I would like to welcome you to my personal blog. This is simply life through my eyes. The good times and the bad. Lifes triumphs and downfalls. I have no intention of offending anyone but if that happens there is not much I can do about it. I do not appologize for anything that others might not agree with for this is "How I See It". I hope you enjoy sharing my life and check in regularly.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Been A While

I know it has been a while since my last post but I have actually been very busy. With my new website for my fundraiser, another twitter account, another facebook account, another blog, and getting over my cold I have had little time to think of much else. The good think is I have been so busy with all this and working training for my fundraiser adventure that my mind has taken it easy on me.
It has been almost 3 weeks since my last anxiety issue and I have been sleeping great without the aid of prescription medication. I have had no stress and have been very much at peace with the world around me. I think my mind has so many good things to think about right now that it has no time to dwell on the crazy little things that set it in the wrong direction. And even though the fundraiser to fight cancer is about a bad thing, the fundraiser itself is truly a good thing and is probably helping me mentally more than anyone can imagine.
Maybe the fundraiser was simply my minds idea to keep itself occupied?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Scratch That

It only took me 8 weeks to figure out that the reason I was having so many anxiety attacks while I was recovering from my broken ankle surgery was the darn pain meds. Last Friday I kept one of my dear friends up until 3:00am becuase I was freaking out for no reason, and over the 7 weeks prior to that, I have spent many nights medicated because of similar issues.
Well I have not taken any pain medication for my healing ankle since last Friday and my nights have been wonderful. No crazy dreams. No pacing. No up and down from the sofa to the chair and then back again.
It was simply the hydrocodone that was doing it and to be honest with you, it is much easier living with a little pain and getting a good night sleep than it is to take that stuff. It is no wonder so many kids are into those prescription drugs. Not only did that particular medication take away the pain, but it made me so restless. It gave me dreams like I have never experienced, and then when it was combined with the anxiety meds needed to deal with the side affects, it pretty much made me a zombie.
Oh sure, most people like to escape once in awhile but that is ridiculous. Put that stuff in the hands of a minor, or an adult for that matter, who is not strong enough, or wise enough to deal with life head on and you are asking for a problem.
I still had 11 doses left and they are now in the trash. Not for me. BAAAADDD NEWS!
On a lighter note, I have begun working out and training for my Michigan Coast to Coast for a Cure fund raiser, Pedal and Paddle to Fight Cancer. I made some major changes in my eating and began paddling my kayak and using my Total Gym and I feel great. 321 days from now we will see just how serious I was in preparing.
If you would like to know more about my fundraiser check out my blog at
www.micoast2coast4acure.blogspot.com, or go to my facebook page Pedal and Paddle to Fight Cancer, or hit my website www.michigancoast2coast4acure.webs.com.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Proud Day for Dad

With the youth deer hunting weekend now upon us I am reminded of a day several years ago when I took my oldest son, Matthew, and my nephew, Billy, out for the youth deer hunt. My son was not 14 yet so he was restricted to using a bow and arrow, whereas my nephew was 15 so he was allowed to carry a rifle. I had placed two treestands in a nice white pine tree in the middle of a funnel of mixed pine and hardwoods crossing a field between two oak ridges. I had taken many deer in the past from this same tree and figured it would be a great place for the boys to at least see some deer. I placed third stand in another pine tree just 10 yards away. My son and I sat in the tree with 2 stands while my nephew sat in the single stand.
Action was slow for the first couple hours of our afternoon/evening hunt. Aside from the pesky redsquirrel that seems to bark at every deer hunter, the woods seemed lifeless until about 1 hour before dark. As if from no where a deer suddenly appeared just 30 yards away. Matthew and I could see it but it was hidden from my nephews view. We could see right away that it was a decent little spike horn and would be a great trophy for either of the young hunters. We slowly motioned for my Billy to be still and watch, as the deer made its' way directly toward us.
The young buck made a steady walk, on a straight line toward my son and I, closeing the gap to just 10 yards. My nephew was watching the whole time just waiting for Matthew to release an arrow. What my Billy did not realize was that the little spike horn never offered a decent broadside shot for my son to place an arrow. Then came one of the proudest moments of my life.
My son leaned over and whispered to me, " I can not get a shot so why don't we let Billy shoot him?"
Even though the buck was in easy range, my son understood the angle was wrong and that it was actually perfect for his cousin to place an easy shot with the rifle right behind the deers' shoulder.
"Are you sure?" I asked my son, surprised at his maturity and responsiblity in the situation.
"Yep" he replied, and we motioned for Billy to take him.
No more was needed to be said and a shot came instantly from my nephews' tree. A perfect shot put the buck on the ground just 15 yards from where it stood when my nephew pulled the trigger.

