Sunday, June 05, 2011


We had a big party yesterday, saying goodbye to one of our friends / ex-students who is going off to Minnesota to an MFA program. Now it is raining (again!) and I am working on editing stories.

And my child has an ear infection.

Now you may think this is no big deal. What kid does not have an ear infection from time to time?

Well, mine. That's what kid does not.

She has hardly ever been ill, per se, in her life. Not that she hasn't been sick -- from age seven to about ten she was sickly, as the 19th century used the term. Failure to thrive, as biologists might call it. Once we determined she was allergic to something about corn syrup -- which this is as far as we ever got, thanks to my useless clinic and even more useless health insurance, which did about thirty thousand dollars worth of tests while discovering nothing at all -- but once we, by which I mean I, took her off all foods containing corn syrup* her symptoms disappeared and she began to thrive at last.

Where was I? Sorry. I'm still miffed about the corn syrup issue. They didn't even test for allergies. Gah.

Okay. So except for that, she's hardly ever been sick. Bronchitis when she was two. The flu when she was six. Croup at eight. A stomach virus at eleven. I can literally count the number of times.

The effect of this is, whenever she does get sick, it's full mode panic on her part. A fever, to her, literally means she's going to die. "What's wrong with me?" she cries. "Does any terminal illness start with an ear ache?"

"It's an ear infection," I said. "We'll go to the clinic tomorrow."

"Am I going to die?"

"You're going to take some Tylenol."

"And then I'll die?"

"And then you'll go lie down. Ai."

I'm not even sure it's an ear infection, frankly. I think it might just be the weather. Another big front is coming through, and my bones feel like someone's been hitting me with sticks all night anyway.

Meanwhile! I'm reading a book Dr. Skull brought home, Earth Abides, written in 1947. Sort of a mid-century The Stand. Only without the religious whackatude. A super-measles wipes out 99.99% of the population, and...absolutely nothing happens. At least so far. I'm about halfway through the book. It's very well written. And historically interesting. Not sure it's any good yet. But it is making me feel very feverish.

*It was the blogosphere that helped me diagnosis her! When the useless clinic was doing no good at all, and she had lost 12 pounds (at nine years old) and had chronic stomach pain, and would not eat anything, and could barely move around most of the time -- she spent all day sitting in one chair in our house -- I put out a blag, even before blags existed, and got all sorts of excellent suggestions, and that was one of them, that she might be allergic to corn syrup. We had already taken her off wheat and red dye, so taking her off corn syrup was, frankly, a snap.


Paul Clarke said...

I remember enjoying "Earth Abides." King has stated that it was a big influence on "The Stand." I'm currently reading "The Passage", which in turn seems to have been influenced by "The Stand." The more I read, watch, listen to, the more I see connective tissue between various works.

delagar said...

Earth Abides got much better after about 100 pages. The first 100 pages were okay, mind you, very well written; but after that the plot took off.