Hell Month and How Social Media Saved Me

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anamorphic Mike.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anamorphic Mike.

When we write, life doesn’t stop. Things happen and bad things like to happen all at once, apparently. I’ve blogged faithfully for over five years, through death, sickness, and even when The Spawn knocked out all his front teeth and needed emergency surgery. Even when we found out my husband was being deployed to Afghanistan.

I enjoy blogging. I enjoy all of you. Talking to you, teaching you, and connecting with you. I know I kinda disappeared off the planet, so here’s the story (and I asked permission to tell it, btw).

October was a beating. We worked our tails off all August and September to put together WANACon (recordings available here, and it’s great stuff if you missed it). We thought, once we were finished? Ah, rest.

Yeah, about that.

Early October generally is hard for me anyway because it marks my Dad’s unexpected death (October 9th) and the death of my favorite aunt last year (October 4th). But those are just sad days, and I pushed through.


My nephew suffered a football injury. Crushed thumb (requiring surgery) and major concussion. Okay, I’m still good. Then, my AWESOME sister-in-law had to go in for laser surgery on both eyes to reattach her retinas (congenital issue). All right. Still going. Then I get a call my Nana is in the hospital, but stable. Okay. The next day? She passed away.

I wanted to go to Florida to attend her funeral, but something told me to stay home. The rest of the family was going to Florida and Sister-In-Law couldn’t travel. She was up and around, but something could still go wrong.

Boy did it EVER.

Last Sunday evening Sister-in-Law calls me bawling in pain. I’ve known this woman 14 years and have seen her cry three times. She couldn’t see anything but flashes and shadows. I didn’t sleep a wink and rushed over early the next morning to take her kids to school and her to the doctor, then another doctor, and another. Bad news.

She needed surgery again on both eyes; one surgery MAJOR, horrific and painful (for the curious, she needed a Vitrectomy on left eye and laser again on right eye on the same day). I call my family who is in Florida at the funeral and say, “Hey, it is what it is and it sucks, but Hubby and I have it handled.”

Monday night, no sleep because I’m all nerves about what my favorite person in the world is about to go through. Also, I had to keep her up to midnight (minimum) so she could eat and drink as much as possible because surgery wasn’t until the next afternoon and she was going to have to endure a looooong time with no food or fluids.

Tuesday afternoon, the surgeons worked on her eyes for THREE hours. She comes out of the anesthesia and the pain starts. Though it delayed our leaving, I asked the nurses to give her another round of hard-core IV pain medicine and sat…some more…clenching my teeth so hard I thought they might crack.

The 40 mile drive home was a nightmare. We, of course, hit rush hour traffic and are on the other side of the world from where she lives. Not only that, all I could think of this entire miserable ride home was some idiot texting and rear-ending us. That would be catastrophic. My mind just kept playing images of her getting hit in the face with airbags after surgeons just spent half a day reconstructing her eyes.

And, of course, on the way home, every yahoo with a truck bed full of crap HAD to pull in front of me. At one point, we were cruising along and a car broke down in our lane. I had to maneuver around between cars doing 70…with a nauseated patient in pain. By the time we get to the street where we need to pull off for her home? I thought I would have to pull over and puke from nerves.

So, I finally get her home and…her pain is skyrocketing. The med they gave at the day surgery center isn’t making a dent and she is crashing fast. I have to call in something stronger. It’s 5:30 PM and the country pharmacy closes at SIX. I zoom over and refuse to let them close until they fill her new med.

“I will SLEEP on THIS floor near the TUMS, THANK YOU! You going to leave me in here? O_o”

I rush back to her house and give her the new med, but it doesn’t seem to be working. KILL. ME. NOW.

Hubby races over with The Spawn and Pippa (my dog) in case Sister-In-Law needs to go to ER. Oh, but there’s a catch. Hubby is also watching over brother’s business while he’s at the funeral and needs to check on a job a few miles away….so he leaves. Also, we find out that one of our company trucks has been stolen.


So I have The Spawn, a tiny dog who looks eerily like one of their big dog’s chew toys (they have two HORSES dogs that weigh almost 70 pounds a piece, and Pippa is 7 pounds). Also, the house has a steep set of stairs and now I have a toddler. The older boys aren’t home from football, I’m alone, and can’t locate a baby gate.

I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. But, I didn’t. I focused on other things. I set up Pandora in Sister-In-Law’s room to play soothing music and rubbed her back and her hair and brought her ice packs.

In the meantime, I’m scrambling between calling doctors, keeping The Spawn entertained, checking on Sister-in-Law and praying her pain gets under control because if it didn’t, we would be off to the ER. Hubby and older boys finally get home and Kim is out of the rough (sort of). Pain is awful but she’s no longer crying which crying is BAD when one has had eye surgery.

Original plan? I was supposed to take her the next morning for the surgeon to evaluate her eyes and let us know if the surgery was successful. I delegate this to Hubby because I wasn’t safe to drive. Of course, this meant I got to be night nurse after being up three days.

