Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fortnightly Update #29: Internet Woes

This is take two on this post- I've had internet problems for a couple months now, but this time it's been so bad we actually called in for a service person to stop by and look at it- and of course, since we live in an old house, the wiring is outdated and loose. He tacked it down for us, and it appears to be working nicely, given my post was actually saving yesterday- last Saturday, it didn't, and I didn't find that out until I logged onto Blogger to find this post form blank and untitled. I may have shed a few tears.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:


the-invisible-pile Additions:


...I did, however, pre-order a few books, but I'll be talking about those whenever I get them.

Currently Reading:

It turns out the internet is awesome at keeping me on track with reading books. While the internet was down, I took to writing my own instead of reading more- which is great, as I usually can't write a bunch of pages with ease like I did.

Finished These Books:

For once, I have zero books to fill this category. I've read a bit of a lot of books, but nothing is catching my interest (not even books by my favorite authors, which usually pull me out of slumps with ease).

In My Life:

A handy little syrinx infographic I made with my MRI- your spinal cord (the dark tube space) isn't supposed to have white stuff/syrinxes in it.

I went to my second appointment at University of Utah to find out one of the things I dealt with before might actually be causing the syrinx in my spine. I had adhesions binding up my intestines when I was about 16 years old- which were only found because they suspected I might have endometriosis with all my odd stomach pain (I didn't). Those same adhesions can be built in your spine and cause a syrinx (adhesions usually built up in your body because of trauma, etc., but mine had no known cause). Because of this, I get to have a CT myelogram, where they put dye in your spine to see if any adhesions are there (because MRIs can't see them). Because my case is a bit odd- I have spastic walking, yet my reflexes are normal, they also want to have nerve conduction studies on all my limbs to rule out anything else causing my odd walk. Since I already had one on my left arm pre-odd-walking due to what I referred to as its zombie state (really difficult to feel/grasp things), I'm much less nervous about my four limb test than I am about my CT myelogram.

In summation to this long medical spiel- after all the tests are done, we may have a definitive answer to why I can't walk well, which is encouraging. I did learn that I've lost a bunch of sensitivity in my hands, which may explain why I have a hard time typing/holding things/living life sometimes.

What kind of REALLY makes me mad is knowing people who are ill and are trying to get help like I am are being scoped out by federal agents due to their immigration status. When you're chronically ill and grasping at any possible medical solution to your problems, the very last thing you need in your life is more stress. I usually avoid political stuff in my posts, but this sort of thing hits very close to home for me- and should also be a non-political topic. I don't care where you're from- everyone deserves respect and peace in hospitals.

What have you been reading lately? If it's good (and slump-busting worthy) I think I need to hear about it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Month in Review for January 2017: There and Back Again

Leia being cute in her Barney colored homemade sweater
January was a busy month for me with a new dog and my first appointment in SLC, but I feel like I managed to remain positive for most of it. Having Leia be an obnoxiously playful pup has a lot to do with that, as I didn't have much down time to dwell on all that is wrong in the world. Add in massive amounts of snow leading to frequent internet-free days, and I've probably had a better month than most.

 Total Posts: 9
  Total Critiques: 2
    Sci-fi: 1
    Contemporary: 1
    Part of a Series: 0 (First time that's happened!)

Most Popular Posts of January:
My Best Reads of 2016
SFF: The 5 Vintage Sci-fi Books You Recommend (For Vintage Sci-fi Month!)
Month in Review For December 2016: Thank God It's Over

Flashback Post (From January of a Previous Year):
"Dawn (Xenogenesis #1)" by Octavia E. Butler

Pageviews for the Month: 1071
Comments: 12

Reading Challenges Updates:

To Be Set

Reading Stats:

Books read this Month: 6

Book Stats:
Has a Diverse Main Character: 2
Doesn't Have a Diverse MC: 4
Female Main Character: 6
Male Main Character: 0
Pair and/or Group of Female/Male Main Characters: 0
 Contemporary Fiction: 1
 Vintage Sci-fi: 1
 Urban Fantasy: 4
Published in 2017: 1
Published in 2000-2016: 4
Published in 1970s: 1
Self-Published, Small Press, or Other: 0
Traditionally Published: 1
Series Books: 4
Standalones: 2
Ebook Version: 6
Paper Version: 0
Favorite of the Month: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Least Favorite of the Month: Third Grave Ahead by Darynda Jones (not a bad book- I just found it the least interesting of all the three star books I read).
Most Interesting of the Month (or Book I Learned the Most From): Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
From the-pile: 0
From the-invisible-pile: 2
Recently acquired: 4
Added to the-invisible-pile: 3
Books bought:0
Pages Read in 2016 Thus Far (according to Goodreads): 1966 pages

