Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Apostate 1.4

     With some exceptions, I hate doctors. I am old enough that I know from bitter experience what diseases I get and what I don't get. For example, the flu.
     If I get the flu, I will be sick, sick, sick for three days. And then I will be well again. If I get a flu shot, I will be sick, sick, sick for three days. And then I will be well again. So why should I trade the chance of the flu for the certainty?
     Anyway, I was sick in May -- coughing, rivers of mucus, and brown sputum. The cause was all the drainage from allergies. I knew what it was. It was a bronchial infection. I have had it before. I can diagnose it myself.
     Unfortunately, I am not allowed to treat it myself. The treatment is simple: antihistamines and antibiotics. Were I in Mexico, I would stumble to a pharmacy and buy what I know from experience would remedy the infection.
     But no.
     As a result of the imputed wisdom of our legislators, I require a script written by some goon with a medical license to do for me what I am quite capable of doing for myself.
     My favorite doctor was Johnny Jeff Jerome. Hand to God, that was his name. He did FAA medicals for me back when I was a kid, before I went into the Air Force. I remember one consultation with him. His nurse called me and stuck me in one of those little examination rooms. She took my temperature and blood pressure and scratched the results in my file. She left. Less than five minutes later, Johnny came in.
     Johnny. "How are you?"
     Me. "I'm sick."
     Johnny. "What do you have."
     I told him.
     "Have you had it before?"
     "What did you take for it then?"
     I told him.
     "Did it work for you?"
     "Do you want it again?"
     Scratch, scratch, scratch. Tear. He handed me the script. "Good to see you. If this doesn't work, come back, and we'll try something else."
     He left. I left, went to a pharmacy, and traded the script for meds. Better in three days.
     Total time in consultation with Johnny Jeff, 1 minute. Total cost, $80.00. For the consult. Meds were extra.

      Things change. In May, I did not have a doctor with whom I had a relationship. My wife took me to a clinic. You know. One of those 24-hour jobs that have sprung up.
      We went in. The nurse took my temperature and blood pressure. In this clinic, the doctor had her examining table in her office. I went in. She looked at my file, slapped a spatula on my tongue, and proudly announced, "You have a common cold."
     At this point, I knew she was a quack. I have never had a cold in my life. Other people get colds. I don't. I don't know why I am immune to colds, but I am. My wife drags around with a cold from time to time, and I dote on her but still buzz merrily along, exacerbating her misery by my failure to produce so much as a sniffle. Same for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don't like my taste and leave me alone, but they flock to my wife.
     I suffered through three days of misdiagnosis and failed meds before we returned to the clinic to a new doctor whom I bullied into a correct diagnosis -- acute bronchitis -- who then wrote me a script for the right things: antihistamines and antibiotics.
     I got better.

     Why am I telling you this? My health is of no interest to anyone but me.

     I tell you my health woes to tell you the reason the Apostate series is delayed. I have not written a word on my wip since this bronchial infection hit me.
     My bronchial infections are bacterial. They come with wet cough that is ripe with the infectious little devils. A few days of antibiotics and the little devils die.
     But they do not disappear.
     Their hideous microscopic corpses continue to contaminate my lungs. Now I have a dry cough as my lungs try to expel the dead bacteria.
     For those of you who have not had a persistent, frequent cough lasting weeks, I envy you. In truth, it is not the cough that bothers me. It is the fatigue.
     Coughing consumes a lot of energy. It is tiring. For weeks, I have slept tired and waked tired.
     In the midst of all this, I have forgotten almost everything I learned about writing faster through plotting. That is why I am not presenting you with Apostate 2.0 today. The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men / Gang aft agley, / An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, / For promis'd joy!
     My plan is to read Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants! and Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better again to refresh my memory. This pass, I shall read TOYP first. Then I shall write Apostate 2.0. And -- God willing -- I shall finish Navel of the Moon.

Stay tuned.

Happy trails.

Links to the posts in this series:
Apostate 1.3
Apostate 1.2
Apostate 1.1
Apostate 1.0
Apostate 0.2
Apostate 0.1

Links to the books:
Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better
Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants!

Links to the authors' websites:
Rachel Aaron
Libbie Hawker

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