Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh my aching back!

Disclaimer: Not my real butt crack. Stunt butt crack was used.

As most of you probably know I have been battling chronic back pain, including knots in my back, for several years and at times it has been crippling. This past week it had gotten pretty bad so Diana made me a doctor's appointment and made sure that I went (I don't like going to the doctor). My doctor was very thorough in that I received a physical, pain killer shot, x-rays, blood work, and a urinalysis. All of this was done on site so it was very tolerable. When the films came back the doctor looked at them with me and showed me that I have arthritis in my spinal column. What? Arthritis? I'm too young for that! The doctor also let me know that the knots are the result of soft tissue damage due to the arthritis. I have to admit that I was a little shocked at the news, but relieved that the mystery has been solved. I was given a prescription for pain killing patches to wear on my back and an order for physical therapy. With the exception of migraine headaches, my back pain has been the most debilitating pain that I have had to endure. It is nice to know that there may be some relief in sight. I am also a little angry at myself for not getting this addressed several years ago, like Diana wanted me to. I am just stubborn I guess, like most men when it comes to doctors. Maybe that's why we don't live as long as the ladies. Some doctors are like auto mechanics though. You go in for one thing and wind up getting more than you bargained for. That's why I didn't like going to doctors. Fortunately I now have a great doctor. Here's to your health!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Brief Family History

Diana and I - August 2009

Andrew, 11 - Jordan, 17 - Spencer, 13 - Chase, 7

The Three Amigos
Spencer, Chase and Andrew

Honolulu, Hawaii
I was born here August 1966

at Tripler Army Hospital
both of my parents were in the Marine Corps
I spent some of my childhood in the Phoenix, Arizona area
(Mesa, Chandler, Apache Junction)
I grew up mostly in Henrieville, Utah

Wellington, Kansas
Diana was born here March 1973

at Wellington Hospital
now Sumner Regional Medical Center

Diana spent some of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona

Jordan was born in the Wellington Kansas hospital in December 1992.
Diana was previously married to Jordan's father

I met Diana in October 1994 at my sister Kathy's house in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. Kathy thought that we would hit it off and she was right. Our first "official" date was a concert at the Target Center (shown above) in Minneapolis. We saw three acts: David Ball, Toby Keith and Sawyer Brown. It was a lot of fun.

I proposed to Diana on April Fools Day 1995, and we were married on June 1, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois

at the Chicago Illinois LDS Temple

which is in Glenview

Our families stayed at the Fairfield Inn just down the street from the temple

Diana and I spent our honeymoon in Hudson, Wisconsin which sits on the St. Croix River

at the Best Western Hudson House

The room was incredible, but Diana got so sick that night that I really thought she was going to spend some time in the emergency room. She got better and we stayed an extra day

We (Diana, Jordan, and I) continued to live in Minnesota and that is where our family starts

We lived in the St. Paul area (Woodbury and Oakdale)

I was working at the Koch Oil Refinery in Rosemount as a security supervisor

Diana was working at the Mall of America in Bloomington as a Glamour Shots manager

Spencer joined the family in May 1996
He was born in Maplewood, Minnesota at St. Johns Hospital

In November 1996 we moved to Kansas
The day we left Minnesota it was snowing so hard that we had to find a motel just outside of the Twin Cities. The snow (blizzard) continued all the way through Kansas

We moved to Mulvane which is just south of Wichita. Diana grew up in Mulvane and we moved into the house that she grew up in.
Diana started doing home day care and continued for several years

I got a job with Sedgwick County (Wichita) as a Courthouse Security Officer

Andrew joined the family in September 1998
He was born in Wichita, Kansas at Wesley Medical Center

After 5 years at Sedgwick County I decided to go back to school to become a funeral director. I moved to Oklahoma City to attend the University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond) and to start an apprenticeship. I went home every other weekend and Diana and the boys came to Oklahoma on the opposite weekends. Things didn't work out, which was fine because Diana told me that we were expecting again. So, I moved back to Mulvane.

After I moved back to Kansas I got a job with the City of Haysville as the Assistant Municipal Court Clerk

Chase joined the family in August 2002 (on my birthday!)
He was born in Wichita, Kansas at Wesley Medical Center

In 2003 I graduated from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas
In 2001 I had graduated from Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas

Soon after graduating from Friends University I joined the Haysville Police Department and was sent to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) in Hutchinson. I had to drop about halfway through because of an aneurysm in my right eye. Luckily, I was able to go back to my job as the Assistant Court Clerk.

