January - March
January was very low-key while Tom had the flu and Officer Wes went through a long sinus infection.
Then in March Officer Wes got intensely sick with the worst sinus infection he’s had in at least seven years, which we finally cultured as Hemophylus influenza. At one particularly low point his fever hit 104. Drinking 1 liter of ice-chilled water in an hour brought it down a degree and a half. But the worst part were the chills that hit around . We finally figured out that what was happening was his late-night aspirin was wearing off around then and the fever was rising. So we set the alarm a couple hours before and took some aspirin pre-emptively. It helped.
We are thankful.
Later spring brought new adventures. Officer Wes found a new sponsor for heart & spirit work. boy jay, in his first accident ever, totaled his car. (A blessed accident. he was fine. the other person was fine. It was insured.) Deep friend of 20+ years John B. held a delightful housewarming with food, drink, multimedia (Fellini flicks shown on the side of the neighboring house) and special live musical entertainment. Truly a joy. Tom took in an art workshop for artists with serious illness & also visited Dad. boy jay showed Officer a charming suspension bridge (along
Spruce St.between Brant & Front) built circa the turn of the century. In other boy adventures he was recognized for some heart & spirit work and he found a replacement car.
In mid May Tom returned from seeing Dad, and got ill. Then Officer Wes got ill. Tom got better. Officer Wes didn’t. boy jay got ill. Tom got ill. Tom and boy got better. But Officer Wes started dropping deeper into exhaustion, even with three naps a day. In June we finally confirmed a nasty bug called Enterobacter in the right frontal sinuses – a particularly hard location to treat due to its location behind the eyebrows. (Some infections behind the cheeks can be aided in leaving via suction through the nostrils.) While the process played out, we took in entertainment via DVD: The Last Samurai (good film), Welcome to Mooseport (a romantic comedy with Ray Romano, Gene Hackman, & Christine Baranski -- but painfully slow in its execution), Paycheck (an action flick with a particularly interesting premise, starring Ben Affleck & Uma Thurman) and Basic Instinct. And, Officer Wes continued the uplifting but slow process of occasionally burning some perky, classic, ‘80s dance vinyl to hard drive.
And on the occasion of his passing, Officer Wes writes what the Reagan presidency was like for him.
July - August
July brought several health issues to work with. After the two infections earlier in the year, by July Officer Wes had lost 7 pounds of lean body mass. This year we decided to utilize Oxandrin earlier in the weight loss cycle to avoid it getting painful to sit instead of acting after the fact. Also, we researched Officer's medical records and found that were no right sinus infections since the April 1995 surgery that included the right frontal, until April 2002, then April 2003, plus the February and June 2004 infections. One more and we operate to open up the right frontal, maxillary, ethmoid & sphenoid sinuses. We would have operated prophylactically but Tom required hernia surgery July 21st.
In other news, we had been interested in having the companionship of an indoor dog for many years. We hadn't acted on that desire, however, as Officer's allergist had recommended against it. With our different living situation in San Diego, where now we keep the windows open regularly and allergens are constantly flowing in and out -- versus before where we lived in a closed environment with HEPA filtration -- we decided to move forward. We began the process by reading The Art of Raising a Puppy.
In August Officer Wes and boy jay saw the delightful k.d. lang in concert. The exquisite fourth-row center tickets were a rare splurge which really added to the intimate tenor of the evening. Tom had been planning on going, but decided to send boy jay instead when he became concerned about his hernia repair getting jostled in the concert crowd.
In other boy jay news, his existing apartment had a condo conversion coming up, so he kept his eyes open and found a place just four blocks away. It was particularly fortuitous as he has a dog named Angel and apartments that accept dogs are uncommon.
Lastly, Tom's sister had suffered with severe multiple sclerosis for years and years. That suffering ended August 4.
We are thankful.
September - November
September brought with it a probable answer to what had been constricting Officer Wes' breathing for the preceding three weeks. After going through the usual routine of ruling out sinus infection through the ENT and working with the allergist's schedule for inhaled steroids during difficult breathing times, the primary care physician suggested it may be walking pneumonia, or more formally Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Thus began a vigorous round of antibiotics.
Later, when breathing difficulties continued, Officer Wes' ENT confirmed bilateral (on both sides of the face) sinus failure in all locations (ethmoids, sphenoids, frontals & maxillaries): The drain holes have shrunken and are intermittently closing, causing sino-bronchial syndrome -- breathing problems from sinus drainage. Sinus surgery ensues in October for the first time in seven years.
And Officer Wes had some skin cancer removed. But look at that beautiful gray in the muzzle!
We are thankful.