I can do this! *cues “Rocky” theme song* Eyyyeeee of the tiger….

Wait, bad song choice?

I had to go in Sister-In-Law’s room every thirty minutes and make sure she was lying on her right side (off the left eye that had the major repair). I also had to keep giving her pain meds and liquids and make her sit up, face-down, 15 minutes EVERY hour all night. This is to help the retinas heal.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Benjamin Watson.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Benjamin Watson.

By morning, I was dead on my feet. I go upstairs to make sure Hubby is awake to take Sister-In-Law to the doctor and older nephew to school. On the way down the stairs? I miss a step.

Thunk, thunk, thunk, OUCH. Now I have a mildly sprained ankle and wrist and badly bruised arm and leg. Walk it off. No, I’m cool.

Hubby takes Sister-In-Law to the doctor and I finally get a little bit of sleep. When they return, surgeon is less than thrilled about the results (so please pray for her). I get drafted for night nurse again and THANK GOD for the WANAs and Facebook friends because they kept me awake chatting with me and keeping me encouraged.

I tried to sleep the next day, but with The Spawn and a set of stairs, that was NOT going to happen. Also, all three dogs insisted on sleeping with/on me or they barked and I was concerned they would keep Sister-In-Law awake, so I allowed it—all 150 pounds of snuggle-bunnies. At this point, Hubby has taken older boy to have the pins removed from his thumb and then is off to airport to retrieve my mom and brother.

My brother finally returns from out of town on Halloween, so I’m cleaning their house, packing and hand-making the younger son’s costume because Sister-In-Law can’t see to do it. The police call and tell us our work truck has been found. Yay…um no. Instead of going straight home, I follow Hubby to the location the truck has been found and we have to wait on a wrecker to come retrieve it lest the thieves return.

At 9:30 we stagger in and I have to cook dinner. Full belly. Home. Now sleep? One would think. I kept waking up every hour to check on Sister-In-Law and was very disturbed that I couldn’t find the bathrooms and when the hell did they get CATS?

Friday morning, I again tried to sleep, but everyone on the planet kept calling. I couldn’t turn off my phone because I had to be available in case something went wrong with Sister-In-Law or The Spawn’s school needed me (am also a TERRIBLE nap-taker, so probably wouldn’t have slept anyway). Finally, I gave up, cleaned house, did laundry, and made casseroles for the weekend. That night? Still kept waking up to be night nurse.


Saturday, Hubby and I collapse on the couch and watch movies. I was SO SURE I’d get sleep. Nope. I made the mistake of thinking about my unread e-mail and had my first panic attack…ever. Ten o’clock that night? Couldn’t breathe and heart rate shot through the roof so was awake doing yoga breathing and praying until 4:00 AM.

So last night? I KNOW THIS IS THE NIGHT. SLEEP! The Spawn is off to bed and I’m shutting off lights when I hear Spawn start yelling my name. I rush to his room…and he pukes all over me and the floor. And he has 100 degree fever. Hubby let me go to bed and took care of Spawn. Hubby gets to bed around 10:30 and sometime after that The Spawn crawled in bed with us and kicked me half the night, though I wasn’t waking up enough to realize he was with us. Hubby takes him back to bed and today he is home, still running fever.

Thus, if this blog makes no sense it’s because I’m down to five brain cells and three are currently on injured reserve. I am very grateful for the many kind people (many WANAs) who were there to pray, comfort me, and keep me together because I was seriously falling apart by last night. Even DC Lozeau wrote a super sweet piece about me that really perked me up.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Memekode.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Memekode.

Rachel Funk Heller lives in Hawaii and she was up IMing me to keep me awake through this so I could care for my loved one. Jay Donovan hijacked my blog to let y’all know I wasn’t dead. Lisa-Hall Wilson stepped in to guest post. Many of my Facebook followers who were nurses, IMed to walk me through what to do, how to care for Sister-In-Law, what to tell/ask the doctors, etc. I was able to keep a positive attitude and entertain all the kids and keep them upbeat and laughing.

We can’t control a lot in life, just our attitude :D.

I have THE BEST Sister-In-Law in the world. She is beautiful, kind, and just the best mom and wife in the world. It was an honor to be there for her. She’s just…there are no words to explain how wonderful she is.

People can say what they want about social media, but I could not have gotten through this without the love, help, encouragement and support of many people I have never met in person and I would name them but right now I am struggling with my OWN name. So, I might not be blogging the rest of the week. But if I go missing, please do NOT put my picture on milk cartons, ask for my picture to be placed on wine bottles because all my friends are writers :D.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had a week, month, year that just beat the TAR out of you? Have you had social media friends who were your life-savers? I love hearing from you. I have missed you guys so much ((((HUGS)))).


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  1. Oh, wow! You and your family have had it so rough. So sorry you all had to go through all of that. My prescription: eat masses amounts of chocolate and then burn of the calories and frustration with Jujitsu. {{{{{{{{{{{HUGS!}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    • suzanna on November 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    • Reply

    Wow, that was some tale from hell. If you’d written that in a book, no-one would believe there could be so many things go wrong.
    Sending you hugs and hoping November is better 🙂

    • Melissa Lewicki on November 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm
    • Reply

    I’m exhausted just reading about your life. The encouragement and support I get from The Hour a Day Tribe at WANA is wonderful. I’ve never met any of them in “real life,” but they are my friends and make my writing life easier and happier.
    Please keep us updated on your sister-in-laws progress. We are all pulling for her.

  2. OMG!! Kristen you are a mountain of strength and perseverance. Definitely will send prayers and good vibes for all concerned. TAKE A BREAK – when you get the chance. Once the pressure is off you will crash. Sleep and gather your resources back into yourself.

  3. I knew something must be wrong, so I sent prayers your way without knowing just what was up.

  4. Holy crap! All of that and you still wrote this? You are truly a warrior writer. I shame myself for complaining about my own life distractions. Compared to this story, I have nothing to complain about. I’ll make sure your entire family is included in my prayers. I hope you get some sleep soon.

  5. *hugs*

  6. You’re lucky to have such a wonderful family. The loves comes through and I”m sure they would all do the same for you.

  7. I would rather not relive the months that this post brought to mind. I feel your sister in law’s pain because eye surgery is agony. Then the eyes start healing and you know how cuts itch when they’re healing? Yeah, take that to the tenth power. AND you aren’t supposed to touch your eyes AT ALL. I pray the surgery will be successful. Losing my eyesight would be one of the worst things I could imagine.
    This post proves what I already knew about you: you are an amazing, caring person with a heart as big as Texas. Your family is blessed to have you and all of us WANAs are doubly blessed that you brought us together and gift us with your charisma and knowledge.
    Thanks. Go to bed. Take drugs to knock you out.
    Don’t worry about your blog. We will still be here when your brain becomes functional again.

  8. Oh dear, you’ve been through the wars. Just remember in the future this low point. If you think things are rough just remember this blog post; no doubt you’ll just shake yourself for being silly about nothing, because this month was certainly not nothing.

    Relax; don’t worry about us, we’re still here, we’re not going anywhere and I think most people would agree that we’d prefer to know you’re taking care of yourself as well as everyone else. So go and try and get some sleep.

  9. omg – I’m reading this and the pain your SIL, and your care of her, makes me tear up – and I’m also one of those Not Crying kinds of women. Good god! How much can someone(s) take . . . .

    Social networking – it’s saved my sanity more than once, and still does. As isolated as I can be here in this mountain cove, well, I don’t know what I’d do without my FB buddies and etc.

    I hope your life will settle down, and I hope your SIL’s pain and eyes will improve. I can’t imagine. Just can’t.

  10. I can totally relate to having life saving friends on social media that I’ve never met. Sorry to hear about all of your trials and mishaps and I will send lots of love, light, and hugs that your wonderful sister-in-law recovers fully, better than ever.

    I am glad I decided to open your email (I haven’t opened one in a long time) with this post. It made me relate to you in a way that nothing else has. Maybe because I have had months that look similar to that and know what beyond exhausted feels like. I hope you get some much needed sleep before you end up sick too. *Big Hugs*

  11. Unbelievable. I mean, I believe you, but it’s like a novel where the author took the advice to keep shovelling flaming crap on her MC, but forgot that there need to be moments of rest, or comic relief, or SOMETHING. I’m so sorry your family went through all of that, and that you were right in the middle of the whole perfect storm of terrible, horrible, no-good, etc. things.

    Here’s hoping and praying you get caught up on sleep and healing this week, and thank you for everything you do.

    1. Right? I am waiting for the SEQUEL. That’s where I get a BREAK, LOL.

      1. NO! No sequel, unless it’s a completely different genre, and our beloved protagonist gets a nice vacation.

        1. LOL, different kind of sequel. Scenes are action and sequels are the breaks in between the action when the MC gets a pause :D.

          1. Oh, THAT sequel. Yes, that would be acceptable. 😉

  12. Holy macaroni! And that’s not a synopsis for NaNo. I hope your sister-in-law gets through more surgery okay and that you sleep tonight. Yikes!

  13. Okay, so I thought my month was bad, but I kept thinking, “Kristen hasn’t been posting. My month can’t be as bad as hers. I know she can handle it and if she can, I can.”

    Sorry to say that you had a worse month than me, but just know that I think you are an incredibly strong woman. I remember when your mom was in the hospital, and you were STILL blogging. I would have given up for a while.

    My grannie passed away unexpectedly a couple weeks ago. I struggled to blog then. I managed it a little, but missed a bit.

    But we ALL have our breaking points and lack of sleep gets anyone there faster. I’ll be praying for you and your family. Get some sleep! 🙂

    • Liz on November 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    • Reply

    God love you all, Kristen.

