Friday, July 17, 2015

Nice day alone

My wife's mom and step-dad are having their 25 year wedding anniversary celebration tomorrow and Sarah went over there today to help start getting all the food ready. Pulled pork I guess was the focus of the day. Either way, didn't matter to me, I was home alone for about 12 hours today and it was awesome! It has probably been literally years since this has happened, at least for this long of a period of time. Sarah took Scarlett while Ryan is never here on Fridays so my day was all to myself. Don't get me wrong, I looked at least a dozen times for Scarlett as it was very strange not having her here, and I really didn't have much planned, but it was nice to be just me for awhile. Watched some PGA Golf, watched a movie, went for am hour bike ride, may have walked around naked, and tidied up the house. Nothing exciting, but that wasn't the point. My amazing wife thought this would be a good idea for me, and well duh, she was right. This doesn't really have anything to do with me not wanting to go back to New Richmond, it was just that there really wasn't anything for me to do. I am still trying to get used to the fact that I'm not working. At least not in the 9-5 sense of the word. I do work. I'm a house husband! I wouldn't have to go back in time to check old school papers when we are asked what we want to be when 'we grow up' as I know this wouldn't have been any of my answers. I don't mind it honestly, I have good times with both the kids and we all try and find new and fun things to do, but I'm pretty sure we all like to have some time by ourselves, just to collect our thoughts or whatever may be helpful. 
Now that the girls are back home, Scarlett asleep, it feels normal again. I missed them, but I also really, really enjoyed my day by myself. Happy to hear that they had a great time as well, Scarlett played with her cousin and all the girls in the family worked on food and whatever else they ended up doing. Earlier in the week I planned on sleeping most of the day while they are gone as I don't sleep well at night and am up early with the kid(s) every morning, but I just couldn't bring myself to attempting to take a nap. Hopefully I sleep well tonight, but I don't really care all that much beciase it was a nice day regardless. It's the simple things in life I'm still learning about that truly make the differences. 

Cheek

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hi. Again...

Been away from my blog for about two months now. Been busy! Whether it's moving, unpacking, enjoying being outside more, adjusting, dealing with new things and flat out trying to settle into many things such as the feeling of having my own [family] life for the very first time. I'm not sure how often I will be writing posts in my blog, but I am surely planning on getting back into writing some more again. I don't have a lot of plans as far as what I'm going to write about or not, but I have lots on my mind! This is part of the reason I'm most likely not going to copy and paste any more posts to Facebook anymore after this so you all would have to check in on your own at your leisure.
😎

Cheek 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My 2nd life... One year anniversary

Saturday May 9th marked my one year anniversary of coming home. I didn't sleep the night before as I was soooo excited to get out of the hospital. Earlier in that week I cried tears of joy when one of my Doctors said he would approve of me leaving. That night was the 'Cheers for Cheek' benefit for me and my family at R&D's. It was the first time I was with Scarlett, Ryan and Sarah at the same time. The night was pretty fuzzy overall but I remember quite a bit. Like my long time friend Tim Deyoung being overwhelmed with emotions seeing me alive. Like the large group picture from all the guys who donated the Lombardi Super Bowl trophy to be raffled off. Cory Mitchell winning the drawing for the trophy and then donating it me. Aaron Kizer pushing me around in my wheelchair so I could look at all the donations. Ryan being so excited and getting involved in the auction. Scared to use the bathroom because I wasn't sure if I could do it alone. Glenn Owen and Kyle Hinrichs physically lifting me into our jeep to go home. So many wonderful people. So many who came just to say hello, to tell me that I didn't know them but they followed my progress and had to come meet me. I really wanted a beer but I figured it would either look bad, or I'd throw up, or both. The place was packed and I was overwhelmed.  It was a gift to be home and to be alive.

This is what I remember and many of you saw and were a part of.

Maybe all the details are not correct, but I was obviously not myself. The next several weeks I don't have much memory of. I believe it was June when I decided I needed to come out of the house for something other than rehab or appointments and I saw our bar for the first time. Sarah brought me there before it opened one day and it was very emotional. Then we figured we better have some  friends over and allow them to see me doing a little better. Chris Hays told me they were expecting another child that day. I have a picture of me and Sarah and the two kids on our deck, and I looked horrible! My arms were so skinny and it was about 60 pounds ago. But I could stand and balance myself using my hands on Ryan's head. I think he enjoyed it (I still use this method sometimes:)
Soon we had a wheelchair accessible stairway put in at our home by Eric Becker and his crew.

Back at Bethesda not all the medical staff believed I was ready to come home. Only a couple days before I left, they wanted me to stay 4 more weeks, which would have gone into June. My therapists didn't approve of my leaving either and wouldn't sign me off as OK. But they couldn't just keep me, I needed to come home. For my own sanity (which was screwed up anyways) and for my family. I needed to be home for them as well. Of course the medical staff and therapists were right, I was in no shape to come home. I couldn't shower or bathe myself, get on the toilet myself, get in and out of bed myself, keep up on my medications myself, and feed and clean my feeding tube, or really get any food for myself at all. For the first week or more I was in nearly total care of Sarah. Didn't mean I wasn't upset with some of the medical staff. Part of me felt like telling them to shut up, I knew what I was doing and I'll be fine. The other part of me just felt like they wanted to keep me longer so they could charge me more and treat me like crap. I was angry and frustrated and sad. I really didn't understand everything that I personally went though, partly becuase I had no recollection of so many things, but also becuase I couldn't see the near or distant future of what and how things would unfold. Maybe I was selfish, but it was and still is hard to say. I know they treated me well but it didn't matter at the time. Sarah was so unbelievably strong and she never showed anything but joy and encouragement. Even when I got grumpy. Which happened often. It is difficult to accept when your wife tells you the truth about something and you know it to be true, but your brain won't accept it. I had to force myself to lie to the doctors. Becuase if I told the truth, I would only be crazy, literally. Talk about a mind screw. ["lie to myself by telling the doctors what I think I knew what they wanted to hear, so I wouldn't sound crazy, although I think I am crazy because the shit I'm 'seeing and believing' is wackier than a crazy person would act, so keep up the act of pretending I'm ok while I know I'm not so I can go home"] check!
Fortunately enough, I went into the hospital at genius level intelligence and was at top physical form. Basically I was Iron Man and Captian America at the same time. Lol. Thankfully I never told my doctors that or they'd have gotten the restraints back out!

Sarah had month old Scarlett. But we soon installed bathroom braces and chairs to help me in and
out and I remember the first time I stood up to pee, it was great. But nights I still had to go so often I
used my plastic urinal for about a week until Sarah threw it away lol. I needed that. I was pissed (ha) at first, but I could get to the bathroom on my own and needed to start doing so. She knew me better than I knew myself. Rehab at Westfields was slow and painful but each week I improved. I didn't notice much change but everyone else did. My strength was coming back. Later in the summer I went and did some testing to see how my brain was functioning. I failed my cognitive tests as I couldn't figure out some of the memory questions and tasks they asked of me. This was super frustrating becuase I felt like this was something a 10 year old could figure out, and I wasn't able to do some things correctly and this is why I failed. I would like to take this, or a similiar one over, to see where I'm at, but it hasn't been necessary yet. Been one hell of a year. Wow. Neuropathy sucks. Blastomycosis sucks. Life is great, and so is my family.

-Cheek

P.S. It's been over 14 months since we have worked, (been self-employeed) It has been a struggle and will continue to be so for awhile, but we made it. Sarah was able to get her (2nd) degree and starts
her (new) job and we will be getting a steady pay check for the first time since 2012, which was right around when we got married. Three year anniversary will have special meanings this year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Potassium, Legs

Had my Potassium levels checked yesterday at Westfields. Shows I'm on the lower end of the safe zone but still safe. I stopped taking my Potassium pills when my prescription ran out about a week ago and I've been getting really sore legs and feet lately. Feet pain isn't new, but it has changed. Leg pain has been new. Didn't see the probable connection there. Since the weather has been nice, I have been going on nearly daily walks, depending on the weather. Sometimes I walk to Ryan's school and pick him up, or else I just walk on days when he's not with us. Either way I walk with Scarlett in her stroller. She enjoys the walk as well. My feet and legs are sore but I really need the exercise and to keep building my strength back. Sarah thought this 'new' pain was probably from stopping my Potassium pills. I wasn't sure, thinking you know your own body better.. Well I've been eating two bananas a day since Sunday and the pain has lessened some. Mornings are still the worst for my legs, while nights are typically the worst on my feet. I think with all my walking I'm not stretching enough, which turns out to basically be the story of my entire life, as I have never been very flexible haha. Sarah was talking with her co-workers at her practicum site and about how my body isn't used to not taking the Potassium pills and that while the bananas help, I'm not used to the change yet. I guess I'm finishing up another withdrawal stage. I'm such an addict! We have an elyptical in our home but thinking of getting rid of that and looking for an excersie bike. Would like to get my heartbeat going up a little higher instead of just getting muscle back in my legs. Maybe I'm wrong here, but it's just how I feel. I can only walk so fast, as for one it hurts, but just as complicated, I'm not walking normal. Last summer we got one of those 3-wheel pedal bikes with the big basket in back. Was strange being able to bike/pedal almost like I was used to, eventhough I couldn't walk more than a few feet by myself. My legs while pedaling felt great. We got that bike though, becuase I didn't have to balance it with my feet, it would balance itself. If and when I put my feet in the ground it hurt like hell so I figured I'd end up falling off my regular bike and messing myself up badly. My feet, especially my toes are still very sensitive and always numb. My drop foot hasn't healed completely yet either, so the lift of my ankles is rather difficult so I take shorter steps with a gimpy limp. I can't wear sandals, slippers or flip flops on stairs becuase my feet won't lift enough at an angle/arch to allow them to stay on my feet. Oh well. At least the massive sisitivity is slowly subsiding, as I don't cry putting socks on anymore and don't have to try and let the water from the shower not hit my feet. It is amazing what just a little bit of padding will do for my walking ability now. Can be on a carpet or wearing socks or shoes and I feel like I'm walking close to normal again, but when I hit hard floors with out any padding on my feet or in the shower I am quickly and painfully reminded how difficult it still is. The ball of my feet/toes swell a lot still so I'm still in a shoe 1/2 sized bigger than I used to be. It's been great though, becuase I've been able to play outside with the kids, chasing our little now walking girl around everywhere, but just as great being able to play catch or just fool around with Ryan again. I'm getting a little sun on these beautiful spring days and enjoy our walks. Would like to be able to work up enough to be able to get a good sweat going instead of just walking until I'm tired. It's almost bikini season and all that weight that I lost from getting sick and got me creepy weak and skinny is back haha. Unfortunately I'm not as active as I was when I was working all the time, plus I'm way older now! Haven't been able to bust the bikes out yet, but hopefully this weekend (although it looks like rain and it's Mothers Day:)

