The Bloody Head

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OK! I'll own up to it. I'm #22 and here is the story of how my head got so bloodied: In the telling of the story, I trust that you will gain an idea of how impoverished Jamaica is and how that sad state can cause the most unexpected circumstances; especially to one who may be from another culture.

A while back I was diagnosed as having a rare disease called Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)…the prognosis of which forecast the strong possibility of instant and irremediable blindness. It was discovered one evening while having dinner with a dear friend who is a nurse practitioner. She arranged for an immediate analysis at the Boston Medical Center where she held court in the Urgent Care section of that hospital.

Sandy and his doctors

Doctors Sebastian and Merkel of the BMC with their patient, Sandy. Their quick and effective medical expertise helped save Sandy's eyesight.

Following all manner of extremely complicated tests, and a biopsy, the appraisal of my Angel In White was confirmed. I went immediately into what was to be a three year treatment with Prednisone and other non-delightful substances that brought the situation somewhat under control. With the keen wisdom of Doctor Peter Merkel, and the augmentation of Lynn Abbott’s Applied Resonance Therapy (ART), I was able to get off the Prednisone and rid (so far) of all symptoms in just one year… a record perhaps in medical history. Dr Merkel is perhaps the world's most knowledgeable authority when it comes to his discipline of Rheumatology. Lynn Abbott (my wife, “Sam”) is the inventor of ART; a system of systemic rebalancing. Between their two disciplines, my recovery set a record! Enough so that I am the Star in an international study of GCA that Merkel heads from the Boston Medical Center.

Enough of that overture, and now on the opera of “The Blooded Noggin”: Somewhat fixed, I headed off to my Beloved Jamaica for the winter, and to the work awaiting me at Haile High, the school for the handicapped that Sam and I had founded in Montego Bay. I had escaped the keen scrutiny of Doctor Merkel with the caveat that I return in a month to Boston for an eye exam by his favored ophthalmologist. The trip took ten hours up and ten hours back. The eye exam took 20 minutes; and I escaped once again to my school.

Back in Jamaica I resumed my daily tasks; one of which was lugging several pounds of groceries five kilometers up the hill to the CottonTree where the school resides (see There was to be a class the next day, and we always feed the kids.

It was growing dark as I hurried along. Out of nowhere, a Boogooyaga (someone who lives in the bush) jumped me with the intent of relieving me of the groceries I carried. I managed to hold him off with a threatening harangue (not an uncommon weapon in the Macone Family) and quickened my pace as I passed beneath a bus kiosk… a path that I routinely take to get home to the school. I made it under the arch at the entrance to the kiosk, but upon exiting, my scalp got very personal with the beam that once supported the arch at that end of the kiosk… which had been lowered through the theft of two bolts that held it aloft, now unnoticeable in the dark. This made the steel beam perfectly suited to part the top of my gourd leaving me stunned and bloody by the side of the road. The Boogooyaga quickly split for the jungle lest he be charged for the near decapitation. Then, by the Grace of Jah, an American expatriate called “Mr. Beer”, was passing in a cab and got me and my groceries back to the Cotton Tree. It was truly amazing, that in the short time it took to leave the “Rock”, turn around in Boston, and return; the architecture of a simple bus stop had changed.

So there's the story; For the want of two bolts… unseen in the dark… and at full gallop… my balding scalp was well parted. Ah Jamaica! Land of Milk & Honey, indescribable poverty, and dire circumstances.

One Love Alessandro

PS I'm hesitant to query Dr Merkel as to the positive effects girder-leeching might have on Giant Cell Arteritis.