Convalescence and YOU (or me)

If you follow me on Twitter (YOU DO, RIGHT?), you may have notice that I have been jawboning on for about a month now about doctors and hospitals and that kind of junk. I haven’t posted an explanation because I didn’t think that would be of interest to anyone, but as this has gone on, it might be helpful. AND I HAVE HAD SOME THOUGHTS.

This post is about that. If those things don’t interest you, definitely do not read this because it will be SUPER BORING. This is just an explanation of what the hell I have been talking about.

The basic thing that happened was this: I had an operation on November 18th, which went just fine. I got a fever a few days later, but I had no other symptoms, so no one was worried. A few weirder things happened over the course of a week. At the end of the week, I felt pretty bad and fainted. I went to the ER and they couldn’t really figure out what the problem was, so I went home. I kept having these funny little spells, then I had a spell that wasn’t really ha-ha funny and was more like my heart going really fast. I went to a walk-in clinic, except I had trouble walking in, and my heart rate was so high when I got there that they called an ambulance. This is how I ended up in the hospital for a few days. They found I had an infection, but they weren’t sure where. So they played Spot The Infection for a while and gave me IV antibiotics. Then they tagged the little critter and it turns out I needed DIFFERENT antibiotics, which they gave me and sent me home. Where I got sicker and ended up back in the ER, where they determined those antibiotics were’t strong enough. They gave me stronger ones. I was sent to a SPECIALIST in infectious diseases, who gave me EVEN STRONGER ONES.

Somewhere in there, the infection died. But all the strong antibiotics and the whole experience had knocked me flat—the medicines also had some side effects that basically meant my body and brain were like a CRAZY RADIO that kept changing station all the time. Also, at points, I generally feel like I have been hit by a bus. A small bus, granted. A small bus that gives you anxiety attacks and doesn’t let you sleep. It’s a weird bus.

Now I am in the phase of recovering from all of that, and there is some testing to make sure my body didn’t completely freak out from all of that and reactivate the mono I had in college, or that the antibiotics didn’t do anything too weird to me.


Basically, I lost a month. I haven’t really been out. I haven’t been able to work much. Just…bloop! The time was gone. Some of that time I felt pretty dreadful. Some of that time I thought, “I feel pretty normal!” Some of that time I spent pulling myself around the apartment and trying to be in some way useful. Most of the time I have spent asking, “When does this end…exactly?”

Here’s the thing—I’m going to be fine. I’ve been ill and my body is confused, but I’m going to be fine. I got sick, but this is nothing compared to what so many people go through. This is a pain in the ass, and kind of confusing, but that’s about it. How long that is going to take isn’t clear. But what is clear is that I need to CONVALESCE, which isn’t something I necessarily accepted as a concept for a while. I thought, “Oh. I had something done—I’ll be up in a day or two. Oh, I got sick? I’ll take the pill and be up in a day or two. Oh, I took the pill and WHY ARE THE WALLS LOOKING AT ME????”

The walls are no longer looking at me—they merely give me side-eye. I can eat more and walk around without my heart racing all the time, just not very far or very long. I go to bed really early and have generally been told and now accept (because today I was feeling pretty raw) that I have to GET IN BED and KIND OF STAY THERE FOR A WHILE and let things happen gradually. I have to go full Jane Austen and really TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SITUATION. I mean, I’m a writer. I’m not a SEA CAPTAIN or a SPY* or a SURGEON. I can work from bed. I need to get some kind of desk thing and a BED JACKET and TAKE THIS THING AND RIDE IT LIKE A PONY. But in a restful way. 

So I am definitely taking suggestions on how I can pimp out the bed-office (thought some would say that attempting to build a bed-office is exactly the problem but they are wrong). I would also like to hear your stories of Things You Did When You Were Sick and Had to Spend A Bunch Of Time Waiting For Your Body To Get Its **** Together. But maybe things that aren’t TV because I have done that one.

Oh, and yeah, I did have this operation two years ago and a bunch of weird crap happened then too but that was different largely because it involved being hit by a hurricane and having to live at Libba Bray’s house while the city was shut downed being given vicodin for a bad tooth which it turns out I can’t have. I think the only thing we can take from this is that I should definitely stop having this operation done and maybe never take any medication because I swear I was fine before.

Anyway, let’s do this. And if you want to come over and hang out that’s cool. Writing party in my bed office. Pajamas mandatory.

Imma eat some sherbet now.

* or am I?