So my writing — and indeed, my life, in general — was derailed this weekend by a doctor’s office calling me Friday morning, as I was getting ready for work, and saying, “You need to get to the Emergency Room — now!”
“But I feel fine….”
Well, it was a teensy bit less dramatic than that, but still pretty frightening, because they wouldn’t tell me in detail exactly why I had to go to the ER, and even after Erich drove me to the ER, it took an hour or more to find out what was going on.
I’d been feeling pretty awful for the past three months. It started as a “flu” on the first weekend of January, and for a short time, I felt better. But then it came back, with exactly the same symptoms — aching all over and dead tired, getting progressively worse throughout the day, and frequent uncontrollable shivering. But no fever to speak of (it turned out, I’d had a fever of about one degree, probably most of that time, but it’s easy to think of that as not really a fever). And no other flu symptoms, such as coughing or stuffed up sinuses.
Once my doctor eliminited the flu, and other possible flu-like viruses, we started testing for lyme disease and chronic pain conditions, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibro-myalgia. We also tested for HIV and a host of other diseases everyone dreads. But fortunately, everything came up negative.
What did suddenly turn up on Friday was strep bacteria — in my blood. This is a pretty serious condition, if it isn’t caught. I gather that it could be fatal. Especially, if you have a malformed heart valve, like I do, which is at risk of being eaten away by bacterial infections.
How the bacteria got into my bloodstream is anybody’s guess. Perhaps through a cut in my mouth or overzealous flossing. At any rate, I spent four days in the hospital, being fed antibiotics through an IV, and being scanned, x-rayed and prodded in all possible ways, except fun ones.
During that time, I had little to do, between proddings, so Erich brought my laptop, so I could catch up on my writing. Unfortunately, it turns out that, when nurses are waking you every three hours to draw blood or take your temperature, you tend to be tired all day long and want nothing more than to nap. I managed to get a small amount of writing done on Shinosuke — my samurai novel — but only a few thousand words. The characters are at least beginning to build a relationship, even though it isn’t yet romantic, at all. But hopefully, now that I’m home again (and on a regular course of antibiotics for the next six weeks), it will start moving faster.
On a side note, Zack and Larry Make a Porno has now been renamed to We’re Both Straight, Right? and a cover has been picked out. Novellas in the 2011 First Time Daily Dose anthology don’t really have unique covers, but they gave me some standard covers to choose from, and one fit the tone of the story well. I also received my check for it in the mail today!