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Archive for the 'my life' Category

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Three Days Later–the Journey

Three days ago I had a gastric sleeve surgery. What that means is that they take out part of your stomach. It also means not being able to eat much and figuring out the new signals from your body. But I digress.

The surgery itself went mostly well. The only hitch at all, in fact, was the first IV attempt didn’t go well. So anyhow, I came out and got into my room and was very sore, but it was manageable. My greatest issue was with having trouble with nausea, but mostly that was controlled with some drugs. I actually managed some sleep in the nighttime, but there were a lot of little alarms I managed to set off–accidentally calling the nurse, bending my elbow and kinking my IV, going to sleep and having my O2 go down.

So I was released the next day after doing all the required things in terms of body function, like drinking, ‘eating’ thick liquids, going to the bathroom, and walking around. The trip home was kind of miserable because we left the hospital at 4 and of course rush hour had already begun so the trip took longer. Oh, and I found out that every little bump made me hurt. But I got home and was so happy to see the kids, the dogs, and my own freaking bed.

The next day, yesterday, I felt a whole lot better. I did some walking as required (and because I wanted to), and then I managed to get down most of the protein I needed (the focus on eating is on protein), and I managed to get all my hydration in. All of these things were a bit of a triumph.

Today, I feel even better, though still sore and still figuring out how to eat. The doggies are delighted to snuggle up to me and in fact a couple of minutes ago (as I type this on my laptop on my couch with Voodoo fastened to my side and Viggo just on the other side of him), Voodoo has been giving his brother a little tiny low growl to tell him that he doesn’t like his brother invading his territory and taking mom’s attention. It’s really kind of funny because as soon as he does that, he then apologizes by licking Viggo’s face and ears. It’s cute.

I know from research (and now experience) that you end up with a lot of gas inside your chest cavity from the stuff they pump into you during the surgery, and gas in your stomach/intestines from the air they pump into your stomach. I had some pain, but mostly it felt like nausea and an aching in my chest. That has passed so I’m really happy.

In other news, we’re going to have to go on a road trip for Christmas. We’ll be going to California to visit family and help the Man’s dad with the Man’s uncle’s belongings (his uncle recently passed and his dad needs some help. The Man went down over Thanksgiving, but there’s still more to do). I should be well able to make the trip by then. Everybody down there is worried about what I’ll be able to eat and how much I’ll miss out on from not being able to eat and I’m totally not worried about it. I don’t know if that will change. I don’t know if I’ll end up missing foods hard, but right now, I’m not jonesing for anything and don’t anticipate it. I’m not worried about not being able to drink alcohol (I don’t drink much anyhow), and mostly I’m looking forward to seeing everybody and taking walks through the oak groves near my parents’ house.

One thing that’s odd is burps or the need to burp seems to signal a ‘stop eating now’ flashing sign. It means my stomach is too full and I need to wait to eat.

 

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Personal Announcement

About six months ago, my doctor recommended a gastric sleeve operation for me to lose weight and get my pre-diabetes under control. I totally said no and nearly had a tantrum. It seemed tantamount to saying that I’m lazy, that I can’t lose weight on my own. I started telling myself that if only I’d just exercise more and eat less I could keep the pounds off. My doctor talked me down, pointing out that I did exercise and eat pretty healthy and was still struggling. She  convinced me to go to an information session. So I began my journey. I attended classes and met with nutritionists, physical therapists, a psychologist, a hematologist, the doctor, and many others. I’ve had a variety of tests and done a ton of research, joined online groups to talk to people who’ve been through the surgery, and discussed this with my family. 

So six months later, I’m about to have surgery. What does this mean, you might ask. Well, it involves laproscopic surgery to cut out 70-80 % of my stomach. After, I won’t be able to eat that much. I’ll follow a diet for awhile of liquids, then soft foods, then add in regular foods until I’m back to eating normal food. But I won’t eat as much, and I’ll have to focus on healthy choices so that I get full nutrition. And it turns out that they remove the part of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone ghrelin, which will help keep hunger under control. This surgery reverses diabetes. I had gestational diabetes and my A1C is high. I also have peripheral artery disease. This surgery will help with both.

This means a huge change in my eating habits. I will not be drinking carbonated anything again. I will need to drink constantly to stay hydrated. I have to chew at least 20-30 times a bite, and I can’t drink a 1/2 hour before or after eating. I have to take my time because it will be easy to overfill my stomach. I’ll need to take vitamins. I’ll have to make sure I get enough protein. My hair is likely to fall out until my body gets used to the change. I’m likely to be very moody as my fat releases hormones. My hair will grow back out and my moods will stabilize. I will likely lose at least 60-70% of my excess weight. I’ll need to carry a protein snack and water with me everywhere.

