lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

Hi, July. Another month of Holy Shit So Much to Do. I am contemplating backing out of some tentative-not-yet-firmed commitments (work and other), but I'm not sure if that's Common Sense speaking, or Inertia....

Also, I had a morning migraine (a mild stabbity in the brainpan), and decisions are probably not best made under those condition, yeah?

 

Anyway, the Imitrex was at a small enough dose to not make me throw up, but not quite enough to kill the migraine, so it made itself at home just above my ears and periodically stabbed me with a frozen-hot icepick.  I made it through the work-day nonetheless.  Pretty sure none of our guests realized I was one loud noise away from killing them...

(thankfully, the small child who came in with their parents toward the end of shift  was delightful, and quiet.)


I really should finish off the two pending editing-things tonight before I pass out.


I probably won't, tho.


I should probably go stare at something dinner-like...

lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
 False health day - which is to say, I feel so much better I could do All The Things.... which maturity reminds me is how I ended up with pneumonia that one time.

Yeah, never want to do that again.

So I'll be taking another quiet workday on the sofa with laptop and tea, rather than giving in to the impulse to run all the errands, etc.


All the chore-things (and fun-things) that need doing will still need doing on Wednesday, and be none the worse for the wait.  And enforced focus on work (aka the sofa-tether) means I'm going to hit ahead of deadline on the current project.  So yay?


 

lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
 I am sick (a mild, mostly-just-annoying cold), and exhausted, and cranky about politic, work, and people in general, except where I'm cautiously hopeful.

Part of me wants to dig in and continue to fight, and part of me wants to slip quietly off the grid.

I've accepted, however that the only time I'm good at quietly slipping away is when leaving a party.  When it comes to life, I'm pretty much of the dig in and fight variety.

And so, we fight.

How to save the Affordable Care Act (again).  Because if we don't speak up, they will screw kill us in the name of corporate profits.

And if you care about the fate of non-salaried workers, call your congresscritter TODAY and speak out against the Working Families Flexibility Act (House: HR 1180; Senate: S 801).  They claim it will provide workers with families more flexible schedules, but what it really does is allow employers to avoid overtime pay, and undercut the ability of the DoL to investigate abuses, rolling back decades of essential labor regulation.  This may affect you, or your kid, or your cousin, or someone you never met but who is working their ass off to make ends meet, already, and doesn't deserve to have the deck stacked against them even MORE...



lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
and we end the day with most of the work accomplished but also a (probably) broken big toe. I have iced and elevated and compressed and done all the necessary things, so nobody should feel the need to offer advice - the swelling's gone down, the bruising is impressive, and it hurts like a flaming fuckety, but there's nothing to be done for broken toes except wear sturdy boots until it heals.

So it looks like hiking boots for the duration. Good thing I didn't have any fancy dress balls scheduled...
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
As a freelancer, even a relatively healthy one, getting medical coverage I could afford was near-impossible, until the Freelancer's Union was able to put together a crappy-but-functional plan.  When the ACA was passed, for the first time in years I was free of the "if I have to spend any time in the hospital it will wipe me out, financially" panics.

The GOP just voted - with a single no vote from Rand Paul - to start the process to repeal the ACA.  They voted to remove the requirement that healthcare insurance cover pregnancy. They voted to remove the clause that allowed children under 26 to stay on their parents' insurance while their own careers get started.  They removed the clause that protected people with pre-existing conditions (cancer, arthritis, IBD) from being dumped or surchaged-to-death by their insurance company.

And if you think that you're going to be okay, because you have company-supplied insurance?  Guess what?  You've lost protections, too.  And your rates are going to go up, probably for fewer services.  Whatever the market can bear.  And if you're thinking your state coverage will save you?  Guess what?  That was the ACA, too.  Say goodbye to it, and pray your state is willing to pick up the burden of replacing it, when the Federal government won't.

 Because no, the GOP STILL doesn't have a functioning plan to replace the ACA, nor do they show any sign of developing one. Why should they? Half the country told them they could do whatever they wanted to us and they'd be okay with it.

Still, this is not law...yet. CALL EVERY GOP SENATOR WHO VOTED TO REPEAL and give them a piece of your mind (as politely as you can manage). And call every senator who voted to protect it, and thank/encourage them. 


