How To Scare Your Wife


There are much easier ways to do it. This was the method that was thrust upon me. I had no choice in the matter.

Wednesday evening my wife found me standing outside the restroom, staring at the sink. Apparently I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the water for my shower. When asked, I couldn’t tell her what the problem was or even how long I had been standing there. We estimate approximately 45 minutes of me staring at the sink.

Then things got bad.

For 3 days HC kept asking me strange questions, like “Are you going to check your email today?” and “How many days are going to sleep?” I had no idea that more than a single 24 hour time period had transpired. I was very weak and felt like I had no power. I just laid in the rack and I didn’t even eat. What’s more is that I didn’t feel hungery.

Finally, whatever had happened to me was apparent enough to me that I agreed to go to the hospital. Fortunately our good friend Saumen lives right around the corner and he came right over. Saumen’s smiling face and good humor really helped me that evening. I want to publicly thank him for being a great friend.

We had to the ER since it was late in the evening and the main hospital was closed. I finally got home after 03:00. The upshot is that I had some kind of mini-stroke event but apparently nothing that could be seen on CT or x-ray. The prognosis is actually very encouraging and I’ll be spending most of my time working to gain back my strength and skills.

I’m going to post a follow article after I have more information and feel stronger. So please accept our apologizes for not posting very much this week, and especially Bushman’s Picks which many of you faithful readers have expressed a fondness for. I’ve missed doing those articles myself.

I’ve never done a “greatest hits” post but since this seems like an appropriate time, I suggest that if you haven’t done so, do a search on different countries like Laos, Thailand, China, and Hong Kong. Hui-chen and I have written about our travels in those places and many of those articles are approaching 3 years old. Also there is a convenient Archives section that makes browsing past articles very simple and enjoyable.

We’ll see you again soon.


I’d been to a follow-up consultation with the neurology department. According to the doctor I did not have a stroke, a TIA, or brain infection. I recovered from the episode on my own, which rules out causes such as meningitis. The truth is, no one knows what happened to me. I know that whatever it was, I’m a lucky man.

March 21: I got the results back from my EEG scan yesterday.  100% normal and “unremarkable” meaning there is nothing wrong.  The investigation is officially over now.

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  1. My goodness! From the title of your post, I was expecting a lighthearted tale of starting a small blaze with your dutch over or something of the sort. Take care and best wishes! With your wife by your side, you’ll surely be back at it in no time.

    Holly’s last blog post..My interview on Radio Taiwan International

    1. Holly » My goal was to balance the tone of the article a little bit, because i didn’t want to come out of the shoot and get everyone upset,

    1. Carrie » the really great news is that its basically impossible for me to:

      1. have had a stroke (because there is discernible brain damage, which would be impossible given the level of incompetence i was suffering.
      2. have even had a TIA ( TIAs last a very short time, not several days. if i had had a conventional stoke, i would probably be a vegetable, or wish i was.
      3. suffered from a brain infection. normally, someone with such a devastating condition would exhibit additional symptoms that would be traceable. at this writing, no one can tell me what happened because nothing is clear.
      4. have other kinds of infections that could have caused these symptoms.

      i’m coming back rapidly. i can see that i’ll be playing normally quite soon. i’m just weak and feel tired most of the time now, and writing this reply took about 5 mins because unfortunately, i’m trying to type too fast. if i slow down, i make less mistakes. i’m typing better today than i did yesterday. i look at the blog and music and therapy.

      i would to thank everyone who has given us their best wishes and support. this is why i say that i’m a very lucky man. i will update everyone from my meeting with the neurologist this afternoon. take care eveyone!

  2. HI MJ, This indeed is a very scary way. I sincerely wish you get well soon. No wonder I didn’t see much action taking place here lately. Take care my friend. Our wishes are with you. and I second to you about Saumen. He indeed is a great friend and great guy to hang out with.

    Ashish’s last blog post..Back in Taiwan

  3. Scary stuff brother!

    It’s a good thing you have Hui-chen there to help ya. I am sure you will be fine…stay strong!


    1. David on Formosa » thanks David. HC does take great care of me, but i don’t want her to end up washing my face after every meal.

