So this is probably not proper protocol in blog land but seems how it has been two months since I have posted anything I figured it was ok. The following story is not mine but had me busting up:
This is by Dave Barry:
I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis. Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'
I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.
I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.
Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.
Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this is, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.
When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.
'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.
I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.
On the subject of Colonoscopies...
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:
1. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!'
2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'
3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'
4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'
5. 'You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married.'
6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'
7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'
8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'
9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!
10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'
11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'
And the best one of all:
12. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
So after reading others tell about bad dates, awkward interviews, yelling at punk kids in the car behind them (loved it) or otherwise just embarrassing moments I have decided to share my most embarrassing moment. But first, a little background and medical information.
I am one of the fortunate few that suffer from kidney stones. Kidney stones are mainly attributed to middle aged men but in my family, well for my oldest brother and I, they came much earlier. I had my first one when I was 18, Jeremy was on his mission so his first came when he was 19 or 20. When the first one hit I was laying on my apartment floor playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64. I thought at first that I was just laying in a bad position because my lower back started to hurt. So I moved around a few different times, but nothing helped. Over the next hour the pain got gradually worse. So much so that literally banging my head on the wall was less painful. I have tried to figure out a good way to describe the pain to others but have never been able to come up with anything that really fits. Try and imagine this though, it might help a bit: Take a knife and stab yourself repeatedly in the lower back, throw in a few twists and turns while you are at it and you just might come close. For those that have given birth I have been told that the pain is equivalent. But since I have not given birth I cannot confirm that. This Far Side comic illustrates it well I think.
Anyways, I ended up going to the hospital to get drugged up and had my first experience with morphine, holy crap that stuff is amazing, but that might be another story. The pain came and went over the next 3 weeks, an hour of pain here, 2 hours of pain there, maybe 45 minutes just to tease me, and as much as 4 hours at some points. I thought it would never end. My Urologist told me I had to wait at least 2 weeks (the normal amount of time for a stone to pass) before he would take further action. After the second week he finally agreed that it was time to do something and scheduled surgery for the next week. He suggested trying to place a Ureteral Stent, a long perforated tube that will be placed within the length of the ureter. The hope of this is after time the stent will dilate the ureter and after it is removed the stone can easily pass as if it were traveling down a "slip n' slide." The actual installation of the tube required me to be put under with general anesthesia in a same day surgery setting. There were no incisions made so I will let you figure out how it was put in. The removal of the stent was a regular office visit though.
I had the stent in for about 3 weeks and the day I went in for the removal I was really confused. I was told to meet my doctor in his regular office, not at the hospital. This made me immediately nervous since I was now sure that I was going to be awake for this. And all I could assume was that it was going to have to come out the same way it went in, remember, no incisions, and if you still havent figured it out, they did not go through my mouth. This is where things get really tricky, oh, and you all get to read about me being naked, lucky you.
