My Most Recent QSO's

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Day at the Hospital

A "cut and paste" from an e-mail sent to a few of my best friends:  

This morning in the pouring rain, I headed to the doctor early in the morning to get the 13 staples in my lower back removed from my surgery two weeks ago. I drive a very old Hyundai and the drivers side window jumped out of the track. I barely could get it closed to keep out the rain. I arrived at the doctors office but he wasn't in the building today. (he took a long weekend). The nurse was afraid to remove the staples because she wasn't authorized to do so; and if the wound in my back should "open" back up, they wouldn't be able to close it again. 

I had to drive about 60 miles to the hospital, in the pouring rain, with the drivers side window still ajar. Traffic on the Interstate was terrible with big trucks speeding by and bad weather conditions. I decided to take the rural back-roads to the hospital. It was a good thing I did so because there was a terrible wreck on the Interstate. Traffic was backed up for 20 miles. 

As I drove about 40 miles into a small town, I stopped for a "red light" and my old 5 speed transmission would not go back into gear. It's still pouring the rain. I have the 4 way flashers blinking as the clutch pedal finally goes clear to the floor. I have a mechanical background and finally get the old car into first gear by matching the RPM's to the clutch gear and slowly ease my way off the road into the Veterans of Foreign Wars parking lot where I simply mash the break pedal to park the dang thing. It's till pouring the rain. 

The VFW isn't open. 

I walk to a "shoe store" in the immediate neighborhood. I get my "AAA card" out and call them with my "go phone". The battery is only about half charged in the go phone. There was a major "computer crash" all along the East Coast this morning due to some "hacker organization" having a little bit of fun with all of us. I barely get the basic information to AAA because the service person (help desk) had to write it all down on paper.....

I get a call into my wife who needs to drive 40 miles to rescue me. The cell phone battery is down to it's last few electrons before it gives up the ghost. I wait, and wait, and wait. I gave AAA the "shoe store phone number" fortunately, The tow truck driver finally calls (30 minutes later). He only has to drive 30 miles to reach me. It will take him another hour to reach this little town. He says he heard about a bad wreck on the Interstate. It may take longer.... 

My original appointment at the hospital was at 1:30 pm. It's noon now. It's still raining. 

My wife calls the shoe store too. She is in the worst traffic jam she's ever seen, even in New York. I give her directions to the rural back road to get to me and the car. 

At 1 pm she arrives, I leave the keys to the car under the floor mat. There is an auto shop about 3 miles from me. No one can drive the dang thing anyway, and there's nothing in it worth stealing. (the salvage value of this thing is about $400 ) . As we approach the hospital, the tow truck driver makes a courtesy call to my wife's cell phone and says he's just loaded a small gray colored old Dodge on his truck, at a Baptist church in the town, and will get it to the garage for me at no charge. (AAA is a good deal if you drive an old car). I remind him I'm driving a green colored Hyundai with "radio stickers" and a Veterans license tag on the trunk. Well... that's not good he says, I'm glad I called, and oh yes, I see it on the VFW lot now. 

We get to the hospital almost at the appointed time. I rush in while my wife is parking the car. I see a nurse in just a few minutes. She removes the 13 staples quicker than a jack rabbit can jump. I get a flu shot while I'm there and we walk across the parking lot (it's still raining) to the car and look forward to the long drive home on the back roads again.  

Can things get any more stressful ? 

Almost as soon as we drive off the hospital parking lot, the "low tire pressure" light comes on. There's been a very slow leak on the right front drivers side tire for months now. It's a mystery because NO ONE can find the leak.  

This will be a piece of cake after all the stress today. (it's still raining cats and dogs) - I keep a little battery powered "air compressor " in the trunk of the car at all times. I pull off the road, air up the tire (it was down to about 20 lbs). Despite being wet, cold, and frustrated, this should be the last of it! I'm really looking forward to the "tire light" on the dashboard going off. (it normally takes a few revolutions ) I drive about the length of a football field and the light is still blaring into my eyes.  

I pull into a little elementary school parking lot a couple of miles down the road and angrily yank the air compress out of the trunk again. I "air up" all the tires this time.

Small school kids can be unbelievably cruel. School bus drivers also have very loud horns. It's a good thing all the kids were out of "ear shot" as they got on the bus. Everything you've ever heard about "cursing sailors" is true. My previous years of Navy military service came out of me whether I wanted it to or not. I asked God for forgiveness. My wife says maybe after dinner, you owe me one.  

The rain finally stopped....  

We're home now, and after buying dinner for the wife tonight, it's 9:40 pm. 

My old Hyundai Accent will be repaired about mid-week. The mechanic will pull the entire engine out of my old car to replace the clutch. (I'm glad I gave up that trade many years ago)  

I'm glad the staples in my back are finally out. I plan to get back into shape soon. It's going to feel good back in the YMCA swimming pool and working out in the gym again. 

Sincerely Yours, 

John N8ZYA  


Dick said...

Pardon my French but, holy merde. I didn't even know you were sick. Good luck and get weller soon.

Jspiker said...

It's always good to hear from you. It was minor surgery but I was surprised the incision was so large. It's hard fly anywhere and get through a metal detector with 13 staples. I've come to the conclusion that "getting old isn't for sissies".

VE9KK said...

Great to hear you are doing well and WOW what an adventure!!! As Dick has said "did not know you were not well" You should write a book on how to stick to the task at hand no matter what comes your excellent read for contesters like me.
Good to read all ended with you being looked after.
73, Mike

Jspiker said...

Hello Mike,

The last month has been a difficult time in more ways than one. Sometimes life throws some unexpected curves at you. It's important to keep your eye on the ball. :)
It's good to hear from you again. 72's

Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hi John, I didn't know you were sick. I hope you will recover soon. Take care, 73 Paul PC4T

Jspiker said...

Hello Paul,

Good to hear from you again. I don't have much time to write on the blog these days. I'm in good shape for my age. I had a cyst removed from my back which has given me problems for 20 years. I decided to have it completely removed. Despite a much bigger wound than I would have imagined, I had very little pain during the process and even afterwards. I had a good surgeon who cauterized a few bleeders and removed it all. It wasn't cancerous. I've arrived at the conclusion that "getting old" isn't for sissies. lol

I've had a couple of EKG's and a couple of recent "stress tests". The last one used a radioactive dye to check the blood flow in my heart. I passed it with flying colors. I've decided not to pursue the next procedure that threads a "stent" into the heart arteries. I don't think it's a necessary procedure at this time.

Most of my "stress related issues" has to do with the loss of my five month old grand daughter who died on September 16th. She was born at 28 weeks and weighed 2 lbs and 5 oz. My son and daughter-in- law had "triplets". The two boys are doing OK. They were all in the hospital for 2 months before coming home. The girl died of SIDS at 5 months old.

I hope everyone is fine there in the Netherlands. I really enjoy watching your videos. You have a great "eye". 72's John

Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hi John, sorry to hear about the loss of your grand daughter. I can understand the stress about it. Also for your son and daughter-in-law, the pain and grief they are going through. Take care, 73 Paul PC4T