Well, this has been a long time in coming. Much longer than it should have. For reasons not clear to me, I don't seem to have access to The Blog of helios any longer, so I'll post here. A lot has happened in my life in the past year and many of you deserve to know about it. Yes, it's been a while and it's been for good reason so I'll get to it.

Just over a year ago...a clear spring day at the shop. I was going about business as usual when it happened. Not like on TV or the movies. It wasn't a wide-eyed clutching at the chest. No staggering or gasping for air. It was like a vice had pressed my jaw shut. My face went numb and everything turned extremely bright. I made my way to the desk and sat, trying to control my breathing. Eventually, the pressure on my face lifted and the pounding in my head slowed to a dull headache. When I felt I could, I drove myself to the ER here in Taylor.

Blood pressure was 219/111 but heart rate was 62. EKG was negative but after 3 hours, my blood pressure was still at stroke level. 5 hours later, my blood pressure returned to normal ranges and I was released with a referral to a cardiologist. I went home and probably made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I didn't say anything to Diane. Not then. The day was as normal as any other.

The Cardio diagnosed me with resistant hypertension and arrhythmia and at that point, I didn't have any other choice but to tell Diane. Let me explain my hesitancy. I am all she has. Diane is a survivor of two strokes and chronic kidney disease and I am her lifeline....literally, I am her lifeline. The last thing I wanted was to worry her about my health or well being, since she relies upon me solely.

Some of you know, some don't...I have been on a pain management program since finishing radiation treatment. A significant portion of my lower throat did not heal from the radiation treatments and I was in constant pain from those burns. A nasty cocktail of Fentnyl and Oxycodone kept me at a level by which I could function but last year, I informed my doctor that I no longer wanted to maintain that level of medication. I spent the next 8 months "tapering" from the narcotics. I'm not even going to attempt to describe that process in detail. It sucks the life out of you. depression like I have never imagined seemed to crush me and it took abnormally strong will just to shower and maintain basic levels of normalcy, whatever I perceived those to be.Those first 3 months were hell on earth for me. My doctors concur that it was more than likely the stress of that withdrawal that triggered my cardio event. Medications and diet have pretty much taken care of those problems.

I wasn't completely inactive. I spent three or four days a week visiting the homes of Reglue kids, updating or upgrading their machines. I forwarded email to Evie so she could monitor everything coming in and she would visit me daily to have me sign any paperwork, deposit checks and respond to pertinent emails. It wasn't until last month that I discovered that a large number of those emails ended up in a spam folder. I had inadvertently set the filters to high so if you have emailed me and I did not respond, please know that I am now going through those and trying to get things caught up. For those of you who thought I was ignoring you, you have my sincerest apologies.

I am back to work full time, albeit with a brand new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Don't panic....I'm not. My doctor has assured me that I will die of a number of other causes aside from this latest of my cancer collections. It's slow-growing and I am being monitored quarterly for any significant changes. I'm not worried about it, so you shouldn't be as well. My doctor has assured me that I will die of any number of things before this cancer even begins to become a threat.

Until I can get my blogger problems figured out, I would appreciate you passing this along within your circles. Reglue is still operational and has been since my illness. I simply took care of the easiest parts of it as best I could. I'll be posting here a number of times a week as there are many things to catch up upon. I may even start a new blog if I cannot find out the reasons I am no longer associated with my own. And to those who have supported me and my project, thank you for your faith and kindness. I assure you I will remain worthy of it.

All Righty Then...
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