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148. What keeps you up at night?  
22:54:00, October 17th, 2006
John Henry Holliday, DDS
I have phthysis, also called consumption and tuberculosis. My nights are restless, largely sleepless. When I lie down, my poor rotting lungs are disorganised and swim in liquid. And it rises in my throat. I cough, I choke. I hold my breath, concentrating so hard, to still my breathing, keeping it even. I am careful, taking shallow breaths, gradually working to deeper more soothing breaths. And with effort I am calmed to the point of drowsiness and dream. And I lose that tight control and wake shaken and wracked in suddenness, jerked back to full consciousness in pain. And I worry, for it is only rational that with every ounce of lung tissue I lose more capacity to breathe, to collect the oxygen to keep my heart and brain. And left alone in the night I have to wonder too, what if that falters, the tubercules corrupting my blood. Will it corrupt my thought, change me, harm my memory on which I rely, the steadiness of my hand. Beyond that, there is fever. Always late in the evening. And while I worry and concentrate my mind wanders and the sorrows of my life haunt me. Or perhaps not sorrows only, but joys no longer with me. I reach for the dead and the lost. Sometimes I weep. Sometimes I hope. Fever grants highs and lows and variations. And sometimes there is even delirium and sometimes worse. And I must think of my mama and the coma and helplessness that ended her life. The food she could not ingest, even from my hands. The days when I could not wake her and had to care for her when she was not... there. The terrible sores I could not staunch at the end. Her loss of me, as great as mine of her, and known. And I know what is to come, if I am lucky enough to wake each morning. Sometimes I do not want to wake. Take me in mercy. And then I am thrown awake by paroxysms again, and the blood. Oh, the blood again and in the dark the quantities seem so much more. Spittoons and basins, soft cloths pressed to my mouth as I shake helpless. And in the morning, all the further blood that has collected must be expectorated, torn from my chest, through my throat. Everything tasting of iron. The sounds horrible and frightening even to me. My coughing is then worst of all - fearful and disturbing. Often I wait as long as I can. Whiskey and cards until the sun begins to rise. And another night has past - it is morning, in time at least. I try to trick myself, but still the pain and nightmares and fitful time, for man must sleep. And I arise at noon. I ask my breakfast be placed outside my closed door, so none must witness the awful mess and sight and sound of me so wracked and helpless.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 443
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
affect: illill
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21:51:28, October 19th, 2006 (UTC)
Aww. Poor guy
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