The Jerry Pippin
Contact Jerry (or Jane): firstname.lastname@example.org or Jerry Pippin, P.O. Box 333, Muskogee, OK, 74402
Jerry Attends his 55th High School Reunion on September 27, 2013 - by Jane Swartley - (October 7, 2013) - Jerry and I attended our 55th high school reunion last week in Muskogee, Oklahoma (Class of 1958 - Muskogee Central) and it was a magical time. The moment we entered the room for Friday night's social gathering, all attention was on Jerry; many people thought they would never see him in a social setting again, what with all his long-standing medical problems. The heartfelt love was palpable, as were the handshakes, back slaps, and kisses and hugs from the "girls" which Jerry of course ate up.
Saturday night he and Roberta Scott and I went to the banquet where during the program the MC Tom Shelton asked how far we had all traveled to be there and after various folks offered their mileage, he went on to say that there was one among us who had traveled farther than anyone and that was Jerry Pippin who had gone through so much for so long. Everyone applauded loud and long and would have given him a standing O if not for the fact that (given our advanced age) so many had too much trouble standing up that fast. It chokes me up to think about it.
Obviously Jerry is much loved by many people. I've always liked the phrase, "the poetry of life." referring to the depth and range of the beautiful aspects of life. One reason for Jerry's success in life and especially with other people is that he possesses that rare talent for tapping into the poetry of life and this extends to relationships with other people. He brings out the best in others and this is one of the reasons he's such a phenomenal interviewer and entertainer.
As far as his health goes, he still has more of that long journey to take but he's hanging in there very well. He sees his eye doctor at Dean A. McGee in Oklahoma City this coming Friday (October 11), a pre-op on the 14th and a cystoscopy on the 18th, and on November 5th he sees his surgeon to learn whether the wound in his colon has healed enough for him to have his colostomy reversed. If all this weren't enough, he and his doctor are still trying to adjust his insulin dosage and balance out his blood sugar. That hasn't quite gelled yet so he is feeling unpleasant side-effects from both the insulin and dialysis, but hopefully this will level out soon.
Through all of this he has managed to cope and maintain his equilibrium, aided by friends and family and by the wonderful staff at Eastgate Village. I spent many hours there last week visiting with him and seeing firsthand their expertise and dedication and have nothing but good things to say about them. By the way, they all love him too.
Little Things Mean a Lot - by Jerry Pippin (September 01, 2013) -
As I continue to write these articles about my almost-incarceration (but it's not of course) as I stay in a nursing home is that I've noticed how all of a sudden little things mean a lot. Such as when we eat, the other residents in the dining room all look forward to getting something to eat - that's about the only thing that happens in their life - eating is an event, about the only thing that happens in their life, and I can certainly understand that because one of the things about illness is the boredom factor. There are not a lot of things you can do, and of course I'm interested in only one thing: doing my radio shows and informing people about different things - which has been my life's work and I can't wait to get back to it. I'm still shooting for September to come back to live shows again and as far as I know, that will be on schedule. There may be some technicalities about it all but I know I'll manage the minefield.
When we talk about highlights I guess one of the most important ones are the people who come to visit here. I've been lucky; I've had many people come to visit me and it's always a joy to see them. One of the biggest joys of course, is the fact that one of my daughters, Lisa, came recently - driving over from Oklahoma City - and we had a great visit all afternoon. We talk on the phone a lot but there's nothing like personal contact, I'm sure you'll agree. Especially with your loved ones, with your immediate family. The interesting thing about all this is the sense of almost being trapped and so I don't know how to explain it to people and I don't have an answer to how you avoid that but I wanted to write about that simply to let people know that your ability to get up and do things on your own somehow can become impacted with age and disease as it has with me and it's a very hard adjustment to make.
Now we continue to look forward to getting out and that sounds as if I'm in prison, if you stop to think about it - but I'm not; I'm being treated very well and the food is pretty good for the most part. The problem is, as always, when you have more than one thing wrong with you, you have to find out which doctor is going to get you out and that's like solving a big puzzle. But I will be seeing my surgeon soon and perhaps he will be the one who will release me. So far they've been very noncommittal in how they're going to release me. I guess my advice to anyone reading this is if you get in a situation like this you have to be assertive (in a nice way) - there is a saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."
I'm wrapping up this article to say that things are looking good, September's here and it's almost time for live shows again for the Fall season and I plan to be part of it.
|It Looks Promising
by Jerry Pippin (August 19, 2013) -
I am cancer-free now and I was hoping that during my appointment with Dr. Clingan on August 13 I would be able to schedule an appointment to have my colostomy reversed, however the wound hasn't healed yet so I have to wait at least until November for that surgery to take place.
