Hell of a Guy
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Sunday, September 10, 2017



Back in May I had what was supposed to be my annual physical, actually about eighteen months since the previous one. A week earlier I had stopped by the doctor’s office for blood to be drawn. During the exam Dr. Quarantillo discussed the blood test results, one being an increase in my cholesterol which had jumped from 168 to 221, the other number that had jumped significantly was my PSA reading that nearly doubled to 6.15. The doctor was most concerned for the PSA increase and highly recommended I see a urologist. I did.

The urologist did what urologist do, and that included another prostate exam. My doctor had done the rectal exam and found no abnormality. The urologist also said all seemed to be normal, that being no odd shape or lumps, but he also recommended I consider having a prostate MRI done.
The very next day, June 8th, I visited my PCP because of an issue with my neck that I should have mentioned during my physical. He had me visit the local hospital to have some ex-rays done, but also had ordered another blood test, causing me to wonder why? I soon found out.

A day later I received a call from the doctor’s office letting me know that based on my symptoms the doctor has ordered a test for Lyme disease and the test results came back with a positive reading. I apparently had been bitten by a tick and infected with the disease. Okay! What’s next? Well, next was a 28-day aggressive antibiotic program. I needed to know more about Lyme disease and did some online research. I found one of the side effects of Lyme disease can be an increase in PSA. 

I was to return to the urologist to discuss further investigation of the PSA increase. I let them know I had Lyme and what I had found about Lyme and PSA. The doctor agreed and scheduled me to come back for another blood test after the antibiotic program. The re-test showed a decrease in PSA but still high, and so we went forward the prostate MRI and I had it on August 8th. Last Wednesday I saw the urologist to discuss the MRI findings.

Generally, I do not worry excessively about things I cannot control or have no control over. This certainly fit that criteria. But then, yesterday morning reality set in. What was I going to hear – was it good news, not so good news, or would it be overwhelmingly bad news?

I got to the doctor’s office about 15 minutes early. The waiting room was nearly empty, a good sign. Just one other guy and me. I was there about a minute when the other guy was taken in the back. Just a few minutes later I, too, was taken into a small room to await the doctor. I was only there for about 10 excruciating minutes with all kinds of thoughts going through my mind before he came in the room.

After a few seconds of small talk he produced a paper, the results of the MRI, and then he smiled and laid it on me. No cancer, no signs of cancer, no lumps, no abnormality other than an enlarged prostate.

Enlarged prostate, a treatable condition.

I feel great. Relief. Live is good.

And that is all I have to say about that… 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Trip Home…


The Nancy and I are on our way home from a trip to Orlando and her annual conference. This whole thing began on the 31st of March with me dropping Her Majesty off at Baltimore/Washington International so she could catch her flight to Orlando. Having dropped her off, I began the 800-mile drive with all of her conference materials.

My part of the excursion did not begin well as I began driving south on I-95. It was raining cats and dogs and the cats were winning. Traffic in many spots along the way was at a complete standstill allowing me to make it just about 60 miles in the two hours. My original plan had me, after dropping off my wife at 9:30, in Richmond, VA and a lunch date with my two girls. I did not get to Richmond until after 2pm, a trip of 141 miles. With lunch apologetically canceled, I drove on in the pouring rain, hoping to make it to Manning, SC on the first day. About the time I crossed the Virginia border into North Carolina, a miracle occurred, the rain ceased, the skies cleared and the sun appeared. I made it to Manning, SC about 6:30 tired and hungry. It was a long day fighting traffic and exercising my four-letter word vocabulary, but all-in-all not a bad one.

The rest of week went very well, and now we are on our way home, the Nancy in tow with the remainder of her “conference stuff.” We left Orlando Thursday morning, headed north on I-95 and spent the night in Florence, SC and resumed the journey Friday morning.

Now to the meat of this little piece. Driving up 95 on Friday and a little after noon as hunger bugged us, we decided to stop for a bite. We remembered a small café we had enjoyed when passing through Rocky Mount, NC a couple of years ago, so we headed for the Westridge Grill. Now this is not a fine dining establishment, but is provides good, down home grub at reasonable prices and, best of all, some very friendly people.

As I said, we were here a couple of years ago. The owner happened to be behind the bar where we sat. We told him we had visited in the past and kind of fell in love with two of his employees, Miss Jay and David, and couldn’t be in range of the place and stopping for a meal. After telling him this, Nancy noticed one of my “Hell-of-a-Guy” cards tapped to a mirror behind the bar. I had left one there the first time she and I visited. I guess we made a favorable impression while there that time. In any event, that was a first. I always thought of passing out those cards as kind of a joke, never expecting anyone to hold on to them.  It made me feel good, like a celebrity of some sort. Now I can make the rest of the trip with a smile on my face.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hell-of-a-guy Lives on…


It has been a while since I posted anything to http://www.hell-of-a-guy.com The o.nly reason for my absence is merely and mostly because I am lazy, not to mention I just don’t think about it all that often, and generally when I do I am in the car or somewhere else other than nearby my laptop. Believe me, I have composed some beautiful stories in my head. Unfortunately, due to the cerebral atrophy associated with aging, the thoughts don’t hang around in my brain very long.

There was a time when the program my son-in-law runs my website through had apparatus to count the number of hits on this site. That software developed some serious issues (listen to me speaking as if I know what happened) not allowing me to post anything and new software he found to run the program does not have a counter. I have been on this new system for several years, but the last count I saw a few years ago was well in excess of 500,000 hits. Knowing there were people accessing the site made me feel good and also motivated me to write. Some of what I wrote was really good, others not so much, but it was fun.

Recently The Nancy and I were visiting her dad and celebrating his 88th birthday with family. One of the grandsons told me he and his girlfriend had visited Hell-of-Guy and read some of the posts. That made me feel good, but also a tad ashamed I have neglected it, hence, this post. So…as it goes…I promise to write some more “stuff” and post it.  Until that time, enjoy some of the older shit I wrote.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Birthdays Suck, Unless You Don’t Have One…


As I have one of those nasty birthdays ascending on me as a rapid pace, I cannot sit here and say I am very excited at the prospect of it. It will by my 73rd of what at juncture is a downhill slide, and I am okay with that as long as the downhill grade is not at an acute angle.

I remember a time when I was still a working stiff, in my sweet company car driving to an appointment as I listened to a man and woman talking on the radio, I think they were out west somewhere. They were talking about various news stories, one in particular caught my ear. The guy was reporting on a story about a California woman who was about to become the oldest known woman on the planet at age 116. The woman began to giggle and quipped, “Who in the world would ever want to be 116?” Well, it took me about a second to scream at the radio, as anyone with half a brain might have done at that moment, “Someone who is 115.”

Think about this for a second; how many people in their right minds really wish to die? I would suspect those whom fall in this category are a mere fraction of 1%, probably pretty close to zero.

As a rational person, at least I think I am, I truly do not mind getting older, though it does give me something to think about. It is not the getting old that bothers me as much as the loss of function. I do not hear or see as well as I once did. My bowel habits are fluctuating, my prostate gland isn’t working as it once did or is supposed to work. My knees are weak – when I get down, I plop down the last few inches and when I attempt to rise I need something to assist me, something to grab onto. My back aches 99% of the time. And then there is the funniest scene ever, me trying to put on socks (I remind me of my dad).

But in the end, well, not really the end but close, all is good. I have no complaints. In my case I view it as the Universe unfolding exactly as it should. I am in this for the long haul.

And that is all I have to say about that… 

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