General Update Post

I meant to put this post up yesterday, but the trajectory of my days this past week has been all over the place. I had a major depressive incident on Tuesday and then aftershocks of it a couple of times throughout the week.

Here are the major points:

We have been spending a varying amount of time each day visiting a close family member in the hospital. My own personal HIPPA policy is I don’t go into detail on other people’s medical stuff and even more so in public, so in this space I’ll just say that there was a fall, the prognosis for recovery and likelihood of further surgical intervention had been getting worse and worse, but as of yesterday there appears to have been a corner turned.

I have been having some really terrible allergy problems. I think May-June-July in Maryland are typically the worst allergy problems I have anywhere. I felt so much better when I got over my sinus infection because the deep-seated ache and fatigue of fighting an illness was gone, but my nose never actually stopped. The rest of the year a daily dose of loratadine (Claritin) at 20 mg does it for me. Yesterday, in desperation, I Googled to see if doubling up a dose was safe, and found that many doctors recommend 20 mg. I also found a commonly repeated story (though not attached to a source, yet) that the pharmaceutical company Scherring spent almost six years fighting with the FDA over the dose, because 20 mg is the actual clinically effective dose but at that point the side effects—though still mild in most patients—are too strong for it to be marketed as “non-drowsy”, which is where the big bucks are.

Well, I have never had an adverse reaction to loratadine, though I know people it makes loopy at the lower dose. So I decided to risk it, and it changed my world. No more sniffling. No throat-clearing. The only sedative effect I noticed was very mild, and I think the main thing it did was improve my mood by giving me what I’d call a chill edge.

So I’m a believer now. Do your own research, talk to your doctor, et cetera, but if you’re taking 10 mg of loratadine and it’s not really doing it for you, consider this. This could be life-changing for people who spend months out of the year sniffling, hacking, and blowing their noses.

And then, the writing…

Between scrambling before WisCon, being at WisCon, being sick after WisCon, and dealing with the above, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had the time, energy, space, and spoons to do any substantial writing, and this shows every time I sit down and try to do some substantial writing. The muscles are atrophied, the well is dry, everything I’ve tried to do in the area of creative writing is painful and slow.

So my plan for the next week… to the extent that reality is susceptible to plans… is to run myself through a little creativity bootcamp to get the juices flowing: a mix of free writing and focused writing exercises, mixed in with relaxation techniques, with the overall hope of getting my actual writing projects back on track by the end of the week, but the only actual goal being to write, just write.