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.