Tuesday, January 31, 2006

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Just Some Random Images

Night Sky

Fall Colors

Sunset at tha Lake

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Alone But Not

Lone Tree Overlooking the Arkansas River Valley

Recently I received an e-mail from an old friend. He was relating how he hadn't found what he wanted to do in life. He is not alone in these thoughts. I find myself wondering what my purpose in life is too. What is God's plan for me? Why haven't I figured it out yet? It can make you feel alone in this big world but there are many others in the same position. Thus, in reality we are not alone. We are part of a much larger group who is still searching for answers to their being.

While writing this blog and posting my photos at various site, I have made quite a few new friends. Many are interested in my plight and have offered encouragement. I want to thank them all for the thoughts, It really helps that they have let me share with them what I'm going through. It never ceases to amaze me at the capacity of human compassion in people.

I only hope in some way I can be as good as they are and that I might bring some happiness to others.

As for me, I'm beginning to feel a little stronger. I think my dialysis treatments are finally working as they should. I still have a long way to go o get back to where I was. It just doesn't seem like the impossible task it once was.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

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More Photos of Miss Kitty

This is Miss Kitty. She's 19 years old now and weighs a little over 7 lbs. She still acts like a kitten - very playful and sweet. We found her in a barn in TN after she was just born. She is great company to us.

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Welcome to the Machine, My Friend

The Machine

The Center

It's one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs but, not something I wanted to be connected to. This machine helps to keep me alive until I can get a transplant so it is now a part of my life for the foreseeable future.

I go to the local dialysis center three times a week for treatment - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Each treatment lasts between 3 to 4 hours depending on how much fluid and toxins have built up in my body.

When you first get there you are weighed. This is compared to your weight after you finished the last treatment. From this they can determine a baseline time for your next treatment. They also do blood test to determine the effectiveness of the dialysis treatments.

While you are connected to the machine your blood pressure, tempersture and other componets of your blood are closely monitored. While you're connected you can nap, read or watch TV via a small set and headphones supplied by the center.

Near the end of your treatment they clean your connection site and finally take a final weight to be used for your next visit. The whole process isn't all that bad just not how I really wanted to spend my Saturday afternoon.

black jack
blackjack strategy

Saturday, January 28, 2006

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Some Color

Mountain Rver Stones
A little color for a cold drab month. Images I like. These images were taken this Fall around the Helen, Georgia area.

The Red Trees

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Other Images From History Day

Sue in the Stocks
Old Settlement House
The Basket Maker

The Blacksmith in sepia

Just some fun and random images from our day out P.S. I didn't keep her that way!

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These are some of my helpers.

My Mom and Dad

Friday, January 27, 2006

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Sue at History Day Fest - in sepia tone

I just finished drink a can of Nepro. It's an Enshure drink made for people on dialysis. Here I an at 46 drinking "old peoples" supplements - who would have ever figured. It's not too bad cold and with a lot of ice but, it's no milkshake either.

Now I look back at all those ads showing seniors sking, hiking,traveling and scuba diving and I don't laugh anymore. I'm envious of what they can do and I can not do at this time.

Tomorrow I have another dialysis treatment. I'm going to try to photograph the machine that helps to keep me alive so you can see it too.

Again I have to thank my wife, Sue and my Mom and Dad for putting up with me. I've needed their help in so many things and they hsve been right there to help. I couldn't get along without them all.

Sometimes I snap too easily at them. I don't mean to I just do. It's just so hard loosing control over your own life and beind so dependent on others.

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The Graveyard

About a week after Christmas we took down our tree. We have always had a cut tree for as long as I can remember. Some much bigger than we really had room for. I just love that evergreen smell a real tree has. We took our tree to the local Home Depot where they come and recycle them into mulch and give it away. That's where these photos are from. It's a little sad to see these once beautiful trees end up in the tree graveyard.

I feel I can relate to them. I feel like I'm ready to be tossed into a dump pile and recycled into something wothwhile. If only it were that easy.

