Thursday, December 24, 2009

Your Comments

I just want to say real quick and very shortly that I thank those of you who read and leave comments on my blog so much. It means a lot to me and I get very excited when I see that someone has left a comment about one of my posts. That means that that post meant enough to that person to leave a comment for me. I really have to thank you so much to those of you who read my blog because I am doing it for a reason and I'm really exposing myself so I need people who understand and are supportive of what i'm going through and what I write. I only hope that more of you leave comments for me so I know what you're thinking when you read a post.

I hope more of you become a follower of my blog and leave comments for me. Thank you even to those of you who have not become a follower and just read. But without you becoming a follower I don't know who is reading and who to thank but it is not necessary. Just thank you for reading and for those of you who have left comments.

A special thanks to Sharae Hildebrandt and April VanTassell who leave the most comments. I truly appreciate it and I know you keep up with my blog so thank you so much.

Being in a Coma

I was life-flighted out to Legacy Emanuel hospital in Portland Oregon when I was injured. First of all, it was a miracle I made it that far because the paramedics could not get a tube down my throat to keep me breathing so after several attempts, they had to fall back to manually air-bagging me. And they had to do this the entire way to Portland, which is nearly impossible.

After my emergency surgeries to remove the burn and graft on cadaver skin I was in a coma and I stayed in a coma for about a month. And I have myself many times, do I believe in a heaven? Because I don't remember a single thing. The brain is so amazingly powerful that I almost left my body so that I wouldn't feel the pain of burning fire on skin. And still to this day, my brain has protected me from remembering the accident. But what happened after I slipped into a coma? Did I see or even hear a higher power. Did I see other souls? Did I see angels? What happened during that month?

One of my best friends' mother has an interesting take on what happens to someone in the kind of situation I was in, where I could die. She believes that there is some kind of heaven, whether you want to call it a heaven or not. But she believes that there are other souls up there who have been important influences in our life we see. And what happens when we see them is there is a discussion about whether it is my time to stay with them and with the higher power, or if it is not time and I must go back. The reason I would stay is if I and/or the souls and higher power were satisfied with what I had done on Earth. The reason I would go back is if there was still something for me to do, people for me to influence, lessons yet to be learned. And she believes that those souls spoke to me, showed me my life and my future life and that there was a reason for my life on Earth and I had not achieved it yet so I must go back. And so I did. A month later I awoke.

Another question I have is do people in comas hear you when you talk to them. Do they feel you when you hold your hand. Many nurses and doctors say they can so it helps a lot to talk to them as if they were awake. And the nurses always talked to me like I could hear them. Well let me tell you, I didn't hear a thing, I didn't feel a thing and I didn't see anything. My mother, however tells me, that she was talking to me and holding my hand one day and I squeezed it, and I really squeezed it. There was no doubt that it was a muscular jerk. So did I really hear and feel her and my mind has blocked all senses from me. I wish I remember hearing or feeling her, or my father when he stood at my bedside and recited prayers. But I heard nothing. I felt nothing. I saw nothing. No dreams. No souls. No Heaven. No God.

So what happens to someone in a coma? Do they really experience souls and heaven and God but are not allowed to remember it? I know people who have had near death life experiences where they say they "saw the light" or "floated above their body". Well, I may not have had a near death life experience like that where my heart actually stopped but I was dying on my way to Portland and I didn't see or hear anything.

And that makes me sad. I would truly feel better about surviving the accident if I had some kind of experience with any of those things because it would make sense for my living. I had all the odds against me that night, especially on the life-flight to Portland where they had to manually air-bag me. And yet I lived. Why? Did I meet those souls and they sent me back because I wasn't ready, as my friends' mother believes? Or is there nothing? It is a very lonely feeling to believe that there is nothing so I want to believe so much in her idea. That I met souls and perhaps even a higher power that night on my way to the hospital, and perhaps my grandmother was one of them (whom I was extremely close to and who died on my birthday). I must try to believe in the latter or my surviving will make no sense. I should not have lived. The doctors have expressed many times they don't know how I lived. They all say I should have died that night with how badly I was injured and the remote area I was living in and that they had to manually get me to breath the entire way there. But I survived and there must be something yet for me to learn or better yet, something yet for me to do and I would like to hope that that something left to do is be a performer, to entertain. Because that has been my dream since I was a little girl and I have felt it was my destiny. So if I had a "conversation" or what have you with any souls/angels/higher power up there and they returned me, I want to believe that was one of the reasons because I lost hope that I would ever achieve my dreams when I awoke and later understood what happened to me and how badly. But why, why can't I remember anything? It is one of the things that drives me the most crazy about my accident.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Destiny, Fate and Lessons

