Monday, February 09, 2009

Miracles VI: Friends, Doctors, and Sharks

Rehab in Provo was fairly routine. It is the exceptional things that are worth mentioning.

First is that I came there with a renewed sense of purpose. I met repeatedly with my son Robert and his wife Stacy. I was obsessed, perhaps, with a sense of urgency that my life had been spared for a purpose. A short mission, so to speak, to serve so cause for good. I was not aware of the mission yet, Robert and I discussed some possible actions we might take toward directing the lives of his brothers, because I expressed some remorse as an absent father of so many years that I had failed my family and not trained my sons well. Anyway, we discussed many subjects with tentative feelers along those lines.

I also met my friend Michael Golden, several times. In fact, he came with me the one Sunday to the abbreviated Sacrament meeting they held in the little chapel at the hospital. It was a special, spiritual moment for me, and kind of ministering of a special friend that I will try to always remember in my heart. I can never repay Michael for his kindness, but I hope to try to do things half as thoughtful for others, and am hoping to try to instil in my own sons such a sense of selfless charity and friendship. I hope the seed is already there, and it is not too late for them. I hope...

Another thing that happened while I was in the Provo Rehab was that I had a series of "shark attacks" under clinical observation. This is important because the incident was documented by trained medical observers. First at Mountainview, then in the Provo Rehab ward, and finally at the U Neurology Unit, doctors and nurses have seen these attacks, and know that I am not making up the stories. In fact, one man of the psychiatric practice at the U hospital witnessed a "shark attack" while there was quite a crowd of onlookers. I was somewhat absent myself for most of the incident, since they tend to affect me that way, but my dad told me later in rather a bemused demeanor that the doctor seemed rather horrified by the incident. I hope he was not permanently traumatized. When we find some understanding, I want to share it with him personally, just to offer my personal reassurance.

Again, this clinical observation is notable because my doctors stand outside the room and whisper and shake their heads, "somatoform", "deeply psychotic!", "borderline shizofrenic behavior!", and other two- dollar words from the DSM, I've heard them all before. But the blood pressures continue to go higher than ever, and the nurses were alarmed to the point that they were going to call a "code blue", because they had seen nothing like this before, and my respirations were down to almost nil, and blood pressure levels were so too high to be even believed. Later, I heard the nurse describing the incident to the next on duty, in the handing-off briefing. He used the term "freaky!" emphatic and numerous times. I say this not to his discredit, because I think he responded well to the incident. We have found subsequently that the "shark attacks", although alarming, do not seem to produce any serious life-threatening effects beyond the extreme pain. Best to just stand back, and maybe don't watch, if that is your preference, and wait until it passes.

My point is, these attacks are very real, to me. They are happening to me. I don't give a damn if the doctors call the "psychotic complexes" or "somatoform" or "silly putty"! I want to know reasons and explanation this is happening to me, because IT IS! It has happened before, and I know it will happen again! It cannot just go away for no reason. The first attack was obviously associated with the first stroke incident in July. They started then. Why? Why are they continuing? I want to know, even more than reasons for how to stop them from happening, but UNDERSTANDING what is happening to me!   If I had better understanding, even if I could not stop or control these things, at least I could know WHY they are happening to me. As it is, one of the best explanations seems to be to simply shrug your shoulders and turn away and mutter, "he's obviously mad as a hatter!", and dismiss the whole affair.

That might resolve the issue just fine for a doctor who gets to move on to the next disease. But I live inside myself.

I remember Dr. Brin, standing in the circle of doctors in neurology rounds, at the foot of my bed one day, pronouncing, "That's NOT OKAY! -- That's NOT OKAY!" And true to her words, she worked until she found something that was NOT okay. I owe her such a debt of gratitude for that! Finally, a doctor who lived up to the IDEAL of HEALING!

But I get ahead of myself..

I went home from Provo Rehab fully prepared to start over again from the July point.

Little did I know what was in the works, and would so shortly come to pass. The biggest series of miracles in all...

Next instalment:  Interacte


Anonymous said...

How nice to have had a routine day.

Cool beans.

Jim Cobabe said...


Thanks in part to you, nothing has been very "routine" for a long time. At the very least I can say it has never been boring,