After checking in a nurse took me into a back room that I had not been in before, not the usual examination room. This one was a sterile room, with all sorts of equipment, kind of like a mini operating room. I was instructed to take everything off from the shirt down, and the shirt might as well come off because they were going to lift it up to my shoulders anyways. I sat down on this table/chair thing and put a small blanket over my lap. The nurse came back in with the doctor following behind her. This was the first time I had actually seen him since the surgery and he didnt bother with any pleasantries. This was probably best as he was about to do his business and I was in no mood to get to know him better at this point under the circumstances. He didnt even buy me dinner first. It was at this point he put on some gloves, sat down on a little stool and pulled the blanket off. There I was sitting in all my glory, with a grown man at my feet and a nurse standing behind him smiling at me, this was already embarrassing enough. But that isnt even the worst part. The doctor then grabbed a hold of a bottle with orange liquid in it and started squirting it all over me, all over my stomach, thighs and finally, all over my goods. This was an anesthetic. He was just simply cleansing the area. He then grabbed a towell or some gauze and started rubbing it in all over. It was at this moment that a line from a movie popped into my head. More specifically it was a line given by Jack Nicholson from the movie As Good As It Gets. I am working on getting an actual video posted in but for now I will just tell you the line and here it is, "People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch." Such bad timing for this to pop into my head. I felt myself starting to laugh as the doctor was "shampooing my crotch" so I had to bite on my lip to hold it in. The nurse though had never taken her eye off of me and saw all of this. I had a big smile on my face and when I noticed that she was still looking my face went bright red. I was mortified. All I could do was hunch my shoulders and look the other way, I promise you I was not enjoying the "shampooing." The nurse giggled a little bit. It never occurred to me that I should explain myself, I was to busy being embarrassed. It has since been brought to my attention that by not explaining myself I just made myself look like a fruit. Oh well, it was 12 years ago. The red in my face quickly went away when the Doctor grabbed a 3 foot long ureteroscope, a long tube with a tiny camera at the end of it and a little grabber claw on the inside that can only enter the body in one way. What the crap, where did he think that was going? Well, it went there, and it wasnt pleasant, at all. The tube came out and a few days later the stone passed right on down the "slip n' slide."
One day after that stone passed I started getting pain in my other kidney. Yep, number two, and I was still only 18. For the next 9 years I had one in each kidney every year. Usually one in the spring followed by one in the fall. Over the last 3 years though they have stepped up in frequency. This year alone I think I am on number 8. I stopped counting around 30, but I think it is pretty close to 4o stones that I have passed in the last 12 years. The good news is that I think that I am so torn up inside that I rarely get pain with the stones anymore, a little pain here and there but not like the first 10 or so. Also, I name all of my stones. I used to name them after x-girlfriends or others girls that caused me pain, but since I ran out of them years ago I now assign honorary names to them. Let me know if you want to be named after one and I will put your name down on the list and contact you when it takes place.
So whats the moral to my story...kidney stones suck, and when put in a position where your manhood/womanhood and possibly your sexual preference may be in question, always, always defend yourself!
Monday, September 15, 2008
So last night I took the opportunity to take the new Legacy Highway up to Syracuse to my sisters for dinner. And let me tell you this, I dont get it. It was somewhere around 12 years ago that Governor Mike Levitt proposed this highway and it is now just opening. From what I read it was officially given the green light 10 years ago, 2 years after the initial proposal, but was held up time and time again in court due to environmentalist and angry citizens, mostly from West Bountiful. I do not pretend to know all of the ins and outs of each sides arguments but after driving up the 10 mile or so stretch I just dont get it. It is an ugly stretch of land, very ugly. All of the precious "wetlands" that the environmentalists were trying to protect, I couldnt find. There was a pond near the north end of the road, but that was the only wet thing I could find and that didnt even look like a natural pond to me. And as far as the arguments that the wonderful people of West Bountiful voiced, for the most part the road runs by absolutely nothing. A few neighborhoods here and there. But seriously, how can people argue over better transportation?
I will say this though, riding on a brand new, fresh paved road that has been open for less than 24 hours was nice. It was very smooth and quiet. It took me the exact same time to get to my sisters as it always had, but this of course was on a quiet Sunday evening. I imagine that the rush hour traffic is where the good people of Davis County will truly see the benefits.
In order for this road to be built there were several compromises that UDOT had to agree to. First they had to agree to make the road narrower than originally planned, which they did. But it is very obvious that is not what they see the future of the road to look like. They narrowed the road down to two lanes each way yet actually are taking up the same amount of space. They just left about 50 feet or so untouched in between the two directions. The bridges also are constructed in a way that they will easily be able to go in and add another lane each way in the future without having to rebuild the bridges much like along I-15. So is that really a compromise? The other compromises I dont see as being a real big deal for UDOT to deal with, big rigs are not allowed on the highway, they must stick to I-15, no big deal at all, and they had to agree to a bike/run trail that runs the length. That one was easy enough, just lay down some extra asphalt on the side and put a stripe down the middle of it. I did see several people taking advantage of this, but I cant see why, like I said, it is an ugly place and I imagine at certain times of the year it is bug infested.
