A New Life

Campaign Created by: CLIFFORD POWERS

The funds from this campaign will be received by CLIFFORD POWERS.

Goal: USD $40,000
Raised: USD $ 26,089
I had thought that a false diagnosis of cancer and a botched colonoscopy were life changing events. However, if you really want to see your life, health, and finances go sideways, just get hit by lightning. Prior to having part of a bolt that hit nearby come over and say hi, arthritis/inflammation and allergies were the worst issues in my medical life. Since being hit, I've developed cardiac issues that we are hoping recent open heart surgery has dealt with. They had to do three different things while in there: bypass several arteries that had become so inflamed and thickened (possibly/probably from the lightning) they were no longer functioning; zap seven spots on the heart to prevent atrial fibrillation; and, install a clip on the back of my heart to prevent clots from forming. While there are no guarantees, the effort seems to be working for now though we continue to work on dealing with some issues surgery can't fix. In many respects, I am starting life over again. This fundraiser is so that I can not only start over, but do so in a way that will help me live as long and healthy a life as possible. I need the help because each of the events I've mentioned have cost me work, savings, and more. While I have been working my way back, it has been slow (to be polite). I'm not making anywhere near what I used to, and the last few jobs have been technically part-time and had no paid time off. For the last couple of years, I've been advised to do a number of things, including move to the desert southwest. The warmth and low humidity are supposed to be very good for the allergies, arthritis and related inflammatory issues. The cold is not good for me, and the true cold snaps we have had since the surgery have done a number on me. Financially and job-wise I've not been able to make much progress on moving (or anything else). Since I'm going to be out of work until at least February, the goals of the fundraiser are to: 1. Cover my basic expenses while I am out of work 2. Cover the cost of traveling to the three areas in the SW where I've been focusing on finding work; determine which area is the best option for now; and, secure a place to live there. 3. Cover the expenses of moving there, as I will not be able to lift, tote, or otherwise do the normal things of moving myself. As of right now, I've exhausted my financial resources. With this fundraiser, I can use the time I know I will be out of work to take care of the things needed to start my life over again on the best possible footing, and to be prepared for being out of work longer than expected. Thank you for your help with this effort.


28 November 23
November 28, 2023
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Sorry for the long silence, but things have been a bit interesting.  First up, the surgery went very well though there were some hiccups with the care provided by the hospital the night after the surgery.  Also, someone with that hospital/health care system (not my surgeon) has diagnosed me with Chronic Systolic Heart Failure (HCC), which is news to me and my cardiologist. 

That said, the recovery is going very well, and this morning the surgeon cleared me to move from mostly range-of-motion physical therapy to what I call "real" physical therapy.  Now that I am typing two handed, hoping to get back to much more regular updates.  My Thanksgiving was very non-traditional since I still can't do what I call real cooking yet as it takes two hands, but see that day rapidly approaching.  Which is good as the larder is bare and I need to start doing some real cooking again. 

There car has developed a rather severe coolant leak that is now temporarily abated.  Once I can get some funds and the mechanic has an opening, want to get it fixed if possible or at least where it will keep going a bit longer. 

Any help towards larder, car, or just in general is very much appreciated.  Your prayers are also very much appreciated as is all the love and support shown to me since this all started.  Your prayers, help, and encouragement were a part of my Thanksgiving, both the day and ongoing.  Thank you all so much! 

FYI, hoping to be able to get me to the point physically and financially where I can implement my GOTH move plan early in the new year.  More soon, and thank you! 

17 Oct 23
October 17, 2023
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As always, my thanks to the very generous donors and all those who have offered prayers!  Thanks to you, the freezer is stocked with breakfasts and dinners for a while; the heat-pad cover is ordered; and, I'm finishing up the final things for surgery later this week.  I am hoping that it goes at least as smoothly as the right shoulder, and even more so would be very nice and appreciated!  :)

Still a few more things to get, and need to restock on some of the supplements and such.  Also hoping an insurance glitch on one of the prescriptions is fixed and I can restock it before the surgery.  Had a special form of bursitis appear in my right elbow which is annoying and keeping me from doing all I want to do, looks like someone shoved a ping pong ball (or at least half of one) into the joint.  The two compression dressings I bought to treat per the doctor did not do well, in fact one tore up my arm a bit.  What has worked is I cut the foot off a compression sock and used the upper part on the arm, works like a champ. 

For the next couple of weeks I'm dropping back almost to zero on recovery, but am hoping that as the left shoulder heals it will actually allow me to get back to where I am/was even more quickly and allow me to begin the year or more process of recovering all the lost range of motion in both shoulders.  I'm told that within a year I can resume things like backpacking, camping, and other outdoor activities, and am going to be working as hard as I can to make that happen. 

Again, thank you all so much for your support, encouragement, and generosity!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it, and each and every one of you.  Stay safe, stay frosty, be prepared -- and never stop pressing onwards and upwards. 

3 Oct. 23
October 3, 2023
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Thank you so very much to my most recent anonymous donor!  The second medical-grade cold pack is here and in the freezer.  Between PT and the upcoming surgery, figure I needed it more than the heat cover. 

I have my pre-op visit later this week, and then we will replace the other shoulder later this month.  The last currently approved PT session is tomorrow, but we have things set so I can do everything (except get the coaching) between home and the gym. 

Now starting to stock up  on things that I know I will need, and cooking up as much food as I can to freeze.  Know that for 2-3 weeks after the surgery I will not be up to cooking and that even re-heating can be a challenge at first.  :)  Hope to get the heating pack cover ($35) as soon as I can, as once I'm doing PT on BOTH arms they and the cold packs will be needed.  I'm finding the hot packs work great on the arm, while the shoulders both still appreciate the cold packs. 

Thanks to all who have helped make the home PT possible.  Hope to add some more weights soon, even though I will probably have to drop back for a few weeks as the other shoulder heals.  For all that I'm not looking forward to that drop, I will be so glad to have both shoulders done it isn't funny.  Really wish I had done this years ago. 

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!  There is a reason I'm able to take this, and life, on like I am, and it is you.  Thank You!

26 Sept 23
September 26, 2023
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Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! 

I thought it important to share a bit of what your donations have been helping with.  While the battle of bureaucracy, insurance, and paperwork continues on, your donations have helped me take my home PT to the max. If all goes well, there should be a photo attached to this update, that shows the following:  the new folding therapy table, some of the moist heat packs, professional-grade cold pack, the over-the-door pulley system, various foam rollers (two medical and two made from pool noodles), weights, and balls.  Not shown are some of the PVC constructs or the theraband set-up. 

Before the next surgery, I would love to get one more of the professional-grade cold packs, which will run about $35 with shipping.  I also want to get another cover/holder for the moist heat packs so I can do both arms at once, which is about another $35 (the covers are roughly twice the cost of the heat packs!).  I'm also looking to get some more weights, so that I can continue to ramp up.  I'm also wanting to start putting food away for the weeks after surgery, as well as bagging up the meds and supplements as that worked very well last time.  Few other minor comfort items that would be nice to haves are on the list too. 

None of this would be possible without your support and prayers.  Thank you so much for all you have done for me.  Really hoping that this next surgery will leave me where I can move, and the sooner the better.  Thank you.

16 Sept. 23
September 16, 2023
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First, thank you to my two most recent anonymous donors!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it, and I've already ordered some more PT equipment and hope to order yet more soon.  Thank you for making that possible. 

Since the last update, a few things have changed.  We are really pushing the PT, both because it's time and because we have no guarantee the insurance company is going to approve any more sessions even though the doc and others are pushing hard for them.  It is "fun" not only pushing through the effects of the surgery, but we are also hitting issues with muscle and tendon contraction and atrophy that are a result of years of growing loss of mobility and damage to the joint(s). 

Another thing that's changed is we now have a date next month to replace the left shoulder.  For all that I'm not quite where I would like to be, the left is a growing problem (almost flipped a coin on which shoulder to do first as both were in such bad shape) and doing it now gives me the best shot in regards recovery and moving that I can see.  I'm also going to be getting my neck and lower back evaluated to see where things stand there since no doc has imaged or checked them in at least five years.  Don't anticipate needing any intervention, but we do need to know where things stand. 

I've also changed my priorities a bit.  In addition to the two items already ordered, I plan to get one more professional cold pack, some proper heat treatment gear, and a folding massage table before getting the body blade.  The cold pack is needed as with the stepped-up PT I find cold works best on the shoulders and both shoulders need it.  Finding heat/hot works to help with the muscle/tendon issues, which affects both arms.  I really need a therapy table at home, but there is no room.  A folding massage table is about the same size and height, and can be put up at need then taken down and put out of the way when done.  That way I can use it for all the stretches and exercises we do on one at PT.  Really do want a body blade, as the weird thing works, but need the other items first.  Also having to pick up a few more weights.  Any and all help appreciated! 

Your thoughts and prayers do make a difference!  Your support is why I am still here and able to push things along.  Thank you all so very much!  More soon!!

12 Sept. 23
September 12, 2023
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I slipped a little on the updates, but there is good news to share as well as a couple of challenges.  That said, I want to thank everyone who has donated, especially since the last update.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

The good news is that my recovery from the shoulder replacement surgery continues to go well.  More improvements in range of motion, and we've been able to step things up a bit.  A challenge, however, is that we are now having to get approval for more PT from the insurance company, and there is no guarantee they will allow such.  The doc is for it, the therapists are for it, and I'm for it as they think they can get me back to almost normal function (barring the limits of the artificial joint).  Whether the insurance company will support that is a good question.  I will note that we've hit some interesting limits that are a result of the muscles and tendons contracting because of the prior loss of range of motion.  That is proving quite interesting and we are trying stretches and more to help get them loosened up.  Also applying heat, massage, and anything else that may help. 

Also, since insurance may just say "good enough" on PT, continuing to build things up at home.  If anyone can help, one of the oddest things we've used at PT is called a bodyblade (bodyblade dot com) and it has been surprisingly (to me) helpful with some of the PT.  If anyone can help me get one and the other things needed for home PT, it would be appreciated.  It is amazing how much you can get and get done for under $20. The bodyblade will be the only truly expensive thing so far in regards PT.

Thursday morning I am talking with the surgeon about when to do the other shoulder.  Part of me would like to be further along on this shoulder, but there are a number of reasons to do the other as soon as possible.  To be honest, part of me is good with tomorrow in that regard.  Right now, barring insurance or other issues, looking towards mid- to late-October. 

One of the things I'm looking at is moving as soon as possible.  I'm exploring a couple of options right now, and provided no other medical issues come up I would like to act as soon as I can.  With the new surgery, that pushes things into next February or March.  Really would love to do it before then, but since the insurance won't transfer my options are limited.  That said, if anyone has a good idea, let me know.  I am more than open to suggestions right now. 

Before the next surgery, I plan to stock up a bit and make use of the lessons learned.  Want to get another pro cold pack, and the PT items.  Of those, the bodyblade is the most expensive, and I can pick up most of the rest for $20 or so.  Your help with this is very, very much appreciated! 

Thank you for your help and prayers.  They have made all the difference.  Thank you. 

25 August 23
August 25, 2023
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As always, my thanks to all who have donated!  Your donations and prayers have kept me going through life's twist and turns. 

In terms of my recovery from being hit by lightning, there are good days and there are interesting days.  I'm thankful the good days outnumber the interesting.  As I mentioned in the last update, I'm considering getting a guitar to see if I can learn to play it, which is not guaranteed.  Trying, however, should do some good no matter what.

My recovery from the first shoulder replacement continues apace.  Right now we are having to get insurance to approve more sessions so I can continue to recover full range of motion and build some strength.  Shouldn't be a problem but you never know.  Already had to deal with one paperwork snafu, and waiting to find out about therapy next week. 

Even if no PT next week, I will be doing what we have been doing at home or at the Y (where I get a substantial discount on my fees because of circumstances).  Here at home, I have recreated everything from the physical therapy center on the cheap.  Like them, used PVC pipe for some bars.  I did buy a pulley system from a vendor that the therapist has used, and a professional cold pack from the manufacturer.  Been picking up weights and such, and even a small inflatable ball for the isometrics.  With the landlord's permission, installed an eye-bolt to facilitate thera-band work.  The Y has a hand bike, which is the only thing I've not (and have no interest in getting or room to get) gotten.  Right now doing PT at least three days a week at home and/or with my workout at the Y.  I didn't realize how much I've missed working out. 

Next week, we start discussing when to do the left shoulder.  When and where to move out West is still very much up in the air, though I admit I really, really don't want to spend another winter in Indiana.  My insurance will not transfer, so got to get everything I can taken care of now.  I ask for your continued patience and prayers, and all support is appreciate more than words can say. 

Thank you!

16 Aug 23
August 16, 2023
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Trying to do better about updating, and want to start by thanking those who donated recently!  Thanks to your help, I now have a good start on the weights (the free weight section of the local store looked like a field hit by locusts) and also picked up a small inflated ball that I need for some of the exercises. 

Any help towards more physical therapy items and the guitar are very, very much appreciated.  I know times are hard for all, and there are disasters and tragedies all around.  That is why I appreciate your prayers and support so very much. 

Thank you!

7 August 2023
August 7, 2023
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My apologies for the lack of updates!  I did survive the shoulder replacement surgery; discovered typing one-handed is not easy or fun; and, that every part of the body is somehow connected directly to the shoulder that has been replaced.  The good news is, I am healing and physical therapy is going well.  I definitely could use a little help as I need to pick up some items so I can do the same PT at home as I do with the therapist.  Nothing hugely expensive, just not something for which I had planned.  Doing a lot on the cheap, such as PVC pipe for bars, etc. (just like they do at formal PT).

I also would like to try an experiment.  I'm still not sure about my ability to learn new and complex things, so I had the idea to buy a guitar and see if I could learn to play it.  Any help with that would be very much appreciated! 

At the end of this month, we start talking about when to do the other shoulder.  It's ironic that many days it hurts worse than the one that was replaced.  Been doing some PT on it to get it ready for replacement. 

The goal is, once it is done and I recover, I hope to get out West.  As I've said before, I think, my insurance will not transfer so trying to take care of everything I can.  Last year was a lot of testing and dealing with things that popped up.  We had to rule out the Big C in a couple of areas, deal with some new conditions, and get things where I could get the shoulders taken care of.  They were/are in horrible shape, so much so we did reverse replacements.  PT is going well so far, and I'm hopeful about how much mobility I will recover. 

With your help and prayers, things are getting done and preparations made.  I've been praying about the move, and have been reminded it is a new beginning, not an end.  Also, that I may need to be near or around people a bit more than I might have been planning.  As it is, I place the move and myself in the Lord's hands, and know I will be guided.

Thank you all so very much for your help and prayers! 

8 June 23
June 8, 2023
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Thank you to all who have donated! Just ran the last few errands, and now trying to be sure everything is as ready as it can be for tomorrow. The right joint gets done tomorrow, and it really is amazing that this is now outpatient surgery. Especially since they effectively amputate the arm, make repairs, then put everything back together. . I suspect the next couple of weeks (or months) may not be fun, but it is rather clearly past time I had this done. More soon, and your prayers are much appreciated.

16 May 23
May 16, 2023
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Well, they tried hard to get me in for the right shoulder replacement this Friday, but things didn't work out.  So, it will be a couple more weeks before the surgery.  As much as I'm already ready for it to be over, it's good to have a little extra time to get preparations made.  Met with yet another surgeon who specializes in this operation (the previous ortho does not do this surgery), he's done quite a few of them with few problems, and he was a human about things.  Some docs are not, and are in fact raging jerks.  Both the first ortho and the one doing my surgery are the opposite.  

So, next week lab work and other prep, then surgery early June.  I will be one armed for a while, and have been warned it will be an interesting few months.  Possibly even a year.  Once I'm recovered sufficiently, they will then do the left joint.  Hope this is the last major thing for a while, as once this is done I really do want to get out West.  Meantime, I have Faith that I'm being guided to the right thing for now.  


3 May 23
May 3, 2023
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Could have sworn I posted an update towards the end of last month... 

First up, as always, thank you to all who have donated, encouraged, and prayed!  I can't tell you how much it is appreciated.  

From a cardio standpoint, things are doing well.  From an arthritis standpoint, not so good.  Three years ago I was told I needed an immediate replacement of my right shoulder, and the left would not be far behind.  The second opinion said both, but recommended waiting.  Today, had to see a shoulder specialist and while he told me the decision on when was up to me, the damage to both joints is bad.  As in mostly bone-on-bone for almost all movement.  Yeah, there's been a bit of pain.  

So, now having to look at the replacement surgery, and possibly soon.  Will keep you posted.  

Again, my thanks to all!  

10 April 23
April 10, 2023
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As always, let me start with thanks for all the donations and the prayers!  Everything is very much appreciated.  The car situation is not good.  It did have to get towed down to the mechanic, who Monday a week ago put in a new alternator and new starter to go with the new battery I bought.  The alternator did not last a week, and the car died as I was taking it back to the mechanic.  Another fun and expensive towing bill, but the mechanic did not charge me labor and the alternator was under warranty.  Problem is, the newest alternator is not doing as it should, which makes us both suspect there are other issues.  I would love to get a more reliable vehicle.  Sadly, the used car market is still nuts (to be polite) and there are no options I can afford right now.  Even if I can't go to the SW just yet, I do need to move from where I am right now.  Not an ideal situation.  I've been praying, and even have the Friars at St. Anthony's Basilica offering special prayers this week, that I be shown what I should be doing, where I should be doing it, and that I be granted the means to do both.  I would ask for your prayers as well, so that I can do that which is right at the right time and in the right way.  While I would like the SW, I need to go where God wants me to go, and given some of the roadblocks to moving to the SW I want to be sure it is the right thing.  Thank you all for your thoughts, your prayers, and your gifts.  We have gotten this far, and I have Faith that the best is yet to come.  

30 March 23
March 30, 2023
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First, for prayers and donations, my thanks! 

Good News:  Good visits with GP and cardiologist, the latter saying she doesn't need to see me for a year as things are going so well.  Yay.  

Neutral News:  Nothing on the storage unit break-in, the odds on getting Flo (statue) are not good and falling fast.  Did call all metal recycling in the area, now reaching out to some other places that have been suggested.  

Interesting News:  Monday, after visiting my GP, the car wouldn't start.  New battery, all sorts of adventures, as it turns out a new alternator is needed.  Got the car home, talked with the mechanic, and they have the alternator.  Was going to take it down this morning, but that's not going well and looks like I may have to have it towed yet again.  Joy.  

As before:  In your prayers, please ask that I be shown what I should do and where I should go.   

20 March 23
March 20, 2023
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As always, my thanks to those who have donated.  I can't tell you how much it is appreciated. 

Today, I would like to ask for your prayers and thoughts.  Let me share just a bit. 

Saturday I got a call that my little storage unit, where I keep what I've been able to save of my previous life as it were, had been burglarized.  They didn't get much, but the one thing we can prove was taken was a bronze statue "Flowing in the Wind" that was one of the last "nice things" I had been able to hold onto.  Given an empty tote/container, suspect they got more but have no clue what it was.  Overall, I was incredibly lucky to only lose the statue and small things.  I do give thanks for that, though losing Flo hurts.  

