My Second Spinal Surgery Sucks

Camille you have a screw loose. T’is true! You were right all along! Except it was all up in my spine. Just squeezing on my nerves. Like ouch dude. Ruder! The screws are gone.... 

NOTE: due to orders from General Fuchery, bank stuff is being wonky. venmo donations are the only ones I can access for the next 7-10 business days.  [At] Camille-Atkinson via venmo

On September 30th I had a laminectomy to fix my previous L4-L5 fusion. I said I would never let another surgeon near my spine. And so there were two. Dr. Simone Betchen listened to me for 45 minutes before ordering any images. She clucked her teeth at the lapse in coverage for acupuncture. She consulted with her colleague. They agreed to work on this together having repaired fusions before. I felt she is a doctor first, a surgeon second. The fusion housing was out of place and a loose screw pressing on my spinal cord. Hurts like a miniseries from the 80s people. The sh** is effed. So so The Thorn Birds....

The thing went well as far as I know my first follow up is tomorrow. I still feel like a Virginia Spiral Sliced Ham. I cry for my mom, it's hard. Those two nights in the hospital were circles 6 and 8 from the Inferno. I lost my Barack Obama socks. I was at the mercy of nurses who have been through a war and I was not a priority. I painted tiny protest signs over the pain scale whiteboard. I made myself walk, I needed out. I left too early but I wasn't going to heal, if I couldn't eat the cardboard foods, or Sleep. 

51898130_160270568874195_r.jpeg

Two of you Meddling Kids sent me a donation recently as if to say ACHEM poke, poke, Camille. Poke. You have a gfm. POKE. And I did but the old one has gone wonky so here is a brand new tin cup. Insert Gruel joke here. 

I hesitated, I was supposed to have won my SSD case. I had a shitty lawyer who didn’t submit my medical records, lied to me, typed IN ALL CAPS, wore loafers and quit. I can’t decide which I dislike most. I hired Binder and Binder and praise Jebus, my case is still open under appeal.  The stresses on the population are why we have Jazz (and Social Security). Couldn't get through nowtimes without the Blues. I pray this man will be as mercenary as his ads.

I hesitated, because with the Covid Pandemic, most people are hurting, out of work, ill, homeless, worse and it’s not just me.I balked because I've had to do this before and it is um humbling when not humiliating, but don't worry, I Know this is the head trip capitalism and "productivity culture" is throwing at me. I'm an artist in a culture that binges on art and doesn't want to pay for it, and tells actors to get not just a Real job but While we're doing art Get Another job for eating. Yo fellow art makers: That's crap we deserve to paid, yes even for rehearsal.

What your contribution goes to:
Nourishment
-mostly ginger ale and cheese based crackers which I supplement with a sweet deal I got from Hello Fresh and YES if you have meal kit discount codes, I will gladly accept those. When my personal care aides or helpful pals come by, they make me some food. It's not take out and I don't have to send the aides to the shops which can make for some confusion about what exactly to get. This also precludes me having to put a meal together when standing up for 40 minutes is not like a thing right now. I can't paint. I can't sing... so a lovely bowl of chickpeas and feta with hoopla is super exciting.

Bills
-the usual, electric, internet, gas, phone

Rent
-I hate that musical
-I'm in the apartment alone at present, one roommate, but they're stuck in Iowa, still heroically paying their share
-Still need one more roommate and that's not an easy thing to make happen at the moment. 

Medication not covered by my "insurance"
-for some reason Percocet is negative pennies to get but it's Percocet ugh
-I do have a medical marijuana card but that's the one they won't pay for, of course. Worst do most harm I think is the ethical medical phrase, right? I could be wrong. 
-backup funds for carfare to doctor's visit in case my med-aide car service gets all "You're not in the system"

The cat
-Old sweet Smax is being fostered by some really nice folk. 
-cat food
-cat meds
-I can't take care of them right now and that's like a gut punch to my whole heart.
-I miss them

I was hoping to be good for poll worker training October 6th and the election November 3rd. Dr. Betchen looked at me with a glint in her eye, “You don’t know how many people are scheduling surgeries around the election. Specifically election workers. You people are amazing.” I passed that on to my octogenarian poll site coordinator when she called to see if I’ll be there. Miss June said “That’s what we do.” But I wasn't and I'm not likely to be well enough to work November 3rd.  I'm mad as hell. But omg this hurts so badly. I have a cousin who is fused all up and down his spine and he is a-one on my there but for the grace of God go I charts. 

What really sucks is that at the January part of the before times I'd found a PT regiment that could have made a difference but the plague had other plans annnnd the resident didn't. It’s almost as if we need strong leadership and guidance. Kooky right? Vote for Biden or we stay a nation of individual health appeals to escape chasms in the system. Vote him out. See you on the streets one way or the other humans!

I will of course accept prayers and meditations, please think on forgiveness in your orisions. I love you all. Thank you.

*I was having a flare/slash pain med kick/in when I wrote this 
So scuse me if I go a'stray.

 GoFundMe Guarantee

Only donations on our platform are protected by the GoFundMe Guarantee.

Donations

  • Laurell Haapanen 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $60 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 4 d
  • Mae E Castenell 
    • $50 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 6 d
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Chaz Adkins 
Organizer
Brooklyn, NY
Madeline Jacobs 
Team member
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more