Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sharing time with Bells Palsy

          The information I have collect in this story contains information that I googled as “Bell's palsy - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment,” and was found under a titled page called Articlesbase.  I drew excerpts from their printed information and added my own twist so plagiarism  can be easily detectible.  I hope you can identify with my journey as I share time with this malady.  So let us begin...

          Bell's palsy is nothing more than facial paralysis, normally affecting one side of the face, and can last from a number of weeks to a number of years. I was personally told by a physician that it could take anywhere from 6 weeks for the symptoms to show small signs of reversal and could take up to 6 months or an entire year for it to totally reverse itself but to expect residual reminders the rest of my life.  Laughing.  Guess that is the equivalent of that one time broken heart.  It never really goes away, does it?? You just learn to live with it.   Anyway, it is the most common cause of facial paralysis. Bell's palsy is a diagnosis of exclusion; in many cases, no specific cause can be ascertained. The condition may result in a droopy appearance of your face.  This can be a blow to your self-esteem (it is mine), but most often Bell's palsy isn't serious. In human terms this is 1 of every 5000 people, or roughly 40,000 Americans every year.  How many times have I told Linda to buy a lottery ticket when it goes over 200 million?  Shear numbers alone proves I am prone to fortunate streaks uncommon to the masses.  She still refuses to listen.  Anyway, the facial nerve (seventh cranial nerve) has 2 susceptible components.  They are Viral infections such as herpes, mumps, or HIV and bacterial infections such as Lyme disease or tuberculosis which can cause inflammation and swelling of this facial nerve which prompts the onset of Bell's palsy.  I personally was unaware that I had herpes or was HIV positive, but I did have the mumps once upon a time.  I was also told that if I had chicken pox as a youngster, that the same virus that forms herpes and the horrid shingles disease is present in my body and I was that one lucky person out of 5,000!  But here is what my web research further revealed:


          Bell's palsy is more prevalent than generally believed. Bell's palsy should not cause any other part of the body to become paralyzed, weak or numb.  Most people either wake up to find they have Bell's palsy, or have symptoms such as a dry eye or tingling around their lips that progress to classic Bell's palsy during that same day.  I was conducting a concealed carry firearms class when I noticed my smile was weak and that I could not whistle. 


          Occasionally symptoms may take a few days to be recognizable as Bell's palsy.  I went to the hospital and was observed and tested for the possibility of stroke and it took a good 24 hours for this malady to fully present itself in the left side of my face.  Other symptoms I experienced included pain or discomfort around the jaw, especially behind my left ear.  There was ringing accompanied by a distinct echo with intense hypersensitivity to sound on the affected side.  Impaired speech, double vision (up and down not side by side), dizziness, and difficulty eating or drinking left me to wonder if I was going to be able to function in my social surroundings without some sort of therapeutic training!  Laughing out loud…. Bell's palsy occurs when the nerve that controls the facial muscles is swollen, inflamed, or compressed, resulting in facial weakness or paralysis. Although most patients (60–80%) recover completely from Bell's palsy within several weeks, some require several months, and others may be left with deficits of varying degrees. Thrills…


           A wonderful friend told me several months back, how fortunate we are that we had access to an unlimited world of knowledge in the palm of our hands with a smart phone connected to the internet.  How correct she was as I have already discovered those that are concerned about my ‘experience’ have already researched this very subject.  This article that I have referred to above goes on to list seven (7) treatment options as I have included below:


1. Surgical procedures to decompress the facial nerve have been attempted, but have not been proven beneficial.  I will pass…  So not interested in this option.

2. Facial massage and exercises may help prevent permanent contractures (shrinkage or shortening of muscles) of the paralyzed muscles before recovery takes place.  I rather enjoy this, but Linda leaves me to my own resources of self massage I have learned to perfect over the years.

3. Moist heat applied to the affected side of the face may help reduce pain. I really haven’t experienced any pain… discomfort, yes, but not pain.

4. Other therapies that may be useful for some individuals include relaxation techniques, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, biofeedback training, and vitamin therapy (including vitamin B12, B6, and zinc).  Nope.  Have not gone here as we speak.

5. A small dose of botulinum toxin can be injected into the affected area. Treatment may involve steroid and anti-viral therapy.  Insulin injection is stressful enough for me.  Not!

6. Painkillers may also be required. It's important to protect the eye from drying, which may result in infection and ulceration.  My most inconvenient physical experience through all this so far is protecting my eye from drying because I cannot blink or close my left eye...   It is extremely hypersensitive to light and wind so I keep it covered most of the time while awake with a patch.  I tell people I am advertising for an underwear commercial and they laugh it off.  This patch, taped to my face at night, prevents me from injuring my eye as I sleep which could  also result in infection

7. Treatment may include medications such as acyclovir used to fight viral infections combined with an anti-inflammatory drug such as the steroid prednisone.  This is my current resolve.  The prednisone gave me fits with my sugar levels, but once my primary care doctor adjusted it, I seem to be doing better.  At least I’m not sitting there wanting to cry and dripping snot!  That prednisone is some kick in the butt stuff!

          There is an 8th treatment method I have found most effective for me.  Both of my surviving sisters have been able to apply unlimited kisses to the affected side of my face with remarkable results.  I particularly enjoy it when this therapy is applied in public places as I know I am being envied.  *smile*  My Linda picks up their resolve in their absence although I have to remind her to medicate my face with her kisses…  She is good…  She knows just how to do it and where all the right spots are!  I just have to remind her.  Now, there are others in my circle of friends I would certainly not deny access given the opportunity, but that could border on the side of more my personal ego and desire than actual therapy.   Anyway, if you have stayed with me this long, let me bring you up to speed on my recovery process.  I will try to be consistent in adding to this story as my experience with recovery continues.  Someday, someone might use this as a reference of which to measure their own recovery.  So, here goes…


January 25, 2014  Saturday
My Introduction to Bell's Palsy
0800 hours


     Conducting a Concealed Carry Class at my friend Doyle Jinks' house, in Bosco, LA.   Around lunch time I noticed my lip was heavy.  Similar to a Novocaine injection from a dentist.  Expressed a concern to my students who were family and friends and they noticed my smile was gone.  I eventually lost the ability to whistle and pronouncing words became more difficult.  Concerned I couldn’t eat my lunch!  Seriously thought this could be a good weight loss thing?? (sic)  Called Linda and told her and proceeded to finish the class.

     The words stroke and Bell's palsy were passed around in class.  My mother spent the last 16 years of her life totally paralyzed on her right side as a result of a stroke and I was familiar with what could have been.  Since I felt nothing in my extremities, I dismissed the possibility of anything “stroke like” and stuck to schedule.  After class I drove the 28 miles back to West Monroe and picked up Linda from her mother's house.  I let her drive back to Pineville.

     On the way home, I put my cell phone to use…  I have friends in the medical community from Arlington, TX to Jackson, MS not to mention a splattering in my own hometown.  With their information, I diagnosed myself with Bell’s palsy and told Linda to take me home as there was nothing that could be done about my condition that time itself would not correct.  She carefully obliged my request like she generally does and we ended up in the Emergency Room of Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, LA on a SATURDAY NIGHT!!! 