Even if I can't move to the SW yet, need to find some place to call my own. Some place I can have my books out, hang what little art I have left, and get the other bits of beauty and the past out of storage.  For all that I want to move to the SW, wondering with all that has gone on this last year plus if that is where God thinks I need to be.  

If you are the praying kind, please ask that I be shown what I should do and where I should go.   Also, please pray for the people who had the other dozen units hit by the thieves as well. 


16 March 23
March 16, 2023
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Still dragging after the bug/infection, to be polite.  That said, I'm not dead yet and am slowly making some progress.  With luck, will be talking with a realtor in the area of the SW I'm most interested in sometime this afternoon.  Had a very nice e-mail exchange with someone in the area who filled me in on a lot of details that are most needful to know.  If I win the lottery, found one place that would be great, complete with old silver mine and more.  :)  

I want to thank everyone who has donated; all who have prayed; and, all those who have offered other support.  Things are not where I would like, but I am continuing to move forward with your help.  Yes, hated having to use the moving nest egg to fix the car, but without working wheels, a lot of things don't happen.  

Right now, any donations are going to getting my supplements and meds back in order, then towards the actual move.  Hoping to be able to refine some things here soon after talking with the realtor.  Plans are nice, but plans based on realistic financial info are far nicer and make accomplishing things much easier.  

Please take care of yourselves, and be prepared.  The world looks to be going crazy, and I hope you will prepare and be safe to the best of your ability.  Thank you for all your help in getting me prepared, moved, and starting a new life that is hopefully a bit less crazy.  

3 Mar 23
March 3, 2023
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We were just outside Barstow when the antibiotics kicked in...  

My adventure in the ER last week dragged on and on, and the second time I had trouble swallowing I got into the clinic at my GPs practice.  Long story short, throat infection now being treated by antibiotics and a tapering amount of Ranger candy.  Eyes are no longer looking like FX for a vampire movie thanks to the antibiotic ointment prescribed by the ER.  Still some cough, but that seems to be a function of drainage and the the throat issues.  

Started the antibiotics yesterday, and while last night was not entirely restful, I did not get up this morning until almost 8.  My "normal" wake-up is much closer to 5.  To say I'm dragging is an understatement, but clearly need to rest and give the body time to heal.  Not being as good about Lent as I should, but trying.  Want more coffee, but that way lies madness.  Not a bad day for a nap if that is what happens, nasty rainy cold here today. 

My thanks to all, and to the person who donated last week my profound thanks as it has gotten me through a lot.  Your gifts and prayers mean more than I can say, and I thank you all for them.  May God bless you all richly and fully.  Thank you. 

22 Feb 23
February 22, 2023
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A Blessed Ash Wednesday to all!  

I had planned to post an update yesterday, but ended up spending most of the day in the ER.  Just my luck, caught the cold/bug going around and it did something weird.  When I had stuff moving into my ears and eyes, decided to go see the pros, and they concurred with that decision.  Long story short, no on strep, flu, covid, etc.  Just I am not even supposed to look at a decongestant of any type or description, so may be a few sucky days as this works through.  Took five minutes in the shower this morning to get the eyes where I could open both of them.  

The good news is, all the cardio side looks good.  12-lead was effectively textbook, the X-rays showed normal and continued good healing.  BP and related were extremely good.  Headed out now to get two prescriptions, one for the eyes and one for the cough, really hoping the eye ointment helps my eyes are so red they look like movie special effects.  

Thank you all for your continues prayers, gifts, and support.  Know all are appreciated, as are all of you.  

17 Feb 23
February 17, 2023
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Sorry for not updating sooner, but it has been interesting.  On the very good news front, the car is out of the shop.  Ultimately a bit over $2,500 after taxes and such.  It has to go back today for a one-week checkup that I hope goes well.  A switch from one generic medicine to another appears not to have gone so well, going to have to talk with the pharmacist as I went from no side effects to strong side effects.  Joy.  

Things are tight, and retirement truly starts next month.  Meantime, I'm starting to search property listings and such out in my preferred area of the Southwest.  One property that seemed to be too good to be true seems to be such indeed, but working on options.  

Thank you to all who have donated and/or prayed!  Your donations keep me operational and your prayers keep me going.  I can't say thank you enough for all the support and encouragement.  

6 February 23
February 6, 2023
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Just spoke to the transmission repairman.  Rebuild.  $2,400 for all intents and purposes.  Ouch.  

As always, my thanks to all who have donated and lifted me up in prayer.  We will get there yet!  

2 Feb 23
February 2, 2023
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Thank you!  To all who have sent gifts/donated, thank you!  To all who have lifted me up in prayer, thank you! 

The good news is that the car went to the transmission shop yesterday.  I used the towing service they recommended, and as a result I too will recommend White Glove Towing in Greenwood, IN.  Good service all the way around.  Also, got the tow for $150 rather than the $250 that was the high estimate previously cited.  Now waiting to find out what is wrong with the car and what it will take to fix it.  

While part of me is still waiting on the other shoe to drop, it appears my efforts to take early retirement are on track.  Getting congressional intervention paid off, and while there are still a couple of things to come, some things that happened yesterday indicate it is indeed on track.  Will know for sure by the end of the month.  I'm also waiting to find out if following some advice from this platform in regards the payment processor may have set me up with an unplanned tax liability.  Thankfully, have some good people willing to help with that issue.  

Right now, I'm starting to be cautiously optimistic.  Enough so I'm getting things set to start looking for a place out West again.  I know the area I would like, and now it's a matter of getting car and taxes settled, and the nest egg I need to cover deposits, moving, etc.  Thing is, I can actually start real planning now.  I hope.  :)  

Thank you all for your prayers, gifts, and other generosity.  Without it, I wouldn't have made it this far.  With it, I can start that long-desired new life. Bless you all, and may you all be rewarded richly for the good you do for me and for others.  

23 January 23
January 23, 2023
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Love the date.  Wishing I had better news to share, as I like to include good news as much as I can.  However, last week my car, which had been acting a little funny, decided to be very unfunny.  As in transmission problems unfunny.  I made it home, but the car is now parked while I try to find a good transmission specialist and a means to get the car there. I might make it driving, but I'm not inclined to bet on it.  Part of me would prefer to get a "new" used car, but prices are still ridiculous.  

If anyone here knows a good tow truck driver and a good transmission mechanic in Indianapolis, please do let me know.  Right now, I'm looking at having to come up with app. $250 for the tow and around $2,500 for the repair (current worse case price).  Your prayers and help are both needed and appreciated.  

To everyone who has donated, since my last update, my sincere and profound thanks!  I can't tell you how much it is appreciated.  Bless you. 

11 Jan 23
January 11, 2023
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Dear Anonymous, THANK YOU!  December was not a good month, and this month has been even worse.  Thanks to you, I think I can pay the bills.  Maybe even have enough to do a bit of grocery shopping.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kindness. 

To all who have donated and prayed, my sincere thanks!  May God bless you all.  

10 Jan 23
January 10, 2023
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Picking up from yesterday: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything. So, we will skip the neurologist. I will simply note that getting the referral for cognitive testing took a lot more effort and time than made me happy. Was worth it, even though the first opening they had was some six months out. So, it wasn’t until around February of 2022 that I got in to see them. Spent a day being tested. Good news, I didn’t fail. Bad news, yeah, you took a hit. Took a while to get it worked out with insurance, but did several therapy visits over a month or two where the excellent people explained things, helped me develop several coping mechanisms for the short-term memory problems, and did what they could to help. One of the most important: don’t beat yourself up. There are going to be slips, oopses, and such. Take a moment, relax, start over. That and pay attention to how you are doing. Know it’s a bad time, don’t try to do too much. Those are both sorta hard for me. Learned a lot from them, including the time it is likely to take for my brain to fully heal. The cardiologist is the one I still see. Methodical. Took longer than I would have liked to get the BP down and under control. I’m not an impatient patient, really (sounds of hysterical laughter coming from my doctor’s offices). Some things weren’t adding up for her, so we started doing some testing including a nuclear stress test and imaging. Heart cath ordered, but afib got so bad that I was sent to the ER. At the ER, told them why I was there (and something told me to grab the go bags) and I was quickly put in a people mover (not a wheel chair) and sent back for a strip. Nurse/tech looks at it and disappears. When she comes back, I’m pushed back out into the waiting room and told firmly that I was admitted, I was not to leave or get up from the mover, and they would get me back as fast as they could given that they were full. Think I’ve put the full story elsewhere, but I ended up spending the night in the ER (FUN!), the next day had a heart cath, then a visit from the nice surgeon who said I could wait up to two weeks but it really would be a good idea to have open heart surgery the next morning. We did so, and it proved to be a remarkably pain free event and recovery. Still tease him that I want ten percent back from the bill since my cut is at a diagonal rather than straight up and down. After recovery came the rehabs. 2022 was a year of rehab and testing. There was cardiac rehab, where I really enjoyed a couple of the staff though I was rather frequently told to slow down, stop, take it easy. For whatever they may think, I was being good. Honest. At least for me. I’ve always pushed heart rate, endurance, and such as high as I could at the gym. For that one person, write down what the patient tells you not what you want to put on the chart, and also saying that the doctor is wrong and you are the only one who can save someone is not a good look. Don’t miss that one. Looking for some way to join the Y that’s nearby, need to be working out more. Even the cardiologist is encouraging that. The neural rehab was interesting and on some levels fun. I’ve learned a lot about the brain, cognition, and how to work around some of the issues. Some of it may seem fairly straightforward, but the angel of healing lies in the details. I still have my binder out where I can get to it to check things. The help they gave is why I can do as much as I do. I’m actually quite thankful that things were not such that I had to be in some sort of facility. I like my life as it is, having minders would crimp my style. Not that I do anything the doctors wouldn’t like. *best innocent look* Another two or so years, the brain should be fully healed, and maybe something can be done to see how much of the “missing” files we can find.

