Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mele Kalikimaka

This Christmas has been one for the ages. Sheila decided a number of years ago that we would take the entire family to Hawaii as soon as we could afford it.  Apparently, we can afford it now.  However, how would I know?  I have never paid a single bill since I've been married.   We planned on going to Hawaii last year for Christmas, but put it off a year because of Keithy's illness.  We were hopeful we could all be together for Christmas this year.  It didn't work out like we planned because of Keith's death.  We felt that Keith's passing gave us even more reason to go and find happiness just being together.  Needless to say, this has been an important trip for our family to all be together and recognize that we have so much to be grateful for and that we can still be happy.  

Leaving the Portland Airport.
 The Aloha Flight to Maui.
 Grandma She-She doing what she does best--comfort her grandchildren.
 No matter where we go, we can't seem to escape Superheros. 
 The beaches have been amazing.

 Beach Buddies.
 Is he a Super Model or what?
 We haven't changed in 20 years.  Well...maybe that's 20 days.
 The pool at the house we are renting. 
 Lil D knows how to relax for sure. 
 Somehow we ran into the Herzogs, our neighbors in Yakima and enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Day playing a very competitive day of football.
 Yes we are Master Builders!
 Shea and his mama. 
 Cole and Ally enjoying our sand castle.

 The sand castle building crew. 
 Eve styling some cool shades.
 Darc and Brent
 Another beach model I'm sure.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve, and enjoyed a day at the beach on Christmas Day. Although I would never want to be a permanent resident of Hawaii, this is nevertheless and amazing place to spend a Christmas Holiday as a family.

Happy to be a Poopy Kid Again

I have undergone surgery a number of times, mostly for orthopedic issues, but this last surgical intervention for a minor hernia correction was the worst.  I had a very complicated shoulder surgery with multiple tears—the recovery?  A piece of cake.  Surgery on my right wrist, left thumb, and left ring finger? No problemos.  Is it my age, my weakening mental spirit, or my declining physical resiliency?  Regardless, I developed a hernia condition sometime during the past two years while wrestling.  I largely ignored this problem, thinking that it would never need to actually be corrected.  It got worse.  Following my most successful marathon, my hernia symptoms got a lot worse—come to think of it, a lot of minor physical problems got a lot worse during the brief training for my marathon, during the hellish hell that was my marathon and during the post marathon recovery stage.  So I scheduled a consultation with an old friend, who also happens to be a very well respected general surgeon, Dr. Barry Bernfeld.  Dr. Bernfeld and I coached AAU basketball over 10 years ago.  Our daughters were the same age and played together.  Barry grew up in Queens, NY and actually played basketball at a fairly high level at one point in his life.  As knowledgeable as Dr. Bernfeld is about basketball, he is much more skilled as a surgeon, which bode well for me as one of his patients.

As expected, he confirmed my need for surgery to correct this “minor” problem.  I was warned that the recovery could be challenging.  I was told not to drive a car for a week, nor lift anything heavier than a pair of shoes for 3 weeks.  I scheduled the surgery for Thanksgiving week because I had a light work schedule and Chelsea was planning on being home for the week and was willing to drive me around.  I was confident everything was going to go smoothly. 

The trouble began on Day 1 post-op.  I couldn’t poop. The problem increased in intensity until Day 3, I was bloated, desperate and was extremely miserable.   I have heard constipated people describe this condition as "uncomfortable."  To characterize my condition as merely “uncomfortable” would be a gross understatement.  I was on the verge of checking myself into the ER.   I have always been a poopy kid.  I can’t remember ever suffering from constipation.  I suppose this is why, when finally afflicted with this condition, that it seemed to be something akin to a slow death.  I’m pretty sure there is no one in the history of constipation who has suffered quite like me.   I was pretty patient with my constipation on Monday.  Tuesday morning I realized I needed to take action and started with stool softeners.  Nothing.  By Tuesday evening, I was taking laxatives.  Still nothing.  By Wednesday morning, I was desperate and very bloated.  So I paid a visit to “Larry the Pharmacist” at Wray’s Drug Store, who hooked me up with some special elixir, which in the words of Larry “were guaranteed to make some magic happen.”   No sooner had I imbibed the magical potion than I remembered I was scheduled to dedicate a grave that afternoon.  I was panicked.  What had I done? I was more than a little concerned that my magical moment might happen at the most inopportune time. 
As it turned out everything worked out--the grave was dedicated in a most dignified manner and I was able to make it home before the rumbling down under began in earnest.  Having experienced something which thousands of Americans experience on a fairly frequent basis, I was elated to be back to normal, which for me is a happy, poopy kid!