Ugh. Even just typing that title made the bile rise in my throat. But really, it was destined to happen due to me jinxing it long ago by saying I could have it out mid-October. Which wasn’t actually too out of the question: I finished the rough draft in early July, which meant I had plenty of time to edit, proof, and send out for copy editing. Alas, this has yet to take place.
I mentioned before how I’ve been sick of late. It’s an immune disorder, and I’ve now been on steroids for two months now and immune suppression therapy for about a month and a half. And honestly, I’m well aware that complaining about side effects is the dictionary definition of first world problems since I’d either be dead or wishing I were if these treatments weren’t available. But I’m going to bitch anyways because this is my blog and I can do what I want here.
The infusions aren’t so bad, although they take three hours in what’s basically the cancer ward. And it’s there that I’m reminded how lucky I am since most of these people have serious cancer and often need assistance wheeling the IV to the bathroom. Meanwhile, I’ve been able to keep up my exercise routine and the like, so again I know how fortunate I am when I’m there. And the first infusion pretty much knocked out all of my symptoms for almost a full month, which was much sooner than the doctor expected.
But my symptoms have returned. They’re fiddling with my dosages again, and it seems to be improving, so there’s that. But it’s the steroids that are really getting to me. One side effect is insomnia, which I’m no stranger to. Well, I’m no stranger to being tired, and I think I’ve been accruing a massive sleep debt since pretty much the first time I stayed over with my friends in high school and we started pulling all nighter RPG sessions. Tired’s no big deal in my book, but one of the other side effects is feeling scattered. And, believe me, this is no joke. I swear I only have about 15 seconds of attention at any one time, which is anything but conducive for editing.
And again, this is something I’m no stranger to. I was actually one of the very first kids diagnosed with ADD in Texas waaaay back in the 80s. It was so unknown at the time that it was a neurologist who did the diagnosis, and none of the teachers/ principals/ school counselors knew what the hell it was. In fact, one school counselor wanted to study me for her masters program since it was so rare back in the day. But I’m digressing when my point was that I know what it’s like to be scattered. And to be on medication that’s basically amphetamines (Ritalin).
I always hated taking Ritalin because I hated what it did to my brain. Sure, I was much better behaved, but even when I was only in 3-4th grade I was aware that it was my brain that made me me. Which meant anything you put in there that altered my brain altered me. So I hated that the solution for ADD (and, let’s be honest, really what that meant was disrupting class) was simply upping the dosage, which meant an even greater alteration to me.
Which is why I fought taking Ritalin pretty much my entire childhood and took myself off it as soon as I was old enough to make my own medical decisions. And while I’m sure my grades suffered for it, I at least developed my own strategies for coping with feeling scattered and learning to focus.
But alas, they avail me not of late with these steroids, and I hate that I find myself pretty much back where I was 30+ years ago. Especially when last week was supposed to be my last week of the steroids, but after my latest flair up they had to up the dosage again, meaning at least a month more.
And that’s only if everything goes well.
Oddly enough, I can still write in this state. Getting ideas out when scattered ain’t that hard since I’m a firm proponent of writing bad and then editing until it’s good (or, writing drunk and editing sober). But without any focus and the mental fortitude to stay on task, editing’s pretty much become impossible. So I’m setting the rough draft of book four aside until all this health crap is taken care of.
I’m hoping this hiatus will just be a month or so and I can have book four out by end of the year/ early 2020, but I know better than trying to give a hard(ish) date.
Because that’s how you invite God’s wrath.