Chapter 46 – April 23, 2012

You kill like an American.  That’s what our driver said to me as we were playing a video game.  I was on a shoot for Elle Quebec in Tunisia many years ago.  He said, “Are you sure you’re not American?”  I said, “No mate.  I live in Australia.  North Bondi.  On Ram’s Gate Avenue.  That’s next to Speedo’s Cafe.”  I would tell people I was Australian, not American.  Americans weren’t very popular in Tunisia.  It’s sad to tell people that you’re not from America but it would avoid a lot of conflict.  It was a good shoot, and the country is beautiful – O.K. I’m going to go off on a little tangent right now.  I just remembered something.  I was in my room in Tunisia and one of the models called me.  She wanted to buy a carpet and wanted me to go along.  I said sure, let’s go.  So we went to the Bazaar to buy a carpet.  While we were there, while she was looking at the carpets, I noticed the owner was really staring at her.  He said, “You’re wife is beautiful.”  My first mistake was I said that’s not my wife.  He said, “Oh, I’m sorry sir.  You’re girlfriend is beautiful.”  My second mistake was I said that’s not my girlfriend.  And then he said, “Who is that then?”  I said, that’s my friend.  And he said, I want to buy her.  And I was intrigued.  I said really?  What would I get for her.  He offered me some camels, some goats and some sheep.  I don’t remember the amount.  I said to my friend, Hey, I can get some camels and some goats in exchange for you.  Do you mind?  She was pissed off.  I was laughing, but she was really angry.  I decided we better go so I said to him, Sir, we respectfully decline your offer because I don’t think I could get the livestock through customs.  And we hurried out the door.

Now I’m going to tell you another story.  As if you have to guess, I like telling stories.  Anyway, we’re going to go back to where I lived, Australia.  I was windsurfing just south of Sydney.  I was practicing my water starts in the waves.  I was spending a lot of time in the water.  My friends were up on a sand dune overlooking the surf and watching me.  All of a sudden, they start screaming, “Get out of the Water B. Get out of the water.  Look!”  and I looked past the breaking waves and I saw a big V like a big wake coming towards me.  It was moving real fast.  It went through the first set of waves and was coming right towards me.  I ditched my board and my sail and I started running through the water as fast as I could.  I looked over my shoulder and the V wake was coming right towards me.  I screamed and fell on the sand.  I looked up again and it was coming right towards me.  As it approached me, I held up my arms and screamed and just then, a bunch of fairy penguins came out of the water and landed right next to me.  My friends were laughing their asses off.  They were laughing so hard they fell down.  They were laughing as the penguins were shaking their wings and their heads, shaking all the water off of them.  They walked away talking.  I proceeded to check my shorts.

We were always playing tricks on each other.  It was a fun place to go when you weren’t working.  Good windsurfing.  Anyway.  That’s my story.  I would think about moments like this when I was really in a bad way.  It would help me get through the tough stuff.

What made me really happy the other day was I got an email saying this blog was helping a fellow brain surgery survivor.  It’s good to know this blog is actually helping someone.  It made me very happy.  If this can help anyone, it would be great.  Remember, there’s no magic pill or therapy that would help, but just the smallest thing will make a difference.  I used to ask my therapist if they brought their magic wand and I’d say, “Did you bring your magic wand, you know the one you wave over me to make me better, Ha.”  If only things were that simple.

I said this before, but I’ll say it again.  I really believe that everything I experienced before this event, helped me get through this event.  I had a remarkable life.  You know, I survived dive accidents, plane accidents, I was held up by machine guns in New Caledonia, I was in earthquakes.  I was chased by warriors who wanted to kill me.  I was married twice, and divorced twice.  (The divorce lawyers were worse than the warriors – ha ha ha.)  The point is, I’ve gone through a lot in my life, so when it was time to possibly move on, I wasn’t so scared.  But, you know I would always think about the positive things I’ve gone through, like seeing the birth of my daughter, building my dream house, running across America.  Things like that.  When you’re lying on your back for a couple of years, you gotta stay positive.

