30 December 2016

Bad Blood

Y'all know that I have a small crush on the vascular surgeon who performed the surgery on my deep vein thrombosis (aka big fucking blood clot) back in late July and usually when I leave a follow-up appointment with him, I'm feeling a little like this:

This time, however, I'm feeling a little more like this:

So, okay. I've been seeing two doctors over the past five months. There is my surgeon and then there is the pulmonary embolism doc. A couple of months ago, the PE doc had me go in for some blood work and some of the numbers were out of range and others right on the cusp so he sent me to a hematologist for a second opinion.

The Hematologist said since we can pinpoint the exact causes of my clot -- Injury, Road Trip, Birth Control -- he didn't think it would be necessary to keep me on blood thinners for life. The caveat to that, of course, is that if I got a second blood clot, then, yes, lifer.



I had an ultrasound done on my leg a couple of weeks ago and today was the follow up with Dr. Stanley. Because the DVT was so extensive (entire thigh, y'all. Purple dead zombie leg, remember), he wants to keep me on the blood thinners for at least a year.

At least. With hints that it may be longer. As in lifer.

Which, like, I get when he explained that if I were to get a second blood clot it would be "devastating" and so this would be more of a preventative measure and all and, again, I get but...

Granted, maybe in another six months he'll decide I'm good and okay and none of this will matter. I'm just glad I'm no longer having to take those stupid fucking shots anymore and I haven't had any excess bleeding or side effects. (Well, except for my period although I don't know how much of that is the copper IUD (since I can't take the pill) and how much is the blood thinners and/or some combination of both).

I dunno. Maybe I'll get another book out of this whole saga.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

27 December 2016

The F Word

As you guys know, I have a book coming out in ONE WEEK.

If you pre-ordered the hardback copy from Amazon, chances are you already have it since, for some reason known only to Amazon, they started shipping them out early but WHATEVS.

It's weird, having my book out there. Knowing it's being read by family and friends and strangers and all of that. It's also causing me to have an extreme existential crisis related to the language of the book because, as you all are aware, I like to say fuck. I like to say fuck a whole fucking lot.

The thing is, not everyone likes the word fuck, which is totally okay, but as such, they will probably not like my book because of my use of the word fuck and, because it's a memoir and my story and my narrative and my view of the world, they probably won't like me because of my use of the word fuck.

And it's so bizarre because it certain contexts I'm perfectly okay using the word fuck unapologetically. Like, say, in this entire fucking post. But I don't use it in the presence of my parents (okay, well, in the presence of my mom) and most of my extended family. And when I write, I have no problem using it in my fiction but somehow the idea of having a book out there with the word fuck appearing at all, let alone frequently, is giving me a severe existential crisis.

(And the family element really is a big part of it. Not just my family but BC's family and friends of our family....)

I think it's because of the memoir aspect of it. This is my story and my narrative and my view of the world. It is, well, me. And putting it out there like that is vulnerable and scary.

I was explaining it to a friend like this: I'm someone who has a lot of walls around them. A LOT OF WALLS. All but a few people really know who I am and most aren't family. There's nothing wrong with my family, I've just always felt like an odd duck. I don't share a lot with them, with anyone besides my super inner circle, so most people have an idea of what I'm like without actually knowing what I'm really like.

Then I write this book -- a book where I was encouraged and tried really hard to be my true authentic self. I like my true authentic self, fucks and all, but putting my true authentic self out there -- especially putting it out there to the people who have a different idea of me in their head -- is scary as hell. Because what if they don't like my true authentic self?

It's not that I'm embarrassed or feel bad about saying fuck so much in my book, it's that I'm worried about what people will think of me. Which, I mean, I'm 35 years old. I should be over this sort of thing by now, right?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 December 2016

let it snow

I had forgotten how challenging running in winter can be. It's cold and there is annoying white stuff falling from the sky. It's also icy and -- as someone who is recovering from an injury -- I don't want to do anything dumb that will risk a set-back.

The YMCA, and their plethora of treadmills, isn't far away but that requires the extra step of bundling up on top of my running clothes and then getting in my car and driving out on snowy roads when it's dark and cold outside.

Running in winter is hard enough when I'm at the peak of training but now, oof. Zero motivation and I'm running slower than even I'm used to and my endurance isn't what it used to be after being off for six months.

Back in November, when I was given the all clear to run again, I set a goal of being able to run three miles by the end of the year but I think I need to reevaluate that goal. As of today, the furthest I've gone is 1.5 miles and that's when there wasn't six inches of snow on the ground.

