Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Swan Song

There's an old saying: If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. I may have mentioned that here before but it's worth repeating. I'm a goal setter and I believe I always will be despite God's plans for me. It's gotten me this far.

There's a chance I'll get my hearing back but the odds aren't in my favor. I saw an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor yesterday morning. His assistant did some extensive testing on my hearing. When the woman finished the test she looked at me and told me about a new device that can be helpful with spacial orientation related to sound for people with hearing loss. I thought to myself, does this mean I can forget any dreams about getting my hearing back? You can't fix this?

I was led back to a room to discuss the findings with the doctor and Tammy. He told us that 1/3 of people with my condition will get their hearing back, 1/3 will see a partial return and the other 1/3 will see no improvement. He said my Factor V Leiden condition tilts the odds even further away from my favor. Still, I'm hopeful and praying for healing.

I went out on my fatty late this afternoon aided by 60 mg of prednisone coursing through my veins (meant for my ear but doubling nicely for my knees) to work through some thoughts. I headed for the trails at Murphy. It was the right thing to do. I worked hard and elevated my heart rate beyond 160 and found a rhythm and ease that comes with a weight lifting off of you. I'm usually the one being passed by others but not tonight. I passed 5 riders; much younger riders. I still have that.

The Jason Isbell song I'm listening to now doesn't sound the same. It's flat in my right ear and infringed upon by the nonstop ringing in my left ear.

A controller can actually get a waiver to work with this condition but this has been a difficult year for me health-wise beginning with something that I'm not comfortable mentioning here just yet (very physically draining) then the recovery from my bike crash followed by my clotting issues resulting in a 4 night stay at Fairview Southdale and now this. Enough!

And so this is how it ends for me.

I didn't make it to my goal of retiring at the end of the year but 33 years and 5 months in the trenches working shift work in addition to 4 years of Navy life is a lot to be satisfied with and I am. I've had such a rewarding career. I would wake up each morning and literally thank God for the blessing this career has been. I've never, ever lost sight of that.

I will absolutely miss the work of sitting in a sector and working traffic. Oh, I know...I loved my breaks, too (but work with me on this you guys). You know what I'm saying. It's a very rewarding job we have. It was seldom work I took home and any job satisfaction was instantaneous. You could see it on the screen in front of you and you knew if what you were doing was something to feel good about. Again, I will miss that. I will forever miss that!

I'm heading into work as soon as I hit "publish" on this and I'm going to sit down with Tracee and begin the process of filling out retirement papers. I'm not a spokesperson for the 'old guard' but I have to say that I'm leaving you, the flying public, in very capable hands. The younger controllers who have been recently certified and those who are working their way through the program are going to do every bit as well or better than my generation of controllers did at guiding you on your way. Be sure of that.

My future plans aren't big. I'll catch up on some sleep and play around with this new normal I'm stepping into while listening for that still small voice that guides me but a voice I too often drown out with the hurried life I've lived for so long.

Speaking of living so long—today is my 58th birthday!

Thank you to all who have been a part of my journey and my career. You mean more to me than you know.



Continued here.


Unknown said...

Congratulations Kevin. It sounds like you are making the right decision. Good Luck!

John A Hill said...

Blessings to you, my friend!

Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks, John. I'm feeling them!

Kevin Gilmore said...

Thanks, Kent. It's time. Many would say it's way past time! ;)