This week has been full of ups and downs.  Like the past two days, they’ve been really rough.  But I do have moments of clarity.  I think the body is just waking up.  Any change is welcome because, as long as you’re changing, I think you’re moving forward.  Any change is a good.  Gotta stay positive.  Anyway, I’ll talk to you guys next week.  Love, B. Nice

Chapter 45 – April 17, 2012

 
From first class, they would not have let her pass.  Get out of the way, I don’t care, my friend is back there, she said in a heavy french accent.  She had 2 ice cream sundaes and a bottle of champagne.

A few years ago, I was catching a flight from Paris to New York.  As I was boarding the flight, I went through first class and I saw a model I worked with in Mystique.  We had done a shoot for British Elle together.  She was at the time one of the top models in the world.  A real beautiful girl.  She was basically a real Lolita.  A young girl in a young woman’s body.  She had no idea what she did to men.  Either she had no idea or she didn’t care.  Either way, it was always amusing.  I once saw a pilot almost crash his plane into a fuel tank as he was taxiing his aircraft to the hanger.  He saw her and couldn’t take his eyes off of her.  Almost blew up the whole damn airplane.  She was sitting there in her midriff top, her mini skirt, her little white socks and her black patent leather high healed shoes, saying, “What did I do?”  I just rolled my eyes.  I’m sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent there.  Going back to the flight, shortly after take off, I heard a commotion, remember this was way before September 11.  Anyway, I heard a commotion in first class.  I look up and my friend had 2 ice cream sundaes and a bottle of champagne.  She pushed past the flight attendant, by the way, who had a huge stick up her ass and a big chip on her shoulder.  She pushed past her to come back to see me.  There was an empty seat next to me so she sat down with me in cattle class.  It was a good flight.  And, by the way, apparently ice cream and champagne will make the flight a lot easier.  That and a good friend to talk to.

Anyway, that was then.  And now, I can tell what an ant feels like in honey.  I’m a mess.  It’s moments like when I met my friend that I would try to remember to get me through the hard times.  You see, now I’m trying to do a lot of things on my own.  I’m so tired of my Aides helping me get dressed, eat, etc.  I tried to remove my covers this morning.  They felt like lead.  It was hard to move, but I keep trying.  It’s important to keep working.

One thing I forgot to mention was the fact that I took a swallow test the other day.  They basically test you to make sure you’re not aspirating, which is swallowing liquid into your lungs.  They do the test with an x-ray machine.  It’s a complicated test, but I passed, and I’m cleared to drink something as simple as water.  That’s a big victory for me.  And makes me very very happy.  I can have my coffee in the morning without bananas.  I never appreciated the simple things like drinking a glass of water, but when it’s taken from you, believe me, you appreciate it when you get it back.

Speaking of appreciation, I appreciate doing this blog with my friend.  She said I’m speaking faster so it’s harder to keep up with me doing her typing.  That’s also progress.  I guess it’s kind of like therapy, too.  I also appreciate doing artwork with my father.  It’s fun to do art.  I’ll include some of it at the end this blog to show you.  I also appreciate cooking with my mother.  We spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  I really can’t cook, but I can be the sous-chef, ha ha.  One of my favorite things to do is make bread.  I can knead the dough.  It’s really good for me.

This week has been full of ups and downs.  What else is new?  Well, for one thing, I went to a class with my computer.  It was a communication device.  It basically gave me a mini seizure, or an aura.  It kind of set me back a few days.  After you have something like this, an aura, you get really tired.  It really wipes you out.  But I carry on and do therapy as best I can.  I spoke to my neurologist again, and he said the same thing.  You see, I’m special.  My situation is so rare, there is no benchmark.  Like I said before, I just suck it up and carry on with therapy.

