The Birth Of A Book – “Crazy Wives Rule “

463359_407136685985126_323986830_o“The Birth Of A Book” series is a retrospective of the process I used for writing my memoirs.  At the time these posts were written, the notion of turning them into a book still had not crossed my mind.  The goal was to write down my memories the best I could – period. Reflecting on my battle with heart and lung disease was my way of dealing with it. Some people talk to therapists. I talked to the blog, writing down whatever I could remember.

The first book, “Death: Living To Talk About It” began to develop in June 2010 – about a month from the time I wrote these posts. As you can see, a lot of extra words and stories needed to be written if this blog was to become a book. Sometimes I think it would have been great if I had included the extra information and stories in the blog. From my perspective today, I am glad that I did not. If I had revealed the whole story in the blog, there would be no reason to buy the book.

Also, I used the word “if” in that paragraph. That is proof enough I made the right decision. You do know what they say about “if” don’t you?  Come closer. I’ll tell you. “IF my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle.” The word “if” goes right next to the word “try” on my list of words not to use.

To biopsy or not to biopsy..that is the question

May 3, 2010 by brha99

And so I found myself back at the Air Force’s Wilford Hall Medical Center. It has been less than a week since the doctor discussed the nodules with us. Now it was time to see what they really were. To say my wife Denise and I were nervous would be understating by a wide margin. Well at least we’ll know. I went in, came out after a few hours and went home to rest. They had taken eight biopsies. Four from each lung. Now we wait. Two days pass….then three…then four. How long does it take?? We called the pulmonologist. Couldn’t get to her so we just left a message. Day five, day six, day seven..we are going crazy with worry. What the hell is going on? Although I cannot say with certainty how many days it was before we heard, I am comfortable saying it was about 10 days. Like the movies, they only give you information like this in person,. We went back to the hospital. The mood was…how shall I put it; strained. Yes, strained I think captures the feeling I would like to impart to you. We were nervous, and we were anxious and beginning to bother each other. At the same time , we were there, holding each other’s hand and providing moral support and comfort to each other. Yes, strained is the right word. Then the doctor comes in. “The results are inconclusive” she says. Well what the hell does that mean. When a doctor says inconclusive, it can mean only one thing. THEY DON’T KNOW SHIT! We need to wait three more months. We’ll get another cat scan and a new set of biopsies then. In the mean time, relax. Try not to think about it and we’ll see you in three months. All I heard was “more biopsies”. Sounds like fun.

I’m gonna die…Again?

May 3, 2010 by brha99

Meanwhile, the summer of 2007 began to heat up. Now, you all know by now that my health teeters precariously on this balance beam of life. ( oohhh, I like that ). Yes, a balance beam of life. The slightest push, and I could fall off. The bi-ventricular pacemaker ( bi-V) that was installed earlier this year still is not making me feel better. So while I wait for the next round of biopsies, I kept my schedule of appointments with the doctors at the transplant hospital. I am prefacing this section with that information because while I was at the transplant hospital it happened. Dr Kwan has an associate. I am sorry to say I don’t remember her name, because she really was very good. My wife, Denise and I were in the office, discussing my general health with the doctor. “How come I’m not getting better?” I asked. A reasonable question considering we put all our hopes on the bi-V working. I am no better now than I was before they implanted the devise. The doctor told us that there is a small per centage of patients that don’t ever respond. She and Dr Kwan were expecting me to respond by now. I follow with the next obvious question: ” What will happen to me now that the devise doesn’t seem to be working?” After a thoughtful pause, the doctor told us that those patients that don’t respond to therapy usually die within 6 months. I then asked if that means me.. She said nothing, but looked into Denise and my eyes, shook her head and whispered yes. She recommended I try to do more physical activities. This time I would be admitted into a rehab center. That ought to do the trick. I was taken by ambulance to the rehab center, but walked in on my own steam. That was the last time I would walk for a long time.

Thank God for crazy wives

May 4, 2010 by brha99

I remember walking to the bed at the rehab center. For clarity’s sake, this is a physical rehabilitation center. It was supposed to help make me less de-conditioned. Some time after that I remember sitting in a wheel chair, hitting a balloon with old people drawn around me in a circle. All of us glassy-eyed, and all of us drooling on ourselves. I am not going to go into too much detail, (because I don’t know anything). Let me say this: Denise, my wife is a kick ass maniac when she needs to be. She came in one day, saw I was in a stupor, sitting in a wheel chair, and she went nuts on the place. Next thing I knew, I was back home, rehabing from rehab. Thank God for crazy wives. She very likely saved my life when she removed me from rehab. The rest of the month was quiet. We were still deep in the summer of 2007. That trip into rehab set me back a lot. By the time I came out of the drug induced fog I was put in, I had completely lost any physical advantage Wallace had helped me with months ago. Yes it’s true, Denise is strong, but even she needs help from time to time. She called in for support and two of her sisters came from the west coast to help her out. Give her a little break. Believe me, she needed it. I was falling all the time, chest pain became a routine occurence, and we just got the appointment for the follow-up biopsies and cat scan. This summer is turning into one hell of a good time, eh?

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