Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

PostHeaderIcon 4. What I remember during the first time I was OUT.

I remember.

I remember the room.

A room of such simpleness that it neither drew the attention of the eye, nor a desire to study it further. It was so plain as to be both unknowingly large and small. Yet that does not mean it was void of beauty. And by beauty I don’t speak of garishness, nor sparkling fountains, or wondrous visages. It was beauty… That which is of deep peace, and not just skin deep. And not of starkness and cool edges but… simplicity. Things WERE. There was nothing about this place which held fear or concern, confusion or consternation. I was in a place older than time. It left the feeling of having been there more than eon’s, just more. Longer than human history, longer than elder Daemons or forbidden gods, longer than time.

I rember that there was a set of doors in the wall, or at least connected to the floor. I say that only because I don’t remember the walls, but there must (no, might) have been since I was in a room. There were benches, simply ordained with people sitting upon them. An there were others, with me. Not Dante’sque puppets acting upon the marionette strings of eternal justice. Just people who WERE. Like me they were there and they didn’t know me or I them. And the fact that there were passing strangers was of NO importance to me.

If a tree falls in a forest, does it even matter whether or not it makes a sound?

I sat and I….. Well, I just sat there. Stump on a log, stone in the henge, tree in the forest. I just sat and let time ebb and flow around me. It was with this passage of time that I became aware of my feelings. I was at peace. I was not granted all knowledge and all reason. I am as stupid, more or less than before going to the hospital. I simply felt loved. I knew my life was imperfect, blurred, marred and stained by the choices of every day. But I knew I was loved. I could feel the love of my father. I could feel the compassion and care of some one who was always watching, always existing, ever present. He knew me through and through. Yet with all that, he loved me as if I was just brought into existence. I felt the existence of so many things. The stars in the heavens, the void, the all that is all. I understand that I am a speck of a side, of the corner, of the mote of dust in the existence that is the universe. But even more, I understood the how inimitable I was. I lived the words of Abraham when he was shown the whole of heaven, so much that he could not comprehend it all. I feel the hope and pain of the fictional character, Eleanor Arroway when she says:

“I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever… A vision… of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish… I… could share that… I wish, that everyone, if only for one… moment, could feel… that awe, and humility, and hope. But… That continues to be my wish.

How rare and precious I felt. I knew I could have done better in my life, but I knew I was loved just the same. How this impacted me from that point on was a matter left up to the person who was watching over me. While there was a tepid sense of loss to what could be gained from a better life lived, I was not wanting more than what I had lived up to. I knew where ever I was, that I was Loved. I found peace spoken of in Phillipian’s that passeth ALL understanding.

Having that peace I stood up and was walking around, enjoying the love I felt and continuing to think about my life. It was at this time that I felt a light touch on my shoulder. I had been approached from behind and a women stood there. She simply told me “Tell my mother that I love her”. I knew her name was Tracee, and I knew her mother Carol who lived across the street from my parents house. I don’t remember saying yes, or responding to her. I don’t remember how much longer I was in that place I just know that some time after that, I woke up after my first surgery.

And now the punch line…. or was that punch in the gut.

I woke up without peace, I was in pain and disoriented. The Peace that passeth all understanding had passed. Attached to a bed, cut open, peoples concern was evident. It felt panic incarnate. AS everything fell out of place and then back in, Kaylene was there to comfort me, my parents were looking over me, I was being watched and cared for. It was not until that day had died down and night had come that I remembered what had happened to me and what I needed to do. In the morning I struggled to let my mom know what was happening and have her send Tracee’s message to her mother. From there it was off to more surgery.

PostHeaderIcon 15 Favorite Authors

Thanks, Dad, for the thought.

Guidelines:

Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

If you like, “Tag” at least 15 friends including me or post here, because I’m interested in seeing what authors you choose. To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note.?

Kevin’s List of Favorite Authors (not necessarily in order):

  • Jim Butcher
  • Larry Niven
  • C.S. Lewis
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Stephen King
  • Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Co-authored books)
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Daniel Quinn
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Terry Brooks
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Euripides
  • Snorri Sturulson
  • Stephen R. Lawhead
  • Said Salah (Sah-eed Sah-Law)

Who are your fifteen? What does this list tell about me?

PostHeaderIcon Crohn’s and Me!

WARNING:  Since my experience in the hospital and going along with my Crohns, I no longer have a TMI (Too Much Information) filter when it comes to bodily functions/malfunctions, Hospitals, and other possibly gross things.  I don’t mean to offend anyone if what I say sounds gross – SORRY!!

In 2004 I started having some health problems, including bleeding from places I wasn’t used to bleeding, pooping a TON, and losing weight without even trying.  Since then I’ve heard the question “What diet plan are you on” like 50 million times…..  Trust me, you don’t want this one.   After a fun process, which would include a Barium X-Ray (YUCK), and the first of three colonoscopies before I was 30, was diagnosed with Crohns disease.

My wife has been my help and support through all of this.  The days where I couldn’t even get out of bed, or the ones where I spent most of it on the toilet.  The days where I would drag myself to work white as ash, and just muddle through.  All the while worrying about what would be next.  My life is a unknown factor because of my Crohn’s, my future is unknown, my ability to finish my work on a daily basis, whether my kids will have crohn’s is a big unknown for me too….  A lot of things to be worried about with all the other things.

