Pipelines and Bad Circulation

Pipelines and Bad Circulation

The time has come for me to apologize, dear readers. I’ve been neglecting you for the last several weeks, but I promise that I will date the heck out of somebody or multiple somebodies as soon as some viable prospects matriculate down my pipeline—Before you go all perv, yes YOU! Quit looking over your shoulder. I know there are men who read this blog too. Pipeline is not a euphemism for a ladypart; it’s a business development term referring to a volume of persons one has been in contact with that are at various stages in movement toward the commitment to a sale, or in this case, a date.

In the meantime, I swear that my absence from the blogosphere was for good reason, life reasons I hope you will understand.

I started a new marketing and PR job with a research and development company specializing in Natural Language Processing computer software. They developed the kind of software we have all feared since the enactment of the Patriot Act, artificially intelligent software that could read and understand the content of what it read, creating a rich archive from which startlingly detailed information could be pulled from masses of words that previously could have taken years to sort out.

They had decided to take this power of artificially intelligent understanding of words and turn it outward to the general public for the power of good – the great American capitalist business can harness the power of Big Data to deliver better customer service, more tailored answers and solutions to customer service requests, better analysis of medical information for doctors – the sky was the limit, and it is now my job to figure out who might want this technology and how to deliver it from nonexistence into their conscious demand.

It might not be the glamour of my life in the movies, but it was thought work, and an opportunity before me to begin building an empire where none has stood before, so I took it, and have been hard at work these last five weeks. I believe that I can make a real difference here, and that is exciting.

Two weeks ago, my grandfather was admitted to the hospital in Houston, with gangrene. The doctors felt they needed to amputate one of his toes, and possibly his leg below the knee. I had already been planning to go out to Granbury for the weekend to see how Mom and Dad were settling into their new house and they called me Thursday when they got the news because we weren’t sure if my visit would need to be cut short to go to his side.

Friday morning I got up early and dropped Daisy and Pete at the kennel, went to work, left at 2:30 for my infusion treatment, and then drove on from the infusion clinic to Granbury, anxious for an update on my grandfather’s condition.

As I sat in the infusion clinic hooked up to an IV, I asked the nurse to turn the light off and I sat in the darkness trying to push the world away for an hour and a half while there was nothing I could do except wait and worry. In the darkness I closed my eyes and wondered about Granddaddy. How scary to think that you would have to have limbs amputated to go on living. Maybe a toe alone is not so bad, but my God, what if it had to be a leg. What would I do if it were me?

And then it set in. What if it were me? With lupus, I already struggle with my immune system attacking otherwise healthy parts of my body and I’ve been lucky this far that most of what I have experienced has been temporary and recoverable, but I have heard stories from other women about losing all their teeth, kidneys failing, bone and muscle loss. It’s a not too distant reality that one day this could be me, and if it happened any time soon, I live alone in a big city with no one close by to help me, no one to notice if something happened to me and I disappeared for days at a time. I think that if I had to lose a limb to live, I might consider just letting go.

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