I heard a cover of the famous Men Without Hats song "Pop Goes The World" today on CBC Radio, and it sparked an idea for a chapter. My life has been on the verge of going "POP" for some time now if it hasn't already. Truthfully, with the state of the world today, it's fair to say that the world has popped and that we are all scrambling to survive. I'd venture to say that the most recent "pop" began the day Donald Trump became the next POTUS back in 2016. That, followed by the pandemic and the madness that ensued with the mishandling of it by Trump, the January 6th attack on the Capitol, the climate crisis, and everything else that continues to make the news day after day, like mass shootings, and this is just on our side of the pond, has turned the world into a "pop fest," and I'm not referring to a music festival. No sooner were we more or less coming out of the pandemic and Russia decided to invade Ukraine, completely unprovoked. I don't follow politics, so I had to Google "Why did Russia invade Ukraine" to try to understand - I still don't. I guess being Canadian sometimes comes with its "ignorance is bliss" pass. As Canadians, generally, we don't really understand war or "land grabs" other than the grabbing our forefathers did when they first settled here and stole the land from the Aboriginal people or the generation who fought in the World Wars. But let's not go there right now. This was not meant to be a piece about politics or war, but rather a piece that underscores that the world is a giant clusterfuck and that it and my life have gone "pop" more than once!
Pop Goes The World – Men Without HatsThis is easily one of the cheesiest 80s videoes ever recorded - OMG! They have a musician dressed as Elvis, a character that looks like the Bonhomme Carnaval from Québec City, and some pretty non-rhythmic dancing. I love the song, but the video is, well, like most of the videos from that time, uber corny. You should watch it, though, just for the kick of it!
Pop goes my colon
As for "my world," there is so much happening all at the same time, with my health forever central to the circus that has become my life that I feel like an impending "pop" is inevitable. I have multiple health issues that require constant surveillance and coping, I've exhausted myself trying to find a new place to live. I'm simultaneously trying to save my marriage and working a legal case with lawyers to file for damages against the hip manufacturer that had been poisoning me with Cobalt for years due to a defective implant. So, I'm juggling critically important matters like HEALTH, SHELTER, and the BROKEN RELATIONSHIP with my wife. Being unemployed, I also have ongoing FINANCIAL concerns that plague me constantly. I've been devoting so much time to researching possible treatments for my IBS it's become a full-time, part-time job. Right now, I am looking into being seen by a "neuro gastroenterologist" for my IBS. I have been doing extensive research, and it has led me down this path after having exhausted all the traditional avenues in terms of trying to manipulate the microbiome, both conventionally and holistically, without success. It's a very specific field. Apparently, they can determine if I have a "motility disorder" caused by a neurological problem - which I believe I do. My referral to see specialists at the CHUM was refused! I must admit, that's a first for me! Fortunately, I will be seeing my usual G.I. next week after reaching out to him recently. The time I spend on my health is absurd. I try to balance it with other tasks, but it occupies most of my days. (UPDATE JUNE 3rd: It turns out my G.I. is a neuro gastroenterologist!)
I found myself opening up to my wife in written form in a very transparent and honest way, highlighting all the things that made our marriage so special and unique rather than what was broken.
My health and my marriage are at the forefront of my mind. So much time and money has been spent on both in the past year. We've been apart for two years, but after one year of separation and a legal battle that cost nearly $10,000, I suddenly missed my wife and did not care about any past grievances. And I stress the word "missed." So, basically, after being at war with my wife and sending lawyers letters back and forth, my heart won the mind/heart battle for pole position, something I touch on in chapter 16. I found myself opening up to my wife in written form in a very transparent and honest way, highlighting all the things that made our marriage so special and unique rather than what was broken. I hand-delivered a 10-page bound and covered letter and followed up with many emails, and I created a YouTube video. I had it all scripted and printed onto 8 X 10 cards which I revealed one after the other - you know the kind - it boils down to a manual slideshow. It was set to Tracy Chapman's beautiful cover of "Stand By Me."
...if there were a 10,000-page book about life, there would only be two things to say that would surmise the entire tome: "Life is temporary. Life is complicated".
It's been almost a year since I started trying to turn things around, and although things are moving slowly, at least there is a conversation happening. We met for coffee in January, and she drove me home from the hospital after my hip revision surgery, and now, we are supposed to meet in the coming weeks again to talk about what happened two years ago. As I'm sure you've noticed, like "Donkey" in Shrek, I wear my heart out on my sleeves. The emotional impact that a separation can have, especially when feelings turn around, is hard to describe. I have never felt more alone in my life than I do now. I miss my wife and my old life so much. One of my best friends called me this Friday to check in on me, and he said something really funny but also very wise. He said if there were a 10,000-page book about life, there would only be two things to say that would surmise the entire tome: "Life is temporary. Life is complicated". And if you really think about it, he's right! That's what it all comes down to in the end.
Cloak of invisibility
I don't want to bore you by dragging you through my laundry list of problems, but let's just say that it is a long and unpleasant list. As you all know, I've got a lot of serious health problems, and some of them affect my mental health as well. They affect my cognitive reasoning and my ability to focus and make decisions. Although I appear quite normal when you meet me, there is a lot to unpack there that is "invisible." I'm struggling specifically with feelings of loss. 2 years ago, in the span of just a few months, I lost my home, my wife, friends, neighbours, family members, and my pets. It's true what they say that you only miss something when it's gone. I wish I could go back home. The home I made with my wife 20 years ago. I feel so lost living alone in a one-bedroom condo. I'm 52, and people in my age group are dying all around me - I mean people that were not long ago part of my life. Lisa Marie Presley passed away unexpectedly at 54! I've reached the age where people just start dying.
If A Tree Falls in the Forest
No one can hear the "popping" sound that goes off in my head, or yours, every day. It's like the famous adage, "If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound?" (BTW, I'm of the opinion that, yes, it does make a sound. Just because no one was there to witness it doesn't mean the tree did not create a sound as it fell to the ground.) I'm the only one standing alone in the forest of my mind, and trees are being felled left and right as I try to avoid being crushed by a tree trunk and go "pop!" But it's more than just a pop; it's a SNAP, CRACKLE...
Written by Patrick Franc - a.k.a. Your Friendly Neighborhood Bionic Man