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Conquering my fears

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by John Davis

Now that I’ve been back to work full-time for almost 2 weeks I’ve already begun conquering my fears.  Those are the fears I have created for myself because of the traumatic experience I went through suffering from a stroke while at work.  There were 3 fears i needed to deal with and I’ve conquered them all with some help of friends and family.
 
The first fear that came to mind was being on set and reading from the teleprompter. The news set is where the pain started for me with a lingering headache and cold sweats.  Who would’ve thought I was having a stroke in the first place? I seriously thought it was just a bad migraine, guess even I am wrong sometimes.  After getting out of the hospital, I‘ve constantly thought about being on the news set many times and all of those times my body was taken over by goose bumps, I felt a sort of fear inside myself just thinking about it. 

Those thoughts were often followed by more thoughts of “worst case scenarios” as I over thought to myself, “what if it happens again?” “what if I can’t read the prompter or what if I can't read fast enough?”  Now you’re asking yourself “how did he do it?” I’ll as I prepared to face that fear head on, my KUAM family gave me the confidence i needed to overcome it.
 
It wasn’t reading for the news or anything like that, my first time being on set and reading from the prompter was when our station produced a Public Service Announcement for “The KUAM CareForce and Salvation Army’s Spirit of Giving Food Drive.”  I didn’t tell anyone that I was freaking out while waiting for my turn, but when that time came, my KUAM family made it extremely comfortable for me to move forward and do away with this fear.  Much props to them, but little did they know there were more fears to conquer.
 
The second fear I knew I needed to conquer was sitting at the teleprompter desk, prompting for the news.  The day I had my stroke, the headaches started while I was on set, but as I sat behind the prompter the pain was no longer bearable, this was also the first time I ever asked to be excused from my Friday job duties prompting for the 6pm newscast.  The fear I had with prompting was more about being able to keep up and of course read along with the anchors.  Most of all, I didn’t want to mess up the news cast during my first week back.  Once gain, it was my KUAM family helping me conquer my fears without them even knowing it.
 
As I sat at the prompter, waiting for the segment to begin, our Production Manager asked me “Do you remember what happened the last time you were sitting at that desk?” I replied “Now I do, but don’t worry, I know how to start the prompter, I know how to stop it and how to reboot it in case anything goes wrong, so let’s deal with these fears, it’s time for them to find someone else to haunt.”  Confidence restored and completely focused on the task at hand, I prompted without making a mistake, which actually made me feel like I never skipped a beat or lost a step while i was away.
 
The third, and I’d like to say final fear I have related to suffering from a traumatic experience was returning to the hospital.  Visitor or not, I can’t explain the overwhelming fear that pushes me to stay away from there.  Little did I know this time that dealing with my own fear could possibly restore another family members hope.
 
The event took place a couple of weeks ago, when a family member of mine was admitted to the GMH Emergency Room because he suffered from a severe diabetic crash.  One of my uncles kidneys failed, the other was hanging in the balance.  His liver was shot and he was suffering from internal bleeding that needed to be controlled as soon as possible.  His condition that night was critical and all I could think of was how much I was scared to go back to the emergency room and relive my own traumatic experience. 

My wife knew I couldn’t gather myself enough to visit my uncle that night, so she said it would be better for me to stay home and wait by the phone in case there were new developments to my uncles condition.
The next morning, I found out that my uncle was in critical but stable condition.  He was not on life support, but he was on a respirator to aide his breathing.  I knew that morning I would have to conquer this fear, but not for me, for him.  It was my turn to be a symbol of strength for a family member of mine.  I was my turn to return to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and tell my family member to fight to live because when I was there, my family came to my side and told me to fight and I did.

I asked myself, “How do I become a symbol of strength for my family member?”  the only thing I could thing of was showing him my scar.  So I took out my hair clippers, dusted them off and got to work shaving my head in a “G.I. Joe” fashion, one streak of hair gone at a time, until it was nice and neat.
 
As I walked into the ICU ward, I thought to myself, “What am I going to say to him?  What if he can’t even hear me?  What if the worst happens to him while I’m here?”  none of that mattered anymore as I gave him the “Fight or Flight” speech.

There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to decide to fight against illness or life changing situations like strokes, heart attacks or even cancer.  During this small window of opportunity, you can tell your brain and body to give up (take flight) or fight to live another day.  Whether you believe in God or a God once you make this decision, he will either decide to take you to live with him or keep you on this human filled earth because your work is not done. 

I told my uncle that God didn’t want him yet because he didn’t want me, not because I belong in Hell, but because my work on this human earth us not done.  I offered him my blood incase he needed it, I offered him my extra kidney in case he could use it.  Most of all, I offered him the chance I had to fight my illness and return home to his family.  Today, he is still fighting to live for his family, his spouse and his children.  I saw it in his eyes that day, he heard what I said to him and chose to fight just like I did.  “Don’t worry uncle, when you get back home and are ready to return to your normal life, I will be right next to you, ready and waiting to help you conquer your fears.

