Dogs with Diseases

While I am moaning about myself, there is some news that is more good than bad. Bentley is feeling much better and is showing some signs of his old self.

The long and short is he has the dog version of Addison’s Disease. His body no longer produces the hormones needed to deal with stress like it should. Because of this he has electrolyte imbalances and whenever he becomes stressed he can go into crisis mode. The great news is this is very treatable and he is already improving. The bad news is this is an ongoing process and he will require medication daily throughout his life and will need to go to the vet often for blood work.

Still, just seeing the very loving dog we adore coming back to us lifts our spirits.

There Goes The Streak

Well there it goes, the streak is over! Last year was my 6th straight Crazy 8’s and this year was to be my 7th. That was before that fateful click in my knee a couple of weeks ago.

Still not certain what it was. The ER Doc said it was “classic meniscus”. The comp Doc thinks it’s more of a “stretching of the inside ligament”. Either way I held out hope that I would manage to find a way to get over it in time to make the race. Today knocked those hopes out. No work, no kneeling, no stooping, no lifting, pulling or carrying anything over 10 pounds until at least July 12th. Strangely the doctor is still refusing the MRI that the ER said was needed and the knee is still swelling, locking, bruising.

In other words, no Crazy 8’s this year…

Click

So there I was, just doing what I had done probably thousands of times over the years, carrying a stretcher down steps. Technically I had just carried the patient firmly secured to the stretcher down the steps, I was standing of Terra Firma but still had the stretcher supported in the air. I turned ever so slightly to glance behind me and then it happened.

A very soft click. So soft that maybe it wasn’t a sound, maybe it was just a feeling. There wasn’t any pain, no burning, no numbness. Just an easy slide sideways of the joint with that little click. My knee wouldn’t bend, it wouldn’t move, nothing. “I’ve just dislocated my knee!” I screamed in my head. Nausea… where did that come from? I had to try hard not to vomit while just standing there, holding a couple of hundred pounds in the air and deciding what to do next. I managed to sit the stretcher down gently and push it by me and then asked someone else to get the end I had.

The wave of nausea washed over me again and sweat popped up on my head. I reached down and palpated my knee, ready to feel the cap turned to the side. No, it was intact, exactly where it was supposed to be. The femur felt good as did the tibia. Why wouldn’t it bend? I worked the lower leg side to side with my hands and then it was free. Strange but working just fine. I walked to the ambulance and was met with a white hot stab to the inside of the joint with each step. “Just get to the truck, take care of the patient, nothing is wrong”,  yep, I was lying to myself on that last part.

There it was again, the knee locked up a second time. Still, no real pain yet, at least as long as I wasn’t walking. A little shaking and it was working again. Deep aching followed that, and a strange grinding with movement. At least the nausea was gone.

The ER said it was “classic meniscus”. That was a few days ago. Now I am sitting at home, already going crazy, while I wait to see the doctor. The ache is still there along with a very strange sudden cramping of various parts of my calf, thigh and even foot which seems to have no rhyme or reason to it. I hope the ER was right, a quick fix surgery and back to life. No sitting around, bored to death, waiting endlessly for something to happen.

Finish Strong

Today at church Pastor James brought up a very good point, the way that one finishes is much more important than the way one starts. He pointed out the lives of two people who a few years ago were both thought of as great but the way that they finished showed that one  was false greatness while one was truly great.

Almost every American and many others around the world know the stories of two Williams. The first

one was born in Philadelphia in 1937. He served in the US Navy and then went to college before becoming a comedian. Eventually he made it to T.V. He earned Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes, Presidential Medals and 15 honorary doctorates. But then the wall came crashing down. Bill Cosby will not be remembered as a great man but as a sexual predator.

US comedian Bill Cosby leaves December 30, 2015 the Court House in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania after arraignment on charges of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby was arraigned over an incident that took place in 2004 — the first criminal charge filed against the actor after dozens of women claimed abuse.AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

The second one was born in North Carolina in 1918. After high school he went to Bible college and then got a degree in anthropology.  He became a pastor for a short while of a small church before becoming an evangelist. During his life he spoke in 185 countries on 6 continents, was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement in the US and Apartheid in South Africa, spiritual advisor to every President from Wilson to Obama and spoke his message to BILLIONS around the world. It is estimated that he spoke to over 2.5 billion worldwide in one single broadcast in 1996.  He also received many honorary degrees and awards from the United States such as the Presidential Medal of Honor, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, as well as medals from many other countries. On February 28 and March 1, 2018, Billy Graham became the fourth private citizen in United States history to lie in honor at the United States Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C. One William was a finisher, the other was not.

Rev. Billy Graham

Which brings us to weight issues. Almost any lesson learned about life can be carried over but for today let’s talk about finishing. Like most people that deal with weight problems I had started to diet more times than I can remember. Almost always I was successful for a short period of time but then I would stumble and fall. I was following the Bill Cosby path. I would try hard, start in the right direction and do enough that everyone could see what I was doing and comment on it. But eventually I would cheat.

The thing about the cheating is it was hurting me but I would hide it at first from everyone so they would continue to say things about me so I would feel good. In the end the truth came out, the weight would start to trickle then rush back on.

When I decided to try again a few years ago I had a different mindset. It wasn’t about looks, it was about survival. If I didn’t do something I couldn’t do my job, I knew that I was rushing head long into an early grave. I had to change. After the weight started rolling off I started running but it is still not easy, I still struggle and fall. The difference is I’m on the Billy Graham plan now. I know the way isn’t easy, I know I will have to fight this for the rest of my life. But I am going to finish strong! I want to be able to quote the book that Dr. Graham followed his whole life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Thank you Pastor James for reminding me of the importance of that passage.