Happy 2014! I don’t care that it’s almost February. I’m not dead!
Sure, I neglected my blog for six or eight months — classic dead person behavior — but I’m not dead. So.
Sorry for disappearing. I had my reasons, some better than others. Hypochondria. Stalking Adam Ant. A brief but intense problem with online shopping that left me with box full of rusty and possibly radioactive mechanical parts from Latvia.
At least I didn’t go off the grid because I ran out of things to talk about. In June, I celebrated a year of sobriety. December marked a year and a half. Between those milestones, my penchant for sewing — a hobby I adopted as a form DIY therapy in early recovery — underwent a mixed media metastasis that now involves playing with power tools, lighting things on fire, and rocking a NIOSH-approved respirator.
In fact, if you mosey over to the sewciopathic shop, you’ll see about fifty — seriously, that’s not an exaggeration — brand-spanking-new creations … because despite being productive over the past months, I’ve been almost as bad about stocking the shop as I have about feeding the blog. I’m gonna throw some pictures of crafty things in here as well, because people like pictures. I’m told.
And I’ve done other stuff too — even stuff outside my daily routine of flaking out happy hours so I can clean the blood off my craft table* **.
Since my last post, I:
- drove through the desert and wound up in a brothel less than 24 hours after getting dispatched from a Vegas emergency room;
- followed Gloria Steinem up the steps at the Women in Media Awards before realizing, holy shit, that’s Gloria Steinem;
- wrote a fake name on a guest list so I could get into a cult-sponsored event, where I wolfed down most of a wheel of brie and scurried out the door;
- glitzed up local drag legend’s dress for her gig co-hosting DC’s infamously fabulous Miss Adams Morgan pageant; and
- finally found an excuse to wear my South Park dress to the office.
I PLAY WITH FIRE! I WENT TO A BROTHEL! I STOLE CHEESE FROM A CULT! THESE ARE THINGS PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT.
So. Why haven’t I been writing?
I don’t have them — not that I know of, at least. But you know who does? One in ten Americans. ONE IN TEN. It’s the fourth most under-diagnosed condition in the United States.
Now, I know what you’re saying, besides “someone needs to do something about this extra nipple epidemic.” How do the extra nipples I don’t have explain my disappearing for months on end?
They don’t. At all actually. It’s the fact that I know about these kind of things now: That’s what helps explain why I disappeared. I’m sure people have a use for this kind of trivia. Game show contestants. Dermatologists. Plastic surgeons. Extra nipple fetishists. People with extra nipples. I’m none of these. I’m a budget analyst by day a pseudo-artist by evening. When people like me not only start watching House but find themselves able to follow the medical jargon and occasionally catch errors in the script … something’s gone wrong.
And there we have it. Something has gone wrong, and for lack of a better explanation, that’s why I went AWOL.
People blog at least on some level out of an urge to share — and usually, sharing is good. But not always. (Sharing needles is bad. Sharing state secrets: also bad. ) See, the good share/bad share thing gets tricky when something you’d rather not share starts to take over major parts of your life. It’s hard not to talk about it. And when it’s something you’d rather not talk about, sometimes it’s easier not to talk at all. And so … I stopped talking. But I reckon that can’t be to healthy.
So I’m going to spit it all out and be done with it — if not forever, for long enough to pick back up and get to blogging about OTHER stuff for a while.
I’ve had a fever for about seven months now. It’s mild, usually 99.5 or so, but it’s persistent. After a couple weeks, it’ll go away for a few days, a week if I’m lucky … but it always comes back.
I doubt I’d have noticed the fever if other things hadn’t made me think to take my temperature: Nausea, stomach trouble. Pain — just the abdomen at first, but lately the chest sometimes too. Randomly achey joints. Deep, pulsating headaches that get worse when I lie down. Hives. Rashes. General fatigue, malaise. Sometimes, when I stand up, I’ll get disoriented and my vision blacks out around the edges.
Shitting blood. Night sweats.
You know, the usual.
Since June, I’ve seen three gastroenterologists and a rheumatologist. I’ve been admitted to the ER three times. I’ve had two CAT scans, two colonoscopies, an upper endoscopy, and enough blood tests to single-handedly cover a lab tech’s salary. At one point, I even ruptured a lung … we think. The medical term is “spontaneous pneumomediastinum”, which is diagnostic speak for “those aren’t your lungs!” Basically, I somehow managed to get air stuck in the middle of my chest and up in my neck. Good rule of thumb, for the record — if the question you googled is “Why does it feel like there are pop rocks in my neck”, the answer is always GO TO THE FUCKING HOSPITAL.
If you know me, you know something’s been seriously distracting me — I LET TWO COLONOSCOPIES PASS WITHOUT BLOGGING A SINGLE POOP JOKE. NOT ONE.
Apart from high white blood counts and some other transiently odd but medically insignificant labs, no one’s been able to fumble their way into any kind of explanation. One doctor found a vitamin D deficiency, but everyone North of the Mason-Dixon line has that. My heart rate’s always a little too high, and my blood pressure’s more bipolar than my moods have ever been. Other tests have shown signs here and there suggesting inflammation, but it could easily be stress.
It’s gotten to the point where I’m actually frustrated when I don’t have a fever — because the fever’s one of the only things you can point to to prove something’s wrong. When it goes away, I start to wonder if anything’s wrong in the first place. But hell, if that’s the case, my head can’t be in great shape … so I’m still sick, right?Sick with the crazy, or crazy sick. One of the two.
Either way, that’s the last you’ll here from me on the hospital front for a while. Something about declaring “DUDE, I HAVE BEEN FEELING LIKE HELL” feels really cathartic. End vent. Back to crafts and stuff, ya’ll. New creations forthcoming.
* My blood. Because I’m a klutz. DEFINITELY not because I’m harvesting organs.
** Would I really rather clean than go to a happy hour? Yeah. Thanks to a couple years standing in front of my ex’s guitar amp in cacophonic bars, I’m pretty much deaf at high decibels. Since I quit drinking, the remaining appeal in a happy hours comes from conversation — and for me, having a conversation in a noisy bar is like watching a foreign film without subtitles. Even if I can kind of tell what’s going on, I have no idea what anyone’s saying.