The biggest draw back of the road to me is that the speed limit is 55 yet it is constructed just like a freeway. There are on and off ramps, no stop lights and no intersections. Oh, and dont try and speed down it. I saw 5 cops with people pulled over to the side last night. I think they realize that they can easily fill their quota on that road alone. This lower speed limit is really annoying to me, its like having a really nice juicy steak laid in front of you yet you cant eat it, you just have to stare at it and smell it. Not fair. Oh, one more note, and this might be one of those points that the environmentalist got right, I saw several dead animals on the road, I would say at least a dozen, and keep in mind it had only been open for 24 hours. This apparently was a foreseen problem because I saw a "Highway Animal Control" Vehicle out on clean up duty.
What would I rate the new Highway: 79. I will let you figure out the scale.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The above picture may not be clear enough to read, please click on it, I worked hard on it.
Ok, so I am still behind the times on this whole blog thing. I have found that I just dont have a whole lot of interesting things to say. I dont have one of those great jobs where 6 year olds give me constant blog material, I dont have any strong political views, except that I hate all politics, I dont have a family, at least not here with me, that I can write endlessly about, and I am not sure that you all want me to rant and rave about BYU football for week after week. But dont worry, I will get going eventually and give you all something to read while you are sitting at your desks when you should be working. Let me give you a sneak preview of whats to come sometime down the road. Mullets: A hisory. Tramp Stamps: Another history. People watching at the fair/demo derby (still in the works.) All sorts of top ten lists (one on hot female athletes, just to appease Stephanie.) And many more. Maybe I should take some sort of poll to get some ideas of what people out there want to hear about from me. But for now, I am going to take off a little bit from Jon's Chuck Norris blog and eventually get into a list.
One of my favorite shows growing up was "The Simpsons." I think this is pretty much a prerequisite for being a guy. My brothers and I were so serious about our love of the show that we told my only sister that any potential husband had to pass a series of questions. Within those questions was whether or not he was a Simpsons fan and how could he prove it. Luckily Dan passed the test and they now have two awesome kids. Watching the show as a kid was made difficult at times because my mother banned us from watching it from time to time. I always found a way though. Its funny to look back now and watch the early episodes, when Bart had a "really" foul mouth, and compare it to what is on TV today. If my mother knew then what she knows now she would have let us watch The Simpsons and only The Simpsons.
I could get into a list of my favorite episodes and why but that could get pretty big. I will say though that two of my all time favorite episodes are the "Tomacco" and the "Beer Baron" episodes. In the first Homer decides to become a farmer. In his vast inexperience he decides to plant a "little of everything" and fertilizes it with plutonium. The final product is "Tomacco," a tomato with a dried tobacco center that is instantly addictive. Bart gets addicted as well as the farm animals who go crazy and start tearing the farm apart demanding more tomacco through a new found speech they have developed. Classic. In the "Beer Baron" Homer turns to Bootlegging when a 200 year old prohibition law is enforced in Springfield. After Chief Wiggum fails to catch the "Beer Baron," Homers secret alias, Rex Banner is sent in from the United States Treasury Department to hunt him down. Once agian, just a classic episode, this one in particular has a few of my favorite lines. At one point Homer comes up from the basement where he has built his own distillery and Marge asks Homer what he is doing down there, Homers reponse is "Marge, I dont want to lie to you" and then he just walks away. Just good writing right there.
I could go on and on, showing that there truely is some form of geek in me. But like I said before, this is every guys calling, to be a Simpsons geek. If your man doesnt appreciate The Simpsons and quote them at every chance he gets, well, he might be gay, 70 years old, a women, or a gay 70 year old women.
