Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: Health


It seems that every so often–sometimes longer, sometimes shorter–I find it necessary to step back and refocus. People who don’t know me very well laugh when I give them my standard self-description: tall, blonde, and easily distracted. “Easily distracted?” they say, “You read huge books in one sitting!” As if that’s the pinnacle of focus and attention. Seriously, people, I read books in one sitting (or as close as I can get) because if I don’t, I’ll get distracted, put it down and more than likely forget I ever intended to finish it. And because it’s a convenient way to be distracted from other things I’m supposed to be doing.

Sometimes I’m conscious of allowing distractions to edge their way in, and other times I look up and realize I have no idea how I got so far off track.

So I’m refocusing. Matt’s out of town again this week on a nice long wilderness backpacking trip courtesy of Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries, so I’ve got plenty of time and space to clear out the mental cobwebs.

Family: Happily, one of the aspects of my life that hasn’t slipped much lately. Goal is to maintain and deepen time/interaction with family.

Career: Two aspects of this, the writing and the day job. As the day job looks much different now than it did 6 weeks ago, and looks more and more likely to disappear sooner rather than later, I can dedicate more time to the writing. In the current job market, I’m leaning toward investing myself in writing rather than wasting time and energy trying to find a nonexistent position. Regardless, I need to set short and long-term goals for my writing, and I need to find someone to crack the whip and make me stick to them once I set them.

Finance: We spend more money than we ought. We have a peculiar financial situation, and it often results in a rather lax view toward budgeting and savings. I’m taking steps to adjust our mentality on that, beginning with trying out the service.

Health and Wellbeing: I caught up on sleep last week, and it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve also gotten myself swimming semi-regularly at the apartment complex pool. I’m working on setting up a regular time to take Shiloh to the dog park, which gives us both exercise, and I’m really really (really) going to recommit to my WiiFit schedule.

Recreation: Much of this also falls under exercise, since much of our recreation is active, but I’m making sure I block out time for reading. We also got an XBOX 360 recently, and Fable 2 allows us to log into the same game together and kill bad guys. I’ve STILL got a big unfinished quilt that needs to be completed. And I do very much like meeting people for coffee.

Personal: I am learning about the care and keeping of cacti (turns out they do best in steady, diffused light, not direct sunlight, so Bob2 is back in the office) and I am contemplating installing a window-box-style herb garden on the porch railing, if I can be reasonably assured I won’t kill them all. My writing definitely counts in this category, too, for a variety of reasons.

Friendship: I generally operate with a bit more distance than some people in terms of friendships, so once I plug back into my “usual” sources of information and communication, there’s not much of a course correction that’s going to happen here. There are a few people, though, who I want to be better friends with, and I’ll be intentional about getting together with them.

Community: For all intents and purposes, the church congregation serves as our community. I’d love to get more connected in the neighborhood and the town eventually, but right now it’s just not possible. I’ll be keeping an eye out, though, and laying the foundation to move on that when the time is right. Meanwhile, maintaining relationships with people in the church, our small group, etc., are the standard.

Household: Goal is to do a general sweep of the house every night to tidy up – clean the kitchen, run the dishwasher if necessary, put the stuff that always lands on the dining room table away, corral the dog toys, find the remotes, etc. Once a week laundry and vacuum, and we’ll be cutting back drastically on eating out.

Spiritual: This one’s between me and God, but it’s definitely part of my consideration in refocusing and being deliberate about how I spend my time.


The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For

Wisdom teeth removal went smoothly, or so the doctor-man tells me. I don’t remember a thing.

My bleeding stopped fairly quickly, probably helped along by the fact that I was very good that first day about wrapping my face in ice packs to keep the swelling and bleeding down. And by “I was very good” I mean “My Mommy takes care of me.”

Night One went well, with me on the couch and Matt feeding me pain pills every 4 hours. Teamwork, don’t you know.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day actually getting things done, albeit from a reclining position. The bills got paid, emails got sent, phone calls were made (at least two, anyway). I was even thinking I might graduate from yogurt and Jell-O pudding to soft fish today, but then we started with the puking.

So far, there have only been two vomitous incidents, and I’m fairly certain they’re directly related to my prescription pain meds. Since my pain is getting better, I’ve moved to taking lots of ibuprofin (which seems to be doing just fine on the pain front and which might help my swelling). We’ll see if that helps with the puking. But really, how many other people can say they threw up a raspberry milkshake in the Macy’s elevator while sitting in a wheelchair?? Claim to fame, baby.

After that abortive trip to run errands, Mom and I retreated to the house, where I have quite happily not left the couch all afternoon. I read a little bit, napped a bit more, and will endeavor not to puke again tonight, so as to keep the vomit-per-day rate to a minimum.

Oh did I mention that this morning I woke up looking like I stole John McCain’s chin. Happy Halloween! Gotta love swelling.

