May He bless you with understanding of this truth...
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are,
and the things which shall be hereafter...
Chapters Fifty-One - Fifty-Five
Friday, December 8, 2006
On the afternoon of Thursday, September 26, 2002, I was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Las Cruces, New Mexico. A great place, indeed. Great doctors, nurses and techs.
Upon admittance to the new hospital, no one knew what was happening to me. The problem still wasn't identified.
As the admitting doctors were discussing the strange problem presented, another doctor, a urologist surgeon, overheard what they were talking about. He asked if he could see their patient. Of course, being stumped about the problem, they agreed.
The urologist walked in, introduced himself, nice guy, I instantly liked him and felt very comfortable in his presence. He took only a quick glance, thanked me for letting him bother me and left with the other doctors.
Outside, in the hall, the doctors conferred with each other. The urologist told them that he was fairly certain that it was necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating bacteria, an extremely serious presentation.
A short while after his first visit he returned to my room. He sat on the edge of my hospital bed and told me he was going to be totally and completely honest and forthcoming with me.
I told him he'd better be.
He told me that he'd recently worked on another patient who also had necrotizing fasciitis and knew it all too well. He told me he would have to remove my left testicle to stop the spread of infection. He also had a suggestion. He told me that due to my diabetes, heart problems and age, he asked that if he needed to would I give permission to remove both testicles. If he had to, he stressed again. As I said, I felt good with this doctor. I told him to do whatever he needed to do.
He continued by telling me about the other patient. He was in his mid-thirties and in much better shape than I, yet he required three separate surgeries to stop the spread of his infection. The doctor stated that he felt I would not survive more than one operation, which is why he wanted my approval beforehand.
This man didn't waste any time. He scheduled my surgery for 7:00pm that evening. I'd just arrived at about 5:00-5:15pm.
Ann nor my mother had yet arrived at the hospital because my mother said she had something she needed to do. I never found out exactly what that was, but it did stop Ann from making it to the hospital until the next day. Needless to say, Ann was furious with my mother.
The surgeon called Ann and told her he had only needed to remove the left testicle and a pound and half of tissue and flesh, he didn't have to remove the right one. I changed my name after that. I call myself One-hung Low now.
However, the doctor told Ann that this was serious, very serious. He told Ann that I probably had four to six hours to live, and had placed me on the critical list.
After I awoke in recovery and had somewhat recovered, I was taken back to my hospital room. I was alert. The nurses were wonderful, friendly, sympathetic and efficient. They took great care of me.
As I tried to doze off, I suddenly heard a strong, authoritative, yet gentle and very clear voice speak to me. The Voice said, "You have done my work well. Rest...sleep tonight in peace. Wake in the morning and rise from the bed and walk. You will be healed." Even as I write these words and every time I speak of this incident, it brings tears to my eyes. I know who spoke with me that night...God.
Well, sure enough, morning dawned. I woke up feeling great. Strange...I just had my left testicle removed along with a pound and a half of meat from my groin area and yet I felt great!
Then I did as I had been instructed the night before. I got out of that bed, stepping carefully onto the floor and walked to the door of my room. Of course the nurses freaked out. They saw me standing at my door and rushed to my room. They told me I needed to get back into bed. I told them I didn't need to. I told them I felt great.
The nurses weren’t pushy; they just watched me for a while. I was doing great. They were astounded.
And, me being me, I asked where breakfast was. I was starving. They told me I shouldn't eat anything too heavy after only having surgery the night before. They asked what I wanted. I wanted eggs, bacon, toast and coffee. Again they said it would be too heavy. I assured them I wouldn't have any problem with it. Well, they took me at my word. They brought me in two eggs, three strips of bacon and two pieces of toast, with butter and grape jelly and coffee.
I ate every last morsel of it and it was good. It tasted better than anything I'd ever eaten before. And, I didn't get sick from it and it never bothered me in anyway. I was on the way to getting my strength back.
