Sunday, March 11, 2012


I return from Hawaii with a focus on health
Knowing that friendships are the true basis of wealth
I feed my mind with good thoughts
And practice all that I’ve been taught
Knowing it’s hard to accomplish this with stealth

I now enter a new stage of life.
As I needed to go under the knife
Since birth I’ve always been a pound adder
But now I’m short one gall bladder
And I’m losing weight with very little strife

But I view the rest of my body parts as essential
So I need an approach that is more reverential
Increasing the good, decreasing the bad
Is a long term diet with which I’ll be glad
And will greatly allow me to reach my potential

It’s been a full quarter of a year since I last wrote following my return from my pilgrimage to Kauai with John and Sally in early December and the passage of time has not been without highs and lows, ups and downs, doubts and insights, pleasures and pains.
I returned with the intent to gear up for the holiday season and had an overriding nesting instinct as I made efforts to cozy up my space. Deb gave me some help in organizing the kitchen and a successful acquisition of a sofa helped everything fall in place. I had the carpets cleaned and pulled Roy’s big recliner out of my office and moved the elliptic in where it’s still convenient for a workout, but no longer dominates the living room. Though I figured this would improve my in home entertainment options, I found I kept busy during the rest of December at various outings.

Had a “Boy’s Burger Night” with Ted, Rick & Frank, saw “Christmas Story” at PCS with Deb. Had dinner and saw “Sherlock Holmes” with Theresa, and saw “The Bobs” with Donna, Ted & Meg and went to a movie Meet-Up with Donna. I was able to spend the traditional Christmas Eve Soup Supper with Judy and her family, so that set a nice holiday tone. To usher out the New Year, I had a New Years Eve dinner with Donna and her son at Sasquatch before ringing in the New Year at Ted’s house. Evan had returned home from New Orleans for a brief visit earlier in the week and he celebrated the New Year at Sean’s Reeble Jar concert at the McDonald Theater in Eugene before returning Flying back to NOLA the night of the 1st, so I only got brief glimpses of him since he was in high demand.

As The New Year arrived, I felt under the weather at the end of the first week ( foreshadowing issues that were to come) and missed Meg’s 60th birthday celebration. Tom had some workshops up here so he came to town for a 2 day visit and then I headed up to Seattle during MLK weekend for a repite at the Renn Ranch. Deb came up with me since I figured she’d get along nicely with John & Sally and it appears their paths had crossed during an earlier lifetime when she lived in Seattle. She and John actually graduated from the same high school although a decade apart. The weather was not great so I was glad I had the Passat as the return trip was through fairly heavy snow. The next weekend was International Pie Day, a fundraiser for Neighborhood House, so I meet Donna for pie and learned of her secret craving for lemon meringue. I procured one of famous HillVilla Angel Pies (Lemon with Giant Meringue) for her and there may be no turning back. Started to entertain at home more as Dani came over for dinner and movies on a Friday as did Theresa on a Sunday. In between I attended the Portland Auto show which was lots of fun although I had a hard time reconciling $17,000 Fiats and $170,000 Audis. Had APCS outing and dinner at her Mercy Corp-centic pizza place with Donna and went to Rochelle’s Hawaiian Luau at PCC with Brenda and Wayne and Jeremy and Nicole and enjoyed the event. Spent a quiet Super Bowl Sunday at my place as I didn’t have much get up and go.

The second week of February was the Portland Golf Show, so I met Rick and Chieko for a full day of enjoyable browsing. I bought a nice collapsible golf cart so I can drag my clubs around once I get my golf game back. In an effort to pursue that I made my first Golfsmith lesson in Tualatin and got some good initial swing thoughts. Reeble Jar was in town at the Good Foot so I went with Deb and her niece, Rick & Chieko and Brenda and Wayne and got to hear the first set. Donna and I had brunch downtown and participated in a President’s Day Scavenger Hunt which had us running all over downtown Portland. The weather was pleasant for a hike and we tied for first so it was a fun event. Mid week I went with Deb to see what is now my all time favorite movie “Hugo”. I will definitely add it to my Blu-Ray library since it has such a sweet message. We now move in the dark period of the last two weeks which I will divided into a Before and After..


