Wheel Spinning

Sometimes you get those weeks where nothing is getting done, don’t you? Yesterday it was a trip to the ER to make sure the chest pains weren’t serious (they weren’t – they seem to be acid reflux, amen). My man came from work to sit with me and showed about the same level of concern I did when, after being stuck by a needle, I went through the familiar routine of nearly passing out. The blood pressure dropped and the doctor was the only one in the room who was concerned. We both knew. Been there when the blood mobile folks have to apply ice to my neck and smelling salts to my nose.

Today it’s a different doctor. Question: Can you have a sinus infection for a year? Answer: Yes. Yes you can. I’m now on to a specialist. I’m suspecting allergy-related because the two weeks in Scotland were symptom-free. Two days stateside and I was in misery again. Just thinkin’.

I have deadlines. Mind you, all but two are self-induced ones, but I have them nonetheless. This week is a mulligan for me, and it’s only Tuesday. Once I get back this morning (hopefully this morning), I’ll work my tail off to get ahead a little. Then let the week fall apart – I’ll be ready! Or not ready. Either way.

I know Friday’s taken up – I’ve been arranging my work so that I have those days off when I can. Having that extra day has made a huge difference in my psyche. I’m meeting a writer friend for lunch.

When you get distracted, when you feel like it’s two steps forward and four back, how do you get through it?

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  • Wendy May 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

    My husband has been dealing with Severe Allergies for several things for many years. He always has a sinus infection and he's seen specialists and had sinus surgery. So, I wouldn't be surprised if yours was allergy related too.

  • Lori May 18, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Wendy, that's comforting to hear. I suspected so myself. Not that it makes it any better, but that my current routine of Alavert and Mucinex isn't wasted time does help.

  • Devon Ellington May 18, 2010 at 11:40 am

    First, feel better soon.

    Turns out the "cancer" the one vet diagnosed Elsa with was the feline equivalent of a giant sinus infection she's had for more than a year, so yes, you can have a sinus infection for that long. She's on a combo of homeopathic remedies that have done more in 4 days than all the antibiotics in more than a year.

    I don't even bother to go the ER anymore with chest pains. Of course, I can't, I don't have insurance, but every time the stress level ups, so do the pains, and I've been under constant stress for what, three years now? I figure when it gets too bad I'll just drop dead and be done with it.

    Feel better soon.

    How do I get through? I just do it, with "distraction breaks" — treats to get my mind off things, whether it's going for a walk or to a museum or reading a book or doing an extra meditation.

    Hang in there, you're going through a rough patch, but remember, you're going THROUGH it, which means you'll come out the other side of it eventually, and it will be better.

    And while you're in the midst of it, you've got a lot of support.

  • Joseph Hayes May 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    My first two immediate reactions to reading this post: obviously a reaction to heather and haggis; and IT'S TUESDAY??

  • Cathy May 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    @Joseph-LOL! I think you might have found the source. šŸ™‚

    Last year I moved into my mother's home. She is 87 & was living alone after my Dad died. She is in excellent health (thank God!) but she is 87 and I didn't want her living alone.

    I have had to adjust to distractions that if I was still living alone, I wouldn't be dealing with. I focus on why I made this move and all the 1,001 ways my mother still spoils me rotten–and the reason I left Corporate America to freelance.

    You know, I am pretty damn lucky after all.

    Hope you feel well real soon, Lori!

  • Lori May 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Joseph, only GOOD reactions to heather and haggis! LOL No, that lapse in symptoms occurred a year ago. This is that ongoing mess I've been fighting since getting my first-ever sinus infection a year ago this week.

    Thanks, Devon. I will. It's a matter of just verifying that I'm not harboring any unseen illness. Don't you feel guilty with "distraction breaks?" Here's my thing – I'm too duty-driven to take so much time during my work day for myself. So I work harder in my free time. I've yet to train myself to believe that it doesn't matter as much as I think it does. Damned Saturn in Capricorn!

  • Valerie May 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Oh, no. I had my first sinus infection last year and it was a killer. You have my sympathies.

    I get such a panicky feeling when practical stuff keeps demanding my attention and the work piles up in the meantime. I'm a "get to it right away" person so it's hard for me to let something sit, even if I know logically that I'll have time later to complete it.

    This is a bit sad but Friday nights have become my clean-up time, when if all else fails, I stay home, clean the house and attack my laptop until I feel I'm on top of my game again. There's no point in going out because I won't be able to relax if I feel I'm behind my (self-imposed, of course) schedule.

    Hope things look up.

  • Paula May 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    A good friend of mine has been battling chronic sinusitis for several years now, with frequent infections. Allergy tests came back negative, suggesting only "sensitivity" to ragweed, dust, pollen, etc…. She has some other health issues that limit which medications she can take for her sinus condition. I hope you're totally recovered soon!

    Today I have two distractions: waiting for the vet to call with Doggie Lily's blood test results (routine screening, so at least we don't expect a problem), and trying to get the ComEd meter readers back on track. Last year they went 8 months with no read. After two months with no actual read I called to schedule one. They were supposed to be here Friday or Monday. No show. I was here. I called and left a message for the guy who supposedly schedules the readers that they WILL do an actual red today or face consequences. If they don't read my meter today I will write to the head of ComEd, the Citizen's Utility Board (a watchdog group) and the state's attorney general who is tough about protecting consumers' rights.