The testing last year leads into a very interesting area. Early on, I was told to beware of other survivors attributing a range of things to the lightning strike, from cancer to various endocrine problems. It is interesting how many survivors do develop other problems, ones that clearly can’t be directly linked to the lightning (or electric shock) strike. Hence some of my discussions of quantum probability cascades in a not completely joking manner. In my own case, a couple of things (like the diverticulitis) were there at a you-have-it-no-big-deal level before the strike. 2022 saw more “Welcome to the ER” moments than I care for. Not quite on a first name basis with the ER staff a block away, but closer to it than I care for. So, several CT scans and a colonoscopy later, I am glad to say that no cancer we know of and everything else is livable/treatable at need.

Now, that may end up with me getting new shoulder joints. I had a doc recommend an “emergency” replacement of the right joint a couple of years ago, with a push to go ahead and do both. Got a second opinion about a year after that, and the idea is to wait (if possible) for five to seven years to do the surgery. There are some issues going on, including having blood flow cut off to my arms at night such that they “go to sleep.” So far, have always caught it early, and while I don’t like the tingles, I can live with it. Suspect it is a positional thing. Need to remember to tell this to the GP. Meantime, lots of pain and hard to sleep as a result. Hoping this doesn’t turn into an ER or surgery moment in 2023.

As for the arthritis, I do wish I could remember which doc told me I had advanced severe osteoarthritis. I’m thankful it’s not rheumatoid, but that doesn’t make it fun. Since the strike, it has — in my estimation — kicked up. Lower back, hands, arms. Given that I have done a few interesting things in life, from jumping out of planes to a lot of hiking/backpacking and a small amount of marching, I’m amazed my knees and hips are as good as they are. There’s not much that can be done, so I try to ignore it as much as possible. Meantime, between this and the shoulders, Ranger Candy!

Allergies are the one thing that don’t seem to have increased since the strike. In fact, other than needing benadryl for the CT scans, have been doing pretty good. More of them than I care for, but that’s been true since childhood.

So that's a bit of what it was like to get hit, and the sometimes sideways rollercoaster that was 2022.  So long as we can keep things to a minimum, I'm in a okay place to make the move.  The big problem is the lump sums needed.  For all that I can do a lot more than I could this time last year, I still can't do it all or even a large part of it.  Good thing is, I know the rough area I want to go, can keep an eye out for opportunities, and try to stay out of medical trouble as much as possible.  

Thank you for your gifts and prayers!  Both are why I am upright and improving as much as I can.  It is by Grace I am here, and that includes your support.  There are not enough ways to say thank you, and as much as I hate to ask, your continued support is crucial while I both try to move and make changes in my life.  Again, my thanks.  

9 Jan 23
January 9, 2023
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Wanted to do something a little different today. One of the first questions people have is ‘what was it like’ and one of the follow-ups is often along the line of ‘why aren’t you moved yet?’  Here's a bit of it.  Understand, some of the memories from around the time I was hit may be fuzzed up a bit. Go figure! It’s another reason I want to share this as if you or someone you know has a close encounter, there’s good reason to get checked out even if you think it missed.

I’ll skip a lot of the background, and will say that I don’t remember any lightning anywhere close to me at the time. There may have been a strike several blocks away, but nothing close. It was a habit to do flash/bang calculations of distance while watching storms, and I knew from that and radar that the storm was moving off and more than a mile away.

Our best guess is that the lightning strike that got me hit a tree just off the porch and that some of it came over to say hello. How much is a good question, and the sad answer is that we don’t know and there is no way to tell. This is especially true since it took a couple of weeks for us to figure out I had been hit. More on that in a bit.

I think I remember that I had just put down the phone, which is in an insulated case, before the strike. In fact, just after I had done so was when my world went white. I remember thinking that I had clenched up out of fear, and yes I had the thought ‘this is going to hurt.’ Even as I thought that and my world went white, there was a roaring sensation — not sound — in my head, and it felt like my brain was vibrating at a very high frequency. Then my world went black and I remember part of my mind thinking ‘bleep, power’s out we will have to reset every flippin clock’ followed by the thought of wondering if I would see Hell, Heaven, or something else when the lights come back on. I really didn’t want to see Hell, but also remember being strangely calm and curious as I sat there locked up.

When I could see again, I was still on the porch. I was much relieved, and had several thoughts along the lines of ‘wow that was close, too close!’ I was surprised the phone was still working and that the lights were on inside. I will note that the radio in my car, which was parked partially under the tree at the time, was later found to be fried.

Since I was alive, I obviously couldn’t have been hit. Cough. Just take it as a given that in a case like this, you might not be thinking clearly. Add that to my normal Captain Oblivious state, and I didn’t have a clue. No major blast or burns, so again, I couldn’t have been hit. The most common injury reported in lightning strikes are concussion symptoms, and there is data that suggests that burn and blast injuries may not occur in a majority of cases. Keep that in mind if a doctor tries to tell you that you/other don’t need to be checked out after a close encounter because you don’t have such. Keep in mind that most doctors never see, and even ERs may only see one or two lightning hits in a year or years. The linguistic/cognitive therapist who worked with me (wonderful lady!) was told she would only see one such case in an entire career. She has now seen two.

Now, let me take a moment to give some thanks and note a couple of miracles that morning. After all, one of the things I did after going inside was to give thanks to God and the Blessed Mother that I was alive and it had missed. Yeah, off a little on that last. First miracle, the entire bolt did not hit me, as at least some portion took out my car radio, and I suspect some went into the ground. Second, I wasn’t dead on the spot. If I had been sitting on the other side of the table, the electricity that did go through me would have gone directly through my heart, with the most likely result being me dead right there. Instead of the left, it went down (mostly) the right side of my body. Why do I say that?

Let’s chart the damage. In my right ear, I no longer hear any higher frequencies. The associated nerves are dead. My heart took some damage, but I was alive. There was a small, black hole in the ball of my right foot, and when I checked the shoes I was wearing that morning, you could see where rubber melted at the matching spot on the sole and where rubber had melted and reformed in lightning-type shape as the electricity ran to ground. I had concussion symptoms out the wazoo, and still have occasional moments of something similar to vertigo. The EEG and MRI show no tumors and obvious physical damage to the brain, but more on that in a bit. There may have been some other, non-permanent things, but if so, I missed them.

The cardiac issues were, in many respects, somewhat straightforward. The first indicator I noticed that there was damage/issues was when my BP hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 214/148. Two weeks (pretty much to the day I think) after the hit, the BP sent me to the ER though I just knew something was off. Visit to my doctor’s office the next day slowly started the ball rolling. I reached out to a very nice, helpful, and sadly retired MD who used to treat lightning strike and electrical shock victims. It was her gentle questioning that resulted in my learning that I had locked up, not clenched up, and it was somewhat amazing I was alive. It also led to my finding the hole in the ball of my right foot, which looked almost like a large-bore needle hole, but instead of the red track down through your skin and such, this one was black like carbon. It was also hard to see given the suddenly large callous. More on that in a minute.

My GP and I never did do a thorough search in my scalp and back, given that about three weeks had passed at that point. I really do wonder though if we might not have found an entry point back behind my ear given the number done on the audio nerves and other parts of the ear.

This was also the time of the Great Referral. With the BP issues continuing and increasing, time for a cardiologist. With the concussive effects and various issues cropping up, time for a neurologist. Issues were cropping up with the right foot, time for a podiatrist. No partridge in a pear tree though. Took some time, as only select doctors take my insurance. Cough. For all that it is not the best out there, and quite a few don’t take it, I will take a moment to note in thanks that for the last year and a half they have stepped up and done more than I ever expected. That could stop tomorrow, but it’s been a major factor in not moving as fast as I would like to do, as it will not move with me.

Let’s start with the podiatrist. It took a few weeks for my GP’s office to find one they liked that would take my insurance. Then we had to find an opening in his schedule. By then, it was painful to stand and walk on my right foot. Got in, he looked at my foot, and was the first doctor who believed me from the start. Even my GP had been skeptical. But, as the podiatrist looked things over, he sat there and told me how he wasn’t surprised it had exited there, why, and some other interesting stuff. He also was the first referral not to recommend surgery. Instead, he grabbed a scalpel and started back towards my foot. Think my reaction may have hurt his feelings, but it is better to tell me ahead of time what you are doing when approaching with sharp objects. He cut off a large amount of dead stuff, recommended custom orthotics and regular visits to a nail place to keep it trimmed, and since my insurance was not going to cover the orthotics, how to modify store bought to work. Great guy, if I ever need a podiatrist again, would go back in a heartbeat. While I bought some things to work on the callus, I did have to hit a nail place a couple of times as they wield the cheese grater far better than do I, and for about six to eight months after the strike it grew like the dickens.

We'll pick up here tomorrow, as this is going to be a two or three day event.  

Again, my thanks for your gifts and prayers!  

5 Jan 23
January 5, 2023
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On some levels, not sure I should be updating today because I'm having one of those days.  In fact, it's the worst one in a long time.  We all have "those" days but in my case after getting hit by lightning it takes on a whole new meaning. 

