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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Kneecapped Again

It has been a while since the last one of these… in fact, I had to go look it up.

Seeing as I’m off work for the next two weeks (hooray!) but we won’t be leaving for Michigan until later in the week (boo!), I figured it would be a good time to look into some of the maintenance issues at the rental place. We’ve known about the rain gutters for a good long while, but there was also a recent problem with the A/C unit kicking the 50-amp breaker (very bad). I threw some tools into the crate on the back of the bike and putted down there.

Big G (not Big V, we both have issues with her) was there, which helped a little. After making sure the breaker was off, I inspected the wiring and found a small kink where some wire was showing through the insulation; the wires were exposed to the elements but the rest of the insulation looked OK. I wrapped that up with some electrical tape and sealed up the wire nuts, just to be sure. Then we cleaned some crud out from around and inside the coils and hosed them out as best as we could. It kicked on later and seemed to be working fine.

With the small job out of the way, I started on the gutters. When The Boy (at age 10-ish) and I put up the gutters, I also bought and installed screens to keep debris out. They mostly worked, but some have rotted over the years and others broke off… and plenty of crud had collected in there. The roof isn’t very steep, but Big G “doesn’t do good on roofs” and I’m quite comfortable up there anyway… so he handed me a blower and I got a bunch of debris off there (and out of the ridge cap). My knee started giving me a little pain, but it does from time to time and usually goes away. It has been like that since my early teens — a disinterested doctor dismissed it at the time as “growing pains” — so I can still pretend I’m 30 even if the knee is acting up.

With the roof dealt with, I turned to the gutters themselves. I knew there was a wasp nest on one side, but got caught up in what I was doing and got too close. One of the SOBs got me on the left wrist, which hurt for a minute then stopped. And my knee stopped hurting, too. Acupuncture? Or maybe just my brain dampening the pain receptors? Whatever. I took care of the gutter on the other side, blowing all the crap out and nailing up a place where it had come loose. The gutters on the other side need more than that… the fascia board was cracked where the nails had gone in all the way down one 8-foot length, and the one on the end looks rotten. I’ll have to get new boards (and screens), paint the boards, then pull down the gutter to replace those boards before nailing it back up again.

After I’d finished on the roof, and we were looking at what limbs need to be cut off an oak tree, my knee buckled. Very painfully. I hadn’t had one of those in a long time. After getting home, I should have stayed home instead of going to the retail district to get lunch and repair parts, but live and learn I guess. I’ve got the ice cuff on it now; I expect it to be better before we make the long drive north.

How did it happen? I blame the chicken houses: I was helping to run feed last weekend, which entails a lot of bending and stooping to shake the pans and flats. My legs were quite sore the next day; my left leg cramped up pretty good around the back of my thigh, and was like that until this morning. I’ve been putting more weight on the right leg all week, and I guess the knee decided it needed its own vacation. All in all, an inauspicious start. But I’m hoping that’s the worst of it, and things will get better from there. At least I’m out of the honey-do loop for a day or so.


  1. Doggone it all! Rest and rum is recommended, so you'll be ready for Michigan. No more chores!!! Hope it gets better soonest...and you don't react to bee stings like I do! Just got another one on my hand, and my fingers look like snausages....sigh. Sucks to get old, don't it? Take care of yourself!

  2. Thanks, Beth. I'm ignoring the getting old part as much as possible, but when I put 50-50 odds on having a grandkid before I get back from Michigan, it gets a little more difficult. :-P

    Indeed I am sipping some rum right now. That should help to dull the pain a bit. I'm hoping it'll be better by tomorrow. Stings don't bother me that much. They hurt, sure, and about six square inches of wrist is swollen a little, but by Tuesday I'll have all but forgotten it. I just wish poison oak was that easy to ignore.

    Here's hoping that you'll be unboxing your stuff in your new house by the time I'm on the road!

  3. Take care of that knee, Far. You'll need it to be in good condition for that vacation. I hope that you're feeling better soon!

  4. Thanks, Boran. It's improving a little — I still can't put much weight on it, but I can put it all the way on the floor now, where I couldn't this morning. I need to dig out a knee brace & wear it tonight; I'm sure that will help a bit.

    Going to the doc tomorrow.


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