August 5th 2010… 11:15ish PM, the aneurysm starts to bleed. I am watching late night with David Letterman as I usually do. A few hours earlier I spoke to my wife who is in atlantic city with her sister who has a couple of comp days she is using for a girls night out with her older sister (my wife). My youngest daughter has made it an early night for herself and is laying down in her room. I start to feel uncomfortable, don’t really know what it is but I feel unstable and wobbly. I shake my head a few times. You know trying to get the cob webs out but I only accomplish getting myself nauseous. I lay down on my bed for a moment to try to stop the room from spinning when the pain hits. Now I start to think that there might be something seriously wrong. I get up and go to the bathroom so I can splash some water on my face and rinse out my mouth with cold water to see if that helps with the nausea. It does not and now I feel my head and face start to freeze up or so I think. Also my face and head feel swollen. I look in the mirror but everything looks normal but I start to panic a little I go back into my bedroom and decide that I am going to take a few advils and lay down but first I am going to get dressed before I lay down just in case I don’t feel better I can get up and just go to the hospital. I get dressed but before I take the advils my head explodes with PAIN the most intense pain I have ever felt. I start to think that I am now getting a migraine. Shit my wife suffers from migraines so intense that she is bed written for days at a time and I do not now want migraines to be a part of my life. My head now is pounding with pain. Pain like I have never ever experienced! And I have had some serious injuries in my life from loosing a finger to broken bones from my teen years in the gang fights to almost loosing a leg in a burn accident. So I know pain and well hello their new pain, unbelievable pain, pain in the back of my eye-ball like a hot ice pick is trying to go thru my eye-ball. I still don’t get that the CLOCK on my LIFE has started, because you know I EAT BULLETS AND SHIT THUNDER I’m a bad ass dude a stupid headache is not going to take me down. Before I lay down my daughter see’s that I have gotten dressed and asked me why I tell her that I don’t feel well and I am going to lay down. She is not going to have any of that she tells me she is going to take me to the hospital. I put up the tough father routine and tell her NO I just have a headache and I am going to sleep it off. And now the moment between LIFE & DEATH has arrived and my daughter chooses LIFE, she gets in my face and says NO! Dude I am taking you to the emergency room or I am calling the ambulance. Your choice you can go with me or I can embarrass you with an ambulance pick up. Lets go get in the car! She later tells me that she knew it was serious because she had never heard me complain about pain or not feeling well. There goes that EATING BULLETS SHIT. I am always quoting Eddie Murphy when he is in prison and trying to look tougher than he really is when a group of prisoners step up to him he tells them that he feels no pain because he is a karate man he bruises on the inside ( I can’t remember the movie name right now) always putting up a front. We get to the Hackensack emergency room and the receptionist instantly see’s that there is something wrong she asked me if I was going to pass out and again I say no I just have a headache. She does not want to hear it and calls the doctor on duty to look at me. He tells me he is sending me to get a MRI. I am in the MRI when a doctor who is covering a shift for another doctor comes in and orders a DYE MRI. When I get out of the MRI this doctor tells me he needs to speak with my wife, I say WHY I JUST HAVE A HEADACHE. Again some one who is not having my bullshit! he gets in my face and tells me SIR GIVE ME YOUR WIFES NUMBER!! YOU ARE IN TRAUMA!! I need to get inside your head and stop the bleeding or you will DIE! In minutes I am inside a trauma ambulance with 3 specially trained paramedics who now have me hooked up to a multitude of equipment to keep me from having a stroke or heart failure. I did not know it then but this doctor is one of the foremost Neuro surgeons in the country and he is taking me to THE VALLY HOSPITAL where his trauma team is already waiting for me. Just before they roll me into the E.R. my daughter stops me and she is not crying yet, she looks deep into my eyes and says dude you are going to be ok! you are a MARINE and the TOUGHEST man I know you are my FATHER. You come back to us don’t you fucking leave us! This is the first time I feel fear and start to tear up. I give her a kiss and tell her I will see her in a little while. I know this because I EAT BULLETS AND SHIT THUNDER! It took me a year to recover from the surgery that cracked my head open. And today my second year anniversary I am still trying to recover from the depression and anxiety that rule my life now. Which is why I am telling my story to move on. To thank God, My family, my friends for putting up with my shit. To thank Doctor Walzman who spent many hours inside my head to save my life. The picture above that I keep in my office shows some of my mementos from this time in my life. That is one of the many stents that kept me alive to experience this miracle. For very few survive let alone have a full recovery. So many things had to happen the way they did for me to survive. My DAUGHTER saved my life! If I go to bed I DO NOT WAKE UP! CHERISH EACH DAY! BE HAPPY! LIVE, LOVE AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
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Forget the politics of AMERICA’S conflicts, regardless of your personal views on whether america should or should not be involved in any wars around the world. We should still be SUPPORTIVE and PROUD of our brave Men and Women who do not make the decisions to go to war or why we go to war or how we fight the wars. They just answer the call to serve and they are ready to pay the ultimate price of life or limb in the defence of this great country we call AMERICA. They are TRUE AMERICAN HEROES! And we as americans at the very least should THANK them. Take the opportunity to thank a solider/veteran here on this page or tell a story of your solider/veteran or brag about your branch of service. SEMPER-FI. To my fellow brothers and sisters I simply and humbly say THANK YOU! for I know of your sacrifices and of your families sacrifices. To my fellow americans I say sleep well for some where in the world there is a member of the armed forces at the ready to protect and defend your way of life.