I was two or three (I am not really sure and you will know why later) the first time. My father sat on the top step of our front porch of our family home on the outskirts of Houston. I, likely without any clothes on, ran around in the front yard as youngin’s do. From what I was told it was just like any other day, clear skies, 100+ degree weather… because Texas. Though, for no apparent reason, my father tells me I just stopped.. with a blank stare on my face for but a few moments. Then i fell over. Collapsed to my back looking up at the sky. Without hesitation my father ran over to me when I did not answer his calls. The conversation went as follows.
“What is wrong, Wes Man? Get off the ground.”
“My engine is all out of gas.” I said, then closed my eyes. No matter how hard my father tried, he could not wake me up.
From what i understand, at the time not a lot was known about meningitis, if anything at all. I remember my mom telling me that when they took me to the hospital, they put an IV in every limb and told my parents something along the lines of “All we can do now is pray.” I do not recall how long I was in the hospital that time, but one of the very few memories i have prior to the age of 10, when I got it a second time.
At this time we were living in Humble. My brother and I were staying in a room together with bunk beds. One morning during the week my mother came in to wake us up to get ready for school before she left for work. When my brother awoke and noticed no movement on the top bunk, he climbed the ladder only to notice that I was not in bed. He then checked the bathroom… He found me lying with my head resting on the edge of the bathroom tub… with a considerable amount of bloody vomit. As much as he tried, he could not get me to wake up, so he scooped me up in his arms and carried me down the stairs and to the car, alerting my mother to my condition in the process. This time was by far worse than the first.. While I was admitted to the hospital there were talks of amputation of my foot/feet (I believe due to the lack of blood flow through them and it making my heart struggle to push blood all the way through my body. At one point my fever was so high that it essentially fried my brain… I will leave most of the details out of what that caused… but the major one was that i have essentially lost all of my memory prior to the age of 10.
After 3 months (if I remember correctly) I was allowed to go home and before the next school year started we ended up moving to Lago Vista, TX where I spent the rest of my school life.
I’m putting this up because… one I just recently did a massive friends list clean up and this is a part of my life I would like any and all of you to know… and two, I want everyone to understand how much it means to me that you reached out to make sure I am okay. These two experiences are not the only near death experiences in my life… but they were ABSOLUTELY the scariest. And when you understand how quickly this sickness can strike like I do, I hope you can understand how scared i was when every one of my symptoms pointed towards meningitis again…
As I've mentioned to some of you in private conversations, this was not my first, second or third scare of meningitis since the age of 10. And in the past I have been so so so much stronger, mentally, about fighting it. This time though.. This time, before we left for the ER, I caught myself indirectly saying my goodbyes to, my fiance, Brittany. Somewhere inside of me I was accepting that it was my time to go. I was scared… terrified that i would never see so many of you again… I feel like I have so much MORE to live for now, over what i had in previous years. The cards are finally starting to fall in my favor… I’m beginning to feel like I am on the right path… I have found people to not only help me discover myself… but also accept me for who i truly am. (if you are thinking “Is he talking about me?” then yes… i am)
I could never repay any of you in a way that I determine fit.
You are all the angels and devils I so closely never had. I appreciate you more than you know.