In re Alligator Ed

Hello everyone. You may notice that this post is not written in the same colorful prose that you may be used to. That’s because it is not written by Alligator Ed. I am the real-life brother of Alligator Ed who he referred to in several of his posts. I am very sad to say that Ed passed away on Saturday morning February 6. His death was unexpected and shocking although he had some serious health issues. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on Friday evening and died the next morning. I know that Ed was a controversial figure on this site and had been throw off once after pissing off some people. I just found out that he was allowed back on the site a few days before his death and once again posted in his flamboyant style. I think that the recent unfortunate changes in his attitude on several matters was a result of a brain tumor he was living with. It is ironic that Ed suffered with a brain tumor and died of a cerebral hemorrhage because he was a neurosurgeon. He always had a bent for writing, going back to grammar school. As a child he was a brilliant student, an avid reader (especially history and science fiction), a sandlot baseball player and a Cubs fan. He spent two years with the Public Health Service during the Vietnam War working on an Indian reservation providing medical services to the poor and infirm. After that he set up a practice in a small town on the Central Coast of California that was in need of a neurosurgeon. He helped hundreds of patients get relief from sever pain, most often in their head and backs. He also became an accomplished expert witness for plaintiffs suing hospitals and doctors for malpractice when no other doctors would testify against the established medical community. The combative part of his personality that pissed off some people on this site allowed him to successfully take on the established elite in the medical community. He always despised the elite and favored the underdog. (Hence, a Cubs fan) So don’t think of him too harshly because he may have had the manners of a swamp creature. He had a big heart and will be greatly missed. I hope I posted a not so recent picture of Ed coming out of the sea.

Ed768a_0.jpg
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ovals49's picture

I enjoyed Ed’s style and enthusiasm, in almost all of his posts, even though I often held slightly different view points. This place, C99, is a very special place on the internet. Diverging points of view cohabit this little slice of bit space with remarkable mutual tolerance for the most part. I will miss Ed’s wit and unabashed style and his sense of humor.

I am very sorry for your loss.

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39 users have voted.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

your post. Thank you for letting us know. I am one if his most appreciative fans, especially because of his wit and his ability to express so much wisdom without fear of offending. The subject matter we struggle with requires that kind of courage. He certainly made a difference in my life. He moved us in the direction of truth, which isn't always comfortable, but kept us moving through laughter. Take care of yourselves, his family. Peace.

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34 users have voted.

RIP Ed, from a fellow Cubs fan.

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40 users have voted.
CB's picture

I appreciated C99%.

The Alligator and I had many tussles in this 'swamp' and I will greatly miss his presence. His passing brings a tear to my eye.

I offer my condolences to you and his family.

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39 users have voted.

I enjoyed his posts immensely and am saddened to learn of his passing.

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26 users have voted.

Nastarana

QMS's picture

@Nastarana

many thanks for sharing more of his background.
He will be missed here.

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31 users have voted.

I also appreciate your brief biography of Ed. I never would have guessed.

Very sorry to hear of his death. I hope his final pain was brief.

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35 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

wendy davis's picture

since his return to c99%, and had wondered...and had almost emailed him to ask... so i appreciate you writing us the tragic news of his demise.

may Ed's crossing to the other side have been like this:

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field ~Mary Oliver

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought: maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us

as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.'

Rest in Power, my funny friend, and peace to you and yours, Ed's brother...

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36 users have voted.

Stunned is all. He'll be missed.

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30 users have voted.

Just another Bozo on the bus.

Lookout's picture

Thanks to Brother AE for letting us know. His Alligator avatar always made me think of Pogo. Been to the Okee a few times.
pogo.jpg

I appreciated his medical views in particular. All the best to the entire gator clan. Rest well AE.

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33 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

The alligator was something else and he livened up this joint with his funny essays and his way of seeing things. I am so happy to hear that he did not suffer or linger. I look at that as a gift and I hope it brings you some comfort with his sudden passing.

Thank you for including this history. It helps us see Ed better.

I think that the recent unfortunate changes in his attitude on several matters was a result of a brain tumor he was living with

I couldn't have said it any better.

He had a big heart and will be greatly missed.

Peace on you and your family and friends of Ed. Thank you for letting us know about his life and for this sad news.

