Aisle Of Wit

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Bye Bye Boo Boo

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

Tomorrow I have a post-operative checkup with the surgeon who repaired a ventral hernia at the end of last month, the third time in 21 months I was put under anethesia.  The experience was a damn sight better than the first time, when I laid in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center shivering from both sepsis and a freezing corridor that had me mere hours away from death.  The journey of a lifetime began there.

It’s a journey I continue to write about with both gratitude and shock, frustration and joy, sadness and euphoria.  It’s a journey that had me lose what for me was a tremendous amount of weight and at times my mind.  I lost my job, my home, my wife, my beloved cat and nearly my entire net worth.  I later lost the friendship of the most incredible woman I had ever met, the most beautiful home I had ever called my residence, and frequently my dignity.  I simultaneously lost contact with almost everyone I believed once loved me, and thanks to the pandemic the ability to even reach out to them in my darkest moments.

The earlier surgeries brought me back from the brink of death to renewed opportunity.  The physical and emotional scars I suffered then were far deeper and more hideous than the one you see here.  On Christmas Day 2019 I laid in a hospital bed with a draining tube in my abdomen, multiple intravenous lines and a week-old beard that aged me considerably.  One by one, the tubes were removed, the beard was shaven and other ties were severed permanently.

The hernia was the last physical vestige of the trauma I suffered.  At its peak the swelling looked tumorous; I was told my intenstines were literally pushing against my stomach walls straining to break through my skin.  For as embarassing as posting this picture would have been to me months earlier, the above imagery would not have been one I was willing to share with people.

When I woke up two Wednesdays ago the swelling was gone replaced by the bandage you see and the slight discolorations that accompany it.   Tomorrow those bandages are removed and we check to see the stitches that they covered are disintegrated.  Assuming all is well, I can then resume workouts that will continue to shape me into even better shape and a body I actually can be proud of.  I’m far better than I was but I’m nowhere near where I should be.

One day I will be able to write far more honestly about this journey.  Legal reasons prevent me from doing so for now.  Suffice to say it’s been complicated.  But I’m healing in so many ways.  I’ve never felt more alive.  I’ve discovered new family and, yes, new love, though hardly in the traditional sense.  And I’m discovering new business opportunities, arguably at a time when so many of my peers have called it a career.  I can’t be done and I won’t be.  I made it this far and I’m not stopping now.

So mock this selfie if you choose.  Shame me if you dare.  I hardly even have a two-pack, let alone six, but I’m far less embarassed about what I look like topless than I used to be.  I’ve discovered new friendships with people who have literally made careers with their bodies, who possess confidence and resilience far beyond levels I had even dared to dream were possible.  They continue to assure me I’m capable of being self-loving, and in turn that produces opportunities for others to reciprocate,  Seems so simple, right?  In hindsight it is.  But it’s only one step in a journey that doesn’t end until I no longer can write.  I intend for it to be as prolonged as G-d will allow to be.  He got me to here.  I’m hopeful He’ll continue to cut me some slack.

Until next time…