Getting a treadmill for our basement is on my list and with each passing day it's moving higher and higher up that list, closing in on that top spot.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 December 2016

I Gots Myself An Eating Psychology Coach!

Back in July I made the decision to quit dieting, full stop. I don't count calories, I don't track points. I still write down what I eat most of the time but that's mostly looking for patterns in terms of time of day, how I'm feeling, etc. It's more food journaling than tracking.

I haven't voluntarily stepped on a scale in a couple of months (that habit was a little harder to break) but thanks to multiple doctor's appointments over the past several months thanks to #anklegate and #clotapocalypse, I have a vague idea of what I weigh.

It's not that I'm giving myself permission to just eat non-nutritious food 24/7, but I am giving myself permission to eat which, in a lot of ways, is the biggest challenge. But I'm noticing positive changes in my attitudes toward food. I'm also changing the language I'm using, both in terms of how I describe myself and how I talk about food to other people.

Just last week, one of my co-workers went out and bought cupcakes. I'd just eaten lunch when he offered me one. I declined. Some of my other co-workers nearby commented on my will-power. In the past I may have just demurred or brushed it off but this time I said, "It's not will-power, I'm just not hungry."

But despite my progress, I also know I can't do this alone and need some help and over the past six months or so I've been trying to find someone to talk to, someone educated in these issues. Then I found out one of my friends from high-school is starting a new business as a certified eating psychology coach. I reached out to her and told her what I was looking for -- stressing that I did not want to diet and weight-loss is not be my goal -- and she wrote back saying she wants to help chronic dieters like myself rebuild their relationship with food.

I'd never thought of myself as a "chronic dieter" before but as soon as she said that it was like this lightbulb went off in my brain. When asked how long I've been dealing with all of this I kind of laughed and then said since high-school, so 20 years ago. I've been yo-yo dieting for 15+ years ago.

Yesterday was our first meet-up and ohmygosh you guys. We spent the majority of our meeting kind of going through a history where I talked about the diets I've been on and she had me go through a typical day in terms of food and lots of other things. This is going to be a recurring thing for us and so she gave me homework: things to incorporate into my day over the next couple of weeks until we talk again. I'm excited to see how these small changes and actions have an affect on my eating!

In other news, I'm going to be on NPR's On Point show this morning talking about my favorite books of 2016! My segment is 11 am - Noon and here are all the ways you can listen.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 November 2016

My Favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

I hope all of my American readers had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. BC and I went to his aunt's house -- we were both effectively orphans this year, with both sets of parents going out of town to visit our siblings. But we had a delicious meal and good company and I totally plan on using the turkey leftovers I brought home to make a pot pie for us this weekend.

I'm an online shopper, always have been (true story: I made my very first Amazon purchase in 1999. It was a VHS copy of Labyrinth) so I don't really do the whole Black Friday, early morning shopping thing. I mean, I have in the past with family and such but it's not really my idea of fun shopping. I'd much prefer to sleep in and do the shopping from the comfort of my couch while wearing PJs.

In that spirit, I'm sharing some of my favorite online deals happening this weekend! Disclaimer: Some of these sales are affilate links.

Head on over to Bondi Band for 50% off everything! These are my go-to headband options as a runner and I can't recommend them enough.

Road ID currently has their entire site up to 67% off. Shortly after clotapocalypse, I bought one for my FitBit Alta and I love knowing that if something happens, my doctor's information, my medicine, and my emergency contacts info is all right there. I love it so much, I already plan on buying an updated Road ID once I'm off the blood thinners and don't need that information any more.

Speaking of, FitBit also has a big sale going on this weekend! I love my Alta. I love that it buzzes when I've been sitting too long -- which can happen a lot when I'm really zoned in on work. But it's important for my leg that I keep walking and all that so having that reminder is not only motivational to get my steps in but also important for my health.

My beloved Passion Planner is 50% off everything, except the 2017 planners. But have no fear! For those, you can use my code JILL10 to save 10% on your planner!  If you do order, use my email address jill [at] theyearofthephoenix [dot] com as the referral and there may be future Passion Planner giveaways here on the blog!

Finally, while you're doing all your online shopping this weekend, don't forget to pre-order my book! It comes out January 4th so while it can't be used for any Christmas presents, it's perfect for anyone looking to start 2017 off right with a New Year, New You resolution.


Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

21 November 2016


I know. Last month I said I'd return after my birthday, which was November 12th, but then the election happened and I needed time to process and recover from that but now I'm here again!

Most of my season of self care was spent, well, practicing self care.  The month of October was rough, my depression in full force and it was a struggle many days just to function like a normal human being. Anxiety, too, was making itself known and I didn't have my usual way of combating it, which is exercise and endorphins.


