WHO IS TOM WHITWORTH-PART 2

WHISTLING THROUGH THE GRAVEYARD WITH AN ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER

                                                                INTRODUCTION

I am writing this Hub to explain to all of you my recent lack of writing Hubs and decrease in comments on some of your hubs. I wrote Part 1 of this series in early December of last year (2010) but not too long after I published that hub I found out the end of the story hadn’t been written yet. I guess I really knew that as long as I am alive and actively living my life the writing of the story continues. I was re-hospitalized on December 16, 2010 as a result of new Medication I had started on my first admission. This medication, Seroquil, was giving me some very vivid and bizarre hallucinations that actually started me doubting my own sanity or mental physical state concerning things like Alzheimer’s, etc. I will try to explain all this in an informative and hopefully useful manner to all who either are or eventually will go through the process of getting older and facing our own mortality. I wrote an earlier hub about “Mortality Moments” so I was aware of this phenomena but I don’t ever think I had faced one with such an impact on me before as to make me think that it was the ultimate final one.

AN ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER

I often use this phrase to indicate the circumstances of my own existence and the gifts given to me by The Creator. In December of 1946, three short months after my birth, I was hospitalized with double pneumonia and a very questionable prognosis for survival. God had placed that angel on my shoulder at birth because our family physician had earned a silver star as an Army doctor during WWII and discovered the true wonders of fighting this bacterial infection with all the wonderful new antibiotics which enabled me to survive to enjoy the glory of God’s creation. Was it a mere accident that the small town of Moundsville had one of the few people so well trained as a local doctor and that my father was a boyhood friend of him and his family? The skeptic may say, “Of course.” But I still say I was born with an Angel on my shoulder.   

 

All throughout my life I have enjoyed very good health despite many bad choices on my part. I described in Part 1 that I had given up cigarettes on Thanksgiving day after being a 2 pack a day guy for over 50 years. I am amazed myself but that continues now into the sixth month. I am completely grateful that I have had absolutely NO CRAVING FOR MY PREVIOUS VICE!!!!!!!!!

 

This takes any semblance of credit for the accomplishment away from me. I credit God and the Angel on my shoulder.

On the evening of December 18, 2010 I became aware that I had been actively hallucinating since my discharge earlier in the month. I was able to use my logic to distinguish the real from the imagined but it was very difficult. I went into a psych ward at OVMC in Wheeling and was taken off the benzodiazepines (Serax) that I had been taking since 1974 as a tranquilizer. I had discussed this with my family physician a few years earlier but he was not anxious to start this weaning due to the nasty nature of benzos. I hadn’t seen a mental health professional since 1979 and hadn’t seen a psychiatrist about medication since 1974. I have now and welcome to the Prozac moment Tom. I do have an Angel on my shoulder.

 

So I missed Christmas. I got home on December 29, 2010 took a good look at myself in the mirror and saw the weight that I had lost over the course of 2010 in a new light. Hay Tom, what about that Angel on your shoulder?

 

TOM AT LOW TIDE

I realized that the almost month long battle I had been undergoing or maybe more like year long if I considered the personal improvements I had been trying to initiate in myself while going from 155 pounds to what I stared in horror at my bathroom scales was now 118 pounds had stripped me of my characteristic optimism. For the first time I saw what looked like a holocaust victim looking at me from that mirror. I will say that I never doubted God or the Angel on my shoulder. I always knew, and still do, that this life on Earth must end some day and the next phase must occur.

 

Like everyone, I also want to go to heaven but I’m just not ready to die. I still say I had progressed and the Angel had to help me. I believe that at any other time in my life if I had come to the conclusion that the weight loss during 2010 and colon distress I had been suffering for a few years had to be from me dying of colon cancer I would have totally freaked out but I accepted this calmly. The colonoscopy was the one test that this 64 year old had not yet had. Everything else had been checked and I was ridiculously healthy for a 64 year old who had abused his body with tobacco, alcohol, fat foods and junk food most of my life. I was not freaking out at my conclusion of imminent death and that is progress for this pilgrim. It’s taking my faith to a whole new level. Do not misunderstand, I didn’t welcome this but I was ready to accept it. The Angel is still on my shoulder.

