Monday, July 9, 2012

On the mend

Well, I would say I am getting better, I guess. My leg feels fine again, I guess my diagnosis and cure of walking around the Walmart was just the trick. The only lingering sympton is a pain in my gut when ever I move. That could go away any time now, but I guess I am stuck with it. When I twist certian directions I can see the mesh that they sewed into me bulging out a bit. I dont know if that is normal because Uncle Google didnt tell me, but if anyone know I would appreciate an answer to that.

Tommorow I have a meeting of my Board of Directors, then Wednesday I go back to the surgeon for my follow up. If you dont have the answer to that question, I will boggle his mind with it.

So I was sent a picture today, a fat picture that is. I thought I would show the drastic change I have made in my weight over the past fourteen months. I didnt notice how much was falling off as it was falling until I saw what I really looked like at my worst:


Not too shabby if I say so myself. The first picture was way pre diet. I was about 350 in that one. Over the months that followed that picture i lost about 20 pounds before I really started my diet. I am now 238 and still going.

Oh and by the way, my first post as a guest blogger was published today. I am kinda proud of the work I did on that one, just real life stuff as my diluted mind sees it.

Well thats about it for this day, and may tommorow be even better. Heres hoping all your faces have smiles!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A day of doing less than nothing???????

Well I tried, really I did. I got called out on an errand to pick up one of our cooks from his hospital stay (gosh alot of people I know have been sick lately) but that was no more exertion than walking to the car. When I got back I watched an entire movie (first time in a year) then wached the Marlins game on TV. that was pretty good, but then I got busy. I had an admission to the program that was very apprehensive about doing it, that was an emotional moment with the crying mother and unhappy son (where have I heard that story before) and I decided to play cards again tonight. Not much running around, which is good because my leg is still swollen and my knee now hurts.

I have diagnosed myself though for all you webmd physicians out there. I had been going to the gym six day per week and running on the treadmill prior to my surgery, now I am not doing nearly what I was and I dont think my leg likes it. Therefore tommorow I shall go to the Walmart with my sick mother and walk around like nothing ever happened. Maybe that will do the trick. We are taking her car as I still cant lift anything over ten pounds because of the stitches in my gut. Her car has the handy dandy scotter lifter thingy so I will not have to pick it up.

And thats about my day, I know boring.... well you all suggested I do nothing. Anyway, heres hoping all your faces have smiles!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The ups and downs

Well today was a move in the wrong direction in my recovery. When I went to bed last night I was feeling a little feverish, and when I woke up I was a lot feverish and couldn't think straight. Also my left leg was noticeably bigger than the right. I was very concerned as I thought things were getting better faster then expected.

I called Dr. Wacks and he told me to come in. By the time I had gotten there my fever had broke, but I was still a bit confused and my leg was swollen. I was even instructed by my boss to take someone with me, which I didnt really want to do, but I did. I am glad I did too because it turned out to be more than a quick trip to the doctors office.

Dr. Wacks siad he didnt think there was anything wrong with my leg except my inability to follow directions and stay off it, but just in case he told me to go to the hospital and have an ultrasound. Turns out he was right and it was my inability to follow directions, go figure. So my travel compainion and I went to the hospital and sat for about 45 minutes until my procedure. I thought they would put the ultrasound thingy on my calf and be done with it, but the first words I hear from the super good looking technician with the southern accent were "you'll need to take off your pants". She is lucky I was not feeling well because there was a litany of smartass comments that I could have rattled off at that point.

Test came back negative and home I went. Tonight I played my normal card game for Friday, but tommorow I am planning on doing less than nothing, if the kiddies will let me anyway. Well its midnight and time for bed so, heres hoping all your faces have smiles.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getting Better

Well, I have to say all things considered today was a good day in the whole recovery from the surgery. It was about 6:30PM when it dawned on me that I went too hard today and called it quits. Not too shabby, but I am over tired right now. I was not able to sleep last night because I wanted to sleep in my bed and just could not get comfortable. Tonight I shall return to sleeping in my lazyboy until my gut feels better.

I decided to cancel my interview at the jail for tommorow, going through the security check point is just too much. I reshceduled it for Monday, three more days should make the difference on that kinda stuff. I also can not wear dress pants yet as the wound is right on my belt line, so unless I want to imitate the teenagers with the droopy drawers I have to wear loose fitting stuff that does not put a belt on my waist.

