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Why I have not been posting here...

December 19 2010 at 3:15 PM
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Since Mark questioned my absence from this site a few posts back, I've decided to resolve the mystery.

Back on September 26th and incident occurred that REALLY got on my nerves. It involved a post with a link to a youtube video about Tonto and gold.

As many know, I had been a "high profile" member here since the early days that the site was run by Alan N., have posted possibly thousands of times in an effort to stimulate thought and discussion among my fellow membes, and have welcomed and encouraged many new members who were just starting to get into amateur watchnaking. I always tried to provide some content when things got slow / boring around here.

Well, on that slow weekend, I posted two posts to the aforementioned thread which took me almost 45 minutes to complete. They seemed to be stimulating discussion and I felt the extra effort I had made had been worth it. However, a few hours later I returned to discover that the entire thread had been deleted!

I do not know (or care) who was responsible, but as the afternoon passed, I found myself growing increasing incensed over the matter. Why, I wondered, was there not the slightest explanation for the deletion which I might have agreed with? Why was the thread not retained with some minor editing to make it acceptable? Why had the creative efforts of those who had posted on that thread been treated as so much waste to be flushed away?

With that deletion I found any thrust I had for this forum also being deleted...even though I'd been here for nearly a decade! I can not suport anyone or anything that I no longer thrust and that is why I decided to repay in kind the treatment that had occurred. I would delete THIS forum from my life and never again support it with my posts or "presence". In fact, from that time on, I no longer even considered myself to be a member!

However, since that decision was made certain things have happened to me which have "mellowed" my view consderably on various issues.

In late September I developed flu-like symptoms such as a low grade fever and a "dry" cough. I ignored the symptoms and, since my strength was good, contined with my usual daily activities such as home repairs, auto maintenance, and even mowing figuring I'd be fine in a week or so.

After two weeks, however, my fever was worse and I found myself growing weaker. I could no longer make it from my living room couch (my sick bed) to the same level bathroom and had to use a commode chair a few feet from the couch. My girlfriend managed to drag me to a local walk-in type clinic where I was examined and prescribed a powerful antibiotic to knock out a respiratory infection. I took the antibiotics for a week (it was so strong you only get six pills to take!) and...NOTHING! I still had a fever, was coughing up about a pint of yellowish phlegm everyday, and could no longer get off the couch.

Alarmed with my increasing difficulty in breathing, my girlfriend decided it was time for me to go to our local hospital, a prospect I dreaded because I've never been hospitalized and do not like getting things like injections, x-rays, etc. That was on the last day of October...Halloween.

So, a "medical" ambulance was summoned and two really burly guys managed to get me into it. During the bouncy and noisy ride to the hospital, I began to have a panic attack (I'm prone to these) and my heart rate, monitored by a paramedic climbed to 160! They immediately concluded I waa having a heart attack and began treating me for that. This treatment continued at the hospital's emergency room, but, despite all of the drugs they were pumping into me, would not budge from 160 bpm. My explanation that I was having a panic attack was basically ignored and I was emitted to the hospital after a chest x-ray revealed that I had a severe case of pneumonia affecting both of my lungs.

Over the course of the next two days my condition worsened and, although I was breathing pure oxygen through a special "rebreather" mask, my blood oxygen levels kept dropping. Various drugs and antibiotics were admistered to me intraveneously which slowed my decline a bit, but, eventually, my blood oxygen levels were down to the point were I was only semi-conscious. In short, I was dying from very advanced pneumonia just as countless others have in the past...

I remember laying there and thinking to myself that this was it! I wasn't going to live to a hundred due to all of the vitamins, minerals, and "healthy" foods I ate...In fact, I would probably not even make it through the night. My conscious REALITY was that my life was over and tonight would be the night that I DIED at the age of only 59!

I last thing I remember before blacking out totally was hearing my doctor say "Looks like he's not going to make it...". My girlfriend and about a half dozen or so nurses, technicians, and doctors were in the room with me, but I was only vaguely aware of their presence. I was completely helpless experiencing EVERY one of my secret fears about dying. I felt sorry for my girlfriend who would spend the rest of her life alone. I knew that my writing career was over and wondered what my funeral would be like.

But, even though I was very close to death, I "felt" that a sort of presence was "in" my mind...something extra was with me and that gave me a bit of comfort. Was it God? Jesus? A guardian angel?...or just the delusions of an oxygen starved brain? My last thoughts were simply "God help me." which I repeated over and over again before blackness overwhelmed me.

