SF writer Peter Watts needs help diagnosing mysterious, debilitating illness

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

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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)


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

The Internet.


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.


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.


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!

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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.

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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!

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.


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?


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.


Yeah I really need to know what happens after Echopraxia.

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/

Time to call this guy: