Shackled to a 4×4 beam. Shoulders ached. 12 hours earlier, The Pharisees had returned a verdict of guilty. Guilty of not following doctrine. For daring to question ritualistic antiquited practices. Immediately, they strapped the timber behind my neck and across my shoulders sent me off into the desert. Feet raw, and head throbbing, I approached what seemed a porthole, I could see a green valley on the other side. You could hear the bubbling sound of a stream. Just to the left of the entryway, a prominent hieroglyph was etched. “With burdens of the world, no man shall pass and enter… “.
There was no way the large timber would pass through the porthole. Digging deep, I proceeded to bang the beam against the granite walls. Skin rubbed raw, freshly burst blisters stinging from salty sweat and blood. One final thrust and I was free. Finding my balance, I reapproached the portal and dusted away the remaining portion of the hieroglyph. “With burdens of the world, no man shall pass and enter into the valley of the shadow of death. “
Written for Sue Vincent’s Photo prompt #writephoto Special thanks to Sue for Hosting!
So thankful for modern medicine. I feel 90% of my facial/blinking has returned to “normal”. I did want to share and a shift in a few things physically and emotionally after after a 10 day regiment using oral steroids(Prednisolone). All was well until 3 days after stopping taking them. If you are familiar with the comedy skit team, The Kids in The Hall, you will likely be familiar with one, Mr. Heavyfoot.
This is a great depiction of how both my arms and legs feel. The sensation is one of pumping iron to the point of feeling like my arms are going to burst but at the same time, weighing me down like sandbags.
Emotionally, I am so thankful to have my family around me. A few stresses left me finding it hard to focus and wanting to distance myself and regroup.
I have a new found respect for those that require steroid treatments such as those with Lupus, and other conditions. Big thanks again to good friends and family for sharing not only best wishes but especially their experiences with Bell’s palsy and Prednisolone.
Original post start here
For those who know me, they have learned to wince when they sensed a bad pun or play on words. My intention is always to entertain and perhaps brighten ones day. A few days ago I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy which I had never heard of and is pretty much as I understand a temporary condition (4-6 weeks). For more information Click Here
From Web MD:”Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop camera.The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.”
Bell’s palsy is NOT the result of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke and TIA can cause facial paralysis, there is no link between Bell’s palsy and either of these conditions. But sudden weakness that occurs on one side of your face should be checked by a doctor right away to rule out these more serious causes.”
Although I initially felt numbness on my face, I thought it was from our recent trip to the water park where the side of my face was being pummeled by high velocity highly chlorinated water and was simply a reaction to the chemicals.
It was when I was eating the next day that my lips felt swollen and numb, and I kept dribbling liquid out of the left side(right side below) of my mouth when drinking.
As you can imagine, I thought I’d had a stroke. This is when the “me caveman!””me strong” mentality set in. My Dr. confirmed the Bells palsy with a few physical tests to rule out a stroke. Obviously I was relieved am optimistic of a full recovery. With my blogs intention of “breaking chains” I felt it important to share the reality of how men tend to “live in denial” when it comes to their health but unfortunately too many”die in denial” thinking things will just go away. Good advice from my older brother Danny years ago. “Take care of yourself so you can care for those you love.”
On a lighter note, the pun side of my grey matter can’t help but with literally a “stiff upper lip”, appreciate a new found ability to do a impersonation E.G. Robinsons ” Little Caesar“. Edward G Robinson of Ya see,it’s curtains for you! Curtains, ya hear me!”
To Little Caesar, Curtains for me? not quite yet, not yet!
Take care of yourselves.
Blinking: it was like my eye had memory loss, forgetting to do what you take for granted (wipe clean lubricate/protect the eye). Intitially I set an hourly timer, and used artificial tears. I wore and eye patch at night to keep the old guy from drying out. After a few days I used Mineral oil eye ointment which although at times clouded vision a little, lasted longer and was more comfortable.
You take your smile for granted and it was an emotional challenge getting in public, talking to people and noticing that the content of the conversation was secondary to the look you received as they noticed half your face wasn’t moving.
Thanks to the support of my family and friends. The daily “How’s your face” inquiry from my life partner kept it light, to the wonderful Guardian Angel out there sharing of personal experiences with Bell’s palsy helped me keep my spirits up! I am honored to have you in my life.
