Things I Couldn’t Make Up if I Tried…

On occasion, the universe throws me something so bizarre, I have no idea what to do with it.  It’s at these moments that no matter how creative I get, there are just some things I would never think up.  Here’s a short list:

  • There are geese in the park where I walk Lola the Destroyer.  Every once in a while during our walk, she will grab a mouthful of acorns, take them as close to the geese as I will allow her to get, and drop the acorns for the geese.  I haven’t a clue why. *Sidenote: the geese are not afraid of her and the closest I will let her get is about 15 feet because if they attack her, they are going to come after me as well.
  • I saw a woman dressed in a clown suit filling her cart with nothing but cases of beer and lots of cans of Redi-Whip at my local grocery store.  It was not October.
  • While shopping for my wedding dress, I overheard another bride-to-be explaining to the poofy dress picker outer from the store that she was two months pregnant and was due the same month as the wedding.  The dress lady kept trying to explain that she might want to wait to buy the dress and the bride-to-be just kept responding with it wasn’t a big deal, she’d have the baby a week or two early so she could fit back into the dress at her pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Stopped at a stop light one time and noticed that there were two women in the car next to me.  The passenger was applying makeup to the driver and also trying to style the driver’s hair.
  • When iPod came out with their broadcast your iTunes library to your radio by tuning into an unused radio channel, I was using my all the time, because I had a 30 minute commute to work and a 30 minute commute home, depending on traffic.  I’m listening to music as I go down the road and suddenly, my music is interrupted by talking.  Someone was listening to an erotica audiobook on the exact same station and for about 20 seconds, all I could hear was their intimate descriptions of thrusting.
  • I had a boss that threw a tantrum about something.  I’m sure it was trivial, but he was still kicking his desk every once in a while as if he were scoring the FIFA World Cup winning goal.  As he fumed, surprisingly not at me, I warned him that if he kicked his desk again, he’d probably break a toe.  To prove me wrong, he kicked his desk again.  I was wrong, he didn’t break a toe… He broke his desk.  The side collapsed and everything went tumbling onto the floor.  The computer monitor fell on his foot and broke it though.
  • Same boss, different day.  We get into a serious argument in his office.  The door is closed.  They can hear us shouting at each other halfway across the building. He’s swearing at me in a foreign language, which I had learned a few key words and phrases from.  I’m swearing back at him in English and threatening to quit.  We were forced to do “Couples Anger Management therapy” for 8 weeks.  When the therapist asked what we were arguing about, we both had to admit it was because we couldn’t agree on where to get take-out from.  We were working on a huge project and spent 12-15 hours a day, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week, together.  Working through lunch and dinner had become part of our routine and we regularly ordered out because neither of us could remember to bring our lunch.
  • In high school, I watched a girl shove the end of a paperclip through her nose because her mother refused to sign off on her getting a septum piercing.  She was two months away from being 18, when she could have legally gotten it sans paperclip.
  • Riding in the bed of a truck, it’s late, I’m with some friends.  One of them decides to steal the road poles.  These are orange flexible poles standing a couple of feet high that they put on roads to keep people from merging into lanes or crossing the centerline.  He reaches out, grabs one, and is promptly yanked from the bed of the truck.  His only injury is a dislocated shoulder and some scratches.  He failed to realize they were bolted into road.  This story should actually start with “Here, hold my beer” because he had been drinking, he just wasn’t drinking as we were riding down the road.
  • Finally, my SO and I were driving down the road one afternoon near Mark Twain Lake.  A male peacock crosses the road in front of us.  Near that same spot about a decade and a half earlier, I saw an orangutan cross the road.  Neither are native to Missouri.

Attacked in the Dark

I’ve had a terrible cold all week.  My face hurts from the sinus congestion.  I went to the doctor who gave me a steroid injection and told me to live on a decongestants, which has made me a little bit of a zombie and it works better during the day.  Come night time, the sinus headache and face pain get really bad, so I haven’t been sleeping at night.  I have been going to bed around 5 am and getting up around noon or 1 pm.  That’s why no one has heard from me.  However, it has lead to a very funny story…

Last night/this morning, around 3:30 am, Lola the Destroyer got up and really needed to go outside to pee.  So I put her on her leash, bundled up, even though it had warmed up to a balmy 48 degrees, and we headed outside.  I didn’t take a flashlight, my stun gun was on, but it was actually on – meaning not in flashlight mode, but stun gun mode, and my cell phone was in my pocket.  I live in a lower middle class area of town.  Crime isn’t bad, but we’ve had problems with teens breaking into cars.  Especially in the wee hours of the morning.

