Weeknotes 7 – 2019-07-29

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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July 29, 2019


Oof, it’s been a while. It’s been a hell of a two months chez Natalie and by the time Sunday rolls around I’m not in the mood to update. But this week, I am in the mood! Yay!

Both Balticon and Readercon were fantastic and I’m so glad I was able to go to both of them. So good to see my hoodlum friends.


Been doing a lot of reading. Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War is an utterly brilliant puzzlebox of a novella and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve read it and I’m still having feelings about it. I also read Max’s Empress of Forever and it was a ripping great space opera.

I also loved Olivia Waite’s The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics; it was wonderful and I’m glad that Avon is publishing f/f romances.

Bujold has a new Penric novella out, The Orphans of Raspay, which is much in line with the other Penric novellas; that is to say a lovely comforting read where you know everything will be okay at the end. And finally, Fran Wilde’s Riverland, which is a haunting tale of two sisters trying to survive in an emotionally abusive household. With magic. It was a hard book to read, but well worth the time.

I’m currently working my way through The Ruin of Angels and it seems like Max Gladstone is the only male fiction writer I’m reading this year. Heh.


So busy. OMG. I’m manually processing project authorizations and the number of people who are all, “What do you mean, budget?” is making my head explode. We’ve also moved into our new workspace, which is a very nice cubicle farm with lots of natural light and storage space. But we’ve only been there for a week so this may just be the honeymoon period. Ask me again in 6 months.


And this is where things get complicated.  My portal venogram at the beginning of June went well, but then the day after I was discharged I ended up back in the hospital with a fever of 103 which is no bueno. Turns out I had an asymptomatic UTI and a gallstone lodged in my bile duct. That was five days in the hospital, I think.

Then the week of July 4, I ended up in the hospital again for a day with what the doctors think was a GI bug–there was a lot of puking. And then just last week, I got to take an ambulance ride to the hospital because I had such severe abdominal pain that I could barely walk and there was yelling and full body sweats and puking–and then two doses of Dilaudid later, the pain was gone and we have no idea what caused it.

I was admitted overnight for dehydration, which made me feel a bit like a rock star. The part where I had to poop in a bucket four feet from my bed quickly disposed of that illusion. (I was admitted to a floor with a shared bathroom and because I have a history of VRE, I can’t used shared bathrooms: upside is that I always get a private room, downside is sometimes having to poop in a bucket.)

I’m still accumulating fluid in my abdomen, but not as quickly as before. But because I’m still accumulating, I have to have another portal venogram next month to have at least one stent inserted into my portal vein. Everyone pray that this works because if it doesn’t, then I get to have a (not-permanent) tube installed by which I can drain myself and I would rather not.

So this all means that my gallbladder removal hasn’t been scheduled and neither has my hernia repair–I have an umbilical hernia from all the fluid accumulation and it’s the single most uncomfortable thing about this whole situation now. I look like I’m 6 months pregnant, I have no bellybutton, and while I’m accumulating fluid, I’m also losing weight which is worrisome.

Oh, and I’m diabetic now, too. So that’s a whole new layer of complexity–eat low fat for the gallbladder, but eat low carb for the diabetes; what’s a girl to do? Lean meat/fish and steamed veggies it is. Except when I can’t stand it and we have bacon and eggs and I take an extra Creon just to be safe. I’m also supposed to stay hydrated for one of my diabetes medications, but I’m on fluid restrictions for the ascites. I literally cannot win here.

And people wonder why I’m so cranky all the time. This is why. It’s been a year and I’m still sick and I’ve been fighting this fucking fluid in my abdomen for six months now and there just doesn’t seem to be an end to it all.


I’m basically married to my notebooks at this point. Trying to keep track of everything is a lot a lot a lot. I’m trying to step up my game at work because I’ve been out so much recently and I feel incredibly guilty about it (even though my manager says I shouldn’t). Obviously, I’m not going to kill myself for work, but just staying on top of everything would be a blessing right now.

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