I was looking at this picture taken by a family at last weekend's art show and I admit it made me recoil a bit. If you take a look at the picture notice my left leg and what is left of my calf.
On May 6th 2012, I awoke unable to use my legs. I had an allergic reaction to a medication I was taking. My legs had swollen to twice their normal size and became hard as mahogany. Rather than seek immediate medical attention, I literally dragged myself to the bathroom took 1600mg of Advil, and crawled back to bed hoping the swelling would abate. That never happened.
It took passing urine black as india ink to convince me I was out of my depth as far as home remediation went. I entered the ER on Tues May 8th. My kidneys had shut down, and I was in the throes of liver failure. I was greeted by a frenzied staff, and IV shot of Dilaudid, and a Foley catheter. I would not see home for two months.
The only way to alleviate the swelling was to have a bilateral fasciotomy performed on my legs. It involved slitting both legs open and the application of a wound vac as the only means of saving my life. I was told I would most likely lose my left leg if I survived. I had three surgeries, and endured several weeks of dialysis before my kidneys returned from their sabbatical. I managed to keep my left leg, but the skin graft was a complete failure.
I was one month in hospital, and one month in a nursing home. The only thing that kept me going was the opiate buffet that killed the pain, and made me blissfully immune to the shock of my physical decline, and the stark reality of the series of institutional residences . The highlight of my day in the nursing home was an extra vanilla Ensure.
I survived. I endured. The old me, however, did die. Had I not experienced all of the above, it is safe to say I would not be painting. I imagine me with an unblemished leg, stuck in some unfulfilling job, ignorant of the potential beauty of existence.
It was only because of that mess I met Jen who by chance bought me painting supplies to occupy my mind, and has been my partner through setting up this business. You know the rest of my story to this point.
However dire your situation may be, try to look up. You may be missing a trick. I am fortunate to have you as followers that are reading these very words. All of you have helped me reshape my life, and I am lucky to be able to share my work with you. It took a brush with death before I realized I was indeed master of my fate, and life can be very fulfilling with unlimited potential. I wish all of you the brightest of futures. Thanks for reading my little posting.