Marginal Thoughts.

What About Bob?

To tell you the sorry truth, my Sims have been in a serious rut lately.

I decided to visit Chris and Melissa, the happy Roomie couple. They had a lot of invitations to return, so they had some folks over.

Ruby Ann Hatfield clogged their toilet. Yecch. Nice realism there, Maxis.

Then everyone decided to congregate in the bathroom for some inexplicable reason.

Ted Bundy, who'd been copping something of an attitude from the beginning of the visit, decided he'd had enough when Chris caught the kitchen on fire.(You can see his panicky hands on the far right.)

(Chris got really lucky here -- I'd stupidly installed the fire alarm on a different wall and it never summoned the fire department; somehow, Chris and Melissa managed to extinguish the fire themselves. The first time I played the Roomie family, Melissa died trying to put out a fire herself. I quit that game without saving to give her a second lease on life.)

Ted bailed right after that. He doesn't like fire.

Elsewhere, when we last left swinging Bob Newbie, his wife had just left him to experience polygamy heaven with Ted and Marge Bundy. (Well, it hasn't exactly been heavenly, since she and Marge are constantly at each other's throats. But whatever.)

Bob never missed a beat. He stepped up his courtship of Bella Goth, and within two days, she said "yes".

They exchanged vows in a romantic kitchen ceremony.

Just as they were wondering how Bella was going to get used to living in a much smaller and less elaborate place, Bella learned that her rich, eccentric old Uncle Klapaucius had died and left her his entire fortune.

Bella's ex-husband and kid had always bored me anyhow, so I kicked them out of their mansion (uhh ... I mean, they left Simville to start their lives over without Bella) and moved Bob and Bella in. That haunted mansion is too cool to leave unoccupied. I figured out how to knock down walls and build a proper upstairs area with -- gasp -- multiple rooms.

(I adore this tacky den I made for Bob ... I just LOVE the moosehead, another extra from Maxis.)

I'd also advise any fellow Sim players out there to buy an armoire, so your characters can change their clothes.

Awwww. Aren't they just too cute?


... All content copyright 1999-2000 by Nicole Willson. No ripping me off.

3/14 -- The Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Well. There's nothing like home IV treatment to make you feel both really pampered and utterly pathetic.

Marilyn, the friendly and chipper nurse assigned to me via the home therapy service, arrived sharp at 10:15 am on Saturday. Bill and I had already been up for hours at that point, running around and cleaning the place so she wouldn't see us living in our normal hovel-like conditions.

I embarassed myself by keeling over and nearly passing out when she made a first, unsuccessful attempt at sticking a vein. Owwwww. Mommmieeeee. (I'm just not very veiny -- the woman at the MRI center last week had the same problem trying to find a vein to inject the contrast dye into.) After that little setback, she got the whole IV pole and tubing set up right next to my comfy recliner, and my first IV steroid treatment was overwith rather quickly.

Although I'd been told the steroids would rev my metabolism up and give me a huge surge of energy, they knocked me right on my ass that Saturday. Before the Friday appointment with the neurologist, Bill and I had planned a desperately-needed weekend getaway in Baltimore. I think we clung to the idea until the last possible moment, but finally bailed on the plan when both of us fell into an exhausted sleep on Saturday afternoon.

The whole ordeal has actually been relatively hassle-free. Marilyn came by the next few mornings to hook me up but taught me how to finish up the process by myself every day. The neatest trick was trying to get Rascal and Mindy into the bedroom every morning before she got to my place. You can tell cats "The IV pole is NOT a toy" as many times as you like, and the cats still refuse to understand. Yes, the pole is tall and shiny and practically begs for an inquisitive face-rub. Yes, it has all kinds of enticing cords and tubes and bags dangling down looking for all the world like the cool-as-shit cat toy from heaven. I guess if I were a cat, I'd have trouble believing, too.

I went into work on Monday for a bit, long enough to pick up some work for Tuesday and try clearing the air with my supervisors a bit. Good move -- once I laid out everything I'd been through and exactly why the IV steroid treatment was necessary -- and once the words "multiple sclerosis" came up -- my supervisor finally perked up and said she and my boss had been really worried about me. That's what I'd needed to hear, and that's what I hadn't been hearing up until then. I'm guessing that because there's nothing visibly wrong with me, the seriousness of this whole situation didn't really get through until I explained everything.

Helping my case a bit was the portable catheter that remained attached to my hand from Saturday to the end of the treatment so that the nurse wouldn't have to re-stick me every day. The plastic tubing wrapped around my hand a couple of times and occasionally filled up with a little blood from the vein it was keeping open. If you ask nicely, maybe I'll post a picture of it here in a few days. (If you ask me even more nicely, maybe I won't.) I found it oddly fascinating in a really disgusting sort of way. I suspect anyone else who caught a glimpse of it probably just found it really gross.

I felt a little less ghoulish when I visited my copy editor yesterday to give her an update. (God bless her -- she's been the only one at work to express any real concern over my condition up to yesterday. She's even talked to her acupuncture doctor about my whole situation.) A couple of weeks ago, she stepped barefoot on a drywall nail at home. Yesterday, she pointed to her bulletin board, where she'd taped up the nail as an odd little memento. (Damn -- the thing was enormous. I can't believe she was walking the next day.) I don't think I'll be doing that with any of my leftover tubing.

And now for the really good news -- I visited the neurologist again today so he could prescribe the oral steroids that will follow the IV treatment. Although the vision in my bad eye is still washed out and a little fuzzy, I can read at a 20/20 level with it for the first time since this whole ordeal started. In fact, he was so impressed with the progress I was making that he called off the last IV treatment, which would have been tomorrow, and told me to go ahead and start the oral meds.

The bloodwork he had done for me last week turned out fine (though he didn't get the Lyme's Disease blood test back yet -- but I can't imagine how that could be the problem), and he told me that because my MRI came back totally clean and my optic neuritis is responding so well to treatment, he believes that my chances of going on to develop MS are probably less than 10 percent.

I like those odds.

Bill and I made a couple of giddy stops at the Great Harvest Bread Company (mmmm ... blueberry scones) and Starbucks before heading to CVS to get my new prescription filled. Although the oral steroid treatment will stretch out for the next two weeks, for all intents and purposes this ordeal seems to be coming to a close and both of us can resume something close to our normal lives. (Please, God.)

And now I'm all finished up with the last IV treatment, the neat-and-disgusting catheter is out of my hand, and I'm actually looking at a doctor-free week for the rest of the week. I can't believe it. Even though it's only been a little over two weeks since this whole nightmare began, I feel like it's been years. I can't believe everything I've been through. Our power at home was out for a week? I had an MRI? I've been hooked up to an IV for the last few days? I've missed tons of work and been to several doctors trying to get to the bottom of this? Me? Really? Wow.

Before I Forget: I'd be remiss if I didn't offer a few thank-yous.

To Lots Of You Out There: I've gotten some wonderfully kind and supportive messages from many of you, both folks I know in real life and folks I've only encountered via this journal. I truly appreciate every last kind word from all of you. I'm lucky -- I've got terrific readers.

To Bill: At a time when Bill was supposed to be starting a whole new, high-responsibility position at his company, he had to deal with a week-long power outage at home and a moody, frightened wife who he's shuttled to doctor after doctor over the last couple of weeks. He's accompanied me into the examination rooms for every doctor appointment, taken careful notes, remembered to ask the things I forgot to, haggled with my doctors on the phone trying to obtain necessary information for other treatments, held me and dried my tears time and time again, made multiple runs to the grocery store for me, and treated me like a queen. He's done so without a single complaint or even much sign of strain, even though this has been as hard on him as it's been on me. He's truly gotten a crash course in the "for worse" part of our "for better or for worse" marriage vows last October.

I don't know how the hell I'd have gotten through any of this without him. Thank you, Bill.

Random Observations: I've been watching an awful lot of TV and reading a little more over the last few days. (Not much else to do when you're confined to your recliner.)

"Contact." Bill and I watched the last half-hour of this movie, which I'm assuming was supposed to be the most interesting and gripping part. Did the rest of the movie suck as much as the final hour did? Jesus. Even though the IV steroids caused insomnia and I've needed tranquilizers to sleep at night, this movie put both of us out like a light. Ugh.

"Dark Shadows." I know I've mentioned it here before, but this show (rerun on the Scifi channel from 11-12 in my area) kicks all kinds of ass. The end of every show is a friggin' edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger -- my IV ran out yesterday just as Quentin locked his fraidy-cat cousin (I think) in the vault with undead cousin Barnabas and threatened him to wait until dark, when Barnabas would wake up. I could barely tear myself away to unhook myself from all the apparatus.

And today, I noticed something that cracked my ass up -- the girl who played Violet Beauregard (the blueberry girl from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory") had a role in the show -- she caught Barnabas about to bite some woman on the neck. I'm almost sorry I have to go back to work tomorrow. (Not really. But almost.)

"My Everest Story:" I suppose that the publishing industry won't be content until every last surviving Everest climber, Sherpa, Base Camp participant, and yak has written a book about their take on the deadly 1996 storm. And I probably won't be content until I've read 'em all. I picked this one up last night; it's written by a guy who was all of 16 when he was up on the mountain during the legendary disaster. Although it's amateurish and a little hokey, the kid does a pretty decent job of writing about what climbing means to him, and so far, his is absolutely the most ego-free of all the Everest disaster books.

Anyhow. That's been my life for the last few days, and I'm really looking forward to a little more peace and quiet now.

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