bunrab: (me)
In 2012, the only resolution I made was to remember to call my friend Cindy at least once a week, instead of always waiting for her to call me - I'm really,  really bad about picking up the phone and calling people, but I managed to keep that resolution. Without any resolutions on the subject, I decided just after the first of the year that I really needed to get out from under the burdens of a largish single-family home, so repaired the home, sold the home, bought a condo, moved. So far so good, right? Also good, that I don't think I've mentioned, is that I've lost nearly 25 pounds in the past year, getting my BMI to just under 25 - that is, within normal instead of overweight! Without any resolutions about losing weight!

I whined here about the couple of tachycardia events that screwed up my summer, and then somehow never got around to getting back here. I think, mind you I'm not certain, but I think, that this new year I resolve to write a few more substantive posts here, rather than depending on 3-sentence Facebook updates to be the only way I keep up with friends or organize my thoughts.

Playing catch-up )
More stupid heart stuff )

More than you wanted to know about my finances )

I have slightly less of too much stuff )

A visit to Texas )

OK, that's well enough of a ramble and a catch-up. New Year's resolution: keep up with LJ better, keep up with my friends' lives better. It's not all always me, and when it is me, sometimes it's good to share.
bunrab: (Default)
The heart stuff first: yes, I did go to the doctor's the next morning, just to confirm that it was a real episode and what I felt was what I thought it was, and test the device just to make sure nothing's wonky with it. And indeed, yes to all of that. And they raised my dose of Coreg again, now all the way up to what it "should" be - I had previously been taking only half the full dose, for years, because it made me so tired and because nothing much was going wrong and the Coreg wasn't helping my blood pressure that much over and above all the other meds I take - the Diovan or enalapril, the diuretics, etc. And for years, that was fine. But now, it appears that I need it for the anti-arrhythmic effects as well as the antihypertensive effects, so full dose it is.

a couple more paragraphs of whine )

Now, books. Part of moving is, I have to de-acquisition a LOT of books.
whining about why I have to give up a few )
One of the things I'm doing is reciting a mantra that goes like this: "The library has this book. The library has this whole series. Every library in Maryland and the surrounding states has this whole series!!" That mantra is useful for a lot of the murder mysteries and some of the science fiction. Of course I am not giving up the Lois Bujolds - I want to be able to reread any Miles book on any spur of the moment! - but the mantra helped me get all the J.A. Jance out the door, because, really, libraries are very good about murder mystery series. And a bunch of Steve's vampire collection that I still had - since vampires have been more popular these last 10 years than they were when I first started reading them or when I turned Steve on to them, more libraries have them, more used book stores have them, and more of them are available as e-books. So I don't need to keep most of them. (The complete Yarbro St. Germain series stays. Don't try to talk me out of that one.)

Another way to get rid of books )
Some of the reading I've done this past 6 months has been new stuff, and there's thoughts on that.
Reading and rereading gets tiring )
So that's the process. I am trying to remember to record all the re-reads on Goodreads as I go along, and also the library books I have been reading interspersed because a body can't read 100% fantasy series 100% of the time. If there's still any of you who I haven't found or haven't found me there, well, I'm easy to find.
bunrab: (Default)
Since we are staying at Jerry & Kathy's rather than out in Oak Hill, we can use Jerry's computer when he's not using it - thank you!! So I have access to a regular desktop on occasion instead of teeny laptop. Not that I have that much to say, but hey.

Anyway. So far so good on estate sale. I haven't been much help - I think I've been asleep more than I've been awake the last few days, and by the end of the day we haven't felt up to going out and eating dinner with friends, so if you (any-you) are wondering why we haven't called you, that's why. Today is the last day of the estate sale, and [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet is out there now, helping do things like load people's purchases onto their pickup trucks. A lot of the furniture got sold yesterday - doesn't look like there will be too much large stuff left that we will have to have hauled off.