My wife, family and friends have been there for me, supporting me, supporting Kaylene when I was down and out, offering help, suggestions, prayers, and blessings.  Thanks to all of you who helped, supported, even those of you who just sat there and listened to me.

Things You might not know about Crohn’s disease:

Where does Crohn’s affect you?

Crohn’s disease is an -ONGOING- disorder that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, but as one of my Baylor friends, and my first fellow Crohn’s-ian told me, this affects you from “Gum to bum”.  It more commonly affects the section where your Small and Large Intestines connect, called the ileum.

What can you do about it?

There are many ways to treat Crohns with methods ranging from Western to Eastern Medicines.  My approach has been mainly Dietary with monitoring,  and some Medications.  Options include, but are not limited to…

  • Medicine’s
    • Pentasa (5-ASA for reducing the recurrence of inflamation) – I started on this 16 pills a day – NO FUN!
    • Imuran (Immuno-suppressant to maintain an overactive system) – Currently at 150mg a day  🙂
    • Prednizone (Steroid for Inflammation) – Not my recommendation unless you are a sever sufferer.
    • There are others such as Remicade, but I have no experience with them
  • Diet
  • Acupuncture
  • If you know of others, please feel free to post in the comments.

Possible Genetic Factor:

About 20 percent of people with Crohn’s disease have a blood relative with some form of inflammatory bowel disease.  In my case I know I have an Aunt (Love you Penny) and a cousin with Crohn’s, and my little brother deals with Ulcers (Shout out to Dallin).

Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss
  • Intestinal ulcers
  • Arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Fever

Common Misspellings:

Chron’s Disease, Croan’s Disease, or Crone’s Disease (No, this is not an old ladies disease)…..


PostHeaderIcon Where should I start?

Hey Folks,
I’ve had a rough couple of days trying to remember, all that happened, that I could remember.  There is so much that I know is there and I cannot write it all at once, but I cannot decide where to start.  Some would say start at the beginning, and while my list is chronological, I’m writing for myself, but also for the people who were there along side me the whole time.  Please, please , please leave a comment and let me know which (Up to 3) posts you think you would enjoy the most.  Please keep it at a 3 maximum.  Knowing what people might want to hear makes it easier to start.
  1. Events leading up to the ER
  2. Waking up after the first surgery
  3. Brief Explanation – Who’s Tracee?
  4. What I remember during the first time I was OUT.
  5. Waking up a 2nd time
  6. TRIPPING OUT!!! – Coming off of Propofol
  7. Getting through ICU
  8. Friends and Family
  9. Leaving the ICU
  10. Going home – Kinda
  11. Recovery – Physical
  12. Recovery – Mental
  13. How Insignificant and Precious
  14. What I remember the 2nd time on “Holiday”
  15. My sweetheart.
Thanks Everyone….
Kevin

PostHeaderIcon Preface –

I’ll keep it simple.  I’ll try to explain more in the other post’s i’ll be putting up.

Preface: On October 16th, 2009, I ended up in the emergency room after three days of continual nausea, diarrhea, and pain.  My large intestine had ruptured a few days before and I was suffering from internal poisoning and sepsis.  During my first operation my heart stopped and I lost responsiveness.

In simple terms, I died.  There are a lot of ways to put it but that seems simplest.  I just wanted to share my experience with you, what I learned, and my thoughts on why I still don’t have any good answers for all those BIG questions….

You may see some earlier posts referring to an “After Time”  When I lost consciousness and before they put me on Propofol, I ended up in a place that is a tough to explain.  It was a place of peace, and contentedness.  I experienced things there that have expanded my understanding of Myself, my family, and to a slight scale, my place in the universe.  I’ll talk more on that later, please just understand that my “after time” has changed me indelibly.

I’ll be adding more posts after this stepping through everything and  I’ll give more detail in additional posts.  Thanks to all who stayed next to me and Kaylene during these hard times, both near us and in our hearts and prayers.

Love,

Kevin Steele

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Rabindranath Tagore

PostHeaderIcon One Word

Type only ONE word answers

It’s harder than you think!! Here is what you are supposed to do…and please don’t spoil the fun…copy and paste into your own note, type in your answers and have fun.

Your hair………………….………………..Blondish-Brown
Where is your cell phone………………Pocket
Your father………………..………………Whistling
Your favorite thing………………………Knowledge
Your dream last night……………………..Nothing
Your favorite drink………………………..Pepsi
Your dream/goal…………….…………….balance
The room you are in……………………….Cubicle
Your fear………………….………………….failure
Where do you want to be in 6 years………happy
Muffins……………….……………………Blueberry
One of your wish list items………………..debt-free
Where you grew up……………………….Saudi
The last thing you did…………………..…blogging
What are you wearing……………….……T-shirt-and-Jeans
Your TV……………………………………Powermac G5
Your pets………………….………………none
Your computer…………………………….Lenovo-T42
Your life………………….………………..busy
Your mood………………….……………..anxious
Missing someone……………….………….kaylene
Your car…………………..……………….cavalier
Favorite store…………………………….Amazon.com
Your summer………………..…………….Cyprus
Your favorite color………………………..Blue
When is the last time you laughed………..Today
Last time you cried……………………….Dallin
Three people who email me………………Kaylene, clients, co-workers
Three of my favorite foods……………….steak, asparagus, Stroganoff
Three places I would rather be right now…Home, Oregon, Aiken
Three people I think will respond…………family

Polls

Where do I start? - Vote for 3

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