By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 5/23/2017
Posted: 5/3/2017
Topics/Keywords: #Autobiography #Metaphysics #Health Page Views: 200
How a long-ago trauma causes me to continually injure my left leg.

Since I was a kid, my left leg has been subject to some pretty horrendous torture. Sure, I started small with the usual scrapes and bruises but by the time I was in 6th Grade I had to wear a cast for weeks, then a brace (you can imagine how that contributed to my popularity in a new school). The worst, of course, was the year I spent in hosital and convalescing after I almost died from flesh-eating bacteria…in my left leg. But just a few weeks ago, I broke that same leg while house-hunting in Key West, and I've decided enough is enough! —I'm going to figure out the karmic causes to this so I can stop it from happening any more.


In order to make any sense of this, one must know a little more detail regarding my special left-leg history.

I'm 66 years old, but I still remember what I assume is the first incident to that leg: A fall on the pavement while wearing shorts at probably age 3. My mom wasn't the gentlest of mothers and went right for the ethyl alcohol, which of course hurt far worse than the fall.

There's nothing special, though, about scraping one's knee. Is there anyone with knees who hasn't? And I've never had any reason to link this incident with a grander picture, until I began meditating for this post.

Me in 1963

We were Catholic; in St. Augustine, Florida, I attended Catholic school and spent a lot of time in church, kneeling. In 6th grade, I began to notice something inside my knee, like a pebble. That worried me, so I told my mom and, after a few doctor and orthopedic appointments, it was determined I had a condition known as Osgood-Schlatter Disease, and would need to, either, wear a cast for six weeks, or a brace for six months.

(They no longer find the cast or brace to be helpful. And, in any case, the orthopedist said the condition would clear up on its own in time. But we went for the cast anyway. After all, it wouldn't do for a good Catholic boy to not be able to kneel until he was 18!)

I got the cast and had to stay inside except for school and church. I needed crutches to move around.

In school, the cast was a novelty at first. My classmates signed it. But I couldn't really play with anyone outside. One neighbor, Harry McLaughlin, did come to visit almost every afternoon for an hour or so. (Sadly, he died in a car accident just a few years later when we were both in junior college.) I truly appreciated his visits, but they stopped when I got the cast removed. I was pretty isolated, not least because my bedroom had been an afterthought on the house we lived in, and to get to the rest of the house I had to walk through a utility room

And that damned cast itched like hell. I reached into it as far as I could with pencils, pens and rulers to scratch what I could. But it itched and itched and I was trapped in there. The edges of the cast began to crumble and get into it, making things worse. After the second week, I had to go to the hospital to have the cast repaired. And, then, again a week later. By now, in theory, I was nearing the six-week mark for when I would be healed. Except, an X-ray taken through the cast showed little improvement.

I had been measured for the brace up front, just in case. We had to drive to Jacksonville (a big deal then, though it was only an hour or so away, even without the Interstate that was completed later) to get it after the device had been fabricated.

My leg had been cooped up in that cast for a month, and the orthopedist took out his circular saw and cut it off me. The feel of plain air on my skin was unbelievably intense, and even a fingertip dragged against the tender skin felt like a knife. Moving the leg was torture. But the doc assured me the feeling would come back quickly, and it did. I was riding on air all the way home.

That day was November 23, 1963. While we were driving home from Jacksonville, with no car radio, President John F. Kennedy had been shot. We found out when we arrived back in St. Augustine and my mom made a run into the bank, coming out ashen.

While wearing the brace still marked me as—my great fear—different, I was at least able to walk normally; and if I added the crutches I learned to scoop along at a pretty good clip. Still, my self-imposed sense of isolation grew and kept me, I think, from making more friends.


In 2002 I experienced my left leg becoming extremely sore for no reason. I had just started a new job (at Best Western) and hated to go to the emergency room; but—after making my then-husband, Michael, wait for me to finish watching that night's episode of Star Trek: Voyager—I did.

