The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #24 in MD, DE, & VA 11/21/98
only 234 miles, odometer reading now 28,540.
From Maryland, Hi Everyone!
First I want to thank all of you who wished me well and put me in your prayers. I am starting this letter before the surgery, I'll finish it with a report after surgery.
The miles on the odometer are from two trips to VA (about 60 miles each way) to get my mail at my daughter's place and to road test the work I have done on the motorhome. I also got to help celebrate my great granddaughter Madison's 3rd birthday. I also tested updated programs from Delorme, that's Gus's program. Gus still has a head cold and he will now talk to me when I am in Canada using AAAMapnGo. Both Street Atlas USA and AAAMapnGo still have a lot of errors but they did fix some things. They say they want us to submit corrections and I will. In the past, some of my corrections have been incorporated and some were not, I'll keep trying. I also ordered an updated receiver with the new programs. I ordered a new receiver the last time I updated the programs and I could not get it to work with my 6 volt power supply till now. Now I have both receivers working with my power supply. Each of the receivers will track 12 satellites. They are the latest technology, however they both take several minutes to get a 3D (Longitude & Latitude with elevation) fix on the satellites. The old receiver that I got when I first ordered GPS only tracks 5 satellites, it still works and it gets a 3D fix in about one second, so much for the latest technology.
The road test of the tranny with the new vacuum modulator worked much better than it did. It now stays in drive like it is supposed to, but some times it won't shift out of low till I put the lever in 2nd and back to drive, then it works OK. I changed the filter and fluid not too long ago. I guess I'll just have to wait till it gives me some more clues as to what can be wrong. I still haven't found the bad connection to the starter but I have run another wire from the starter solenoid to a push button on the dash, now if it don't start when I turn the key , I just push the button and I'm on my way.
Several months ago I stopped for fuel at a truck stop and they had a big stack of Cobra CB receivers that were factory rebuilt and priced right so I bought one and finally got it installed. Not only is it a CB radio it is also a weather radio and with it was a book that lists all of the weather transmitters in the US and the channels they transmit on. I put all this information on my map so I can keep it tuned to the correct channel as I travel. If emergency weather information is broadcast it will alert me, it will even turn itself on, if it is off. So now I don't have to worry about a storm catching me sleeping.
On the 2nd I met with the surgeon and it is set for the 12th. He told me he was going to remove 2 feet of my colon, I said "TWO FEET" why so much. He said "The rest of the colon will adjust and the loose bowels will not last forever". We got to talking about just what the colon does and he explained that it removes water and firms up the stool. In his book it's a stool, in my book it's a turd, a "stool" is something to sit on.
I think my daughter gave you a report the day after the operation, like she said, everything went well during surgery and the prognosis looks good. However, after surgery not every thing went well, the first problem showed up when I went to recovery and because I have this Defibrillator someone decided that I would have to have a heart monitor on my heart. That, in itself, was a stupid decision, my defibrillator is the best damn heart monitor there is, and it doesn't have to be monitored. The next problem was the weekend, now if you have been in a hospital you know the weekend in the hospital is a different world, not too many know just what is going on. Well I ended up on the second floor with a heart monitor on, when I should have been on the fifth floor like the other surgery cases. After my first breakfast, which was only liquids, as it was supposed to be, they showed up with solid food, this I was enjoying. Until it hit bottom, then there was hell to pay. As the nurse explained it to me when I asked her how they could go in that little hole they cut in my belly and take out two feet of colon. She said they make a small incision, reach in and pull all my guts out and put them on the table. Then they cut out what has to be removed, sew it back together, poke all those guts back into that little hole and sew it shut.
The liquid diet is needed while the guts are filling so they can move around and get back into to the correct position. In my case, this did not happen, let me tell you, it was hell. I have never seen so much importance given to the lowly stinking "fart". The nurse comes into my room each morning and asked if I had passed any gas last night, if I say "yes" she says "wonderful" if I say "no" she looks at me like she thinks I'm not trying hard enough to get well. My well being depends on being able to pass gas, the loose stools will follow and I'm on my way. I could not pass gas, the gas was there all right, the only way I could get rid of it was to belch, every time I did, I would get this foul taste in my mouth. After awhile, I would get nauseated every time I just looked at food. After I finally threw up all that solid food that I was not supposed to eat, and I was on a liquid diet with an IV going in my arm, I started feeling better. I was released went home and after I threw every thing up one more time I knew I was returning to normal, now it will just take some time before I'm back behind the wheel headed south, then I will really feel good.
I did get the design for my third brake light finished in time to take it to the hospital. The design is on sun screen to cover the plastic spare tire cover, all but the word STOP are hand stitched, this is time consuming. I got much of it done when I was not feeling too bad. It will say "TAKE TIME TO STOP AND SMELL THE COFFEE" The word STOP will light up when I put the brakes on. I was going to say smell the flowers but that is something I don't take time for, I always have time to stop for coffee. I hope to have some adventures in the south to write about
in my next letter.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits. 11/21/98

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