Another Exciting Episode In the Writer’s Life

I thought I’d catch everyone up on what’s going on.  I did a post about the health thing on MGC, and I’ll quote a little bit here:

Here’s what I found so far, since the surgery: I was much more ill than I realized.

It started with them finding a large amount of scar tissue and endometrial tissue binding all my internal organs and filling up my abdominal cavity.  That amount had to be causing pain, but other than some bad nights in the last two years, I kept saying I’d never been in pain.

There were other things.  We’ll spare tender male ears and just say that my Caeserean (first son.  Second son was born the natural way) botched things so badly that some organs were cut almost in half and bound together with a growing ridge of scar tissue.  Which by itself should have caused tooth grinding pain.  Constant.  Except I didn’t have any pain.


Except that when I took super motrim TM I slept like I hadn’t slept in twenty three years.  Yes, that precise, because I remembered enjoying sleep before having older son, and after that I remembered bed being the place where I tried to sleep and sometimes managed cat naps.

The painkiller (strong) had such an effect I asked my doctor if it was soporific.  She said no, just a painkiller.

Which means my conscious had blocked the pain, but it still didn’t allow me to sleep soundly.  For close to a quarter century.

All of the symptoms getting worse as they went on, so in the last five years I’ve almost stopped sleeping altogether.  Which has its own host of problems.

I really am feeling much better, which is weird because when I went to the doctor for supposed checkout, I was told I’m not healing on schedule, or barely at all, so I needed to take what my son calls a “big hammer” antibiotic.  Which I’m now taking, and which makes me feel like the coyote when the roadrunner drops an anvil on him.  Which is a problem as I REALLY am almost done with Through Fire (which means this book REALLY is cursed.)  However I’m hoping to have at least a rough to Baen by tomorrow, then edited by Monday.

It’s a very odd book, but the people who’ve seen it so far tell me it’s good.

And I really AM feeling better, despite the dire faces my doctor pulled.  Which might just mean I was really, really, really — really? — ill before.  people kept telling me I was, but I had become adjusted to it as “normal” so I didn’t know it and thought it was all psychological.

So — here’s what’s going on — as soon as book from h*ll is delivered, I’ll spend three/four days painting at the house we’re going to put up for sale.  And then I’ll sit down and finish Darkship Revenge which is practically written in my head.  Right now my top wordage for a day is 10k, so I’ll assume if it doesn’t get better I need about a week to finish DSR.

And then it’s dragons.

Somewhere along the line, hopefully by the middle of May there will be a short story collection.

Also — somewhere there I’ll edit Rogue Magic and continue it (I’m hoping next week, but we’ll see what the antibiotic does to me!) and also Elf Blood.

Meanwhile, I’ll be attending Denver Comicon, though I don’t have a schedule yet, and ya’ll can find me at the Wordfire booth.

HOPEFULLY healing will actually happen and I’ll be even better, after the ten days with antibiotics.  We’ll see.  Keep me in your thoughts.

For now, just remember I’m feeling better, and stuff is actually moving forward, but more importantly, I’m reading again.  Reading new stuff.  Reading because it’s there.  I don’t have to force myself to read new stuff (as opposed to old favorites) for the first time in years.

Now the problem is not trying to do everything at once.

231 responses to “Another Exciting Episode In the Writer’s Life

  1. This is very interesting, and something I can relate to. Some days I have to remind myself how much pain I’m feeling, because I’ve gotten so good at ignoring it. My pain tolerance actually EXCEEDS my physical capabilities. This was driven home to me last August, when I kept having twinges of pain in my lower back as I was lifting boxes. And these were light boxes of Lego; not unsorted stuff, either, but models about to go on display and placed in cardboard and plastic boxes for transport, so the contents were mostly air. It’s not like I was lifting anything heavy, and I’m used to pain, so . . . I ignored it.

    Until I couldn’t. I wound up collapsing on the floor and having to call my neighbor for help. She couldn’t lift me (not because she wasn’t strong enough, but because every movement was suddenly over my tolerance), so all she could do was get some pills to hopefully take the edge off. It took me about two weeks to recover from that, and ever since I’ve had to keep my limits in mind.

    My chiropractor has had similar issues trying to track my pain. Most doctors are only concerned with stuff that interferes with life, but after he realized just how much pain I could block out by force of will without even thinking about it, he knew we had to pay more attention. “If you have to think about it, you’re not in pain” is no longer a possibility with me.

    The thing I’ve started to notice is that when I’m having a bad day but can’t really feel it, I’m a bit sluggish. I have to force myself to concentrate, probably because I’m automatically detaching myself from my current situation. Sleep has been difficult, too.

    So, I can really relate. And I know how it interferes with creativity.

    • Yeah. This is one of those things. I go to emergency (three? times in my life) and they triage me low because I’m perfectly composed. Then they run the xrays or whatever and go “Why are you not screaming in pain” or in the case of pneumonia “I’ve never seen anyone with bloodox that low come in under her own power.”

      • One of my sisters-in-law had something like that. “With iron levels that low, why are you sitting up? Strike that, why are you not dead?” She now gets iron sludge pumped into her veins every so often, because they’ve not been able to track a cause for her anemia over more than a decade of trying.

      • You and Heinlein again! (He apparently had an exceptionally high pain threshold.)
        I really admire your stamina. Was in fact wondering about how fast you heal and whether you weren’t overstressing yourself. Here’s to speedy and complete healing.
        Best wishes for Through Fire!

  2. I know I speak for everyone when I say that we want your priority to get better. Do that, and we’ll wait for books.

    We may not like it, but we’ll do it. 😀

  3. Karl Sandwell-Weiss

    Look. I’ve had major surgery. You don’t bounce back. There’s been major blood loss and a massive insult to your physical body. It doesn’t heal as fast as we want or expect. You are not Superwoman. You can’t do everything “right now.”

    Slow down or there will be consequences!

    We need you around.

    • Part of the issue has been that I can’t wait on certain things. BUT I’m taking the week off to JUST write, which means I get to sit down and move only my fingers. YAY.

      • Well… maybe let the painting wait? I’m thinking of all that straining to reach up. And my word, this is the kind of story that the doctors tell, about the really extreme cases. Glad you’re feeling better, but take it easy.

      • Odd — I sometimes I find myself sitting watching Presidential news coverage and find not only do I only move my fingers, I only move two of them.

        • So you’re saying that when you watch Presidential news coverage, you find it so emotional that you can no longer touch-type, but have to hunt-and-peck? (Although I suspect that hunt-and-peck with only your middle fingers must be really weird…)

          • Funny story– one of my grandfathers had a mangled pointer finger on his right hand. He taught his kids their initial basic typing– not proper, just “this is how you get THAT machine to work.”

            All three of them I’ve seen hunt-and-peck use their middle fingers to do so. The one that has been taught to type properly only hunt-and-pecks when very distracted, though.

        • Randy Wilde

          That’s strange… I usually move more than just a couple of fingers. For example, I might find myself rotating my wrists or extending an elbow as part of the exercise. Range of motion is important.

          It might just be the inspirational material, though… I think I started while watching late night TV monologues.

    • Seconded. Take off some time when you sit in a comfy chair and just read, or take a nap. If you can’t do that for long because the undone things bother you, then do it as a recess between doing what needs to be done. An hour of painting or whatever, 20 minutes of relaxing, then a short stretch of work again. If you collapse you will get nothing done, remember that.

      • Thirded (?) – body heals faster when your mind is accepting and relaxed, so give yourself time to enjoy the new/old you.

  4. “It’s a very odd book, but the people who’ve seen it so far tell me it’s good.”

    I haven’t seen it, so I can’t tell you whether it is good or not, but I’m sure it would be better if you would just go ahead and kill Simon off. 🙂

    • Trolling the sick woman… tsk tsk!

    • I’d lose all my women fans. Besides, I like him. BUT I put him through h*ll. Does that count?

      • Well, if he is miserable. Very miserable. Cowed. Wretched. Feeling sorry. Brought low and down and needing help from people he has pissed off while too proud to ask so they have to figure it out… (No, I don’t know Simon well enough to have any opinions as what he’d deserve, I have seen just the snippet, but if he is that kind of thoroughly irritating but in some ways magnificent bastard who might prompt the pleads to just kill him already…)

      • This is one of the ones I haven’t gotten to, but on general principles, I would guess not. An author putting a character she likes through hell is very rarely satisfying to people who can’t stand him. *g*

  5. carlton mckenney

    I’m with them. Get well. Worry about the books later. We won’t forget you.

  6. When you has been very sick for a prolonged time being very sick becomes your new bottom line. But now your very sick has been address, and things are thankfully better.

    The doctor, concerned at what he views as still sick. On the other hand because the less sick is so much better than before … you think, ‘Wow, I haven’t felt this good in ages, I’m not sick!’

    Hoping that the antibiotics do their job and soon you will get to find out what actually being health feels like, maybe even the healthiest of your whole life — and that it will become your new normal.

    • Dang — the comma should have been changed so ‘The doctor,’ read ‘The doctor is’. I make a horrible editor of my own writing.

  7. On a much, much lesser scale, I’m familiar with the effect. I’m turning 40 in 3 weeks (blech) and have had full dentures for the last 4 years or so. Prior to that my mouth was a wreck, I was missing teeth that’d just fallen out, etc. (This is what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth, kids.)

    Dentist did all the extractions at once, then said “Oh just take Advil, then Tylenol every 3-4 hours alternating, you’ll be fine.” To say the least I was dubious, but I went home, and didn’t even bother with the third cycle of Advil/Tylenol.

    From my perspective, I wanted to be able to eat normally again and stop having occasional toothaches and I’d known for several years that full dentures were needed. The occasional toothaches were once a week or so when I finally did it at my friend’s urging (he’d had the same issues).

    A week afterwards, despite living on rice pudding and mac and cheese, I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I mentioned it to my dentist, who looked at me like I was crazy. “Of course you feel good. The infection in your mouth was the equivalent of 5 festering gunshot wounds. You weren’t in constant pain before?”

    Thing is, that was relatively minor. I didn’t have to get cut open. If they’re concerned you’re not healing on profile, and you feel that good, well, that shows how far off you really were. In the immortal words of Count Rugen, “Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.”

    • I have a similar tale of woe. Turns out, I was running around with two abscessed teeth for years. My Orthopedic surgeon wanted to do a knee transplant, and I was loaded up on nsaids for the (all) joint pain. Matters got worse when I got a sub-mandible infection, the floor of my mouth leveled with the top of the teeth, the cruise ship was diverted to Bermuda, week in a socialized medicine hell hospital. In the post-recovery period, while they were looking for causes, my Dentist discovered the abscesses and did a root canal. I had never felt any pain from the teeth.
      After the smoke all cleared, my ‘rheumatic arthritis’ can be treated with a topical cream I use about once a week. I found it much easier to diet, and shed 1/6th of my weight. My Dentist x-rayed all my roots and discovered yet another abscess. Now, I wonder what the life of a 100% healthy 100% of the time person would be like.