1945 hours or 7:45 pm

     Checked in Emergency Room and was introduced to the waiting room of coughing, puking, screaming kids, bleeding cuts, bruises, and gunshot wounds and the constant parade of smokers in and out of the front door because obviously they were not that damn sick!  Did you know you can actually see flu and other viruses hanging in these places with the human eye?  I could and I told Linda!  My mental illness was beginning to exceed the limits of my medication!  Linda just sat patiently beside me and never once asked how much social security she would be eligible for just in case.


2330 hours or 11:30 pm

      That medication thing?  I have become dangerous to myself by now.  I did not hurt nor did I think I needed to be where I was.  I approached the male RN and simple told him I was ready to go home.  He was most professional.  Seriously.  He understood my concerns, but really expressed his concern about my physical appearance and asked if I could be patient and at least talk to the ER physician.  His sincerity kept me there.  Told me he was going to do some blood work very soon.  He had no more than an hour to spring his trap or I was out of there!


January 26, 2014 Sunday
Day 1
0045 hours or 12:45 am

      My name rings across the room of pending death.  I am allowed to enter the outer sanctuary as he scrubs diseased particles from my vein in the bend of my elbow.  I told him I faint at the sight of blood but he apparently found no humor in my words as he secured for the hospital with one stick, at least 1500 bucks of insurance money of which 20% of that was my responsibility to pay!  Should have gone home, but in his trained wisdom, he inserted an IV into my arm and taped it securely in place across my hairy arm which just chapped my ass!  10 minutes, 10 hours or 10 days, I know that tape was going to be pulled off and it just set the stage for what was to come.  I was then escorted back into that room with every sick eye jealous that I had received medical attention, Linda looked at me and said.  “They have you now!”  I just thought to myself… You’re the reason I’m here!  I decided she didn’t need that so I kept my mouth shut.  Security was sitting too close and I still had my concealed carry weapon secure at my side.


0130 hours or 01:30 am

     Again my name is called!  Greetings and salutations he shouted!  You have been selected by your friends and neighbors…  Well. It wasn’t that bad because they could have given me an enema, I’m sure, but instead I was escorted to the part of the inner sanctum where they could examine my head.  A CAT scan they said!  Every bit of 30 minutes elapsed as this process was completed and the return to ingest more germs from the gathered collection of the sickly amongst us.  By this time, I had been awake for 24 hours as my day began at 2am the previous morning.  Sleep evaded me because of my heightened sense of insecurity of what could have been more than what actually was. 

0430 hours or 04:30 am

      Linda gave up the spirit.  She could no longer remain in an upright, cordial position of optimism and encouragement knowing in her heart at that moment I would have been better off dead!  I knew she was tired and told her to just go on home.  If they ever let me go I could call a police officer or take a taxi cab home.  I think I even said I could hitch hike if I needed too.   She smiled and said what would be best for her would be to go to the car so she could lay back and take a nap.  I agreed that would be the very best thing for her to do…  As I watched her ease out of the doors of the emergency room, the Beatles tune, “Alone Again, Naturally,” crossed my mind.

0515 hours or 05:15 am

     They confirmed my Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Card was real and I became priority over the enrollees of obamacare.  I was finally escorted into the electronic abyss of the heart of Cabrini’s emergency care.  As I wander about my controlled space, I walk to the window and look outside into the pre-dawn darkness of the mercury vapor lit parking lot.  There not 75’ away is my pearl white Cadillac with my sleeping wife inside wrapped in my LSU blanket.    I am almost giddy from lack of sleep and anxiety and find when I entertain myself at times like this, I surprise myself with some of the sickest forms of humor.  I thought about taking my concealed carry weapon with its powerful laser and painting my car with its dazzling red dot from the ER window to see if Linda would notice.  I smiled at the idea that security cameras just might pick up on this act of terrorism and the following knee jerk reaction could have resulted in the evacuation of the hospital!  I left my weapon in its holster.   I have been at this place now approaching 12 hours and they put me in a non-padded room and actually send another male type RN into my world to ask me questions??  My face feels like it is sliding off onto my shoulder and he ask me, what symptoms am I displaying.  Seriously??  He looked at me funny when I said excessive diarrhea and vomiting and then asked him if they served breakfast in this place… Probably thought I should be observed for mental illness when I answered his next question.  “Have you experienced anything like this before?”  Yes, I said… About five years ago I suffered a severe case of Ball's palsy and I have yet to recover!  He laughed and walked out…

0600 hours or 06:00 am

      Dr. Brown finally came into my room and evaluated me.  No questions…  Thank goodness…  Stick out your tongue, lift your eye brows, look to the right, now to the left.  Can you see this and how does it look?  Well, maybe a couple of questions, but they were actually relevant to my purpose for being there.  Bottom line, he confirmed his suspicions of Bells palsy but could not rule out the possibility of a minor stroke and he would like to keep me for observation and further testing.  Oh thrills!  Only thing I could think of was, “what is my deductible?”  As he left, I still refrained from painting my car with my laser to get Linda’s attention and simply called her cell phone…  I smiled as I watched her stir from my prodding’s and told her what was going down.  Asked if she could bring me some of the overnight stuff in the trunk of the car and take my firearm before someone actually discovered that if I have underwear on, I possess a concealed pistol as well.   She surprisingly appeared quicker than I expected, left me what I requested, gathered my possessions and departed for home and a well deserved rest.


0700 hours or 07:00 am

     Shift change!  And with that a vibrant young and attractive female RN.  Remember the male RN in the Emergency Room that asked me to be patient and at least speak with a Doctor?  This young lady was his wife!  I gave her my Concealed Carry Card too…  They both need my course.  I am NOT holding my breath…  I was actually impressed with the care I actually received once they could focus their attention on me.  The seven o’ clock hour turned into nine o’ clock and my pastor was the first of many to arrive and console me.  Or to see if I were going to die or not! 


1230 hours or 12:30 pm

      Still no sleep and visitors in and out.  I finally caught a mouse sniffing around a linen bucket and that satisfied my hunger as the first meds were given me.  Ativan!  Wow, that stuff must have a good street value.  Sometimes after administering this amazing pill, they roll me off to some distant planet and put me into this death chamber called an MRI…  I spent an hour and a half in there and thanks to that tiny little pill, I slept the entire time except for the last 20 minutes.  They actually woke me up and said, we have another 20 minutes of pictures we need to take that we overlooked on the doctors orders.  What???  Ok, I said… lets do this.  This twenty minutes.  Let me see… I realized several things in that period of time.  20 minutes is a life time when you realize you are claustrophobic, impatient, immobilized and moderately restrained.  It dawns on you that you can take a human life and entertain the possibility of engaging that sin starting with the people that are inflicting this mental torture upon me.  20 minutes!  I started counting.  2,782 is what I got to counting very slow.  I am not a mathematical genius, but I do know that counting slow those numbers EXCEEDED 20 MINUTES!  I tried to reason with reason but there was no reason to debate.  The ativan was totally gone and anxiety had replaced it with that Hyperactive Disorder I talked about in my story, Attention Deficit, What???  I had the panic bulb in my hand and was just to the point of ripping it from its unknown source and use it to choke the first person I found as the thought of exiting this invasive MRI tube reached a saturation point!  Oh yes… They knew it too!  They said I was quiet expressive.  I was the only one they shared, had ever sang rather loudly while in that machine and the fact my legs were sticking straight up had them all wondering what just might emerge from the magnified brain scan.  If you’re wondering?  No one died.  But I am mentally ill..


