Survival of the Non-Fittest #10: Magic Bullet


With all of the people coming in and out of the rehab ward at Stanford, many of them touching and massaging Molly’s body, it opened up a new world of sensation. It also opened up a new world of no sensation, because Molly didn’t have any from the neck down. Let me re-phrase that. Molly had sensation, she just didn’t know what it was … because that information wasn’t getting to her brain. I found this picture of those days. Here is a group of friends massaging Molly. That’s Frank Doran Shihan … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #9: Chop Wood … Carry Water

There was a steady stream of people coming into rehab every day and night to see Molly now. The nurses were used to patients getting visitors, but only for a short time … and then there would be a big drop off. But with Molly … there was no drop off … rather a steady stream of people … with meals, flowers, plants, posters, pictures, poems, messages, handmade bits of love … and companionship … for the whole 6 weeks Molly was there. People were bringing her meals, and feeding her … 3x times … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #8: Slightly Shell-Shocked!

Halo in Rehab before balls

The first week in rehab ... someone tried to move Molly by grabbing her halo and using it as a handle. It was painful when the halo was moved like that. It was attached to Molly’s head by those 4 pointed screws, so if the halo moved at those points, it really hurt … and that happened a bunch of times during the 3 months Molly had to wear it.  It was easy to bump in to.  Above Molly’s bed, there was a bulletin board … and a message got written on it reminding everyone not to pull on the halo or … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #7: See the Smile … and the Glint?

Molly Halo 1

In the telling of this story … it is now 2 weeks since Molly crashed her car. Remembering those days … and all of the unusual events, experiences and emotions … I can’t imagine anything that could possibly happen, that could shock my system more than what I went through back then. Wait … I take that back. I just thought of one thing that might have shocked me more … and that is if I had been the one lying in that hospital bed, completely paralyzed for the rest of my life.  Ok, that would … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #6: This is Survival Of The Non-Fittest

It’s the second week after Molly’s car crash. She fell asleep driving her car. Bad timing for a siesta … I’ll tell you that. One time I fell asleep driving a VW Bug on the highway, in the wide open spaces between San Antonio, Texas and the border of Mexico. I fell asleep … and woke up just as I left the highway and started driving onto the desert. That woke me up.! Scared the you know what out of me. I turned around and went back to San Antonio. It was a smart move! I tell this story … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #5: Put On A Happy Face!

When Molly was moved to Stanford Hospital, one week after her accident, she was put into an intermediate intensive care ward where she lived for one more week. Not quite intensive care, but not regular care either. Molly was out of danger, but she still required a higher level of monitoring and care than what the rehab ward provided. For the most part, Molly slept a lot … her body needing to recuperate from the trauma of the accident and the two surgeries. Molly had no independent movement … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #4: Hell Week Is Over!


Ok … we are almost at the Stanford Rehab ward now. But before we get there … I just have to tell you one more story about the first place we landed in. After Molly’s two surgeries … while she was recovering from those in intensive care … the doctors discovered on Molly’s xrays … a break she had sustained many years ago in the L5 region of her lower back. This break occurred while doing a yoga back bend. At the time, her chiropractor was quite concerned and sent her to Stanford where they … [Read more...]

Woman With Balls


Back in 1990, there was a film released entitled “Dancing with Wolves”. The title refers to the Native American name given to Lt. John Dunbar by a tribe of Sioux after they observed him playing with a young wolf. In 1996, I was bestowed the name of “Woman with Balls” by a Jesuit priest, Father Miguel, during a week long Aikido retreat in San Rafael, California. Many people at camp were choosing “Native American” names that week, part tongue-in-cheek and part serious. My handle was given to me … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #3: No Nice Comfy Life Back!

Those early days … during the first week after Molly crashed her car … were filled with people telling me my life would never be the same … and that it was all very serious. I was desperate to find a ray of sunshine … some glimmer of hope … something to smile about in the middle of all of the chaos.  Something … anything I could be optimistic about … but the people we had around us at the time … the people who were right in front of us ... who we had to look to for expertise and guidance … … [Read more...]

Survival Of The Non-Fittest #2: Nowhere To Run … Nowhere To Hide


I feel like I need to give a little background before I go further into this, especially for those who have never met me, or Molly my wife, or who have never seen Moment By Moment, the film documentary about us. If you haven’t ever seen the film … you have to check it out here:  Moment By Moment It’s a beautifully done film by Dorothy Fadiman, an award winning filmmaker and dear friend. You will get some insight into what Molly and I have been through, and I think many of you will be able to … [Read more...]