I Called Mama

As promised, here is the continuation from my last blog post.

Immediately after my morning air-shift last Thursday, I took myself in to see a doctor. I was tired, I hurt, and I was miserable. I was putting on weight at an absolutely scary pace. My body was telling me, loudly, that something was wrong, and I had finally heard it and was listening.

I went to the walk-in clinic, but I was not there very long.

I was quickly sent over to the hospital, because while no could be sure, I had enough symptoms to trigger a COVID-19 response.

Shortly after I arrived at the Emergency Room (taken through a separate entrance and into a protected room where I only saw people who needed to take a test or get some information from me before disappearing as quick as possible … and I had absolutely no problem with their precautions), they made me take a COVID-19 test. About 20 minutes later, they needed a faster test done, because things were starting to point in a completely different direction.

Now, if you have had a COVID-19 test with the nose swabs stuck in you nose, you already know what I went through. The first test the swab was stuffed in an inch or two into my sinuses.

The second one, however, used a much longer swab. Which was stuffed all the way into the back of my sinus cavity.

Again, they needed an almost immediate “Yes or No” about whether I had the Coronavirus or not.

heart model
heart model
Both tests came back negative.

They were also starting other tests to try and confirm what they were suspecting was the real issue I was having.

That initial diagnosis was scary. High Blood Pressure and Heart Failure.

Combined, I was literally filling up with water, which was why I couldn’t breathe lying down.

They kept me overnight at the hospital, and then started some more testing Friday morning. After some consulting, it was determined that I needed to be transferred to UP Health System – Marquette, which (as I know now) has one of the best cardiac cath lab labs in the nation.

After being transferred Friday afternoon, I was in surgery Saturday afternoon to look at my arteries. Nothing was plugged up, which was good.

They then started looked at my heart. It wasn’t working as it should.

Why will be determined at a later date. A plan to get me heading in the right direction with my health is the first step.

I was going to get a second chance.

A chance to continue doing what I truly love, spending time on the radio, having fun with listeners and all the folks I get to meet and interview on-air.

A chance to make a difference.

And a chance to spend more time with friends and family.

Which means, as soon as travel restrictions get lifted, my wife and I will be making a trip to New England.

To visit with my sister, and my brother, who has been on the front lines in the COVID-19 fight.

To check on my Father-in-law, and my Aunt, both of whom have had some medical issues of their own.

To visit with my Sister-in-Law’s family.

To visit with our kids and grandkids.

And it is way past time to take a trip to Hawaii, to visit with my other sister, whom I haven’t seen since our Dad was taken from us over three years ago, thanks to cancer.

Friends and Family, for me, has always has been, and always will be, very important to me. Even if, in the past, I may not have been all that good about letting them know.

But, first things first. I have someone I need to call.

Hard Workin’ Man

OK, here it is, almost the end of August, and quite frankly, 2020 has been an absolute nightmare. Everybody has their own story (or two, or three, or more) about how scary it has been.

My last chance to post on this blog, to keep in touch with all of you, was back in the beginning of March. The world was much simpler back then. Employment was still great across the country, and we were only just becoming aware of this thing called COVID-19.

By the end of the month, all heck had broken loose.

For the past five months, I quite literally had maybe maybe two or three days in total that I was not at the radio station. Until last week. But I’ll get to that in my next blog post.

The reason I’ve only had a couple days off was simple. I was already doing my job, plus the work that two others had been doing. But suddenly, our two other employees were furloughed due to the Corona-virus, and I had to cover what they had been doing also.

I had become the stations “Essential Personnel”.

And so, for the past five months, my job (and life) became the following: Get up early, get to the the station around 4:30 or so, update the weather, prep for the morning show, and then have fun with everybody listening in for four hours from 6 to 10 AM.

Then, after grabbing something to eat, it was work work work until I was finally caught up and ran out of things that needed to be done, or until I was caught up enough so I could go home, have supper, and go to bed.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Saturday and Sunday became my days to catch up (are you noticing a theme of always being behind?) and trying to get a jump on the next week.

Obviously, five months of almost non-stop work has it’s down size. You are always tired. You are sometimes cranky. And your body starts complaining. Loudly.

During the past five months, my family had a couple of health scares. Early on, my grandson got very sick. My daughter took him in, and they both got tested for the Corona-virus. They both tested negative, and within two days he was almost back to his normal self, chasing the cat around the house.

My father-in-law also has some health issues.

And the worse part of all of this is all my family is 1,100 miles away, and there was no way, thanks to the Corona-virus, for me to go visit them.

Fortunately, my health seemed to be good. Except for overwork, lack of sleep, and being overly sedentary, since I work on computers all day. The worse I was seeing and feeling was I had started putting on weight. Jokingly, I started calling my weight gain my Covid-19.

The joking stopped last week when I started a rapid acceleration on my second 19 pounds.

I was now tired and very uncomfortable. I decided I had no choice but to do something about it, and I had to start now. So two weeks ago, I had ordered a weight loss program, and it arrived this past Wednesday.

But by then, I was having a hard time breathing, and getting almost no sleep.

So, after my morning air shift last Thursday, I went to see a doctor.

I haven’t been on-air since.

Those details will be in my next blog post, which I promise you will not have to wait five months to read.