Health update for the blog

I realized that ages ago I said there would be a health update for the blogland people and I never got around to it (FB and real life friends bear with me).

So I have a lot of health issues going on right now. I’m going to post by condition:

  1. RA/Fibro: things are pretty even keel right now, which is fantastic!
  2. Migraines: apparently they are good right now, too, which is unexpected*.
  3. Anxiety/Depression: no worse than usual.
  4. Vasospasms: these are new. I thought they were migraines* at first, which delayed treatment for a long, long time. I’ve been having these weird episodes for 6+ years and one of my neurologists decided they were just another weird form of migraine, so that’s what we’ve been treating them as. I got a new neurologist and he says that this is not migraine-related, it’s a heart/brain condition that people usually get after they have a stroke. It’s a low-blood-flow-to-the-brain thing. In any case, I was put on a new medicine a month and a half ago and it was pretty terrible at first, I’m not gonna lie. It has finally started to calm down this last week or so after a month and a half of not being able to do much more than keep up with taking kids to school, laundry, and dishes. I feel like I have fallen out of my life and ended up here in this weird world where I just take care of myself and am not being a proper human.
  5. Thyroid issues: another new thing for me that might turn out to be an old thing. I’ve been having trouble swallowing off and on for many years. It feels like there’s a lump in there that I just can’t swallow past. It gets worse in allergy season when I have drainage issues, so the doctor really thought it was just that. But it wasn’t. Another doctor thought he felt a lump in there a couple weeks ago, so I had an ultrasound last week, and it turned out to be one large nodule and 5 smaller cysts of various kinds. The nodule is located in a place to be snuggled up against the big artery that connects *surprise, surprise* my heart to my brain, so there may be a connection with the vasospasms there. I am waiting to see what the endocrinologist says (once they call me about an appointment date).

 

That’s it for now. Let me know if you want any of that explained further and I’ll do so in the comments. 🙂

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Inktober Day 6 “drooling”

So the kids in my story need dragon’s drool for a spell to help find their missing uncle, who has been kidnapped by his ex-best friend. It’s always the ex-best friend, says Greg. Always. So they need to a) find a dragon that drools, and b) sneak up on it and steal the drool. Does anyone else think this is a terrible idea or is it just me? Matilda was way less trouble, former hippo or not.

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Inktober Day 5 “chicken”

I almost died laughing when I saw today’s prompt. I never looked at the whole list before; I’ve been doing mine after I see someone else post theirs each day. So when I drew roast chicken the other day, I didn’t know “chicken” was coming up. Hahahaha. So, meet Matilda the chicken. She lives in the village, talks to the children about how she used to be a hippopotamus, and is generally quite delightful. 20181005_112454

Inktober Day 4 “Spells”

So in the story I am working on, there hasn’t really been any magic, exactly, so far. It is fantasy and is a reworking of something I started a decade ago. In pulling it into the current world I am working in, I’m having to imbue it with magic in places that were not strictly magical before. One of my characters learns that she can make sigils of protection over the children in her care and she travels to a place that has a magical library to learn more about it. 20181004_173634.jpg

Inktober Day 3 “Roasted”

20181004_173540Roast chicken with onion, potatoes, and parsnips. In the world my story takes place, people can dream up whatever food they want and it appears to them and they can eat it. This part of the story is a little bittersweet because the children learn that they can have their dad’s special dinners conjured up for them and it tastes just like home.

The Missing Planner Saga

Everything is a saga this week and I’m chronicling them because I am working on practicing upping my word counts for NANOWRIMO next month.

I am a Day Planner enthusiast. I use one year in, year out, have done since I was a freshman in high school. It always lines up with the school year, even as an adult, because I’ve always bought one-year academic calendars and I started in August and it ends in July every year and I get another one. Over the years the things I’ve used it for have changed, but I always use one. Those of you that see me in person know that I also use my phone calendar. I have an online Google calendar for each of my family members and one for the whole family. I’m pretty obsessed with keeping it up to date and I get pretty annoyed when people don’t keep up their end of the bargain with their calendars. There is quite a lot of overlap with my two systems, but it is not 100%. My paper planner tends to hold a lot of things that my online calendar does not, like personal schedules for crocheting things, when to mail cards to loved ones for weird anniversaries of things that probably don’t make sense to anyone else, passwords to things I use fairly frequently yet didn’t get to make the password for (I remember ones I made), notes about what I’m writing, when I want to blog about certain things, gift ideas for the kids and the cousins, kids current sizes, colors I like for painting the other half of the bathroom, stars and triangles and hearts and circles to remind me about progress with different things or pain levels or how many headaches I’ve had lately. It’s my brain outsourced, basically. I feel lost without it.

