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Friday, May 2, 2008


Journal # 1 4/26/07

I often find myself exploring the existentialist dilemma; “Why am I here, what is my purpose” and “If this life has any promise for us beyond our inevitable death?”

In spite of this general philosophical grounding that I mainly adhere to I find at times that despite these firm guiding questions and philosophy, that it is times of crisis I find prayers and spirituals spilling from lips that scarcely even fit my true philosophical underpinnings.

This seems especially true during the last 2 or 3 weeks of my life. I have been suffering from vomiting, fatigue and vertigo for an abnormally long time. On Thursday, April 24th, I was admitted to the ER because I was vomiting blood clots and experiencing retching, disorientation and double vision. Fortunately the bleeding stopped after I vomited up all the blood clots in my system. My throat scope came back and I had a Mallory Weiss tear in my esophagus from all my violent puking but they said I could go once I kept food down. When the doctor learned that I was having double-vision he became concerned that I might have MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

That night I had an MRI. Unfortunately we got the results by 2:00 pm the next afternoon and the doctor told us I had a lesion in my cerebellum consistent with MS. So we went in for blood work and meds.

The next day we saw the neurologist and had a second discussion and looked at my MRI. There was only one lesion so he ordered another MRI for yesterday. I won’t get the results for that next test until at least Monday and hopefully once they know more I can get a treatment and a diet plan in place that will help me get my life back to where I want it. I just want to try to be strong and positive as my life changes.

So now, despite my life-view I find myself asking, “why me?” I never thought this would happen to me. So I am mourning some of the life I had but I’m trying to start thinking about how to handle the changes in who I was and I am asking myself,” How will I move forward? What’s most important to me and how can I go on as an educator and continuing contribute to society once I feel better? When I can see and think more clearly I will continue this journal and post a blog.

Until then, here is some honest insight into how this feels for me right now. However I am, whatever my purpose I’ll write my catharsis out and share it to help lift some of my pain and tears and to navigate my why towards the new person I am swiftly becoming.

1 comment:

Brian said...

This reminds me of that catalyst, or turning point, that so many great thinkers, etc., have experienced throughout history. Bucky Fuller and Eckhart Tolle were both on the verge of fulfilling selfish suicidal plans when they each turned their attention instead to doing everything within their power to help other human beings who were suffering. Albert Schweitzer gave up a career as the world's greatest Bach organist to the first Western medical doctor in remote Africa after seeing his mother trampled to death in the streeet by Nazi soldiers on horseback. Steven Hawkin shifted his focus to exploring the origins of Time after discovering he was going to be spending a lot more it sitting still. And perhaps the best-known story of Ludwig van Beethoven, devoted to a life of sound, became accustomed to a new life of silence while composing some of his greatest musical works - some of the greatest in the history of all Western music.

Point being - you're an intelligent, creative, thoughtful person on the brink of what might be an unwelcome transformation, but one that now seems inevitable. You're already feeling your way into the unknown to help yourself determine the edges of this new path. And you're going to do it with a lot of love & support - as those close to you share in this new path with you...

Viktor Frankl's book "Man's Search For Meaning" helped me through one of the most difficult transformations of my life - and I've never forgotten that book's lessons. Here's one of them:

"The last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
Dr. Viktor E. Frankl