Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's time to......GNARFEL THE GARFUNK

So here it is. The day that everyone has been waiting for and arguing about. We are given two, very unimpressive candidates to chose from. Quite frankly? They both scare me. We aren't EVER given the best candidates to chose from. Really, we're not. We are not given the best choices to vote for and who we depend on to run our country. We are asked to chose between the candidates that the parties select for us. People may say that we vote the candidate into the race but if the party wants a specific candidate, then that's who's going to be nominated. The parties will make sure that the person they want has all the money that is needed to last the race. They make big promises to big business: Oil, gas, electric, retail, real estate and commodities. And in exchange for large donations to the party. promises are made. "You help us get him into office and we'll help you get what you want". That's what a party means when they start grooming someone to be president. They are taught whose ass to kiss to get the most money and what to offer in return.

In the beginning the public is lead to believe that we have several candidates to choose from. We always start out with several people with ambitions to become president but most of their motives and desires are fueled by their own greed, ambitions and secret agendas. But there is always that one candidate in the mix that is there because he has already been pre-selected by the party to be the "ONE". They have already determined that he will be the party candidate. They just have to make sure the public believes that he was elected by them. It's like a magician and a card game. You're shown a card, it's put back in the pack. They magician already knows what the card is so he narrows the pack, always leaving your card in the stack. Eventually, he will narrow that pack down to YOUR card and you walk away amazed that out of an entire deck of cards, he was able to find yours. When a candidates ambitions align with the parties, a candidate is born. There's always enough money to feed the greed and when the ambitions are the same, the morality of the secret agendas are thrown out the window. If someone is willing to play ball, whose moral convictions always has a price on them and who looks good doing it, then ladies and gentlemen, we have a presidential candidate. The other candidates who just can't afford to continue, who can't afford to keep their secrets hidden and are afraid to have the deep dark secrets in their closets exposed, will drop out and fade away. In the end, we wind with the people who could financially afford to stay in the game the longest. Who had the most money and could afford constant trips across the country. In the end; We are stuck up with the candidate that they wanted. The last card in the deck.

Then in the final election we end up being faced with not voting for the best candidate, but voting for the lesser of two evils. It's like being asked to vote for a female ambassador to the U.S. and having to chose between Sonia on Operation Repo or Honey Boo Boo's mom.Watching people fight and argue over these two men is insane. Vote republican...Vote democrat. My candidate is better because of this.....Yours sucks because....In the end, they are both the same. They are both puppets to the same people. The only difference is the way they steal from us. One is a sly pick pocket, sneaking in and snatching your billfold while standing right next to you. The other is a bump and run specialist, who ignores the subtlety. He brazenly distracts you, takes what he wants  and walks away with your cash. It doesn't matter how they do it. We all get robbed in the end.

I have long believed that the first day our new president takes office is very special day. He's taken in, shown around the white house and made privy to things that only a handful of other people are allowed to know. Secrets that the public should never know; The alliance that the government has the drug cartels, the secrets behind Area 51, the truth about aliens, Fort Knox and nuclear weapons. He's formally introduced to all the staff, enlightened as to which interns are willing to help him sleep at night and where all of the hidden passage ways are.

Then, as the day wears on, after he has had a gourmet dinner, desserts of his choice and nice cigar, he is given the drink of his choice and is taken to the White House theater. There he is offered the best seat in the house and shown, from every angle, all the seen and unseen footage ever taken of the assassination of president Kennedy. He is shown all of the things that the public will never see, what actually led up to the assassination and who was truly responsible. After it is all said and done, he sets there staring at the screen with the same look in his eyes that a young child is told that there is no Santa Clause gets. The same look of terror that a young child gets after being told that mommy and daddy won't be coming home. EVER. As he's escorted out of the theater he is told; "Do you get the picture"?

For the first time in his entire career he goes to bed finally realizing that he has sold his soul. He sleeps restlessly, dreaming of contracts drawn up by the devil with his signature boldly written in his blood at the bottom.

