The diagnosis has come in and it is certain. "Mr. Townsend, I'm afraid to tell you, you are mortal." It is suddenly apparent that there is no chance of my making it to see the 22nd century. I'm dying. But in the sense that you are too.
Here's the deal. Since the beginning of March, I've had a 'mystery ailment' composed mostly of recurrent staph infections around the armpit, general fatigue, and a huge quantity of ANA antibodies coursing through the blood. Over fifteen vials of blood have been filled. An echo-cardiogram, abdominal sonagram, and chest x-rays have been executed. Over $200 laid out in doctor visit and pharmaceutical co-pays spent. My shirt removed over twenty times for five different people, none of whom were alluring.
For the most part this has been kept close to the vest. There is no conversation starter lower than "How are you feeling?" and such morbid conversation is loathsome. There has been the necessary revelations to friends whose birthday parties have been missed and others. Sometimes the information was spread without my knowledge leading to hugs from people previously unmolested. Sometimes the word came blurted out in response to a tangential comment.
So what is it? Still unknown, but the following are things that have been tested and that it is not:
- MRSA (which was pursued for a week)
- Lupus (which was pursued for about a month)
- Lung cancer
- Gall bladder dysfunction
- Spleen ailment
- Kidney problem
- Obesity (WTF!)
From all the work done it is know known that I have incredibly perfect blood pressure, cholesterol, white blood cell counts, spleen function, gall bladder function. Despite years of smoking (which ceased in January, back when I was healthy), there is no indication of lung cancer or any other type of cancer. Despite diabetes on both sides of my family, there is no indication thereof. Or heart disease. Or any of the other stuff that kills the men on my father's side at the age of sixty.
Which leaves mostly with a massive case of annoyance. Which, through some miracle of programmatic thinking leads me to gratitude as things could be so much worse. I have insurance. My doctor, albeit a tad clueless, is genuinely concerned. The people in my life are pretty awesome. Death isn't at my door (today). My life is filled with a newly delicious ambiguity.
Although slightly changed by this experience, it is unlike the slight change that anything endured for two months. Current conditions are as follows:
- The new site launched.
- I'm still with Gawker.
- There may be an MSM thing in the works.
- I'll be on a stage sometime in June.
And there's more, but this post is too long already. And I'll talk more about the cat (still unnamed) once she gets better at posing for the camera.
Footnote the first: The above post title is from the under-appreciated Gilda Radner.
Footnote the second: Sincere thanks to those who wrote inquiring about my taking a break from MO. Your concern humbles me.