Letters from the Real World: The Real World Strikes Back

By Cait Reynolds

Sometimes, I wish the universe wasn’t so freaking melodramatic. I mean, I get it. Yin and yang have to have to happen. But seriously, does the yang have to be so dang yangy?

Since last Monday, it has been a struggle to stay on top of things. On Monday itself, I had my infusion treatment for immune suppression for my kidney transplant. It’s such a concentrated dose of medication that I basically get knocked out and am useless for anything but passing out the rest of the day.

Then, starting Tuesday, I began feeling kind of nauseous. Could be the side-effects of the drug, but since it has lasted almost a week now, I’m wondering if it’s not some kind of combination of drug side-effect, small bug, and stress from bad news.

Bad news? Oh yeah. I got bad news at the doctor on Wednesday. Don’t worry. I’m going to be around for a long time writing these articles, but what I found out was pretty crushing in other ways. This was on top of trying start training for my 5k run in June. Yeah. Nothing like piling it on, right?

So, Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Friday were spent as a hot, teary, nauseous, snotty mess. And I still had to answer some crucial emails and put up a video for my turn with The Fictionistas.

I spent the last 72 hours in bed, groaning, trying not to throw up, and repenting a variety of sins.

But, here’s where we come back to the point. It’s Monday, I still don’t feel great (though, I made progress with a few spoons of applesauce and some Sprite). But, like any job, I have to rally and start getting back in the saddle as much as I can. Also, like any job where you’ve missed time because you’re sick, I find myself behind in my workload, and the prospect of trying to catch up while still nauseous is not fun.

The point is, being a writer is a job. Sure, I’m wearing yoga pants and can rest in between posts and plots. But, it’s up to me to be responsible for being truthful about my sick time to myself, and motivating myself to actually suck it up and work, just as I would have to if I was commuting to an office or clocking in at a store (both of which I have done in my time).

Like any job, there are times when health and personal issues interfere. The difference with being a writer is that YOU are your own human resources department, and it’s up to YOU to expect yourself to pick yourself up and get back to work.

So, this was not the greatest post ever, but I wrote it. I got it done, and it’s blunt and honest about my experience. Hopefully next week, all kinds of things will be better, and I will have something more fun to share.