This I Believe

John - Seattle, Washington
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: purpose, setbacks
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I believe that everything happens for a reason.

I had brain surgery when I was twelve years old. The consensus among the doctors was that I was most likely born with the arachnoid cyst that was partially blocking the ventricles, that allowed the spinal fluid to flow out of my skull. The pressure caused from the fluid coming in faster than it was moving out subsequently caused the grandmal seizure that my mother witnessed, and that spurred the doctors to run a series of tests to discover my problem. The surgery was performed at Scripps, where my mother worked as a nursing assistant for my grandfather’s medical practice. I was lucky to have the surgery performed at Scripps by a leading neurosurgeon who, on the fly implanted several clips to prevent brain tissue from settling. It saved me from having to go through additional procedures, if not my life.

When I was fifteen my mother and I moved with my step-father from La Jolla, California to Boulder, Colorado. I fell into depression, and started using drugs and alcohol. After being grounded yet again, but this time for something that I actually didn’t do I decided that I’d had enough of Boulder and that I was going back to La Jolla. I packed a few items and all of my money (a little over $3), and started hitchhiking at about 6:00 am. It took 10 rides to get to Green River, Utah before the sun had set. My 11th ride was from two college students returning to LA from back East. I stayed the night at their mansion in Beverly Hills. I ate breakfast with the two students and their father at a trendy LA café where I had my first frittata. Their father gave me $40 for a bus ticket to San Diego. I made it in about the same time that it took my mother and me to drive from San Diego to Boulder.

I moved to Seattle when I was 18 with aspirations of becoming a rock star. After a few years of living as a starving musician, I learned that my grandmother had died. For the previous couple of weeks I had not been well. I had constant headaches and nausea. I was constantly tired and thirsty, and had lost about 15 pounds. I stayed with my mother while she was here for a week to atttend the funeral and to take care of her mother’s affairs. As she was taking me home on her way to the airport she said, “I’m going to take you to the hospital. I think you have diabetes.” She was right. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and was admitted for treatment; avoiding the diabetic coma that would have surely occurred had I went home and gone to sleep.

These are only 3 episodes of my life that shaped why I believe that everything happens for a reason. I should have started writing these things down a long time ago.