Monday, December 11, 2006

Conferencing Kidneys

As many of you are already aware, things did not go entirely as planned with my Big Conference Trip. Started off alright, nice day at the circus conference on the Friday. Big swanky saefood dinner, ate much octopus and oyster and other shellfish. Had weird pains in my side and felt all green afterwards, so got a lift back to my hostel with one of the organisers. Felt not-that-bad the next day, and gave my highly successful paper. It began thus, and continued in a similarly silly fashion with 15 minutes of sideshow ballyhoo about how spectacular LactoGrrl is:

By the Blistered Nipples of the Virgin I invite you to marvel at the Most Magnificent Mammary Mutation Under The Milky Way! She’s like any other Breastly Beauty you have even seen…You've been amazed by Amazonian amputations and medical mastectomies, surgical swellings of silicon and saline, breasts obliterated by binding, exercised out of existence, radically removed or wrangled or reduced, portrayed by prosthetic productions and prettied by permanent piercings. But none of this can prepare you for LactoGrrl, the Luminary Lady of Lactation! More than merely the fun of the Fair, she’s the carnality of the Carnival and the milky maiden of the Midway! So pay your money and take your chances and join this Lactation Celebration!

Was an excellent panel, with the other papers being on a) tattoed ladies and self-made freaks, b) queering the female body in circus and sideshow and c) a history of burslesque in Aus. Then headed to the art exhibition that night. Felt odd and feverish. Back to hostel. Crawl into bed. Immensely fevered- sweating and shaking and shivering in my bunk, and hallucinating the most fantastic dancing girls. They were dressed in pale blue saris and Virgin Mary veils, and some of them had dazzling pearl bindis (which I think meant they were 'special' somehow). Twelve hours later the dancing girls has disappeared and I managed to crawl out of bed and to the conference. Spent the Sunday afternoon listening to papers and scoffing cold and flu pills, being under the delusion that I was merely coming down with some sort of snotty-wheezy-coughing infliction, before attending a perfectly fabulous performace night under the Big Top. Little did I realise what would come next.

Foolishly I decided that I could handle giving my conference paper the next day in Canberra. So, come Monday morning Zoo is on the 6:55 coach to Moss Vale, followed by a 1 1/2hour wait and then another couple of hours on a train. Cab it to the conference and get there by lunch. Shiver and shake while people give a few papers. Dose up on pills, hope for the best. Half-way through giving my paper words star to swirl off the page and I think I am going to collapse. The chair finishes reading it for me while someone else takes me to the sick bay. (Apparently the paper went down a treat, with much discussion afterwards.) Get a lift to a medical centre. Wait TWO HOURS, almost delirious, nauseated, shaking, and lying on the carpet. See doctor. Diagnosis: severe kidney infection. Sent home to the Manky-One's house with a prescription for antibiotics and the advice to get myself to the hospital if I don't feel any better in 24 hours.

Tuesday and Wednesday spent with antibitoics and codeine and a hot water bottle in a blue furry dog outfit(thanks Mankles!). Mostly kind of out of it, watching Postman Pat and lying on the verandah reading Jeanette Winterson. M had a couple of friends around for dinner on the Tuesday, so yummy food and good company and quite possibly incoherent wafflings from me. Fever had subsided, but pain was still there, so went to Calvary hospital on Thursday morning to get it checked out. They kept me until Saturday morning, with three attempts to get my canula in, blood and pee tests, an ultrasound and IV antibiotics. Got myself a single room with a view of whatever that big tower is in Canberra, a TV that only recieved SBS and a picture of the Jesus on the Cross with Mary looking on (Catholic hospital). M came and visited muchly (even for breakfast, bearing fruit bread and blue cheese!) and mostly I was full of yummy Panadeine Forte and quite content to spend my hours reading the Herald (*gulp*) and watching foreign cooking shows and pottering down to the kiosk in my gown and diamantes. Somehow, despite the pain and the kind of blah of being all sickly away from home, it was kinda nice to just be able to chill and do nothing much at all while people fussed about me.

And now, I am back to the grind. Not feeling too bad, pain is mostly gone and I'm just a bit weak and lacking in energy. Will be taking it easier for a wee while though- no alcohol and plenty of water and lying about 'convalescing'. Have to get myself in some shape to do the Hellfire show on Friday night, and then its Christmas and New Years pretty soon after that. Oh, and is anyone interested in Carols in the Domain with a big picnic and a couple of bottles of champagne on Saturday night? Should be at the Sly for a bit on Wednesday, and Gurlesque on Sunday too.

The devil will find work for idle hands to do. Can't have Zoo unoccupied for too long...


Anonymous Will said...

yesus christ. I heard you were ill but wow. I was thinking head cold or similar. When you say you started giving your paper before giving up, which conf. was that? Did you got to two in Canberra?

It was a shame you weren't there at CSAA cos you would have made an excellent panel even better. One girl in particular who I met during the conf. was pumped (pun?) for your paper, and then devo when you weren't there.

11:54 am  
Anonymous Zoo said...

ah, was all rather dramatic indeed.

was set to be quite a week of conferences. did the Fabulous Risk circus one in Wollongong, then Dangerous Consumptions 4 colloquiam- which is the one I couldn't finish. and of course, CSAA's UnAustralia didn't happen for me at all.

dang! do you know who the girl was that was all pumped (yes, nice pun) about my paper?

1:00 pm  

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