"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Twenty Seven

March 22, 1981

The second day of spring, not so long ago,
a new life marked, by a late season snow.
Into our home as if on cue,
quietly you came, to voices you knew.

A full head of hair and eyes bright blue,
you were our world, until there were two.
A family of four, through the childhood years,
sharing our lives, our joys and our tears.

From Big Wheels to bicycles, your first 22,
summers in camp, on horseback and canoe.
Learning God’s lessons by the great lake,
discovering its better, to give than to take.

Too quickly time passed as change took hold,
you spread your wings, and grew ever bold.
Thru times in your life, when shadows were cast,
forcing you to bend and grow up too fast.

In the blink of an eye, you became a young man,
serving our country in far away lands.
Then off to school, in pursuit of your goal,
easily moving, into your new role.

Now I look back at twenty-seven years,
the laughter, the sorrow, the hopes and the fears.
The times we were close and those far apart,
keeping you near, always in my heart.

I’m proud of you Ben, and all you have done,
I’m honored to call you, my only son.
I hope as time passes, the older you grow,
you’ll always remember, I love you so.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


My first post-op Doctor visit went well, as (for now) my head remains firmly attached with no signs of premature separation and my incision appears to be well on its way to full assimilation into the existing lines of my neck.

I have also been given the green light to return to work albeit with the caveat that I should pay close attention to my body, i.e. Don’t over do it. Since I sit at a desk throughout the day, I don’t anticipate any problems.

A return follow-up visit is scheduled in 4 weeks and if all remains well connected, I will be able to forgo the collar completely at that time. And while there may be a need for physical therapy, there is also a good possibility I may very well be able to once again don my running shoes. Among so many other things, I am very grateful for this. (I am considering the ING Georgia marathon in April 2009 for my second – any feedback on this venue is greatly appreciated.)

Given my apparent progress, I can only surmise my self-prescribed Guinness treatments must be working.

Last night, Beth and I went to a yoga class – our first. Aside from being able to pick a sari clad, turbaned Yogi-like person out of a line up, I am completely ignorant of both the philosophy and techniques of yoga however, I’m interested in learning.

The class focused on learning to breathe properly and wasn’t overly physical but I did feel (literally) as if I participated more than I should as the already stretched ligaments and tendons in my shoulders grew increasingly loud in their protestations as the night went on. However with the help of a muscle relaxer, I slept well and feel pretty good today.

Pharmaceuticals can be so helpful, don’t you think?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's Good For You

For strictly medicinal purposes, I made a classic Black & Tan ...

And when It was complete ...

I took my medicine like a good boy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Confessions Of A Junkie

Many believe there is nothing wrong with taking an occasional jog.

"Just this once," they say. "I know my limits."

Well I was one of those people and like many others I started with the occasional 5k, all the while telling myself, "Hey, I'm not hurting anyone. Besides, I can quit whenever I want." Then before I knew it, I was running regardless of the weather.

Rain - no big deal, snow - so what, freezing temps - who cares.

You get the picture.

Then suddenly one day, the 5k fix wasn't enough. I needed more. So I ran a 10k. But soon, that too failed to quell the growing monkey which was now securely on my back and as its grip tightened, I did a 1/2 marathon.

My dresser drawers began to overflow with race t-shirts. I found myself hanging out with other users like myself. I was spending all my money at Fleet Feet. I would leave the house before dawn in order to hide my addiction from my family and friends. I was a full fledged junkie.

I finally hit bottom and knew I needed help when I ran my first marathon. Now I'm in rehab. And as you can tell from the photo, it’s extreme. It’s cold turkey for 3 months and then they tell me I’ll gradually wean myself away from the addiction.

I don’t know though. Right now, I still get the urge to get out there when I see some other poor soul pounding the pavement.

So be careful. This running is some powerful stuff. It will lure you in and then before you realize it’s happened, “I want to run” becomes “I have to run!”

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Update From Tim

After being awakened several times during the course of the night for the ritualistic taking of the vitals, I finally awoke for good around 7am when my surgeon, Dr. Harron dropped in to tell me I was free to go and to my utter satisfaction, I would not be required to wear the dreaded collar nearly as much as I did the previous time I blew a disc. It seems advances in technology allowed for the utilization of a metal implement which requires less stabilization than that of the cylinder which was embedded six years ago.

And so once the discharge process was complete, I climbed aboard for my obligatory wheelchair ride from the room to the car and headed home. On the way, Beth stopped by Java The Hut, a local coffee drive-thru shop owned by our friend Bob, so I could satisfy my need for a real cup of coffee. (I find hospital coffee - and food - to be surprisingly bad considering the environment is one where healing is paramount.)

And from there we went home where I was immediately set upon by the dogs who are genetically hard wired to lick obsessively in order to insure the lickee completely appreciates how badly they were missed. Judging from the puddles dripping from me, I'd say they were very happy for my return although I don't really know why as it is clear it is Beth, and not I who is the alpha dog in our pack.

At any rate, I'm home for 2-3 weeks best case, 4-6 worst and while here in my oxycodone state of euphoria, I hope to get a lot of writing done as I currently have one newsletter due NOW (I am the editor of our local running club's newsletter - The Star City Striders) and another due in April (RFWDG). Hopefully the narcotics will have a positive impact on my writing as well as the post-op discomfort.

Many thanks to all who posted, called and emailed well wishes, prayers and support. It means a great deal to me and I am sincerely grateful. Also to Dr. Harron and everyone else at Carilion's Roanoke Memorial Hospital who ensured my stay was both as comfortable and as short as possible, I thank you ... but I hope I don't have to see you again anytime soon.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Update From Beth

To all our friends and family,

Thank you for all your thoughts, well wishes, and prayers! When I left Tim a short while ago, he was sleeping blissfully in a drug induced state.

Tim may be a bit more sore this go round, as some tendons had to be stretched in order to reach the disk affected, but we hope the recovery with go as smoothly as it did 6 years ago. He still has to wear a collar for 6 weeks, no driving for 6 weeks, and absolutely no running for 3 months!

After the usual plethora of phone calls and emails, letting the dogs out, feeding them and myself, I am once again off to the hospital. Will keep you posted!

Thanks again, Beth

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Deja Vu

This Tuesday (4 March), nearly six years to the day from my last blown disc surgery, I will be going under the knife to repair a herniated disc in between the C6 and C7 vertebrate.

At this rate, I will officially become the bionic man in another 18 years.

All running is on hold for the next 3 months as the aforementioned disks fuse together.

All good karma and well wishes are much appreciated.

This will be removed:

This will be inserted:

Like this:

And this is the stylish collar I will sport for six weeks: