cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Two big changes and one irritating mistake. Okay, the changes aren't THAT big. Practically speaking, they're quite small on a lifetime scale. But big on a weekly scale!

The biggest thing in my life lately has been my inability to shower or bathe at home. Our shower went from decrepit but sorta functional to entirely non-functional. It no longer has hot water, and using the shower is also bad because the walls aren't as waterproof as you would want shower walls to be. We figured this out when Phil looked up at the ceiling of the kitchen and saw that there was water damage. :(

My solution for this has been to take advantage of all the gym trials available that include childcare (and one that didn't, even though its website said it did). This way, I can take the kids, get a workout, write for a bit while the kids stay in childcare, and then wash my hair (the big problem with normal bucket-bath solutions) and the children. It's been fun. I don't have disposable income on a monthly basis, so I won't be able to permanently join a gym-with-childcare and do the short workout, longer writing game plan that some other writer parents and members of gyms-with-childcare have. Sadface. But I've learned that I like group classes and weight machines, and I really like being able to work out again.

Monday the plumber comes and starts the process of retiling the shower alcove, replacing the fixtures, and installing a new toilet while he's at it. I'm very happy about this. I'm just sad that we didn't have the budget to have them also tear up the wood floor and put in tile while we're at it. Alas. Wood floors look great and wear well in many rooms, but bathrooms aren't one of them.

Other things that happened this week(ish), briefly:
1. Tried writing with The Most Dangerous Writing App (change #2), liked it, and beat my weekly word quota for the first time in a long time;
2. Went to preschool auction, got one month's gym membership cheap(!), and collected lots of compliments on my candid portraits of the kids;
3. And, finally, messed up communicating with Cassius' school bus about me taking him to school instead (after gym time in Uptown), leading to confusion all around and a cranky school bus chaperon. Oops.
4. Wait, that's not the end after all! Last Sunday, the children became miserably sick, complete with 105 degree fevers (Cassius) and vomiting (Theia). That was no good. The combination of vomit and nonfunctional shower was particularly unfortunate. I forgot about that earlier, even though the kids are still coughing and congested. They're no longer feverish and they seem to be back to normal energy levels, though, so no more sick days watching videos for them!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
I had all kinds of plans to be wonderfully productive and social etc. this week, and then I was caught by The Sick that had Phil the previous two weeks. It seems to be proceeding according to the same schedule, too. After a week of being sick, I feel normal-with-congestion some of the time, and then The Sick hits me over the head and I feel woozy and incapable of basic reasoning. Happily, it's a three-day weekend, so Phil is home to take care of the kids when The Sick sucker-punches me. Today, Theia also started showing signs of The Sick.

The Sick sidelined some of my plans, including the ones to meet with my resident archaeology/Belize expert to brainstorm about the Belize book. Bah. I am not getting my scheduled number of words written per week, so that whole end-of-the-year time table may be a myth after all. However, I've been doing reading and making notes and trying to figure things out.

Rivers of blood! Crystal skulls! Rivers of scorpions! Coral reefs! Jungles! Howler monkeys!

Writing was going really well until I hit the part where the plot moves to Belize and I have to have actually figured out things like the tour itinerary and what plot movement will happen where and, um, what plot movement will happen at all, and who the supporting characters on the tour are. Turns out I hadn't plotted as much as I thought. I just had a great concept and (general) setting and very little in the way of actual plot. Phil laughed when I said this. Just recently he was telling me that I am more of a pantser* than I think I am.

I'm also figuring out convention stuff for this summer. I'll be going to two local SF and fantasy conventions, CONvergence and 4th Street Fantasy. I have a reading planned for CONvergence, which means I'm also going to be experimenting with homemade donuts. I will be on panels at a number of conventions greater than or equal to 1.

[WARNING: BABY TMI] And I'm trying to figure out how to deal with my darling baby girl, who in the last couple of weeks has decided that rather than weaning as planned, she would like to nurse more. It will be highly inconvenient (for me) if I'm still a milch mom when I'm planning on being gone from early morning into the evening, particularly since I'm not getting a hotel room at either of these conventions. I have no experience in weaning a baby, since Cassius weaned himself cold-turkey when he turned one, and I'm rather terrified of it being an upsetting process. Any tips, other mothers?

