Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Alright God I am listening!

You have got my undivided attention.  Reveal to me the lesson I am supposed to have learned, what am I to teach others from what I have been through?  I need to know and understand why all of this is happening to me.  It is the day before Thanksgiving, at 2 in the morning, it is still pouring and my heart is weeping with the tears of confusion and lack of understanding.  Tomorrow is the day we are too give thanks for everything that has happened to us during the previous year and yet I am struggling to find one thing.  To understand all that has transpired and be happy with all that has passed.

Dear readers, in order for you to understand my confusion and pain I will have to go back and tell you of my year and maybe as I recount the events that have happened too me, I will be able to glimpse or glean the message that I was supposed to have learned on this journey.  Trust me you should probably sit yourself down for this narrative because it is a long one and starts at the very beginning of the year and is one in which I plan on telling you everything because somewhere there is a message I am sure of it.

Well, lets bring you all up to speed, then you will begin to see why I haven't written here in my blog very much at all this year at all.  January my partner and I were in Atlanta visiting. He had wanted to go up there to check in with his probation officer.  I decided to go with him, I was tired of chemotherapy and all the medical treatments and appointments I had been going through.  What I didn't know was that trouble was waiting for us on this trip and was going to change my life in a drastic way forever.

Everything was going okay we arrived and checked into the hotel with absolutely no problems at all.  I was tired but that was nothing new with the chemo that I was going through but we rushed into the hotel. I told him to bring in his weed from the car as we were carrying in the luggage, and he said "Naw just leave it there it is just a little bit and I will come down and get it later." Famous last words, we were in the hotel for 2 days and it remained in the car.  But that day he decided that he was going to go out and get us something to eat, I had to do my chemo that evening and it always seemed to make me more sick if I didn't eat right before I did it.  So he left the hotel, I was in the shower and I only had one bag of clothes we had left most of our other stuff in the car because we were going to change hotels the next day.  This included the rest of my medications and all of my other medical supplies.  I had no idea that disaster was about to strike and leave me in a very bad situation for the next 10 to 15 days.

What really happened that night I will never really know, all I am aware of at this time is that he was stopped and arrested, they had found the weed in the car and he was taken away with everything we owned.  I waited and waited to hear from him.  I finally got a call at 4 in the morning saying that he was arrested and that the car had been impounded.  So early the next morning I called every towing company that the dekalb county police used and finally found the car.  I called to see if I could get at least my stuff out of the car if not all of the stuff.  I explained that my medication, clothes and computers were in the car and that I needed them due to my cancer and illness.  I was told that if I could get a letter from the rental car company saying it was alright for the towing company to release the personal items too me I could come and get them.  Well, the rental car company wouldn't budge and let me have my possessions because I wasn't on the rental agreement.  This was the first time that he had rented the car solely in his name and because of that I was not given permission to get what I needed.

I was left in the hotel with no clothing, no medical supplies and very limited money because we were supposed be going home soon, we had already spent a week in the hotel and the plan was to leave that weekend and it was Wednesday when he got arrested.  I had only enough money to stay in a hotel for 2 more days.  Which is what I did, because I knew if he got out of jail he would know where to look for me and come back there.  At this time I didn't know that the car had also been wrecked, either by him or during the towing process.  All I know in the subsequent months since then that they have been coming after us to get payment for damages to the car in excess of what it was actually worth, and as of today I still do not have the belongings that were in the car.

Here I was in Atlanta pretty much stuck with no clothing, no ostomy supplies and no medication, and I knew that I wasn't supposed to stop the chemotherapy suddenly but what choice was there all the medication was locked up in the car and I had no way to get it out. I had no transportation and I was running out of money rapidly. Luckily I ran into an acquaintance, who was hanging out with one of my ex's.  They were able to take me to my best friends house and I was able to stay there in safety till I could find a way home.  The same acquaintance that took me to my best friend Chris's house offered to bring me back home to Florida if I paid for the gas. I agreed and we left now mind you by this time I had been staying at my friend's house for about 2 weeks, my ostomy appliance was falling off and my skin was burned from acid and erosion.  My ex's mother came and took me to the VA hospital in Atlanta and they were able to fix me up with some temporary supplies till I could get home. My ex Sterling ended up in the hospital for several days during this time he had a massive urinary tract infection and got extremely sick. So as you can tell nothing particularly was going my way already.

