This is about the largest lump of expository writing I’ve done since the stroke.  The second largest bit of writing recently has been  a number of emails sent to and shared by Walt Wentz and Eric Mayer.  In particular I need to thank Walt’s help in preparing and editing my comments for reading.  I warn you in advance that I am still in a very experimental state of my writing – five ago I couldn’t write in any useful fashion at all, and the effort of writing is still highly unsatisfactory.  But as I keep saying … it will get better, and in time I intend publish a fully account of the events beginning with my stroke in early February.

The wait time for my last doctor’s appointment was quite unusual... it wasn't of a real medical nature, either. I was forced to wait for an ophthalmologist who was nearly half an hour late for my appointment, and was late beyond even that, just to open the store! It seems the profession leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to professionalism.  The doctor arrived at least half an hour late for work, and she had another woman ahead of me. But we were both waiting for the store itself to open ... leaving me to wait for another half an hour before the first customer could be served.

However, there were difficulties in delivering my prescription glasses … which means I’ve possibly given up contacts for good. The problem is that they still cause me minor problems at the best of times due to my Myasthenia, and I can’t wear contacts until the problem is resolved. But the neurologist won’t tamper with the status quo until I’ve fully recovered from the stroke, so I won’t be expecting my eyesight to be fully restored for another few months, or a year. After all… I’ll live forever, so I can wait until all the doctors in question are fully satisfied, right?

In the meantime, regular glasses do offer me much better vision
out of doors … or even for the TV screen.

Things keep disappearing on me.

First, I found two pieces of a broken model car that I didn’t even know was broken, and it was weeks before I recognized what those parts were for, and that they belonged to the same model car!  Weirdly, I discovered that separate parts of yet another car under repair vanished in front of my very eyes before I could make the repair! It took a second search the next day before the missing headlight turned up in a closed drawer, behind a box and quite impossible to notice unless a dedicated search had been made.

Similarly, a lens popped out of my new pair of sunglasses, and it was patently impossible to pop it back in.  After 30 or 40 tries, I threw the damn things on the floor – not a bright move to make, admittedly – and the missing lens vanished completely.  No amount of searching turned it up, no matter what. I didn’t see it again for at least two weeks, maybe longer.

Then, abruptly, the lost lens appeared – tucked away where it couldn’t possibly be. But there it was, nearly invisible.

Now, the pirate’s hat from a six-inch figure is missing.  It had fallen over and the hat ought to lie where it was perfectly visible. But of course it is perfectly invisible, wherever it is, and no sign of it can be found. I wonder how long it will take this time for it to reappear from the twelfth dimension?  It didn’t help that the house cleaners provided by my social workers knocked things around like they were in a hockey arena.  My biggest fear is that they mistook a pirate hat as big as a quarter for just some natural piece of trash that any idiot would throw away.

 

The biggest thing on my mind at present is the new toilet... I didn't know I that the building was installing new one, or that I could go to head of the for line of one of the new ones.  But my main man, Winston, told me that I could install one new models in next week. That's the chief advantage of staying friendly with the staff ... I do theym favours and they do me favours, nudge, nudge, wink, wink … such has I get the new toilets before 2018.  It's quite a crapper, too. Although the next model it still an American Standard, the replacement is apparently for poorer tenants, who don’t deserve a toilet the flushes every time, or makes pissing all over the floor unavoidable.   I nor do I have to rinse the crap that sticks to the tiny little bowl, either. I'm as pleased with my new toilet as anything I can think off over that has happened over he last few weeks.  Life has reduced to this, alas… Oh ... any I think I've managed a new quantitative level while writing on FaceBook.  I guess that counts for something too.

 

***

 

Some say you might experience some slight change in attitude or perspective after a stroke – I fear I may have taken up a liking for Robert E. Howard, H. Beam Piper and Jerry Pournelle.  However, taking up objectionable pulp fiction was the least of my worries.

Snow was also the least of my worries this year while I was in hospitalized.  By the time I was released from St. Joe’s, most of the year’s load seemed to have mostly melted before I was send home.  We had large loads of it by February, but there was only of a dusting of snow overnight,, and it was gone in early March.  But at least I’ve not had the headache of making roughly one doctor’s appointment every three or four days over the last six weeks.  Otherwise the weather has been ridiculously without snow and
conspicuously warm.

