News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Holding our Breath

By the fire on May 1st? Apparently we are due for a very late winter snow storm tonight into tomorrow. Phil is skeptical, because the weather people keep pushing the timing of the snow back, but I think we’ll have some white on the ground for a couple days. I’m glad I am not schedule to go anywhere. In addition to the snow, I have come down with a doozy of a cold! I’m sleeping when I can breathe and mostly when Phil isn’t here, so I don’t disturb him with my snoring. I have started my regimen which has helped a few times to keep colds from morphing into Bronchitis as they often have in the past. We are hoping to continue our hospital-free month trend in May, and it frightens me to think of Phil getting this awful thing. I have been trying to have as little bodily contact with him as possible!

Phil has been having some pretty severe hand pain, and I’m partially responsible for it. In mid-April, I misaligned a drawer and didn’t know it. Phil cut his finger trying to put it back — not realizing that the weight of a baking stone was making his job harder. He’s had dialysis nurses keeping an eye on the finger for infection, and there is no sign of it. The biggest problems are continuing to bump the spot and unintentionally using his hands in ways which aggravate it. It’s not the only cut or scrape, and we suspect some of it might be arthritis. The cold temperatures certainly aren’t helping either. He made the mistake of using a patch to alleviate the pain and was ill for days with vertigo and nausea. He knew he would have a reaction to the medication but didn’t realize how long it would last. Despite that, he hasn’t been out sick from work for a while. He took last Friday off to spend time with me for my birthday and to get the pups to the vet. (incidentally, The pups have clean bills of health. Zane is due for a dental cleaning, which will happen the middle of this month. ) One other day Phil was snowed in with no way to get to the office.

Even when he takes time out for appointments, he’s making sure to make up the time somewhere else. I see him reading and responding to e-mail during evenings and weekends, and I wonder if he isn’t working too hard. But it may be an advantage as you will see below.

Phil has also had to make visits to be fitted for hearing aids and to the prosthetist because of some pain where the knee and prosthesis meet. The prosthetist gave him a few pointers which might help, and he’ll go back for the hearing aids on the 13th. Sometime this month , he needs to get himself to the dentist too. I schedule his rides to and from dialysis, but he’s in charge of his own medical appointments.

It has been a week since applications closed for the job for which Phil has applied, and both of us are feeling the suspense of not hearing anything. We know there’s no guarantee of him getting it, but I think it would discourage him even more if he didn’t even make the cut for an interview. The University has a policy which encourages e-mail as an official means of communication, so at least it’s not about waiting for our reader to come read the print mail once a week. A number of people have approached me and asked whether we are worried that his health and taking days off for multiple hospitalizations may knock him out of the running. Phil doesn’t seem to be worried about that, because of the University’s nondiscrimination policies. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t crossed my mind a time or two. One reassuring thing is that people know his work ethic. His current supervisor (who is retiring and whose job for which he is applying) is thrilled when Phil takes a vacation day for something other than health or snow.

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