At the end of September, that was the date my bone doc gave me and you better believe I had that date marked in my Passion Planner.

I also had a plan.

(Speaking of, during the break I also found out I was selected to be a Passion Planner rep! Use my code JILL10 to save 10% on all full priced items. If you have any questions about the Passion Planner, please don't hesitate to ask as I want everyone to know about the awesomeness that is this product.)

Right, so. In the beginning I started doing Couch to 5K with the intervals they suggested but as the program progressed I realized my body and I really do much prefer our own intervals. So I sort of dropped the traditional C25K, but still like having a training program of sorts to follow so now I just use the above as motivation to try and run 3 days a week. Because, really, who doesn't love having little boxes to check off?

The running has been slow going which, of course, is okay since I fully embrace the whole slow runner thing. Speaking of, my book comes out in, like, six weeks. ZOMG.

So, anyway, yeah. I am back and YOU KNOW YOU MISSED ME.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

10 October 2016

A Season of Self-Care

Autumn is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite season. Not only is it the season of my birthday (*cough* November 12 *cough) but also my favorite holiday, Halloween! Plus, y'know, Pumpkin Spice everything and the golden blaze of changing leaves and, eventually, autumn runs and, yeah. Autumn and I are BFFs.

The flip side of that, though, is that autumn is when my cyclical depression shows up. I often say Sometimes in September, Often in October, Never in November. I made it through September okay and it's usually gone by the time my birthday rolls around, but here we are, in October and I'm moving under a sort of haze and all I want to do is sleep.

But I can't, because there is SO MUCH going on right now. For the most part, it's all really good stuff: Running with a Police Escort is coming out in less than three months. This weekend I'm leaving for a work trip to Massachusetts (yup, I'll be paid to be in Boston and Salem in October. Feel free to be jealous). The podcast I do at my job is starting to pick up steam and we have some really exciting author interviews coming up.

But BC is also recovering from his patella injury/surgery so now it's my turn to take care of him, which I am happy to do, but with work and that and my depression, I am in a place where I really need to focus on self-care. I need to take some things off my plate and take a step back and focus on me and my needs.

I need to take a blogging break.

When I look around at things in my life that add to my stress, this blog is currently one of them. Which is unfortunate but when I look at my schedule each week, all I can think is Ugh, I also should write a blog post. Which is so not the attitude I want to have but finding the time and the energy to do that is hard because when I have time and energy, I want to do other things. Or I have to do other things.

So I don't want to blog just for the sake of blogging but I also don't want to take a month off without any explanation beforehand, so, here I am.

I'll still be around on Twitter and Instagram and maybe Facebook, but I won't be writing blog posts. At least not for the next month: I'm giving myself until my birthday to just stop and breathe and focus on me.

Hope you all have a lovely month and see you on the other side.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 October 2016

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Smoothie

Disclosure: I am writing this as a member of Peanut Butter & Co.'s Yum Squad. All opinions are my own.

My friend Kelly makes fun of me for being a total basic white girl this time of year. Because once pumpkin spice season hits, this is me:

I'm pretty insufferable about it.

The only thing I love more than pumpkin spice is peanut butter. Luckily they are a combination that go well together, especially if you use Peanut Butter & Co.'s Mighty Maple. So when Peanut Butter & Co. asked us members of the Yum Squad if we'd be interested in creating a fall recipe I WAS ALL OVER IT.

Oh yeah, baby.

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
4 tablespoons Mighty Maple peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4-5 ice cubes

Blend until smooth, then drink!


Super delicious, super simple and -- bonus! -- it's also vegan! (With the exception of the Bee's Knee's variety, all of Peanut Butter & Co.'s peanut butter are vegan.)

Drinking anything pumpkin-y makes me think of the boy wizard and the popular pumpkin juice mentioned in the books.

I'm pretty sure, despite their differences, even Sirius and Snape would agree this smoothie is magically delicious.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 October 2016

Workout Wednesday

Last week was my first week back to exercising since getting cleared by my bone doc. Needless to say I was really, really happy to get back to it.

Monday and Wednesday I used my lunch breaks to walk around our warehouse at work. And, of course, on Tuesday, I made my return to spinning!

Thursday I normally would have done some yoga at lunch but I had an event that night -- oh, y'know, just interviewing James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner. No biggie -- so I had to look nice (like, sitting on a stage in front of 400 people nice).

Then on Saturday I went downstairs to our basement where we have a FitDesk bike and rode that for a little bit. (One of these days I'll be really productive and take my computer with me down there. Hmmm, maybe I'll try that the next time I work from home!)

