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October 20, 2008

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Possum Gut Report & More

September 28, 2008

Hello Folks it’s your ole pal Lightning,

Well it’s Saturday evening and here I am just a sitting here in Possum Kingdom. I have thought of some lies to tell you about why I am so slow in my update but you all know me to well and you know I am slow and always late. Guess I got to be known for something!!

Words of Wisdom from a child’s view – A mom is driving her second-grade daughter and two of her friends to school one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started talking about what the dog’s duties were. One little girl said, “They use him to keep crowds back.” “No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.” The daughter said, “No! No! They use the dogs to find the fire hydrants.”

OK now to let you know what is happening in Possum Kingdom! Well I will start off with the pterygium, you remember the eye thing. In my last posting I wrote “I will let you know what the pathology reports says, it may even be some possum gut that was just stuck to my eyeball.” Well the report is back and now we know, it was just possum gut stuck to my eye. The pathology report showed that it was benign and the eye doctors said that no follow up was needed. Well what do you know he has been right, he must have read that some where. My eye was red for a long time but is almost gone, the red not my eye. OK I am going to give you some free advice about a pterygium; you must wear eye protection from wind, dust and the sun. How do you do that; wear sun glasses that are polarized, if they are not you are not protecting you eyes; they should also have protection on the sides. As all of you know I have never worn sunglasses. I was cool enough without them; now we know the rest of the story.

Well speaking of wind, the doctors have come up with a plan as you remember in my posting back on Wednesday, August 27, 2008. OK the next step has now been taken and that was for us to figure out the best time for the surgery between Abigail’s school and Claire’s work. Well the way we figure things down here in the kingdom must include Murphy’s Law. We figured and thought and we had it planned and made that suggestion to the doctor and ole Murphy’s Law was sitting there, in other words the doctors was going to be out of town on that date. The doctor then suggested another date and we just took it because our planning was not working, but it will be in October. Once again they are going to do a VATS with talc pleuraldesis and if it works they will keep me in the hospital with a chest tube for about 3 days. If it doesn’t work he will keep me in the hospital for another week, do another surgery to place the indwelling pleural catheter and keep me for about three more days and then send me and my tube home, to live happily ever after. I do however want to tell you that if it works or don’t work we must all give praise to God, he has a reason and my duty is to see that God is glorified no matter what!

This week at a glance, well it has been a week of honey dos. See the last time I had this surgery I was on pain medication for a long time and could not do anything, even less than what I normally don’t do. Therefore I have been trying to get some of those little things out of the way; you know the ones I said I was going to wait until cooler weather. The week started off with a small job, Claire & I have wanted to do our part in the “Green” save the environment thing. That’s how the week started off; we installed a solar air conditioner in the front yard. I have also been working on solar clothes dryer and I finished it up today. The air conditioner and clothes dryer are doing great and you should see our power bill, Laurens Electric is going to owe us money soon. I will be glad to share my plans with you for no cost. Remember Ctrl + C will copy and Ctrl + V will paste. OK now you know how to copy it so here is the info. The solar powered air conditioner is a beautiful kwanza cherry tree. No it is not a small stick in the ground; it was a big tree. I ask Claire to go by the nursery and pick one out and it was so big that it took three of us to load it and it was hanging out of the back of the truck about 6 feet. The hole to put it in was 2 feet deep and about 4 feet around; of course I had a backhoe dig the hole. That little project took about 2 days planting, staking and watering but it is still alive. The solar clothes dryer was one of those projects that was spread out over about 1 week. It was 2 green post and three coated cables that made a clothes line, Claire said it only took 4 years to get. If we don’t hang clothes out; it will also provide a new roosting place for Peep our chicken-bird.

I now have taken on a task that was not even on my honey do list and that is hooking up the electrical to our carport, shed and building, the wire has been in the ground for 3 years; now I am going to use it. The time has grown late and I now must close, so good night to all I will talk to you soon.

God Bless You,


Eye Surgery – Pterygium Removal

September 3, 2008

Good Evening,

I hope all is well with you and your family. I wanted to take just a moment and bring you up to date on today’s events. Well as you knew I had to have that thing on my left eye removed and it certainly was a eventful day. Oh I am sorry I thought you knew about the eye thing, well it is called a pterygium, a eye thing.

Well the morning started off with a quick trip to Belton to ship my latest sale on e-Bay, oh; you did not know I was selling on e-Bay, well look at my PayPal account and you still could not tell it. I returned home just in time to get ready to head out to Medicus. You know how hospitals, doctor’s offices and doctors are; they all want you there before you need to be just so they can put you on hold and wait for a while. Well the morning at Medicus started off great, I got a hug from Marie and then just like any other woman she wanted money, I gave her all the plastic I had and that was enough for her to send me on to the next woman who wanted to inflict pain on me some how. They carried me in this big room with curtains and recliners, don’t sound bad right. Well then it was all of these ladies coming at me from separate sides of the room and they had backed me into a corner and there was no way out. Just as I reached the corner they smiled and knew I was down for the count, they was polite and said wanna have a seat. I had though for a moment of how to answer that question because coming from a woman, a man is going to answer wrong. I decided that I would out smart them and I said sure and I sat down with a smile on my face thinking, yelp I just beat them at their own game. I was wrong the one on the left came with a butterfly in hand, no it did not have pretty colors, it was a dad blame needle and she gigged me right in the left had and she just smiled as she walked away with pride saying to herself yelp got him and he did not see it coming! The other nurse was helping in the attack because she had me distracted with rapid firing questions. Then as the first attack was over they pulled the curtain and left me deep in the corner. I sat in the corner as a trapped rat wondering were the cat was. Time went buy but the talked never ceased so I knew they were close by. I felt that making a break for it was like running into the enemy; they were all around so I sat quietly, hoping they would forget me. After about a hour I was thinking, OK I don’t want to play any longer come on and fix this eye thing. Then out of now where, a new nurse, I though where did she come from and what did she want? She came bearing drugs, she then carried me to where all I could see was bright lights in the sky(room). I arrived in the room with staff working hard, preparing the room, then drops and a paste in the ole eye. Moments later the good Doc. arrived and wanted to get started so they draped a sheet over my face and it had one hole in it and it wound up over my left eye. They then gave me more drugs and someone had a blame light in my eye and I could not see a thing. 30 minutes or so later everything was over. I was no longer the center of attention, so the next thing I knew I was going on another ride. The doctor said everything looked well and there were no need to return to him unless I have problems. He would be in touch with me about the pathology report. I arrived home and have been much lazier than I have been earlier. I will let you know what the pathology reports says, it may even be some possum gut that was just stuck to my eyeball.

