x
Chess - Play & Learn

Chess.com

FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store

VIEW

Seventy-Seven Years and Counting

Joseph2
Apr 16, 2015, 8:59 PM 4

Today is my 77th birthday and I thought I would share this day with my special people. Seven is a lucky number so a double seven should be twice as lucky. Remember this reference to luck, as we shall return to it!

To serve as a brief summary, here is an accounting of the past years through my retirement in 2005, especially in terms of my health.  In a nutshell, I was superman before retirement. Other than all of the typical childhood diseases, I only encountered a few mishaps. An especially notable one came in 1965, when I broke my scapula after my fiancée rolled over my TR4 Triumph on Mulholland Dr. in Los Angeles. Up to this point, I never took any medication, not even an aspirin.

2005 arrives, and I retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  It was at this point that the tables began to turn. About two months into retirement, I got out of bed and fell to the floor. It took me a couple of minutes to recover from the dizziness. I went to Ram Hospital (near my condo) to check myself out. The first thing they did was to take my blood pressure. It showed 205/110! I was given meds to lower the BP. It worked. The doctor, who provided the meds, suggested that I have a full health checkup. I agreed and within a week I had it done. All the tests came back normal except for the ultra-sound of my abdomen. The doctor said I had the largest bladder he had ever seen in his 25 years of practice. He put in a catheter into my penis and withdrew almost 2 liters of urine. The normal amount is about ½ liter. Ten years later I am still using a catheter.

In 2006, I noticed a small lump on the left side of my neck. The lump grew to a large marble size within a few days, so off to Ram Hospital I went.  The Oncologist suggested that I have a biopsy. I was put under general anesthesia, and a few hours later I was informed that I had throat cancer. I guess 50 years of cigarette smoking didn’t help.

Next, I went to see my dentist because of a tooth ache. When I told him about my cancer and that I was going to receive radiation and chemotherapy, he said that I should have 5 molars removed because they were not in good condition and after my being subjected to chemotherapy, he couldn’t ever pull a tooth because my immune system would not provide protection from infection. I had the teeth pulled.

My cancer treatment lasted about four months. I lost 20 kilos. (44 lbs.). If you need to lose weight, I would not recommend this type of diet. For the rest of my life, I will have dry mouth and that leads to tooth decay because saliva provides protection from harmful bacteria. I guess this means if you spit on another person, you are protecting them! I also cannot eat any spicy food, so it's a sad goodbye to Thai food.

2010 brought in yet another health issue. I had been going to a dermatologist for a few years to treat lesions on my scalp from sun damage. There was one spot that was not responding to the liquid nitrogen freezing treatment, which is called cryosurgery. Cryosurgery is used more often for precancerous growths such as actinic keratoses than for skin cancer... The doctor did a biopsy and came back with the diagnostic evidence of Bowen’s disease which is precancerous. I had surgery to remove the offending skin. Today I avoid going out during the day as much as possible. When I do go out I use a high-grade sun block.  For the young people reading this: don’t lie out in the sun to get that tan.

Fast forward to 2014.  Near my last birthday in April, I got up at my usual 5 a.m. I went on the computer to view my email but my left eye would not focus. This happened before, but cleared up within a few minutes. An hour later I still couldn’t see out of the offending eye. Off to Ram again. The optometrist did an ultra sound of my left carotid artery She said that there was 70% blockage and suggested that I see a neurosurgeon.  Dr. Kanyaprasit (brain doctor) sent me for a CTA (Computed Tomography Angiography).

CTA is a most unpleasant procedure. A tube was inserted into my left arm and pushed up into the left carotid artery up to my eye. After a few minutes the nurse put a solution of: “I-have-no-idea-what” and it heated my body from the groin to my head. I came back the next day for the results. Dr. Kanyaprasit told me the carotid artery was totally blocked and the part from my eye to my brain was completely destroyed. I would never see again out of my left eye. He said my brain would be okay because the other three carotid arteries would compensate for the missing blood supply. My driving days are over.

