The Weekly Update: 12/10/17


It’s December! Not sure why I felt the need to announce that, but I did.

I haven’t really had the best two weeks since my last update post though. I went to an appointment with an acupuncturist/herbalist who said she could help me with just herbs/diet, no acu. You may have seen my tweet about how that went. $75 for her to tell me to exercise, get out of the house more often, and get more fresh air.

Gosh, why didn’t I think of that?


This is one of the many reasons it’s so hard to get help for chronic illnesses, at least in the US. 1) Things like fresh air, etc. don’t cure them. 2) I could tell this person didn’t believe I have an actual medical problem. She thinks I’m unwell because I sit around all day. Except, no, it’s the opposite—I sit around all day because I’m unwell. When I do things like exercise and go out and push myself, it inevitably makes me feel worse.

I’ve been treated poorly by most Western medicine doctors (if you want to know more about that, I’ve talked about it in this tweet), and so far I’ve had nearly as much bad luck with acupuncturists/herbalists. It’s disheartening knowing there might be something that could help me feel better but not being able to find someone who can help me figure it out.

More bad news—I found out my backup bank changed their minimum months ago and I didn’t realize, so they’ve been deducting a fee every month. Long story short, I lost a bunch of money for no good reason.

Last but not least, it turns out it’s just my desktop having slow internet problems. I tried a bunch of things to figure out why/fix it, and the best I can guess is something to do with the graphics card. Which I don’t know how to fix. But I really do not want to have to get a new computer yet :-/

Anyway, this will likely be my last weekly update post until the 31st. Hopefully that post won’t be as much of a downer as this one. If you wanna keep up with my life in between weekly updates, you can always follow me on Twitter 🙂 I’ve been posting a lot about drawing and Sims and even the occasional bit of writing (in addition to bookish stuff, of course). And don’t worry, between now and Dec. 31st, I’ve got lots of posts planned about my favorite books, characters, and covers from the year!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I uploaded the 2018 spreadsheet template to my “Blogging Tips: Scheduling and Keeping Track of Blog Posts with a Spreadsheet” post. So if anyone wants to download it and get organized in the new year, it’s there 🙂

Also, a quote from my review is being used on the Amazon page under the editorial reviews section for Smoke City by Keith Rosson, so that’s kind of cool!


Books I Received for Review:

The King's Courage by Charlie Cochet
Rebel Faerie by Rachel Morgan

12/3/17: Nothing.

12/10/17: The King’s Courage is from Dreamspinner. Rebel Faerie is from the author, and it’s the final book in the Creepy Hollow series!


Books I Finished:

Juniper Unraveling by Keri Lake
Mending Noel by Charlie Cochet
The Heart of Frost by Charlie Cochet
Vixen's Valor by Charlie Cochet
Loving Blitz by Charlie Cochet
Disarming Donner by Charlie Cochet
Loving and Loathing Vegas by Lex Chase
The King's Courage by Charlie Cochet

12/3/17: Juniper Unraveling was dark, which I like, but ultimately not quite for me. The North Pole City Tales were the complete opposite—light, fluffy, and fun! Also short and easy to read. Which was exactly what I needed with all the stress I was feeling.

12/10/17: Loving and Loathing Vegas walk also a short, fun read. After The King’s Courage though, I kinda got stuck. Couldn’t figure out what I was in the mood for, tried multiple books, ended up just not really reading much at all for the rest of the week :-/


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

UptheHill’s Harry Potter Fan Art

Especially the Lupin stuff, which is what I linked to, because Lupin is one of my favorite characters ever, and this artist’s version of him looks more like how I imagine him than the actor in the movies does. So does this version of Sirius. I love the artist’s art style too.

I’m also loving the NSFW Harry Potter fan art.

Also, I don’t know what’s happening to me because I don’t usually ship out of canon, but I’m totally kind of shipping Lupin-Sirius and Harry-Draco now. It’s like the art just made it seem more real! And I haven’t even read the play, but I’m shipping Albus and Scorpius too lol. (Are they in the play??? I don’t even know.)