God Bless You & Good Night,


From Dust to Rain

August 27, 2008

Well let me start this long over due reading, just think you will get 3 times the information on this one posting, you know it’s kind of like a 3 for 1 sale, like buy 1 get 2 free. OK enough of my analogy. Well to start with let’s talk about the Words of Wisdom I gave you on last posting. Come on guys you remember the part about the perfect place for a flower bed, well I am proud of our flower bed, we have transplanted about 21 Cannons, no not the kind that shoots. You know, I probably misspelled the word or did some kind of grammar blip but most of you know what kind of flowers I am talking about and if not, well you probably don’t know much more than I do about flowers. OK now that all of the guys are looking at me now with that head tilt, dumb look on your face. I’ll bet each guy out there understand the most important two words in the English language and that is “Yes Mam”. OK I said all of that to say them fancy named weeds are growing great. Why do I call them weeds, well let’s look at it practical. If you plant something you expect to be able to eat it or the fruit of it one day. If you can’t eat them well a weed is grown, heck look at the pastures the only thing that will grow in a drought is a weed and even the cows won’t eat them. Got to stop talking about eating even the thoughts of weeds are making me hungry.

I have a subject to talk about that now I can’t talk about because it ain’t 100% true any longer and ain’t that just great. I am now even wondering if I should say anything, well maybe not. OK I will say it this way, is God answering prayers in you neck of the woods. He sure is in Possum Kingdom because we have gotten over two inches of rain in the last 24 hours and they say more to come, Praise God.

What do you mean all I have talked about so far is nothing really, well what do you expect, some intelligent remarks. OK I know some of you are slow but go back to the address of this blog and tell me what does pelhamedlock.com and intelligence have in common, sorry to disappoint you!

OK let me get my soap box out and cry on you shoulder about how things are going………….. Well that thought did not work, you know they just don’t build soap boxes like they use to….. OK I found a Coke box and so far it seems to be holding me. In the last 3 weeks or so, I just have not felt as good as I did. You know kind of that sluggish feeling, I get up and I am tired and so goes the day. Claire says, does that surprise anyone, that the days I had been feeling so good I over done it and now it has caught up with me. Well I was in training for the Summer Olympics but I was told that I could not attend. It was nothing medical but that would have been a good excuse. I was going to do gymnastics and the uniform was to tight, that was the excuse, but the truth is they had to print the American flag over 50 times just trying to cover the slight love handles, but once it was finished I got it on. I had to warm up on the uneven bars so as I made my rapid dash down the run way and when I hit the springy ramp it went down but never came back up, therefore you should have seen all of the bars there they were uneven, bent and even circular. Anyway I went to the local doctor and I had lost another 4 pounds and he is studying on changing some of my medication, but I for the most part was fine. I did go to see the vampires on Monday 8/18/2008. The results came back and if high number were good I did great on some things. The one that I scored the best on was my Triglycerides, they are suppose to be 150 or less, I scored after two test 1136, I did not win a prize for that but I did win another ticket to see the vampires again this coming Monday 8/25/2008. The other winning numbers are glucose 137 (range 65-99), BUN 55 (range 7-25), Creatinine 1.81 (range 0.50-1.30), Carbon Dioxide 19 (range 21-33) Tacrolimus (Prograf) this is one of the immunosuppressant 6.6 (range 5.0-20.0). My dear Dru called to congratulate me on my high score of the triglycerides and just as I was going to thank her for the calling me she accused me of eating fried chicken, got to watch that Google Earth it is better than I thought. She did advise me that it was probably something I ate or it was some of my medication, so I had to give up some more of the red stuff in those little tubes and I will have to wait and see if I win another prize. Speaking of winning things, I grew this new thing that has gotten some attention. This started about 8/16/2008 with what appeared to be a busted blood vessel in my left eye. A couple of days went by and I then noticed something on my eyeball in the conjunctive area and covers a small area up to the iris, the colored part of the eye, for a detail drawing go to http://www.stlukeseye.com/StLukesEA.html
The doctor told me it was a pterygium or cancer, if it is cancer no big deal just like a skin cancer. Pterygium aka eye thing, usually refers to a benign growth of the conjunctiva. A pterygium commonly either grows from the nasal side of the sclera. It is associated with, and thought to be caused by ultraviolet-light exposure (e.g. sunlight), low humidity, and dust. The predominance of pterygia on the nasal side is possibly a result of the sun’s rays passing laterally through the cornea where it undergoes refraction and becomes focused on the limbic area. Sunlight passes unobstructed from the lateral side of the eye, focusing on the medial limbus after passing through the cornea. On the contra lateral side, however, the shadow of the nose medially reduces the intensity of sunlight focused on the lateral/temporal limbus. The doctor explained to me that it was small right now and I did not need it so the best thing to do was to remove it before it grew and would be more trouble to remove later. I have already gone through the pre-op and surgery is set for September 2, 2008 at Medicus in Anderson.

