What I Do Everyday If You Are Interested

SADLY, THIS IS NOT ME.
SADLY, THIS IS NOT ME.
BUT SADLY, THIS IS ME. KENNETH AVERY.
BUT SADLY, THIS IS ME. KENNETH AVERY.

Normally, but what is truly normal? I get out of bed, well to be honest, I force myself--usually with the aid of an old-fashioned crowbar, to get out of my comfy bed which is more than a bed to the naked eye. My bed is a refreshing chamber where from 11:00 p.m. each night until 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. the next day, my mind, what's left of it, can recharge, regroup and hopefully arrange a positive and sensible thought pattern.

After I make my bed--by myself as I have no butler or pretty French maid, I have my morning devotional time to my Creator whom I adore, but somtimes don't fully understand HIS plans for my life. Then its on to the kitchen where I start the precise process of making coffee, Community coffee from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of course. Is there any other? Coffee, I mean. Not the Big Easy. Then I spy the medicine caddy which is a clever contraption made of American, make Taiwanese plastic, I dont know, that holds my daily regiments of anti-depressants; painkillers; mood mellowers and pills that are prescribed by licensed doctors, to make me cope with my fibromyalgia which is an incurable disease shared by at least 11 million Americans. Maybe more in Europe. Ive never taken count.

Now I take some quiet time to read my Bible for the day ahead. I love Proverbs, Psalms, Isaiah, and The 4 Gospels--(for those of you who are not familiar with The Bible): Matthew; Mark; Luke and John. Now I, for just a short time, watch what is supposedly to be a sportstalk show called The Dan Patrick Show. Patrick is formerly of ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. Patrick now, thanks to DirecTV, owns his own studio in Milford, Connecticut and has a back-up crew and they are all on camera. He calls his staff The Dan-ettes. Isn't ETTE a feminine suffix? These are all guys. Im confused.

With around 45 minutes to one hour of this "show," I turn off my Sanyo televison (did you think I was referring to radio?) and head to my workroom where I live on Facebook talking to friends, freaks, and staying out of political-based discussions. I bet you're wondering when do my medications kick-in? They have, by now, kicked in and I am feeling somewhat normal, again, what is normal? Some of my meds cause my brain's sensors to send propaganda to my body and con it into believing that its not really hurting. Oh man, wish I had some stock in Lily Phraceuticals. I'd become an anonymous philanthrepist overnight. Well, honestly, it would take me about 2 weeks. Some roles in life take careful study. But Id give thousands to banks and pay off other people's loans without them ever knowing who it was. What a Woodstock idea! David Crosby and Neil Young would be proud. Where are these music ustabe legends nowadays anyway? I miss them. I do have copies of Deja Vu, recorded by Graham Nash, David Crosy, Steven Stills and Neil Young--with Dallas Taylor and Greg Reeves. What a time that was in our country's history--Woodstock. It was rumored, speaking of Lily Pharmaceuticals, that this giant phrmaceutical (love typing that word), gave hundreds of dollars to some of the Woodstock performers as a brilliant Public Relations move. It worked. Many rock and roll performers showed up. Some showed up and didn't know they had showed up. I didn't get to go. I live in Hamilton, Alabama, a real town in Northwest Alabama. We do have inside plumbing and telephones. People tease us about being the "Mayberry" of Alabama. We are not a big town. Neither was Mayberry, but Mayberry had Andy and Barney. We have a terrific sheriff, Kevin Williams. He's a level-headed professional lawman. A valuable and rare commodity in today's society.

One final thought about Dan Patrick. I cannot get to talk to him via his phone number: 1-877-3DP SHOW . . .when I call this number, DirecTV answers and says, "For service, call so and so number," and I get angry and hang up. Ive emailed him at the address he broadcasts and don't you know, he hasn't responded to one of my emails. Yet.

Why am I blogging? Well I cannot take full credit for this writing venture which do hope I can make some part-time money with if some big advertisers would contact me at 1-205-921-4159...I can put their names on my blog for almost nothing. Personally, I have medical bills. Extra bucks would be of great help. Back to why Im blogging. I have my good friend and very-talented freelance writer, JODY KAMINS HARPER, Dothan, Alabama, to thank for this move. She has been after me for months to as she in her creative and high IQ voice says, "Kennnny . . .uhhh, listen, why don't ya start your own blog? You can use blogging to vehicle your fantasies about Kathleen Turner, Penelope Cruz, but not together, and uh, like, its great fun. Advertisers love bloggers if they are off-the-wall but somewhat sensible--and like, Kennnnny, I say do it." And I did. Or am doing it now.

