Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Through my words and through my smile.

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Blog Posting by Erick Pettersen

For the past several weeks, I’ve written this blog, but I have not formally introduced myself. While I have never met any of you, that I am aware of, and will probably never meet most of you, I want to tell you who I am. I am sure after reading this blog throughout the past several weeks you have a curiosity about the person who writes these letter of encouragement every week. Maybe you’ve Googled me. Maybe you’ve thought “Erick, you’re in San Diego. Life just seems to be a little dandier there.” Maybe you think I’m some rich guy shouting from the top of the mountain top. Well, I think it’s about time to tell you the truth; so, here’s my story.


Yesterday, July 13, 2009, was the 25th anniversary of the day I went into a coma. That afternoon my mother walked into the living room of our house in Encinitas, Ca. She had just returned home after an afternoon of grocery shopping. When she walked through the living room, she asked me to get off the couch and help her put the groceries away. I had lain down on the couch to take a nap because of a migraine headache, but I did not get up to help her.


When I didn’t answer my mother, she walked over to me, and tried to jostle me awake. I didn’t answer, and the more her gentle nudges led to her realization that I had fallen into a catatonic state, the more her whispers to awaken me turned into screams of desperation.


Over the next hour, I drifted in and out of my catatonic state, of which one moment of consciousness I recall was my mother trying to hold my limp body erect, while trying to feed my soda crackers. In that moment, I had lost all motor skills. No matter how much she screamed, I remained a fish looking at an innocent victim on the other side of a porthole of a drowning submarine.


At the San Diego Children’s Hospital, Dr.s diagnosed me with an A.V. Malformation, which had caused my headaches and led to my brain aneurysm. They performed brain surgery—the only option of saving my life—and for the next month I lay in a coma. On August 13, 1984, one month later I came out of my coma; and on August 31, Dr.s released me from the hospital.


Today, 25 years after my mother’s screams, I know I can and will attain every goal I set before me. And those who know me know I consider nothing less than rising to, and above, every challenge an option. Today, just as thankful for the sunshine and grains of sand as every other day throughout the past 2 ½ decades, I know my story touches the lives of those who walk alongside me.


So, I invite you to journey with me over the next 8 weeks, as I recollect the trials and tribulations of surviving a childhood brain aneurysm, through stories of my childhood, adolescence, and beyond. I cannot tell you everything in eight weeks, but I hope that after that time you’ll either realize you’re not alone in your challenges or your challenges aren’t so bad after all. And if after this series of blogs, you still consider your challenges insurmountable, I challenge you to consider the greatness of people like Beethoven, Dr. Temple Grandin, and Dr. Steven Hawking. Now, come and discover why my recovery left Dr.s baffled, many throughout the years in awe, and me with the goal of bringing healing to the world through my words and through my smile.


If you have any question, or would like to know any more than what I share, please e-mail me at pettersen.erick@gmail.com. I'll be more than happy to share and converse.


until next week,


Erick

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