Archive | February 2014

No Hope

Lately it feels like everything is unraveling. So much so that I gave serious contemplation on Saturday to suicide; the only thing that stopped me was a prescient warning that my former doctor gave me that most people who attempt to OD on Vicodin merely end up giving themselves severe liver damage.

The threads began unfraying in mid-December with the dissolution of my eight-year relationship with Lela, followed in short order by a painful herniated disc in my lower back; two strains of the flu virus; and then the big one, a brain aneurysm that apparently caused me to lose consciousness and collapse on the sidewalk near my home where I fractured my ribs, followed by two weeks of invasive medical tests and procedures, with surgery likely in March. And one week ago I came home from a series of MRI tests to discover that my gas service had been disconnected. I have no hot water, no way to wash the dishes piling up in the kitchen and no way to bathe or shower.

Tomorrow, Monday, I will lose my internet service unless I can come up with $71.46, and without internet I lose my connection to the outside world. I have no groceries, no hope, no anything.



So, I have $27.00 on Paypal; do I make a token payment on my $71.46 past due on my internet bill to avoid shutoff on Monday or do I purchase groceries?

Wired …

The last two days my psoriasis has exploded, largely a result of stress. If I do not come up with $71.46 by 11:00 PM on Monday I will lose my internet connection via Time-Warner.

Without internet, I will lose my connection to the outside world; when I do not have air time on my prepaid cell, which is often, I rely on my free G-Mail phone and e-mail and Facebook to communicate with the outside world, including my doctor and neurologist; with no cable TV, the web is my sole source of streaming video. If I can pay even a minimum of fifty dollars, I believe, given my personal circumstances, I can convince TWC to keep me turned on, but as of this moment I have five bucks in cash and $6.06 on Paypal.

If I can get five folks out there to Paypal me ten bucks each or seven kind donors in the same amount, I can breathe easy. God knows I do not need this extra worry and stress right now. If you want to call it a loan, that is workable; I get paid on March 3 and I have two freelance assignments coming up. My Paypal is

Thank you in advance …


It is a natural human inclination to reflect back on traumatic events and attempt to make sense of them, and with distance, in most situations, we gain a more clear perspective. But whenever I think back on the afternoon of January 31, all I get in return is hazy memories at best; it’s like recalling a bad dream, you remember only the vivid details but not every moment in the scenario.

I spend a lot of time sleeping of late and I have not eaten in two days; not for lack of appetite but for lack of food and money for food. I have a freelance assignment coming up this month, worth about $250.00-300.00, which will be very helpful, but that does not put dinner on the table for now and does not pay for new meds.

And so it goes …


After the results of my CT angiogram scan last Friday, my doctor has referred me to a neurosurgeon at House Neurology Associates in downtown L.A. This particular surgeon is so much in demand that I was unable to get an appointment before Friday, March 7. I’ll be calling my doc today to make sure that she is okay with such a long delay.


I desperately need to raise $71.46 by the 24th to keep my internet service turned on. At present I have a mere $31.00 remaining on Paypal, after medical expenses the last two weeks, and the web is my connection to friends since I often do not have air time on my prepaid cell phone.

More later … I need to rest after being awake all night. This medical incident has put a serious dent in my waking and sleeping hours.

Terra Incognita

Lela phoned last Friday night to learn if I had the results of my CT Angiogram that afternoon. I appreciate her concern; after all, we were together for eight years. She already knew that on Thursday my doctor had me rushed to Renaissance Imaging in L.A.’s Koreatown for two MRIs [ribs to see if they were broken and brain to check for a mini-stroke event] totaling 46 minutes and one CT scan of my abdomen to rule out spleen damage.

My ribs, it turned out, had been only fractured, not totally broken. My spleen was unaffected, and there was no evidence of a mini-stroke. However, they did find two disconcerting things: a abnormally narrow neck artery and evidence of a brain aneurysm. So I was sent back to Renaissance on Friday afternoon for a CT brain scan, which was very uncomfortable because of the molten lava dye the technician injected into my blood stream. No results yet but I may be seeing the doc tomorrow.

I returned home on Friday after the test to discover a notice on my front door that Southern California Gas had disconnected my service for non-payment of past due. So now I have no hot water. And as of Sunday eve I have no money on hand to get me through until the third of March. Between medical co-pays and cab fares to and from hospitals over the last two weeks I am in the hole once again. I estimate I spent almost $400 on the aforementioned expenses since “the incident” first went down on January 31.

Much more to come on Monday. Check back for updates. My strength is limited these days so I cannot write all that I want to at the moment.

Time Switch

RJ Atwater


Photo taken by Joseph Mailander, 2/11/2014, West Atwater Village