Tuesday, July 12, 2016

1 Man, 3 Hearts, and Turning 33!

Tomorrow I'm turning 33. 


As I stare at my shirtless reflection in the mirror, a proud smile slowly stretches across my face, "I'm still alive!" I slowly raise my right hand and touch the three-inch scar just below my left shoulder bone that reminds me at the age of six my parents nearly lost me. I remember how much that area used to hurt and itch when I had my pacemaker. The eight-inch scar running down the center of my rib cage reminds me that ages 17, and 21 weren't written in stone either. My chest was carved open and my entire heart was replaced, twice. I reach down and slightly pull down the front of my boxer briefs to reveal the 5-inch scar along my left groin that reminds me that having the sudden urge to pee in the most random of places is never something to complain about. Dialysis wasn't easy. The gash marks on the side of my left rib cage and two healed holes above my stomach remind me of countless chest tubes that drained blood after each and every surgery. The site where my gall bladder was taken out reminds me that many people still walk around with a drainage bag strapped to their chest. The hole in my neck, my tracheotomy, my head turning "oddity",  reminds me that not only will I endure and adapt to anything as a means to survive, I'll do it with style!  "If they're gonna stare, give em something to stare at!" It suddenly strikes me how uniquely interesting my body has become. Who needs tattoos when you have so many scars that tell your stories?

My "bad days" have come and gone. I am happy. I am thankful. My entire perspective is back on track. It wasn't easy and I couldn't do it alone. I said in my last blog that I hate depending on people. However since that time I have learned that we all depend on someone for something. It took some quality conversations with those closest to me and some deep inner strength to get my motivation back. I'm hopeful again. My body seems to be progressively getting weaker causing my independence to slip from my fingers. I just wasn't ready to accept it or deal with it. Although I am still coping with my disability, that struggle has not come without a great deal of growth. It's humbled me. The same disease which weakens me physically has significantly empowered me emotionally. 
I've trained my mind not to allow negativity to take over. I refocus my thoughts or reach out to someone who can help me do so. There's nothing worse than being alone with an anxious mind. It's almost as if you need someone to save you from yourself. Someone you know, love, and trust. I stay occupied. I get wrapped up in something I love. Keeping busy is key. I have new projects I'm working on and excited to see them come to fruition. Setting goals gives me something to look forward to. When I hit a road blocks, I've learned to "run through that shit over and over and over again". I have to be relentless. I have come too far in my journey, which means to give in now would be so utterly disappointing. Quitting just isn't an option for me. Sure I may need the assistance of a wheelchair, and daily activities have become quite challenging but that doesn't stop me. I go to physical therapy twice a week, while implementing various other exercises daily. Nutrition is vital, therefore I do my best to eat healthy (proportions lol), and I eat well. There's nothing better than a good meal over some intelligent conversation. I get a haircut and eyebrow threading every other week. I take pride in my appearance. Look good, feel great! I get out as much as I can, especially it being summer. Less than 3 months ago I was jumping on a plane to Aruba with my boys, my ventilator, oxygen concentrator, suction machine, and about three pairs of fresh sneakers too many. Two weeks ago I was in Atlantic city, last week I was in Virginia, and I'm already planning to be back in Jamaica in November. My baby sister is getting married in three weeks, which will be one of the happiest days in my life! There is still so much ahead for me to enjoy! My body has its limitations but my mindset is limitless. And because of that I will continue to LIVE! I intend to be a living legend, one who leaves behind a remarkable legacy. 

33 and counting baby, this is going to be a long story! 

- 1 Man, 3 Hearts, Still Alive -