One of the things I have always loved about the show for some reason is trying to catch what Bart is writing on the chalkboard during the opening credits. For those of you that dont know, it is different for every new episode. I can imagine that several of these came about because of real life situations that the writers were either part of or have heard of. I am telling you, teachers have the most interesting job sometimes, if you dont beleive me just ask Kristi. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite ones. They are as follows.
- Organ transplants are best left to professionals
- Five days is not too long to wait for a gun
- They are laughing at me, not with me
- I will not trade pants with others
- I am not a 32 year old woman
- I will not get very far with this attitude
- I will not hide behind the Fifth Amendment
- Hamsters cannot fly
- I will not torment the emotionally frail
- I will stop talking about the twelve inch pianist
- the Pledge of Allegiance does not end with Hail Satan
- Wedgies are unhealthy for children and other living things
- I do not have power of attorney over first graders
- I will not re-transmit without the express permission of Major League Baseball
- I will not expose the ignorance of the faculty
- I saw nothing unusual in the teachers lounge
- I will not prescribe medication
- I will not teach others to fly
- I will not bring sheep to class
- I will not yell "she's dead" at roll call
- No one is interested in my underpants
- I am not authorized to fire substitute teachers
- My homework was not stolen by a one-armed man
- I am not deliciously saucy
- I will not instigate revolution
- I do not have diplomatic immunity
- Goldfish dont bounce
- Ralph wont "morph" if you squeeze him hard enough
- I will not call my teacher "Hot Cakes"
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Ok, so let me just get this out of the way now and then I will continue on making my blog a little less serious and a little bit more ridiculous, or as I like to say, ritalkulous.
I am amazed with the quality of people that I currently have surrounding me. I didnt really expect any negative reaction to my previous post but I also did not expect the overwhelming positive response that I received from everyone. Thank you all so much for your comments, whether they were left on here, via email, or in person. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I have so many great friends who genuinely care about me and my life. I just hope I have returned the feeling to each and every one of you.
Ok, thats that. Now on to the juicy stuff.
I have always had an odd fascination with things that are not necessarily of this world. Being a wannabe physicist I have always looked to the heavens in awe and wonder. Do I believe there are other forms of life, other human beings in our vast universe? Of course! No doubt in my mind. I dont think that they look anything like the "aliens" that the movies portray, but there are people out there, just like you and me. There are also other life forms out there, who knows, maybe even dinosaurs still live somewhere in this universe. I think its sad to think otherwise. I have always had a thing for crop circles and even went as far as to write an entire final paper on them during a semester of English. After the research that I read through I find it very, very hard to believe that they are all created by earthly beings. There are obvious fakes, and a few noteworthy attempts, but the "real" ones, cannot be explained away. But thats just me. Believe what you want. But read my paper first, then believe what I tell you to believe! Even if they are fake, they should be revered as greats works of art. Some of them measure 3 football fields in length and carry perfect symmetry throughout the intricate designs. I think they are just beautiful.
It is another subject I would like to discuss a bit more tonight though. And that is one of ghosts. I have never been a big believer in ghosts but the idea has always fascinated me, I loved watching Ghostbusters over and over again as a kid. Lets not forget other great ghost movies such as Ghost Dad, Bill and Teds Bogus Journey and Beetlejuice. I dont know how Ghost Dad fits in there, but it does, trust me. Outside of the movies I have always found the idea of ghosts to be intriguing. I have heard many stories throughout my life that if I had to be honest with you, some of them have spooked the crap out of me. My neighbor told me stories about a haunting that has been going on at Capital Theater where he has worked for years. I remember listening in on my aunt telling stories of shadows being where shadows shouldn't be after my cousin died. Since then I have kept frequent tabs on the Utah Ghost Hunters Society (http://www.utahghost.org/) Even being the skeptic that I am I still find a lot of entertainment value in what they have to see. Last night may have just changed my mind though.
I have been staying at the Comfort Inn on main street in Logan for the last few nights while I do an audit here for a local credit union. It is not a fancy hotel, but they do have a couch in the room and two sinks, one in the room so if someone is in the shower you can still get ready, so thats not too bad. But its what else the room apparently has that is causing me not to sleep well at night.