We get to the backyard.  It’s much darker in this part of the yard, but it doesn’t bother me to be in the dark at any time of the night.  I just don’t spook easily and I’m good in a crisis/dangerous situation.  Lola squats.  I’m kinda looking around.  I catch movement out of the corner of my eye.  Turn my head and something lands next to Lola.  Lola jumps, literally jumps, straight up into the air.  She is freaking out.  I can only see a large dark shadow.  I’m thinking large owl or hawk has landed two feet from her.

Lola is a medium sized dog.  She’s sixty pounds, most of it muscle, and she has long teeth.  She can handle herself.  However, a large owl or hawk could inflict some damage.  Plus, there’s a conservation area just south of Columbia about three miles where Bald Eagles are making a comeback.  Now, if you have ever seen a Bald Eagle up close, they are large enough to eat my dog.

The dark shadow is fairly good sized and it scoots a couple of inches.  So I’m digging for my cell phone for the flashlight while trying to get it to fly away.  I move up on it, stun gun at the ready.

It’s a friggin’ box.  It has been tremendously windy with this warm front coming through (it was 8 on Saturday, 60 this morning, and we are expecting an ice storm on Friday).  Windy enough that it picked up a large cardboard box from somewhere, flew it through the air – above the level of my head, and managed to plop it down right next to Lola the Destroyer.

Needless to say, it took a little while to get Lola calmed down.  And I had to chide myself on nearly stun gunning a box.

And I Do That How Exactly?

Day 2 of physical therapy and I was given a new exercise.  I am supposed to flex and hold my transversus abdominis for 5 seconds.  It sounds all well and good.  You flex and hold, release, flex and hold, release.  That’s the theory of it anyway.

I’m finding the execution to be problematic.

First, this is the muscle that runs from hip to hip on the front of your body in your lower abdomen.

Second, this is not a muscle we think about… ever.

Third, consciously trying to flex it is a little bit like using the force.

I may have gotten it a few times, but mostly, I flexed my obliques, the muscles in my butt, back, and everything except the transversus abdominis.  At one point, I even managed to flex the muscles in my shoulder blades trying to get this specific muscle to flex.  No, my shoulder blades are nowhere near my front abdomen at hip level, but that’s what happened anyway.

I was told that if I  was having trouble to try lying face down or on my knees, because this makes it easier.

It, in fact, was not easier.  I just found myself flexing different muscles, like my hamstrings and the quadriceps.  I even managed to stop breathing for a few seconds when I flexed really hard and my diaphragm refused to inflate because the muscles were taut.  I’ve always been a diaphragm breather, so that was rather alarming for a moment.  If multiple stints in physical therapy has taught me anything, it’s that not everyone in the world uses their diaphragm to breathe, they use a different muscle.  I don’t remember what it’s called, I just know that it was explained to me when I was in junior high and had done something stupid to my muscles in my chest.  I still don’t understand it because I still don’t understand how people breathe without using their diaphragm.

I’ve had a few moments where I wondered if I actually had this particular muscle.  Then suddenly it will flex and I won’t know how or why, I just know that I have proof that it exists… but I can’t repeat on command.

The cortisone shot I received on Thursday is working. I was a little sore after doing all my exercises, but I didn’t feel the need to cry, scream, swear loudly and uncontrollably, or start hacking bits off myself.  Also, my life is ruled by the law of unintended consequences.  Yesterday evening, I found that I was mostly pain free thanks to the cortisone and oxycodone and that I was suddenly ravenously hungry.  But this was past dinner time, it was actually about midnight.  Eating at such a late hour would mean impeding my sleep.  But my stomach growling was doing much the same thing.  Decisions, decisions… Which is why I’m writing a blog post at 2:36 am that won’t post until 9ish.  I gave in at 12:30 and had a snack.  I need about 2 to 3 hours after eating before I go lay down or I will suffer heartburn that mimics a heart attack, even with antacids.

But at least I was finally very hungry and I have a feeling, I’m going to sleep just fine tonight.  It’s been awhile since I got a good night’s sleep.

