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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Memoir Excerpt

A few months back I took the time to mention that I was writing a memoir. At the time I outlined for my readers what I meant by that. See A letter to my readers.

Now I thought I would put up a small, and hopefully tantalizing excerpt. My chosen excerpt follows below.

Chapter 1: Nadja
Andre Breton (1928), the author of the surrealist book Nadja, asks himself and the world the first question we must all ask ourselves upon gaining self-awareness “Who am I?” I too open my book with this question.
I often find myself exploring the existentialist dilemma; “Why am I here, what is my purpose?” and “Does this life have any promise for us beyond our inevitable death?”
In spite of this general philosophical grounding, I find at times that despite these firm guiding questions and philosophy, that it is in times of crisis where 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 (written in May '08). I have been suffering from vomiting, fatigue and vertigo for an abnormally long time. On Monday, April 22nd, 2008 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 were only two lesions so he ordered another MRI.
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 continue contributing to society once I feel better?”
Here is some honest insight into how this feels for me right now. Whoever 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.
So I return now to the question: “Who am I?”


Diane J Standiford said...

MS doesn't have to change you. Your question can not pop up with each bump in the road, unless it is purely rhetorical. YOU would constantly change. You guys are killing my Sunday post...hmmm

Denver Refashionista said...

The question is rhetorical, thanks for noticing. MS did change me but for the better... Now, I want to always stay like the new me. I am more calm, less driven, more compassionate and less judgemental. I don't mind being a bitch but only in small doses.