The past two weeks have been fairly miserable for me. I have a minor cold but it has laid me up so that I can’t really do anything around the house or errands etc… The main concern is to prevent this cold from becoming pneumonia like has happened before. With my suppressed immune system ( an unfortunate side effect of my kidney transplant ), a simple cold can become pneumonia very easily, and pneumonia is something I don’t want to mess with again. The cold started as a sore throat and now is be-boping around between my throat, chest and head. I will have a couple of nights in a row where sleep alludes me and then I will have a day where all I can do is sleep and that cycle seems to be repeating. Every time I think I am about to kick it out of my system for good, it comes back even stronger! Frustrating!!!
Meanwhile, while sick I am trying to get the permit application for the room addition completed and submitted so that when the winter ends we can start construction. We have two permits to get approval for – first the Naugatuck Valley Health Dept. needs to review it based on the septic system and how close the new construction is to all parts of the septic system and will the system handle the capacity and then the City of Shelton (Zoning office and the building office) needs to give final approval. After several trips to the NVHD, once Meg drove me and the final time Carolyn took me there, we finally got the permit complete and submitted. After all the hassle and four trips to Seymour, I was called after one day and the first permit is approved and I can pick it up at their offices early this coming week. Now I have to get to work on the permit for the City of Shelton. I am not anticipating any problems, but it is a city department and they exist to create problems!
After a month at home with us Carolyn has gone back for her final semester at Ithaca College! She got home like 10 days before Christmas and left on Thursday, January 19th! It seems like she had just gotten home like last week, but she had been here a month and while we had a great time with her home, I am sure she was bored to death with her parents. While home she did get her kitten that she had been longing for and we all had a blast playing with him! She also finally completed her law school applications and submitted them. I was hoping to start the FAFSA application and show her how it is done and what is involved, but it was tough to do with my cold because it is impossible to concentrate especially on numbers. So now my to do list has FAFSA – 2016 Taxes – City Permit Application, and to get the house ready for our upcoming Puppy! See future blog posts for more details on our puppy, who was born on 1/1/17 and will come to CT at the end of February!
I thought I was going to get thru 2016 without having to go to the Emergency Room and that plan was going very well, right up until December 28th and I wound up at the Yale ER! I had developed a large cyst/abscess on my neck and my GP & the Yale Transplant Center wanted it removed as soon as possible, which translates to the ER. I hadn’t been to the ER since 2015 and was hoping to avoid any trips to the ER in 2016. As far as ER trips go, this was as different an experience as I have had. The ER was over crowded so I had to wait to get a room but it was like 1:30 PM. My past trips had been very early in the morning (6:00 AM when I went in with pneumonia) or late in the day (7:00 PM when I went in with a salivary gland issue) and I was admitted right away. Also because it was so crowded they were determined to everything to make sure the visit was as quick as possible so that I could leave and make the bed available to the next people.
Once in my room, a doctor (granted it was a young doctor that was under the supervision of an older experienced ER doctor) came by, even before the nurse was able to get to the room. Because it looked like she would get to cut open my cyst with a scalpel she was eager to treat me so I saw her attending physician and together they performed an ultra sound on my cyst. It was a cyst that was filled with puss filled little balls so they agreed that they should cut into it and then cut farther into it and break up all the small balls of puss. About a half an hour later they returned and after numbing the cyst up with lidocaine, they cut into it and started cutting deeper and deeper to get at all balls of puss. It was really flowing well so they bandaged it up and sent me home with instructions to change the bandage frequently and to follow-up with my regular physician in the coming week.
For the first day or two the cyst continued to drain, but eventually the wound started to scar over and it stopped flowing. Meg and I were able to get the wound re-opened using techniques for removing scabs that I learned when I was on dialysis. This way we were able to keep the wound open and flowing for more time so the size has gone down considerably but isn’t totally drained yet. I am having a follow-up with my primary care physician and we will see where we go from there.
I have been continuing to learn some new skills for my wood working hobby. I am currently working on several wood carving projects. They vary from some art projects to lettering projects. Basically I am trying to gain some proficiency in different techniques that I am learning thru an online carving course. I have a small set of carving gouges and several chisels but I need some more and hope to acquire some specific carving gouges and a set of chisels. I hope also to continue learning to use the lathe. I took a pen turning class and that went well and hope to take another class or two and eventually learn bowl turning. I plan to rent some time at the Woodworkers Club until I get proficient enough to warrant getting my own lathe. I am trying to concentrate on small projects that I can do well. The carving is starting well, we will have to see how it finishes!