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33 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

In honor of his being a Cubs fan, let me rattle off the absolutely great team that lost the pennant race to the Mets, who gawd had to help.

1st base. Ernie Banks (HOF)
2nd base. Glen Beckett
SS. Don Kissinger
3rd: Ron Santo (HOF)
Left Field. Billy Williams (HOF)
Pitcher. Fergie Jenkins. (HOF)
Catcher: Randy Hundley

Dang can't remember who was in center and right field.

Hope Ed meets up with many on the list.

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22 users have voted.

I am so sorry to hear this, and I am sure he will be missed deeply by everyone in his personal realm. Thank you for sharing this sad news.
Ed was one of my favorite contributors here. Always lively and insightful, what I most loved about his writings is that he didn't pull any punches and made contact over 90% of the time. He masterfully mixed humor with the literary illustrations of salient points he made.
I also want to mention that it was obvious that he spoke with a great love for humanity.
Rest In Power! friend.

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joe shikspack's picture

and sorry to hear about ed's unfortunate circumstances. thanks for the news and thanks for a final biography that helps understand ed better.

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33 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

I must reiterate what everyone is saying ~ I enjoyed his essays ~ he always made me think ~ he always brought great wisdom to us.
May your family find peace in death. Pleasantry

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28 users have voted.

The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

Dawn's Meta's picture

Ed was one of those and thought-provoking with biting wit.

May he rest in peace and may your family know he contributed to the good side of the ledger in this turbulent world.

Peace to you and your family. Thank you.

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29 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

RantingRooster's picture

to his family, friends, relatives and readers.

I knew nothing about his condition. He did have a way with words and could invoke / provoke quite a few interesting conversations, riddled with irony on many levels.

It would have been nice to meet him in person. While I'm not a "sports" fan, I do tend to root for the under dog anyway.

May the Cubs win one for Ed! Drinks

Thank you for letting us know.

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29 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

I've had enough of people I know and like dying. Stop it!
At the risk of being a Karen, I'm going complain to the manager.

I suck at goodbye's.
Ed and I were always allies on DKos. We used to tag team beating up on Blue Maga people.

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39 users have voted.

Thank you for telling us, and sharing more of who he was with us. Words always fail in a time like this,and all the words in the world can never fill that space where a loved one once stood. I am sorry for your loss.

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28 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

I'm sorry for the loss of your brother Alligator, he was quite the guy, err alligator.

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23 users have voted.

Joementia says to protesters no looting, just peaceful protests or IOW's

"I can excuse extrajudical murder, but property damage is a step too far."

NO MORE WAR

mimi's picture

who really liked, if not loved Alligator Ed. I think his big heart and care for the people always shined through. For some reason some folks couldn't stand his swampy creature style, but I loved it. I admit I didn't like so much the tussles between CB and him and admit I took side for Alligator Ed.

I wondered what happened and why he didn't post anymore after he came back to the site. Though I often thought before that he might be sick or too busy caring for the sick to the point he became himself sick, I did not expect such a tragic medical condition and saddening end of his life. He was the only guy who saw in Tulsi Gabbard the fighting loving person she is.

I am so glad you told us about his life. It fits what I somehow assumed about him. He sometimes hinted about his work during war time, but I thought it was during the Iraq war.
I could stand his style and was often very amused about how he expressed himself, and the bio you gave us now very much fits what I thought about him.

Oh man, that makes me really sad and I think he is a loss to this ste. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

I'll make sure to become a crokodile before I meet him in heaven, so we can have our little tit for tat ... heh, Alligator Ed do you hear me? We will meet again. For sure.

So sad, I am really, really sad.

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31 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@mimi

I know how much you cared for Ed.

Maybe you can add an Alligator to your Igel family. They're both a bit prickly ; ).

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17 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

Adding to the many tributes others have paid, I too will miss Alligator Ed, his views, his grit, his spirit.

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27 users have voted.
River Rover's picture

The work
of moving the
world forward is
done by passionate
hearts in conflict with
each other. To disagree is
to question and questions
are the stuff the quest
for truth is made of.

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28 users have voted.

Rivers are horses - and kayaks are their saddles

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Didn't always agree with him, but never got genuinely pissed off with him.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sorry for mine, too. Ed genuinely contributed to my life. I'm glad I was able to know him.

