Sunday, January 14, 2007

Near-Death Experience Number 1:
Chicken Pox

It all started in that time of bliss, that time of childhood, that time of...

Jason's Yesteryear's...

I think I was about six or seven. I was in second grade. We had recently learned about this horrible disease called The Chicken Pox, and I remember hearing my teacher, Mrs. Logan, say, (among other things), "It's much worse if you don't get it until you're older." This apparently made a great impression upon me...

I prayed for The Chicken Pox. I could only imagine how horrible it would be if I didn't get it until I was older! (And, of course, to a seven year old, 15 is older!) I even remember putting it in the "prayer request" box one time at least once, hoping sky god woul dmake me sick to spare me from it being worse when I was older... (Oh, the ironies...)

And wouldn't you know it... All five of us came down within weeks of each other... with The Chicken Pox. If I was seven, that means Tom was eight, Michael was five, Sylvia was four, and Cynthia was three...

(Brief segue:) My poor mother... (End segue.)

I was one of the last to get it, actually. And I only got a few spots, not like my siblings. (I still have two spots on my tummy from it; I did have four until Near Death Experience Number 2: Appendicitis, but that's another story...) I suppose everyone thought I was free and clear...

A few days later...

My knee hurt. Hurt something bad. I remember going to bed, and I called out to my parents before they closed the door and turned off the light, saying: "My knee hurts." I was told to go to sleep...

I woke up the next morning. My knee hurt! Much worse than last night. I guess I was running a small fever, or maybe they still thought I was getting over The Chicken Pox, as I was home from school. I was sitting there eating my (Yuck!!) Cheerios with (Yum!) tons of sugar poured over it to make it edible...

Me: My knee hurts.
Mom: It's probably growing pains. (I had been taller then my older brother since I was three--I was growing fast...)
Me: It really hurts bad.
Mom: It's growing pains. You want some Tylenol?
Me: My knee hurts bad.
Mom: I'll get you some Tylenol. Go lay on the couch.
Now, sky god bless my mom, she was babysitting four preschool children that day (as, apparently, five of her own was not a big enough challenge...), and I know they were sitting there playing with their various toys and whatnot. Four small children is a lot to keep track of (unless, of course, your my mom...) and she still had time to get me some Tylenol...

I think I fell asleep on the couch. The next thing I remember was not my knee hurting--my knee was on fire with pain!!!! I had never known such agony before! I think my mom knew now that this was no "growing pains." She ripped off my pants, and, in her words, "my knee was the size of a softball." Picture that briefly if you will: A seven-year-old's knee, the size of a softball... Oh, and red. And painful.

I was screaming in pain.

Next thing I remember, a bunch of women were at our house. Mom had called all the mother's of whom she had their offspring there. I don't know if they gave her a hard time or not (we all remember how career women of the 80s thought they had to be tough and own shoulder pads three inches higher than their ears...), and, even though I was in pain!!!, I also had to pee!

I'm seven. I have no sense of timing or a terrific sense of bladder control. So, between my sobs:

Me: Mommy, I hafta go to the baffroom.
Mom: (Incredulity) Now?!
Mrs. Orner: He's sick?
Me: I hafta pee!
Mom: Hold on, honey--
Mrs. Orner: Well, what's wrong with him?
Me: I HAFTA PEE!!!!!!
Next thing I know, my pants are pulled off, and three grown women are holding me over the toilet, staring at me with concern, alternately staring at my volley-ball-sized knee cap, and I no longer hafta pee... In fact, I'm sure that I'll never hafta pee again...

I blacked out.

I remember waking up with a sudden THUMP! I was on a stretcher. Several people were around me. I think I had one of those oxygen things on my face. The sun was shining, glaring off the mask... I blacked out again.

I woke again in a hallway. A all-white hallway. People in white were a few yards down the hall, answering phones, looking at clip boards. An old man in a wheelchair waved hello to me. Mom was standing beside me, running her hands on my head. I couldn't hear her, even though her lips were moving... I blacked out.

