Friday, June 9, 2017

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tribute to a Wonderful Friend Lost too Soon!

This blog is dedicated to a high school buddy that I stayed in touch with through the next 25 years until his passing June 17, 2016. His name was Ron "Ronnie" Lester.

What all but a few very close people knew was his organs were failing him for the last 4 months of his life due to complications from his gastric bypass surgery which enabled him to go from 508 lbs to 160 lbs losing an astounding 348 lbs. He had complications through the surgery as he flatlined the first time so they had to stop and go back 6 months later to complete it. He had 18 surgeries to take care of the excess skin that came as he lost the weight.

What the majority of us closest to him did know was he loved drinking and couldn't give it up for anything even when his organs were failing. He was drinking and partying as far back as high school. He drank and talked about drinking and partying all the 25 years I knew him. We tried to help him, but as is well known, they have to want to change for it to work.

The public saw Ron Lester as the lovable fat guy "Billy Bob" in "Varsity Blues" alongside Paul Walker and James Van Der Beek. They saw him as "Spatch" in "Goodburger" alongside Keenan and Kel. He played a parody of his "Varsity Blues" self in "Not Another Teen Movie", and as "Sug" on the 2 season show "Popular". He was even part of the show "Freak and Geeks".

What the public doesn't realize is he was also in an episode of "CSI" in his new skinny body. Unless you were friends with him or knew him, you wouldn't have recognized him. He did 2 other projects yet to be released that I hope will get the funding and be released because he worked very hard on them only to at one point get scammed.

I always kept in touch with Ron over the years even though we did one year of high school together because he and I were kindred spirits in wanting to help people and be kind etc. whether it was messages on Facebook, a phone call on his birthday into his radio show even though I was out on a date, we stayed in touch almost to the very end. Our last call was in November as he was getting released from the hospital he said he had to go because he was heading to Vegas. Just like Ron.

My fondest memory of Ron was his high school graduation because it was my sisters as well. He had a cap on with 4 tassels marking each year he was supposed to graduate but. Ow was because he was 21. So, when they called his name, we gave him a standing ovation....I think the teachers did it cuz he was finally outta their hair ;)

Myself and others tried over the years to help him with his drinking, but I. The end, it was his choice. It was also HIS choice to discontinue being on life support. See, while his organs were failing, he was not in a coma, he was lucid enough to convey that request to the nurses and his fiancee Jennifer Worland who'd been by his side throughout it all.

In the 25 years I knew Ron, he also struggled with love. I was there for him each time another girl hurt him telling him the right one was out there just hold on. He had to lean on his friends because he told us he had no family, they were all dead. He told us this many times over the years including on his radio show. So when Jennifer came along, I saw a change in Ron. A beautiful change. A change for the better! He proposed to her and they were to be married on his birthday AUGUST 4, 2016.  Instead, we were celebrating the life he had as a memorial. I was so sad he never got to have the wedding I'd had and the happily ever after with Jennifer because she's a wonderful girl who would have been an amazing wife for him.

So for now, I do this blog to memorialize him since no one that really knew him was allowed to speak at the service. Ron, you were loved by many and will be missed so much! I hope you are up there having fun with Paul Walker and with Howie ;) give him a hug for me til I can hug both you again!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Two Years Today

