Chapter 25 – October 24, 2011

I’d like to tell you about a very strange dream I had. You see, when one door closes,
sometimes another opens. My dream was this: I was standing in a room and a door
opened. It opened to a nice starry sky, with the ocean. I cast a rope line towards the
water and a white hand came up and pulled out a person and that person was there to help
me. And then I woke up. How weird is that? And no it wasn’t Michael Jackson, but
there was a white hand. Anyway, I just thought I’d share that with you.

Here’s my profound thought of the week: When you are on a commercial airplane, they
advise you to put on your oxygen mask before you put on your child’s. This is so you
can stablize yourself so you may assist your child. That’s kind of how I feel. I feel like
I have to get myself better so I can help my child. This is why I work so hard. Maybe
too much. I seem to be tired all the time. But, there’s no other option. Sure I could sit
around and watch TV all day, but therapy is much more important.

I was talking to my friend who’s writing this for me. We were talking about rest. I do
work so hard almost every day. They do advise me at the hospital to take one day off
every week. Rest. Sleep. Whatever. Spend time alone. I usually take Sunday or the
weekend to chill out. Rest is as important as working out. Your body will heal with rest.
It’s just my perspective. I feel better when I rest. I always take a nap in the afternoon
about an hour and I go to bed around 9:30. Wake up at 7:00. Lately, I’ve been waking
up in the middle of the night. Staring at the ceiling. Sometimes it’s hard to get back to
sleep. Remember what I said before. Never think too much.

My niece and nephews live right next door with my sister. I often see them play soccer.
I really wish I could join them and play. When I see them kicking the ball, I often
imagine kicking the ball. That’s got to be good for me. Either way, I wish I could play.
I feel like an old man, and I’m only 50. What a drag.

On a happier note, I’ve been skyping with my little one. It’s almost Halloween so I put
on different outfits when I see her. The reaction is fantastic. She stops what she’s doing
and she goes, “Daddy, is that you? You’re so silly.” She’s 25, just kidding. She’s 4
and ½. Almost 5. Once again, I’ll miss Halloween with her, but it’s great to see her on
skype.

Just one last thing. My aunt and uncle came by. They’re from Minnesota. They came
to stay for a few days. It reminded me how important family is. With their support, my
sister’s and my mother and father, I have been getting better. Family is so important.

This is kind of corny, but I’d like to share something with you. When I was in intensive
care I had them play reggae over and over and over again. It’s got the same beat as the
human heart. But I remember one lyric that stood out all the time. It was from a song
that Bob Marley did. It goes, “In life there’s lots of grief, but your love is my relief.”
Sometimes all you need is a hug or someone to hold your hand. That’s it. See you next
week. B. Nice

Chapter 24 – October 17, 2011

Here’s a profound thought of the week: It’s borrowed from a friend. I was skyping with
him the other day and he said this: Life is like a crystal glass you drop upon the floor.
You can glue it together but it will never be the same. I thought that was a good analogy
to how things are with me right now. I reminded him, if you put it back together it will
never be the same again, but it will still work. You see, nothing is the same. Everything
changes. I’ve yet to figure out why this happened to me, but what I realize is, I’ll see it
as a good life lesson. Anyway, that’s my profound thought of the week.

I have to keep reminding myself of the words my neurologist always quoted. He said,
have patience. Man, I’m chomping at the bit right now. It’s tough to be patient. I just
want to get better. I’m stuck here at my parent’s house and just to get out in a car makes
my day. It does help to have friends stop by. And it does help to have people bring
you food. It’s amazing how little things can brighten your day. The other day a woman
friend of mine donated some money towards getting a machine for me to get better.
That’s cool. My mom ordered the machine today. She even got about 20% off. It all
fell into place. The machine is called A New Step. It’s kind of like a recumbent bike. It
helps a lot with walking. I strongly advise you have someone at least 2 people to help
you. That’s what I’ll do.

