Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cruel and Unusual Punishment???

A prisoner on death row in Mississippi gets a last minute reprieve. The chemicals used in the execution will cause him pain and constitute cruel and unusual punishment. What about the woman he raped in 1987? What about the pain and agony she suffered at his hands while he exerted his power and eventually killed her. Piss on him! Cruel and unusual punishment my rosy red backside. This guy admits he killed her, no denial, no claim of innocence, put the son-of-a-bitch down.

Monday, October 29, 2007

41 Weeks After Surgery

It is hard to believe that almost ten months has gone by since bowel resection surgery. I think I have done well. I have dropped 60 pounds since surgery and have gone from 44-46 waist slacks to 38-40 waist pants. I am walking 45-60 minutes per day, I have gotten off most of the medications I was taking prior to surgery and am feeling very well. The other day I noticed that the general feeling of malaise (generally not feeling well) has pretty much left. I felt well much of the time prior to surgery and the weight loss but there would be days where I generally did not feel good. We might call them days where you feel "off." No specific complaints and I did not feel sick, just didn't feel well. I've noticed that overall feeling seems to be gone. There are days I get frustrated or aggravated with my irregular heart beat but I seem to be learning to live with that. There are days I feel a pain or ache someplace but I can always determine the source and it goes away quite soon.

I am going to have my gall bladder out in a couple of weeks. I found out from a CT Scan before surgery that I had gall stones but the bowel resection took precedence and the surgeon wanted to wait six months to a year before he removed the gall bladder. Well, it is now ten months and time for those symptoms to go away.

I still have some psychological issues. The cancer surgery apparently was more stressful than I thought. I ended up with an increase in my irregular heart beat and have been hospitalized for an A-Fib attack and spent some time seeing cardiologists in determining that I do not have a heart problem. Everyone has an irregular heartbeat, I am just more aware of mine right now. I am working on ignoring the event when it occurs and that does seem to be effective.

I still can have some pain when I have a bowel movement however it is because I may push too hard. The pain when I urinate is pretty much gone, and I have determined that that pain was caused by muscle strain from pushing too hard having a BM. I do encounter periods of gas when I eat, not always but I have no predictor for the event. Not only that I have a hard time controlling the expulsion of said gas and that has caused me some embarrassment. Thank God no one has fallen on the floor laughing, however I usually end up snickering.

I give thanks that the cancer was caught so early. I do have to go in for a follow-up colonoscopy an about a month, but I believe that will simply confirm the prognosis of the physicians who have evaluated my case. As I believe I said before, the Oncologist made a statement like, "your cured." I know nothing is 100% in medicine, but the growth was caught very early. Thanks to the Family Physician that agitated me for a couple of years to have the test done. It is a shame I waited as long as I did.

Anyway, I am still recovering. My BM's are not regular but my control has improved dramatically. I am much more comfortable in my daily life, and with the weight loss and exercise I have gotten back enthusiasm for working around the house, much to the delight of my wife.

For those of you that may read this, I pray your outcome, if you have bowel resection surgery is a successful as mine has been. I recall those early days of recovery and it is tough. But I've noticed continual improvement as I have gone along and I am sure you will to. God Bless All.

Posted by yoopertom at 5:23 AM


The Secret to Living

I took my morning walk and as usual I had a discussion with God. I talked and he listened, then I tried to listen and he spoke to me in his language. Sometimes I understand, other times I remain as confused as always. My life has always been one of trying to understand and come to terms with the entire process of living. Early on I did not have good coping skills, recovery from alcoholism has given me some good tools but it has not removed the confusion that exists some of the time.

This morning I recalled that it was in February of 1967 that I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. At the time companies were coming on campus in the droves interviewing and recruiting new employees, business had fallen in love with college graduates. I interviewed with every organization that came to campus that fit my general knowledge. I was not an accountant nor trained in a specific profession therefore my opportunity to interview was pretty wide open.

I interviewed with Goodyear Tire and was invited to Dayton, OH to interview at the plant seeking prospective supervisors. During the day I had an opportunity to sit and talk with the plant manager. Forty-one years later I still recall part of our conversation. The PM asked me if I had my choice of one thing in life what would it be? I remember being deeply troubled by the fact that I did not have an answer, seemed to me having weathered the storms of college I should be prepared for such a question. I have since found out that this is a deeply troubling question, simple in the asking, profound in the answering.

After wading through ideas such as health, wealth, success, good marriage and other ideas that come to mind I was stumped. If I said health is all important the Plant Manager simply had to ask, "haven't you ever seen someone with severe health problems who seemed happy?" Obviously I had, one of the high school students I knew came down with polio and was confined to and iron lung yet showed a positive outlook. I know a man with heart problems and he was going about life as though he hadn't a care in the world. Every idea I came up with the Plant Manager could defeat with a simple question, haven't you seen someone with that trouble yet they seemed to overcome the problem? Finally the Plant Manager said, what about Peace of Mind?

