In 2002 I went to a chiropractor and had my first professional massage as part of the service. I never felt so relaxed and rejuvenated at the same time. The feeling was exquisite and it stayed with me for the entire day. It was at that point I decided I needed to learn how to do this and share it with others.
In 2007 the planets came into alignment and the opportunity arose for me to be able to attend massage school. I was ecstatic. Here was something that I really wanted to do and I was getting to do it. The school’s schedule and my work schedule were in perfect harmony.
I started in January 2007, and I was enjoying it. It fascinated and thrilled me. I looked forward to each new class I would be attending. I was learning and absorbing it all. I was on the honor roll. People told me I had the “touch” and that I was born to do this. I went through the first term like a breeze. There was a break in April, and we returned in May for the second term. I was all gung ho.
Then it happened two weeks into my second term. The mini stroke, the multitude of tests and the diagnosis that I had a hole in my heart. The second term was ending in July, and there was a break for the entire month of August. It would all work out I thought. The doctors said that I could have the surgery in August and be fine to return to school when it started back in September.
The August break came and I went in to have that hole closed, and I remember thinking to my self that when I wake up from this, everything would be perfect. The hole explained my tiredness at times, and a bunch of other symptoms I was having for multiple years. I could be able to do so much more than before. I was excited.
I awoke from the dream into what could be described as an awake nightmare. Everything was supposed to be all good now, and instead I was told I had heart failure and I needed a defibrillator. So I took a leave of absence from my beloved massage therapy classes and gave myself a year to recuperate. That should be more than enough time. The doctors all said go for it as long as I am not exerting my self. I returned to school in September 2008 and all was going well. Then in October I started getting tired again. Crap! Now I was worried that the heart was getting worse. I was put on oxygen for exertion until this could be figured out. I kept my new condition quiet, and would sneak out to the car between massage classes to get a hit of oxygen. I had an echocardiogram, and much to everyone’s shock, the heart function had actually improved. Then I was told I needed to have another right heart catheterization to determine what was going on, although they suspected pulmonary hypertension. I was pooped. I struggled and finished off the semester. I completed one year and had another year to go. I realized that I could not do it anymore, and I dropped out.
Of all the things I had to give up to this disease and their ensuing conditions, massage school was one of the most difficult. It was something I really enjoyed. I was excelling at it, and I really enjoyed giving massages. But alas, the old body said enough.
My wife was originally going to massage school before I was, but we decided for me to go first instead. Now in January she will go to massage school, and I couldn’t be happier for her. I always worry about her if anything should happen to me and this would be a great back up career. She decided to go to the same massage school I attended and she went to meet with the dean of admissions to submit her application, and I, as an old pro of the school’s running, tagged along for moral support.
While my wife was going through the interview process, I had to excuse myself to use the bathroom. As I walked through the school, the sights and smells brought everything back. Then I walked into the men’s room, of all places, and it really hit me in there that this was it. The dream was over. The thing I really wanted to do was gone. If I just had the energy and strength to finish the final year. I could if I took it easy, but that would mean the school would have to accommodate me and adjust if I needed to slow down my schedule. The course I was taking was called Clinical Massage. There was a lot more actual physical work to de done to finish the course. It just was not going to happen again.
When I returned to the Dean of Admissions office she was showing my wife all the paper work to fill out, when she turned to me and asked how I was doing. I told her fine. Then she asked if I did not want to finish the course. I told her that I would love to, but the clinical course was too physically demanding for me to finish. Then she said, “then do the massage therapy course, and then you can get into the eastern modalities which are not physically demanding”
My heart skipped a beat. Was this possible? I could finish my course, albeit a scaled down version? The dean stopped working with my wife and began to go through all the possibilities for how I could finish the course. The Clinical program would allow me to be licensed in New York plus 37 other states. The Massage therapy program would allow me to be licensed only in the 37 states but not New York. Hey, I could live with that!
There was an instant change from complete resignation to ultimate joy in a second. I was happy. Really happy. Since my wife decided to go to massage school, although I was truly happy for her, it made me realize that I had to let go of a dream to this disease. And now this angel tapped on the Dean’s shoulder and said to her that there were other ways.
A week later I met with the dean of students about the possibility of doing the massage therapy course and she said to me “Why not finish the clinical program?” I told her that i was not sure I was physically able, and then she said they would design the rest of the course around me, to take as long as I needed. It was up to me.
So now it looks like i get to finish my beloved course, completely. I just have to wait for the head dean to give the okay. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Composed by Basil Rene using WordPress for BlackBerry.