Tag Archives: health

While the fingers will let me

I’m going to type out an update – typing is so much faster and easier than speech to text. Though, if anyone has recommendations for good software that really works and isn’t ridiculous, I’d be glad to hear them!

This last month I’ve seen more doctors than I have in probably ten years. I have no answers right now but I do have direction, suspicion, and probability. There’s a probability that, come the end of this month, I’ll have an official word for the fact that my body has decided that everything needs to hurt.

I’m able to type today because a very nice doctor at the ER gave me a pain pill on top of all my stupid ibuprofen. My back still hurts some but everything is much more bearable right now. I’d work on a story or a poem but the headspace isn’t right for that, at least, not for the things I want to be writing. I’m going through a lot in my head right now also, reading up and researching and looking at all the available information. There are some very big, very scary words and, whatever you do, please if you don’t feel well, never look at the image tab! I do worry a bit about down the road, long term but the outlook could be a lot worse and a lot of people live quite normal lives with Rheumatoid arthritis. It could be so very much worse and I know that even when everything hurts and I’m frustrated that I can’t make my coffee without spilling stuff.

The kids are being great, the dogs are a bit more obnoxious, and the husband is always awesome. I couldn’t ask for better. My puppy is struggling a bit to understand why he can’t sit on my feet right now but he’s the best ever heating pad. The kids keep me in line though – I said something to someone about feeling like my body was trying to kill me and the youngest was very quick to remind me that if my body was really trying to kill me, I’d be dead. Yeah, I have no idea at all where he gets his morbid sensibility. Not even a little /s.

My appointment with the rheumatologist is at the end of the month but I’ve read up, I’ve heard my doctors, and listened to the awesome ER doc remind me twice to make sure I made it to that appointment so …

On the upside, I do have one doctor who will give me a clean bill of health – made it through the dentist with no cavities or icky stuff and I think this dentist will be a good fit for us.

Because this is the most pressing thing in my life, I’m probably going to be posting about this for a bit, at least until we get everything settled out, figured out, and on the road to better. It may be a little while but I’m still going to be working on my art and my stories – just a little slower than before maybe.

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Updates All Around

Set up at the Italian Festival!

I had another craft fair this past weekend and I sold a few more books which is always nice and met some very interesting people. I have to admit, I am enjoying the craft fairs more than I thought I would, even with all the other issues I’ve got going on right now. Which are much more plentiful than I’d like, for sure.

I have another craft fair coming up on August 12th also and that should be both busy and fun. I honestly never thought I’d be looking forward to events like this – it’s been a very long time since I was comfortable peopling this much so I guess I’m getting somewhere after all these years. I’m not ready for Steel City or Parsec just yet but maybe soon! (ish)

Fabric sculpture Ragamuffin is up at Nesting Dragon.

I put up a bunch of new stuff over at Nesting Dragon – I’m really enjoying the fabric sculptures. I think the Nazgul and Shadow are my favorites (Shadow is all mine and not for sale lol) but I’m branching out a bit and I’ve got some ideas… Hopefully, I’ll manage to get one done before the Peach Festival and see how it plays.

On the health front, this month has been one long round of why do I hurt. It started with the left knee, when through the feet (with cellulitis of all things), through the ankles, the other knee, and then the wrists and hands. I’ve had x-rays, blood work,  more ibuprofen than I’ve taken in my entire life leading up to this (maybe an exaggeration…), and a whole lot of questions. The only thing I know for sure is that I have some arthritis in one knee, stupid tiny veins, and a predilection for bruising. I had yet another appointment today with the orthopedic guy and I walked out with some probably nots, a script for more bloodwork, and a referral for yet another guy. It’s really a frustrating process and I’m not actually getting solid answers, just suggestions. But we think fibromyalgia is ruled out at least so that’s something. Now I have to visit a rheumatologist and we’ll play another round of a million questions. Honestly, rheumatoid arthritis would make sense with everything but I’m not calling it until a doctor does. As of now, it’s just one possible answer. The words don’t matter so much as having a plan of attack. That’s what’s bothering me the most – not having a solid plan of attack beyond try to weigh less. In the mean time, I’m just muddling through and playing with speech to text software because typing a lot hurts (I’ve split this post into three sittings as it is).

