Staying Alive


Sorry this is so late.  I woke up with a blinding headache.  And don’t go getting all paranoid. My head aches because I’ve become a human barometer, and we have a storm blowing in.

On that, conversation last night with older son he says I’m wrong and meningiomas are ACTUALLY very rarely malignant and can’t figure out why I remember it the other way around.  I can. I was so hypothyroidal and sleeping in one to two minute increments at the time, that it’s a miracle I don’t remember more walking dreams as reality.

Anyway so the overwhelming chance is that the thing outside the brain skin is NOT malignant, but we should still check it for mass effect since my vision is wonky.  To be fair, the other part of the vision being wonky is probably that the thyroid is getting FIXED.  See, while I’ve actually become near-sighted since I fell in bathroom and got concussion 16 years ago (I was before, but of  the “if reading for a long time” type)) my biggest problem was and remains astigmatism.  That’s an eye shape thing, and gets worse or at least different with … well… tons of things.  My pregnancies threw it off, but stress threw it off, too, and, and and.  We’ve eliminated one potential cause: diabetes.  I don’t have that.  I eat low carb only because otherwise eczema goes WILD.

The thing to take home about my health is that everything is pretty much better.  For the first time in decades I have not a single open sore, or even rash from eczema on my body.  I’m lighter, and my blood pressure is down, my thyroid is probably ALMOST there, though still a little low (have to do tests) and honestly, most of the problems are “coming up” problems.  It’s like this, you know how to clean your house you have to make it dirtier?  Well, to come up from severe illness (Or in my case, three, which is apparently what it takes to make me STOP writing as I did six years ago or so) you are going to have new and interesting stuff show up.  Some of it is not even new, but you were too tired to notice it before.

It’s like during our first snow storm this year, which arrived out of a clear blue sky, and we went from 60 degrees to under thirty in a couple of hours: the tree in our front yard shed all its leaves in those hours.  Son who is a biologist laughed and said “Yep, tree just went ‘preserve core function to survive’ like a human in shock.”

Long-lasting illness is like that.  Only it’s SLOW.  Slowly you cut everything peripheral, until you’re just concentrating on surviving.

This is why the writing shut down.  Those of you who don’t write might find this weird, but to write action, or really anything demanding, you need PHYSICAL energy.

When I was writing the big fat Mediterranean fantasy (sure, and fairly soon, since what it needs is rewriting, breaking into three books, and maybe one book from a different perspective added, but probably not till Fall next year) the end is a series of battle scenes and chases, some of them magical.  I was writing all morning, taking a break to scarf down a whole pizza (This was a month that something… Dominoes? had a ridiculously low price special, and I didn’t want to take the time to cook. And btw I don’t really LIKE pizza.  I’ll eat it, but I don’t’ go out to look for it.  But it was fast and by the time it arrived, I was ready to eat my chair or pieces of the desk, and the cats and toddlers were looking mighty tasty) then write all afternoon, eat a normal dinner, and I was losing a pound a day.  Because writing fully immersed and heavy action is exercise and burns calories.  (There is some support for this from a study.  The trick is to IMAGINE INTENSELY.)

As I got really ill, even writing emotions was too much effort/work, and the writing stopped.

Because I needed that energy to survive.

Now the energy is coming back and unfortunately anger always comes back first.  Which leads to my periodically being less than diplomatic, or stomping around the house going “Sarah smash.”  Mind you, the things that upset me are upsetting, but normally didn’t grant this reaction, because I didn’t have anything to react with.

And I notice little things more, too.  When I’m not in pain 24/7, I notice stuff like my head being a barometer.

I’ve been managing my depression for years, for instance, but I think the current bout was brought on by my being better.  It goes like this: I’m a weird introvert, just like I’m a weird everything, I guess.  I don’t like large crowds and they exhaust me (even when I like seeing all you guys at LC. There’s a reason I get con crud.) I even hate to work in an office and be surrounded by people.  But I need a “minimum amount of people I like” a day.  Mostly Dan to be honest.  Well, in this house (and the one before) our offices are separate, and in this house different floors.  So, what happens is that we only see each other an hour or so a day.  It was easier to disguise this when we had the kids in the house, because they are also “people I like.”

Last Monday we realized that part of the reason I’ve been on the edge of depression is “just not enough time together.”  So we took the afternoon off and I got markedly better.  I think we need to return to the habit of date night every week.  How to do it with our butt in a financial bear trap is something else.

So, that bear trap: younger kid had some money when he started college (mostly from odd jobs, etc.  I used to joke I rented the boys out for heavy labor for the summer.  It wasn’t wrong.  They’d say carry stuff for friends doing yard projects, and get fed and paid some minimal amount.)  We had also agreed we’d pay half tuition.  He’d take loan for what we didn’t cover.  (Same deal with both of them, undergrad only.)

Problem is two fold: a) his college plays scheduling games, so what should have been 5 years for two degrees is going to end up being 7 (sigh.)  Second, after 4 he ran out of eligibility for the lower-interest loans.  And none of us wants to touch the higher ones.  However, since college seems to think everyone will take the higher ones, they didn’t warn us of this until this time last year. b) He’d been using his own money to live near college, because… well… he’s going to kill me for saying this in public, but he has sensory processing problems.  Not as bad as they were as a kid, and yeah, I know there are accommodations, but he’s a proud bastard and refuses to take them.  Also he says employers won’t accommodate.  I know that’s wrong, but I also get his point.

