Friday, December 23, 2016

Feeling Blessed

It's been a very weird year.   And as 2016 winds down, I have to feel blessed.

In September 2015, I started to get very weary. Exhausted actually. I could barely make it home from work before I crashed in my chair at home and fell asleep. Now, I'm not one to nap. Usually I am up til midnight, get 5 or 6 hours of sleep and I'm good to go. But gradually, I got more and more tired. I couldn't get more than 2 hours a night of restful sleep. I was becoming incredibly forgetful, and stated worrying that I was getting Alzheimer's. I was having difficulty making it thru a day of work.

I was diagnosed with mild apnea 7 years ago, so I thought I should make an appointment with a sleep doctor in January 2016. During a routine check, Dr Jacob Coleman discovered a tumor on my Thyroid! Omigod. Subsequent biopsies showed I had cancer and a 2.5 cm tumor. What the heck? Cancer? Me? I was scheduled to have it removed in March. My only concern, which I asked my surgeon. Dr. Milas, was will I be able to ride Fury 325 at Carowinds the following week. My sister Susan, Brother John, and Daughter Taylor were planning to come to Charlotte to ride coasters...I didn't want to miss out. He assured me that if I was up to it, I could go...

Nothing could stop me...I was alive and there I was (in Sunglasses). Think I was happy?
To finish this saga....The tumor and thyroid were removed, and I am clean. (Knock on wood). Thank God for Dr. Coleman for discovering the tumor, and Dr. Milas for removing it. My heroes!

Next came a sleep study, a CPAP machine, and I am now back to sleeping a good 7 hours thru the night. I'm feeling rested. I'm back to learning a ton at work (Web development) and feel like a new man. I've read roughly 40 novels this year, learning a great deal via online programming tutorials, and feel like I have a new lease on life.I can't get enough!

The only thing I had bothering me was a bum knee. My left knee had no cartilage and has hurt for 10 years. Countless shots thru the years just did nothing for me anymore. I told my Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Griffin that I just couldn't take it any more. They say a knee replacement lasts about 15 years. My Dr's have always said, I'm too young. Wait as long as I can.

Well the time came. I'd rather enjoy the next 15 years and be active, than wait until I'm too old to enjoy anything. So total knee replacement surgery was scheduled for October 13th (not a Friday!). This surgery is not for the weak at heart. No kidding - I was in pain for weeks. I always heal fast, and in this case, it's not good for a knee. I healed and developed scar tissue which hampered recovery, and set me back a few weeks.I couldn't bend by knee (or straighten it for that matter)..But now 8 weeks after surgery, I made it back to work! Thanks to all my Physical Therapists (Monty, Rosalind, and Jillian) They're the best!

As I thought about it last week, I really started to feel blessed. It is the first time in 10 years that I was not in pain! 10 years! I'm still limping and need to keep up with my exercises, but I'll be ready for Golf in the spring and hiking in the summer!

What else am I thankful for this year? I was best man at my son Jordan's wedding. What a wonderful time in my life. So proud of him and my daughter-in -law Shelbie.

My daughter's Ashley and Taylor are healthy and happy. as is my step-son Andrew. When their lives are going well, I'm happy.

And I have the love a my beautiful wife Sue. Who as always is super supportive and got me thru this crazy year. Couldn't have done it with out her.

Can't wait for 2017...It's all up from here!

God Bless you all. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!. Be safe, and happy.

Life is Good!