Tip: Teaching a young hunter that it is all about the hunt and not about the kill will instill a sense of respect for the game and responsible hunting in their future.
It is the hunt that makes the kill special.
Not the kill that makes the hunt special.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?

So take a person who has an addictive/dependent personality. Now by addictive/dependent personality I don't mean someone who really grows on you. What I am talking about is someone who is easily influenced and can become readilly addicted to or dependent on mind altering substances. Whether it is drugs like cocaine, meth, heroine,etc. or prescription drugs like oxycotin, xanax, or a plethera of pain killers, and muscle relaxers. Maybe it is alcohol in usage that interfers with or has to be part of everyday life. Now take that person and throw in the ocassional, and now more frequent, anxiety and panic attack. So what do you get?
Well let me tell you first hand because the dependency thing has been in my family for as far back as most of us can trace, and we are now finding out that the anxiety/ panic issues have been in the family for quite awhile also.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever felt your temperature begin to slowly rise for no apparent reason?
Have you felt your breathing begin to get a bit shallower,each breath becoming more of a gasp than a serious breath?
Have you felt your throat dry and then begin to close, slowly sending you into a panic?
Have you had to wonder what the hell this was all about when life really is not to bad?
Now face the fact that the medication prescribed to combat such issues are often very addictive.
Oh yeah. So you are already freaking out for no apparent reason then you think about the little pill you are about to take and if you continue to have to take them you are very likely to be dependent on them.
Oh great, so now spending the rest of your life on medication for no reason other then your mind likes to mess with you from time to time.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the ocassional sleepless night, but when it includes pacing around the house, then into the yard, then in the car but no where to go because it is 2 in the morning, then back in the house. Can't wake up someone, that would be wrong. Don't want the medication but you know without it sleep, and a productive day, will be out of the question.
Shouldn't I feel positive about the fact that there is a medication to help me through such time? I don't want to become dependent on the medication but I really do want to sleep and enjoy my sanity.
One is just feeding off the other and it is just wrong.
Have you ever been there?
Are you there now?
Where do we go from here?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friend, Brother, Savior