By then, my leg was very, visibly, red—so much so that the admitting nurse at the ER spotted it from inside and met me at the door with a wheelchair. Within minutes, I was admitted and being pumped full of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Although I spent the rest of the week in the hospital, I completely recovered and was able to return to my new job.

But why cellulitis? I hadn't cut myself, or had any recent mishaps to that leg. The docs explained that no one really knows, but that it was possible that I may have gotten an infection even decades earlier in the fascia, that is, the layer between the skin and the muscle. "Having been once cut by a fish has been reported as a marker."

Oyster Bed in nearby Moultrie Creek

Well, that rang a bell. In 1962, before I got the Osgood-Schlatter and the cast, I was walking along the Matanzas Bay near my home and, in a fifth-grade whim, decided to see how far out into the low tide I could walk on the exposed oyster beds. In my newly-introduced Flip-Flops.

You've seen oysters. Imagine them packed into a bed the size of a city street, and this is not something you'd want to lie down on.

And they were wet, and therefore sticky. And, since I never ate oysters, I had no idea they were so sharp. One Flip-Flop fell off and when I stepped onto the oysters, I got several deep cuts on my left foot. I also got one when I tried to get my balance with my right hand.

A neighbor, Mrs. Goode, lived very close. I called for her from the street, hoping she'd be willing to help somehow. Since I was standing in a pool of blood, I didn't want to go on her newly-painted porch; and, when she did come, she did not invite me up. "Well, you'd better hurry home then!" in her perfect British accent. I cut through the cemetery; when I got home Gramma cleaned me up and Mom took me to the doctor's. I did not need stitches; it all cleared up without further incident…unless it turned up 40 years later as the cause of my cellulitus.

But a week's worth of full-spectrum antibiotics should have cleared any remaining infections away.

Flesh-eating Bacteria (Necrotizing Fasciitis)

I've written pretty extensively about my attack of necrotizing fasciitis in 2011. The point to bring up here, though, is that it happened just as I found myself being dragged into a situation I hadn't expected: Breaking up with my husband, Michael, and partnering with a new guy, Jason. Jason had (I later learned) Borderline Personality Disorder; such people are expects at making others fall in love with them, pressing for a quick committment and then, only after alienating one from one's family and older friends do they become abusive. After knowing each other for only a month, he managed to get kicked out of his apartment so he "had" to move in with me, even though I wasn't ready.

Jason wanted us to get a new bed, and I wanted a waterbed. I found a used one on Craigslist and we brought it home, but just chucked it into the garage because we were heading out to go camping. When we got back Monday, we lugged it upstairs and set it up and that was our new bed.

Nothing exciting happened that night. But the next night, while Jason and I were spooning, I felt something sharp jab my left foot. "Jason, man, you gotta clip your nails!" I told him.

"But I did," he said; and, sure enough, I felt and could find no sharp edges on his toes. And I was so tired, that I didn't continue the invesigation and went to sleep.

Brown recluse

In retrospect, it seems most likely that our waterbed had picked up a hitchhiker during the weekend in the garage, and that I'd been bit by one of our scary Arizona spiders, like a brown recluse. But we never actually found one (when Jason looked later) so I guess we'll never know.

The next day, Wednesday, was uneventful.

But Thursday morning I woke early, about 5 AM, sick as a dog. I was feverish and freezing and showered to warm up until the hot water gave out; apparently I threw up in there, too, though I don't remember it. When Jason got up, though, I convinced myself (and him) that it was just the flu, and I'd be fine, and he should go ahead to work. The rest of the family did the same.

But I wasn't fine. In fact, I got worse. I realized the symptoms of cellulitis had returned, but I was too sick to do anything about it. I tried calling Jason, but I dropped my cellphone on the floor and was too weak to pick it up.

