Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mick McKellar Update--Day +127

The intrepid walker has been hanging around the house lately...there is so much to be done here. Yesterday, I had to replace the battery in our minivan. Five months of inattention and 4 1/2 months of winter weather killed the old one. I had forgotten how heavy car batteries can be, especially when your arms are as strong as noodles. I had also forgotten how much a new battery costs -- ouch!  

Then I thought I would try my hand at raking up some grass. The result was pretty much what I expected, I did well for the first 15 minutes or so, and then my batteries went dead fairly quickly. Marian finished up the raking, and I went off to find other things to do.


The other things I found to do yesterday involved working with some poisons, which means I had to be extremely careful. I sprayed my basement and foundation with a maximum strength bug spray, and then I seeded the ground around the house with a solid dose of Sevin Garden Tech (lawn insect granules). Each spring and each fall, I do this to create a defensive perimeter around the house. Our Michigan basement is created from poor rock, like so many other foundations in our area, and is not very well sealed. To keep the bugs out, I have to set up a killing field around the house.

Most years, is not that big a deal. This year, because of my illness, I had to take special care when handling the poisons and provide sufficient ventilation for their application. Actually, I'm not even supposed to be in my basement. There is too much opportunity for me to run into dampness and mildew/mold. So I dressed up with an old shirt, my Darth mask, hat and gloves. I looked around, but I just couldn't find my hazmat suit anywhere…


Later in the afternoon, a nurse from Mayo Clinic called to advise me that the numbers looked good from both the local testing last week, and the results from the tests done on samples shipped to the clinic. This was very reassuring. So far, the experiment with skipping insulin injections is going along very well. All of my readings have been at or below the normal range (for someone still taking corticosteroids like prednisone). I am hoping that a good report tomorrow will allow me to continue to avoid an insulin injection each morning.


We drove the minivan down to Houghton this morning, to do a little shopping for necessaries. The old monster behaved itself, although I wouldn't trust it for very long trips. Among the necessaries was a small bottle of fuel system cleaner. I put some of this into our old lawnmower, and after many, many pulls on the starter cord, the little beastie roared to life and kept running. I was able to mow a small section of the front lawn with no stalling or sputtering or dying of the engine. I hope this means we have resolved the issue of our non-starting lawnmower.

However, I had no such luck with the weed whacker. It's a small two cycle engine, and the gas and oil mixture has been sitting in there since last fall. I emptied out its little tank, and refilled it with fresh gas and oil mixture. Then I cranked, and cranked, and cranked to no avail. I am letting it sit until tomorrow, perhaps to allow the gas and oil mixture to loosen up any sludge, but mostly because my right arm is about to fall off my shoulder…

Getting back to normal

Friends and family often ask me: " How are you doing?" The answer is, I'm doing just fine. Although I kvetch a lot, the fact is, it's great to be alive! All of the protocols, the details, the medications, and the paranoia are frustrating, but they are a small price to pay when one considers the alternative. How could it be otherwise?

Each day is a gift from God. I remind myself of that fact every night when I go to bed, and I thank Him for that day, and ask for another one. So with all of this going on, is it possible to get back to "normal?" The short answer is: It depends. By that, I mean that normal has been redefined and modified on a daily basis. There are so many things I used to do that I cannot do any more. There are so many things I do now, that I didn't do before. Change has become the norm, so by that definition perhaps I have gotten back to normal…normal being different everyday.

Well, it's not dark yet, but the shadows are getting long and my attention span is growing short. As twilight rapidly approaches, and my batteries are quickly ebbing, it's time to say good night.

And so, thank you all for your messages, e-mails, and phone calls. Thank you all for your prayers and that thoughts.

God bless and good night,


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