Well, it’s been too long. Sometimes you don’t write for a while, and then it starts to seem like too much work to catch up. So you don’t write, and (unsurprisingly) there is just more to catch up on!
So we will start where we’re at. I’ll catch up if and when I can.
Spencer & I moved to the L.A. area! He has a postdoc position here & we are settled in a great little apartment. One of the most wonderful things about it is the patio — I will show you later, we have a few plants going already.
Of course, finding doctors was one of the first priorities (for me) once we got here. I tried to set up some recommendations beforehand, but that fell through. So. I saw a headache specialist in March or so, he said he couldn’t help me. That was a little disappointing, but better than seeing an ineffective doctor. Then I found a pain doctor; she seems great.
Today I saw another neurologist; and she plans to continue seeing me. Whew! She still hasn’t looked through all my medical records; I brought them & we went through a summary of the past 7 1/2 years. She said she was going to planning to go over them & call my previous neurologist. We’re going to work on paring down my medication list. Before that starts, we’re going to do a second trial of Botox. Apparently, the FDA has approved a higher dosage & we’re doing 2 or 3 runs of it. Previously, I had one round of injections — this was 2 or 3 years ago.
Hopefully someone out there is still reading; if so, thank you!Filed under headaches, meds, migraines, ONS, pain | Comments (7)
So it seems that this is becoming a ‘reading’ blog. Weird. And what could be less interesting than READING about someone else’s READING? I’ll get to work on that, and post some actual content. :)
Away we go!
- The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present
- The Hunger Games
- Catching Fire
- Morality for Beautiful Girls
- V for Vendetta
- The Music Teacher
- Signora Da Vinci
- The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky
- Rembrandt’s Whore
- The Kalahari Typing School for Men
- Piano Girl: A Memoir
- Here Burns My Candle
- Mine is the Night
- Tears of the Giraffe
- The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness
- The Full Cupboard of Life
- Mistress: A Novel
- The Bean Trees
- Cutting for Stone
- Journey From the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran
- Thin, Rich, Pretty
- Remote Control
- Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style
- Glory Season
- Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
- From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava
- Cage of Stars
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
- Uncommon Criminals
- The Historian
- The Lacuna
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
- What is the What
- Pride and Prejudice
- The Help (re-read after I saw the movie)
- Me Talk Pretty One Day
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
- 13 Rue Therese
- Everyone Worth Knowing
- Too Rich for a Bride
- Cry, the Beloved Country
- Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
- The Only Alien on the Planet
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (re-read)
- A Christmas Carol (re-read)
- The Importance of Being Ernest (re-read)
I rated this book 2/5 stars. This was not a bad book — it was okay. I didn’t even know it was the second book in a series until I came to Goodreads to rate it. So obviously it was not hard to follow what had happened in the first book. It was easy to join in with the characters. I had two main problems with this book — 1. It was predictable, 2. It was cheesy. So we’ll take these one at a time.
Predictable: it’s difficult to get into this without giving away the ending, but suffice it to say that the way it ended was exactly the way I thought it would end. When I read the liner notes, not just when I started reading the book. So that was disappointing. The ‘twists & turns’ along the way weren’t very convincing and I still felt like I knew exactly where the plot was going.
Cheesy: This is a completely subjective thing. Sometimes a book just has to hit you at the right time, or one thing will turn you off of it. With that said, here’s a quote that really was the tip of the cheesy iceberg for me:
“…he’d stirred her heart long before she knew the depth of his pain. Before she’d seen the strength of his character. And sitting beside him now in comfortable silence, watching two ravens gliding on a wind current, only served to strengthen the stirring in her heart.”
When I read that, I rolled my eyes. I may have even groaned. I mean no disrespect to the author; I think that for another reader, this would’ve been a really enjoyable read. Unfortunately, that reader wasn’t me.
With all of the that negativity, I do have to say that I loved the author’s descriptions of Cripple Creek. It sounded beautiful & made me want to visit; I felt like I could really visualize this Gold Rush town in my head. I also strongly identified with the sisters’ relationships: I have 3 sisters of my own & know how close that relationship is, and I felt like the author did a great job portraying what it’s like to be sisters as grown women. I appreciated Ida’s drive towards business, and that she wanted something for herself besides falling in love.
In summary, I think this would be a great book for the reader who wants a clean romantic book, set in another era. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time enjoying it as much as I’d hoped.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.Filed under Blogging for books, books | Comment (0)
Hi friends & family! Many of you already know, but my husband has accepted a postdoc position at CalTech. We’re excited to move to the L.A. area in January! We’ve lived in Utah for most of our married lives, so this will be an exciting change.
There is little to no health news to share — I have been doing pretty well (by and large) and have been working on a few side projects. Gardening, crocheting, and some beading. I’ll share some pictures later.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraidIt matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.by William Ernest Henley
R. righty or lefty: lefty
S. siblings: yes, 3 sisters & 1 brotherT. time you wake up: it varies, widely
And for my last little piece of news, I won a $25 gift certificate to Beauty.com at The More, the Messier! What a lucky gal I am. What would you spend it on?
Well friends (& family of course!), I enjoy reading your blogs so much that sometimes I forget that I need to try and keep mine updated!
On the headache front, a few little tidbits: we are still trying to work on my storm headaches — improving them so those days aren’t so much worse than the sunny days. With that in mind, we are retrying the Neurontin. I’ve tried it in the past, but at that time was not also taking Baclofen (and a few others). So my fingers are crossed on that front. Then, the last couple of weeks I’d been having more myoclonic jerks. In case you don’t want to read about it, I’ll sum up — they’re like muscle trwitches, jerks or spasms. I’ve had these for quite a few years now, but we got them mostly under control. Then, the last week or two they ramped up again. I wasn’t really concerned until I was DRIVING & the hand on the wheel twitched. Then I called my neurologist right away. We’re increasing my current med, and hopefully that will fix things.
As far as my back goes, no change. I have another appointment with the pain clinic at the end of the month.
And lastly, do you remember my earlier whining about my ankle? Well, that nonsense is still carrying on. It’s been about 3 1/2 months now — I have been doing the physical therapy exercises without any help. It seems to be getting worse. So I went in last week to my doc, and she had x-rays taken. All she could tell from those is that my ankle isn’t broken (apparently it could still be a stress fracture). She was concerned about one of the x-rays, that it could be a high ankle sprain. She wanted an MRI, but unfortunately I can’t have those taken (b/c of my ONS). So she sent me to their foot & ankle specialist. In a stroke of good luck, I was able to get an appointment this Friday. We’ll see! I just want to get back out there, running! I feel like I’m missing all the good running weather. :)
Well, friends, there it is! In much brighter news, I have had several good days, when the weather cleared up & my head was feeling downright good. HOORAY for that! Can’t wait for more and more in the future. Spencer & I are putting in a garden this year, on a tiny plot our apartment complex provides. So far we have onions (red & white) and snap peas. I cannot wait for those snap peas to come in! One thing at a time, though. I still have several plants to put in. More on that later.Filed under back pain/problems, headaches, hilarity, meds, migraines, ONS, pain, randomness | Comment (1)
For some reason, I’m going through a time where I am having trouble motivating myself to blog.
It’s not you, it’s me.
I’m having a hard time thinking through the pain fog. Not that what I write here is witty prose, just that I want it to be understood. I have a hard time putting together sentences that make sense!
A few things have happened since I wrote last about my health:
1st is that I was signed up for a trial at my doctor’s office for a pain treatment, called Calmare. It sounded hopeful, and I was really looking forward to the possibility of it helping my back and/or headache pain. The day before the trial was to start, the pain clinic (where the trial was taking place) called & told me that I wouldn’t be able to take part in the trial, after all. The Calmare representatives said that I was ineligible because of my nerve stimulator. I asked them if I could turn it off (my nerve stim) for the trial. Still a no go. I was pretty bummed about this. That was early March.
2nd is a follow up on something I hadn’t mentioned on my blog. Not because it was important, but precisely because it wasn’t. My ankle started hurting a month & a half ago when I ran. So I went to see my pain clinic physical therapist for ideas & her input. She said it was probably arthritis pain & gave me some exercises. I did those & for the next week it seemed to be getting better. Then I was out running & turned my ankle. It has been hurting, but not overly so. I can walk on it. In any case, a week & a half ago I saw my general physician about it, because it wasn’t getting better. She thinks it is just strained, but said I need to hold off on the walking & running for now (I can walk on it, I just am not supposed to go out walking for miles). And the first thing that came to MY mind is the 5k I’m signed up for – April 30th. I asked her about it & she said that I can walk it IF my ankle is better for a week beforehand. Bleh. She also said it might take another month or two to improve.
