Cool Stuff

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Yesterday I posted about how precarious I was feeling spiritually, emotionally and psychologically to go along with the obvious troubling feelings I have had physically. I received a great deal of support through e-mail and FaceBook Messages and it has meant a lot to me.

I wish I could find the right words to express how I feel and why this experience has affected me so powerfully. I think that has as much to do with the challenges to my FAITH and beliefs. Why would God want to see one of HIS Followers suffer so as I have these last five months?

That is but one of the many questions that ad torment and mystery to an already painful ordeal....And I have no final or true answer except to suffer as gracefully and faithfully as possible. Dying HARD is no longer in vogue....NOPE, EXPIRING Softly...with out chaos or fuss, fancy or the new way HOME.

I haven't a clue why...I just endeavor to persevere. Then the movie rewinds and begins all over again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Struggle Within

Yea folks....I am still hanging on here (literally by a thread) each and every day. Medically things are the same...physically they are still the way they were. Emotionally, psychologically and spiritually things couldn't be more difficult. I am really struggling to hold it together. More later (God Willing).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Living On The BLOGGER"s Ledge....Not Really, HaHa!

Never in my wildest dreams did I intend Shell Shock Serenade to be used basically as a persona/medical UPDATE Apparatus reporting periodically on my health, how I feel, what my experience is, etc. Yet that is about all I am capable of doing with it right now.

One of the symptoms or side-effects of this latest illness is an inability to focus on anything for more then a minute or 2. I often just fall asleep wherever I happen to be. The second reason is the more troubling I think: I am not doing anything in my life right now except SUFFERING that is even remotely worth writing about. I am not trying to be sarcastic, cute or is the TRUTH. I don't really go anywhere and I cannot physically do very much.

So I am limited to updating on the status of my health and well-being.

Since I just got finished writing that i don't have much toi report on here at Shell Shock....I am going to take a minute and Credit the Photographer, Kathy Thomson.

Kathy and her husband Mike are friends from my church. Kathy has become quite an exceptional photographer in her spare time and I have used dozens of them as Blog Hi-Lights. I have been a photographer and collector of Art all my life and I really appreciate her amazing ability to see things that few other people EVER see.

So Thank You Kathy for the permission to use your work...I imagine it will continue to show up time and again.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

At Times, What HE Does Provide Is PAIN and a Hard Lesson...

Late this afternoon....long after one would expect to get a phone call from a doctor's office, the phone rang and it was my surgeons office saying the referral to the Ankle Fusion Surgeon came through. They have scheduled an appointment to see me OCTOBER 3rd, 2013! That is right, nearly 7 freaking weeks away...What last shred of hope I had about getting better burst like blowing a soap bubble into a stiff wind.

I cannot walk, cannot sleep, cannot think straight, cannot do my chores, cannot do ANYTHING without the severe consequences of debilitating PAIN. I was stunned...then in all honesty my shock turned quickly to despair....helplessness and then hopelessness.

I will say this right now...this post is going to upset people. Some may never want to speak to me again. That of course is their prerogative.

I have noticed during this 4 month long ordeal that many people seem to genuinely care , are concerned about me and frequently ask how I am doing. Unfortunately that is when things can often begin to feel uncomfortable. Because in our society, it has become common for people to ask you how you are doing or feeling. What I have discovered is they really don't want to know the answer.

Here is an example from my own experience that has been happening a lot lately.  I will get asked how I am and hows it going. I will answer with the truth that the pain and discomfort is UNBEARABLE and the financial burden is overwhelming.

Let me tell you, the fastest way to get someone to change the subject or leave the room is to tell them you are having extreme financial difficulty. In an instant they are struggling to find something helpful yet non-committal to say.

Lately what I have been hearing from people is to Trust god, HE will PROVIDE. Tell me where there a guarantee that God will fix your problems...If people are starving, He may indeed provide a meal of Rats and Sawdust like they ate in Auschwitz.

When you have medical bills like I do where the out of pocket expense now exceeds $14,000 (and remember, I have not even had the surgery to repair the ankle! yet!), It is easy to spout out sayings and quotes when it isn't you that is under the gun, getting harassed, getting the calls, receiving a ton of useless and unwanted advice by every self-appointed adviser. My thoughts are on what a failure I am and, how can I ever climb out of this whole. I'll let you all in on a terrible little truth for me: In the last 3 weeks I have seriously thought about committing suicide on several occasions because I cannot stand the thought of going through another single, solitary day. I sit here all day in excruciating agony and think and pray and suffer. I do wonder WHY Me?!
Not to mention the fact that I am in terrible pain, I'm sick and now have been informed it will be nearly 2 more months before they will even SEE Me to start the surgical process.

Please do not ask questions like how are you, etc if you cannot handle an honest answer. Your response feels demeaning and just isolates me even more.                     

Thursday, August 8, 2013

All Things Considered....

Guess what? I'm so excited about this I can hardly type. I went to see the surgeon today to get the details on the ankle fusion they need to do on my right foot. I found out that I am being sent to ANOTHER Doctor who specializes in this sort of procedure. OH GOODY, ANOTHER FREAKING DOCTOR!!

In all honesty, though it will set the time frame back a few weeks or more, it is most likely the best scenario for getting the surgery done correctly once and for all.

I am just trying to get my whole head around everything that has been happening here the last few months. My entire world has been turned totally upside down and I am reeling.

One of the delicate potentially dangerous issues for a person in recovery is pain medication. When you have an ankle as swollen and painful as mine something has to give. Plus I have had multiple medical procedures done and a couple of surgeries coming down the pike. There are legitimate uses of pain meds but it requires openness and honesty on my part.

I only recently gave in and started taking a pain pill at night and one in the morning. It has gone very well but is causing problems with my mother. Alcoholism/Addiction are Family Diseases and it affects everyone in the household and beyond. It is understandable that the people who care about you are concerned yet ultimately the responsibility is your own. I trust that my Creator is here with me through these difficult times...I have no doubt that he is.

As tough a decision as it is the truth is I have lived for 3 months (actually closer to 4) in total agony and pain...the quality of my life is suffering. Suffering is the name of the game, live IS TO SUFFER.

This topic is still quite controversial among recovering Addicts/Alcoholics. Everyone treats this subject according to their own personal preferences. But for me I am doing well and persevering the best I can considering the circumstances.


PHOTO: Kathy Tomson

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I really am not sure what to say here right now. Things have not changed much in my personal life...especially related to my health. I want to be positive and optimistic but my latest experience and circumstance lends itself more toward cynicism, sarcasm. And that is truly unfortunate because a human being only has so much stored up energy, physical as well as psychological and endure heartbreak, difficulty and disappointment.

I've been here at the hospital in Battle Creek for 4 days and progress is slow to non-existent. It is frustrating but that is how this whole illness ordeal has been.

It looks like they will do an MRI by tomorrow at the latest to determine if the infection has moved and/or progressed. Then they will determine the best method to continue the anti-biotic. I have a PICC Line in the vein above my heart for long term IV access. Then it sounds like I will discharge from here, have out-patient surgery to remove the old hardware. That they hope will eliminate the infection so they can go in and repair my foot/ankle/leg permanently by fusing the ankle.

That is the plan could change many times between now and when I leave the hospital. But I wanted to update everyone who are concerned and asking about me.

I appreciate all the well wishes and prayers and will keep updating as I can....T