Labyrinthitis, the Sequel

So I woke up this morning with labyrinthitis. Again. The good news is that (a) we’ve been here before so I didn’t panic and call 911 and (b) it’s a much milder case. But there was a point as I was throwing up that I thought, “What the fuck, universe, what did I ever do to you?” Because this has not been a good month. Well, except for Kamala Harris, that was good. And the weather has been beautiful. But Milton is still gone, which seems impossible, and my e-mail is still downloading about a hundred e-mails a day that I did not ask for (just got one from Woodsmith Magazine as I typed this) and now I’m dizzy and nauseated and supposed to stay away from screens. My life is screens. Come on, universe, cut me a break here.

On the other hand, there’s always a bright side.

Most of the stuff that’s downloading into my inbox is crap, some of it in languages I can’t understand and alphabets I can’t recognize, but there’s some interesting stuff in there, too. Since I check each one before I delete it to make sure it’s not from a financial institution (latest e-mail: New Braunfels Smokehouse) I look at each one and I’ve learned some very interesting things. (Kitchen Stuff Plus just welcomed me to their list.). Mostly that the number of subscriptions out there is astounding, most of them nothing I ever want to see again. But it’s not porn or viagra (thank god for spam filters) and aside from Etsy, nothing seems to be compromised (fingers crossed and don’t you dare, universe). (Bobbi Brown Canada welcomes me to their list.)

And my friends are a constant blessing. My delightful BFF and fellow writer Patricia Gaffney just had a garage sale (in a pandemic, go figure) and sent me this:

“no one at our yard sale yesterday bought the object I am about to send you. It’s too precious for Goodwill. No one deserves it as much as you.

You’re welcome.


She did not send a picture or otherwise identify the object. Considering the things I have loaded her down with over the years, probably the worst being an almost life-size animatronic pony, I am, as I wrote back, very afraid. (Books-a-Million wants me to claim my 15% off.). But I am also intrigued and it’s good to have something to look forward to besides more unwanted e-mails (Brainwave Shots just arrived) and wanting to barf every time I stand up. (Missy Empire is now in my inbox.)

There’s a lovely gentle rain falling outside, and I have two girl dogs snoozing calmly beside me, and since I’m lying down, the room is not spinning, so I’m going to count all of this as a win. Nothing but good times ahead. September is my favorite month of the year, I’m sure it’s going to be all good things.


My glass may have a crack in it, but it’s still half full, damn it. (Natchez Shooters? Really?)

47 thoughts on “Labyrinthitis, the Sequel

  1. I’m glad you’re keeping your sense of humor! And I hope you’ll let us know what the surprise is!

    Hopefully this particular spell of labyrinthitis subsides quickly!

  2. Oof. So sorry about ask this and I hope both the illness and the email improves quickly.

    I’m often tempted to just shut down my email and never start one up again. I have a common name and many people type it in wrong when signing up for services, sharing medical news, planning a honeymoon, offering someone a job, seeking approval of an ad campaign. The list is endless.

  3. Geez Louise! That is insane. What next??? All the sympathies! Also, hoping you see a dramatic improvement in your 2020 IMMEDIATELY! Maybe it’s time to request good fortune from a certain Sumerian goddess or two?

    But now I’m very curious about this garage sale rescue. Could it possibly beat a near lifesize animatronic pony? Doubtful!

  4. Blech. Will 2020 never stop clobbering us all? I’m moving forward mostly by being in denial, but every once in a while something will remind me that, yes, this country and everyone I care about is a mess right now.

  5. You are one of the most resilient people I know (well, sorta know through this blog and your books). 2020 has not been kind to you, and I hope that stops. But I am certain you will come through this illness and grief and keep writing things that make us all happy.
    Rest and be well.

  6. Damn. I’m so sorry to hear you are having the dizzies once again. You need one of those Star Trek computers that you just talk to. (As long as you could verbally color code it to show the turning points and the subplots and the bells & whistle stuff….)

    Get all better soon!

  7. I’m so sorry that this month has been terrible for you.

    I just wanted to say thank you! I’ve been quarantined since March with two kids under five and reading has been my escape. Luckily, I discovered your books and am working my way through and loving them all. So, thank you for making me laugh and my quarantine more bearable!

  8. So sorry to hear about the dizziness – side effect to all my issues has been instability and I have hated that. Hope this is a quick issue and gone soon. Speaking of 2020. Had my second cataract surgery today – first two weeks ago. So far so good but have to admit that doing eye surgery in the year 2020 has had me a little concerned 🤪.

  9. Even when your world is spinning out of control (in more ways than one), you can still make me laugh. Thank you.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if she sent back one of the things you saddled her with (see what I did there?) years ago?

    I’m ass-deep in writing a manuscript due on October 1st, plus I finally have a stack of books i really want to read. So I just developed an issue with my right eye–the good one, that does most of the work for both–that means everything is blurry. Hopefully the hot compresses and lid wipes my eye doctor told me to use will do the trick and I won’t have to have surgery. So I hear you.

    Also, ragweed can bite me.

    Hang in there, I hope this event clears up quickly.

  10. I’m not waiting until September, I’m praying for a better month to start right now. May you wake up as a picture of health and happiness.

  11. Jenny, I want to share with you a short story called the Ugly Mollusk by Frank Sullivan
    Even as a young oyster, Adrian was ungainly. But he knew that is the lot of genius to be misunderstood. Despite the fact that his efforts to produce a pearl go awry, he is neither discouraged nor dismayed. It was Adrian’s first pearl, too, and everyone knows that a young oyster’s first pearl is a big event in his life.

    Any of you who want, to please do download it. It was written for the Saturday Evening Post and published April 1, 1938. My daughter in law typed it up from a treasury of Saturday Evening Post book for a Christmas gift. I uploaded it to Scribed so I could share the fun.
    Frank Sullivan was a humorist, a member of the Algonquin Round Table and is a largely forgotten literary figure.

      1. Ah, now that the original post’s come through, I see who the author is. It’s still cute – thanks for sharing it!

  12. Well, at least there’s one good thing you can say about 2020. I have no idea what it is, but there has to be one good thing. If everything else wasn’t bad enough, it’s a leap year, ergo longer. Whose idea was it to hold presidential elections in leap years?

    Jenny, I told you “Be Well.” Yes, it’s a movie quote (Demolition Man), but it was also a sincere wish and request. Just do it.

  13. Ugh, I hope the labyrinthitis goes away fast, Jenny. I had vertigo about a decade ago and it wasn’t fun at all.

    And this post was hilarious! I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what Gaffney sent you. And hoping you find more gems in what you’ve been signed up for.

  14. I’m sorry, Jenny. This month is sucking hardcore. If there is any kind of god, anywhere, Milton is rolling around in a patch of heavenly sunshine right now. Hugs to you.

  15. Sending stabilizing vibes from Germany. I just read Michelle Obama’s convention speech and it moved me to tears. Once upon a time (around November 2016, I guess) I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved in American politics and keep my big mouth shut, but I can’t always do that. I hope that things will change in November 2020.

    As one of my favorite authors wrote: Nothing but good times ahead.

    1. Since American politics keeps getting involved in your politics, feel free to comment. Michelle Obama is a goddess.

      1. My brother (American living in France) used to send me all these political screeds about US politics that were too depressing to read. Once I explained that since I was living the nightmare I didn’t care to read about, too, he has switched to sending me jokes and I appreciate him a lot more.

  16. I have recurrent bouts of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo so I feel your dizziness. It sucks.

    I’m afraid for you. And your postal workers. Well, them for many reasons.

  17. Sending more healing energies your way. And to Deborah. And anyone else who needs them.

    What I want to know is how you first came to own said near lifesize animatronic pony? A giant purple inflatable spider for one’s front lawn at Halloween, sure, but a PONY?

    1. When I needed a new agent, Gaffney hooked me up with her excellent agency and agent.
      I told her I owed her lunch. And a pony.
      It escalated from there, as it always does for Gaffney and me, and I found the pony on Amazon, had it mailed to me so I could put it together, and a friend who was driving past her house on a road trip delivered it. Near-life sized may have been an exaggeration, but it was large enough for kids to ride on. Maybe four feet tall at the head?

      1. Anyone ever read any James Kirkwood? The title of one of his novels comes from a story where a kid is blissfully playing in a yard full of horse manure. When asked why he was so happy, the child replied, “With this much shit around, there Must be a pony!” It isn’t as elegant as “Nothing but good times ahead”, but it does seem to apply, especially since you and your BFF have a history of exchanging ponies.

      2. That’s bigger than some miniature horses, so life size is not out of the question.

        1. Indeed! When I was little, I had a tiny, grouchy Shetland who was 38″ (at the withers, not the head). My dad–very much not a large man–once physically picked him up by the front and back of the saddle and scooted him to one side.

  18. I’ve been meandering through three or four Argh blog posts this morning. One gave me quite a few laughs about you and Jayne Ann Krentz with SEP and her nipple bubble shirt, back before selfies. And your collaboration with Bob Mayer, so funny. Maybe it was about sub plots, anyway sometimes I’ll read a book and the sub plot is more interesting than the original story and I feel I’m being dragged back into the main story line. But that’s just me.

    I do hope you will feel better soon, you have been through a lot this year.

    By the way it took ten days for me to receive my bank statement by mail. And the bank is in my town. Other seniors waiting for prescriptions and such are going to have a time of it. Hang in there!

  19. Ugh. Poor you. I hope you feel better soon. Even feeling rotten, your post is funny as you describe the titles of the unsolicited incoming crap.

    Has the doctor mentioned Antivert? My mom went through a nasty bout of vertigo years ago (don’t recall anyone saying labyrinthititis at the time). It was months before all the episodes stopped. At some point she was prescribed Antivert. It helped.

  20. Jenny, I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling lousy. I hope you’re better today and can get up without puking. That’s just taking a bad joke too far.

  21. I am much better today. As long as I don’t leap about whipping my head around, it’s all under control.

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts! I’ll stop complaining now.

  22. Hi Jennifer, I deeply sympathize with you on current events and the labyrinthitis. I have had vertigo and it is truly sick-making, haha. Anyway, I wondered if you’ve been taught to do Epley’s Maneuver for labyrinthitis? It took care of mine so maybe it will help you. There’s lots of videos on YouTube showing how to do it. It’s easier with someone to help you.

    1. I’d heard about it, but I haven’t tried it. The thing about labyrinthitis is that it’s a virus so it clears up on its own, which it seems to have done. But I definitely have to look into that because I do not want that again. Also vertigo is the pits.

      1. Warning – well-meaning but unsolicited internet advice…feel free to disregard:

        Jenny, since you’re live in the same general area of the US as me and have the dogs… if you haven’t yet discussed been tested for Lyme’s disease with your doctor, you might want to think about asking about that.

        I’m aware there might be a link between labryrinthitis and Lyme’s disease, and the fact that it’s happened to you more than once seems like if you haven’t already identified an underlying reason for it, you might want to consider ruling Lyme’s out.

        This concludes my well meaning but likely nose-where-it-doesn’t-belong message.

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