But, Mike the acquaintance that Sterling was hanging with was true to his word and brought me back to Daytona.  He also decided since he had no money to return right away to stay with me for a little while.  i am extremely glad that he did, even though his presence was later to cause great harm and yet save my life at the same time.  I was home 3 days when I had an aneurysm, if Mike hadn't gotten back to my apartment when he did and found me passed out in the bathroom bleeding all over the floor and called 911 I would have bled to death and died.  I had lapsed into a coma for 4 days and ended up having 28 blood transfusions and 3 surgeries, I barely pulled through.  I woke up to see my partner and Mike sitting next too me, it brought me strength and I was soon awake fully. However, while I was out Mike had gone to Atlanta and gotten my partner, who was released from jail.  He also proceeded to get all of his belongings out of storage and bring them down to Daytona, along with almost a full ounce of Methamphetamines. During the 9 days I was in the hospital my partner and him started getting high and having sex with all kinds of people and bringing people into my apartment which got the neighbors all upset.

Once I found out I tried to put a stop to the problem but the damage was already done, my partner was totally lost to the drugs, he had been shooting up a lot more than him and I had ever done and he was on a binge that was going to tear us apart.  Not even 3 weeks after my release from the hospital both my partner and Mike were back in Atlanta and I was left all alone.  I came to find out that neither my partner or Mike had paid rent while I was in the hospital and they were both gone and I was 3 months behind in rent, utilities and cable.  I talked to my dad about the situation and we both agreed that maybe I should try getting a girl roommate this time to help me get my bills caught up.  That was the worst mistake I have ever made in my life because the girl that came in came with a lot of baggage and friends and I ended up getting robbed twice and losing all my possessions. But that wasn't the worst my neighbors didn't like her friends and kept calling the police on me saying that suspicious activity was happening in my apartment and so the police became involved with my life.

I ended up getting arrested on possession of paraphernalia charges 3 times, as a matter of fact I am still going through some of those legal procedures right now and hopefully will have them  wrapped up before the holidays.  I stayed in my apartment as long as I could my father and my step mother helped me out as much as they could to get caught up on the bills.  But the damage was done, the neighbors and the police arrests got back to my landlord and I had to move from my home without any warning or notice due to suspicion and  rumours.  I was never arrested or charged with doing drugs, but everyone in the complex assumed or heard tale from one of the old women that lived there that I was a drug dealer and that I was doing and selling them out of my apartment.  That is how my recovery from the aneurysm and summer went.  On Memorial day weekend my back started hurting.  It hurt so bad that I went to the E.R. an x-ray was taken but nothing abnormal showed up on the x-ray so they sent me home with some pain pills.

Let me digress for a minute or two here.  I will never again sneeze or laugh at anyone who says that their back hurts, because I will tell you there is nothing like back pain, it is the worst kind of pain that you can experience because that is where are the nerves are and once it starts hurting your entire body feels the pain and you end up weak and not able to do even the smallest things.  Well, on with the narrative, my back started hurting and I ended up in bed for almost 2 weeks doing only the absolute minimum to get by.  Well from May till September I endured the pain in my back and it got progressively worse and worse. I ended up moving back in with my dad and step mom.  I was here about 3 weeks when I finally had enough I had been to the emergency room 19 times and was continually told that there was nothing wrong other than a strain.  Finally I got my primary care physician to look into it a lot closer.  Now, you may be wondering why it took me so long to get my primary involved.  Several factors actually, my dad telling me that I was faking it and that the pain was in my head, my ex coming back to get his clothes and not believing me that I was in pain and could barely drive and then my primary care doctor being out of the country for 2 1/2 months on some family business.

