Tag Archives: Health

Surgery Day!

I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to take a moment to type away on this wonderful little keyboard. There is such a wonderful feeling I get when typing out words with both hands buzzing along, rarely misspelling a word… yeah, right.

You see, my wife and I are preparing to walk out the door and head out to the hospital for my rotator cuff surgery. This afternoon, not long after 2 p.m. (eastern), my right arm will be completely useless. I have no idea how long it will be before I am able to type the way I am doing right now, and that’s a little sad.

But on the other hand, I am going to do everything I can to keep my spirits up. This is a terrifying day, but it’s also a very exciting day! I am about to undergo the most radical surgery of my life….I am about to become handicapped… I am about to become totally dependent on my wife for things, as of this moment, I can do for myself…. I am about to sleep in a recliner… I’ve never owned a recliner until today 🙂

This day is also exciting because it is going to be the first day on a journey in which I am going to be able to prove my God is real. Already, even as of yesterday morning, the Lord has been opening my eyes to the reality that He will take care of my family and me through this challenging ordeal. We will not starve…we will not be destitute…He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory!

I will do my best to keep you guys updated along the way (the best way will be through Facebook). Even though I would ask you to keep me in your prayers, would you please keep my wife, Valerie, in your prayers? She will have a lot on her over the next couple of months as she is not only going to be taking care of me, but still taking care of my grandmother (she’s 95). Keep this in mind – my wife also had torn tendons in her right ankle!

Well, I guess I’d better go and get some more things done before it’s time to leave. In the meantime, go back and look at my previous “appeal” post, and if you can help in any way, it would be most certainly appreciated.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

– Anthony Baker

FYI, my surgery will be at 2 p.m. at Erlanger East, Chattanooga. Pray that Dr. Lund doesn’t slip up 😉

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Filed under current events, Faith

Stupid Chest Pain! (Remembered)

The following post was written on 9/29/2013 – NOT today! But I’m thankful to the Lord for what He has brought me through over the last 4 years.


Not Again!

Earlier in the year (maybe late last year) I had been having chest pain. At one point I was literally afraid I was having a heart attack. Yet, after extensive humiliation, all tests came back negative (which is actually a positive).

Well, here we go again. More chest pain – in the same place – and more tests. Friday night I went to the ER just to be safe (and to make certain people be quiet). That’s when I got the same questions, the same initial tests, and the same evil looks from self-righteous, healthy, gym-membership-owning nurses who know I need to lose weight.

However, this time was a little different from times in the past.

What Am I?

When my wife and I first got to the hospital, I walked up to the desk and was greeted by a not-so-sweet lady with a clip board. “What’s the reason for your visit?” she asked. “Um, well, it’s a chest pain thing,” I answered. Then, without looking up she hands me a clip board and says, “Fill this out and sign at the bottom, then take a seat.”

In a moment or two I am triaged and taken to have chest x-rays. When I got to the room for the x-ray the technician asked to see my arm band (for identification). They had not given me one.

Later, while lying in bed and hooked up to monitoring devices, a hospital rep came in to ask me a lot of personal questions. They needed to know about any medications, whether or not I had insurance, and about previous illnesses or surgeries. Among the questions were the following:

  • “Mr. Baker, are you now, or have you ever been pregnant?” she asked. “I know I may look it, but no,” was my reply.
  • “Are you on any type of birth control medication?” That’s when I looked at her with the same look that Gary Coleman used to have when he said, What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

Now folks, I have had little kids come up to me, touch my belly, and ask, “Are you having a baby?” But honestly, either my wife has been secretly poisoning me with estrogen, or this woman must have thought I was one ugly woman in a lesbian relationship. Why would she ask such questions? You’d think my facial hair, low voice, and Adam’s apple would be a dead giveaway!

Signing Out

Fortunately, the ER doctor decided not to admit me. He said they wouldn’t be able to do an arteriogram over the weekend, so I might as well go home and take nitrates until next week when I talk to a cardiologist. Who knows? I might be in bad shape, but we will have to wait.