Right now I am listening to Jack's new band The Dead Weather and for some reason i began thinking about destiny and fate and things meaning to happen. And the reason for this is because of the link i posted earlier about an interview that Jack gave with The Dead Weather. First of all, the lead singer came about when she and her band, The Kills, opened up for the Raconteurs one concert and Jack lost his voice so he asked her to perform the rest of his songs. So they paired up and one by one so did the other band mates. He said in the beginning they didn't even know they were a band. They were just writing songs and then it just so happened they began a band and they have made amazing music. Now was it destined for them to get together? Was it fate that Jack lost his voice and found his lead singer for his new band? And that they all just happened to get together and began to write music without even knowing they would soon be a band?

So I'm asking you, and myself, is there such things as destiny and fate? Do things happen for a reason? Or are there just random acts in this world. I still don't know what I believe but I'd like to believe in things happening for a reason otherwise if me being burned was just a random act, I would be so angry that this random act happened to me. I'd like to believe that there is a reason I was in that fire and almost lost my life so that I can try to figure out what that reason is and be less angry about it. Does that make sense?

If there was a reason for it then what lesson was there to be learned from it? I can say there are some things in my life I am not proud of and people I hurt in the process. And it began when I met someone I loved very much who just didn't love me as much and hurt me very badly. He cost me my friends...well I helped by not resisting and standing up for my friends. I became hard on the outside, not trusting people and not letting people in. I hid on the inside and performed someone else on the outside doing things and hurting people the real me, on the inside, would never have done.

There was a certain and very special person that I met in New York that I hurt very badly without meaning to because it was the performer on the outside that I still used. I still, 6-8 years later after my break-up still hid the real me underneath. I continued to perform a dishonest person on the outside. But he taught me some very important lessons in life and three of them were honesty, what a true friend is, and loyalty. And from this I not only learned to not lie to my friends and family but also not to myself. To be true to who I was no matter if someone liked it or not. If they had a problem with who I was honestly, then they were not worth having as a friend. I learned the difference between drinking buddies and real true friends. In that process years ago when I didn't stand up for my friends, those were true real friends and I just disregarded them. And that brings me to the lesson of loyalty. I should have been loyal to those friends who were my true real friends. Instead I gave my loyalty to friends who really weren't my friends, friends who at the drop of a hat would stab me in the back.

So I have to believe that this fire and my injury happened for a reason. That there were lessons to be learned from it. And I have. I have learned what a true real friend is and to be honest with them, myself, and my family and most of all, be loyal to those friends and family who are true. I also want to believe that destiny bends and changes. I want to hope that there is a destiny for me to be one of the greatest actors, performers, of all time and that's the reason why a higher power kept me alive to give me a second chance to learn those lessons and by learning those lessons I am able to pursue that dream with support all around me. Dreams are hard to accomplish by yourself. You need that support from both friends and family. And through this change and bend of destiny that derailed for a time by being injured, it has given me time to learn those lessons so I can go ahead with my dream wiser and stronger.

And I have. I know the difference between buddies and true real friends and I have found those true real friends. It was once said that you should only be able to count your true and fiercely loyal friends on one hand because they should be hard to come by with those kind of attributes. I have learned in return how to be a fierce and loyal friend. I have also learned honesty and have finally ditched the performer on the outside and let loose the real me that had hidden for so long inside my body.

