Friday, December 9, 2016

Finally seeing the big picture.

Seems a great deal has happened to me in the last 4 years.  Only recently inspired to try blogging again, not that I think I have any better incites than any other, but given to do bigger and better things, I'm going to have to know how to tell a story, so why not start here?

God, where to begin?  I guess where things all started.  I've been trying to figure out what best to do with my God given talents though I have been all my life wondering if it just to be a pawn in cruel jokes with my life.  I thought the best means of better achievements was to go into statistics. Big data and finding out the facts within the data.  Turns out getting in proved to be more of a challenge than I anticipated since I never took an upper level statistic course while at CSUS.  Attempted to apply at 5 universities, only got accepted to two and one of them I had to do an independent study course in that missing class and get a B or higher on the Final which I was successful in doing and got into Sam Houston State University.  Oh what joy I had when I got accepted.  Little did I know what Pandora's box I opened.

First of all, I'm more of a man of action instead of theory.  I didn't do my research well enough or else I would had accepted the Applied Statistics at Ball State in Indiana, but I wanted to move to Texas so took Sam Houston State University instead.  It turned out to be disastrous.  First thing I realized was I was a bit over my head on the theory and at the time wasn't the kind that sought help from others.  A lesson I would learn too late.  I bombed the first test in Linear Statistical System and put myself in a hole I couldn't dig out, as valiant it was.  With that C in a Master program, it put me on academic probation.  With marital drama and constantly getting sick, the pressure and stress would eventually overwhelm me.  Surrounded by people who were smarter than I, I was feeling like a fool.  So much to the point I was seeking a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Getting attached to one of the other students only complicated a horrid mess.  After being threatened with force hospitalization after getting turned in by one of the other students, and it bugs me to this day that for two weeks it was clear I was having issues, only one person intervened (or perhaps two, the day before the day I was planning to execute my plan, the dean that intervened and forced me to go to mental health had tried to see me that day which I wasn't planning to do because why bother?).  What happened at home after she found out didn't help and in the end, by one C grade, my GPA was 2.89 and was terminated for not maintaining a 3.0 even with a 2nd chance to get the A I needed to continue by passing the P1 exam (which had I don't so, would had quit Grad school and went on to be an Actuary).  I vowed if I was to ever pursue another Masters program, it would be Applied Statistics, not Statistics.  As at this point feeling like the most worthless human being on earth, I had bigger problems to solve.  The most pressing is what to do with myself.

I had locked in a job being an Apollo 20 math tutor at one of the high schools in Houston, so I knew I had work in case I failed.  At the time it was the one thing I did well: fail and make a fool of myself.  At least that's how I thought of myself.  My wife got a job in one of the prisons and the commute from Huntsville to Houston was beyond BRUTAL.  Though the training and classroom management was far superior than my failed attempt during the Project Pipeline program in 2007 in California, I came to the conclusion that teaching wasn't the job for me.  Especially, finding out later, I had a stroke during the fall semester.

I then got a position that started in early February as a factory accountant at one of prison's factories.  I got through the TDCJ cadet academy (if you work in a prison, you must learn security protocols) really well, nearly winning the Beto Award for having the highest score (missed it by one question, a FIREARM'S question no less), my health was still getting worse and nearly failed the Physical Agility Test (PAT) and little did I know, had another stroke.  Both strokes didn't do damage because the cause of my illness had a solution at the time I co-incidentally had: sugar.  Learned by flying by the seat of my pants to do the accounting job, but by July, it was clear that thought the benefits were OK, well respected by the higher bosses as well as the offenders, and pay is enough to survive, it wasn't the job I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  What was worse, the pain in my legs were getting so bad I could barely walk and was having issues with my eyes, ears, back, and fatigue.  I was looking at getting back into statistics but figure the on-line courses were the only realistic means though two offenders and two bosses from another facility thought I was aiming too low and wasting my talents working in a bus barn.  That's when it was suggested I seek a Ph'd program, not a masters.  I thought they were crazy but did look at both in statistics and what got me started getting interested in statistics: biostatistics.  But I knew if my health kept getting worse as it doomed me in the previous program, there would be no point.

By this time the pain in my feet and legs were getting so bad, I was looking at getting a wheelchair and seeking an ADA compliance suit against TDCJ.  I finally set up an appointment for a physical to get confirmation that the diagnoses in Sacramento bout my ligaments being so inflamed that I can't walk any more.  Not to mention at this time, I was now having heart problems as well.  Imagine my surprise when the doctor thought I had colon cancer.  Got confirmation that it wasn't (man I got to do THAT once a year?  UGH!) then two days later, October 13th, 2016, will be the day my life changed forever.  The cause of my sicknesses was discovered: diabetes.  My ketone's were so high, it was in orbit around the planet.  It's estimated I had been sick with Katoacidosis for 6 years.  Suddenly all the health issues that doomed so many of my apparitions all made sense.  Two weeks later nearly all the pain in my feet and legs were gone, heart rate back to normal, hearing in tune, vision stablized, and the back pain was my kidney's crying uncle. After learning that, two days later I sent in my 3 application for the Ph'd programs in biostatistics (A&M was out because of the termination) two days later.

I should be dead 10 times over, but got out of it with just some loss of feeling in my feet, but not enough to keep me down.  I figured that God isn't done with me yet and must have something big planned for me.  Thus going for a Ph'd in biostatistics where after hearing my plant managers horror stories about his cancer treatments that had him come out of retirement to pay his medical bills had me thinking, especially what happened to more innocent victims, that unlike most people, I can actually do something about it.  Thus my war against Cancer, and now Diabetes, is back on.  What can bring more glory to God than to bring his healing power to the masses.  At least that is what I hope my future career will bring.  I even know what school I like to get in of the three with their research in Cancer (with some rather unearthed treatment methods) and after seeing Dax Prescott, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and several other Cowboys (big fan here, 39 years) players and six cheerleaders in an article about visiting sick children, it's now my dream job to find better treatments and cures at a children's hospital.  I now pray that I can bring His glory by working there with my ph'd in biostatistics.  If I hadn't gotten sick or finished that program at SHSU I would either doing tedious unfulfilling work, or perhaps worse had I been in a class during those two diabetic strokes.  There would had been no cure for it and since I was completely ignorant of my diabetes, I don't think I would had survive EITHER attack.  Funny how those things work out and now having been sick, and always being vulnerable to being seriously sick to a slow and agonizing early death as I was when I finally got that physical.  I'm on a path to bring Glory to God and doing fullfilling work utilizing my talents to the maximum benefits for all of humanity and God Himself it makes all the frustrating and disappointing failings all worthwhile.  I'll treat my disease as a blessing as it keeps me focus on the bigger picture as well as I know what I'm working to relieve others from such suffering as the time and path of finding out the answer to the 2nd question Mark Twain posed that every person have (the two biggest days in a person life is the day they're born and the day they find out why).  Now that I know why I was born, getting a 2nd chance not only in becoming a statistician, but in life as I should be dead 10 times over, I'm not going to squander them.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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