Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2017 05 28: Journal Excerpt Page 11 May 28, 2017

Filed under: Essay,Humility,Inspiration,Life,Perception,Writing — DP Lyons @ 7:26 am

There’s certain periods in my life when I have been faced with difficult tasks. The build up to these times were hard, mostly because I would go through the possible scenarios in my mind time and time again. Man what a waste of time that was. I’m sure most of you know what I mean, because we’re all so much alike in this respect.

Being faced with so many new experiences, 2010 was the largest stepping stone my life had ever seen, and there I was, smack dab in the middle of it. If not for the people in my life, I would have drifted off into the land of no return, but the people were there, in my life, crossing my path, and for that, I became as grateful as a goat could ever be.

Summer was heading towards fall in a flurry of activity, and as the time continued to move forward, the learning never stopped.

Be well all, and enjoy it all.



Page 11

My O&M lessons with Rosemary continued to be some of the hardest things I have evrer had to do. Time and time again the lessons proved to be quite humbling, and a continuous smack upside the head with an assortment of blows from reality. I remember getting home from the lessons exhausted. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I didn’t like the lessons in the least. I still don’t like them, but I realize that they are probably one of the most necessary things I have ever done in my life. Nothing has ever had more of an impact on me than these. Nothing has ever tore me down to ground level like these have. Nothing has proven to be the hardest thing I have ever done, ever. Nothing compares. Nothing.

I still feel that when I’m out on a lesson, I’m putting myself out there for the whole world to see. I might as well be walking down the road bare naked with tassles stapled to my ass and earlobes. That’s what it feels like sometimes.

Sorry for that devastating mental image.

That’s the kind of mental anguish that I put my self through in my mind. I can’t stop it. Although I do feel rather good about my accomplishments afterwards. I get a feeling of gratitude also though. Gratitude that the lesson was all over with until the next one. Until the next one. There always seemed to be a next one.

Over all I felt quite awkward walking the sidewalks of Waterville. I went through, and still go through spurts of bad balance and dizziness. It seems that the harder that I try to utilize my sight, the harder it is on me. I do get quite dizzy and confused and frustrated when I concentrate and try to get some use out of my limited vision. It’s like everything is right there, just out of sight a little. If I could only reach out and pull the stuff out of the mirky muck and into some good vision, everything would be so much better. I convince myself sometimes that I can see better than I really can. It’s almost like I’m building a version of what’s really inside my mind. The version of my minds scenarios is occasionally pretty close to what actually is, but I have found out more than not that it can sometimes be very far from the correct version.

Well August brought with it a young man who had exactly what I wanted. He had the cutting edge of assistive technology in the palm of his hand. He had the vision of a sighted man, but without the vision. He oozed confidence and demanded attention without asking for it. Everything that he embodied was what I needed now more than ever. He had so many of the same qualities that Leona had. It was remarkable. He still amazes me today. Probably more today than before. I know more today just exactly what the level of knowledge that this man has.

Steve sawczyn entered my life in early August, and I have been on screech ever since. He introduced me to a world that I never imagined. He introduced me to a part of my mind that I never knew existed. He brought it all to me with the stroke of a key. He introduced me to a place in this world where people like me have a voice, a say, a place in the sun.

I would be a lot different person today if not for the introduction, or re-introduction to my pc. I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I’ll start from the beginning.

To be continued…


2017 05 27: Journal Post Page 10 May 27, 2017

Another weekend is here, and for those of you who are working, it’s probably gonna be a long one. Good on ya.

This next segment was written May of 2011, and describes the goings on of summer 2010. Such a long time ago, but the memories seem closer than ever. I remember struggling with my vision back then. I remember trying with all my might to catch a glimpse of this, or a sliver of that. I remember around this period of time standing out back with Lynne, and for a second, just a split second, I was able to make out her eyes, her smile, her face, and oh what a sight it was. Those quick as a cricket snapshots will stay with me forever. It’s amazing that the last three faces I saw were my wife, my son and my grandson. How fitting is that! Grin

It’s safe to say that because of that, I am blessed.

Have a great day, and don’t forget to remember what you see.



