An End of the Year Post

As I sit here writing this blog entry, I am recovering from a very major surgery I had on December 5th. It was quite painful, I was in the hospital for awhile, I still am in discomfort, but I’m coming along quite well, IMO. It’s supposed to take 6-8 more weeks for me to heal, but I think I’m ahead of schedule. I’m grateful for that. My girlfriend and parents have been very helpful. I wasn’t allowed to drive for two weeks or pick up anything heavier than five pounds, and I was largely housebound after getting out of the hospital, but it helped having others around to help, so that worked out well.

As I write this, Christmas has also come and gone. This was a very meaningful Christmas for me. For the past seven years, I hadn’t really been “allowed” to celebrate Christmas, as my ex was against it for religious reasons. Indeed, it felt like I was let out of prison this year and I really had fun with it! I got my first ever Christmas tree (as an adult). It’s artificial, but I don’t care — it’s decorated and beautiful. I felt wonderful to have one up, and have the lights and give and get presents and do stockings and the whole works. Wonderful experience.

As I write this, 2011 is nearly over and 2012 is almost upon us. I think I’m going to do what everyone always hates and that’s run through some high/low points for the year. Yeah, I think I will….

  • January: This was a very difficult month for me. I had to have a second eye surgery, following one in December, in order to help me see again. I was undergoing blood sugar problems and tremendous head/facial pain. My ex and I were having significant relationship problems, and I was having job problems, largely because of my health issues. I also made a move in January, a temporary one, but still a hassle.
  • February: Another difficult month. I decided to quit my job to concentrate on salvaging my health. I was seeing up to two and three doctors and specialists a week in order to find out what was wrong with my head in terms of the tremendous pain I was experiencing. Sometimes I didn’t feel like I could keep going on….
  • March: My buddy, Chris Duncan, offered me the opportunity to serve as the poetry editor for an online literary publication called Ray’s Road Review. I pondered it for a week and then accepted. And I must say that I’m grateful to Chris for this opportunity, as it’s been enjoyable and fulfilling all year long. I hope to stay in this position for as long as Chris sees fit.
  • April: Continuing to strive to find the source of my head pain, I underwent a lumbar puncture one neurologist wanted me to do for testing. It felt quite odd. April was also the month a long term friendship started to blossom into a wonderful relationship. So, a good and bad month.
  • May: May was big. My relationship with my ex legally ended after months of legal goings on. I found a pain management specialist who believed my pain was the result of Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known as The Suicide Disease as it’s widely considered to be the most painful condition known to man. I underwent a Gasserian Ganglion Block procedure, which confirmed his diagnosis and I embarked on a new life of research into this disease and treatment options. Two days after my surgery, I wound up back in the hospital for five days due to remarkably intense abdominal pain. It took awhile to recover from that. In May, my new girlfriend made her first trip ever to the state of Tennessee and here to Chattanooga. We had a remarkable time together.
  • June: June was a month I started looking for a place for my girlfriend and I to move in together here in Chattanooga. She had decided to relocate here to invest in our relationship, a wonderful thing to have happen. Meanwhile, I had severe blood sugar problems and had been put on an intense new extremely low carb diet in order to gain control over the blood sugar issues. I lost some weight and that was good.
  • July: In July, several medications I take regularly were changed or replaced with stronger medications, making it extremely difficult for me to function for weeks. Some of these meds had extreme sedative effects, and I was still experiencing my head/facial pain, so I spent much of July in bed, literally. The one good thing was that my girlfriend came back for another wonderful visit. We had a very special time.
  • August: In August, I underwent another Gasserian Ganglion Block for therapeutic purposes related to my head pain. August also saw a recurrence of my abdominal pain, putting me on new meds for extended periods of time. The big news, however, was that my girlfriend moved here from out of state and we moved into a nice new house my parents helped us find, with our two cats, so we formed our own little happy family and things were starting to become right with the world!
  • September: I had a birthday in September. I tried not to be too depressed. LOL! My girlfriend gave me the new Bukowski book, among other things, and that was sweet. My abdominal pain was pretty intense and the meds weren’t helping too much. However, home life was very good, and that was a wonderful change.
  • October: I found myself in another surgery center this month, the result of which was a recommendation to see a big time general surgeon to discuss major surgery. *Sigh* October was also the month for Halloween though, and my ex had never allowed me to celebrate Halloween, again for religious reasons, so this year I bought a TON of candy, some decorations, a mask, a costume for my girlfriend, and we carved our first pumpkin together, which was an awesome experience. Our only disappointment was that we didn’t get too many trick or treaters and had way too much candy left over!
  • November: November was a month of significant depression for me. My father had a very serious surgery of his own, which was nerve wracking, and my major surgery was looming. Life didn’t seem too good. A highlight was Thanksgiving. My girlfriend’s youngest son (she has two) flew in to visit and, along with my parents, we all celebrated Thanksgiving together and we had a lovely time. It was nice to have company.
  • December: Well, I’ve already written about my surgery and about Christmas, so that covers most of it. I put our anticipated 2012 budget together yesterday and am trying not to be too depressed. LOL! I’m going to have to start thinking about looking for some type of job soon, even though I don’t feel physically up to it yet. Gotta generate some income. My depression is improving, and that’s been welcome. And it’s been a really great month. My girlfriend and I celebrated our first anniversary together (we gave each other beautiful watches!), we sent and received dozens of Christmas cards, I received 57 get well cards (most from family friends), we enjoyed spending Christmas with my parents, we gave each other some lovely gifts, and now I’m sitting here bathed in bowl games and loving it!

Well, I guess that covers my “End of the Year” blog post today. It was a hard year, but a good year. I’d like to start blogging more next year, but I often just really don’t have the energy. And I feel like I have little of interest to write about too, so there’s that. Nonetheless, I wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope that 2012 treats everyone right. Cheers!

One thought on “An End of the Year Post

  1. What a great, comprehensive, interesting and touching reflection on the past year. Undoubtedly, it’s been a full year for you. My hopes and my prayers are that the upcoming year(s) are far less “full” of the negative and far more full of the positive things.
    Often, we hear the cliche’ that “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” In the throes of trials and tribulations, that is probably the worst thing that anyone can say. You are a strong person and I have known this for a very long time. However, this year has taught me that you remain the strongest person I have ever known. I think I can let God know that you are strong enough now, thank you very much.
    Love, light and happiness.


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