One month later:

I don't remember much of the past month. From what I've heard, Mom was a wreck. Actually, she was A WRECK. She spent most nights at the hospital at my bedside. Grandmom constantly badgered her about neglecting her other four children (mostly because she was stuck babysitting them, and she wasn't exactly what you would call "child-friendly").

Apparently, for most of that first month, I had been dying as none of the doctor's could figure out what was wrong with me. (Now would be a good time to point out that
  1. There was no white light
  2. No angel standing by my bed
  3. No dead relatives beckoning to me
At least, not that I remember...)
Surgery had been performed, a ton of pus had been drained off my knee, tubes were going in and out of me in every--every--conceivable hole in my body...

I had Internal Chicken Pox. For the next month, my teachers came to tutor me in the hospital. One time, Miss Cox brought me a strawberry milkshake from McDonald's... I threw it up all over her (Hehehehehe!!) Mrs. Logan took over the tutoring (Hmm, wonder why?)

All the other kids on my floor were there to have their tonsils removed, so, as none of them could talk (and they were all in-and-out so fast I couldn't make friends with any of them), the nurses were my best friends. They would bring me Jell-O pudding pops anytime I asked for them (to actually help put meat back on my bones--I was anorexic thin, apparently...)

I was released after yet another month on crutches. Those crutches would be with me for another three/four months until I learned to walk again.

And, turning 31 today, I have passed the age when I was told I would need to have a replacement knee put into my body. (Hey! It's a happy milestone in what could be just another year!)

I still tease my mom over this: "It's just growing pains! Have some Tylenol!"

I'm not sure what life would have been like for the rest of my family had I not lived. I doubt Sylvia or Cynthia would even remember who I was, as they were so young. But I just know, this was one of the most profound experiences of my life, though I wouldn't appreciate that until I was much older. The sacrifices my parents had to make, even my evil grandmother, no matter how unwillingly. But I know that this, combined with Near Death Experiences Number 2 and 3, have helped me to learn not only to appreciate my life more (who wouldn't appreciate life more after almost dying?), but also to be less concerned with What May Be After. As What May Be After is just that: What may be. And not only can What May Be not have any bearing on What Is Now, it also shouldn't be used to in any way deter, overshadow, or command What Is Now. What Is Now is all we have, all you will ever be given, for all anyone knows.

And I intend to continue to live it to the fullest. I know that everything I have today, I have it not because I almost died; I have it because I lived. And that's a big difference in outlook...

Thanks Mom and Dad, and to the doctor's whose names I don't know, and most likely never did know. Thank you for saving my life and allowing me to reach this milestone, this age. I don't know what your lives may have been like if I had died, but I know my life is wonderful, in part, because you continue to be there...



Medicine has made some wonderful advances since Near Death Experience Number 1. Do you know they now have a vaccine so that no more children will go this the agony I did? I'm glad I'll never have to see any of my nieces or nephews go through my experience...

The moral: Don't just assume it's growing pains!!! and
Live life in the now. You never know when you will have no more "nows" to live in...

13 comments:

mom said...