* One of the eternal writing debates is whether 'tis better (for a given writer) to plot or to pants, as in
write "by the seat of their pants."
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
The last couple of weeks have been very busy with All The Things, especially last week. In my writing log, I wrote down the following:

Recorded "Breath Stirs In the Husk" for Pseudopod
Recorded “Drowning in Sky” for PodCastle
Did audio editing on PodCastle and Pseudopod readings and sent them off
Writer’s networking tea at Patisserie 46
MinnSpec writers group in Uptown
Updated market spreadsheet, wrote newsletter, and mailed it off
Researched self-pub cover art necessities
Wrote cover art contract
Met with cover artist
Processed “Diplomatic Relations” acceptance
Processed “Charity From a Thief” rejection
Processed writing expenses

In addition to this, we !!finally!! took care of the second mortgage balloon payment, a financial burden that has been becoming increasingly worrisome over the course of the last six months as we went back and forth with our mortgage banker about how we could refinance it. The short answer is that we couldn't, but he was too inexperienced to know that and too incompetent to find that out in a reasonable time-frame or even to return our phone calls EVER. Of course, back when we bought our house, we were assured that we could simply extend the term of our second mortgage without any problems. Now, that program has long since been discontinued. He eventually offered us a personal loan, but that has terms similar to a credit card, so, um, no. Instead we took out a loan against Phil's 401K. Not ideal, but at least we're paying the interest to ourselves. It also means that our 2nd mortgage will be paid off in 5 years instead of 10+ . . . because our monthly payment is going to be a couple of hundred dollars higher. Ouch. But still. Done! One thing to cross off the Worry List.

Speaking of the Worry List, Phil finally put lead encapsulation paint on the back staircase, which is a huge relief to me. Whew. Still not done fixing all the less-urgent lead stuff, but we're getting there.

So, lots of stress (and stress relief) this week, and lots of me trying to scrape out time to get things done. Not helping is that Theia has been waking up lots in the night again. Maybe teething? She's also been batting at her ears when she's sleepy, which makes me worry about ear infections, but Phil thinks it's because sometimes there's referred pain from teething. Basically, we don't know. It is worrisome. Also does not help with the exhaustion and having lots of stuff to get done.

Now that the mortgage's handled, our next big family project is figuring out preschool. Minneapolis folks, does anyone have recommendations or dis-recommendations for preschools in the Uptown/Downtown/S. Mpls area? We're hardly going to buy a second car just to ferry the small one to preschool, so it needs to be busable for us.

Sigh. Here's a picture of a water lily, for serenity.


P.S. Oh, and I bollixed up my left knee badly enough that it's been hurting constantly for the last few days. I'll try taking it easy for a week and see if it gets better on its own. If it's still this bad in two weeks, a doctor visit is probably in order, and who knows what else. I do not need this.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
This week: a long weekend; Theia's 9-month check-up; a writer's group meeting that critted "You May Also Like Gas Masks" (needs a couple of fixes but shows promise) and "Look Back to Keep Her" (trunk it); ridiculous amounts of dirty dishes; restructuring the ending of Circus of Brass and Bone (in progress) at Five Watt Coffee; baby's first Renfest; weird genetic syndromes; and Odyssey publishing "Reconnect" in their September issue.

Yay long weekends! Although in this case, Phil had kind of a weirdly timed long weekend. Because he was working 12+-hour days to run experiments during third shift, he didn't go in to work on Friday but he did sleep very late indeed so that half the day was lost anyway. And on Monday (Labor Day), he had to go back in to work from dinnertime to elevenish because they needed his help.

At least this meant that he didn't actually take any official time off for Theia's 9-month check-up, simply because he was putting in plenty of hours at other times. So yes. Theia's 9-month check-up! She is doing well. This was the first visit with Dr. S after her previous pediatrician switched over to hospital duty. Theia is 2'6.5" tall (99th percentile) and weighs 19 lb. 6 oz (70th percentile), for a BMI in the . . .7th percentile. But as long as her BMI is above the 5th percentile, I'm happy! No shots or blood draws this time, either.


Dr. S noted her flexibility, added that to Cassius' and my flexibility and easy bruising, and came up wondering about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome ( In short, hyper-flexibility, easy bruising, easy scarring, and some variations come with the possibility of sudden rupture of blood vessels, including ones in important organs. Kind of scary, but after talking with the rest of my family, I doubt that we have it, and if we do, I'm pretty sure it's one of the less-lethal varieties. Flexibility runs in the family. My first cousin could put one foot pointed straight in front of her and one foot pointed straight behind her at the same time, which is creepy, and she was considered for both Ehlers-Danlos and Marfan, but both were ruled out.