Last night I was just laying in bed watching the Olympics while my brother slept in the other bed. I was watching the first of four basketball games that were being played throughout the night. At 12:50 I decided to give up and go to sleep. I turned the TV off and rolled over. I grabbed the spare pillow and hugged it to my chest and closed my eyes. Twenty-Seven minutes later it happed. At exactly 1:17 AM I opened my eyes to see a large black human shaped object standing next to my bed sort of hovering over me. It seemed so real to me that I actually swung the pillow that I was hugging out at it. The pillow never connected with anything and as soon as I got the pillow back to my chest the shadowy image was gone. I looked over to the other bed to see if Zak, my brother, was playing some sort of joke on me but he was still there sound asleep. It took me a while to get back to sleep but I eventually did. To add to it, after work today I left to go for a run while Zak took a nap with the Olympics on in the background. When I got back to a silent room he woke up and asked me why I turned the TV off. I, of course, did not do this. It would seem that this ghost of mine just does not like the Olympics. Well, I guess that is his loss. Because they have been pretty fantastic so far.
Anyways, that is my ghost story. I imagine it will grow as the years go on like most "big fish" stories tend to do. But I am sticking with it as fact.
Here are a few of the Haunted locations in Logan according to the UGHS.
Logan - Cemetery:
The sound of crying is often heard by certain headstones late at night.
Logan - Grapevine Restaurant:
Former employees report dishes flying against the walls and breaking, brooms being moved from one room to another as if being carried by an invisible entity.
Logan - Green Canyon:
There is a certain area where strange things have been reported. When you enter this location you get a feeling of despair, depression and hopelessness. You get a strong feeling of evil, and not a sound is heard.
Logan - Nunnery, Logan Canyon:
There is a pool where a little boy drowned. There have been many sightings of children that were killed there.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
And this is mine.
I believe that at some point in every persons life that they come to grips with who they are, where they have been, and where they are headed. That point came for me, maybe much later in life than most, while sitting on a chair, on a breezy porch, outside a house, on Bona Vista drive in Aruba about 2 weeks ago. It was a very calming moment for me. Especially when I think back at the crazy road that had brought me to that point, sitting in a Desert paradise alone for a few moments at the end of the night, finally having a feeling, after 12 years, of what a normal life is supposed to be like. This is when I decided that it was time to tell my story.
Everybody makes poor life choices from time to time, and as the scriptures tell us, all choices, whether good or bad, will always come back to us in one form or another. The interesting thing to me is that usually one thinks that the bad choices that are made will come back to you in a bad way. When one makes a bad choice they will some how pay for it in the end. But for me, for my biggest mistake in life, I feel that I have only been greatly blessed. I know that we are supposed to learn from our mistakes, but I never expected 12 years later to still be counting my blessings that have stemmed from a moment in my life that I will never, not in my whole life, be able to forget.
On the morning of August 12th, 1997 at 12:43 pm I became a father. Yes, you read that right, this is not a typo. I became a father to the beautiful 7 pound 14 ounce 21 inch Elicia Anne Steele. Though I can say that my life had forever changed some 40 weeks before this, it was this day that my life truly changedBut lets go back a bit first.
I grew up a fairly normal kid. I am the 4th of 5 kids. My parents raised all of us to be smart and genuine people. But somewhere around the age of 17, after 20-something years my parents decided to call it quits. This of course blew me away. I tried to pretend for years that this did not affect me, but with the previously mentioned daughter this does not seem to be the case. In taking personal responsibility for my actions I still to this day do not blame the sequence of events on my parents but I will say this, with my dad out of the house my mom had no control over me. She always thought she could be the disciplinarian, but it was my dad whom I truly feared. This began my rebellion years. It brings me some satisfaction to think that the only two things that really came out of those years, both of which so happen to be permanent, were my daughter and my tattoo. My rebellion really only came in those two forms. Oh, and not listening to a single word my mom had to say. My sense of family had been tossed out the window, and for a long time I really didnt care what she was trying to tell me as my mother. Looking back, I should have listened, but in many, many ways, I am glad I didnt. Oddly enough, I am a better, stronger person for it.
