Some Things Never Change!

Several weeks ago the letter and post card below was forwarded to me from my old friend Dawana, that I got to know while attending ROTC basic training at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina back in 1978. We were both in the same ROTC training unit back then.

In the above photo, Dawana is the girl in the middle in the white dress and I’m the guy in the brown plad shirt in the middle behind her. This is a copy of the original photo taken in 1978

Several years after that ROTC training camp , I sent Dawana that short letter and post card while stationed in South Korea in 1983 & 1984. (That’s the picture of the correspondence I posted above).

Since then, I lost touch with Dawana after all those many years. However shortly after Terry died in September of 2017, I happen to come accross Dawana’s old address and to my surprise I found out that she was back in Florida living in her old childhood home with her elderly Mother which was only a 1 hour ride from me in Tampa.

So one day, I decided to take a drive to Dawana’s home to see her and to catch up. I can’t believe that I hadn’t seen Dawana for 40 years!

The photo above was taken by me in September 2017.

Dawana has since moved with her elderly Mom to a new home in Georgia. However, a couple of weeks ago Dawana had returned to her previous home in Florida to prep it for sale. While sorting out her things, she happened to come accross the old letter and post cards that I sent to her over 35 years ago. I couldn’t believe she had kept these two letters all those years!

Whike re-reading what I written back then, I realized in that note that I had broken the same foot bone that I fractured just a couple of months ago!.

I’ve always had brittle bones despite being so active. Since I have osteopenia and osteomalcia I am subject to easily fracturimg my bones which I have broken so many timed throughout my lifetime. It certainly doesn’t help that I am also somewhat accident prone and clumsy by nature!

It was so nice of Dawana to have saved those old letters that I wrote to jer so many years ago. as it brought back fond memories!

Some things just never change. It seems that during a good portion of my life I have been subject to moving around while in one type of cast or another. However, I’ve learned to cope with it. That’s just life!

P.S. Some day I’ll write about an interesting experience I had in Tokoyo, Japan when I traveled there back in 1983 while still wearing the walking cast on my foot from my injury in Korea.

Have a great rest of your week!

Luv, Gary

All Ready for Surgery # 2!

Hey all,

I’m all prepped for my surgery and just waiting for my chariot to arrive to take me to the pre-surgical ward. Soon anesthesia will put me into”la la” land and then I won’t remember a thing until after all the slicing and dicing is complete.

Got Terry’s favorite color (yellow socks) again! Everyone else in the room got blue. I guess this is a good sign from Terry that I have an angel from heaven watching over me!

Luv,

Gary

“Christmas In The Wild” Among Friends

Hey Everyone,

Decided on Saturday to venture out once again with one of my favorite meetup group of friends. I wasn’t going to dwell upon my on-going medical issues today and to try to let my mind over matter take over to help minimize my pain and discomfort. Figured it was good to get out for awhile for a fun day with friends, provided that once again, I try not to overdo it prior to my next surgery scheduled for this comming Tuesday.

Every year around the holiday season The Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa transforms its Zoo and its residents (the wild animals) into a winter holiday wonderland. The enterance cost into the zoo after 4 PM for this event is normally $ 24.95 per person, however they had an on-going special where you can pay only $ 36.95 for a “discounted” zoo membership that will then allow free enterance into the zoo for the rest of 2018 and all the way thru 31 December 2019 (with exception of a few blackout dates). Since the Zoo has some other seasonal shows throughout the year, I figured that the $ 36.96 special membership was well worth purchasing.

The weather Saturday afternoon was just perfect (the high 70’s to low 80’s) and the evening was equally comfortable in the low 70″s (short sleve weather). Sorry for all you up on the colder winter climates. Of course, what could be better than a little bit of snow fall for the holidays in Florida. The penguins at the Zoo especially loved it!

Above is a nice group photo of most of my friends that attended and accompanied me in our “Christmas In The Wild” adventure today. Couldn’t ask for a nicer group of guys to hang out with!

Of course in yesterday’s blog, I had taken a photo with Santa Clause. So to be sure there wouldn’t be any quabble between this famous couple of whom I loved the best, I decided to take a photo with Mrs Claus this evening. Of couse, I reminded Mrs. “S” that I told her husband yesterday that all I really wanted for Christmas was simply to get over all my current medical issues and setbacks and to be in great health once again in 2019. Figured with Santa getting up in age and suffering from a bit of dementia Mrs. “S” could gently remind him of my Christmas wishes when the big day comes and he and his raideers are up and away in that big red sleigh!

A star is born!

Who doesn’t love Gingerbread this time of year!

My new friend…one of Sanra’s helpers!

These two people were so tall or I maybe I was just way too short. The guy in the tin soldier suit actually took the selfie of the three of us!

Only us four in the above photo from our group were daring enough to go on the log ride and to get all soaking wet. A little water never hurt anyone and although it was a bit later in the afternoon, the temperature was still warm enough for us to dry off quickly before the sun set.

Okay so let’s see some of our animal friends in the wild, going wild!

Okay….maybe not too wild as these 2 guys above were taking a little rest!

Love my giraffes!

These are actual birds up in the trees getting ready to settle down for the evening. As you can see, they were all dressed up in their festive green feathers for the holidays!

This is one large raindeer !

Okay, after a day full of fun and all that walking, I was a bit tired and had to ask one of my Christmas friends if I could use one of their “Candy ” Canes to lean on to for a while to rest for a bit. It was greatly appreciated!

Okay, so as I’m finishing up this blog to you all on early Sunday morning, I looked over to my right and to my surprise…..looked who was sitting on my couch in my RV ! I think and truly believe that this is the spirit of “Terry” coming back to visit us all in the form of this cute little frog. I think he’s trying to let us all know that he’s still with us and watching over us all and wishing us the very best througout the holiday season. How fitting for Terry to visit when I’m writing a blog about animals entitled “Christmas In The Wild” !

