Story of the Modern Son of Man, Part 3
(There's been an addition to "Last Chapter" 8-4-2016 -- scroll to the bottom)
Deepening In Understanding
In spite of his doubts and fears, the son of man knows who and what he is, deep down. But he also know that whatever he sows, he shall reap, just like any other man. And he thinks he is very far from his spiritual goal (even though that may mean he is closer than he thinks).
He knows that having a messianic complex can be like having a superiority complex, and innately he knows it is wrong. Nevertheless, he has had to fulfill the mission for which he was called and chosen, and he knew he could not help but to "bare and pour out his soul even unto death," as Isaiah wrote. It was only recently that he realized that perhaps Isaiah wrote that as a test, so the son of man would show that he is willing to die trying to deliver the message.
He has had much to overcome. But, in his better times and moments, he has trusted in God’s guidance, knowing it comes by way of the Spirit of truth, sometimes in mysterious ways. And God always picks him up when he loses his grip and falls further down in the pit of despair.
He was shown why Isaiah wrote that God laid a "stone for a sure foundation in Zion," so that "he that believes need not make haste." And he knows why Daniel wrote that the "stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands will shatter the image of the King of Babylon and become as a great mountain that shall fill the earth."
He knows that "stone" is a symbol for the divinely inspired, universal truth.
He knows there is no "voice" from out of the blue, or from out of a literal "burning bush." God's guidance comes in many ways -- sometimes from right in front of us or around us. And it comes from within, through revelation and realizations that "occur" to us when our mind is open, and not preoccupied with thoughts due to self-interests, egocentric thoughts, or internal dialogue.
He found that if he asks a question, it will be answered all in good time. And the best answers come not with struggle or effort, but easily and smoothly, when least expected —— just as revelations come. They are gifts, not achievements.
He found that the Spirit of truth does not boost our ego, nor does it enable anyone to rationalize their greed or self-importance or self-righteousness to justify their lust for personal prestige or power or authority, or financial gain.
Instead, the Spirit of truth levels our ego when we allow it to become elevated, prunes it when we allow it to become inflated and imposing, and nurtures and encourages it when we feel ashamed and depressed.
In that respect, the Spirit of truth is greater than our heart and conscience, even though our heart and conscience are part of it and well designed to keep us grounded, rational, temperate, and well behaved –– if we follow it.
The son of man realized that the victor in Spirit is the one who seems to lose because he does not play the game or fight the battle. The victor in Spirit is the person whose heart is righteous, who simply tells the truth without imposing or condemning, knowing that ultimately it will be the pen and words of truth that prove mightier than political power or force of arms.
Above all, a son of man knows that only God is the Holy One and Savior, and he is able to serve God only because he realizes the fallibility of man, including himself, and fully acknowledges the infallibility and supremacy of God and the Ancient One in heaven.
And the Messiah knows that, as it is written, at a certain point God’s anger will cease.
"For I will not contend for ever, nor will I be always angry, lest the Spirit fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and afflicted him. I hid me, and was angry, and he went on willfully in the way of his heart. [But] I have seen his ways, and will heal him. I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips [and pen, because God's tongue is the pen of the ready writer who can express the voice of God's word]. Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near. This says the Lord, and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, my God says, to the wicked." (Isaiah 57:16-21)
May God have mercy on him, because he knows he must be "wicked" to judge, and pay the consequences. So he has to stop playing the role of judge, even though he was called and chosen to do it.
He was chosen because he was very well suited for it. After all, he is, as we all are, a child of his biological parents, born into this world with an inherited genetic code and DNA. And what he is was determined not only by biological inheritance, but also by a certain astrological imprint, behavioral disposition and propensities, which impel us even though they do not compel us. But he has, as we all have, both positive and negative traits and characteristics, and like everyone else, he must overcome the negative and accentuate the positive.
