“Can I lift some weights?” I asked.

Doctor Bean smiled and replied,“Yes, you can.”

I remember that conversation specifically. Memories of gazing at that boring hospital ceiling, still seem as real as those days ticking by in a living hell. I was a thirteen-year-old boy at the time. Transverse myelitis took away my function of walking, and my bladder was being drained by a catheter. Christiana Hospital in Delaware was a long two-hour drive from my home. I was alone, while my parents had to continue working hard to pay the medical bills.

Pulleys were hooked up. Metal bars suspended the wires above me. Steel circular weights dangled below the sides of the hospital bed. It was my first real test of will, and it wouldn’t be my last.

I recall weeping a lot when the doctors left the room, but I was too stubborn to quit.

Many months passed by. I was able to regain my bladder control, and walk again, with hard physical therapy; twice per day, every day. My mind grew stronger; my body finally caught up.

Although it has been a physically painful life, I was able to live a relatively normal one. I had a career, a wonderful son, and a good woman who loves and supports me. Little did I know, transverse myelitis would strike me again in my late thirties.

I was luckier than most, I kept my bladder control this time. But the nerve damage caused to my legs, and right arm, was devastating. Fast forward three years later; the wheelchair rests in a closet. A medical brace is attached to my right leg, so I don’t drag it. That right arm that still gives me trouble from time to time, has the strength to assist the left by gripping onto aluminum arm crutches. I stroll through my day slowly, but wobbly. I am now disabled, the pain is constant and rarely ceases.

This caused me to lose my ability to be gainfully employed.

The positive aspect about living in a body that betrays you, is that the mind studies the world with pinpoint focus. Stories are out there in nature, you just have to learn how to listen to it. I became obsessed with studying more history, science, religion, and philosophy. The more I filled my brain, the more information it craved.

Years ago, as a college student, I wrote many stories. But as most of us do, I dismissed them. As I threw them away, I told myself I needed to stop living in a fantasy world and get a “real job.” Now, that fantastic world of imagination is filling my life, and giving me a new goal.

For two years, I created a future world, where history could restart the way I think it would. Using paintings, sketches, and tons of notes, I wanted others to see my version of the future. “Enigmas & Empires” was born. After another year of actually writing the novel, the book is being self-published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

But what makes this new world so special? Why should anyone have any interest in reading it? Well, try to imagine if everyone has equal opportunities.

The color of skin, economic status, physical abilities, are treated without differences. This includes the failures, responsibilities, and successes that apply.

The book is called “The Elisha Amulet.” It is the first installment of the series, Enigmas & Empires. A portion of mankind has survived a mass extinction event, with the help of the mysterious Messengers. Centuries later, colonists of all types, brave uncharted territories to set up outposts, expanding their empires. Nature has evolved at an accelerated rate, the land is teaming with hostile predators and dangerous weather patterns. “The Elisha Amulet” is a tale of adventure, horror, love, war, and the complexities of the human condition. How will their actions affect the world? Can human beings create a better Earth? Are they doomed to repeat their destructive behavior?

This series has given me a better perspective on my life. I wake up every day, go to the gym for physical therapy, and come home to write stories for as long as I can take the pain. I am fortunate. I still breathe. Transverse myelitis didn’t kill me, so I plan on continuing my battle in other ways.

That thirteen-year-old boy in my mind asks me, “Can I lift some weights?”

And I reply, “Yes, I can.”



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