Just Wondering. . .

I wonder about all the guilt you feel if you fail your vehicle emissions test. Would studying have helped? And why are you so relieved when you pass, like you partied all night instead of studying and skated by THIS one.


Picture Perfect

It's just after 4:00 on Saturday evening, after nearly a full day of snow, coming down, coming down, coming down. I was just looking out the window at the trees across the way, distinctly outlined in inches of snow, the nearing dusk seeming to make them glow, and along crept the Canadian Pacific Railroad red engine, like a moving postcard, snow on its roof, slowly floating across my view. It was perfectly quiet, silent - buffeted by the five inches of snow we just received.

Ah, Snow. . . .

It's coming down now. Reminds me of two years ago when it was the Snow from Hell. I cared then. Then I had a job and needed roads to travel, sidewalks to walk. Now - it's snowing and I don't care. But remember how we had all the adventures of Mechanic Man hopping up on the roof like he thought he was Santa?

That's still a happening thing. Hopping up there like he is a feather-weight. If you have met him, the Santa image is not too far off. You've got the white hair. You've got the jolly belly. Well, in the case of Mechanic Man - jolly is not in his vocabulary when it comes to hopping on the roof. Whaling away at ice blocks. Ho Ho Ho.

I'll keep you posted. He's getting ready.



Healthy? Sick? Which is it?

There is a fine line between being healthy and being sick. At least, in my new life as a dialysis patient. That word, patient, is part of the problem. Being on dialysis doesn’t mean I have some disease that makes me sick. I’m actually very healthy. I’m just the right weight. I don’t get colds or flu. I have had every test you can imagine to become eligible for the transplant list – and they don’t allow sickies on the transplant list. So – am I a patient? Am I sick because I’m on dialysis?

I think it all boils down to attitude. If you think you’re sick – you probably are. If you have cancer, you are sick. You will get treatment and you will get better. (Ideally). Being on dialysis is not a cure and yet it’s a treatment. I will never get over kidney failure. I won’t get better. But I’m not sick.

Now I am progressing along this journey of dialysis to the point that I will have what I call “real” dialysis. Right now I am having “not real” dialysis – in that I am not poked with two needles to get access to my blood. I have a “temporary” access site that is a catheter that splits into two tubes that are used for dialysis – no needles. But it is temporary and the nurses and techs can’t stress it enough – t.e.m.p.o.r.a.r.y. Not permanent. Not real. The catheters are famous for failing, clogging, or becoming infected. So, the “real” method is through a fistula – where the veins are prepped and brought closer together in a certain part of your arm (in my arm, it’s the crook of my elbow – you know, that really tender place that they ALWAYS draw blood from – that tender place). Once my fistula heals, about two months, they will start “real” dialysis, where they will insert two 12 gauge needles about an inch apart, for blood to go out and clean blood to go back in. So, every time I go in for dialysis, three times a week, I will be stuck twice with two LARGE needles.

So, needles make me think, I don’t know why, but they make me think I’m sick. I’m having to rethink my thoughts on getting hurt to get better – only I know I’m not getting better, I’m just getting another form of dialysis to keep me alive. It’s a paradox and one I can’t wrap my head around – yet.


Mechanic's Helper For Hire - Cheap

I think I found a job I shouldn't apply for. Mechanic's Helper. Yep. That's me. Mechanic Man needed a helper and so I stood around and acted, well, helpless.

First, he managed to hit his hand with a sledge hammer, totally without any help from me. I just clapped my hands over my mouth to keep from screaming.

Then, he went right back to pounding steel so it would be straight. This is a brace that will be at the top of a 12-foot tall shelving unit, where nobody will be able to tell if it is straight or not, so any advice from me on that topic seems to land on deaf ears. Five minutes after thinking that this was for no good, he went and whacked his thumb on the same hand.

I danced around a bit, trying to think of something positive to say, something comforting, but nothing would come out.

Then he decided to grind down the ends of the braces that he sawed, to shorten the shelving unit, which started out at 14 feet - foregoing the "measure twice, cut once" theory, to now be "measure once, cut, measure again, cut twice." And while he was grinding, the grinder jerked and suddenly grounded out a chunk of Mechanic Man's finger. A chunk - not a piece. If it was MY finger, I would have lost the whole thing. He's got beefy fingers, and now missing a chunk.

I supplied a band-aid and we rolled along with the grinder without blinking an eye. And then his shirt caught on fire. In the meantime, I stood around trying to remember what the emergency number is - 119? 199? 911? Too late, fire's out, and Mechanic Man continues on.

Tomorrow we are going to weld.

Mechanic's Helper, Part II