Many of you—well, some of you at least—have been wondering where I’ve been for the past month. Was I dead? Did the stalkers get me? Did I at last come to my senses and make a devout vow to keep my dick in my pants and my hands off other men’s junk and never again to kneel on a floor except in godly prayer?
Nah. I was just sick.
It started off as one of those things in which I felt fragile and slightly delicate. Like some heroine in a regency romance, I wanted to fan myself, clutch the arm of a fainting couch, and declare that I’d been overcome with the vapors. Then the next thing I knew, I was flat on my back for roughly four weeks, staring at the ceiling and groggily wishing that someone could just put me into an induced coma and wake me up when it was all over. I had the chills, I had fevers, I had nightmares. Fun stuff.
Early in the month I managed to drag myself to the doctor. He looked me over, said I was dehydrated, and then sent me to the phlebotomist for blood work. The phlebotomist was a big German woman with her hair in a bun. “Sit!” she ordered, pointing me to her chair. I sat. “Roll up ze sleeves!” I rolled ‘em. Because she really did talk like that, and I was frightened to disobey. She reminded me of Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein.
I watched as she poked and prodded the insides of my arms. “Vhy do you have no weins?” she wanted to know. “Make ze fist! Clench ze fist! Relax ze fist!” Her expert fingers felt like they were leaving bruises as she searched for the missing weins—I mean, veins. “You are dehydrated!” she announced at last, as if I’d done it on purpose just to spite her.
“Yes, the doctor said that,” I agreed.
“This is no good! No good!” she yelled at last. In the distance, horses whinnied and lightning flashed. She untied the length of elastic from around my right arm and tourniquetted it onto my left, then scowled as if she intended to scare the veins into appearing. They didn’t. Finally she prodded around some more. “Most men, they have big strong manly weins!” she told me. “You, though! You have leetle beety baby weins! For you I use leetle beety baby needle for your leetle beety baby weins!”
I felt obscurely defensive on behalf of my little bitty baby veins. “I’m big where it counts,” I protested.
Frau Blücher stared at me. Then she let out a hearty laugh that rocked the fillings right out of my teeth. “Beeg where it counts! Hah-hah-hah!”
So at least I made a new friend there.
The doctor didn’t do much for me other than refer me to a specialist, whom I couldn’t get in to see for a good two weeks. The specialist, however, gave me some much-coveted drugs that have been, knock wood, getting me back on track. That is, at least I’m spending most of my days upright rather than imprinting the fabric texture of my sofa onto my face while I drool and blankly watch The Chew.
When I’m sick, though, I really don’t feel like writing. There were times in my youth when I imagined to myself that should I ever be struck down by some fatal, lingering illness, that I’d use my remaining time to pen some touching, insightful, and beautifully-written memoir about my malady. Nope! I now know that if that time ever comes (knock wood again) I apparently will be the first to say, “Fuck that mess.” Then I’ll lie in my hospital bed scarfing down junk food. (Sadly, my appetite was the only thing unaffected last month.)
But when it’s difficult for me to string together anything more coherent than “More aspirin, please”, it’s tough to write blog entries. There were a couple of times I hauled out my laptop and contemplated posting something brief just to allay the fears of my readers, but then I’d think about the effort I’d have to put into pushing all those little keys and it would seem like way too much work for what I could manage.
Thanks to those of you who emailed or left comments while I was out of commission. As I said, I’m feeling somewhat better, and anticipate getting back to my normal energy levels soon. Bear with me while I get back to speed, would you?