Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Seconds at Target

I bought a new laptop. It has an icore process or and all the things I wanted. The ram was a little low so I thought I’ll just upgrade that myself. Ram is cheap. Ten minutes later I’m on the floor at Target begging God to let my sweet wife live. I’ve got her face in my hands and I’m shouting as loud as I can “YOU FIGHT! FIGHT! DON’T YOU LEAVE ME HERE ALONE! Her lips turned purple and the first responder training I had at work kicked in. I moved her head back to clear her airway. Her eyes were looking in all directions but obviously seeing nothing. I tried to open her mouth for the sake of her breathing and to make sure she hadn’t bitten her tongue. I tried as hard as I could, but her mouth was clenched tightly closed. She moaned a little. FIGHT. YOU FIGHT. YOU COME BACK TO ME! Her arms were fixed straight out in front of her and her legs were also rigid. I was straddled over her on my knees face to face with her. Her chest heaved and would rise up to hit me in the thighs. Please God, let her stay with me. I never ask for anything for myself. Please God, please. She looked right at me, or rather through me. But I could tell that what here eyes were seeing wasn’t making it to her brain. She has already had two blood clots, this one has went to her brain and it’s over. She’s dead. Just like that. No warning. She just passed out. I had seen her falling out of the corner of my eye and i grabbed just a piece of her shirt and eased her down as best I could. Then she convulsed. And then she died.

She really just died in my hands. I couldn’t save her. She’s not moving anymore. Eyes wide open and fixed. Every single thing that was wonderful in this world just left me here on the floor. Her little body just gave out on her. I had this overwhelming feeling that half of me had just been cut out. I was alone. The one beautiful thing in my life had just wilted and now I did not want to live. I remember thinking, I’ll take care of all her arrangements then I’m gone too. I thought that, I really did and that’s no lie. I honestly did not want to live without her. And if that happened again right now then I assume I’ll feel the same way. I believe that I’m going to Hell anyway so why bother living in this much Earthly pain? I just felt...I don’t know...hollow. I don’t think there’s a word to accurately describe it.

I thought she was gone for about 2 seconds, the entire seizure had lasted about 1 minute. All the above shot through my mind as images and feelings during that small amount of time. Her eyes flicked a little and I could tell that she could see me. I was just about to start CPR when I noticed that she was regaining consciousness and her life force was back with me. I said “Hey there do you know who I am?” She nodded no. “Do you know your name?” Silence. “I was walking by here and I saw you fall and I wanted to see if you were OK” I said. That seemed to reassure her a little. Imagine waking up on the floor of a grocery store with a stranger on top of you. “Do you know your name?” I asked again she replied in a rather smart ass tone “Robin.” As if to say yea you stupid SOB of course I know my name. I replied in an equally smart ass tone “Do you know your last name?” Silence. lol.

While all this was happening two young ladies and one young man who worked at Target had come to help and dialed 911 imminently. They were awesome. The young man brought a new pillow still in the plastic from the bedding department and put it under Robin’s head. He was also good during the seizure telling her to “Keep your eyes open.” One of them was the manager and she called a few days later to check on us. Just great kids.

The paramedics were there within minutes and they also were great. We had her loaded up and ready to go to the hospital in another 5 minutes. When we arrived at the ER I parked and ran to the back of the ambulance as they were unloading her. I’ll never forget the look on her face. She was a scared 6 year old girl. Totally innocent sweet little girl. It was as if all the things the world had done to her were stripped away and her core personality was the only thing remaining. It was truly a beautiful thing to see. When she saw me her face lit up and there was the big smile that she reserves only for me. I knew that we’d be alright then. I kept asking questions and getting some but not all answers. I never left her side and I wanted to be the link from her memories to the present. The very young doctor at the hospital was also great. We had a head CT done and when that was clear he had her transferred by ambulance to the main hospital in New Orleans. I admit it was a little bit fun following the ambulance at 3 in the morning hauling ass down I-10. I couldn’t have asked for better care up to this point, they were all top shelf IMO. By the time we got to New Orleans and in a room much of Robin’s memory and motor function had returned. She still had troubling grasping words and walking but that came back with time.

You all know the story from here. Two days at Ochsners, how ever you spell it, in New Orleans with some sorry ass doctors then back home. Their doctors all wanted to pin the blame on another area of medicine that wasn’t their specialty. Young pussies really, all of them. Afraid to make any kind of decision. We saw our friend in Biloxi who is a neurologist and we have a plan now. I feel like she’s in good hands with our friend and he’s close to us both personally and location-wise. She isn’t driving for a while (as long as I can convince her not to lol) and her mother stays with her when I work nights.

So this is my blog for the week, well two weeks because I was a little busy lol. There’s no moral question or any theme. Just my life and something that happened in it. I have a friend about my age that lost her husband and I pray for her a lot. Now that I’ve had just a very tiny glimpse of what that’s like, I can’t imagine what it takes to go on after a loss like that. It was the worst 2 seconds of my life and I have a new found respect for pain like that. You guys all know that I beat the drum of spending time with the ones you love in these blogs so here it comes: SPEND TIME WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE because one day you might be looking for crackers on isle 16 and ten seconds later you’re on the floor talking to your God. BTW tell him I said “Hey” and “Thanks.”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who Do I Think I Am

          I’ve got to say, last week’s blog was a huge stink pickle. One discussion reply. LOL. I found it both surprising and amusing that we didn’t mind tackling the deep and serious subjects but we didn’t want to chat about our happiness. I don’t know if that’s a reflection of society or if we simply didn't feel challenged by the topic. I’m pretty sure it was the latter. So back to business.

