An Autocidal Life: Part 2, In Which Babe Gets Some!


Not in the first paragraph, you greedy goat! Just wait for it…
(If you missed Part 1 of our exciting and gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is.)

 
Where Babe gets weirdly tired and it isn’t normal, but she brushes it off.
 
Running in Los Angeles was a very different experience than in Ohio: Ohio had been flat as a pancake, but Babe’s new route took her up towards Beverly Hills.
 
Non-Glamorous Roxbury Park

You’re Picturing Glamor. Instead, Roxbury Park Was a Charming Neighborhood Family Park (Now Cookie-Cutter and No Longer Charming)


 
When Babe had trouble completing her usual distance, she ascribed it to the hills. But soon, Babe began to have trouble completing even a mile. She’d try to push herself, but find that she literally couldn’t take another step. She’d wind up sitting on a curb in front of someone’s house, waiting for enough energy to slowly walk back home.
 
Smartphone With Snail Crossing Sign

Why Was This Happening?


 
Babe was really disappointed that her hard-won exercise habit had to stop. She blamed it on the famous L.A. smog, but wondered if that was all it was. Still, the sunshine every day made up for a lot.
 
Where Babe gets really, REALLY tired, and headachy, but still does squat about it.
 
There is nothing like living in sunshine and having a pool to swim in each and every day. Babe was working nights as a programmer, and had all day to lounge on a raft in the pool. Bliss! She couldn’t have been happier.
 
Babe slept when she came home until the sun rose. Then, she’d get up long enough to put on her suit, and move to the raft to finish her “night”.
 
Woman Floating on a Pool Raft

I Remember the Bliss


 
That left her the whole afternoon to visit with new friends, shop, or whatever.
 
Pretty soon, though, Babe found that she was sleeping more and more. She was sleeping so much and so hard that she was having trouble waking for work. She began to have trouble staying awake at work.
 
And she began getting these awful headaches…
 
X-Ray of Headache

When It Was Really Bad, It Was Her Everything


 

Study Questions:
Don’t you wish you were in a pool in the sun right now?

 
Where Babe gets a tummy ache.
 
(Where Babe gets a TUMMY ache? Are you for real?)
 
Babe was getting almost used to living with her headaches. Then, her stomach started to hurt. Very quickly, the problem got worse and worse. It hurt SO much, in a band right across her diaphragm–She often had to stop what she was doing and hold herself still and tight, and breathe carefully in little shallow sips of air until the pain passed.
 
Severe Upper Stomach Pain

Babe Didn’t Look This Attractive While Suffering.


 
Babe kept working, and kept sleeping her days away in the pool. Her head kept hurting, and her stomach kept hurting, but she didn’t go to a doctor. She just wasn’t the kind of person to go to a doctor for every little thing. She knew most things got better on their own.
 
Rue des Martyrs

Boy, Did Babe Pick the Right Street To Live On!


Study Questions:
Would you have been smarter than Babe?

 
Where sex hurts. Now THAT makes Babe sit up and take notice.
 
When Babe wasn’t working or sleeping or aching, she found time to hook up with a steady boyfriend. They weren’t sharing an apartment, but they had gotten to the point where they sometimes shared a bed.
 
One day, just as she climaxed, Babe got a horrid menstrual cramp. Then, it clamped down and got even worse.
 
Painful Orgasm--Woman

No, Guys: She Is NOT In Ecstasy At Your Awesomeness.


 
It was so bad that she couldn’t stand. Babe slid off the bed onto the floor, and, while her boyfriend asked, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” she crawled around the corner into the bathroom and vomited repeatedly from the pain. When she stopped, she was cold all over from her sweat. The worst cramps imaginable. And it wasn’t even her time of month.
 
From then on, whenever Babe came, so did the cramps. She could have sex, so long as she didn’t enjoy it too much.
 
Asian Woman Disappointed After Sex

Yeah, Baby–It Was the Best.


 

Study Questions:
What’s the problem? I thought Babe wanted to be a nun anyway?

Part 3, In Which Babe Meets The Good, The Bad, and The Really, Really Ugly


 

An Autocidal Life: Part 1, In Which Babe Feels a Pea



You will find here, as you skim,No kidney failures, nothing grim;This is a case of “lupus light”:No rushing to E.R.s at night. 

And yet, with just a gentle brush,

Of lupus life and lupus touch,

Please understand why we go wild,

If others call our problems “mild”.

 
Neuron

This is that last

nerve you’re

always

hearing

about.

The one
lupus gets on.
You can tell it’s a
lupus nerve.
See the sore feet,
weak little invisible
arms, only one eye
able to open, and
obvious hair loss?

Poor little lupie.


 
Lupus is called an “autoimmune” disease because the immune system, which should attack the body’s bad guys, attacks the “self” instead (auto = self).
Phage Eating Human
Babe, the woman featured in this history, really dislikes this term.
 
Immune means protected. To Babe, autoimmune sounds like something that protects the self, instead of hurting it. This history uses her preferred term AUTOCIDAL: The body’s defenses are trying to kill the body!
 
Autocidal is sometimes used to mean suicide by car, but it hasn’t been used very often for that. I would really like to start a movement to repurpose autocidal for lupus. And: Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Sjogrens…all the fun ways our own bodies try to MURDER us.
 
Lupus is one of the “invisible” diseases:
 

Beating Heart In Invisible Body GifNo One Sees What’s Happening Beneath the Handy Shell

 
You can look perfectly fine and healthy to others when you are having all sorts of painful, uncomfortable, or just embarrassing or creepy symptoms.
 
The Beginning
 
Where perhaps things began to go awry.
 
Living in Columbus, Ohio in 1979, Babe had felt quite healthy. She took walks almost daily in a nearby nature preserve, and every night after dinner, she and her partner took an after-dinner walk lasting over an hour. In Babe’s last year in Ohio, she had added running from 3-5 miles a day after work. (All right, it was mostly a jog, and usually closer to the 3 than the 5. Jeesh!)
 

 
There were some niggling problems during those years:
 
• Babe kept having infections which caused bleeding into her urine.
• She kept having severe weeks-long bouts of bronchitis.
• Every night after running, one of her knees would swell to twice its size.
 
The Bruise
 
Where Babe noticed a teeny-tiny nothing.
 
It was 1981. Babe had just moved to Los Angeles and found a really nice apartment in Mar Vista (“Sea View”). There was a sunny courtyard with a beautiful clean pool, and glorious purple morning glories just outside her window.
Morning Glories Cropped
There was the lovely whooshing sound of the nearby ocean. (Even after Babe found out that it was the whooshing sound of the nearby freeway, she pretended it was the ocean.)
 
On her first day in the new apartment, she lay down on her new bed to relax. Hmmm…that was odd: The back of her head hurt like there was a large bruise on it, on one side. She didn’t remember bruising it. Oh, well, it would go away.
 
It didn’t, but she got used to it. It made her feel like The Princess and The Pea.
 

Study Questions:

Why is the bruise on only one side?

Why not just sleep on the other side?

Can cars really sound like the ocean?

 
Part 2, In Which Babe Gets Some!
 
ADDENDUM
 
This is lazily re-posted content first posted nine years ago on my first site written in Yahoo Site Builder. Haven’t reviewed it, or planned where I’ll stop between or after the old sections–just going for it. Don’t even know how the story will end. It may simply peter out.
 
Part 2, In Which Babe Gets Some!

 

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