Last August I brewed a stout and had plans to bottle it that same month. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worst and I just bottled it tonight.
So basically last August I had come down with an ear infection. Didn't think much of it as I just let it run it's course. A few days into it I got a horrible fever and had to go to the emergency room. Turns out I had rare condition called mastoiditis. I spent a night in the hospital and went through with all the awfulness that came with the condition. By this time my batch had been sitting in the primary for 3 more weeks then I intended.
After I recovered from that I started getting headaches all the time and a constant runny nose. Went to a few doctors and a specialist and they said I was fine. I wasn't. The pain continued and I missed several days off of work. I finally got fed up and went to the emergency room where they collected some of the fluid that was running out of my nose. I made an appointment with another specialist. By this time my batch was 3 months in the primary.
This specialist knew what he was talking about. The fluid that been running into my ear through my nose was... brain fluid. The mastoiditis infection caused a hole in part of my skull and I was losing brain fluid on a daily basis. Doc told me I was a ticking time bomb and needed surgery ASAP (I was at risk for a stroke or an aneurysm just from walking around). I was scared and terrified of surgery then another bomb dropped on me: I got fired from my job.
I actually worked in a hospital (in IT) and they didn't like the fact that I was taking too much time off. Surgery was delayed until COBRA got cleared. Stressed out, unemployed, broke, on the brink of a stroke at 26, and I had a batch that needed to be bottled.
So I had surgery to repair my skull and everything went successfully. I spent weeks recovering in a vicodin induced haze, and somehow managed to pull myself together through the pain to get a job interview. Somehow through all my pain and suffering I nailed it. I got the damn job in this crushing recession 2 weeks post surgery. Best part was that I started in the new year which gave me some time to recover physically.
So here I am in late April. I'm finally feeling like myself again and with the help of a close friend I bottled my first batch again. The job is going great and one of the guys there is a veteran home brewer who has won several awards and is actually a BJCP master judge. It all worked out somehow, and my experimental batch on Southern Tier's Creme Brulee stout is finally in bottles.
I had to stay away from this forum because I KNEW I would get the bug if I started reading, but there was no physical way I could brew. But now I'm back.... and I'm alive!
Perhaps I should change the name of my "brewery"?