Considering #anklegate meant I didn't walk for, like, three months and I've slowly been working back up to it, I'm quite pleased with my numbers this week!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

03 October 2016

Less Than 100 Days

I have a book coming out in January! January 3, to be exact, which is three months from today! That's, like, less than 100 days, y'all.

Just about a year ago I was working on my book proposal, which I sent to Skyhorse hoping they'd accept it and offer me a contract. WHICH THEY TOTALLY DID. So then I spent the next months writing it and then I spent the summer editing and proofreading it. A couple of weeks ago my awesome editor sent me a proof of the photo interior that will be in the middle of the book and now it's really just a matter of waiting until publication day!

Soon I'll also start having discussions with my publicist about author visits and such (which is just so weird to think about) but hopefully there will be opportunities for all of my non-Cleveland area readers and friends to come see me! Once I start having firm dates and details I will, of course, keep all of you updated in case you're interested in coming to an event!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

30 September 2016

Spin Cycle

This week I set one goal for myself:

That was it. That was my only goal. Well, not my only goal, I always have little ones I try to meet on a daily basis, but it was the really big goal.

Now that I've been cleared for (most) exercise, I have to challenge myself to get back into a routine. A routine that includes very early morning spin classes at least once a week. In fact, the YMCA changed the times -- what used to be a 6 am class is now a 5:45 am class.

Thankfully I live ridiculously close and there's no traffic that early and I tend to be an early riser anyway so waking up and getting ready was easy enough. (Granted, ask me again once it starts snowing.)

I am a Bondi Band Ambassador! Save 10% with code Phoenix2016

Bonus: Thanks to the very short drive and the early morning hour, I was able to go back to the house and get ready for work there!

I haven't been on a spin bike in about six months, back when my favorite spinning instructor went on maternity leave back in March. Then, of course, like two months later I broke my fibula and have been out of commission ever since.

Needless to say I eased back into it. My core needs work so I couldn't do most of the standing rides and sometimes the angle made a little noise in my still recovering ankle so I didn't push it too much.

But man oh mangoberry you guys it felt so good to work out again!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

28 September 2016

What I Love Wednesday: CowCow

When I say "CowCow" you probably imagine something like this:

Unless you're already in the know, what you don't imagine is something like this:

Why yes. Yes that is a dress with Carousel Horses all over it.

Orrrrr how about Unicorns?

So CowCow is this amazing dress company with fabulous frocks at super affordable prices (I recommend going through Amazon where everything is $20 or below. It's more expensive on their direct website).

My friend Terri has posted pictures of hers and when I decided I was in need of a wardrobe reboot I asked here where the dresses came from and she told me. I bought the carousel horse one just to try it out and as soon as it came and I tried it on I, no joke, went back online and ordered five more that night including the Gradient Unicorn dress, Popcorn dress, and, just in time for Halloween, this Spiderweb dress.

I also may or may not have another five waiting in my cart that I'm trying to show some restraint with purchasing. One would make an awesome Miss Frizzle dress if I ever decided to go as her for Halloween. Considering I have red hair and work at a book company, this is not a horrible idea.

Actually. I feel like any of these dresses would make awesome Miss Frizzle dresses....

Anywho. CowCow. Go. Buy. Enjoy.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 September 2016

When Opportunity Knocks

So I can't run for six more weeks. My Bone Doc said November 1st. I broke my ankle in mid-May. Which means when I do start running again it will have been almost six months.

Math is not my strong suit but, um, like, that's half the year.

Make no mistake here: Come November, I will be starting from scratch.

As challenging as it's going to be to continue to not run for the next several weeks, I'm trying to see the silver lining. And, if I really think about it, there is a silver lining. Because starting from scratch doesn't have to be a bad thing. I've been given a new day. A fresh start.

See, when I started running 4 1/2 years ago I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I was just kind of making up everything as I went along. Most days, even now, I am still making up everything as I go along. I didn't start following any training plans until I was getting ready to run my very first 10K. I signed up for races if and when I wanted to run them, maybe only a couple of weeks in advance. Hell, even now I still don't really pay attention to nutrition that much.

But now, I have a chance to try again. It's like someone pushed a bit bright red RESTART button. I can work on nutrition and have cross-training a part of my schedule from the very beginning. And not just spinning or yoga but strength training, too, which is something I'm really bad about doing. In fact, because of the six week delay, I'm going to have those routines in place before I start running.

Because I have goals. Big goals. This past weekend was the Akron Half which I couldn't run because of my ankle, but I am already looking ahead to next year's Akron Half-Marathon and that lovely blue line and that amazing finish in Canal Park.

