Saturday, February 03, 2007

...just another sad instance that proves...

Last year at about this time, in the dead of yet another North Idaho Winter, I was hurtin'. My back was so bad I could barely make it to the bathroom. And, my gout was causing all kinds of problems in just about every joint in my body. It was my sister who encouraged me to see doctors, which I did, to the tune of approximately $10,000 for all the medical bells and whistles. She cared enough about me to virtually ORDER me to go to the doctor! And I did. Sometimes I need a good swift kick in the behind, y'know? So I thank her.

Someone else wrote me concerning the gout, and he spoke of it from personal experience. His symptoms turned out to be much worse than mine, but with medication, he brought the affects of gout down to a dull roar, and so have I. He gave me encouragement and understanding, which is hard to find, because only a small percentage of folks have gout, which is a heredity-derived affliction. I wouldn't wish gout pain of the severe kind on my worst enemy...well, I can think of a few who I might afflict, but that's not what this post is about.

A guy named "Scottie", from Florida, evidently did a gout-Google search, and landed on my blog last year. He and I corresponded for a month or two, and then, like all the friends we make in life, things change, people grow distant from each other; best friends from school are, all of a sudden, people you haven't seen for 25's just a natural part of life, sad but inevitable. The e-mails between myself and Scottie decreased in frequency after a while, as a lot of relationships do. "Life" happens, what can I say?

The other day, I was going through all of the different folders in my e-mailbox, and I found that I had saved one of Scottie's e-mails. So, out of the blue, I thought I'd send him an e-mail, and find out how his struggles with gout were turning out. And his reply shocked me a bit. Turns out he has cancer issues and heart problems, and hospice was visiting him twice a week. His message only consisted of a couple of sentences, one of which read, "not doing well".

I am sad for him, and there ain't a thing I can do. When he wrote me about gout last year, his attitude was wry, chipper and very positive. But, when I replied to his latest letter, for once, I was at a loss for words. All I could manage was a weak "keep your spirits up". Well, that's important, I suppose, since a positive attitude can help a person fight whatever is afflicting him. Still, I can't help but think my message to him was weak, but at least I wrote something.

I gathered from the tone of his e-mail, that he was hurtin'...and depressed. I don't know how "long" he's got; for that matter, who knows how long any of us has got? But we're put on this planet to interact with each other; sometimes the act of interaction can be a positive thing. I know that when I've been in a bad frame of mind, kind words from someone made all the difference to me.

With that in mind, I'd appreciate it if anyone reading this post could send a message of encouragement to my internet friend. You see, he's a friend of mine, even though I've never met him...because he encouraged me during some long dark days last year when I was really suffering. So, I sent him an e-mail of encouragement, and if you'd like to do the same, I'd really appreciate it. He might too.

His e-mail address is: Up front: I know I kid around a lot on this blog; I satirize, I wallow in sarcasm, and sometimes I am just silly. This time around, though, I'm serious. And I'm sure he'd appreciate any positive communication you'd like to send his way.

...and all of a sudden, the gout isn't such a big deal, is it?


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