Recently I decided to slow down with the blogging, take some more time to read others’ blogs and in some ways try to publicly avoid the one year anniversary of the fire that burned down our house and our town, Paradise, California. I didn’t know that I also had a serious health issue in front of me.
On Wednesday, November 6th, I couldn’t sleep with what I thought was an old fashion bellyache. I couldn’t go to work the next day either and by Thursday evening I made a trip to a medical clinic, where nothing was diagnosed except the doctor asked one really good, if personal, question, “Have you farted lately?” I said, “No, and that is odd because it is one of my special skills.”
On the anniversary of the fire, November 8th, I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital, getting tests done that showed a blockage in my small intestines. Very quickly I had one of my most feared medical procedures done, the relatively simple but very uncomfortable act of getting a tube inserted up my nose and down my throat. It emotionally got me.
Having no apparent reason for such a blockage, the surgeon hoped a new test of material going through my intestines might clear the blockage as it does in 80% of the patients he sees without prior issues, such as surgery or a knife attack. I ended up being in the 20%, He said that he needed to perform surgery right away, that I had about two days to live without it. It was an easy decision and he also would repair an umbilical hernia at the same time.
Everything went well and he removed 12 inches of a deformed section of intestine, saying he had never seen anything like it before…and he was no spring chicken himself. As is normal for me, I reacted poorly to the narcotics used for pain – and I was getting a lot of narcotics – and hallucinations filled my mind while the tube in my nose continued to pump out my stomach.
After taking out the tube and beginning to give me a little food, I couldn’t keep it down, my pulse raced and stayed at 140 to 150, a rash broke out, and a whole new level of concern was on the faces of those caring for me and of course, the dreaded tube went back in. It is odd to be in bed, just studying the faces of those working on you. At one point, I did have a bit of a metaphysical experience as a dear loved who had previously died was trying to look in on me through a foggy window. We connected at a level of pure love.
With drugs, and prayers, and care, and healing thoughts and practices, I began to improve. It exhausted my family and friends as I was never left alone. Intestinal surgery is not pretty nor are its sights and sounds. One time I passed gas that I was certain could only have originated from a cave in Hell. I’m certain I saw little demons climbing out between my legs.
After 9 days, I was released to go home to recover which the surgeon thought might take 2 months before being able to return to work. I am walking slowly, eating the food portions of a supermodel and dealing with the normal recovery issues of having two surgeries at once. My brain is still a bit fuzzy. I have been home now for 7 days.
I have not been able to synthesize all that has happened recently. I am more of an observer of it all. I do have a great desire now to move forward in my life. The fire is the fire. It happened and now move forward. The surgery is the surgery. Move forward. I do find it very odd though that this surgery took place on the one year anniversary of the fire.
Here is what I do know. I am surrounded, completely, by love in my life.
When I got back home, I quickly mixed a new version of a song, that I wrote a couple of years ago, with new instruments. I’ll share it with you here and I am going to bed.