When Real Life Gets in the Way

It started with just a gurgle — way down low in the side of my belly.  No big deal really.  Just a gurgle.  I paid no attention to it.  One of my daughters was over and we were talking to my other daughter in Japan and having fun and laughing.

The next day there was pressure and that evening some pain.  But I had frinds over and we were playing games and having fun.  I figured by morning this would pass.

The next morning I was on the couch and thought this was a bit more serious than I wanted it to be.  It hurt!  But this being Sunday, the clinic was closed and I didn’t want to go to ER.  So I sat around and watched TV with my hubby, debated going for a walk, decided it hurt too much, and stayed home.

I should have figured if it hurt too much to go for a walk, I was pretty sick.  I ignored it for two more days before finally giving in and going to ER.  By this time this thing was playing with my head and had me thinking I had a giant cancer growing inside me, afraid that whatever infection was in my gut would burst and I’d have to have surgery.  At night, giant intestinal worms played through my dreams.

The ER doc and I go way back.  He diagnosed diverticulitis, an infection of the descending colon.  Sometimes the infection gets bad, breaks through the colon and you are stuck with surgery, a colostomy bag for six weeks, then more surgery where they repair the colon and you are back to normal.  That hadn’t happened to me, but I did have the infection.  So he ran some IV antibiotics, gave me something for pain, a prescription for ten days of two antibiotics and sent me home.

That should have been the end of the story, right?

Not even close.

Two ER visits and a two day hospital stay over July 4th to change antibiotics, I am still battling this bug.  it seems to like me — or hate me — I’m not sure which.  But it seems at home. 

It appears teh medication is as much a part of the problem as the illness.  They are both dehydrating, both cause diarreah and both make me sick to my stomach.  I spent my date night with my husband at the hospital getting two litres of fluids because my blood pressure dropped to 80/40 and I nearly passed out on my poor nurse  — after I’d faithfully promised I’d do no such thiing.

In the meantime, I’ve sat on the couch under an afghan with the Wimbledon Tennis Championships playing in the background and written some pretty good stuff.

Being ill gives me time to reflect differently.  Usually I rush through my morning routine so I can sit at my keyborad and pound out my 1500-2000 words, more or less.  Sometimes on crazy days, with lots of appointments I get none into the computer, but I always try to get something on paper.

I’m a novelist, and very clearly I’m the “sprawling” type of novelist.  I don’t think I could write short if there was a gun to my head; I admire people who can find exactly the right word to make a sentence dance.  Short, or at least cut down, comes on rewrites.  That’s when I work on trying to find those word that sparkle.

However, when I’m sick I find I write tighter.  I simply don’t have the energy to sprawl.  I don’t care if my character donned her hat and gloves on the way out the door to meet her friends; I assume she did since the book is set in 1888 and she would never be seen outside without them.  Besides, I’m assuming my readers are somewhat educated about the mores and times in which my character lives.

Which brings me back to life getting in the way.  I missed writing while I was in the hospital, missed the actionc of putting pen to paper and seeing words flow across the pages.  I missed being creative.  I missed not only the world I have created here in my office at home, but the one in the pages of my manuscript.  it’s hard to recreate that with an IV monitor hissing like some demented snake three feet from your bed and nurses coming in and out every hour or so to poke you for some reason or other

So life right now if interfering, but I write when I feel well and rest when I don’t.  And one of these days, this manuscript will get finished.

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2 thoughts on “When Real Life Gets in the Way

  1. Well hurry up already and finish 😛 I hope you get better, mom. And I hope to read this sprawling giant one day.

  2. I’m working on it, I’m working on it. I’ve got another scene ready to go now. One day you’ll get the whole opus, I promise. When do I get the next chapter?

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