Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Author: Ashe Elton Parker (page 1 of 33)

Sorry for the Silence

Broken Toe!

Toes, buddy-taped.

After all the worry over JJ, I was a bit emotionally worn out, so that’s why I didn’t post Friday. But I have good news! JJ’s doing fine. He was just in the hospital, and they don’t give out patient info without a code that I didn’t have. He contacted me Friday to say he was out, and apologized for standing me up over the Aviary visit. I assured him I didn’t care about that as much as I cared about his health and safety. At his suggestion, we’ve rescheduled for this Thursday, but I may have to cancel depending on what Podiatry says about my foot.

But before that, an update on Saturday.

I awoke Saturday morning with an absolutely incredible sinus headache. It felt like a horse had stepped on my head and was so bad that being vertical made it hurt more. I did only what I absolutely had to do, including taking some DayQuil, and returned to bed. Then, around 10:00, I contacted my friends to cancel gaming since the headache hadn’t really abated any. After another hour, I was bored out of my mind and got up anyway, but I wasn’t really functional. After another dose of DayQuil, though, things got better. I managed to write a bit. Still, I was in bed by 21:00 Saturday night.

So now, the reason why I’m waiting to see what Podiatry says about my foot (this is pretty much a paste from what I typed over at MeWe for my friends, cause I’m tired of retelling this story to everyone who asks):

On my way to Oasis Games to play D&D with Kit and some other friends today, my right foot slipped on some water coming out of the planters in front of Café d’Bolla, which is on the ground level of the Stoneground building. My left toe caught me, and I didn’t end up having a worse fall (which would have been on at least 1 knee, if that had happened). Instead of going in to the hospital right away, I thought, “Oh, it’s just a slight sprain and will be fine if I ice it.”

So I got to Oasis and grabbed a bag of ice that the barista there was more than happy to give me and went to the room where we usually game with Lynn. While I waited for everyone to arrive, I iced my toe. It didn’t hurt too much while I was seated, so I didn’t think anything of it. Well, over the course of the afternoon, my toe developed that purple bruise across the top. Walking on it was painful, but not excruciating (me forgetting that I have a high pain tolerance most of the time).

Like I usually do after gaming Sundays, I waited with my friend Kit for his ride to come get him. While we waited Kit suggested that I go in to the hospital to have my toe looked at. Regarding that bruise and the pain I was in while afoot, and the fact that I couldn’t move the toe, I decided to listen and asked if his father would be willing to drive me up to the VA. Kit sent a text to his father, who didn’t respond to it. When his father arrived, Kit promised to make his father take me and went to go hop in the car, then they came around to pick me up.

Klaus drove me to the VA hospital, and I had him drop me off at the front door and hobbled into the ER. Immediately after checking in, a guy who was short of breath arrived, and he was seen first, but I didn’t much mind. I’d gotten a seat in one of the funky wheelchairs they have all over the VA, and was content to wait since I was the only other patient in the ER at the time.
Shortly after getting the short-of-breath man into the ER, the nurse, Uta (German name I’m not sure on spelling; sounds like “Yoo-tah”) took my vitals and wheeled me right up to Radiology, where a tech named Demarcus (sp may be wrong) took me in for x-rays. About five mins later, I was on my way back to the ER with Uta.

She took me to what was apparently the only room that was in any way neat, put ice on my toe, and went to fetch the doc. He looked at it, and explained that there was a crack right beneath the bruise, then told me to keep it iced. He also told me my sandal was perfect for wearing, because all that he’d do was give me a similar type of medical shoe, and told me he’d prescribe a painkiller and have the nurse buddy-tape my toe. Uta returned after he left, buddy-taped my toe, and got me a pair of crutches along with everything I’d need to do the tape job myself.

Uta pushed me in the wheelchair to the pharmacy and I showed the tech there my VA ID card, then while I waited, I adjusted the grips on my new crutches. There were a young woman and her brother there, and I asked them kindly to please take the wheelchair I’d come in back to the front of the hospital since there was no way I’d be able to manage it with 2 crutches, and she agreed. They left with the chair, and I got my -codone med, and hobbled back out to the hospital’s entry and called a cab.

