So sorry to hear you’re shutting down Blue Ridge Muse,” The lady said the other morning at Blue Ridge Restaurant. “We will miss it.”

Whoa. Stop the presses. Hold up a stop sign.  I’m doing what?

“I heard at a meeting the other day that you are shutting down Blue Ridge Muse and giving up your writing and photography for The Floyd Press because of your health.

Although it has been suggested many times that I shut down Muse because of my mental health (or lack of it), this is the first time I’ve heard that other health issues may send me off to that great dustbin in the sky.

“I’m sorry,’ the lady said  “I’ve heard you’re sick.”

I am.

“Reilly sick.”

I am.

”So sick that it might take a lot of time to recover.”

It will.

The facts are these:

— I have a serious back condition that resurfaced after 30-plus years. It involves several compressed, ruptured and herniated disks along with severely damaged nerves.

–Doctors pumped several  thousand ccs of steroids, pain killer and other fluids into disks and damaged nerves.  The nerve damage, according to one neurosurgeon, was so bad that he was amazed that I have been walking for the past three decades;

–For treatment I am undergoing hydrotherapy twice a day five times a week along withtherapy from Peak in Floyd.

If everything works, I should be back on my feet in 8-10 weeks.

Being sick, at least from my point of view, is a temporary condition. It’s not  permanent until they cover you with dirt stick of piece of granite overhead.

The doctors have mentioned many possibilities over the last few month, but burial hasn’t been one of them.’At least not yet.

What they have mentioned are lifestyle changes, more exercise — particularly in my back and lower leg muscles and some other concessions.

My fingers still work (most of the time), my brain is still functioning (at least as well as it ever did) and my commitment to community remains strong (much to some dismay).

The writing may slow for a while but will continue The photography and work for The Floyd Press is continuing, just at a slower space.

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