      Sarah: If you can, eat active culture yogurt during and immediately after the antibiotic treatment. The antibiotics kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria as well as the bad. The yogurt helps restore you to top form.

      • Active culture yogurt and maybe a probiotic dose as well.

        • Oikos offers an active culture Greek yogurt in key lime that is not only tasty but high in protein.

          • If yogurt isn’t an option, there are also pills in the same isle as all the supplements.

          • Most yogurts are active culture and high in protein.

            • The Oikos Dannon Activia* Greek Probiotic offers about double the protein of ordinary yogurts, 12 grams per serving,

              *Oikos is a brand of Dannon’s but does not come in live active culture marketing.

          • William O. B'Livion

            Noosa, while being more expensive, tastes *way* better than Oikos, and basically doesn’t come in no-fat.

        • AnotherOldNavyChief

          +1 on the probiotic. The antibiotic will kill all the bacteria, both bad and good. You will benefit greatly from a GOOD probiotic.

          Take care and keep getting better. We’ll read the books whenever they are available, just don’t want them to be posthumous.

      • Joe Miller (@joethefatman1)

        Every time my kids were prescribed antibiotics I’d make them eat yogurt. For some reason they still love that nasty stuff.

        • Yes, it leaves a slime on your teeth! As Mary mentions, they now have the probiotics in pill form. My Dad was taking them for some malady last year. Probably taste better than the yogurt.

          • They have them in gummies, nowadays!

            • Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotic gummiies are pleasant but require four of them to offer the cultural content of their gel-caps. Beloved Spouse took to them after the fourth abdominal surgery within 13 months.

              A GI tract is a terrible thing to kick-start.

              • yeah, and keffir is hard to find without fruit and sugar making it really high-carb.

              • What about an esophagus?

                • You have to be incredibly limber to kick your esophagus.

                  • Younger son can nearly lick his elbow.

                    • My esophagus hates me. I have severe GERD. I even had a Nissen Funduplication some years ago. My valve at the base of my esophagus was stuck open. The operation has helped somewhat.

                      Sorry for the TMI and acting an old lady. I’m 53 but I have the body of an 83 year old.

                    • My brother has GERD bad enough that, even though he takes two Nexium a day, he can’t sleep lying down.

                    • I take one dexilant, 6 welchol and grasshopper slurry as needed. the slurry contains lidocaine I think in a maalox base.

                    • Wayne, tell him to REALLY cut carbs, like extreme reduction. That’s not why we did it. We did it for my autoimmune and Dan’s incipient diabetes. But after I did it — about six months — I realized that I hadn’t taken an anti-acid in months. And yep, I was in the exact same situation. In fact through this recovery thing I’ve been bad and I know when I’m too bad because the GERD returns.

                    • My dad had to have an operation for that in his fifties too. And his mom had it in her thirties. So I know what you’re talking about.

                    • My son can chew his toenails. (Really, he’s 15, and taller than me. I don’t know how he does it.)

                    • Teenagers are much more flexible than you think. I bit my toenails when I was a teen myself.

                    • I first read this as “when I was a teen werewolf” then re-checked.

                    • I used to be able to do that, and probably retained the ability until having a knee rebuilt at 27. What broke me of the habit was the night (I think I was about 7) I failed to bite all the way through the nail and inadvertently pulled it off the big toe.

                      I owe a prayer in my father’s memory for not killing me that night, I am sure. There was much blood and screaming and I doubt the explanation made sense or seemed reasonable.

                    • He can do that, too. Older son, who is 6’5″, was able to do it until he stopped growing upwards and started growing outwards a few years ago.

                    • Re. flexibility. Somewhere in the tens of thousands of slides belonging to a relative are a set of photos of me wrapped around a Big-wheel and then a tricycle, in all sorts of odd contortions. I was six or so, and relative was a pediatrician. The photos were used as part of a lecture on pediatric orthopedics. Apparently the medical students et al all cringed and made whimpering noises when [relative] got to those slides.

                    • When I wrecked my cousin’s neighbor’s bicycle, by riding it off the retaining wall in cousin’s backyard (I was between 9 and 12, don’t remember any closer than that, but probably closer to 9), my cousin recently told me I made a very impressive swan dive, after which I wound up lying on the back of my head, neck, and shoulders, with my knees resting on the ground on opposite sides of my head. I’m pretty sure my aunt later told me she thought I was dead.

        • My parents used to give us yogurt (heavily flavored, natch) as dessert. I still think of it as a treat.

      • Oh my yes. My psoriasis cleared up immensely, depression went the way of the dodo, my blood sugars (diabetic) autocorrected themselves – this despite eating massive amounts of rice pudding and Stouffer’s mac and cheese! It was utterly amazing. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I’ve managed to pick up an infection of some sort again because the psoriasis and blood sugar control issues came back, though gradually. Depression hasn’t but I’m now working as a network engineer instead of a call center support monkey, so that alone explains a lot.

        • Are you getting enough Vitamin D and other vitamin stuff? Those can cause a lot of troubles.

          • And establish “enough” based on how you feel after adding a minor supplement for a while, not based on what the RDA is– I am STILL steamed about how big of an improvement I missed, and for how long, because I was low on B vitamins and iron.

            • My husband takes B vitamins and says he can tell the difference. I take them and… nothing. Are you saying I probably ought to take more?

              • Exactly the opposite, actually; I took a normal supplement and it was… like the difference between a day when I have coffee, and when I don’t. A little fiddling around after that improvement and it was awesome.

                Contrast with vitamin D, which I know SuburbanBanshee had a huge improvement with, but which was “meh” for me– I noticed a difference, but mostly take it to help with my calcium absorption and milk production.
                Iron wasn’t as fast, but after a week I suddenly realized that I wasn’t exhausted every afternoon. If I don’t take it for a while– the iron pills make me sick to my stomach for at least half an hour unless I time it *just* right with food– then I start wanting to beg the kids to sleep just so I can nap.

                Before, I was having some of the symptoms of diabetes, including tingling in my extremities– it was bad enough in my hands that I was worried I’d need carpel tunnel surgery like my mom had. Then my legs started randomly falling asleep.
                Since I started a B complex and iron, they’ve stopped doing that entirely unless I’m also seriously dehydrated and have missed several meals, and even then it’s mostly after I’ve been abusing my hands or legs.

                • It’s amazing what the right supplement can do for you, and how little most doctors know about them, or for that matter the affects of nutrition in general.

                  My previous GP told me that I’d just have to get used to the benign heart arrhythmia which would wake me up. “As you get older you just have to get used to more little aches and pains.” The naturopath I went to while waiting to get into the new GP heard that and hit the roof. She then put me on some supplemental magnesium and within two weeks the arrhythmia was gone. (Or course which version of magnesium makes a big difference in how much I have to take.) I found out later that the prilosec I take for my reflux and to help protect my stomach when I have to take lots of NSAIDS mucks up magnesium absorption. The arrhythmia started not long after I started on it, and got worse around the time we had to up the dose.

                • Remember to take Vitamin C with your iron. It helps absorption.

                  • D, too.

                    Don’t get me started on people who get nasty about how you “only” absorb X% of the stuff in vitamins– that’s a percent I would’ve otherwise been going without, and did go without, and it ###### sucked.

                  • I was put on prescriptive iron supplement after a third surgery in five months. The hematologist had me take it with orange juice, because studies have indicated it makes for the best absorption. I had to have not eaten within two hours and was not to eat for another hour afterwards. (So I took to doing it first thing in the morning.)

                • I’m all good with taking supplements. Take a bunch myself. But- be careful with iron. Do not, do not take iron supplements, or a multi-vitamin with iron, without first having an iron panel done. High iron levels can cause diabetes, joint pain, and liver disease, and fatigue. Hemochromotosis, high iron, is one of those vastly underdiagnosed diseases, often diagnosed during the autopsy. I’m not diagnosed with it, but I give blood 4-6 times a year, and my iron level is always real good. When I had the iron panel done, my blood was high everywhere it was bad to be high, and low everywhere it was bad to be low. But just short of the numbers that get a hemochromotosis diagnoses.

                  Almost anything else, go with what works for you. Becasue we aren’t all the same. With B- vitamins, it’s hard to overdose. B-12 is another one that is really hard to absorb. For some people. If I’m feeling a little run down, I’ll pop an OTC pill with 3333% of the RDA according to the label. And repeat every 2 hours as needed. Most of it passes through to the other end without getting absorbed.

                  • With iron I figured it out because I’m pregnant, and the doctor did blood work and yelled at me. (Alright, quietly urged. I don’t think he CAN yell.)

                    I though I was just getting hit hard on the pregnancy. Started taking the iron, symtoms vanished. Stop doing it because I’m sick to my stomach, they come back. Cycle cycle cycle…

                    When I’m not preggers, I can usually “treat” it by having tomato based sauces at least once a week, and cooking them in my cast iron pan.

                  • Either A or E is pretty nasty for ODing, too; ‘s why I say to start with a “normal” supplement.

              • A lot of women do not process B vitamins well in food, which is why some doctors are going back to good old-fashioned B vitamin shots. But bigger pill doses can also work. Just watch what is the maximum, and don’t go over it.

                • I wonder… chocolate is noted for having a lot of b-complex vitamins, and I crave it a lot less often these days. I know that a lot of cravings are for something your brain thinks will provide more of what it thinks is missing.

                  Might be a connection, there.

                  • I can’t eat chocolate because of the stimulant in it.

                    • If I didn’t know it from reading, I would swear there was no stimulant in chocolate. And I have to drink a significant amount of strong coffee in order to notice it even there.

                    • There’s a caffeine analog called Theobromine in chocolate. I’m quite sensitive to any stimulant, even in quite small doses. If I have chocolate I feel the effects for several days. My biochemistry is Odd as well as my psychology.

                    • And I won’t eat chocolate because I don’t like it 🙂

                    • Okay. You’re an alien 😉

                    • @Wayne, I drink coffee all day, right up until I go to bed, caffeine doesn’t affect me. Well, except I get a head ache if I Don’t have my coffee.

                    • I worked third shift twelve years — coffee keeps me awake, alright, but only by hydraulic pressure.

                    • Yes, drinking coffee while driving keeps me awake, particularly on cold nights, because I have to stop every hour and get rid of what I drank.

                • They almost always use the pyridoxine hydrochloride form of Vitamin B6 in B vitamins, and some people don’t convert it well to the active form. I can’t take it at all, and even have to avoid all foods that are high in it, because it gives me horrible insomnia. The P5P (active) form is better, and the kind in nutritional yeast is great.