The last full day we were in Florida everyone was supposed to come home from church and pack up all their stuff. I knew this, and I knew that at least one of my kids was going to need help, so I spent my time at home in the morning washing clothes and pulling stuff out of dark corners and drawers of forgetfulness. I was just about done in my own room, one drawer mid-way to clear, when the kids started pounding on the door to come back into the condo.

I slid the drawer closed, set the bag I was working on down beside the bed, and went to open the front door. The kids exploded in, each telling me in their separate ways simultaneously what their dad had told them to do as soon as they got in. It was basically exactly what I had told them when they’d left: come in, change into play clothes, eat some lunch, and then start your packing.

I got busy taking laundry out of the dryer and putting more in. I moved on to showing kids for the umpteenth time how to roll their clothes to fit them all in their suitcases. I tried to get people to do their homework.

I completely forgot about the drawer I was emptying.

The next day, I double checked the kids rooms, looking under beds, inside closets, and even into drawers I knew they hadn’t used. I double checked their bathrooms for forgotten toiletries. I double checked the kitchen for hidden food, forgotten laundry, and dirty towels. I double checked the living room sofa for items that slid between the cushions, behind the entertainment center, and under the edges of the sliding curtains. I double checked my bathroom, my closet, the other closet, the dresser, the other part of the bathroom. I looked under the bed, under the chairs, behind the headboard.

I completely forgot about the drawer.

So we traveled home. I dug a few times into the bag that should have held the contents of that drawer. I thought it felt light, but several people were reading books out of that bag, so I didn’t really think about it too hard.

This morning, amidst the chaos with the dogs, I reached into the bag to pull out my planner so I could make today’s To Do list. It wasn’t there. I looked through the few bags left packed. Not there. I thought I spied it on my bedroom floor peeking out from a pile of books, but that was just a scrap of the fabric I used to cover it.

Panic set it.

Everyone else was calm about it: “Just call the condo and have them look for it. They will mail it to you.” I know, I know. But I need it to make the list so that I can remember to make the call when the condo office opens. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get done.

So I printed a copy of the online calendar for this week. It’s not the same format as my paper planner. I started writing things in that I thought I remembered I needed to do. I dug out last years planner and stared at this weeks list from last year and I felt a bit calmer. I added a few things I wouldn’t have thought of until it was too late. I tried to remember if I had any tasks from new positions I’ve taken on this year (I haven’t. Sorry!)

Once I ran around and dealt with dog things for a while, I finally had time to call the condo office. Well, first the resort hotline, which was just booking. They gave me the resort office number. The resort office transferred me to housekeeping. Housekeeping said they had a book and some glasses from that room yesterday, but it all had been sent on to Owners Services. They said things usually take around a week to get back to the people that left them behind. Housekeeping took my name and number and sent it on to Owners Services and said that they would call me soon. Seven hours later they did. Owners Services took my name and address and phone number and said they were calling another service to come to pick up my book and glasses – I did ask about that then because I lost my planner, not a book, and a pile of papers that was also in the drawer, but no glasses. They said they only had a list in their location and hadn’t actually ever seen anything but the list – and this other service would call me tomorrow or the next day to set up shipping and payment information.

So I still don’t have my planner. *sigh* This week ahead is going to be rough.

The Saga of the Missing Dogs

OH my goodness, y’all. So we got home last night and as we were walking through the door our petsitter’s mama called and told us that she didn’t know when the dogs got out, but the neighbors called animal control on us, the dogs were gone, and here’s where to find the sheet of paper about that that was left for us. Oh, and the neighbors apparently washed one of the dogs, who knows why. So we rushed outside, found both dogs mysteriously still in the yard, one squeaky clean and the other as dirty as when we’d left, and started searching for holes along the fence line.

Our fence is up against a creek/wilderness area on two sides, so we started there. No holes. Finally came back up to the front. There was a huge hole on the inside by one of the gates. The place where they’d dug out before, but we had filled in with boards, dirt, and two big heavy paving stones. Both the front and back stone were missing, as was the dirt inside the fence. The neighbor had put some more boards and some weird cement pieces in the hole and pushed some empty planters against the fence to try to ward off dogs leaving.

I went back inside to read the form animal control left. It had our street address (street name spelled wrong), but no other family info on it, just crossed out sections that didn’t apply to us and some notes about 2 dogs being out, no food or water for them for 24 hours, no people responding to the animal control officer, and “inappropriate” fencing.

I went out to the neighbors’ house, Greg in hand, and thanked them for taking care of one of the dogs. “One of the dogs? You mean there are two out there?” Umm…yes. We’ve had Lily for a year and 3/4 now. They told me that only Rose had escaped…not “Random Dog X,” but her real actual name. I’m still wondering about that. They said that she had been over three times and they kept putting her back in the yard, but she kept getting out and coming over.

