Or Why Does Bad Luck Always Seem to Come in Threes?

Based on my recent posts, I suspect that some of my regular readers are beginning to wonder why, if my computer problems have at last been resolved, I have been so slow to resume my usual pace of blogging. The answer to this question, I'm afraid, is that (proving, I suppose, that there really is no fool like an old fool) I suffered a major bout of heat exhaustion several weeks ago, and I am only now beginning to regain both my mental and physical stamina. Looking back, I am still amazed that, having spent decades working under the blazing Arizona sun, I could have allowed myself to succumb to such an easily preventable malady.

My health problems actually started when, having time on my hands during the period when my computer was down, I decided to embark on several outdoor projects that I had hitherto been postponing. The fact that it was high summer did not, wrongly it turned out, concern me because I had spent much of my adult life working outdoors in the Arizona heat. It turns out, however, that I am no longer the same man who a half decade ago tramped around the center of a sand arena for hours at a time (in tall black field boots and cavalry twill breeches, no less) six or seven days a week with only a baseball cap for protection from the sun. In those days my student riders might wilt after a half hour or so of instruction and their horses might begin to blow, but I considered myself virtually impervious to the heat. No longer; and, although I really should have known better, the fatigue and other problems that began to manifest themselves after a day or two working outdoors, I wrongly chalked up to old age; so naturally, I soldiered on. Fortunately, my long-suffering wife — who was unaware of my stupidity because she works during the day — became alarmed at the mysterious deterioration in my physical condition and finally sat me down (I was getting increasingly wobbly, as the days passed) and checked my blood pressure and heart rate. To make a long story short, her intervention undoubtedly saved me from a trip to the emergency room; it also, for better or worse, marked the permanent end of my outdoor summer projects.

So where does this leave "Map and Counters"? The good news, such as it is, is that the lethargy and lack of concentration that followed on the heels of my brush with heat stroke have both slowly begun to fade with time. I am still not operating at 100%, but I can, at last, sit at the computer and actually compose for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch. That being said, I am hopeful that it won't be too much longer before I can resume my old pace when it comes to blogging. There are, as I have already noted previously, still a lot of old and new wargaming topics that I am eager to cover; now that I am at last feeling better, I hope to finally begin publishing some of this fresh material in the near future.


  • Glad to hear you are on the mend! I always look forward to your blog posts.

  • Greetings 9train:

    Thank you for your encouraging words; they are appreciated.

    Today -- at least in some ways -- was a real turning point for me, health-wise. For the first time in weeks, I was able to work at the computer keyboard for the better part of eight hours. Moreover, I was actually able to begin and complete this post. More importantly, however, I was able to make a substantial amount of progress on the first of my new "STALINGRAD Notebook" series of posts; with luck, I might even be able to finish it in time to publish it tomorrow!

    Thanks again for your kind words and
    Best Regards, Joe

  • Glad to hear you're recovering. A belief in one's imperviousness is an endemic male weakness (I have it too). Give yourself time to recover adequately, stay hydrated, and I look forward to your renewed blogging

  • Greetings John:

    Thank you for your kind words.

    There is now no doubt that I am getting stronger, both mentally and physically. By way of example, it took me almost five days to compose my WBC piece, but it only took a few hours yesterday to type out this post. Unfortunately, the downside of this is that the essay that I'm working on now keeps getting longer and longer!

    Best Regards, Joe

  • Glad you are ok Joe! Whew! And I can only laugh at the description - my 'shed building exercise' last summer was much the same wake up call for me! ("What? I ALWAYS work all day on a project - Heat? So what?") '[A]n endemic male weakness' is so true - well said, John!

    Get better - I FINALLY procured a copy of 'Napoleon at War' and I will be ready for my lessons soon!

  • Greetings Russ:

    Yes, it would appear that I am not the same man I was a decade or so ago. Then, after a bad fall from a horse in which I cracked my pelvis and bruised my spleen, I shocked my doctor by refusing to enter the hospital, even for observation. Instead, I was back in the arena the next day (although, I must confess, the pain was well beyond Advill or asperin). Now, it appears that I have become just another old "geezer".

    Thanks again for your well wishes and
    Best Regards, Joe

  • Hang in there, Joe. I'm sorry for the health scare you are going through but I suspect you will be feeling like your old self soon. I can somewhat relate to the heat here in the Dallas area...it's been unrelenting.

  • Greetings John:

    Thank you for your well wishes; they are much appreciated.

    Happily, I seem to be on the mend, although my mental stamina is returning faster than my physical strength. At least, now, I am finally able to write for more than 15 minutes at a time before fatigue and loss of concentration stops me in my tracks.

    Looking back, I was lucky that my wife took charge: when she checked my blood pressure (which is usually quite low) it was very high, and just as worrisome was the fact that my pulse rate had shot up to 121. Needless-to-say, those numbers got even my attention. Now, my blood pressure has returned to normal, and my heart rate is well within the "safe" zone; the only thing left is for me to gradually regain my physical strength.

    Thanks again for your concern and
    Best Regards, Joe

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