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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.

Friday, November 20, 2009

If I pretend I'm not listening, it will all go away


Not the best approach to every problem, but at the moment, it's the only one I have, going into this weekend.

I had some blood tests a month ago that came back abnormal -- liver enzymes elevated. Mind you, these were done right after our housewarming, which was a wine- and beer-soaked event. Instead of my usual one glass of white, I had more like two and a half. You can laugh; I know I'm a lightweight. A little goes a long way. Or so I told myself.

My doctor instructed me to abstain from any alcoholic beverages for two weeks and have the test repeated. So last week, I went in for another blood draw. Yesterday evening, the doctor's office left a message for me that my results came back abnormal again and that I should follow up with my GI specialist, to whom the data would be faxed.

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh.

Unfortunately, my GI person is out of town and won't be back till Tuesday, so he won't be able to review the test results till then. Which means I'm now going to try to forget about this little bit of news since there's nothing to be done about it for the next 72 hours.

Good Things I Can Distract Myself With:
  • The issue with my lady parts that showed up on the CT scan is a non-issue. Yaaaay.
  • Almost Dr. Sis, her boyfriend, and Marketing Sis are arriving on Tuesday and Wednesday for Thanksgiving.
  • We got our foster kitty (pictured above) adopted this week.
  • We're picking up a new kitty to lavish with affection tomorrow morning.
There, that ought to do it.

9 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh dear my bloggy friend - I suppose I'm impressed that the medical system is keeping such an eye on you and also a bit dismayed that you seem to have really gone through it over the last couple of years. Is there a history of certain things in your family that is keeping you so diligently on the path to true perfect health. I would have fallen by the wayside long ago with regards to diet.

Sherlock said...

What an adorable kitten! About the test results -- sometimes ignoring it for a while it the best way to go. You'll have plenty to keep you occupied with the new kitten and the holiday festivities. Wishing you the best and will be looking for updates.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- there is a pretty significant history of diabetes in my family (grandfather, father, three uncles), so that was what sent me straight to an endocrinologist when my sugar tolerance test a year ago came back abnormal. About six months later, the GI symptoms started up, and trying to figure out the cause led to the tests that turned up these new things. Ironically, it was the OB/GYN (whom the GI doctor told me to see after the weirdness on the CT scan) who discovered the liver enzyme problem. So basically, I'm just running around in circles.

Can't say I expect to achieve perfect health given the prediabetes, but it's just good to manage the condition so it doesn't turn into full-blown diabetes. Or at least forestall that event!

Sherlock -- thanks for the good wishes. We are very much looking forward to meeting our new foster kitty. I loved the last one :)

TKW said...

Now that kitty is adorable...nothing like a fresh kitty to love to make time fly.

Although it's probably not flying, is it?

Crossing my fingers that it's nothing to worry about. Please keep us up to date.

TKW said...

That kitty looks very soft! I hope the distraction of loving the new one helps the days go faster.

I'm crossing my fingers that this is nothing serious...please keep us updated!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

It's been a busier day than I anticipated, TKW :). So time's moving along better than I thought it would. Our new kitty has us well occupied (and I mean that in a good way). Thanks for the good wishes.

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, Denial is a great thing when you really need it--and when there isn't much to be done right away. I wish you the best. The new kitty should be a great help! (And maybe some of those bean brownies?)

I find that easy-peasy fiction is also very helpful (I just finished "Her Fearful Symmetry"). And, at night, lying in bed, I try to distract myself by thinking up plots for books that will make me as rich as Stephanie Meyers.

Hope you'll post pics of new kitty!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

All excellent ideas, GEW. We didn't make bean brownies, but D and I did try half a bar of low-carb chocolate we found at Trader Joe's. Tasty stuff, especially while snuggled up with a light movie :).

Also, our kitty was given to us because she needs to get over the sniffles (without giving them to the other kitties at the shelter), so I'm tending to her. Helping her feel better is a very good distraction, I've found. Pictures coming soon!

(Sorry I was late getting to your note -- I think I can turn off comment moderation now!)

Good Enough Woman said...

No problem, CT. I just thought that maybe I'd forgotten to do the word verification or something. Glad you're doing okay! Hope kitty gets over sniffles soon.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

If I pretend I'm not listening, it will all go away


Not the best approach to every problem, but at the moment, it's the only one I have, going into this weekend.

