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Pneumonia Evicted After Unwelcomed Visit

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God bless you.

As if I didn't already have my hands, head and heart full, fighting cancer and a bad

heart, for the last two weeks I found myself under attack by a stubborn cold that mutated

into a case of pneumonia that resulted in me being hospitalized for four days at

Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago.

At times, I not only felt so bad that thought I was going to die, I wondered if all of you

would be better off if I just--you know--got out of your way and went home to glory. My

enemies certainly would welcome such transition. But you friends and prayer partners

don't seem anxious at all for me to leave until my healings become complete.

My wife of 40 years, Joyce, is one mighty, mad soul sister. She feels that I am

mainly to blame. She's probably right. She usually is.

"You came back trying to do too much too soon, Lacy," she told me with her hands

on his hips and firm outrage on her face. "You should have done a better job of easing

back into things. You still aren't totally well. I love you and I don't want to lose you. But

you must not love me because you're not doing a better job of taking care of yourself."

That's my wife unlike ever before: firm, furious and feisty. Until now, she's always

been quiet and compliant. But she's turned adamant now and says she's sick and tired

of me "not taking better care of yourself and getting more rest."

Again, in all honesty, Joyce is right in many ways. When I returned to work full-time

about a month ago, I celebrated by working 12 straight days writing from home, covering

practices and training camps and a new games before taking off to preach the funeral

of my best boyhood friend, Henry Briscoe, who died of a massive heart attack on Oct. 26

in Kansas City. I guess I wanted to prove, first to myself, that I was doing great in my


At the time of the funeral, I had a bad cold that had cost me much of my voice. But I

toughed it out, made the trip back home to KCK and croaked out an eulogy on Nov. 1

despite being hoarse and having a sore throat. Then last weekend, I went out of town

again on a free lance assignment despite not having gotten over the cold. On Saturday,

Sunday and Monday nights, I felt the cold worsened into pneumonia symptoms of fever,

chills, sweats, fatigue, coughs and extreme congestion. When I relaxed my heart

medication for a day for an all-out attack against the pneumonia, I relieved the coughing,

the sweats and the congestion. But that allowed fluid to flood my lungs, causing

shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness and a sore chest.

So after I returned home Tuesday night, my wife marched me into Northwestern

Wednesday morning, where I was examined by Dr. Jeffrey Trunsky and admitted to the

hospital through the emergency room, where I was also treated by the likes of Dr.

Claud, Dr. Adams, then Dr. Woodrick and Dr, Vaid. Assisting them were nurses like

Annie, Robert, Kendall, Young Jung, Deanna, Luwanda and Susanna. Injections of Lasix,

a diareutic, resulted in me urinating 12 pounds of fluid within seven hours.

By the time I was admitted to my hospital room, my weight had dropped to 226.5

pounds. That marked the first time in almost 10 years that my weight had dropped

below 230 pounds. Last spring when I began my battle against cancer and congestive

heart failure, I promised to drop my weight below 230 and eventually trim down to close

to 200 pounds. But I never expected to do so through sickness.

Upon my release from Northwestern this next time, the challenge to me will be to

continue losing weight, resume regular exercise, eat more responsibly to nourish my body

losing weight and get rest when I feel tired. I already had a lot to live for in Joyce, my

daughters Nicole, Noelle and Natasha, my five grandchildren, other relatives and

friends and now there's America's new President Barack Obama. He will need you and

me to be at ourbest physically, mentally and spiritually to help him heal our nation.

God bless you.

NOTES: By the way, this has not been a perfect stay at what is considered one of

the best hospitals in America. Here are a few things that really, really disturbed me.

* During my Wednesday morning stay in the emergency room, I was given a painful

CAT scan (painful because of a mafunction in the injection of dye) that belonged to

some other patient. Hospital officials apologized, said my insurance carrier would not

be charged for the procedure and urged me to follow up and make sure that I won't be


* For whatever reason, I was listed as a diabetic, which I never have been, and fed

a vapid diabetic diet for my first two days before a correction was made.

* I was asked by seven different doctors and medical staffers to explain the medical

history and reasons that moved me to be admitted for treatment. It seems that nobody

coordinates basic information the patient gives when first admitted. So he is asked to

give this information again and again and again and again until I just refused to give it

once the seven doctor asked me at a time when I was experiencing shortness of

breath, nausea and felt on the verge of throwing up.

