A “New” Year


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

                                                                                                                     Ecclesiastes 3:1


The change of the year is felt by some to be a time of “newness.” A new year; resolutions; new experiences; new adventures. Sometimes the changes that occur are not of the “exciting” variety. Allow me to share.

Just after Christmas I had a heart procedure, a ventricular ablation designed to mitigate an ongoing pattern of extra beats. The procedure is done through a heart cath. It went well and I went home the evening of the procedure. However, two days later, on January 1 I awoke to swelling and severe pain in my thigh. The artery that had been punctured for the heart cath had torn. After a 9-1-1 call and ambulance ride to the hospital, I was taken for emergency surgery to evacuate all of the blood, clots and damaged tissue and have the artery repaired. I received three units of blood during this surgery. I was left with an open wound in my leg with a tube attached to a wound vacuum machine that would remain for four weeks. After several days in the ICU I was finally sent home to recuperate. Unfortunately, I became dehydrated and had a fainting episode requiring another 9-1-1 call and another ambulance ride. After three days, home again! And all seemed to be going well until…..I began to feel confused and nauseous. We all thought it was my anemia and were making plans for another transfusion. However, the blood tests came back showing that I was in acute kidney failure! Since a cancer was found in my left kidney over 25 years ago, I have a single kidney. We had known about a stone in that remaining kidney but had chosen to watch rather that to possibly bring on problems. That stone had moved into my ureter and completely obstructed my kidney causing failure. Oh, and I had no pain. Weird, huh?

Back to surgery. Stent placed to drain the kidney. Two weeks later back to surgery for laser destruction of the stone. The last thing was to have been removal of the stent. But could it be that simple?? Not for me!

I had the stent removed in the urologist’s office without any apparent complication. However, later that day I began to feel “foggy” again, with nausea and loss of appetite. That evening we were to have hosted my sister and brother-in-law and my children here to dinner at our house. I remember very little about that dinner, but I think things didn’t turn out well. Finally, the next evening Debby convinced a “hard-headed” me to go back to the Emergency Room. Where it was discovered that I had a bacteria growing in both my blood and my urine, a condition known as urosepsis. To all of those over the years who I treated for urosepsis, I apologize – I didn’t give you near enough love.

I’m back “vertical” again now, hopefully with no other medical misadventures coming my way. But I’ve learned a lot, and subsequent posts will share some of these learnings with you.

To begin, I have to report that some doctors do have a sense of humor. Many of you know that Debby and I are still newlyweds – we celebrated our 6th month anniversary in the hospital. When one of the doctors found this out, he asked Debby if I had come with some kind of warranty. Her comment back: “No, but I think that there are some ‘lemon laws’ in Tennessee.”

I’d like to ask for a “mulligan” on 2022, a restart. I hope that’s OK with you!

17 Comments on “A “New” Year”

  1. Oh my goodness!!!!

    So thankful sweet Deb was there to take care of you my friend!!

    Take time to mend! Praying you are well on the way to good health!!!

  2. So glad you are back healthy. I have read your book and loved it. I was a patient of Dr. Cash for years and years. I miss him as my doctor.

  3. Hi Dr Fleming. So sorry for all your pain. Glad u have good doctors who seem to be on top of your medical problems.
    I note u sent a message to me yesterday. I’ve been scammed before and didn’t know if u were another. Let me know and I’ll reply.
    Take care. Glad u have Debby by your side. God is good all the time. Best wishes from Shreveport. 🙏❤️🎶🙏❤️🎶🦞🐊

  4. A doctor is the “worst patient”! So glad you are doing better!
    Praying for no more heath issues in 2022! 🥰🙏

  5. Goodness!, “If it weren’t for bad luck, you’d have no luck at all”….from a Tennessee country song. Pray all goes well and that you and Debbie will have really good days ahead. Much love.

  6. Hey Dr. Fleming, I’m sorry that you’ve had to endure all of this, but to GOD be the glory for bringing you through it. When I first started reading this article, it brought to my mind all those years ago when that sweet doctor who worked with you found that cancer in your kidney. I will be praying for you, my friend, as your body continues to heal and strengthens. Thank you for updating, as I had wondered how you had been doing.

  7. Praise God that you are healing now. You are some kind of tough! I love your wife’s sense of humor! You guys take care of each other and find joy in every day. Hugs🙏

  8. OMGOODNESS, Micheal , This comes as such a shock !! It all seems on the way to a good solution !! Prayers for all of you (your doctors too) 😂🤣❤️ Tell the boys hello from Mrs. Lunn 🙏🏼💙

  9. Debbie, I haven’t met your husband but he sounds like he’s an amazing man. I hope he recovers from all this soon!

  10. What a start to a new year but glad my good friend Debbie was there to help. Prayers for you as your body continues to he. Debbie mentioned ‘lemon laws’ but just maybe she a ‘jinx’. Lol. Love you deb

  11. Michael…I was enjoying hearing from your life again while u were up & vertical!! Such a difficult time you had but I am so glad that you’re getting better. Many prayers ✝️ ❤

  12. Michael so sad to read all you have been through. Life brings hurdles when we are not always expecting them. God bless you and will keep
    You in my prayers. We all miss you here.

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