Wish I had been blessed with Jody's gift of writing. I love her writing style. She makes her items sound very intelligent. I never learned that aspect when I wrote a column for our local newspaper, The JOURNAL RECORD, Hamilton, Alabama, managed by my good pal, LES WALTERS. Walters, is a multi-talented man. He's the BEST writer I know; he's a public figure in Hamilton; he does a lot of good for the community, and told me with heated voice more than once, "You'd be a decent writer if you knew how to punctuate!" I missed school a lot when I was young. My grandpa, James Avery, was an humble-yet-gullible gentleman who let me stay with him and grandma when it looked rainy outside. My mom and dad, rest their soul, dropped me off at James and Ida Bell's house each morning, Monday through Friday to catch a yellow schoolbus. Wish Dan Seals would make a comeback with a nostalgic song, "My Big Yellow Bus," Id buy a CD of it. I'm convinced that Seals needs the work. Not being negative, but have you heard anything from Seals in a few years?

My best friend in those days of my life was the non-famous, but would have given Dennis Hopper a run for his cash, Gilbert Abbot, a simple guy with a harsh, fowl mouth. He loved, with unbridled passion, to curse and grin on the bus. He taught me the fine art of cursing. The bus driver didnt apprecite our cursing and would scowl at us in the overhead mirror. We'd sit down and shoot spitballs at each other when we grew bored of shooting spitballs, real spitballs, at the rich kids who rode the bus. Now there's a true paradox--rich kids on a school bus. They knew better to squeal on Gilbert. He might have been an humble Teddy bear, but on the inside a raging bully who kept his anger leashed like a pit bill in a North Carolia junkyard. I miss Gilbert today. A lot.

Now it's afternoon in my typical day. Ive now begun to feel the soothing effects of my prozac, mobic, avenza, and other meds and am tempted to take a long nap on the couch. My wife works, so Im alone at the house. She trusts me. Maybe short-sighted judgement on her part, but Im mostly alone except when a couple or three Jehovah's Witnesses come a callling. They are really a nice lot of people. They have taken a lot of bad raps over the years. When they did call on me, before the last time I told them nicely that I was satisfied with what Jesus did on the cross, and they left, I wasnt rude or ugly to them--even when I had the flu. Coincidence? Nope. That's enough about these fine Americans, the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now I go to my refrigerator and look inside. Since I dont eat but one meal per day, supper, or dinner to you city kids, I drink lots of V8 juice..the spicy kind. I like the way it burns my esophagus and stomach. Then I take a huge swig of A&W Root Beer in the 2-liter size. What a combo. Root beer and V8. Try it sometime if you're into taking care of your body. Im not. At my age, I can safely say that I will NEVER compete in ANY sport---track and field, cross country running or even, could it be? The Olympics, once a true and untained arena for the world's finest athletes. That was before steroids and sports agents ruined it for us who loved to WATCH sports. Boo on sports agents.

With my nap over. I notice that it's now 2:30 p.m. or maybe 3:00 p.m. Time to log back onto Facebook and YouTube for more Classic Rock songs to be shipped to Facebook under my ficticious radio show: GOLDEN VAULT OF FORGOTTEN CLASSICS. It makes me relive a dream that was taken from me by the late Robert Owen, from Berkeley, California, who was my high school guidance counselor--that in itself was a joke in 1971 and my senior year of high school, 1972. I DID graduate from Hamilton High School when the now-late Joe Sargent was our principal. He was a good guy. I miss him sometimes when I get really depressed.

Robert Owen, being the highly-degreed, highly-intelligent counselor from Berkeley, had us seniors to have a Career Day. Wow! What a time. No hotdogs or Cokes, but an interesting time for a rural hick like me. Owen, rest his soul, Lord, made us break into groups and write with a #2 yellow pencil, on one side of an 8 1/2 x 11" piece of white paper, what we wanted to do after high school. Great! Now was my chance to be open and honest with a higher-up. Owen was just that--higher and up.

Some of my friends wrote about their dreams to be farmers, lawyers, nurses, and such...the stereotypical job profiles for the South back then. Owen almost hugged these students and almost shed tears of appreciation at their choices. My turn. I had written in length, like this blog, how I dreamed of being a DJ, a disk jockey, you know, those rock legends who played vinyl albums and 45 records. Men like John Records Landecker of the ultra-famous, WLS,Chicago and such. After he scanned, not read my paper, he crumpled it in his hand and threw it down on the floor and said with THAT authoritive tone of voice, "the man" talk, "Why would YOU want to work at a radio station??? Haw, haw, (him laughing), you couldn't even take out the garbage at a station," and got up and left.