Page 10

With all that I was going through, I managed to keep it somewhat together. I did lose it a few times and found my self babbling and sobbing on the pity train to nowhere. I couldn’t afford the price for a ticket on this train. I didn’t even want to know where it was going. All I knew was that I wanted to get off, and in a hurry.

The lessons that I had that hot August were the prelude of many to come. I was starting to get small glimpses of how much I didn’t know about being blind. It’s funny how sometimes my sad mental state would convince me that I had this blind thing licked, and then in the next breath I was snapped back to reality with a flurry of blows to my ego and my overall view of the situation I was in. The situation. It sure as hell was a situation. I learned from Leona that it wasn’t really a condition, but a situation. I had always been able to think my way through situations in the past, with a few exceptions. On occasion, I felt as though I could think my way through this one also.

Rosemary and I usually traipsed around a few blocks in Waterville. I had told her on a few occasions that I was afraid that the vision I was left with was hampering with the learning of cane techniques. Well I went and opened up my big mouth. The next lesson, she informed me that maybe we should try the mobility lessons totally ecluded. Blindfolded here we come!

There is no other experience in my life that has been as humbling as walking around with a cane blindfolded. I can honestly say that at times I wish I could have crawled into a hole and slept through it like the bears do. I knew though that I must prevail through these lessons and learn what I could from them. I was very scared of losing the sight that I have. I realized then, and now that if I lose what I have, it’s going to be a whole different ball game. I needed to work on my cane skills and utilize the rest of my senses to the best of my abilities. I still am weary of losing the small amounts of vision that I have left. It is always in the back of my mind. It never goes anywhere. It is like a never ending haunting reminder of what could very well be.

On my second or third lesson with rosemary, I was trying to go up and down a long, high, curving staircase in Augusta. This was again a first for me. I panicked several times and had as much difficulty doing this as I have had doing anything thus far. She could obviously see the panick stricken look on my face and decided that we needed to take a break and talk about what I was going through. I sat down and almost broke down in tears.

She asked me to tell her what I was thinking. I told her that first and foremost, I hated the cane that was in my hands and I hated having to do what we were doing, but I knew it was necessary. I also told her that I trusted her with my life at that point. I told her that I couldn’t see how I could continue the lessons unless I did. I don’t know if that struck something inside her, but there was a long pause. She then said in her stern voice, “Let’s go big guy, times a wasting.”

I could have either hugged her or smacked her, but I decided to get my ass up and continue the lesson.

We then went out in the parking lot of the building and she told me to walk a straight line. I walked for what seemed like a hundred yards and she told me to stop. She then informed me that I had turned 180 degrees and was walking in the opposite direction.

I bent over with my hands on my knees and shook in my shoes. It was at that point that all of my false ego, all of my self centered pride, all of my confidence fell flat on its face, and I was left standing there, naked, facing the rest of my life. Plainly put, I wanted to die.

She explained that everyone has a natural gait that leads either left or right. I was a right footed walker it seems.

We then worked on correcting my gait and for the most part it worked. She stood in front of me about 50 yards and told me to walk straight to her. I did, and I did. It was a great feeling. She was very pleased with my actions taken to correct my right footed gait.

We continued to work on my cane skills in the next few weeks until I left for the Carroll Center in September. Yes, I was accepted into their independent living program that was scheduled to start the third week in September, but that felt like a million years away.

To be continued…


2017 05 26: Journal Post Page 9 May 26, 2017

This next excerpt was written in mid May, 2011. I know that a lot of the things in these posts are repeated, but I also know that the rise and fall of my emotions also were very repetitive during those days. It didn’t take much to set me off, and it seemed the more I cursed and cried, the more I realized just how hard I would need to work, because this new life just wouldn’t let go of me.

And the struggle to learn continued.

Happy Friday to you all, and I hope you get to smile today.



Page 9

As I look back to that point in my life I am faced head on with the reality that the person that I was, the person that I used to be has been laid to rest. The person that was looking back at me in the mirror has taken the baggage that used to weigh me down and left town. I can honestly say that I am glad he left. Now don’t get me wrong. He will surely pop in from time to time like an unwanted relative. I can not afford to let him stay in the guest room for not even one night. I can not afford to feed this unwanted guest any more. He can not be let in the front door any more.