1400 hours or 02:00 pm

     Back to the same emergency room and warm smiling faces of close friends.  They all check me out to see what is different and truly concerned about my health and welfare.  Linda eventually makes her way back to my side and mixes in with the assorted friends that gathered.  I rush her off to get me something to eat and pick up something from the Walgreens.  No, I don’t remember, but I’m sure she does…  I just know it wasn’t Boudreaux’s butt paste… 


1730 hours or 05:30 pm

      They finally moved me to the 6th floor of the hospital.  Endless visitors.  It was good.  I was still experiencing severe anxiety and only wanted rest.  What I got was hospital food and a nurse that was once a member of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang.  We traced our roots back to West Monroe and specific people and I realized I was getting too close to long suppressed memories and disengaged that conversation when she recognized the name of my first wife from the last millennium!  What a blessing a shift change can make.


2100 hours or 09:00 pm

      I was still wound up tight.  Family and friends begin to fade and I ask the attending nurse for some kind of sleep aid.  I simply cannot close my eyes and rest.  She returned sometime later and said the doctor ordered some xanax to take the edge off and sometimes close to 41 hours of no sleep except for the ativan induced rest in the MRI machine, I slipped into unconsciousness.


27 January 2014 Monday
Day 2
0700 hours or 07:00 am

      Other than a mild disturbance with blood pressure checks and finger pricks to check my sugar level, I simply did not move that entire night as a peaceful sleep consumed me.  As my world came into focus the following morning, I pulled the taped patch from my eye and began to think, logically??  Remember those plastic elongated container they give you to pee in under the covers as to provide you privacy and to measure your urine out put?  Hey, I have not spent that many nights in a hospital, but I must say I was impressed with my output level!  Glad I had walked into the bathroom to utilize that instrument because my cup almost runneth over!  I was impressed and when the nurse walked in and observed my measured reward they so solicited, her words made me feel good about myself when she said, “my, my, impressive!”  Glad she confirmed my feelings. I then became somewhat excited as my breakfast tray arrived in my room!  Oh My Word!!  Grits and eggs and BUTTER along with a piece of wood that masqueraded as toast!!   I opened the butter and dipped it out of its container onto my grits.  Actually put three little tubs of butter onto my grits… I took my fork to mix it up as to savor the taste more abundantly and found to my dismay, my grits were a rubber mold of what only resembled grits.  I realized I was not going to mix my butter mixed grits into the scrambled eggs and wondered then if those scrambled eggs were anything like the grits!?  I didn’t care.  I was hungry so I took my plastic knife and sliced away at the grits and ate the pieces like french fries with my fork.  I just didn’t look at the eggs as I prodded them into my digestive system as well.  What I can tell you was that it was deliciously pleasant!  


1200 hours or noon am or pm, take your pick

     My pastor, Nathan Martin and friend Lane Fletcher arrived about the same time and for privacy concerns, I dare not tell you where our conversation slipped.  It was here during our laughter that Rich Dupree finally joined our fray and although the gathering was brief, I needed that.  Wonderful friends…  Not long after they departed the Mayor dropped in to check on me.  That was good…  That kind of therapy cannot be ordered.  It is just healthy. 


1400 hours or 02:00 pm

     The hospitalist finally came in and told me they had reviewed my test and could not detect any signs of a stroke of which I am so blessed.  Of course this was exactly what my friends had prayed for so it just had to be… He released me to go home and to contact my primary care physician.  I left the hospital without the assistance of a wheel chair somewhere around 1730 hours or 05:30 pm to finally go home.


January 28, 2014 Tuesday
Day 3
1230 hours or 12:30 pm

      I slept well.  Everything is closed in Central Louisiana because of snow and ice covered roads.  Linda is at home watching TV in the den as I remain lethargic in the bed room when my cell phone rings.  It was my sister Sandra.  The same sister that made that 4:00 am phone call in my short story the Mockingbird and Why it means so much to my Life.  Her message simple.  Diane just passed away.  My oldest sister…  It was not unexpected, but still, the hurt is evenly distributed.  I am so glad I took the advise of a wonderful friend and made the time to see her as much as I could before… 


January 31, 2014 Friday
Day 6
1700 hours or 05:00 pm

     I arrived at Mulhearns funeral home for my sister Diane’s wake.  I am grossly disfigured and have my protective patch on my eye because it is so sensitive.  My dearest of friends are there to see me as I walked in.  Sandi, Pam, Sissy, Llen, Lauren, Leona, Julie and Doyle and Donna. 


February 1, 2014 Saturday
Day 7
1100 hours or 11:00 am  Day 7

      Beautiful funeral.  Hope I’m not the next to die.  This funeral would be a hard one to follow.  I know Diane would have been proud.  As for me?   If I looked the way I felt it had to take away from Diane's home going.  I was constantly aware of my face and my eye was constantly hurting.  I hurt emotionally and physically.  I still refused to let it separate me from saying good bye to my oldest sibling and smile at the names of my mom and dad as my sister will rest just a few feet from them.  

February 2, 2014 Sunday
Day 8

      I walk into church with my eye patch.  My wonderful pastor.  Hey!  We have a pirate amongst us!  Good to see you Rod!  He then tells everyone about my sister and my situation.  I appreciate it, but if I’m called a pirate one more time, I’m going to gut shoot someone.  I just hurt most all of the time and I hold my lip to talk and constantly think I’m drooling! *shit*  Sorry Nathan…


February 3, 2014 Monday
Day 9

      I return to work.  As long as I keep my patch over my eye I am not uncomfortable except for limited visibility.  I try to remain in my office rather than spend time driving the streets.  My co-workers are kind and accept my setback with understanding.  When I do get the occasional comment about the eye patch or the extra long glance to observe my face, I just comment I am soliciting a roll for an underwear commercial and keep walking.  I cannot smile and that bothers me the most.
February 8, 2014 Saturday
Day 14
     Had Linda drive me to Monroe to drop off my Browning Hi-Power with a friend that is an accomplished gunsmith.  Actually served as a Deputy Sheriff with him in Ouachita Parish in the later part of the 20th century.   As luck would have it, my sister Nona and one of her best friends, Bev, met with Linda and I at PeGe's in Lakeshore right down the street from where I was raised.  What a wonderful visit with my beautiful sister and her friend!  From just last weeks funeral both of them told me they could see improvement in my face.  Oh how I love to be patronized in some ways.  What I enjoyed the most were those sweet kisses from my baby sister as she applied such sweet therapy to my face.  Linda thought it was funny that Nona had to explain to the entire patronage of the restaurant that I was her brother!  I remember a time she would not admit that!
February 9, 2014 Sunday
Day 15
     I slept without my patch last night!  When I woke up this morning I discovered I can close my eye when I blink!  Still a long way to go and who better for me to celebrate these small steps forward with but you my friends?  Of course you are those I care so much for and who have sustained me with prayer!  Glancing at my blog stats on this one post, I have had 26 comments and over 54 likes!  Good therapy folkses... Really good therapy.  I know where I draw my source of strength.

February 11, 2014 Tuesday
Day 17

     I am running out of the acyclovir and the anti-inflammatory steroid known as prednisone.  Probably a couple of more days and that mind altering medically induced crazy will release my mind to return to a more "normal" for me.  Friends far and near tell me that prednisone is some powerful stuff!  I refuse to argue as I have had discussions with Rod Ferguson even Rod Ferguson  didn't like!  As I have alluded to before in this particular "collection" of thoughts, I have discussed with Linda and a close friend the possibility of including pictures of my progress...  Kinda sorta like maybe a photo-journal posting to accompany the printed memoirs?   Anyway, I don't know if I will or when I will but I do have and continue to take pictures.  Those horrid pictures! 

