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Sobriety/Recovery Journals -  Rex's 2nd Time Around Volume 2 (36844 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Brian (BrianB125) Posted by host4/25/19 7:08 AM 
To: MaryLouise3  (795 of 815) 
 3053.795 in reply to 3053.794 


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.



From: MaryLouise34/27/19 4:45 AM 
To: Brian (BrianB125)  (796 of 815) 
 3053.796 in reply to 3053.795 

Hi Brian

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.



From: Brian (BrianB125) Posted by host4/27/19 7:15 AM 
To: MaryLouise3  (797 of 815) 
 3053.797 in reply to 3053.796 


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.



From: mkh1064/29/19 10:24 PM 
To: Rex (rcclark99)  (798 of 815) 
 3053.798 in reply to 3053.790 

hi Rex,

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.


From: Rex (rcclark99)5/3/19 2:00 PM 
To: mkh106 unread  (799 of 815) 
 3053.799 in reply to 3053.798 

hi margit! 

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.


From: Rex (rcclark99)6/29/19 11:28 AM 
To: All  (800 of 815) 
 3053.800 in reply to 3053.799 

Hi All,

I am at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and have been since last Wednesday. Judy and I will be here in Rochester until at least through next Wednesday, July 3. We are not in the hospital but spend a good part of each day in the hospital complex. It is indeed an unbelievable facility with some of the best doctors in the world. We stay in a local hotel which provides free shuttle buses making round trips all day long on a hourly basis.

After one day here we had narrowed the source of my recurring sepsis to three possible sources. By Friday afternoon, we have declared a winner. The problem seems to be a narrowing in some of the passageways in my liver which drains bile into my ducts which in turn supplies bile to my duodenum for digestion. When this bile gets backed and clogged in these narrowed passageways it allow bacteria to grow and eventually be released into my bloodstream which of courses causes my bouts with bacteremia.

I will be having tests over the next three days (mon-tues-wed) to determine how we fix it now. I also have to come back here to Minnesota for another procedure on July 11 at which time we will determine a treatment plan to go forward with. Worst case scenario is to remove part of my liver in open surgery here at Mayo, which is about 450 miles from our home but we do what we need to do. There are some less drastic measures which might be effective but we just won't know until after the ERCP test o July 11.

I am of course still sober, soon going on 10 years and appreciate the support and aid that my life partner Judy has provided over these stressful last 18 months or so. She's a trooper and I don't know how I would have managed without her.

I don't post often but think of you all often and especially who were here when I first came here and are still here. You are so special to me.


From: MaryLouise37/1/19 12:17 AM 
To: Rex (rcclark99)  (801 of 815) 
 3053.801 in reply to 3053.800 

Hi Rex, so good to hear from you even though we're also FB friends and I'm following your progress there. I'll be delighted to hear this mysterious illness and source of infection has been traced and can be treated.

Out here we're having a wet winter which is good news but  we're both fluey and rather bedraggled from all the rain! Hopefully the dams and rivers have filled up enough to ensure we don't have water rationing through next summer.

Sending all love to Judy and  you're lucky to have her there. With luck, you'll be planning holidays in Florida again soon!



From: Brian (BrianB125) Posted by host7/1/19 6:57 AM 
To: Rex (rcclark99)  (802 of 815) 
 3053.802 in reply to 3053.800 

Hi  Tex, sounds like progress and something that can be treated.  Best of luck.

I'm in Algonquin Park in Canada and having a great time with two of my cousins.



From: Rex (rcclark99)10/19/19 1:23 PM 
To: All  (803 of 815) 
 3053.803 in reply to 3053.802 

Good morning all,

I just wanted to check in and say hello. The autumn season is well underway here in the midwestern U.S. and we have survived 2 1/2 years of a Donald Trump presidency. The weather is cool but not cold yet and leaves are starting to turn colors but not many on the ground today.

I was in the hospital last week for 5 days with another attack of sepsis or bacteremia whichever you'd like to call it. I have been diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. It's a rare autoimmune liver disease which is oddly not brought on by alcohol abuse but is causing recurring battles with blood bacteria infections. I am now going to the local hospital each day for intravenous antibiotic infusions which should be ending late next week. Soon after that I will be returning to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for more tests (another ERCP with liver biopsies).

I am so sick and tired of our political climate that I don't even pay attention to the news anymore. Everyone hates everyone else and it just makes me sick to listen to. The right is far too right and the left is far too left. No one cares about the probably 80% of those of us in the middle but only about the loud, ugly rhetoric coming from both ends of the spectrum.

I'm so afraid that Mr Trump will be elected again because many of the Democrats are so far to the left that they are unelectable IMO.

Judy just became a great-grandmother for the first time a couple of weeks ago and she is scheduled to repeat that experience again next month, one of each; a boy and a girl. The month after (December) I am to have my fourth great-grandchild but I seldom see them because they live several hundreds of miles away in a different part of the country.

Now that my days are growing shorter I realize how fragile life is and how much of my prime years were wasted sitting in bars and pubs in various degrees of inebriation and how many people I've hurt over the years. These were and are good people who loved me. It makes me very sad.

But I am thankful for the two ten-year long periods of sobriety I was able to carve out in different stages of this thing called life.

I still struggle with the subject of spirituality and still read and talk about it sometimes but the truth is that I don't have a clue what it means or how to attain an understanding of it. I try to keep an open mind and be vigilant should I be struck by a bolt from the blue with would give me clarity. 

I will pass my tenth anniversary of my current period of sobriety next month and rarely think of it nowadays. I can't imagine ever having another drink in my life. I'm just not interested even though micro-breweries are popping up all over our country the last few years.

I'm going to close for now but wanted to say hello and let you know you're all in my thoughts often and I'm grateful for this forum being a huge part of my sobriety. I hope you're all safe and healthy doing well.


From: Brian (BrianB125)10/20/19 7:21 AM 
To: Rex (rcclark99)  (804 of 815) 
 3053.804 in reply to 3053.803 


You know, aside from the autoimmune problem, it sounds like you are doing pretty well.  It is kind of amazing to reach our 70s.  Sometimes I just stop and think how did this happen, I was 40 just a few weeks ago!  But it sounds like you still have thing you are interested in doing - and at our age, I think that's what's important - life is still fun and exciting even if I can't do all the things I used to do.

I was just in Chicago for a few days.  We went for a funeral of a cousin of my wife.  We had a little memorial service and then went out for a big lunch - a good way to end.  Then we drove down to South Bend to the Snite Museum at the University of Notre Dame - which has a collection of kinetic art by George Rickey - my current inspiration.  I've got enough ideas to keep me going for another couple of years..  Then we came back to Chicago and saw Hamilton - which was a lot of fun.  I've wanted to see it for a while but have been put off by the price of the tickets.  But the show in Chicago was relatively reasonable - so we went and I'm glad we did.  

So, wishing you the best Rex - just keep plugging away.



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