This is my fortnightly update on how I’m doing while coping with Long Covid now it’s been 9 months since I first got ill, which I’m adding to my Sunday Post blog, hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Review.

Life has been very busy this last fortnight. The good news is that I’ve now recovered from the flu jab and am definitely feeling a lot better. However, on the same day both our washing machine and hairdryer died. This is a major problem as Himself immediately changes out of his uniform and puts it straight into the washing machine as soon as he comes home from work, to cut down the risk of infection. We were able to order one online that arrived two days after our defunct washing machine joined the great laundry in the sky. And now we’ve found the express programme, I’m a lot happier with it. But I wasn’t pleased when the wretched thing took over TWO HOURS to deal with a load of delicates on a cold-water wash.

As for the hair dryer, I went with Himself to get a new one at the local Tesco’s. It was the first time I’ve been inside a supermarket for months – and when Himself went off on a hair dryer hunt, I froze. Suddenly terrified by the onslaught of lights… noises… complete sensory overload. And then I was shaking with fury. I’ve battled so damn hard to get to this stage – how dare Long Covid take away my confidence to go wherever I need to! I managed to haul myself together, but I will confess to having a meltdown once we got home. Himself, as ever, was endlessly kind and patient and suggested that we get out of the house more often to do things other than attend medical appointments. Which seems like a solid plan. Although the reality is a bit more challenging…

On Monday, I had a hospital appointment for an ultrasound scan of my thyroid. And given my supermarket experience the day before – I was very focused on getting there and back without being overwhelmed. I wasn’t thinking at all about what they’d find on the scan – so I was rather blindsided to be told that I’ve nodules on my thyroid, one of which is pressing on my windpipe. The specialist is reasonably confident they are all benign and have been there a while. What has changed, courtesy of covid, is that my thyroid is quite swollen, which is why I’m now feeling the pressure in my throat. He was also concerned that one of my lymph glands is not just swollen but also misshapen, but I’m not surprised, given that it’s on the side where my ear is still constantly draining. He wants to see me in three months to monitor the situation and I need to discuss further options with my GP.

On Tuesday I was back at our local surgery for a chat about my blood pressure. The nurse was very reassuring that while my readings were a bit on the high side, they weren’t too bad given that I’m struggling with Long Covid which will be stressing my system anyway. I’m not keen for my BP medication to be increased, as the last time they did so I quickly felt very unwell. Right now, that isn’t a complication that I need. She also mentioned that I needed to make an appointment for another blood test, which I did. And then on Wednesday, I received a text from the surgery to say they want me to make another appointment to talk about my BP results with my GP. It seems like I’ve a bunch of outings ahead of me that will be allll about my health, given that I’ve also got to make an appointment tomorrow for a booster covid jab.

And on Wednesday, on the way back from seeing the reflexologist, we were involved in a minor accident. A lady parked on the left swung out as we were approaching a T-junction and the corner of her bumper scraped down my passenger door, leaving traces of red paint and several dents. Fortunately it all happened at very low speed and no one was hurt. But it’s a hassle we don’t need right now. And it didn’t exactly help my ongoing anxiety about going out and about…

This week, it was my eldest grandson’s birthday – I cannot believe he’s now turned 17, and today it’s my mother’s birthday. Right now, I’m not in a position to see either of them. But I’ve been thinking of them a lot. It’s months since I’ve seen Frank and the last time I saw Mum was on Mothering Sunday back in 2020. That’s one of the hardest things about this situation – it’s kept families apart at a time when we could all do with a hug from those we love.

In the meantime, I am focusing on changing my sleep patterns, continuing with my activity journal, meditations and taking supplements. It’s all low key and repetitive – but if it helps me stay well enough to avoid another major relapse, then that’s what I’ll do.

This week I’ve read:-
The Alchemical Detective – Book 1 of the Riga Hayworth series by Kristen Weiss
Her gargoyle’s got an attitude. Her magic’s on the blink. Alchemy might be the cure… if Riga can survive long enough to puzzle out its mysteries.

Someone’s killing psychics in bucolic Lake Tahoe, and the police think Riga may be connected to the crimes. They could be right. Riga recognizes the sinister hand of a long-dead enemy in the crime scene. Juggling demons, daimons, and a devilish casino owner, can this metaphysical detective catch a killer before she becomes the next target?
I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty, urban fantasy whodunit. Riga is an experienced practitioner who has recently lost her magic, which gives the story an interesting dynamic – and I loved the French gargoyle. I’ll definitely be reading more about Riga’s adventures. 9/10

Dance of Hearts: A Cinderella Regency Romance Retelling by Byrd Nash
In Regency England, 1816, it is not fashionable to display fairy blood.

Melinda Wychwood managed to stay at her family home after her father’s death by working as her cousin’s unpaid housekeeper. But when a childhood friend returns, playing a game of deception, will she be satisfied acting as the dowdy chaperone? Or will her wild fairy heritage and a magical dress finally win her true happiness?

