It’s been a couple of weeks.
During this time I have stayed open to discovering whatever it is I am supposed to be discovering at this time…
to get what i need to get…
about how I relate…
about common human reactions to loss or perceived loss…
about being alone…
about being together…
about looking for clarity and definition in my own life…
about ‘who I am’ and what’s true for me, without a person next to me to validate me and reflect back …
about men’s health…
and the difference between acting out of fear and anything else…
The first thing I have to say is that it has NOT been ‘easy’ for me to feel all that’s been going on inside me. On the other hand… It has. I mean, it’s easy, because all I have had to do is ‘show up’ and not die! HA!! The days go by. Just as they did. The difference is in being very aware of my thought life… of my sensations… of the feelings I am having…
Messages that help create clarity come from everywhere – I was in an Ashtanga class the other night when the instructor mentioned quite casually that if there is some pain in a posture, it’s not a bad thing… it’s just a sensation… not to run from a new sensation or alter what I am doing because I deem it uncomfortable… but to try to stay with it and see what lies below that discomfort. I did stay in the posture and the pain subsided as the muscle relaxed…
And in life, one thing I was taught recently… is that the very things I try to ‘fix’ simply turn deeper IN… they are not fixed. They are not ‘processed’… Furthermore, through this process of discovery I was prompted to be clear about being clear… To ask for clear signs. To know that clarity is the pathway to inner peace. And I discovered that there’s nothing wrong with NOT being at peace.
Feel, don’t fix. It is what it is. Uncover, discover, recover…It will take whatever time it takes. I understand and accept those answers, and that old part of me RAILS against it… “Cover it! Protect Yourself… STOP IT… Hide… Basically it’s in fear for it’s life” That still small voice is growing a new muscle. Yeah, I discovered that too.
My natural tendency is NOT to be public… not to be open… to hide and to isolate until I figure things out or feel better… to tell you all the GREAT stuff and HOW GOOD I am doing.
To be public, to openly discuss how I am doing, and to do it until I am tired of doing it has resulted in some TRULY amazing manifestations — mostly of ‘people’ showing up and offering empathy, support, generosity, inclusion, quality time, and love. This is the process that WORKS for me. To be open, and transparent, and to own up. This I have discovered is the prosper use and power of social media, at least, for me.
I have been discovered this to be a time of introspection, and have been given assignments — things to read and to write… guides to help me turn inward and ascertain what the lessons are… but under no circumstances to run away. I have also discovered I can move forward, alone. I can travel and participate in some adventures with people of a like mind… Costa Rica in April… North Carolina Memorial Day weekend… And a Wanderlust Festival in Tahoe in July… Would I prefer to share these things with someone? Yes. Why? That’s the question I will discover.
Random new people showing up and thanking me for being genuine and for being real, for they too were feeling the same feelings and going through the same things, and afraid to say it… People who ‘get it’… It’s really been quite the display of ‘synchrodestiny’… unresolved, because it doesn’t need to be.
Picking up things like this:
“Vibration ~ Vibration ~ Vibration …
….. How to raise your vibration …
Vibration is one of the 7 Natural Laws of the Universe, it is everywhere, it is in constant motion and flux ~ it influences those around you and also everything at the quantum level.
Learning how to raise and master your vibration will have a ripple effect, bringing positive changes to every area of your life.
We begin learning how to raise our vibration by releasing thoughts and feelings that do not serve us, here are a few other simple ways to begin raising your vibration … more advanced techniques will be covered on another page, first let’s begin easing into it!