Other than that all is pretty darn good here. Well back to my easy chair, heres hoping all your faces have smiles

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Surgery, the aftermath

Well as noted by a post coming after my surgery, all went well. It was exacly as it should have been, the folks controling my body while the surgeon worked actually listened when I warned tham about my history. They chose a different option for sedation.

So I was outta there at 12:30 on my way home. The doctor prescribed percocet for the pain, but I shredded the script. So far I have taken aleve and while I am not pain free, it is manageable. We shall see tommorow as I can still feel the effects of  Propofol. I will let you know. Dr. Wacks told me to call him if aleve does not work and he will do something better for someone in my life situation than percocet.

I am still a bit loopy so I am cutting it short. Heres hoping all your faces have smiles

Monday, July 2, 2012

Moments of uncomfort

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference

I have said that prayer thaousands of times in my life, sometimes knowing what it truly means and how it applies to a situation, and others just to say the words because it is a simple yet powerful prayer. Tonight i need that prayer, and I know why. As I type I am six hours away from walking into the hospital for surgery. That sounds inocent enough, walking in on my own power for a surgery that has been planned for over a month, BUT the last time I walked into this same hospital for surgery that was routine it ended up not so routine. The surgery went perfect, but the rest was a nightmare that I have relived over and overr in my head for the last couple weeks, even looking for an excuse to cancel it. Eight days after that procedure in which I was supposed to go home the next day, I still looked like this:
(yes I am flipping off the Sarge for taking my picture)
So yes I am a bit scared and looking for the courage to change the things I can. I know that when I walk in the hospital tommorow I can not change what is going to happen. I am sure it will not go like that last surgery did, but if it does or does not I can not control the outcome. I can control my emotions and reactions to the situations of my life, and this is one of those situations.

I guess the stress is warranted, but it is not helping me get through this situation. The only thing that will get me through it is walking through it. I found a quote that I have reread over and over today. It goes like this:

You gain strength, experience and confidence by every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face… You must do the thing you cannot do.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

That said I must walk into that hospital tommorow morning, even though my mind is saying I cannot. It is now 12AM and I must officially stop eating and drinking anything, which is good because I have eaten everything I could get my hands on today. Yes I am a nervious eater.

I want this over, I have not even missed a day at the gym yet and already miss it as I know I wont be able to go for at least a week. The gym has been the best outlet for stress relief I have had in recent memory. I put myself on the treadmill with headphones and no telephones and go. My conditioning has gotten so much better that I have decided to compete in a 5K fun run on my birthday this November. I have gotten to where I know I can complete it, the next four months (after the recovery from surgery) will be spent getting myself able to complete in the time I want, 40 minutes. (I am at 47:15 right now) The race is Sponsored by my friends at "The Treatment Center" (more about them in a minute) to support The Stand Down House, an organization that helps homeless veterans. No matter how I do, its for a good cause!

Now back the The Treatment Center, as I said in my last post I am guest blogging for their blog now. They published my interview today. I wrote my first post and it should be published sometime soon. Writing it got me motivated to come back and write here more often as well. Kinda focusing my world a bit through the insanity that surrounds me.

I am writing this tonight because when I write I get a clearer picture of the world than when I think, so thank you for helping me do that. I have to get up in four and a half hours so thats enough focus for now. Heres hoping all your faces have smiles, I am trying to paste one on myself!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Blogger?

So I had a meeting today with the social media department at The Treatment Center to discuss how we could use social media to increase traffic to our website and help with our current capital campaign... and left a guest blogger for their site. It should be fun, we shall see. They wanted me to write once a week, I have agreed to try to do an every other week post.

I will let you know when my posts are published for The Treatment Center

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Carnival Liberty -- Cruising Again

Well, the trip on the Carnival Liberty is sadly over. Months of anticipation went into it, and it still only lasted a week. Overall the cruise was INCREDIBLE, but how could it not be? I didn’t post here every day of the cruise because; well I have really neglected the blog lately and didn’t want to just use this site to praise my vacations. SO, if you want to read about the cruise then get your reading glasses out cause I am coving the entire party in one post.

