Posted in Memories

Getting to know me (why not?)

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Some things about me… I recently answered a series of questions from another blogger. Here are some highlights……

I work in the mail room at a horticultural company for my day job. I am also a blogger and writer. A music appreciator, a concertgoer and an all-around nice guy. I am a socializer too.

I love my wife and three wonderful nieces. I love my family and many coworkers I consider friends.

I don’t think I have enough money but I don’t need a lot more. I take advantage of discounts and Groupons when necessary. I try to live a frugal and thrifty life when possible.  I live within my means.

Yes I am healthy. Sure I tend to eat junk food like pizza and chocolate sometimes and too much coffee but for the most part I do work out and am mindful of what I do daily. It’s all about mindfulness.

I believe I am a good person because I treat people the way I wish to be treated. I have received feedback from my wife and friends that I am good so it’s got to be real.

So I’m 39 going on 40 yet I do feel like a teenager still.

My best friend is Denielle, my wife. I can’t imagine my life without her.

My dream has always been to travel all over the world, take pictures and meet people.

I do laugh every day, sometimes more than others but I tend to make other people laugh more so. That’s something to think about.

A lot of things make me smile. I get amusing thoughts in my head which eventually lead to laughter. But I do tend to smile first. I mostly smile when I meet and greet people because smiles are contagious.

Someone who I am trying to avoid right now? This person is very overwhelming and controlling. I always have to look over my shoulder and watch what I say when confronting this person.

I live just outside of Chicago Illinois.

The word “strong” is tricky because I think I’m physically strong or at least strong enough to do what I need to do to survive. But I don’t think I am the kind of person who has a strong conviction. I have a hard time admitting to failure and owning up to my mistakes.

Moving out of my moms house was an important decision in my life.  My independence was long overdue and luckily I met my future wife and she gave me a reason to do so. I often think about what would’ve happened if I never left home or met my wife that things could’ve ended up disastrous.

The stupidest thing I ever did was smoke pot in my car with a friend and get arrested and put in jail. Then my dad bailed me out. Oops. That was 17 years ago. Otherwise I feel a close second place was when I dropped out of college recently because I used my brain surgery as an excuse to stop going.

I think I like myself and at times I can love some things that I do. But I really don’t look in the mirror and say to myself “boy I love you.”

My biggest fear is being alone with nobody or the ones I love suffer from Alzheimer’s  and there’s nothing I can do for them.

Currently my favorite expression is Hee Haw

I cried the other day I don’t remember why but I cry more than the usual guy.

If we inherited a small sum of money I can pay off all of our major debts that are not reoccurring payments then I feel like we can save up for bigger and better things and take more vacations.

Worse thing that could happen right now? Lose my wife lose my job lose the house.

More random facts:

I am a published writer.

Music is one of my many passions….i just love music!

I have a tendency to crack my knuckles.

I met my wife (Denielle) over 8 years ago through eharmony…….and i am very happy i did so! i love her very much!

I am a roller coaster enthusiast!

I am obsessed with facts about musicians, actors, directors, and strange historical figures like who the worst novelist that ever lived is.

I hope to improve my living financially and find freelance opportunities writing for something.

I enjoy going to concerts. i’ve been to so many. my first one was a pink floyd concert with my dad at soldier field. that day solidified my father’s coolness.

traveling is another passion of mine: been all around America except west. i hope to travel to California someday. however south dakota was perhaps the most fascinating trip i’ve been on

i tend to not capitalize the letter”i”

i graduated from marmion military academy.

i love my mother and sister…they are two of the most wonderful women in the world who have always given very sound advice.

i drink coffee with sugar and cream and i drink tazo hot tea

i collect comic books, cd’s, dvd’s, and vinyl records!

my favorite artist is salvador dali

i took dancing lessons several times and danced the waltz at our wedding and i was on television on new years eve 2008 at williowbrook ballroom

i taught confirmation classes at church (8th and 9th graders can be a real handful) ahhhh! but it was worth it!

i workout to yoga and pilates 3-4 times a week (namaste)

i was an expert shooter with an m-16 rifle

my favorite video game is Mortal Kombat

i rode my bike 100 miles last summer in dekalb, illinois to support MS

i have read my poetry in public in parks and at bars and gave a speech at my hometown library

“i am the lizard king…. i can do anything”….my favorite quote (jim morrison)

I survived brain surgery and got married in the same year

that’s all for now

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Posted in Therapy

My Miracle Mom

I apologize in advance if I am getting my facts mixed up. This is how I remember the day my mother nearly met her fate.