So was it destiny, fate that I was in a fire and almost lost my life? Was there a lesson to be learned that I was given the second chance to live and learn those lessons? Or was it just a random act and it just so happened to be me in the wrong place at the wrong time. What do you believe?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Surgeries # 17, 18 and 19

I am scheduled to have three operations done on December 28th. One is to put bi-lateral tissue ex-panders in along the back of my shoulders. The second is to release one of my shoulders and the third is to fix my bottom lip which was burned and scarred. This last surgery I am so excited for. I waited 18 months to get my neck surgery done and now I have waited 19 months to get this lip surgery done.

The bi-lateral tissue ex-panders are to stretch out the skin to do another release on my neck because my doctor wants to continue giving me more mobility in my neck. And he is not going to do a graft on my neck this time. Instead he is going to do what is called a "flap" where once he has the skin expanded he will wrap the skin around my neck instead of taking it off and grafting it. This keeps the blood flow intact.

I have had to go through tissue ex-panders before only before it was in my lower belly, which was unfortunate because it made me look like I had a big beer belly. lol. But now this time, being along the back of my shoulders I'm gonna look like a hunchback so I'm not really looking forward to that again but it must be done. The tissue ex-panders must be expanded for about three months and I get so tired of the waiting period from the one surgery to the next and get the ex-panders out. I have to have expansions done once every 5 days. The expansions are done by putting a large ass needle filled with 60 units of saline solution into a porthole underneath my skin and then filling up the expander. This process must be done at least three times and then I go through it all over again in 5 days so as you can imagine, the ex-panders get quite large and cause quite discomfort. I don't know what I'm going to do this time because they will be on my back and I have to sleep on my back right now with my neck AND he must graft the areas where the tissue expanders were and he's going to take that skin from my back as well.

Might I enlighten you on the pain of grafting. The graft is not what hurts. It's the donor site that hurts like hell. A donor site is where they have taken the skin to put somewhere else. They basically shave off a layer of your skin like slicing a piece of cheese off the block and it is so incredibly painful.

So with the second surgery I am going to have to go through the donor site pain because one of my doctors will be doing a release on one of my shoulders. Now a release is where they cut away the scar tissue that is limiting mobility, usually in joint areas. Right now I can't raise my right arm higher than just below 90 degrees and my left arm can raise just a tad bit higher. I have already had my right shoulder released once and it contracted back terribly due to lack of the right physical therapy. So I am hoping he will do my right shoulder again but I won't know until the day of surgery.

I will also have to go through a second graft and donor site for my lip surgery. This is going to be the most painful. Who wants their lip cut open?

So that is the latest on my surgeries and recovery. Oh boy, three operations in one day. These will be numbers 17, 18, and 19. And right after Christmas. But one of the three operations will be a great present, which is the one on my lip, as I have told you I've been waiting on my 19 months, as that is how long since my accident. Hard to believe isn't it? It's been 19 months since my accident. Next march will be the 2nd anniversary of the accident. But I don't see it as the anniversary of my accident. I see it as the 2nd anniversary of the day I lived, the second chance I got at life. But that's for another post :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Rare Jack White Interview

Here is an interesting interview from Jack White since he doesn't do interviews. It's interesting to hear what he has to say about the tangible experience of music and what's he's doing with his record label, Third Man Records.


What Makes Us Feel Better?

I haven't written in awhile and I was sitting here listening to Jack and it inspired me to write about something. What are the things that help us get through the tough times in life?

For me, not a whole lot. But there are a couple things, for instance, listening to my boy Jack White, my favorite musician. His brilliance is beyond comprehension. When I feel bad or cranky or angry or crying, I often listen to him and I am soothed. Not unlike many years ago when I was going through the roughest time of my life up to that date back in the years of 2001-2005. During that time Jack was there for me. I could count on him always to make me feel better, especially because I had alienated all my friends for the love of someone else I had no friends to do the job. So I counted on Jack and he was there every time without fail.

Now I am going through what I most undoubtedly believe will be the hardest time in my life and Jack is still there. I have friends now to help me through this; good, good friends to give me a shoulder to cry upon or to provide distraction from my struggling life. But when I'm alone and feeling bad, I just listen to Jack and it's amazing how I can stop feeling the way I was feeling, or stop the torrential out pour of tears.

I can't go to my parents for consoling because I just feel as though I am burdening them further with my inner troubles. So I have to seek it elsewhere and where I seek it is with Jack and my dearest of friends, but usually firstly Jack because he is the most accessible to me in the moment.