The problem is that he needs — often — to go over the material in silence after the class to really get everything, because the slightest amount of ambient noise disturbs him/makes him not understand what is said.

It’s difficult to do that when taking a full load and driving an hour and change each way.  I get that.  So he was paying his way for house and food and such.

However, when the loans weren’t in play he ran out of money very fast.  Since he’s taking a full load plus labs, he doesn’t have a hell of a lot of time to work.  Right now he’s paying lodging from his work in summer.  HOWEVER before he did that, we had run through out “can get at without fuss” savings (we have savings, but we’d lose a portion just by getting them, and we’re trying to avoid that.)

And we have — damn it — apparently another year and a half (though the last year is light on scheduling.)

There is no way anyone can cover that from donations, unless one of you is a mega-millionaire, honestly.  Last year I made around 60k and after taxes he took everything I made plus.  Yeah, tuition is expensive partly because his minor requires some graduate level classes.

He doesn’t want to move in next year.  We don’t want him to move in next year.  (we’re just getting to like empty nest.)  But if we can’t find a work around, between my making tons of money maybe even from indie (ah!  I’d still prefer Baen buys more on the series they have, partly because I’m going to continue those series anyway.  We’ll see.  They can only do what finance allows, of course.  And numbers are part of that.)  and his making enough for rent, he’ll have to move in. We can take a loan (and have him pay back when he graduates) but we don’t WANT to.  So we’ve been cutting everything to the bone.  And of course being tight on money cuts out expeditions, fun stuff and just… well… things that keep Sarah from driving herself nuts.  And stop the writing.  Which is a hell of a bear trap, you must admit.  Ah, well, maybe I’ll get well enough to chew off my foot, metaphorically speaking and write like a hurricane.

Meanwhile, he can’t really hold a job while taking maximum load (for another six months) because the hours he has are ridiculous.  He can HOWEVER do his own business.  He’s trying to do that, by running his own typesetting business (He’s really good, being very detail oriented.)  He’s thinking of getting people on call to subcontract things like copyediting and covers, so he can run a complete publishing business.  (his email address is Typesetting Hoyt at gmail dot com    UPDATE, IN AN ATTACK OF COMPLETE DERP I DID THAT WRONG: IT’S  typeset Hoyt at Gmail dot com.  No spaces and symbol instead of at.)

One of his gifts is to organize work groups (which is weird for an odd) and to well… manage.  So if he ever gets to his own little organization he’ll probably be very good too.

Right now he’s building his client list painfully slow, but maybe by next summer he’ll be making enough for rent.  And maybe I can write enough, too.  It’s possible.  It could happen.

Anyway, at least we know what the problem is, and now we can get better.

Which is what I meant to say: sure, sometimes I still glitch, but overall things are getting better.  Even when I suddenly notice other problems.

Things are getting better.  And frankly, since my entire career was with hypothyroidism, and half of it (the half where I didn’t write a minimum of three books a year) with sleep apnea and oxygen insufficiency on top of that, I’m kind of curious to find out what I do without those.  Yeah, just running in circles without focus IS an option, but I’m hoping not.

And I’m hoping to have enough relatively healthy time between now and old age setting in to find out.

Wish me luck.


153 thoughts on “Staying Alive

  1. Best of luck.

    I’ve also had issues with barometric sensitivity. Talked a bit about that at MGC. Silence is also pretty important, and I’ve also recently realized that I’d cut the human contact far below what I need.

      1. Me too. And since I live in the Sinus Valley close to Dayton, Ohio, the leading US city for sinus pain….

        My secret weapon is caffeine, because it shrinks the blood vessels. But there’s only so much of that you can manage.

        1. It helps but it’s not infalliable.

          Winter hats help sometimes. Even in the summer when other attire is light.

    1. I’m also a bit of a barometer, and silence does not exist for me. Tinnitus suxxz. And, except for a run to Harbor Fright, and two to Menard’s I have not had any human contact outside a phone call from Mom and Dad sunday.
      Well, I am on vacation (so I painted a wall in the basement, moved some stuff around, and and getting some support in the badish spots of the roof I was to have done before heat of summer-fall-november the roof falls in) so no real reason.

        1. I’d rather it was white noise. Mine is more a ringing. well, a constant eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
          in an ultra high C. not feeling very chipper today, and right now it is loud enough I hear it even with the TV playing MavTV Sprintcar racing.
          Suffer it in part due to a very loud racecar I drove in the 90’s and a serious ear infection, it is two slightly different tones, but slightly sorta harmonized. The tones I miss in the hearing tests I had are a step apart from one to the other.

        2. Oh, and if you’ve heard of “The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride” motorcycle events for charity, they were formed by a guy when his father was going suicidal and otherwise insane from suffering the same version of it as I do.
          Egad, glad it really doesn’t bother me much.

