How long can it go on, will it ever end..... 
Monday, February 18, 2008, 01:52 AM
I don't know how much a person can handle, I don't know how much I can handle. Lately it seems like its been getting harder and harder. Even simply getting up and wobbling across the floor seems to be a challenge at times now. Darn near everytime one or the other of my feet just don't want to do anything and I almost fall on my face. Waking up in the middle of the night so I don't sleep more than 4 hours at themost night after night is hard. Yet, if I sleep for more than the 4 hours, the pain is so so unreal. Imagine someone beating you severly around your torso, front to back, side to side, where you can't even take a deep breathe because it hurts so much. Every time you wake up and move to get out of bed and start getting cramps in your feet, toes and calves. Such an intense pain you want to scream. Yet, there is nothing that you can do but try and work them out or suffer until they subside on their own. The entire middle of your back is totally numb, like getting a shot from the dentist to numb you up before doing his work. Your lower back feels as if it's either on fire deep inside, or it's a painful stabbing, piercing feeling as if stabbed with a red hot knife. Your neck pain goes from you r neck up both sides of your head up just past your ears. If you turn your body to fast or to far, the right side of your back feels as if someone is jabbing you first with something blunt, then with something sharp, alternating back and forth. Your hips and knees feel as if its bone on bone with every step you take.
I would not wish this on anyone, no matter who they are, it's a type of torture that should never be experienced in any lifetime. I have been dealing with this for over 15 years now, and every so many months it gets worse, and worse. It brings tears to my eyes more than I'd like to admit, sometimes daily. I am not sure how I make it through some days to be honest. On those days I would rather be knocked out, totally unconsious, or so drugged up that I could stand. If it wasn't for the medications, Fentanyl 100 mcg, and the morphine for break through pain, I couldn't keep going from day to day. I only hope that there is going to be a cure somewhere down the road that for anyone suffering from day to day like this will be as pain free as possible. But when there are multiple problems that surgery or replacement will only cure for a short time, if at all, you only have your dreams and hopes to go by. What good is having something lessened for what will be only a short time, if any at all, knowing that you are going to be back where you started from. It's like being doped up to the max until it no longer has the same affect as it did at the begining. It's no different then going from the Fentanyl 75 mcg to the 100 mcg, it makes a difference when you first start it, but then after a period of time, you're back to where you were. Simply put, this shit sucks more than anything. It's bad enough knowing that I won't be able to do what I did even 6 months ago, but having to accept it and go on as if it was nothing is a bit more difficult thatn I imagined. It was like when I was on my way home from a doctor appointment after the doctor told me that there was nothing they could do, that I was going to have to find a way to learn to live with it, and expect it to only worsen as time goes on. That was the first time I broke down and started crying. All I could think about was all the things I'd never be able to do again, possibly even walk my daughters down the aisle for their wedding, or go for walks and other simple everyday activities with my wife. It was very hard to accept then, and now, for some reason, I am still having a hard time accepting it as it seems to progress from day to day. There is so much in life I plan on doing with my wife, so much to enjoy spending our time together, places to go, things to do.
As they say, where there is a will, there is a way, I don't know how I am going to make it happen, but some how, some way I have to find that answer.

