151 Band

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How It Started

I sat in the emergency room wearing one of those wickedly uncomfortable and highly exposing gowns as the room spun around me.  The causal factor for my visit was a bout of throwing up blood and lightheadedness.  I had no clue what was wrong, but I knew that blood is supposed to be inside the body, not outside the body.  What I was told next terrified me and made me almost pass out.

Either that, or the morphine for pain was taking over.

The doctor was a short man, his accent making his dialog difficult to understand but a few words stood out to me and caused me to break out in tears.

"You have about three years left, Mr. Black," he said.  This was in 2012.

I had been diagnosed with fatty liver disease that had developed into cirrhosis.  Ironically, it was a result of diabetes and not alcohol consumption but devastating news nonetheless.  From that point forward, my life was different in just about every way.  

I changed my diet, changed much of my lifestyle, and did everything that the doctors told me to and now, I've outlived that emergency room doctors prediction.  So, there.  It's been a hell of a ride and I never imagined for a moment that I would be dealing with issues such as chronic pain and gastrointestinal issues on a daily basis.  It took months, but the result was that a balance was struck between medications and dietary changes.  Hell, I even eat turkey burgers now.  

I was informed last week that the process could begin to get me on the national transplant list but that process is long and tedious.  I'm plenty healthy right now and pretty doggone functional most of the time.  I have good days and I have bad days, but overall, every day is looked at as a gift; a moment of grace extended to me by the Creator to let me hang around with you folks for another day.

I have my wife to thank for her immeasurable patience and as this process continues, a year from now, I may have a new liver and for that, I'm pretty tickled but scared at the same time.  She's been there to reassure me and lift me up when I am emotionally drained.  I also have to thank my bandmates for their support too.  There have been rehearsals after procedures where I had to sit the whole time and just take it easy and they are completely understanding.  I have some of the best friends a man could ever get and I feel very undeserving at times.  Nevertheless, I'm thankful.  

I have plenty of time left so don't freak out; I just wanted to share a little bit of what I'm going through and maybe y'all are feeling it too or no someone struggling as well.  It's not over, the fight rages on and we've completely got this.  I'm even blessed with the energy to perform with my band on weekends and entertain some wonderful people.  Life may be painful at times, but it is very, very good.

Now, you're caught up to speed and you know how it began.  I'll probably share more as it progresses so you can see the difficulty accompanying the whole transplant process.  It's going to be a fun trip.  Buckle up!

Ron "Gorilla" Black