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Black City Demon by Richard A. Knaak, a interesting mashup of fae, dragons, saints, and the Prohibition Era.
– I posted mini reviews for three fluffy, fun M/M fantasy Christmas novellas.

– I reviewed The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, a gripping vampire read with complex characters.
– I recommended ten Christmas-themed sci-fi/fantasy books.
– I reviewed The Consumption of Magic by TJ Klune, a fun but intense M/M high fantasy.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

Once again, I’m linking up to The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer 🙂


Talk to me!

Have you found any good books or music lately?
Got any other Harry Potter fan art to recommend?
Are you going to be doing much blogging for the rest of December?


Your Thoughts


52 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 12/10/17

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  1. Wattle

    Yikes at that acupuncturist 🙁 I hate it when doctors (or other professionals) say ‘have you been exercising though? It’ll make you feel better!’ like, thanks for your input but please stop.

    It sounds like you’ve had a crappy couple of weeks 🙁 I hope things get better for you. That sucks about your bank (nice of them to notify you :/ geesh) and computer. Computer issues can be so expensive to fix.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s especially infuriating to me when people accuse me of being unwell due to lack of exercise because I was a gymnast when this started. Working out was literally my favorite thing to do. Trust me, if I could, I would be working out. Ugh, so frustrating.

      Thanks <3 I knew I needed to check my account, but I couldn't remember my username/pw, the stupid site wouldn't even tell me which was incorrect, so I had to call the bank to reset it. Except every time I remembered I needed to call, I didn't have the energy. I'll never make that mistake again :-/

  2. Greg

    It is December! 🙂

    Sorry to hear though that the acu/ herbalist was such a disappointment. I’ve always felt like herbalism would have so much potential, but if the practitioner doesn’t take the problem seriously, or know how to help a specific person, it’s not much use I guess. Hoping you have some success in 2018 with it!

    And banks *sigh* so aggravating.

    I’ve been kinda AWOL on Twitter but if you’re posting SIMS updates I’ll have to check in ha ha. Those silly SIMS…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly. Herbal remedies do have a lot of potential. Maybe they can’t help every person with every problem, but there’s a chance they could help me… if only I could find someone to help -_- Thanks, fingers crossed.

      The new minimum thing was ridiculous and I was so aggravated that I just closed my whole account with that stupid bank.

      I mostly just post when really weird crap happens in my games lol.

  3. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    Ooh, you’re doing a weekly update! I guess I haven’t visited for a while. Sick and busy! I also haven’t had the best weeks. Lost a ton of weight 🙁 digestion problems. Tried to go off my low FODMAPs diet yesterday. Too early xD but at least I’m getting better.
    Oh man, that herbalist :/ that sums up why I basically don’t go to any doctors.
    While being sick (at my sickest this year, actually), I started just doing very simple yoga (from Youtube, of course). It’s immensely helping, if even just with the inner calm. So maybe that’s better than just getting out of the house and exercise 😀 the best thing about it is that it’s slow, not tortorous and you sort of feel energized rather than worn out after it.
    Also, let’s power punch all those people who don’t believe in chronic illness. Bullshit :/

    I hope this next week is better for both of us! Gosh, do I want to actually EAT stuff on Christmas. Let’s hope for the best 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do them every two weeks now, usually! Sorry you haven’t had the best couple weeks either :-/ Glad to hear the FODMAPs diet is helping you get better though!

      Yeah, same, but I figured herbalists might be more helpful for chronic illness than Western doctors. Unfortunately I seem to keep choosing the wrong ones :-/ Even better, let’s punch the people and then tell them it hurts because they need more fresh air and exercise XD

      Feel better, hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the Christmas food!