Shock set in. No, I was stunned. And I never had taken drugs or alcohol back then. My young mind raced like Richard "The King" Petty, number 43, Plymouth in NASCAR for about 10 minutes. Well, that's that. I had been raised by my parents, the late, Austin and Mary Dean Avery, Hamilton, Alabama, to respect ALL men and women in positions of authority--and what they said was the LAW. So I didnt bother to humbly question his swift decision to shoot apart my simple dream of being an all-night DJ at an FM station far away from Hamilton. Later I did find out that Mr. Owen, had never checked my grades or background at all. He just, for some reason, made my life an unarranged pile of disappointment. And it lasted until now, May 4, 2011, at 12:41 p.m., CDT.

Don't give me the God moves in mysterious ways, bit! That isnt even in the Bible, but preachers have misused that for years. I don't even blame Satan, Mr. Evil, with that sudden decision that Owen made. After graduation, I talked to many of my friends who worked in radio and they were in awe of Owen's non-support of my chosen dream and more in awe of my spineless attitude of NOT questioning authority. They didnt mean any harm. I did see their point.

That was then. This is then too. Ive never really grew past that day in my life. Wish Paul McCartney would write a hit song about MY life. He would make hundreds.

What did all of this have to do with my everyday routine, medications, naps and root beer? And V8? Hardly anything that I can see except these thoughts are burned into my memories and replay over and over--Owen with his $45.99 suit and dark shades, smacking his lips--looking like Dr. Strangelove, glaring at me and laughing at me. These points of my teen life propelled me to have an unsuccessful tenure in an industry that built our town, manufactured homes. I, along with a friend of mine, who was doing production work of three men, were suddenly let go one afternoon. I was angry. That soon left. I lost another job at a nearby bearing plant thanks to some really "good" chuch-going guys who set me up by telling me what to do on my shift knowing that I would do whatever they said because I was new, I hope God lets these two-faced pseuedo Christians into Heaven one day. Funny. None of these do-gooders have never suffered anything at all. So Im left to wonder is there a REAL formula for right and wrong? And how to treat people?

I went from the bearing plant fiasco to a garment plant where I worked with a buddy of mine, the now late, Rondal Smotherman. Have you noticed that some people who did associate with me back then are now deceased? I dont belive in being a jinx. I did once have pet black and tan puppy named Tramp.

I left this garment plant for greener pastures in 1975...to a business called THE JOURNAL RECORD. The local newspaper. It was going from dark to daylight. I got to wear nice clothes on my job, come in at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and sell ads to our local merchants. I loved it. And loved the people I worked with who shall remain nameless because there were so many of them I might overlook some and I sure dont need any harsh feelings from anyone.

I left THE JOURNAL RECORD in August, 1984, to work for a creative lunatic, LES WALTERS, who was the driving force behind a new newspaper in town called The Hamilton Progress. We hit it off from the start--we had many common areas of likes and dislikes. He was, and still is, spontaneous and has a machine-gun sense of humor. Les has a degree in journalism. I dont. But he did teach me how to write somewhat sensible stories--some I may share in blogs to come.

I left the Progress in 1988 after Les had left for other projects. Then in March, 1990, Les called a printing company that I was working for and offered me a job at THE JOURNAL RECORD. Yes! He had went to the competition as managing editor. I jumped at the offer. I met interesting coworkers like Susan Cordell, Ed Howell, Anthony Robbins, Beverly Stidham, and more. They were, and are still, great folks.

I left THE JOURNAL RECORD in November 2000 to work at an FM radio station in a nearby town outside of Hamilton. That didnt last. I wasnt fired, LES called me one Saturday and wanted me to come back to the paper. I did. Then after a few months, an opportunity opened up for me with the Northwest Alabama State Mental Health Association. It was a fantastic job with great benefits and I loved the people I worked for.

Then one Thursday night, a cold night as I recall, in December, 2002, I had to go home very nauseated. I thought I had the virus. A nasty bug that loves to attack people. I arrived home and saw my couch empty...time to get a nap and maybe sleep this sickness off. Dumb and Dumber are rocket scientists because that morning at 2:30, my body was on fire inside...I literally screamed and begged to die! God wasnt listening at that moment. I was carried to our local hospital in Hamilton the next day for emergency surgery...ruptured appendix. I spent ten days in the hospital--hooked up to tubes and only allowed to eat ice chips. Figure that out. I couldnt have ice water, doctor said it wasnt good for my stomach, but ice chips were okay. Now Im not a doctor or physicist, but doesnt the heat of our bodies melt ice chips into water as they go down to our stomachs? Huh?

