A Little This, A Little That, and a Lot of VF

My life has slowed down to a crawl, but I am still learning things. For instance, this. Sloopy Anne has to eat her meals in the bedroom because she has a sensitive nature and Perry will keep her from eating if he can get to her. She is so skittish that if I set the food  down, turn around, and start to leave the room she will run out of the room ahead of me, unless I walk out backwards. Hahaha. So she watches the direction my feet are pointed. That should not surprise me because cats are all about gestures. That’s how they communicate. A flick of the tail, a tip of the ear.

When you see how innocent he looks when he sleeps or cuddles it’s hard to believe Perry can be so naughty.

I’m learning a lot about this stupid Valley Fever. I still have the same pneumonia I had a month ago and it’s possible that my blood levels have gone up (they will be retested in a couple weeks); this is because the fungus grows very very slowly and then very very slowly is pushed into an onion of a lung nodule (the rings, you know). This will take months. The fungus doesn’t just evaporate. It gets pressed by my immune system like a pearl in the making. In the end there will be a nodule in my lung.

Another thing I learned about VF is that my neck pain–remember my neck pain from a few weeks ago?–was the first symptom I had of the disease. For some people that is the first sign. A man in an online support group told me to hydrate like crazy (my GP had told me that, too) and that the pain would be diminished because it’s displaced pain from the inflammation in the lungs. I was glad to hear of something to use because the neck pain had come back, radiated into my upper back on the left side (my left lung is the affected one), and I had even bought a little brace from Amazon. (Gee, Mom. It cost ten bucks–how much could one have cost in the late 60s?)

I’ve also learned that the brain fog from VF makes me make stupid mistakes, so I need to avoid impersonal social media as much as possible. I hope I don’t make an egregious error on here, but I guess y’all will understand if that happens. That word “egregious” is so much fun. Years ago I bought a book on sale called I Always Look Up the Word Egregious. After that, I never forgot what it meant and it’s a lot of fun to say.

This fall has brought a lot of rejections from lit journals. Some of them even praise the work I sent, but say it doesn’t fit. Um, ok. What does that mean? I think it means it’s weird. But I did have a pleasant acceptance finally this past weekend to The Orchards Poetry Journal. Another problem with publications right now is that there are a few poems that were accepted many months ago, but the issues have not been published yet.

Keep on staying safe, please!!! Grab this week by the horns!





Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Publishing, Writing

60 responses to “A Little This, A Little That, and a Lot of VF

  1. Poor you! Except for the naughty kitties

  2. I planned to grab the week by the horns, then woke up with a queasy tummy–first time in months and months. Been back to bed once. Guess I’ll head there again.

  3. Wilma Kahn

    Such a nasty disease you are fighting. The neck pain you described makes sense to me now. Thanks. I hope the pearl-onion forms soon and VF fades away.
    Yes. Perry looks innocent when sleeping. Thanks also for insights on cat gestures. You have spent a lot of time with cats. Would you like to have fur like a cat?
    Sorry if this is incoherent. If it is, it’s because I am.
    Be well……

    • A reply in kind! I love it! I would hate having fur like a cat but I love their fur. I actually don’t know if a pearl has the rings inside of it like an onion but the idea of host an intruder is similar. Thank you dear!

  4. I sure do appreciate the sentiment behind your remarks about the neck brace. Yeah, mom, what gives?

    I remember when Perry was the new cat on the block and all the attendant concern and worry. Look at how far he’s come – and higher in the pecking order, too!

    continue to mend!

    • Lol.
      Perry is pretty much king of the house now, but he’s a benevolent ruler for the most part. He’s very different from the other cats and from what I read I think it’s because he’s part Maine coon. He trills and talks and wants to cuddle all the time. Thank you for your instructions to continue to mend!

  5. Amy

    I am so sorry that you are enduring this. It sounds dreadful (I’ve never heard of VF before). I hope the kitties can give you some comfort and some entertainment. Not sure what I’d do without mine!

    • I do not know how I would survive this without my cats. Pearblossom is taking such good care of me. Tiger and Perry want to cuddle all the time. These three are a great medical team. Because valley fever only happens in such a small area of the world it doesn’t get the funding for cures or vaccines.