                  The pyridoxine hydrochloride form is in plant foods only (whole wheat, rice bran, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, some beans, sesame seeds, avocados, etc, etc). The B6 in animal foods is the pyridoxal and pyridoxamine forms, and is absorbed better.

                  I don’t do well at vegetarian potlucks 🙂 Almost every dish has something I can’t eat.

                  I wouldn’t be surprised if the other B vitamins have similar issues in some people.

                • A lot of body builders for a while (may still be, but I’ve not been around any for some time) used B12 or B Complex shots extensively. Much safer and healthier than steroids.

                  While I’ve never used them myself I do give them to my dogs when they are being hunted hard, especially in the summer heat. It is amazing the difference you will see after giving them a vitamin B shot.

              • I’d suggest trying the “B Complex Stress supplement” mixes, too– they’re designed to help for absorption, and they’re cheap.

              • William O. B'Livion

                You probably should have a blood panel run and talk to a reasonable good doctor.

                Some people are deficient, and more will help them. Some people are not deficient and more will do no good.

                • An important thing to keep in mind is that everybody’s biochemistry is different.

                  • Not under the Affordable Care Act’s standards of care guidelines. Obamacare will require everybody’s biochemistry to be treated according to carefully calculated norms which guarantee uniform care for men and women alike..

    • I was in a car accident in 1990. I stopped in my little car. The guy behind me in a mid-size stopped. The girl behind him in the SUV didn’t. I would have ended up hitting the car in front of me if it hadn’t started moving in time, and the SUV’s grill was in front of my car. I remember the EMTs asking if I wanted to be taken to the ER and telling them, no, I was on the way to my chiropracter anyway, and I felt fine. I’d be stiff as heck later though.

      The chiropracter got the whiplash reduced before I stiffened up. The two sprained wrists and the separated ribs weren’t as much fun (for several weeks even breathing hurt, never mind lying down), and they’ve hurt pretty constantly for the 25 years since and I’ve learned to ignore or not even notice. They masked my gall bladder pain until I was throwing up and ended up in the ER. I’ve recently come to the realization that what I call a “2” most folks call a “4” or a “5”. I don’t consider it a “10” unless I’ve passed out. Screaming and then cradling the affected limb and concentrating on breathing for a minute or two is only a “9”.

      My current PT is telling me that I’ve got to recalibrate, and he probably has a point. When he’s doing passive ROM exercises to keep my shoulder joint loose (surgery on June 4th!) and I’ve got tears streaming down my face, I probably shouldn’t think it’s only a “7” or “8”.

      As for healing, there is a standard time table, and there is one’s own personal time table. The sicker you’ve been going into something, and the longer you’ve been sick can both slow it down. So take it as easy as possible, and enjoy that even on the “too slow” healing you’re feeling better!

      • I’m a wimp, honestly — you people who can apparently shut out pain for years boggle me — but when they say 10 is the “worst pain you can imagine,” it seems like that would set the scale pretty darned high.

        • Exactly! They say the worst you can imagine, and the worst for me is the one time I passed out from the pain. So if I’m not passing out, it can’t be a 10, right?

          As for shutting it out for years, I don’t think most of us did shut it out at the beginning. It’s just that if it goes on long enough, many of us (by no means all) learn to block it. I think it’s similar to how people who live near a pharmaceutical plant don’t notice the interesting smells when penicillan is being made, but those who aren’t near the plant on a regular basis are nearly gagging.


          On the other hand, I’m with you on the wimp side. I listen to my SCA friends talk about some of the hits they have taken when fighting on the field, and they’re like, “Damn, that one hurt”, but then they say, “so I got up and I whacked him one” or something like that, and I’m thinking, “I’d be rolling on the ground, trying not to scream in pain”.

          • Any SCA members, please do not dissect my paraphrasing of the events on the field. I know that the way I stated it would not be exactly the way it transpired.

          • Yes, that comic exactly. *rueful grin* Although I suppose technically I can imagine a lot of situations that would be vastly more painful than the level of pain I can strictly speaking imagine on its own….

            Anyway, when I had what turned out to be an abscessed tooth, I hated it. I quit drinking cold things and called the dentist as soon as I realized something had to be wrong instead of just a temporary increase in sensitivity. The dentist said people usually wait until the situation is far worse before coming in… which made it easier to fix, so hey.

            Now, the pain from before it was fixed never got intolerable, nor as bad as one night during recovery when I was seriously afraid something had gone wrong. So I can see how somebody who can’t get something looked at, or who is waiting out recovery pain and assumes it’s getting better, would gradually get used to things.

          • Yep, I have a GOOD imagination.

          • A lot of times it depends a lot on how much you can think about it. I’ve done some really, really stupid stuff that shouldn’t have been possible because I didn’t have time to realize I couldn’t/shouldn’t.

            • Yep. Sometimes you don’t realize what happened until later when it stiffens up, or there’s been time for the “Ouch! Stop it!” to get from whereever to the brain. I once finished the last 15 minutes or so of a riding lesson after being bucked off. Felt fine after I got my breath back, which was before the instructor had caught the horse.

              And then I sat in the car for 30 minutes on the way home. It took both my parents to help lever me out of the car. By the next day we were able to figure out that I’d a) separated my ribs b) dislocated my left shoulder (I have very lose joints so it had relocated itself) c) gotten a whiplash, and d) sprained my thumb. Plus a whole lot of minor bruises.

              I have to keep reminding my PT that just because something doesn’t hurt as we do it, doesn’t mean it won’t start screaming a few seconds later.