PS: Transversus abdominis sounds like a dinosaur.

 

Do All Doctors Think The Worst?

So, I had a nerve test this morning.  Some hypersensitivity in the nerves of my right leg, not a huge issue, but a small one and it might explain why my pain is so intense.

The final conclusion after all of this is:

  • One bulging disc, but it’s minor.
  • One degenerating disc, not as minor
  • Strain of the lumbar ligaments
  • Tearing of the lumbar fascia
  • Strain of the right lumbosacral spine
  • Nerve hypersensitivity in back, SI Joints, and right leg – most likely a neurological problem (also explains why my brain interprets cold as pain)

Some of this needs to be treated with physical therapy and some of it needs to be treated with injections of cortisone.  Okay.  I can live with that…

What I can’t live with is the interim.  I sleep less than 5 hours a night due to pain.  Most nights, it’s less than 4 hours.  I feel nauseated half the time possibly because I have a constant headache that is always bordering on a migraine.

I’m having a really hard time focusing to work.  I have trouble driving.  I have trouble doing household chores.  Most days, I just want to cry because of the pain.

Then I’m depressed because I can’t do much.  However, he doesn’t want to treat the pain that is making me miserable because over the next 6 weeks, it will get better thanks to physical therapy.

What the fuck kind of decision is that?!  If a patient is in your office, crying because they can’t hardly function due to pain, and your decision is to not treat the immediate problem to improve quality of life… Should you really be a doctor?

This is kinda like the Tramadol argument we had.  He prescribed 50mg Tramadol.  I told him it didn’t help and I take 100mg of Sumatriptan when I have a migraine, which I can’t take if I’m on Tramadol.  Yet, he refused to prescribe anything but 50mg Tramadol.  I also informed him that Tramadol was one of the few drugs that gave me rebound migraines… Still wouldn’t prescribe anything but 50mg Tramadol.

I have a few Ketorolac tablets (Toradol in pill form).  They tear my stomach up, even with food, but they do relieve some of the pain (from a 10 to about a 9), which is more than Tramadol or Tylenol does… So, I’m guessing I will take one of those after lunch today and see if I can finish my goddamn laundry.

I know people that get hundreds of oxycodone tablets a month for things like migraines and fucking TMJ (which I have a severe case of), yet I can’t get a prescription to last me a week for back pain that is so bad, I can’t work or ride in a car and driving is a special form of torture…

Another Round of Stupid Comments/Questions

It’s been a little while since I blogged, but I’ve been very busy trying to write.  So, here’s another round of Stupid Things I Get Asked:

Do you write your books on post-it notes? – No.  I don’t even plot with Post-It notes, it would be impossible to write an entire book on them.

I’m confused.  I thought Aislinn Cain died in Butchered Dreams, so how are there more books? – I have just become as confused as them… Where does Aislinn die in Butchered Dreams?

Do you ever worry that putting all your ideas into books will make you forgetful? – Um, what?

You know gay marriage is legal in Missouri now, right?  – Yep, but I’m not entirely sure why you are pointing this out to me.

If I write a book about the end of the world and it happens, am I liable? – What exactly are the chances that the world will end because it gets taken over by werewolves?  Also, if it does happen, I think we will all be too busy running from the werewolves to take you to court over it. (Now, insert Wisconsin joke here)

Do I need to put a period after every sentence? – As opposed to what, exactly?  I’m pretty sure the rule is every sentence that doesn’t end in ? or ! requires a period.

Congrats!  I heard you sold 20 books.  You know, I’ve sold about 700.  Did they buy all your series? – That was 20 books on B&N in one day (B&N customers seem to hate me).

Thanks for the suggestion, I’m going to contact your proofer, Pen Smith.  I hope he’s really good.  Does he mind reading romance? – My proofer is a lady… and her name is Krissy, not Pen.  And I had already told the writer 5 times that SHE did proof romance and sent her to her webpage.

I tried to contact your cover artist, but she lives in Canada and I don’t think I can hire a Canadian.  Isn’t that the same as hiring an illegal alien? – I’m fairly certain Angela with Covered Creatively is in Canada legally.

I have a job, can I still write a book or will that get me in trouble?  – Trouble with who?

