WHO IS TOM WHITWORTH-PART 2
WHISTLING THROUGH THE GRAVEYARD WITH AN ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER
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.
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!