|With regrets, I will not be attending the reunion. I'll be attending <BR>a family reunion in St Petersburg Fl, with sail boating, power <BR>boating, and fine dining. Oh yes, and family will be there also. The last 12 months have been eventful for me, and probably for many of us as we age. In November, 2010, I went to the VA for treatment of what I thought was a bronchial infection. When I got there, they took my family history, blood, and urine. They decided to keep me <BR>overnight for some test. They took my clothes and car keys so I <BR>couldn't escape. It turns out that I was having heart angina pains, <BR>rather than bronchial. I had three arteries that were blocked (90%, <BR>80% and 50%). Rather than pronouncing me D.O.A., They rounded up the <BR>best heart surgeons from neighboring Duke Medical Center, and performed a triple bypass. When I woke up, I looked like a "Borg" <BR>from Star-Trek, with tubes everywhere. To make a long story short, <BR>because of complications, I was in the hospital a total of 17 days. <BR>It would have been longer, but I was killing them with my off-beat <BR>humor, and Thanksgiving had arrived. Early August, doing some work around my property, I was bit twice in the hand by a copperhead snake. My hand swelled up bigger than Michael Jackson's glove on the way to the VA Hospital. In the emergency room, my heart rate dropped to 30 while I was awaiting transport to Duke Medical Center for treatment, as the VA was not able to treat me. Eventually I made it to Duke for a 2 day stay. I was actually in the short term area (24 hrs or less). The doc there, as it turns out, is a national expert in snakebites, and he didn't want to transfer me upstairs to the surgeons. Arrangements were made to allow me to stay another 24 hrs. I had 18 veils of anti-venom and all of the "dilated" pain meds I wanted. Here is the best part. I was not marked as a VA transfer patient, so about 3 weeks later I got a bill. Any idea what a 2 day stay at Duke costs for a snakebite? When I ask that question, I usually get an answer of $2,000 upwards to $20,000. Imagine the theme to Jeopardy! playing in the background while you think about it. And the question is "What is $121,000?" Wow! Eventually things got straightened out, and the VA paid the bill (I'm sure something less than that). A few weeks later, I was bit by a very colorful spider. Luckily, he wasn't very dangerous, and the swelling went down after a couple of hours. Two days later, I uncovered a nest of wasps, and was stung twice. Again, a day or two later, and all was well. So, here I am, getting ready for a trip to Florida. I told my wife that I don't think this is the year for me to swim with the sharks in the Gulf. I'm going to stick to the salt water swimming pool, located just 4 feet from the Gulf retaining wall and enjoy the view. Y'all have a great time. See you in 5 years.<BR><BR>John Risk<BR>WRHS class of '66<BR>919.545.3090<BR><BR>P.s. Check out my son's music at Graveyardfields.com or search I-tunes for Graveyard Fields.