Have a great Sunday!

Luv, Gary

Christmas Boat Parade in Saint Peterburg Beach, Florida (Part 2)

Second video of the Christmas Boat Parade.

After the event, a bunch of us went over to a place called “Caddy’s on the Beach” in Treasure Island.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay there too long as I was begining to hurt and was getting a bit uncomfortable around my surgical area. The band playing there was really good, but because of my present health condition, I couldn’t dance anyways so thought best not to overdo it and head for home.

Christmas Boat Parade in Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida (Part 1)

Hey All,

Despite my current medical problems I had to get out for a little while last night with my Tampa Bay Adventurer friends. I wag going stir crazy sitting home. Needed a social break!

At Horan Park in Saint Petersburgh Beach my group of friends met early last evening for an informal picnic and to watch the boat parade together which was nice. The weather was perfect for a December night in Florida.

I sat with Santa and told him that’s all I wanted for Christmas was to make all my medical problems go away and to get me heathy again so I feel no more pain, can go back to the gym, ride my bike and enjoy going out with no physical limitations.

Part of the group that I could quickly gather. We actually had about 100 people show up last night.

Night wouldn’t be complete without visiting my good friend Frosty the Snowman”

Photo of christmas Tree taken from my truck window that was on MacDill Air Force Base as I was returning home last evening.

Did one more short video clip of the Boat Parade that I will post with same Blog title, but with (Part 2) indicated at the end of the title. Enjoy!

Have a nice rest of your weekend.

Luv Gary

Going Under The Knife Again

Hey All

Just a quick health update. Had follow-on post-operative Urology appointment on Thursday. Unfortunately the medical issues pertaining to the massive hematoma I am experiencing from my first surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago cannot be corrected by more conservative means as I had hoped for. (See my last post: “Torture, I Feel Like a Pin Cushion” for more details about my issue. As a result, i will require to undergo a second surgery next Tuesday (12/11) to remove this hematoma and hopefully speed up my overall recovery. I hate to have to go through all thus torment, but I have no other option. Still trying to remain optimistic despite my recent setbacks.

Have a great weekend.

Luv, Gary

Torture: I Feel Like A Human Pin Needle Cushion!

Hey All,

As most of you already know, I had major urology surgery on the Monday of Thanksgiving Week.

The surgeon had to remove a large mass of scaring tissue in an organ that is only found in a man. It was causing me significant blockage issues. For several months the urologist tried to break down the thick scaring tissue via a more conservative means via regular injections of a medication into the affected area. However after several months of undergoing a very painful amd uncomfortal process on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it was determined that the treatments were not proving to be effective and that unfortunately I needed to have the internal scaring tissue removed surgically.

The surgery went pretty well and for the most part, despite the post-surgical swelling, I didn’t experience too much pain the first couple of days after being discharged from the hospital.

However by day 4, the swelling in the lower areas of the surgical sight had swelled up so significantly that it became very difficult and extremely painful to just move around. This was even more challenging for me since I am still recovering from a fractured right foot and fractured right hand. Literally I felt like a prisoner trying to walk around my prison cell (my RV) with a prison ball and chain (okay…I guess 2 prisoner balls in my case!) I had to devise several mechanical remedies to keep the prisioner balls supported in order to take off some gravitational pressure to facilitate mobility.

Okay….so after a week and a half or so, the “prisoner balls” decreased in size however another problem developed!

Think of a plunger as a way to describe a man’s lower anatomy.

The surgery to remove the thick scaring tissue occurred about 3/4 th’s of the way up the stick. However imagine the ruber part of the plunger being anatomically attached to a man’s torso. Then think of this ruber part of the plunger expanding in size to about the diameter of a tennis ball. That’s what happened to me. An internal hematoma developed! The area became very hard and painful!

For those unaware of what an internal hematoma is let me include a definition of it here for you.

“A hematoma is a collection of blood, usually clotted outside of a blood vessel that may occur because or an injury to a wall of a blood vessel from trauma or surgery allowing blood to leak out into tissues where it does not belong. It is a type of internal bleeding that is either clotted or forming clots.”

So, because of my continued pain and discomfort and at the time, being concerned of what was occuring (not yet knowing what it was) I ended up going to the Emergency Room yesterday (Tuesday) The medical staff after examining me contacted my surgeon to examine me. He first ordered a ultrasound of the affected area. After looking at the images, the surgeon came back to me and did indeed indicate that I had developed an internal hematoma as I just previously described for you.

To hopefully avoid another surgery and to try to remove the hematoma, the surgeon decided to try a more conservative method first. The surgeon took a large needle and injected it directly into the affected area and began extracting what appeared to be old pooled blood. He injected me in several areas of the “plunger” (15 times to be exact) to remove as much of the pooled blood that he could. Trust me….this was not a fun experience!

It reduced the size of the hematoma to about 80 % of what it had been. Now, I have to watch this area closely to see if the swelling increases, decreases or stays the same as it currently is. If it doesn’t get any larger, then the hematoma is due to old blood and not new blood. On Thursday, I will return to Urology. As long as the blood continues to be old, he will try to remove more of the blot clots that have broken down to liquid and try to take out more of it with those wonderful syringes. I can’t wait!

Time will tell what occurs next? Will he restart the weekly Tuesday and Thursday visits to gradually remove the rest of the hematoma or will he allow it to hopefully resolve itself over time if it appears to be feasible, or will I unfortunately end up having to go under the knife yet again to get the rest removed surgically? The saga will continue…..

For now, still a bit frustrated, in pain and still uncomfortable, but hopeful.🤔 Will update you all as I learn more over the next several weeks.

Have a great rest of your week.

Luv, Gary