My story, experience and challenges.

I grew up in aviation and involved in technology at an early age, I have had challenges and I have had great experiences. Here’s my story.

The beginning

My story begins early; I was involved in aviation from the early age of 8 years old, flying with my father. I started making electronic kits and learning electronics when I was 9 – 10. I continued flying as much as I could, plus I was involved in electronics in one form or another. After graduating high school, I took a year off and flew as much as I could and explored my options.

USAF

I ended up enlisting in the Air Force so that I could get training and become an Avionics Technician. I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi Mississippi for technical training and I graduated with Honors, certified as an Avionics Communication Specialist and as a Component Level Technician. Then I was stationed at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino California, where I met my now wife of 40 years, come April 2018. In the Air Force I specialized in communications and HF in particular, I was commended for pumping out the HF transceivers and having a better than 98% readiness rating on our birds. At Norton we worked primarily on C141’s, C130’s & C5’s, with the occasional Sabreliner.
I had already received orders to go overseas to England for my next duty station, when we got married and decided my wife would go with me. I was stationed at RAF Alconbury in England. We had F4’s, F5’s & the first F16’s had just arrived there. I continued my quality service and was responsible for high readiness ratings of our birds there. There was one particular F4 that had been troublesome with elusive HF problems, that I tracked down to a bad capacitor in the antenna tuning unit and was recognized for finding and fixing the elusive problem.
While stationed in England we did as much exploring as possible around the English countryside. One of our favorite locations is Stratford Upon Avon, William Shakespeare’s home town. We also took a weekend and rented a Mini and toured the coast of Wales. We had some interesting adventures in England and met some interesting people. My time in the Air Force ended in England and I was discharged from McGuire AFB in New Jersey as I had enlisted from New Jersey.

USAF Enlistment July 1976

USAF Enlistment July1976

RAF Alconbury 1878

RAF Alconbury 1878

General Aviation

After being discharged from the Air Force we ended up in Michigan to be with family, as my parents had moved from New Jersey to Michigan while we were in England. I got my first civilian job in Avionics at Michigan Aviation, Pontiac Airport Michigan (now Oakland County International Airport). My first job was short lived and I was laid off after a short time and after hours on a Friday night. That following Monday I went to work for QCE at the same airport, they had also offered me a job. I worked there for a few years then my brother talked me into going to work for a company he worked for in Illinois.
In Illinois I worked for a company that took Uniden and Pace radios and converted them into IMTS mobile phones. The Uniden were converted into half-duplex under-dash units and the Pace were converted into full-duplex trunk mount units. While working there, they branched out into Uniden satellite systems and I went the factory in Indianapolis for training and became the first factory authorized repair center for the Uniden satellite systems. These were the big 8 foot & 10 foot dishes. After being there for a year and working my tail off, they still weren’t willing to pay me enough, so I found a job at Aurora Airport with Chicago Avionics and worked there for about a year or so until that company went out of business. Then I went to Joliet Airport and worked for Planefield Aviation. They ended up selling off the Avionics shop and there wasn’t room for me after the change, so we moved back to Michigan. This time it was with PDQ (formerly QCE, had merged with PDQ) at Oakland Pontiac Airport. After working there for a year or so I was job hunted by a company in Illinois and we moved to Illinois and I worked for Priester Aviation at Palwaukee Airport in the Chicago suburbs.
While in Illinois I developed major health problems and was told I had to move to a warmer climate if I wanted to live. With my wife being from California there wasn’t much question about it. I went on a job hunt in California and decided on working for Avionics West in Santa Maria. After working there for over a year, I was approached by a customer that wanted me to open an Avionics shop in Santa Paula. We came to an arrangement and moved to Santa Paula and built a top notch Avionics shop. While there I developed some more health problems and was referred to am ENT specialist, who was the doctor to the stars. He did major reconstruction surgery of my sinuses (they were so severe that I was going to be included in textbooks for UC Irvine.), after surgery I was a new person I never knew one could feel so good, I never had before! I drove my wife crazy with always wanting to be on the go and doing things that I never had before.
It wasn’t long after that, my old boss from Illinois at Priester Aviation called and offered me a job to come back. I figured I would shut him up by asking for a lot of money, he came back with an offer that was even higher than what I asked for! How could I turn that down? They paid our expenses and bills to move back plus a boatload of money. So we moved back to Illinois and things were good for a year or so, then I developed medical problems and by ’97 I was on full disability and haven’t been able to work since.
My brother convinced us to move back to Michigan in 2006 so that we would be closer and he could help, so that’s what we did and we are still living in the same place now.

Lifes’ Challenges!

Life’s Challenges

Then it all went downhill from there. I developed major medical problems in 1996 and was on full disability in 1997. Since then it’s been a cascade of problems, with everything seeming to complicate everything else. Then I was over prescribed Steroids (Prednisone) from my then doctor. I ended up in the hospital in intensive care and was all messed up. I’ve been paying the price everyday since. I won’t bore everyone with details, but it’s been a challenge and I keep on going on! It helps me to be able to help others, that way I can still feel useful and not a burden. My mind still works good, it’s just my body that’s shot! LOL
Without the support and Love of my beautiful wife Barbara, I couldn’t have made it thru this ordeal. We are approaching our 39th anniversary, April 26th 2017. Quite a few doubted we would last, but Barbara has stuck thru it all with me. I owe Barb more than I can ever repay, for all she’s done and all the love and support she has provided me with.

