Tag Archives: health

June Wrap Up, July Goals

Niagara Falls from the American side (image: Sarah Wagner)

Another month has come to an end… This year just keeps on moving along. June was pretty good overall. It’s been just about the busiest month I’ve had in a very long time and I managed to do almost all of the things. I got the beta draft of Christmas in Bear Ridge finished and off to two quick readers while I muscle through polishing edits and description fluffing. My only real goal is to get Bear Ridge sent off to the editor. Once that’s done, I’ll happily get back to Hunter’s Hell and Gods of the Fallen and Eldercynne Knight. All of them are needing to get themselves finished.

In June, I wrote 23,037 words, completed the beta draft of Christmas in Bear Ridge, went camping in New England, I sent 0 submissions out, got two rejections in, wrote up four Face Off Recaps for the four episodes that have run so far (still my favorite game show on TV), cleaned and organized the youngest child’s room, and somehow only lost 1.5 pounds. That last one makes me so stinking mad. I’ve been doing better on not eating a bunch of stupid stuff, moving more, walked SO much of the freedom trail my whole body is still hurting, and I only lost 1.5 pounds. ugh. I do know it was probably all the sitting during all the driving (1400+ miles) and things like crabcake blts (omg, seriously. Amazing!).

July should have a bigger word count, once I get my edits finished but I don’t know how long that is going to take. I’m going to hope for as many words as June and far less missed days but since I don’t think we’re headed to another campground this month, I should be ahead of the game on that. Mostly, I’ll be happy if I can manage that, a revamp of the etsy shop, AND actually lose 5 pounds.

Mid-month, I have an appointment with the rheumatologist. It’s looking like he’s probably going to end up messing with the medications. I’m in a much better place than I was last year at this time but my bloodwork isn’t showing it so much and I’m still struggling at the end of more days than I’d like. Hopefully, shifting that around will help eliminate my crazy short-term memory problems and maybe even get one with a side effect that’s beneficial, like weight loss (fingers crossed all the ways). If nothing changes at all, I’m still in a place that’s much more liveable than it could be so I’ll make the best of it.


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Filed under Life, WIP, Writing

Of Comics, Conventions, and Peopling

Over the weekend, the family and I went to the 3 Rivers Comicon. The people who run it were nice enough to give me a press dealio and recommendation on a panel to make sure I went to. I did. It was awesome and I have a new series to read out of it too! I discovered that there’s a girl’s comic discussion group too – I may even try to attend in person sometime down the road. I got to meet a writer/artist who was part of one of the series that I loved in high school (even if I didn’t realize it was based in comics until much later in life, now I have most of the series in really beautiful, collector condition. I’m missing the last 12 but I’ll find them!). For most of my response and reaction to that, check out my post over at The Geek Girl Project.

The comics part of it, the neat art, the neat stuff, the artists and writers – all of that is really awesome but for me, the best part was that I peopled really freaking well – I talked to people I didn’t know about things I’m passionate about (even if one of those conversations had nothing to do with comics at all but interesting rocks. Did you know there’s a whole zen-like thing devoted to interesting bits of rock? Suiseki is a real thing I didn’t know about before. My most interesting rocks are generally kept on brass stands but I might have to look at some wooden ones eventually.). I know for most people, actually managing to talk to people without being an idiot is not a noteworthy thing and I am still quite hopeful that someday it won’t be notable for me either. It might actually happen if I have more days like yesterday. But I count yesterday as a huge win in the Sarah Successfully Peoples column so, suck it anxiety!

My fingers were not completely cooperative (one awesome lady at a geek girl brunch organization was kind enough to fill out a mailing list form as my handwriting was being atrocious in that moment) and my foot whined a lot but really, I didn’t come home half as sort or hurty as I usually do from spending a day at a convention or fair. I think some of that was definitely that my meds are really working better and I’ve been able to move more and better which makes it so I do move more and better and it’s a wonderful cycle of healing and getting better (and I’m so grateful for that!). I did absolutely need my cane by the end of it and I was moving pretty slowly but it could have been (and has been in the past) so much worse!

So I’m home, recharged, refreshed, and ready to work. Someday, I would love to create comics but ultimately, I think what I’m doing now, the books that I’ve got, that I’m working on, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

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Filed under Anxiety, Comics, Convention, Event, Geek, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Doing it Anyway

This last year has really been all about learning to do things anyway – even when I’m sad, anxious, or hurting. Writing even though I’m not as fast anymore and get distracted easily. Doing the errands even if various joints are being stupid. I admit, I’m getting pretty damn jealous of all the people who can just walk all the places and not wind up with yet another swollen hurty bit. I understand some of my friends with various chronic diseases a lot better now and I am bowing to their example and expertise a lot. One particular lady is everything I want to grow up to be – I’ll always be a huge fan of hers – she especially rocks the art of doing it anyway.

