If There Was A Single Day I Could Live,Friday, 18 March, 2005: my ship HMCS Shawinigan, along with my old ship HMCS Goose Bay, left NC Jetty, HMC Dockyard, Halifax, for Loyal Mariner 2005 in Europe.
A Single Breath I Could Take,
I'd Trade All The Others Away.
- "Laid to Rest", Lamb of God
For many, this 2½ month deployment would be the moment of truth, the point where the children get separated from the adults, where the limits of Canada's maritime coastal defence vessels could be tested to their limits and beyond, and where those participating could take advantage of the free travel that could only be offered through the Canadian Forces, Maritime Command, Naval Reserve.
But for me, I've been landed, possibly for the last time.
As soon as Shawiningan left the wall, it was all over. My time as a sailor might soon come to an end.
All this due to diabetes and my struggle to control it.
The Forces are cracking down on those with medical problems like mine, and rightfully so. In spite of my due diligence in getting my diet and blood sugars under control, the A1C level turned out to be a bitch to tame.
It was this level that made me unfit for sea for over a year.
It was this level that cost me valuable training time and work in my trade.
It was this level that cost me valuable deployment opportunities last summer.
Eventually, diabetes might cost me my carreer, my future, my life.
The worst thing about diabetes it that it could be controlled by diet, drugs and exercise. I'm already practicing better living through chemistry with the following goodies...
- Metformin (metformin HCL): 2500mg/day - 1000mg in the morning; 1000mg at noon; 500mg at bedtime
- Avandia (rosiglitazone): 8mg/day - 4mg in the morning; 4mg in the evening
- Lipitor (atrovastatin calcium): 40mg/day - usually at noon
- Altace (ramipril): 10mg/day - usually at noon
- Aspirin: 80mg/day
- Apo-Glyburide: 5mg/day - 2.5mg at breakfast; 2.5mg at supper
But at this point, I am still a cursed person, hounded by demons, both external and internal. Some of them are of the most mundane sort: financial, smoking, drinking. Others are much darker and sinister - ones that I cannot share with you at this time because of the damage that they might inflict, directly and indirectly. All of these add to my increasing bitterness of my situation as it stands in the here-and-now. As much as I have cultivated a considerable amount of respect and sympathy from my shipmates and the rest of the Navy, I feel that I have let them down because of my inability to participate and contribute to a greater cause. I have let them down partly because of my initial problems adjusting to different routines and responsabilities at the beginning of my contract here on the East Coast, partly as a result of my struggles against diabetes, but mainly because of my somewhat inherent lack of an attention span - I either get bored or frustrated too easily. Maybe that's why it's taking mee too long to upgrade my website and to do my taxes on time. Maybe that's why have too many hobbies to run off to in case of boredom. Maybe that's why I couldn't be bothered to do the laundry, head off to the gym, cook meals or do the dishes. My search for new thrills and kicks is endless, and some diversions have gotten me in some trouble.
Sometimes, I ask myself: "Why me? Why am I what I am and am unable to change it? What the fuck is going wrong with my world? Why am I still alive and in this situation? Why can't I find any stability? Why can't I stop being set in my ways and move on?" As much as I (along with my therapist) struggle to find the answers, the situation shifts from hot to cold, from extacy to agony, from sunlight to darkness. Just like the Earth in Her infancy - struggling to find an identity, a purpose, a reson to continue to exist.
I could still try to be optimistic about the life I had lived before and the road ahead of me, but in my view there is a fine line between optimism and delusion, and that too many people either cross it too often or erase it outright. I have decided on not being an optimist at all. I am most happy in the role of a cynic, a skeptic. Pessimism is too overrated and depressing since most bad things can be averted. With skepticism, ther is always a faint hope that something will work, even though any attempt in improving a situation may be met with yet another situation. With cynicism, there is caution with every move that I make and that others make on my behalf. There is a reason why I've decided to take my existence online: I want to be myself, without any question, without any judgement from others, without fear, without any obligation to conform to a paradigm that I could never accept, without the limitations imposed on my physical self and without the intrusions of self-appointed, well-meaning arbiters of my existence.
So, as you can plainly see, all is not really that well in my neck of the woods, yet the sun still rises and sets, the winds still blow on their own volition, the tides still ebb and flow and the world keeps turning. For now, my writing and my undying passion for living a better life are all that I have to show. And tomorrow, I shall make the next move that will determine the rest of this mortal coil that is my life.
Fair seas to battle and a safe trip home, Shawinigan and Goose Bay. Dr. Dray will always be there for you.