Thursday, January 27, 2005


I was downstairs in the garage last night spraying the instant chalkboard black onto the decorative knobs and the spots where I have epoxied them onto the ends of the new curtain rod. I heard a dripping sound as I turned off the light to go.

"Uh-oh," said my brain.

I turned the light back on and saw water dripping down from between the joists and onto the old dusty rug that is down there to catch paint drips. My son was upstairs taking a bath and running the water.

Man of action, I cruised upstairs, determined to turn off the main water supply to the house. Then I noted that the dishwasher was on, and that got me to thinking that the leak was localized from the drain of the bathtub. This was wrong thinking by the way, as it could have been from the water supply to the tub.

When I got upstairs I saw one holy mess of water on the bathroom floor, but I surmised that it had come from the splashing of the boy, not from some leak. I turned off his water and told him and his mom that it had to stay off, because there was a leak. I pulled the plug to start the tub draining. This did not cause me to reflect on my earlier error in thinking that the leak must be from the tub drain.

Then I went downstairs to have a look at the pipes, and realized that I was a lucky dog. The leak was coming out between two floorboards, and definitely not from the nearby pipes. Somehow, the lake my son had created in the bathroom had gotten down through the floor.

My theory is that it went under the door flashing and the carpet just a bit, found a crack between floorboards, and did what nature demands of water.

Today I hope to find time to remove the flashing, inspect under the carpet, squirt in some caulking if needed, and perhaps form some kind of seal between the flashing and bathroom floor so that the water cannot leak out next time.

Because, despite whatever stern lecture I give, there will be a next time.

Saw the doctor about the cough
I went to see the GP yesterday, due to my cold and cough. He listened to my lungs and seemed to think they were all right. He gave me some free samples of Nasonex. My lovely wife swears by it. It has helped our son with his allergies. My lovely wife thinks that I may have allergies that make me more susceptible to colds. The GP said that my nasal passages look like they have a cold, not allergies. Although on the previous visit he did say that my nasals looked somewhat allergy stressed (white tissue, as opposed to red). Because a friend of ours who has been through chemo twice gets an annual nasal injection of steroids, I was instructed by my lovely wife to ask about that. The GP said that while it does reduce your vulnerability to allergies, it also weakens your immune system. So it's a wash. The weight continues to be up: 136.5 in pants and shirt with no shoes or keys. And the blood pressure is good too: 118/76. Pleasant surprise: My self-measured inhale volume was 4500 mL, twice last night, despite the cough and cold. That's the best since 12/30/04. Go figure.

Pants update
I don't like the new, thin denim in the 501 Levis, I don't like that they chose to make it hard for you to buy them, and I don't like the supersizing either. But yesterday in the store my lovely wife and I encountered a whole wall of them. I found three in my size. Add that to the two new ones I already have, and you come up with the magic number of five. I'm washing them on hot and drying them on high, in hopes of shrinking them. So for the next few years anyway, you'll generally see me in jeans. Nonetheless, I'll always be planning my defection to khakis or something else.

11:26 AM -- In other good news, the chiropractor, who I have not seen in several months, perhaps six or eight, reports that the scoliosis (bending) of my spine toward the right side (the stronger side) is no more pronounced than it was last time she saw me. She says the disks are somewhat rotated, and the ribs on the right protrude a bit at the spine.

The roofers are up there making things better. I noticed some faint water damage and called them. They did good work last time, and I expect that they will this time, too. The house will be protected, even if I kick off rapidamente.

In other news, with the application of a little black paint to coat the screws, and putting the rod in place with decorate end knobs, my portion of the curtain-rod project is officially complete. This is what we call a Yay-Daddy! moment. Now, on to painting the new cabinet for the kitchen...

It's the people at the ALS clinic who will try to bring me down with their sober assessment of just how messed up I am and how much functionality I have lost. I have tried to prepare my wife for this by telling her that it's not what they say that matters, but rather what I can still do and how I still feel. I can still do a lot and I still feel happy and optimistic. Rock on, Jacksonhole.

6:29 PM: I just got off the phone with my local neurologist who I relate to so well. He called. He says the fear of developing bacterial resistance is not such a big one in my case since I do not have an infection. Then again (and let's just agree that the body is a mysterious thing), you can make an argument against anything ... and I've always understood that many bad germs (e.g. pneumococus) are present in the body at all times, just waiting for their chance to blossom. So I might be developing antibiotic-resistant pneumococus bacilli and a few years from now when I get pneumonia, they'll be resistant. Maybe.

He said the major risk is diarrhea, and if I start to get that, we have to stop the ceftriaxone.

So far the plan looks like this: I will get the first dose intravenously at a hospital, in case of allergic shock, then be trained to self-inject using a syringe. Supposedly insurance will cover this approach.

We also talked about down-regulation, and he stated that if this ceftriaxone had a down-regulation effect on GLT1, that would be a major neurologic complication which should be reported in the side-effects, and he said it's not.

So the plan would be to go with a full seven-day course and then assess regarding future dosing schedule, if any.

Remember, those cell cultures and those rodents showed improvement within 48 hours. We're going to use grip strength as our measure.
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