Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

My life with an "incurable" disease

Medicine says I have an incurable disease. I have been living with it for 17 years. I will be 67 in two months. I am also told I can live well with both of my conditions. I have, but not without them creating interesting issues in my approach to life.

I have "atherosclerosis" a heart problem associated with but different from ateriosclerosis. This means my heart muscle and veins are still supple and my heart pumps close to that of a healthy adult my age. This problem followed the diagnosis of adult onset Type II diabetes. As a diabetic I am a fairly conscientious one, my AIC has always stayed just above the diagnosis number. But a genetic issue in my bloodline created a problem that led to the second disease.

In any normal heart a complex system of vein and artery care and repair always goes on in our circulatory system. Any inflammation is repaired by this system. Diabetes keeps inflammation high due to the nature of sugar having sharp edges as it stays too long in our system. The repairs build up and close the walls of the arteries with blockages called plaque.

Tuesday I went through the tenth angiogram, the first three after heart attacks and the last seven after finding oxygenation problems during yearly stress tests. Each time they have ballooned, or stented the affecting clog. I now have 19 of those little suckers. I get a poke in my groin, an hour on the table with a talented cardiologist and his team, a night flat on my back, several days of rest, and a new lease on life.

I return to work and living each day with the need for exercise, healthy food choices, and reducing stress as much as possible.

Each time this happens I face the possibility of bypass surgery...the final frontier of heart disease, and live with the possibility of a plaque collapse heart attack, and a sudden goodbye to this life. Now with 10 of these under my belt and 50 years of learning to live and walk by faith in God I am largely relaxed with the future, and the possibility I may leave earlier and faster than I wish or hope.

I live with my Charismatic friends wondering why that last sincere laying on of hands prayer did not work, and with my beloved who believes if I were a lot less thick around the middle this thing would go away, and my reading into all things metaphysical that tells me I might be able to think and meditate a healing modality, and my hope that if I make it to that bypass table, I will get ten more years, which ought to be long enough to leave thankful and with a longer check list on my personal bucket list.

Oddly, the best thing about living with heart disease is how easy and enjoyable it is to cherish the moment, and life fully in it.  And I will leave you with that, cherish the moments you have to life, love and experience it all. Believe that the end of this life is the entrance into a different but more amazing life....O, and watch your carbs, they turn to sugar!!!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Daily Blog becomes a Monthly Blog, and I am too pooped to protest

Well, it's the Crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer again, and my life has changed. I have completed six months as a full time chaplain, with commute giving away 50 hours a week and enjoying the challenge, the strange connections, and the new way of life that this work demands.

For that reason my poor blog suffers, but it will try to stay alive if but for the few.  Our pool remodel is finished, cost more than we hoped but is nice with blue shimmering tile, and nice floral fountains that make a delightful sound as they spill into the water. We are enjoying the back yard with the grand kids for the second week in a row, and the water temp has risen to perfect along with the June heat wave.  Laura got her last paycheck for substituting work this week and has eight weeks to relax. I am ready for a vacation, perhaps a trip back to our gulf coast roots later in the summer.

I wanted to experience the type of personality that ends in prison, and I have, all types. I am often stunned at the depth of violence and hate that can capture a life, or the dedication to lies, cheating, and deception that a person can rely upon. I am shocked at the racial hatred and how they beat upon each other, and upon their own if they think someone needs prison justice.

I see the love and transforming power of Christ in so many hearts as well, and this makes the whole experience more than worthwhile. That's all for now, the backyard afternoon delight in the pool calls me. Aloha to all.