A couple people have emailed me about a reference I made to 6-MP, an immunosuppressive drug commonly used for various chronic illnesses involving a hyperactive immune system. Since Yahoo mail "lost" two weeks worth of stored mail and a number of those emails, I'll answer it here.
I have Crohn's Disease (link NWS). It's one of the reasons I live in New York - all of the best doctors are here and my case is rather complicated. It's also why I don't work full time, aside from also being in grad school full time - I'm always rearranging my work schedule around procedures and emergency appointments, and my boss is incredibly understanding about it.
Someone else with Crohn's asked me why there isn't more books about it. After all, we get plenty of submissions every week from cancer survivors, or friends of people who died of cancer, or crazy doctors who think they've found a cure to every disease and it's apparently eating dirt.
The answer is probably that Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and the rest of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease family are all pretty gross to discuss in any detail. While I'm not ashamed to say I have the disease and describe the symptons to anyone who actually really wants to know, most people who have it do not come forward, because it's embarassing. And even if/when people do write about it, it probably wouldn't sell to people who don't have the disease or relatives who have it. Anything exceedingly well written will sell, but very few things are exceedingly well written, and it's even more important if the text is a sensitive topic. I've seen very few narratives, fiction or non, about waste management. (Except by environmentalists) I've never seen a protagonist who had a job cleaning septic tanks. The closest I've ever seen to that is Lore from Slow River working in a water filtration plant. It's not that the topics are "off limits" - nothing is - but they're not palatable, so they won't sell to a large audience.