     My left eye seems to be cooperating with my autonomic motor stimuli as this is my second day without my patch.  It is not where I would like it to be, but it is getting there.  Leaving Sam's last night a cold blast of wind particularly irritated and burned my eye reminding me to give it time.  I came home today from work just ahead of a gathering ice storm and walked off 3 miles of prednisone induced stress before climbing into the shower...  As I exited the comforting wash, I dried off, powdered my fanny and soothed my shaved head with my Dove Post Shave Balm.  Staring at what I remembered of my manly self,  I couldn't help but "parakeet" some in the mirror!  (yes we all do it so shaddup!)  Oh you poor distorted, pitifully aging man, let me see just where we might be today as I took tweezers to those few hated hairs that tend to gather in my ears and stick their tongues out at those that might venture too close... grrrrr... Linda so needs to pay closer attention to me!  I am getting helpless.  I might be helpless, just don't want to look the part, YET.   Anyway, as most of you know, what I miss the most during this experience of paralysis, is my smile.  I leaned close into the accommodating mirror and gave it my best.  The Elvis look curled the right side of my mouth, and despite my aggravation, I noticed movement in the downside droop of the left side of my mouth!  I looked again and really got excited when I realized my paralyzed side actually showed signs of movement!  EUREKA!!  I'm excited, why in the world am I thinking Eureka Springs, Arkansas?  I back away to take in my entire face and lifted my eyebrows.  The wrinkle lines are only halfway across my forehead and I wanted so bad to see movement in my eyebrow!  Not there yet, but what I do know is I am excessively pleased...  Thank you all for your prayers.  If this prednisone doesn't cause me to fling myself under some passing bus, I will continue to beat this one day at a time.!

February 12, 2014 Wednesday afternoon
Day 18 

     Actually today is the 13th of February and I am sitting in my favorite recliner recuperating from the experience of last evening.  I am still existing on generator power even though outside at this very moment (3:50 pm), the sun is bathing a post ice storm landscape with the promise of spring.  Funny I ended my last post with a light hearted remark of the prescription drug Prednisone's affect on me...  Little did I know just how serious this bus scenario just might be if it does interact with my actual existence!  I know there is some dangerous prescription stuff out there and even though friends told me to be careful and that subliminal voice kept screaming her warnings, I ingested this pharmaceutical designed steroid as prescribed until I slammed head first into that oncoming bus I candidly implied.

     I threw caution to the wind and took my precious granddaughter to eat chicken strips at Popeye's Chicken while my florist wife labored late into the afternoon preparing for the seasonal onslaught of Valentine's Day.  I knew better, but despite my diabetic existence, for some reason I asked my Kbear to fill my cup with the sugar bomb we commonly refer to as Coke!  I've only drank water for several months knowing I don't need this stuff as I've wrestled with weight and blood sugar numbers.   However, my encounter with sin again wins and I partake in this particular elixir to my hearts content. I had, NOT one large Styrofoam cup, but two actually.  We left to return home on a full stomach of chicken strips, red beans and rice and of course, Coca-cola...

     As we arrived home, I passed the purring generator and settled into my recliner covering myself with my blanket and fighting the ache in my left eye that had been exposed most of the day to the elements.  Remember my eye?  I applauded the casual half attempt of its function to your earlier!  Any way, I was miserable.  I asked Kbear to put drops in my eye as I settled back into my chair to establish some sort of equilibrium or accepted sense of peace.  Quiet peace...  The prednisone that continued to build up in my recovering system and the sugar bomb I had recently ingested had other plans for me. 

     For any of you that might be prescribed this drug for whatever reason in your future, please understand the possible ramifications as I'm sure it presents itself different in each carbon life form, so let me tell you my experience.  I reclined and covered myself from the chill.  Unknown to me, my blood sugar began to sky rocket.  I refused to move from what I prayed for was a catatonic state of desired sleep as I knew the prednisone alone was denying from me.  About this time Linda returned home from her long day of work.  Immediately my world was kicked in the side and I became irritated as she rearranged extension cords to establish TV and satellite connections to seek her form of relaxation from her strenuous day of labor.  Understand now, in my overexposed prednisone mind accompanied by a rising sugar level, I knew the generator that helped us tolerate our electricless world would not support the added demands my volcanic mind envisioned!  I tried... Oh how I tried to sit passively and allow my precious wife  to arrange things to accommodate her needs for rest...  I felt the deep movements of plate tectonics deep inside of my soul, try as I may to ignore them.

     My sweet youngest daughter arrived to bring school clothes to Kbear.  She had been at my oldest daughter's home to visit and stopped by to drop them off and just be a daughter. She stepped into my media room just inside the carport.  She stopped beside my recliner as my wife slung extension cords as if to deliberately overpower my struggling generator.  At this moment my granddaughter came in and said, "Hi, Aunt Paige," the last vestiges of sanity slipped as the continental plates jumped causing irreparable shifts in my world as I knew it to exist.  For some reason, during the visit with Kbear's mom at her home, Paige witnessed the typical teenager room and felt it her obligation to lecture my favored grand-daughter on her responsibilities of home etiquette and hygiene.  I screamed something to the effect of STFU and get the whatever out of my house in very ungentlemanly words as I exploded into an uncontrolled rage as my world and MY WORLD alone shifted!  I don't recall much from that initial explosive response except that most surviving life forms quickly evacuated my immediate area as the prednisone finally defined its presence in my body in the form of a mental eruption.

     A scattering of those I love the most occurred in real and digital form as some uncontrolled rage became unmanageable to me.  I started to tremble with shivers I could not understand and simple questions from the most patient person in my universe as to what was wrong was met by hysterically uncontrolled sobs of rage and tears!  My soul, what was going on!  Who could I reach out to!  NO ONE WAS THERE!  I was destined  to ride out this nebulas of whatever this was that I had never experienced before as I simply cried and said over and over,  "Dear God, Dear God!"   I have never been here before.  I wanted to reach out but had no one to reach to!  I could not communicate with any one!  Linda, of course, probably thought a .45 caliber round might be the best therapy for my pitiful display.  She was beside herself as she finally got me to swallow some form of over the counter medicine to help calm me.  With her help I discovered my blood sugar was 391 and my blood pressure was 177/98.  She mentioned 911 and that encouraged yet another uncontrolled settling of shifting plates! 

     Despite my mental state of mind, I was able to stab my neck with the prescribed insulin and pick from my pharmacy of medicine the proper blood pressure tablets to slow this lava flow of emotions that was petrifying my current existence.  With a concentrated effort I tried to tell those I care about to steer from my disturbed present condition as I finally established contact with the best friend I've ever had in Texas.  I could not communicate with him, but his voice was encouragement enough for me to confirm a sense that I might survive this storm.  I thought it was nothing more that a panic or anxiety attack and was able to ingest a couple of the Xanax tabs prescribed months ago when I was fighting another demon.  My world slowly started to return to a logical pattern of thoughts as Linda helped me confirm my blood sugar was dropping and my blood pressure quit teasing me with the possibility of a real stroke!  My friend then touched on the reason for this nuclear exchange in my mind when he said, "flush that damn prednisone down the toilet and never touch it again!" 

