a.k.a The Art of Diagnostics
Some months ago, I had an odd sensation of my throat swelling. I went to sleep thinking I was likely coming down with something. I woke up the next day with a swollen tongue to boot, and a vague unease in my digestive system. The swelling was mildly sore, nothing that would make me reach for medication.
I also felt peculiarly tired and, while all fit with a possible reaction to infection, I somehow felt there was something different about it.
Long story short (love this peculiar expression)— after trials and tribulations, and a wandering set of symptoms getting worse, better, then much worse, I found the culprit. The natural sugar alternative Stevia, otherwise revered by natural food folks, was causing a sort of allergic response from my immune system. Until then, my body was not known for reacting to anything that wasn’t attacking it. I don’t remember having verified allergies to anything, even as many around me did. There was the suspected reaction to Penicillin, never verified. There was a sort of reaction to mascara, also not clear. All go back to adolescence, and penciled in my medical records with a question mark.
But, really, not really.
So in my quest to solve this problem I didn’t make the right connection for a while.
This reminded me of the process of writing. There are times when a writer knows something is just not right, but all suggested feedback rings false. For myself, I will attempt the fixes anyhow, if only to try to be the humble and receptive person I aspire to be. Then, the fixes make the story need other fixes, and eventually nothing is working.
It’s a matter of accurate diagnostics.
When it comes to doctors, be they medical or book doctors, a good diagnostician is the most important quality. If you are one, or have such on your team, you’ve hit the jackpot.