Posts Tagged ‘surgery


Take a Breath

Take a deep breath. Hold it in. Let it out nice and slow. Now do it again. Once more.

Feels good, doesn’t it? I hope so, but I wouldn’t know for sure. I can’t do that anymore and haven’t been able to for nearly three years.

I have severe asthma, bordering on COPD, and my condition has been degrading steadily over the last few years. It’s gotten to the point where nearly any exertion, even something as simple as brewing a pot of coffee or taking a shower, leaves me heaving and struggling for breath. I frequently have to use a nebulizer just to attend a doctor’s appointment and generally am so exhausted and weakened afterwards that I end up having to sleep the rest of the day.

I miss being able to step outside just after the rain and breathe deep, feeling that beautiful, damp air slide through my body. I miss being able to stop by the game shop and have a chat about what’s coming up. I miss going to my job, helping people, training others, and socializing with the great friends I had there.

There’s something that may help; it’s called a bronchoplasty. Essentially, they want to shove tiny laser beams down my throat and burn away the parts of my lungs that aren’t working right. Very sci-fi. They tell me this may help, that while it may not remove all my symptoms, it will at least hopefully lessen them to the point where I can take a deep breath once in a while, or go back to work.

Problem is, it’s not cheap and the insurance I have won’t cover it. Being away from my job for almost three years has murdered what credit rating I used to have, cancelled the semi-decent insurance that my work provided, and left me clinging to a state health plan that barely covers my meds, let alone something like major surgery.

I do what I can, trying to bring in some income. I don’t just sleep all day. I write, I blog, I try to stream when I’m feeling well enough and can manage to talk for more than five minutes without a severe coughing fit or fainting spell hitting me. None of them pay the bills, let alone build up enough of a nest egg to get what I need, but at least they pass the time and sometimes can buy a sandwich.

That’s where this comes in. I’m throwing myself on the mercy of the masses. For those of you who have the fortunate position of being able to take a deep breath without pain or fear, just think about what it would feel like to have that taken away… and consider if that is worth your mercy. If not, I understand. Times are crazy and tough for everyone these days. But it’d sure help.

The amount listed for the campaign covers the approximately $15,000 worth of surgery and includes a $5,000 buffer for aftercare and living expenses while I recover. I know it’s a lot. I wish it was less, and that I didn’t have to ask. But it is what it is.

That’s all there is to say, I guess.

Take a deep breath. Be thankful you can. Consider helping someone else do the same. Thank you for your time.

The campaign can be found here.


Christmas Time

I am not a Christmas person.

As a child, the family had an… interesting… way of dealing with Chrismas, which mostly soured me on the concept. Years later, I made an attempt to celebrate my own Christmas with someone I cared deeply about that blew up in my face. Then I spent six years working retail and watching how people behave from late November until February when the gift receipts are no longer valid, and that finished it off for me.

I acknowledge others do it, and don’t begrudge them or try to berate them for it. I am aware there’s probably hundreds of assorted “Christmas-like” holidays around this time, and don’t try to bully them into a case of the bah humbugs, either. I do my thing, they do theirs.

This Christmas is looking particularly grim, however. There’s the usual apathy and depression to do with the holiday, but added on is the knowledge of what a burden I’ve been to my partner through the year, and how she – who very much is in love with the holiday and wants to celebrate it – is being denied that (as well as any of the things on her Christmas wish list) because of how things are. That’s plenty more miserable to me than my general malaise surrounding the day and how it creeps ever closer.

Still fighting with the disability people – apparently letters from two doctors alongside a full functional capacity evaluation that says “it is unsafe for him to return to work” and demanding surgery isn’t “sufficient evidence of disability” – and doing what I can to hurry it through, with no end in sight.

Still need that surgery, and more pressing at the moment is playing catch up with the bills that continue to pile up while I sit on lockdown. Some of you know I have a Patreon; some of you know I have a GoFundMe set up. If anyone out there, in the spirit of Christmas – or who want to give my long-suffering partner some breathing room for the holiday – can help, even with just a share or word of encouragement, it’d be greatly appreciated. Links below.





If you’ve put up with my whimpering this year, thank you. There’s hundreds of you who, for some reason, seem interested in the things I have to say, and while I have difficulty expressing it or sometimes batten down the hatches and crawl into my hole, it matters to me. More than any of you may know. Hopefully, all of you out there have a Merry Christmas (or whichever form of “<Good> <Your Holiday>” you prefer) and a great 2020.

KA Spiral no signature



Dentures, Drugs, and Dreams

I’ve been away for a bit, as I’m sure some of you have noticed. It wasn’t intentional by any means. I was doing so well, too; managed to write every day for almost two months straight.

But life happens, as everyone is aware. First it looked like the pneumonia might be coming back; then there was the possibility it was mono. But the real culprit to being deathly ill for nearly a month?

Severe infection in the jaw. Guess what the cure was?

Well, if you said “yank all your top teeth out,” you win a prize. I don’t know what that prize is, yet, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. I have access to the teeth… I suppose I could give you some of those, if you wanted… but only if you promise not to use them as DNA evidence to frame me for something or cast any voodoo on me. On second thought, maybe not. Might be kinda gross.

So, due to that, I haven’t really been able to eat or talk for almost a month. The pain medication they gave me also makes it almost impossible to focus and screws up my sleep – to say nothing of the near-constant nausea – so I don’t get much of interest done. It also tends to mess with my dreams, so I’ll just share a couple of those for now. Maybe someone else can decode them or will find them of interest.

In the first, for some reason I’m trying to convince a motivational speaker to come and give a lecture to teenagers at a church. The church is First Christian Church, one I was familiar with back in Carson City, though in the dream it has been abandoned and shuttered. I technically don’t have rights to use it or access to it, but for some reason it’s very important that I convince this person that I do.

I get there, and have no problem getting in, though the vestibule is filled with broken appliances. My guest speaker doesn’t seem to mind, merely asking questions about the congregation and how soon the building will be ready. I give him vague answers and wander further in.

The inside of the church turns out to be an ultra posh casino, and the priest’s quarters are like a penthouse apartment. The owner is, for some reason, the “Earl and Vicar of Brunswick.” Yeah, I dunno what that’s about, either. He’s old, and in the way you know things in dreams, I know he has a son, and they had a falling out. The falling out was because the Earl/Vicar and his son were playing a bit of wife swapping that didn’t end well.

That wasn’t the only swapping going on, though; they were also swapping faces, peeling them off and slapping on whatever they wanted. He wanted to bequeath the church/casino/penthouse to me for some reason. Again, in the way you know things, I knew this wasn’t actually the Vicar, but his son; they’d swapped and the actual Vicar was off galavanting with that youthful visage. Not sure why that would work – in the dream it seemed like they were just switching faces, but it seemed like that also made them immortal for some reason – and this fake Vicar wanted to will everything to me then swap with my face and take it all back. Despite knowing that, I still agreed.

That’s where the dream ended. I have no idea what it means.

I know I said there were two, but this has gone on for a bit and I’m not feeling so hot. I’ll share the other in a bit.

Until next time.

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