  14. You now have to look after yourself. Even farmers allow their field to go fallow for a time after extended use. And if mere dirt needs a rest, how much so does the human body, mind, and spirit.

    I know you are a can-do lady — but unless you lay aside some healing time (and take it doing what restores you most) — the lady can do a collapse.

    So rest, find something to laugh about or at. I am a counselor, and I know what I am talking about … rest, laugh, love. The world will go on without you for a few days. Certainly, it will go on without you if you push yourself to a collapse. Avoid that, please. 🙂

    Always your quiet, unseen friend, Roland

  15. Good golly, I don’t think I have even heard of such a tough time, let alone had one. Wow! Hoping everything settles down for everybody involved and that it all calms down to a manageable level. You all deserve a break and one must be due, given the run of beatings you’ve withstood recently. Best wishes to all of you. Hope everything gets much better very soon.

  16. Since August….

    Wife had an ovarian cyst popped.
    Wife also developed in infection she spent the next two months trying to shrug off
    I got a staph infection and spent 2 days in the hospital
    We both got the cold from hell, bad for me since I usually shrug that off in a day anymore
    Wife finally got infection looked at since it was clearly not “minor” (Really, she dreaded going to the doc. I know her pain.)
    Medication made wife nauseous.

    Finally, maybe, we hope, I can take her out to the new wine bar a few blocks over. We haven’t had a normal date night since around Labor Day.

  17. Go–sleep–now! Do not read further, do not answer email or comments. Kristen, go SLEEP. Take care of yourself! Because…later all the Cat Writer folks will be running to sign up for your blog and WANA webinars and get your books cuz I told ’em to and that’s just how they/we roll. {{{{gentle hugs}}}}

    1. I’d love to but Hubby at work and Spawn was up puking and had fever. Hoping to get him to sleep so I can get some zzzzzzs. State frowns on crating your kids, LOL.

  18. How awful for you and your family to go through that. I hope your sister-in-law’s eyes get better soon. I’ve had some rough times too. I think everyone goes through bouts of troubles. It’s easier to handle when it’s spread out over time rather than all at once, but you got through it. I can’t speak for everyone…or maybe I can…We’re glad your back!

  19. Kristen, I don’t know what the world would do without you in it to keep us motivated and entertained so when the Spawn gets well and your sister-in-law is on the mend you need to take care of yourself. I’ll even change the sheets in the guestroom for you if you’re up to a short trip. My worst week ever, which can’t come close to yours, was right after my son was born. He was 3 days old, his sister was two. She came down with a 104 fever which lasted 4 days and she kept up this tearful refrain “baby can’t have my mommy,” Then they couldn’t get some monthly accounting reports to balance at the bank where I worked, so my staff brought them to my door at 10 PM. I went 72 hours without sleep reconciling the reports, and hugging my crying babies. By then my new son also had colic. And we had no relatives in the area. I’m glad you have a wealth of friends, on-line and off and your wonderful family to support you as you support them. We love you Kristen, so take care of yourself, please!

  20. OUCH! You can’t put an experience like this in a fiction book because people would say, “That would never happen!”

  21. I recently attended a lecture where an agent said not to put too many bad things happening in a row to our characters, because that wasn’t real life. I turned to the person next to me and whispered, “Wow, he’s had an easy life, because that happens all the time.” I just may email this post to him to let him know that, yes, bad things come in more than threes.

    I only have had one rotten thing happen this last month, but it was a bad one. My dad’s cancer has spread to his liver and lungs and he’s been given six months to a year to live. We’re all painting smiles on our faces and celebrating every little thing in the highest style possible. It’s what he wants. No crying, sadness, or depression allowed.

    • galaxykaren on November 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    • Reply


    From my Android phone on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network.

    • KiKi Cutey on November 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    • Reply

    This definitely puts things into perspective for me. October did not treat me well, full of unexpected (and mostly yucky) surprises – especially financial. All of this had taken a toll on my creative endeavors, blog posts slowed waaaaay down, courses pushed to the side, networking disappeared altogether. I’m still struggling to get vibrating back at my normal peppy-love-the-world-no-matter-what frequency.

    Thank you for sharing this, I needed that extra kick in the rear to get back in gear! I hope you have a restful week!

    Loving you always,

    “But if I go missing, please do NOT put my picture on milk cartons, ask for my picture to be placed on wine bottles because all my friends are writers 😀 .” – Hahaha ditto!

    • galaxykaren on November 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply

    PS: Prayers to your sister and entire family. Karen (again) Many hugs to you and your family.

    From my Android phone on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network.

  22. How awful for you! Your words had my heart pounding and eyes scanning to see what happened to your sister-in-law. Your family has been through a lot. Your attitude is inspirational and your family sounds like a strong one. Thanks for sharing your story and for your amazing blog. I hope everything settles down for you. God bless.

  23. Wow that sounds…. Hectic. I have had the odd scary day… Or week…. But my record is about three days as opposed to a whole annus horribilis as HM The Queen calls it. Well done. I hope things settle down soon.