It is a really hard adjustment to do it anyway. I’m getting there with the writing, even if this post is pretty much the only writing I’ll do today. It’s harder with the other stuff. Right now, I’ve got my feet up with an ice pack on my ankle hoping for some relief and I’m not really finding it. If anything, it’s sort of making it even more uncomfortable. Today was also leech day – where I go get all my blood let for science (and to make sure all my levels are good *fingers crossed my sed rate is finally going down*) and I forgot to take the bandage off – something about their bandages and my skin do not get along. I have a red splotchy place everywhere the adhesive touched my skin. But, I was hydrated enough to make the stick easy and it doesn’t look like I’m even going to bruise this month which is super yay. I never thought I would ever get used to being stuck in the arm every month without even a pretty picture to show for it but, there you go.

Honestly, I’ve done really well keeping the writing going. I’m at very nearly 17k words for the month and I’m super proud of myself. I’ll be even more proud if somehow I can beat my February totals. This past week was my busiest week with life stuff though so hopefully, next week I’ll do a lot more getting stuff done. After the first part of the week anyway. I have a very important lunch date with an old friend I haven’t seen in a really really long time. Pretty sure since before I had kids. I’m very much looking forward to playing catch up.

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Filed under Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis

February Wrap Up & March Goals

Well, February was my best month since the last time I won a NaNoWriMo. I am a bit of a spreadsheet geek – facts and figures make me so happy.

The figures!

35,221 total words written for February (47,806 for the year)

How does that break down you ask? 9201 words on Gods of the Fallen, 19552 on Hunter’s Hell, 4011 on this blog, 1694 for the Geek Girl Project, and 44 words worth of poetry (or one rough poem). I don’t do a count of any of my handwritten stuff – notes, snippets, my personal diary and such because that would be a pain in the butt to do.

I missed three days out of the month and that’s it. That’s so freaking awesome. I’m really quite proud of myself today, at least on the writing front.

The health front faired less well … stupid yummy food, stupid boring exercise … I actually gained two pounds. However, given how much junk I probably really ate, that’s not so bad. I bought some new resistance bands to help with some of that and I’m trying really hard to stick with the calorie counter app. For me, it’s really more about the calories – if I can keep that under control, I’m good. Doing actual exercise is just a thing I do so I can eat what I want.

I am tolerating the increase in methotrexate pretty well – changing the time of day has made a world of difference. Now I get to sleep through pretty much all of the tired and icky feelings. I’m not pain-free but I’m certainly at mostly tolerable levels and actually able to type. I’m not up to normal speeds but I am thinking that I have to consider this a new normal. I think my days of 80-90 wpm are probably over.

On to March Goals!

On the writing front, I’d like the total count to be higher than February’s and not just because of the missing days. I don’t mind having to not write for a day or three – I might have things that need doing, might be too tired or drained or whatever. I do want to aim for that 50k word count. Realistically, that should be my average at a minimum. That’s only 1650 words per day on average. I might have some days that are only 300 words and days that are close to 4000 words. I really should be able to do 1650 words per day on average. And I really should add a per day average number to my spreadsheet!

On the health front – my biggest goal right now is to be able to get up off the floor without help. Which means I’ll be able to do more proper yoga again I suppose if I can get the dog to leave me be for a minute. Yes, I would like to lose weight. Really, I need to lose a lot of it – 75-80 is my goal (the doctor would be super thrilled with 50 though). So monthly, maybe 5 pounds lost would be really wonderful but the ability to stand up without help is what I’m after.

I got nothing made last month and I would really like to get something neat made this month. So, I want to make at least 5 things in March. I don’t care what they are but 5 somethings. (And find at least one festival I can manage to do for this summer).

I had a lot of progress in February and I just want to keep moving forward as best I can so March is even better.


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Filed under Crafting, Health, WIP, Writing

Skin and Scales

For the last several months, since I started medication, I’ve complained about my skin. Some of it cleared up when I finally got off the prednisone but I’m having a resurgence of acne and not all the red splotchiness is going away. I’ve ordered samples, bought samples, searched the internets, and slathered my skin in all manner of craziness. I’ve learned a few things – some of the most expensive skin stuff smells like skunk cabbage and rotten carrots had a baby, sheet masks are weird as all get out, and bubble masks really feel neat. And nothing works for me. Rather, nothing did.

