Meet Me Halfway

Meet Me Halfway

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dying Alone, Not Recommended. Pt.2

What I want to know is how this kid got sent home twice in the last day, especially from this department 12 hours ago! Oh, he did? He’s in at seven right? Well, I’ll be having a conversation with him shortly then.”

The moments following being thrown on a gurney and wheeled in the first trauma bay are bit fuzzy. However, several phrases and convos, many of which I have no idea of their meaning or context, were captured in my short term with amazing clarity.

 I do know it was short time after we settled into that small cubicle the techs, nurses, and doctors regretted it. We’re going to get an IV started. Well, good thing for you I brought some serious pipelines, I am however a one prick stick. You miss, find another candidate. I haven’t gotten ill from having a needle in quite some time so there must be something else amiss. Oh yeah, I came in ralphing bloody chunks a few minutes ago. I guess that once I was in the care of the pros I fully expected to be transformed into some wildly euphoric happy place. Not so much. So, when did all of this begin? I was mildly amused at the fact that the doctor wanted to hear everything from me and not from the chart which meant we were taking rather frequent breaks to grow the length of my newly attached barf bag. We are going to take care of now. I really like this guy, he’s not effing around! He’s acting like a general back here and they are jumping to his commands. Here is a little suction tube that you can use so that it doesn’t fill up and gag you. I feel like we’re on the right track since now I’m part of the team. Hoorah, I’ve got a job too. I feel really strange…Hey Cassie, um Cassie. Cassie was my nurse’s cna. I don’t feel so well. You didn’t feel good when you came in, V. I wanted to correct her grammar but there was a new and more pressing matter. The room began to distort and sway a bit. This cannot be a good thing. At some point I dropped the suction tube. Must’ve been right around the time my head made contact with the side rail. I’m going to need some help over here! I’ve watched enough Grey’s Anatomy to know what happens next. Okay, so maybe Hollywood, or Seattle, or whatever has jaded me into thinking I knew anything at all about ERs. I do know that like many medical dramas have portrayed, I heard and saw everything going on around me. Everything, all while being unable to respond or react. Some may have been scared about the ride in. It truly was worse than texting and driving at some points as I tried to keep my face forward and maneuver the bag over my mouth and leave my nose free. It was daunting. That was just the prelude to scary, now it was time for the feature presentation.

I had taken off my shirt since it was covered in blood and I sweating so much that stripping felt good and freeing.  My head dropped back with a quickness and an ungodly bright light was brought over me. I want another big bore in that other arm and I want some albuterol in the mask. We can’t risk losing that airway. V, hey V, do you know where you are? Can you tell me why you are here? Okay, we've got a comedian here! Of course I do, you idiot...I can’t understand why my mouth was not responding to the commands my mind passed along. I’m trapped in my body and this is the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. I’ve said it to people close to me so I’ll put it into print as well. This way there should be little conversation on the topic. If ever I am left in a vegetative state and you are the loved one nearest me with power over my care, whomever you might be, pull the fucking plug!

I’m double tapped with IVs now. Can’t see much and the vision tunnel is tightening as the seconds tick by. I remember that which follows in no particular order:

Hypoxia – Tell the lab to come here – Too sweaty to get the pads to stick again – Why can’t we find a bigger room – Does his chart have blood type – hypotensive – Get me some O+ over here – We’re going to have to get him to calm down – crash cart in here – passed out, more like assed out – we need more space, too many arms crossing here – call Xray and get a bedside STAT – it only took him how long to produce that much blood – he’s in shock – popped his spigot – where the hell is the on-call surgical team – chest tube - tell them to divert to St Luke’s this ain’t getting any better anytime soon – He drove himself here? Rockstar – Is his surgeon almost here? He’s fixing this – make sure you’ve a glidescope in your bag of tricks – not had much action from young-bloods in bit – helluva end of shift – straight out with eyes wide open – No response

No, no this is not your fault. Your body is fighting good medicine and we need to figure it out. From what you've told me of your last week I just think that you’ve got a lot going on so talking to somebody in the Veteran’s Crisis Center might not be a bad idea.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dying Alone, Not Recommended. Pt.1

Lemmie tell ya’ll a thing or two about throat surgery…okay, just one. Don’t do it! One hell of a week and a half have passed. I actually went back under the blade on the seventh day for re-work. That was one scary fucking night.

I had lost about 15 pounds in six days. I was unable to eat anything solid and had a hard time with most liquids. I was in a bad way, but was told that this was a bitch of a surgery so I wasn’t about to punk out just yet. Starvation and dehydration finally took its toll. On Tuesday I walked into my ENT and asked to be seen. He poked and prodded for a minute then decided to get me started on some serious doses of liquid Motrin. It was an immense amount of swelling that was causing most of my discomfort. This would help and since there was no bleeding this would be the thing that took me to the promised land. The swelling went down and I started to hurt more! I had uncovered a few wounds from surgery that had been hidden from the light of day because of the swelling. Now I had more pain and well, Motrin thins your blood a bit and allows for some awesome bleeding! It was about 12 hours later, Wednesday morning around 4am I was awakened by the sound of myself gurgling on a pool of blood that had formed like an oozing plunger of death at the back of my throat. Once I coughed up a cup of the vile brew and couldn’t stem the flow I decided it was best I headed to the ER. Went upstairs and it seemed a looooong way up to tell Julie that I was headed in because I couldn’t make it stop bleeding. Not having insurance other than my care at the VA I drove about three times the needed distance to reach help. I showed up with a bloody towel, that I asked them to dispose of on my departure, and a kid’s Dutch Bros cup full of red goo I produced on the way in. After plugging THE leak and flushing my mouth out I was told that there was nothing else to do since the on call surgical dude said I was good. Okay, I go home and get ready for another day of narcotic induced sleep in 3.5-four hour segments. My doc was nice enough to call interrupting the first sleep to check in on me since he’d heard that I was in the ER earlier. He thought I would not need to be seen and all should be okay, “a little bleeding is to be expected”.  Damn, I knew it was only a matter of time before somebody called me a pussy! Oh, it was on. I was going to show him just how tough I was…until twelve hours later when I was producing gummy bear sized clots and mouthfuls of red bubbly phlegm with every third exhalation. This pussy was on his way back to the ER since nobody at my doc’s office would return a call. You win, I punked out again. Let Julie know I wasn’t able to pick the youngin’ up after school and headed back to the VA for the third time in 24 hours. My appearance was much more gruesome on arrival this time. There were no spots near the ER entrance with where I could leave my car so I used a regular spot and zombie walked my way to the double doors. I scared a few people on the way with blood I’d given up on trying to keep off of my chin, the bloody towel half draped over one shoulder, and the expandable puke catcher that was extended and carrying about 8 inches of putrid goop that I added to every few seconds with in indistinguishable demonic vitriol. Well, the ER did me right with giving me a few of those blood buckets the last trip in. A little less to clean in the car now. "Sir, do you need some help?" Ya fucking think?  Who's the pussy now?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

