"Dedicated to Dr. Cox"
Maybe its this morphine that they got me on.....but the last week of my life seem like a dream sequence from a foreign film.
Six days ago I remember slipping into that hospital gown, hair net, and specialty stockings that come equipped with the no slip tread.
Even though Klecko had officially informed "Girlfriend Nation" that he's be going under ground until the angels of Warsaw healed him.....I just couldn't resist leaving the world a Facebook photo of the "Baker in Agony"....just moments before getting spiked to the cross.
One advantage, or disadvantage to being forced into one of those hospital gowns is...they tie in the back, by 2 small strings that hang over the back of the neck.
For most people, this means that their a** hangs out while taking that last "Death March" from the locker room to anesthesiology, but for the Last American Baker...I also have a big Ape Tattoo that introduces himself to every wheelchair occupant riding down wind.
So after saying good bye to Sue McGleno, I marched bravely into the operating room.
I simply can't put into words how tripped out I was knowing that under the best scenario.....I'd wake up several hours later, after having had a tube slid down my throat,while my nasal passages were roto rootered, and 2 - 7 centimeter splints would be inserted inserted into my nose, from the nostril to somewhere in the back cheek bone area.
But I had to do it....I've gotten to a point where I simply cannot breath out of my nose.
The staff was laid back, so much so in fact...that when they slid my onto the operating table, Pearl Jam was singing Jeremy over a P.A. system.
I took that as a sign.
Typically Memorial Day weekend is my favorite time of the year. It is the only time when my entire neighborhood gets the hell out of Dodge and leaves me alone.
I would much rather have my own neighborhood left to me, than share a point of interest with others.
Highland Park, during the holiday weekend is like a ghost town.
I felt this would be the perfect environment for healing.
Now as many of you folks who have had operations know, my recovery isn't just focused on my body healing from the procedure,but sometimes if you are lucky enough to be in a fixable state of repair, your mending is also going to deal with how mental you've become from your ailment, and how it's derailed your quality of life.
While the body recovers, the mind will try to find balance....right?
So I guess as I attacked this whole horrible ordeal, I kinda wanted to do it alone, but I wanted you guys to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
Throughout the last week I just can't tell you how touched I have been through your collective kindness.
In some ways I think I've discovered some deep truths, but then again....I've been amped up on some level 10 pain killers.
But when you you get older, I don't thing the world changes as much as much as your own perception does.
Over the last week I have had Nuns hold Mass for me while I was knocked out.
I have had messages sent to me across the planet from Christians,Muslims,Buddhists and even Atheists, and the constant theme from each one of them......
They knew that I was distressed, and they were going to pray for me.
I mean, I don't even know how that works.
Different people of different faiths praying for a Polish kid that basically only answers to street savvy Nuns.
And who or what does an Atheist pray too?
According to theology, I think I'm pretty much just supposed to put my hope and faith into the prayers that align with my personal doctrine....but I have to tell you something people....
It's humbling to be a platform for prayer.
It's humbling to have a person who knows their belief system is different than yours approach you, and tell you that they love you and are going to pray to their God for you.
I was absolutely staggered by not just the prayers, but the affection that was attached to them.
I don't know how the end of the world is going to go down.
I'm not sure how strong the Co Exist vibe will be. It sounds so unlike me to get all ecumenical, but through this last week, I've haven't lived in practical reality, but in some ways....I've just floated in an Avalon like mist.
But if a world full of different religions, thoughts and ideals can aim its intent of love on a foolish soul such as myself,for no other purpose than hope... I just have to believe that one day these patterns of love and thoughtfulness will manifest into an answer, or "that answer" that has divided so many of us.
I think this summer at the E8, I am going to propose that morphine becomes mandatory...LOL, with it, great ideas can surface.
The first 48 hours at home were surreal.
I wasn't in pain, but those rods in my head added physical discomfort and made me tweak just a bit mentally. Its nothing but flat out creepy having implements festering, burrowing into your nasal cavities like stubborn rodents.
I remember last Saturday thinking.....
"By this time next Saturday morning. I will just sit back, and watch back to back episodes of the Rifle Man on AMC, and by that time those rods will be out of my skull, and the worst will be behind me."
When the doctor finally took them out....it was a weird sensation, dude put a plastic bag over me so I wouldn't get bloodied right? Then he cut some nostril stitches, placed the tweezers onto the rod, and then laid his open hand on my forehead, kinda like when the Pentecostal preachers baptize somebody.
Then Doc looks in there a bit, and says its not going to hurt, but it will "offer an unusual sensation.", and I should say it did.
The rods were kinda stuck from coagulated nostril blood.....
"I gotta tell ya Dan, your septum ended up being trickier that I thought it would be. From the scans we had no way of know that your nose has been broken at least 3 or 4 times."
So this morning, Saturday morning, I rolled off the couch and flipped the remote to AMC to watch the Rifle Man and celebrate partial recovery, but wouldn't you know it...
They had on a war movie marathon for the holiday.
It kinda disappointed me, so I just took my 6 a.m. drugs and went into my computer room to creep on my world.
Outside the skies were overcast and rainy. My neighborhood looked much more like an Irish keepsake post card. Everything was green, and more green, but the skies were dark and morose.
So while I am doing this, I notice a white sedan cruising Hartford Avenue. Actually its about 10 minutes until 6, and this car parks in front of my house, cruises back up the street, turns around.....
I just sat there in my underwear surveying the confusion, but when the car pulled up in front of my house again, I didn't want to have visitor prior to 6 a.m. checking me out on drugs and in high fashion boxer shorts.
So I ducked out into the living room a waited a moment.
My mailbox slammed, the dog pack barked, and I went to see what was dropped off.
It turned out to be an envelope that contained a home made card from Ron Miller and his wife.
Ron is the President of my Saint Paul Bread Club.
As I sat there in a perfectly still neighborhood, I kinda felt this twinge of heavy sentiment.
I've known Ron for over a decade now.
He is (like all of us) getting older. Now days he is forced to use a cane to navigate his way around.
I have never socialized with him outside of bread club, I have nothing in common with him, he is 25 years plus older than me, and a devout Jew, but yet I can't think of a single man on the planet I respect more.
The card that he (and I'm willing to bet his wife Carla) dropped off was homemade and laced with nose humor.
I just smiled thinking about how he and his wife went past "intentions" and took the time to stake out my house only to drop off a message of hope.
I remember one year at the State Fair when Ron did a 30 minute demo for me, his family...kids, flew in from different parts of the nation, just to watch their dad do what he loves for a brief 1/2 hour.
My goodness, how wonderful our species can be, when we allow ourselves to be decent.
Yeah...I know, I know...eventually my drugs will taper off, the course of a bakers typical life will cross my path, and all the deep musings that go along with being a sensitive Food Service worker will wash under the bridge, but if just for one fleeting moment, at an important time of silence in my life. I would like to express my gratitude and also tell John Lennon...
I don't have to "Imagine", I've witnessed first hand now how a populace can come together, and put behind their differences behind when their cities bread jester is fighting to breathe.
I love everyone of you guys, and although I'm not claiming that I am officially "healed".....I am excited to report that last night, I slept on my back, laying down...for the first time in years.
I can breath.