Highs and Lows

This past month has been filled with highs and lows. My primary doctor has decided to “fix” me. There’s a lot of stuff that hasn’t been exactly right for a long time. Blood sugar numbers that have file0001532482557continuously crept higher, blood pressure readings that are higher than ideal, cholesterol figures that are not what they should be (You mean there’s something called good cholesterol and I don’t have enough of it?), sodium levels that are too low and well, you get the picture. My doctor is being very thorough and sent me to several specialists. (And I thought it was all part of getting older. With each birthday, the numbers increase? Apparently not.)

First there was the sleep study. An appointment to chat with the doctor and then return for the actual study. They attached a gazillion wires to me, and then told me to get comfortable and go to sleep. Really? I’m in a strange room where nothing is the same. There’s no dog snuggled to me, just me in a big bed, all alone with wires leading to the oddest of places and things that went beep if I tugged on a wire. And just when I’d drift off to sleep, they’d wake me and tell me to roll over or something. Eight hours later, I was able to leave feeling as though I needed a good night’s rest. Then I went back to see the doctor, again, who tells me I have sleep apnea. Of course I do. I knew that. Return again to have a new sleep study with a CPAP machine blowing air into me. Several times I woke up feeling as though I was being suffocated in air and trying to remove the mask from my face so that I could breathe out. Return to the doctor a week later to be told I need a BiPAP machine. I’m to pick that up this month. Apparently the continuous air is too much for me and this BiPAP machine has a high and low pressure that will allow me to exhale. How nice.

I’m being told that proper sleep will do wonders for me. My blood file8451279077718pressure is apt to fall along with my blood sugar levels. How all that is tied together is beyond me, but I like the idea. No one needs those numbers elevated. (Of course this is all deflating my checkbook, which already has problems with increasingly low numbers!)

I was also sent to the endocrinologist. Seems low sodium levels are not good, nor is the fact that my thyroid has quit working. Hmm. Aside from doing a ton of modern bloodletting  (fasting blood work which is sent to a lab), I’m not too certain what is going on there. But apparently that doctor has plans for me.

But what my primary doctor didn’t touch was my biggest problem, trigeminal neuralgia. That’s a fancy name for the malfunction of the nerves to my face which creates horrendous pain. I had surgery for it nine years ago and it relieved 90% of the pain. But there has been a lingering amount of pain which is controlled with some drugs, one of which tends to drop my sodium levels. After urging from my daughters, I called that doctor and decided to go through more surgery to completely kill the nerve as it leaves the brain stem. That was done March 31.

Sounds gross, right? It really wasn’t. Any surgery has its dangers as did this one, but this doctor is one of about three in the nation who specializes in trigeminal neuralgia and the hospital has a whole wing just for him. It was outpatient surgery done by “robots”. (My girls went with me.)

I’m a little out of balance, and I won’t drive until I feel better. But that neurosurgeon intends on taking me off the medication that I’ve taken probably since I was in my thirties and that should “cure” my low sodium levels. Who knows what else it will do, or what other changes I will notice. And I’m willing to bet that I’ll be back in the lab for more bloodletting.

So smack in the middle of all this medical hoopla, my dear friend called me one evening and asked if I wanted to go to the Outer

I've never seen waves like this without a storm.

Banks of North Carolina with her. Her mom owned a timeshare there and wanted to utilize it. Except…well…the mother asked her daughter if she’d like to bring some friends.

Just how fast can I do laundry and pack? I grew up traveling. I’m fast. We left the following morning. We were only there a few days, but it was pure heaven. The odd thing was that I’ve never done such an unplanned crazy thing in my adult life. This was the ultimate pajama party! All of us write and I spent my time writing. No one whined about what I was doing or called me a party-pooper for not going to the indoor pool, they just left me to write because they all understand the need to write and how I felt about having the opportunity give my muse such complete freedom. Besides my glowing white legs, that haven’t seen the light of day in years, might have blinded the other swimmers.

One of the gals loves to cook and she did most all the cooking only asking me occasionally to make one of my sauces as though I was some sous chef for a restaurant. The other gal handled the dishes, and I washed the pots and pans. The food was delicious. No one counted calories, but we also didn’t tempt ourselves with cookies or other unneeded foods. I take that back – one of the gals put a half gallon of ice cream in the freezer and it was empty when we left. I have no clue who ate it, but I had probably a tablespoon’s worth that first evening. Actually I do know who ate it, but I’m not telling! What happened to all things in moderation? Never mind. How can anyone eat that much ice cream?

Seriously, when the thyroid is not functioning, the most dangerous thing I can do is shovel food into my mouth. So I’m very careful or I’d turn into a butterball. I don’t deny myself all the yummy things, but I do force myself to be content with a taste.  I try to keep my carbs low and my protein high. Yet I still gain weight. My endocrinologist told me when he gets me straightened out, I’ll be able to eat normally and I’ll lose some weight.  Yippee!

Anyway with the sounds of the surf pounding the sand and that

This one is me.

beautiful view from the balcony of the timeshare, I started my next book, Loving Zadie, and spent a little time thinking about what I will write for the Authors of Main Street’s next Christmas boxed set. At the rate I’m going that might be all I’ll manage to write this year. But sitting there on the balcony with my laptop was absolute heaven!

I’ll be teaching some classes starting the end of this month for the Portsmouth City library, and I’ll have a book signing at the Suffolk City library on April 23. Then in September, as usual, I’ll be busy with the local Isle of Wight County Fair, and another set of classes on writing for the Portsmouth City library. (These classes are FREE! The library does not charge.)  (I promise all these places are in Virginia.) And there are several more book signings planned for this year.