At his worst he can be Narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-important, self-righteous and cold, and at his best he can be empathetic, compassionate, kind, intuitive, introspective, selfless and loving. He is like most other people who must seek to balance and overcome or transcend negative egocentric nature to be more in touch with our true, Inner Self, with God, and with humanity.
We May Never Be Perfect, or "Godly"
From experience, the son of man knows that even those who have realized their oneness with God and humanity cannot maintain that highest state of consciousness. Anyone who claims they do and anyone who plays God is a pretender, an imposter.
That is why even Jesus said, "God is greater than I," and "Why call me good? There is but One who is good, and that is God." Jesus knew the truth, even though some of his followers did not.
No one can, and no one should, try to play God. That is something that the apostle Paul and other apostles of like mind did not understand, even though Jesus understood it very well.
That is why even though the son of man has learned from those who have gone before him, he follows none of them completely -- not even those who have said they fully represented God. He follows only God completely, knowing God is not a man, nor a son of man, but the Great Spirit.
Through and by his work he has turned the key to the door of our future. Now we all must open the door and adopt The Way to establish peace, freedom, and justice for all.
God only knows what is really in store for him, and he doesn't know whether his dark night of the soul is over, or getting darker. He is still being chastised, or is chastising himself, for all his faults, errors, failures, offenses -- and further realizing the extent to which he has been wrong and done wrong. And thus his physical health and condition is precarious, his congestive heart failure is worsening, his arthritis in his shoulders, wrists, thumbs and fingers is worsening, his vocal chords, liver and kidneys are problematic, and while he has feared for a long time that he will die as a failure, he feels even more like it now because other symptoms of other diseases are appearing. And the suffering and last near death episode his wife endured took a huge toll on him.
At this point he still has good days, and even several in a row occasionally, and he takes the opportunity to work on his music even though his ability to sing has diminished markedly. He still keeps hope that he will be able to produce recordings he is proud of, even though his voice is far from what it once was. But he has bad days when his heart and lungs will not allow him to do much of anything. He is forced to rest, and he trusts that there will be more good days. He is learning and trying to not dwell on fearful, discouraging thoughts, and instead put his trust and faith in God -- but sometimes he fails even at that.
Even though he hopes he has earned the right to be "heard" by the nations, as Isaiah put it, his work and words will perhaps not be widespread and acknowledged by many people until after he has passed on. But again, only God knows, and God many further heal him. He may live to see his work recognized and accepted, and enjoy the fruits of his labor as prophecies have indicated, even though other prophecies seem to indicate he will go to the grave having used up his last ounce of strength trying to deliver the message.
Therefore, he has decided, the solution is to stop working on the written message before he kills himself, and devote himself to to what gives him most joy -- the songs and music.
He also has decided to concentrate on thinking with a single mind, so that he might see with a single "eye" again. For he has been of two minds -- one fearing that he was just a fool with a messianic complex, and one knowing in his heart that he was called and chosen by God as the son of man and Messiah. For just like any egocentric man with a messianic complex, he has had delusions of grandeur and he has suffered terrible paranoia and fear of God. But, a mature and true servant of God and the true Messiah fears no evil and gains confidence that God will be his strength, as the Prophet Isaiah stated.
He learns why Solomon wrote that fear is the beginning of wisdom, because while fear does whittle and prune the ego and serves a spiritual purpose, true faith in and acceptance of God's will brings a person peace of mind, and much needed ability to rest assured. And he knows that, intellectually, even though he has not yet received real peace of mind and he still does not rest assured. He is still a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief, as Isaiah wrote. So may God grant him peace.
Whatever the future is for him, and whether he dies sooner rather than later, he hopes that his written work and his recorded songs, even as they are, give you hope, courage, and faith. (And keep checking that site. There is still a chance that improved recordings just may show up one day, God willing.)
May God bless the world, and all humanity.
Addendum, or "Last Chapter"
I will write this in journal form, in installments, as long as I am alive and able.
