Worlds Collide: An Update

I’ve been criticized before for In/Exhale, that Kai simply has too much “bad” on his plate. That nothing ever seems to go right for him, and frankly, that’s sort of the theme of his life. Partially because everything is connected, and even when it’s not, sometimes it just feels like you’ve been set up for a bad hand in life no matter what you do. That’s the story, and because it’s not my commercial fiction, but something I mostly write for myself even now, I take those comments in stride and keep writing.

As I explained in the introduction to the first season, Kai has always been my alter ego of sorts. (And yes, I’ve had more than one person, including my husband, question why my alter ego is male, but that’s for another day.) Lately, however, it seems like Kai and my experiences have been converging in more ways than one. His story is still fiction, of course, but when it comes to the feeling of everything happening and nothing going right, he and I definitely seem to have that in common.

As you know because I’ve blogged about it before, last January I developed a headache that has not gone away since, more than a year later. After a few misadventures I was eventually diagnosed with something called New Chronic Daily Headache (or New Persistent Daily Headache, NPDH). It’s very difficult to treat and many people live with it for years. It’s completely disabled me: I had to quit school and give up almost everything in my life because of the pain and light sensitivity I have. I’ve become basically a hermit, writing when I can, but sadly my productivity is not nearly where it used to be.

That’s not my only health issue though. I have several that I won’t go into right now, but my latest health scare has been the potential for a kind of blood cancer. Dealing with this issue on top of my headache and all my other health issues has been part of why I’ve been even more of a ghost than I otherwise have been in the last year.

I’ve actually wanted to do an update post for weeks but wanted to wait for a diagnosis before I did. The problem is, while I do have a diagnosis, technically, I’m not confident in my doctor’s assessment and now am trying to get into a specialist in these kinds of disorders (at MD Anderson, one of the best cancer centers in the world) to get a second opinion. And on top of it all, trying not to freak out and stress.

And that’s without other life issues that are totally separate from my health playing into everything.

So in one way I’ve been able to laugh about it because I think of all those people who were like, “All this stuff would never have happened to Kai” and I look at myself and am like, “uh, yeah, about that . . .” But it also makes it difficult for me to work on his story some days because despite whatever he’s going through in his life, on one hand I know he’ll get through it and everything will be OK (or as OK as it can be for Kai, lol), and I see my own life with all the stress and uncertainty and both physical and emotional pain, and I’m almost jealous of him. (Yes, I’m totally insane.)

So that’s a very succinct summary of where I’ve been the past few months. Mostly dealing with my health, plus some personal and family issues on top of it all, and barely staying afloat most days. I’m on my third round of botox (fingers crossed it helps, even if the odds aren’t in my favor), and ready to start my (hold on, let me count) fourth oral medication to attempt to help my headache. I also have some special glasses coming soon I hope will help with my light sensitivity and give me some of my life back. (Light makes my headache much worse, so going out is literally painful.)

Despite everything I have made decent progress on the second half of I/E Season 3: more than 90,000 words, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to start posting again soon. But all my other projects are on hold for now. I’m really sorry. I know you all are looking forward to a sequel to UnConventional and my latest NaNoWriMo project, but lately just getting through a day is all I can manage to do most of the time.

I am still here, though, and I am still writing, even if it’s not at the pace I wish I could. I just wanted to let you all know this since it can be frustrating when authors you follow go radio silent.

Thanks for all your support.

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