On Saturday, we went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for the first time time in many years. Special thanks to Gaea for the tickets (at least in theory)! It was Cassius and Theia's first time, although Theia isn't really old enough to participate! Going with kids is a very different experience. Used to be, I would go with a group of friends, drink mead, eat food on a stick or in a breadbowl, and watch the comedy performances. This time I actually took Cassius to see the special attractions that I'd never bothered with before--Mermaid Cove and Fairy Forest--watched a juggling performance, made a fairy wand for him in the kids' crafts section (lost before we even got to the car, much to his upset), and did the punch-card scavenger hunt that won him a dragon pendant at the end of the visit. We went into three stores at the very beginning of our visit and then no more after that. Casualties of the visit were Cassius' venerable straw hat, his fairy wand, and one of our tires. Getting a flat tire at the end did put rather a damper on the visit, and it meant that we spent the rest of the weekend at home.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
As I am writing this, it's very weird to realize that today is only Friday. 4th of July, yes, but Friday! I've been existing in the weirdly timeless dimension of sick for the last week. Phil has been home for much of it, which hasn't helped (with the disorientation--it's helped a *lot* with keeping the household running!). Last week, both kids got sick with congestion, coughing, and fevers. Last week Friday, I started to feel sick. Over the weekend, I got all the congestion, coughing, and fever. I was so wobbly and lightheaded that I put Phil in charge of carrying the baby up and down the stairs and even--when I felt particularly bad--of moving her from the playmat to my arms to nurse.

Theia's church dedication was on Sunday, so Phil took her to church and I stayed home sick with Cassius. This was probably a very good thing, as it turned out, since Cassius and I were the most sick and probably most contagious at this point. She looked adorable in her little satiny white dress with red flowers; that's all I know.

My fever went away on Monday, but Phil still stayed home to help and because I'd made a doctor's appointment for Cassius. You see, even before this latest bout of sickness, he had a minor but persistent cough that wouldn't go away. He'd had it for three weeks, which seemed a bit long. We talked to the nurse practitioner. They took swabs for various tests. They used the water pic to clean earwax out of his ears so they could make sure he didn't have an ear infection (since he'd complained of ear pain the previous day). She said that perhaps he had seasonal allergies, we should try medication for that and see if it cleared things up.

Tuesday, Phil went back to work. I managed okay with the kids, but I was exhausted and so slept as long as the kids did during naptime, which was a really long time that day (we were all sick). That's how I came to miss the nurse practitioner's urgent attempt to call me with Cassius' test results. He tested positive for parapertussis, which is like whooping cough junior. It's less likely to kill you or cause severe complications. It's also not vaccinated against (see: less likely to kill you). So I called the triage nurse on the night shift, and she referred me to the doctor on call, and the doctor sent in a prescription for antibiotics for both kids and told me to get the adults in the family to a doctor so that we could get treated too. So that's what we did the next day.

We are all highly contagious until we've taken five days of antibiotics. So certain things had to happen--or not happen. Phil called in sick to work through next Monday. We're avoiding social events. We had to cancel our annual 4th of July party for the first time in, um, well, since before we were married. Phil was very sad. I'm pretty glad that I wasn't planning on going to CONvergence, anyway. Parapertussis would be a nasty addition to the con-crud mix that usually brews at these large events.

So instead of a 4th of July party, we had a back yard picnic (Cassius corrected Phil when he called it a party). Just family, hanging out in the back yard for most of the day. Everybody came indoors for naptime, though. Cassius ran around in his red-and-blue plaid shorts and his caped Superman shirt, eating all the raspberries, swinging in the hammock, and generally having a great time. Phil grilled and posted links and analysis of his favorite heavy metal music of the year (his "ponies"). Theia crawled off the blanket we put her on a lot and generally required a whole lot of attention, but she appeared to be enjoying herself just fine. I ate and lounged in the hammock with Theia and watched House on my tablet and generally was kept rather busy by my offspring.

On top of all this, in a feat of rare and remarkable clumsiness, I managed to trip over a stool and fall in such a way as to sprain my ankle and bruise my knees badly, right on top of the scar tissue from my knee surgeries. Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch. Moving my ankle hurts. Going up and down stairs hurts. I am extra sad that I can't take ibuprofen because all the brands have lactose and Theia's allergic to it.

