New Year, New Post

Gosh it is hard to believe a new year has started! Looking at my blog I am embarrassed I have gone so long since posting. So, no, I have not made a New Year’s Resolution to post more frequently, but I really do want to try to. I want to try some different kinds of writing, and your brutally honest critique is welcomed and needed. So hang in there with me friends!

It is New Year’s Day. A year ago today I was admitted to the hospital in Gulf Breeze for acute pancreatitis, caused by a medication I was on. Having had pancreatitis one other time, ten years ago, I knew it was back as far back as November of 2022. The pain was intense but I had a special Thanksgiving to celebrate at our middle child’s newly rebuilt and remodeled home on the coast of Mississippi, then I had the silent retreat my last several posts were about, and I needed that in such a visceral way I just couldn’t skip it. Of course, then it was time for the rest of Advent, then Christmas and New Year’s so I figured I would just tough it out until that was all over with. I did have blood work before Christmas (2022) that confirmed it was pancreatitis, so Jennifer and I knew what eventually would happen. We went to the ER on January 1st, 2023, after church, where I was admitted for a week.

Basically the only treatment for an acute bout is to be hospitalized for IV fluids and pain management. You cannot eat or drink ANYTHING, as it would cause the pancreas to act up, and mine was angry. I wasn’t a lot better when I left but wanted to get back to church and not miss a Sunday. So I did. By early February I was no better, so another week in the hospital was the ticket.

Since then I have had multiple scans, scopes and the like. Had to make a major change to some medications and deal with a lot of gastro issues, which occasionally affected how much time I could spend at the church during the week. Slowly my labs and symptoms improved over the summer, through it all I lost 45 pounds, the rapidness of the initial loss was concerning of course. I have two cysts on my pancreas but they are very small and have not grown any, we just have to keep an eye on them.

My family has been incredibly supportive through all this year of medical issues. I am forever grateful to have their care and love and prayers, and blessed by their unique gifts and offerings of sacrificial love – and I am also grateful for the prayers of many of the St. Simon’s family and others whom I have known throughout my life.

The last 12 months saw a lot of milestones. In December of 2022 I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. Man, that triggered a LOT of memories. In June I turned 65 (how is that possible), and in September, Jennifer and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with a two week cruise! On the way to our cruise we stopped at a friend’s home in Palm Beach where 3 priests I attended seminary with and spouses put together an amazing and moving celebration for Jennifer and I, where we renewed our marriage vows in the chapel of Bethesda by the Sea. Thank you so much Tim and Bryna, Todd, and Bill and Sue! I am so happy to be reconnected with seminary friends, to be honest it’s hard to have friends in this “business” and I treasure my seminary buddies and others along the way.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2024 be filled with good health, laughter, and joy in Christ. I hope to write again soon!

2 thoughts on “New Year, New Post”

  1. We often think of you and the laughter you brought to St. Paul’s. Bill had some tough health in September while visiting our daughter in New York. We ended up spending 3 months there instead of 2 weeks. Prayers and love to all the family and Jennifer. We need a more thoughtful, kind and loving nation in 2024.
    Blessings from Joyce and Bill Harvey

  2. Dear David,
    You and Jennifer have been missed on Facebook. A couple of friends from St Paul’s surmised that there were health issues with you both. Also I am addicted to Scrabble on my phone and a person with the name of “knight” has been a tough partner and I wondered if that person was you. So I do think of you both often. I think you were at St Paul’s when you asked those of us over 80 years old to come forward for a prayer and blessing. I was so glad to do that for the first time. I became a member when you were our Interim and Kathleen was also Priest and Helen was doing some small groups. It was a very blessed time for me, a life long Protestant who always referred to herself only as a Christian. A personal relation to Jesus held prominence in my former churches and the mystery and greatness of our God I found in the Episcopal church.
    The Healing Prayer Ministry has grown in the past few years. I don’t see “David” on the church list. You are now on my personal list of those I feel called to pray for. At 87 and with some physical issues I look for why God wants me here. The answer has for me to be more faithful and disciplined in prayer.
    It has been lovely to see your family growing and you both enjoying each and every one.. Lots of love and laughter seem to be the gift you bring to them all.
    Blessings and Good Health for2024,
    Faith Campbell

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