Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday February 26th, 2010 - MCL

I did nothing today. Seriously, nothing. Last night my knee hurt so bad I could hardly bare weight on it. It's the same MCL on the left knee that I had surgery on four years ago. Today, I just tried to stay off of it. I did some house chores and took a nap.

I did get invited to South France today, but I can't go because we are planing a family trip to the Smithsonian's contemporary art museum, the Hirschhorn, in Washington, D.C. this spring. It's not such a huge deal. I've been to France, but I haven't seen my father's four projector film installation "Shutter Interface" placed on permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian. That's a once in a life time event. Can't get any better.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday February 25th, 2010 - Suicide dream

I went to the gym today and did as much as I could without messing my knee up anymore. The MCL hurts so I'll stay off of it for a few days. I'll have to make a judgment call on my mom's weekly gym/swim in the morning. I went to the doctor this morning for blood results. Everything looks perfect except for my platelets. I also weighed in at 317. I have much work to do. Enough with the boring part.

I'm not sure if it's the change in meds, but I have been having many vivid nightmares. Last night takes the cake. I was actually quite disturbed until I got to the gym and stopped thinking about it. It was in living color and it seemed like I was watching a movie, but interminably becoming one of the characters. It began with some kind of weird set-up where there was several astronauts. Not NASA, but kind of a fringe private venture. As in most of my dreams, we were late for something. I hate being late to anything, so this hits a particular button for me. The leader of this mod squad was an asshole. It was like the damn ship belong to him. He was also pissed that we were late. So then we are preparing to go up to the rocket and I switch out to someone else that is looking down on them from about 50 yards or so. Everything was white. As they came into view, I started shooting them. I was the sniper. Maybe that's some pent up anxiety about the Deer Creek shooting on Tuesday. Anyway, I was pretty good and each shot brought an explosion of red splattering against the wall. Now I bounce back out. I'm watching someone else or watching myself falling into a deep self loathing and wondering around the carnage. At some point I became Robert Downey Jr. and I'm standing on top of a tall white cinder block wall. I'm watching at this point. Then I switch back into the body and I'm looking down and there doesn't seem to be a bottom. Kind of like being on a floating wall in the sky. I jump. Then, I'm watching myself arms flailing and legs kicking and I'm tumbling in the air for an eternity. I was thinking to myself, shouldn't I black out or something, but that didn't happen. I woke up terrified. I didn't actually hit, but I was falling for so long. It was scary. So if you die in a dream, do you die? I don't know. I always wake up before the end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday February 24th, 2010 - Deer Creek Shooting

On Tuesday I indulged into some serious cooking. I made five bean vegan soup that was spectacular, but it ended up being rather complex. I also made three loaves of whole wheat bread that came out perfect. There is only one loaf left and enough soup to reheat along with whatever I decide to cook. Maybe it should be a soup and salad night.

My psychologist appointment went as I predicted. I doubled one night time dose of Hydroxyzine for sleep and switched my Lorazepam to the daytime to help curb anxiety. I tried to increase my Seroquel by 150 mg during the day, but think it made me tired and gave me twitchy feet. I'll try the Seroquel one more day. I may just have to keep that one at night.

What's my biggest stress right now? Idiots that try to kill our kids! Yesterday's shooting at Deer Creek Middle School happened just a few miles away. My youngest is in middle school, but he goes to Carmody. My second son goes to Bear Creek High School. Dr. Benke, the math teacher who was on bus duty and subdued the shooter, was trained to react to threats against our students and he preformed beyond expectation. He literally saved young students lives. If there was ever a hero, he is it! I placed my thanks on a Facebook page dedicated to "Dr. Benke is a hero" page. At this time, almost exactly the time of the shooting 24 hours ago, the Facebook page has over 22,000 fans and growing. My boys tell me they really didn't talk about the shooting at school, but the county sent me numerous email and phone messages with updates. How sad that this scenario was practiced by ur teahers who now have to serve as body guards to our kids. GOD BLESS DR BENKE! Needless to say, dropping off the kids this morning was stressful, but receiving them back home was relieving.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday February 22nd, 2010 - House cleaning

Quick recap of the weekend. On Saturday my youngest son Bobby went with me to the gym! We started out of bikes and completed a full set of weights. His arms still hurt a bit. On Sunday I was a little sore from Saturday so I took my wife, Jeff, and Greg to see "Shutter Island." It was a suspense thriller I guess. I wanted to see it because it looked like it dipped into insanity. While it became somewhat predictable, I still found the different levels of psychosis interesting. The main character is on a cyclical pattern of delusions and hallucinations.

