03 June 2011

Time Management

I have seen my general practitioner more times in the last six months than I have in the last six years. Yesterday, I stopped by his office to talk about chest pain. After my bout with the as-yet-undiagnosed-abdominal-pain, I noticed that I had persistent tenderness at the top of my rib cage. This was combined with an ever-present feeling of being poked from inside my stomach, which occasionally progressed to a stabbing pain right where one places their hand to pledge allegiance to our flag. Throw in an occasional fluttering sensation that travels up my throat, and ...strange, right?

So I ignored it. Because that seemed reasonable, despite the fact that my father died of heart disease at the age of 55. I'm only 46, you know.

Truthfully, I thought it was residual pain from the maybe-it's-my-gallbladder attack. I kept waiting for it to go away. But it hung around, and it's not anywhere near my gallbladder. So, since we all know women with cardiac issues present different symptoms than men, I went to see the doctor. Lucky for me, they have an EKG machine right in the office, and the echocardiagram tech was in for the day! They ran a quick tape on me, and my heart rhythm was fine. Then I walked one room over, and the echo guy did an ultrasound of my heart. I haven't bared my breasts that many times in one day since college.

Quick glance showed the heart looks fine. So, the doctor asked me if I'm stressed. I find this question humorous, and frustrating. Is there anyone who answers in the negative?  I absolutely believe that stress can trigger any number of physical responses, but I would still prefer a more concrete reason for my pain. I don't want to go on anti-anxiety medication, just to see if it makes things better. I already don't have enough energy to do everything that needs to get done, and sometimes meds S-L-O-W you down. I was a coke fiend, people; I'm not looking for the mellow.

I told the doc I don't think I'm any more stressed than I was six or twelve months ago. However, my comparisons are always based on when my anxiety was at near-catastrophic levels--when One ran away; the four months Three was home from school with debilitating anxiety; every day that Four suffered in his public school first grade. In contrast, life is pretty rosy these days.

I am willing to entertain the possibility that I am overextended.  In the past six months, I've started a blog, entered writing contests, attended NECRWA, and made a commitment to finish the novel. Add in managing the herd, cooking gourmet meals, and routinely engaging in the hot sex, and there aren't a lot of hours left in the day. And my schedule isn't going to get any lighter for the next six weeks, as I plan a graduation party, attend RWA National in New York, and pack for the big family vacation. So...I think something's gotta give.

Sorry, Captain.

Just kidding. Actually, it will more than likely be the copious amounts of time I spend catching up with all of you. I love sitting down in the morning and cruising through everyone's blogs, or reading facebook and twitter. When my iPhone alarms at 5:50 a.m., I check my email, and read Julie and Kristel's comments on the Diary. It forces my eyes to focus long enough to get me out of bed.

Now, I think I have to use my social media time to finish the manuscript, which is what got me here in the first place. I'm not slipping the clasp on the Diary, but I may not write in it every day. Because, more than giving you a place to visit me, I want to give you my novel. Soon.


  1. OHFORGODSAKE, don't drop the sex! That's the healthiest, most stress-relieving part of the whole deal! (You're welcome, Captain.) Seriously, overextended is an understatement with you. Scale back where you gotta. We understand. (P.S. and by the way, that's why I only blog twice a week. Well...that, and I can't think of any more blog topics. Shh. Don't tell.)

  2. Anonymous3.6.11

    Once again Delia has all the answers... (well, YOU DO!)... so the rest of us can just say "what Dee said" and add in a "we'll miss you" or the very selfish "please try to stay in touch."

    Sadly, I know exactly what you mean, a pool friend asked me yesterday "what have you been up to in your sewing room lately?" Uh, mostly nothing, because I realized that I spend way too much time reading (and writing on) blogs. Hmm, can't cut out the sex... I'll be over here considering my own time management, thank you very much.

  3. What Delia said.

    If you cut back on the blogging, we'll miss you, but not nearly as much as we wish you well.

