Status Quo Vadis?

Kage Baker always swore that – short of actually dying   she would rest, heal, and return to her work. Whatever she saw as her work, anyway, after any Event so large and capitalized that it had required her to stop working in the  first place.

All things taken into sober consideration, she fulfilled this oath; yea, even unto and following death. She reinvented and re-established her life several times over  its eccentric length, coming back stronger each time from the edge of dissolution. A merry and ironic jig on that crumbling edge, with a cocktail one hand and a paper parasol for balance in  the other, became her speciality.

She even succeeded, rather arguably, after her literal death: she left her work, her world(s) and her plans to me. I haven’t done all that well with this assignment. Things keep happening to me, that Kage overcame but which have nearly finished me. Also, Kage managed her several resurrections over the course of a lifetime, whereas I have not  gotten through even 1 of the 8 years since her death without some ludicrously close call, myself.

I have found this, Dear Readers, somewhat distracting.

On June 2nd, I tripped and had a bad fall. It involved Cheetos, yarn and a cat tower, though I am still undecided on how permanent the effects of the yarn, snacks and feline demesnes will prove. The main problems seem to be due to gravity and the tensile strength of bone. Also, bureaucratic inertia.

Minor damage: a broken toe, a mild concession, a hard knock to ribs broken 15 years ago, to leave me short of breath. Muscles all up and down my right side torn, leaving me weirdly stiff. Major damage: some cataclysmic but un-detailed fracture to my right shoulder. That last one has left me unable to accomplish 90% of what my right arm is accustomed to performing, as well as a recent legacy of literally mind-blowing pain … if I can frame them amusingly enough, I will list at a later time all the weird places, receptacles and conditions in which I have hallucinated myself over the last month.

A day or 2 after the fall, I went to an orthopedist, who diagnose a proximal fracture of the right humeral head: I broke the top of my humerus into 3 or 4 pieces, right where it fits into my shoulder socket. The doctor ordered a CAT scan on an urgent basis, to ascertain just how badly my arm was croggled, and to deduce what might fix it,

Due to his staff’s unique interpretation of URGENT, the scan was finally done on June 20th. Yestreday, by dint of repeated calls, nagging, and general bitchiness on my part, the orthopedist’s stellar staff managed to get me a third-hand message from the doctor: my shoulder is so croggled that only a full shoulder replacement would have any hope of restoring full function.  Which surgery cannot be done unless and until a cardiologist and an endocrinologist sign off on my ability to survive the surgery. I have heart failure, diabetes and only 1 kidney, you see, all of which apparently outrank my recent loss of the use of my arm.

I am not a good candidate for surgery. On the other hand – if I had another hand – I am also not a good candidate for being solely left-handed, in which state  circumstances have so far abandoned me.

My next doctor appointment is on Wednesday, where we will discuss what can be done about my right arm. To date, absolutely nothing has been done for the injury, and I  really, really want some sort of treatment. Can I have surgery? Then do it now. Is surgery useless, or impossible? Then tell me, so I can try something else: acupuncture, hypnosis, exercises, burying a bean in the woods … something,  so at least I can begin trying to do something more with my life than type  one-handed, and try to join the opioid epidemic.

But, I have figured out why so many people are on the evil drugs. This has apparently escaped the notice of the AMA, the insurance industry, the White House … but, you know what? PAIN HURTS.

In the meantime, I am still here. This is the first day since my fall that I have really been able to blog, and I will try to maintain the ability. In the gaps between despair, fury and simple weariness, I’ll try to write.

There are only a few creative things one can  do with only one hand. Writing is the best so far.

On we go …


















About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Status Quo Vadis?

  1. My dear, I am so sorry. It is deeply lousy that this should happen to you.
    Perhaps an intern could take dictation for you?


    • Kate says:

      Kimberly has offered, too. And Michael has offered me a copy of his Dragon program. However, I have a profound speech deficit in trying to dictate as opposed to writing it out. It seems I think with my fingers.


  2. Luisa Puig says:

    Gentle {{{ Hugs }}} and good juju in hopes that you can (and will be) in surgery soon!
    How terrible dreary for you to be one armed for so long with absolutely no remedy forthcoming.
    I cast a civil (but severe) eye in the direction of “Them” who deny you, and hope that things are moving more in YOUR direction (and correction) this coming week. ❤


    • Kate says:

      Thank you, Luisa -greetings and concerns gladly accepted. Things are marginally but decidedly better today. Pain less, mind clearer, and after I was a good girl about not getting extra pain meds, my doctor went ahead and renewed my prescription. If I get deep of night agonies, I will be prepared! Sometimes virtue IS part of the reward.


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