Hallucinations are one of my biggest fears. In January 2008, I was still recovering from November 2007 hospital stay and I had lost a lot of weight quickly. I think I had lost 40 pounds in about five weeks. The rapid weight loss and exhaustion caused me to toxify and lose touch with reality. I think it was January 1st or 2nd that I had a horrible hallucination about someone attacking my wife upstairs. I called the police and, of course, everything in the house was fine except for me. I was somewhere balled up crying. Cheri took me to the hospital where I was admitted to the mental ward. I don't remember any of this. Actually, I don't remember any of the first two weeks of January. When I started to come back I was having nightmare like hallucinations that involved a young pale sickly boy who was living in my bed springs. Several times I tried to push my bed out of the room to save him because he wouldn't come out and no one believed me. It became part of my reality for about ten days after I regained consciousness. I wanted to introduce my visitor to my sickly room mate and I freaked everyone out so much that only my parents and Cheri would visit me. During those ten days I also had to work hard to start remembering things like the date, my doctor's name and virtually any phone numbers. It was very scary for me when I realized I had gone insane and I was having a hell of a time recovering. Near the end of January they let me out and I had to go to outpatient sessions. I had to extend it twice because I wasn't feeling well enough to face the world on my own. It took me forever to be able to read a book or the paper again. Soooo, the movie Shutter Island was an existential experience for me. Greg was bored with the movie and Cheri was disappointed that it wasn't scarier. From my perspective, it was scary as hell.

Today, Monday, I set out to thoroughly clean our rooms. That involved dusting everything and moving furniture around and gave me the perfect opportunity to create better living space for the family. Basically, I spent the morning cleaning and re-arranging furniture. It was really quite a workout. I was sore and needed a nap. To conclude the day, I met with my accountant and signed off 6 returns. All of us are getting money back. Tomorrow morning is my meeting with my doctor. I hope we can increase some of my meds to me feel more stable and help me fall asleep. I was re-researching all of my meds and remembered that several of them create weight gain. Yet, another handicap to overcome in this struggle to lose weight. I think feeling stable will help me feel confident enough to hit the calories hard.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday February 19th, 2010 - Swimming with Mom

Wow, I must have had my Wheaties or something on Thursday. I had an early morning appointment and I finished with the daily correspondences early, so I went to the gym. I had weighed in at 320 pounds in the morning. I know some of it was water retention, but some was just letting my guard down. I've been a little worried about my rapid mood swings and a propensity for panic attacks. I have an appointment on Tuesday and I am going to ask to have some of my meds increased. Nonetheless, I thought it would be good to try to bike, lift, and play basketball Thursday. Somewhere I found this energy that propelled me into a race on the virtual bike's "Oh Mama" trail. My previous best was 29.5 minutes. On Thursday, I bettered that by 22 seconds. Seeing an opportunity to excel, I did my full set plus on the weights. I was really brutal. I had lifted weights before I played basketball because it makes my shoulder sore. So basketball came third and I was on fire! Probably 10% out of the three point zone and I was making pretty much all of my inside baskets when I straightened my shoulders up. My lay-ups were pretty good too. And, no one to see. I am a bit of a show off so when a young boys basketball team came in I took one last shot from way out of the three point zone and nailed it. In the end I was a little sore, but nothing I couldn't live with.

Today, I took my mom for our weekly workout and we started in the pool. She was great! She was working those poor little legs with determination. After her whole aquatic workout she said she wanted to walk up the old people stairs by herself. And, she did it! After we re-dressed we went and did almost all of our regular routine with a little more weight and she did that too. I hope she doesn't get too sore, but I did tell her she needed to stretch her limits a bit now so she can start really building up strength. Good week for working out. I hope to return to the gym early tomorrow morning before my lovely wife wakes up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday February 17th, 2010 - Winter Olympics

I got sucked into the Olympics. Watched Linsey Vonn, Apolo Ohno, and Shawn White cleaning UP BABY! Awesome. Inspiring. GO USA!

On Monday I played Daddy Taxi and not much else. On Tuesday I managed to get an hour in at the hoops with plans to return later in the evening, but that just didn't happen. The demands of the art world are upon me. Listen to me complain. My job managing the art is a dream and allows me to do so many other things. Take today for instance, I finished business just in time to cruise downtown for my volunteer job at the museum. There were only a few visitors and one real loud high school group. Their teacher was pretty wiped so she only let them work on a project for a few minutes. Obviously, I didn't even get a chance to explain the project much less have them work on anything. Bummer, but out of my control.

