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Life Deals From Under the Deck...

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Plunge, May 24, 2006.

  1. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    Hey folks, below is what I posted on my blog and don't wish to rewrite. I feel closer to folks here so I will let you know what is going on. I've been diagnosed with a degenerative heart condition that is untreatable outside of diuretics, steroids and finally a transplant. 3 cardiologists now have said the same thing, I went to three because the damn thing is incredibly rare and usually occurs in younger folks or those who have had transplants, restrictive cardiomiopathy.

    We are taking this a day at a time right now as I really just had it confirmed. Timing is a bit of a guess, but from what they have seen in the CT, biopsy and other work, about 3-4 years. I will be evaluated for a transplant soon, that process hasn't begun yet. Doctors aren't very happy with some of my other medical conditions, so this might be a fight to be considered, a "good risk". Right now it is just diuretics which I hadn't realized how badly I needed. I've lost 30 lbs of EXCESS water weight, neck down 1 1/2 inches, waist 2. What started the testing was waking up one morning and my feet were so swollen I couldn't get my shoes on. Needless to say, they have gone down a ton. I'm feeling much much better without all that fluid.

    My wife is handling it okay, my daughter, being the pragmatic little thing that she is made me laugh. She has already inherited my gastro-problems so when I told her what was going on her first question was, "So, am I going to get this too?" I had an enjoyable 30 minutes with that teasing her. "Your first question isn't, gee dad, how are you? What can I do to help? or Is there anything you need? Nooooo, your first question is *sigh* am I gonna get it too?" Gave me a chuckle when I needed it.

    I'll be around here more than other places. Anyway, like I said, below is what I posted to my blog. Thanks.


    Life Deals From Under the Deck...

    And sometimes catches you with joker or deuce when an ace was needed. I'm posting this before even speaking to my wife or other family members. I got some unexpected news from the doctor, something you really don't expect when you aren't even 40. While my health has never been terrific, when your told to spend time with your family and loved ones you listen. No, I won't go into detail, sufficeth to say that a problem has been found which is making me rethink priorities.

    I have a loving wife and have been married for many years (17). I met my wife in Korea and when she came to the US, didn't speak a lick of English. Those were some tough times that if we weren't as close as we were, it would have never worked. Speaking fluent Korean on my part was certainly a help. Her family wasn't helpful either, her mother and father disowning her for marrying me. See, my wife comes from one of those families of 'class' and it was a huge blow to have a daughter marry an American. It's funny because my wife is the only child of 5 that is in a happy marriage. Anyway, it took the birth of our daughter three years after we were married for them to finally accept us and allow me in their home. Before they passed away, I felt our relationship was a good one. Anyway, my wife has been my rock. She has a will of iron, nobody, and I mean nobody, crosses her. Yet, with that, she helps anyone in need. I chuckle at our food bill because my wife feels she has to feed every wayward Korean that attends BYU and is in need of a good home cooked meal. Believe me, she is an amazing cook. In fact, I don't know any Korean within 50 miles whose cooking compares. Whenever we have a get together, our home is packed. She has seen me through good and difficult times; this one will be particularly hard. She'll be okay, but it will be hard. One good thing is she has a good relationship with my parents as well as being incredibly close to our daughter. While she'll be strong for me, for now, I'll need to be the strong one, I know. That's okay though, I can do that.

    To be blunt, I'm not sure how to broach this with her. I'm being a coward, I came to work after seeing the doctor. I should have gone home. I'll think of something. Anyway, until I do, I'll sit here for a while...I have more to write.

