Monday, June 23, 2014

Mr. Sprocket Home from the Hospital - First Mile Walk & Service Call

June 23, 2014 9:00 PM
I left off Mr. Sprocket's story Friday afternoon, when he got his prescription for the sleep aid, Restoril. He had a good sleep that night.

Saturday he woke up feeling refreshed however, other body aches and pains kept him on the sofa most of the day. His left foot has not felt 'right' for some time now. There are places where it feels numb.  I massaged his feet and calves and that made it feel much better.

Mr. Sprocket didn't take a walk on Saturday, but he did cook a large beef stew. (Chuck roast, cut up into small pieces, Japanese yams (sweet potatoes with the burgundy skins), onions, anise bulb, and a little salt. It came out heavenly. I've missed this stew. He has not made it for some time. We brought a stool into the kitchen and he sat on that while cutting vegetables at the wood counter.

I also massaged a hard lump in his left thigh where he still has the remnants of extensive bruising from one of his central lines.  That massage really did the trick. It made his foot feel much better.

I sewed late Saturday night and woke up too late on Sunday to take my morning walk before the heat set in.  However, around noon time, Mr. Sprocket said he was feeling really good and wanted to go for a "longer walk." Nothing I could say would talk him out of it. He wanted to walk along Ernie's Walk, and he didn't want to take his walker. He felt he didn't need it.

Ernie's Walk runs along the Los Angeles River. It ss about 3/10's of a mile long, but to get there, it's almost half a mile from our house. I didn't think Mr. Sprocket should walk that far. He promised he would take it slow and the minute he felt like he was tired, we would turn back. I wasn't looking forward to this because we were walking during the hottest part of the day.

We took a very slow, leisurely pace. When we got to Ernie's Walk, he said he felt fine and didn't need to rest. He tried the set of 16 steps down to the river walk. He said he wanted to see how he could balance on his own. I didn't hold his arm and he did fine.  We got to the other end of the river walk and he said he still felt good. He wanted to take the stairs up. This is a shorter set of stairs, only 10 steps. They are not standard house height steps, but shorter. 

Mr. Sprocket walked up these steps just fine. 

At the top of the steps is a ramp loop around the Ernie's Walk sign above, back down to the river walk path.

He then came around the loop back down to the path and told me he wanted to take the steps again.

I wanted him to take it slow but he said he wasn't tired, he wasn't winded and he felt fine. He did this loop about seven or eight times, and then he told me he was ready to head back. During the last loop, he tried moving up the steps very fast.

We walked back towards home along the street level this time.  When we got to the first set of stairs at the beginning of the walk, he said he wanted to go up the first set of stairs this time. We walked down a ramp at this end and stopped to looked down at the river. We saw a lone Heron hanging out under the street overpass.

Then Mr. Sprocket tackled the steps back up. Here he is at the middle landing of the stairs.

The total distance of our walk was 1.2 miles. Mr. Sprocket was very encouraged by what he could do and the fact that he wasn't winded and didn't need to stop to catch his breath.

Later that afternoon, he got a call from the Bakery. One of the freezers his industry friend had serviced for him a few days before was acting up, and something else, the oven was making a new noise.  Mr. Sprocket talked the owner through what they needed to do with the oven. The freezer was cooling, however, it was only holding 10 degrees F, but no lower. Mr. Sprocket talked with the owner about what they might plan to do.  Mr. Sprocket and I talked about whether or not he felt he had the energy to stop at the Bakery and just take a look at things.

I needed to go to the fabric store to pick something up for an order, and I suggested that Mr. Sprocket put a set of gauges in the trunk and go with me. If he felt like stopping at the Bakery, we would. Mr. Sprocket already had quite a few tools that were in the trunk of the car when he had his heart attack. I had left them there.

We got ourselves cleaned up and headed out to Jo Ann Fabrics at Porter Ranch.  I was just about to get on the 118 Freeway west when Mr. Sprocket received a service call from another client he's under contract with. This client rarely has problems. With this client, (a small film industry related school) he had just performed the quarterly periodic maintenance on all the equipment the day before his heart attack.  One of the classrooms was down.  Mr. Sprocket and I talked about whether he should call his buddy to take the call.

This client did not know Mr. Sprocket had gone through a heart attack. He decided he didn't want to tell them.  We talked through the pros and cons of him going on the service call to see what was wrong.

Mr. Sprocket said that since he felt so encouraged by his step climbing, he felt that, if he had to climb a ladder to get on the roof, he could. That was the key issue that made him think he could handle the call. I told him, okay, but if he had to go on the roof, he could not carry anything up the ladder. I would have to do all of that. He speculated that a blower motor had gone out. He said he had one at home, and if that was it, it was something that "I" could carry up the ladder and he could install it.

This customer has seven units. Four of the compressors are at ground level behind the building and three on the roof. When we get there, Mr. Sprocket realizes that the unit that is down is one on the ground behind the building. Fantastic. It could still be the blower motor, but I was really encouraged. Possibility of no roof work. When Mr. Sprocket realizes which unit is not working,

he has a very strong suspicion what the problem is. He goes over to the fuse box for this unit. The fuse box is behind a duct.

Mr. Sprocket takes the fuses out and tests them. Sure enough, the fuses are blown. This same problem has manifested in this unit before. However, a dead compressor can also have the problem of blown fuses. The only way to make sure, is to put new fuses in and turn it on. Even if it was a compressor, Mr. Sprocket said the compressor in this unit is small and he felt that I could lift it out of the car, if we had to get a supply house to open and sell us a compressor.

We had to go back to the house to get fuses. Mr. Sprocket didn't have any in the several bags that were in the trunk of the car.  On our way back home, we would be passing by a different Jo Ann Fabrics store. I was ecstatic because I would be able to pick up the items I needed before the fabric store closed at 6:00 pm.

Mr. Sprocket also said that the unit needed a timer, and this problem wouldn't happen again. He doesn't know why he hasn't put a timer in this unit before, since this has happened about four times over the past several years. Mr. Sprocket said the thermostats this company has are not great thermostats. They are old fashioned, and not newer equipment. What he believed happened was, the thermostat is turned off. Within 20 seconds or more, it's turned back on again. Most air conditioning compressors won't start again until at least three minutes have passed. This is to protect the compressor from demanding a surge of current. When the customer turns the unit on again, without a wait time after it was turned off, it blows a fuse. The fuse protects the compressor from too much current.

Mr. Sprocket gets new fuses and a timer he has in stock. The timer will be set to delay the unit from coming on for three minutes after the thermostat calls for cooling.  First Mr. Sprocket installs the fuses to see if the unit will run.  Success! The unit starts. It was just the fuses and not the compressor. Then Mr. Sprocket installs the timer.

Taking the side panel off the unit.

Installing a timer.

Putting the panel back on.

As you can tell, I got to sit in the car most of the time while he did all the work. I only had to find a few tools in the trunk of the car for him. We packed up and then Mr. Sprocket went inside the business and wrote up his bill. Three hour service call (door to door on a weekend) and we were on our way home.

After this long day, Mr. Sprocket said he was too tired to stop by the Bakery. That was fine, since they hadn't called back again.


Barry Bradford said...

Did you ever think you'd see a day where doing a small service call seems like one of life's great blessings? WHat a joy to read that Mr. Sprocket is making such progress!

Anonymous said...

Happy to see Mr. Sprocket doing well. I try to take a mile walk every day during the early evening.

David In TN

Crickit said...

Praying for Mr. Sprocket's continued healing. He looks like he is doing good! :)