I still am not comfortable in my skin, but I am starting to get to know the other guy that is surely staring back at me in the mirror. I can take my time to get to know this new person. I shed the skin of a complacent, non driven soul. I said goodbye to the sight, and welcomed the new vision. I have said on many occasions that I had to lose my sight so that I could see. I believe that more and more every day.

The long days of summer did seem to take a toll on me as the time dragged by. It is funny how slow the days seem to go, but then the week was done and it seemed to have flown by so incredibly fast. A perpetual blur.

July turned into August and I hardly even noticed. Summer had always been the highlight of my year, but with everything else that was going on, well, I just didn’t even notice it.

One day Lynne led me out to the garden so we could check on things as they grew. I had put so much effort into the garden that June. It made me mad as hell not being able to see how it was doing. I had always loved watching the garden grow. It was just so soothing and relaxing to me.

Well Lynne sat me down in a lawn chair as she walked through the garden. She was describing it to me as she started weeding the lower portions where the broccoli and turnip were.

I knew that the corn was in front of me. I could see a small glimpse of the hip high stalks swaying with the breeze. It was a warm day, as so many of those days in July and August seemed to be.

I got out of the chair and down on my knees. I then crawled to where the rows of corn started, and started weeding. It felt so strange, yet so wonderful to get my hands in the dirt and start pulling weeds. I had just finished weeding the garden the weekend of the 4th when I had the series of strokes that did me in. I had worked so hard weeding the onions and carrots. The carrots. Man was it hard weeding the carrots. I hated to have to, but felt so good when the row was all done.

I did manage to weed through the first two rows of corn. Lynne stood up and hollered at me. I guess she couldn’t believe that I was attempting to weed. Attempting? Hell, I was a weeding fool. The only thing was that I wasn’t really sure if I was pulling just weeds and not the corn also. She quickly informed me that I was indeed weeding just the corn. I made it through the entire two rows and only pulled 5 or 6 stalks of corn. I was shocked and amazed at how good I did. I felt good. I felt better than I had felt in quite some time. It was as though I had proven my worth for the first time since my vision loss. I had regained a taste of my independence, and it felt truly wonderful.

I don’t ever want to forget how good that day felt to me. I want to bottle those emotions and take them out on days when I am having a hard time. I need to be able to never forget how simple and easy it was to turn around my outlook on everything. I wanted my life back. I wanted it back in the worst way.

Those first few days in August were some of the most important of my life. I had a sense that things were starting to happen in my life. I was overwhelmed at times with the onslaught of being blind, but it didn’t seem to feel as hopeless as it had during those long dark days in July.

I was still in close contact with Leona and she continued to reassure me that everything was going to be ok. Somehow I knew it would be, just by the way she told me that it would be. I trusted her with everything I had. With everything I have. It was crucial that I took her positivity and ran with it. I needed an excuse to feel confident, and she was it.

I did finally meet Steve Sawczyn and Rosemary Houghton in those early days in August. I was so impressed with Steve that I can’t even begin to tell you. Now I should tell you that he has been blind since birth, and his accomplishments through his career as an assistive technology instructor have done nothing but grow. Everything he had, I wanted. The confidence, the intelligence, the savvy, the self assurance, all of it. I wanted it all.

I also met, as I said, Rosemary, She gave me a certain level of confidence that I desperately lacked. I knew that the orientation and mobility lessons with her would be some of the most grueling experiences that I had ever encountered. I was right, and this time I hated being right.

The first couple of lessons were very strange. I felt sort of cocky and that bothered me. I could not afford to be cocky in the least. I now look back and realize that I was showing off to her the fact that I could still see, even though it was a small sliver in my right outer peripheral, which was similar to looking through wax paper at dusk. I wanted her to feel that she was wasting her time with my lessons. I didn’t need them, not in the least. I could still see. I could still get around on my own. I could still have a brain transplant too, because nothing was ever further from the truth.

