And a new story begins. I made it. I survived

As most know, I am not one to share my personal life on social media; and certainly not significant events. But I know that there are a lot of people who care about me, and would want to know what happened. I’ve been notifying people individually, but frankly that is fatiguing. Especially sense, right now I fatigue easily. So, I thought the next best thing would be to inform people collectively, as morbid or dramatic as that may seem.

I apologize to the many people who would have rightfully expected to hear from me personally. I really mean that. I don’t want anyone to feel left out. It’s just difficult to talk a lot right now. Finally, I wanted to be able to basically talk about this once, and then move on. So, here it goes…

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT:

On Monday night, the 21st of March, I had a heart attack and died. I was subsequently resuscitated, and am now in recovery.

DETAILS:

I had been doing my regular Monday workout. I had just finished doing stationary bike sprints, and had moved on to my squat sets. I felt an acute tightness in my chest and shortness of breath. I also felt a strange aching in my lower teeth, as well as my left hand. I originally thought “meh, I’m just getting older. I just need to rest a minute”. I almost didn’t call. But the pain in my jaw and hand lingered, so I did.

I met the medics outside. The responding agency was the Scarborough Fire Dept., specifically the Dunstan station. Both medics struck me as competent, ‘squared away’ young professionals. I was already impressed by them, just in meeting them. My assessment of them was not unfounded.

I was placed on a gurney, and loaded into the ambulance. I had a medic in attendance with me from that point forward. At that time, I felt relatively normal enough to call my companion, Amy and let her know what was happening, so she could head to the house and take care of the pets. I felt myself start to go under, and had just enough presence of mind to tell the medic “I’m about to pass out”. I remember being giving a nitro pill, but not much else.

The Small Unit Tactician in me, tends toward relentless evaluation, even while I’m busy in my own personal crisis.

The next thing I remember was that medic, inches from my face, repeating “You’re safe”, “You’re going to be Ok, “Don’t do that again”, over and over. I could feel the rapid gear changes in the drive train beneath me as the vehicle swayed back and forth through high-speed turns. All of those elements told me that I had probably just coded, been resuscitated, and they were now racing to the hospital to save my life. I later learned that I was also defibrillated, apparently twice.

That medic used every possible resource to save my life, and once I was resuscitated, immediately transitioned to ensuring that I was calm and felt safe. His own training and experience had taught him that resuscitated people, often wake up panicking. To have someone save your life, then immediately emphatically comfort you is the most direct manifestation of compassion I can think of. It is quintessential ‘medic’.

I was transported to Maine Medical.

My memories are spotty at best, because I drifted in and out of consciousness. My next is memory is by far, the most profound for me. I remember being wheeled into what I presume is an ER operating room. It was filled with medical professionals, who were all focused on me. There were roughly 20 or so people present. I remember that I was involuntarily moaning, with each breath. It seemed to be some kind of automatic process, akin to the ‘life sounds’ a pilot might make under gravitic distress. But I don’t really know.

The trauma team that was going to do the work, gathered around my body and began triage. They began cutting my clothes away and running IV lines into me. The rest of the staff watched with anxious anticipation. The one thing I know with absolute certainty, is that every single human being present, desperately wanted me to live. Every. Single. One.

I was sedated, and intubated shortly thereafter. I later learned that the doctor who emplaced the stent in the occluded artery, has a reputation for speed, intensity, and precision. It’s funny, but those are traits I’ve come to previously admire in an entirely different context. I was grateful for the fact that those were attributes that he also shared. The skill and capabilities of the medical professionals that helped me, borders on science fiction; it’s that good.

I reflect upon the countless unseen and nameless hands that touched me, or some part of me, during that time; all in an effort to save my life. That is a “Clandestine Blessing”, that I wish more people were aware of.

I would never wish a heart attack on anyone, but I wish more people could have that particular experience; to be in a room full of strangers and have all of them deeply yearning for your own wellbeing. I lack the words to describe what that feels like. I start to cry, just thinking about it. I didn’t just feel intensely cared for. I felt intensely loved. It was nothing short of the “Bestowal of Grace”.