I have also had a return trip to Charleston on Thursday August 21, 2008 with two appointments on Friday August 22, 2008. I made this a lone trip, but was able to see my dear friend Steve and his lovely wife Wendy. Steve is doing OK but has some issues with a fever with an unknown cause. My Friday morning started off at 0730 hrs at the Rutledge Tower for a chest x-ray and then upstairs to the 5th floor to see Dr. Sahn. I was escorted to the room and the interviews started, it was like I was being questioned for something and they were going to catch me in a lie. Then Dr. Sahn’s FELLOW came in and he started with some tougher question but was asking some of the same ones the other people asked. He could not resolve my issue so he went out, closed the door and came back in with Dr. Sahn. It was like OK you have done it now; I was going to have to answer to the boss. Dr Sahn and the FELLOW went through my medical history. Dr. Sahn stated that this had been going on for long enough and something had to be done. Recap what has been done for this pleural effusion, a VATS with talc in Anderson, 4 day later admitted to MUSC for 10 days, failed talc procedure, and on September 7, 2007 a VATS with a Pleuralx Catheter and have been draining about 1 liter out of left lung every three day. They have stuck needles in my veins with some glowing stuff, stuck needles in my belly with some glowing stuff and even stuck 6 needles between my toes with some glowing stuff. They had done 6 thoracentesis both in Anderson and Charleston and that got old quick. Now they feel that they must do something. The idea of cutting me came to their minds, to repeat the VATS with talc but the surgeon, Dr. DeRosimo stated he would not do the procedure because it would fail again due to the medication I am taking. Therefore all three doctors, Surgeon – Dr. DeRosimo, Pleural Effusion Expert – Dr. Sahn and Liver Expert – Dr. Willner talked and a plan was agreed on. The new plan was to stop one of my immunosuppressant meds and cut the other in half two weeks before the surgery. Now the plan is in place I have just got to agree and set a date. The surgeon stated that I only had a 50 / 50 chance of the procedure working, but this was the only hope (short of a miracle from God but the surgeon and I both know God can do that) of getting rid of the catheter. If it fails this time I will have the catheter the rest of my life, some 40 plus years we hope. I am thinking about it but at least there are no time restrictions on how soon I have to do this. We are going to try to plan it around Claire’s work and Abigail’s school. I had to have the fluid drawn off again so they could send it off for some more test. I then left the doctors around 1600hrs and it was time to eat. I had promised Abigail that I would get her something, so off to the Market I go. I found Abigail some do-dads and off to the Charleston Crab House I went. I broke an ordering routine, I ordered BBQ shrimp and grits and boy was they lip smacking good. There was a bowl of good grits, lots of shrimp, some melted jack cheddar cheese and about 5 circles around the dish with some BBQ sauce and boy was it some more good.

I then left a rainy some what flooded downtown Charleston for the journey home. I was noticing the weather all the way from Charleston to Newberry the rain was steady, even sometimes slowing traffic down on I-26 to 40mph. I got through Newberry and the scenery changed from wet to damp to dry back here in Possum Kingdom. I even had to go to the river to check on the catfish because the fleas and ticks were getting bad on the catfish.

God once again has answered our prayers with the recent rains. It started raining here on Monday and until this evening we had received some 2” plus. Last evening we had a family cook out to celebrate Abigail’s birthday. I had to move the vehicles out from under the car porch so I could grill under the shelter. Let me tell you, since you mentioned food, I went to Sam’s and bought some pre-made fresh ground chuck hamburger patties, they were almost as big as a five gallon bucket and yelp that was some awesome eating. I then fixed some chicken and apple smoked sausages and they were awesome also. The cake was cut and the children played until it was time for all to go, it being a school night.

I have been telling you about the talk radio show that I was going to be on this Thursday well when you tune into WRIX 103.1 Thursday night you will be hearing Carolina football game, so my interview has been postponed, I will let you know when it is.

WORDS OF WISDOM – If you pray for rain and believe your prayer can be answered, carry your umbrella to show your faith because if you don’t you will get wet.

God Bless You,
Be careful,
Keep your umbrella handy,
and remember if you meet me and forget me you lose nothing but if you meet my God and forget him you lose everything.


August 3, 2008

Good Afternoon All,

WOW this has been such an awesome week. I have some much to tell you. Let me start with another miracle of God.

Last Saturday morning, July 26, my great friend Steve received the phone call that would forever change his life and end that long painful wait of being on the list for a kidney and pancreas transplant. Life on the waiting list is so unbelievable, because you live at home out of a suit case and the tension grows with each ringing of the phone.

Steve and his wife began their journey to Charleston and endured the long uncertain wait in the hospital. The wait is also very tense because every time someone walks in the room your are afraid they are going to deliver those words most all of us hear during the time on the list and that is we are sorry, the organ is no good and you come home. This call for Steve was different because when they arrived in Charleston they went straight to a room and was planning on surgery later that day. They also received word from their son, who is a pilot and has been deployed for yet another tour at war, that he got the message about the phone call and he was finished with his current tour and would be headed to Charleston as well. The day turned into night and the night turned into day and then the nurse walked in with those words you hope to hear, It’s A Go. Just as soon as those pleasant words bounce off of the ear drums, she then changes her tone.

It is that of a drill sergeant but yet that of a nurse with her hat on to tight. She changes from lovely words to verbally slapping you for not being ready to go to surgery and telling you, you must hurry it is time to go. I spoke with Steve’s wife last Sunday and the surgery was still on going but it was going very well.

Justin and Anne-Miller came to church with us last Sunday, July 27 and then on to the house for dinner.Claire had to work but she arranged a large dinner for us all. Daddy & Deda, Meleeda & Anthony and Melissa & Hailey all came out and brought a bite to eat and we all ate very well.

It was Claire’s special receipt of BBQ ribs with Deda’s Baked Beans and Yeast rolls and Meleeda’s Tater Salad, you know all those healthy trimmings. You know when you get a bunch of Baptist Medlocks together, there is going to be some good vittles and a lot of belly rubbing. The dinner was finished and the table was cleared then the stories started. Daddy & Deda left first and then followed that up with a phone call to come to their gazebo for home made peach ice cream.

Now that was a way to finish a mighty fine dinner. Anne-Miller did not say it but now she knows how all of us Medlocks got our good looks; it is from good ole eating.

The conversations then started and before we knew it, the ice cube in the shirt lead to a very wet water battle. During the water battle, the dogs Rebel, Samson & Leroy got their share of the ice cream and they liked it as well. Clothes had to be dried and then the day came to an end and the understanding that every good time must come to an end. Justin, Anne-Miller and Leroy went there way, well only for a little while. Justin forgot some of his stuff and it had to be retrieved. Claire made the statement that Anne-Miller better get use to that because he got that from me. I felt that was not true but every one else seems to agree.

