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Thread: Still kicking, can't work on amps much anymore

  1. #1
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    Smile Still kicking, can't work on amps much anymore

    Well I'm still alive and kicking, in fact I'm finally doing pretty well after almost a year after the initial clot and aneurysm discoveries. I had another procedure in December to find out why after months I was still having pain in my legs, especially my right groin after just a short walking distance or a single flight of stairs. Turns out I had a twist in the end of my right Iliac graft and it partially collapsed. That was restricting blood flow just enough to cause major discomfort when I walked. In January I had a procedure to install a metal stent that the VS called a "scaffold" to hold the graft open. One of the nurses told me I was the third patient (out of several hundred) the VS had used this brand of graft on that had an issue like this so he (the VS) called the company and complained. He ended up changing brands for my new stent and other patient grafts now and in the future. As advanced as these medical devices are, there can still be issues. Fortunately the track record of the brand I have is stellar except for this particular problem. I shouldn't have any more issues with it and it should outlast me and I plan on being around for a long time yet.

    The downside to all of this is they also found more aneurysms in my knees that are right on the replace/don't replace line of 1.5cm. They'll check them again in June when I have a follow-up CT for the AAA and we'll decide from there. So now that I'm healed from the last procedure the doc says I can do anything I want - EXCEPT lift anything over 20-25 lbs - probably for life. That puts a monkey wrench into amp repairs (and finishing the restoration on my '64 Buick) and it looks like what was starting to grow into a nice side-business has suddenly come to a screeching halt. I don't like it, but that's life. I do have a friend that I've repaired a lot of amps for that is willing to haul his stuff to my house and put it on my bench so I can work on it there and at least keep my hands in the hobby. I can live with that. Actually I could live without ever working on another amp but I'm glad it doesn't have to come to that. My wife and bandmates will load/unload my bass amp if we have a gig so there is that too. If I had to stop playing music altogether I might have an issue with that but I don't so it's ok.

    Despite sounding a little dreary, I'm actually ok. Life throws you curve balls and forces you to make changes sometimes, I'll deal with it. I've already found many ways to do things differently without straining my body so work isn't a problem. My co-workers have no problem lifting things for me like laser printers. My wife and family will assist where I need it but it sucks having to ask for help sometimes. My son wants to be an electrician and has shown some interest in possibly learning how to repair tube equipment so that's also a positive thing. All in all it's good. I'm still above ground and should be for many years, AND I can at some point get back to building that stereo tube amp for our listening pleasure. I just have to scale it down to a manageable size.
    Dave H, pdf64, J M Fahey and 4 others like this.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

  2. #2
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Ouch!! for the ouch parts and Cool!! for the positive ones.

    Glad you at least can keep at least part of this job/hobby running,same with Music.

    Congratulations on the "good" side of News
    gui_tarzan likes this.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  3. #3
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Good to hear you're still kickin' and hopefully will continue to do so for many more years. I'm sure they did the graft repair for free since it was their fault.
    nickb and gui_tarzan like this.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  4. #4
    g1
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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Good to hear you are well, sounds like you have the right attitude for success.
    Don't let pride get in the way, be sure to ask for help every time. And there is power equipment for everything, like electric lifts. Or even block and tackle if need be.
    gui_tarzan likes this.
    Certified Dotard

  5. #5
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you are surviving, and sad to hear the chore it becomes. Not sure how we can help, other than to be supportive. But if the kid wants to learn, send him here, we'll learn him.
    J M Fahey likes this.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  6. #6
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    I've got a stent, too. I was told the preferred material for stents is tantalum.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Oh, then you need to be extra careful about reverse polarity.
    J M Fahey, tedmich, nickb and 5 others like this.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  8. #8
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    Apparently Silver Mica wasn't the holy grail for them either.
    g1 and The Dude like this.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Glad to hear you are surviving, and sad to hear the chore it becomes. Not sure how we can help, other than to be supportive. But if the kid wants to learn, send him here, we'll learn him.
    Thanks Enzo. I appreciate all the good thoughts and nice words. I consider you guys mentors in a way so I just wanted to make sure I updated you. Too many people just drop off the face of the earth and no one knows what happened to them. I was really tired when I wrote that, work has been running everyone ragged for the last month so it might not have sounded as positive as it should have.

    As far as my son goes, he has a lot of dreams and if he is to achieve them like I hope he does, he will take it slow and deliberate. He's like me in that respect, he will soak in as much knowledge as he can and attempt to do it at least to say he tried it. I gave him a boat-load of links from here and other sites to look at, starting with the safety aspect. He's used to working with 120/240 but not higher than that. I suspect his interest will be more in the stereo side of things, he hasn't played guitar for many years. I wish I had his energy, I did when I was his age.
    J M Fahey likes this.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

  10. #10
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    Good luck to you gui_tarzan. I wish you well. I received some depressing medical news myself last week but as you say life goes on. We just have to do the best we can.
    gui_tarzan likes this.

  11. #11
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Life can really throw curve balls and force us into making changes, just like you said Gui_tarzan. So true indeed. I feel a need to commend you on the positive nature you have exuded through out all of what you have endured. Perhaps you might also think about small circuits like effects or something. I love building effect units and fixing them too. Just food for thought. Best regards to your speedy recovery.
    The Dude and gui_tarzan like this.
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  12. #12
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Well, none of us around here is getting any younger every day, thatīs for sure.

    In any case , we are mean enough to give a good fight and probably keep annoying neighbours for a long time , as much as possible he he (insert devilish laughter here )
    gui_tarzan likes this.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  13. #13
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    I've got a worsening back condition that means I can't lift. My Sessionette combo is about the absolute limit, and it feels really heavy. My customers haul their own gear in and out of my place, and all gear goes on dollies. I used to have a hydraulic table on casters, and need to get another - an amp can go on that and get pumped up to working height - easily slid onto another bench if need be. I work on bikes and cars, do work around my ancient stone-built home and do lots of regular stuff, but I have to be really careful and plan lifts and moves. Customers are sympathetic, and for the younger ones it's a show of strength and bravado to carry in a pair of 2x12 combos, one in each hand. They don't think that I used to be like that and it's the reason I now can't lift.

    I used to consider it an act of humiliation to ask for help. To go into a garden centre and ask for a bale of compost to be put in the back of my car was just depressing. But I've overcome that obstacle in exchange for continued enjoyment of life and doing what I want to do, but with more though as to how I do it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I am getting over the let people help thing too. I take an amp over to a music store to sell it, and I ask if they would come to my car and take it inside, they smile and do it. I used to schlep speaker cabs around, lift powered subwoofers, etc. Now I can't. How many times have we all held a door for someone, offered to grab something from a top shelf for a small lady, etc. Now it is your turn...let them help.

    Tube amps are heavy. You might consider being an "only" tech. Like those guys who ONLY work on old tube amps. You could be the guy who ONLY works on light weight class D amps.

    Or not...
    J M Fahey and gui_tarzan like this.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  15. #15
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    Class D? Nah, I'll let the guys haul their stuff in and out and stick with tubes.
    J M Fahey likes this.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

  16. #16
    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you are coping! In a larger sense none of us ever fully "recover" in life, we all end up needing more and more help from family and friends and its a wise man that can accept that.

    Humans are a flexible lot, studies of people with catastrophic setbacks (blindness, limb loss etc) find many rate themselves as happy as ever in about 1-2 years, perhaps because they learn to live in "the now" not mourning the loss or fearing the unknown future.
    J M Fahey, g1 and gui_tarzan like this.

  17. #17
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Thanks God , Humans can adapt to most anything.Might take some adjustment time though, but eventually we reach equilibrium and thatīs the point.
    g1 and gui_tarzan like this.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  18. #18
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    I completely sympathize. Two weeks ago, my 35-year-old repair to the lower-leg artery blocked up. The upshot was the vascular surgeon offered me the choice of a repair "tomorrow or the day after". Repair done. Home in 4 days. Walking in 5. No worries. Then on day 6 it's hard to breath, and on day 7, it's off to the emergency room for tests. Pulmonary embolisms, many of them, blocking lung circulation. They managed to stop the newer clots with thinners and let the normal chemistry start dissolving the lung blockages. The new blockages in my repaired leg may be permanent, may not be. But at the end of two weeks, I can once again walk short distances and blood oxygenation (neato meters available at pharmacies, $20) is back up to near normal.

    Can't lift more than about 30 lb, can't walk more than about 100ft before swelling in the encumbered leg.

    But damn, being able to not only breathe and use the oxygen from the air is GOOD!!

    Call me Pollyanna.
    J M Fahey and gui_tarzan like this.
    Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

    Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

  19. #19
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    Well that explains why you didn't reply to my recent e-mail.

    Holy doodle, that's a complication no one expected! I solemnly swear not to send you any Hi-Watt amps to repair.

    Funny how some kinds of circumstances can make the tiniest triumphs feel spectacular. After I had my bypass, almost 17 years ago, the recommendation was to go for daily walks. Of course, when your torso is held together by a half-dozen staples, and you have visions of your insides spilling out like an overfilled egg salad sandwich, you're a little reticent to do so. But several weeks post-op, I was able to slowly trudge and shuffle my way a couple of blocks to the local Tim Horton's for a "Canadian recharge", and it felt like I had just run and won the Olympic Triathalon. I wanted to wrap myself in the flag, run around the stadium like Usain Bolt, grab people by the shoulders, and tell them "Look what I did!".