    If it makes you feel any better… I lost two friends, both early, one after having cancer for a month the other unexpectedly, one younger than me in the same week. That was pretty pants. I think though, that you’re right in what you say, that when the poop hits the fan you just knuckle down and get on. It’s only afterwards you realise how mental it’s all been.

    Good luck with it all.



    1. It is what it is. Keep smiling. Being upset causes mistakes, stress and invites more trouble. I was far from a perfect nurse, but I hope my nephews at least got a lesson in keeping peace through the storms :D. Thanks ((HUGS))

  24. Oh. My. Goodness. I have no words for all of that, except, I’m so sorry and we will all be pulling for you. 🙁

  25. God! That must have been hard, like my mom would say it all comes in one after another (disasters that is). I hope everything is fine by now and may it never be repeated for another million years.

  26. Wow. Just wow. Hearing all this makes me think that any problems I have are miniscule compared to yours. I’m glad to hear that things are starting to settle down so you can let go of that hanging by your fingernails.

    Please take the time to take care of yourself after all this. You are definitely the marathon mother of all mothering when it comes to others but you need some TLC too. You and your family continue to be in my prayers.

  27. So sorry to hear you had such a difficult month Kristen. Way to go for getting through it!

  28. Kristen, I just recently started following your blog (but have been reading it before I literally clicked follow). So my heart really goes out to you and your family and I hope your sister-in-law fully heals soon.

  29. Kristin, I’m from Alabama, so I’ll just say it. Bless your heart! Yes, I’ve had some hellish weeks that turned into a month! Sleep is the most precious commodity to our health. I remember in my early twenties walking around in a daze when I had a stomach flu in a remote area at an Army Depot. Husband was gone, and no one in the unit could help. We lived in the desert, outside the base. It didn’t matter that I was sick, I still had an infant to take care of. Wishing you sweet rest when you get the chance. Sending prayers to you and your family.


  30. Well, what an introduction to you. So sorry about your Nan and SIL (hoping she’s on the mend) and the front teeth -ayii.

    1. Normally it isn’t this hectic, LOL.

    • Laurie A Will on November 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    • Reply

    Wow, Kristen, no one should have to go through all of that. There have certainly been times where I could have used the social media network I have now. I am glad you had people there for you to comfort in the wee hours of the morning. What an incredibly strong woman you are to have make it through all this and then a sick kid on the end it. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about parenting, it’s that kids have impeccable timing. I hope you are able to rest soon and know that you are your family are still in my nightly prayers. ((((hugs))))

    • Barbara on November 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    • Reply

    Prayers are with your family – especially your sister-in-law. Like everyone says (because it’s true) – sleep is a great healer (and therapist.) Wishing you a sufficient quality and quantity of sleep – to refresh and invigorate.

  31. OMG poor you!!! I hate November, i mean i really dread it. It’s not just the weather but bad things always happen. But honestly this year you win hands down! I shall not complain anymore. Just send you much love and thoughts for better times soon …

  32. Okay, you’ve collected enough bad luck for at least three years, so everything should be smooth sailing now, right? If life were fair, it would be. Hope things get better fast.

    1. I figure with all this horse$#!* there has GOT TO BE A PONY IN HERE SOMEWHERE! 😀

  33. I know you don’t know me from Adam’s housecat, I’m just a lurker who wouldn’t know you if you ran over me in the street – but you and your family are in my thoughts because internet and social media lets people reach out. Whatever bad things can be said about constant connection, this is a testament to what good can come of it. I wish you peace.

  34. I’ll definitely be praying for your sister-in-law! Stay sane and stay blessed! 🙂

    • Jennifer Rose on November 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    • Reply

    WOW. All I can say is that your sister is really lucky to have someone like you. Everybody wishes they had a friend that would go through hell for them when necessary and not many find that.

    Sending my prayers to you and your family!

  35. Prayers and cyber-hugs comin’ your way. Fast. Good grief, woman. How do you still remember enough of the alphabet to type this post? Amazing.

  36. So very sorry for all you have been going through. It’s great how supportive you are of your family. I am sending you good thoughts and hoping things get better. And you’re right. Attitude makes a huge diference.

  37. prayers and hugs…

  38. This is a completely non-topic-related post, but it’s been bugging me for months now. Kristen, you misspell “Flickr” in every image you credit to “Flikr Creative Commons” (should be Flickr Creative Commons”).

    There, I feel better. Love your blog. I stop what I’m doing every time you post and I get a notification email… just so I can indulge myself and read the whole thing. But I’m a proofreader, and the misspellings were starting to get to me. Keep on keepin’ on! I need the repeated encouragement!

    1. And, the proofreader misses the opening quotation mark before “Flickr” in the parenthetical phrase! Yikes.

    2. LOL. I have no idea why I do that. It’s not like spell-check any help. Made a note :D.

    3. Apologies too that this has ended up on this particular post. I had several windows open and meant to post this on an earlier post. (Way too snarky for this heartfelt post of yours.) I’ve had friends with retina issues and have seen amazing things happen. Am praying for your whole family!

