Unusual Circumstance

Literally had to reread my last post about Mark’s birthday because I didn’t recall writing it, because it occurred during a moment of clarity amid the stupor of illness.  And this time, folks, it wasn’t even my old foe, gastroparesis!  This time I had pancreatitis, which as far as I can tell you get from alcohol consumption…I was asked how much I drank over and over, and each time I said that I didn’t, really; they were surprised.  I have maybe a single drink a month…how would that inflame my pancreas?  Ah, but it is the pancreas, and I have diabetes, so is it really that hard of a line to draw?

Currently I feel relatively well.  I slept, a good night’s sleep that was restorative.  I am thinking of K right now, whom, whenever I ask how she is doing, replies “physically, or mentally?”  Physically, I am feeling okay; better, at least.  Mentally, I am still pissed off.  Several hours of conversation with my husband and others assures me that everything was fine and that yes it could have gone better, but no one expected me to be able to pull it off given the circumstances, so what resulted was actually fantastic given the grading curve.  And as Mark reminded me, no thing we have ever planned has ever gone well, so what was I expecting?  (See, this is why my sister is planning any future wedding anniversary parties.)

Anyway, after I wrote the blog and scheduled it to post (which should have happened Monday but definitely happened Tuesday,) I ended up going back to the ER on Monday morning, and found myself admitted to the hospital later that day.  I spent the night, and woke up in a different hospital, and then was sent home and told to rest and take meds.  So, I did, but then I ended up back at the ER after taking a nap Tuesday night, which then brings us to me getting home early Wednesday morning.  And it wasn’t even the gastroparesis!

But now I feel better, and I am trying to return to normalcy, so here is a blog for a Thursday.  Now I’m over to Patreon to share something very special, provided I can figure out how to link to it.  So, if you’re a subscriber over there, please be patient, and if you’re not…well, you’re missing out.  Particularly this week.  Again, provided I can figure out Patreon’s attachment limitations.  Honestly, I could be hyping nothing right now.

Speaking of hyping, I am away from the blog now and moving toward the Patreon but after that it’s time to time out my reading that is NEXT WEEK.  So, if you’re a local poetry fan, you should come to that.  Now…off to work on my list of work.  Happy Thursday.  On actual Thursday. 

Sick, with Stories

Well, that marks the third Thursday with no update.  This time it was illness again…it’s been like that all week.  The worst part is that I missed work yesterday, which I hate doing.  I love my job…like actually love it, because it is the perfect amount of childcare for me.  I can’t really do those long days I used to with kiddos anymore, but the few hours I put in in the afternoon for the program really makes me happy, and exhilarates me, because I’m actually out there doing something I love again. 

Of course, then I get sick and I wonder just how long it can last.  I went for this job because I was delighted that it didn’t start until midafternoon, which means that even if I am sick early morning, as is usual, I can be better by 2pm.  On Monday, I managed just that, going to the ER in the morning before coming home to nap, shower, and go to work.  I was fine that day.  Yesterday, not so much.  I couldn’t shake the crummy feeling, even after returning from the hospital, so I had to call off, which just kicked me in the stomach again.

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  What’s good??  A good thing from this week is that I wrote myself a little story.

I needed something on Wednesday for my Patreon, something meaty.  More than a poem, y’know?  And I had this little thought in my head about what it takes to get me running in the morning, and then the thoughts started to take a shape.  There’s this movie called Osmosis Jones that I have loved always, and I started to ponder it.  What if there were a cell in my body, that was responsible for what I do?  It was a fun little thought experiment, but what would the cell actually do?  What would be its true purpose?  I thought of the Vonnegut quote: “Make your characters want something right away, even if it’s only a glass of water.”  And so, the tale of Bob the Cell who works in the Hypothalamus was born.  His goal?  Get the Girl a glass of water.

It’s a funny little story that both Sahar and Mom called “brilliant,” which I actually believe to be true because, as rare as it is, I love this story. 

Hardly ever do I write something that I like from the jump, so when I finished this and was so delighted with it I knew it would receive great reception from my “fans.”  (Why is that in quotes?  Because the only people who have read it are friends and family.) And it did, Carey liked it, Mark loved it, and of course my mother just wants to know why I can’t automatically have it picked up by some magazine.