Driving into the museum I was trying to imagine my project for the day. By the time I made it up to the lab i knew at least 5 of my first strokes. From there the painting took over with a life all of it's own. I was very happy with the result. I thinky I likey acrylics. Now I have done two pretty impressive works under the confines of 4 hours. I really need to make some paintings here at home where I can take my time to fully develop a concept and have plenty of time to paint it. Art, writing, teaching, painting, exercising, and losing weight; awesome. It's good to be me right now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday February 14th, 2010 - Valentines Day

Yesterday, I began the day with an exhaustive workout. I lost track of time, but Cheri says I was gone for more than two hours. Sounds about right. I also did some shopping with Cheri and it about drove both of us crazy. She was annoyed with me because I wanted to stick to the shopping list and get out. I tend to "samurai" shop. I make it a quest to find the fastest way possible through a grocery store. I don't even try to sit in line. I go straight to the self checkout and do the hustle. I even know how to weigh my own fruit and vegetables. Cheri, on the other hand, likes to go through each isle to make sure she's not missing anything. That drove me crazy. I wanted to spend time with her, but grocery shopping was a mistake. She normally goes with her aunt and they are gone forever, but I usually don't care. Actually, I don't care. I'm a bad bad man. I will, however, endure shopping for clothes with her. Oh wait. The last time we went to Macy's I wrote via mobile to facebook that "I'm shopping at Macy's. Please kill me." Later that night, Cheri saw that post and I lost all of my "good" husband points for the day. In the evening, I sat and watched a few minutes of the Olympics and then sat and wrote on my book until bedtime.

I have been feeling rather "fragile" emotionally. I know it's my bipolar disorder, but it doesn't help control panic attacks. Maybe the knowledge helps me from freaking out during the attack because I know it will end. Sometimes in as little as a few minutes, but it can sometimes last for hours. When I have a serious episode, I tend to have smaller attacks later. Kind of like aftershocks from an earthquake. On Friday night, at the sushi restaurant, I had a 20 minute attack. I sat through it and tried to calmly drink my beer and eat my salad. My chest was tight, my mind was racing, and my hands were shaking. Cheri was talking me through it as well.

A few weeks ago I had a major episode. We kind of chalked it up to the steroids I was on, but it probably would have happened anyway. I'm lucky it didn't escalate. During the episode I got in my car and just started driving north. I wasn't a crying fool or a danger to other drivers, but I was extremely disoriented and confused. Cheri also talked me through the episode via cell phone. Episodes small and large scare me. So last night I tried to sleep without my Lorazepam so I could take them during the day. They help with insomnia and panic attacks. It didn't work. I couldn't sleep. I will have to go see my doctor to expand my Lorazepam prescription to include some daytime doses. I hope that I get some relief because I'm finding myself cycling from grandiose to self loathing several times a day. Well, it's not really that extreme, but my mood has been changing more than usual.

On Valentines Day I ran out and bought my aunt some flowers and I bought Cheri some new windshield wipers. Seriously; that's what I did. Remember, I painted a couple watching a sunset on Wednesday and got caught framing it and, thus, I gave it to her then. She loved the wipers... and the painting. After that I went for a one and a half hour workout. I hit it pretty good. I'm a little sore right now. I may play basketball tomorrow morning, but no weights. Later in the afternoon I took Cheri to the book store and bought some new books. She went home and worked on a virtual dental devise and I took a surprise and rare nap. I'm looking forward to the rest of Valentines Day. Yahoo!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday February 12th, 2010 - 200th POST!

Welcome! This is my 200th post. I started this blog near the end of June 2009. I've had more than 2,000 visitors. Thank you. I hope the rest of the year has more entertaining posts. I tend to write whatever I'm thinking and, at this time of night, I'm not feeling particularly funny. I'm funnier on Facebook because I like to push my friend's buttons once in a while. Maybe I could bring some of that here.

For instance; my wife said we were going to see a new action zombie movie called "Valentines." Hahaha! Broken hearts galore, but no one got beheaded! After the movie we went and got some sushi. I had vegetable rolls and salad. As usual, they were great. A very nice date night followed by... yeah right. Like I'm going to write that.