The right to vote is guaranteed in the constitution and the government follows through with that. But just because you are guaranteed the right to vote, doesn't mean that your guaranteed a fair vote or that your vote even counts. Studies have showed that more and more people doubt the validity of our electoral process. They may vote, but it's really without any conviction and belief that they are doing any good. And with good reason. It is up to the electoral college to determine the presidency and if the electoral college doesn't agree with the popular vote, they can override the public and elect the president with the most electoral votes. Thereby basically telling the people that you can vote, but we still decide who we want. And I do not believe that anyone in the electoral college is above being bought. Since it's up to the state committee's to choose their members for the electoral college, they are going to chose members who will play ball to get the president they want.  


According to Alexander Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. The founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others.

We all know that presidential elections are all dog and pony shows. Slight of hand on a grander scale. It is all a chess game and the candidates will all be put in a winning or losing scenario based upon how the government wants the game played, not us. It's not about today, tomorrow or even next year. It's based upon what they want to happen in 2, 3, 5 maybe even 10 years from now. The presidents are in office until their usefulness is gone and then they are retired. They don't lose elections, they are replaced; Given a nice golden parachute as an incentive to keep all the secrets they have learned close to the chest and with the reminder of what they were shown on their very first day.

Happy Election Day everyone.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

So long Bob

Back in 1984 I was working a part time job as a bouncer at a bar in Wichita called Jammers. For people that remember Jammers, that's really all I need to say. For those that don't, Jammers was a very popular dance club that always had a line down the block. Everyone wanted in and like most bars they had their people that handled their liquor a lot better than others. Jammers was in a 3 story building without a ground floor. You had to walk up two flights of stairs to the front entrance. Once inside there was a stairway that went all the way to a basement. There was then a walkout to a little courtyard. From the landing by the front door, you could look over the railing and see all the way down to the courtyard. It was about a 30 ft. drop.  

I had been working there for about 3-4 days and it was a mid week night. I was still trying to get all oif the employee's names straight and getting to know all of the regulars. I was working the front door by myself and there was a moderate crowd. My front door co-worker had gone somewhere; Bathroom, pitcher run, trash check, etc. Whatever it was, it left me at the door by myself.

I was standing by the front door, scanning the crowd, when a large group of guys started walked in. I can't remember if they were there for a bachelor party, if they were a football team or what but there were a lot of them, some a lot bigger than others, and they were all pretty drunk and in a very loud and obnoxious mood. I asked the first one in the door for I.D and as more of them came in I realized that some of the party wasn't going to be able to come in. Jammers, like most clubs, had a dress code to prevent the gang banger's from coming in and to prevent other problems. Several of the guys did not meet the dress code and a couple of the one's that I had already asked for I.D. didn't have it. I started to explain the situation to them and the mood turned dangerous pretty quick. They started advancing towards me, yelling and screaming and calling me names. I tried to explain to them why they couldn't come in when one of them grabbed me and hit me. I punched him in the face, hit another two as they rushed in but the rest rushed me. I was able to fight them off for a couple of seconds but there were way to many of them and I got dragged out the front door. I was fighting, biting and kicking and then I realized that they had lifted me up over the banister and were trying to throw me over the railing to the courtyard below. I was already scared but the realization of being dropped 30 feet to a most certain death brought on terror and panic. I was sitting on the railing and they were trying to push me over the edge. While they were pushing, they were just beating the hell out of me. I wrapped my legs through the railing and was trying to defend myself and get enough leverage to get back off the railing. Now it was probably only less than a minute but it seemed forever when I noticed the front door open and heard someone yell and then I saw one of the guys in the back drop. Then another. And another. Another one turned around and something cracked him in the head and he fell down the stairs. The calvary had arrived and as more attention was diverted away from me I was able to start making my way off the railing and beating off the crowd. Within a minute or so the fight was over. Most of the guys that had just about killed me were nursing some pretty serious head wounds. The bodies went all the way from the balcony, down the stairs and onto the sidewalk. 

As more people came outside to help and things got sorted out, I realized that the person that saved me was Bob. I had met him a couple of days before. He was dating on of the bartenders and we had really hit it off, but I hadn't really had a chance to get to know him. Bob wasn't a very big guy at all. As a matter of fact he was pretty scrawny. He was about 35 years old (old back then LOL), 5'10" and weighed about a buck fifty, if he was lucky. He was also a lawyer. Now what made Bob so unusual as a knight in shining armor was the fact that he could barely walk. Bob had been in an extremely serious car accident that had killed his wife about 4 years earlier and it had crippled him. He had been in the hospital for months, rehab for years and was able to get around with the help of a cane. When he saw me being dragged out the front door he grabbed his cane and came to the rescue. When he walked outside, he started hitting everything he saw in the head with his cane as hard as he could. Most of those that he hit were knocked out cold and received a severe gash in the process. 

After everything was all done, we walked back into the club and I made the comment that I needed a drink. I wasn't old enough to drink liquor but that never stopped me. The owners knew that some of their employees weren't old enough but they didn't care as long as we were discreet. So I ordered something mixed and Bob looked at me and said "well son, that's half your problem. Real men drink scotch" LOL. I had my first scotch and water. Well, o.k. It was water with a little scotch. Scotch is definitely an acquired taste but as you go the less water you use. Bob's idea of scotch and water was a whole lot of scotch and an ice cube. And he tried to drink it fast enough that the ice never had a chance to affect the scotch in a negative way. 

Bob and I became fast friends. He had a beautiful yet extremely spoiled and ornery little girl, Shelle. She was about 4 years old and had him SO wrapped around her little finger. She was quite the little princess and Bob did everything he could but since her mom had died in the car accident there wasn't much of a positive female presence there. She became quite the tomboy and had her issues growing up but today she is a wonderful young woman with two ornery little boys of her own.

For the next 5 years or so we became really close friends. We would hang out, my girlfriend and I would go over and do BBQ's etc. I was in law enforcement and he was a lawyer so we had a lot of interesting conversations.

Unfortunately, Bob and I lost touch for several years. About 4 years ago I ran into Shelle when I was coming out of a little burger joint. I'm glad that she recognized me because I wouldn't have recognized her. She was a far cry from the little girl that I had known several years ago. She immediately called her dad and put me on the phone with him. It was like all of those years apart disappeared and our conversation took up where it had left off. You can always measure your true friends because those are the ones that even though you you haven't seen each other for years, it only seems like yesterday since you've talked. We hooked back up a couple of days later and we were both shocked at just how much 20 years can change a person. It was funny though when we realized that he knew of Julie from dealings around court and other attorneys but had no Idea that we were married. Small world.

Last September, when I was in Bastrop TX., I called Bob to see how he was doing. He informed me that he had been diagnosed with throat and esophageal cancer. The doctors had given him 6 months. He did have the opportunity to fight it and the success rate was good but the re-occurrence rate was high and the success rate after re-occurrence was low. He just didn't want to fight this for years on end. Quality of life VS quantity. I tried talking to him about it and he reminded me of something that he had said years ago. He said "whether we want to realize it or not we all start the process of dying from the day we are born". He had done the research with the doctors and his mind was made up. So he started the long final process of dying. I made him promise me though that he would wait until I got home. I got back to my hotel and sat in my room, in shock, and cried.

I had made it down to see Bob a couple of times since I got home and it never failed to shock me on just how much the cancer was taking away. I would sit and talk to him for a couple of hours. I would call and we would talk to each other often, sometime more often than others, but as we all know life gets in the way. 

I woke up yesterday morning and it started off as a typical Monday. The girls were here and they were getting their things done so that we could go swimming later in the day. I had just turned on Facebook and noticed a couple of messages but was taking care of a couple of other things. The phone rang and it was Julie. She told me that Shelle had sent her a message stating that she needed to get a hold of me but she couldn't find our number. I immediately called and she told me that overnight, Bob had taken a turn for the worse. He was unresponsive and hospice felt that the end was near. I made arrangements for the girls and drove as fast as I could to get to his side. 