Until that happens, I can't go back to my apartment/studio where I live and work, due to my vision problems but perhaps I'll be able to resume my career in broadcasting and provide some new shows beginning in November. I'm looking forward to it for sure.
The interesting thing about all of this, and the reason I bring it up is that being confined to a nursing facility is No Fun. In other words, this is a very nice one, but when I say, "no fun," it's actually because of boredom. Not much happening and you can't do much but I'm looking forward to getting back in gear and heading forward to resuming my UFO and other shows.
I have worked some, as you know, on other shows this summer where the host called me up and talked to me and we link to those on our website simply to let people know I'm still alive and working and keeping interest if we can, in the programming that we do. I am indebted forever to Jane Swartley, our web producer, who takes these columns and checks with me every day about what we want to do on the website. What she does is - I'm talking into a cassette recorder - we mail the cassettes to her in Boulder, Colorado, and she transcribes them and posts the column. Jane has been a blessing for sure, in keeping my broadcast career going.
The same with Larry Dicken who went before her, who helped me pioneer the website. Larry has had some health problems himself. I talked with him the other day and he seems to be doing pretty good and surviving, so God Bless Larry Dicken.
As far as doing the columns, I will continue to do this. I must say that the long journey towards healing has not been easy; in fact I jokingly say that the cure is worse than the disease, which of course I'm not sure that's true and I don't want to find out, if you know what I mean.
So I just want to give everybody a heads-up that it looks promising and I might be able to get back to work at my studio and apartment where I live - we actually expect to have new shows soon, resuming live shows with Inception Radio - possibly not two full hours live, depending upon my stamina. But I'm definitely going to be doing the shows and I'm writing this series of observations to be helpful to other people, as I had no idea what it would be like if something like this happened to me; I'd been healthy all my life and this was quite a shock. So the best thing to do - the advice I would give to anyone who is facing the problems I have is, don't give up, keep hope, (be realistic however, and don't expect miracles). Or, you can expect them and maybe you'll get one now that I think about it.
I guess the thing that you should remember especially as you get older (I'll be 74 in November) is the fact that "buyer beware," in other words that you pretty much have to stay on top of it yourself. If you're ever in a position such as I have been, please don't feel that you have to take anybody's word for anything. Check and re-check and verify, as Reagan used to say, "trust, but verify," and I think it's always a good idea as far as health issues are concerned.
|Deal With It, We Must
by Jerry Pippin (August 05, 2013) -
I think before we continue much longer with these columns
about health issues that I have, in an effort to explain
what happens when these things do happen, I need to probably
go over exactly what's wrong with me so you can get a better
understanding of where I'm coming from. I am in a nursing
facility called Eastgate which is a very nice place.
Interestingly enough I chose this place because of the name
and because of several UFO shows I did with Peter Robbins
about a place in England where encounters happened with
extraterrestrials. These have been investigated by the
British government and we have several interviews on our
website if you'd care to listen to them.
I think we'll just go chronologically: I was in perfect health and never had a problem at all up until the year 2000 when we had the incident of the murder of my mother (that story also available on the website if you'd like to read about that - just enter "murder" in the search engine and you'll find several articles). It was a devastating time. My mother was at home and she was bludgeoned to death by 5 people who came into her house and there was some discussion about why they did. The police seemed to think it was robbery but Mother had $300 laying in plain site and they didn't grab it, so you know, you wonder what happened and why they did it to begin with. I do know that my mother was a very religious woman and was constantly involved with her church and this group of young people liked to think of themselves as satanists and had all kinds of rituals going on and so perhaps that was the connection.
Now, the next thing that happened to me was, I was having an eye checkup and the doctor said, "You've had diabetic retinopathy, that's what's wrong with you. The stress caused all the capillaries on your retina to burst." I was shocked; I didn't know I had diabetes at all. I was referred to a local doctor He's still my doctor and also a very good friend.
I underwent several operations, some of it was with lasers and some of it was experimental at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center (Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, one of the recognized superior places for that type of treatment). The treatments seemed to work somewhat and I was able to continue my radio career. I was live at the time on the station I started at many years ago, KBIX in my hometown of Muskogee. I came to KBIX first of all for sentimental value (that's where I started in radio), second of all I had the freedom to create the kind of show I wanted to do, and thirdly and most important, it was on the internet. Even at that early stage of internet development and broadcasting, I could see the possibilities.
Now, after the legal blindness had set in and I had a reasonable cure I continued to work live at that radio station until it was sold and turned into a sports station in 2003. I had already established my website (jerrypippin.com) back in 1998 on Labor Day, so I was already experimenting with on-demand broadcasting and the technology was beginning to get more reasonable for that sort of thing and I was determined to capitalize on it and I've had reasonable success with it and I do appreciate that from the audience listening to me.
I was able to overcome my legal blindness due to those operations and also with the help of a couple of people who heard about it and one of them finally came to work for me who worked as a producer, basically going over with me what I was going to do and I would do it by memory because I couldn't really read to scripts. In 2003 when the station was sold I decided to build my own studio at home and continue broadcasting on-demand. With very good advice, my partner at the time was Larry Dicken who had worked with Wall Street Jones people in developing streaming audio for the stock returns. He was by all means a major help.
I did UFO shows almost on a daily basis because UFOs and paranormal shows were interesting to both of us and we were interested in the subject and they were also very popular, so why not do it? We continued to do other things as well in broadcasting.
We continue to battle diabetes and it seemed I had it beaten. Then all of a sudden I had a few other problems. I developed kidney disease. Now the kidney disease had been around for a while just like the diabetes evidently. Thanks to my following a strict diet and seeing a very good kidney specialist I have been able to keep that under control. It really hasn't changed much since I first was diagnosed with it in 2003.
Then things began to happen. I got an infection, a strange malady with a strange name and it was, in essence, a bone disease in which caused some of my vertebrae and lower back to be brittle and begin to hurt. That was the beginning of the end for some reason.
My doctor suggested that I have a colonoscopy to make sure I didn't have colon cancer. I didn't have any symptoms but the fact that my mother had it was enough for him to keep insisting. Finally I had it done and lo and behold I did have a malignant tumor. It was a pretty big shock naturally, but what happened later made that original discovery almost seem minor compared to things that happened to me since then. The bone disease became worse and worse. I ended up in a hospital 3 weeks and they were trying to treat this bone infection without much success and they gave me an antibiotic which made me sick - sick as hell - I lost 32 pounds because I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. So I had already been diagnosed with a malignancy and Dr. Gregory, a very good surgeon in Muskogee felt the tumor was too close to the end of my rectum (7 cm - which doesn't sound all that much) but he said anything under 10 cm he couldn't do anything about without causing pain for the rest of my life. He said there were 2 doctors nearby who could take care of it; one was in Houston, the other was in Tulsa so naturally I opted for the one in Tulsa since it was only 35 miles away. I had the cancer surgery and one of the worst fears I had came about (that I would end up with a bag). It's temporary, they say, but I still have it, but I will see the surgeon on August 13 and this will be reversed soon.
If it is I will be returning home and working on my radio shows again as it is right now, I can't see well enough to empty the bag myself so I always have to have somebody around to help.
Then came the next thing and it was quite a shock. For the last year and a half, it's been a continuous slide down into a valley of depression and uplifting up to the mountain peaks of joy. By that I mean, for instance, we might as well talk about the fact that I was still not finished with my cancer operations. They have a way of measuring you to see if the cancer is gone. They use a probe to take a picture of your colon from the inside out. This happened to me - everyone was saying congratulations - you'll be back to normal soon. Then the unusual happened, at least I assume it's unusual - the doctor seemed pretty shocked about it. The doctor said, "I don't know how to tell you this Jerry, but you have a rip in your colon." He went on to explain that it probably happened from too much pressure used during the test and thus they couldn't get the proper x-rays for him to make the final decision. So we had to schedule another operation to repair the damage.
This is just an example of the highs and lows. Expectations abound and then disappointments come. I've noticed that it seems to be true not only with my case but others not as drastic an error or mistake that I had - but I see and talk to people all the time who are looking forward to getting something done and for some reason it takes more time than you think. It's one of the roughest parts of this particular procedure of getting old and having cancer and other diseases, and as a result of that, disappointments reign high with me and many others here in this facility. It's one of those things that's hard to deal with but deal with it, we must.
but SURELY -
by Jerry Pippin (July 31, 2013)
So the next step I guess in my recovery and my search for a way to get out of here and get back into my apartment/studio and start working again on the radio is my surgeon, Dr. Clingan, who is going to reverse the colostomy - a temporary thing in which they keep the colon clear as possible until the wounds heal. As you know, I've already written about the colon accidentally ripped open when they were getting ready to take X-rays, which delayed everything and causing me to have an extra operation. Hopefully that won't happen again when I see Dr. Clingan in mid-August. When we think about the chances of my getting rid of this bag I get very excited because it has been a very depressing situation even though I understand that it's necessary but that still doesn't make it much easier.