Long blog short. From January, 2003, for the next year, I travelled to Tupelo, Mississippi, Birmingham, Alabama and saw every specialist there were to tell me why my body was hurting 24/7 and I was swelling like a Bambi helium-filled balloon. Finally, a knowledgeable intern at a place called Kirkland Clinic, Birmingham, diagnosed me as having fibromyalgia and also neurothopy...that fun disease is where your nerve endings are all damaged permanently. Whooeeee! How my life was suddenly changed. Im not able to work anymore. I stay home and do what I can for my wife, Pam, who is a department manager at our local Walmart Super Center, and take meds seven days a week and every three months guess what I get to do? Go to the Longtown Pain Clinic in Tupelo, Miss., for spinal injections in my back to help with the intolerable pain. Yes, life is, well, life.

Wish I were in a better mood. Im not bitter. At all. I know that there are millions of people in our world who are worse off than I am. Thats what keeps me from having a huge pity party everyday. Why did this happen to me? Who knows? Why did God allow me to live? I dont really know. Thats one thing I will be sure and ask Him when I meet him one day.

Later . . .and peace.

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Comments 8 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Kenneth, I just found and read this and the other one about your affliction and I'm truly beyond speechless to realize the intensity of your daily ordeal with such distress.

You know that I liked you immediately when I first began to delve into your hubs after we began to follow each other only about 2 and a half weeks ago, obviously knowing very little about each other's backgrounds. I hope I haven't been insensitive, but what did I know? I can only say that you're even a more fantastic inspiration, now that I know a little more of yours. Thank you for sharing yourself so generously on HP, Kenneth.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Nellieanna, "THANK YOU, DEAR FRIEND, for this comment. I didn't know that at the time, anyone would ever read this hub, which IS THE FIRST hub I ever submitted. You are part of my history now for being the first person to read what I do five days a week. And as for the Fibromyalgia and Neurothopy, well, not even Jesus promised that life would be fair. I am learning to accept this physical, mental, and emotional pain as the weeks go by and realizing that there are people around me who are worse off than I--e.g. the children at St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis. I could learn from them what gratitude really means. I am not going to sugarcoat this, but am I always this placid and philosophical? No. I have bad days and then worse days..but I DO HAVE DAYS...and can get out of bed. Thank you, dear Nellieanna, for your thoughtfulness and care. I am so glad that you and I are friends. God bless you and yours with love, peace, and happiness.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Lots of things come to mind to share, but you've stated it so well.

Though we can have empathy for one another, no one can truly, fully know what another person's experience is, - whether its joyful or painful. We can only try to put ourselves in the other's position and relate it to whatever we know of similar experiences and challenges.

One thing about it. The fact that one is alive means that there are changes, frictions and ups & downs. If not, it would just be static; and static is not alive. Life consists of change. It's not a secure experience. But what a wonderful one!

The downs may seem endless but there's some comfort in the awareness that change can and does happen and also that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof". Faith assures us that tomorrows can bring better things. And a day is only so long. Taken one by one, we can endure many things with a degree of equanimity. Also I believe that fully experiencing everything we feel and encounter has real value and makes us who we are. Doesn't make the pain any less, of course, but it gives one some power over it. True Grit.

I noticed this was your first hub and was honored to be the one to write a comment. As I mentioned, I'd read the other one in which you described the illnesses with which you must contend.

The nearest I can personally relate to the pain of nerve endings was when I was 25 and pregnant with my second child. My first was only a little over a year old when I became pregnant. My inlaws had come and stayed with us for months after he was born and had spoiled him so completely that he had to be held and carried around constantly or he really wouldn't stop yelling. They went back to Indiana and I was the one who finally got to hold him but it was on his little terms! My husband fully expected the baby to never cry and of course, I didn't want him to, either, though I would greatly have preferred to have trained him differently.

Between carrying him around all day and being pregnant, I developed such horrible varicose veins that for the last part of the pregnancy I had to put on surgical support stockings before I got out of bed in the mornings. I was not supposed to stand to do any chores. I pushed my son's bassinet with my foot while I sat to iron and cook, etc. The veins at the top were like clusters of grapes and quite painful.

