1999 / 2011
These odds made a trip to Rochester mandatory but we went toWinona first for a visit with Kevin and family stopping at the Mayo library for literature and a very enlightening conversation with a nurse who was there. As a result Merit Care was told to make an appointment for me at Mayo on the following Tuesday. Since the family all have Mayo patient numbers there was a return call to the house Thursday telling me to be in Rochester to be admitted on the following Monday.
All the tests were coordinated by a Greek physician who was very candid about what was found with each test. The pre surgery conference was on the following Friday My surgeon was a young lady from England who very specific about what would take place asking if there were any questions as she finished her briefing. What were the odds of having a colostomy ? She thought for a moment and replied “maybe 2%” and the meeting was over with surgery scheduled for the following Monday at 9 PM. We went toWinonato spend the weekend at Kevin’s house. They were inMaquoketaIAvisiting Carols parents. I received a call from Loretta Knickrehm Saturday which I shall always remember. It was just one of those acts of kindness that was perfectly timed, needed and never forgotten. This was to be my first major surgery and I was apprehensive.
Everything went like clockwork on Monday morning. I was awake long enough after being wheeled into surgery to be introduced to the assistant surgeon, a young lady from China and the anesthesiologist, a fellow from Pakistan. I woke on post surgery with Frances and Kevin with me and Nick crawling around under the bed watching all the tubes.
Moved to a double room I began the recovery which went well except for some indigestion that delayed my discharge by one day.Francesdrove me home on Saturday arriving at the house about 4 PM. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until I stood Up outside the van. I was in bed before 7PM and got a good nights sleep Things went well enough that I never needed any of the pain pills that were sent with.
Monday I walked down hill to the south about a quarter mile round trip. Tuesday it was a trip in the morning and one in the afternoon, Wednesday it was two each morning and afternoon and Thursday one trip each hour starting at 8 AM and the last one at 4 PM and Friday I felt like I had killed myself and had to quit for a day, but the recovery was very rapid thereafter.
By this time we had started getting involved in the antique business.Francesstarted her black doll collection with any other doll and interesting glassware . I started with antique tools going from there to cameras, radio tubes, guns and ammunition with any other odd item that interested me.. We initially started selling these items at the weekly Saturday antique sales they were held outside of the room where Villiard had his auctions in Moorehead.
Then we “discovered” the Shady Hollow Flea Market which became a weekly must for us, both to buy and sell. It was 2002 whenFrancestold me to buy a computer. I hadn’t had anything to do with a computer since the IBM 360 a 1970s personal computer that would fit comfortably in the bed of a pick up truck but I felt if everybody else could I could too. I went everywhere inFargowithout finding anything that I wanted and was on the way home , but decided to stop at the Moorehead Wal-Mart. The one that I am using was on the floor in a box that looked like someone had kicked a hole in the box. A manager told me that they didn’t know what had happened, had discounted the unit $100.00 because of the damaged box and that I could return it inDetroitLakesif it didn’t work. He sold a computer that has worked fine since being put in service.
But I am ahead of myself. Turn of the century proved all the doomsday prognosticators wrong and life continued as before with retirement and our life of ease.
Here, we have arrived at the irony, the mockery of my memory that has fixed almost nothing of the last decade. The highlights are there refreshed by scraps of life about the house . Years of auctions, flea markets, Ebay, dolls and tools, years of new life and heartbreak passing, but not years of demanding detail.
Glen arrived inGrand Rapidsin 2000 with not near the problems that Evan started with and made for a pleasant trip and nice visit
Francesfather was near the end in a hospital inJoplinand we made the trip to be there when the end came.Franceshad herself mentally prepared as we had talked to his doctors several years ago and it was explained to us that he had a progressive lower cranial condition that would eventually claim his life and that time came at about one in the morning. The worst forFranceswas getting her sisters calmed down, then it was out to the house to get some sleep. His funeral was to be inDes Moineswith interment in theAnkenycemetery. A funeral is a funeral and this was no different with the loudest lamentations coming from those who didn’t have time to visit him when he was alive.
Then later in the year it was time for Anne to arrive. Initially we weren’t going to be needed this time but the call finally came and we were off toGrand Rapidsagain. When we arrived Steve was in the bedroom with a cell phone in each hand. Not to worry everything came off fine again andFrancescame home with a beautiful gift from Steve, one that she went out of her way to wear. Then a quiet two years of retirement with not much more than auctions and the Trip toGalveston.
Then mid November 2005 I was cleaning a plane in the kitchen when there was a knock and upon opening the door was greeted by a man from the sheriffs department, who introduced himself, apologized and told me that Paul had been killed in a house fire inWashingtonState. There is no way to describe feelings at a moment like that. One just goes numb and almost limp. Handing me the paper in his hand that carried all the details the caller repeated his condolences and was gone. I walked toFrancesroom where she was watching TV and broke the news. There is nothing but emptiness at a time such as this and silence is the only thing fitting. Then you gotta do what you gotta do.
I called the funeral home listed, found that the body had been cremated, made arrangements for it to be returned to the house, delayed for a while and began calling the rest of the family. That done there was nothing to do but sit in silence till bed time. We got most of a nights sleep but really weren’t functional till mid morning. The remains were here in Just a few days and set on aside table through the winter with interment at St. Mary’s in the spring with all the family home.
Another quiet year of retired routine and the trip south but come spring of 2007 I decided the wood stove should go as I had decided to take advantage of the off peak electric rates and install an electric furnace. Collecting contractor prices was no problem until I looked at the inflated numbers then I turned it into a do it yourself project. With this I got an argument from almost every body about how are you going to do this or that, from the power company to the duct fabricators who thought no home owner ought to be doing this kind of work himself. I hired an electrician to do the wiring and did all the rest my self. Total cost including the cost of new sheers for the living room windows was just under $1600.00 which was more than returned by not having to use the propane boiler full time. If I recall correctly propane got near $4.00 per gallon during the winter of 2007-2008.
Storms onGalvestonIslandnearly wiped out the condo where we normally stayed so an end to our trip south at least till things got rebuilt which had not happened by winter 2009…
Then my world disintegrated…
Frances had brought a Plane home from her hair dresser who wanted me to sell it for her main squeeze. I had cleaned it andFrancescarried it back to show her friend the difference before it was sold. As usual the end of the auction was early Sunday evening.Franceswas watching a ball game and I was almost to the end with my auction. There was a comment of some sort as she was returning from the bathroom and the last few minutes of my auction ticked away and I clicked the “send invoice” button and was done.
Going to the doorway of her room to tell her room I intended to tell her how things went, but she seemed to be asleep with her head slightly off the edge of the bed. Not wanting her to wake with a sore neck I walked to edge of the bed and called to her with no response, then shook her, still with no response I then lifted her head and was immediately shaken with the dread of what had happened. I have had a teachers certificate in first aid since the late 70’s and I knew almost immediately that nothing was well and I dialed 911.
Expecting at least a 15 minute delay I was taken by surprise by the arrival if a young lady in what I have guessed to be about five minutes and there was a frenzy of studied activity as she went to work, never relaxing until the balance of the responders arrived with their apparatus and did their best. Then the official notification that it was all over and she was gone. This is when things become mechanical and things that have to be done get done.
And then you are all alone watching the final rituals and the people of the past who all say they understand, but will never understand. No one can and no one will. Who can understand a home that has become a silent, space of solitary confinement? Save for the Spring trip to Maquoketa andGrand Rapids my life was myself. I would read at church, at times with a breaking voice that made silent pausing necessary to regain my voice only to end with staring faces silently asking “what’s the matter”? In another venue I have written of the first person to approach and inquire of my life. It was a terrible time that finally took me to the only person who had offered to sit and talk and at last I began to see the futility of trying to change yesterday.
These talks are the genesis of all that is written here, but more importantly, the return of a smile and then laughter and after nearly eleven months something near normal was returning and I began to live again, only to struck a physical blow by a heart attack.
I cannot say what the genetic odds were--my lifestyle was physically active, mentally demanding, psychologically stable and intellectually curious but with 33 years of smoking (less than one pack per day) The greatest period of vulnerability was following November 2009. Indeed it is my opinion the had there been a heart attack prior June of 2010 it would have been fatal and thus it is that I attach so much importance to the one person who held out a hand of kindness.
About the middle of October 2010 there was an ad in the paper about a special membership rates at the DL community center which I saved. During the same period I was transporting my brother to various medical appointments one of which involved minor surgery and overnight in the local hospital. I went to pick him up the following morning (a Sunday) only to learn that the doctor wouldn’t be in till afternoon. Rather than waste the time at the hospital I went over to the community center to look around. A pretty young thing gave me a tour of the facility and I was convinced that the membership cost would be a good investment and asked my guide if she would be my personal trainer. No, she replied , you will find someone much prettier than me. I bought a membership and went back to the Hospital to collect Jim and we went home.
