Sports Columns

June 29, 2014

Doug Hawley: My battery is still charged up

Yes, I am still alive! After laying low by some people’s standards, I am starting to surface.

Actually, I never have stopped running. Granted, it has been the almost obscene low of two miles daily.

Back in early May, it was disclosed that I had suffered seizures. This apparently came through low sodium.

It was reminiscent to a bout suffered some seven years ago with a sodium imbalance. However, seizures were not involved at that time.

Consequently, I could drive my car immediately on that occasion. Granted, some relatives were almost scared to death on my immediate journey driving from Atlanta to Dalton.

Things are much different now. Under Georgia state laws, people who have suffered a seizure can’t drive for six months. Although I have felt my driving skills are as good as ever, I respect the law. Nevertheless, it is difficult to observe your almost new car from a few yards away and not be able to drive the vehicle.

Talk about the pits. And I’m not talking about a NASCAR race.

From a physical standpoint, I’m OK. There is no reason not to keep running. Living at The Gardens in Dalton, a personal care facility, I customarily run my two miles before breakfast within their lovely grounds.

But about a month or so ago, word came that residents would be allowed to spend partial time on the “other side of the road” at Bradley Wellness Center. You could look forward to running, walking or spending time at Bradley as long you were wearing your emergency alert device.

On the first day while running and walking three miles total over the half-mile loop, it was no picnic for me. Then reality struck.

Not long earlier while eating breakfast, I had taken nine different prescribed pills in one setting. This was not children’s candy. It is small wonder that I did not feel that spry.

By the time a day is terminated, I will have digested my share of seizure, sodium, stomach and blood pressure medicines.

“We know that the medicine is necessary,” said Dr. Eric Jensen, who is a key component in The Cornerstone Medical Group. “It covers a lot of things. It can run hand in hand with the running.”

Jensen also advocated that older people, like me, could run in areas outside the restricted The Gardens and Bradley Wellness Center areas to break the monotony. However, they would need some reputable running companions, along with those emergency alert devices.

I have found that The Gardens provides outstanding meals, will let nobody escape the vital medicine and provides excellent living quarters that are kept clean.

My two nieces in the Atlanta area, Leisa Rowe and Jenny Madrigal, have been invaluable in helping me transition to The Gardens. That included numerous hours spent away from their immediate families (each is married with two sons), driving countless times from their homes and helping me pack up and clean out my former Dalton apartment.

My girlfriend, Jane Jones of Hixson, Tenn., who has put up with me for more than five years, also deserves extensive credit.

There are countless others who have helped, too, such as the remarkable Dr. Nell Mohney of Chattanooga. Even in her 90s, she still teaches a weekly Sunday school class. Thanks to the many people who have visited, sent cards and called.

Personally, I am surviving well since entering Hamilton Medical Center, continuing to Regency Park for rehab and then The Gardens. Royal Oaks, a retirement home, is possibly ahead.

Thanks for your prayers! God bless each and everyone of you!

Doug Hawley is a former sports editor and regular contributor to The Daily Citizen. You can write to Hawley at 1218 Broadrick Dr., Apt. 221, Dalton GA, 30720.

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