I ate breakfast sitting in a chair. The nurses suggested that I get back into the bed. I told them I would be fine as I turned on the television news to see what had happened while I was in surgery and sleeping through the night. I am a news junky.
Ann and my mother arrived about midmorning. Of course, they'd missed the doctor's early visit, but the doctor spoke with Ann on a hospital cell phone. He stated that he had removed Dennis from the critical list but he was still in serious condition.
One very curious thing I need to add here. On the first night I was admitted into the hospital in Deming, when Ann got home she had an anonymous email waiting. Ann opened the email. It was an article written by Tom Bearden about the Quantum Potential Weapon. A weapon which broadcasts diseases. The article stated the most favored disease to broadcast is…necrotizing fasciitis. Coincidence? I think not.
That old commercial said, "When E. F. Hutton speaks...people listen." I say when God speaks, people BETTER listen. I did. I have never regretted it. You won't either. Take time to be still and listen to His voice.
Friday, December 8, 2006
In early 1994, I had a 'heart event.' Not an actual heart attack which is caused by blockage in the arteries. My 'heart event' was caused by high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The right ventricle (which pumps blood out of the heart) of my heart greatly diminished its pumping capacity.
The average heart, I've been told, pumps at eighty to eighty five percent. This event caused my heart to pump only nine percent.
The doctors disabled me, legally. I was told not to walk more than one quarter mile per day. The doctors cautioned me that a 'day' was twenty-four hours and to walk no more than one quarter mile within the twenty-four hour period.
Oh, this is fun!
They recommended that I not drive, shop or do any strenuous activity…at all. They were afraid my heart would just quit.
This got to be very boring, very boring indeed. So, I started reading again, big time. I bought a computer for the house. I was living with my mother at that point. A niece of mine later moved to Albuquerque with her infant daughter and stayed with my mother and me in our apartment.
This disablement went on for a year until one day something strange happened.
My mother and niece were home and watching television in the living room. I was working on the computer in my bedroom. Suddenly, my breathing became very labored. Throughout that year, I had experienced chest pain on a minute-to-minute basis. It was just an everyday occurrence.
Well, this particular night I had the labored breathing followed by some very sharp, quick and intense chest pain like I've never experienced before.
I figured my time was up. Nothing I can do about it, were my thoughts. That's His will.
My mother has a touch of emphysema and had an oxygen concentrator in her bedroom.
I stepped from my bedroom, told my mother and niece what I was feeling and how badly I was feeling. I went to get a shot of oxygen from the machine in my mother's bedroom. My niece followed to check on me.
I put the oxygen nose thingy on and started taking in some oxygen. Within seconds, massive chest pain hit and I died.
My mother and niece, told me they called 911. Both my mother and niece said I wasn't breathing, no pulse and not moving.
They both stated I was dead and gone for fifteen minutes.
Seconds before the paramedics arrived, I came back.
I walked out to the living room and sat down in a comfortable chair, just as the paramedics walked in.
They asked where the patient was. Both my mother and niece pointed to me. Both were totally freaked out. The paramedics had no idea what happened but shuffled me off to the hospital. The paramedics took my blood pressure, which was normal. My pulse was also. However, my blood glucose level was in the seven hundreds. I was now a type two diabetic.
In the hospital, eleven doctors were completely stumped. They had no idea what had happened, other than me dropping dead. I remained in the hospital for two weeks undergoing all sorts of testing.
Again, more strangeness.
The doctors came to me with the results, all eleven of them. It was a group meeting. Me being me, I asked if they'd brought coffee and cake for this get-together. I was 'cracking wise' as usual.
What they told me not only baffled me, but them, as well, all eleven of them.
I did, in fact, die, they saw that. Now, though, I was completely healed. Why, they had no idea. They lifted all my restrictions, no more 'handicap' status and wished me a wonderful, long life. They also told me my heart was pumping at ninety-eight percent. The norm being eighty to eighty-five percent.
I was released that afternoon. And, I might add, feeling wonderfully alive.
When I got home, my mother and niece started questioning me about what had happened and asked if I remembered anything.