I won't get there, though, unless I start putting one foot in front of the other now, a full year in advance. I'm also an Ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon races again and I have my eye on that 10K. But I won't get there unless I start putting one foot in front of the other now.

So while I may not be able to run right now, that doesn't mean I have to just sit on my ass. In fact, if I do decide to sit on my ass it's going to make that comeback and recovery even harder when I do start running again.

To help me out with these goals -- to follow through on this passion of mine -- I bought myself a second Passion Planner. This one is just going to be for fitness and running and all of that, nothing else. Once I've really started to use it I'll give you all a peek inside but I'm really excited. I already set my first goal, which is to be able to run a 5K before the end of the year. I don't know if that means an actual race or just running 3.1 on the treadmill at the Y (because, hi, winter in Northeast Ohio), but once November 1st hits, that's the direction I'm headed.

If you buy your own Passion Planner, use my email
jillgrunenwald [at] gmail [dot] com as a referral!

Honestly, I think the hardest part is just going to be getting back into the habit of working out again. Because, hi, I am lazy. So on those mornings when it's early and dark and cold, I just have to keep these goals in my head and remember what I want to do.

Luckily, now that I've moved the YMCA is much closer -- less than a mile -- but I was using some of our free weights down in our basement yesterday and looking around and realized there's more than enough room for a treadmill. We could even park it right in front of the TV that's all set up.

Who saw THAT one coming, amirite?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 September 2016

Summer Meltdown #Anklegate


Holy shit, you guys.


Right, so yesterday I had my final follow-up appointment with the Bone Doc. It was the most anti-climactic appointment ever. I go in, I have x-rays taken. He comes in and is basically like "Yeah, we're all done here. Call if you have any issues down the road."

It was a little more nuanced than that but not really. I saw him for a grand total of, like, five minutes. He suggested maybe wearing the air cast every once in awhile for the next two months -- like if I'm walking on really uneven ground or in a situation where there's a big crowd ("Like a Brown's game" LOLOLOLOLOL) but other than that I'm good without it.

Naturally I asked about exercise. He said I can resume low impact stuff like my spinning and yoga. But running I have to hold off for six more weeks.

But, okay, whatever. I have a date. I have a plan. I can walk for exercise which, as he pointed out, will help to start build up my base over the next six weeks.

In other news, let's talk about tomorrow, shall we?

Tomorrow. Oh, tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the day I was supposed to run the Akron Half-Marathon.

Tomorrow is the day I was supposed to get a half-marathon Personal Record (PR).

I registered for this back in January as soon as registration opened. I was all ready. I had a new training plan and was ready to put the work in.

Then, of course, there was #Anklegate. Not only did that fuck up my Cleveland Marathon weekend races, it fucked up my Akron Half, too. Because I apparently have the slowest healing bone ever.

Okay. No biggie, because, see, the National Book Fest in D.C. in this weekend, too, and Stephen King is a headliner (anyone reading an advanced ready copy of my book Running with a Police Escort knows I'm a huge Stephen King fan). So, BC and I made plans to drive to D.C. for that.

Only, then, about a month ago, BC tore his patella tendon and had to have surgery and is now homebound for the next couple of months.

No traveling to Washington, D.C. for us.


Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

21 September 2016

Giveaway! Win a Passion Planner

If you follow me on Instagram you know I love my Passion Planner. Love love love love love it. I love it so much, I am constantly telling other people about it. Passion Planner, as a company, loves when people refer new members to join the #PashFam -- so much so that they have a referral program: refer three people and you get a free Passion Planner!

Way back when I was a Kickstarter backer for the Passion Planner, although at the $1 level so I got the .pdf version. I'll admit, I didn't totally get it when it first came out. I mean, I got it. I understood what it was supposed to do but it wasn't fitting my lifestyle.

Then back in May I was looking for something to help kickstart some new changes in my life and wanted a new planner that would be more than just an organizational tool and ordered a Passion Planner.


Holy shit. For real. It's magical. I can use it for work, and my book, and goal setting, and my writing, and (eventually) my running, and did I mention the goal setting? That's one of my favorite things. That and it's so incredibly customizable. I buy stickers from a whole bunch of Etsy sellers to make it all fun and fancy along with making some of my own.

I even set up a corner of my home office to use as my planner place, complete with stickers, markers, colored pencils, etc.

Recently I received a free Passion Planner from referrals but since I already pre-ordered the 2017 Blush Birds & Bees Limited Edition planner for next year I don't need the free one, so I decided to give it away to one of YOU!