* After passing up breakfast, lunch and dinner because of loss of appetite on

Friday, I asked for a light fare of some cottage cheese and pineapple chunks when I

passed up lunch. I was promised the request would be considered. By 5:15 p.m., I was

still waiting for a final verdict. So my wife bought her some sugarless peach slices and

cottage cheese and let me sample some of hers.

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I look forward to your blogs....Im glad to hear that you are doing well. I log onto read the current events...and go over to see if you've posted an update on your status. I happened upon your blog a couple months ago while at home...reading the online newpaper. I couldnt stop reading...I read all your past posts and caught up with it all...I admire your strength and your passion...your faith and the love and dedication you have for your family. Please know that you are touching lives that you will never know....dont give up this great fight....I as well as others are praying with you!!!!!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you for reading my blog and for emailing

encouraging comments. If I can inspire somebody with my health experiences, then

my suffering will not be in vain.

I love you and I am still praying for you, BUT: Pnemonia is nothing to play with. When the weather is changing, back and forth, we are especially susceptible. Then there are all those people who are carrying the germs. We have to be very, very careful. I know Joyce is tiny, but you'd better listen to her. Get your rest, exercise and eat properly. God will do the rest. Stay in prayer, dear brother.

BANKS' RESPONSE: No, it is better to play with rattlesnakes or nitroglycerin

than to play with pneumonia when one already has a bad heart. But trust me, I

never went out looking for pneumonia. I simply dared foolishly to push the envelope

when I found I had a bad cold. So I end up suffering pneumonia, which has left me

weak and aching all over. But I'm still here. I'm wiser. I feel I'm better. I feel my

faith is bigger.


BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Sharon, and the same for the rest of

your most wonderful family. This includes the magnificent congregation of the

Liberty Baptist Church, where your charming mother is secretary and the dynamic

Rev. Darrell Jackson is pastor. I am especially pleased that you are reading and

emailing a comment to my blog because you represent a second generation of my

blog supporters. Liberty is one of the greatest established Christian churches in

the world because, in this age of ever-changing turmoil, its strength has been the

great faith, love and loyalty of multiple families, who are now in their fourth, fifth

and perhaps some even sixth generation of serving and worshiping the Lord. It

starts with our unchanging God and follows through with Pastor Jackson, who

is following in the footsteps of his beloved father, Dr. A.P. Jackson, who had

likewise followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. D.Z. Jackson. There are not too

many churches in the world being shepherded by a third-generation pastor.

Earlier, I had received encouraging comments from your mother, Renee, and now

you her daughter. I am honored and thankful. May God prosper you profoundly,

Sharon, with His grace, mercy and Holy Ghost and grant unto you the desires of

your heart for His glory.

Your joy & faith in God have truly been a blessing to me, when feeling sorry for myself I read your blogs and how content you are and it does wonders for me, I know that there is NOTHING to hard for God but you are a reality!! May God continue to bless you and your family, you are in my prayers!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Sharon, it is only natural to occasionally feel sorry for

yourself when one is besieged by adversity. But it takes supernatural power to

excel and prevail in the face of adversity. Please, don't fool yourself about me,

sweetheart. I, too, sometimes feel down because it's no fun being sick and

having to take multiple medicines daily. Yes, I am a vessel of the Lord. But I have

been flawed by sin and sickness and must repent and pray like everybody else in

the kingdom for God's mercy and grace to deliver and sustain me. I am weak, but

God is strong. And so strong is the Lord that His strength is made perfect in my

weakness. He alone shines brightest in the darkest of times. He alone is the

supreme healer of all. He alone remains true to us and He alone hears and

answers prayers. So I thank the Lord, Sharon for preserving me even now in my

flawed state. I know that if justice were to be served, I would not live to see

another sunrise. But the prayers of people of the household of faith, people like

you, loom large in having God to bless me. It pays to faith faith in Jesus for

ourselves, which I do. But it also pays to be in the company of real praying saints

of Lord. Prayers of the righteous availeth much.

