Tag Archives: Health

They Said

No doubt her hands were shaking when she wrote her suicide note.  Her heart was in a million pieces, pieces that apparently no one noticed, or maybe, cared to notice.

She tried to write her last words, words that would explain, words that will tell all and clarify her actions. She wanted to describe her feelings, and try to explain why she did what she was about to do.

Her heart spilled out of the pen onto the paper as she wrote her last words.  She tied a rope to a ceiling beam in her apartment, stood in a chair, tied the other end around her neck and kicked the chair aside.

They Said story

The police found her several days later when a neighbor became concerned.  Her suicide note explained nothing, yet said it all.  Her note contained two words…….“They said”.

Tragically, this true story happened in California and no one ever discovered who, how or what they said.  One thing, however, was certain, they said it.

The tongue, and the pen, can wield amazing power to make people laugh or be encouraged. Words can cause one to believe and hope, yet words can bring devastation, heartache and despair.

Words can be of instruction, construction or destruction.

There’s the power of life and death in words.  They can heal, or they can kill.

Look for opportunities to shut up. Converse wisely.  Talk gently. Speak life.

Too bad that’s not what “they said”.

They Said story

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Dirt Road Drive

It’ll be dark in an hour. I jump in the pickup and start driving aimlessly in the country. After a sweltering hot day, it’s cool.  With both windows rolled down, it feels like heaven on earth air conditioning.

Smells of a freshly cut grass, honey suckle patches on fence rows and the scent of distant rain clouds permeate the air.  Red dust flies up behind the truck. It envelops the branches of the trees looking like a Picasso painting in the rearview mirror.

A little further down a pickup pulling a trailer is in a field being loaded with hay bales from last week’s cutting.  Just past that is a house where a boy rides his bike in a big circle over and over. He finally gathers his courage to take another shot to go airborne off the ramp he made from two 5-gallon buckets and a stiff piece of plywood.

It’s the South. It’s the country. It’s rural living.  It’s a culture where most folks like a slower pace of life, and not being crowded in at the gills by neighbors. Continue reading Dirt Road Drive

The Talons of Depression

I used to work in the mental health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor.  With that said, I’ve talked to a lot of people who suffer from depression and, in fact, have been depressed before myself.  To say it is difficult is a vast understatement.  Statistics show that 10.4% of all physician office visits have depression indicated on the medical record. With that in mind, here’s my best shot to describe depression –

Depression is having cold feet in the summer, and sweating under your coat in winter.

You used to raise your hands to praise to God, but now, getting them high enough to scratch your ear is hard.

You smile, shine your package, wrap your heart under brightly colored wrapping paper, but the contents are broken, crushed, spilling out.

You don’t know why. Not really.

You question.

Faith wavers.

Hope despairs. Continue reading The Talons of Depression

Super Glue Stitches

When my youngest son, Clark, was in high school, he got a gash in the top of his head from a basketball tournament.  Clark shaved part of his head so we could look closer.  Butterfly stitches wouldn’t stick, so I pinched the skin together while one of Clark’s friends dripped Super Glue on the cut.  Worked well too, a lot better than the first time….

….the first time Clark was 7 years old.  I coached his baseball team and was working with the outfielders to catch pop flies.  It almost dark and I told the boys no more but Clark begged for one more pop fly.  Since he was my son, I went against my better judgment and threw one more pop fly, high, really high.  Clark had perfect big leaguer form, stuck up his glove, and the ball hit him squarely in the mouth.

The week before he pulled his first front tooth and had big open gap when he smiled.  The ball smashed the open gap and pushed the next tooth through his upper lip.

Blood poured.

Another player’s dad, a doctor, took a look. It needed a stitch, maybe two.  Off the record, he said if it was his son he would avoid the ER trauma and just super glue it together. Continue reading Super Glue Stitches

Mama of King Smoothie

I just wanted a smoothie, that’s all! A simple smoothie, in and out, no big deal.

Last week two college girls were working the Smoothie King counter. After staring mindlessly at the order board, I finally asked what the best tasting, healthiest smoothie was.

She immediately said her favorite smoothie was loaded with vitamins, fruit and called the Pre-Mama.

She was right! It was great!

Friday two college guys were working.  They were polar opposites. One was huge and tall; the other short and small, leprochaun size really.  I wanted to catch the hyper little guy and demand he take me to his hidden a pot of gold!