When I got there I gave Shelle a hug and took up vigil beside my friends bed. I held his hand for hours saying prayers that God would help guide him and take him home. I reassured Bob that it was o.k. to let go, that we would all be o.k. and that I would help watch over Shelle. There were several times that we thought that he had finally let go but he kept fighting.

His breathing became more erratic and the social worker finally called hospice to send a nurse. When the nurse came in, I gave Shelle my chair so that she could hold her dad's hand. We gave her some time alone and I went back in about 15 minutes later and sat beside her near the foot of the bed. There were a few other of Bob's close friends there and they came in and stood at the foot of the bed. We were all talking. It may sound strange, our friend was dying, but we were telling "Bob" stories and laughing and talking like he was a part of the conversation. I would like to think that all of our laughing finally made Bob realize that it was all o.k.

At about 5:15pm, we all watched as Bob took his last breath and finally shed all of the pain and suffering that he had endured for the past year. He had finally gone home to his wife and another daughter that had passed away years earlier.

I went to the kitchen, got some glasses and poured 4 shots of scotch. I took them back to the bedroom and we all said a toast and goodbye to Bob.

Robert Charles Manning was a very unique individual. He had a sense of humor that was infectious and  an opinion about everything. Most people that he met walked away liking him even if he didn't like them. You knew your place with Bob and if you weren't sure where it was he would be more than happy to tell you. His personality was outstanding. He called a spade a spade, wasn't afraid to tell you what he thought and LOVED his scotch and cigarettes. His big bristle mustache and broad toothy smile arrived 1 minute before he did. He was rude, crude, socially unacceptable and totally unfit for human consumption yet was a welcome sight everywhere he went.

And he was my friend. And I miss him dearly.

We all love you very much and even though we are sad that you are gone we are glad that you are now without pain.

Rest in peace Bob. I love you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Surgery update

Just to let everyone know that my upcoming knee surgery has been postponed. Not that it really hurts my feelings to much considering that I wasn't really looking forward to it in the first place. I want to say thanks for all of the concern and well wishes that came pouring in from everyone.

The reason for the delay is because other health issues have taken precedence. As many of you know, I have been having some serious issues with diverticulitis. Such to the point that I have been hospitalized several times over the past year or so because of flare ups and I even had a rupture last November that landed me in the hospital for about a week. These hospital stays really take a toll on me. While I'm in the hospital I basically live on saline solution, IV antibiotics and pain medication. By the time I come home I am so weak. I usually lose about 25-30lbs and I can barely get out of bed. It usually takes me another week before I can stay up all day without having to lay down for a while. 

Because of all of the problems, they finally did a colonoscopy and I was expecting the worse. I figured that the test would show that the area of my colon affected by the diverticulitis would be in real bad shape and need to come out. This really bothered me because I was afraid that I would need a colostomy bag etc. The Dr. came in and told me that everything looked GREAT. There was some mild irritation in the area of the diverticulitis but nothing serious. No reason to go in and resect that area. 

So I was pumped. I felt great. It was the best news that I had heard in a long time. 

Two weeks later. 

Julie and I were supposed to go up to South Dakota for the christening of our new god-daughter whom I affectionately call Baby A.  We were excited about going but we were on the fence. Weather up there can be extremely unpredictable and going up this time of year could get you stranded for a week. Or longer. We were considering several things but were about 70% sure we were going. 

Now the main thing about diverticulitis is that you don't know when it flares up if it is just because of something that you ate or if it is something more serious. AND you never know if you eat something if it is going to cause an issue. There are some foods that most doctors say to avoid. Anything with small seeds; Strawberries, kiwi fruit, etc. Some say nuts, others say it doesn't matter. It is different for each person, so it's really a trial and error thing. Some of things that you think would cause issues don't and others that you think would be just fine, will double you over feeling like someone just ran you through with a sword. You never know if it will go away or fester up. 