  6. Glad you are hanging in there in the road to recovery. Bummer about the rejections, though.

    • Thank you, Eilene. Seriously. I have gotten more rejections in the last month than in the last year. I started to feel like they were ganging up on me when I was down LOL.

  7. Hugs to the whole household! Aren’t cats the best. When I’m sick they all pile on the bed even though none of them sleep there at night. I have learned a lot about VF. Never heard of it before. Not sure how you got it. I would expect someone who rolls in the dirt to be more likely to contract it. 2020 is a very weird year.

    • It is so weird! If we had known could we have taken it out of the calendar?! Cats are just the best. Yours, mine, and all of them.

  8. What a very unpleasant ailment

  9. Thank you for the update, Luanne. I’m glad to hear that you’re getting better, albeit slowly. In the lit mag department, I’ve gotten my fair share of rejections this fall as well. I think the it’s-good-but-doesn’t-fit rejection is the lit mag equivalent of the it’s-not-you-it’s-me breakup line.

  10. So sorry to hear about these struggles…but it sounds like you’re being proactive and maybe that will shorten some timelines…. I hope the week brings an end to pain and an ‘accept with pleasure’ notification…

  11. Oh, Luanne. I’m sooooo sorry about your illness. It sounds awful. I hope the drinking lots of water advice helped.

    Our Mickey was like that, too–we couldn’t walk around him while he ate, and we had to give him his dinner where Ricky wouldn’t bother him, and it was better if he didn’t see Ricky either. He also only ate one flavor of one brand of food.

    Good luck with the poetry, and congratulation on the acceptances. I’ve had editors say that too about a poem, but I do understand that it might not fit the overall feel of an issue.

  12. What a challenge you are dealing with (re: the VF). I hope you continue to beat it back and start to win this battle. The other situation about feeding the cat and walking out backwards…. I wonder if you can get a fake cover to slip over your shoes so they look like you are walking backwards, like a shoe mask. I’ve heard of people with big cats as pets wearing a mask on the back of their head so it looks like they are still facing the animal as they leave the room. Maybe get one of those and special slippers with toe pieces on the heel (haha)

  13. Thank you for the update, Luanne. I’m still praying your condition improves. Till then you need to rest a lot. Of course, if you are hydrating a lot that may not be convenient. Take care of yourself.

  14. Hi, Luanne, so very sorry the VF is so egregious…no really I am worried with you. Foggy is not fun but you can write anything here, spell it however, and your friends in cyberspace will still love to hear what you have to say.
    Perry does look very sweet – maybe his behavior isn’t so egregious after all!
    Cyberspace hugs to you

  15. So sorry you have to go through this difficulty, Luanne. How weird that the neck pain was from the same source! Continued prayers! I will have to look up Valley Fever and see what it’s all about. It sounds just awful. I, too, have had a lot of rejections recently and one acceptance, thankfully. Here’s to resilience and cheers to your cats for their comfort and presence. xo

  16. I love the backwards walking for the kitties! 🤣 I think you and I kitty-parent in the same way: the cats pretty much run the show:). I hope you continue to get better. Seems like we’ve all had a rough go this year. Take care, Luanne.

  17. From my cat, Freesia, to your cats, “Take good care of your human!”

  18. I’ve just had a few days at my sister’s, and her daughter has a cat that sometimes loves me desperately and sometimes bites me. Not the playful, we’re wrestling biting. The ears laid back, I’m serious now, kind of thing. Even when I’m not actually near him. He’ll just lash out as I’m walking past. Weird.
    Also, he never purrs. But sometimes when I stroke him, he does. On the other hand, I’m not convinced his purring is a sign of contentment. It may be a preamble to annoyance. Weird.
    But he hid somewhere new a couple of days ago, and I was the only one who could find him. Double weird.
    Anyway, this Valley Fever thing. I’ve never heard of it before, and I so wish you weren’t suffering so. But you have turned on commenting for this post, so I’ll take that as a sign you’re on the road to recovery.
    My very best wishes for that.

