Tuesday, April 18, 2006

10 Years Ago: Diarrhea & LA Times

Quoting from the diary 10 years ago today:
Last night wasn't a great night in that I had some vomiting and diarrhea, but I think it might be this new drug, Mepron, which is like a thick yellow liquid. It's supposed to be effective against some parasites. (I've tested positive for microsporidia -- then negative last year after doing some alternative therapy).

Hmm. I had forgotten about the fact that I had tested positive, used some kind of alternative therapy for these parasites, possibly gotten rid of them and was now speculating that they might have returned. What was happening was my t-cells were crashing so it was opening up my body for all kinds of infections and infestations. In this case, I had something called microsporidia, defined as:

Microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites that have been recognized in a variety of animals, particularly vertebrates. Typical sizes of the spores range from 1.5 to 2.0um in humans. The infectious stage, the spore, contains a coiled polar tubule, which is an extrusion mechanism for injecting the infective spore contents into host cells.

There was no cure for them then. And it seems that they:
do not respond to albendazole therapy. For the most part, therapy for microsporidial infections is difficult, at best.

Yes! Albendzole. That's what I took to get rid of them before. It works on other parasites, but is "iffy" when it comes to these things. Microspiridia are in the environment everywhere. You probably have some in your system right now, but because, assuming you, reader, have a healthy immune system, your body is able to kill them off easily. That's the thing about AIDS. It destroys your body's ability to kill bad things off.

What I did know was that my diarrhea was constant, and now I was drinking some hideous thick yellow gunk that was making me vomit.

But what was my mind mainly focused on? GETTING OUR SHOW TO NEW YORK! (At this point, to say it was a pipe dream is the understatement of the year; we had done only a staged reading at the Hollywood Roosevelt and the computer I was using was a gift from Kim & Ronda Espy, who knew I had gone quite techno-crazy in love with this new thing called the "Internet"). So, sitting there on the couch wearing an adult diaper...
The best thing that happened was that Al Martinez, the columnist for the L.A. Times came over and interviewed me for a column. He loved the tape I sent him and said his wife was stunned by the material. We had a great time together and by the time it was over, he said he was going to write something really great. I think he wants to see this show on just as much as we do. IT WAS THRILLING!!!
And, thus, I crossed my fingers for our first mention anywhere in the press. I remember now that I used to read his column all the time and he, somewhere, had possibly mentioned AIDS. I don't remember. So, I sent him my little 99 cent demo tape of me singing the songs from TLS and I told him that I was a guy with AIDS who had a "web page" and who wanted his show (which was, at this point, nothing but a script and a solo piano/vocal tape) to go to New York!

Then I finished this entry with an apology and a pledge to the reader:
I hope it's fun reading good news as opposed to the bad. I started this online diary when I was at a low point so if you've gotten to know me through this, you don't even know how great a life I've been living. Hopefully, I can continue on this path of health and excellence. Want to see a life well-lived? (So do I). I'll do my best.

Through it all, no matter how bad it got, I was determined to live. And, in a sort of sadly comic way, I was determined to make sure my readers were going to have a good time and not have to deal with all my misery. I loved delivering good news. I was determined to survive and to succeed -- not an easy thing to do sitting in a soiled diaper. :-)

And the great parallel here is that I'm doing it again. For the past three years, I have had one laser goal in mind: to get The Big Voice to New York in a full sit-down production. Do we see a pattern?


Christine Bakke said...

Holy crap!

What a story.

I really want to see one of your shows.

I don't know what you theater people see in New York though...or LA. Isn't Denver where it's at? ;)

Steve Schalchlin said...

I love Denver and, in fact, have played several gigs there. The reason New York is important for theatre is that that's how our show gets known out in the hinterlands (like Denver). So, who knows. We may make it to Denver after all!

Christine Bakke said...

Ah, well, I guess I kinda knew that about NY. ;)

Who knows, maybe I'll get to see you in NY when this goes to Broadway? I've been meaning to get out that way to do some VIS-ting (that's "visiting" in my Grandma's Norwegian accent)...

Here's to hoping for continued success for you two...

Anonymous said...

You are my Hero.

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