I didn't post last night because Thursday was business and rather boring. I did get another chiropractic adjustment and that felt great. At least for now I'm going to try to go only once a month. I wanted to get outside and play some basketball at the park, but, when I got there, it was still covered with snow. I weighed in at 318 which is probably right. I've been eating healthy, but not watching my calories. I'll have to fix that.

This morning I took my mom to the gym. It's getting to be our Friday routine. She would like to make it Tuesday and Friday, but it takes three to four hours out of my day and twice a week is just a bit more than I want. However, it's really helping her so we'll leave that open for now. She is wheel chair bound so we work on strength and endurance, but, mostly, range of motion; flexibility. Today I lifted her into two leg machines. She did awesome. We'll see if she gets sore. I did play some basketball and got a good sweat on, but it wasn't more than 20 minutes or so. Tomorrow morning I will do a good and thorough workout.

There was one kind of funny thing that happened after the movie. This couple started honking their horn to get my attention. At first I thought "what could I have left on top of my car." However, when I rolled down my window he said "Sprichst du Deutsch?" I thought he was really lost, but then his wife was laughing and he said he thought I spoke German because I have a small German flag on the back of my BMW. I got the sticker in Berlin and never really thought about it. But, this is the third time it's happened so I'll have to replace the sticker with something like "I'm Bipolar; BACK OFF" or "VEGAN." So this guy asked me if I spoke French and I said "oui, je parle fran├žais." Then the light changed and that's the end of a stupid story. Sorry I subjected you to that. Again, I just write what I'm thinking. Bonne nuit.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday February 10th, 2010 - Acrylic Painting

I got up extra early and showered before taking the boys to school, so I got to the gym at 7am. I worked out until 8:45am and headed home to get ready for the museum. The current theme at the museum is metaphysical drawings or collages. Looking at the display wall today, I would say less than 10% of the visitors get it. I'm going to try to get them to change it to something I don't have to explain for 10 minutes. And give it up on kids.

I wanted to try to work with acrylic paint today because I never have. So mixing colors was special, but I got the hang of it. I made a nice big mess on my pallet, but it worked out. I also wanted to paint something for Cheri for Valentines Day. I envisioned a couple looking at a sunset through a misty canyon. Kind of like Avatar, but not. So I started painting the base with rich black and blood red highlights and blended colors up the edge of the canyons. After I was happy with the sunset, I painted two tiny people looking away at the sunset. After I refined the blends and highlights, I added a root winding up the right side of the canyon. The sunset represented love and the dark reds were passion. The black root was longevity. Low and behold, it looked great. It looked even better in the frame I bought at Michaels. Cheri got home early and caught me framing it so I gave it to her today. She loves it. Score!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday February 9th, 2010 - Frustrated

I didn't really want to weigh myself this morning. I know I gained a few pounds since the beginning of the month, but it's only the 9th so I have plenty of make up time. Somewhere in my crazy schedule today I made it to the gym. I played basketball with some kids and almost did a full set of weight lifting, but I ran out of time. I'm super tired and a little sore. I should go up and make myself a protein shake, but I just don't want to. I want to slink off to my bed; watch a half hour of something funny and pass out.

You know the thing that really has me upset about this ankylosing spondylitis thing is that it just compounds my hand arthritis and my foot bone spurs. It just doesn't sound like my golden years are going to be pain free. If I get ED I'll just jump off a bridge (kidding; maybe). "If you have an erection for more than 4 hours, call your doctor." Hell, if I have an erection that I'm not using past an hour, I'm headed to the ER. Thankfully, ED is not on my list. And with that picture, I'll sign off.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday February 8th, 2010 - Ankylosing Spondylitis

Sunday was not fun, then okay, and finally fun. Apparently the tort for dead dad birthday didn't work. I still fell into an abyss of self loathing. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I was feeling sorry for myself. So I went to the gym and rode the bike and did a full set of weights. I felt better. Then we went to watch the Superbowl with my brother and it was fun watching the Saints finally get there and own it. Party in the quarter!

Today, I went in for my B-12 shot and then to my new chiropractor to find out my prognosis from the exam last week. In the past, I've had trouble with Plantar fasciitis on the bottom of my feet which is apparently aggravated by bone spurs so I wear custom orthopedic inserts (orthotics) to alleviate the pain. And every time I have my hand X-rayed they tell me that I have arthritis. Today, the chiropractor showed me my spinal x-rays which clearly showed some kind of bone spurs all along my vertebrae. Eventually, these may lead to arthritic pain to spinal fusion. It's called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I have to go to my primary care physician to get some blood tests to confirm, but it looked pretty clear to me. Sounds like getting old is going to be painful. However, aside from anti-inflammatory drugs (which I don't like), exercise seems to be part of every treatment I've found. I don't have pain now, so I'm just going to keep exercising with a new purpose. No pain, no gain or I'll have more pain. That's kind of funny.

After delivering potentially bad news, my Chiropractor adjusted my back. First time ever. I liked the part where he made everything relax with his hands and some kind of thumper. When he moved my head around I had forgotten that this was the point where he cracked my neck back and everything. One twist this way and one twist that way and repeat...I think. I felt good, but he said I may be sore as if I had been to the gym. As I was preparing to go to the gym I got sore and decided that tomorrow would be a much better day for exercise.

Well, I don't really have any arthritic pain so I'll keep exercising. Actually, it sounds as if I will never be able to slack off on the gym. Now my health and potential crippling pain makes it a life long necessity. Good.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday February 6th, 2010 - Cheri's return

I've been married to Cheri for over 25 years. We got to know each other in 7th grade math class. We started dating in our junior year of high school. We married a year after graduation. We have three boys 20, 18, and 13. Occasionally, we've been apart for a few days for a variety of reasons. I'm not particularly fond of our absences, but I've found as I age to dislike them more. Cheri went to Dallas for three days of training on a new dental machine that I kind of understand. I guess the point is that I've had to keep myself very busy, hence, the museum trips and other business. She returned last night and where was I? Out with my 18 year old and some of his art class friends eating sushi and touring North Denver galleries. And then, this morning I went early to take my mom to the gym. I finally saw her around 1pm and she was asleep so I took an hour nap as well. After the nap I went grocery shopping.

Finally, after dinner I got to watch a very uplifting movie about Temple Grandin with her. Temple Grandin PhD is an autistic agricultural genius who has helped one third of the nation's cattle industry design more humane beef processing systems. Grandin regularly performs audits for the meat industry and the big fast food franchises like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. According to Grandin, animals have five basic needs or “freedoms” that need to be met in order to be happy:
Freedom from hunger and thirst,
Freedom from discomfort,
Freedom from pain, injury or disease,
Freedom to express normal behavior,
Freedom from fear and distress.

I've always assumed that fast food was the worst food, in terms of the treatment of beef. I'm impressed, however, that also means that two thirds of cattle processing is or can be very inhumane. Those horrible cow hells are the ones I've seen in documentaries. I'm still vegan, but it is nice to know that some companies feel a responsibility to limit the cruelty of animals.

For the rest of my life I will be 99% vegan. Why 99%? If the family is eating something that looks irresistible, then I might take a bite. Usually I find that I'm not a fan, but it's a rare occasion and sometimes it ends up in a napkin anyway. So, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that I've been eating vegan, but maybe a little too much. I've gained back a few pounds since the beginning of the month. Of course, the beer from all these parties hasn't helped. Time to tighten the belt again.

Tomorrow is my late father's birthday. Instead of getting depressed, I bought a fruit tart to celebrate his birthday and hopefully just let the date fly. I've written too much. Good night.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday February 4th, 2010 - MCA Volunteer Party

This morning I had my very first professional massage. I think she went soft on me because it was my first time. She didn't even buy me dinner. LOL It was very nice, but I kept on falling to sleep. She could have gone a little deeper on my upper back. I also had my first chiropractic exam.

It's really all about what people do in the name of health. I'm a regular at my primary care physician, psychologist, cardiologist, and oncologist and I believe in preventative health care, but there are so many new things to do. Here is an obvious one. Visiting your dentist and oral hygiene are incredibly important to your overall health. Gingivitis and oral infections can make you very sick and you could die from tooth and gum decay. Seriously. My trip to the chiropractor and masseuse are just two more things to improve my health. Next, I want to try acupuncture and yoga. I'll take you along for the ride. It'll be fun.

