So here’s the setup: My wife has a birth defect called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a.k.a Arthrogryposis or just AMC. While the clinical description on wikipedia tells you what it is, unless you’ve seen it you don’t know what it does. For that you can check out this youtube video. Pay attention to 2 things, how she walks and how in-flexible her arms and legs are. Did you see the effort she has to go through to sit on the curb? No, watch it again. Her left leg won’t bend. She isn’t playing or pretending, it literally won’t bend. No I don’t know this girl at all. Never saw the video until I looked it up in prep for writing this post. However my wife has the same condition so I know from experience what the little girl is going through.

I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m making a point so read on.

On top of this she has a wacky thyroid and has been diagnosed with melanoma. In short, she’s getting the short end of the Life Stick.

As if that wasn’t enough, over the last… however many weeks (I’ve truly lost count) we’ve been going to see doctor after doctor and having test after test. We are both exhausted, stressed, nervous and frustrated. At this point I think we would just be happy simply to know what the hell is going on now that makes her so tired and utterly unable to do much of anything.

Personally I want her to get better so she can feel better. I hate feeling sick or ‘under the weather’ and don’t wish it on anyone for any length of time, much less close to a couple years.

Yes, I said years. See, it’s one of those things that came on so gradually that no one noticed. She just kept feeling bad and not feeling like going out, or shopping or anything really. We just assumed it was because our eating habits had gotten bad or her thyroid was mucking about or a lingering cold or… something. It wasn’t until after we talked to the doctor that we realized just how long it had been.

So a few weeks ago she started getting severe dizzy spells. Bad enough to go see the doctor. Finally. It was eventually diagnosed as something called Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. However in the course of getting to that diagnosis blood was drawn, and a huge bell went off in the doctors head because the results came back as something being off.

So she went back in to see him (our regular PCP was on vacation) and after talking to him and reveling how crappy she felt she was sent to the hospital to get a chest x-ray to check for a pulmonary embolism.

Say what?! A possible blood clot in her lungs?! Cue freak out. For both of us.

That was dismissed after the test failed to show anything but sadly it only got worse. Next up on the hit parade was possible Congestive Heart Failure. Cue freak out #2.

Granted, it isn’t actually as bad as it sounds (it doesn’t mean your heart is failing, just that it’s not working properly on a regular basis) but still! Anytime the words heart and failure are use together people automatically jump to the worse possible scenario.

Skipping ahead a bit, we are now, some 5 (or whatever) weeks later and are at our 5th diagnosis for what the underlying cause may be. As I said, we are tired, and frustrated. And want nothing more than to remove the unknown aspect of all this. The current diagnosis of anemia is actually okay. It’s not really life threatening and can be easily treated with meds and or food changes, especially considered that if she has it it’s a very mild form.

So now you know where I have been the past few weeks. I haven’t been posting on G+ or twitter. I haven’t participated in discussions or written anything in a while. Most everything that I’ve posted for #fridayflash has either been pre-written and sitting in my queue or is an adaptation of something else I had written. The sole exception being part one of Marco.

It’s not over yet. The anemia diagnosis hasn’t been confirmed or dismissed. Until it is or a final diagnosis is reached things will continue to be hectic. I have managed to start working on other projects that I have obligations to, and I do try to write my fiction stuff when I can, but I’m probably going to pull away from the flash stuff for a while. The pace is simply too much with everything going on right now.

So as to the joy part in the title of this post. I’ve always been one that tried to look at the positive side of things (contrary to what my wife sometimes believes) so I’m trying to find a way to take all this and put it in my brain and twist the living crap out of it, as I’m wont to do, and make it into a funny.

Many of my best pieces have come from doing just that. Changing one or two minor details, looking at it from a different perspective, whatever it takes to come out the other side and not just smile, but laugh.

[edit]: Moments after hitting publish on this I got a call from Beck who had gotten a call from the doctor about the last round of tests, it’s been confirmed that she is anemic. Whether that solves everything or not we will see, but at least it’s something.