Sep 28 2008
I haven't been posting a whole lot lately since Lyssa and I got back from Pittsburgh two weekends ago; we'd gone home to finalize the wedding plans that remained, such as getting hold of the marriage license, agreeing on the floral arrangements, and whatnot. Unfortunately, this involved a lot of driving, totalling out in the neighborhood of twelve hours behind the wheel, a bit more if you factor in actually driving to and from Pennsylvania itself.
The first thing we ran into was the wedding license. To save ourselves some time and energy we decided to go to the Greene County courthouse, which is only a hop, a skip, and a jump away from where Lyssa's parents live (and where we were staying, coincidentally). Due to the fact that a Pennsylvania marriage license is good no matter where you are in Pennsylvania, we figured that we'd pop in, get ourselves a self-uniting marriage license, and get back on the road.
Simple, right? Per state law, we informed the clerks at the office up front that we wanted said license and they promptly refused to give it to us, stating that we had to be Quakers, Amish, or B'hai due to the fact that the state doesn't like people outside of the big three being allowed to perform wedding ceremonies. Neither Lyssa nor myself happen to be members of either path, so after debating with them a bit, placing a few phone calls (thanks again, 'lex), as well as citing a Supreme Court case (Knelly v. Wagner, 21 September 2007), we were able to cajole them into letting us have the wedding license by way of catching the ear of someone higher up in the food chain at the courthouse. Even then, they gave us a disclaimer which says that the marriage might not be legally binding due to the fact that we're not the sorts of people that the license was set aside for. They say that they can't give self-uniting licenses to just anyone to protect themselves from liability in the event that the ceremony isn't legally binding, but their argument makes no sense when you consider the fact that the very purpose of a self-uniting license is to give people who might not be part of one of the world-wide churches a measure of legitimacy.
It's convoluted. The essence of it is that the state tried to crack down on people that they couldn't hold accountable, even though they really can't hold Christian, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim clergy accountable for their ceremonies, either. Hell, Pennsylvania gave an atheist couple a hard time.
Anyway, it's a little up in the air right now. Lyssa's confident that everything will be all right; I have my doubts after having worked for Allegheny County for a couple of years and thus seen the crazy stuff that happens to the unwary in situations like this. It's one of the reasons I wanted to move out of Pennsylvania, after all.
On Saturday night I drove back to the homestead to visit with my family and make good on a promise I'd made a while ago, which was to move more stuff out of my old lab down to DC (to donate to HacDC, specifically). Along the way, my mother took me to get Chinese from a take-out place that Lupa and I used to go to when we lived in Pittsburgh - the owner was working the register when we arrived, and much to our surprise she recognized me on sight. We spent a few minutes catching up before returning to the car, and then to the homestead for dinner.
Their food hasn't changed much, it's still pretty good. I can't say I'm much of a fan of the fried pineapple, though.
After dinner my mother and I set about sorting through twenty years of computer equipment, books, and miscellany to see what I could bring back with me, what could be thrown out, and what could be kept. Suffice it to say that there is a carload from category one still knocking around in the TARDIS, there was enough from category two to require the use of a hand truck, and category three remains vanishingly small.
We found the floor of my old lab for the first time in many years.
Ziggy still hasn't forgiven me for leaving, or for getting her
Shortly before calling it quits for the night, I started feeling... off. Sick. Queasy, if you will. Upset stomach, sweating, and that undefinable feeling of something being wrong inside. I also felt as if my stomach was overfull all the time - like I'd eaten too much but it wasn't leaving my stomach for the small intestine. I'd figured that either I hadn't had good Chinese in too long (DC is notorious for this) or that the food had taken a turn for the worse, and something nasty had gotten into my gut. By the time I hauled myself back to Lyssa's parents' place I was wondering how in the hell I'd made it without getting sick or going off the road. The rest of the night was made up of my brain processing "Something's wrong. No, really, there's something very wrong, you need to do something about it." messages, which turned into strange blue-lit dreams of running around the house, tossing, and turning. Cold sweats, shaking, body pain, fever, inability to concentrate, the whole nine yards. What's worse, the symptoms persisted all through Sunday: even though I'd slept for most of the morning and napped in the afternoon before we headed back to DC I still felt like car exhaust.
Monday passed and left me feeling crappy, and I spent the night on the living room couch sleeping fitfully under a blanket. Early Tuesday morning brought with it a failed attempt to throw up (not entirely my doing) and more shakes. I called off from work around 0500 and hauled myself to the Inova Emergency Care facility not too far away fromm the apartment complex around 1100 EST5EDT Tuesday morning.
The next four hours were spent catching up on my reading in the waiting room, broken up here and there by visits from the physician on duty and a couple of nurses. It was determined that I had a case of spleenomegaly, or a swollen spleen. A couple of phials of blood were drawn by a phlebotomist who decided that picking a deeply placed vein in the crook of my elbow which might not even be there (there isn't) over the large, humped up vein in my forearm was a good idea. An hour or two after that I found that my red cell, white cell, and platelet counts were all within normal parameters for a human of my shape and size, which ruled out whole swaths of possible conditions right off the bat. I was sent home with instructions to make an appointment with my physician and to be careful because enlarged spleens can rupture if you're struck in the stomach (which predictably brought with it worries of automobile crashes and running into closing doors) while the rest of my bloodwork was shipped off to a lab for in-depth analysis.
The next day I started feeling quite a bit better, to tell the truth. My head finally cleared, the body ache went away, and my energy came back.
Thursday brought with it a trip to the doctor's office for a checkup that revealed that my the inflammation seems to have subsided, along with the persistent feelings of fullness. I was advised to drink lots of fluids and to be careful for a few days, just in case. The day after that, the results of my bloodwork came back: clean all across the board. Negative on mono, sundry cancers, toxoplasmosis, or anything else. If I had anything my body had fought it off. I still don't know what the hell happened, or even if anything really had happened. For all I know, all the running around I'd been doing in the previous two weeks had caused it. Or maybe it had suppressed my immune system sufficiently to give something a chance to dig itself in for a time. I don't know, and I don't have enough information to speculate. What I do know is that I seem to be back on top of things, albeit a bit behind, and that I can't stop to smell the roses just yet.