Monday, December 26, 2011

I Have a Face Now!!!

Hello everyone! Not only is my ebook 'Faith and Triumph' able to be reserved in advance, I also tentatively decided on a book cover! You can view my cover right below and tell me what you think.  You have access to me on twitter via!/Rickysnewbook or via my blog here at .  Here is my ebook cover:

Please feel free to give any advice or comments.  Leave your email address in the comments section so I can update you on the status of 'Faith and Triumph' and inform you of any new developments.  There is a scheduled release date of APRIL 27, 2012 so reserve your copy now!  There's an order form located in the right-hand margin of this page.  Thanks for stopping by!  Let me know if you enjoyed yourself.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapter 21...Errr I mean 1 ?!?!?

Once In A Lifetime...
I never knew that I would actually go to Paris, France let alone do what I am about to do today.  I had studied French culture and language in high school and had become very fluent.  But, as a wishful teenager, I never imagined this!  Here I stand on top of the Eiffel Tower with several close members of my family and friends waiting for the woman that won my heart.  Before we knew love, we had helped each other through every possible hardship and enjoyed a very fulfilling happiness that has enriched my life.  As everyone was seated and the bride-to-be gracefully glided down the aisle, the ceremony began.  She was wearing a beautifully designed dress that fit her and the occasion perfectly.  I just hope that she is wearing my favorite color panties and matching bra underneath to keep me "up" and ready for an all nighter.  Let's skip ahead to the good stuff...  "I am one of the luckiest men on this earth.  Although we found each other by unconventional means, we managed to form a strong friendship, that very patiently, turned into a lovely relationship.  I wasn't looking for, nor did I expect this to turn into this GREAT romance laced with compassion, trust, and complete admiration.  We have come a long way these past four years and still today, you are the most beautiful woman in the world, the one that I most want to talk to, and my true confidant.  I stand here now before family, friends, and, most importantly, GOD as your biggest crush, your bestest friend, and now your husband.  I love you baby!" I said.  As I stood there with nothing but love in my heart and tears forming in my eyes, I knew why we met that night.  She has turned out to be everything that I have ever needed and the best thing is that those strong feelings slowly crept up.  Before I knew it, I was in love with my best friend.  There was a pause as the whole crowd waited for a response.  Then, all at once, there was a loud BOOM!  The door flung open and there I lay in my bed.  All of that noise woke me up.  "Hello, we are here to help you sir," a paramedic spoke.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chapter 20

Who Wants It More....?
It was me versus their best in a winner-takes-all brawl to the finish.  When I moved to the right, he shadowed me to the left.  When I threw at his head, he threw at my feet.  The pressure was mounting and I enjoyed every single moment of it.  Then, I got the ball and decided to give it my all with one direct hit.  I threw it at him with all of my might.  At this point, I remember everything as if it was in slow motion.  BOOM! It hit him hard.  He clinched the ball to his chest with both hands.  All he had to do is maintain control and we would lose.  I could only watch so I stared him down.  The ball shifted positions and slid down his side.  Further, further, further until he could no longer grasp it.  The ball landed on the ground and all I heard was one great big roar.  Chants of Ricky, Ricky, Ricky...!  There I was, standing tall, proud, and full of excitement.  My team had crowned me as one of their leaders as we rejoiced in our victory.  I did it!  I did it!  Mom, Chad, and everybody; I did it!  That was one of my happiest and most defining victories in my life.  As a fourth grader that was the biggest battle of my life.  I had no idea what was to come...  I woke up like I did many times before when someone entered my room.  With all that was going on and all that was on my mind, I could never really get any good sleep.  On the rare occasions that I drifted off, I would always get interrupted.  "Good afternoon Ricky!" my physical therapist said.  "Huh?  Baby I won," I murmured.  "Ricky, it's me Carla.  Are you ready for therapy?" she asked.  "Oh, I'm sorry.  I think I was day dreaming or sleep or something.  Let me wake up.  I'm really sorry," I explained.  "No problem.  I know it must be rough for you," Carla said.  I sat up in bed to gather my thoughts and prepare mentally for a work out.  By this point, I could walk without a walker but I still needed to hold on to Carla's arm for support.  She had me do leg raises and leg band strengthening exercises.  "Oh man.  I never realized how weak my leg muscles had gotten," I told her.  There was an elastic band affixed to the rear leg on a chair with the other end attached to my corresponding ankle.  I couldn't even pull my leg all the way forward to tighten the band.  "It's okay.  You have been immobile for a good period of time.  You will get your strength back," she assured me.  I gotta get better because I wanna see my baby and hold her tightly in my arms and tell her how I feel...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chapter 19

Bunny bunny where art thou...?
All of the day to day stressers have started piling up; from worrying about having a warm meal to eat to being cold enough to shiver under the covers to not knowing if I will walk again to wanting to hold the woman that I love in my arms once and for all.  It has eaten away at me slowly but surely.  I remain as upbeat and as positive as I can.  I wish I could see my baby.  She has been there for me through many difficult situations and, no matter what, we kept it together.  Although I don't care for the turmoil nor the drama, it shows me that THIS is not one dimensional.  This can actually work!  I think she can feel when I really need her or think about her because of past occurrences.  There had been times when she has told me that she had a dream and either I had a similar dream or I called her the next day or something.  It's crazy! Talk about being in tune with someone.  We have never done the deed; however, we have had some really "interesting" video conversations.  Ah hem...  Anyway, I am in the hospital and I don't want to call her and say hey I'm in the hospital.  I'm really really sick and i can't walk.  And, oh yeah, I love you but I gotta go cause a nurse is gonna change my IV out.  That's not how I want it to go down.  Right about then my nurse knocked on the door.  "Hello Ricky! What's up?" she asked.  "Oh nothing much just partying and having a good time," I answered.  "I am here to bring your pills and to give you a shot," she explained.  "When is it gonna stop?  My stomach is sore from therapy and all the needles that y'all stick in me," I said.  "I know but look," she said as she tried to grab some fat on my stomach.  "What?" I asked.  "If you had some meat on you then it wouldn't hurt so bad," she said.  "Hey, I lost quite a bit of weight.  Besides, normally I have a flat stomach because I stay in shape," I responded.  She watched me swallow the 13 pills that I was given and then she gripped a needle, full of blood thinner, in her hand.  She raised it about six inches above my abs and then stuck me with one continuous stroke.  "Ouch!" I yelled.  That never feels good.  "Okay now I will be back after doing my rounds and I will bring you some ice and a sandwich.  Do you need anything else?" my nurse asked.  "Nope and thanks," I said.  When she left the room, my mind wandered and I thought about my bunny.  I had some dirty thoughts and I remembered all of the sexy conversations that we shared.  It really turned me on.  It had been a long time since I had that "feeling" and I thought about doing something about it.  However, there was no privacy.  Should I do it anyway?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chapter 18

Who's Missing You....?
As I lay here in bed, I am thinking of three things: What got me here? Where am I headed? and Who am I missing?  I don't have an answer for two out of the three right now; however, one I know for sure.  Who am I missing?  Where do I begin?  Unless you have had that euphoric feeling that smacks you in the face and makes you take notice; the one that stimulates your senses all with one harmonious AAHHH moment, then you might find it hard to understand.  I have a very unexpected crush on my best friend and I am just figuring it out.  I hope that I survive all of this so I can tell her and give her a long, passionate kiss that will rival those of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in that movie "The Notebook".  It is said that the endorphins produced by kissing are over 200 times more powerful than morphine.  Well...after we embrace, she is gonna be addicted to my lips!  Now back to reality...  There was a knock at the door.  "Hello Ricky! How are you feeling today?" asked doctor Stevens.  I was still day dreaming about her and it was reflected in my response.  "I am feeling great!" I replied.  I can't wait to tell her everything about how I feel and what she means to me.  "Ricky I stopped by today to tell you that the lab has concluded that your right lung has also been infected with TB.  Since you have been on medication, the good news is that it shouldn't spread.  Your body is getting slammed from all directions right now but we can fight this" the doctor told me.  I was so into my sweetie that I forgot about the possibility of never talking to her again.  We had an argument the last time we spoke and she has no idea that I am even in the hospital.  Nobody ever really wins in an argument and, most of the time, what you argue about is never as important as having the other person in your life.  Right now, nothing rings truer....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chapter 17

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other...
Losing the ability to walk was one of the hardest things that I ever had to swallow in my life.  There were several steps to getting back to where I was before TB took control.  First, I would have to kill all of the bacteria inside my body.  Then, repair all of the damage and get back to a healthy weight.  After that, I need to rebuild and strengthen my muscles.  Lastly, I will have to learn to walk again.  Whew!  That's a tall order but I know I can do it.  Since I have been taking medication for about a month now, the bacteria is well on it's way to being wiped out.  Getting back to my fighting weight and strengthening my muscles will be an ongoing journey.  Now walking on the other hand...  There was a knock at the door and it slowly opened.  "Hello Ricky, my name is Carla and I am gonna be one of your physical therapists.  So can you move your legs at all?" Carla asked.  "Hey Carla, I can't move them off the side of the bed without assistance but I can move them around a little," I said.  "Okay, no problem.  We are gonna come three times a week and see if we can't get you walking again.  I am gonna start you off with some leg exercises today and next time I will see what you can do with a walker," she said.  Damn a walker.  I never thought about that part of therapy.  Am I gonna be handicapped for the rest of my life?  "Okay, let's do it.  I will do whatever it takes to walk normally again," I said.  She adjusted the bed so I was laying flat and she moved all of the covers off of my legs.  She had me do individual leg raises.  My legs would shake uncontrollably because my muscles were  pretty weak. I did as much as I could. We continued with a couple more leg exercises until my muscles gave out.  Oh man, that was a good workout.  I can feel it in my abs and my thighs," I explained.  "That's good. I want you to do these on your own but don't over do it.  That's all we are gonna do today. Do you need anything today?" asked Carla.  "Nope I am good.  Thank you for a good session," I told her.  "You are welcome and don't worry cause this will be a process.  Don't expect too much too soon," she said.  After giving me a few more words of encouragement, she said bye and walked out of the door.  About that time, my nurse returned to give me my evening dose of pills.  "I'm back and i have your meds," the chocolate bandit said.  "Oh goodie.  How are things going out there?" I asked.  "It's pretty busy.  I think your night nurses will only have 10 patients to care for tonight," she added.  "Oh is that all?" I asked sarcastically.  "After you finish your pills, I have your blood thinner too," she said.  My blood thinner comes in the form of a shot until the levels are high enough in my blood for me to take the pill.  It came in a tiny needle; however, the shot had to be given in my stomach.  My body fat percentage was always low plus throw in the fact that I lost weight and ouch.  Right in the abs twice a day.  I felt like a pin cushion.  "Okay I am ready Lisa.  Please be gentle," I pleaded.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chapter 16

How Many Nurses Does It Take To...
While in ONLY a hospital gown and all sickly, I wasn't feeling my most attractive.  When it came to personal hygiene, I wasn't really on top of my game for a couple different reasons.  One being the fact that I just lacked the motivation to groom.  Another being the fact that I didn't have the energy to stand for very long so having a lot of comfortable mirror time was out of the question. 

As it turned out, there were quite a few nurses working at the hospital who were students at one of the local colleges.  I guess it was sort of like a residency program or something.  Either way, I didn't mind some of the scenery.  Like I said before, if you have to get some personalized health care, then it is definitely more pleasant coming from a woman.  Let's do the nurses shuffle....  "Hello Ricky!  My name is Tammy and I am gonna be one of your day time nurses.  I never worked with you but I heard about you," she said.  I was a little bit confused but okay maybe I heard it wrong.  She was a youthful looking, average sized black woman with a nice smile.  I could tell that I was getting better because I gave her the head-to-toe once over.  Let's just say baby's got back.  "Hello Tammy!" I said.  "Are you currently in any pain?" she asked.  "Nope not at all," I answered.  She proceeded to take my vital signs.  When the machine stopped she had a concerned look on her face.  "Now why is your heart rate so high?" the nurse asked.  "I don't know.  I haven't been moving around much," I responded.  She paused for a moment and had a big smile on her face.  "See you were supposed to say because I am near you," nurse Tammy said.  All I could do is laugh because she was right.  I would have never missed that opening if I was on top of my game.  "Yeah, I must be slippin," I replied.  "Okay well I am gonna go finish my rounds.  Do you need anything else?" Tammy asked.  "Yes I need some ice and some juice please," I told her.  She acknowledged what I said and continued straightening up the room.  "All right mister man I will be back with your stuff.  I wonder what you look like all shaved up?  Do you have your razor here?" she asked.  By this time, I had not shaved nor cut my hair for about a month and a half so it was pretty long.  "No I don't have it," I said.  "Hmm...just a thought.  Bye Ricky!" she said as she walked out the door.  Over the years, I had gotten used to a certain amount of attention so it felt good; almost normal.  I am gonna have fun with this.  I got to remember to ask my mom to bring my clippers up here the next time she comes for a visit.  Suddenly, there was a kncok at the door.  There was a very petit brunette wearing a hospital uniform; however, I could tell she wasn't a nurse.  She had a minimal amount of make up on and a very big smile.  "Hello Ricky Kendall?" she asked.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chapter 15

