Resting On My Bottom

Kage Baker always said, “Shit happens”.

This was not a casual conversational meme; she earnestly believed that, without constant maintenance (and often despite it), truly horrid things happen to us. All of us. All the time. One must simply cope.

October has always been my favourite month. It starts the holiday season, it marks the New Year in the Celtic Calendar, things finally get cool and all the trees are pretty.  And it’s Halloween! It’s also the month in which I was conceived, so it’s a base state for me. But this year, October has been intermittently nasty as hell.

On October 14th (as some of you Dear Readers know) I had a heart attack. It wasn’t the first, nor the worst; but it was a bad one, and it fair knocked me for a  loop. I am still pretty much confined to the house, on a serious “Do Nothing” order;  I take enough pills to make me rattle when I walk, have had to revise and re-learn an entirely new daily drug regimen, and I am weak. Appallingly, disgustingly weak; the cats can wrestle me into submission, and I need help dragging the covers over myself in bed.

I can’t catch my breath. I pant when I pull up my underwear, or lie on my left side, or walk more than 10 feet. And that’s an improvement …

More or less simultaneously, my diabetes decided to become seriously eccentric. I had to go off Metformin, a drug that worked perfectly to reduce my blood sugar, because it also acidifies blood and is hell on kidneys. And since I only have one kidney, it seemed wise to try something new. My doctor put me on insulin.

Now, Dear Readers, I have no needle neuroses. Taking a daily shot or 3 is no problem for me. However, even before the heart attack, it was obvious that the insulin was having little or no success; despite my puzzled doctor increasing the dosage several timers, my blood sugar did not respond. Mind you, I had no symptoms of high blood sugar – no dizziness, no faintness, no excessive thirst; I just merrily went on  my way with blood sugar readings of 300, 350, 400 …

My theory is that I have DNA from blind Mexican cave fish. Check this out:

Nuts, huh? I think it might be a workable theory. However, if I’m wrong, I’m beating my liver, eyes, heart and remaining kidney to death; so I’m not counting on it. I’m not ready to sacrifice myself for science, just in the hopes of shifting the evolutionary paradigm. I am working hard to wrestle my blood sugar into submission, so my heart et al have a chance to recover.

Dickens Fair, alas, has been put on hold for me. Even if I could drive that far (which I cannot, at the moment), I would not find the hot, freezing, dusty, particle-ridden kaleidoscope of the Cow Palace a habitable place. I am, for now, an artificially maintained life form.

However, as I am pretty much confined to home, I have signed up for National Write A Novel in a Month once again. That has always been good luck for me; NaNoWriMo is how I finished the rough of Nell Gwynne II – which was actually published! – as well as two short stories -which were actually published! A third story as well as a second novel also arise from NaNoWriMo, and are in the hands of my agent. Perhaps some day she will contact me again, and I’ll find out one has been accepted somewhere.

I continue to hope. I walk slowly, and breathe carefully; I  take my daily dozens of pills and shoot up with insulin and eat vegetables instead of bread and measure everything I can eat in ounces and cups. I have become knowledgeable regarding carbohydrates None of that is really a lot of fun, but hoping does imbue this life with an essence and a perfume that makes it all bearable.

I gotta tell you, though, Dear Readers, that I have developed a low opinion of the Agricultural Revolution. I can eat gluten, and I can drink milk, but at the moment these evolutionary advances are not making life conspicuously better …

Sigh. Innkeeper! Another bumper of water!  And pass the cucumbers and super-berries.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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10 Responses to Resting On My Bottom

  1. After my little silent cardiac event (keeping Hyper-hunter Lacey away from a skunk) it took a good while before I could catch my breath and walk much. It’s getting better, my dear. It will get better for a treasure such as you, too.


  2. colinchief says:

    I myself am missing a part of an event this weekend having succumbed to an inability to stay up right and walk for more than two hrs at a go. Two lovely Halloween events were it. I too get breathless bending down to wrestle into my shoes. this has been about a week and a half or so. Up till now I still walk faster than most of my minders, I just don’t keep it up for so far. The VA has not deigned as yet hazarded a guess, and is putting me off till January. Since I have been remarkably well for just over two years, it seems they have missed me and insist that go back to square one with them. So, should this not stop or become more dramatic before then, they said to drop by and go to emergency. But alas another Dickens without you. No fun for Mrs. S and I for that. General debility among the newly elderly seems to insist in have the most kindly, easy, manageable, and actually assisting treatments, collide with the other drugs, treatments, dietary restrictions etc that are working so well for the other failing symptoms. Hang tuff and happy writing. Love S


  3. Medrith says:

    Prayers and best wishes, dear Kathleen.


  4. Kara says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your cardiac crisis – but am so happy you are still with us. Hooray for modern medicine, and I hope the pills are at least tiny and not those giant horse pills.


  5. johnbrownson says:

    Well, shoot. I emailed you about some other stuff, before I read this, and I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be taking your place at the head of the table, this year.
    On the other hand, the fact that you are in this world continues to be a blessing, and I like to count those. Heal up, and dance, love, with whatever you can move, for however long you can move it. I trust we’ll meet again, one place or another.


  6. Lynn Downward says:

    What John said.

    I hang out in the wrong circles and had no idea of your most recent issues. I had looked forward to seeing you this season in London but would much prefer that you stay home and improve. You will be missed.


    • Kate says:

      I haven’t advertised my eroding health, as it’s a crappy topic. But now and then, it gets to me and then I have to bitch and scream. Well, I guess I don’t have to, but it makes me feel better.


      • johnbrownson says:

        There is also the fact that many of us care, deeply, about your state of health- as well as any other subject about which you care to bitch and scream. Try not to go dark on us, love. Leaves a rather big hole in things. -B.


  7. Lynn Downward says:

    Again what John said. And then we worry. You don’t want us all to worry. We’ll drive down there and pound on your door, like large, angry raccoons.


    • Kate says:

      I promise to behave. I just hate complaining about my health – I am not one of those ladies who “enjoys” bad health.
      Anyway, to be like my local raccoons, you need to pound on the roof. I have no idea why they go up there at night – raccoons cannot see in the dark, and so they fall off the roof a lot. Other than that, they like to sit in the tree by the squirrel feeder, and stretch pleading little evil paws toward the windows, or nephew Michael. I think they believe him to be their king.


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