Been trying to get back to writing on my blog more, but it's been really busy at our house and in our lives lately. Much been going on that I will get into later. I was giving myself a 75% chance to win the lottery in April, but they must have the wrong address. It would come in handy right now. Oh well. For now, Sarah graduates this month tho so she can finally start doing more stuff for me that I deserve lol. Love you!

I'm not sure if I've posted all of my blogs especially lately. Check them all out anytime just at www.theviewsofcheek.blogspot.com

Thanks all !

-Cheek

Thursday, April 30, 2015

N.R. Today

The past several weeks when it hasn't rained I've taken Scarlett on walks. Sometimes we go to the school and 'pick' Ryan up and enjoy our way home. It's nice to get out of the house and get a little needed exercise and sun. For real on the sun becuase my potassium levels are still low from being sick. Scarlett is getting a little tan going on and I try and not scare the neighbors going shirtless. JK

But today, for whatever reason, I witnessed a lot of things that made me shake my head.
Now I don't know protocol, maybe they are supposed to keep their vehicles running, but their was a police car running with nobody inside for the two blocks that I walked by. It was beautiful today so I'm not sure if the A/C or heat was running, but that seems like rather extreme and a waste of gas.
I don't know about delivery drivers parking rules either, but I saw a truck park on Main Street where it was clearly for no parking. There were three open spots right in front of where he parked.
Later sitting out on my deck with Scarlett I watched four kids about 12/13 years old go by, 3 of them were on bikes and the 4th was walking. At least one said to two younger boys 'scooters are for pussies.' Makes me sad and angry at the same time. Wish I knew any of them. 4 older kids make fun of two younger ones while they are all outside having fun.

Puts a damn frown on my face after a a great walk!

But, sounds like another nice day tomorrow and hoping for a better experience!

PS - People are really nice at crosswalks when you are pushing a stroller :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What if Hulk could fly, and had a lightsaber. Me like.

Attention geek alert status!!
I'm not sure I've ever been more excited about three movies than I am currently.
The 2nd Avengers.
The new Star Wars.
And Batman vs Superman.

     Not much else can top these movies as far as how much they have shaped more than just my movie going experience throughout my years, but si-fi fantasy and my all time hero's as well. I mean I'm really big into sports, many kids, and I have my favorites, but these three films have basically it all for me. Not to take anything away from other movies I love such as Dumb and Dumber, Happy Gilmore, The Matrix trilogy, Braveheart, Gladiator and many, many - many others, but overall I like the idiot proof, good vs evil, hero movie as I'll always be a kid at heart about this and can relate with my brother and my son indifferent yet covers similar ways. I turn 40 this summer and feel I can relate to several movies of each decade of my life. Yes I would have been too young to remember the movies of the 70's other than on TV, Spectrovision, or Beta and VHS, how can I not remember some great boy-type classics like Rocky, Star Wars, and Superman. The 80' had more of each of these, plus newbies like Indiana Jones, Goonies, Top Gun and Terminator as well as cartoons like Transformers, He-man, and tons of superheroes. The 90's and since we probably can all relate as they started getting into more computer graphics and such but still have tons of kick ass entertainment. One more thing, I know there are comic books that have been around a lot longer than I have, and many of them base what movies are going to be about. While I love the comics and have read some, I'm not a comic book (magazine) lover, critic, snob, or expert. Theses are my thoughts and take on what I know from growing up, watching, reading, believing, or expecting from everthing I've enjoyed relating to this post. Ok :)
     I'll start with the new Avengers. First off, the bad guy (Ultron) is voiced by James Spader, who happens to be the main character to one of the few shows I actually watch on television: The Blacklist. He's been around quite awhile as an actor and it still seems strange having him play a basically bald guy, and a terrorist, but I think he's plays the role great. This new movie is adding a couple new characters who I'm not sure if they mutants or not, but I think they must be related some how to the X-men characters which happens to be another comic series that I really enjoy. These movies have what I've liked since I was a boy, lots of action and sweet fighting and battles, some humor, and basically no brain entertainment. I don't need to get a headache thinking about thinking about too much for 2 1/2 hours and can just enjoy the show. I'm planning on renting a few of the Marvel movies that relate to this because, sadly I hadn't seen every one. Plus it has Samuel Jackson and he's terrific. I believe his first movie role was in Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America," which is a hilarious movie.
     Batman vs Superman. OK, this one is over a year away from coming out I guess, but I see some stuff on it here and there when I troll around and geek out to topics, conversations, and pictures about this movie. This is the 2nd movie with this Henry Cavill actor guy who plays Superman. I actually rather enjoyed the first one although I don't think it got the best reviews. (And to be fair I actually like the previuos Superman maybe ten years ago where Spacy plays Lex..) Then Batman is going to be played by Ben Affleck of all people. He's an interesting actor, and after the success of the Christian Bale trilogy before him, I think he's up to some definite scrutiny, but hey, it's Batman and he's already better than Kilmer and Clooney. Has to be. Plus the early picutres look great. Now about the movie and the plot: Well I have no idea the plot, I'm not sure why they will appear to be fighting, or how.  It must have something to do with Kryptonite or else this wouldn't be a fight. How could it be, I don't care how smart, skilled, rich, and batmanish Bruce Wayne is. I have a short story in process about my take on the movie. Basically, Supes flies into the Batcave at nearly light speed, lands behind Bats walking to his Batmobile, taps him on the shoulder and as he turns around he cracks his neck, game over, Batman dead. I know, (becuase like I said I've trolled) this would piss many Batmananiacs off becuase of the love of Batman or hate of Superman, but come on, he's freakin Superman, i.e. Rotated the earth backwards fast enough to get homely Lois back to life. Bats has cool shit and is way more of a human bad ass, but how can he out fight the man of steel. Either way, I'll be attending this flick and enjoying a an extra large box of popped corn. Don't care who wins, and probably don't care why. I have my suspicions and own ideas of how this will play out.
     Star Wars... really? Wow how outstandingly awesome is this! The movie could suck ass and I'd still love it and probably go back and see it the next day. No real idea of what this one (first of the next three) is really about, but I know enough about it to get super, über-nerdish excited for, I was 2 years old when the original movie came out, and by the time the 2nd one, 'Empire' did, I had probably watched the first one 50 times and I think I'm still mind-screwed about who Darth Vader was. Now in this one, we already know Luke is a bad ass Jedi mo-fo, and it's got the greatest space smuggler in the history of movies and the universe, in Han Solo. Not to mention the Millenium Falcon. I know my wife will read this and think I fell off my rocker, but that makes it all the more fun, and I just simply can't wait for this movie. There is no way my boy and I will not have a flashlight light saber battle. I'm going to wake Sarah up some morning breathing through an oscillated fan saying something randomly stupid and hilarious. It may result in a quick nut kick, and her slightly terrified of wtf I'm doing, but it totally will be worth it.
   P.S. If Transformers somehow sneaks in here in the next year as well I will probably need medical attention.

Monday, April 6, 2015

More than just the Badgers to me...

