More time spent in bed, with books

I am still suffering from Mystery Abdominal Pain and severe nausea. I spent a couple of days in the hospital which helped me get hydrated and have a bit more pain control. This week I’m having more diagnostic tests, resting and sleeping a lot, and trying to make myself eat more than just broth. It is painful, frustrating, scary, and boring. Part of the scare is that I’m not able to eat much (total loss of appetite), the cause is still unknown, and because I’ve been on immunosuppressants for a year it is important to be vigilant for infections and yet the body’s response to infection can be really weird. The hospital I was in was nice as hospitals go, and I think the team of doctors is fantastic, really working as a team and with a smart, science minded, investigative approach. They are also all very good communicators so I feel quite lucky. I am well equipped to handle uncertainty and being stuck in bed, and have vast resources and social support. So, I am okay.

The worst bit of being in the hospital (besides it feeling like every hour was a month long) was having IV Reglan, which I had a bad reaction to. Within 5 minutes I was catapulted into a state of trying to control a feeling of panic and frenzy, like the worst acid trip you can imagine. After about an hour and a half of that, they gave me Ativan which countered it successfully, and more morphine.

I’m very grateful to my friends for sitting through some painful and boring times with me, for their driving me around, sitting with me in the hospital, and spending the night with me at my house to make sure I’m ok.

My friend Ron who had surgery last week ended up in the room next door to me. His wife Helen showed up at my bedside in the night, held my hand and brought me tea and did other little things like that.

Meanwhile, I miss work. Is that weird? I really miss it. I am missing 2 team workweeks that I was looking forward to and getting to be with my team members in person.

Double Union buildout starts for real this week, and I will miss that. But I am doing what I can as secretary and board member. We have over 25 dues paying members now and more folks in the application process. It’s very, very exciting! I can’t wait to just be there and hang out with everyone.

I have ordered xmas presents for everyone online and also found that I can get whole foods groceries through Instacart. I am going to try to eat baked fish today. Anyway. I will try not to go on about food.

Here are some of the books I’ve been reading:

Strange Evil by Jane Gaskell. This book is AMAZING. She was 14 when she wrote it! It’s like Huysmans’ Against Nature in its manipulation of atmosphere and yet it does it in a wider range — forays into something like baroque positivity rather than always dwelling in things sly and perverse. She does it without being twee. During the quite extended journey scene I thought of Tolkien’s descriptions of sailing to the West; Gaskell at age 14 does that sort of thing, but at greater length, and better — never boring! Gaskell is a passionate visionary, and breaks many conventions of fantasy writing — also she has my undying love for having outright class warfare in her her fantasy utopia.

Sensation by Nick Mamatas. This was hilarious, fast moving, and engaging. Conspiracy novel where a superintelligent spider hive mind has been fighting neurotoxic wasps for thousands of years. Some humans begin to figure this out. The gazillion current cultural references made me laugh a lot, sometimes in embarrassed recognition I fit some of the stereotypes. The scene where the ludicrous middle class activists are lying around playing the game that’s the opposite of “Civilization” probably made me laugh the hardest. I was forced to go look up the city of Hamilton! on Wikipedia; as I hoped, it was all true….. I also enjoy when the style veers into hardboiled “A man walked in the door with a gun in his hand” territory and then gets more and more surreal. After I read Nick’s books I always kind of want to make him cookies and give him a hug to get him out of being such a nihilist. Anyway, this book will make a good holiday present, for people who like science fiction, amusing and clever writing, and who have a penchant for saying wry things about Occupy.

Hild: A Novel by Nicola Griffith. This was seriously great. I though many times of Kristin Lavransdatter, of Mary Renault’s books, and a bit of Mary Stewart’s Merlin books (which are good though not up to this quality level). If you like accurate well researched historical fiction that is centered on women’s lives, and you are fond of the fiber arts, you will probably love this book fanatically and it well deserves that love. I’m going to buy a paper copy of this for my feminist hackerspace! p.s. Hild is an amazing badass. p.p.s. After you finish the book there is So Much History to poke into, so that it’s a joy to surf around and go deeper.

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5 Responses to More time spent in bed, with books

  1. Skye says:

    “The hospital I was in was nice as hospitals go, and I think the team of doctors is fantastic…” And yet hospitals are the place where patients can’t get any real rest, which only adds to the boredom. I’m sorry you’re feeling so crummy! :(

  2. Lisa Hirsch says:

    Wish there were no medical mysteries, but I am glad you’ve got good docs.

    I am about to pick up Hild! I read Kristen Lavransdottir earliee this year and loved it so much. It would make a fantastic opera, too.

  3. Nick Mamatas says:

    Nothing’s stopping you from making me cookies!

    Also, your readers might like to know that SENSATION, and every PM Press book, is 50% now for holiday shopping on their website.

  4. Lisa Hirsch says:

    So I bought Hild immediately after I posted and then read about a third of it on a long plane ride home. It is fabulous!

  5. Mignon says:

    You are awesome, and your medical trials and tribulations are so unfair. I hope you get better soon.

    Thanks for the recommendations – Sensation and Hild both sound great.

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