A TOOTH, A STORM, AND A CYST NAMED RENECYSTEME

Many of you might follow me on Twitter and catch little hints (or repeated, very clear statements) that I’ve been unwell, I decided to write down the entire story of What Went Down in the last few weeks. Because I am a really quite WELL person, and this is not typical. It was just a series of dominos that kept falling, with hilarious consequences!

Note: this is NOT a plea for sympathy. This is merely to explain what must be a bewildering series of events to follow. Here is my story … 

A long, long time ago (basically, early 2012)

MJ: Hmmm. I seem to get tired all the time. And my tooth kind of hurts. I should really go to the doctor and the dentist.

MJ: *goes to family dentist*

DENTIST: There is nothing wrong with your tooth. Your jaw hurts because of allergies.

MJ: Allergies? That seems weird.

JUNE

MJ: *has massive allergy attack that turns into sinus infection during Queen of Teen ceremony*

MJ: Huh. I guess the allergies were hurting my teeth. I’ll ignore that, then! But I should go to the GYN. I am overdue. *makes appointment for August*

AUGUST, LEAKYCON, CHICAGO

MJ: I am the happiest person ever! But also very tired. *falls asleep on table*


AUGUST 15

MJ: *goes to doctor*

DOCTOR: How are you?

MJ: Oh, fine. Well…sometimes I get really tired. And [lists various things]….

DOCTOR: WTF?

MJ: ????

DOCTOR: You know that’s not normal, right?

MJ: Um…

DOCTOR: *scans*

DOCTOR: You are probably bleeding into this large mass I just found in your belly. I need to operate! *dramatic music*

MJ: The music really adds to the effect.

DOCTOR: I’m now going on vacation for three weeks. I’ll call you after that and tell you what you have and how we’ll deal with it.


SEPTEMBER

MJ: *goes to England*

MJ: *waits for results*

MJ: *names the mass Renecysteme”


END OF SEPTEMBER

DOCTOR: It’s what I thought it was. We operate! *dramatic music*

MJ: Hmm. That allergy tooth still hurts. I should get that looked at before the surgery. It seems wise.

OCTOBER 8

MJ: *goes to new dentist*

MJ: I have this pain in my …

DENTIST: ROOT CANAL! NOW! *grabs drill* SEE YOU AGAIN IN A WEEK. TAKE THESE ANTIBIOTICS.

MJ: That wasn’t so bad! I feel very efficient getting these things taken care of! *skips off*

OCTOBER 12, NYC COMIC CON

MJ: Ah! Gots to go to Comic Con! *grabs antibiotic* *takes with no food*

MJ: *at Comic Con* I don’t feel so good …

MJ: *gets to panel*

MJ: *runs away from panel, runs out of building, is sick*

MJ: *sits in Penguin booth, cared for by Colleen Lindsey* I have learned my lesson! I will eat before taking those! 

OCTOBER 15

MJ: *gets second part of root canal*

MJ: Well, at least THAT’s done!

THE NEXT WEEK …

MJ: WHAT IS THIS CRAZY-ASS PAIN IN MY JAW?

GENERAL CONSENSUS: Maybe some TMJ after the procedure.

DENTIST: Have more antibiotics.

OCTOBER 26

MJ: *flies to Austin for the Texas Book Festival*

MJ: I feel like my face is punching me in the face. What the hell is going on in my jaw? *reads news* Also, it looks like we are about to have some rain …

OCTOBER 28

MJ: *gets last plane out of Austin to NYC, flies directly into Superstorm Sandy*

OCTOBER 29, SUPERSTORM SANDY

MJ: Well, this storm isn’t so … *everything goes out*

OCTOBER 30

MJ: *calls Libba Bray* It is cold and dark where I am. Can I live with you?

LIBBA: I am the best person in the entire world and will care for you and yours as long as you need, because I am a saint.

MJ: *goes to Libba’s*

NOVEMBER 1

MJ: *still at Libba’s*

MJ: MY FACE. IT HURTS.

LIBBA: I think you need to go to the dentist.

MJ: *goes to new dentist in Brooklyn*

NEW DENTIST: Holy crap.

MJ: ???

NEW DENTIST: You need a root canal on that back molar. We will do it on Saturday.

NOVEMBER 2

MJ: I have been given Vicodin for the pain. This will help! *takes*

MJ: *is in a little less pain* This is nice!

MJ: *six hours later, takes second dose, as instructed*

MJ: *falls instantly asleep*

MJ: *wakes up all funny* I feel … *faints into Libba Bray’s arms*

MJ: *spends next four hours on floor with legs above head, being fed cheese by Libba*

LIBBA: Honey, I’ve seen it all. Auntie Libba’s got this. Vicodin does not like you.

MJ: It works for House.

LIBBA: House is a fictional drug addict.

MJ: You are the greatest person who has ever lived. I am sorry I am still in your house.

ALSO ON THAT DAY….

OSCAR: [Oscar is my English companion and has been here for much of this, since the first root canal] I see there is an interesting job opening in NYC. I will inquire about it.


NOVEMBER 3

MJ: *wakes up after The Night of Vicodin*

MJ: *goes off to get root canal*  This won’t be bad! The last one was nothing. And at least THAT’S over …

EVEN NEWER DENTIST: THIS IS GOING TO BE VERY VIOLENT AND TERRIBLE AND THERE IS BLOOD COMING OUT OF YOUR BACK TOOTH AND IT IS ALL SO DECAYED I HAVE TO PUT THIS NEEDLE *holds up needle* DIRECTLY INTO THE MARROW OF YOUR JAW AND IT WILL HURT A LOT. DO YOU UNDERSTAND.