Window sample packed so tightly into my coupe, I had to lean the front seat forward just to squeeze it in. 2pm in home demo appt.
“You wait right here young man, I will be right back”. The lady of the house went in to the kitchen. The house smelled old. As I heard her clanking around, I couldn’t help but notice the city citation letter sitting on her coffee table. It listed specific home repairs in lieu of condemning the property. Windows was one of them. As I understood her husband was on the road driving tractor trailer.
Clanging in the kitchen continued, muffling out what sounded like voices.
Sitting patiently, tap, tap, tap, an iridescent house fly pummeled its exoskeleton against the plastered wall. Suddenly it dive bombs down into to corner of the room on to what appeared to be a matted rug sticking out from behind an ottoman. Like John Coffey in “the Green Mile” opening his mouth to release the evil he had sucked out of another being, a flurry of flies swarmed out from behind the foot rest. Much like a flock of starlings swirling in the windy autumn day, the flies orchestrated their way toward my side of the room gathering on the unkept glass of the south facing picture window. Looking closer at the matted rug, I realized it wasn’t a rug at all but sadly was the tail of a once beloved family pet. Hmm,
“Ma’m, everything okay in there? Ma’m? ”
Walking toward the arched doorway, I struggled to get my footing as the well worn shag rug offered little resistance to the soles of my dress shoes. To the left, the front door was to the and to the right a narrow hallway leading to the kitchen. Her back was to me as she continued to bang dirty dishes around. As I walked closer, the voice I had heard was hers, spewing out a series of expletives so graphic it would make a sailor blush. “Ma’m? ” Approaching the rooms threshold, I understood what the clanging was loud, the was no water in the sink nor was any coming out of the tap as she repeatedly went through the motions.
Through the kitchen window I could see the overgrown back yard.
She looked up, put down her pots, as if to surrender, her shoulders sank. I reached out a hand and gently placed it on her back. It was if she had never experienced a human touch. Heavy teardrops rolled down her face ashen cheeks, splashing on the chipped porcelain sink. The last thing she needed was windows.
I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie.
The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago.
Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”.
I blurted out, “15 years old sir”.
All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall.
The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows.
I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager.
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him?
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key?
What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing!
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.
There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail.
Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you.
Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.
True personal growth comes when you choose to honestly communicate and understand those you have conflict with even if it means living in tension and being accountable for each of your own actions. This is when discrimination and self serving categorization of others ends.
If you are of Christian persuasion, please remember, Christ did not come as more commandments on a stone tablet, rigid, cold and without feeling but, rather a warm, loving, and totally transparent being.
Three simple words , without knowing the context, have endless implications/applications. A simple accidental bump into someone, if you interrupt someone, a common courtesy, These type of apologies are typically immediate. The phrase is a polite gesture allowing us to coexist in a somewhat civil society. Making amends can also vary culturally. For example, in Japan the word for sorry is “gomen”. If you are at fault in a car accident, even before judgement and damages are awarded, you are culturally expected to offer what is referred to as “gomen money”. Those familiar with the Far East understand that “saving face”, a karma centered ideology, yields a population of humility and tolerance. I admire the Japanese tact that it in a sense, requires a time of reflection as well as setting the stage for the more western ideology of forgiveness.
Humility and forgiveness go hand in hand I have often wondered if it is possible to forgive without an apology. Additionally, must you forgive when an apology is given. For me I believe the answer is simple. If the apology is sincere, it makes it easy to forgive. However, If insincerity is present does the apology mean anything? I remember when I was around 10, being full of myself, sharing with my Dad Tony, how someone had wronged me and the next day she had apologized to me. I smugly shared, “I told her I didn’t accept her apology”. He immediately scolded me and made it clear that if someone makes the effort to apologize, you damn well better accept it. Looking back, my not wanting to accept the apology was a lapse in judgment in the form of wanting to hurt, those that hurt me. The apology and her taking ownership was the key to breaking the cycle of vengeance and arrogance. We are human, as the Bible says in Matthew 5 23:25, if you come to the altar with a gift but have conflict in your heart with your brother, leave immediately and go to your accuser so that you may resolve the conflict, and then once again return to the altar with a clear heart.
If an apology never comes? That’s where forgiveness in order for you to move forward is so crucial.