Remember me getting my cornea scratched and it healed really slowly? Yeah…no…it didn’t heal at all! I was with my therapist last week and then suddenly my eye hurt something awful. I went to doctor’s and turned out that my scratch didn’t heal because there were loose skin and a lot of other things in it. (Should’ve gone to an ophthalmologist but I didn’t have one and didn’t have time to properly search for one. My fault.) My primary physician got me a recommendation so I went. The ophthalmologist cleaned the wound, put in a stem-cell membrane (never knew they exist!), and then put a contact on top of it to keep it in place. I got prescribed some serious antibiotic drops (like it burned when put in and my eye was sore for an hour afterwards) and a good dose of Vicotin for pain management (can’t take ibuprofen due to upcoming surgery). First time I had actual narcotics, btw; I feel like House. Anyway, after a week of constant checkups and adjusting medication, my eye healed. Finally. My doctor was like, okay, you need to eat more fish and omega-3 supplements, because you have a large deposit of oil around your eye. Either genetics or because you use computer too much (probably both), but anyway it’s not good since you’re so young. I’m like great, I just got my iron levels up and now it’s more pills. But at least I’m aware of it now, right?
So yeah, sorry I’ve been so sporadic with my posting and it’s all filled with bad health things and nothing fun. I’ll try harder hen I get my surgery done and in bed resting with nothing to do but…type on my laptop and watch TV? I hope you guys at least had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was okay – we didn’t invite anyone and had a really small meal (comparatively) for the two of us. I’m just glad I’m generally okay-ish now. Need my energy for the upcoming crap.
This week is filled with doctor appointments. It’s getting close to my operation and there’re more things that need to be done before then. Find a will online (no time for lawyer) and get that notarized, clean the house, call insurance, find eye doctor, etc. etc. My eye’s behaving badly because it’s dry as a desert right now and the stupid cornea abrasion hasn’t completely healed yet (trusty humidifier saves the day!). So much to do with the holidays coming up. At least it’ll keep my mind off the operation thing.
I went to my ob/gyn for the pre-op session. Basically just talking about the risks and recovery process. I learned that there’s a risk for undiagnosed cancer hidden in the fibroid – a form of sarcoma. If they use the minimally invasive procedure that requires breaking up the tumor in many pieces they could unintentionally spread the cancer, which would turn a Stage 2 cancer to a Stage 4. (This isn’t a hypothetical; it has happened before and hence why the information). Sarcomas’ survival rate is pretty low in general, though, so it wouldn’t make that much of a difference I suppose, but a 40-60% definitely looks better than a 15% survival rate (although a completely recovery longer than 5 years seems to be only about 15% – if I have this cancer I probably will just die of it). I mean the likelihood of me having a rare hidden cancer while exhibiting no symptoms whatsoever is pretty damn low. I could opt to not do the minimally invasive one and just let them cut me open like a C-section, which they might have to do anyway since my fibroid is too big, but the recovery time’ll be doubled and I’ll be in much more pain. So all that for a .3 – .06 % chance of cancer. I’m not sure.
I have until the day of the surgery to decide so I think I’ll take my time. They took more blood test to see if there’s any sign of malignancy, which I’ll get the result in a few days. Meanwhile I think I’ll just wait for my Pokemon UltraSun to arrive and play that to keep my mind off things. Oh and also calm my husband down. He’s at work right now freaking out about that I might get cancer (again, I don’t think I have cancer, and neither does the doctor at this point). Good thing I see my therapist regularly. Maybe I should really try to convince him to go to one, too?
So I’ve had sort of an epiphany like, earlier this week. I’m redoing an outline for my novel, because it has progressed to the point where my current outline doesn’t make much sense anymore, so I figure I’ll just write a detailed summary and then break it up to sections (also thinking of reorganizing the file so it’s by actual chapters order instead of grouped by narrators). I thought it’ll just be a basic rewrite with some things added. Nope. The big elements are still around but everything else needed a change, because it made no logical sense for one person to react to point B when they’ve just went through point A, etc.
And it dawned on me. Why is my novel taking such a long time? Because it’s a friggin’ complicated novel! Holy smokes, batman! My novel has 5 narrators, each with their own subplot, an overarching plot, both emotional and physical trials, and it’s in a completely made up semi-steampunk without the Earth Victorian setting. I needed to do more research on the technology (magnets, how do they work?!) and…yeah. So. It might not sound too challenging, but it’s no way an “easy” or “simple” novel. And I had thought this was a short story/novella length when I first started out. George RR Martin took like 5-10 years to write a single GoT book. I don’t think (hopefully not!) this’ll take me 10 years to write, but for a first novel this is a little insane, I think.
Or maybe I’m just feeling overwhelmed and some actual writers’d be like, that’s normal it ain’t Finnigans Wake. Well, Finnigans Wake took 17 years so, me spending about 3 years on my novel doesn’t seem too far-fetched. At least now I don’t feel super bad that I’m taking so long, because it’s not because I super suck, it’s just that for a first novel it’s pretty hard to write.
