alexandraerin: (Default)
News For Today

Well, the fundraiser's started to really take off in earnest. One of my tasks for tomorrow (formerly a task for yesterday) is to re-write the fundraiser post so that it's more concise and bullet-pointy. I'll make a blog post that explains things in greater detail.

The Gift of the Bad Guy has officially broken even. The money I sunk into producing it has been made back. Next week's "technical day" I will be working on getting it onto Amazon and Smashwords, which should help boost the income quite a bit.

And in a final bit of news, I'm posting this on Dreamwidth. I have it set up so it should cross-post to Livejournal automatically. If you follow me on Livejournal, know that I have no plans to abandon LJ at the moment. But given the level of their troubles and the extent to which I rely on my blog as a productivity and communication tool, a backup is in order.

Personal Assessment

I have both less pain and a greater degree of mobility in my arm. It doesn't seem like it's going to interfere with computering today.

I slept okay.

I'm feeling fine, mentally.

Dreams From Last Night

I was running a D&D game at the Colonial in Memphis. No special guest appearances. Flabberghast really was the combobreaker, I guess.

Plans For Today

I'm going to go throw a flash up at Fantasy in Miniature, then my one task for the day is writing the next chapter of Tales of MU. Giving over an eight hour work day to it worked out so well and felt so good on Monday. This is Friday's chapter, so if I finish it today it won't go up immediately, but I won't be waiting until Friday night in that case.
alexandraerin: (Default)
...that is only being made here because Livejournal is down at the moment and it must be said:

The truest thing I know right now is that pain is tiring.
alexandraerin: (Default)
(At least since I started tracking my mental and physical condition from day to day.)

My bad shoulder is acting up. In a big way. At least I think it's the shoulder that's the cause... the pain is not exactly in the neighborhood of the socket itself but is in the area of the upper arm just beneath it. It hurts to move the arm, especially to try to lift it any. There's a very "bruised" feeling about it, for lack of a better term. I'm typing right now by having the keyboard and elbows sitting on my pile of blankets (I haven't gotten up yet) in such a way that my arms don't have to be raised at all. Thank heaven for a giant pile of blankets. I'm having to mouse with my left hand, though.

I just woke up so it's much to early to say whether this pain will persist or swiftly fade. I'm hoping for the latter. If it doesn't, today might end up being a light writing day instead of a heavy technical one. I can navigate windows and type without moving my arm overmuch, but the sorts of things I had in mind to do today will be difficult without a mouse. Well, I guess I'll still be able to read and research what I need to do.

I'm going to post the Fantasy In Miniature for today and then probably draw a hot bath. At least we have a bathtub here where soaking one's shoulder is an easy exercise.

Also, since I'm in a comfortable typing position and don't want to forget: last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again that I was traveling around in a big blue van for high school Quiz Bowl competitions with a team of people from central casting. The Flabberghast (from [livejournal.com profile] csecooney's The Big Bah-Ha was the team sponsor/coach, and after we won our last tournament he announced that I and my co-captain would be rewarded with a trip to Disney World and we could each invite one other person from the team. This was a five person team, so another way of saying this would be "Everybody on the team gets to go to Disney World except one person and you have to pick who." It was a very awkward reward.

Separately from all this, I got to introduce Jack to my family in the dream. The Flabberghast was there, too.

It's very odd. Before I came upstairs last night I said to Jack "I wonder if I'm going to dream about Baba Yaga again tonight." The Flabberghast just had to be the combobreaker, I guess.

On a final note, [livejournal.com profile] meeksp painted this in honor of the start of volume 2:

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alexandraerin: (Default)
News For Today:

After increasing disenchantment with the Palm Pre, I'm taking advantage of the chance to get a free Android phone from my carrier. It's not a huge upgrade in terms of physical specs, but the Pre's kind of flimsy and has never had very good software support. I clung to it out of fangirl loyalty based on how much I'd liked my Treos, ignoring the fact that it had no real office suite program and thus was ill-equipped for doing the one thing that really justifies me having a smartphone. It was also pretty glitchy. There's a lot of business-world back story on the software support thing, what with Palm going through troubles and being acquired by HP, and DataViz (makers of the office software for older Palm platforms, developers of the vaporware version initially touted for the Pre's Palm OS) being acquired by RIM last fall, but ultimately it just doesn't do what I need it to do. When I write stories on it, I've been doing them in emails to myself, which works but it also contributes to choppy writing as I have to integrate drafts together that were written in different places without reference to each other.

Android phone? Powered by Google. Can run GDocs, to let me open and edit my word processor files from Google Documents, which is where I do all of my writing. It seems like a winner to me.

Also, my new phone will be purple, and thus harder for me to misplace. It also has better functionality for "lost phone" apps.

Personal Assessment

Knees are better than they were earlier this week. I have some muscular pain in my legs that I believe comes from the way I've been compensating for them.

Sleep is still happening like some sort of soporific clockwork. You all have no idea how weird or how awesome that is to me. I expect summer will bring a return to sleepless nights, as I have to forgo my Fortress of Blankitude, but for now? It's awesome.

Dreams From Last Night

None distinct.

Random Link

My Secret, by Gretchen Rautman. A self-published children's book for children who are coping with chronic pain. There's a free PDF download available, but due to the images it's on the large size.

Plans For Today

In terms of formal tasks, I'm going to stick to "write a chapter" for now. Last week, Wednesday was when the writing ahead thing fell apart. I'll add more tasks more regularly once I've got a buffer established. I'll also be continuing some research on Wordpress's tagging capabilities that I've been doing.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I'm back from a shoe-shopping expedition with my mother, and I've got my feet up, and I'm feeling better. Not only did my mother fix me up with some balance-correcting shoes that have worked well for managing "the family knees", but she's given me some advice on how to handle the whole situation. Cold weather is not good for joint pain (or, from another point of view, it's exceptionally good for joint pain) and this is my first winter with noticeably arthritic knees. I'm still learning how to do things in ways that don't aggravate them (or to put it another way, I keep doing things in ways that do aggravate them) and there's a subsidiary effect on my back because of all the compensation I do in terms of how I'm walking and bending.

So this is all to say that I'm coping with actual physical pain and pain-related stress right now, which probably has a lot to do with my emotional state over the past couple of days. I'm dealing with that now, so hopefully I'll be a little bit more moderate in my responses to things.
alexandraerin: (Default)
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, but round 'bout the time I started thinking that I might just be able to handle some pancakes I got a stabby pain in the gums around the tooth in question and the start of another icepick headache directly above it. I suppose it doesn't want me to forget who's in charge on what is hopefully the last full day of its existence.

So, I took another trauma doll... I had been working on a blog post in response to Amanda Fuckkking Palmer's latest nonsense when the pain hit. I tried soldiering on, but... meh. Trauma doll doesn't seem to be that powerful in its effects, but it seems to give little nudges. That is, if I'm sleepy, it puts me to sleep. And I have a tendency to be rambly and not at all track closely to the plot, so it doesn't really aid my coherence. I want to do the subject justice. So I saved it as a private post, to be reworked later.

Tooth comes out tomorrow, hopefully.
alexandraerin: (Default)
So, I spent yesterday (from the dentist appointment onward) and this morning needing the trauma doll about as often as the instructions permitted, but from the very early afternoon (at which point I absentmindedly tried to open my mouth wide enough to chug the last little bit of root beer) onward today I haven't really needed it. For lunch and dinner today I had soft-boiled pasta (tossed in butter and olive oil for lunch, with creamy parmesan sauce for dinner... the lunch batch was a small test run to make sure I could handle it before I made enough for the sauce to be worthwhile.)

In other words, the pain is much more under control. My gums are still swollen, my chin's still swollen though less so, my cheek is quite a bit less swollen... I can't see the swelling any more though I can feel it inside my mouth... the inside wall's much closer to my teeth than it should be. Not between them, like it was.

