Archive for February, 2013


Hey, where’s the comic?

Sorry guys, right now Michael is sick and I’m recovering from yet another surgery, so although the comics are done and commentary would theoretically be simple to add, neither can go up until this afternoon when we can hopefully both see straight enough to work out exactly which comics we’re supposed to be posting when. Seriously, I look at the calendar and it goes all swimmy and brings on a splitting headache. This here is what we call touch typing. So, yeah, we’ll be back this afternoon.


More hospital fun, this time in Poe flavor!

Okay, so, here’s what’s going on…

At the start of January, Poe started getting really sick. At first, we thought it was the same wretched bug I had gotten, but I got better after about a week of misery, while Poe never really did, and instead he just kept getting worse. He hates going to the doctor, though, because he had cancer as a kid, and he doesn’t have insurance, so it took until this Monday to finally get him to go to the doctor. The doctor ran some tests, and then Friday we got a call saying, “Go to the emergency room immediately.” Poe finally went, and after a day of standard emergency room limbo, they admitted him to the hospital for acute renal failure. As of the time I’m writing this, I don’t know much more than that, but I trust this hospital. They’re the ones who saved me back in 2011, and if it is possible to do it at all, they will find and fix the problem for Michael.

Now, back to the part about no insurance. I know that the first instinct any time this kind of terrible bad luck hits someone is to try to donate to help them with their medical bills. The thought is appreciated, but please… DO NOT GIVE US DONATIONS. Donations are very unlikely to cover the bill, but they are guaranteed to make Michael ineligible for the existing financial aid options. Instead, if you really want to pitch in, please go to either our Etsy shop or our online store and buy the original Errant Story comic pages. Those purchases will put money into the business, and won’t affect Michael’s eligibility for financial aid. No matter how this turns out in the long run, they’re beautiful pieces and a good investment for you, and the money going into the business will give us options to figure out what on earth we’re going to do when this is over. So that’s the best way to help. Well, unless you’re a comic artist. Then you could maybe give us fan art or fan comics to run on the site for a while. Either Does Not Play Well With Others or Errant Story fan comics would be awesome, and hell, if you’ve got pent up Exploitation Now fandom bubbling away inside you, we’ll gladly run with that, too.

As always, your thoughts and prayers are welcome, and I’ll try to keep you updated as I learn more. Now it’s time for me to sleep, because I only got two hours last night and I have to be up in about four to go back to the hospital. Whee.

- Hilary

P.S. Oh, but for those keeping track, I actually came through my thyroidectomy last week just fine, and I’m breathing a lot better now. But I am getting really tired of all this bad health luck, guys. Seriously, the never-ending sickness and death that we’ve been dealing with since 2010 is well past the stage of becoming farce, except that it really isn’t at all funny to live through. More like terrifying, exhausting, and traumatic. We’re spending all this time and energy on real life problems, without getting any breathers to enjoy real life, let alone spend time on our webcomic lives, or for that matter sleep, and every time it starts looking like we’ll finally be done with one problem so we can resume our regular programming, something else comes along and screws it all up again. I just want things to stop going wrong and get better so we can go back to getting some fucking work done, you know?


I guess we probably should have said something…

Wow… people are appearing from the mists of time to wish us well, that’s amazing. You guys are awesome, thank you!

I guess I hadn’t realized, in writing that last post, that not everyone was actually aware of what has been happening in our lives the last couple of years. I guess we didn’t say all that much about it at the time, and people just thought we’d gotten out of the habit of updating regularly. I don’t want to be depressing or whiny and distract from what’s happening right now, but maybe it would be good to provide a cheat sheet, so here’s a rough timeline of what’s been happening the last couple of years.

Summer 2010 - Our house decides it hates us, and Poe has some kinda nasty though not dangerous health experiences.

June 2010 - I’m diagnosed with primary dysmenorrhea. This is the beginning of a lengthy diagnostic and treatment process which to this day has not been concluded.

November 2010 - Michael and I get a horrible flu which I guarantee everyone in Cincinnati remembers as that week where nothing stayed in their bodies. Ours lasts two weeks, sequentially.

December 25, 2010 - We get the call that Michael’s dad has died. Michael’s his next of kin, so all of a sudden we’ve got his affairs to settle. This includes a house packed full of a couple generations worth of stuff. In addition, I’m preparing for a diagnostic surgery.

January 2011 - I go in for the first of many surgeries, a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis. It’s negative, and I recover well, though it’s a couple of months before I’m back in physical shape to deal with all the new problems in Alabama. Poe is still pretty out of it.

February 2011 - Poe’s honorary stepfather dies of lung cancer. Also, his uncle died that same month. Also our good friend’s father died that same month. It was a really crappy month.

April 2011 - My Grandma died. We couldn’t go to the funeral, but at this point I can’t remember why.

June 2011 - I start getting occasional weird, sharp pains and feeling sick all the time. Among other things, this causes me to miss most of Akon, which is unfortunate both because it leaves Poe the hearing-impaired introvert handling the table by himself, and because there were people I wanted to talk to but couldn’t. I still regret not getting back to the Studio Foglio table.

August 2011 - Sick time and the estate stuff in Alabama has left us stretched too thin. We have to shut down all aspects of the business that aren’t the comic while we try to catch up. The plan is to do the catching up over the fall, and come back better than ever. Still working on that.

