WG 2520 Anything
Friday — January 11th, 2019

WG 2520 Anything

State Of The Artist

See what happens when your favorite comic strip artist goes into the hospital?

About nine months ago, I went to the doctor to get prescription updates. Since it was a new doctor, I had to go through the usual blood work, etc. Not only was I diagnosed with high blood pressure, but some of my other numbers were off, too. While the cholesterol & sugars were fine, my PSA was elevated, along with my white blood cell count a little elevated & kidney function was a bit low. I didn’t actually see the doctor, but one of his physician assistants who focused on the high blood pressure, but felt the PSA wasn’t high enough to be truly concerned about it & she had my kidneys & bladder scanned via ultrasound, but didn’t investigate it any further. She seemed to only want to throw medicine at my high blood pressure. Which really didn’t improve much, and the meds I was put on gave me a laundry list of side effects. Fast forward to January 2019 & I find that the main doctor put my account on hold for the high PSA (funny, the PA said it was elevated, not high), so I had to go back there to unlock it. Told the PA about the side effects so instead of investigating the cause, she threw some other BP meds at me. Meanwhile, I finally visited the urologist, who, after doing his thing (won’t get into the details, but it wasn’t a pleasant thing), he ordered a CAT scan because he said my stomach was distended. Yep, I thought I was gaining weight. But it wasn’t fat, it was water…as in urine…as in my bladder was 5 times the normal size.

I had been feeling out of sorts, fatigued, but thought it was just stress. Fortunately, my wife is in the medical field & showed the results of the scan to the radiologist who said I needed to get to the hospital ASAP. I had a follow-up appointment with the urologist for Friday, but the radiologist said no, get to the ER NOW! So my daughter rushed me to the hospital, where I met my wife at the entrance of the ER & was rushed into a room where they started working on me. The radiologist said by me getting to the hospital when I did, saved my life. What I have is an obstruction of the bladder, which caused it to fill up way over capacity (he’s surprised I wasn’t in distress or it didn’t burst wide open), which caused it to back up into the kidneys, which started to fail. The numbers should be under 2…mine were at 15! I was admitted and they slowly drained the bladder, while giving me fluids to wash the toxins out of my kidneys. As of today, the numbers were down to 5 & with some rest and plenty of fluids, the number should get back down to 2, or if I’m lucky, even lower (lower is good).

Still not out of the woods as the urologist wants to address the prostate. He wanted me to stay in the hopsital through Tuesday & then get THAT procedure done. However, there’s some snags to that…first, it would’ve meant me staying in the hospital for 7 days. I’m not even sure the insurance would pay for that & I don’t even want to see what the bill is going to be for 3 days in the hospital. Second, I couldn’t have it done Tuesday as my wife will be out of town bringing our daughter to a college program (which I was supposed to go help move our daughter in as well, but with my current condition, wasn’t gonna’ happen), so if something was to go wrong with the procedure…so, I have to reschedule THAT, which means being uncomfortable with a certain tube in a certain place for a certain amount of time, which also means, I won’t be able to sit and produce any new Willow’s Grove comics for the foreseeable future (they’ll be back, just don’t know when or how soon), which also means my income may be greatly curtailed as I teach a class at a local high school but if I can’t be there, I don’t get paid.

But that’s all secondary to my health crisis, which I’m probably leaving out a ton of stuff, but I’m still a bit groggy having gotten home from the hospital about 3 hours ago to find the site had a crashed database. The attending physician wanted me to stay one more night to see if my numbers would drop again, but while the day nurse was an angel, the night nurse was the exact opposite, the bed was uncomfortable (too short and narrow), alarms would go off all hours of the night & I didn’t sleep a wink last night or today with the parade of nurses, doctors, etc. going in and out of my room and I pulled some strings to come home today to actually get some sleep. Still got a long way to go, but I wanted to let you Grovers know what was up & why there haven’t been any new strips this week. I’ll get back to them when I am back on my feet, but for now, your favorite obscure cartoonist needs to recuperate & take care of all these pressing medical issues (as well as get this damn tube out!) I’ll keep you posted.

A Quick Word About Facebook & Patreon

Hey Grovers! Just a quick note on things I have seen first hand (Facebook) & read about on Twitter (Patreon).

First, Facebook. I haven’t a clue what the heck they were thinking in napalming the ability of 3rd party apps from auto posting on my feed. But they did it. Along with countless other artists out there who rely on the wonderful timesaver of 3rd party apps autoposting new updates to their comics, I have been using this feature since I first started using WordPress for the Willow’s Grove site way back in 2008. Now, it’s gone. In a effort to thwart malicious agents from posting disinformation & fake news (jebus, I hate that term), they’ve taken away mine & countless other artists, from automatically posting to their platform. Napalmed it…thrown the baby out with the bath water. Sure, Willow’s Grove isn’t a real place (except inside my head), but I didn’t use it to confuse people into believing dogs & lizards & other animals can actually talk…and didn’t use it to throw an election one way or another (like Facebook turned a blind eye to back in 2016). So, if you would like to see when a new comic is available, you can follow me over on Twitter while they still allow autopublishing…if they stop, I’ll have to go back to sending smoke signals to get the word out.

Patreon. You may be asking yourself what this old coot is talking about with Patreon…well, at least two grovers aren’t…anyway, Patreon has switched banks to handle the funds that patrons so generously give to help support comic artists, and as such, some patron’s credit cards have been declined. If the two grovers who are my patrons have encountered this, check your email inbox, then head over to Patreon & reenter your payment method. It should fix itself (although, for the life of me, I don’t know why YOU have to do this instead of Patreon taking care of it behind the scenes). For all you other Grovers out there, if you can spare some change and become a patron of Willow’s Grove to help keep this comic going, it would be greatly appreciated. To the two who are already my patrons, I am forever grateful for your support.

Hope you all are enjoying the latest saga over here at Willow’s Grove. I’ve been chugging through wrist & shoulder pain to keep producing the comic, which explains the delay in the time of day a new comic comes out. But I press onward to make sure it comes out on the day it’s supposed to

Thanks again for riding along with me as we head towards our 30th year of Willow’s Grove. Until next time, Grovers…PEACE!

Rattling The Old Tip Jar

Hey Grovers! With ad revenue being down to literally fractions of a penny each day, I’m putting out a call to you to help, if you can, keep this old comic afloat by dropping a tip in the old tip jar. It’ll go towards hosting (which my current host sucks & I desperately need to migrate to a new one), art supplies, and possibly making a small dent in me being able to get new equipment to keep bringing you Willow’s Grove Monday through Friday each week. This old computer is starting to show its age and slowing down, which makes creating the strip and other works of art longer than it should. Any little bit will be appreciated. Think of it as a Willow’s Grove Telethon 😀 Thanks!