This story and the articles on these cjcmp.org sites were written in the third person because I felt that using "I" is, in far too many instances, egocentric. For example, to personally tell the story as my self it would be self-serving and egocentric to say "I saw God," or "I was chosen by God." After all, it would be like boasting, so I chose not to do that and instead wrote in the third person.
However, now, as I come much closer to my death because of my heart failure and COPD, I must write (and speak, as I have done in my videos), as my self. And I must confess how very much like many of you I am, because my faith, and my understanding, have been deeply shaken by increasing pain and suffering. And I tell you about it because it actually fulfills prophecies about the servant of God who fulfills prophecies.
I tell you about my suffering because of that, and ,because I am a miserable excuse of a man, I don't mind saying that getting old sucks. Having been a paraplegic for 38 years and having had to push myself around in my wheelchair, hoist my body out of the chair and into a vehicle or onto the toilet or into the bathtub, etc., has done a lot of damage to my hands, wrists, arms, and especially my shoulders, and they are giving out. As I sit here right now my neck, back, wrist and shoulder hurt so much I can do little, and I am so fatigued it is difficult to force myself to do anything at all (except write this).
I'll probably tell you more about that, because I'm having serious problems with it. But the last seven years and especially the last two years have been the hardest, not only because of my decreasing ability to do things, but because of the nagging reminders that I don't have long to live to complete the things that I want to get done. But, thank God, I am not as panicked about that as I used to be, because I have resolved in my mind that if I die right now it will be alright. My wife is strong. She has many friends and a large support system, and I'm not worried about her. I would only feel bad that I have not done some things that she will have to do, and I grieve because I know she will grieve.
One of my recent struggles involves the question about the role God plays in our lives, because while I have written much about that saying that God is not an "Almighty Superman Magician" and does not cause all events to happen, I have had to admit to myself that taking such a position is problematic. While I believe we have free will, I have to admit that there is a greater "will" at play in the Universe. That is not to say that God or The Universe imposes its will, and it is certainly not to say that God causes our illness, diseases, injuries and suffering. The real God is like a good parent -- compassionate, merciful, and forgiving. It is merely to say that there is a greater will than mine or yours, even though I cannot explain it. I only know of the existence of the One who sees all, and knows all -- the Cosmic Consciousness, if you will.
In other words, I am just a poor man trying to cope, and trying to understand, knowing that what I learn each day only proves how much I don't know, and also knowing that only when I leave this body and return to God will I truly and fully understand.
Isaiah said that I would bare my soul even unto death, and I have. I bare it even more now, and I must tell you that I am ashamed of some of the things I have written, especially when I expressed my anger and contempt. But then it was real, and appropriate, whereas now I am a little more circumspect and willing to acknowledge that not all people who are driven by greed and self-interest are bad people. Some of them simply don't realize the extent to which they resort to rationalization to justify their behavior and attitude toward the less fortunate or those who are different.
I want to make better videos of me singing my songs and speaking about democracy, religious freedom and spiritual values, and speaking of their real meaning, as opposed to the meanings that now mislead people. Perhaps I will be able to do that. I don't know. The way I feel today, I doubt it. But tomorrow may be a better day. God only knows.
The Cardiologist that I started seeing in 1997 after my open-heart bypass operation had to retire for health reasons a couple of months ago, so I was assigned a new Cardiologist, a woman probably in her 40s. I saw her for the first time and she jarred me with her bluntness. It was as if she felt my former Cardiologist had been "too easy" on me and she was going to tell me about the "reality" of my situation. She bluntly told me that I was in the last stage of heart failure and didn't have long to live. She said there were two operations that could probably fix the worst valve in my heart, but she said I was not a "good candidate" for those surgeries. I assume it's because of my age and financial status.
Needless to say, my first response when I left her office was despondency, fear, and anxiety. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do all the things I feel I need to do. Then I just got a little angry at her lack of empathy and compassion, and I told myself that I was not going to let her dictate what my future holds. Furthermore, I am going to trust in God, and believe that Isaiah's prophecies about me --- about realizing that when I feel as if I can't go on, God will be my strength.
I decided to ask my primary care doctor to refer me to a Cardiologist who I have heard good things about --- specifically about his enabling a patient like me to have a procedure done that improved his heart function from 20 percent, like mine, to 50 percent. That would be great if that were possible. I have an appointment with him tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it goes.
Meanwhile, I have been living my life as if I will be here for a good while longer. I've been writing when ideas and thoughts occur to me or come to my attention. I'm also keeping up on my music, thinking I may go out as a street performer next Spring. And I am getting my fishing equipment ready so I am ready to go fishing on good days. I've been out fishing a few days this Fall. I am being positive, and optimistic, and faithful.
I also have been being treated for my shoulder problems, with Cortisone injections and with therapy. My shoulders had gotten so bad during the last seven months that I was having great difficulty transferring in and out of my wheelchair and moving myself around. The injections are helping, and since I have two more rounds to go, I should be able to be more active.
So, perhaps things are looking up. I certainly hope so.
I should probably explain something to those who haven't read yet why I suffer many things. The modern son of man suffers many things for many reasons, most of which were caused by himself (as I've said previously). After all, even though he suffers for the iniquity of his people, as the prophet Isaiah foresaw, he is stricken and afflicted also for the iniquity of his own covetousness and willfulness. But perhaps the biggest reason he suffers so much is that he plays the role of judge of the world. And Jesus advised that we judge not, lest we be judged.
Jesus himself generally judged the rich and he certainly judged the money lenders in the temple who had turned it into a “den of thieves.” However, he said he came not to judge the world, and he prophesied about a “son of man” or messenger for the “Spirit of truth” to come, who would. He essentially said: "I tell you the truth: I must go away, but I will send the Counselor to you. He will righteously judge the world; because I am going to heaven and you will see me no more. I came not to judge the world, but the rulers of this world must be judged. I have much more to say to you, but it is more than you can now bear. But when he, the [messenger for the ] Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (See John 8:28, John 12:47, and John 16:7-15)
November 29, 2015
Since my last entry I have been heavily depressed, but ironically it wasn’t because of my heart. About that I feel better because I changed Cardiologists, got an Ekocardiogram, and received good news that my heart function had not gotten worse but in fact had improved a bit. And my new Cardiologist was very friendly, positive, and encouraging. It did my heart good.
But then I got to thinking, which is dangerous for me if my thoughts turn negative. And they did. I realized that even with the relatively good news, my heart and lungs are still operating at about 25 percent of normal, and, because of my atherosclerosis (heart disease), I could die at any time because of my heart, or because of my lungs and COPD. And then I was given even more reason to be depressed.
My shoulder function declined sharply. It had been declining gradually for many years, especially after I tore some rotator cuff muscles and tendons about ten years ago. And that, plus all the wear and tear caused by pushing myself around in a wheelchair, transferring in an out of the chair and into my recliner (where I sleep), into my vehicle’s driver seat, onto the toilet, onto the shower bench, etc., had badly damaged my shoulders.
Since September they have been so painful and disabling that there have been days and even weeks that my ability to transfer out and in to my wheelchair grew so bad that I couldn’t do it as I usually do. My shoulders and arms would not bear my weight, and at times that I couldn’t even lift my arms up to the front or side. I had to use a sliding transfer board when and where I could to slide out of and back into my wheelchair, and when that wouldn’t work I had to reach and hold on to the back of the chair and pull myself into it in very awkward ways.
I couldn’t do dishes or cook, which I usually did, because being in a wheelchair requires that I lift my arms and hands to shoulder height to work at the sink or stove, and I couldn’t do that. The only way I could use my hands was to hold my elbows tight into my sides, so my biceps bore the load rather than shoulder muscles. At one point for a couple of days I couldn’t dress myself or even pull my pants on (and for paraplegics that is a difficult task at best). And I couldn’t reach anything on shelves above shoulder level.
Of course I went to see an Orthopedist for help. In early October I had two cortisone injections in the back of my shoulders, and two more in November in the front, and I went to get physical therapy. Fortunately, all that and resting and not using my shoulders as much as possible has helped. But today I am still in great pain, when I move, and I am depressed because I fear that I will soon not be able to live at home but instead have to live in an assisted living facility. That’s my fear. But I’m seeing my Orthopedist again tomorrow to try to convince him to give me two more injections in each shoulder in the most painful areas. (He wants to wait three months from the last injections to give me any more injections of cortisone.)
But why do I tell you all this?
I must say that I tell you of my suffering not to complain, and not to make you feel sorry for me. I do it, as I have said, to show you how my life fulfills the prophecies of Jesus, and especially the prophecies of the prophet Isaiah.
“He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light on him the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:3-6 ( See the article on Isaiah 53, which explains how Isaiah’s prophecies, especially according to the Hebrew Masoretic text, are not about Jesus, but about the modern son of man.)
As is explained in that article on Isaiah 53, writers of the canonized Christian texts believed that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the prophecies of prophets like Isaiah, but they ignored many important prophecies and instead focused on certain words and phrases in the “Old Testament” to reach that conclusion.
For example, the phrase about a “lamb being led to slaughter” caught their eye. However, while Jesus certainly was a martyr and “sacrificial lamb” in a very real sense, the phrase in Isaiah about the servant of God taking "stripes" also caught their eye because they thought it could be considered applicable to Jesus (as the story about him goes). After all, according to the Synoptic gospels Jesus was a pacifist and willingly allowed himself to be arrested knowing he would be crucified, and on the last day of his life before he was crucified he was whipped and received "stripes."
However, the book of Isaiah actually says nothing about a crucifixion or about a literal whipping or scourging, and Isaiah’s word that was translated as “stripes” can actually mean wounds or other invasive piercings of the flesh.
Furthermore, unbeknownst to Christians, the following passage from Isaiah tells the real truth about it.
“For thus says the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always angry; for the spirit that envelops itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry and smote him, I hid Me and was angry; and he went on willfully in the way of his heart. [But] I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will lead him also, and requite with comforts him and his mourners. Peace, peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith the Lord that creates the fruit of the lips; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God concerning the wicked.” — Isaiah 57:15-21
So the servant of God who fulfills prophecies is contrite of spirit, because as I have said I am shamed of much that I have done and said. But as for my writing the message and singing my songs, God sees that the ways of my heart are good, and righteous. So God has healed me many times so I could continue my work.
However, according to Isaiah, “Yet it pleased the Lord to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the Lord might prosper by his hand: Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear.” — Isaiah 53:10 (See the article on Isaiah 53 according to the Hebrew Masoretic Text)
Now, considering all that, you may conclude that I actually believe that God actually caused me to be stricken and afflicted and suffer all the things I have suffered. But frankly, I do not believe that. My God is loving, merciful, and compassionate. And what is important to me is not why I have been so afflicted. What is important is that I have been, and therefore fulfill Isaiah's prophecies exactly. And I have been willing to accept it as a "soul offering" and am willing to give my life to the message.
Furthermore, it is entirely possible, and I think probable, that the prophet Isaiah "foresaw" my dilemma, and what he wrote reflects his religious Jewish "spin" in order to be consistent with the traditional Jewish idea that the Lord God can be a harsh judge and punitive master with supernatural powers. But in my view, Isaiah's story about me actually serves to help let me know who I am, to confirm what God gave me by revelations, and to remind me that the Spirit of truth not only nourishes the heart and soul, but also prunes the ego and causes us to face our faults and offenses. At least that's the way it has worked for me.
I hope there will be more to come.
I hope I have gone through the darkest time of my life, after being told that I would soon die, and having the use of my arms being reduced to the point where I could use my hands only if my elbows were held closely to the sides of my body. I thought I would soon either be near- quadriplegic, or dead.