Boy, oh, boy, did I remember.
I told them I remembered every second of it. I died within seconds of taking the oxygen. I ended up in a tunnel of bright white light and moving at a phenomenal speed through that tunnel.
I came to an abrupt halt and there was my father and two uncles standing before me. My dad looked at me and just said, "You're not ready yet, go home." With that, the tunnel started sucking me backward.
As I went backward through the tunnel, I started hearing a voice. The voice belonged to my niece who was calling my name and I heard it in a whisper, "Uncle Dennis, Uncle Dennis."
The further back through the tunnel I went the louder her voice became. Then just as I opened my eyes my niece was there shouting, "Uncle Dennis, Uncle Dennis" and shaking me.
When I was fully returned and conscience, I felt extremely tired...but extremely wonderful.
My niece told me she wished she had taken a CPR course, but with the baby she had put it off. My niece went through a troubled marriage, had a second daughter and finally divorced her husband.
My niece, after that incident, told me she was going to become a paramedic so she could help people instead of standing by helplessly watching.
Recently, my niece graduated from the New York City Fire Department Academy as an EMT, first responder. She is now a paramedic, ready to help those in need.
Although I do not keep in touch with my family, I am secretly very proud of my niece…very proud.
Friday, December 8, 2006
Ann and I were married December, 27, 1997, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In January, 1998, we moved to Rhode Island. There we lived for four years before returning to New Mexico. This time to the desert southwest...the Deming area.
At first, we liked Rhode Island, believing that it would grow on us. We lived in a rural area called Hope Valley just off of Interstate 95. We purchased a large 30-year-old house on three and a half acres with a small Christmas tree farm. We also opened the UFO LAB in Richmond, RI, a five-minute drive from home. This store was complete with a museum.
For the most part, the local people were very nice, open-minded and interested. The first Monday night of every month we held meetings at the LAB. The attendance for these meetings grew drastically.
We had standing-room only, needing to purchase more and more folding chairs to accommodate everyone as the months went by. We averaged fifty to sixty people per meeting. Sometimes we'd have to open the shop's front door so that people could stand outside and listen. This also included agents of the FBI, CIA and NSA.
Through a woman we met at the UFO LAB, Rhode Island, we found Buddy. What a wonderful dog. One hundred twenty-five pounds of pure-bred German Shepard...and smart as a whip. We made some great human friends in that small town, too.
Of course, there were the exceptions.
Some of the nearby shop owners started telling the police that we were dealing drugs from our shop. Some of them just generally started bad-mouthing the shop and us, because, I guess, they were afraid of the subject.
Anyway, after four years of a lot of nonsense, we moved back to New Mexico, where we belong. We were New Mexicans and became homesick.
One of the shop owners (a racist) who was deathly afraid of the subject of UFOs, told us "That's where you belong, back with the Mexicans." I warned you he was a racist, as were many people from the northeast.
I have experienced racism from a first-hand standpoint. It's ugly. Very ugly. More on that later.
While living in Rhode Island, during the Christmas season of 2000, I was decorating the house anticipating a visit from my mother.
We were hanging Christmas lights outside, decorating the yard--you know the routine. And, having fun with the activity.
Well, on the morning of December 16, 2000, while Ann was getting dressed to go to the shop, I decided to finish hanging some of the Christmas lights on the peak of our two-story house.
I remind you that earlier in the book I mentioned that for years I was a volunteer firefighter. I know how to use a ladder. I've been two hundred feet in the air on a ladder before and felt very comfortable.
We had just found Buddy a couple of weeks earlier.
We bought a brand new fold-out ladder from Home Depot, a big one. The one with the locking ratchets at the folds. It worked great. It felt solid. It was a good ladder. While I was at the twenty-foot level, the peak of the house, I suddenly heard a ratcheting sound.
The next thing I know...I was on the ground.
My right arm felt strange. I managed to get up and get into the house. I had to climb a flight of stairs to get to the porch and into the sunroom. I called for Ann.