The fact is, I was blind. The fact is, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. The fact is, I needed help. I couldn’t do this on my own, and that scared the hell out of me. It scared me completely. I was completely scared beyond any doubt. Did I mention that I was also scared? Walking around with a long white cane made me more aware of my disability than any other thing. I knew that when the long white cane was in my hands and I was trying to stay on the sidewalk, that I was completely vulnerable. I was completely humbled by my new existence. I was ashamed, scared, humiliated, embarrassed, mad, pissed off, frustrated, and about 400 other internal emotions. I was in fact a blind man walking with a cane, because I was blind. I was a blind man walking on the streets of Waterville Maine in early August, 2010, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all, and there was nothing I could do to change it. Nothing. I could accept it though. I could accept the fact that I was willing to acknowledge my disability and ask for help. I was willing to start fresh and learn what I needed to learn about what had happened to me, and what I needed to do to learn to live with it. I wanted to learn how to learn to accept what I had lost, and look for things that I could learn so that I could start to live again.

I realized that it was going to be a long hard struggle, and I kept telling myself that I was going to see it through. No matter what, I was going to see it through. I owed it to myself, I owed it to my wife. I owed it to my son, and my grandson, and my folks and siblings. Most of all, I owed it to myself. I said that already, right?

I was the recipient of the fruits of my labor, and I sure as hell needed a chance.

Those first few mobility lessons were an eye opener for me of sorts. Never had I laid my heart and soul out there for all to see like that.

To be continued…


2017 05 25: Journal Post Page 8 May 25, 2017

The time is moving quickly, and here we are creating the memories of the day.

This next post is indicative of change, for I was rapidly experiencing change in ways I had rarely seen in my life. It’s funny how our attitudes can change. It’s funny how those things that cross our paths are usually the direct cause of the changes we see, we feel, we experience. As the people in my life crossed my path during those days of summer 2010, I began to realize that it was all for a reason, and I had better take notice long enough to reach out and grab hold of the change and use it as best I could.

Change was happening, and it all seemed as though perhaps the biggest thing that was changing, was me…

Here’s hoping you all have a great Thursday. Until tomorrow, take good care.



Page 8

The rest of my July it seemed like I was waiting for something. I have no idea what I was waiting for, but I felt sure that it would come. I just needed to be patient is all. I needed to trust that my life would have some purpose, and that I would find it sooner rather than later. I had gotten some self help cd’s from Paula and I spent the mornings listening to them. I tried to pay attention to what I was listening to, but I found that my mind wandered out of control. I just couldn’t stop my mind.

Leona had told me when I had talked with her that there were ways to regain the use of my computer. She told me of screen readers, and the functionality of accessible programs. All of this seemed beyond my capabilities, and I was very uneasy at the idea of me ever figuring out how to use my pc with these tools. How could I? I hadn’t even figured out how to be blind yet. How could I? This question got the better of me time and time again. I seemed pathetically hopeless. I seemed as though I was never going to be able to do anything beyond being a burden to my wife.

I would spend my days listening to my audio cd’s in the morning, and after begging for food from my wife like a hopeless, lost dog, I would either sit in the recliner and listen to her work as she analyzed calls or just crawl into bed, turn on the television, and drift off to a world were I could still see. Those first dreams after losing my vision were very strange indeed. I remember them vividly. It was as though I was in the dreams living my life as it was before.
I rarely slept well at night those first few weeks. I didn’t eat well either. I just had no appetite what so ever. I had lost quite a bit of weight while I was out of work for the month of June. I had done quite a lot of yard work and rarely snacked on junk food. I was down to almost the same weight that I was when I married Lynne. As I write this several months later, I have put some of the weight back on. I suppose that I have regained some of my life back, but I would rather have never regained this part.

Leona was keeping contact with me for the next few weeks, as she did for the remainder of her stint as my VR Rep. She did call one day to let me know that she had set up a meeting with Lori Gains, a recruiter from the Carroll Center in Newton Massachusetts. I was excited as hell to hear this and couldn’t wait for the day. I had so many expectations about the center from what Leona had been telling me.

The next few weeks seemed to drag as I was anticipating when the meeting with Laurie Gains would be set up. I was told that I would probably be able to attend the rehab center sometime in September or October. I was chomping at the bit.