The Cab drove me home, and that’s the story. Doc said he’d have Podiatry call me for an appt later this week, and I watched Uta’s procedure with my toes to make sure I could tape ’em up again later. But that’s it!

No Aviary Visit

Hendrix with D&D books.

Imma read ur D&D books. Upside-down, even!

I pulled myself out of bed by 09:00 this morning so that I’d have enough time to prepare to go to the Tracy Aviary with my friend JJ. Sadly, he had not responded to any of my contacts since Tuesday, and I was already concerned about his silence after he messaged on MeWe that he was at a hospital on Tuesday. He didn’t respond to my texts or phone calls this morning either. I tried calling the hospital to see if he was an inpatient, and they said they had nobody by his last name there. Also notified Kit that I hadn’t heard from JJ for a couple days since that mysterious and troubling message he left on MeWe on Tuesday.

After I realized we wouldn’t be meeting today at all, and that he wasn’t going to respond, I went and laid down to get over the the stress of JJ’s lack of communication. I think I even managed to sleep a little. This was good, because I hadn’t slept well last night, and that probably wasn’t helping the stress factor.

Since there was nothing I could do to get a response from JJ at present, I packed up some D&D stuff to take to the Pride Center with me. I’d already gotten an agreement from Kevin on Wednesday that he’d drive me home if I came and hung out with him before the support group I wanted to go to. So that was what I did, while working on D&D stuff. Happily, I got all the must-do stuff done and have since been working on something purely fun for me (and hopefully my players).

When I got home, I fed my cat and then quickly called Mom, who’d left a message while I was at the Pride Center. I convinced her not to spend money she didn’t need to spend on something for me that I don’t really need. Tried contacting JJ again too, but no response to my message, so I emailed him. Did my languages on Duolingo, a teensy bit of work on one of my wips, had supper, and took some pics of Hendrix. I’ve posted the most amusing of them above. LOL

Yet Another Eye Exam

Chairs and carpet and wallls!

My favorite VA waiting room.

I had another VA hospital visit today, for two reasons. One, I had to have X-Rays taken of my knees to determine what might be causing the pain I’ve been feeling in them. I did that this morning, before noon. This was a pretty quick process that required a minimum of discomfort from me. Well, in addition to the discomfort I usually feel. I got the results pretty quickly; my doc called to tell me that there’s no evidence of arthritis in either of my knees, though there is a little bit of some wear. She thinks that if I can lose some weight, the pain will go down. Easier said than done, right?

After that, I went to wait for my next appointment, which was for an eye exam. This is a new thing, and something of a big deal for me. Because I’ve developed diabetes, they’ve been checking my eyes for glaucoma. I go in every few months, and they take a picture of my optic nerve, then have me go through a vision field test to determine if I’ve lost any of my vision.

Today was a little different. I also had a full standard exam—the dilation and reading test and all. But the picture of my optic nerve didn’t reveal any progression of glaucoma, though the vision field test indicated I’d lost some vision. What this means is that they want me to go in three months from now for repeats of these two particular tests, and if there does seem to be any progression of glaucoma, they’ll give me an additional eye drop to use along with the one I’ve been putting in.

After that, I just wanted to come home, so I’m glad I told my friends who I usually play MTG with that I wouldn’t be able to do so today. When I got home, I fired up the computer, put water on to cook, and then decided to turn off the stove and lie down for a bit. I think I was down for about two hours, but I got up feeling better.

I spent some time idling online, then buckled down and did some work on my D&D prep. Not on what I should have been working on, but I wanted to do something fun, so I decided to start a separate treasure listing for Magnificent Milzen’s Mercantile. Milzen’s not a mage, but he is magical, and he’s going to be recurring every so often, and not always in a place that makes sense. LOL

Also did some Duolingo, both Spanish and German. Am considering doing more, it was so much fun. I really forget how much fun learning languages can be when I stop doing it.

That’s it for today!

Volunteer Shift and Floor Plans

Floor Plans!

I had my volunteer shift today. Because I didn’t sleep well last night, I almost didn’t go in, but I decided to at the last minute and went in anyway. So I gathered everything I thought I’d need for doing floor plans for D&D and headed out.