    I have a 14 year old daughter, I'm sure some are sick of my posting pictures and video of her here. She is the apple of my eye as the saying goes. A perfect child, few are blessed with that. She is a straight "A" student, a concert pianist, a ballerina, ballroom dancer and loving daughter. Is she spoiled? Sure. Why not? When she does everything I could ask of her and beyond why wouldn't I spoil her. One of the things I'm most proud of is the way she stands up for others. She is very popular, but will not stand for other kids to be put down or bullied. She has far more guts, far more integrity than her father did at that age. Of course, at 14, there at times that we butt heads, that is just normal. Still, I'm proud to see the way she is developing. I'm also extremely proud of her devotion to God. We are a very religious family and my daughter has been that way since early childhood. She has a very personal relationship with her Father in Heaven for which I am grateful as I know this will sustain her through difficult times in the future. I'm also grateful for the relationship I have with her. She tells me her friends get jealous of how close of a family we are. There are few secrets and she is very open and honest about what is happening in her life, her friend's lives, school, etc. She knows she can tell me anything, good or bad. That's what I'm here for. I'm glad that I've accomplished that much. We have had some amazing discussions, ones that I could never have had with my own parents. Yet, I'm still dad. I'm not her best friend, her best buddy, that's not my role. It's important, I think, to have this type of relationship. She knows that I can fix things, I can make things better. Yet, she also knows there are rules, boundaries which we expect her not to cross. I always figured I would be there to fix things forever, another deuce.

    Oh well, that's about it. I'll still post, I just won't post as often as other priorities are taking place. I've enjoyed this though. I think a site like mine is needed. Being a lightening rod hasn't been a problem for the most part. There are too many that think Japan is perfect, it isn't. It has flaws, serious flaws. It scares the hell out of me what that means for the future. I see China pushing harder and harder and with the massive amount of money they have spent on their military, I can see them using it. I can also see the US becoming more and more isolationist, especially after Iraq, something I fully supported and still support. Still, you can only take so much criticism from the rest of the world before you say, "Screw you, handle it on your own." Because of this, Japan has got to be the leader in Asia that can rally the rest of the nations. It has to have a strong military, one that doesn't frighten anyone other than China. I feel strongly that this can not happen until they rectify past problems, especially with Korea. Is it all Japan's fault? No, of course not. But Japan is making enough stupid mistakes that until they are corrected the flaws of others won't be recognized.

    So, with that, I'm taking a deep breath, pushing back from the keyboard and spending some quality time with my family. Luckily, things were found quick enough that I have the time to spend with my family. If what the doc says is right and the future cards dealt aren't as bad as they were today, I could see my daughter graduate high school (she's a sophomore next year). I'll still be around, in my mind, I'll post every week or so, but we'll see.

    Thanks for the support, the lively discussion and the general goodwill, even when disagreeing. Live everyday like it's your last, it just might be. Now it's time to go be with my wife.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    JHC.... I think whoever is writing your life test should be first in line for 10 rounds of Talons. I'll even loan you my Baby Glock when you find the SOB.
  3. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Ouch, Plunge. Sorry that this happened to you. You have truely been an asset to the forum, and from everything I've heard it sounds like you are a great father. Stay strong. We'll always be here for you...:)
  4. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member


    I'm very sorry to hear the bad news about your health. I just hope that if I'm ever in the same boat that I handle it with half the class that you are.

  5. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Best wishes, Plunge--and thoughts of strength and health. You deserve it!
  6. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member


    Sorry, words escape me at the moment. But not to worry, I'm sure a diatribe will follow shortly.

  7. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Oh man, I am so sorry you're going through this. What a terrible situation. You've always shown guts, determination, perserverance and class. I'm pulling for you and your family with all I've got. You hang in there and keep plugging away at this and if you need anything, anything at all, let us know.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Damn man, I've worked in a hospital for years and only seen one case (in CCU).

    Telling you sorry is meaningless to me, man, I think you know all of us are here. What I will try to focus on is your quality of life.

    Firstly, heart transplant is not too hard as finding the donors (fill out those donor cards, folks!). The one part of our body that doctors know about most it's the heart. Having said that, transplants are not all that crazy wild wild west of medicine any longer. When you get one, there will still be some drugs in your future, but they won't be debilitating. The best analogy I can come up with is one heart surgeon who said "heart transplants today are like appendectomies of the seventies. There's risk, but a very high number were successful".

    Secondly, you say 3-4 years. That's a long time. I know everyone wants more but it can last for a very long time, especially when you hang up the job and do stuff--and not exclusively with your family either.

    Thirldy, don't give up, and keep to hope. Doctors are not Gods in knowledge and even with their predictions it could be many many years of good life.

