Monthly Archives

August 2009

Cellulitis – The worst infection you’ve never heard of.

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Last Tuesday I woke up with the worlds worst flu. I can’t confirm that it actually was the worst flu ever, but it was the worst flu I’ve had in many years. I could not function and I called in sick to work for the first time in 17ish years. I’ve called in before but it was when my kid broke her arm, or when my other kid was born and such like that. I spent that day in bed. I woke up on Wednesday with the same symptoms and had to miss that day as well. I went to the doctor on Wednesday and was informed I had the flu and was very dehydrated. They put an IV in me and got me back in shape enough to drive home. On Wednesday evening as I was getting ready for bed I noticed that my entire lower leg was completely swollen and red. I thought it was a reaction to the drugs they gave me so I went to bed. The next morning my leg was not any better, but I was. I felt almost to 60% of what I normally feel so I decided that was good enough to go into work with. I got to work, spent 4 hours on the brink of throwing up and left at noon. I headed straight back to the doctor to show them my leg. They looked at it like it was something that they had never seen before. They marked the edges of where the redness ended and measured everything. My right leg was much fatter than my left. Natalie made fun of my cankle. The doctor sent me up to Alta View hospital to get an ultra sound to be sure that I didn’t have a blood clot. If you are curious, I didn’t have a blood clot. At the InstaCare they also gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and I got a few shots. The nurse who did the shots was amazing. Everything went in smoothly and I couldn’t feel a thing.

I was diagnosed with a skin infection called Cellulitis. Apparently it’s a very common infection in the medical community, but nobody else has ever heard of it. I got this diagnosis last Thursday and I’m still suffering from the infection. However, it’s getting much better. I can now at least get up and go where I need to, though standing still more than 2 minutes causes my leg to get really sore. Even sitting down without my foot up is bad for more than 5 minutes at a time. The images below are the first few days of the infection. We didn’t get really good pictures, but you can see the area. The infection covers the other side of my leg equally to what you see here.

So, going along with expenditures. I visited the InstaCare 3 times. The first for the flu, the next to were related to the cellulitis. Each visit I got at least 1 shot and two of the visits got me an IV. I also got the ultrasound from Altaview. I have the bill for the first 2 visits and the ultrasound. The bill racks upwards of over $1400. Amazingly I’m only responsible for so far what looks to be about $500. I find this to be amazing because just last month we changed our deductible to the $2500 plan, which still costs us $400/month. Insurance is getting to be a joke. I’m glad I have it at least.

With the recent car issues and this I’m looking at around $2000 I just lost. I know that this is a lot of money. At the same time I know I do the best I can to follow God’s commandments and I pay a full tithe. God will look after me and He’ll make sure my needs are met. I’m not upset at the loss of funds, though I’m a little annoyed. This just means that something is coming up that’s going to be great for us, because I always even out.

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

The Week in Review – it sucked.

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Lets start with how the previous story ended. Since the exhaust manifold was stripped out the only thing I could do was replace the whole assembly. Therefore my o2 sensor that cost $110 ended up costing $650 to replace. This includes the new exhaust manifold and the new o2 sensor. A few days later, while waiting for my computer to complete the engine check so I can finally get it registered my engine light pops on again. This was NOT supposed to happen. I called up the dealer and threw out a few questions around the situation hoping to find out what might cause this. He explained that more than likely the problem was the catalytic converter. This is the very thing the guy at Pep Boys mentioned. The dealer wants $1200 to replace the converter. Today, I called over to Master Muffler to get a price and he quoted me $350. I can not explain how excited I was to pay $350 for the new part. I headed in and was the only customer there. He looked over my car and confirmed that my catalytic converter was bad. He gave me a choice to do just the converter for $350 or the entire assembly for $750. $750 was $500 less than the dealer quoted me so I had to go for it. It was the guy suggestion and he looked like a guy I could trust. Through this whole ordeal I’ve had nothing to go with but my gut feeling. They had the piece ripped out and installed in less than 1 hour and I didn’t even have an appointment. I have a few days to drive it before I know if it will pass inspection still but if that did the trick I’m going to Master Muffler for all my repairs. I’m extremely impressed with their work. They also gave me a 2 year warranty on the parts.

So, to sum this up: I go to Pep Boys to check my engine light and they tell me it’s a bad catalytic converter. I take it to Mr Muffler for a second opinion and they laugh at Pep Boys and tell me it’s just the o2 sensor. This ends up costing me $650 that I didn’t need to spend. I go to Master Muffler and they confirm Pep Boys diagnosis and charge $750 ($500 less than the dealer) for a new converter. A total of $1400 was spent just to get my car to pass the emissions test. In the future I won’t be going to Mr Muffler for anything as they clearly don’t know what they are doing or else they are a scam shop. I will listen to those that know what they are talking about as Pep Boys strongly suggested Master Muffler as well as the team at Jiffy Lube.

O2 Sensor – how could it go so wrong?

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My o2 sensor died a week before inspection time came around. It was closer to 3 weeks before, but since I didn’t realize that inspection time was in July until the last week it felt like the last week. I had it checked out and they told me that it was the catalytic converter that was out. I took it to another shop (Mr Muffler) that did a better test and they assured me that it was the o2 sensor that went out. I was excited that it came down to the o2 sensor because the catalytic converter was around $1000 to replace. Instead, my o2 sensor would only cost me $750. Pep Boys quoted it at $550. For a part that just needs to be unscrewed and replaced, that’s a rather costly repair. I decided to do it myself.

The first step was to get the o2 sensor off. This proved to be a problem. No matter what tools I tried it would not come out. It took me three days (trying a bit each day) to finally get it off. When I finally did get it off it took the threads from the exhaust manifold with it. Now I have nothing to thread the new o2 sensor into. I’m still at a loss on how to get the new o2 sensor into the hole. Currently I’ve used some epoxy (designed to resist heat) to hold it in place, but I dont’ have really high hopes on that lasting too long. Really I just want it to pass inspection first, then I’ll worry about a permanant fix to the system. I’m still in limbo on how this will all turn out, but I have a feeling that this will all end up costing me $400.

Bear Lake 2009 – Too Much Grass

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Bear Lake is the nicest lake in Utah. I say that based on my not actually visiting every lake in Utah, but of the lakes that I have I prefer Bear Lake to the rest. We took a trip up there just a few weeks ago (July 20-21) to camp on the beach and have some fun at the lake. The camping spot we got was right next to the beach. In fact, it was less than 20 feet from the beach. Unfortunately the water was about 200 yards from the water. We spent our days on the public side of the lake.

What makes the lake so nice is that it’s very clear and very blue. The water is also slightly cold, but in a warm way. When you first touch the water you jump back and tell yourself that you are not going in there. Then as you push yourself to get in further you start to find that it’s fairly warm water and eventually it’s warmer in the water than it is out of it. The lake level was low. It’s been low for a while now. We need a few years of lots of water to get it back up. Between our camp spot and the lake was 200 yards of very tall grass and where that met the water there was no beach at all. This is why we had to spend our time at the public beach. Unfortunately so did everyone else. The beach was a little crowded. But, it was still fun. I won’t go into much detail in this that the pictures can tell.

Camping at the beach was nice as well. The weather was perfect. I wasn’t sick. Mom made taco’s for dinner. We sat around a fire speculating about satellites. Did I mention the stars? There was no moon that night so the stars were endless. You could see the Milky Way in all its glory.

The morning came and I was doing breakfast again. This time I did traditional pancakes, bacon and eggs. Everything turned out alright then we headed into town. After wasting our time down there we headed back to the beach and spent the day doing nothing at the beach. I love Bear lake.

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