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Beginning last January, after experiencing some pain and fever, I began seeing a urologist, which led to out-patient hospital procedures.
After testing and continuing confirmation, it was the doctor’s opinion and that of other urologists that I had a kidney performing at 15 percent or less, and that the kidney should be removed.
When the question was posed of whether I wanted to continue with these procedures twice a year for the rest of my life, I agreed to the nephrectomy or kidney removal, which was scheduled for Oct. 21 with an estimated recovery time of around 15 days.
I had the surgery scheduled well in advance, so I planned on not scheduling divorce and child custody cases on those days of my expected recuperation.
I took advantage of a Monday holiday so my recovery would not affect our heavy Monday criminal docket.
I had not counted on having a bout with extensive blood clots in both legs and further hospitalization.
Fortunately, because of a blood- clotting incident many years ago and having then had a blood clot travel to my lungs, which could have been fatal, I was given the option of having a screen inserted in the major artery leading from my legs to the upper portions of my body, which would provide protection for my lungs, heart and brain. I agreed to that procedure back then.
If nothing else, let this letter serve as notice to readers that should you experience pain when walking and notice swelling and redness in your legs, you may be suffering from blood clots in your legs.
You should seek immediate medical help. I suggest your response should be a trip to the emergency room.
My recovery time was far greater than expected, and though I continue to experience some difficulties, I am recovering.
To my family, all those friends, churches and Sunday school classes who mailed me get-well cards and have had me on their prayer lists, I offer my thanks — especially to Morrison Hill Christian Church and to First United Methodist Church, whose Prayer Shawl Ministry made me a prayer shawl.
For that, I offer a special thanks to Ms. Moore.
To the Sunday school class of Terry and Linda Stooksbury, who sent me a card signed by, I think, the entire class, I am so grateful.
To my Sunday school class at Morrison Hill, thank you.
Thank you to my friends, Terry Smith and Ben Ridings, for the help around the house when I was barred from heavy lifting.
My brother Gary made himself available to get me to my doctors’ appointments and performed other services.
I offer a special thanks to my wife, Robbi, and my children, who supported me during this difficult time.
Forgive me for those times when I became grumpy.
I have often juggled my docket to sit for another judge, who, for various reasons, would be unavailable to hold court, and now I was on the receiving end. During this difficult period my secretary, Freda Ramey, and Judge Jeff Wicks worked together to find a judge who could assist in handling our court cases.
Judge Todd Burnette of Fentress County assisted, as did Lenoir City Judge Terry Vann, who sat on multiple occasions.
To all these people, I am especially grateful.
I know my absence put additional stress on Ms. Ramey and Judge Wicks, but they always assured me that the work would be handled.
It was, and they, too, were praying for my recovery.
It is good to be back to work. Again, to all my family, friends, co-workers, and the good people of Roane County, thank you.
I believe we are all blessed.
Thank you, God; couldn’t have done it without you.
General Sessions Court Judge