Brief bit of book: I have added a review of The Surgeons at Amazon.com - that's The Surgeons: Life and Death in a Top Heart Center by Charles R. Morris. It's essentially the same review I already did on my other blog, but now it's on amazon and it needs your little clickies on the "yes" button.

Reading while I'm down here in Texas: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews - already has 81 reviews on amazon so it doesn't need me there. It's a new fantasy series, a few novel ideas in it and occasional touches of humor. If Harry Dresden were female and lived in Atlanta, this might be how he turned out. In fact, there's a character in the book who reminds me a bit of a cross between Harry and his friend Michael. The main supernatural series are shapeshifters and -not vampires, but people who control vampires; the vampires themselves are pretty much dumb bodies that get manipulated by necromancers of sorts - remote control bloodsuckers. It's not superb fiction, but good enough that I'll go ahead and read the next one in the series, which I think just came out.
bunrab: (alien reading)
Whew, a longish list.
What NOT to Build, a book on residential architecture and home improvement. Some amusing bits, but often quite repetitive. All right, we get it already, Monticello good, McMansion bad. I thought a few of the photos must have been photoshopped because no one would build anything that awful - and then, the next day, taking a new route to my saxophone lesson, drove right past a new row of 5 McMansions that had most of those awful features, such as fake keystones on windows with straight lintels, window transoms over the door that are taller than the door itself, vinyl siding and brick on the same side of the house... There was at least one example in the book that I spotted that was used as a bad example near the beginning, and then in a later chapter, that same exact photo was the good example.
Children of the Machine - latest in Kage Baker's Company series. Deeply flawed but with some terrific moments. It's the "last" book in the series - we hit 2355, where everything stops, and find out why - and I'm not happy with it. Serious flaws, like all of a sudden a physical Dr. Zeus AI - WTF? But the dinner party Victor throws for Aegeus and Labienus is a wonderful scene, and exactly right. The real hero of the whole book is Preserver Lewis, under the hills with the little people - blind and reciting epic poetry, like Homer.
Heart Seizure by Bill Fitzhugh, the author of Pest Control - this guy writes funny, funny stuff. HS is about organ-napping, sort of. And the FBI. And family. And, well, it's a mess, but a wonderful, funny mess. Only complaint: our protagonists' mom, who has heart failure and is waiting for a transplant - Fitzhugh says her heart is only pumping at "45 to 60% of capacity" - well, an EF of 60% is normal, but if we assume he means 45 to 60% of THAT, then it's an EF of 27% to 36% - and at an EF that high, she wouldn't be on the transplant list, really. *My* EF is only 21%, for pete's sake.
Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? - a collection of the last page questions column from New Scientist magazine. So, a mixed bag - some serious, some not, erratic quality, but extremely full of trivia you never knew you wanted to know!
40 Days and 40 Nights by Matthew Chapman, about the Dover, PA evolution/"intelligent design" trial. A little lightweight - it's as much about Chapman's making a documentary of the trial as it is about the trial - but it's a good read nonetheless - a quick way to get an overview and find out a bit more about the people involved, not just what was said in the courtroom.
Dragon Lovers - a rather flawed anthology of four novellas/novelettes, in the fantasy romance genre. Not worth finishing, despite that two of the authors are actually pretty good writers when they stick to the Regency romance subgenre.
An Ice Cold Grave - latest in Charlaine Harris' series about a young woman who can find dead bodies - mostly murder mystery, slight amount of fantasy. It's OK - but not only the plot, but even much of the details, were awfully reminiscent of Kate Wilhelm's The Price of Silence, a non-fantasy mystery. Interesting side note: in the acknowledgments, Harris mentions Margaret Maron, and the place where Harper is working this time is Knott County - which see, next entry.
Hard Row - latest in Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott series - always good mysteries, and I like the characters, but there was rather more about vegetable gardening than I care about. As usual, touches on a few serious social issues, this time both spouse abuse and migrant labor camps.
Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels (1949-1984) - written in about 1984. Didn't agree much with the author's choices - too British, too New Wave, and he admits he flat-out doesn't like anything Asimov ever wrote, so he sort of picked a random Asimov since he felt it was obligatory.

