Tag Archives: health

Despite a moment of panic, this week went well

So after my crown went in Wednesday, I celebrated by having a meal of crunchy granola … and felt a grinding sensation, not from my crown but the cap on the other side. And when I checked with my tongue, I found it was missing. So I called the dentist … and it turned out I was imagining it. No gap that wasn’t there before. Everything’s fine. It still feels funny, but I’m confident my dentist is more objective than I am.

Leaf articles didn’t start back up until the end of the week so I put in a lot of time on Alien Visitors. I have three chapters and the introduction in good, though rough shape; barring disaster, it is actually doable by deadline. I do have to start ordering posters and photos as illustrations though — I’ve left that too long. My original plan was to buy them a couple each month; it won’t be easy to absorb now, but it’ll be manageable. I watched fewer movies than planned, but I’m still on track there, too.

I also started on the final proof of Undead Sexist Cliches and began to think about marketing, promotion, book blurbs (trigger warnings will be a must — some of this stuff I’m critiquing is creepy as shit).

Less than a couple of months and both books will be done. Then it’s back to fiction at last.

And now, time to put up the computer and relax. Have fun, y’all.

#SFWApro. All rights to image remain with current holder.

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My eyes are fine!

I had yet another medical appointment this week. This time it was my much delayed — a year, about — eye checkup. Turns out nothing in my eyes exploded and my vision remains constant, so no need for new lenses. I’m cool with this. Much less scary than this Ron Wilson cover —And less dramatic than this Joe Kubert cover.I’m quite happy to have my eyes neither scary nor dramatic.

#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holder.

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Medical labyrinth Monday!

Close to a decade ago, I discovered I had an aneurysm. Major freakout followed until the brain surgeon assured me it was so small it would be malpractice to work on it — lots of people have one. However it is necessary to check on it regularly to see that it’s not expanding. This Monday I went in for an MRI.

Getting to the lab turned out surprisingly complicated. Driving up the road alongside the hospital, I passed the entrance that said EMERGENCY PATIENTS — not noticing that underneath it, in much smaller prints, the sign said Outpatients. I tried the next entrance (attempting to interpret my GPS), which turned out to be staff. Tried the one after that, parked, went inside, learned it was the wrong entrance. And because of Covid, I assume, I couldn’t just make my way back to the MRI wing.

So after a little more driving I finally saw the Outpatients notice, went inside and followed a long, windy path back to the machine. I didn’t have to remove my belt, but I felt a strong magnetic pull on it as my head went into the MRI. That was a very freaky sensation; if I ever have to write about what it feels like to be yanked telekinetically, I shall definitely incorporate that feeling.

Happily, the aneurysm is still quiescent. And finding my way out of the building and the parking lot was slightly less frustrating than the journey inward.

#SFWApro. Cover by Jack Kirby, inks by Ditko, all rights remain with current holder.

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Medical frustration was my Tuesday

I have a minor medical problem I check on every few years to make sure it’s still minor. Tuesday (I thought) was my checkup time. As I also needed to visit an endodontist to see if I needed a root canal, I scheduled that for Tuesday too. That way I blow one day but there’s no need to refocus on work afterwards.

The day was … unproductive. My morning meeting wasn’t to check but simply to discuss whether I preferred MRI to CAT scan (it’ll be MRI for various reasons). Though I did feel oddly ebullient to be out doing something and the Duke building is engagingly old —In the afternoon, endodontist time! After getting over the surprise that Dr. Mallik comes from the same part of England as me (it’s a small area) he took a CAT scan of my teeth, giving him a view my regular dentist hadn’t been able to obtain. Yep, I need a root canal. Oh, joy. Only I didn’t get it Tuesday, it’ll be next month, like the other procedure.

