August 20, 2008

August 20, 2008
Welcome to my Wednesday. I want to thank you for stopping by and checking out another day in my life. I hope you are having a great day in yours as well.

I ended up going to bed very early yesterday. Actually I laid down for a nap around 4pm yesterday and slept until this morning at 10am. I guess going to the meeting at NFAN yesterday took more out of me than I realized. I know I had a killer headache again by the time I returned home. My headache continued worsen until I had to lie down and next thing I knew it was morning.

So unfortunately I missed all the Olympic coverage last evening. On her fourth and final chance, Shawn Johnson won her gold medal with a nearly flawless routine on balance beam. At the end she unleashed a smile as big as Beijing itself, a glorious conclusion to a competition that never got her down and only taught her more about herself as she came to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. The 4-foot-9 powerhouse from Iowa had won over the fans here with her strong performance and profound grace. Shawn Johnson finally got her Olympic gold medal in the last event of the women's competition Tuesday night, the balance beam. Johnson nailed her routine that is chock-full of difficult tricks, earning a 16.225. Her grin was a thousand times wider than the 4-inch-wide beam she had just conquered. The world champion, who already had a silver behind fellow American Nastia Liukin in the all-around, and a silver on floor and in the team event, edged Liukin, who finished with a gold, three silvers and a bronze. Cheng Fei of China took the bronze, giving China six women's medals, two behind the United States. I wish I could have caught her finally winning a gold. She is one of my personal favorites from this Olympics.

Luckily, I have what I consider to be good news about Tropical Storm Fay. Tropical Storm Fay moved inland Tuesday after making landfall in southwest Florida, never growing into the hurricane that forecasters had cautioned it could become. There was street flooding in spots and minor storm surge damage was reported in Everglades City to the south. This morning the center of the Fay was about 30 miles east of Fort Myers and was moving north-northeast near 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph expected to gradually weaken through the day. It could strengthen slightly once it crosses Florida to the Atlantic and gets over water again. Flooding remained a concern as Fay heads up the Florida peninsula, with rainfall amounts forecast between 5 and 10 inches. The storm could also push tides 1 to 3 feet above normal and spawn tornadoes. Florida Power & Light reported about 58,000 homes and businesses without power in South Florida early Tuesday, the largest number in Collier County, where 28,000 were in the dark. After crossing the Florida Keys without causing major damage Monday, Fay lumbered ashore about 5 am Tuesday at Cape Romano, just south of Naples, with sustained winds of about 60 mph. Cape Romano is the same spot where Hurricane Wilma, a Category 3 storm, made landfall in October 2005. So we have been very lucky so far here in the states. As it moved though the Caribbean, Fay was blamed for at least 14 deaths in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including two babies who were found in a river after a bus crash. Keep those fingers crossed and hopefully we will have no major injuries or fatalities from the storm. Thanks for all of you who sent emails wishing us well during the storm. They are still forecasting the storm to be in Jacksonville in the next couple of days according to the current models. But hopefully the winds will be way down and our only danger will be the possibility of flooding and/or tornadoes.

I was suppose to have an appointment with my infectious disease doctor (HIV doctor) today. But his office had called yesterday to reschedule me to next week. I really wish I could have gone today and had him check my lungs again. I just finished my last course of antibiotics but I still have a bad wheezing when I breathe. I almost sound as bad as Gary when he is snoring. Well, maybe not that bad. LOL. Todd Reese, an old friend of mine, is now the new office manager at AHF which should greatly improve the operation of the office. Todd brings a ton of experience and a true empathy for the patients to the job which was missing in previous managers.

I heard from my friend, Butch McKay, who is over OASIS in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. I met Butch and the rest of his staff at their HIV convention this past March and have enjoyed getting to know him over the past several months. I knew from the opening speech Butch gave that we had a lot in common and would probably make great friends. I ended up taking 8 members of my support group to the convention and everyone had a great time. He and his partner recently celebrated their 31st anniversary which is a huge accomplishment regardless of your sexual orientation. So Happy Anniversary guys! I hope you have another very happy 31 anniversaries in your future. Butch works tirelessly helping people with HIV and AIDS for many years. Butch, like I, has lost many close friends to AIDS over the years. If you would like more information about OASIS and the work Butch does please click on the OASIS icon on our links/resource page.

I would also like to thank all of you for your get well cards and messages. You know how to make a guy feel special and loved. I am eternally grateful for your thoughts and prayers. Do not worry because I do not plan on going anywhere. Too damned mean to leave until I am good and ready and guess what. I am not ready. My current health problems are just a bump in the road. You can not keep a good man down.

So that is about it for my day. How was yours? Remember to live life and enjoy it. Too many people go through life on automatic pilot. Don't be one of them.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab