the Author

State of the Author, April 2021

Posted in Uncategorized.

I’m sorry I’ve been so absent in the past few months, but we are all in good health, and although the covid numbers in my neck of the woods have risen sharply — thanks in large part to the UK strain — we have managed to avoid it so far.

My parents, my husband’s parents, and my husband have all received their first vacci­na­tion shots, but in Ontario, second shots are months off at the moment.

This is prob­ably going to be a bit rambling, so the TL;DR is: still mostly healthy, still writing, still strug­gling a bit with the West novel, where by a bit I mean: pulling all my hair out.

***

Part of the reason I have been other­wise absent on social media is the writing. I’d reached a point where I had to avoid all of my usual social media feeds because they were eating all avail­able brain band­width; I would read them, and I would become wrapped up in the bad news of the day. Since much of it is so far beyond my control, I needed to step away in order to get enough band­width for actual fiction.

But there is a second reason. I was trying to figure out how to present bad news. 

The last post I made talked about the Augus­tine collec­tion. That book will no longer be going to DAW. The reason I strug­gled with presen­ta­tion was simple: It’s not my fault. It’s not DAW’s fault. I don’t want readers to be angry at DAW, because DAW has been an excep­tional publisher for me for the entirety of my writing career, and I don’t want people to be upset with or angry at them.

Since I could not figure out how to posi­tion the news, I set it aside to think about it, and then every­thing else kind of decided to fall into a swirling pit of chaos. But: this is where we are now. I can’t really talk a lot about it, other­wise, so I can’t really answer ques­tions if they arise beyond what I’ve just said.

***

In March, I was at the book­store and, hmmm. Periph­eral vision. When tested for it, I have perfectly good periph­eral vision. I always have.

But… I tend to tunnel when working or thinking, which is how I managed to walk into the side of moving car. I kind of … blank out the external world. I don’t do this delib­er­ately – but it’s a personal failing. 

And I tend to be very, very good at failing to notice things in periph­eral vision in real world circum­stances. If I’m at home or at a place that is like home, my sense of threat-assess­ment or danger-assess­ment is… not good.

So I kind of ran into a metal shelf with my right upper arm; I slammed into the edge of the shelf, but I was moving at speed because I was running to get the door (we’re curb-side only, and I had a lap full of books I was receiving, so I had to put them down care­fully and then kind of run). (This shelf would be the rolling metal shelf closest to the door that leads to the used books, for those who know the store.)

This was not… ideal. The large cut was not deep but took a while to actu­ally heal, and my biggest fear was that it would get infected — the worse infec­tion from a cut I ever had was for a paper-cut on my finger.

About a week after I did this, I started to have prob­lems with my right shoulder and right arm, and… this has not really gone away. Nothing was broken — it’s defi­nitely soft tissue. It seems to get worse if I remain in the same posi­tion for too long, which affects computer use a bit.

Also: because of prior kitchen leaking and haphazard repairs, we needed work done in the kitchen. The short form is: the under­side of the counter had rotted away due to water damage over the past 2 decades, and there was nothing holding the actual plumbing for the sink/tap in place except the huge mass of glue neces­sary to… hold the tap in place temporarily.

That temporarily was supposed to be dealt with in February of 2020. Yes, 2020. February. The start of the lock­down here. So… that didn’t happen. In March 2021, after much angst, we decided to have the work done because, water. Leaking.

So I had to take time off work, because I wasn’t going to go back to work until two weeks after the contrac­tors were finished. I was willing to take a calcu­lated risk (and it was stressful enough that I don’t want to do it again), but that changed the shape of my house­hold bubble, and everyone else at the store pretty much avoids all public transit, stays home except for grocery shop­ping, and avoids social­izing in person. Which described my house­hold as well — but adding contrac­tors to the house kind of changes that, and it’s not a risk it’s reason­able to ask people who are taking no risks to share.

To our great relief, there was no covid, and I am now back at the store (it’s been 3 weeks since the last day of kitchen work; the work was delayed because one of the counter people’s team phoned in sick on the day they were supposed to deliver and install it. So the counter person in charge had to have everyone tested for covid, and the results came back late Monday, so they came in Tuesday — but asked us to stay off the floor on which they were doing work, just in case it was “too early” to prop­erly trigger a posi­tive result.