            1. I don’t know, but, well, it’s a real sound to me. I am a bit tired feeling and noticed it is a bit louder than usual, so I am a bit concerned I might be coming down with something, and this week eats all my vacation and personal time.
              about right.
              Also there are many different versions and causes . . .some are like white noise, others are like wind noise or a jet, other are really odd, spacey, b-movie sound effects kinda things, I’ve heard other compare it to running water . . . mine is the aforementioned tone like getting your ears boxed or gun shot after affects.
              I’ve heard tricks to get rid of it, and none seem to work for me. Sometimes medicine causes it. High blood pressure can bring it about. When too much ear wax is the cause, it likely is a real sound from conditions. Like I said one ear is certainly from a very loud car (2.3 Ford 4cyl open exhaust blaring through a hole in the floor about 4 feet from the ear, turning 8500 rpm) the other a real nasty ear infection with no doctor treatment sought (it was before the loud car), so I’d bet mine is nerve damage.

      1. Body barometers – since arthritis is probably endemic for Old Farmers, I wonder if that kind of magical weather-telling made it into the almanacs and stories?

  2. Best of luck!
    And remember, There’s always rough patches to recovery.
    But, then, you knew that.

  3. his college plays scheduling games

    That seems to be a thing ALL colleges do these days. Don’t even get me started on the [expletive] pulled by Daughtorial Unit’s school. These days the real benefit of a college degree is learning how to manage a bureaucracy.

    Someday, someday somebody is going to initiate a class action suit against a major university and there will be so many signing on they’ll have to hold their meetings in the college’s football stadium.

    And yes, getting well after long decline typically means dealing with all the minor ailments of which the big issue was suppressing notice. Once I started getting my spine straightened out I was amazed at how much background pain I had been ignoring. “When the jet takes off it is hard to hear the crickets.”

    1. The more years they’re in school, the more government loan money for the college. Why would they care if the student’s on the hook for it after?

      1. Getting students on the hook for huge debts owed the government is a feature, not a bug, for the leftists/stateists. It essentially turns the students into serfs who are in service to the state.

        1. I’m coming to think that yes, this is the case.
          My daughter was going to the local jr coll on the GI bill, but got discouraged by how they kept screwing around with the required classes for the major that she wanted to pursue. They seemed to be adding required classes, which were difficult for her to get …and getting the GI Bill reimbursement for the tuition and the books — especially the books! got to be more and more of an epic struggle. She gave up on it after a couple of years – now resolved to be a freelance artist and entrepreneur. I keep suggesting that she should audit some business classes, but she tells me she has no ability to sit in a class listening to a lecturer bloviate…

          1. From my last time taking post-grad college courses, I was annoyed at all the pre-reqs I had to take, when I already knew the material, but, as a cynic explained to me, it’s to keep the professors employed.

            1. indeed
              University is now for keeping Admin, Professors, and other assorted useless sods that can’t get a job in the real world, a lock on employment, as well a a pipeline for brainwashing youth, not for educating anyone.

          2. A big part of the problem is that colleges expanded hugely to accommodate the Boomers. For a while they could maintain their rate of expansion by getting more and more kids with less and less real reason to be in college to go anyway. Now the scam is breaking down. It hasn’t gone very far, but the Lefty Intellectual class that infests most campuses is scared that they might have to go out into the real world and try to earn a living with their bullshit PhDs.

            They need to keep enrollment numbers high, and keep students enrolled as long as possible.

            I started suspecting the trouble when I first heard attacks on the ‘for profit’ colleges. The talk about their completion rates and job placement problems struck me as phony…or at least no worse than trad colleges.

            This is what all the talk about ‘free college’ is about; full employment for dippy PhDs.

            1. I got two of my jobs over those with PHD’s with just my little Bachelors. Actual real world experience, in the actual field related to the degrees, & not wanting the employer to rob a bank each month for salary & benefits, might have a little to do with it …

            2. The fact that administrative bloat has grown to exceed faculty staffing at most colleges — and that the bureaucrats are even more left-wing that the faculty — cannot possibly have anything to do with things.

              Courtesy Power Line:

              I have a hypothesis that I’ve not yet published anywhere, but it seems like the propitious time has arrived. My hypothesis is that while places like Berkeley, Colorado/Boulder, the University of Wisconsin, etc. have the rap for being the most politically correct and radical institutions of higher education, in fact they are relatively sane compared to small, elite private liberal arts colleges.


              Meanwhile, there is a petition making the rounds at Williams College, another elite private liberal arts college, objecting to the proposal that the college sign on to the Chicago Statement. You have to read it, not to believe it, as the saying goes. It contains just about every marker of postmodern radical ideology. Some samples:

              “Free Speech,” as a term, has been co-opted by right-wing and liberal parties as a discursive cover for racism, xenophobia, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and classism. The creation of this petition at Williams cannot be separated from those dehumanizing associations. Nor can it be separated from a national pattern where certain amendments are upheld and protected at all costs and others are completely denigrated, ignored, and targeted. Take the privileging of the 2nd amendment over the 14th amendment, for example.


              The petition prioritizes the protection of ideas over the protection of people and fails to recognize that behind every idea is a person with a particular subjectivity.

