LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.
I am at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and have been since last Wednesday. Judy and I will be here in Rochester until at least through next Wednesday, July 3. We are not in the hospital but spend a good part of each day in the hospital complex. It is indeed an unbelievable facility with some of the best doctors in the world. We stay in a local hotel which provides free shuttle buses making round trips all day long on a hourly basis.
After one day here we had narrowed the source of my recurring sepsis to three possible sources. By Friday afternoon, we have declared a winner. The problem seems to be a narrowing in some of the passageways in my liver which drains bile into my ducts which in turn supplies bile to my duodenum for digestion. When this bile gets backed and clogged in these narrowed passageways it allow bacteria to grow and eventually be released into my bloodstream which of courses causes my bouts with bacteremia.
I will be having tests over the next three days (mon-tues-wed) to determine how we fix it now. I also have to come back here to Minnesota for another procedure on July 11 at which time we will determine a treatment plan to go forward with. Worst case scenario is to remove part of my liver in open surgery here at Mayo, which is about 450 miles from our home but we do what we need to do. There are some less drastic measures which might be effective but we just won't know until after the ERCP test o July 11.
I am of course still sober, soon going on 10 years and appreciate the support and aid that my life partner Judy has provided over these stressful last 18 months or so. She's a trooper and I don't know how I would have managed without her.
I don't post often but think of you all often and especially who were here when I first came here and are still here. You are so special to me.
Hi Rex, so good to hear from you even though we're also FB friends and I'm following your progress there. I'll be delighted to hear this mysterious illness and source of infection has been traced and can be treated.
Out here we're having a wet winter which is good news but we're both fluey and rather bedraggled from all the rain! Hopefully the dams and rivers have filled up enough to ensure we don't have water rationing through next summer.
Sending all love to Judy and you're lucky to have her there. With luck, you'll be planning holidays in Florida again soon!
Hi Tex, sounds like progress and something that can be treated. Best of luck.
I'm in Algonquin Park in Canada and having a great time with two of my cousins.
Good morning all,
I just wanted to check in and say hello. The autumn season is well underway here in the midwestern U.S. and we have survived 2 1/2 years of a Donald Trump presidency. The weather is cool but not cold yet and leaves are starting to turn colors but not many on the ground today.
I was in the hospital last week for 5 days with another attack of sepsis or bacteremia whichever you'd like to call it. I have been diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. It's a rare autoimmune liver disease which is oddly not brought on by alcohol abuse but is causing recurring battles with blood bacteria infections. I am now going to the local hospital each day for intravenous antibiotic infusions which should be ending late next week. Soon after that I will be returning to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for more tests (another ERCP with liver biopsies).
I am so sick and tired of our political climate that I don't even pay attention to the news anymore. Everyone hates everyone else and it just makes me sick to listen to. The right is far too right and the left is far too left. No one cares about the probably 80% of those of us in the middle but only about the loud, ugly rhetoric coming from both ends of the spectrum.
I'm so afraid that Mr Trump will be elected again because many of the Democrats are so far to the left that they are unelectable IMO.
Judy just became a great-grandmother for the first time a couple of weeks ago and she is scheduled to repeat that experience again next month, one of each; a boy and a girl. The month after (December) I am to have my fourth great-grandchild but I seldom see them because they live several hundreds of miles away in a different part of the country.
Now that my days are growing shorter I realize how fragile life is and how much of my prime years were wasted sitting in bars and pubs in various degrees of inebriation and how many people I've hurt over the years. These were and are good people who loved me. It makes me very sad.
But I am thankful for the two ten-year long periods of sobriety I was able to carve out in different stages of this thing called life.
I still struggle with the subject of spirituality and still read and talk about it sometimes but the truth is that I don't have a clue what it means or how to attain an understanding of it. I try to keep an open mind and be vigilant should I be struck by a bolt from the blue with would give me clarity.