Eventually, Jason came home from work and we headed for the emergency room at Banner Desert Hospital, which was definitely not the nearest to me but it was the nearest to us by the time we figured out whether I needed meds, a visit to the naturopathic doctor, or just an ER.

That was a horrible experience. The ER was set up (then, I hope to the gods they've changed it) as a series of rooms, all packed, from which they streamed patients one from the other. I was in the Banner Desert ER 14 hours before I was even seen. By then, then celluitis had advanced to necrotizing fasciitis. I spent two days in a coma and when I awoke, all the skin from below my left knee had been removed, and half the fascia. In subsequent days, I had four surgeries performed to transplant healthy skin from my thighs to my left calf. (Changing the bandages on the donor sites is the worst pain I've ever had to endure, though fortunately that process was relatively quick.)

My leg

After three months I was allowed to return home, and Jason and I made a celebratory trip to Hawaii. But while there, an infection returned and when I got back home I wound up back in the hospital, spending a total of six months or so combating returning infections in that leg.

Incidentally, I left Jason—twice. He married another guy and died of alcohol poisoning a couple of years ago.

Broken Leg

And that brings us up to the present, or rather, a little over a month ago, when I broke my leg in two places in Key West. (Well, what I mean is, I broke my leg in both the fibula and the tibia, but it was in one incident.)

What was I doing in Key West? Well, my daughter Jenny decided to move there, taking my grandbabies with her. But she wasn't trying to escape; she was just really tired of the Phoenician heat and dry air; and she offered to support Keith and I moving to be near her if we wished. Keith and I actually made a trip there a year ago. It wasn't my first first by a long shot; but it was Keith's, and he did like the place a lot. Which was emphasized in January when we returned for my daughter, Karen's, wedding. I drove there with my son, John, in February. And then in March Keith and I returned just for a visit. But, on that last visit, Jenny decided to take us househunting.

We looked at several places, including one that we actually liked. But you never know if the next place will be better; and the next place was a houseboat.

Toy houseboat

When I was about five, my favorite bath toy was a little plastic houseboat. I would imagine the family living there, and then a storm would come up and the water would get really rough and sink the boat. I would do this over and over, but it was about sinking the boat, not drowning the family. I think.

So, when Jenny told us about the househunting trip and what kind of places would I like to see? I instantly replied, "I always wanted to live in a houseboat!" But, actually, I hadn't, not since I was eight at most. Nevertheless, we were on our way to look at a houseboat.

It was located at a Key West marina, and was actually rather pretty. Although I did not take photos while we were there (for, as it will turn out, good reasons), here's the realtor's picture that drew us in:

Houseboat ad

Jenny's real estate agent led us to the pier and then to the boat, and introduced us to the agent whose company was listing it, who was already on board. It wasn't large, of course; but the main point is that it didn't look bright and cheery as in the photo. That photo was a time exposure (normal for interior shots) but it was actually much darker, more like this:

Houseboat as we saw it

It wasn't large, of course; and took just a few moments for Keith and I to look at the galley, bedroom, etc. while Jenny watched the babies. We returned to the living room. I happened to be facing Jenny near the bar when she took a step toward me to say something. It was cramped and I instinctively took a step back to hear and see her better in the gloom (wider angle, I guess) and, suddenly, gravity stopped working. My right leg seemed to fall out of the world; my left leg, struggling to maintain my balance, twisted and rolled to the side until I was on the floor, my right leg dangling into space, my left horribly twisted on the floor.

"Oh my god!" everyone else cried at once. I was in too much pain to say a word. "Are you all right?"

"I don't know," I gasped. "I don't think so."

The real estate agent showing the houseboat was beside herself with dismay. "While I was waiting, I took the hatch off the hold so you can see how much storage is on the unit." But the poor woman had neglected to actually mention that fact; and in the gloom my right leg had fallen right into it. It was nearly filled with old crates and boxes but they must have been empty because they didn't even slow my free-fall. My arm, caught in the side of the hatch, was the only thing keeping me from falling further. In addition to the pain in my ankle and knee, I could tell I had probably broken a rib.