I called and talked with Steve’s wife and she told me the surgery was over and everything went well and he was already back in his room. I spoke with Steve on Monday and he sounded great but with a sore throat. He told me that his pancreas was already working and there was no need for insulin. The week went on and he continued to get better. He had a fever on Wednesday and that brought less than a fun day he said. He said that they removed every tube that they had put in him, even the ones placed by the surgeons. Then they put all of the tubes back, but praise God they stopped the cause of the fever and on Friday he was released from the hospital, but will have to reside in the Charleston area for about a week. Steve wrote an e-mail today and spoke of the miracles God has given him. This is Steve’s second kidney transplant, as his mother gave him the first one about 18 years ago. Steve’s anti-rejection meds are low so he is thinking the match was pretty close. When they are looking for a match there are 6 items they are try to match. Sorry I don’t know what the six are if I did I would be putting some doctor out of work. Steve and his mother had a 4 out of 6 match. A twin would be a 6 out of 6 and he feels his match must be between those two numbers. Speaking of Steve’s feelings they seem to be softer now as his donor was a female.

May God bless her family and give them comfort knowing the Gift of Life they have shared has impacted so many people, even in her death, life continues, and for that we Thank Them. If this family had not allowed her to be a donor Steve would be closer to dying, but praise God he is now getting well. To Steve and his family congratulations on such a successful transplant, thank you to all who are seeing to Steve’s good health and most of all Praise God for answered prayers. Another great thing from Steve’s transplant is he has the same home health nurse I had as I am sure they both told some lies on me, but I now have her e-mail address, all of you know that she is now in trouble because the words of wisdom e-mail from Possum Kingdom.

Well I had another visit with the vampires on this past Monday and of course all they wanted was my blood; I am still waiting for the results. I am having a time with this heat, I hate to admit it but the doctors were right again. They told me not to get hot, but I am a little slow sometimes, and every time I do I regret it because I break out and sometimes have blisters where the bandage is, covering my plural catheter. Claire has found an ostomy nurse who says she can help with this problem, hopefully this week. I just received my follow up appointment with Dr. Sahn for August 22, 2008. We are not sure what he plans but we know God is in control.

God is strong as ever in Possum Kingdom, we are having new Christians join the family of God and spreading God’s word. In the Sunday School class I teach, Open Arms, we are studying the great book of Revelations. God teaches us not what has happened but what will happen, come and join us at Cedar Shoals Baptist Church on Cooley Bridge Rd. Sunday School 0930hrs and preaching with Pastor Mike King at 1030hrs. We have Wednesday night service starting at 1930hrs and on Sunday nights at 1800hrs & 1900hrs.

I am going to finish up with some Words Of Wisdom! Guys this is for you and I am sure that most of you already know this, I know I am a little slow. This is the Words Of Wisdom part; Don’t ask your wife, girlfriend if she would like some flowers to plant. She will of course answer yes, but she turned a deaf ear to the part about planting. OK this is what can happened, you say I can get some flowers to plant and she will figure which spot of the yard is the hardest and say I want them planted here.

She has some other sort of urgent task to complete away from the house and of course does not return (finish) until after dark and then decides it is to dark to plant the flowers. She will however question about the status of the flower bed. Lesson learned, don’t try to impress the lady of your life by deciding where the flower bed should go on your own, you may be smart but I assure you, you are not that intelligent.

God Bless You,


July 26, 2008

There will be a benefit for Centerville Fire Fighter Mike Hunt Saturday July 26, 2008 at the Civic Center of Anderson at 1600hrs (4:00PM) Food and Music, please come out and help one of our Brothers, and pray for Mike and his family.

If you would like to be added to receive e-mails of new or corrected information added to this blog please e-mail me at lightning@wildblue.net and ask to be placed on the notification list. Thank You for all the prayers for me and my family and the time you spend on my blog.

I have been invited to be on a talk radio show on Thursday August 28, 2008 at 2200hrs (10:00PM) please join us on WRIX 103.1. I will be sharing the miracles God has done in my life and talking about our Upstate Christian Fire Fighters group, http://www.UpStateChristian FireFighters.org

Well I went to see the vampires on Monday July 21, 2008 just before we left for the beach and Friday July 25, 2008 I received the report. I know I have told you before about some of these numbers and they still confuse me but some caught my eye and they are;

Glucose 110 (Normal 65 – 99)
Urea Nitrogen (BUN) 58 (Normal 7 – 25)
Creatinine 2.02 (Normal 0.05 – 1.30)
BUN/Creatinine Ratio 29 (Normal 6 – 22)
Tacrolimus (Prograf) 6.9 (Normal 5.0 – 20.0)

Well if you are wondering what all this means well it means that it took 3 needle sticks to draw the blood and now they want to draw more, so we will wait and see what MUSC says, I think they just enjoy knowing that I am getting stabbed, well needle stuck. I will have more blood work drawn on Monday.

God Bless You,


Sorry, I am still here.

July 20, 2008

Boys and Girls get ready cause do I have a story to tell.

I also have some whining and crying to do.

