Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cover Contest & Other Updates

This is it! This is the week to show your love for this gorgeous cover created by Nancy Lee Parish!
Are you ready to vote? It's easy, click over to Author Shout, select the cover you like best, and submit your vote. Vote today. Vote tomorrow! Vote every day through this Saturday 7/11/15! Feel free to share this and enlist bookish friends and family to vote, too! The winner of this contest will be featured for a week at Author Shout and that's the kind of publicity that can make a big difference to an indie author. Thank you for your support!

In other news, I had intended to feature guest authors and their flash fiction during July and August, but things haven't quite gone according to plan. I do have four wonderful guests lined up for you for AUGUST, so stay tuned to read their flash fiction next month.  Meanwhile, I'll try to keep you updated about my wacky, unplanned health adventures this month. Posts may not be timely, and I can't promise any flash fiction will happen, but I'll do my best to keep you in the loop.

Warning: The following section may be TMI for some who are uncomfortable with the discussion of internal organs or the female reproductive system.
 Goofing off while in the hospital

As some of you already know, almost two weeks ago I began to experience severe abdominal pain and, after a day of waiting in vain for it to ease, I went to the ER. The folks here at Bartlett Regional Hospital did a terrific job of making me comfortable and getting to the bottom of what was wrong. It seems I had an ovarian cyst which ruptured. I was admitted to the med-surg floor for two days and released with ample narcotics and a referral to University of Washington for follow-up by a gynecologic oncologist.

My CT scan showed that I still have two cysts on my right ovary and one is fairly large. There's an increased risk of cancer whenever an ovary has multiple cysts (instead of one at a time). Additionally, there isn't a good way to screen that puppy for cancer without going in there and getting a good look at it. That's why the oncology part of the equation comes up.
It also turns out that the CT scan shows I have a bunch of fibroids in my uterus. Between the cysts and fibroids, it's really no wonder I have pain and also some previously unexplained bleeding.

Unfortunately, my meager income as an indie author leaves me in the notorious donut hole which makes me ineligible for a health insurance subsidy. If Alaska were to accept Medicaid expansion, I'd be eligible for Medicaid, but as things stand, I'm uninsured. For this reason, my referral to UW Medical Center has been delayed while they process my application for charity services.

A few days after I was released from the hospital, I followed up with my primary care provider. She rocks. She provided me with a copy of my CT results, answered a bunch of my questions, and gave me the green light to unleash my inner case manager. It was time to stop lollygagging around and get things sorted out and treated.

The day after my discharge, Jeb got quilled
by his 1st porcupine. It was his turn to spend 
the night at the hospital!

Happily, within 24 hours, I had a second referral, this one to a clinic in Anchorage that employs both of the gynecologic oncologists in Alaska. So, I have an appointment in Anchorage on Thursday the 9th with Dr. Melissa Hardesty, and a surgical appointment for the following day for Dr. Hardesty to conduct an exploratory scope procedure to assess the situation and allow us to make further plans.

Relieved to have a concrete plan and reservations, I decided to celebrate the holiday weekend by taking a drive and short walk with my family. As always, it was gorgeous.

 Muskeg up EagleCrest

 Dale was leaning against the car to get a photo. I warned 
Mom that I was going to make Dale jump, and just as I was about 
to beep, he turned and caught me in the act!
 Devil's Club

I paid for the short walk (and belly laughs) with increased pain the next day, but it was worth it to get off the couch, out of the house, and into the fresh air.

I hope you had a terrific holiday weekend!

Please check out my new collection of flash fiction, A Flash of Genies, my series of Alaskan fantasy novels, and/or my short memoir Head Buckets & Hashtags.