Now I feel I little better about things. Last week my arms were feeling better and I had pretty good movement and mobility in both of them, but I hurt my left arm badly while transferring out of my wheelchair one night. I lost my balance and caught myself with my arm in a position that causes great pain. So at present I have very limited use of my left arm, but I can lift my right arm up to the front and to the side if I do it slowly and carefully, to reach things on a table or counter, or to turn the computer off and on, etc. And while the sound and feel of my heart sometimes scares me as I quite down and prepare for sleep, during some days I feel pretty well when I am in good spirits.
My wife and I have adapted things to make things easier for me as well, such as getting a raised toilet seat so that it is easier to get on and off the toilet, and raising the height of my reclining chair where I sleep, so I can use a transfer board to slide into and out of it, and out of and into my wheelchair.
I also found out that I can have more cortisone injections in the most problematic areas of my shoulders early in January, so I'm looking forward to that.
However, I confess I still have my dark moments when helplessness and hopelessness creep in. While I do have relatively good days, I have more bad days than good. There are days when one or both of my arms give out, and there are days when I can't lift my whole arms and all I can do is use my lower arms and hands only if I hold my elbows at my sides. Often I am afraid I will not get better. I am afraid I will be in an an assisted care facility or even a nursing home soon. For that reason, other health reasons, and some other reasons, I get depressed to the point of being crushed.
I am ashamed for complaining, but I am not ashamed of my depression. It is, after all, according to Isaiah 53:5 (Masoretic text) which says "he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him ..." So, I bear it willingly, physically, but I am so sad and afraid that I won't be able to do what I would like to do.
I confess I sometimes get angry with myself for not doing a better job, with my writing, with my songs, and my life. And I am deeply ashamed of the kind of person I have become with regard to my wife, because I am self-absorbed, self-centered, and I fear I am a failure. I am not an easy person to live with, I'm sure, putting myself in her shoes.
But then, I usually manage to ward negative, pessimistic thoughts and feelings off. Sometimes it takes a few days, or even weeks, but I invariably bounce back, one way or another. And I do enjoy good days and even good weeks when I am optimistic that I will be able to accomplish some things that I would like to accomplish, both in my work, and perhaps even in enjoying myself – perhaps even going fishing, or singing my songs.
We shall see.
I suspect my negativity and lack of faith has brought more trouble for me. A COPD flare-up turned into a serious case of Bronchitis, and my stomach muscles are so sore and painful from coughing that I can barely cough any more (but I still manage to clear my lungs when it’s crucial). At the same time, both shoulders and upper arms are so painful that I cannot lift my whole arms, and again I can only use my lower arms and hands if I keep my elbows at my sides.
I am more afraid I am dying than I ever have been, especially since my lungs have not cleared up. The antibiotics have cleared up the infection, but now I fear the problem is no longer caused by Bronchitis, but by worsening hearth failure. I feel too weak, too discouraged, too fatigued and in too much pain to go on.
Yesterday I continued to feel like I would soon have to go to a nursing home, where I would soon die. My breath was growing shorter and the pain in my shoulders, neck, back and leg were growing so bad that I was having trouble coping. (I cannot take the usual pain relievers either because of my medications or reactions.)
This morning, however, I woke up and faced the fact that I was wanting to give up, wanting to die, and I don't want to give up. If I am forced to give up by complete inability and disability or death, I can't help that. But this pain I must endure. I must find a way to cope, and live.
I feel a bit more optimistic today, despite coping with the second bout with Bronchitis brought on by COPD, and a deterioration of ability to use my shoulders and upper arms. That causes me a great deal of pain, as does a degeneration of my upper spine where it connects with my neck, which results in very painful areas in my left trapezoid muscles in my back. A Chiropractor has helped, but treatment benefits don't last for long.
I have received the third set of cortisone injections in my shoulders three days ago, but they have so far only caused more pain in more places. Consequently, since I cannot take NSAID anti-inflamatory medicine because of drug interactions, in addition to taking the aspirin therapy (for my heart), I take Tramadol and Acetaminophin when I am in great pain. I also use topical pain relief in a mixture of an Emu Oil mixture, Aspercreme with Lidocaine, and medicinal Cannibis Infused topical pain relief oil that I got from a kind friend. And at least all of that dulls the pain, sometimes more than others, depending on how bad it is.