Well let me get my whining and crying over with before I tell you my story. As we all know by now and are sick and tired of looking and hearing about my 43 birthday every time you click on the blog, but since then I have had some troubles. I have had the chance to try out some new software that is just awesome, but my high speed internet connection, upload speed, was to slow to work well with the software. I then went in search for a higher speed on the upload side. This new software my give me the chance I have been looking for. This is an idea that I could make some money while being at home, so on those bad days when all I want to do is stay inside, as long as I could get to my computer I could still be productive. Any way I started with WildBlue who I am using as my high speed internet connection, they told me that 80 to 120 kbps is good and all I would get. I then went to Charter and pleaded with them, their line stopped less than a mile from my house and they all but laughed at me. They did however tell me I could pay them to bury the line to my house for 100 dollars a foot, guess who started laughing then. I then turned to AT&T, who explained there status like this; they always have a projected date on file as to when an area switch will be up dated and bring fiber in the area. They looked up my address and said well that is odd there is not projected date even down to start thinking about start thinking. In other words long time from now. They did however offer me an air card for 30 days free to try it, they said their upload speed was much greater than what I was getting from WildBlue, if the service was good in the area. Well guess what? Maps don’t tell the whole story. It would get service every now and then but would not connect most of the time, reminded me of my old dial up. They also bundled my services and gave me stuff I don’t need but it helped bring my over all cost down, they even told me with my discounts my June bill would only be $8.00 and if I need to cancel I would have no problems. Well after it did not work I then got my $280.00 June phone bill, so we talked, the sweet lady on the other end got upset and so did I, but she then transfered me to another sweet lady who fixed the bill and told me how to return the air card. In the first day or two after getting the AT&T card, WildBlue went out. I started working on getting that problem fixed, they told me that just because I had clear skies over head in Possum Kingdom did not mean a cloud could be messing up my WildBlue service. I had to wait until a large area around Possum Kingdom had no clouds and then they said yelp looks like something is wrong with your equipment, this only took 4 phone calls and 3 days plus a weekend. They then told me that my equipment was out of warranty, so for a service man to come out it would be $95.00 and if he had to replace something outside it would be $145.00 more and if he replaced something on the inside it would be another $185.00. They then offered me a 3 month warranty for $115.00 and that would cover inside and outside, but I had to sign a 2 year contract with them. The contract bothered me because not knowing if I was going to have to go to some other ISP or not. Claire was also complaining about her on-line class was so slow and she was having a hard time trying to get on-line with the air card. I then went to Sprint and got an air card from them, same deal free for 30 days, it worked but only on certain moments. I then gave in to WildBlue because I had to get something working so I told them just come on and fix it, I was in a bind and I had to have service. They said OK and they scheduled it for me so the service man would be here on July 26. I said that would be a problem because of my wife’s class and they said if I got it working before the service man arrived to call them and they would cancel the work order. I then found someone who is out there for the customer and what do you know he is from the Upstate, Abbeville. Randy is my new found friend from Green’s Service Center. Randy listen to my issues and he knew from the blinking lights on my modem that the problem was outside. I had already check my connections to be sure they were not loose and all were OK. He told me what parts I needed so I got them and when I was changing it on Thursday July 17, I found the problem. I had a wire on the transmit side that had been heated and was now corroding, looked just like bad wires in a house fire, so Randy sent me the end I needed and I got it up and working. WOW I feel better now because I got to tell you this, I was proud that I found the problem and it was only a .50 cent end. I tried to explain all of this to Claire but all she knew was it did not work and now it does, but what took so long, Women!! Anyway the end of this long month since my last posting has been lost in the wonderful word of technology. But I am back now.

On June 30, 2008 I went to Charleston by my self for a six month check up with my liver doctor. I knew this would be just a 10 minute doctor’s visit but it had to be done and besides it was time for some good ole Shrimp N Grits at the Charleston Crab House. I had an appointment around 11:00AM and left the office around 2:00PM, but you know me I had a good time. Got to see some of the nurses and doctors that has helped me along the way, they even acted like they were glad to see me. My Nurse Coordinator Dru was working so hard for me, she had to work on some paperwork for the insurance company and it was full of dumb questions and just took a while. I did not mind, it gave me a longer time to talk to all of those folks. Dr. Willner came in and said everything looked great about my liver, but he was not pleased with the long term plan for the fluid in my lung area. I have concluded that the drought in Possum Kingdom has not affected the flow from my lung. He is planning on changing some medication and he has referred me back to Dr. Sahn. I am waiting on the next Ship N Grits date.

Claire has a great opportunity at work, she has been in the ER for 23 years and the average ER nurse last 3 to 5 years. She is not leaving the ER department but she is moving down to Minor Care, same address different building. I am so proud of her and for her. This will be a slower pace and a whole lot less stress, so maybe I can get her to work more over time. You know a man’s toys are expensive and they change so often.

Well during this down time between postings, some other happenings has taken place. One is Justin is getting older and thank God I am to.

Justin just turned 21 and you know he makes me so proud. I did not get to see him on his birthday so when I called him around 9:30 PM the night of his birthday, I ask him what he was doing. He said got off work, ate a bite and been studying ever since, then Leroy his dog spoke up and confirmed he was at home. He also has another turn of events in his life besides working two jobs for Winthrop and football coaching starting up, he is sweet on a young lady.
I am proud for him, he is dating this lovely young lady from Greenwood. She is so pretty and respectful but on top of that she is smart to. I think he has hit a jack pot with her and I think she is well pleased with Justin & Leroy. Of course Justin had to be sure she could pass one test and that was Leroy, she passed, he approves. She also is working and going to school in Greenwood. When this relationship appeared I though well since Possum Kingdom is between Winthrop and Greenwood he might find his way down her more guess what, he hasn’t but that’s OK, he is doing well and happy and so am I.

Abigail is having a great summer also she has been working and helping me a lot around the house and she is growing up so fast. She is also taking a one day class, a week to keep her studying habits good over the summer break.
My favorite sister, Meleeda has worked with Abigail and Meleeda’s two grandkids during the summer. You know when I think about Meleeda having grandkids I realize how old she is getting. Meleeda has kept the studies fun with some sort of fun actives at the end of each study, like picnics, swimming, baking ect.
This has surprised me how much Abigail looks forward to each class.

Well as most of you know how I love to run my mouth. You also know how much I loved my job, but you may not have know one of the parts of my job I really enjoyed and that it interviewing people. An expert interviewer once said a good interview is like opening up someone’s head , turn them upside down and see what falls out.

I have been helping what little I can with my local fire department, South Greenville Fire Department, to help establish a well rounded investigations unit. Just a week or so a go I was asked to help with some interviews and of course I agreed. It turned into a interview marathon, we interviewed several folks in the span of over 16 hours straight. We were tired but we sure got a lot of great information. I sure am lucky to have the chance to be involved in the fire service, but most of all the great friends, brothers and sisters I have in the fire service. Of course that goes for law enforcement and ems also.

