Saturday, May 23, 2015

System Malfunction



















 For most of April of this year, we had rain. Now, I understand that we live in a rain forest, and that's what it does there-rain. Frankly, I'm glad it does. The Eco-system is set up for that kind of climate. I think we came within a fraction of an inch of setting a record in April for rainfall, so a few weeks  ago when the sun started shining, my spirit was uplifted and I was a happy camper. The boat dried out enough that I could paint it and not fear moisture in the wood underneath. That was great. Like all good things though, after awhile it's nice for a little change. I was starting to wish the rain was back. The snow on the mountain tops is melting at a rapid pace and the hull of the boat is starting to check from being out of the water for so long and the days on end of hot sunshine. I was outside painting or some blasted thing last week in the uncommon heat and even though I was hot, I didn't realize that I was getting dehydrated. Well, I was. That night when I got up in the middle of night to relieve myself I felt like I had been drinking battery acid. Holy Toledo! Talk about that burning sensation, man I was in pain. I spoke to my friend Chris Budke, who is an EMT here in Hoonah and he said I was probably dehydrated and needed to replenish my fluids, which I did. Unfortunately, even though I wasn't under watered anymore, a urinary tract infection had set in. Let me tell you, it doesn't get any better than this! Hell, I didn't even know men could get them. Sounds more like a female disease. Anyway, for the next  three days I vacillated between shuddering under a blanket, even though the temp outside was about 70, and sweltering like I was on a jungle safari. My body ached something fierce and I was dreadfully thirsty. Through it all, Momma Jan, aka Florence Nightingale, kept me going. Fortunately for me, she was off work on day two and did her best to make me comfortable. I remember talking non stop like I was the host on my own radio talk show and her calmly answering all of my questions and making little comments at appropriate times. Frankly, I seem to recall some pretty good ideas that were spawned from one of my fever induced blab sessions. I wish she would have written them down. At one point I felt like my hands were hot enough to cook tortilla shells on. It's probably something that could be invented and advertised on a late night infomercial. NEW FROM RONCO, it's the Thermo- Mitt. No need to go to microwave, just don a of Thermo -Mitt and you can toast your bread, roast your hot dog, heat up your taco shell- even bake a potato! ONLY $19.95, but wait, call now and we'll send you a second Thermo- Mitt free!  Anyway, a couple of days into the infection I was able to get some pretty strong anti- biotic, and almost immediately I started feeling better, except that my ability to pee was severely altered.Some of my man parts were suffering a malfunction! For the past few days sleep has been almost non- existent. Every fifteen or twenty minutes I've felt the need to get up and go pee. The bad part is that I've had relatively little success. I've never experienced anything like this. I stand over the john feeling like the  great flood of Noah is about to spring forth from my loins and after what seems like an eternity I finally get the thimbleful of Tom Thumb. Frankly, it's outright painful. I was breaking into a sweat and having bladder spasms and the whole nine yards. It got so bad that I ended up going into the doctors. Of course he wanted to do the dreaded prostate exam, and even though I've refused entry for the past few years, I relented, hoping that he could discover some reason for my troubles. He put on his miners cap and what looked like a pair of cheap Nitrile gloves. Actually, I think they're special prostate gloves. The minute you turn your back they inflate to the size of Mickey Mouse hands. After a few seconds of probing around in the nether region I had to tell him to leave. It was getting pretty uncomfortable and I thought I heard him speaking over a microphone to a group of tourists. I asked him about it afterwards and he said he'd just been taking a selfie while half his arm was buried up my backside. Yesterday I had to go for an ultra sound of my bladder. The technician sent the results to my doctor, but I never did hear the prognosis. When I came back home yesterday I had a message from both the doctor and the nurse, but the office was closed by the time I returned home. Go figure. They're probably both telling me I need to return to Juneau. Perhaps they have some more tours lined up. One thing is for sure, if I don't start peeing like I should soon, I'm going to install an automatic bilge pump on my bladder with an over ride switch. Then if it's not convenient to take a leak at the time, you just shut if off  and wait until it is. Now that I think I could sell.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Old Men and Young Ladies



  Jan and I enjoyed a delightful time last night with a young lady who is preparing to return to the lower 48 for a job she's really wanting. For the record, this isn't the gal  pictured here- she's a different young lady named Renee who just recently got married. She used to be the school counselor and we developed a friendship that  I cherish. She too left, a pattern I've seen all too often here in Hoonah. We just get to know someone and off they go. Isn't that life though? Anyway, our friend last night, Shannon, mentioned that I reminded her of her grandfather. That's a good thing. If she had said that I reminded her of Harrison Ford or some other equally handsome fellow, I might have felt the need to shave or shower or get dressed up a little before she came for a visit. As it was, because I'm getting to be an old guy, I don't feel any pressure to hold in my gut or stand up straight or anything. She knows I'm an old guy and accepts me as such, thus the four trips I made to bathroom last night during her visit didn't freak her out and I wasn't as embarrassed as I might have been if I'd been ten or twelve years younger. The young gals kind of expect that you'll probably spill something on you or repeat a story that you've told them before. They don't spend too much time looking at the excessive nose or ear hair that is protruding out of your facial orifices.  After all, they're not looking for a romantic adventure, they just want to talk to someone who remembers the old songs or the way it used to be and who can fit the bill as a surrogate grandfather. Another nice thing about being an old codger is that you can get away with saying what's on your mind and not have to worry too much about defending your position. In fact, I think that most folks expect you to state your opinion on everything from birth control to the idiots who are running the country.With any luck you'll be able to remember enough from your past to entertain them for an hour or two with stories of adventures from yesteryear. Even if you can't remember the stories exactly, they weren't around to know if you're telling the truth or not, and if perhaps your memories are jumbled together with stories that you might have heard from a friend, that's OK. Blame it on dementia or something.  That's another benefit of getting old- there's no limit to the excuses you can come up to cover some discrepancy in your character. So, as you age, don't worry so much about how you look or what you can't do anymore. When a young gal comes to visit, enjoy the scenery. As long as you don't drool, fart or fall asleep in mid-sentence, you can consider the evening a success- and if any of the above happens, don't worry about it. By tomorrow you will have forgotten it happened anyway.