The View From Broken Back Mountain

Ok, so it’s not quite Brokeback Mountain, it’s more of a clever title (which sadly isn’t all that clever either). There are no gay cowboys vying for each other’s love in my home, and they’re not dragging me out to the mountains once a year for a hidden tryst that neither’s wife knows about.

Instead I “simply” broke my back two summers ago while washing my hands one Sunday at the end of June.
I’d returned home after leaving my pregnant wife, and daughter with my parents (for only a short moment). The goal was get home find the phone number for the flooring store, and head out again to pick up my wife (J). We’d originally planned to let my daughter (M) hang with the grandparents while J and I went to town with the flooring.
I get home, take care of business, and then when washing my hands I heard a deafening “pop” followed by immediate searing pain then I collapse to the floor. I’m thinking that was weird. There’s no other pain for the moment. I try to get up and that’s when it hits. Pain like I’ve never felt coming from my lower back; it’s only at this point that I realize the reason I can’t actually get up is because both my legs aren’t moving and my left arm is paralyzed.
Using my best Jack Bauer trick, I one arm myself across the floor dragging my husk about 10 feet to the phone. I call my wife and she shows up about 10 minutes later. By this point the incredible pain and back spasms have set in deep and hard so much so I ended up having complete loss of lordosis (curvature) in my lower spine. Yep straight as a board, and very painful.
So what would bring this on in a 39-year-old man in generally good physical health? Stress my dear readers, lots and lots of inhuman stress, bad posture, working long hours for little reward, internalizing emotions, not dealing with things head on, self-wallowing, self-pity, and above all a complete a total disregard for every single warning sign my body was putting forward.
The car was moving at 400 km/h flying through every warning sign along side the road that there was with little regard for what was actually written on the sign.
When car finally went off the cliff the end result was 4 degenerating vertebrae, 2 torn discs, complete loss of lordosis in the lower back, and an inability to piss without a tube shoved up my urethra (albeit only for 2 days). On the upside at least it wasn’t something terminal like massive coronary, leukemia, or the litany of other equally debilitating things some 40-year-old friends of mine didn’t survive during the previous five years.
I used the time since my accident to bring myself back to mental sharpness, recover from the trauma of being away from fulltime work for nearly 12 months, and to find my centre. I’m a little more country and a little less rock ‘n’ roll now, you could say. Using a whole year to get your mind in gear, realign your goals, and figure out how you’re going to support your family is no easy task, and I’m still working on the right mix of elements to keep my life’s juices from turning volatile again, but it’s a long way down from the mountain and every so often I just pop.
With 2011 finally here, and 2010 sent off chasing my birth year I believe that I’m now physically fine and mostly recovered. There are still some tricky days that end with me feeling like I’ve been the shoe of an elephant, but they pass. I take no pills (save the odd Advil). I take vitamins daily; I eat breakfast on most days; and I’m still struggling with that late dinner bad habit.
This year I’ve promised to honour myself and deliver on regular tune ups with physio and therapeutic massage at least once a month. Serenity. Yoga. Better eating habits, and better sleeping habits (as you can see that’s going to take a little more work considering I’m writing this at 12:35pm).
The never wavering support and love of my wife J, and my two little one M (the monkey) and now the brand spanking new R (the id) keep me motivated on the hard days and floating on the good ones.
Slow and plodding, but ever vigilant my goals are set and shall be achieved.
[PAIN]
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THE TIME REMAINING

In the time remaining we look back at the events of this year, and perhaps the last century. We are now truly moving into new and uncharted territory. The new year moves us squarely into the new century. There are no words to describe where we’ve come from, and there are fewer thoughts to describe where we’re headed.

Has everything gone wrong, or has everything gone right for you? The answers lie in the hearts and souls of each of us. Pushing through the curtain…past the edge of the tunnel.

In the time remaining I sit and wonder, not lament about choices I could have made, and choices that I will make. I am on the cusp, I feel that new discoveries will be made and new options will present themselves.

What will you do in the final hours? Is it the end or the beginning. Are you working hard at what will earn you your dream, or are you celebrating the events that will finally close a long chapter in your life?