I met Nicole, Elicia's mother, through my friend Kyle. Ironically, it was Kyle who was trying to pick up on her when he invited her over to my house one summer afternoon. We hit it off almost immediately and the rest is what they call "history." I have thought long and hard for the past 12 years as to why I made the decisions that I did at this point in life, and I still have no real conclusions. All I know is that I did, and that is that. My new found freedom and rebellion obviously took control of my life at this point.
The day that Nicole told me she was pregnant was the single emptiest day of my life. She had been throwing up for weeks and we thought it was from an esophageal problem that she had struggled with for years. Being pregnant was honestly the last thing on my mind. She called me on the way home from her doctors appointment and calmly asked me if I wanted to come over, which I did. When I got there, thinking nothing was up, she simply sat down beside me, placed the ultra sound picture on my lap, and said "Hi Daddy!" You know that feeling you get when you drop into a large descent on the roller coaster? Multiply that by at least 1000. My heart dropped into my stomach, down to my knees, squeezed out through the pores of my feet and oozed out all over the floor. It then took the opportunity to regroup, kind of like the T-1000 from Terminator 2, look up at me and laugh for a while. That moment lasted for what seemed like a month. I say it was empty because I have never felt so alone in my life. Nicole and her mother were both sitting there staring at me, but I couldnt see them. My heart as mentioned was laying there laughing at me, but it was not with me. .
All words were gone, all thoughts were gone and worse, I knew that I was gone. I had reached a point in my life that I no longer recognized myself. The me that I had known, would never be again.
As bad as that day was, telling my mother was worse. I waited two weeks and avoided my mother at all costs. When I finally got around to telling her I never actually told her. I called her up and told her I had to talk to her and Nicole and I went over to see her. I called her out of her room when I got home and just sat on the top of the stairs with my head in my hands. After a few minutes my mother just came out and said to Nicole, "you're pregnant," and just started to cry. That feeling you get when you are on the roller coaster, multiply that by 10,000.
Single worst day of my life. To see the disappointment in her eyes is something that I will never forget. After this I knew I could not go through with telling my dad or the rest of my family and I asked my mom if she could do it for me.
The next nine months were a blur. It was a combination of highs and lows, of avoiding friends, and coming to terms with my impending life change. I manged to get away with not telling one of my friends during the entire pregnancy. Nicole didnt look pregnant at all, she just kept slightly baggier clothes on. In fact when we went in to deliver the nurse at the check in desk thought we were lying to her. She hardly gained anything, it was mostly just the baby inside. My best friend Kyle didnt even know until Elicia was 2 weeks old. He just stopped by my house one day and stormed into my room while she and I were sleeping. Awkward! Anyways, the day of the delivery is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, well, at least up there with a few others.
But for me, it was filled with nothing but confusion and a harsh sense of reality. This was the first day that the reality of being a father and the fact that another human life depended on me hit me. This was real, there was no going back, I couldnt just wake up and go skateboarding down to the 7-11 whenever I wanted anymore. In that instant I became an 18 year old going on 35. You could see the look of "oh shit" (sorry, but that was really what I was thinking) in my face. A fact that I am not proud of but it was there and I cant do anything about that now.
Elicia was, after the first 2 nights of constant crying, a perfect baby. She slept through the night every night starting on the 3rd night home. She would wake up once every night at about 3 to take a bottle and would then sleep until about 7 or 8.