Then of course, I understand from talking to other people who have had their colostomies reversed, you have to retrain your bowels so the journey is not over yet but I'll be a step closer to coming back to normality and I can hardly wait.
I noticed at lunch today, several people in the dining room all had one thing in common. We appreciate what's happening with us but we all want to go home. I guess that's natural and it certainly is in my case. I want to go home and I want to get back to work. It's one of the things I wanted to stress more than anything else to people who are suddenly faced with this lack of mobility and serious illness such as cancer, that there is hope and lots of strides have been made, but the cure can take some time.
BY DAY -
by Jerry Pippin (July 26, 2013)
I'm legally blind, as you know, this happened many years ago due to a huge tragedy when my mother who was beaten to death with a baseball bat and I found her about 15 minutes after it happened. I thought I was dealing quite well with it but some time after, I was walking my dog Buster in the park one day and all of a sudden everything went black. Buster, God less him, has now passed away, was a wonderful companion for 18 years, a Schnauzer who was almost human. Fortunately he knew how to get home and I followed his lead, stumbling over the curbs but making it home. Come to find out, I had had diabetic retinopathy brought on and escalated by the tragedy of the murder of my mother. The long and short of the story is that I went through several surgeries, some where they rebuilt my retina, at the Dean A. McGee eye institute which is part of the University of Oklahoma medical system. and one of the better places for this type of surgery. (There are a couple of other places, one in Boston and UCLA's Jules Stein I believe is the name of it, has also a great track record.) Using new steroids vision can be brought back to a certain extent. I underwent several operations, thirteen in all: ten of them were lasers, three were where they actually rebuilt my retinas. I could see quite well until recently, after I was diagnosed with cancer, for some reason my vision became very blurred again. I'm still trying to recuperate from the two successful surgeries I've had as well as the chemotherapy and radiation treatments which evidently eradicated the cancer, at least for now.
As you may or may not know I have a bag attached to my small intestine to bypass the colon while it heals. I'm looking forward to having it reversed perhaps in mid-August but for now I remain a prisoner to changing or draining the bag about every 6 hours. And since I'm legally blind I can't see well enough to do it by myself. So for a while, while I was still doing my shows in my apartment and studio, I was able to pay someone to do this every day. Now I'm residing in Eastgate which, as I mentioned, is really a beautiful place - rolling hills, nice landscaping, and the people here are very kind and dedicated even though it's still like being in a prison. I was used to an active life, able to do my shows, and actually have quite a lot of freedom. When that is taken away from you, you never really quite adjust to it. The worst part is something that is designed really to make you fit in - you go to the dining hall for meals and the chance to talk to people - and for some reason it has a negative effect on me. It pushes me deep into depression sometimes, simply because of the other people and all of the serious problems they have, as well as myself. I guess I'm just an emotional fellow.
So this is one of the things that I'm looking forward to in maybe getting back to being able to being on my own again, and to work on my shows and being in my little studio apartment. It was designed really for me to be most effective with my broadcasting and once that was taken away from me by being in hospitals for surgeries and now my diabetes has reared up and needs constant attention.
I'm writing these articles, not for any sympathy or any other effect other than for people to understand what happens to people once they have these diseases in their older years. It's a thing that one never gets used to and as I sit here waiting for lunch, which will be happening in a few minutes - they'll be coming to get me and putting me in a wheel chair and pushing me into the dining hall - the entire situation sometimes seems untenable.
It's not easy being in a room bedfast, for an active person with an active mind. The whole thing that I've noticed since I've been in two nursing homes and four different hospitals is the heavy reliance on drugs that everyone uses these days. I've become accustomed to, when the world seems to be closing in on me - and it does quite often - to take a pill and usually get over it.
It is almost indescribable the challenges and the dread I feel each night as I get ready to go to sleep. Part of that is the psychological mess I'm in because of the fear of this diabetic coma coming into my life. I never really thought I'd be afraid to die but the three incidents I've had in recent times were very severe and when you get close to death it's not a pleasant feeling. In fact on our websites you can read my salute to Jerry Wilhite, a high school friend of mine, who had passed away - he asked his wife for a cup of coffee - and then he suddenly just died. Sometimes I wonder if he's not the lucky one but we continue to persevere and in these articles as I write them I want people to understand that it is a complete and utter change of lifestyle and shock that eats away at you as you try to heal and try to get back to some semblance of normal life.
