The Day I Tried to Live
Written By Mikey Sutton • Editor-in-Chief • Owner
"How many times has it turned against you
How many times will they walk away
How many times have you let depression win the fight
Oh my sentimental friend
We'll walk as one again
Two years ago today, I was dying on the floor.
I got up from my bed to start my day and suddenly I felt the ground be pulled from under me. I had no feeling in my legs, and I fell, almost hitting my head against the cabinet but my hands quickly hit the floor. I felt like that classic John Byrne illustration of Galactus crashing down. I was dizzy; the room kept spinning around, and I was dehydrated. There was nobody home. My mother had just left for a doctor's appointment. My hands became weak but strong enough to hold my cell phone. I didn't think of calling 911 yet; instead, I called my mom. No answer. Once, twice, three times. I had just changed her ringtone, and she probably didn't recognize the new one. My hand got seriously weak, and the phone fell underneath the electric fan I was now laying on.
Minutes ticked by and soon an hour did.
I realized I was dying.
It had to be a stroke.
I was warned of this numerous times. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type-2 diabetes. A toxic mix.
Life did flash before my eyes. I thought of my loved ones. Memories of childhood, innocent times. I longed to be on the boat again, to feel the summer sun gazing upon me as I coasted across the water. When you're dying, you think of small, mundane things that remind you of normalcy, such as the steak dinner and cranberry juice I was going to have that night. Maybe I was trying to calm myself, I don't know.
Two hours. I couldn't move. I had another cell phone across the room but there was no way for me to reach it. I had been screaming for help but there was nobody outside in the parking lot, and they probably couldn't hear me anyway -- I was beginning to lose my voice out of dehydration and exhaustion. I was still able to move my right arm and hand. I thought about grabbing a book and throwing it against the window, hoping the shattered glass would attract attention. I wasn't strong enough.
I kept praying to God, over and over again. Is this it? I asked Him. Is this how it ends?
Minutes later, I heard the door opening outside. Mom had returned and with every ounce of energy I had, I yelled "Help!" as loud as I could. The ambulance arrived fast. By the time I was in the emergency room, my fever was over 104. My blood pressure was through the roof. This woman came to me and said that I should tell my family to come now, that I was going to die tonight. Would you want to see a priest? she asked. If you fall asleep, you'll never wake up again, she added. I never saw her again in my entire stay at the hospital.
I had tubes feeding me medicine, and my doctors monitored me, waiting to see if my blood pressure went down. I felt like the guys in John Carpenter's The Thing during the alien blood-test scene as I gazed at the numbers on the monitor. The suspense was literally killing me. Early evening, it came down, and we all breathed in relief.
For two months in recovery, I couldn't walk. I had to learn how to walk again. I could use my hands but barely type. I tasted no food. I was awoken every morning at 6 a.m. to see if my blood pressure was going to try to kill me again.
A Filipina doctor and Pinay nurses (one of whom, half-Filipino, half-Norwegian, is pictured) were assigned to me, and they had no idea I was half-Pinoy so when I started dropping Tagalog, they turned as white as I am. But without them, I would not be here. I worked out two hours a day, every day, at the hospital. Non-stop.
In two months, I was walking again. By November, I was already walking around at a comic-book convention.
By February, I met Melissa Benoist, Supergirl, in person.
In the two years since my stroke, I have lost over 200 pounds.
I only eat meat once a week. No more junk food. I drink mainly water.
I have been published in a book in Liverpool, England.
I wrote a comic book that will be illustrated by the lead visual designer of Encantadia (2017).
I was interviewed on GMA TV in the Philippines with actress Kate Valdez.
I'm writing and executive-producing a YouTube show for former Eat Bulaga! co-host Julia Clarete with the pilot finished.
I have been written about in Brazil, India, England, Germany, Vietnam, Spain, and Italy. I have been featured in Rolling Stone, Looper, the Daily Mail, NME, the LAD Bible, and MSN. My scoops on various YouTube channels have been seen by over four million viewers. I'm grateful for all of them.
I launched this website, Geekosity, which has acquired over 22,000 views in two weeks and now has a YouTube companion. The print magazine version will be released in 2021.
But two years ago today, all I wanted to do was survive.
I want to thank you all for your loyalty and support. I am blessed to be surrounded by friends, old and new, with hearts of shining gold, whose souls glow like transcendent stars.
I don't want this stroke to define me. I'm writing this in the hope that I can save a life. The garbage we eat will accumulate in our bodies. The wrong food and no exercise can kill you. Please trust me with that advice as much as you do my film and TV scoops. The taste of candy is sweet, but the taste of being alive is sweeter.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I don't care what anyone thinks. I am what you see. None of that bogus crap. We live in a cynical, critical world, and every day I just want to make you all laugh, to educate, to inspire. My friend Jeff Gomez told me recently, "You inspire me." I was shocked. He is a CEO of an important firm who has worked with Sony and Mattel -- I've inspired him? I was completely overwhelmed, humbled, touched.
We spend too much time looking at what others are -- Democrat? Republican? Gay? Straight? Christian? Muslim? Atheist? -- instead of what's in their hearts. In the end, when the doomsday clock on your life is ticking towards the apocalypse, that's all that really matters: the heart.
I learned much from being at death's door: Never give up.
When the cards are stacked against you, fight harder. When life tells you that you might not walk again, never stop trying to walk.
And once you walk again, never stop walking.
I am stubborn in my goals. Whatever it takes. Don't be afraid of failing because giving up is FAILURE.
And when life hits you like a roaring truck in the gut, don't give up.
There's only one thing you can do.
Rip it up and start again.
Your fly in the ointment,
September 10, 2020