Obviously, house hunting was concluded for the day. While Jenny assured the real estate agent that we realized she had not intended for anyone to get hurt, Keith and Jenny's agent supported me on either side for the long walk back that short pier to Jenny's agent's car. Every step was agony, as my left leg couldn't support me at all, and despite my continuing intentional weight loss I am still not a small man. The houseboat agent had recommended a nearby urgent care center, and the agent drove us right there and dropped us off. Jenny was in her own car, but she had the babies so had to take them home, promising to send my grandson, Zach, to pick us up.

However, that urgent care place was mobbed and, as I waited to be seen, I recognized I was going into shock. (Why is it that urgent care people try to convince a person he's not going into shock, when that person has had extensive first aid and lifesaving training and knows what the fuck shock is like?)

Anyway, as it happened, the night before I had driven a friend of Zach's to the Lower Keys Medical Center emergency room on adjacent Stock Island. There'd been no waiting and everyone there seemed competent. So when Zach arrived, I told the Urgent Care center that I would be back if I ever needed something that wasn't urgent, and we drove to Stock Island. Again, there was no waiting.


One of my X-rays from the Lower Keys Medical Center Imaging Department. It clearly shows one of the two fractures. The staples are leftovers from my bout with necrotizing fasciitis.

A quick X-ray revealed that I had, not only broken my leg—oh, no. I had broken it in two places, both the tibula and the fibula—the two main, weight-bearing bones of the leg. Granted, I was very lucky. The breaks were both fractures; the bone hadn't broken completely nor become displaced (breaking the skin). The ER techs quickly put a splint on my leg and sent me home with crutches and a referral to an orthopedic specialist.


Well, I figured, it takes about six weeks for a broken bone to heal—I assume the same for two to heal concurrently—and, if I must be laid up somewhere, I could definitely do worse than Key West.

But with the splint came a new issue. I found myself fighting a panic attack. I don't normally get these, but I sure as hell had a doozie or two when I was hospitalized with the NF. And I got that I probably had developed PTSD from that experience, and was now having a flashback. However, understanding intellectually what was going on didn't reduce the panic. Only the pain killers they'd given me in the ER made it possible for me to sleep at all, and then fitfully.

Cast becomes splint

The next day the orthopedist removed the splint and replaced it with a full-blown cast. But now the panic set in and wouldn't leave. I was trapped in that cast, as I'd been trapped in 6th grade and in 2011. I couldn't stop myself from clawing at it. Finally, by nightfall, I returned to the Lower Keys ER and made them remove the cast, which they did by cutting it in half and turning it into another splint. I kept it on for the trip home, but once I got onto my cot on Jenny's porch, I removed it and breathed easily for the first time since the incident.

Orthopedic boot

The poor orthopedist didn't seem to have any understanding of PTSD whatsoever. He did accept, however, that splints and casts weren't going to work for me, practically speaking. So he gave me a "boot" and a prescription for some Xanax and sent me back to Jenny's.

I did wear the boot a couple times, but in reality, except for going to the bathroom, I pretty much stayed on that cot for the next week or so.

When Keith and I came to visit on this trip, Jenny had gotten us a nice little tent we pitched next to her pool. (Her house is small and Keith and I would both prefer sleeping outdoors.) But I could no longer crawl into it, which is why I wound up on the porch sofa that I've been calling a cot.

And now, we were at the beginning of a new month, and I couldn't really travel yet, but we had bills and other issues at home that needed to be dealt with. So Keith left on his original return flight, leaving me to heal on Jenny's porch.

Drugs helped.

