Sunday, September 17, 2017

When Life Goes Sideways


I'm posting this on all three blogs to save time. I've not posted anything on them for a few months. This serves as an explanation, not an excuse. 

Here we are at the end of September and I can't figure out where the summer went. I was doing rather well at finishing my novel, Hidden in the Mist. In fact, I'm probably less than 2000 words away. It was the 9th of July. The story was going well. I was working on the study/den/dining room to get it repainted and reorganized. I felt pretty good. There were plans to sell books. Things looked . . . bright. The road seemed smooth and straight. 

That's when things always go wrong. Somewhere, in the dark I hit something. 

Actually, in the wee hours of Sunday morning at 3 a.m. I woke up screaming and had to call Mike to come get me and take me to the hospital. My whole left arm was in excruciating pain and felt as if it were on fire. It was also paralyzed. I'm left-handed. I couldn't hold my phone, dial it, or pick up anything. Every move sent me into screams. 

I went to St. Vincent's ER (Primary care is at that hospital) and they did x-rays, gave me a shot of morphine and a steroid, a script for valium, and orders to go to physical therapy. I have a pinched nerve. I went home. 

At 5 a.m. Monday morning I was back at a second ER. This time I decided to use the hospital (Deaconess) where my records were for all my ailments. After CT scan and a couple of shots of something they sent me home with Loratabs and ordered to go see PT. Monday I went to urgent care at the orthopedic urgent care and the doctor said I could shoot myself. Yeah. Scheduled me to go to PT a few days later. 

It would be two weeks before I could see a PT doc but they could do physical therapy before that. I went to my primary care doc on Tuesday and she prescribed steroids, Gabapentin and Skelaxin. Let me just say that at this point, not a single medication had any impact. The narcotics took the edge off to stop me screaming. The Gabapentin made me a zombie who felt pain and I stopped it but it took three days to get my mind back. I had acupuncture the second week and believe it or not, 50% of my pain disappeared in 2 hrs and I could actually hold my fork! Brushing my hair and wiping my butt was still beyond me. 

I won't go into the rest of the last two months. Suffice it to say I alternated between screaming in pain and writhing with gritted teeth and sobbing. Eventually, after a fainting spell in my RA doctor's office, I was sent to a neurologist who did an MRI and found I have a compressed spinal cord. She immediately sent me to a neurosurgeon. Turns out I have a ruptured disc. I have to have surgery sometime in the next couple of weeks to repair it and to fuse some discs. I hope.

And that is how life has gone sideways. 

I was unable to type for three weeks and still have problems after typing for very long. The pain in my arm is bearable but only just. It still feels like it is on fire on the bottom side of my forearm, side of my hand and third and fourth fingers. I'm very clumsy and that is frustrating because I've always been very dexterous. 

Now it is as if my hand belongs to someone else. Thankfully, as a lefty living in a righty world, I'm a bit ambidextrous and I've been able to do a lot of things with my right hand. I'll never be able to write with it and I can't remember to do some of the other tasks with it but it has been easier to let the right hand pull extra duty. As a result, the right hand is a bit more functional. Probably a good thing since the doctor said he couldn't promise my left hand would return to full function with no pain. Apparently, when a nerve is pinched this long (07/09 thru 09/17) it might not recover. 

There's always a silver lining, isn't there?  I'm hopeful because God is good and I've got stuff to do. 

As a side note, during all of this, my son Mike fell off the delivery truck at work (about 4 feet) and broke his right arm and injured his shoulder. So the one person who helps me the most is also incapacitated. 

See, I told you there was a silver lining. 

And that's the way it is as of today, Sunday, September 17, 2017. 

If you pray, put us on your list. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 2017 Word Count Tally

I'm amazed at the July word count. Despite the inability to use my hand for nearly 3 weeks due to a pinched nerve, I did really well. It is a bit satisfying.

All of that was done in Hidden in the Mist. At least I'm pretty sure it was. I'm a little fuzzy on a few days but pretty sure.

I'm nearly through with the darn thing! Thank God! It has been a long haul and we won't talk about how many years. Thank goodness for Alice's constant prodding. As a result of it, I might have a finished draft by next weekend. Every writer needs a friend like Alice.Nag, nag, nag, prod, poke, and berate. Well, it seems to have helped a great deal.

Once this is done, my plan is to set it down and finish the other story that is nearly done. After that draft is complete, I want to start the edits on Mist.

One foot in front of the other. Step-by-step.

I'm probably done for the night because my hand is bugging me a bit. Mobility has returned to some degree but hardly any strength and limited dexterity. I can't open tear open bags, cereal bag, condiment packets, opening jars is now more than difficult. They are sending me to a neurologist to see if they can determine where the problem lies.

Still, I'm pleased with that 3491 words for July.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Goodreads Giveaway

Beginning August 1-31 you can register for the Goodreads Giveaway to win a copy of River City Writers' Anthology: Crossroads. We have 5 copies to give away so make sure you spread the word. Keep watching this post for updates. T.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The River City Writers Presents Crossroads by Cynthia I Maddox

The River City Writers Presents Crossroads

by Cynthia I Maddox

Giveaway ends August 31, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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