Then, in what seemed like only a few seconds, I opened my eyes and was fully aware. I was laying on my back surrounded by monitoring devices and had various tubes in my nose and mouth. In reality, I had been deeply unconscious for several days during which time they had performed a "tracheal inturbation" on me. This involves placing a flexible plastic tube into the trachea so they can supply oxygen directly to the lungs. This tube is connected to a machine called a ventilator which can maintain your breathing if you are heavily sedated or can just assist your normal breathing if your lungs are weak. I also noticed that my hands were "tethered" to the sides of the bed with nylon straps...apparently this is done to keep patients from tearing the tubes out by accident or if they developed a condition called "ventilator psychosis" wherein they go nuts from this treatment! While in this condition one can not talk or swallow and must be fed liquid nutrients through a tube that runs up one's nose and down into his stomach. Urine is continuously collected in a bedside bag from a catheter inserted into the bladder and left there.

I layed in a room in this state for nearly two and a half weeks without a television or radio. Thankfully, my girlfriend visited me EVERY day for a few hours and I was able to communicate with here using a pen and a pad of paper.

Every few days one of my doctors would visit and announce that their measurements (made while I was sleeping) showed my lung function was gradually improving and that the pneumonia seemed to be leaving my body. Eventually, I was able to breathe without the assistance of the ventilator and they moved me upstairs to a room with another patient and a working tv set. It took me about a week after leaving the machine to be able to talk and swallow again.

My physical therapists visited me every day and tried to make me do various leg exercises to increase my leg strength. I was so weak that I could not even stand up let walk with a walker and assistance! The several friends who visited me seemed to be shocked by my appearance and said that I looked like a concentration camp survivor! When I entered the hospital I had weighed about 160 lbs and figured maybe I had lost 5 lbs or so. However, they finally got me onto a digital scale and my weight was down to 135 lbs! It might even have been lower because I was not being weighed during the time I was on the ventilator.

Apparently, when one is fighting a massive infection, one's immune system burns ALOT of calories. If you normally consume, say, 1500 calories per day, then you might need 3,000 or even 4,000 calories to maintain a stable weight. When I was in the hospital, for some reason, these extra calories were not being suppied in my liquid diet and my body simply extracted proteins from my muscles an organs and burned these for energy.

Well, to make this saga a bit shorter, let me just say that after over a month of hospitalization, it was decided by my medical team that I had recovered enough to be transferred to a convalescent facility or my own home. I resisted this idea because, with a continuing slight fever and still coughing up ALOT of yellowing / clearish phlegm, I thought I needed to stay put. However, my girlfriend settled the matter when she told me that visiting me everyday in the hospital was wearing her out and she wanted my home.

So, here I am. My fever is almost gone and, with a once a day effort, I am able to walk a bit farther with a walker each day. I spend practically the entire day laying on the couch, eating a high protein / low glycemic meal every two hours or so, and VERY thankful that I am still alive.

Yep, I died and was, via modern medical technology, brought back to life in early November of this year. I still face MONTHS of rehabilitation before I can get back to where I was in early September. I am, however, optimistic and hope that this will be the last time that I die for the next twenty years or so! (And even then, I'll be looking for another 20 years!!!)

The cost of changing that second date on my tombstone was not cheap, however. I just got a bill from the hospital for $512,000 USD and my various doctor bills probably add up to another $30,000 or so. Since I do not have medical insurance, I will be filing for bankruptcy in the new year and, hopefully, I'll be able to hang onto my house and some of my other assets.

So, I've just started to surf the web again each day after breakfast and decided to let everyone here know why I suddenly disappeared from this site. Although I will not be posting as much here in the future as in the past, I will occasionally chime in on topics to which I think I can add some useful information.

Lessons learned?

First, don't take anything for granted. THIS could be your LAST day on planet Earth...try to enjoy each day as much as possible and don't worry or lose sleep over the tons of minor BS that will come your way each day. Life is for living, not wasting time worrying over things you can not control.

Next, make damn sure you get your annual flu shot and I suggest that you only take the one without the mercury perservative in it as about 90% of the vaccines out there still have this toxic metal in them. Also, make sure you get a pneumonia vaccination every five years or so. IF I'd had these then I could have saved myself ALOT of suffering.

Well, that's it from me for now...I hope everybody here has a great holiday season and enjoys the companionship of your loved ones. This year it looks like I will again be receiving my favorite gift...the gift of being ALIVE on Christmas day and still having such a wonderful girlfriend in my life...


PS I noticed in the news over the last few weeks mention of two somewhat famous people who passed away: the actor Leslie Nielsen who made those hilarious Naked Gun films and the director Blake Edwards who directed the Pink Panther films. The cause in each death? PNEUMONIA!

They probably had the best doctors and medicines, but it was not enough to save their lives. I wonder if either had been vaccinated against pneumonia?

I mentioned this to a nurse who told me they probably hadn't beem. But, she said that there was a big difference between a pneumonia patient with a 59 year old body and those two patients who had been in their 80's.

Once again, everyone, get your pneumonia vaccinations...don't play games with your life and future like I did!

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Welcome back TG.