Chief Taylor of South Greenville Fire Department is just an outstanding Chief to work with and of course I had the great opportunity to work with him across the river, Chief Taylor has allowed me to remain a part of the fire service even with all my bad days that’s alright with him. I will always be indebted to Chief Taylor for this opportunity he has given me and ask nothing in return, he is a excellent Fire Chief, friend and brother. South Greenville has given me the chance to work with another great brother, friend and expert and that is Bum. He says he has a name that’s not hard to live up to, but he far exceeds any goals his name may make. Bum and I started our careers side by side, he was the 26th person hired at South Greenville and I was the 27th. Besides his fire service and other side line expertises he has, he is one heck of a fisherman or shrimperman.

Any way he is doing a lot of shrimping and he brought me 3 pounds of 150 pounds that he caught on Monday. Abigail and I ate all three pound for supper tonight and I just though I had eaten some good shrimp in the past, now I know what good shrimp taste like.

We have just finished up our vacation bible school at church, I sure did learn a lot. I have not been to bible school since I was a child, but this year I wanted to help. I helped with the kickoff, ran the sound system and taught 2 nights of the adult class. It was more fun for me than most of the kids. You know sometimes you wonder if you are just spinning your wheels but when the preacher got up and read the names of the children that gave there hearts to Jesus that made every moment worth while. Next time you have a chance to help in vacation bible school try it you will learn a whole lot.

Well I guess I had better get to going, told the wife I was working on bills, so I gotta get to them and get to bed won’t be long til church time.

God Bless You,

43 Years Ago…………….

June 16, 2008

Well, well, well today is not just another day in the Kingdom. Why? 43 years ago today a beautiful young couple was in the hospital awaiting the arrival, of what turned out to be, their favorite son and nightmare for their favorite daughter. Yes a new life arrives, not far from Possum Kingdom and as the years past a lot of things have change. One thing as you might know, this day 43 years ago was the only time I was little after that day, I was younger but never little again. Mama has answered a higher calling and left us way too soon, but God commanded us to go forward, we have and life has. Changes are always in the awaiting moment, we are too busy to acknowledge the moments until they have come to past. One change that I again, look forward to is my birthday. My beautiful daughter reminds me how wonderful birthdays were in my younger days. The meaning however changes with the years; in the young year we look forward to our birthday to receive the gifts. In my 20’s & 30’s I did not think much about birthdays, they came along as just another day and even sometimes a day to lie about your age, because remaining young was always on the mind. Today at the age of 43, I thank God for my birthday. The past couple of birthdays I started thinking about how they were almost my last birthdays and I don’t care how many birthdays you have had you should always look forward to the next one.

I thank God for my family as they have put their lives on hold for me, they have stopped their priorities to be sure I was always comfortable; I know I can never repay them but thank God I am here to try or at least here to harass my wife, son & daughter. I was thinking yesterday in church of how privileged I am to have a loving God who sent his son, at an early age, to die for me. I also have the love and support from my wife, son and daughter, to have a wonderful father’s day but every day is wonderful because of them. Father’s Day is one of the days that I stop and think of how much I enjoy being a father. My sister and her family have always been there for me to pick on, lean on and even cry on and for her to make pictures of me, in some of my most flattering moments. Yesterday however I sat in church thinking today is father’s day and I wanted to honor God, our heavenly father and as I sat there I knew I was, just by being in his house on Sunday worshiping him. I also sat in the choir loft wanting so badly to get up and tell my earthly father how wonderful he is, I was so full of emotions I could not speak. You know as you get older you think you will have the chance to repay your parents and help take care of them. God changed that for me, because Daddy is still taking care of me and always checking on me, asking the question that comes from his heart, how are you today and is there anything I can do for you. I am at the age that I though I would have the world in my hands and would not need any help from anyone. God stopped me in my tracks and showed me he has the world in his hands and only he can handle it. I do however feel sorry for all of you, well except my sister, because we have the best Daddy in the world. He has always been there from that first breath I drew and still there even today. Mama however reached a level in her life earlier than we though, but we should have known, that level was what we all aim for, to reach heaven. I have more things to do and learn before I reach that level. I thank God for Mama and her teachings and I guess even some of her hickories, they both have made a lasting impression on my life. Daddy however continues to share his wisdom day by day; he gives me knowledge that can’t be learned from a book. Daddy, Thank You, you are the best. You have set the bar high and I hope one day I can be a fraction of the father to my children that you are to us. Daddy you also set another bar high, that being a man of God, you walk the walk, sometimes a man of few words that are spoken so loud I can only hope to show God the love that you show him. I hope one day I can repay you for what you have given me. Daddy has also given me something else that I never dreamed of, that is a wonderful step-mother. She has never tried to take Mama’s place but she has created a place in my heart that I did not know there were room for and an even larger extended family that has been there for me all the way.

Father’s day did not end there with my thoughts because on June 19, 1996 my best friend became my wife and with that she shared her great father with me. PaPa’ you are a man of many works and few, soft but powerful words. You also give me that Godly example to strive far and show how God will take care of you all of your life and you have proved a Christian Life is a great life. Happy Father’s Day, PaPa’! With a great Christian man comes a great Christian woman, MawMa also reached heaven early in her life, a Christian example and a great woman.

Well I have babbled on but I hope you understand how much Father’s Day means to me and how I cherished my second Father’s Day (since my transplant) and now always look forward to my birthday.

I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day and look forward to your birthday no matter what your age is.

God Bless You,
If you meet me and forget me you lose nothing……
If you meet my God and forget him you lose everything……..

www.LifePoint-SC.org Organ donor yet? Tell your family today!

Memorial Day

May 26, 2008


The 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) has honored America’s fallen heroes by placing American flags before the gravestones and niches of service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just prior to Memorial Day weekend.

This tradition, known as “flags in,” has been conducted annually since The Old Guard was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry participates, placing small American flags one foot in front and centered before each grave marker.

During an approximately three-hour period, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery’s columbarium. Another 13,500 flags are placed at the Soldier’s and Airmen’s Cemetery. As part of this yearly memorial activity, Old Guard soldiers remain in the cemetery throughout the weekend, ensuring that a flag remains at each gravestone.

