Chapter 2 - January 28, 2011

I’m finally out of the hospital. Turned 50 and living at my parents. I think I’ll have to go see a shrink for that. My wife is in Texas with our daughter and is suing me for divorce, so I’m on my own. Starting over. Just learned today that I need to set up a trust fund in case I get any money. I don’t want to jeopardize my Medicaid. They have very strict rules that I must go by. I just made one for food and clothing and to look after Sam, my daughter, when she comes to visit. My therapy and operation have been covered by my primary medical insurer and Medicaid. Thank God, as I have no money.

I got a new puppy for my birthday, which was last week. I still miss my dog Buster, but it is nice to have a puppy around. His name is JoJo and he’s pretty cute.

This weekend I’m looking forward to taking more photographs. It has been snowing here a lot for many days. It’s a Winter Wonderland. I remember I recently met with a famous artist named Chuck Close. He is living in a world similar to mine. He had some really good advice. Do what gives you pleasure in life. Have a good shrink, which I do. Work on your independence as much as you can. Concentrate on your passion. In my case, that is photography. Never give up.

Last night I kind of had a bit of a panic attack. I was worried about what will happen to me. I really miss my daughter. It’s hard being sick like this. I feel trapped in my own body. It’s very claustrophobic. I’m alert and sharp as I always have been but I can’t speak well or move my hands or anything. Can’t even roll over. No privacy ever. Nor can I do that thing which I’d like to do. Even turn on the TV. I just lay in the dark and remember what my doctor always said, “Be patient.” So I wait. It’s bad enough being sick, but worrying about a divorce on top of it makes things even more scary and difficult. I have to find the energy to do both. I have a good Texas lawyer and delegate as much work to her as I don’t have the energy to get well and deal with a divorce.

A friend of mine, Fran Drescher is going to be on Oprah today. I’m looking forward to seeing her interviewed. Fran has been very supportive and understanding of my illness. I guess it’s because she went through some tough times herself. She understands. It will be good to see her being interviewed. Needless to say, I think she is wonderful.

Every day I do a bit of therapy. It’s kind of like homework. It is needed. I do exercises that are given to me by my speech PT and OT. Physical therapist and occupational therapist. It’s a bit painful, but I feel like I’m in training. As long as I remember the more work I do, the faster I’ll get better, the faster I’ll get through it. Even the smallest amount helps.

Speaking of help… Your donations, if you choose to donate, will help me with food, transportation, clothing, and therapy. All this is not covered by insurance. I never asked for help before. As a matter of fact, just before I got sick, I did a book called “Rescue Tails.” I donated all my proceeds, 100%, from the sale of the book to charity. I stuck to my word and am still giving them all the money, even though I now need it myself. I should do a book called “Rescue Brian.” I guess your donations will validate this fact. Thank you again for your support.

One thing I learned through this whole ordeal is to stay positive. Like a business plan, have a vision of the future. Have a goal to reach. Wallowing in self-pity will get you nowhere. It’s o.k. to feel bad. It’s natural. But there’s a time for everything. You’re sad for a while, but then you cast that aside and move forward.