What's next 
Sunday, February 17, 2008, 01:11 AM
Went to meet my new doctor at the Saginaw VAMC for my usual 6 month check-up. Was afraid that I was going to have to start fromacratch all over again as has happened before. I can't tell you how many doctors I have gone through there. It's just the way that the VA has to do things because of the turn over rate they have. Some doctors have been there for as long as I have, over 15 years. Others spend a year or 2 then go start their own practice or have a better offer somewhere else. But in all the years I've been going there, I've o nly came across 2 doctors that basically sucked.
The wife was totally taken aback by my new doctor, a very personable individual that said right off the bat "I'm here to work for you, you tell me what you need and I'ff get it for you." And he did just that. I felt sorry for him at the end of our appoint ment because he was so new he didn't know or unserstand the VA's computer system and it was locked up on him. But he is one heck of a doctor. He changed my Blood Pressure meds to something different as he found that it worked better, increased my Fentanyl patch to the last increase available, 100mcg, stopped the darvocet and gave me the low dosage of morphone for break through pain. Thank God! It has been so bad over the past 6 months at least that it brought me to tears many times. I would wake up in the middle of the night in pain but there was nothing I could do. I tried the darvocets but they had little affect. So I'd sit there until I was so exhausted I'd either fall asleep in my chair or barely make it back to bed.
It's so hard to talk about the pain, mainly because you can't explain it in away that someone could easily understand. I have tried many times and feel as if the words just went on by the doctors with little to no understanding. My wife has a good idea because she sees me go through it. She feels bad because there's nothing she can do either but watch, and wait for the next round to hit. I would easily compare my pain to Fibromyalga and more. It's a pain that doesn't just go muscle deep, but down in to the bones. It's not just a stabbing, sharp pain, but a hot, stinging pain like being stabbed with a redhot knife. It alternates from that into what feels like someone pulling at your muscles, trying to rip them off your bones. There's so many different feelings and combinations, how do you explain it so its understood. The family has no clue the efforts I go through from day to day. They are all to engulfed in to their own lives and such, it doesn't really matter. I can't see trying to tell my daughters anymore then what they already know, for pretty much the same reason. You can see the look in their eyes as if they were saying "ok, so what am I suppose to do?" Nothing... absolutely nothing, other than try to understand what I have to go through on a daily basis is all.
If it wasn't for my wife, I don't know what or where I'd be right now. She has been a source of comfort, understanding, and support more than one could ask for. One day, I hope and pray that I can do something for her to show her just how much I love her and to thank her for all she does day to day. I think that's one of the reasons why I haven't tried to explain to her how much worse the pain has really gotten, how much more difficult it has gotten to do things I had no problem doing before. it's hard because she has so much to do now as it is just to keep up the house, let alone take care of me more than before. So I suck it up and go on, where there is a will, there is a way, and if there's a way, I'll find it. I am so looking forward to spring time when we both go out in the yard and start getting things cleaned up and planted, moving a few plants here and there, sitting on the deck at the end of a long day admiring our own piece of paradise. A paradise that we created together, side by side, step by step. I would have to say that she is the real reason I keep pushing myself to get by the bad days, even if they are one after another anymore. She is my sunshine, my rock of Gibralter, my light at the end of the tunnel. She really is my everything.

Cable phone service, is it worth the loss of a loved one or your home? 
Monday, February 11, 2008, 02:22 AM
Here's the scenario:
It is one of the coldest nights of this winter, with stong winds and windchill temps below -20 outside. You are sitting with your spouse watching an awards show you've been eager to see for some time when all of a sudden the tv go blank. You switch channels and there's nothing on any channel, so you know cable went out. The husband goes out to check the cable lines to the house to make sure they were still ok before you call the cable company. After about 20 minutes or so the husband still hasn't come back inside, so the wife goes to look out the windows to see if she can see what he's doing but can't see him anywhere. She puts on her coat and boots and heads out the garage door and finds him laying on the garage floor as he never made it outside. She of course panicks, checks to see if he is still breathing, can hear a faint breathe and runs back inside to call 911. Only when she picks up the phone to dial, there is no tone or anything. The phone is totally dead. She's really in a panic now, what is she going to do, they told her she'd never have to worry about the phone not working since it was going through the cable service. If the power went out, the phone router has a backup battery connected to it so it would still work. So why doesn't it work? In a panic the wife runs a quarter mile down the road to the nearest neighbors house to use their phone to call 911, but they to were using cable phone service and their phone wasn't working either. By the time she gets to someone with a phone and makes the call and gets back and the emergency help arrives, it's too late. She lost her husband.

Do not be fooled by the fantastic pricing and all the "extra's" that come with the cable phone service. If you cannot afford to have a cell phone or other means of contacting someone in case of an emergency, this is exactly what can happen to you. So when you think about it really the price for the cable phone service along with the price for a cell phone service on top of it is a lot more expensive than the normal phone service used for years on end. Not many people these days can afford to pay their bills as it is let alone having to pay extra for a back up phone service for the phone service you just signed up for through cable.

My wife was completely convinced by the sales pitch from our local cable service that we'd never be without phone service even in bad storms when the power went out. That and all the added extras of caller ID, call waiting, etc., etc., that came with the phone service including free long distance calling couldn't be compared to our old phone service. That was until tonight. Just minutes before the Grammy Awards show was to start, the cable went dead. Much to her surprise when she went to call the cable company the phone wasn't working either, imagine that. Personally I couldn't see how the phone could work when cable service went out since the phone was going over or through the cable service in the first place. I'm also glad we don't have any emergency situation like described above. But I am glad I still have cell phone service and after tonight, I plan on keeping it. Even when we are able to call the cable service and regualr phone service to cancel the one and restart the other I'll keep my cell phone service for some time.

