Tuesday, July 16, 2013

parallel lives



If you knew him you wouldn't recognize him.  His body is still and silent.  Only the constant beep of the heart monitor and rasp of the breathing machine filling his lungs with oxygen signal he's alive.  A 21-year old Mr. Scabs is comatose, breathing in a rhythmic slow motion echoing in the small hospital room on an island in Southeast Asia.

For almost 2 weeks the doctors struggle to bring him to life. During this time, Mr. Scab gets a gigantic staph infection in a bedsore on his head, they discover Dengue Fever in his blood stream, his liver and kidneys fail and he begins a rudimentary version of dialysis.  This is the moment they call his mother and speak the unspeakable news, "We don't expect him to live through the night."  

But, Mr. Scabs has more lives than a tore up alley cat.

His eyes open.  They can't focus but they are open.  He can't hear well but he's aware of muffled sounds. His body doesn't respond to his brain telling it to move and it takes and everlastingly, frustrating 15 minutes just to give a thumbs up.  And, the most maddening thing of all, his mind works clearly, quickly, acutely.  Captive in his vegetable state!

After a month they load his weakened, slow moving body into wheelchair (he can give 2 thumbs up now) and he flies across the Pacific Ocean heading home to local doctors, medicine and his mom.

Thinking back, his memory is fuzzy at best.  He recalls waking up one night ill, vomiting and then nothing. Two weeks gone, just a mish-mash of stories, second-hand accounts and sketchy hospital records at best. It's the biggest mystery of Mr. Scabs life.

Mr. Scabs made a practically full recovery from his coma.  When we met he still had issues but I didn't see them.  I saw Mr. Scabs for the smart, generous, strong and sexy man that he was.  And so, we fell in love.

December 2011

If you knew me, you'd probably recognize me but see that something is terribly wrong.

My son was two and still in diapers.  My daughter was in school.  Mr. Scabs had tentatively moved into the spare room to care for me and my paralyzed legs.  But this particular morning, Mr. Scabs had left early for work and my sons good-morning diaper was full to the brim.

My body wasn't working, my legs wouldn't allow me to get out of bed, to stand, to pick up my son and change his diaper.  I tried and crumpled to the floor in the most excruciating pain.  This is when one of my best old friends came to the door with some muffins.  I hadn't seen her in months and she didn't know about my legs.

She saw me and gasped.

She changed my boys diaper.  Helped me to the sofa.  Fed me and cleaned my house.  But most of all she held my hand as I told my story.

Sometimes things happen for a reason.  When I think of Mr. Scabs in 1998 not able to walk or even breath on his own, I think of myself crumpled on the floor with no hope of walking or standing.  It's as if I was able to walk in his shoes and he was able to walk in mine.  We share in a new sense of empathy.  Is this how lives are woven together?  In parallels?



  1. THANK YOU. thank you. you posted this for me.

    1. That's good because I Have no idea why I wrote that!

  2. I got chills. Very deep. Life is interesting isn't it??? Thanks for sharing. Love your strength.

    1. Deep? Geez, I don't know, i'm not sure i'm that smart! Lol its just interesting, right? Hey, weren't you going to email me something? I don't think I ever got it. :(

    2. Maybe "deep" was a poor choice of words. I just meant that that's really fascinating that you both went thru what you did. About the email...I decided to take some deep breathes and let go. My anxiety was heightened at the moment when I wanted to vent but realized I need to learn how to cope, how to deal and take a few breathes rather than freak out. Although I did email you awhile back. Did you ever get that one? I hope I didn't send it to the wrong jenni---how embarassing that would be?? Haha



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