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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

reflections internals: the last summer i thought i'd live..

I've been thinking about doing a feature on my blog like this for a while now. I just didn't know how honest I could be. I decided a job as a writer is to give the reader your all. Even if it's the most honest you'll ever be. Even if it will leave you crying in the corner for the rest of the night. Even if you'll loose your friends because of it. Being a writer or a good one means that you are giving the reader a part of you. Your honest perspective of your life. Your giving away a piece of your soul every time you jot down a word. This is why writers are artists, too. Reflection Internals will be a new feature on my blog where I will share stories from my life in a straight up perspective. This will be interessting..

I always felt like the summer of 1992 would be the last summer I would ever live. It felt like that. Everyone who knew was treating me like it'd be the last time I would see them. And it almost was.

I was due for a back surgery that September. September 11th to be exact. I had scoliosis. A curvature in the spine. The doctors said that I wouldn't grow If I left it for another few years. We decided that we should get it before I stop growing. I was promised I was going to get to at least 5'8 - my fathers height. I wasn't too afraid since I had already had a few trips to the hospital. Once to get my extra thumbs removed. The next time was for my tonsils. Followed by my eye surgery. I was a vet in a way.

It was just that feeling I got that I wasn't going to be around to see grade 8.

I got to Sick Kids in the morning with my mother. We met with the doctor. We did the surgery prep. Everything was a-go. I remember it being a cool winter/fall day. There was something in the air. A crispy wind. We were assured that everything would be good. It was my back. How would I die? They said I would be out in time to watch the baseball finals at home next week. I was confident everything would turn out fine. We were just thinking too much. The day went fast. I remember after the surgery, I slept a lot. I shared my room with a cancer patient. He was around my age. 12 or 13 or maybe even 14. I don't remember. His mother and my Mom became fast friends. I remember I would wake up and hear them talking about us. My visitors started to come the following day. My family were there all day. Everyone was talking about my Sister's birthday which we celebrated in my hospital room and the Blue Jays World Series dreams. I was feeling fine. A little weak, but fine. Better than I thought.

I had a cool toy to play with. It was shaped like a baseball bat. There was a button on top of it. Every time I felt like I needed some meds, I would just hit it and a bunch of codeine. It was great. It was years before I ever touched or ever thought of doing drugs, but this high was cool. It kept me awake and happy enough and nothing really did hurt. My back, my lungs. My head. Nothing. I was a happy camper and when I became a unhappy camper, I would press my button again the joy would return. It was my automatic drug dealer.

And it was legal.

The next couple of days were a blur. I remember a bunch of my relatives came down from the States. It was a Saturday. I was awake for some of it. Then I fell asleep.
This was when I thought I would never wake up again.

When I finally woke up it was almost a week later. I was told that I almost died. The nurses at the big hospital on University fell asleep on duty and weren't monitoring my intake of the dream drug. I fell into a deep sleep. Good thing my uncle from the States was there who was also a doctor. One look at me he knew that I shouldn't be looking like this. I was told I gained 50 pounds from just pumping the drug toy. My face was fat. The family rushed to get the doctors. I woke up. All I remember was having a bunch of doctors and nurses around me in my bed doing various things to my body. They were trying to keep me calm by talking about the Blue Jays. This next part is what really freaked me out. While I had doctors working on me, I heard my sisters screaming to my mother outside the room telling her that they don't want to go home and want to sleep downtown at my aunts. They were scared something would happen. I remember looking to the right side of the room against the wall. There was a bench. My father was sitting on it. He was crying. Balling, actually. I knew something was up. I was just a bit too drowsy to really react. People were talking to me. They were working on me. Tons of movement. A lot of crying. Screaming. I was worried. I didn't know what was going on. But I was too weak to really do anything. Too weak..

I fell asleep.

Fast forward when I woke up again. I heard the stories. I heard that they were going to sue the hospital. I heard that I almost died. I heard that I was lucky to be alive. I heard the stories of how my family and relatives couldn't sleep that night when they heard the news and they were waiting to hear that I'll be alright. If I was going to come out of that deep sleep. If I were going to live.

Years later, I still have dreams about it. It was a traumatic experience. I was a lucky boy that night. I don't know what good I did before, But God must've done something to have saved me from his gates that weekend. I never really talked about it after. It wasn't till years later when I admitted that that night's experience deeply bothered me for years. I felt like I saw my own death. Something I never want to do again. I have these dreams at times when I see my own death. The picture is very similar to that night in Sick Kids hospital room back in early Fall of 1992.

This was one time I thanked God for keeping me around. I knew it had to do with some kind of divine spiritual being that made me wake up again. Something higher and stronger than doctors and nurses and family love was on my side that night. As much as I hate that night and have nightmares about it and caused me to go see a shrink, I think about it when I have doubt in the stronger power. The strongest power. If it's there or not. If it's real or not. That night, I was a believer.