In the time remaining we look up at the collapsing towers, to the falling memories of love ones, cherished times, and our failed attempts at peace, unity, and understanding. What will you do now? Will you help rebuild, or will you move into the next year with only a vague idea of what you want to do.

In the time remaining will you share, give, love and care, or will you steal, borrow, hate, and show indifference.

Seconds now until the new year is upon us…what will you do? Where will you go? Whom will you touch? How will you do it?

A dying moment left for you to decided what you do, in the time remaining…

Originally penned
December 31, 2001

[PAIN]

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J.: MY GIRLFIREND, FORMERLY REFERRED TO AS “THE LIVE IN GIRLFRIEND.”

It’s amazing how a year in a life can affect one person. The ups, the downs, the sideways, and the asymmetrical gyrations can leave one feeling rather topsy turvy not knowing in which direction to throw up. Compress that entire year into one single solitary instance where the big bang was starting to feel the turtlehead pop out of its ass and you’ll only begin to tread on how amazing that one year in a life can actually feel.

But then again you’ve lived that one year…and the one year before that, so really you should be on par with me. Unless of course, you’ve been gladly ignoring your feelings, yourself, your family, your work, and your increasing need to neglect everyone and everything around you–if this *IS* the case then you need help. For any of this to make sense I’ll just assume that you’re not the later…

Some of you may have noticed my lack of blog over the past 6 months, and if you are one of them then that’s probably a sad indication of your need within your own life…you couldn’t possibly enjoy these silly stupid, and nonesensical rants that I’ve been leaving…or can you?

I took somewhat of a hiatus–not because of lack of things about which I could write–because of a certain impersonability and detachment that I have shared with you, the reader. So I shed my old ways and try to get to the point of the matter without beating my meat for far too long. I am suddenly struck with an effervesent happiness that’s cooler than cool.

My live in girlfriend is (figuratively) exactly as she is written: one who lives in the apartment with me, shares a life with me, and a great powerful love. On a single blank page the words MY LIVE IN GIRLFRIEND are meaningless, and were I to let you know her you might be taken with her as I am…unfortunately for you I WILL NOT SHARE much about her…except that she is my girlfriend, my partner, and my mate.

She is real and brings calm sensible reality to my world, and most certainly she is a person worthy of much cherishing, much love, and much committment…

Yes I said it, and I meant it.

Having not blogged over time has given me grounds to read over the writing on the inside of my eyelids, the opportunity to pretend to have near death experiences in a jacuzzi, and sell my sports car, and become more responsible, committed, and devoted, to her–My girlfriend, the one whom *I* live with: J.

Ah, but that is all you get from me, for I dare not share more than the letter J. Could you imagine what would happen if I shared more? No. I suppose you couldn’t; a shame your wandering mind and eye can’t begin to fathom what I meant to say…or perhaps it’s just a shame I couldn’t write it. I really mean that privacy wins in the privacy vs. paparazzi debate in this case. Oh sure. I’m famous…

One year.

This is the time that has elapsed between my meeting J. and her absolutely transforming my life, pointing me in the safe and sound directions of purpose, insight, and self fulfilment. The self loathing, the self hatred, the self involvment, and sense of self righteousness, I once felt have all melted away leaving a truely new and vulnerable me.

Why? Because of J…because of our interactions, and because I’ve learned, and now I strive to be a better me, chip of the jagged edges of the me that was pulled from the casting die. Yes. A better me.

And what does this all really mean to you? Nothing. I and my life are but blips in the history of the human kind. I now know that I am to have a legacy, or at the very least the progeny I see in her eyes.

Sports car gone.

Money depleting.

Life stabilizing.

Happiness here.

In my pocket,

with you.

I am truly happy for the first time in my life.

She is deserving of a much better respect feeling, and representation than I have previously given. To eat my laid down writing is a compromise the size of eating the universe, so I release these electrons to assure–YOU–the reader that it won’t happen again.

The path of destiny is now illuminated by the glow of her heart.

With all love, and sincerity, J.

[PLEASURE]

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