I keep trying to write, improving my skills, but by early evening I tend to grow tired, and that is not a time to be writing.   I tire easily, and sleep a lot.  Sometimes, I don’t seem to do anything but wake, clean, eat, wash, spend a little time catching up with the internet, have dinner and then get to bed.  Even then it seems there isn’t time enough, and I get to bed late!  I watch a movie or something, or spend some time out of doors with Traveling Matt.  I’m getting slowly better with writing, but not well enough without a huge effort, and embarrassing lapses in comprehension – the words begin to swim before my eyes when I tire.  But I will surely improve with time and effort.

 

I retained my drawing skills nearly intact from the start, though with somewhat impaired motor skills.  Although I did some drawing in the hospital, I have done very little once I was home again.  I have relatively little interest … I suspect because I

need new incentives. 

 

In time, I’ll probably have much to more so say about that, as well as writing for fanzines.  Maybe a spell in hospital is a sign that it’s a time for a serious reappraisal.  Have I enjoyed fandom much in the last year or two, or has it been four honeymoons too many?

***

 

Meanwhile, appointments with my doctors drive me insane – I swear that I either see a doctor or some similar task every other day. I'm certainly never short of things to do, it seems, even though I'm never really doing much. Day before yesterday, it was a cardiologist, who kept me waiting for two hours for no good reason, simply to tell me what I already knew.  In fact – I had a stroke two of them – but they couldn’t make up their months whether it was one or two, and whether they had taken several days of observation to determine their original medications had failed – which is what led to the first, and far more serious stroke, barely a week or ten days later.  I’ve had every test in the book since, but in the end there was nothing they could do about it, once I’ve had it, but to tell me what had already happened.

 

I’ve already begun to joke with my social workers that I’ll recuperate on my own

before the therapist can schedule his first secession with me.

Tomorrow I'll see an unnecessary neurologist, who will me that my Myasthenia hasn’t essentially  changed at all.

 

But improvement may be possible.  I haven’t used my contact lenses for a few years because my Myasthenia interferes with my sight.  My medications  mostly eliminate the problem that closes one eye, but not perfectly.  If I the medications were improved, I might be able to get back to my contacts.  However, the neurologist who treated my Myasthenia prefers not to make any changes so soon after a stroke, so she won’t do anything more until Fall at earliest … and so, one more summer of imperfect vision.  What the hell … I have many more to enjoy, don’t I?  I hope so.

 

Enough.  If you’re as sick of listening to me talk about my problems as I am, we should all take a pill to forget it about it.

The biggest excitement in my life lately was taking the bed and mattress apart so that I could reassemble a missing bolt from a few years ago. It didn’t matter at first, but over time it sagged and sagged until the bed was almost bent double, and collapse seemed inevitable. But, by undertaking the operation first thing in the morning, when I was at my freshest, I managed to remove the mattress and springs.  The next step was to bend the frame more or less back into shape.  I had kept the errant bolt into place, and used the ratchet wrench to tighten it up.  Final step was to replace the springs and the mattress.  I felt considerable satisfaction in knowing that I’d likely get another two years of service from the bed after all.  But that sort of satisfaction comes at a cost, so I took it easy after that.

 

I recently scanned an old piece or art illustrating a comment in FaceBook.  It was a story that I 1972 that a began but never finished.  Truthfully, it was hardly begun but I completed the artwork for the illo for some reason.  I probably found I was more interested in drawing the story than writing it.  I don’t think the artwork  was ever even shown, not even in a fanzine. I really need to get back to scanning my ancient artwork before I’m dead … assuming it isn’t all thrown way, leaving nothing but some badly mimeographed pages in old fanzines.

Speaking of the vanishing fanzines, whose numbers once covered entire states, thundering over the prairies as moved from worldcon to worldcon…  I wonder what the outcome of this year’s FAAn awards will be.  Will the changes made this year result an a resurgence of interest, or will the results be disappointingly much the same?  Will I love this year?  Speaking of which, maybe I should.  If I gain enough of the sympathy vote, I may win.

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TaralWayne's avatar
By TaralWayne
2 Comments
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pete1672's avatar
Your writing is improving, Taral. This was a big improvement over your previous update. Hang in there, you are doing better, we all see it! Keeping a good thought for you, sir!
DW13-COMICS's avatar
Dang, man. Hope you do better.