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Category Archives: technology
Been listening in the car to Bill Bryson’s enjoyable “A Short History of Nearly Everything” read by a gentleman with a loquacious British accent. A “standard candle” is a star in its later life, waning and ebbing energy in a precise rhythm, which can be used in measuring other stars. I think. Polaris is one. I like the way the phrase sounds.
Ran into a couple friends at the supermarket. Hadn’t seen or talked with them in a couple years. I would house-sit for them; they said I was one of the very few people their jack russell Rex respects. Joe is a Buddhist, but never adamant, and wasn’t aware that I had quit practicing. Tim has been suffering from debilitating back pain for years. Joe mentioned Tim’s morphine pump, “Look at him – he’s walking around, no cane, he’s even smiling! Tim, show him your pump…”
Tim grabbed the side of his untucked shirt, twisted, and pulled it up to flash me a few inches of the left side of his lower back. A sizable lump under his skin, with a rough little pink strip like the remnants of a surgery cut. “That’s the port.”
What a little bit of wonder, that we live in a world where people can have an activated morphine pump sown into them so they can lead a normal life.
My grandfather helped build it. Literally. He was a metal fabricator at Bell Aircraft.
Something my Grampa Mickey helped build, had his hands on, is now on display at The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, next to The Spirit of St. Louis.
Home after my angiogram, and four hours of mindnumbing bed rest.
Surprised at how out of it I feel.
Going back next week’s Wednesday for a stent, maybe two. Doctor says that procedure will be quicker and less annoying than today’s, where they did some looking around, and pumped dye into my heart – watched it flow curling out of the angio tube on the screen, in black and white like some weirded femme fatale’s cigarette smoke, and then my left side, or my right side, or my neck, would burn inside me for a few quick seconds; the unnaturalness of the sensation worse than the fleeting heat.
Funny that I jokingly used stills from Doctor Zhivago to illustrate my previous post about the it a couple days ago – and Doctor Zhivago was on TCM as I was recuperating. (A film that has a lot of personal import for me).
The doctor assured me any actual surgery was not in my future (except for an outside possibility in 10, 15 years to deal with an anticipated issue that is not affecting me now). My stent next week will be for something my heart already has done a workaround, of sorts, to compensate for.
And it was cool seeing my eight chest wires floating in a line on the screen, each looped and twist tied.
But I’m sure you would prefer a poem…
There once was a man had an angiogram
A tube up his heart the doctors did cram
They prodded and poked
While the drugs made him joke
Groaners worse than plots by M. Night Shyamalan
Had an appointment with my cardiologist’s LN this afternoon, as a follow-up on my stress test and imaging last week, and a prelim to my angiogram.
My cardiologist in a voice mail and quick phone call just flatly said what could be wrong, what the possible outcomes of the angiogram were – have the test and get released by 2:00, get a stent while they were up in there and stay overnight, be admitted for open heart surgery. She also noted my heart was pumping 1/4 less than it was at my last stress test imaging 2 years ago. And not to exercise or do anything that would get my heart and blood pressure going until we get the results of the angio.
When the hospital called to make arrangements, they also said to bring clothes and belongings in case I’ll be staying.
So… I live alone – and a lot of my life is online – so if there is the possibility (as presented, 1 of 3 options) they’ll keep me in the hospital for days or a week and the recovery at home after, I have to make arrangements for things that a spouse or significant other would know to take care of and they wouldn’t have to think about. For instance, I park on the street, and our street has alternate parking. If I am away, I have to arrange for someone to have a key to my car and move it from one side to the other sometime Wednesday evening to Thursday morning. Little things like that.
And, writing and giving someone I trust implicitly a list of my most important strictly online friends (cyber romantic and otherwise) so she can email and IM them to let them know they won’t be hearing from me for a couple weeks. The last time I admitted myself to the hospital I didn’t get back online, at all, for 3-1/2 weeks – with no warning to anyone.
But… the LN gets me – we have hilarious appointments, and if she weren’t (apparently) “engaged to be engaged”…
She gave some nuances about my results the cardiologist hadn’t given me. Yes, my heart pumping power dropped by 1/4 in two years, but it was still just 3 percentage points below what is considered the normal range for a nominally healthy man my age. Still not bad for a man with my history.
And the abnormalities with my heart noted by the imaging – there are 5 measures – all 5 registered as “mild”.
Apparently, the decision to have me get an angiogram was not automatic, but she and the cardiologist deliberated a bit about it. And with my history -and my ongoing mysterious fatigue – they wanted to do some more looking before anything did happen.
And, even with stress test and 2 sets of heart imaging, and all the points of measure… the likelihood of a false positive is still 15%!
So now I think I should get back to my usual worrying about getting hit by a bus on the way to the hospital… And plan to stop at the brand new Tim Horton’s in the lobby to grab my first coffee of the day after I get discharged Monday afternoon.
I came across this hefty gem on what is apparently a fake phishing computer sales website, boasting “178% discount”.
Duskwort – according to Wikipedia – is an imaginary plant from the recent children’s book “The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey” by Trenton Lee Stewart
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