Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Summer Of Silver Pen Surprises.

A Summer Of Silver Pen Surprises.

It’s been a bit since I have posted any manner or regular writing or musings of any kind. That isn’t an excuse or validation it is simply the truth. My summer has been an awkward one, it has brought with it a mixture of twists and turns that are in short best surmised by saying they have kept everything shifting around me.

We started my children’s summer vacation off by taking them to a local historical park complete with a civil war museum and still standing landmarks. It was a symmetry thing; the previous summer we ended by taking a family picnic to the same location and thought it felt fitting to begin this one by doing the same. Everyone had fun and it was the least we could afford to do at the time – a full blown vacation of any kind was simply impossible.

Later in the summer we were able to make a short jaunt up to another local place of interest; the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. While there we toured the Nature Station seeing all manner of animals – a good number of which frequent our yard – in a natural and neutral way most people rarely do. After which we enjoyed a pleasant picnic at Hematite Lake where I literally stumbled on a beautiful silver Cross ink pen that still functioned (insert irony here). Then we followed it all up with a family hike around the perimeter of Hematite Lake, a trail some 2 ¼ to 2 ½ miles long.

By summer’s end we pulled together two final fun events to wrap things up. The first was a day at a nearby water park organized for families with children suffering from emotional or mental disabilities. We weren’t able to stay nearly as long as the kids might have liked but it was a little overwhelming. The last hurrah of summer was a huge surprise for my children. We woke them up early one morning, loaded up in our van and drove to a destination we didn’t tell them anything about. It turned out to be the St. Louis Zoo.

All the fun trips and events aside – which was infinitely more than we have been able to do for them virtually ever – there were other projects and things to tackle. There were repairs to be made on our van, things around the house to be replaced, fixed etc. We’ve been rather busy but it hasn’t been easy or all pleasant to be fair.

We lost my Grandfather back in June. It’s something I have talked about already and affected me greatly. I also finally relented from my months of hoping and trying to remain patient about seeing a doctor about my right wrist/hand. The surgery done last November hadn’t seemed to be showing the results we expected and unfortunately the doctor who had preformed the procedure had since moved on.

What I hadn’t been prepared for was a chain of events that would set off. First I was sent to an expert to evaluate my condition. He reluctantly confided in me that in his professional opinion he wasn’t sure there would be much he could do to help me as it looked like a circulatory issue. So, I was sent for some tests. During the tests there was some obvious difference between my arms but the results declared everything was still within normal ranges.

That returned me to square one with no real clue where to go next. At that point my Wife and I went back to my family doctor to try and figure out what we could do. Upon further observation he concluded that there must be something Neurological in nature that he would like me to bring up with my Neurologist. His concern was readily apparent when he could see better what I had been describing. My hand has been losing all color and taking on a blue-grey or purplish hue, even turning cold or seemingly absent a pulse. I can’t really feel anything with it and there is an issue of pain as well. To put it bluntly; I have almost no real use of my right arm.

My doctor finally asked a question that hadn’t quite occurred to me. He asked how far up the numbness went. Now, my immediate answer was that it was isolated to my hand and maybe partially up my forearm. But once he started pinching his way gradually along we realized I wasn’t feeling it even when he reached my inner arm stopping just at my arm pit.

I couldn’t feel it. My wife emphasized just how hard he was actually pinching me – hard enough to discolor the skin and leave red marks like when pinched by anyone who means it. His assessment was an obvious one; either I was far tougher than I let on or something serious is going on. And, if it was the later then there was a general fear that my entire arm might deteriorate further without action being taken.

I guess now all I can do is place my faith in my Neurologist being able to piece this puzzle together. Because, currently I struggle to write even a few sentences on paper or do more than brush my teeth or tie my shoes. Typing isn’t as bad but only in small bursts and only if I keep an eye on where my hands are.

This made it really awkward when I started getting calls to come help get my Father up out of the floor. It took some clever thinking I must admit, being effectively one handed. You see, he has been suffering from a heart condition most of his life and recently discovered he has been having seizures as well. Now, much like me he doesn’t drive and is rarely left alone. He’s had some close calls that have scared us all considerably of late but for him there is a ray of hope. They want to implant a device in his chest to help him regulate signals sent to his brain to help stop his seizures. We know it works because my older sister has one and has for some time. The issue; he already has a device that monitors and records his heart in place where they would like to stick the other. Further complicating matters is the fact that the doctor who installed the ‘loop recorder’ had recently passed away. That leaves them in limbo about getting permission to remove one in order to implant the other.

I guess it is true what they say; some people really do have all the luck.

But mark my words: I am not making excuses. This isn’t the end of my writing by any means. It is like I tell my own children; make solutions instead of excuses. That is precisely what I aim to do. With a little luck and some stubborn determination perhaps things will improve.

I hope you’ll bear with me in the mean time and if you’ve enjoyed any of my stories thus far then all I can say is that I’ll try to keep raising the bar from here on out.