SF writer Peter Watts needs help diagnosing mysterious, debilitating illness


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/22/sf-writer-peter-watts-needs-he.html


#2

He’s received a lot of responses there. I think like many say that it sounds like Lyme Disease. Possibly ALS (this would nearly be worse case scenario)


#3

how awful. i’m reading his Rifter series right now, in fact, so of course all i can think of is ßehemoth. i hope he finds out what it is and gets better – i’m really enjoying his work.


#4

beaten up at the US border by cops… convicted of a felony… nearly killed by a freak bout of flesh-eating bacteria… stricken with debilitating pain, loss of range of motion and motor control

Turn the horseshoe over so the points go up.


#5

Well who would you trust, your primary care physician or The Internet?


#6

The doc, but I’ve known a few people who had rare diseases that went incorrectly diagnosed for a long time. Perhaps he’s looking for a brain-storming session more than an internet diagnosis.


#7

In cases like this, perhaps the internet, shocking as that is. NYTimes has some weekly article narrating some difficult-to-diagnose disease and how it was finally identified and successfully treated - it’s quite the eye-opener. Doctors, singly and in groups, can easily get stuck thinking about a condition in a particular (wrong) way, or not recognize a rarer condition. Often it seems like it can require just sheer numbers of diagnosticians to stumble upon a correct identification of the problem.


#8

Nooooooooooo! Get better Peter! Don’t ruin my plans to lock you up in my basement ‘Misery’ style and force you to write fiction and snarky editorials. This man is a treasure, one of the finest hard sci fi writers working.


#9

Maybe a form of St. Vitus’ Dance? It’s so rare and it’s been so long since there was a confirmed case, it would be no surprise that doctors may not think of it.


#10

The Internet.


#11

Beat me to it.

But that’s what you do when you love someone. :wink:

Check out his collection of short fiction if you don’t need to decompress (pun intended) after Rifters. Blindsight is excellent too. His work is exhausting for me, not sure why. I have to space it out. Sorry if you’ve already read those things.

https://tachyonpublications.com/product/beyond-the-rift/


#12

Guillain-Barre syndrome, though you didn’t mention any flu like symptoms first. It sounds a lot like what my mother in law had very suddenly and mysteriously.


#13

i have read Blindsight – really great stuff. i love the idea of vampires being real and ideal for space travel. i didn’t realize he had a short fiction collection out. thanks!


#14

What antibiotics did he get for his leg? On July 26, AlterNet posted an article about Levaquin and its relatives that described similar torments as side effects. It’s not a long piece, but appalling. It’s entitled, “Are You Taking This Dangerous Antibiotic?” I hope he gets better.


#15

Jeez, if his description weren’t so poetically wordy it might be easier to figure out what he’s describing.[quote=“doctorow, post:1, topic:85922”]
Every groinal tendon was on fire. My knees felt like little exploding schematic diagrams of cartilaginous balls and sockets and springs, ready to go sproiiiinnggggg!
[/quote]

I had sarcoidosis a few years ago, and my doctor could not figure it out, symptoms got worse over the course of a week or two, until he gave up and sent me to a specialist who got it immediately. It’s rare, and consists of an autoimmune response that caused all my joints to swell up (started with ankles, then knees, then back/elbows/neck) to where I was hobbling around (if I walked at all, I spent a lot of time just laying in bed with my feet raised.) Steroids cleared it up within 48 hours, with major relief within 4 hours of taking the first pill.


#16

That’s a good point, I was just thinking how many diagnoses we’ve seen of Secretary Clinton lately. Is it a Brain Cloud or just the Martian Death Flu?


#17

Well, in my own case, I trusted me, which is why I did not die of melanoma. It only took 4 physicians before I found one who would do a biopsy, which proved me right :frowning: .

In my daughter’s case, I trusted the Internet, so she is neither blind nor heart-damaged.

But honestly the question’s rigged. You shouldn’t blindly “trust” in a white-coated hierophant any more than you would trust in a black-robed priest; in both cases, they are just people with a modicum of training, and not magically powered infallible oracles. At least the Internet is a bunch of people, but it’s still just people.


#18

Yeah I really need to know what happens after Echopraxia.


#19

I suggest you recommend to him https://www.crowdmed.com/
I heard of them listening to a Reply All episode: https://gimletmedia.com/episode/75-boy-wonder/


#20

Time to call this guy: