Tag Archives: health

Dizziness and diarrhea

No, not my diarrhea. Last Saturday, Trixie suddenly got the squirtles, requiring me to walk her in the early morning. And again, about an hour later. And again 90 minutes later. Every time I’d drift off to sleep, she’d get the need. Not a good night.

I almost lost my temper with her a couple of times, which would have been wrong. It’s not her fault and she was doing her best not to poop on the floor. She’s a good dog and it wasn’t her fault. Fortunately her tummy returned to normal after that night.

In more cheery news, my vertigo is just barely a thing now. I do my exercises regularly and I’ve gone to physical therapy to get some added exercises to try. Occasionally I still get a brief moment, but nothing serious; hopefully it’ll go completely before too long.

I was skeptical about physical therapy’s role in the process but it helps. Doing vertigo exercises is unpleasant — it makes things worse at first — so having someone push me makes it a lot easier to keep at them. And the results speak for themselves.

#SFWApro.

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As expected, a slight drop in productivity

As I’ve mentioned frequently in this week-in-review posts, if I’m performing way above average or way below average the odds are that by random chance I’ll do less well the following week. When I’m at my very best it’s just easier to drop to a lower level than stay at the top. That’s the nature of averages.

So unsurprisingly, this wasn’t as good a week as the previous two. For one thing I gave myself Wednesday off: I had to take the car in for annual inspection and checkup and decided I’d just bring a book rather than my computer. Then I kept reading that afternoon. It felt good, so no regrets. We also had the housekeepers in Thursday. I thought we’d be dealing with the new dishwasher Tuesday but that fell through — there’s a part that was out (supply chain issues) so we’re rescheduled for a couple of weeks.

My dizziness continues but at a much reduced level so my daily exercises are apparently fixing things or buying time for them to fix themselves. I could drive safely to the car place and back so that’s good enough. I’m sticking with exercises that do not involve heavy head-jerking for now, though.

This week’s big breakthrough was figuring out the problem with the ending of Oh the Places You’ll Go! My new ending, with everyone in the future world of 2015, works much better though it does need some fixing and editing. I also figured out that the problem with Adventure of the Red Leech is the third quarter: there’s a lot of necessary exposition but no tension, nothing to up the stakes. I don’t quite know how to fix it yet, though.

Other than that, it was mostly Leafs, plus a new client asking for similar business articles. Better paying per article but not as many articles available.

And I had to resolve a problem with a couple of missing photos from the set I sent in as illustrations for The Aliens Are Here. All taken care of now.

All in all, not bad for the last week of the month. Month-in-review post will come next week.

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

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Short Stories, Story Problems, Time management and goals

Not the cool Alfred Hitchcock kind of vertigo

So Saturday, as I laid back on the floor in my stretching routine, the room — not so much spin, but it felt like it was rocking. I had vertigo. Which is way unpleasant, even in mild cases.

As it could theoretically be something serious, I hit the nearby urgent care. They said as it could theoretically be something serious, I should go to Duke E/R for a CAT scan, just to determine it wasn’t intercranial bleeding, a stroke or the like. TYG drove me down (as I mentioned Monday) and the staff went into emergency triage mode because strokes are manageable if they’re treated fast. Much to my amusement, several residents showed up to watch the process, just like on an episode of Scrubs. I was a teachable moment!

Impressed though I was with their swiftness, once they determined I was not in peril mortal, the swiftness disappeared. I got out of the CATscan around noon. 4 PM we were still waiting for someone to wrap things up and remove the various wires and IV hooked up to me. And we couldn’t get to the cafeteria — I just had to wait on the bed, staring at my surroundings (above).  Good thing we both brought plenty to read.

The fun trip finally wrapped up a little after four; while I don’t doubt they had higher profile emergencies to tackle (this was, after all, the emergency room) it wasn’t as if they had to give me a long consult before sending me out into the world. Just here’s the money, here’s the prescription, here’s a flyer on anti-vertigo exercises. bye now! So it felt very long and frustrating, particularly as we couldn’t get from where we were to the cafeteria to eat during our stay.

This sucked up most of Saturday and with my vertigo, I had to settle for Amazon delivery Sunday rather than food shopping, or doing much else. Still I do appreciate the speed with which everyone got me treated. Just in case it hadn’t been harmless.

Tuesday I say my regular doctor and she went into more detail about the exercises. It’s a lot of head twisting to get everything inside back in alignment, and it’s helping. It’s unpleasant, and involves a lot of initial nausea, but I do feel better afterwards. So I’m feeling much less miserable now.

#SFWApro.

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The endgame is on, the finish line in sight.

But there’s still a lot of fighting to do! Not for the first time, this Billy Graham cover sums up the way I feel.But come Monday, it will be done other than the mechanics of mailing off the illustrations.

I was mildly surprised that when I went for my regular checkup Thursday neither my blood pressure nor my weight has exploded despite stress and a lack of time to exercise. I’ll take the win.

#SFWApro.

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Got my booster vax!

Happily I didn’t suffer any ill effects other than a sore arm so I gained some extra work time (I’d planned for a couple of dies lying inert. As I’ll be going to the movies to catch Eternals next week, I figure it’s just as well to be extra vaccinated.

I don’t have a good image for my vaccination so here’s a photo of Wips and Snowdrop waiting on the front steps to be fed.If I have the energy I’ll post this afternoon. If not, this will serve as my week in review post.

#SFWApro.

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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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Filed under Nonfiction, Time management and goals, Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book, Writing

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!

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Filed under Personal, The Dog Ate My Homework

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.

#SFWApro.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Time management and goals, Writing