It’s been far too long since I’ve posted to TWW. I sincerely apologize, but there is a very good reason. In short: I’ve been quite sick. I am not referring to a bout of fibromyalgia, although I am currently experiencing that now due to the additional stress on my body. I am referring to the fact that I have a type of tumor that is usually benign and usually doesn’t cause problems but, in my case, is still probably benign, but is most definitely causing problems.
I attempted to deal with my symptoms by myself for about six weeks. Finally, it became clear to me that I needed help and phoned one of my doctors. By that time, I was weak and in pain. We made a decision to try to manage the most obvious symptoms via drug therapy. Unfortunately, the original prescription was for a drug that was nearly $200 and I simply could not afford it. The pharmacy didn’t tell me there was an alternative and, at that time, my ability to reason was faulty, to say the least, so I didn’t ask my doctor. It took about a week, but eventually I phoned my doctor again and told her that the medication she’d prescribed was very expensive and asked if there was an alternative. Fortunately, there was. I filled the second prescription a few days later.
It took days and days for the medication to begin to work. While waiting, I became more and more ill, but I also vaguely began to put some of my symptoms into a coherent picture. My doctor’s diagnosis was only half correct. She wasn’t dealing with the entire picture. As sick as I felt, I knew I had to find a way to make a rational argument for what I believed to be happening to my body.
I went to a follow-up appointment feeling dizzy, exhausted, confused and very out-of-sorts. After blood tests were performed, I was diagnosed as being in the mid-range of moderate anemia. I was anemic enough to experience symptoms, including a constant headache, pounding heart, muscle aches and confusion. As borderline incoherent as I was, I did make her understand that there was something else afoot. A simple test proved that there was a really good possibility I was right. However, being right meant that I needed surgery. My whole world turned upside down. The anemia symptoms, in and of themselves, forced me to keep WickedWomanMag.com down after being temporarily closed for other reasons. I couldn’t write, edit or monitor the site. I’m still not really up to it. That is an enormous problem that affects everything else in my life, including my need for surgery.
I have lost a lot of the people to whom I was closest in Cleveland over the last six years. These were true family members I could count on to support me and help me in a time of need. Even though my mother had dementia at her death, she would have been supportive of my illness as she finally acknowledged her own. Having a chronic condition is isolating. Therefore, I have a very limited number of friends to count on. My closest is totally allergic to dogs and there is no one here I trust with my canine family. I used to be very involved in the dog fancy in the Cleveland metro area, but haven’t been in over a decade. There are still one or two people with whom I’ll speak, but a lot of my friends have passed on as well. My best doggie friend lives in the Twin Cities area and suggested that I move to Minnesota over a year ago. She saw that I was struggling and could use the support. There is a very strong breed community in the area and I know several of the members. Indeed, my last three Airedales were born in the area. At the time, all I could think about was the cold and dismissed the idea. However, because I routinely need top-notch medical care, am faced with needing surgery in the next several months and have no support system here, suddenly the cold, white North isn’t looking too bad. The University of Minnesota Medical Center is there as is Mayo Clinic, although a bit farther south of the Twin Cities metro area. They would fulfill my medical needs.
The short of it is that I am going to try harder to get well enough to finish writing the one article that is keeping WWM closed for so long. It’s one thing to write a blog post. It is quite another to take research, synthesize it, organize it and put it into a form that is both understandable and entertaining. It takes organizational skills I don’t have right now. There is some evidence the anemia is resolving, but I have gone into a fibromyalgia flare due to the stress my body has suffered since, really, April or May. In this particular flare, I am experiencing intractable insomnia. It takes everything I have to get out of bed some days. The only reason I do is because my girls need to be fed and pottied. Otherwise, I’d lay there and not care whether I ate or drank anything at all. As illustration, it took me 11 days to begin to go grocery shopping for the month. In the interim, I ran out of every staple in the house. If I did find something to eat, it was invariably fried, something I almost never do, but did so in these cases because it was quicker than broiling or baking. When I couldn’t even manage that, I ordered in. A lot. It wasn’t something I could avoid because I was just too tired and weak to stand in front of a stove.
Because I have no real support for being truly sick here; no support for my girls, and; because I do not believe I am getting the best care from either of the world-reknown hospitals in town (one of which is rated #4 in the entire country), I need to move. The caveat is that I can’t move if I can’t raise money for WWM so that I can hire an associate editor, pay myself, the freelancers and cover all of the other things for which capital is needed for a start-up. If I can get WWM open, then I can probably raise funding. My plan has been to run a crowd funding campaign. Believe me, doing so isn’t nearly as easy as many make it sound. I’d still need a business plan, but I have had that plan circulating in my head for over a year. My illness cost me my business consultant, but he taught me enough to continue on by myself. Still, I’d have to try to stay on top of the campaign and interact with donors. My energy is quite limited because I cannot get enough rest. If my rheumatologist can find the right medication to help me get restful sleep, I can accomplish my goals.
Even if I don’t move to Minnesota right away, I still have to move out of the family home because my mother made disastrous decisions while she was ill. (Yes, I knew she was sick and tried to get her help. Her brothers interfered and she got none even as she became progressively worse.) I have to dispose of or pack up over 40 years worth of stuff all while I feel like hell. There are probably some friends of my mother’s who have sons or grandsons who can help with the heavy lifting, but they need to know what to lift. Over two years after she died, I still haven’t gone through all of my mother’s belongings. Her clothing is more or less where she left it the day she was taken out of the house via ambulance never to return. I wasn’t strong enough to do it until just shy of the second anniversary of her death. By that time, I was hip deep in WWM and didn’t have time. Now, I don’t have energy, although I am trying to do bits and pieces here and there. No one else can do this but me because I’m the only person who knows what’s important and what isn’t.
To summarize: I have been sick; I am sick; I have to find the strength to re-open WWM; I have to raise funds for WWM so that I can support myself and my canine family; I have to decide whether I can afford to move or will be forced to stay in town with almost no support for being truly ill, especially in the weeks and months after surgery.
There is so much going on in the world right now that I deeply yearn to write about. There are days that are better than others and I can manage a blog post. Now that I’ve updated readers on what’s going on, I will try to write blog posts here. At least that way, people won’t think that I’ve fallen off the edge of the Earth.