Happy New Year!!! Let’s take a quick look into 2017.
January Storms – Our area was hit with 2 devastating weather events about 22 days apart. Thunderstorm Wind Event and tornadoes ripped through our area on January 2nd and 22nd.
#AdventureFamily – At the end of October 2016, Cynthia and I joined an online group of like minded thinkers led, by our friend John-Erik. In February, Cynthia and I said yes to an adventure that took us to Orlando to meet perfectly good strangers and stay in the same house for a long weekend. We had to trust our coach, John-Erik and he did not disappoint. The people in the group were from all over the US and even a couple from the UK. We had a great time learning about our dreams and spent a nice at Magic Kingdom. These people have supported us and have become family.
Baptism – I rededicated my life to God and remembered by Baptism on Easter. See my blog post here.
Our Baby – We brought home our new baby. He’s a male Dorkie named Buddy. He is in the process of being trained as an emotional support dog for Cynthia. We hope that once he’s certified that we can take him around to the hospitals and other areas to give people a little joy in their life.
Parents Health – Dad spent a lot of the time sick and in the hospital. He had 7 hospitalizations and 15+ ER visits. He had a round of Pneumonia that I never thought that the doctors were going to solve, but thank the Lord they did after his 3rd and 4th hospitalization for Pneumonia. Mom has had her health issues as well and was hospitalized once during the same time Dad was in and out of the hospital. They are both back to doing as well as can be expected to start 2018.
Dominican Republic – I was finally able to travel on another international mission trip. This trip took me to the Dominican Republic where we helped the people of the batey. It was a great trip after I finished being sick for the first 48 hours of the trip. See my blog post on the trip here.
Business – Cynthia and I made the decision to stop her It Works! business. It was a hard decision for many different reasons, but we realized that It Works! was not our dream, it was just a vehicle to our dreams and this vehicle was dead beyond repair. In December, I started a new venture with an excellent company called HempWorx. We help people get healthly by using the purest CBD Oil in the form of drops and other topical solutions. Check out my site here.
My Journey to Health – Back in January, when Dad was in the hospital, I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I hit rock bottom. As I sat their looking at him laying in the hospital bed, I pictured myself laying there and I made the decision that I was not going to live my life like him and I was not going to put that burden on Cynthia that I’ve had to endure.
After a lot of prayer, research, and discussions with my doctors, close family and friends, I made the decision to start a program to prepare for LapBand surgery. The program started on March 1st (fittingly on my Dad birthday) and I did great with the program. Pre-surgery I lost 45 pounds in 8 months. On November 1st, I had the LapBand surgery. My surgery went well except as the nurses was putting glue on my wounds, I went from sleeping to wide awake and thrashing. It took them 5 minutes to get me settled down so that they could finish and get me to recovery. My surgeon said that I was only the 2nd person that he had this happen to in 17 years of surgery.
I was on a 23 hour hold at the hospital due to my sleep apnea so, I spent the night in the hospital as planned. The next morning, I still could not keep down even a sip of water. I was being given plenty of the best anti-nausea medications available. The doctor would not release me until I could keep down liquids. They started me on some IV medications to try to help my stomach out, but they did not work and after the next day, I was still the same. A swallow study and x-rays was ordered and they found that the band was perfectly placed, but everything was getting stuck as it should have started heading for the band. The doctor checked to make sure that all the fill was removed from the band, hopeful that it would be an easy fix, but no such luck. I was still the same the next day so, we made the decision for a second surgery to un-buckle the band and to secure it until we could go back in at a later time and buckle it back. During the surgery, my doctor found that my stomach was so inflamed that the band was too tight and this was causing my issues. He completed the surgery and I was finally able to have a liquid dinner that night. I went home from the hospital the next afternoon.
My doctor has done over 500 LapBand surgeries and he consulted with the top LapBand experts and they considered my complication a less than 1% of the time complication. That’s just my luck! 😀
I spent some time recovering and on December 18th, I had my final surgery to check everything and buckle the band back together. The surgery was a success and I was able to do it outpatient and go home the same day. I’m still in recovery mode and it’s been hard getting through the holidays. It’s just not been the same. I see the doctor in a few a days and hopeful to move to the next stage. I’ve lost over 70 pounds since March 1st. I’ll be sharing a lot of the information I learned through this process in 2018.