Novelist and more.
I’ve mentioned in my “About” section I’m a 100% disabled Veteran.
Some might wonder when they look at me what is wrong with me?
Some might say it’s my brain…they would be wrong…really…they would be…don’t listen to those people. Seriously.
I’m sure my Kung Fu students just think I have a weirdly shaped stomach; there’s a knuckle sized knot that protrudes from two inches above my belly and it makes them wonder.
Very few people know I have Crohn’s disease.
It’s made me have a completely different view of life.
Few also know I’ve clinically died on the operating table three separate times in three separate states and hospitals. Yes, clinically died, all body functions ceased. But I suppose I wasn’t done with this world yet and I decided to come back, I don’t get bored easily I guess.
I was diagnosed with the worst case of Crohn’s disease any of the gastrointestinal specials ever heard of. My first surgery took thirty percent of my insides. The following six over the next four years took a little more, moved some around, removed infections and finally bypassed or removed all the bad stuff and has kept me healthy for two and a half decades.
Imagine going to Duke University (a teaching school for physicians) two years after your first, second, and third surgery and relating your case to the doctor.
Imagine that doctor refers to a case study two years prior and how severe the patient was afflicted.
Now realize that the doctor’s case study is your own.
I’m in the clinical study books under severe Crohn’s disease symptoms, treatments, and diagnosis.
Also realize after that hospital stay, three more surgeries were added to my case.
How has it changed my outlook on life?
You have to be when you have to lay on your back for three months being fed by an intravenous tube straight to your heart.
Confined in a wheelchair for a month or more due to muscle atrophy; I was able to see both the best and worst of humanity and how they treat the handicapped.
I was told I could never do any martial arts, something I always wanted, I disagreed and after eleven years I’m a black belt ranked martial arts teacher with disciplines in Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Shaolin Yoga, and Meditation.
I’ve seen great people go through intense pain and suffering with much lesser cases of the disease, some break, some become strong as steel. I’ve helped couples who are going through the same surgeries I’ve had overcome their fear and worry, helped them become closer, and given hope to others who thought their life was over.
Compassion becomes a wonderful commodity when people are giving up all hope for their future. You can choose to be sad or happy. Happy is always better no matter how bad things get. There are so many times in my life I’ve said: “If I can make it with as bad as I have it, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”
Who’s it going to hurt if I am? It’s easy to be considerate.
Now before you think everything is great now, and I’m only looking back on how bad I had it, remember I still have a disease.
I’m in constant pain and discomfort daily. As I’m avoiding kicks and punches as I teach and am taught by elder teachers above me in my martial arts studies, I still am sick.
But it could be worse.
As the medical drama “Monday Mornings” says: “What’s the worst case?” “Worst case? Death. Death is always worst case.”
It’s rare anyone knows when I’m truly ill. I prefer to joke with my students, fellow disciples, and teachers. I try not to take life so seriously.
Why am I writing this particular blog?
Because if you have Crohn’s, you’re not alone.
You can make your life better.
You can be happy.
You will survive.
Be patient, be kind, and be stubborn, hopeful, loving, and considerate.
After all, if you can make yourself happy, you’re making the world a better place for you and everyone.
Don’t give up, it always gets better.
Take it from me; I know what I’m talking about.