I Made It Through The Year; It Didn't Kill Me July 13th, 2008 is the first day I can clearly look back on and say, "Yeah, I was sick." There were some precursors before then, questionable ones, even ones extending back years earlier (actually, that's a funny story, and I might tell it at some point. It involves venereal diseases, but not really), but Sunday, July 13th of last year is the first day we can look back and say, without a doubt, that I had Lupus.
Everything else that's happened to me this year, has spun out of that day. I don't blame that day for everything, or even most, but it's clear that if things had been handled better, at least some of the year's unpleasantness could have been avoided, or at least postponed.
From now on, the anniversaries come fast and furious. I can remember the individual days, as I continued to take time off of work, hoping that whatever I had would just heal itself. In just over a week, I'd see my first doctor. I'd attend a friend's birthday party and limp through it. I'd cancel my plans to go to New York City's only shooting range, and instead stumble to the last movie I'd see in theaters for 9 months. A couple of days later, I'd be diagnosed with Lupus.
I'd skip out on a couple of concerts I wanted to see, buy some other concert tickets in the vain hope that I'd get better by the time I'd come around (instead of making a tidy profit from those tickets from my hospital bed). My computer would get hit by lightning the same day my doctor would say something along the lines of "This is getting serious," and inject me with a massive dose of steroids in a desperate attempt to stop what was going on. I'd host Trivia at the bar I host at four times a year, and not be able to stand for the entire evening of hosting.
I'd lie in bed getting worse and worse. I'd go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for the members' summer hours, barely being able to make it, but so happy to be out of the house that it was worth it. People would start bringing me the food that the steroids made me crave. I'd slowly lose the ability to walk, to shower daily, to stand without assistance. I'd get abscesses in places that don't have names outside of medical journals. Weird red spots in other places. I'd start to be unable to breathe properly. I'd start taking hits off of my girlfriend's asthma inhalers in an attempt to fill my lungs.
I'd lose my ability to eat anything. Then to stand at all. The urinary tract infection would make me need to pee three or four times a night. And then I'd go into the hospital, and come as close as I've ever come to death. The doctors would tell me I'd had a 5% chance of survival.
I'd lose all my muscle. A third of my weight. Eventually, even, after I'd thought I made it through, I'd lose the woman I love.
Some, but not all, of these things are related. Some of them just happened to happen at about the same time. Layer upon layer of shit.
But my bad year, well, it started a year ago.
It ends today.
I've had a number of mile-markers pass me recently.
I turned 30. All of the bad shit happened when I was thirty.
The FY09 Fiscal Year ended. All of these bad things happened during the FY09 Fiscal Year.
But today, I can concretely say that the worst year of my life had definitively started by July 13th, 2008.