January 22nd 1998
|My Understanding of Affliction That Can Lead To Gods Perfect
Mysteriously, there seems to be a transforming effect on being afflicted. Such experiences are life-changing and soul-altering in the deepest of senses. The combination of boredom and physical suffering squeeze and challenge the soul like a precious gem forged in the unbelievable forces within the earths mantle that can lead into profound heights of understanding, realization, and, in the long run, inner peace.
After I had broken my back I went into Cypress Rehabilitation Center in my hometown in Visalia, California. To say the least, I was less than willing to do what was asked of me by the rehab nurses and I resorted to cursing, sniveling, whining, or complaining anytime I was asked to do something besides eat or rest. I was resorting to my lower self - my animal self. I felt like an animal with all the needles being poked in me, young nurses inserting catheters into my genitalia, gloves where the sun dont shine, and a host of other "inconveniences." When two nurses tried to sit me up in a wheelchair for the first time, I threw up and just about passed-out. I hated it. I demanded to be put back in bed. "Im not going to get in that damn thing," I told them.
Then I got sick.
An x-ray discovered that my lungs were filling with fluid from my spine and that I would require another surgery to put a shunt in to drain the accumulating fluid. The night before I left, as the nurses were trying to inject an IV into my neck for what seemed like hours, I broke down and started crying.
My ambulance ride up 99 was tense but not as tense as the night at the hospital in a room with 8 other patients. I probably got 8 minutes of sleep. As dawn broke a crew of candy-stripes came by my bedside and turned me to my side, but not before I happened to glance upon the biggest needle I had ever seen in my life.
"This might hurt a bit but it is necessary to drain the fluid in your lungs before surgery," In didnt like the sound of that. I heard a crack in the back of my ribcage and I winced in pain. Then to make matters worse I started coughing. I could feel the water in my lungs being depleted and they were trying to excrete the remaining liquid. A cold sweat broke out and I was again crying. "F___!!! I screamed. Then the nicest thing that could have happened happened. A nurse gently stroked the sweat from my forehead giving me a moment of peace and serenity. She had to be a mother - and a good one at that. After that ordeal I was feeling pretty humble but still anxious of the surgery. "When was this going to end?" I asked myself. Finally two nurses came and wheeled me into the pre-surgery waiting room. Another anxious two hours and then finally I was wheeled into the operating room more relieved than scared at that point. The anesthesiologist put me under and I awoke to a stream of flowing air from a tube being placed around my mouth and a new scar.
The next week of my life was the most boring I have ever had in my life. I stayed in the same room, same bed for one week. The highlight of my day consisted of sitting upright, which was different than being in the horizontal position all day. My father and mother, who are divorced, would come to see me for short amounts of time, but no friends. Most of my friends were now in college anyway. I remember watching a particularly horrid episode of a Ricki Lake Talk Show after which I turned off the television. This show, as many talk shows do, exploit the confusion of starseed teenagers who cannot find their real cosmic family. I was one of those young adults. I sincerely prayed to God for this world to be a better place and that I wanted to have an active role doing so.
After that week long ordeal at the hospital, the first thing I did upon my return to Cypress Rehabilitation Center was ask, "Can I please get in a wheelchair?" And it was granted. I was so happy - I could get around on my own. My hair had not been combed in a week and it was standing straight up, but that didnt stop me. I toured the hallway at a comfortable 4 inches a minute, but that was OK because I was mobile!
So lessons like this are valuable. My affliction, as bad as it was in the moment, eventually enhanced my appreciation for mobility and, in the long run, life in general. I soon would become an eagle, a change agent. Now, three years later,
I am part of a very important Spiritualution and Divine New Order Movement in Sedona, Arizona that is making the world a better place through learning and living revealed truth as presented in The Urantia Book (Fifth Epochal Revelation), Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation found in The Cosmic Family volumes by Gabriel of Sedona.
There I was. In a small room, the lights were dim emanating the feeling of an intimate classroom environment. About twenty five students sat around in a circle lining the room. You could feel the energy in the room as we discussed concepts regarding a recent teaching at the Starseed and Urantian Schools of Melchizedek. A discussion about a Celtic love song that included the characters Itchy Mc Dougal, Bonnie McVeigh, and Maggy McGee was getting under way. As the laughter subsided, my lower abdomen began to feel a little strange.
The muscles in my legs began to tense up and become spastic. The distinct sound of moving liquid in my lower bowels echoed within my shirt and paralyzed (T-12) body. "Uh-oh" I thought to myself remembering the new muscle relaxer drug ,Levbid, I was taking for my spastic bladder. Unfortunately it seemed it was relaxing the wrong muscles. The all too familiar signs of an impending bowel movement was well under way. I tried to ignore the signs thinking about the embarassment to be had in such a small intimate setting surrounded by friends. My pride was in jeopardy. In less than a minute the slight twitch of my sphincter signaled the arrival of the unwanted fecal visitor. Before long the deplorable waft began to fill my nasal passages and I knew it was time to act!
Patiently waiting until the end of one of the students remarks I timidly raised my hand and with as much dignity as I could muster said to the driver of my ride, "Landau, my friend, I need to leave. There's something going on inside me," my fingers pointed to my lower extremities, my eyes fixed on his I communicated the urgency of the situation. He quickly responded by clearing a path for my untimely exit. Getting my Urantia Book and sweatshirt together I rolled my wheelchair defeatedly across the room saying, "good night everyone. Enjoy the rest of the evening," The class understandingly replied their sympathies for my unexpected absence.
"I'm experiencing one of the joys of being paralyzed," I sarcastically replied rolling myself throught the doorway. I was growing indignant to the situation. Transferring myself into the vehicle I could feel my lower bowels relax completely. My frustration grew as Landau put my chair in the back of the car and jumped in the driver's seat. "You probably want to roll the windows down," I said as I stealthily checked my pants for any embarassing moist spillage in the crotch of my pants. Thankfully there was none that would seep into the car seat. That evening I was luckily wearing (depend)ant protection. "Well, that's one way to get out of class early!" Landau joked. His humor was greatly appreciated on the way home. Our laughter tremendously soothed my frayed nerves and tattered pride. We both laughed and joked the entire way home.
This is an example of how I handled a slice of life's "humble pie". There are those crucial instants when life presents it' most trying times upon our pysche. Having a good friend, such as Landau, family member, or lover can greatly ease the tension of the moment and perfectly antidote the poison of self importance. Living in a wheelchair has been a difficult transition for me, or anyone, to cope with. We, just like everyone else in the world, need all the support we can get, perhaps even a little more at times. So the next time the cosmic laws of cause and effect dish you a slice of "humble pie", instead of sprinkling it with frustration flakes opt for the delicious frosting of friendship.