Sunday, December 25, 2005

Whew... Merry Christmas

Once again the annual tradition of Christians celebrating Christmas has come and is winding down at our house.

Boy, that statement is filled with questions, so here are the answers....

I personally am a Christian. That means I recognize that as a human being, I am a sinner, and that only through my belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior, can I have a relationship with God, my Creator, who wants me to spend eternity in heaven. That belief is in the Gospel message

And while we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th, it is doubtful that that date is accurate, but it really does not matter.

So, never the less, we did it, complete with the gathering of our kido's including Rachael, Josh and his wife Laureen, Tiffany and her fiance Jon, and Abby (all spending Christmas eve with us); and then Ian, his son Jacob and his girlfriend all arriving about 6:30 this evening. Kathy and I went to a "rockin' Christmas Eve" at church, and we had the traditional corned beef, sandwich style. Kathy started a new tradition, which we will simply call SNOWFLAKES. Christmas breakfast looked like a B & B with fruit cups and meats along with banana and pumkin breads, fresh OJ and Pancakes complete with warm real maple syrup made by a friend of mine on his family farm.

Okay, I admit that there were a few glitches, but we all survived and now it's just me and my bride eating cheese and crackers with the twinkle of the tree and the glow of a computer screen and the T.V.

Whew, Merry Christmas to one and all!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dealing with Circumstances ramble

As I Start writing here, I have no idea what the Title of this post will be. Yet.

Last night before heading to bed, Kathy and I read some of my previous posts to this Blog and my other.

I found it interesting, as it was a way to reflect on my state of mind and heart over the last several months. Now looking back over the past week, I could see my heart and mind run the gamut of emotions.

The last 48 hours or so included being nearly run off the road by a driver of an S.U.V. (Thanks anti-lock brakes); Getting the news from my wife that she hit the garage door backing out before it opened and there was some serious damage; Sitting in traffic for nearly an hour, paying 18 bucks to see 10 minutes of basketball, snowblower that would not start, etc. As you can see, the mood was not pleasant. I was feeling like my life was filling up with a bunch of bull...

Yesterday afternoon, after eating some Popeye's Chicken with a Dew, I decided to move forward and look at my blessings and dig in and do what needs to be done. For example, I got the driveway done the old fashioned way, shovel in hand. That worked off some of the tension, and helped me prepare for the evening ahead.

Our habit is church on Saturday at 5pm. It is a contemporary service, complete with the bouncing ball on the big screens.

Last night, after church, we went to a Christmas presentation at Blackhawk Christian with our neighbors followed by a late bite to eat at the Munchie.

The messages that were coming to me over and over again, "What do you put your faith in?" And "Be Joyful, Prayerful, and Thankful."

These were not new messages to me, but more like reminders as a Christian, to live not based on my circumstances, but based on my relationship with God. I'd be glad to talk to anyone who does not understand the difference.

So today, I have blessed with some birthday greetings from my kid-os, blessed with my relationship with my wife (who is treating me to breakfast, coffee, a movie and dinner out). Thank you one and all and thank you Lord for All of my Life so far and what is yet to come.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Falling Down, getting up slowly, part 2 THE PEOPLE

I simply cannot write about my ordeal without mentioning the way people in my life offered themselves and the positive impact that had. The weekend I was in so much pain both Tiffany from Indianapolis and Rach from Lafayette came to visit their Dad. Later after I returned home Josh and Lauren came by too. My B.N.I. Group, The Lions Club, my co-workers, Kathy's family and friends, friends from my past, neighbors... Thank you.
The staff at the hospital was wonderful as my room mate Gary and I would often comment.
Abby, Ian, thank you too. And none of this would have turned out like this without my Kathy, my wife, my love, (and personal nurse)

Falling Down, getting up slowly

Two weeks ago at this very moment I was at Parkview Hospital. I am back home now after a 10 day stay, recovering from acute pancreatitis. Moments ago I checked my other blog and discovered the morning of my attack I had written an entry, so all was well, so I thought.
At about 1pm I had severe pains in my abdomen. It felt like someone had just grabbed me around the middle, just under my ribs, and was squeezing. My back was in severe pain radiating from my lower back upwards, and I was in a cold sweat. I drove over to a gas station and went into their bathroom, thinking perhaps it was indigestion. However this pain was so severe and nothing was helping. Earlier in the day I spoke on the phone with a friend/client of mine that did not show up for a meeting the previous week, and found out he was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. Thoughts of the symptoms that my own mom had in the days leading up to fatal heart attack were also racing through my mind. I called Kathy, and then I went across the street to the fire station, since they should be able to save my life if I was having a heart attack. No one was there; they were all out at a fire I guess, so I drove myself about a mile to the E.R. at Parkview Hospital. A guard told me I could not park my car where it was so I gave him my keys and went inside to get help. I remember slumping in a wheel chair answering questions, calling Kathy on the cell phone to tell her where I was and then the rest of the details are rather sketchy.