So, after talking with the doctor, he said: “I’ll have them bring in your paperwork, then you’ll be free to go home.”

Guess what was written on the prescription?

Name: Anthony Baker   Sex: Female

Should I change my name to Antonia? !!


UPDATE: It is now 9/29/2017 and my name’s still Anthony :-)… and my chest is fine.

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Filed under fitness, General Observations, Humor

Side Effects Worth the Cure?

Ask Your Doctor

Surely you have seen the commercials on television. They advertise different medications meant to do everything from grow hair to end hot flashes. And at the end of every commercial you hear, “Ask your doctor if ******** is right for you!”

Right for me? Ask my doctor? OK, maybe I will.

“Dr. Close (my general physician), can I ask you something? I saw an add for female hormone replacement medication. Is it right for me?”

A New Disease

I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a commercial and said to myself, “Where did that disease come from? Is it common? Could I be suffering from it? Will I get to wear a colored ribbon?”

Have you ever heard of Trihemamasticular Disease? I googled it – nothing came up. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an advertisement in the works. At this very moment, there is probably a pill being made which promises to alleviate the symptoms of Trihemamasticular Disease. And if there is, rest assured it will be the best thing for you.

Just be aware of the side effects…

  • Common side effects may include the following: nausea, indigestion, coughing, dry mouth, ringing in the ears, and a runny nose.
  • Don’t be alarmed if you experience: watery eyes, hair loss, brittle teeth, a craving for oysters, bleeding gums, or stinky feet. These symptoms are usually temporary.
  • Stop using this medication if you begin to experience: a reddening of your ear lobes, tooth loss, finger loss, memory loss, or financial loss.
  • Avoid the following while taking this medication: leather, crayons, animal fat, peanut butter, aspirin, attitudes, children, loud noises, butterfly feces, clowns, and purified water.
  • Get medical attention immediately if you begin to experience: hives, swelling of the left knee, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of starting over, unknown tongues, a desire to star in a reality show, rapid breathing, breathing through a straw while submerged in a river, thoughts of voting Democrat, or a craving for pickles.

Warning Label

As crazy as it may sound, there should also be a warning label inside every Bible. They should make television commercials explaining the possible side effects of following Christ.

Side effects may include:

  • Being hated, ridiculed, made fun of, mocked, and parodied.
  • Being ostracized, avoided, shunned, passed over for promotions, and fired from a job.
  • Being accused of radicalism, racism, fanaticism, and narrow-mindedness.
  • A cross to bear.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” – Matthew 5:11

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” – Matthew 24:9

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27

Is this Medicine right for you? Yes! The side effects are totally worth the cure.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Humor, salvation, Witnessing, worship

Helping Me Lose Weight 5/11/17

Let’s get serious…

It’s 5/11 and yesterday I picked up my new 5-11 tactical uniform pants (for the Sheriff’s Office – I’m a chaplain). They are a size 36 waist, and they barely fit. 

On top of that, my new uniform shirt, which is an XL, fits ok, but I still need to wear a vest underneath. But I have a beer gut, just without the beer.


This morning I weighed myself after my shower… 222.4 pounds. 222.4! 

Now it’s 7:04 a.m., I’m in between bus routes, and I can’t tell you how much I want to go inside and get a cup of coffee and a honey bun!! 

You guys have GOT to give me some encouragement! 

I’m too much of a man to look pregnant! 

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Filed under clothing, fitness, Food

A Poem for Friday Repeated

Back in 2012 I was going full-steam in seminary, pastoring a church, and had a wife that was desperately ill with fibromyalgia. It was a pretty tense time around the Baker house, to say the least. Some things change; some things remain the same.

So, you see, I was going to write a post about not being ashamed of Jesus, but I will save that for tomorrow or Sunday. In the meantime, I will just share this poem I wrote back in 2012 while I help my wife finish some tax returns, eat some oatmeal, scrounge up some gas money for later, and do a little praying before I get back on the school bus this afternoon.

