Saturday, April 25, 2009

Barn doors

New doors on an old barn
Today I hung a pair of doors on the barn. I built them from scratch, out of plywood and 1-by-3 pine to close in the smaller half of the barn to be used by my son, the potter, as a ceramics studio. The larger section is full of an old VW bus with a good engine, no windows, and a family of birds nesting inside; a red wood canvas canoe upside down on sawhorses waiting for me to get well and take it to the north woods; and a riding lawn mower with two flat tires from sitting all winter with no grass to mow. My son still needs to buy a secondhand wheel and possibly a small kiln, but for now he has doors, at least.

Two weeks ago I started a new drug regimen. Plaquenil and Biaxin. Plaquenil to break up cystic lyme and Biaxin to kill it when it emerges. Plaquenil is a strange drug. It's been used for rheumatoid arthritis for 50 years, but no one knows how or why it works. It also makes you go blind, possibly, so I've scheduled an eye exam as a baseline. So I'll know when I can't see anymore. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell.

Another odd thing about Plaquenil: if you take it for a month, and then just stop, you have probably messed up your bowels permanently. I'm not sure I get this. But it's a long-term treatment, and I have to see it through. Should be no problem. I'm guessing I'll be on it for six months.
What's in the barn
Always hesitant to read too much into a small sample, but I think I'm improving. Now that I've said this, tomorrow will be hell. It's a lumpy ride, but there's a discernable uptrend overall.

With the warmer weather I'm spending more time sitting in the garden. Stewart, the faithful bulldog, lays underfoot, crushing the flowers and the spearmint leaves. We soak up the sun together, watch the goldfish flitting about in the pond, and listen to the buds opening on the apple trees.

On bad days I shoot at crows with a BB gun, rarely making contact, trying in vain to silence their insistent cawing, to stop the sound from boring through my brain. On good days I feed the squirrels and smile watching the large red-bellied woodpecker pecking at the suet cake. So many birds are moving north! The other day I was treated to four bright yellow male American Goldfinches, and a host of drab brown/yellow females.

Life is good, and getting better.


Naomi said...

Hey Joe: Here's to plaquenil power!
I forgot about the risk of blindness. I guess I'd better schedule an eye exam as well.

Glad to read you're getting better. Put up a picture of the doors-- I'd like to see them!