I don't consider myself all that superstitious but over the last couple weeks watching these young men from Madison play an inspired game I found myself following my own game day rituals. Not so much wearing similar clothes for each game or sitting in my same chair (although I tried),  but more for remembering last years run to the Final Four. Or... Not remembering it. See, last year I got sick before St. Patty's Day, went into a coma and missed the Big Ten tournament, missed selection Sunday, and missed every game they played in the tournament. I never knew, nor have ever looked since to see how they fared in the Big Ten tournament, seeds they were or how each game went. All I know is they lost in the Final Four to Kentucky. After I got out of the hospital a couple of friends mentioned they recorded the games for me because they knew how much I love my Badgers. It truly meant a lot. But last summer I didn't really know much that was going on, heck I even had to ask my source of normally-useless-knowledge, Eric Meyer about who won the Masters, who was in the Final Four, who won it, who the Packers drafted and if in fact the Brewers not only won ten games in a row, but we're in first place. His response was, of course, well the Gophers won the N.I.T.
     But, back to Badger basketball. I didn't know if I was actually ready to re-live that time, even if it was just a game and I actually turned down invites from these friends to re-watch the game. Each game I felt more and more the sense of not letting my team down this year. Dumb and senseless I know, but I kept holding off on this story in hopes of the season continuing. And they kept wining, and winning. Then the past couple weeks it really started to set in how amazing two things were; both of how the Badgers were playing - including how they took down and revenged their loss to 'unbeatable' Kentucky - but more amazingly how these friends of mine remembered last year for me. Thank you Pete Rohow for the FB message after Saturday's win and all those other friends involved. I showed Sarah the message and I teared up. She didn't know what to say either, other than taking words that I don't use out of my mouth like, 'that was so sweet.'  Wasn't even sure exactly why I did, but it really meant a lot to me, and for I guess to how far I've personally come. Thank you to Scott Dreier and Jeremy Staple for giving me continued all-in-fun hard times that if the Badgers started playing poorly that maybe I should take one for the team and 'take a long nap.' Hey, it's ok now :)    
    Sarah isn't much of a basketball fan to say the least but she was really happy for the Badgers, but more so for me becuase of how much I was enjoying watching these grown kids play. I did our laundry on Friday and set out my favorite Badger shirt for Saturday's game, and then she came downstairs wearing it. I looked at her and said, you know if they win tonight you have to wear that shirt again on Monday. She laughed and said ok. I said, I'm serious and it can't be washed!
     I tried staying away from commenting much anywhere about this years tournament as I was just happily, and thankfully enjoying the ride as a fan. I honestly don't really feel like I missed out on last year, it was a great ride for everyone else, I just had a different path at that time. I mean I love sports, but my family and my health was and of course is more important.
For as much as I wanted the Badgers to win, and not just because I hate Duke, and it would have been great for the University and the Big Ten, but becuase I felt like I personally made it through something special, although unrelated, this winter/spring along with them. I'm very proud of their season, their team, the great fans, and their coach. I wish they would have won tonight, but this post would have been the same (since I started it after the UNC game:)
As I try and fall asleep tonight, I will have many tears in both eyes, some from the sadness of losing the game, some just from being proud of [my] team, and the others from the happiness of my life. Congratulations Wisconsin. Packers and Badgers may have temporarily broke my heart, but never my spirit. They have made me, for one, proud.


-Cheek

Thanks you for those unnamed who've supported me, and my sport addiction! 👏👏
P.S. I better not get sick this fall,
Packer season 😎

Oh, double P.S. The FB post I'm referring to right after the Kentucky win simply said, "Cheek Moore
this is for you!"
☺️

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Olivia Munn (kinda)

I cannot for the life of me understand all this stress over Aaron Rodgers attending Badger games. I know most of it is from national press outside of our state/fan base but it's everywhere I see. So he didn't go to college in Madison, big deal, he's from California, not many students from that state would. How many players on the Packers roster, past or present have? Not many! Only one currently actually. Rodgers grew up a Niner fan, no surprise, and he thought they may draft him, nobody seems to hold that against him. Lucky for us!
Ok, so the 'big problems' are: that he is attending games but doesn't wear Wisconsin Badger colors and that he isn't supporting his alma mater of the University of Cal. So we as Packer fans shouldn't support Andrew Quarless from Penn State, Mike Meal from Purdue, Corey Linsley from Ohio State, Brian Bulaga, Micah Hyde and Mike Daniels from Iowa because they played against Wisconsin in the Big Ten? B.S. This is why, to me, why college and pro sports is completely differnet. I look at Russell Wilson who played (only) one wonderful year for Wisconsin but now plays for our current biggest rival in the NFL, but many still cheer for him because his loyalty to the Badgers. He seems like a nice guy, but I for one do not cheer for him in the pro's. Sure, succeed and be a fine player, but not at the expense of MY team. Plus I may still be a little bitter that we lost to Andy Dalton in the Rose Bowl that year lol. JJ Watt played his entire career in Madison, has a brother on the team, and is another supporter of them still, but Green Bay seldom plays his pro team so he's in a much different situation than Wilson. Watt, played 4 years for Wisconsin and is now on an AFC team vs 1 year and on an NFC newly hated rival with Wilson.
The University of Cal's basketball team season has been over for more than two weeks, it's the NFL offseason and he was watching his decade plus home state Basketball team try to get to its second straight Final Four with his famous Girldriend. Who knows, maybe the two were visiting his family for the first time as well. Doesn't matter. Rodgers was also sitting next to ex-PGA player and current golf analyst Andy North who happens to be a huge Badger supporter and alum. Is Magic Johnson getting the same heat from Laker fans because he was at Michigan State games and not UCLA games? I don't know, but it's a similiar situation in my opinion. Apparently Rodgers has befriended the team, but it has been well before this past weekend. Him and Bo Ryan are friends and he has been joking around with some players including Sam Dekker on Twitter and in person who says he wants to play him in a one-in-one basketball game. I know Rodgers doesn't need my support but I think it's a joke on how the media is making a big deal about this. As long as he rocks the green and gold during the season, he can support what ever college team he wants, it's just much more awesome that that team is our own Wisconsin Badgers. Oh the problems of being rich, famous, a champion and MVP :)
Keep it up Rodgers and keep it up Badgers!
Maybe if he marries Munn her bridesmaids will wear red, then I'd have another story to write about.😎

-Cheek

Friday, March 20, 2015

On this date 1-year ago (March 20, 2014)

Last night while finishing up dinner Sarah told me that tomorrow was the worst day of her life. I asked why. She said, because on March 20th, three weeks shy of Scarlett's birth, she watched me die right in front of her and there wasn't anything she could do about it. And then I came back. And then I died again. She isn't sure, or maybe she just won't tell me, but she says I died "multiple times." I asked her how long was I gone each time. She said maybe a few seconds but each time felt like forever. Few seconds may not sound like a whole bunch, or maybe it does, but considering I've never died for any amount of seconds at all before, this was/is a rather big deal. Sarah's sister has a friend that works at Regions she came and sat with mega-pregnant Sarah during this time so she wasn't alone. A hospital priest approached Sarah about my last rites and she wouldn't have it, wouldn't accept my death. There was a staff member, an Asian male who had a young child that went through ECMO, who stayed up with me the entire night and kept me alive by giving me oxygen by hand. This was referred to as hand bagging or hand bagged or something like that where this man physically kept me breathing with a special plastic bag. Some day, along with several others, I have to meet this guy. We are unsure if his young child survived. ECMO would save my life.

Three days before this we were 'celebrating' my favorite holiday in my hospital room. I scarcely remember much of this, a few gifts and several forced smiles. I was so tired and struggling terribly bad to breathe. I'm unsure of the time frame now, but I was trying to cough up some phlegm for them to test because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. While I coughed constantly, I really wasn't coughing [up] anything. Maybe I forced myself to, maybe my lungs were ready, but I eventually did cough up enough for them to take and I swear they had multiple people around waiting for this and once they grabbed my cup they ran out of the room.


At some point during the next few weeks I had so many dreams I couldn't count. When I started coming through I was greeted with some minor miracles and other larger, real ones. The minor ones being of the Badgers making the Final Four in basketball and the Brewers had just won 10-straight games. I didn't know how many drugs I had taken or was still on, but I really thought those who told me these sporting events were crazy! Then the real miracles. The miracle of life; both my own, and my new baby girl. Thank you to all of those whom I knew or not, that never gave up on me. It turned out to not be my time.

I slept like crap last night. Too many things running through my mind. Some nights are worse than others, but generally when larger events of past, present or future cross my mind I have difficult times sleeping. I'm tired today, and I will probably go take a nap here soon when I lay Scarlett down for hers, but today is a good day. One year ago was the worst day ever. I guess lucky for me I don't remember it. I am thankful and blessed and fortunate for several reasons and many that I can't explain. From that day, and each day since, and while still a huge struggle, has each been a day in the right direction. And now today as I've dressed Scarlett in her Badger cheerleader outfit for the game tonight, I am feeling many emotions. Some good, some bad, some scary. But it's ok. I'm a happy man with two great kids and an awesome wife that couldn't be more supportive.

-Cheek

Friday, March 13, 2015

Countryside P&H



This letter came to us right around the time I was waking up, but I believe it was several days after this that Sarah had told me as I was in and out of consciousness so often. I think the first time I actually read it was late May or even June. I do know that Tim was extremely emotional during my benefit and we shared a great embrace. 

