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One Moment, Please... It could always be worse


Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

The Fillmore County Turkey Day Run attracted 54 runners and walkers traveling 10.3 miles from Lanesboro to Preston on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. Photo by Maggie Walsh

I have not written a commentary in many, many weeks, and there is a reason why.

Dating back to October 25, 2012, I started down a path that would ultimately result in surgery.

I had a crippling kidney stone episode that was initially identified as an isolated incident.

Right away, when I first started feeling the pains in the side of my stomache, I had a suspicion that it was a kidney stone.

You see, five years ago, I had gone through this once before, and that time also resulted in surgery.

I had hoped that this situation wasn’t as horrible as the first time I went through this back in 2007.

As it turns out, it was much, much worse. My chronic battle with a relentless kidney stone dragged on until I finally had surgery on November 16.

It was an interesting time, because life doesn’t stop.

We were publishing both newspapers, I was attending meetings, and the pains would come and go throughout each week.

Ironically, nearly every Thursday, which is our deadline day for the Fillmore County Journal, seemed to be the day in which the disruptive kidney stone chose to make its move. Well, when the stone was moving, this was equivalent to labor pains (for a guy).

Essentially, I was incapacitated nearly every Thursday. I even started to joke with the Journal staff when I came into the office that it was Thursday, so my kidney stone was probably going to be acting up. And, like clockwork, it always did.

So, the team took care of everything to make sure the Fillmore County Journal came together like always. It sure can make a guy feel like he’s not needed.

I love Thursdays, because that is the culmination of all of our work -- every writer, salesperson and graphic designer. Well, the good news is that my kidney stone is gone, the Journal team has let me come back to my old job on Thursdays, and I am humbled by the entire experience.

As much as I didn’t appreciate the distruption in my life caused by this little piece of gravel, I am happy for the good health I do have.

Yes, this was humbling, but I always think it could be worse.

There are people suffering from challenges that can’t be resolved with one surgical procedure.

As I was battling this little rock inside my body, I did some online research on the worst-case-scenario for kidney stones.

I found a story about a man from Canada who battled 6,504 kidney stones from the age of 38 to 60, 22 years of his life with an average of 295 stones per year, until he finally had his kidney removed.

Well, I’m 38-years-old, so I hope this isn’t the start of a pursuit for the largest stone collection in a future issue of The Guiness Book of World Records.

Following my surgery, one of the most important missions I had on my list was to participate in the fourth annual Fillmore County Turkey Day Run, a 10.3 mile run/walk from Lanesboro to Preston via the Root River Trail on Thanksgiving.

For me, I participate in this annual event each year because I still can. I am grateful for my health and my family, and this event gives me peaceful moments to reflect on what I am thankful for in my life -- in the presence of God’s Country.

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