Sunday, October 7, 2018

A new Beginning: the End

So, yesterdays bright and cheerful entry was followed by an old man power nap. Seems I qualify for these gifts from above. Anyway, I awoke and proceeded to get my lazy ass out of bed and when my feet hit the floor, I gnu, or knew, we had problems. Instead of feeling a slight tingle sensation, I felt the wrath of God go down my right leg. It was worse then by a long shot as to when I had it turned up. No matter where I had it set, it was painful. So, off it went and I began making phone calls. The rep did not answer and my conversation with Logan Regional Hospital was to say the least a joke.....The Dr on call knew nothing and wouldn't call the Dr who did it. Lovely. The rep finally called back and we have determined that one of the leads shoved up my back has shifted somehow. I was told to leave it off and they will let me know what to do and when to do it. SIGH.  My biggest fear returned at this point. Tonight I will have to suffer with the pain again before I fall asleep. Night rolled in and I did my dishes and cleaned up the kitchen and went in to begin my nightly ritual. I am reading a book on the 1899 Klondike gold rush written by a reporter who went to Alaska and lived the rush in person. Anyways, I got into it and read for a few hours then decided I would sleep. Turned the light off and I was gone.... wait.... no pain. I had another pain free night. Sweet! lets hope tonight is the same. 
No picture because I am lazy so just keep reading. My opinion on the Medtronics is I want the permanent one in my back! These past few night of falling asleep pain free have been incredible. My legs remaining still and not thrashing about while I grit my teeth in pain has been a blessing. I can see myself losing the need for vicodin every night and finally sleeping better overall. Now I just wait for a final decision from the insurance company as to if they will put in the permanent unit or make me suffer the rest of my life. To those of you with back pain, I would recommend checking out the Medtronics pain stopper. I know it wont remove all of mine but just removing the pre bed pain and allowing me to fall asleep drug free is well worth it!  

Next night update: So it is 4 am and I am sitting here wide awake. I made it to sleep just fine but around 3 am the pain finally returned. I was woke up by some evil gremlin stabbing my big toe. Not what I wanted. I got up and took a pain pill and have been surfing the web ever since. I need to get the permanent one in my back asap. I believe in this little invention and would tell all of you that suffer from chronic back pain to see if it would work for you. The last 4 nights were so pleasant......... 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A new Beginning, part II

 It's day 3, just after noon here and I thought I would add more to this new adventure. Last night was hell. I felt as if I had a fever and the pain was back in all of its glory. I can't say as to why it was back, it just was. Between shivering and the constant pain, the night was becoming unbearable. I had crawled into bed and had my blankets over me and decided to add more "kick" to the back unit. I jumped it up to almost 5, (I started at 2.8) and laid down. Now I learned a few new things about the unit last night. One is that if I move a certain way, lay down on my back or cough or sneeze I will feel it doing its job. So, I was laying there actually enjoying the constant massage while good and evil battled. Good eventually won and I was finally able to drift off to sleep. Sleep is good because you don't feel a thing. At about 2 am, i awakened for who knows why and decided I was thirsty. Here comes lesson 2. 
I was standing in front of the fridge when I suddenly began to cough like an old truck on a cold morning. Big mistake. For some reason, muscle movement intensifies the shock. Sitting here right now I cannot feel a thing. But, if I cough, I feel the shocks in my legs. Well, the huge ass cough mixed with the setting of 5 almost did some serious damage. The coughing started and the shock wave that hit my feet damn near pulled them out from under me. I was lucky enough to catch myself on the kitchen counter or I would have gone down. Wow. That was not expected. Thats the point where I learned that any forced muscle use would amplify the shock. Coughing, sneezing, pissing and even a good old fart will make me feel the shocks and amplify them. Needless to say the unit got turned down and I went back to sleep. I am back at 2.8 on the scale and everything seems to be going ok. I once thought that this would cure every pain and make life donuts and puppy dogs. My hip is telling me otherwise. I can still feel it, though just not as bad. I had planned on going to Walmart today just to see how it handled walking the aisles. After last night, I am thinking maybe tomorrow will be a better day for this. I do think that if it eliminates the bedtime pain, it will be a success. Some nights are horrible. Even a double shot of codeine doesn't quite help. Originally I had hoped for no pain any more and I could go back to living a normal life. Not gonna happen. I can live with that though. Just losing the pain that comes at bedtime would be a huge win and one I could live with. So, what will tonight bring? I am sore where they cut me open to put the wires in, but its not that bad. I guess we'll all have to wait until tonight to find out. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Possibly, a New Beginning