On the 29th of December 2014, I broke a tooth. I went to Ram Hospital because it was too late in the evening for regular dentists. He said that he would normally pull it, but my chemotherapy and radiation in the past made me prone to infection.  Instead, he would have to do a root canal. I came back a few days later to start the procedure. The first thing they did was a blood pressure test. I couldn’t believe what the nurse told me. It was 225/115! She did the other arm and it was the same. I rested for about 20 minutes and had the test again. The same results were shown. I was put in a wheelchair and sent to the emergency ward. The doctor there took my pressure at least two times and did strength test on my arms. She held my arm down and asked me to move my arm up. I nearly threw her across the room. Having passed the tests and taken medicine that successfully lowered my BP, I was sent home.

In January 2015, I saw Dr. K and Dao mentioned that I seemed to be very forgetful lately. He told me that I might be suffering from Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). They did a brain CT scan. The next day I was given a clean bill of health. Finally, one good thing.

Also during the past year:

(1)          We lost two grandparents; both of Dao’s grandfathers.

(2)          I was involved in a car accident which was 100 % my fault.

(3)          We lost our baby when Dao had a miscarriage.

See how lucky double-seven is!

- - -

Most of the people reading the above are probably thinking: “Boy, he has had a horrible life since he retired.” Au contraire, I feel that this is the best time of my life.  Here's how it breaks down:

1.           Work. I don’t have to work, and if I do, it is something I love to do. I work as an editor on my computer. I also work as a tour guide for people coming to Chiang Mai.

2.           Exercise. I can still walk for hours without feeling any pain or fatigue.

3.           Reading. I have read so much, and there is no end in sight for the books that I still want to read. There is now time to read very complex books, and my Kindle has a built in dictionary to show the definitions.

4.           Partner. My wife, Dao, is the sweetest creature on this earth. I complain that I have to lift my feet every day so she can sweep under them. She does all the work in the house and outside in the garden.

5.           Finances. I have no debt. The house and the car are both paid for. We have enough money to last the rest of my life.

6.           Family. My in-laws are wonderful people. I couldn’t ask for better people.

7.           Food. Eating is my favorite thing in life. We can afford the best food that the world has to offer; i.e. Norwegian wild salmon, Canadian pure maple syrup, or Baileys Irish Cream. We also have the best tropical fruits in the world.

8.           Creature Comforts. We have an air-cleaner and two air conditioners. The small air con is in the master bedroom keeps me comfortable when I am reading while propped up on my stuffed bed-chair.

9.           Satisfaction. My writing has given me both pleasure and profit. An article I wrote about five years ago has had over 5,000 views: “Retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand on $1,000 per Month”. I get 2,500 baht ($77.00 USD) plus food and gas for a daily tour of Chiang Mai. This fee was in my article.

 

10.       Friendship. I have two close friends here in Chiang Mai, and we meet every Thursday. My social life is very limited but that’s how I want it.

 

I hope at one-hundred I will feel the same way.

 

 Today is my 77th birthday and I thought I would share this day with my special people. Seven is a lucky number so a double seven should be twice as lucky. Remember this reference to luck, as we shall return to it!

To serve as a brief summary, here is an accounting of the past years through my retirement in 2005, especially in terms of my health.  In a nutshell, I was superman before retirement. Other than all of the typical childhood diseases, I only encountered a few mishaps. An especially notable one came in 1965, when I broke my scapula after my fiancée rolled over my TR4 Triumph on Mulholland Dr. in Los Angeles. Up to this point, I never took any medication, not even an aspirin.

2005 arrives, and I retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  It was at this point that the tables began to turn. About two months into retirement, I got out of bed and fell to the floor. It took me a couple of minutes to recover from the dizziness. I went to Ram Hospital (near my condo) to check myself out. The first thing they did was to take my blood pressure. It showed 205/110! I was given meds to lower the BP. It worked. The doctor, who provided the meds, suggested that I have a full health checkup. I agreed and within a week I had it done. All the tests came back normal except for the ultra-sound of my abdomen. The doctor said I had the largest bladder he had ever seen in his 25 years of practice. He put in a catheter into my penis and withdrew almost 2 liters of urine. The normal amount is about ½ liter. Ten years later I am still using a catheter.