    In the late 70's, when I went to visit my late father after he had what may have been his 2nd bypass, he could hardly contain his joy in telling me that he had gotten a boner for the first time in ages (not there and then...earlier...jeez!). There he was, in bed, with tubes and wires and powder and disinfectant everywhere, and monitors beeping away, and he had the gleam of a 17 year-old who just got laid and couldn't wait to tell his buddies.

    It's the little things that matter, isn't it?
    J M Fahey and gui_tarzan like this.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Well, don't tell the guy his boner was a "little thing".
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  21. #21
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    Because of the partial collapse in the graft I was unable to - well, it cut the circulation way down and caused a major issue. Once that was fixed and circulation was back to normal, so is the rest. At least as much as it can be given my age and health history. That, as your father stated Mark, is a pretty darned cool thing.
    J M Fahey likes this.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

  22. #22
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Glad you are all winning those individual battles.
    Does not mean youīll win the whole d*mn War, but you sure can keep decently fighting for more time, and that alone is a success.

    I had a light stroke 7 years ago which left my left side twisted like a puppet with half the strings cut ... yet in a year and with heavy physiotherapy, plus being *soaked* in Vitamine B12 (so much that sweat and breath smelled of it) which is *the* nerve reconstruction treatment am back almost to normal.

    Yes, I notice people look funny at my face, because left and right half do not match but they donīt dare ask, at least now I do not limp and left arm-hand can hold stuff, couldnīt ask for more.

    Also left leg pins-and-needles pain caused by Diabetes which caused restless legs syndrome, bearable by day but didnīt let me sleep , has now attenuated into general numbness; not an otstanding result but at least now I can sleep.

    Oh well, nothing compared to what some of you guys have to endure.
    My best wishes to all.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  23. #23
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    I have some "trouble down below" (as my mother's generation used to say). The nurse told me one side effect of the treatment was erectile dysfunction. "But we we have ways of fixing that" she said. I looked at her (she was young and pretty) and I couldn't help thinking "I'm sure you have!"
    J M Fahey likes this.

  24. #24
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    Can someone please explain to me how this is gradually turning into a letter to Penthouse Forum? ("You nurses have such a difficult job. I'll bet you're really tense. Here, let me massage your neck for you...")


    Back during my doctoral program (in psychology of aging), one of the things I was always struck by was how ruler-flat subjective health ratings were across the adult years, despite the steady increase in health symptoms. Ask people in their 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's etc., how good their health was, and it didn't seem to get any worse with age. Present them a list of health ailments and ask them "Do you have this problem? that problem? that other problem", and the older they are the more things they check off. So what gives? The answer seems to be that we all know somebody our own age who can check off more things on the list than we can. Our own thinking is "Well, I'm not in as fabulous a state as I used to be, but at least I'm not that poor bugger, so I guess, all things considered, I'm doin' pretty good."

    Much to our good fortune (and sadly, someone else's poor fortune) there will always be somebody worse off, no matter what our age. So let's raise a collective glass and toast the "designated driver", our respected benchmark: That Poor Bugger.
    g1 and gui_tarzan like this.

  25. #25
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
    I have some "trouble down below" (as my mother's generation used to say). The nurse told me one side effect of the treatment was erectile dysfunction. "But we we have ways of fixing that" she said. I looked at her (she was young and pretty) and I couldn't help thinking "I'm sure you have!"
    Be careful!! Looks can also deceive.
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    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  26. #26
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    "He used to stand and watch me shave, but now he sees me tie my shoes..."
    J M Fahey likes this.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  27. #27
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    Well, the repairs I spoke about last winter are doing great. No leaks, no shifting, everything looks fine per the latest CT. However there is one more issue to deal with. The aneurysm behind my knee has gotten larger and must be repaired. That'll happen in August using part of a vein as a graft in place of the damaged artery. I asked about the danger of it bursting and the vascular surgeon said it's not likely, but it can start coming apart and causing clots and a loss of circulation. He said if that happens, 80% of people lose the limb. I like my legs so I said when are we going to do this?

    Looks like the downtime will be similar to the last one, a week in the hospital and probably another few weeks before I can go back to work. The good news is once I'm healed up from this one the doc says I should be back on track to normal, age-appropriate activities. Lawn work, golfing, lifting heavier things than I can right now, but he said no bungee jumping. Eh... I can live with that.
    Dave H, J M Fahey and g1 like this.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Um... does that mean I can't count on you as my spiker in the volleyball tournament?
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  29. #29
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    The only thing I'm spiking right now are other people's drinks.
    --Jim


    He's like a new set of strings... he just needs to be stretched a bit.

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