I use routines and lists to work around the short term memory issues (I have the short term memory of a mayfly and a mind set to "SQUIRREL!"), and some other things to try to help the long term issues.  The short term problems result in what are politely called "attention lapses" and I use routines to try to help avoid them.  When cooking breakfast my routine focuses on ensuring the burners get cut off which is mostly successful, and also means my most common mistake of the morning is forgetting to cut a burner on.  Safer that way.  

Weather changes made it a very rough night, so up late and not firing on all cylinders is a polite description.  Managed to not only forget to cut one burner on, I also forgot to cut one off.  Caught it fairly quickly, but... Am supposed to go pick up some medicines and groceries, think they can wait.  May be safer if I stay in and not try to do much given the "lapses" and such. 

Sorry to dump, but it is only fair to share the bad as well as the good.  Things are beyond tight right now, and I really do need your prayers and assistance.  The promised contact from SSA did not happen (sadly, not surprised).  I do not have the funds for bills, groceries, or anything else, so anything helps.  I do want to say once again, to all who have given and all who have prayed:  thank you!  Thank You!  I wouldn't have made it this far without you.  

28 December 22
December 28, 2022
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First, I hope you all had a Blessed and wonderful Christmas!  May it have been rich in the light of love, warm in laughter, and filling both physically and spiritually.  

For all that I fear 2023 may be way too interesting, I also will hope and pray that it is a good year for all of us.  

I also want to thank all of my donors, and a special call-out to the wonderful person who covered my parking from the visit to the SSA!  So good to get that back in the grocery budget, and thanks to all of you I had a very nice Christmas day.  Still no word from the SSA, BTW. 

There are still a couple of bills left, and a need to hit the grocery store again soon, so any and all help is appreciated.  I've been taking it easy for the most part, as the weather has hit the joints hard.  Thankful we did not get hit as hard as predicted, as that was a nasty storm.  Please take a moment for those who died or were injured as a result of the storm.  

Thank you all for the prayers, the support, the encouragement, and the love.  May we all carry that forward with us into the new year.  Be safe, be prepared, and be good!  

14 Dec 22
December 14, 2022
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To my most recent anonymous donors:  THANK YOU!  Two bills down, two more to go.  

Thank you all so much.  I hate to ask, especially this close to Christmas, but it is tight.  I need fuel to go pick up prescriptions, am low or out of some supplements, and it is nice to hit the grocery store when I can.  Please know that I really am working on ways to get some funds in, as well as to get moved.  I want to do the latter ASAP, especially before anything else happens/comes up!  

Meantime, thank you all for the gifts and the prayers.  Both continue to make a difference.  

5 December 2022
December 5, 2022
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For everyone who has me in prayer and/or made a donation, THANK YOU!  

This is the roughest month I've faced so far.  Things are beyond tight, but I also have faith.  I'm working on some things to try to take some expenses off the board, and to build the lump-sum needed to move.  Trust me, with winter coming I'm continuing to be creative and look outside the box for getting out to the Southwest.  It can't happen soon enough, and having the bills covered and some food would be a huge help too.  

I've been having to document some things, and it is interesting that people and agencies tend to focus on one thing.  One of the things I'm having to do is try to get across that it's not one thing.  It's not being hit by lightning, or just the joint issues, or just the heart:  It's a cascade of all that and more.  Yes, I had allergies, osteoarthritis, and the shoulder joint and back issues before.  Then came the lightning, and suddenly I have high blood pressure, open heart surgery to do/treat three different issues, hearing loss, and short- and long-term memory issues.  Then some issues came up with my digestive track.  It's enough to make one take quantum probability cascades seriously.  Take any one issue and I'm either doing as well as possible or working to get there.  Yes, the memory issues are the worst, but, when you take all of them together, there's a reason I've been out of work this long.  Getting all of them to the point I can move has taken longer than I wanted (or expected, I'm used to bouncing back faster and higher than I am currently).  

That said, I'm incredibly blessed.  I am alive.  I am healing, even if slower than I would like.  There are challenges, but that's life and scripture is correct in pointing out that rising to challenges makes for a stronger person and spirit.  There's permanent damage, but again, I'm here and I'm trying to work back as much as possible.  I have faith both in that there is a reason for this and that God's plan for me will continue to unfold.  Meantime, take lightning seriously, be safe, and don't get hit!  

Thank you all!  

21 Nov 22
November 21, 2022
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A Blessed Thanksgiving To All

On some levels, this year has moved far faster than I wanted.  On other levels, it has moved slow.  Getting as many of the medical issues dealt with as we can, well, that was a lot slower than I would have liked.  In terms of life in general, I still can't believe it's November. 

That said, I want to take the time to give thanks, and explore the many reasons I am blessed.  I'm alive, first of all.  From the lightning strike on to everything else that has gone on medical and otherwise, I'm glad to still be here.  

Would I be having the traditional meal this Thursday even if I could afford it?  No, it just doesn't make sense for me by myself.  Besides, the things I love are all the things I shouldn't be eating anyway.  :)  Not sure what I will be doing yet, but will find ways to make it all tasty.  Who knows, if I get the chance and funds, may indulge in dessert or such.  I am thankful that I have options, that I have food, and that if I am hungry that day it is by choice.  

I am thankful for all the support I've gotten from so many wonderful people.  Your prayers have lifted me up.  Your financial support has sustained me.  The words of encouragement have eased my path.  Thank you all. 

I am thankful that for now I have a roof over my head.  

I am thankful that we have reached a point where I can move when the opportunity arises.  I am hopeful that nothing changes with that.  

I am thankful for all the many blessings in my life. 

Please take a moment to think about your life, and give thanks for that which fills your life.  

To everyone who has donated, to everyone who has sent prayers, and to everyone who has offered encouragement:  Thank you.  May your life be as blessed as you have made mine. 

9 Nov 22
November 9, 2022
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First, to everyone who has donated, thank you! I can’t say how much I appreciate each and every donation, and each and every one of you, especially given the current economy. Having been out of work for more than a year now, life has been interesting.

I never anticipated that I would be out of work for this long. However, getting hit by lightning is a touch traumatic and leads to all sorts of issues. Who knew?

Getting all the medical issues that have come up directly, and apparently indirectly as well, dealt with as best possible has taken time; but, other than my shoulder joints needing replacement (and lower back not doing well), we seem to have most things contained for now. I continue to adjust to the hearing loss and other issues.

The real problem has been and will be the memory issues for some time. I’m told the brain will heal in about three years. Then we will learn if the long-term memory issues are permanent or not, and the short-term memory should return to normal. I certainly hope so, as it blows to have the short-term memory of a mayfly. Even with the coping mechanisms I’ve been taught, it is not fun. 

While I am working my way back physically as much as I can, I can no longer do truly physical work. Even if my body could handle it, my shoulder joints and lower back can’t. The short-term memory issues make it hard to learn new things and even with all the coping mechanisms I, frankly, space it every now and then. 

I really had wanted to be moved by now, but getting all the medical taken care of (or at least as much as we can for now) has taken more time than I expected. Still planning, plotting, and working on it, but just not happening as soon as I want.

For yet more background, something I shared with some others elsewhere:  One of the side effects, if you will, of being hit by lightning is that you tend to collect doctors and other medical types. At least for a while, I had my GP, a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon, a couple of different rehab people, a neurologist, the doctor who did my cognitive evaluation, my ENT, a dermatologist, and even a podiatrist. I feel like I may be leaving one or two out, but you get the idea.

We have spent a bit over a year now trying to get everything fixed, make sure nothing else needs fixing or is trying to develop, and otherwise slowly trying to get the number of medical types back down to a manageable level (by my standards). We’ve had to rule out a couple of types of cancer, identify and deal with issues in my digestive system, monitor shoulder joints that need replacement (I really want the funds to try some regenerative medicine), confirm the amount of hearing loss and the nerve death associated with some of it, do cognitive and physical therapy, and other such fun things.

When I get asked why I haven’t yet moved, I tend to point to the above. I will also point out that my current insurance will not transfer out of state, and within the limits of what it covers, has been a champ. Their call center rates a 10 to the negative 14 Tor on customer service, but they have paid the bills and even gotten creative on a few things much to my surprise. I HAD to get everything possible fixed before moving, unless I want to risk needing specialized care with possibly no insurance as it will take a while to get new insurance once I move. 

In looking at things, I recently decided to take two steps I really had hoped to avoid. I am applying to retire (early), which is one set of bureaucratic hurdles. I can’t actually do so until Mid-December, and no idea how long the process may take if I am indeed allowed to retire early. I’ve also filed for disability with Social Security, which looks to be 17-24 months of process (Per SS) at best with no guarantee of being approved.

All of which means, for now, that I remain far more dependent upon your generosity than I care for, desire, or — most of all — deserve. I hate having to ask for the help more than I can say. That said, I also appreciate your gifts, your prayers, and your support and encouragement more than words can express. I will never truly feel that I deserve it; but, I do appreciate it more than I can begin to express. Most of all, and most importantly, however, is that I appreciate each and every one of you for all that you do in thought, word, and deed.  

With luck and other things, including the blessings that are your gifts and encouragement, I will continue to plug along and eventually get moved.  It can't happen soon enough! 

Thank you all so very, very much!

28 Oct 22
October 28, 2022
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To my donors, THANK YOU!  Things are incredibly tight, and your help comes at a great time.  Know that you and your gifts are both very much appreciated. 

To say things are tight is, unfortunately, an understatement.  I'm hanging on, but it's by my claws.  Any help you can provide is very, very much appreciated.  I had hoped to avoid some things, but the issues left by the lightning strike are such that it is going to take three years (or more) to heal.  That has an impact on my ability to work, much less just deal with day-to-day life.  I've taken some steps recently to try to cover everyday expenses, but that will not have immediate results.  Indeed, one thing I did is likely to take 24 months, while the other step I've taken won't see the actual filing until late December (earliest appointment) and who knows how long after the application is filed. 

