I'm sitting here, eating cheese on toast, drinking tea and trying not to scratch my head. This is the third time I'm eating something involving melted cheese today; that isn't good for me, as I am aware, but I genuinely don't have the wherewithal to make anything else. I'm in enough pain as it is.
I had an operation this morning at one of the big London hospitals. Last autumn, I had a cyst removed from my head - a painful one that had been bothering me for months - minor surgery at my local GP. A week later, I get a call from the NHS: cyst was removed, but it wasn't a complete excision; you'll need to go into hospital and have a more complete one. A date and time was set: today, 9:30am.
So, for the second time in as many years, I went through the completely mystifying process of having a hole cut in the top of my head.
The resulting odd look on the back of my scalp also isn't the only thing that's going on. I have a chalazion on my right eyelid (if you don't know what a chalazion is, it's a fluid-filled sac causing a lump on the eye), which you can't see unless you're looking for a very long time at my eyes. This wouldn't be a problem, really, were it not for the fact that my eyes are pretty much the only part of my body that I'm happy with. You may not see my chalazion, but I know it's there.
I'm also using an antifungal shampoo at the moment, also on the recommendation of my dermatologist, to try and combat dry scalp. It appears to be doing the opposite... and I'm having very dry skin as a result.
I've also put on a lot of weight, as a result of various health problems and a lack of motivation/money going on at the moment. Yes, I've joined a gym, but I'm seeing no visible effects. I swore to myself last Eroticon that I'd lose weight by this time around. I genuinely did try. It just hasn't worked.
And, finally, I don't have much to wear. I had a nice flannel shirt that I wore to the very first 'con back in 2012. I was fully intending to wear that again... but it's gone AWOL. I can't afford new clothes, so I'll have to find the best thing I have and attempt to make it work.
What I'm trying to say, essentially is this: I may look a bit odd this weekend. If you're meeting me at 'con, or coming to my talk, or attending any of the social events, then you may notice blue bits in my hair that are actually sutures, as opposed to blue hair. You may notice less hair than I'd usually have, due to having the surgery and using the shampoo. I may have dry, flaky skin; I may have a noticeable lump on my right eye. I may look a little too large for my clothes... oh yes, and I may have wonky teeth too, stained a little (from drinking tea; I don't smoke), but that's something toothpaste isn't remedying.
I'm going to try and look as nice as I can this year. I really am. I'll make an effort, because I know from experience that I enjoy 'con more the more confident I am, and they better I look, the more confident I also am.
But if you do meet me at 'con, please do come and give me a hug, or a kiss on the cheek, or chat to me. That's what I'm always there to do. Even if you don't like the way I look.
It really is the very least you could do.