Life · Work

It’s Super Effective!

Yeah so I now have concrete evidence that not going on r/coronavirus, or reddit in general because the front page is coronavirus related anyway, helps me with productivity. A lot.

On Saturday I deliberately forced myself to put down the iPad and not look at any outbreak related news. I was a lot more productive and worked longer hours. On Sunday I didn’t, and well, kind of whiled the afternoon away, so I subsequently freaked out and obsessively clicked on links. Yesterday I only allowed a little bit of perusing in the morning and not so much later, and guess what? I got no work done in the morning, and in the afternoon the minute I (again, forced myself to) put down the iPad, I started working almost right away. It’s crazy. Well, not exactly ‘right away’ as there’s an hour of ‘lag,’ per se, between me reading anything and starting working, but that just means my brain needed the time to switch gears. But as soon as I cut off the obsession the gear did switch, and that’s the important takeaway here, I think.

So today, and probably for the foreseeable future, I will at most allow myself some minor perusing just to keep up on the events. The minute I realize I’m getting sucked in I will stop. It works, but needs self discipline. I am in an entirely self-driven career anyway, so I guess this is a good way to practice as any.

Life · Work

Detox

I’ve decided that I should stop visiting reddit about the coronavirus. It’s not good for my mental health. I would be working and wanted a brief break and so go on the subreddit, and whop, there goes an hour of clicking on headlines and reading comments and silently freaking out. And then when I try to get back to work my headspace is nowhere near where it needs to be to concentrate. And so I open more tabs, because I don’t want to work, and so rinse and repeat. It’s why work that should only take 2 hours takes like 7 hours, which is ridiculous. And then I have bad dreams on top of that. My sleep pattern has seen some crazy wild swings like the stock market. All in all, I need to stop visiting that website.

If anything super major does happen (like we finally start actually testing and discover there’s 100,000 cases in California or something), I’m sure the front page of reddit will let me know. Or the actual news. Or anything, really. I have to concentrate on my novel now – I refuse to let it go past the full five year mark. I had a brief existential crisis before I went to bed last night, about how I’ll never finish writing anything, good or bad. Again, not good for my mental health, but I’m pretty sure that’s just anxiety talking (brought on by all the stuff that’s going on in the world). So I’m going to limit my exposure to fix my anxiety, and that starts with not going to r/coronavirus for a while.

Gosh, Animal Crossing: New Horizons can’t come soon enough.

Life

Ah That Virus Yeah?

Unless you’re in the camp of ‘it’s just a flu no biggie I’m not going to bother with any precautions,’ you probably are a little bit nervous about the worldwide coronavirus spread. I live in a very populous city with no doubt thousands of cases of coronavirus around – untested and under-reported, of course, considering this is the good old US of A and all. My homebody nature is kind of saving me here; I don’t go outside if I don’t have to, and being a writer recluse my routine now doesn’t significantly deviate from the non-pandemic times routine. But my husband has a regular job at an office, and yes, it’s one of those open-floor tech companies where you cram dozens of people per giant room, with a cafeteria where everyone goes to eat. I’ve been telling him to try to start work-from-home, because the company does have the capability just like Amazon and Microsoft, and he said his company is considering it. Nobody I know so far has gotten the virus, thank goodness. I really don’t want my family to be the first in our circle, you know?

But yes, I’m pretty nervous about it. So I’m glad that I confirmed with my doctor and so postponed my IVF treatments both for my body’s recovery and because of the emergent crisis in the States. They said things’ll probably peak around May. Well, I kind of wanted to get things going then, but depends on the global climate may have to delay it further. I’m not happy about that, but hey, I’m not happy about the stock prices and the crazy hoarding going on either (couldn’t buy toilet paper, paper towels, had to order my sanitary napkins online; it’s nuts), so might as well chalk it up to the Heavens (which this sort of is? All things considering?) and wait. And hope the US pick up on testing and stop being so incompetent and actually care about people’s lives rather than economic numbers as much, but that would be asking too much.

Life · Work

A Break?

My husband said something to me this morning that made me think. Yesterday my doctor called me and told me that she’s very happy with the current results of the IVF process, and then delineated the next steps in the journey. Well, there seems to be a whole other half involving even more, bigger needles, more hormones, a possible additional surgery because there might be more polyps growing (guess I just have a propensity to grow the stuff. Biology.), not to count the actual implantation itself. So it’s far from near the finish and I’m going to rack up more uninsured medical costs, along with more body trauma. I’m still recovering from the surgery right now – coupled with the signs of the beginning of a long-overdue period – and so let’s just say bed rest and Advil are still my friends. So, my husband said, after I told him all this, ‘dear, why don’t you call the doctors and see if you can take a break to completely recover before we continue?’ Everything’s on ice as far as I know, and that means it can potentially wait a month or two. I thought, well, he’s right. I could use some downtime from all this, especially with the emergent coronavirus and the tanking of the economy. Money’s going to be tight and hospitals are a dreaded place to be in the near future, so maybe not going outside for a month or two and stay relatively restful would do me a lot of good.

