Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chris & Evan & the Art of Dakota Maintenance

Chris's View-

So, today I finally got out of the house for awhile, but first a quick update.

My arm is probably back to 90%.  The stitches are out & I just have to keep it wrapped in an ace bandage. It is a ton better, I mean, even if was only slightly swollen I would have to say it was a ton better though.  For awhile there, it had swollen to about two time it's normal size, from my wrist to my shoulder, and was fire red & hot to the touch.  They cut it open, flushed it our, and removed some necratized (that's the term the orthopedic surgeon used) tissue.  It's nearly there, and getting better by the day.

My left ankle is a different story.  It's still not good.  I have to use a crutch to get around, up & down stairs and such.  I wake up and it is extremely stiff.  If I sit around for too long, same thing, just not as stiff.  In the bed, the covers weigh too much and it's quite painful on my ankle, so my foot sticks out from under the covers for most of the night.  It's the same, no stitches, just an ace bandage to compress it.  It was just arthroscopic surgery too.  Two tiny incisions, and 6 liters of fluid flushed through my ankle has caused me so much pain!  I am off all pain meds though... don't need to get hooked on those things, that's for sure!  They were able to draw some senovial fluid from the ankle that showed an elevated white blood cell count, so that is proof that it is not just an osteoarthritis, but also an inflammatory arthritis.  The docs are going to try me on some medicines, so hopefully I can get some relief.

I have a ton of medical appointments still to go to, including a sleep study, since the ER nurses think I have sleep apnea, since every time I fell asleep in the ER, my Oxygen saturation level would drop way too low.

So, that's where I stand medically.

It is high time I got my fat butt in gear and knocked out some of the things that I have had to put off since my hospitalization.  I actually got quite a bit of stuff done today that had been put off.  The biggest thing on my list was changing out my brakes on my Dakota.  I knew I couldn't do the job, still too banged up, so I asked my buddy Evan to help me.  I got there just after 10 this morning, and I didn't get home till after 5!  It was just brake pads.

Thinking all would go smoothly, we pulled the front tires off, and then began the nightmare!  We found that bolts were wrong size from what they were supposed to be.  An hour later, we finished the first tire.  Smooth sailing from here on out, right?  WRONG!  To the other front tire, and we find that some idiot decided to strip out a bolt, and to "fix" it, they glued a cutoff bolt into the stripped out bolt!  Yeahhhhh... dum-da-dum-dum-dummmmmm!  An hour later, some ingenious fix actions on our part, and we are proceeding to the rear tires.  It couldn't get worse, right?

We take the rear passenger tire off and figure out how to get the drum brake components out, then we made the mistake of removing the emergency brake cable from it's holder... not a smart move on our part.  It took the better part of an hour to get it back into it's connector.  Then, the video we were watching to get pointers decided to make us mad.  The brake has all these very high tension springs in it.  The guy in the video decided to rub it in that he had special spring pliers!  It must be nice to have all the right tools to do a job!  We finally figured out how to get all the springs back into the drum and it was time to move to the next brake.

Thinking we had this project licked, we took off the rear driver's side tire, but the drum would not come off.  For some reason, the brake was fully pressed against the drum.  After we finally got the drum off, the shoes went together pretty quickly, then we realized the drum still would not go on without forcing it.  For some reason the brake shoes are fully pressed against the drum.  Not a good thing.  I guess I need to put it into the shop to get that fixed.  Bummer!

Thanks for all your help Evan!

On a side note, I did get our 5-gallon water jug replaced, which I had to carry upstairs.  Not so smart.  I also got the blown light bulb changed in the bathroom.  Let there be light!

See ya'll later!

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