Life didn’t seem all that different after I recovered from the devastating news, except for having to visit the doctor every few weeks to check on how thick or thin my blood was.
Against his advice, I resumed playing basketball and football on a weekly basis. I also ignored his concerns with my diet; soybean and green tea were my daily staples. I mean, exercise and healthy food – what could be so wrong about that?
With every passing day that went by incident free, my confidence in the belief that nothing could go too wrong grew increasingly misplaced. At that age, time is liquid and we are immortal.
My mother was also very religious, and encouraged me to have faith in God for a miracle healing. I took that to the extreme in childlike faith, and would skip my medication for days believing that I didn’t need them.
I had a few more episodes of mini strokes over the next few years, and a period of intense migraines which would strike quick as lightning in public, causing me to freeze up and tear on the spot. It disappeared during a church prayer service, at the precise moment when we commanded the affliction to stop. This incident encouraged me to disregard my medications even further.
And then on a regular day when I was 18, I felt a sudden stab in my ribs…