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Archive for the tag “arthritis”

LIFE’S MEDICAL EVENT’S!

When you read this you will know why you will receive nothing from me next week. I will have knee replacement Surgery early in the morning, June 4th 2018. I wanted to share some medical history that you might encounter in your lifetime. If you do not know me and hope to live as long as I have this might help you get better prepared to grow older. This is the first bionic implant for me.

When you are blessed with a life as full as mine has been about the only major event before you croak is one more operation. When I was 12 I jumped off of a fence and had a rusty nail go all the way through my right foot. Got a tetanus shot from a nurse and never saw a doctor. My mother wrapped my foot with gauze ans soaked my foot in kerosene for a week. At 15 I had a Dermoid Cyst removed over my right eye. This was the first Doctor I ever saw in my life. A large scar is still visible. I broke my only bone at 17 when I slipped and broke my right thumb. With a cast from my fingers to my elbow for 16 weeks was uneventful.

Three and a half years active duty in the Navy only left me with a crown on a wisdom tooth. The next 27 years in Aerospace got me 3 stitches in a finger when I shoved a screwdriver 3 inches up my left middle finger installing an oil filter on the engine of an F-47, WWII fighter plane when I was 22. I had half of my stomach removed due to ulcers at age 45. At that point in my life I had 3 children with my first wife and four with my second wife, Norma, who I will celebrate my 58th anniversary June 23rd. 

I saved the other medical moments until I retired at 63 in January 1994. In my 46 year work life I visited 32 countries and worked in 23 and in 49 States. Flew over 4 million miles and never even has a sick day away from home. In the last 16 years I worked I spent over 2500 nights in Hotels, Motels and some strange places in remote areas of Saudi Arabia, Aba Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Thailand and never had a medical event.

I have been retired now over 24 years. Starting with the Golden Years my first event was loss of my gall bladder with an 11 inch scar, 12 days in two hospitals and after 4 days of 104 fever they finally operated. Some 15 years ago I spent two different seven-day stays in the hospital with high fever and blood problems before they deduced I was suddenly allergic to shell-fish. Many of the remote areas where shell-fish was the main diet would have finished me off half way around the world. It took 2 years for Dr. Jay Holleman to get my medications adjusted and I am still on the basic regimen he had me on all of these years.

My next experience as new lenses for both eyes that was a piece of cake. I was offered lifetime lenses but at a cost of $4000 I decided I would not live long enough to spend the money. That was 14 years ago and I am now buying 1.25 glasses at the Dollar Tree.

Thirteen years ago I had what appeared to be a seizure, fell and ended up falling and nearly bit my tongue off. Twenty one stitches in my tongue. Norma caught up with me in the ER in Nacogdoches. When she walked in the ER they had just finished sewing my tongue together. I do not remember anything for 4 days but she told me I raised up, pointed at her and said, “She did it”. This cost me a 3 carat diamond ring. After four days in the hospital that I mentioned I do not remember and a follow-up sleep study proved my problem was sleep Apnea. I have slept with a C-Pap ever since.   

We were packed 8 years ago to travel to celebrate our 50th anniversary and at 3 am I woke up and felt like I had digested a ball of fire near my appendix. Satisfied it was serious I left Norma a note that I had gone to the Emergency Room sure it was appendicitis. She found me, mad as a hornet, at the ER. This turned out to be Diverticulitis and a few miserable days healing.

The last 8 years have been spending a fortune trying to save my teeth and suffering with pain from Arthritis in both shoulders and both knees. Drugs and a golf swing have eliminated the pain in my shoulders but my knees have been a different story. For five years my left knee was AOK. The right knee was calmed down with steroids. Two years ago the left knee started needing steroids and my right knee graduated to “Rooster Comb” shots and a trip to Lufkin every six months. Last December my shots in the right knee did not help the unsteady right knee. The Orthopedic Surgeon did not even wish to discuss surgery on this 87-year-old  person. I will be 88 on August 31st, I hope?

Well, my family doctor, Dr. Chad Moody, contacted the Surgeon and convinced him my age was an issue but my physical condition was above average for most younger. Thanks to Dr. Moody, Dr.Jason Carter will replace my right knee on June 4th. Everyone has helped by telling me stories in detail about the pain and agony of the therapy that follows the operation. I visited the therapists recently and offered bribes for painless therapy. I have purchased an empty bullet to bite on to help with the pain. I asked for a sound proof room at the hospital to muffle my screaming.

I am now feeling sure I have scared the daylights out of my children who range from 52 to 69 as well as younger folks who read my articles. I promise that after I recover I will share the agony and happiness of recovery and my trip back to playing par three golf again. Should this story end before I resume golf my ride through life has been more fun than most could ever dream about. My biggest disappointment will be I missed my final bucket list dream of being shot at 105 by a jealous husband.

Wish the medical folks that will care for me patience and compassion listening to my stories about life. Feel sorry for the families sanity helping Norma nurse me back to playing golf every day. I may write a book preparing folks for getting old when the day comes that my golfing days are over even if I last until I am 105.

Just wish me luck.

Clyde Brewer  

 

      

  

 

“LIFE”, A MOUNTAIN EVERYONE WILL CLIMB! PART ONE.

After writing my last article, “Life is an Interesting Journey”, I received an interesting comment from my friend John Booker. “Clyde, I admire you for your attitude on your health problems”. For those who don’t know John Booker, I hope he will someday let me write some stories about his 94 year trip through life. It would be a best-selling book. John has been one of my inspirations during the climbing of my own mountain. He has inspired me again and if you wonder how your trip compares or what to expect is coming hang on to your seatbelt.