Other (better!) things have happened since my last diary update, too.
* I had a 4th Street (Fantasy Convention), about which there will be another few posts.
* I finished a short story that became unusually long! "You May Also Like Gas Masks" is over 12,000 words. Yikes.
* I finally figured out the part that makes my next notebook story work. Turns out the problem wasn't the mystery or the A.I. part, it was that I needed to figure out the character's spine: grief.
* I emailed a pro-paying magazine editor to ask for a different, less rights-grabby contract--and got it. Like a pro, oh yeah.
* Cassius is having nightmares on a regular basis. I feel so bad for him. He's also become very focused on figuring out when things (people, monsters, cars, etc.) are "bad."
* Theia has mastered an army crawl that gets her across the room in much less time than you might think.
* Phil has finished selecting what he thinks is the best music of the year for a Ponies disc . . . or two.
* I've been experimenting with an easy, delicious microwave (vegan!) fudge recipe. I am happy to continue experiments, I just need an unlimited supply of coconut cream, cocoa, and powdered sugar.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Writing this at 6 AM on a Monday morning while waiting to see if my stomach is going to rebel against the cereal I just put in it. Usually I would have written this yesterday, but I was huddled on the couch hoping to feel better. I did start feeling better about 8:30 PM, but you see, I was sick on Friday, fine on Saturday, and sick again on Sunday, so I have no idea how I'm going to feel today. Seems likely that this is food poisoning from the Daiya cheese on the pizza luce I ate Thursday night. Which is very unfortunate, since Pizza Luce is one of the few "easy" places to go out to eat dairy-free and soy-free. So yes, that has been my last few days. Food poisoning. Or stomach flu. Something along those lines. As late as Friday, we thought Phil might be going to California on Sunday, and I was not looking forward to that. Then that was postponed. Whew!

On the plus side, slathering Theia with lanolin 2x/day seems to be working well. Just last night I noticed a couple of new rough spots that I'm worried about, but the old ones seem to have cleared up fine. They are soft and smooth and no longer angry red. Mostly, I can't even see them any more. I did get a message back from our regular doctor (she was on vacation), in which she countermanded Dr. Not You's prescription and said, "No, do this instead." We didn't do that instead, though, since it took her a couple of days to get and respond to our message, and by that time the lanolin seemed to be working. It is made of costolium, but it is also the only lotion treatment that doesn't warn me to call the poison center if the baby gets any of it in her mouth. She's five months old. She puts *everything* in her mouth.

She has also mastered rotational movement and rolling over from front to back and back to front. I think she's actually going to be a crawler, unlike Cassius. We have procured cushioned mats for her to practice her rolls and crawling on. This is something I really wish we'd done with Cassius. Would have saved on skull trauma.

There is a new coffee shop that just opened up on 38th St & Nicollet that I'm pretty excited by, not least because they plan on sourcing their pastries from Patisserie 46. Sure, I can't eat anything *now*, but once Theia's weaned, the world of pastries will be mine once more! Five Watts is their name, and they're by the owners of Bull Run Coffee. It's a skinny little coffee bar with interesting looking blends. Sadly, I can't drink their specialty drinks because they mostly involve milk. And they don't really have space for a big table of 6+ people, which is how I tend to do coffee shops. But I may try and go there solo sometime, and I do like that that cross-street is getting restaurants and coffee shops moving in.

Almost got a black lab puppy from Phil's aunt, but fortunately he asked me first to check if I thought I could take care of a puppy now. Young dog: yes, maybe. Puppy: no. I have raised puppies before. They are delightful, and cause nearly as much work, cleaning, and sleep-deprivation as an infant. I already have one of those.

What else? Saw Only Lovers Left Alive with Electra on Tuesday. Went to Tea and Writers on Saturday, had a story idea, but one that is not of the tone that I want next. Mothers Day happened sometime, and now I have a miniature rosebush that I am not sure will live.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
I would like to strangle the FSA/HRA administrators! I've been getting all these repeat bills from hospitals, etc. At first, I thought it was the provider's fault. Well, yes and no. If they don't fill in the account information properly (or our insurance doesn't pass it along properly, whichever), then when the FSA/HRA administrators pay, the money goes into a weird limbo instead of going to our account. For me and Cassius, our names aren't even on the payment. Phil's is, because the insurance is through his work. You'd think the provider could figure that out, but no. And the only account and invoice numbers are gibberish.