      1. No worries. Small stuff :D. I know y’all are looking out for me *hugs*

    • Pirkko Rytkonen on November 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply

    How did you get through all that? I can’t image. Get rest and vacation. You are an amazing woman. God bless you and your loved ones with health, and not suffering! I know it’s preachy,, but what can anyone say.

    I had taken the “first 5 pages” workshop maybe in Sept. I was sent the recordings, but didn’t have time to open it and now they are deleted with all my emails. Is it possible to have a new email sent with the link to your that recording?


    1. Give me a couple days and I will get it to you. I am not checking e-mail today because after a week away? I think I might really have that breakdown with this little sleep.

  39. Every now and again, life has a way of reaching out and flicking you in the ear to make sure you’re paying attention. Your sis-in-law is so lucky to have you in her life, as are we. Don’t forget you have a whole pack of folks behind you, whenever you need us…

  40. I missed reading your posts, but sometimes life rears its ugly head. I’m glad that your online community was there to support you, and hope that you and your family get yourselves back to normal soon. 🙂

  41. You and yours are in my thoughts, Kristen. As for social media and the WANAs, I am eternally grateful for the casting and concern so many of them showed me in October. I had surgery on October 7th, but instead of going home on the 9th, was transferred to the ICU.

    My social peeps from WANA and ROW80 kept me sane and informed (thank you, Jenny Hansen) . I can’t thank them enough. Most of these people have never met me in person, but they proved yet again they are my friends.

    1. Damn, can’t type one-handed. “Caring” and concern. Sheesh.

  42. Wow. Sending all the positive thoughts I can muster!

  43. You are right, life can just get out of hand sometimes darn it. Take some time, breath, sleep, repeat. Prayers to you and yours that all is well soon!

  44. My God girl! That’s about as bad string as I have ever heard of. With so many counting on you, Please take care of yourself. You still seem to have your humor. That is the critical pert. With it you can get through almost anything. Now close your eyes and get some well deserved rest.

  45. Hey, Kristen, it’s not a coincidence that this past Friday was All Saints’ Day. You’re my hero!

    I didn’t know her name at the time, so I wrote “Kristen’s sis-in-law” in our church’s book of prayers. I’m sure the Big Guy knew who I meant. 😉

    Still praying…

  46. Girlfriend you are a saint…and all of you are in my prayers. Your attitude is sterling and you are a great example to us all. Keep the faith…we are cheering and praying for you. And this is exactly what real life is like, despite what others might say. We have to do our art with passion and in the face of illness, death, inconvenience and puking children. God bless you and your family. Keep writing. Blessings to you all.

  47. you are a trooper. praying… also praying for a time of rest for you too. think you need it.

    • Ashley on November 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm
    • Reply

    Kristen, I hope you are able to get some good sleep soon. I wondered what happened to you when Jay hijacked your blog. I’ve had a rough couple of months full of grief, pain, and chaos. However, I had a reprieve when I attended WANACon. Everyone (including you!) was so nice and welcoming, even though I was a newbie, had never attended WANACon, and generally had little to no academic or craft knowledge about writing. I was highly impressed by the amount of support and encouragement I received immediately from people that I hadn’t met in person. You – and other awesome WANACon-planners – facilitated that environment, which helped me heal a bit. So, thank you. Hope your family feels better soon! If you need anything, please let me know.

  48. You are AMAZING!

  49. Ah Kristen, this is horrific – good luck and ***GET SOME SLEEP*** – there are lots of sheep over here in NZ – just shout if you need a pic for counting…

    I found out my uncle died on the weekend, my dad’s not taking it well, my sister is sick and needs to get back and support him from Scotland, I’m too far away to get back for the funeral and then within hours my boyfriend came home to tell me one of our best friend’s just died in a car crash and another mate was driving and was in a coma, which they’ve now ended because he was too far gone. We’re trying to get over to Oz for our friend’s funeral and to support the family, who are like our surrogate Oz family… It’s put in perspective an ‘orrible october, which was only full of house and work worries….

    It’s so awful but I’m so glad and lucky to have boy by my side and you must really be thanking the heavens for the support from hubby and for having the spawn (despite the puke everywhere).. Focus on the people that love you.. It’s awesome you do so much for the ones you love… Thinking of you, stay strong – you’re the strongest xxxx

  50. I hope life slows down enough for you to sleep before you go completely insane.

  51. Kristen, what a harrowing wpseries of events, and all on your home turf. your stamina in all other areas certainly paid off as you got it all done. I will pray for your sister-in-law, your sick son and you! posotive vibes coming your way!

  52. What a nightmare. One of my readers mentioned you needed some cheering up so I sent the jjibjab card from my blog.
    In one week, two young people and a tennis friend died. I got home from the funeral on Halloween no less and got a call from a friend who was scared out of her mind because she had two breast biopsies scheduled the next day. Life just keeps coming at us!!!
    I hope your sister-in-law is doing better. I can’t imagine having no sleep for three days.

