I feel sort of like old Gandalf after he returned from his todo with the Balrog! I've been very sick for a year with a dermatitis (still unknown cause) and have been without a computer since last September. It's been a hard road, and although I am improving, there is a long stretch ahead yet. After spending thousands of dollars, I still don't know what's wrong, just that there is a breakdown in my immune system that is blistering my skin from head to foot. The burning and itching is non-stop, and I am eating pills like M&M's. As a result of the illness (and med side effects) and after last summers extreme drought here, most of my collection has been lost. I simply couldn't maintain my extensive collection. I doubt that I will be able to afford to grow as I once did siince energy costs are high and funds are low, but am pleased to see the fruits of my generosity still circulating amongst you all from better days. I miss the plants, but even more I miss this forum and my friends! I still have some CP under a few lights. and I plan on growing "in rotation" raising particular species for awhile and passing them on and then starting some new material. I do hope to regain the Utricularia I have shared with friends, but I have little to trade right now - I sure miss those spring flowers! I did recently obtain some seed of Drosera uniflora and will sow the seed after a long stratification over this summer. The seed is from Pantagonia and is probably the hardest seed I have ever sourced out. I am greatly looking forward to the event, although my days of study with this genus are over. My illness leaves me in a weak state and I have little stamina after a year of this. Dr's say it is because I am losing my "heat" through the rash. I have been diagnosed with both Celiac disease, which is caused by an intolerance to Gluten, so no wheat, rye, barley or oats (this includes beer and ale....owwwww!) and life is no fun when you have to prepare all your meals from natural unprocessed foodstuffs: no fast food, no eating out, no cookies, cakes, pasta or pizza. I am on a couple of antidepressants, but they don't help much and I am dreadfully weary of pills. A cure is not possible I am told, expecially since no one knows what is causing this. Currently the specialists are treating this as atopic dermatitis, and not the Dermatitis Herpitiformis that is a hallmark of Celiac Disease. I believe the Celiac dx is correct, since the last time I was feeling better I ate some pizza with a beer or three, and over a week later am still suffering for it.
Many friends have written with their concerns and wants, and I appreciate the emails although without a computer I was unable to respond. Thank you all for writing, and be assured that although I may wish I were dead I will apparently be continuing for some time, and hope to continue to interact with you all and to share what plants I can as long as my energy permits it. Right now, the Sarracenia are doing well, all divided and transplanted, although I lost some over the winter along with many of the VFT's.
I want to take a moment to thank Suzanne (Plantakiss) for talking to me nearly EVERY day and who is mainly responsible for me not jumping off a bridge into the Oswego river which at times was powerfully attractive! Her support was critical to my continuity! Until recently I was unable to sleep more than nap length periods since the itch cut right into my sleep period leaving me a wreck, and no one should have to endure what I am going through.
My computer is now up and running, at least for a spell, so drop me a line at email@example.com and I will respond. Now I am off to see what has been said and done since last September here at TF.
Well, thanks for the shoulder and y'all have a slice of pizza and a beer for me.
Blessings to you all,
William "Tamlin" Dawnstar