I may not have the most hard charging military background, 6 years Army NG component in Field Artillery, but I am proud of my service. I made SGT in three years, volunteered for every extra school I could and always led by example… Graduating high in my courses and becoming part of the net fielding team for the AFATDS system for artillery when it first came out. I helped teach soldiers from many states and units and helped prepare them for deployments in the 2003-2006 period I was an NCO. I’d always stressed the importance of the well rounded soldier, knowledgable beyond nessecary, be a thinker, and take care of your body.
After I ETS’d I fell into depression from factors all around, my professional life and personal life seemed adrift. Drinking and antisocial behavior took over in a way that I didn’t even notice.
In 2012, I decided I needed a trip to the ER for what I thought was a pinched nerve. I’d already recognized changes that needed to be made in my life, but in an instance my life changed.
I never got to the hospital, my body arrived but I had fallen into a hepatic coma. What I’d thought was a pinched nerve was neuropathy, nerves setting on fire. Toxins (mainly ammonia) had backed up into my brain because my liver was shutting down. I was induced into a medical coma for several weeks to allow my body to heal, still too sick to receive a transplant. The doctors explained once the luck of my survival… 5% of 20% live after I what I’d been through.
When I came out of it I was haunted by the hallucinations and my muscles had atrophied to where I couldn’t walk, stand, or at first even sit up. At 29 yrs old, due to a combination of drinking and my own body composition I was admitted on an organ transplant list.
This is where I decided to get busy living or get busy dying. Because of my instilled fighting ethos, I began rehabbing my body. I was able to quit drinking and smoking, probably with the help of the coma skipping my withdrawals. I threw myself back into reading. Everything was an exercise, mental or physical. Learning about combating my symptoms, eating effectively, dealing with stress, and getting back into working out (the doctors at one point told me I’d never regain muscle, but I’ve gone from 172 to 195 through different training methods).
By God’s grace I was blessed with a woman, my Jen, who’s loved me unconditionally and given me a family by letting be apart of her and her children’s lives.
I’m still listed for transplant and battle symptoms everyday, but I THRIVE! I have so many people to be thankful for, but one thing I’d always credited my survival was my time in the military. It was there I learned the true meaning of pain being weakness leaving the body… The body may be weak but the mind is strong… Adapt and overcome… And be more knowledgable than nessecary, your plans will be diverted… Guaranteed