American flags are also placed at the graves of each of the four unknown service men interred at the Tomb of the Unknowns, by the Tomb Sentinels. All flags are removed after Memorial Day before each cemetery is opened to the public.

Pictures and Statement from Arlington National Cemetery at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/

Good Morning,

Did you wake up this morning feeling secure? Well you should have because we are secure. This security comes from us being a God fearing nation and our men and women in the military. Did you know that God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our security and over 1 million American’s have died to assure us security? What have you done for God and our military? God only ask one thing; accept Jesus as your personal savior. Our military only ask that you pray for their safe return from war and pray for their families. Tell a solider Thank You the next time you have the opportunity. I know that this is no breaking news to you, but today is Memorial Day, so at 3:00 PM today stop what ever you are doing and pray for the soldiers who have died and pray for their family. What connections do you have to the military? Well I don’t have any close family members in the military, but I have always had a close relationship to the military. I have great friends; brother and sister firefighters that fight for our freedom and security. I now have a great friend whose son is a pilot, fighting for our freedom and security as I type this blog. I want to send out a big THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU to everyone in the military. I must THANK the families who did not get that reunion hug from their solider; instead they received a flag, GOD BLESS YOU. We as American’s must remember the soldiers who have already gone ahead of us and know they will never again have to worry about their security for God has promised through the blood of Jesus to forever be secure in heaven with him.

Well I know I am a week and a day late writing and you know me I have an excuse, I am lazy. So I am going to back track to catch you up. I had to return to Charleston for a follow up visit with my surgeon about the infection I had. This was one of those trips that was going to be about a five minute doctor’s visit so the plan was for me to journey alone because Claire and Abigail had work and school. I then talked with my ole buddy Al and told him I was going to Charleston for some Shrimp & Grits and he decided he wanted to try them, so off to Charleston we went. We left on Monday afternoon and arrived there just in time for supper at Hyman’s Seafood. Can you tell how a fat boy plans a trip? We arrived and I kicked Al out of the truck so he could get in line, I did not want any lost time for parking, supper was great. The Court Yard by Marriott again provided that great night’s rest and I awoke to the pleasant smell of breakfast, there in the motel. Al and I went to the “Shoot til you win”, “All you can eat”, or “Graze til you bust” but really it was a buffet so there again I got my monies worth and more. After grazing we arrived at the doctor’s office about 8:25 AM. I went back to see the doctor, he mashed and tried to hurt me again but he was not able to so he stated all was well and to call him if I needed him. He did stated he wanted to see me back for a year check up in August. We then chatted for a while longer and the nurse and I replaced the dressing, about 9:10 AM I was out front making my appointment. While I was standing there making the appointment, I could hear a lot of talking but one voice stood out above the rest, yelp it was Al. I think he had already finished his fire inspection and was now socializing with the patients, can you believe he had them old sick people down in the floor teaching, Stop, Drop and Roll. Well the next item was to check out of the motel, go to the market for some goodies for the girls and be close to the Charleston Crab House for the good ole Shrimp & Grits. We walked through out the market, I bought some goodies and got scolded for picking up a grass basket when I told the lady I was just looking, she said for me to just look not handle, if I was just looking, she said people would mash the edges. I placed the basket down in shame and traveled on. We then went into the Charleston Hat Company, yelp that’s were all the hats come from. I ask the lady who always helps me to fix my brown hat because I got caught in a bad down pour a few weeks ago. While we were there I had to look around and try on some more hats. Then on the shelf, sat a hat that just reached out for me and I tried it on. Yelp you guessed it I got another hat. I needed this one because it will be cooler for the summer, Claire and Abigail also approved it. With my treasures in tow and on my head off to the Charleston Crab House we went. You know you go to a restaurant to often when you are out of town and the staff recognizes you when you walk in. We ordered the small Shrimp & Grits, chatted with the staff and recommended food selections for other patrons. We sat there realizing that the small bowl of Shrimp & Grits had many more vittles in it than either of us could handle but we tried. We then accepted defeat and left in our bowls the evidence that the small bowl was much too large for either of us. Realizing the end was near for this trip, I left Charleston full and yet hopeful for the return visits I have in the future to go back to Charleston for the food, I mean the doctor’s visits. Al and I arrived back in Possum Kingdom on Tuesday and told of the terrible time we had in Charleston, the long wait at the doctor’s office and the meals we had to eat out of the vending machines, I hope our secrete is safe with you. Al knew he had to get out of Possum Kingdom before dark, because the streets are rolled up and the gates are locked til day break, but Abigail had a different idea. Well let me set the stage for you, Al has a nice shinny convertible. Rebel stood guard while we was gone lying beside it and Abigail just ain’t never seen a top fold up and disappear. I had her convinced that the Gator was a convertible, now she knows better. She convinced Al to carry her for a ride before he drove out of the kingdom. Abigail came back smiling from ear to ear, grinning like a mule eating briers through a picket fence and with that wind blown look. You can now tell that there is always a silver lining behind every cloud. Preacher Mike stated this past week that we must thank God for ever event in our life, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have since decided that I needed some new drama in my life, so now I have a bad chest cold, at least that’s what I am calling it, Claire looked over the medication list and gave me the correct medication. I am the luckiest man alive.

Have a God filled day and remember the sacrifices that have been made for each of us and be careful this long weekend is one of the deadliest on our roads.

God Bless You,

Road Trip – Sun Shine in Charleston

May 8, 2008

Well once again we had this urge to go and see if the sun was shinning in Charleston, I guess you could say my body had that urge. Well I will try to stay on track and tell you what is going on with me, but you know me and somewhere along the road I will fall of the turnip truck but it’s always fun getting back on the truck. To some people this statement made no sense and you have no idea what I just said and to some others you felt like you was right there with me and almost fell off the turnip truck with me, now that I have confused my darling wife twice, I will give you an update.