I had some blood tests a month ago that came back abnormal -- liver enzymes elevated. Mind you, these were done right after our housewarming, which was a wine- and beer-soaked event. Instead of my usual one glass of white, I had more like two and a half. You can laugh; I know I'm a lightweight. A little goes a long way. Or so I told myself.

My doctor instructed me to abstain from any alcoholic beverages for two weeks and have the test repeated. So last week, I went in for another blood draw. Yesterday evening, the doctor's office left a message for me that my results came back abnormal again and that I should follow up with my GI specialist, to whom the data would be faxed.

Aaaaaaaaaaaargh.

Unfortunately, my GI person is out of town and won't be back till Tuesday, so he won't be able to review the test results till then. Which means I'm now going to try to forget about this little bit of news since there's nothing to be done about it for the next 72 hours.

Good Things I Can Distract Myself With:
  • The issue with my lady parts that showed up on the CT scan is a non-issue. Yaaaay.
  • Almost Dr. Sis, her boyfriend, and Marketing Sis are arriving on Tuesday and Wednesday for Thanksgiving.
  • We got our foster kitty (pictured above) adopted this week.
  • We're picking up a new kitty to lavish with affection tomorrow morning.
There, that ought to do it.

9 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh dear my bloggy friend - I suppose I'm impressed that the medical system is keeping such an eye on you and also a bit dismayed that you seem to have really gone through it over the last couple of years. Is there a history of certain things in your family that is keeping you so diligently on the path to true perfect health. I would have fallen by the wayside long ago with regards to diet.

Sherlock said...

What an adorable kitten! About the test results -- sometimes ignoring it for a while it the best way to go. You'll have plenty to keep you occupied with the new kitten and the holiday festivities. Wishing you the best and will be looking for updates.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

FF -- there is a pretty significant history of diabetes in my family (grandfather, father, three uncles), so that was what sent me straight to an endocrinologist when my sugar tolerance test a year ago came back abnormal. About six months later, the GI symptoms started up, and trying to figure out the cause led to the tests that turned up these new things. Ironically, it was the OB/GYN (whom the GI doctor told me to see after the weirdness on the CT scan) who discovered the liver enzyme problem. So basically, I'm just running around in circles.

Can't say I expect to achieve perfect health given the prediabetes, but it's just good to manage the condition so it doesn't turn into full-blown diabetes. Or at least forestall that event!

Sherlock -- thanks for the good wishes. We are very much looking forward to meeting our new foster kitty. I loved the last one :)

TKW said...

Now that kitty is adorable...nothing like a fresh kitty to love to make time fly.

Although it's probably not flying, is it?

Crossing my fingers that it's nothing to worry about. Please keep us up to date.

TKW said...

That kitty looks very soft! I hope the distraction of loving the new one helps the days go faster.

I'm crossing my fingers that this is nothing serious...please keep us updated!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

It's been a busier day than I anticipated, TKW :). So time's moving along better than I thought it would. Our new kitty has us well occupied (and I mean that in a good way). Thanks for the good wishes.

Good Enough Woman said...

CT, Denial is a great thing when you really need it--and when there isn't much to be done right away. I wish you the best. The new kitty should be a great help! (And maybe some of those bean brownies?)

I find that easy-peasy fiction is also very helpful (I just finished "Her Fearful Symmetry"). And, at night, lying in bed, I try to distract myself by thinking up plots for books that will make me as rich as Stephanie Meyers.

Hope you'll post pics of new kitty!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

All excellent ideas, GEW. We didn't make bean brownies, but D and I did try half a bar of low-carb chocolate we found at Trader Joe's. Tasty stuff, especially while snuggled up with a light movie :).

Also, our kitty was given to us because she needs to get over the sniffles (without giving them to the other kitties at the shelter), so I'm tending to her. Helping her feel better is a very good distraction, I've found. Pictures coming soon!

(Sorry I was late getting to your note -- I think I can turn off comment moderation now!)

Good Enough Woman said...

No problem, CT. I just thought that maybe I'd forgotten to do the word verification or something. Glad you're doing okay! Hope kitty gets over sniffles soon.