We fed the dogs, loved on them, and then sent them to bed in their little house for the night. When we got up in the morning, they were still here, as usual.

When it got light outside I searched around a bit and found both dogs rabies tags and their name/phone number tags on the ground near the hole in the ground; the metal looked worn-through like they had just fallen apart naturally, which was odd since they were all acquired at different times. I started looking at the hole. It doesn’t go out under the fence. The outside area where they would have crawled out is totally untouched, ground still fresh and weedy. Yes, they dug on the inside of the fence, but they didn’t get out there. Looking around in daylight I can see that on the neighbors’ side of the yard, there are gaps in the fence again. This is not something WE can just pay to have fixed. It is firmly on their side of the property line and fencing companies won’t mess with it because it isn’t on our property. The owner at the time (12 years ago now, just before Greg was born) had that done on purpose because he was mad at us for not wanting to replace the fence (it was 4 years old at that point and in good condition) when he wanted to. In any case… now the fence is NOT in good condition. The kids living there now have been repairing it slowly, so slowly. But the dogs can jump into their yard and their dogs can (and have) jumped into our yard as well. When their dogs come over, I shove them back through the hole and try to prop the fence piece back in with a stone that has fallen through the fence (one of the other old neighbors – there have been many- took out all the grass on that side of the yard and filled it up with large stones, which over the years have fallen out under the fence and landed in my yard).

In any case, I went to Wal-mart this morning and tried to get new tags made for the dogs and soil and paving stones to replace the curiously missing ones. They have transformed the ENTIRE GARDENING AREA into CHRISTMAS LAND. There were a few bags of soil, some shovels, and some grill covers left. No paving stones. I got some soil, came home and dumped it into the hole, stomped on it, and called it a day for that job. I also bought two “journal decorations” which had key chains on them (they were out of anything actually called “key chains” because they had a sale, apparently), wrote the dogs names on them in permanent marker, covered that with nail polish, and attached them to the dogs. One is shaped like a bouquet of roses. 🙂

So then I called Animal Control. They asked my name and phone number and I told them it wasn’t on the form so they couldn’t look me up that way, so they looked up my misspelled address instead. I explained that we’d been out of town, the pet sitter had been awesome and had been texting me and sending photos of the dogs and walking them and that we were home now and working on fixing the Mysterious Hole of Mystery. They told me that there wasn’t really anything they could do on their end; it was all up to my Animal Control Officer, but they would text him and let him know I had called. They couldn’t tell me whether or not he would call me or text me or come by to check on me or the dogs. No idea. He could do whatever he thought was best, which so far has been nothing.

Friday we go back for their annual check-up (it was due now anyways – we always have one this time of year because we used to board Rose during the feast, but boarding 4 pets was way too expensive) and will get new rabies tags and actual dog tags again then. Whew!

 

 

Inktober Day 2: Tranquil

I learned about Inktober in a NANOWRIMO forum this year. A lot of people there are doing it, too. Some of them are drawing, so are writing about the prompts, and some, like me, are drawing things that go along with this year’s Nano novel. 20181004_173101

Inktober Day One “Poisonous”

From their FAQ:

Inktober is a month long art challenge created by artist Jake Parker that is focused on improving skill and developing positive drawing habits. Every day for the month of October anyone participating in the Inktober challenge creates an ink drawing and posts it online.

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Beach vacation = writing time

 

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Every year at this time, my little family takes a break from work and school and goes on a church-sanctioned trip somewhere that we get to choose. Some years we go to the beach (my preference), sometimes to the mountains (my husband’s), and sometimes we stay close to home due to circumstances beyond our control. This is another beach year, our third time at our present destination. Our eldest is a senior in high school and this is the place all his summer camp friends were gathering, so since it is our last time with all our kids to go with us, we let him choose.

So how does all this equal writing? Well, the spouse and kids leave me every day for a couple hours and do the church thing over across the bridge on the other side of the resort. I stay here, in our 7th-floor condo overlooking the ocean, and write, mostly by hand with a fountain pen into a cheetah print notebook someone sent me last year as part of a Halloween craft swap. I have been doing writing exercises from various favorite writing books and writing a few poems and just generally shaking out the cobwebs from my brain.

When the family comes back, we go out for walks along the beach, swim in the ocean, laze by the pool reading books, snark about the internet, and sometimes meet up with others and have escapades.  We do not really worry about time or location this trip. Since it is our third time here, we have done all the things worth doing and gone on the dolphin watching trips, and shopped in all the little boutiques that are still open in the off-season. We are just relaxing this trip.

And that has been helping the writing flow…