Friday, August 9, 2013

My San Francisco VAcation


I really love the world famous Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, and I must have crossed it at least a couple hundred times since my escape from the Seattle rain forest thirteen years ago.  These last few years however, coming in from north of "the City" has been with increasing reluctance, hesitation and fear; knowing my destination is the San Francisco VA Medical Center.  Now to be fair and honest about it ~ this hospital is nothing like the national disgrace of Walter Reed VA hospital, and perhaps not as forward looking as American Lake.  They do an excellent job of trying to keep the place clean, and medically up to date, being as it is a "Teaching Hospital" and all.  For those unacquainted with federally funded health care institutions, teaching hospital equates to Barber College, and is epitomized brilliantly by the credo: "What you need, you ain't gonna get - and what you get ain't worth shit."  Conversely when I first see the Golden Gate bridge loom before me on the northbound trip home, it always feels like another successful escape.  I have a collection of  those infernal ID wristbands, one for every trip, and two for allergies.  I keep them as a visual reminder of the physical and psychological hell I have been thru at the hands of these healers.  For me it has been a true Crossing of the Rubicon­ experience, as having to fight back my fears equates well with preventing civil war within my brain.

There is this thing with surgery in the month of August with me, and I'm really getting tired of it now.  Last year it was an operation to install stints in both femoral arteries.  This year, just last week in fact, it was a more exacting and demanding bypass procedure to fix the failed stints creating a new exit ramp from my right femoral artery to the clogged and useless left side; & hopefully restoring my ability to walk.  Again, I have to sincerely applaud the VA on their sense of  timing; as I received notification about a week before the surgery that my claim for VA benefits has finally been approved after a wait of only 1460 Days, and 2 appeals.  My two previous visits to VAMC SFO were nothing short of fright fests, and when you include the emergency removal of my Gall bladder on new years day 2005, well my track record pretty much sucked. I was determined it would be different this time.  The approval notice arriving just in time to finance my funeral went an awful long way towards setting that positive mindset.  Who wants to leave debts behind, which is why I have always been a Grateful Dead fan. *  

Then there was the gnawing rodent of fear always trying to creep in to feed on any remaining morsel of my once estimable self-confidence.  The longer I was confined to a wheelchair, the louder the surgeon's words echoed and reverberated in my psyche, "Without this operation, you will never get better, and in fact will be at increased risk of coronary or stroke"... hell why not shoot for both!!??  Right?  Just to really test the system!  Then of course there came the muse, having her eloquent say, making me re-read some of the blogs I've posted over the last year~ about stuff like overcoming ego, fear, and programmed responses.  About things like being a heart centered spirit and being part of simply everything in creation, known & unknown.  The verdict seems to be in, that I can talk the talk; so my mantra for this trip to the city was, "Lets show them how you walk your walk." 

I have this friend Scott who just dropped in out of the ethers a few years ago and rented the upper part of the duplex I call my humble commode.  We got beyond friendship right away, recognizing one another as cancer survivors as well as kindred spirits.  We were both in the Navy, different wars, and while I had my career; Scott spent his jumping out of perfectly good helicopters to rescue drowning people, a Rescue Swimmer, is what they call them.  Heroes is actually a shorter & more accurate job description.  Being one who has traversed the minefield of the VA system for years, my brother from another mother has been my guide, point walker and designated driver.  I really love ya man.  But you know that.

                                                                     



Because he has a busy life of his own, Scott was unable to drive me the 65 miles to the hospital this trip, so I would have to take the VA shuttle bus, sometimes called the Gomer express: Gomer being doctor slang for Get that Old Mummy outta my Examination Room.  In addition to the lousy shocks and lack of intelligent conversation on the bus I wanted some music, but didn't want to burn time from my freshly charged cell phone -so I meditated the miles away...allowing my consciousness to just float away, and to become A-OK fine with whichever outcome manifested.  The bus makes no stops after picking up at the Santa Rosa clinic, so when it stopped after the clockwork 85 minute run I drifted back from my meditational hiatus.  My wheel chair and I had been loaded with the power lift gate by the driver, so I knew he knew I was there, all back of the bus and everything.  I watched as the passengers all hobbled off, and the driver began securing the bus for the 30 minutes of his impending break before heading back to Santa Rosa.  When I was certain he was not going to come get me, I calmly said "Excuse me ..." and this poor guy jumped right out of his skin.  "Christ" he says... "Sorry man, I completely spaced out you were back here, guess I somehow just didn't see ya"  I started laughing, knowing I had just been given priceless ammunition with which to engage the formidable VAMC SFO.  From that moment forward I answered every question asked me with "You can SEE me?"  Both the bus ride, and the night which followed admission were certainly the longest of my life.  How I missed my conversations with Scott as we'd just leisurely wind our way past the snobs of Marin county, cruising into the City by the Bay. 

By this time I was very familiar with the floor plan of the multi building hospital, and as always dreaded that long inclined plane of an entrance ramp.  It was no challenge to the guys with those nice electric scooters the VA gives away...but when I'd requested one my claim still hadn't been approved and I was therefore "article 99" not covered because I was a second class Vet, my PCP (primary care physician) vetoed the chair, requiring me to buy mine from the thrift store run by the local food bank in Guerneville, just a few miles down the river from my place.  A lot of folks just don't 'get' the thing about being in a wheel chair, especially a manual.  It isn't about folks either getting out of your way or offering to help - it's about being able to do things for yourself, until you can't.  It's a Zen thing.  So it was with a miniature "Rocky" inside my head; raising his arms in triumph the first time I ever powered myself up that long ass uphill ramp.  I wheeled myself in to admissions which is cleverly camouflaged as a part of the emergency room.  I get that, saves money.  I'm sure a few guys die every month from huffing it up that ramp, then wandering around looking for admissions.  Can't fool me no more, I knows my way around, which seems just a bit spooky to me.  I gotta just quit going there for a few birthdays.

Just as I begin the admission procedure, my cell phone goes off, it's my daughter Nova in Anchorage Alaska,  "I gotta take this" I tell the put off looking lady who seemed to be convinced her time is more valuable than mine.  And therein folks ~ lies the rub.  I am convinced that many of the people working there ain't just in it for the government wage and job security.  Some of them are true believers, I can see it in their hearts.  The trouble is they are all daily besieged by an ever growing tsunami of Gomers, the never ending dividend from our never ending wars.  You should see the work load in that place, it literally wobbles the mind.  These guys are coming out of the woodwork and the tide is always coming in at VAMC SFO. I am impressed and surprised that they don't have guys on beds lining the hallways & corridors like they used to at Walter Reed; before that national disgrace was deemed a Mission Failure.  Those who signed up as helpers and caregivers now have PTSD themselves, and like the rest of us who got it in combat, they more often than not have that 'thousand yard stare' indicating those who are psychically numbed, cut off, and detached from reality.  It's a defense mechanism, you do it to stay sane.

I don't think it's much different with the hands on doctors and surgeons.  They must be literally wading thru blood some days just to get to the safety of home every night.  I wouldn't want any job in that place.  Hell, just being there on a week long vacation can make one start really appreciating their particular role in this unfolding cosmic drama called life and death.  So, I got admitted only to find that once again sweet Beverly who is the queen of all appointments, has found me the same window bed I've had twice before.  Scott says my home away from home has the best view of any room in the entire hospital!  Last year some time I asked her if it was possible to request a window seat for the frequent flyers club.  I was only talking about the next upcoming overnight visit, seems sweet Beverly has made it a regular perk.  That was nice to see.  When I asked her about it, she said nobody had ever requested such a thing.  So ~ one gets places in this life just by asking the right question to the right person!  Of course, the rooms are in the matching building across the double drive, so now I get the fun of challenging someone to a wheel chair race for the trip back down that nice, long sloping downhill ramp.  

