Even during the best of times, we fear it. We dread it. And we know that someday, we will get it. And we know that the shrill ring piercing the night at the ungodly hour of O’dark-thirty is never someone calling to say that we’ve just won a lottery, or otherwise happy news. This past weekend, I received my first 1AM phone call. Continue reading
The house has risen! And in last 2 nights since the foundation repair crew left, the house sure had a lot to say about the “abuse” it had received. The otherwise quiet nights were filled with grumbling sounds (usually my Man is the source of those noises), pops and crackles. Sounded like the whole gosh-darned thing was going to fall down.
The crew warned me that these noises would continue for a while. I have to say that the walls are significantly quieter today, which also helped to settle my nerves about the whole thing. Unfortunately, there is now a whole lot of cleaning up in the yard that this unexpected foundation work has necessitated, and my energy reserves are running in the negative.
My house and I have a lot in common. For starters, I’m not sure that the house was “diagnosed” correctly, as it had strange and conflicting symptoms: although the floor (a concrete slab) was clearly sloped, the door and window frames were square, and the walls and window sills were at their vertical and horizontal orientations, respectively. Clearly, lifting up one end of the house would eliminate the slope, but then would cause all of these other things to be out-of-whack. In the end, the foundation repair crew only raised the end of the house by a little bit (about an inch), just enough to close up some minor cracks along the brick, but not enough to turn the frame of the house from square | | to parallelogram / /. The person leading the effort said that he felt much of the pitch of the floor was due to the way that the slab itself had been poured, and that the house framing had “taken the slope into account” when it was built, thus the reason for the mostly-square door and window frames. Hopefully, just like the Copaxone that I am taking, the “fix” helped the situation if the situation needed help, but didn’t do any harm if this “fix” was a result of a wrong diagnosis. But the bottom line, for my house, is that I still walk downhill when I go down the hall, but the hill is just a little less steep now.
Would I go through this whole foundation repair thing again, knowing what I know now? I’m not sure, but what I would do is get a few additional independent assessments before proceeding with any work, even if it did delay my putting the house on the market by additional months.
Tomorrow, my house will be lifted. Despite the fact that I work with “rocket scientists”, I never cease to be amazed by what mere, puny humans can do. Continue reading
Because I enjoy, at least for the time being, the freedom of writing as an anonymous blogger (but see footnote), I have not provided many specifics about my personal life, outside of my multiple sclerosis diagnosis and related goings-ons. I will, however, say this: I am one of those 800,000 federal employees who are now furloughed, thanks to (as one friend put it) “CongressCritters comporting themselves like the Hatfields and the McCoys.” Continue reading
As a wide-eyed undergraduate physics student getting introduced to scientific research, the following proverb was drilled permanently into my head: no measurement we could possibly make in this imperfect world — the cup of flour that our recipe calls for, the pencil marks on the wall indicating the annual growth of our child, the 10 gallons of gas that we were led to believe just went into our car tank — is ever exactly the “true” measurement, but rather is a value with some “give or take” (aka, uncertainty) associated with it. And that amount of tolerance shall always be attached to any measurement! After my recent OCT eye scan last week, I’m wishing that students in the medical field had the same borderline-unhealthy obsessions about uncertainty. Continue reading
Last night, as my fellow Americans enjoyed the Independence Day festivities, I achieved a personal milestone: I took my 180th injection of Copaxone. I’ve been on this treatment now for 6 months (due to my rough start, only about 5 1/2 of those 6 months have been continuous). When I first started this journey, I would never have imagined that I would be able to write about this minor “victory” today! Continue reading
An entire month has somehow passed since my last post, and what a month it has been. On the work front, I’ve mostly wanted to pull my hair out, but there were some “I can’t believe I get paid to do this” moments as well, such as the day that I gave a technical brief to a veteran astronaut (who is my boss, three times removed). On the non-work front, I’ve received some medical test results which have left me scratching my head. Continue reading