When Nothing Else Matters

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On Monday, October 11, I didn’t go to work.  I had a sore throat and laryngitis.  I did go to the local pharmacy and picked up an OTC dayquil/nyquil combo pack and some cough drops. On Tuesday, I didn’t feel any better so I stayed home again.  On Wednesday, I went to the doctor.  Clearly something was going on.  When I arrived at the doctor’s office, he took one look at me, checked my blood oxygen, and called 911 for an ambulance to take me to the hospital.  When I arrived at the hospital, I was put on a ventilator, feeding tube and central line from Wed 13th thru Thurs 21st.  I have no memory of anything between arriving at the hospital and waking up from the ventilator 8 days later.  I’m told I nearly died, but you couldn’t prove it by me.  I was released from the hospital late yesterday (10/24).  There’s this stranger living in my body.  She doesn’t smoke.  She doesn’t even breathe very well.  She uses portable oxygen.  She gets winded walking from one end of the house to the other.  But she will continue to improve every day.

My daughter is here from Texas.  My sister had a POA while I was incapacitated.  My living will is missing, likely the victim of a burglary last spring when my strongbox was stolen.  I won’t be going back to work before Thanksgiving, according to my doctor.  I’m very glad I have AFLAC.

I’m So Glad I Was Never A Teenaged Boy

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Sometimes, I read stuff and I just have to wonder “What in the hell were they thinking?”

Prophecy

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pigs-flySome years ago, someone said “There’ll be a black man in the White House when pigs fly”.  Sure enough, 100 days into Obama’s presidency … Swine Flu!

Followup to Cremation Post

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Back in March of ’06 (geez, I can’t believe I’ve been blogging that long!) I wrote a post titled “Interment, or Cremation?” wherein I made my preference for cremation very clear.  Earlier today, I saw a post at Baboon Pirates that directed me to the MedCure website.

My aunt had requested that her body be donated to science after her death. My cousins chose a company called MedCure. This company handles all the arrangements, works with med schools and hospitals to ship the deceased, and following whatever procedure is done, cremates the body and returns the ashes to the family within a month, all free of charge.

If you’re already contemplating cremation, you might give this some thought. You might end up doing some good, and as an added benefit, you completely bypass the vultures in the corporate funeral industry. And that makes Baby Jesus smile.

From a post at Baboon Pirates.

I’ve requested more information from them, but on the surface at least it seems like a great idea.  Even more so if you’re like me, and your organs will most likely be “unsuitable” for transplant.  Really, what can they do with the heart/lungs of a 50-year old, overweight smoker?  For that matter, I wish we’d known about this when my mother passed away two years ago; this is just the kind of thing that she would have been proud to support.

Why diets don’t work

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Mrs. du Toit has written a thought-provoking article about dieting that anyone who struggles with weight issues should take the time to read.  What an eye-opener!

I was always on a diet or just recovering from one. I lost 60 pounds on Weight Watchers and then gained 90 pounds in three months, when I went off of it. That was the typical and usual result: lose a certain amount of weight, plateau and get frustrated, and then gain back 150% of what I’d lost in the few months after the diet.

The doctor explained that my results were typical. He went on to explain that no diet worked for the morbidly obese (at the time that meant someone who was 100 pounds or more overweight). If we measure the success of a diet in longer terms, such as ten years, the success rate was 0%; meaning, that in ten years, no one was able to keep the weight off.

Mrs. du Toit Weblog.

Diagnosis!

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I finally got a diagnosis for the swelling in my leg.  I went back to the Vascular Center at Rex Hospital yesterday, and was examined by the Director of Vascular Medicine (seems I’ve become a “problem patient” so they rolled out the big guns).

I have a condition called lymphedema.  The irritating thing about it is that I suggested this diagnosis to my doctor back in May (based on internet research) and he said that based on my medical history it was highly unlikely.  Then he sent me for a bunch more tests for other stuff.

The good news is that lymphedema is highly treatable.  The bad news is that it’s not really curable, only manageable.  My doctor has prescribed Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is one of two possible treatments recognized by the medical profession and accepted by the insurance industry.

I have set up a first appointment with a therapist on Thursday.  Based on his evaluation, I’ll be going 2-3 times a week for manual drainage/massage therapy and compression bandages.  After about 2 months, when the leg is completely drained, I’ll be fitted for compression hosiery. As long as I wear the hosiery every day, that should keep it under control.

There’s Good News …

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…and there’s bad news.

The Good News is that there’s nothing wrong with my heart. I’ve had everything checked now, from stem to stern, including the valves, muscles, chambers, walls between chambers, incoming and outgoing veins and arteries. I’ve had an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, a nuclear echocardiogram, and a stress test. My heart has been listened to and photographed from every available angle. It’s fine. In perfect running order. No problems observed. I’m shocked quite frankly, after smoking for 35+ years and being overweight, with high cholesterol, that my heart was able to get such a clean bill of health. But there you have it.

The Bad News, on the other hand, is that I still don’t know why my left leg is twice the size of my right leg. As you can see in the photo, they’re both swollen with extra fluid, but the left is so much more pronounced than the right that it’s beginning to look freakish. Not only do my legs not match, even my shoelaces are mis-matched. I may have to resort to long pants, which in NC in the summertime is not a happy option.

I’m starting to believe that I’m being tested for stuff that the doctors already know is okay, because they know I have good insurance. That may sound cynical to some of you, but this has been going on now for almost 3 months. Enough, already.

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