During the construc­tion work, however, my work space was… not really much of a space, since half the kitchen had to be moved to the nearest safe avail­able flat surface. Now, we have a tap that is prop­erly bolted to the under­side of a counter that is not rotted away from water damage. 

I…did not get a lot of work done in March.

***

Toronto, where I live, is shut­tered again. Grocery stores remain open with dimin­ished capacity, etc. But hair salons, restau­rants, gyms, etc., are closed. Dental offices are open for dental emer­gen­cies. Hospital emer­gency rooms are, of course, open. Doctor’s offices are largely closed.

My shoulder is still not healed; my RMT brother thinks it’s likely a rotator cuff/socket injury. My doctor has nothing to say because her office is closed due to unspec­i­fied emer­gency until the 22nd of April (we were assuming covid, given the timing, but that’s not what’s been announced), but the options for checking the shoulder at the moment are tele­health, zoom doctor’s appoint­ment, or actual emer­gency ward visit, so. I think seeing a phys­io­ther­a­pist would be helpful, but that’s not in the cards for at least a month because Toronto is not really open.

There is a possi­bility that I will be eligible for my first vaccine shot some­time in May or June, because I work non-essen­tial retail, which, yes, means I haven’t had mine yet =/.

***

So we come to April.

I am working on the second Severn novel. The next Cast novel is, I think, a July title — which means end of June in non-publishing terms. The West novel remains — I am so sorry — unfinished. 

I have the complete cover for Cast in Conflict, and I’ll post it tomorrow or the day after (I don’t gener­ally tend to post the front cover because that’s avail­able everywhere >.>)

I hope everyone has other­wise been healthy and things have been going well for you. And now I’m going to go look at comments posted here on the previous post — and again, I apol­o­gize for hiding under rocks.

40 Responses to State of the Author, April 2021

  1. Tracey P. says:

    I’m glad you’ve avoided covid. I’m in Toronto, too, and can’t believe we cracked 4700 new cases in Ontario today. This is our worst wave yet.

    I’m sorry to hear about your shoulder. Arm prob­lems it it tough to type so I imagine writing is no fun right now. 

    Given the state of the pandemic and your string of rotten luck, I’m pretty certain no one blames you for hiding under that rock. If it wasn’t for social distancing, I’d crawl under it, too.

    I wanted to say that I really enjoyed the Severn book and I’m glad there’s a second one coming. I never really had feel­ings for him one way or another and wasn’t plan­ning on buying the first book. I’m glad I did. Knowing more of his back­ground has made him much more relat­able and much more than the guy who follows the main char­acter around. Thank you for writing it. The depth it added to the Cast world is a real gift.

    Feel better.

    Tracey

  2. DeDe says:

    So happy to hear from you! I kept checking back in, and admit I was a tad worried. Bummed about the Augus­tine news of course, but things are what they are. Hope­fully you have my husband’s ability to just let things go — and not my worry/stress/angst over things!

  3. michelle says:

    @Tracey: thank you :).

    @DeDe: I have the best readers, honestly — but I know people worry when I’ve been silent for too long =/. And given pandemic etc., I under­stand that — I was just so snowed under I fell into the usual trap: when the writing is not going well I begin to feel like a fraud, and who wants to hear from a fraud?

    Yes, I realize this is not a reason­able response — I would say, though, that I don’t really have your husband’s ability, and kind of wish I did.

  4. hsmyers says:

    The ‘wind’ sound you hear is the noise made by every ones sigh of relief. Don’t mind it! Least you worry about your news — conside this. You just described Toronto as a modern day ghost town. Your progress to date must there­fore be described as amazing! I remain ‘above ground’ and recievwed my J&J shot 3 (I think?) weeks ago because I’m a veteran of age! My fingers remain crossed not just for you, but all of us.

  5. Karen says:

    I think the Severn book is my favorite so far, so I’m thrilled there will be a second. Since Covid, I’ve learned to love audio­books and I’ve been rereading/listening to the whole Cast series again. It’s been wonderful ‑thank you!

