January 12, 2011.
Happy New Year.
The confetti has been swept away and Dick Clark has been sealed back into his air-tight box to await for next year's Times Square Party or Rockin' New Years (or whatever they call it now) where he will once again fend off Ryan Seacrest's attempt to overtake the throne. Most of the news shows and sports shows have already broadcast their meticulously edited "Best of the Year" montages complete with the funniest moments and tragic moments and a mention and maybe a video clip or two honoring those who passed away.
It's 2011. It's a new year and that means that at some point in the last few weeks everyone-everyone-has reflected on the year that has passed.
I'm no different than anybody else in that sense and I have done my reflecting.
There are plenty of websites touting the Top Stories of 2010 and I'm sure there are varied opinions. What was the biggest story? Oil pouring into the Gulf?
I do know that we sank a little lower this past year in regards to what it is laughingly called reality television. I think there is actually now a show on about ice sculptors. I predict there will be a backlash in the next year or two against this silliness (reality tv and not ice sculpture). Otherwise, if we don't pull ourselves out of this tailspin, we are going to find ourselves watching Richard Dawson hosting a little something called The Running Man.
Enough about that. That's another ball of wax completely. I will say this though. "DIE JERSEY SHORE! DIE!!"
I have been in a bubble this past year and a half and most of the year seems like a hazy blur.
Someone might say I was a little 'self-absorbed' in 2010 and that's okay. I have been preoccupied with myself what is going on inside my body.
I feel as if I have aged 10 years in the eighteen months and 2010 seemed to crawl by as I awaited news and relief regarding my medical condition.
Yeah. I said it. Big surprise right?
The runner up for my biggest story of 2010 is the story of this little kernel of mystery inside my spinal cord at the base of my skull.
I spent a lot of 2010 in waiting rooms and squeezed into the confines of MRI imagers (so many times in fact that I can now bake a potato by just holding it in my hands-you should what I can do with a pot roast!) and worrying that the little cotton gown I was wearing was long enough to cover my ass.
2010 was all about covering my ass though and I learned the lesson all too well that if you don't have insurance in this country you're screwed and in order to get anything done you have to be your own advocate. YOU HAVE TO BE! And you have to be polite and kiss a little ass until it is time to not be nice and polite. Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the grease.
Sometimes the wheel, squeaky or not, has to rub over someone, again and again, grinding rubber onto thick and narrow minds, to get noticed.
I spent entirely too much of 2010 in parking decks of hospitals, circling like a shark, looking for parking spaces and cursing the idiots who took up too many spaces by parking their SUV's across the bright yellow lines.
I gave too much blood in 2010 and waited patiently, at first, while my body adjusted and then readjusted to all the medications I was being given.
2010 was the year in which I learned that a lot of doctors are just people with some exceptional medical techniques and very poor people skills.
I didn't punch any doctors in 2010 but I sure wanted to.
I wish I could say something profound about the biggest lesson I learned in 2010. I wish I could say something that might inspire people to face their own demons-their own pain-with a new strength and courage-but my views on pain aren't brave or strong.
Pain sucks and you do get to a point where you would make a deal with the Devil if he would take it away. Pain ages you and drags you into depression. Pain is a four hundred pound gorilla.
Pain and I went toe-to-toe this past year. And although it kicked my ass and took my lunch money almost every day, I'm still here. I look like I've been dragged behind a truck, but I'm still here shaking my fist, kicking and screaming.
Sure I took my medicines and watched as one day slipped into another, sometimes three days at a time but I always stayed on course. There was a bigger picture and no matter how hard that damn gorilla punched, and no matter how my knees buckled and my vision blurred, I stayed focused and firm.
I'm not better. I'm the same-if not worse-than I was over eighteen months ago. Through sheer stubbornness I refuse to give in...to give up. Because my biggest story of 2010 is that I got engaged in October to a woman who makes my heart sing.
Love is a great motivator.
And it reminds me that I am not defined by some annoying tumor in my spinal column or migraines and neck pain. I am a person with a great deal to offer and who has yet to meet my maximum potential. More importantly, I am person who is loved and I have friends who can raise me up and enable me to walk through the fire if needed. And believe me, if someone told me that walking through fire would fix me, I would take off my socks and shoes and moonwalk across the coals.
No. Sorry Magilla. I'm far from done. In fact, I'm just starting.
%$#@ the mass at the base of my skull and %$#@ the doctors who say I'm just going to have to live with it. No sir, not me. Not this guy.
I'm going to design, manufacture a t-shirt for people in my shoes to wear to their doctor's office. It's will be a black t-shirt with white letters that say "I'm sorry. That doesn't work for me."
And speaking of the medical field, I will also design and market a hospital gown for men. You know. One that doesn't look like it was made to be worn at a six year old girl's slumber party. Maybe it will be made of denim and have fire engines on it. I don't know. It's still in the planning stages.
I'm going to keep writing.
I'm going to draw (http://matzerillustration.blogspot.com)
I look at 2011 as a blank canvas that I am going to throw paint at and scratch into with bare hands and, dragging my fingers into the wet paint, and create-or reveal-whatever I want to.
You want to see a forty-five year old guy kick a 400 pound gorilla's ass?
And that's Jody with a "y"
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