Title: Wiis, reviewing, and dire family situations.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (01:31 AM)
I had someone stand in line to purchase one about a month back, but never got the opportunity to pick it up until this weekend. So far, I have:
Metal Slug Anthology
DBZ Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz
I haven't reviewed anything for about a week now. This is mainly due to confidence issues in terms of my writing. I've been second guessing myself a lot (especially with the last two reviews) and it was a nerve wracking experience. I tried following Venter's and Pup's advice, but it made things more problematic. I think I'm stuck in a reviewing rut or something. And yes, I'm well aware that it's holding me back.
But the primary reason that I have't written anything this week is my aunt. She has been sick for about three weeks now. Mostly flu symptoms; it's been keeping her home most of the time. She'd also been getting an increasingly worse cough and felt dehydrated.
Skip to last Monday. My grandma noticed that my aunt hadn't shown up (they live next door to each other) for the day to visit and feed her dog. So she decides to wait, assuming that my aunt must have fallen asleep, which she is prone to do even if she isn't sick. After waiting a bit, my grandma tries calling her. No answer. So she decides to head over there and see if everything's okay. She gets in to find my aunt sitting on her couch. She's unconcious and unresponsive; even the pillow underneath her is soaked because she lost control of her bowels. My grandma calls an amublance.
It turned out that my aunt's blood sugar level was too high....way too high. I don't know what the normal measurements are, but my grandma mentioned that the doctors said that her blood sugar levels were at 880. That's pretty freaking severe. If my grandma had waited much longer, my aunt would have died.
The ambulance takes her out to the main Kaiser Hospital and into the emergency room. They get her all hooked up with IV drips and tubes and whole lot of other stuff. My aunt is barely aware at this point; she keeps on unplugging the IVs becuase it makes her feel uncomfortable. They tie her hands down, and she manages to break out of those. The first two nights, no one is sure if she's going to make it; her hands are swollen up, her fever is soaring past 100, she's having delusions, not making any sense, and pale as a ghost. The doctors work on her rounf the clock, but things don't look good.
For the next few days, my aunt is moved out of Emergency and into the ICU. Her levels never balance out; they're either too high or too low according to all the moniters attached to her. Her fever comes and goes. When she has a fever, they have to cover her body with ice packs to get the temperature back down. During that time, she's still incoherent and is barely aware of her surroundings. She can't remember a lot of what happens during these times; she doesn't remember leaving her house at all, let alone all the visitors she had during the first few days. When she cools down, she becomes more alert and talkative (though she still can't talk above a whisper) and starts asking questions and stuff. The doctors give her a remote controll and a TV, as well as regular meals, blood tests, and other stuff. She's fine during those times, but she'll occasionally lapse back into delusion; one minute she'll be talking fine, and she'll start babbling random stuff out of nowhere. That's ****ing scary to see, dammit.
When I went in there last night, I was prepared for the worst. I thought she, the woman who pratically considers me a surrogate son, wouldn't recognize me at all. I thought there'd be some horrible disfigurement, incoherent rambling, and all of that really bad stuff relatives hate to think about. But when I went there, she was weak, but responsive. She recognized me, and asked me if i played my new Wii yet.I siad no, saying that I'd be staying the night in the ICU waiting room and wouldn't get the chance to play it until the next day (today). We just conversed, watched some Wheel of Fortune, and just appreciated each other for being there. I tried to make her feel better with jokes and random observations; I called her Darth Vader because she had some kind of red light thing attached to her middle finger. Accordingly, she gave the finger and even posed *briefly* when we took a pic of her. But she was till so damned weak. Not as pale as before, but the fevers, unbalanced levels, and other stuff are still big factors.
The doctors say that she has a combination of pneumonia, gallbladdr stones, effects from diabetes, and an infected kidney. Needless to say, she isn't going anywhere for a long time. But she is alive, and getting slowly, slowly better.
She's been wanting to play Wii Sports ever since she saw it on TV. Since she's a baseball fan, I'm going to make Miis that look like players from her favorite teams *The SF Giants and Oakland A's* and introduce her to Wii Baseball when she's well enough to see an exhibition game.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (08:47 AM)
Damn, that sucks. I hope she gets better.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (09:13 AM)
Wow, that's insane. I hope she gets better, too. It's horrible having a family member in that position, especially one you have such a solid relationship with.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (09:36 AM)
Yeah, although it's impossible not be a walking cliché in these matters, I genuinely hope things get better for her soonest.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (10:07 AM)
Throw my name on this get well card too. I'm glad to hear that you stayed with her at the hospital. She was probably scared out of her mind too, and I'm sure the company was comforting.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (03:19 PM)
Disco, I feel what you're going through. I hope your aunt makes a full recovery. Don't even worry about reviewing until you feel you're ready to concentrate on it. I bet when that time comes you won't feel like you're in a rut, either.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (04:19 PM)
Usurper has a good point. Writing helps people through a lot of things, if they're the right type, but it's not game reviews that are helpful in cases like this. Sometimes it's not writing at all, just walking through the park or taking your car through the car wash when the local cheerleading squad is doing a fundraiser and it's hot and-- uh... so anyway, don't focus on the fact that you're not reviewing. Forcing yourself to do something that doesn't feel natural at the moment is a good way to start hating it.
Posted: March 06, 2007 (11:51 PM)
Thanks, for the kind words, folks. That means a lot to me! ^_^
And yeah, I'll have to follow your guys' advice. I tried reviewing Yoshi's Island DS tonight, and only got three paragraphs done in a couple of hours. Reviewing isn't fun when you can't concentrate. I'd normally be able to blaze through something like that, but my mind keeps stopping up. I'm also trying to address the problems that were brought up with my previous reviews; I've gotten so ingrained with my methods (picking something randomly and writing with no planning or anything) that trying to deviate from it is headache-inducing chore. I know what works for me, but evidently it's just not good enough.
I'm not sure how to proceed. But I guess I should get some sleep first. Spending a weekend in a ICU waiting room doesn't make for a good rest. >.<
Posted: March 08, 2007 (02:33 PM)
I've already said it Justin, but I hope everything gets better with your aunt. No matter how bleak it can get at times, there is always a chance that everything will get better in the end.
It's also very hard to break reviewing style. I've honestly been making the same mistakes since I started reviewing. That's the primary reason why I stick to reviewing FPS games at this point. I know what to talk about with FPS games, so I don't make as many silly mistakes as I do when I review games from genres I'm less familiar with. But I think you need to be comfortable with your style. Just do what you like to do, and make it better. Don't worry about living up to the expectations that other people have. You're never going to succeed if you're working to live up to goals that other people set for you. You have to want to make a change. If you want to make a change to your style, it'll happen. You're a talented writer and I know you can do it. You just have to want to.