Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Says You Need Two Ovaries?

The medical problem I've been dealing with for the past three weeks got a whole lot bigger on Monday.

Since I was still in pain, I went to my gynecologist. After looking at the results of my CT scan, she immediately ordered an ultrasound, and then...scheduled me for surgery.

They weren't quite sure what they were looking for, so they decided to do a laparascopy on me. This all came about so quickly that I really didn't have time to get all worked up over it, so yesterday morning, I was thanking the Lord for anesthesia and letting the doctors do their work.

When I woke up, I was minus one ovary. But hey, you only need one, right?

Turns out that the ruptured cyst had done extensive damage to my ovary and the whole thing was, in my doctor's eloquent way with words, "yucky." So it had to come out.

I'm pretty sore and in a lot of pain, so I've been sleeping and popping pain pills and watching "Hogan's Heroes" and old World War II movies. I'm also moving very, very slow. I'm just glad I have someone here to help me putter around.

The worst part about all of this is that I had -zero- vacation/sick/personal days left from work, so I'm taking unpaid leave right now. But, I figure I'll leave that in God's hands and not add to my worries. :-)

The strangest thing in all this? All I want to do is write. But the pain makes that pretty impossible right now.

Anyway. That's what's going on in my part of the world. Hope things are better for you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogging Break

I'm taking a blogging break. I'm not sure how long it will last - a few days? A week? A month? We'll see.

Instead, I plan to focus on my WIP and perhaps tweak my last WIP. I have a few ideas on how to make it more marketable, so I may work on that, as well.

Of course, I'll probably pop in now and again if I have something grand to share - and I may pop by your blog now and again, too. I hate to be completely disconnected from blogging!

Until next time...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moonlight Serenade



Because we all need a little "Moonlight Serenade" once in awhile...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Enough

I've had it.

I never get political on my blog. There are a few subjects that can elicit such passionate responses, such strong convictions, as politics and religion. I usually steer clear of them all. I want my blog to be a welcoming place where all can come and commiserate on the writing life.

But I've had it with the people in this country, and this is as good a place as any to vent.

If you live in America, and even if you don't, I know you've heard about the massive healthcare reform bill. Whether you agree with it or disagree with it doesn't make a difference right now. But I see a hatred in this country, a dividing line between liberal and conservative, the likes of which I have never seen in my generation.

Both sides - not just one - are responsible for this. One is not worse than the other. It all depends on where you get your news as to which side you're going to see more of. That is a sad fact. Integrity in journalism and unbiased reporting has been gone for a long time.

There is a way to take a stand for what you believe in without demonizing the other side. There is a way to voice your opinion without calling names. There is a way to understand the other side without resorting to blanket assumptions about them - i.e. they're all idiots/stupid/evil/whatever.

As Americans, we are passionate about our liberty, about our freedom of speech, and the other rights guaranteed to us by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. But we don't have a right to bully others, to intimidate them, to denigrate who they are as a person.

If you're involved in any sort of debate, respect for the other side is absolutely paramount. Viewing them as the enemy - especially fellow Americans - isn't going to get anything accomplished.

So I say: ENOUGH. We are better than this.

Not only do our children see our actions and learn from them, but they do not forget. Teach them to be responsible, to voice your opinion, but in a respectful manner. I don't care if the other side is doing it (being disrespectful), sinking to their level doesn't do your cause any good and makes you just as bad.

I'm going to make a conscious decision to open my ears and my eyes to every point of view. And if I disagree, I can do so politely and even passionately - but never with cruelty.

Won't you join me?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Novel In Progress Meter...


...is going up!

Great writing weekend, even if I did have to delete big chunky paragraphs and re-work a few things. Thank goodness you don't have to get writing perfect the first time around!

How is your writing going?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Female Fun

When I say "fun", there should be a big, flashing red sign that reads,"SARCASM."

Finally, after two tests (one which required drinking barium sulfate which, if you've ever done, you know how simply awful it tastes. If you haven't drank it before, consider yourself fortunate. VERY fortunate), two blood draws, one IV, and way too much pain, the verdict has finally been reached.

A ruptured ovarian cyst is responsible for this last week of hell.

To say I am relieved to have an answer is an understatement. When my doctor told me the diagnosis, I also can't say I was shocked that one of these darn ovarian cysts I have finally ruptured on me. (I have PCOS). I didn't think a ruptured cyst had caused all that pain, but now that I know, it makes sense.

All I can say is, thank the Lord for the medical community, for having these tests that can (usually) find what's wrong, and for leading us on the path to healing. I know that in researching my symptoms, I drove myself nuts trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I don't think there's any way I could be a doctor!

For myself, I am feeling much better, thank goodness. I'm anxious to get back into my writing, though I have been keeping quite a detailed journal lately of everything I've been going through. It's helped a lot.

I'm not quite back to 100% yet, but I am hopeful that is just around the corner. In the meantime, I am planning to have a relaxing, stress-free, and hopefully very productive writing weekend!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Few Words on Pain

Pain is not an easy thing to live with - especially when you don't know what's causing it.

Last Thursday while getting dressed after my shower, abdominal cramps suddenly struck me. They were fierce. I had no idea why they'd hit me. Could it have been the extra ab crunches I did at my work-out? But no. I had done that numerous times before. So, I got a heating pad and laid on my bed, hoping that this was merely tempoary and would resolve by the morning.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Early Friday morning, I woke up and felt something strange in my left shoulder blade. When I tried to get up, I was hit with an excruciating pain. When I say excruciating, I mean it was worse than labor pain. Since I delivered my daughter without benefit of pain medication, I know what I'm talking about. The rest of my body also seemed to be one whole mass of pain. I could barely get out of bed. The shoulder pain attacked me twice more - and I literally screamed from the agony. That is pain, folks.