I urge you to take better care of yourself Lacy. If not for yourself, then do it for your family. You'll lose weight if you stop eating all junk food, fast food, anything that comes in a box, bag, can, jar, bottle, or plastic container, aka: PROCESSED FOOD. It's not real food, it's chemicals made to look like food. It's all bad for you, especially if you want to lose weight. Case in point: In February of 2007 I had 2 stents inserted into my coronary arteries to open up and prevent future blockage. I was 59 years old, almost 100 pounds overweight, severely depressed, and overall my health was non-existant. I came home from the hospital with a slew of prescription drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high anxiety, depression, and acute onset of peripheral neuropathy. Long story short: I eliminated junk food from my diet, ate less than half of what I used to eat at each and every meal, started an exercise program that included physical therapy, stationary bicycling, and gradually began walking again. The peripheral neuropathy is located in my feet and it's a very VERY painful condition that makes it almost impossible to walk but I do a little every day in spite of it. I lost 85 pounds in a one year time frame. I want to lose more but my doctor says I shouldn't so I'm stabilized at 153 pounds. This past January I weaned myself off all of my meds because I couldn't tolerate the side effects any more. My blood pressure is now well within the normal range, my cholesterol went from 270 to 187, my blood sugar went from 112 to 84, my depression went away, (I was on anti depressants for 14 years) and my migraine headaches went away. (I had daily migraines and was on medication for them for almost 20 years.) I had severe osteoarthritis in my knees, hips, wrists, fingers, and elbows and was on anti inflammatories for 7 years. I take vitamin c, cod liver oil, omega 3, calcuim/magnesium/vitamin d, and a high potency vitamin/mineral supplement. No more osteoarthritis pain! I feel better than I have in almost 15 years! (With the exception of the neuropathy - haven't found anything to help with that yet)(But I'm working on it.)

So, it all boils down to this: Use nutrition to help heal your body. Anything other than nutritious food works against you and makes getting well much more difficult.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Dawn, for reading my blog and for emailing

your remarkable testimony of how your disciplined dieting and exercising greatly

improved your health. I am encouraged by it and I'm sure many others are, too.

You are right about me and too many others contributing to our poor health by

eating the wrong foods and refusing to exercise vigorously and consistently. The

great majority of Americans are overweight. This is a problem of epidemic, even

pestilential, proportion. My problems are exacerbated by serious heart and

cancer issues. But I am re-enforcing my faith an prayers with improving my diet

and increasing my exercise as health permits. Unfortunately, I suffered a recent

setback with a case of pneumonia, of which I still am not completely healed. I pray

you continued progress toward complete recovery from whatever ails you. God

bless you, Dawn.

Hello again Rev. Banks,hope and pray you are feeling a little better.I was so disappointed yesterday when I found out you were ill with pneumonia and wouldn't be at my church for morning service to render the word of God.I attend Alpha Temple M.B. Church were Rev. De Ville is my pastor and father.All week I was so eager to get back to church,to witness God use you as his instrument of praise.You take care of yourself.Try to get more rest.I will continue to keep you in my prayers.Look forward to seeing you soon.

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Marcia, for reading my blog, praying for

me and emailing your kind comment. I, too, missed preaching to your wonderful

congregation and I postponed with great regret. So, I owe you all. Fortunately,

Pastor Leonard DeVille gave me a rain check in the form of a standing invitation

to return and preach at my earliest mutual convenience when I get well enough to

preach again. Believe me, that day can not too soon to satisfy me. Please relay

my best regards to Pastor DeVille, First Lady DeVille, Usher Willie Echos, Deacon

Johnny Echos, Deacon Jessie Gilbert. Deacon Kenny Pulliam, Rev. Eddie Hill,

Sister Marie Jones and Sister Edna Smith.

I can't believe what I just read. I'm not a fan of personal health blogs. I too have had some pretty amazing health problems but would never dream of wasting my energy in such a narcissistic fashion. Get over yourself.

I'm sorry you didn't get your cottage cheese. Don't pay the bill.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Believe me, Cloey, this blog is energy well spent and

many will testify accordingly. God bless you, Cloey. Happy Thanksgiving and be


I'm very glad you are doing better. The inane and easily avoided mistakes you experienced mirror my own stays at NMH. The doctors are almost universally great and the standard of basic hospital routine/care is not. I go to the Mayo Clinic if I need surgery or an extended stay.

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Sarah. Thanks for reading my blog and

for emailing you thoughtful comment. Believe me, the Mayo Clinic is heavily on my

mind. You are not the first to suggest Mayo and it is an option I may yet explore

before so many things are wrong with me and Mayo is said to be ideal for people

in my position because the clinic is so comprehensive in its diagnoses and care.

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



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This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on November 14, 2008 7:45 AM.

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