In 2006, I noticed a small lump on the left side of my neck. The lump grew to a large marble size within a few days, so off to Ram Hospital I went.  The Oncologist suggested that I have a biopsy. I was put under general anesthesia, and a few hours later I was informed that I had throat cancer. I guess 50 years of cigarette smoking didn’t help.

Next, I went to see my dentist because of a tooth ache. When I told him about my cancer and that I was going to receive radiation and chemotherapy, he said that I should have 5 molars removed because they were not in good condition and after my being subjected to chemotherapy, he couldn’t ever pull a tooth because my immune system would not provide protection from infection. I had the teeth pulled.

My cancer treatment lasted about four months. I lost 20 kilos. (44 lbs.). If you need to lose weight, I would not recommend this type of diet. For the rest of my life, I will have dry mouth and that leads to tooth decay because saliva provides protection from harmful bacteria. I guess this means if you spit on another person, you are protecting them! I also cannot eat any spicy food, so it's a sad goodbye to Thai food.

2010 brought in yet another health issue. I had been going to a dermatologist for a few years to treat lesions on my scalp from sun damage. There was one spot that was not responding to the liquid nitrogen freezing treatment, which is called cryosurgery. Cryosurgery is used more often for precancerous growths such as actinic keratoses than for skin cancer... The doctor did a biopsy and came back with the diagnostic evidence of Bowen’s disease which is precancerous. I had surgery to remove the offending skin. Today I avoid going out during the day as much as possible. When I do go out I use a high-grade sun block.  For the young people reading this: don’t lie out in the sun to get that tan.

Fast forward to 2014.  Near my last birthday in April, I got up at my usual 5 a.m. I went on the computer to view my email but my left eye would not focus. This happened before, but cleared up within a few minutes. An hour later I still couldn’t see out of the offending eye. Off to Ram again. The optometrist did an ultra sound of my left carotid artery She said that there was 70% blockage and suggested that I see a neurosurgeon.  Dr. Kanyaprasit (brain doctor) sent me for a CTA (Computed Tomography Angiography).

CTA is a most unpleasant procedure. A tube was inserted into my left arm and pushed up into the left carotid artery up to my eye. After a few minutes the nurse put a solution of: “I-have-no-idea-what” and it heated my body from the groin to my head. I came back the next day for the results. Dr. Kanyaprasit told me the carotid artery was totally blocked and the part from my eye to my brain was completely destroyed. I would never see again out of my left eye. He said my brain would be okay because the other three carotid arteries would compensate for the missing blood supply. My driving days are over.

On the 29th of December 2014, I broke a tooth. I went to Ram Hospital because it was too late in the evening for regular dentists. He said that he would normally pull it, but my chemotherapy and radiation in the past made me prone to infection.  Instead, he would have to do a root canal. I came back a few days later to start the procedure. The first thing they did was a blood pressure test. I couldn’t believe what the nurse told me. It was 225/115! She did the other arm and it was the same. I rested for about 20 minutes and had the test again. The same results were shown. I was put in a wheelchair and sent to the emergency ward. The doctor there took my pressure at least two times and did strength test on my arms. She held my arm down and asked me to move my arm up. I nearly threw her across the room. Having passed the tests and taken medicine that successfully lowered my BP, I was sent home.

In January 2015, I saw Dr. K and Dao mentioned that I seemed to be very forgetful lately. He told me that I might be suffering from Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). They did a brain CT scan. The next day I was given a clean bill of health. Finally, one good thing.

Also during the past year:

(1)          We lost two grandparents; both of Dao’s grandfathers.

(2)          I was involved in a car accident which was 100 % my fault.

(3)          We lost our baby when Dao had a miscarriage.

See how lucky double-seven is!

- - -

Most of the people reading the above are probably thinking: “Boy, he has had a horrible life since he retired.” Au contraire, I feel that this is the best time of my life.  Here's how it breaks down:

1.           Work. I don’t have to work, and if I do, it is something I love to do. I work as an editor on my computer. I also work as a tour guide for people coming to Chiang Mai.

2.           Exercise. I can still walk for hours without feeling any pain or fatigue.

3.           Reading. I have read so much, and there is no end in sight for the books that I still want to read. There is now time to read very complex books, and my Kindle has a built in dictionary to show the definitions.

4.           Partner. My wife, Dao, is the sweetest creature on this earth. I complain that I have to lift my feet every day so she can sweep under them. She does all the work in the house and outside in the garden.

5.           Finances. I have no debt. The house and the car are both paid for. We have enough money to last the rest of my life.

6.           Family. My in-laws are wonderful people. I couldn’t ask for better people.

7.           Food. Eating is my favorite thing in life. We can afford the best food that the world has to offer; i.e. Norwegian wild salmon, Canadian pure maple syrup, or Baileys Irish Cream. We also have the best tropical fruits in the world.

8.           Creature Comforts. We have an air-cleaner and two air conditioners. The small air con is in the master bedroom keeps me comfortable when I am reading while propped up on my stuffed bed-chair.

9.           Satisfaction. My writing has given me both pleasure and profit. An article I wrote about five years ago has had over 5,000 views: “Retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand on $1,000 per Month”. I get 2,500 baht ($77.00 USD) plus food and gas for a daily tour of Chiang Mai. This fee was in my article.

 

10.       Friendship. I have two close friends here in Chiang Mai, and we meet every Thursday. My social life is very limited but that’s how I want it.

 

I hope at one-hundred I will feel the same way.

 

 Seventy-Seven and Counting

Today is my 77th birthday and I thought I would share this day with my special people. Seven is a lucky number so a double seven should be twice as lucky. Remember this reference to luck, as we shall return to it!

To serve as a brief summary, here is an accounting of the past years through my retirement in 2005, especially in terms of my health.  In a nutshell, I was superman before retirement. Other than all of the typical childhood diseases, I only encountered a few mishaps. An especially notable one came in 1965, when I broke my scapula after my fiancée rolled over my TR4 Triumph on Mulholland Dr. in Los Angeles. Up to this point, I never took any medication, not even an aspirin.

2005 arrives, and I retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  It was at this point that the tables began to turn. About two months into retirement, I got out of bed and fell to the floor. It took me a couple of minutes to recover from the dizziness. I went to Ram Hospital (near my condo) to check myself out. The first thing they did was to take my blood pressure. It showed 205/110! I was given meds to lower the BP. It worked. The doctor, who provided the meds, suggested that I have a full health checkup. I agreed and within a week I had it done. All the tests came back normal except for the ultra-sound of my abdomen. The doctor said I had the largest bladder he had ever seen in his 25 years of practice. He put in a catheter into my penis and withdrew almost 2 liters of urine. The normal amount is about ½ liter. Ten years later I am still using a catheter.

In 2006, I noticed a small lump on the left side of my neck. The lump grew to a large marble size within a few days, so off to Ram Hospital I went.  The Oncologist suggested that I have a biopsy. I was put under general anesthesia, and a few hours later I was informed that I had throat cancer. I guess 50 years of cigarette smoking didn’t help.

Next, I went to see my dentist because of a tooth ache. When I told him about my cancer and that I was going to receive radiation and chemotherapy, he said that I should have 5 molars removed because they were not in good condition and after my being subjected to chemotherapy, he couldn’t ever pull a tooth because my immune system would not provide protection from infection. I had the teeth pulled.

My cancer treatment lasted about four months. I lost 20 kilos. (44 lbs.). If you need to lose weight, I would not recommend this type of diet. For the rest of my life, I will have dry mouth and that leads to tooth decay because saliva provides protection from harmful bacteria. I guess this means if you spit on another person, you are protecting them! I also cannot eat any spicy food, so it's a sad goodbye to Thai food.

2010 brought in yet another health issue. I had been going to a dermatologist for a few years to treat lesions on my scalp from sun damage. There was one spot that was not responding to the liquid nitrogen freezing treatment, which is called cryosurgery. Cryosurgery is used more often for precancerous growths such as actinic keratoses than for skin cancer... The doctor did a biopsy and came back with the diagnostic evidence of Bowen’s disease which is precancerous. I had surgery to remove the offending skin. Today I avoid going out during the day as much as possible. When I do go out I use a high-grade sun block.  For the young people reading this: don’t lie out in the sun to get that tan.

