I have pretty much spent 93% of this month in bed. I have maybe worked a traditional "In the Office" routine about 16 hours total in the past 2 weeks. The rest of my work has been off an iPad and iPhone from my bed.
Healing has been strange and very unpredictable. I was in serious debilitating pain before surgery. I was fine a few days after surgery and then the pain returned for about 10 days.
The pain finally left my legs and has made brief visits since.
Overall I am very easily exhausted from most any activity. My body, and face are swollen/fat from steroids that I have chowed down since mid April with this all occurred.
In the beginning I was sure that I would bounce back and be my old self in 6 weeks....that ain't happening, but it will get there. My new realistic target is 6 months.
U.S. stands out as a rich country where a growing minority say they can’t afford food.
Don't let a good stock market fool you into false optimism.
The United States is an outlier from this pattern. Despite being the richest country in the survey, nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) say they had trouble putting food on the table in the past 12 months. This is up from just 16% who reported such deprivation in 2007, the year before the Great Recession began.
Read and weep at http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/05/24/u-s-stands-out-as-a-rich-country-where-a-growing-minority-say-they-cant-afford-food/
What do I do in the winter? I innovate. Capacity baby!
For me to sear/smoke 10 pounds of wings at a tailgate, which is a big Costco bag, it takes me two dedicated 22 inch grills.
Half of that space is utilized because the other half is the charcoal fire to create an indirect/baking effect after searing. The current setup gives me enough room to do one 10 pound batch at a time. Wings take and hour, and time is precious pre-game. I need those wing grills to cook the main meat after the wings. So a second batch of wings is no option.
Many times with large crowds, we run short of wings. I needed more capacity without more grills.
I happen to have an 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain which comes stock with two 18 inch round racks.
Reasoning, I bought a third rack and added legs for three racks. Three racks gives me twice the capacity of 1/2 of two larger racks. I think I can do 20 pounds at a time now. Perhaps different favors on each rack. All smoked and tender. (I'm drooling now) That is a lot of wings my friend.
The proving grounds will be June 8. I will attempt a wReggie wRecord of 20 pounds of wings at one time at the quarry.
One grill and one smoker instead of two grills and more capacity. The same footprint and more capacity. I love it.
The old back felt a little fragile today so I stayed at home and took it easy.
About 10 AM I got a delivery from the John Deere dealer. No, not something new, but a refurbishment of my 10 old plus lawn tractor. It is one of those orange Home Depot, Scott's Tractor brand, but built by Deere.
It had been in the shop about three weeks getting virtually new deck gearing, blades, belts, tires sealed, complete service and tune up. I swear it looks new......but better.
Then I could no longer resist. A few days ago I took deliver of this truck lift. It looks well made and functional. I clipped it together with pins and it was ready in minutes.
The problem will be to get this bolted to the frame where there is no frame. So I'm going to have an extension welded and the base installed by my mechanic.
My old pal, the big red truck turned 300,000 miles today. A milestone.
I have towed tons of RVs down the road, dogs loaded on camping trips, week after week of tailgating off this truck, scuba off this truck, hay and grain off this old friend, I have towed a few horses, made many trips on business, towed my Jeep behind, and used the tailgate as my yard work bench for 13 years.
The old boy got a new transmission a few weeks ago so I am keeping him a few more years at least.
I have always done the required maintenance and replaced anything that is broken. It has never been wrecked.
I've been in bed coming up on a month. Every time I attempt activity, the pain knocks me back in bed. Activity is defined as not being in bed and walking modestly....about 5 minutes slow walk to the barn and back.
I am on my 4th round of strong steroids with all the side effects of puffiness, sweats, jumpiness, sleeplessness, buzz head, etc.
Yesterday and this morning I feel better. There is very little pain and I am going out to eat breakfast with friends. I am thrilled with anticipation of shredded hash browns.
I hope for the best and know I am healing. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be down this long.
There is a long recovery period yet getting back to my active lifestyle. I day dream of diving and being the independent person I was. I know it is coming back.
I have been over whelmed with support of friends, fellow bloggers, tailgaters, divers, business colleagues, and long time friends. It means a lot to me to get a call, email, text or whatever to just check in on me.
It appears all is not going as it should, and we are devising a plan to resolve my less than stellar recovery.
I will let you know what is going on when I know, but for now the pain in my leg is back along with numbness.
Thankfully I have been able to give rest a serious try and could get used to it, but rest is not helping.
