I’ve been home a month now and I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what the heck I’ve been up to. Pretty life affirming stuff let me tell you:
Week 1: First weekend: took many long baths, sponging off layers of travel grime, posted photos on Facebook, felt only mild depression but did nothing to prepare for my job interview on Monday (the one I’d come home for), since it wasn’t an interview (I’d already had three of those) it was merely a “face-to-face”. Monday arrived and my grandmother died. I cried and went on to the “face-to-face”, which of course was a full-on interview. Tuesday I woke up sick, but went on to another “face-to-face” with the staff I’d already talked to by Skype. Yes, another full-interview. Then the self-pity started. Wednesday through Thursday: sick in bed moaning.
Week 2: Friday I flew to Missouri along with my nephew and sister feeling a lot better. Saturday evening I ignored my cold and had wine. Sunday, of course, I was sick again. Monday worse. When we landed in Portland my ears didn’t decompress. Tuesday more moaning in bed, my head swollen and feeling like it might explode. Wednesday I tried to buy Sudafed from the local Fred Myers, but they mistook me for a methhead and twice I was turned away in shame—my dripping nose, disheveled hair, and pajama bottoms probably not helping my credibility. Finally I returned with a driver’s license (they wouldn’t accept my passport!) but the Sudafed did nothing other than put me to sleep, taking precious time away from my third romance novel in three days, and my soft-pitiful moaning.
Week 3: Friday I got myself all dressed-up to go to another “face-to-face”/interview with another staff member followed by a visit to a doctor who told me I had a middle ear infection but had to wait it out. He did give me prescription for Vicodin to help with the waiting, but I decided on alternative remedies instead (see below). Monday Mom came. Wednesday my brother. My cold went away except for some lingering congestion, but my ear still didn’t pop.
Week 4: Friday we went to the mountains and I began applying for jobs. Monday my mom left and I got the bad/good news about the Portland job, just after a recruiter sent me an email about job possibilities in Afghanistan—I felt the universe was self-correcting just beautifully. I applied. Tuesday through Wednesday more job applications and hanging with family. Thursday it was back to Portland and a painful drive through the mountains.
Entering Week 5: Saturday my brother left and Audrey arrived. Now she’s gone too. And that ear? Three weeks later? NO POPPING! This despite a buffet of alternative therapy, from hydrogen peroxide bubbling in my ear, salty water drained through my nose, hot salt water gargles, acupuncture, meditation, hot tubbing in the snow (you never know), chiropractic, my sister’s finger rubbing my eustachian tube (fun, fun), and an energy cleansing of my room (okay, that was already scheduled and unrelated—but still, it hasn’t helped has it?).
But my ear is getting better. The noises aren’t quite as intense anymore. Sometimes I completely stop noticing the ringing and stuffiness. Or maybe I’m just adapting. I have a specialist appointment in a couple of weeks, but hopefully it will be long gone by then as the only alternative is surgery. But I’m not going to worry about that for now. For the next seven days, hidden away at a friend’s house, I will only eat, breath and write. No less than 10 hours a day. And come next Monday. It will be done. My second book. Hold me to it.