Music saved my life

March 24, 2023

Chapter 26: It's a Beautiful Day - Am I a hopeless case?

Speaking of hopeless cases, I recently learned that St. Jude was the patron saint of hopeless cases. Interestingly, I attended a catholic grade school called St. Jude Elementary, and seeing how my life has turned out, I've started wondering if I am not a hopeless case. Not hopeless in an incorrigible way, but rather as it pertains to my chronic deteriorating health, which seems to have no end in sight. Several people have told me "Don't lose hope"; however, grasping at those words is not easy when you get to that hopeless place. 

February 10, 2023

Chapter 25: Sjögren’s: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

I can tell you that I would, as devastating as joint damage can be, given the opportunity to be rid of one disease, it would be Sjögren's. Although, in my case, they are intertwined. I have Secondary Sjogren's Syndrome, associated with underlying autoimmune disorders like Psoriatic Arthritis; in other words, they come as a package.

February 5, 2023

Chapter 24: Psoriasis is not a disease. Really?

Psoriasis is a real autoimmune disease and can be as innocuous as just a patch or two of red dry, flaky skin on any random part of the body or as devastating as to cover 90% of the body with large or small scaly, red patches of skin that flake and constantly split - even the scalp can be completely covered as was the case for me when I was in high school. Some people even develop infections because the patches split and bleed, opening them up to bacteria. Millions of people, including many celebrities, namely Cyndi Lauper and golfer Phil Mickelson, have Psoriasis and or Psoriatic Arthritis, as I do.

January 28, 2023 • Version française

Chapter 23: Tout n'est plus comme avant

Ce matin, luttant contre la dépression, me demandant comment je vais traverser les prochains jours, semaines, mois, voire années, compte tenu de mon état de santé actuel, je suis tombé par hasard sur une chaîne de T.V. diffusant une vidéo fixe de type webcam d'une belle plage, Playa Madama en R.D. Je l'ai immédiatement reconnu comme le D.R., bien que je n'aie jamais été sur cette plage particulière. (Comme pour tous mes épisodes d'écriture, il y a toujours une chanson qui déclenche l'idée d'écrire ou qui arrive et commence à jouer au moment exact qui correspond à ce que j'écris. C'est juste arrivé. Une chanson intitulée « Tres Hermanos » vient de commencer à jouer. Je l'ai déjà entendu une fois. Il me transporte au pays latin de la beauté dont je suis amoureux et me réconforte.)

January 24, 2023

Chapter 22: All is not as it once was

This morning, fighting through depression, wondering how I'm going to get through the next few days, weeks, months, and even years, given my current state of health, I stumbled upon a channel on T.V. broadcasting a fixed webcam-style video of a beautiful beach, Playa Madama in the D.R. I immediately recognized it as the D.R., despite never having been to that particular beach. (As with all my writing episodes, there is always a song that either sparks the idea to write or comes along and starts to play at the exact moment that matches what I'm writing about. This just happened. A song called "Tres Hermanos" just began to play. I've heard it once before. It transports me to the Latin land of beauty that I am in love with and comforts me.)

January 13, 2023

Chapter 21: All that you can and can’t leave behind

Do I regret breaking up? YES. I wish I could have seen some other solution, but at the time, I was desperate to get out of a situation that seemed impossible to resolve. Things had escalated to the point of no return - at least, it seemed that way to me. But the truth is, I still very much love my wife, and I miss her every minute of every day. It takes courage to come out and say this sort of thing publicly.

December 25, 2022

Chapter 20: One Banana? Now I Know!

I remember doing a grocery run for her, and on her list, she had “1 banana”. I thought to myself, “Who buys just one banana?” I now purchase just one or two bananas because they last me several days. Like, mum, I can’t eat a whole banana in one sitting. So, now I know what it’s like to buy food for ONE.

November 23, 2022

Chapter 19: The Cobalt Blues

In 2001, I was fitted with a metal-on-metal hip implant which was supposed to last me my whole life. These implants began failing by the thousands, and there are currently several class action lawsuits in the U.S. against various manufacturers. Mine has been leaching high levels of Cobalt and Chromium into my body since 2015, disastrously affecting my health.

August 7, 2022

Chapter 18: Confessions of a French Canadian

This past year, I discovered and became hooked on French radio, specifically 107.3 ICI Musique on Radio Canada. What a treasure I found! Beyond my incredible appreciation for the quality and vast repertoire of music they serve up, I am equally in awe of the disk jockeys' command of the French language, which is without compare. I've always considered myself fluent in both languages, but there is fluent, and then there is fluent! These D.J.s are in the top 1% of the most wealthy in terms of their command of the language. Their sentences are always beautifully structured, filled with wonderful vocabulary, and delivered without any effort. No pauses or hums and haws. Just perfectly spoken French, which for me, is music to my ears.

August 7, 2022

Chapter 17: Les confessions d'un canadien-français

L'année dernière, le divorce ayant bouleversé ma vie, j'étais perdu et je cherchais un endroit où je pourrais trouver du réconfort. C'est alors que j'ai découvert et que je suis devenu accro à la radio francophone, plus précisément 107.3 ICI MUSIQUE sur Radio-Canada. Quel trésor j'ai trouvé ! Au-delà de mon incroyable appréciation pour la qualité et le vaste répertoire de musique qu'ils proposent, je suis également en admiration devant la maîtrise de la langue française des animateurs, qui est sans comparaison. Je me suis toujours considérée comme parlant couramment les deux langues, mais il y a couramment, et puis il y a couramment ! Au Québec, pour ceux d'entre vous qui habitent ici, vous savez que le français qui y est parlé peut varier énormément selon la région, l'éducation et bien d'autres facteurs. Je crois que je fais partie de la classe moyenne en raison de la facilité avec laquelle je peux m'exprimer en français. Ces animateurs sont dans le top 1% en ce qui concerne la maîtrise de la langue. Leurs phrases sont toujours parfaitement structurées, remplies d'un excellent vocabulaire et prononcées sans effort. C’est du français sans égal, qui, pour moi, est « de la musique à mes oreilles. »