  53. I’m so sorry. And yet, and yet, and yet, I can’t figure out why you didn’t hire somebody to spend the nights with sister-in-law. Bible School students come cheap. Whenever we needed a vacation, we would hire one to watch our severely autistic daughter. They never, ever came back, but we would alternate Bible schools so nobody would warn the students about how really awful it was going to be.
    And your story about trucks and crap reminded me of when we were driving across Texas (which takes a really long time) and we were driving beside a cattle truck when one of the cattle backed up and let fly and suddenly we had a cowpie on the driver’s sided of the windshield. The windshield wipers could not cope.
    I hope your month improves.

  54. Shoot me if I ever place reading your posts ahead of your taking care of someone in need. I pray your sister-in-law makes a full recovery. If I was there I’d shake you and tell you to take a week off to rest, but I’m not, so I won’t…shake you, that is. Take care.

  55. ALL of you are in my prayers.

    • malindalou on November 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    • Reply

    ((HUGS)) You are a super trooper. Your SIL is a lucky lady. Get some rest.

  56. Glad to have you back, Kristen. I hope everything has settled down a bit and you can recupe. Wishing sister-in-law a speedy recovery, hope The Spawn is doing better, and hope you are not on crutches. Give my regards to Hubby!

    Thanks for the plug on my blog. I meant every word. *HUGS*

  57. Hang in there! I hope everything gets better for you & your family. Take care.

  58. I have never had a week anything like this, Kristen, and, because I?m only peripherally a member of WANA, had no idea what you?ve been going through. I will now stop complaining about my kitties waking me up between 4:30 and 5:00 this morning.

    And my prayers are with you and your sister-in-law and the rest of your family.

    Elise M. Stone FAITH, HOPE, AND MURDER – A Community of Faith Mystery http://www.elisemstone.com http://twitter.com/EliseMStone http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6925900.Elise_M_Stone https://www.facebook.com/EliseMStoneAuthor

  59. Hugs, prayers, and soothing back rubs…

    • Diane Turner on November 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm
    • Reply

    Bless you for being such a good person through all of this. After reading it all, I must now go take a nap. Sending you and your sister-in-law prayers.

  60. You know you have my prayers for you and your SIL. Sometimes I consider those scriptures about how we won’t be tested beyond what we can handle, and then a whole lot of stuff comes and I think, “Good gravy, God, how much do you think I handle?!!! I’m down to one teardrop in my ducts and one twitching nerve in my whole body!” But hang in there. I’m sure you’ve been a huge help to your sister-in-law, and I hope that you can have time to refresh yourself very, very soon. HUGS!

  61. Lucy. you sound like such an amazing woman – thank you for being you. I don’t know you well, but every time I do read one of your honest, hilarious, yet deep and sweet and intelligent posts, I get a thrill…in Indian philosophical terms, I would see you hit a heavy load of bad karma — and now soon the good karma will start to roll — and you’re right — attitude is everything! Someday, if you ever settle down, I would like you to read my novel – another woman had horrific times too, but this was in 2000 BCE in India…

  62. Was wondering where you were! So very sad to hear about all of this. Will be praying for you and your wonderful sister-in-law. Thank God for friends to help us through the tough times! ~hugs!

  63. OMG, Kristen. Here’s hoping November is a liiiiiitle better. I would be babbling incoherently and drooling in a padded cell if I had half of this happen to me! Reading this, I have a new appreciation for the blog name, warriorwriters. LOL. You truly are an inspiration.

    Also, “EYE of the Tiger.” So wrong, but I snickered. Ok, seriously, I hope your sister in law is doing much better. Praying for a full recovery. And…ugh…eeeeverybody else that’s hurting in your family. (((HUGS!)))

  64. You poor thing! Hope your sister- in-law is on the mend, and well done for your Nurse Nancy attentions to her!! What a month… Doesn’t it just go like that sometimes?

  65. You really have been having hell month. I think it was Winston Churchill who said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” So sorry you and your family have been having all this suffering. Sending up prayers for relief, comfort, rest, and peace.

  66. The fact that you’re still on your feet makes you queen of the universe. I’m sending you a virtual truck of chocolate and hugs.

  67. HUGS & prayers!

  68. You and your sister-in-law have been in my thoughts since you first posted about her eye surgery, but I haven’t been online much, so only catching up on the saga now. Sending a ton of cyber hugs.

    • Anne Stuessy' on November 5, 2013 at 12:04 am
    • Reply

    Yikes. Cyberhugs and prayers for full recoveries all around. Get some sleep…we’ll be here.

  69. I’m sorry to hear things are so rough! I hope everyone recovers well (and that you get some good sleep in), and you are all in our thoughts.

  70. Oh dear, how horrible. Best wishes for you and your sister-in-law!

    As someone already commented: it did sound an awful lot like a diabolical author adding MORE conflict and stress for our heroine-protagonist!