1. Movement … moving your body will amp your vibes and rev up your energy … dancing, tai chi, yoga, stretching, hiking, biking, skiing …
2. Decluttering, feng shui, “spring cleaning” … gives our home and ourselves new energy
3. Prepare a beautiful meal for friends and family
4. Meditate, creative visualization, praying, using affirmations, reading inspiring books, watching inspiring movies
5. Music…Singing, drumming etc or listening to positive new age/ uplifting music
6. Breathwork…. deep breathing and yoga breathing
7. Spending time in nature … Going for a walk or spending time near water, or in your garden
8. Surround yourself positive people, or immerse yourself in a beautiful peaceful, happy environment
9. Practice letting go and forgiveness, (see my letting go ceremony)
10. Giving and receiving healing … massage, reiki, energy work …. take a healing salt bath
11. Do random acts of kindness for others, give compliments, show appreciation, make a homemade gift for someone special
12. Use aromatherapy and candles creating an environment to access a deeper sense of self
13. Use guided meditation, color meditation, solfeggio and harmonic sound therapy
14. Spend time nurturing your dreams by dream~boarding and vision scrap~booking
15. Ask Spirit to enter your being and raise your vibration ~ sit in stillness and just absorb the “Light”
16. Giving Blessings to the planet, to the animal and plant kingdom, to other people
17. Play … be playful and just enjoy playing
18. Laughter and Joy …. watch a funny movie, play with your kids or grandkids, bounce a happy baby, play with your pets
19. Lay in the sun, or in the moonlight and soak up the mystery and love
20. Sacred ceremony or rituals to create deep energy alignments to Spirit and to your desires… fire ceremonies, moon ceremonies, abundance ceremonies etc….
And there are countless other ways …. use your imagination and follow what lights you up!
A few more notes on how to raise your vibration….
Of course, there are times when you will feel low, just allow yourself to rest and be still in these times … Your Spirit is asking for alone time with you. At these times be extra gentle with yourself, listening to healing meditations for inner peace and listening to healing music will be transformative to your mind body spirit.
Manifesting your desires is easier with the energy and frequency of higher vibrations. Your vibrations are a Golden Key.
Begin practicing to choose and control your vibrations as much as possible, in this way you begin being a conscious creator ~ you are creating your state of mind and your state of being …. this is where it begins, manifesting your desires begins with self.
Over the past 2 weeks I have discovered that there are a great number of intelligent, spiritual men, not afraid of what may be judged as their sensitive or feminine side, who are, incidentally, heterosexual (for my homophobic friends, and which is of no relevance) and with whom I share a common bond. These men have shown me great support, and I continue to appreciate them… You guys ROCK!
Also over the past 2 weeks I have discovered that the women I know ( and I think it’s because of my work that I am usually in the company of women, and appreciate their openness, their desire to find identity above and outside of a relationship, how they view their health and nutrition and fitness, and the way the mother their children…)seem to be a lot more evolved. I learn from them and appreciate them.
“Enlightenment does not consist of pretending to be where we are not; enlightenment means being in touch with where we are and being willing to learn what God or the Universe would have us learn from it. Sometimes the purpose of a day is to merely feel our sadness, knowing that as we do we allow whole layers of grief, like old skin cells, to drop off us.”
I am totally okay today, just being in the midst of this. It feels honest. I am really already okay! This is real and full of STUFF!
Peace & Love
PS Happy Valentines Day
Those of you who follow my infrequently updated blog know that 2012 was the most radical, most change-filled, most tempestuous period I can recall… It was a year filled with experiences and events one might judge as ‘really good’ or ‘really bad’… however I am at a point where I just say… things happened… and I, for lack of a better way of stating it ‘have and had “feelings”…
That’s really the point of this blog post. (With the second point being that writing this and publicly sharing it is HUGELY frightening…what if I mis-speak, what if my ideas change, will I be judged…and on and on) That is really what prevents me from writing here more often.
During the year I have become increasing aware, as a single male living alone and on my own for the FIRST time as an adult that this is a really important life lesson. To simply be. To feel the feelings, whether pleasant or unpleasant (knowing even that is a judgement) and to learn the lesson from it rather than try to ‘work on it’, ‘fix myself’ (I am not broken), self improve, or immerse myself in a new distraction (there are so many… Shall I list a few of them? Busyness, Over-exercising, Over-sleeping, obsessing, covering it with food, covering it with spending, covering it with new people… rather than just quietly living through it, while breathing into it, listening for the lessons, and letting go.
