January 15, 2010


I apologize for my absence from this space since early December. As I've often indicated, there is a lot of writing I would very much like to complete in whatever time remains to me. To be honest, I'm not at all sure how much time remains now, or how much of that writing I'll be able to do.

Over the last several years, I've had to accustom myself to varying degrees of constant discomfort and pain, all of which is experienced against a background of enormous and increasing weakness and fatigue. I say "I've had to" get used to that, because I'm unable to obtain any medical care on a regular basis. The only time I received any care at all was in connection with the heart emergency almost a year ago. I couldn't continue the heart medications prescribed at that time since the refills finally ran out, and I had no means of obtaining new prescriptions or of paying for them even if I somehow managed that. So I've been off the meds for about four months.

The last month has been especially bad. Then, last Saturday, I suddenly had a very bad pain in my lower back, right above the left buttock. I obviously have no idea what's causing it. After megadoses of aspirin (which I've continued to take regularly, primarily for the blood thinning effect, necessary with regard to the heart problems) and Tylenol (yes, I know about the recall, but it appears inapplicable to the product I've been taking), and long sessions with a heating pad, the pain has lessened somewhat. But for most of the past week, it's often been agonizing. All I could do was try to find a position in bed that didn't hurt too much (practically impossible), drift in and out of far from restful sleep, and beg for the pain to stop. Now, it's stopped a little bit. (Don't worry about the megadoses of aspirin and Tylenol; chances are I won't live anywhere near long enough for whatever bad effects the doses may cause to manifest themselves. And based on what I know, I'm not taking dangerously high levels of either. I'm not yet at the point where I'm deliberately inducing my demise.)

If the pain continues at this somewhat reduced level for another week or so or if, God forbid, it should get worse, I probably ought to get some attention for it, even if only for more effective alleviation of pain. Before I left the hospital last February, I had a discussion with someone from the billing department. My discussion with her made clear that there is no government program to help me. I've mentioned that I've dropped out of "the system" as completely as I can. Aside from local and state taxes that I must pay whenever I purchase groceries, etc. (since I regrettably don't live on a self-sustaining farm), I give the State nothing; the State will therefore give me nothing. I have no complaint about that; it's the choice I made. Since I'm unable to work (aside from the writing I do here, when I can), I depend entirely on the charity of my readers.

My very deep thanks go out to the small group of ten or so regular donors, who send donations like clockwork even when I've been absent for weeks, or even months. Without you, all this would have ended for me some time ago. I also extend my gratitude to those few additional people who have made donations, especially over the last month. But I'm now down to my last hundred dollars. Soon I won't even be able to get more aspirin or Tylenol. If I could manage several hundred dollars for just a very basic checkup and a couple of prescriptions, that might help a bit. Actually, I'm not even sure what $400 or $500 would buy these days in terms of medical attention; I'm fairly certain it's not much at all. It clearly won't make even a small dent with regard to the general underlying problems, but I'm in the very primitive triage stage now. Even a vanishingly small victory is better than nothing.

I've kept up a bit with ongoing news, in odd moments here and there when I can sit up for a while without experiencing unbearable pain. I've seen stories about how much money is being raised in connection with various political causes -- for example, for the two major candidates in the Massachusetts election next week. So (some) people still seem to have (some) disposable income for those battles they view as important; the amounts raised by Coakley and Brown are staggering to me. I'll try to write about that election in more detail soon, with a view to the larger issues it involves. From my perspective, a vote for Coakley is utterly indefensible and contemptible. Brown is also awful, although he doesn't appear to be notably more awful than most other politicians trying to get to Washington or already ensconced there. I view voting for "None of the above" as an honorable choice. And I will further say that, if I lived in Massachusetts, I would be somewhat tempted to vote for Brown, if the thought of doing so didn't afflict me with hysterical paralysis. I say that for only one reason: in the specific context of this election -- and given that one of the primary reasons Coakley's supporters urge a vote for her is to "save" the health insurance bill (a bill which is the corrupt product of a corrupt system, incapable of being "improved" no matter how much they tinker with it given the vile corruption at its core) -- a Brown victory would deliver one overriding message: Stop Fucking With Us. That's a message worth delivering, I think. It might slow the bastards down just a little bit; gridlock and confusion among the monstrous governing class are very positive assets now. And at this point, time is critical. Much more about all that soon, I hope. But a vote for Coakley is close to unforgivable as far as I'm concerned; all the arguments in support of such a vote rely on a series of critical errors, which I hope to explain in detail in some long-planned articles. If you vote for her, I suggest you have the following tattooed on your forehead: "Please fuck me until I'm dead, and I'll still vote for you as long as I can!" But, hey, if you get your thrills that way, enjoy it, pal.

So, yes, there is still work to be done here. A bit of money to help me get through a while longer, or at least to keep the pain at a somewhat tolerable level, would be helpful. As always, I'm deeply grateful for your consideration and for whatever support you might care to provide.

I will try to be back, more substantively, in the next several days. Now, I just take it hour by hour, and sometimes minute by minute...so we'll see what tomorrow and the ensuing days bring.