So tomorrow I might be a little more clear-headed than I was today. Still not making any plans or predictions. I was still pretty drowsy and light-headed all evening. My mind and body are very susceptible to fatigue, and fighting a major infection is fatiguing. But I did accomplish some things today, in terms of sitting back and looking at my long-term plans. I'll have to give those plans a reality check once I'm back to some semblance of normal functioning, of course. But I'm feeling good. I feel like I've got a better handle on where I'm at and where I'm going now.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Since I seem to be mostly pretty okay right now, I tried a little bit of writing... did a thousand word sprint in Write or Die. When I read back through it, I discovered I'd written three different paragraphs throughout it describing the same set of actions with only very slight differences. I think that, coupled with the fact that tramadol completely kills my sex drive</TMI> makes it unlikely that I'll get the next MU update done until after the dentapocalypse is resolved. Ah, well.

Mmm, and now I have the hiccups. My hiccups tend to be fairly painful ordinarily, but now they're rattling my tooth.

(subject)

Mar. 25th, 2010 07:28 am
alexandraerin: (Default)
So, it appears that while tramadol knocks me out pretty well when I'm tired, when I'm more or less caught up on sleep it doesn't have all that much effect on me. Good to know. However, I'm aware that in the past I've had a small tendency to ignore/push past my physical limitations and fuck myself or my stuff up as a result, so I'm not making any big plans for the day. It's still "wait and see".


Hmmm, I've started to get very sleepy as I type this. Case in point.
alexandraerin: (Default)
So here I am awake at 5:30 in the morning. I slept through quite a bit of yesterday afternoon and evening, though, so that's not terribly surprising. Time will tell how functional I'm going to be today. I don't yet know how the tramadol is going to effect me when I'm better rested and nourished, or if I'll need to take it at the minimum intervals. I think I'm going to be able to get a few more hours of sleep this morning once the one I just took kicks in. I don't know how "with it" I'm going to be the next few days, but I'll try to make blog posts and Twitter/Facebook updates when I'm lucid just so everyone knows I'm doin' alright.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Two and a half hours of falling asleep for twenty minutes at a time and then jerking awake when the slightest movement makes my jaw twinge has left me feeling more refreshed than I would have thought possible, considering that I was up until past 6 unable to rest or find any succor. I woke up to find messages of support and well-wishes on my panicky blog posts of the Long Dark Night of the Tooth, and enough money that I should be able to deal with any curveballs that get thrown at me today. I'll have a better idea of where I stand overall after my appointment, for which I leave in about half an hour.

I also awoke to find that the swelling in my face and throat have slightly diminished from their apex (nadir? Their apex, my nadir, I suppose.) yesterday. It's still very noticeable but definitely lessened. I'm also not in agony, though I can tell that my tooth and the corresponding swollen spots are still very tender to the touch. (Resisting urge to find out exactly how tender...) I'm surprised to find that I don't have even the smallest voice in the back of my head going "See? It's going away on its own after all. You don't need to go to the dentist." Little personal victory.

Among the support I received was a little mathematical analysis by [livejournal.com profile] blue_x of the value I do put out for the money I get from folks (and of course, it must be remembered that most folks individually are getting my work for free) and how it compares to the cost of commercial fiction in brand new hardcover novels. It was useful and instructive. Equally instructive was her reminder that, once upon a time, I'd actually made the conscience decision to update TOMU less often so that I could better control the plotting of it. She's right, I did... I managed to completely forget about that. With that in mind, I still feel that updates could be and should be more regular, but I'm going to be striving for consistency rather than beating myself up for not reaching 3 or more updates a week.

I've also had the epiphany that the reason writing ahead and keeping a backlog never seemed like a viable option to me is that it would mean not giving the readership as much as I possibly could... because I couldn't just write ahead a little and then have the backlog take care of itself. Any time I had a medical emergency or a personal issue that disrupted my writing, I'd have to be able to replace what I used, which would mean that my usual update rate would have to be below my actual production rate.

But that thinking is based on the assumption that the speed at which I can write is an absolute measure of how much entertainment value I should be giving the world. [livejournal.com profile] blue_x's analysis makes me realize how silly that unexamined, unarticulated assumption was. I still don't know how well I'd be able to maintain an archive of completely finished but unposted chapters ahead of time. It'd require quite a bit of adjustment to my style and how I write, and what I gain from my writing. But this unspoken preconception I've been working under has made it hard for me to "work ahead" at all, so dispensing with it will, I think, only be a good thing.

I've got to finish getting ready to go. I have no idea what they will or won't do today. I imagine they'll need to do a thorough exam and take x-rays before they're able to do anything substantiative with my teeth, though I'm hopeful that they'll be able to do something for the infection/swelling (antibiotics? I don't know how they treat this) so I'm not worrying about septicemia while waiting for another appointment. I've got no idea, to jump ahead to the conclusion, how I'm going to feel when I get home. So no task lists, no bold predictions about what I'll get done.
alexandraerin: (Default)
...has just become a moving/medical bills sale, as another night's sleep not only has not resulted in reduced swelling but it's gotten worse. I'll be signing up for a dental discount plan today and trying to make an appointment as soon as possible. It looks like I could get a root canal (which may be what this takes) for as low as $300, with the anesthesia and everything.

I'm still not convinced that the swelling is connected to the tooth, but I'm even less convinced that I'm a qualified medical professional. The point is that I might need both dentistry and medical doctorin'. If that is the case, I'm probably not going to be doing any traveling in the next three months... this was all relatively cheap travel, though, so it's not like canceling it gives me a bonanza of savings.

I have a hard time asking people for help, and I don't want to turn this into a general distress call before I even know what's what... but I'm honestly kind of scared. My face looks like someone's stuck a basketball pump into half of it and started inflating it, or I'm smuggling an apple in my cheek or something. I am in so much pain right now, the headaches of last week seem like a fun diversion.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Ugh, ugh, ugh... I've woken up this morning with a ferocious toothache in a tooth that's given me intermittent problems before (it has a habit of getting ground a bit when a twitch makes my jaw go sideways) and what seems to be a small and tender swelling in my jaw. Doctor Internet suggests this might be an abscessed tooth. On the other hand, I have a scratch on the inside of my cheek down near where the pain is so maybe it's just irritated and I'm oversensitive to the tooth pain because I'm worried. But back on the first hand an abscessed tooth is nothing to mess around with, and it's not like I've had regular dental care the past few years. If it is, I don't know how I'm going to begin to pay for this, except by canceling a lot of my (largely business-related) travel plans for the coming year... and even that probably won't cover it.

Update:

After laying back down for a while, the tooth pain subsided and I noticed that the swelling is way more in my cheek than my gums... in fact, that whole side of my face is a little puffy. Which probably isn't a good thing but also probably isn't a tooth abscess. I took a Benadryl in case it was a reaction to something and the swelling in the right half of my lips, which is where it was most obviously noticeable, seems to have gone down quite a bit.

If nothing else, this prompted me to finally check out private dental plans and it's looks like there are some that I could manage on my budget. I'll have to do some major consumer review-type research to find out what people's experiences with them have been. Major dental work would still be a relatively serious expense, but it would be a matter of screwing me for a month rather than a few months in a row. Regular cleanings and screenings would be a walk in the park. This has always been on my "to be done at some point" list... really should have done it when my coverage from my last job ended. I suppose my expectation that it would be prohibitively expensive made me a little afraid to look. More the fool, I.

Anybody reading this have experience with Careington dental discount plans? Their fees look good, the discounts look good... a quick search turns up some pretty good reviews and no complaints that don't amount to "they charged me to renew my plan at the end of the year like I had already agreed they could!" But it's hard to know a good review isn't astroturfing. I'd love to hear from someone who's used them.
alexandraerin: (Default)
When dealing with pills that are be taken "with a meal" or not taken "on an empty stomach", dry-swallowing them five minutes *before* a meal not only doesn't "count", but it can apparently be the equivalent of thinking to oneself "Hmmm, I suppose it's okay to swallow this gunpowder as long as I top it off with some wadding and a bullet."

Urg.
alexandraerin: (Default)
So, I spent most of the weekend on my back... no, this isn't another "slightly personal" post. When I get really tired (in the sense of deep-down fatigue rather than just sleepy) I have muscle spasms. Mostly they seem to be in my arms and legs. They're occasionally painful and they sometimes lead to cramps and kinks. But on Friday night, I started getting them down on my lower back, around my spine. Fun times. I had a much less severe backache to begin with... I don't know if that contributed to the spasms or if it was caused by ones that I didn't notice. They kind of peaked sometime Saturday, and then left me with my back feeling all bruised and torn up. More fun times.