So, any and all help is very much appreciated.  If I can get enough built up, I'm moving and will work details later.  Not the best way to do things, but if it works...  

Again, my thanks!  I know times are rough for everyone, which makes your prayers and gifts all that much more appreciated.  

17 October 22
October 17, 2022
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First, to everyone who has donated or sent a prayer, THANK YOU!  I can't tell you how much you and your gifts are appreciated.  

I hate to ask, but things are beyond tight and the bills are coming due.  Anything helps.  Anything extra will go towards some emergency preparations that will also help with getting moved.  Might I suggest that you also stock up a bit on food and preparations, as things could get a bit too interesting here soon.  All the more reason I could wish for enough lump sum to just go ahead and move, even if I don't have a place to live locked in.  Yet. 

Again, my thanks, and I know times are hard for us all, but your gifts and prayers do make the difference.  

12 Oct 22
October 12, 2022
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As always, if someone has made a non-anonymous donation and not gotten a thank you, please let me know.  I have the short term memory of a mayfly, stupid lightning.  If you have made an anonymous donation, please know how much I appreciate it and you!  I can't begin to say thank you loud enough, strong enough, and often enough for all the gifts and prayers! 

In the good news front, my visit with the GP this week, and the cardiologist a week or so ago, went well.  On the cardiologists part, she's good with my moving to the Southwest.  Doesn't want to lose me as a patient, but does want me to be in the best place possible.  My GP is very happy with all the other systems, and I had some amazingly good blood work.  To quote from something I wrote: 

"We have spent a bit over a year now trying to get everything fixed, make sure nothing else needs fixing or is trying to develop, and otherwise slowly trying to get the number of medical types back down to a manageable level (by my standards). We’ve had to rule out a couple of types of cancer, identify and deal with issues in my digestive system, monitor shoulder joints that need replacement (I really want the funds to try some regenerative medicine), confirm the amount of hearing loss and the nerve death associated with some of it, do cognitive and physical therapy, and other such fun things.

When I get asked why I haven’t yet moved, I tend to point to the above. I will also point out that my current insurance will not transfer out of state, and within the limits of what it covers, has been a champ. "  The biggest "If" right now that we know of are the shoulders, but I really hope to put that off for a few years.  Heck, if I can get the money, I want to try regenerative medicine before replacing both. 

I'm exploring creative options on getting out there and where to live.  I may not have been able to do things as fast as I would like, but I am continuing to push and prepare to move.  

Meantime, there are normal and some not-regular bills to pay even as the cost of living goes up.  As always, your generosity has gotten me this far, and I hope that soon it will get me on the road.  Thank you, and know that whatever you can do in these challenging times is appreciated.  

30 Sept 22
September 30, 2022
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It's the end of the month, and I really could use some help.  One major bill came in early, there are the regular bills, and all the other joys of life.  Heck, wish I could win the lotto as I just found some land in the area I am extremely interested in for sale, at one heck of a good price.  

I know times are tough for us all, but any help and all the prayers I can get are appreciated.  Thank you! 

26 Sept. 22
September 26, 2022
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First, my thanks to all who have donated including those doing so anonymously.  You are all very much appreciated! 

It's the end of the month, and in addition to the normal bills I've had one drop in about a month ahead of schedule.  To add to that, my move to a new hosting provider did not go as planned so am now looking at having to move yet again.  Joy.  So, any help right now would be appreciated.  Working hard on that nest egg to move, looking at options to move on the cheap (not easy right now), and working to step outside the box to get things done. 

Your gifts and prayers have kept me going, and with your help I will not only keep going, but start the new life as planned.  Thank you! 

22 Sept. 22
September 22, 2022
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A day of symmetry.  To all those who have donated, thank you!  I particularly want to thank those who do so anonymously and as such don't get an extra thank you; and, for all those sending prayers and more for me.  All are much appreciated and your kind gifts of all types are keeping me going.  

Working on taking care of some things, and as always can use the help.  Some good news to share includes new glasses courtesy of some very nice people who help hundreds at an event here in Indy; plus, new shoes so I can get in more exercise.  I did a personal best since being hit by lightning a week or so ago that unfortunately made it clear my old shoes were pretty much done in.  Again, a couple of kind people helped and I am now breaking in some new, wonderful shoes, and hope to be doing 3-7.5 miles on a regular basis while the weather is good.  

I am beyond ready to move, and am doing all I can to make it happen.  Any and all help just getting by, much less moving, is very much appreciated.  

Thank you all so much for all your kind gifts including gifts of prayer and love.  Thank you. 

14 Sept 22
September 14, 2022
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Again, my thanks to all who have donated.  I want to take a moment to thank those who have donated anonymously for their kindness!  All of the gifts, prayers, and good thoughts are very much appreciated.  Still chuckling over the "Indian-no-place" line, that is a good one.  :) 

As always, can use some help on the bills but am also looking at a couple of other things.  I have the chance to switch a service provider out for one better and more reliable, but it will take about $200 in donations to pull off.  Good thing is, that will also take that bill out of play for a year.  

Last week, I hit a personal best milestone when I did a nice 7+ mile walk (7.48 miles to be exact) and very much enjoyed it.  However, it showed that after 4 years, I do need a new pair of walking shoes and inserts.  Any help towards that is also very much appreciated.  

Meantime, continuing to get creative on getting out to the SW.  Starting to explore if shipping containers might be the best option, both to get out there and perhaps to even set up temporary housing.  If the idea of a wet-CHU in Iraq was a dream, maybe it works as a dream here too.  All options are on the table right now, just need to get enough in one place at one time to act.  

Again, my thanks to all for your gifts, prayers, and suggestions!  I can't say how much I appreciate all of it, especially in the current economic times.  Appreciate the humor too!  With your help, I've not only hung in there, but am working hard to move out and start a new life.  Thank you. 

8 Sept 22
September 8, 2022
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To everyone who has donated, thank you!  Your gifts and prayers make the difference in my fight to start a new life.  Your help is very much appreciated, especially as I work to pay bills and do the things that will let me move as soon as possible.  I never thought I would be out of work this long, or face the challenges that I do.  The impact on my short-term memory as well as the effects on general memory are indeed a challenge.  

I am taking some steps to try to get my day-to-day expenses covered, but that will take time.  Right now, I am facing some key bills coming up, and would love to put gas in the car and buy a few groceries.  

Any and all help is appreciated!  Thank you all so much for your gifts and prayers.  Together, we will see me move and start that new life.  

31 August 2022
August 31, 2022
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It is the end of the month, and the EOM bills are rolling into the first of the month bills.  Any and all help is very much appreciated! 

So you know, I have begun the process to file for social security ahead of schedule.  If I can take the monthly expenses out of this, it should help me get moved faster.  In fact, at the advice of the very nice lady at social security, I'm not only applying for social security, but also disability.  I really didn't want to do either, but I also need to get things stable so I can get out of here and start a new life as fast as possible. 

Thank you to the most recent group of anonymous donors, and to all who have donated gifts and sent prayers to help me start a new life.  All are appreciated, and with your continued gifts and prayers I can and will start the new life as quickly as possible.  

My Thanks To All
August 24, 2022
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I want to thank all who have offered prayers and made donations, esp. those who have made anonymous donations.  My thanks to you all!  

Anything helps.  It's the end of the month, there are some unexpected, and I'm trying to go outside the box on moving as I want to do so as fast as I can.  I'm looking into pods, and even into buying some shipping containers that I could then use to create a home if I can find some land.  Nothing is off the table.  I've had one suggestion made for taking the daily expenses out of the equation, and am talking with some financial professionals to see if that is an option, and if so, is it a good option?  I would like to avoid having to rent a place while I find what works, but if that is the best option...  Again, nothing off the table but it is increasingly looking like professional movers are out of the question as the rates keep going up.  

For now, thank you for your gifts, your prayers, and your good thoughts.  Thank you, and may God's grace and mercy be upon you all now and in the days ahead.  May God guide us all in these difficult times.  

17 August 22
August 17, 2022
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It is headed into the end of the month and I want out of here!  Somewhere I have a snippet of Bugs Bunny hanging off the moon yelling "Get Me Outa Here!" and it does sort of sum up how I feel.  :)  

I would have loved to have moved months ago, but all the health issues kept that from happening. I do well most days, the coping mechanisms for the brain issues work well and it could be imagination but I swear I see/feel some progress in the healing. I don’t want to wait three years, I want to be good now! 🙂 So far, we have most everything under control as far as we can tell. Working to keep it that way. Please help me keep my head above water and get out of the bad place that Indy has become. 

Again, my thanks to all for the gifts, the encouragement, and especially the prayers.  With your continued help, I can and will start a new life soon. 

12 August 22
August 12, 2022
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If you have made a named (not anonymous) donation and have not gotten thanked, please let me know!  I try to get that taken care of ASAP, but given my short term memory Oh Shiney!  :)  Yeah, it's a pain and using lists to track what I need to do as well as what I've done helps -- when I remember to make the lists.  :) 

For all the support, the prayers, and the encouragement, Thank You Very Much!  Your help is making it possible for me to get by while getting a new life off the ground.  

Update 10 August
August 10, 2022
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Thank you!  

Thank you to everyone who has donated, and a special shout out to the anonymous donors as they don't get a letter in addition to the automatic thank you's. In this economy, I very much appreciate and am humbled by your support.  With your help and prayers, my head is above water for now and we are moving forward.  

