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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fugitive - Re-Loaded

For those of you who read regularly the previous post "Fugitive" might have had an odd, "unfinished" feel to it. Primarily I think is because it WAS NOT finished! I worked on it for two days and my exhaustion prevented me from finishing it so I just bagged the darn thing and posted it as is with the hope that I would be able to complete a second part to make sense of the crazy bugger!

The premise behind the thought and feeling is that when you have been down the surgery road as often as I have the numbers begin to feel as if they are stacking up against you. I have had major surgery easily over a dozen times and never an issue so I begin to start pondering that fact and I probably will psych myself into a crisis....would not be the first time for Captain Disaster here, lol.

So tomorrow (Wed) I go and have the ankle/leg on the right side cut open to search for the source of the infection fro HELL that has now been with me for 11 total months. They are not sure if I will be staying a night or two or going home the same day. It depends on what they find and the follow up treatment. If I need IV Anti-Biotic and a PIC-LINE.

So we will see....

I want to thank the many, many (far to many to try and mention here) people who have been thinking about and praying for me. It has made a huge difference to me, particularly attitude wise. God Bless all of you!

Monday, February 24, 2014


The other day I told my father that I could relate to this of WWII comic "Willie & Joe" by Cartoonist Bill Mauldin. And I do feel this way, "A Fugitive From The Law Of Averages." The very story of my day to day life, particularly in the last 14 months or so defies reason. If this was a TV show plot-line it would get panned for lacking reality.

I honestly do not know how to feel at the moment other then grateful to be alive...and very FEARFUL for the future.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Back on the CHAOTIC Carnival Ride Called LIFE!

Greetings Readers of Shell Shock Serenade, Veterans and First-Timers alike! I almost don't have the Heart to write this post today because it feels to me that they now are basically all saying the same thing again & again.

Naturally when I post here I want it to be interesting, positive and informative to read. I don't want reading Shell Shock to be a drag...pulling people down and leaving them feeling negative. Unfortunately life often times is a series of challenging and painful experiences and yes they can more often then not repeat themselves.

I imagine you are wondering what I am trying to say so here it goes. I received a call from the Doctors office yesterday and the test results are back from the Cultures they took on this past Monday. I do have a nasty, hard to kill....little BUGGER of an infection in the lower right leg and ankle. Because it shows absolutely no sign of going away on it's own even after taking oral anti-biotic....the Doc has scheduled surgery for this coming Wednesday at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Battle Creek.

It is scheduled to be an outpatient procedure but I have already been told by the Nurse to be flexible and expect the unexpected. If it is going to require long term IV Anti-Biotic Treatments then I could very well spend a least a night in the hospital as they put in a PIC-Line and start the treatments.

The purpose of this post is essentially to communicate the latest information and not delve into my reaction to it. I will say that naturally this is not what I wanted to hear but it comes as no surprise. I'm bummed out about it...i want to get on with my life and     not spend anymore time in the hospital. But the danger here of losing the leg is even more real today then when we started. This infection, is exactly the kind of thing that brings an amputation scenario into play.

And I will post later on how that reality has me felling. Until then my friends.....until THEN.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Forgive But Cannot Forget....

Life goes on...and boy does it ever! This past year has been challenging but for the most part the lessons learned and the wisdom & experience that comes with it have been positive. I have learned a great deal about myself, about human nature and about others.

Most repeat readers here on Shell Shock know that I am one to share very honestly and openly about myself, whether that information reflects positively or negatively on me is irrelevant. The TRUTH is what is important.

I have also come to trust other people in a way that I never would have dreamed of a couple of years ago. I have really been pleased with that fact because I consider it growth. I never trusted anyone enough to share my deepest darkest secrets with them. But now I share a lot of very private and personal information with my friends and the world at large as well via this blog.

Unfortunately I now have reason to really regret doing so. I suppose that it is my fault for thinking that people who really cannot relate to my experiences would accept knowing about those experiences without judging me. Unfortunately I've discovered that is not the case and I have ended up feeling hurt by one of my friends reaction to some of my life's experiences.

One one hand I do really believe it is a stretch for someone who hasn't really struggled in life to understand what it is like to negotiate through major difficulties in one's life. On the other hand this is someone I truly trusted and I was blind-sided by this reaction. 

Oh well you live and learn. I honestly hope and pray this experience does not change me and how I view other people but I suspect I will find myself less inclined to trust people and share myself with them. Perhaps these folks would have preferred not hearing about my life's challenges and  difficulties. Maybe the truth makes them uncomfortable around me. I actually believe that may indeed be the case here.

