01 CJ Sir Koff-a-Lot thumb

(…with apologies to the late Johnny Cash)


As some of you may know I have zero musical ability and very little appreciation of it, so you’ve probably already guessed that this article is NOT about the Johnny Cash song “I Walk The Line”. And those of you who know that I am recovering from major heart surgery could have easily guessed that it has something to do with that unpleasant subject. Others may have already switched channels.

So before you take flight let’s deal with some things this is NOT going to be. It’s certainly NOT going to be melodramatic or emotional. It is NOT going to be a grim discussion of a complex medical procedure and all the discomfort and fear that might accompany it. I have learned a little about this subject over the last few months, but I surely am NOT qualified to give medical advice to anyone.

I HOPE that sharing some information and thoughts through this article IS something that gets the attention of a few folks and leads to their reconsidering their healthcare, particularly heart care plans.

02 Chuck and Glenda bedside thumb


A Little Background:

Six months ago I was strong as a bull ox doing whatever I wanted and was taking virtually no medications. Since retirement in 1999 I have cleared and reclaimed a few hundred acres of land for raising cattle, horses, miscellaneous critters, hay and row crops. At the same time I have sawn thousand board feet of lumber with my portable sawmill, and built barns and houses. I’ve operated and maintained heavy equipment including a couple large tractors, a dozer, skid steer, and numerous other toys. Did I do the right exercises for my health? No. Not really. But give me a break. I work hard.

I’ve had lots of physical exams and have been somewhat cautious of my health care, regardless of what Glenda might tell you.  I thought I was pretty tough. Even with a thoracotomy in 1989 to remove a malignant tumor, I still bounced back after only a few months of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. A skin melanoma in 2007 was just a small bump in the road, or rather on my chest. Did I follow the dermatologist orders to wear a large hat, long sleeves, long pants, use sun screen? Weeell, yeah for the most part. I definitely wear long pants and a big hat. Sunscreen is for sissies and I can never find the darned stuff.

03 First Walk thumb

I’ve never smoked cigarettes, gave up my pipes and cigars in 1980. I enjoy wine and beer in moderation. (A priest once told a friend to practice moderation in all things, including moderation.) I’m not grossly obese. At 5'8" inches I have managed to keep my weight between 180 and 200 pounds. I have three sets of trousers 36/38/40 inches.

Until this past January at age seventy-five I was not taking any medications on a regular basis.

For many years my family doctor has also been a close family friend. Every time he saw me in his office he put forth his best effort to get me started on a good aerobic exercise plan. I always retorted with something like “Why bother, I have the blood pressure of a healthy fifteen year old, my cholesterol is fine, no diabetes, my lung capacity is great, and I can probably whip your butt any day (bluffing only a little).” He would laugh and tell me “You don’t deserve such good health. Get out of here.

04 Chuck Glenda on bed thumb


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Saturday the 20th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.