Two years ago today I came home to our RV at the Escapees Jojoba Hills Co-op in Aguanga, California after spending most of a week in terrible pain at the hospital in nearby Temecula. When we first got to the hospital I thought I might be having a heart attack because the symptoms were very much like those I had a few years before when I did have a heart attack. But as it turned out, it was diagnosed as a case of acute pancreatitis.
I won’t go into all the details of the medical stuff, or how many ways the hospital screwed up, from deciding I was an alcoholic even though I hadn’t had a drink in over 40 years and Terry and I kept telling them that, to telling me I had a mass on my left kidney and then doing an ultrasound on the right, to referring to me as an African-American male in their records. And that doesn’t include them dropping the ball and not sending anything about my treatment to the VA hospital in Tucson, where I had to go and start all over from square one.
That experience led to two big changes in my life. The first was that before I was hospitalized I was a Pepsi-holic. It was my drug of choice, and for more years than I want to admit, I drank anywhere from 3 to 6 Pepsis a day. And I’m not talking about that low calorie diet stuff. No sir, I drank the high octane version, full of sugar!
The last Pepsi I had was on November 14, 2015, the night before I went into the hospital. For me, Pepsi really was like a drug. I had tried to stop drinking it three or four times, without success. I might go for a week or two or even three. But before I knew it, I was back at it. For the first couple of months I really missed it, then it wasn’t much of an issue. Now, two years later, I still have not had even one. Every once in a while I still want one, but it’s no big deal and I just don’t do it.
The other change that came about because that hospital stay was our decision to buy a house somewhere in Florida. As I said, the folks at the hospital in Temecula told us I had a mass on my left kidney. Anytime someone says you have a mass, it’s discomforting. And since my family has a long history of cancer, it was even more so for me.
As it turned out, in all of the follow-up ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs done at three different VA facilities, there was no mass, and apparently there never was one. I don’t know where the folks in Temecula came up with that. I just hope there’s not an African-American alcoholic someplace with a mass on his kidney whom they told had pancreatitis.
At any rate, like many fulltime RVers, Terry and I had talked several times about where we might want to settle down if and when we ever got off the road. We considered a lot of places but kept coming back to Florida. After the medical issue, it became important to me more so than to Terry that we find such a place. I wanted to have a home that she could go to if something ever did happen. So we spent about a year seriously looking all over the Sunshine State until we found our little piece of paradise.
And here we are today, getting ready to celebrate our second Thanksgiving in our house. There was a time when I would have had a Pepsi to celebrate the momentous occasion, but I think I’ll stick with unsweetened tea instead.
With Thanksgiving and all of the Black Friday sales just around the corner, how about a good mystery? What would you do if you braved the crowds of shoppers on Black Friday and suddenly your whole world changed? Read Black Friday and find out how a simple shopping trip changed one man’s life forever.
A lot of you do your online shopping by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.
Congratulations Bob Jae, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials: Famous Murderous Pirates Book Series: THE LIVES AND ADVENTURES of FAMOUS and SUNDRY PIRATES. We had 36 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – My wife accused me of being immature. I told her to get out of my blanket fort.