Apparently, what *I* need to do is click through the online payment portal to an entirely different page where I can change the invoice/account number manually to match the paper bill I received.

This is not something that I logically expected to have to do, nor is it intuitively part of the payment process.


So now I have to request copies of the canceled checks from the FSA/HRA administrators, so that I can fax them to the providers, so that I can prove that, yes, they *did* get paid.

All because nobody included inputting/checking the account and invoice numbers as part of the step-by-step paying a claim process.

Strangling, I tell you.

I will exempt the nice customer service lady who was able to figure out what was going on and tell me how to prevent it in the future.

(I am of course happy to have good insurance, despite the hassles. Boy am I ever happy.)


Jul. 20th, 2010 10:26 am
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (russian)
I do not like waiting-to-find-out. It may be one of my least favorite things ever.

I have a lot of waiting-to-find-out these days. Personal health stuff, family health stuff, major writing project stuff, minor writing project stuff....

I hates it, Precioussss!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (beware of cyclist)
Phil's working late Mondays these days--by late I mean until 9 or 10 pm. Today, this means I am indulging myself and eating Taco Bell for dinner and then going to watch Alice in Wonderland before it goes out of theatres. Yay, girl's night out! Yes, I am boring these days.

Also, I am currently hiding in the closed office that I share with 2 other guys during the day, with the door closed. My job officially ended at 5, you see, but the movie doesn't start until 6:40.

I have a great affection for empty spaces that are usually populated. After-hours businesses are like catnip.


This morning was unproductive, though, so I feel a bit guilty. Between extra work hours and busyness and in-laws, I haven't been getting much done.

This morning at least I had an excuse. Dentist's appointment. All went well, thankfully, while I was leaning back in the chair with sharp metal things poking at my gums. On the bike ride home, my bike got a flat tire, but fortunately I was only a block away from a coffee/biking shop, so I got it fixed pretty speedily and pedaled on home.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (experiment)
You know, a long rambling post where I write about where I'm at and what I'm doing and all the other things I think friends should know about each other but all too often don't these days. I encourage you to do one of these posts, too! I miss knowing these things about my friends (Twitter and Facebook have added a lot of little detailed information, but I think they've taken away some of the big picture).

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (russian)
Why yes, I am having an immune system response to the flu shot. And to the tetanus booster. And having blood drawn + painkillers has made me a bit lightheaded. And I've been staring at the computer screen doing data entry for a day job project all evening.

On the other hand, looking at the snow outside, I'm quite happy I'm working from home tomorrow.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Phil and I)
  • 15:02 In Allina Emergency Room with Phil. He's got a non-passing, hellishly painful kidney stone.
  • 20:04 Aand...home again. 5 mm is the max DIY kidney stone size. Guess what Phil has? (Besides lots of painkillers.)

Update: He's staying home today. They say three days and then see a specialist. Meanwhile, he's got better drugs than I do.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (knee x-ray)
My 2-week-post-surgery checkup went well. There are no signs of infection at the incision sites. My range of motion is as good as can be expected at this point--I can't quite straighten it, and while I can barely bend it 90 degrees, it's pretty painful to do so. Sitting at a desk is going to be--interesting. And they're scaling down the painkillers, which I expect to be No Fun. They handed me copies of the x-rays and photographs of the inside of my knee, some truly gory stuff that I'll be posting shortly! The doctor also added leg raises to the knee exercises I'm doing, and believe me when I say they're no picnic. The really happy news is that I no longer need to use a knee brace or crutches; I can wobble around on a cane. I can carry things again! I'm not entirely useless!

In other news, tonight Phil (sort of) rose to the challenge of cooking CSA vegetables while I'm out of commission. Tonight's dinner: buttery dilled green beans. Recipe: Boil large pot of heavily salted water. Wash bag of beans, chop off tips and discard. Boil beans for 6 minutes. Add 1/2 stick butter, 1 small bunch minced dill weed, and salt and pepper to taste. Would probably be better with some lemon juice or bacon.