There will come a time when you have to balance your life and therapy. For example,
my father had an opening of a show. He’s an artist. It was a good show. I went, but it
really made me super tired. Just something small like that will wipe you out. But it’s
good. You see, life becomes therapy. I think I’ll end on that. Life is therapy.

I’ll talk to you guys next week. B. Nice

Chapter 23 – October 6, 2011

Man, I’ll tell you. Depression is a real drag. I can’t help it, but, I often get depressed.
It’s something that’s always lurking in the background it seems. Who wouldn’t be
depressed if they were like this. I just have to make a physical progress report. On the
positive note, my eyes seem to be moving together. Before, my right eye went up and
down and my left eye went side to side. They were cross-eyed as well. Not fun. A lot
for the brain to deal with. Now my eyes move up and down together. But I still see
cross-eyed. I am still very dizzy. I have a hard time feeding myself, or using the
toothbrush. But, overall, I feel a sense of clarity. I feel like I’m going to get better. My
therapist wants me to do a lot of weight bearing exercises. For example: He’ll put 2 and
a half pound weights on your wrists. It helps me because it stops the shaking. You see,
I’m not aware of where my hand is or feet. I have to look at my hand to see where it is. I
used to call my hand the meerkat, because I’d wake up at night and my hand would be up
in the air. I thought it was down by my side. It would scare the hell out of me. Imagine
getting in a fight with your own arm. Never a dull moment. Anyway, I kind of went off
on a tangent there. I was talking about depression, and yes, I get sad. But, you know,
you gotta think of positive things. For example: I’m stuck living at home with my
parents, home meaing, my childhood home. My parent’s house. But the positive of that
is that I get to hang out with them and get to know them. There’s lots of positive things.
I’ve been taking pictures of how I see the world right now. I’m having a one man show.
Anyway, I just try to think of the positive things. On a positive note, I got a new
wheelchair. It allows me to have more freedom and independence. I use my own legs to
get around. It’s good exercise and I don’t feel confined anymore. Before, I relied on
family and friends to move me from point a to point b. Now I can do it on my own.
Soon, the hands will get better and I could propel myself with my hands. Right now, it
dosen’t work. My fingers get caught in the spokes. Not a good look. I still rely on my
Mom to do all my email and my friend Julie to do all my blogs. But, my hands will get
better one day.

OK, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, whether or not to air all my dirty laundry,
but it might help someone somewhere, so I’ll do it. You see, when you have an injury
like this on your brainstem, it affects many parts of the body. For a long time before, I
would have problems with my relationships. It was difficult sometimes to be intimate
with my girlfriends at the time. I never addressed it because it happened off and on, but
it got worse as I got older. Looking back, I should have addressed the issue right away.
But I didn’t. So, my advice would be don’t be shy about any problems you have with
intimacy. Talk to your doctor about it.

OK, let’s talk about something else. Like, bunnies or kittens or sunny days. I’ll go back
to how I started. I’ll talk about the depression topic again. I used to go for a run or go
surfing. It was always some form of physical exercise to get me out of a funk. But I
can’t do that now. That is, until I discovered a thing called a new step. It’s a machine
that allows you to exercise safely. I’m going to get one of these. They are a bit pricey,
but it’s worth the investment. I wish I could go for a loooong run, but that won’t be until
later.

Well, it’s been over 2 years since my first event. I’ve been training and fighting for 2
years, every day I do some form of therapy. I’m getting a little tired of this. I have to
remind myself to stay positive. It’s been a long journey, but there’s gotta be some thing
good that comes out of this. I really believe that out of really bad things something good
comes out of it. I have to believe that. Anyway, that’s the end of my pity party. It’s easy
to become bitter. You have to stay positive. I saw my surfing buddy the other day, and
we were talking about our old surf spot. They sent me some photos of a beautiful day we
had in the fall one year. Overhead waves, clean off shore wind. Warm breezes and cold
water. The perfect day. Good memories. Anyway, I’ll talk to you guys next week. Bye
for now. B. Nice.