Any and all help is appreciated as I do need to pay bills, eat, and save up money to get moved.  I admit I did splurge a bit grocery shopping this week.  I found both sriracha and Cholula chili garlic sauce available, where they had been hard to find so I grabbed some while I could. :)  There are a few spices I would like to order, as they either aren't readily available locally or are best gotten from the source.  Was sad to learn one place I used to get my chipotle from in NM apparently is no more.  High-quality bulk at a great price.  Yes, when I can I do buy bulk where appropriate. 

Again, my thanks and appreciation for the help, the prayers, and the encouragement. It truly does make the difference in my efforts to start a new life.  

Monday 8 August
August 8, 2022
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First up, thank you to everyone who has donated!  Especially given the economy and times being hard for all, your stepping up is very much appreciated.  I also appreciate the variety of kind words about myself and my blog, and the prayers.  

Second, I really want to see things start to move so I can move.  Anything you can do to help is appreciated as costs keep rising and I want move as soon as possible, not later.  Time to get this new life moving! 

Third, I have raised the goal.  Yes, costs keep rising, and the amount taken by the payments processor (GIveSendGo takes nothing!  Great people!!) means that to get the amount I need I have to ask for more.  Hated to do it, but just no way around it.  

Thank you all!  Your help lets me hang on, get by, and hopefully soon get enough of a lump sum together to get moved!  With your help, every day brings me closer to starting that new life.  

Thank You!
August 2, 2022
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I want to thank everyone who has donated!  In particular, I want to thank all the anonymous donors that only get the automated thanks.  All of you, especially in these times, are amazing people doing amazing things to help.  With your donations, and those to come, I am working to start a new life even as I work to keep my head above water otherwise.  Thank you all so much, as the donations and prayers are appreciated more than I can say.  Thank you!  Here's hoping more can help and we can truly get things moving. 

Thank You!
August 2, 2022
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I want to thank everyone who has donated!  In particular, I want to thank all the anonymous donors that only get the automated thanks.  All of you, especially in these times, are amazing people doing amazing things to help.  With your donations, and those to come, I am working to start a new life even as I work to keep my head above water otherwise.  Thank you all so much, as the donations and prayers are appreciated more than I can say.  Thank you!  Here's hoping more can help and we can truly get things moving. 

End Of July Update
July 31, 2022
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I really could use the help, as this month has been interesting.  As I noted in the last update, I need to get some supplements that are not covered by insurance, plus pay the bills.  I'm not in bad shape yet, but things are a lot closer than I care for.  I know times are tough for everyone, and appreciate any and all gifts and prayers! 

As noted previously, I'm looking at having to increase my goal to cover what is taken by the payments provider.  GiveSendGo is wonderful, and the people here amazing, but the payment processor takes a good share.  I will probably decide Monday on this. 

Meantime, aside from bills I'm looking to get together larger sums to cover both the move itself and a place to call home.  Investigating ways to make the move for less than using movers without pushing myself into doing things the doctors (and friends) are not going to be happy about.  Rents have almost doubled since this started, plus there are deposits and other joys.  Meantime, I still have to pay rent and bills here.  

Anything you can do is appreciated!  Thank you all for everything you have done, both monetary and prayer.  Thank you.  With your continued help I will start a new life. 

End Of The Month Plea
July 27, 2022
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Things are dragging, and given the economy I'm not surprised.  To all who have donated, especially those who have done so anonymously, my profound thanks!  

The end of the month bills are fast approaching, and I'm also having to restock some supplements that seem to be helping. The supplements are like a compounded prescription I had a few years ago where the insurance won't cover anything other than big pharma products. I will say this, tried one of them and had a blood test not long after where the doc looked at the bloodwork, then the previous results, looked at me and said "Keep taking it!" So I do.  

There are days that things seem so close for moving, and days when I just wonder if I will get by.  Working on a couple of things to try to get the move jumpstarted, will just have to see if they work.  

Any help you can give is very, very much appreciated.  Also, please keep those prayers coming!  

Birthday Wish
July 12, 2022
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At some point in the next seven days, I turn another year older. Yes, I've just had my Alive Day, but I do have a wish or three for my birthday.

First, I really wish more people would come together to make the world a better place, and to appreciate all the wonderful things we do have in life. Take a moment to stop and give thanks for the natural beauty in the world, the many wonderful people within, and all the blessings we have been granted. Seriously, take a moment and give thanks.

Outside of that, what do I want for my birthday? Well, I'm not going to ask for the impossible of running back the clock to before everything that has gone on in the last few years, especially the lightning strike. As much as it is a challenge, I'm not sure I would change much, if anything. I wouldn't be the me I am today without all of it.

What I would like to see is this effort go viral so I can get moved and truly start a new life. I would also appreciate it if I could ask for a few specific things: $20 for a haircut; $20 so I could eat out on my birthday; and, $20 so I could go see a movie in the theatre. Yes, I would like to see Top Gun just for the grins of it.

It's a rough time for everyone, but your help and prayers have gotten me this far with my head above water. With your help, the next stage of my life can take off.

Thank You!
July 5, 2022
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I've just finished sending out thank you notes to those who donated other than anonymously. If you were anon, you should have gotten an automated thank you. If you donated and have not gotten a thank you, let me know and I will correct that situation. If you got more than one thank you, well, I didn't do a checklist like I should have, and if I wasn't sure I sent one again.

Things are tight for all, and I really do appreciate the help. Hoping that maybe we can get things rolling so I can start, or even finish, the move this month. Meantime, all help and prayers are appreciated!

Alive Day
June 30, 2022
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Alive Day. My military friends will know what that means, but potentially countless others will not. It is the day you died, or should have died. The day something catastrophic impacted you and perhaps those around you. In some cases, people I know quite literally died and the docs and doctors brought them back. Some more than once. In other cases, the docs and doctors poured forth their skills and power like water, and kept them alive. Even spending time in Iraq and elsewhere, I never truly thought that I would have an alive day.

On this day one year ago, I was sitting in this same spot, in the same chair, drinking coffee and doing my equivalent of reading the newspaper. I was watching the light show from a thunderstorm that was a mile to a mile and a half off, enjoying it as it moved away from me. I had just put down my phone and coffee when my world went white, then black, and though I didn't realize it at the time, the life I had been living died.

Keep in mind that this day a year ago, I literally had no clue I had been hit. I truly thought it a near miss, and when I was no longer locked up from the hit and could go inside, I did so. I took care of a couple of things, gave thanks to God and the Blessed Mother that I was alive, got my shower, and went to work. That there was a hole in the bottom of my right foot is something that escaped me for a while.

For a while, it seemed like I was living a quantum probability cascade, where if there was even a remote possibility for something to go wrong in my body, it did so. It has meant a stream of doctor visits, tests, and even procedures to check things out, fix if possible, and to figure out how to live with some of the issues. We have just recently (knock on wood) finished the last tests and treatments and all appears to be good to go for moving. My insurance will not transfer to where I'm headed, so want to be sure we have everything possible taken care of first.

I do not know why I was spared, but am thankful I was and I think there is something I'm supposed to do. I don't have a clue what that is, and admit it could be simply to serve as the horrible example 'don't be that person or this happens' though I hope that's not it. Meantime, if you need a speaker to talk lightning strikes and safety, or about the blessings and challenges of being a survivor, I'm available.

Today is my Alive Day, and God's help and yours, I will make the most of this new life I now live. 


Update #14
June 29, 2022
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I know times are tight for everyone.  That said, I hope you can help.  I'm working to be able to move as fast as possible, but meantime there are bills and some unexpecteds.  Any help is very much appreciated.  As always, your prayers are very much appreciated and helpful.  

Update #13
June 25, 2022
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It's the end of the month and there are a couple of unexpecteds in with the bills.  

The cost of moving has doubled since this started, as has the cost of rent.  Rent is the only option for right now, though if I win the lottery...  That said, I have come up with an idea that may work to do the move for less. Option 1 involves finding someone else to drive the truck, hiring help to load and unload, and going out and putting things in storage while I find a place to rent.  Option 2 would be trickier, with carting the car behind the truck. Right now, unless someone wants' to drop $5k to cover the move by movers, going to have to go with renting a truck.  I also need about $5k to cover rent, deposits, etc.  

All that said, anything helps and the more that comes in means the sooner I can act.  It's taken far longer than I would like, but getting as much medical cleared and dealt with was essential since my insurance won't transfer.  

Thank you all again for your support!  The gifts, the prayers, the support -- they have been and are essential, and appreciated more than I can say.  

Update #12
June 17, 2022
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I feel like we are finally coming into the home stretch. The major and most minor medical issues are dealt with for now. I'm about as set as I can be, now what I need are the funds.  The economy is hurting both fundraising and the planning I had done. Rents are higher, moving is higher, fuel is higher -- and it doesn't matter.  I need to get this done. I have faith that I will be guided and that which is right will be. 

Your prayers and donations are crucial, and much appreciated. With your continued help, I will get moved and will be able to start a new life. 

Update #11
May 25, 2022
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So much for this being a down week.  Late last week, I started having pain, poking sensations, and some burning in my breastbone. This was on top of the possibility I was retaining more fluids than I should.  Went in for X-rays yesterday as we were concerned the plates and/or three wire sutures on the breastbone were doing something unexpected. 

I'm glad to say that the X-rays showed things going well and normally.  The problem is, we don't know why I'm getting those sensations or what is going on.  So, in to see a doc on Friday. 

On Monday, I had my last regularly scheduled cognitive therapy session.  As I've said before, I was blessed in that testing has shown that I'm still above average in most areas of cognition.  That said, there are some issues with short-term memory and being able to access long-term.  Not surprising that some things are scrambled as God's own stun gun was effectively discharged into my version of the most powerful bio-electric computer in the known universe:  the human brain and central nervous system. 