              I used to wonder about my SCA fighter friends and why they’d keep doing it after various injuries, and then I think about my riding…. I’m not one to talk. Though at this point, if I’m ever able to start equestrian activities again, I think I’ll look into driving.

              • Old Surfer

                Horses are large, dangerous and sometimes malignant creatures. I’ve been thrown enough not to want to do it anymore. Hang-gliding and big wave surfing are much safer activities imho.

          • Hy husband and I are laughing at that comic. The patient, that’s me. Husband is the spouse explaining that my imagination is not normal. For six babies.

          • William O. B'Livion

            We were working on rolls in a martial arts class, working on dive-rolling under things. I screwed one up, and wound up separating my shoulder. I took two acetaminophen and kept on training for about 45 minutes until I started feeling too nauseated to continue.

            So I rode a sport bike (motorcycle) through the city to get home.

            Went to see a doctor a couple months later, and turns out I’d popped loose a bit of cartilage.

            I stopped training for a few months.

      • My chief criterion is whether the pain is nauseating, though there are some finer graduations.

      • William O. B'Livion

        I’ve recently come to the realization that what I call a “2” most folks call a “4” or a “5”. I don’t consider it a “10” unless I’ve passed out. Screaming and then cradling the affected limb and concentrating on breathing for a minute or two is only a “9”.

        I had to punch my own bore with a cotton swab once. That put me on the floor of a public bathroom (doctors office, but still) sweating and shaking. I consider that a 9 just because I didn’t lose consciousness.

  8. OK, I’ll quit whining (inside my mind) about work and rehearsals eating my writing time (gotta get this book done by the end of May. I’m 35K words in, and just as a block unlocked the phone started ringing.)

    Glad you are feeling better and please don’t try to multi-task too much. It would be a real drag fro Dan and the boys to have to repaint over 20K words of the next Darkship book that came out when you were supposed to be doing baseboards and trim.
    “Can we start in the living room yet?”
    “No, your mother needs to finish transcribing the chair rail.”

    • Mark Alger

      Ugh! Beaded wainscotting — the pen kept skipping.


    • It would be a great idea for the Bathroom. Usually, all I have to occupy my mind is determining the repeat cycle on the floor tiling. A novel on the wainscoting would be a marked improvement (Provided it isn’t “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”).

      • It could even be a selling point. “No, no point repainting. Sell this house as an artist’s studio! Inspiring and creative!”

      • Have you ever read Cheaper by the Dozen? One of the family anecdotes related is about Poppa Gilbreth’s painting the bathroom walls with the periodic table (among other things) so that occupants could put otherwise idle time to good use.

        • Think Geek used to carry a periodic table of the elements shower curtain. I have considered it to enliven the guest bathroom.

        • You should have seen what my mother did in my bedroom when I was little! She put the multiplication tables on the ceiling, large enough for me to see lying in bed. And all of one wall was covered with quotes, things like “Charity begins at home, but it should not end there.” I’m pretty sure I still have all of them memorized!

          • I hung up some of the sayings of Lazarus Long on the kids walls, not the one about parents illusions being the thing keeping kids alive 😛 But you know A generations that knows no history has no past and no future. I think they absorbed them subconsciously.

      • My bathroom has bookshelves. Though most people nowadays seem to occupy their idle moments with their phones.

        Still, any visitors are free to occupy themselves with “The Manual of Cartridge Conversions” or “Tool Steel Simplified”, among other selections…

  9. from the heart … GET WELL SOON … I know somewhat you are going through. three major surgeries, last one was open heart, 6 bypasses. not a record dang it. I can handle the pain walking around, sitting, working, etc. but as soon as I would lay down to sleep, the pain would kick in. usually only time I would take pain meds, outside of the hospital. remember bodies heal slowly (at our age, I think your about my age). your not 18 anymore. take your time. heal then books. we can wait. think long term. a healthy Sarah is a happy Sarah. a happy Sarah writes more (and more quickly). see, its in our own self-interest to wait.

    • I’m 52. Yeah. Not 18.

      • Yup. Even extremely uncomplicated abdominal surgery can take a while to recover from.

        • What I’d LIKE is to take time off and go to the zoo. But son is working full time the next five days, other son has classes and husband is working at the other house. Me/ I’m finishing a book.

          • Sadly, I’m too far away to kidnap you and take you to the zoo, then abandon you and my husband at a cafe with laptops that have multiple writing programs and no internet.

            This is a good thing. You two would get a lot written, then conspire to kill me.

      • I remember when I was 16, my dad and I were foot racing through the field to my grandma’s house, when we hurdled the electric fence at the bottom of the hill, my dad hooked a toe on it and a rather spectacular face plant. He landed on his arm with all his weight coming down on the elbow that was dug into his ribs. He was getting quite a bit of pain whenever he tried to pick anything up (or breathe) and ended up going to the doctor. He had separated ribs and two or three of them were cracked. When he explained to the doctor what happened, the doc rolled his eyes and told dad, “you’re not 16 anymore.”

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          A guy I knew in the Denver area who was around 40-50 realized he wasn’t a teenager after playing basketball with some teenagers. [Smile]

  10. I’m back!

    • Back when I was working my way through college as a hotel clerk it was not unusual for me to be front.