Anyway I'll do my best to forgive though I suspect I won't forget...      

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The First, Faint Glimmer of Dawn

For the longest time, I never had to worry about coming up with something to blog about on Shell Shock Serenade. It is like I had a mission to get my life's story honestly and accurately represented on the site for all to see. The posts came frequently...often two to three or more a day. Writing  them was easy....

This past year has been different....drastically different and for the most part I am not really sure why. I can go a week or more without writing anything at all and by my own standards most of what I have written of late just doesn't measure up to my earlier efforts in creativity, passion and content.

I suppose there are several reasons why this is the case.
First and foremost is the condition of my health this past year. On February 9, 2013 I had an accident at home where I badly broke my right ankle. I had emergency surgery the very next day and subsequently developed a very dangerous and nasty infection that even today, a whole year later....STILL seems to be present deep, down inside. This required several hospitalizations (over 2 weeks total in Hospital), intensive IV Anti-Biotic Therapy and an additional surgery. 

That led to the discovery of an additional broken bone in and around the ankle joint, the true origin of which remains somewhat of a mystery though logic suggests that my Neuropathy is somehow the ultimate culprit. I had a major reconstructive Ankle Fusion surgery on the 23rd of October, 2013 in Kalamazoo, MI and currently am still recovering. I am just now in the second week of February starting to walk a little bit at a time with the use of a Cam-Walker and cane/walker

This quite frankly has been the single most challenging and difficult single event and year of my life. Yes that includes the addiction, the rape and the aftermath. It sounds impossible but the pain, the uncertainty and the constant questions of will I ever be normal again have led me down a very dark and dangerous path. Combined with catastrophic, crippling medical bills that quite simply have impoverished me at the age of 52 and there have been several nights that I have spent alone cradling a loaded 12 gauge shotgun thinking that enough is enough.

For those of you who are familiar with my story, you are aware that I barely survived a suicide attempt with Pharmaceuticals in the late Spring of 2006. Oddly there was and is a great difference in these two similar emotional catastrophes.

In 2006, at the end of my rope due to my addiction...feeling utterly hopeless and ashamed...all I could think of was how I would relieve the burden on family and friends of ME by killing myself. I was THAT ill and traumatized by addiction and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that I truly believed that I would be doing the entire world a gigantic favor by removing myself permanently from the earth.

The thought process this time around was quite different and even more selfish....I had lost hope and the will to fight. I had (and have) become beaten down by the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual pain of these circumstances.

In both cases God has intervened to save this wretched excuse of a human being, I suppose for some higher calling. Frankly it isn't too difficult to reach higher when your life has descended permanently into a cellar of pain , hopelessness and sorrow.

Today, as I sit and write significant other Kim has been fighting a severe case of Anemia and as I write the test results are still not back on several biopsies that were done this Monday past. She has several cysts that by her Docs own admission are of "grave concern".

And yet once again I experience that silent, invisible hand around my throat that seems to be choking the life (and LIGHT) out of me every time this hopelessness sets in. 

But on we go to battle for another day and another time to fight the good fight. I know in my heart God provides and he is with only hope is that I can hang on and hold Him close as this latest storm descends up on us and we urgently search the dark black sky for that first glimmer of dawn...and a brand new day.

PHOTO: K. Tomson

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Up To My Neck In iT...

The Winter of 2013-2014 has turned out to be a real dandy as far as the weather is concerned! And yea, that is definitely an understatement. It is odd how things in life, seemingly unrelated can at the same time totally attached by circumstance.

Historically Bad Winter....Extremely Bad Injury/Illness. Unrelated normally and having absolutely NOTHING to do with one another. Yet since I am locked in the prison of SNOW & Ice it is totally related.

This injury and subsequently illness (Infection) will have lasted an entire year come this Sunday February 9th...that is the one year anniversary of the original broken ankle. Time flies when you are miserable sometimes too but it often  drags at the same time.
I had another scheduled 2 week check up yesterday...

We found that I did indeed have a well entrenched infection that was making me quite sick and though that now seems to be in check he is really quite concerned about it. In 2 weeks we will check again and if the wound has not closed up on it's own I will need another surgery....he will go in and clean up the entire area. I may need other procedures done the extent of my problems will dictate the treatment, obviously.     

On the other hand the physical healing of the fused bones seems to be progressing on scheduled. It is very painful and swollen but that is to be expected at this stage in the game. I have just recently started to put pressure on it so swelling is pretty much expected as is the pain.

I just feel always on the brink of CHAOS with this situation. I just want it to heal so I can move on with my life. That doesn't seem to be too much to ask....IS IT?!