In May 2004 we moved to Utah
We temporarily lived with Brandon in Hurricane, and Karen in Clearfield before settling down

We settled in Kaysville and West Point just outside of Salt Lake City
Diana continued doing home day care and she was very good at it

I got a job at The University of Utah as a hospital security officer at the University Medical Center and Orthopaedic Center in Salt Lake City until my position was about to be phased out

Luckily, I was able to get a job with the Utah Third District Juvenile Court (Matheson Courthouse) in Salt Lake City as a Deputy Court Clerk and later a Judicial Case Manager

While we were living in Kaysville Diana attended and graduated from Stevens-Henager College in Ogden with a degree in Medical Specialties

Diana worked as a Medical Assistant at Wee-Care Pediatrics/Davis Medical Center in Layton
She stopped doing home day care after a dozen or so years

In July 2009 we moved back to Kansas
The economy in Utah was too hard to deal with

We moved to Olathe which is in the Kansas City metro area.
Most of Diana's family is in Olathe as well

Diana quickly got a job as a Medical Assitant at Preferred Pediatrics in Olathe and Overland Park (located in the Overland Park Regional Medical Center - above)

After a lengthy search I am currently employed with Johnson County (Olathe) Department of Corrections as a Juvenile Corrections Officer

We have settled in pretty well and really enjoy living in Olathe. We miss Utah at times, but this is home now. The boys are doing well. Jordan is a Junior at Olathe South High School and has his own car. Spencer is in the 8th grade at Frontier Trails Junior High School and played football this year. Andrew is in 5th grade at Briarwood Elementary School and participated in Special Chorus, and Chase is in 2nd grade at Briarwood Elementary School and is very popular. I don't know what life has in store for us in the future, but I'm sure it will be an adventure!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Minnesota saved my life

I drove by a Texaco Star Mart the other day and immediately had a flashback to some "life changing" events that happened to me in Mesa. I know that some of you remember when these happened, but for the sake of those who don't I would like to elaborate. Back in 1990 while I was living in Mesa I worked the graveyard shift at a local Texaco Star Mart, and after two years of employment I decided to leave after two events happened that really made me do some thinking. One night I was in the back cooler of the store doing some stocking when I heard the front door bell sound. I came out from the cooler and saw a young Hispanic male in a jacket standing at the counter. I went to the register and asked if I could help him. He stated that he wanted two packs of cigarettes and when I turned around from grabbing them I was facing a large caliber handgun. He told me to open the register but I wouldn't. I know that was foolish, but at that moment I wasn't thinking and I was mad. He told me several times to open the register, and he was denied every time. He finally came behind the register and told me to lay on the floor with my hands behind my head. By this time the gravity of the situation was sinking in and I complied. As he straddled me with the gun pointed at my head two things happened. First, I tensed up while waiting for the gun blast, and I was thinking that this cannot be the end for me. I was hoping that it would be quick because I did not want to feel the bullet. But, my life at that time was not in a good position to meet my maker. I needed to right some wrongs first. To my relief he told me to stay on the floor until after he left. As soon as I heard him leave through the door I stood up, in time to see the car and the others that were in it. Amazingly, by the time I got my head together and went to push the alarm button Officer Trafficano of the Mesa Police Department (a regular customer on my shift) pulled up to get a cup of coffee. I met him in the parking lot and told him what had just happened and then I fell apart! He called it in and within minutes several officers and a crime scene unit arrived. My manager was called in so that the video tapes could be reviewed, but when she arrived she told us that she forgot to load the tapes! I was furious! I did stay to finish my shift and my manger stayed with me to make sure I was okay. I talked to a detective the next day but nobody was ever arrested. The next event that happened involved a drunk driver a couple of weeks later at the same store. I was once again working my shift and luckily my manager was there this time. I was outside spraying down the lot when a drunk driver ran a red light and came screeching up to the store. He staggered in and attempted to buy beer but was turned away by my manager. She followed him out of the store and asked me to get his plate number so that she could call the police. As the man got into his car I was standing behind, and to the left of, the car writing his plate number down. He started the car, put it in reverse, and gunned it. He turned hard towards me and slammed into me with the rear bumper, sending me flying into a retaining wall and shrubs which separated our store from the next business. Luckily for me his car got hung up on the curb and a shrub because the car was still racing backwards, and was only feet from where I was laying. If he hadn't gotten hung up I would have been crushed between the car and the retaining wall. I did not suffer any broken bones but my leg was hurt bad enough that I couldn't walk. The police and fire departments were called and I was attended to by the paramedics. I refused transport to the hospital, but the guy was located at a bar a few blocks away. The next day my manager sent me to the hospital to have my leg looked at. I was severely bruised and battered, but nothing was broken. I was given a few days off because of the injury. I was only employed there for a couple more weeks and then decided to leave. So many things were happening at other convenience stores at that time, and a clerk at the Circle K across the street from us was shot and killed during a robbery. It was time to get out. A few months later I found myself spinning out of control and was very depressed. I went to Minnesota to visit Kathy and she told me that I should move there and get away from Mesa. I really liked it there and it sounded like a good idea to me because a change was something that I desperately needed at that time. A few weeks later I was on the bus heading back to Minnesota for good, where my life soon changed for the better. Kathy introduced me to Diana and as they say, the rest is history. If I hadn't have moved to Minnesota my life would have turned out very differently. So in a way, Minnesota saved my life!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year everybody
A New Year's quote to brighten your day: "New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time." -James Agate