The following is a complete rip-off of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song that everyone – including myself – hated. Funny thing, I still sing it to myself EVERY Friday morning!

“It’s Friday”

Eight a.m. waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go down stairs
Hot cup of tea, butter on raisin toast
Plagiarize a song by a girl with Black hair.
 
Got a mid-term that’s due tonight
Seminary’s really try’n to kick my buns.
Still gotta finish a honey-do list
Being out of work is fun, fun, fun!
 
Friday! It’s Friday! Out of work this Friday!
Studying and reading. Gettin’ ready for this Sunday.
Friday, Friday, gettin’ down on Friday.
Need to exercise and take my morning multi-vitamin for men.
 
Wife stayed up for two days straight
Now’s she’s in bed and can’t stay awake
Gotta figure out what’s wrong with her
Don’t know if much more she can take.
 
Daughter wants to ride her bicycle
Wants me to ride mine with her, too
Maybe I should finish this poem right now.
Daddy, pastor, student’s got a lot to do!
 
Friday! It’s Friday! Mail will come this Friday!
Maybe a check’s in the mail that’ll let me tithe a lot this Sunday.
Friday, Friday, gettin’ down on Friday.
Need to pray a lot and take my morning multi-vitamin for men.


P.S., That “Donate” button might make this Friday a wee more tolerable 🙂

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Filed under fitness, Humor, poetry, Relationships and Family, Uncategorized

Bodily Exercise Profiteth a Little

The other day I saw a poster on the wall of my physical therapist’s office. I took a picture of it just for you, my readers. 

I thought to myself, “Self, there’s a blog post if I’ve ever seen one.” 

Self replied, “Yes, I believe you are correct, as always. Why not take a photo of it?”

“Already on it,” said I to self. 

“Good play, my boy! Bravo!”

“Yes,” I answered, “I know.”

So, here is the poster, followed by my thoughts. 


By the looks of it, running, golfing, tennis, and swimming can do almost as much harm as good! I mean, exercise could kill you! 

On the other hand, the Apostle Paul didn’t totally dismiss exercise; he admitted there was a “little” profit. 

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)

The thing to remember is that no matter how healthy you become, death is following close behind. It’s our spiritual health that matters most of all. 

How do you exercise? 

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Filed under Christian Living, Life Lessons, Life/Death, salvation

Childhood Wisdom?

Listen to the Children

I will never forget a commercial I saw on television. It was a long time ago, and I still get irritated. The main line that was repeated over and over was, “Listen to the children.”

Oh, it was one of those environmental, tree-hugging commercials that had little kids instructing adults how to live their lives. One little girl would say something like, “Don’t make me starve,” while another little boy would go on about how eating at McDonald’s would ruin the earth’s water supply – or something like that.

Anyway, every time a toddler would voice her scripted opinion a deep, male voice would echo in response, “Listen…to the children.” Yes, adults should listen to a 5-year-old because of her years of accumulated wisdom untainted by experience.

What Do they Say?

If we to listen to the little crumbcrunchers long enough, we will hear things like:

  • screaming kid“I don’t want to eat that, Mommy! I want cake!”  Listen…to the children.
  • “I don’t want to take bath!” Listen…to the children.
  • “If I was president, I would make everybody happy and would never have school and make parents buy every kid a unicorn and never have to go to bed and make the world like warm all the time with snow all year.”  Listen…to the children.
  • “All I want to do is go home, get some food, and play my video games all weekend!” Listen…to the…wait, an adult said that. 

AND did you know that children have figured out the whole gender (man/woman) thing? Believe it or not, according to the kids on my school bus, girls are smart, but boys are stupid. Here’s how they describe the difference:

“Girls go to college to get more knowledge.

Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.”

Girls go to college, but boys go to Jupiter. Hmmm…may we ponder that for a moment?