So, the Tuesday before we were supposed to leave, I started getting the pains again. Nothing serious but if I moved wrong I would feel the twinge in my side. Wednesday was worse. Now I was getting the intermittent stabbing pains in my lower left side. I was still in that grey area where it could go away on it's own but not bad enough to go to the hospital. I knew what the doctor would say; Give it a day or so and see what happens. It was possible that I was one good dump away from feeling alright again. There's really nothing they can do at this stage. 

Thursday night things started to get more serious. I called the GI doctor and he said he could call in a script if I wanted but that he wanted me to call him in the morning if it was worse and he would have me come in first thing in the morning. I told him that It didn't quite feel like it had when it ruptured but it still hurt non the less.

I had a pretty restless night and when I woke up Friday, I was done. I called the doctor back and told him that I was going to the hospital. He said he would call them and let them know that I was coming in.

A CAT scan revealed that it was indeed diverticulitis but thankfully there wasn't a rupture. So I was admitted and started on the ritual of fluids, antibiotics and pain meds.

My GI wasn't on call that weekend but one of his colleagues was. He came in and talked to me and basically said that even though the colonoscopy came back clean, the area that keeps giving me problems would probably have to be taken out. He said that in situations like mine, where re-occurances keep happening, the only way to truly get rid of the problem it to remove it.

Now he explained it better than anyone else had. Diverticula are small bulging pouches that can form anywhere in your digestive system. When you develope these Diverticulum it is known as Diverticulosis. Diverticulitis is when the Diverticula become inflamed. It causes severe abdominal pain etc. Just like everyone has an appendix. everyone developes Diverticula. Some flare up, some don't. Those that do, they don't know why they do, they just do. And after it flares up one to many times, it's best to go in and take care of the situation while it's calmed down instead of waiting for it to burst and cause potential fatal problems.

I have agonized trying to figure out what I can eat, what I can't, what will cause a flare up, what won't. The doctor told me that basically, aside from real small seeds (and even that is debatable) they really don't know what causes it. We, as humans, like to think that we can control it by diet because we want to feel in control of it. But there really is nothing that can be done. Increasing the fiber in your diet helps but it's not the cure. That and avoiding any foods that don't really digest, such as corn.

So I was in the hospital for 4 days. I told Julie to take the girls and go to South Dakota so that she could be there for the christening. There was no reason for them to stay, there wasn't anything that she could do while I was in the hospital, so she went to South Dakota, helped throw some holy water on Baby A and had a great weekend.

So. I had an appointment with the GI doctor last week and he set me up with a GI surgeon. I go see him tomorrow. My doctor did tell me that if surgery was going to happen that they would probably put me on antibiotics for a week of so to make sure that everything was calmed down so that when they did the resection, it wouldn't be inflamed and cause problems. It is actually a very routine surgery if done in a controlled situation versus an emergency situation. They should be able to do it through laproscopy. I really didn't want two surgeries so close together, so I canceled my knee surgery to allow time for the resection to heal and my body to recover.

I will keep everyone informed as to what the status is, and as always, send out those prayers. I can use all I can get.

Thanks everyone.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Knee Surgery

I went to the orthopedic surgeon yesterday and I have to get my left knee replaced. This really comes as no surprise. I have had problems with my knees for years and I have had to go in and get cortisone shots in my left knee every 2 months for over a year now. There is no cartilage in my knee at all. It is bone on bone. The cushion behind my kneecap is gone too. I have bone spurs in the joint and there are a few growing out of the joint, up the side of the knee like boars tusk. Surgery is set for February 20th.

The thought of surgery, frankly, scares the hell out of me. And I don't mean in like a "someone jumps out and says BOO" scare, I mean it SCARES me.. BAD. It terrifies me. Now I know that a lot of you reading this will look at it and say "hell, I've had my knee done or I know someone who had theirs done and it's no big deal".