I did get to meet Steve Sawczyn in Augusta in early August. I was scared as hell to meet him because he was like a rock star to me. I had been listening to his online assistive technology show with the help of Lynne. How could a blind guy do all of the things that he was doing? I was mystified that the computer was so accessible to people like me, people like him. He just seemed so damn smart to me. The fact that I was going to be able to meet with him was recharging my battery so to speak. I had so much to look forward to, and it seemed that he and Leona were the center of it all. Maybe my life did have a purpose? Maybe I would be all right after all. I mean, look at all of the positive things that were going on around me. New directions and new people were entering my life and I was smack dab in the middle of it all.

I did receive a Rune card reading from Paula some time in late July or early August and it hit me head on. So many things were so clear to me in my interpretation of the readings. With her help my mind had a new path that I really seemed to be able to embrace with ease. It seemed as though I was saying good bye to my old life, and welcoming in my new life. I really didn’t mind saying so long to my old life, because I was stuck in a never ending rut most days, and I didn’t know how in hell to get out of it. There were so many things that had happened to me that I should have been completely enamored with hopelessness and despair, but I wasn’t. I had so many things in my life that were presenting themselves to me. So many positive influences. So many directions that I could take. So many people supporting me. It really was a time in my life that I had rarely seen before. The rush I was getting from all of the possibilities was completely enlightening, as well as completely draining. I was excited as hell, and tired as all get out. My insides were in a tug of war. Back and forth. I am fully aware that if not for these new roads entering my life at just the right time, I might have easily ended up in a place that I care not to think about. I thank God that He put these things and people in my life. I thank Him every day. Most of all I thank Him for giving me Lynne to go through this with. It all seemed more clear and uncomplicated with her by my side.

The talk that I had with Paula on the phone in regards to her reading was an eye opener for sure. I had, for so many years, been trapped inside of my vision. My vision of myself. A vision that I had never really come to terms with, or accepted. I used to cringe at the sight of myself in mirrors or plate glass windows during the course of the day. It just seemed that the person who was staring back at me wasn’t the same person that I felt inside. Not at all. It was some other stranger that was holding my appearance hostage. I had never really been comfortable in my own skin. My mind had a total different interpretation of what I looked like from the inside out, and whenever I was met with my true image, well. It wasn’t met with much enthusiasm on the inside. I dealt with it though, as best I knew how.

It seemed as though I may finally be rid of the haunting perception of myself that had held me captive so to speak. Without the visual input, maybe I could forget what I look like on the outside, or at least not be bothered with it. I could finally grab hold of the person that I was on the inside and carry it out there for all to see, and not be self conscious about it. I could finally work on something that I could come to grips with. I started to become the person from the inside out. I started to become the person that I had always envisioned myself as. I had started to change, and the change was slowly becoming the next chapter, the next leg of my journey.

To be continued…


2017 05 24: Journal Post Page 7 May 24, 2017

Filed under: Devotion,Essay,Faith,Family,Life,Perception,Personal Challenge,Writing — DP Lyons @ 8:29 am

And yet another Wednesday comes screaming around the bend. Good morning everyone, and welcome back to my page a day journal blitz.

Hopes can build, and dreams can dash away at a moments notice. What we do with these moments in our time is key to what, or who we become. Dreams and hopes are a blessing during those troubling times. They provide comfort to a searching soul, optimism to a dampened heart and company to the lonely spirits.

I experienced such an impact from dreams and hopes in those trying days of 2010, and through it all, the opportunities that were handed to me greatly outweighed anything and everything.

This is page 7 taken from my journal. Written in spring 2011, the emotions were flowing as I wrote, and the experience was priceless.

I hope you all have a great Wednesday, and thanks for stopping by.


Page 7

The next few weeks were all but a blur as I fumbled my way around my new sightless land. I guess that in the back of my mind I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. Not in the least. This fight would continue inside of me for some time to come. I have always been stubborn in my own right, and this was no exception. I didn’t like to lose control. I didn’t like to lose control of anything in my life, and this was pissing me off. I had no control over this.

