Chapter 13 – June 28, 2011

After thinking about it, make sure your insurance is updated. You never know what’s
next. Be sure you’re covered for traumatic incident. Especially therapy. I said it before
and I’ll say it again, make sure you read the fine print. I was lucky. My insurance
covered almost everything, although, it was a lot of work. You have to make sure you
have a point person. Most therapists roll their eyes and run the other way when you
mention insurance. It’s such a game, a raquet. You really have to be on top of things.
I’ve seen some crazy things happen to people who really needed insurance. Anyway, I’ll
get off my soap box and stow my megaphone for now, because if I get into it, I get really
pissed off. Just make sure you cover your ass. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d
be here in this situation.

On top of things, my wife left me and sued me for divorce. It makes my insurance
situation even more complicated. Most hospitals like mine will issue a social worker
to help you, but if you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself, or at
least really get involved. After all, it doesn’t help my recovery to have to deal with all
this stuff. It seems to make things worse. I mean, I can’t even get a wheelchair I need.
By the time I get it, I’ll probably be walking again. So stupid. Anyway, don’t get me
started, ha, ha.

I did have a mental break this week. My daughter came to visit me. She was supposed
to be here on Father’s day, but that’s a whole other story. She’s been so great. It really
means a lot to me to have her around., even if it’s only for a short time. Because my
time with her is so short I try to pack as much in as possible. It was cool, she said to me,
remember she’s only 4 and a half. She said to me, Daddy, your speech is much better.
Wait, she said, your talking is much better. I had her come to therapy and had her stick
around when I walked with the therapist. I thought it was important that she see I’m
getting better.

All the pain and suffering goes away when you hear those simple words, “Yay! Yay
Daddy!” That was when I was walking last week. That was 8 months after my second
operation. And it’s been great having her here. She’s a handful though. 4 and a half.
I think if we could harness her energy, you could run your city for one day. Man, that
kid’s got some energy. It’s tough though because all that energy makes me so tired.
Thank God my family and friends are here to play with her and take care of her.

I’ve been pushing to do water therapy in the pool but my main therapist wants me to
wait a little longer. They want me to do more weight bearing exercises. It’s frustrating
cause I’m really antsy to get in the water. It helped me so much after the first operation.
I’m going to talk to them again this week. Being in the water helps one’s balance and
coordination. And really helps your overall therapy, I believe.

Speaking of overall therapy, the woman, Barbara, who is in charge of all the wheelchairs
is amazing. It really is an art form I never knew about, and it’s rare that you can get
a customized chair to your needs. Most chairs you can get are for generic cookie

cutter chairs. There’s a big difference. I never knew it but you can tell. Anyway, the
wheelchair place has been very helpful. You see, as you get better you will receive tools
like a wheelchair or a walker or a lift to assist you in getting better. When you’re done
with them, you just move on to the next thing. I remember sitting in a wheelchair for the
first time. I felt so restricted and confined. When actually it will give you more freedom
to move about and it will keep you safe. Remember that in many cases it’s just a step in
the long journey of healing. Don’t get hung up on the tools.

I think I’ll go play with my daughter now. I’ll see you all later.

Chapter 12 – June 16, 2011

So here’s my profound thought of the day: Many years ago, when I was young, I had
a summer job renting out boats. I witnessed 4 people drowning. They were swimming
from a boat. It was violence in its purest form. They were all killing themselves or
killing each other to save themselves. By the time I got to them, they were all under.
I couldn’t save anybody. They all drowned. This brings me to the current time when
you see someone drowning, sometimes you can’t help them. They may kill you as well.
They might bring you down as well. Sometimes you just have to let people drown. I
knew if I got to those guys many years ago, they would have killed me as well. Oh yeah,
ha ha. I just remembered I got divorced last week, speaking of that. Ha ha. Divorce is
like a death. It is a death, a death of a relationship. Your whole life changes. I’m just
angry at the other team. I’m upset but time is a great healer.