Plus, I can finally get some semblance or normalcy back – physically, mentally, hormonally – and so can continue to work. There has been some serious disruptions in my daily routine, and as a writer struggling to write it’s not really helping matters. I’ll give a call to my doctor today. Really, could use a good break so I can actually work.

Life

And More Surgery! – But Success!

Wow, so, I wanted to detail the process since the last time I posted – the medical processes that I went through, that is, but it’s just so draining both emotionally and physically that I couldn’t get myself to sit down and type anything of substance. I mean sitting down is already a luxury these days – I couldn’t really remain in a chair without getting tired this whole week until yesterday. Remnant of the surgery I had last Tuesday. Add on top of that writing an entry and go over the whole process again mentally? Nah, not until I feel ready.

I’m happy to say that I’m pretty good now! I went through a long, expensive course of various hormones that I had to subcutaneously self-inject. Made me sore everywhere, and wow do I feel bad for people with Type I diabetes or any kind of disorder that needed to inject medicine daily to keep functioning. It’s a good thing I started before the coronavirus scare hit, because otherwise I’d run out of alcohol swabs and other kind of things that people are panic-buying. Anyways, a whole ten days of all that, a whole lot of money later, and I had a successful egg extraction last Tuesday! They got 26 eggs – granted not all of them are going to be good and viable, and there’s more tests being done with the embryos and such – but hey! Twenty six is a good number! Now I just wait for the next result, which I’m not exactly sure what it’s supposed to be. I emailed my doctor, though, so I guess we’ll find out some time soon.

Work · Writing

Depression Comes in All Different Sizes

I took a look at my bullet journal work log yesterday, and found out that I worked so little that I should be ashamed of myself. Granted, I had a few other things on my mind this past month but the amount of work I didn’t do was atrocious. I’m glad I looked, though, because it basically gave me a kick in the teeth about how much I’m not getting done, so now I know to get down and do it. Seriously. Sometimes I really hate the way I don’t operate correctly, like a robot stuck on a loop of non-productivity.

Depression is a crazy thing, eh? I know there are folks are so depressed that they don’t feel like doing ANYTHING, like not even getting out of bed. I don’t think that’s how depression ever manifested in me except for like a very short period of time. My depression seems to manifest so that I struggle to do creative work, which is devastating for someone who writes fiction for a living. I’m functioning in life, but not functioning at work, and I don’t know how to deal with that. They say that insanity is the process of doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Well, I want different results certainly, but I also feel like I’ve tried different tactics and none are giving me that. I guess the best way now is just to pick the one that works the best, even if it’s like at 25% instead of 100%, but hey, it’s better than 0%, and go from there. For me personally it’s setting a time (like 3 hrs every day or something like that) and stick to schedule. (And also avoid all procrastination websites like Reddit, which I actually did alright on.) It worked for at least a few days in the past, so maybe this time I just need to keep it going every day, like a recovering alcoholic who’s struggling to stay sober, one day at a time.

If I have a 3D printer I might just print some imitation AA tokens but for writer’s block. Or rather, working block – and see if I can get myself to not fall off the wagon. Because hell I’ve tried everything else.

Life

Minor Surgeries Are Still, Well, Surgeries

Well, I guess this is the beginning of it. I am officially doing the steps of IVF. Pre-requisites, that is, to make sure I’m healthy otherwise before they start the crazy hormones and injections and endless blood-draws and ultrasounds and all that monitoring, just so I can attempt to have a baby. You know, back in the day I’d just be childless, or had to adopt. I guess I shouldn’t really complain when the miracle of modern medicine is (hopefully) allowing me and my s.o. to have a child of our own. Pregnancy is already an ordeal in itself – my luck have it that the process of getting pregnant itself is apparently an ordeal as well.

But first, before any of that, I went through a minor surgery. No, it’s not the one that I talked about before. It’s one where they simply send a camera up my vagina to see if my uterus lining is good, and if they see any polyps they’d remove it. (hysteroscopic polypectomy I believe was the medical term.) No incisions, minimally invasive. So I got that done. The pictures they showed me afterwards were hella freaky! (high tech cameras and their insane details!) and apparently I had a lot of polyps. Like, covered in polyps. Yeah. You know, I’m beginning to think that I’m just not made very well internally or something. At least when it came to the reproductive system. So they took care of all that and my uterus should be good to go.

The recovery was not anywhere near as bad as when I had my myemectomy two years ago. They put me under but there were no breathing tubes or anything, and it was like an hour instead of four hours and cutting and all that. I had no major pain afterwards (nothing Advil couldn’t handle), no bleeding, no infection, everything was fine. However, I was bone tired for a solid week! Slept most of the days the first two days, and then gradually got more energy as the week went on, but still felt like passing out after dinner. So stupid. I guess surgery just takes a lot out of you regardless. It also doesn’t help that I’m trying to lose weight right now so I can get my numbers down to the optimal range by cutting my calorie intake by half. But I was not expecting it to take me like a full week to get back to “normal.” Lesson duly noted.

