Feeling Mortal!

Over the past two months, I have had some strange experiences including paralysis, death of my mother and dealing with a close friend who has turned hard and angry over the hand that life has dealt her.

I refused to write about any of it until I developed a prospective which allowed my sense of humor and my total love of life to emerge victorious as dominant forces in my writing. 

Thank God for family and friends. 

Vanise is tasking care of the business so I could come to Florida. Claudie and Suzi are supporting her.

Two lovely women from St. Croix have called and laughed with me.

My Friend Carol who lives in Clearwater has also laughed with me.

My family, included Anne-Marie, Katherine, Cait, Andrew, Walt, Dagny and Carson have all laughed at me. As a matter of fact, so did Carol.

While my sense of humor never left, my writing was a little flat.  I am now back to laugh at the written stories which were forced  out of me by Jerlyn, Anne-Marie, Cait and Katherine who were in constant electronic communication forcing written answers and I hope some of those stories will encourage others to take care of themselves starting right now.  Actually, I am glad that right now was December 28th for me but you can’t turn back the clock so I am rather contented with my former  life of debauchery.

In retrospect my wife dying made me sad and filled me with excessive grief which is just now subsiding.  I skipped exercising and dangerous activity for about 3 months until I could focus enough to not put myself in harm’s way.  On January 19th, I was feeling healthy enough to excercise and joined a gym. At the gym I was walking at 4 miles per hour for a couple of miles and doing serious interval training on a rowing machine. Interval training is where you excercise as hard as you can while getting your heart beat up to 150 for four minutes and then slow down for 3 minutes. You repeat each set 4 times.  

In early March I was snorkeling in a riptide over a barrier reef with sharks in the area for over an hour with my son. At the end of March I was jogging in an interval pattern with Cait, Dagny and Ana in winter.  I was feeling immortal.

Even the death of my Mother did not alter the feeling of immortality.  She was a good woman who lived a good long life and we had a birthday visit with her in March that showed that even though she was immobile and  speechless, I would never be so crude to say she was better off dead as she was responding to the presences of her family with her eyes and even smiling and laughing at jokes being told at her expense.  This was not a wake but a normal family celebration of a great woman’s birthday.  When she died, I was indeed sad as there would be no more smiles, but as it turns out there would still be love. 

Now paralysis was enough to slap me up side of my head and challenged my absolute faith in my own immortality.  I woke up went to the bathroom, weighed myself and was brushing my teeth when I felt weak and lowered myself to the floor paralyzed on my left side.  My left arm was weak but recovered almost instantly and my left leg simply did not exist except as a dead anchor on my body.  I crawled to my bed and made a phone call to Vanise to come pick me up. 

The following conversation at The Florida Spine Institute sounded weird to them but those who know me and St. Croix it was all logical:

Doctor, “So you called 911”

John, “No”

Doctor, “Why not?”

John, “Because when my wife died in October, it took them 45 minutes to get there and they had me doing CPR on a corpse for the whole time.  Vanise got there in 25 minutes.”

Doctor, “So Vanise took you to the emergency room?”

John, “No, she took me to work.”

Doctor, “She took you to work??  Are you nuts? Didn’t you get any Medical care?’

John, “Yes, my Doctor shops in the same shopping center and I worked off the paralysis by the time he arrived and could walk and jog but he still had me come to his office by 7:30 am and I had X-Rays of my spine by 9:30”

The reason my Doctor had discounted a stroke was because I had lost 40 pounds, and gotten in shape, was eating right and the x-ray of my spine was a mess with compressed floating disc’s and other weird stuff.  He ordered me off all excercise including sex but if you are lucky enough to have a willing person half you age why not give the concept a test? Twice?

While many things I was able to do within a couple of hours, there were others which pissed me off. Even though I could jog and walk within hours, it took me three days to relearn to skip.  This is very important in my immediate family as everybody knows you are starting to get old when you forget how to skip. Another issue was I seemed to have lost my left side depth perception as I bumped into furniture, door jams and the rear end of the eight women I work with.  That actually bothered me more than them as most had arrived early enough to see me as a cripple.  My point is that there are more than enough willing woman in this world so there is no excuse for a man touching a person who is not in the willing category.  The last thing I recovered was my ability to drive my 5 speed standard transmission far too fast. 

When over driving my car I use ever sence at my disposal. Shifting and steering are done with both hands and feet working as partners. At first it was so bad, I had to mentally plan to put my left  hand on the steering wheel and left foot on the clutch and putting on my seat belt and using the turn signal became conscious acts of will power. I relearned to drive again when I learned to skip. Shortly after that the aforementioned willing partner was put to the test. 

Joking aside, I did cut way back on work and let Vanise take over, booked tickets to Clearwater, and got a referral to the Florida Spine Institute.


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One Response to “Feeling Mortal!”

  1. Belinda Boyd Says:

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