When it is not so bad, I am able to do this and get a little work, and being treated with Prednisone steroid for the COPD flare-up and Bronchitis gives me a boost of badly needed energy (since I have become so weak and frail).
I am feeling optimistic that the latest cortisone injections will ultimately help, and my Chiropractor (and perhaps an Acupuncturist) will also help. And who knows, I may be able to improve some of the recordings of my songs, and even make another speech on video. May God help me, and may I deserve the help.
Just as I was feeling sorry for myself and thinking that things could bet much worse, I proved that it could. In February I had prepared a cup of boiling water for tea and I had set the cup on the edge of the counter at the kitchen sink. I was sitting in my old manual folding wheelchair without the footrests, as I usually do in the house to make it easier to get around and easier to get closer to the kitchen and bathroom sinks, etc. I usually fold my left leg and rest my left ankle on my right lower thigh. (I can do this because I do have some movement in my right foot and calf, while my left leg is completely paralyzed.)
I then accidentally knocked the cup of scalding water over and onto my lap. I screamed, and was helpless to do anything about it accept pour cups of cold water in my lap, and when my wife came she soaked dish towels in cold water so I could put them in the affected area.
After taking a long time to prepare to get me to the Hospital ER, the doctor there said I was lucky and had "only second degree burns." (Some of them were later diagnosed as third degree burns at a burn clinic.) Then a nurse showed us how to bandage the wounds on the back-inside of my left thigh, the back of my left calf, and my scrotum.
As you can imagine, the pain of the burn wounds has made movement and transfers much more difficult and painful, though it has helped me take my mind off the pain in my shoulders a bit.
But wait. There's more. Another deep concern is that I am developing what's called a "pressure sore" in the skin layers around the main bone in my left buttock. It has been a potential danger for a long time, but all the sliding on hard transfer boards has made the problem worse. I'm going to try a sheepskin pad to try to provide some cushioning.
Is this never going to stop? Will humanity awaken and straighten up while I am still alive? And does it matter if I die before humanity gets the message?
I have gone through some pretty dark days, though it is encouraging to see that many young people are listening to and following a progressive presidential candidate (Sanders) who has gotten the message regarding the error of the forces of greed and self-interest. But it is disheartening to see the American main stream media act as if it is acceptable to open the door to a blatantly Narcissistic Demagogue (Trump) who appeals to hate, pride, prejudices, emotions and American hegemony. It it as if an obvious Narcissist and egomaniac is a legitimate and viable candidate for president, which reveals how corrupted and influenced by corporate interests the commercial network media has become.
I am on the mend from my burns, and despite the pain and disability because of my shoulders and most of the rest of my body, I hope I am going to become more active -- hoping to get out more, and perhaps even try in person to spread the word. Spring is here, and hop springs eternal.
The more the wounds from my burns have healed, the more energy I have and the more I can do (within many limitations). But I should say here that today I saw the doctor who is going to change my pacemaker-defibrilator on May 24 and remove the old leads to the heart and replace them them new ones. The reasons for this are two-fold. For one thing, two of the leads have moved from where they should be, and one is disintegration (and that model has be recalled).
The operation to remove the existing leads is risky, because in many cases the wire leads that have been in place for a good number of leads tend to be attached to the blood vessels, and sometimes it takes laser work to dislodge them
The operation will be in a full operating room, with an open-heart surgeon standing by in case emergency open heart surgery has to be performed. But my doctor tells me he has never made a mistake or had any incidences, and he has removed leads that have been in place for 30 years.
If you don't hear from me again, you'll know I am gone away.
