Amy’s Disease of the Week

So, I’m writing Sammy.

For those of you who have read The Virgin Manny (and there’s a surprising number of you) you may remember Sammy– he was the fractious, hurt little boy that Channing needed a manny for at the beginning of the book.

Now, in Manny Get Your Guy, Sammy is seventeen, and he’s got a little crush on Brandon, one of the MC’s, but Brandon is in his twenties and, in short order, very actively pursuing Taylor, so Sammy had to wait until book three to get his story told.

Well, Sammy is sort of awesome, and he needed a weakness, so I literally went for blood and gave him anemia.

Nosebleeds, pallor, fainting spells–Sammy’s got the full roster of symptoms, and he’s resentful as hell and I really love researching this stuff.  And then, as I’m researching it, I realize Sammy will probably need a blood transfusion since it’s fairly severe (and he’s got the rockin’ health insurance) and I think, “Oh, damn! I haven’t given blood in a while– why haven’t I done that?”

And then I remember.

For the last several attempts to give blood, I’d get through the questionnaire, then the screening and would finally sit down to have the blood drop test…

And I’d fail the blood drop test.

Because I don’t have enough iron in my blood.

Because I have anemia–it goes hand in hand with pre-diabetes.

In fact, at one of our last conventions, a friend turned to me and said, “Go eat. Go eat now. I’ve never seen anyone that pale live.”

 And–as dreamily as the character I’ve just written–I went, “Hah. Food. Yeah. That’s an amazing idea. How do I do that?”

It’s not the first time it’s happened. Another friend remembers when I took the red-eye to New York and got stuck on a shuttle when the President was in Pennsylvania.  I was sick and pale and exhausted by the time I got to the hotel and I couldn’t concentrate for shit. I also couldn’t stop babbling. Blood sugar drops and anemia–not a happy combo.

These are things I know happen to me, but until just right now? I never actually connected with a thing that I have. 

So, interestingly enough, me and Sammy, we have some similar experiences. Isn’t it funny the things you learn.  (P.S. If anybody wants to come to my house and make me a health drink every morning, I’d be so grateful. I understand they’re amazing. Alas, I have no Cooper who is so inclined.)

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