Friday, October 29, 2010

My First Silent Halloween

It was around this time three years ago when I "woke up".

October 2007 was an eventful month as I look back on it. In early September of that year, I went into hospital via an ambulance in the wee hours of September 7, 2007.
I have no memory or recollection of that fateful night. For years I have tried to piece together the lost "episode of those two months.

My next memory is a few days before Halloween in the hospital. The void still exists to this day.
I remember sitting looking out a window in a room with other people. There was a nurse or a technician that wheeled me to a table and wrote down some questions. I knew I was deaf, and knew I could talk. It was as if I had been deaf all my life and this was a natural way to communicate.

She wrote questions on a white board, and I responded in voice.

"Do you know where you are"? she asked
"Yes of course, I am in St. Mike's hospital"
"No you are in Oshawa hospital"

I had a dream, and it was a long dream. It may have lasted an hour a day; or it may have lasted the 40 some days that I have no memory of.
Or it may even have been dreamed during the 11 days I was on life support and put in an artificially induced coma to save my life.

Or was it a dream at all?

Matters not, but the images in the "dream" are so real and so vivid that they stay with me to this day.

In my dream (if it was a dream) I was in a hospital and was so thirsty. I looked out the window in my hospital room (in my dream) and saw a store.
In my dream I can see Princess Margaret Hospital down the street from as I walk the streets in a hospital gown.
I walk into the store and ask the man if I was in Princess Margaret hospital. He replies in the dream that I am in St Mikes hospital in downtown Toronto.

I buy many tins of mandarin oranges in my dream and take them to my room and devour them.

So when I "woke up" (I use that term because it is the first date that I have memory of post hospital stay) I assumed I was in St Mikes.

"Do you know what day it is"? writes the therapist in Oshawa hospital.
"September something" I answer
"It is Halloween in 4 days" she writes.

The missing pieces are not so much a bother, the deafness was even accepted then. I was deaf and in a wheel chair. No sound, no balance, and lots of pain.

My medical 9/11 implosion was "David's" personal perfect storm.
Meningitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, Ischlemic stroke....a few more things I am sure.

Early symptoms of all ignored as I ran hard to train for my 3rd 1/2 marathon; ran hard to run a business and bring in the bacon; ran hard for the previous 3 years on nightly Princess Margaret visits where my wife lay in-house getting chemo for the blood cancer that would have her in PMH (Princess Margaret) more often than she was home with her family; ran hard to be a father of a then 12 year old boy.

And then the running stopped.
I fell
Metaphorically of course, I fell into a coma.

Then I "woke up"
It was almost Halloween.

Life is different know beyond words, written or spoken.
My wife of then passed away in early 2009
I am still deaf, yet I hear thru the amazing technology of a Cochlear Implant.
I still have no balance and never will, yet I walk pretty good most of the time by tricking the brain that we don't need the inner ear for balance. The eyes have it!

Got it covered pretty good.

New house, wonderful new wife who I love deeply!

So this Halloween I will enjoy the sounds, stop and take in every sight, and love life beyond words!
Written or spoken.
I live in a new place where I care deeply, speak kindly, live simply and love generously.

I let the rest go!

Enjoy the day, stop running and take in life in all it's wonderful glory!



haddy2dogs said...

Lovely blog. Thank you for sharing.

Lori said...

So nice to read your words again tonight. Your words flow together beautifully. I am still blessed every time I read your story. Amazing! It's good to read that you are happy. :) Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I waited for a time when I was not running, a time when I could sit down and take in your words. I'm glad I did.
I've been running a lot lately (metaphorically, that is). My kids' fall activities -- and my enjoyable participation as a volunteer at each of them -- takes its toll. Now the season is nearly over and I am savouring these last events.

Sherry said...

I am so happy for you Dave. You are one of my heroes, exemplifying courage in every respect. Blessings to you and may the years be kind. said...

good for u david.
i remmeber having vivid dreams when i was in intensive care too i was sedated and on drugs. i had a dream that i had been on a helicopter!! turns out i saw the helipad before i went into icu but it was so real and i though i was in a different hosptial too!
ICU drugs do strenge things!! haha

Vixbil said...

Such an inspiring read as always. I'm so glad you have reached a place where you and your family are now happy

C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. said...

You are still amazing. :) I've missed reading your optimism and passion...

Jan D-M said...

Cool beans, David. So glad you are well and happy. I hope for an update on the boy soon, too. The years are passing and he must be half done with high school and thinking to college.

As further inspiration to write more, check out this challenge:

Laura ~Peach~ said...

wow its hard to think that three years have passed ... i have been following you for 2 i think :)

Government Funded Blogger said...

Thanks for your posting Dave .Inspiring for this old codger as usual.

per ardua ad astra