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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Battle for Sanity and SOUL @ Ankle-Bone Ridge...

I cannot help but feel that this long, difficult medical ordeal of this past year has changed me...and in all honesty I am not sure that the changes are even a little positive. I feel more down and reflective, attitude wise so I suspect that I am feeling the effects of physical and emotional burnout. I have been worn down to a mere nub of my former self, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Only in the spiritual realm have I continued to fly to further heights...facing major adversity can do that to a person and battling life's struggle's is one place in time where tend to, even prosper and grow.I live for the fire and smoke of battle... 

Even though this year has basically consisted of one bit of bad news followed by another, then another...then more and more and more, etc. I truly feel closer to God then I ever have before. But that doesn't explain why this awful ordeal has overwhelmed me and my friends/family, even as I have grown from the adversity of the fight...perhaps I shall never know that answer. Instead I will continue to battle...I shall fight with all my might...damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

And now that I have actually experienced a small yet mostly symbolic victory of sorts in that my latest surgery has gone well (so far)...I still find about all I can really focus on is the physical & mental hard-ship and pain of my current existence. Mired in the sucking bloody trench muck of insecurity, doubt and disorder....I know I must fight, fight like a demon, endure the hardship of Hell then find the will to fight some more. Only by quitting on myself now will guarantee my defeat to this evil illness.

I shall not quit...not now...not tomorrow...not EVER. Yea, Yea...I am channeling my pal in Black Doggedness, Winston right now....only Churchill will fight on the the fields and on the streets...and my Battle is taking place for my SOUL!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fin Octobre

I have been spending more time outside post surgery because the fresh air and vivid Autumn scene that I am surround by is the perfect tonic for healing. So It is only natural that my mind would track straight to one of my favorite poems...LATE OCTOBER by May Angelou.

I will admit that this amazing poem carries some unwanted baggage for me since it was printed on the wedding program for my marriage to Marcia. But this Big, Burly Broad-Shouldered work is more then muscular enough to carry that burden and much more. It still is a favorite though it reminds me of that oh so painful episode of my life and of MANY Regrets. Oh Well....I like it anyway so the hell with all of that!

Tonight I dedicate this ode to Love, Survival and Re-Birth to my friend Chris...My Dear, you are the first person I think of these days when I read "Fin Octobre"...


"Late October"by Maya Angelou 
the leaves of autumn
sprinkle down the tinny
sound of little dyings
and skies sated
of ruddy sunsets
of roseate dawns
roil ceaselessly in
cobweb greys and turn
to black
for comfort.

Only lovers
see the fall
a signal end to endings
a gruffish gesture alerting
those who will not be alarmed
that we begin to stop
in order simply
to begin

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Going For A Ride...

I was able to get outside for a little while this afternoon and took a golf cart ride around the island. It was nice to run into friends and neighbors and say hello but it was particularly pleasant just feeling free & easy in the crisp Autumn air.

Lack of stimulation could be a real issue for me and my recovery from this surgery. It is staying active without hurting myself physically that will pose the most serious challenge yet at the same time I almost feel that it will just happen the way it needs to and there is no real reason to worry about it.

Watching football on a Sunday afternoon in America is always a nice way to pass time...especially if that is all you can really do anyway.

So my intent is to amp up my posting on Shell Shock and hopefully take it back to the level it was was when I was writing long, intensive & provocative post most of each an every day. I am striving to replicate that...

So we should be seeing all of our readers much more frequently.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Old Love/New Love: A Musical Journey

I knew I was going to have to posts some live videos of some Pearl Jam tunes after listening to their new album: "Lightening Bolt".

The first video is of a song from the new album called Pendulum and is the opening song from the bands recent show in Pittsburgh. Hey Chris...this one's for you Kiddo!

The second video is the old Mother Love Bone classic tribute to the late Andrew Wood: Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns.

Release is the logical follow up simply because it is not only one of my favorite songs ever...but for someone who never knew is Father (or Mother for that matter) the words hit rather close to home....

I'll close this little musical journey with another song of their new album...a song called: "SIRENS".


