Blog readers, I owe you an apology. Yes, it’s been kind of a slow year and there are reasons why we haven’t posted but you deserved an explanation sooner than 8 months after the last blog entry. As the creator of this blog haven for ISAA, I must take the blame for that. And I am sorry for anyone who wondered where on Earth we were and what was going on.
The truth is, I have been in terrible health this year. I have been doing well to keep up with size-related news/events and coordinate with ISAA’s second-in-command, Fatima Parker. Fatima has been very busy doing ISAA-related work in the United Kingdom and the Middle East. I hope to have the opportunity to work with her in the next month or so to produce at least one WOM Beta blog post and a PODWOM podcast.
My health issues go back to some major surgeries I had when I was 12 years old in 1983. The surgeries were to prevent potential colon cancer from polyps that run on my (late) father’s side of the family. The surgeries were very successful, especially since part of it involved removing the large intestine (including the colon). A second surgery made me “bionic” by their inserting a plastic-based “j-pouch” in me to perform some of the tasks of the large intestine. And for 20 years (from 1983 to 2003), I had absolutely no complications. But since 2003, my health has been in decline.
At first, we discovered I was severely lactose intolerant and I adjusted my foods accordingly, eliminating all dairy from my diet and including more dairy alternative, such as soy- and rice-based products. But I continued to have medical problems and this year, I was hospitalized 5 times for low potassium and low blood sodium levels. We finally discovered that this was because of problems with the “J-pouch.” It has grown much, much larger than it was ever intended and that has had a significant impact on my electrolytes and the size of the pouch is actually pressing on other organs, which as you might imagine, is painful.
My wife and children as well as our friends, especially our church friends, have been tremendously supportive. And the doctors have gotten me into physical therapy to help control the problem. I also have been prescribed meds which have made daily life much more pain-free than it has been in years.
I want to make a few things clear. While it is true that I have been suffering a medical condition that technically qualifies me as disabled, I have made it one of my highest priorities to not let this medical condition run my life, including my running of ISAA. I am often in contact with people concerning size acceptance and stay apprised of events and size-related issues via the news, internet, mailing lists as well as emails and chats. But I am realistic, too. That is why I made Fatima Parker the second-in-command at ISAA. When I am not available due to my health, she will be. I have the utmost confidence in her based upon her performance as a Branch President in two locations (the only person in ISAA to do so) the last several years.
I am not looking for sympathy or trying to make excuses. But I did feel you deserved an explanation.
Happy Holidays to all and a Happy New Year as well!