It's about 50 feet or so long and wide enough for 3 wheel chairs.  I spotted the only likely target, an old army puke with an electric scooter and an assistant.  They were ahead of me, and just about to make the left hand turn on to the expressway.  I gave my wheels three big strokes to pass them, then quickly froze the left wheel...making a pretty impressive "Batman" style 90 degree left turn.  As I passed the army boys I hollered, "Race on - no unseated drivers!!" and put three more power strokes on the wheels just as they synched up again.  The chair wobbled just a bit rounding the corner but seemed fine for never having practiced the maneuver before.  I can hear the army boys laughing behind me as I raise my arms up like rocky, getting close to the automatic double doors at the street level exit.  It wasn't until I was maybe 8 or 9 feet from those big, solid glass doors that it dawned on me that they don't work either.  I stopped my chair about two and a half feet from smashing into the still closed doors, and hit the big square 'open' button.  We're having a good time now, I even texted Scott about my first wheel chair race victory.

                                             



My room mate across the privacy curtain was a fellow named Ted, some years my junior, but with way more miles on him.  He was there because his heart is all Fubar, that's a military acronym for Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition. (only we don't say Fouled) Having Ted as a roomie was like the sword of Damocles, on the one hand it made for a quiet night alone as he didn't snore as much as a snort all night...but then there was nobody to talk to either.  "Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms?" **  I had made peace with the source of all things known and unknown, so my heart was empty of fear as my mind continued it's rather circular conversation with itself, there in the foreboding darkness of room 3B60-2.  Once they get you settled into your room, with a call light, and even a morphine drip button for pain they tuck you in almost like mom used to, saying "I won't be far away, if you need anything, just press the call button and I can talk with you thru the intercom feature.  Then they leave you alone in there for as much as four hours between check ins. 
                                                                                   

So, when my first nurses assistant told me those same old lies as always before, I was ready for her.  When she mentioned the call light, I asked her to demonstrate it was in working order, because so very many aren't.  That's a pretty consistent number one on veterans list of complaints and grievances.  Once convinced the call button works -  I then request a 7-Up from either a vending machine down on the ground floor or from the cafeteria; saying I had some nausea - everyone knows 7-Up calms down the flutters in the tummy.  It is the one liquid you can give even when placed on the  fasting diet for the 8 hours before actual surgery.  When I kinda obliquely mentioned availability of the drink, the CNA told me that it wasn't carried in the galley (Kitchen services).  I informed her I was aware it is regularly stocked in at least two of the many, many vending machines on campus...and would gladly pay later for a 7-Up today, as her comrades had confiscated my personal property, right down to my dentures, & locked 'em right up in jail - for safekeeping, you know!  Nope, not even my certification as a fully recognized Vietnam combat veteran could buy me a dollars worth of trust in that place, so I never got my 7-Up, and my tummy growled and heaved all night long, for the want of some simple homespun remedy.  That is what I am talking about here, and although none of us knew it at the time, this was gonna come home to roost like a flock of really angry birds.  But not until I had been patient to the point of night sweats. 

Still another catch-22 is when your doctor tells you to bring all your meds with you to the hospital, which they always do.  Then when you are getting the intake interview once you have a room, one of the first questions is, "Did you bring your meds with you as directed?"  The first time I fell for it hook, line and poo pill.  I told the nurse Yes, and she summarily confiscated them, and sent them to be locked up, down in Pharmacy.  I asked her why they arrested my pills after asking me to bring them.  A vet without his meds is not something one likes to think about.  They do it to keep grown men from taking a deliberate overdose to get away from the constant pain, and the bureaucratic lying rat bastards tell you it's because they have a big theft problem.  They sure do, someone has stolen truth in that place.  Yup, that's a pretty huge problem alright, but the Q-Tip counters and administrators who haven't looked a vet in the eyes for years don't see it as one, so the beat goes on, and on and on....up to present time when my intake assistant nurse asks me the magic question, to which I answered "Yes, I did, and no you may not have them, period."  Her response really took me off guard, when she just quietly said, "I sure wish you had lied to me about that."  After her words sunk in I answered back ... "That's right, get everyone lying like you snake oil salesmen, that will fix just about the whole warped system.  From now on just assume I will answer every question truthfully, and don't ask the questions you want me to lie about."   She folded up her fancy tablet and scurried out of the room like a cockroach after the lights come on at 3:00 am. 


On my last two procedures I was an impatient, arrogant old fart who never failed to point out the many daily insults to the intellect and spirit of the wounded warriors who that place was built to serve, just one more thing so many of them seem to have lost touch with, or forgotten, in their climb up the federal ladder.  On my last three visits, I have checked myself out against my doctors recommendations.  They really frown on that kind of flagrant disrespect, and because of it my jacket is flagged, as a trouble maker!   It all began 2 years back right after my skin cancer had been defeated, (I call it my nose job from God) They wanted me to submit to an X-ray, CT scan, and MRI all on the same night, and I thought that much radiation exposure was uncalled for unless they were trying to insure no progeny ever again sprang from my loins.  When I told an arrogant, smarmy Asian student doctor I was the one in charge of my health care, not him...he responded that if I refused the MRI or CT scan, they didn't have anything else to offer me at that time, (11:45 pm) so I could go ahead and go home right then because they needed the bed!  He left the room rather quick when I asked him if he could appreciate the utter irony of a Vietnam vet with PTSD taking orders from an Asian who wasn't even alive when I served?  I think it was the hard stare and frown that communicated to him how close he was to his first and last flying lesson.  Yes, that night they had me so pissed off I actually considered throwing that young fellow right thru the security glass on that 3rd floor room.  It wasn't a side of myself I was particularly comfortable with seeing right up on the surface for all to see it...and that is why I was so totally focused on having a much better attitude and outcome this time around. 

They were ready for anything but what I brought them.

After a few hours the nurses, doctors and CNA'S were all onto my "You can see me?" Routine, and a couple even played along.  They'd come in as quiet as death with their support hose and combat sneakers, gliding up to my bed to get my vitals. If I stirred, or acknowledged them in any way, they'd just whisper, "Yes, you're visible again sir!"  They just assumed I was sleeping because I meditate, and silent chant with the eyes closed to prevent visual distraction.  Besides, when yours is the first procedure of the day, you really don't sleep very much.  You count the holes in the antique acoustic ceiling panels, and watch the second hand race around the clock...thinking if you concentrate hard enough you can even stop that hand, or better yet, send it running backwards, and yes, I have seen it done.  No, I haven't accomplished it yet.  So, I had to toss in something new to astound and please the crowds around me. Over the preceding 30 years I've cultivated the ability to control my heart rate.  Most humans resting heart rate is somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM).  If I find my heart beating too fast I can consciously drop it by five points in as many minutes, or less.  In five more minutes I can drive it down another five points.  If I go into a waking trance, I can get it down to around 45 BPM or so, when I'm talking to someone.  That always freaks them out.  So whenever a nurse, doctor or CNA told me my heart rate was high, I would drop the value a few points, and ask them to have another look; then I'd do it again.  I figure that if I had to be there, living on the IV,  I was entitled to some free entertainment.  So, by the time I was ready to go into pre-op I was hearing one of my doctors insisting to the other one that I had Bradycardia, while my main nurse was saying he was incompetent if he couldn't tell Tachycardia when he saw it. 