There, that's about caught up. Skimmed through any number of magazines, of course, including a big lump of knitting and crochet magazines. And a couple of short story anthologies that were obviously forgettable, since I've forgotten what they were. Although I didn't agree with a lot of the "100 Best" above, the author's side comments and discussion reminded me of a few classics I wouldn't mind re-reading, so watch for upcoming old SF!


Sep. 21st, 2006 12:17 am
bunrab: (bunearsword)
Assorted things.
assorted medical )
assorted musical )
Oh, and I bought me a pair of those lighted knitting needles!

ETA: lighted knitting needles!
bunrab: (chocolate)
As in, discharge time Tuesday was supposed to be around 10 a.m., but I actually got let out of there around 5 p.m. So that was most of the day shot.

And today I still mostly slept - even moderate sedation, as opposed to general anesthesia, leaves a person groggy for a couple days till it all gets out of the system. And also gives one *very* strange dreams.

Right now, the refrigerator delivery guys are late. I guess late is the new on time.

Anyway. As expected, they did not manage to implant the 3rd lead. They did spend a little more time looking for ways to do it than they promised, thereby alarming [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet and also thereby subjecting me to a bit more sedation than I wanted; I have amnesia for the whole day, although I supposedly woke up, ate, chatted with the doctors, etc. The extra exploration did give them a good picture for when, maybe six months from now, they go back in to do the third lead a different way. Apparently, the route to my coronary sinus is much tinier and twistier than normal, enough so to be interesting to a doctor who sees lots of them every week.

It was never on my list of goals in life to be on a chatty first name basis with a bunch of cardiac ward nurses - people who see me and ask about the rabbits, people I see and ask about their due date, etc. But that appears to be the situation in which I find myself - well enough acquainted with John, Gerry, Cookie, Pelagie, etc. to even recognize them in other hallways.

Since hospital food sucks, even at the great Johns Hopkins, I brought my own food with me, which everybody thought was funny, but which made me popular with my roommate, as she was finding the hospital food bland to the point of inedibility too. I brought low-fat yogurt, and low-fat chocolate pudding, and fresh fruit, and reduced-sodium cheese and low-sodium crackers, and good fresh-brewed iced tea, and just totally ignored the food the hospital served. And my menu was every bit as low-fat and low-sodium as their nutritionist-planned ones. There's gotta be a lesson there. Let's hear it for end-of-season nectarines and peaches!!

OK, that's enough for now. Itching occurs, and also I've made myself hungry by talking about food!
bunrab: (chocolate)
Since after tomorrow's surgery* I won't be able to ride the bike for a few weeks, we decided to do a bit of riding today, so we went down to Laurel to eat at the Silver Diner. Lovely weather for riding. I'm the one who was singing "House of the Rising Sun" at the top of my lungs.

Our bikes are "standard" models, the increasingly rare sit-up-straight-and-ride kind - not cruisers where you lean back with your legs stuck straight out in front, nor crotch rockets where you hunch over the gas tank. Sit up straight and ride is not actually quite perfectly straight, of course; for best control of the handlebars there is a very slight forward lean. What I've noticed is that on my particular bike, for my particular height and mass, about 75 mph seems to be the perfect speed at which the wind pressure supports me completely, no effort needed on my part to sit at exactly the right posture, nor to keep adjusting my shoulders and elbows. For all I know, 85 may do as well in a sheer physics sense, but that's fast enough that I would be tenser; wind support or no wind support, my shoulders would be stiff at that speed for more than a few seconds. I'm most comfortable in the 55 to 75 range when I'm on the highway (and frankly, 40 to 50 mph on a curvy back road, a leisurely scenic ride, is just fine with me, too).

