As Promised…

Posted: January 22, 2010 in Pain, Personal, Uncategorized

You know, there has been a lot of talk about privilege here lately….you know what?  I, nihilist, am very privileged.  Wanna know why?

I’m alive.  And maybe i shouldn’t be.  Y’all have heard me talk about “the burns” and “magic stabby game”…well here, I have something to show you….

Then  (july 2008)


That is over a years worth of shots, debraiding, skin treatments, and pain…with a major neck surgery still on the table.  Yeah, those are my oozing, melted, scary tendons and flesh you do see there,  yeah, those are bloody rips you see in my face, yeah, those are my burned nasal passages you see…and then that, via my mad cool doc, is how I look now.  Kinda amazing, isn’t it?  And thats before she cuts me open again….(yah, still some internal/external damage).

So yeah, you know, I am privileged to be ALIVE.  True enough, some days, after that, I feel un-killable, but yes, I know I am lucky.

And you know…when people ask me…why do you fight, why do you laugh at the world and everything (good, bad, sane or stupid) in it….hell, why do you go with that whole upbeat acceptance of meaninglessness…


Well, that shit taught me to enjoy the little things, because you know, I could be dead.  It is also a reason I smirk when people act all tough with me and assume I know nothing about pain or suffering.

Funny that.  Hell, the last year +, I probably learned more about physical pain than most people figure out in a life time.

  1. TrinityVA says:

    You look so much better, Ren. And yeah… I’m always bafffled (and, like you, cynically amused) by people who act like you don’t know suffering, just because you’ve suffered in different ways than they have.

    I’m glad you’re alive too.

  2. rootietoot says:

    You’ve just racheted up a notch on my Hero list.

  3. i’m glad it healed so welll

  4. rachel cervantes says:

    You know what? I’m deeply impressed you shared those images. Hang in there, Ren. Different people suffer different ways. It shouldn’t be a contest.

  5. Roy Kay says:

    Not much to add.

    The problem with the whole privilege discussion is that it has become nothing but a battle to diminish people. Is there any greater privilege that to reside in reasonable comfort and leverage the suffering of one person against the suffering and legitimacy of another?

    BTW – Kudos to Mr. E for kicking your ass down to the doc’s when you looked like you planned to just tough it out. Sometimes it’s helpful to remind people you value that it’s okay to need and get help.

  6. sneeky bunny says:

    You are an inspiration to me. Nuff said.

  7. Deb Sens says:

    You are a very strong person Ren, and I’m glad to see you don’t let anyone get you down. The privlage arguement does nothing but dismiss peoples experiences. Glad to see you are healing.

  8. Ernest Greene says:

    Looking good.

    You know, a lot of people would have just laid down and died rather than go through what you did.

    Fortunately, you’re not a a lot of people. We’re lucky to have the you we’ve got.

  9. That’s scary stuff, but wow – the medical treatment is just incredible.

    I’m always a little in awe of your creative talent, intellect and justified belligerence; add to that list your powers of survival.

    The universe is lucky to have you, I am immensely grateful to it and God that you lived, and also I suspect that we’re also very lucky there’s only one of you (but that one is so worth having it can’t be measured).

    There is no greater victory celebration than this: to be able to say, “I survived”.

  10. Ernest Greene says:

    “There is no greater victory celebration than this: to be able to say, “I survived”.

    I like this so much it would be great to have it on my tombstone … but, er … I guess it wouldn’t quite work in that context.

    Still, a fine thing to be able to say after life’s most severe tests.

    • I think my tombstone ought to be “Bet you never thought I’d last this long!”

      I can’t quite work out if the “victory celebration” line is something I made up myself or if it’s something I heard/read somewhere else and that my unconscious mind dug up for the moment. Either way, I think it’s a good saying to have.

  11. There is a saying that is apropos here:

    “She who walks in the Valley of Death and survives becomes the baddest bitch alive.”

    Of course, it helps to have a pretty damn good surgeon, too.

    Great to have you alive and kicking…and kicking plenty ass, too.


  12. Amber Rhea says:

    Amazing indeed. You rock. And you look wonderful.

  13. Kim says:

    Those “before” pics make me cringe: even though I’ve been reading you daily for years and knew about the burns and have seen the pics before, I forgot it was that bad. SO glad it’s improving, but so sorry you’ve had to endure this!

  14. Jill Brenneman says:

    Yeah Ren!

    Although you probably won’t get many cool painkillers anymore.

  15. Carson D Carson says:

    You’re looking great dear. Keep your uh… chin up. You rock my world, and are an inspiration to many.

  16. Wow, they actually look pretty healed and pretty good… I see a lot of really *scary* scars in my line of work! I am sorry you continue to have pain. 😦

    This might sound odd to say: but those scars are just so YOU–or maybe I have just seen so many cartoon images of them, I would be disappointed if I met you and they weren’t there.

  17. octogalore says:

    Wow, it definitely is much improved and kudos to you for hanging in there with all the surgeries and pain.

  18. ginmar says:

    Damn, Ren….Just damn.

    I say you keep the scars and tell people you got ’em in Nam.

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