Sunday, February 01, 2015

Call me Mister.

I'm out.  Done.  Kaput.  Finished.


I enlisted at 17, nearly a quarter century ago.  Now I am retired, free to say and do what I want.

First, thanks for bearing with me.  The last few years have been rough.

Second, John Patrick White is, in my opinion, one of the worst and most toxic leaders in the Army and a complete douchebag.

Third, ow.  During the last month, I've finally had the pain in my back diagnosed.  My L5 vertabrae is about 2/3 the size it's supposed to be, has bone spurs, and is canted and pushing down on my SI joint, and compressing the nerve clusters there, sending shooting and stabbing pains all the way to my feet, which have gone numb.  I will need a spinal fusion surgery to correct this.

The orthopedic surgeon I visited last week wants to see the images from the CT scan I had in November before scheduling surgery.  Right now I am waiting on the radiology department at Tripler Army Medical Center to get them to me.

Process will be (well, should be)
Get images, give to Doc. (I start calling up the food chain tomorrow morning.  I expect I will have my images in hand within the week.)

Doc reviews images, tells TRICARE I need surgery.  (+/- 1 week after getting images)

TRICARE approves surgery and it is scheduled. (I will be on the phone with TRICARE from the moment the request is sent until it is approved.)

Surgery happens approximately 2 weeks after request is approved, depending on availability of OR and Dr.

Ideally, by the end of February, my back should be fixed.  I'll spend the next three months in a back brace.

Approximately 9% reduction in flexibility of lower back and huge pain reduction.

Not exactly how I planned to spend my retirement, but no plan seems to survive around me.

We live in Texas now.  We have a nice house, nice land, a barn and a breeding facility for dogs. I plan to breed Labrador retrievers for service animals for wounded warriors.  If anyone has or knows of someone who breeds Labs, please let me know.



USCitizen said...

God bless you for your service and welcome to Texas.

It was an honor to meet you at the Gunblogger Rendezvous.

Code Monkey said...

Welcome back.

Farm.Dad said...

Congrats! , Good Luck , and Welcome back all in one response LOL .

Jim said...

Good to see you back on the web. Will send info on Lab breeder via email.

Kathi McClenney said...

Good to hear from you again, sorry about the back pain but glad it's something fixable. Happy retirement!

David M said...

Welcome back!

BigFred said...

Congrats on your retirement and welcome back.

OldAFSarge said...

Welcome back Sir. Congrats on the retirement, good luck on the surgery.

No plan survives contact with the enemy.

Or reality.

Patti Bader said...

A thrilling new adventure to embark upon.Love the Z'S

Smite A. Hippie said...

Welcome back and good luck on your new endeavor!

virgil xenophon said...

"In from the Cold" I see..

Congrats on your retirement and good luck with the surgery. It's been many miles since I started reading you circa 2004/05--lots of good people have unfortunately long gone by the wayside--don't be a stranger..

louisa said...

this is just awesome, Chuck (except for the surgery -- but it will fix things). We have a number of service dogs at our Sled hockey clinics. They make everybody happy, not just the guys they service. Good on you for doing that. Enjoy your freedom.

Oddybobo said...

Congrats on your retirement!

Anonymous said...

Howdy! I just heard your blog post on This American Life. Crazy to think that was 10 years ago!

Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to retirement. I expect you will find it looser, but not always more comfortable. Update on surgery would be appreciated.

From here on time really speeds up.

Good luck and God Bless.

Dusek said...

First off welcome back from beyond the dead zone of your blog. I've checked numerous times over the years while it was password protected.

I want to say a big thank you for having this blog. While I was deployed to Iraq 10-11 I read though the entirety of your survival and recovery. It helped me through the day in day out grime of soldiering.

Leslie said...

Glad you finally have gotten a diagnosis and a fix for your pain. Hope we will see you back on the innertubes. Sending good thoughts your way and prayers for a speedy recovery. {{{Hugs}}}

Rudy Moralez said...

I would have liked to have seen you retire as an O-6 or higher, but I appreciate your time in service and everything you have done for this country. Enjoy your retirement.
Your family will appreciate the time you spend with them as a thank you for the times they had to sacrifice when you were called away to places that some people never know where to find on a map.
Wishing you and your family great success in all future plans.

Rudy Moralez
Woodbridge, VA

Rudy Moralez said...


Thank you for your service, and a "thank you" to your lovely wife and children for their sacrifices when you were in uniform.

Whatever you do in your retirement, I wish you and the family great success in all of your endeavors.

Rudy Moralez
Woodbridge, VA

SFC MAC said...

Hey Chuck, when are you coming back? Hope your surgery went well.