Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Calling ALL Klingon and Star Trek Fans – My Friend Needs Your Help!

No Comments » Written on January 13th, 2013 by
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Jay Lake and Lawrence M. Schoen

It’s been my great pleasure to number Jay Lake among my friends. He’s been my editor and publisher for a couple stories, and I’ve been his editor and publisher for a couple of stories. And despite this, we’re still friends!

Here’s a photo of us together (taken by Scott Edelman, Yokohama, Japan, 2007). I’m the handsome, bespectacled, large fellow with the van dyke, and Jay’s the other guy.

As you may or may not already know, Jay’s been fighting cancer for several years. The current hope for treatment involves whole genome sequencing of a tumor, an obscenely expensive procedure. So when I learned of the fundraiser to pay to have this procedure, with any extra proceeds going to cover a leave of absence from his DayJob, I contacted one of the folks organizing the effort and asked how I could help (beyond, you know, just throwing money at it).

Now, if futuristic medical science isn’t enough to get your attention, here’s where it gets really interesting. Various famous authors stepped up and promised to supply “Acts of Whimsy” in response to various amounts of money being raised.

I can’t compete with the epic power of the fanbases of people like Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi, but it occurred to me that I could provide something they can’t, specifically, a Klingon Act of Whimsy!

As I write this, the big toteboard on Jay’s fundraising page is just a bit under $40K. It’s been running for less than four days, and managed more than $20K in its first 24 hours. For reasons dating all the way back to my fraternity days (and let’s have a shout-out to Sigma Nu here, as a challenge to them as well!), the number 46 has always been dear to me. So, here’s my pledge: if the donations reach $46K, I will post a video in which I reveal (and correctly pronounce), Five Pick-Up Lines Used in Federations Bars by Klingons!!!

Here’s the thing, whether you speak Klingon, or you are a part of Klingon fandom, or you hang out with people who dress like Klingons, or you want to know what the hell that alien is saying to you in the bar, this is your chance to know! And all you have to do to make it happen is contribute a small donation to this extraordinary fundraising event.

So, even if you’ve never read a word of Jay’s fiction or had the great pleasure to meet and talk with the man, I am challenging every Klingon fan to lend their support, show me your heart, and laugh in the face of cancer. And I am challenging every Star Trek fan to make a contribution and boldly call forth a miracle of science. I’ve spent the last 20 years traveling the world promoting Klingon and I’ve seen first hand what Star Trek can inspire. Now it’s personal, and I’m asking you to show a little bit of that here and now for my friend.

That, and I know you want those pick-up lines.

Here’s the link, click it, give it a read, and then show some Trek love. Thank you.

Winding down another Sunday

No Comments » Written on January 13th, 2013 by
Categories: News
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Valerie and I are home after another Sunday “date night.” She usually works on Sundays, and so we’ve gotten into the habit of my driving out to KoP and picking her up as her shift ends and then heading over to Seasons 52 for dinner. A bit pricey, but the food is always excellent and healthy for us, and incredibly it’s one of the few places where we’re both really happy to dine.

Today’s dinner ran a bit early as Valerie’s shift was cut a couple hours short. Also, I had to drop off my computer at the Apple store (conveniently downstairs from V’s shop) to get a new battery installed. The work was done while we were off at dinner and now the device is as good as new. Well, as new as a three-year old MacBook can be — I have my eye on a lovely 11″ MacAir, but that’s another story (which I need to tell to my accountant).

Anyway, we’re back home and the evening is winding down. This week is done and next week promises to be a whirlwind of daily appointments, doctor visits, project juggling, air travel, and conventioning. Woo!

Fortunately, tomorrow’s installment of EATING AUTHORS is already done. But that may be the only sign of me on this blog next week.

Another Friday

2 comments Written on July 27th, 2012 by
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It’s another Friday, but marked more than most.

For most of the world, today marks the start of the Olympic games. Like many, I’m turned off by the financial tumult the games bring to the hose nation, by the sheer mercantilism and nonsense of it all. I don’t like the whole “how many medals have we won attitude that I see on television (and the linguist in me really wishes that English differentiated between inclusive and exclusive first person plural pronouns, but alas). On the other hand, I do enjoy seeing some of the performances, the tangible/visual results of dedication of will and time and passion. That part is extraordinary.

For a smaller group of people, today marks a “choice point” in terms of quantum mechanical many worlds theorists who happen to subscribe to the fictional intentions of the ReDeus anthology that debuts next week. That universe begins today, a universe in which all the gods of every culture come back to resume their rightful places as objects of worship. Of course, you have to wait a week for the book, but oh well.

And, on a smaller and more intimate level, today marks my 53rd birthday. I’m spending the day quietly. I got up, did a bit of work, sent a few emails. I went to the gym, pushed myself a bit more than usual, and that was good. Then I went off and ate Chinese food, and that was good too. I’ve started in on another of the finalists that I’m reading for the Endeavor Award, and I’m enjoying the book (also a good thing). Having returned home from brunch, I’m doing laundry (eh, not so much a good as a necessary thing) and I’ll be doing some more work on a Paper Golem project as the day wears on.

I haven’t talked about it here, partly because I always worry of being one of those people who end up talking rather than doing, but since I came back from a Klingon gig in the Spring I’ve been a bit more careful about what and how much I eat, as well as improving my exercise regimin. I’m happy to report that I’ve dropped about 15 pounds and I feel great. In fact, I’m probably healthier now than I was a year ago.

There’s still a lot of stress in my work life, but I’ve become more philosophical about it and I’m not letting it get to me as much, and that’s a huge improvement. On the writing and publishing ends of thing, I find my creative powers are booming and I’m feeling more productive than I have in quite a while. So, yeah, yeah me.

My wife is happy and healthy, my dog is a source of delight. I have plenty of people in my life who are generous with their time and creativity and intelligence.

So, to the extent that I’m celebrating my birthday today, I’m doing so by acknowledging once more what a truly blessed life I enjoy, and giving thanks to the people who make it so. If you’d like to join in, go have a piece of cake, on me.

Back on track in the sack

No Comments » Written on December 9th, 2011 by
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After several days of wretched insomnia, I seem to be back on track at last. Last night served up a fairly solid six hours (though I did awaken at several points throughout the night, I also managed to go back to sleep).

Up today a bit before six a.m., got some reading done for a novella contest I’ve been involved in, put in some time cleaning up the mess that is my office (seriously, where does all this crap come from?), and in a very short while I’ll be off to Pilates.

Valerie and I have an afternoon movie and dinner scheduled for later today, but we may end up postponing that for a week. Discussion to follow. All in all though, it’s looking like a pretty good day.

Oh, and one more thing: it’s cold out. That means I may opt to build a fire at some point. That would be nice too.

Oh look, it’s 3am…

No Comments » Written on December 8th, 2011 by
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Ugh. Insomnia. Again.

New Gym for Summer?

No Comments » Written on September 22nd, 2011 by
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Last year, Valerie and I let our membership at the Plymouth Meeting Community Center lapse, and instead bought memberships at a nearby YMCA.

The Y had several times the fitness equipment that we liked, and quite a bit more space for it. But it was also further away, and I didn’t much care for the locker rooms or the pool, and so I stopped going. Bad, Lawrence.

Valerie’s been out of “gym commission” for the last few months, and other than being beaten up by my Pilates instructor I have not been getting much in the way of exercise (as is made evident by the bathroom scale).

Today I dropped by a newly-opened Planet Fitness. It’s a bit closer than the Y, and it’s on the way to work. The price is very good. There’s no pool, but there are plenty of ellipticals and similar cardio-type machines that I like to use. And the locker room is nicer (by which I mean not as small) as the Y’s. Plus, if I went with their “Black Card” membership, I’d have unlimited use of massage chairs, tanning, and red-light therapy treatments (though I don’t know that I need any of that), and the price would still be less than half of the Y.

I’ve had a bad experience with a different, nation-wide gym chain, but they seemed to have a very different business model.

Any of you have any experience with Planet Fitness (or tanning machines or red-light therapy, for that matter)? This would be a good time to share those insights with me. Thanks.

Bottom line though, I need to get myself back into a gym!

The Über-Boober: A Final Report

3 comments Written on September 17th, 2011 by
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It’s been a week since I’ve commented on the state of Valerie’s health. The main reason being that we’ve been waiting for the lab report to come back and tell us exactly what it was that the surgeons took out of her chest. That report came in yesterday.

We are very pleased (and relieved!) to report that it was indeed a thymoma, and that it was fully encapsulated. This means that we’re done. There’s no other cancer to worry about. No further surgery to do. No chemo or radiation treatment or anything else.

All that’s left to do is manage the ongoing pain (which as it turns out, even after ten days is still considerable) and heal.

My thanks once again to all of you who emailed or posted your concerns and well wishes, who kept us in your thoughts, lit candles, rang bells, invoked nameless deities, sacrificed small woodland creatures, and all the rest. You’re the best, and we truly appreciate all the positive energy you put out into the universe on our behalf.

third day of the Über-Boober

2 comments Written on September 9th, 2011 by
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The second night was much like the first, with orderlies and nurses showing up every hour to take X-rays, check vitals, deliver injections, and basically prevent either of us from getting more than an hour’s sleep at a time.

A bit before 6am, one of the surgical residents showed up. And just like that, they removed V’s catheter. We discussed the needed changes to her oral pain meds, and notes were made and passed on to the nursing staff. We had V’s pain under control!

That left only two drains, and we were told to expect members of the surgical team to return in late morning (after their first surgery of the day) and remove the drains. After that, we’d see how Valerie was doing, and it was likely she’d be going home the next morning, assuming she managed to urinate some time in the next four to six hours.

Except that’s not what happened. V had moved from the bed to the chair, and was resting comfortably, waiting for an orderly to show up with breakfast. Instead, the surgeons returned. It turned out other people involved in that morning’s surgery were running late, and so they returned before breakfast and quickly removed the remaining drains!

Then the nurse came back, and even though Valerie was no longer on an IV drip, someone had decided she needed a couple hours’ of Magnesium added to her system. So a new line was put in (after she’d worked so hard to have all of the old lines removed). A very crappy hospital breakfast (with almost nothing that V had actually ordered brought to her) was picked at, and I took that opportunity to sneak off myself to the cafeteria (where the food was actually pretty good). When I returned, they’d managed to bring some of the items Valerie had ordered, but they were horrible all the same.

Valerie took a trip to the bathroom and lo, managed a tink! Soon after, the Physical Therapist showed up and wanted to take a walk and see what Valerie could handle. V was a star! She strode back and forth the length of the hallway with ease, and climbed up and down a flight of stairs without any problem. The PT was well pleased, and announced that she was done with V.

When the Magnesium was done, free at last of all drains and tubes and monitors (but with a massive dressing where her chest drains had been), and having successfully regained the use of her plumbing, we proceeded to wash off a couple days of grime and bed sweat. Valerie looked and felt a million times better afterwards, and settled back into bed in a clean gown to await the arrival of sister at noon.

Her sister showed up, as did the lunch tray. After a bit of chitchat, I left Valerie to her sister and went off to grab a bite myself, and to get some work done. A little over an hour later, they called to say the senior surgical resident had come through and completed Valerie’s discharge order. Prescriptions for her meds had been written up, and I headed up to the room to pack up everything while we waited for a wheelchair to come around.

We were on the road a bit after 2pm, and despite massive traffic all the way home, we arrived just after 3pm. I unloaded the car, made sure Valerie was settled comfortably in bed, and then headed off to the pharmacy to fill her scripts before she needed her next dose (I made it with fifteen minutes to spare).

So, we’re home. All the danger is past. All the anxiety is over. No more sleep interruptions, no more juggling medication schedules trying to find out what works. The plan for the rest of the weekend is sleep, broken up by scheduled pain meds, and such getting up and walking around as suits V’s desire.

As for me, I’m happy to have my wife out of the hospital, and I’m looking forward to being able to sleep for more than an hour at a stretch tonight. Good night!