The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘fibromyalgia’

My Apologies

I want to let my Crusader pals know I haven’t forgotten about them. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just been a rough couple of weeks. Too much work, too much drama, and then Wonder Babe was here. Right now, as we get ready for our first book launch, the Puddletowners are still working day jobs and publishing nights and weekends. I don’t take a break until about now, 2 am.

So I’ve read a few blogs, made a couple of comments, and now I’m going to do a quick post and follow it with bed.

To make it worse, we had snow. I love snow. But I have fibromyalgia and fibro hates cold. Add in stress and overwork, and most of my “free” time goes to naps.

Fibromyalgia, contrary to old theories that said it was musculo-skeletal, is actually a malfunction of the central nervous system. In layperson’s terms, the only way I can explain it, it’s like having your nerves gossiping with one another, sort of a brain game of telephone. The message gets sent, gets changed, and ends up in the wrong place. So over-stimulation, for example, travels to, say, your hip, and suddenly you have severe pain. The next day, or even the next hour, it’s in your shoulder, your back, your neck, your other hip. I had one day last week when it was my whole left side. Your sleep center also gets messed up and many people with FMS, myself included, have numerous sleep disorders. In my case, it means several psychotropic drugs and other things are required to help me fall asleep, stay asleep, breathe while I sleep, not kick other people out of bed, and to keep me from acting out my dreams. Seven, count them, seven sleep disorders afflict me. So many I can’t even remember the names of a couple of them.

Barometric pressure affects the CNS, although I don’t understand how. So people with FMS feel horrible, and flare, anytime the barometer swings. Good or bad, weather changes make us hurt. I live for summer, when I have a couple of good months (I live in Oregon. Summer is not a full season.) I’ve threatened to move south for the winter.

Because FMS folks are always in pain, we take heavy doses of nasty painkillers. I really should be taking narcotics, but so far I’ve been resisting since I seem to be quite susceptible to them. They turn me into a moron. However, a friend and fellow FMS person is trying to convince me that the time has come. She assures me that I will get used to them and the cognitive fog will lift. Since FMS has its own cognitive problems, called fibro fog, taking drugs that cause further cognitive issues frightens me.

Anyway, this may be TMI, but I’m trying to educate the world on how FMS really affects its sufferers. As I often tell people, FMS won’t kill you, but some days you wish it would.


Saving My Sanity

Okay, Crusaders, I had to do it. I apologize profusely. But when I looked at Google reader and saw several hundred posts from all you fabulous writers, I just had to do it.  Yep, I marked all as read.

Later today, I’ll start going through the posts that show up as new. But there was no way I could deal with several hundred posts. We are a prolific bunch.

In other news:

  • My upcoming book “Blind Leading the Blind,” a lesbian mystery, went to formatting yesterday. It will be released on March 20th by Puddletown Publishing Group. Yes, I know, I am a co-founder of the press. But my book had to go through the same process as all the others, and this one made the cut. Another one of my books did not. Well, it sort of didn’t. I have to do some serious rewriting on it then try again. That’s what happens when you have a blind acquisitions process. Even the owner can be rejected.
  • Building a social networking platform is fun. Too much fun in some cases. If any of you have ideas on how to reign in Twitter, let me know. I’m enjoying all the blogs and Tweets, and Facebook has been a big time suck for me for a couple of years now, but it’s overwhelming. My mother was a total Luddite and right now I’m sort of envying that.
  • Today, I have two things on my plate: Paying the bills and having some fun
  • Paying the bills means I have to do some writing for various clients. Yep. Non-fiction. Articles. Money. That sort of thing. With the new publishing company, we’re not yet drawing salaries, and I’ve had to put my indexing business on hiatus so I have time to do publishing. Things are tight. Thank God, I’ve got a big check coming soon and my partner’s tax refunds should be here any day.
  • Having fun: My favorite kind of fun! My middle daughter and the amazing 5-month-old Wonder Babe will be here this afternoon. There is nothing like a happy, well-attached, silly-face baby to make it all worthwhile. And, really, I find that the older I get and the more grandchildren I get (four in April), the more I find that I’m really doing everything for them. Whether it be writing a book, preaching a sermon, making the decision to live lightly on the earth, or starting a publishing company, it’s all becoming about what legacy I leave for my grandchildren. (To see some of my sermons, go here and here)
  • I’m skipping church. I love church. I love my church. But I also have fibromyalgia, a genuine pain-in-the-butt-and-everywhere-else condition. I have to set limits on what I do or I end up not being able to do anything. So years ago I instituted the one-thing rule. Basically, I allow myself one energetic activity per day (not counting work). And today it’s Wonder Babe.
  • This is especially important today as I did spend all of Friday night (until 9 am Saturday morning) doing final edits on my book. When I get to the end of a project, I can no longer work on it in small chunks. The last three passes have all been marathons, going through the entire book from start to finish. Unfortunately, Friday night was date night (that’s not the bad part) so I didn’t start editing until around 10 pm. (That’s the bad part.) Oh, well. It’s out the door and now I’m taking a few days to recharge before I start clean-up on the second book in the series.
  • Okay, in my final sanity saving move, it’s back to bed for this woman. Gotta get some energy before the Wonder Babe gets here.

Where HAVE I been?

Not at my desk. Which is frightening because I have A LOT of work to do. But the Divine Miss M aka Maggie has been keeping me busy. College doesn’t start until late September but she’s off for a month in Kansas with her older sister and she HAD to get her new computer and iPod before she leaves. So Monday, I dropped a large amount of money and a full day buying her a new MacBook.

Yesterday, when I COULD have worked, I spent most of the day either in bed with “fibro flu” or in the recliner knitting. This is not to say I didn’t work. I don’t have the luxury of not working at all because I have two substantial projects on my desk, both in the early stages, both due a week from today. So I work most of the time I’m not with the kid or sleeping. I even eat most of my meals at my desk.

It’s raining. It is, last time I checked, August 20th. This is a day I should be complaining about high temps and moving all the fans in the house into my office. Instead, it’s raining. And rain means fibro pain and general irritability on my part. So be glad you have some distance between us because right now I am not a fun person.

More later. Got to get some work done. Got a quota of pages to fill……30 on the theology book, 40 on the education book for a total of 70 pages. And, actually, I should try to double that because tomorrow I will be at a hospital on the other side of the city sitting with a friend whose husband is having open heart surgery. If you are the praying sort, please pray for Elizabeth, Jeff, and their daughter, Candace.

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