Jenny had another of my daughters, Karen, fly down from Virginia to help out for a few days, since Jenny had the babies to watch and I needed help to do anything. By now I had learned I could use the crutches they'd given me in the ER without bothering with the boot. The pain was pretty intense if I forgot to keep up with the hydrocodone, but otherwise was manageable. I began to appreciate that all the hiking I've done with Keith the past few years (and, giving credit where it's due, with Jason before that) has kept my bones relatively dense for a man my age. That was a hard fall, and I began to see that, if not for the hiking, I wouldn't just be healing—my leg would have shattered completely, and I would probably never, ever, fully recover.

But Karen, who has a husband, job and life, couldn't stay with us indefinitely. And I thought I had recovered enough to go home, which I wanted especially because I was missing Keith so much. So Jenny got me a first class flight back home; we notified the airline we would need wheelchair service and off I went.

Me and my birthday cake

That was not my all-time favorite flight. For one thing, despite the fact that Jenny had gotten me a first class ticket, first class on my flight from Miami to Phoenix was overbooked so they stuck me in the forward economy seat, where I had to stick my leg into the aisle (it wouldn't bend enough to put under the seat in front of me) and met new and interesting people all during the flight as they tripped over it.

I made it home in time for my 66th birthday. It's been about 5½ weeks; I realize I will not be 100% in the next few days— it still takes me 10 minutes to walk the dog to the grass—but at least I can walk the dog! I am now attending regular physical therapy sessions, following up with my doc and a local orthopedist, and so on. I really am feeling much better.

Metaphysician, Heal Thyself

But a week ago, talking with Keith, I brought up all this bit about how my left leg seems to bear the brunt of all my misadventures. And I started wondering what, in fact, was going on. Because, let's face it, something was going on that I couldn't control but that, at this rate, was probably someday going to succeed in killing me.

I've studied metaphysics since I was 19. That's my religion, if you want to call it that, except that religions have ritual and faith and dogma (you must believe without question) while metaphysical spirituality is about finding out what's true for oneself. For some that may include ritual—it doesn't with me—but metaphysical spirituality is about learning what is, instead of being told what is.

Consequently, I have long been of the habit of doing my own psychic readings. And they are usually pretty accurate (last night I put my music player on shuffle and then guessed correctly the next four songs to come up). But when we receive an attack, it can lower our quantum frequency, which negatively impacts our ability to read even ourselves. And although I was certain I could spot some sort of karmic aspect to my leg issues, I have never been able to pierce that veil and figure what, exactly, the issue is.

Matt Muschott

So. I have a Facebook friend named Matt Muschott. We've never met in person; in fact, I no longer even remember who introduced us. But Matt and I have chatted a number of times over the past couple of years, and appreciate that we seem to be coming from very much the same perspective on many, many issues. More to the point, Matt is a professional psychic, and I decided I would pay a professional to help with what I was not having luck with—just as I did with my leg. Or if I need a plumber.

So I sent Matt this email. And, please note, I gave him far less info than I have just given you, dear reader.

Hi Matt, I thought maybe I could help out with your slow season.

So, here’s my question, with the backstory.

Things, serious things that inhibit my mobility, have plagued me all my life and they always happen to my left leg. I had to wear a brace in 6th grade (you can imagine how popular that made me) for half the year, for a minor condition I found out later would have cured itself.

Ten years ago, I got flesh-eating bacteria in that leg and spent half the year in a couple of hospitals, leaving not only with a horribly scarred leg but also, due to lengthy and heavy medication, an impaired memory. On the other hand, though they had to remove all the skin and half the fascia below the knee, they did not have to cut into muscle, so I was able to make an almost complete mechanical recovery, though the scars are still there. (People don’t seem to notice even when I wear shorts, for some reason but I guess I don’t check out everyone’s legs either. Especially 66-year-old men’s. But I could get back into hiking and did, which helped make my bones strong. Thank the gods.

Because a month ago, I fall into an opened hold hatch on a houseboat with my right leg, and my left leg wound up twisting and breaking as I fell. I’m recovering pretty well, in pain but smoking ;) helps and it really is better every day. (In many ways, the flesh-eating bacteria impacted my life positively, despite the obvious setbacks.)