The first step in any successful engagement, divide & conquer!!

I was doing some light chanting when they came for me, silently over & over, Om Mani Padmi Hum ~ Om Mani Padmi Hum . My heart rate must have been around 50 or so, I could hear them outside the room, I was about to go dancing in the dragons jaws, time to shift into performance mode.  The nurse tried to engage me in light, positive banter on the journey down to the operating room, so I played along, saying that I was super happy with Dr. Riley, my surgeon, and her whole team.  She immediately shifts her eyes furtively around to the others escorting the gurney.  This woman was keeping a secret from me, so I just let her have it, I calmly said, "Darlin, don't you know it's wrong to deceive someone going under the knife?"  I let that hang on the air for all to appreciate the naked helplessness I'd put on her face.  "Well..." she began..."There has actually been a change, Dr. Castro will be doing the procedure."  I locked eyes back on this nurse who was younger than my daughter, and said, "Listen to Me, please.  Doc Riley did my initial interview, Doc Riley did my consultations and was the official documented surgeon assigned to me - I hereby protest and reject this change of surgeon, no substitute hitters allowed on my home field."  I knew they were not going to postpone the operation so I pulled out and began silently chanting what is known as the death defying mantra, the Tryambhakam Mantra - (sometimes called the Mahamriytunjaya Mantra) over and over until they lowered the face mask with the drugs in it over my nose.  The gas man calmly tried to talk me down, with stuff  like, "this is just a mixture to help you relax and protect your heart."  Looking at the clock I turned back to lock on his eyes. They looked all upside down & funny.  I just asked him to please stop lying to me.  It's a Zen thing.   I felt the drug starting to take hold and in another repetition of the Mantra I was just so gone I probably left a puff of smoke and skid marks.

                                    
I had not shown up unprepared for this surgery; since it was going to occur almost synchronous with the Merkaba Stargate Portal; I asked my friend and soul sister Edna Spennato of Earth-Heal if she would hold the energy for me while I was under.  She wrote back that she would be there with me from the first moment until I regained consciousness after anesthesia.  Edna doesn't mess around, this unassuming elegant lightworker still in a meat suit always brings the big guns with her, and that gave me huge confidence.  I have worked with her and the group before, they are the real deal in remote energy work.


~The Message~ 
Everyone around me, including my friend Scott had noticed and commented on the fact that my entire attitude about the looming date with destiny was very positive and upbeat.  I always thanked the observer for their keen eye, but until now I have only shared my Merkaba Stargate Portal experience with Edna, Scott and a couple other close friends like my other brother from another mother, Ivan.  It was about half an hour or so into the event.  I had on some very nice atmospheric music by Jonathan Goldman called Cosmic Hum.  Without any precursor warning shot over the bow or anything...I was swept up in a pleasant whooshing sensation - not unlike being in an express elevator.  While still lucid with my apartment and surroundings I was also aware of the beautiful mother earth below me, in space.  I saw it all, the utter stupefying beauty of her, all her billions of incarnate souls all going about their business.  Living. Laughing, Loving, playing, teaching, sharing.    As I just took all this in I remembered not to collapse it by falling for the 'Oh Wow' factor...sometimes you just gotta defer astonishment.  As I was deferring away, a voice in my head manifested the single word message ~ "Choose."  It was not the familiar voice of spirit I am so accustomed to hearing, nor was it the voice of my muse...or anyone else I'm used to encountering.  It was just a smooth elegant genderless voice, feeding me back my own tag line.  Frequent readers of my blog will recognize this signature tag line of mine "Pick One!"  With less than a week before my surgery, there could be but a single interpretation of this message.  This was it, no more riding the fence as a spectator.  I remember actually weighing out the various pros & cons for a scant few seconds before answering aloud, "I choose to remain. ~ to stay here on earth and honor my contract." 
              

This then is why I had such a Teflon positive attitude.  I knew I had a powerful guardian angel in Edna, and I knew I had been asked to vote, and I did.  In the making of this choice I became subliminally aware of something else - any outcome of this surgery was acceptable to me. You have no idea how powerful and liberating that is.   Edna wrote me later saying that the candle she lit for the energy holding stayed burning the entire time, the flame never even flickering. 

The last thing I remember before the lights went out was looking at the clock, it said 7:20 or so for a 6:00 am scheduled procedure!  The first thing I saw upon my return to consciousness in the recovery room, was the wall clock which said 2: 30 pm.  What happened in between is subject to some conjecture, and fuzzy math; because when I asked my nurse how long I was "Out" for, she said, 3 maybe 4 hours!  Now I know there are some who may question my higher functioning systems, but it does not take a Mensa member to determine I was out of it and under some heavy sedation for a period exceeding seven hours!  Edna says she felt there had been some sort of delay between putting me under and commencing the operation.  Most likely they were waiting for my blood pressure to go back down...cause I can tell ya I was pissed off at being treated like one of Andrew Luster's dates.  I have not yet communicated to the hospital staff that I will be officially & legally requesting a copy of the video they shoot during every procedure.  I just gotta know what happened...and they ain't talking...so nobody tell them I'm going for the video. OK?!?

Sabertooth runs the ICU ward!
Now, for those awaiting their own first adventure in anesthesia, coming out of it can be a little disorienting at first.  Usually you do not yet have full use of your co-ordination, or manual dexterity.  You also don't have a real stable sense of the real for several minutes, to several hours.  Shadows move about and things go bump in your head.  Your sense of time is devastated as you try to recover your "missing time" like Betty and Barney Hill.   This is a perfect moment to mention my biggest pet peeve about VAMC SFO.  Every room has 2 beds, 2 swing arm TV monitors, (which seldom work) and two call button features.  Each bed has his own wall clock, and beneath it is a plastic dry erase board with that patient's pertinent data.  Regulations state that the information on these boards be updated every work shift, to include the DATE, Patient's name, Doctor's name, CNA's name, type of procedure and day of expected discharge.  The thing is, nobody does that shit because nobody has the time in the day, so the entire hospital ignores a cardinal regulation -and nobody keeps the data fresh.  Imagine coming out of anesthesia and not being sure if the clock or the info on the grease board were correct.  Now imagine that Bob Marley is in the cubicle across the room from mine, and that the Nurse who runs the ICU recovery ward is in fact Sabertooth, Wolverine's Brother!



His name is Sam, and his computer desk on wheels is situated to keep an eagle eye on a majority of the recovery cubicles.  This was my fourth time for being "put under", and I was certain I was ready for anything.  I was mistaken.  After making my mental time notation on the clock, I began trying to glance around, getting the lay of the land, making note of where the exit signs were, where any outside windows were leading...there were no outside windows.  Just outside the Plexiglas wall of my cubicle sat Sabertooth's desk...he wasn't there ~ It didn't help matters at all that the same actor was also prominent in Repo Men, a sci-fi flick about reluctant organ donors!  I could feel him silently watching from behind me, like a silent hunter, searching for signs of life.  As mentioned before, Bob Marley was across from me, he looked really good for being dead so long, and I just frikkin knew that when I rolled my head around, I'd see Jerry Garcia in the cube next to me.  But I wasn't ready to be officially awake just yet.  I was having too much fun playing with what seems to be a new gift from someone.  I am legally deaf in one ear, and the other one is working at about half or less of manufacturers specifications.  Therefore, I must really pay attention to what I do hear in order to not always be sayin "Huh, what's that"?  You learn to listen for what verbal clues are about you (there are thousands) and what that says about the thing you are thinking of.   Having a boxed set of the series "Lie to Me" with Tim Roth on the DVD is a very nice advantage in determining who around you is engaged with playing the lying games 2014.  The next thing you gotta do is listen for your name in conversation, sometimes its a good way to get truthful Intel.  It suddenly occurred to me that my default hearing was some degree less than before the surgery...but it had somehow become more sensitive!!  The things I was hearing from my good ear were much louder and cleaner than previous, while the bad ear was still silent as the eyes of a clown.  I'd been awake for just a few minutes when Sam walks in with a dead on poker face and said to me, "Don't sit there with your eyes closed pretending to be asleep."  Yes I know I was hooked up to three IV drip bags, and of course the ever present heart and blood pressure monitor...busted!  I'd forgotten to adjust the heart and breath rates in my thrill of discovery.  I don't know how the hell you loose part of the good ears ability and end up hearing even better than before, but I'll take it, as my ancestors would say, "Good trade!

Between the grogginess of the medicinal Mickey I'd been slipped and seeing the clone of actor Liv Schreiber strolling the ward looking much like the character he played who worked for the evil Umbrella Corporation ... I was still unsure just exactly where I was.  Having Bob Marley as a roomie wasn't helping any either.  This was all just a bit too surreal.  What bothered me was not knowing what day it was or how long the procedure took.  I drifted off into a light nap, thinking things would make more sense in a little while.  Wrong again.  When I woke up from the nap something was happening up the aisle behind my cubicle where I couldn't see.  Some brother veteran was having the kind of bad trip I have been all too familiar with; I didn't need the visual to know this man was deep in the agony zone.  The ward quieted down once they wheeled him back into surgery.  Not long after; Sam returned, the non-pulsed look never leaving his face.  His small dark eyes seemed to soak in all visual data as they darted about here & there.  He slid open the door to my cubicle and strode in like an alpha male in a pack of wolves.  He checked my vitals, then asked how I felt.  His voice was soft and understated, yet overflowing with compassion.  I told him I felt a bit nauseated, and again asked for a 7-up, and if he could turn off the huge color TV welded to the ceiling.  "I can see right away you're gonna be a problem," he said without loosing his poker face: "First you're a sarsaparilla drinker who doesn't like TV & on top of that you think you're invisible."  I managed a belly chuckle despite feeling like I'd been in a cascading car wreck.
                                                                     

After sleeping for several hours I awoke to more nausea and heaving...then drifted back off to sleep only to awake still nauseated.  Sam comes in and says "We gotta switch out your cholesterol formula, it seems you have an allergy to Pravastatin...it's why you're so nauseated."  Once that was corrected I began feeling better right away.  By that time it was late at night...but I asked Sam about getting my belongings brought to me, as I was feeling a powerful need to communicate with the outside world.  He said, "Sure thing, I think by tomorrow you'll be stable enough for some physical therapy, and by then we'll know for certain we don't have to go back in for any reason, just be patient."  Unlike the majority of healers in this hospital, this self-assured man wasn't 'handling' me, but was instead being direct and honest.  I respond very favorably to such resonance, and it is strong medicine. 

My second day in the ICU ward began with me feeling better, but very tired and exhausted.  The nausea was missing in action, and watching the reality show out on the ward was far superior to anything found on TV.  About noon, Sam comes strolling in all casual and cool, and I was instantly suspicious of the barely perceptible smile in his dark eyes. He says cheerfully, "Do you remember what today is?" and I instantly respond with, "The day I get my personal effects back?"  There is a pause as the grin spreads to the corners of his mouth; and he replies, "If you're feeling that spunky you're probably good for walking a lap around the ward, with a walker ... today is physical therapy, then your stuff.  If I'd detected any small speck of insincerity in his voice I'd have been a bit confrontational, but he again was being direct & honest with me.  I like that a lot, it's a Zen thing.

Bob Marley across the way was having another bad day.  I never inquired about him, thinking it perhaps none of my business.  We had an unobstructed view of each other which made the "animal in a cage" sensation palatable.  There were two young ladies who worked the ward with Sam, and you could tell from watching that with every interaction, he was teaching them.  These ladies were assigned mostly to Bob Marley, making sure he was monitored constantly.  A young handsome person like that should have no business being that sick.  It's enough to make one wonder where the justice is, or what his karma is like, but the man was going thru six shades of hell.  Most of the time he was curled up in a semi-fetal position, holding his legs to his chest and trying to sleep.  

Sam re-appeared, with a walker that was some years older than me.  It was a worn out, kinda ugly thing and because it reminded me of myself, I liked it.  Once up and at the cubicle doorway, Sam says, pick a direction, and lets go.  I aimed myself in the direction of Bob Marley, I wanted a closer look at my brother who had been checking me out since my arrival.  As we rounded the corner I could see his clear glass sliding door was open, and he was sitting up having some nice chipped ice.  I paused until he glanced up at me, then I snapped a sharp salute, & said, "Hey Captain, I hope you get out of here before me."  After we'd passed the room, Sam looks at me with those unreadable dark beady eyes and whispered softly, "That was an incredibly nice thing to say to him...but he's gonna be here for a while, his condition is critical.  My heart just sank in my chest, and I wanted to scream in rage, dashing the walker on the floor.  My mood was sinking, my soul was awash with unchecked empathy for Bob Marley.  We finished the lap in silence, and as I climbed back into bed Sam says, "Tomorrow, we do two laps."  I had no smart comeback for him, so I just nodded, and held up two fingers...for victory and "2" laps.

                                                                      

A few hours or so passed as I slept.  The nice part about being deaf in one ear is when you put the good ear to the pillow it's like a sensory deprivation tank, no sounds from the outside to annoy; no constantly beeping monitors, or alarms which sound if you move your arm too much.  That afternoon Sam came in to check on me, "Hey I have something for you" he said, and gave me a clear plastic device with three tubes, a float level and a breathing tube.  The idea is you inhale as long as you can to see how high on the scale you can make the little disc float.  Sam said 2000, to 2500 is normal and really good.  I gave it a try, and it hit almost 4000.  "Excellent" says Sam, now do it 3 more times, which I did, hitting nearly 4000 again each try.  His right eyebrow arched slightly, and he momentarily looked like he was trying to figure out how I was cheating.  Finally, I got a reaction from him!  I handed it back to him, and just said, "Thanks."  Sam said, "Oh no, this is yours, I want you to use it four or five times an hour as therapy for your emphysema."  I had waited a long time for this, and the timing had to be perfect.  I again handed it back to him saying I didn't need it ~ I had a better one at home.  It took a moment for the anticipated look of confusion to spread to his face, and when I saw it, I asked him, "What, you never seen a Percolator Bong, Sam?" He never saw it coming, and just walked out my cube grinning and shaking his head.  Melted the ice cube in ICU, my work here was done!  

That evening was my first solid food in over 3 days.  Pork chops, and down home mashed potatoes, and the best fake coffee I have had.  It tasted like ambrosia to me!  When Sam came around to collect the tray after my feast, I said to him, "Sam, you know I'm not here to bust your ass, but I really need my cell phone...any word on what the holdup is?"  He immediately gets this look on his face of frustration with hospital politics, and replied sincerely.  "It's my fault dude, you should have had that stuff here yesterday.  There is no reason you can't have it back...we just got real busy and I spaced it out.  It seems as the only person with a key to personal effects storage is the shift supervisor, who takes the key home at night.  This of course makes zero sense to me, and I said so.  Why in the world this policy is still in effect escapes me.  No wounded warrior should ever have to wait for some bureaucrat to come back to work before he can communicate with his loved ones.  This shit sucks, and I was nearing the end of my patience with it, and Sam picked right up on that.

The following day I did my two laps of physical therapy and earned my release from ICU, as we finished the second lap, Sam looks me right in the eye, paused for a second or two, I think just for dramatic effect and then spoke.  "We're kicking you out of here because you are in the upper 1% of the healthiest men we have here...some will leave horizontal - I just want you to appreciate how fortunate you are, is all."  The only trouble was, no open bed in the hospital wing to move me to, so there I sat until early Sunday evening...without my personal effects.  My temperament was quickly becoming more like the me they had prepared to see.  When Sam finally came in with new marching orders for me, he said he would do what he could to get my stuff up to me, but it was really out of his hands, as well as my own.  Two interns arrived with a travel gurney to take me back up to good old room 3B60-2.  As they wheeled me past my new friend Sabertooth, I said "Hold it up a second guys, this dude owes me a fist bump."  Sam turns around, gave me my fist bump, and said, "When they discharge you in a day or two, come down & see me before you go."  I told him I would try, but couldn't make any promises in that direction.  A few minutes later I was back in my home away from home with the killer view...and no belongings.

                                                                                  

Ted, my former roomie was gone...hopefully to home; I just couldn't bring myself to ask.  There was a new arrival though...a bunched up & knotted privacy curtain now hung directly in front of the window.  It was very spooky because I was still dealing with some minor cognitive issues due to the marathon anesthesia session, and I would drift off to a light sleep, and each time I'd creep back awake, every time, this hanging curtain looked just like some mutant nun standing guard over me.  I asked for them to remove it, only saying it interfered with my killer view; but of course they never did.  It was now nearly ten pm on Sunday night, August 4th, but I had no way to know that.  Sam had said to continue PT once in the hospital ward, so I wandered outside and stole a wheelchair from a row of empty ones.  I began wheeling myself around, trying to discover where the nurses all hang out when they're ignoring broken call lights.  Couldn't find a single nurse anywhere, and the whole ward was as still as a graveyard at midnight.  I never found the gaggle of MIA Florence Nightingale's, but I did run into one of the newer CNA's I recognized and began a litany of complaints and grievances George Carlin would have applauded ~ starting with my missing belongings, and my now fervent desire to connect with my people.  The cute little thing tried to play me with fake mollification ... I stopped her right in mid word, and said; "Darlin, now you're just pissing me off!"  Tell the shift supervisor I INSIST on seeing him or her IMMEDIATELY!   In one ear & out the other!

Next she says I should return to my room, so I told her - "Darlin, that never worked for mom, what chance do you think you have?"  As I rolled on down the hall I said over my shoulder, "Maybe now would be a good time to call security.  I got back to my cell and hunkered in for another long night of being left in the dark and fed a bunch of fertilizer...a human mushroom.  I fought to keep my spirits high and my heart rate low.  I tried to explain to the evening nurse that being without my belongings was really stressing me out and playing merry hob with my PTSD as well, all of which the surgeon told me to avoid.  Her answer was to say I could use her phone.  what stupidity.  I then explained that I have a smart phone because I'm not, & cannot remember all those numbers...besides none of my friends know her, so very likely would ignore the call;  all of which glosses over the fact of "Where is my stuff?"
                                                                                        

The keepers of this gulag were still talking about keeping me another day or two, and I responded, "What good does that knowledge do me when I don't know what fracking day it is today, much less the right time of day."... or any of the other info they refuse to log onto the dry erase boards.  "What,-  do you people actually think we don't care about such data?  Or is it just you guys who don't?"  There was a tangible crackle in the air, and I knew it meant just one thing ~ Night Sweats time...their patient was out of patience, and little puffs of purple smoke were no doubt escaping from both ears by now.  OK corral time at VAMC- SFO.  All through the long night I kept myself awake, to be sure I was awake if and when any of them actually came around to check my vitals.  For some reason the staff were more scarce than ever now because they knew Mr. nice guy had died in ICU, and now they had to deal with a pissed off & stressed out combat veteran with a single objective.  Every time one of them ventured into my cell all they heard was,  "I want to see the shift supervisor right now, Damn it."  The night that threatened to last longer than my sanity finally gave in to creeping sunlight, and the fog bank that envelops the Bay each morning. 

Nothing looked better by the light of day because with it I could only verify that my stuff was still not here with me.  I decided to meditate before I burst a whole new blood vessel, and a few minutes later I was tranced out in my happy place, silently chanting the Hanuman Chalisa to myself.  It was some time later when one of the young nurses who I actually respected somewhat ventured into my cell.  I was aware of her presence because I could hear her say, "I really don't want to wake him up..."  to which her colleague replied, Just wake him and say he has a call."  Boom, end of meditation.  I sit up, eyes open and alert, she hands me somebody's cell phone, saying one of your friends is looking for you.  "Great I thought; it must be either Scott or Ivan.  To my delighted surprise, I was wrong ~ it was Zen Gardner!  We had only spoken on the phone a couple of times and right then his was about the sweetest voice I could ever hear.  It seems Edna Spennato, my guardian angel had pushed & prodded to get some decent information from the hospital, then Zen followed thru with the  call.  We talked for a few minutes, which had the effect of a great sweat lodge on me.  I felt all my tenseness drain away, and my positive attitude re-surfacing - with a vengeance.  It's a Zen thing.

                                                                                   


When I was done with the call I returned the phone, and told the nurse's aide, "Darlin, I am just plum done with asking you people for anything - you go get me the shift supervisor, and I mean right fracking now," (only I didn't say fracking.)  It felt like that communication contained zero ambiguities & zero distortion, as I watched my little nightingale wannabe stroll off to deliver my ultimatum.  It was now about 6:30 or so in the morning, and I began preparing my final ascent of mount Notruth, overlooking the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.  I knew I was never gonna get to see the shift supervisor, because those bureaucrat cowards never do things face to face, especially with an angry PTSD veteran, so my campaign was designed around the one individual I knew had to face me, the charge nurse.  This was her turf, and I had just thrown down the gauntlet.  They always give you 20 minutes to calm down after an emotional outburst, so I knew it would be more like 30 to 40 minutes in my case.  Some ten minutes later as I was resting my eyes and going over my battle strategy, A tall African man in traditional robes and hat strolled in as on a cloud of air he was so silent. He looked quite a bit like the holy man in "The Chronicles of Riddick" and stepped around the curtain, standing just at the outer edge of my half of the room.  I immediately glanced up at his forehead, then I grinned, saying "Oh, you are the chaplain, excellent - pull up a chair.  He declined the chair but immediately mentioned; "You know almost everyone looks at my ID badge, but you went right to the third eye, and saw my profession.  Very impressive!"  I just said I was done wasting time here and did he have any pull with higher powers to get my belongings brought to me?  He laughs a deep satisfying belly laugh, so I knew I was in his heart zone, laughing along with him.  We enjoyed a nice chat for maybe ten or 15 minutes.  We spoke of spiritual matters, the chakras and of course, chanting.  He seemed surprised when he discovered I chant in the original old Hindi language, so I acted amazed that everybody didn't!  I knew he was sent in to calm me down and waste my time, so I had to get rid of him, so I asked what his experiences were with the five transpersonal chakras, up beyond the crown chakra.  He suddenly fussed with his watch and realized his time with me had just run out.  With a polite, "Namaste" he departed as silently as he'd arrived.  Now I wish I'd looked at his ID Badge, because I never got his name, and I really liked him, even though the staff used him for a battering ram.

It was now about a quarter of seven am, and I didn't need to wonder where the charge nurse was, I could hear her approaching at full combat speed, along with a gaggle of minions.  The sparks flew as soon as she stepped across the line into my side of the room.  I remembered this Valkyrie from my last two nightmare visits, and we have a mutually strong and sincere dislike for one another.  Today, I would be the chooser of the slain, and she, the chosen.  She starts off on me like a frigid school marm from the 40's, make that the 1840's so I loudly interrupted her, and stood to my full 6ft 1 inch height and asked loudly, like a scolding father, "Do you remember me?"  I demanded to know, to which she snapped, "I sure do, and if you think you can come in here making ultimatums on my floor your sadly mistaken."  I dismissed her with an arrogant scoff, the way one does with a bore or a fool.  I looked this hateful person right in the eyes and told her, "What gives you the right to deprive me of contact with the outside world?  Don't you know I have friends and loved ones who haven't heard from me since I was admitted 4 days ago?   Or is it you know, but just don't care?  Here is how this is going to work ~ if my stuff, and I mean all of it isn't sitting in this room with me in fifteen minutes, I'm gonna start screaming like bloody hell and throwing things!"  Not having the slightest clue how to handle me, she yells, something like "The hell you will, not on MY floor you won't " - then the arrogant old bird turned her back on me to storm out in a huff.  Not the brightest bulb in the box, so I grabbed up a Kleenex box and sailed it at her - with a two-finger Frisbee technique.  The box of tissues nailed her squarely between the shoulder blades.  She whipped back around at me which was where I yelled at her, "Fifteen minutes, Darlin, or your next job will be in the fast food industry, and don't forget, I can walk now!!"  My belongings were delivered within ten minutes by some poor orderly I'd never seen before.  I thanked him as I eagerly dug out my cell phone.  As he left I told him to tell nurse Ratchet I didn't want to be disturbed for ANY reason for at least two hours.  
                                                                        

As soon as my phone powers up it downloads something like 33 new emails and texts from a variety of sources.  The first thing up on the scroll was a headline from "Before it's News" about how the DHS had locked down San Francisco the morning of my surgery...and the same thing happened in the capitol of Pakistan.  Incredible, I can't go on a restful vacation and leave you guys alone without this BS happening? Once all my emergency messages were sent out, I dug out my skull cap like the surgeons wear, and my new joe cool dark glasses, and took a nice, long peaceful nap.  Around nine am good nurse Glenda stopped by to check my stats & vitals.  Asked if I was using the Morphine drip push button, and I said, not once all night, you can unhook that sucker if you want.  She said she came to tell me the doctors thought I'd be stable enough to go home first thing in the morning, to which I said, "Sounds great, Darlin, bring me food for my men and wine for my horses please :)  because I am starved & they are dry."  She departs soon enough, and I fell back asleep right away.  It must have been less than an hour before my next visitor, it was the doctor who had been assigned my case instead of Doc Riley, my cutter, her name was doc. Castro!  she asks how my feet feel, "Fine", then she asked if I was functional in the bathroom,  "fine" I say, pleasantly.  

Then she says, "if you don't mind staying visible a bit longer I'd like to check your heart rate...so I sent it to the basement for her.  When I caught her surprised eye, I told her, "Darlin, I just figured out why you folks communicate so poorly, none of you listen for shit.  All I ever said to anyone was 'You can see me?' ~ I never once told anyone I thought I was invisible, I was just checking to see who here is awake and alive."  Doc Castro starts giggling like a schoolgirl, then says, "I have one last question for you, How would you like to go home today?"  I smiled and said if they'd had enough of me and thought it medically sound, sure I'd go home today.  She stands up to leave, and smiling said to me, "If your heart is strong enough to handle what we've put you thru, and your little brush war with the iron maiden, yeah, you're good to go...but before you do would you mind going through the chakras one more time, I think I had them all backwards, I thought the crown chakras was number 1.  Starting to feel like old home week at the VAMC-SFO.

A couple hours later Scott and I were back on the 101 crossing over the Golden Gate bridge; heading home.  Like always before, seeing 'the Gate' in the rear view mirror brought that much desired rush of true freedom flowing thru my reconstructed arteries.  This time was quite different though, because what I was leaving behind me was something less of a disaster and more of a lasting victory.  I harbor no delusions that my behavior and remarks will change the way that hospital sees or deals with my brothers and sisters who served and suffer still for the doing of it.  They will never change, no more than tossing a rock in a pond changes the pond.  Once the ripples caused by the splash subside, the pond remains the same - unchanged.  They will however not soon forget what I brought them.  I'm going to track down that African chaplain, see if I cannot make a new friend,  in that gulag on the hill overlooking the city by the bay.   its a Zen thing.


                                                                ~ EPILOGUE~
As I write this it is exactly a week after I underwent my surgery. My recovery, by even hospital standards is nothing short of remarkable.  Where I just last week was able only to walk, or stand for a few minutes at a time, I can now stand and deliver for about as much as I want or need to do.  Every day, I get stronger.  Yesterday Scott & I went out shopping and doing errands.  I have regained my freedom, and altered my very future.  It's going to be very different from here on out.  As I said earlier, this was my 4th and longest experience with anesthesia...and something I don't fully understand is still happening as a direct result of seven hours in that other realm of consciousness.  Of course, the first two days after getting home I was still a bit wonky, still a bit scattered, and texting at the level of a trained ape ~ it kinda plays merry hob with hand eye coordination, and the senses.  There continue to be the movement of shadows, seeing complex images within ordinary shadows of everyday objects on the wall, and some of them swirl, and move about a bit.  Strange and funny audio hallucinations, such as the second night home I was watching Bill Mahr's Real Time: it was just beginning so I was closing out a computer project to watch the show and clear as a bell what I heard was "NeoCons with Bill Mahr", instead of "Real Time with Bill Mahr." That got my attention, as well as a few others since.  I have been trying to come up with some "common" experience in consciousness to describe what it is like even now, more than a week later.  It's like someone put the faucet for DMT on a very slow, but very steady drip, drip. drip, drip -and the resulting effect has been very much like one very long yet smooth DMT trip'  Instead of 5 minutes - it lasts 5 days, and still the drip, drip, drip, continues everyday.  But underneath these  symptoms there is much more going on.  The way I explained it to Edna Spennato was to say I now seem to have a few more 'open connections' upstairs than ever before.  New data pours in, gets routed & processed, all without my intentional hand upon the process. 
                            

The gift of enhanced hearing is not the only gift I seem to have received, My long term memory has seemingly repaired itself, and I've been flooded with very emotional flashbacks and memories (mostly good) of things long ago forgotten.  This seems to not be limited to my own timeline, as there are memories broaching the surface of consciousness that predate my arrival this incarnation.  Fun times.  I am getting better at jeopardy every day, I like that, quite a lot. 