 

WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD

I didn’t tell anyone what I was thinking but put on a brave face and just said I needed to recuperate and build my self-confidence back up. I was whistling past the graveyard. I did discuss my fears with my daughters and they did not agree with my conclusion. They had read the material I had gathered on benzos and they thought that was the source of my problems so I humored the poor darlings. I did schedule the test in late January, which got rescheduled by the gastro enterologist for February 28, but by that time I decided it was too late and canceled. I lied to my daughters about this and came up with a lame excuse. The Saturday, which was eight days before Easter they called me on this. Wow did I ever raise two great kids along with their mother. We may not have stayed married beyond 1980 but we raised two geniuses through joint custody. I agreed to reschedule and this past Friday, April 29, 2011 I was awakened from a very nice cozy sleep to the news, “No polyps, no tumors but just some diverticulosis.” Wow, my mother had that for as long as I could remember and it totally explained the pain and gas I had had since my mid-50’s.

CONCLUSION

I have learned many new things in the past year and reaffirmed many life-long beliefs. Thank you Heavenly Father for the Angel you put on my shoulder. Thank you for letting me experience true Christian love free of earthly lusts. That last statement will not be further explained but I hope someone understands.

I want to thank all of you for the statements of support and love I have received. I believe the Angel was also on my shoulder when I decided to join Hub Pages.

If you are interested feel free to join and comment your thoughts and I’ll appreciate your feedback!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments 26 comments

nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

Wow. Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. Your healing is truly a miracle!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Thanks for the kind supportive comment Nicomp.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Wow Tom-You have been through so much. I think one of the scariest things we go through on this earth is when we hold secrets and secret fears. I am great at that too at times but always realize that support makes so much of the fear go away. I am so glad to hear that your colonoscopy turned out ok and gave you answers as to why you've had all the pain and gas. I will have to go back and read your part 1. I hope your next hub tells us that your gaining weight and feeling awesome. My thoughts and prayers are with you that your health gets better every day.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Minnetonka Twin,

I really appreciate your support and I agree with your observation on sharing. I have gained back to 127 while I was waiting to die which helped me see the logic of my daughters' argument.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Tom, Thanks for sharing the story of your absence. I have missed you and often wondered what was happening in your life. I'm glad you are recovering. You are a blessed man to have an angel on your shoulder. God Bless.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

Tom, You are in my prayers, so even the Jes wish you well. H


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Pamela,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. I have read several of your hubs during my absense and always appreciate your writing but I appreciate your freindship even more.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Harvey,

Thank you so much my good friend.

I have never doubted the ecuminical nature of my Angel. As you know the story of my last best friend and boss who was also from Israel.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

Tom, May he rest in peace H


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Amen Harvey.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

Thanks for the update Tom and so glad to see you 'back in the saddle' much can be said for our angels, glad yours has kept you.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Hmrjmr1,

Thank you kind sir for the good thought!!!!!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

You know how I feel. Thank you for being so open and honest and thank you most of all for going through all of this to emerge stronger and better than before. We need you around Tom we really do. Up and awesome!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Thanks a million Pop. You're a peach!!!!!!!!!


mabmiles profile image

mabmiles 5 years ago

Thanks for this. very nice.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

mabmiles,

Thank you for the kind comment.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Glad to see you back Tom, missed you so much and am happy your "healing, mending and doing nicely" as one of my old co-workers often quoted. God bless and grant your continued healing.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Thanks for all your support and good wishes Robert.


Jjustice profile image

Jjustice 5 years ago

T, Life hits us from the very beginning. The punches just get harder as we get holder. Glad to see you're still get up off the mat.

I'm trying to get back up myself.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Jjustice,

I'll say a prayer for you. Do not go gentle into that good night.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

Glad you're doing well and wrote to tell us. Thanks.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Thanks sheila b. I just had my follow up appointmwnt with my gastro interologist today and got the final good news. Like his visual observations, no surprises in the random biopsies. He said, "See you for a repeat in ten years." and I said, "From your lips to God's ears."


sheri sapp 5 years ago

Like I said, I have been less active here recently, but I feel like an ENORMOUS ass for NOT checking in with you as I do consider you a true friend. I am thankful and grateful that the colonoscopy went well and I hope your overall health continues to improve.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Sheri,

Thanks for the nice thoughts. The Angel on my shoulder has been working fine.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I am glad you made it back to Hub Pages, Tom, my friend. 118 pounds!? Wow! I have a friend who was messed up by Seroquil too. Thank the Lord your tests came back with good news. I appreciate you sharing what was going on with you. God Bless You!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 5 years ago from Moundsville, WV Author

Thanks for the kind words James. I appreciate it.

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