Dreamed 2015/1/1 by Wayan
I'm recovering from another bout of fever and joint pain. A recurring infection, or some cyclic hormonal surge? Go through my journal and chart my health last year. Twenty such attacks!
Recover enough to practice songs for the first time in days. My piano-playing co-ordination's back, but I can't sing yet--a hoarse patch between my high and low ranges.
Start Prophecies, Libels, Dreams: Tales Of Califa by Ysabeau Wilce. An alternate California...
I visit Mendel's monastery and the peas he crossbred to work out the laws of inheritance. Monks using his private notes have carried his experiments much further in recent years... crossing plants, animals and people. More extreme chimeras than anything secular science has made!
And the church has used them to seek secular power.
I argue with friends (both in and out of the Church) that the agent who largely caused the Great Change a few years back, when so many of us crosses and chimeras went public, had a complex secret agenda involving the Church.
Me? I'm a were-creature. In my animal form--forgotten exactly what species, but a furry thigh-high quadruped--I sneak into a petting zoo. Find a cageless space and lope around meeting human kids and various creatures. Fun!
But my wandering's not idle. I'm here looking for a sentient creature hiding out from the Church--maybe from the secular government too.
Meet a girl about twenty years old who's a crossbreed: part human, part furry creature (the same species as me and the sentient creature hiding out)... and part peavine, from Mendel's garden!
Even when she shifts to human form, she looks subtly odd. The round, dark, nearly whiteless, very wideset eyes of an herbivore, delicate features, sprouting hair...
As a half-human myself, I find her adorable.
Later in my kitchen I argue with some friends and co-conspirators about the nature of the Change. Lyme disease, which I've had to live with for years, has taught me to notice how my abilities wax and wane. During attacks, I get clumsy and abstract thought gets harder; but unlike Alzheimer's, it all comes back a few days later!
Most folks can define themselves as who they are and what they can do--that doesn't vary much over time. But I can't neatly define myself by the current state of my abilities. They change.
I think that's taught me to notice some things healthy people have glossed over.
They still do; twice I try to explain what I suspect lies under the Change's visible skin, but they just space out, or roll their eyes, bored, and change the topic. They've seen, and accept, physical shapeshifting; but mental fluctuations from genius to animal and back? They just don't believe me.
Yet such fluctuations have become my life.
I wake knowing I've been told something important.
Notes the Next Morning
18 Months Later
I stuck with Obamacare all year. Wish I hadn't. It cost a quarter of my income and got me nothing. Despite endless, costly, painful, draining blood tests, my recurring fevers were never diagnosed let alone treated. And a misdiagnosed fungal infection (I told the doctor what it was; he knew better) worsened it--months of pain & ineffective treatment; at last I tried a folk remedy I read of on the Net. That worked.
March 2016, I finally faced the dream's diagnosis that Western medicine's as out of touch as the Catholic Church: patriarchal, dogmatic, deaf. HMOs are built for the majority. But genetic rarities, Mendelian chimeras? Doctors just don't see us, can't treat us. What good's a health plan that covers everything but what you've got?
Reader, I quit. Now, July 2016, I treat my fevers with diet, supplements, herbs. Anything but doctors! And I'm slowly improving at last. Attacks are shorter, milder, less frequent. Time will tell.
I still hope to meet a Mendelian girl. But the first step is facing that I'm a Mendelian guy.
30 Months Later
This dream about mutation now seems disturbingly literal. Turns out I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome--a mutation giving me loose, stretchy, weak collagen--lotta dislocations & joint pain. Made me an Aspie, too (high-functioning autistic)--my neurons just aren't sheathed well. Literal bared nerves. But then it may have been what boosted my IQ to near 200. DNA giveth, and DNA taketh away...
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