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Another Day

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Thank you for the recommendation, Cole, and for the beautiful craftsmanship, Alien. Both stories, Worst Day and Another Day, are glorious tales. They're a magnificent reminder that writing stories well is somehow a cross between prose and poetry. And can still awaken long-forgotten emotions. Brilliantly done! 

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This touching pair of masterfully-written stories reminds us that young boys have fully-developed human emotions.  I am so glad that Alien Son has given us the perfect follow-on to the first story, which until now had left a bitter-sweet taste of loss through gain.

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Agreed, a very nice story indeed. I suppose Leg-Calve-Perthy's disease is rare to most lay people, but it's actually one of the most common reasons for total hip replacement surgery in young adults. This is particularly true now that what was the most common cause - systemic steroid use in asthma - has been virtually eliminated by the use of long-acting inhaled steroids. LCPD is often missed by most pediatricians, as it's the sort of thing they'll likely see only once or twice in their careers, if that. A rehab physician such as myself will see several in their residency alone, and several more over the course of their careers.

In the U.S., the tendency is toward early surgery. By reconstructing the acetabulum (the socket part of the ball-and-socket joint that forms the hip), better coverage of the fragile humoral head is achieved, significantly reducing the incidence of avascular necrosis (AVN). AVN is the frequent endpoint of LCPD - the lack of a viable blood supply to the hip results in the death of the head of the femur and the destruction of the joint. The only alternative then is a hip replacement, but in an active young adult, artificial hips may last only 10-15 years - not the usual 20-30 years seen in the elderly. Also, hip replacement in LCPD is much more difficult than usual, as there often isn't enough of a socket in which to implant the device. The pelvis usually needs to be reconstructed with the use of bone grafts, and the recovery period and course of rehabilitation can take months. This is another argument in favor or early surgery. By reconstructing the acetabulum early, when the patient is still able to walk, they will be in much better shape if they ever do need a hip replacement.

Sorry about the Orthopedics lesson. There is no doubt that America's system of health care, or lack thereof, is highly inefficient and often results in unnecessary treatments and surgery. However, my experience with many systems of socialized medicine is that the tendency is to avoid or delay treatment and let nature take its course until the situation becomes dire. What we need to be doing is practicing evidence-based medicine, no matter where we may be. That means collecting the data to support or refute one treatment approach versus another.

Oh, and there's no reason young Andrew should have ever needed to be pushed in his wheelchair, other than his being lazy. The best way to build up the muscles to push your own wheelchair is to push your own wheelchair.

Thanks again for the great story!

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Thank you, ChrisR and Merkin for your kind words. I tend to agonise over my writing, and I'm very slow at putting a story together (Another Day sat for more than two years after I started it and got stuck on it. I was motivated to dust it off when Mike needed new stories), so it's very encouraging to receive such praise.

Altimexis, thank you for the insight into the disease. My knowledge of it came from research on the internet, so apologies if anything I said was not accurate. The only reason for Andrew being pushed around was the storyline, but I should have approached that aspect of the story in a different way. The least I could have said was that Thomas and Percy helped him some of the time. (Having said that, however, there is a scene in The Worst Day where Andrew pushes himself around.) There always seems to be something that could have been said better! And thank you for your kind words, too.

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Y’know, I had an entirely different take on Andrew’s willingness to be pushed around, when he might well have been able to do it himself.  I read it as a kind of sorting mechanism, a way for Andrew to discover who might be truly willing to befriend him.  And so it proved to be, and both Thomas and Percy became more to Andrew than friendly bystanders, in Thomas’s case much more.  I thought that was a very adroit piece of writing.

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A warm and loving story that touches the mind and heart in equal measure. I think we often view someone in a wheelchair with pity without knowing how they have adjusted to life. Or perhaps it is just a reaction born from fear..."thank goodness that's not me." 

Andrew is a wonderful and empathetic character who proves that a handicap should never be an obstacle to a loving relationship. I would like to thank Alien Son for giving us a thoughtful story...no matter how long it took him to write it, this was well worth the effort.

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13 hours ago, Chris James said:

...no matter how long it took him to write it, this was well worth the effort.

Chris, you've made my day, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Your mention of Andrew made me sit up and realise that I really like him... but then I think I like all the characters I've created. Is this the case for all writers?

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I think that falling in love with your characters is how sequels are born. An author spends a great deal of time embracing the characters in a story, they stay in your thoughts, and we are loathe to put them to sleep.

I believe if the ensemble is large enough that many of the characters develop the possibility of spin off stories. Good character development makes it hard to set them aside, and if the readers agree...well, you get my point. But all characters must eventually sleep in the back of the author's mind, and with a good story that slumber should be peaceful and warm.

I am not recommending a sequel for every story, that would be too Disneyesque for anyone. But the right set of characters often bring us to that "what if" moment as we write. I like it when my stories are character driven because they often know the best roads to take. :) 

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30 minutes ago, Chris James said:

I think that falling in love with your characters is how sequels are born.

I like it when my stories are character driven because they often know the best roads to take. :) 

You're probably right about sequels, although my reason for writing Another Day was to tie up all the loose ends I left in The Worst Day. I had always thought I would never write a sequel.

I had heard of authors claiming that their characters sometimes took over and told the story. I wasn't convinced that they were being truthful until it happened to me when I was writing Black Dog. The last two or three chapters almost wrote themselves.

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3 hours ago, colinian said:

I appreciate that you have left a hook at the end of Another Day allowing for a future sequel. Please!

Colin  :icon_geek:

Thanks for your encouragement, Colin. If it happens it might be a long time coming, though.

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