When I was little there were two tv channels – this was in Portugal, not pre-history though I’ll grant you the difference was often less than clear – one that ran lunch time then evening, and then one that ran evening only. The evening-only channel was considered the highbrow one, where they had “Lone professor discusses history and shows diagrams” type of programs. (Yes, that one was my favorite. You’ll just have to deal with it.)
Anyway, tv transmission was unreliable even when there weren’t any revolutions on (Portuguese revolutionaries had found a manual somewhere from South America and had it firmly implanted in their minds “Ride into town on tanks. Take over TV and radio stations.” Wonder how that would be modified in the age of blogs, not that there are many in Portugal. I’m picturing US revolutionaries going “Ride into town, take over instapundit.” Um… would explain what has happened to a blog or two I used to follow.)
Sometimes you’d rush home at lunch to see cartoons (that’s what played at lunch. Usually the old, good, Merry Melodies.) and there would be a holding pattern on the TV – this geometric stuff and a note that said “We’re experiencing technical difficulties. This program will resume in a moment.”
Yesterday, all day, I felt as if my head was doing exactly that. It seemed normal, but when I tried to use it, I got the holding pattern. There is a level of sick where someone could tell you “Your hair is on fire” and you’d just say “Oh, okay, but right now I need to sleep.” You’re simply not processing input in normal, human ways. That’s what yesterday was like. I have a vague memory of my older son trying to get me to help with something and after he had repeated the info three times I had to tell him I understood each individual word, I just couldn’t remember them long enough to make sense.
So I went to bed at around 7:30 pm and got up a few minutes ago, and as you can see I feel better. At least my head is better – my chest is still awfully congested.
Now before everyone says “You keep getting sick” – yep. I do. And while some of it might be controllable (believe it or not upping my vitamin content helped. This could be worse. It was ten years ago.) And yep, guilty as charged on burning the candle at both ends, but I’m afraid until the kids leave the house that’s just what will happen, because I still have duties in the household, which I can’t offload as I promise I will when it’s just two of us, and I’m still the household’s day planner, keeping twenty or so things in my head at all times. Also I worry a lot, because these are worrying times (If you can tell me how to stop doing that, I’d love to know.) BUT most of all, my tendency to get sick a lot has been with me since birth because I was born severely premature. It does stuff to your immune system, probably forever. Frankly, it’s a minor miracle that my parents pulled me off through childhood, in an unheated house with no modern facilities whatsoever and with medical services spotty. If I had no other reason to be grateful to them, that one would do it: the nights they spent awake, listening to me breathe and wondering if it was time to knock on the door of the neighbor across the street so they could take me to the hospital for the oxygen tent. (he had a van. One of very few cars in the village. He never complained about his impromptu ambulance duty either. Spare a prayer for him, if you can. He died of Alzheimer’s a few years ago.)
That and my getting older are probably the greatest factors in “why Sarah keeps getting sick.” I’m sorry, it’s one of those things – I’d much have preferred to be born full term, with a full complement of anti-bodies and a health of steel. Of course, if I had, there wouldn’t have been all those weeks in bed, in a room that didn’t even have a window, when I had to make up stories to keep myself amused. So… I might be an engineer (which was my second choice) or a teacher and never have written a word.
You don’t get the reality you wanted. You just try to get the best that’s available.
That said this winter seems to be a doozy for strangely strong viruses. It’s not just me. Everyone I know has been knocked on their can by a succession of illnesses: flu, stomach flu and now respiratory whatsit. Most of my friends are down with it right now – and some of them are in other states. Though the possibility that all of Colorado is suffering from smoke inhalation and that this is an exceptionally dry winter isn’t helping, has occurred to me.
Even through my illnesses, I’m normally more productive than I was this last year.
Of course, there is always the possibility that Noah’s Boy is cursed – don’t laugh. Some stuff is. For instance, whenever I pick up The Shakespeare Gambit (the one with Eric Flint) to work on, my basement floods with sewage. If that book is to be finished, I’ll have to do it at a hotel. It’s part of the plan after NB is in, mind. If so, I’ll have to bully through despite being sick. What I’ve found is that once the book is delivered, the curse doesn’t show.
I couldn’t do it, of course, while I was sitting there looking at the holding pattern in my brain, but my mind is clear today. Things have moved to my bronchi. Of course, the big deal now is to prevent it from becoming pneumonia.
So, I’m going to be working through the three different versions (beginning is one, middle another, end another) of Noah’s Boy I have and trying to weld it into a coherent whole. I dreamed it, so I know how it needs to go.
I had planned to have it all done by yesterday evening. Well, actually I had planned to have it done by the end of November. The best laid plans of writers get interrupted by the holding-pattern-of-the-mind.
Unless the mind gets taken over by totally lost revolutionaries, though, I’m going to do my best to get this thing finished. One thing is to get sick, another is to allow your body to get away with interfering in your life too much.
And if the mind gets taken over by revolutionaries—
“Don’t touch your controls. This mind has been taken over by the Rodent Liberation Front. Instructions will be issued shortly on how to stay safe through this emergency.”