On a personal note…

Those of you that have been reading Babalu for a while now have most likely read about my Dad and his exploits. You know he was a welder before officially “retiring” and that he has worked tirelessly his entire life.

This is a man that spent his life wielding a sledge hammer, fusing steel together and making one of nature’s hardest substances succumb to his very will. He’s a big man with strong, cut and calloused hands and arms. To me and everyone around him he has always been larger than life. The Big Man with a soft heart of gold.

For over a week now – almost two weeks actually – the old man has been in severe pain. All the joints in his body are aching, his once rock-hard muscles have him in agony and his bones hurt. He’s been getting “calambres” – debilitating cramps and red spots on some areas of his skin. Mom says that he lies in bed at night unable to sleep and that she hears him weeping from the pain.

I cannot tell you what the mere thought of that image does to me.

He’s seen his Doctor more than a few times and has been to at least three specialists and they’ve yet to pinpoint exactly what it is that is causing him so much pain. As I type this, he’s at the office of another specialist – this time a rheumatologist, I believe – hoping for a correct diagnosis that will lead to the right treatment.

I ask that you all keep my old man in your thoughts and pray that his pain subsides. He’s a very good man, the best husband and father anyone could ever dream of and we all still need him.



24 thoughts on “On a personal note…

  1. Val, our thoughts and prayers are with your dad and your whole family.
    Please keep us informed of his progress.

  2. Val, I will certainly be praying for your Dad. Please keep us up to date on his diagnosis. I always enjoy reading what you write about your Dad because he sounds so special. We all need our Dads, no matter how old we are.

  3. Please post his first name and his mother’s first name, and I will mention him in prayer.

    In the meantime, at his age, think about polymyalgia rheumatica.

    The rheumatologist is a good choice of specialist.

  4. Val your Dad and your family is our thoughts and prayers. Heartbreaking, just devastating to imagine him suffering like this. Please keep us posted.

  5. Val,

    Ditto on the above comments! You are all in my positive thoughts and prayers!

    BTW, please check you inbox for a message regarding your father’s symptoms.

    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

    “The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.” ~ Larry Dossey

  6. Val –

    While my suggestion(s) might not be the cure to what is causing your Father’s pain and agony … it could help ease some of it.

    Now, don’t figure me some wacky hippie/New Age holistic guru. I just know certain things we ingest everyday without even thinking about it eventually cause some difficulties later in life.

    First, and most importantly, caffeine … Eliminate it completely from his diet. Coffee, tea, soda, even chocolates … check anything he might be consuming that has caffeine in it. Caffeine can have a nasty aching effect on joints/muscles (and in other ‘soft tissue’ areas of women). Don’t reduce his intake at this point. Get rid of it.

    Smoking. Yeah, sorry. That’s gotta go too … or at the very least be reduced. Nicotine causes plaque to solidify (in arteries). And he should reduce any alcohol, if he enjoys it regularly. He’d be sort of “cleansing” his system of any toxins that may have built up over time resulting in or contributing to his current troubles.

    Be certain he is hydrating with enough water through the day, especially if he’s in Florida … Between the heat outside, and the humidity draining A/C indoors dehydration is a silent pain-in-the-ass.

    Also, potassium. Especially when increasing water intake, as too much water tends to flush out potassium. Could be as simple as a nice-sized banana. And a multi vitamin, if he’s not already taking, is a good idea.

    Now here’s the hard part … the contents of his daily diet. If he’s typically high in fats (I know how you lovely Cubans enjoy pork/sausage) and salt cutting back a bit and going for leaner cuts might help ease symptoms on his body.

    Get online and search his symptoms and “natural” remedies/diet to help ease them. Look especially for things joints/muscles need (E and fish oil/Omega fats), and foods rich in them. Oddly, Capsaicin found in hot peppers has been found to help with joints/muscle pain … as well as headaches/migraines.

    It’s not a cure, but it might help, as I said, ease some of his symptoms (I have seen it happen) … and hopefully the docs will come up with a conclusive diagnosis and treatment to fix him up very soon.

    Other than that I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers …

    My very, very best, Val.


  7. Val, please post or email me your father’s first name and his mother’s first name so our entire congregation can offer prayers for his health.

  8. Dear Val, although I am a very recent poster here on babalu, I have been around for quite sometime now. I never miss a day of getting my babalu fix, so all you guys are a part of my internet family, as the certainty of our common background and experiences. I also know first hand what it’s llike seeing a once active, hard working, honorable father going through the throes of dis-ease. I will certainly be praying for your dad, God is still in the healing business.

    In the meantimme, I wholeheartedly agree with Drillanwar…(in many ways)..but especially in all that she has recommended for your dad!! Cleansing the body of accumulated years of the abuse we don’t know we are subjecting our bodies to in our younger years, is certainly the way to regain some of that lost vigor and well-being. Cutting out all the offensive substances is the other.
    Going to a rheumatologist is the best bet in finding out exactly what the degenerative process going on in your dad’s body is. But once you get a diagnosis, please remember that traditional medicine is wonderful for diagnostics, but treatment is based mostly on a masking of symptoms without attention given to what caused the malfunction in the first place. For damage control a naturopathic physician is a much better bet. Assuming they are in Miami, Martin Dayton on the beach is a good one, but there are others.
    You may want to have him use Magnesium oil. I have included a random link for you to read up on it, it works wonders.


    Also, a Far Infra Red lamp clears up many pains in a matter of days, alleviating the underlying causes.
    Many blessings to you and your family,que Dios les bendiga a todos,


  9. Prayers and love to you and your family.
    We are facing a similar situation and know
    how painful and heart wrenching this can be.
    God Bless You.

  10. Val:

    I’ll say a novena for him tonight. In the meantime, I second the need for postassium for leg cramps. You mentioned red spots- could he have shingles? His symptoms sound a lot like what my uncle went through when he had shingles- have the doctors ruled that out?

    I hope he is better soon. When you find a rheumatologoist, see if he or she is also an immunologist as well.

    Que Dios Los Bendiga

  11. Val our prayers are with the big guy, may he get over this current illment and live to enjoy many more years with such wonderful family that loves him so much, God bless you will be in our prayers……

  12. Just a quick note to thank everyone for their kind support and prayers. As of last night, the old man was still in a bit of pain, but had just begun taking the latest set of meds prescribed by the latest specialist. I was unable to go to the doctor with him, and Dad couldnt really tell me in detail what the doctor had told him so Im still not sure exactly whats going on.

    I dont want to call him this early so as not to wake him in case he had another rough night, but Mom has orders to make him call me immediately when he wakens. Hopefully, all of your prayers will have helped ease my father’s pain.

    Thank you from the very core of my being. I love you guys.

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