I just finished all The Dysfunctional Chronicles and I really liked them, but I don’t understand why all your books are so violent.  Did you grow up in a war zone or have PTSD? – Well, I don’t consider Missouri a war zone and my experience with traumatic events is limited, so I don’t think I have PTSD.  Can’t a lady just like a little violence?

I loved all the Dreams and Reality books, are you going to write more of them?  Nadine Daniels is awesome and I love her Great Danes.  Also, I’d like to read more of The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Aislinn Cain is great. – I think you are very confused about my books as well as the books by J.R. Ward.

You talk a lot about the plague, but I’ve never heard of it.  What’s the plague?  Do you think that is going to be the start of the apocalypse? – Uh…

Why don’t you write a book about a guy travels the world in a crop duster that inseminates people with alien babies? – Why don’t you write it?

A Long One:

Them: I’m done with my book.  I was hoping you’d say it was okay to send it to you.  I know you like horror and I wrote a book about a woman who gets trapped in a mirror and has to get out. 

Me: Do you want me to beta read it?

Them: Oh no, nothing like that.  I need it edited, I need a cover, I need someone to put it up on all the sites.

Me:  Okay, you want me to act as a publisher?

Them: Yes!  I figure about $200 should cover all your costs plus give you some extra.

Me: The cover alone is going to cost $150.  Editing is going to be about $600.  Then it will need a proofer and that’s going to cost you based on how many words it is.  If you want it formatted for all the sites, that’s going to be close to $100.  So, I’ll give you all the contact information for the people I use, but I’m not going to act like a publisher, especially not for a $100.

Them:  Well, I know it will be a bestseller, so I’m going to send it to you anyway.  You can read and decide if want to help me or not.

Me (six days later):  I read your book.  It’s six thousand words long and the main character changes her name 10 times.  Also, you never explained why she got trapped in a mirror or how she got out.  In the first few lines, she was sucked in like Alice and then in the last paragraph she was tossed out like Alice.  I think it needs some serious work.

Them: You aren’t very helpful and I don’t know why you are being so mean.  Every friend who read it said it was great.  I’ll go talk to someone else.

Depression?

I’ve been having a hard time lately.  My mother and I have Jude the Great Nephew every day.  I do what I can to assist her, but sometimes I feel like it isn’t enough.  Doing chores around the house is sort of like torture.  I don’t enjoy anything I do; not even darts or playing with Lola the Destroyer.  All of it because I hurt all the time.

However, the big one: I can’t find my funny and I’m struggling to get anything written, let alone anything funny.  This is officially interfering with my every day life.  Something has got to be done.

I don’t feel “sad” like one excepts when the word “depression” is mentioned.  I feel indifferent and blah.  I feel worthless because I can’t do much.  A trip to the grocery store causes my spine to start popping and once that happens, the very act of walking is a challenge.

Yesterday, I cancelled plans with my best friend.  Plans I had been looking forward to for months.  If I was a crier, I probably would have cried.  Unfortunately, I’m not and that’s part of the problem.

If I cried every time I went to the doctor’s office, they might do more to manage my pain.  If I wasn’t so pain tolerant, they might also do more.  However, I can tell them how much I hurt, but it doesn’t sink in because I can still stand up and walk around and considering how much those activities hurt, I shouldn’t be.

Most days, I’d put my pain at a 9.  I feel nauseated by the time evening arrives because I hurt and I’m exhausted.  And it’s more than just my back that hurts.  My legs hurt.  My feet tingle.  Neither feels like it should be able to support my weight.  But my 9 and everyone else’s 9 seems to be different.  Most people can’t function at a 9.  I can.  I can function at a 10.  I cut the tip of my finger off with a pair of scissors, it got a 4 despite the fact that I don’t really have a fingerprint left because of the scarring.  The last ovarian cyst I had rupture was 15 centimeters by 9 centimeters.  Considering an ovary is about a centimeter, it was huge – it got a 6.  It dumped something like 800cc of fluid into my abdomen.  I did go to the ER, but only because I knew it had been huge and I was worried it had damaged something, like an ovary, when it ruptured.  However, I’ve gotten used to cysts, even large cysts, on my ovaries, so most of the time, I don’t bother with the ER or even a doctor.

Oddly, I’ll bawl over a papercut though, but I didn’t even flinch the last time I dislocated my shoulder.  One of those things hurts a whole lot more than the other.  I even put my shoulder back in by myself with little more than a grunt.