So what is it that you seek when you are feeling bad, upset, wanting to cry, angry, conflicted, depressed? I am interested to know for how many people that consolidation is music because I think music is the food of our hearts and when we are feeling any or all those things above, they are damaging our hearts and we must feed them what they are craving to feel better. And I think that is music for a lot of us, especially people like me who have a favorite musician that has provided them comfort for many years. I have been a fan of Jack White for 9 years now and it's almost as if I know him (I wish I really did know him, let alone just to have met him). Him and his music have been my constant companion through thick and thin.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I reconnected with an old friend last weekend. Her name is Amber and we had not seen each other in 5 years, let alone even talked on the phone or by email. Well this Thanksgiving she came home and I decided to see her despite my nervousness about my scars. And let me just say first, it was so amazing.

She came to pick me up at my house since I am not yet cleared to drive and when I let her inside she immediately embraced me with a most wonderful hug that was full of emotion and happiness to see me, and not just because we hadn't seen each other in 5 years but also to be able to hug me because I was alive. When she first came in and saw me before the embrace, I felt a most powerful and wonderful emotion that made me want to cry. She looked at me like nothing had changed. I could not see or feel her eyes looking at my scars, I felt only that she was looking at me. And I was surprised not because I doubted her but because since we hadn't seen each other for so long that she might show a small amount of shock at what she saw. I was completely wrong.

That hug she gave me, I cannot stop thinking about. She truly embraced me like I was the most precious thing to her and that if I had died I would truly have been missed and put a hole in her life. I felt complete and unconditional love, happiness, passion, and like I had been missed for a very long time and so very happy that I lived.

That night we went over to her house and began to talk. And I mean talk, talk, talk, and talk for 5 years worth. And there was a moment where she just stopped and looked at me, (and I'm not being dramatic) tears welled up in her eyes, looked right through the scars to the person inside of me and said, "I'm so happy that you're here." And she didn't just mean "here" as in at her house, but here on this earth, alive. I was so happy to hear her say that that it almost felt like a punch to my heart, in a weird good way, that made me feel alive and happy to be alive too. Happy to be alive to find her again and find the friendship we had together. It was as if at that very moment our souls connected and we will never part again.

Thank you Amber for being you, for being the most wonderful friend without even having to try. Thank you for your beautiful love. You certainly have mine.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Needing patience

When I first came home from the hospital I asked my parents that my life is going to be very hard and that I am going to be depressed, upset, aggrivated, annoyed, and short tempered sometimes. What I needed most from them besides their support was their patience. That if I get one of the ways, it really has nothing to do with them other then they were the catalyst to the emotion that was already boiling inside of me.

Well this morning, I had one of those moments where I got snappy with my mother for just a millisecond and she got really huffy with me and made a comment that she always has to walk on eggshells around me. This just made me even angrier because that is simply not true. I do my best everyday to be tolerable to my post-accident life and not to take out any emotions on my parents. And almost always I succeed in keeping my frustrations to myself, even though sometimes that means just being very quiet so those boiling emotions don't rise to the surface.

But why can't they be patient with me? I went through a horrible accident! I don't want my mother to feel like she's walking on eggshells around me because I may be a bear sometimes. I just want her to say, "I'm so sorry you're feeling that way and I understand." And sometimes she does but so much she just doesn't give me the patience I ask for.

I love her dearly and don't get me wrong cause she is very patient but I think her patience is disguised by this "walking on eggshells" attitude like I'm a time bomb waiting to go off at any moment. I need people to understand how devastating this accident has been for me, let alone any burn accident for anyone. It's horrible and upsetting and I fall into heavy depression and get angry a lot because I'm surrounded by people who didn't have the kind of accident I did. People who are beautiful and not scarred. My friends who are living up their lives; living on their own, own their own car and apartment or house. I had all of this and it was taken away from me in a second. I don't know when I'll ever get to have those same things, or simply to live on my own again. I'm almost 28 and I live at home with aging parents. Now you tell me, with all that going on in my life and my head, do I not have a reason to be a bear and upset sometimes? Do I not deserve patience?