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Reality and Fantasy

It has been another whirlwind week of crazy medical stuff. If you were around last week, you know about ER visits 1 and 2. This week I am going to tell you about 3 and 4. Because I need to have a "come to Jesus" talk with myself.

I am currently living in a fantasy world where I am fit and healthy. 

This morning when I looked at the pile of medication I am taking (pile is no exaggeration, though you know I use them frequently), I was a little sad. In 2011, when I got out of ICU for congestive heart failure, I was on 6 medications.

I distinctly remember the day I held that little pile of orange pill bottles in my hand.

David had a talk with himself. David vowed to get off all of them. That day David decided that he would get serious about being healthy and fit, not just skinny and good looking. That day he pulled on some clothes (probably backwards) and went out for a mile walk. He came home exhausted and went to bed for three hours. As you know, he kept at it and 1 mile became 2, and then 3. He began to walk faster (using a heart rate monitor) and pushed 130 beats per minute for long as possible.

He was getting fit and losing weight.

The MRI of my head showed there was nothing in there. The neurologist fired me. She said there was nothing she could do to help me. The allergic reaction to my blood pressure medication was solved by switching to a new one.

As always, there is more to the story.

I was back in the ER on last Thursday. My blood pressure went up to 201/122. My temples were tingling. They kept me for a while before they could get it settled down. Then there was the 11mm kidney stone which, probably should have been classified as an asteroid! The stent made everything comfortable. I was cleared to run if I felt OK.

I had my heart set on doing the Shamrock Dolphin Challenge with my wife and some good friends.

It was going to be my last real run before my March 22 (now the 29th) shoulder surgery. Friday evening, we went to the expo and then out to dinner with friends. I wasn't feeling that well, but I decided to go to sleep and see how I felt Saturday morning at 5:30. I woke up, had a little food, took my medication, and decided against runniing - even walking the 8K.

Beside myself with disappointment, I drove my wife to the starting line, parking the car nearby.

We found our friends and I cheered them on. I blew a kiss to my wife as she headed for the starting line. Then I searched for a bathroom. Things were going downhill. There was lots of bleeding. My mouth was dry and my lips stuck to my teeth. I went and sat in the sun on park bench. I checked my phone to see where Ruth was. I could see her blue dot moving down the street closer and closer to where I was on the sidewalk. Since we met, Ruth has made it a custom to give me a quick kiss and a hug when I am on the way by.

Now it was my turn.

From the mile 4 mark, I cut across to the finish line. I found a high voltage utility box which made a good seat. It was even a little warm in the 45-degree air. I watched her on the map. I got up and cheered her across the finish line.

I was so excited for her as they called her name on the PA.

We caught up at the end of the chute and walked back to the car. The pain was increasing, and I asked her to drive to IHOP. We arrived as the hosts of the Pathetic Runners club meet up. We chatted with old and new members. Not feeling that well, I ordered a small breakfast. Things just got worse, and I asked Ruth to take me to the ER. We didn't even eat. Trip number four. By the time I got there, the abdominal pain was so bad I was throwing up.

They gave me one of those things the looks like a horse condom.

I just sat moaning and groaning, waiting to go in to triage. Finally, a volunteer took me to a room. They plugged in an IV and filled it full of liquids, Zofran, and fentanyl. Things simmered down, and Ruth went home to meet our friends who were arriving for the weekend.

They x-rayed the stent and did some blood work. 

It turns out that I had an infection. They added antibiotics to my IV and more fentanyl. My wife and friends came back to see how things were. With the pain medication I felt pretty good; however, it seemed like they wanted to keep my overnight again. I begged them to let me go home.

The doctor finally agreed. He wrote a script for morphine and antibiotics.

I went home. The medication made me comfortable and I was able to help my wife prepare dinner. It was a nice evening, and Sunday turned out to be a great St. Patrick’s Day - complete with corned beef and cabbage.

Food makes everything better.

