2014 Better Than I Imagined

So much happened this year I’m having difficulty believing it all fit in 365 days.


I started work with a new sponsor, Flo. Did another 4th and 5th Step. Sought his advice and direction in many things I’ve never asked a sponsor before, and its really changed who I am. Tonight at my meeting it was on Step 12 (Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs) and just reflecting on the step work this year and my willingness I think I finally feel some of that “joy” we talk about – I still think it’s a bit overrated, but maybe I’ll get used to it.

I sponsored 4 guys this year – one of them moved back to WI (Matthew); one of them got drunk again (Zack) and then sobered up again; one of them has been sober longer than I (Mark); and one of them just kind of disappeared (Jordan).  Each of them helped me tremendously this year and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to share with them (even if sometimes they don’t listen). The very first sponsee I ever had (David) passed away and I was with my current sponsor when I received the news. Continue reading

The Root of the Problem

So back in November I had work done to prepare for two crowns – this was about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. I was in pretty serious pain – like 2 Advil and Tylenol like every four to six hours and even waking up in the middle of the night in pain and having to take more and go to bed. I was getting grumpier and grumpier – it wasn’t my best experience at the dentist (is there such a thing?).

I called after four days of this and they assured me since the teeth were next to one another it would likely be more painful for longer than normal… so I kept on keeping on.  But the holiday was approaching and even more importantly, my birthday, so I wanted to be able to end this nastiness. I called and got snippy with the dentist when they said there was nothing they could do – then they called shortly after to let me know my crowns had arrived and it might alleviate the issues if they were placed.

The dentist called me into his office and I was ready, damn ready for the pain to stop. I was in the chair, the dentist came in. Didn’t even look at my mouth but said “oh yeah, you likely need a root canal”. I took off work for him to tell me that WTF! I was pretty upset, maybe I was upset about the root canal thing too and it was helping to feed the fire cause after he told me “root canal” I started to hyperventilate, sweat and considered suicide (I kid you not, that’s what happens in my fucked up little mind). With the help of his staff I secured an appointment the 2nd of Dec… so after Thanksgiving :-(. I did manage to eat at Thanksgiving and enjoy myself but had lots of ibuprofen with me to help get through.

That night at my meeting I talked to my sponsor, I was really fearful about the root canal and made that clear. I also shared that I was mad at the dentist – he asked “cause you don’t know if you can trust him now?” and honestly that didn’t occur to me until that moment – I was all mad cause he wasted my time. It never occurred to me that he might have gone too deep or something and caused the damage, not sure if that’s how it works or not…

Root canal day came and I had the day off – I was pretty nervous and not sure if I would have the root canal done that day or not… was it just a consult or the real deal… also was it two root canals or just one… I tried not to think about anything about it for fear of panic attacks again. It was also a new place, a different dentist and that’s not at all comforting.

The new place was just down the road a bit, nice enough with cramped waiting room and many people. Is that good or bad? I can’t decide. I waited quite a while before a handsome step or two above a dentist showed put to take a look. They took more X-rays and said “Yep, looks bad, but we want to run a test first” He took this little stick thing and touched it to each of my teeth and told me to raise my hand when I felt it – first tooth raised my hand after a second, second tooth almost immediately and the third tooth didn’t feel at all… “Yep, that ones dead” he said. He then said he was going on the assumption the second tooth was just inflamed due to the other and he was only going to do one root canal.

They then put me in a different room and gave me some drugs. Told me to raise my hand if I felt anything, then they had me hold something to the roof of my mouth and that’s all I remember… until suddenly pain and I remembered to raise my hand. I had a dull ache. That was it… I guess they knocked me out and I probably signed something telling them they could but I don’t recall that 🙂 I went home with some pain meds and was uncomfortable most of the day.

So that was December 2nd and I had a few days of pain that was medicated mostly with ibuprofen, but the pain that woke me up at night and made me more irritable was not there. I had sensitivity to cold and hot and when I’d brush my teeth, but hey that’s avoidable. My regular dentist was called to put on my permanent crowns and the earliest I could get in was today – December 30th.

They shot me full of Novocaine and did some removing of temporary fillings from the root canal… I was still pretty sensitive even with the shots. But soon it was over and now I have two teeth in my mouth that feel really weird and they likely will for a while more.

me at the dentist

me at the dentist

I’m glad this part is over and the new year is upon us…. but I know already from the X-rays I’ll need at least one more crown in the coming year and with that comes the fear… sigh… oh well, I’ll worry (or try not to worry) about that then.

Christmas 2014

I wasn’t sure how travel would be on Christmas day, many years ago I traveled on Christmas eve and the lines and crowds were overwhelming. But Christmas day was nice – no lines, no crowds and quick check in – I think even my flight had open seats available. I started a book a friend gave me Tattoos on the Heart  – kept me occupied the whole flight.

I rented a car and drove to Galesville from Minneapolis airport – the GPS suggested going a route differently than I normally would and that seemed to be pretty quick, before I knew it I was at my Ma’s. As I was driving down there was no snow on the ground, but the further south I got closer to my Ma’s the more snow piles that were still visible… was backwards.

Was great to see my Ma, Kenny (and Sheila), Rhonda (and Greg) and we had a good day, dinner and watched  12 Years a Slave – good movie. I did some computer stuff down there fixed the wifi password, found a crossword puzzle app Ma wanted.

The day after Christmas was when we celebrated – the nephews and grand nephews were there, was a really good time. Sheila cooked more than anyone could possibly eat. I got noisemaking toys for the boys (that’s what uncles do) and a good time was had by all. It snowed that night – a little over an inch so that pleased people (not me).

Saturday we had breakfast at Garden of Eatin and then I headed off to Black River Falls to spend time with Dawn, Ryan and Amy. Amy’s new place is very pretty and easy enough to find. Was great to see all three of them and spend time. Got to catch up and see what everyone is doing and had a nice meal prepared by Amy (Dawn made the dessert).

Then I drove off to the airport – was dark on my way up and many stupid people were on the road – people driving under 55 on the interstate – wtf people. I arrived at my hotel around 7:00 after dropping off the rental car – there are two places to drop off the rental car and I picked the wrong one and had to go to the second location.

Spent the night at a Fairfield Inn near the airport, was in bed by 9 and woke up at 4 to catch my flight. Travel on Sunday was similar to traveling on Christmas Eve – long lines, stupid people and screaming children.

Glad to be home, glad I got to see the family – now if only they’d all retire and move to warmer places.

The Gift of Bill

I attended my home group tonight – like most Wednesday nights. Tonight we were on Step 11 and had a great lead and some great follow-up call ups to make for a great meeting. I was fortunate enough to sit by my sponsor during the meeting – we had both attended a retreat committee meeting before the meeting and just kept those seats. During the meeting he reached into his pocket and handed me a wrapped gift and card (for a moment I felt special, then I realized he brought all his sponsees  gifts – then I realized I”m unique, like everyone else ) Continue reading

Ding! 44

I dinged Saturday, turned 44. Don’t feel any different, probably won’t for the rest of em either. I started receiving birthday wished a day early and a co-worker even saran wrapped my cubicle items… was a good day. Friday night took a nap after work – forgot to turn off my phone, so it was a short nap – friends calling to wish me a happy birthday (for my 40th birthday I was awakened by someone on the east coast around 3 a.m. when I was in Hawaii, you think I’d have learned to turn that thing off).

Saturday morning sleeping in – forgot to turn off my phone again… so there you go – self-imposed crisis I could neither postpone nor evade.

I did what I wanted to do for my birthday – not much of anything. Video games, comic books, spicy food… naps. yeah, I had a good day. next year though I think I’ll return to Fort Lauderdale, I miss being there for my birthday.

Anyway, here we go starting another year of my life. This past year was much better than the previous – has a lot to do with the new sponsor and a lot to do with the new job, both are things that have helped me immensely. Here’s to continuing on that path.