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.