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What the Hell Is Going on With Jim Miller?
He’s down but not out.
Regular readers of Words & Deeds know that Jim Miller contributes a column to this site, published on Mondays about ten months out of the year. He teaches, and uses time off during the summer to travel with his family.
Come late August or early September he re-appears on these pages, writing on a variety of topics, never straying too far from labor and politics. His analysis is always worth a read.
His views are imbued with labor history and enough common sense to know what battles were worth fighting. Jim also contributes columns for the Union-Tribune’s Community Voices Project
This year I’m holding my breath, waiting for a sign that he’s well enough to get a keyboard to post… or pen to paper as us old geezers used to say.
His liver failed in July, for unexplainable reasons. It was a rare autoimmune response, and doctors don’t know what triggered it. He is fit and leads a healthy lifestyle.
Jim was dying when his caregivers put him on the transplant list. He made it through a six hour surgery in good shape. And then another rare health crisis occurred; a negative reaction to an anti-rejection medication. This time his brain suffered. Now he’s working his way through neurological issues.
I have been assured that his long-term prospects look good. His doctors joke that his liver will likely outlive him. Jim has indicated that writing will be among his first endeavors once healing allows, but that’s a rather unpredictable deadline.
Having these kinds of health problems leaves patients immunocompromised, so it will be months before some new version of “normal” occurs. There is also the issue of trauma coming out of severe health crises, something that manifests itself differently with each patient. The point is that he’s got a lot of work to do.
I know he’ll do what it takes, and if that means missing a deadline or two, so be it. I’m just glad Jim is still with us. And he passed along a message, via wife/partner Kelly Mayhew, thanking friends and family for their support as they’ve navigated this crisis.