Well for me it is a big deal. My close friends understand why this is and what happened to me. For those of you that don't, here's why I am a little more than gun shy.

In October of 2007 I had my right knee replaced. It was irreparable. I had 3 arthroscopic surgeries done, Syn-Visc injections, Cortisone shots, etc. The pain had become unbearable. It was bad but not as bad as my left knee has become.

The surgery went well. I was in the hospital for a week and then spent a week in rehab. My therapy was going incredibly well. I was progressing much better than anyone expected. I got to come home after 2 weeks and all looked great.

On November 7th I went to bed feeling o.k. but I woke up in the middle of the night sick. I thought maybe I was coming down with the flu. I was running a fever, was nauseous and couldn't get comfortable. I tried to make it to the bathroom but my knee was bothering me and I ended up falling in the bathroom. Julie had a migraine that night and had taken medicine that had knocked her out. I really didn't think it was to serious so I went back to bed and tried to sleep it off.

As the night wore on the symptoms got worse. I was burning up, vomiting and I was delirious. I finally fell into a very restless sleep sometime around 6am. Julie got up for work at her normal time. Most mornings consisted of her getting up for work and I usually sleep through it. I may wake up but the most intelligent conversation from me resembles that of a caveman like "UG". This morning was no different. She asked me if I was o.k. and I responded with my customary "UG". I was tired, sick and just wanted to sleep. It just didn't occur to me that it could be anything serious. I thought that I just needed rest. To this day it bothers Julie. She beats herself up thinking that there was something that she should have done.

By 9am I realized that this was not just the flu. I called my mom who lives about a mile away to see if she could come help me out. She got to the house about 10 minutes later and I told her that I needed an ambulance. I had dropped the house phone after hanging up with her and she couldn't find it. The only phone that we had was an old disconnected cell phone that the girls played with. It still had a charge and she was able to call 911 with it. Thank God for that little law. By the time the ambulance got here, I was pretty much unconscious. I remember people coming into the room but I don't remember anything else.

One of the employees for the City of Sedgwick called Julie at work and told her that I was being rushed to the hospital and that I was unresponsive. She got to St. Francis as soon as she could. The doctors told her that I was having a total system shutdown, that my body was septic but they didn't know why. Whatever I had was attacking all of my organs causing mass organ failure. They told her that they would do everything that they could but that she should probably start making funeral arrangements because it was doubtful that I would make it through the night. She looked at the doctor and told him that they didn't know who they were dealing with. That there was no way that I would go out like that.

She called all of our friends and family and within an hour a couple of dozen people were outside of my room. I later found out that my best friend and brother Shannon had sat by my bed for several hours a day, every day, holding my hand, talking to me and watching TV. He would stay there with Julie and when Julie couldn't be there, he was. He didn't want me to be alone. He worked nights and would get of at about 4am. He would go home, get a couple of hours of sleep and then come to the hospital. He did this every day for about two months but then had to go out of town for business. My other brother and best friend Alvin was also a constant by my bedside. He heard about me being in the hospital while he himself was in the hospital. He was two floors above me recovering from a heart attack. He had gone to visit his wife and daughter in the Philippines and had a heart attack on the plane. He didn't realize it until he got home. 

For 5 days the doctors told Julie that they were doing everything they could. And everyday they told her to prepare for the worse. She was an emotional wreck. My kidneys and liver had shut down, I was on dialysis, I couldn't breath on my own and I had developed pneumonia. I had contracted rhabdomyolysis, (rhabdo) which is a disease that eats the proteins of your muscles. When muscle is damaged, a protein called myoglobib is released into the bloodstream. It's then filtered out of the body by the kidneys. It then breakdown into substances that can damage the kidney cells. Thus the kidney failure. When one thing went wrong it created a domino affect.

