Location: North, South, East, West, all around... then down to the underground
Exploring if for n00bz0rz
|Public Service announcement|
< on 8/26/2012 6:44 PM >
|Those of you who know me and are still around will probably already know what this is going to be about, and everyone else could really benefit from hearing my story. It deals directly with exploring and the extremely grim consequences of not being smart and safe with something that was not only my hobby, but my number one passion in life.|
I started exploring large asylums and power plants when I was about 15(I'm 32 now). Almost instantly, I was hooked. I spent the better part of 15 years exploring 3 or more days a week. It truly was a love that outlasted every relationship I had, even my marriage. Anyone who knows me, probably knows that I am a stubborn, hard-headed, and sometimes wreakless bastard. Countless times, fellow-explorers as well as friends who took an interest in my hobby would ask about asbestos/lead ect. They would tell me I should use a respirator. My stock reply was always "masks are for haloween". I thought taking precautions like that were lame, attention seeking and pointless. I was dead wrong, almost literally...
Fast forward to about this time last year. I had a stubborn cough that lingered for months. As time went on, it only got worse and more frequent, until last October, I finally went to the hospital to get it checked out, once I started coughing up blood on a regular basis. I was put through a gauntlet of invasive tests. I was given a PPD to test for TB, blood cultures were taken, even a lumbar puncture and finally a CT scan. It turned out that what the DR's thought was most likely a bas case of chronic bronchitis was much more serious. I don't want to say outright what was wrong, because it's a petty, ugly illness and we'll not dignify it by speaking its name unless absolutely necessary. But suffice to say, my life was in mediate danger. Over the past year I have been on medications and treatments that have all but destroyed me. I have spent more nights admitted in ICU than in my own bed. I used to be 6'3" weighing in at 195 lbs, I got down to 120 and I am still struggling to maintain a weight of at least 160. Last march I had to undergo a major surgery where more than half of my left lung had to removed as well as the majority of my lymph nodes on my left side. To this day I am still recovering from the damage my meds have done as well as the trauma of a major surgery. I am on the road to recovery and I am very lucky for that. Hell, I am beyond lucky to be alive to be typing this right now. But that knowledge does not help me with the crippling debt of medical bills that skyrocket well over the 100 grand mark.
After speaking to all of my DRs and specialists, it is universally agreed that this was all a direct cause of exploring and because of the damage that was done to my body, the odds are, I can never explore again... Ever.
Years of exposure to asbestos, plaster dust, lead and god knows what else took its toll on me in a very drastic way. I was told by both my pulmonologist and my oncologist that had I worn a proper respirator, none of this would have happened. I am not saying I deserve what happened , but it was a direct result of the poor decisions that I made. So in a kind of poetic way, I DO deserve it on some level.
So, for what it's worth, I would give serious thought to protecting yourselves when you're out there exploring. The attitude I adopted of thinking the odds of anything happening to me were astronomical, ended up biting me in the ass at a very early age. I would absolutely hate to see or hear of anyone in this community going through even a similar ordeal, even the people I am not fond of. NOBODY should experience that. So I hope at least a few people take this to heart and maybe we can prevent a little misery from cropping up in the future. My negligence ended up almost costing me my life and it robbed me of following a passion that really was my entire world. Please please PLEASE don't let that happen to you.
Exploring is like tattoos... They stopped being cool in 2005