September 2011 - It turns out I need to have my gall bladder removed. The surgery is scheduled for October 3.

October 2011 - I get my gall bladder removed. Everything goes EPICALLY WRONG. Poe has to spend every single day at the hospital so that he can consent to treatment for me.

November 2011 - I’m still in critical condition in the ICU. At the time Poe made this post, they only thought I was awake, in fact I was still hallucinating really badly and only occasionally got the data around me, with no comprehension of the actual situation.

December 2011 - I finally get out of the ICU and into a rehabilitation hospital. Poe gets sick, but because he’s always keeping me from freaking out at the hospital, he doesn’t get a chance to recover.

Time becomes glacial, but on the 28th I finally get to go home to be sick in my own bed, with kitties to keep me company. Poe no longer has to commute, but with no nursing staff that doesn’t mean much of a break for him.

January 2012 - I was still relearning that whole walking thing. I spend most of the month obsessed with becoming strong enough to stand up from the floor without assistance. The rest of the time I spend feverishly attempting to figure out how to pull us out of our now much-advanced tailspin. Poe is still so busy taking care of me that he has no time for anything else.

February 2012 - The months of stress catch up with Poe, leaving him severely depressed. I start trying to talk him into seeking some help with it.

April 2012 - I’m feeling better and am back in physical therapy, Poe is getting treatment, and things are optimistic enough to try to let you guys know what’s going on.

May 2012 - Poe’s uncle dies. My physical therapy runs into constant issues with my insurance and financial aid that to this day I haven’t had the energy to sort out yet, even though I think they actually are supposed to give us back some of the copay money.

July 2, 2012 - My best friend commits suicide. I am shattered, and accomplish nothing for three months, and to be honest not a whole lot since, either. Poe spends a lot of time taking care of me instead of being able to do anything. Again.

October 2012 - Semi-truck retread shreds the underside of our car, forcing us to rent one for about two weeks while it’s repaired.

November 2012 - Poe gets a cold, I get it nastier. It goes away mercifully quickly, but cancels some of our plans regarding finishing the stuff in Alabama.

January 2012 - I get another nasty cold thing, just on New Year’s Eve. It keeps me from breathing to the point where I go to the doctor. On the way home, the car that we just repaired gets banged up by a hit and run driver. It’s drivable and we’re sick of putting money into it, so we haven’t even filed a claim because we can’t spare the deductible again so soon. Poe catches my nasty bug thing a day or two later, kicks it, and then catches another one right on its heels, not realizing that he isn’t just taking a long time to get better. Also, I have another surgery, this one to remove my thyroid so that in theory I can breathe again and get my voice back. Guess who takes care of me?

February 8, 2013 - Poe finally goes to the emergency room after weeks of nagging from everyone he knows. He is admitted with acute renal failure.

So now you’re all caught up. I’m sorry it took so long, but, well… I guess that’s kindof the point, isn’t it? I really do wonder whose luck we’re balancing with all this, and I definitely wish we could someday get to make a list of spectacular lucky things that happened that isn’t really just a litany of, “It could have been worse.” Maybe we could accidentally discover a cure for cancer, or learn that Poe’s ability to speak with his eyebrows has won first prize in the secret intergalactic talent competition, and now we get a TARDIS. Something, ANYTHING. We just need to catch a fucking break.

-_-’

Edit: Oh, there were links to some newsposts in there, but it seems they don’t show up. I’m too tired to fix it, they’ll highlight if you mouse over them. I’ll give you an update on Poe’s condition in the morning, when I’m not so tired and pissed off at the universe that I can’t see straight.


Poe is home!

Well, the good news is that Poe is home. They didn’t actually wait to even get all the test results before discharging him, they just sent him the moment he was stable, but he is stable and he is home.

Apparently, what happened is that he was sick (probably with this year’s particularly virulent flu, though we’ve yet to see results from any of his flu tests), that taxed his immune system, and then he got a pretty aggressive infection that worked its way into his kidneys. They shut down. He was also extremely dehydrated, which didn’t help. In theory, treating the infection and drinking tons of water should flush the system and put his kidneys approximately back to normal. So, they loaded him up with IV antibiotics and fluids for a while, and then ran some tests, and then sent him home with a prescription for a heavy duty antibiotic and instructions to drink at least half a gallon of water a day.

I am thrilled that Michael is home and that his condition is apparently reversible, but I am also really nervous about them sending him home so fast after having organs quit. In my experience, organs quitting is generally not an easily resolved issue (though I’ll admit my experience is a bit unusual and not entirely attached to reality, as magical multi-dimensional high speed hospital trains are not part of everyone’s organ failure experience, I’m sure). This is a very good hospital, though, and if they thought he was safe to leave he probably really was, it just… makes me nervous. “Acute renal failure” is a scary set of words, it doesn’t sound like the sort of thing that gets fixed by drinking lots of water and getting plenty of rest, not even with mega-antibiotics to help.

At the very least, Poe is going to need follow-up appointments, and now that he’s been sent home it’s going to be really hard to get him to actually go to them. Fortunately, Michael’s mom got here to provide reinforcements, so between the two of us I imagine we can get him to drink his water, take ALL his antibiotics, eat regularly, and at least schedule a follow-up appointment. It’s a start.

^-^’

Edit: We finally got the results. Apparently, it was not the flu. That’s… weird.