Oh, and a fudge bar--my favoritest frozen treat in the world.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (knee x-ray)
x-posted to Fb/LJ--

I am doing better. Better than I was immediately after surgery, and definitely better than I was at this point in my recovery after my first ACL knee surgery. I have a little bruising in addition to the incision, and some pain, but nowhere near as much as I did last time. I'm not out of my head from pain or painkillers, also unlike last time.

This time, they didn't find any meniscus damage (or very very little) when they went in to do surgery, so everything took the projected amount of time and all they had to do was repair the ACL and take care of some abrasiveness on the underside of my knee cap. I had a cold, so they couldn't put me under general anesthesia like they did last time. The anesthesiologist said it was probably better not to anyway. So I got a spine nerve block and another nerve block on my leg to help with the incision. I was wide awake all the way to the operating room, where they put in the nerve blocks and then gave me a sedative, and I woke up still in the operating room, instead of several hours later in the recovery room. They also sent me home with a fanny pack holding a softball-sized bag of anesthetic that fed an IV line into my leg for the first three days to help get me past the worst of it. Brand name? O-no.

I can get around on my own wearing a thigh-to-ankle immobilizing brace and using crutches, though the brace hurts to wear. I tried to do a little with one crutch so I could carry things with the other hand, and that was not such a good idea. The pain pills are doing a pretty good job of controlling my pain, though alas, they are not super-fun pain pills--I'm neither pleasantly muzzy-headed nor filled with warm fuzzies. I've begun doing the most basic physical therapy exercises: putting my leg up on a chair and letting it hang; and trying to bend my knee without putting any weight on it. They hurt. I cannot bend my leg yet, but the straightening seems to be going well, as it has since I injured my knee.

I'm spending all my time on the couch in the living room, either reading the internet (email, blogs, newsletters, etc.), watching TV, or sleeping. Pain wakes me up when the pills wear off, so I've been sleeping very irregularly at night, and I tend to take 3-4 naps during the day, whenever I get sleepy, which is regularly. I've finished watching all of Criminal Minds on DVD, all of True Blood on DVD, the 2nd-to-last season of Monk, and I'm about to finish the first season of Buffy (rewatch, borrowed from a friend). I'm catching up on my writing newsletters, and I'm pleased that I'm clear-headed enough to actually get some writing-related work (and soon, writing!) done, though I'm cutting myself a whole lotta slack. Did I mention 3-4 naps a day?

WARNING: Beyond this point, there may be TMI and photographs.

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (knee x-ray)
x-post Fb/LJ--

The knee surgery to replace my ACL is scheduled for this coming Monday, and I can hardly think of anything else. It's worse because I know what to expect this time around (I had the other knee repaired about a year and a half ago). I have no energy, no willpower, and my impulse control is remarkably poor. I think all my strength and willpower is going to the not-freaking-out-about-imminent-surgery project. With mixed results.

I've dealt with work emails. I've gotten my teeth inspected and (my very first) cavities taken care of. I've bought skirts and loose-fitting pants for post-surgery work wear. My family visited us and we visited Phil's family. I went to the opera, the zoo, and the Walker Art Museum*. I went to a nice restaurant with Phil last night for the last time for a while. I have a bed.

There's no way I'm hitting my Vicesteed editing goal before surgery--I'd hoped to finish this draft, but I'm only to Chapter 20. And writing/editing/anything time will be pretty much non-existent for the next couple of months, mostly because I'll be too muzzy-headed to do anything quality. I suppose I could write short stories, because it matters less if I muck those up.

There are still other things I want/need to get done before surgery. I'd like to get my bike fixed, so I can use it for physical therapy during the recovery (once I'm somewhat mobile). I'd like to get the dishwasher fixed, but that requires one more part to arrive and then a scheduled appointment with a repair guy. There's a wedding, and the surrounding events. There's the MNSpec writing meeting and critique session (the day before surgery), that I still need to get critiques done for. I need to finish uploading and labeling at least the 2009 orientation photos. I'd like to go to the MoA and look for more post-surgery clothes and comfortable dress shoes and tiny earrings, but that seems a distant possibility. I'd like to go to Fire Roast Mountain coffee shop in the afternoon this weekend, but other events may interfere. Oh, and I need to pay bills and see about that property tax refund and...and...clean the house really thoroughly one last time, and--.

