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More Tough Health News and a Death in the Family

health news

Readers may remember that I was hospitalized a weekend ago for a bowel problem. If you are not aware of my recent hospitalization, please read, I Ain’t Dying — Yet: Recent Hospitalization for Bowel Problems. This past weekend has proved just as challenging.

On Friday through Sunday afternoon, my blood pressure skyrocketed and I developed a heart arrhythmia. I got in to see my primary care doctor on Monday for an exam and an EKG. Fortunately, I did not have A-Fib — as Polly has. While at the doctor’s office, I told him that my taste had changed since Tuesday; that everything, including water, tasted salty, and sweet tastes were muted. I told him Polly thought I had thrush. She, of course, was right. She’s always right. I had to say that, in hopes of keeping my meals coming. 🙂

So, I am on a drug to treat the thrush and a beta-blocker has been added to my blood pressure treatment regimen. Yes, when it rains, it pours.

Sunday morning, our oldest son arrived at our home, coffee in hand for his java addict mother. I was still in bed. I rarely rise before the early afternoon. None of our children just show up at our house. They know, call first. We might be naked, having passionate sex on the dining room table. Or, we might still be in bed. So, they ALWAYS call first.

Cell phones don’t work very well in our home. We live in Ney, for God’s sake: one gas station, two bars/restaurants, a traffic light — which we wish the state would remove — and one resident atheist. That we get any cell service at all is surprising. Our children know to text if they need to get a hold of us.

Polly’s mom, who lives in Newark, Ohio, had been trying to call her since the early morning hours. When she couldn’t get a hold of her daughter, she asked our oldest son to deliver a message: Polly’s IFB preacher father had suddenly died from complications of pneumonia — I suspect from heart failure.

Yes, when it rain, it pours, and, sometimes, it keeps pouring and pouring and pouring. . .


Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Bruce—I am sorry to hear about your health problems. Also, my condolences about Polly’s father.

    When it rains, it really does pour. We, your readers, love you and are hoisting umbrellas in our thoughts!

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    Bruce, I am so sorry about Polly’s father. Please give my condolences to Polly.

    Thrush can make it painful to eat. Our premie had thrush in her throat. The staff in the NICU had been wondering why Katherine suddenly would not eat and one of the residents had the insight during dinner break, that even though Katherine had not signs of thrush in her mouth, they’d not checked her throat. They scoped he throat and there was the thrush.. Get well soon!

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    Don’t know how you or Polly feel about her IFB preacher father, but still, he is her father and your father-in-law. I think I read somewhere about issues with families meeting for a funeral during COVID and not passing an invisible virus around to at-risk people like you two. Yikes. Best of luck with all that. And, oh yes, congratulations on your pregnancy at your age. Amazing that God can drop pregnancy on the first human male ever, with pre-existing health problems, and he is a former preacher turned atheist… and God signals it with thrush. You lucky man! Ain’t God marvelous and forgiving?

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    I’m so sorry Bruce. I lost my dad nearly 25 years ago and that is an incredible amount of time. He died the day AFTER my youngest turned one, I never forget. Please tell Polly we are with her in thought, and hoping both of you will be well.

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    dale M

    Nothing tougher than losing a family member or friend. I have a Trump supporting, fundamentalist Catholic friend who I get into bloody political brawls with. He passes away, and it will be a very hard day for me. I know your readers may not understand that, but long, deep friendships involving people in two different worlds overcomes those differences.

    You and Polly have my deepest sympathies.

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    Brian Vanderlip

    Condolences, Polly and Bruce, from a PK in BC. I lost my dad not long ago and it was a shadow falling on a shadow, an absence on absence for me. My dad loved Jesus with all his heart and remained adamantly Christian his whole life, even into his dotage as his thought patterns loosened. He would not talk to me about his childhood experience because he felt that it did not apply in life. The only thing that mattered was Jesus. I felt both loved and abnadoned at the same time by my dad and I think that is a far more common experience among people than is often given traction. I still ask my dad to tell me about his life even though I have laid him in the ground and watched the loader fill the hole with earth. Jesus didn’t take my burdens all away as the hymn intones: Jesus took my parents all away. And yet, from my 68th year viewpoint, I am aware that they needed to be as they were and that they genuinely loved me as they were able. Who among us brags perfection but the Trumps?I felt my parent’s human love in spite of what ‘belief’ cost in the bargain. You will know exactly what I mean, I think, Polly. I am so sorry your dad is gone. Thank-you for your strength and honest life. I wish you peace in this new loss, better health for both the Gerencsers and better health coverage with the new administration! As 2020 continues to batter us, you guys remain in my thoughts with thanks that I can share a little of your lives on this blog. I think your kids are so fortunate to have the love you give them, that you brave being as fully human as you can be without the harmful beliefs you were raised within. Hang in there, PK! You are the heart of the tribe.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    Oh, brother ! Tragedies have the worst timing. You didn’t need such a thing. My heart goes out to you both. I hope that thrush goes away in record time ! I heard many people have candida, yet don’t know it. I suspect I could have it. I’m very pleased to see you are back at writing, all considered. Take care.

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    sorry for your health problems. sounds like a tropical storm of rain. sorry for polly’s dad. but, mom will be consoled thinking he is at last with his savior. stay safe in your bubble, that country funeral sounds like a nightmare.

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    So sorry for you guys’ loss. I have conflicting feelings about my father but I know I’ll be devastated when he passes so condolences to Polly. Your health issues sound a lot like my own fathers’. Here’s hoping that you’re on the mend very soon.

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Bruce Gerencser