 Welcome to a blog that will not end tonight. I hope it doesn't end at all. I am going to be reviewing a medical device that is supposed to cut back severe back pain using electricity instead of my usual codeine. The stimulating machine is made by Medtronic. No, they are not paying me. I wish they would though. No one is telling me to do this but I feel the urge to help people suffering from pain. 
 I have had serious back issues since 2011. They would react to the cold in my job and give me hellacious headaches. It cost me my job. As the back pain worsened, more jobs were lost, including my dream job at Amazon. Nights were filled with pain so severe that my leg would move in the whole range of motion it has left, violently. By now, Codeine was all that would remotely help. It took enough of the edge off to allow me to sleep. My Dr, Dr Carlson recommended we look into spinal stimulation to ease the pain. So much is wrong in my spine that any sort of surgery to fix one thing would make another issue worse. After fighting the insurance company, they agreed to allow the trial run. In the trial, my stimulator is left on the outside of my body to see if it is worth a permanent try. So, the one above is the permanent one. If this works, it would be implanted under the skin.
New wires would be run to the spine and it would all be underground. Right now I am covered in tape on my back to keep it all attached to myself. It comes with a remote control that allows you to change the way it works. If an enemy got a hold of this, they could have fun. I am a remote controlled human. But I must say, the Rep turned it up to full power and it really felt cool. It's like a Tens Unit at the chiropractor but a hell of a lot more powerful, and fun! So, lets begin. 
Day 1- The unit has been in myself 12 hours. My back is sore from where I was cut, but other than that its pain free. I walked the grocery store looking for ingredients for dinner tonight and the only thin I felt was the 2 discs that push on my spinal cord. Even that was really nothing. The big test came at bed time. When I lie down, all hell breaks loose from my hips to which ever leg it wants to torture. I feel a shock begin to charge and then it explodes down my leg causing me to kick violently. It fucking hurts. I made it to bed at 10:00 and laid there waiting. Nothing. My neuropathy pain was almost to "0" and nothing like it has been. Why I woke up at 2 I can't say, but its nice. There was no pain. Stay tuned for more.  

Monday, September 24, 2018

When to Draw the Line, for me

Just so you all know, this entry is being written to myself. The last 3.5 years haven't been what I would call good times. To be honest, they have really sucked porpoise peters. Yes that was crude but this is an entry to me. Live with it. So, I have had open heart surgery, sternum plating, removal of the plating, thumb surgery, elbow surgery and I destroyed my leg in a fall. If we step back in time before that, the arthritis in my body has raised all sorts of hell. Breaking my tailbone in 2007 still pains me today. My L-4 and 5 are trash which can  cause pains to shoot down my leg with such force that I kick like a pissed off mule. I have 2 discs in my mid back that are physically compressing my spinal cord, which while standing for any amount of time, hurts like there is no tomorrow. Life really sucks. It hurts to sit. It hurts to stand. It hurts to lay down. I am running out of ways to do anything. As hard as I try and want to be able to do things, my body laughs in my face and says "good luck with that asshole"!
So, where does that leave me? FUBAR comes to mind. I landed myself a fairly decent job here in Salt Lake at the new Amazon warehouse. I had high hopes for working for them and living happily ever after. I started tonight in the sorting department. It was a simple job of removing an order from a tote and placing it in the boxing mail box. Once  persons order had arrived in full, the folks on the other side of the mailbox could package the order and send it to shipping. Simple, easy job. I picked it up super-fast and was doing really well. After 45 minutes, the pains began become quite noticeable. After 2 hours I was wanting to die. At the 6 hour mark, I couldn't take it anymore. It felt like I was being stabbed in my back. I resigned from Amazon tonight. The drive home was miserable because it hurt so bad and because I failed. Some have insinuated that I just don't want to work. Whatever! To be able to live life one has to be able to work. I just can't do it anymore. I can't sit for more than 10 minutes and standing is about the same. 10 minutes go buy and the fire begins in my back. I hate my life. As for drawing the line, tonight was the final straw. I have been told by quite a few people to apply for social security disability. You people win. I am going to go find a lawyer to take the case on and see where I come out. I don't want to but what choices are left? I would love to try and get certified as a coder in web page building. You can work out of your home which would be a good thing. Will it happen? With my luck, we all know the answer. So, the line is drawn and who knows what is going to happen. Jeep on my friends!