1st Year

It’s been a rather rough transition into the great Northwest. The weather blows and I’m not referring to the wind that rattles the windows as we speak. Well, you know what I mean. I am not, have not, nor will I ever be a lover of the cold! I miss the sun and the beach like I’d miss parts of my anatomy if they were to be lopped off. Hmm…I’ll come back to that in a bit. The summer draws to an end and I’m approaching a couple anniversaries. One year with my lovely wife and one year on the tundra know as Idaho.
One year married to my best friend. That’s a good thing! We’ve seen some serious ups and downs in the nine plus years since we met. Where did it begin? Glad you asked! While on a work trip in the Treasure Valley, I stopped at an Albertson’s in order to buy some bananas and bread. Weird combo. At the cash register I had a moment with the young lady ringing me out. A moment where our eyes met and we exchanged useless words trying not to stare. I took a deep breath and ran out of that store before I could fall any deeper into those eyes. Now that is some sappy shit! I made it all the way to the car before realizing that in my haste I had forgotten to buy my smokes. Damn. Make a plan and stick to it. Go back in and go directly to the customer service counter not even looking towards the checkout lanes get you smokes and dash. Hi I need two packs of…oh shit it’s her. Wait, you were at the checkout lane. Turns out the front end manager was just helping out to get the lines down quickly. Blast this woman. We had a smoke together and made plans to have lunch the next day. I met Isaiah and walked the mall with the two of them. A good day. A good week, a really good week. ;-)! The following years of back & forth, love & hate, up & down, black & white left us bruised and even more fond of one another. A few kids, a divorce, numerous failed relationships and 2700 miles led us to the best decision we’ve made to date. I admit that I miss being in Florida with instant access to my kiddos and friends there. I am, however, very happy with the fact that I am able to provide for them now unlike when I was still in FL looking for a decent job. I still think that I am grossly underemployed but things are headed in the right direction. It is tough living in a state that has fewer people than Broward County, has the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs in America, and is more expensive to live in than my home back in Ormond. Not sure where these folks get off charging what they do for this wonderful valley life but it sucks.
What has been my solace is having a wonderful partner that is so very supportive in my quest to achieve more and be better. I made it back home in the spring and hung with my minis then Julie conspired with my teenager to have her make a surprise visit with us a short time ago. I miss them and look forward to our next visit.
 The thing that has been a serious thorn in my side (aside from being in the NW) has been my health. This getting old shit has really started getting old! I have had a molar split and have to be extracted, been placed on fulltime asthma medication, and just last week had my foot restructured. On a side note, that had to be the worst pain I can recall ever having. I said EVER, people. Just to be sure though I am going to have a little more work next week. Yeah, getting back to that “lopped off” mention earlier. It would appear that my *boys* have a bit of an issue down there. The right guy decided that he didn’t like his birth partner and decided to grow his very own primordial twin. No, I’m not some freakish three nutted circus attraction. It’s more like a tumor that’s all. They’ll slice the ne’er-do-well away and hopefully leave me as whole as before. Last thing I need is a cancer scare, but a GoFundMe could do wonders for my bank account. Hmm….

At any rate, I’m happy to have the best wife ever. She’s been there every step of the way and I cannot imagine going through this shit without her. You’re the best, babe! When I come out from under anesthesia I’ll be happy to see her smiling face. It will be general anesthesia this round and from what I hear that will be a good thing for all parties involved. Appears that I was an incessantly bitching and belligerent prick during my foot surgery. Doc told Julie that halfway through he looked at the anesthesiologist and said “put him under!” Hey, it’s not my fault that he had country music blasting the whole time. Has he never watched Nip/Tuck?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

That'll do, pig. That'll do.

What a helluva year I've had! I was hoping that the shittiness would end with 2012 but half of '13 went down the tubes as well. Well, I have accepted a position doing what I love. Selling. In an industry that I love. Aquatics. The catch? It's in Ft. Lauderdale. Yep, I'm headed to Broward county with Volusia three and a half hours in the rear view mirror. This sucks for obvious reasons. My youngins are here. It rocks because my 14 year old about to be a freshman is down there. Why does this shit have to be so difficult?? I'll be traveling back to keep my time up with the littles though. This past year a whole bunch of you have helped me keep regular visits with the kids. Some threw me cash, others made sure I had wheels to get them. You guys have gone above and beyond to help a friend in need. Julie gave me a week in the high desert to decompress, Liz said “I've got a pair of Rush tickets if you can get to St. Louis.”, Brandy showed me what Iowa was all about.........damn, I didn't know it snowed so much there! Brandi saying “I'm broke too, bitch. Let's do $.75 PBRs at Robbie's!” So many things to keep me smiling and to let me know that you all care.
There is one though that has shown me what it really means to be a friend that loves with all she has. I hit rock bottom last fall and really didn't see a way back up. I had no idea how I was going to keep moving forward and she wasn't about to let me go it alone. I had no place to go and she said “get your shit and come to my place”. No concern was expressed about the fact that I was way short on cash. Nor was there any mention of me having my crazy hellions over every other weekend. I always had access to a four wheeled vehicle if needed and never went hungry. Moral support for decisions I had to make was dished without lecturing. A shoulder always there when I was having a moment.
For those of you that know Kathy I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that this caring soul has carried me through an incredibly difficult time in my life. The dedication she shows in her support of equality for all people be they gay, straight, white, black, man or woman is not a show. This superstar really is like this all of the time!

