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Because Life Throws Snowballs

The last thing I want to see this summer is a snowflake...

Whenever I get new ideas for writing, I'm a whirlwind of excitement. I start planning, writing, imagining. I shift into character mode and try to understand my protagonist from the point of view as both an outsider and the persona. Story writing is a lot like problem-solving. So if you don't like solving problems, completing a story may come as a struggle to you. But I love a good problem.

Except when it comes to my health or the health of my family. Those problems suck worse than a leech on a groin. I'm helpless. Despondent. Exhausted.

A few things have been happening in my life, and I prefer not to say that life is giving me lemons, because "making lemonade" sounds like an easy fix. I'd rather think of it as being bombarded by snowballs. Icy, stinging, jaw-cracking snowballs. Sometimes they come so hard and fast, all one can do is dive to the ground, cover the head with laced fingers, and hope it ends with minimal scarring.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with cholesteatoma, which is a non-cancerous cyst that develops in the ear behind the eardrum. Mine occurred because of a faulty Eustachian tube and multiple ear infections over my lifetime. If left untreated, the cholesteatoma can grow in size and cause facial paralysis, loss of hearing, vertigo, and could erode into the brain cavity. Meningitis is a possibility as well. So, I will be going under Dr. Wayman's surgical knife. Tomorrow, he'll cut behind my ear and inside my ear to expose the area where the cyst lies. He will scrape it out of its little grave, then use some of my ear cartilage (yep...from my ears...the only part of my body I feel is aesthetically near-perfect) to help cover that area and make it more difficult for the cholesteatoma to reoccur. However, I will be returning to the doctor's office twice a year for regular checkups and to have the area cleaned.

Hello, snowball.

Want to see a gross picture of what the surgery will expose? Check out: You're welcome!

I'm also dealing with a teenaged son who was recently diagnosed with ARFID. Never heard of ARFID either? Well, of course not. In my family, we like to be different. ARFID stands for: Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. He has always been a picky eater, but now I'm dealing with a kid who won't eat a processed food item he generally loves because "it tastes burnt." Or "the food is too old." (Even if I just purchased it at the store a few weeks ago.) A food might be "too spicy" or a cup might be "too dirty." He's "not hungry, has a stomach ache. has a headache" and therefore can't eat. He's nearly my height, yet he's over forty pounds lighter than I am. So, my ex-husband has been taking him in for treatment, and it's possible he might need to be admitted to the hospital and force fed through a feeding tube. Meantime, we encourage him to consume something high in calories and protein every two hours.

Another snowball.

I'm also dealing with Tennis Elbow, which may seem minor next to the last two issues I've discussed. But, to put it into perspective, I'm in a lot of pain daily. It showed up a little over two months ago, possibly because I've been so diligent about working out. I've been preparing my body for workout videos I planned to post on my YouTube Channel. I was hoping to create 2-3 videos a week. But then, the left arm stopped functioning in its usual painless manner. Talk about "backfire." It's stalled my efforts, which I suppose may have been put on hold anyhow thanks to cholesteatoma and ARFID. I purchased a band for my arm, but my doctor told me it would be months before it would heal to the point where the pain packs its bags and leaves. #@&% you, Tennis Elbow! I wasn't even playing tennis!

Brrr. Snowball.

And, because it has to be right before my surgery, my rambunctious-to-the-point-of-annoying cat, Crisco, is oddly lethargic and not eating like she does. She's the kind of cat that begs at the table for scraps. She enjoys Thai food, spaghetti dinners, and peanut butter. But today, not only did she not wake me up at 5 a.m. to let me know she requires sustenance, she also didn't beg for food.


Updates coming soon...

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