Wish me luck, because I’ve never before had a book signing. It’s exciting and almost terrify! We’ve all heard of those signings where no one comes. Where you sit and finally eat all those cute chocolates that you put in a dish to entice people to visit. Then you begin to make origami sailboats with the books marks that were printed for the event. And eventually you give up and begin to plot your next book, a murder mystery titled Assault with an Author’s Pen, Book One of Ignored Authors.

So March is behind me. It was filled with highs and lows, and the highest was that wonderful writer’s retreat with two poets and another author. (Which for the record, my friend’s mom said she had more fun with us than she’s had in years of going down there.) April has arrived. I’m looking forward to some some exciting events and the beginning of a new healthier me. Maybe I’ll even jump on my treadmill and work my way up to walking a few miles each day.

And as for that new novel, I’m having fun writing it. I’ll tell you all about it next month. But in the meantime, the hero and heroine are having a battle of wits and I’m trying to keep up with them!

My backyard is filled with yellow dandelions. I don’t care if they are a weed, they make me smile. No matter what happens, the sliver linings are there we only need to look for them. They can be as simple as a pretty yellow flower to brighten the day.


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21 Responses to Highs and Lows

  1. So sorry you’re going through health problems, but I admire your positive outlook. Instead of burying your head under a pillow you went on a virtual writer’s retreat, yay!!
    Hopefully the second half of 2016 treats you better, {{hugs}}
    I love dandelions too 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. jelquinn says:

    Same as Jacquie, I love the look of the dandelions. I’ve never minded them but I’ve never had my own lawn. 😉 And also, I hope your robot surgery really helps. Being able to write with all that going on is a miracle of its own.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Liz Crowe says:

    All the best and your adventures going forward! It sounds like you’ve face some serious adversity and still maintain a positive attitude so well done you! (My husband takes every single dandelion in our yard as a personal affront to his manhood. Ergo: We don’t have any!)

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      🙂 Tell him every time he pulls one, that he can thank his forefathers for bringing them over here as a lettuce. You may come look at them in my yard. Besides how else can we make wishes?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. susanrhughes says:

    I’m very glad you are starting to feel better.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Calisa Rhose says:

    My goodness, E! I hope you feel better after everything you’ve gone through last month. I would LOVE a retreat on the ocean, or anywhere, for that matter. lol Your picture is lovely! 🙂 Your dandelions are beautiful. Would you believe I have a WIP sitting (eternally indefinitely) on the back burner that was titled after that adorable weed? I really want to finish that story one day. Have a wonderful April and welcome back!

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks, Calisa. It’s been almost unreal. My calendar has been nothing but doctor appointments and tests. And being compulsive about things like that, I write everything down including when I had labs done. Hey, it’s almost time for my mammogram! 🙂 My whole calendar was scribbled in virtually every day. How I had those days free to go away is short of a miracle.

      I have good genes and if I’m going to be stuck here until I’m 100, I want to be be in good health so I can enjoy my life. Besides I have a lot of books and characters in my head that want keyboard time!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Carol says:

    E., I’m so happy for you on a successful surgery. Here’s hoping the healing continues. Now, you have another book to write! Yes, dandelions are gorgeous. 🙂 So cheerful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks, Carol. I’m working hard on this new book and enjoying the characters. They are funny! I’ve never dealt with such a hero and heroine.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carol says:

        A Smoky Mountain Christmas was the first book with humor I wrote. I had a blast writing it. I hope you have as much fun with your new book. Enjoy!

        Liked by 2 people

        • E. Ayers says:

          There’s a serious side to this story but these characters are well matched intellectually, and their cat and mouse games add a component that is far from my norm in novels. So I’m just following along as they unfold their lives to me.

          To me, humor is part of life. And there’s often a touch of it in almost everything I write. Sometimes we just have to laugh or shed a tear. But these two… Oh my! They are fun!

          Yes, Smoky Mountain. If that became a movie, it’s made for Sandra Bullock.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. Carol says:

    When the characters are real and fun for you, you can do nothing but let them lead! I can tell they’re alive for you. 🙂 Thanks, E. From the first sentence of A Smoky Mountain Christmas, Sandra Bullock was foremost in my mind and through each and every scene. Sandra is so real to me in this book, I’ve already played out a movie in my head!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. ginaarditoauthor says:

    Wow! You’ve been a busy girl. Best of luck with all the health issues. Be careful with your endocrinologist and the thyroid: they lie. I hope you’ll be a different case scenario, but I have too much experience in this area to think highly of any doctor who tells you once you’re on thyroid meds, you’ll be good as new. Trust me: ain’t no such thing.
    And I’m still jealous about that Outer Banks retreat. I’ve been saying I need a writing retreat. When my kids start asking me what I want for my birthday (in August), I plan to tell them I want a weekend in a hotel somewhere. Alone. I don’t need scenery or amenities. Just room service and wifi. And I’ll bring my own wifi, if I have to.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Joan Reeves says:

    E. I’m so glad you are recovered and feeling good. I like dandelions too. They’re a sign that spring is here. I love me some spring. *g*

    Liked by 1 person

    • E. Ayers says:

      Thanks, Joan. I’m already feeling better.
      After a long gray winter and lack of sun, those yellow flowers are like little bursts of sunshine begging us to smile again..


  10. Gunther 8544 says:

    I “raked a lot of leaves” last Saturday.


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