This is a Classic sized undated Sunday Start Passion Planner, so even if you don't need a planner right now, you can keep it and start using it January 1, 2017!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If this particular Passion Planner isn't for you, they have an entire shop worth of other ones. Be sure to use my email address as a referral -- jillgrunenwald [at] gmail [dot] com -- and there may be future giveaways like this!

Giveaway ends Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm. Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond. 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

19 September 2016

Coffee & Contemplation, #3

1) I have an appointment with my Bone Doc this Thursday. When I saw him a month ago he said there's a chance that at this follow-up I'll be pretty much done AND he hopefully will be able to clear me for exercise.

1a) With friends, family, and co-workers I keep having to specify if a doctor appointment is for my "ankle issue" or my "leg issue." After my follow-up with Dr. Stanley a couple of people asked how my ankle was and I just shrugged and said I won't know until this week.

1b) I am trying to not get my hopes up about the exercise portion but holy shit, y'all. I haven't been on a run in 4 1/2 months and I only got to start walking maybe two months ago. Because of the air cast I can't even, like, walk for exercise really. It's more walking for everyday purposes and just trying to get more steps in where I can.

1c) Assuming everything goes okay on Thursday, I hopefully shouldn't have another doctor's appointment of either ankle or leg for quite awhile. So, this is pretty much me going into this particular appointment:

2) I have a spider living in my driver's side sideview mirror. He spins webs overnight. I have nightmares he's actually a female and that one day I'll be driving along and look over and see a gazillion baby spiders pouring out of my mirror, like that one story from Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark. 

3) Turned in the final edits of Running with a Police Escort to my editor yesterday. Eek! Last week I sent over a bunch of pictures for the photo spread to be included in the book and I should be getting a preview of those soon. Only 3 1/2 months to go!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 September 2016

Doctor In the House

Yesterday, I had a follow-up with my surgeon Dr. Stanley.

This is the same Dr. Stanley who performed the trans catheter on my DVT and who advocated for a medication change when he found out how much I was spending on the Lovenox shots. He's just so nice and I basically love him.

Last week I had an ultrasound on my leg so this was a follow-up to that. Everything looks okay and I don't have to go back until December. My leg still does get a little swollen -- mostly at the end of the day after work -- and I, admittedly, have not been propping it up as much as I probably could (or should) so I'm going to start doing that again. They also gave me a list of places where I can buy compression stockings so that's my goal for this weekend.

Oh! Also there was Dr. Nicole: she was the resident at the hospital who I had the most interaction with so that was a very pleasant surprise. She walked in and said, "You look like you're feeling much better compared to the last time I saw you."

Yeahhhhhh I was a hot mess that last time, considering I'd spent the past five nights in the hospital and just wanted to get the fuck out of there.

I also asked about travelling because in one month I get to head to Boston for work. We'll be there Sunday through Thursday and the first couple of days we will be at a conference just a couple of miles from Salem. That's right. Salem, Massachusetts. Two weeks before Halloween.

It's a short flight, thankfully, and he gave me some tips for that so I should be good to go!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

07 September 2016

the future you have tomorrow won't be the same future you had yesterday

As summer begins to sundown into autumn, I've been thinking about this Chuck Palahniuk quote frequently as of late, with good reason. Way, way back in May -- before #anklegate -- I was preparing my training plan for the Akron Half Marathon. Then, of course, I broke my ankle and that put that particular race out of the running (pun intended).

But that's okay, because that same weekend is the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. and this year, Stephen King is the headliner. If you know me, you know I lurve me some Stephen King so while I couldn't travel to Akron to run that particular weekend in September, BC and I started making plans to travel to our nation's capitol to share in some book love and to visit my sis and BIL. Because of Clotapocolypse it was going to require a slight adjustment to our travel plans -- like instead of being able to drive straight there we'd have to stop every hour or so because I need to get out and walk around -- but that's okay, just part of the new normal.

But then a couple of weeks ago BC tore his patella tendon and had to have surgery. He's housebound for the next six weeks, at least, and with the National Book Festival only two weeks away that means our D.C. trip is going to have to be rescheduled.

It kills me, really, the timing of this. Just as I'm starting to reach the end of my own injury, we have this happen. He's looking at six weeks of this followed by three to four months of physical therapy. At breakfast the other day we were doing the math and we're pretty sure our first year of living together is going to be comprised of ten months of at least one of us dealing with an injury, with only the first and last month being injury free.

Naturally, all of this is making me super anxious which is making me eat and I'm having a bit of an existential crisis inside my head.

