Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I doubt anyone's reading this blog anymore, but here's an update anyway:-).

I've been sick with severe stomach problems since February. They got bad enough to send me to the emergency room in the middle of March. The doctors there did a CT scan and found nothing wrong except gallstones, which they thought could be the problem. Sure enough, not too much later I had an unpleasant and painful gallstone attack, and a surgeon told me I'd better have the thing removed. I had to wait a while (they spent a month monitoring my heart because I have a mild arrhythmia), during which I felt worse and worse. When the gallbladder was removed, the surgeon told me it had been very inflamed, and again, I assumed that was the problem.

Over the next month I recovered, and felt somewhat better. The kids and I took off for DisneyWorld in late summer. When we got back, I noticed I wasn't as peppy as I would have liked, but figured I was still recovering from the surgery. I began to feel worse and worse, however, to the point where I was taking two naps a day and still climbing into bed early. It's not good to be that tired when you're a single mom with no backup. I wasn't hungry, and by this point I'd lost twenty-five pounds with no effort since February, which obviously meant I was pretty sick.

Eventually I got irritated enough to head to the doctor. Bloodwork showed I was anemic, and they also found I had bleeding somewhere in my digestive tract. This time they sent me to the gastrointerologist, who scheduled a colonoscopy. It was done the day before Thanksgiving, and the diagnosis was ulcerative colitis. I apparently have the most extensive form, pancolitis, which means the whole colon is involved.

Anyway, it's a chronic disease, with "flares" and "remissions," but it can be managed with (lifelong) medication. I'm on an anti-inflammatory drug, and already it seems to be helping, yay. Already I feel much more like my old self. And it only took most of a year to get a diagnosis! *rolls eyes*

So that's more than you really wanted to know about Ellen's colon *laughs*. It's been a long, hard year, following another long, hard year. But hopefully now that I know what the problem is, and am taking medication for it, next year will be better!

Now that I feel human again, I'm contemplating if I want to get back into professional writing at all. I lost my agent, thanks to my inability to focus on writing due to first mourning, and then my protracted illness. So there's not much chance of me making it back into New York until I get some more small press stories published. But I'm hearing that people just aren't making much in small press anymore, generally speaking, thanks to the faltering economy. I honestly wonder if it's worth it...

Good news is that I still love my dog, and I now have a second Aussie. Here's my favorite picture of the two of them together:


  1. Wow, Ellen, what an ordeal. I'm so glad to hear you're better and finally have a diagnosis and treatment! Lovely dogs, too.

    About NY, why not just write something new to shop to agents instead of going small press?

  2. I don't know... it took me forever to get my last agent. Losing her, along with my small press problems, has left me pretty soured on professional writing in general, honestly. Not that I blame her, but I feel like I'm going to have to start over from scratch. It kind of sucks.

  3. Still reading your blog. Welcome back and I'm sorry that you were ill. Didn't anyone tell you that mothers are not allowed to get ill? :)

    Charlene has a good idea. Just keep writing.

    The dogs are adorable!

  4. Good grief!!! I'm happy to hear from you but sorry you've had such a tough time.

    Enjoy the holidays and get back to writing. You can submit to big and small. I'm sure you ahve ideas that would suit each. The important thing is that you get stuff out there so we can all read it. :)