I am able to work some from bed with my iPad, iPhone and two border collies lying on each side of me.
Gigi is taking great care of me, and I have hired out most of the heavy work needed to be done around here on a weekly basis.
So for now, more powerful steroids, rest, reading and keeping my fingers crossed.
The dog pool is up for the season. God the dogs love to lay and play in this pool.
I can no longer pick up the edge and dump it.....so....I siphoned it yesterday, cleaned it gently with a string mop instead of scrubbing on all fours, and filled it again with minimal stress on my back. I'm learning to protect my spine.
I siphoned the water off the jeep tarp too. Usually I would just muscle the water to the edge and create a giant waterfall. Saved by back again.
My old golf cart has been pulled from the well house and is being converted into a small hauler for stuff around the yard like spray tanks, scuba tanks, coolers, camping stuff, etc. More attempts at reasoning with my back.
I may try and mount the pressure washer on the cart soon to blast off the deck and patio.
They really have old Reliance looking spiffy. A lot of decking and staging work was done last year and the hull was painted before the season. Now the top is trimmed out in diver red and white with contact information.
Captain Cook waves from the top deck as she pulls into harbor. Scott Cook is a hoot. I always enjoy his company and remarks.
The Diesel engine on Reliance is old, smokes, and sputters, but seems to work good enough.
I have followed the doctors new orders carefully since my flair up and I am better. Bed rest and steroids are doing the trick.
I realize recovery is a mind game. I keep wanting to do stuff because I measure accomplishment subconsciously by the stuff I do.
Yesterday I had a "must do" meeting because of time constraints involved with an investment. I asked my business partner if he could drive me out of town so I could continue rest and yet work. A 90 minute ride in a Mercedes was a breeze. It was nice to get outside and sight see.
My last shore dive on St Croix was to this old Danish anchor resting beside a coral head. The spot is about 100 feet down and just a few kicks downhill is the Wall which plunges thousands of feet down. The place is breathtaking.
The surreal images are the closest you'll ever get to be in a living Roger Dean "Yes" album cover.
So I'm leaning to this place to drop off my ashes when the times comes. Mix me in with some Concrete Mix and a plaque, and old wReg should be just fine here for a few centuries.
I'd prefer to be over there to the left, kind of under that coral....a nice place for me and a lobster.
Life just keeps on flowing, but my perceptions have changed. This is my second week of dealing with getting well. I don't much care for this assignment ,as my regular life was much more interesting to me.
But life keeps on keeping on and I am trying to deal with this new reality.
Today I will attempt to go out on my own just to see if I can. I'm headed to a place that replaces iPad screens.
Then, if it all works out I will kill the rest of this day until bed time. What a waste. No interest in cooking, scuba, camping, etc.
Chalk down May 1 as a day of fog. Keep in mind I am writing this at 4 AM on a morphine pump so I'm sure things will get worse pain wise once that comes off.
We arrived early around 5AM for surgery. My pain was steady so I knew something was getting progressively worse.
Before long I was set up with an IV and being briefed by the ER Nurse, Surgeon, Anesthesiologist and such. Soon I was given a cocktail to relax me and that is the last thing I remember. Nice in retrospect.
I woke up not in horrible pain like I expected, and I was aware of what had happened. My leg pain was gone and my back hurt a bit but all in all so far, so good. My mind was a fog of pain drugs.
I wasn't nauseated however my body and face were, and are very bloated.
Soon I was moved to a room and met with Gigi and some dear friends.
Drugs and muscle relaxers kept me comfortable.
Eventually as the day wore on I began feeling more soreness and back pain and realized for sure I had just received real back surgery.
I have been warned over and over that not matter how good I think I feel, that I have had major trauma to the spinal column and I must take it easy for 6 weeks.
I woke up a few hours ago after about 4 hours of fitful sleep. What the heck....I have nothing but time to sleep now.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and well wishes.
That’s wReggie with a silent “W” like Wrangler, wrench, write and wrong, and now new and improved with a lower case “w” with all the cutting edge sophistication of eBay or iPhone. Some words need a "W" like "one". What's that about?
I love to travel and observe the world. I married my teenage sweetheart who is still my first wife. I guess you can call me an animal lover too with 4 border collies, 3 horses, two cats, 21 chickens and one Brine Shrimp. I have a deep love and respect for bacon and club sandwiches and take convenience of gravity for granted.
Finally, I love to laugh.