Because her mother was still trying to finish up her senior year (I had graduated the year before so this somehow makes me slightly better, right?) she stayed with me every night at my house. A majority of the parenting duties fell on me. I learned at this point in my life that everyone is inherently a parent. You just know how to do it. I went into all of this so worried about what to do, but it just comes and you just do it. You are a parent, it is a role that everybody on this earth has. Some just choose to do it wrong, or not at all, you have to put the child first, in everything. Sorry, got off on a little tangent there. Elicia was just a happy child. She never met a stranger, she loved everyone, and this will come in handy later in her life. She unfortunately grew up in the Teletubbie years and loved the yellow one whom I believe was named Laa Laa. If I was just flipping through the channels and passed by the show for just a split second she would come running into the room and stand in front of the TV.
She loved stuffed animals and even loved to hug the Jerry Bear that I had on the front of a Grateful Dead tie that I would wear from time to time. She was a quick developer, she was sitting up early, rolled over early, and was walking at around 11 months. She was very curious and inquisitive, in fact her first words were "whats that." She would walk around and just point at things and say "whats that?" She was the reason I woke up each day, and the light at the end of each day when all else was dim. I never thought at the beginning of all of this that I could find happiness and contentment within my shattered life, but she was the shining example, the constant reminder that I still had good left in me, I had just given it all to her. It was through her that I learned the true meaning of love, the true meaning of life, I learned patience, humility, selflessness, and responsibility. I learned the extreme importance of family and friends and ultimately the importance of my Heavenly Father.
As you might have been able to tell by the way in which I talk about her though, or maybe it is the fact that those of you who know me well enough have never actually seen her, she is no longer with me. For many reasons I will not get into the hows and the whys but she was taken from me by adoption when she was 17 months old. This is the point in my life of all points of my life that I wish I could erase and redo, or just erase completely. I feel that I know what it is like to lose a child to death but in some ways I feel that it is worse. I say this because she was still alive but I couldnt see her. I knew she was out there living her life with someone else, sharing that trait she has to love everybody, with someone else. She was no longer mine, and to me, that was worse than death. It was almost as if she had never existed as mine. Luckily for me though, she was adopted by a very nice and wonderful couple in Alexandria Virginia who wanted to keep me involved in her life. This came with its struggles however. I did not see her again until she was 4 years old and that first day was the scariest day of my life. People talk about butterflies in their stomachs but I dont believe that they will ever fully understand how I felt that day. That is a whole different story though. I have since been out at least once a year when I have been able to. She has a great understanding of who I am and even calls me her birth daddy. She feels very blessed to have 2 dads, 1 mom, and a whole bunch of grandparents who love her very much. My last trip was one year ago today for her 10th birthday. She is growing up so fast. She is starting to look more and more like me. For the longest time I had to question whether or not she was really mine because she looked nothing like me, but as she gets older that has changed, poor girl. She is now just an absolute handful, a ball of energy. I cant sit for 5 minutes when I go out to visit. One time we spent 3 hours pretending she was a dog, then a dolphin, then a horse. And I had to take care of each one of them. How does one actually take care of a dolphin? And is it even legal to keep one as a pet?
She is still the love of my life, and always will be. I feel extremely lucky to have her in my life, even as limited as it is. My daughter has made me who I am and who I continue to become.
We all have a story to tell and this is mine. There is so much more to the story and it grows everyday. My relationship with her continues to grow and the relationships that I enjoy with others now I can thank her for. If it were not for her and the distraction it caused in my lifes plan I would not know many of you who are reading this. I think that is the most important part of this whole ordeal. If it were not for my daughter I would not be where I am today, I would not know the people I know, I would not have the appreciation I feel for life, family, friends and the Gospel. Life is precious, friends and family are precious, never let them go, keep them in your life at all costs!
Happy Birthday Elicia!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Hi there all in blog land. I figure I dont have a whole lot to say but my first official blog will be coming out on Tuesday the 12th. So get out your popcorn, juice, and tissues because it is bound to be an Oscar winner. Well maybe not seems how the Oscar has never actually been given out to someone for writing a simple blog, but I think we should try and make that happen!