Yesterday was my first hemo dialysis treatment outside the hospital. Everybody was trying to be so nice and upbeat but, it was still depressing to me. I am only a small fraction of the person I was. I'm finding it quite hard to go on. I wish I could wake up and all of this been a very very bad nightmare but, that's not going to happen.

Tomorrow - The Machine

Thursday, January 26, 2006

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Family at Christmas

Our tree

Christmas passed much too quickly this year. It was nice to have Sue's family come and visit. She was very happy to see them and we had a good time with them. Unfortunatly the day after they left I git sick again and so the story goes. The photo is of all of Sue and her family on Christmas Day- sans one sister.

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Hospital Images

These are just some images from St Joseph, the hospital I was in.

The first one is the main lobby.
2nd is Mom and Dad having coffee in the lobby waiting area.
3rd is St Joseph in the lobby.
4th is my room there.
5th is the hallway to 4 west, the floor I was on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

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Some Random Photos

These are just some art photos


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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Some Hope

It rained all day yesterday the cold drab weather a part of my mood. Today howed-ver, the sun is out and it's clear and crisp. A giliner of hope they will let me leave this place has been kindled.

I can't wait to get home and sleep in my wife's arms, surrounded by our kitty fuzz ball. I've missed them both so much. It's going to be hard. I'm having to learn to walk again. All this time off my feet has left me greatly weakened.

I hope to be able to post some pictures here and on the Porters site. I've really missed that too.

I want to thank all my friends who have sent encouragement. It has helped. My hope is to get well enough to get back to doing everyday things-nothing great but well enough to care for myself. For now this is my goal. Good food and good sleep await!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

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Guess Where I Am

Yes, that's the answer in the hospital again. I had a nice few days with my wife's parents and her sisters over three days during Christmas. Then my parents came to visit and we were having a nice time util I felt so light headed I couldn't stand up. Sue had to call 911 again to get help to get me into our Pathfinder for the ride to the St Joseph emergency room.

Once there I was stabilized and test were run to find what was wrong this time. They found I had unstable low blood pressure. It was determined the next day I had hundreds of small stress ulcers wonder where they came from - lol.

I keep saying I'm going to post more photos and I will as I get home. Some will be festive some informative and some I think are nice. I've missed working with the images.

My Uncle http://mysteryscribe.blogspot.com/ has been doing some work building medium and large format cameras from salvaged and home made parts. So far the results have been very good turning out some very nice retro images. Be sure to take a look.

The staff here at St Joesph are very friendly and nice. I like them but 14 days away from home is too much for me. Even if it were a vaccatin I'd be ready to be going home.

Once again I have to thank my wife for all her love and support. I have to thank both Mom and Dad for their help. I thank my friends and former co-workers for the cards and plants.

Signing off for another day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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There are many connections in life. Right now, as I write this I am connected to a machine that keeps me alive. It's not what I wanted but, it's now one of my life's connections be getting this experience three times a week now. Each one will last from 2 to 4 hours depending on fluid and toxin levels. It could be worse I could be dead but, Im still hanging on by a thread.

On this type of dialysis you're severely limited on your fluid intake; only 48oz each day less if possible. That's 6 eight oz glasses of water or beverage. You have to count the ice too. Oatmeal or grits - you have to count the water used to prepare them. A bowl of soup too extreme; jello got to count it too. I don't how well I'm going to handle this

Im soo tired I just want to sleep and wake up and all of this been a bad dream.

We have family connections too. Mine are gold. My Dad gave me a kidney about 16 years ago - it lasted for more than 15 years. That I was told was the average life of a transplanted kidney from that time. The drugs used have improved greatly. The major anti-rejection drug I used was actually toxic to the kidneys. Others cause skin cancer and a whole host of other problems.

My Dad never had a second thought about donating. I really didn't want him to but his steadfastness kept me from ever having to be on dialysis. We don't always see eye to eye on things but to me he is a much bigger hero than any sports star or rock muscian could ever be.

