-in honor of Carrie Ann Lucas and Dr. Bill Peace
The way you play this game is simple: there is a boy
on a skateboard and the boy has four lives. The goal of
the game is to get the boy on the skateboard to the end
of the racecourse. The racecourse is not an oval
or a circle; it’s a city. Miles translate into a pixels. The
pixels may be counted. The counting, of course, is not
a requirement, but a strategy:
the math works like this: a clinitron bed,
which could relieve the pressure on bedsores,
costs upwards of 40,000 dollars. Less than one
milliliter of infected blood may lead to sepsis. If
septic I would be hospitalized and placed in a
clinitron bed. Once sepsis is cleared I would be sent
home and to the same bed that caused my wounds.
An obvious pattern would emerge.
The city is blocked off by buildings. The stairs
supplemented by railings. The ramps are
fashioned into figure eights. To take the stairs would crack
the skull. To ride the railings would break a leg. To risk
the ramps would lie to gravity. The skateboard boy
has four lives and with each death he can experience
partial revival. The funding for complete revival floats at the end
of the racecourse in a pot of stars. The pot of stars is surrounded by
a pit of fire and evil wizards. The evil wizards hold
both the wand of Sudden Death and the Key to Level Up
The concept of step therapy is simple: just
because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s
the best option. A medication made out of dirt is the
same as a medication made out of chemicals. Both
drugs have capsules. Both drugs are dissolvable.
The idea is not to dwell on differences but to be
grateful for your temporary survival.
In a simulated attempt to Level-Up, the skateboard boy calculates
the inertia needed to conquer the ramps. The skateboard boy
succeeds the figure eight but on the way down gets shocked
by the wizard’s wand of death. The boy loses one life, revives
inside the pit of fire and loses a second life. The skateboard
boy bleeds from his neck and stomach. He can see
the pot of stars, but, oh, are the wizards laughing.
The concept of step therapy in practice: Because
Carrie Ann worked for the state, she had to use
state insurance…. In January of 2018 she got a cold
which turned into a trach and lung infection. Her
insurance company UnitedHealthcare, refused to
pay for the one specific inhaled antibiotic that she
really needed. She had to take a less effective drug
and had a bad reaction to that drug.
To revive from the second death is to not to be confused
with the revival of Jesus. The body quivers with
electricity. Nerves tingle. Burn marks fester
and bleed. Bacteria crawls into open sores
and tissue necrotizes. Stars blur into the retina,
begins visual snow. Lack of blood flow to the brain…
Bouts of sepsis, an increasing number of wounds
and hospitalizations. Over the period of time my
body will weaken, sepsis will become increasingly
difficult to treat and recover from. In this state,
the wizard shocks the boy again.
Of course, there are strategies: trick the wizard,
take out the middleman, start a go-fund me, grow
a rich uncle, a relationship with the president, unblock
the buildings, throw the wizard into the fire,
fix the ramps, find the bug, rewrite the program.
My name is Carrie Ann Lucas. I am here today on
behalf of Not Dead Yet … If I were to become
depressed… and this bill passes, I could go to my
doctor and ask for a lethal prescription. Because I
have a disability, and because physicians are
terrible at evaluating quality of life of people with
disabilities, I would likely be given that lethal
The doctor comes into your room in the hospital at night
and shares the math with you:
this medication, bed, treatment, pill, stars, Level-Up
will costs 2,000 dollars. Not to mention the cost
of wound care is astronomical.
It’s your choice how you would like to proceed,
he says gently. He tells you he can make you very comfortable.
http://badcripple.blogspot.com/2019/04/worse-wound-care-woes.html Lucas, Carrie Ann. Carrie Ann Lucas Death. Facebook. 24 Feb. 2019
Accessed 26, Oct. 2019  Lucas, Carrie Ann. “Carrie Ann Lucas Testimony in Opposition of Colorado SB 16-025.”
Not Dead Yet, 3 Feb. 2016, notdeadyet.org/carrie-ann-lucas-testimony-in-opposition-of-
sb-16-025. Accessed 27 Oct. 2019.
Rachel Litchman (Rachel DL) is a queer, disabled artist, writer, and member of the Dane County Youth Action Board. Her work centers themes of survivorship, trauma, chronic illness, disability rights and justice. She has been published in Colorado Review, Rooted in Rights, Redivider, and Black Warrior Review, among other places. She is at work on a graphic novel about being hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find her on twitter @wordcalculator or on her website racheldl.com.