I’m slotting today for working on NaNo. No, I’m not “behind” per se (or I’m just perpetually “behind” since I wasn’t aiming for 50k to begin with), but I am behind in the sense that I didn’t write the sections that I wanted yesterday, because I need to really sort out my timeline for the novel – again! How many bloody timelines do I have to do per novel? So far my number is like, 5, but I thought that’s already like 4 to many – considering I thought I had a pretty comprehensive timeline to begin with. Ah, guess novel plots change all the time, part of the course.
I tried the methods my therapist told me, and it was horrible! OK, so the relaxation one worked. I could feel it working and afterwards I feel like my shoulders are less tension-y, which is good. The other exercise though, boy. I thought I had like, 4 or 5 worries. Yeah…no…I wrote an entire page about everything I worry about – like 20 items or more – and then I freaked myself out. Right after the first day my heart was pounding and I was short of breath, and then when I exited the room there was a giant wolf spider just scurrying down the hall and I screamed like crazy (from being startled; I’m not that afraid of spiders except really venomous ones). Husband killed it, btw, since does bite. Anyway, I tried the thing again yesterday and I realized I was holding my breath the whole time and had to physically relax so I don’t end up passing out. I don’t know how this exercise is suppose to help. I guess we’ll see in a week if does anything aside from giving me a daily heart attack or something.
I went to my therapist today and learned a term: catastrophizing. It’s basically taking a scenario and think of the worst ever possibilities that could come out of it. You’re driving today? A car might hit you and you become paraplegic for life! You’re sitting in your house? An earthquake might happen and you will lose your house and your loved ones! You got a scratched cornea? You’ll be blind forever! You’re getting surgery in a month? You’ll lose a lot of blood and get a blood transfusion and then get HIV from that! Etc. Etc.
I have been doing this catastrophizing nonstop for the past few months. Probably have been doing it most of my life, which is why I have anxiety issues. (I still avoid driving because I feel like every time I’m on the road I could die any second from people crashing into me). I worry about my husband dying from whatever and since I’m a non-published writer who’s been out of work for about 5 years I’ll just be penniless and homeless and die, and I think about this constantly. (Including right now as I’m writing this.) It’s no way to live but it’s how I live, you know? I told my husband this when he drove me back from the session and he was like, wow, that sounds horrific. That’s what you think about all day? Yep. That is.
So my therapist recommended two things for me to do. One is to just lie down on the bed for 30 min and do nothing. Listen to some yoga music, make sure to turn off every single distraction – like turn the phone off, not on vibrate, or put it in another room entirely. Make sure to relax completely but don’t fall asleep. The second is to write down everything that you’re freaking out about and, get this, freak out at maximum about it for 10 min. I was like what wouldn’t that just put in me in the emergency room from a panic attack and he was like, no, because you’re in control of the freaking out. Panic attacks happen when you feel like you’re losing control. And I have to do these two things every day, because it’s like exercising your body. You have to learn how to relax and it’s not going to cure you immediately. Theoretically these two things would take away some of the heat so I’ll stop catastrophizing so much. We’ll see I guess. I’m a bit skeptical, but I guess it can’t hurt.
This one is a bit Halloween-y, although we’re technically past the date. Still, my mind’s been on witches for a while, so of course it manifested here.
The Problem with Familiars
“How about this one?”
Sai pointed to the various idols displayed in the shop. Her sister was rifling through them and muttering to herself. Too bulky, too round, too thin. Geez, what does it take to find a suitable vial stopper around here?
The one Sai liked looked like a cornucopia standing up. The end was gilded; its lip just big enough for their largest glassware. Jae practically leapt with joy once she saw it.
“Perfect! Unless Anubis suddenly grows opposable thumbs, I say we’re set.”
Anything’s better than the smell of potion-soaked cat, Sai thought, and grabbed it promptly.
I’m a truly planner by heart. Everything goes down to the last detail kind of person. Now I’m pretty much pantsing the whole thing (i.e. writing on the fly) and I am just not comfortable with that. Adding in all the stuff I have to do pre-surgery and…yeah…am totally freaking out.
I guess there’s so much to do in life that you just have to take it one step at a time. So today I’ll have to do stuff I’ve said I’d do for like, a week now, but have been procrastinating due to stress/fear/other things. Mostly chore things, but also work, and figuring out how to call insurance so I know I won’t get bankrupted from major surgery. (I’ve never had surgery before so I guess I’ll have to learn these logistics things). And clean the house it’s so gross now from my negligence. And NaNo starts in two days. Oh my god!
Deep breaths. Woot. I suppose I should start with, hah, actually writing. My bullet journal’s all ready to go again, so at least there’s that small dose of encouragement.