Was two stops down the Trax line when I realized I’d forgotten the master floor plan—the one I did on graph paper that I’ve been enlarging from. This meant I had to either do it all from memory, or I had to go back and get it. Almost decided to try it from memory, but as the train stopped, a northbound train pulled in, so I hopped off and caught it before it headed off, hurried to my apartment, and grabbed the master floor plan.

I managed to draw up all the floor plans I think I’ll absolutely need for this weekend, which makes me happy.

Back at home, I managed to do a few rounds of Duolingo on the two languages I’m learning on and off. Also purchased some Two Year Novel ebooks from a friend of mine on Smashwords to start plugging a story into.

Another Mini Painted!

Elf Paladin Mini!

Riardon the Elf Paladin

Today was a pretty good day. I managed to get out of bed without any hint of depression, and I got up early enough to do some research on what I needed to do for my D&D prep and get some of the missing stuff done.

Went to Oasis Games about an hour after they opened, taking my D&D prep stuff, paints, a palette, brushes, and a container for water, as well as my storage thing for minis with me. While I waited for Kit to arrive at our appointed time, I worked on D&D prep. He showed up a little early, and we got started painting minis. He did a Dwarf Cleric and I painted an Elf Paladin.

Came home around 16:30 after waiting with Kit for his ride to show up, and did some more D&D prep work. Should have done more, but I was just unable to focus well enough on it. I’ll get more of it done later this week, though. And I’ll be taking paper and stuff for floor-plan drawing at my volunteer sift tomorrow, so there’s that.

Started Out Rough

At around 04:30 this morning, the electricity went off. I know this because my CPAP machine turned off. It didn’t come back on until 09:30. As a result, I dragged my ass to Lynn’s D&D session. But I made it. Had a fun time too. Now I’m off to bed ’cause I’m just too tired to stay up any longer.

First Session as DM!

D&D shtuff

D&D shtuff.

Well, today was pretty good. I actually woke up sometime after 03:00, but I stayed in bed until I think 05:00 or so. Actually did doze off a few times, and finally got out of bed feeling well-rested.

Spent the morning doing D&D prep. Cut the last floor plan I drew from the roll of paper it was attached to. I also did some spell cards, typing some up for one of my players and finishing up those for my primary NPC. Went over the encounter notes to make sure I had everything I needed for this session. Loaded everything into my backpack and a reusable store bag. Wanted to eat lunch at home, but stomach was too iffy, so I decided to go to Oasis and eat there to see if the walk would help. When I got there, I bought a soda for myself and a muffin for dessert, and actually succeeded in getting everything into my belly despite the continued (though milder) nervous upset.

When I realized the one open room wasn’t being used, I went to go pay my rental on the space and then went in early and set up. Yeah, I was a good hour or so early, but I used that time well. When Greg showed up at 13:15, I was still setting things up. I gave him the set of dice I’d told him I’d give him—I mean, I’ve got five other sets, and that’s not including the app on my Fire tablet for dice rolling, what do I need another set for? LOL

Trish arrived next, and she set up her stuff. Shortly after, the rest arrived—Dan, Dave, and Phil. Once everyone was situated, I took them through the intro process where they met Unara and were offered the job and all. After that, getting them to the dungeon was a simple matter of having them all take a walk outside of town.

Now I’ll be honest here. I kind of led them around the first part of the dungeon. And there are two reasons for that. First, I wanted to make sure I could actually handle being DM. Second, I only had the first third or so of the dungeon finished—encounter notes, loot notes, challenge ratings, and floor plans, all of it. And that was because I dawdled on the work and didn’t get even as much as I managed to finish before this past week. So that’s all on me. I’m owning it.

So now I have a number of things to finish this week for next Saturday’s D&D session: I need to finish up the encounter notes; I need to do challenge rating stuff for the remainder of the dungeon; I need to draw about five or six floor plans of various sizes; and I need to finish up my loot notes. There’s not a lot of loot, but what there is needs to be figured out before my players encounter it all. One of the things I decided a month or two ago when I started outlining the loot was that the place had been pretty much cleaned out by invading forces, so there wouldn’t be much loot aside from what they got off of living creatures who’d brought it in. So, with that in mind, I decided that the Sisters of Sefele are paying each member of the team a (probably more than) reasonable fee to go in and do this job, since none of the Sisters are able to—they’re all healing-centered mages and clerics.

I cut off the 3 hour session a little early because I didn’t think we’d get very much further in the last 15 mins, and I wanted to make sure we cleared out before any other people who may have rented the room wouldn’t be breathing down our necks as we packed up. Either way, it took that time for us (me) to pack up and we all left Oasis at the same time.

And that is all I’ve done today, aside from making tea to sip and calling my mom for a chat and chatting with my friend Anita on the phone.

Catching Up Here

Diane Sawyer Block

Diane Sawyer Block

I didn’t post Thursday ’cause it was a busy day for me and I hit Nope and went to bed without thinking about Thursday’s post. Friday was much the same about the Nope, only earlier and much stronger.

Thursday was a busy day. I had to rise early, around 06:00 or so (usual wakeup time is around 10:00) to get to my primary care appointment. I was originally scheduled for 10:30 that morning, but got a call asking me to come in around 09:30 because my doc had had a couple of cancellations. I agreed to that, so got up at around 05:30 or 06:00 Thursday and hightailed it out of my apartment without breakfast to make the appointment. Grabbed something to eat when I got to the VA, then checked in to my adjusted-time appointment about 50 mins early. Just sat down when my doc’s nurse, Deb, came out to invite me into the clinic area. She took my vitals and left me in a room by myself after telling me that Dr. Milne had 3 interns working with her today and she wasn’t sure what the procedure was going to be.

About 5 mins after I settled in the room, an intern came in and introduced himself as Scott. I don’t think he gave his last name. He spent about 45 or so mins taking me through everything from my medications, to medical history, to giving me an exam so complete that he even looked in my nostrils, which nobody else had ever done before. After that, he went to go pass on all he’d learned to Dr. Milne, and she came back with him and had him give his report in front of me. She checked my lungs and heart again, did a check of the moles on my back, then had Scott do diabetic sensory test for neuropathy on my feet since I’m diabetic. Since my last exam, I’ve lost 5lbs, which she was happy to see, and my A1C levels were good, which I was really happy about. Dr. Milne wants me to walk most days of the week (4) but seemed pretty pleased that I’ve been walking more often than I used to. She told me she wanted to see me in 6 months, and then sent me out to check out.

I then went to building 550 on the VA campus as I’d arranged with Katie, and she came to pick me up as planned. We went to her place to do some quilting, and I mentioned the Block Of The Month Quilt she’d suggested I start as a sort of break from my Kaleidoscope Quilt I’ve been working on, and we did that. This is a quilt she did last year, and we started on Marc’s block because Katie wanted to do her March blocks for it. She taught me how to cut fabric to size, then I stitched the pieces together while she worked on the blocks she wanted to redo, cutting the fabrics for those. Katie got the quilt pattern from a quilt store and they named it the You Go Girl Quilt and the block I did was named after Diane Sawyer. I did that one block and she suggested doing more, but groceries were on my mind, so we packed up the quilting stuff and headed out.

Before we went to Smith’s, Katie took me out to eat since she was hungry. After that, a quick run through the grocery store for my food, and Katie brought me home. I think I may have written a scene on a wip as well. I also did some D&D prep work.

———

On Friday, the only thing I really did was go to gaming with Kit’s group. His mother joined us, and we all had great fun. I came home, laid down 3 or 4 times, and gave in and went to bed around 19:30.

Lots of D&D Stuff Done

I got a lot of D&D stuff done today. Rose at I think 11:00 and got out to Oasis Games within an hour. Spent about 3-4 hours there working on a floor plan and character sheets. Came home, laid down for a bit, had a couple text chats with a person or two, and wrote a scene before getting some more of Unara’s 33 spell cards done. All in all, a good day!

Long Day Out

I left home by 10:00 this morning and was out all day. Went up to the VA for blood draw and a psych therapy appointment. Then to the Pride Center for my shift until 21:00. Worked on character sheets for D&D NPCs while I was there. Didn’t make much progress, but I did mostly finish one off. Now I have to type up spell cards. If I’m lucky, I’ll be getting some fresh black ink on Thurs and will be able to print ’em out. whee

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