     Precious friends, never take for granted the gift of sanity.   As it slipped from me for a brief point in time, I can't help but try and share with those that venture this far into my printed words, how beautiful it is to be in control of your mind.   I am fine as I sit here right this moment and those beautiful pebbles scattered among my life are treasures.  Seems like it doesn't matter how far you try to throw the most beautiful one away, it is comforting to know you can always find it among the scattered debris of circumstantial life experiences.  Cherish it!

     I am really doing much better today!  I love this sunshine as Seasonal Affective Disorder has been temporarily halted despite the fact I'm still on generator power.  If I were truly allowed a reprieve from the last 48 hours, it would be for restored electrical power to my home.  I am still grateful as there is more movement in the left side of my face.  Oh yeah.  Lest I forget... I love you....All of you...

February 17, 2014 Monday
Day 23

     They exist amongst us.  We read about them in the newspaper and social network newsfeeds and about their increase and necessary need for their existence!  They are said to appear over fatal traffic accidents and the FAA has forbidden their use in delivering pizza's to any given GPS address!  Of what am I speaking of?  Drones.  Those dreaded drones that invade our privacy...  Every time I step to the edge of my patio during the day or
My favorite Virus Drone! 
nighttime, I think about those things and it resonates in my mind just briefly as I rationalize the operator of said object would probably be observing something worth looking at other than a 63 year old man "passing time" on the edge of his patio...  So, with that in mind and you  are wondering what this has to do with sharing time with Bell's palsy, let me finish...  Those drones have affected me.  They are all around me.  I knew this all along but never acknowledged just how dangerous they are to all of us!  Serious!  These drones I am speaking of are virus drones and exist in the form of my/our grandchildren!  I cannot help myself.  They are precious to me, especially the youngest amongst them.  Wipe the snot away, pull them close, and smooch away!  There are ALWAY viruses  present on these sugar laden virus drones even when they are NOT showing signs of infection!  I simply cannot abstain from this, and for sure someday, will fall victim to one of these deadly encounters! 

     The late evening of day 21 found me cleaning away at my toilet bowl knowing a coming encounter was inevitable!  If you're lost, read my short story Idiosyncrasies and you will understand what I mean.  At the 0300 hour of  day 22 my encounter with my youngest virus drone established a deep regurgitating repetitive pattern until the 0730 hour and trying to find comfort on the bathroom floor next to the coveted repository gave me a crick in my neck that is a reminder of that thankfully past morning.  However!  What exercise it provided my paralyzed face!  Somewhere around this hour, I prayed for what I hoped would be my last event of the past morning and brushed my teeth, sterilized my mouth with Listerine before finding sanctuary in my bed.  The last thing I remember was Linda giving me some ibuprofen and asking me if I needed some anti-nausea medicine??  ANTI-NAUSEA MEDICINE?  I will refrain on commenting on my thought at that particular time!  I mean, really?

     I came to life around the 1130 hour to find myself alone in my home wondering if I should assault the entire dwelling with Lysol to prevent someone I care for from having this dreaded experience.  I struggled to the comfort of my recliner and media room as I surfed channels waiting to see if there may be another surprise waiting to suddenly appear in that, "Surprise, I'm not through with you yet," reminder.  I surprisingly felt better as time passed and nuked a bowl of canned Chicken Soup to see how well that might go.  I eased onto the sun drenched patio and more time passed.   Linda finally came home from church and a visit to Wal-Mart to find I was still alive denying her access to my social security!  She brought me up to speed about my early morning hour telling me I am still the funniest person she has ever known.  She told me I talk to my toilet bowl and encourage myself by name as the act unfolds.  As I finish, she said she could not help but laugh as she heard me start laughing at how happy I was that moment was over.  What would have really tripped her was if she could have peeped in and observed Meggie sitting on the edge of the lavatory looking at her human probably thinking, "What in the Hell??? I'm so glad I'm a cat."

     So as day 23 dawned, I awakened in intense pain yet absent the sickness I endured.  You see, if you remember back from your past experiences, the wretched convulsions leaves every muscle in the chest cavity and stomach area full of lactic acid and sniffing your nose is extremely painful...  Don't forget the crick or nerve in my neck?  I was pitiful... However, the positive?  As I mentioned earlier, the exercise did my face wonders!  I do see positive results since the last time I reported.  I still hold my face up, but my eye has not bothered me at all today as of this update at 2120 hours.   Progress is still slow as I expected and I still do not have a resemblance of a smile yet.  But I know it is coming.   Thank you for bearing with me and I sure hope you don't mind my rambling... 

March 2, 2014 Sunday
Day 36

     Strange as it may seem, it has been a few days since I've updated my progress with recovery.  I guess we can call it recovery?  I was told at the onset that Bell's Palsy could start showing signs of recovery at 6 weeks and could take up to 6 months to reverse itself.  Let me just tell you that yesterday was my 5th week with this deformity and with this mile marker behind me, I must provide you with where people think I am versus where I think I am.

      When you see yourself in a mirror every day of your life, certainly you will not be able to measure the milestones as you pass them.  They are invisible to you except when you press closely in and observe carefully.  Of course, Linda interacts with me on a daily basis. This doesn't necessarily mean she "looks" at me closely every time I pass to see if there is anything different about me.  Oh, she occasionally notices when my underwear are on inside out and comments, but other than that, I am one of the visible road markers she has become use to seeing every day.  My co-workers are much the same.  They see me, but don't really look at me or take notice of my recovery.  They just take it for granted that I am who I always was.  In my heart of course, I am still me, and my condition is steadily improving.  It is at such a slow pace I compare it to watching a healthy hair turn gray or watching a fingernail grow!   

     With this progress being measured by several sources divided into two groups, ME and others, Linda told me I was 95% recovered.  Others don't even notice I have the beginnings of my returning smile.  The smile is not there to me, but it does appear as a slight grin in casual conversation with others.  Only the careful eye of someone intent on communicating with me would notice my remaining paralysis...  Only when I laugh and this powerful emotion demands the presence of my smile do I realize the actual progress of where I really am with this shared time with this malady...  Linda said I'm 95% through my recovery and if I may, let me tell you where I feel in my heart I am...  I think I am 95% to Half Way through my recovery.  I am truly hoping that as week 5 found me yesterday, Saturday March 1, I hope week 12 will find this entire post signed off on with my Rod Ferguson and initialed by my favored editor... 

     Until then, I will live each day to the best of my ability.  As slowly as I recover I am equally aware that I also age at that same speed.  I don't mind getting older actually but this darn neuropathy in my feet is getting aggravating and my son just asked me if I could come spend time with him in Alaska!  You see, I have life to live and this Bell's Palsy was nothing more than a minor compass adjustment that helped remind me of where I am and is helping me to focus on where I desire to go!  So spare me the "kill me its Monday" jokes and "hallelujah its Friday" get out and play hard posters.  I don't want to miss one day of my life by wishing it away.  I must correct myself on this weather though, as I have started to complain about the low temperatures.  Who cares if it is cold, raining, warm, sunshine, overcast, windy or 110 heat index.  I have life to live and friends to share it with...  I'll get back with you hopefully just one more time before this story is defined as past history.