My Mom always there for me too. She does things to help keep my spirits up. She comes to cook for me when I need it. They are a team. This year they will have been married for 50 years.

One of my uncles has offered one of his kidneys if they'll work but, it's an offer I can not accept. He has his own health issues and his wife has cancer too.

My other Aunts and Uncles are vrey supportive too. They send cards and get well wishes all the time.
You've already read about my iife Sue. She is superwoman with all the things she handles - demanding job, me, the house and more. She has saved my life on more than one occasion too.
Enough good cannot be said about her.

I'm about finished here so my friends will have to wait until later.

Monday, January 09, 2006

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Sleepless in Atlanta

Its 4:30 a m and I haven't been able to get even a minute of sleep. My whole body is itching and I've got tubes sticking out of all parts of my body. My nose is stuffed up and ny mouth and throat are dried out from having to breath through them. I'm coughing almost non stop trying to get this gook out of my lungs.

My Dsd is staying with me tonight and I'm keeping him awake too. I'm sorry. He just doesn't undertstand why I just can't lie down and go to sleep. I had hoped writing some would help but, it has not.

He took me on a tour of the hospital hoping it would help but it didn't either. They can't give me anything tio help me to sleep because of the pain killer incidents. So I suffer and so coes anyone around me. I wish things were different. I know that a donor is on average about two more years away.

tomorrow, correction later today I'm going to try to go to the chapel for the 11 am Mass. I feel good enough to do this now but I'll have to see how am doing then.

If anyone is reading this blog, please give me some comments. I would really like that.

It's 5 am now and they are about to come in and take vitals, check my blood sugar and do dressing changes. I'll sign off for now.

Friday, January 06, 2006

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First day

this was my 1st day of hemodiaylsis.I'm pretty wipied out. Not much to say today. Maybe more tomorrow I'm going to bed. now.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

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A Short Note

I'm back in the hospital again. It seems that my dialysis is not doind it's job. They now want to try hemodialysis. This means more surgery - something I'm not looking forward to. I feel bad all the time and I don't if I can go on.

I talked with a priest today - he said to pray for guidance but it was alright to die. ,but ask for guidance on what to do. So, that's what I'm going to do.

This is all I feel like writing today

Monday, January 02, 2006

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Not Again

I didn't sleep well again. Got up this morning and was having trobule breathing.I just couldn't get a deep breath. Also I'm having difficulty walking my balance seems to be off. I feel weak.

Ithink I might have caught the flu from Sue. I had a slight fever this morning -100.8. I just don't want to have to go to the hospital again.My eyesight is a little blurry in one eye too.

I just feel like theres nothing left for me in this life - I feel bad most of the time.

Some people have sent me encouraging e-mails and I am glad to get them but, I feel the end is near for me. I used to fear this ut, not really anymore. It would be a relief. I need a good long sleep.

I hope to be able to keep writing and post some more photos if I dont end up in the hospital again.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

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A Good Day....and a Day of Pain

Yesterday I had a good day. I felt perrty good and was able to get out of the house. Sue and I went shopping at Parson's, a local bift store. We bought several items there and I was able towalk around without any trouble.

We even went to Target to grocery shop and then by Publix for fresh bread from their bakery. I did so well that I skipped my evening dose of Aleve. Big MISTAKE, later that night I was in great pain again. It hurt to breath and forget trying to sleep. I worked on the computer sending e-mails and uploading photos and comments to Porter's. It's a great site with a very good message board. Check it bout at: http://porters.com/ I think you'll like it.

I took some photos of birds in our backyard today. I'll post some of them later on. I still am going to post some "art" photos when I get a chance. There on the computer upstairs. I just have a hard time getting up there now.

I don't know what's wrong with me - I'm having trouble getting up from sitting. Also, I can't walk as well as I used to. I guess 2 weeks of being unable to keep any food in me along with all the surgery has left me a little weak.

I just pray I get stronger and back up to speed. Oh' I'm not going to miss my Aleve anymore.

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Ice Storm

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Here are some images taken from my window at home.

River Birch