Anyway - as soon as I gave birth to my daughter, I was rushed to the hospital for vein 'stripping'. There was no laser surgery then. They simply made incisions at the top of my legs in (the doctor's joke was that I wouldn't be wearing any bikinis for awhile) - and incisions in my ankles and feet, then they inserted some sort of a device into the veins from top to bottom to grab hold of the bottom ends of the veins and pull them out wrong-side-out, like a piece of spaghetti, my husband said. I didn't see them, but he said that he could see the little valves along the insides of the veins whose function it it to hold the blood "up" as it it circulating back from the extremities to the heart for new supplies of oxygen. He said they were just hanging loose and dangling, incapable of doing the job of holding the blood, so that it just collected instead of circulating as it should. In my right foot, the veins were so bad, it took 35 small incisions on the top of my foot to remove them.

But the long-lasting effects of this surgery resulted from the veins being torn loose from the nerves in the pulling out process and those nerve endings just hanging unattached, so that any slight pressure on my legs and feet was excruciatingly painful. For years and years that intense pain persisted, along with the still-present problem of blood circulation. And I had two small children and all the other duties of a wife in the the 1950s, plus a demanding husband.

Even to this day, those nerve endings are sensitive, though nothing like they were then, when - if my husband's leg happened to rest against mine in our sleep, I woke up screaming.

There was no follow-through medically. My children were born in military hospital in Waco, Texas, where my husband was stationed in the Air Force. He decided to get out of the A.F. almost immediately after these events and then we moved from Texas to his home state of Indiana, where I knew no one and was completely out of place. I spent 15 of the 18 years of that marriage almost as a hostage in a foreign land. For that and many other reasons, it was not a happy marriage. But there were many good things to come from it, including a lot of my poetry.

Anyway - perhaps that ordeal with my vein striplings is one reason I can greatly empathize with your fibromyalgia and why your daily ordeal seems so real to me, even though I am sure that yours is ALL your nerve endings, not just in some parts, and surely more intense.

I admire your courage and good spirits, Kenneth!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Nellieanna, THANK YOU, DEAR FRIEND, for sharing with me, YOUR experiences with pain that is worse than mine. I never dreamed that you had went through something this bad. Like you said, we never know until we put ourselves into the other person's life, or footsteps, we will know what they are really feeling. You are a true 'rock' of encouragment and your comments uplift me each time I read your remarks. I do appreciate you a LOT! And I wish for YOU, a happy, fun, and peaceful day. Kenneth


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

:-) Thank you, Kenneth. You're right that we never know what others may have gone through or may be going through at the time. It's not everyday that folks have the opportunity or the inclination to share their "I stories". So we usually have no way of knowing how it really is for others we meet in our daily comings and goings.

I know I don't have to tell you, that's the most powerful reason to give others "the benefit of the doubt". If someone seems irritable or preoccupied, there are surely reasons and some of those reasons may be extremely intense. But even the more trivial ones are real to him at the time. If the person overslept, got a ticket trying to get to work on time, was late anyway and got docked for it, etc. etc - those may not be earth-shaking experiences, but as they were in progress, they were felt as 'downers' and when we run into the person later, he may still be recovering emotionally. So if he's a bit snappish, It can be a chance to help him get over it, instead of adding yet another irritation to his day by snapping back.

It takes so little to be pleasant instead of touchy, but somehow lots of folks get into a habit of jumping to negative conclusions and adding to the problems. Pretty soon everyone is at everyone's throat.

Just think what difference it would make if each person just chose to give others benefit of the doubt in daily interactions. Such a small thing with such great possibilities. Even if the person one encounters is really a dyed-in-the-wool grouch for no particular reason, "just because", still being nice to him might make some difference to him - and it definitely makes a major difference to oneself and one's own outlook and joy of being!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Nellieanna, YOU are so right on, my dear friend. Being a bit polite is far better than a lifetime of hate. I have learned so much since I have known you. Thanks is not enough to tell you how MUCH I appreciate how you think and how you express yourself. Thanks and bless you!


junko profile image

junko 4 years ago

kenneth, I thank God for the Internet. I think that after over 40 year of truck driving and interacting with people all over the country the solitary confinement of disability forced retirement,would be much worse for me. I'm glad you and I are able to speak encourageing words to each other and the world. God don't make personal appearances at this time, He use willing workers and we will live as long as he can use us. Iam glad He is not through with you ,kenneth.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Thanks, my friend, junko,

I have to agree with you swiftly. I didnt like being confined and somedays I dont deal with it that well, after all I am human, but that one thing, "God isnt through with me," that applies to you too, my buddy. And together, "we" can do some "positive damage" to a dark world went mad.

Kenneth

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