especially when I’m first standing up after sitting for a bit and I don’t really know what it will be like in a month or a year but, like my crutches, it can’t hurt to have a cane I can use laying around.

I found an online support group that seems interesting and, thankfully, science based! – though I feel a little guilty as I haven’t had the fight so many have had in getting my diagnosis. Not that my body was going to let anyone argue with all the crazy swelling moving around. I think it would have taken a lot longer if I hadn’t reached a place where my hands were so swollen they couldn’t move only about a week after my feet did the same thing. I feel a little guilty that I don’t have it quite as bad as some – it’s sort of like my son’s autism. I always feel a bit guilty because I’m not dealing with the severity that some families deal with. I know how fortunate I am, we are, in all the things.

 

 

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