              This sentence is all you need to know. There is no truth. There is no “objectivity.” Objectivity is a myth. There are only individual and wholly subjective perspectives, and anyone whose perspective does not conform must shut up.


              1. by right-wing and liberal parties

                This isn’t a new combo, as I’m routinely seeing people who consider themselves (and present as) classical liberals with left of center views on various issues be called “alt-right” by leftists.

                I have lived so long even Ted Kennedy is a hard right winger.

                This will not end well.

                1. Just take a look at how left leaning classical liberal Alan Dershowitz is treated these days to see how utterly over the top insane the left is.

              2. Objectivity is a myth. There are only individual and wholly subjective perspectives

                Perhaps, but I’m only going to be using bridges and planes built by people deluded into the believe there is an objective reality.

                However, I invite all the leftists to build unicorn fart airplanes and fly them across the Pacific.

          3. $ELDEST BROTHER ran into that crap back in 1966. Mom could double as a drill instructor, and had a way with tart letters; registered mail, return receipt requested. After a shot across the bows, the college caved and honored their prior commitment.

            I had very little trouble getting my masters in the late ’80s. Part of the deal was that the university involved had a good thing going with the semiconductor and electronics companies in Silicon Valley, and the 800 pound gorilla in Palo Alto was potent competition. Screw around, lose the sweet franchise.

            I doubt it’s still a good deal any more.

    2. “These days the real benefit of a college degree is learning how to manage a bureaucracy.”
      It’s been that way for a while. Back in college, I wrote a short story (mostly based on my own experiences with just applying for financial aid) that envisioned hell as an eternal bureaucratic application process to enter heaven.

  4. I’m at that age where this sort of thing is happening ALL around me in my friends group. One such friend just had her second major abdominal surgery in the last two years (gall bladder and hysterectomy) because her body apparently was trying to kill her in new and interesting ways—and her doctor basically said that if she hadn’t quit her job last year, she probably WOULD have killed herself. (Mid-30s, BTW, a lot younger than you’d expect everything to fall on your head. Lucky her.)

    Here’s to getting out of survival mode and into actual function.

  5. Luck! And prayers! I got through at least two years of high school (one of the worst times of my life) with this phrase heavily embossed into all of my notebooks: This, too, shall pass.

      1. “That Passed Away, this also may.” Now not will? Well, the author was a Saxon writing in the 600s or so. There were good reasons to eat dessert first.

      2. You? Too stubborn to roll over? Nah….

        Seriously, take care of yourself. And remember, a date night doesn’t have to be fancy. My wife and I often just hang out with a movie on netflix

            1. Bothers me too. Partly because of the tinnitus, partly because of the 38% hearing loss. And the quality of sound mixing in a lot of movies sucks. Dialog too soft, background music or sounds too high and drown out the characters’ speech. It’s like reading a book in 10 point sans serif, and then suddenly half the book is in 1 point cursive.

  6. Oh, hey, head-is-a-barometer! I feel your pain. (Literally, every damn time a storm rolls in, or rolls out, or…)

    I am very glad to hear that things are looking up, at least. May they continue to get better!

      1. If you don’t have it already, I could send you $120 for a year’s worth of Amazon Prime. Hopefully you don’t mind me saying this in public.

  7. My wife has the same problem. Any change in atmospheric pressure turns her sinuses into heavy construction machinery. We go through bottles of sinus meds like candy.

  8. Best of luck. While I don’t have the barometric sensitivity issues, I have heat sensitivity issues; simply put multiple sclerosis and heat do not play nice together, and anything which elevates my core body temperature (and it only needs to be an.25 to.50 increase) causes symptoms to start flaring up. Thus getting sick and running a fever always causes a double-whammy; the illness itself and the MS symptom flare-up). Luckily I have an excellent doctor whose practice is geared towards MS patients, and the other Doctors I see are also very good.

  9. Oof. I just watch our students. When the middle school goes nuts for No Apparent Reason™, we’ll get a weather change within 12 hours. High school goes bonkers about four hours later. It’s uncanny.

    When the teachers are climbing the walls, it’s Thursday. 🙂

  10. Sarah,

    Wishing you & Dan all the best. I’m familiar with the getting well and finding things that you let slide before. My wife had fibromyalgia for 3 decades. Finally coming out of it, and that process is not easy, As we like to say in my business, when you solve problem #1, problem #2 gets a promotion.
    Prayers & hugs.

  11. Sarah, you live in weed-friendly Colorado, right? I’d suggest you look into some doctor-supervised use of CBD oil. (After the tumor business, obviously.)

    Canadian research is showing that a large number (but not all, obviously) of auto-immune and related inflammation disorders respond positively to CBD oil. Also reduces seizures dramatically.

    CBD is weed without the getting-stoned part. THC is the getting-stoned stuff, that’s good for pain and not being able to sleep.

    Doctor supervised, because physicians know where to get the Good Stuff. They also know if what you have wrong with you will respond to CBD oil. They also know the proper dosing and what to take when. Most importantly, they know when using it is a bad idea.

    There’s some interesting data coming out of Canada right now. I’ve been to a couple of basic science lectures given by cannabis industry companies. Turns out the great rush to recreational weed was more of a fizzle. The average cannabis patient is over 55 and female, over 55 males close second. Best reported results are for pain, anxiety and sleep. Inflammatory diseases such as Crones, arthritis and fibromyalgia respond well in many cases.

    1. I (and my oldest offspring) use the cbd oil. His sleep quality has improved drastically and he expects to see some improvement to his psoriasis eventually. I’m seeing improved ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. Also, I’m seeing an improvement in my chronic headaches and body pain. And that is with an OTC brand of oil. I’ve been able to cut back on pain medications drastically, to the point where if I need a prescription pain killer, I’ll take a quarter of a tablet and that’s enough. It’s something to think about.

    2. On behalf of CBD:
      from the gossip I hear from the DEA guys, they are really hoping it gets put into the same category as, oh, St. John’s Wort and similar. Even though it’d make a lot more annoying work for them.

      1. Epidiolex is already FDA approved. Once that happened, the rest is bureucratic inertia.

        This is all down to research done in Israel btw. The stuff works -so- well on seizures in kids, there’s no excuse for not using it. Literally stops the seizures in many, many cases.

        1. Epidiolex is already FDA approved. Once that happened, the rest is bureucratic inertia.

          That is what they hope will come of the med. Not holding breath, though, too many examples of camel’s nose with “medical pot.”

          1. Its funny. A lot of the “pot heads” who use what law enforcement calls “recreationally” are medicating themselves for some issue they have. When they get on proper oil regimens many of them cut way back on the weed.

            The thing about weed is that it’s not that fun. Drinking is way more fun and social. Smoking up just makes you stupid and sleepy. Taking the oil is even less fun, it just knocks people out.

            Or so I am told.

            1. Do proponents ever point out the sudden large numbers of 20-somethings in college with “chronic pain” or “glaucoma”?

              The thing about weed is that it’s not that fun.

              Not to you or I– I seem to remember you share my “oxy is hell” response. But we’re not normal in that, even Rush Limbaugh found the side effects of oxy attractive. Most of my high school class either found it incredibly enjoyable, or felt the need to loudly insist they did.
              Even now, it’s amazing how many of them have frankly violent reactions to anything that hints that pot is less than awesome, harmless and positively healthy.

              1. “Do proponents ever point out the sudden large numbers of 20-somethings in college with “chronic pain” or “glaucoma”?”

                Canada being a weird case, there have indeed been a lot of younger “glaucoma” cases. But due to the Health Canada guidelines, physicians rarely prescribe to patients under 25 years old except in cases of seizure or other dangerous illness. Statistically speaking there’s not many compared to the overall number of prescriptions.

                Not to forget that this whole legalization push is in response to the overall drug situation. Every kid in Canada can score weed at their high school/university if they want it. There’s kids 8 years old around my town doing poppers. They grow up to be high school students making money selling weed. Some of which is extremely dodgy, being adulterated with cheap-as-dirt artificial cannabinoids and fentanyl. There’s tons of it around, and some of it is extremely scary.

                So, from a cannabis abuse standpoint, legalization and medical pathway are on balance a plus. The weed isn’t laced with fulminating death, the kids smoking it aren’t risking their lives, and now that its basically what old ladies take for their bad back, the cool factor is gone forever.

                Best part, losers who smoke 10+ joints a day to keep the Suck away are finding that taking the oil will often allow them to cut back and start to have an actual life, with a job and a girlfriend and maybe even their own place to live. Not bad.

                Personally I hate drugs. All of it makes me feel messed up. I don’t even take Advil if I can help it.

                1. So, from a cannabis abuse standpoint, legalization and medical pathway are on balance a plus.

                  Except it removes the excuse of following the law when pressured into it, 8 year olds and high schoolers you mention are still going to be doing it but with a much bigger supply because of legal routes, there’s growing evidence that it is highly correlated with psychotic breaks even after you correct for other risk factors, granny would be better helped with either CBD or pain killers, and the “granny took it for her back” factor never hurt oxy or any other pain killers.

                  1. This is where we see how sneaky the authorities are around here.

                    Using my town as an example: Kids smoke weed in front of the local high school All The Time. The cop shop is right across the parking lot from the school. They know those brats are smoking up.

                    Previously when weed was illegal they let them do it because A) busting a kid for weed is a huge drug charge, jail time, all sorts of ugly. B) they’re quieter and less destructive of public property when they smoke weed, and C) nobody cares about weed. Its a dead issue.

                    But now that weed is legal, ah, that’s different! Now, smoking weed in public is a misdemeanor, the same as drinking beer in public. Now they can give the kid a ticket! Constable Plod has been seen sitting in his cop car in the parking lot, down wind from the Smoker’s Corner, ticket book ostentatiously displayed.

                    Plus there’s no more weed available now than there was before, due to government efficiency at strangling the supply chain.

                    So enforcement is way, way up.

                    1. Meanwhile, Seattle punished, suspended, and eventually fired the one cop who was actually writing tickets for breaking the rec weed law.

                    2. I think the various police forces are hoping to make a bunch of money in fines, there’s DON’T DRIVE HIGH signs all over the place.

