Let's hope the Double Hovel doesn't turn out to be a never-ending story. It's not really the Hovel's fault. It's just a Hovel.
Hick saw a neurosurgeon on Thursday about the discs in his lower back. According to Hick, he has always had a fracture in one of those vertebrae. I don't see how this is possible. He had a dune buggy wreck when he was a teenager, and got thrown out on one of the local chat dumps, which are giant hills of tailings from the lead mines. He said he hurt his back then. But according to this doctor, that had nothing to do with Hick's current problem.
"He said there ain't nothin' I did to it. I told him about my wreck, and about falling off a ladder a couple weeks ago. But he said I have always had it, and that maybe age and weight have something to do with it getting worse lately."
"So you're saying you were born with it? A little baby born with a fractured vertebra that never healed? That doesn't sound right."
"Well. That seems to be what he thinks. I always had it."
Anyhoo... it looks like Hick will be headed for surgery. Of course that's how this doctor makes his money! He didn't even offer Hick a shot of cortisone or any kind of steroid, which his own nurse practitioner had said she could give him to relieve the pressure and hopefully the pain.
AND this is the surgeon who put the titanium plates in Hick's neck vertebrae many years ago. Who revealed that this lower back problem showed up way back then, but he didn't propose to do anything, because Hick was not complaining of any problems with it.
Also, this surgeon told Hick he could do what he felt like doing, even though the radiologist had advised Hick not to lift anything over 10 pounds. Because, you know, radiologists will sometimes toss out advice on things they're not supposed to discuss.
The main point, in case you've lost the narrative, is that the Double Hovel might have to wait a while for Hick to do its makeover.
After one day of working on the Double Hovel, Hick revealed that Old Buddy had sawed through a wire. Good thing the electricity was off! Hick had told him to come to the bedroom side of the wall so he could see exactly where Hick wanted the cut. But Old Buddy did it from the bathroom side, and sawed through a wire they could have used with a slight repositioning.
"Now I'll have to go up in the attic and drop a new wire. Well. OLD BUDDY will have to go up in the attic to drop a new wire. I ain't gettin' up there. This one would have been long enough that we could move it where it needed to be."
"Oh. So sad. Now that will take extra time, and he's being paid by the hour."
"It ain't like that, Val. He gets in a hurry. He used to be a concrete finisher. So setting up and taking down forms is what he knows. He's not a finish carpenter. I have to watch him pretty close. Even BEV noticed that about his work!"
I guess it's pretty obvious, then! So we'll see how much Hick and Old Buddy can accomplish on the Double Hovel before Hick goes under the knife. Which won't be until after the first of the year. He says they need to tear the siding off the back of Hovel One, to patch a hole. And that depends on the weather.