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30 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

has flown west. I'm sorry AE had to pass on from this life for us to know more of the story of the man who lived a life full of purpose. His writings here were not enough to know him and his very human journey. I certainly understand more about him than I did before. I think we're all diminished for not knowing AE better. Maybe we could have better understood his perspectives while he was alive. Thank you for filling in some of the important gaps.

For me, personally, I disagreed with AE often enough but he always challenged my thinking and my positions. That's good, particularly the few times when he got under my skin a little. Discomfort and understanding where it comes from can be a great learning opportunity. He certainly was an equal opportunity sort of guy. I can't remember if I was ever pissed off by what he said, or how he said it, but if I did that's on me. Whenever I get pissed off at what someone does that's me and my judgement reacting to someone living their life as they see fit. That kind of reaction is a sure indication to me that I need to look into why I'm bothered.

Even though I disagreed with your brother, I almost always got a different perspective and something to think about in his writings. In my mind that's about the best any of us can hope to give other humans.

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26 users have voted.

"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

@vtcc73 @vtcc73

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10 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

I had a good deal of fun with Ed. He was here when the pandemic began, and I was able to run some of my own ideas about the pandemic past him. He had a flexible imagination and he could speculate with the best of them. Speculation and thought experiments are becoming rare, now. And possibly illegal.

I very much appreciate the bio you gave us. This part makes Ed my hero:

He also became an accomplished expert witness for plaintiffs suing hospitals and doctors for malpractice when no other doctors would testify against the established medical community. The combative part of his personality that pissed off some people on this site allowed him to successfully take on the established elite in the medical community. He always despised the elite and favored the underdog.

.

I'm seriously annoyed with a lot of elite, entitled, doctors and public health officials as I deconstruct the neglect and and medical betrayal and lack of ethics shown by the Medical Industrial Complex in DC. I haven't told the story yet of what the alleged Public Health sector did to the Americans people, or talked about the really bad decisions and institutional greed that has harmed them — in ways they don't yet know. I think Ed would have been right there on the front line, ready to rumble. I know he would.

There will be a reckoning for sure. Books will be written. And, Americans may even stand up for themselves and their human rights, this time.

RIP, Ed. You are sure missed.

My sympathy to his entire family.

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33 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
earthling1's picture

for letting us know, and especially the bio. I had not known his very accomplished life and sadly, only now can appreciate him even more.
Peace and love to your family in this sad time.
RIP AE.

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20 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Thank you for sharing this information with us. Really enjoyed reading about his life outside from here. His fighting for the underdog was evident in some of his posts. I am not a prolific contributor but have always enjoyed his writing if for it did make me think about what my point of view was. My husband, Divine Order, how made his transition two years ago really did enjoy his conversations/interaction with Ed on a variety of topics.

Hope those that have crossed the divide from C99 have found each other and are having a great debate about a variety of things!

Condolences to the entire family.

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25 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Thank you for sharing this information with us. Really enjoyed reading about his life outside from here. His fighting for the underdog was evident in some of his posts. I am not a prolific contributor but have always enjoyed his writing if for it did make me think about what my point of view was. My husband, Divine Order, how made his transition two years ago really did enjoy his conversations/interaction with Ed on a variety of topics.

Hope those that have crossed the divide from C99 have found each other and are having a great debate about a variety of things!

Condolences to the entire family.

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9 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

janis b's picture

Thank you for drawing a more complete and loving picture, including a photo that reflects the everlasting liveliness of Ed. It makes me understand better how our facility to know and appreciate one another online are limited, even when we try, as I believe and appreciate that we do here.

RIP always Ed

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22 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

community know of Alligator Ed’s passing. There are holes where some names used to be and we are left to wonder “Why?” Where are they? What became of them? Thank you for telling us. And thank you for the background and especially the joyous photo of your brother Ed emerging from the sea.

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26 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

thanks for the background information.
he was a remarkable man.

gave much more than he took.
rip.

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21 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@irishking

Thanks

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11 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

But he was quite the alligator.

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21 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

yellopig's picture

Thank you for letting us know, and sharing a bit of his story.

I always enjoyed his ’gator themed posts. At times I disagreed with him, but I took those occasions as a challenge: he was obviously a smart guy, so maybe I should reconsider my stance… and sometimes, he changed my mind.

Those occasions of challenge were valuable to me, and I will miss them, and him.

My sincere condolences to you and your family.

