Personal Countdown

We have a lot to do in the remaining week of our stay at Morro Bay State Park… and I’m still not fully recovered from my back surgery. I’ve concluded that it would be best for me if I got a power jack for the tongue of my toybox/car hauler to make hookups easier. Not that I have to lift the tongue, but cranking the manual jack could put a lot of twist on me as well.

Yesterday, I met with the Pulmonologist who gave me a few recommendations and explained a few of the CT results of my lung nodes, plaque, and other abnormalities.
There is damage from asbestosis, and 3-4 mm nodes from pneumonia or whatever. At this stage they may not mean much, but recommend that I be re-check in 3 months and again in 6 months. If they haven’t been growing, yearly checks after that will be O.K. So, I’m optimistic. I’ve know for a lot of years that sooner or later I’d have to meet the Asbestos Demon head-on, and if something else doesn’t take me first, asbestos will.
I’d sure like to have something astounding, mystical of sublime to write about. But my activities have been pretty well curtailed until I’m healed a little better. A few clandestine trips to town (Dr. said no riding in a car for the first 2 weeks), and a few trips to the beach so Evelyn could walk Jolie, has kept me from getting stir-crazy or riddled with cabin fever.
Probably the best movie that we’ve seen during these “lazy daze” is found on It’s a documentary of the genetic modification of foods.


One Week and Progressing

One week ago, today, I was being stitched up about this hour. The surgery has gone well. I made the noon rounds with Evelyn today and this afternoon I’ll be going to the beach with her and Jolie for the first time after surgery.

I’ve done a lot of “lounging” and walking about a 1/4 per day. While lounging I’ve read an awesome book, How Starbucks Saved My Life  by Michael Gates Gill. He was  a top Exec for a top advertising agency in NY City… Until he got the Pink Slip at 60 years-old after giving them 25 years of his life. After five years of trying to get a job, he was sitting in a Starbucks wondering when he should give it all up, when a nice Afro-American lady asked him if he’d like a job at Starbucks… working for her.
 Did he?! He filled out the app. and went into training. He discovered that they offer health care for even their part-time employees.
The book chronicles the first year of his new lease-on-life. Over all, it’s a very interesting read.
I’m not even a coffee drinker, but I’ve a new admiration for the business model of this company.

Two weeks until departure time.

Changing Doctors

On 04-06-2010, I went willingly into that “good night” at 10 AM. Committing my life into the hands of an anesthesiologist, a nurse, and a Neurosurgeon, named Dr. Harold Segal, praying that God would guide his hands.

Four hours later… minus 20 pieces of disc shards… I was in the recovery room. By 3:30 PM I was on my way to Room 249 where I would get acquainted with Eric, a 54 year-old fellow who had just had a knee replacement. As his story unfolded over the next day and a half, he had received what he jokingly called his Obama-knee. They had only replaced the bottom half of his knee joint with a chrome-alloy.

Eric lives alone in a three-story split-level house and was looking forward with dread, to climbing the 15 steps to his front door. Because he would need to be using a walker for a couple of weeks, the P.T. person was recommending that he go to an interim care facility until he could carry at least carry his cup of coffee to the table in the morning. However, when the doctor came in to talk to him this morning, he talked him out of interim -care, telling him he would just be unhappy in a place with people that were all 20 years older than him… he needed to just get way from the walker ASAP.

I thought my idea of hiring a couple of college girls to come to his home to take care of things would help him get up-and-around the quickest.

Every stay in the hospital has its own unique adventure tales, I guess. So, I’ll share a couple. The nurse prepping my for the O.R. was the nicest, freckle-faced kid, possible in her early-20’s. She wanted to find a vein on my left arm to insert a catheter. After placing the tourniquet around my arm and stroking and tapping vein after vein in vain, she decided to try the most likely spot. But I guess I’ve had too many needles in that arm, for after several unsuccessful attempts, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and offered to get another nurse to try it.
”Oh, poppy-cock,” says I, “Just because you’re as young as my grand-daughters, and have cute freckles, it doesn’t mean you an excuse to give up so easily. Try the other arm!”
She did. It worked, and she thanked me for letting her have another chance. Bye-the-bye, she was a pretty good gurney-driver going to the O.R., also.

I had a relatively small complaint that first afternoon. While they were pumping liquid IV’s into me , they wanted me to drink as much water as I could. Being a good patient, I set-to with a gusto. By 8 PM I was on my 5th pitcher of water. A nurse stopped by to warn my about drinking too much water. I guess I was in danger of depleting my electrolytes. Well, anyone can tell you that if start drinking a lot of water, it’s gotta go somewhere. At this point I was still unable to roll over, so using a urinal posed a bit of a problem for me. After tugging and stretching the hose under sheets, I thought I had a good solid bead on the neck of the urinal… but evidently I didn’t, for I lost about half that first shot. When I got the nurse into the room to clean up my mess I bitterly complained that Dr,. Segal must have sabotaged me by shortening that hose from the inside while he was taking out disk parts!

