WCLJ. Spring 2023. Letter from the Editor

Photo by Laurie Griffiths

In February 2012, just more than a year after the publication of my first collection of short stories, I broke my back.

That is the easiest way to say it.

Except that the break wasn’t a fracture.

Instead, the bilateral rupture of my sacroiliac joints was due to adenomyosis, a gynecological condition that goes undiagnosed in far too many women, and often takes decades to finally name and treat.

Gradually, and then all at once, the stress from my uterine ligament twisted my sacrum like a jam jar until the joints, finally had to give.

I can say that my doctor at the time tried to manage my pain. I can say that he sent me to see every possible specialist while tossing out diagnostic darts at my chart.

I can also say that the prescriptions he gave me, both discrete and combined, were a sustained act of malpractice. There is a consensus that my brain should have stopped telling my lungs to breathe.

After two years, much of it spend on my hands and knees, silent screaming into the carpet on my bedroom floor, a pain specialist in Vancouver diagnosed and began to knit my joints back together with prolotherapy. A gynecologist performed a complete hysterectomy.

I tapered off the fentanyl. Off Dilauded, Ativan and Zopiclone.

I tapered off Cyclobenzaprine and Lyrica, too, while prescription NSAIDs left my stomach lining damaged, resulting in a year in spasms, while vomiting my way in and out of emergency rooms.

I’m telling you this because of Kirstie Millar’s The Strange Egg, and the review written for this issue by our own contributing editor, Sue Burge.

Kirstie Millar has endometriosis, a disease that is the twin of adenomyosis, and in her pamphlet-length prose poem, published by The Emma Press, Kirstie gives voice to the pain and dysfunction so many women learn to suffer in silence, for the explicit reason that our medical systems are not listening. And years of women’s lives are being lost to agony and lack of treatment. Lack of understanding. Lack of interest in what only concerns half of the human experience.

Every time I assemble an issue of WordCity Literary Journal, I can’t help but sit at my desk in awe of the contributions we receive. The voices speaking to each other from all around the world, in the nexus of this space. This is a space where people come to see and be seen. And very often, the pieces we publish speak right into our souls with a need for solidarity and change. With The Strange Egg, Kirstie Millar and Sue Burge have opened new ground once again, and I am grateful for being spoken to, for seeing and being seen, so specifically in Kirstie’s poem and Sue’s review.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

2 thoughts on “WCLJ. Spring 2023. Letter from the Editor

  1. Spellcheck: Litarary

    I enjoyed reading your publication so far and am sure I will continue to do so through the years. Sorry to hear about your condition but I’m glad you finally received a correct diagnosis and treatment. Wishing you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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