I learned the first day how much I had deteriorated. I was fine just walking, but 15 minutes was about the limit on an elliptical machine and I nearly drowned myself in the pool and wobbled enough coming out of the pool that the lifeguard (guesstimated to be 4-5 months along) admonished me to use the rope along the edge if I was having trouble. But things got better by the day and before the first of November I was doing a complete 35 minute workout on the cardio machine, two miles on the walking track and a dozen laps across the pool. It was about this time that I discovered the blood pressure monitor and began to keep a daily log. I located my own monitor for PM and week end readings. But this was more than a place for exercise and conditioning. I became re-acquainted people that I had not seen for years, but more important, everyone is received with courtesy and warmth.
Probably the most fascinating aspect of the time spent is just the observation of the humanity that is sharing the space with you. There are those with plugs in one ear and blank, expressionless faces -- the pony tail of the treadmill runner that has to be about ready to fly away, but never does -- Mr. Muscle trying to wear out the bicep weight machine -- Mother and child in its buggy on the walking track along with those walking (with and without walkers) and serious runners--those most at home in front of the mirror walls--the tall, the short, the fat and thin all working -- each with their own goal.
During the same period, away from the community center, I became the beneficiary completely unselfish kindness of several lovely people. The world was becoming good again with only ordinary nuisance problems like the car which had begun to flash dashboard warning signals when a left turn was signaled. Small problem which went away if no left turns were signaled---shrewd-- but coming out of Wal-Mart during the week of the 15th I forgot, signaled left and every warning light on the dash came on and the engine shut down. I turned the switch off momentarily and restarted the car, The following day I was at Norseman’s at 7am to find out what had gone haywire and get it fixed. The ignition switch had to be replaced and things were fine and I finished the week with the usual 5am workouts.
Had a quiet weekend and back to the community center Monday November 22, at 5am for my 15th workout since getting my membership. By this time I was walking two miles, doing a 35 minute cardio workout on an elliptical machine, 25 lifts with 70# on one of the weight machines and ending with 18 laps (a quarter mile +/-) backstroking across the swimming pool.
As I came from horizontal to vertical at the end of the 18th lap at the south end of the pool there was immediate dizziness going to near loss of consciousness and an overall muscular weakness. Later, I was to realize that this was my heart attack. Stabilizing myself against the poolside I stood motionless until there seemed to be at least a partial return of strength and a mental realization that I needed to get out of the pool.. I made my way across to the children’s end of the pool where I was able to go hand over hand along rope and walk up to the north perimeter walk leading to the men’s dressing room. Inside the dressing room I sat for a time on a bench then got up and showered, dressed and drove home. Except for the continuing weakness there was no great distress. I rested till lunch ate and did nothing but watch movies all afternoon, had a bite for dinner and more movies, but the weakness would not go away. I went to bed about nine and as I laid out flat there was a moderately severe chest pain over a triangular area that went from collarbone to collarbone and from there down to my breastbone. It was enough to make sleep impossible so I went back to the overstuffed recliner in the living room. The pain seemed to go away when sitting so with a cover, I got a reasonably good night’s sleep.
Up in the morning, fixed breakfast and seeing Jim out by the mail box I got my coat on and went out to ask what he wanted to do for Thanks-giving. With the storm forecast for Thursday he said he would cook a turkey breast and we could eat here. That settled I got the snow shovel and was going to push the ridge of snow, that the plow had left in front of the car, out of the way. I could barely lift the shovel, let alone move snow and at that moment I determined to go to the ER at the hospital. Returning to the house to make sure everything was shut off I took time to take my blood pressure--117/60 pulse 60 at 10:38 AM. In putting the BP monitor back in place I tipped a coffee cup off the table that had a small amount of liquid in the bottom that left spots on the carpet. As I looked down at them my thoughts were that Frances would never forgive me if I went away to leave these to dry and stain the carpet. Accordingly I went to the kitchen, wet down a clean wash cloth and scrubbed each spot until, satisfied that no stains would remain, I walked directly to the car and left for the hospital. With the car moving there was the question of route--CR 22 or Cr 15 ? Accepting the fact that I might not make it all the way the decision was CR 15 in that it was more traveled by in winter giving me a greater chance for help, if needed.
