Catching up

I should perhaps let you know, my 3.6 Loyal Readers, that I have been bogged down in a new set of troubles, now that the old ones have partly lifted. Fortunately, the new ones do not bid to be as durable. They don’t make ’em like they used to – thank God.

To begin with, last month my dear friend Bruce Sheane, whom I had known for over thirty years, passed away after a difficult and painful illness, in the course of which his internal organs failed one after another, very rapidly, somewhat like the celebrated one-hoss shay. The trouble started in his kidneys, and once in hospital he retained masses of fluid, which put more stress on his other organs than they could bear. He was sixty-two, and I have gone through various stages of shock and mourning.

The Beloved Other is continuing to have difficulties with the absurd procedures of Wreck Tech. It appears, for instance, that clinical anxiety disorder (with which she has been definitely diagnosed) counts sufficiently as a disability for Accommodations to be made: chief among which is the right to take exams in a quiet room, with a relaxation of the time-limit. But two of her instructors, acting as a cabal in defiance of the regulations, have refused to recognize this right, on the grounds that there are no Accommodations in the Real World. (Much they would know about it. In the Real World, medical office assistants do not work seventy hours a week merely because they are obliged by authority to do a whole year’s work in six months.) The Beloved’s marks have been uniformly good to excellent, except in the first timed mid-term set by one of the cabal, in which she was thoroughly ploughed – ran out of time well before she could finish.

The Beloved has also suffered from acute symptomatic cholelithiasis, or, in the very vulgar vernacular as she is understanded of you and me, gallstones. At the beginning of February she bade her gallbladder farewell, and for the rest of that month required special assistance with transportation and the carrying of books (lifting over five pounds being Out of Bounds), which I was obliged and happy to provide. She lost little time due to the surgery itself, but when one is taking a double course load, every hour lost is irrecoverable; so she had to drop one of her courses, which she intends to pick up in the autumn term.

Needless to say, all this has occasioned a certain amount of domestic stress and tension.

After a month of helping the Beloved schlep her books, I found the long-dormant arthritis in my back flaring up. This malady got its start six years ago, when I slipped on icy stairs and did a three-point landing on various joints of my spine. One of my neck joints spontaneously fused, so that I can only turn my head from side to side in a limited range. The damaged thoracic joint remained silent, a time-bomb that did not even tick, until the repeated effort of lifting those wretched books set off the explosion. I have spent about a week either flat on my back or sitting gingerly in a chair, dosing myself with anti-inflammatories, plus stuff to make me groggy enough to sleep at night when the pain is worst.

All of these troubles are now past the point of crisis, but they have slowed my work to a crawl. I humbly beg my Loyal Readers for your forgiveness and understanding.


  1. As they say, it’s nothing. We wait with patient impatience.

  2. Will keep both you and the Beloved in prayer, and am glad to hear that the worst of it seems to be past.

  3. Praying for you.

  4. Andrew Brew says:

    I pray…

  5. I’m sorry for your loss. May God bless and comfort you.

  6. Damn, that’s rough. Take your time, man.

  7. I’m sorry you lost your friend,
    I’m amused at the “wreck tech” name,
    praying for things to straighten up,
    been worried about you.

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