Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Baaaack...

Yeah, so I totally fell off the planet there for a while, and I have good excuses, I promise! (Okay, they're kind of shitty excuses but it's my blog so suck it up.)

Acute Appendicitis. Although, when I heard that, I looked at my doctor and was all, "My appendix is not CUTE it's TRYING to KILL ME." He didn't think I was funny. I mean, I almost *died* and nobody in the hospital thought my jokes were entertaining. I swear, I'm like one of the Weasley twins when there's a life-and-death situation and I'm all trying to relieve the tension and nobody cares... But yes. It was about 3 weeks ago, and I'm just now completely back on my feet. It started on a Saturday morning, I took my sorry self to urgent care at noon, spent 4 hours throwing up and going through every test and exam they could think of (No, it's not a pelvic or cervical infection, no it's not a urinary tract infection, no it's not an intestinal infection, NO I AM NOT PREGNANT!) - much to my irritation - until my dad showed up and was like, "'Kay, I'm taking her to the hospital now." Most agonizing 10 minute drive of my life. I felt every bump, every dip, every uneven surface in the road and each one sent new stabs of pain through my entire abdominal area. From my ribs to my pelvis. Agony.
We got to the ER (thankfully my doctor called them and they were expecting us) but I still had to sit in the waiting room (still vomiting!) for almost an hour before they got me into a bed. And then they wanted to get another blood and urine sample. Unfortunately for the ER staff, I'd been vomiting almost constantly for over 4 hours at that point and was so dehydrated that my veins had shrunk down onto my muscular tissue and wouldn't budge. I'm not sure how I managed to take another pregnancy test in the ER but apparently people are compulsive liars even when their parents aren't present and wouldn't believe me when I swore up and down that me being pregnant was a biological impossibility (I went to Catholic school - I'm pretty sure I get how babies happen and that's not something that's happened recently enough for me to be pregnant). Eventually, my mom showed up, gave me a rosary (I seriously thought I was dying) and bitched out the doctor who was ignoring me as I started hallucinating because they hadn't given me a painkiller yet, and then they gave me morphine and 2 liters of fluid via IV and then they were able to take 6 more vials of blood.
A few hours later (still in the ER and the morphine had worn off!) I got wheeled away for a CT scan which of course came back normal, but apparently my white blood cell count was skyrocketing which I guess tells medical people that it's clinical appendicitis, even if it's not visual. So at about 1am my parents left, I got wheeled to a hospital room, was dosed with an extremely heavy narcotic and told to get some sleep as I would be getting cut open in the morning.
Morning came around and I was transferred to a gurney (ow!) and wheeled to the OR where my parents were waiting with my anesthesiologist (that's a fun word to spell...) who looked kinda like a hippie-Jesus-doctor. He stuck me real quick with something, then put the magic sleepy stuff in my IV and told me to count backwards. I made it to 5 and was out. When I came to I had an itchy oxygen mask over my face which I promptly ripped off and was woozy, confused, and in pain. I finally got Mr. Anesthesia-Jesus to give me the nose-oxygen instead (not itchy). Unfortunately, the idiots who wheeled me back to my hospital room were NOT paying attention to the fact that there were bumps marking every doorway and hallway and my cries of pain went unheard until they none-too-gently pushed me off the gurney and back onto my bed. They were cursed a blue streak that had my day nurse running in to see what the hell they were doing to me. Thankfully, he understood (yes, *he*. I had cute guy-nurses, my one compensation in this hell.), sent them out with a scolding and pumped me full of painkillers.
The next 3 days were full of sleeping, painkillers, jello, boredom, gorgeous flowers from the people I babysit for, visits from my parents, and more painkillers. I finally got them to spring me out on day 4 of my imprisonment, spent the rest of that day and night at my parents' house, and then (stupidly?) drove myself home to hide in bed. Then K--- came to visit me and took me for a walk. It was days before I could go up and down my stairs without having to stop halfway up and make sure I hadn't started bleeding, and showering was bliss. (On my last day in the hospital I took a shower out of a bucket in my hospital bed. Shaving from a bucket is not pleasant, I do not recommend it.) It's been a while but earlier this week I finally went back to work and have been pretty much back to normal.

I've felt like shit. For other reasons I shan't go into here. Basically it's been migraines and cramps around my stitches and general weakness and irritability. Not conducive to blogging.

My laptop is on the fritz. I seriously think Penelope might be dying. Like, she has viruses and I'm not sure the anti-virus software I have is up to the task. So I've been using my laptop from work to check e-mail and stuff, but it's not the same. I mean, I spent a year collecting quotes and images from the internet, lists of blog topics and documents (not to mention my NOVEL) that are all saved on that laptop. On top of that, I don't have the cash flow to take her to a professional so I'm kinda freaking out about that. Yeah...

So those are my reasons, take it or leave it. But thankfully I've only got one appendix, and mine is in a jar somewhere, probably being experimented on. At least it's out of me, though I still have funny little phantom twinges and my internal organs are still a little shifty sometimes. The Great Appendix Episode of 2012 is passed, and I'm mostly back in action.

Did ya miss me?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Word After Word After Word

"I have so many word-thoughts rattling around in my head, but my hands aren't fast enough to copy them down. I feel them streaming out my ears, running down my arms and pooling on the floor, cascading into a puddle of incoherency... It seems the well has sprung at last."
That was running through my head just a few moments ago, and thus became my Facebook status. There's so much I could (and would like to) say about words, books, writing, and other such things, but for tonight I have something specific to discuss.

See a few weeks ago, R--- called me up and invited me out to The Press with her. I'd never been, but basically it's like a cafe/coffeehouse by day and a bar&grill/open mic by night. It was actually really fun, and after a few drinks and the amusement of some exceptionally drunk people in the ladies' restroom (including Madame Sake Bomb and High-Waisted Skirt Girl) we wound up walking a very deserted Claremont Village. While we walked, we talked about our current (or lack thereof) creative projects, and drifted to my writing. And it got me thinking. And then it got me writing.

I spent 45 minutes compiling a list of over 80 books I want to read before the end of the year. One of the things R--- urged me to do was to get a library card. I live within walking distance of the La Verne library so why the hell didn't I think of that? It's the broke-girl's bookstore (I have ZERO money these days after paying bills and other such grown-up type things). But the list includes mostly modern classics by authors I should have read in college but didn't, and books I've always wanted to pick up but never bothered to.

How are the two preceding paragraphs connected? Well, a very intelligent screenwriter once lectured me thus: "If you're a writer, write. But in the same way that you can't run a marathon without having eaten plenty of nutritious calories, you can't write without having ingested words. Writers read - they read far more than the average person or the above-average reader. If you want to write for an hour, you have to read for at least half an hour. Bare minimum. And magazines don't count. You'll put out what you put in, so make it count." (Paraphrased, of course.) The man was a genius and had zillions of such epithets.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to write again. I have a number of projects going on that require tinkering, fiddling, and other such edits, and they deserve my attention. I deserve to write, well and in excess. I haven't touched my Venice Story in months, I have no further notes on my Tattoo Book and nothing short of a few  half-finished sections and a rough outline on my Babysitter's Guide. (Yes. I'm writing a babysitter's compendium. Shut up.)  And I'm going to write letters. So if you know I have your address, be prepared for a potential onslaught and don't you dare throw them away - my words will be national treasures someday, just you wait.

And to those I scared, worried, or otherwise caused concern to a few weeks/days ago: I apologize. I am not and have not been in a good place as of late, especially with my birthday and some mysterious psychological "deadline" approaching in the near future. But it'll get better. Right?