Friday, February 08, 2008

This is getting ridiculous

I think I've figured it out. I'm dead and they just forgot to tell me to lie down.

My nice new doctor just called with the latest test result. Yup. I've got the flu. Yippee. So I've been crunching the latest data. Here's what I've come up with.

Pneumonia + Influenza = Me.

I am pneumonia. I am influenza. They have taken over my being and I have morphed into them. This concerns me. Once the meds knock them out I may cease to exist. If so I promise to stop blogging so many times in one day.

Me ... if I were furrier


"Every year, more than 60,000 Americans die of pneumonia —" That's the way the Mayo Clinic web site begins their dissertation into the wonderful world in pneumonia ... a world that I just found out that I inhabit.

For those of you who encouraged me yesterday to go to the doctor ... thanks for helping to keep me out of the 60,000! A cheery little nurse just called to tell me that the lower half of my right lung was infected and that I need to take the prescribed medications and stay in bed. (I knew there had to be an upside to this thing.) I was scheduled to speak tomorrow evening at our youth ministries "True Love Waits" retreat. The nurse nixed that. I can only speak once on Sunday and must keep it brief. (I'm betting she threw that in just for laughs.) Then I have to come back home and go to bed. Again.

How do you get pneumonia anyway? And what is that "p" doing out in front there? Oh. It's doing what I am doing. NOTHING.

Ron ... OUT

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I surrender

For all of you who left a comment, narced on me to my daughter, or sent me an e-mail expressing concerns ... you win. I'm putting away my manly tendencies. I have a chest x-ray and some other dumb test lined-up this evening. And they prescribed enough medication to cure a small African village.

Seriously. Thanks for the encouragement and wise counsel. Sometimes the sick one is the last one to see it.

I Was Wrong (CAUTION: Whine Alert!)

I know what I said in my last blog but I was wrong. I think I AM dying. I seldom get sick but boy I did it this time. I don't just cough. I start with a cough and it rooooolls into this huge, gut wrenching series of coughs that won't quit until there is no air left in my lungs to propel it any longer. My ribs feel like they have been donkey-kicked ... from the inside. My back ... let's not even talk about that.

My only real concern is that Debbie might get this ginormous germ. I don't know what it would do with her asthmatic situation. On the plus side she hasn't had one asthma event since arriving in Ohio. This is a, "Thank you, God!" I'm actually hoping that I don't have a cold. I'm hoping I have the flu. Because she got a flu shot. So maybe she'll dance past this one with no issues.

I have not gone to the office since Tuesday morning. I missed church last night and will, no doubt, miss our Church Council meeting tonight. These poor people are probably wondering if they really called a pastor or not. Thank God for those who fill in when pastor's can't pastor.

Okay, that's all I got in me. Please pray that Debbie stays healthy. That would mean a lot to me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

There is not such thing as a "good cold"

I'm not dying. I just feel like I am. It's called "A Bad Cold." What a dumb name. Have you ever heard anybody say, "I have a good cold?" Me neither. I had an appointment today with my new doctor. Her name is Dr. Wu. (I resist the urge to say, "Wu who?" She holds my life in her hands.) She noticed my BAD cold. I mentioned that i am trying to keep from passing it to Debbie. Her violent asthma attacks would just love to get a hold of this bug. The doc suggested we sleep in separate rooms for now. Great idea. Maybe we can just hang a sheet down the middle of our one room and hose it down with Lysol.

So in celebration of what feels like the end of my life but in reality is just my coughing up two lungs and anything else that connects to them ... here is a picture of today's lake. It's out there ... somewhere.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


You've probably read about the shooting that took place yesterday in Tinley Park, Illinois. Tinley is a suburb of Chicago on the southwestern side of the city. It is also the town I grew up in. The murders took place in a strip mall that did not exist when I lived there. That side of town was all corn. It was about one mile from my house and maybe half a mile to my church. I graduated from Tinley Park High School. One of my "serious" girlfriends was from Tinley. My family lived in two houses there during my parents 22 year stay there. My wife and I lived in 3 different apartments there during our first years of marriage. When I think of the words "home town" that is the place that comes to mind. Sure, I call myself a "Chicagoan." But that was merely the identity of the region. For all practical purposes I learned to live, love, and laugh in Tinley Park. I came to know Jesus as my Savior in that church just blocks from the site of the shootings.

Tinley Park is a great town. Actually, less than two years ago I was asked to return there and pastor the church I grew up in. It was tempting to say "yes" simply because it would be like ... you know ... going back. It would be like giving something to the place that gave so much to me. I said "no." It just was not God's direction for me. I would have been happy to relocate there if He had let me. He didn't.

But I love that town. I seldom go back but only because I really don't know anybody there anymore. But when I do make the occasional trip through the village streets it feels like home. And knowing what took place there makes me sad in a way that I really cannot explain. Tinley Park is generally a peaceful place. It was a great place to grow up. The people are friendly and the town cares about the way it looks. It takes a sense of pride in its identity. And that identity has been violated. They have been added to the ever growing list of communities that are linked together by the tragedy of mass murder. And it just isn't right.

My last few years as a "single guy" i use to run the streets and sidewalks of Tinley Park late at night. My route would end at 179th and Harlem Ave. The shootings occurred at 191st and Harlem Avenue. That's 12 blocks from where I turned around. The streets I would run were tree lined and the homes were ... and are ... filled with young families that are living the American dream. Events like the one that transpired yesterday make me wonder what the American dream really is. I mean, evil is attacking it on every side. I do not think that the dream is a myth. I do think that it is being attacked from a deadly enemy that would happily destroy us all. This reinforces my belief that the only safe place to be is in the Holy Hand of our Heavenly Father. Anyplace else is very, very dangerous indeed.

I am sad for my hometown tonight. I am sad for our country. Sad for our way of life. I hope they catch the guy who did this horrible deed. But there are more like him. And they will continue to surface and carry out the will of our enemy, Satan.

There is but one hope. And His name is Jesus. And it is my sincere prayer that He is working overtime in Tinley Park tonight. It's a great town. It doesn't deserve this pain. But then ... who does?