Of course, I am concerned. But on one hand I know that if I have more to do concerning the message, or my role as messenger counselor, I will be spared and "healed" once again. I may also be spared if God thinks I deserve a rest and recreation, and I've done the best I could under the circumstances. Yet on the other hand I may leave this body behind and pass on. I don't know. God only knows. I just know its not in my hands.
The operation was a success. That is, the doctor successfully removed the old pacemaker and the old wire leads to the heart, and replaced everything. However, I woke up in recovery and discovered a strap around by chest and a strap around my left arm and left hand, to prevent my from moving them. The orders were not to move them for at least four weeks. So, needless to say, I couldn't go home. I reminded my doctor and the hospital that I am a paraplegic and now nearly a quadriplegic, and needed to go to a rehab center where staff could help me. So that's where I went for two weeks, while my wife better prepared our house for my needs.
The trauma of the four and a half hour surgery, plus the treatment and food I received at the acute rehab center I went to, severely damaged my health. I got home bloated and about 15 pounds heavier, and extremely weak. In fact, the morning of the day I left the center I had begun wheezing, and my lungs began to worsen in their function. Four days later, after being unable to get appointments to see my Pulmonologist or my Primary Care Provider for help, I went to Urgent Care, which sent me immediately to the hospital ER because my breathing was so shallow and labored, and my oxygen saturation level had plunged to 83, which was "dangerous."
The local hospital ER gave me oxygen, did an X-Ray and then performed a Thorocentesis (tapping the chest wall to drain off fluid accumulated between the lungs and the chest wall). And whereas the first one I had in February was relatively painless and left me feeling much better, this one was painful, drew one liter of fluid, and left me gasping for air. But now it's a little better and I can draw a deeper breath, though I am extremely weak and any movement exhausts and fatigues me. I am truly a feeble old man.
On one hand I fear my heart and lungs are nearing complete failure, but on the other hand I know that if I have more to do my life will be prolonged yet again, and I will be able to fulfill my mission (if I have not already done that). Either way, I will accept it.
July 3, 2016
By June 16 I had gotten an appointment with my primary care physician's office (she was on vacation,) and upon listening to my lungs and seeing my oxygen levels, the doctor immediately called an ambulance to take me to the big hospital ER in the closest large city.
I was there for five days, and their focus was on sharply reducing the fluid in my body and hopefully reduce some of the fluid in my chest. They apparently consulted with my Pulmonologist, and their decision was that reducing fluids was the highest priority at that point.
Today I have been home for awhile, leashed to an oxygen machine, having to maneuver around and with the tubing. But I also was provided with oxygen tanks that I can attach to the back of my wheelchair, so I may travel when I am feeling up to it. In fact, I have an appointment with my Cardiologist this next week, and my Pulmonologist the next week.
One of my biggest problems right now is gaining a little strength back, and coping with my left shoulder. It is now as bad and often worse than my right shoulder, and the use of my hands is restricted almost entirely to whatever I can do with my elbows held at my sides (which is why I can type).
I fear, or suspect, that I am seeing my last days, but then, when it comes to my own health, I have come to be a very skeptical pessimist. Don't get my wrong, I will fight and try as long as I still have breath in my body. But while my faith and optimism about humanity and the earth is still very strong, I, I'm afraid, am witnessing my last days on earth. And as for my spirit-soul, I know without a doubt that it will leave this old body and become one with the Source, the Great Spirit-Parent. And I will welcome whatever is in store for me beyond that.
The oxygen has helped, but it is getting so I am often gasping for breath even with the oxygen tube. I think I will be taking my last trip to the hospital soon, to leave this body there.
A lot of things have happened and I've been in bad shape. My doctors have been keeping me alive with regular blood transfusions to try to deal with my extreme anemia, which is apparently from internal bleeding though they haven't yet determined the cause. I'm also treated with a strong steroid, Prednisone, which I can take only for about a week at a time because it is very damaging to the kidneys if you take it continuously. But even in short bursts it helps a lot, both in my ability to breathe and in the function of my heart (because it reduces the production of congestive fluids). But I have a feeling it won't be long before I can go home to God.