I will pass my tenth anniversary of my current period of sobriety next month and rarely think of it nowadays. I can't imagine ever having another drink in my life. I'm just not interested even though micro-breweries are popping up all over our country the last few years.
I'm going to close for now but wanted to say hello and let you know you're all in my thoughts often and I'm grateful for this forum being a huge part of my sobriety. I hope you're all safe and healthy doing well.
You know, aside from the autoimmune problem, it sounds like you are doing pretty well. It is kind of amazing to reach our 70s. Sometimes I just stop and think how did this happen, I was 40 just a few weeks ago! But it sounds like you still have thing you are interested in doing - and at our age, I think that's what's important - life is still fun and exciting even if I can't do all the things I used to do.
I was just in Chicago for a few days. We went for a funeral of a cousin of my wife. We had a little memorial service and then went out for a big lunch - a good way to end. Then we drove down to South Bend to the Snite Museum at the University of Notre Dame - which has a collection of kinetic art by George Rickey - my current inspiration. I've got enough ideas to keep me going for another couple of years.. Then we came back to Chicago and saw Hamilton - which was a lot of fun. I've wanted to see it for a while but have been put off by the price of the tickets. But the show in Chicago was relatively reasonable - so we went and I'm glad we did.
So, wishing you the best Rex - just keep plugging away.
Thanks for your reply, Brian. Aside from the PSC and Bacteremia episodes I am doing well. But every time I’m hospitalized with sepsis it sets me back several weeks with extreme fatigue, and lack of strength and endurance.
i still have my show cars which are always an outlet for creativity and energy and of course money. They will be put away shortly for the winter but I can plan for changes and additions next spring.
I’m glad you enjoyed Hamilton. I haven’t seen it yet but many of my friends have and enjoyed it.
Are you still welding? And enjoying it.
I go to my family business about 20 hours a week when able to which gives me structure and purpose and gives me a chance to interact with my two surviving kids on a regular basis. That’s a true blessing for me.
Once again thanks for the post. When these medical issues start piling up I do have a tendency to feel sorry for myself.
oof, Rex, those sepsis episodes and the condition just sound so very draining, and i’m sorry to hear of it. also sounds like you have top notch medical care, so that is reassuring.
i had to laugh at your comment about your Democrats being too far to the “left”: up here, they would be most closely akin to the Conservatives, and considered quite far “right”.
I've had the usual ongoing computer problems but have been able to follow you on FB, hoping for the best with that battle with sepsis. I love pics of your glossy show cars!
Here we're having a good summer so far, watching the Australian bush fires in horror because we usually have our fires at the same time and it is very early in the season for NSW or Queensland to be facing such devastation. Work is slow but steady enough and I am busy working in the garden most days, sorry not to have a chance to travel down to the coast this year (too expensive to take a holiday). My small dogs are well and all is reasonably peaceful in the countryside for now. Reading, listening to music and cooking in a wood-burning hearth!
All love to you and Judy
Judy and I drove back to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN late last week and was there for three days. I had a PET Scan for the first time and although there were a couple of spots they want to check out it looks like right now there are no signs of liver or pancreatic cancer so we're thankful for that. I have joined a couple of forums for PSC patients and feel very grateful for not being diagnosed much earlier. Some folks are going through hell with this disease at ages as young as 10.
As far a politics are concerned, I am so turned off by the whole thing that I don't even watch the news anymore. All of the news networks just hammer home their agenda and I frankly don't believe anything I see on tv.
Thank you for your reply. I'm glad your still around.
It's always great to hear from you whenever possible. Yes the cars are put away for the winter which has come early and viciously to the midwestern United States. We have snow on the ground and have had 2-3 snowfalls already and record low temps for the date recently.
In the last 6 weeks Judy has become a great-grandmother on two separate occasions so she is quite thrilled about that. All was well with mothers and babies in both instances. And I will become a great grandfather for the fourth time next month. All of mine live several hundred miles away so I seldom see them except on FB.
Glad the dogs are good. Our housemates (three cats) are all well too.
Love to you on the other side of world.