Yesterday I got some contracts via email to sign, so I printed them out and bundled up to head up to town and mail them out. It was nine degrees outside. I got about a block away from my house and began to cross the street. Almost to the other side, I hit a patch of ice.

I was walking like a penguin.

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Despite my caution (I’ve been terrified of the ice since first arriving in the US), I lost my balance. My feet went straight out from under me, like a fucking cartoon. I came down hard on my right butt. So hard, it knocked the air out of my lungs and stunned me. Like knocked the sense out of me for a while.

As I lay in the road, struggling to breathe, three cars passed by.

Here’s where it happened, I took a pic as we drove by a while later, it was right behind that parked car:

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That sorta irked me.

I tried to stand but couldn’t, so I got on my hands and knees and crawled onto the sidewalk. My second attempt to stand left me with tears. My lower right back was in so much agony.

I considered either calling Emily or calling 911, but since I was only a block away and it was so cold and my hands were so cold I decided to walk home. Which I managed to shuffle, until the last 800 feet. That’s when the pain caught up to me for real. When I pulled myself into the house and fell inside to the carpet I realized I was pretty fucked. I texted Emily in the next room to come for me.

After lying there for a while, I decided to call the doctor. They got me in. Emily got me to my feet, and I realized once up that was the smart call.

Lots of poking and prodding. Then a shot in the butt with something. Then I was sent to the hospital for x-rays. Then sent home.

Me, in wheelchair, with my very much ‘I think I broke my ass’ face on:

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Apparently I was supposed to have gotten a script for good pain meds and anti-inflammatories last night, but things got muddled. I went home without. Had a long, long night of fitful sleep. I have a cough, every time I coughed I’d wake up in pain.

After some calling and sorting it out, and much apologies from the doctor for leaving me without pain meds all day today, I have pain meds. Thank goodness. Because it took me twenty minutes and a lot of gritted teeth to put on pants. Normally as a freelancer I joke about it being a victory to get pants on. But today, it was totally a victory.

Because my back is seriously fucked. No breaks, but it’s seriously fucked. And I’m in a lot of pain.

Lastly, I was supposed to be Guest of Honor at Chattacon this weekend. And, despite my initial hopes, there’s no way I can get in a car or a plane or anything while in this much pain. The pain meds help, but they make me loopy and drowsy, and I’m still in pain. So…

… I hate disappointing anyone. And it’s such an honor to have a gig like being the GoH. I love meeting new readers and existing readers. These things are one of the amazing gifts of being a writer. And I hate breaking promises…

…but I can’t make it to Chattacon. I let the organizers know by email. A small part of me had hoped with a day or so of rest, maybe I could gird my loins, suck it up, and make it down there. But even as a passenger, I’m shit right now. I can’t make it. It rips me up to say it, but I can’t make it.

So that’s the situation.