Fast forward to 2014.  Near my last birthday in April, I got up at my usual 5 a.m. I went on the computer to view my email but my left eye would not focus. This happened before, but cleared up within a few minutes. An hour later I still couldn’t see out of the offending eye. Off to Ram again. The optometrist did an ultra sound of my left carotid artery She said that there was 70% blockage and suggested that I see a neurosurgeon.  Dr. Kanyaprasit (brain doctor) sent me for a CTA (Computed Tomography Angiography).

CTA is a most unpleasant procedure. A tube was inserted into my left arm and pushed up into the left carotid artery up to my eye. After a few minutes the nurse put a solution of: “I-have-no-idea-what” and it heated my body from the groin to my head. I came back the next day for the results. Dr. Kanyaprasit told me the carotid artery was totally blocked and the part from my eye to my brain was completely destroyed. I would never see again out of my left eye. He said my brain would be okay because the other three carotid arteries would compensate for the missing blood supply. My driving days are over.

On the 29th of December 2014, I broke a tooth. I went to Ram Hospital because it was too late in the evening for regular dentists. He said that he would normally pull it, but my chemotherapy and radiation in the past made me prone to infection.  Instead, he would have to do a root canal. I came back a few days later to start the procedure. The first thing they did was a blood pressure test. I couldn’t believe what the nurse told me. It was 225/115! She did the other arm and it was the same. I rested for about 20 minutes and had the test again. The same results were shown. I was put in a wheelchair and sent to the emergency ward. The doctor there took my pressure at least two times and did strength test on my arms. She held my arm down and asked me to move my arm up. I nearly threw her across the room. Having passed the tests and taken medicine that successfully lowered my BP, I was sent home.

In January 2015, I saw Dr. K and Dao mentioned that I seemed to be very forgetful lately. He told me that I might be suffering from Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). They did a brain CT scan. The next day I was given a clean bill of health. Finally, one good thing.

Also during the past year:

(1)          We lost two grandparents; both of Dao’s grandfathers.

(2)          I was involved in a car accident which was 100 % my fault.

(3)          We lost our baby when Dao had a miscarriage.

See how lucky double-seven is!

- - -

Most of the people reading the above are probably thinking: “Boy, he has had a horrible life since he retired.” Au contraire, I feel that this is the best time of my life.  Here's how it breaks down:

1.           Work. I don’t have to work, and if I do, it is something I love to do. I work as an editor on my computer. I also work as a tour guide for people coming to Chiang Mai.

2.           Exercise. I can still walk for hours without feeling any pain or fatigue.

3.           Reading. I have read so much, and there is no end in sight for the books that I still want to read. There is now time to read very complex books, and my Kindle has a built in dictionary to show the definitions.

4.           Partner. My wife, Dao, is the sweetest creature on this earth. I complain that I have to lift my feet every day so she can sweep under them. She does all the work in the house and outside in the garden.

5.           Finances. I have no debt. The house and the car are both paid for. We have enough money to last the rest of my life.

6.           Family. My in-laws are wonderful people. I couldn’t ask for better people.

7.           Food. Eating is my favorite thing in life. We can afford the best food that the world has to offer; i.e. Norwegian wild salmon, Canadian pure maple syrup, or Baileys Irish Cream. We also have the best tropical fruits in the world.

8.           Creature Comforts. We have an air-cleaner and two air conditioners. The small air con is in the master bedroom keeps me comfortable when I am reading while propped up on my stuffed bed-chair.

9.           Satisfaction. My writing has given me both pleasure and profit. An article I wrote about five years ago has had over 5,000 views: “Retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand on $1,000 per Month”. I get 2,500 baht ($77.00 USD) plus food and gas for a daily tour of Chiang Mai. This fee was in my article.

 

10.       Friendship. I have two close friends here in Chiang Mai, and we meet every Thursday. My social life is very limited but that’s how I want it.

 

I hope at one-hundred I will feel the same way.

 

 

 

Online Now