Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wolves at the door

While I was able, a couple weeks ago, to be intrigued by the name of a loved one's newly diagnosed disease, I find that I am not able to be tolerant of even the tiniest aspect of lupus. Many days, complications, and odious medical procedures later, lupus evokes not quaint fairy tale wolves but rather a ring of slavering beasts encircling my worried but defiant family.

Our vocabulary has increased along with our stress level. A month ago, I couldn't tell you with any confidence what a rheumatologist, hemotologist, or nephrologist was, and now I speak with representatives of these medical specialties daily. Lupus nephritis, plasmapheresis, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, and creatinine are just a few of the terms we sprinkle into our conversations.

Oddly, most of the doctors who visit the hospital room daily are astonishingly good-looking. Or perhaps we are just seeing them through a golden haze of hope. I imagine that the woodcutter who chopped open that hungry wolf looked pretty darn handsome to Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.

Naturally, I've been plunging into books whenever possible. Although I've finished an enormous adult fantasy tome (Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven) and two YA novels (Karen Healey's Guardian of the Dead and Emma Clayton's The Roar), the two books I'm reading now have been most successful at distracting me. They are Ian McEwan's Solar and Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Although these books couldn't be more different, they both feature 60-something modern-day Englishmen whose trials and tribulations provide a fine escape from my own.

One book I'll be avoiding for a while is Neil Gaiman's The Wolves in the Walls. Too close to reality right now.


  1. I have a close friend with lupus, whose been in remission for over ten years now...but it is a nasty, nasty, thing to have, and my thoughts are with you all.

  2. Maybe these attractive doctors -- like LA waiters -- are all aspiring movie stars.

  3. I like that phrase "remission for over ten years..."!

  4. Oh, how hard for all of you, and what great reserves of courage and fortitude you have been able to summon. My thoughts and best wishes are with you.