Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On Being Tough

   Our geezer skier group at my local ski area, pride themselves on being tough and resilient.  Over the years we all have encountered situations that have limited our mobility and reduced the temptation to ski the more challenging slopes and conditions.   New knees and new hips have brought many back to the slopes.   Other ailments have not been so forgiving and unfortunately there comes a time for one to hang up the skis.  All of us would prefer not to have to face that reality.
Many of our crew has expressed the wish that they would ski the last day of their lives, and depart swiftly from this earthly abode.    That would be the easy way out.  And in a sense would be the cowards way.   My perspective at the moment is that being tough in the utmost is to be able to gracefully deal with ones decline by adjusting to what is rather than yearning for what you would like things to be.
  There can be joy in simply being with loved ones.   And they with you.
  Carpe diem - seize the day - whatever it brings.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bolt Out of the Blue

    There is only one word to describe the 2015-2016 ski season for the Eastern United States.  Horrible!  Probably the consistently poorest ski conditions in history.   A season entering with a whimper and slinking out with a whimper.
    For me that has only been a part of the story.   Following skiing in bitter cold on Saturday morning February 13, the next day the14th I was struck like a bolt out of the blue with a left hip and back pain that stays with me to this day.  The onset of pain was swift and unrelenting.  The optimist in me said I should tough it out and things will get better.   For a while I still could hobble out on the slope and even find some relief in skiing where I didn't need to walk.   Even played some tennis (albeit with pauses to stretch out from the muscle spasms).  Regrettably I had to submit to the medical profession.  An initial visit and early Physical Therapy helped a tiny bit.   However, pain continued to escalate especially at night.   Severity of the pain hit me so hard one night that  a trip to the emergency room was called for.   At least they hit me with some of the good stuff there to give me much needed rest.   I was released after about a day and half of observation.   Meds in hand and tests read, I was back home with a regimen of meds and PT hoping to improve the situation.
    Fast forward to now leaving out all the frustrating details, I have no definitive diagnosis,  palliative meds keep me sane with the pain, and we are desperately striving to get to a specialist.  Would you believe, weeks of waiting to get an appointment?   Readers:  I apologize for the rant, but somehow venting through writing relieves anxiety, anger and frustration.  (That nagging pain gets stuffed down for the moment).
     Somehow, I'll get through it.   The cards and prayers from friends and acquaintances keep pouring in.  The greatest blessing I have is my dear wife Nancy who gives me extraordinary support with her love and care!  No doubt about it.  I am the luckiest guy in the world to have her beside me.
     Finally, I have no idea the of the prognosis for my condition.   I will continue to pray for both a miracle and if not a miracle for the courage and peace to live with whatever the outcome.
    Finally again, tough old geezer skiers, remember to enjoy every day you have on the slopes and be prepared for the inevitable day when you will need to hang it up.   Enjoy the moment wherever you are.