      1. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

        Actually, don’t give up – this is just THIS one herbalist 🙂 not all people are the same. Granted, it’s hard to find the right one. But maybe one day you will. I also don’t like doctors (same reasons), but there was ONE that was really good. She was super old and knew stuff by just looking at me (what others missed in an xray countless times lol, can you believe that?)… Meeting a doctor like that is akin to a miracle, but don’t lose hope. They exist 🙂

        What about a Chinese herbalist? Although I guess, you’ve already tried acupuncture. If that herbalist knew nothing about chronic fatigue though, it just goes to show how much they know at all :/ I don’t need to be a doctor to know this thing exists, and neither does pretty much my entire family. Just lay persons. So what kind of ‘doctor’ is that xD

        1. Kristen Burns

          Except I’ve been to like 20+ doctors/practitioners at this point, and they’ve all failed me -_- But yeah, I know there are some good ones who exist out there. If only I could find them!

          This was a Chinese herbalist. Just a crappy one, apparently.

  4. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    So sorry the herbalist didn’t really take you seriously, Kristen. I always think that those who are in more alternative medicine fields should be more open-minded. Which apparently was not the case for you, and $75???
    I will send you some calm and healing vibes, and just keep my fingers crossed you’ll be able to find someone who can actually help you!
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 I agree, I thought herbalists would be more open-minded and caring, but apparently I've chosen the wrong people to visit -_- Thank you! You have a great week too 🙂

  5. Karen Blue

    Sorry to hear you are feeling unwell and not getting help. That just sucks. I hope thungs turn around for you. It has to, right?
    It is cool they are quoting your review. That must make you feel awesome. I need to check out some of your links including your review for Interview.
    I hope you feel better and have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3

      It is pretty cool that they're quoting my review! And you mean The Vampire Lestat? Yeah, I finally reviewed it! Lol. I'm reading Queen of the Damned now, but I think it's gonna take me a while cuz I'm kind of in a mood reading slump. Thanks!

  6. Samantha

    I’m so sorry you are struggling to find a doctor who hears you. That is so disheartening. I had a doc like that once-she just wanted to give me some anti-depressants. I was like “No, I’m depressed because I’m sick!”. It was maddening. I hope you are able to get some answers.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3 Unfortunately this is how I've been treated by many many doctors, either not listening/believing or just wanting to give me meds for something I didn't even have. Maybe I'll find someone good eventually.

  7. Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Oh gosh, when I had Lyme Disease I had an actual infectious disease doctor tell me I just needed to go for walks in the sun and do yoga. I couldn’t believe it! Luckily I found a doctor to treat me later on. I hope you’re able to find someone good soon! I hope you enjoy your new reads too – I need to look up the Charlie Cochet books for sure! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Wow, seriously? Even an infectious disease doctor thinks things like that can be cured with walks outside? This is why it’s so hard to find help for chronic illness in the US. Glad you managed to find someone better. Thanks you! You have a great week too 🙂

  8. Lola

    I am sorry to hear your last two weeks weren’t good ones. It sounds annoying how difficult it is to get help for your chronic illness and there’s such a stigma to things like that. And then you pay all that money for someone to tell you something that isn’t helpful is a shame. It sounds better to just take it easy when you’re feeling unwell. I’ve had some useless advice from doctors as well a few times, but luckily we have a pretty good doctor at the moment.

    Sorry to hear you also are having internet problems :(, that’s frustrating.

    I saw some of your artwork on twitter, it looks great! I sometimes forget to check twitter, but I have a list for some blogger friends, so i try and check that sometimes so I can see your updates and that of some other bloggers as well.

    That’s great a quote of your review is used under the editorial section for that book. That Creepy Hollow series sounds fun!

    I hope your next two weeks are better!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. Yes, there is a stigma, but I feel like many people don’t even realize that and think only mental illness has a stigma. But seriously, it’s a waste of money, time, AND energy to go to an appt just for them to treat you like… that. The thing is, for some people, working out and going out more might help. But for me it makes me worse. And this person wouldn’t listen to me/believe me :-/ I mean, I have a couple good doctors (my eye doctor, for example, is super nice), but so far no one good for my chronic illness specifically. Glad you have a good doctor though 🙂

      Thank you about the artwork! I’ve found I love using Twitter, so I check it often lol, but it can be hard to keep up with.

