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I know Mary's by the surf

Bowie3
Since I began this journal back in November 2001, I have tried to keep most matters of my personal life out of it, as much as one can ever write about one's writing and not write about one's day-to-life. I have a pen-and-paper journal for that, and I have Spooky, and others who listen. I have always had something of a morbid fear of being perceived as "sickly" (going back to my childhood) and also as being seen as a "whiner." So, over the years, all manner of ills have come and gone without being mentioned in this journal. But finally I find myself in a situation I want to discuss here. I think maybe I even need to discuss it here.

As I said, I had to go back to Birmingham for another doctor's appointment yesterday. It was actually a dental appointment. For several years now, I have been suffering seizures, which have become much more severe since a bad one back in October. At this time, the seizures are believed to be non-epileptic. Probably, I am told, these fits are PNES, or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. At first, the seizures were believed to be epileptic, and finding out they probably are not was something, at least. They seem to be triggered by periods of extreme stress and exhaustion, and there's been far too much of both for quite some time now. Too much insomnia. Too much work. Too much bullshit in my life. Too many assholes. But I'm drifting. There was a particularly bad seizure in October and during it I cracked two upper molars, which have since become infected.

And I am a freelance writer. And I have no health insurance, like most freelance writers. So, the reason that I'm finally writing about all this here — where it still seems not to belong — is that a) it has had an enormous impact on my ability to work recently, leading to the extension of my deadline on Joey Lafaye, and b) I need to ask readers for just a little assistance with the medical expenses I am presently incurring. Nothing fancy. But if you can bid in our eBay auctions, or if you can afford a subscription to Sirenia Digest, or hell, even if it's only buying new copies of my novels in a bookshop or from Amazon to help insure they stay in print, anything of the sort would be enormously appreciated. Truly, every little bit helps.

My doctor says I need to work a lot less and sleep a lot more. I have told her there is no way for me to work less and keep the bills paid, but I am sleeping better and sleeping more, thanks to the Ambien. Unfortunately, the Ambien, and the anti-seizure meds, make me groggy and stupid.

Anyway, as I've said, I really do hate talking about this sort of thing here. And I hope it does not come across as unseemly. If you can help, thanks. At this point, even words of support would help. This ordeal is taking its toll on me and Spooky both.

---

The drive yesterday was not so bad, given that it's a long, dull drive. Mostly, I watched clouds and trees and wished for the ocean. It was good to see the mountains again. Atlanta sits on the Piedmont plateau, so no mountains. One should always have either mountains or the sea, or, preferably, both at once. In the car, I read some old "Popeye the Sailor" cartoons from a collection of E. C. Segar's strips. We were not murdered for our bumper stickers. We saw dead coyotes, deer, dogs, and raccoons at the side of the road. It was dark before we got home.

Postscript (3:10 pm CaST) — By the way, I do not mean to say that it is always unseemly for people to talk about health issues in their blogs, or that those who do are necessarily "whiners." This is my own personal hang-up, and I did not intend that as a blanket judgment of others. Please don't take it as such.

Comments

( 71 comments — Have your say! )
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robyn_ma
Feb. 6th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your troubles.

If it brings any cheer, we have Isabella Rossellini bug porn.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)

If it brings any cheer, we have Isabella Rossellini bug porn.

Oh. Wow. Thank you.
(no subject) - robyn_ma - Feb. 7th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - humglum - Feb. 7th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 7th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) - Expand
octoberland
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you are going through all of this. I can relate to some of it(insomnia and being a freelance writer). I don't know what Georgia is like but here in Massachusetts I was able to get free healthcare through the state. Would you qualify for anything like that?

Anyway, I'll be thinking of you and if I can help in any way I will.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)

Would you qualify for anything like that?

Unfortunately, no. We have nothing like that for adults in Georgia, and even if we did, my income places me in a middle-class bracket that (while I still can't afford health care) would exclude me.
(no subject) - arielstarshadow - Feb. 9th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
chris_walsh
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
One should always have either mountains or the sea, or, preferably, both at once.

There's something rather lovely to that thought. I.e., I agree.

Thinking of you. I'll see how I can help. I want you healthier and happier, and I know I'm not the only one.

Peace. As much peace as you can get.
batwrangler
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
Tooth infections, as you know Bob, are very serious. Do either you or Spooky have a paypal tip jar?
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)

Do either you or Spooky have a paypal tip jar?

We had not thought of that. She's going to set one up, and I'll post the link tomorrow. Thank you for that suggestion.
(no subject) - alvyarin - Feb. 6th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
whiskeychick
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
health insurance. It's what keeps me in my soul sucking day job, keeping me from my first love of writing. When the credit cards and car note is paid, I can look at freelancing again. In the interim, I will renew my sub to Sirenia - I apologize for letting it lapse and will check out the eBay.