So I feel like I wasted the day, even though it had to be done. And I wasted money taking Lyft to the endodontist — I’d been worried I might be in no shape to drive home. Though I was somewhat sleep deprived so maybe driving wouldn’t have been the best idea. Plushie had freaked out at the firework noises on both July 3 and 4 (and why are people now letting off fireworks July 3?), which didn’t allow for enough sleep. Tuesday morning I slept in the spare bedroom with Wisp part of the night and she decided to be needy, even giving me a slight nip when she wanted attention. So I felt pretty zonked.

At least I had the sense to bring a book to both offices!

#SFWApro

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This week unfolded almost as I anticipated

With TYG’s and my second vaccine shots on Monday and Tuesday respectively, I wanted to make sure there was nothing on my writing to-do list that had to be completed after Monday. That way, if worst came to worst, as I said a couple of weeks back, I could just lie around doing nothing.

Worst actually came to worst Monday night. I woke after a couple of hours, which was normal, but instead of going back to sleep I got hit by a panic attack: what if I couldn’t get back to sleep? How could I make it to the Walgreens some ten miles away (not my preference, but it was the first available when I was making the appointments) if I was too tired to drive? Aaaaaaah! As usual, fear of not getting enough sleep guaranteed I did not get enough sleep. Fortunately, TYG, while feeling rundown Tuesday after her shot, was able to drive me there; I could probably have managed it but I wouldn’t have trusted my judgment had I had to make any decisions.

You can see a shot of myself here on the monitor at the pharmacy. I thought I looked kind of look a weird troll out of a Twin Peaks dream sequence or something, but it doesn’t quite come across in the photo.

My decision to wrap up everything early proved wise. Wednesday I felt much like I did when my seasonal allergies kick in: tired, drained, almost feverish, strongly desirous of rest. Having gotten my golem article in on Monday, I was free to rest, or as free as possible given the need to walk and care for dogs. TYG, fortunately, was about the same level. It was unpleasant, but livable. I spent Wednesday reading and watching TV, and of course napping a lot.

Thursday I felt normal, just tiring very easily. That may also have something to do with Plushie having digestive difficulties that requires taking him out around 1:30 AM. I sat downstairs with him after that — I divined correctly that he might need more trips — and didn’t catch up on sleep. So more TV and napping, though I also batted out a final Leaf article for the month.

And then last night, it happened again. Fortunately Plushie didn’t need it more than once so I got most of a full night of sleep. I turned in a Veterans Network article this morning (and one I’d written on Atomic Veterans came out this week) and then we had a vet checkup for both pups. The rehab treatment has done well by both of them, particularly Trixie; Plushie still has some leg weakness. I suppose that may reflect his advancing age, sigh.

So not much accomplished this week, but that was planned for. Successfully, if I do say so. For the month I got about 55 percent of my goals accomplished, but given how I had to shift my schedule to prepare for this week, I don’t feel bad about that.

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Almost done for April

As I said last Friday, TYG and I have our second Fauci Ouchies coming up Monday and Tuesday, so I wanted to get the essential April stuff wrapped up. It took longer than expected (no surprise) so I have some wrapping up Monday, but mostly it’s good.

I finished up multiple articles for Veterans Network. Writing about Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange and similar topics took quite a bit of research, and then of course, some writing. They were really pleased with the results though. Oh, one of my earlier posts, about surgical empathy in counseling, came out too. Over at Atomic Junkshop you can check out my post on the Bronze Age Blackhawks and on God, gods and theology in the DC and Marvel universes.

I read a lot more golem books and have my golem piece 90 percent done. I think I can finish it on Monday. I’d better, just in case.

It’s been surprisingly cold here this week, with morning temperatures down in the 30s. On the plus side, we don’t have to worry about frozen food thawing out when it’s delivered (I will be so glad when I get back to shopping in stores!). Wisp stayed in several nights, sleeping on the bed with me as usual. When this happens she tends to scoot off pretty quick in the mornings, but I’m okay with that — it’s easier to get stretching and exercising done without her there. Though eventually, if we do get her to be a mostly indoor cat, I’ll have to adapt.

