Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Look, you have to understand something. When you get into your late 50s, early 60s, the only real topic you have to discuss when meeting people is either your grandchildren, or your health. I have noticed, without starting the conversation, that most people of, or near my age, prefer conversation starters about health.

Then, people often try to outdo each other in health-related maladies. “Yeah, got the prostate thing going and last year had to have two moles removed from my buttocks,” comments one. “That ain’t so bad. I got cataracts, gum disease and had a toe infection. You know, that yellow toe thing you see on TV ads,” blabs another. “Well, I got both arms, both legs and my spine removed last week in a first of a kind operation,” chimes in a third person near the conversation.

Okay, if you are a regular reader you know 2013 topped the previous years of bad health I have endured over the past several. Seven operations, last year including not two, but three carpal tunnel surgeries. The top two operations were a neck operation, pictures of which, make me out to be a Frankenstein and then that “ear thing”. Altogether, health coverage was in excess of $250,000. My co-pays were over $1200.

Wife Patti exclaimed on New Year’s Day that 2014 would be my watershed for health. She lied.

Back in December I had a very painful ear operation to enlarge my ear canal that was closing up. They removed cartilage in an attempt to reopen the Panama Canal. Taking all the medicines and procedures for after-surgery, I was unable to hear again after many weeks. Seems the scar tissue blocked the canal.

Back to the doctor/surgeon’s office to once again hear those all-too-often heard words. “Boy, this is a one in a million,” coming from the doc’s mouth.

I now was referred to another specialist, who will cut behind my ear, roll back the ear and surrounding tissue and have to cut more tissue and bone in an effort to retrieve my hearing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Wife Patti is having surgery this Wednesday that promises to be very painful and weeks on the mend. She told us she intends on being back in the newspaper chair on Thursday (?) for the beginning of deadline, but we kind of doubt it.

Zu Zu, my faithful Cavalier King Charles dog is going in for her surgery on Friday.

She is going to have to wear one of those cone thingies so she can’t chew and damage the area around the surgery. I think the dog may have to wear one too.

The week after next I have to go in for the cancer check, where they insert a long camera device into the bladder. This must-do enjoyment is every three months for the rest of my life. Hopefully they strike oil and nothing else.

Yes, I know, I have it pretty easy compared to some. I am alive and have a medicine chest full of magic pills to relieve every ache and pain, but rarely do so. In addition, there are the daily pills I will take forever.

Meanwhile, I am restarting my childhood hobby of model trains (S gauge). Anyone with suggestions, etc., please feel free to contact me at my new, personal e-mail at