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Hello mortality… is that you?

“Well, I’ve got to run to keep from hiding
And I’m bound to keep on riding
And I’ve got one more silver dollar
But I’m not gonna let them catch me, no
Not gonna let ’em catch the midnight rider”
Midnight Rider Gregg Allman

I just figured out why I was exhausted.

It has been a stressful few years.

2016, Alison, my one and only wife, mother to my three kids, love of my life and bane of my existence went in for a colonoscopy on the 10th of March. Avoiding a long medical story, she died on the 30th. To bury my grief, my son Ryan and I embarked on a planned, extensive road trip all over California. We were out almost 2 months. We had a grand time-all the way performing and visiting with friends and family. All the while keeping that grief at arms length. Never let it sneak up on us.

Grief doesn’t go away with the mere passage of time. It just lurks under the surface and waits til you think it’s safe to move ahead. It’s not.

I booked the fall pretty heavy as well, thinking all the time that I was moving forward. In fact, I spent the entire month of November cruising in the Caribbean. Thought I had this grief thing beat. Somewhere in there, I developed a pain under my left shoulder blade. I figured it was from lots of slinging my magic bag over my shoulder. Got so I couldn’t sleep well. Driving a car was excruciating. Ortho guys and chiro guys claimed to know it was a pinched nerve. Pain down the arm and into my fingers. Life was filled with pain. This was the first warning signal that I ignored.

Made it back and forth to CA and the Castle for Christmas (which should be experienced by everyone. it is SPECTACULAR) and eventually back to Colorado for the Christmas onslaught.

I was exhausted. But I fell back into the schedule and as the new year charged out of the gates, I settled into the dull roar of the ski season. My ‘pinched nerve’ continued to trouble me. Weekly massages and chiro appts did little to lessen the constant pain I was feeling. Then on Super Bowl Sunday in early Feb, I woke up with dry heaving… body aches… figured I came down with the flu. After a couple of days, I dragged myself out of the house to go to work. When I got to Snowmass, I encountered difficulty breathing. Unusual because I have lived at altitude for 40 years. It sorta freaked me out. Patrons at the bar urged me to go and have that checked. I figured it was my lungs.

Next day, I walked into the ER of the local Hospital in Glenwood and an hour later, I was getting a stent put in my LAD (  left anterior descending artery). Apparently, I was not far from just collapsing and checking out. I dodged a huge bullet.
So I have a new lease on life. The problem is this new lease comes with a different set of terms.

More on that in the next installment.