Oh, and I got some Leaf articles done. Not as many as I’d have liked — I don’t think I’m going to generate as much income this month as I wanted. When I try out my new scheduling trick for my May projects, I’ll definitely need to allow myself more time for Leaf. There were a couple of other money-making projects I’d anticipated and that threw my schedule off more than it should have. Plus, of course, prioritizing Veterans Network and golems this week — normally I’d have rolled a lot of that over to next week and concentrated on doing more Leaf stuff.

Wish me luck with our vaccine shots! I’ll hopefully be ready by next Friday to say how it went.

#SFWApro. Art by Michael Gilbert, all rights to image remain with current holder.

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My battle plan did not survive first contact with the enemy

As I mentioned at the start of the month, I thought breaking down my schedule into blocks of time and assigning them to different projects (e.g., eight units for Leaf, eight for Veterans Network articles, eight for the golem article). That way, when my schedule takes some kind of unexpected detour, I can make sure I’m still putting enough time on everything.

This week that did not work, though I think it’s less a flaw in the plan than just life. But then again, if the plan can’t cope with what life throws at me, it’s not much use. But really, this situation is exceptional. I have several projects due before the end of the month and I’m getting my second vaccine shot on April 27. If it leaves me feeling like crap I need to have all my essential projects done so I can just lie in misery. TYG is getting her shot around the same time (I really should have listened to her and gotten mine further apart, but when I saw an opening, I panicked and grabbed it) so even if I’m fine, she might be sick — and I know from experience that’s going to kill my productivity too. So the golem article and all my Veteran Network stuff has to be done by April 26.

Plus next week I have an Alexander Technique appointment, our dogs’ trip to the rehab vet and allergy shots for them. That’s going to eat up quite a bit of time.

So this week I wanted to work on veteran articles, Leaf pieces and the golem piece. I did well — the golem article is finally looking good — until yesterday. About 10:30 Wednesday night, Plushie became scared of the invisible monsters he’d spotted somewhere in the bedroom and insisted on climbing on me for safety, then licking my face for about 20 minutes. Finally he calmed down, but by that point I was completely awake. I got up, worked for a couple of hours, got ready to go back to bed … and Wisp meowed to come in and wanted attention for a little while.

I did get to sleep eventually but it didn’t help much. I finished an article on Agent Orange, and did a little work on Undead Sexist Cliches (final proof of Chapter Two. Looks good) — I’m actually quite impressed what I can do when my brain is utterly fried — but I didn’t get the golem article finished as I’d planned.

Last night I took an Ambien to ensure I’d get a decent night’s sleep. The price was waking up late, then Wisp came in, snuggled with me and fell asleep in my lap (it was cold outside).The result was that I never had the private time I need to get my head in the game. Today was not productive. If I didn’t have the deadlines and the possible sick days ahead, I’d have devoted it entirely to reading the remaining golem novels on my list.

I will try my plan again next month, but for the moment the onrushing deadlines render it moot.

Oh, I had Southern Discomfort come back from a publisher with some critical feedback. I’ll discuss what they said when I’ve had time to mull it over.

To end on an upbeat note, here’s Trixie sniffing a flower.#SFWApro.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book

Fauci ouchie #1 down!

Sunday morning I checked Walgreen’s locally and almost immediately got an appointment for Tuesday. Second one is later this month.

I didn’t realize quite how awesome it would feel. Not getting the shot but realizing that by May, life will be more or less back to normal for us. We can shop in stores. Eat in restaurants. Have housekeepers come in. Get out dogs professionally groomed.  Get myself professionally groomed instead of my current mad scientist hair. That was two months ago — by now I look ready to smite someone with the jawbone of an ass.I can make medical appointments. Give blood. Maybe before too long we can even travel.

Thank you to everyone in science, medicine and the government (excluding Trump, Jared and most of his administration) who made this possible so quickly.

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A Too Much Research Week, I guess

Reading a lot for my golem article.

Watching alien abduction films and Stephen Spielberg’s tedious miniseries Taken for Alien Visitors.

Extra time spent on research for my Veteran’s Network blog posts this week.

