Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear journal,

It doesn't pay to get over-confident or neglectful.

I was flying too high after the success of the "Make It A Great Day!" Race. Organizers like Heidi, the various pledges, and all the racers were so inspirational and uplifting. By then, I was also well along in my recovery from the bladder infection. I was looking forward to a fantastic summer.

But it wasn't to be. In early July, I came down with gout, despite all my vitamins, supplements, and (relatively) clean living. I must realize it is simply an occasional by-product of this affliction. Fortunately, this cleared just before a wonderful day-trip arranged by my friend Paul and his buddies to Citifield to see the Mets pull off a wonderful comeback, extra-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. I concluded that neither team, however, was nearly strong enough to make the playoffs or World Series. So much for MY judgment.

Then, on Tuesday, August 2, I began to feel pressure in my chest. I'd been there before. And so, I scheduled an immediate doctor appointment, and expressed my concern. Might another case of pneumonia be on the way? Would I be able to head it off?

I was placed on medication immediately and hunkered down, hoping that this pro-active approach would work. It didn't.

By Wednesday night, I was in the hospital, gasping for air, my temperature sky-rocketing. I was given respiratory therapy, blasted with antibiotics, and x-rayed. I spent my first-ever night in the hospital since my humble birth in 1951. I was unable to adequately breathe, or get any sleep. I did not want to be there.

Late the next day, I had marginally improved, and I begged to be sent home. The doctor agreed. But within a day, my temperature had once again spiked, and I packed my bag for a return visit to the hospital. Before leaving, however, I temporarily increased my dose of ibuprophen, and then awaited the results. Luckily, temp readings slowly began to decline, and the mad drive to the hospital was cancelled.

However, trials and tribulations were not yet ended. I was forced to "sleep" in my easy chair for the next two weeks, as I was unable to breathe while lying down without gagging. All activities were curtailed, and I slowly nursed myself back into recovery mode. It took forever. By mid-September, I was breathing normally, though quite winded and weak.

By this time, I was at least able to join in some wonderful activities. My brother and sister-in-law came into town for a week's visit. We attended and enjoyed a huge family reunion on Saturday, September 17. Then our friends from England, Lyn and Steve, arrived for a two-week stay and tour of the Great Northeast. It helped revive me to see them all. Memorable times!

Recent x-rays have shown that my pneumonia has completely disappeared. At this writing, however, I am thoroughly exhausted, unsteady, and almost unable to move. I have gained a few pounds, have failed to adequately watch my nutrition, and am not exercising or sleeping at all well.

I realize I must turn all this around. The doctors have done their part. It is now up to me. The coming weeks will be telling.


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