February 6th, 2008


I know Mary's by the surf

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.
  • Current Music
    PJ Harvey, "The Piano"