  11. So after 23 years of profound, chronic pain everyone can look forward to all your future stories being of the grade of light and airy teenage girl juveniles, all happy, happy, joy, joy, isn’t the world a wonderful place? 😉

    Minds me of the song by Joe Uveges titled Prozac. His doctor prescribes Prozac and from then on everything in life is happy, happy, joy, joy…except he makes his living singing the blues. Best line is where he mentions he’s singing a bluesy song and accidentally segues into “Feelin’ Groovy”

    Heal and feel better.

  12. There is a world of difference between “being better’ and “being well.”

  13. Amusingly enough, there are very few comments on his blog about Mike Glyer’s discovery that Philcon II’s Progress Report III explicitly encouraged bloc voting for the Hugos, and let people in on where the votes were, thus far.

    Yet another proof that organized fandom didn’t always have a stick up its collective butt.

    • I saw he had something, but I’ve had family drama since about 2 this morning, so I didn’t bother to read it.


    • As with so many things denounced by the Proglodytes (e.g., imperial presidency) they only detest it when done by the wrong people.

      • If you’re trying to raise memberships and encourage people to vote, play-by-play reports were definitely a good idea.

        The collectormania preventing people from clipping out the Hugo ballot and voting is also hysterical. Shades of the comicbook ads of yore. 🙂

    • Any set of voting rules are subject to ‘gaming’, that is, achieving an objective different than the rule creators envisioned. The Hugo’s are certainly not unique for this, and frankly, the bizarre ranked voting scheme lends itself well to such abuse. I think the big weakness would be a dedicated group ‘slug voting’. That is, where everyone else is voting for 4 or 5 people, a group vote only for a single nominee, thereby ‘denying’ votes to all the others that are being split. Why have the voting during a convention? Why so authors can wine and dine the prospective fans/voters and secure an inside influence. An ideal ‘fan’ will consider the whoopla of the convention in a positive sense, illuminating a wide choice of reading materials for merit.
      Now, if you are an insider, who has been gaming the system for several years and now encounter a larger group that finds your manipulations wanting and your selection criteria to be biased, well of course you will become indignant.

  14. Joe Miller (@joethefatman1)

    Please take care of yourself Ms Hoyt, and I join the others in letting you know I’ll be ready to read it when you are able to finish it. I can wait. Your health can’t.

    The problem with chronic pain is that you can get used to it, just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there. A gradual increase in pain can feel like no increase at all. Then you take a pill for something else and you feel better up until the need for that pill is over, then suddenly places that you have ignored for years start hurting for what seems like no reason at all. Well that was my experience anyway.

    • I’m finally starting to feel pain, so, yeah.

      • The fun part about the post-surgery, I discovered, was that once I had drugged myself down to certain level of pain, increases were horrible, even if I knew they were less than the pain I was feeling before.

        • That’s like my autistic daughter — I’ve figured out a few things that keep her feeling better most of the time — and thus not screaming and shrieking at me all the time (sometimes including half the night). When I forget to give her her supplements that actually work, or she’s sick or doesn’t get fed on time and we go back to the screaming and shrieking, it’s so much worse than before, when I was used to it!

  15. Sarah, if you see a big square shadow growing around your feet step aside smartly; it’s an incoming Acme Safe…

  16. 52? ha, wait’ll you turn 70. Everything(neck problem, back problem, knee problem, shoulder problem, etc.) starts falling apart at the same time, heh, heh, heh.
    OTOH I’m finally getting some use out of that damn med insurance that’s been costing me $5-6K/year for the past decade or two.
    ‘Course if I hadn’t abused the bod so badly in the wild working-days of my yoot(and continued doing so long after my yoot had passed), maybe this all wouldn’t be happening now.
    When’s the follow-on for AFGM coming out. I need another fix for my on-going homohatephia…

  17. On the plus side, the surgery and pain meds have apparently made you forget the threat you made to make me beta Through Fire.
    Probably for the best. Watching your precious baby get ripped to shreds can’t be conducive to the healing process.
    Should things get wonky at comicon just remind yourself that Libertycon is just around the corner, perhaps the greatest concentration of ELoE and their minions ever seen. Hoyt, and Correia, and Ringo, oh my!

  18. Christopher M. Chupik

    Well, there is someone working on head transplants right now . . . 😉

  19. -.-

    “I’m not healing like I should be, so I’m going to bust my tail to get the following laundry list of work done, including several days worth of painting.”

    I know the “well, not really an option” reaction, but…..

    • yeah, the painting is not an option.
      BUT sitting down and writing is not hard work. I’m just still hitting the 10k limit.

      • Wish my childhood doctor was still alive– she loved Colorado and would’ve been a perfect match for you.

        She was much loved by the local ranch-workers because they had a deal: they’d tell her honestly what things they could not possibly skip doing, and she’d treat them accordingly, telling them what the long term effects would be. If they weren’t that-which-must-be-done, she treated them for the best outcome.

        Use to be a doctor for the Raiders, the Army and was a bush doctor for a while.

      • (Glares at Sarah) Enough with the humble bragging. 😉

      • “BUT sitting down and writing is not hard work. I’m just still hitting the 10k limit.”
        Silly Portagee. Take a step back and try to read those words from the perspective of most people. You know, the ones to whom 10k is not a limit but rather a lofty goal.

    • Kind of my thought too. I realize sometimes you just have to work through things.

      OTOH, can’t SOMEONE else at your house step in for a while with the physical stuff so you can recover? Barring that, it isn’t THAT difficult to bring in someone to paint walls at your house. There are even people who make a living doing that.

      Which is all very easy for me to say, but hard for me to do in my own life. I’ve been in your shoes and hope you not only feel even better soon, but feel WELL soon.