As my work day began to wind down Friday I began to get a bit antsy looking forward to Saturdays big duck hunt with my son Bryan. My excitement level was high is it is always a great time to get my boy into the woods and watch learn the ways of the wild, along with have the opportunity to put some tasty treats in the freezer. I let him play hookie from school Friday and come to work with me as we would be hunting just a few miles from work and Saturday and it would be senseless to make the 50 mile drive back home just to come right back in the morning. We decided to head about 20 miles instead, and stay at my in-laws house. They are the best in-laws a man could ask for and are always willing to let us stay.
After a bit of good conversation and a watching some TV with my son and father in-law it had gotten to be around 10:00 pm, so dad in-law hit the sack and my son and I figured it was probably a good idea as our 3:30am wake up call would be upon us shortly. My son Bryan was out in no time but I no sooner hit my head to the pillow and my mind started reeling. I have no idea about what but it was going into overdrive at an alarming rate and I was doing my best to fight it.
I thought it was just the excitement of the next days events and it would wear off soon, but wow, was I wrong. In just a matter of minutes I was up pacing through the house. My mouth was starting to get dry. My breaths were coming deeper and at a more rapid pace. My mind could not concentrate on any one thing. I was haveing a panic attack and my medications were 75 miles away. That's right, I forgot them at home. I had been doing great lately and it never really crossed my mind to bring them along just in case. Well here I was in the midst of a full blown panic and had no idea what to do. I picked up the phone and called my wife, knowing full well that she would be asleep because it was now approaching 11:30 and she never stays up that late.
She was so wonderful and gave me the time to chat and tried to relieve my tensions a bit. I did not keep her on the phone long but was so appreciative of her willingness to even allow me to call that late without getting pissed off. Her little talk and encouragement was a bit helpful but I was still contemplating makeing the 1hour + drive home in the middle of the night just to get my medication. Then it dawned on me. My friend Luke was probably going out somewhere for the evening as his wife was out of town so maybe I could get hold of him.
Well I placed a call to Lukes cell phone but there was no answer. I left a brief message explaining my delema and that if he was still out and about I would really like a call. About 10 minutes later the phone rang. I figured it was my wife just checking up on me but it was actually my friend Luke. He was just about back in town from a night out with his wifes cousin and said he would be more than happy to have me come over for a while. Now remember this is now getting close to midnight and he has to work the next day. I was in such an anxious/panic way that it took me 2 tries to get into the car and actually drive to his house, which is only 3 mile away. I would get in the car and think I will never make it over there. I can't breath. The world is going to collapse around me if I sit in that drivers seat to long. Back into the inlaws drive I pull. Get out walk back into the house then turn right back around and get into the car.
This time I actually drove to Lukes house but he was not there. I tried to get out and just hang around until he arrived but my head would not leave me alone. My throat was tightening and it seemed like my airway was going to close any minute if I could not do someting drastic. I no this is all in my mind at the time and yet I have no control. That thought alone makes it worse. I jump back in my car to head back to the in-laws. Just as I get to the first stop at the end of Lukes road I see him and his wifes cousing pulling into the road and waving me back around.
I follow them to Lukes house where we hang out for about 20 minutes before I can finally work up the nerve to go inside without feeling caged into myself. A few minutes was all I could handle indoors, the heat, the lack of oxygen, the walls, I had to get out, so my friend Luke was more than willing to follow. I am not much of a drinker but a 22oz hard lemonade seemed like it might help slow me down a bit. I slammed that while luked sipped on one for himself. Usually one of those is enough to set me on the couch for the evening, but this was no ordinary evening and no ordinary panic attack, it was an attack like I have only experienced a couple times and I hated it. Before I knew it I had Luke out waking down the dirt drive at 2:00am, and he did it with no complaints. We wandered back to the house and went inside for a little more chit chat.
It was now closing in on 3:00 am and I could see that Luke was fading gast. The good thing was that it would soon be time to wake my son for his duck hunt and my mind was starting to shift into a lower gear in preperation for the day that would soon be upon us. I needed to keep myself in check for the safety of my son. The fog in my head slowly began to lift as I pulled into my in-laws drive at 3:10am. I was actually able to chill long enough to take a shower and when I came out of the shower I felt as if the world had been lifted from my shoulders. My wonderful son lay sleeping peacefully on a futon mattress on Grandmas floor, oblivious to the hell I had been through over the past 4 hours. I was tired but rejuvinated with a clear mind.
I took my son on the hunt. It was a wonderful morning. Warm, calm, mosquitos that did not even bother me. Ducks were flying and my son was doing pretty good hitting them. I had a wonderful day and I must say that it was due to the patience and understanding of my wonderful wife who let me wake her in the middle of the night, and my friend Luke.
Luke is the true definition of a friend. I have known Luke for the better part of 30+ years and have always thougt I would do anything for him. He is more like a brother to me than a friend. I would be hard pressed to find another person on this planet that would be willing to sacrifice a night of sleep just to help a guy through a hard time. The funny thing is that I have a half dozen other friends, who Luke and I both grew up with, that I am sure would have done the same thing had they still lived locally.
Luke is a true friend, and true friends are hard to come by. He helped me through a night of torment that could have led to tragety if I had not had someone to talk to and keep my mind off the senseless ramblings it sometimes goes into. He was there for me and I am eternally grateful.
I am always here for you if you need me brother.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Like a Kid Again