    Now all I want to do is start writing those letters, but I have an interview to do, two to transcribe, and another two more to schedule. All for two articles due Friday – but I need them done by Thursday since I promised a neighbor I'd help with her garage sale.

    Make that three distractions. Despite reminding the neighbor I'm VERY busy this week, and her promise not to call unless it's important, she called four times yesterday. None of the calls were remotely important, yet she started each one with, "I know you're busy, but…"

    And no. I don't have Caller ID. (Here it only comes "free" when packaged with Call Waiting, which I loathe and refuse to add to my phone service.)

  • Lori May 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Cathy, you're a good soul. I love my mother, but I think we'd both cringe at the thought of being together 24/7 again – maybe more she than me! LOL

    Valerie, know what's getting to me now? No time to market when I can't get to the actual work. I'm trying to reach into new areas, which requires a little more time to research than I have. Maybe I should just stick with the tried-and-true for now.

    Paula, I've stopped answering unless I have time. You may have to turn your ringer off to do that. It's sanity-saving for you, believe me.

  • becky @ misspriss May 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    My allergies actually seem worse here in San Diego than they do back home, which is annoying. Especially since I can't take anything but benadryl or sudafed right now, neither of which work for more than a day or two.

    I, too, had a trip to the ER just a few days ago. Really bad stomach pains that wouldn't go away for hours. The ER said it was my gall bladder, but my regular physician isn't all that convinced yet. We just have to wait & see. In the meantime, I'm a little afraid to eat much of anything because I haven't any idea what caused the attack. I really don't want to go through that again, either. Worst pain I've ever had, like someone was tightening a band around the lowest part of my ribcage, with no relief.

    Right now I'm feeling 4 steps behind with housework, bills, and finding new work. *sigh*

  • Eileen May 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    When I'm really distracted and feeling overwhelmed, I take things in as small a bite as possible and allow myself to feel good about it. Write one subheading, and I get to call a friend and chat. Write three paragraphs, and then I'm allowed to do something fun. It gets me through.

    On the sinus infection, have you tried giving up all grains and dairy for a few weeks and see what happens? I've seen that approach work wonders on a number of people.

  • Lori May 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Ouch! Becky, that's awful! How are you feeling today? Sorry you're hurting.

    Eileen, I haven't tried the grains/dairy diet. It's something to try. I'll probably have allergy tests after all these other tests come back. I would bet it's seasonal, though I'm not ruling out anything here at home, like molds or foods.

    Today I'm working on a "fun" project since I have a longer deadline on it. I can chip away at it. When I have a time crunch, I think that's the only way to accomplish anything.

  • Ashley May 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    First of all let me say that I'm sorry you're feeling bad. It's miserable to keep pushing on when you just feel like crashing.

    When I'm feeling like that, I try to find a source of joy and take a time out. Whether that's spending some quality time with my husband, my animals or my friends, I need a chance to refocus. If I can't take a little time to back away from everything, my mind will do it for me in the form of distractions!

  • Georganna Hancock M.S. May 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Oh, I just lie down. That's exactly what I did all day yesterday. Of course, I took a client's manuscript with me and spent the time reading it for a critique. That's when I wasn't dozing off. No deadlines helps!

    Thanks for your visits and comments. I still don't know what I'm doing with the blog, but I appreciate your support!

    Hope you feel better real quick-like.

    Georganna @ Whatever

  • Roxane B. Salonen May 19, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Lori, I haven't read all the responses so I hope I'm not repeating, but what I do when I need a little bust of inspiration is what you did today: lunch with a writer friend. That always helps. Sometimes, gaining perspective, realizing that writing is important but we need to be healthy (physically and mentally) to do our work well, and then to take steps to gain that health, is also really important. I hope you get to the bottom of the allergy (?) thing? Not fun. And a year is way too long to suffer. Be well!

  • Paula May 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Lori, Lori, Lori…I've tried not answering but the neighbor then marches up and pounds on my door to see if I'm all right. (More likely, checking to see if I'm hiding from her.)

  • becky @ misspriss May 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    @Paula – oh no, that's awful! Do you hide when she pounds on the door? šŸ˜€

    @Lori – Feeling better. Just unsure what caused the attack & how to prevent future ones. Now I'm just back to typical heartburn, which is just a part of pregnancy for me.

  • Lori May 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Paula, you need to start marching around nude in your house – and answering the door that way. She'll stop!

    Becky, glad you're feeling better. Hang in there – pregnancy is such a temporary affliction. šŸ˜‰

    Roxane, I'm hoping for a little mental health. I know the feeling – it's mild depression. It's the same feeling I had during my divorce, only thankfully not as pronounced. This too shall pass. I'm going to kick up the meditation practice more often. Sometimes centering and balance are the exact prescription….

  • Lori May 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Georganna, I promise to meditate lying down. šŸ™‚

  • Paula May 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Nude? I don't want to terrify my poor dog! LOL

    This morning the neighbor called. I'd agreed to help her with a garage sale this weekend (thank God she didn't want to start on a Thursday, which is common around here). I made it clear I have two articles due Friday and I'm trying to get them done today so I can help out. She's trying to guilt me into dropping everything to help haul all the stuff out of her basement. She called this morning to say how much she's done and how much is left to do, then said, "Are you busy?"

    I said, "VERY. I have two articles to write today. If I don't finish them I won't be able to help you tomorrow."

    "Okay. Bye!"

    I'll have to remember that one. (And please, don't tell her they're two really short articles! One is 600 words and the other is 300.)