Day One: Miami- We left home very early (I knew it was too early) and we needed to stop at the Miami Airport to pick someone up. Well we got there about an hour before this persons flight even landed so like over anxious cruisers we are, the motherly parental unit and myself looked for the cell phone waiting lot to chill out. Well we looked, and looked, and looked until we finally got sick to death of looking and made and county building the new cell phone waiting lot. I found this to be a wonderful place to take a nap. We got to the port around 11:30 and proceeded to check in. As we finished checking in they were calling VIP to board the ship. The motherly parental unit and I enjoyed a Blue Iguana Burrito on the lido deck and then went to the cabin. Carnivals new thing with opening up the cabins by 1:00PM is an awesome idea. As we were leaving Miami the rain started, and proceeded to rain for the next long time. The seas were calm even though it was raining sideways. After a lovely dinner, the motherly parental unit decided she wanted to try the casino game that I did so well at last cruise, three card poker. Well she had some good beginners luck and went up early hitting three of a kind which pays $170. Well we will talk more about this later. The comedians the first two nights were fair at best but there was so much other stuff to do it was no big deal.

Day Two: Half Moon Kay- Still raining sideways. I had pre-booked a bicycle tour of the island for this stop. Carnival wanted everyone who booked an excursion to go to the lounge (I thought to tell us they were canceling) and when we got there they were taking people to the tender boats. I thought it would be worth $40.00 not to go over to the island in the rain so I conveniently missed my tender. I went to guest services and asked about canceling the tickets and they said there would be a 25% service charge if the excursion did happen. Again I am willing to pay $40 not to go so $10 not to go sounds like a deal…..or not. It seems if you book your excursion on line through Carnival and not on the ship then the people on the ship do not have authority to cancel the tickets for you. (note to self, do not pre-book excursions anymore) In the end it didn’t matter because the excursion did end up getting canceled and I got a full refund which made me happy.

Day Three: Wet Day at Sea- Yes more rain. There were bits of dry skies here and there, but I was beginning to think I was not going to get a tan on this trip. It was Elegant night, which means lobster tails and jumbo black shrimp for dinner YUMMY! The service in the dining room was exceptional. We had anytime dining which meant the dining room was slow when it opened every night and most nights we were out of there in just over an hour. The main server had two assistants which led to us never needing anything for more than a minute. There was also one of the production shows, and one I had never seen which I liked a lot. I am not big on a lot of the shows but this one was good. It was called “Wonderful World”. If you ever get a chance, go see it! After the show we went back to the casino, by this time I am down a bunch and the motherly parental unit has officially given back all the winnings from the first two nights plus some.

Day Four: St. Thomas- When I wake up I go outside and the sun is shining, I was quite excited about this. When we made port around ten we let the first wave get off the ship before we tried to go downstairs. We hit dry land and the motherly parental unit and I did some shopping in the port side shops. After she was done she made her way back to the ship and I made my way across the street. I took the sky ride up to Paradise Point where I took some lovely pictures of the harbor and surrounding mountains. I also got my picture taken petting a baby goat. He followed me around for about ten minutes making me realize he wanted some attention so I reached out my hand and he came running over. I also rode the ferris wheel at the top of the point. Now I do not mind unreasonable heights, but hanging over the edge of the cliff on what seemed to be a hundred year old ride kinda made me a little freaked out. After a quick change of my shorts I made my way back to the ship for lunch. The Guy Fieri Burger Bar, and was it ever good. What diet? After a relaxing evening and losing some more money in the casino it was time for a rest before tomorrow.

Day Five: San Juan- The day started off with a little rain, but cleared up after a bit prompting me to get to walking. I walked from the port north along the water through Old San Juan. It was about a three hour walk and surprisingly it was uphill both ways, no really it was. I went along the water of the harbor going into the old city and through the heart on the way back, and then the last three blocks went back down the three hour hill. By then it was raining again so I went back to the ship for a nice long nap. There was no show this night which meant there was but one thing to do, casino….. oooops.

Day Six: Grand Turk- This was the third time I have done this exact same cruise, and every time I have had a different favorite port. This time it was Grand Turk’s turn. I wanted to a bit of snorkeling since we finally had perfect weather so I hiked around the point and down the beach a good ways. I donned the snorkel gear and heade3d out. Now for years in my younger days I loved surfing, swimming and anything to do with the water. So much so I have often wondered why I stopped, until this day when I remembered. The last time I rode a surf board was about fifteen years ago, and there was an incident. The surf was REALLY big that day and I was having a grand time until I got stuck. The waves were about ten feet high. Well I was riding a rip current back out when a set of waves came in and broke right on me knocking me off the board. I have a rip current pulling me out and big waves pushing me in and down. Well out plus in equals zero so all that was left was the down part. My head got buried in the sand several times until the life guards ended up coming out to pull me in. I had blocked all that out not wanting to remember it until now. Turns out I now have a phobia about being in water deeper than I am tall. The first time a little wave went over the top of my snorkel I popped my head up to clear it and went to touch the bottom and couldn’t. Instant panic set in. I freaked and started to thrash for a bit. It took about fifteen minutes for me to calm down and make it back to where I could walk in the water. Snorkeling over! Once I made it back to shore I wandered back towards the port and found the most perfect place to sit a bit.