    1. Kaminoge » thanks Jim. i am much better with my focus and cognizant abilities, but my guitar playing still isn’t up to speed. i’m working on it every day and i can see improvement as my brain recreates pathways. it feels like i’ve lost strength and not so much technique.
      i’m taking a little time off the blog and i’ll get back to most frequent posting next week. we have done a ton of things recently and it’s all bloggable! thanks for your encouragement Jim. take care.

  4. MJ,

    Sorry to hear about the setback. It looks like you’re taking it in stride. My uncle and mentor often says: “There are no bad things in life; there are only things that happen. You can decide whether something has to be ‘bad’ or not.”

    I’m sure that playing guitar is an excellent form of therapy. All the best,


    Truett Black’s last blog post..Hakka Dreams

    1. Truett Black » your uncle is right about that. and you’re right about the guitar playing being great therapy too. thanks for your well wishes.

  5. This may sound like strange advice….but sometimes someone has to think about the financial side of everything. Since you are an American you should file for Social Security disability immediately. Sure you will probably recover 100% and quickly but it’s probably best to file now incase things don’t go that way and you are unable to later. You wouldn’t want your wife to have to figure all that out by herself. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    1. Mike » thanks for the suggestion. i have something else in mind for that money, which i am going to acquire in a lump sum in the near future.

    1. naruwan » even though it was bad for awhile, i can’t help wondering how bad off the homeless guy, a duck, and a large screwdriver are! thanks for your kind comments.

  6. I’m just a stranger, but would like to express my best wishes also. Hope you’ll improve quickly.

  7. MJ,
    Keep up the steady recovery. As a long time reader and first time commenter, I must say I truly enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

    Best wishes,

    1. e » thanks! the good news is i feel very good and almost back in action. welcome to our blog and we hope to hear from you again soon.

  8. Glad to hear that it was not a stroke. I am hope Hui Chen is feeling much better after hearing that news.

  9. Get well soon. I’ve got some conversation pieces I’ve to run by you to which you will surely flare up to! 🙂

  10. MJ. This is the first time I have been able to read your blog since the 27th of February. For some reason I haven’t been able to access it until just now when I checked again. And I nearly fell off my chair reading this post, mate.

    I hope you are feeling better and stronger. So from Noot and I get well champ and I look foward to reading the posts I have missed. I am happy it wasn’t a mini stroke.

    My dad had a similar thing happen a few years ago and went all dizzy at home when a mate of his was over for dinner and fell of his bar stool and couldn’t speak properly. They took him to the hospital and after a week a doctor said it could have been a mini stroke and prescribed him heart medication.

    Dad said it was all bullshit and there was nothing wrong with his heart and put it down to being off on the day. He never filled the prescription and hasn’t had another turn. So this too was a mistery as well.

    So take it easy MJ which I am sure will be hard for you as you are pretty active and you will be back at full blogging before you know it.


    Brunty’s last blog post..Practicing for Graduation Day in Thailand.

  11. Brunty »

    thanks for your kind words my friend. i couldn’t do any better with all the love and concern that’s been pouring out from our friends and readers. glad to hear your dad’s problem turned out to be of no consequence either. man that has got to be one of the scariest things that can happen to a person! take care.

  12. MJ,

    wish you a speedy recovery from here in SoCal.

    Looking forward to read you and look at your beautiful pictures!

  13. Hope you’re feeling better now MJ. We’re thinking of you. I’ve missed reading your posts. Please get better soon. I’m lost without my daily dose of a day in the life of a bushman!

    Carrie’s last blog post..Macro Lily

  14. Just checking in MJ. I hope this craziness is behind you and you are busy finding material for this here blog.

    I need an update on your freaky neighbor!


    David’s last blog post..Hello Motos

  15. David »

    for the most part, all this business is behind me and i’m back to normal. now if only live itself were normal! haha take care my friend.

  16. Pete »

    thanks so much. i’m pretty much back to normal and i’ll have an update after tomorrow. but in the meantime yes we are taking photos and gathering features for new articles. thanks for sticking with us though these difficult times!

    1. Prince Roy » that would be the Thai New Year celebration in Taoyuan stadium on April 13. it’s an all day thing and totally free. we’re supposed to be playing in the morning, they say but who knows? i’ll post an update once i find out more info.

  17. MJ – I’ve been out of town this month so I didn’t see this post until today. What a scary thing to go through. I’m glad to hear that your doctor has ruled out the big 3. Please take care of yourself. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

    Sandy’s last blog post..My TripAdvisor Map

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