I've noticed here when I talk with people that sometimes they're hopeful that they will get to go home when there doesn't appear to be any way that they'll ever do that. I hope that doesn't happen to me but it could, and I try to be aware of it without being too depressed. However, I want you to know that I'm still planning on coming back and doing radio shows and working with the information that we have and trying to spread the truth - the gospel, so to speak - of political revelations and also we deal with subjects like paranormal and UFOs which many people think are far-far out and I at one time, when I first began doing those shows, was doing them because they were just interesting. Now, I think there's something to them and that something's going on and maybe has been going on for centuries with the visitation of these objects and the occupants inside them.
In this piece, as I'm writing this by simply dictating it and Jane Swartley my producer, is transcribing it to text - I hope people can read these articles and understand what happens to a person when they get older and all of a sudden something like cancer intervenes and all of a sudden mobility and even normal day to day activity becomes a huge challenge. It's something that people need to be prepared for even if it never happens to them, and that is the understanding you need from your family, friends, and associates who have compassion for you, that maybe things will get better and perhaps you really can help them.
Somehow we make it through, day by day, and hope is what we have - hope that we can straighten out and get back to a normal life, or at least a semblance of it. That is the plan.
|NEVER GIVE UP
- by Jerry Pippin (July 16, 2013) -
This is the first of several columns I'm going to write, about
something I never thought I would ever have to experience. Deep
back in the recesses of my mind there's always been the horrible
thought that it might happen to me, and that is that I'm now in a
nursing facility after years of an active life. The toughest part is
getting adjusted to what's happening, and interestingly enough, as I
meet some of the people here they seem happy and seem to be able to
cope with it a lot better than I do at times.
I'm going to write in this series of columns things that happen, about what happened and why and how to deal with it in hopes that someone else will be enlightened and be a little better prepared for it than I was. First of all, this is the third facility that I've been in, away from my home, office, and studio, and it's been quite a shock and quite a revelation and really not much happens except the people do come along and help you when you're in trouble and that's the reason I'm here. Evidently my diabetes has flared up to a degree that no one was anticipating. I've had diabetes for several years, probably 15 or 20, and I've been taking the same pill, glycoside, and what happened to me was shocking and very, very scary. The glycoside evidently builds up inside your system and to get affected by it, when you take a pill it's like taking all of them at the same time and my blood sugar would plummet and what happened is, I thought I had had a stroke, because I could not move and I could not speak but it was only extremely low blood sugar. In fact it was a crisis that many people do not survive. So I consider myself very lucky that even though it happened to me, I was able to survive it. And now I'm facing a world that I never wanted to face and that's a daily dose of insulin and I have to give it to myself.
A lot of people who have listened to me over the years and read my columns know that I have been legally blind since around 2001 and that I underwent many, many surgeries for my eyes, including lasers and even experimental surgery where the cut into your retina and rebuild it, and it's worked well for me until recently but now everything is a haze and very hard to make out and very hard to see. Sometimes interestingly enough- when I think hope should have disappeared from my life, it hasn't at all and I will survive this, I am sure, but it's been very, very difficult.
As a result of writing this column I want people to understand what might happen to them and how to deal with it. I was ill-prepared to deal with it in any way and the situation is indescribable when you suddenly find yourself dependant upon others.
So now, over the next few weeks in my columns I will be talking about how to deal with it, hopefully to give other people a chance to adjust if this happens to them and we pray that it doesn't happen to many.
Most of you know, if you've listened to my shows that I had colon cancer and have had several operations for it and evidently now all the cancer is gone but I'm still suffering the aftermath of the cure, so to speak, with a temporary colostomy bag. This alone was a severe shock and something that's very depressing and very hard to deal with but I was able to continue thanks to the help of loved ones and friends and to all of the fan letters I get from around the world about my show, wishing me good luck.
In the next column I'll be talking about some of the specifics of what one faces in a situation like this and I want you to know the goal that I have is to be able to come back and be back on the air every day and to operate out of my apartment/studio with a minimum of problems and even though it seems hopeless and very desperate at some times, in the back of my mind I still remain optimistic that things will straighten out and that my body will restore itself and I'll be able to continue.
The thing I want to leave you with in this column is, that as long as there's life, as long as there's breath, there's hope - and no one should ever give up.
