I Will Diminish, and Go Northwest

Footage from my recent nephrectomy. Tribute.

A few days ago  I was relieved of the burden of ownership of more than one kidney. The gif above bears a lot of resemblance to the one my surgeon shared with me–with the primary difference being that the cyst/tumor on my kidney did not have teeth. At least not yet.

I will not share the actual gif as that act could justifiably be deemed a hate crime. I am not that attractive on the outside. I had no idea just how bad things got a few layers in.

You haven’t heard much from me as of late as I took a break from social media leading up to my surgery to focus my efforts on self-pity. More “me time” is arguably not a good thing as my mind has some dark spaces and sharp edges with uneven terrain and a notable lack of guardrails.

Anyone who reads these posts or my novels and feels they provide a window into my conscious/subconscious should, therefore, understand that all thoughts and ideas have been showered and deloused. This type of publishing–justifiably derided as “vanity publishing”– is my way of spending time and money to express ideas that need to find their way out of my head (lest I end up spending time and money laying on a couch expressing these same ideas to a licensed professional).

I have absolutely enjoyed many parts of this process. When someone tells me they like what I’ve written my day is made regardless of what follows. Those happy thoughts kept me from leaping off the cold, hard operating table as I willed the anesthesia to kick-in before the doctors shoved a rubber tube impossibly far up into my favorite body part. Yes, it is a testament to the shallowness of my pool that my concern regarding catheterization far outweighed my apprehension about the loss of an internal organ.

Unfortunately, there is also the not-so-fun part of vanity publishing which involves dedicating time and effort to things like social media (which does not come naturally to me) promoting my selfish works only to find that they do not resonate. That reaction, which is readily measured via sales figures, likely has a direct correlation to the quality of the self-published work. That hurts, but it also provides motivation (unless it’s receiving hate ratings from someone who downloaded my book for free, which makes me want to pay to go lie on someone’s couch).

Fans of LOTR understand that I stole the title of this post from Galadriel‘s declaration after she declined the ring of power. I, unlike Galadriel, am not a high elf. The lands we’re soon moving to are not undying and are instead known as Canada. 

What I share with Galadriel is the fact that there is already less of me. As a practical matter, the surgeons took quite a bit more than just my kidney. I have to wait until my gastro-intestinal system restarts to give a fair comparison but, in several ways, my physical form has indeed diminished.

From a “real life” social standpoint: a friend of mine once described me as “three beers away from being an extrovert.” Courtesy of the surgery, I’m now rolling with Kid Solo so my days of more than one beer and the related gregariousness are done. We had a good run.

Finally, I wanted to give this heads-up that my short break from social media will become permanent. I’m going to concentrate on my recovery, my family, our move and my selfish works (which I will stop giving away but will continue to feature on my website as a way to dodge therapy). There is no social media in Middle Earth and I suspect that I, like Tolkien, am a bit of a Luddite.

I want to thank everyone who sent me kind thoughts regarding my surgery. They are most appreciated. I’m going to keep all of you in my thoughts AND will happily correspond via e-mail, phone, text or notes wrapped around large rocks. You might even see me in person. Maybe.

My best to all. Stay tuned for glory or, as they say in East Texas and most of Louisiana, hold my (one) beer and watch this!