          I was going to write about Drama. Drama that we have to endure in our daily lives. Drama at home, drama at work... all the counterproductive life force sucking crap we’ve had to learn to live with. I work with some bona fide Drama Queens (I’m referring to men), and I thought this would be a good topic. But instead I’d like to tell you about something that I’m experiencing and save the drama for next week.

             I’ve learned that perception plays such an important part in our everyday lives and how we view the world. I see now that the world isn’t as cut and dried as I thought it was. I wasn’t taking into account how every single one of us views a topic in their own unique way. I never knew there were going to be so many ways to look at a problem. Sure, more than one, but never so many. So, right about now you’re thinking “Lloyd, get to the damn point!” Yeah yeah, my point is: Now I wonder how you perceive me. I really do. Looking at the list of who this blog went to I count 50+ names. That’s 50+ different views of me.

I think I’m at the point in my life where I can accept pretty much any kind of view of me. It wasn’t always this way and it’s taken me a very long time to get to this place. Only my closest friends know how I’ve fought anxiety all my life. I always felt like people were looking at me, waiting for me to do something so they could laugh at me. Jeremy will tell you that in high school I would go pick him up to go to Wally World with me so I wouldn’t be alone there. I am also OCD. I count. I count everything. Add up numbers on a clock. Number of road signs I pass. Cracks in the sidewalk. Oh, it was bad and I was a prisoner of my world. But thankfully, in about 2000, a new Doctor started visiting our plant once a week and he got me to try Paxil. Paxil changed my life. It’s as simple as that. I like to say, if I ever have a son I’m going to name him Paxil, Paxil Crockett lol. I also started to visit a shrink and worked through some of my issues. Robin has helped me so much, to see that I am loved and accepted unconditionally. Now I’m a much more adjusted person. I can go where I want, alone. I don’t count anymore (thank God). I know I’m not perfect but I am very happy in my own skin and that’s the thing that matters most. If anyone is fighting anything similar to what I described above, I beg you to see a Dr. and try an anti-depressant. They worked for me, and seeing the therapist made a huge difference.

Back to today. Because of all the above I think that I can accept just about any view of me. I just wonder what they are. I started thinking about my own idea of self and how I’m sure that differs greatly from your view of me.

I had a tremendous advantage in that I was able to reboot my life. When I moved here in 1992 I didn’t know a soul. And all people here knew about me was what I told them, I realized this early on. So you know me as either the guy from before or after I moved to the Mississippi Coast. Let me tell you what-they’re two very different guys. I think that probably plays a huge part in your view of me, which one of me you know. If any of you have had the same opportunity then I’m sure you know exactly where I’m coming from.

If you know me from growing up together, let’s call that guy rev. 0, you know me as arrogant, spoiled, self centered, a slacker. All I did was ride around the parking lot with my music up in my low rider. I was the skinny kid that wasn’t good at any sport. I skipped school. I had a mullet (it was a good one too). I had my ass whipped by more than one of my girlfriend’s boyfriends. I was just an average student. I was all those things and more. I’m not going to run from all that now, I admit that was who I was and that guy is still a part of me now. I accept all that I did and I think that I’ve learned from it. Rev. 0 wasn’t a good guy and he never really cared about anyone other than himself. I’m sorry I was that guy. Rev. 0 hurt people, he hurt one of the most precious things ever created and Rev. 1 has to live with that.

If you know me from ‘92 on, guy Rev. 1, you don’t know the guy I was just talking about. I made sure of that. I’d like to think that I turned my life around just before I came to south Mississippi. I decided that I needed to close my mouth, put my head down and go to work. Hopefully you know the guy who’s a good husband, a good coworker, a member of your congregation, a neighbor, a golfing buddy. Someone who’s loyal and trustworthy, and can keep a secret. At least I hope I’m all that. I still stick my foot in my mouth and make poor decisions. This isn’t Behind The Music where everything is always peachy at the end. Rev. 1 is the exact opposite of Rev. 0 in many ways. But I accept them both and I am still both... and more.

After thinking on this for a few days and trying to put myself in a few of your shoes, I realized that which version of me you know probably has a lot to do with what you think of me and my blog. If you know Rev.0 I would love the chance to introduce you to Rev. 1 sometime. Very few of you really and truly know both those guys. If you do I hope you can see how I have tried to change my life. All the bad things that I did back then, I have to live with that and those things make me want to be a better person. I own that pain. I don’t think you can hide from your past or run from what you did. I think you have to admit and accept it, the sooner you do that the more quickly you can move on.

I’m not fishing for compliments here or writing this so that you will write me back and tell me how you think I’m a good person. I’m not doing that at all. I know that I try to be a good person but sometimes I can be a bad person. I like to think that I’m firm but fair. I don’t mind telling someone when they do a good job or when they do a bad job. I just like to write (I’ve been writing since 1994) and I don’t mind saying what’s on my mind. I’m comfortable being who I am and where I am in my life.

BTW things are going well and I may have a very big and wonderful announcement next week.

That’s a little bit about how I personally see myself. The point of this edition of my blog is to show that I bet your view of me is significantly different than my own and from one anothers. Depending on whether you know me as the guy who spent some quality time with one of our coach’s wives in high school or the guy who worked Christmas Day 12 times so people with kids could be off, your perception of me varies. I’m both those guys but I try hard to be the second guy all the time. I wish we could just erase the slate and start anew from here. If you knew me then please don’t assume I’m still the same, and if you know me now please don’t assume that I have always been the person I am today. Your own individual experiences with me have shaped your view of me, and to each of you I am slightly different. I see that now. Thanks to this blog.

Whatever you think of me, I’m glad to count you as my friend. If you are reading this then you are in a group of my most trusted and admired friends. Friends whose opinion I value highly. 3 of the most intelligent people I have ever known are on this list and I think you all are exceptional. As an added bonus I think I have just coined my Nom de Plume!

  Your Friend,
Paxil Crockett