Some of you were of the impression that this weekend's illness was in some way related to my ongoing health problems. Mostly it wasn't, so far as we and Dr. porphyrin can tell. Mostly the only way my ongoing health problems have related is that I have very little in the way of reserves, so I have been knocked completely flat instead of the only-mostly-flat you usually get with stomach bugs. So while I had a rather unpleasant experience, we will be judging future trips on a case-by-case basis, not issuing a ban on cons until/unless we get this other stuff figured out. More importantly, those of you who saw me this weekend should be aware that next weekend I will likely not look or feel like that. This is not my steady-state condition right now. I appreciate your concern, I just want to make sure it's well-directed.
Umm. So those of you who were at the con know that I got up to go to ellen_kushner's reading on Saturday afternoon and had to leave to pass out in the hall, then be sick in the hotel trashcan, and then pass out again briefly. Wheee, was that a good time. Most people who pass out and/or throw up at cons have done things they've enjoyed or at least intended to enjoy to get there. I feel cheated. (I also felt rather awkward walking around pale and trembly -- I wanted to say, "I do have a sense of my own tolerance, really!") I also want to say that it was not in any way a commentary on ellen_kushner's reading, and I intend to go buy her next book as soon as it's out.
The hotel staff and the con staff were both really great, and I will be writing them thank-you letters. The hotel staff got a wheelchair to take me up to my room, since I was still not holding very tightly to consciousness at that point. (If they hadn't had one, I feel pretty sure I could have walked draped over porphyrin and matociquala, but it's just as well not to run that experiment.) The hotel staff offered 7Up and crackers and o.j. and extra towels, and when the night manager came on duty, he called to introduce himself and check up on me. They also called porphyrin's cell phone to check with her on how I was doing. Getting her name and cell phone number as a doctor might have been the act of a hotel protecting themselves from lawsuits, but the rest was definitely human decency in action and much appreciated as such.
The con staff also wanted porphyrin to issue updates to them, which was nice. I'm told that they were indignant when she told them some friends had been dispatched to get me chicken soup: "We would have done that!" And the thing is, I know they would have. After this experience, I really believe that if you have to get sick in a hotel away from your home and family, a con is the absolute best place to do it. I had people I actually knew backing me up, but the con staff was genuinely concerned, and I think most con staffs would be, and would take it as a point of pride to take care of "their own."
retrobabble and ccfinlay and sksperry were very sweet to bring me chicken soup, and it made me feel warm and fuzzy and cared-for. And ksumnersmith came and sat and talked with me for two hours, and it felt like the most natural thing in the world. We'd never actually met in person before, but to my brain, of course Karina would spend some time with me while I was sick before heading out, because it's Karina. With other people I've been nervous about whether they'd be how they were online. But Karina is Karina and of course she was going to be Karina, so there was no reason to be nervous about that.
Sunday morning I just went downstairs and sat on the couch and watched the world go by. Lots of the world stopped by to talk, which was good. (I think a few of them had to do a double-take with my glasses, though.) And feeling woozy did not preclude getting giggly a couple of times, so that was a good thing, and the drive home was uneventful.
I missed a lot of people who were there, I know, but from the friendslist I got to see, and in many cases talk to: 1crowdedhour, bneuensc, buymeaclue, carbonel, careswen, ccfinlay, chance88088, leahbobet, deannahoak, dolphin__girl, elisem, elizabethbear/matociquala, ellen_kushner, katallen, ksumnersmith, lnhammer, lsanderson, magentamn, mmerriam, ospreys_view palinade, pnh, porphyrin, retrobabble, sdn, secritcrush (are you still "secrit," secritcrush?), sksperry, stillsostrange, stellar_magpie, stillnotbored and tnh. So that's a lot of lj people. I saw a bunch of non-lj people, too. Even with limited time, I saw People. Many of them really, really good People.
I did not even get out the camera or the bars. Which is a sad thing, but there you have it.
Some people have asked if I'm still glad I went. I'm really trying not to evaluate that much. The good things were good things, and the bad things we dealt with, and nobody is actually offering me a time machine and the choice to go again knowing what the weekend would be like. So there's no point in weighing whether it was really truly worth it to talk to stillnotbored vs. being home in my own bed or some other equation like that, because the world isn't like that. You just enjoy what you have the chance to enjoy.
Also, porphyrin is the best porphyrin, surpassing all other porphyrins, and if I don't happen to say so in a given week, it's not because it's not true then, too.
Also, mplscorwin, everybody is jealous of the snazzy snazzy lj-badges you made at Minicon. Except for the people who are confused by them.
Time for more toast.
ETA: Thanks to all of you who have sent well-wishes here, on e-mail, or in person. Much appreciated, all.