Thursday, February 14, 2013

Big Ol' Health Update

This is my Valentines Day card to all you wonderful readers! And, yeah, that's a good summary of my current health too.

For those who haven't gotten the play-by-play over on my Twitter feed, I'll try to summarize what's been happening to me. Be warned: It makes ZERO sense. I am baffled. The docs are baffled. Everyone's baffled!

The fun of my toothache and extraction is over, and what's taken its place is a strange muscle problem in my face. No one really knew what was happening to me for a while, and even now we aren't sure WHY it's happening. It's obviously tied to the extraction, as I've never had these symptoms before, but that's all we know.

The problem with such a muscle problem is that it's far worse than a sore tooth. It could take months to recover from - and I'm not helping it by trying to fight through it the way I am.  I have an official letter from my doctor, demanding I cease drawing. It's not the main trigger for pain flare-ups, but the most controllable. Eating is the worst for me, as any chewing whatsoever will knock me out. Talking hurts me. SMILING hurts me. I am medically advised against watching comedies on TV, or cheering for my sports teams. (Not that there's much cheering these days for Caps fans.)

What this means is that my pain increases throughout the day as I do such strenuous things as eating, breathing, talking and having emotion. Pain leads to fatigue. Pain and fatigue keep me from drawing. I'm seeing more doctors soon, but for now the general consensus is to rest as much as possible.

I do sometimes have small windows in the morning to work, but it's not enough to keep pace with what I need.  It's easier to do light work than work requiring intense concentration - which is why I mostly post fancy sketches these days. It's the only way I can give anything back at the moment.

So what does it all mean? I'll do what I can, but the chronic pain is going to take its toll. I can't say what will happen yet. My priorities must be focused on the most important deadlines, and I still intend to meet them. The Fall Festival arc will continue uninterrupted until its end, and Precocious will keep updating after that in some form. (I have ideas that are pretty cool, *and* could help my health!) Since no one knows what's up with my stupid face, no one's able to make any predictions about what will happen to me.

What can you do? Be patient, and save up your money! Medical bills combined with a loss of all commission income puts me in a very bad spot, but I'm full of pride and I want to earn my keep!  Wait for the book announcement! Wait for merchandise announcements! The Precocious store will pop up eventually. All the plans are still in place, just delayed. (The donation bar remains on the front page, just in case someone still wants to help now and earn color for the bonus story that, yes, will come as soon as I can draw it.)

I understand everyone's frustration, especially since I've done all I could to spoil you all rotten to this point. Please be patient, and please be kind. The comic is free, remember. The paid stuff has been suspended until I can deliver. (The four with outstanding commissions have been contacted, understand the situation and can write me again if they have more concerns.)

The best thing you can do for me is to come back every day. Be an active reader, whether it's through re-reading the archive, commenting on strips, writing me, asking me questions on tumblr or formspring, going through the sidebar links and following my antics, spreading the word to others, clicking on the page's ads (disable adblock, please) or reading through the links I post, retweet and include on my linking page! It means the world to a creator to *see* people enjoying his work - especially in trying times.

I'll try to keep things entertaining and running smoothly for the casual readers, but I felt you all had a right to know why some things have slipped. As mentioned before, I had a *great* plan! I have several scripts for Precocious and Copper Road and bonus stories! I have sketches for merchandise! I just need to be healthy enough to make those happen! If more rest is needed, more rest will happen. I need to survive the now to thrive in the long term - and that's a delicate balance.


Takai Tailstorm said...

You update the comic daily & you do a lot of stuff too that I am unaware of (Twitter and the like).

In my eyes you deserve to take a long break from this comic, even though it's not going to be a vacation for you.

Take all the time you need to recover, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say get well soon and kick pain's butt with golf shoes on.

We will be waiting for your happy return :3

Iron Ed said...

Hi Chrispy! Thanks for the update.
No worries about me disappearing from watching your comic! I even have to be careful when I go archiving to search for a particular strip; I can -easily- find myself sidetracked and rereading an entire arc! (I got stuck rereading Uncle Mike's second visit arc a couple of days ago. :-))
Do what you can to take care of yourself. You have a lot of loyal fans who'll understand.

Archer67 said...

I agree with Iron Ed on this one, I am another person who gets easily distracted by your comics, and I wont be going anywhere.
If you need a break, by all means, you've earned it. I hope you kick pains ass and get better soon.