In the past couple of weeks I have not felt 100%, but you know for a fat country boy from Possum Kingdom 70% is passing or just getting by and anything above that is extra effort. Well the fact is I just did not feel good. Last Friday I became quite aggravated because the bandage covering the Plural-X catheter was causing some irritation. On Saturday it had gotten to the point of being very uncomfortable, so I changed the bandage and observed a red area around the area. On Sunday, which was the scheduled day for draining the fluid from my left lung area, we then knew what was going on, I had an infection. On Monday I was advised that I needed to go to Charleston and see the surgeon in the event the catheter had to come out. Claire, Abigail and myself loaded up the van and off to Charleston we go. To give you a visual, close your eyes and think of Granny, Ellie May and Uncle Jed loading the truck and going on a road trip. OK now that you have that visual we will move on with the story. Now when we arrived in town after a long rough ride, still keep the visual, I went inside to check us in a new motel, at least it was new to us, you know we wanted to just try it. So I and my old hat wobbled in the fancy lobby of this motel to check in. I was standing there thinking we ain’t got nothing like this in Possum Kingdom, but I do my visual inspection and felt a little better because they had a concrete pond in the front and a sprinkler system. I then got my room assignment and that did not help a lot because it was on the 7th floor and I knew that kind of jump out the window would leave a mark, but thought between the concrete pond and the sprinklers we could get out if we had to. OK enough of check in, I got to tell you about supper. I should tell you one thing that we liked about the information we had read about this motel was they served 3 meals a day and the one we always stayed at only served breakfast. OK so we check in about 2130hrs and the supper hour was over at2200hrs, so we had to hurry! Well the fun for me was just beginning, we walked down to the restaurant, which was so fancy I had to ask if this was the restaurant, and it was. We went and started to set at the first table we saw, but that seemed to bother the nice lady trying to get us to sit at a booth, you know a fat boy at a booth with fixed benches can make the meal uncomfortable. OK for the grossly under weight people, if you were at the range of above normal weights when you sit at a booth your belly, table and bench all become one. Anyway we sat at the table we chose and she handed us the menu, things went down hill after that. Claire wasn’t feeling well after the long ride, she was the designated driver since I was on drugs, pain meds, so she left Abigail and myself to eat alone. The waitress came back and said I am so sorry, your are here for dinner, I said no supper and she said I must change the table because it was set up for breakfast. Now there was all I needed, you know dishes, to eat and drink with and even some left over. The nice lady insisted that she had to change the setting from breakfast to dinner for us. She gathered all those dishes including the napkins and returned with another pile of dishes, many more that we needed, I even insisted that she take the small fish bowl back so they did not have to was extra dishes, because I was not going to drink out of two glasses and that fish bowl one would not hold much and you could not get that manly grip on it like you can a Mason jar. We started reading the menu and it was wrote in English, but they were doing so much with flour, dead critters and a small mess of vegetables, that gave all of the good old food new names, it scared us. We decided on what to eat but we did not see it on the menu, so we asked. The waitress agreed to fix it our way, Abigail wanted some shrimp and mac & cheese. I saw something on the menu that sounded good, but there was numbers besides the writing (ie. 6 or 24 and ect.) and I decided that was how you ordered, you know by the number! Well I was wrong, so if you ever go to a restaurant that has just numbers beside the words, don’t order by announcing the number, because that could be the price. Any way I got a coupon when I arrived and it was good for for a drink and flat bread. Well I had to ask what flat bread was, Mama always fussed if you mashed the bread because it would become flat. I agreed to have the flat bread with some grilled shrimp and a side order of a lot of words because I did not know what that stuff was, but is was free with the coupon. The time came for us to order the drinks, so I ask what kind of drink the coupon was good for. The waitress looked at me and started with the beers, wines and all of that stuff. I ask could the coupon cover the Mountain Dew drink Abigail ordered so she said yes and I ordered water. We then had some down time so we went out and looked at the cement pond and on the way I even found a big chunk of marble with a hole in it and it had lava rock in the hole and fire with no smoke coming out of it. We then returned to our table to await our freshly prepared meal. I got a plank for a plate with a thin crust pizza on top with a good flavor of shrimp and other stuff. Abigail on the other hand got a great big plate of macaroni with maters and green beans and some really big shrimp. Abigail said our blessing and we began eating supper. We had a great talk with the waitress and even about her brother just finishing the police academy. We retired to our room with two great ole big beds, and really pretty furniture and so much furniture, they even had two tables that fit together to make a computer desk. The TV and fridge were both hiding when we arrived but after a short game of hide and seek we found the TV and fridge hiding behind some doors on this big pretty thing, I guess it was an entertainment stand? We then retired to bed and arose the next morning after a good night sleep, but we packed up and deceided if the doctor wanted us to stay in town we were going back to the motel we had been staying at. We arrived at MUSC to have X-Rays before seeing the doctor. He came in without much delay, had the bandage removed and he started poking and mashing. Now keep in mind, no visual this time, I had taken a small amount of drugs before I went and I found out real soon I did not have near enough on board to take care of the poking and mashing he did, but I survived. He said the infection was just around the surface area and not in the chest cavity or in the catheter, which was great. He put me on oral antibiotics and wants me to come back in two weeks. We ask, what was his long term goal, as he was the one a referral was sent to for a repeated VATS with talc procedure. He replied that there was no need to repeat the procedure, because it failed one time and he was sure it would fail again. He told me we had done well keeping the catheter clean for all of this time, 9 months. We talked about other long range procedures such as a shunt. He stated that I would not like that because I would have to push on the same spot everyday about 100 times to pump the fluid out, and it would get sore. Therefore my understanding was get use to the catheter, because the catheter was the best thing to treat my plural effision with. He finished hurting me and after we left I got to thinking. The biggest thing I remembered was my small hope of going back to the work I loved so much was now over and I know I should have learned that by now but I always hoped, but God has another plan for me. I have to pray for God to keep my eyes and mind open and seek his will. God has blessed me so much I have nothing to complain about.

Well the time has passed and my writing skill has not gotten any better so with that I will end. Remember when things don’t go your way and you feel like nobody cares, know for sure God cares and so do I.

Remember, if you meet me and forget me you loose nothing…..
If you meet my God and forget him you lose everything……..

Make things right with God, sign a donor card and tell your family, you can help save lives long after you are gone….

God Bless You,