Monday, May 9, 2011

A Little bit on What Makes Me, Me

Well, since yesterday was my birthday and mother’s day, I will write a little bit about myself today since I wrote about mamas yesterday.  I have to say that originally I was thinking about writing an epic biography of my life, but, fortunately, I have decided against it.  There is just no call for anything like.  I realize that nobody wants to hear about the girl I dated in high school, and that I didn’t hang out with her for any other reason than the fact that  she was easy to please.  In fact, all I really needed was a bucket of KFC chicken and a milkshake.  It was as simple as that.

That's actually a lie!  

I hardly could ever stand being around her because she was so mean.  She's the reason that I took up fishing just so I could get away from her a little while.  It was the best thing I ever did.

Anyway, I realize that going into tremendous detail about my life wouldn't be interesting to anyone, not even me, but then again it is rare that I write anything that anyone truly finds interesting anyway, so the hell with it!  

Don't worry, I am not going to waste very much time on my life story, but I am going to spend a little time on how I see myself and how I define myself today.  You see, I don’t believe that there are any words that can totally sum up a person.  At best, we can describe certain aspects of our life with certain words, but even then you can never really define who you are like that.  People are just too complicated and too fluid for that.  Sure you could say that you are a parent or a daredevil or a panty-waisted toadstool or something, but how does that really describe who you are?  A person is more than what they do or how they act.  

But, there are definitely certain parts of people’s lives that are more important than others, and that helps to discover who they are.  By discovering what is important to them or what has been important to the development of their self-identity, you can get a grasp of who it is you are really talking to.  As for me it is easy.  I will telly you the most important things that make me who I am or how I see it anyway.  I am a daddy, I’m a husband, and I’m sick.  

I’m a Daddy!

The most important thing about me is the fact that I am a daddy.  I just love being the little man’s father.  No one else in the world has the capability to make me happier than the little guy.  This past year and some change has been the best year I have ever lived.  I have learned to be responsible, I have stopped swearing so much, and I have grown as a person almost as much as my baby boy has grown physically.  I can’t say I am any more mature or anything, but I can tell you that I am happier now than at any previous point in my life because I have had the opportunity to finally figure out what is really important to me, my family.  

Heck, I even giggle and smile when my son manages to pull off his poopy filled diaper and smear it all over the wall or floor.  How does that happen?

I have heard a lot of other parents say this and I believe it to be totally true, “Being a parent has taught me to be more patient and considerate and easy going.” 

When I was younger I never would have thought in a million years that having a little kid constantly running around and making all sorts of noise would be so awesome!  It doesn’t matter that my schedule is based on his wants and needs because his wants and needs are now mine as well.  It amazes me at how fast this mentality took over.  A lot of the little things that used to bother me just don't anymore.  Before my baby boy even peeked out at me the first time I had this transition from being focused primarily on myself to focusing primarily on him.  Now, his well-being is the most important thing in my life, and I have never been happier.

Hmm......maybe those little things would still bother me if I weren't so distracted.

Anyway, being a daddy means that I can play like a little kid again too.  Hardly anyone ever admits it, but playing like you did when you were a little one yourself is totally awesome! 

I’m a Husband!

The second part of me that is most important to me is that I am a married man.  I absolutely adore my wife!  Who else on earth would be willing to put up with my shenanigans?  

We have been married for nearly ten years now and have never been happier.  Yeah, I like to ham it up and tell people how horrible she is to me, but anyone that knows us knows that she is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I am such a lucky guy.

As everyone knows, being married can be difficult at times, and everyone has rocky patches now and again, but if you are fortunate you'll have chosen someone that is willing to stick with you through those little hardships.  I have even though ten to one I am the one who creates the hard times.  Let’s say that I am not the easiest guy to live with.  I am very immature and self-centered, but she loves me anyway.  I know.  She is crazy!  But, I am grateful of her insanity.  

I may not say it often, but I really am very thankful for that and for the fact that she makes me a better man by just hanging around and slapping me upside the head when I need it!

I am also very grateful for all the support that she gives me and has given to me so freely through the years.  I cannot tell you how many times I have leaned on her or how many times she’s stuck with me when I was being a total jerk.  Honestly, I am not sure how she puts up with me.  Most people would have thrown me out by now especially after the first time I farted under the covers and then covered her head with them.       

Without my beautiful, caring wife I don’t know where I’d be today.

I am Sick!

No, don’t worry it isn’t contagious!  Apparently, I was born this way.

I have a genetic disease that we are pretty sure is called episodic ataxia type 2 or EA2, but don’t know with 100% certainty because genetic testing is expensive. 

Before my wife and baby boy showed up, this was the most distinguishing and important part of me to me.  Then I didn't know what was wrong with me and I worried about it constantly, while desperately trying to hide the fact that it bothered me.  I failed because for the longest time I was a total whine-ass about it, but I like to think that I have grown out of that.  