Monday, I went to see a counselor. She asked how I was. "You aren't going to believe this." I started. I just needed to vent without overwhelming my friends and family. I discussed my medical issues. Most of which do not impede my life in any way. The hypertension is completely under control. The IBS is a bit tricky, but for the most part, I know how to handle it. Despite all the trouble this damn kidney stone has given me, that should be over soon.

My shoulder is another story, but I believe surgery next week can cure it. 

Tomorrow I will have my first round of Botox injections for the headaches. (They were not approved when I went last week.) I am not looking forward to 32 injections, but if this headache goes away for a few weeks - the one I have 24/7, I shall be more than grateful.

My fantasy of being fit and healthy is just that. A fantasy.

For the moment, I am taking 8 different medications. That is my reality. It is emotionally painful because I work hard at exercise and diet. I am dedicated. Then there is the cancer. It has taught me to live life now, not waiting for someday.

Someday might never come.

I confess, this week it all got to me. I went for skin cancer treatments yesterday morning. The nurse practitioner was very kind. However, as she started telling me about how it feels like bee stings or a bad sunburn, I just couldn't go through with. I have had enough pain for one week.

I went outside and just sat in my car. Numb.

Like I always do, I pulled it together and went to the hospital for pre-op testing. X-rays, more blood samples, more tests... I came home and took some morphine.

I am looking forward to the end of all this. I am hoping to be healthy and fit again.

31 votes + -


jmnicholas wrote 40 months ago:
Praying for you and Ruth. God bless.
Anonymous wrote 40 months ago:
I’m so sorry you’re going through all this, David. I wish I could do more than just pray and send good vibes. You’ve been so strong and positive through everything, which inspires me greatly; but if you ever need to vent or cry, go ahead just let it all out. I’m praying for your healing, always. Stay strong.
Dootzy1 wrote 40 months ago:
Brutal reality. So sorry for your physical and emotional pain. Your writing reminds me of how everything is just sort of held in balance, except sometimes, it's just a see-saw. How very frustrating one medical regimen after another must be....I get frustrated by far smaller bumps in the road. Peace and blessings to you for writing and keeping it real!
joanthemom8 wrote 40 months ago:
I am sorry sir. I am sorry that you are in so much pain, that you have been through so much and that you still will have to go through more "stuff" to come out on the other side. I wish I had something inspiring to say, but I don't. You've probably heard it all by now. And it doesn't seem fair that you are going through all of this after all of your hard work. Any way, YOU are always the inspirer! Even though you aren't "healthy" right now, you are FIT! And I believe your fitness will get you through all of this. I'm thinking of you and sending positive brain waves your way. Take care friend and fellow "Pathetic Runner"!
kendallvon wrote 40 months ago:
healing and healthy thoughts...
josiereside1 wrote 40 months ago:
My heart truly breaks for you... but I know you don't want pity. Your faith must really be being tested. Again, somehow, and I believe I said this before, I truly believe you will survive AND thrive. Just sucks that you are facing such of test of strength physically and mentally.
goodasgoldilox165 wrote 40 months ago:
Battle on! (And keep writing.)
megamom wrote 40 months ago:
Wow, you have been going through the muck for sure lately, which is not fair since you are doing everything you can to get better. I hope they get you fixed up, have they checked your renal arteries to make sure that isn't the reason for your high blood pressure. Hope you feel better soon.
hroderick wrote 40 months ago:
Good call to not run the St Patty's. Your spirit has made your body do amazing things. There is no doubt that your spirit is in charge. There's nothing more to prove except how kind and gracious your spirit is to your body. As you described past changes in your spirit, when it took charge of your body, a time comes when another change is needed so body and spirit can have peace, joy, and happiness. It is better than OK to make this change now, so give your spirit permission to transition again.
farmboyphotography wrote 40 months ago:
Prayers and positive thoughts for you and your family. You have been through so much, and yet you keep that rapier wit and great sense of humor. Best of luck to you.
Anonymous wrote 40 months ago:
Thanks for being an example of living out 2 Tim. 4:7
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