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Health History

In sitting down and writing out a little of my own trials, I quickly realize so much to be thankful for. Yes, without any question I've had more than my share of challenges, but am still, as my golfer friends say, "on the right side of the green".

I was a solid powerful child with boundless energy then slowly got very ill. In the early 1950s my parents took me with them on an extended tour of the post WW II troubled world full of nasty health exposures. My health slowly worsened with my getting thinner and my growth slowed until about age ten when I was hospitalized touch and go with double pneumonia and severe ear infections. My doctors found even more problems with parasites plus bacterial and fungal infections. I recovered fully and survived childhood only losing the ability to hear high pitched noises and the difference between a soft E and I.

The Army drafted me out of college so I fled to an Air Force reserve group, got activated in 1970, and flew as a cargo master and tail gunner in the Vietnam War. Most who had that job died there and I handled lots of toxic chemicals so returned both a bit crazy and suffering from toxic chemical issues which were later worsened by getting poisoned on a military flight. I also cracked a leg bone and got a bad sprain that long after caused other problems. Flying caused me such bad sinus problems I stopped flying and left the reserves after ten years service. Surgery fixed the sinus problem, but I was just too busy to return to flying with the reserves. Regardless, I survived my military experiences coming away with type II diabetes controlled by diet and exercise, more hearing issues and peripheral nerve damage that affected my ability to feel, type, and play my musical instruments.

In June 1987 a minor outpatient surgery to remove a bone chip from that prior military sprain nearly cost me my foot and almost killed me. My nerves were messed up leaving my whole leg with constant crazy bone like shocks which masked my foot developing gangrene. The foot was saved but was left uselessly locked in a downward point with no feeling below the ankle. When traditional medicine could provide no help with the intense pain, at the advice of an old Chinese doctor friend I went through an extended Chinese medicine treatment involving making and drinking teas made from some pretty crazy things plus acupuncture treatments. The Chinese medicine helped reduce the pain considerably. It took two years following that surgery to power through to break the ankle free then learn how to walk on a numb foot. Meanwhile my left shoulder joint froze immobile. My doctors discovered the ankle surgery also gave me a hospital bred staph (MRSA) infection that was eating my cartilage and messing up my joints all over. All anyone could do was slow that infection. Strong antibiotics put my kidneys into intermittent shut down. Out of options I was sent home to die in late 1989. I instead found an amazing clinic. All there except me had AIDS or terminal cancer. Our doctors combined traditional treatment with a range of alternative medicine and had some amazing success. One of the alternative people they brought in was a faith healer who prayed and asked for inspiration coming up with a combination of teas and spices to help make repair. Her concoctions were the first time since my surgery that every step did not trigger nerve pain like a bad hit to a crazy bone. A pair of Tibetan trained energy healers so improved me with their Reiki and energy work that I had first learned as a child in Japan, that studied under them for years to become a teaching master myself. My kidneys recovered and with the help of twenty four surgeries to repair all the damage most cannot tell there were any problems unless I overdo.

In late 1999 a bad allergic reaction to wood dust triggered repeated bouts of pneumonia. All worsened and became near fatal in 2004 leaving less than one working lung capacity leaving me supplemental oxygen dependent. My employer retired me without any choice. With lots of work and help my progress has been amazing leaving me only intermittently needing supplemental oxygen. To say that life is a bed of roses would be a lie as the joints all over my body are shot. Getting up a set of stairs hurts with every step and leaves me winded. At the same time I am now back to woodworking, can do most of my chores, and back to a pretty full life with some limitations. Anyhow, the following shares a few of the things that I believe helped me considerably. I don't know enough about the faith healing or Chinese medicine to share more here. I hope all this "nonsense" helps you in your own quest.

Bill Pentz


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Created: January 1997

Updated! September 8, 2015