A lady was ordering in front of me.  The big guy taking her order had on a T-shirt at least a size too small, plus he had no, absolutely zero, enthusiasm.  Undertakers at funerals have more enthusiasm! Continue reading Mama of King Smoothie

People Patchwork

I bought a bust on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  At 90% off I snatched the last one up like a large mouth bass after a Carolina rig.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my new purchase was damaged at the shoulder.  In fact, it had a really big hole in it.  At first I started to leave it like it was because looking straight at it, you couldn’t see anything wrong.  But turn it ever so slightly, and there was the gaping hole.

With a little bit of plastic cement and some poor, ragged patchwork, the hole was fixed, even though it’s obvious it’s been repaired.  After a couple of coats of spray paint, it was all the same color and not as blaringly obvious.

Now it’s on my desk in our home office. The pleasant, gently smiling woman looks like all is good, but on close examination, there’s “patchwork” hidden in plain sight. Continue reading People Patchwork

Tinnitus

It’s the craziest thing! Ringing in the ears that won’t go away. Tinnitus. That’s what they call it. A better name would be itsdrivingmealittlebitcrazyitus!

Only 10 to 20% of people have it, so the other 80 to 90% think it’s odd. Granted, it does sound weird; ringing in the ears that doesn’t go away.

I remember as a kid listening to ringing in the dead of the night when everything else was asleep. I didn’t know it wasn’t “normal”.  I thought everybody heard ringing. I even asked my dad as a little boy what the ringing in the middle of the night was. He looked confused, and said I must be hearing the refrigerator, or a mouse was telling me secrets. That was funny, but not an answer.

It wasn’t until college when I read a Dr. Gott column that described tinnitus and incessant ringing in the ears.  What a relief, in a way, to know it was actually a medical condition. At least it wasn’t from a brain implant from aliens who kidnapped me while asleep and performed tests so they could come back and take over the world! Continue reading Tinnitus

Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba

Jared, my second son, was diagnosed as severely deaf in one ear and profoundly deaf in the other when he was two years old. He grew up with multiple ear infections, hearing aids and speech therapy. He could, and did, what every other kid did, but it was harder for him, like soccer, for instance.

Jared would be on a dead run dribbling the ball down field while simultaneously adjusting his hearing aid so it wouldn’t fall off.  When the whistle blew, he kept playing until other players stopped.

Crowded rooms with multiple conversations made focusing on a single voice or sound impossible. Jared never complained, and despite everything, even learned how to play the guitar. Amazing!

When he was twelve, Jared had a cochlear implant. The surgery wasn’t covered by insurance, so a home equity loan, negotiated cash prices with the hospital, surgeon, anesthesiologist and provider for the device put the price tag just below $50,000.

Part of his skull was drilled out behind his ear and a computer device the size of a quarter was implanted in the crevice behind his ear. A wire implanted in his skull runs into the cochlea where it stimulates the auditory nerve going to the brain.

His only disappointment? He couldn’t head a soccer ball anymore because it might knock the implant loose.  Otherwise, everything was a plus and the possibilities were all butterflies and roses. Continue reading Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba

CPR Trauma

I sat through a First Aid/CPR class with fifteen men I work with.  The instructor asked if anyone had used CPR before.

From the back of the room, I slowly slipped my hand up.  She wheeled on me like a Doberman Pinscher staring at an Oscar Meyer hot dog and commanded, “Tell us about it.”

Suddenly thrust into the limelight in front of co-workers, I started. “Well”, shrugging my shoulders, “Twenty-five years ago I was sitting in a little cafe minding my own business.  It was 3:00 in the afternoon so there was hardly anyone else there except an old man and two elderly ladies.  All of the sudden I heard a commotion and one of the old ladies was trying to hold up the man who had slumped over the table.  She was shaking him yelling, ‘Don’t you die on me! Don’t you die on me!’”

“I ran over and pulled the man out of the chair onto the floor. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn’t breathing, but he had a feint, irregular pulse.  I figured he’d had a heart attack.” Continue reading CPR Trauma

The Ire of Staying Healthy

My doctor told me during the exam it was time.

I took a deep breath.  I knew this day was coming.  I resolved then and there to cowboy up and get it done.

I’ve been flying under the radar for several years.  No problems. No issues. No medicine. Just the way it should be!

But this year, instead of the vampire nurse just draining a week’s worth of bone marrow work from my arm, the doctor tells me he wants to check out several other things.

First, a sleep apnea study — No problem. Sleep is my one of my natural talents!  Passed with flying colors!

Second, a stress test — Continue reading The Ire of Staying Healthy