I've been told that it will take about three years for the brain to heal and settle down.  The therapists believe that very little has truly been lost, but that the data is a bit scrambled if you will.  Most of the therapy has concentrated on coping mechanisms to help me work around those issues.  As for exercising the brain, I was told my writing is the best thing I can be doing and should be doing.  So, plan to see if I can get up to more than just a post a day and take on more writing tasks. 

I would appreciate any prayers I can get in regards Friday and figuring out what is going on in a body that has not behaved normally since the lightning strike. Big surprise.  :)  Meantime, pushing on with the efforts to move and start a new life as soon as I can medically do so. 

Thank you everyone for your support.  I can't say thank you enough as you have kept me going while I've been out of work, and as I try to move.  It is close, I think, and with your continued support I will get there.  

Update #10
May 19, 2022
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Since I was hit by lightning, I've felt like my health has been a descending quantum cascade. Glad to report, however, that all the samples from earlier this week came back negative, no cancer there. What may be a new cardiac issue is being monitored, the recent test and prep may be cause. Will see. Thankful for the good news. Also, thankful and grateful for the recent anonymous donations, prayers, and messages of support! Thank you! With your continued help, prayers, and support, I do have a shot at a new, and hopefully healthier, life.

Update #9
May 18, 2022
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Well, what I hope will be the last major medical test/procedure is over.  Waiting on some biopsy results, and we are having to monitor what could be a new cardiac issue (hopefully temporary) but I am pressing on.  Your help will keep me going and get me moved to where I can heal better and faster, and actually be able to enjoy life more.  Thank you all so much, and for those just tuning in, please consider helping me in my efforts to recover from a lightning strike and move to a new life! 

Update #8
May 9, 2022
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Since the campaign has stalled, I did not move by the end of last month.  That looks to have been a good thing, as some specialized therapy sessions finally were approved by my insurance and are underway.  I've also seen a wide variety of doctors and am getting checked out stem to stern for everything from cancer onwards.  While I have one more outpatient test/checkup with sedation to go, so far everything has been looking good.  We do finally seem to have the BP in an acceptable range, and most of my bloodwork looks good.  

Provided this next test shows clear, I really would like to move as soon as possible.  If you can help, please know that it is very much needed and appreciated.  It has not been fun to be out of work this long, much less not being able to do all I would normally do.  With continued work, I will be able to bounce back physically and otherwise.  Your help will let me do that.  

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated.  Thank you to everyone who does donate.  With your help, I can build a new life.  

Oh Joy
April 7, 2022
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I've had to update things a bit after today's visit to the dentist.  Seems at some point I chomped down hard enough to break some previous dental work.  No way to fix it, a crown is needed and guess what insurance doesn't cover...  There is other work on top of that, but some of it needs to be put off until after I move.  Could have happened when I got hit by lightning, could have happened after, and it's possible that when I was hit and locked up it did enough damage that it didn't take much later.  

Any and all help appreciated!  I really do want to move ASAP, and with your help and prayers, I will.  Thank you.  

End Of The Month?
April 5, 2022
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My goal was to be on the move by the end of this month. Thanks to a couple of things, it is now a real possibility.

One of the things making it a possibility is that we may finally have the blood pressure coming under control. Instead of me running around in the 175-189/99 (or higher) range, we have it consistently under 140/90 and may even be on track to a consistent 110 (or less)/80 range. Jury is still out on that, but it is nice to not have to worry about stroking out. At one point, before the open-heart surgery, it was well above 200/100. The only good news from all this is that I likely don't have any aneurysms simply because if I did, they would have already blown.

Sadly, we may not get to do the cognitive therapy that we would like to do. Insurance turned down the first application for it, but there apparently was an option for the provider to appeal. Would love to do at least some of it...

I was very lucky on several fronts, particularly on the cognitive side. There was no physical damage. While there are some cognitive issues, they seem mostly to be in one area and while some of the data is scrambled, so to speak, a lot of it should shake out over the next three years. Getting on out West will help with that, since the weather changes do have an effect on more than just the body.

The warmer, dry climate will help body and mind. Everything helps, and with your help and prayers, we can push this along and get me on out of here.

Home Stretch In Sight
March 22, 2022
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The location is set, and as fast as the last part of this campaign is raised, the move will begin.  A little extra won\'t hurt, as the estimate to move appears to have doubled over the initial -- even with as little as I have to move.  It\'s not like I have any furniture other than the bed, and most of what I have to move is what I have to have to live.  

And, if we can raise the remaining money, it would not come at a better time.  Where I am living is experiencing flooding problems suddenly.  We had a problem last year, but it appeared to have been fixed and there were no problems until a couple of weeks ago when we flooded once again.  This time, it got up into the room I rent, and while it thankfully did little damage to my gear, the landlord did jack to help me get the water out of the room and carpet.  Just caught it trying to flood again, and we think it\'s under control but clearly there\'s a problem as the rain has not been that heavy.  

Not to mention that all the weather changes are locking me up.  Makes it hard to do anything, and more than ever I miss being out West.  As I said, the destination is set and with your help I can get on out there.  I wish I could move myself, but the reality is I can\'t do the physical part.  I want to, and in my mind I still think I can; but, the fact is just getting the groceries in from the car can be an adventure.  I\'ve been told that things will improve, but it takes time, like months to a year.  

We are still working some medical issues, but there is a plan for them in the move as well.  

Please help me get out West.  Then maybe I can get better a bit faster, and with a lot less pain and related delights.  

Lurching Back To My Feet. Sorta.
February 28, 2022
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Well, it has been interesting since the last update.  I think that\'s the right word for things.  

The migration help I was promised with the computer did not materialize, so moving from what was a state-of-the-art 32-bit processor and system in 2007 to a 64-bit processor system today has been slow.  On the good news front, what I can do on the new computer has allowed me to prune things off the old system.  As of right now, have it where I can use it for very slow photo/video work, and critical software that won\'t go over to the new system.  New system requires buying all new versions of that software, and I don\'t see that happening within the current budget especially since some software places don\'t see moving up such a leap as an upgrade...  

Last Thursday, I ended up having to have my landlord drive me to the ER that\'s about a block or so away.  Not heart issues, thankfully, but something new out of the blue:  diverticulitis.  Nope, no sign on my last two colonoscopies.  Given that I just had open heart with almost zero pain, if you had told me this would hurt 8-9 times worse (even worse than the gall bladder attacks that led to mine being removed), I might have laughed.  Not so much any more.  

So, back behind again but trying to catch up.  I had my first solid food since Thursday morning today, and so far, so good.  More soon, and Bless You All for the prayers and help!  I can\'t tell you how much I appreciate both.  

Halfway There
February 21, 2022
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Sorry for the lack of updates, but there have been computer issues and more health issues that hit on top of this site getting hacked.  The good news is, progress has been made on health and computer, as well as some other joys.  The site is back up, and things are moving along.  In fact, I was able to make my trip to the Southwest and came back with a most interesting job offer:  dressing in 1880s clothing and sharing history and more with visitors.  I\'m seriously considering it, though I am also working on some more traditional employment opportunities as well.  The other nice thing about the trip, aside from how good I felt while in the Southwest, is that I was able to eliminate some places from consideration, find a couple of new possibilities, and get the information that will let me refine things down so that I may can move in as little as six weeks -- with your continued help.  I will have to hire movers, as recent events have reinforced that I can\'t do the move myself.  

Thank you all for your support and prayers!  I can\'t tell you how much both are appreciated.  

Wow. Thank You!
January 15, 2022
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Since Sarah kindly gave this a push at Instapundit, things have taken off.  I\'ve already thanked her in private, but do so again here in public.  It\'s not easy asking for help, and to get the response her posts have driven is a bit overwhelming.  I know each of you have gotten the automated thank you, but I am going to do my best to thank everyone again.  

Progress is being made.  Somewhere, I mentioned the need for an orthopedic mattress.  It is being delivered in the next few days.  Thanks to you, I was able to go try two versions of the mattress, and the one that works best for me will be delivered in a couple of days.  I\'m caught up on bills and getting ahead where I can.  In fact, on a recurring bill I was able to make a change that will reduce my monthly bill.  

I\'m now starting to look at heading out to the SW.  I\'ve got some medical appointments coming up that can\'t be missed.  In fact, two of them we tried to get set up back in August (!!!) and while they won\'t show more immediate effects on the brain, they may give us some clues if there are long-term effects building from the lightning strike.  Worth knowing, and worth having the baseline.  Also, I\'m now wearing a heart monitor and I may end up doing a geek post on my little snitch as it is rather neat.  Especially if you\'ve ever dealt with its ancestor.  I haven\'t, but know people who did have the wear the old big box.  Instead, I\'m wearing something about the size of a matchbox that is water resistant enough I can shower.  My skin does not like the patch to which it is attached, but if it gets us answers...  

Again, my thanks to everyone who has donated and is donating.  My thanks to all who are spreading the word.  A huge Thank You to all who are praying as prayers are very much appreciated.  Onwards! 

First Update
January 7, 2022
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Huge thanks to the first, very generous, donor!  I\'m still hoping to get to travel to the Southwest around the end of the month, if the funds are available.  I\'m also still hoping to be cleared to return to work in February, but the office visit on Tuesday of this week included an abnormal ECG, so I will be wearing a monitor for a few weeks starting as soon as it arrives.  Rehab is going well overall, though my stamina is not yet where I would like it to be.  It will take time, I know, but...  For taking the time to read this, my thanks!  For contributing, thank you!  For taking the time for a prayer, thank you!  The road to recovery from both the lightning strike and the open heart surgery is a long one.  Thank you for helping make it a better and smoother one.  


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