  6. fergusonvicki2200gmailcom says:

    It sounds as if you have been in a chal­lenging phase the past few months. Those can be a real drag and seem to last forever. Glad the plumbing got done 👍 Super glad all your family and you have stayed Covid free and healthy! The arm though is a problem and I sympa­thize. Cripes, it’s like you can’t catch a break, right? Try researching “rotator cuff treat­ment” and see if there isn’t some­thing you can do while waiting for phys­ical therapy for treat­ment. I’m so sorry. Glad you have been able to do some writing and work at the store. Please take care of your­self. Here in Cali­fornia the gloom has lifted and we are getting back to normal. Toronto will too😊 I am a “Cast” books fan from the begin­ning and want to thank you for sharing your world with us. The stories are vastly supe­rior to what’s in the stores now. I hope you will continue to write about Elantra and Kaylin’s adven­tures as she matures. Love the dragons, the Barani and Severing and the differing cultures. You bring it all to glorious life. Thank you. 🤗

  7. Sharon Brodbeck says:

    We’d rather have you healthy and healed. You’ve had quite a lot going on. More than the actual sequestered for pandemic prob­lems. We’d rather have you around to write than take risks. We’ll read when it comes out. I loved the first Severn book to give some different back­ground to the Elantra series.

  8. Sounds like some pretty annoying months! Glad that all but the shoulder stuff is behind you! And yeah, I’m so excited for Severn 2!

  9. Aëlynn says:

    Having reno­va­tions done in a kitchen can be a very disrup­tive expe­ri­ence even at the best of times, although I find bath­rooms are the worst. I can imagine Cana­dian Winters ™ didn’t help either. I’m very glad to hear that you’ve all managed to stay safe from Covid so far, despite every­thing, but sorry to hear about your injury! Getting treated for anything else than a life-threat­ening emer­gency is incred­ibly frus­trating these days, no matter where you live… I hope it gets better soon. Never forget that we’re always happy to hear from you, even if things aren’t going the way you want them to! No matter how much we look forward to each new book, the welfare of the author is of the utmost impor­tance. ^_^

  10. Asia says:

    Wish you all the best! Hope your arm will be ok! Thank you for news on 2nd Severn novel 🤩 i had such a plea­sure reading it that now I am listening the audio­book. Here In Poland we are also at 3rd wave of covid and its the worst one so far so I can defiently appre­ciate the need to cut off from the social media feeds.

    All the best!

    P. S counting days to next cast novel (i have the day marked In My calendar ❤️)

  11. Nicki Himmel says:

    I’m sorry for your injuries and hope you get them taken care of soon. I’m a fan and have looked forward to the books you put out each year. Hope thing get better for you soon. Looking forward for a better year for all of us. Have a blessed day .

  12. Anne says:

    Yikes!

    Arm injuries, shoulder issues, kitchen work, not to mention every­thing else going on in the world. That’s a lot. I am glad you are well (or maybe I should say better, given the shoulder) and feel a little bit back to catching up with stuff. 

    I am delighted to read anything you write, when­ever it gets published — and very happy there will be more about Severn. As soon as I finished his first (!) book, I went back and re-read all the Cast books, and then read the Wolves book and the entire cast series again. So much addi­tional depth to an already amazing world. Thank you.
    Wishing you all the best.

  13. Beth says:

    Ooh sounds like quite the month. I can empathize with your arm pain, pain like that makes you want to crawl back under the covers and stay.

    I hope you get help you need soon to start feeling better. And please be safe in these perilous times.

  14. Kim Murray says:

    I wish you a speedy recovery ! Love all your books which I was intro­duced to only in 2019. You are now in my top 3 authors.
    Have read Elantra twice and getting set to read again ahead of Cast in Conflict release in July — already pre-ordered. Like others, didnt expect to enjoy The Emperors Wolves — but I loved it. Writing has matured and the addi­tional context makes reading the series again all the richer. So excited to hear there will be another.
    We need you back healthy and strong to keep writing for many years to come 😘

  15. Zia says:

    It’s defi­nitely nice to hear from you! Thank you for the update!

    Sorry to hear so much has been going on, but I am glad you and your family have managed to stay safe for the most part.

    That injury and the recovery sounds decid­edly not fun. I hope your shoulder/arm heals soon or you are able to get in some­where to at least find out for sure what the problem is. Having pain is always less than enjoy­able, but for me not knowing the whole “why” (actu­ally, mostly it’s the fact I prob­ably should be avoiding doing certain things, but without that knowl­edge I will do them anyways…actually, scratch that, even when I am told not to do things I still do them, but it’s nice to know what I am supposed to be avoiding) is always worse. 