But that’s the backstory. Here’s my question:

Where’s my vape pen?

Ha ha, no, just kidding. My real question is:

Why is it always my left leg? Did I stomp a baby with it in a past life? Is my species normally monopodal? Is there anything I can do to prevent future karmic adjustments of this sort?

Ah, no just one question. About why the left leg. The rest was just to add flavor.

Hugs buddy,


That night, as I was on my back porch smoking, I suddenly felt suffused with Light and Joy. I thought it might be Matt checking me out psychically, but he says no. Still, it was a beautiful experience. And the next day I received the following reply from Matt:

Hello Paul,

How nice to hear from you! I appreciate your question and the background information. Here is what came through for you.

I immediately get a sense of numerous past life traumas connected with your left leg. I see an image of you wading waste deep in a muddy river holding a wooden weapon in both hands high above your head. You look to be Vietnamese. You were standing stock still in a line of other men. Your lives, in that moment, depended upon you being completely quiet. To move or make a sound of any sort would have given away your position and all of you would have been killed. There was swarm of activity under the murky water and your legs were attacked by something flesh eating. Only your left leg was affected. Not every man in your group was attacked by these flesh eating fish. Even with all of that, you stood still. During all of this, your thoughts were of not giving up, of remaining loyal regardless of circumstances. It was a brief attack on your leg but one that is still locked in your cellular memory. You survived the attack and lived many more years.

There is an overall cycle or pattern here of being frozen stock still, like a deer in headlights. Times when your body locked into place as a survival mechanism. Spirit says that during these times, a part of you would check out, a part of your soul would even fracture. Feelings of helplessness, torture, abuse, abandonment, and terror are also locked in the cellular memory of your left leg.

Since these experiences over the course of multiple lifetimes, you have been working on reclaiming these fractured aspects of your soul. In doing so, the ego memory says "No!!!! It is safer to stand still than it is to move forward." Your mind and soul believe the opposite. That is why hiking, walking, and climbing are so important to you. It is a physical expression of moving forward and a symbolic act of getting closer to your cosmic home (represented by the sky and stars).

I suggest invoking the Violet Flame of Transmutation (St. Germaine) and visualizing the flame moving through all affected areas of your body. This flame will break down the locked in energy and help it to raise in vibration so that it can lighten up and move on. Also be sure to focus on what energy you want in the place of the old cellular memories.

So, in general, anything on the left represents the past and / or female/feminine energies. Legs represent support, foundation, and moving forward.

You may also find it helpful to consciously remind all parts of you that you are in the here an now. I will say to myself "My name is Matt this time. I am on planet Earth in Ohio. The year is 2017." Anything that reminds myself of who and where I am now.

I hope that what I've shared has helped.

Blessings of Peace to you.


Well, I practically blew a gasket reading this. It felt dead on. I knew Matt had found an image that would convey to me the karmic energy that kept messing up my leg. I cried. Actually, I sobbed. In a manly way. No, actually I pretty much broke down for minutes. And then again each time I reread it, though admittedly for shorter periods each time.

Here's an example of metaphysics people dealing with differences in our perception of reality. Matt references Saint Germain, a Christian saint who is supposed to be an "ascended master". I can't call myself a fan. (I personally don't think a real ascended master would need to present his bona fides to attract followers.) But that's okay, because that wasn't Matt's point. The Violet Flame of Transmutation is something I'm familiar with (from within the context of ONA, the metaphysical system I set up with my ex-husband Michael Manion). So I've been employing the heck outta that ol' violet flame pretty much constantly, and meditating on the images Matt gave me.

Seriously, Matt, I am truly appreciative and (as you know) would be happy to return the favor any time I can.

For any readers who'd like to check out Matt's website, you'll find it at He (or his web designer) have come up with a very pretty site.