July 16thish , 2006
T-Minus One and Holding
The last wall to receive cordwood beckons me.
Okay...Here I go again. I tried writing this five days ago when things went down hill and I had absolutely no energy to do anything. I now realize how precious having one's health truly is.
My plan was to start construction on wall number 64 this week. But, by Tuesday afternoon life got in the way. My lower back started giving me fits. I had severe back pain. Not to brag, but I rarely get sick or have any pains other than those I create myself by overdoing some task. Backing off and letting my body rest usually does the trick and I am back on my feet. I could not understand why my back hurt so much.
That same evening I felt like I had come down with the flu. I felt feverish, started getting the chills, ached all over, etc. I didn't sleep very well that night, so I spent some time researching the symptoms. Some of them matched Lyme Disease. I have always had a concern for Lyme Disease here in SE MN. It is quite prevalent up here and being that I'm outside quite a bit, it has always concerned me. Lyme Disease is cause by a deer tick. The tick is very small—about the size of a pin head. Not all deer ticks carry the disease, but it only takes one that does to latch onto you and cause the infection.
Back to my problems. Wednesday morning things weren't any better. I drove to a walk-in clinic in La Crosse to visit a doctor. I had a low-grade fever, but I had no sign of the red rash which is the tell-tale sign of Lyme Disease. I told the doctor that I suspected Lyme Disease but I did not have the rash. He said that if I had the rash, he would write a prescription for me immediately. Since that wasn't the case, he decided to take a blood test to determine if I was positive for the disease. 24 hours later, the results were in and they were negative. Back to square one.
As the week progressed, I was not feeling any better—actually worse! I was fatigued, had severe headaches, chills, sweats, shooting pains and felt nauseous most of the time. I just drank fluids, no solids. Friday evening I started to feel a bit better and actually had a light dinner. This was my first "real" meal in three days.
Saturday I woke up feeling pretty good. This lasted for about four hours and by noon I was feverish again with a severe headache. I slept for about an hour and then decided to take a shower. This had helped on previous days to "freshen" me up a bit. I looked at myself in the mirror and holy smokes! There it was—a bright, oval red rash on my chest! I was actually rather giddy at this moment, because the mystery illness had been solved. (Although Lyme Disease is nothing to be giddy about.)
I quickly took a shower and drove into La Crosse to the clinic. As soon as the doctor saw me and my rash, he wrote a prescription for Doxycycline. It's been over 24 hours now since I started taking the antibiotic and so far, so good. I am not at all perfect, but today for the first day I had enough energy to actually do something other than sleep and moan!
As it ends up, the first doctor that I met never informed me that the blood test really only works after the body's defenses produce antibodies. In other words, the test doesn't test for the disease but your body's reaction to the disease. Typically, it takes a few weeks for the blood work to test positive.
Even though this has been hell week, I feel very fortunate to have caught it as quickly as I did. There are many, many people that have never been properly diagnosed with Lyme Disease. If left untreated, it can cause all sorts of problems.
I have been told not to expect a miracle. It is going to take a while for me to be back to 100 percent, but hopefully in two weeks I should feel much better.
This brings to light a log-end that Jo's niece wrote for our house. It reads:
"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans" —John Lennon
So...before "life" happened, I was busy making plans to work on wall number 64. Hopefully, my plans will be back on track soon.
Walls Number 62 and 63
Wall number 63 was completed last week and is devoted to all of you who have helped me through “the wall building years". There are signature logs from neighbors down the road all the way to South Africa—Yes, South Africa. Smiley, an email acquaintance tried to send me a log from South Africa, but customs wouldn't’t allow it. So he did the next best thing. He sent an engraved plaque. It reads:
“SHALOM IN HEBREW MEANS TO BE SAFE. TO BE COMPLETE. NOTHING MISSING. NOTHING BROKEN. TO BE HAPPY, SECURE. ABSENCE OF STRIFE. SATISFIED, UNHARMED, UNHURT. ALAN & JO, SHALOM TO YOU!”
“I FOLLOWED YOUR WEB POSTINGS AND HAS “SEEN” YOUR HOUSE FROM THE PLANNING PHASE TILL WHERE IT IS TODAY – YOU ARE BOTH REMARKABLE. YOUR PERSISTANCE ARE ADMIRED!”
“WITH LOVE FROM SOUTH AFRICA…”
If that doesn't inspire you to build more cordwood walls, I don’t know what will. Thank you ever so much Smiley! And THANK YOU to everyone else who has been along on this adventure and who has given me moral support along the way. (Even those who have compared the duration of this project to the building of the pyramids.)
|A Common Yellowthroat poses atop a Mullein flower stalk.|