hello dear jason! i would do it all over again if i could! you all got sick but you did get sick and i got sick in my heart when i didn't think you were going to get better. i pray i never have any of you kids go before me or your dad since that little taste of near death with one of my kids left me with a bit of understanding what it maybe would feel like and my heart aches yet at this thought. i remember as i went through this sickness with you i looked at dad and when he couldn't do anything i looked at the doctors and realized they didn't know what really to do (not that they all didn't try hard but they just didn't know) and when i finally went to God about it all that is when i found the real peace. i will never forget the spot i felt the peace that they talk about in the Bible. i was told to go home the night before and get some rest and come back and that after tomorrow we will know if you would make it or not. i told dad i was going to the hospital and he should take the rest of you kids to church(it was Easter) and meet me at the hospital afterwards. as i was driving to go down i started to pray and it was like the Jesus Himself sat in the seat aside of me and reminded me that i gave you and all your other brothers and sisters to Him after you all were born and you all really belong to Him anyway and i was your babysitter and if He needed you to go to heaven sooner i would make it and i remember being ready for it and feeling that power only God can give and i walked onto the floor you were on and the first thing your wonderful nurses said you had color in your cheeks and looking better than ever. they were right! that was a wonderful feeling and i still am thankful that God saw fit to let me and dad and your brothers and sisters to have you yet around us all! we have been truly blessed in having you around all these years and i am sure many more! i remember after you came home with the iv treatments i couldn't keep you down to much. you were in the hospital a month at home on iv treatments for another month! the doctors and nurses where all good. i give God the glory! it was God who gave us the help with it all and i am thankful for this since i think i would of cracked worse with not having His power to support me. dad had good health insurance at the time for me and you kids, had the gift of organizing you all so i could be at the hospital with you and had grandmom and aunt dee and the church ladies all helped with meals for almost 2 months plus dad even had enough money to bring in a lady to help with the cleaning. which you know me i had to clean up before she got there! she was a wonderful lady since she knew that i was still cleaning up before she would come and i only left her do the kitchen the bathroom and the living room and she ended up doing more and not charging me full price! now that is how God works! well, better get back to my cleaning up my house since i had company this past weekend! glad your around jason and with your own knees! but if you do need your kness or knees replaced i know a great doctor and a great place for therapy and i am still young enough i can help you out afterwards. :) love and prayers

Anonymous said...

Too bad you forgot what your knees are really for.

Jason Hughes said...

I can tell sky god was using you as his messenger--same idiotic drivel, different century.

Anonymous said...

i know what this faggot does on his knees. dirty faggots should all die of aids and leave us decent folks alone!

Jason Hughes said...

Okay, apparently it's national "Morons Speak Your Piece" day and no one told me...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that Scared-Shitless-of Sharing-My-Name #1 and Scared-Even-Shittier-by-Fags #2 are two very different, yet equally moronic people...

Knees are used for the motion of your legs, in case you two feel like learning something. They evolved to help us walk and run in a more efficient manner than, say, an Earthworm, which is about the capacity of brain cells you are both exhibiting, if truth be told.

Esp. you, #2. What, scared you might enjoy a little man-on-man action? What exactly do you so-called (and hilariously so!) "decent people" do that myself, the resident "faggot," do not do? Pay taxes? Work? Go to the movies? Walk my dog? Eat Italian food? Please, do let your ignorance spill forth more that we all may laugh at you...

Dumbass.

Sylvia said...

Hey Anonymous #1 and #2...yeah, um, why are you anonymous??? You FREAKIN' PIECES of SHIT!!!! My goodness...too freakin scared to put your own name on that little piece of shit comment on Jason's post???
HMMMM...why don't you both GROW the HELL up and start blogging on Pieceofshit.com....IDIOTS!!!!
BTW, my name is Sylvia and I'm proud of my gay brother Jason....
EAT THAT YOU FUCK UPS!

Oh, hey Ja.

Anonymous said...

You guys sound like such a CLASSY family. not

Sylvia said...

Hmmm...still not putting your real name up there...wonder why....still scared? hmmm?

Chicken shit...

Yeah, we never claimed to be classy, so when you have something remotely intelligent to say, than you can post a comment.

Anywho, hey Ja....we'll talk later!

Love ya
Sylvia
ps: to anonymous...it's not just the gays spreading AIDS anymore....Welcome to 2007...you can get it various ways now...

Hello...the 80's called....they want their piece of shit blogger back....

Jason Hughes said...

LOL! Sylvia, you crack me up!

I've been accused of much worse in my life than not being classy. Was that supposed to wound my pride or hurt my feelings somehow? You'll have to do better than that!

