'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Steve Gilliard is Fighting for His Life 

Some of you may be familiar with Steve Gilliard's blog, The News Blog. If you haven't visited there recently, you may not be aware that he had open heart surgery last week, and is struggling mightily to survive it.

Indeed, the surgeon only closed his chest yesterday:

OK, i just got a call from jen and she had just heard from steve's mom. as you know, our only information conduit is steve's mom, and she's not getting great communications from the hospital. so here is what we now know:

- steve had surgery last night and they partially closed him up, using staples instead of sutures. we're not sure why this is the case but that's what steve's mom was told.

- steve is still in that covered scenario to help prevent infection - he has not been moved from it nor that changed in any way.

- they are slowly bringing steve out of sedation - SLOWLY. right now they can partly communicate with him by yelling at the top of their lungs and getting him to move extremities, etc. but he is not conscious in any typical way - it's more like light sleep from which he cannot wake, due to the ongoing sedation.

- there have been complications from this surgery, but steve's mom did not have specific info. that is why things have not progressed further, or better.

- steve has been retaining fluids dramatically and he is quite swollen.

- steve is unable to move his right side - there has been no movement when they've done the yell-thing to get him to respond, particularly during when they're needling him for his dialysis. this might be due to the fluid retention and the swelling, or it may be something more ominous. it is a major concern right now.

that is the news. i wish it were better but it is not. the good news is, they are slowly bringing him out of the sedation.

time, as always, will continue to tell.

thanks to jen and steve's mom for keeping us all up to date.

- posted by Jim in LA

Now, it's no secret that Gilliard and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of subjects. I've said as much in my comments there, and, it speaks well of his integrity that he's never censored me, or threatened me with exclusion. Not once, and, as you have probably already guessed, my remarks have been pretty sharp sometimes. He's also been gracious enough to be a guest on my KDVS 90.3 FM public affairs program a couple of times.

Gilliard, you see, is someone who has personally invested a lot of his time and energy in the Internet, going back many years, apparently, and he respects it as an open medium. He's a liberal Democrat, with roots in the world of DailyKos, but unlike many liberal bloggers who market Democrats, and perpetually try to turn lemons into lemonade, he rarely shrinks from criticism when it is warranted. His willingness to confront the complexity of race relations is something that more of us should emulate.

Someone recently commented on Gilliard's blog that the fundamental struggle in this country is between people who bullshit and people who don't, and that Gilliard is one of the people who don't. It reminds me of what the great German film director Fassbinder once told the actor Karlheinz Bohm, something along the lines, whenever I smell bullshit, I start firing in all directions . . . That's Gilliard, and we are not going to lose him.

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