Since Nov 21, 2002
I am disabled. I have been for twelve years. Eight of those years were spent on my back, in bed, staring at the ceiling for upwards of 22 hours a day.
I call those my "hubris" years. Years in which I let pride and arrogance drive off my family, my friends, my financial stability, my future, and all the other things I once held dear.
My embarrassment of being disabled resulted in me NEVER seeing any visitors, never taking ANY telephone calls, never doing anything but wallowing in my black hole of depression.
Then God sent me Baby.
I heard the most frightening scream of my life one night. It sounded like the death-wailings of a newborn baby . . . like someone was murdering it. Even a pompous jackass like me couldn't ignore these cries for help.
I rolled out of bed, crawled to the front door, pulled myself up by the door knob, grabbed a flashlight, then opened the door.
The screams erupted again! They were close! Only a few feet to my right.
I stepped outside into the black 2:30a.m. darkness, then collapsed to my knees because I hadn't used my leg muscles in a long, long time. I lost the flashlight when I fell.
That was when I heard the growl of a predator who has cornered his prey.
But I was bullet-proof. What does anyone who wants to die have to fear? In fact, it made me angry. I crawled toward the growling. All my pent-up anger at my situation just exploded. I wanted to kill it with my bare hands. The growling became more ominous, more threatening. The predator was also spoiling for a fight.
I got so angry I picked up a handfull of flowerbed gravel, sat on my haunches, and threw the rocks as hard as I could at the growl.
The mongrel yelped . . . then scampered wildly, madly from the brush to get away from the crazy man.
I fell forward to my elbows with the effort . . . then stretched out completely on my stomach. I was exhausted.
Then . . . I felt a wetness on the back of my right hand. I still wasn't scared. Bullet-proof, remember?
I heard a whimpering . . . then the wetness expanded. Something was tenderly, hesitantly licking the back of my hand.
I rolled away from it and bumped into the flashlight. As I was fumbling to turn it on, the licking returned to my hand.
I turned the flashlight on and a pile of bleeding flesh lay near my right hand . . . obviously this lump was intended to be the predator's nightly meal. This shivering, tiny, bleeding mutt was licking my hand. MY HAND! THE POMPOUS JACKASS'S HAND!
Only moments from death and this flea-infested creature was concerned about me. She was a mess. She had scabs all over her body. She didn't have a hair on her body. Every rib was visible. I could tell she was an adult mutt . . . but she would still fit in the palm of my hand. And she wasn't a Chihuahua or any small breed of dog . . . she appeared to be half poodle and half terrier -- not exactly a teeny-tiny dog.
And she cared more for me than she did her own life . . . which was quickly fading before my eyes.
I managed to pick her up and hold her bleeding body to my chest as I crawled back inside and called a sleepy and angry Veterinarian to make a housecall.
Like the predator, the veterinarian soon decided it was better to agree with the crazy man than it was to fight him.
I was re-Born that day. God brought Baby into my life and she's nurtured me through four difficult years.
I'm still disabled. I still get embarrassed . . . but Baby even protects me with this too. I have seizures. The most embarrassing aspect of my disability is having a seizure in public . . . where friends and neighbors see me flopping around like a minnow while stammering and slobbering like the Village Idiot.
I had a seizure about two weeks after Baby adopted me. Evidently, she trained herself to recognize the signs . . . either through the difference in smell of my body chemistry or my body language . . . because now she warns me BEFORE I have a seizure so I have ten or fifteen minutes to get home before they hit. She hasn't missed ONE since she adopted me. I still have the seizures, but they're in the privacy of my La-Z-Boy rather than on the supermarket floor.
Yes, I even venture out into public a bit now. Not too much . . . I still don't feel well enough most of the time. But I usually have anywhere from 2-4 hours of "Good" time per day now.
Before God brought Baby to me . . . I had none.
When I'm able to move about, Baby is never more than 3 or 4 feet away from me. When I . . . uhhh . . . LOL . . . take care of Mother Nature's business, Baby is right beside me. When I take a shower, despite her absolutely despising water, she takes one with me. She sleeps with me, she eats with me . . . even now she's in my lap as I type this.
On those days I don't feel like moving much, if it's good weather, I have a neighbor lay me out in a hammock he built for me . . . so Baby will get outside and play instead of suffer with me inside. By the way . . . this neighbor is the ONLY one Baby lets lay a paw on me. She thinks she's a Rottweiler as far as I'm concerned.
SHE'S NEVER LET ME OUT OF HER LINE OF SIGHT IN THE FOUR YEARS SINCE SHE ADOPTED ME.
So, yes, I truly was "disabled by hubris" . . . but I'm making an ever so slow recovery because of God's blessing and the gift He gave me . . . Baby.
Baby's made life bearable.
I'm sure the medical specialists would tell you my symptoms are the same, I'm still as sick as I ever was . . . but you know what? The lab tests might show nothing has changed, that I'm still as disabled as I ever was . . . but you know what? The Medical Gods with all the "we know it all" initials after their names might wax poetic about there being "no change" . . . but you know what? They're wrong. THEY'RE ALL WRONG!!
I feel a lot better now.
God how I love my mutt. Anyone who thinks Angels are only human in form . . . are also wrong.
This is Baby . . .