I took this picture which should be a postcard or an advertisement for Carnival Cruise Lines or something. It is perfect! I then went to Margaretville Restaurant for the best conch fritters I have ever eaten. Then back to the ship for a rest and a shower. It was elegant night again and we were going to the steakhouse for dinner.  The most amazing five course meal including an eighteen ounce ribeye steak cooked the perfect medium rare. Can’t get better than that. Tonight was the first night for the second round of comedians and Allyn Ball was performing. I have seen his show several times before, but he is so funny that I had to skip the second production show to see him again. WORTH IT!!!!!

Day Seven: Fun Day at Sea- Total relaxation, plus a bit of left over sunburn from the day before.

Overall Rating---AWESOME. I tried a bunch of foods that I have never tasted such as: Oysters Rockefeller, Shark, Alligator, and frog legs. I liked all of them except the frog legs, people say they taste like chicken but I say they taste like a chicken would taste if it was really a frog. Yuck!

I am sitting in my chair back in my office typing this missing it so much already. I am booked, but not starting the countdown for bloggers cruise six in January 2013. Really? Eight months till the next cruise??? Guess I will have to wait. Well that’s long enough, here’s hoping all your faces have smiles.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Mission

Well guys, I just have not had the spirit to write a blog post in a while. This has been a hard time in my life, and I am not one of those guys who write when things are tough. I have never been good at dealing with tough emotions, so I have thrown myself into my work full speed so I would feel the pain slowly a bit at a time instead of all at once. I think it has really hit home that Dad isnt here and I hate it, just hate it.

I have started full speed on my mission to fufill his last wish. I sent letters to congressmen about having his name added to the Vietnam Memorial, that didnt go well. I should have know, a congressmans job is to pass the buck or ignore you unless your making a big donation to his campaign. Congress sent me to the Army, and out the letters went to them. I am interested to see what they have to say about the idea. I will never stop trying to add dads name where it belongs....he earned it.

I created a facebook page on thier "causes" app. I hope you will all join this cause Put Sarge on the Wall. There were thousands of American soldiers who were sprayed with Agent Orange. Many of them are suffering like the Sarge did. If we can get Sarge's name on the wall it will open the door for so many more like him.

I will not soon forget the words of the man that dad often hailed on his blog, Rep. Alan West "Your father would have had to have died of a combat related injury to have his name added." What a pant load of crap that was. Dad liked Alan West for his dedication to veterans, turns out he's just another politician full of hot air and bullshit.

If you have not figured it out yet, I am still at the at the angry stage. They say there is five stages of grieving; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. If this is really true than this is gonna be a long process because I am still really, really angry. I dont really have room in my life for anger, but with regards to this I am making room.

Anyway, tonight I recieved my three year medallion. Eight days after Sarge passed was my anniversary. I wanted the medallion to go inside his urn, but that didnt get to happen.

While I was at the podium, I got a chance to talk about Sarge. I reminded myself that the last thing he said to me was how proud he was. So this weekend I plan to go out to the graveyard and leave the medallion with him.

I am sorry this has turned depressing but cant really help it right now; therefore I shall stop. Heres hoping I wake up in a better mood, and we all have great days! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Hero Laid to Rest

Sargent First Class Charles Edwin Cordle, Hero! I just love this picture of my dad, so much so I blew it up and put in the hall we had our reception. The service was absolutely amazing, The United States Army Color Guard did thier thing with absolute dignity and honor. The gun salute, although we knew it was coming, was behind us and we didnt know when it was coming (it scared the crap out of me). Thats when I really lost it for a few minutes, and that was followed by the bugler which was touching. Reverand Padgent delivered a positive and hopeful message that reminded me that the Sarge would be with me always in spirit while he is resting in the Kingdom of Heaven.

This has been the most rollercoaster ten days I can remember. From the news that dad was going on Hospice with weeks to three months left to being gone four days later to all the arrangements to the things that werent perfect that had to be fixed. In the end today was perfect, an incredibly honorable way for a great man like the Sarge's life to be celebrated. In this ten days I was really able to work on building my relationship with my sister which was great. I am so grateful she has been here this past week because I could not have done everything that needed to be done without her.