  19. Well, are you sure Perry was naughty? What a cute little face. Hope you feel better soon. Prayers are going your way. If you aren’t too attached to good food, you could always try an anti-inflammatory diet. It excludes things like gluten, corn, and other inflammatory foods to reduce the overall inflammation in your body. It can be extremely helpful with some conditions and it does work. But it takes sacrifice and about 6 months to get all the gluten out of your system so you have to be dedicated. Just an idea. God bless.

    • I suppose it’s perspective whether he’s naughty or not. I should give him the benefit of the doubt. He just has more energy than anybody else here. Interesting about the anti-inflammatory diet. My husband has celiac and so I rarely eat gluten. But I can’t say I never do because every once in a while I eat some thing with gluten that he cannot eat. It would be super easy just to avoid gluten altogether because I cook that way. I will check out the diet on Google. Thank you!

      • I can honestly say that it does work well for me. I don’t have gluten or dairy and I avoid too much sugar and corn products. It’s a lot, I know, but keeping the inflammation down works for me. Good luck.

  20. Good to hear from you, Luanne! Goodness, what an awful thing to happen to you. It sounds like you’re better? I think we’re all in some kind of fog these days. COVID-19 fog. Work from home fog. Too many virtual meetings fog. Election fog. Now you’re adding VF fog. At least you have your kitties to keep you on your toes, literally. Junior and Maxine have BOTH started to lie on the kitchen floor when we’re cooking. Good grief. We eventually coax them out, but it boggles my mind that they can be so complacent while two sets of human feet move closely around them. Keep taking care of yourself, and congrats on the publications. Love ya!

    • Lol. Tiger is one of those that sits in the kitchen floor right by your feet. So many times we say to her, “Do you want to get hurt?!” She is oblivious. Hope you are staying safe and sane. Love you too.

  21. I heard a lot about Valley Fever when I lived in Arizona. I knew it was nothing to sneeze at. Now, I’m more than grateful that it never settle in on me. You have to let yourself rest more than you want to so you can recover faster. The rejections are not personal. There is a major realignment going on that is affecting everything. At least I hope it affects Everything. 😉 Keep resting and don’t apologize.

  22. That’s SO funny about how you ‘fool’ Sloopy Anne!
    Perry look so sweet ‘n’ soft… <3
    Hope your brace and hydration efforts are helping you with your VF!!
    'Egregious' is basically the same as 'outrageous'… no? That's how I remember it, at least…
    Rejections, oh yeah, been there… it's really a numbers game, isn't it. I mean, yes, we have to churn out words – poems, prose – and submit like crazy – but a lot of it is luck. Timing. 'Fit' – whatever the hell that is, eh? Sigh. I haven't submitted anything in a while. Too busy reading, plus my blog, plus the boyfriend. 😉 Eventually, hopefully, I will be inspired to write something that aspires to be magnificent.

    • Outrageous? Similar but I think the connotation is slightly different. The numbers game you’re talking about is only fun when you’re winning. Right?

  23. Great post! I hope you are getting better. Love the picture of your cat. I had a cat just like him. Loved him very much. If you have time, drop by my site for some guidance on writing, I’ll have some new tactics to share. 🙂

    • Hi Annette, thanks for stopping by! What is your blog address? I couldn’t use your name to get there for some reason. Kitties are all very special!

  24. I’ve had no acceptances either this year, so maybe it’s them who are weird 🙂 It seems the VF is going to be a long haul, sending you healing wishes.

    • They are so weird! hahaha I hope you start getting acceptances again!!!! Yes, a long haul. Ick. Tomorrow I go to another specialist and get to ask the big question: is it true that VF is a lifetime illness or will I really get rid of it?

  25. I’m glad you’re getting some helpful advice, and I’m grateful for the healing power of an acceptance. Take care.

  26. I am so sorry you are ill. I do hope you feel better soon <3
    How lovely to be so well cared for by your kitties! My daughter's cat loves it that she (my daughter) is working from home. Mona (the cat) is wanting cuddles all day, except when she is demanding to be let out into the garden and then demanding that she be let indoors again.
    I'm also sorry about all the rejections. I wonder why?

    • Thank you, Clare! I had another acceptance so I am “moving on” from that “woe is me” attitude. Haha, re Mona. Of course she wants cuddles all day!!!! They can’t understand why a computer screen means more to us than cuddles (well, it doesn’t, but that’s how they read the time spent).