I’ve been trying to make this post for about a month. Bear with me, okay? :)

There have been some big changes here in Bridger Hollow recently. In brief: one of our daughters separated from her husband and has come here with their two little children to live with us; another of our daughters was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery to remove her appendix; and my wife slipped several discs all at once while moving heavy furniture.

My health fell off its already low plateau at the end of my latest steroid reduction. Hardly surprising, considering the tiny dosage I’m on now and everything else we’ve had going on this year. Pretty much bed bound. Up for an hour to get a bath every morning, and that’s me done for the day. No reading. Definitely no writing. Basically, I’m buggered at the moment. And I’m letting crit partners down, which I hate doing.

That’s the downside. The upside is that it appears my hideously painful steroid reduction has done what we hoped for and lifted me out of the diabetic range. Or soon will do, at least.

The only good effect I’ve been aware of is the 3-stone weight loss that’s accompanied the managed steroid reduction over the past 3 years, but when I had my annual eye test the optician told me my sight has improved suddenly, and the only thing that could have caused that is a marked improvement in what he called my “diabetes management” – although there’s been no lifestyle change and nothing else has altered other than my steroid intake.

I knew things had changed because I had to wear my TV glasses on the end of my nose and tilt my head back to squint in order to focus properly, but I wasn’t thinking of that as an improvement until the optician labelled it as such.

Anyway, the next steroid reduction will be to zero. I’ll do that sometime after Christmas. Getting there. Just wish it didn’t hammer me in every other respect every time.

It’s taken me an hour to write this post and I’ve used up all my strength for the day. Physical strength sitting upright and mental energy thinking and typing. Please send ¬†spoons. :)

Remember not to trust the people who profit from war

Medal Melting

My sword has tasted blood
for causes of variable worth.
My blood has tasted battle.

My flesh has tasted metal
for men of dubious credentials.
My mettle has been tested.

I am only the latest in a long line of names
in ragged step with our strident forebears,
and my blood seethes with their fury.

Harps sing silently in my ears.
Dark tartan colours my inner eye.
Pipes mourn low within my heart.

Their battles rage within me.
The knowledge of their wars
shames me.

My blood mocks me for a mercenary,
for who else have I served
if not the inheritors of my freedom?

My marrow is sick of my service.
I bear my aging wounds stiffly,
but I will wear their coin no more.

Surfacing without the bends

I’m clear of that multiple-infection attack. It was a bad one. Scary. Probably quite dangerous, I think. But now it’s history.

Still in relapse. The pain is still big and intense, and its accompanying exhaustion and brain fog still fills my days and nights.

But last week a new story idea came to me, and I stayed lucid long enough to type it out. Those were the 300 words I mentioned in my last post. I’ve written no more since then, but that idea is developing in my mind. That’s how stories always come to life for me, in my head for a while before I start writing anything beyond the bare initial idea. And this one is doing that, growing quietly but steadily.

I’m holding onto this as a promise that my relapse will lift. That this won’t become my new permanent plateau. Not doing anything more, because these are always the most precarious times, when in the old days I used to grasp the promise and try to do too much before it was safe or sensible to do anything. It’s all too easy to slip back over the cliff edge, and at five months this deep relapse is already long enough, thank you very much.

That light is still there up on the surface, towards which I’m rising after a long, dark, silent, deep dive. It’s burning steadily, and I’m watching it steadily.

Through the tunnel

Thank you for all your prayers and kind thoughts over the past several weeks, everyone.

I’m feeling a lot better. I didn’t realise until they all hit me together that I had multiple infections brewing. My ME relapse brain fog stopped me recognising what was going on. When they hit, it was hell. Any orifice, crease or join you can think of, mine was infected. And goodness knows what was going on inside. I thought I was dying, and it was an attractive thing.

So, last week, I came through it. Still have some residual problems in nail beds, etc, and my mouth and bum aren’t right yet, but the deathly feverish hell has passed.

Which means I’ve actually been able to do a few words over the weekend. :)

I’m done.

Two things, linked, one about my health and the other about the health of my country.

I’m so ill, I don’t know if I’ll ever write again. I have two novels sitting half-written, a third planned out in detail and ready to rock, and another bright idea that’s researched and ready for planning, but unless my health improves dramatically I can’t see me ever writing another page on any of them.

My professional author career is certainly finished, and now I’ve reached the point where I could live happily without writing if I could just get some quality of life back. I don’t feel like this is a negotiation I need to make, or even could make, but in terms of the sensible advice don’t write unless you can’t not write, then I’ve realised I can not write. There’s no decision to make. It isn’t that sort of situation. It’s just what it is and I’m too sick and tired to even think about trying to fight it.

As for the health of the UK, I’m gutted by Scotland’s narrow rejection of independence. It was a triumph of fear over hope, and it sickens me.

I don’t know how many of those frightened No voters actually believe any of the lying shit Cameron, Miliband, Clegg et al have spouted in this past week, but the only certainty now is that the Westminster scum and their media whores will continue to make it all about Westminster, and the UK will continue to be one of the most unfair societies in the world.

Labour isn’t going to move to back the left. Why should they? They’ve been a right wing party for years now and they’re very comfortable there. Cameron’s only concern is protecting himself from his racist MPs so he will definitely renege on his devolution promises, and Miliband will enable him in that. Clegg’s as trustworthy as a chocolate fireguard. Establishment England – by which I mean all three main right wing parties, 99% of the media, and the City – will take today’s result as a victory for the status quo.

The majority of English voters are small-c conservative, a significant proportion of them are racists, and sufficient numbers of them will continue voting for right wing MPs for eternity. Nothing is going to change. Our only hope for a fairer country was Scotland voting Yes and English regions being inspired to get a backbone. That’s gone forever. It’s over.

I don’t want to live in this despicable country anymore, but I’m too ill to move. There’s no light at the end of this tunnel of vileness the Establishment has driven us into. No change in gradient ahead. They’ve won and they’ll keep on winning. I’m going to dig my own hole in the ground and crawl into it. I’m done.