Anyway, that was my big accomplishment for the week, and if you would like to read it (well, the rough draft, anyway,) then you can pop on over to my Patreon and pay $5 for that and more.

I’d really like your patronage over there.  You’re missing out on a lot, I promise.  Also, I need to pay the internet bill.  (See also: Tip Jar, to the right of this page.)

Ok, well, It’s Friday.  I have two kiddos here already and two more on the way, so I guess I better get myself going, and participate in life since I am well enough to do so.  I hope y’all have a great weekend, and happy Friday!

Sickness and Writing

So, this time, I didn’t update on Monday because I was sick.  It was an easy ER trip, though.  The doc knew about my condition, so he did a quick exam and then gave me my meds and sent me to wait in a recliner until they kicked in and knocked me out.  A nurse came and asked if I was ready to go and I said no, because I still felt nauseous and probably couldn’t walk.  Then another half hour or so passed and the nurse was back, and I felt confident enough to be on my way. 

I got home and went to sleep.  I woke up around 430pm, and my sister brought me Gatorade.  Then I went back to sleep, and woke up around 7.  Then I went back to sleep at 9 and woke at 1230am. Which is why now, at 3am, I am writing my blog.

I didn’t have much to say.  I was just going to write about writer’s block.  I suffered a short-term case during the past few weeks, as evidenced by my lack of output.  But yesterday, I reworked the ending of part one of my WIP.  I introduced a character, small but important, who explains a few things that need to be known to my MC’s (main characters.)  The MC’s are on a major Caribbean island after living their life on a significantly smaller one with few people, no cars or big buildings, and relative quiet.  I was struggling with a scene, where I’m getting them off their rowboat and onto the island, and I obsessed over it for a week.  I know I should have moved on and come back to it, but it was the final scene of part one and I just had to finish it.  So, I brainstormed with Mark.

Mark is great for this, as he is not a writer, but he does have a vivid imagination.  He’s not much of a reader either, so I am kind of telling him the story as I go, which is also helpful.  But sometimes I get stuck and I go to him, and we spend half an hour or so going over my ideas.  He likes to give suggestions of where the story should go, and sometimes they are good.  A lot of times they aren’t applicable to what I’ve already got going on, in which case I say a simple “no,” and we move on.  He never gets mad if I shoot down his idea.  He knows this is my thing.

Anyway, we brainstormed, and out popped a character that the MC’s know as “the man with the hat,” but whom I secretly named Bernie after my sister and her youthful affinity for bucket hats.  (Photo below.)

This gentleman explains to my MC’s some very basic information that they need on the island, and points them in the right direction in their quest.  It’s probably a frowned upon trope, but I don’t care.  I needed it to get to where I had to be.  Plus…this is just a first draft. 

So, I am back on the writing train, and I am working hard on my WIP and hoping more ideas come to me soon for my blog, because I can’t write about the same things all the time…sickness and writing.  I mean I’m a pro at both, but I just need new topics.

But, I got past the part of my book where I was stuck.  I completed part one, at over 20k words.  That is certainly something to celebrate.

My sister, age 3.

On Books and Tummy-Aches.

It is midafternoon on a Monday, usually a time when I am far done with my blog, but today was a holiday, and this week has been strange.

I was sick, unfortunately, pretty much all week.  It was terrible and I have no desire to rehash it so let’s just call last week a wash and move on.

I came across a photo the other day, below.  Me and Kevin, maybe four-years-old.  I am sick and lying on the sofa, and he is sitting beside me, reading a book.

I don’t read much anymore because it is difficult for me, what with my eyes.  I do more now than before I got new glasses, but without bifocals it’s still tricky.  I have had two Stephen King’s sitting beside my bed for months that are unfinished.

And then today, Kevin gave me about fifteen more. 

While downsizing his life, he decided to get rid of his King collection and gave it to me, which is awesome, but now means that A. I need more bookshelves, and B. My reading list has just expanded greatly.  They’re all books I have yet to read, or have read once and didn’t have a copy of. 

