Friday, July 14, 2017

Hot again

Two days ago the temperature only made it up to 76 degrees. It was overcast and the low hanging clouds spit a few raindrops now and then, though not enough to measure as precipitation.

It was a glorious day for working on fence, though I lost a couple of hours to a doctor's appointment.

The sawbones was pleased with the way I've recovered from the foot thingy. As am I. My labs were all normal, which was a plus. My blood pressure has been behaving itself without pharmacological intervention, and that's a plus too. The scale revealed that I've dropped 40 pounds since February. That's a good thing, although by definition it's a minus. Get it? Lost weight? Subtraction? Minus?

There is, however, an existential minus -- perhaps -- waiting in the wings. Over the last several months I've had a few episodes of very low blood pressure accompanied by weakness and lightheadedness.

Both my dad and granddad developed similar symptoms at around age 60, and in each case it turned out to be a form of heart block. Heart block refers to a problem with the heart's rhythm, where the electrical signal that causes the heart to beat and beat regularly gets partially blocked. Heart block caused granddad's heart to develop a malignant dysrhythmia while he was having hernia repair surgery. They got it beating regularly again but not before he suffered a profound brain injury and expired.

Dad has been fortunate to survive into the 21st century and the age of sophisticated pacemakers, so his heart block has been somewhat less problematic.

With those histories perhaps encoded in my own genetic makeup and with my recent episodic b/p drop/weakness/lightheadedness I naturally wondered whether I'm proceeding down the same heart highway. My EKG was good, but that's common with early-stage heart block. The next step is to do a 30-day heart monitor, and that's in the works. So it'll be interesting to see what develops from this course of investigation.

What's that? Oh, yeah.

So Wednesday was cool, and yesterday was mostly cool too, though it did warm up in the evening. The relative coolness was nice when it came to capturing the Golden Eagle.

Today it was just plain hot.

Not overwhelmingly so, but the temperature shot up into the upper 80's as the sun blazed down from a cloudless sky. As is often the case in the heat of July, there's been little or no breeze.

After checking cows I drove by an area I hadn't visited since before we left for the west coast on June 1. Last year I killed a lot of Scotch Thistle there. Before we left I looked for regrowth and saw none.


After playing eagle hooky yesterday I had to buckle down and fix fence today. We've just moved the cattle from the home place to the south unit, and that fence needs both routine maintenance and some rebuilding.

Routine maintenance means going around the perimeter, mending and stretching wire, nailing up where staples are missing, and replacing posts as needed. The perimeter fence is 7.5 miles all together, and today while doing maintenance on about three-quarters of a mile I managed to trudge five-and-a-half miles. The good news is that I prioritized the neediest part of the fence first, so after another day or so the rest of the chore will be increasingly easy. Which is good, because it's supposed to get increasingly hot.

Once the routine stuff is done there'll be a few corner posts to rebuild, then it's on to cross-fencing, which means repairing and rehabilitating the fences that divide the pasture into smaller parcels.

And oh by the way, I've still got to finish corral repair at the home place as well as rerouting about a half-mile of fence and rehabbing another half-mile.

So there's no shortage of work!

I can still feel myself getting stronger every day, and for the moment it's something I'm really enjoying.

I got an email from one of the eagle rescuers today promising some eagle updates next week. Looking forward to that. Another rescuer sent along a few pictures.
Giving the eagle water. Don't often see myself in this blog!


  1. Man, that heart thing is worrisome, keep tabs on that.

    Thistle just won't quit will it?

    That cattle business looks like work!

    1. It's definitely something to keep an eye on. As for the thistle, as mad as it makes me it's still interesting. Nature doesn't EVER consider what I want. She just does her thing, and she's GOOD at it. As for the work, yeah. It's a good thing.

  2. Never spent a night in a hospital till age 70. Bradycardia = pacemaker. Face planted twice in a hour. Lucky it happened while sitting in front of the computer instead of my truck going down the highway.

    1. Hoping I can avoid the pacemaker for a while but I doubt my preferences will matter much.

  3. Keep on top of the heart block thing, we want you around for a good long time.

    Gosh those fence mending pictures bring back memories, though mine were a horseback. The Cowman and his brothers, as little kids, had as one of their summer jobs chopp'n thistle. Not something they enjoyed, but had to get done.
    It will be interesting to see what the raptor rescue says about your eagle.

    1. Yeah, thistle. Hate the work and potential problems, but nature doesn't check with me before she does stuff. Should get some info on the eagle tomorrow (Monday).

  4. Are you going to send the rescuers a box of Purina Iggle Snax, yo brighten the patient's day?

  5. I put off getting a pacemaker installed for 3 months after going into complete heart block due to an inflammatory issue. After so long at 40 bpm I recommend taking the Pacer when they say you need it. The recovery was brutal because I lost so much tone and stamina from forced inactivity.

    1. That sounds like good advice. It's been hard coming back from infection/foot surgery and that's without any heart issues. Thanks for the tip.