Back on the Medical Trail

I seem to be going in circles, a couple of weeks ago, I went to see an Internista (not sure what we call them in the UK), he was a lovely Doctor, he had done his training in Argentina, albeit he is from Cartagena. I went to see him because, I couldnt get an appointment with my Family Doc, thats another story! I ‘injured’ myself about eighteen month ago when building the Bunkbeds, I was trying to move it on my own, and felt a ‘twang’ in between my shoulderblades, I saw my Doc at the time, because my Vertigo started shortly after, he thought it was muscular, I tended to agree with him, and we left it, but the pain kept returning intermittently, and recently it has been almost permanent.

The Doc, still thinks it may be muscular, but wants to rule out anything more serious, so now I have orders to go for X-rays on the top of my spine, and a tomography, the latter I am going for on Thursday.

Last week, I went back to see the Orthopaedic Surgeon who has been instrumental in sorting out my hip, he had told me to come back when that was sorted, to review my knees.
I told him, about my latest encounter with one of his Colleagues, who may have damaged my hip, so he did an examination, and decided, there is no permanent damage, but it has set me back a while, as there is inflammation and muscle damage, so recommended I restart some of the Therapy exercises again. As for the knees, he is sending me for Xrays on both, to see the current situation, he also told me that I need to slow down, take longer to do my jobs, with plenty of rest periods, easier said than done, but then came the bad news.

That day, was his last, he is moving on, having become disillusioned with the Medical Company, he is going Private, but doing some Health Service work, from another location, I can’t say I blame him, his new location isn’t too far away, so if I don’t get on with his replacement, we will try to see him again.

Back home, I have been slowed down by the hip setback, but I’m not letting it stop me, Jaime has continued to be elusive, so there is no progress with the balcony. He has failed to answer messages from Marcela or myself, and unsurprisingly, no sign of any cash.

A couple of days ago, I gave him one final opportunity to sort it out, by accepting to pay me fixed installments over three months, and the final bit, I would forget, again nothing. Today, Marcela sent him a final message, to say, regretfully, we were going to the Authorities to denounce him, shortly afterwards he rang. He stated he was accepting my staged payment terms, and will make the first payment this weekend, it was made clear that if he doesn’t we will not stand for any further delay, and will reluctantly report him. He hasn’t got a leg to stand on, as he signed for all the money we gave him. Now we wait and see.

After Pacho’s work, repairing our roof, we have had plenty of tests, with all the storms, and so far (I don’t believe in tempting fate!) nothing has come into the house from above. However there is one final spot, where rain did enter, depending on the direction of the rain, and that was the side window to the Dining room, the old window frames here are poorly designed, due to the wind, they are sliding windows, when it rains, the track fills up, and it overflows into the house, there is no way to resolve that, because the frame is made out of hollow square bar, so I can’t just drill a hole to let the water out.

My remedy is to put a canopy over the windows hoping to deflect the rain away, When Oscar’s Team were here building the balcony, they kindly welded a canopy together for me, and I was waiting for someone to come to finish the balcony, and ask them if they would errect it for me, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon, so I had to find a way of doing it myself.

It took a while to work out how the installation could be done, but in the end I came up with the answer, it was still not something I was looking forward to, as those of you who know me, will be aware, I don’t like heights, it’s a family thing, none of us do/did!

However before I could start the installation, I decided that the frame was too big, it stuck out way too far, I have never done any serious welding, but I want to be able to do minor repairs, so recently I had bought a 110v MIG welder, I have a TIG welder, but just couldn’t get the hang of it, now it was time to put that to the test!
I cut the frame to size, and ‘welded’ the cut front bar back in place, I am being kind to myself describing it as welding, but it stuck, and I filled the missed bits with welding filler, which once dry, I ground flat, painted, and twenty foot up in the air, no one will know any difference.

I cut a piece of 2 x 3, and screwed a scrap to make a hook, and screwed that to the wall

I then took the frame up, placed it on the wood, the improvised hook, stopping it from falling. Once I had centered it, I marked the bolt holes, and removed the frame. I drilled the marked position for the holes, and then attached the polycarbonate to the frame.
Yes, if you noticed, you are right, I have the ladder foot balanced on two bits of wood, not exactly Health and Safety, but it levelled of the work area!

It was time for the final installation, and I am pleased with the visual effect.

Believe it or not, the hardest part was taking down the wood support, because of the incline of the polycarbonate, I couldn’t get a drill, or even my stubby screwdriver in to remove the screws, for a while, I thought it would have to be a permanent fixture, but then I had a ‘Sale brainwave’.

I found a small bolt socket, that would take one of the rackets screwdriver heads, and using my racket spanner. I was able to get the screws out… Job finished!

As if someone upstairs, knew I wanted to test the new canopy, we had another storm last night sending rain in that direction, the canopy did it’s job!

After a few days of sun, today is back to freezing, winter is back…OK maybe not freezing, but it feels it to us, it’s about 14°C.

Published by Phil Sale

I moved to Colombia from Spain in 2012, and I am happily married to a Colombiana.

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