In the beginning … Before I had my stroke these were the seven days of my personal journey that led up to it occurring on Sunday, Oct 7' 2018. After reviewing these I decided to share these thoughts. These were my personal thoughts and I thought they might be worth sharing to someone …

Monday - Oct 1' 2018

Dizzness ..

Not sure what is this …

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I spent the morning at the hospital ... Woke up sick puking and so dizzy I couldn't even walk by myself.
Delayed my departure and screwed up my schedule... Will have to stay here until I'm better...I've never been this dizzy and light headed before. They ran some tests ... Waiting on results. I'm back at my daughter's house now but laying down because I still can't stand up without being woozey.
I don't know what's going on with me


Status


Gonna to include everyone in this email since I only want to type this once. I’m still not feeling well and the dizzyness and puking will just not go away.

Bottom line after hearing back from the doctor and getting my lab results late this afternoon is that I”m not going anywhere for the rest of this entire week. Lab work showed mostly good news for ruling out it being anything serious but not so good news for perhaps some type of Viral infection. Most disturbing thing is that my glucose was very high (158), especially considering I hadn’t eaten anything and my white cell blood count was elevated. Doctor says this probably indicates my body is working hard to fight off something and even though he’s not convinced 100% it’s viral he highly suspects that. However, not confident enough to give me an antibiotic just yet. I’m on a liquid diet of water and crackers but I wasn’t even able to keep that down today. Also taking Tylenol and some anti nausea medication. Spent most all the day in bed and he says I need to just rest ALL week.

Vickie and Russ ... I’m sorry I won’t be able to come up this week and spend time visiting with you both but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be and I was so looking forward to that.

Bob and Jim ... my new plan is to now pull out this coming Saturday IF I feel well enough by then to do so. If I do ... I plan to spend one night in Phoenix area, then Tucumcari New Mexico the next night and then get to Bob’s house Monday evening of Oct 8th. If I feel well enough to stay for the Harrison Ride In I will if not I’ll head straight home the next day.

Robert ... Go KC Chiefs .. your new QB is amazing.

Thanks for everyone’s well wishes and concerns ... I’m sure I’ll be fine ... it just doesn’t seem like that at the moment.

Take Care,

Donnie


Tuesday - Oct 2' 2018

Still feeling dizzy ...


This morning however I have been able to keep some toast, crackers and a half cup of black coffee down. I wish the dizziness would stop ... it’s so weird being disoriented all the time and things just never seem to stop moving and stay in one place especially when I stand up and try to walk around. I want desperately to get better quickly but I know that’s just not possible. Where in the world this came from and how I got it are such a mystery. One that I wish I could figure out or solve so as to avoid ever having this happen again. Can’t imagine being on the road on the bike and getting hit with this. That would truly have been terrible. Thankful it came on when it did but it’s so disappoint that the timing was such that it was it will prevent me from seeing Vickie or Russ during this visit to California. Right now the best I can hope for is to feel well enough and recovered enough to make the ride back east towards home. I hope I can still attend the Harrison ride in but I guess that will remain to be seen. I can’t imagine this going on for a week and definitely not 10 days from now when the Ride In starts.

Wednesday - Oct 3' 2018

Dizzy Donnie ...

Man ... will it ever end? Feeling much better stomach wise. Stopped taking the meds or nausea and upset stomach stuff and have been able to eat more substantially but not quite back to real food just yet. Everything is staying down and I feel myself slowly gaining more and more strength. Still waiting for the plumbing to kick in but maybe haven’t eaten enough solid food just yet. It’s the damn dizziness that’s pissing me off. Left ear still ringing some but the heart beat sound in the ear has died down but I’m still dizzy and I hate it. Drove to the commissary today anyway and made it there and back but it was a challenge to focus with everything moving about. No way can I get on the Wing yet. How much longer will I have to wait to get back to normal. If only the dizziness would go away. Going nuts just sitting here day after day waiting to get better and well enough to ride again.

SUCKS!!!!