So finally, I ended up going to have an MRI and with just one pass of the machine, i was pulled out and wheeled into see the Radiologist.  He asked me how I had gotten to the office to have the MRI and I told him that I had driven, he asked me if there was anyone who could come and get my car. I told him that my dad and step mother were in Ormond Beach.  He wasted no time calling my father and telling him to come and get me and my car because I needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately I had a massive infection that was attacking my back and causing my vertebrae to collapse upon themselves and that if something was done to treat the infection I would be paralyzed in a matter of weeks.  I was immediately taken to the hospital where I remained for 15 days and from there I was put into a nursing home and rehab center where I stayed for 3 months.  Which brings me to the current.

I have been out of the nursing home a week and I have been doing okay.  Though I have had back to back doctors appointments since I have gotten out of there.  I have to tell you I have met with every doctor from neurologist to primary care, from surgeon to oncologist, even the neurosurgeon.  I was given hope that I could possibly have surgery and alleviate or even eliminate the pain I have in my back.  But, yestday was a day full of surprises. First some good news and then some not some good news. I found out that the tumors that I had removed on November 7th were benign and I will not have to go through additional chemotherapy. Remember that I had chemotherapy starting in October of last year that ran up till February of this year. So that at least is good news. The bad news comes from the neurosurgeon with whom I met this afternoon at 2 pm. It is unfortunate that he feels that he cannot operate to fix the hump in my back or do anything to alleviate the pain. According to him I will have to continue to endure this pain and walk with a cane or walker for perhaps the rest of my life. Now after speaking with my primary care physician last week I was under the impression that I would be able to go through a procedure called kyphoplasti. Kyphoplasti is a procedure that people who have osteoporosis can sometimes have the rebuilds you the vertebrae and would eliminate or at least alleviate some of the pain that I am going through. Upon research I had found cases where at least 3 levels of thoracic kyphoplasti have been performed successfully, unfortunately I would have to have 5 levels rebuilt and I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not survive the surgery and that he didn't even think him or any other surgeon would attempt to operate on me with my case history and surgical past.

I honestly didn't think that I could feel any worse from that news and situation but then here is how my day today went.  I guess today was not supposed to be my day either. After the shock of hearing all my health news I went home and went to bed never once noticing til yesterday morning that my wallet and every piece of identification was gone. I had an appointment with my case manager to recertify my Ryan White funding for another 6 months when I noticed for the first time my wallet was missing. I have searched my room high and low and cannot find it. Further, it was pouring rain all day yesterday and as you now know I walk with a cane. My case manager to help me told me to bring the car up to the curb so my paperwork wouldn't get wet. She would run it out to the curb as I pulled up. Well alas a good idea but as she was coming to the car the folder gave out and every piece of paper fell in the downpour and was soaked. As you can well imagine my mood and depression deepened. I came home an immediately climbed in my bed. It is now 1:58 am and I am just getting up, and it is still raining. It is almost like the sky is responding to the flood of tears in my heart. I pray that God will give me the strength to push through these setbacks and gain an understanding of why He has chosen me to carry these health issues and what I am meant to learn/teach because I fear I have missed the point!

So there you have it.  Almost dying, losing my home, my man, my credibility, my reputation, now my health and possibly my future of living a pain free existence as well as being dependent on walking aids to get around for the rest of my life.  I need you Lord to explain to me what it is that I have missed, what is the lesson that I am expected to learn, what should I have gotten from this journey, the pain, the loss and where do I go from here?

I am remaining faithful as you commanded Job because I see how you rewarded him for his stalwartness and I trying to be the man that you need and want me to be.  But I am struggling and grasping at things here.  Please Lord talk to me.  Make my way clear and give me the grace, guidance and strength that I need to gain this comprehension.  I know that I am strong enough because you wouldn't have given me this burden if I wasn't. So I am asking you to have Mercy on Your child and grant me the wish of my heart.  A joyful and happy Thanksgiving.

AMEN