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20 users have voted.

“We may not be able to change the system, but we can make the system irrelevant in our lives and in the lives of those around us.”—John Beckett

And happiness to you and yours.

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dystopian's picture

To A. Ed's bro: Thank you so very much for letting us know what happened, and some great back story. I am sorry for your loss. As many others here I often enjoyed gators writing, and thinking, and ability to make others think. Many times I would read a sentence he wrote and think 'he hit that out of the park'. It is a loss for all of us.

My condolences to Ed's friends and family.

RIP Alligator Ed - may a beautiful swamp be with you

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22 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

We will miss him.

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14 users have voted.
studentofearth's picture

he wrote in Jan 2017 Healthy New Year advice: avoid the first operation. He had a flair for words and could be abrupt at times, it seems to be a pattern of surgeons I have known. His caring about people and issues was an undertone in many of his pieces. Maybe a family trait. Thank you for letting us of his passing. My condolences to you and the rest of his family.

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23 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

mimi's picture

@studentofearth
it reminds me so much of the community we had on this site. I had forgotten it all. Dallasdoc, devine order and so many others posted in response to that essay.

If he could just operate on my failing brain and make it remembering the past much better ...

Thank You all. For what you gave to the site. Somehow heartbreaking. I remember almost nothing from the times I read Dailykos. I wasn't aware of people, who I admire and read regularly here. They were all active way back, just I didn't notice. I was distracted with their frigging ID, racist and hateful posters. Thank God, I never will get distracted anymore by such BS.

Sigh. Somehow I wished I had read his essay and followed his advice, before I got my knee surgery and partial amputation device they put it. (That was an excellent surgeon too). It would have helped me to make a better decision.

Thanks for linking to it.

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15 users have voted.

@studentofearth
I participated in that thread but don't remember it at all. Good to reread it.

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8 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

It sounds though as if Ed led a life well lived, a thing we could all aspire to. See you on the other side Ed.

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Jen's picture

To Alligator Ed's family and friends. Ed was a wonderful writer and he will be missed by many here, including myself.

I hope this song isn't inappropriate. It's actually one I want played when I'm gone.

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15 users have voted.

Is it great yet?

enhydra lutris's picture

appreciated the irony inherent in the manner of his leaving.

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12 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Pluto's Republic's picture

@enhydra lutris

Ed would have approved this exit.

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10 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato

I just read the sad news, While I may not have agreed with all of his essay's I did enjoy reading them and they always gave something to think about. My condolences to the family and thanks for the Bio. from another long time Cubs fan.

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10 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

Thanks to all for you condolences. They brought tears to my eyes. They probably would have brought tears to Ed's eyes, too. I'll share them with his family. Attached is the song and video that Ed wanted played when he died.

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed

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mimi's picture

@mimi @mimi
I would like to apologize at the Alligator ED family for this comment. It was not one that an outsider could understand. Please allow me to clarify. AE's wit and language was often provocative to some and considered prickly. My own family mascot animal is a hedgehog, also a prickly creature. Some here suggested I should put a hedgehog and an alligator in our little hedgehog house on our patio, meant as a joke. I did not. But the joke provoked me to make the original comment which I blockquoted below.

With sincere apologies to the AE family. I still mourn AE's passing.

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5 users have voted.
Creosote.'s picture

I had often wondered how Alligator Ed the person could make time in a doctor's intense schedule to write so often with such depth and expertise, fearlessness, care, and dark humor -- and now suspect that in all the time he was with us he knew what he would face and was facing but had made it a principle never to speak of it.
He once mentioned Pink Floyd as "fine music" and now when I hear PF at Pompeii in 2016 playing "Sorrow," for me it will be in his honor.

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8 users have voted.
MsGrin's picture

I hadn't heard from Ed since December, so went looking for what I feared I might find, although I confess I did not expect to find it here. He had said something about writing on Community Forum which I am unaware of.

Many of you here will recall the Ides of March in 2016 with a particular itchiness and discomfort as I do. DKos had become a home for me since 2008 while I struggled with as yet undiagnosed Lyme disease which had brought my life to a place so physically and mentally dysfunctional that it surprises me I survived.

Netroots Nation came to Austin in 2008, and a friend of mine suggested I volunteer. I found a political home and way to greatly expand the world of a mostly shut in.

In 2009, my Lyme was diagnosed and treated, and I substantially got a good portion of my brain and body returned to me after some time. By then, DKos was an important part of my life. I learned to write a bit. I helped run a series support group for folks with invisible illnesses on the site. Later, I was invited to be part of the Rescue Ranger team which was a great honor and a bit beyond my capacity. It was as much a home as any part of my life.

So to be booted from the site for my political preference in 2016 smacked at my sense of identity there and felt crushing.

Two creatures got me through the 2016 primary. One was a month-old abandoned feral kitten who still required milk replacement and to have his massive infections treated. He keeps nuzzling up to me as I write in concern over the ugly crying he sees.

The other creature who claimed me and my abandoned heart was our dear, shared, Alligator Ed. I can't remember if we found each other before the Ides of March betrayal, but we became fast friends here.

To be honest, I am deeply surprised to learn it was his brain which facilitated his departure because of something I don't think he disclosed publicly here: last I knew -and it was years ago since we discussed this number- he was living with cardiac function in the mid-teens. He had a close friend in a cardiac transplant program who offered more than once to list him, and he declined. He knew what it entailed and he was enjoying his life as it was.

I was mystified by how he was doing as well as he was given his condition, but I have come to know better over time.

Ed and I were a full generation apart, but I had a really big crush on him. At an earlier stage in my own transplant consideration, he extremely generously offered to care for me post renal transplant. He offered to come stay with me in Texas for a month to care for me.

We did not know each other in California, but I am a native Californian. A medical accident took me out of the workforce in the early 2000s which necessitated my leaving my home state to find lower rent. The accident made way for my latent Lyme infection to dominate my brain and body, and it exposed to detection a congenital renal disease previously unknown in my family.

I've been turned down 2x for renal transplant because of my own cardiac function level, but when Ed was telling me of his thinking about cardiac transplant, my function was twice his. Due to an unfortunate complication with dialysis a year and a half ago, my cardiac function fell to under 20%. Initially, I could just walk a few feet before resting, but over a few months I became re-able to function about as much as I had. At any rate, am in another phase of transplant consideration now... But that's not this story.

Ed made another offer to me which I DID take him up on, and which I know ended up making his life feel more vital in an ongoing way likely until his passing is my guess.

Unbeknownst to me in 2016, and old boyfriend of mine was a victim of a hit-and-run, truck vs. pedestrian accident which left him with and open-skull injury and very serious brain damage. He was taken by ambulance to a Long Beach, CA hospital, which, unfortunately, did not follow California law and apply for MediCal (California's Medicaid) on his behalf. Instead, they put him in a wheelchair and deposited him on their curb as soon as he was conscious (having stapled his head together without doing all the imaging necessary). Paul did eventually get Medicaid, and he and I got back in touch the following year, I think. At first, while I knew he was in bad shape, I did not know about the accident because he was struggling with his thoughts still to that degree.

Being a retired neurosurgeon, as we all knew here, Ed offered to see Paul since he (Paul) had not yet had adequate medical care in follow-up to his head trauma. In order to see Paul, Ed had to re-up his medical license, which he generously did. To the best of my knowledge, Ed continued to see patients gratis at least one day a week. It clearly gave him increased sense of purpose to return to medicine.

Paul became homeless in the aftermath of his accident since he was unable to return to his work as a US Coastguard licensed captain. We are still fighting for his SSDI, and if that is finally granted, it will be due to Ed's kind generosity. My recollection is that Ed spent 6 hours with Paul in that visit, and he fully vetted his nuerological as well as his skeletal situation post impact.

The hospital where Paul was treated was very stubborn about not releasing his records, even when the statute of limitation on their legal liability had expired. Ed had to make four requests for records before he got the bulk of them. But he saw that through, champ that Ed was.

I'm pretty sure Ed was an atheist, but I'm counting on sitting on some front porch in rocking chairs somewhere in the afterlife to have a long, long discussion about the sliver of his impact I got to see and how damn grateful I am for it.

See ya later, Alligator Ed!

...and Ed's brother, thank you so very much for making sure we learned. Your words are so tender - may his memory always be for a blessing. And to my friends here... I am so sorry for your loss, as well. I know others of us also had deep friendships. Love to you all.

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1 user has voted.

'What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark' - Ann M. Ravel, former FEC member