A few days before Thanksgiving, our dog Sura woke me up very early in the morning to go outside. It was chilly outside, so I just opened the patio door to let her out. I had no intention of going outside myself. But she would not go outside without me. I called her a spoiled brat and other names but I couldn’t get her to budge unless I went with her. I didn’t want to sit in the cold on the deck, so I decided to take her for a walk, instead. I put on a coat but I didn’t want to change my shoes because I intended to go right back to bed after I walked the dog. I was just wearing my thin house slippers and took Sura for a walk on the hard pavement of the street.
I did go back to bed afterward. Later, when I changed my sock and shoes, I noticed a large blister on the big toe of my right foot. I knew I must have gotten it earlier when I walked Sura wearing just my slippers. I resolved to keep an eye on it and treat it very carefully. But I wasn’t going to allow it to prevent me from continuing to go for hikes and conduct crossings.
Early in the afternoon, I left for the Carlton Reserve where I would do the day’s crossing ceremony. But while driving to the reserve I began to feel very rundown, like a weariness deep within my bones.
But I thought I had enough strength to continue. Afterward, I could take a couple of days off, if I needed to. The place where I was headed was about a two-mile hike on the Wild Turkey Trail. At first I felt I was okay, but by the time I reached the crossing location, a very secluded dry creek bed under a canopy of oak and palm trees, I was really fatigued and sore all over. I knew hiking so far had been a mistake. But since I had arrived at the location, I decided to go ahead with the crossing.
I did my regular incantations and light prayer, but after that I was just not strong enough to stay on my feet and exhort the spirits to cross. I explained that to the spirits and told them I would hold the light bridge open as long as I could, but I had to sit down and I would not be talking to them any longer. I sat on a fallen oak trunk and felt miserable.
Every muscle and joint ached. I felt like I needed to curl in a ball and stay still. My head was pounding like my brain wanted to break free of the cranial cavity. Sweat was pouring off me and soaking my shirt, even though the temperature was very mild with a relatively low humidity. I was nauseated and hoped I could vomit everything out of my stomach for relief.
I didn’t stay there for long. I knew I had to hike back to my car while I still had a little bit of strength remaining.
As I slowly dragged myself down the trail, I was wondering what my lack of any kind of presentation or exhortations for the spirits to cross would have on the final result. I later learned that 422,662 spirits had been gathered for me, and 746 ended up not crossing. I had always known that the vast majority of the spirits crossed as soon as they had the chance, and that my presentation was only for the benefit of the ones who were not sure. And now I had evidence that I was preaching to less than one percent of the original assemblage of spirits. But I also knew each one was valuable and important and it was a source of satisfaction to me when I could convince all of the earthbound spirits to cross.
I had to stop several times to vomit on the hike back. I quickly ran out of water and knew becoming dehydrated would only make things worse. While I could normally cover two miles in less than a half-hour, it must have taken me an hour-and-half to reach my car. But I made it and drove home.
When I walked in the house Stella could see something was wrong right away. She wanted to go straight to the emergency room but I did not want to expend the energy. I just wanted to curl up in bed and go to sleep. I told her all I needed were fluids and rest. But I couldn’t keep the fluids down and I couldn’t get any rest because I was up every few minutes, staggering to the bathroom to vomit whatever was in my stomach.
And then the heart palpitations started. My chest was being punished from within by the out of control pounding of my heart, and the intense throbbing of my brain was punishing my head. It was like the two organs were having a contest to see which could escape their respective body cavity first.
Stella was still insisting we call an ambulance or go to the emergency room. But I had already been to the emergency room several times in the past for the heart palpitations, and not once had they been able to treat it. I knew I had to just let it run its course.
I really thought I was under attack from a very powerful demon. The symptoms were very similar to what I had previously experienced during the last demon attack, just immeasurably amplified. I didn’t think my guides would allow a demon that could actually cause me permanent harm to attack me, but I didn’t think it would hurt to ask for help. I asked Stella to contact Colleen, Raj and and a few other friends to request for them to direct healing energy my way and perhaps organize others to help me stave off the attack. The response was amazing. Within hours there were dozens of people praying for me and sending me whatever healing vibrations they could. But it just didn’t help much.
Late in the night, when I could finally keep some fluid down, I managed to take two hydrocodone pills I had left over from the recuperation following sinus surgery a couple of years before. It took a couple of hours but my head eventually stopped pounding, I was just left with blinding pain in my frontal lobes. The palpitations eased by morning and I finally slept a little, maybe a couple of hours. I thought sleep and rest were all I needed.
