I am not yet dead!

I’m home at last, and my life has changed forever. Some ways are little, like the stretch marks all over my body from swelling up to the point of being unrecognizable during dialysis, or the scars all over my body from the IVs. Some ways are more major, and I don’t quite have a handle on those yet. I know I’m going to have to learn a lot about nutrition, because I will have to be careful about what I eat, and how regularly, for the rest of my life. I can walk again, but I can’t yet stand up from the floor on my own power, I have to crawl to a chair, lever myself into it, and stand up from there because I’m still so weak. I have, by my reckoning, at least another month of physical therapy coming, and I have to get through it before I’m even going to ask to be cleared to drive again. I have suddenly had three of the fingers on my left hand go numb, and have developed a tremor that makes typing a challenge. I’ve been assured the numbness will go away over time, but no one has even diagnosed the tremor yet (my family has a history of tremors, and I suspect that’s what it is, in which case it might go away for a while, it might be treatable with medication, or I might just be stuck with it forever). I bit off a chunk of my tongue while I was under sedation, so the tip of it is numb, too (though I have regained my ability to roll my rs, and can thus make cat noises at the cats again).

I find that almost dying has made me very aware of the little victories… things like getting a bottle to open, rediscovering how to get in and out of a car on my own, or just being able to still type with reasonable speed and accuracy (though I am slower and make a lot more mistakes than I used to, I feel that will pass as I get back into doing it). My stomach had nothing in it for two months, so I consider eating a victory, too… I can now make it through about two or three ounces of food before I start feeling sick from being over full. My friend had a gastric sleeve operation shortly before I went in the hospital, and has since lost 80 pounds. I have lost 40, most but not all of it muscle mass. I can’t be sure, but aside from spending the rest of my life on rat poison, I may come out of this whole thing stronger and healthier than I was before it, though I will have to work hard to get back the abilities that most of us, including me, have always taken for granted.

Which brings me to how this will affect the comic. Now that I’m home, Michael can get back to work, but he’s now my primary caretaker literally until I am reliably back on my feet. The books will happen, but I obviously haven’t been able to work on them, and I’m not sure yet how much I’ll be able to do on them and when. The store will remain closed until I am all better, or until I can find someone else to run it, which would be my preference. We still have estate stuff to deal with, so that will be a consideration, too. All in all, I don’t think we’re going to be able to work on Errant Tales until late in the year, so it probably won’t premier until the summer after the coming one. Does Not Play Well With Others should resume updating, though, especially as Errant Story is so close to ending (there are sequels planned, but Poe needs a break from fantasy, so they won’t happen soon). I highly recommend reading DNPWWO if you aren’t already, especially if you were a fan of Exploitation Now, and the new comic will be where the news goes when Errant Story ends, so that will be a thing to watch as well.

To end on a very personal note, I want to thank everyone for all the prayers and well-wishes they’ve been providing. I found out after I had been awake (sortof, I was hallucinating for most of the time people thought I was lucid) for a while that apparently thousands of people were pulling for me, and I can’t even begin to express what a difference that made. There was a point when the doctors told my family there was nothing more they could do, and refused to tell them they were even cautiously optimistic. I think you guys may have made the difference where medicine ran out of options. I owe you all my life, and that is something so profound that I have yet to process it beyond basic gratitude and a renewed faith in the power of prayer. Thank you.

- Hilary