And now that you all know a whole lot more than you wanted to about me and vicodin, I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled Halloween tomfoolery.

Oh, and speaking of tomfoolery, I do intend to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I even have an idea, but not a very well-developed one. Tom! Fool! Ery!


mai wizdum – it iz going!

So I finished the edits on the paper and sent it off yesterday. Picked up a new batch of books at the library, and my momma flew in to baby me after I get my teeth ripped out this morning. Matt will be helping, but he has a full load of work and school this week, and it seemed unfair to make him get behind on all that especially when Mom was willing to come and help.

Plus, now I have an entourage to care for my pitifulness, because believe me, I intend to be quite pitiful.We are about one hour from DOOM. And by DOOM I mean, of course, the pulling of wisdom teeth.

My plan for the day beyond that is to sleep and watch Pride and Prejudice and then maybe sleep some more. If I get really ambitious, I might read. And that’s about it.

See you on the other side of wisdom.


Still Alive

The manuscript has become pretty much all-encompassing, except for when I shove it forcibly out of my mind. Most annoying is the fact that I think about it while I’m falling asleep–or rather, while I’m NOT falling asleep because I’m thinking about it. And when I do get to sleep, it’s not good sleep. I’m remembering my dreams, waking up in the night, and feeling extra tired when I wake up, which all point to less than stellar rest.

At least I’ve made progress this morning on the myth/legends that I’ve been putting off for the last few months. I’ve know for some time what the point of the various stories needed to be, their moral or theme or whatever you want to call it. The trouble has been that I didn’t know what happened in each story. Theme without plot isn’t a story. So I’ve got a plot for one of them now, which is great, but for some reason the words aren’t flowing very well. I was going to write the story while all the plot ideas were still fresh (though I brainstormed on paper, so it’s not as if I’ll lose something vital), but at this point I’m thinking I should just move on to the other stories and see if tomorrow is more friendly to putting words on the page.

I made an appointment for a consultation with the dentist who will pull my wisdom teeth, so events have been set in motion for that.

I’m also being a weenie about the potential of moving away from my current day job. The alternative is a very good one, and I’m sure I’ll like it, but I never like giving my notice to quit, especially when I like my coworkers. But the move will be good both for my writing and our finances, so I have to get past the weenie-ness.

But now it’s time to get back to the writing. And the thinking about the writing. And the finishing. Ta ta.


Uneventful Eventfulness

Have I really not posted since Tuesday? I blame Matt. And, you know, the manuscript. But mostly Matt.

See, he got his wisdom teeth out on Wednesday morning. Yes, yes, he’s a little old to be getting wisdom teeth pulled out. And no, things aren’t going badly–no excessive swelling, no bruising, no infection–but there is at least the usual amount of pain, discomfort, boredom, and malcontent about eating soft foods. Though I must say I make a mean batch of instant pudding, and I’m getting good at peanut butter banana chocolate milkshakes.

Unfortunately, it’s my turn to have my wisdom teeth out in a few weeks. And yes, I do have an excuse for being this old without having them out. Even now, mine are only partially exposed, which means I don’t even remember them coming in. For a while, I’m pretty sure I remember thinking I just didn’t have any. But they’re there, partially exposed, and apparently in danger of collecting plaque and other bad things to have collecting in my mouth, and there’s a risk of infection if I just leave them, and I’m sure I’m telling you all more than you wanted to know.

At any rate, I already knew I was going to be a total wuss about my whole wisdom-teeth-removal-recovery, but now I’m even more apprehensive. See, since mine aren’t exposed, are in fact mostly covered by my gums, I think I’m very likely going to need stitches. I have never, ever had stitches before, especially not in my mouth. If I have stitches, I’ll also have to have them removed. I am not excited about any aspect of the possibility of stitches. In my mouth.

And then there’s the fact that I have chronic problems with my jaw, and I’m afraid that having them put me to sleep and prop my mouth open as wide as it will go for an hour will end up with me being entirely unable to move my jaw, much less chew anything for days (not that I’ll be chewing much anyway, of course). And then there’s the fact that, you know, when I actually open my mouth all the way I have to do this sideways pop thing to get it to close again. I can just imagine them trying to close my mouth while I’m still sedated, unable to do it because it’s locked open. Fabulous.

Matt tells me this is why I’ll have a consult appointment before we schedule the surgery, and that I shouldn’t worry, but I don’t feel anxious. I’m not worried. I’m just realistic, and the reality is that it’s really going to stink. A lot. And it’s going to hurt. A lot.

So now that you all know why I don’t want to get my wisdom teeth out, I should probably mention that the novel is coming along. My percentage meter method of gauging progress is entirely unhelpful at this point, so I’ll just say that I’ve written two scenes, fixed another scene and a half, and still have to fix/finish half a scene and then write two or three legends. Myths. Stories that form the structure upon which an entire culture builds their worldview. You know, the little details are always best to save until last. Oy.

But really, things are going well. Honest.


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