Thursday - Oct 4' 2018

Still no change ...

it just feels like it’s never going to end. I know I’m anxious for the dizziness to stop and you just can’t rush getting well but it’s really starting to get me down. Especially if this continues into Saturday and prevents me from leaving. Got a call into the Doctor in hopes I can talk to him to see what he says. I can already predict he’s going to just tell me to chill and that it will go away eventually. I doubt seriously if he’ll be willing to give me anything to speed things up but it’s worth a shot. Aside from that I got nothing and I mean nothing to do except just wait it out and I’m bored out of my mind just about.

Email to Russ ...

on today’s doctor visit at Vandenberg AFB for follow-up

I had to call twice and I had to go over to the hospital and say I would be willing to wait there as long as it took to see him but I finally got in. Told him what was happening … he cleaned out my ears and examined them closely and confirmed the left ear showed signs of infection. Prescribed a decreasing steroid treatment along with an antibiotic and even a patch that goes behind my left ear to provide specific medication to the area of the ear affected. By around 1:00 p.m. today I had all the meds from the pharmacy and starting taking them right away. Doctor says by Saturday I should see a marked improvement and he said I should be able to travel … no problem. Of course he may be thinking I'm flying and not riding a motorcycle across the country but I didn’t volunteer that minor detail.

Psychologically .. just having an taking the medicine I’m already feeling better although I know nothing has really kicked in just yet. I’m confident I’ll be on the road come Saturday now that I’m finally getting some treatment. Why he didn’t check out my ears on the initial visit on Monday I’ll never know but I think he was more focused on my puking, weakness and nausea at that point. If he had I may have already been over this stuff having the antibiotic earlier. At any rate I’m thankful he gave me some serious meds now and I’m also hopeful I’m going to be fine. I’ll see how tomorrow goes and then make a final decision tomorrow night and Saturday morning when I get up whether to head out or not.


Friday - Oct 5' 2018

Little change ...

I know I’ve only been on the Steroids, antibiotic and stuff for less than 24 hours but I’m sure not seeing any real improvement yet. That is so worrisome since I need to get back on the road east tomorrow morning (Saturday) to stay on schedule. I know I have to make the right decision about riding and my ability to do so and fight my tendency to ride any way. That could be a big mistake and I don’t want that. But damn I want to leave and get back in time for wing maintenance and the Harrison Ride IN

I just don’t know what to do or how to rid of this damn dizziness. Not encouraging at the moment as it’s still with me. Maybe I should just forget about everything and stay here until I”m totally well ... who knows how long that could be??????

Moving towards end of the day...

and still little to no change. Looking more and more like I’m not going to be able to leave tomorrow. The dizziness just lingers on and on.

Saturday - Oct 6' 2018

Sent Russ my thoughts ...

His advice was to just put all my energy that I am expending on trying to leave and or complain about it into enjoying where I’m at and my family that is right in front of me. I guess to be mindful of the present.

That’s easy to say but much more difficult to do. I’m ready to go and I can’t and that’s frustrating to me. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my family because I do and I did during this visit but now I want to enjoy some of the things I want to do and enjoy myself for a time. Not being able to do that because of this constant dizziness is extremely frustrating.

Talked to Gene tonight and he sent me a link that Carolin knew about that talks about a maneuver that might relieve certain issues of dizziness. It’s suppose to move some type of crystal that gets in to your ear canal and cause dizziness. I tried it myself and then a couple of times with Jessica’s help but hasn’t done much good. I may try it a few more times before I turn in. I have nothing to lose I guess. Didn’t think a solution could be that simple but you never know. The only other thing I can do is wait until Tuesday rolls around and go see the doctor yet again. By then it will be way to late to get back for Kenny or the Harrison Ride In.

Toying with the idea of leaving in the morning. I forced myself to go for a ride around the base this afternoon just to see what it would be like. It was scary and the strong winds certainly didn’t help but I didn’t crash ...but it’s way to dangerous to ride like that. Any quick changes that I would have to respond to and boom I’d be toast... that is if I didn’t just drop it when coming to stop. Adventures in wonder land but I had to know what I was dealing with.