*Monday at 7:30 a.m. I get my new pacemaker/ICD - I have to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m., ugggghhhh. It's really simple surgery, should not be any complications this time. Just because of my history, they'll keep me overnight for observation, but I'll post when I get home Tuesday, to let you all know I'm OK. I have the doctor's solemn promise that if the third lead does not go in on one ordinary try, they will not keep trying; they will just do the rest of the device as usual, and sew me back on up, so that I don't have any extra exposure to hospital bacteria, nor will I worry anyone by having extra doctors come in and give it a try, taking extra time. (It worries a spousal unit when one is in surgery 2 hours longer than expected...) So, straightforward and safe. Usually, they only use a local anesthetic plus Versed to make one sleepy, rather than a general anesthesia; even so, Versed makes me a little less than completely alert for about 24 hours - awake but not alert, prone to doze off and to not remember conversations real clearly. So I don't bring any knitting that requires thinking with me to the hospital. Sort of the whole "don't operate heavy machinery while taking this medication" thing, except it applies to light machinery that happens to require very careful fine motor control plus concentration, as well. Stuff knitted while under the influence of morphine and related compounds tends to be good only as cat toys, and even the cats are a bit scared of those blobs at first.

So, see you all Tuesday.


Aug. 29th, 2006 11:07 pm
bunrab: (teacupblue)
So, let's see.

Wednesday I saw the doctor )

Thursday, I took the train up to NY. the details )

music stores ) Public transportation that works and goes where one needs it to - a great concept.

Friday we hung around Sally's house and played music - her on her fiddle and me on the recorder, but then she let me use one of her violins, and it turns out I can still scratch out a tune. I wouldn't give you five cents for my technique, but the fingers still go pretty much where they're supposed to, and can move along at the pace of a waltz or a reel, though I miss a few notes trying to do something as fast as a jig. Then we went out to Sam Ash, another large music store. Where I bought more jazz duets, more Jewish music, and a book of Bach cello stuff transcribed for saxophone, which I am going to enjoy. Then to supper, and then I spent the rest of the evening starting to clean up and straighten out Sally's computer. She's a bit of a technophobe, and it's an old, cranky computer, a combination guaranteed to cause hellish aggravation to all concerned. Uninstalling some stuff, cleaning up the desktop, running Spybot Search & Destroy, stuff like that. Cranked it up from extremely slow to merely irritatingly slow.

then, Saturday, more music )

I told Sally, that even though the price of train tickets is a little more than I could afford to do willy-nilly every month (for some odd reason, it's $80 from Balto. to NY, and $93 from NY back to Balto.), if she would please expend $700 bucks on a new computer that would be faster and more powerful than her $3000 old one, I would make the trip up there again, no matter when, to set it up for her from scratch, *before* she had a chance to accidentally do something weird to it. We shall see if she takes me up on that.

tehn, Sunday )

Well, now back to rehearsing, reading, etc. MVCB has a concert at Leisure World tomorrow.

We didn't get to the State Fair today because one of the lenses popped out of my glasses; I glued it back in, but I also went over to Penney's to see the optometrist and get a new prescription. Which I then had to take elsewhere to get filled, because my right eye has gotten enough worse that it's no longer within the range of prescriptions that Penney's can fill. The right eye used to be -11.00 diopters (that's 20/1100), and the left -9.25 diopters; the left is only up to -9.75, but the right eye is now up to -13.00. Yes, that's coke bottle bottoms. So I took the scrip to a more full-service eyeglass specialty place, and three weeks from now I should have new glasses, and meantime I should be careful. And so we're gonna try and get up to the fair on Thursday. Gotta have my yearly dose of fancy chickens, ridiculous goats, pickle relish and chow-chow judging, quilts, and weird new products in the food pavilion. Then Friday we head up to Pittsburgh. Whee!

