Monday, July 18, 2016

In Which Keely Makes the 3 Month Meth Mark

Last Labor Day weekend, I woke up thinking I'd sprained my pinky finger in my sleep. It hurt, but I didn't think on it beyond, "ouch" and went about the business of having fun with my visiting mom.

A few weeks later and the "sprain" hadn't improved. A Google search after that, and I was certain I had nerve damage. Off to the doctor and the start of a four month odyssey of tests and uncertainty that ended with a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis (PA).


I've suffered from psoriasis since the age of twenty, after a perfect storm of Mono, Strep throat, and antibiotics decimated my immune system. Psoriasis isn't fun. Nope. It's a flaky nuisance designed specifically to make the sufferer feel about as confident in their body as an underweight, molting, three-legged rabbit with tics and a carrot allergy.


But, you know, one puts on one's big girl panties and muddles through. In the last few years, I'd finally come to a workable detente and figured I had this particular hassle figured out. Creams, lotions, potions, and patience.

Ha, ha, surprise!

Now, it's not like I think my self-congratulatory, "you've got this, girl" pats on the back triggered some weird-ass karma, but it is beyond frustrating that I'd just settled into a maintenance routine when the PA decided to take roost.


The good news, of course, is that PA is treatable.


Sunday, July 17 marked the three month anniversary of my first dose of methotrexate. I take 8 tiny pills once a week and a dose of folic acid daily. My skin has improved exponentially (good-bye sucker flakes!). The joint tenderness that had, between onset of the pain to first dose, spread throughout my entire body, has decreased to the point where I no longer move like the Tin Man in need of a lube job.


Of course, the drug makes booze a bit of a danger. Stupid liver incompatibility. As a result, I haven't had a drink since April 15. Turns out, I miss the social aspects of alcohol consumption a lot, but the physical drag that can come from drinking just a bit too much, just a little too often, not at all.


Another BIG win since clearing away the fog of pain and lethargy of a regular drink after work: I've spent a lot more time on my writing. The result: I've finished a round of revisions on my WIP, resubmitted to the editor who requested them, and dug into book two of the series.

I'm not always sure about what's causal vs. correlated, but the story I tell myself each day is that I'm functioning better because I'm treating myself well.


Seems like a positive "happily for now" place to end things, so I'll sign with this question: how do you handle the sideswipes your body slams you with as you age? Emotionally, logistically, or other...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Midsummer Night's Reading Dreams

A number of the Rockville 8 ladies are out on vacation - and who can blame them?

But let it not be said that we can't field a varied and compelling beach read list however brief it may be! Read below for what Lisa, Misha and Keely are reading now and what we're diving into next - and let us know whose pages YOU'RE turning this summer!

Misha Crews

What I’m reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen

How’d I find it: I love this author, and always try to read anything she writes. Her first book, Through a Glass, Darkly, is one of my all-time favorites. Dark Angels actually came out several years ago, and somehow it slipped under my radar at the time of publication, so it was quite a treat to find it!

I recommend it because: It's overflowing with fascinating characters, complicated love stories, and intrigue. Lots and lots of intrigue! Plus, it's set in the 1600s, in the court of Charles II, and Koen handles the historical details beautifully.

What I’m reading next: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hopkins. 

Lisa McQuayWhat I'm reading: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

How'd I find it: I've read other works by this author and just adore her. I read Marianna first and couldn't put it down, even going back to my favorite parts to re-read them when I was finished. It stayed with me for a long time and I kept thinking about all of the plot twists and hint that she subtly gave us to lead us to the conclusion. 

I recommend it because: it has a fascinating setting, historical mystery, centers around a fascinating occupation, and the characters are unforgettable and well-drawn. 

What I'm reading next: That Thing You Do, by Maria Geraci. I met her recently and had some great conversations with her. I'm betting her books are equally wonderful. 

J. Keely Thrall

How'd I find it: Funny story, in the wake of Fifty Shades of Gray, a pal recommended author Cherise Sinclair for anyone who wanted to read well done BDSM romance. I admit, I was curious so I scooted on over to Amazon, looked CS up and bought the first book at the top of the search...which happened to be book one of Blake's Masters and Mercenaries series. 

I recommend it (the whole series) because: it's goofy, over the top, kick butt fun. Blake's characters aren't people you'd meet in real life, but who the heck cares when you're having as much fun as they are blowing s*** up, roughing up the bad guys, and having kinky sex? That said, in each book, Blake deftly pulls the heartstrings as her h/h work for their happily ever afters. When I need a break from heavy, I love the wild, kooky ride I take each time I enter this world. 

What' I'm reading next: Good golly, I have no idea! Suggestions, please!