I’ve had to lose some weight in order to have the surgery and I have lost around 20 lbs. It made me wonder if I should have this surgery or not–can’t I just keep doing this? But here’s the problem. I’ve lost this weight before. Several times. I always plateau, and then the weight creeps back on. What this surgery does is get the weight off without killing the metabolism. My body will reset and I will be able to maintain weightloss so long as I continue to eat properly. I’ve been exercising every day for the last seven month or more, with only about a week off the entire time. Still hasn’t done much in terms of weight. I’ve also been following the diet they ask me to follow to prepare for surgery.

Some people say this is an easy out. Ha. Well, I thought that at first too, especially since I’m not that heavy. Or rather, I don’t look that heavy, but trust me, I have a lot to lose. But healthwise, I need it. The fact is that I want to be around for my family and I want to have as healthy an old age as I can. In fact, I want to put off old age for as long as possible.

I’ve been keeping this a secret from a lot of people, mostly because I’ve been a little embarrassed. Back to that feeling of laziness and why can’t I do it on my own? But that’s an insult to me and an insult to all the others who’ve fought long and hard and come to this decision and then fought through the surgery, the recovery, and all the rest that comes with is. Trust me when I say it’s not an easy out. It is, however, usually very successful for losing weight and so I’m grateful it’s an option.

I will likely keep posting about the journey. It begins this Weds, the 29th.

 

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
The update of the Saturday

I am knitting some of my Xmas presents. Unfortunately, I have done several projects, but am way behind. Stir in my wrist is hurting on one arm, and my “tennis” elbow is acting up on the other, and I’m going too slow. Still, I’ve done a few things and almost done with a couple others. Thinking of doing a crocheted afghan. Doesn’t take a whole long time, so we’ll see if I get it going.

The doggies are letting me work off my terrible crime of leaving them for long days during Orycon. I am forced to pet and scratch and rub and cuddle. It’s hard work. Viggo just poked his snozzle into my hand as I’m typing this. I have no got snot on my hand. And he’s giving me that big-eye look I can never resist. Now Voodoo has climbed up my legs and is holding me down so I can’t escape as he watches me with his big eyes.

Here they are in their condo (my footstool). Voodoo claims the top, and Viggo the bottom. Voodoo is laying on my legs. So I can’t go anywhere without him knowing about it.

I’m also doing writing work. Some is proofing. Some is new writing. I think you’ll like it. I have a short story I want to send out for Xmas celebration. I’ll probably attach it to my newsletter. Or maybe I’ll do something different. Not sure. Look for it though.

Looks like we’ll be traveling for Xmas. Didn’t want to, but it looks like we’ll do it anyhow.

Oh, Orycon was a good time. Got to see a lot of friends and meet new people. The Powell’s signing after was really good. As always. Pics below.

Did everybody have a nice Thanksgiving? Those who celebrate.

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
Dodging and Not Dodging Bullets

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. My husband’s uncle fell and ended up in the hospital. Over the course of the following weeks, he’s had surgery and complications and then things looked promising and hopeful, and then bleak, then promising, then bleak. Now he’s going into hospice, though it’s not really clear to me exactly what is wrong. That’s mostly because he’s been very private about his health and now the doctors are discovering things we didn’t know about. The word cancer has arisen, and apparently he’s had multiple small strokes. Anyhow, my husband has gone to help his dad manage things and get his uncle settled somewhere comfortable and where he can get cared for. He fractured a vertebrae when he fell, and broke his nose, and he’s diabetic, so he’s going to need assistance. I wish I could have gone to help too, but the kids have school, I have Orycon and a signing at Powells, and a couple of can’t-miss appointments, and then there are the parent-teacher meetings. So. We’ll be apart for Thanksgiving. At least he’ll be with family.

That’s the bullet we didn’t dodge. On the positive, my husband’s powersteering unit exploded. Okay, that’s not terribly positive, but it happened in the driveway, so he wasn’t out on the road, and my son wasn’t driving it somewhere. I count those as positives.

We also dodged a bullet insomuch as my husband has time he can take off from work.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get people to read my books, as you do when you have a new release and make a living from writing books. So if you’re feeling kind, please consider reviewing my books and telling others about them. Even better, tell me how you like them because I do like to know. And if you have questions, feel free to ask. 

In the meantime, a corgi face:

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Pardon the dust

I’ve been still trying to deal with so much this summer I haven’t been here much. Primarily, my parents had a house fire and we’ve been trying to get things taken care of, but a major problem is that the insurance company has been a pain in the ass. They want to underpay and have been dragging their heels on paying. It sucks. It’s also time consuming and draining.

But! Things continue apace for Shades of Memory‘s release is just about a month now. I’m really excited for you to read it.In the meantime, I’m working on plotting out some new things which I can’t discuss yet, but soon there will be a signed contract and I can make revelations to you!

I’m going to be at Fan Nexus in Spokane next weekend. Here’s my schedule. I hope to see some of you there! I will have some giveaways.

In other news, I’ve been trying to knit, and making some headway, but frankly, I’m much better at making random knots and tangles. I’ve torn out the heel of my sock project about four times now. For some reason, I can’t seem to get the hang of this heel. Ug. Anyhow, I put a heel in and it’s seriously ugly. I hope the heel of the mate goes better.

I didn’t do well keeping up with my garden this year. I was too focused on other stuff and ended up just not taking care of it. Had some lovely tomatoes, but should have had a lot more. Oh, and we had an ant invasion in the house. Finally had to call a pest company. Yellowjackets and ants this summer. What fun. Sigh.

I feel like asking that perennial freshman essay question: What did you do last summer?

 

 

Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Running fast

If I did run, which I don’t, I’d be running fast. Still revising, still helping the folks with rebuilding stuff, still driving kids around.

But! Been reading good books. Having a good time with Helen Harper’s Slouch Witch and the second book Star Witch. Both are a lot of fun. I also read a cozy mystery with a corgi. I’ll be reviewing that one soon. In fact, I have several reviews to get posted.

Bitter Night is on sale right now for $1.99. Also, I’ll have a Horngate short story coming out in an anthology soon. I plan to do a give away of an arc shortly. I’ll put a note here and send out info in my newsletter.

My parents are doing okay, though dad fell last week and ended up with a bunch of stitches in his lip and some serious bruising and lacerations. But he’s going to be okay.

I’m actually posting this a day after I wrote the first bit because I’m totally fried. I have some cut bits that I want to post here. Stuff I couldn’t keep in the book but still love with all my heart.

I’m dead tired now and so I shall go knit before bed.

 

 

Sunday, June 11th, 2017
Stepping Out

I’ve been actively attempting to be, oh, active. I’m starting smaller with just making sure I get so many steps each day with no breaks. I set the count a little low (5K) to make sure I can hit it fairly easily. Working a sedentary job means that I often forget to get up and move. My main goal is to do this every day with no breaking the chain. I’m up to 18 days. My feet and calves and shins are a little bit sore. I need to work on stretching. I keep not doing that. But I’ve been feeling fairly energetic. Pretty pleased with that.  I’ve had a few days where I’ve pushed the workout a little bit more, but the main importance is to a) get in the minimum and b) every day. Once I’m not hurting so much and feeling pretty good about it, I’ll push the minimum up.

I got to meet a Swedish Vallhund puppy today. So cute. It’s pretty much a wolf-colored corgi. And so sweet. He was four months old. I didn’t have my boys with me. Wish I had. I took pictures, but they didn’t turn out so well, but here’s a quick picture. I’ve heard of them before but never seen one in the fur, so to speak. He was adorable and so very sweet.

In the meantime, I’m revising books. I’m hoping to have announcements soon. Oh! but I do have one. I’ve a Horngate short story coming out in August in an anthology. It’s got stories by Seanan Mcguire, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Faith Hunter, and lots more.  The anthology is called Urban Enemies, and I’m going to have a copy to give away soon (of an ARC). Keep an eye on this blog and my newsletter for details. If you want to preorder, click here or on the cover:

We’ve also been out digging for petrified wood and finding some really great pieces. Going to be going out and doing more of it soon. The last time we went, a guy found a piece of carnelian limb cast. It was amazingly clear carnelian and it was shaped like a slice of wood. I can’t wait to go back and see what we can find. My husband found this one cool piece that was a little round piece of a limb. It had rotted in little columns through the wood and then those holes filled with agate. The outside is petrified wood. I’m really excited about seeing it polished. That’s something we hope to learn to do this summer. There’s a local rock and gem club we’ve been meaning to join and they offer access to equipment at a low price.

I also want to go hiking around Silver Falls State Park, and to the Tamolitch blue pool on the Mackenzie river. It’s beautiful.