The trip was uneventful--CR 15 to CR 6 to Willow & north on Washington to the ER driveway--Parking and locking the car I made the first mistake by entering by the Main rather than Emergency entrance. The greeter inside asked what I was looking for as I went by and I replied “ER”. She was still telling me to use the other entrance as I turned right at the corridor to Admissions, which was passed without slowing down, and on into ER. By this time my coat was unzipped and came off as I passed ER Admissions not stopping until I met a nurse coming toward me.
Not giving her time to speak I said simply “ I need someone to tell me if I’ve had a heart attack”. She started to smile, then realizing that I was serious guided me to one of the curtained exam rooms. Once seated on the table my shirt and undershirt came off and things started to happen without delay. Blood pressure--normal--electrocardiogram--normal and while this was underway blood samples were taken. In what I felt was an incredibly short time the ER MD gave me the answer to my question. A blood enzyme reading indicating the heart was not getting adequate oxygen was six times normal--I had had a heart attack. A pure oxygen tube was attached and the nuts & bolts work of hospital admission began. Two names for emergency notification--brother Jim and an angel--insurance co--etc--etc & etc until the admissions data was complete. A small nitro tablet for under my tongue and the MD explained that I would be going to the “cath lab” in Fargo.
Opening my cell phone I called Toni to give her the news. She would see to the further calls needed and the family response. I believe that I put my shirts back on while waiting for the ambulance. For one who had spent most of a lifetime supervising the proper execution of details I felt the ER room activities in my behalf were nothing less than magnificent.
Thus, the final few items that needed for my survival had worked to that end. The lifeguard did her part with the instructions to use the rope, the repaired car had got me to the hospital without missing a beat and all the ER personnel had done their professional best. I didn’t have the slightest idea where they were sending me or for what. I had done everything that I could do and was completely at peace, confident that ultimately all would be well.
The ambulance trip was uneventful and I called out the location of each turn and reduction in speed . One of the attendants, who apparently had my records, expressed surprise at finding that I was over 35..
Arriving at Innovis, Fargo I was met by, I believe, Dr. Grimmet, who had a few questions about my medical history, then it was up to the 4th floor and into a roomful of connections .and learned that Toni with the children and Kevin were already on the way to Fargo. I had done a good job of flushing their Thanksgiving down the toilet. Other than that I accepted things as they came. I had not the slightest idea what would come next until the stent literature appeared giving me a general idea what would be in store for the morrow. It had already been scheduled for 10 AM.
By morning the schedule had been changed to 9 AM. They were going to try to get me done early and down we went to wait and wait and wait. Toni, Kevin and Jim all arrived and we all waited together. I was well on my way to snit land when the lab director explained to me that the person ahead of me was found to have completely unexpected complications and at 1PM my turn came. I awoke at 4PM +/- freezing cold and needing to go so bad I could taste it. I managed to stay continent until returning to the room and blessed relief.
Thus rejuvenated I learned that three Stents had been installed to open three clogged arteries on the left side of the heart There was a short commentary about doing more with medication and if necessary open heart surgery which was never put in any context relative to my future. Aside from the bandage on my right groin there was no visible evidence that anything had been done and as soon as the anesthetic was gone I felt as good as ever and without the weakness. The final link in the chain of my survival, Stent Technology, had worked as required.
And, best of all, there was talk of going home tomorrow. Toni and Kevin, then the doctors came and went and the nurses were all at the far end of the call button. I was alone save but for my own thoughts and questions. What next? There had to be a lesson in all this other than the obvious reminder of my mortality. I finally accepted that no answers save that November was not the best of months in the calendar, at least for me. So to sleep.
I was awake early and felt good, all things considered with a new nurse doing her thing around the room. I asked if she had any children--I still don’t know why---but the answer was yes --a single mother as it turned out and she went on to fill me in on the tough times when she was working, going to nursing school and raising a child without one word of complaint. Hopefully I wouldn’t be here much longer but I was in good hands until then. The doctor arrived, confirmed that I would be discharged as soon as all the paperwork was completed --and of course after the mandatory BM. I called Toni and let her know. She went to a grocery store to pick up what she felt would be needed to fill out Jims dinner for the additional crowd, picked me up and we were on the way home for Thanksgiving dinner. And it was a great dinner even with Kevin’s’ comments on mashed potatoes from potato buds which went on and on and on. He just seemed unable to understand that I kept fresh potato buds in the root cellar for special occasions Then the conversational exchanges that would take place in any family gathering and off to bed.