Friday, September 7, 2018

An Escape to Idaho

 Welcome to an actual adventure where the fotos are actual fotos of the actual adventure. Say that fast 3 times, I dare you! So, our escape today began up a canyon just north of Portage, Utah. We headed west up the canyon past a few springs till we almost hit the the top of the mountain. A quick right sent us down a side canyon that headed north and took us into Idaho and the Samaria Mountains. Now here is where it got interesting. As we started up this little canyon, we began to see real trees like Quaking Aspen and Pine. For some reason, the mountains west of where I live in Utah are too dry for these big old trees. In one little spot, I swear we saw some old cut down trees from years ago that were easily 5 feet in diameter. They were kinda cool
 As we neared the top, we came to a spot where we could see for miles into the western Malad Valley. I got on Google Earth just to check out where the other road went and found an interesting marker. At the spot where we stopped, there were cows everywhere down this little draw. It had looked as if the road went down that way, but it really didn't. Looking on the Google shot of the area, this little draw is call San Libertas of the Good Samaritan. The view from above suggests something might have been there before but as to what I do not know. I did a quick Google search and found nothing. Now I gotta dig deep I suppose and find the truth. I mean all it says is church in Oneida County Idaho. Who knows?
From there the road went across the top of the mountain and headed down to life in the valley. I often wonder things like who built this road and why. With the exception of the High Uinta mountains, pretty much every range in Utah has hundreds if not thousands of miles of dirt roads that seem to go almost anywhere. I am sure that some are fire roads and of course you have the roads built to service mines and other resources. Whatever the reason, most of these roads offer the driver a chance to escape the big city traffic jams and see some things you might not have known existed. Just do a wee bit of research before you go so you don't end up on a trail that could destroy you and your vehicle. That would make for a shitty day!  Jeep on my friends.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

An Accident Waiting to Happen

 Buenos dias people! Welcome to another off road adventure. This trip took us into Wyoming for the first time ever. OK, the first ghost town trip into Wyoming. Been there lots of times for other things. A visit to the High Uinta Mountains was our first stop on this expedition. We chose to take Hiway 150 from Kamas over the range and into Wyoming so we could visit Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake is a beautiful, natural lake high up in the mountains. Our first stop on this trip was Provo River Falls. As you can see from the foto, the falls are incredibly pretty. This would be a nice place to build a cabin. As the road continued north we finally made it to the top. The view is really grand........ with one exception. I don't have a foto of it but the tree population in the area is a scary sight to see. I would be willing to bet that somewhere between 25% to 35% of the tree population is dead. As you gaze over the forest below, you can't help but see that the area has some sort of issue with the tree population. It is so bad, in my opinion, that I didn't even bother to get my camera out. It is that bad. Fact is, if they get a lightning strike or some careless camper starting a fire, this whole area will disappear. I can't figure out why the Forest Service hasn't had firewood cutters or professional sawyers come in and thin out the dead trees. There are 1000's of them. And like I said, if it catches on fire.... it is gone. 
 We followed 150 north towards Wyoming when I noticed a sign saying gold hill. We turned up the road and were greeted with a sign saying 4x4 only trail. I was excited. It wasn't a difficult trail per say, but due to the rocks on the trail, I went into 4lo to make it easy on the Jeep. What was lacking on the trail was any real type of signage. We followed the trail for about an hour or so then headed back. Our goal was to have been Gold Hill Pass but we never found it. I did look it up on Google Earth when I got home so when I go back, I now know where I need to go. Next on the list for the day was the ghost town of Piedmont Wyoming. Piedmont is my first Wyoming ghost town and a Union Pacific tent town from the transcontinental railroad days. The community was built around 1868 and was a farming as well as a charcoal business that fed the Utah mines. The town prospered until the railroad built a tunnel through the mountain and by doing this took the train and its service out of Piedmont. With no cheap way to ship the charcoal, the business soon went under. By 1940 or so, the town gave up and disappeared. Today there are a few buildings still standing as well as the charcoal kilns.
 As close as it is to I-80, as well as being on every map I saw, the town is in remarkably good state. Time is taking its toll, but there still is some interesting things to see. I would recommend that you visit it in the spring or fall. It was pretty damn hot out there and there isn't a lot of shade. 
 We were just 10 miles or so from our final destination and right on schedule. The last official stop for the day was another historical site, Fort Bridger. FB was built in 1842 by the legendary mountain man Jim Bridger. He built the fort to be a supply house for the pioneers going to Oregon, California and Utah. He owned the fort until the Mormon Church bought him out in 1857. They had it for a year and then burned it to the ground. The US Army was on the march to Utah to wipe out the church so they burned just about everything of any value in an attempt to slow them down. Once the army arrived, they took control over the fort until it was abandoned in the 1890's.  
From then on, it basically wasn't much of anything but a farm town. Sometime between 1920 and 1935, the property became of interest due to its historical past. The ground was bought and the preservation soon began. Today you can visit the past for just $4 per person. This is another spring/fall visit time. It was damn hot there on our visit so plan accordingly. I do have one complaint tho. There were 2 people there for the whole attraction. If you had a question to ask, there was no one to answer it. Kinda sad if you ask me. Another issue was that 90% of the buildings were locked and the windows so dirty that you couldn't see well enough inside to snap a foto.  Yes, I was disappointed. But, its now crossed off the list of things to see. Twas a great day for exploring. A little on the warm side, but that's a lot better than the last one where we got hailed on. Jeep on my friends. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Wild Side of Idaho.....Fluming!

