August 27, 2015

Some Good News

UPDATE, Sunday afternoon, August 30: The heat has been beastly; that, in combination with the turmoil in my guts, has left me unable to do anything except lie in bed, trying to rest but remaining extremely uncomfortable as a fan blows 85-90 degree air over my body. Kind of a preview of hell, I suppose. It's been awful.

The weather is supposed to break tomorrow, and the week ahead will be substantially cooler, so they tell us. I hope to get back into the writing beginning tomorrow, with the post ready for publication several days later, if all goes according to plan.

My very deep thanks to those who have made donations. I can cover the rent and a few other bills, including internet service. But finances remain very tight for the rest of the coming month, with funds for food that will last only ten days or so. I'll have to consult my list again for all the ways to make a baked potato interesting. But with the intestinal problems, I'm not terribly hungry in any case. One benefit is that I have lost some of the weight I've been wanting to get rid of; I think I've lost at least five or six pounds in the last few weeks. Every cloud, and all that.

So I should be back later this week, with a new post (or two!). See you soon. Many thanks again.


About ten days ago, I finally started working in earnest, and regularly. As is my wont, I've chosen a theme which is hugely complicated, and often difficult to explain in a (hopefully) comparatively simple and persuasive manner. But I am writing again, and it's going well. I had hoped that I would have completed the first article in this new series of essays several days ago, but I've been slowed down by two primary factors. These two factors are in addition to my grief about Cyrano, which went deeper and lasted longer than I had expected -- and I had been prepared for it to be very deep and long-lasting. I continue to miss Cyrano terribly, and I think about him all the time. Since we lived in this apartment together for almost 17 years, every inch of this place is filled with memories of him. But Sasha is wonderful company, and she and I are beginning to fall into new patterns of our own, now that only the two of us reside here. And Sasha is a wonderfully affectionate and sweet girl. I'd be utterly lost without her.

The terrible heat has come back to Los Angeles. I've had to develop strategies for dealing with it, especially in the last several years, since excessive heat has awful effects on my already faltering health. So that's been manageable for the most part, but it does mean that for fairly long stretches on very hot days I'm mostly immobile in bed, conserving my energy and (remaining) health as best I can.

The second problem has been some sort of intestinal problem, which resulted in the worst case of constipation I've ever had. I finally had some relief last weekend after dosing myself with Dulcolax -- no help at all, for me at any rate -- and Ex Lax. The Ex Lax worked, but I went through almost two full days -- TWO. FULL. DAYS. -- of hours spent in the bathroom, waiting, hoping, straining, praying for relief. During those two days, I constantly thought of calling 911. Straining of that kind (of any kind, but particularly of that kind in certain ways) is not recommended for someone with a bad heart. I wasn't sure what would explode first -- my heart or my ass. I came thisclose to calling 911 many times. It's only because of the horrible experiences I've had with hospitals and caregivers (the last time especially) that I resisted, and continue to resist. I will call if I think some kind of ultimate crisis might be starting, but determining whether such a crisis has finally arrived is the damnable part, obviously.

In any case, my heart hasn't given out yet, although I'm still exhausted from that lengthy period of extreme discomfort. And the relief, when it finally came, was terrifying, let me tell you. Unbelievable. I'm amazed I didn't pass out. And my bowels still haven not returned to normal. I'm concerned that something may be going on that will require serious medical attention at some point, but I continue to hope, for the moment at least, that this too shall pass (so to speak... sorry). I also think it's entirely possible that the constipation may be some sort of traumatic bodily reaction to Cyrano's death. So let's hope that things slowly return to normal, as my body and soul absorb the reality of the loss of Cyrano.

Meanwhile, yes, it's that time again. I desperately wanted to finish this new article and publish it before asking for further donations (I will tell you that it's a lengthy essay, as well as being very complex) -- but this morning, I'm again struggling with bowel movements and the lack thereof. So my concentration is likely to be significantly undercut for at least much of today. And the first of the month is almost here, and my anxiety is beginning to overwhelm me. I only have half of what I need for the September rent, and there are also several other bills (including for internet service) that have to be paid shortly after the first.

So once more, since I have no other source of income, I must ask for donations. Please allow me to emphasize again how profoundly grateful I am for the support of all those who help keep me going. And an extra helping of thanks goes to those who regularly send donations, whether I'm able to write or not. Without the help from all of you, I would have been out on the street a long time ago, which means I would have been dead a long time ago. (Survival on the street is not an option in this scenario, given my already existing health problems.)

A multitude of thanks to all of you. When I'm not in the bathroom, or prostrate in bed (from the heat and/or from exhaustion after the bathroom episodes), I'll continue working on the new piece as best I can. I still hope to publish it by the beginning of next week, and perhaps sooner if the gods smile on me. They haven't done that much lately, so a few smiles would be lovely indeed at this particular moment.

Many thanks, dear friends. As I've been writing this new piece (and making notes for additional articles on the same general theme and related issues), I've discovered once again that I have a lot to say. That probably sounds strange or even stupid, but I have felt written out at certain times in the last few years. But I don't feel that way any longer. And I swear to God, I'll do my best to keep writing about the issues I care most about until the whole damned world agrees with me. Actually, five or ten percent of the world would be more than enough to see the start of major changes. So, yes, five percent. I'll shoot for that.

See you soon. And I'll add an update over the weekend, if I'm not able to complete the new piece by then, to let you know how I'm doing.