Two years go today I walked into the lobby pictured in the picture below to get a chest x-ray. It says in the picture just how bad off I was. They told me both lungs were full of blood clots and to get back to my dr immediately. So I got my husband so he could drive (he works in the immediate area) and we went to the dr. I was on the phone with my dad explaining what was going on I heard hospital out of the corner of my ear and told my dad I had to go because I heard something I didn't like.
For those that don't know, I've had big issues with hospitals since my gall bladder removal in 2000. Anyway, the doctor said I had to go, as it was had I waited 3 more days I woulda been dead.
So, we drove across the parking lot to the hospital and started the week and a day stay in the cardiac unit at that hospital waiting for a bed at UNC because apparently I also had a clot in my right atrium and a 13cm long one in my lower vena cava vein which if it broke free would have killed me.
UNC used thrombaletics for 24 hours keeping me flat on my back which was excruciating with my lower back injury to break up the lower clot with a filter protecting my heart, lungs, and brain. The next morning they went in manually with a filter in my neck to break up the last 40% of the clot.
The picture with my sister was from my stay at the first hospital. She came up as my family all live in GA and were scared so if I didn't let her up they all woulda,come up wink emoticon but I was thankful she came!
The last Picture was me this last January as my lungs were still healing from all the damage from the clots.
I'm happy to say that today, the original diagnosis of right side heart failure is gone, all the oxygen equipment is gone, and I'm living my life to the fullest! I still get winded from time to time, but I'll take that over the way I was 2 years ago! OH! The best part is I lost 40 lbs and have kept it off!
I am 40 years old. These were not my first clots. Listen to your body for the warning signs. I was getting weaker, I was needing to sit more frequently when walking, if I did a flight of stairs I had to sit to recover. You aren't lazy, get it checked! I had pain in my chest but didn't realize it. It doesn't discriminate age, gender, race, etc. I lost a HS classmate right after my incident and recently another classmates brother had a huge clot in his lung cut out.
Listen to your body!!! Let my story be a lesson, let my friends stories be lessons. Don't ignore the signs.
I am happier and healthier today because I went to the doctor and continue to when something doesn't seem right. I live each day to the fullest and as if it's my last cause you never know....I was told had I waited 3 days I wouldn't be here today to help y'all.....don't put things off that you want to do! Live with no regrets....I now do!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Today was another day.....

So, I'm guessing y'all wanna know what happened this AM when I showed up at the Dr.'s office right? I got there and the usual receptionist wasn't there.  They told me she was out that day, I said ah ok. I asked for my doctors nurse so I could give her the bag of goodies I had for her then sat and waited for her.  She came out and we talked for a few minutes. I told her what happened and that she and the doctor she was the nurse for were the only reasons I was staying and I may not be after what had happened Friday. She went and got me a stool test kit and we were talking for a few more minutes and I got her to write her address down and slipped it in there as a very nosey nurse came over to butt in and see what we were up to.  So we broke it up and I left.

So then I went to the Pulmonary Dr. and they did indeed have more information than Western Wakemed did. Basically, they are going with Pulmonary Hypertension. Basically right side heart failure. The basic definition is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart. It begins when tiny arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arteries are narrowed, blocked, or destroyed.  This makes it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, and raises pressure within your lungs' arteries. As the pressure builds, your heart's lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and eventually fail.

Pulmonary hypertension is a serious illness that becomes progressively worse and is sometimes fatal. Although pulmonary hypertension isn't curable, treatments are available that can help lessen symptoms and improve quality of life.

My next test is a Right Heart Catheterization. I've had all the other tests thus far.  During this procedure, a cardiologist will place  a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a vein. The catheter is threaded into your right ventricle and pulmonary artery. Right heart catheterization allows your doctor to directly measure the pressure in the main pulmonary arteries and right ventricle.  It's also used to see what effect different medications may have on your pulmonary hypertension.

Right Heart Catheterization is usually performed during local anesthesia and sedation in a hospital setting. you often can go home soon after the procedure. You'll need someone to drive you home after the test.

So you will know more when I know more! The test has not been scheduled yet.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gotta Get It!

Hey!  If you own an ipad, check out that company Zoogue in the right sidebar! they have AWESOME cases and accessories! I have been with them since I got the original Ipad and I turned the original in last year to Best Buy so I could get the Ipad Air.  Zoogue did NOT disappoint on having just as cool a case for my new one! NOW, they have an even cooler one about to be released that I just have to have and I was told that my readers could use the code JT30 to get a 20% discount off theirs!  THAT is a deal!  GO FOR IT!