Thursday, June 24, 2010

Slow times in Laramie

Gingersnaps for Cody's homecoming.

About a month ago I found a lump near my groin.  After some investigation I diagnosed myself with an inguinal hernia.  This type of hernia is common in men and unfortunately I can't say that got it from doing something extreme.  It just kind of showed up.  It wasn't that uncomfortable and the information I found said it probably wasn't life threatening.  So we went on about completing a small job we had agreed to do.  After that we decided that I should probably get it checked out and decide what to do.  A doctor looked at it and told me that it was indeed an inguinal hernia and that I didn't have to get it fixed right away.  However given my highly active lifestyle it would be best to have surgery and get it fixed.

Beth on Kim 6, a fantastic 5.6 in Vedauwoo.

We called the Salt Lake Surgical Center and got a quote for the surgery,  It was quite costly and the couldn't do it until June 17, which would be too late.  So we started looking into Mexico, everybody has heard the rumors of cheap healthcare south of the border, and of course most of it is just that, rumors.  After   talking to several hospitals in Mexico I decided to go with Dr. Rosales in Piedras Negras Mexico.  I talked to him directly and we discussed my surgery.  He sent me an Itinerary and some forms and two days later I was on an airplane to San Antonio TX.

Blue blossoms in Laramie. 

In San Antonio I was picked up by a Rosy, the shuttle driver for the hospital.  It was me and two women that were going down to have some kind of bariatric weight loss surgery.  We rode for about two and a half hours to Eagle Pass,  the American side of the border crossing.  She checked us into the Hotel and told us to to meet her at 7:15 am to cross the border to the Hospital.  The crossing was very quick and we were at the hospital around 7:30.  I had some blood tests done and an and iv was put in.  The las thing I remember was being in my room around 10:00 am on my hospital bed.  I woke up around 4:30 pm and I  couldn't move my legs.  For the surgery I was sedated, once asleep they gave me an epidural.  Needless to say the epidural was still working when I woke up.  I spent that night in the hospital channel surfing mostly mexican television.  I wasn't very sleepy on account of me being knocked out for about six hours during the surgery.  I got some spanish practice on the nurses who didn't really speak english and the next morning I was in the van headed for San Antonio.  

Yes, the rumors are true.  There is cheap healthcare in Mexico,  Dr. Rosales did a great job. The scar I have is incredibly small.  The procedure cost just over half of what it would have cost in the US, including airfare.  I suggest going to mexico for health care to anyone who wants quality healthcare at a reasonable price.

Sardines on Saltines!
A delicious crag lunch.  

The last few weeks have been rather uneventful.  After returning from my little medical tourism trip to Mexico, I spent about a week just lying around letting my body heal.   Beth spent most of her time cooking delicious things for me and our friends, the pinnacle of which was rosemary-lemon shortbread cookies.   It has been over two weeks since my surgery and I'm  doing very well, not climbing yet but at least I can hike out the the crags with everybody.

Laramie has been treating us well- we love having friends around. It's been a great place to hang out and recover.  We're off to Lander this weekend- for Bryan and Charleigh's Wedding and the International Climber's Festival.  We're living the summertime dream in Wyoming!  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spring has finally sprung!

 A few photos for your consideration:

Sarah and PJ's golden doodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle mix)  and

their husky doodle (Husky and Poodle mix).  
What sweeties!  

Simple backyard pleasures- toes in the grass,

and doggy kisses.   
Life is good!  

On the way to Wyoming, I think.   It might be Kauaii.  
Verdant-osity abounds. 

The cherry blossoms of Laramie!  
I must have jogged beneath 30 of these trees this morning.  
They make morning runs much more pleasant.  

Breakfast:  hazelnut banana bread and ripe nectarines...

So much beauty just out the window!   

      For those of you who don't know, Cody had his hernia repair surgery today.  It was successful, and he's comfortably recovering.  He'll be back tomorrow evening. (Nothing to worry about- I assure you!)

Has spring sprung in your neck of the woods?
Or is it summertime already?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How to build a climbing wall in 10 easy steps!

  This is the wall that Cody and I built at Expedition Academy, in Green River, Wyoming.   Vertical Solutions contracted the job, and Cody and I went out and built it for them.  It's a traverse wall- meaning that it's intended for climbing sideways.  I think it will be a fun addition to their high school PE class! 

Step 1:  Frame the wall with 2x4s. 

Step 2:  Pre-drill sheets of plywood, install tee-nuts. (Each tee-nut gets stuffed with a little bit of foam, to protect it from the textured paint.  We had roughly 800 tee nuts to install.  Lots of stuffing!)

Step 3:  Sheet the wall with the plywood.  

Step 4:  Putty the seams, sand the edges. 

Step 5:  Prime the wall.  
Wait for paint to dry.  
Step 6: Paint the wall.
Wait for paint to dry.
Step 7: Seal the wall.
Wait for paint to dry.

Step 8:  Bolt holds to the wall.

 Step 9:  Install fold-up pads. 

Step 10: Step back, cock head, admire handiwork. 
 Shake hands with the satisfied and excited PE teacher. 

Oh!  I forgot.  One more step:
Collect paycheck, pack up van, drive off to continue living dream.