I had dealt with giving up control of certain things in my life. I had learned how to let go, and let god with Alcoholics Anonymous. I had all of the tools stored away in my tool box, but I was having a hard time remembering how to open the damn box.

I did a lot of praying the next few days, weeks, months, and continue to talk to God on a regular basis. He and I have somewhat come to an agreement. I will let go, and He will guide me. Pretty simple, pretty safe, pretty uncomplicated. That’s what I needed back in those first few days and weeks, and it is what I need these days.

I’m not sure if it was the next week, or shortly after that, when I first heard the voice of a brand new guardian angel. Leona McKenna-Shea, who would become my VR Counselor from The Division of The Blind in Augusta. She called me up on the phone after talking with my folks in Florida. My dad had been relentless those first few days and weeks after my series of strokes. He had been on the phone with whomever he could in regards to me and my condition. Condition. Leona hates that term. Me too.

Dad had been in contact with Leona and she assured him that I would be ok. She knew what I was going through, and what I would go through. She was blind herself these past 13 years. She knew first hand what I was going through, and she had a plan. Boy did she ever have a plan.

I got a phone call from her one day, and somehow I could sense a calming sensation from her voice. It was immediately soothing to me, and made me feel as though I would be ok now that she was in my corner. She was definitely in my corner, to say the least.

I know and am quite aware that my destiny was in my hands, and that my actions determined my future. How I handled filling up the pages of my blank book was entirely up to me. I also know however that with her influence in the upcoming months, I would not be where I am today if not for her. No where even remotely close. She saw something in me that assured her that I had drive and determination to regain my life. Regain parts of my old life, and discover my new life.

The first day I met her I instantly was drawn to her personality. It was one of pure positive energy and influence. We talked and as she asked questions about me I felt so calm and relaxed. It was almost as if I had known her my whole life. I know what a corny cliché that is, but it is true.

She kept assuring me that I would be just fine, and that I shouldn’t worry about the particulars. There was only one thing I could control, and that was my attitude and determination.

She knew how I felt. She knew what I was worried about. She knew how dark and dreary my future seemed to me. She knew of the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that wouldn’t go away. She knew all of it. She had been through it, and had come out the other side better than before. She made me feel as though I would do the same. She knew, and that was all I needed to know.

I got the sense after she left that Lynne felt the same way, and I was glad as hell.

The next few weeks, again, were a blur of emotions. Some days I felt as though I was on the edge, measuring for the jump. Other days I was just a limp rag with no hope of even getting out of my own way. It was hard. It was hard as hell, and I don’t know how I got through many of those days. I was a wreck, and I felt as though I was pulling my wife down with me.

I can’t even imagine what she was thinking those first few weeks and months. Half of her foundation, our foundation, had crumbled right before her eyes. It must have been devastating for her to say the least. I wanted to be able to continue to remain strong for her, but how in the hell could I? I felt as though this would surely be my demise. I felt that way a lot of the time. Some days I was ok. I seemed to be able to get through the day with relatively no problems. Unfortunately, there were those other days. Those were the longest of the days. Those were the days that seemed to never end. Those were the days when I thank God that I had Lynne with me. She helped me back up. She was my rock. She has always been. Through our relationship, there have been too many days that I wasn’t aware of this. Too many days indeed.

To be continued…


2017 05 23: Journal Post Page 6 May 23, 2017

Today is Tuesday. The following journal post was written in April 2011, and describes Friday, July 9, 2010. The days were very confusing back then, and it’s a wonder I could keep them somewhat organized in my head, because there sure was a lot of crap flying around inside my mush melon back then.

We all go through difficult times in our lives. We all tend to find some way to figure out how to survive so we might stare at another sunrise.

I am so very fortunate to be where I am today, and am grateful for the inspiration that’s helped to keep my feet moving.

And away we go with journal post page number 6.
Have a great rest of your week.


Page 06

Well the next day, Friday, was a hectic day for sure. I had an appointment for another treatment early that morning, so Lynne and I headed out for Bangor fairly early.