REARS ITS UGLY HEAD AGAIN
by Jerry Pippin (July 19, 2013)
It seemed surprising to me that I did it - I asked for some Xanax - and the reason I did it is that, as I faced things in the nursing home (which has been a big shock to me to begin with) - being confined to a small area, in bed, that I get a phobia, begun through a well-reasoned fear, and that is because I've had some interesting and scary and unpleasant experiences with low blood sugar lately. I woke up one Saturday morning at home and I suddenly couldn't move - I couldn't move my legs, I couldn't talk, I couldn't do anything. I managed to somehow get to the phone and get 911 and they managed somehow to contact me not only with the emergency service ambulance but also with producer Robert Scott who was very close to where I am, at a drive-in bank, and she arrived in time to calm me a little bit. What had happened is my blood sugar had dropped to an unbelievable low. That was the first of many such incidents I've had since then.
The shock of the whole thing is the fact that I've had diabetes now for at least 15 years (that I know of) and I have a hunch I had it a long time before that, even though I wasn't aware of it. The shock of it is that I could have sworn that I had had a stroke: I couldn't move my legs, I couldn't talk, I couldn't do anything. The relief, if there is a relief, was that at least I hadn't had a stroke and that my family doctor, Dr. Kuykendall, happened to be on duty at the hospital that day and as a result of that, he was able to identify what was wrong. That was the first of many experiences I have had with a diabetic pill called glycoside. As a result of this, they've taken me off the glycoside medication and have put me on insulin.
Since this incident, I've been faced with phobias and fears that are based in reality but at the same time are very hard for me to deal with. Interestingly enough, I had had my diabetes under control for so long that I really wasn't worried about it compared to all my other illnesses at all.
I was astounded and shocked and disappointed of course, when I found out I had colon cancer and as a result of that I underwent several operations to remove the tumor, had radiation treatments and chemotherapy. Fortunately for me, I survived chemotherapy without many side effects and according to the surgeon who operated on me the radiation had evidently done the trick and eliminated the cancer. So for all intents and purposes I am cancer-free but the cure has been devastating for me in that I'm now wearing a temporary bag. I expect to have the colostomy reversed within the next few weeks.
I've had a series of bad incidents, things that shouldn't have happened. One of them was that my colon was ripped open during some testing several weeks ago before they were getting ready to reverse the colostomy and letting me go back to nature, in the way of using the bathroom.
The biggest shock of course has been my limited mobility all of a sudden. Before this I was able to walk and get around quite well and then all of a sudden had low blood sugar incidents over and over, then coming close to a diabetic coma, for some reason I cannot seem to function and walk well. Because of the operation I had, I'm still not healed completely and when I do stand up there is some drainage. So it's a very inconvenient time but I'm making the best of it and I'm looking forward to maybe resuming my broadcast career and doing more radio shows, hopefully by this Fall. The problem of course is, because of my limited vision, I have to have someone to make sure my blood sugar doesn't plummet unexpectedly and I'm hoping to come up with some solution very shortly.
I've found one thing: as people get older, since I can talk from personal experience, it's quite a shock to your emotional system if all of a sudden you're not able to do what you used to do. As a result of that I've had bouts of depression and I've never had any kinds of problems like that. So this is an experience, totally new and not welcome. As a result of this I'm writing these columns to let people understand what happens to older people when all of a sudden they lose their mobility and lose their ability to live a normal life.
I have of course not given up and I continue looking forward to getting back to work and doing my shows and continuing life as I had it before. Whether that will happen, I don't know. But I'm optimistic and I'm certainly going to try to readjust and continue Life. The interesting thing I've found out about this, my close brushes with death (and there have been several now, because of low blood sugar and the diabetic coma aspect) - is that regardless of how hopeless you feel when life is threatened you always want to correct it. In other words, I do want to continue to live. In this column as others I've been writing, I'm trying to give you a personal experience of what it means to go through a transition from being very active to suddenly being unable to do practically anything and as a result of that it's been quite an adjustment to make. But as I say, and I'm writing these columns for a reason and I want to help others as well as myself understand what is happening and how to deal with this. The thing that has been a complete surprise to me is the fear/phobia of dieing and some of it is founded, some of it is unfounded.
I started this column talking about Xanax. I never thought I would ever be taking a drug like that but we're going to see if it works, at least a little bit. Something has to give because it's even hard to discuss what happens. It's as if you're on the edge - as if you're going to fall off a cliff or something. It's just an unnatural feeling; it's very hard to explain to people. Thank goodness I'm in a very good facility (Eastgate) and the staff is watching me and taking good care of me. Of course I don't want to be here too long; I want to get back to work and hopefully I will.