      I also second the probiotics. Yogurt itself won’t usually cut it after very large doses of strong antibiotics over a 2 week period. But the combination of yogurt, live-culture probiotic, and a banana will do wonders all taken at the same time every day for at least a week after you finish your antibiotic.

      But, unlike most here, I am new to your books and I feel very lucky because I ordered two yesterday that I hadn’t read yet, so I am still good on reading material.

      For now.

      • Everyone at my house is working at capacity and they’re doing stuff at the other house, too. And as for someone else — no teno dinero to pay someone. The last two years of barely working hurt us.

        • Alas, I do not live in Colorado anymore, so I can’t offer to paint your walls. (I actually like painting. Artist. You know how it is.)

      • And a banana?


        • FlyingMike

          Exactly! Dona Sarah eeds more Local Minions. Those of us spread distntly around the world are hardly useful whan paint needs rolling in the Beautiful Yet Terrible Space Princess Soon To Be Previous Mountain Lair.

  20. Sarah, your example is a hyper example of what happened to my mother when I was somewhere between elementary and high school. She was feeling sort of tired, for a long time, and finally went to the doctor, and the doctor told her she had a low blood count of some sort, and that “people in your condition usually come in here on a stretcher.”

    You do more being lazy than most people do full steam working their hardest.

  21. I hope to see you at Comic Con. I’ll be there Saturday. Hopefully, after reading this blog for over a year, I’ve got enough clues to identify you.

    Still deciding whether or not to wear last Halloween’s satyr costume (without the awful pony boots, of course; walking for 30 minutes is a chore). If some satyr comes up to say “hi”, it’s most likely me.

    I might – on a busy day – hit 10K in email. Writing fiction? Not a chance.

  22. “So — here’s what’s going on — as soon as book from h*ll is delivered, I’ll spend three/four days…”

    I honest to god thought that the next word was going to be “resting.”

  23. I still have problems with Dr.’s that can’t understand how I function without lethal doses of narcotics. Both knees are severely osteo-arthrtic (no cartilage in Rt. knee as of 2004), arthritis in back (known to be T-11 to L-5), and “narrowing of the spinal canal.” They can’t understand that the poor learn to live with pain.

  24. … the poor learn to live with pain.

    “Geeze, Doc! That pain pill is humongous! How an I supposed to swallow that!!!”

    “Swallow it? Ya ain’t supposed to swallow it! Just suck it up.”

  25. Sarah, all my best wishes to you in your recovery. As someone who lived with acute chronic fatigue syndrome for 15 years, and still has to be careful, and is currently recovering from her 3rd herniated cervical disc in 4 months … I am totally on board with how you feel, and what it’s like to carry the load of physical shenanigans. So hard to write when your body is being difficult!

  26. The following is a public service announcement on behalf of all Huns living in the referenced region, offered with our apologies for the pusillanimous policies of America’s Foreign Policy establishment whose abandonment of traditional American principles has encouraged such aggressions against y’all’s interests and safety.

    Northern Exposure

    By Andrew Stuttaford — May 1, 2015

    It’s been a busy few days in the Baltic/Nordic region.


    Sweden on Thursday stated support to the Lithuanian protest over the conduct of Russian military vessels in the Baltic Sea, which impeded the laying of a NordBalt power cable between Lithuania and Sweden. Pezhman Fivrin, spokesman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry, told BNS that Stockholm saw the Russian behavior as violation of international law.

    “Sweden has been in contact with Russian authorities and have discussed this issue and stated that this is violation of international law. …

    Defense News:

    HELSINKI — Norway has decided to invest $500 million in two new programs intended to strengthen its military capability in the High North. The capital investment, which is being financed within the framework of the 2015 defense budget, happens against a backdrop where Russia continues to reinforce its air, naval and land capabilities in the neighboring High North. …

    The Wall Street Journal

    HELSINKI—Finland’s navy resorted to a rare public display of force on Tuesday when it dropped hand-held depth charges to warn off a suspected submarine detected in Finnish territorial waters. The unconfirmed intrusion came at a time when the Baltic Sea region has seen a spate of airspace and maritime incidents that have coincided with a rise in tensions between Russia and the West. …


    A mail-out to 900,000 former conscripts in Finland began being publicised on Monday, with a TV announcement reminding reservists that “conscription is the cornerstone of Finland’s defence capability”. The defence minister denied that the move has any link to worsening relations with Russia. Finland’s armed forces began broadcasting an announcement on Yle television from Monday, telling the nation’s reservists that “We want to have a word with you,” and reminding them that “conscription is the cornerstone of Finland’s defence capability.”

    The ad accompanies a mass mail-out campaign, in which a letter will be sent to each of Finland’s 900,000 reservists next month, informing them which post they would be given in a crisis situation. The letter also asks them to send in up-to-date details of their whereabouts. …

    Links embedded at the original, posted at 07:11 PM at National Review Online gangblog, The Corner

    • Well nuts. Hopefully the Nordics have good steel to reinforce their spines.

      • FlyingMike

        I like the Finns, and not just because of our own illustrious Finnish Hoyden. Anyone who maintains the unofficial motto “hakkaa päälle” from the Thirty Years War are a people to be reckoned with. I know Pohjalainen has been telling us about the declines in the Suomi of late, but these are still the same folks who stopped the Red Army cold – there’s something still there. I know that I certainly wouldn’t want to start a war with Finland.

  27. Wow, I guess the superheroine outfit is deserved.

  28. Josh Kruschke