    I’m really looking forward to the next Cast novel. I was tickled when the cover/blurb were posted and cannot wait to read it.

    I hope the writing process becomes easier for you soon. Juggling all the bad news, the injury, and every­thing else is defi­nitely hard. Sorry to hear about the Augus­tine book, but things happen and I appre­ciate you keeping us posted on things that are going on. 

    I hope the months going forward go better for you. Thank you again for posting an update!

  16. Mary Allen says:

    I am so glad you are sort of okay. I hope things get better. I am disap­pointed about the Augus­tine book, but am looking forward to Cast in Conflict end of June and am currently rereading Emper­or’s Wolves. My husband and I are in Alabama right now and have both had both Moderna covid shots so are sort of resuming normal activ­i­ties. Last Sunday our church (30 people all over 70) had our first Fellow­ship dinner in a year. We all used gloves to pick up our food but all of us have been vacci­nated. I hope it gets better for you in Toronto.

  17. Karen L. Durst says:

    Hi Michelle
    So good to hear from you and know you and your family are safe and healthy.
    Amazon here in the USA have Cast in Conflict release date of 6/29/21. Of course, I have already pre-ordered it, and will enjoy reading it as I recover from shoulder surgery. Took a fall in Feb to injure mine. If you do not have the usual range of motion you had before your colli­sion with the shelf, I would advise seeing a Dr in the ER sooner rather then later. Delaying will not heal the shoulder if it a rotator cuff. If you can do the range of motion even if it hurts, it may be just bruising. Anyway, Thank You for all the wonderful stories you write. I will be reading.

  18. Tchula says:

    Ugh, aren’t plumbing issues the worst? We’ve been putting off having the water hammer in our spare bath­room’s shower fixed because of not wanting to have contrac­tors in the home, too. Thank­fully, Dave was able to get his second shot on Tuesday (I got mine in February) so I’m hopeful we can finally deal with some of the things around here that we’ve been postponing. 

    Sorry to hear about your shoulder. I hope PT will be able to help, even if it’s from a video consul­ta­tion. They may be able to give you exer­cises to do, along with the usual alter­nating Ice and heat plus ibuprofen as needed. Rotator cuffs are tricky to treat. Good luck!

    It’s too bad about the Augus­tine Painters collec­tion. Stuff happen though, and more than usual in these strange covid times, I’m sure. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the summer Cast novel, and eagerly await the next Severn book. Sorry the West novel is being a pain. When your shoulder is feeling better, I’m confi­dent you’ll be able to wrestle it into submis­sion. Or kick it. Or some­thing. (Just wear shoes so you don’t break any toes!) xD

    Hang in there, and it was great to hear from you!

  19. Becky Trosino says:

    So relieved to hear from you!!! Not gonna lie, when I saw the new Cast book up on Amazon but no accom­pa­nying post I got worried. I felt a bit like a projecting creeper/stalker (#FanGirl) so I didn’t try to reach out, just sent posi­tive vibes your way and hoped for an update post. Yay! Sorry about the string of bad luck, but so relieved to hear you guys are all healthy!!! That is the most impor­tant thing. And yes, your readers do care very much about you and one soured project does not negate the decades of joy you already brought to our lives. 

  20. Dorthy S Redmond says:

    Sorry about the shoulder. Plumbing issue suck i think we all know the pain of that issue.I love Severn glad there is another one on the way. I am so happy that you gave us the wolves book I was always curious about them. Love the both the cast series and the wolves series.

  21. Joyce Ronquillo says:

    Michelle, I am so sorry for your travails. Stay safe and sane even if under a rock. 

    Cast in Conflict is my birthday present to myself this year and I’m so ready for it. You remain the only author I still pre-order. I reread all of the Cast books following The Emper­or’s Wolves last year though I intended to stop short of the end so I could pick it back up in June but momentum happens.

  22. Fred says:

    Wishing you the best for your recovery!

    If I (and others) knew that sending publishers messages would get book to written faster we would have done that a very long time ago. We appre­ciate your time to keep us informed as I know that reality sets in when you talk about revisions. 

    While it does takes lots and lots of effort, some­thing like Kick­starter and similar may be worth it for some projects. Michael J Sullivan and his team uses Kick­starter to release his Riyria novel and other items.

  23. Chris Starbuck says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of all you’ve been (and still are) going through, but so glad to hear from you again. 