However, that doesn't mean that I am not still a little bitter and resentful at times when people ask me about my cane or say stupid annoying things like "Do you really need that or do you just have it to look cool?"  

Yeah, I feign an illness because it looks cool, and I actually really like it when people yell out of their car windows calling me cripple.  It's awesome!  

Man, some people are just so stupid and lame!  It seems like no matter how hard I try not to be bitter and resentful there are always going to be a few people that just draw it out of me with their hurtful ways.  They don't realize that it isn't funny.  

Anyway, I'll tell you when we first realized something was up with me.  

It all started when I was nine.  It was a mild early summer afternoon about a month and a half following my ninth birthday.  I remember racing up and down the road on my sister’s old blue bicycle that I just managed to be able to ride.  Man, I thought I could fly on that bike.  On this particular day everything seemed perfect. Mom's lilacs were blooming, the wind was just right.  It was blowing the warmth from the sunlight over the grassy field across the road.  I felt great.  I felt happy.  I felt young.

Then it happened.  It was the weirdest feeling I have ever felt in my entire life.  It was like the whole world stopped.  And for that instant, I could pick out and focus on single dandelion seeds floating through the air.  It was pretty cool!  You know how dandelions turn all white and fuzzy in the summer right?  Well, I could watch those float around in the air and see them like they were under a magnifying glass.  Just for an instant mind you, but that instant felt like it dragged on for hours. It was like I could feel the individual hairs on my head moving in time with the gusts of wind.  I wanted to shout out and tell my mother that something strange was happening, but I couldn't find the words. I was terrified and in awe at the same time. 

At that moment I knew something happening to me. The only question was what.  It was like the world just up and stopped, but I soon found out that if your world suddenly stops then it must start again sometime.  Boy, it really sucked when it did too.  

The only way for me to really explain what happened following that brief instant of stillness and wonder is that my mind had to compensate somehow for that instance of stillness by bringing everything back to life with the full force of hell behind it. The dandelion seedlings were gone in a blur of motion, the pavement and the swaying field grass melded together making something that approximated the color of baby poop, which I am thoroughly familiar with by now, and it was all swirling around.  I guess that is what vertigo is.  

Anyway, being nine and too ignorant to be really aware of my surroundings, I thought that the Earth stopped rotating.   Again, what can I say?  I was only 9.  I remember thinking back on a science class that taught about the rotation of the earth and how rapidly it spun, and I thought that somehow I was actually feeling that rotation.  Well, as you know, I wasn't feeling the rotation of the earth, but whatever it was it was enough to knock my little nine year old ass square off my little blue bike and onto the pavement.  

I just could not focus on any one object no matter how hard I tried. The trees and the grass around me looked like a fantastic, blurry, colorless swirl. I am still at a loss for words in trying to explain that feeling the first time I got sick/dizzy.  All I can really say is that I puked my guts out for the entirety of that first episode. 

After that, I can't honestly say how often, or how many times, that it has happened to me since then, but I can say that from that day on, until young adult hood I don't remember much else other than being sick a whole hell of a lot. 

A lot of my days were like this; the world would spin relentlessly around me scaring me relentlessly until I thought my heart would burst. Then, it would stop as suddenly as it began and I would feel like crap for hours on end. The aftermath of this extraordinary dizziness was, and still is, like feeling your body wasting away while being extremely nauseous at the same time. Then, out of the blue I'd feel fine again for what seemed like a few moments, just to have it start all over again.  It was vicious! 

It still is, but not at all in the same way.  Now, I am pretty much used to it.  Well, that and certain aspects of my disease just never go away anymore.  For instance, I always feel weak now in my left arm and leg, which is why I rock the cane.  There are also a few other little things, but I won’t bore you with the details because I could go on and on about it.  At least now I have it under control because I have neurologist who actually knows what is going on and is treating it.  

It is funny that I see my disease as a separate entity. I always have.

So, there you have it.  These are three most important things in my life that help to make me who I am; being a daddy, a husband, and sick.  

You know, just writing this down helps me to realize how lucky I am.  I have a kick-ass little boy and a kick-ass wife.  Sure, I also have a genetic disease, but it could be worse, much worse.  In fact, if you have to have a genetic disorder  mine is the one to have.  It isn't lethal, and I am thinking that I am at the worst it gets, and that isn't too bad at all.  I am also really lucky because I have great friends and a fantastic family that help me deal with it.  

What else could anyone really hope for?



  1. And your wife and son appreciate that you write things like this about us and share them with the world. We love you so, so very much for all the you are!

  2. Very cool. Now I think I know you a little better...maybe. You are a great friend and it is cool to know you. Keep having fun with that little boy and keep enjoying that marriage!