I have been trying to get this post finished before the Sun does it's polar flip or whatever...I'm not really worried about it...it's just that I hear the last post published before the flip gets some sort of prize, and the pot is getting rather impressive!  (Just kidding).  If the Sun does reverse it's polarity, or Niburu does come sailing in for a visit, we will be fine...just fine.  We really gotta put our foot down on all the blatant fear mongers, and I suggest, on their throats.  Screw 'em, in my book; you monger fear; you should loose your earth privileges, period.  End of discussion.  When I had my Merkaba Stargate vision I was shown what a rare and beautiful place this still is.  Yes our dear Gaia suffers deeply from all we have allowed to be done to her in the name of comfort and commerce.  She will recover, she will forgive us, but not if we continue to sit on our hands allowing psychopaths to destroy everything.  I'm not saying there doesn't need to be a lot of destruction, we just need to destroy the cancer that is  killing Gaia and the rest of us.  Cut it away, every last speck of it.  We cannot rebuild the world we envision upon the rotting foundation of the current 'system' of slavery.  Blade it all away, what we need is a fresh start, with some authentic human beings leading the way. 

                                                                             

The age of Pisces was a 2000 year cycle of cosmic time which germinated and supported the kind of political and financial regimes which have enslaved us.  Their time is over, but they refuse to leave the stage and allow Aquarius to take over...even though this is our epoch.  There can no longer be this tolerance of king-of-the-hill, playground mentality, we simply cannot afford it anymore.  A new band with a new message is waiting to take the stage and show us the way into what Shakespeare called the undiscovered country: unfortunately the jack booted praetorians are guarding the access to the stage, and making sure Aquarius does not get it's 2000 years in the sun.  Who here isn't tired of this crap?  Who here wants to change?  It must begin with each of us being willing to cross the Rubicon, and storm the citadel - which is exactly why Julius Caesar forbade any general to lead troops into Rome.  Perhaps the day will soon dawn when we all snap out of it and decide to end the reign of poultry excrement mentality which has for so long dominated this rare, beautiful blue marble in space.

                                                                                                

  
                                                            ~ROLL THE CREDITS ~
There are some people I'd like to single out and thank for their role in my recent health challenges.  


As mentioned before, Edna Spennato of Earth-Heal, in Brazil has served as my guardian angel for this recent surgery, as well as previous energy healings.  I would not like to be seeing the reality I avoided by enlisting her estimable help. Had she not been there for me, I just might not be here with you now.  Thank you Edna, huge cosmic hugs all around, I love you sister.


My friend Zen Gardner was not satisfied with just helping to launch me into the Blogosphere and showcase my postings.  He encouraged me along the way, showing me little things to enhance the impact of my work and gain an audience of free critical thinkers.  Naaa, that wasn't enough for Zen.  When I was struck down by clogged arteries and confined to a wheel chair, Zen Gardner grabbed up the standard and led a charge of loving compassion which I hope I never recover from.  On his website he posted a small notice, a call for those who could to help, and they came from all over to do just that.  People I may never see in this life, who are total strangers to me, poured forth from their hearts a tsunami of compassion, love and well wishes which washed over me, forever destroying my ability to ever again utter the words, "nobody cares".  That is the biggest lie of all we are being fed.  

People DO care, and not just about their own little orbits of life either.  People sent money to my PayPal account, everyday working folks who probably had other uses for that money.  This windfall came at a time before my VA benefit claim was approved, and the generous funds permitted me the ability to bulk purchase my regimen of supplements for the next year or more... which only helps my body heal stronger & faster....which is exactly what I mean when I tell you that money is just a highly portable, convenient, globally accepted form of energy.  That was several months back, yet the influx of this caring compassion has only increased, growing stronger, and making me a stronger, better person for it.  Every single day I get emails from folks all over the planet, expressing their desire to send me healing energy and positive uplifting vibrations...to help me in my darkest hour.  All that was before the surgery a week ago.  When I went medical missing in action somewhere in the bowels of that hospital, Zen Gardner and Edna Spennato banged on the walls until they got results. 

 When I first got my hands on my droid phone, BAM brand new tsunami!! All these authentic human beings were concerned for me, and more to the point, were sending me energy and keeping me in their thoughts, much as Edna held the energy for me this time.  Again, I would not want to see my possible reality had those folks not done so.  As I keep saying over, and over, energy follows thought, and We Are All One! To see such an outpouring of compassion was without a shred of a doubt why I had the energy to thrive in that hospital, and it is exactly why my recovery has been so rapid.  I tried to answer every email sent me, and if I missed anyone it was because of the wooziness of sedation aftereffects.  You are all in my heart now, forever, and I find that there is more space in there than ever before.   I love each and every one of you, we are all one!

I suppose because he likes my particular brand of insanity, Steve Seymour, of The Philosopher's Stone website began posting some of my blogs, and somewhere in between when I wasn't paying attention, we became friends.  One of the first emails I got when reunited with my phone was Steve's response to the news that Zen Gardner had talked to me on the phone. It went something like this. "YeeaaahhhhYesssWhoraaahhHoooraaayyy!!!!!!"  I gotta tell ya Steve, ya brought tears to my eyes and made my heart glow with your articulate and scholarly response.  I love you, brother, thanks for supporting my insanity.



A couple of my early blog posts on the "Mayan Countdown" were picked up by a site I hadn't come across yet, named Mayan Majix, run by Michael Shore.  When I first visited his website my first impression was that Here is the straight scoop on all things Mayan!  And, as we all know our first impressions are usually the right one, and Michael is no exception to that rule.  Not only does he have one of the better information clearinghouses on the internet, he also promotes and offers exceptional quality Mayan handcrafted items, clothing incense, and jewelry.  Throughout my year long medical ordeal Michael has been a steadfast supporter of both my work, and health recovery...a strong energetic  presence of sincerity and positive attitude.  Thanks my brother, I love you!

                                                                           



 Throughout this whole ordeal lasting more than a year the one connection closest to my heart is my daughter, Nova, who still lives in Alaska and jogs with the Moose & Grizzly.  Where I once thought I was nothing more than a noisy ghost from her past, she has patiently shown me that she loves & cares for me in a way my words are insufficient to describe.  She was down for a visit a few months before the surgery and we spent the days doing wine tastings across Sonoma county and keeping the neighbors awake by reminiscing and drinking wine till the wee hours.  She asked if I still owned a cribbage board which to my eternal shame I had to answer in the negative.  Yesterday while shopping I found  a nice cribbage board, and as if programming the universe for another wine tasting visit, I bought it.  I can't wait for the first game, dear Nova.  If there is only one thing I can convince you of it would be how very proud I am of you ~ you already know how much I love you.    

Last but certainly not least is my long time friend Ivan, who not only came 45 miles to see me the day I got home; he hand made some ground beef and cooked me a burger that would put Carl's Jr. to shame any day of the week.  He knew I needed an infusion of high protein food in me just as surely as I needed the spiritual support I was getting from him, his wife, and all the rest of you out there. 


The obvious truth behind all this is: that good as he was, 
Thoreau was wrong...one chair around your fireplace is not enough! 



                                                      We Are All One!  ~   We Are Love!
                           Until Next Time ~ Be Exceptional to Each Other






Related Augureye Posts:

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27 comments:

  1. Back in top form Chautauqua. What a half hour journey you sent me on. Much appreciated, and so very relieved that you are well on the road to recovery and new discoveries. You are very much loved.