March 19, 2014 Wednesday
Day 53

     As I carefully scanned my aged face in the mirror on the morning of day 51, a couple of things crossed my mind...  I still recognize myself and my cat is still at ease with me and constantly pursues me in anticipation of her "Temptations" treat.  Yeah, you have probably seen the commercial on TV.  She loves the treats and it makes me feel like she just loves me.  Laughing... Its ok.  I know why she follows me around and besides, I find other ways to amuse myself as well.  What I realize, as I look in the mirror, is the fact that I scarcely notice the remaining curl of my lip as a result of the paralysis.  I can actually grin in complete function and my smile is almost totally back.  My personal (to me) smile is probably 75% back if not more.  Only those paying close attention to me would even notice what remains of the time I have spent thus far with Bell's Palsy.
     My whistle has not returned to its fullness... I cannot yet  whistle with a song I choose on the radio like I once did.  There is still that "Novocain" feeling in my top and bottom lip on the left side that keeps me from forming the perfect note required of that melody I wish to project.  Will I ever return to that "normal" I once knew or will I be reminded the rest of my life of this ill shared time?  Another thing I thought I might share with my readers is my voice.  My speech is normal.  Actually, my vocal cords never lost the ability to speak words.  Pronunciation of the chosen words was tested because of the precise movements required of my lips.  Remember now, the left side of my mouth was totally paralyzed.  But as I adjusted and my paralysis slowly subsided, this "noticeable" handicap ceased to be a concern.  Oh yes, my voice.  My millennial friends and even some from the last century may not know that I was capable of carrying a tune with my voice.  A solid baritone actually that secretly wished I had been a full course bass!  Well, here is my point.  Who amongst us doesn't engage the melody of that favorite spiritual or those rock and roll songs we grew up with?  My voice, as my whistle, is no longer the same.  I do not have the strength in my muscles to control my vocal cords with accuracy. Oh, I'm close to the note, but noticeably not there in pitch like I once was.
     I am at that point in my heart and mind that if I do not have a 100% recovery from this encounter I know I will never be able to sing like I once did.  There was a time when I sang for others.  There was a time when I sang for the Church.  There was the time I sang for me.  Some enjoyed, some accepted it as the norm, and there came a time it was given as an offering to my Lord.  What I am discovering as I share with you these words is the fact I never realized how much I enjoyed singing for my pleasure.  I laid my Martin D18-12 down 20 years ago.  On the rare occasions when I take her from the case she rests in, although my fingers may remember the chords, my fingertips are too tender and my hands no longer have the strength to make her resonate as I once did.  Will my voice strength follow the lead my hands have accepted as the norm?  I know God cares not of my ability but my availability to sing praises to His name.  I just never knew how much I enjoyed singing.  If I am unable to return to what I once so enjoyed, I still thank God that my love for music still resonates deep within my soul as my Mockingbird entertains me at any given moment and the different genres of music on internet radio still stimulate my soul to just "sing out!"  I am speaking of my ability to hear!   And that I still have.   Where am I??  75 maybe 85% there with my recovery?  Will it be 100%?  I'm not sure.  What I am sure of is this, until you see my name under the last post and the initials of my editor underneath my name, I still have faith in 100% recovery.  Simply stated?  I still wish to sing for more than just myself, but most importantly I have what I missed the most.  My smile...

August 13, 2014
Day 200

     I mean, seriously, Rod...  That many days since you felt the need to let us know where you are?  I actually amaze myself sometimes.  I know several hundred of you have sent me texts and emails asking when I was going to finish this short story, so let me.  Since my introduction to Bells Palsy back on January 25th, I sit here today to tell you that I reached probably a 95 to 99% recovery from that mark.  I was most fortunate.  Still have trouble whistling and making certain sounds and many times when I am alone, my left upper lip will start twitching.  Strange...  I reach up and rub it with my fingers until I refocus on what it was I was doing when the twitching started.  I've noticed nothing else residual of this event worthy of discussion other than if you, yours or someone you know encounters the surprise anomaly, point them in my direction.  It affects everyone differently but it helps to talk to someone.  Now my focus is on helping Linda recover from bi-lateral knee replacement surgery. Day 13 post-op for her and she is doing great.  Hey, ever heard of a Hydrocodone Fog?   *smile*  It is in my Facebook Quotes for August 2014.  Interesting.

Rod Ferguson
January 25 thru August 13, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Facebook Quotes for February 2014

My Facebook post from 2013 started in January and ran through the entire year for twelve long months.  Friends trying to keep up with it told me it was difficult  to start at the beginning of the only "true blog" I keep and arrow down to the last post.   This year, I will post my blog from one month to the next as a separate story throughout the 2014 calendar year?  If you find yourself remotely interested in what goes on in my thoughts and mind, please take the time to join and let me know you are here.  I personally enjoy every fingerprint that is left here and appreciate your comments even more.  There are occasional short stories I do post along with my Facebook Quotes Blog so if you have the time to join, again, please do,  I am still trying to figure out who my favorite fan actually is.  Their name is Anonymous! No last name.  Imagine that.


           I step out of my car at home after one of the most stressful weeks of my entire life.  As I remove my overnight bag and clothes from my car, I move across the sidewalk toward the back entrance of my home in the 63 degree cloudy temperature.  As I approach the back French doors of my residence,  my mockingbird tells me hello.  Was that a brief commentary that tomorrow starts anew?  Another star is added to the universe and a sense of security has given me focus...  I hope it is sincere.  I think I must rest now.

Posted February 1 from my home

          This is the month I begin to seek the soft breezes of Spring.  As I sat by my river this morning she spoke nothing.  It was like I was just another weary traveler sitting beside her slow moving waters.  Was she searching my soul for secrets?  Where have I been and what is up?  I ignored her. I choose not to dwell there yet.  What I do know is that we have had for the first time I can remember a winter season in my Louisiana as I would define a winter.  For some reason as Pandora Radio steps off my morning parade, five (5) songs have become my most favorite as I park in this phase of my life: Fields of Gold-Sting, Affair on 8th Avenue-Gordon Lightfoot, Wish You were Here-Blackmores Night, I'm Worn-10th Avenue and the one that has touched me the most here recently, And You Let Her Go-Passenger. This last song I listed? The Puppy Love Budweiser Commercial... *smile*  Lets do this...

Posted February 3 from my River

          I am suffering from a severe case of Seasonal Affective Disorder!  Another winter storm is projected for Central Louisiana tomorrow.  First sign of sunshine, I am going to the pond that divides my neighborhood and take off my clothes... I am going to enter the water and slowly swim to that floating log where all the turtles gather!  Once there I will rise like a creature from the cold waters where I am going to attack them with that relentless passive-aggressive personality I am accused of having.  They may leave in hast or I will assist by slinging them to all reaches of that stupid pond!  It is then I am going to crawl upon "my" log and soak in the sunshine I so desire until I turn into a raisin. Wondering how long it will take for someone to call the Sheriff's Department to complain about turtle abuse?

Posted February 5 from my home.

          And where find ye this day? Do your eyes seek the promise of light from the eastern horizon despite the gloom of winter clouds and downy flake? Or do we cast our gaze upon the floor in hopeless despair and defeat? Lift up your eyes. Look with anticipation upon the gifts we deprive our own self from. Maybe each other?   My face is paralyzed, yet when a kiss is pressed against it by adult or child, I feel the full intensity of why I exist as it resonates in my soul. Why is it I feel rejection?   May we all realize how wonderful life can be with each passing moment as we allow the Light and those that desire to love us, access to our inner self... Lets do this!        

