Friday, March 27, 2009

Mentally Ill? Golf is the prescription!

There was a time, about 18 months ago, when my work situation was very stable. My cancer was very stable. My children were all nearby. I was playing golf at least twice a week and had time to practice another couple of times per week. I slept like a wee baby, seemingly without a care in the world. My handicap index was 7.6 and being on the golf course was pure bliss. Every time I stood over the ball, I was excited about the fantastic shot that I was about to hit.
Then...the department acquired a new Chief, my entire chain of command was reassigned, and I found my self scrambling around 50-60 hours a week trying to justify my existence. During this time I lost the ability to schedule an afternoon for weekday golf. It seemed that no matter how I worked at it, I could not make my new bosses happy. This started to affect my health. I would wake up in the middle of the night and start thinking about work. Once this happened I had to just get up or I would lay there thinking about work all night. Then I started having pains that resembled the pains I had when my tumor was diagnosed. I started living on ibuprofen again. In the fall of last year Clay left for school in Hawaii. I am glad he is there. I'm very glad that he is away from home and learning self-sufficiency. I do worry more about him because I don't see him every day. I hope that he will continue to do well in Hawaii and eventually graduate from there. Recently my medical problems have progressed to the point that I believe surgery is in my near future. I have an appointment with a doctor at MD Anderson on the 9th of April. Those appointments are different because they say you have to make yourself available to them for testing and so forth for 5-7 business days. I'm not sure what they would do for that period of time.
Last week, on my day off, my lovely wife convinced me to go play golf. She even went with me and rode in the cart. Yesterday it was raining so we went to Top Golf. I don't have the same control over the ball that I once had but the game still fills me with excitement and joy. At night when I can't go to sleep, I visualize the path of the ball as I hit every shot on one of a handful of local courses that I know like the back of my hand. I rarely get past the 5th or 6th hole before I apparently fall asleep. This is way more fun than counting sheep. I really don't know what the future holds for my health situation. I will continue to pray and trust that everything will be fine. Golf is my escape. No matter how lousy your last shot was, golf always holds the hope that your next one will be the one that makes the angels sing and all the animals in the forest stop and watch. You just gotta love it!
Beef /JG

1 comment:

  1. Daddy, this is how I feel atop a horse. I mean, I will never forget how, the morning of Jason's funeral, before we drove to Corinth, I was tunnel visioned about getting to Llave...
    I spent most of the morning in silence, driving to the barn, grooming and tacking him up in silence... with this determinedness to just get into the arena with him so that I could let go...
    As soon as I was sitting in the saddle, the reins in my hands and my feet securely in the stirrups, I completely lost it. I leaned over and cried into his mane until I was finished... and it was magical. I remember feeling so alive and feeling so... myself.

    I believe with all my heart that God is absolutely sovereign over your health situation and that He is working all of these things for our good. You are a fighter... and we are all so grateful for that, Daddy. I know that it's the cowboy in you that keeps you fighting and I'm looking forward to you being free of this thing and the pain it causes you. I am so proud of you...
    Still here and reading,