Two months ago I ditched dieting and in the beginning was doing okay with intuitive eating and choosing healthy, nutritious options but then I had the blood clot and they put me on a blood thinner with dietary restrictions, which meant I couldn't eat greens for several weeks while we waited for my INR levels to raise. My diet was pretty bad those couple of weeks and because of various doctor's appointments, I know my weight was up slightly which I wasn't crazy about.

Now I can eat greens again without worrying about their effect on my medication and I finally finally feel like I'm in a place where I can really focus on listening to my body again and to let it guide me. But with everything going on, all of these things outside of my control, my anxiety is heightened and I find myself wanting to weigh myself just to know. Not that it will make much difference either way and I know myself well enough to know that if I do step on that scale and see a number I don't like, it will only increase my anxiety and bad feelings and I definitely don't want to do that because then I won't eat intuitively, I'll eat emotionally.

But my weight is something, maybe the only thing, within my control during all of this craziness. But starting that cycle over of dieting and restriction and daily weigh-ins and all of it -- that's super damaging for my mentally and emotionally, I know that now.

I just, I feel kind of stuck.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

05 September 2016

Mondays Are For Coffee & Contemplation, #2

1) As of this past Saturday, my book Running with a Police Escort is a mere four months away from publication! EEK! Advanced Reader's Copies are out in the wild and one of my friends told me he had to stop reading my book right before bed because it kept making him want to run only it would be, y'know, like 11:00 at night.

I'm knee deep in edits, working with my editor and publishing team to polish the book and make it as fabulous as possible. I used to judge books I deemed poorly edited, feeling some weird sense of triumph when I'd find mistakes but now that I'm in the middle of this I totally understand how it's possible things get missed.

2) We had some .... excitement over the past week or so, although my use of the word "excitement" is perhaps pushing it: about a week and a half ago, BC was out of town visiting friends and while outside tripped and fell, tearing his patella tendon.

I was able to leave work a little early on Thursday so I could be there when he got out of surgery and worked from home on Friday (and his mom was around to help, too). Thanks to the long weekend we've slowly started to adapt and find a new routine.

What a pair we make, amirite? It was a long summer for me, now it's a long autumn for him.

2a) When he was being discharged, the nurse was going over the medicine requirements and said he was advised to take two aspirin a day to help block against blood clots. All of us -- me, BC, and his parents -- gave a little laugh and the nurse just kind of gave us all a WTF look, at which point we explained about my own experience in that arena. BC's leg is far more immobile than mine ever was and after seeing me go through that, he's all about making sure he's taking that aspirin as recommended.

3) Before I went on The Pill a decade ago, I'd been suffering from chronic tension headaches. I had shitty insurance and the doctor I was temporarily seeing and I never found the source and I just stopped going because it was expensive as hell. They stopped once I started taking birth control which suggests -- to me, at least -- that they were hormone related. Because of Clotapocolypse, the doctors took me off the pill. Which means my headaches have returned. And because of the blood thinners, I am really limited to what pain relievers I am allowed to take and Tylenol just ain't the same as my Excedrin Migraine.

3a) I've been meaning to call my doctor's office for weeks now to set up an appointment to get an IUD, I've just been lazy about doing it. (They have to be ordered in; my physician is in full support of me switching and probably would have put one in the day after I was discharged from the hospital and I saw her if she'd been able to.) I also have to call and ask which IUD I can get, especially now that my headaches have returned. The copper one I know is safe but it's hormone free and I think the hormones in the hormone IUD are not the same hormones that cause blood clots to be a risk factor while on the pill but that's one of those things I have to ask when I finally get around to making that call.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 September 2016

walking the fitbit walk

Back in November my parents bought me a new FitBit Charge for my birthday, which was a nice upgrade from the Zip I bought several years ago. I loved having a wrist device which showed me the number of steps that didn't require me trying to awkwardly look down my shirt since I'd wear my Zip on my bra.

All was well and good until a couple of months ago when, right before FitBloggin, the band on my Charge started to, like, peel off.

I emailed FitBit from Indianapolis while at the conference and they put in an order to send me a replacement. But then, of course, there was my week long hospital visit thanks to Clotapocalypse. The Charge arrived while I was there although it still took another couple of days after arriving home before I cared enough to start trying to set it up.

Only the stupid thing wouldn't work. I couldn't get it to hold a charge for longer than an hour or two and it wouldn't sync with my account or anything.

So then I had to email FitBit again and this time I was, ahem, very frustrated. I was also starting to walk and move around and wanted to be able to track my steps. It's actually medically necessary for me to get up and walk around because of the clot. Luckily I still had my Zip around so at least I could use that in the meantime.

FitBit HQ was out of Charges soooooo they upgraded me to an Alta!

