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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Restoration Projects

Ah yes, I am back again.  It has been a rather, um, busy 3 weeks.  Who would know that the last time I posted that a mere 5 days later I would be in some rather extreme pain.  On September 2nd at 3:18 am in the morning, yes I remember the time rather vividly, I woke up with a searing pain on the left side of my lower back.  Trying to go the bathroom, I ended up getting sick.  Ginger came in to check on me and I told her I was in some pain.  I figured at that point that I had strained a back muscle or even had food poisoning.  For the next 3 hours I tried to get comfortable but could not.  I'd try laying down, no luck.  I'd walk from the bedroom to living room, lay on the couch for a sec, get back up and lay in the bed and then take a trip to the bathroom to get sick again.  Ginger was getting increasingly concerned.  I tried taking some excederin, still believing it was a muscle, but I couldn't keep that, or water down.  Funny thing is, I was still, at this point, entertaining going to work.  I told Ginger that when she got to work if she would call the doctor and get me an appointment that day, I'd stay home to go to the doctor.  Ginger agreed but seeing my condition worsen she instead told me she was taking me to the emergency room.  I didn't argue, which Ginger took as a serious sign that I was in tremendous amounts of pain. 

She got me in the car and it was a rather hard 5 minute ride.  I couldn't get comfortable and the pain was increasing.  We got to the emergency room and let me tell you, God had prepared the way.  At 7:00 am in the morning there was not a soul in the emergency room.  They asked me to fill out some paper work, I promptly handed that to Ginger and went to the bathroom and got sick again, now bile was coming up.  Well, when I came out the receptionists, two of them, said, you have a kidney stone.  Well, they got me into a room very quickly and asked me on a 1 to 10 what my pain was.  Okay, look at me.  It was a 10, worst I'd ever felt physically in my life.  Laying on that bed the doctor came in and I told him what was going on and asked if he was going to take this pain away.  He looked at me and said, yes, we are going to hit you over the head, and I said do it, just take it away.  He just smiled and said what do you think it is?  I said kidney stone and he said yes, and when he tells people he's going to hit them over the head and they don't argue he knows that is what it is.

Well, the nurse and student nurse came in and started setting up an IV.  Didn't hardly feel that.  I think I asked if they were going to give me something, you can tell I was ready to not be in pain anymore.  Well, they gave me a anti-nausea medication and then two types of pain medication.  Oh my goodness.  In 5 minutes my pain went from 10 to 5.  But my oxygen level also took a dramatic drop.  I didn't realize the business of the nurses, but Ginger did.  They gave me oxygen and it began climbing again and took me off to get a cat scan.  It was during that time away that Ginger finally broke down a little bit.  She'd tell me later that she wished she could have taken the pain on herself that me go through it.  Now, tell me that isn't love.  Well, by the time I got back the pain was a 1 and I was loopy and beginning to joke with Ginger and the nurses.  The doctor comes in and confirms that I have a kidney stone that is the size of a grain of sand at the edge of my bladder and that since my pain level is down it is probably in my bladder now.  A grain of sand!?!  Really!?!  Well, 2 hours from getting there I was on my way out.  Work was great, they checked on me, and thankfully I had paid sick time.  Ginger took the day off to take care of me.  I was given good meds to take for the pain, though I only used them for Friday and Saturday and then went off.  We went to Ginger's parent's house that night and I was able to lay on the couch and just zone out as we recounted our very busy morning. 

I tell this true story because it was amazing to me the support that both Ginger and I had.  Many of Ginger's friends would ask for updates on me.  Work friends checked on me and I had friends that kept in contact.  My best friend Brandon, who has had kidney stones, was encouraging and sympathetic.  And Ginger contacted my parents to keep them informed.  Ginger's family was amazing as well, and kept updated through Ginger.  Ginger was absolutely amazing.  She took care of me, loved on me, and kept in contact with everyone on my progress.  I have an amazing wife!   I didn't have to go through it alone, and even though I was in pain, I saw the support system that God used to help me through this storm.  Sometimes storms are unavoidable, but God never leaves you alone in it.

So on a totally different note, at work they had some old filing cabinets they were getting rid of and I was given the opportunity to take them if I wanted them.  Here are some before pictures:

The big one is an Anderson Hickey 2 drawer metal cabinet.  The second, there are actually two on the bottom of the drawer, the gray ones.  I used the best of the two.  I had needed a filing cabinet in our art studio, and was actually going to look at some the following weekend when I was given this opportunity.   So I went to Lowe's and got some sandpaper, spray paint lacquer, and set to work that Saturday.  Cleaned up, then sanding, then the ever fun painting the results are shown below:


 This is the smaller cabinet.  I'm going to use this one to keep my pictures that I use for reference and drawing in.  You can see my little man on the cabinet I use for drawing and my newly made sphere and cube for some fundamental drawings. 


And here is the big cabinet.  Now I can keep our records, and various drawing tools and such in.  I didn't have to spend but around $30 to restore them both, the value of the big filing cabinet new is around $200 to $250, so not a bad thing.  We got a stool for my drawing table so that we could use the chair in the other corner for a little prayer/reading corner, as shown below:



I like to come here in the morning and read my Bible.  Ginger likes it because of the red light.  It also allows Ginger to read in the art studio if I am drawing.  The end table is another project of mine.  Found this table in one of the apartments I made ready and I restored it (black lacquer) for this room. 

We love this room because the sun comes in and lights up the room on two sides.  Plenty of sunlight, plenty of ambience.  Makes drawing fun, and reading as well.  This room has seen alot of revisions to get it just right!  The pillow on the chair was Ginger's touch to the room!  My lil interior designer!  Anyway, there you go, a little kidney stone drama and restoration projects have kept me busy.  And now next week I get to see my Mom and Dad!   Life is really, really good....

Baa