Saturday, February 15, 2014

People Want To Know

It's been some time since I sat at my keyboard and posted something new on this blog. And for about the last 3 months, I strongly considered finally putting my writing on permanent hiatus. After all, when I don't post regularly, my readership drops precipitously (that does make sense). The main reason my writing has been so sporadic and inconsistent has been my health. It's tough enough not having the energy to come up with things to write about when dialysis weakens me so much. And because of my inability to take more than 3.5-4 kilos of fluid without bad cramping in my hands, I end up going in for at least one extra session a week (sometimes I'll even have 2 extra sessions just to get down to my dry (goal) weight.

But that alone has not been the main deterrence to my writing. I think that when I developed diverticulitis and then peritonitis, which eventually led to an abscess in my colon - which then was followed by a coma and 4 months in the hospital and nursing home, that changed everything. You see, when I began to write my blog, following my heart attack/stroke/transplant, something had changed in me. I had never wanted to write for anything before. Oh, I had the opportunities to do some writing for a local Jewish newspaper in Houston. But I dreaded having to come up with something new every week.

However, I had changed dramatically and suddenly, all I wanted to do was write. So I did. I found I had some very strong, intelligent opinions an also that I had a hidden talent I never knew before. Over the course of the next few years I had articles picked up by major websites and blogs, and even had my blog quoted in the New York Post. I was still very small potatoes, though. I didn't go to the journalism school of hard knocks and really did not have many connections. But the real truth was I wasn't writing for my readers, but for myself. And I think that's why it was so easy to walk away this past year.

But once again, things are changing. I finally had my colon reattached and am in full recovery mode. In addition, I just had my dialysis catheter removed this past week and I can take a full shower tomorrow (I was told I had to wait 24 hours after the catheter removal before I can remove the bandages and get the area wet). Bird baths are ok from time to time. But nothing beats a real hot, soaking shower.

So, except for my aching back, which has been diagnoses as having 2 herniations in the L2/L3 and  L1/S5 (directly below and directly above the original fusion location), I'm healing. And with that healing, many decisions begin to need to be answered, or at least the questions need to be figured out. First among then is when will I be strong enough to at least work part time? Or is Chicago the the best place to settle down is. Right now, my son and I are leaning towards returning to Dallas. But nothing is written in stone.

So, starting tomorrow (I think), I'm going to return to writing on this here blog. Between politics, the Middle East, baseball and American Idol, there really is a great deal to write about. I think if anything is going to slow my writing down it will be the hand cramps I get from dialysis. It's so bad at times I can't do anything but run hot water on my hands, hoping to relax the muscles.

For now, healing is where I'm at. Of course, this includes pain management, which isn't always successful. If the epidural injections fail to give me needed relief, I am going to talk to my pain management doctor about medicinal marijuana. Smoking pot may not be ideal, as I have my 20-year-old son living with me. But there are other options to consider. I am finding that I'm getting used to Dilauded and it doesn't give me the relief it once did. Should I take a higher dose? How dangerous would that be? I'm already on a Fentonyl patch AND 4mg of Dilauded 3 times a day. Also, I've been taking Flexiril (muscle relaxer) and an occasional Norco. With all that I'm still hurting this bad. That isn't a good sign. Am I really hurting that badly? Or am I simply just addicted to the pills? The only thing that tells me one way or another is the fact that there are times I hurt more than others. Today has been a perfect example. It could be because of the cold weather and snow. But it's been cold and snowy all winter long. Some days, I can make it up and down the stairs with little problem (as long as I have my cane). But today was very different. I had to do the stairs 3 times each way and each trip was a labor of sheer agony. One time up I had to crawl up each step. Not fun.

Ok, so no more bitching and complaining about my health or pain. For now on, starting tomorrow, it will not be about me, aside from my opinions, I suppose.

John Kerry, you were the first subject I ever wrote about on this blog. Be prepared to be written about again. And I can promise you I will not be as nice and considerate as I was that time.

But to start on a positive note, I'm adding the most fun song I can think of:

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