To sum things up, if you can't afford to pay for cable phone service and a back up phone service at the same time, stay away from the cable phone service until you can or they come up with a means of getting around this very major problem. Don't take the chance of losing a loved one, your home, or any other major disaster, it's just not worth it. If you need a cheap way of making long distance phone calls, go buy a PrePaid phone card instead.

The good, the bad, and the ugly, life is never fair. 
Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 10:37 PM
Ever since I was a kid I've tried to put on weight, but for some reason, it never happened. So I went through life being a skinny kid, at times being laughed at and made jokes about, as I am sure others out there know what it's like. It made life a bit rough, and really made self confidence a difficult thing to maintain.
When the opportunity arose, on my 18th birthday, I decided to make a difference in my life, and get away from the things that were holding me down. I joined the Marine Corp in December 1974 and left for boot camp a few weeks later. But, even with all the physical conditioning, confidence building and self determination, I was only able to get my weight up to 125 at the max. And that's all that happened. No problem with self confidence, and feeling good about myself, proud of what I had become and accomplished, and able to handle anything that came my way, except for gaining weight. I even tried all the weight gain drinks and powders and whatever else there was, but I just wasn't getting anywhere. After so many years I kind of gave up the thought of ever being able to gain weight.
Once I lost my stomach and other digestive parts, my weight fell down to 95 lbs. This really set me back, and because I only had 1/4th of my stomach left, the doctor said it wouldn't be able to stretch out, and I had to totally change my diet, I gave up any idea of ever being able to gain weight let alone do anything else since I am also a disabled veteran with major spine and back issues. I talked to dieticians, doctors, anyone and everyone that I could find to see if there was anything at all they could help me at least put on a few pounds. Not to mention the non-stop dumping issues I had to deal with day to day. It was like talking to the walls around me, never getting any answer.
Just over 4 months ago, September 2007, I had an appointment with a stomach specialist at the Ann Arbor VAMC. The wife thought it's just be another waste of time, as with all the past appointments and doctor's we've been to ove the years. But to our surprise, the intern that was doing my workup said there might be something to help. There is this medication called Megestrol Acetate that they give to cancer and other patients to help with their appetites. Not expecting much of anything to come from it, we headed back home and the medication arrived in the mail a few days later.
Now I can't say what happened, or how it's possible, but what ever this medication is, to me it's a miracle. Within a couple of weeks I was putting on weight, and can't explain what happened to the major dumping that went along with every meal I would eat. granted I still have to watch what and how much I eat, but in the 4 months that I've been using the Megestrol Acetate I have put on 40 lbs. I've gone from 105 lbs to 146 lbs, the most I've ever weighed in my entire life, roughly 52 years!
Whatever this stuff is and does, I don't want to stop taking it. I have never seen results like this, and probsably never will again. The only drawback, in a way, is now I have to go buy all new clothes because none of the clothes Ihave will fit me anymore. I am totallly amazed, impressed, and thankful. I only wish that someone would have thought of this years ago after my operation and attempts to find help everywhere I went.

Our government is a total failure 
Friday, December 28, 2007, 11:43 PM
Our government and those we've elected to "serve" the people are no better than criminals.
I cannot understand why every bill that is brought up to be voted on has bribery connected to it in one fashion or another. If the Democrats need some additional Republican support, or even full support of their own party, they have to bribe them by adding items within the bill that benefit those they need to obtaina the vote from. Some call it Pork fat, or something similar, where in all honesty, it is a form of bribery, and they do this with any and every bill regardless of the outcome to the people and our service members who have voted them in to office in the first place.
There should be a law in place where a bill should only contain the wording and intent in it that it is actually for, not having additional "perks" included somewhere mixed in the writing of the bills. We voted these people into office under the belief that they were there to do what's right for us, the people of America, the ones that were supposedly setting the example for other nations to follow and believe in. Instead our so called elected officials are teaching other nations just how low, and thoughtless towards others they really are.
How can we expect other nations to embrace and strive for freedom and democracy from a nation that is no better than a bunch of liars, theives and bribers, that only say what you want to hear in order to get in to office and make a name and money for themselves instead of "For the people, by the people!"
It's time we all wake up, face the truth, take a damn good look at what our government is like and do something about it.