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I had a mild mental break today. A couple of days ago I got exposed to some dust and mold & I think it got into my head enough to start a cascade failure in my system. When certain conditions are met my ability to deny reality and be happy, or at least not miserable, break down to the point where I can’t keep my patchwork mental state all in one piece. Those conditions were met this morning & I spent the day dealing with it. Generally my consciousness sits just behind my eyes. When I get tired my right eye usually shuts down and the left eye does the heavy lifting. Especially at night, or in bed. I consider this state my most usual mode of awareness. Today my left I shut itself off for about 5 hours. I wasn’t blinded and I could force it to open but it wanted to rest so that side of my face said “We’re gonna shut this off for a bit, you drive today.” to my right eye. If I shut that eye my awareness would drop back into the center, but it didn’t want to be there. In fact, even after it came back online it has been periodically shutting back off. I’m sitting behind my right eye as I type this.
Anyway, it was bad but just stopping is not a luxury I have. So I fed grandpa, got him settled back in his chair after lunch, and spent most of the afternoon distracting myself with social media. I couldn’t call up the part of my brain that controls the creation of this comic, so I farted around until I could lay down for a bit. I wasn’t quite able to fall asleep completely, which is a common issue when my allergies are really bad, but I got enough of a rest to limp across the finish line tonight. My head is still out of balance. I would guess that it will be a couple of days before it sets back into my version of normality. I’ll play around with some antihistamines and see if I can get my head to flush at least some of the dust out. They tend to knock me out for the better part of a day so I’ve always used them sparingly. Generally the weekend is okay for that sort of thing, but I’m going to be in charge of grandpa for a week so I can’t just drop out for six hours at a clip.
Anyway, that’s the long excuse for why the new page went up an hour and a half late this time. And also partially why I haven’t been getting much bonus content out on patreon as long as I’m at it. Which undercuts my sales pitch to the point I think I’ll just drop it for this post.
It is increasingly likely that Grandpa will live with us for an extended period of time before any kind of professional care situation can be sorted out. It’s not ideal, but it is reality. What that will do to my business I’m not sure. My guess is it will not improve anything. I’ll just keep going until I can’t anymore. Until next time, I’m out!


You are doing good work with trying complications. Eldercare is a huge challenge. We made it through, and I hope you will too. Make sure to keep going until you shouldn’t anymore, rather than can’t. There might the really “good kid” cousin or niece or nephew to help, or high-school friend or neighbor (or physical therapist or . . .) or the county or city or . . . to fill the gap between the two. In our case in was a combination of several of those.
It may seem like there is no reward, but you will always know you made the right choice. I know that some of those who walked away are telling themselves lies about what they could and could not do to justify their abdication of responsibility that they cannot actually face. Caring for a parent or grand parent gives you clarity and closure in the relationship in a way that almost nothing else can.
I’ve enjoyed the comic. It kept me up many nights both the first time, a while ago, and recently re-reading and catching up. Thank you.

For me, I’d rather have you healthy and thinking and drawing clearly after a break, than breaking yourself to meet a deadline. I understand that the realities of business may be different. Take care of the caregiver first, always.
Other eldercare notes: Bedsores are really bad news. Alternating air mattress pads/pumps are very effective, but insurance (if any) may not cover them until there have already been multiple rounds of bedsores. They are less than $100 online, and your Patreons might rather buy your grandfather one than put a human being through that. Seriously.

Have you ever tried Zyrtec(it’s cetirizine hydrochloride, and store brand is cheaper and just as effective, of course)? It’s a one a day anti-allergen. I and a a friend of mine have been taking it daily for years, and it does a marvelous job of keeping us human, rather than the zombies severe allergy attacks tends to turn you into. It’s not infallible, heavy exposure to allergens still tends to trigger an attack and my mother claims it doesn’t work at all for her, but it’s done an incredible job for of improving that particular quality of my life. It used to be precription-only- OTC now. I am well aware of how devastating an allergy attack can be, so I am hoping I have told you something you didn’t know. Hang in there. We’re all pulling for you.

Claritin (and again, there should be generic versions) is another antihistamine that is not supposed to make you drowsy and works well for my wife. Most prescription anti-histamines work best for specific allergies, which entails going to a doctor and having tests and usually months of follow up probably not available to you unless you have better insurance than I’m guessing you do. Of the broad-spectrum antihistamines that are available OTC, Benadryl and its generic cousins are BY FAR the most effective, but the side-effect of sleepiness is so pronounced that it’s actually the main ingredient in many sleep-aids! Zyrtec and Claritin do not, in my experience, work *quite* as well as Benadryl, but they do definitely help, and for most people they won’t make you sleepy.

Hang in there.

They gave me benadryl straight into a chest port at the hospital one time. Hit me in probably less than 30 seconds-nearly fell out of the chair.

At this point do you think any of your readers are going to be upset about a comic being late? We understand. We want you health and happy. You share a lot with us. The only people that are going to be shitty about stuff like that are the trolls, and who cares about them getting salty about something completely reasonable.

Hope you get some time to recover from the damned allergic reaction or whatever the hell that is. DO what you need to.

It’s important to me that the reader can reliably expect the comic to be up when I say it’s going to be up. One of the main reasons I’ve been able to be as successful as I have been is just doing what I say I will when I say I will.

Being an allergy sufferer myself, I can relate. Spring is always Allergy Hell for me because everything is blooming. I take two Benadryl a day which mitigates the problem quite effectively. I have occasional bouts of drowsiness, but they soon pass.

Don’t fret about missing an occasional posting deadline, we readers will understand. Feel better soon and hang in there.

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