Here's what I've been doing in July:

Aaand a little bit of this:


And some of this:

Not what you're doing with your July, is it?

Mr. PW spent the last half of June in Russia, which was really, really cool for him, but obviously left me home alone. Over that time, a pain in my belly started and got progressively worse until I could barely sleep or walk. By the time my mother and I picked him up at O'Hare in the middle of the night, I was not terribly functional. Still for some reason I was hoping that it would all just go away. That's kind of the mindset you get into when you have a chronic illness; pain is just a part of life, and if you can avoid the expense of a doctor on something that'll go away on it's own, why would you seek help?

Well, six abdominal abscesses and a partial fistula is why. Mr. PW took me to the ER and I didn't leave the hospital for five days. Exactly one month later - this Friday - they took the drain in my belly out. I'm still holding my breath - they took it out once before, and I relapsed and had to have it put back in.  I have a PICC line:

and I've been giving myself infusions of IV antibiotics four times a day. Let me tell you how old that routine has gotten. I'm done with this game now.

I've been home from work - thank goodness for short term disability policies - and coworkers have been covering for me. I'll be home next week to allow for possible backsliding, finish the IV drugs, and get my PICC line out. Then I'll go back, and I'm ready to.

Parting shot: I was in the hospital for the weekend before Independence Day and one of the nurses took a couple of us more mobile patients to the roof of the parking garage to watch the fireworks across the lake.


Your mother was right: you don't have anything if you don't have your health. Don't forget that, you lucky people out there.

[Second, third and final pictures are by Mr. PW. He has an eye for it, does he not?]