Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Quick Update - Personal & ME/CFS

Hello! Yes, I'm still here! Sorry that the blog hasn't gotten much love lately. Things have been super busy around here, and I've been more than a little overloaded. A few quick personal updates & some links to ME/CFS news, too:

Personal Updates:
I had a rough couple of weeks, with a BUNCH of medical appointments - nothing to do with my ME/CFS, but they took a lot out of me anyway. I had two broken dental fillings replaced (one each week) and two minor toe surgeries to try to fix ingrown toenails - those started last winter when my feet were swollen from erythromelalgia, which has been in remission this year (see how here), but the ingrown toenails keep coming back and are very painful. Hoping this took care of them for good - we'll see! There were also appointments for my 92-year old father-in-law, so the medical stuff has kept me busy.

Writing has also been keeping me busy...and that is good, but as always, time and energy are the limiting factors. I'm trying to do more travel writing because I really enjoy it and want to focus on it more in two years when my husband retires. I had two travel articles published in March:
So, that's been fun, and I've been hard at work the past month pitching more travel stories to more publications.

I've also been writing a lot more for Shelf Awareness, continuing the monthly book reviews I started last year but now writing columns for their From My Shelf feature and author interviews, too. I am really enjoying both of these! There was a bit of a learning curve regarding how to effectively record the author interviews (and some operator error on my part), but I love doing the interviews - they are like my own private book clubs with the authors! Those new pieces of mine haven't been published yet, but if you enjoy books and want to see what I'm writing, you can check out my book blog (where I will post my reviews, interviews, and columns) and/or sign up for the Shelf Awareness newsletter (sign-up box in the upper right corner). That's all been a lot of fun, but a bunch of these assignments are all due close together, so that's keeping me very busy.

Here at home, we helped our sons head off on their spring break this week, and last week my husband and I managed a short - and very much needed! - weekend getaway to Annapolis, MD, a wonderful waterfront town with so much amazing food that we both gained weight in spite of a lot of walking. You can check out some of my photos here - this coming weekend, I will be posting the food-related photos and brief reviews of some of the best restaurants we found.

(By the way, if you are wondering how I got well enough to manage my writing career and some travel, here is a summary of the treatments that have worked best for my sons and I over the years - we now function fairly well and live active lives again.)

Quick ME/CFS Updates:
I have a backlog of research studies and other information I want to review, summarize, and share with you, but in the meantime, here are a couple of great summaries of recent studies & other events:
  • Solve ME/CFS Research 1st update - including research study news, upcoming webinars, and advocacy events - check out the list of upcoming advocacy efforts for International ME/CFS Awareness Day in May.
  • News in Brief - March 2018 from Science for ME - a long list of recently published research studies, updates, publications, and events - including a LOT on the debunking of the PACE trials (i.e. the studies that resulted in doctors recommending Graded Exercise Therapy - GET) - we should finally be seeing some long overdue changes in patient care, especially in places like the UK where GET was the only so-called "treatment" offered for ME/CFS. This is exciting news! 
Ok, that should catch you up - sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. I hope to get back into my normal routine now.

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