I'm sitting here by my desk, listening to a new Pearl Jam song called Pendulum and what can I say, it's incredible! I have to admit this scenario sure is a far cry from what I pictured DAY 3 (After Surgery) to be like. I half expected to still be in the Hospital on Saturday and I have been home for 2 days.

But I don't want to mislead anyone....even though I'm making much better progress then I originally anticipated....I have a LONG, LONG way to go. Months of healing before I can walk again. But it sure is a treat to be on my way to healing instead of just waiting forever to begin like I was before.

Lunch is being served (another weird scenario...being served meals, I'm used to getting my own!) so I need to move on for now...More LATER!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy To Be Healing...

Well my fine friends, not only am I alive and kicking....I am now actually home after just one night in the Hospital...I could have been there 2 or 3 days and possibly more. It was an intense, 4 hour surgery and it is quite painful but it went quite well. I am very fortunate and grateful that I've recovered so quickly because most people recover better at home...I certainly do!

I am tired but getting around on my knee walker and attitude is good and I am ready to get on with healing. I'll be in touch....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The OTHER Side

The time is now....GO Time.....The moment I've been waiting for since March of this year, really. Surgery time.

I have no idea how capable I will be for awhile to write and update Shell Shock. Obviously it isn't my priority but I will do my best.

Until we meet on the other side....

As The Time Draws Near...

Somewhat typically for impending surgery tomorrow doesn't really seem like a reality. It has been such a long wait since this was first diagnosed (nearly 4 months) and 7 months since the original injury in early March.    

Oddly, though I slept only a couple hours last night...I had vivid dreams of surgeries gone bad. It was spooky and not a typical reaction for me Pre-surgery. I usually feel calm and quite prepared before I have an operation.

This one has been a real challenge for several being the length of time it has taken to get rid of the infection. This is by far the most serious and time consuming surgery I have undertaken including my several back surgeries. The possibility of amputation hovers just out of reach yet I am very aware that it is a possibility.

I cannot afford to waste any energy worrying about things that may or may not occur...No, the focus must stay on the present reality which is serious enough as it is.

All things considered I am ready and prepared as I am going to get. I am anxious to get this show on the road and begin the journey towards healing instead of just treading water while I wait.

I will try and update Shell Shock as I am able. They are saying 2-3 days in the hospital and then a long recovery period at home. No walking for a couple of months and a good estimate is 6 months total for healing.

I'll try and blog further later on today....                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Monday, October 21, 2013


This long wait until I could have the Ankle Fusion Surgery really has created a rather surreal situation. I have never had MONTHS to prepare for a surgery. Or is it really preparation that I am using this eternity for? It could be just extra time to stress, worry and reality it is probable a bit of both...stress out time and preparation time. And this life in a time warp or Twilight Zone Time can really psych you out. In addition to freaking me out, this situation has also had a rather profound effect on me spirituality as one might gather, especially if they happen to know me and how I react to things.

I cannot figure out why this whole thing has happened to me other then it is God's will and it is futile to fight IS what IT is. My only possible (reasonable) option is to embrace learn from from it as much as I possibly can under these conditions.

I don't know what it all means. I no longer know how I feel about it all...I am just plain sick and tired of it. I want to move on.....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I Can SEE!

I can no longer afford to speculate why this sh*t is even happening to me. It doesn't matter really...I'm not kidding, it doesn't. The bottom line in life is you are born....most SUFFER then we DIE. And to quote an old Grand Funk Railroad song "I can Feel Him in The Morning" most folks who die...well, they "DIE when they DIE...Die When They Die...Die When They Die".

I was 9 years old when I got the Grand Funk Album "SURVIVAL". That track, "I Can Feel HIM In The MORNING" caught my attention right away and I knew even at that age that someone in this band was finding GOD. Turned out to be Mark Farmer, founder, Lead Guitarist and vocalist. The beauty and simplicity of just acknowledging GOD is there...morning/evening took my breath away then and I didn't even know GOD then. It effects me even more profoundly today.

To finish my first thought above....this crap I'm experiencing now means very little in the bigger picture because what matters is that I am faithful to my CREATOR...that I FOLLOW HIM and ultimately there will be NO true death because our reward is Eternal Life. But that isn't my focus either...

I must remain Faithful and making the best of this MISERY is the Natural response I now have toward adversity. There are certain things in life I have no control be IT! I no longer have to bang my freaking head against the wall trying to figure this stuff, all I must do is FOLLOW. So I Will.

The Struggle Continues...

My main challenge in life today is: Staying focused on the positive aspects of having this very serious surgery,IE: Being pain free and having some normalcy back in my life with an ankle I can at least live with. It has become critical that I stay "Locked On" to my Creator knowing HE will prevail and I must obediently FOLLOW HIM no matter what....with NO guarantees of success, financial help or escape from this difficult, painful period in my life that I am leading at the moment.

I must continue to battle the creeping DARKNESS that envelopes me every time the phone rings (every 10 minutes now 7am until 10p), because I cannot answer the phone because I cannot pay. It's a horrible situation for one to experience especially when I really need to be focusing health and surgery preparation.

The pain is so intense now that I cannot escape it even for a moment. I persevere by faith pain medication can touch this pain anyway so that's makes the decision not to get any very easy for me to make. But once I have the surgery, I will have to take the medication because the pain is so severe. Controlling that pain, according to the surgeon, is the most difficult challenge he faces during my recovery. It is very difficult because of the number of major incisions (4) and the amount of bone cut along with nerves.

Once again I mustn't dwell on it but pass my fear and anxiety on to God and move that is what I am doing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

They Came...

Martin Niemoller was a Pastor in the German Lutheran Church during the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. He originally appeased the Nazi's and sided with them while good friends like Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer resisted the regime and were eventually murdered in Concentration camps like the one at Flossenburg. Niemoller obviously learned his mistake the HARD WAY by spending nearly 8 years as a personal prisoner of Hitler's at several Concentration Camps, though he did survive the war and Third Reich. He spent the rest of his life atoning for this mistake of his and the German Church and talking about those who gave their lives for freedom and what was right like Bonhoeffer.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,

and there was no one left to speak for me. - Martin Niemoller

Bye Bye (AGAIN, John!)

John Lennon would be 73 years old today if he hadn't been killed in New York City on December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman outside of his home at The Dakota across from Central Park.

I remember this day very well because it seemed like my entire High School was in shock. It just seemed so incredibly wrong that this guy, who had labored so much for peace over the previous decade would himself be gunned down and at his own home as well.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No Way Out I sit here at my keyboard I struggle to keep my composer and not embarrass myself by taking off on a tangent about the misfortune that has visited my life at this time and what I am beginning to consider as the futility or wishful-thinking mentality of prayer. 

Don't get me wrong...I strongly believe in prayer. I also strongly believe God intervenes at times to help people. I also believe God expects me to function to the extreme limit of my capabilities and not just sit around "praying" for things to get better while I do nothing. I also realize that God's answer to prayer sometimes is a firm NO....and extreme suffering can follow.

I will admit something that I would rather not: I am feeling as low, as hopeless and forgotten tonight as I felt the day I tried to take my own life in 2006. The only difference is my FAITH in God. I look not for sympathy or pity but to stay true to the original reason for this blog I must write the truth about what is happening at this moment in my life. It is a shambles and I am spinning emotionally out of control. As the idiot politicians in our Government show repeatedly how ignorant they are they have no idea what Health Care reality is all about. I HAVE insurance. It just isn't very good....

Financially I am completely ruined...not by misspending, credit cards or irresponsibility. No.....I am completely ruined by medical expenses totaling in the tens of thousands of dollars. I did everything in my power to prevent it...going back to the earliest bills when I even sought help (which is incredibly hard for me to do) from the church only to be turned down. It's a simple fact that this disaster probably could have been avoided or reduced at that time but now it's completely out of control and I have to have surgery again to save my leg.

As hard as I try to "turn over" the worry and hopelessness to the Lord, I cannot get away from it. A check of my phone today shows that a bill collector called me every 19 minutes on the average today from 7a am and at 9:20pm the phone still rings. I no longer try to reason with them because I have nothing to pay them so they threaten me and my family. I stopped caring....because I can't begin to pay them...not even a dollar a month (which they would not take anyway).

I expect NOTHING as a result of this post. It just happens to be my reality right now...that's all, so I write about it.