I think I have been putting this off long enough, and today seems like an appropriate day to write this.

The past few years have been a bit bumpy since she left us. To be completely honest, 2015 and 2016 kind of melded into a singular entity of sorts.

Firstly, (yes, this is going to sound like a high school paper…because I said so) two years ago, we lost someone we didn’t quite ever expect to lose. Two short years ago, I lost my mother. Yes, many expect to outlive their own parents, but due to unforeseen medical issues, my mother was taken from us earlier than expected.

Feb 9, 2015 she was laid to rest. Well, not technically laid, but cremated and we had a service for her. It was a very nice service, and many people, including those from my work (only there about a year at this point) showed up to pay respect. I personally was unable to say much but I still appreciate that my ex-wife (we’ll get to that) said a few words I asked her to.

I was also not expecting to converse with my step-father whom I have little to no respect for due to how he treated my siblings and I during our childhood. This includes my mother. I feel we would have been far better off with him sooner in my life, closer to when my sister was born, rather than later. It took my mom man years to get away from him and she was still haunted by him until she passed away. Still, we let him say his peace to her at the service. However, I think even with therapy, I avoided facing the fact she was gone.

Second, a few months later I was told by my wife that she was no longer interested in me. This and many other small events dealing with this since then were very hard to take. I am glad I had good friends and coworkers to help me through this period in my life.

Always thinking, I immediately asking if it was someone else (and also asking specifically about someone in particular) and being lied to about it, was very hard. It was the person I thought it was, and I was basically being emotionally cheated on for a number of months. I know its not fully her fault and some of mine, but the way all this went down was not pleasant even if we agreed to do it in a civil manner.

When all was said and done, and signed off on by a judge, it was almost a year later. It was also 2 months after I finally moved out of the house and probably 6 after finding out she was pregnant with said guy’s child and not long after we separated (very short time actually).

Moving in with my best friend was the best decision I could make. We talk a lot about out issues with one another and it helps us both. Hoping we can continue it another year until I purchase my own house again late 2017 or in 2018.

Thankfully I found someone who fully appreciates me and whom I can fully appreciated back in January 2016. Its been a wonderful year with here and we have been through a ton of ups and downs of our own. Not between one another, but going through them together. On the up, we have done many things together and travelled once. I cherish all the time I have spent with her thus far. On the down, she lost her brother unexpectedly this past summer following his own wedding (days after). It affected my own emotional state as much as hers and seemingly set me on a bad path health wise… It think this was due to it reminding me so much of losing my mother. The images of them both are still fresh in my mind.

(Ok ok, I am done with the high school paper style…)

Not long after this, I started to get what I can only describe as anxiety induced panic attacks…but that wasn’t the only thing on the menu in 2016 health wise. I’ve had an inguinal hernia for probably 2 years. Unfortunately, it started to bug me more around the fall of 2016. Additionally, around the time of the election, I started to get what seemed like acid reflux. I have no idea why to this day. I’ve also been having irregular bowel issues for probably a year.

So since August, I had seen probably 6 - 7 different doctors at my primary’s practice including a gastroenterologist and his assistant. I was prescribed some antacids for about 5 weeks and also started Zoloft for the anxiety. Around this time, I had also purposefully decreased my therapy appointments to once a month by this point as well. I thought I was doing okay. Since the anxiety episodes, I have increased them back to twice a month, sometimes weekly if I feel I need it.

Outside therapy, I started doing meditation and tapping (EFT) for a bit too. Basically anything that helped. What do you know, they both helped! Thankfully, 5 months later, I am doing much better. I can sleep again and I don’t have the panic feelings. To note how bad they got, I had central chest pain one night and ended up in the ER. Dr told me it was either muscle pain, reflux, or anxiety. All very possible explanations based on the past few months of anxiety.

It probably didn’t help that I had hernia repair surgery scheduled a week after the chest pain episode and was nervous as hell about that. The ER doc required I visit my primary and possibly a cardiologist prior to this to clear me. Thankfully, I was able to see both and get cleared within that week. I had already prepared myself for it and didn’t want to wait any longer.

The surgery went well, and I plan to make a shorter blog entry here very soon as I just hit 2 months recovered today. I took notes about it the first few weeks in order to write it. I am definitely feeling pretty good now and excited to get back to exercising and generally being healthy again. (Keep telling myself I am healthy though. Stay POSITIVE!).

One month, almost exactly, after the hernia repair, I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy. This is what the gastroenterologist I mentioned above recommended for me based on the GI symptoms I had mentioned to him. He thought it might be IBS. Drinking the electrolyte mixture and all that was not fun, but anesthesia is an amazing, albeit dangerous, thing. I remember up to them putting the bite guard in my mouth and thats about it. Same with the hernia, I remembered the anesthesiologist pointing out the davinci robot machine and traveling through the maze of OR halls. Thankfully both procedures came back negative as did the biopsies. So its nothing like H. Pylori, or Celiac’s disease I think (and a few others were mentioned).

I still have what could be acid reflux on and off, so the only thing left is probably something small intestine related or possibly a hiatus hernia. Then again, it could be just me and still the stress of the past few years working their way out. My primary doc said he doesn’t think its another hernia based on pushing on my stomach. The gastro doc doesn’t think its SIBO as I am not really bloated enough he said. So I guess I just live with it. I have been eating many more different things including spicy ones since basically going the boiled meal route a few months ago. It seems like I get most of a reaction when I drink water…so thats interesting. Its a mild feeling in my throat and thats it. Sometimes a small pain in my stomach, but its possible that is just the clamp they used because they scuffed my colon a bit due to its angle, which could explain the on and off constipation.

(Sorry for all the details, but if you have read this far, you are probably interested in that stuff lol)

Either way, with the surgery and the two procedures out of the way. I am in a much better place. I am not super worried about things and don’t stress over them anymore. I am more curious as to why I have the reflux, if thats even what it is. I’ve got two amazing kids, a wonderful girlfriend and plenty of awesome people to enjoy life with. Why stay worried about it all?

So onward I go into the remaining 11 months of 2017. I am going to keep a positive attitude. I have been sketching slightly more early in the year, and coloring, which has been fun. Its something my girlfriend and I enjoyed together on our one year and plan to do more of. I am looking forward to my two wonderful kids growing ever more! I want to keep showing them guitar and playing video games more with them both. I look forward to moving my career forward quicker now that I have less to stress me out on my plate! I am already doing more automation and working on being more senior with how fast the company is growing #growsproutgrow! I’d like to keep streaming gameplay at least once a week going forward too, but thats the last thing on my list for now.

So yea, writing this was fairly therapeutic to be completely honest. 2015 and 2016 have both allowed me to grow personally and emotionally (professionally too, but not as much as I would have liked). They were rough, but I am looking forward to continuing my life and seeing where it goes. Travels, experiences, and such… Hope you have a wonderful 2017 as well!

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