The weather has been amazing.  And my parents finished their porch.  It’s great for walking.  You see, I have a device called an “Up and Go.”  It helps me to walk.  It’s great to try and take little walks on the porch.  I used to dream of days like today when I was in intensive care.  I wish I could package the day and open it up later in February, ha.  Walking on the porch and doing water therapy have been huge huge steps forward for me.  The water therapy has been amazing.  They basically teach you how to walk in water.  It feels great.

Well, that’s about it for now.  Remember, if you’re worried about relationships, money, work, you know, all that stuff, if all that worries you, just go and have brain surgery twice.  It’ll get your mind off of all your worries.  No pun intended.  That’s all for now.  I’ll blog with you guys next week.  Love, B. Nice

Chapter 44 – April 10, 2012

Shake you bastard. Shake.  That’s what my little dog would think as he looked up at me from my wheelchair.  He would eat all the food I would drop when I had dinner.  We should have named him Mr. Crumbs.  He keeps the floor clean.  Never a dull moment.  That’s for sure.  You see, there’s a Yin and a Yang for everything in life.  The more I shake, the fatter my dog gets.  The less I shake, the skinnier he gets.  You see, my dog is getting skinny.  Yes, my shaking has decreased.  They call it ataxia.  It came from either the injury or the operation.  All I care is that it’s diminishing.  It’s a relief not to stab yourself in the face with your own fork when you try to eat.  I can eat like a normal person now.  A big victory.

I spoke to my neurologist about this and a few other things last week.  I was concerned about something else.  He said to me, “Brian, your case is so rare and unique, there is no benchmark.  The only advise I have to give you right now is remain optimistic and keep doing therapy.”  I wasn’t sure how to take that advise.  Was it good news or bad news.  I finally concluded,  Oh, it’s good news, because I can make my own destiny up.  So I remain optimistic and I work hard to get better.

Happy Easter everybody.  It was Easter this past Sunday.  What a great day.  I had a great day with my family, though I missed my little one.  It reminded me of another great day I had in the past.  I was on a photo shoot during Easter.  We were all bored so we went to the local thrift store to buy an Easter outfit.  We allocated $25 per person to buy an outfit.  It was fun.  We all looked great.  Even the maitre’d of the restaurant said we looked great and then he asked what theatre are you with.  The assistant stylist, he looked particularly good.  He looked like a ’70’s movie star.  Man, that guy knew how to style.  Though I think he spent more than $25.  It was a fun night.

Oh, I just remembered something.  It was a flashback, a dream I had when I was in intensive care.  It’s important to maintain a good imagination.  A good imagination as well as being fit really helped save me.  A good imagination can really help you.  And music.  If you can listen to music.  It’s important, and now to the flashback I had.  Very brief but important

This week, not much happened.  I went to a funeral this past week.  It was the father of a good friend.  I didn’t know him well, but I was thinking why does it take something like this to realize how cool someone is?  You see, I read his obituary and he was a cool guy.  Anyway, I guess you should really know your friends as well as you can.  As I was sitting there, during the service, oh, by the way, it was a beautiful day, while I was sitting there, I looked around and I realized, hey, I’ve been here before.  And I realized I was there many years ago.  You see, the first girl I ever had a crush on and dated briefly, we had to bury there.  She was cool as well.  I lost three friends that day.  They had been drinking.  What a waste.  I often wonder whatever happened to her little sister, cause she definitely didn’t want to say goodbye.  Anyway, you know what?  We all catch that bus.  Hell, I almost caught that bus several times.  We all catch that bus, but we’re never quite ready when it happens, even when we think we will be ready.

On the way there, to the cemetery, we went past another old girlfriend’s house.  I kind of got a chuckle, because I remembered she used to like to make out in her dad’s office.  He was a full colonel, he had a nickle plated .45 on his desk as a paperweight.  It was loaded with one bullet in the chamber, safety on, ready to go.  We’d be making out and I’d have one eye on her and one eye on the gun.  And a third eye on the door!  I think she went out with me just to piss off her dad.

Anyway, my friend here has to go, so I’ll see you next week everyone.  B. Nice.