In those two weeks my jeep went through it’s own trips to the doctor! On the way home from our doctor appointment it was running like crap and the smelled very rich. I took it into the jeep place the next morning and the guy checked the codes and said we should start with a tune up and cleaning off the O2 sensor. No big deal right? Well the guy pulled it into the bay to start the tune up and do the inspection. Apparently the 4 cylinder jeeps have a problem with the exhaust manifold bolts coming loose and backing themselves out. Sometimes they even break off. Well guess who had that problem! Missing three bolts and one of them was broken off in the head! But I was lucky because the one that broke was toward the front of the motor instead of in the back where the problem usually is. That meant only 3 hours labor to R&R the exhaust manifold instead of 6 hours to take off the whole head! Plus what ever time it takes him to drill out the bolt to replace it and the cost of a new gasket. I had them hold off on the tune up because I had to save money where I could. Fortunately I had the ability to borrow Stephanie’s car because she was going out of town that week. The jeep guy fixed the exhaust problem and I did the tune up the night I got the jeep back. It ran OK for a while but was still a little rough and rich.
That weekend I did the oil change and then removed and cleaned off the O2 sensor like the guy suggested. Well, I guess I didn’t get to it in time because it was still running like crap. I took it back and they tested the O2 sensor and it failed. A quick trip to the dealership to get the part and then I replaced it in the parking lot of work. Well, almost! The dealer gave me the wrong part so I had to borrow a workmates car to drive back to the dealership and trade it for the right one. Then I replaced it in the parking lot. After doing the repair I took the jeep on a test drive to see if it was running any better and it overheated! I checked the coolant and it was low. I decided to wait until Stephanie came to have dinner with me that evening before getting coolant. After dinner and my show she followed me to Wal-Mart to get coolant and I topped it off. One block later it was overheating again. It didn’t seem to be really running hot though so I thought maybe I just unplugged a sensor and I was getting a false reading on the gage. I tried to get the rest of the way home and had to pull over because this time there was steam coming from under the hood. I called the tow truck and had it towed into the jeep shop. Fortunately the lovely and ever wonderful Stephanie was available to drive me home at 11:30 at night after waiting on the tow.
I didn’t need my car at all the next day because Brian and I were scheduled to take some stuff back to Mom and Bobby on the other coast. I called to check on the Jeep a few times and finally got a diagnosis at 2:00 in the afternoon. It needed a new radiator and thermostat! He said he would try to get the part in that day but was not sure he could. Well he didn’t, and they don’t have repair service on the weekend so it would be Monday before I got my jeep fixed. Stephanie drove me around all weekend and loaned me her car Sunday night. I picked her and Lilly up Monday morning and took them to school. Then went home to get ready for the hospital because I was sure Maddy would be out in on Tuesday. I got my jeep back Monday evening and now it’s running more like it should. Still a little rough at idle so I guess I will try a fuel additive next. Needless to say I am currently out a little under $1000.00 on jeep repairs in just under two weeks!
Maddy’s next doctor appointment was Tuesday afternoon. Her PFT’s were 43, which is not good, so in we go. At least two weeks of IV antibiotics, we are hoping to do one of those weeks at home. Hopefully we will be done with it all by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving but with this crap you never know. Between the money it cost me to fix the jeep and the time it will take from me being in the hospital I now do not get to attend my Grandfather’s internment service in Kentucky. I was supposed to play amazing Grace on the bagpipes for it. Everyone in the family will be there. This is where the real pity party is. Loosing money doesn’t bother me, it comes and goes. Maddy being put in the hospital bothers me because I hate to see her suffer. But what bothers me most right now is that I will not get to go to my grandfathers funeral!
Maybe it’s better this way though. Maybe I would not have been able to handle playing the pipes at granddaddy Nelson’s funeral. Maybe the trip would be too much for the kids health at this point. I will try to imagine that it is better for me to stay here. Maybe there is some underlying reason I need to be here instead. I will try to find that reason.
That's my pity party. Life is hard but some have it harder. I will preserver.