Kathy is the big sister I never had. She has a heart that shines like few I've encountered in my life. I will still see my kids. I will be working and occupying my mind for a change. One of the biggest problems I'll face with moving to Davie will be that I won't have my best friend in my daily life anymore. That really effing blows. I love her so because she has shown me so much about caring for her fellow man. Something I look forward to in my life as I get my act together is being able to pay this forward. It would make her happy and that is important to me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Abby says I am more brown than her.

A few years back, okay more like 45 years back, blacks in America begin using a new term to define their ethnicity. African American. There are variations on this; most notably Afro-American which has all but disappeared from normal speak. I find it difficult to recognize the reasoning behind a need to distance ourselves from the general populous at the same time we strive for equality. I have had an opportunity to set foot on the African continent and am here to tell you that I am all American! Baleeve dat.
Our country has a second term mulatto in office that African Americans are happy to claim as their own. Even though his roots show that he is not of native born black blood. The nerve of that boy. His daddy came from over there! Blacks have had so many ‘name-changes’ over the years that I expect there will be a new moniker cresting the horizon soon. Some of you may remember blacks being referred to as colored. OMGEEEE, wanna get somebody riled up, just call them colored! You will get a ration of shit that you’ll not come from under for quite some time. I find it humoring that many activists that will take insult to that are also card carrying members of the NAA’C’P. This is one of the silly tidbits that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around.
I’m often asked if I refer to myself as black or AA…….I’m going to shorten that……..and the answer is simple, I’m black. Let’s stick with the obvious. A question for all my pale friends. When is the last time a black, Asian, or Latino asked if you were white or Anglo-American? Let me be me. Big brown guy right here.

Since I’m on the color wagon why don’t we go over a few things that really chap my hide?

Q: Why is it okay for black people to call each other nigga but I can’t?
A: Why is so important for you to be able to use one of the most demoralizing slurs known in our country? I know, I know I answered with a question but that is just stupid! I don’t know why and I am black. I can’t imagine a conversation with another black that would have me freely insulting them the whole time. Sorry, no real answer there. For the excuses you may have gotten as justification to that query……well, they’re stupid too.

Q: Why don’t you act like most of the black guys I know? You are the whitest black guy I know.
A: I would usually shut you up with a smart-assed comment like “Don’t worry, I’m black where it counts” all the while thinking…..F-U! The fact that I embrace English, our country’s primary language, and utilize it to communicate with everybody around me (all while trying to maintain proper grammar) wear clothes that fit and pass on the Yo MTV Raps is an issue for you? Wow. I don’t think I could be more insulted. I’m an educated well-spoken man and you’re surprised that I can stand upright.

Q: Why do you only like white women?
A: Umm, this here brutha is EEO. I could not care less what color, race, or ethnic background a woman comes from. If you consider for a minute the things that make me the V the answer is pretty clear. I like: Reptiles, the ocean, rock classical & alternative music, giant dogs, tarantulas…..the list goes on and on. I’m sure there is a black woman out there that may fill the billet, but I’m not going on any damned expeditions to please somebody else’s idea of who I should be with.

