Tuesday, July 24, 2012

there is always a fight

7/24/12 Tuesday
          It is a nice cool morning. Cherie had to get out early for a company meeting at her new job. She loves the job and we are grateful for the additional income. So it is a  blessing all around. Cherie is much less stressed now as her other job provided little in the way of emotional stability due to a wide range of factors that is not appropriate to go into.

          Meantime, on the farm. I had created a concoction of hot peppers and garlic to make a hot oil spray for the corn. After straining out the oil I used the mush of ground up garlic and peppers to create a paste I painted on the watermelons. My hope was that would deter the coyotes from destroying any more melons. Yesterday I discovered that this did not work. Our fight against the forces of nature continues, with nature winning more times than not. This is hard country for sure. I do not have the resources needed to overcome coyotes and gophers, both of which require the building of barriers to keep them away from crops. The tomatoes I pretty much have given up on. Don’t know if the gophers tunneled in and got them or the heat, or the salty well water, but they never thrived.

          We have one little apple on the apple tree. It doesn’t seem too anxious to grow in size but at least we have one. Odds are the apple tree needs others around to help pollinate it but the gophers had killed the other sixteen trees we bought. There was some recent gopher tunneling around this last tree but it seems to have gotten established enough to survive their attacks. I don’t like gophers.

          I went to the jail yesterday and had a nice talk with the one I have been ministering too for months now. He is doing well and has a trial date. We prayed about that and about what his future holds. He has a good chance of having what appears to be false charges shown for what they are and the case finalized in his favor. He expressed his gratitude that I come around and spend time with him, telling me it lifts his spirits each time. That is what it is about, encouraging and lifting up your brother in the Lord. It is so sad that so many in churches spend their time tearing others down, busy looking for faults and gossiping about them. I guess it makes them feel more spiritual or something to point out the failings of others. They seem to have no idea of what God thinks about this and also apparently have no fear of any consequences on judgment day. I fear for them and pray for them for they cause so much harm as they blissfully follow that path, thinking they are something spiritual when in reality they are a stink in God’s nostrils. Their pride has blinded their eyes and it is a sad thing to watch.

          Today I will start out repairing another area the gophers have chewed up my underground irrigation. Then I will get back on the tractor and continue moving the tons (literally) of sand that has blown in and covered so much up. Yesterday I dug up all kinds of telephone poles and lumber I had gathered for future fence building and other construction projects. Despite hours on the tractor with the little back blade it seems I barely scratched the surface. There is always so much to do and so little of me.

          There is a big problem brewing with the VA. I am so grateful for the pain pills they give me and take them daily, as they go a long way in making the pain I live with manageable. In June they drew blood and took a urine sample, as they do regularly, to insure I am taking the medication and not selling these powerful narcotics on the street. The urine sample clearly showed I have opiates in my system but the blood sample, which is shipped to some lab in California, came back showing zero opiates at all. There is something terribly wrong here. They draw my blood and hand me a cup. I then walk 5 steps to the bathroom set up at the lab that has a revolving door in the wall to place the sample in. The urine they test in house but the blood sample is mailed to California.
 This picture shows one of the water faucets. It used to stand two feet above the ground but has been completely covered over with wind blown sand. Dug it out by shovel and will work to remove the mountain of sand that has built up ten foot and more all around.

          Without notice, though the records say someone tried to call and left a message, my prescription was cancelled. When I discovered this I protested strongly, which did not seem to be appreciated. So the doctor ordered a more in depth testing of my blood. Got a call yesterday from the nurse, who told me that once again it shows 0 opiates in my blood. Not possible because I very much take this medication, especially now that I am doing so much on the farm. Something is wrong somewhere. I have to wonder if this lab in California, that probably was the lowest bidder, is doing something wrong. I also have to wonder if because of that thousands of my fellow veterans are now being denied their medication. We will scrounge up the $200.00 or so dollars to pay for an independent court certified lab to conduct a test. There are two types of tests they can do. One is a hair test that shows all drug usage for ninety days and the other is the blood test. I am not sure which one to do as we cannot afford both but probably will go to the hair test. The problem is that it is not as specific to the types of opiates used where the blood test is. Regardless, with the documentation I can prove that something is not right and hopefully start an investigation. The other side of the coin is that the VA has been known, on occasion, to not react well when anyone stirs the pot. But my concern is now for the thousands of potential victims of some laboratory that is collecting tons of cash from the government but doing a poor job.

          But as I ponder this I wonder if my lifestyle affects the tests. After getting that gout I drink gallons of water every day. Plus the gout medication works to clean the  blood of those urea salts that create the intense pain in your joints. Add to that the fact that I work hard in this often one hundred plus degree heat and sweat profusely every day. This also helps clean the system out. I don’t know, what I know is I take the medication but the tests are saying I don’t. That is why I made a request to the VA and said I was willing to make the 44 mile drive twice a day to take the medication in the presence of a witness, and then be tested again. This would prove something, either that the lab was doing a poor job or that the gout medication, large amounts of water consumed, and intensive sweating affect those tests. They have yet to respond but I just made that request yesterday.

          There is always something, always a fight one kind or another, always a struggle and obstacles to overcome in life. I believe that these struggles serve to make us stronger but at the same time it can be discouraging. I get tired of always having to fight but refuse to quit. There are many people that have learned what I must overcome due to the injuries in my body and extensive brain damage, who express their amazement and how I encourage them with their problems. When they do I am not sure what to say because I often do not feel that victorious and don’t picture myself as any kind of example of strength. I suppose sometimes I do and having had so many explain how my resolve to push forward has helped them encourages me to keep writing this journal.

          It looks like the internet just came on. So I will go out and take some pictures with my phone to post on the blog and get this on.