MJ: WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS???

EVEN NEWER, MORE SADISTIC DENTIST: IF YOU MOVE EVERYTHING WILL SHATTER SO DON’T MOVE NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT HURTS WE WILL HOLD YOU DOWN IF NECESSARY.

One and a half hours later …

OSCAR: Are you … okay?

MJ: *wibbles*

OSCAR: I may have gotten that job? Which means I will be coming to live with you?

MJ: *wibbles more happily*

MJ: *goes back to Libba’s, where she is still living*

MJ: I love you, Libba.

LIBBA: *pats MJ’s head* *spreads angelic wings*

NOVEMBER 4

MJ: Well, at least THAT’S done. My face is no longer beating up my face, and I have almost stopped shaking! But I have serious doubts that I will be able to have my surgery in TWO DAYS considering all the hospitals are closed for testing and I can’t get to my house.

MJ: *reschedules surgery*

NOVEMBER 6, ELECTION DAY

MJ: *does not get surgery* *returns to cold, dark apartment for more clothes because IS STILL LIVING WITH LIBBA*

NOVEMBER 8

MJ: I am going back home, no matter what. Even if it is cold and dark. Even if I DIE.

LIBBA: Don’t be a fool!

MJ: *cackles madly*

MJ: *buys every space heater in Brooklyn, loads everything into cab, returns to lit but very, very, very, very cold apartment*

MJ: *sets up space heaters, which do nothing*

MJ: *boils water for fun*

OSCAR: I got that job. I now move to America!

MJ: Yippeee!

HEAT: *comes back on*

MJ AND OSCAR: Yipppeeeee!

OSCAR: Now we just need to figure out moving me over, getting visas, getting a new place to live, and everything!

MJ: ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH HEAT!

REST OF NOVEMBER:

MJ: *is exceedingly productive*

END OF NOVEMBER:

MJ: *gets pre-operative tests* *does everything that involves lifting and carrying, as these will not be allowed after surgery*

MJ: *sets up post-operative writing chair* This is where I will work away the entire month of December and be incredibly productive like a bedridden character in a Jane Austen novel!

NURSE MOM: You do realize you are having surgery, right?

MJ: Of course! But it is nothing. I have prepared the chair! See how perfect a workspace it is!

DECEMBER 6

MJ: *goes in for surgery with bracelet that indicates NO VICODIN*

DECEMBER 7

MJ: *wakes up* I feel like someone has been rearranging my insides. And I am wearing mesh underwear. I will get up now. *trundles to kitchen* 

NURSE MOM: Good. Now, you have to go slow. This will take time to heal. You just had major surgery.

MJ: *trundles across living room* I AM A JEDI!

MID-DECEMBER

MJ: *is in sick chair, not really writing, not really doing much of anything*

MJ: WTF?

NURSE MOM: I told you.

CHRISTMAS

MJ: *trundles around much more zippy, is not as sick*

MJ: Look at me! I am a normal!

NURSE MOM: See? it just takes time. Now don’t overdo it in and in a few weeks you’ll be back on your feet.

MJ: I got this.

DECEMBER 30

MJ: *sits at home, like a normal* *does not lift*

MJ: You know, I’ve been inside a long time. I should really get out. I will go to Holly Black’s annual New Year’s Eve party. I will be very careful and not lift anything.

DECEMBER 31

MJ: *meets Libba Bray and Barry Goldblatt at Penn Station*

MJ: Hooray!

LIBBA AND BARRY: We will carry everything for you because we are saints.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

MJ: *sits on sofa at Holly Black’s House drinking ginger ale, is happy*

SICK PEOPLE ALL AROUND: WHERE IS OUR FRIEND DEATH? DEATH, TAKE US.

MJ: Man, I am sorry you are sick.

FOUR DAYS LATER…

MJ: *wakes up*

SICKNESS GOBLIN: Yoooohoooooo!

MJ: You have to be [BLEEPING] kidding me. I went out once. ONCE.

SICKNESS GOBLIN: YOU MUST PAY THE IRON PRICE.

JANUARY 5-8

MJ: *dances with fever pandas along with everyone else who got sick on NYE, which turns out to be basically everyone*

 … . which brings me to today. January 9. As I write this, I scarf soup. I *THINK* the fever has broken, but as you might imagine, I don’t want to jinx it so HA HA HA HA HA.

Anyways, in case you have been following on Twitter, etc. and were confused, I think now things might make more sense. And what have I learned from this?

1. [BLEEP] happens.

2. Sometimes in multiples. So if you see that you’re on a run like this one, just enjoy it! See where you go! It’s like white water rafting, without the river or the raft or any of that nonsense!

3. Libba Bray is the best person in the world.

4. Modern medicine is pretty clever.

5. Other people have it way worse, so you know, no complaints.

6. I’m really behind on email. Sorry if you’re waiting for one from me.

7. Annoyingly, my mom is right almost all the time. At least about medical stuff. It must have been all that schooling, I guess.

8. All’s well that ends well! Did you see that part about Oscar moving to America! That’s the takeaway here!

9. Please buy my book. I might as well play on your sympathy if you’ve read this far. I’m no dummy.