That’s not to say I didn’t find things I liked – I really do love the Glamglow cleanser (it smells like licorice!) and the crazy bubble cloud mask things. Micellar Water is the greatest makeup remover ever (but I can’t leave it on my skin like some people). And Garnier’s is just as nice as some of the pricier ones. And mostly I’ve learned just how expensive skincare and makeup can be. Oh my goodness, it can be ridiculous! Some of it though is absolutely worth it and I would be so dangerous if I had real money. Fortunately, there are places like Marshalls where I can find something new to try while not spending a ton just to discover yet another thing I shouldn’t put on my face.

Believe it or not, the only thing I’ve found that works is a regular drugstore brand. Actually, I shouldn’t be too surprised as this particular brand was my astringent go to a billion years ago. I’m a couple of days in, using the system – cleanser once, spot treatment and lotion twice – and the difference is huge. The blemishes have diminished, the redness is nearly gone – even on my cheekbones! Clean and Clear’s Advantage is super affordable, especially compared to the systems I’ve looked at trying to find something.

Ikea Bento

Now for the scales part! My oldest kid is super earth conscious and really trying to live as close to zero waste as he can (though complete zero waste is really impossible in this day and age. In trying to find ways to minimize his footprint, he was looking at bento boxes. Rather than wait for shipping, we went out and picked up Ikea’s version of a bento and got to work trying to figure out what we were going to put in them. Apart from zero waste, I’m hopping on the bandwagon is hopes of a smaller waist. If I try really hard to stick to the portions, to drink all my scheduled water, and, you know, actually move, it should all work to get that stupid number going the right direction just a little faster and continue to do so until the Wii Fit board stops reminding me just how horribly fat I am in a far too perky voice.

Today’s lunch is probably the only one I’ll blog about (unless I make something insanely pretty) because it’s the first one.

Today’s lunch: Green tea noodle ginger chicken salad made by my oldest kid, pork steamer buns (that I need to learn how to make), green peppers, sugarsnap peas, grapes, cheese. So yummy.

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Most of this week rocked

I got a lot done, I’m a bit concerned that my word counts are artificially high but they aren’t really – the way I do rewrites from the zero-draft, I’m actually writing every word over again. Maybe it doesn’t seem like I’m adding a whole lot just yet but I’m also cutting out the words that don’t work so I’m going to keep counting that way – two separate files side by side, no cut and paste, I get to keep the official words. It just feels easier because I have these bones already.

Today did not rock. The day I took my meds (weds) was fine. Thursday I zonked out quite a bit – certainly more than I expected to. Yesterday I was hurting so much more – especially in the feet. Today, today was just awful. I haven’t felt this sick since starting this whole process. Headache, nausea, exhaustion. If I’d shone any other illness signs or anyone else in the house felt awful, I might think it was a touch of something but everyone else is fine so it might be the meds – I guess I’ll know next week. I’m feeling a smidge better this evening than I was this morning for sure but I’m still not quite right.

This post is the grand total for my words today but I had a great week for words otherwise so I’m good with that. The X-Files is back again and, of course, I’m watching it and while I might be behind a bit and slow in the writing but recap/review is up for the first two episodes on The Geek Girl Project.  The reviews for 3-5 should be up sometime this week. I still love the show but, as much as I’d watch it forever, I think the actors are about done so I really hope they wrap it up in a more satisfying way than they did last time they did a special season.

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Filed under Health, Writing

January Wrap Up

This month has been a pretty busy, pretty decent month!

On the writing front, it’s been the best month I’ve had in a very very long time. I didn’t start counting my words until half-way through the month so it isn’t exactly complete and I didn’t write every day but I only missed three days in the last half of the month and that’s damned good. I wrote 12,585 words in the second half of January and I’m really pleased with that. I also finished the zero draft of Hunter’s Hell which I started in November so, I might be behind there but the bones of this book are solid and awesome. I submitted Purgatory’s Queen (sci-fi/thriller) and Demonborn (dark fantasy) so fingers crossed all over the place there. I also put in some words on the Gods of the Fallen first draft. I’ll be working both HH and GOTF first drafts for the next month or two. I’ll be very happy if HH is done mid-March.

On the health front: I’ve come a long way in the last six months but I’m not all the way there yet. I can do laundry all by myself now and stand up long enough to do dishes without using the tall stool to perch on. I can type at 3/4 speed for half an hour at a stretch. I’m not back to normal but I’m so damned happy to be where I’m at! I’m even exercising again. Slowly, gently, but exercising. I turned on my calorie counting app and hooked up the Wii Fit board. I’m only down about a pound but at least I’m back to going the right direction. Being off the prednisone is great but I think we’re probably not finished adjusting the methotrexate just yet.

The kids are doing well in school. Husband is the awesome. Husband’s family pulled through their recent health stuff, even if it didn’t exactly go as planned. This might be the closest month I’ve had to normal since my Dad died. ❤  Hopefully this month is even better!