          And sometimes the words of confirmation I receive could never be more kind:

Lydia Blades:  Just wanted to thank you for your post this morning. I awakened feeling poorly ..migraine pounding and blood pressure up....and though I did not look down at the floor in defeat...I did ask our maker to give me more strength to carry on. I opened my eyes, reached for my laptop and your words were the first I saw. How awesome and amazing that our Father has used you once again to touch my heart....I found the strength and encouragement I was yearning for in your words this morning. Keep writing my have a gift!! Your writings make us laugh and encourage us, too. Either way, you touch our lives and make a difference !!!

Posted February 6 from my river.

          A friend of mine posted this on his wall on Facebook:  Since now is a point in time, how long is now? Just asking..... I candidly replied with the following:

Rod Ferguson: You just missed it.  And Five followers Liked it. 

Others joined in with various post...
Linda Pittman Davidson:  About a jiffy's length.

Brenda Cobb:   Can't tell you right now. Maybe later.

Matthew D. Aucoin:  It was that long!

          But for some reason I kept going back to the original post.  Something just would not let it go as it bounced off the inside of my head.  The next day, I continued...

Rod Ferguson:   And here I am a second day from this posting pondering the depths of this statement and ending question. The depths of its meaning is almost infinite if you chose to engage the true answer. To be alone with "points in time" in a quieted room could reveal a spill of scarlet wine across the whitest linen.  That picture is only visible to the blind as in that persons mind, it is perceived in the holiest sanctuary of a single thought. At that "exact" point in time.

          And it is about this time, Linda Pittman Davidson reached out and touched my heart with this statement in private text:
Linda Pittman Davidson:    

How are you doing? Missing your posts.

           My response just came.  Sometimes it amazes me where the words find meaning...

Rod Ferguson:

Linda, for some reason when my bio-rhythms seem to be functioning less than par, stimulus like this is most welcome and seems to adjust my prospective for the coming hours. So many times I just spontaneously type my feelings in ascII format and for some reason the ties that bond us by that degree of 6 seems to "define" a reason for what was just read. How can I ever say thank you for taking the time to say what you just said? I could do this all of the time, but like the breaths we take, that would become routine. You and every other person that finds solace in printed words that find beginning in my mind will never be taken for granted, but respected with a depth of admiration so deserved... Thank you for being that friend every person desires... I trust in your eyes, I remain worthy...

Posted 7 February from my office

          Facebook is relatively quiet tonight.  As in keeping with most Fridays the last two years or so, I protect myself from truths by accepting what I choose to be real as opposed to what is.  What I do know, is that my roll-a-coaster ride of the last two weeks is fading and I am left alone with reality again.  I guess as I exchange soul concerns with like minded Facebook acquaintances across time zones I would be remise in expressing my deepest thoughts based on a tunnel vision glimpse in our history.  Let me try...  Let liberalism have its way across this once great nation favored by God Almighty.  Let them push for everything that feels good to them by crushing the conservative mindset of the 49% that supports their majority.  Let us embrace Islam as the savior of this fading land as a righteous God slowly turns his teared eyes away from us. It is here as the liberal minds embrace the rising crescent moon, that their hopes will be spilled on the ground in the form of their own blood.  How foolish a culture to be critical of me and throw the word Islamphobia into my face along with racism and homophobia.  Should I even mention that 17 trillion dollar deficit while 535 men and women silently ignore this demise.  In the meantime, the constitution is bastardized by executive order and we accept it.  So let Islam continue its destruction where it has found seat in the Whitehouse of this great nation.  That peaceful religion alone, left unrestrained to run rampant will in fact purge Hollywood of her idols, cleanse the radical LGBT community and push the feared reverence and love of woman back into the dark ages you and I only read about.  And no longer will the Union decide who has or has not as they too, pamper their own selfish gain at our expense.  You see?  Maybe this is exactly what we need to happen and happen with haste as you and I carefully try to avoid this train wreck of Islam and Liberalism.  It is when the blood of the patriot and the tyrant is spilled and absorbed by the tree of what we once knew as liberty, might we renew our faith in our Real God and pray he will let us restore our nation that He once smiled upon.  Then, and only then might we be allowed to play a serious game of Cowboys and Muslims and right this wrong I so despise.  Can you tell my feelings are on my shoulders tonight?

Posted 7 February from my home.

            As I observe the Central Louisiana Honor Choirs performance today,  I reflect back 50 years when I was one of those vocalist honored as special among so many.  As I seek the beautiful face of my granddaughter from the lofty reaches of the balcony,  I can't help but notice the directors attentive demure.  On this day his chironomic hand movements deliberately avoid the time measured beat of choreographed, shaped notes.  Instead, as I sit focused on his moves alone, I feel his pulling  of the inflection of individual voices from the host group and the result is perceived as phenomenal in my mind.

Posted 8 February from my home.

           She simply jumps into my lap for no apparent reason. I slowly caress the soft fur of her head and notice how perfect the formed shape of her head fits my aging hand. The softness and comfort I experience as I feel every angle of this perfectly shaped object. Or is my hand that perfect tool conceived of intelligent design that comforts my heart as my cat purrs her contentment with me? Simple pleasures.

Posted February 8 from my home...

          Day 15 and I slept without my patch! When i woke up I discovered I can close my eye when I blink! Still a long way to go and who better for me to celebrate these small steps forward with but me?  And of course those I care so much for and have sustained me with prayer!  Glancing at my stats on this one post I have had 20 comments and over 43 likes!  Good therapy folkses...  Really good therapy.

Posted February 9 from my home...

          I can't even read the Drudge Report without flying into a rage! I was neutered 27 years ago and should NOT have this aggressive nature about me! I just want to go out and chase cars and bite holes in fast moving tires! SCREAMING!!! I despise looking at this man and one more picture of Hillary is going to push me over the edge!   Why can't I just claim Psalms 46:10... Just shut up, be still, and know that God is in control! I need to sleep...

Posted February 10 from my home very late in the evening...

           As my Facebook post collection continues to grow for this particular month, I wanted to share with you that last evening into this entire day has been different.  I don't really know how to explain it but sleep eludes me and I just want to run my mouth on paper.  I did not post everything my members see here on Facebook.  Almost everything I post on facebook that I copy and paste on this blog is tempered and revised, sometimes to an extent that it barely resembles the original post.  What I have also discovered is that I am finding my way "off" the newsfeeds of my closest friends!  I just can't imagine that.  LOL.   So here I'll add a few of my ramblings and some of the feedback I received from those that still engage me. 

          What is the saying? A son is a son until he takes a wife but a daughter is a daughter all of her life? Is that it? I mean, why is this so true? I really need to go to sleep. I am almost becoming giddy. That is not good. I simply refuse to be responsible for what might slip out next!

Sandi Shannon Woods:  Lol u are killing me!
Jo Otwell May:  That's it and it is true!

Pat Hall Carruth:   Sweet dreams Butterbean!!!
Rod Ferguson:   I so ask of my Lord. I am worn this evening and my heart is heavy for unknown reasons. Maybe because He is near... I would like to think that and think that I will...
          Drizzling cold mist outside of my home and across my news feed I see these words in a post made by a longtime friend that lives in Arkansas:

"Big ring around the moon tonight!!" 
Martha Durham Compton: oh yeah and wind chill is 4

My world was dark and drizzly and as much as I love the moon to display her favors upon me, this was not to be mine to savor this night.  I  shared this on her wall.

