A Tale of Vulnerabilities


I’m writing this as a way of describing a segment in Time/Space which is of no consequence to you save those involved, the players in this drama, as you might say. When I was young, possibly like you, I took everything to heart trusting there was no room for falsehood. In fact, falsehood didn’t as yet exist because speaking of things as they are was all that was known. Somewhere along the way I learned that not everything I was told was not altogether as they are/were.

Still, being under-socialized, I kept to myself most of the time with temporary forays in the company of family relations and friendlies. I kept my own company most often, with regular forays into Nature where I learned to internalize goings on. Observing in favour of speaking was my way of growth. I fell into a scenario that nurtured this behaviour throughout my formative years and into adolescence.

Of course, things got complicated as I grew into adolescence due to filial and economic conditions. Nearing adulthood I ventured to spread my wings into society in spite of the shortcomings of the social order not being favourable. It was this decision that put me in harms way and I learned in no uncertain terms, as my mother once said to me, “People didn’t go to the same Sunday School as you” on answering a question about being assaulted by people I’d considered friends. I took to learning how-to-defend myself, which had dramas of its own.

Throughout this process of learning I gained a focus and direction, unplanned and unexpected. I fell into the vocation of education and was accepted in Teaching. It liked me, and in turn I liked it until it appeared it didn’t after a time. As in all things, there are changes are humans progress in Time, so to speak. There is this downside to progress where momentum increases and all thought of caution is overridden in favour of the principle of risk-for-gain.

Eventually, errors surface and scapegoats instead of responsibility are sought claiming accountability as the reason. I got caught up in the hype as my undiagnosed issues (ADD/ADHD-Asthma-Dyslexia-etc.), due to my conditioning-by-Nature to observe-and-formulate coping-strategies which carried me throughout my educational years. It was a rough ride, especially with the changing social conditions of the sixties/seventies. I made it through somehow, and was operating on a suggestion of giving Teaching a try, which was a matter of conditions: right time – right place – skill set to match what was needed. Eventually, conditions changed and I was unable/unwilling to go with the flow of things I deemed unfavourable to supportive human interaction.

Self-Interest took centre stage and I was still operating under the premise of collaboration, co-operation towards harmonious co-existence. Throughout it all I forgot to include myself in the milieu of goings on. giving over my personal care to accommodating the desires/requests of others interpreted as mutually beneficial. Granted, the mutual benefits we not necessarily equitable, in fact they weighed on the side of the other I accepted as fair not realizing the growing distress to my psyche.

Conditions in and out of the classroom saw subtle changes which grew into to undermine self-care on my part due to the solitary lifestyle I lived. None was aware as I kept things internal while operating on a tight schedule which accommodated the masses roundabout me, each unaware of the other but aware of my reputation of effectively and efficiently getting things done. As this condition grew in a multitude of areas, some affectionately call multi-tasking, I became less and less aware of myself and what was happening to my life.

Every sector of my life, each unaware of the others, chided me whenever I expressed my feelings of despondency. It was as if they considered my doings are limited to their own sphere and I was surrounded by a plethora of people to feed my physical/psychological needs. I believed it myself, even when I was exposed to symptoms of an impending fall- insomnia, irritability, dizziness, poor eating habits, albeit nutritious. After amassing enough sick days to be critically ill for 3 years, it became clear I was headed to a burnout scenario. I began taking a day off here and there, then two-days at a time.

At this time, I was summarily notified I was close to qualifying for early-retirement which, given developing conditions, I began to consider as an viable option. On one weekend, one where I usually had an amiable social engagement which saw taking the first two days of the week off due to distress, I elected to not take the two-days-off as it was the week before the March Break. I felt good about that decision and went home feeling I was in good condition to manage the entire week. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While at home, projecting on activities for the week ahead, I stood up to prepare for what I’d had set in play psychologically. I stood up and fell down. I collapsed, lost control of all my faculties, my mobility and physical controls. I took to breathing to control my waning consciousness, called 9-1-1 making sure I had documentation of my person and waited. The EMS came quicker than expected, remembering there was an ambulance by the entrance I thought was for another resident. I hope there was no mix-up.

This is where it got very unusual. I had called the fellow that dropped me off, but he was unavailable to support me and my only family members I tried to contact were out for the evening. I left a message, and waited. I was retrieved, wheeled out into the ambulance and on the way it was decided I would be taken to a hospital on the other side of town bypassing three major hospital systems along the way. I was not of a mind to contend with goings on and arrived at the predetermined destination.

As I was checked-in, documentation supported, I was wheeled into a triage section after a brief spell in the hallway. As luck would have it, due to a message left on my sister’s phone, I was visited by an especial friend from my teen years. He sat with me a while and left to continue his own regards. I was most appreciative. Summarily, I was relocated into a semi-private room as per my insurance and plied with medication and rest, according to reading acquired by the medical staff.

I had a few friendly visitors, immediate family were out-of-country so, as per my usual standards, I was alone. In due time I was informed I’d be taken upstairs for a Stress Test. The time came and I was wheeled into a lab setting, not set up for the usual Stress Test to which I was accustomed seeing. I was told this was NEW, a simulation carried out through the use of a radioactive-serum. I believe I was given a document to sign, I couldn’t say for certain as I was being medicated and coping with my unusual ordeal. The needle was applied, serum and all, and my body began the simulation intended. After a time, a rather cordial and jovial medically clothed personnel entered chiming, “I’ve got the antidote” and was I ready to receive it? I was slightly annoyed at his casualness but was in no condition for a confrontation, under the circumstances.

I was wheeled back to my room, without follow-up to the test as far as I remember. Even after revelation to my personal physician, I was not informed of the incident’s results simply placed on blood-pressure medication and a 24-hr electronic-monitor. Henceforth, all that was of concern was my blood-pressure reading, a symptom and not of what I believe to be cause of my condition!

It did not occur to me to question my handlers, a condition of early childhood where trust in the system (family-relations-friends-society) was the norm. The incident occurred in 2006 and here it is 2015, and I don’t know how the radioactive isotope has affected my systems. I did not question the original hypothesis, side-effects and after-effects of the procedure considering my condition at-the-time.

Was the situation deliberately staged/managed from the EMS retrieval, the decision of hospital and experimental serum used to simulate my hypertension? The deed is done and I’m living with it, through it until such time I’m to depart this mortal coil. This is know for your edification.

How fare you as you depend on those in charge of your well being; after all, interdependence is the unaccounted norm, isn’t it!??

Don James


7th February 2015

20:28 hours


10th February 2015


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