I really wish color wasn’t an issue in day to day American life. We just not gotten there yet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I have a copy of Dan Brown’s Act of War on my desk and off to the side The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz. I just cannot seem to bring myself to crack the spines on those anymore. They really are good reads and challenge me, but I have found and even more intriguing addiction………online dating profiles.
I am amazed at what some women will actually put to print. I can only imagine what my brethren have spewed across the World Wide Web. Chris Rock said it best……”Men tell more lies, women tell bigger lies.” A night out on the town will fill you in on all the BS gents lay down in just a few hours.  Here are a few of my faves:
I am a musician, so I don’t have much time for a 9-5. ~ I’m self-employed.  ~ I will rock your world. ~  I wish more women liked to just cuddle. ~  Your eyes are intoxicating. ~  Kids?? I love kids! ~  Maybe we can just take a nice relaxing walk on the beach. ~ I’d rather be somewhere less smoky and more intimate. ~ Sure, I’ll get you a drink….uh Robbie how much am I up to?? ~ Family is the most important thing to me. ~ I was laid off. ~ I respect all women the same.
The list goes on and on. Now my ladies, you really lay it on! I recognize that not all of God’s creatures are created equal however………..
I’m looking for a real man: Good thing cuz it’s doubtful that Ken would be able to respond to your posting. Of course you are! I mean with your weave, acrylics, colored contacts, dyed hair, breast implants, Apple bottom jeans, Jessica stilettos, bra strap clip(if you’ve not saved enough for that augmentation just yet), Brazilian wax, fake lashes, and glamour shots that you had taken for no apparent reason other than to post here……..why on earth would you want a guy that was not man enough to show you who he really is??
The most important thing in my life is my kids: I can see that, why else would you have pics of them on a dating website? Wow, your 20 year daughter is so…….mature. Is she on this site too? C’mon ladies, are you looking for a partner or a baby-daddy? If your kids are not your first priority then you should not be surprised with the prize of a man that’ll most likely land. I get that you all are a package deal, but save that shit for facebook.
God comes first in my life: I know he does. Your kids know it too. All six of them born out of wedlock. I know that the pic of you doing shots at the bar surrounded by all of those dudes is not an accurate portrayal of who you are. That was just one of those crazy let my hair down days………..that end in Y. You have beliefs, good maybe your kids will learn something from them. However spare us the bullshit routine of being a good Christian woman if you are not walking the walk. You might try looking for a good man at church. I mean, I’m sure you go every week right?
So folks, I may never read a book worth a damn again. This stuff is just too rich! I read one and just as soon as I finish it’s on to the next one. Queue my Jay-Z exit music!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

huffin' & puffin'!

I’ve come to learn that I am more apt to finish something when I think somebody is watching me…..well, unless I am in the mood to be an ass. In that case I just may toy with you. However, pressure seems to be a driving point in my task completion cycle. That being said, I’m going to enlist a few of you for the remainder of the year to watch me so that I actually accomplish my goal.
Some twenty six years ago I ran my first one minute quarter mile. I had no idea how good that was as an eighth grader, but soon learned. I worked my way down through the 50s over the next few years and as a junior in high school I finally broke the 50 second barrier. 23 years is a long damned time! I have resigned that I will never be that fast again or that thin again. Hell, at one point I had reached 100 pounds over my Naval enlistment weight. Chubba-Wubba! I have been following a few people in their Spartan Race fiascos and have decided that I will register for a race before 2012 is up. Annnnnnd since I will obviously have to get into shape for this I am also going to make an attempt at a one minute quarter mile before I leave my “Ruby” year. Not asking for a lot right? Hahaha, I’m going to die. This Spartan thing is grueling and I really hope I can finish. Then again, I’m a bit hard-headed so I think I will get through it………lights will be on the cameras will be off, but I will finish dammit!  
I’ve had a less than happy year since I turned 40. I’ve spent far too many nights fretting over things that I have no earthly control over. I had a moment……a divining moment, if you will, that lasted about five days and cost around $2500 that brought me a bit more into reality. I’m thankful for a few friends and coworkers that saw a problem and came to my aid. It was definitely a downward spiral, a flat spin. Looking forward I think I can concentrate on the shit I can fix and let the rest just drop. Not changing anything by worrying about it.

So today I weigh in and take the dreaded “before” picture. Wish me luck. Watch out ladies, this old fart is coming back!