I went to my old stomping ground the other day. I saw my friends I surfed with. It was
a great escape. It was a little bittersweet as it was a town I used to live in when I was
married and had my daughter. I saw my old house, etc. I am glad I went, though I’m
very tired from the experience.

Overall, it’s been a tough few weeks. My body is changing. Something is changing.
I feel very tight in my face, my thoat, my chest, my hands. But I still have a positive
thought on the future. The future is wide open. I can do whatever I want. I’m starting
over again. Kind of a cool thing. But, it’s like a circus act. You have no safety net.

My friend Julie, just asked me if I was feeling my body more. If I was, I guess, more
sensitive. I don’t know the answer to that question. All I know is I’m sick of this shit. It
would be great to wake up one day and be normal.

Well, it’s back to work tomorrow. I go to therapy again. I think I said it before, but I
just wish I would get a break. Someone throw me a bone! Heh. Even hardcore training
on the track team, you get a break. I feel like I’m pushing and pushing and pushing, but
there’s never any positive outcome that I can see. Other people tell you, “Oh, I can see a
little difference.” That helps immensely.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I just also wanted to thank my mom because she drove me
out there and she helped me to the beach. She’s like a super-mom. When you’re sick
like this, a TBI victim, you really need a point person, someone to run your life because
there’s no way you could do it alone.

Anyway, back to work. I’ll talk to you guys later. Bye for now.

Chapter 11 – June 12, 2011

I’m not sure if I shared this with you, but my injury is named Traumatic Brain Injury.
They have one floor at the rehab hospital just for people like me. TBI, that’s what they
call us. I’m in the same category as the soldiers that come back from Iraq, FBI agents,
federal judges, housewives, car accident victims, etc. I was in this special group, and
you have to remember, each person and each case is uniquely different. There’s no game
plan. There was no All Knowing of what’s going to happen. You kind of go with the
flow and make up your own world. The brain is an amazing organ. I’ve seen people that
were shot in the head walk out the door in months. Our cousins, the stroke victims, were
just down the hall. I saw them come and go as well. You never know what’s around the
corner. I could be better next week. Let’s hope, at least.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. That’s all for now. See you soon.

Chapter 10 – May 31, 2011

My friend Julie, who’s writing this, noticed some improvement. Like I’m more
expressive with my hands. Other friends say my speech is clearer. There are definite
improvements, but on the other hand, I had a week from hell, ha ha. I think I’m at that
angry stage. I imagine you go through different emotions. Right now I’m pissed off.

I always remember my doctor saying, “Have patience.” How do you keep biting your
tongue and not being able to move or walk, etc., etc. Oh, I had an epiphany! I just
remembered something. I was sitting on the porch as I do in the hours of the day, looking
at a tree, thinking, life is like water. You have an idea where it’s going, but you never are
sure where it will end up. That’s my profound statement of the day, that day.

I did have and I’m still having a rough week. I think I’m more aware of my body. I’m
waking up I guess. I remember in therapy as I was walking I was thinking, damn, I’ve
come a long way, and then I remembered, I still have a long way to go, and a lot of hard
work to do. I think I’m tired. I need a vacation. But you can’t run away from yourself. I
guess that’s profound. That’s number two.

My friend invited me to Paris. He has openings in some hotel in Paris. I’d love to go,
but I can’t fly anywhere. I’m thinking of taking a boat one day, a steam ship. This week
I was going to keep myself occupied so we transformed the front room into my living
space. It gives me a sense of privacy and I can still go on to the deck. I’m trying to turn
this great house into a location. Make the house work for my parents for a change. It’s a
great location. I’ve worked here many times before. A commercial place down the road
also offered their grounds as a location. So I’ll combine the two.

I think, to make a living these days, you have to almost have two businesses. I have
photography, but I’m thinking of also starting another one with a friend of mine that I
grew up with. I can’t tell you what it is, but I think it’s a good idea. It’s fun to start a
new enterprise. Hey, I’ve got nothing but time to think of new ideas.

I guess that’s it for this blog. We’ll be in touch next week. Remember, stay positive.
See you later. Bye.