 



lagilman: coffee or die (Default)

To the surprise of nobody who has been paying attention, the GOP is going ahead with their plan to repeal the ACA, or strip it down to uselessness. And, as of this moment, they still haven't offered up a replacement plan. So, if they succeed:

if you have a pre-existing condition (anything from arthritis to cancer, and including pregnancy!), you're screwed.

if you are low-income, and were depending on subsidized insurance to make sure you and your kids were covered? You're screwed.

if you're on Medicaid? You're screwed.

if you're 26 or under, and were counting on being able to stay on your folks' insurance while you get your career going? You're screwed.

if you were counting on insurance companies to continue carrying you/not jack up your rates five-fold after you make a claim? You're screwed.

if you have chronic illnesses and the undoing of caps on lifetime coverage will bankrupt you?  You're screwed.

You might want to call your congresscritters, especially if they're Red, and let them know that, until they put forward a plan that addresses these issues, repealing the ACA is NOT what you want.

lagilman: coffee or die (rose)
I know I've been least in sight recently, or light in content.  There's been a reason for that.

Some of you, over the years, have heard the stories of my dad, the medical Energizer Bunny. Heart attacks? Pshaw. Parkinsons? Keep on truckin'. Gout? Okay, no more organ meats, whatever. Coronary blockage? His heart adapted. Hernia? Sew it up and move on. But at 84 my dad has finally met the roadblock even he can't get around: cancer.  Specifically, metastatic osteosarcoma.

And we discovered it purely by chance - a combination of post-hernia surgery swelling and high fever landed him in the ER, and a chain of events led to oncology getting involved. And three weeks later, here we are.  As I said to a friend, it's like treading water after a wreck, and waiting for the sharks to come.  You know there will be sharks, you just don't know if it will be a hammerhead, or a great white.

So.  If I've not responded to your email or phone call, or missed a deadline (or had to bail out on something), it's not that I don't love you.  But I'm going to have to beg your indulgence for a little while longer.

(Ironically, I'm currently editing a manuscript that opens with a cancer diagnosis.  I know an editor's supposed to pick up all sorts of knowledge, because you never know when it will be helpful, but the timing on this was a little sharp.)



Comments are closed on this.  I know y'all want to offer your sympathy, but right now I'm just going to take it as a given. :-)  If you're a close enough friend to have my personal phone number, feel free to call.
lagilman: coffee or die (MEDIC)
I seem to have done myself a very odd injury. Or ailment, I'm not sure which.  All at once, without warning or actual impact.

My right hand, at the base of my right ring finger, to about midway straight down into my palm, aches. And when I say aches, I mean as though fire ants had gnawed on the tendons and bone.

But there is no tenderness when the area is pressed (in fact, it feels better), no swelling or redness at the site, and I am able to flex and use my fingers without anything other than that aching in one finger.  My wrist is fine, my arm is fine.

Have you ever tried to type without using your ring finger. Weirdly, I don't think it can be done. Not by me, anyway.

Going to wrap it in a heating pad, elevate it, and drink wine.  May not sure anything, but it certainly won't harm it...
lagilman: coffee or die (pooh)
via the Wall Street Journal: SCOTUS upholds the Affordable Care Act.

6-3 DECISION: The court’s ruling came on a 6-3 vote. Joining Chief Justice Roberts were Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting were Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

WHAT THE RULING MEANS: The decision preserves a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act. The ruling marks the second time President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement has survived a near-death experience in the courts, and leaves the law on a firmer footing for the remainder of his time in office. Roughly 6.5 million Americans in around three dozen states stood to lose credits if the Supreme Court had ruled against the administration.

BIG WIN FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: At issue: Whether the Affordable Care Act authorizes tax credits for insurance bought on healthcare.gov, as well as on state-operated insurance exchanges. The case turns on a single word in the 2,000-plus-page statute, in a clause authorizing the tax credits for policies purchased on an exchange established “by” the state.

----------
It's actually a kind of damning support, hinging not on improving care, but supporting the insurance industry, but I and many others still have health coverage, so I'm selfishly counting it a win until we can create a saner plan.