Life

And We Start It All

So let’s just be frank, this year is going to be the year of medical procedures. I, despite my relatively young age, am not in the best of health. Lots of weird little problems that could potentially become big problems, but aren’t yet, and doctors can’t pinpoint a reason why they’re problems in the first place. Seems to run in my family; the number of ridiculous discomforts my mother goes through on a daily basis with not even a hint of why they’re medically there is insane. Same for my grandmother. So, yeah, my base blueprint is pretty shite. That’s just about the gist of it.

Haven’t talked much about this, but my s.o. and I have been trying to have a baby for a while. A year or more, to be exact, to no avail. We went to a fertility clinic and found out that my Fallopian tubes are most likely blocked. Both of them. There’s a procedure to make sure but it requires incisions and after my myomectomy two years ago I am really not keen on getting cut open again if I can help it. There’s not much they can do medically to “open” them up anyway, so to speak, so we figure let’s skip the extra diagnosis and go straight to IVF. I went to an appointment today to sort out the logistics. (With a bonus ultrasound. Ugh. That was fun.) Well, it’s going to be super expensive, involve a whole lot of precise timing, and all in all I assume discomfort and stress throughout. Most of the expenses are not covered by any insurance because America. Plus there’s a few rounds of genetic testing because you know, I’m not a sprite 25 year old old and my family history has a lot of weird recessive genes. Too many variables to go wrong and money spent in vain, but, hey, it might be a baby in the end. I think we are lucky to have the resources to try for one at all. (To be honest I’m really okay with no children, but for my s.o. that’s a whole different story.)

I’ll keep y’all updated in the coming months. Don’t really have that many people to share the stress (or joy) with, and that’s precisely why we have the Internet, no?

Life

Happy New…Beginning?

Well folks, here I am, 2020. It’s a good way into January and I just managed to get myself sorted into the new year. The stay at my mom’s house for most of December contributed to it, and the medical issues I had did not help matters any, either. I know every “new year” is supposed to feel like a “new beginning”, as cliché as it sounds, but personally I have never actually felt that way. During my school years I’ve always associate September with new beginnings. But this year it was different. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s a new decade on top of the new year, perhaps it’s that I physically was somewhere else during the turnover and the flying across country made the change more pronounced. Either way, it’s a new year, and I, for once, actually feel like I’m starting anew.

I’ve spent the past two days getting over slight jetlag and getting my life in order. Mentally I’m prepping myself to face what looks to be a fairly difficult time – I’m facing a lot of medical procedures and my writing career really needs to get itself in shape or I might just give up on it. Not something I want to utter this early in the year but we gotta face the music, so to speak. My house is a mess and needs a thorough cleaning – not just dusting and vacuuming but going through every room and sort out the junk from the important papers. The shelves are overflowing and just thinking about it makes me cold in my stomach. It’s long overdue and I just never had the motivation until now. And this journal needs to be updated more regularly; I keep on saying this yet never actually do it. Well, that’s not going to continue anymore. I’m determined and afraid but you know, life goes on and I’m not going to be around forever. Again, a morbid thing to say, but sometimes our own mortality is the only drive that keeps us moving forward. I feel like I’ve wasted enough of my life – I’m not going to do that any longer.

Life

December, December

I swear I’m going to stop only posting on the first of every month and disappearing. I’m so bad at this blogging thing – although I know, I KNOW it helps me focus and should be kept up.

Oh hi, yes, November had come and gone. I went to France for the first half of that month, and then spent the rest of it getting over jetlag, fighting off a terrible lingering cold, and taking care of my s.o. who was sick with the same cold but worse and it only kicked in after we got back and lasted the rest of the month. Yeah…so my plan for NaNoWriMo? Completely shot to bits. I just shouldn’t have bothered this year, but you know what they say about hope and springing eternal. Maybe I should just give up hope and completely wing everything from now on. One day at a time and all that.

Alright I’ll stop with all the trite self-help quotes now. Let’s just dive right in – there’s no way I’m finishing my novel by the end of the year. I’d be lucky if I can finish by end of January next year, maybe even going into February. I’m so sick of this delay – and myself – so guess who’s going to schedule an appointment with her therapist again? Also there’re a few other pretty damn important issues I have to talk to him about that’s not just me failing at working, which I will update you on once I see him, which is hopefully this week but might not happen. Yeah. This is why I started that moon journal thing for all my issues when I’m without a good outlet and coping.

I did go see the dermatologist, who said I indeed have seborrheic dermatitis  and gave me some creams for it. Apparently I should use it very sparingly because it thins your skin! But they worked, and I’m mostly healed with all the red splotches and bumps and itching. I’m getting a follow-up this Friday to see if anything else needs to be done. It’s not completely gone, so not sure what to do next.

And so here’s your mental and physical health update. I will talk about funner things later, I promise, like the awesome trip to France, and my upcoming trip around Christmas to see my mom. I haven’t been home for like, years, so that’s exciting. Details for another time. Maybe I can actually write more than one damn post this month, huh?