Thank you

-Cheek

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recent Update

My last scheduled appointment well pretty well. Dr. Sellman has been terrific the entire time and said he'd be happy to see me whenever we needed but doesn't expect to see me for about 6 months. I had X-rays taken of my lungs as a base for my next pulmonary test in several months. Be curious to see how my lungs look now when we check them here at home. I have decided to stop taking my Intraconazole now, instead of finish the about half bottle that remains. I couldn't sleep last night very well and started wondering if that was a mistake or not, so I figured I would go downstairs and just take one of the normally two pills that I normally would have taken. Maybe it was just my nerves or subconscious feelings or whatever, but it seemed to relax me a little bit and was able to sleep decently well the rest of the night. I posted pictures of my consolidated daily medicines on FB this morning and I've had well over 100 likes and several comments and this all makes me feel really good. Thank you for that!!! It's been a busy and hectic week already and it's only Tuesday night and Ryan even commented how fast the week has gone by. This weather sure is an extremely pleasant surprise for early March. Three days ago we built a snowman, and while it was fun, I've never been so happy for a snowman to be gone!

-Cheek

Friday, March 6, 2015

One years time

A year ago this weekend I felt terrible. Couldn't figure out what was wrong so on the 9th, which was a Sunday we went to the ER. Was sent home after a prescription pick up that didn't help at all. We went back to Westfields for Sarah's scheduled check up for Scarlett-to-be two days later. Our doctor looked at me and  immediately sent me to be looked at and I was given oxygen and several tests. I was so tired and out of breath I couldn't manage to do much at all. I remember two of my friends stopped in to check on me, not really knowing the seriousness and asked me if I wanted a drink, as they had brought a small bottle in. It was a joke, and it was amusing, but I wasn't able to acknowledge much else. I guess a nurse got concerned and asked if I "needed" a drink, like I had a major problem, but it really was all in fun. Ryan came to visit but other than a few pictures I don't really remember him being with me. What I thought was later that evening, it actually turned out to be two days later I was given a 2nd opinion and was ordered to be sent to Regions via ambulance. I believe it was snowing and the medics were nice and kept talking to me, possibly to make sure I stayed awake, but I have no idea. There was no way to know at this time what the next few hours, days, months and now 1 years time would involve.  Still can't imagine what Sarah went through watching me basically unresponsive every day for so long, having to change the birth plans, wondering if her first born would have a father, if she herself would ever have her husband again and whether Ryan would lose his dad forever as well as if he would even be a part of his new sister and Sarah's life any longer. At Ryan's school today he had 'dad's day' and part of it was to tell eachother what we were proud of and he said he was proud of me for being so strong in the hospital.
I started writing my blog August 31, a day before my 39th birthday. I was feeling a little better and wanted to have a journal of sorts, while self-helping myself get through some things. I think this has worked relatively well for me 6+ months later. Monday I have another check up at Fairview Hospital. I started taking my Intraconazole nearly one year ago, and my Doctor thinks, without any set backs I will be able to stop taking this medication. This will drop 6 pills a day and the food that I am supposed to eat when I take them. These are exciting events!  It hit me on Wednesday that a year has now come and it was strangely emotional. I really couldn't understand how I was feeling.. Relieved of course, but I think scared that a year ago I nearly died and not sure if my Blasto is completely gone. It was a strange feeling and I couldn't explain it so I called Sarah into the kitchen and gave her a big hug. While I am sure my doctor will tell me that I have recovered enough to stop taking these meds, and I am continuing to heal, I know I have a long way to still go. I am looking forward to the rest of 2015 and the changes that will come, hopefully including me personally to continue to get stronger. By the end of the summer I will be turning 40, and I will need to realize that the process won't be any easier! Thanks for continuing your support by reading my blog.

-Cheek

Saturday, February 28, 2015

My-First-Time

How can I ever forget my first time. Maybe your experience was similiar, more or less dramatic perhaps, but new nonetheless.
In my mind I have waited patiently for a long, long time for this day. "No you're not ready" and "you just need a little more patience" was not going to be said to me any more. We have been together for awhile now and we've tried before but never got very far but this so-called 'practice' is for the birds. Now our wait was over. I have gone over these moves time and time again in my mind hoping that these memories I've made will lead to perfection of how to start, continue and finish. I really don't want to mess this up, because who knows, it could be a lost opportunity for lord knows how long if I were to do it wrong. We have a brief discussion, a self pep-talk of sorts, maybe it was my nerves, or maybe it was me trying to act totally cool, but probably both. We were finally alone. It was the perfect time for this special moment. So here I go, my goal in front of me, like a unwrapped gift, a precious award, and a feeling of want and desire all wrapped into one all at the same time. My initial attempt started off great, no awkward feelings or pressure, it felt comfortable and warm and my anxiousness was fading while my anticipation was gaining. I was happy I didn't just jump right in  from overconfidence or gidiness. I would close my eyes to remind myself how I mentally had done this over and over and over. Feeling confident I then open my eyes to this beautiful sight - both visually how amazing everything looked and the physical and emotional feeling in what was being accomplished. The great pleasure I felt was even better becuase I felt them same embrace, as if there was a unique bond never experienced before, sharing what was happening for the very first time and that I for one, was proud, very happy and sure of myself. Although I wasn't quite finished, I could sense the end was near. I tried the best I could to not rush things, savor this perfect time, not to miss a mental or physical step, not to screw this up now as this entire experience has been terrific. I'm hoping to stay as relaxed as possible and allow this to come to its epic and fulfilling end as nature intended. Messing anything up now is not an option becuase I do not want to start over, disappointed, embarrassed, and worse still, not knowing when I could try again. Here it is, one last move, I can do it... YES, I did it, no WE did it, and we did it right! I gave a fist pump to myself and didn't really care if I looked silly or what expression remained on my face. I just sat there for a few extra moments impressed to what I've accomplished and looked down once more at the beauty that lay there. Now it was time..


To put on my other shoe.

Weirdos :)

-Cheek

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

History Lesson - for me at least

So this past summer and into fall I would look up each specific day on-line and then started posting a few daily historical events along with certain famous birthdays, a few deaths and some lesser known holidays and observances on Facebook every day. It was fun to do and along the way I would learn a few things here and there. I ended up stopping posting them on FB but I still try and read them several times a week if not more. Some times I find events that catch my eye and I click on it to read more about it - which may lead to either boring or interesting facts. Yesterday, I came across one of them that I found interesting and read more - and then even more about it. I ended up doing some research on more specific parts about this day, and this person, in history. It involved a man who help shape the Revolutionary War and beyond. So, ultimately I decided to write about it! Ok, sorry if this reads like a class project about writing about a famous historical figure, but I like doing this - especially when I'm not actually IN school :)


For many years leading up to the Declaration of Independence every colony acted independently, some agreeing with British rule and British policy while others wanted to have their own rules. In 1774 during the first Continental Congress it was almost agreed upon that they would agree with and follow King George's rule. America was to become a Grand Council of Britain and a President General would be appointed to represent the King. It was the few radicals like John Adams who wanted independence from British and wouldn't declare loyalty to England, and this was brought into action at the second Continental Congress one year later in 1775. This led to the King declaring America in a rebellion, which, among other things him hiring of 300,000 German Hessian's as 'mercenaries.' These were not what we may think of today's standard mercenaries, they were well trained in warfare and were German soldiers who were bought to help England control the American colonies. The Continental Army was created in 1775 and George Washington was named Supreme Commander, where he requested to not take a pay and soon would become the Commander of Chief of the Continental Army. Over the next couple years America made an alliance with France and then, of course the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The America's were not favoring well overall and needed to step up their military power as well as a lift to the morale of the colonists.

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben arrived at the military camp of the American Continental Army at Valley Forge Pennsylvania on February 23, 1778. Steuben, a born German, spoke no English but drafted a drill manual in French where a few people like Alexander Hamilton would translate. These drills were more advanced than those of most European nations and far superior to those of the relatively untrained Americans. Steuben began training of our mainly shoeless Patriots in schooling of soldiers. He implemented rows of and for command before perfecting the actual fighting such as reloading and firing of weapons and combat with their bayonet's which were until then primarily used as a tool or for cooking. An honor guard was formed by Steuben of 120 men and was selected for George Washington specifically. Steuben incorporated many specific standards to assist in the development of the military including separating the 'bathroom' area on one side of a camp, which the waste would travel down a hill, from the food on the other side camp. With Washington's recommendation, Steuben was appointed Inspector General of the Army with the rank of Major General. He helped to write formal books to be kept, which would keep records of things like  necessities of supplies, clothing, men, hygiene and weapons as well as tactics, drills and military disciplines that were used by the new United States until 1812, many of which lasted well into the 1900's.
With the great deal of help from von Steuben accompanied by French and Spanish assistance, the now much better trained, and of course fighting for a higher cause, American's forced the British out and after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the war was over. Less than 20 years later, Congress agreed upon their first foreign war, as President Thomas Jefferson sent our military over North Africa and the Mediterranean because he refused to pay for high cash demands by these people. These groups of people were also hijacking and enslaving American ships and its men. A group of Marines would help turn the tide in this First Barabry War which would be an enormous boost of morale for our nation as well as the Navy and other parts of the military. I put this part in here now, because a lot of this same type of shit is going on, again, today. One day ago I was going over historical events on February 23, mainly for fun, and over a day and a half later I learned a lot. I don't want this to get into a political rant about what America should or should not do, but I do believe that with the help of our Founding Father's, and even others like Steuben, helped shape and win America, gain our Independence and make the U.S. the great nation it should be.

I have always found history interesting, in particular that of our United States. Growing up, and even later than I would like to admit, I thought that during the signing of the Declaration of Independence George Washington either was, or soon became President of the U.S. When actually Washington became President in 1789, 13 years after the signing of the Declaration and a year after the U.S. Constitution was adopted into government. It amazes me how young we are as a nation. I just hope that we are a smart one as well. Hope you enjoyed todays lesson, lol.