10 years ago today on December 31st 2003, my mom was rapidly breathing in her bedroom. I asked her if she was okay, as we were both getting ready for work. Her answer didn’t indicate that it was serious but rather she was feeling a little weak, tired and under the weather. Although, she did have to lean on me when walking down the hallway. I admit that this was a little bit unusual but I simply just had my breakfast, made sure she took cold medicine or whatever and kissed her goodbye, hoping that she had a good day at work and to drive safely. I try to not to overreact to things and to keep cool. After a few hours at my job, the phone rings at my desk. It’s my sister. She asked me if mom was ok and if I have heard from her. She called mom several times with no answer. Then I called her. Nothing. A friend of hers down the street came by to check on her. I believe it was Pam. She opened the garage door and went into the family room. My mom was just laying on the couch sleeping, still panting heavily. Pam asked her if she was okay, or something like that. I think then she drove her to work perhaps? I say this because it was revealed that at some point she was at work but resting in the lounge and not at her desk. A co-worker, Cindy, drove her home but asked if she wanted to go to Urgent Care. My mom refused. So I think my mom drove herself to work.

What I know for certain is that my sister called back and in a seriously crying tone said, “You need to come quickly to the hospital.” I tried to pull myself together. What happened? Perhaps her friend Cindy took it upon herself to take her to the ER. Something wasn’t right. I excused myself from work and drove to the hospital. I was fighting back tears and my head was spinning as if I was in a nightmare and everything was distorted. What on earth happened? The doctor indicated some kind of blood infection. Perhaps it was pneumonia. Some of the signs were there. Chest pains when she breathed deeply or coughed, shortness of breath and fatigue with muscle aches.But whats all this with the blood infection? She had red spots all over her body, almost like chicken pox. Cognitively she wasn’t making any sense really. Her memory bank was randomly mentioning things out of the clear blue in a slurred speech pattern. My sister, Jessica and I were starting to freak out. Another friend, Yvonne was there, supporting us and trying to make sense out of this. In addition, Pam and Cindy came to see my poor mom in this unusual state. In my entire life up until I was 27 years old, my mother never went to the doctor or spent any time at the ER. This was serious and sudden.

The ER staff  ran EKG tests, ultrasound tests and  Cat Scans. All we knew is that she was very sick and would be admitted to the hospital for a long time. We also found out that she had diabetes. But what was the main culprit? The answer came as a sever shock! Bacterial Meningitis!! Woa! This was a deadly problem especially for a woman at age 52, at the time. How did she contract this horrible disease? Why was my mom being contained behind a glass wall? Why did we have to wear gloves and a mask suddenly, in order to see her? WHY? Her fever was high! 106 degrees! The stiff neck, the fluid in the lungs and the red spots were all present symptoms. This became a touch and go process. Family had to be contacted. With it being New Years Eve, many people were out of town and unavailable. How can I go to sleep? What’s going to happen?

days, weeks, and 2 months of; induced coma, a ventilator down her throat, neurologists, pulmonary specialists, therapists, 100’s of friends, family (distant ones from out of state), prayers and patience; my mother made it through these incredible odds. We dealt with social workers, late night headaches and tears. I battled a soar throat and fatgue of my own with the constant talking to employees and sharing stories with my relatives. We did what we needed to do in order to let the doctors and nurses do their thing. Honestly, I don’t know how she made it alive. A nurse once told me that she is a miracle. They never saw anyone fight so hard. Her not being able to talk and full of bed soars and the 50/50 odds of survival were all speaking doom.

Laughter, smiles, jokes and prayers is what ultimately did it, for me. I prayed to the Virgin Mary to help me get through this. I called her answering machine on her cell phone just to hear her voice until that day came when she was released to go home which wasn’t until the end of February of 2004. We helped her get stronger and encouraged her to see a physical therapist. She takes medicine for the diabetes and uses a cane to walk around. She managed to even return to work, although it was for a different company because her previous employer let her go, due to cutbacks. Even though it was unfair, she still was persistant and found employment elsewhere and continued to drive herself to and from work everyday.

Life can surprise you everyday. We all manage to endure a lot of pain and when we think the world around us is shattered, life reveals to us the truth. We can survive. It’s a miracle everyday when we take that first breath. Thank you mom for pulling through and being my miracle mom. I love you and HAPPY NEW YEAR

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