Kathy told me later that they did either a cat scan or ultra sound and determined what the problem really was, my pancreas had a duct that was blocked and my heart was fine. So Tuesday September 13th I got to spend the night in bed 650-2 where I stayed until September 22nd.

Something new since the last time I was ever hospitalized was the "Pain Scale". Pain management over the last several years has become important according to Kathy and those first few days, the nursing staff would ask me every few hours what my pain level was. A seven to a nine was my usual answer. My doctor wanted to do a procedure over the weekend to alleviate the blockage so the healing of my pancreas would progress, but the team of doctors that do the procedure were not available until Monday and after searching other medical teams, was not able to locate a team that had done the procedure before. So as the days passed, they kept a close eye on my condition, tried to reduce my pain and look forward to Monday.

Monday, the 20th finally arrived and I remember being taken down to the room where they told me to lie down on my stomach. I told them they were crazy, and they said "no, really." The Doctors inserted a scope down my throat; I remember vomiting and then being back in my bed upstairs. During the procedure, they inserted a stint in the blocked bile duct. The pain level was down to about a 4 to 5, and although I was still incredibly weak, I was beginning to feel relief, after nearly a week of pain.

Two days later I had surgery to remove my gallbladder to prevent this from ever happening again. Now my recovery is based on getting stronger physically as I had no solid foods for nearly 10 days. Fatigue and mental alertness seem to be improving each day. Also on the medical side, I will undergo a liver function test later this week which will be reviewed October 3rd. Also in a couple of weeks, the doctors will remove the stint. Uck.

Okay, enough of these details, now for a more important change that occurred.

Thoughts of death occurred during the first week of this ordeal. I know where I am going when I die, due to surrendering my ENTIRE life to Christ the summer of 1982. And there have been a couple of times in my life when I thought I might die (auto accidents) and I don't have a fear of death. I remember praying to God over the weekend when I was in pain, that if God wanted to take my life I was ready, yet I knew if I was going to be healed that my life needed a good make over. Too much time was spent doing unimportant things. We all have been blessed with the same 24 hours each day. My make over includes carefully weighing anything that I add to my life in respect to priorities of God, Family and then the rest. With God's Grace, as I recuperate physically and mentally, I will also grow spiritually.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

Conan O'Brien: On Earning Success

When I started to write and perform comedy in college, my dad was very supportive. Many people have assumed that because my father is a research scientist and a medical professor, he would discourage a career in television. On the contrary, he has always encouraged me.

I have a theory that any anxiety your parents may have about your career evaporates the minute you can pay your own rent. I sometimes think that if I had called my dad after moving to Los Angeles in 1985 and said, "I'm strangling railroad tramps and stealing their cash," he'd have said, "Well, as long as you're working."

I remember my Dad wanting the best for me. I had a dream of "working on the air"; in other words being a full-time radio disc-jockey. My entire senior year of high school was devoted to getting a radio job. I only took 5 classes (7 were offered) so I could leave early and do my job search. My parents never knew at the time that I would drive to neighboring towns, even across state lines knocking on doors of radio stations for that big break. When I graduated and didn't have that job, I'm not sure what they thought. Heck, I didn't even apply to any colleges, I was that sure of myself.

Well I started working at a record store after I graduated from high school along with being a disc jockey at the local Roller Dome. One of my co-workers told me about a job at a Roller Skating Rink out of town that played Disco Music on Saturday nights for the under 21 year olds. I got that job and was told by someone there about an opening at a radio station about 30 miles away. I applied and Got IT!

I moved out and was living on my own and I remember my Dad being proud and assurd that I really could make some money talking on the radio. A few years later I returned to my hometown and my parents were probably the leaders of my unofficial fan club.

As parents, we worry about our kids only because we want them to become the best they can be. With my own kids making progress in their lives with school, marriage, new jobs and the like, I will continue to pray and rest assurd that God is watching out for them, just like he is you and me.