  4. Anonymous3.6.11

    Yep,what Dee said.
    Your health is much more important than us being entertained by your fabulous anecdotes, and cutting out the sex is not an option...sex is good for your health don't you know.
    Really hope you get this thing figured out soon.

  5. london betty3.6.11

    I am absolutely in accord with what Dee and all the others have said.Your body is telling you some important stuff, listen to it,you have to do what you can to keep yourself well and happy.The sex is a keeper - the blog not so much! ;)

  6. @All: The Captain wants you to know that he loves you all. He knows that you have my best interests at heart, so he, too, is willing to do whatever it takes to keep me happy. He's self-sacrificing like that.

    Speaking of healthy...you were all up much too late! Delia and Carrie, I'm looking at you! Kris and London Betty are across the world, so they're excused, because I can't even figure out what time it is in Australia. I think London is five hours ahead...

    And we all excuse Julie, because her schedule is just wacky.

    Thanks, everyone, for the support!

  7. Take care!
    FYI: As a dilettante doctor (I'm the go-to dr appt girl for my extended family of women...I know the symptoms, do the research, go to the appt and ask questions obnoxiously)...has your dr mentioned costochondritis? Chest wall pain--two family members had it and both got their gallbladders needlessly removed before we figured it out! Take aleve and wear a nonunderwire bra and see if that helps.

    Now that I've successfully used my elementary teaching degree to diagnose you from hundreds of miles away (no applause, please!), I'll miss you awfully but like all those other chicks, I want you to take care of the Lone Woman and her novel and we will still be here when you get back.

  8. @Lora: Actually, yes he did! Also, something to do with the joint between the chest wall and the breastplate...as you can see, I don't ask nearly enough questions. Either way, we'll all know if the gall bladder is still an issue, as I did the HIDA scan yesterday. And because Sarah had warned me, I did not punch the technician.

  9. Sarah's good like that. Her medical degree, I believe, came from watching "House". She successfully diagnosed my gallbladder issue. ;)

    Megan, I'm a night owl. I stay up late and then sleep in late. It's summer, so any work I have to do (academic writing & publishing) is generally on my schedule.

  10. @Carrie: I forgot that college is done for the year. And that you're an adult. Okay, permission granted to stay up to all hours of the night!

  11. Kudos for not punching the tech! I too had chest pain with my gall bladder issues. Also something called Burning Mouth Syndrome (which sounded a whole lot like a social disease to me). I hope they get everything working again for you soon.
    I will miss you when you're not posting, but I *suppose* you're doing the right thing. :) Wishing you a swift recovery, a bestselling romance, and six penii worth of support to do all of the above!

  12. Yup, my mom's hida scan showed slow ejection (don't ask how much I giggled when they said that) but was removed for lack of a better idea. Costochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage between the sternum and ribs, fyi. If dr. pressed down both sides of your breastbone with his fingertips and you didn't scream the f-word and kick him in the nuts, then you don't have it.

    There's my diagnostic test :P

    Also can't wait for the novel. Which agents did you decide to query? I wanna know!

  13. Anonymous4.6.11

    Lol, thanks, I DO have a wacky schedule... but now Carrie gets to stay up late with me. Yay, we should do something fun, oh wait, none of you live near me. Shoot.
    Take care Lone Woman. Now, go have more sex.

  14. Anonymous4.6.11

    OK, this was hilarious. Poor Captain.
    I don't know how you manage to shower, speak in coherent sentences, or remember what day it is. You are extraordinary. Do what you gotta do so you can write. I want that novel in my greedy hands. :)

  15. Ya I try to read my bloggies about once a week, but I'm not working right now! Heaven's knows once I get a job again. Good luck with it all :-)

  16. Anonymous3.7.11

    After you have built up your strength in your abdomen, you need to get up from the floor. Use a stability ball when you do your lower abdominal exercise workouts, such as the classic sit-up and crunches. This will reduce the base support, and more muscles will be put to work.


Thanks for reading! Unlike other Diaries, this one isn't private. Feel free to share your thoughts. Politely, of course.