All in all, it was a successful operation. I’ve trade a big pain in one location for a lessor pain in another place. On the way home we stopped for a Big Gulp, and I told Evelyn that I am happy to be trading doctors, too Dr. Segal for Dr. Pepper!

Thank you all for your prayers on my behalf.

Under the Knife

Today, at long last, I’m going in for surgery to repair a herniated disk. It promises to stop the pain in my leg and return  a little more coordination to my walk.
On the other hand, I have no garanttee that I’ll even survive this fairly simple repair. That said, I would like to express my gratitude, publicly, for the life I have lived. It has never been easily, but God has been good to me.
 I’ve lived for Her, fought Her, denied Her, and loved Her.

Three Week Survival

 This is what I would have posted after 3 weeks. I’m just about caught-up.


Three weeks and one day…. I’m still sane, I think.

Today, Pastor Steven began a series of sermons leading to Easter Sunday.  He started with a little history of one of the progenitors of Christ… Rahab, the Harlot. Her story actually begins with God’s people of Israel, after 40 years of roaming the desert waiting for the last of the adults who left Egypt to die off in the desert.

Yes, even the stalwart leaders, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were dead. Everyone had been on the boarders of the promised land 40 years earlier  waiting to go in, but somebody got the idea that perhaps Moses (God) didn’t know what he was talking about. They wanted to send in some spies to evaluate the situation… You know, check on the armies that they would be going up against… See what kind of farmland was there… See what the women looked like (they weren’t worried about the men, those would all be killed in battle if all went well), custom was, after all, that the women and kids would be divided up with the cattle and other soils of battle.

This is where they took one of many wrong steps. God said he would “give” them the land. What was it about “give” that they didn’t understand?  It is one of the enemies oldest lies, “God doesn’t really mean that give. You’ll have to fight for it… like everything else you get in life.”

So in bravado and distrust, they sent out 12 spies. Everything exceeded their expectations! Even the soldiers were giants that made them feel like grasshoppers. When all but 2 of them are so negative that they cause the whole group to balk at crossing the river, God get pissed and says nobody is going into the land but Moses, where he plans to start over again with his descendants.
 “Whoa! Just a minute!! On second thought… How hard can this be? We can do it,” the people cry out.

“Too late,” God warns. Sure enough, less than half the soldiers survive that first fight. Moses pleads for the people before God, and He relinquishes, telling them that only 2 of the existing adults will ever see that Promised Land.

Fast forward forty years and the kids have all buried their parents and they stand on the river bank again. Caleb and Joshua, the two faith-filled spies from forty years ago are now the leaders. BUT, are they really faith-filled? The people of Israel had already goofed by sending out spies 40 years earlier!

Not only that, but the record says, (Joshua 2:1) “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially the city of Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.”

This raises some loaded questions:
Why did they only go as far as Rahab’s Whorehouse? Or did they stop there for a “quickie” on the way home?
How did she recognize them as the spies?

I think: They went to Rahab’s primarily, because they were men! They were “discovered” as soon as they disrobed revealing their circumcised anatomy.

Why didn’t she rat on them?

I think: She and her family needed salvation in order to be progenitors of Christ.
She didn’t rat them out because she recognized what they, themselves couldn’t… that God was with the Israelites.

03-07-2010   Growing Old Gracefully

I think that it was Wednesday, of last week, that Evelyn wanted me to color her hair… which she hasn’t done for more than a year. It may have something to do with her 50th High School reunion that is coming up in early-April.

She tells friends that she’s tired of being looked on as a “Cougar,” (an older woman stalking a much younger man) when she’s in public with me. That may just be a hot topic… or laced with truth.

It is true that she spends a lot more time than I, exercising and maintaining a healthy body, but she’s always had the salt-and-pepper, then white hair that sabotages her of an older age… so I don’t blame her for going for the younger-hair look.

Well, after the job was completed, she looks great! If I had any hair to be gray, I could be her Sugar-daddy! Which gives me an idea… I’ve decided that I will cease cutting my hair until the reunion and dye whatever grows in a silver-white. That should complete the Sugar-daddy effect to her glory.

My retirement income is barely a third more than hers is… not exactly Sugar-daddy material, but it’s what people see that counts… right? So, three cheers for my “Trophy Wife!” Let the young genes out to romp!

Yup! That’s me trotting along behind as she shops.