Yet, I feel like a junkie looking for a fix when I go into the doctor’s office and start demanding narcotics (I can’t take NSAIDS and steroids kinda bother my stomach too).  So, most of the time, I don’t advocate for them.  I ask about alternative methods to handle the pain.

However, the alternative method this time is doing nothing.  I have an appointment this morning.  I’m actually at it as this blog post publishes.  Hopefully, I can find some sort of relief soon… I need to advocate better for myself.  I’m great at doing it for others, I don’t know why I can’t do it for myself.

Jude the Great Nephew, Innocent Dreams, No Order Necessary

For the last couple of weeks, I have been spending about 10 hours a day with Jude the Great Nephew.  My mom is acting as his primary babysitter right now and I work from home.  I didn’t understand what this meant at first.  I mean, I did, I was going to be spending time with the great nephew, but I didn’t know it would affect me psychologically.

Innocent Dreams focuses on child killers.  Some of the children are very young.  Since Jude the Great Nephew has been born, I’ve seen some psychological blocks arise from trying to reconcile how much I want to see him thrive and the fact that I am killing children, even if it is just fiction.

I have some issues with child killers anyway.  The hardest D&R book for me to write was Cannibal Dreams and I got it written by wussing out and switching my serial killer focus from August to Patterson.  In some ways, I resent that weakness, but I just couldn’t stomach it.  I can write, read, and watch blood and gore all day long but one of the movies that disturbs me the most is Mercury Rising.  It’s a good movie, but it makes me cringe.  The plot is excellent, the fact that a child is the target of assassination because he broke a code hits a nerve with me.  Second is Darkness Falls, again it has more to do with the children than it does the graphic nature of the film (which isn’t that graphic and I think got a raw deal from critics).  As a general rule, I try to avoid books and movies that feature violence against children, even if the violence is implied, not shown.

Now that I get to be with him for most of the week, Innocent Dreams has come to a grinding halt.  I’ll get past it, but it may take a little longer than expected.

But never fear!  I have other serial killers waiting in the wings.  I have several serial killers built and plotted out.  Their stories just need to be put to paper or rather, computer screen, and they will be done.  And the important front Cain chapters where the SCTU is dealing with the aftermath of Fortified Dreams can easily be moved to one of these other books.

So, as much as I hate to do it, Innocent Dreams will not release this year.  In its place, Flawless Dreams will be published in November.  Thankfully my stockpiling of serial killers has found a purpose and I can easily make the necessary adjustments and move on with Flawless Dreams without destroying the order of the books… because I like to have options available for just such an incident.  I didn’t know if I would ever use my emergency plan, but after writing Cannibal Dreams, I was smart enough to make one.

Oddly, now that the decision to hold off on Innocent Dreams has been made, The Dysfunctional Wedding is actually flowing at a great pace and will release October 15, 2016.  It will be followed by Flawless Dreams in November and Triggered Reality in December.  I might even make my goal of putting out Terrorific Tales this year too.

I plan to have The Dysfunctional Wedding finished in six days.  I will immediately start Flawless Dreams which has been mapped out well enough that I should have it written in two weeks.  Triggered Reality is actually half done.  I just need to add some stuff to it.  The same is true of Terrorific Tales.

However, knowing that I don’t have to write Innocent Dreams after I finish The Dysfunctional Wedding did something amazing for me.  For the first time since July 8th, I sat down at my computer and wrote 6,000 words in a single day.  I had been struggling to get 1,000.  Today, I suspect my word count will increase even more.  If I keep this pace, DW will be done in three days or less.  I can live with that.