A Cinderella retelling as a historical romance with a touch of fairytale magic and a happily ever after ending.
I’d seen a book on Netgalley by this author and wanted to check out the writing, so downloaded this KU novella. And it’s exactly what it says on the cover – which is often a strength of indie authors. It is also well written and enjoyably paced, and was a welcome break from the gory intensity of the following book. 8/10

Firesky – Book 2 of The Chronicles of Stratus by Mark de Jager
Relentless. Unstoppable. Dragon.
Desire burns in Stratus’ soul, powerful like an inferno. With his memory returning, he finally knows who—and what—he is. His is a dragon, brought low by the hand of a dark magician known as the Worm King, separated from his true love, tortured for centuries and now trapped inside the body of a human.

But with the memories of his old life comes a return of his true magic, and with it, his true form is slowly returning. And Stratus wants revenge. Bloody and relentless, he slaughters his way through hordes of the undead to reach his archenemy, fighting not only for his own justice but for the whole of humanity…
This is definitely on the darker end of epic fantasy with death magic and piles of bodies. But the characterisation of a cornered dragon, who is increasingly out of options in a hostile world, is spot on. Review to follow. 8/10

Magical Midway Paranormal Cozy Mysteries Box Set – Book 4 – Go For the Juggler by Leanne Leeds

A jarring homecoming.
An uncertain fate.
To save everyone, one witch must perform the juggling act of a lifetime

When Charlotte returns home with Gunther, Devana, and Ethel Elkins in tow, she doesn’t think her life can get any more complicated. But when one of her parents’ Animal Shelter volunteers turns up dead, her control begins to slip as her old human life and her new paranormal life collide.

While racing to come up with a plan to defeat the Witches’ Council, Charlotte must defend her family against an intrusive police investigation that risks exposing their true nature to the human world—an act which will condemn them all.
When I saw this Box Set on KU, I immediately snapped it up and have been spacing out this delightful magical circus series of murder mysteries amongst other books. There is a strong, overarching threat running through the series that works particularly well reading them close together. Peopled with a wonderful cast of eccentric, strong characters, this entertaining and poignant instalment was yet another reason why Leanne Leeds has become a solid favourite with me this year. 8/10

A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash
Raised by a narcissistic mother, the Rowan children’s magical talents were twisted to fit her needs. When Rachel dies, her children must confront the past to have a future.

Victoria, whose empathic talent knows everyone’s hidden feelings; Philippa, whose glamour can bewitch; and Liam, the brother who touches objects to reveal their secrets, all find themselves in danger.

When her autistic brother is arrested, Vic needs to discover the truth to set him free. A successful art restorer in the big city, Vic’s made a career of ignoring her past and hiding her strange powers. But with Rachel’s death, she must gamble away her secrets to face down forces determined to destroy her and her siblings. And that hometown boy she dumped way back? He’s in Grimsby, and knows the truth about her.
This is a gripping paranormal murder mystery where the family dynamic is at the heart of much unhappiness and lethal violence. It’s also very well done – and while it’s twisty and full of surprises, it isn’t too dark. I thoroughly enjoyed reading something so very different from the romance novella earlier in the week. Nash is clearly an accomplished and experienced author. Review to follow. 9/10

What the Lady’s Maid Knew – Book 1 of The Riftmagic Saga by E.E. Holmes
Imagine a London where magic is real… real, but feared. This is Eliza Braxton’s London, and she has always accepted her place in it gladly. As one of the Riftborn, her magic has relegated her to the servant class, where she dutifully serves as the lady’s maid in one of the most powerful households in the country. There, she uses her remarkable powers of persuasion to keep Elder Hallewell’s rebellious daughter in the path to an arranged match of power and prosperity. Eliza has never questioned her loyalty… until now.

Currents of discontent are roiling beneath the city’s surface, and Eliza’s comfortable existence is about to be caught up in the tide. A resistance is building, a resistance that covets Eliza’s talents above all else. But can Eliza betray everything she’s ever known for things she never dared to dream?
Think of the class struggle that emerged in the middle of the Industrial Revolution with a magical spin. It’s been done before, but I really enjoyed the below stairs perspective of this dystopian fantasy. A punchy, memorable read. Review to follow. 9/10

Reviews Published Since my Last Sunday Post:

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Necropolis Empire: A Twilight Imperium novel – Book 2 of the Twilight Imperium series by Tim Pratt

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Array 2781 – Book 2 of the Draco Tell Dramis Tell series by Janet Edwards

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of World’s Edge – Book 2 of The Tethered Citadel series by David Hair

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The King of Koraha – Book 3 of the Archives of the Invisible Sword series by Maria V. Snyder

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Risen – Book 12 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I’m very aware that right now, it’s a very one-sided relationship and I don’t know when I’ll be able to fully reciprocate. In the meantime, do take care and try to keep well.

