Under the weather and an Arc: New Start

After only about 1-2 hours of sleep, I got up this morning, ran the dogs on a bike, cleaned up, changed rooms, and was out at the bus stop by 5:20 am. The first bus ignored me. So, 30 min. later, I finally take the bus to the truck, and start to troubleshoot my starting problems. Loosened the bolt on the neutral relay switch on the side of the tranny and played around with the ignition key and gear shifter. Unplugged the 2 electrical connectors, and put them back in. Went short of removing it because I could not really see the point. Just trying to toggle things if something could be reset. My electrical meter was swamped by the latest flood, and I found a battery at the local convenience store, but it failed to work even with a new battery. The board inside may need to be completely aired out. Or perhaps I need a new one. They are pretty cheap. Charged up the truck battery.
So, finally the starter work. For access reasons, I went ahead and dropped the starter but left it hanging. I used a bent tire punch to arc the 2 largest posts, and they arced, but the starter motor failed to engage (binding problem?). You can see the burn mark on the tire punch. I had someone help me by turning the ignition key – I’m assuming he turned it all the way. Otherwise, how so much current for the carbon deposit? Now he went under the truck, but I couldn’t really see what he was doing, and I think that he got the starter motor to engage without anyone at the ignition. At this point, I am so tired and weak, that I am not really grasping what is going on. I am sick with the flu and have a fever. I go ahead a drop the whole starter with difficulty, and dissassemble it. The negative post wiggles ominously. The bendix looks ok, maybe one point where soldering could be improved, but all contacts look intact. The ring gear seems in great shape. The mechanic orders another starter for $100. I leave to go take care of my dogs, and he comes running after me saying that the part is here. I am too exhausted to do anything right now. Sleep, and quality time with my dogs. No further dog walks today – just quiet time together, and my friend’s backyard.

In summary, I guess the solenoid is busted, but I should probably open it up and have a look. It’s one part I haven’t looked at. Even with a busted solenoid, the starter should have started with the arc. So, I guess it was bound up and needed to be taken apart and resassembled. Probably I should take the reassembled starter to pep boys and test it. Really _if_ the solenoid is bad (it might just need resoldering at the ignition circuit – that it surely did need), and the wobbly post tightened, now that it has been reassembled, if it was binding up. One thing that I would like to understand is how the neutral safety switch interacts with the solenoid. Does it ground the positive post for example so that the ignition circuit doesn’t drive the solenoid? I have yet to hear a click from the solenoid. The maximally independent way to proceed is to stop all dependence on starter solenoids, and rig some switches to arc it. The carbon eventually apparently will build up from the arcs and need to be cleaned.
In retrospect, I maybe should have tried to get the bolt out and reattach the starter with the engine running. It’s hard cause everything is so hot, and obviously there is vibration movement, but at least I would not have put myself in the position of vulnerability of not being able to start the truck around mechanics and tow truck operators. The only place it seems guaranteed to start is where people don’t want me around. Still, I should be happy the mechanics are helping me out and letting me do my own work…
Daily log:
1. You spent 20 minutes running the dogs on a bike.
2. You spent 35 minutes to move out of room, make bed, clean kitchen, sweep living room, do dishes, clean bathroom.
3. You spent 5 hours working on the truck – mostly because it was hard for me to find the right tools – they are pretty rusted from all the rain.
4. You spent the afternoon resting and sleeping.
5. You spent 40 minutes talking to family.
6. You spent 2 hours on the computer researching and writing about truck problems.

My wounds on my feet are drying up. I think that everything will heal. I have stopped the foot baths and peroxide cleanings. The feet still don’t look great, but the left one might heal completely in 4-5 days. The right one I am not too sure about, but I think the dryness is hopeful, and I am trying to keep them that way now. Mostly I go around barefoot. Enough doxy for only four more days. Significant swelling developed in my right foot and ankle today. I think it is venous insufficiency from tiredness. No associated aching or tenderness, but with my history of 40 years of type 1 diabetes, one has to consider Charcot as well.




I’m guessing I have a flu virus, although yesterday there was a small sore throat, and I have also started to cough today. I guess my fever is about 100.1. High enough to affect my thinking and make me ache. Low enough to still be able to function.

Edited 2 days later
I went down a steep trail on the bike the day before the swelling was noted and Spin gave a quick pull to chase something. I put my foot down and my right ankle turned in the shoes I have been wearing since the blisters which have a slight heel (rubber dutch shoes) relative to sneakers. Although I don’t have pain in the ankle, I suppose the swelling might be trauma related. I took a piece of string and measured the circumferance of both of my knees (L16 5/8 in and R16 7/8 in) and my ankles (both 9 1/2 in). So, 2 days later all of the swelling is below the ankle in the right foot. Also, the right foot is slightly warm to the touch. It may be stress-related trauma due to slamming my foot down on the bike path in spite of the lack of pain. I know that I have a 2nd joint in that foot from stress fractures. Maybe I need the stem cells in the metatarsal bones for healing the foot blisters. In this case, less walking for a few days, keep the foot elevated when at rest, and less time in shoes with an elevated heel. Walk barefoot. The swelling should get better.
Posssibility 2 is that with the poorer circulation in that foot from the scar tissue and callouses of the 2nd joint, edema from venous insufficiency is more difficult to clear. In which case, increasing cardiac output under rested conditions (not tired from lack of sleep) might help to clear it.
Possibility 3 is that the swelling is related to the blisters.
In any event, stress fractures can be very difficult to see in an x-ray at this stage. They eventually heal by themselves with a callus. It seems prudent to not put weight on the foot, and yet exercise the leg from a leg-elevated, lying position, doing knee bends perhaps using a bungee cord for resistance while on my back. I’m not a candidate for surgery on the foot, nor am I a candidate for foot immobilization. So, it will have to heal all by itself in the most functional way it can, if it can.
Ok. Can’t find a bungee cord, but trying these exercises on my back. If there were stress fractures, it has been 2 days, and they have had a chance to form calluses, so there is little chance of any dislocation. I’m guessing that because swelling was apparent at the ankle, and has since disappeared, that most of the edema was due to heart weakness from the tiredness, and that it simply had a hard time clearing because of the trauma to the foot. Still, less weight bearing seems prudent.
1) 100 ankle rotations both legs, repeat 100 times in other direction.
2) 50 toe points both legs.
3) 50 toe points and flexes each leg with leg raised so that one foot rests on the other knee.
I guess repeat this 5-6 times a day. Application of a warm towel to the swollen area without wetting the blisters which are healing pretty well.
The warm towel with a little compression helps a lot!
Feet 2 days later. I finally cut off the dead nail on the right little toe. It had come loose before I got the blisters. Not worried about it.
I’m a little impatient with the rate at which the wounds are healing but the important thing to remember is that the wounds to my feet are acute, and not chronic. Trying to keep it that way. I’m pretty confident that I can.
Fever has broken on the cold, left with what is probably upper respiratory bronchitis – a somewhat uncomfortable cough (no nasal congestion, but yellow phlegm). One more day left of doxy, after what amounts to a 10 day course of it. Because of the sore throat prior to getting sick, suspect bacterial nature of cough.

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