Have you ever wondered why some old people seem to just disappear when they get old? Until earlier this year I never really considered myself being “old”. In fact my mother lived to be 94 and except for her last couple of months she never even seemed “old”. It amuses me that when some folks discover I just celebrated my 85th birthday, they have different reactions. The one reaction that younger people have is, “you don’t look a day over 65 or 75”? A few of them have not looked in a mirror recently and most are just being kind.

Some of the things you will read were originally intended to be shared as another chapter of my life with just my family. I have already chronicled the details of my work and personal life with my family that included my personal goals, achievement’s and other major events, good and bad, for my future heirs to understand and hopefully be successful.

Now I have decided to share my perception, facts, highlights and expectations of what to expect nearing the end of the aging process with anyone who has an interest. I am sitting at my PC and my right knee throbbing with arthritis after 18 holes of par three golf this morning with five of my friends who ranged in age from 51-89. I will begin what may be a multi-chapter autobiography of pain, happiness, success, failure or boredom, who knows? Are you ready?

To set the stage, how many people do you know who have matched some of my highlights so far, in their trip climbing their mountain?

A. Had every childhood disease known except polio and had the chicken pox and measles at the same time.

B. Graduated from high school at 16.

C. Served 2 years in the US Navy, married and became a father before I was 20?

D. Entered Management at 24, passed the Registered Professional Engineer exam, received a Master Degree and became a member of Mensa and Intertel in my late 40’s without any undergraduate education.

E. Between the ages of 45 and 75 I lost half of my stomach because of ulcers, had a gall bladder that nearly ruptured, suffered shellfish poisoning, diverticulosis, high blood pressure, gout along with the arthritis in both shoulders and my right knee.

F. Visited and/or worked in 32 countries and 49 states; flew over three million miles of air travel; worked 32 years for Lockheed and Halliburton; started 9 businesses in 3 different countries and retired at 63 years old.

G. Married to my second wife and partner Norma for 55 years; fathered seven children and currently have 45 heirs including spouses ranging from 2 months to 66 years old.

Now let me begin explaining life as it happens after you know you have started the decent down the other side of life’s mountain.

Fasten your seatbelt again.

Earlier this year I started having a tingling sensation in both feet after having cold feet ever since I suffered the shellfish incident some ten years ago. This summer, while on vacation with some 32 of my family and friends I had a saliva gland stop up and get infected and appeared to have been cold cocked in my left jaw. One of my family posted a picture of this on Facebook with me at a Margarita machine that looked like I had a mouth full. Gout stopped my drinking life at 60, a long time ago.

Shortly after getting the infection medicated I lost my balance, fell, tore a muscle loose in my left thigh and arm and put a knot on my head. Norma said, “The cedar post my head encountered had more damage than my head”, indicating that I am hard headed. If you know me you know it’s all true. The torn muscle in my leg is and likely will always be tender as it will never heal. The tingling sensation in my feet had now reached my knees by the end of every day.

About a week later I fell again and tore another muscle in my left ankle, scraped the hide off of both lower legs and sluffed it off as being clumsy. Then driving home one day I had a light headed sensation and when I shared all of this with my doctor, Chad Moody, he decided I needed to see a cardiologists again. This happens about every 10 years and after another series of test they again found that I do have a heart and it is working like it is supposed to.

While visiting the cardiologists he noticed a twitch in my left index finger while resting my hands on my knees. He had me stand with my feet together and close my eyes and then stopped me from falling. His prognosis was I was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and immediately scheduled me with a Neurologist.

Well, after the Neurologists examined me, I was advised I am suffering from Neuropathy. I have read everything possible and there is no cure. I have never given up hope in my life and I will see this doctor again tomorrow to find out what to expect as my journey down the mountain progresses. If you care, I will continue to share my experience. I will tee off again in the morning with my friends before my 3pm appointment in Nacogdoches.   C Brewer

 

GROWING OLD

Inspirational things to think about . . .

Sitting here today with it raining, forecast to rain for three more days, I was wondering if spring would ever arrive. At 84, and arthritis getting worse my thoughts were focused on how much longer I would enjoy not having to depend on others to just live another day. When the weather allows I now can only play golf on a great small par three course close to my home. My right knee hurts every step I take but I know that exercise is necessary to live that other day. Thankfully my intellect usually overrides my laziness and having lived longer than any male in the history of my family I am in no hurry to depart.

Bored to the bone I decided to read my E mails to pass the time of day. Fortunately I read a message from Mike & Emma Cobb that quickly refocused my priorities. I decided you might also have bad days and may help you if you read the rest of this article.

I intend to save this on my desktop so I can read it every time I need to inspire myself in the future. I have no idea who compiled this information but I decided to share this on my blog. My thanks to the Cobb’s who are old dear friends.

C Brewer

Real life stories that teach you many things in life. Excellent reading these are based on true incidences both wonderful and inspirational. ANON

“Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

“Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s – what his top 3 tips are for success.  He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”

“Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug.  When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said”, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”

“Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.”

“Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work.  At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too.  A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.”

“Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.” This one hit me hard. CB

“Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy. Ouch! CB

“Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling.  I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.”  I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”  Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.”

“Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.”

“Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”

“Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today.  If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”  It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.”

Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating”. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it”.

“The best sermons are lived, not preached.”  ANON

Today I decided to make sure I did not annoy my wife, Norma, who usually suffers when I can’t play golf. I just cooked her favorite meal of scrambled eggs, sausage, hot biscuits with home grown dark honey from Clem Manuel, another dear friend. As it is supposed to rain all night and again tomorrow I will have this to cheer me up again.

C Brewer

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