28 responses »

  1. Why is it that appliances never die alone? They always take another one with them!
    I’m glad you have recovered from the flu shot, I hope the BP issue is resolved easily, and I’ve very glad you weren’t hurt in the car accident.
    It looks like you’ve been reading some great books, I watched the Cinderella movie on Amazon over the weekend which was ok, I enjoyed the soundtrack mostly.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    • I know!! It’s absolutely true – our appliances always die in pairs… Or in one memorable year – we lost our fridge-freezer, microwave and tumble dryer. And no… we didn’t buy them new all at the same time! Thank you for you good wishes. Cinderella is SUCH a classic – I have to say that one of my favourites is the old Disney animated version… I hope that you, too, and a great reading week.

    • Thank you for your kind good wishes, Roberta. Yes… it’s been a bit of a nightmare year. Although at least I now feel that I am at last beginning to properly recover. I hope your friends are also on the road to recovery. Have a great week!

  2. I hope you will feel much better and things will go more smoothly. Sometimes it does feel that all we do is doc appts but that is partly because we limit our outings and only do the necessary ones. I’m afraid for any appliance to fail as they are hard to get these days, at least the selection is smaller, with longer delivery times. We haven’t seen my Mom since fall of 2019 and are hoping to soon. With winter will be another covid wave though with the newest variant, but at least we are fully vaxxed and boosted.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • Yes, I’ve definitely been only emerging for medical appointments for a while now. Often because I don’t feel up to going out unless I have to – and you’re also right about the rise in covid infections. The numbers are on an upward curve here, too. I’m very glad that you are fully vaxxed and boosted – I’m hoping to get my covid booster soon, too! Have a great week:)).

  3. A busy and eventful time, indeed, and I’m sorry to hear that it was peppered with all those big and small worries which you clearly don’t need right now. On the bright side, it looks like you found yourself in very good hands, so let’s hope that you will be able to leave all these troubles behind soon, and keep on the road of full recovery. My very best 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Maddalena. And you’re right – I’m now getting the care I need, which is very good news. And overall, I’m definitely on the road to recovery. I hope you have a good week, packed with marvellous reads:)).

  4. Oh Hon,
    Covid has certainly complicated your life–in fact really messed it up. I am praying for a complete recovery within the next six months. That should be specific enough! LOL
    Seriously, you are right at the top of my (paper hahahah Some of my friends have theirs on their phones!) prayer list.

  5. I hate all this for you but am so impressed with how determined you sound. I get so angry at Covid too sometimes. I’m so frustrated by all the sacrifices that it continually demands. I’m just worn out with it so I can’t imagine how you’re feeling. You’ve got a full plate with medical appointments. My husband is on high blood pressure medicine and it’s been such a battle to find one that doesn’t make him feel bad in some way or another. So glad you were able to get the appliances sorted and I’m not surprised you felt overwhelmed in the store. You’ve been through so much lately. I hope you’ve had a wonderful week.

    • Thank you for your lovely words, Katherine. It’s been a bit of an up and down week – but a lot better than the previous one! And I’m sorry that your husband has also had issues with the BP medication, too. And as for Covid… we’ve just a load of new measures from the Government, who are clearly bracing themselves for a massive spike over Christmas. As you say – it just goes on and on! Hope all is well with you and the family. I think of you all often and send prayers in your direction:).

  6. Now that sounds like the kind of a week nobody wants or needs… I’m sorry that the life is still trying to put more on your plate. You really deserve a bit of relaxed, positive time with no disruption or stress. I hope that when spring comes, you’ll be able to enjoy some nature or perhaps that house at the seaside with marvelous windows you seemed to love so much.

  7. SARAH! Oh, those are the headaches you definitely do not need. I felt the same when my tire blew out in October. I cannot fathom working out trips to the laundromat for washing, so I’m glad you were able to take care of that purchase quickly. Two hours for delicates, though?!?! What’s it doing, just soaking for an age???? May as well just hand-wash them then, jeez…

    The gaggle of appointments sounds not-fun, so YES, DEFINITELY DO OTHER THINGS TOO. Is your library open for indoor visits? That could be a great transition to places like stores: lots of lights, some people, but not nearly so noisy. I went to a movie theater for the first time since 2019 and it was utterly bizarre. Soooo much space–but so quiet! I’m too used to constant kid-chatter.

    Most of all, though, I’m just thankful you’re still able to write at your own pace, to read at your pace, to KEEP GOING at your own pace. You’ve got a great team watching over you, Himself your amazing partner in life and crime, and family wrapping you with hopes and wishes. I know those aren’t the same as hugs, but they’re still pretty darn good.

    Keep on keeping on, my friend. I just know 2022 is going to be something wonderful for you.xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Ah – thank you so much, Jean! You’re right – I need to keep holding onto the positive things. We are being very careful where we go, however. Omicron is raging here around us at the moment, so we are having to be cautious!

      • Caution is good! At least Omicron’s record of being less serious is consistent. Keep taking those walks, keep peeking in to places responsibly, and keep connecting with those little loves. Hugs to you from Wisconsin! xxxxx

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