When I was born, the Filipino-Chinese Doula that caught me like a football receiver catching a “Hail Mary” pass to the end zone when I was “shot” out of my Mama’s womb quickly proclaimed “This baby is going to have an interesting life!”
And so the curse began.
The Three Sisters of Fate chuckled with glee and set off on a whirlwind of weaving.
I’ve had a number of medical issues beginning when I was five years old.
Have you ever seen the opening of the Andy Griffith Show, the one with the little kid carrying a bamboo fishing pole? It was a day like that, with my Mom, Stepdad and three half-brothers on one of the farms with a gravel pit lake that we owned.
After catching a HUGE bluegill, it worked the hook loose from its lips when I got it on shore and it flopped back into the water. I decided to go pet the horses instead. Starfire was my favorite mare and I liked to scratch the four-pointed white patch on her forehead.
Suddenly my brother K2, at the urging of my stepdad, came running up the hill waving his fishing pole with a large fish dangling from his hand.
“Moe! I caught your fish! There’s the fishhook!” he cried out as he approached us.
Starfire would have none of it. She saw a kid with a pole yelling and running at her. In the blink of an eye she turned and bolted, striking my chin as she flipped her hoofs. The blow sent me flying, headfirst, face-up, for a good thirty feet. I will always remember that feeling of flying, with a strange mix of pain and pleasure, with time seemingly standing still as I floated through the air.
Off to the side I could see the Three Sisters of Fate dancing in a circle, kicking up their heels and laughing like crazy women.
Just as I reached the Zenith of my flight I was at that magic moment when acceleration and gravity meet, and for one magic second there was a feeling of complete weightlessness and I just hung there, blue skies and white puffy clouds above me.
Lucky for me that Starfire had shot me UP the side of the grass-covered gravel pit –for when I reached the Zenith of my flight, I was only two feet off the ground. When Gravity took control I only dropped a couple of feet. Any higher and I probably would have died from the impact!
As a five year old my brain was subjected to dozens of X-rays on a Korean War Era X ray machine, a “stimulating” event (like a human fruit fly) while I was in a coma.
The doctors said I was lucky. “Half an inch more to the Center of your Jaw, and both Jawbones would been rammed into my brain from both sides, killing me instantly.
Starfire had missed me “by that much” – maybe that’s why the Sisters were so happy.
I had almost been killed by my jaws kicked by an ass, not killed by the jaw bone of an ass. HUGE Difference!
Fast forward to the fall of 1975. I was in an old Toyota Carola when a drunk driver ran a light and hit my car. The engine was placed in the passenger seat, I had a skull fracture, numerous broken bones and they had to cut me out of the car using the Jaws of Life.
A friend told me later that he saw “brain tissue” leaking out of my head but the EMT pushed it back inside and kept his hand on it.
The Three Sisters of Fate stood on the corner and rubbed their old hands together, reciting a spell seldom used, allowing my time to slow down quickly.
Fortunately St Joseph’s Emergency Medical Trauma Center was only one quarter of a mile away so in just a matter of minutes I was under a huge curved light with voices all around.
I had a two inch piece of glass that was embedded into my neck, right on top of the juglar vein, not blocking it completely but restricting the blood flow to my brain. The doctor later said that the glass probably saved my life as the skull fracture would have bled out.
The last thing I remember was the doctor telling my Mom that this was not going to hurt me as he pulled the glass out of my neck. I saw one HUGE squirt, then another HUGE squirt of blood splash against the curved mirror light and drip down the sides. I turned my head to see my brother K2 catch my Mom as she collapsed and passed out at the sight of so much blood.
I slept in a coma for a few days before returning. Instead of finding an attorney, my Stepdad settled for a new Dodge Passenger Car (a Monte Carlo!) and $10,000 cash. No future medical expenses, no physical therapy, no mental training after leaving the hospital.
It did a number on my social life. I had little flakes of glass boil up through the skin on my face for more than twenty years after that accident!
Someone told me that pictures of the accident and especially my face were shown to members of Congress as part of a bill that required all automobiles to use safety glass. The bill passed about a year after the accident.
You’re welcome, America. I took one for the Gipper. It’s been an honor.
Fast forward to 2007 when I was walking in a picnic area of a local park and I accidently stepped into a camouflaged hole used by “Ratzilla”.
Ratzilla is not an urban legend, they are HUGE rodents/rats living in the Griffith Park area in Los Angeles, CA. The hole I stepped into was about 10 inches in diameter! I’m very grateful the rodent didn’t bite me when my foot entered his dwelling.
Both sides of my right ankle YOKE snapped off and my foot became a floppy.
One of the EMT’s actually started throwing up when he saw my right foot flop to the left, right, backward…! It was so gross!
Yes, the Three Sisters of Fate were there, too, swaying along the tree line, tossing pixie dust into the air as they shrieked hysterically with laughter.
The strange thing was that I remained calm and level headed during transport. I had all of my computer programming work on my laptop in my unlocked car and I was more worried about someone stealing my computer then I was about my foot. Talk about a mixed blessing.
I was on a gurney in the ER Hallway, clutching my laptop against my chest, my wallet in my mouth to bite on as the ER doctor straightened out my foot and ankle with the rest of my leg. I went to lala land after that, dreaming of Dr. Spock whispering “Pain is just an emotion of the mind – and the mind can be controlled”.
The surgeon did a great job putting me back together. He used two three-inch “wood screws” to hold one side of my ankle yoke together and “a plate with 8” to hold the other side in place.
That’s when I picked up the nickname “Frankenfoot”. It seemed appropriate.
A year later I developed a very painful hernia. I had no idea that the surgeon I spoke to was not the surgeon that would do the work. The Kaiser hospital on Sunset Blvd is a training facility, so when I arrived for my surgery there were15 other patients there for hernia surgery also. We were led into a hall with 16 curtain rooms and undressed for surgery.
I later found out that four groups of four patients make up four circles. In the center of each circle is a Senior Surgeon with four surgeon “trainees” doing the actual operation - the senior surgeon walks around and helps out when there is a problem.
Unfortunately I did not see the Three Sisters of Fate dressed in their scrubs on the other side of the glass window.
The Senior Surgeon for my group stepped in to help another trainee while my trainee decided that I had Pantaloons Hernia (two hernias) and so she made one HUGE seven inch slice to patch them both with one cloth.
OMG! I woke up in the trauma center with a Snarky Nurse that said that “Now you know what a cesarean feels like”. Bed side humor.
A week later, three hours after the trainee removed the staples the wound opened up. I went to the ER and even the doctors there were confused. The wound had opened up more than three inches long and one inch deep.
It was so very painful that I started having sciatic nerve seizures.
Another doctor offered to give me shot that would kill ALL of the Nerves in my groin but I declined that offer. I like to use the bathroom as a conscious thought, not as a discovery.
Just like Frankenstein I am a collection of replacement parts, held together by surgeons’ stiches and staples.
Ready to have some fun?
Is this a Rorschach Inkblot Test?
What do YOU see?
Perhaps you see a grinning Angel wearing an Avengers mask?
Or maybe you see something that you shouldn't see? An unexplained glow that shouldn't be there? Can you guess the answer?
Relax, it’s just the glowing outline of my manly General on an X ray.
Even though skin is supposed to be invisible on an X-ray, the Three Sisters of Fate decided to award me a “medal” for Valor. Lucky me, right?
Can you do better than that, Rudolph, with your glowing nose?
Oh-quite right...you do have your own song...
Well, all I can say is: "Some people call me Maurice..."
Eddie Murphy almost got it right with the movie Golden Child, but the censors couldn't very well approve a movie about a little boy with a glowing “appendage” so instead the character had a glowing finger, which is much more marketable.
Yes, I can make an empty can dance – but more like Clint Eastwood with a revolver than a twinkle toes like Fred Astaire.
Do not be alarmed if your am/fm transmissions are suddenly "disrupted" in my presence or if your phone systems suddenly go dead or if your computer hard drives suddenly erase themselves or all the lights start to flicker when I am near.
The government doctors have said there is nothing to worry about, it's just my "electro-magnetic personality".
I guess they don’t know me very well.
That’s why I live in the desert – far from those devices that so many of you depend on.
Like me Momma used to tell me "Everyday that you wake up is a good thing!"
"Go make it a Great Day!"