I Am Not Alone
Sunday July 3rd, 2011 - Cary, IL
Now that the worst of my unexpected health ordeal is allegedly over, I need to really get myself together and recalculate my bearings. This was a big time wakeup call, and there’s not even a hint of a guarantee something similar or worse won’t happen without warning.
I need to toughen myself up, both mentally and physically. I’ve gotten loads of positive thoughts and well wishes from people across the country and I can’t be any more grateful for every one of them, but it’s time to heal up as fast as possible and get moving forward.
No matter how many times my world blows up, and I’ve lost count at this point, I have never ever thought I was the only one with problems. My only real complaint is that mine are so off the charts goofy, I have nobody else who can relate to what I‘m experiencing.
Yes, millions of other people have been diagnosed with diabetes, but not a lot have had to endure surgery on their nether regions to remove a gangrenous infection. I can hear the people snicker, and if I’d heard about it I probably would too. That’s water cooler talk.
But although it’s not pleasant, I know it could have been all kinds of worse. There are a lot of bullets I dodged, and I don’t take any one of them for granted. I could have lost one or both of my testicles, and as funny of a word as ‘testicle’ is - thinking of that scenario is as scary as it gets. It paralyzes me with fear thinking of it now. It’s a real life boogie man.
That being said, there are six billion people in the world who don’t know or care about any of this. They have their own problems, and I’m starting to hear from quite a few long time friends I hadn’t heard from in a while who are navigating rougher terrain than me.
My friend Lee Adams is a super nice guy I met a few years ago on a hellish run through Arkansas working a chain of discos that wanted to have a comedy night. The shows were brutal, but Lee and I really hit it off. He lives in Louisiana and started comedy later in life, but he’s naturally funny and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. We stayed in touch.
We don’t communicate every week, but we have exchanged semi regular emails and he just informed me he’s going in for major spinal fusion surgery in August. Apparently he’s been in constant pain for going on two years, and the surgery itself is not a guaranteed fix.
Like me, he’s got to try to work around his comedy schedule and it’s going to be a huge life changer for him too. He was in the military for years so I’m hoping he’s insured, but I didn’t want to ask because it’s none of my business. I’ve got my own problems, but I hate to hear such a fantastic human being is in so much pain. We wished each other the best.
Another is a guy named Marty Beimer. He was a morning guy on a sister station when I worked in Reno, and a very hip funny Bay Area native. I remember getting regular update emails from his wife last year about him being in a coma and needing back surgery and it chilled me to the bone. He wrote and said he’s going back in again. I have no problems.