    I’ll add my voice to those urging you to see a doctor ASAP about your shoulder. Not all shoulder injuries are rotator cuff (or only RC). I know from painful expe­ri­ences (yes, plural) that any injury to or inflam­ma­tion in that very complex joint can lead to adhe­sive capsulitis (commonly known as “frozen shoulder”). I’ve had it in both shoul­ders. Your ability to move your should (with or without extreme pain) becomes progres­sively more limited, until you can’t move it at all in the worst case (like my left shoulder was). I don’t know about Cana­dian insurers, but in the US most will pay for 2 months of phys­ical therapy and they’re done, regard­less of your condi­tion. Due to a compli­cated situ­a­tion, I even­tu­ally got 8 months of PT for my left shoulder (spread out over 18 calendar months), and recov­ered about 95% range of motion. My right shoulder was not nearly as severe, but after the 2 months of PT that insur­ance would pay for, I have about 90% of orig­inal range of motion. I don’t notice that missing 10% most of the time … until I reach for some­thing and my arm just doesn’t go there. So, please see a doctor or at least a phys­ical ther­a­pist soon. It just gets worse with time. [Totally selfish: I want to continue enjoying new work from you for the rest of my life! :)]

  24. michelle says:

    @everyone: thank you. I forget some­times that people worry about or for me, and usually when I’m offline, I’m pretty sick of being me, so.…

    @Fred: Kick­starter would prob­ably kill me; it would be a huge stress. I think some people are *great* at running campaigns and building enthu­siasm for them — and I think I would be terrible at it. I mean, I disap­pear for months at a time as is, because that’s what I need to do to be able to write at all =/.

  25. michelle says:

    @Chris: My doctor’s office opens again on the 22nd of April, so I’ll call again then — but given every­thing is closed until the end of April, I’m not sure I can actu­ally see a phys­io­ther­a­pist any time soon. My brother is also worried about the frozen shoulder thing because it was some­thing he also suffered from; I think he even­tu­ally had surgery to clear scar tissue before his arm healed properly.

    At the moment, the only thing I can’t do is prop­erly bend my arm behind my back (it’s the right arm), and move­ment has become less painful over the past couple of weeks. I did look up various soft-tissue possible injuries, and from that, exer­cises that can be done at home (which is sort of what I’d have to do anyway, physiotherapy-wise). 

    But covid third wave here makes every­thing a bit trickier. the US has been great at vaccine rollout; Canada not so much (it’s down to supplies).

  26. michelle says:

    @Chris: but actu­ally I have a ques­tion: when you suffered the shoulder damage in both arms — for me it’s the right arm, which is the one I ran into the shelf with — where was the pain, for you?

    For my brother it was back shoulder blade and neck for the most part, and for me it’s the upper bicep and the round ball of the shoulder itself that aches. The arm hurts when I attempt to bend it behind my back — as one does to scratch one’s back, and so I don’t have that partic­ular flex­i­bility at the moment. But the pain itself is mostly in the upper arm and again, ball of arm at top.

    As I’ve been looking at physio exer­cises I can do at home with an ad hoc RMT diag­nosis, I’ve been looking for more information >.>

  27. Karen L. Durst says:

    @Chris, my arm/shoulder pain is from a fall. I had pain in the upper arm area. My MRI showed that I tore the rotator cuff completely, and 2 of 3 muscle tendons. I could not move my arm forward, up, out, or back. From your lack of ability to put your arm behind your back, I think you have a rotator cuff tear. Talk to your Dr.

  28. Candace Bird says:

    I agree with everyone, it is great to hear from you. Sounds like you’ve been juggling a lot the last few months. Juggling in the middle of a pandemic is even more challenging. 

    I’ve been suffering from frozen shoulder since last March. It wasn’t until late July that I received treat­ment due to lock­downs. It wasn’t ideal. I still have issues with raising my arm above my head and I can’t move my arm behind my back yet. It isn’t as painful though thank­fully. Take care of your­self and stay safe.

    …Really looking forward to Cast in Conflict. I not only preordered it months ago but also set a reminder on my phone for the release date:)

  29. br60103 says:

    So, you recov­ered from falling off the bus?
    I think I can picture the shelf in the shop.

