Assateague Morning

I will probably never return to Blackwater or Bombay Hook. There are too many memories of Amy in those places.

I have loved Assateague since the first time I visited this place as a boy. The woods and waters wild speak to me here like no other place on earth.

This morning my father and I practically had the entire park to ourselves, and while the ponies were scarce, I spotted things I have never seen before. Ospreys carrying huge rockfish, a kingfisher hovering and diving into the cold waters, great flocks of birds swirling in the sky far out to sea . . . it was glorious.

Tomorrow

So tomorrow is my birthday.

I was pretty upbeat about turning 49, but last Monday I had an absolutely terrifying return of my old nemesis epilepsy.

As I was shaking off the seizure – and the lingering effects of Suboxone withdrawal – another health issue I had thought was long behind me came roaring back. Peripheral neuropathy. It’s like my feet are being frozen, stung by bees, punctured by scorching hot nails and clawed by a lion all at once every second twenty-four hours a day.

So for a few days I indulged myself and threw a pity-party. A stupid and foolish thing to do because it solves nothing, but no point in beating myself up over it. I am human, and like any human I have the illusion that there are limits to the amount of physical pain, fear and loss that a person can take. I say illusion because limits are always illusory. What I have been through over the last twelve months has been hard, but there are people working through greater pain than I have ever borne.

I am not much of a Bible-thumper, but there is a verse that I have gone to ever since I was a kid trying not to scream from the pain of the ear infections that destroyed my hearing.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.


Luke 9:23

I think that, as we get older, our crosses get heavier. Life and love and loss take their toll and we stumble from time to time. The burdens we carry differ from person to person, but the challenge to live in spite of the weight is the same for each of us. It would be easy to give up, but that would mean missing out on the rewards of living in this beautiful world.

While I may bitch and moan now and then (I am Irish, after all) I am still willing to pick up my cross and follow wherever I am led.

So tomorrow my best and wisest friend will drive me to Assateague early in the morning so I can visit with the wild ponies. When we get home I will shoulder my cross again an set myself back to work. Doing what I love. Following.

Instead of wishing me a happy birthday tomorrow, instead help somebody else carry their cross for a few steps. You will help another human being and gain valuable perspective for yourself. – and actions speak more to an old artist like me more than any holiday greeting ever could.

God bless,
-Patrick
March 24, 2019

Pain, Pain and More Pain

So far quitting Suboxone has generated only minor side effects. I’m doing pretty good except for one thing – peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where your sensory nerves get damaged and start sending pain signals to your brain.

I am okay during the day, but when I try to sleep the pain jumps in and just kicks my ass all over the room. On a scale of 1 to 10 – with 10 being the worst pain ever – I was at about 15 last night. It got so bad last night that Dear Old Dad handed me a double shot of some seriously good Irish Whiskey. It helped.

I see my doctor on the 27th, but from what I have read there are not many effective treatments for peripheral neuropathy. I am guessing that I will have to learn to live with the pain and/or look for alternative therapies.

I could wring my hands and cry, “oh woe is me”, but that never accomplishes anything. My hands still work and my head is clear. I’ll keep on fighting.

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. We’re taking her to Salisbury for the Chinese Buffet and shopping at the Hobby Lobby – she loves that.

On Monday I turn 49. Dear Old Dad is going to drive me to Assateauge, and then we will pick up the heavy bag and other equipment for the backyard dojo.

The Daily Frail will be back on Tuesday.

Slow Going

The seizure on Monday night still has me a little shaky – and that is on top of the lingering side effects of the Suboxone withdrawal. As a result I am moving slow right now, but still moving forward.

Somebody was kind enough to help me order a heavy bag and some other equipment to help with the backyard dojo I am putting together under the honking huge pecan tree. Everything should be at the store on Monday Рand that happens to be my birthday. Dear Old Dad is going to drive me to Assateague Island that morning. It should be a nice day.

The Daily Frail will return to production soon. Work continues on my current book in progress. Careful planning is underway for our YouTube replacement series . . .oops! That last part was supposed to be a secret!

Welcome Back, Epilepsy :(

On the way to Monday Music Night I had an epileptic seizure.

Me being me, I went to Monday Music Night anyway. Then we went to the hospital.

Now it’s 4:00 AM and I am home safe with an aching head.

I can handle most anything, but it sucks when your own brain can’t be trusted.

I am not sure if I will able to drive for a while. I guess I’ll have to start shopping for a bicycle to get me through the summer. I’ll just make the most of it. Can’t let it get me down.

Returning To Brick Kiln

Going back to Brick Kiln with a clear head was . . . sweet. I picked up a bag of bread from the Dollar store and the seagulls and blackbirds were happy to pose for my camera.

Eventually I stopped taking pictures and sat on the dock in the cold wind. I watched the wind move over the water. The marsh grass over on Jane Island waved in its own rhythm while work boats plowed through the water on their way to the bounty of Tangier Sound.

I have so many memories, happy and sad, of the times I brought Amy here. Sometimes we danced with the seagulls, other times we just held each other in my ’89 Mercury. She once angrily said the all of the seagulls here knew me – and I still don’t understand how that was a bad thing.

As I walked back down the dock I saw a woman throw her McDonald’s trash out of her car window. I calmly picked it all up, walked up to the car and said to her, “Hello! I think you dropped this.”

She turned to say something harsh, saw how big I was and calmly accepted the wad of trash.

Nice to know I still look like I belong on the Brute Squad.

I picked up some more trash along the beach before I got in the car for the drive home. As soon as the weather warms up a bit I will be walking here every day. Taking pictures with my camera and my heart.

If this is only a week after getting off that poison, I can’t wait until I start getting myself back in shape!