                      Trouble is, the roadside test they have shows positive for impairment if you took weed two weeks ago. We’re calling the new law the Defense Lawyers Retirement Act. They can hardly wait for the first respectable 55 year old lady that gets charged with impaired driving.

                      The truth of the matter is that -nothing- of any interest is happening. People are not acting any different than they ever did, despite the huge, two year long media build up. Its a big giant meh.

                    3. And it’s probably the one that will register if she walked into a restaurant where someone is smoking it.

          1. Wizards, witches, and magicians with dyslexia. What could possibly go wrong? Okay, I have a character, I have a human foible to torment them with. Now I need a plot and a setting.

    3. A friend of mine started using the stuff a few weeks ago. He was on OMFG levels of oxycodone and other narcotics; as of now, he’s off them all, as well as the meds that were managing the side effects from massive narcotic use.

      I was dubious when he started looking into it, but it has really worked for him. He said he felt like he lost years in a fog of painkillers, and now he’s awake again.

      YMMV, EIEIO, etc…

      1. Yeah, I’ve been hearing that one a lot too. People start CBD and THC oils, they cut their opiate usage -way- back or get off it entirely.

        Doesn’t work every time, obviously, but it works pretty often.

  12. I often refer to myself as a walking disaster area (Though you definitely have me beat, in some areas!) RA, Fibro, orthopedic issues since birth, (With chronic pain) migraines and a few issues that surgery actually addressed well. Yeah, my husband keeps my grip on sanity tighter than it might be. And Depression, as a side issue, that I will no longer take medications for. I fight it in my own way.
    God bless and be with you and keep you and yours safe and healthy as you find your own path to good health.

    1. Regarding the migraines, I was taking amitryptaline for years to stop a contant, 24/7 headache, and two to three migraines a week. Dropped me to three days a week of headache and one or two migraines a month. Switched to 400 mg of CoQ10 four months ago, dropped the prescription, down to four or five headaches a month and one migraine since.

  13. Keep getting better. Don’t know if it helps to hear from other people with multiple autoimmune etc. problems, but daughter mentioned the other day that she can remember when I was in my 40-50’s and my health was in a deep trough that I then started coming out of and now, 30 years later, am relatively stable and much better. Hope that is what happens to you, too. Glad you can enjoy being proud of your sons, I so love being proud of son and daughter and bonus daughters.

  14. “his college plays scheduling games”

    Yes. Son ran into this too. He had 3 classes left his last year, none related, none sequential, all required. You’d have thought he could have been done fall term. Nope. Each class was only offered once that year, & none of them the same term. Something the school changed since hubby & I were at the same school. I mean it was bad/good news. He did pick up non required classes he’d been eyeing since he was going to be there anyway.

    We (us & kid) got kid through without any loans, some small scholarships here & there (when they showed up it was “cool” books paid for …). Hubby wanted kid to have some loans to pay back, but every time hubby brought it up, my comment was “fine, find those that wouldn’t bankrupt us, let alone kid.” Never came up with any.

    Empty nest? What’s that? Think I’ve mentioned it before, kid needs roommates. Current roommates are a bit demanding on the chore scene, he’d still have to cover some of the expenses regardless, he knows they will pay their share of the expenses, don’t care about his geriatric cat, & we rarely see him except occasionally on the weekend; plus eventually, being an only child, he gets everything anyway.

    1. My son had to go and complain and get alternative classes signed off on, at least one. He ended up taking a graduate level class but will graduate in December. If there are good advisers (and when does that happen) the “offered once a year” classes will be known ahead of time and scheduled instead of left to be caught up on. Not having good advisers is the fault of the school. Not having a process to approve alternative classes to meet requirements is the fault of the school. And if required classes are *dropped* because there aren’t enough students in them, and students expected to be able to schedule the class at a certain time because it was on the schedule and then can’t, that’s inexcusable and the fault of the school.

      But what do they care? The school gets their money.

    2. And when I graduated a few years ago there were “senior” classes that didn’t show up as available on the computer system. Usually they showed as “closed” or “full” or something. You needed to talk to your adviser and the teacher of the class and get added manually. If they put the class in the system it would be filled by people who didn’t *need* it, and then (this was English) the English majors couldn’t graduate. But there was NOTHING that told you that this was how they did business.

      So every time my son said, “This class I need is full…” or whatever, I said, “Go talk to them. Talk to the teacher. Bug your adviser. The class scheduling system LIES.”

  15. “I don’t really LIKE pizza.”


    That’s worse than finding out Darth Vader is really your father.

    That’s worse than finding out that hot chick Leia is really your twin sister.

    That’s worse than finding out that someone is going to screw up your movie franchise 20 years later with a lame sequel.

    1. That’s just not the right attitude, Mike. If Sarah says she doesn’t really like pizza then the right response is “Oh good, more for me!” 😛 YMMV, of course.

    2. There’s an interview on vid somewhere with Mark Hamill and the idiot director dude sitting there in director high chairs, and Mark is telling how he kept saying “Oh, no, you really don’t want to do that – the fans…” but being shushed by the idiot director, and the idiot director is just sitting there with a grin on his face nodding along, obviously thinking Hamill’s story is about how smart the idiot director is.

