March Stuff Plus

A little late, but just as well because it saves me from having to post an update.

Writing: 12,068 words = 5 pts
Submissions: 4 = 4 pts
TOTAL = 9 pts

Originally it was 5 submissions for 5 points, for a total of 10, but then I got that SASE back. [sigh] I’m assuming the rest of the package didn’t make it, so I re-sent the submission, but that’ll count for April. I have one fewer points for March, but I have an April point already, yay.

I’m not terribly happy with the writing total, either. I’ve certainly had months with fewer words written, but I did all of that by about halfway through March, and fully expected to hit at least 20K by the end of the month. I had some medical issues come up at that point, though, and they were pretty distracting. Still are, actually, although I think I’m over the hump now. Briefly, I have a pretty severe edema (that’s Doctorese for “swelling”) that started in my feet last summer and has progressed up my legs to just below the knee. In mid-February, I got this huge blister in one shin that I thought was caused by an overly enthusiastic space heater, but even after we got rid of the heater, I kept getting more blisters. After about three weeks of diuretics and four weeks of steroid cream, plus random foot-elevating and tight wrapping, the edema’s gone down a tiny bit (not nearly enough, though, and I need to get back with my doctor about turbo-charging the diuretic) and I haven’t gotten any new blisters in a few days. I still have open sores all over my legs at this point, but if the blisters stay away, the sores will eventually heal and I’ll have only the edema itself to deal with.

The dermatologist I was referred to was incredibly busy, so on my first visit I saw his PA. Which is fine; I’ve seen plenty of PAs before and never had a complaint. This guy, though, wasn’t a great communicator. He forgot to mention a couple of key facts on that first visit — one, that the edema itself can cause blisters, there doesn’t have to be some underlying condition or disease to do it, and two, that the steroid cream was just for the itching and wasn’t meant to speed the actual healing of anything — which left me thinking the situation was a lot worse than it actually was. If anyone feels like looking up “bullous pemphigoid,” that’s what I thought I had for a while. It’s not as bad as cancer or something, but it’s pretty distracting. :/

I talked to the dermatologist himself for a few minutes on the second visit, and my third visit (yesterday) was solely with him, and he’s a much better communicator. He’s actually able to be thorough in his explanations — and he draws diagrams even, with labels and arrows — without coming across as condescending. Great skill, much appreciated. The fact that things are starting to clear up, at least on the blister-and-sore level, is also helpful; it’s easy to appreciate your doctor when you’re improving, whether it’s actually due to anything he did or not.

The edema has to go down further, though. I can’t wear any of my regular shoes, and can only get into my velcro-strap sandals if my feet are bare. Socks (basic crew socks, nothing thick) add just enough bulk that the straps won’t stay stuck. I missed an evening concert already because of a lack of available footwear, and Jim and I are going on a cruise in early May, and to a convention in late May, and I need to be able to wear shoes at least part of the time at (and on the way to and from) both events. A friend of mine who’s a pharmacist has told me that my current dosage of the diuretic is very tiny, so ramping that up to something effective shouldn’t be a problem.

Meanwhile, I need to keep my feet elevated as much as possible. That’s logistically difficult, given my habit of spending 90% of my waking time on the computer, but I think I have it worked out, mostly. We’ll see.


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Angela Benedetti lives in Seattle with her husband and a few thousand books. She loves romance for the happy endings, for the affirmation that everyone who's willing to fight for love deserves to get it and be happy with someone. She's best known for her Sentinel series of novels, the most recent of which is Captive Magic.