There was a period I lived alone with 2 young sons during and after a divorce, but that’s FAR FAR DIFFERENT… during that period of time I was either alone and working, and thinking about my kids, missing them, or actually with my kids and immersed in all that that entails – their activities, their personalities, their meal schedule, their bedtime routines, their school work, their need for friendship and their need for recreation… So, I was never truly alone… I was a parent, living alone, part time. That also meant I was never fully available emotionally or physically for the next person that would become my wife. I know that now. I didn’t know that then, and I went ahead and coupled up, fell in love big time and got re-married. And you know what? We did a really good job through the trials of a blended family over time of creating space for us and for keeping the ex’s craziness / safety and security both at a distance, but also as a spiritual issue. A lot of energy went toward both detaching from the ex, and not being drawn into the ex drama, and also blessing them many times over for all the life they truly need and desire… not the easiest thing to do when you’re feeling pissed off at how they are trying to control your life, how they are making demands, how their criticism of your new life and choices are so WRONG, and how they are interfering both with your inner peace and your new life. The truth is all we all wanted was to blend, feel safe, and enjoy the love and mutual support that we can find in family life.
So after my split up January 2012, I moved in with a friend. I lived there with he and another guy until June. Then I move into a tiny cottage to be on my own. It was much closer to where I had lived, my youngest son (16) and my friends, my support, my familiar places. During these past 14 months I have spent I would estimate 90% of my time alone. I have spent time with my son when he wants. I have worked full time. I have stayed engaged with my friends. I have remained physically fit. I have added yoga and meditation to my life. I see my doctor (who practices functional medicine) and regularly have massage done. I have dedicated myself to taking good care of me.
I will not deny that loneliness creeps in. So I also have dated. I have met a number of amazing and interesting women this year. Sometimes we clicked and had chemistry and enjoyed each other’s company for a while, but always just moved along… other times there was strain, and obviously it was not a good pairing. There are ‘feelings’ with both. There’s a ‘new muscle’ that gets ‘flexed’ every time. There’s always the letting go. Sometimes it’s quick… sometimes it’s not.
I am aware that the speed with which I detach and let go is completely tied to my level of attachment. This can not be faked. We know that ‘attachment’ is the cause of all human suffering. We also know that ‘expectations are “pre-meditated resentments”. Does knowing this make the process any easier? Maybe, maybe not. The point really in stating this is that I had, in October, a rather sudden realization that I am at a deep emotional / spiritual level a monogamist. I am a person who prefers to be in a stable relationship. I know at a deep level that all I bring to a relationship is me… Sometimes I feel great about that…
I dated enough to satisfy a part of myself I had known briefly in college – of a person with a very active life in that area. I had to do that to re-learn that. I clearly recall stating ‘I am ready for a special person…someone who elevates me, and who I in turn can elevate. A person for whom we are both better for the pairing…for the greets good, and to bring love light and healing wherever we go’. This came as a surprise to me for the simple reason that it represented a huge shift in where I thought my life was heading. Where I believed I was heading was just for singleness: Busy career, busy spiritual life, active, fit, healthy outdoor living with occasional visitors. Among the things life has taught me is that I DO have intuition, and that I have often ignored it enough to learn that is not a good idea.
As is often the case in my life, synchrodestiny occurs after an awareness. (I suggest you quickly ready that post)…Almost immediately I am contacted by a truly wonderful woman. As we got to talking, there was so much… She encouraged me to trust her genuine intentions and just show up with an open heart. To my surprise I did. She encouraged me to fall, and I did. Those around us saw something special. A special light, a special energy… And I felt it too. My intuition was very strong about this relationship and about a certain outcome… and I became attached to that outcome. At the same time, she began to express doubt, regret, and presented with a fearful heart.
And yes, of course, she ended it.
I am left in a grieving process. I am left with letting go. I am left with respecting her desire to carry this no further. I let her know I welcome her future contact, whether or not it means anything… I am not one who seeks to kill any relationship unless it’s truly toxic. I believe underneath it all that things are not random, and that love weaves it’s way through life…
I truly wish for her clarity, strength, and to find herself so that she can be the best she can, for herself and her children. That’s all I ever wanted. I just wanted to share the journey. There are many personal details I am leaving out, mostly they have to do with issues of early divorce and just being not ready, or of moving way too fast, of how fear can displace trust, and how a person’s inner truth will change ‘just like that’… And I also respect that, along with a simple fact that I voiced that concern early on.
Respect yourself, Bill!