My anxiety level is slowly rising, but it is a good anxiety. Saturday is the opening day of the youth waterfowl and is a day I have looked forward to since my oldest son turned 12 nine years ago. It is a day that is for the kids, all about the kids, and feeling like a kid once again. As the sun rises tomorrw, and our gear is loaded, my son Bryan and I will head north about 50 miles. He will get to play hookie from school tomorrow and spend the day with me at work. I am sure much of the days conversations will revolve around duck and goose hunting.
The day will drag on, seeming endless, much like today is. Tomorrow evening will be one of the longest nights of the year for both of us. Nothing to do but wait. Wait for the 4:30am alarm to sound. Getting dressed in our hunting gear and firing up the grill for fresh grilled breakfast burritos and some sweet rolls that my friend Matt and his niece will be bringing.
Matt and Jordyn will be making a 1 hour drive in the early hours of the predawn morning to meet us for breakfast and the excitement of the opening morning of youth waterfowl hunting. With this being my sons third season and Jordyns second, both kids are well aware of the fact that it will be an exciting morning. Our kayak and canoe paddle in the darkness, trying to avoid getting stuck on one of the hundreds of stumps that fill the reservoir, is always exciting. It is a trek across the lake that often stirs the resident Canada Geese into a few early morning groans. There will be hundreds of ducks and only a few kids, scattered with their adult partners, throughout several square miles of prime waterfowl habitat. Our kids know that when the first hen mallard makes her single "quack" wake up call, the sky will soon awaken with the sounds and sight of ducks from every direction.
Woodducks, literally hundreds of woodducks. Teal, both blue winged and green winged. Mallards, young and old. The possible Redhead, pintail,scaup, or widgeon. And of course, the great Canada Goose. Both Bryan and Jordyn are familiar with the speed at which the little butterball woodducks can zip into, and then instantly, away from the decoys. The flying v wedge of the seemingly supersonic teal is a sight to behold as they buzz by the decoys just to take a glance and be gone, down the lake shore, only to make a big sweeping turn and zip by to take another quick peek at our spread. Once in awhile those little speed demons will drop into the decoys on the first or second pass, but if they are close enough on the fly by "cut em", or "take em" come in a quick shout from Matt or I, in an attempt to get one of the youngsters on the birds and fire a shot before they feathered f14s disappear.
The sound of Canadian honkers waking at sunrise and taking to the air, heading for their morning feeding grounds, will send chills down my spine. Hopefully, a couple hours later, when the geese return from feeding, we can coax them into a small spread of goose decoys and one of the kids can bring down their first goose. Neither my son Bryan or my friends niece Jordyn has taken a goose. I can see the excitement in them just from their body language whenever we hear geese. They are like the 747 Jumbo airliners when it comes to waterfowl, and though they are somewhat slow, they are not always easy to fool, and even harder to bring down.
As I write this my heart races from sentence to sentence as if I were there, holding the gun myself. Having been in these scenarios several times while hunting, I know first hand what a rush it is. I know what it is like to pull the trigger and see that first waterfowl of the season tumble from the sky. It might be the first shot of the season or the 21st shot of the season, either way it is a great feeling. I love the hunt, but I have come to love the childrens hunt even more.
As adults, we are not allowed to have a gun in possession this weekend and yet I am probably more excited then I ever am when it is my time to hunt. It is for the kids, and it is such a wonderful feeling to introduce them to the great outdoors and be there to share in memories that they will never forget.