Scalia's dissent is apparently a work of (bad) art, making one Twitterati say "Scalia is Bad Yelp Reviewer Man, now." I think Hyperventilating Temper Tantrum Blue looks good on him, personally.
lagilman: coffee or die (truth to power)
Placing this here for anyone who needs to use it an an argument going forward, and as a reference for anyone who foolishly wants to start the argument here..

Article 25 of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, to which the United States is a signatory:

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

(http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=eng)


Health Care:  a right, not a privilege. 
lagilman: coffee or die (MEDIC)
Got my flu shot today. Right on schedule, I now feel like hammered crap. But better 12 hours of this than 2 weeks of please-gods-let-me-die flu, later.


(and yes, I have had the two-weeks-of-please-gods-let-me-die flu. Never again, if I can do anything to avoid it.)
lagilman: coffee or die (winsome boomer)
So...

Although he's on track to losing weight, his numbers still aren't where the vet wants 'em. So we're back up to 3 units of insulin (he'd been down to 2.5), and we'll see what happens. He'll be going in for a sugar curve in a few weeks (an all-day test tracking what his blood sugar's doing), and hopefully that will tell us some more.

None of the numbers are in a danger zone - it's just fiddling to figure out the just-right temperature, so to speak.

Meanwhile, the various and sundry numbers for his kidneys are not where they should be, either. It doesn't indicate anything wrong-right-now, but suggests potential trouble down the line. So we're in a spot where medication won't be helpful, but there's not much else we can do except what we're already doing.

The moment I adopted CatofSize, I knew he'd have medical issues as he got older. He was neutered late, and even lean he was a big damn cat, and the intake vet warned me about all this. But up until now he's been so damned healthy, I figured it would kick in when he was 12 or 13, not 10...
lagilman: coffee or die (Boomer)
Mixed news...

Most of the tests (blood and urine sugar) came back elevated but manageable, but his fructosamine levels are still way too high. And that - because this is our life and nothing's ever easy - could indicate kidney disease.

So we're keeping his dosage where it is, and changing his diet around again (thankfully he's not a picky eater), and we'll see what happens in a month.

And, since Castiel's almost a year old now, I'm going to be giving them both the same food (when he was still having mad growth spurts, I didn't want him on prescription-specific food). This will ease MY dinnertime stress, if not theirs...

In possibly related news, I have now had a low-level but very persistent migraine for 48 hours. I would like the option of removing my grey matter, now.

Ugh.

Feb. 6th, 2014 06:52 am
lagilman: coffee or die (MEDIC)
Entering Day 2 of this low-level but annoying headache, despite painkillers, sleep, fresh (cold) air, and enough caffeine/food. The biosuit is displeasing me this week.

(then again, compared to the migraines I used to suffer in my 20's and early 30's, this is a cakewalk. So not complaining so much as muttering under my breath as I head into the mines for the day).

It's a funny thing, physical pain. I mean, funny-hah-hah and funny-weird.  Not only does everyone have a different scale of "what hurts," but it changes based on what we've experienced. It's almost like it's...trying to teach us something?
lagilman: coffee or die (Boomer)
The Vet (and Boomer's bloodwork) has spoken. In addition to everything else, my CatofSize has diabetes.

Woo, fun times. It's a good thing I love that guy.

Unfortunately, because of the timing, this also means no Arisia for me. *sads*

However, Keith DeCandido has graciously volunteered to be "me" for my reading, so THAT at least will go on as scheduled...
lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat meh)
Australian norovirus: I try it out so you don't have to. Trust me, you don't want this.

(particularly if you already have a compromised digestive system.)

On the plus side, and without TMI, it swoops through pretty fast - 12 hours from onset until end. Now I'm dealing with the aftermath. Keith picked me up some Gatoraid and ginger ale this morning, but I forgot to request crackers. Or jello. I wonder if, in all of NYC's delivery excess, there's a place that delivers jello?

EtA: jello shots, yes. Plain jello, no. Oh my city...


Meanwhile, the cats don't care that I am behaving like a rag doll. In fact, they seem to be enjoying it. ElderCat - her vet appointment for the ear postponed until tomorrow - is sleeping on my feet, while CatOfSize is doing the guy thing and coming over periodically to check on me, give me a headbutt, and then retreat to the other sofa to watch me, carefully...

If he had thumbs, he'd totally be making me jello.

The really annoying thing about all of this is that ragdolls don't have the brainpower to think, or the strength to sit up and type for any length of time. I'm supposed to be WORKING, damn it....

