Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crepuscular living

Billie is hard at work on the roof.

People ponder why Meriweather Lewis left a void in his journals during his expedition. Was he depressed? Perhaps he was just a little overwhelmed with his daily life at the time to set aside time for writing. I suspect it was the latter. You can be assured that I am not depressed. Keeping up with life has been using up all my time lately.
The usual struggle with Chronic GVH has been a little consuming. My nurse practitioner today said that most people on as much prednisone as I have been on for the last eight months would be in a wheelchair by now. I feel a little encouraged by that. Although I have been riding my bike 35 miles five times a week or more I have not gained much speed. According to my cyclemeter, my best ride for the 35 miles was on March 10th. After so much riding, one usually feels better and can easily drop down a cog comfortably and ride a little faster in a higher gear. My progress has kept me in the same cog for the last six months. Only recently I have been able to comfortably drop a cog a little more often.
The progress on my bike mirrors the progress my body is making. My blood counts are still low. My liver function numbers are hopping up and down but mostly up which is a little unsettling. Today the lab says my liver is a little better.
To counter act all this and help make my life a little more normal I have taken a lot of mitigating steps. For sore feet I bought some goofy shoes that rock at the soles to take pressure off my heel and toes. I can stay on my feet a lot longer now. To calm my dry mouth I constantly take sips of water and gulp about two quarts first thing in the morning just to hydrate up. For my dry eyes I have artificial tear drops handy about 30 times a day and vitamin D ointment with steroid drops to boot. I ride with only one eye open because my left eye smarts too much in the wind. For my cracked fingernails I just tape them and forget about it. For nausea I have THC. For dry skin I have moisturizer. For the pain that won't let me stand in bare feet at night I have Vicodin. For fatigue... I just ignore it. For sun I have lots of hats and cover clothes. I stay out of the sun mid day and am mostly active dawn and dusk.
The thing I like the most is riding my bike at daybreak. My rides take about 2:15 and I start about 06:15 AM. I am slow and wobbly on foot but on the bike I am steady and smooth while I spin 90 +- RPMs in a 47 / 17 ring/cog. Early morning I can stay out of the sun and it is nice and cool when I leave. I am getting acquainted with all the usual riders and runners on the American River Bike trail at that time of the morning. The wildlife is interesting too. There are the turkey flocks that gather in the same spots every day. I regularly see the same coyote loping along near Hagen Park. This coyote has a much shorter coat than the coyotes at Lake Tahoe. He's a beautiful animal. I also see lots of Deer, cottontails, Jackrabbits, Doves, Quail, and all the other crepuscular critters.
I have been meeting Billie in the evenings after work at our fixer to work. Lately Billie is still doing the roof tear off while I work below. I changed all the locksets and rehung all the exterior doors. The whole house is a 1947 time capsule. It needs lots of work. Billie is satiated from looking at real estate listings. I set up a drip system so I don't have to spend a lot of time watering all the fruit trees. We have an Asian Pear that is making lots of fruit right now. There is also a Mission Fig that is loaded with fruit. We have lots of table grapes too. All the fruit trees have been neglected for a long time and will take a lot of care if they are to come back.
My home garden is so overgrown that you can't see the frames anymore. We are eating lots of stuff out of it.

DeBartelo tomatoes for sauces.

These Little Yellow Pear tomatoes are really sweet.

A little medley I roasted on the grill with a little butter.

Phallus impudicus on our front lawn
The cap may look like a morel but it will make you gag if you eat it.

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