There is another way that I know, from experience, and that is from a really bad time in my life. I came down with asthma, bronchitis, and double pneumonia all at the same time while I was visiting my family back home. This was in March of 1990. I had to stay an extra two weeks, because the doctors would not let me fly back to my house before the two weeks was up. After I got back to my house, I was being rushed to the hospital, every 7 to 10 days, with asthma attacks so bad that I couldn’t breathe. On June 9, 1990, I lost both my permanent full-time job that I had had for 16 years, and my permanent part-time job that I had had for five years. I was devastated, but too weak to put up too much of a fuss. I ended up on oxygen, and had to pull the oxygen tanks around with me everywhere I went. I also had to wear a medical mask whenever I left my house. I was on Prednisone and therefore had a weakened immune system. If you had a cold and I caught it, it could go into Pneumonia on me. The Pneumonia that I had was micro-plasma-pneumonia. The worst kind for damaging your lungs. It took the doctors until April of 1993 to come up with the magical combination of medications to control all of my new medical conditions. In May of 1993, I started back to school at the local community college so that I could go back to work. I was still pulling the oxygen tanks behind me and still wearing a mask on my face when I started back. I had just found out the week before I started to class that I was also diabetic. But nothing was going to stop me.
Half way through the course I was taking, I ended up in a wheelchair and had to change my major. I had been taking courses to be a respiratory therapist, but you can’t do that from a wheelchair. The only choice that I could figure would work out was to change my major to computers. This was really hard to do though, because I had been chosen third out of 300 applicants for the program. Needless to say the tears flowed freely.
All together, it took me six and a half years to finish and graduate from the community college where I live. I finished my classes in December of 1999, but did not go through the actual graduation until May of 2000. During the time I was attending classes, I had to have eleven surgeries. But, nothing was going to stand in my way of finishing school.
It took me from January of 2000 until March of 2000 to find a job. My job was in the flood insurance department of a local bank. During my time at the bank, I had thirteen surgeries, with three of them being very major surgeries. The three major surgeries were two major surgeries on my bladder, and having to have a total knee replacement. The first surgery was the artificial bladder, the second surgery was the total knee replacement, and the third surgery was reconstruction on the artificial bladder as the first surgery failed. In November of 2004 I was returning to work from the last surgery that I had had to have. As I approached my desk and was getting ready to sit down, my supervisor met me and told me not to sit down. She then went on to tell me that I no longer worked there. I had been out too much with all of my surgeries. That being the case, I was deemed too disabled to work and was sent home.
It has now been over fifteen years since I received the artificial bladder. Doctors have told me that there are only a handful of patients left that received an artificial bladder when I did mine. The doctors went on to say that all of the other patients, except for the handful, had passed away within the first two to three years after their respective surgeries., and that that handful of patients are in medical books all over.
Besides the artificial bladder, I also have diabetic neuropathy in all of my extremities with almost constant pain. I have many allergies to medications, and I had a heart attack when I went into anaphylactic shock from IVP Dye. I am partially deaf in both ears, but cannot afford hearing aides, and Medicare does not cover hearing aides or glasses. My glasses are provided to me by The Lyons Club. I thank God for The Lyons Club. There is a tumor behind my right leg that is inoperable due to the fact that if they operate, I will probably end up being paralyzed in that leg. There are many other problems too, but I’m not going to go into them here right now. I’m just trying to point out that I have a lot stacked against me, but I still keep on going on. I am a survivor and and will be a winner, because I persevere and “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win”, like I point out in a poem that I wrote long ago. The poem is copied below.
WINNERS NEVER QUIT AND QUITTERS NEVER WIN
Winners never quit and quitters never win
For if you’re a quitter then you’ve stopped trying and given in
A fighter never won a fight with delivering a powerful blow
A runner never won a race by running very slow
This is how it goes in everyone’s life
Even in the middle of turmoil and strife
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Is a phrase that helps people do a lot of growing
They say “The best things in life are free.”
And that “No one ever said the way would be easy.”
There are so many different walks in life
Here too you have to decide what for you will be right
If by chance the first one you choose doesn’t work
Don’t be a quitter but a winner and for another one look
For you can’t give up if you want to win
Because winners never quit and quitters never win
ONE WHO IS GOING TO BE A WINNER
November 11, 1989
This poem won an Honorable Mention March 31, 1991 from the World Of Poetry.