Blogroll

When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At the end of a rough day

... you can't be that down if you have a kitty in your lap.

Jada has been a bit skittish about being picked up or held in any way for the first week here, so we've tried to limit our contact with her to petting and scratching around her neck or under her jaw (she makes cranky noises otherwise). We'll offer our hands to her so she can sniff them, and when she's feeling friendly, she'll thrust her head into our fingers and rub it around.

So today I had my follow-up appointment with the doctor who put me on Pancrecarb back in July. On his instructions, I stopped taking it at the end of August, but my symptoms (I'll spare you the details) came back with a vengeance within a week and a half. Which means that the problem hasn't resolved itself. Sometimes a bacterial infection can throw the whole system out of whack temporarily, and Pancrecarb can help your body do what it's supposed to while its inner workings return to normal over a few months; since that didn't happen, we need to do some tests to look for other causes. Not what I hoped would be the outcome of this trial, but it is what it is.

I came home pretty unhappy about the tests that are now in my near future, among them, an endoscopy with some biopsies. That in particular shouldn't be a difficult procedure, according to the nice little information packet the nurse gave me after the doctor and I had talked -- I'll be sedated -- but it is unsettling all the same. Of course, we've got company at home right now (D's brother and the brother's fiancée, who've just gone to bed) so I haven't had the chance to sit with the thoughts in my head until this moment.

When I did finally get to plop down on the couch, Jada appeared. And she put her front paws on my knees and asked with a little meow to be picked up -- a first for her since she's been so reluctant to be touched. I lifted her into my lap and let her stand there, looking around from her new vantage point. Then she arranged herself very deliberately over my knees and cuddled down for a nap. I've been typing as carefully as I can so as not to disturb her -- it's such a nice feeling to have her so close.

So like I said, you can't be that down at the end of a rough day if you have a kitty in your lap. Especially one that gives you her trust as a present when you most need something to comfort you. Too bad she can't come with me for the procedure!

Photo by Marketing Sis

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh dear my bloggy friend, no, this is not what we wanted to hear. Our bodies, eh? Maybe many years from now we'll just be able to put in an order for a replacement part. If that was now then I would put in an order for a new back.

Let's hope that you sail through all the forthcoming tests and I can vouch for the fact that when one is a bit low or achy the love of a pet is a wonderful thing

x

Tara said...

My husband had a copy of endoscopies - pretty painless stuff, really. He was eating within an hour or so after. Hope it all goes well.

Good Enough Woman said...

Best wishes for you CT. You know, I've missed a lot of your health-related post, and now your posts hav me thinking about my own kidney stone and GI problems . . . Hm.

Anyway, thinking of you! Glad you have kitty comfort.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- thanks for the good wishes. Funny, regarding ordering replacement parts, I just watched The Island with D. Coincidences ...

Tara -- thanks, that's good to know. Hopefully all will be routine!

GEW -- thanks, and yes, kitty comfort is so good. Hope I'm not freaking you out about the health stuff! Happy to provide more information over e-mail if you've got questions.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At the end of a rough day

... you can't be that down if you have a kitty in your lap.

Jada has been a bit skittish about being picked up or held in any way for the first week here, so we've tried to limit our contact with her to petting and scratching around her neck or under her jaw (she makes cranky noises otherwise). We'll offer our hands to her so she can sniff them, and when she's feeling friendly, she'll thrust her head into our fingers and rub it around.

So today I had my follow-up appointment with the doctor who put me on Pancrecarb back in July. On his instructions, I stopped taking it at the end of August, but my symptoms (I'll spare you the details) came back with a vengeance within a week and a half. Which means that the problem hasn't resolved itself. Sometimes a bacterial infection can throw the whole system out of whack temporarily, and Pancrecarb can help your body do what it's supposed to while its inner workings return to normal over a few months; since that didn't happen, we need to do some tests to look for other causes. Not what I hoped would be the outcome of this trial, but it is what it is.

I came home pretty unhappy about the tests that are now in my near future, among them, an endoscopy with some biopsies. That in particular shouldn't be a difficult procedure, according to the nice little information packet the nurse gave me after the doctor and I had talked -- I'll be sedated -- but it is unsettling all the same. Of course, we've got company at home right now (D's brother and the brother's fiancée, who've just gone to bed) so I haven't had the chance to sit with the thoughts in my head until this moment.

When I did finally get to plop down on the couch, Jada appeared. And she put her front paws on my knees and asked with a little meow to be picked up -- a first for her since she's been so reluctant to be touched. I lifted her into my lap and let her stand there, looking around from her new vantage point. Then she arranged herself very deliberately over my knees and cuddled down for a nap. I've been typing as carefully as I can so as not to disturb her -- it's such a nice feeling to have her so close.

So like I said, you can't be that down at the end of a rough day if you have a kitty in your lap. Especially one that gives you her trust as a present when you most need something to comfort you. Too bad she can't come with me for the procedure!

Photo by Marketing Sis

4 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh dear my bloggy friend, no, this is not what we wanted to hear. Our bodies, eh? Maybe many years from now we'll just be able to put in an order for a replacement part. If that was now then I would put in an order for a new back.

Let's hope that you sail through all the forthcoming tests and I can vouch for the fact that when one is a bit low or achy the love of a pet is a wonderful thing

x

Tara said...

My husband had a copy of endoscopies - pretty painless stuff, really. He was eating within an hour or so after. Hope it all goes well.

Good Enough Woman said...

Best wishes for you CT. You know, I've missed a lot of your health-related post, and now your posts hav me thinking about my own kidney stone and GI problems . . . Hm.

Anyway, thinking of you! Glad you have kitty comfort.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- thanks for the good wishes. Funny, regarding ordering replacement parts, I just watched The Island with D. Coincidences ...

Tara -- thanks, that's good to know. Hopefully all will be routine!

GEW -- thanks, and yes, kitty comfort is so good. Hope I'm not freaking you out about the health stuff! Happy to provide more information over e-mail if you've got questions.