  • What type of intelligence was required to put man on the moon?
  • Methane and ethane make up a tiny proportion o...What type of brain power was needed to land an un-manned rover on Mars?
  • What kind of genius will it require to send man four times the distance to the sun in order to view up-close the deadly storms of Jupiter?
  • Stupid boys can go to Jupiter while girls are still fighting over who should be sorority president – and who’s stupider?

Train ‘Em

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I gather from this verse that it is therefore the responsibility of the older, wiser, more responsible parent to teach the child.

They should listen to us. But what are we teaching?

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Parenting, Relationships and Family

I Need a “Spirical”

A What?

I need a spirical. You mean you don’t know what that is? A spirical is the spiritual version of a physical – hence, spiri – cal. The problem is that the last time I checked, my insurance policy doesn’t cover such a thing (unless it’s covered under psychiatric care).

Yes, I need a spirical, just like (well, almost like) the actual physical I received yesterday.

The Physical

Do I really need to go into a lot of detail about my physical? Some of it could be rather embarrassing, you know. Because even though I try to be as transparent as possible, there is such a thing as TMI (too much information). Nevertheless, let’s see what I can do.

My examiner for this round of embarrassment was a nice young woman (they keep getting younger) named Dr. Natalie McQueen. She was very professional, too, and never once laughed at how out of shape I am (which I appreciated).  No, all she did was off-handedly mention that exercise and diet modification might help lower my triglycerides.

depressorsThe typical physical includes much of the following…

  • Blood work
  • Checking one’s weight
  • Checking blood pressure
  • Listening to the heart, lungs, and bowels.
  • Checking reflexes and looking for nerve issues
  • Checking the eyes, ears, nose, and throat
  • Getting undressed and putting on a scratchy gown that opens to the back (the rest I will leave to your imagination).

It was when I was on my way home, feeling violated, yet relieved my report was good, that I started thinking about how we Christians should have annual spiritual check-ups.

The Spirical

Who better to give a spirical than God? What, you want pastor or counselor doing that kind of thing? Are you crazy? They’re not the Doctors; they’re just the receptionists, the P.A.’s, and the nurses. If you want a REAL examination of your spiritual self, you need to go straight to the Specialist of Specialists and let Him get to work.

If you think I’m a little crazy with all this spirical talk, then you must also think poor Job and King David were off their rockers…

  • Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. – Job 31:6
  • Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24
  • Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. – Psalm 26:2

One reason people shy away from getting an annual physical is because they don’t want to hear any bad news. They live their lives with abandon, then expect the doctor to examine them and declare them healthy.

Could it be that we rarely hear of spiritual check-ups because so few of us want to be weighed, searched, tried, examined, and proven by the only One who can see through our excuses and bad habits?

Maybe we like being unhealthy.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, fitness

Surgery Day

Sometime this afternoon (after 12 p.m. EST), I don’t exactly know when, a surgeon, a man highly skilled in his art, will open up my flesh and attempt to correct a problem which has been bothering me for several months. I’m going under the knife.

Oh, it’s not a big surgery, like having my brain removed and replaced with a turnip (that only happens when conservatives become liberals, and the government pays for the operation). No, I am having my hand operated on, specifically my left thumb. Why? It’s not working the way it should, or rather, “designed.”

Even for small surgeries like this, but especially when one is going to be put to sleep, one is asked serious questions about life and death.

  • “Do you have a living will and power of attorney?”
  • “Who do we contact if something goes horribly wrong?”
  • “If you were to do something in your sleep to make the anesthesiologist screw up, would you prefer a priest or a generic Protestant?”

The fact is that no surgery is a “little” surgery when it requires one to be anesthetized. Let’s face it, even though I’m only going to be having my thumb and hand cut on, I literally could die today. Yes, things like that happen.

This could be my last post. Sobering, eh?

But I’m not worried; my eternity is secure.