Tonight, I went to the museum of contemporary art Denver (MCA) for a volunteer appreciation party. Very interesting people and conversations, but no one jumped on a table to sing and no one tried on a lamp shade. It was subdued and pleasant. I had one drink, some awesome vegetarian chili, and some corn chips. Richard and I got into a conversation about communication. We talked about the metaphysical communication from art and poetry. But we also talked about the lost art of written communication. Did you know that they no longer teach kids cursive? Only typing. I've also noticed a decline in proper grammar. Kids today NEED spell check. It's sad. Remember how well your grandparents wrote. They took pride in penmanship and sentence structure. Their thought were easy to follow and easy to understand. It was a better form of communication. They had to think about what they were writing because they couldn't just back up and do a re-write. The art of communication is dwindling. Most people don't even appreciate the way their written word reflects on them as a person. Now, there are different styles of acceptable language for different venues. Take this blog for instance. It's pretty much free flowing thought because I simply write down what I'm thinking. Like... look there's a chicken. However, when you're writing a book, report, or an article your language has to change into a more professional expression. Personally, I prefer reading humorous writing as opposed to boring. As you know by now, I'm ADD on my blog because tend to go all over the place. Like now. I wanted to talk about alternative health and now you have me writing about writing.

In conclusion, today was a good vegan diet day and my emotions were in check. Overall healthy day and it's all about health. I didn't make it to the gym and I can feel it. I'm busy tomorrow, but I must carve out some exercise time even if it's just playing catch with the football. 60 minutes of play a day makes you... something healthy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday February 2nd, 2010 - VSOP

I didn't remember to weigh myself this morning. I'm sure it wasn't remarkable. I also didn't make it to the gym. I tried, but ran out of time. Still trying to wrestle in all of the info for taxes. These days I have to gather not only me and Cheri, but also Greg and Jeff.

I did go buy a new basketball and football. Actually, some very nice Spaldings. My boys promised to play catch with me and I need to get outdoors more so I bought the basketball to play at the outdoor court. I hope I have time to play after the museum tomorrow. You know what the new commercials say... at least 60 minutes of play a day. I think that applies to me too.

I made vegan spaghetti tonight using some Tofurky Italian sausage. The last time I thought they were too dry, so this time I marinaded slices in olive oil and added them to my marinara sauce early. They still sucked. Sorry Tofurky. It's just that I've always made the best spaghetti with mild to spicy real Italian sausage. The taste between the two is really no fair comparison. Half of my family disliked it and the other half was kind enough to lie. No more fake sausage. On the other hand, I have absolutely fell in love with Garden Burger's Chipotle burgers. Yummmmy

Oh yeah, VSOP. I like to drink wine when I cook. Cheri and I had bought this great bottle of sulfide free wine (all wines naturally have some sulfides, but most vineyards add more to preserve flavor and whatever, they give me a headache). I have to finish up quick. Cheri's trying to fall asleep and I'm in our bedroom typing away. Sooo, after dinner I had some Hennessy VSOP. Yumm. Good night.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday February 1st 2010 - tax time.

I wanted to play basketball out in the sun and get some vitamin D this afternoon only to find that my basketball is dead. Time to go buy a new basketball and football. Due to the cold, my exercising and writing all occur inside. I pledge to play outside more often.

Instead of a fine game of "beat on dad" basketball, I had to organize my medical co-pays and deductibles for tax time. Oh, you think its easy. Keep in mind that I was very sick. And, let's not forget that I play hard. It's the only way to go, but it also means I get hurt once in a while. My family (mostly me) literally had more than 150 transactions (bills) and at least 150 prescription co-pays. I still need to calculate a few figures, but I'm fairly certain that 2009 cost me more than $33,000 USD in medical fees. Just think out what I could have done with even part of that money. Tahiti?

This is the result of being obese for far too long. Many of the transactions were medical payment plans all the way back to 2007. I do feel good that the medical payment plans are nearly all paid off. I just have one monthly left and I'm caught up on all my current bills. And, I paid off all of my credit cards. Today, I'm 146 pounds lighter and still losing and my body feels nutritionally and physically great. All me obese issues are gone, albeit, the 100 pounds I still need to lose.

I can't do anything about the Leukemia or as we like to call it "a blood disorder." My low platelets keep getting lower. If I recall correctly, I was at 70,000 down from 75,000 three months earlier and 10,000 less from six months ago. In March 2009, I dipped to 35,000, but that seemed to correct itself quickly. I think I was super dehydrated. Nonetheless, 70,000 is pretty far from a normal low of 150,000. I don't have cancer yet, unless it's hiding in my enlarged, out of place, and often painful spleen. Every oncologist visit I have we discuss removing the spleen, but he's not yet convinced. You can't take a biopsy from a spleen because it is literally covered with small veins. He calls it viscus. As far as we know I don't have cancer, but when I do have cancer all of this hard work to get healthy will help me fight. Staying alive, getting healthy, and beating any illness is the name of the game and I intend to stick around for a very long time. So I can pay more taxes... great.