Update Nov 6, 2015:

Surgery to remove infected sebaceous cyst from left breast and also remove lump (Gynecomastia) from right breast. This is not the last surgery I will have, I know of at least one more I need. I need to have my right shoulder replaced, as it has been broken for several years and is quite painful & annoying. Along with this I have a large complement of problems, including Kidney Stones since 1997! We stopped counting a long time ago, when we passed 100. What else the future holds for me, only time will tell. My back is broken also, but it can’t be fixed because my bones are too brittle from Osteoporosis, also contributed to by steroids!

Update August 19, 2016:

I had been getting weaker and weaker, plus totally out of breath, it was about all I could do make it to the bathroom. Even just sitting up took a tremendous amount of energy. I had to use my wheelchair as I didn’t have the strength to walk. They performed a Nuclear stress test and the ultrasound of my heart indicated a big problem with my Aortic valve, the one the call the “widow maker”, fortunately it was caught in time. They performed a TAVR, which is a trans-aortic valve replacement. Then a couple days later (8-21-17) they put in a pacemaker because the top half of my heart and the bottom half weren’t synchronized. They put in a standard pacemaker, without a defibrillator, they said I didn’t need the defibrillator. Post surgery I have been doing tremendously better, I can breath better and have more energy. It’s going to take awhile to fully recover, it didn’t happen overnight and it will take some time and effort to get back in shape, but I’m making steady progress.

Update Nov 6, 2015:

Surgery to remove infected sebaceous cyst from left breast and also remove lump (Gynecomastia) from right breast. This is not the last surgery I will have, I know of at least one more I need. I need to have my right shoulder replaced, as it has been broken for several years and is quite painful & annoying. Along with this I have a large complement of problems, including Kidney Stones since 1997! We stopped counting a long time ago, when we passed 100. What else the future holds for me, only time will tell. My back is broken also, but it can’t be fixed because my bones are too brittle from Osteoporosis, also contributed to by steroids!

Update December 2, 2016:

My kidney stone episodes have been increasing and a good size lump has grown in my left arm, where they transplanted part of my parathyroid gland during my last parathyroid surgery. Tests indicated, increasing PTH levels which verified the growing lump was my parathyroid gland going into overdrive again. They removed the diseased gland and now I have no parathyroid glands left, so no parathyroid function. The following couple months after surgery will be challenging, with my calcium levels being controlled by oral supplements of Calcium & Vitamin D3. Which means some challenging times while my body gets acclimated to no parathyroid function. With the extreme low calcium levels and related symptoms, the first couple months are quite difficult, as with low calcium it affects your muscles, brain function and a whole bunch more. My body is slowly compensating and I’m slowly starting to get back to somewhat normal again.

August 2017

I had eye surgery on my right to fix the alignment of the lens that had been implanted years ago. Somehow the lens had gotten out of alignment and I could only see light and shadows with ,y right eye. Unfortunately there was post surgery complications and I ended up having a large hemorrhage behind the eye and it caused excruciating pain. It was so bad I ended up having to go in for a procedure to have a nerve block done to help alleviate the pain in my eye. It worked for about 24 hours and then the pain was back for a vengeance! The pain lasted for at least a month before it was slowly alleviated. Now my right eye is totally dead and not working at all. It seems like I take one step forward and 2 steps backward! The challenges seem to have no end, but I still keep plugging along the best I can.

Now I still have my shoulder surgery to look forward to, whenever my body is stable enough for the surgery. Currently I’m having a problem with my Hemoglobin level being too low. It’s currently being treated by Iron tablets plus my doctor said “eat a burger”. So after my appointment my brother took us out to eat and I had a burger. My doctor wants to re-check my blood tests in about 6 weeks from my last appointment, so that would be around April 26th (my wife’s and I anniversary, 39 years). If my hemoglobin level isn’t up to an acceptable level, he said I will have to start iron infusions. Oh boy! The fun continues!

I have been dealing with major medical problems since 1997 and as you can imagine, it is quite expensive. On top of that, having disability as the only income, it is very difficult to make ends meet. If you would care to help out with the situation, it would be greatly appreciated. I don’t like asking for help, but sometimes you just don’t have a choice, in order to get by. Any Donation you would like to contribute, would be highly appreciated!

Thank you!
Mike Crabill




Alien Body Breaking Down:

By this point in time, my wife and I are beginning to wonder if I’m actually from a foreign planet or possibly have been the victim of an “Alien” abduction. With everything that has gone wrong and is going wrong, it seems my body is breaking down due, to intolerance of our atmosphere. There are times it seems like I was planted here by an Alien race, to observe life on Earth and find out what our technical capabilities are. Throughout all the trials and tribulations my body has been going thru, my mind has remained sharp. I was able to excel at anything technical no matter how sick I was. My old boss used to say, that I was a better technician on my worst day, than all the other technicians on their best day! So maybe I was put here to monitor technology and report back when the Mothership returns to pick me up. The only problem is the Mothership is either late returning, got lost or just isn’t coming. Oh well, it’s a good diversion to take our minds off all that we are challenged with and all we are going thru. Mothership if you’re out there monitoring, I’m ready come pick me up and take me home!

If you would like to read the full essay of “I am an Alien from another planet”, that I wrote for a contest, click on the UFO!

To read my whole Alien Body essay click on the UFO below.

UFO

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