Thursday, April 9, 2015

HAWMC April 9 The daunting challenge

One hundred and fifty years ago today, the army under command of General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union forces of General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Thousands of men, women, and children died from 1861 - 1865.  Then everybody took their guns and went home, trying to go back to the world of Before The War.



Nope.  When the soldiers went home, if there was still one to go to, they saw a different world with new challenges few ever thought of.  

The main word there is home.  As a baseball fan, that reminds me of the George Carlin baseball/football routine:

In Football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general. To be on target with his aerial assault riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing his aerial assault with a sustained ground attack, which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemies’ defensive line.  In Baseball, the object is to go home, and to be safe. I hope I’ll be safe at home, safe at home.

We're always on a journey to some place or thing or a desire. But the job was to talk about something I overcame.  So a journey, short but life changing.

I grew up in Troy, NY in the 60's and 70's.  Actually I was in Lansingburgh just north of Troy, but The Burgh is considered part of Troy.  Now this little story begins in Troy in November 2010.  I was sat down by a neurologist and told I had MS, as far as they can tell.  I finally had an answer to the physical and mental problems I'd been experiencing over the last year.  I was not surprised by the information.  See, my father had the same thing at the same age I am.  I was not only naming a disorder for myself, but for him.  And there was little the medical community could do for me.  I don't fit in with how the big drug companies want to place their products.  

So I had to tell my wife.  I called from my car in the parking lot of the neurology office.  I told my wife what I had been told, and I would see her soon.  I took the long way home, which allowed to see some of my home town and local vistas.  It was a raw November day, but I had music on and the time slipped by.

I got home, walked and found my wife on our couch.  She had done what I knew she would do.  She hit in web and printed out all the information she could fine.  We had some knowledge now and could continue our journey.

I have not overcome MS or being bipolar (I have all of my parents' medical issues pack into one body for convenience, but not mine).  Nor will I.  What I will do is get up everyday and enjoy what I can, reading, writing, day trips, etc.  I have the blessing of having a caring wife, and access to others and information my parents just would not have had.

My father died on October 19, 1979 at the age of 59 years, 11 days.  I am looking forward to October 21, 2015.  That is the day I will be 59 years, 12 days.  My father never was "diagnosed" with anything, but my own recollection of his last few years show what I believe to be the same symptoms that I have.  I was his caretaker, mostly.  Same with the bipolar disorder that held my mother in chains for the rest of her days.  One bipolar person taking care of another BP person? Nope. Disaster.  Trust me, it is.

The daunting challenge continues and it is one that I shall never overcome. But I'm thankful for every day and I try to enjoy what I can as much as I can.  Like the baseball game that's on now.  Thank you for reading.  And thank you to my wife's great great step uncle who was in the Union Army, but never left the Wilderness in Virginia in 1864. Rest in peace.

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