Sit Down Before Reading, A Memoir by Dave Bexfield
Let’s rip off that Band-Aid before we begin, shall we? The story I’m about to tell you will challenge the medical establishment to reexamine life with a debilitating disease, send reverberating shockwaves throughout the disabled community, rewrite the rulebook of healthcare, and potentially change your entire future. That’s all.
Now, I don’t want to insult your intelligence. I mean, you can see that I’ve written this, so if your powers of deduction aren’t on the fritz, you probably have concluded that, somehow, someway, something worked out. That’s how medical memoirs operate. And you would be right. Ish. But this is unlike any health tale you’ve ever read. Sure, this story is so over the top that it makes The Fonz’s shark-jumping feat in Happy Days seem downright plausible. But that’s not what makes this a unicorn among medical memoirs. No.
If you read any more, you need to know what you are getting into. Close friends and family have heard and read snippets of my experience, but other than my wife Laura (who is living through this, I’m not sure how), I haven’t told this full story to anyone, not even my parents. You’ll be the first, which means you also are going to be in the weeds with me. That’s because—full disclosure—I don’t know exactly how this story ends. As you are reading this, I’m still furiously writing. (Because that’s how writers are supposed to write, furiously.)
With Sit Down Before Reading, we are headed into uncharted territory. This story of stories is unfolding in near real time. That means I won’t have the opportunity to get particularly chatty on social media or respond to personal requests with any degree of promptness. The writing at times might get a bit clunky, be a bit unpolished. But look through that because the details matter. They matter so much that they might one day rescue you from my fate.
Lastly, and critically, before this odyssey ends, I almost certainly will need your help to craft the conclusion. I know I can’t do this alone. That’s because countless brave and beyond-determined advocates before me have tried to breach the rigid armor of the medical establishment only to see their stones of alarm and outrage harmlessly ping off. Those efforts, though, weren’t in vain. These pioneers and their stones have created vital cairns, essential guideposts, for others to trustingly follow to finally force a seismic shift. There just needs to be that one story, one so outrageous, for all of us to collectively insist, enough.
I followed those cairns. I have the story. And this, God willing, is that reckoning.