An Assortment of Things

I have several draft blog posts started, none finished.  However, I have an assortment of things to mention, so here goes (most of this is self promotion, feel free to ignore):

  • All ebooks on my Etsy site are either $0.99 or $3.25 (freebies are unfortunately, $0.20 because I must charge the listing fee, Etsy makes me).
  • Speaking of Etsy, there is now a “Tips for Authors” Section.  You can decide how much you want to tip me from $1 to $5.  In return, you get PDF versions of 2 short stories: Talked Too Much and Donnelly Clachan.
  • I do intented to get a webpage up and running that will feature a store for ebooks & print books as well as some other stuff.  I’m not sure what the other stuff will be and I can’t offer a launch date because I hate dealing with building websites.
  • Innocent Dreams and Triggered Reality will both release before the end of this year.  The Dysfunctional Wedding will release in October.  I may do a November & December release for the other two.
  • I’m still taking opening lines, scenario prompts, twist ending prompts, and ending lines for flash fiction and short stories.  These will be turned into pieces I write and put inside Terrorific Tales.
  • I will not be able to publish a book a month next year, but my goal is still six (so every 2 months). Between health issues, Lola the Destroyer, and Jude the Great Nephew there just aren’t enough hours in a day.
  • Now for the weird one:
    • I am hosting a Jamberry party to raise money for my dart league and the Springfield dart league.  The money will be used in our charity efforts (adopting families, donating to research organizations like DD Dunlop, and if we get enough, hopefully Camp Wonderland or another organization like them.  So, if you love Jamberry and want to help, contact Trista Roberts (this will give you her Facebook contact) or shop her Jamberry Site and select “CDA Fundraiser” as the party you attended at check-out.

Now I’m off to pack and work!

Humanity’s Devolution?

I’ve mentioned before that I occasionally just shake my head at the things that people do.  Here’s another installment of things I’ve ran across in the last couple of months:

  • I had Lola the Destroyer at the vet to get her incredibly fast growing nails clipped – which I refuse to do because I don’t need that kind of horror in my life.  As I waited, a woman and her dog walked out of one of the patient rooms.  The dog looked like it had been run down by a steamroller.  He was mostly skin and bones and while he seemed happy enough, he didn’t seem to be in good health.  Then I realized the vet was lecturing the woman on the dog’s diet.  It seemed that the owner was a vegan and she had her dog on a vegan diet, an all natural vegan diet and she was preparing both her and the dog’s meals.  As the vet explained that dogs did eat vegetables and they were good for them, they also needed protein, usually achieved by eating meat, and other vitamins and minerals they couldn’t get from vegetables, like we could.  Sadly, I don’t know if it ever clicked with the owner that dogs are usually healthier if they are omnivores.
  • I was standing outside my car, completely by myself, minding my own business, waiting on someone.  I was also smoking a cigarette.  Yes, I know, I shouldn’t smoke.  However, a woman walked over to me and began to lecture me on how much I was polluting the air with my cigarette.  She continued her diatribe about the evils of smoking and its contribution to pollution, the melting of the ice caps, the destruction of the ozone, and the death of our unborn children for a few minutes before walking away in disgust.  I couldn’t help but watch.  She got into a 1990s Suburban and lit up a joint.
  • I was asked to look over a book blurb for a writer I know.  I read it, three times, because the blurb didn’t match what the writer said the book was about.  So, after the third time, I emailed the writer and asked for more information about the book, because I was having problems figuring out what the blurb had to do with the book.  I was informed that the blurb was just to draw people in, it really didn’t describe their book, but it sounded better than pointing out that it was a love story.  I crafted a different blurb and got a curt reply telling me “thanks, but that didn’t really fit the audience the writer was marketing to and they would stick with the blurb they wrote.”  I responded that I felt this might lead to lots of negative reviews and was told the writer “didn’t really care what it did to reviews, they had done it before and were selling pretty well on Amazon.”  So I asked how many returns they averaged a month… almost none… That made me wonder about the reviews it was getting.  It has a 1.8 star rating and most of the reviews say they don’t understand what the blurb has to do with the book.  I had to get more clarification, because they couldn’t be selling that well, right?  They aren’t.  They get Kindle Unlimited borrows and just rely on people reading enough of the book for them to get paid something.
  • After blogging about my experience with fentanyl, someone sent me a message offering to sell me fentanyl….
  • While blogging about my Asus dying, someone sent me a message offering to sell me a laptop they were “pretty sure was stolen”.  (Why either of these people think I would be willing to participate in illegal activities is beyond me)
  • I received a private message regarding Elysium Dreams telling me they loved the book, but they didn’t understand why there had to be so much killing in it.  They recommended I re-write it and instead of having a killer, I have the person be a serial baker that randomly leaves cakes at people’s doors before they get up with happy notes written on them.  So I asked if they intended to read book 3… seemed like a valid question and suggested they try a different series by an author I know that isn’t about serial killers.  They told me they totally intended to read Mercurial Dreams, they just hoped fewer people died in it and that I would consider their suggestion to give the books a lighter feel.  The same person sent me a message much later telling me that The Dysfunctional Affair didn’t work for them because the mob guy didn’t die.
  • However, my most recent favorite:  Someone contacted me about a book they had written.  They wanted me to read it.  I told them I couldn’t because I needed to write my own books, I was behind schedule.  They told me it was no big deal, they weren’t going to publish until 2017, as long as I finished it by December.  I can get one book read between now and December, so I agreed.  I got the book and put it in a file folder I keep for that kind of stuff.  Two days later, I got a message asking me if I had finished it yet.  I explained I hadn’t even started, I was dealing with health issues and was behind on my own books.  They said ok, take my time.  The following day, they sent me an irate message about how I wasn’t taking their work seriously and I couldn’t be that behind on my own work since I hadn’t published a single book.  I pointed out that I had published several books actually and sent them to my Amazon page.  They responded with “That’s not what an editor does”… So, I pointed out that I was a writer, not an editor and they told me that was impossible because a writer wouldn’t have written that many books in a lifetime, let alone just a couple of years and she was going to email Krissy, Eliza, and Frankie to let them know I was taking credit for their books (these are the editors I have given credit to on my books, not the other way around).

