The Hikin' Mike Update Thread | High Sierra Topix  

The Hikin' Mike Update Thread

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
User avatar

The Hikin' Mike Update Thread

Postby Hikin Mike » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:55 pm

After all that has been going on lately, I thought I’d post a little update for anyone that’s interested.

Some of you may know I haven’t been able to walk on my own for almost two years. This whole ordeal started about two years ago with elbow and shoulder pain. My doctors diagnosed me with Lyme Disease and I was put on antibiotics. This helped my elbow and shoulder pain, but then I started having trouble with my knees. They continued different treatments to no avail. Recent x-rays and MRIs of both knees show very little cartilage left. My only option now is total joint replacement.

The doctors aren’t 100% sure what caused my knees to deteriorate so quickly, but suspect it has a lot to do with my weakened immune system. Because my immune system is so weak I’ve been receiving monthly IVIg infusions for the past two years. I will most likely have to continue this long (~5 hours) and expensive (~$4500) treatment for the rest of my life. Thank goodness for insurance!

Because of my weakened immune system and the possibility of infection, the surgeon will only do one knee at a time. Because my right knee is worse (only by a margin), I’m having it replaced on April 17. I’m not sure on recovery time, but I’m hoping by June/July I’ll have the other knee replaced and maybe by September/October I’ll be 100% again, but I’ll settle for a strong 75%!

After not being able to walk without either a cane, or a walker, the thought of being able to walk with my wife and kids again is almost something I can’t comprehend and describe. While I can’t say I’m glad this happened, it did help me to appreciate the simple things in life that I used to take for granted. I tried, sometimes not very successfully, (ask my wife) to use this as a learning experience. What did it teach me?

It has also taught me how to accept and sometimes ask for the help of friends and strangers. This was a tough one. I’ve always tried to help others when I could; be it financially through special collections at church, to hands on help like fixing cars for those less mechanically inclined. Since I can no longer do a lot of things myself, I’ve had to rely on the help of friends, family and even strangers.

As a Christian, I wish I could say this was the best thing that ever happened to me, but I can’t. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve literally cursed God. But, looking back I can also see the little things He has done to bring me up out of the pit I was in. Is my faith stronger because of this? I really don’t know. I do know it hasn’t been lost and I guess that’s all that matters.

As a photographer, it has taught me to look at my surroundings differently. Not being able to get around and get to the “money shots”, I had to get creative, sometimes shooting from inside my car.

The last and most important thing I’ve learned and hope to pass on to others is this: Please don’t take anything for granted.

Thanks for listening…



User avatar
Hikin Mike
Founding Member
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:56 pm
Location: Atwater, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby copeg » Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:28 pm

Thanks for sharing your ordeal Mike. Hang in there!
User avatar
copeg
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:39 pm

Mike,
Thanks for the update. My prayers are with you.

Tom
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Shawn » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:02 pm

Mike,

I really appreciate seeing your update and words of wisdom. No doubt I speak for many when I say best wishes for a speedy recovery on the knee replacment.

Shawn
User avatar
Shawn
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Paso Robles, Ca
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:39 pm

Thank you for keeping us informed. Maybe you'll be able to take a trip with Sequoia and do some photography together.
Piece of cake.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Rosabella » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:36 pm

Mike,I've been aware, as all of us have, of your battles and have always wished you the best in your healing process, but I am so touched by your honesty. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
User avatar
Rosabella
Founding Member
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:58 pm
Location: Washington State
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby ERIC » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:42 pm

Rosabella wrote:Mike,I've been aware, as all of us have, of your battles and have always wished you the best in your healing process, but I am so touched by your honesty. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Dito that. I just don't have the words, buddy...

ERIC
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix
User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2909
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Location: between the 916 and 661
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby Randonnee » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:01 am

Mike,

I can only echo what Rosabella wrote and offer my prayers and best wishes to you.

Harry
"The distinguishing mark of true adventures, is that it is often no fun at all while they are actually happening." ? Kim Stanley Robinson
User avatar
Randonnee
Founding Member
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:42 am
Location: Near the big city in Colorado
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:08 am

What everyone else said. . . thanks for the update. Good luck with the surgery!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
User avatar
Snow Nymph
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Santa Barbara & Mammoth Lakes, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Hikin Mike » Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:47 am

Thanks everybody! I really wasn't planning to go "so deep", but I just started writing and that's what came out. I'm going to try and get my surgery date moved closer...I don't know if I can hang on for another 3 months! I know I can, I just don't want to if I can help it.
User avatar
Hikin Mike
Founding Member
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:56 pm
Location: Atwater, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby JM21760 » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:38 pm

Best of luck to you Mike. I've got these 2 Cobalt titanium hip femur spike an socket thingy's, and they're finally feeling pretty good. My new job, pushing a dust mop for 8 hours a day is getting me stronger. (Couldn't do my old job anymore.) Be patient. I know it's hard to do, but it will take some time. I'm with ya Bud, You'll do fine.
User avatar
JM21760
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:57 pm
Location: Carson City, NV. Former Tahoe South Shore, 25 years.
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby OldGeezer » Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:44 pm

Mike, I know where you're coming from. My wife has suffered from Lyme disease for twelve or more years. It was diagnosed much too late for antibiotics to be effective. There was a time when she was so weak I had to push her around in a wheelchair. If you are interested I can point you in the direction of several Internet Lyme support groups. Now, here's the good news. She continues to make progress to the point where I took her on her very first backpacking trip a couple years ago. We hiked three miles to Weaver Lake, spent two nights and hiked back. She made it, albeit with difficulty, which was a milestone. For what it's worth, she has been taking Olive Leaf Extract for a while now and that has made all the difference in the world for her. Well, not really *all* the difference. Our faith in God and His support is what made the whole ordeal bearable. Read Romans 8:28 if you don't already have it memorized. Hang in there.
============
Bill Jones <><
Sanger, California
============
User avatar
OldGeezer
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:32 pm
Location: Sanger, California
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to The Campfire



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests