An Ever So Slow But Happy Return

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First and always foremost! Thank you all ❀ I never could have anticipated the amount of concern, support and care I received during this hiatus. I even managed to acquire some new and very understanding followers during my month away from social media and the blog. I also discovered that I was added to Reedsy’s Best Book Blogs of 2017. This all stands as a true testament to how wonderful this community and readers are. Everything that BVT has become is a direct result of you! I know I have said it before, but I simply love you all so much!

I know I have a few of you who have messaged on social media and sent emails that I have yet to respond to. I will be doing my best to reply over the next week. I greatly appreciate the letters and thoughts. I Β simply have not been online. I will also be responding to all of the comments as I am able. You can only imagine how behind I am!

With all of that said, I will be returning at a somewhat slow and more limited pace. I plan to remain active weekly, however the current goal will be about 3 posts a week when able. Unfortunately, I really need to continue with reduced screen time. I will not be able to blog hop and share as frequently as I once did (although I will still do so when able). If I want to write, read and blog; it will not be possible to keep up with my past routine at the same pace. This does sadden me a bit, but I am happy to be returning and will continue to support you all of you the best that I can. I will not be opening back up for reviews this month. I need to allow myself time to catch up on my backlog of current books and pending reviews/spotlights. I will however, post another You Choose, I Read soon πŸ™‚

So the brief health update that some have asked about: I am currently scheduled for hearing aids and then a follow-up with the specialist later this month. The hearing aids are rather expensive and I have had to apply for assistance, but am in need with the moderate to severe loss in both ears. The new meds seem to have had little effect at this time, but I am not writing them off yet. The last visit concluded that the current symptoms are all neurological, so surgery is out. It was my original hope that some of the underlying causes were related to inner ear as this opened up more options in regards to treatment. I imagine the next step with the specialist will be to discuss where we go from here. I am having to reduce screen time due to increased migraines and vision changes. I was also told I suffer from reader’s fatigue due to the vision issues. But I simply cannot force myself to reduce my reading πŸ˜‰ On the plus side, this was a somewhat better month in terms of vertigo. That is huge for me! So overall, I am calling my rest a success.

So now it is your turn! Let me know what you have been up to and what you are reading. I am itching to catch up with you all. How has the remainder of your summer been? Fill me on all of the good stuff I have missed. A month felt so very long to be away!

Danielle ❀

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87 thoughts on “An Ever So Slow But Happy Return

  1. I went to Iceland, saw a total solar eclipse, and read a bunch of books! *lol*

    It’s good to see you back here, even if it’s not as often as we’d all like. Good luck with the hearing aids and all the rest!

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  2. Welcome baaaaack! So cool that you got added to that list. And hey, who needs more than 3 posts a week πŸ™‚ (hint: that’s as many as I can do too :D) you should definitely protect your eyes, and reading comes first too. I hope you can figure all those health things out the best way possible. Glad to have you back in the blogosphere πŸ™‚

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  3. Welcome back!! I’m glad you consider your rest a success! Good to hear that!
    Like Kim, I saw the total solar eclipse (traveled to Columbia) and now I’m hanging in through Harvey. Fortunately, I have a a huge TBR. I wish my books were a little more diverse (they are all one diverse genre LOL).

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  4. It’s so good to see you back!! ❀ ❀ Definitely take all the time you need and don’t stress about so-called ‘blog obligations’… I’ve learned the hard way myself that following your own pace is definitely the best thing and you know we will stick around anyway. πŸ˜‰ I hope things will improve health wise for you soon! ❀

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      1. Don’t mention high standards to a professional perfectionist. πŸ˜‰ It’s hard to let go, but slowing down definitely takes away lots of the stress! You will get there. ❀

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  5. Welcome back!! It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and I’m glad your break was a success! 3 posts a week seems like a solid number to me- I got a new job this past month and that’s about all I’m able to pull off with my new schedule. But it’s worth it! I hope you got in some time with family and enjoyed the summer weather while you were on your break! Glad to have you back!!

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  6. It is such a joy to hear from you Danielle! I’m glad to see that the rest you took was an overall success and that you plan on taking your return slowly. I do hope things will slowly become more stable and much better for you, but the most important thing is that you prioritize and do what you love more first *errhum* read *errhum* πŸ˜‰ I’m currently reading a book where the author bio at the end mentions that she currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Thought of you immediately! πŸ˜€ Looking forward to your usual awesomeness, Danielle! πŸ˜‰

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    1. I believe Laini Taylor lives here also. And Marissa Meyer is right up in WA. We have some greaqt authors living nearby. Luckily, I am not a creepy stalker πŸ˜‰ Haha. I am trying to make a concerted effort to read more and remain online but less. The screen and light is a big issue. I constantly tweek the setting on my brightness etc, but truly have to just rest more. Which book is it?

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      1. I didn’t know you lived in the Los Angeles of writers! πŸ˜‚ Pretty cool that you could randomly bump into some insanely popular YA authors though. I’m reading The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld! You might have heard of her before, and her book book The Enchanted (haven’t read that one yet though).

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          1. The Enchanted was loved by a lot of bookworms, based on the review ratings I’ve seen around for it. Check it out, it might actually be something that you’d thoroughly love, if you ask me. πŸ˜‰ Oh I totally understand that ahhahah who knows how many I might have skipped in my life/on vacation too πŸ˜‚

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  7. So good to see you back! I found a site here that sells bookish teas (the packaged teas are like books and you can even have a shelf of books) and it made me think of you so much… I didn’t want to disturb your peace and quiet though :-). I’ve posted it on my FB account but I guess shipping would be expensive for you anyway ;-). I do hope you take it easy… blogging 3 times a week (like I do) is still a lot and not to be underestimated :-). Congrats with your add to the Reedsy Best Book Blog list, that’s wonderful news!! Take care lovely xxx

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  8. I iz reading these new fangled things, a crazy invention called books! They iz great, they transport you to far of world’s and let you get upto fantastical adventures! Whatever next boxes with moving pictures!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Glad to have you back even if you won’t be around as much. Though…..3 posts a week is still a lot and more than some other bloggers so it’s all good.πŸ˜€

    Eurgh, who’d want to reduce reading time, reading rocks!🀘

    I is incapable of being any nicer as I need to keep my bad boy of blogging image up!πŸ˜‚

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    1. Haha. Yeah, I really am supposed to read a bit less, but let’s be honest. It is not happening. The nonhubs looked at the specialist and laughed aloud when he told me to reduce reading time πŸ˜› And thanks. It is nice to come back to so much support πŸ™‚

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  9. Wishing you all the best — I hope you feel better and better. Probably an obvious question, but have you considered trading some visual reading time for audiobooks? My father is having a lot of vision issues right now, and I’ve been pushing audio on him. πŸ™‚ Great to see you back!

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      1. Some rough seas and foul weather here due to some family health troubles but taking it one moment at a time and longing fondly for fairer skies. But ye can’t predict what life throws at yer head and must either dunk (which I couldn’t) or bear the pain. Sink or swim as it were. I will survive. I always do, perhaps with more scars but they just make me look fiercer and prove that I made it πŸ™‚
        x The Captain

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        1. Oh no 😦 I understand how difficult it can be for sure. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and sending all of my positive and best vibes your way. May fairer skies and calm waters be in the very near future for you.

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  10. It’s good to hear that things have improved for you. I have my fingers crossed for you that it continues. Just do things at your own pace and you’ll soon be back in the swing of things in whatever capacity you decide on!

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  11. Welcome back!! I’m just seeing this why, I don’t know!! But have missed you ❀❀❀ Please take all the time you need coming back and everything!! I’m only blogging 2x a week with returning to work and school last week on top of the fibro, so I understand. Health first, as you know πŸ€—β€πŸ€— So glad you are back and feeling better! And I’m still catching up from reviews from June lol. It’s something I’m just not going to worry about….maybe!! You’ll get your groove😊

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    1. Well I definitely know that you understand where I am coming from ❀ I am so behind and still have a lot to juggle. I hope you are managing well with all that you have going on. You have been in my thoughts. Has your pain level been manageable? I could not even imagine with the fibro 😦

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      1. Wow, I have tried to answer you 3x and once I thought I had!! I must be losing it! I hope you are well today! I’ve decided that being far behind is just going to be what I am, lol. I’m not going to add the stress just to catch up, especially when they were not review copy books but only books that I had bought or already owned. Since I’ve reviewed all my ARCs, and still am on time, then I feel good about that. I don’t want to feel pressured or guilty about something that I love or is an escape for me, or I will stop enjoying it, and I have to read since it helps me escape my pain. I hope that I can at least review some of the books I’m behind on by the end of the year since I don’t have that many ARCs to read, but that all depends on how busy school keeps me.

        It’s been a juggling act. Friday was the end of my 2nd week back to teaching and starting classes, so I’m still trying to find balance. It hasn’t gotten too crazy yet, but it will as the semester moves on and the assignments get more difficult. I’m very thankful that I’m doing all of this from home, or I would just not be doing it, and I will play it by ear to see how the semester goes. I’ve had some flare up days, and the beginning of the month was pretty rough. This weekend has been painful too, but I’ve pushed myself the last couple of days, and we’ve had lots of rain, which always messes up my migraines and my fibro. I woke up with a new pain today, totally random in my elbow where I can barely bend it or touch the joint, and I know it is fibro. Last weekend it was leg pains so bad I could barely walk in one leg. I just wish the pain was constant or consistent, lol. It is just frustrating to have moving pain, lol. I think about you too! I’m so glad you are back, and let me know if you need anything! ❀ (Hugs)

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        1. I still do not see how you manage so well. I am behind on ARCs and review copies, but to be fair I made it clear I cannot do promised timefraems when I accepted them. Most who work with me know that my ability to read can just up and go for a few days. But I still feel bad when I am way behind.

          I totally get it about the rain making it worse. It is not an issue for me until the temp really drops. Then the arthritis in my feet is so bad I can hardly walk! But the heat is a huge problem. My vertigo and fatigue sky rocket. Right now we are in another heat wave. Odd year for weather.

          What do you teach? I am so happy you have to ability to work remotely. It has saved my life being able to work from home. My esteem had plummeted when I lost the ability to contribute and work. Now I can feel better about that aspect ❀

          I do not have fibro but suffer chronic pain and some nerve damage. Do you have any home remedies you use to help ease pain when the weather does not agree with you?

          Hugs back atcha πŸ™‚

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          1. To be totally honest, I’m really good at pretending to manage well and saying I’m fine when I’m really not. I’m much more overwhelmed than I like to admit because I so often feel guilty that I can’t do the things that I want to do or used to be able to do. Believe me, I’m way overdoing things, which is running me to the ground. That’s part of why it took me so long to answer you. I’ve had a migraine since the weekend, mostly stress induced, the other part just because I get severe migraines, but I spent two days in bed unable to do much of anything because of nausea, severe pain, and dizziness, which I know you understand all too well! It set me behind on grading assignments, but I can catch up on them…I have all semester, right? Who needs their grade, anyway lol! Only the ones who will start emailing me about an assignment that just counts toward 5% of their overall grade in Dec hahaha!!

            But I ended up in my neurologist’s office yesterday after all my pain meds and home remedy tricks had failed to get an injection of Toradol and some occipital nerve blocks since they seem to help. I paid money for him to tell me that my migraines are increasing because I’m sleeping 3 hrs or less a night and because I’m under way too much stress. I could have TOLD him that, lol. I’m burning the candle, a very short one, at both ends and waiting to see what happens. Last semester I ended up with two bouts of pneumonia because I ended up so run down from exhaustion, so you would think that would be a lesson. People with fibro and I guess any chronic illness, have lower immune systems than normal, so I get sick super easily anyway.

            So, I’m managing but I’m not. It’s taking a toll. And I don’t have a solution yet, but I’m working on it, and one thing I’m good at is analyzing and putting plans in motion. I have a semi-idea forming, but I would have to get my boss behind it. She was already good about letting me work entirely from home this semester, so I don’t want to push it. But we will see! Wish me luck as it comes together in my head and I present it to her as a plan! I don’t want to appear like I can’t do my job because that opens the door to termination (maybe ?) even though I am tenured.

            Well, I was supposed to post a review on Monday or Tuesday for a review copy-it was released Tuesday, and I didn’t because I was 1) sick with my migraine 2) just didn’t have time 3) didn’t have the willpower or motivation. So now I am behind on review copies when I wasn’t, even if it is just 1 review, but I’m afraid it will start a cycle and get out of control since I have a review that has to post for Little Fires Everywhere on or before 9/12th and again, I feel no motivation to write. That is not good since I have 12 more ARC or review books to read and review in the coming months! I am freaked out since 3 of those are for October, and I have a 25 pg essay, a 40 pg essay, and two exams due this month! I haven’t read any of the books, and I hope I find the time. So just more added stress. I should have checked my syllabi for all my classes before accepting any reviews or requesting any until my December break 😦

            All weather changes affect me. I think it is a mixture of temp and barometric pressure, and a doctor explained it to me once, but I have honestly forgotten the technical reason why, lol. Heat makes me itch all over, so I can’t go outside for long, and it makes me feel like my muscles and nerves are burning. Cold really does me in though. I hurt everywhere. I have nerve damage too from 3 herniated discs in my lower back and sciatic nerve pain, so I understand how that is! Sometimes it bothers me more than my fibro.

            When the weather causes me pain, I rely a lot on Epsom salt baths with essential oils in them, usually lavender although I have been using wintergreen oil a lot recently with good results. Massage is the best, but I can’t really do that myself all over, but I do massage what joints and muscles that I can with a carrier oil and either wintergreen or peppermint and lavender-it’s not a deep massage, but it feels good and is soothing. I also use lots of ice and heat depending on the pain. Heat is my best friend. I bought an infrared heat mat that is awesome. It is almost as long as I am, and I can just lie on it for hours. The heat goes much deeper than a heating pad, and it is sometimes all that will help when I’m in severe pain.I also have noticed that when the weather causes a flare, that I need to stay more hydrated. I either drink more water or more green tea although I have been drinking ginger tea in 1-2x a day, and I have noticed that my pain is not as bad if I remember to drink it! I’ve also started turmeric supplements on the advice of my rheumatologist, so I will see how that goes. They are supposed to decrease inflammation and pain! I hope some of that helps.

            I teach college English lit-Early British lit and Contemporary lit, at least this semester. I usually teach Modern British Lit and Early American Lit too, but I had to cut down the number of classes I was teaching, and I usually rotate the semesters that I teach American lit. This is my 16th year teaching. I’m so glad that so many people are taking online classes now, or I wouldn’t be able to teach from home, so it worked out! But I should have only taught 2 classes this semester instead of 3 or even 1. Next semester, I will know better! It is too much with attending classes myself to finish my degree for my Ph.D. at the same time and with everything else. I want so badly to just drop a class this semester. And I may even though that means I won’t graduate in May.

            But I can totally relate to how you felt about not working! When I thought I would have to quit entirely I was upset because I thought that was one more thing that I wouldn’t be able to do like I always had done. Chronic pain is just evil. I’m so glad that you can work from home too! ❀

            How are you feeling? Any better? And have you heard any more about your hearing aid? I really hope that comes through for you! Thanks for listening to my rant/tirade! I'm sorry I wrote you a book…if I was motivated to write my reviews like I was talking to someone, then I would have several written! UGH! πŸ™‚ ❀

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              1. Oh, it’s fine!! I completely understand πŸ™‚ I had that happen the other week with someone and felt awful! I rarely think to check my spam (and I actually need to do that today)! We’re definitely catching up, so no worries ❀ You are the least jerk like person I know <3!

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  12. Welcome, welcome, back Dani! πŸ™‚ ❀ It sure is good to hear your wellbeing has improved and that the rest was beneficial… that's what counts the most.
    Don't overdo things now again- I know we are a fun bunch and all, but it would be great if you managed to stay in this relaxed, laid back situation where you felt the best…
    Haven't been up to much myself really.. went home to Estonian to visit family and attend a wedding… saw the Sun.. no literally, saw the sun again since it's ever so elusive in Ireland πŸ˜€

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    1. Haha oh Liz. I hope you faired well with that elusive sun πŸ˜‰ Being a ginger, I can go weeks without it and not complain. I am making a super slow return. I thought I was all set, now my son is having some issues, so I am still way behind. Trying to keep my return super casual with no pressures or stress. I cannot afford to feel obligated at this point. Tell me more about the travels. Did you share pics? I need to catch up!

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      1. Oh no, I hope your son will overcome his issues soon and that you both just take care of yourselves and each other πŸ™‚ I think you have a great relationship so the two of you can face anything πŸ˜‰
        Oh, my trip was good… got the best weather for the week, lots of BBQ and work at home, a wedding and .. yeah, I was totally in my element πŸ™‚

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        1. Haha sounds like a fab trip! We are in the middle of a heat wave (again) and I am over it. I fair better with grey skies πŸ˜‰ Who’s wedding? Man, I really need to catch up haha.

          My son will be fine. A week of double antibiotics though, so he is feeling sluggish and meh, but healing ❀

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  13. Welcome back! You have been missed– but I’m so thankful you are prioritizing your health. That really is the most important thing! As Count Rogen and Prince Humperdink discuss, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.” But seriously– take all the time you need. πŸ™‚

    CONGRATS on making Reedsy’s Best Blogs of 2017! That’s a huge deal. See? You’re amazing. I look forward to your slow, but imminent return!

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    1. Aw stop making me tear up ❀ I have missed you a ton! Might have already said that haha. I am making a really slow return. My son is now dealing with a bit of an infection and well life just seems to be telling me to take it easy. Haven't even managed to blog hop yet!

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  14. Welcome back! You have missed! I’ve missed our chinwags and getting both my book and tea recommendations from you πŸ˜› A massive congratulations on making the Best Book Blogs of 2017 list! That’s a title that is very well deserved ❀
    I hope you get your hearing aids soon. It sucks that they're so expensive, but hopefully they'll be a good investment and will make things a lot easier for you ❀ It's good to see that you're remaining positive and upbeat about everything ❀ Sending lots of love!

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    1. Thank you so much Jazz ❀ I have missed it all as well. I am scheduled for the hearing aid progress to begin on the 8th. Not sure how long it will take to have them made, but super excited πŸ˜‰ I will be able to hear your podcasts better!!! Win win ❀

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