Buddy started going nuts. Whining, running around and throwing up. He sniffed at my left leg constantly.
Ann checked me out. I had dislocated my right shoulder. It didn't really hurt, but felt strange. Buddy kept on sniffing my left leg.
Ann told me to drop my pants so she could see my leg. The only thing there was a small spot which looked like I'd scraped it on something. You know the type, just tiny bits of white skin still attached but sticking up. No blood anywhere.
Okay, so with a dislocated shoulder, Ann drove me to the hospital in Westerly, Rhode Island, ten miles away.
We walked into the emergency room and of course, waited, not long, but we had to wait.
The admitting nurse asked what happened and wanted a detailed report. The staff at the Westerly hospital was excellent.
I told her about the shoulder. She checked it, said it was dislocated and the doctors would handle it with no problem.
Ann told the nurse about the scrape on my knee and the nurse wanted to check it anyway.
WHOA! I lifted the leg of my pants and there was blood everywhere. Down my leg, my sock was soaked, my shoe was full of blood. What a mess. Strange, there was no blood to be seen anywhere when it happened.
The nurse instantly became more concerned with my leg than with my shoulder. Off to see the doctor in the ER.
The doctor quickly checked my shoulder, then focused his attention on my leg.
Somehow there were two chunks of meat missing from just below my knee. They were so deep you could see the tendons and bone. WHAT A MESS! Two wounds, side by side.
They cleaned the leg and the wound but wanted me to get an x-ray for the shoulder. They wanted to fix the easy problem first.
I was getting x-rayed and Ann was waiting in the ER for me.
When they rolled me back into my cubicle in the ER, Ann was nowhere to be found.
Ann is a trooper. Ann is also hypoglycemic. I asked where Ann was. A different nurse, a male, told me that she was in the cubicle down at the end of the row. "What happened?" I asked the male nurse.
After Ann had gotten me to hospital and they started working on me, her blood sugar bottomed out. She passed out and the male nurse took care of her by getting her some food. Eventually, she came around and wandered to my cubicle. I told you, she's a trooper.
Well, they gave me a quick injection of a fast-acting pain killer and set my shoulder. Snap, it was done in an instant.
Now for my knee. They cleaned it up beautifully. Wrote all sorts of information about it. Packed the holes in my knee and wrapped it up.
They also made me an appointment for a plastic surgeon they wanted me to see.
He turned out to be a good guy. No doctor games, forthcoming and very knowledgeable.
He told me due to my diabetes this was going to take a long time to heal. Boy, were we about to find out.
The knee started healing, but wouldn't fully heal. My diabetes. The plastic surgeon sent me to weekly sessions with a wound-care specialist at the hospital. For weeks and for months on end, nothing was working. This thing just didn't want to heal.
They had to 'debride' (say de breed) the wound. Remove the scabs and dead skin covering and around the gaping wounds. They told me it was going to hurt. They were not lying. It did!
The wound-care specialist sprayed some Lidocaine on it to help deaden it.
The Lidocaine didn't work. He sprayed more on, let it sit a little longer, but it still didn't work. They couldn't debride the wound because it caused severe pain. I tried, but I could not stand it.
The decision was made that the plastic surgeon would have to inject me with Lidocaine, which the specialist was not allowed to do under law, and this would need to be done on an out-patient basis.
That day came. What an horrendous day that was for sure.
The surgeon had to inject me sixty times around the wound. Two circles of thirty injections just on the edges of the wounds.
It didn't work.
The surgeon was stumped. I told him to just go ahead and do what he needed to do.
Pain like you would not believe. He got the job done as quickly as possible.
There was a surgical lamp over the table I was sittin on and I held onto it for dear life with my right hand. My left hand was balled into a fist. Both the doctor and the wound-care specialist said nothing. But I saw the looks on their faces.
At the follow-up appointment with the plastic surgeon, he told me he had no idea why the Lidocaine, through all those injections, didn't work. I told him I'd had Lidocaine before and it always worked just fine and quickly.