I feel fancy and really like this new one. It's much slimmer than the Charge so it's not quite as obtrusive but I really like that the bands are removable. Which means not only can I change them out if I want, but if I start having issues like with the Charge, I can just buy a new one while still keeping the actual tracking device.

That said, while I'd been wearing the Zip for a week or so I realized that there are times when I liked having something I could easily put in a pocket or wear under clothes. Like if I wanted to wear a normal watch or bracelets or something. Turns out, people much smarter than me have designed and sell little devices that essentially turn the Alta into a Zip or Flex. So I bought a specially designed clip that I've only used a couple of times but I like having the option.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

31 August 2016

gimme all the greens

When they first released me from the hospital after my DVT, I was put on the traditional blood thinner Coumadin. This is a medication that came with dietary restrictions, specifically Vitamin K, which is a natural coagulant. As such, I wasn't really supposed to or allowed to foods with Vitamin K while we were waiting for my INR levels to get to where they needed to be.

Vitamin K shows up in lots of veggies but is specifically known to show up in leafy, green vegetables. Broccoli. Spinach. Kale. This is why, when my numbers dropped a couple of weekends ago, the nurse asked if I ate a bunch of green veggies. (No. No I didn't.)

I haven't had a salad in weeks. I had to give up my green smoothies. When you're limited to what vegetables you can eat, your diet tends to turn to shit. Almost two months ago I quit dieting and said I wouldn't voluntarily step on a scale again. But because of all of these recent doctor's appointments, I know what I weigh and I'm slightly up. Which, y'know, whatever but I also know it's been because I've been eating horribly for the past month.

When my surgeon decided to switch me to one of the newer meds, which doesn't have dietary restrictions, I was so excited because, among other things, it meant VEGETABLES. LEAFY GREEN ONES. ALL THE LEAFY GREEN ONES.

Saturday I went out to dinner with my parents and I got the biggest damn salad I could and zomg it was so good and I'm so happy I get to have my green smoothies again for breakfast.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

29 August 2016

hello again aunt flo

I first went on the birth control pill about, oh, ten years ago or so and have been on them ever since. For those that don't understand how it works, the pill uses hormones to stop ovulation. With no ovulation, there's no egg release and, thus, no egg for sperm to attach to and, thus, no pregnancy. This is why taking them at the same time every single day is so important because if you miss a pill, it can trigger ovulation which puts you at risk for pregnancy.

Depending on the pill you take, you may or may not have a period every month but even if you do it's not a "real" period since there was no egg released earlier in the month. Some pills, like the one I took, have a week of placebo pills with no hormones and you have a "withdrawal" period instead. Assuming you took all of your previous pills, your hormone levels will be high enough to maintain the non-ovulation through the placebo week, the end of which you start a new pack.

Many doctors, including my own primary care physician, agree that if a woman is on some form of contraceptive there's no need for her to have a period every single month. Back when the pill was first introduced, the doctors thought it was in the woman's best interest to mimic a standard 28 day cycle, including the menstruation part. So, y'know, SCIENCE.

(Don't ask how I know all of this. I tend to do a lot of research on lots of random things.)

So this is basically my long-winded way of saying I haven't had a real honest to goddess menstruation cycle in about a decade.

One of the side-effects of birth control can be blood clots which means that when I was in the hospital a month ago for Clotapocalypse they took me off said birth control pills. I was in the middle of my pack and after a few days, the withdrawal period started. Since then I've been anxiously awaiting for my normal cycle to start back up and because of the blood thinners I've been super paranoid my period was going to look something like this:

I also have no idea what my natural cycle looks like in terms of duration but knowing it started on August 1st when I was in the hospital and also knowing the "standard" is 28 days, I'd been basically girding my loins for the past week or so.

My period started up this weekend and thankfully it was pretty, well, normal. Which basically means it was the same level of annoyance as it has been since I was 10 years old.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 August 2016

ARCs in the wild!

If you don't work in the book industry or have some affiliation with it, you may not be aware of the different facets of the publishing process. One of these is the Advanced Reader Copy: several months before a book's official publication date, copies go out to book bloggers, bookstores, libraries, various fancy people, etc., to start getting the buzz going and to also collect blurbs and recommendations that they can put on the cover of the final product.

Because of where I work I actually have too many ARCs to know what to do with since it's important for my role to know what is up and coming before books hit their street date.

As of yesterday, ARCs of my own book are out in the wild.

I had some physical copies sent to the office because 1) we work in the book industry B) we all love Cleveland and III) I work with a shit ton of runners. I knew they were in the mail but I didn't know they had arrived until one of my co-workers brought a copy over and I completely flipped.the.fuck.out at seeing it in person.


Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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