I'm feeling better now, though... especially as my insomnia broke definitively last night. I had only just said something to Jack that it was frustrating to lie awake in bed a few minutes before when the switch flipped and my brain went "sleepy"... not just tired, but actually sleepy, as in the feeling of being close to falling asleep. It wasn't exactly the fabled blacking out the moment my head hit the pillow, but I don't think it could have taken me more than half an hour to fall asleep once I was in bed.

My plans for today are to write, write, write. No predictions on what I'll get done. I've been working on my speed and endurance, though, and while this weekend kind of sucked I just need to keep going. It's been taking me twice as long to write half as much and even if that didn't bother anybody else, it bothers me.
alexandraerin: (Default)
First, my mother. It is because of her superb vacation planning skills that I have any muscle cream to rub on my back. Second, [livejournal.com profile] popelizbet, whose natural problem solviness helped me to recall that yes, yes I did have some of that stuff in the apartment after all.

Thanks.
alexandraerin: (Default)
When all the muscles up and down your back decide what your life really needs is more painful spasms.

When your newly refurbished fresh out of the box computer from Geeks.com promptly crashes at the end of set-up. Not only will it not finish booting, but ever since the original crash the display is messed up (pixelated and with flickering lines, and with everything displayed in ghostly double images... half your pixels hither, half your pixels thither) so I can't even read the error messages.

My back problem has subsided on its own. The computer is not being that gracious. I wasn't even going to monkey around with it... just get it powered on so I could verify that it's working, because it is a refurb. I've sent a message to geeks.com customer service... though looks like they won't be in until Monday. I'm expecting that I'll have to return it.

This has just been a super special day so far.
alexandraerin: (Default)
Dear God Livejournal, my back hurts.

I don't know if it's from tossing and turning the other night when I actually tried to sleep in my bed, from trying to sleep on the couch, from crouching over my laptop all the time instead of alternating between it and the desktop, from my tired back muscles finding painful new ways to spasm... actually, it's probably all of the above. It's been a pretty epic pinching sort of pain for going on 12 hours now. I've got heat on it. I don't know what else I can do except for sitting tight. I'm plugging away at MoarMU, but the pain is a bit distracting.

My lack of time sense snuck up on me last night when I noticed Jack was online and decided to pop onto AIM to talk to him for "just a little bit". Five hours later... gah. I need to set an alarm if I do things like that. This is unfamiliar territory for me.

The good news is that I'm exhausted. This is good news because I'm used to it taking several more days of sleeplessness before I feel like this. I'll probably crash sometime today and sleep for real, and then I'll be able to rebuild my sleep cycle.

New desktop computer is on a truck for delivery today... I didn't know FedEx ground deliveries were made on Saturdays, and I almost didn't believe the initial ETA, but it says on truck for delivery. I doubt I'll do anything with it today, the way my back is. But it's on the way. And my newsmart phone should get here Monday. The computer's important in the long run but I sorely miss having a working smart phone to help me keep track of things. Google Calendar is helpful, but... well, I'm anxious to see how the Palm webOS integration with it works.

Arriving along with the computer is an external hard drive that I'm going to have my dead computer's contents dumped onto. It's network accessible, which should make it so much easier for me to switch between working on my lappy and working on the new compy as needed. And as much as I love my sturdy little netbook, there are just some things it's not very well suited for, like layout work and such. I'm not even going to try messing with the Fantasy In Miniature site before I can do it on there.

Thanks to everyone who's made these equipment replacements possible. I've been able to get these big purchases out of the way much faster thanks to some help from my roommate with the computer. To all the new sponsors, I'll be adding your names to the appropriate lists in the next few days, once I get my spreadsheet of sponsors pulled from my dead desktop.

Gah, I almost put "next few years". I'm really having a hard time focusing here, so I think I'll just stop this entry here.

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