Surviving a Holiday Weekend

I had an appointment with my neurologist and didn’t think much of mentioning the changes she made to my meds to anyone but my husband, and I only glossed over it with him. Most chronically ill people can tell you about the every 3-6 month visits with this specialist or that, trying to find just the right combination of medications, supplements, diet adjustments, exercises, body position, hair length, etc. to significantly reduce or “cure” our pain.

So, my doctor and I decided to up the dosage of one medicine while changing my blood pressure medication. In hindsight, I should have done one change at a time. I’m not sure which caused it (probably the Bp meds), but I am still recovering from a migraine that started last Thursday. And, here in the US, it’s a holiday weekend. Even if it were just a regular weekend, this would have been a Bad Idea. I was pretty close to going to the ER, but took my Bp (not great, but okayish) and evaluated my symptoms.

This really helped calm my panic. Everything was in line with a severe migraine and I’ve survived all the other ones. I’ve even had them last this long. So I decided that the “Watch and wait” method was probably a better idea. I kept an eye on my blood pressure, which improved, and took what meds I have for the migraine. I leaned on my husband to help get medicine and cold packs and my dog, Harley, was really great with letting me rest, sticking to my side, and was a great touchstone during some of the hallucinations that came with this one. Now, it is thankfully just the headache that is left.

I am still alive after this last migraine. Without going to an ER. I know I will soon have another. I will survive that one, too, most likely without going to an ER but with the support of family and a loving dog. Thinking about the next several years worth of migraines is daunting, but I can handle just planning for how to get through the next one.

Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price

18079705Flight of the Silvers (Silvers #1)

Daniel Price

February 2014 Blue Rider Press

ISBN: 9780399164989

 

 

 

Goodreads Summary:

Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by mysterious strangers, three fearsome and beautiful beings who force a plain silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist. Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.

Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them—before time runs out.

Review:

Stopped reading 6/10/17
I read a little over half the book, but also gave up after about that, also. It took me roughly two weeks to get to page 330, which is far below my speed reading capabilities. There are sections that are fantastically paced, but also some that feel like I’m mentally slogging through quicksand.
Liked:
Character development: the main characters are well though out and multifaceted. They are all likable and unlikable at different points.

World building (setting, “rules,” social hierarchy): I think most of this was pretty clear. There’s a parallel Earth that had the same history until the early 20th Century, then a big event happened that changed the development of this alternate Earth. Their understanding of Time and how to manipulate it are more advanced, the United States is a lot more insular, and while there are many similarities, there are some different social issues and concerns than we have.

References to other works (intentional or not): There are definitely some similarities to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Silvers are saved from a cataclysmic event that destroys their version of Earth by mysterious people who look human, but don’t quite act human. They also need a certain object (silver bracelets in this case) to be saved and transported to safety. There’s pop culture references throughout that are like inside jokes for the group, as many of them don’t exist in this alternative Earth.

Disliked:
My biggest and main dislike is the plot itself. Honestly, I think that at 300+ pages in to a 550ish page novel, I should have a better understanding of Why. Why was this specific group of people saved? What is their purpose? What is the main goal they’re supposed to be working toward? What do the Pelletiers want? Why should I finish reading this? Obviously, that last question is still unanswered.

I’m pretty sure I chose to read this because of the upcoming sequel (The Song of the Orphans), however I doubt I’ll read that now that I’ve stalled out on this.

And I’m Back!

Again. Maybe? Who knows. I had moved my laptop to the office/storage/other bedroom and so didn’t bother doing anything that required doing typing for a while. I found the cord to charge my Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad, so now it’s charged and I no longer have that excuse. And of course, there’s the usual daily headaches and chronic migraines. My last migraine lasted for 5 days, so… yeah. Add to that a general depression, and I lacked motivation. While doing a blog was my own idea and it’s never been a habit, I put so much importance on starting to do this more often that it became a looming chore. Because it was a looming chore, I kept putting it off. And the cycle continued.

This happens a lot to people with mental health issues and/or chronic procrastinators. It’s a completely normal thing that millions of people probably do, but it still makes many people (including myself) extremely uncomfortable to admit. What if we were all honest that there are some things that we put so much importance on that we are even less likely to do it? Isn’t this what we do every New Year (however we measure the year, there are usually some kind of resolutions, yes?)? What if we stopped beating ourselves up for not completing our to-do lists? What if we stopped making these unattainable lists in the first place?

I finally finished my mom’s socks back in May, so this blog is obviously not the only thing being neglected. I had taken a break from the socks because I needed some simpler projects to work on. I made a garter stitch shawl and diagonal stitch scarf. Then I picked up Mom’s socks again. She still hasn’t gotten them, but they are on the “to weave in ends” pile. Right now, I’m working on two pairs of socks.  I started a second attempt at a pair of Skew Socks for myself and then started a pair of simple stockinette socks so I could take something along with me to various appointments and in waiting rooms. Photos are on a different device, but I’ll try not to procrastinate too much and do a post with pics of and links to these projects.

I’ve also read several books, though only a few are on the list of neglected DRCs that I had made in November 2016. Or maybe they were. I haven’t gotten caught up on the reviews, though I do have one that I will post later today.

 

 

New Year, New Attempt At Doing This Blog Thing

Happy New Year to any Northern Hemisphere Pagans who stumble upon this! In keeping with the spirit of Samhain and the new turning of the Wheel, I’m going to try dropping bad habits and picking up new (hopefully better) ones. Most likely, just picking up new habits. A new habit? Yeah, I don’t want to overdo it. Part of that is going to be getting better at this blogging thing. I plan on doing an entry once a week on the ups and downs of living with chronic daily headaches and chronic migraines. And depression and anxiety. And whatever other medical/mental health issues my body tries to throw my way. Because most of my hobbies are ways I cope, there will be more posts (separately or combined) scattered throughout the week. And, please forgive the numerous book reviews this week. I have to make good on my agreement to review books for free DRCs, and I have a bit (a teenie tiny bit) of a backlog. Besides, reading reviews might help You decide whether or not something is worth your time. So many books, so little time. 

Alright, then… on the sticks is a pair of sock for my mom. The pattern is called “Crossfade” and can be found in New Directions in Sock Knitting by Ann Budd (Interweave, Feb 2016). You can find more info on Ravelry. This is the second pattern I’ve used from the book. If you decide to make it, I would suggest reading the instructions once or twice before beginning, making a copy of the charts so you can write on them to keep track of where you are, and definitely using a lifeline or three. The toe itself took me 12 tries to complete it correctly due to missed increases, dropped stitches, missed rows, etc. I can only partly blame my neurological disorders for these errors.  

Sleeping the Day Away

Yesterday, I literally slept the day away. Yes, I’m using “literally” correctly.

About 13 years ago, I worked the night shift (11:30-7:30) at a hotel in my hometown. My grandparents also live in the same town, but my grandpa never seemed to grasp that because I worked nights, I had to sleep during a large chunk of the day. He would frequently come by at 10-11 AM and, when neither my mother (who also worked nights) nor I would answer the door, he would pound on our bedroom windows until someone got up. Inevitably, he would also castigate us with “you’re sleeping the day away!” Eventually, we threatened to go over to his house at 3 AM and pound on his window until he woke up, then tell him he’s “sleeping the night away.” We all knew that because he was going deaf, it would wake my grandma up before he noticed; however, we must’ve sounded serious enough because he stopped. Mom and I still tell this story and, now that I’m a “day person” most of the time, I use “You’re sleeping the day away!” as the name for my alarm.

As a person who has both physical and mental illnesses, there are days that I can barely get out of bed. It happens. Sometimes, I am in either too much pain or just simply lack the motivation. Especially now that I am not working and on Disability. I’ve had to learn to be kinder to myself. I’ve had to learn to count small tasks like getting up, feeding the pets, feeding myself, and brushing my hair as major accomplishments. I’ve learned that, sometimes, sleeping the day away is exactly what I need so that I can do more the next day.

Review: Dexter Is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter Is DeadGoodreads description:

Dexter Morgan has burned the candle at both ends for many years. Blood spatter analyst . . . husband . . . father . . . serial killer. And now, for the first time, his world has truly collapsed. Dexter is arrested on charges of murder. He has lost everything—including his wife, his kids, and the loyalty of his sister. Now completely alone, Dexter faces a murder charge (for a crime . . . ironically . . . he did not actually commit). His only chance for freedom lies with his brother, Brian, who has a dark plan to prove Dexter’s innocence. But the stakes are deadly, and the epic showdown that lies in Dexter’s path may lead, once and for all, to his demise. 
     Jeff Lindsay’s trademark devilish wit and cutting satire have never been sharper. Dexter Is Dead marks the end of a beloved series, but is also Dexter’s most satisfying and suspenseful outing yet.

First, I should say I received a digital copy of this book through Edelweiss for an honest review.

I was actually pretty disappointed in this book. It seems as if it, and the previous book, Dexter’s Final Cut, could really have been just one book. They both seemed disappointing on their own, yet I have a feeling that they would have both benefited from some cutting (heh, heh) and merging.

The book starts with Dexter being almost as obtuse as he had been in Dexter’s Final Cut. He had clearly lost his clever wits by this time and it took a few weeks in jail for them to start coming back. Even then, he was ignoring the instinctive warnings from his inner demon, aka his Dark Passenger; forgetting to keep track of little bits here and there; and pretty much dependent on his brother, Brian, to look after keeping him from going back to jail and helping get him out of trouble. The witty, devious Dexter that we were first introduced to in Darkly Dreaming Dexter was no more. In his place was a mostly pathetic man. He even describes himself as such.

Dexter said it himself, he expected to go out in a blaze of glory or manage to be able to sail off into the sunset. He didn’t expect to just kind of fizzle out. Sadly, that’s what happened to him.

I suggest reading this if you’ve read the other books. I wouldn’t suggest it if you haven’t read any of the others, even if you’ve watched the show. Speaking of, if the ending of the TV series made you throw a shoe at your TV (or at least want to), then I can at least put to rest your fears that this is as bad as that. Comparatively, it is a much better end for Dexter than the TV show gave us.

…keep a job

As of last week (actually, two weeks ago, but I had a week to appeal), I lost my job. I had been working at a library, but had run out of FMLA time and was still having to take days off sick. Unpaid, unapproved days off sick. So, I was fired. That said, since I’m not there, I have to find another way to begin earning free advanced reader copies (ARCs) of books. Upcoming posts will feature reviews of various ARCs and new books that catch my eye and I want someone (anyone?) to consider reading or running the other way from. I’ll also be experimenting in other revenue sources and posting about that, hopefully. No, don’t get concerned. I mean starting making soaps and lotions again- stuff like this. Nothing untoward because I’d probably screw up and get caught anyway 😉