Cartoon and Illustration

I’m only gonna write this once…

Not that I’m threatening anything, it’s just I figure if I do this right I’ll only have to write this one time and then cut and paste it into various formats to send to people and inform them about what’s been going on (like why they haven’t heard from me, why they haven’t been getting the work they were promised, why I’m not at the shows I’m supposed to be, etc.)

The reason is that on Thanksgiving Day I was flat on my back in the hospital.

To paraphrase Maxfield Parrish it was, “a new departure for me in celebrating that day.”  (And may I add, one I hope not to repeat anytime soon.)

I had been suffering from a persistent headache since Halloween.  As I’ve had migraines in the past that had serious duration (back in 2007 when Karin was recovering from surgery I had one that took a couple of months to get over) I figured this was something similar.  But I was having other symptoms as well; fatigue, rushing of blood in my ears, inability to concentrate, irritability, etc.

So after some debate with myself last Wednesday, I finally decided that I could not possibly make it through the holiday to my next scheduled doctor’s appointment.  I called Karin (who was out shopping with a friend) and she came home and took me to the local Urgent Care Center.

They balked a little about me coming in over what appeared at first to be simply a headache, but because of the additional symptoms they did do some blood work and found I was suffering from severe anemia.  Which triggered a face-mask, and then a trip to the ER (do not pass GO, do not collect $200) being checked into the hospital for a round of vampirism to the tune of 4 units of whole blood, plus a side-order of saline drip, morning blood lettings, a round of MRI and MRA scans, and numerous tests with various medications to see how I’d react.

Long story short–I’ve been home since Sunday afternoon trying to rest up from all the “rest” I got in the hospital.  (I’m not insulting them, they know it’s a struggle trying to get any sort of rest there–and they told me to go home and sleep as much as possible.)

I’m now on a medication originally designed to suppress seizures, but used effectively for severe headache sufferers.  No horrible side-effects so far.

My MRI/MRA turned up that my right interior carotid artery is fully blocked.  Not something that they expected to find as I do not fit the profile.  But there it is.  So they put me on a medication to help control my cholesterol (but not a statin drug as I did not handle those well at all).  Again, no side-effects to speak of thus far (other than it knocks me out, but I take it at bedtime, so no biggie).  The point of this is to keep the other side clear, because as the Hospitalist said, “You can live with just one–but you can’t live with none!”

On Monday morning I had a bone marrow biopsy taken at the local Oncologist/Histologist office.  While not the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had, it was (mercifully) a short procedure.  Now I’m dealing with the soreness–but it’s not too bad.

The histologist is still working on the results.  But I did see a GP this morning and she did reassure me (well, us both) that in my case this appears to be more an issue of histology rather than oncology–which is to say, it doesn’t look like any form of cancer causing my anemia.

I’m supposed to see the histology report tomorrow and speak to the doctor about where to go with the treatment program–Lord willing they won’t have to reschedule that.

I have had to cancel my planned trip to Yama-Con in Pigeon Forge this weekend.  It’s okay, the folks in charge were among the first to know and have been very accommodating (as has been Tim, my weekend roommate; Kaysha, who I was going to carpool with; Shane, assistant-inker and table-buddy; and Shaun and Seth, who were to be fellow panelists).

Sorry if you are among those expecting to see me there.  Lord willing I’ll be back next year.

Still up in the air about Cherokee Christmas Con (Dec. 17-19).  That will depend a lot on the prognosis from the doctor tomorrow.  But so far they’ve put no restrictions on me, so it may not be a lost cause.  My table’s paid for, so I may be able to make it.

A lot of people have been praying for us through this, and words cannot express how thankful we are for all of those prayers.  We’ve felt “the peace that passes all understanding”–and I mean that!  Normally I’d be a complete wreck, a bundle of nerves–but somehow we’ve gotten through this without much in the way of histrionics.  Admittedly, Karin and I did have a bit of weepiness in the hospital late last Friday night.  Going through all of this without our parents for the first time is a new experience for us both.  But God is with us, and what are we going to do anyway?  One cannot run away from one’s own body.  It is what it is.

For now it would appear that what it is, isn’t all that bad.  It could have been bad if I had not gone to the Urgent Care when I did–but as things worked out, all seems to be fine.  I’ll know more tomorrow, but should be getting back to work soon.

For now it’s good just to be back in the studio again for a little while.





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