2023 - A Year to Forget (So Far)

As we approach the mid point of the current year, I reflect on my journey over the past 6 months. It has not been an easy or enjoyable journey for the most part but there have been some positives.

In terms of positives, my youngest son and my youngest nephew both graduated high school this Spring. Both had birthdays this Spring and both are not 18. Our great niece turned 2. My wife celebrated another 29th birthday. Formula 1 racing is back in action. We adopted our first small breed dog and feel absolutely in love with our pretty Penny girl. AND, our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson that have been living in California for the past 2 years have officially moved back to Texas and very near to us.

With the positives out of the way, I turn my gaze to this year's negatives so far.

In February, I got hit with a nasty case of the flu. I was sick for a couple of weeks, which also happened to include my wife's birthday. I had to skip her birthday celebration that I had planned and instead sent her out with her parents and one of our sons and his wife for a birthday scavenger hunt and adventure. She had a good time but I'm still bummed I had to sit it out and not be able to celebrate her special day with her.

Fast forward to late March/early April and I'm constantly coughing, out of breath, and just in general feeling yucky. I made the decision, with some strong encouragement from my wife, to seek medical attention after unsuccessfully dealing with the issue for a couple of weeks. This seemed to kickstart a series of events that would last nearly a month that included multiple doctor's visits, multiple x-rays, 3 rounds of antibiotics, and more drugs in that period than I think I've been prescribed in the rest of my life combined. Part of my treatment included doing breathing treatments with a nebulizer 6 times a day which just so happened to also take my voice away. As a consultant who makes his living talking to customer, not having a voice for 2 weeks straight made work very challenging on top of not feeling well.

Eventually, the yuckiness that had plagued me largely subsided. To this day, I still have no stamina and lose my breath with minimal levels of activity but I can function and not cough like a life-long smoker with COPD hanging out in a smoke-filled poker room. I still have a ton of meds on my desk to take "as needed" though. The doctors said it could take months for the bronchitis that developed in my lungs following my bout with the flu to fully dissipate.

And to add fuel to my health fire, not long after starting to feel better from all that mess, I somehow managed to smash my leg into a pipe fence while mowing with a large, powerful riding mower. The impact fortunately did not break of fracture my shin but it did manage to grind a nasty spot on my leg. Cautious about the prospect of leaving the country on vacation with a nasty wound, I had the doctors check it out. More x-rays led to more medications as there was some concern about infection given the rusty lead pipe that caused the injury.

I had started 2023 with the idea and hope to accomplish a significant amount of writing on the multitude of books that I have started but unfinished. So far, I've barely managed anything on any of the stories. I've done a bit more research on one and have done some minor edits and additions to another but nothing along the scale that I had envisioned at the start of the year.

One can only hope that the second half of 2023 is less everything, less illness, less pain, less injuries, less major family milestones that trigger large family functions that distract for days, less time away from my keyboard.

I still hold on to the hope that I can accomplish some writing this year but with each passing day the quantity I hope to achieve diminishes more and more.

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