P.S. No not all of this came from Wikipedia, I searched many other places like History.com, as well as two books of reference. I know not everything may not be 100% accurate, which in part is why my dates were years instead of specific dates, and left out, of course many, many events over the time before, during, and after the war.

-Cheel


Saturday, February 21, 2015

ICU

I read a post from a guy this morning that I friended on Facebook about 8 months ago. I say it like this because I never met him, at least not formally. We were once neighbors and my wife and his fiancé became relatively close, be it a short period of time. Him and I were going through some tough times during the same period and neither of us could do much about it. Like me, his name is Mike. You see, neighbor Mike and I were in the hospital at the same time. We were not in for the same reason, and we were both too sick to ever meet. One day as Sarah and her family were on their way to visit me, they were greeted immediately as they reached my floor with emergency 'call blues' for instant assistance. "We have to crack Mike's chest!" was what they were yelling, rushing to his aide. Nine month pregnant wife of mine 'runs' as fast as she can to my room panicking to what the hell happened to me. With everything I had going wrong, my heart remained strong, so this code alarm didn't make sense. It turns out it wasn't me that the staff was running to, but neighbor Mike's. Omg, what an emotional mind screw that had to have been. On her daily visit, Sarah is 'greeted' with unknown orders for jacking up, what she thought, was my heart. She freaked out, and then realizing what was going on tried to console with neighbor Mikes' fiancé. It turned out to be the same day that happened to be my worst day as far as me being sick. Staff had made knowledge of how sick I was stating that I happened to be the sickest person at the U of M. Patients were dying on my floor. My neighbor had to get his heart jumped. my lung collapsed harpers. Mike and his fiancé are now married and he seems to have recovered nicely. I'll never know how he really felt during his time there, but it was great reading his post this morning sharing his love and thanks with those close to him. Sarah and his fiancé became friends through all of this as well. Strange to have a unique connection with someone I never met :)

-Cheek

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shucks..

Well I had this story to write today about recovering at Bethesda. Not to get into too many details, because I referred with my brother and my wife about the couple of days in which I was thinking about and neither one knew what on earth I was talking about. Shucks! I thought this one wasn't a false memory, I just thought I was really messed up, although I'm not sure which is better/worse. Anyway, it involved things such as: me being in college, taking a class in which the assignment was to make a scary looking halloween deliscious dish for dinner, an argument with my family about times of the day, and a nurse that I thought I knew. Damn. I really thought I was 'arguing' with my brother about his idea about my homework because it wasn't scary enough. I had it in my mind that I had seen plenty of scary movies in my day to have references about. Yeah, really makes no sense when I think about it lol..
Well, there goes that 'memory' of an argument, and an apology. Wonder how many times I said I was sorry and didn't have a reason for doing so? At lease the nurse I thought I knew, who would have been changing my diapers, wasn't really there, because that would be super awkward! Trying to figure out the time of day was an ongoing issue throughout my time in there. About the only thing I got out of this was that I did in fact get upset about the time of the day, because I never knew if it was morning or night. Many times because the curtains were pulled so I couldn't tell from the weather. Sarah ended up getting me a digital clock because the ones in the rooms were just the wall ones with no AM or PM. I believe before long I had three digital clocks in my room to choose from, which actually seemed to make things worse until several more days had passed.
Well I suppose I could have made up a story, but that's no fun!

Today wasn't a total loss lol.
Until next time,

-Cheek




Monday, February 16, 2015

February '13 & '14

Last February we had a few events that help shape the following year. In no particular order because I can't really remember: One was Sarah's baby shower, another was my diaper kegger and the third was our bar taking part in the chamber's mini golf outing.

The Chamber of Commerce had its inaugural 'Cabin Fever Classic' mini golf party where several bars around the New Richmond area and Star Prairie had a golf hole and several 4-person golf teams plus 1 sober driver traveled to each hole (bar) and took turns playing. It was rather bitter sweet because we once had a full 9-hole course, but times needed to change, and hopefully they find success at their new location. Sarah and I worked the bar this day and it was a good time, lots of people. Sarah was about 7 months pregnant at the time and ended up having to go home because she wasn't feeling good at all. I tried getting someone to come help for the evening but it was too late in the day and we were too busy for me to leave anyway. Ben and Jodi stuck around for a couple hours and helped with the golf and I think they enjoyed themselves. Made it much easier for me and was grateful for their help. The 2nd annual tourney is later this month I hear.

Sarah's baby shower was the first event of the month. She had it at Brady's and I happily wasn't there haha. I hung out at my home with my Dad, brother and son and we spent the afternoon togehter. Sarah got a lot of things that have been very useful for Scarlett and are still used every day. Thank you ladies for your support.

The next week I had my diaper kegger at our bar. The boys were to bring any package of diapers for us and along with $5 and could have their full of draft beers. It was a nice turnout and we had a lot of fun. Turned out to be an awesome idea, as we still use these diapers and have yet needed to purchase any. Thanks to my wife for setting this up and sending out the invites, and for working, and thanks for all those who supported this, even if it was their first time buying diapers lol. I remember I wasn't feeling very well that day, and for the next several days, as it soon turned March and the hospital to follow.

Just heard this morning, while waiting for Ryan's eye drops for his pink eye we just realized he had, that this week is supposed to be super cold. Great. I am hoping it doesn't last long and March comes quickly. Ryan hasn't been sick too much this year, hopefully the eye drops kick in soon and gets cleared up before Scarlett get it. I think he'll be able to go to school tomorrow but in the meantime him and I will catch up on some movies :)

-Cheek

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Who is Valentine's for....

Normally on Fridays, Ryan gets picked up at school from his mom. This week, however she needed surgery Friday on a broken heel so I was lucky enough to pick my boy up for a couple hours from school today. His class (and I'm sure the others) did some Valentines Day projects for the day. For one of them he made a folder with a self portrait (before he lost his most recent tooth:) along with a 'love' letter to each of his families. He gave me a folder for me and Sarah as he sat on my lap while I read it and it completely choked me up. I gave it to Sarah after she got home from school tonight, and as we both read it after Ryan was already gone, we both cried. He has been through some things that a sweet child like him should never have to go through and I am ever so proud of him.

I made some spelling corrections, but this short letter is all his.
I'm still having a difficult time keeping my eyes dry even from copying this short, sweet, from-his-heart, letter.........

Dear Dad and Sarah,

Thank you for never lying to me.
Thank you for protecting me for my whole life.
Love you so much.
Do you like the letter?

From, Ryan


How can I not post this!?!
😂

-Cheek



Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy to wake

Didn't sleep well (again) last night although we went to bed early (again) and fell asleep I woke up and was awake most of the night. When I finally fell back asleep, I wish I would not have becuase I unfortunately dreamed that both the kids got Blasto.
Ryan had gotten sick and we took him into the hospital and when all the results came back they said there was an 18% chance that he contracted it from me. I was, of course, devasted. We went home to grab some stuff and then Scarlett got sick so we had her checked out and she also had gotten Blasto. Just about the worst dream ever, pretty sure I cried in my sleep. I would rather go through this ten times then have any of my loved ones ever have to. I have read that two different people have gotten it twice, one was in Canada and another was in Ohio, but never said they got it from a separate incident or just that it never went away and it came 'back.' Like I said last week I'm about a month away from being on schedule to stop taking my itraconazole, so my doctors are happy with my progress. I'm really hoping the weather changes quicker and spring arrives quicker because my feet freeze every time I go outside and walking becomes much more painful. Of course it may not just be the weather as after I shower it's just as bad. Could be a combination of the tub floor, the water and then the cold tile floor. At least the water hitting my feet isn't as painful as it used to be. My insulated crocs have been quite the saver, particularly since I still can't wear slippers because they always fall off on the stairs because it remains difficult to lift my toes. It would be just great to stumble down the stairs while I'm carrying my baby girl. If when you see me and notice a limp worse on one leg, it's true, my left is worse pretty sure because of that is where I broke my ankle 7 years ago. I have two pins in there that have my bone connected. Oh well, things could be worse.
When I run into people around town everyone is very kind and tell me that I look much better, did I look like shit before? Lol. Kidding.. But pictures like this one remind me that I sure did.







Monday, February 9, 2015

Good luck charm

After a few days in the hospital Sarah brought me a good luck charm. While for the longest time I couldn't manage to do anything but open my eyes, where I would see a few different pictures and some warming gifts around my room. The one thing that I remember seeing every day, that I was awake, was this artificial shamrock plant. I didn't know this at the time but one of my nurses freaked out because Sarah brought in this plant, telling her that she couldn't bring in a real plant into my room. From the first time I saw this plant I had this weird obsession with it. Partially because I wanted to drink the water from it as it looked extremely refreshing. Of course there wasn't water in there, but the bottom of the ceramic plant holder always looked wet, like water was forming in the base. I always felt thirsty but wasn't able to drink, at least not that I can remember until well after waking from my coma. I went in right before St. Patty's Day which has always been an important holiday to me so this plant had multiple meanings for me. I hadn't missed a St. Patty's Day in New Richmond for years, I would say for at least 20 years if not more. I was usually working, but it was always fun to work on this day anyway, and to me, it had the best parade of the year. Three years ago it was about 80 degrees and then two years ago we had freezing temps and 4' of snow on the ground and while this past year, well I don't have any idea. We had a little party in our room on this day and I would soon be diagnosed with all my treatments to follow along with my weeks of sedation.

