The new medications are having an effect, all right. I still have ups and downs from day to day in how much discomfort I have, but the total number of trips to the bathroom each day have definitely been cut.
Thanksgiving went well. Diane and I went to visit her cousin John, his wife Laurie, and daughter Bryana. Diane’s cousin Scott and his wife, Wei-Wei, also came up from the Los Angeles area. John’s house is on several acres a bit north of Salinas. Diane was able to take the dogs and hawks out right from the house to check the area out. No prey was spotted or caught, but apparently the walks went well. I stayed at the house, pretty much. I did set up lighting and take some pictures of the family there together on Saturday night.
When I got back Sunday night, I found that I had about 700 spam comments on this blog to remove. I’ve upgraded the WP software to a later version and installed a plugin that provides a link in email sent to the person posting the comment; the comment will not appear until the link is clicked. This should cut back on the poker/drugs/porn spam comments here. Sorry for the inconvenience, but believe me, clicking on a link is a lot simpler than removing 700 comments by hand.
The past week kind of slid by. My surgeon has put me on two new medications to slow down my gut action, hopefully meaning fewer trips to the bathroom each day. These are Imodium and Lomotil. The first few days have been a grab bag; some days go by very pleasantly, but on at least one I was in more than comfortable pain most of the day. Last night was a bit odd, in that I took both hydrocodone and benadryl, a combination that usually sends to to sleep for several hours, but I ended up wide awake from midnight til 5AM. Weird.
It’s our first day at the California Hawking Club’s Bakersfield falconry meet. Diane went out early with Andrea and Mark Ashbaugh. They put up three Harris’s hawks (Rusty (13yo female), Glamdring (2yo male), and Shelby (2yo male)) over four dogs (Farli (11yo Vizsla), Ritka (1yo Vizsla), Sunny (4yo whippet), and Gossip (1yo Jack Russell terrier)). Various game was chased, but the only bird who connected was Shelby, who caught a rabbit.
I stayed at the hotel, got us registered, and rested some. We went to see a lure-flying demonstration that didn’t turn out too well. A Harris’s hawk was flown at a lure moved by a lure coursing machine several times. A relatively uninterested Aplamado falcon mostly ignored a lure swung by his falconer.
I got a nasty surprise Thursday morning: bright red blood on elimination. Diane and I got on the phone with my surgeon, who indicated that this wasn’t an uncommon thing, and that next week he’ll see about putting me on some medication to slow down my gut.
In the meantime, he said that taking a trip in state should not be a problem. So I decided to accompany Diane in going to Bakersfield. She’ll be able to check in on me better with me on site.
The trip down was not too bad. It took about five and a half hours all told. I napped for part of the way, and we had an unabridged reading of “The Fellowship of the Ring” in the cassette player for entertainment.
This past week I was able to sit up at my usual desk for most of each day. In general, I’ve been getting better. I still get up two or three times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but the trend has been for me to be able to get more hours of sleep at a time.
When I left the hospital, they removed the staples from my incisions. Some of them had already become partially embedded in the week they had been in place, which made removal a less than comfortable experience. But it did illustrate the difference between the rate of healing I had without being on steroids this time, and the two and a half week period I had staples in after the first surgery, when I was on high doses of steroids. This time after taking the staples out, they put a whole series of strips of tape across the incisions, with the instructions being to let them fall off on their own. The last couple of pieces of tape finally came off last night. I had toyed with the idea of answering the door on Halloween with my incisions exposed to view, but that I think would have been over the line for scariness.
Diane is headed off later in the week for the California Hawking Club’s meeting in Bakersfield. I’m trying to figure out whether I’m up to being in a vehicle for the five hour drive down there.
I registered here with the “permanent absentee” status box checked. My vote went in a week and a half ago, since I’m not yet up to standing in lines for very long at all.
Looking at polls across the country, it seems that everyone’s vote means more in this election. More people are registered, more people are taking advantage of early voting and absentee ballots, and the polls are showing a statistical dead heat in the presidential race. If you haven’t voted yet, let me urge you to take to time to do it. I feel that we need to hear from as many eligible voters as possible this time around. There is no place for complacency that I see, whatever your point of view happens to be.
If you are able, consider helping with “get out the vote” efforts. I wish I were up to it this year.