I am an intensely private person. As any of my close friends will tell you, I hate sharing information about myself, dislike being asked the most basic of personal questions, and prefer to keep copious diaries (on actual paper, like it’s the 1800s or something) rather than talking to people about what’s going on in my life.
It’s therefore a bit weird that I’m also a blogger, and that I sometimes blog about really quite personal topics. I started blogging back in 2007, because it was a requirement of the job I had then, and I also joined social media for that reason.
I think if my life hadn’t taken that specific turn, I’d probably be some kind of technological troglodyte, holed up in a cave filled with books… but wait. I pretty much live in a cave filled with books anyway. So maybe my life wouldn’t have been so different, and anyway whatifs are futile.
For whatever reason, though, I am a blogger, and I must have not hated something about it because I remained one even after it was no longer a contractual requirement of my job.
Blogging is weird, though. A friend came over the other day and we were talking about the strange relationships we have with our blogs, and with other people through them.
In many ways, I said to her, it’s much easier to admit something to a bunch of strangers on the internet than it is to admit it to my friends. It’s not so much that I worry about what strangers – or anyone, really – will think of me when they read my blog; it’s that I worry about how friends will interact with me.
She agreed, and we chatted for a while about how strange it all is, and how the internet is changing the way we all live, and how we admire people who talk with pure openness about the most searingly personal of experiences, and how we’d rather not do that but probably end up doing a little bit of it anyway, sort of by default.
All of this is a long-winded ramble leading up to the admission that I haven’t been blogging as consistently as I’d like to recently, and the reason why.
You see, I’m a bit ill.
More than a bit ill, actually, but probably not dying. They’re not quite sure, because the NHS is drastically underfunded and my body is drastically overexitable when it comes to going down with Weird Illnesses No One Has Seen Before.
In March, I ended up in A&E in the early hours of one morning with some very weird pains. After the initial panic when they thought I was having a heart attack (and repeatedly told me to remain calm, you’re probably having a heart attack, which is NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD TELL SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE HAVING A HEART ATTACK), they discovered pretty quickly that I wasn’t, and then there was the waiting.
And then the tests, and the waiting, and the more tests, and the more waiting, which essentially encapsulates the story of my life over the past several months.
Originally they told me that I couldn’t be having all the symptoms I was having, because there wasn’t a medical condition that fit the description. Then they did some tests which made them realise I actually was having all the symptoms, and hadn’t decided to go on an A&E trip at 6.00 in the morning just for the hell of it.
I’m going to spare you the gory details, partly because I don’t want to go into them and partly because it’d be unpleasant for all of us, but in summary: some of my organs are failing, but they’re not sure which ones or how badly yet. They know of at least one that’s totally fucked and needs to come out, but they can’t take it out until they’ve done tests on a couple of adjacent organs, because they’re probably failing too, and if they are then they’ll get Very Angry if the definitely-failing organ is suddenly whipped out, and angry failing organs are Very Bad Things.
In the interim, I am at home most of the time, with occasional trips to the hospital. I can’t eat solids, drink caffeine or alcohol, or leave the house for more than about 10 minutes at a time. I’m technically signed off work by the doctor, partly because the symptoms of Angry Organs are pretty damn severe, and partly because I’m on a veritable cocktail of meds that mean I can concentrate for about the length of time it takes for me to stand up and pick up a kettle, at which point I usually find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen holding said kettle, and wondering what I’m meant to do with it.
In reality, this means that I’m still working, but nowhere near as much as I normally do. Some days I feel incredibly lucid and a bit more like myself, and so in between spending hours in the bathroom and popping pills and having long lying-down-on-the-sofa sessions, I spend a few hours at my computer pretending to be my usual self. Most days, however, I do not feel particularly with it and so I do the basics and check my emails in the morning and then spend the rest of the day becoming acquainted with pretty much everything that’s currently available on Netflix.
There won’t be any news for a while – certainly not for a few weeks – because of all the extra tests that need to be done before I can be wheeled in for surgery. And at this point, I’m not sure exactly which surgeries I’m looking at, or what sort of recovery times I’ll be expecting, or anything like that. In the interests of realism, I’ve cancelled my travel plans for the rest of this year and fully intend on spending the rest of 2017 Taking It Easy.
For anyone who’s thinking Oh no this is terrible I want to help what can I do?, here is A Brief Guide To Interacting With Scar When She Is Ill:
- I hate sympathy. Please don’t symp. Yeah, it sucks, but it’ll all be over soon (hopefully) and I’m far too much of a Glaswegian to want to sit around moaning.
- Netflix recommendations are currently very welcome. My brain is too fuzzy for anything especially intellectual, but I will happily accept recommendations along the lines of Pretty Little Liars, Jane the Virgin, Riverdale, Gilmore Girls, etc. I have also finally completed my long-held goal of watching every Star Trek episode ever aired! Who said being ill was no fun?
- If I have news and I feel like sharing it with you, I’ll share it. Asking for updates probably isn’t helpful, and only reminds me that waiting times are hideous.
- I’m not very sociable at the best of times, so I’m probably not up for a visit unless we are BFFs, and even then only one at a time. However, emails are always appreciated, especially if they contain amusing pictures of cats.
- Please forgive the general level of grumpiness. But, y’know, I’m ill, so I get a pass, right? 😉
In summary, it will probably all be fine. This is not the first time my organs have started failing – I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a teenager, and my condition now is a continuation of that – and I strongly doubt it’ll be the last. Hopefully all the failing ones will either be redundant anyway, or easily replacable. But I wanted to write a quick post to say that I haven’t forgotten I have a blog, and hopefully normal service will resume at some point, though it probably won’t be for a while.