    I’ve been reading your blog silently for a while and it’s time to tell you thanks and that I always learn something. And thank you for your last book- it’s helped pushed me into participating in social media!

    I’m still spluttering, but haven’t drowned yet. 🙂

  71. So sorry for your rough patch, Kristen. I just prayed for your family.

  72. Oh dear! You have been through the wringer. Your strength and endurance and loyalty to family is to be commended. Your sister-in-law is so lucky that you listened to your inner-self telling you that you needed to stay home. Bless you. Rest when you can. Everyone here will still be here when you are able to be back fully.

  73. Wow. I was at the edge of my seat reading this.
    And the end comment with the wine made me giggle. (I rarely laugh when alone, but you always manage.)
    I was thinking a lot about what you were going through this weekend. You’re a very strong person! It’s an inspiration to have you in this world and I’m so grateful I found your blog. I hope the Spawn gets better soon and that your sister-in-law heals with a better eyesight. Take your time to breathe, Kristen! We can’t enjoy you for the next many years if you die of a heart attack now because you’re stressed by both life AND blogging. We understand.
    Love from Denmark!

  74. Sorry, about your loss. Your blog proves that real life might be more unexpected and unbelievable than fiction. You are a hero to me and once you read this blog in a few months, years you will not believe that you could go through so much. You are the strongest woman I know.

  75. This is so terrible and i thought about your sister in law the whole drive home last night. I truly hope everything works out.
    The other thing i thought about with this post is that you always told us to give the POV an obstacle and continue to make it harder and harder for her to make it through! This is exactly what i thought about when reading it. “Get your POV up a tree and throw rocks at him.” This served a dual purpose!

    • Jeannine on November 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply

    I’d already decided that if I ever got stuck in an elevator, I’d want you there — along with Neil Gaiman, Hillary Clinton and Archbishop Tutu, btw — and now I’m sure of it. After reading this blog, I told my little woes to go dance in the street, for they are absolutely unworthy of the name woe. Thank you for your spunk, doggedness and humor, and for your ability to write through iust about anything. I join everyone here who is saying a prayer for you and your family, and fervently hoping you get some rest.

  76. I’m so sorry to hear about your rough-to put it mildly-month, Mrs. Lamb. You’re holding up great, a hero actually and no wonder everyone’s jumping to be there for you. You deserve no less.
    One deadly tornado and a false end-of-the-world alarm are all it’ll take to make your month an epic little book, as it is, it’s a hell of a story to tell in coming years.
    Stay strong!

  77. I’ve had a month like this … since January of last year. No, seriously. I won’t go into the details, but I know how those panic attacks feel. You’re NOT alone. We love you and we understand what you’re going through. You’re in my prayers, Kristen.

    • Debbie Johansson on November 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm
    • Reply

    So sorry to hear what you’ve been going through Kristen. Wishing both your son and sister-in-law speedy recoveries and you get the rest you so fully deserve.

  78. Dang! And I thought my week was nasty! (Only 5 1/2 hours in the Emergency Department – a mere bagatelle…) Praying for rest for the rest-less and recovery of sight for the blind.
    Incidentally, I don’t suppose you’d like to let on how you acquired your super-human powers of endurance? I know it’s amazing what people can get through if they don’t stop to think about it too long, but all that and write? Is it the water in Texas or what?

  79. So sorry for all of the bad things going on. Big hug!

    • Anne Marie on November 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm
    • Reply

    Wow. You CANNOT make that stuff up! Right down to the falling down the stairs. I’m so sorry you’ve had that rough time. When it rains it pours. I hope everything is quieting down and your SIL is doing better!

  80. I had to take a break just reading it!

  81. Holy smokes, Kristen. You had a hell of a bad time! I do admire you for your strength and being there for your loved ones at all times! You are GREAT!!
    I hope very much worst is over – and I hope your ankle will be fine.

    I’ll be thinking about you and your family.

    I too had great support after writing on my blog I suffer from depression I had so much encouragement from friends and writers I have never seen before and I’m so proud to know them all!!

    Sending you hugs of comfort!

    • melorajohnson on November 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply

    Wow, my last week doesn’t seem nearly so bad now. Stay strong! I’m going to go look up your Facebook page.

  82. Kristen, just read your blog and feel exhausted just thinking about your prolonged ordeal! I sincerely hope you have now had loads of sleep, that your sister in law is much better, and November is shaping up to be a good month! Thanks for your heartfelt, sincere posts.

  83. I’m catching up…You and your family have had to deal with a lot lately! I hope things have calmed down some and you’re not so overwhelmed. My dad died in September of a massive stroke. He was 82 years old and already a stroke patient so it wasn’t a complete surprise, but it’s difficult no matter what. That hardest part was all the waiting and seeing him in the hospital. You take care and thanks for letting us know what is going on with you.

    1. (((HUGS))) I lost my dad years ago and it hurts still 14 years later. Love and prayers and thank you for blessing me with your story.

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