This post isn’t an extended whine. I say this because otherwise it might sound uncommonly like it.
But it’s not. It’s actually more of a “uh, my body doesn’t work as planned.”
Also, this post isn’t about my sons, when it would be “the problem of pains.” Not that they are pains, I mean. By and large they’re surprisingly decent human beings, but having that many people in the house interferes with my writing. Actually I’ve determined having anyone but Dan around interferes with my writing. There’s no explanation for this. At any rate, that’s not what the post is about.
I’ve been trying to finish Through Fire for… well, two years. But the last two months, I’ve known exactly every step needed to finish it (which didn’t happen before because this is the least communicative character ever, as far as talking to her creator.) In fact I thought I could finish it, and Darkship Revenge and do the dragon books before Christmas. And I should have been able to, except…
Except writing even a little made me exhausted.
I came up with my usual lame excuses: I’m not focusing; perhaps it’s this book (not unlikely. I’ve had books – no, I’m not going to tell you which – where my brain turned off and I fell asleep while trying to write. No, I wasn’t bored and they’re not stupid. It was like an allergic reaction); I’m getting older—
It wasn’t until this week, when the pain became so bad that I also didn’t want to do other things like… walk down the hallway, and that I felt like I had the flu, even though I THOUGHT I’d slept (think exhausted doze, but never full deep sleep) that I realized something was wrong.
It’s like this – because of an issue with my caesarean (only had one. Second son was born normally) where it was botched, I often – depending on hormones – go through periods of low level pain. Low level as in “Wake up in the middle of the night being gnawed on by rabid weasels” – okay. Not LOW level, but normal for someone who had the same issue, and there are a few of them my age. A lot of them apparently are on prescription for chronic pain, but I have strange reactions to opiates. How strange? Well, one of the normally prescribed pain meds makes me see and hear evil singing lizards. So. Also there is some indication morphine makes me write vampire stories. I wonder if that’s listed in some toxicology. Most of them, though, just make me extremely dizzy and nauseous, to the point that, while recovering from a broken bone, I chose not to take painkillers, because the side effects were WAY worse than just being in pain.
So for two/three years I’ve convinced myself the rabid weasels are just part of life, and I’m okay. And it works, largely.
I have this ability that other people don’t seem to have, to tell pain “noted, now go away” and turn off that part of the brain. This is very useful for things like long-distance running.
Anyway – I’m getting to that age, and things have been… odd, and I’m being looked at because of other odd things, though there doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry, they tell me – and I didn’t notice, not really, that I was spending a lot of time awake in the night going “ow” which in turn caused a lot of sleeping during the day when I was supposed to be writing.
But it’s more worrisome than that. Apparently with this particular pain, at some point my “go away now” stopped working, and it was back, except that my conscious brain refused to acknowledge it. What this meant is that I was trying to work against pain.
This is possible – if exhausting – while ironing and sewing (And those of my friends who were promised sewing projects for xmas gifts – they’ll be late, because of that) but it seems to lead to VERY short bursts of writing punctuated by long “I’m looking for something to distract me” bits.
The good news – yes, it IS good – is that the pain got too strong that I can’t be distracted from it, which means I know it’s there whether writing or reading random news, which militates in favor of writing, which I enjoy more. Also, now I know it’s there and it’s OW, I can do things like take “so strong I can’t think” pain meds before going to bed. Far enough before going to bed that when I go to bed I sleep.
This means that I’m more rested than I’ve been in months, even if I am still in pain and pain has a “work load” of its own. I.e. there’s a reason they call childbirth labor and it’s not just the pushing – it’s the pain.
What this means: I’m writing again, and it’s actually going well for more than 400 words at a time. OTOH sometimes, because the stupid pain killer is six hours, I take a second and go back to bed, so this blog might be late some days. For my family it means that this week I’ve decided house cleaning is way too much effort. I hope the boys do it this afternoon, but if not they’ll have to learn to live in filth. Tough.
What it means going forward: We still have no idea what is causing the pain. Judging by today, the doctor’s guess is wrong. I’d like to believe it’s psychological, because then I could stop it, but I don’t think it is, because it only rounds on me when I’m not noticing. The most scary of the possibilities appears to be eliminated, so it might simply be a combination of “botched caesarean plus hormonal ratchet down of normal at my age.” Logically it shouldn’t do this, but when has my body been logical?
There is a chance of surgery (if it’s secondary not-lethal thing) with a long recovery period in my future. I’m trying to figure it out so that if needed it doesn’t come before this book (please G-d) is delivered, and doesn’t interfere with Liberty con.
What this means for you guys: Be patient with me. Particularly the subscribers, but the rest of you as well. If I promised you something – a book, a blog, to put up your guest blog, a t-shirt, whatever – and haven’t delivered, ping me. I’m not a ditz but apparently fighting constant pain even when low level (which it’s not now) is like a mind wipe, and I keep “dropping” things. I’m trying to get organized, but I never needed planning before. So, don’t assume I’m weaseling/don’t want to deliver. PING me. You won’t annoy me. And be aware it might take pinging me every week for a month because, mind of a minute.
And be a little patient on the dragon series. It’s still there. Still wants to come out. I’m just fulfilling obligations to Baen first, and then it gets written and subscribers read it before it goes to Toni (my publisher at Baen) promise.
I’m okay. It’s nothing lethal. It’s just annoying pain eating what little mind I had. No big. People LIVE for decades with much worse, and if it comes to that, I’m sure I can get used to it and do so. BUT for now, it’s scrambling me a little.
This too shall pass.
Oh, and what I mean by this post is for you to know what is going on. One of the things I found out is that I was snapping at my family for minor things, which normally wouldn’t be a problem. I try not to do that in comments, but if I do, know where I’m coming from AND I don’t want you to think it’s the WORST possible stuff. AFAWCT this is by no means life-threatening. Just annoying.
The last two years I’ve been a bit ditsy, but right now other than finishing the books, I’m going to be REALLY ditsy. Also, when on the pain killer, spelling is… artistic. I hope you cut me some slack.