Friday, December 19, 2014

Of My Gut and Other Life-Sucking Demons…

…and of a few other things. But since some time ago, I promised to tell you about the state of my tummy (and I forgot to do so *cough, cough, cough*), I figured it would be mildly polite to start with the belly. The doctors still can’t figure out what’s wrong. Not for lack of trying. I’ve lost count of the number of studies they’ve conducted: for my eyes, my stomach, my spine, my back and things I’m almost sure you rather not know about.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I freaked out about certain findings and told you that I wouldn’t share until I received clear results? Well, the pathologist found bacteria in my tummy that widened my physicians’ eyes and brought a lot of tension to my life. The kind of bacteria in question is most often found (over 90% of cases) in individuals who are moving towards the last stages of AIDS. The idea of adding an immunodeficiency disease to a body that already had so many painful things going on was worrying to say the least.

The results of the HIV test came back negative, and I am being treated for the bacteria. But the pain in my stomach hasn’t gone away… worse yet, it’s moving… which is a tad weird. I’ve been tested for everything from well-known immunodeficiency illnesses to rare strains of leprosy (go ahead, laugh; I won’t hold it against you. I certainly burst into laughter when I heard “leprosy” and me being discussed in the same sentence... in 2014. Lazarus jokes are quite appropriate, too).

In the meantime, my chronic pain continues to throw fits of jealousy. I think it hates the attention my stomach is getting. I’ve been seeing neurology and orthopedic medicine for the pain. I also have a new physical therapist, who is helping me develop new ways to exercise my sexy body without adding more pain to my already too long existing collection.

My days seem not to have enough hours in them. Hence my interactions have been of the spritz and run nature these last couple of weeks. Things might look rather gloomy, but trust me; they could be worse. I have so much to be thankful for: a husband who is always there when I need him (and more important, who is kind, loving and intelligent enough to give me space when I need him to), a group of friends who check up on me often (but don’t act like I’ve betrayed them when I need some quiet time), I have doctors who talk to me.

That last one is essential for my sanity. I’ve lost so many things due to the changes in my health: running, sitting comfortably, driving, wearing contact lenses, eating when I want, exercising when my body and brain need me to, writing longhand, reading printed books for long periods of time, cleaning my house the way I want, watching TV with my family… after losing so much, I don’t know if I could survive not having control over what happens to me medically, even if just in the tiniest of ways.

Last week, I spent hours discussing rare bacteria with a microbiologist—I was worried about being contagious, thank goodness I’m not. The doctor explained everything from history of the bacteria, to transmission, to what is known of mutations, to possible treatments (which, by the way, are risky… and really scary). 

Having this information might not offer any obvious physical healing, but knowing what’s going on (or might be going on) inside my body gives me back some of what I’ve lost. I might still bare my teeth at the fact that I can no longer drink my coffee as soon as I wake up… But understanding what Helicobacter pylori and Mycobacterium avium complex might do to my gut if I don’t follow certain behaviors and take my medications as prescribed, makes compliance quite easy to stomach.

All right, this post is getting ridiculously long, so I’ll stop here. I just wanted to keep you posted. It is important to me that you understand some of my seemingly sporadic behaviors. I know you worry about my sexy bits and that, too, helps me deal with a lot of what I’ve lost. So gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón, my Wicked Luvs. You rocketh very mucho. Now I’m off to write a bit of Lum and Darlene… Following those two around is all kinds of soothing. ♥

“Adore”, anatomical heart and lung collage, by Bedelgeuse

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Lum and Darlene Twosome

The characters of my recently published Blooming Howls had a concern, which they deemed serious enough to bring to The Writer: they feared a new book publication, so soon after theirs, would steal too much of their thunder. They appointed Kassia Van Dyke as their emissary.

If you’ve read Thorn in Red, you might have already figured out why my word children chose Kassia. The woman is imposing… bordering on mildly gut-ripping terrifying. So, of course, I said yes to all demands way before she started to loom over me. My gut isn’t anything to brag about. I mean, it has pain-filled holes in it. But it’s the only one I have, and I don’t want it ripped.

What does this mean for Lum and Darlene’s adventures, which I intended to publish on the Winter Solstice? A lot… But worry not, my Wicked Luvs, for the news is actually good: I will wait some time to publish their novella, but you’ll get the Lum and Darlene twosome to nibble on.

This two-part journey towards justice, friendship, love, lust (and very likely bloody mayhem) will take place on December 22nd and 29th (I thought about sharing the tale on the Winter Solstice, but I just can’t compete with a sun god. I might be able to temporarily confuse a small and already distracted God of Keys that Get Lost in Coat Pockets, but a sun god would be considerably hotter). The plot is completed, and the words are dancing their delicious chaos in my head. Some of them have been scowling and screeching, too.

NoteDarlene is thinking about wearing an outfit, similar to the one below, to a winter holiday party. I must thank Shannon for the link to the corsets; they are absolutely perfect! My gratitude also goes to everyone who helped me figure out Darlene’s jeans size (she wears a 14). It was such a wonderful discussion, and the lady is rather pleased.

La Strisca Steel Boned Underbust Corset

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Would You Prefer Your Lum and Darlene? Murderous Is Not a Choice…

…that’s a given.

I’m spending lots of quality time with my physical therapists, today… But before I go, I want to leave you with a question: Which would you prefer, (1) five Days of Lum and Darlene, written in verse short story (structurally similar to “A Charming Unkindness of One” and “Belle du Freak”), or (2) a two-part short story in prose?

Let me know, my Wicked Luvs. I’ll explain when I get back. Read you soon!

I can’t help associating Lum with fantastic shoes…

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Black Rags

“What am I looking at, detective?”

“It’s a picture of the mother and father, sir.”

“So they liked each other’s spits. I see it. How does a shot of them necking helps us understand what happened to the victim?”

“The father is the one with the… interesting hair, sir.” The detective leaned closer towards his boss’s desk and tapped the photo with a calloused trigger finger. “This one is the mother.”

“Baby Jesus on a T. rex, look at the scowl on her face. Was this after the victim was born? And, detective, who took the shot?”

“No to the first, sir.” The detective filled his lungs with determination. “And my gut tells me that answering the second will drag the killer out of the shadows.”

“Get dragging then.”

The detective grabbed the picture and walked out of his boss’s office. His heart was trying to low-crawl up his throat. What if the captain had asked if there had been anything else? He didn’t mind getting creative with the truth, but straight up lying to his boss was a ballgame he didn’t play.

It can’t be helped, he thought. There was digging to be done before telling his boss that the baby’s eyes had been replaced with two rolled up black rags. “Pre-mortem, detective,” he heard the medical examiner’s words echo inside his skull.   

Note: “Black Rags” takes place after “Neglect” (128 words). The reading order shouldn’t affect your understanding of the storyline. But I suspect that reading both will add to the experience. 

for Magpie Tales 250
photograph by Robert Doisneau