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo....
Along with the CAT scan, doctor Stevens wanted another chest x-ray.  I guess enough time had passed to see if the infection had started clearing up.  Before he told me that my right lung had quite a bit of infection.  Okay, let's see if all of these pills have been doing any good.  My room door swung open...  "I can't believe this.  I don't need this crap.  My mom is sick and I need this job," nurse Angela said.  Oh no, here we go; Miss congeniality.  "Good morning Angela! What's wrong?" I asked.  "Why don't they ever take these trays out before they leave?  They need to empty out this trash too," she added.  "I couldn't tell you," I said.  "You got to let them know Ricky," she insisted.  Again I am not on the payroll and, in an effort not to tell her off, I bit my tongue.  She continued running around the room , slowing down only to take my vitals.  And just like that, she was gone.  There was a knock at the door.  Two x-ray technicians were at the door.  Since I was in isolation, my doctor had them bring a machine to my room.  I thought it was pretty cool because I didn't want to be wheeled downstairs.  It took longer for them to fit the machine through the door than it did to take the x-ray.  Now, all I had to do is wait on the doctor.  The CAT scan showed that there was a blood clot in one lung but the ultrasound didn't show any more in my legs.  It's funny how things work out.  Again, had I been discharged,  I would not have known about the blood clot until it was too late.  ALWAYS trust your instincts!  I saw doctor Stevens through the window.  I wonder what the verdict is?  He entered the room.  "Hello Ricky. Are you in any pain?" he asked.  "Nope I don't have any pain; just the numbness in my feet and lower legs," I stated.  "Okay, I had a chance to look at your x-ray.  And... the original infection in your right lung appears to be clearing up; however, your left lung has a few spots now.  Do you think you will be able to cough up some phlegm?" he asked.  "Probably not because I haven't even coughed much this whole time," I told him.  "Scratch that.  I am gonna order another broncoscope so they can go into your left lung and take a tissue sample," he decided.  "Okay so now both lungs are infected?" I asked.  "Well, I wanna take a sample to see exactly what's going on in there," he explained.  At this rate, I am gonna have to spend my birthday and Thanksgiving in a hospital bed.  Who knows maybe even Christmas.  I can't wait until I can get around good enough that I don't have to depend on a nurse to use the bathroom.  Sometimes I sat on the pot for 30 minutes or more waiting on assistance.  My physical therapy starts tomorrow so I have my fingers crossed.  I can do this, I can do this...  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chapter 14

Here Comes The Chocolate Bandit....
This particular nurse was one of my favorites!  She was a younger white woman who had a pleasant disposition and a very feminine aura.  We would always chit chat a little more than I did with most nurses in a very innocent yet flirty way.  "Hello Ricky! Did you get a chance to talk to your mom last night?  I saw you knocked out when I left," she asked.  "Yeah we talked, as a matter of fact, I was gonna call her right now," I responded.  Nurse Lisa hooked me up to the machine and checked my vital signs.  When she finished, I immediately called my mom.  "Hello ma, how are you doing tonight?" I greeted her.  "Hello, I am doing just fine and how are you feeling?" she asked.  "Oh I am feeling pretty good considering," I said.  My nurse was within ear shot so she could hear what I said.  "Tell mom that I said hi," Lisa said.  "Hey ma, the "chocolate bandit" said hello," I told her.  Yes the chocolate bandit and no it's not what you might be thinking so get your mind out of the gutter.  There was one night that I was on the phone with my mom and Lisa was around.  Well, a peppermint patty commercial came on tv and I mentioned that I was craving some chocolate to my mom.  That night, I had fell asleep and then, I woke up with just enough time to see a shadowy figure leave my room.  When I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I noticed several pieces of chocolate on my table.  I found out the next night that Lisa had hooked me up; hence the name chocolate bandit.  "Ricky tell her that I said hello and how is she doing?" my mom replied.  "She said hi and she asked how are you?" I told Lisa.  "Thank you, I am doing fine," she shouted so my mom could hear.  "She is really nice! I like her," my mom said.  "Yeah she's nice but she's pretty sneaky too," I joked.  In the middle of my telephone conversation, my nurse left the room.  Like most nights, I continued talking to my mom until either the lab technician showed up or I couldn't hold my eyes open.  I woke up to....  "Hello Ricky!  Are you in any pain this morning?" Roy asked.  "Nope buddy.  Good morning and how are you?" I responded.  "I am doing great,"  he said.  "Cool stuff! So let me guess, you brought me my horse pill cocktail," I laughed.  "Yeah but on the bright side, breakfast is served too," he added.  The horse pill reference was an inside joke describing this huge potassium pill that I had to take daily.  Roy had to watch me swallow all of my pills and I would break that one in half.  The rough edges of it still kinda scraped my throat on the way down.  "Oh you are gonna love me today," Roy said.  "Oh no, what's the story?" I asked.  Roy put my pills and breakfast on the table and positioned it so all I had to do was sit up and I could eat.  "Well, you are scheduled for an ultrasound of your legs to check to see if there are any more blood clots.  That is gonna go down today," Roy said.  Good thing my breakfast was hot today because I needed a little feel good time. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chapter 13

Thank GOD For Miracles...
In the midst of the nurses shuffle, some stood out and some just blended in with the background.  One in particular was in the forefront because of her unique attitude.  She was an older black lady that was very petite in stature.  She wore eye glasses and had a permanent pissed off facial expression.  "Hello Mr. Kendall, my name is Angela and I am gonna be one of your nurses during the day this week," she informed me.  She had a stern look across her face.  "Why don't they empty the trash or clean up this floor before they left?" she asked.  Huh?  She was asking me as though I knew the answer or even cared for that matter.  "I have no idea," I said.  She proceeded to strap me up and insert a thermometer in my mouth for vitals.  "See I am not trying to get fired because of someone else's laziness," she stated.  "I couldn't tell you why," I explained.  She unhooked me from the machine, wrote something down, and then moved around the room like she was on roller skates.  "Next time tell them to take out the trash and clean up around here," she insisted.  I didn't say a word because I was shocked.  I was thinking... okay I will tell them just as soon as I get put on the payroll.  She left the room almost quicker than she had entered.  I had been awaiting the status of my discharge.  I wasn't ready to go because I still couldn't walk and I hadn't been on TB medication that long.  I saw my doctor creep up through the window in the door.  "Ricky I have your case manager looking into your living arrangement should I discharge you," doctor Stevens said.  "Alright.  Did you find anything out about my blood pressure?" I asked.  "Well, I am gonna send you downstairs for a CAT scan and I am gonna have a technician come here to give you another chest x-ray," he told me.  Man, I can't keep up: chest x-rays, MRI's, blood transfusions, broncoscopes, and now a CAT scan.  "Oh wow the hits keep coming eh doc?" I asked.  "Well, we think that you have a pulmonary embolism.  That is a blood clot in your lungs.  It would be really bad if it migrated towards your heart.  We can dissolve a blood clot by injecting you with blood thinner," he added.  What is going on? I take one step forward and then two steps back.  GOD is good!  If I would have been discharged last week, then I could have died due to a blood clot blocking circulation in my heart.  "Transport is gonna come up here in an hour or so to take you to your CAT scan and if there are no further questions, I will see you tomorrow," the doctor said.  I guess soon I will find out if I have a blood clot.  If so, I hope it doesn't get to my heart before it can be dissolved.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chapter 12

Getting Better Or Am I....
After my diagnosis, I felt a lot better about my situation.  At least I found out that recovery was a great likelihood.  There was talk that I would be discharged soon.  What?  It seemed to me as though I wasn't ready.  I was told that I would be discharged and would have to stay with a relative or friend.  I would also be isolated and unable to leave that residence unless in emergency.  Furthermore, I or whomever I lived with would have to don a facial mask to protect them from the harmful TB bacteria.  Great!  A prisoner in my own home.  Oh yeah, and here's the kicker, a nurse would have to come by everyday to watch me take my medication.  There was a knock at my room door...  "Hello Ricky.  How are you doing today?" said doctor Stevens.  "Hello and good morning," I said.  "It looks like we will be discharging you pretty soon.  Do you have anywhere to go?" he asked.  Crap, I didn't want to put anyone out by disrupting their lives with my needy ass.  "Umm I guess I could stay with my mom; however, she is getting older so I don't really want to expose her to all of this," I stated.  The truth is, I did have two sisters and one brother that lived in the area but I didn't think that anybody would want to live life as though they were in isolation.  I was trying to down play my mom as an option in hopes the doctor would decide to let me stay until I fully recovered.  "I see.  And you came from overseas right so you don't have to place of your own correct?" the doctor asked.  "Nope so I don't really have anywhere to go," I explained.  "I am gonna have a nurse take your vitals.  Also, I am gonna check with the Health Department.  I will come by tomorrow and update your discharge status," doctor Stevens told me.  "Okay," I said.  Doctor Stevens left the room and, shortly after, my nurse entered the room.  "Hey there Rick!  I am gonna take your vitals and then I will be right back with your meds," nurse Roy said.  "Alright man and could you bring me some juice and ice?" I asked.  "Sure thing," he said.  He strapped me up, inserted a thermometer in my mouth, and turned on the machine.  He had a worried look upon his face.  "Ah that's not good.  Tell me Rick, do you feel fine?"  Roy asked.  "I feel pretty good; no worse than yesterday," I answered.  "Well your blood pressure is really low and you are running a fever.  Let me check it again to make sure," he said.  He started the machine back up and the results were the same.  "I have to go tell the doctor about this.  I will be right back," the nurse said.  I wonder what's wrong now?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chapter 11

Who's The Man...
Even though I knew that there were male nurses, it still was a little surprising when a guy showed up at my door.  "Hey what's up man?" the male nurse said.  He walked in the door and it was different seeing a goatee peeking out of the bottom of the facial mask.  Hmm, let's see how this goes.  "Good morning man," I said.  "My name is Ron and I will be your nurse this morning.  My assistant should be by soon to check your vitals.  Are you in pain right now or anything new going on?" Ron asked.  "Nope I am not in any pain.  I was talking to my mom on the phone last night and I got a shortness of breath," I explained.  "Okay I will make sure I leave a note for your doctor.  Now do you have any chest pains?" the nurse asked.  "No Ron I don't have any chest pains.  I do still have some tingling in my lower legs and feet,"  I told him.  He removed the covers from my legs and checked for a pulse in my feet.  He shook his head yes as if to say it was good.  "Hey can you do me a favor and sit up so I can listen to your chest?" he asked.  I sat up and he put his stethoscope against my back and had me take some deep breaths as he listened.  He repeated this on my chest.  "It sounds good; however, I can tell that your right lung is not filling up to its capacity.  That's because your right one has the most infection," Ron said.  We talked about where we were from, what our favorite sports teams were, and how long we were at the hospital.  "Why do you still have this catheter in?  Do you think you would be able to make it to the pot to pee?"  Ron asked.  Now I have a million and one things to think about daily so why add one more?  Although having this tube in my pee hole is not progressing in the right direction, I had gotten comfortable not worrying about trying to make it to use the bathroom.  I didn't appreciate this new guy trying to shake things up.  "Yeah I am gonna recommend to your doctor that I remove it," he said.  No sleep, it's cold as fuck, I can't walk, I have to fight to get barely warm food, and nurse John Wayne here thinks he can just disrupt shit.  What an asshole!  "Cool," I uttered.  "Okay well I am gonna be back with your morning pills and see if I can take this thing out so you can start becoming more independent," he gloated.  Yeah fuck you pal!  If you hadn't noticed I am becoming a little bitter.  Not only that but OUCH!!!  I hate to stereotype, but guys aren't known for being delicate and graceful.  As he turned to leave my room, I had to ask...  "Hey Ron, are you ex-military?" I asked.  "Yes I am.  I was in the U.S. Air Force for 15 years," he replied.  Ha, I knew it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chapter 10