Anyway, this special delivery reminded me of that little picture of a sad and sick Briggy being soothed by the fake-reading of a four-year-old Kevvie.  I was really sick this week, and I had a few plans with my bud that ended up having to be postponed because of it.  If there is anything worse than the physical pain that comes with gastroparesis, there is the mental anguish of always feeling like you’re ruining something by getting sick.  Every plan I have to cancel or rearrange haunts me.  I hate it.

Today, I hate the whole damn thing.

But tomorrow, who knows…maybe I will make a space on my bookshelf.  Maybe I will choose a new King novel to devour, hoping that it will get me back to the other two languishing on my nightstand.  Maybe I will read something, and the words will seep into my eyeballs and though my pores and wind their way though my body, and I will be healed by a story or tale or poem…little healings, that keep me going.

Always gotta keep going.

Monday, Wednesday, Whatever.

I impose a Monday deadline on myself because when I was younger, I never did my homework on time.  I spent a great many afternoons in 6th grade sitting in detention and finishing my science labs.  It only got worse as I got older.  It wasn’t until my fateful year at college that I learned to work with deadlines, and I try to impose them on myself to keep my life in order.  I am a procrastinator from way back, and it’s difficult to change one’s stripes, so I am always trying.  Thus, I imposed a deadline for my blog.  Every Monday, I will post something, whether profound or not, just something so I can hold myself accountable.  However, deadlines are made to be broken.

I have written this before.  I have also written the same excuse for this broken deadline, because it is always the same excuse…it is difficult to write with an IV in one’s arm, or as the case was Monday, one’s foot.

I don’t like to write about getting sick because I have a lot of emotions attached to it, mostly anger and rage.  Mostly failure.  Like, I know I did nothing to end up in the hospital on Monday morning.  I took my pills.  I followed my diet.  And yet my stomach rebelled, as it is wont to do, and landed me back at good old Mercy hospital.

First, there’s the waiting room, which has at best lasted thirty seconds and at worst lasted eight hours.  We were somewhere in the middle on this one.  Then there’s triage, where they try to find a vein, fail miserably, give up and put me in a room.  They send another nurse, the “vein whisperer,” if you will, and she pulls out all the stops.  Still, nothing, and they go to the foot.  Finally, they’re taking blood.  Finally, I can get some meds.  Compazine and Zofran and Ativan and Morphine…and then there is sleep.

I wake up and they tell me I can’t leave, my blood sugar is too high, because of course diabetes wants to come out and play, too.  They will keep me overnight for observation, which sounds simple but means I probably won’t be out until at least supper time.  I wake up in the night in pain, more morphine; I wake up nauseated, more Zofran.  Someone brings a breakfast I don’t touch.  Someone takes my blood.  Someone else brings fresh water, and that tastes remarkable.  My blood sugar is normal again, and if I eat, they’ll take out my IV.  I do as I’m told between sleeps.

Eventually a doctor comes around the same time as my lunch tray and tells me I can go home if I eat soup a little soupier than that they just gave me.  I wait longer for food.  I eat, I don’t throw up, so I call my nurse and tell her I want to go home.  I wait.  Three hours later, she takes the IV out of my foot, tests my blood sugar, and sends me on my way.

This is a short visit.  This isn’t the nine days I spent in June, and it doesn’t feel like October when I went back three times in a week.  This is just one day that throws me off by a century.  I wake up this morning with pain in my stomach and a faulty gag reflex and run to the bathroom, terrified that we will be going back for round two.  I take my meds and pray they stay down.  I eat a cracker.  I wait.  Eventually the pain subsides and I don’t feel the urge to puke, so I eat another cracker.  I wait.

There’s a lot of waiting.

Now, I sit at my desk which is downright buried under stuff, because of course the house looks like four child-sized tornados went through it.  Cleanup is also the thing I do on Mondays, right after posting my blog, and it is the thing I will be doing this Wednesday, despite my body being tired from retching and my brain foggy from medications.  I have to do it though, because I need that normalcy in my life.  I need that to hold onto when I lose a day, or three, to a broken gut.