I suppose that I should tell you that Thursday night I snuck out back and lit up a cigarette out in the back yard. I lit it up and took a couple drags from it. The feeling that I got was similar to when I first tried smoking. I got very dizzy and after a couple of drags I felt as though I was ready to pass out. I got scared, mainly because I remembered that the Technician at the hospital told us that this treatment would scrub clean the cells in the lungs. It was a cleaning of my whole system. Well, when I got extremely dizzy, it scared me. It snapped me to attention. All of a sudden I was completely aware of just how damaging these stupid things were to me. How could I continue to put this crap into my body? How could I have been so distracted all of these years to not listen to my body as it hacked up stuff from my lungs continuously. The addiction to nicotine is a deadly addiction. This drug is just as. Or more dangerous than any other drug I can think of, because it convinces you that you are ok. Convinces you that you are ok while it is slowly robbing you of your life from right under your nose. Cunning and clever. Dastardly and misleading. I hate cigarettes and the way they have controlled so much of my life, without even realizing it.

Well, I put the cigarette out after a couple drags, and went inside the house and told Lynne to get rid of all of my cigarette stuff. The tobacco, the rolling machine, the tubes, all of it. She did, and I really never had much of a hard time with the withdrawals. I guess I am fortunate. I did have periods of cravings the next two weeks, and I must admit that they were rather strong, but with all of the other things going on with me I didn’t really have much time to dwell on it. Thank God.

As I write this, it’s been 9 months and I am still smoke free. I have twinges of cravings from time to time, but they only last a few seconds. My lungs feel fine. My throat is still messed up sort of. I am always having to clear my throat.

Well, as I said, Lynne and I set out for Bangor the next morning for my second treatment. It went without a hitch.

Once again I was convinced during the treatment that there were things happening with my eyesight. I was convinced that it was getting better. I was able to see the shape of the TV screen on the wall across the room. That was something I could not remember seeing during the first treatment. I suffered the same effects during the process of reaching 100 percent oxygen level. My ears were closing and I kept having to clear them. After a few minutes of the dive, my ears were starting to hurt from the pressure change.

I made it through the second session, and was once again asked a barrage of questions from the Program Physician. She once again seemed a little disappointed that there had not been any significant positive results from the treatment.

I always had in the back of my mind the fact that I was aware of the very low percentage of positive results with these treatments in regards to my condition. I was still rather hopeful that there would be some improvements. I just couldn’t succumb to my condition. I had to be able to find a way out of my caldron of darkness. Once again I was presented a blank sheet of paper in which to start writing my new life’s story.

The ride back home was a rather quiet one. There wasn’t much good to talk about. We had to get home because that afternoon I was scheduled for another treatment, and my sister Paula had offered to keep me company that afternoon.

We arrived at home just in time to meet Paula, and after a few minutes, her and I piled into her Honda and I was once again off to Bangor.

Paula and I talked up a storm on the way. I have since wondered what was actually going through her mind. It must have been twisting and turning to say the least. Her and I have always been able to have heart to hearts. It sure did me good to have her with me. I felt like the whole family was there through her. Thanks PJ. It meant more than you could ever imagine to have you there.

Well I was really really convinced that 2 treatments back-to-back would surely snap me out of my funk. How could this not help? It had to. Right?

Once again I was having things happen to me in the chamber that was surely evidence of a major improvement. Once again the questions came afterwards. Once again I left the hospital as I had entered it. /almost completely blind.

My hopes were slowly dashing as I had but one more treatment set for the next morning. I was torn between feelings of hope, and feelings of despair. The latter of the two getting the most coverage.

We arrived back home and I was completely exhausted. My mind had been put through the ringer. I had seen the lows, and felt the highs, and through all of it I felt as though God would guide me through the rest of the way. He would have to, because I had lost my road map.

That night as I lie in bed I was put through a plethora of emotions. I was happy, then sad, then frustrated, then happy, and on and on. I can’t imagine how I must have appeared to Lynne. I know that at times I felt like a sniveling little brat. I was so damn helpless and confused. I did not want anyone to see me like this, but in the same breath, I wanted everyone to know what kind of torment and torture my heart was going through. Knowing that I might be faced with this for the rest of my life was of no comfort. It only added to my chaos.