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    1. Hey hey BT-

      Many thanks, I'm getting a lot of that and it very humbling...Guess it's a lesson I saved for now

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  2. My dear friend Chautauqua.
    I was happy to hear that you chose to stay here on Gaia.
    The grounds are private but its consequences are great influences for all of us who remain here.
    I'm pleased with his recovery from physical form, very good to know.
    I was thrilled to read about your new memories and sensitivities, can not wait to detect them in your future posts.
    This detailed description of your vacation in SF leave no doubt that their short-term memories are exceptional.
    Take this opportunity to thank you for the inspiration you have been to me and again reinforcing the happiness to know of your decision to stay here being part of positive inspiration we need.
    I love the phrase that Tom Hanks said in the movie castaway 'the sun will rise tomorrow. Who knows what the tide could bring? ', But I think we should influence what the tide will bring us tomorrow.
    Thanks for staying to help influence the tide of new tomorrow.

    Feel loved and welcome.
    Big hug to your return.
    Wander

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    1. Wander~
      If anyone other that you had pulled my all time favorite movie quote outta thin air I would be amazed. Being that YOU did it, just puts a huge smile on my face. I long ago made a small copy of the 'Cast Away' movie poster, just has the Island and the quote. Perhaps we should all conspire to manifest the next tide we wanna see. Manifesting realities is kinda the theme behind the recent Merkaba Stargate event, the key concept being that manifesting in now easier than ever before - all we gotta do is turn off the TV, and DO IT! Much love to you brother Wander

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  3. Hi Chautauqua, I'm very happy you are well. lots of hugs, Stephanie

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    1. Stephanie~
      That's the nice things about cyber hugs and real life blessings etc ... they happen to work just fine, evidenced my the sheer numbers of them that come rolling into my place every day. Glad U R 1 of them :)
      C.

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    2. Thank you so much for including the link to Earth Heal. I felt the call, and chose to be a part of the awesome healing event. And Edna is amazing, wonderful lady :-) Stephanie

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  4. Dear Chautaugua,

    I am so impressed with your courage and your warmth..Thank you for sharing your adventure... I am so humbled by your journey...Healing energy coming your way...always
    Penny

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    1. I'm just in it for the hugs, and free vibes from great souls like you, thanks!

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  5. (Peek rools in a Keg !) Luv ya Bro .. I was super worried about ya and Love reading your post ! Kick ass work ass per allways .. Super man hug !

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    1. Thanks Man, now to kick back for a while and play with some new toys... :)

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  6. C

    Much love to you always. We all need you, so thanks for sticking around to fight the good fight. From a fellow spiritual warrior to another - it's time to earn our wings.

    Love
    Jeff

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    1. Jeff:
      Indeed, I'll see you in the ethers, my friend!

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  7. It is indeed very frightening to let "modern" medicine practice on anyone. The quantum leap in computers has failed miserably in the art of medical science. It is still the responsibility of the patient to heal on their own, which you seem to have done an incredible job of it, thankfully. I as well as so many other people have watched Star Trek, and I remember in the Star Trek movie with the whales when Dr. McCoy said, my God man, what is this the dark ages. Obama care is so terrifying as if you live through it, who knows what the bill will be. It takes much courage to go into the BLUE ZONE and put faith in the system, VA or private.

    The main thing now is that you heal and continue to heal. Talking to you body and giving appreciate to your body is suppose to help a lot. Just saying thank you to your physical body for cooperating with the full recovery and staying that way can be of much value. Purification of the body is the other spectrum, making sure that no harmful foods are taken in. One herb that is extremely helpful is Arnica Montana 6X for more rapid healing. Some doctors that don't have the conventionality drilled into them are starting to recommend Arnica to their patients after surgery. Something you might want to check into. Something I have heard is to try to keep one's body less acid like, as this leads to healing. Vegetables are really good for this. Vitamin C of course is very healing, and so is Vitanin A beta carotene. Vitamin D is supplements or just good old fashioned sunlight.

    "Maybe other people out there can give advice on foods, minerals and vitamins that have sped up healing". Many people out there have much knowledge in this. There is so much more from nature that can help the body rebuild than synetics. Hope you will continue to progress all ahead forward. Many people are sending you good positive energy, this will help a lot. Each day should be better than the previous.

    Realist.

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    1. Realist~ Many thanks for your kind and wise words. I did take your advice, and I talked to my body. It told me to stop taking it to that place !!

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  8. Really good news and results from the surgery. The entire story is great.

    I am happy you are mending well.

    B

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  9. Chautauqua - You make fine choices... You are a warrior that we need here and now. I am so glad to hear that all went well. You have been in my thoughts and heart. Sending you more love and continued healing. Looking forward to your spunky, insightful writings. So much love for you! - Little Momma

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  10. Dearest Chautauqua,

    (Althea here) My heart is full, not to mention my eyes. While you were on VAcation, I knew you were going to be doing your space-walk thingy and wow, am I glad you chose us. I sang "I wanna new drug" almost the whole time you were in SF and I got my wish! I'm high on you and this wonderfully thrilling, can't put the book down, story you have told us. Okay, back in the saddle, horses have had their wine, and we're geared to go. Pass the ether! Love you a ton of stardust, A.

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    1. Hi Star Sister!
      I am so glad everyone likes the story, you all have the muse to thank for it, the pushy bitch! Needless to say, you'll be hearing much more from me, but no more about me, as that subject by now must surley had it's 15 minutes, so on to some more pertinent stuff; after a break. I'm exhausted. My love to all of you.

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  11. i love to know you are up and on your feet again.
    although we never met i´d like to hug you.
    hope you can feel it.
    thanks for being you, man!

    erik

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    1. Hi Erik
      The good vibrations are keeping me strong up in here, thanks.

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  12. Glad to see you made it through. Proper nutrition and exercise would have likely corrected your previous issues. If only I had come here earlier the knife could have possibly been avoided. Now that you've made it through work up a new diet with a nutritionist and a workout schedule with personal trainer both familiar with your situation. Post their recommendations I'd be glad to give you my 2 cents.

    You don't know me but for what it is worth some of your posts outdo Zen's by mile. No offence to his great work. I would have only found you through him anyway. Keep it up.

    Peace and good health Bro

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    1. My friend, how very right you are, and in fact, I've many times thought those same thoughts to myself; regards to the cause & effect of better eating, cleaner living, and treating our bodies as temples rather than taverns. Not sure aboutg the personal trainer, but who knows what the future holds? Namaste

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  13. Thank you for taking the time during your healing to post this. I suspect this is part of your healing. You are an awesome dude.

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    1. Hi Tammy~
      I am sure that writing this post was part of the healing; however, knowing my memory as I do, I suspect my muse was concerned with getting it down while still fresh in the memory. Awesome perhaps, if that means I've done more stupid stuff than most folks! Many thanks, sister.

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  14. Dear Sir:

    Last night I read this post. It was so gripping that I read it to the end...way past my bed time! You are an awesome writer on the level of Kurt Vonnegut - gritty, intensely real. I was profoundly moved by your humanity, compassion and outrage.

    It was delightful to read of the wonderful help you received from other impressive bloggers.

    May your journey to health bloom before you like the most rose.

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  15. Wow, that was quite a read! I was riveted and now I feel a little high! Fun! Glad you are okay and wishing you the speediest healing possible! You da man!

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