A shit ton of time spent planning and thinking. First, re-evaluating the work ahead for Alien Visitors and figuring out exactly what I’m doing in the months ahead. Second, I have an offer to edit a book, for pay, but they wanted me to give them a quote. That took a lot of number-crunching and guesstimating, but now it’s done, bid submitted. Worst case, they say no — or worst case, they make me a lower offer, I accept it and it turns out it wasn’t enough for the work involved. Hopefully my estimating skills are better than my doubts.

I did finish the redraft of Chapter Four of Undead Sexist Cliches though I still have to re-edit the footnotes as I rearranged the material so much (fortunately Chapter Five is much tighter organized). And I got an Atomic Junk Shop post up marveling that some people are apparently fine with all Superman’s absurdities but balk at the idea he can put a bun in Lois’s oven.

Then there was today. Wisp woke me up early and unlike some mornings she really, really wanted me to play the laser-pointer game with her. I didn’t quite have the time to do that — I’m not so coordinated I can flash the laser light and still do whatever else I’m doing — so she eventually left in a sulk. Then we got a thunderstorm which freaks Plush Dog out (“Sky noise! Loud evil sky noise!”) and he insisted on coming downstairs and cuddling with me (Trixie came too, inevitably). I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I couldn’t cuddle him and do any stretching or exercise, which left me feeling stiff all day. And with no time to myself in the morning, I never really got my head in the game for the day’s work. I wound up doing some extra work on Atomic Junk Shop posts, which I shouldn’t have been — blogging’s never supposed to take time from productive work — but my mind was balking even at more research reading. Finally this afternoon I found presence of mind for planning, but that was all.

Oh well, as I’ve said before, sooner or later my schedule has to go kaput for a day; that’s just how life is. But only for a day — I have too much to do.

On the personal side, I did accomplish something, getting signed up with Duke as one of the Group Four (older, some health issues) vaccine recipients. Though as the governor’s declared that next month it’s open to anyone, that doesn’t make much of a difference — particularly as I haven’t found any appointments yet. TYG is planning to go out of town to find one (there are nearby communities with slots available), but I haven’t given up on locating something here. We’ll see if I’m right.

And one of my self-published books showed on Amazon, though as usual they haven’t made the data about which book or how many sales. That’s so annoying — if they’re paying me, they have to know — but the sale is great news.

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My instincts were, unfortunately, correct

While the rule of thumb is that we shouldn’t be visiting the doctor if it isn’t necessary my teeth need more care than they used to so I went to the dentist for a cleaning Tuesday. Turned out I was right to go: I have a cavity but we’ll be able to fill it before it decays all the way to the nerve. Phew! That said, not at all looking forward to going back in next week.

Despite the dental visit, I managed to put in a full week of work, so recalibrating my schedule is still working. A lot more of it was watching movies for Alien Visitors than I’d planned; I’ll have to watch for that in the future. But I did get other stuff done: proofing footnotes for Undead Sexist Cliches; making it halfway through the final proof of Questionable Minds, plus talking with my cover designer; Leaf articles; and writing more of the text for Alien Visitors.

I’d planned to concentrate my Alien Visitors work so that I’d be watching movies about kids and aliens in a clump, then ET superheroes, alien invasion films, etc. Unfortunately the Netflix DVDs that were supposed to arrive Monday never appeared (I’ve requested replacements) so that threw me off and my viewing was rather random. I could have viewed most of the films on Amazon but they were all for a fee so I chose to wait for Netflix. Perhaps that was an error.

Oh, and I sent in my sales tax for the previous quarter. Annoyingly, the sale of one Amazon print-on-demand copy translates into a $1.66 payment but the minimum fee for paying sales tax online is $2. I lose money. Still, I’d sooner have the sale.

One of our neighbors was out of town this week so TYG or I walked her dog at lunch (the puppy sitter has to work during the day). Wednesday I came across a vulture disputing the rights to roadkill with a couple of crows. The vulture won.

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