Surprise; I'm actually going to States this weekend, one last time. This is the fourth year in a row I'm retiring. Amtrakking to Renssealer tomorrow (Thursday), staying with friends and coming down Friday, working Mission one more time, and returning to Grand Rapids Saturday & Sunday. It's kind of complicated without a car and all my health problems.
For those wondering, over the past year and a half I have been fighting long-undiagnosed Stage 4 (severe) Nephritis. Six months ago I got on the kidney transplant list, and about a month ago, my kidneys finally gave up the last 17% they had, and I started dialysis. Three days a week, four hours per visit, with a pair of needles in my arm bigger than basketball inflator needles. Best comment so far? "Wow, I never saw tubing that shade of red before. Is it scarlet or maroon?" My answer: "No, it's transparent."
Kidneys do far more than filter waste products; it regulates body fluid volume, blood pressure, mwater-soluble mineral quantities, and blood pH; it also creates Vitamin D. Every one of these mess up other organs in a cascading effect. Dialysis itself creates many issues, like incredible insomnia, protein, phosphorus and iron loss, organ damage, and I now kind of wobble when I walk. However, it's absolutely necessary until I get a new kidney and it looks like a five to seven year wait before my probabality increases to 50%. In short, I have become the type of event sup I used to complain about long ago, so it's time to go.
Kevin Murphy became the Mission Supervisor last season. I picked him myself and refused to consider anyone else -- he was my first Mission winner at States all those years ago. He's trained under me for the past six or seven years, and he scores teams exactly like I do -- we'd both fill out score sheets and the final score would differ by no more than two points. Tina Gilliland wants me there because she doesnt want to lose me and is afriad something will go wrong; it won't -- and I'm coming solely to keep her from worrying -- I've worked with her in one arrangement or another for 23 years. Just gonna sit around, talk to people, teach the event to a few rookie coaches, and eat fancy pastries from the shop down the hall.
Tell your coach; stop by; say hi. I now look like a cross between an Amish farmer and Buddy Holly. No sentimental crap, please.
Uncle Fester, Maker & Fiction Science Writer
The Misadventures of the Electric Detention
The Revenge of the Electric Detention
The Curse of the Electric Detention
>> Three full-length adventures, 26 short stories and counting!