Anita and had arranged to have dinner on Sunday February 26th and since I had a Charthouse gift card Anita had given me for computer help, we decided to eat there. I had the prime rib and the famous lava cake, so I was stuffed by the end of the meal. At work the next day, I still felt full, but had lunch and then really felt uncomfortable. I made it home and tried to rest but by 7:00 I was sweating heavily and was pretty disoriented. I called Deb and asked her to call and check on me in the morning but she offered a saner option which was going to visit the ER. Got to Meridian Park by 8:00 and after all the necessary poking, prodding, scanning and X-raying, it was determined I had passed a gallstone and probably should have my gall bladder removed . They sent me home by 3:00AM to “rest” and I went on a wild and crazy ride for the next 80 hours. While not in pain, and only mildly uncomfortable I couldn’t find the “off” switch for my mind and could never actually get to sleep. My mind was filled with facts and figures, spreadsheets and logic problems that I felt I had no solve. Most people figure this is my normal state, but the non-stop nature was wearing me out. I had talked myself into a liquid diet since some soup on Wednesday bothered my stem a little, so as the week wore on I was getting more and more dehydrated. From noon on Thursday until my ride arrived at noon on Friday passed as if time had almost stopped. I was really looking forward to anything that would shut off my constant processing. I got checked in during the early afternoon and got sent off to surgery around 3:30. I had no recollection of being wheeled out but it didn’t stop me from continuing to carry on a conversation….


Waking up was like waiting for a cloudy Hawaiian sunrise. You know it’s coming but it’s hard to get a fix on the horizon. My mind gradually cleared and I got sent to my room and Rick was the first to pop in for a visit. Brenda & Wayne, Deb, and Judy checked in and then left me to doze off after a new “Grimm” episode. I had a good solid nights sleep and was rewarded with blueberry French toast for breakfast. No pain or discomfort as I got prepped to head home before noon and Brenda & Wayne deposited me at the condo and then did some grocery shopping and filled my prescription. I found it easy to nap and woke up rested on Sunday. Donna had offered to fix brunch for me and Ted did a drive-by with goodies from the Farmers Market so the 3 of us enjoyed an early afternoon of good food, great conversation, and comforting camaraderie. Donna also made Blueberry French Toast, but at a whole different level than Merdian Park and I finished it with hot chocolate topped by two of Ted’s homemade marshmallows I had been hoarding. Linda and Scott dropped some homemade chicken rice soup by in the afternoon and Sean showed up in the evening so we got to spend some good time together. Rick & Chieko visited for a bit before they went off to a SOLAS concert that I passed on to them. SOLAS was one of Dianna’s favorite groups and I had been looking forward to seeing them, but Rick and Chieko represented me well there. Sean had to head home around 11:00 PM so I got started on what I hoped would be my week long convalescence. The next week was broken into Tue-Thu-Sat slow low energy days and Mon-Wed Fri days when I felt more energized. Friday was a nice sunny 60 degree day so Deb got me out for a nice 40 minute walk in Gabriel Park and that helped my spirits. Saturday was a quiet day without much contact and I struggled Saturday night to sleep comfortably so I’m wondering how Monday’s return to work will be. I talked to John & Sally and Sally gave me a regimen of Chocolate shakes, Aloe, Experia, and Essentials that John used as he recovered from his liver cancer, so I intend to follow this in the days ahead. Where I end up from here is not yet known, but I know this will lead to better health and energy in the months and years ahead which I know will be a great blessing. I’ll make a point of having more timely recaps of my progress. The lesson so far is the gratitude I have my circle of family and friends who have been willing to help me take these fledgling steps to better health and a happier life “Thank you” doesn’t begin to express the depths of my feelings…