The next day, two lovely visitors bearing gifts. We had a very pleasant visit since Toni and our guest had met after Frances funeral. These were the first non family visitors since Frances passed away.
Kevin left mid-afternoon Friday to try to beat a storm system that was moving into southern Minnesota and northern Iowa and was back home by one AM. Toni and the young ones were on their way next day. Thanksgiving 2011 had taken on a special and lasting meaning--the beginning of change that is still ongoing and unclear. Fr. Bob from St. Mary’s called an asked I wanted him to bring Communion to the house tomorrow. I replied that I would be in church tomorrow as usual.
And I was, looking and feeling as though nothing had happened, However my name was first on the bulletin sick list and I soon began to be overcome with the feeling that everyone who looked my way was asking themselves --What’s wrong with him? They are all good people, however, and I stayed long enough for a short visit with a few friends.
Monday was quiet and I used it to try to fix something of a schedule in my mind. I wanted to be back at the community center as soon as possible but not before I was reasonably sure that there wouldn’t be resulting damage, I was told before leaving the hospital that the local cardio-rehabilitation unit would contact me--but nobody indicated when that would happen and when Tuesday noon came and went I called the hospital and they connected me with the Cardio-Rehab secretary. I gave my name and told her about the recent heart attack. She indicated that she was already aware of the heart problems--so how did she find out? Somebody from church had called her. I put that behind me and asked who I should talk to re: getting started. I would have to talk to Nancy who was the unit director. I inquired if Nancy was attractive. Reply--yes and she’s married.--conclusion 50% is better than nothing. She would be in on Wednesday or Friday and I made an appointment for the next day.
I was at the hospital early the next day so there would be time to stop at ER and thank them for everything they did for me on 10/23. As it turned out I met the ER nurse that had been there on the first floor and after a short visit she escorted me to the ER and introduced me to those on duty which made for an individual thank you for each of them. Courtesy and compliments cost nothing .Then on to the Cardio-rehab unit and Nancy. Her secretary was right--she is attractive and the mother of four children. We had quite a long talk. She was uncomfortable with my plan to be there only one day a week with interim workouts at the community center, my reasoning being that my body would tell me if I was getting carried away and the weekly connection to her monitors should red flag any problems. I understood her misgivings but was determined to have my way. Their program would have been one hour three times a week with idleness in between. Connection to their monitors for one hour represented nothing more than a snapshot either way and idleness would only have a deteriorating effect. Nancy was only the beginning. Going forward I would learn that the local medical community would be fair to middling in treating the physical heart and clueless when it came to the psychological heart.
If memory serves correctly I used the week end to get the Christmas trees up. There was only me to enjoy them but they were a reminder of others, both near and far, Monday it was on to the first Rehab session which was , from a physical standpoint nothing. I don’t believe I even drew a deep breath and I came away asking myself -- what had been accomplished? My notes indicate that the first workout at the community center was not until Wednesday. It was both abbreviated and measured. Before showering I went to the pool area for a talk with the lifeguard.
Just when I thought things were off to a good start there was a U turn and I was on my way south. There was a letter from the clinic telling me to show up for a follow up appointment on my heart. I was flabbergasted at form of the letter in my hand--three computer generated informational blurps at the top of an 8 1/2x 11sheet of plain paper telling me to be present 12/13 / at 10;45 for a 15 minute appointment--nothing more--not even a phone number. This from a crowd that crows about being a cutting edge health care facility. Dumb, just plain dumb. I had a 10.00 AM appointment for the same day that was not going to be broken. I went to the phone book to get a number for the clinic and got the appointment changed to 12/9--the following day. I voiced my thoughts on the clinic appointment demands while checking in and was invited to file one of their complaint forms.
The appointment with the doctor was a disaster. Perhaps it was a carryover in the tone of my voice from the conversation at the admissions desk that set him off but for whatever reason he was in my face telling me that my heart attack was because I didn’t get proper care from Mayo Clinic--It was a downright ballistic performance interrupted only long enough to write a prescription that Fargo wanted me to have and he was out the door.
The nurse handed me another of their appointment sheets for the 28th with another MD.
Was at DLCCC both Friday and Saturday.
Monday 12/13 back to rehab with about the same results as the previous week followed by five days at DLCCC. The workouts were going fine but strange things began to happen. Thursday thru Saturday there were several abnormally low pulse rates and both Saturday and Sunday my legs were covered with a rash.
Back to rehab on 12/20 and the roof fell in. About six minutes into the first exercise they told me to stop and come look at the monitor. It was explained that what I was looking at was premature ventricular contractions (PVC’s). One here and there is nothing to be concerned about but I was seeing two and three in groups. The concern was that these might progress to the point where they set up their own rhythm. . If that point is reached the heart chamber is emptied faster than it can be filled and with no blood pumped blood pressure drops to zero and if not corrected in minutes, adios amigos. Thus Nancy wanted me to see a doctor and right now and called the Clinic. The response --” there is no one here that can treat a cardiac patient--all we can do is put him in an ambulance ant send him to the ER” I thought I was going to laugh out loud--at least they were honest with one another.
Nancy wasn’t the least bit amused and we went straight to ER room together. One has to give the ER people credit--they just do not waste time and we went through the whole cardio routine again. The outcome was a big question mark. The best guess was that the caffeine in the green tea that I was drinking (a liter a day+/-) might be the cause of the pvc’s and I was discharged.. That put an end to the DLCCC workouts but the worst was yet to come--just in time for Christmas. As the week progressed my arm and wrist joints began to ache with any movement. Indeed by Christmas Eve just getting my arms into the sleeves of my coat left me with tears in my eyes. With a scheduled appointment in Fargo on 12/27 I decided to tough it out until I saw the cardiologist. Dinner with Jim on Christmas, church and rest Sunday and Fargo Monday 12/27.
The joint pain was at the top of my list but the only comment by the doctor was that my muscle pain might be from the cholesterol medicine (simvastatin). I had not at any time mentioned muscle pain--it was in my joints but I didn’t make an issue of his assumption. This was a night medication and I discontinued it the same day. In four days I was pain free. I called back to Fargo to tell them what I had done and asked that they find an alternate prescription.. Another prescription was faxed to the Wal-Mart pharmacy on Monday 1/3.
While paying for it I told the pharmacist what I had experienced with the last prescription. Her response was that what I was describing was an allergic reaction to the medicine, not side effects and that I should talk to my doctor before starting the new prescription. She went on to explain that the new medicine was the same thing under a different generic name at about half the dosage as the original. She gave my money back and put the prescription back on the rack. It’s amazing what one can learn from people who are courteous enough to talk with you.
I called Fargo to tell them what I had learned from the pharmacist. There has never been a response. On the other hand, perhaps my answer came indirectly. When I came for my 12/29 cardio session I was told that there I would have to see a doctor before I could return. Nancy was a little red faced when delivering the news but the MD responsible for supervising the Cardio rehab unit had passed the word down to her It was , in reality , mildly amusing.
The reason I was stuck with Dakota Clinic personnel was simply because they were the provider of choice for a new insurance company. When we moved from Meritcare I was just assigned to the one who had shot himself in the foot on 12/9. I knew that eventually I would need a doctor and had narrowed the selection down to the one responsible for excluding me from their cardio rehab unit and a new member of their staff. It was obvious that the person who was overseeing the cardio lab was familiar to what had happened to me so I made an appointment with him for Thursday 1/13. Things went very well. In an hour and half we discussed my medical history back to the fifties and cleared up the most important recent concerns. He had already reviewed the cardio graphs and said the pvc’s were benign and nothing to worry about.
Finally I told him they had me in enforced idleness except for shoveling snow. This seemed to get special attention and he asked how much snow shoveling I was doing? An hour and a half for each 4“ to 6“ snowfall. He allowed as how it would be very difficult to come up with a better stress test and said to go ahead with my DLCCC workouts. Finally -- what about the cholesterol medication? My cholesterol was within normal guidelines and the medication would be eliminated. This appointment had been a home run--I could get on with my life.
My goals were to be back in pool by February and back to pre heart attack levels by March. With that done I switched to more of a programmed approach to improve specific areas. I have added sixteen pounds mostly to the upper body, shoulders and arms. My current and most ambitious goal came about when passing a young girl, running on a treadmill with one arm swinging in the air and texting with the other hand. I can do that, I said to myself, and I’m getting there--except for texting.
I will not try to mislead anybody. The recent past has been an incredible emotional storm but life cannot be just waiting for the storm to pass. Life and happiness are learning to dance in the rain. Thus, to my family, with who love and laughter are as natural as the breath of life, and those beautiful friends that have shared the raindrops and melodies with unselfish kindness…
Thank you each and every one but I still hear those words ringing in my ear…
This world lies dark and deep
And I have work to do
And promises to keep
Before I sleep
Before I sleep
PJS 2/3 2010