Things I used enjoyed when I was in the ’30s to ’40s were driving, traveling, adventure, yoga, scooter, sobriety (AA volunteer), events/concerts, macrobiotic teaching, meeting people, animal family, going to beaches, hiking, gardening, photography, writing, and a little meditation and art.
These are some of the things I did:
I loved driving so much that sometimes when I could not sleep, I drove to San Deigo at 3 am, saw the beautiful sunrise there, had a great breakfast, and came back home to Santa Monica.
34th birthday, first sky diving.
I did many scuba diving in Caribean (Cayman Island, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic) and 40th birthday, travel to Tahiti for shark scuba diving.
Went to Alaska, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Bali, and, of course many different places in my country, Japan.
I usually liked to travel solo.
The last extensive traveling I did on my own was six weeks in Europe (seven different countries; France, Italy, Swiss, Netherland, Germany, Belgium, and the UK), cooking, assists cooking classes, and massaging people at macrobiotic communities.
Two different cross-country drives with my dogs and cat in America.
My plan for the future was to go to many countries, including the Maldives, for scuba diving and do movie “Roman Holidays” like Audrey Hepburn.
Visit South America, Rio, Pelu, and practice meditation and yoga in India and many more.
But God had a different plan for me.
I lost mobility to walk on September 8th, 2001, because of a near-death car accident in a small village, Hope, Arizona, when I was cross-country drive with my three dogs and one cat, and I was supposed to come home Santa Monica that day.
It is still very emotional to remember.
I could not write much about it, but it is twenty years today.
I want to write a little by little as a tribute to my recovery.
As you see this photo, I am walking and grateful for my healing path.
I was airlifted by a helicopter to The Trauma Center hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
I was in a coma for three days.
I did not even know the September 11 attacks (the 9/11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance, honoring the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks).
I had an out-of-body experience.
I saw my father, who died in 1989 and my first dog in America Sakura in 1998. My father wanted to have tea with me, but I said to him I am in a hurry so next time. Sakura was happy to see me, but I had to tell her that I love her and am glad to see her, but I have to go. I was trying to come back from the heaven’s gate to this world.
My heart stopped many times and one time was 12 minutes.
Regular cardio electric resuscitation did not work and there were two pastors at my ICU room and told Eric to pray when he arrived.
One of the doctors, Dr. Toby Hamilton, used (an adrenaline) needle into my heart to restart my heart.
Miraculously I came back to live again.
An American movie “Pope Fiction” scene of Uma Thurman came back to revive after she overdosed was used the same resuscitation.
I want to say that out of the body and revive to come back again experiences were spiritual for me, but it was not.
I felt that it was an energy boost into the body I left, and I came back into the body as an almost extreme shock.
When I watched the computer animation movie, “Iced Age,” squirrel of Scrat every time he looked like he died, but he came back, that energy was the similar feelings that I felt, and I cried.
In reality, when I came back, I could not speak since I was connected with a tube from my lungs to my throat.
My lungs and heart were crushed by the car accident.
But I was demanded to move my bed closer to a window in ICU so I get to see and feel the sunlight to get better as soon as I could write.
I also wrote Eric to go to a natural food store to buy Bach Rescue Remedy/Cream and Laver essential oil and what to do in writing as soon as I was able to write.
I applied them and also massage whatever area I did not feel too much pain.
The surgent doctor who proceeded with my legs surgery said to me, “I never walk,” and did not recommend me to massage my legs or anywhere because I had nerve damage.
I should have been shocked to hear what the doctor said, but I did not feel what he said was correct, although I respected his opinion because I am very polite Japanese, and I did not ask him many questions.
I simply do not believe that I will be a disabled person or not walk forever. I was thinking of something else already to plan my life.
Of course, I did not think how hard my recovery would be, and I did not know how long it would take me to walk that time.
I already thought when I walk what I can do.
I was massaging as much as I could.
Dr. Hamilton from ER came by to see me.
He said I looked much better every day and encouraged me to do whatever I was doing.
At this point, he never told me how he saved me.
Now I think of where I was at that time, I do not think I could deal with all the things I had to go through.
I was getting ready to be a start line of my recovery journey.
I was not even started yet.
I had to go through hard things in my life, but this was one of the hardest things I experienced in my life.
I lost my vision, screamed and cried so hard when I heard my two dogs, Lolo and Gumu died in the car accident. A nurse came to my room to check if something happened to me.
I said, why didn’t I dye with them?
I killed them!!!!!!
I am sorry!!!!!
I repeated the same things over and over.
I calmed down when I hard, Lolo and Gumu’s mother Kin survived with my cat, Mai and they were at a shelter waiting to be home. I set my mind optimistic and decided to live for them.
I also heard my wallet was stolen when I was airlifted, and someone was using my credit card. All my earrings, necklace, and bracelet that my father gave me were also stolen.
Every day and night at The Trauma Center hospital was chaotic.
They came to dress gaze over my surgery legs in the middle of the night and left me unfinished because of an emergency. One time, they left my leg open-wound for 3 hours.
I requested to wash my hair after I was there for two weeks. Yes, they came to wash my hair at 3 am.
They told me I had to leave the hospital because I did not have insurance. To come home to Santa Monica, they said to me that I had to be airlifted. Do you know how much money you have to spend to do something like that? They said it is not safe for me to transfer by car.
Did I have a choice? NO!
Eric rented a van to make a bed, put my body with many cushions, and drive carefully and slowly to Santa Monica. Friends were waiting for me and use a door as a tanker to move me into the house.
There was no FaceBook, Instagram and Youtube yet. If I had then, I probably had a million hits, hahaha!
When I came back home to Santa Monica, I smelled my trees, plants and flowers. They all said, “Welcome back! Thank you for coming back home! “
When I saw Kin and Mai, who also survived for the same car accident and came back from Arizona, I was speechless with my emotions. We hug each other.
I did not know yet about Kin, Mai, and my PTSD starting from here.
To be continued….