The Apple Fell From The Tree...
I have traveled all over the United States from Tennessee, to Texas, to Nevada, to California, to Colorado, to Louisiana, to Virginia, to my home state North Carolina.  I have spent at least 2 weeks in each state.  After I joined the U.S. Air Force, I also went overseas to South Korea and Japan.  Well, while I was out and about, I didn't keep in touch with my family as much as I could've.  We all get lost in the rat race and our daily lives.  I took this time to repair and build a better relationship with my mom. I called her on the phone.  "Hello Ma? How are you feeling today?" I asked.  "Oh, I am doing fine.  How are you feeling today?" she asked.  "I am doing alright, but I still didn't get any sleep.  The doctor said that I have tuberculosis and pneumonia.  Ma, when you come up here, they are gonna have you wear a mask and gown to cover your clothes," I told her.  "Well, they can cure it right?" she asked.  "Yeah, I have at least 6 months of medication and they are gonna have a physical therapist come help me with walking," I explained.  I continued to tell her everything that the doctors told me.  I told her about all my discomforts and how I was progressing.  I know my mom is getting older and a day will come when I have to bury her.  All of my life I had been independent and kept personal stuff, like girlfriends and such to myself, so I decided to spill it.  "Okay Ma, I know that I have always been running around outside and we never talked about a lot of things so I am gonna tell you whatever you would like to know about.  What have you always wondered about?" I asked.  "Umm Ricky I don't know," she replied.  "Anything Ma.  I know there's something you've always wanted to me and girls.  I never really brought my girlfriends around so I am sure you are curious.  Well, when I was little I was really shy.  If I knew a girl liked me, then I couldn't face her.  I didn't know what to say.  I thought that there was something magical that I needed to know outside off the everyday conversation.  There were girls that liked me, but I was too shy.  I remember, in the third grade, there was this new girl that liked me and she wrote a note and had her friend give it to me.  I read it and found out that she liked me.  She was a good looking girl, but I just ignored her because I didn't know what to do.  Of course she thought I didn't like her and I felt bad.  Then, after high school, I got a job at McDonald's and all that changed.  I worked around a lot of women.  One woman told me that a lot of girls liked me.  She said that they were afraid to approach me because they were intimidated.  They thought I wanted a more educated and sophisticated woman by the way I carried myself.  I took that knowledge and ran with it.  It was interesting to see how others viewed me.  She was right," I laughed.  "Go ahead, continue," my mom said.  "Work was fun after that.  I started flirting my butt off and I was able to talk to any woman.  All I had to do was continue being myself and women liked me.  So I have had no problems with the ladies.  When I think about it there has always been attractive women that wanted to talk to me.  Working there built up my confidence and stroked my ego.  Although it didn't make me egotistical.  I know that I have been blessed," I said.  "Ricky I didn't think you had a problem in that department.  When you were gone, I figured you were always running around with some girl," she said.  We talked for hours that day.  I told her some of my girl stories, about me and alcohol, about my divorce, and I even asked her some questions.  I was thankful for the opportunity to bond with my mom and realize the importance of keeping in touch.  Even though, it took this awful event to make me see.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chapter 9

Yum Yum Gimme Sum...
Now back to the subject of hospital food...  I have always been an eater, but managed to stay lean.  I have been a good athlete all my life so I guess I started off right.  Needless to say, I enjoy a hearty meal.  I like healthy portions cause I have no caloric consequences whatsoever.  After dreading to see what the hospital had to eat, the day came when I would find out firsthand.  "Hey Ricky! Wake up; they dropped off your breakfast," the nurse said while tapping on my leg.  "Huh? Okay give me a second," I grumbled.  That's one more of those instances where, as soon as I am getting good sleep, someone wakes me up.  "I must have passed out after the lab technician woke me up at 3 am," I stated.  Now because I was isolated, the person who brought my food up, would leave it outside of my room door.  Everybody else would don a mask and come in , but the cafeteria people were too good.  This sucked for two reasons.  First, I couldn't walk so I definitely couldn't open the door and get my food. Secondly, I had to hope a nurse came by to bring it in before it got cold.  This is for every meal, everyday.  I raised up the back of my bed so I was sitting upright.  The nurse pushed my food in front of me so I could reach the tray.  I took the cover off of the plate.  "Thank you and could you please bring me some ice," I asked.  "Of course sweetie.  I will be right back after I do my rounds with your pills and some ice," she said.  "Okay," I said.  "Enjoy your breakfast," she said as she left the room.  Let's see what we have here: scrambled eggs, bacon strips, grits, cereal with milk, and a cinnamon biscuit.  Not bad; it looks good, but I could use some more eggs and grits.  I inhaled all of that and wanted more.  It was a good sign that I didn't lose my appetite.  The cinnamon biscuit was really yummy.  Alright breakfast gets my seal of approval, but bigger portions would be nice.  I wonder what lunch is gonna be like?  I started flipping through the channels on tv and it was the same ole crap.  My feet were jammed up against the foot board of the bed.  You gotta be kidding me!  They have got to have beds for us six footers.  It looked like they gave me a kiddie bed.  What am I gonna do with my time?  I don't have my Ipod nor my lappy.  As soon as I was thinking that, a chilling cold air settled in the room.  Time to wrap up and shiver.  What the heck is up with the thermostat?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chapter 8

Rub a dub dub, Ricky's in a tub...
"Mr. Kendall?" asked the transport guy.  "Yes I am," I answered.  "I am here to take you to get an MRI," He said.  He proceeded to help me out of my bed.  I grabbed his arm for support and slowly made my way over to the stretcher he brought.  "Here, whenever you go out, you have to put this on." he insisted.  He handed me a mask that covered up my mouth and nose.  "This is so you are protected from any harmful bacteria and to protect other people from TB bacteria," he explained.  "Okay," I responded.  Since my lungs couldn't fully expand, it was a little hard to breath with the mask on.  In my room I didn't have to wear one but everybody else did.  Now I see how they felt.  He rolled me down to the elevator and we were on our way.  It was weird being outside of my room.  I was trapped in there 24/7 and it didn't help that I couldn't walk.  When we entered the room, I saw two technicians and what looked to me like a tomb.  "Hello Mr. Kendall, we are gonna do an MRI of your body today.  I am gonna need you to lay flat and still until the test is completed.  You will hear beeps and other loud noises throughout the test.  Are you ready?" the technician asked.  "Yes but I have a question," I said.  "Shoot," she said.  "Exactly how long is the test?" I asked.  "The test is normally about 30 minutes but your doctor wants an extensive checkout so it will be about an hour or so," she said.  What?  She must be joking.  "Um an hour like 60 minutes?" I asked.  "Yes sir and you must remain completely still because if you don't, we will have to start all over," the technician explained.  I laid down on the platform and was rolled into the MRI machine.  It was a tunnel with barely enough room for me and the platform to fit.  The top of it was about six inches from my face so it was very close quarters.  I wasn't claustrophobic but this would test just about anybody.  I could hear beeps and voices and whistles; random noises.  My mind was playing tricks on me.  It was kinda stuffy in there so I prayed to God that I didn't start to sweat cause I couldn't move to wipe my face.  If I did, then I would have to start the hour all over again.  I began repeating my favorite Bible verse to calm myself.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life," I recited. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chapter 7

Drum roll please...
It was finally the day that I am to find out 100% what's wrong with me.  The most probable thing is TB and I had already started the medication for that plus I have pneumonia.  I have come to terms with the fact that I most likely have TB so I hope that I don't get thrown a curve ball.  All of a sudden they started shuffling nurses in and out.  I almost couldn't keep up with the names.  "Hello Ricky!" the nurse said.  When I turned my head to take a look, I saw a big and tall woman.  She was not big as in pleasantly plump; she was big as in amazonish.  "Hello how are you?" I asked.  "I am doin fine suga.  I am gonna be your day time nurse for the meantime and in-between time.  My name is Lucille and I am from Georgia,"  she replied.  "Well hey Lucille what do I have to do today?" I asked.  "Have you been feelin okay?" Lucille asked.  "Yes I have been okay considering," I replied.  "Oh, whats going on today is the doctor is coming by this morning," she explained.  "Alright and that's it?" I inquired.  "Nope you know that you couldn't get that lucky in here.  You are gonna do an MRI today.  Someone will drop by and shoot ya down there in a little," she told me.  I had no idea what an MRI was so I just kept quiet.  She took my vitals and then straightened up the room a bit.  "Do you need any juice or water and how about some ice?" the nurse asked.  "I will take all of the above please," I said.  "Okay i will be back in a jiffy," Lucille said.  As she was leaving out of the room, I thought of a secret nickname for her; Big Country.  Doctor Stevens was waiting to come in as my nurse left.  "Good morning Ricky.  Your sputum sample results came back from the lab.  After reviewing the results, I have determined that you do in fact have tuberculosis.  You have been on the medications for about a month now so, in the best case scenario, you have 5 more months of medication.  In the worst case, you have 8 more.  Either way it is totally curable.  We are gonna continue to treat your pneumonia with the antibiotics and fluids.  Do you have any questions for me?" the doctor asked.  "No not right now," I said.  "We are still waiting on the results of 1 sample so we can figure out which pill will be the most effective against the bacteria.  It could take 2 more weeks but I will let you know when I get it," he said.  The doctor took a look at my feet and checked for a pulse.  "I will be by tomorrow.  Try to get some rest," he stated as he walked out the door.  I was so tired of taking pills but, i know in order to get better, I had to do it.  I would get about 8 pills in the morning.  About noon, I would get 13 and the most of them were for TB.  Then, during the night, I would get about 4.  This was my everyday regimen.  Suddenly, I heard a knock at the door...  "Hello Mr. Kendall. I am here to take you to get your MRI," the transport guy said.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More of Chapter 6

Knock knock knock...
"Come in please," I said. The door opened.  I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own two light browns.  What a sight for sore eyes? You have to understand where I am coming from at this moment.  This is a person that was like a little brother to me.  This is a person that swore to never grace this city with his presence again.  This was one of my very special nephews.  "Hello Ricky, I hear that you are kinda sick," J said.  "I don't believe it! I don't fuckin believe it!" I said.  "I know. When I found out about you, something told me that I should be here so here I am," J added.  "Thank you so much man.  This really means a lot to me," I explained.  We went on reminiscing and laughing.  Some of the funniest moments in my life happened with this guy.  I met him when he was about 5; an awkward yet very smart little kid.  I'd like to think that because of the time that he spent with me, he became more athletic and confident.  He was now a man of whom I was very proud.  "Remember the time that you and your mom were dropping me off after I spent the summer with you?  We still had some fireworks from the 4th of July and we decided to take them to the movies.  We got the bright idea to light one and I was gonna drop it and kick it under the seats," I added.  As we both broke out into laughter... "Yeah who would have thought that when you kicked it, it would have hit the back of someones feet in front of you?" J asked.  "POP...was all i heard.  It seemed like the movie stopped.  Everything was quiet except a baby was crying," I said.  There were four people back where a witness said they saw it come from and of course, when we were ushered out, we looked guilty as heck.  The other two people got to enjoy the rest of the movie and our parents were called.  The theater manager actually said that we were banned for LIFE.  COOL!  The laughing continued.  "Man we had some good times," I reflected.  We clowned and laughed for several more hours.  "J I just want to tell you that I always thought of you as a little brother," I spoke.  We both tried in vain to hold back the tears but we couldn't.  J said while a single tear crawled down his face , " You are gonna make it through Ricky.  I gotta go but I will be back again before I leave town."  "Thank you man!  I love you," I said.  As he walked out of the door, he turned and mouthed the words I love you too.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chapter 6

Keeping a positive attitude was a lot easier than I thought.  When I have a problem, I look at it like it's out of my control so I better make the most of it.  Freaking out will only delay me from finding a positive solution.  I take pride in my always cool under pressure persona.  Even under such pressure and stress, I have maintained my composure and a certain aloofness.  I was so proud of myself!  Can I maintain this positive outlook and attitude?  Now if I could only make my body catch up to my spirit...  "Hello Ricky, how are you feeling today sir?" the doctor asked.  "I am feeling alright but there is a tingling sensation in my feet.  Almost like a numbing sort of feeling," I stated.  "Hmm is that so?  After studying your blood work results, I believe that this is due to the fact that the zinc levels in your blood are high. This is in part due to the medication prescribed," doctor Stevens explained.  "So it's a side effect of the pills?" I asked.  He pulled the covers off of my feet and lower legs and before he could say the words...  "Ouch!" I yelled.  "Did you feel that?  Yeah, I guess so.  You definitely have feeling in your legs and I could feel a pulse in your feet so that's a very good sign," the doctor insisted.  "That was a little painful doc," I said.  "I will  monitor this just to be safe.  I want you to try and cough up some phlegm for me so we can send it to the lab.  This is gonna tell us which pill you should take and confirm that you have TB.  Do you cough at all?" doctor Stevens asked.  "No sir, I haven't really coughed this whole time and, when I do, nothing comes up," I told him.  "We might have to perform a procedure called a bronchoscope where the doctor will go into your lungs with a tube and take a tissue sample for testing.  But, let's see if you can cough something up first," he said.  "Okay I will try my best," I said.  "Good.  I will come by tomorrow and check up on you Ricky.  Eat everything that comes your way and try to get as much sleep as you can," he said.  He left the room and I could see him talking to my nurse through the window.  A lot of different things were racing through my mind.  Above all else, I had to get better and get out of this bed.  Nurse Paula walked in all bright-eyed and smiling.  "Hey hun, I think they are gonna move you out of here today," she said.  "Oh yeah? Where am I going?" I asked.  "They are moving you upstairs to a regular room.  You still will be isolated but you won't be under as much scrutiny'" she added.  Alright I just got used to the nurses in the ICU and now I will have a totally different team helping me.  It's a good thing that I am progressing but...  At that moment, there was a knock at the door.  "Ricky you have a visitor," nurse Lisa said.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chapter 5

