Sunday, September 26, 2004

Some of you may recall a period earlier this year when I was undergoing a bunch of health problems. Well, happy days are here again, apparently. After a wonderful week in NYC (about which more later, I promise-slash-hope), I began experiencing trouble last Tuesday. That morning, I was staying with Geeta; see,, the website whose relaunch party I was in town to participate in, had given me two nights in a hotel--the Tribeca Grand, talk about your schwankety schwank. In the subway with G--she going to work, me going to check in--my lower back began hurting. Weird, I think--maybe I put too much pressure on my tailbone by slump-sitting. After awhile, I checked into the hotel, brought my stuff to my room, only to find that I can't sit down comfortably. I've had problems like this before but can't quite figure it out. Later that night, a bunch of NYC friends and I gathered in the TriGrand lounge area, having drinks. (eMusic had kindly sent a nice bottle of wine, which we devoured.) I went up to my room to use the bathroom and noticed that the problem wasn't my lower back--it was a largeish lump on the top part of my butt, which is the source of the pain. Suddenly I remember that my sister Brittany, around Christmas last year, had a cyst in the same location--and that it was infected and needed to be drained, then lanced. I began to think I had the same thing.

After two nights in the TriGrand that I have difficulty sleeping through, I flew home to Seattle. Luckily for me, I'm the only person seated in my airplane row, so I was actually able to catch some sleep, laying on my side--the seat-backs providing support so I didn't slump to one side or another. (Right: I couldn't sleep in a king-sized bed in one of the nicest hotels in NYC but was able to get some shut-eye on an airplane.) After getting back home, I went to work, started getting things done, and after two and a half hours couldn't take it anymore. I taxied to a hospital, and they diagnosed me pretty much immediately with a pilonidal cyst--the same thing my sister had. It's basically an abcess. I was prescribed Vicodin for the pain and Ciprofloxacin, an antibacterial medicine. Over the next 40 hours or so, I took many of the pills, particularly the Vicodin, which on Friday essentially rendered me a zombie. I fell asleep at my desk three times, and took two unplanned naps on couches at the office, during office hours. Almost astonishingly, I got my entire section edited and the art taken care of despite these setbacks. But I spent most of Friday asleep or in a waking dream, feeling like a cottonball, thanks to the Vicodin.

Yesterday--Saturday--I woke up at 9 a.m. and felt a lot clearer-headed and energetic; also less in pain. I went to the bathroom; it turns out that the cyst had opened up, and I called an ambulance and went to ER again. They opened it up with an X-acto knife and then opened some of the inner walls w/scissors. This all hurt about as much as you'd expect it to, but it was also a tremendous relief--a lot of the pain was due to the amount of pressure the infection had caused, and cutting it up and letting it out diminished this a tremendous amount. (There was a LOT of pus there. I'll spare you further detail aside from saying the infection is extremely disgusting.) Once they'd drained as much as they could, they filled the pocket with gauze and sent me home. After a stopoff at the Capitol Hill Internet Cafe, where I had some cereal, I went home and stayed there all day and night; my roommate kindly picked up some chicken teriyaki from a nearby takeout place and sat and gabbed with me for a few hours before going to bed, and I called a couple people. But I didn't feel like going out, despite this weekend being rammed with great shows--tons of No Vote Left Behind events, the Decibel Festival, the Ex playing at two locations last night. My body chooses to act up against my being at the least opportune times.

I went back to ER this morning, and in about ten minutes from check in to check out, they took the gauze out, refilled it with clean gauze, and sent me on my way. This process will repeat until it's healed up--according to my sister Brittany, about a week. I have to go in every morning for it. But I can sit, I can lay on my back, I can walk around comfortably, I can do normal shit, though I'm gonna chill at home as much as I can till it's all healed up. Only thing is: I have to wear a (no kidding) tampon, on my ass, until this thing is over. Ladies, you will never ever ever have anything less than 100% of my sympathy regarding this particular piece of cotton finery again.