Tapering Down

Reading time: about 4 min.
disability  knitting  reading 

I have finally, finally started to taper down on the Provera, which has a fun side effect brain fog–in addition to the brain fog from not getting enough oxygen. And the bleeding? With the Mirena and switch back to Eliquis, and the extra progesterone from the Provera–it has stopped completely. Hallelujah!

I’m finally starting to think more clearly, but it’s a slow process and I’m trying not to overtax myself.

I decided to do some Javascript tutorials to refresh my memory on how to make the thinky box go and it’s been helpful. It’s reminded me that I do know how to do this work and that I am not–to be blunt–stupid. I’ve been sick, which is different.

There’s been a lot of knitting here. I’m mainly working on Naomi Parkhurst’s Sycamore Creek shawl, which has turned into a handspin stashbuster. I’m currently on skein 6 of 8 and it’s going to be the best giant snuggly shawl ever.

I’m also making a point to journal regularly and that’s helped a lot with just getting all the ick out of my brain and onto paper where I can either read it later or just be done with it already. One thing I’ve been doing is writing letters to the various voices of my inner critic: my mom, my AP English teacher, and my high school’s choir director. I’m sure I’ll find more, but those are the main ones these days, especially with the bleeding situation.

And I get to use my fountain pens in the journal, which is nice. I’m about a third of the way through a Nanami Seven Seas Crossfield journal and I’m eying the Odyssey Neptune for my next one, thanks to mnmlscholar. Or, you know, if my Hippo Noto notebook ever fucking shows up. Which I’m suspecting it won’t, at this point as I ordered it two years ago from their website and when I asked about it a year ago got a copy of the Kickstarter update which was the usual over-commitment sob story. Ah well.

I’ve also been reading.

For work and in general non-fiction, I’ve been working my way through Debugging Teams, which is really good and has helped me to unpack the ways my last manager at the Corporate Job was such a bad manager. And I’ve started Sarah Wachter-Boettcher’s Technically Wrong (affiliate link), which is about toxic technology.

I’m also poking at Katie Byron’s Loving What Is (affiliate link) and trying very hard to not see it as some sort of cult indoctrination because one of the the things I’ve been working really hard on these days is acceptance, specifically acceptance of my disabilities and the limitations I have as a result.

As for what I’ve been reading in terms of fiction, I read Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Spare Man (affiliate link), and while I really liked it after I finished it, the further I get from it the more artificial it feels and the less I like the main character, Tesla. She is disabled, and became so in a very public way, but since she’s incredibly wealthy, she has access to the best treatment and supports money an buy. Which is fine, but not actually realistic.

And there’s one part where she’s in a huge amount of pain but still takes a moment to wiggle her ass at her husband. Which put me right out of the story because when I’m in a huge amount of pain, wiggling my ass at anyone is literally not even on the menu. What’s on the menu is 1) making the pain stop if possible and 2) gritting my teeth and doing what needs to be done before I fall over. Luckily for me, I don’t have that kind of pain very often and the last time I did, I was hooked up to a magical machine that dispensed Dilaudid and wasn’t solving an ever-more-convoluted murder mystery.

There’s also the drinking. Each chapter starts with a recipe for a cocktail, and some of them are non-alcoholic. But Tesla and Shal both drink a lot of gin cocktails and as someone who can’t drink, the amount of drinking in the book bothered me.

However, there is a very cute service dog named Gimlet and she does a great job taking care of Tesla and is neither injured nor dead at the end of the book. I feel it’s important to tell people that the dog does not die.

I also just read Victoria Goddard’s sequel to The Hands of the Emperor, At the Feet of the Sun and oh. Oh. So very good. Goddard’s work definitely falls into the id vortex and has what I call a fanfic sensibility to it, but she’s also managed to write a thoroughly believable romance between friends. She has articulated that deep connection that people often have with their best friends and given that type of friendship a name: “fanoa.” It’s defined in the book as two people who are halves of a whole, fitting together the way a clamshell fits.

There are lots of other wonderful bits, of course, but it was the way she articulated relationship that stuck out as the important bit to me. And the telepathic sentient dinosaur soulmates, of course.

And then, yesterday, I got a lovely friendship bracelet from my best friend of 36 years, engraved with the private nickname only she ever uses (and it is going to stay private).