Wisconsin State Journal
the minister of defense, former philadelphia eagle, reggie white - i loved reggie. he was great for the community, a great player, a holy man amongst the unlikely setting of professoinal football. he succumbed to the same disease i was diagnosed with in the summer of 1997.
i remember that summer very clearly. i came home from work and my left foot had hurt, pretty badly all day. i took my shoe off and to my astonishment, my ankle was swollen to the point of being unrecognizable. how odd. nothing hurt, i didn't recall falling (which i would, i can assure you, since i am the queen of broken bones). within days, i developed a severe tightness in my chest and extreme difficulty breathing. after being sent to two specialists within days of my symptoms appearing, i was given the preliminary diagnosis of sarcoid. of the lungs. it was further confirmed through a grueling bronchoscopy and surgery to rule out hodgkins disease that i had sarcoidosis, a condition found primarily in blacks and northern europeans. go figure, i was neither, but i now have a metal clip near my sternum to prove that dr. weber had been there.
i am now (and have been) remission for a strange disease that plagued me for months. i couldn't talk on the phone and wash dishes at the same time because of the poor quality of my lung functions. i couldn't talk and weed the garden; couldn't walk and carry on conversations. it was very difficult, every breath i took, and was really happy i had discontinued my smoking habit four years prior to the onset. i could never imagine compromising my ability to breathe again.
i can actually say i feel for what he went through, although his progressed to cardiac involvement and mine, so far (thank you Lord) has not. i was struck with sadness to hear of his passing, and now, am struck a little bit closer to home when i heard what his passing was due from, even though it may take up to three months for the confirming reports.