      At the end of the day, Hamill said his lines and emoted his emotes and got his check. But he darn well is making sure that the fans know it was not him that screwed everything up, and that he didn’t buy into the plan when he found out.

  16. Ganbatte! (Good luck, fight hard, slay all who oppose you.)

    Even “controlled” thyroid can play havoc with your brain (like when your doctor insists that you’re fine even when the TSH number is above 4.9…). Isn’t it wonderful when the fog lifts, though? For the general auto-immune… well, I’m going to ask you the same thing I asked my Mom a couple years ago. Have you considered trying the AIP? She found out she needed to avoid gluten and fructose.

      1. As I understand it, AIP elimiates more than just carbs. One I remember in particular that give people issues are vegetables from the nightshade family. I haven’t tried it myself to know what all gets eliminated initially, but I’ve spent enough time lurking in Paleo blogs to know tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers bug lots of people.

          1. You’ve got me thinking of the antipasto platter I sometimes make for the carnivores and low-carb types. My brain is envisioning a hefty platter covered with stuff like roast beef, turkey, ham, pepperoni, capicola, provolone, mozzarella, romano, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives, garlic, and giardiniera – and my mouth is watering. (sigh)

    1. From Baen? I don’t remember. It’s not much different. From Goldport? More paper, but I don’t have all paper out yet.
      IF you’re going to buy paper from Baen, wait and buy it here signed from me. I’ll ahve announcement and price Saturday.

          1. Sure, like you have nothing better to do.

            Get one of these talented fans (not me!) to draw it for you and buy it from them for a dollar, then print the t-shirt to the pre-paid orders you get. Have a t-shirt company do all the work and ship all the stuff. Better yet, have a fan arrange it all.

            That way you make money and boxes of t-shirts don’t clutter up Chez Hoyt for months.


          2. Please do! Then I can alternate between that and my Ringo’s Roughnecks Ts at conventions. Just need to get something Manatee to round out the weekend…

  17. Sarah, I hope you start feeling better, and that you get a break health-wise and in other things.

    *stops himself before he can post a link to a certain song by the Bee Gees*

  18. If you want… Denver parishes are chock full o’ saint relics. The collect ’em all parish is St. Vincent de Paul, apparently because Fr. Kemberling there is a glommer onto unloved relics. I mean… they have exposure of first class relics on their webpage event calendar. On feastdays… and that’s often more than one per week!

    But a lot of other parishes seem to have some good stuff. (Probably because Denver is just the kind of place where settlers and travelers bring Stuff.)

    So if you want to bring your meningioma to saintly folks’ attention, which probably wouldn’t hurt, it is something to think about.

  19. I’m unfamiliar with barometric sinus problems, but use a neti pot for allergies. Might regular use of one ameliorate the pain? If you do try, use distilled water with the salt packets, no need to introduce whatever bugs are floating in your pipes to your sinuses, never mind the chlorine.

  20. It’s weird. I’m reading this and I could be writing this– you are that sister from another mother regarding my chronic illnesses. I’m now trying to keep my lungs operating when it gets cold. I have more in common with you health wise than I do with my full siblings. Hang in there.

    BTW I was having migraines when the barometer dropped. Nothing helped them. I started taking b-2 every day and now I may get a headache when it drops, but no migraines. Yeah.

  21. BTW, I tried shooting an email regarding copyediting to the email in this post, and it bounced. Either I’m not caffeinated enough to function (which truly is a possibility), or it’s not set up correctly?

  22. On a completely unrelated topic. Thinking about some things you wrote in your last post about 1. Getting mad at someone in your Facebook conference (Beware Facebook), and 2. All the mean girl whisper campaigns about you…

    I wonder if, in the social circles those people run in, going into one of your online spaces and Speaking Truth to Power at you or some such is basically equivalent to “counting coup”. They ride out into The Enemy’s internet hunting grounds, touch one of their Powerful Warriors, and then rush back to their tribe for accolades, since they can now brag about how brave they are confronting one of the Sad Puppy Monsters in her own den.

    Viewed that way it is actually kind of sad.

  23. All the comments above mentioning nasal problems- and no one has yet mentioned- nasal irrigation. Currently I use H2ofloss purchased from Amazon. (That’s H2(oh) not (zero) if you search Amazon…) The units are relatively inexpensive and last over a year used everyday. Last one I bought was in AUG 2017. I mix 1 TSP ordinary salt, 1/2 TSP baking soda, and a TSP or more of Xylitol. with lukewarm water and fill the tank. The baking soda is for pH balance. The salt to more or less match the body’s salinity. Without one it will feel like it’s burning, without the other it’ll just hurt. The Xylitol makes it more soothing, and has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. For most you’ve go to lean the head about 45 degrees when doing it so the mixture flows easily up one side and down the other. I’ve never tried doing it without my head tilted, but I understand it’s unpleasant. Before I stared nasal irrigation there were a few times a year where if I wasn’t taking prescription anti-histamines I couldn’t breathe very easily. I’ve taken an antihistamine one day in the last 10 years. Don’t know what was in the air that day- but it was bothering everyone with allergies.