So that is irritating on two levels – one, potentially not being able to do the 5k and two, the weather is finally getting nice! I have been running for months in the snow & freezing cold.
3rd, we finally have some good news. I saw my neurologist about two weeks ago. Most of what we discussed had to do with my weather migraines — the migraines I get before a storm comes. These have been nearly everyday for the past few months. So we talked about possibilities to improve that situation. First I added Diamox. I haven’t seen any improvement with that, which is a little disappointing. A week or so later I added Lyrica. I have tried these both before, but not in conjunction with Spironolactone & Baclofen. I guess typing it out, it sounds like a long shot. But I think that’s about all I’ve got left in the neurologist arena. I really love working with my neurologist, and always come away feeling like my ideas have been heard & their validity considered seriously. I know she’ll stick with me for as long as it takes. To a lot of people that might not sound so surprising, but to my friends with chronic illness, you’ll know that it’s unusual and important.
Sorry this post has been kind of a bummer – maybe that’s part of why I’ve put off writing it?
In better news, April showers bring May flowers…which means these storms are going to clear up soon, right? I’m just going to look forward to clearer skies.Filed under back pain/problems, headaches, migraines, pain | Comments (8)
Well,I told you I would be back with another review, and here it is! This book, Mine is the Night, is the sequel to Liz Curtis Higgs’ Here Burns My Candle. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
What a great ending to a great story! I felt the ending was somewhat predictable but that doesn’t mean I lost interest, by any means. The characters felt like friends to me, and I was so glad to follow them through this book. I hesitate to share much about the plot (even the beginning!) because I don’t want to give anything away from the first book. So in the most general of terms, this is a historical fiction novel set in 18th century Scotland. Mine is the Night is an interpretation of Ruth, chapters 1 -4, so this is historical fiction crossed with Christian fiction. I appreciated that the Christian themes are more of an undercurrent, and seem to fit in naturally with the story line.
Just like Here Burns My Candle, this book held my interest from beginning to end – I couldn’t wait to pick it up and rejoin the characters. This book takes place in Selkirk, a small town, as opposed to the first book, which takes place in Edinburgh.We follow Elizabeth and her mother Marjory as they make their way through new surroundings and new circumstances. I admired their strength – especially Marjory’s, as she found herself without the financial means she was accustomed to, having to learn a new way to live life.
One of my favorite things about Mine is the Night was the inclusion of quotes at the head of each chapter. This was also the case in Here Burns My Candle. Of them all, this one stuck with me, and seems to sum up the saga.
Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.
– Joseph Addison
Waterbrook Multnomah kindly provided me a copy of this book for my review. All opinions are my own.Blogging for books, books | Comment (1)
This is not a ‘poor me’ post, I think most people aren’t “fine” or “great”, even though they say so. They’re tired, overwhelmed, angry, in pain….etc. I think we lie to save each other’s feelings and pretend we’re doing well even when we’re not.
What do you think? Am I projecting?Filed under headaches, hilarity, nonsense, pain | Comments (8)
I know next to nothing about the Scottish uprisings and push for autonomy. One thing I love about historical fiction is that I get a little taste of history without any dry reading! Here Burns My Candle was set in 1745, during the Scots’ rebellion against the English rule.
But this isn’t a book about war and revolution, it is a book set during a revolution. We focus on a small family, the Kerrs, which consist of a mother (Lady Marjory Kerr) and her two sons, Donald & Andrew. Their wives (Elisabeth & Janet respectively) together with Marjory are the focus of most of this book. We follow them through their minefield of secrets as they come to terms with each other and themselves.
The summary given (and any I could give) doesn’t give a real sense of how exciting & engrossing this book really is. It’s a somewhat long book, at 480 pages. It is not a fast moving novel but it kept me interested from start to finish. And one of my favorite things about longer books is how attached to the characters I can become. By the end, I felt like I was losing a friend! I was heartened to find out that there is a sequel, just out, Mine is the Night. I will
certainly be reading that as soon as possible! (Just as a side note, don’t look up Mine is the Night until you’ve read Here Burns My Candle – there are some spoilers (to Here Burns My Candle) in the plot summary of Mine is the Night!)
I liked this book even more than I thought I would – I knew I’d probably enjoy it, because it’s historical fiction. But the character development & fantastic plot really made it better than I’d hoped.
Waterbrook Multnomah kindly provided me a copy of this book for my review. All opinions are my own.Filed under Blogging for books, books | Comments (6)