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Nightmare Before Christmas

Hello again.

Sorry for the long silence. It was not by choice.

I've just lived through the Christmas from hell. Most of it was spent in a bed in St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe. Parris took me in to the hospital emergency room on the morning of Christmas Eve, and they admitted me almost immediately after diagnosis. It seems I had a raging e-coli infection of my urinary tract. Urosepsis, they called it. So I spent Xmas and the days after in a hospital bed, hooked up to catheters and IV tubes, getting some heavy duty doses of antibiotics and some of the other wondrous products of modern medicine.

The good news: the antibiotics worked, and knocked out the infection. I was released a few hours before the end of 2010, and have been recuperating at home ever since. I'm still taking oral antibiotics and various other pills, and will be for a while, but the worst is past... and boy, am I glad to be be out of the hospital.

I was weak as a kitten when first released, and I still tire easily... but I'm stronger every day. Strong enough so that, yes, I still intend to make the trip to LA for the TCA. And yes, I will still be doing the signing at Vroman's... though it remains to be seen how taxing that will be for me. If you're attending, I would ask you to go easy on me and only bring a book or two for signing, and not everything I have ever written. I have to watch my strength.

The bad news: well, obviously, there's nothing like a week in a hospital bed to kick a hole in your plans and good intentions. I did hope to have some exciting announcements to make at TCA, but that won't be happening now. But hey, all the great stuff HBO will be rolling out about the GAME OF THRONES series should provide excitement enough.

I don't want to trivilize what I've just gone through. I'm a generally healthy guy, and this was the most serious bout of illness I have suffered in decades, and the first time I have seen the inside of a hospital (emergency room visits aside) since 1973. But I am on the mend now, and I expect to be back to my old self by the end of the month at the latest, and back to work well before that.

Until then, though, I probably won't be posting much here.

Thanks to all of you -- friends, fans, readers -- for your understanding and good wishes.


Jan. 5th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
[warning, slight nursey grossness ahead]

E. coli is the most common cause of urinary infections. It lives naturally in everyone's digestive tract, and despite our best hygienic efforts, a few of the little varmints inevitably end up on the skin around the bum/groin area... and may then attempt to set up shop in a nearby warm passage. The immune system and the natural flushing action of urine normally keep this from becoming a problem, but once in a while the bacteria will make it all the way up to the bladder and you end up with a more serious infection.
Jan. 5th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Is there any truth to cranberry juice helping keep things like that at bay, or would all the sugars they throw in mass-produced juices just make it worse? Just curious - I hear that one thrown around a lot.....
Jan. 6th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
The doc agrees with everything AlibiShop just said above!
As for cranberry juice, apparently yes it helps, by making urine marginally less hospitable for the bacteria.
The trouble is, though, like with many preventive regimens, it has to be steady. Drink your cranberry juice glass daily (not just when you're freaked out by Mr Martin's nonblog).
At that point, consider using the juices sweetened with non-sugar alternatives.

Can't help but end with adding my own good wishes.
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
I have used not cranberry juice, as that's not strong enough, but cranberry pills. Get the strongest ones you can find, and take two every time you feel the urge to go. At least, that's what I did, and it did clear up. Took a day or two, but it kept it mild before clearing it out. But for something as bad as what GRRM had, hospital time for sure!!!!!
Jan. 6th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
I think Cranberry juice is a diuretic, so would make you pee more. So it probably would work better than if you pee less often as it would not stagnate.

Also I am sure cranberry juice is really high in vit C, which is always good. I doubt the sugar would be a problem as you should not be having sugar in your urine unless something else is wrong.

GRRM- Great to hear you are on the mend!
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
Cranberry juice can help to raise the acidity of the urinary tract, which makes it slightly less appealing of an environment to bacteria. It might be helpful as a preventative measure, but cranberry juice alone typically isn't sufficient to treat an existing infection (especially not urosepsis, which can be life-threatening). And you're right, you would need to drink unsweetened 100% cranberry juice, which is usually only available at Whole Foods and the like.
Jan. 6th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
If you get 100% juice product, like ocean spray cranberry, it can help prevent all sorts of infections. Its not guaranteed, but any juice with lots of antioxidents (like cranberry) can certainly help.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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