Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Column - Dale Flowers

My buddy, and fellow heart transplant recipient, Dale recently spent a few weeks out of commission due to a health issue. However, he's back in the saddle, back to "ruminating," and still riled up a bit. Let's see what he's "chewing" on now.

Welcome back Dale


It was bad enough to be laying there with my lower right lobe removed from my lung. Being loud and long winded, I did and will miss that organ, but I won‘t miss the cancer that came with it. And then I had to lay there and listen to the stupidity that went on in Washington.

Allow me to draw a parallel. When I visited my lung specialist the first time, we discussed the FACT that I had a strange nodule growing in my right lower lobe. We had three options. We could ignore it, and let it grow until it killed me. We could remove the nodule. We could then test the nodule, and, if malignant, remove the rest of the lobe. Since it was my life on the line it was my decision to make. Considering the fact that I had survived the “widow maker” heart attack at 42, had bypass surgery (30% chance of survival) at 56, and finally a heart transplant at 65, I saw no reason to stop now. “Jerk the thing out” because God isn’t through with me yet. I can live on four lobes. There are those today who are living productive lives on less than one lobe. So, let’s solve the problem and full steam ahead.

While in the hospital, I watched the “budget battle." This is when the major pain kicked in. Our nation has a major budget problem. Sadly, the powers that be want to argue party politics rather than facing the FACT that we are going broke and need to solve the problem. There was the problem of pride – the “I can’t let you win” attitude. Their pride does not allow them to remember that it is the people on the street looking for work that are the real winners or losers.

One group had their feet on the ground. They recognized there was a serious problem and were prepared to take the painful steps to solve the problem. Unfortunately, there were several other groups who wanted to ignore the danger the nation was in. When I was a freshman at CHS in Cookeville, we learned in our economics class that we had to live on a balanced budget, but most of us already knew that. I had to make the $2.50 off my paper route last me all week. It is painful that many in our government do not have the financial knowledge of the average working teenager.

In order to go home, I had to have the tubes removed from my chest.  There was only one way to do it – pull them out. I have never felt such pain, but I would do it again to come home. When we recover from a sickness, we often experience pain. Our nation must recover from a spending spree of money we didn’t have. I hope we have what it takes to do it.

Dale C. Flowers
PO Box 904
Hendersonville, TN  37077

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