Keeping up

On a normal day/week/month/year, I barely keep up with necessary activities of life–like cleaning, outdoor chores, laundry, cooking, dog brushing, and so on. My priority for the work day is writing, and my priority for the rest of the time is the family activities. Now my family does a lot of the housework. Thank goodness, because I’m always running behind. So the title of this post is a misnomer, because I’m never actually keeping up.

One of my favorite cons on the planet is Miscon. It’s held over Memorial Day weekend in Missoula, Montana. I try to go every year. I missed last year and so was determined to go this year. It’s a 10-12 hour drive (depending on how often we stop and how long). We left at 5:30 in the a.m. and got in to Missoula sometime around 4 (that’s even after losing an hour). Anyhow, we get checked in and take our stuff to the room, then go get our badges from the con registration.

On the way back to our room, we started horsing around. The kids, my husband, and the dogs were behind me in the hallway and I decided that I’d walk fast back to the room in order to get there ahead and maybe lock everybody out. The kids realized what I was up to and started chasing me. So I started jogging. I got nearly to the door and the toe of my sandal caught on the floor and I went down on my face. Hard. The floor was indoor/outdoor carpet over concrete. Well, it felt like concrete anyhow. And it hurt. A lot

So after that, we iced, and then the man took me to the emergency room where they checked me out and gave me a

purple on purple

purple on purple

CT scan and discovered I had nothing broken, but I was going to be really swollen and the eye was going to be seriously black. All which proved true. And my friend saw me post the pic of facebook and overnight crochet me a purple and green top hat (mad hatter style) to go with my eye. (I’ve got the most awesome friends).

Fast forward a week and a half to now. The issue is not my eye. That’s never been the worst part of the fall. The problem is my wrists. I can’t write for any length of time. Part of that is the fact that my Kinesis keyboard isn’t working right now and I’m on a standard keyboard. But the other part is that in falling, I sprained both my wrists. Not only is writing tough, but so is just about everything else. The recommendation for sprains? Rest, ice, rest, and oh some more rest. I can’t do that. I have stuff to do.

Photo on 5-28-16 at 8.19 AMBut I’m getting even more behind. My house–well, it’s not clean. I’ve got someone coming in to clean bathrooms for me, thank goodness, but the rest of it is on the back burner. I’ve been gardening, but I can only do so much. I’m not weeding and deadheading the roses is on hold for now. I sprained my ankle when I was a kid. It took forever to heal. I can’t afford forever. Reading is tough because holding both book and Kindle put my hands at painful angle. Knitting is right off the table.

I thought about using Dragon Naturally Speaking for writing, but I need the finger/keyboard connection. I’m not one for thinking aloud or drafting aloud. I kind of wish I were. I’m also irritated at my limitations. Plus I can’t walk the dogs. I can’t manage the leashes if they pull.



So what’s all the take away from this? Writing fodder. Lots of writing fodder. First: I never knew



that a black eye would slide down. Mine started on the top of my eyelid, and now the bruising is down below the level of my nose. Second: that feeling when you hit so hard you almost black out and you feel shaky and shocky and suddenly very emotional. Third: emergency room nurses can and will make jokes if you’re willing (the nurse who said as we went into our cubicle, ‘have a nice trip!’). Fourth: at a con, everyone assumes your nasty black eye is makeup. Everybody. Also, everybody hears about it and strangers will check up to see if you’re all right. Fifth: arnica is amazeballs with bruising and swelling. Sixth: how to live without working bits. I’ve done that before with my back issues, but not with my hands. Seventh: I knew this one, but it bears repeating–corgis make everything better. And eight: now everybody knows that I come by nickname of Clodzilla honestly.


About Diana Pharaoh Francis

A recovering academic, Diana Pharaoh Francis writes books of a fantastical, adventurous, and often romantic nature. She's owned by two corgis, spends much of her time herding children, and likes rocks, geocaching, knotting up yarn, and has a thing for 1800s England, especially the Victorians. Check out samples of just about everything on her website:


Keeping up — 16 Comments

  1. Oh, my gosh, Diana, that was a heck of a fall! I hope you’re feeling better soon. It’s so frustrating when injury or illness keeps you from doing all the items on the ‘gotta do’ list. Hang in there!

  2. Ouch!

    I had the experience of bruises drifting when I was a teenager and had my wisdom teeth out – purple chipmunk cheeks became a green and yellow chest!

  3. I thought bruises drifting was just an old people thing! (I had a black eye, too, a couple months back. It settled in my eye bags.)

    Dogs DO make everything better. But I hope you heal fast!

  4. I broke my wrist at Wiscon two years ago. And I have an unfortunate tendency to fall down (I am your twin in Clodzillism, I suspect). So this all sounds painfully familiar. There’s that “oh, rats, I’m not going to be able to stop this” moment when you know you’re falling, and the moment just after impact when everything hurts and you’re trying to assess what the damage was–while feeling weak and stupid and boy-howdy in pain. And the point about two days later when the things that hadn’t hurt before suddenly decide it’s time. I am so, so sorry.

    Heal. Be as gentle with yourself as possible. Cease trying to keep up.

    And yeah, arnica is the bees’ knees. Keep it up.

    • Right? That falling thing where you think, cripes, what a freaking idiot, and then you hit. When I went into the ER, I tried to argue against the CT because of expense, but my husband said–it’s not that expensive compared to being dead. So I did it. Sigh. I found out later that it was really smart to get the bones checked out.

  5. Hope this doesn’t keep you from Westercon, one month away. It’s only an hour drive. And isn’t The Boy old enough to drive you yet?

    Alternating ice and heat always helps. I wish I could do more for you. Take care of yourself.

    And I hate sandals because they trip me up all the time.

    • Not a chance. I made it through Miscon when I’d just done it. I’m going to be there. That reminds me. Sarah and I are on what amounts to a BVC panel on Monday. If you’re still going to be there, it would be great if you could be on it too.

  6. Wrist braces might help some, at least for everyday use that’s not related to a keyboard.

    I fell on a concrete walk outside the office some years back and sprained my thumb. For days I didn’t have enough grip to hold a single piece of paper. Luckily, it didn’t slow my typing any, since I’d been taught to use either thumb on the keyboard — whichever one was nearest, so to say.

    I think this is where you delegate the urgent household tasks to kids temporarily.

    • I’ve been wearing those. I have a number of them in the house because, Clodzilla. They have helped. I can drive better with them. Though my son is in driver’s training so I’m just as happy to let him drive whenever I can.

      Sprained thumb sounds awful.

  7. I saw your black eye. And I’m always happy to see you at Miscon. Your panels are always entertaining.

    I hope your wrists heal soon.

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