I’m happy to welcome businessman, entrepreneur, and author David Hardiman. Today, David shares his inspiring journey and memoir, Bailey’s Remarkable Plan.
Have you ever been alone with your thoughts and realized you had a purpose beyond your past or the future others believed was in your cards? Well, I became aware at an early age that my future was more than I understood at the time. In my heart, I realized that my life would change when I became an adult; that it would change from the limited vision of my youthful experience. I planned for a better life from that point forward. I knew at an early age that I would someday express my thoughts and stories through the written word. I wanted to be an author from that time.
As an author, you have options others don’t. You can really be anyone you desire, good or bad; often without the consequences. Your imagination is your road map to success. That is true even if your genre is nonfiction. Why? You decide how to express your thoughts and what your words will show.
As a businessman and entrepreneur, I found myself writing in a different way than as an author. That may sound confusing, but it is not at all. My professional career required an ability to clearly express my thoughts through written words in such a way as to successfully convince an individual or group of individuals what I proposed or desired was the solution needed to complete their wishes. When dealing with contracts worth millions of dollars, you may not get a second chance to convince your audience to do as you wish. The real beauty of this time and effort was it was like the sharpening of a knife; the knife can only cut well when its edge has been honed to perfection. My skills were improved because my style was sharpened for years by my interchange in my written and verbal efforts.
I began writing my first book in 2003. Shortly thereafter, I met with a literary agent to reach out and to see what my possibilities were from his understanding of the industry. It troubled me that an author who creates a work is relegated to the back row, at least in the beginning, and really has little control of the end product once it has been handed off to a publishing house. I suppose that is a struggle many authors face. I began looking for the way I could get my books to my audience without the mainstream publishing industry possibly changing or diluting my words.
When learning to walk, you experience lots of stumbles and you fall down far more times than you would like. It was very difficult to decide whom to trust with the responsibility of publishing my book. The best part of my decision was that it provided me the ability to control the content of my book so that I was able to show the quality of my style of writing. Of course, making sure my story was everything I wanted was part of my enjoyment as I achieved success.
Bailey’s Remarkable Plan tells part of my life story and shares some of my journey to become a writer. Challenges in life are not unusual, and my challenges were numerous. As a child, I faced many obstacles that often other people are unable to overcome. I was ill with many different health problems throughout childhood and visited the local hospital on several occasions; in one instance, for a long extended stay.
The cause of my health problems would not be known until I reached the ripe old age of 53. In 2000, after two years of illness and living on antibiotics, my internal medicine specialist referred me to a hematologist/oncologist. His diagnosis would answer a lifetime of questions. A rare congenital immune system defect diagnosis would finally explain over five decades of illness.
Knowing the cause of nearly all my life long health difficulties was not the most enlightening storyline to come out of this difficult time. My condition is considered medically life threatening and non-curable. The most recognized approach to helping my condition is an infusion of gamma globulin. About three months into my first regimen, my doctor examined me and then invited me into his private office. It was here my story would take on a whole new dimension, and the real amazing part of my life would be revealed.
He began our conversation by asking me why I believed I had been able to overcome the medical obstacles in my life. I was confused by his question; after all, I was not the doctor. He clarified that he wanted to know my opinion of why I had been able to overcome all my challenges in life. I explained to him that I had trusted God and Christ throughout my life after I was baptized at the age of 11. Each time my life spiraled out of control with illness or other challenges, I simply gave it all to God in prayer and allowed Him to take care of me.
It was then that he shared with me that I am unique in all his experience and knowledge of this condition. My genius oncologist researched at length other medical cases in addition to those he himself had diagnosed and cared for. He told me that historically people who have my condition are not successful in life. Those who are born with this long and difficult to spell and say genetic immune system defect and with the medical history I had growing up, typically, do not survive childhood.
He told me that no case he could find showed any of the people who have this immune disorder being successful in even one area, much less all areas of life as I have enjoyed. He told me that in spite of his own Buddhist belief, my answer had to be the reason for my survival and success in life. I was stunned that he would so readily agree with me as to my faith being the explanation for how I had accomplished my life. My shock was even further magnified when he explained to me that my faith was the one element he did not find in all his research of the cases he was able to find and review. That was evidence to him of why I was successful in living my life.