To rest or not to rest...
People always assume that since you are laying in a hospital bed for the greater part of the day, that you must be well rested.  Well, I am here to tell you that ain't true.  There have been so many sleepless nights and so many different reasons why.
     Let's start with the climate control of the room.  There was none!  Here it is at the end of fall, and I can't turn on the heat.  Yes, there was a thermostat but, for some odd reason, it didn't control the temperature.  Even weirder, it would automatically go from cold to hot and hot to cold at a whim.  In the middle of the day, cold air would blow out of the vent.  It was cold enough for me to stay wrapped up in my blanket.  When my food was brought in, I didn't even want to take my arms out of the covers.  Then, a few hours later, it would change to a normal room temperature.  So I would shed a couple of blankets and enjoy it.  This is the time of day that felt good.  Gradually the temperature would go back to cold.  "Hello nurse will you please turn the thermometer up so the heat will come on?" I asked.  "Sure thing Ricky," she said.  "It was already on 85.  Hmm, that's strange.  Well, it should come on soon.  Do you need another blanket?" she asked.  "No, I will wait to see what happens," I said reluctantly.  If I got any more blankets, then I wouldn't be able to move my legs because of the weight.  During the rare occasions when I did sleep for a couple of hours at night, I would wake up sweating my butt off because it was so warm.  By the time I finally cooled off, it would go back to cold again.  This was a continuous cycle throughout the day.
     Another reason for my chronic lack of sleep was the fact that the lab technicians would come by at all hours of the day and night.  My circulatory system was a mess.  My blood composition was all screwed up.  Some levels were low and some levels were high.  My doctor ordered daily tests of my blood so a lab tech would come up and draw blood during the day.  Then, in the early morning hours, a lab tech would come in and draw more blood.  Sometimes they would catch me running on fumes and about to pass out.  Sometimes they would wake me up.  Oh what fun!
     Although I didn't have to worry about urinating because I had a catheter, I still had to use the pot for other things.  There's no worse feeling than not being comfortable sleeping through the night because you don't know if you'll make it to the bathroom.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chapter 4

As long as I can remember, I have been told about how bad hospital food was.  So I did expect the worst.  By the time that I was admitted to the hospital, it was several hours since I had anything to eat.  So as soon as I got settled in, I was hoping to get some food.  My night time nurse was a youthful and pleasant looking woman.  From her appearance, I got the impression that she was pretty new and probably married.  Not that I was looking to hook up in my condition, it was just an observation.  The nurse walked in with a bright smile on her face.  "Hello Ricky, good evening sweetie! My name is Lisa and I am gonna be your nurse tonight," she said.  "Hello, how are you doing tonight?" I asked.  "Just fine, thanks for asking. Are you in any pain?" she replied.  "No pain but I am kinda hungry.  Is there any way I can get something to eat?" I responded.  She hesitated for a moment as if she was thinking of a delicate way to tell me no.  "Dinner has already been served; however, there are still some sandwiches available for after hours.  Let me check and I will bring you what we have down there," Lisa explained.  "Okay that will be fine.  I just hadn't eaten anything since lunch," I said.  "No problem hun.  Do you want some water or juice?" the nurse asked.  "I would like both and some ice please," I added.  "You got it just let me take your vitals and I will be right back with your food," she disclosed.  I nodded yes and she proceeded to take my blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.  "Looks good! I will be back shortly," she chimed.  She recorded it all down on a piece of paper and then left the room.  I was pretty spoiled with the one-on-one attention in the ICU.  It didn't take her too long to return with a ham and cheese hoagie, apple sauce cup, water, a bucket of ice, and several little juice cups.  She placed it all on the table next to my bed and rolled it into place.  The table was positioned so that it hovered over my bed.  All I had to do is sit up and chow down.  I don't know if I was just hungry or if it really tasted that good but I inhaled it in a matter of minutes.  The jury is still out on whether or not the food will be decent. After all it was only a sandwich.  I'll have to see what breakfast is like in the morning.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chapter 3

After hearing these words, I lay there as if I was paralyzed.  "The doctor is coming by today to talk to you about your test results," nurse Paula stated.  I felt ambivalent about the news.  On one hand, I did want to know exactly what was wrong with me and if I could fully recover.  On the other hand, I feared the possibility of hearing that I had something incurable or terminal.  I mean, after all, it was serious enough to stop me from walking.  I put my faith in God and prayed for a speedy recovery.  Other than the ominous news that I received, the day was like all of the days before it.  They pumped me with fluids around the clock because I was dehydrated when I was admitted.  But guess what, I had to pee around the clock too.  I was not in full control of my bodily functions so this wasn't cool! It used to be that any time I had to pee, I had to push the call button to get my nurse.  Today, I got more good news!  I found out the hospitals answer to peeing your pants; a catheter.  "You're gonna put what where?" I asked.  It seemed as though the pain would be unbearable.  Inserting a catheter is when they stick a flexible plastic tube in my pee hole to catch all of my urine and it empties out into a plastic container.  It's good because now I wouldn't be worried about having an accident but the thought of it made me cringe.  "I'll be back later today to insert your catheter sir," the nurse said.  "Oh I can't wait," I joked.  Paula left and I drifted off to sleep.  Minutes later, there was a knock at the door.  "Hello Mr. Kendall," the doctor said.  I slowly opened my eyes and saw the door being pushed open.  The doctor came in wearing a surgical type mask.  "Good morning," I spoke.  He added, "Hello sir, my name is doctor Stevens and I have some good news and some bad news.  But first, are you in any pain?"  I lay with a blank expression on my face.  "Sorry did I wake you up Ricky?" he asked.  "Yeah, I just passed out but don't worry, everybody wakes me up," I explained.  "I bet you are wondering why I am wearing a mask huh? Well, after receiving all of the initial test results and looking at your chest x-ray, I have come to the conclusion that you have most likely contracted tuberculosis," doctor Stevens said.  "I have got TB?" I asked in disbelief.  Doctor Stevens continued, "That is what I strongly believe.  To be 100% sure, we are gonna have to take some samples of your phlegm and this will also help me determine exactly which medication will be the most effective.  I will start you on all three pills immediately until we get the lab results back.  Everyone that comes into your room now has to protect themselves from the harmful bacteria in your lungs by wearing a mask and plastic jacket.  Please don't be offended."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Of Chapter 2