 Rod Ferguson:  There is a moon?  Hidden from my hungry eyes. What shame the winter clouds cast as they hide the beauty of the universe from the very eyes created by intelligent design to observe? Help me to understand this shadow is necessary to bring forth the promise of the resurrection we celebrate as spring! It also prepares the fig tree to produce the fruit our hunger desires as the bitter cold passively seduces the roots of said trees as to produce the energy of a bountiful harvest! Let me accept the word of a long time friend of its existence, complete with its large ring! I will sleep and wait to experience the beauty bestowed my friend's eyes as God works his magic under my unsettled misunderstanding of his work. Have no idea where this came from... Night Martha.


Martha Durham Compton: It's a beautiful site our moon. Even more beautiful when the wind isn't so cold as to cause tears in your eyes. Rod did you know the sky is clearer in the winter than in summer? I love gazing at the stars always have and I guess always will. Sweet dreams Rod.


Rod Ferguson:   Gentle words that simply confirm a lifetime friendship. Good night dear friend.


Some friendships will never pass... This is one of them.

 Posted February 11 from my home

          This particular post will never find itself privy to an actual facebook post, but it did happen and had a very profound affect on my existence as a human being.  I have debated even including it here in my collection of facebook quotes but where beside a blog could something as profound as this ever be recorded?  I know family folklore is passed through generations with nothing more than verbal expressions of collectible experiences deemed worthy of sharing.  To me, this particular moment, stapled my heart like nothing before and startled my existence as I resolved to entertain the possibility that "OMG could this be real?"  Let me see if I can share it with you and hope you can feel its impact anywhere close to what I did.  
          It was the onset of the ice storm that surprised Louisiana just before Valentines day of 2014.  It was a very busy week for my florist wife and the electricity deprived itself from our home around 1am the morning of 12 Feb.   I went to work as usual and came home to check on Linda around 8:30 am before she departed for work.  I simply wanted to assure her the roads were safe and to show her up close and personal how to establish WiFi connections for our granddaughter so she could exist peacefully in our generator powered home in our absence.   Here is what happened.  Stop reading here if you might be offended easily.
          My WiFi tower is set up in our cosmopolitan room in a special cabinet designed years ago to house our desk top computer.  Knowing Linda was preparing for work I opened the cabinet and reviewed what I wanted to tell her as I called her name.  As I stood there, I did what every human being ever created has done as the appointed moment presented itself.  I passed gas, compliments of my most approved chef!  Thought nothing of it actually.  However, as this event came to pass, my sweet bride of 29 years heard my call from the master bathroom where she applied her presentable face in the mirror.  Almost immediately she appeared beside me as I proceeded to explain to her how we needed to connect the WiFi to the generator supplied source of power.  Into the invisible wall of dispersing hydrogen sulfide did she aptly abide as I explained my concerned focus.  What a champion she is.  I mean, after 29 years she alone broke me of blatant violations of this nature by exposing me to what would be considered as a "dose of my own medicine."  It took her a while to teach me as those knee jerk reactions I displayed upon such encounters that taught me to "respect" those boundaries.  In this case, I hoped she might not notice and just talked on...
          Upon completing my expose' on what to do, she patiently acknowledged my efforts and turned to return to the bathroom to finish her preparations for work when she made a simple statement.  "Honey, you need to brush your teeth.  Your breath stinks!"  That moment of stunned silence as the realization of what she just said registered in my mind.   OMG!!! SLAP ME IN MY PARALIZED FACE!!!  I had just (forgive me here) farted and she is telling me my breath smells like shit???  I wanted to die and douche my mouth with gasoline and set myself on fire!  Was she serious???  Just casually telling me to just brush my teeth???  I know what I figured she smelled, but what she thought she really smelled, did she really think it smelled like feces?  Oh My Gosh!  The people I interact with on a daily basis!  I wanted to die.   Was she teasing me???  I followed her into the bathroom and asked her, "Are you serious, does my breath actually smell like shit?? I just cut the cheese," I protested aloud!  She just looked at me like I was crazy as I drank a mouth full of Hydrogen Peroxide and squeezed half a tube of toothpaste into my mouth before assaulting it with what remained of my toothbrush...  Two days later I'm still trying to recover from that devastating revelation she casually made.  No wonder Meggie fidgets when I kiss her! 

Posted February 13 from my generator powered home. 

          What a refreshing change. I am sitting on my sunny 67° patio and my fat mockingbird glides to a perch in my upright Yaupon just a few feet away.  As he sits there observing my existence, he remains silent.  I do hear echoes of my favorite bird from time to time so I know spring is coming.   Electrical power was restored to my home just this afternoon and as I sit on my patio, I watch  Meggie as she cautiously sniffs around my deck trying to make sense of these past few days. I shake my head and laugh out loud.  I guess I am too!  If any of you stumble across this today?  Happy Valentines Day.

Posted February 14 from my patio

          Oh yes. She is there. Look carefully. My river has something to share with me this morning but protects her secrets in the dense fog. She leaves me to my own thoughts which is sometimes dangerous.
Posted 18 February from my River...

          Picturesque is the reflection of Alexandra off the black ice surface of my river. Across her span a mockingbird greets the graying of day as an overcast day promises the threat of rain. Here at my river it is chilly, humid and zero wind as my flag hangs undisturbed and unmoving around her support pole. Yup. It's gonna rain. I could feel it last night around 2000 hrs or so. I need to get out from under this cold, wet, gray blanket before this rain again consumes me.

Posted February 25 from my River...

          A restless sleep propelled me from my bed some 45 minutes earlier than usual. Getting out of bed an hour earlier was much easier than tossing restlessly struggling for what little sleep I had wrestled with since 2am. Regardless, I stumbled to my favorite spot on my river as the crescent moon defined the suns existing position in our solar system. Because of the 27 degree temperature on the outside of my unit, I debated in lowering my windows in order to listen for the voice of my favored Passerine. Slowly as the sun gazed over the eastern horizon, the first thing I noticed was the color of my draw bridge in front of me. The sun slowly began to paint the top of her structure and within a few minutes the copperiest reflection consumed the entire structure. It dawned on me that just maybe God Himself pulled me from my bed early so He could consume me with his Love this very morning. Maybe I wasn't restless at all, I just needed to be held by Him in a way that passes my understanding.
Posted February 27 from my River.

          Folkses, my generation's war was defined by protest and rebellion. The great warriors of that conflict came home scorned simply because they answered the call asked of them by their country. What we see in the majority of the 535 people that lead us today is exactly what the people embraced from that war. Those that ran from the draft with names like Clinton, and those that joined the protesters, draft dodgers and traitors.  Does the name John Kerry ring a bell?! NOW, look at this country!! Here is my point. This young warrior, pictured below, who's name I don't even know... LOOK AT HIM!! To me, if there is hope for a return to what we once knew of our America and for her to find the footing it once had, THIS MUST BE A REFLECTION OF THE FACE OF OUR COUNTRY'S FUTURE LEADERSHIP!!! There are thousands of them in every state of this once great Union...  
"Regrets?  No Mr. President, none that I can think of."
I garnered something very important from a former General of the United States Army.  I tell it to friends of mine in political office or that are considering a run.  You should not seek the position of elected office, the office or position should seek you!  Come on America. Give us one combat veteran of any branch of our Military as a senator for each state. Give us two or more representatives from each state that have answered this nation's call after 9-11 and we will see a CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! 

Posted February 28 after this picture from SEAL of Honor touched my heart!