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December 19 2010, 4:07 PM 

I have missed your entertaining & informative posts.
That is a very scary story with a Happy Ending, some girl you have there too!
Cheers Richard.

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Welcome Back TG!

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December 19 2010, 4:46 PM 

I am glad that your alive! That makes my holiday special! Please continue to post here at will. Do let one bad experience ruin your time here on the forum. I am quoting you. "Life is to short for BS!"

Get Well!


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..I wish you all the strength TG...!..man what a story....!...get well soon... (nt)

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December 19 2010, 5:30 PM 

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Welcome back TG.

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December 19 2010, 5:57 PM 

Here's wishing you a quick recovery

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Glad to hear you're on the mend

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December 19 2010, 6:53 PM 

Sounds like you've had a rough time lately. Hope things pick up for you.


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Good to hear from you Technoguy>>>

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December 19 2010, 7:20 PM 

Sounds like you had a rough time, glad everthing is getting better now. Hope to see you on here more.
Cheers; Mark

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Welcome back..kind of know what you went through

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December 19 2010, 7:53 PM 

Back in 83 I had a bout with pneumonia, still have the scars on my x ray to this day from it. I also had bronchitis, sinusitis, and tonsillitis at the same time..(when Doctors are calling other doctors in saying..you gotta see this! Never a good sign) was sick as hell for 6 weeks, threw the cigarettes away ( Nope, sorry..went back) I am glad you are getting better I know now why I lost so much weight at the time...(40 lbs) but then again, I did have it to spare! Welcome back and take care of yourself!

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Always read ya, buddy! Welcome to today!

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December 19 2010, 8:10 PM 

Hope you're with us for a good loooong time!


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Glad you're still

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December 19 2010, 10:06 PM 

with us, TG, or with us again, as the case may be. I had pneumonia about 12 years ago and also have emphysema, so I have a little bit of a feeling for what you went through. We'll all be grateful for any knowledge that you can impart, I'm sure.

In the Thumb of Michigan [linked image]

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Deleted posts

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December 19 2010, 10:52 PM 

Sorry to hear about your health misfortunes, but in regards to posts that get deleted, that is at the discretion of the moderators. We try to keep the watch or clock discussions civil and on topic. Many long-time regulars have left us due to the bickering between some members, or the long-winded "Mr. Know-it-all" posts of others. If a future post starts an argument, or develops a life of it's own that is not related to time pieces, it will probably be deleted. We need to stay one of the classiest forums on the Internet.


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Thanks Ron

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December 20 2010, 8:20 AM 

- - for your clarification, the Ticka forum is indeed one of the classiest on the net - yet remains one of the friendliest ALSO happy.gif

Never good to hear of folks having health probs - welcome back TG, hopefully things can only get better.



Frae Edinburgh, Bonnie Scotland

Affordable and Everyday Watches

My other hobby - Sequence Dancing

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THANKS for the...

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December 20 2010, 1:31 PM 

well wishes, everyone...

I'm feeling much better than the day I "died", but I am still not out of the woods yet.

For example, yesterday, Sunday, my girlfriend decided to weigh me to see what the effects of her stuffing me with food during my first week home from the hospital.

When I came home my weight was 135 lbs and she expected me to to have gained at least 5 lbs during my first week considering all of the things like ice cream, pizza, etc. that I had been wolfing down.

Amazingly, I actually LOST another 5 lbs to now weigh 130 lbs! She was in a real tizzy over this discovery and wanted to rush me back to the hospital. However, these types of extreme weight losses are one of the symptoms of pneumonia and I may lose even more until this damned infection is finally out of my body. Even though I do not have a fever anymore, apparently, my immune system is STILL battling the last remnnants of the pneumonia bacteria and consuming mucho calories in the process. Apparently, one CAN have an infection without having a fever!

Well, hopefully, this week the pneumonia will finally be gone and I'll start to gain weight from all of the calories I am consuming. Of course, if my weight continues to drop, say, toward 100 lbs, then, obviously something is very wrong and it's back to the hospital for me...maybe I'll be able to run my bill up over $1,000,000 USD this time!!!

Once again, everyone, thanks for the well wishes, especially at this time of year...they are greatly appreciated. And, once again, PLEASE make sure you are getting your yearly flu shots AND the pneumonia vaccine. I probably survived (so far!) this illness because, otherwise, I was in pretty good physical condition for my age. For someone with other "collateral" health problems thks level of illness could be FATAL...remember what happened to Leslie Nielsen and Blake Edwards! Those vaccines are becoming available at your local pharmacies and even supermarkets and only take a few minutes to receive.


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Here's an interesting...

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December 21 2010, 12:52 PM 

and eye opening article on the problem of insufficient adult immunization against various diseases:



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Glad you're back!

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December 20 2010, 4:41 PM 

I was missing your insightful posts. Take good care of yourself and enjoy the Holidays.

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