Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Take Me Home...

Well as you may or may not know I am a native West Virginian, and I really do love my home state. The problem is I live in the far eastern part of the state and culturally it really is quite a bit different from the rest of the state. The area I live tends to pull alot of it's cultural from the east coast, whereas the rest of the start tends to be more like the south or midwest. I got the chance this past weekend to do some camping with Muffin, Pete, Bec and my godson Paulie and I had a great time. It had been a long time since I had ventured into the "hills" of West Virginia and I was reminded was an incredible scenic wonder my home state is. The pic on the right was taken at Blackwaters Falls and I would encourage any one, native West Virginian or not, to take a day or two and explore some of the beauty that West Virginia offers. Wonder if I can score an endorsement deal from Governor Manchin???

Shadowmancer - G.P. Taylor
In the CD/MP3 Player:
Flyleaf - Flyleaf
The Prayer Chain - Shawl

Sunday, May 14, 2006

David and Goliath

Well it's been an interesting few days. I told you in a previous post that I was going to Philadelphia with some youth from my church for the Acquire The Fire Battle Cry conference. Well we went this past weekend and it was absolutely spectacular. Great Bands, Great Speakers and a fantastic time of worship and growth for not only the teens but also myself and I'm sure a lot of the other youth leaders that were there. Now you're probably asking yourself 'what does the have to do with the topic, D??' Chill, I'm getting there. On Friday after we had checked in at our hotel in Mt. Laurel, NJ we decided to get something to eat and drove to the Mandarin Buffet. I got salad for my first plate and went back for a second. I got some steamed veggie dumplings (among other things) from the steam table. Well I guess it was 5 mins after I started eating the dumplings that my throat began to tingle. Here's the point where I explain that I have a shellfish allergy and the throat tingling is the first sign that I've had some type of exposure. Usually I can get some air and worst case scenario I have to take a couple of Benadryl and it clears up in a bit. Well I went outside and it was getting worse, I checked the car for Benadryl and there was none. My friend Carey came out and asked me if I was ok and I told him no, my throat and chest were tight and I probably needed to get that Benadryl. So we got in the car and by the time we got out of the parking lot I knew Benadryl wasn't gonna help. I told him we either needed to find a hospital or call and ambulance. He pulled back into the shopping center and we went into a store next to the restaurant and got directions to the hospital. By the Grace of God the hospital was maybe 10 mins away, although it seemed much further and in all honesty my throat was getting tighter and I was beginning to think about dying and never seeing my wife again. With the hospital in site I called her and told her what was happening and that Carey would call when he had more information. After we found the emergency room; we had to fill out this form, drop it into a slot and wait in the reception area. By this time, I could feel swelling in my mouth, my throat was very tight, and I noticed that there was a lot of saliva in my mouth. Carey asked how I was and I told him how tight my throat felt. He walked out and came back with the triage nurse who took me back put a blood pressure cuff on and started asking me some questions. She looked up and asked someone behind me if there was a bed available for an allergic reaction. Right after this a woman (I would later find out this was Dr. Angelo) came around my side and said "sir, can you swallow your own spit?" And since my mouth was now full of spit I told her no. They immediately took me back and had no sooner gotten me on the bed than there were at least 6 different people surrounding the bed, hooking me up to different devices, checking pulses, breathing, starting an IV. If I had any doubts as to how serious this was, at that point they disappeared. Carey would later tell me that my head and neck were red and swollen (you can see some of this in the picture above, keep in my mind that Carey took this picture well after they had stabilized me and I was out of any danger) by the time they took me out of reception and I know it had him extremely worried. Well they gave me epinephrine through the IV and Dr. Angelo told me 'when it kicks in you're heart will race like it never has before and it will scare you, but that's exactly what it's supposed to do and you're fine.' She was not incorrect, when this stuff kicked in it was like riding every roller coaster I've ever ridden all at the same time. At about the same time, some of the swelling in my throat loosened and I began to cough and wretch and expectorated what most have been a quart of saliva. After that things began to get better little by little. Now since about our third date, Muffin has been telling me to get my doctor to prescribe an EpiPen and I haven't done it. Well once I was stable Dr. Angelo said I'm gonna give you a prescription for an EpiPen and told me that I need to keep it with me at all times. Once things calmed down and I was out of danger I has Carey call Muffin and tell her that I was ok and the doctor has prescribed the EpiPen. And when I think that he could have been calling her to tell her that I had died, having to admit that she was right and eat a little humble pie is really not such a bad trade off. So I am extremely grateful to be home on this Mother's Day to spend the day with Mother and my wife and I thank God for just being able to breath.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Frequently Infrequent

I told ya that I wouldn't post with any kind of regularity and I'm proud to say that I'm living up to that promise. Well a lot's gone on, so let's catch up :D

I play softball with my church team and at practice 2 weeks ago, I decided to be cute and slide into second. Which is not normally a big deal unless you are wearing shorts and the soil on the base paths happens to be roughly the same consistency as damp sand. So that peeled a good chunk of skin off my left calf and the resultant abrasion got very sore and infected. Well 3 days later I ended up at Urgent Care where the doctor prescribed Cephalexin (the generic version of Keflex). Ohhh this a wonderful little drug that certainly helped with the infection but left me with symptoms akin to a nasty bout of hay fever and nice little rash on my right arm. Thank God that I just took the last dose. This whole incident has taught me a couple of things; 1. Wear long pants to softball. 2. At my size there's really no need to slide, if the fielder's still holding onto the ball after the collision then I should be out. 3. If the doctor says Keflex, beg for amoxicillin, penicillin, anything but Keflex.

I know I talk a lot about my wife but I gotta give her props again. We bought a new grill this weekend and while I know my way around computers and software I'm a bit of wimp when it comes to nuts and bolts type stuff. Well we had made plans to grill for some friends on Sunday and since the old grill was effectively dead we needed a new one. So on Saturday we found one we liked at Wally World but they said it would take 3 days to assemble. The sales guys says it's simple enough and takes 30-45 mins. Shasta says "you can do it babe" so we take the grill home and I get to work. Well my brother Martin had stopped by and he helped with some of the harder parts but we made really good progress. It was getting dark and I was getting frustrated (small screw, extra small screw, who could tell????!!!) and Muffin says ya know what, you're almost done so finish it tomorrow. After a bit of grumbling I went in and watched the race. So we got home from church and after about 20 mins I had the thing finished and working with NO EXPLOSIONS!!!! But it really is amazing how much confidence she has in me, even when I don't. I truly thank God everyday for giving me the perfect partner and helpmate. Ohh and she caught me when I fell off the roof today too. That's another posting though :D

House - Ted Dekker/Frank Peretti.
In the CD/MP3 Player:
Mat Kearney - Nothing Left to Lose
Family Force 5 - Business Up Front, Party In The Back