I have a few regrets… in retrospect…but hindsight is always so crystal clear… Mostly I am honoring my sadness, grieving my sense of loss, and calling all angels…
…and that’s the beautiful part. As I “de-Leo” my place, my life, my being I am aware that that which is true will be, and that which is false will away. I am aware that feelings are just feelings. And that every time new growth brings lessons. Even more beautiful is the way the people who truly love me have shown up. Some who offer comfort. Some who offer support. Some who identify… Others encourage me to stay on the path and not close up that heart of mine… and still others who actually are going though the same thing at the same time and needing my empathy and experience. That’s a little more synchrodestiny right there. I am thankful for the kindnesses and the connections…
Am I happy today? No. That’s not the feeling. It’s more a feeling of loss, a sense of reeling, or of being adrift… of having been lost… then found… then lost again. And that’s really truthful.
I am in touch with my life’s purpose… and wondering sincerely while waiting…’what is next’… and ‘when’…
Thank You For Reading.
It’s that time of year again… Approximately 47% of the US population goes through the
process of making a resolution, and less than half of those make it 6 months. On a
positive note, 75% make it a month!
These are the 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions for 2012:
1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family
Nothing wrong there.
So why is my article entitled ‘The Art of the New Year’s Resolution’? Well because over
the last almost 20 years or so, I have, somehow, stumbled upon a very simple way to
achieve many goals and resolutions.
And I have taken it a step further, realizing fully, that waiting for New Year’s to make a
symbolic gesture is most likely one of the reasons so many fail. I believe it has to do
with ‘intent’ and also with ‘faith’…
The first step in creating a resolution or goal list is to be honest with yourself. Do I
intend to follow through, or am I jut saying words and hoping for magic? If I intend to
follow through, do I have a realistic plan? What about my history has made this goal
suddenly more important / have I failed to attain this goal in the past? If so, why?
1. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If your goal or resolution feels negative or
draining, it probably won’t last long.
2. Be specific. (or at least more specific than the examples in the list above… for
instance instead of ‘get in shape’ use ‘run / walk 3 miles 5 times per week’…)
3. Pick fewer things to goal set. I say keep it simple.
4. Any day you fail, make a new beginning. Perhaps the most important of all… We all
are human. We are striving to improve. We are going to have days where we simply
didn’t meet our objective. Expect this. Today is a new day. Yesterday is gone forever.
5. It’s easier to ‘add’ than subtract. ‘every time I feel the urge to smoke, I will instead
walk around the block’… Keep positive…
6. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve… You know what you want. Go get it NOW!
Personally I choose to start my new year with a good night’s sleep, and a run or some
exercise on New Year’s Day. So, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see me out on ‘amateur night’
for any length of time. Also, I tend to glean my list of goals during early December when
reviewing my past year.
I have noticed, too the wording is very important. For instance, rather than setting a
‘number’ for a savings or productivity goal, I choose wording such as ‘prosperous and
abundant’… Or for a fitness goal ‘to participate at a high level in a sustainable way, and
to find enjoyment in the process’… or for a relationship ‘to be open to loving trustfully
and with an open heart’…Or for weight loss ‘to move more, to eat less, and to eat real
food’… Sounds corny, but that’s what I have found works for me.
Best wishes for a healthy, joyful, prosperous new year.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beatty
I always think of November as gratitude month, as it flows backwards from Thanksgiving. I always think of December as The Season For Giving, as it too flows backwards – from Christmas. We have all been given so much — every day, a new beginning. A great country to live in. Friends and family. We really truly are blessed.
And this brings me to telling you a little about a person who is / was very important to me, and to whom I give credit for helping re-boot my life during a couple times where my wheels, ostensibly, had fallen off. Not to be dramatic about it, but just that I am a guy who has always been active, relatively fit, very outdoorsy, and there was a point at which I had truly lost my Mojo.
Dr. Christine Gustafson, who recently and suddenly passed away, was my doctor. She practiced functional / integrative medicine. She was an expert in biochemistry. She knew supplements, bio-identicals, meditation, acupuncture and was extremely available, caring, compassionate, practical and a force to be reckoned with. It was she who wholly revamped my regimen. It was she who said, “I want you to start running again. You’re already hiking 7 miles a day, why don’t you run for one minute, then walk for a minute…”
Some credit is also due to Christine Curtin of Outdoor Fit! (http://outdoorfit.net) in Roswell, who I worked with for boot camp training to strengthen and improve my plyometrics… And before that Liza Hughes (http://lizahughes.com) who I worked with as a personal trainer before moving to Georgia.