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Filed under Books, Crafting, etsy, Event, Health, Life

Progress

This is a non-writing related post for the most part. It does relate to writing in that I’m not getting as much done right now as I’d like but that will change with school coming back and my working to get this new routine down. I’ve blogged before over the years about my issues with my weight and, while I am trying to just be happy with my shape and myself, I am also trying really hard to get into a shape that isn’t this one.

I’m not looking for advice, just sharing my progress because I want to brag a little. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made just using the myfitnesspal app and the Pokemon Go app. For me, being accountable for the calories (and getting on the stationary bike or going for a walk when I want to have cake not cutting out cake), is working incredibly well. As long as my final number is green I’m a happy girl. I know I’ll hit a plateau eventually but I’m trying to get this done before I hit the age where it becomes super difficult to take any weight off. When I went to my doctor, I was looking at a very daunting 80 pounds to lose.

I started 87 days ago (I know only because the app keeps track of this stuff for me) and, if my scale didn’t lie to me today, I’m down 26 pounds so far. It doesn’t hurt that we’re walking a mile and half every day (73km so far!) and that I’ve traded my regular chair for a stability ball but the biggest difference is just that I’m being smarter about my food choices – I don’t feel hungry or deprived at all. This is important as it keeps me going instead of frying myself up some beignets. The best part is that I’m not doing anything unusual – honestly, with the Pokemon Go app, I’m not doing anything I wouldn’t be doing anyway — gotta hatch those eggs, after all.

I’m not noticing any differences, nothing seems like it’s fitting differently or anything yet. But, if I keep going at the rate I’m going right now, I’ll be at my personal goal sometime in March (allowing some off time around christmas because I am an excellent baker). We’ll see. There will be no before pictures but I am looking forward to updating my author pic at some point.

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Annoyed

There’s a great deal I want to write about today but most of it is going to wait until tomorrow. Instead, I’m going to bitch about diets – not mine but my father’s diet. We went out to lunch at Eat N Park. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that my dad is a cardiac patient and as such, he follows a pretty strict diet because if he doesn’t, he ends up back in the hospital! Eat N Park has always had a nutritional pamphlet and that pamphlet is why he chose Eat N Park over Bob Evans (which has the massive kitchen guide)  or one of the little local diners (where you have to actually talk to the cook). It seems that Eat N Park has decided (according to the local manager) to discontinue the practice of having actual paper pamphlets on hand, instead, directing their customers to Google it or something about an App. I missed a large part of this conversation as my dad and stepmom got there first.

I’m a little put out by the fact that, when the MANAGER realized that there was a dietary issue with a customer who, for whatever reason, could not access the pdf nutritional information he did nothing. He did not get his own phone and access the information, he did not offer to look it up on a computer or ask the kitchen. Nope. His one and only response was that corporate discontinued that practice.

I don’t know if their allergy information is contained in the same way but if it is, that’s just asking for a reaction. I know it’s shocking in this day and age but not everyone relies solely on the internet for their information/communication. My dad’s phone isn’t always smart (often it has trouble connecting to the internet) and my stepmom has an old flip phone. It seems to me that a great number of people who need to be checking the salt content of a dish or sugars and carbs are exactly the kind of people who don’t necessarily have a smart phone with the ability to check nutritional information.

Seriously, what happens if the network goes down?

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Filed under Health, Life, Reviews

Progress and admiration

Even with all that’s going on in the land of my father’s health, I’ve managed to get a massive chunk of edits done. My massive may not be your definition of massive but situationally, I’m getting through basically a chapter a day and that’s enough for me. Things are slowly getting better on that front but I really wish we could fast forward the next however many weeks it’s going to take him to get back on his feet.

There aren’t enough hours in the day or, honestly, motivation, for me to do Nanowrimo this year and that makes me sad. The book I’m editing right now started its life as a nanowrimo novel. The novels that are already out there to be read started their lives as nano novels too. I do have books that weren’t started then but it’s just so nice to write when everyone else is writing.

Being pulled in so many directions lately has taught me a few things. First: I need to sell more books so my husband can quit his job because he is so so so much better at the household stuff than I am. Second: anyone who can meet deadlines, produce multiple books and series, take care of family and household stuff and also hold a day job is my idol. Sometimes I daydream about the sheer volume I could produce if I had a househusband… if you want to see what that volume would be, you should buy/share/review my books. We’ll consider it an experiment. How many books could Sarah write in a year if writing was her only job? It probably wouldn’t be a whole lot more than I already do if only because something shiny would catch my eye and I’d get distracted but it is my favorite daydream any way.