I believe I was intubated for roughly 10 to 14 hours. Again, my sense of time and sequence are foggy, and probably inaccurate. Extubation and catheter removal were not pleasant experiences. But they were not life shattering, ether. I regained partial consciousness during Extubation. I was conscious just enough to cough when asked to, to help extract the tube. I was in the ICU. I regained full consciousness, sometime later.

My time in the ICU is its own unique experience. It was extraordinary. I’ve never felt more nurtured or cared for in my entire life.

It’s not for lack of loving and caring people in my life. My life is filled with them. My family and close friends are deeply loving and nurturing people. It’s just that nothing compares to this experience. My every need and bodily function were carefully attended to. Amy was able to visit with me, and that brought much needed to comfort.

All of the medical staff I interacted with, exuded the calm confidence caregivers are known for. I always felt that things were going to be ok. However, it is my sense that there may have been times in which they, themselves didn’t feel that way. There was a point in which both people and machines maintained a constant vigil over me, throughout the night. There may have been a period that was touch-and-go, that they were acutely aware of. But I guess that’s the whole point of ICU. That’s why you’re there in the first place. I was in the ICU for about a day and a half, and then moved to a regular in-patient room.

Once I was routinely conscious, I did a lot of sitting and staring. At one point, I told a nurse that “I just wanted to sit there and be alive”. Much of it was eerily reminiscent of returning from deployment. From a mindfulness standpoint, it was actually good training.

As an added bonus, I had a Gout flare-up start right before I left ICU. Gout does what Gout wants. Gout doesn’t care about your silly little heart attack.

I had the immense pleasure of speaking with both the doctor who implanted the stent, and another cardiac doctor responsible for my care. They both impressed me as incredibly talented, loving and generous people. It was truly an honor to meet them.

I’m left deeply humbled and dumbfounded by the fact that they seemed as grateful to talk to me, as I was to talk to them. They said “thank you”, almost as much as I did. It was as if we were “sharing a miracle” together. Perhaps we were. They make me proud for humanity. They are a true credit to the species.

In typical Jeff fashion, I shared with them a metaphor that was poignant for me in that particular moment. I told them that the ancient Egyptians believed that the Heart, was the seat of the Soul; and that in repairing my heart, they had healed my soul. The metaphor was not lost on them. I was released from the hospital, about a day and a half later.

I am now safely at home, and being well taken care. Prognosis is very good

To all of the people who love and care about me; and want to visit, or in some way interact. Your care for me is deeply appreciated, and I am truly grateful for it. But as many cardiac survivors will tell you, you become incredibly short-winded at first. You also don’t want to spend emotional or intellectual energy interacting with others. Give me a couple of good weeks, then we can meet again.

LESSONS LEARNED:

‘Be Hard’ vs. ‘Be Kind’

I tend to be hard on myself when it comes to my own training regimen, and general self-care. This is not because I am some kind of “Tier 1, High-speed Tough Guy”, because I am definitely not. It is simply because I come from a subculture that extols resiliency to hardship as a shared value. A culture that takes a minimalist approach to personal comfort, and promotes efficacy under extreme conditions. This is True, Noble and Good and absolutely has its place in the world. However, it can also be incredibly harmful, and self-destructive.

It’s really important to me, that this part of my personal testimony gets through to my “Brethren-in-Arms”; the stoic professionals I have spent my entire adult life with. They are very capable of making the same ‘noble poor choices’, that I have made.

I ignored any number of signs and indicators that there was a problem. As the occlusion increased over time, I noticed that I fatigued easier; that it was harder to power through workouts, and that I seemed to need more recovery time.

I just kept telling myself that it was just age, and to “not give in to it”. “Go harder” and “power through it” were my mantras. I might as well have been saying “just dumb your way through this” and “dumb down on it”; and “you can get dumber”.

On that fateful night, I almost didn’t make the call. I told myself, that I was just winded. I needed to just give it 15 minutes, then finish my workout. Fortunately, I followed the intuitive nudge that saved my life.

Had I not made that call, I would be dead. Period. Full stop.

When it comes time to make the call, make the call.

Make. The. Call.

And I’m not just talking about the heart attack call, ether.

From this point forward, I plan to make a lot more ‘Be Kind’ choices, over ‘Be Hard’ ones.

Also; I probably shouldn’t do squats right after sprints. I’ll probably change that up some…

‘Lifestyle is Critical. Really.’

I had always known about this particular genetic inheritance. My father, grandfather, great grandfather, and uncle all had heart attacks. And that’s just on the paternal side. But I always believed that “The Generational Curse that haunts the line of my fathers will not defeat me! I will escape it! I will be the Curse Breaker!!!” Welp… I guess, not so much.

My Plan A was to be so healthy and strong, that I would dodge the bullet; that it wouldn’t even hit me at all. That plan obviously failed. I lived clean, and did good things. To beat the genetic influence that I was adapting to, I needed to live spotless, and do fantastic things. That is the course of action going forward.

My contingency plan was to be so physically robust that if I did take the hit, it would do reduced damage. That plan actually worked. There was only one occluded artery that we are aware of, no egregious permanent damage, and a recovery trajectory that looks really, really good. In fact, there is a good chance that I will actually feel better than I did before the event, once I fully recover. The reason being; that I will now have an increased oxygenated blood supply.

Lifestyle is critical, so start right now. I mean stop reading this, and start right this second.

‘Food; from Fuel to Medicine’

I had always viewed food as fuel for an engine; high performance fuel for high performance engines, etc. But I allowed for margins of error; a little processed sugar here, a little polyunsaturated fat there, and so on. Now my calculus has become much more exacting; simply because it has to be. My view now is formulated to be much more specific as to the impact of each gram of intake; and of course, with an eye toward my obvious nemesis, cholesterol.

‘Recovery; Tabula Rasa – A Clean Slate’

I have a friend who is a personal trainer and gym owner. He has a brand moto that I am deeply fond of; “Lift Heavy, Be Kind”. Both parts of that equation are important to me. The latter, I hope to achieve in whatever context I’m in, and in whatever sphere of influence I have. Big biceps aren’t necessarily required. However, the former is a different matter.

Most of the questions I had for my doctors, were not about drugs or therapies, nor prognosis or pathology. I was concerned about being able to resume my Way of Life.

The good news is, that not only will I most likely be able to achieve prior performance levels; but that there is a high probability that I will exceed them. I had been in a fight with increasing arterial blockage all along, without even knowing it.

My cardiac rehabilitation includes being able to work out connected to an EKG. That will help build a lot of confidence.

The first couple of weeks, I am not even supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds. Conversely, my appetite is down due to inactivity, and the mild nausea induced by medications. So, I will be starting from a null baseline; a clean state.

‘Houses of the Holy’

I come from a culture that typically shuns personal expressions of human frailty or vulnerability, and gravitates towards expressions of strength and capability. Intellectually, I always understood the high value of hospitals and caregivers, and I always saw them as places to be protected and revered. But on a more visceral level, I had a near superstitious aversion to them. In essence, I didn’t want to get any ‘sickness cooties’ from them.

I think completely differently about them, now. More importantly, I feel differently about them, now. What happened to me in that place, was nothing less than sacred.

Hospitals are Holy places. When you walk through the doors of your local ER, you walk on hallowed ground.

THIS STORY ENDS

And a new story begins. I made it. I survived

 

Jefferson Perry, Knight Capitan, Templar Corps International

Seasons Greetings.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Where ever you find yourselves at this time of year, Sister Kerri and Myself wish you all the very best for this Christmas, and for all of you and your families and friends a Happy and most of all a safe New Year.

Fr Andrew and Sr Kerri,

Australia.

Voluntariado precisa-se

VOLUNTÁRIOS
gosta da temática das Peregrinações (de Fátima, de Santiago, …) ou de caminhadas lúdicas? Gostaria de ajudar outros Caminheiros / Peregrinos?
dê umas horas pelos outros
# admitimos voluntários para projecto de apoio a Peregrinos
# trabalho voluntário à distância/on-line 
—> informações e inscrições:
TemplarCorps.ahps@gmail.com

Das pontes transparentes

Bate o dia 2 de Outubro 2021, eram dois e muitos mais na partilha de seus seres, como seria o equilíbrio.

