Ronnie Oldham
Living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

By 1982, I was working for Continental Drilling around Chickasha. We worked seven days at 12 hours a day and then got seven days off.  I decided that Shawnee was not the place to be and I rented a nice apartment on NW 23rd in OKC, near the fairgrounds.  I also rented furniture and everything else I needed.  Several of the guys from Illinois were usually hanging out there.  The place really rocked.  Often when I'd finish a 7 day tour, I'd return to find a major party going on at my place.  I even found a woman in my bed a few times.  Anyway, everything went pretty well until one night, as we were preparing a spaghetti feast, I developed some significant pain in my abdomen.  I finally got the guys to take me to the emergency room.  Several folks in town had picked up some food poisoning that night and I was misdiagnosed and given laxative.  Turns out that the problem was my appendix.  Our plan for the weekend was a trip to Dallas for the Texas World Music Festival.  I'll never forget the drugs and booze I took just to get through that weekend.  I knew things were bad as I slept with Mary Kay and I was in too much pain to move.  Anyway, when I got back to Shawnee, I saw a doctor there.  I asked him to give me something for the pain and told him that I'd come back after my seven days of work.  He said that wouldn't work, because I'd be dead.  I had surgery about 30 minutes later.  Luckily, I had medical insurance (for the first time.)  After some recuperation, I went back to work for Continental, but found that I wasn't completely healed and the work difficult as a result.  I decided to join the USAF.

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Copyright Ronnie Oldham 1998. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 01, 2011.

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