I an so greatful to all the wonderful folks who have showm me and my family so much love this pask week, words will never describe how much it has helped.

I guess there isnt really anything left to say about this, so I think it would be right to let a hymn close out todays post

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Day After

You know, I knew that my Father was a very loved man, but I never could have imagined the amount of saddness floating through the world today. Many of you come by here from time to time but I have read blog after blog after facebook post about my Sarge today and I am truly touched. I have cried, I have laughed, I have pouted, and I have smiled today. I guess this will continue for a while to come.

My father has not smoked anything in a couple decades, but he used to enjoy a cigar. Therefore in his honor last night I indulged in a fine Dominican cigar. Three of the guys at Fern House joined me, and as we sat in the courtyard smoking these cigars I described the love that the Sarge had shown for so many years. I described the struggles that he went through with me, and they were many as most of you know. These guys who had never met him listened to my stories in awe of what a great man he was. I described the time we had since I got clean, the four cruises we spent together, the getting together every weekend for family time, and the look he gave me the day he told me hospice was coming when he made sure to tell me exactly how proud he was that I was his son.

I have a void, a void that can not be filled by anything. But when I look outside that selfish emotion of hurt, I realize that my father became the luckiest man in the universe yesterday. Let me explain........
Dad was a soilder, He fought in war, he fought addiction, he fought cancer three different times for the last eleven years of his life. Some of you read Mimi's Peace Blog, well she described that every soldier wants nothing more than peace, Sarge found that peace yesterday. Knowing that he will never fight again makes this unbearable pain sting a little bit less.

I walked into the computer room at Fern House, and one of the guys had found Sarge's blog and made that picture of him with the M-16 from Vietnam the backround picture on the computer. That made me cry again, but I reminded that is one of the fights he will never endure again.

I cant even stand to read back what I have written, I am just typing as fast as can hoping the thoughts will never enter my head again, knowing I wont be able to stop them. I hope this has been something that can be read, although I dont think I will read it for some time.

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for the love you have shown my family

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trying to fulfill a mans last wish

Most of you know this wonderful man. Some call him Sarge, one called him soul mate, and several called him dad. My father, and our friend completed the fight today and went on to join at Gods side. I will miss his sense of humor and dry sarcastic way for the rest of my days. Shortly after he passed my sister told me that he had a wish. A wish that according to the regulations of the Vetrans Administration will not come true, but if you know me I will not give up that easily. Sarge passed from cancer, his third different cancer that worked its way through his body for the last eleven years. All three cancers were caused by Agent Orange which was routinly sprayed on many of our troops during the Vietnam War. His wish was to have his name placed on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. He felt like he deserved that since his service cut short his life, and so do I.

The Old Sarge, Saigon 1968
The following is a letter that I drafted between tears to Congressman Alan West:

January 29, 2012

Representative Alan West
1708 Longwood HOB
Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Mr. West, 

I am writing this letter to you with a very heavy heart. My father, Charles Edwin Cordle passed away today after eleven years of fighting three different cancers. My father was a decorated veteran of 26 years of service to his country, and I choose you to receive this letter because he appreciated your service for veterans in the United States Congress. My father was a conservative patriot who loved his country, and would proudly give his life defending it. Sadly, in a roundabout way that has now happened. 

My father volunteered to join the United States Army in 1960, serving several tours in Vietnam, Germany, Korea and Okinawa. During his tours in Vietnam he was routinely sprayed with Agent Orange, which the doctors at the VA hospital in West Palm Beach determined was the cause of each of his three bouts with cancer.  

One of his final wishes in the great life he enjoyed was for his name to be placed where it belongs; alongside his 58,195 brothers that perished in that fight on the Vietnam Memorial. We are all aware that my father did not perish on the battlefield, but the actions on that field of battle shortened his time here which makes his placement on that wall fitting. 

Mr. West, I am not expecting anything from you except what is right. I know that as an advocate for United States Service men and women that you are exactly the right person for this undertaking. What I am asking for is not easy, but what part of the life of a veteran is easy. Please help, thank you sir.

Charles Edwin Cordle II

I wish to encourage his friends to draft similar letters to their Congressmen so maybe we can make his wish come true. Thank You for your help and I love you all. Most of all I love my dad and will do anything I can to make his wish a reality.