* While I'm still a walker. Get it?
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (alas)
I just got the results of the MRI. The knee injury was a complete ACL tear, which almost certainly means knee surgery. And knee surgery means a couple of months of rehab to get recovered from the injury, followed by surgery, followed by many months of rehab and about a year and a half to full recovery. It also means I'm going to have to switch to low-impact physical activities--the prognosis for fixing an ACL the first time is good, but if I reinjure a repaired ACL, they won't be able to repair it back to full functionality.

This is...really depressing. I did not want to do this again.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (knee x-ray)
It's never a good sign when the doctor says that part of what holds your knee together feels "mushy."

Today was spent being ferried to doctors. I made an 11:45 AM appointment (or thought I did) to see a doctor at a clinic I'd never been to before, because that was the only open appointment for today. Then I get there and this horrid, unkind nurse says that I'm a drop-in and don't have a real appointment and so I have to wait. And wait. And wait. And I can't sit comfortably with my leg in the immobilizing brace and it hurts and my painkiller wears off and I finish the book I brought and have nothing to read and it's just awful. I finally see the doctor after 1 PM. He pokes and prods and says one of the last things I want to hear--that he's worried about the ACL.

(There was also a funny intermission when the doctor thoroughly examined my healed ACL surgery with great professional interest in seeing the outcome of another surgeon's work. And discussed it with his assistant. "See this? This is what one of Dr. Riggi's surgeries looks like.")

I get redirected to my "usual" orthopedic clinic with a same-day, 3 PM appointment for an MRI, which is most fabulous. We pick up Taco Bell on the way. I have a nice, soothing MRI. Yes, MRIs are soothing. They have you lie down in a room with dimmed lights and a machine that makes repetitive white noise, and they tell you you can't move for 40 minutes. It's so hard not to take a nap. I'll find out the results in a couple of days, and then I'll know what's actually injured.

This morning I called work to say that I'd be busy with dr's appointments, making and hopefully having. Left a msg on manager's cellphone, since she wasn't answering. Got home and called to leave her a msg saying that I'd be in tomorrow. No response yet. I hope they didn't wrap up the project and not tell me, because that would be way more annoying than usual given how difficult it'll be for me to get into work.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (knee x-ray)
My karma, it is instant. A couple of days ago, I accidentally injured [ profile] mischief03 while in martial arts class. Today, I accidentally injured myself.

I lunged forward*, my knee turned out--and there was an awful pain in my knee as the joint did something it shouldn't ought to. I fell over, making the usual pain noises, swearing and so forth. There was much help and icing and eventually it felt good enough that I stood, and moved about a bit, and put my weight on it--and fell down and made pain noises and lay there for a while. There may have been a couple of tears.

So I did the thing that Phil had "forbidden" me from ever doing again: called him and told him I'd hurt myself badly and could he come and pick me up and bring the crutches from the last time I injured myself?

We went to the emergency room and they x-rayed the knee to verify that I hadn't broken anything, gave me a pain scrip and a referral to an orthopedic clinic. They couldn't tell what happened. I didn't have any of the point pain expected from a ligament tear. Apparently it would be really, really difficult for me to have dislocated my kneecap--I have an unusually deep groove that the holding-your-knee-cap-in-place ligament runs through, so it would have taken a lot of work. There was some mumbling about meniscus or knee cartilage damage.

Phil is trying to argue me into permanently quitting martial arts. He says I don't have a leg to stand on in this argument**.

The state of things: I hurt my other knee somehow. It's very painful. We don't know what the damage is yet, and won't until after I have an orthopedic appointment--so not until at least Monday, probably later. I'm heavily drugged and on crutches and not going out to social things for a while.

* I have long arms and legs and I tend to sprawl and galumph my way through sparring--which is a tendency that is harmful. To me.

** Dark humor, it is my favorite kind.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (sword)
I have returned! To martial arts classes, that is. After being allowed back by my doctor, there was a vacation in Georgia and a really nasty cold that intervened, and I almost said, "Screw it, they're about to go on holiday break, I might as well wait to join up until after classes resume." I'm glad I didn't. For one, this allowed me to ease in a little more. For another, it means I'm not another one of those people returning to physical activity just because they made a New Years' resolution; they have a high percentage of attrition.

martial arts stuff )

weight-loss stuff )

state of the knee )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • 11:55 Feeling marginally better today--but only for short periods of time. I *hate* being sick!
  • 14:49 Bwa-ha-ha-ha! I have Twitter IM notifications, thanks to & FreeMyFeed.
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cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Abra Staffin-Wiebe

March 2019

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