Please Stand By, Vol 2

While running errands on March 5th, I injured my left arm and chest somehow between opening and closing doors, driving, and carrying a bag of groceries. By a couple of days later, I woke up to find the left side of my chest painfully swollen. I began wearing compression and taking anti-inflammatories again, which reduced the swelling. However, there was still quite a bit of pain and tightness.

On the 16th, I had about 20cc of fluid drained from the left side of my chest at my surgeon’s office. I am also on antibiotics because of suspected infection. Due to the swelling, I assume, there is a small area about 1″ long where my incision is attempting to reopen. Tonight it started bleeding enough to soak through several gauze pads and part of my ACE-type compression wrap.

I managed to get it closed and the bleeding slowed to a trickle with butterfly bandages, so I am okay for now. I am waiting to hear back from my surgeon’s office as to what I need to do next. Next week I see my physical therapist, and it is likely I will need more physical therapy than originally planned. My left arm’s range of motion has been set back to where it was immediately post-surgery.

The antibiotics I am on are wreaking havoc on my digestive system.

This is a lot to suffer for getting my mail and a couple of meals from the deli.

Typing is one of the few things I can do without tightening/tensing my chest muscles or risking further injury. Last week I started working on a second #MeToo post, but it quickly morphed into a general timeline of my life. I realized that I am doing the preliminary work necessary to start drawing Queen of Assholes.

My memories are quite clear, except for a certain time period which I do not especially want to remember. However, I struggle with the exact order and the position of events in my timeline. I have been referencing public records, school transcripts, photos with dates printed by the lab, and the third-parties who were there (when possible) to help piece together my past. This project turned into something far beyond my original intention; I’m putting myself together.

Right now the project has about 15.3k words. I would estimate it is one-half to two-thirds done. Even though it is for my comic, I intend to publish it online here once it is completed. It is impossible to explain certain parts of my life without revealing everything. It will give additional context to almost all of my work.

I am sharing snippets on Patreon, if you can afford to help right now.

It is not lost on me that I am writing this while recovering from finally feeling like I am “at home” in my own body. Neither is it lost on me that I am writing this shortly after figuring out I am autistic, finally learning who and what I am.

My life has been full of these synchronistic moments. I lean into them.

After a lifetime of attempting to be something I am not, concealing parts of my past, struggling to navigate a world I do not understand, and being punished for failing to fit into the boxes people build for me — I am done with all that.

If “success” means I have to pile on makeup even when I do not feel like it, tolerate being treated poorly in the name of Good Business, smile at people who despise me, and go through the exhausting effort of always appearing “normal,” then I want none of it. I will draw what I need to draw, say what I need to say, and write what I need to write, and the world can take me or leave me.

I cannot proceed any further until I finish making myself whole.