One of the scariest and most humiliating things that came out of my hospital stay was the fact that I did not have total control of my bodily functions.  It did not help that I lost the use of my legs.  I felt so helpless and embarrassed to have to ask for help to use the bathroom.  The nurse would have to bring me a bed pan.  It was a very unpleasant experience.  The bed pan was a hard plastic little cup just big enough to surround my business area.  It was raised so when it was put underneath my butt, and I rested on it, the plastic seemed like it was digging into my skin.  I had to call for a nurse to take it when I was done.  The most unnerving part of the exchange was when I had to have her wipe my butt.  I just wanted to die!  That was the most vulnerable that I had ever been in my life.  At this stage, I hadn't been diagnosed so I was left to wonder. I felt alone and ashamed.  I knew it wasn't my fault yet I couldn't control where my mind took it.  Nurse Paula came in as she always did with a big smile and friendly face.  "The doctor wants you to go get a chest x-ray today," she announced.  I had a puzzled look on my face.  "Am I going to go in a wheel chair?," I asked.  "Nope, you are gonna be wheeled down there on a stretcher and they are gonna bring you back when you are done," she explained.  "Alright then let's do it," I replied.  A guy from the transport section came and they moved me over to the stretcher he brought with him.  Just like that, I was off.  When I arrived at the x-ray room, I noticed that it was quite chilly so I pulled the blankets over me.  I had to wait on the technician so I was just laying there.  The guy that brought me told them to call him when I was ready and then he left the room.  I started to get that dreaded sensation so I called out for assistance.  "I need to go pee!," I screamed.  It took a while for someone to come out of the booth.  "What was that?," the technician asked.  "Do you have a cup or jar that I can pee in because I can't hold it?," I asked urgently.  "Let me check," she said.  "Please hurry," I pleaded.  As soon as she went to look, it was too late.  Ah man, I just pissed my pants.  How humiliating!  All I could do is wish that I was somewhere else and hope that I could go run and hide.  I am gonna have to tell this woman that I pissed my pants.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chapter 2

     Now the head nurse in the Intensive Care Unit or ICU was an older woman that was more of the motherly type.  I could tell that she enjoyed her job or, at the very least, she was well suited for nursing.  As I lay there immobile, I was scared because I had no idea what was wrong with me and angry because I wanted to know why did this happen to me?  I can't move my legs that means that I can't go to the bathroom, I can't brush my teeth at the sink, I can't walk, I can't run, and I can't cook.  Whew!  This is so depressing especially considering the fact that sports have been a big part of my life since elementary school.  And if that wasn't enough stress, if I survived all of this, then I would have to find a new job and start all over again.  What's to come of my life?
     "Hi, my name is Paula and I will be your primary nurse during the day time," she said.  She walked over to my bedside. "Please lift your right arm so I can check your blood pressure and record the rest of your vital signs," she explained.  I lifted my arm and she wrapped a velcro strap around my right bicep.  "Now you can lay your arm down and please stay still," nurse Paula said.  "Open wide and lift your tongue," she directed.  Next she inserted a thermometer, made of hard plastic, under my tongue.  "I am gonna take your temperature and, while I do that, hold a finger straight out," the nurse said.  Paula attached a clip like device on my fingertip.  "This is to check your pulse and heart rate," she told.  "Okay," I uttered.  She pressed a button and after a series of beeps and high pitched tones, it was all over.  I would go through this about six times a day for the next...however long that I am here.  Nurse Paula unstrapped, unhooked, and unfastened everything so I could finally try to settle in and get some sleep.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Of Chapter 1

....."What is your name?," said a paramedic.  Everything was a blur as I lay, stunned in the back of an ambulance.  I couldn't move my legs; although, I did have some feeling in them.  "My name is Ricky Kendall," I muttered.  All I could think is how did I let it go this far?  "This might hurt a little," said another paramedic.  She grabbed my arm and it felt like a bee had stung me.  I grimaced as the IV was inserted into my arm.  "What day is it?," asked the paramedic.  It took a minute for me to come up with the answer because that was the least of my worries at this point. "Wednesday," I said, "I think it's Wednesday."  As I laid there and looked around, all I saw were smiling faces.  All I heard were words of encouragement.  "Don't worry, you are gonna be fine," explained the paramedic.  I had never been to the hospital or anything more than a routine physical so I was anxious, nervous, and scared all at the same time.  I was wearing my favorite Carolina Panther's t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans because I left with only the clothes on my back.  "Do you feel any pain?," I heard.  "No, no pain," I spoke.  I started to feel cold.  It was around that point that I was covered with a blanket.  Different questions were running through my mind.  What is wrong with me? Will I ever be able to walk again?  Is it gonna require major surgery?  It was only just the beginning of my journey.  When we arrived at the hospital, I felt the cold air rush in as the back doors opened.  "Hold on sir, you might feel a little bump," I was told.  Bump! Bump!  There was a tingling sort of pain because my body lifted off of the stretcher with every single bump.  I had a sore on my backside from being immobile for a couple of weeks.  I was rolled into the emergency room or ER hallway and lifted onto a slightly more comfortable hospital stretcher.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chapter 1

     What do you do when things are spinning out of control?  NOTHING! Just like I did.  Things weren't always like this; I wasn't always in this condition.  Luckily for me, and with God looking over me, 911 was called because in a few days, I might have been dead.  I wish I would have known what laid ahead of me.  Maybe I would have been able to prepare myself mentally and physically.  Never take things for granted.  Not that I did but it's a good rule to live by.  We can always make the right calls when we are on the outside looking in.  It becomes a lot more difficult to be rational when our own emotions get in the way.  Every tragic event that happens in life teaches us just how strong we really are.  Had things been easy for me in life, then I would not have known how to survive.