Hi and welcome back. I can honestly say I hate Blogger. I either need a tutorial or a cheat sheet. I have no Idea why but if you add a video, it for some reason centers the text. But if you break into the code and "right" the video, the text goes right too. Anyway, today was kind of unplanned. The original plan got changed at 3am and then an 830am call brought back the need for a plan, but a way shorter plan then the original. Um, OK. Logan Canyon, 3 hours, back home. Didn't happen that way. But, I am not complaining. So, Kirt and I headed up Beaver Creek Canyon with the plan to take it over to Bear Lake and come home. We came down a canyon that was damn near equal to North Beach, St Charles I believe. As we neared the bottom, this huge hill presented itself with a trail to the top to overlook the lake. Old Yellow took the hill without even using the 4x4 system and made it look easy. We took some fotos and video and then went back down. This is the video going back down. We hit the bottom and it was close to lunch time so I decided that we would go north to Montpelier, eat lunch then go over the mountain and come out in Preston. Well, the guilty party decided we needed more time in the hills so we headed north towards Soda Springs. 
 We go to the outskirts and took an odd route into town. We went through the Beverly Hills of Soda Springs. Beautiful Mountain mansions with tons of wooded areas and the Bear River right in the middle. If I had the money.... So, that tour took us into downtown Soda Springs where we headed west out of town. We got out a few miles then took a left turn and headed south again. This was about the time that we lost the perfect 80° temp and it soared to the mid 90's. No problem tho, we turned on the ac and it made the journey a little bit better. Seriously, it still cools you even with no doors or windows. Its like your chest is cool and your back sweats like a mo-fo. It was along this route to Downey that Kirt mentioned how the pioneers of the valley got irrigation water to their fields. The Bear is really low in the valley altitude wise. It flows through a deep canyon so it wouldn't be easy to bring it up to the fields. Well, these dudes were smart. Up river where it doesn't go through a canyon they tunneled through the lava rock for a mile or so and where the tunnel ends is in these fotos.
So the canal is underground till it meets this gorge. They built a bridge for the canal over the river so it could be distributed to the valleys farms. They are damn proud of this engineering feat and invite you to go see it. Now, this is where "fluming" comes in. There is a trail right to where it comes out of the mountain. The water is moving fairly fast and you jump in and let the current carry you to a spot where you can exit. You climb up on top of the canal, there is a walkway, and walk back and do it again. It seems like it would be a blast. I am much to old and worn out to attempt it but if I was younger, I'd be there in a heartbeat. South of where the tunnel exits, the canal crosses the river again. We walked across, its about 80 feet high, with the canal under our feet. There were 4 kids down below using a rope swing to fly out over the water and land mid river. I have a video of these kids on my YouTube page if you care to watch. Hell, Idaho knows how to have fun. If anyone mentions a canal in Utah, It has to be covered or blocked out by a 15 foot electrified razor wire fence. 

The next stop on the tour was out in the middle of a wheat field. As you can see, its the Niter Ice cave. Sometime 1000's of years ago, the area has some active volcanoes. Mother Nature left a hollow lava tube that opens up right in the middle of a field. The state has added some railing to aid in walking into the cave and its pretty damn cool. Literally. If you blink you miss the turn off and you would never know its there. When you get into the cave a ways, there is frost on the walls. We didn't have very good flashlights so we didn't go in very far but it was so nice. What I can't figure out is why the discoverer didn't build their house right next to it. Think about it. Your very own fridge/freezer. The sign does mention that the family did store stuff in there, but the house was a ways away. Anyway, it was kinda interesting. From there it was down to the Oneida Dam on the Bear. We checked it out and decided to head for home at this point. All in all, our 4 hour trip turned into 9 hours but they were 9 good hours. I saw a bunch of new things and saw more trails to explore. Sweet, huh?  Jeep on my friends!