For the past several years I have exercised the practice of writing “Thanks-Givings” in this column through the fall season. It has been a unique moment for me personally as I share the stories and impact of others into my life. Sometimes the “Thanks-Giving” comes as a total surprise to some individuals and organizations and for others the public expression of thanks further bonds a mutual friendship. Over the past couple of months I have received several emails, text and calls regarding this column with folks asking if everything was OK. If you have been one who wondered if I had stop writing my column please allow this column to help serve as a part of the explanation as to where I have been and allow my “Thanks-Giving” to begin.
No the editor didn’t get mad at me and eliminate the column nor did I get upset over something and decided to protest over a column title or headline. I believe many of you are somewhat aware and others learning for the first time with the publishing of this column, I have been battling some challenging health conditions.
My medical issues began in October 2014 and have continued over the past two years. I thought once out of the hospital and nursing home in May of 2015 I would quickly push aside all bad health issues and would be up and going full steam ahead. This wishful thinking however has not been a part of the journey I’ve been traveling. September, October and November of 2015 were good months with recovery as the total focus. My arthritic condition, Crohn’s Disease, the challenges of diabetic ulcers and even cardiovascular issues seemed to have all taken a vacation from my body during those three months. I even had visions that these medical issues were behind me and in time I might even hit the road for a vacation get-away.
With visions of good health in my plans for 2016, January arrived with surprises resulting in what has been a long year, medically speaking. The toll of over a 100 hospitalizations, 10 surgeries (including additional amputations), 40 hyperbaric treatments, nine skin transplant, one stem cell transplant/injection and too many e-rays, blood work and test to recall, I find myself in “Thanks-Giving” mode for just remaining alive and not having yet expired. To finish out 2016 I have remaining 20 hyperbaric treatments and one additional amputation set for the week of Thanksgiving. My prayer is that by the week of Christmas I will have completed all treatments and I can begin looking at 2017 with rest, relaxation, and recovery as my focus.
Writing this column each week is a real blessing and I have missed being away due to health issues. I am grateful for each contact of concern and I appreciate your encouragement. With God’s help and the blessing of health I looking forward to sharing next week and next week and next week until then.
Follow Tim Mills on Twitter @THMills.