On that 5th day one of the nurses took Julie outside and told her that she needed to get an infectious disease doctor. Julie was stunned. She assumed that they had already assigned me one. She immediately told them to call Dr. Tom Moore. She had heard of him from some other people and was told that he was the head infectious disease Dr. in the state. He was able to make it to the hospital a couple of hours later and after reviewing the test results and lab work he diagnosed me with the MRSA super staph infection, (Methicillin-resistane Staphylococcus aureaus) and that it had gone septic. The MRSA infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that become resistant to the antibiotics that are commonly used to treat ordinary staph. MRSA, infections occur in people who have been in hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers etc. When it is contracted in these locations, it's known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, IV tubing or artificial joints. So to put it in layman's terms it is a multi-antibiotical resistant staph infection. Septic MRSA is fatal in 97% of the people that get it.

Dr. Moore immediately took charge and completely changed my treatment. All medications were changed and new procedures put in place. The treatment course that the the hospital had me on was doing nothing to treat the infection. so basically I was just circling the drain. He later told Julie that if he hadn't have changed the treatment schedule and put me on the correct medicines that I would have died within 24hrs.

When I woke up I had no idea where I was, what day it was, what time it was or even how old I was. It was 5 days before my 43rd birthday when I was rushed to the hospital and I had no idea how long it had been. I did know that I couldn't move. I couldn't move my arms, legs or head and my right leg was killing me, I was on a respirator so I couldn't talk and all I saw was a white ceiling and all I heard were machine's beeping. I thought that it was the middle of the night because it was real quiet and no one was in the room but I wasn't sure. I was scared to death.

The next time I woke up Julie was there. She stood over me looking down into my eyes. She looked like an angel. Over time she was able to explain to me what had happened. I had been in a coma and on a respirator for about 3 weeks. The MRSA and rhabdo had devastated my body.

They ended having to replace my right knee five times. Just when they thought they got rid of the infection, it would re-manifest in my knee. They finally had to take my knee out and put in a concrete knee with antibiotic spacer. I had to leave that in for 4 months then go back in and replace it with a new knee. With the muscle loss and the other issues they were unsure whether I would be able to walk again. 

The out-pour of support was incredible. Julie belonged to an online mom's group and she got much needed physical and emotional support from several people that she had never met before. They cooked meals, helped her clean the house, watched the girls so that she could come to the hospital and see me and so on. Our family and friends really stepped up and helped us in every way possible. My brother Larry stepped in and did repairs around the house and built a wheelchair ramp for us.

On November 12th, 2008, my 44th birthday, I was released from rehab and sent home. I was able to walk out of the rehab facility with the aid of a walker.

From October of 2007 to November of 2008, I spent a total of 11 months in hospitals, nursing homes or rehab centers. Over the course of the year I had gone from 460lbs. to 212lbs. I lost about 70% of my muscle mass.

Four years later.....

The side affects from the MRSA are permanent. I am on lifetime antibiotics and numerous other medicines. My memory has been affected and things just don't quite "fire" right. I know what I want to say but can't or I try to name something and can't put a name to it. My lung capacity is about half of what it used to be so I get winded easily. My muscle mass is only about 60% of what it used to be. The rhabdo really messed me up. My speech has been affected. I slur certain words and I can no longer sing, something that I really miss. I used to have a pretty good singing voice. The peripheral neuropathy has worsened so it makes walking very painful and between it and the muscle loss, my balance is bad.

I have been in and out of the hospital with other issues that were caused by the MRSA infection. I have had other surgeries since this and they have gone okay but the fear of this new surgery is weighing on me heavily. I don't have much of a choice. The pain in my knee has become unbearable. I can't keep getting the injections and without them or the surgery I will be in a wheelchair.

This is a different surgeon than the one that I used before and he told me that there have been significant changes in the way that the surgery is performed. They take extra steps to prevent infections that were never used before. The surgery is much less invasive than it was 4 years ago and because of this the hospital and recovery time is less. That sets my mind at ease a bit but I am still very scared. If there was anything else I could do I would. The good news is that it has been over 3 years since I was released with no signs of infection.

I will try to keep everyone updated.

Wish me luck and if you have any spare prayers laying around I could use them.

Thanks everyone.