He admitted to me that he could really tell what kind of pain I was in. He mentioned my left fist and my death-grip on the surgical lamp. He told me he made a decision at that point.
His decision was that if this guy hits me with that left fist, he would just hit the floor, get up and resume his work, without complaint. He stated he had no idea why I didn't hit him. I told him that he was only doing his job and that I'd given him the go-ahead to do it. Besides, I'm not a violent man.
Friday, December 8, 2006
Bear in mind that the ladder incident happened in December, 2000. I didn't fully heal until late August, 2001.
The wound was persistently not healing. In June of 2001, the plastic surgeon recommended that I see a vascular surgeon because he felt the diabetes was hindering the healing of my knee.
I saw the vascular man and he did some tests looking for a blockage in my arteries. He thought he found one in left thigh area.
He scheduled a by-pass to pass the blockage in hopes my leg would heal. If things had continued along the original path, I might eventually lose my leg, if something couldn't be done.
He wanted to schedule the operation for the first week of July, 2001. I was already scheduled to give a lecture at the International UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico, July 6 as part of that year's festival.
I asked the doctor if we could wait until I returned from Roswell. He said another week shouldn’t make a difference, but no longer than one week.
The vascular surgeon did the by-pass and my leg began to heal almost instantly. He told me that there was no 'blockage.' What did happen was that the artery was damaged--crushed--from the ladder incident. The lack of blood flowing to my leg was stopping the healing process.
I finally healed. Although I do have some very nasty scars on my knee. These were added to the scars from a previous knee surgery I'd had. Nasty-looking old leg, for sure. My hopes of becoming a 'leg model' were dashed.
This was just two more of the many scars I've collected throughout my life and career.
There were other problems during the time I was trying to heal. The fall had severed a main nerve in my knee. The pain increased at night and I couldn't sleep. When I did get some sleep it had to be in a sitting position. Lying down was unbearable.
I went to therapy for my shoulder, but it too wasn't working. I was sent to yet another specialist who discovered I had torn the rotator cuff in my right shoulder. He stopped the therapy immediately and scheduled me for another operation only this time to repair my shoulder. He had taken x-rays, CAT scans and an MRI on my shoulder.
The night before my scheduled shoulder surgery, the doctor called. He told me after reviewing the 'pictures' with some of his colleagues, the conclusion was that there was nothing to be done for my shoulder. No operation was needed. However, I would lose eighty percent of the use of my right shoulder forever.
Well, I just put it all in God's hands and let Him decide.
Every day, for about a month now, I play my drums. Ann says I sound great, professional again.
I've painted our home, worked in the yard, used our tractor: My shoulder is working again. Not fully, but it's working.
If you have problems, tough decisions, troubles...just put them in God's hands. He will take care of you. It works, I know…
Friday, December 8, 2006
In the late 1980s, I was racing boats. The big off-shore power boats with four massive engines, a fifty-five foot Cigarette boat that would hit speeds of up to one hundred seventy miles per hour on the ocean.
I have always had a need for speed. I love going fast. I love boats. All except 'blow-boats', sailboats, as they just don't move fast enough for me.
I loved it! It was exciting, lively and tons o' fun.
The racing kept me busy during the summertime. Getting the boat ready for an upcoming racing season, transporting the boat to the different races around the country, it was fun. My relaxation.
The team I was with, unfortunately, turned out to be owned by a major drug lord from Columbia. He was sentenced to fifteen life sentences a couple of years later. We never, nor did he, ever run drugs with the race boat and its entourage. I was never involved in that part of his business; in fact, it took me by surprise when he was arrested.
During the world championships, in Key West, Florida, late summer of 1986, we were so far ahead on points that it didn't matter if we won this particular race, as long as we finished the race.
I was the throttle man. That's pushing those throttles forward to make the boat go faster or back to slow it down. This, of course, gets the boat over or through the waves, without blowing the engines or whatever.
Well, on this particular day for this particular race, it didn't matter who was doing what, we were so far ahead of everyone else on points, all we needed to do was to cross the finish line.
Easier said than done?
The owner of the boat was throttling that day, usually he drove the boat, steering it. When you are moving as fast as we were, you need to 'leave' a wave so that the boat's nose is up, thus not allowing it to 'stuff' its nose into the next wave.
You must, when leaving a wave, throttle up into the wave, then throttle back quickly to avoid blowing the engines. Remember, there are four of them--all 555 cubic inch engines, with more than 500 horsepower each. They also cost approximately twenty-five thousand dollars each, so you must need to know what you are doing...or else.
However, not throttling up and back at the correct times is vital when leaving a wave. This will cause 'stuffing.' Stuffing is the nose of the boat hitting the next wave with its nose and not with the bottom of the boat as it should be. Stuffing, at those speeds will also cause the boat to come to an abrupt stop and sink nose first.
Although most of what happened next, I do not remember, this is what I've been told.
The owner stuffed the boat at 168 miles per hour. As I just explained would happen, that boat did come to an abrupt stop, this is where my memories fail.
I was told later that as the boat stopped abruptly, I was ejected from my seat, flying through the air, like Superman, for approximately a third of a mile. I landed in the water, of course. Face-first into the water at 168 miles per hour. I might as well have hit a cement wall.
We always wear crash jackets, which if you end up in the water, will keep you afloat and turn you onto your back. Thus putting your head up and back as you float, avoiding drowning. During the races, there are four boats of EMTs milling around in the middle of the oval race course, which is marked by buoys in the water. They were the first to get to me.
I hit the water. The jacket turned me over. But...I was a mess. I wasn't breathing. I had no pulse. I was completely limp and incontinent. This was told to me later by the EMT who jumped in the water to check me out before moving me onto their rescue boat.
My face was broken. After all, I had hit the water face-first. Later I also found out that my face was broken from the eye sockets down.
Paramedics pulled my body from the water in an attempt to save me. When they got me into their boat, I wasn't breathing and still had no pulse. They were attempting to remove the crash jacket when I suddenly gasped for breath, opened my eyes and tried to sit up. They stopped me from sitting up, of course.
I didn't spit up any water which means I was killed upon impact.
They shuttled me off to a hospital in Miami by helicopter.
The owner flew with me plus one of his bodyguards. Remember, he is Columbian.
I was pretty much out of it with all of the drugs being pumped into me by the EMTs.
I started to wake in the emergency room. There was a doctor standing over me telling me not to speak that my jaw was broken. He was being nice. He had not yet told me my face was broken.
Suddenly, I could hear the owner just on the other side of the ER door. Apparently, he was trying to pay for my medical care. Of course, in his business there is no such thing as health care. Health care, in his mind, equated to only pure cash.
He was throwing stacks of cash at the receptionist in the ER and was shouting, " F--- the f---ing paperwork. F--- the f---ing insurance. F--- the f---ing rules, just take the f---ing cash," as he threw more and more stacks of money at her. When I think of it now, he sounded exactly like Al Pacino playing Tony Montana in the movie Scarface. I started trying to laugh, the doctor tried desperately to stop me--while he and the nurses were howling with laughter. What a show must have been going on out there.
For the next year or so, I went through many surgeries on my face for its reconstruction. The owner paid every red cent of every bill incurred. He also paid all of our personal bills, rent included, even gas for the cars (which he owned anyway). I drove a Lamborghini Contage, all white with black interior and the number 13 in a circle on each of the doors. This was the number of the boat I raced. The owner had given my (then) wife a big, black Mercedes Benz to drive. The owner felt "women should be cuddled in excellence and all the finer things of life." He thought men were wild and crazy and daring. He certainly lived up to that belief. By the way, the owner and navigator of Boat 13 had to pry themselves from the bolster-type seats as it quickly sank. Actually, unlucky Boat 13 drove itself to the bottom.
In total, I spent almost two years recovering from that accident. In late 1989, we packed up and moved back to New Mexico...far from any major body of water and boat racing.
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