      Thanks 🙂 You have a great week too!

  9. Sam@WLABB

    So sorry you had a rough week. I hope the new year is kinder to you. I am so paranoid of hidden fees. I know I would have lost my stuff, if I found out I was being charged for months. ((HUGS))

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 I was so pissed about the bank thing, but there's nothing I can do to get the money back :-/ so no sense in letting it add to my stress. I just closed the account asap because I'm so done with that bank!

  10. sjhigbee

    So sorry you’ve had such a dire week:(. How very unsatisfactory to pay such a lot of money to be told something you could have sorted out yourself, were you sufficiently well to do it! As you are probably going to be going on a break – I hope you have a really good Christmas, Kristen.:)

  11. Karen

    I do not have a chronic illness (but have several family members that do) but I had severe back problems that took me years to find help. I went to everyone – both traditional and alternative – but they seem to come at you with “this is how you fix it” (meaning *their way* without really listening to what you’re saying.

    For example – I know yoga is very helpful for back problems but it aggravated mine.

    I did end up finding really great people to help me work through it so I hope that happens for you at some point. It can be so frustrating.

    For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      YES. I literally said that to this herbalist even, that most doctors/practitioners just want you to do things exactly their way and that’s it. But that doesn’t always work. I agree, most of the people I’ve been to didn’t actually listen and simply ignored anything I tried to explain that didn’t fit with their most common diagnosis/treatment/etc.

      Glad you eventually found people to help. Maybe I will too, eventually, but I kinda feel like not even trying anymore since so far it’s just been a waste of energy going to appointments.

  12. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

    Yes, there is so much no one understands about autoimmune diseases and dealing with people who believe its fake is frustrated. Then meds they do offer often make it worse. I had pneumonia nine times in 2 years while on a med, when I stopped I stopped getting it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Unfortunately that’s a problem too. That’s why I want to try herbs. I’ve been given meds I didn’t even need (because the doctors didn’t actually care and just misdiagnosed me w/ the most common thing in their field), so they didn’t help, but they did lower my immunity and cause me to get sick multiple times -_- Meds do often cause side effects, and the last thing I need is MORE problems.

  13. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Omg yes, I totally ship Sirius/Remus and Harry/Draco and it just WORKS – even in the book. Plus, David Thewlis (who played Lupin) said he started out playing Remus like he was gay because he thought he was until the book with him and Tonks came out. LOL And yes, Albus and Scorpius are in the play and they totally love each other – well, it doesn’t SAY it but every rational person can see it. haha Okay, I’m done.

    I’m sorry about your health issues and all the people you’ve seen not being able to help. That lady sounds like an idiot who needs to actually LISTEN to her patients and not just assume things. Just…rude.


    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha I love your whole comment about the HP ships. You’re literally the only person who has commented on that! Oh my gosh, that’s too funny that the actor started out playing Remus as gay even. I’m honestly kind of tempted to reread the series now and also to read the play, just so I can see how all these characters interact and whatnot, haha. I just never ship completely out of canon like this (like, I might want two characters to get together, but I move on if they don’t), so I don’t know how to handle this!

      Thanks <3 Unfortunately a lot of people in the world seem to think chronic illness can be cured by yoga and sunshine -_-

  14. chucklesthescot

    What a waste of time and money that appointment was. My dad suffered from chronic asthma as a kid and missed a ton of school. His doctor told him to run up into the hills nearby every morning before school and take deeep breaths. That sounds as helpful as the ‘advice’ you got. I had issues recently with the computer because of Windows and Firefox updates slowing and sticking my computer. Took me ages to work out that Windows automatically reduced me from high performance power to something lower and I had to change it back. Sometimes I hate computers…

    I’ll be doing all my regular posts over the festive period except maybe Around the Blogs With Chuckles as a lot of bloggers reduce or stop blogging during that time and I might not find enough to highlight! I’ll be doing my review of the year posts and maybe talking about what is new for next year, so yes I’ll still be around!