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

A Week in a Day

I got more words yesterday than I did during all of last week. That’s not terrible. I didn’t get many words today but I did discover that weather shifts and running errands don’t really play well together. I did snag a pair of New Balance shoes on super clearance to wear inside the house to do my exercise because my good shoes are out of the house shoes and I need more arch support than socks can give me and I’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 pounds to lose so said exercise is important. I also found two additional eye shadow brushes on super clearance to add to my kit that I’m probably going to keep for sparkly, shiny stuff.  Hopefully, I’ll get a few more words in this evening during Flash because that show might still by my kid’s favorite but it’s gotten pretty irksome for me but Black Lightning comes on right afterward and I’m looking forward to that.

I got the Wii Fit board out, charged up, and working again (even if it is terribly mean to me) and I started up the MyFitnessPal app again. Counting calories is my best weapon, even if it means eating all the veggies so I don’t eat all of the gummy bears. Of course, not buying the gummy bears in the first place helps with that too but I really do love me some gummy bears. In any case, I’m trying.

I’ve given myself some rules on the writing front – if I want to work on the project that’s giving me twitchy fingers, I’ve got to put in no less than 1k on the projects that need to be done soon. It worked yesterday anyway and it’ll likely work tomorrow and, if I just keep going, I’ll get all the books done. Well, no, I know I’ll never actually get all the books in my head written – there are too many and I keep finding new ones. I just hope I can keep finding people who might want to actually read them!

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Filed under Health, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Water is better when it’s coffee


However, it does seem that adding water to my schedule has minimized my Thursday discomfort almost as much as it helps my monthly blood draws go easy. Even with the increase in my dosage this week, I’m not having my usual weekly feel bad. I have a little tummy upset but not enough to keep me from a celebratory jalapeno burger.

We increased the dosage of methotrexate so I can get completely off the prednisone. I did make the doctor laugh though when I explained my problem with prednisone. It makes me hate everyone. It sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I’m super glad it helps and gets me through the flares and my body’s overreactions but it just makes me so angry that I’m even gladder to see the end of it. Hopefully, the new dose gets my numbers in order as I’d like to stick to this one thing that I know is nicely covered by my insurance and not risk some of the ridiculous numbers I’ve heard from other ladies with RA.

I did not make my word goal this week and I’m ok with that. I had a huge computer malfunction. Fortunately, a reset worked just fine, even though it took me all day to get things reinstalled. Technically, I’m still not done doing that but I’m not complaining because I didn’t lose any of my work and I got a reminder about making sure I do my backups religiously.

Really, it’s been a good week overall and it looks like I’ll actually have both kids back in school without any delays or closings or snow or flooding. I don’t know if I remember the last full day the kids had. I’ve got to get readjusted to the ridiculously early start times which is less than ideal but it’s also great to get back to our schedule.

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Filed under Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Counting begins today

The title is relevant to a couple of things actually when I think about it…

I turned on the MyFitnessPal app again today for the first time since my knee first exploded last year and started me down this road. Really, gaining back 20 lbs after six months of being mostly inactive, Christmas eating, stress eating, and wanting to sleep all the time isn’t so bad. Especially when I remember that some of that was also the prednisone and, as of tomorrow, unless the doc says differently Wednesday, I’m done with that! So, I’m back to counting calories and minutes of activity. It worked very well last time I was consistent with it so I just have to really push to do exactly that. I’m working on some stretching and yoga for now until the hurt knee seems better able to do more than that. Next week, I’ll dig out the fit board and listen to horrible chipper voices tell me how fat I am before reminding me that my weight isn’t balanced right. As if I didn’t know that already!

The other way the title makes sense has nothing to do with weight but with words. My short-term memory is not what it once was. If I don’t set alarms and make lists, things aren’t getting done. I think that’s going to apply to my writing also – I was doing fairly well with word counting during NaNoWriMo and I can set up a spreadsheet with all the things I work on during any given day (and I’m including all writing that’s not my personal handwritten journal) and get back to writing consistently, regardless of the tired, the fingers (which are doing much better with all the things – gloves, braces, balms etc), until I can do 10,000 words per week, 50 weeks out of the year. If I have to count to make this work then that’s what I learn to do.

I’m making weekly to-do lists and trying to do daily schedules and it’s so weird because I never used to need these sorts of things to get stuff done. I’m really not a fan of this part of things. It is what it is. This week, the count will definitely not be that high because part of my list of things to do this week is prep one of my books for the submission process and have it out by next Monday and that’s going to take more time than I’d like because it has to be as perfect as possible.

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Filed under goals, Health, Writing