Basically I want to get outside and get moving more. I like to, but I can’t seem to get over entropy sometimes. Which is completely annoying about me. Sigh.

 

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
Middle of May already?

I have some book reviews to do, so I will do those soon. Right now I’m working on revising a couple different things, primarily Shades of Memory, the fourth Diamond City Magic book. I’m also working on finishing writing the second Job book. I had gone down a wrong path and I had to chop out ten thousand words, which sucked, but I’ve mostly caught back up and I think the road is better.

I also signed up to be a Chegg Tutor. If you need tutoring or anybody you know does, look for me.

My daughter has strep and has been staying home most of this week. She’s getting better, though, now she’s on antibiotics.

My shoulders and neck are bothering me. Feels muscular, but could be disk. I’m just taking it easy and trying to find comfortable ways to sleep. I’m icing and heating, too, so we’ll see how that goes. Right now I feel better than last night. I want to go out and walk since the weather is so lovely, but feel guilty that I can’t walk the puppies since I don’t want to have them pulling on me at all with my neck and shoulder acting up.

Maybe I should just go hang myself upside down in the closet and see if I can stretch my back and neck that way. I’d probably break myself if I did that, though. Sigh. It’s hard being a klutz.

My peas are covered with blooms and no sign of peas yet. I am sad.

 

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Sunday, May 7th, 2017
Killer of Weeds

Today I went after weeds. I pulled them, and then I sprayed them with vinegar, making my yard smell faintly saladish. We also chopped out the rogue blackberries growing in the yard, and then this other weird weed that has been taking over.

The bad news, seriously bad news, is that our beautiful ash tree in the front has to be cut down. It’s splitting apart and will, probably sooner than later, fall on the house. So there’s no saving it. It totally sucks.

I’m told that the weeds will win. But I shall continue to fight valiantly. And the blueberries are covered with blooms. Looking like a good year for those, the strawberries, the logan berries, and the black raspberries.

Whoohoo!

 

Sunday, April 9th, 2017
Things are a-happening

Maybe not important things, but things nonetheless. I’ve done some seed sprouting and now need to do some transplanting. I’ve also been doing some digging in the dirt, though there’s been a lot of rain. I’ve also been petting dogs and scratching tummies and cleaning up dog pee because all of a sudden, one of them has decided to pee on the rug. I have no idea why. It’s frustrating. The rug is a small area rug and I’m wanting to clean the whole thing and not sure how. I think I’m going to need to wait til the weather warms and I can do it outside with a hose.

I’ve been in an ice cream sort of mood these days. Not sure why. And steak. I have not had any steak, but I’ve been craving it. Weird. My folks come tomorrow. They stay up near us for about five or six months of the year. I’m excited. Hopefully their trip is smooth.

I am planning on cleaning the kitchen and downstairs tomorrow. Things I’ve been avoiding. I’m at least going to do some of it. Been also wanting to get out and start dealing with weeds. They’ve been having a whole lot of fun growing like, well, you know. I’m planning on spraying a whole lot of vinegar, attack with a hoe, and then get some preemergent herbicide down to see if I can get it somewhat under control. And I’ve got to get out and put the hazelnut hulls down in my strawberries and get some fertilizer down, too.

My red dragon contorted hazelnut is leafing out. I’m really pleased about that because it didn’t seem all that happy in the fall. My monkey puzzle tree is doing quite well also. I’ve got a lot of perennials putting on a show also. I’m really pleased about that. My goal has been to pretty much cover all my flower beds in foliage of some kind. I’m still nowhere close, but I’m making the effort.

Writing is going pretty well, though I’m having trouble with getting my days scheduled. Eventually I will . . . just in time for summer vacation. Same ole same ole. Found out that had I stuck it out to see the new administration in my old job, I would not have seen an improvement. Morale is lower than ever, and the leadership, I’m told, is actually worse than previously. I do find myself missing teaching, though. I’d really like to do more of that. I just have to figure out how. I know one thing: Once the boy has his license, the structure of my days will change for the better. Though I’ll have to make sure that I get out and interact with people or I’ll become a crazy hermit. Not a good thing.

Puppy dogs scared us. They had some sort of fungal infection that required shots and three weeks of antibiotic/antifungal pills. They’re still taking those. But they are no longer throwing up or having diarrhea, which is a huge win. They did enjoy the week of rice and chicken they got to eat for their meals. They thought that was a fine menu plan and we should stick with it forever.

A big wind storm came through and took down a lot of trees around. We lost some smaller limbs, but nothing serious. Hate to see trees go down, especially the old ones. Sucks.

 

 

 



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