Warning: This blog entry contains medical information that might make you uncomfortable. If you are squeamish, here’s the executive summary: Yes, I’ll be at Handworks.
Perhaps because I have a lot of German blood, my body is like juicy, meaty clockwork. In the early 1990s, I used to attend and write about a political event in Western Kentucky called “Fancy Farm.” The problem: Every year I attended, I came down with an embarrassing and debilitating infection in my nether regions (the area of the body we call “The Good China”).
My doctor was puzzled but gave me this sound advice: “Don’t go to Fancy Farm anymore.” Since then I’ve had many other clockwork medical conditions, such as the “Thanksgiving crash” after turkey day.
Fast forward to 2015. During the last Handworks, I missed the entire second day of the event. The word among the snarks was that I was too hung over, due to to a beer bender.
I wish it had been a hangover. Hangovers last about a day.
Instead, I ended up in the emergency room in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, dehydrated with a high fever and unable to eat or drink. Oh, and I should mention that I had the runs. Using the term “runs” here is an understatement. Like saying Catherine the Great “kind of liked horsies.”
I was diagnosed with c. difficile and sent home to recover (thank you Megan Fitzpatrick for driving me home on what we now call “The Trail of Smears”). It took me eight months of treatment and tests to get clear of the bacteria. And another three months after that to feel like a normal person.
So I am not looking forward to Handworks next month like I should be. It really is the greatest woodworking event I’ve ever attended or been involved with. If you aren’t going, I hope you have a good excuse (such as c. difficile).
I’ll be there – and I hope I’ll be there for both days. Though I’ll be bracing for the worst.
During the 2015 Handworks it was so crowded that John and I were unable to go to the bathroom. Every time we took a step away from the booth we got mobbed. This year if you see one of us headed for the men’s room, you might just want to steer clear.
— Christopher Schwarz