Thursday, March 13, 2008


For some reason epidemics come to to me. Both BLUE (polio in North Carolina) and HEALING WATER (leprosy in Hawaii) grew out of writing assignments. Otherwise, I would not be writing about diseases.

After all, it's not as if I ever do any doctoring beyond applying ointments and removing splinters. If you were to get sick and needed someone with a bedside manner to nurse you through it; you certainly wouldn’t call on me. As far as I'm concerned the human body is a wondrously fragile thing and I’m certain that if I try to fix one I will surely lose a life in the process.

And now there is a miniscule epidemic in my house. My one-year-old granddaughter is here this week with her parents and a few days ago she started the whole vomiting and diarrhea cycle. Nothing life-threatening for sure. But a stomach virus can make a body seriously miserable for a day or two. Last night we felt confident the little darling was better but just to be on the safe side we postponed a family dinner scheduled at our house. And wouldn’t you know – overnight her mommy and daddy came down with it. So we won't be getting the cousins together tonight either.

Today I am feeling vulnerable. I’m eating dry toast and drinking ginger ale and lots of water. I’m wiping door knobs and light switches with a mild bleach solution while thinking about epidemics and fear. I'm not normally afraid of mice but suddenly in the middle of manuscript revisions it occurs to me that my daughter used my computer yesterday.

Yikes! My pet Bluetooth gets a quick wipe down.

It’s no big deal really. If I get this bug, the worst that will happen is I’ll lose a day of revisions and maybe a few pounds at the same time. ; ) But still I take precautions. It makes me realize how a really frightening disease could put you in a paranoid mindset.

On a related note: Those of you who read FEVER 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson will be interested to know that yellow fever is making a comeback in Paraguay right now. In 2009 I’ll have the opportunity to attend a church conference in that country. I haven't put it on my schedule but this news along with Laurie's novel certainly makes the idea of vaccines feel much more pertinent!


  1. Oh, I hope the bug passes you by without stopping!

  2. Oh, wow Joyce! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the bug scuttles away from your house ASAP. Take care!

  3. Yeah, those bugs can be just pains. Actually in a young child with vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, you have to be very careful about dehydration (they can't drink the same things we can to keep hydrated), but it sounds like you have handled it well and now you are taking precautions to prevent your getting sick. Hope it stays away from you and sounds like you have a new novel planned for next year - good luck - E :)