Day +87, Friday

Photo of the Day: Cannon, along Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg National Military Park

Before I even stepped out of bed, I knew that I would be sore. My body did not disappoint. Yesterday’s strength training did me in, and simple things such as unfolding myself from the car, walking down a flight of stairs, or my least favorite – hovering over a restroom toilet at Gettysburg – were impossible. There was no hovering though, my quads simply would not cooperate. Oh well.

Today Mom and I visited Gettysburg National Military Park. We have both enjoyed learning more about the region’s history, and with my time at NIH wrapping up, I’m glad we were able to visit this site.

Right before we left, Erin – my awesome PA – called with an update. The cultures from my sample did not yield any bacteria or elevated white cells in my urine, SO, my Team thinks that my pain, discomfort and everything else is likely related to my BK Viral Infection. The BK tests won’t be ready for review until next week, and even if the results show elevated BK, there’s really no treatment. Eventually, when it’s up to snuff, my new immune system can fight the virus; while still on Tacrolimus, that can be challenging. So, I will just continue taking Pyridium and Oxybutynin, and depending on how the discomfort manifests, increase or decrease my dose. And water. Keep. Drinking. Water.

Thankfully, the Pyridium seems to really help manage my pain. And in all honesty, I’ve struggled with recurrent UTI/bladder infections throughout my life. It may be my GATA2, but it could also just be how my bod is.

The drive to Gettysburg was uneventful. Crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania, we bid farewell to the south and within 10 miles, were exiting towards Gettysburg. The Visitor’s Center was excellent, and we spent quite a bit of time exploring and learning. The blustery temperatures made our choice to stay indoors easy, and the film, the museum and the cyclorama were all incredible. FYI – a cyclorama is a 360 degree panoramic painting. I had never seen one before, didn’t even know what it was. The one at Gettysburg is 42 feet high X 377 feet long, and depicts the battle’s culmination atop Cemetery Ridge with Pickett’s failed charge to capture the hilltop from the Union. Here’s the digital version:

Later, Mom and I did a very abbreviated driving tour before returning to Bethesda, first via Wegmens (local upscale grocery store). I’ve had a hankering for Miche, a beautiful sourdough-style bread that Wegmens carries – it was delicious. I chatted a bit with Aunt Lucy, enjoyed time with Mom, talked briefly with Andy and then started proofing photos. And just like it has so many other evenings – time has passed quickly and it’s a new day.

Make it a great one, everyone!

Minnesota monument, Gettysburg
From the top of Cemetery Ridge, looking east towards Seminary Ridge, the origin of Pickett’s (failed) charge.
This was almost my photo of the day. I’ve never seen so many monuments in such a large area – it was eerie, and understandably so. We drove and I constantly consulted the map – atop my dash. Mom held my camera and the PB pretzels, and I would brave the cold to snap a picture or two before running back and diving into the warm car.
By this point, I think everyone knows how much I love red barns.
Pennsylvania Memorial

  1. Good to see that you are staying in shape. It doesn’t hurt to relax a bit and let your muscles recover
    Your Gettysburg trip was fascinating. I liked the video and the photos. You are doing well to take advantage of your location by going to historic places and hiking on the various nature trails.
    If all goes well you’ll be home in less than 2 weeks


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