Things That Go Bump in the Night
July 31, 2006 20:48
I have some extremely unfortunate news to report concerning an incident that happened late last Sunday night (July 23rd). The following letter—written by Ken to the I-I managers—explains a series of unfortunate accidents that have left him not that much far removed from functionally quadriplegic. Without assistance, he can’t stand up, walk around, sit down, lie down or any other of the 100 simplest actions. We believe that he will make a recovery but we expect it to take six months to a year. The following e-mail is self-explanatory, and is the very first thing he wrote about his situation. You will see the humor and wit and Lightness with which he carries even these difficult things. Please stay tuned to the site, and we will give you more of the medical facts as they become available. But we wanted to rush this early announcement as soon as we possibly could. Below the letter you will see that we have included five photographs of his pretty badly smashed up body.
Some people have wanted to know if they can get Ken presents or make some sort of contribution in his name to a charity. Ken has requested that if you are not a member of Integral Institute, please become one and if you already are please make as many gift memberships for your friends as you can. Click this link to Join I-I
I believe Colin conveyed to you that I was not only sick, I was sicker than he’s ever seen me. And frankly, I don’t wish to alarm any of you, but I feel a hell of a lot sicker than that. In other words, I think he was being polite in order not to scare you. Here’s what happened: I have indeed been having a pretty bad REDD/CFIDS flare-up with suffocation and a raging fever. Late Sunday night, I was still planning on making it to the ILP Seminar (Integral Life Practice Seminar), difficult as it would be, because I love working with you guys and I know it means a lot to people to have us all show up. About two o’clock that night, I got up to go to the bathroom and basically slammed face first, hard, right into the edge of the open door, which of course did smart. Things then accelerated because it in a sense knocked me out and I fell on the floor, this time landing primarily on my left shoulder, and it appears that I now have a rotator cuff injury in that shoulder as well.
But the fun continues. Wanting a good yuck that night, apparently what happened when I fell to the floor from smashing myself in the face, the primary thing that was hurt was indeed the left shoulder, but it sent shockwaves all the way across my back, blew out a disk and re-injured my right shoulder, the one that I hurt so badly last year. Rebecca generally stays in Boulder on the nights she works, I called and she came out and was shocked at my appearance because first of all, when I landed on the floor, I apparently also landed on my face, that thing of beauty, and fashion photographers the world over were heard to weep. Dr. Mike of course wanted me to go to the ER immediately, but unfortunately, my experience of all the doctors at the ER is they just tell you that you are going to die, and heck, I can stay home and face better odds than that. Nevertheless, Mike wanted me to go to the ER with him, and I told him that I would be glad to do so when he gets back next week.
Okay, here’s the bad news: I basically have no use of either of my arms. I can’t stand up. I can’t even get out of bed. I can’t even roll over in bed. Fortunately I can still think, which is good, but things are so bad I actually had Colin make out my will. I don’t know how long this will last judging from the damage to my right arm, which was relatively mild in comparison. We’re looking at probably the better part of one year. Of course I presumably could have surgery but for both arms that would be a recovery period of six months minimum. Plus, it means I have to go back to that place where they keep telling you you're going to die. Plus, have you seen the decor at those places? All I have to say is that Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said on his death bed, "Either these drapes or I have just got to go!" Anyway, will keep you posted.
Sending much love,
We showed this photo to Ken and he said: “That is the second biggest bruise I have ever seen. I have got a dog smaller than that bruise”
One of the things that you can’t see in this photo is that Ken is being propped up. Basically, what happens with these injuries is that the muscles themselves either tear or their insertion point decouples and so it can be likened to a suspension bridge where the cables aren’t connected to the ground. So no matter how good the bridge might look, step on the gas and nothing happens. We will know more about the exact nature of his injuries when tests come back next week. One of the things that is so eerie about this is that not much of his flesh is normal color. It goes from this horribly dark purple to a normal purple in his upper chest and stomach, but it is pretty bad all around.
Here, he is being held up by his friend, Colin, and you can probably see the unbelievably dark purple better than in the other photos.
The entire front part of his forehead was a big scab and here is all that is left of it. He is again being propped up from behind.
We posted this photo for a particular reason. If you look at the lower left (your lower right) part of his abdomen you will see an area of intense swelling. We are not going to know exactly what this is until we have a series of x-rays. But, it is very distended, extremely painful, and clearly there is some structural damage. It is harder to see in this photo due to dim light but you can see the discoloration coming from his side going across the ribs and stomach as well as on the left and right arms. It is probably worth pointing out that even though Ken is now 57 years old, his decade long ILP really helps protect him against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.