I’m not gonna gritch, but I’ll lay it on you straight: things have been really hard at our house these last few weeks. Yeah, that’s the reason you aren’t hearing from me. No one is.

Our youngest, Susanne, has been very sick, and on top of that she’s had severe drug reactions now to two of the medications she was given. We’ve been in and out of hospitals, emergency rooms, labs, and doctor’s offices so many times I would cry if I counted them. So would she. Her latest reaction is still in full bloom, so my stomach is alternating between knotting and churning. And, speaking of latest, now there’s a concern that it’s not a drug interaction at all but just her gut’s latest manifestation of punishment upon her. We’re booking with a rheumatologist and immunologist now at her GI’s request. Her GI calls her “the mystery girl.” Susanee, on the other hand, sings in the shower and wants to go take care of her cows, which we are finally letting her do. Here’s a snap of her with Snoopy:


Her heifer Dixie is pregnant and hormonal and difficult and 1500 pounds, but we’re very excited about the baby next April. She’s just hard to handle, and that’s a bad match for a sick, somewhat frail 120-pound girl. Susanne thought she had bloat and insisted on walking her only to end up with feet and ankles so swollen she could barely walk. The doctor ixnayed that activity until the swelling goes down, which is heartbreaking for Susanne.

And I say we, but it’s a lot me. Eric mostly has been traveling. His ~20% travel job has been closer to 75% this year, and it’s killing us both. The timing with me emotionally unwound is tough. With Susanne’s anaphylaxis condition seemingly interrelated with the issues she is having right now (severe, unexplained abdominal pain, troubling drug reactions–if in fact they’re not interwoven into an underlying autoimmune condition, too), I am struggling to keep my eyes from the pit, the dark one where there’s nothing I can do to save her, and losing her is forever just in front of me. It’s paralyzing. I’m reading 1000 Gifts and trying to focus on thanking God for my blessings, like the wonderful time I’ve had alone with this beautiful sweet girl to really enjoy her and support her and help her these last few weeks, but I’m not always succeeding.

So guess what we’ve been doing during this same two weeks? Moving. Yes, moving. We’re juggling installations and issues and owners and boxes of broken plates (we don’t have a single one left, but I haven’t bought any more yet—bowls will have to do for now). And Eric traveled four days one of the weeks and six days the next. He’s here this week, but barely. He’s sick, and he’s on a “surprise” project that he can barely cram in. {I did book a doctor’s appointment for him this month to FINALLY get the physical he’s been promising, though, and I’m going to make him keep it.} But that’s not all. We’re refurbishing the house we moved out of, so there were literally 10 contractors there today, and we’re juggling them, home stagers, real estate agents, and mortgage companies. And we’re building the house we’re moving into in a few months, and juggling soil tests, site visits with the builder, exterior choices, and draw scheduling.

My doctor wants me to squeeze a hysterectomy in. Fibroids suck, but they’re not an emergency. Get in line, fibroids. Get in line.

And this is launch week. Wednesday, October 1 is the Going for Kona launch, which is a big deal. Saturday is the launch party. But we’ve done nothing to prepare for either thing, and I can’t even wrap my head around caring about it. It’s just not registering on my maxed out stress meter. The list of work- and life-related things I haven’t done, that I haven’t even re-prioritized into a decent order yet, is long. I just refuse to think about it.


There, I said it. I’m shorted out. Overloaded. Under water. Overwhelmed. And that doesn’t happen all that often. Wonder Woman has taken off her cape and tiara (but not her support hose, that’s for damn sure).

So here’s what I need from y’all: I need your prayers for Susanne, please. I need your prayers for me. For Eric. For Clark Kent who is loving U of H and traveled to U of Georgia last week for a debate tournament, but is his same old self and struggling to hold everything together.

And I’m going to be posting some links related to my book launch for Going for Kona, and I need help spreading the word about the wonderful reviews and exposure that I’m being given. Starting now, with these. Could you visit these sites, and share them? And maybe even pretty please leave a comment on the great posts too and let the website owners know you appreciate them.

1. It’s never too late to get a fabulous review, and HERE’S one for Leaving Annalise from Once Upon a Romance.

2. Thanks Janice Hardy of Fiction University for asking me to write 5 Tips for Plotting a Mystery, which you can read HERE.

3. Grazie to mystery writer Patricia Flaherty Pagan for interviewing me for her blog. Read it HERE. Patty also sent me a stress mask and stress relief lotion. She is awesome.

That’s all I’ve got. Thank God.


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7 Responses to S-T-R-E-S-S

  1. gene says:

    Thowing out hugs to your whole family. Y’all are some of my idols. I sincerely hope things start to level out soon. Hugs from VT.

  2. Eric Hutchins says:

    You have held up incredibly well under the circumstances. It has been a tough time but there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. […] was sent off to be impregnated, successfully. Then Susanne got very sick, which you can read about HERE. We all pitched in, but she insisted on taking care of the cattle by herself as much as she […]

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