To be continued…


2017 05 22: Journal Post Page 5 May 22, 2017

Filed under: Essay,Faith,Family,Life,Perception,Personal Challenge,Writing — DP Lyons @ 7:07 am

Hello again, and I hope everyone is having a great Monday.

This is another excerpt from my personal journal. The following was written in April of 2011, and describes the happenings of July 8, 2010. This particular day was a vertical romp of immense emotional instability for me. Putting it in different terms, it was a frigging electric shock to my goat fuse box that had me running through the wild kingdom’s dictionary of altered emotions.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with the ramblings of said goat.
Take good care.


Page 5
July 8, 2010

Lynne and I arrived at St. Joseph’s hospital in Bangor that Thursday afternoon around 2:30. We went in, found the Hyperbaric Unit, and sat down for a preliminary interview with one of the nurses. During the interview, she asked me if I smoked, and I said yes. She seemed troubled by this and asked me when the last time I had a cigarette was. I told her about a couple hours ago. At first they didn’t want me to have the treatment because of the underlying health concerns related to smoke and the lungs. The capillaries in the lungs would be greatly affected by the treatments and having them laden with nicotine was of great concern. I don’t know why, but they agreed to let me proceed with the treatments. My heart sank and lifted again in a matter of seconds. I don’t know how I kept from going through a mental break down, because I sure felt like I was going to. Take my emotions and put them over here, then again over there, and then yank them back over here again. Thank you, and yes, tug them back now. There you go. No, not there, over in the next room. There, much better.

I really felt as though the treatments would have a positive effect on me. I felt it in my heart that there was something that would rescue me from my dark corridor of despair. Something had to get me the hell out of here, and this had to be it. It had to be.

I felt so good, and so full of faith and hope. My God how far could my emotions swing? There had to be a limit.

I was told to undress into a Johnny and then I was slid into the chamber. There was a 2-way intercom set up in the chamber so that I could communicate with the head nurse during the procedure. I was excited and scared and hopeful and fearful and just plain worn out. The session started with the oxygen level pressurizing to 100 percent oxygen. This took roughly 20 minutes and during the whole time my ears were closing tight. It was rather painful after a few minutes. I had to keep clearing my ears every 30 seconds or so. The speaker was hooked up to a TV in the room, so I could hear it. The whole while I was reaching 100 percent oxygen, or as they call it, “going down”, the nurse was talking to me to make sure that I was doing ok. I made it down all the way, and then my ears felt fine. I stayed at 100 percent for roughly 1.5 hours and then they brought me back up to normal air levels.

I could have sworn that while I was in the chamber, my eyesight was doing some weird stuff. I could see bursts of light and shades of contrast that I could not before. I started crying a few times because I felt as though I was getting some kind of positive results happening. I don’t know now that I received any positive happenings from the treatments. I guess maybe that I was convincing myself that something good was going on inside my head. I was just so damn hopeful.

I came out of the chamber certain that I had received some benefit from the procedure. The Doctor came in the room and was very inquisitive as to the results. She did seem sort of disappointed after she realized that there was no major changes in my sight. I tried to convince her of the certain improvements that I had convinced myself of. This had to work, right? It just had to.

There was a feeling that I was going through. I felt as though I might have to lie to her so that she would continue the treatments. If she knew, or thought that there was no positive results at all, maybe she would terminate the sessions. She would terminate any chance of me seeing again. I needed to convince her that something good had happened. She had to understand.

I look back now and wonder if I was being completely truthful or not. Was I stretching the facts? Was I suffering from some sort of delusion of reality? Had I convinced myself that something good had happened when it hadn’t? Was I grasping for a little more hope?

I know now that what I was experiencing was my last grasp at sight. My last chance to see my world again. My last chance to control my destiny. My last chance at a normal life. As normal as I could ever perceive it to be that is. Pitiful how we think we are in total control of anything. We are in such non-control that it is funny.

Well, I left the hospital that afternoon feeling that after 3 or 4 more treatments, I would start to see some good results. I would get some of my sight back. I was sure of it.

The McDonald’s food, sadly so, calmed my nerves on the ride home.

Another sightless day was winding down, and tomorrow’s forecast looked like another roller coaster for sure.

To be continued…