Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I have been without internet for quite some time, but meanwhile life on the Shoemaker protocol has inspired me to write a few more blog entries. I will be posting them here over the next few days.

August 5th

I arrived at my parents house two weeks ago, where I’ve been sequestered here with my French press, my enema tubing, and my array of powders and teas. I am dealing the new medical regimen. Despite Dr. Ross’s optimistic suggestion that I “cut down on my supplements” (see last post), high speed detox is not easier than antibiotics. We’re talking two naps per day, coffee enemas, neti pot (yes, the dreaded neti pot) and nasal spray and bulk herb teas, etc, etc. It’s pretty much a round-the-clock job, and I have to schedule it when my body wants to do it, not when I want to.

After a day of all that, it just seems too complicated to pick up the phone. All I want to do, really, is get back to writing my short stories and eventually my memoir. By avoiding the Motorola and heading instead to my laptop (as soon as I get a break from the medical stuff, that is) I’m managing to eke out a half hour or hour here and there. Not much, but enough to polish a couple stories and think about where to send them for publication.

In short, I haven’t seen anyone since I got here but my mom and dad, and The Poet via Skype. It’s so easy when I’m here to go into Hermit-of-Lyme-Disease mode!

But eventually there comes a day when I feel really down. Yesterday started out just fine—the high point being about 11 a.m., right after I did my coffee enema, when I felt the tightness in my body swooshing away, followed by a cascade of relaxation so glorious it bordered on euphoria. But within a few hours the relaxation had shifted to heaviness that stubbornly refused to give over to sleep when I lay down for my afternoon nap. And once I got out of bed, for my supposed writing time, nothing worked—the internet connection was so slow I couldn’t look up the facts I needed to finish a short story. So frustrating!

By the time my mom and I had walked back from picking up the CSA at 5pm, I was despondent. The excess of vegetables felt like the weight of the entire world hanging over my head, an obligation to cook when all I wanted was a few hours—even twenty minutes!—when I could use my brain—read, write, anything. I put tomatillos and zucchini and bell pepper and onions and okra and cucumbers in the fridge, which in itself seemed to take forever, wearing on my worn-thin patience for menial tasks. And also I had to get outside—I’ve barely been outside all summer, and I desperately need to get the sun on my skin. I changed into my bikini. Whatever I would do in my one task-free hour of the day, it would be outside in the sun.

Not by coincidence, the day before I’d gotten one more rejection of a story I’ve been trying for eight months to get published. Rejections are part of the game—usually I shake them off in a split second. But this one managed to sink just a bit. My life makes little sense at those moments—mind-numbing medical tasks all day, and then the suspicion that writing, the thing in life that makes me happiest, might be just a pathetic dream after all.

If I just had someone my age to talk to, I thought, I might feel better. My mom’s great but it’s like she’s practically the only person I’ve seen (duh, she is practically the only person I’ve seen)…. If there were someone else around, a friendly face…. And finally I remember I do have friends in this city, and they do have phone numbers!

So I called people, and got their voice mails.

I took my book out to the sunny back patio. I read in waves of concentration that alternated with tsunamis of despair—times when I put my head down and just felt how tired I was, how tired my brain was. And worried about my changing symptoms—like, how tired I get after the coffee enema, and irritated my sinuses are. I can’t even sit on the upholstered living room couch anymore (once a favorite refuge) because the cushions are now, suddenly, so musty to me I can’t stand to be near them. What’s up with that?

So should I call Dr. Ross and ask to test for the sinus infection—and possibly go on more antibiotics? So should carry on with the herbal remedies and neti pot? Could I find probiotics for my nose? Maybe I could look it up on the internet—doh! The internet isn’t working.

And so on.

And then, at 9:30pm, I tried checking my e-mail. Lo and behold it worked! And I learned I won an award for a short story I finished a year ago.


I’m not supposed to say what award, because it’s supposed to be confidential until the publication comes out, and it’s not a Pushcart or an O’Henry or anything like that, but does sound pretty fancy!

Hooray!!! Hooray!!!! A big dollop of joy and a sprinkling of redemption. I’m not just a crazy woman who spends half the day putting coffee up her butt. I am a writer who puts coffee up her butt and who has won an award!!!

1 comment:

DeadPoets said...

Hi, I was wondering if you see Dr Amy Derksen

If so could you send me an email - I have a few questions for you :D