As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I had my third surgery related to Crohn’s disease on Friday, March 22nd. I’m happy to report that things couldn’t have gone much better than what they have thus far.

Below are the highlights.
- I was released from the hospital Tuesday night after a few liquid meals and one soft food meal. I was originally told to expect a one-week hospital stay. Getting out three days early is pretty awesome. Having real food again is even better. :)
- My surgeon removed the section of small intestine he needed to eliminate. It was really bad off and said he was surprised I lasted as long as I did in the condition it was in. The good news is that every other part of my small/large intestine looked great. This means that my current medication is doing its job and therefore doesn’t need to be changed/adjusted. On top of that, it also means that I might actually have a much longer break than I’ve had in the past between surgeries.
- Overall my pain post surgery has been pretty subdued and I’ve been moving and getting around much better than expected. Everyone in the hospital was pretty floored by that.
- The incision itself was made lower than previous surgeries, but it did not start as high as the last two incisions. I think this is actually helping my ability to move and hopefully will speed along the recovery process. So far, the incision is looking pretty good. Let’s hope that it stays that way and continues to heal as it should as that will determine the full length of my recovery.
- One a productivity note, I managed to do a lot of reading and outlining while in the hospital and now that I’m home I hope to get back on the writing wagon in a day or so after I catch up on a bit more outlining/reading/blogging. Yes, even post-surgery, I don’t make excuses for not having the time to get things done. :)
- The day after getting home, I weighed 190 lbs. on the dot. This is the lowest I’ve weighed since before my second surgery. Hopefully, with a healthy digestive track I’ll be able to get back to the 210-215 range once I can start lifting weights again.

I really want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. They’ve been a huge help.

I also want to publicly say that my wife has once again proven that marrying her is one of the smartest decision I’ve ever made in my life. I would have been a fool to let her slip away, and I’d be an even bigger fool now to take her kindness and love for granted.

My mom was also a big help in watching the kids so Leah could spend more time with me in the hospital the first couple days when I needed her help the most. Also, friends and family who have offered help and/or have helped have been invaluable (Thanks, Debbie!).

I hope everyone knows how awesome they’ve been.


I was thinking about great speeches/quotes from some of my favorite movies and how every time I hear/watch them, they never fail to give me goose bumps. There are actually quite a few more than what I thought there would be that elicit such a response. Below are few. In each case, the quotes have also served as motivation for me at various points in my life.

The 13th Warrior
“Lo, there do I see my father. 'Lo, there do I see...
My mother, and my sisters, and my brothers.
Lo, there do I see...
The line of my people...
Back to the beginning.
Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them.
In the halls of Valhalla...
Where the brave...
May live...

“Fratres! Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line. Stay with me. If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled; for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers, what we do in life, echoes in eternity.”

Conan the Barbarian
“Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!”

“Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.”

And when all else fails in motivating you, remember that “Mickey loves you.”

In honor of my surgery this Friday, today’s Music Monday is Twisted Sister’s Under the Blade which Dee Snider said he wrote in response to a band member’s surgery.

Tipper Gore thought it meant something else though. :)

Under the Blade

A glint of steel
A flash of light
You know you're not going home tonight
Be it jack or switch
Doctor's or mind
Nowhere to run, everywhere you'll find
You can't escape
From the bed you've made
When your time has come, you'll accept the blade!

You're cornered in the alley way
You know you're all alone
You know it's gonna end this way
The chill goes to the bone
Now here it comes that glistening light
It goes into your side
The blackness comes
Tonight's the night
The blade is gonna ride

'cause you're under the blade
You're under the blade

It's not another party head
This time you cannot rise
Your hands are tied, your legs are strapped
A light shines in your eyes
You faintly see a razor's edge
You open your mouth to cry
You know you can't
It's over now
The blade is gonna ride

'cause you're under the blade
You're under the blade

A glint of steel
A flash of light
You know you're not going home tonight
Be it jack or switch
Doctor's or mind
Nowhere to run, everywhere you'll find
You can't escape
From the bed you've made
When your time has come, you'll accept the blade!

You've tried to make it to the front
You're pinned against the side
A monster stands before you now
Its mouth is open wide
The lights go on, the night explodes
It tears into your mind
When the night does end, you'll come again
The blade is gonna ride

'cause you're under the blade
You're under the blade
Here it comes baby
You're goin' down, down, down,
Down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down...


Here’s what I’ve been up to as of late.

So, last week I missed a blog post. It’s happened before and likely will happen again. Not because I’m being lazy, but because I’m either extremely busy, or don’t feel like I have a whole lot to contribute at that moment in time. In last week’s case, it’s the former.

On March 22nd I’ll be having my third surgery in the last thirteen years for Crohn’s disease.

As a result, I’ll be missing a little over two weeks of work and will also be severely limited to what I can accomplish in the other aspects of my life. That means I’ve been working longer hours at my job in order to leave my co-workers in a decent position. My time out will coincide with a quarter-end close which is never a good thing in my field (Accounting). Still, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

I’m also coming home and trying to do everything I can think of that will require a significant physical effort on my part as I’ll be pretty weak and limited to what I can accomplish for many months. On top of that, I’m still trying to maintain my normal writing schedule and juggle all my commitments related to that. My wife is in a similar boat since she’ll be picking up my slack over the coming weeks/months as I recover.

Needless to say, we’re pretty tired.

In the midst of all the mayhem, I knew I needed a blog post for this week and thought that sharing a bit about my experience with Crohn’s disease might be interesting to some. (Don’t worry, I’ll avoid the really gross stuff you can find out on your own with a quick google search).

So, my first brush with Crohn’s disease began when I was 8. I started having intense stomach pains and in the span of a month lost about 11 pounds (which is a lot considering I weighed only 80 pounds before the weight loss). The doctors were baffled and ran me through a gambit of tests. They thought I had everything from cancer to even childhood bulimia at one point. The latter resulted with me seeing a psychologist for a brief period as they worked to eliminate the possibility I was starving myself.

By the way, did you know that I apparently had an unhealthy obsession with death? Ha.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and eventually it was discovered that my stomach was filled with quite a few bleeding ulcers. It was pretty rare for anyone at that age to suffer with that and if I recall correctly, my doctor at the time cited my case in a medical journal. Since Crohn’s disease was practically unheard of then, my condition was misdiagnosed as “an allergic reaction to dairy products.”

It took about three years before I started putting weight on again. During that time, I was rail thin and pretty sickly since I had flare ups all the time and was in a lot of pain whenever I ate. Eventually, the symptoms went into a remission of sorts and other than minor flare-ups here and there, I thought myself as being relatively cured.

That leads to the second experience.

In college, some of the same intense symptoms I had at 8 years old, began to rear their ugly head again-- severe abdominal pains, vomiting, lots of bathroom trips (sometimes as many as 20 in one day). It was a wonder I ever got anything accomplished.

Over the course of nine months or so, I lost about 35 pounds (going from 220 to 185). At 6’3”, that’s a big difference. During the latter part of those nine months I found a new gastro and went through a new gambit of tests. It was discovered that because of all the ulcers I had over the years, scar tissue had built up inside my stomach and the opening to my small intestine was only about the size of a pencil point. Food wasn’t getting to where it needed to go. I had my first surgery in August 2000, the day after my summer semester finals. I scheduled it then so I could be certain I’d have enough recovery time to still make the start of fall semester (which I did). I had about 18 inches of my small intestine removed and they also re-located my small intestine opening to a different part of my stomach. While they were in there they also removed my appendix.

Recovery was slow since the incision became infected and they had to re-open the wound and allow it to heal from the inside out (adding 3-4 months to the recovery process). This was pretty brutal since it takes me about 8-12 months to regain my full strength after each surgery as the incision is about nine inches long done the center of my abdomen.

All seemed well after the surgery. My appetite came back and so did the weight. It wasn’t until summer 2007 that the symptoms returned (third time, for those counting). At this point, I had just married Leah a few months earlier and moved to a new state. I had to find a new doctor.

The new doctor discovered that scar tissue from both the first surgery and a series of new ulcers in my stomach and small intestine created a wealth of new problems in the same area I had trouble with before. It was also discovered there were some issues at the small/large intestine connection, but it wasn’t as life-threatening as the other area. Since the upper area was more crucial, my surgery in November 2007 focused on that with the thought that the lower area would have to be addressed at a later date.

Unfortunately, I had the poor luck of problems with this incision as well which extended my recovery (the wound also had to heal from the inside out). Over the next several years I’ve dealt with an increasing number of flare-ups culminating to what seemed like at least once or twice a week in the last few months.

That leads us to where I am now. Though the medication I’ve been on has thankfully prevented new Crohn’s from forming, the area at the connection between the small and large intestine that was found in 2007, has progressed to the point where it is now a risk to my life. I actually had to go to the ER a couple weeks ago due to intense pain (the first time that’s ever happened) where it was discovered that I had a partial blockage in my intestine that passed on its own, and also probably had several others over the preceding months.

This upcoming surgery will remove a section of my small intestine yet again (estimated six inches as of now). That would make it the simplest of the surgeries I’ve had to this point. However, the doctor will still need to make the same long incision which means my recovery will be just as trying and once more there is the possibility the wound will need to heal from the inside out.

With that in mind, please pray that my surgery and recovery go well (including that the incision heals properly). Pray that my wife and children are able to handle my lack of contributions over the next few weeks/months to the normal day-to-day activity in the house. And pray that I’m able to handle the fact that I won’t be able to resume my normal activities (work, writing, things around the house) as soon as I’d like or at the level I would like.

King’s X is easily a top 5 band for me. They are so grossly underrated it ought to be a crime not to own their albums.

Looking for Love


A box


For some reason, George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” has been in my head lately, a really great song.

I was just going to feature that song today, but then I remembered my first introduction to Harrison which was “Got My Mind Set on You” in the 80s. So, I added that video below (both the original and the alternate one which really makes more sense in context to the song).

My Sweet Lord

Got My Mind Set on You

Alternate video