Friday, December 31, 2010


It's been a crazy 2010. It started out pretty good. In January, I was probably, ironically enough as you will see, in the best shape I have been in for a few years. I was doing physical therapy to stabilize my back that has been a constant battle for the better part of 9 years. I was doing twenty planks with a pushup in between, doing the treadmill for 20 minutes 3 times a week and even started light plyometrics. I went down to Florida, took a class in preparation to upgrade/migrate our servers from Novell to Suse Linux. Spent time with family while I was there and reconnected with a great high school friend. Then March 24th came. I woke up with chest pain, difficulty breathing and headed to the emergency room. I was diagnsed with pericarditis, the inflammation of the sac around the heart due probably to a virus. (I was most disappointed that I had to miss a long prearranged Celtics game with my dad and brother.) So, anyway, for a couple of months, I struggled with fatigue and discomfort. Just as I started feeling better in June, I threw my back out and started physical therapy again.

Move forward to July 5th, and I had the identical feeling to March 24th. Not wanting to go to the ER, figuring I could just see my primary and they could start me on the same course of treatment, I waited until the morning. I mean why incurr the ER expense when I felt I knew what was wrong and what they would do. Well, after going to the clinic, they sent me to the ER due to my EKG being abnormal and I was again diagnosed with pericarditis. I ended up taking 2 weeks off (doctors orders) from work and still feeling exhausted, frustrated that I was dealing with this again trudged along. I had been basically a bystander during my first vacation in April as we rented a beach house in North Carolina, spent the month of June trying to overcome my back, July stuck at home, sick and constantly tired with the threat of not being able to go on our second vaction to The Anchorage. So, I ended up going to see my provider 5 times in the month of July still complaining of chest discomfort and a constant sore throat.

So they gave me more medication, antibiotics and a referral to a otolaryngologist. I spent my second vacation sleeping a lot, doing preventative excercises for my back wishing the pain would just go away.

During the end of the August, I was diagnosed with laryngeal papilloma which I blogged about after having a successful surgery in October. The follow-up from my surgey was all good news and my next follow up is in February. Although, just before and after the surgery, I still was having chest discomfort where they now thought possible heartburn as another bout of pericarditis was ruled out, thankfully. I dealt with a bout if IBS (irratble Bowel Syndrome) which I am still placating. So, off to see a GI doctor. They did an upper edoscopy which revealed mild inflammation. This again was a good sign but I basically went through the motions on my third vacation this year to Capon Springs in October as I was still having night sweats, my back was acting up and food just didn't agree with me, especially ice cream. And to make it worse, the IBS was not helping matters.

So, here we are in December and I have had an MRI on my back showing a disc herniation and desiccation to the point I do stretches every morning, ice, wear an SI belt and use a gel on my back to make it through work everyday. I still fight IBS and pretty confident at this point that Milk and cheese are not friends of mine.

Why do I write this? Well, as a reflection to how this year physically has been a long battle that I wish on not my worst enemy. Although, I have still had a lot of good times:

I got to rent a house on the beach with my family and the Kirkpatricks in NC.
I rented a suite twice this year to watch the Cetics with my family, where we won both games and my family had a FANATASTIC time.
I spent a week with my family and parents fishing and catching the most Bass I have ever caught.
I have witnessed my oldest win a championship in high school football, 11-0 baby.
I have been able to watch my middle child look like pistol Pete and my oldest make the JV team.
I have seen great improvements in my yougest who suffers from seizures.
I was able to spend a week with my family and extended family at the most relaxing place on Earth.
I was able to purchase a carvan that my family has been pining for, for years.

I am even more grateful and thankful to:

My wife who supports me unconditionally and is a rock at my side.
My kids who constantly make me unknowingly proud and smile every day. Make no mistake they know how to get under my skin.
My immediate and extended family who I constantly feel lucky to be part of.

that although I have dealt with my own trials and tribulations, nothing has been "serious."

I bid farewell to 2010, and so LOOK forward to 2011. I hope my appointment on Monday reveals a course to correct my back for good and for the better. I hope my cousin has a fabulous 2011. I look forward to my trip in February to Disney, my trip with my Uncle to Pittsburg, to spending more time with family and friends with less pain and discomfort.

I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and limitless 2011.

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