["We might just make it. Did that thought ever cross your brain? Well, regardless, I would rather take my chance out there on the ocean than to stay here and die on this shithole island, spending the rest of my life talking.....To A Goddamn Volleyball!"
This was Tom Hanks' character Chuck Noland in his movie Cast Away talking to his only friend Wilson, a volleyball that washed to shore during his 4 years alone on an island after his plane crashed in the ocean.]



While our situations were different, there was some similarities. While Mr. Noland was stranded alone, and his only companion wasn't a living thing, he had to fight for his life of starvation among other things. I had constant visitors between staff and family, but there were times I did feel alone and wondered if I would ever get out of my bed alive. Every day I opened my eyes, there was always this plant. No, I didn't name it, or have a conversation with it that I knew of, (those were left to other objects in my room:) but it was there, every day. Sarah made sure it came with to each room I was moved to, and to each hospital. It is the only object that we brought home that I see everyday, as it sits on our windowsill. Nice reminder to myself of how such small things can make such big impacts.







I was planning on waiting until St. Patty's to write this story, but I seem to be seeing the plant more and more these days, and now just feels like the time to do so. Hope you enjoyed.

-Cheek


Thursday, February 5, 2015

An actual "View" from Cheek, (Me:)

Since my blog is named "The Views of Cheek" I figure I should start writing about a few more "views" instead of mainly my stories that have happened since getting Blasto. These blog posts will of course continue but probably not forever, so I think I should start adding new topics here and there. A few things on my mind of late: my son telling me he thinks he loves a girl, cooking at home for the family, several things about the Green Bay Packers and thier season as well as thoughts on the super bowl, and my feelings about hockey vs basketball. Well basically I'm not ready to talk about the Packers yet because 'we' are still in a state of shock over how the season unfolded. And yes I say 'we' because I am part of the Packer family :)
So, I decided to start first with my thoughts on basketball vs hockey, in particular college and pro of each sport. (Not kids or high schoolers) (and not men vs women) Sarah and I had a friendly little discussion about this the other night as she asked me to turn the volume down on the Badger basketball game because all she hears is 'sneakers squeaking.' She was doing her schoolwork and I was getting the kids ready for bed so it wasn't a big deal, but it brought up old thoughts about this specific topic..

Background. I grew up in New Richmond schools and I knew nothing about hockey. Nothing. I was born in 1975. As a child, if somebody asked me to name three things about hockey I would probably have said, that it's played on ice, Wayne Gretzky is the only one I know, and I had heard of the Miracle on Ice. (The game, not the movie.) I didn't know the Miracle on Ice game wasn't the Olympic gold winning game for many, many years. Anyway, I think it was about the 3rd grade when I started 'losing' a couple friends in the winter because they were playing hockey. Damn, I don't think we played organized basketball until the 6th grade. Somewhere inbetween there my late grandpa Zig took me and my brother skating. Grandpa taught us a lot of things as young boys such as skiing, golf, bowling, pool, chess, fishing, cards, and now skating. I remember thinking, cool, I'm going to learn how to play hockey! So we get to the rink in town, I'm anxious for my hockey stick, but grandpa says no, we had to learn to skate first, and he gives us each some skates; figure skates. Damn! Well we learned to skate on them, and he eventually had us try hockey skates but it was too late, I was ruined,  nope not my thing. Living in the country, 15 minutes from town, basketball was easy. And well, cheap, I don't think we would have been able to play even if we wanted to, but it didn't matter, becuase we didn't want to. Our first basketball hoop was in our barn, where we could play a good ten months of the year. Our cousin had one in his barn too and actually had a heat generator so we could, and did play anytime of any winter. Our barn was usually full of equipment, tools or some type of tractor or vehicle and even though room was tight and the hoop was about 8 feet high we had great times on that uneven dirt floor. A few years later when we were about 12 my folks put a cement slab down on the dirt driveway in front of the one-car garage with a measured ten foot hoop attached to the top of it. The hoop was screwed in, and had little give, but we loved it and wore the net out every year.

Since then, I never really 'got' hockey. Went to some games to watch friends in high school, been to a handful of Wild games, once this year so far, have plenty of friends involved with or that still play, and actually watch a little here and there on TV but really enjoy watching Olympic hockey. But I can't say much about this sport as far as knowledge of the game. I admire how athletic one has to be and the hand eye coordination while being on skates, and on ice is amazing. The time, desire, and dedication to play is clearly shown. I gained a lot of respect for the game from what I witnessed during my 6 years at Ready Randy's, from all the meetings, team dinners and especially the teaching that was given to the 'kids' from so many coaches I lost track.
On the other side, I really don't care much for NBA basketball anymore, not since Jordan left, the 2nd time at least. I mean if it's on TV, and have the opportunity, I'll watch it. It's become too one-on-one and over the top show boating while players are getting fundamentally worse and it drives me nuts when professionals can't make free throws. This 'street ball' crap is horrible. If people want to play hoops on the streets fine, play, gamble, have a day, that doesn't matter. But this type of play, at least for awhile, was all over TV and there was even a show about it and every once in awhile you would see this awesome move or dunk by someone and then that person was in some teams training camp but can't even make the practice squad let alone the team because they don't know how to play the
game correctly. I personally like college hoops better. (Actually most sports I like college better)
College hoops, March Madness, 64(+) team tournament, it's super fun. Plus I missed everything last year including the Badgers run to the Final Four while I was comatose, so I'm due this year lol.. (Oops, I guess I did talk about  Blasto:)  I played varsity basketball and a bunch of us joined the competitive men's league at UW-Stout which was a blast and continued on playing more leagues in New Richmond for about ten more years. NR has had very talented players from each sport, respectively throughout the years.

Now back to Sarah and my discussion the other night about these two sports. Each sport has their own athletes and are skilled in thier own sport. My point was, and always has been, what do we expect each respective athlete to do? You take this big, strong and fast guy from Canada and the chances he plays basketball is extremely low. Doesn't just have to be Canada, but I hope you understand my thought process. In contrast, you take this taller, quick, and still strong guy who can literally jump over people and the chances are also extremely low that he will play hockey. I did some quick research and the average height of an NBA player is 6'7" while the average NHL player is 6 feet, the tallest hockey player being a mammoth at 6'9" where in basketball you can get every player on the court about that height and taller. My point to all of this is, liking a sport or not liking a sport is basically in our nature and/or at least how we were brought up. The guys playing hoops (or f-tag, and all the other references we know) are most likely playing hoops because they are GOOD at it. Maybe a kid from Europe's favorite athlete is LeBron or even Dirk Nowitski and all he wants to do is play basketball, but he can skate like the wind and fire a puck a million MPH. Of course he will play hockey becuase HE is just flat out good. Or maybe this kid in the U.S. is being looked at by Duke or Kentucky because he stands 6'8" is still growing and has the most talent around and is almost guaranteed to be drafted by the NBA in one year, but his idol is Sidney Crosby and all he wants to do is play hockey. Good chance he follows his talent and not his heart. This may be extreme, but I'm sure happens. Of course you will find some 7 footers who are about as athletic as a great grandma and only play because they are tall. But you also have hockey players who only play because they can give or take a hit. Are they not both part of the game, like it or not? It's like a NFL game coming down to a 120 pound kicker. Part of the game, you need to have that part to be successful. (Almost
talked about the Packers, but not quite:)

I know hockey players are tough. They play injured, bloodied or bleeding, with broken teeth, crushed all game against the boards, from each other and onto the frozen ice. (Of course the ice is frozen, or it'd be water:) They play this while most are actually being forced to wear a face mask while zooming around on razor sharp blades that puts everyone in danger, plus they hold sticks. Basketball is different. Obviously. But it doesn't make it worse, or better, it's just differnet. Nobody wants to watch hockey in shoes or even on roller blades, like nobody wants to see basketball with someone designated to standing in the net being able to do anything to prevent a basket. It's just not right. (Btw, I'm not getting into population, communities, availability, weather, money or parenting. There are thugs and poor sports in every sport at every level, as well as great people in each as well.)

So, there you go, my take on the seeming ever lasting chatter battle between hockey vs basketball.
Like I said. This is my opinion. One of my first posts of such a thing. If you don't like it, well I'm sorry you just spent 6 minutes and $0.00 reading. But since you read it, you must be following me one way or another, and while I'm not the smartest man in the world, I am a man in the world, and that accounts for.... Well I don't know either. Anyway, there are worse things in life, like being a toothless hockey player lol. 😜

Anyway, thanks for your time, comment if you'd like..

