Stream of consciousness

Surgery. What a word. Spooks the hell out of me. I really, really, really wish I didn’t have such vivid memories of my past surgical recoveries. The smell of alcohol, iodine, blood, and saline. The way every whisper of a breath feels like a sledgehammer to the chest and ribs. Feeling the searing, white hot, blast of pain tear through my whole torso every time I need to be turned. Relearning how to walk. The fear. The worry. Goddamn memories.

Still, I feel compelled to press on. I hope for surgery and a better outcome. The plain truth is I am disintegrating. I have been, for almost ten years. I can’t believe it’s been that long since my weight loss began. I’ve tried a LOT of stuff to gain, but so far nothing can actually make me digest any quicker. I’m withering. Doctors and I are on board that it’s a mechanical problem. Fix the back, and hopefully fix the stomach. If I do nothing, my back WILL continue to get worse. Gravity ain’t one to be messed with.

Despite my family life doing well, I still have tons of frustration dealing with my inability to gain or improve my physical condition. It’s terribly uncomfortable feeling “stuck.” And I’ve been stuck for years. I have to keep going; have to keep improving. If surgery is my shot then I must take it. I cannot quit. Not now. I want more.

What if I die? What if I’m walking into my own death sentence? I don’t want to die. I have to be a dad and a husband. A son and a brother. No, can’t think of death. You’ll make it. Don’t be stupid. You’ll be fine.

Funeral.

Tombstone.

Here Lies [Me].

Fuck. Stop that. What if I wake up like a vegetable? What if I’m quadriplegic? Wouldn’t death be the better option then? Shut up, you’re going to be okay. You’ll survive, like you always have. You press on, you keep going. You don’t give up. Right? Right?

I have so much to live for. So many things yet to see. A daughter to send off to college one day. I have to be around. I WILL be around. It’s time to strap on my boots and go in for the push. Screw being stuck. Enough of that. Keep fighting. Keep going. Don’t quit. You don’t know how.

11 comments

  1. Telly says:

    My love,
    I know this will be THE hardest decision you have ever had to make and this time only YOU can make it. We are all here to support that choice, whatever it may be. Just please promise me to continue to ask questions and lay all of that info out on the table before finalizing anything. As your sister said…….maybe there is perhaps something else they can do internally. Maybe when you meet with the GI surgeon they may have a less invasive gastro surgery.

    You have so much to live for and this battle wont be over. YOU WILL WIN! Luv u!!!!

  2. Thania 'Thanasi' Ormonde says:

    My dearest brudda,
    I just read your last two entries and heard the song…and of course it brought tears to my eyes and that feeling you get when you feel so vulnerable, that kind of heaviness in your chest, closest to your heart. My dearest bro, you have been through so much, so much beyond your years…you have suffered so..and from my perspective as your sister, I do remember those dreadful recovery times at the hospital, the ocd praying..ya know what I mean..the pain of seeing you in pain…but what I ALSO clearly remember is your Spirit, YOUR STRENGTH, YOUR PERSEVERANCE…the essence of God within our family and clearly at your side. I have always been so moved and admired your perseverance beyond words…your absolute unquenched thirst for life…you have given me so much strength and wisdom.
    This is your decision to make and I wish I could simply say do this or do that with absolute clarity..but Chris keep in mind that everything you have been feeling, the gloom, the fear of dying, the unknown is all a very normal part of this process…Chris, turn to your HIGHER POWER or guidance…WE all love and support you…we all continue to pray as we always have…I must turn to my analogies, Chris you are at this battle front in search of greater land but you are not alone, we are all at your sides, prepared and ready and we will never leave..we are simply waiting for your command…I continue to pray that God will guide you in your decision…you are wise…just follow the protocol you always have…asking any and every question and writing notes…but know that still doubt or fear will still remain because it is a normal part of the process, what is important is that hope is stronger…I wanted to share this poem with you, I wrote it back in college….

    Visitors
    Love will knock on your door, Let it in, build a separate room for it so that always it has a room in your home
    Hope will knock at your door, Let it in for it brings Faith, Courage, and Perseverance…
    Insecurity will pick at the lock, take guard, Do not let it in, it will drive all visitors out of your home, leaving you lonely and afraid
    Confidence will firmly knock on your door, Let it in, provide it with comfort, but do not give it more than what it needs, for it may invite Arrogance to stay
    Denial will attempt to sneak in while you are not looking, Be aware, Have your dog stand guard, Do not let it in, for Confusion stands at its side
    Fear will sneak in through the windows…acknowledge it, and speak to it from the window but do not let it in to your home for Fear will gladly extend its visit
    Hate will pound on your door continuously, see it though the peep-hole, place a barricade at your door, call forth Love to demand that Hate depart
    Regret will attempt to enter through your fire escape, Let it in, Invite it into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, hear what it has to say, but do not prepare a room for an over-night stay
    Happiness will knock on your door, Let it in, prepare a room for it, Place no limit on its duration of visit, Tell it to remain for an eternity
    Sorrow will knock on your door, Let it in, Hold its hand, Wipe its tears away, then tell Happiness to lead it out the door
    Serenity will knock on your door, Let it in, for it will lead Turmoil out the door, embrace it in your arms, so as to take it into the depths of your spirit
    Strength will knock on your door, Let it in, Allow it to slumber at your side day and night and always ensure that it is well fed…
    Take care as you live and always know that you stand at the door to your dwelling….

    Alright my awesome brudda…I love you will all my heart….

  3. Chris R says:

    Old Facebook comments:
    Chris Rodriguez
    @Robin: Thank you so much. E-hug coming atcha!
    June 23 at 9:56pm

    Robin Johnson
    Dearest Chris~ You are so brave. To face this, to admit the pain and fear so openly. It is hard for us that no matter how much we all love you and want to trade places with you, you will have the final say and you will have to be the one to go in to that surgery. I am thinking of you and sending my love out to you. Stay strong my friend. I love you, Robin
    June 23 at 9:28pm

  4. Chris R says:

    Old Facebook comments:
    Chris Rodriguez
    @Robin: Thank you so much. E-hug coming atcha!
    June 23 at 9:56pm

    Robin Johnson
    Dearest Chris~ You are so brave. To face this, to admit the pain and fear so openly. It is hard for us that no matter how much we all love you and want to trade places with you, you will have the final say and you will have to be the one to go in to that surgery. I am thinking of you and sending my love out to you. Stay strong my friend. I love you, Robin
    June 23 at 9:28pm

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