Go no Go ... It’s o’dark thirty ...

decision time. Planning on giving it a shot but I’m not in total agreement with myself if that makes any sense. Still no where near 100% recovery with the dizziness but I just want to go so bad I’m willing to look past the wisdom in doing so. That sounds pretty stupid yet my desire to get back in time for Kenny’s maintenance on my Wing and for Riding in the Harrison Ride In in Arkansas is pushing me. i’m probably letting that desire cloud my best judgement. So why am I planning on trying any way? I don’t know ... maybe I should hold that question until I’m laying along side of the road somewhere or drop the bike or worse. I wish someone was here to snatch the keys to the Wing from my hand but there isn’t. Everyone says not push it but I’m pushing it any way. Why can’t I listen to good advice?

What to do? Why do it? Why? Why? Why? What exactly is driving me to this crazy decision? EGO? Stubbornness? Stupidity? Irrationalness? Rationalization? Am I going insane? Miss placed priorities? Selfishness?

The answer in my estimation is a combination of two of these. EGO & Misplaced Priorities. That’s what I think is driving this decision. Now ... how do I fight these two drivers?

EGO ... what do I have to prove to either myself or others ..... NOTHING!!!!!

Misplaced Priorities ... What is more important my health and safety or showing up for a stupid Ride In that are basically a dime a dozen. Maintenance can wait ... I only need that IF I’m going to attend the Ride In. Miss the Ride In get the parts and do the maintenance later or do what I can after Kenny gets back. I have a safe place where I’m at right now and am under no pressure to leave and can stay as long as it take to get totally well. Still plenty of time to get back home before we have to leave for England at the end of October. There is literally nothing that I HAVE TO attend or do in Arkansas or at home in Tennessee. Nothing! Yet, it’s the doing nothingness here that is driving me crazy just waiting waiting and more waiting and every damn day is exactly like the one before ... Dizziness.

Calm down and think man. Do you really want to take this on? If I had a friend in this situation and he was about to make this same decision wouldn’t I be the one screaming at the top of my lungs “You fool ... what are you thinking? ... Are you crazy? It’s crazy to attempt to do something like this in your condition. Please don’t do this”. I would be begging him not to go and everyone of my closest friends and family have given me that exact same advice already. Can I honestly say I know better that everyone around me? I know me better than anyone. I know the craziness that surrounds me and the stupid idiotic things I do on a motorcycle. Things most “normal” people would be shocked to learn about me. I know the reckless me. I know the speeder. I know the chance taker. I know the adventurer. I know the angry one. I know the one that doesn’t give a shit about anything but what i want. Am I willing to make this my epitaph? What a foolish man I am and I thought I had common sense. This is not a mount Everest that has to be climbed and conquered. No it’s a mole hill that i’m turning into a Mount Everest. I have nothing to gain and EVERYTHING to lose if I try this.

Sunday - Oct 7' 2018 - these were my last thoughts … the stroke happened at about three hours after this entry.

Today marks one week from the beginning ...

Still no change and I’m starting to get worried about my condition. Reading on the internet about the myriad of things that could be wrong with me isn’t helping at all. I’m scared that this condition may never go away. I know that’s probably not true but I fret about it so much and I’m so anxious to be better and to leave. I’m slowly coming to the realization that I need to just give up trying to make my health fit my schedule and resign myself to just staying here. I think one more doctor visit follow-up this coming week will have to be done before I can plot a course of action to get home. Forget about Harrison, forget about the maintenance on the Wing. Forget about everything but just getting well. I am going to have to accept that no two ways about it. It’s not doing me any good to continue to push something that obviously ain’t going to happen.

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I wish these word help somebody else …. I can see how the thinking was for me and how I acted.
I planned to journal the rest of my story but may take me awhile. Perhaps there is a lesson I can share.

HOLD ON TO TODAY BECAUSE IT'S REALLY ALL WE HAVE!