-Cheek


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Amelia Tiger Earhart Woods

As most of you either knew me then or have learned by now, that I used to work at Ready Randy's for  about 6 years. I started working for the company right before the restaurant opened but shortly after the banquet was running, being already in operation from thier years in and at the golf course. While I was sick I had multiple dreams about several things, but not many that involved past employment. But this was is..
-This takes place while I was working at Randy's, although in actuality, I hadn't been there in about 2 years-
It was summer and I was at a golf outing with Chris and Randy at some course that was way to fancy for me. It was somewhere in Minnesota, and it was a very warm day. We were talking some about work, but mainly enjoying our day off from the job and trying to play bogey-free golf, yeah right. Well we only had a couple drinks on the course as we knew we had dinner afterwards and some presentation to watch but can't recall about what. We finished our round and went in to the club house and found our seats. We went to the bar first for a couple cocktails and as we were getting ready to sit for our meal Randy asked if we could talk. Of course I said yes and we went outside, and he had a limo waiting for us in the parking lot. I was a little nervous but mainly anxious to see what we were going to discuss. This wasn't completely out of the ordinary to have talks about the restaurant and things like that, but having this one today did feel a little odd. Well we started talking and things were fine, and then all of a sudden Randy tells me that he was firing me. I really didn't get upset, I was like, OK, but before I had a second to ask any questions, Randy falls over in his seat with an apparent heart attack. I got out and grabbed my cell and called 911 and people from the club house started coming out concerned on what had happened. I told everything that had happened and what we were talking about. Randy was in rough shape but was taken by ambulance in stable condition. Chris, (who was our GM during my time at Randy's) insures me that I wasn't fired, but instead was getting a promotion. A promotion that included being the GM for Randy's new business adventure. I was being transferred with this large pay raise to be in charge of their next, new banquet facility - on a big ass airplane.
Hmmm. Well, here I am, seems like the next day, on this plane. Chris is showing me the ins-and-outs of the set up, and expectations of both the plane itself and the banquet service and food. I somehow apparently learned to cook all this new food since I finished my round of golf. Apparently we soon realized that we were struggling trying to book weddings and other parties on our plane. For one it was a large cargo plane with no seats, and for two, we didn't have a refrigerator for our food and only had a few types of canned beer. (Or maybe because we didn't have an airport:) As it turned out they started talking about making cuts with this business and they were going to start with the pilot. So, I needed to learn how to fly a plane. Ohh-k... Well, sorry, but this dream doesn't last much longer. The last thing I remember was texting a few people to see if they knew how to fly a plane and whether they could help me out. I had sent one particular text to Scott Meyer and he said I should call his brother. No offense, but I didn't lol. For whatever reason the golf party that we were all attending from the beginning of this story was still going on and everyone was still there, including a healthy Randy. It was like the day never ended. Except for me. I suppose you all could finish my story for me if you'd like, but that is how my dream here ended.
Hopefully I didn't try and fly and crash and burn everyone on board !

-Cheek

P.S. I wish I would have kept my scorecard because I'm sure we were under par! Haha

One more month..?

Had  another check up with infectious disease today at Fairview. We are hoping that by my next visit in March I will be able to stop taking my Intraconazole and the allergy pill I take because of it. Been amazing all the different emotions from each separate doctor visit. Really hoping that when I'm done taking these meds it will not make me feel like shit, even if it doesn't make me feel any better, it will be nice to be able to get rid of several pills a day, being able to stop 7 of them a day. But, regardless this should mean that my Blasto is gone which is the most important. I am not sure if he reads my blog but a big thank you to Dr. Sellman who has been caring for me since I (don't) remember and has been great, giving advise and altogether interested in the well being of the entire family. 

-Cheek

Saturday, January 31, 2015

2-timer

Congrats Aaron Rodgers on his 2nd NFL MVP.

Would prefer a Suber Bowl, but hey, can't win every year :)

Enjoy the commercials tomorrow everyone..

-Cheek

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Last night

      So I'm sitting home with Scarlett yesterday, typical Wednesday, Sarah comes home from school like normal around 3:30. Short time later she asks me if I want to play darts tonight. She saw a friend of hers on Facebook had asked if anyone was able to be a substitute for his dart team. She said that I should. I was a little iffy about doing it because it has been so long since I've done anything outside the house and more so outside the house, alone.
      Now, let me tell a little bit about myself pertaining to this story. I've never had an issue with doing things alone, whether it be going to a movie, going to any bar, clothes shopping or shopping in general. I could be happy sitting on the couch watching TV literally all day and enjoy my time. Not only didn't I have an issue with these things, I actually rather like to. That has surely changed, and not just in the spending time with Sarah and the kids way, but the way I needed to be with someone to be able to help me if I fell or choked, needed an inhaler or any other help that could be too difficult by myself. Also, I'm a dart nerd. Or I guess was a dart nerd. Started playing league darts and tournaments over 16 years ago. Was usually a highlight of my week hanging with friends and playing semicompetitive darts. Then with the bar the last two years I started only playing part time, and then of course I got sick. When we were closing up for a night at work, I grabbed a handful of darts and tried to see what I could do. Well I clearly didn't have my strength or muscle memory back and my first several darts missed the board, and the next few hit but we're pretty bad. That was sometime in June and hadn't touched darts since.
      Ok, back to last night. I was nervous! Actually nervous to go play darts, by myself, for the first time in what seems like forever. So I went. Sarah didn't literally push me out the door, but she really thought it would be good for me to get out of the house and have fun. The dart match was at champs and was happy to find the boards were not up the stairs. So we shot darts and had a lot of fun, we ended up losing the tie breaker and lost overall 6-7. I played ok, perhaps better than expected, I mean after my fisrt practice game I got tired and sat down lol. Wasn't too bad after that as I sat down as often as I could, (when normally I would never sit, I'd shoot darts and when it wasn't my turn I would be at the bar getting drinks) and tried to pace myself. It was a lot of fun. I met two guys I didn't know who played darts and then ran into several of the familiar ones including parts of my past team. Great seeing everyone and people were fun to be around again.
      Now today. I hurt, lol. Yeah I had a few drinks but nothing crazy or late, as I was home and in bed around 10:30. But my body hurts. I hurt every morning, but it was way worse this morning and my dart arm hurts like hell and feels like it's about 200 pounds. It was still worth it as it was nice to get out and be a little more normal for once. When I woke I felt to myself that I'd never do that again, but I am glad that I did, and would do it again, just not every week 😉
Anyway, thanks for letting me play JR., Tev, and Tork.
And good seeing the others.

Thanks for the good night out Sarah!


-Cheek

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Outside of my Box

(This isn't intended to offend anyone)
Well, just one.
So I generally try and steer clear of controversy especially on my blog because people have the right to feel, and usually express, how they want. I enjoy all of my audience and I don't need to know beliefs from any of you loyal readers, the part-timers or any first-timers. But, this is bothering the shit out of me. This Michael F. Moore asshole is out of his mind. I'm not saying this because we share the same name, but our name shows up everywhere now more than ever. I typed in Mike "Cheek" Moore on google and up pops 8 images, 7 of this fat-tard and the 8th of me and Sarah holding the "coming soon" sign for Scarlett. Him, hiding behind words calling anyone a coward is bad enough, but when he calls out a deceased war veteran for being one is flat out an embarrassment. Never seen any of his movies and never will. He has his views and writes or produces books or movies about them, and last I saw he was worth $50 million. Good for you, jerk. I just read today that he continued on about Chris Kyle and other snipers (as well as others) for being cowards because his uncle was supposedly killed by one in WWII and that was what he was taught by his dad growing up. Your a grown, really grown adult, I'm sure you can think for yourself by now. Well, if this is true, shouldn't he understand an enlisted serviceman better and respect how they fight for our rights in this country..? Check this site out..  http://clashdaily.com/2015/01/fishy-investigated-michael-moores-uncle-killed-heres-found/#
I think it's great all of the support coming from our military people about each other and how they think that Moore is a complete waste, waste of time and space. http://www.westernjournalism.com/fellow-seal-sniper-friend-chris-kyle-obliterates-michael-moore-coward-tweet/#v7wWBQlK4ogEmuXv.97
Since I don't plan on changing my name, in order to preserve my (hopefully) good name, I'll either have to become more famous, win the lottery and then since I'd be rich and famous then I would have the right to make statements to the media I'll be relevant. NOT. So, I guess I will just refer to him by his middle name: Francis. Or maybe a better name is Benedict Arnold.
So Francis, you suck. Don't get shot.

-Cheek

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

(2nd attempt) Short story my Mom wrote...

Thank you Sarah for showing me how to load a Power Point to my blog. 
This was a (true) story my Mom wrote for Ryan. He helped a little, but was mainly to help him understand more of what was going on with me in the hospital. 



















Monday, January 19, 2015

Short story book from mom

Shit,
Sorry but I can't get this to work.
I'll keep working on it tomorrow.