    There was a post on another forum that I frquent. Fellow’s wife had dislo­cated a toe. Doc asked “Have you had chil­dren? Then you won’t mind this.” …

    in our previous house the kitchen counter was rotted. SWMBO agreed to replace it when the little bugs started moving out.

  30. Dame Trouble says:

    Glad to hear from you again, Michelle — we do worry a little when it’s been this long, but we know you do hide away now and then. Just with the Covid going around and around again, it makes us worry a bit more than usual when we don’t hear from someone we know and love.

    I bought a house in a Historic District back in late December and we just moved in the end of March and closed on the sale of the previous house the first of April. Need­less to say, there are prob­lems one does not expect when moving for the first time into a 96-year-old house. Slowly figuring out where every­thing will live and trying to find enough wall space for hanging art while still leaving room to put more book­cases. Your books have a home in the antique book cases in the living room and are already helping this house feel like home.

    Hoping conven­tions can start happening some day so we can meet again.

  31. Jazzlet says:

    I under­stand about not wanting to write anything social when you are feeling rough or in pain. I tend to hole up and read authors that are good enough to pull me so far into their world(s) that I forget about my wonky body. You are one of those authors and I really can not express strongly enough the value of the gift of not noticing the pain, or the discom­fort that precedes the pain, for a few hours that your writing gives. I have read well past the time for the next lot of pain killers, because you are just that good. Thank you so much!

  32. Vicky Johnson says:

    I’ve had adhe­sive capsilitis (or frozen shoulder) in both shoul­ders at different times. The first was resolved with lots of PT and a surgical closed manip­u­la­tion of the shoulder and more PT. The second shoulder injury was more serious and wasn’t recog­nized as having a frozen shoulder compo­nent until the surgeon went in to clean out debris and scar­ring. The ther­a­pist later starting refer­ring to it as an aggra­vated frozen shoulder which required nearly a year if PT following the surgery to recover full range of motion.

    As others have done, I strongly urge you to see your doctor. If there is damage it will not get better on it’s own.

    I’m very excited for another Severn book. It was delightful seeing Ybelline’s early years as well. Very inter­ested to see where your story­line with Severn’s early inter­ac­tions with the Barani will go. I have the next Cast book ordered on Kindle and Audible. I love reading your books and then going back and listening to Khris­tine read them. Ques­tion: I’ve listened to the books while following along on the Kindle. There seem to be times when the narra­tion doesn’t follow the written text. Does the narrator record from an earlier version, maybe not quite final version of the book? I’ve occa­sion­ally noticed that the voices used don’t follow who is speaking based on the context of the scene. It can be finny/jarring when that happens but it doesn’t happen often enough to be annoying. 

    Please don’t stress about getting books out. You need to take care of your­self so we can be reading your stories for many years to come.

  33. Katrina says:

    Keep your­self healthy and make sure to get the medical help you need. Hope­fully the restric­tions will lift enough that you can go in easily. 

    Delayed books are better than no books. Your books are eminently re-read­able, so we can wait.

  34. michelle says:

    @Vicky: The narrator reads from the written text. HOWEVER, it takes time to do all of the neces­sary audio produc­tion. So: The narrator gets the most recent version of the book from the publisher. But if there are last minute correc­tions or changes (I had 4 sets of proof­reader queries for CONFLICT), she won’t have those in hand. Some­times there are zero proof­reader queries; some­times there are 4

    Proof­reading is done on the finished text. In theory, that text *is* the book, and if I were perfect, there would be zero issues. Sadly, I’m not =/.

  35. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had so much addi­tional stress added to the process of wrestling with the book and the current world situation.
    I’m just commenting to add another voice to send you good wishes and say thanks for the update (and to ask you to say hi to your husband from me again ^^).
    Both my parents are now fully vacci­nated but who knows when I will be, at least currently we’re only teaching the final classes in school, the rest is distance teaching.

  36. Tyronne Lorne Hodgins says:

    I’m truly sorry life has thrown you several curves. Some­times s**t happens! It can be very stressful, depressing, annoying, maddening, frus­trating, etc., ad nauseum because it’s never just one problem. It can haunt you and make your life even more diffi­cult. My life has changed — dramat­i­cally since my metastatic cancer diag­nosis. It’s still changing. The one lesson that I’ve had to learn is both easy and diffi­cult. Today is the only day I have. I can’t do anything about yesterday, it’s gone. I can’t change anything from yesterday. Tomorrow simply doesn’t exist yet and is unknown. I only have today and today is a good day. I try to let yesterday go, I try to be opti­mistic about tomorrow, but I only deal with today. Some todays are better than others. That’s life — for everyone. Don’t beat your­self up, don’t play what if, you can’t win that game, after all some­times s**t happens. Just try to live today.

  37. Hanneke says:

    It’s good to hear from you again, and espe­cially good to hear you and your family have avoided getting sick, and don’t need help with medical costs or anything like that.

    Your shoulder pain appears to be in the same spot where I had my shoulder inflammation.
    Defi­nitely ask your doctor as it may not be the same problem I had, but maybe some­thing that worked for me might be helpful for you too.

    There is a tendon that runs from the shoulder bone (clav­icle, I think it’s called) over the round shoulder end (at the front of the top bulb) and into the top of the arm. That tendon carries the full weight of your arm when your elbow is forwards of the side of your body.
    If you do that too much, e.g. while typing on your keyboard, you can irri­tate that tendon and it can get inflamed. That was what happened in my case. Then you need to rest it while taking your anti-inflam­ma­tion medi­cines, and keep your elbow stuck to your side (use an armrest or a pillow to support the arm when you sit, and use a mitella part time, e.g. while walking, but not all the time — the shoulder still needs to move a bit!) and not use that arm for two weeks so the inflam­ma­tion goes down, to avoid frozen shoulder. In those two weeks the only exer­cises my phys­iot­ger­apist allowed me were letting my arm dangle straight down and shaking my hand, 4x a day IIRC. After that, when the inflam­na­tion is gone, slowly build it up again with exer­cises. It worked, I was really good about not using that arm and resting that tendon, and did not get the frozen shoulder the doctor had thought I’d get.
    On returning to working at the computer, I found both an ergonomic mouse (where the hand rests on the pinky-side instead of the wrist being flat to the table) and a split keyboard (so I could type while keeping my elbow in my side) were effec­tive in relieving stress on that tendon, which let me get back to work while contin­uing to heal — it took another 4 weeks IIRC before I was back to working fulltime.

    I don’t think resting, and relieving stress on that tendon, can do any harm — and it might help a bit while you wait for your physio appointment.

  38. Bee says:

    I’m soo sorry to hear about your shoulder injury. Much like you, I tunnel when busy and have been injured more than once because of it. 

    Your injury and pain areas sound a bit like what I went through last year when I fell while painting. Pain in the upper bicep/shoulder joint is possibly your deltoid being over strained and not working well with the trapezius. Could be causing bursitis (inflam­ma­tion of the bursa). Do you have trouble lifting your arm past a certain point?

    The treat­ment for me was actu­ally gentle stretching and strength­ening exer­cises (without weights initially, then really light weights), plus icing and anti-inflam­ma­to­ries. It helps prevent the frozen shoulder from setting in, while restrength­ening all the muscles in and around the joint. I also bruised the bone with the impact, which I found out later can take months to heal. If you were going at speed+metal shelf, it’s entirely possible you have deep bruising on top of healing tissue and muscle from the cut.

    I also found out the hard way that it’s better to use cold on shoul­ders than heat. Heat feels good while it’s on, but arm tends to throb more after. A gel ice pack works best as it doesn’t have sharp edges like ice does, and gets super cold. And helps with the inflammation.

    I hope you feel better. Sorry if this comes across as a whole bunch unso­licited of medical advice. >.<

    Looking forward to the new book. I preordered it pretty much imme­di­ately after it turned up on Amazon.

  39. michelle says:

    @Bee: I have no trouble (now!) lifting my arm — I found it uncom­fort­able to life above my shoulder initially. It’s bending it, and anything that requires the arm to move behind me. Although I found physio exer­cises that I think have helped.

    And no, this isn’t unso­licited. Because my doctor’s office was closed for an unspec­i­fied emer­gency for 3 weeks, I went off to the internet and then started to read about the various different but seem­ingly similar symp­toms from different injuries. So… This is like research :).

  40. Bee says:

    I’m glad you’ve found exer­cises that help. It’s amazing how easy it is to throw off arm func­tion. I spent far too many months in Chiro­practic, Ortho­pedic, and Physio offices finding out what was wrong with mine. Always happy to share to save someone else aggravation. :)

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