Hello to all,
I wanted to stop in and say hello to all here. Spring is trying to come to the Chicago area but it's been touch and go with one day being in the 60's F and the next 40 degrees with strong winds and rain or sleet. It does seem like winters get longer and longer but it's probably just my aging makes it seem like that.
I recently celebrated my 72nd birthday and I have been having health problems for the last 14 months. I have spent about 5-6 weeks in the hospital on four different visits. I have been admitted each time diagnosed with septic shock caused by bacteremia. I am going back to the University of Chicago next week to be evaluated by a biliary surgeon and also being referred to the Mayo Clinic to find out how the bacteria's are getting into my blood system. Each of these visits has been life threatening so I'm anxious to find what's really wrong with me. Each time I get out of the hospital it takes weeks for me to get my strength and endurance back.
I am sober and expect that to continue. Alcohol is no longer a part of my life and in November I will reach 10 years of complete abstinence. I cant imagine ever going back to my former life of sitting in a bar for hours several evenings a week. Sometimes I lament about the thousands of hours I wasted by getting drunk and recovering from hangovers but that serves no practical person, All I can do is take the months (hopefully years) I have left to work on repairing damage done during those years to some of my family relationships.
I am still working part-time (about 16 hours a week) but slowly working with my two living children to transfer ownership of our family business to each of the them. My daughter runs the industrial sales part of our business while my son runs the shop. Their expertise is a marvel to me and the new blood is long overdue in affecting the way we conduct day-to-day business.
Judy and my relationship is good as we have both learned to set boundaries and abide with each others boundaries, It took awhile to establish that part of our relationship but we each have made big strides in that area.
I have been unable to spend as much time at the gym as previously because of my health issues but hope that can be remedied soon. Judy and I are still taking ballroom dancing lessons on a weekly basis. I believe it helps my balance, is great exercise and helps ward off memory loss as I get older. It is one of the most challenging things I've ever done and I enjoy it tremendously.
I just wanted to catch you all up a little here and look forward to catching up on my reading here also. Thank you all for being hear and for being a big part of my sobriety.
Great to here from you Rex. Hope they can figure out where the infection is coming from - University of Chicago and Mayo should be able to do that. Other than that, it sounds like you are doing really well.
My newest thing is learning how to braise aluminum. - learning new things does keep you young - at least I hope so.
Learning new things is a great joy to me these days and I'm happy to hear about your aluminum brazing.
Yes, if I could get past these health issues I would be in a very great place right now. About the time I get seemingly well and strong along comes a new case of septic shock and I end up with a 1-2 week hospital stay. I've cheated death several times here and I know the odds are turning against me if we don't get this ship righted. So, on we go continuing to seek the answers we're looking for.
Thank you for your thoughts Brian. I hope spring is coming to your part of the country. It's trying to come here too but it's been a struggle to chase old man winter away.
Rex, how good to find a long message from you! as you know, I'm following your health progress on FB and hoping they sort out the bacteremia soon. And I hope you get spring warmth and colour soon. I'd love to do ballroom dancing, such fun!
We're in autumn here -- lovely time of year and if we get decent winter rains I'll be very happy. A close friend of mine died suddenly a couple of weeks ago and I have been missing her and grieving, but not wanting to anaesthetise the sadness -- as you say, those days are long behind us!
I popped in here a few days ago and the site was down, not sure if that was Delphi or me. I'd love to see more posts on this forum, but I notice a dwindling interest in forums generally across the Internet. Many of us are connected on social media or LifeRing lists so we will stay in touch.
All love to you and Judy, Rex. Stay well.
Brian, what does it mean to braise aluminium? Do you mean in metalwork, a kind of heat brushing or melting?
I agree that energies get renewed with new learning skills. I'm busy looking at obscure and impossibly difficult poetry (Alice Notley, Barbara Guest) with some very smart people online and that keeps me on my toes!
Braising is a technique just short of welding. When you weld, the two pieces of metal actually melt and flow together and you often use a filler rod, which is just a rod with an alloy of steel, to add a little more material to strengthen the weld. When you braise, the two pieces of metal do not melt, they just get really hot, but the braising rod does melt and forms a bond with the two pieces of metal - holding them together. Braising isn't as strong as welding, but it is useful for many purposes. The problem with braising aluminium is that aluminum doesn't change color as it gets hot the way steel does. It's fairly easy to tell how hot a piece of steel is by just seeing the color. This doesn't work with aluminum and the danger is that it will just melt and run in to a big puddle. The difference is temperature between when the braise will work and when the aluminum will melt is not all that great, so this is a real danger - at least for me.
I've also been reading Dickens. I reread Great Expectations and am not almost done with Oliver Twist. It's somewhat like seeing Shakespeare, all these characters that have entered the common language. Ellen and I are going on a car trip later this year and we are going to listen to Bleak House.
I also read A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, about a Palestinian woman growing up in a very traditional family is Detroit, Michigan. It's a fantastic book, though very hard to read because of the subject - it reinforces all my prejudices against traditional cultures no matter where they are.
Wonderful spring here in Washington - somewhat cool so everything is spread out they way they should be - dogwoods then redbuds, daffodils the tulips - but my nose is paying the price, allergies are bad. It will be time to start working in the garden in West Virginia is a couple of weeks, that will be good.
Good to see you back.
I've bookmarked that Etaf Rum novel to order through the library. And I might reread some Dickens myself this coming winter. Have you read Peter Ackroyd's biography of Dickens (not new)? It is also a biography of 19th-century London and for me it shed light on the dirty half-concealed London shown in Bleak House, the Inns of Chancery, Holborn, the law courts, the slow-moving legal system so implacably dominating matters of money, legacy, death for so many.
Love to see garden pics on Facebook when you've done some work in the garden. And now I know what braising aluminium involves and the risks! Do take care.
I'll look up Peter Acroyd's book. Oliver Twist is much more "political" than Great Expectations - much more condemning of the poor houses, the legal system and just the treatment of the "lower" classes. The Artful Dodger gets transported for stealing a snuff box. The other things about Oliver Twist is that it is much more visual than Great Expectations. You could trace some of the movements through the city - if you made a movie you wouldn't need story boards to describe the movements. I'm really glad a reread Great Expectations and rediscovered Dickens.
It will be a while for garden pics, can't plant until after May 15 because of the danger of frost.
just saw this post....and i am soooo sending best wishes for a resolution to the repeating sepsis. whoa, that is dangerous and exhausting. my dad had it once and it just wiped him out for quite a while.
sounds like you are and will be in good hands as far as medical help.
It's great to hear from you. I did go to the University of Chicago hospital again last week and then to my infectious disease doctor two days ago. Both have agreed that despite all the tests, scans and mri's that I've had that they cannot locate the source of my recurring bouts with severe sepsis. My next stop is to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. My doctors here have sent them a referral so right now the ball's in their court.
Yes, each of my severe sepsis attacks have been life threatening and difficult to recover from as your dad experienced. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.
Thank you for your thoughts. It means a lot to me.