Now to get started on my day. I’ve got a chapter to edit, a hospital and stepmom to call, and decorations to put away. I hate undecorating my house but it must be done. Later, if all goes well, I’m taking the kids over to say hello because I think my dad needs that a lot.

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Filed under Health, Life, WIP, Writing

PSA – Melanoma Or Get Thee to a Dermatologist

Melanoma runs deep in my family. It is how my mother died 20 years ago. We are absolutely proactive about it. Sunscreen is a MUST. Checking of all the moles is a must. I know what a “good” mole looks like vs a “bad” mole. I check myself and the kids pretty regularly. It is habit now.

Because this is the year for freaking out, a little after I found my little bump, I noticed that there was a mole on my oldest son’s arm that I did not like. Not one little bit. So I scheduled a dermatologist appointment for him too. Of course, a few days before his appointment, I hurt my foot and could drive so the husband had to take him. The doctor took the mole I was worried about and another one too.

It’s the waiting that makes it all unbearable. A week for a biopsy. The kid did better at waiting than me. I worry over it, obsess over it, and run through all the worst case scenarios in my head because that is what I’ve always done. Apart from letting me check his wounds and their healing process, he’s not said a word about it. He’s not acting worried or anything either. He hasn’t even asked me once about when we hear back on said biopsy. I called today (it’s always a good sign when you have to call them) and he’s all clear. They were just moles. And that is the biggest relief.

I know it’s family history that makes me nervous for him. I’ve been a basket case for every single one of the moles I’ve had removed (5). I really hoped I’d have longer to wait before he started getting pieces of himself taken off. I was 17 the first time I had a mole removed. He’s not quite 15 yet. And his looked scarier than mine. And now I’ve called and gotten the information I need – just moles, not precancer or melanomas. Boring old moles. I LOVE boring old moles.

Most people have some moles, freckles, or other marks. You should get them checked. A good baseline check by a dermatologist and learn the difference between moles you can ignore and moles you should worry about. Get yourself checked and keep track of your spots. You are never too young to start checking for these things. It’s a good habit to get into – like checking for lumps in your breast in the shower.

Know the difference.

Know the difference.

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Fear is the Mind Killer

I love Dune, no question. It was one of those books that actually changed me. The Litany is something I say more often than I’d like but probably not as often as I need to. Fear can be huge and paralyzing. Fear can be small and insidious, sneaking up on you like smoke that’s been hiding in your shadow. Fear can be loud, quiet, boisterous, secretive. For me, fear is the Eater of Worlds, the monster under the bed, the Jabberwocky and the Nothing all at once.  It is the mind killer and it takes everything and twists it – everything in my mind is suddenly connected with that fear, that what if, and it won’t let anything else in. Even when logic and intellect tell that fear that it is stupid and unfounded. There’s a difference between understanding and Knowing.

A while ago, I found a tiny little bump. At first I thought maybe it was an ingrown hair or a bug bite. But it didn’t go away, didn’t change, did nothing but sit there and be a tiny little bump. Given my family history, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist who couldn’t see me for forever (ok 2 months but also forever). It has been driving me bonkers. And for no good reason as dermatologist confirmed my own opinion on the bump this morning – a clogged pore, a cyst, maybe but nothing to be concerned about.

The bump itself was not the problem. My problem is that fear is also the instigator of my tendency to look at all things through the lens of Worst Case Scenario. I knew the bump was nothing. I knew it but I could not get my fear to understand that. When my mother was diagnosed with melanoma the first time, it wasn’t a mole, a spot, a lesion or the usual, it came in the form of two marble sized lumps on her back. I am older than she was the first time she had cancer. I am not my mother but I can’t help but think in those terms when I find something strange. What would I do if? What would my husband do if? What would my kids do if? I know I’d jump into whatever treatment would be the most effective without care of hair. I know I’d do whatever it took. That’s good to know I suppose.

I haven’t been very productive in the last few weeks because my brain wouldn’t cooperate with me – it wanted to obsess and I didn’t want to so the kids and I had netflix marathons and played games and were bumps ourselves. Hopefully now I can get back to my regularly scheduled weird. I don’t talk about this stuff  until after all is said and done because I don’t like to worry people unnecessarily and most everyone I know is dealing with far worse than a tiny little nothing of a bump.

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Filed under Anxiety, Life