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Hey All,

Haven't been too active this week because I've been sicker than Donald Trump was the last time his pet chinchilla woke up unexpectedly, jumped off his head and let everyone see his shiny bald nut.

It started out Tuesday night. I sat down to get started on the day's report and got a chill and couldn't get warm. I figured I'd go soak in a hot tub full of epsom salts 'cuz I was feeling sore from some crawling around in a particularly nasty crawlspace a few hours before. I filled the tub, climbed in and had no sooner gotten comfortable when I started vomiting...something like 6 or 7 times before there wasn't anything left. Then I got hit with the squirts - all before I could get the tub drained and get myself washed off. Pretty friggin' gross. All night Tuesday I literally slept on the bathroom floor where I could reach the toilet quicker and my wife stayed up supplying me with water bottles to keep hydrated. The next day, I canceled or postponed all appointments for the rest of the week and went to see the doc.

Doctor says it was viral dysentery picked up by exposure to some kind of noral virus. Given the kind of crap we're exposed to when checking out heating systems, crawlspaces, attics and wet icky places, he says it could have come from anywhere.

It was accompanied by a high fever - 101.9 according to the doc. I didn't realize it - I was so miserable I had no idea whether I had a fever or not. Everything you drink goes through you like it's flowing down a plastic pipe and seconds later it's coming out the other end. Your bowel almost completely loses the ability to absorb water that you take in, so no matter how much you drink you still feel weak and like you're completely out of gas. It's not something I'd wish on my worst enemy - even a mold-is-golder or that fat little weasel that rules North Korea these days.

Doc checked the urine and blood. White blood count a little elevated but nothing really abnormal. He put me on an IV drip to get some fluids in me and then sent me home and told me to go buy a few cases of Gatorade and some Pepto Bismol tablets and power hydrate and take in as much Gatorade per hour as I could handle and to use the tablets as often as needed right up to the maximum dose until my body started holding fluids long enough for them to be absorbed. He forbid me drink any caffeine and said the only thing I was to eat was bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.

For the past two days I've been within feet of the crapper at all times and I've gone through nearly three cases of Gatorade and had a few of those crappy meals. I thought he was nuts; but I can be a good little soldier when I have to so I complied and today I can happily say that I can burp again without puking, piss again without crapping and fart again without crapping. The order of the universe has been restored. Not a minute too soon either since I'd canceled nearly $2000 worth of inspections.

I'm going to change my way of doing things a little bit and start wearing a dust mask when I open up furnaces to check the filters and such. I already wear a nose/mouth respirator with a P100 filter for crawlspaces, so I don't think it came from a crawlspace through airborne contact but it might be something that got on my gloves. I've been wearing some nylon fabric gloves with rubber palms that are pretty comfortable when doing crawlspaces but I think I'm going to change up to some heavy duty nitrile gloves. Whatever I got might have come from something that got through my gloves and was on my hands when I touched my face or nose.

Gonna invest in a bunch of disinfectant wipes too so I can wipe down before leaving every job. I've used ordinary diaper wipes forever but they don't have the germ killing capability of some of the other stuff out there. Gonna have to check into some medical supply products I think.

Sure don't want to go through this again.

It'll be 17 years in April since I started this gig. I've had a few issues here and there - a couple pretty serious - but I'd always shrugged off the sniffles and stuff and felt I was immune to most of the crap I might come into contact with. Guess not, this one might have been prevented if I'd given more thought to what kind of stuff we can come into contact with when doing this gig.

Be careful out there.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hey,

If I'd just said I'd had a bout of dysentery you would have said, "Gee, that's too bad," I wanted you to realize just what a really bad experience this could be so that you'd be sure to take measures to avoid ever having it happen to you.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Is the wife shopping for a new tub?

I've been out of it all week myself, but it seems to be more of a persistent cold. Certainly no excess discharge from either end...touch wood. NyQuil is my new buddy.

Yeah, I heard that Rich. I'd tried to refer some of that work to you and they called back and said you were sick.

She's not shopping for a new tub but I think she's probably worn through the gel coat on it; scrubbing it down with cleanser. She heard me heaving, came upstairs to see what all the racket was about and walked in just in time to see me start spazzing from the opposite end - standing there surrounded by water, dinner, fecal matter and more blood than you'd think the human body could do without. Bet she thought she'd walked in on a Linda Blair type possession. It sure scared the...ah, er...crap out of her.

I guess I forgot to mention the blood above. According to the doc, the blood is from when the parts of your intestinal lining that absorb water die and slough off and leave the body with the waste. Until the body can rehydrate and start creating new ones you bowel is basically bleeding. There's a lot of blood with dysentery.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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You can see why dysentery is often fatal in remote areas without clean water or medical treatment. Damn.

I've been a Purel freak for years; I have those little wipes in my work kit and in the truck. Same with surgical gloves; I have a whole box.

It's dangerous out there.

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My 'heart' bleeds for you, Mike. I wouldn't wish that on anybody, but we spread it around without realizing it.

My whole family had something not as intense but bad enough to destroy the week of Xmas. First my son was puking sick for two days, then my daughter caught it, son and his fiancee headed home when he felt better, sure enough, a whole day in the car, she caught it too, then my wife was sick for a couple of days as my daughter got well enough to head home. Somehow I stayed aloof and washed my hands a lot and it skipped over me this time. No, I'm not a good nurse. [:)]

Norovirus is like a Norwalk virus, "stomach flu", but it is not the real flu that is going around. That one gets into your lungs and knocks you off your feet for a week or more.

I'm not shaking hands a whole lot these days. I have surgical gloves but can never seem to remember to put them on.

I suspect the virus is in the living space, door knobs, faucets, etc.

A few years back I inspected a basement suite where a guy was sick in bed. I wore gloves, but then had to go back in to show the client some bad stuff. Next day, I was sick, sure enough.

I could be wrong, but I don't think these viruses can just lay dormant in a crawlspace. They are jumping off of people that are carriers, IMO.

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Maybe I caught it here,

A gross violation of inspector etiquette but when ya gotta go ya gotta go. This was not a comfortable sit down. Somehow it just didn't seem right. Maybe it was revenge of the treasury virus.

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ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Kinda small for that fat ass of yours.....sorry, I had to.....

Moving on to more ethereal considerations. Before leaving Lijiang, Yunnan, I was able to see part of the construction of this traditional house in the Old Town section of Lijiang. It was right next door to where I was staying.

I'm going to put together a series on this, but since I was just there yesterday, I had to share.

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Traditional timber framing with an Asian flair. I love it. Want to see some real timber framing art? Take a trip to Japan. Can't do that, go to the library and borrow a copy of Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, written and illustrated by Edward S. Morse and published in 1886.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

You're right, it is too small for my fat ass; however, what you don't know is that I've invented this fiber-optic bomb sight device that I just buckle on and then I don't have to sit down - I just squat above the seat and take aim like they do in Asia. You see the way it works is.......

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I'm disappointed, Kurt, no bamboo anywhere on the construction site? Maybe the scaffolding goes up later. Is that a bamboo ladder maybe?

Maybe I caught it here,

A gross violation of inspector etiquette but when ya gotta go ya gotta go. This was not a comfortable sit down. Somehow it just didn't seem right. Maybe it was revenge of the treasury virus.

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tn_2013118234839_335_0115_00043.jpg

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ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

What is that, your bottom dollar?

[:)]

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Bamboo scaffolding is mostly in Hong Kong due to trade association pressures, although I've seen a few smaller buildings here using it.

The Chinese construction industry is modern; crazy in lots of ways, but very modern and cutting edge on more levels than not. Except for safety....it's the craziest place I've ever imagined from the safety end of it.

This isn't "traditional" timber frame construction; it's rural Yunnan Naxi ancient culture building practice going back about 900 years. The layout, form, and the way they fit some of the joints is unique, although there are some similarities to our timber framing. I've seen a couple that are still hanging around from the 1200 AD timeframe.

It isn't Japanese Shinto Shrine construction; it isn't anywhere near the level of Japanese temple building, but it's still pretty nice.

But, this sucker is solid. Joints tighter than a......ahem. For 21st century, it's pretty damn nice.

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