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Ode to Ralph

Ralph Logan was a good friend to me.  He was a patient, and our relationship did not extend too far past him getting adjusted, me asking him how his exercise was coming, and him making a joke.  Well, he occasionally sent me an email with a political bent or some “church humor” as I call it.  Ralph was in hi mid-70’s, and he was a joy.

When he came to see me, he told me that his shoulder pain was his key complaint.  Shoulder being his trap muscle area, at the base of the neck.  His history with the complaint was sad, but all too common.  He had gone to an orthopedic for the complaint, the doc identified some degenerating discs in his neck, and convinced him that he should have a fusion on his neck.  When Ralph told me this, he concluded “you would think they would have told me ahead of time they didn’t expect it to help my symptoms!”

Sure enough, it wasn’t until a followup appointment that Ralph shared his continued discomfort that the doc told him it (the surgery) wasn’t likely to help his symptoms.  “So why did we do it then?”  Because it needed to be done was the likely response.  Ralph approached these matters and others with shock, but with a somewhat whimsical demeanor.  Not to be bent out of shape by something that he could no longer do something about.  He was surely a pleasant man.

I don’t know much about his other involvements.  He was an incredible singer according to those who heard him sing (senior choir at First Baptist Church of Woodstock).  I also know he was a passionate leader in the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), though I am not sure of all he did, I know he put forth effort to help grow this group.  He was an ardent reader of Dr. Mercola’s material, and though I don’t always agree with Mercola, Ralph always wanted to know as many details as he could about why, so that he could ascertain who he wanted to trust on particular issues.

So what happened to Ralph?  Why is he gone?  Well, that is tough to answer.  When he came to see me, he had already battled with some areas of heart disease.  With a pacemaker with defibrillator in his chest, it was obvious that it wasn’t just something mild.  In a sort of funny (not funny when it happened, but funny afterwards) story.  Ralph went to my gym for some free sessions during the 40 Day Body By God Challenge (this was one about two years ago).  Ralph was doing some sit-ups, and hadn’t warned the coach of his defibrillator.  Nor had he paid attention to when it assumed he was in fibrillation, and thus gives a shock.

Well, as soon as his heart beat got high enough, the pacemaker thought he was in fibrillation, and it sent a shock through his system, and to his heart.  BOOM! He yelled, and grabbed his chest.  BOOM!  It hit again!  He was fine after that, and as his heart rate dropped, all was well.  However, Ralph had joked ever since that I had plotted to have some fun at his expense!

The thing is, his heart disease was advanced, and beyond what I would call wellness reversal… that point where you are truly well again because of healing.  Though it hadn’t seemed like there was too much happening with his hear lately, he was recently, very quickly hit with some significant weakness, which was traced back to his aorta, and a level of insufficiency in the valve.  Surgical repair was suggested.

Ralph had approached me with this news, questioning my opinion.  He demonstrated a concern over the surgery, and an equal concern for living without doing something to change.  As we spoke over two weeks, we came to the conclusion that I was of little value in this, and that it would be up to him to find peace in an answer.  When he told me that he was going to do the surgery, he also told me he wasn’t at complete peace with the decision, but he also felt as though he needed to do it.

Did he need to?  Did he not?  I have no idea.  I don’t think his decision was either good or bad, not then and not now.  Risks are risks, and they existed on both sides.

Sadly, Ralph never woke up from his surgery.  As his wife Wanda sent out updates, I found myself pleading more and more with God to give him a chance here, but in the end, he went home to his Savior.  Sadness and Joy.  The two emotions I feel when a friend passes, but who is destined to go home.

His surgery was the same day I separated my shoulder.  He died this past Sunday.  Nearly three weeks he held on asleep.  On sedation for the first twelve days or so, but then still too weak to awaken.  It is always a risk to go into a cardiac surgery, but the benefits can outweigh the risks.  Sadly they did not in this case.

So what do I want you to take away from this?  Ralph was an awesome guy, who will be missed dearly.  But he was also a motivated changer.  He dropped a number of medications after coming to see us, and he gained more health in many ways.  He lost about 30 lbs if memory serves me, maybe even 40.  He came to Body By God, and other workshops we have held.  One point that I want to make, is that Ralph wanted more health.  Had he known about the information that we teach ten years earlier, this might have never come to this point.

At 70+ years old, Ralph was taking it all serious, pushing for health.  Learn from this sweet man’s objectives, and push for health as well.  Honor God with your body… do it for Ralph.

Be Well, Be Blessed – Dr. E

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