But it was Dr. G. who made what felt like a struggle back into the fun it used to be.
Not a week before she passed away, she told me of a couple things that were troubling her. We had that sort of friendship on top of a professional relationship. The day after we spoke, I was getting out of my car at Riverside Park in Roswell for a nice long run and I spotted this, as clear as anything could be: A 4 leafed clover. She and I shared a proclivity for finding these without looking, and the story of me and of 4 leafed clovers goes like this… My grandfather, Otto Klausmeyer, told me once, that finding a 4 leafed clover is just God’s way of winking at us.. The point here is… I took that 4 leafed clover home, attached it to a card along with a note that said “Dear Dr. G. I believe this may be yours. That and thank you sincerely for everything you have done for me. I appreciate you. Love ~bk”
The following Friday I got a call from her nurse, Linda, telling me the sad news. I admit that I struggled with her loss. I was sad, but mostly I realized all she’d done for me and others, and that I already missed her. There were health concerns too, because I had never known anyone with as much knowledge – to the point it truly bordered on ‘magic’. There was no hope of replacing her.
But that’s not where the story ends.
Her associate in the practice, along with a pair of other doc’s and Linda, have been able to keep the practice open. At this point, allow me the courtesy of further expressing my joy and gratitude because I now have a doctor, practicing the same brand of functional medicine, in the same location, with the same staff. Her name is Elizabeth Board, MD. The Practice name is Atlanta Functional Medicine. Though we can never replace Dr. G. and none of us hope to, we can certainly create a new relationship, a new beginning, and be grateful for the intersection we share.
I think I will stop here for now, except to give some credit to 2 people… First, @dudleydoo on Twitter, for helping me sort thru what felt like like a writer’s cramp… And to Kelli McMullen for showing up with some really great, timely meditation, motivation, and open heartedness. When I am writing, it means I feel safe enough to share…
Feel Good. Do Good. Have fun. Be fun.
Those of you who follow this blog know about my year — 2012 –
one of significant changes…and there are previous blog entries about those changes I want you to read… I am moving on. As I have read and heard so many times “I do not regret the past, nor do I wish to shut the door on it. I can see how it benefits both myself and others…”
So, yes on April 17, 2012, I suffered a mini stroke, which lasted about 90 minutes and kept me hospitalized for 2.5 days. The results: taking an enteric coated aspirin every day. No readily identifiable risk factors were detected from CAT scan, MRI, MRI contrast, Carotid Doppler, Cardiac Bubble Test, All blood tests including clotting studies and other blood chemistry. I wore a cardiac event monitor for 4 weeks to see if there was an Atrial Fibrillation but none was detected. I was told to resume my normal healthy lifestyle, and I did. I of course was given the caveat to be aware of how I felt, and to let people know if I felt poorly.
I suffered some panic attacks in the days after the mini-stroke. It was difficult going to sleep in the bed I had awoken in partially numb and paralyzed. As instructed I spoke to my neurologist about this and she suggested a counselor, and denied any awareness of this being a common complaint. Though I trust her, I question the veracity of that.
Like many things, one day at a time, one step at a time, those panicky feelings subsided. I can honestly say, too that wearing a three lead cardiac monitor 24 / 7 for 4 weeks was in itself stressful. I took it off to run, to shower, and woke up more than a few times tangled in wires to the sound of beeping alarms requiring me to reattach. Still, better than an implanted sensor. In a few short weeks it was done.
In an effort to follow through and ‘report’ how I was feeling I made appointments with my physician, Dr. Christine Gustafson. She was terrific. Her insights, her approach and her ability to hone in on and treat me has been supremely helpful. We implemented some dietary changes, some supplements, some behavioral changes and some acupuncture sessions. HUGE improvements.
In the weeks leading up to the stroke I was trained to run a sub 1:45 half marathon. I only missed 2 days of running. But I came back with a case of caution. I curtailed my longer runs and held back on the pace. I had planned a trip to Nashville for this race and would have opted out of the trip, too, but had promised a friend I’d be on hand for her very first marathon completion.
So, off to Nashville I went with my friends. I stayed at the very nice Union Station. The weather for the race was hot and humid. I went off in corral B. I had given up on running my race, but instead glad to be running at all, much less, walking, talking, moving, living and breathing. I was on pace for a sub 1:50, adjusting my pace for the heat and humidity. At around 8.5 a sudden, sharp, immobilizing pain in my left calf halted me. I tried to rub, stretch and walk it off… Finally, resigned to knowing no matter what I had to get back to the starting line, I gingerly jogged the last 4.6 miles. I painfully finished the race at 1:58. My worst half marathon ever. Never mind the tribulations, facts are facts.
I took the next 7 days off from running. Gradually I got back into it, running slow, careful, calculated runs. I can tell that injury is also healing up. Over a period of 8 weeks I gradually rebuilt my mileage base and tempo. I have run a
5k race, and finished with a 22:20… A bit slower than usual but still quick enough to take an age group 1st place. This was a fun morning on the Beltline and a really nice indicator that the leg was healing up. I have continued to conservatively rebuild my running program.
Along those same lines, I have recently been given the chance to move into and clean up / rehab a tiny historic cottage in Roswell. This is exactly the therapeutic kind of thing I love. And the rent is super affordable… half what I was paying. It’s nice to be in a place on my own. And although it’s on a main street, with terrible parking, it does feel like a home. I lovingly refer to it as ‘My Little Slum’.
And now for the BIG news! I have been working in earnest the past 2 years investing my time and energy into a dental practice with the intention of purchasing it so that the senior doctor could retire and go enjoy his free time. Strangely, when the time finally rolled around where we had to ‘get serious’ about drafting agreements and contracts — it became evident that this was not the right practice for me at this time. And although I did ALL the necessary leg work and paper work and was approved for the commercial loan to buy, I had to ask for 2 concessions in order to make it work for me. And none were offered.
With that in mind I contacted a number of brokers and jump started the process of finding a better fit for my next career move. Quickly, and with ease and grace, I found just the right place. So, beginning on August 20th, I will once again be practicing in a place I can call my own. The retiring doc has a lovely, energetic staff, and I brought my own Executive Assistant, Michelle, who is a godsend. I must tell you – it’s been years since I felt this enthusiastic about my career and the direction I am taking.
Our website, currently under construction, will be located here: www.CantonHeightsDental.com In the meantime, you can locate our Facebook Business Page here: https://www.facebook.com/CantonHeightsDental?ref=hl
Here’s our sign:
It is at this point I would like to stop. This has been a very long post and thank you for reading. I promise that as we move forward I will be back to Funtivities and Management Parables! And brevity. I sincerely appreciate all the love and support you show. Especially from the Twitter community… I initially started this blog because I have expertise to offer in a variety of areas, however it turns out that YOU have been a huge and gratefully appreciated part of my life, as I surf on.
I went to bed at 10:45 Monday night feeling good. I’d just finished a 4 day stint in Roswell with my 15 year old son Christian. I’d had a good day at work, a nice short run, and even opted to head back to Brookhaven to relax instead of attending my usual Monday night meeting. I was excited about Tuesday. Am coffee, a nice training run, lunch with my great friend Jack, and a half day of work. I actually had a casual dinner date set up for Tuesday night! All was well. I was at the peak of my 1/2 Marathon training schedule, fit, fast, and uninjured. I’d even discovered an awesome masseuse (Amber Klippel) and found a superb running group (BPRUNNERS)
I awoke at 12:45 or so, and I got up to pee, normal for me. Everything was fine. I recall thinking… Oh it’s early still, I have many hours to sleep… Bonus!
But at 5am I woke up because I was uncomfortable. I was hot, and I felt strange, but mostly my left arm was asleep. Really asleep. Being in the twilight, I grabbed my own wrist and sat up thinking, this is not right. Then I noticed my left side face felt numb. I confusedly tried to imagine which motor nerve I might have slept on that would cause both to be numb: NONE. And as the symptoms rapidly intensified I knew I was having a medical emergency.
I tried to get up to get my phone to call downstairs to Frank… And managed to knock a cup full of pencils to the floor in the process. Frank was asleep, and I was trying really hard to enunciate but failing. I knew I couldn’t walk and didn’t want to fall, so, phone in hand, I got on all fours and starting trying to call out for help. Mike, who I didn’t know was home, came immediately, opened the door and said,” Aw dude, we need to call EMS.”. Frank was up too, and already diagnosed my stroke. Meanwhile I was in the throes of not being able to deal with paralysis, apologizing for waking people up, and trying and failing at focusing outside myself. It was a mess.
It took 10-11 minutes for EMS to arrive, and off I went in the ambulance. In the ER, I was asked a series of questions related to the timing of the incident do determine if I could be given TPA. I was quickly placed it the CT unit… Then back to the ER while a room was readied in the stroke unit. During this time, I noticed my fingers tingling. Frank saw me move my fingers and was hugely encouraged. Within a few minutes my face was normal (this is a subjective self evaluation, please hold your comments about my face) and I could move my arm and leg.
Up I went to the room feeling as good as new. It felt like a miracle. I went through the battery of tests and met everybody… And was left alone in my room at 8:45 am. Then I felt a strange warmth, and a heaviness, and like I somehow knew it was happening a 2nd time. I called to my nurse, and she came running. She started testing me, I was fine… But I knew I wasn’t, and she got the doctor. By the time he came in I was numb again. Face, arm, hand and leg. And this time I was crushed. He tried to calm me, but there was no way. To me, I was now dealing with a whole new entity… Something which could come and go, and which could box me in without killing me. I have never been so afraid.
They ordered a Stat MRI with contrast, and gave me 1 mg Ativan IV. That calmed me down and again the symptoms receded. Instead of the MRI they decided to start a heparin drip, and began tests. Lots of vial of blood for cholesterol lipid profiles, and any number of clotting issues. They did a carotid Doppler, and a bubble test for heart wall integrity… My dear friend Jennah literally rushed over as soon as Frank left, knowing I shouldn’t be all alone – a real heart of gold. Later Jack and Kimberly came by. Kimberly hung out all afternoon. A huge relief. Royal brought me coffee. David and Lenora came by. Frank brought toiletries, and he stayed until I fell asleep. My friends rock.
I was kept in observation overnight. Frank brought me coffee… Awesome. The heparin drip was removed. I was given Plavix and Pravastatin as well as aspirin. I was checked and tested and checked and tested, and poked, and pressurized, as I should have been. Larry and John came by and hung out… The doctor, while perplexed, was certain I’d make a 100% recovery. I was kept that 2nd night for the MRI and a telemetry unit was placed. Lisa and Christian came by. I couldn’t do the MRI without the 1mg of Atavan… I tried. Sorry but that thing just wigs me out. Frank and Mikey came by and we had a ton of laughs, or at least I think we did.
On the morning of day 3 I felt fine. I was released with the following instructions: take 325mg Aspirin per day, and take Pravastatin. See the cardiologist Friday to be fitted with a cardiac event monitor which assesses atrial arrhythmia’s, a potential source of blood clots. Most interestingly I was told that my running and diet, my overall level of fitness may actually be the reason I was so lucky. John came and got me, Frank brought morning coffee, and both Penny and Mike offered to take me home. Furthermore, the treatment for recovery of stroke is diet and exercise, plus PT and counseling depending on the severity of the damage. I was told to resume my normal activities and that includes running the 1/2 marathon April 28th, but to be particularly aware of symptoms of stroke.
I left the hospital with John and have never been so grateful to take a shower, shave, use my hands or go for a run. My friends calls, texts and visits were truly heartwarming. I’m a guy who doesn’t really see himself as all that lovable… So it’s quite a surprise to get so much love.
And today as I got out of my car, grateful for every breath, I looked down. There was a four leafed clover, just as clear as day. My grandfather always kept these. “heaven winking at you” he would say. Indeed.
I recently read MFDre’s (http://themfdre.com/2012/04/03/a-spring-awakening-in-pictures)
Spring Awakening blog post and realized I too am a huge fan of spring… There’s a palpable change in the world I live in, and it’s a real delight to my senses. There’s so much to like about the cool mornings, bursting colors, and warm evenings. I’ll let the pictures and captions tell the rest of the story…
Welcome to spring… Soon… Ahhh… Summer!