5 Stars: 0
4-4.5 Stars: 1
3-3.5 Stars: 5
2-2.5 Stars: 0

Author Stats (1 = 1 book read by x author):
Male: 0
Female: 6
Male/Female Team: 0
Diverse: 2
Not-so-Diverse: 4
Living: 5
Deceased: 1

Planning to Read in February:

Now that I've procrastinated about finishing off this post halfway into February, I have to admit I'm scrambling to read whatever catches my fancy. A lot of my usual faves are too heavy for me to read right now, so I'm on a light and fun book spree (as in, pick it up, read a couple chapters, give up on it, rinse and repeat). I'm hoping to keep on track for my Goodreads challenge which is 60 books for this year.

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fortnightly Update #28:

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

Torrie = ultra enthused
Saving Delaney by Andréa Ott-Dahl and Keston Ott-Dahl
I won this from Heather @ Based on a True Story - I tend to like memoirs where there's something medical going on. I think it has something to do with my life being relatively reliant on said medical arts. Saving Delaney is about a surrogate trying to win custody of the baby she's pregnant with.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

The Lives of Tao (Tao #1) by Wesley Chu
I'm actually also currently reading this one, because I need something on the light and fun side right now to keep my mind off of internal dilemma-ing. I have read many mixed reviews for this one, but so far I'm enjoying it.

Currently Reading:

Also The Lives of Tao (Tao #1) by Wesley Chu.

Finished These Books:

The first four books in the Charley Davidson series (which starts with First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones)
I like these, but they do have a lot of problematic elements. I really, really loathe the main "hero" character, and yes, the heroine mostly gets on my nerves, but somehow these were still entertaining. If you like Sookie Stackhouse-type paranormal books, these might be your style.

When I finished this, I thought I would rate it three stars, but then I realized that there was nothing to this novella that I haven't seen before, and I wasn't particularly enamored with the hero or the heroine. It was just kind of meh, and my meh book rating is two stars.

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston
This is one of those books I tried to finish quickly, only to realize it was much better when I read a chapter at a time. It covers a lot of ground in Zora's life- from birth to the height of her fame, and I must say she lived an incredibly interesting life.

In My Life (University of Utah Appointment):

I went to my appointment at University of Utah and the nice motor specialist NPC told me the syrinx (my dastardly foe encased snugly in my own spinal cord) is causing the odd walking. She also said she'd never seen anyone walk like I do, which is oddly reassuring. I can't tell you how many YouTube videos I watched of people with some sort of malady walking thinking why on Earth doesn't anyone walk the way I do. Anyway, she said I should've been sent to a neurosurgeon in the first place, and said she'd have one from University of Utah set up an appointment with me. I expected a nice long six month break from spinal related personnel, but instead my appointment is February 13th. Cue internal dilemma.

On one hand, seeing a neurosurgeon this soon who actually might be able to do something is nice. On the other, I had to mentally prep myself for months to take on SLC, mostly because I'm a rural girl used to "big cities" of less than 100,000 souls. Also, since I have a long and illustrious medical history with doctors who didn't necessarily help me (nor even at times believe my symptoms to be valid), leading to some anxiety issues with those small white exam rooms which for a time felt like torture chambers to me. There is also the issue with me having been in syrinx support groups to see if anyone else had odd walking- you hear a lot of "I wish I didn't have that surgery" type posts. With me, I realize I could have even more progression with my syrinx, since it used to be small and only in my cervical spine, but now it's all the way down to the end of my thoracic spine. Progression would likely mean more symptoms. The issue is, the surgery to correct the syrinx doesn't necessarily correct it- often, the syrinx is caused by another issue, which once surgically corrected will resolve or stop progression of the syrinx. This whole internal debate will be resolved if I go to the neurosurgeon and he doesn't feel like I'm a candidate for surgery, so I guess subconsciously I'm rooting for that resolution, which is only short term, since then I'd likely have this for the rest of my life. And even if it's surgically stopped in its tracks or drained, that possibility remains.

TL;DR: I'm internal dilemma-ing about something out of my control, and my next appointment is on February 13th (in one week). Also, syrinxes aren't fun.

Have a nice week!

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