According to Merriam-Webster, hiatus is a noun meaning a period of time when something (such as an activity or program) is suspended or interrupted. I used to like the sound of “hiatus” because somehow I interpreted it to mean “vacation.” Now, I realize it could mean something entirely different.
I’ve been on hiatus, not vacation. Evidence of my hiatus is that almost nothing posted here during the last six or eight weeks, but who’s counting?
Here are just a few reasons for my hiatus. First up is this. People who’ve had one or more will probably recognize it.
Kidney stones. I’ve been pushing these buggers out non-stop since 1982. If they were diamonds, my family would be living like Donald Trump. This last batch—a 9mm stone and four smaller stones in the left kidney along with a bunch of less-than-1mm stones in the right side—required surgery. Yeah, they’re as painful as everybody says they are.
However, I find post-op to be especially excruciating also because of this:
Again, anyone who has had one removed knows what this is. It’s a stent. One of the little loops goes inside the kidney and the other loop goes inside the bladder. Fun stuff. The physician who did my first one many years ago told me that he knew eighty year old ladies who never feel them. What he didn’t tell me is that some bodies totally reject stents of any kind and that causes even more pain and nausea, among other things. I’m one of those lucky people who totally reject it. The stent stays in for about a week and a half, which is much better than the first stent I ever had, which was in a month, but still…
To make things even more interesting, removing a stent can be a trip. This excerpt from kidneystoners.org is a good description of what happened. The pain associated with removing the stent “is usually mild and self-limited. However, the pain can sometimes be severe. Because patients may not have been warned about the possibility of significant pain beforehand, it can come as an unwelcome surprise, and patients may be left wondering whether something is wrong. Patients who are affected by this pain may describe it as being worse than their original stone pain. In some cases the pain can be bad enough to bring them back to the emergency room.”
Yeah, I just love stents going in and coming out.
And working my way off addictive prescription pain medication that I’ve taken for many years. Yeah, more fun stuff.
In the meantime, my mother-in-law was in the midst of a less-than-smooth home sale and move from Philadelphia to this area, where her daughter (my wife) lives. If you haven’t moved lately, then you really have no idea how much stuff you have, and if you haven’t moved in almost 40 years, you really have no idea how much stuff you have. No really, you don’t. Anyhow, my wife was called to active duty as the drill sergeant in charge of the sale and move. She did a great job. But it often left me home alone to keep an eye on things, including our little epileptic Mollie the Collie who started having seizures a few months ago.
The little bundle of joy came into the world without complication and everyone was happy! Unlike her grandmother, I just saw her for the first time this past weekend. What a good little baby—even though she unloaded a diaper load on me, LOL—with lots of smiles to go around for everyone.
Now, being on the sidelines for an extended period of time can be disruptive. Not being able to work on my bikes was disruptive and disturbing. It made me do things that I normally wouldn’t do. Like this…
For several weeks, I had nothing to do but think and plan. No problem. Why not plan a whole new work space in the garage? Sounds great, doesn’t it? Absolutely. Sure, why not? I can build a work bench in a day then add cabinet space, create organizers, get stuff off the floor and out of drawers and hang them on the wall—like long thin tools or pieces of raw material, clamps, electrical cords and so on, add a tool or two or more (used bench grinder and band saw plus more inherited items from my father-in-law’s shop). No problem. I can plan this thing on paper right down to the last bolt needed.
The problem begins when it’s time to carry out the plan while all the activities are going on. Definitely not vacation.
Those are the highlights of my vacation, er hiatus. There were other fun things like having the air conditioner out on a 90+ degree day. But going into all the minutia of my hiatus would just get boring. In any event, I expect to get back to the routine next week. Yes, next week. I’m still dealing with all the planning that I did while under the influence of multiple heavy duty pain killers.
Of course, I’m reminded of the old saying “don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed.”
Next: Is my hiatus over yet?