Archive for May, 2015

A REPRIEVE

May 2, 2015

What a difference a day makes! Early in the week, I was busy meeting with an attorney to redo my Will, and decide on details in Advance Directives, Durable Power of Attorney, and Executor. All this in preparation for Thursday’s complete spinal myelogram, intended to let the neurosurgeon know how many cervical and thoracic vertebrae needed to be fused, and whether to go in anteriorly (from the front) or posteriorly (from the back of the neck). As I had mentioned in my last blog, the anterior prospect aligned well with what had been done to Peyton Manning, but the Denver Broncos evinced no interest in my becoming a backup quarterback. Their offer of a cameo appearance in a Papa John’s commercial was even a bit tacky.

All my preparations had to do with what could happen if the surgeon or one of his minions said, “Whoops”, in the middle of whatever procedure was to be performed. This same caution extends to other professionals, like dentists, doctors performing vasectomies, plumbers, and anyone connected with pain and suffering. I actually recall some anxiety when, years ago, I underwent a vasectomy; the surgeon’s wife was the attending nurse, and they were going through a divorce. I remember hoping they didn’t carry their differences into my comfort zone. “Whoops” and scalpels don’t mix, particularly in certain locales.

Anyway, after the xrays and myelogram, I met with the surgeon and we went through all the films of the day’s activity. The bottom line is, he no longer feels that surgery is necessary, only six weeks of physical therapy and some cervical and lumbar steroidal injections several times a year. Since I like this analysis, I’m not seeking a second opinion, one which might greatly reverse the present state. It was interesting that two or three of the cervical vertebrae had already “self-fused” in the very area being considered initially for fusion. There remains one major area, due to the arthritic constriction of the spinal cord canal, but still has sufficient fluid for the time being. The only caution is to avoid traumatic events such as auto accidents, kick boxing, NBA, and rugby. Rats! I had intended to pursue the last three, and pass on the first.

So, my life appears to be back to some degree of normalcy; next week I head to Charlotte to once again work in the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament. And see my wife and my son’s family including the two grandsons. I can resume contemplating how I’m going to use my frequent flier miles from Frontier (55,000) and United (90,000), as well as spend some of the largesse from the sale of our house, for some overseas travel. Last year’s visit to Scotland only whetted my taste for another visit, and to add Ireland. Iceland has called to me for years. I have friends in Vienna wanting me to come visit.

In previous blogs, I mentioned my confusion about how to deal with winter discomfort; whether to sell my little house (which I love) and move; keep the house and become a snowbird, or stay here while keeping a close watch for impending blizzards, and leave before they hit. The latter is becoming more appealing as Wyoming was designated on the Internet as the most desirable place among the 50 states to retire. The biggest negative was not the winter, which gets really cold for about four weeks; we don’t usually get a lot of snow but what little we get blows around. It was distance to medical treatment, given that most towns are quite small and don’t have all the services (biggest town is Cheyenne, 60.000, then Casper, 50,000). Casper’s Mountain View Neurological Hospital is an exception, it is highly respected among the medical professionals. Other than medical concerns, we have the lowest taxes, low utility costs, reasonable fuel and food cost, and lots of recreational opportunities. Funny, when you live near some super locale, such as Yellowstone National Park a mere 130 miles away, you may not visit it very often. In the 43 years I’ve lived in Wyoming, three of them in Jackson Hole next door to Yellowstone, I’ve only been there three times!

I’m now resuming my daily schedule of a decaf coffee with buddies at 7:45 a.m. each weekday, lunch on Friday and breakfast on Saturday at one of those places that provide simple, non-nutritious meals, errands, golf 9 holes at 1:30 (from the forward tees, my neuropathy is getting worse and the legs won’t tolerate too much activity in a short time span). I’ve even walked nine holes carrying my bag a couple of times recently.

I usually spend some time during the day hating Donald Trump, who to me is the Poster Child for everything out of balance in our country. An arrogant, shrewd but not smart proctological wonder; he really caught my attention when I was in Scotland and had a sample of the resentment by the Scots of how he has used his money “in high places” to run roughshod over the locals in Northern Scotland to build a golf course on the native landscape. He seems to be doing that in a number of places. His continuing attacks on our President, citing examples drawn from his own ignorance, are upsetting because many people like to hear those things. I was quite taken aback about the degree of hatred and bigotry I saw recently on a Facebook site, The Conservative Journal. It wasn’t the article that bothered me, it was expected given the nature of the publication; it was the thousands of horribly vile expressions of contempt for a man who has tried, and tried, to do right for this country. Maybe in some instances he has chosen the wrong route to achieve his goals, but has been forced into doing so if anything at all is to get done. The Republican Congress attacks and complains, but has yet to offer any proposals of their own. None of their announced candidates provide any light on how to achieve a satisfactory solution to our many problems; and with Democrats in the minority, is see no hope there. Actually, I wish Republican Jon Huntsman would “try again”, he’s a bright, common sense, experienced and thoughtful former politician, reminding me to a degree of my other favorite Republican, our own Alan Simpson.

Enough ranting. I’ll just sit back and enjoy knowing that I did something yesterday never before achieved in recorded history. I managed to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and dipped a bowl of ice cream, without getting any on my fingers or hands. I’m documenting this with Guinness.

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