But I woke up shivering and I couldn’t stop. I had been flushed and bathed in sweat all night. But now I was freezing. I had Stella change the sheets on the bed. I washed myself in the sink with hot water and changed clothes. I was dry and the sweat was off me but I couldn’t stop shaking. Stella piled blankets on top of me but nothing helped. I lay curled on my side under all the blankets and shivered for hours.
Early in the afternoon, Stella came in to check on me and I was shaking uncontrollably, almost like I was having a seizure. But I was just cold and I couldn’t get warm, no matter what. She said my skin had turned blue. She once again insisted we call an ambulance. But through my halting, shuddering voice, I told her I knew it was something I just had to endure and get past.
Stella actually crawled on top of me and spread herself over the blankets, to share her warmth and control the worst of the shaking. It was actually the only thing that helped, even if just a little.
Stella started praying out loud. Calling on Jesus and my other guides to hasten the departure of the demon. “Save this holy man from this suffering,” she exhorted my guides. “He has done everything you have asked of him and now he needs your help.”
Even through the pain and discomfort of all my afflictions, I had to laugh when she called me a “holy man”.
The shivering lasted into the night, but then gave way to flushed sweating. I was out of the hydrocodone and the muscle and joint pain returned full force, along with the pounding headache. But at least I was past the palpitations and the worst of the nausea. I was almost to a level of suffering that I recognized. I was past the unbearable part to something more or less like the worst flu I had ever suffered.
The next day I was miserable, but that was an improvement. At least I could sleep without some horrible palpitation or shaking keeping me awake. And I ate a little bit, but stayed in bed all day.
The following day Stella had gone to work since I was doing better. I felt good enough to get out of bed and move around a little. But most urgently, I needed a shower. I had gone without bathing for three days. But when I took off my socks, which I had also worn for three days, I was shocked at the sight of my big toe on my right foot.
What had three days earlier been a normal sized toe, with just a blister on the bottom, was now swollen to twice the size and was a bulbous discolored mess. After the shower I drove myself to the emergency room.
I was in the hospital for eight days. They put me on antibiotics and tried their best to reduce the swelling in the toe. At first, the resident doctor that covered the floor I was on was fairly hopeful about saving the toe. He told me that all the symptoms I had suffered were probably not related to the infection in the toe. It was a localized infection that developed out of the blister, which had just appeared the morning I had gotten sick, so there was no way the infection could have spread fast enough to cause everything I had experienced. But what my sickness had done was create a perfect incubating environment for the infection in the toe. I'm a diabetic and he said diabetics carry a lot of bacteria in their toes and feet that develop easily into infections. No one is sure why all the bacteria are present but it is the reason that diabetics are always told to take special care of their feet.
After two days the swelling had not gone down at all and the doctor was concerned about the infection spreading, so he called for a surgical consult. The surgeon took one look at the toe and scheduled an operating room for first thing in the morning. He said he would do his best to save the toe, but I knew he wasn’t being entirely truthful. So it wasn’t a surprise when I woke up in the recovery room and no longer had a big toe on my right foot.
“I have good news and I have bad news,” the surgeon told me. “The bad news is I had to remove the toe. The good news is that you don’t need it.” He explained that my balance and mobility did not depend on a single toe. He told me I would be able to get around fine without it.
It was not the result I was hoping for, but it is what I was left to deal with. Stella was fairly distressed at the outcome but I told her to get over it. I would be fine. The worst thing about it that I could think of was that I’d no longer be able to wear open-toed sandals, and I probably had half a dozen pairs of such footwear, including a new pair for which I had just paid over a hundred dollars.
I also felt grateful I had a partner with the strength of Stella, who was willing to stand with me through everything, and was even willing to make demands of my guides for my benefit.
I asked Stella to bring my iPod one day when she came to the hospital. I put it on and asked my dad if I had indeed been attacked by a demon.
“No," was the simple answer.
“What was it then?”
“We had to give you the power of the thirty-nine,” he said.
I previously had been told by my guides there were a total of thirty-nine people like me in the world, and that it was my job to bring them all together. Up until that time, I had only identified one of the thirty-nine, besides myself.
“All of it?” I asked.
“As much as you could take.”
“None are ready," was the reply.
"Oh, and we can’t wait for them?” I questioned.
“No. It is urgent.”
“So, am I going to have to cross the rest of the 600 million by myself?”
“No. You will have help," he assured me.
“Just not from any of the others of the thirty nine.”