Hey you! Yeah, you, one of my loyal dozens of readers of this blog, I thought it best to update you one last time on this medically-challenging chapter of my life. Let's pretend that you're not tired of reading about it.
A QUICK SUMMARY:
In late July, my wife and father convinced me to go the hospital as I had been sick for awhile. A week prior to that, I visited a doctor who ran some tests and diagnosed me with pneumonia. They ran an Xray and found that, in addition to the pneumonia, I also have a mass in (or near) my lung. The hospital saw the Xray and omitted me to the hospital. They believed it was lymphoma. It wasn't.
Eventually the diagnosis evolved to having a broncho-pulmonary sequestration (a section of my lung didn't form correctly in utero) and Graves' Disease (an autoimmune disorder). A month or so ago I was treated with radioactive iodine for the Graves' Disease. Two weeks ago I had video-assisted thoracic surgery (a thoracotomy) in Indianapolis to remove the 5x9cm sequestration and the lower lobe of my right lung. It was painful, but has healed really nicely in two weeks. If you look at an Xray, I have a very healthy left lung and a shortened right lung. He goes by the name "Captain Stubbin'". Please do not confuse it with a nubbin' though.
Yesterday I returned to preaching. My lungs were a bit sore yesterday afternoon. They're still a bit sore today. But, it felt good to return to some normalcy. Over the next few weeks, I will slowly start assuming the roles that I have vacated while being ill. I've tried keeping up with most things, but there has been some stuff that suffered while I was away.
Today I am going to start working out again. I'm on a 10-pound weight restriction for another couple of weeks, but I am allowed to do cardio exercises to help stretch the remaining parts of my right lung out. If all goes well, that remaining part of my right lung SHOULD fill the space that was left from taking the lower part out. The doctors believe that I should breathe better than I ever have in my life. Eventually. We'll see.
In conclusion, I'm getting better. The sequestration is removed, my autoimmune disorder is being managed, and I feel pretty well.
My wife has been a saint throughout all of these health issues. She's really the most caring person I know. For a few weeks, I was too sick to do much help around the house or with the kids. She managed to handle all of our dual-responsibilities mostly by herself, worked a part-time job, and looked great doing it. I'm blessed to be married to her.
Finally, my wife took some videos of me when I was waking up from my surgery. Who knew that being on such a heavy sedative would turn me into such a whiny kid! [we all knew the potential was there] I also catch a serious case of being vain. Here's one of the videos. Enjoy!