To make a long story short, I went to the doctor, who thought it was my gallbladder. But the blood tests came back normal (they also did an EKG on my heart since it was my left shoulder blade that hurt so badly) and that came back normal, as well. They scheduled me for an abdominal ultrasound on Monday morning. That meant I had to get through the weekend.

Well, I made it through the weekend with pain meds and lots of naps. I also journaled a lot. Somehow, that seemed to keep me focused.

Monday morning arrived and I underwent the ultrasound. It came back normal.

So. As of this writing, I am still in pain - though not the shoulder pain, thank goodness, which is supposedly referred pain from whatever is going on in my abdomen - and am laying in bed with a heating pad on my stomach. I haven't been to work since Thursday. I am out of sick/personal/vacation days as of today. Any more days off will be unpaid, and I really cannot afford that.

I'm frustrated and really, really tired of being in pain. I've researched my symptoms on the 'Net which somehow doesn't give me any answers but only frustrates me more. My friends and family have been awesome, sending me emails and texts, trying to keep my spirits up, and offering advice.

And there in the corner is my journal. I think I've written in it every day since this all started (and we're going on day 6 now). Writing keeps me focused and helps me to work through the pain. There, I can vent and put all my frustration on the page and no one needs to see it but me. Miraculously, I also worked on my novel a bit the other day. What else is there to do when walking hurts and the only thing that makes you feel halfway comfortable is lying prostrate in bed? All I can say is, thank the Lord for laptops.

As I lay here in bed now, with my laptop and a heating pad on my poor crampy stomach, my cat sitting next to me (she has rarely left my side), I feel a bit of bliss wash over me when I think of my novel and my writing. That world doesn't hold any physical pain for me. I'm able to transcend that pain in the midst of my words. It's a glorious place of escape that I desperately need during this time.

I'm off to a different doctor tomorrow to see if they can shed some light on this malady. Any prayers you can say would be a great help. :-)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Blogging Burn-Out?

In April, I will have reached a milestone with my blog: five years. That's pretty amazing. I've met tons of wonderful people, both in real-life and on the Web, and I don't regret starting this blog at all.

I used to be very faithful at posting every day except the weekends. Then I decided that was a bit too much to keep up with and started doing posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Lately, though, I just post whenever I feel like I have something to say.

I also used to visit everyone's blog every single day and leave a comment. I have slacked off in this regard, too.

I think I'm experiencing blogger burn-out. I'm tempted to take a few weeks off from blogging, but I don't want to lose my followers in doing so. Of course, the thing is, I usually can come up with something to post at least once a week. I'm a writer and writing is what I do. Sharing parts of my life with you is also something I do. And that's what this blog is all about.

What about you? If you've been blogging for years, do you still enjoy it or are you feeling a bit burned out, as well? Anxious to hear thoughts and opinions on this one...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Thank the Lord for Antibiotics


I feel so much better.

It's amazing what those little antibiotic pills can do. After just taking one dose on Friday evening, I woke up Saturday morning feeling better than I had in a week. My daughter and I took a slow walk Saturday by the lake and it tired me out, but by last night, I felt like my old self again.

And even better? I wrote more than 2,000 words Sunday night.

Hurrah!

How was your weekend?




Friday, March 05, 2010

Why I Like John Wayne

I just bought three John Wayne movies on Amazon.com. Last weekend, I watched two John Wayne movies. I know that he is a huge American icon for so many reasons, but I have another, more personal reason.

He reminds me of my beloved grandfather, who I lost in August of '08.

Anyone else see a resemblance, or is it just me? But it's more than looks. My grandfather was a hero to me in a lot of ways, and John Wayne plays the American hero in nearly all his movies.

I miss you, Grandpa. I hope you and John Wayne are friends in heaven!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Brain Fog

This cold I'm fighting has put me into a very major brain fog.

Case in point.

Last night when I returned home from grocery shopping, I found two cans of green beans in my grocery bag. This is not unusual. But here's the thing. I do not remember putting them in my cart. My daughter didn't put them in and I'm sure there wasn't some kind stranger who decided to do me a favor. So it's obvious that I put them there, but have absolutely no memory of doing so.

Second case in point.

The night before last, I took some cold medicine because I simply couldn't stand the runny nose and hacking anymore. An hour later, I felt inexplicably drowsy and could barely keep my eyes open. I thought, wow, I'm really tired. But I didn't think a cold could almost knock me out. I looked at the label on the cold medicine and couldn't find anything that said "causes drowsiness." I even fell asleep that night on the couch. I remember telling people the next day that the cold medicine must have interacted with my prescription medication to make me drowsy and I vowed to stay away from it.

Until last night. I looked at the cold medicine box again and there it was under the warnings: May cause marked drowsiness.

Big sigh. I'm not sure how I missed that the first time I looked at the box.

Because of this brain fog, I haven't been writing. I don't think I could keep everything straight in my head!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The 39 Steps

Since I am still under the weather, I indulged in a rare evening off - meaning I did nothing but lay around and watch movies. Luckily, I was in for a treat. Masterpiece Theater has a new remake of the classic thriller The 39 Steps online for a limited time.

It was a great film. If you're in the mood for a non-stop espionage adventure set on the eve of World War I with a terrific cast and lots of lovely scenes of Scotland and England, get thee to the website. You can watch it free until March 30!


Monday, March 01, 2010

Here's a Question...

Does 30+ minutes of cleaning house count as exercise?

I almost, almost made my goal of working out three times a week for the entire month of February. Unfortunately, I got hit with a cold on Thursday and had -zero- energy for exercising on Friday, my normal fitness day. I finally felt decent enough to clean house on Sunday, but didn't make it to the gym.

So make me feel better and tell me that I -did- make my monthly goal of exercising three times a week! :-)