Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Waiting is Over!

My last blog was "Waiting on Winter".  Well, winter is here!  We got our first major storm the evening of Dec 2 and woke up to 4-6" of snow and 30 mph winds.  It wasn't quite as bad as the big storm of '06, but it was definitely A Storm.  In '06, I had to do Operation Falcon Rescue and rip the window out of the hawk house to rescue my prairie falcon who was sitting on top of the snow in the last 16" of air space.  This time, I got smart and moved the falcons from their mews, putting the prairie in a shed and the peregrine on the perch in the camper shell.  I was glad I did because over the next 2 days, the hawk house filled up with snow.  My next step is to make some windows for the hawk house that'll block the wind and snow.

Sunrise over the propane tank

Lookin' East.  Note drifts.

A bit nippy.
Except for a brief episode of furnace cycling that I fixed by climbing up on the roof and knocking ice off the vent tube, we weathered the storm with electricity, water, and heat intact.  Thank God!  First warm day, though, I need to take the furnace apart and clean out the exhaust pipes.  I used to do this once a year or so and then slowed down but I think it's due now.

On the Davidic Front, he and Georgia went to ABQ for a transfusion and ended up staying for 10 days.  David's hemoglobin got down to 2.8 g/dL which is WAY too low.  His resting heart rate was 150 bpm.  It was time to get something done and so the doctors decided to keep him in the hospital for a week, give him steroids, and monitor him.  It took awhile for the steroids to kick in, but eventually they did and seemed to work.  Prior to steroids, his hemoglobin was dropping about 2-2.5 g/dL per day.  Afterward, the hemolysis slowed to about 0.5 a day.  David and Mom are on their way home today and it's likely that they'll be back in ABQ at the end of this week, but we'll just see.

Getting a Wii transfusion
Steroids and transfusions are not a long-term cure at all, although the steroids can sometimes- rarely- send hemolysis into remission.  That would be incredibly wonderful but at this point, we're starting to talk bone marrow transplant for David.  I suspect that process is going to start pretty soon.

After release from the hospital, D and M needed to stay nearby for monitoring before they were allowed to go home.  ABQ, though, was getting the storm we were getting, making travel nearly impossible.  Ronald McDonald House to the rescue!  In all our hospital stays, we've never had to use this, but it was a Godsend this time.  D and M were able to stay right there close to the hospital for a very reasonable fee and in comfort.  Thank you McDonald's!

David and McFriend
Back at home, I've mostly just been working on guitars.  This is really my peak work-time and I try to make the most of it.  I've also done a few recordings of customer's guitars that I throw out on YouTube.  Here's one:

That's about it for now... we're thankful for the snow, for staying safe and warm thru the storm, for Ronald McDonald house, our friends, family, and everything else!