    When I first started using it I HAD to irrigate every day, sometimes twice a day. I sometimes now go 2-3 weeks without doing it. I have a theory as to why I need to rely on it less often now.

    I also use the Xylitol when I do my teeth with it. Why? It has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties…

  24. You might try one circuit of the house saying “Sarah SMASH”, followed by one circuit skipping singing “Sarah has enough energy to smash.” A mix of rage and joy is so much fun.
    Thanks for letting us know that you are getting better. Good things happening to good people makes the day just a bit brighter.

  25. “I’m a weird introvert, … But I need a “minimum amount of people I like” a day.”

    I know that feeling. At the office I’m very much known as a quiet guy who’s generally heads down at my desk hard at work. But at the same time, I’m single, and really do need that hour or two of human interaction a week I get. I’m single and am reasonably confident that if I somehow ended up with a windfall that’d let me retire and live comfortably I’d probably go insane from lack of human contact within a year or two.

    1. I’d probably go insane from lack of human contact within a year or two.

      I very much distrust the types of people who would associate with the likes of me.

    2. The last company I worked at there was no, none, zip, regular contact between employees, & yes, we were in the same office. More than once my thought process was “One of the reason I’m working is human contact. Why am I working?”

      I knew what it was like being home with the other half at work all day & the kid in school, or even the kid at home on summer break. Not enough contact. I don’t need continuous, but I’m not a hermit either.

      That job was slightly better than being homebody, but not much.

    3. I usually need to speak to another human being once a day.

      “Hi” as I pass by a neighbor taking a walk works.

      1. Including Son & Hubby:
        -Stopping by mom’s to check on her.
        -Taking pup regularly for Pack Walk, (most) every Saturday morning.*
        -Lately “drop in” dog trainings weekly for an hour at various urban venues.*
        -Actual scheduled drop in dog training classes. Looking at “for fun” agility with pup.
        -Going to the gym to work out. May never talk to anyone, but others are around.
        -Even grocery shopping …

        Nothing that establishes friendships, but it is people contact.

        *At minimum the trainer with one of her dogs shows.

        Other half plays golf every day, well every not heavy rain day. Member of the coarse “Men’s Club”, so always someone there to play with. Hey, I took lessons after I retired as a “surprise” … uhhh, no, so not happening.

    4. People who need people to show they don’t need people– also people who don’t need people need people to show they don’t need people.


      Although, as a warning, at least for me– the “minimum amount of people” is going to go up if there’s a sizable group making social demands to which you cannot/willnot fulfill.

  26. “This is why the writing shut down. Those of you who don’t write might find this weird, but to write action, or really anything demanding, you need PHYSICAL energy.”

    Oh, as a mathematician pretending to be a software engineer, I believe it.

    I’m currently working on web-programming-type stuff. I *really* want to transition into something more mathematical. Every so often, I try to go that route — I purchase a book on AI, or on actuarial science, or (currently) differential equations, or I decide to install a cross-compiler and start Android programming, or something — and I get excited about my direction, only to run into a brick wall.

    After spending all day in front of a computer working on computational things, I don’t have any energy left to work on mathematics or personal computer things. Combine this with how, in the evenings, I have an errand or two to run, or wish to spend time with the kids, or just sit down and read something (usually blogs, because if I pick up a fictional book, I’ll read it all night and destroy myself for a few weeks — but even with blogs, I have to have the WiFi on a timer to shut down, so I don’t jump from thing to thing to thing — there’s just too much to read!), I can’t help but feel trapped in my situation.

    Several years ago, after being laid off, I expressed concern to Workforce Services that I’m completely burned out (I’m not sure if I am right now, but I’m not running on all cylinders, either) — but there’s absolutely no room for them to help me, because I’m in an industry that needs people — and apparently people who are burned out and questioning their ability to work are just as good as anyone in fields that need people….

    Sigh. I wish things were easier…but if life were easy, we’d all be living in a True Communist Paradise — the kind of paradise socialists like to insist we’d have, if we would only try One More Time….

    1. Hubby to me “How can you be tired? You sit (on your a$$) all day!” from he who was “on his feet all day.”

      FWIW: Regularly? No. Frequently? No. Occasionally? Yes. I did his job for 30 months, I know better! Granted it was outside in all weather types, but they did have down times, sometimes extensive down times. Their down times = (most) anything they wanted to do, except leave.

      I was coding, or on the phone with someone, except lunch, or “breaks” to run down the hall, there was no down time. Programming is exhausting mental work. Yes burn out is easy to do. Worse if you are also doing any type of support.

      I was way past burn out when I retired. Do I miss programming? Yes. Do I ever think about going back to work? Not after taking a nap to get over it 😉

  27. Also, concerning dating your spouse: a lot of dates between me and my wife are simply running errands, or driving around. We’d probably hike, too, but health doesn’t allow that.

    Dates don’t have to be particularly expensive! (Although sometimes our dates are nonetheless a little more expensive than they ought to be….)

    1. Er, I should clarify “dating your spouse” means *you* dating your spouse, not *me* dating your spouse. If I understand correctly, your spouse is already spoken for…

Comments are closed.