Thursday, August 23, 2012
Easing Back into Things
This has been a long dry spell for me. I haven't tired of blogging, and it is not due to lack of subjects to discuss. There's plenty I wish to pontificate about--the political circus, Syria, Orthodox concerns, foreign policy, cultural observations, etc. The simple fact of the matter is that I haven't felt well in quite some time. I suffered a freak pulmonary embolism last August, and as I now understand things, the fact that I am here writing these words after that is pretty remarkable. But I never bounced back, and gradually came to the realization that I have been chronically fatigued for years.
When the sudden spike in blood pressure and chest pains started kicking-in, it was time to go see the doc. As it turned out, I was in excellent health to be so sick. We were sure I suffered from the heart trouble that runs in my paternal side. My heart, other than the too-frequent hardness thereof, was in fine shape. So, I couldn't use that as an excuse. My dad's grandmother was a wiry little dwarf of a woman who could still ride a horse at age 75. She manipulated and controlled her daughters by feigning "heart-flutters" whenever she didn't get her way. And it finally did take her on out--at age 84. And so, I told my wife I was just having "heart-flutters," but she wasn't buying it. My lungs checked out fine as well. Ditto everything else they checked. The last resort they knew to check was my sleep. I've always been skeptical of these sleep studies, as it seems that if you take the test, they will diagnose you with sleep apnea. As it turns out, I did have it--bad. Basically, I stopped breathing 22 times an hour and my brain was in gear 31 times an hour during "sleep." Whatever you want to call what was happening, it wasn't real sleep, and I awoke exhausted.
So now, I take double my former blood pressure medicine, I take a little acid-reflux pill that has made the chest pains go away, and I sleep with one of those masks hooked-up to a CPAC machine. And with all this tinkering with my system, I am actually starting to feel good again. I now wake up alert, which hasn't been the case for years. The only thing left on my check-off list is to lose 25 lbs. The doctor said I could eat potatoes or I could eat bread, but I couldn't eat both. Damn.
The rest of the year will be a busy period for me. I have a writing project that will have to cook-off by late October. I am teaching an online class at the university here, as well as 3 history classes at the junior college (a Mon-Wed 5:35 class, a Monday night class and a Wednesday night class, so it is not as bad as it sounds.) And then there's my day job. But I do plan to ease back into regular blogging. The easiest way for me to do so, I suppose, is to throw out a bit of travel writing. My recent pecuniary difficulties have kept me stateside in recent years. Even so, something always turns up, and I managed to squeeze-in a journey or two this summer: a cousin's wedding in San Antonio, our annual summer reunion trek to the Deep South, a historical/genealogical research jaunt to NC and PA, and a business trip to San Angelo, the queen city of mid-south-central West Texas. So, look for these reports to trickle-in in coming days.