A Year to Remember

As I write this, I am home and not working.  I’ll be off for the next three weeks in order to heal from some recent surgery.  It was the fifth time I’ve been under anesthesia this year and the seventh time in the last 15 months.  The most recent surgery was last week for an enlarged prostate.  I’d had prostate surgery three weeks prior, but one place didn’t heal properly and I needed a second surgery to repair it.  It didn’t heal properly the first time because I started back into my normal activities too soon.  This time my doctor ordered me to take three weeks off and to behave.  I will do both.  I don’t want to go through this again.

All of this began in late summer last year.  I had cataract surgery on my left eye and two weeks later on my right eye.  That was routine surgery and I healed up well.  My vision improved from 20/100 to 20/30.  With glasses, it’s now 20/15.

In February of this year, I had ablation surgery for atrial  fibrillation.  A-fib is an irregular heartbeat which is dangerous because it can cause a stroke.  I had paroxysmal a-fib which means it occurred occasionally, not all the time.  But the episodes were getting longer.  Ablation surgery involves inserting a catheter through an artery in the leg into the heart and cauterizing the area that is causing the irregular heartbeat.  Unfortunately, my heart rhythm was not corrected by the first ablation and I had to have a cardioversion which was also unsuccessful, so a second ablation surgery was needed.  It worked.  I no longer have atrial fibrillation.

Then I had some symptoms which indicated possible colon cancer.  A colonoscopy was required, and it was negative.  I dodged that bullet, but the symptoms I was experiencing did not go away and they could also indicate pancreatic cancer.  I underwent two tests for that, one of which was an MRI.  I waited 13 days for the final results to find out there was no cancer or any other pancreatic issue.  It was perhaps the toughest two weeks of my life.

So with all of that out of the way, it was time to see about the prostate.  I’ve had problems with this thing for at least the last 30 years, and it was finally time to do something about it.  The first surgery was three weeks ago as I mentioned.  Everything was going pretty well until last Wednesday when everything went very wrong.  I won’t go into detail, but it required a 1 a.m. trip to the emergency room at Richland Memorial and a follow up visit the next day on Thursday to my urologist.  He set me up for surgery the same day.  It’s been five days, and today I am better than I’ve been in 30 years.

I want to thank Dr. Cross, my opthamologist, who did a great job with the cataract surgery, Dr. Saleeby, my gastroenterologist, and Dr. Edmunds, my urologist, and all of their staffs.  I’d also like to thank the ER doctor and staff at Richland Memorial who got me in quickly when I was in terrific pain and alleviated the problem long enough until I could see Dr. Edmunds.  But mostly I want to thank God.  There were a couple of dozen people praying for me through all of this and I can’t tell you how much those prayers strengthened me.  And I want to thank Gloria, an angel the Lord sent me at a time when I was at my lowest.  This year has taught me a lot and brought me closer to the Lord in ways I can’t put into words.  It’s been worth it, but I sure wouldn’t want to go through it again.

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