"Class" is another tool of society to keep people from doing things others find silly, stupid, or offensive--things I neither shy away from nor am ashamed to do. And as you seem to be such a willing tool, you can go fuck yourself. But, you know, in a "classy" way...

mom said...

hello jason! i have no idea how to respond to people like the anon. people sometimes! it was MLK day yesterday and i can't help to think that in knowing what he stood for how can you get on a blog and say something like what these two say more the second comment than the first but both don't seem to have any caring bone in there body. i feel even if you don't agree with anyone you can disagree without name calling and at least try to walk a mile in other's shoes before you start putting out comments. sylvia, you were right that i wouldn't like your comments but like i said i understand why you got excited. i hate when people are so closed minded. not everyone believes my ghost stories but HEY i don't care. live and let live and pray alot! :) love and prayers ps my family might not be classy in your standards but in my standards i think they are just right! i love them all the way they are and i feel that God gave me my kids and the rest of my wonderful redneck family for reasons. i always say that we have people on this earth to pattern your life by or not to pattern your life by but you treat ALL with respect!

Deacon Barry said...

I never had chicken-pox. My brother, sister and Dad all had it at the same time - but I never got it! I just hope I got some passive immunity to it, because I'm an ophthalmic nurse, and we get patients sometimes with ophthalmic shingles. It would be a bummer to get it now, because as you said - "it's worse when you're older."

mom said...

hello dear jason! i would do it all over again if i could! you all got sick but you did get sick and i got sick in my heart when i didn't think you were going to get better. i pray i never have any of you kids go before me or your dad since that little taste of near death with one of my kids left me with a bit of understanding what it maybe would feel like and my heart aches yet at this thought. i remember as i went through this sickness with you i looked at dad and when he couldn't do anything i looked at the doctors and realized they didn't know what really to do (not that they all didn't try hard but they just didn't know) and when i finally went to God about it all that is when i found the real peace. i will never forget the spot i felt the peace that they talk about in the Bible. i was told to go home the night before and get some rest and come back and that after tomorrow we will know if you would make it or not. i told dad i was going to the hospital and he should take the rest of you kids to church(it was Easter) and meet me at the hospital afterwards. as i was driving to go down i started to pray and it was like the Jesus Himself sat in the seat aside of me and reminded me that i gave you and all your other brothers and sisters to Him after you all were born and you all really belong to Him anyway and i was your babysitter and if He needed you to go to heaven sooner i would make it and i remember being ready for it and feeling that power only God can give and i walked onto the floor you were on and the first thing your wonderful nurses said you had color in your cheeks and looking better than ever. they were right! that was a wonderful feeling and i still am thankful that God saw fit to let me and dad and your brothers and sisters to have you yet around us all! we have been truly blessed in having you around all these years and i am sure many more! i remember after you came home with the iv treatments i couldn't keep you down to much. you were in the hospital a month at home on iv treatments for another month! the doctors and nurses where all good. i give God the glory! it was God who gave us the help with it all and i am thankful for this since i think i would of cracked worse with not having His power to support me. dad had good health insurance at the time for me and you kids, had the gift of organizing you all so i could be at the hospital with you and had grandmom and aunt dee and the church ladies all helped with meals for almost 2 months plus dad even had enough money to bring in a lady to help with the cleaning. which you know me i had to clean up before she got there! she was a wonderful lady since she knew that i was still cleaning up before she would come and i only left her do the kitchen the bathroom and the living room and she ended up doing more and not charging me full price! now that is how God works! well, better get back to my cleaning up my house since i had company this past weekend! glad your around jason and with your own knees! but if you do need your kness or knees replaced i know a great doctor and a great place for therapy and i am still young enough i can help you out afterwards. :) love and prayers

Sylvia said...

Hmmm...still not putting your real name up there...wonder why....still scared? hmmm?

Chicken shit...

Yeah, we never claimed to be classy, so when you have something remotely intelligent to say, than you can post a comment.

Anywho, hey Ja....we'll talk later!

Love ya
Sylvia
ps: to anonymous...it's not just the gays spreading AIDS anymore....Welcome to 2007...you can get it various ways now...

Hello...the 80's called....they want their piece of shit blogger back....