On April 14, 2023 I suffered a life-threatening massive pulmonary embolus. I had a DVT that I had ignored/rationalized for nearly a year that turned out to extend from my mid-calf to lower thigh, and on April 14 a big chunk of it broke loose and tried to kill me. I had major clots in both main pulmonary arteries and all of the segmental branches. Basically, 100% of my lung surface area had blood flow compromised in a significant way.

Like a typical hard-headed paramedic, I did not go to the ER and instead sat in my truck for an hour desperately trying to diagnose myself so that I’d have the satisfaction of dying while knowing what killed me.

For nearly a month afterward, I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without getting winded. On April 21, I weighed 390.2 pounds.

November 26, 2022 I weighed 410 pounds, my heaviest ever.

When I moved to New York and Nancy moved back in, I started to take my health seriously. Tired of gimping around like a crippled man with my arthritic knees, I saw my doctor who injected both knees with cortisone.


I weighed 385 pounds at the doctor’s office on August 29. Within two days I was walking better, and resolved to find a way to exercise that wouldn’t stress my joints. Walking, elliptical, exercise bike, etc. are right out; I’d be lame for the entire day after my workout.

On Friday, September 1, I started hitting the campus pool every morning before work. My goal was simply to work until I was tired, and hopefully as time progressed it would take more to make me tired.

On the first day, I “jogged” 37 laps in a 25-meter pool.

On Monday, I did 40 laps.

By Friday, I was doing 50 laps.

Yesterday and today, I did 60 laps. Now I’m getting good enough at it that I think I can do 65-70 laps in the hour I have access to the pool on weekday mornings.

This morning I stepped on the scale: 372.6 pounds. That’s 12.4 pounds lost in two weeks.

In other news, the fire hose of building a CoAEMSP-accredited paramedic program from scratch is getting easier to drink from, and in a few days I’ll have finished the basic course outline and have all the materials developed. Then I’ll start work on loading all the content onto Moodle, customizing the activities and assignments the way I want them, and making sure every I is dotted and T is crossed for CoAEMSP.

Which leaves me several hours each day after work to write on this:

Tentative release in second week of December, 2023.

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