It has taken me a lot of years to ponder this statement. I've had to go through severe work stress, a failed marriage, alcoholism, major illness, minor illness and a lot of psychological pain to understand this statement. The understanding has not come all of a sudden. Understanding the importance of Peace of Mind has grown like a plant. I've had good times of warmth, love and nourishment, and I've had times I felt all alone, in pain and afraid. The interesting thing is when I've felt all alone, in pain and afraid were times of emotional or psychological imaginings. The physical pain I've felt I've always felt there would be health after recovery. The emotional pain is much more frightening.

I do not think persons who achieve Peace of Mind are always up, positive, and feeling good about life. Situations arise that trouble us, but I now feel that things will be OK, that this shall pass and somehow life will go on. I realize that someday life will go on but I will not be a part of it, and that is OK too. The fact is acceptance is a major part of Peace of Mind.

Acceptance however does not mean giving up. Acceptance does not mean that we should not try. Usually what breeds nonacceptance is we are not getting our way, what we want. I have learned through my alcoholism that I can only account for and control myself, others and situations involving others are outside of my control. That does not mean I should insulate myself from others to enjoy what I want, but it does mean that I can accept others and love them even though I may not agree with their behavior, values, or actions. Acceptance does not mean I am a victim, being a victim is unacceptable. Acceptance means doing the best you can, giving others space and try to adopt Peace of Mind as the reward for acceptance.

This is way too long already. I'll quit here for now.

Posted by yoopertom at 8:05 AM


Sunday, October 21, 2007


This morning as I began my daily walk it was still dark. The eastern sky had a hint of dawn but in our tree surrounded property I could not see well enough to walk my path. So I begin by walking the private drive that allows access to our log cabin. As I made the bottom of the hill and turned back toward our home the trees framed the driveway and the sky outlined the tops. It was as though our drive was lined with tall dark sentinels and invited one's eye to move up the drive, up the dark trees to the sky beginning to lighten. It was a serene, beautiful view, one I've admired before but this morning I guess it seemed special.

I wondered how many were as fortunate as I to own ten acres, a nice snug log cabin, surrounded by trees and thickets yet living a short drive from shopping. I wondered how many people were able to enjoy the serenity of their surroundings and the peace of mind it helps bestow.

Then I thought of the tens of millions of people who wake up hungry. Their living conditions are threatening, there is no long term relief in sight, just living from day to day. Here I am with a warm bed, good food and a loving companion to share the comfort we enjoy. I do not feel guilty for that which I have, but I wonder why there is so much poverty, sickness, and cruel neighbors in the world that plague such a large part of mankind.

On the one hand I think with such inherent order in the world, the "system" that certainly there is some force we cannot comprehend at work here. Yet how can such a force allow for so much inequity? Then the thought comes to mind that is precisely our job. We are supposed to make a difference. Yet here I am walking for my health on an early Sunday morning. What should I do? Oh, confusion.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ten Months Update

How time passes. It is now ten months since bowel resection surgery and things are well. I now notice that having a bowel movement is becoming more of a routine instead of an adventure. I no longer suffer from leakage. The episodes of having to go right now or I would have an accident seem to have stopped. Those adventures made travel or shopping an interesting event. Often I would have to quickly abandon my wife in the aisle and head to the nearest rest room hoping that trying to keep from having an accident did not influence my ability to walk too much. I was afraid I would look like an idiot scurrying to a bathroom with the cheeks of his ass held tightly together.

I still have the feeling when I urinate that I can't control the back end too well and I get a feeling as though some bowel may come out, however it hasn't caused a problem. I pretty much accept the fact that I have to wash my bottom with a wash rag on occasion. That ain't all bad.

I am feeling very well. I do have episodes of gas after I eat that I do not recall prior to surgery. In addition there are times that I cannot pass gas quietly and have some funny but embarrassing moments in public. Nothing too disastrous like blowing out the windows in a store, or scattering the clothing in the men's area.

I still have the sense that there will be further improvement. The hemorrhoid I raised early in recovery seems to have taken up permanent residence. It used to disappear for long periods of time prior to surgery, now it is pretty much there all of the time. However, it is small, it is not painful, and other than a little noticeable when I shower or clean myself it is not a problem.

Life is settling into a routine where I feel good almost all of the time. My stamina is good, I do not feel tired in the afternoon to the point I'd like to nap. I lift, work, do all of the things I did before and I rest pretty well. Other than periodic episodes of an irregular heart beat I feel great. Yes, there is health after recovery, just be patient.