As well, candle magick towards you with positive energies tonight.

/hugs
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)

In the interim, I will renew my sub to Sirenia - I apologize for letting it lapse and will check out the eBay.

There is no need to apologize, but I am grateful.
wolven
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Do you think that Threshold, Low Red Moon, and Daughter of Hounds would be a good place to start someone on your work, or would you recommend a different order/combination/whatever?

I ask because I started with Threshold and it's stuck as one of my favourites, even when your newer work has elaborated on those same themes, more fully. There's something primal and visceral about Threshold that sticks with me...

The intersections in your post made me think of "Marys of the Sea."
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)

Do you think that Threshold, Low Red Moon, and Daughter of Hounds would be a good place to start someone on your work, or would you recommend a different order/combination/whatever?

I would say, at this point in my career, looking back at the books, begin with Daughter of Hounds, then read Low Red Moon and Threshold as "prequels."

The intersections in your post made me think of "Marys of the Sea."

Now, that's just flattery. :-)
sovay
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
You do not whine. It is not unseemly. I will be here for whatever I can do.
cesartorres
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Cash Time
Caitlin:

Rest assured, this reader's thoughts are with you. Which online shop or method gets you the most profit? I want to make sure you see a good amount of the money I'll spend on a book or subscription, since you need the cash right now. Let us know.
cesartorres
Feb. 6th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
Another Thought
Shame on me for not reading the comments thread carefully enough. If you set up a PayPal address for donations, I can do that, too. However, I imagine if we buy one of your books, your publisher would be happy about that as well. You just let us know what works best.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Another Thought

You just let us know what works best.

Thank you. I will elaborate on this in tomorrow morning's LJ entry.
scarletboi
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
You are not whining, and truly, being ill is neither something to be ashamed of, or something that can be helped. When/if I can find a way out from under the looming student loans, I'll do what I can to help. In the meantime, I'll remind everyone that buying a Stiff Kitten t-shirt is another way to help, since a portion of the cost does find its way back to Cait and Spooky.

In fact, I talked to my boss, and we're going to double your commission on every Stiff Kitten shirt that is sold from this moment. That's the best way I can think of for me to help you right now, beyond sending my best wishes and love.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)

In fact, I talked to my boss, and we're going to double your commission on every Stiff Kitten shirt that is sold from this moment. That's the best way I can think of for me to help you right now, beyond sending my best wishes and love.

Wow. Thank you, and my thanks to your boss, also.
(no subject) - robyn_ma - Feb. 7th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
ex_kaz_maho
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Would it help for us to link to this post in our own blogs? Or would you rather that not happen..?
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)

Would it help for us to link to this post in our own blogs? Or would you rather that not happen..?

Good question. I'll think on it and address it in tomorrow's LJ entry.
aetherialrumors
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
I wish I had the cash to send you something.

I too am without insurance and know the burden it places on you when confronted with something that you can no longer let go--like teeth.

I too make enough money to disqualify me for state assistance, yet not enough to afford it on my own. 80% of the people in this country without insurance are employed. And either their job does not offer it or the cost of obtaining insurance makes it an impossibility. To which I say, that's some fucking bullshit.

It is sad the a person's well-being cannot rest solely on their talent or their measure as an individual, in which case, I believe, you would then be without worry.

But as that is not the case, my thoughts are with you.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)

I too make enough money to disqualify me for state assistance, yet not enough to afford it on my own. 80% of the people in this country without insurance are employed. And either their job does not offer it or the cost of obtaining insurance makes it an impossibility. To which I say, that's some fucking bullshit.

Do not even get me started.
emrecom
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
We're totally broke this week, but next week we could help?

Most cities have an accredited dental university where you can get your teeth worked on for free/for-cheap with the students supervised by pro staffers...
blu_muse
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
yeap, set up that donation button. I have everything you've written so it's hard for me to buy more books (although I have started giving them as presents)..but donations, easy as pie. Wishing you well...
jtglover
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Agreeing with what everyone else has said about health, of course. There's a big difference between telling people about a problem and harping on it all the time. I'm sorry to hear about this, in any case. I've been caught in the "not quite poor enough" bind before, though not with major medical problems to take care of. I'll have a look at the eBay auctions and see what I can do, or I'll hit that tip jar when you have it set up.
moonwiggle
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness, I am sorry to hear about your teeth. Tooth pain is such an invasive pain (I have a brace and things are forever popping off and stabbing me in the mouth/being inadvertently swallowed).

