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Crutch Fu
Writing and Travel: 9/1/2023
© 2023 James LaFond
SEP/1/23
Since June 10 I have been unable to walk. However, the constant severe pain is behind me. One more diagnostic test needs to be run to determine the physical therapy course for the coming winter. The vigorous life is obviously over. The bottom 5 vertebrae are all smushed down to the right. I do wish to travel to locations where I have lived over these past 5 years to write those novels set there and to revisit kind hosts.
September is looking like a month of eastern goodbyes.
October is planned as a month of travel.
Wintering and writing in the Pacific Northwest is the goal.
Hopefully, by January I can walk again.
I would like to tender a special thanks to Brickmouse & Bride and The Operator, who gave me an idea for a Baltimore-based near future novel, and also kept me under a roof. A month ago today was the first day I awoke from a sleep that was not the result of getting hammered drunk since June 10. I can actually poor a shot of whiskey in a shot glass now, and don't have to to kill the pain.
Making a pot of coffee is once again in my power—no more stirring instant coffee into room temperature water. 31 days ago, after I went down to 139 pounds, The Operator took me out to eat a steak and the pain was so bad I couldn't get it down. 10 shots of Jack later that prime rib was gone. I do not remember getting home. The next morning, after my benefactor must have carried my up those two flights of stairs, I sobered up on the living room floor and the Brickmouse said at coffee, "Do you recall your dreams from last night?"
"No."
"Good, because it was horrible. We were afraid to wake you. It sounded like a dog being ripped apart by hyenas, yipping and moaning."
Well, here i type in relative health, able to sit with a back brace on and make pretensions at bipedalism over short distances. No more shrimping to the fridge to get a beer, placing it in my lap, and then shrimping back to the recycle bin with the empty in my lap.
They put me in this gaming chair at the end of the table, by night The Brick Bride pouring me rum and whiskey when my hand was too shaky and more when my coordination faltered in a muted haze.
At dawn the Brickmouse stuffed me with body building supplements and The Operator has fed me much beef at our weekly dinner.
I have even been able to crawl onto the mat and sit in a chair and coach The Operator, who suggested i develop a form of Crutch Fu for self defense.
Mister Saffrano and Baruch donated funds to get me to and from doctor appointments. Thank you both. I could not get to a bus stop on crutches until 2 days ago.
The diagnosis is ruptured disc, L4-L5, an impinged femoral nerve—a rare injury I am told—an as yet undetermined hip injury, a knee that does not really work, and a wasted thigh. After this summer I'd be content to crutch forever, because walkers and crab walking while shaking like a leaf is hell.
Thank you all, and especially to Mike Generous for his helpful donation.
I have made one decision based on worsening eye pain that increases when i speak above a whisper, that I will not do any remote podcasts or interviews. If someone judges an interview of this gutter gnome worthwhile, it will have to be in person so I can speak into a mike.
Weekday nonfiction posts are scheduled thru April 17, 2024.
Weekend fiction posts are scheduled thru March 10, 2024.
Thanks to you all.
james
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Maud'Dib     Sep 11, 2023

Bummer on the high miles, used hard and put away wet syndrome. Love you stuff (wisdom/comedy). Will miss the Mot20C yearly pod cast w/o you.

Keep the stiff upper lip until the tally man arrives!
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