Well, that was certainly a longer break than I expected. I hope everyone had a pleasant January? Mine passed in sort of an ouchy haze, but I’m glad to say that’s all behind me. And guess what the SI joint pain turned out to be? Shingles. Yep. And it was the least fun seven weeks I’ve had in recent memory.
So here’s a public service announcement: If you’ve had chicken pox and you’re 50 years old or over but haven’t been protected yet, ask your doctor about getting the two-part shingles vaccine. Heck, if you’re younger than 50, I’d still ask the doctor. Young people can get shingles, too. The Daughter had it in college, for heaven’s sake. And contrary to the misinformation I was given by a physician’s assistant after my first (deceptively mild) bout, you can have the vaccine even after you’ve had the shingles. Again, consult your doctor for all the info.
Needless to say, after seven weeks of daily pain meds, a heating pad, limited motion and “sleeping” not in the bed but in a recliner (under a blanket that smelled like the dog), I will be having the vaccine. After about ten days of observing me with increasing alarm, Glen decided he didn’t ever want to experience what I was going through, and had his first injection. He’s due for the second in March. The first one made him feel like hammered crud for 24 hours, but it’s still worth it. Shingles is not pleasant and can have permanent, debilitating effects. Just ask someone who’s had shingles in an eye.
The whole episode dragged on for so long that it’s left me with lower than normal energy reserves and a lot of items on my to-do list. At the top is writing. Since the beginning of December, I’ve written nothing except for one blog post, a poem and part of a short story. Before it all started, however, I’d submitted three short stories to various publications, and I’m ecstatic to tell you now that all three were accepted. In my December post “Humbugged,” I wrote about the acceptance of “The Break Room” by the wonderful Andrea Dawn of Tell-Tale Press. If you haven’t read it yet (it’s flash fiction, a quick read), you can find it here.
Next came “The Painted Dog,” a longer story which found a delightfully creepy home at Coffin Bell. Thank you, Editors!
Last came another piece of flash, “A Matter of Fax,” which landed at Theme of Absence with a welcome acceptance from Jason Bougger. I’m very grateful to all these editors and their publications, and to everyone who has read the stories. If you haven’t read them yet, I invite you to follow the links and dive in, and as always, if you’re so inclined, please leave a comment!
Now I’m outta here. I have a lot of writing to catch up on, not to mention laundry (drying as we speak), cooking, baking and cocktailing. In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying a great start to the new year, and I’ll be back in two weeks! (Um . . . the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise . . .)