Rumblings in the interior

I have been quiet (here, though noisy in other people’s comboxes) for a few days, because I have had another bout of annoying health.

Last Wednesday night, my usual neck-ache (now definitely diagnosed as ‘severe torticollis’) spawned a headache of the ‘Why is a work gang of little crimson devils driving a railway spike into my right temple?’ variety. I eventually decided that I needed to go to the hospital, but while I was trying to find some way of getting there that did not involve paying $300 for an ambulance, the pain increased to the point where I decided to give in and call 911. While on the phone, I lost the power of speech, except for the ability to scream in pain every time I tried to talk. They sent police, who decided (after I regained the ability to speak) that I was not in pain and had faked the whole thing; and they arrested me under the Mental Health Act (which gives the police powers of detention but not of arrest) and hauled me to the hospital in the local version of the Black Maria.

Once there, I could talk to rational people who did not presume to tell me what was not happening in my head. The loss of speech worried the duty physician (almost as much as it did me), and the upshot was that they CT-scanned my head, told me to take ibuprofen for my neck (I had run out; fixed now), and made me an appointment at the Stroke Prevention Clinic. I had one stroke three years ago; it would not do for me to have another.

The clinic, in turn, ran a battery of diagnostics, and set me up for an echocardiogram (performed today) and a two-day bout with a Holter monitor (now in progress). The echocardiogram revealed that I do actually have a heart, contrary to popular legend. Other results still to come.

In other news, I have managed to spill liquid into my laptop when a bottle of Coke Zero fizzed up on me. The computer still works, but the keyboard is damaged; the 1, Q, and Backspace keys do not work at all. I have plugged in a cheap external keyboard for now, but I am going to have to get the thing repaired. This will knock a day or two out of my working time in the coming week.

I regret to say that I have not accomplished much in the way of work during all this. I hope my 3.6 Loyal Readers (and Allied Benefactors) will forgive me.


  1. Ouch!

    I only hope that the Black Maria is cheaper than an ambulance.

  2. Anent your keyboard… I remember when a proud papa brought his new infant son into the office for show and tell and dandled him on his knee to show him where daddy worked. Baby puke on the keyboard. You could hear the sparks.

  3. Not a lot of writing done if one is dead.

    Get better.

    • Not a lot of writing done if one is dead.

      I could always get a job as a ghostwriter.


      Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week, so buy your tomatoes now and give them plenty of time to rot.

      • Be careful now, coffee spit on a keyboard can have similar affects as baby regurgitations. So one wonders, do writers continue to write in heaven, or is writing fundamentally an effort to reflect or capture the divine essence here on earth – and hence becomes superfluous in heaven?

  4. Stephen J. says

    I’ll add your health issues to my prayers; on a more positive note, my copy of Writing Down the Dragon has arrived, and I’ve been enjoying it greatly. The notion that “Consuming one of the Seven Rings must be like eating a dragon in pill form” may be the most brilliantly absurd (or absurdly brilliant) insight about Tolkien’s themes I’ve yet read.

  5. Suburbanbanshee says

    Scary stuff! I hope things are going better now.

    On the bright side, this will come in very handy as a dramatic chapter for your hagiography….

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