São breves palavras concretas porque no meio de tudo considerou verdadeiro, quando não era, transpareceu pelo o coração, caminhos diversos de almas e realidades eternas. 

Que grupo evolutivo por Deus dará o mesmo sentido entre um novo espírito construtivo por longo tempo? 

Das pontes transparentes virá, nascimentos sem as ter, apenas encaminhando entre poderes, o melhor de tão pouco exagero. 

Soldados despidos lá dos fins em si mesmos. 

Hello

  • Hello and greetings from Ireland, I’m Eóin (pronounced Own) , I send good wishes to fellow Templars, drop me a line , I’ve attached one design drawing of mine in which I’ve drawn and it myself

Remembering a pilgrimage 16 years ago!

Our fellow member Andrew Foster from Australia just reminded me of that pilgrimage in 2004 to Santiago de Compostella! What a great memory! Welcome Andrew, we are destined to do great things. Our greetings to everyone in Australia!

Austin Family Creates Nonprofit to Give Those Experiencing Homelessness a Voice

AUSTIN, Texas – Dusty Monroe is no stranger to adversity. At 6 years old he says he was removed from an abusive household, placed in a children’s hospital, and moved to a foster home before finally being adopted by extended family.

Almost three decades later, in August of 2020, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Although it was non-cancerous, it made Monroe take a step back and evaluate his life.

“As the results came in I was talking to one of my co-workers and I just broke down crying,” Monroe said. “It was scary. I didn’t know if I was going to die, I didn’t know where I was in my life.”

Monroe did know that he wanted to start giving back to his community.

He says he started with small deeds here and there until he found a post on online message board Reddit.

A picture of a man dubbed “Bucket Guy” posted by an anonymous Redditor showed a man making music with buckets and advertising his Venmo account on a paper sign.

The community admired the creativity and offered to create a new sign for the musician. Monroe stepped up to the plate and offered to take care of it. Along the way, he learned “Bucket Guy” wasn’t homeless, but had lost his source of income due to the pandemic.

The small gesture turned into a big idea.

“We could make [people experiencing homelessness] a bank account using signs, but that requires a bank account, a cell phone and often times those experiencing homelessness don’t have that,” Monroe said.

After doing some research, Monroe says he found a quote online saying that data shows those who experience homelessness are often not perceived as being fully human. It was a quote that changed his entire perspective

“It went from an idea of a small, simple, novel technology to a much bigger picture solution in how do we actually humanize those that are homeless in an effort to remove the stigma and really change the overall approach of how we help these folks,” Monroe said.

Monroe turned to his expertise in technology to create Humanize Austin, a nonprofit using tech to educate the public about the causes of homelessness while connecting those individuals with potential employers, resources, and donors.

Participants would be given signs that display a URL along with a QR code. People can scan the code or visit the URL to learn about the person experiencing homelessness, their background, and job skillset.

“Dusty and I being on the same page – we were just ready to spread our love,” Monroe’s wife, Karla Monroe, said.

She was immediately on board with the project, and now serves as the partnership’s taskforce director and treasurer.

“When this idea came up, it just more solidified what I wanted to teach my daughters,” Karla Monroe said.

Donations to people experiencing homelessness will be divided – 70% will go to the participant, 20% will be shared with a local non-profit of that person’s choice, and 10% will go to Humanize Austin.

The Monroes are waiting for final federal approval before launching in Austin, but their vision is already reaching beyond Central Texas.

“We have interests from New York City, Houston, and Boulder, Colorado,” Dusty Monroe said.

Serviço, Honra e Conhecimento

Quem demanda pela Ordem de Cavalaria e sente no mais profundo âmago do seu Ser, um desejo avassalador de se cumprir, tem um longo e árduo Caminho a percorrer.
Esse Caminho pode ser feito de Devir antes deste se tornar Dever.
Devir : tudo o que é Desejar, Gostar e Prazer – não falo de conceitos profanos e materialistas mas daquilo que nos aproxima da Felicidade verdadeira.
Dever : tudo o que é Vontade, Querer e Poder – ‘de factu’ e nunca ‘de juris’ ie sem fantasias nem ilusões mentais ie emocionais, racionais e espirituais.
O Dever ordenado pela mui Nobre e Sancta Ordem de Cavalaria de Cristo envolve sacrifício (é um Sacro Ofício, o Ofício do Escudo) e um sentido de Serviço que não é apenas ontológico mas obedece a uma filogenia singular e a uma capacidade, de pensar e agir, projectada por várias e muitas gerações futuras.