This operation has also gotten me thinking about spiritual surgeries, the kind when God has to come along and cut on our hearts. Fortunately, there is no need for anesthesia or living wills, but it’s surprising how many people refuse to let Him operate, even when the end result would be much better health.

Why is it I am so willing to allow a human doctor to put me under and cut me open when I’m so unwilling, at times, to trust my Creator with cutting away the things that make my spiritual life sick? Why would I want to be less effective in my walk with God any more than I want my hand to be crippled? Makes no sense, does it?

So, I’m having surgery in just a few hours. Pray for me.

In the meantime I’m going to be having a consultation with my heavenly Doctor. The great thing is that when He does His cutting, the Sword He uses not only cuts, but heals, too. Recovery time is up to me and how quickly I want to obey.

God bless! 

UPDATE: I am still alive, but typing is a tad bit limited. My left thumb was cut open at the palm to release the tendon which makes it bend. I was suffering from an acute case of “trigger thumb.” Now let’s just pray I don’t do anything crazy in my sleep 😦

painful hand

Pain medication is a wonderful thing.

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Filed under Faith, fitness, Future, General Observations, Life/Death

Secrets to a Long Life

Morning Questions

I don’t know what it is about Monday mornings and the questions kids want to ask while I am driving. Something must happen over the weekends which cause children to seek wise counsel from the school bus driver.

One question I got the other day was just too big for me. I mean, seriously, I laughed, shook my head, and ignored the kindergartner. He asked, “Mr. Baker, why is the world so big?” If I had answered truthfully and said, “Because that’s the way God made it,” then I would have been fired. So, since I couldn’t think of anything overly stupid with which to respond, I stayed silent.

However, this morning, there was a question I had to answer. This morning a young girl got on the bus and asked, “Mr. Baker, do you know the secret to living a long life?” “Well, there are several secrets, but what’t the one you know?”

“Play the harmonica,” she replied.

“Play the harmonica?”

“Yes,” she said matter-of-factly. “Because playing the harmonica will help your lungs, and strong lungs will help you live longer.”

“Is that so?” I asked. “Yep,” answered the little girl.

“Well,” I replied, “my daddy played the harmonica, and he’s dead.”

My Secrets 

OK, so I’ve never been convicted for the over use of tact. Sometimes I am too brutally honest for my own good (so my wife says). Other times, however, I can be sweet and compassionate – just not this morning, evidently.

Anyway, this morning’s question got me to thinking. Could I come up with some secrets for living a long life?

10 Secrets to Living a Long Life (by someone who hasn’t yet died):

  1. Never pull the trigger when it’s pointed at you.
  2. Never smoke more than 3 cigars in an hour.
  3. Never jump from a moving vehicle if it’s moving through the air.
  4. Never corner a rock badger.
  5. Drink at least 3 glasses of something a week.
  6. Eat food.
  7. Don’t drive drunk, or with a teenage girl with directional issues.
  8. Breath regularly, except in the tourist’s bathroom at the Bush’s Baked Bean factory.
  9. Hide all sharp objects, scissors, and ammunition before going to bed with an angry wife.
  10. Drink excessive amounts of coffee.

Serious Secrets

Now that you have my secrets for living a long, not necessarily healthy, life, what does the Bible say about long life? What kind of “secrets” can we find hidden in that wonderful book of Wisdom?

5 Biblical Secrets to Long Life

  1. Obey and honor your parents (Deut. 5:16; Eph. 6:1-3).
  2. Don’t mess around with another person’s spouse (Prov. 6:29-35).
  3. “Keep my commandments, and live…” (Prov. 7:2).
  4. “Forsake the foolish, and live…” (Prov. 9:6).
  5. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – that’s the secret to ETERNAL life (John 3:15-16; 10:28; Rom. 6:23).

 

So, what are your secrets to living a long life? Do you have any more to share with us? Leave them in the comment section so we can all learn to live a little longer 😉

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Filed under Christian Living, Humor, Life Lessons, Life/Death