The Views and opinions expressed in KUAM Columns do not necessarily reflect those of Pacific Telestations, Inc, or its advertisers.

Now that I’ve been back to work full-time for almost 2 weeks I’ve already begun conquering my fears.  Those are the fears I have created for myself because of the traumatic experience I went through suffering from a stroke while at work.  There were 3 fears i needed to deal with and I’ve conquered them all with some help of friends and family.

 

The first fear that came to mind was being on set and reading from the teleprompter. The news set is where the pain started for me with a lingering headache and cold sweats.  Who would’ve thought I was having a stroke in the first place? I seriously thought it was just a bad migraine, guess even I am wrong sometimes.  After getting out of the hospital, I‘ve constantly thought about being on the news set many times and all of those times my body was taken over by goose bumps, I felt a sort of fear inside myself just thinking about it.  Those thoughts were often followed by more thoughts of “worst case scenarios” as I over thought to myself, “what if it happens again?” “what if I can’t read the prompter or what if I can't read fast enough?”  Now you’re asking yourself “how did he do it?” I’ll as I prepared to face that fear head on, my KUAM family gave me the confidence i needed to overcome it. 

 

It wasn’t reading for the news or anything like that, my first time being on set and reading from the prompter was when our station produced a Public Service Announcement for “The KUAM CareForce and Salvation Army’s Spirit of Giving Food Drive.”  I didn’t tell anyone that I was freaking out while waiting for my turn, but when that time came, my KUAM family made it extremely comfortable for me to move forward and do away with this fear.  Much props to them, but little did they know there were more fears to conquer.

 

The second fear I knew I needed to conquer was sitting at the teleprompter desk, prompting for the news.  The day I had my stroke, the headaches started while I was on set, but as I sat behind the prompter the pain was no longer bearable, this was also the first time I ever asked to be excused from my Friday job duties prompting for the 6pm newscast.  The fear I had with prompting was more about being able to keep up and of course read along with the anchors.  Most of all, I didn’t want to mess up the news cast during my first week back.  Once gain, it was my KUAM family helping me conquer my fears without them even knowing it.

 

As I sat at the prompter, waiting for the segment to begin, our Production Manager asked me “Do you remember what happened the last time you were sitting at that desk?” I replied “Now I do, but don’t worry, I know how to start the prompter, I know how to stop it and how to reboot it in case anything goes wrong, so let’s deal with these fears, it’s time for them to find someone else to haunt.”  Confidence restored and completely focused on the task at hand, I prompted without making a mistake, which actually made me feel like I never skipped a beat or lost a step while i was away.

 

The third, and I’d like to say final fear I have related to suffering from a traumatic experience was returning to the hospital.  Visitor or not, I can’t explain the overwhelming fear that pushes me to stay away from there.  Little did I know this time that dealing with my own fear could possibly restore another family members hope.

 

The event took place a couple of weeks ago, when a family member of mine was admitted to the GMH Emergency Room because he suffered from a severe diabetic crash.  One of my uncles kidneys failed, the other was hanging in the balance.  His liver was shot and he was suffering from internal bleeding that needed to be controlled as soon as possible.  His condition that night was critical and all I could think of was how much I was scared to go back to the emergency room and relive my own traumatic experience.  My wife knew I couldn’t gather myself enough to visit my uncle that night, so she said it would be better for me to stay home and wait by the phone in case there were new developments to my uncles condition.

The next morning, I found out that my uncle was in critical but stable condition.  He was not on life support, but he was on a respirator to aide his breathing.  I knew that morning I would have to conquer this fear, but not for me, for him.  It was my turn to be a symbol of strength for a family member of mine.  I was my turn to return to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and tell my family member to fight to live because when I was there, my family came to my side and told me to fight and I did.

I asked myself, “How do I become a symbol of strength for my family member?”  the only thing I could thing of was showing him my scar.  So I took out my hair clippers, dusted them off and got to work shaving my head in a “G.I. Joe” fashion, one streak of hair gone at a time, until it was nice and neat.

 

As I walked into the ICU ward, I thought to myself, “What am I going to say to him?  What if he can’t even hear me?  What if the worst happens to him while I’m here?”  none of that mattered anymore as I gave him the “Fight or Flight” speech.

There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to decide to fight against illness or life changing situations like strokes, heart attacks or even cancer.  During this small window of opportunity, you can tell your brain and body to give up (take flight) or fight to live another day.  Whether you believe in God or a God once you make this decision, he will either decide to take you to live with him or keep you on this human filled earth because your work is not done.  I told my uncle that God didn’t want him yet because he didn’t want me, not because I belong in Hell, but because my work on this human earth us not done.  I offered him my blood incase he needed it, I offered him my extra kidney in case he could use it.  Most of all, I offered him the chance I had to fight my illness and return home to his family.  Today, he is still fighting to live for his family, his spouse and his children.  I saw it in his eyes that day, he heard what I said to him and chose to fight just like I did.  “Don’t worry uncle, when you get back home and are ready to return to your normal life, I will be right next to you, ready and waiting to help you conquer your fears.

 

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