O Sacro-ofício de Cavalaria não é para todos mas o Caminho aberto e mantido pela Cavalaria de Cristo pode ser acedido por todos os que querem Honrar o sacrifício de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo, através do Serviço ordenado e a coberto da Ordem de Cavalaria. Assim nasceu o Templar Corps (https://templarcorps.org/): “…a group of men and women with a Templar background, organized locally in units spread across the world, ready to put their energy, passion and intelligence at the service of mankind.”

O Templar Corps é feito de Devir mesmo que este ainda não seja Dever Cavaleiresco e Sacro Ofício de Cavalaria. É para todos os poucos que ainda resistem no mundo e que não cederam ao desânimo e à resignação do que é quase nada por sempre ter sido pouco, inútil e fútil.

Para os que demandam pelo Templo de Salomão e pela Companhia da Cavalaria de Cristo, têm no Templar Corps a oportunidade de provarem a eles mesmos que servem para Servir e que merecem estar mais próximos dA Casa da Cavalaria de Cristo, independentemente de um dia, ao nascer do Sol Invictus, se descubram a si mesmos na e pela mui Nobre e Sancta Ordem de Cavalaria.

CORAGEM & FORÇA !!!

Miguel Guerreiro da Fabiana, KGOTJ
Hospitalário GP Portugal OSMTHU

The Call …

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Knights and Ladies, Elders in the Templar Faith ; we of theTemplar Corps, gathered around our spiritual Mission, we, very dedicated to the cause of the man ! For several centuries, men with greats hearts, have joined together to create groups, associations, organizations with a purely humanitarian vocation. Those texts of constitution of each branch of the Templar’s Order, have always given, as duties to all the Knights and Ladies, to regroup, organised themselves to work for the well-being of the World on the plans of: Safe, Education, social economic and cultural.

Faced with the escalation of the Social and humanitarian crisis and the violence that has raged for decades in the world; Faced with the disparity of basic humanitarian principles; Given the increase in the suffering of children, who are nevertheless considered as the future of each Nation.

Faced with the deterioration of morals and, where appropriate, the corruption of childhood, which develop particularly. Given our original mission, “none for us” can refrain from renewing our oath and stand up to fight the dehumanization and especially the attack on life and indifference characteristic of the Man of the 21st century. It is indeed imperative, but also, honorable, for the knights and ladies, Templars, to rise, as at the time of the crusades, and protect humanity, securing the future of children and others needed.

Faced with a catastrophic humanitarian crisis against childhood, adolescence and poorest or vulnerable people, the Knights Templars want, need and can set up help and support measures.

We must get to work and how

Like the hospitables houses and castles in which were installed Templars Commanderies, guarantors of the hospitality of the Templars of Jerusalem throughout the West and several countries in the world, The Initiative Templar Corps International inspired by our brothers of The OSMTHU, like the project “LA CENTRALE DES ŒUVRES TEMPLIERES POUR L’ENFANCE” (Central Templars’s Works for Children), abbreviated “LA COTE”, whose conception and realization are at the heart of the OSMTJ Humanitarian Mission in Africa based in Cameroon, can partly help, a prompt and permanent presence of Templars at the great Humanitarian table of the World. So, Let us help poor to find, peace, justice, education, health but above all … a life in our Castle: Our Heart . by taking to heart the projects and initiatives that are set up by the management of TCI but above all let us be the first actors of this great challenge which is not new for the Knights Templar that we have always remained over time and  space.  Let’s be in charge again for the fate of humanity which is in a new identity crisis.  Let us be the Soldiers of Peace in the World as our destiny has always been since ancient Jerusalem since Godfrey and his Eight Brothers.

For always remember that we made this promise to him: “not for us, but to his name be the Glory”