Fentanyl – 1, Hadena – 0

Friday afternoon, I was feeling pretty good after the injections the day before and decided I could accompany my SO to the campground, as long as I didn’t do much once I got there.  I mean, what’s the difference between sitting on my couch here and sitting in a camping chair there?

I didn’t realize the car ride was going to be an issue.  I spent about an hour and a half as the passenger, heading up there.  When we finally arrived, I was in some pain.  By 8:30 Friday night my life was well beyond pain.  I was disoriented, blacking out, my feet were tingly, I had a stabbing pain at the base of my skull (not a migraine, more like an ice pick), and I couldn’t hardly walk.

My SO loaded me into the car and we drove to the ER in Hannibal, Missouri.  Where I was given a fentanyl shot, a bag of fluids, had about a pint of blood drawn, and told I over did it.  Once the shot kicked in and the pain in my back subsided, all my other symptoms went away.  It was like a miracle cure that made me very sleepy.  Since there are no 24 hour pharmacies in Hannibal or the surrounding areas, the ER slapped on a fentanyl patch to get me through the 72 hours following my visit.

I awoke on Saturday feeling like shit.  The narcotics were still coursing through my veins, because they were still being absorbed by my skin, but I figured some food and some sleep would help.  Only, they didn’t.  I had trouble sleeping on fentanyl.  Crazy dreams coupled with not really falling into a deep sleep made me feel even worse.  Around 2, we gave up and started home… That’s when I remembered why I have such a high pain tolerance.

I can handle narcotics up to a point and that point is 20mgs of Percocet with a nap.  Anything stronger and it had better be a one-off.  Give me an oxymorphine pill for example and I’ll gladly show you everything I ate in the 24 hours previous.  It turns out that slapping on a fentanyl patch is a whole lot worse.

On the drive home, my SO kept having to pull over so I could empty the contents of my stomach.  It took us a little extra time because of it.  Once I did make it home, all I could think about was my bed, which I curled into and slept for a couple of hours.  I was awoken for dinner, ate, and then I had them take the fentanyl patch off… I’d rather be in pain than vomit.  But I hadn’t gotten to it in time.

My dinner was a no go.  I had a few bites and then I went back to bed feeling nauseated and wanting to cry.  When I got up again sometime around 9 pm, I realized I had only urinated once all day and that was my only real thought before my stomach decided it couldn’t hold down my dinner after all.  My bedroom seemed too far away, so I curled up on the couch and went back to sleep.

At five am, I woke up with my stomach giving a small growl.  I got up, got some peanut butter and ate it.  I drank some fluid, including finishing off a bottle of not so cold Gatorade and a cold soda.  Managed to keep the peanut butter and fluids down.  And now I’m headed back to bed for some more sleep.

However, the fentanyl left me with a headache the size of Rhode Island.  My back pain has returned and I see some serious couch sitting in my future today.  And the next time someone wants to slap on a fentanyl patch, I’ll polite decline and tell them I’d rather be in pain.

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