    1. Kristen Burns

      What?? That sounds like the stupidest asthma advice I’ve ever heard! Ugh. You know, I noticed it was after the latest firefox update that my internet got slow, but then internet explorer was slow too (I checked) and I checked other things… but do you remember how you checked that high performance power thing? Cuz I will have to look into that. I just suspected the graphics card cuz I saw people mention it on forums, and oddly enough, my internet is faster while The Sims 4 is running in the background.

      Yay, at least I know someone will be around! We can visit each other, haha.

      1. chucklesthescot

        Yeah I remember how to change the power thing. I found it on a help forum so fingers crossed it might help! I’m not sure if your menus are different in the US but this was what I did on the UK one.

        On W10 open settings, open system, open power & sleep . Under related settings pick additional power settings. The options are balanced and high performance. If it isn’t selected choose high performance.

        That stopped my problem with being slow and sticking all the time. I’ll be checking that every time there is an update! If that doesn’t work try the help forums. They have so many help options to try before getting to the drastic stuff. Good luck!

  15. Geybie's Book Blog

    I’m so sorry to hear about the herbalist. Sorry you ended up spending money for nothing. I know it sucks. I hope you get someone who’s way capable in the near future. Oh bank is so frustrating sometimes. I needed to close an account because of the smart problem you got. Anyway, I hope this week is way better for you and you enjoy your books. Happy reading. ❤️❤️❤️

  16. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    Sorry to hear you lost money [I often HATE banks!] and are still not feeling well.

    That’s that thing with chronic conditions, all the ups and downs. 🙁

    I had a similar experience with an alternative medicine doctor. He also talked to me about exercising and all that and prescribed Omega 3 which frustrated me a lot at first but some of the things he advised I did get to do LATER when I got better and they did help me improve some more. I’m not sure if in your case is different but exercising and being outdoors did help my fibromyalgia BUT it took a while and some medications to get me to the point where I could benefit from it! So hopefully you’ll find the combination of therapies that will allow you to do some other stuff and see some improvement.

    I’ll PM you because I just remember something they had me do that I don;t think I told you the first time I PM about this.

    NOW the not believing you have an actual medical problem SHOULD NOT have happened at all! Why would this person offer her services then???

    Cant wait for your end of the year posts! especially the cover ones 🙂 We need to frame some of those for our virtual household 😉

    Hopefully reading, blogging, and drawing will keep your mind occupied until the situation improves. Sending you tons of love, hugs and kisses. Love ya wifey!

  17. S. J. Pajonas

    That’s so disappointing that the acupuncturist couldn’t help you. I love my acupuncturist and I wish you lived closer so I could recommend her to you. I should be there today but I’m home sick and don’t want to get anyone else sick. I hope you feel better the rest of the month! I’ll be sure to check in and see how you’re doing. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I know there are good ones out there, but yeah, this was definitely not one of them -_- Can I just say that I love that you think about other people and don’t go somewhere unnecessary while sick? Because most people don’t seem to care how many other people they get sick. Thanks 🙂

  18. Annemieke

    Ugh so sorry for those last two weeks. I hope this week has been better so far. You can always message me if you need to rant or anything! <3

  19. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I feel bad that I’m late on getting to read this one now I know you’ve had such a sucky time. I know you’ve struggled with how best to treat your chronic illness anyway but when you’re continually disbelieved by both people in the medical profession and then for those in alternative medicine as well, well that just sucks. And you’ve lost out on money because of a change in rules at your bank! And more computer woes! Honestly, I hope this week was better for you, I’ll keep an eye on Twitter for life updates.