And daytime tv is STILL boring.

Tell the invalid a story?

EtA 2: I am daring actual food for the first time in 30 hours. And by 'actual food' I refer to overcooked, unsauced, un-cheesed pasta. I'm not sure if my distaste has more to do with my digestive system still being upset, or my foodie sensibilities being offended...
lagilman: coffee or die (rose)
Jack Klugman left us this week, after a lifetime of damned fine performances. And one performance that never got the attention it deserved, and has been near-forgotten.

It deserves to be remembered.

Jack Klugman’s secret, lifesaving legacy
lagilman: coffee or die (meerkat meh)
I am having many thinky thoughts, and absolutely no ability to put them together in a coherent fashion. Moo.

This rhinovirus can move the hell on, any day now. Bored bored bored bored.

On the plus side, I now have new glasses, and i got in cuddle-time with the Muppet-puppy last night (and got to see my folks), and once this cold does move through my sinuses, I will be revved up to write my fingers off, and I will have TIME to do that in...

at least until the 31st, when the Great Road Trip #4 takes off for the wilds of Toronto!

And then it will be November, and I won't even have time to breathe. I guess it's good I'm being forced to rest, now.
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Author Tom Piccirilli was diagnosed last month with brain cancer. Surgery to remove the tumor went well on Monday, but it's still a long road ahead, and immense medical bills piling up. Inevitably, they're under a lot of stress, physical, emotional and financial.

Please don't use this as an opportunity to rail against/bitch about the US healthcare system (Pic, like many freelancers, doesn't have insurance). If you feel the urge, and can afford to, put a few dollars toward his treatment, instead.

I suspect his family would not be offended by prayers/good vibes sent their way, either.


You can also help out by buying books.

For the rest of 2012, ChiZine Publications is generously donating all proceeds from e-book sales of his novella Every Shallow Cut directly to him for his medical expenses, and Crossroad Press will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of all Tom Piccirilli titles to the author directly.
lagilman: coffee or die (puppyface)
So, after my last massage therapist left town in late 2011, I sulked, and avoided, and waited until I was totally tied up in knots before I finally broke down and tried someone new. And I am pleased to say that my new massage therapist is no Trini, Mistress of Pain*, but she's the closest second I've found in years.

This is a good thing, yes. Also, she scolded me for delaying so long to come to her, and rightfully so. I really need to go every quarter, minimum. I let myself forget that, the past year. Which explains why, for the past week or so, my right arm has been giving me so much pain, to the point where I couldn't work for more than an hour at a time. Ow, and other words of annoyance.

so Yay! for being beat back into shape.

I know many otherwise right-thinking people hear "massage" and they think "oh, naked, and a stranger touching you...that has to be awkward. Or sexual. Or awkwardly sexual." I blame bad 1970's porno films for much of this. But a proper massage, especially a therapeutic or deep tissue massage, is no such thing. It's like a gym workout more than anything else - when you're done you will be dehydrated, and sore, and your muscles will bitch at you like nobody's business. And you might even feel worse the next morning, if you were really knotted up.

(and oh dear god i was knotted. All my stress and tension, lodged under the right scapula. As usual.)

And then the day after that, if your therapist did the right things, suddenly your body will remember how it's supposed to move. And pains you were so familiar with you didn't even notice any more will magically disappear....

Right now, after a 50 minute deep tissue workout, yeah, everything hurts, particularly my right shoulder and arm, where most of the trouble lay deep underneath the surface. BioFreeze and a lot of water, and early to bed will put me mostly to rights. And then I am under strict orders to come back next week for another 40 minutes, and then she'll re-evaluate where we are. Like a coach? Exactly like a coach, yeah.

So if you're achey, or your body's not moving right - especially if you have a job that requires a lot of, oh, typing, or drawing, or other repeating motions? You might want to try a massage therapist. Don't let your preconceptions keep you from feeling better!


And me? I have a cheeseburger, and a glass of red wine, and everything's just dandy....


*the therapist I saw when I lived in New Haven. She was Jamaican-born, about 4'1", with arms like steel and fingers that could dig every last knot out of your body, and a voice that could terrify Marines, and she had me running like a fine-tuned machine for two years.

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lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

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