    Question, what did they tell you about the quality of your life if you don't get the transplant?
  9. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Damn Plunge....I'm sorry to hear that. We are all here for you and my thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family!
  10. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    I can expect that I will get more tired as time progresses. Diuretics really seem to be the key and they have to be managed carefully so that enough fluid is retained for heart function. Steroids will be the next step, of course they cause retention of fluid, so you have another balancing act there. The biggest problem as time passes will be fatigue. I've noticed myself getting fatigued easier, but they say that will keep progressing until a walk around the block becomes difficult.

    The other problem that I had which the diuretics are currently controlling (I started diurects 10 days ago because of my feet and legs), is fluid in my lungs. That is another concern they will watch.

    Right now, they just don't know the rate of progression. I had my heart checked 5 years ago and I was fine them. I will be checked every three months for now.

    So, it isn't as bad as it could be and you are right, I have time. Even if all goes bad, I have time. But I also have time for things to go right. So, we wait and see.

    Thanks all for the comments. Very much appreciated.
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Fatigue is not the worst thing, Scott. Seriously. The very worst is you will be playing more WoW (or whatever) at the PC. ;)

    I have a good feeling you will get a match though, plenty of time for you to move up on the list, at least to a point where you will be next in line for something.

    PLEASE keep us posted here. Mikepd did a diary with us almost weekly and it was good to know that he was hanging in.
  12. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    Plunge, I'm saddened to hear of your illness. I'm sure you're overwhelmed by everything right now. Take care of yourself and if necessary get that transplant.

    One of my insureds years ago was Carroll Shelby, the auto designer. I remember when he got his transplant in 1990. He was in his late 60s then. One of the reasons of his health was he drank like a fish. He later had to have a kidney transplant as well. The guy I worked for knew Carroll very well. He told me after the transplants he continued to drink heavily for years. I don't know if he still does, but after all of that he's still alive and doing well and now he's over 80 years old! It's been 16 years now and unlike you he's an old guy. So stay tough. My best wishes to you in your recovery.

  13. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    Wow. Uhm. Hmm.

    Thanks for thinking of us, and letting us know what's going on.

    My MIL had a heart transplant about...6 years ago, I think, at the Cleveland Clinics. I'll try to answer any questions you have; feel free to ask here or via email.

    Those of you who want more info, go here.
  14. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Hey. You aren't going to get me with this. I'm with Leon who is blessfully optimistic. :) As am I. While I understand doctors who try to accommodate those who are pushing to find out what the outcome is they do not have a crystal ball and can only talk averages. You aren't average. Your family life and support is not average. The good vibes you have coming your way from all those you have touched in your life is not average. We're all with ya and we'll all be here with ya for a loooong time to come. God bless you Plunge. You'll be fine.

    PS. I'm with Biker...I would have thought you passed enough tests in your life already!
  15. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    My sympathies and prayers are with you and your family, Plunge. Feel free to rant, rave, etc. as needed, though I really hope you don't ever have to :)
  16. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Very sad to hear the news, Plunge, very sad.
  17. Colin

    Colin life victorious

    Scott... I read your blog post a day or two ago and I was saddened to hear this news. But, if anything, I think it is obvious that you are resilient person who has faith and love in himself, his family, and his future. Stay strong, because no one ever knows that the future really holds. I have a feeling that you will find your way through this maze, one way or another.

  18. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Plunge thank you for sharing something so personal with us :)

    It's not over till it's over so there's no reason to give up any hope no matter what the doctors say. Nothing is written in stone and miracles can and do happen. The power of positive thinking is also an amazing thing. Don't underestimate the power of prayer also. You will be in my prayers. :love:
  19. Plunge

    Plunge Passed Away July 20, 2007

    Thanks all, for everything. I have to admit, this one has really been a blow. It seems like my family overcomes one then two then three only to be hit by four, five and six. I'm always pretty up about things, this is the first time I've thought I had better make sure Misoon has everything in hand just in case. It's had a different feel to it, not just to me but to Misoon, to my daughter, it's weird. Anyway, it's back to the hospital tomorrow and Saturday as we begin the process of being put on the list. It's a good transplant hospital, LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. I'll meet my cardiovascular surgeon, administration, dietician, psychologist, my cardiologist will be there and some others I can't remember.

    Joy Joy Joy. I'm sure I'll be fine. :)
  20. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    The big thing to watch, as you already know, is med interaction. Make certain everyone is on the same card when it comes to the different meds. Caused no end of problems on my MIL.

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