Fast-forward 10 years and my life would have yet another onslaught of unexpected difficulty that would take every fiber of my being to survive. In the previous two years, I had started treatments again because I kept living on antibiotics. My doctor’s hope was that he could once again revive my immune system as had occurred all those years ago during my first round of infusions.
This time, things would not go so well. He was forced to stop treatment when I failed to respond and began getting worse. New and different problems were causing me to lose all my energy, and I began to have difficulty with a new beast. Whereas I had always been able to take the stresses of my life and turn them into achievements, I became overwhelmed and was unable to force my way through the problems I faced. Instead of accomplishment, I now had failure whenever I pushed out on any project. I caught whatever new bug was frequenting our area and was forced to try and recover instead of accomplishing tasks. Then my doctors discovered that my issues were due to a weakened adrenal system. Eventually some of my function would improve, but I never returned to my normal.
The scary part was yet to come. In 2008, just a few months before my treatments began, my wife, Trish, and I bought a new shih tzu puppy. Bailey was to be my wife’s little girl. She, however, refused our plan; Bailey insisted that I was hers and she was mine. Almost everyone who saw us together observed that this little bundle of fur would not let me out of her sight.
When I began taking treatments, I noticed something special about Bailey. After spending three to four hours each time receiving my intravenous treatments, I would come home and go to bed. Bailey would climb in bed with me and stay as close as possible until I woke up. When I got up, she either sat with me or stayed by my feet and did not leave my side. It became apparent she was taking care of me.
During and after the months of treatment, Bailey did her best to minimize my stress and seemed to concentrate on making me well. We began to refer to her as Nurse Bailey or Dr. Bailey.
In 2010, a new and even more frightening chapter of my life began; a chapter that would change me and bring to bear how important Bailey is to and for me. Four letters describe a condition that only those who live with it can truly understand and attempt to explain. PTSD – which stands for post-traumatic stress disorder – is a demon that comes to visit and stays. This evil monster consumes the person it attacks and changes the life of those affected. In addition, PTSD impacts and stresses those closest to the one being attacked. It creates unimaginable difficulties in living daily with the beast influencing how one reacts to the personal environment, human interchanges and a host of normally taken for granted occurrences.
My life went 180 degrees the opposite direction from how I had accomplished my history. Gregarious and outgoing previously, I now became withdrawn and introverted. This was the scariest moment in my life that I could remember.
Medicine did not help. Talking did not help. Nothing my doctors or I did helped me deal with life as I had always been able to do. What emerged was new and fascinating once I was able to realize what was occurring to me. I began to notice that Bailey made me more comfortable with everything happening around me. She somehow knew when I was about to experience a panic attack, and she would alert me to its impending arrival in time that I could prepare myself to deal with the explosion of vile emotion. Bailey became my service dog, and she now makes it possible for me to recover a larger portion of how my life once was.
Bailey’s Remarkable Plan tells the story of how a boy became a man living with some unimaginable difficulties. It also shares how, thanks to my trust in God, I overcame immense obstacles to live a full-and-successful life.
This story, my story, will inspire you and lift you. Bailey is my rescuer, and her story is woven into the intricate framework of our history together.
Without Bailey, I would never have written this book. Without Bailey, it is doubtful I would have ever realized my dream of becoming a published author. Now, as a published author, there is still much I wish and need to learn.
In 2003, I began writing a book of fiction; and I still intend to publish that book. You might think that was the end of my journey to become an author, but that would be incorrect. That book was not the end of my beginning because it is not the story I was meant to tell at this point in my life. I had worked for years on that book, only to put it aside so I could write this book.
I awoke one morning with Bailey’s Remarkable Plan in my head. I got out of bed and immediately began the pursuit of completing our story. It took less than three months to write, and it was if the story flowed from my fingers. Amazing!
Where to find David…