I've subscribed to Sirenia. I meant to ages ago, but university always makes me a bit financially nervous. I forgot that the exchange rate is kind to me!
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)

I've subscribed to Sirenia. I meant to ages ago, but university always makes me a bit financially nervous. I forgot that the exchange rate is kind to me!

Thank you!
(no subject) - moonwiggle - Feb. 6th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - humglum - Feb. 6th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moonwiggle - Feb. 7th, 2008 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - scarletboi - Feb. 6th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moonwiggle - Feb. 7th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC) - Expand
troublebox
Feb. 6th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
I’m sorry to hear about your medical issues. I had a couple unexplained seizures (years and years ago) and they were absolutely terrifying. The doctors never could tell me what was going on, and I haven’t been able to trust my brain since.

Here’s hoping you get a good diagnosis, and find a non-debilitating treatment.

As for your financial issues, I don’t suppose you’d be interested in selling a hand-written copy of your “Zelda Fitzgerald …” poem? It’s a beautiful poem, and I’d absolutely love to have a copy I could frame and hang up on my wall. I’d pay at least $120, or, if you wanted to put something like that up on eBay, I’d certainly do my part to drive the price up.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 6th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)


As for your financial issues, I don’t suppose you’d be interested in selling a hand-written copy of your “Zelda Fitzgerald …” poem? It’s a beautiful poem, and I’d absolutely love to have a copy I could frame and hang up on my wall. I’d pay at least $120, or, if you wanted to put something like that up on eBay, I’d certainly do my part to drive the price up.


Thank you. That's not a bad idea. At this point, I'm considering all avenues, and this is actually a nice one. I may go the eBay route, simply because every penny is needed right now. I can do it on a nice paperstock, etc.
(no subject) - troublebox - Feb. 6th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
arachnerd
Feb. 7th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
my father is on dilantin (anti-seizure meds) and has a prescription for ambien as well, but he has had to try to stop taking the ambien. the combination of dilantin and ambien made him feel vaguely hungover (his words) all day. he's experimenting with breaking up his dilantin dosage between AM and PM versus all PM to see if the drowsiness is any less one way or the other. maybe you could ask your doctor if something like that would make any difference.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)

maybe you could ask your doctor if something like that would make any difference.

We're still working on it.
brokensymmetry
Feb. 7th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
You have my sympathies. I had a medical condition a while back, and it was only by shear luck that it happened shortly after a period when I was uninsured.

I would like to help out, and I would like to do so in a way that gets money to you most directly. I like the tip jar suggestion made above. If it's possible I'll also offer to purchase a 6-month subscription to Sirenia Digest for a reader who couldn't otherwise afford it.

greygirlbeast
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)

If it's possible I'll also offer to purchase a 6-month subscription to Sirenia Digest for a reader who couldn't otherwise afford it.

That is extremely kind of you. Someone else mad the same offer via email, and I'll pass them both along in my entry tomorrow.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Feb. 7th, 2008 06:06 am (UTC)
Which email address should I use to request those?

crkbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

And thank you.

Edited at 2008-02-07 06:06 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 8th, 2008 06:26 am (UTC) - Expand
phaedrine
Feb. 7th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Goodness. Dental pain is definitely no fun.

I'd buy something off your eBay...but I already own them all! And I'm a subscriber. Definitely put up a donation link, and I'll help any way I can.

Do feel better soon!
twin_trauma
Feb. 7th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
Coming out of lurkdom....
I just subscribed to Sirenia. I'll check back in tomorrow for the tip jar. I remember stuggling to pay for COBRA to continue insurance after I moved and changed jobs. If there is anything else to be done, just holler.
Krystn
lindorm
Feb. 7th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
I've made arrangements to order more of your books to the store I work in (Malmö, Sweden) and will do a window presentation of them when they arrive.
I own them and love them and perhaps this will get others to find them too!
greygirlbeast
Feb. 7th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)

I've made arrangements to order more of your books to the store I work in (Malmö, Sweden) and will do a window presentation of them when they arrive.

Thank you. Somehow, that always freaks me out, in a very good way, to think of my books, so very far away.
(no subject) - lindorm - Feb. 7th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Feb. 7th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
chesyaburke
Feb. 7th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Very sorry to hear this, Caitlin. I can relate a bit as well as I have insomnia and my freelance writing/ghostwriting is a hell of a lot more popular than my regular fiction now-a-days. I don't have a lot of money, that's why I volunteer more than I donate. But, if there's anything I can do, drop me a line and I'd be more than happy to help anyway I can.
martianmooncrab
Feb. 10th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
I would just like to mail you 20 dollars, I dont do transactions online. You got a PO Box?
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( 71 comments — Have your say! )