-Cheek

DaddyWasSick

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sweet Home Carolina

     I used to believe that I was released from the hospital in Minnesota only because my family had moved south and the doctors felt safe with how I would be able to recover living there. Wasn't sure exactly where we were, but we were close to the ocean and believe it was in one of the Carolina's. I have an uncle that lives in North Carolina so maybe I had that in my head somewhere but I am not sure. I think that the idea of moving me to a warmer climate was in order to help with my lungs and breathing. Not to sound like a 'lunger' or Doc Holliday who were people way back when who in that time moved to the southwest for dryer air, but if you have been to the south east, it gets disgustingly humid in the summer.
     Anyway, we lived in a large, really nice and fancy house but it only had one bathroom. I was now starting to recover, but was still rather sick and basically immobile and unable to talk. I am pretty sure it was summer, or at least it was always nice and warm, with a refreshing breeze and suprising little humidity. None of us did much here, just a lot of relaxing, waiting for Scarlett to be born. (Not sure if she born by this point or not)
     I should back up a tad here and let you know that my family or at least this specific house included Sarah and Ryan, my parents, a nurse who was close to the family, my nephew and one of my life long friend's 12 year old daughter and some paid medical staff. Don't know why my friend's daughter was involved with this dream but she was nonetheless. No need to give names here, but this girl was obsessed with learning about being a nurse, all the ins and outs in the profession but at this point always wanted to change my diaper. Unfortunately I wore one more than I'd like to admit. It was so uncomfortable for me having her not only want to be doing this stuff, but that it was OK with the actual nurses and the rest of my family that she was allowed to. She basically never left my side and took care of me like her patient. I tried to be nice to this girl to not make her feel bad and have somebody else take care of me but I wasn't able to plus she was really persistent. She would talk to me like I was a baby which is pretty degrading. I would try and resist her help, but it only made things worse and I would get weaker and weaker and unable to do anything but let her help. I 'remember' one time when I wanted to go and use the one bathroom and this girl tried and tried to keep me from going so she could change me. I never understood why and I tried my best to talk - telling her that it was inappropriate and I could go to the bathroom myself or at least use the plastic portable urinal. I wasn't strong enough physically to get by her, so I held it as long as I could, struggled like hell, and finally caved and wet myself. It sucks having embarrassing dreams. (Brings back true memories of not able to control my fluids, but being more than awake and aware enough for nurses to come in and clean and change me, ugh)
      For whatever reason all of us in this house decided that we needed to have a party. A full blown house party. Nobody parties like a guy in a hospital bed, two retired grandparents, a pregnant wife, two teenagers and some on-duty nurses. Ha! But several people were invited, mainly including friends from back home. I don't recall a lot of the party itself,  just the morning after. Why? Well because one of our friends who came to the party was lost. Nobody could find him and he wouldn't answer his phone and nobody knew where he was. Jeez, is he alive, did he fall in the ocean? Nobody knew so we just hoped for the best and would call his family every day until we heard from him. Well a couple days passed and a few close friend party-goers still were hanging out at our place and we started to smell a bad odor. Looked around for what it was and couldn't find anything. Looked around all day and still couldn't find what or where it was coming from so we decided to go out on our boat (no idea:) and go for a ride and relax. They wheeled me down the dock in my bed and brought me to this big yacht sized boat and went for a ride. Until the smell got worse. Then we found what it was. Or what they were. Two of our friends were tucked away in cupboards in the boat and were several days dead. We didn't even realize we had two missing friends. They must have gotten on board to sleep and never woke up. We just kind of sat there, in shock, looking around trying to decide what to do. Well, I'm not sure who took charge, but we decided to cover it up and clean and clean and clean and clean. It took days before we were comfortable with the smell. I wasn't even sure who took care of the bodies and what happened to them. I didn't want to know. I would rather not say who these two dead people were but one of them actually did pass away a few years back and I'm not sure if the other guy reads these posts. We never got questioned and the group of us never talked about any of it, we went along as if nothing had happened. This memory spawned some other true (to me) stories that were actually worse.

Lesson, don't go boating with my family.. kidding.

-Cheek

P.S. We don't have a boat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Darkness within


A wife, 8 months pregnant with her first child dealing with gestational diabetes clinging to hope and doctors while asking every medical staff member what is going on.

A mom and dad sitting in the ICU wondering, waiting, worried beyond control, full of emotions trying to learn how thier child is doing and if he will live.

A brother and his wife also at his side impatiently waiting and listening to everything.

A 6 year old son confused and scared, not sure what to think about anything.

The son, already has a little awkwardness of feelings in school, learning from his parents he is going to retake the first grade for reasons he cannot comprehend now, and are out of his control, actually then starts to fall back in class. Then his daddy gets sick, he comes to visit him and his dad barely remembers. He visits his dad two other times in two months wondering why he sleeps all the time. When his dad wakes up the boy doesn't care about school, he just doesn't get why his can't hug him, or talk to him when all he wants to do is jump in his fathers arms and be held tight.

The brother, who tries to keep things at an even keel as can be between the family. He has spent his fair share in hospitals in his time dealing with cystic fibrosis. He later contracts diabetes as well. Things have been tough the last few years with this brother and his parents for reasons which became uncontrollable. Now in the hospital, watching over every step of the way with the brother and hoping not to make any unwanted waves during these time with the parents, will eventually soon backfire.

The mom and dad sit at their child's side giving love and encouragement and hope. All they want is to help and to be there, and with thier love, the struggle with helplessness and family tension boils. Emotions are ridiculous and bubbling. Thier child, sick and dying and unable to respond more than a few blinks of the eyes, sees his mom and hears his dad. But that is about it. The thoughts going through the family can not be explained.

The wife, strong as ever, doesn't let anything get in her way. She sleeps by her husbands side on the hospital rooms couch while every meal she has kept in a near by fridge gets tossed away, mistakenly, but repeatedly every day. She is taking insulin shots, and hoping more than ever she will give birth to her child on the expected day. She worries about her baby girl inside but doesn't know how to react. Scared both for her husband and for her baby. Is she hurting the baby by being by her husbands side so often all the while trying to coordinate the rest of her life including thier business, income, bills, family and friends but continuing to stay on top of every single aspect of her husbands medical care? Questions are too many, and too scary to understand. But she stays focused. She begins coming up with ground rules for family to visit for her own sanity.

Friends and other family members not sure of much of anything other than being transferred from NR to Regions start asking questions, looking for answers, and soon begin to start praying.

A boss from years ago and her son come to visit and soon realize that thier friend is worse than they thought and are even unable to visit because of the condition.

The brother tries to control a situation with news from the doctor.
The mom and dad try and do the same as well.
The wife is at her wits end and can't handle anymore. She is about to break, and feels helpless about her baby, not knowing if she will ever meet her daddy.
The brother steps in again to help the wife and tensions flare with the mom and dad.
Under stress and duress the mom, dad, and brother decide to respect the wishes of the wife and will take turns on visiting.

A month passes.  April 13, the baby is born. The daddy is still sleeping.
The son hasn't seen his daddy in weeks.

Three days later. The dad, which is me, wakes up. I don't know of anything of which I just wrote about at this point in my 'new' life. I didn't know what had happened during those first few days of ER's and uncertainty, let alone the next 6 weeks of my coma.

I have no idea of anything that has happened since March 17, and that is extremely foggy. I only remember it slightly beacause it was St. Patrick's Day and we had a little "celebration." Right around that time I remember what I thought may have been my last, gasping breath, and the most intense amount of shaking I can imagine along with pain. When I woke up it was like I was born for the 2nd time. I had no control over anything and all I could do was see. From what I understand it took me several days of  'waking up' before I could comprehend anything. Days after that I started learning a little bit here and there of what I started this post about, which was my family and the unknown stress, uncertainty, confusion and frustration within my family. My son, Ryan comes to see me and runs up to my bed but I can do little more than put my arms barely around him and smile through the medications and the pain and the fizzled body that had already taken form of me. My princess baby girl Scarlett, my true life saver, who I can also barely hold though has been at my side in my bed for naps every day. In ways hard to explain that newborn little girl saved Sarah's life and then Sarah saved mine.
My brother, his wife Michelle, my parents and obviously my wife were always there by my side. I didn't know until weeks later, but still in the hospital that they were not getting along. It was explained to me a little bit, but as much as anything I couldn't comprehend. Maybe I was too selfish, maybe I thought everyone was together and helped me fight, fight to survive.
Soon after I learned about the titantic sized love and prayers I was getting back home and around the community and all the followers I didn't even know being so supportive to me and my entire family. Through all of this, Sarah set up a Facebook page just on my progress as well as organizing other things. She also has a journal/diary of every day of the 2 month's stays between NR, Regions, UofM and Bethezda, as well as follow up appointments that still continue.

A LOT has happened since this time. Months of it I don't remember, and never will. It was an extremely difficult time for my family and I didn't even know it. Perhaps I was blinded some even before I got sick. If it was someone else instead of me and I was in that persons' seat I don't know how I would have reacted. It is difficult for me to judge or say right or wrong about any of what happened, as I see it as they all did what they felt was the best way to care for me. People deal with things differently and when it comes to family it is easily multiplied.

I made it. I don't know if I should have, but I did. Maybe time will mend, maybe wounds are too scarred for things that have happened within my small family, and maybe I could have helped prevent some of it. Maybe I'll never know. But I do know that I love all of my family, whether we are together or not.
The rest of you all I love from the bottom of my soul, wishing you the best in everything you do and to all of you - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sometimes you just gotta write. Other need to talk. Whatever helps, do it. I write, it helps me, partially because I don't talk much, especially about feelings. I am getting better talking about this past year. So, I write until it hurts, then write until that hurt eases a pain.
I had no intention of writing this, not because I was holding anything back, but I never really thought about it in detail until I was falling asleep. It was right after Sarah mentioned something about right before Scarlettt was born. It hit a nerve so I had to grab my iPad and write away. Write I did.

I can't apologize for what happened, and I can't say anyone was wrong or right. We all did what we had to and that's the way it is.

-Cheek