Oh, Sam, I figured out what to call that thing we've been calling a closet, which is really too tall to be an armoire or a wardrobe the way that Ikea calls it. The tallness is what suddenly lit up the lightbulb over my head: it's a highboy! (Sort of odd realizing that that and oboe are from exactly the same root.)
bunrab: (chinchillas)
Well, the stress echo shows that my ventricles are discordant - one side blobs out when it should be squeezing in; when I exercise, my EF DROPS from 20% down to the 10-15% range. (In the middle of the walk, my blood pressure started dropping because of this. Apparently, this is significantly abnormal enough to wind the test down early.) The bi-ventricular pacemaker would definitely be at least a partial fix for this, if they could get that bi-v lead in, and it looks like it would be worth a third try at it. So, my cardiologist called another EP (electrophysiologist, the pacemaker surgeon) and I go in to see him in a few weeks, and we discuss what we'd need to do to make sure that a third try at putting in a third lead would not be a complete waste of time and money; what can he do differently to avoid the stuff the other EPs ran into? Since the new pacemaker would need to go in a different spot, because the old location is all scar tissue now, where, precisely, would we put it? (And if I was freaking out airline security before, having a pacemaker when I'm not a little old lady, imagine if I have a pacemaker in some spot other than the upper left thorax!) And a few other questions. But anyway, there's no question but that my heart needs the help.

whine )
bunrab: (teacup2)
All the messages I got from you while I was in the hospital were wonderful.
I had just hit a temporarily whiny moment.

OTOH, let me point out that a great number of LJ "users" are people who have gotten a name so that they can respond with comments to other people, not so that they can actually run their own LJ. I suspect that if one eliminated from the stats all those who have only 1 or zero postings to their own journal, indicating that they are not on LJ for their own sake, that the median numbers and those percentages would change drastically.

My regular cardiologist, whom I saw Friday, says that I am handling all this with far more equanimity than anyone else he's seen in a similar situation. Well, I'm trying to. But I do have the occasional whiny moment, a bit of crankiness. I try not to let it get out of hand, as whining is quite pointless. One of the things I haven't found yet in our boxes is my little pocket copy of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations which I need to randomly flip through for a reminder dose of common sense. While I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a Stoic, an awful lot of Aurelius strikes me as a good way to lead a life. A good hearty dose of "this is the life you've got, now go out and use it and stop whining!" is what I need. Perhaps I'll go buy a different edition just to get a different translation and to have something until I find the other. (No, my Latin has never been anywhere near good enough to read him in the original.)
bunrab: (krikey)
Mostly I'm still just sitting and reading and napping, and occasionally crocheting much slower than normal.

But today I did have an appointment with the infectious disease specialist. She decided that if tomorrow's blood draws come back w/ OK results, then next Monday will be my last IV antibiotic; the visiting nurse can then remove the PICC line, I'll take oral antibiotics for an additional week, and life will start feeling a little more like normal. As in, I should be able to go to rehearsal next Wednesday. (I might go to Monday's rehearsal just to sit - won't be able to play, yet - but I have to think about that, because one of the awkward bits about having the PICC line and the surgical site dressing is, I can't dress normally. I feel a little weird in public wearing size large short-sleeve sports shirts with no bra under them. Was that TMI? Anyway, that might keep me from even sitting at rehearsal.)
The surgical wound is healing up very quickly and very well.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my regular cardiologist, mainly for paperwork stuff to get done. We'll hit up the Columbia branch of the Howard County Public Library while we're down there.

I have managed to read a few books. While I was in the hospital last week, I read Deadly Beloved from the Gregor Demarkian series - somehow, I seem to have skipped that one. I re-read a weird bit of English humor called The Creation Memoes and also re-read Armour's American Lit Re-Lit. Since I got home, I've only been reading all the newspapers to catch up on, and my mail, and stuff on-line; the occasional chapter in re-reading David Owen's The Walls Around Us when I just have to have a book in my hands. To remind me, as ever, that water is the enemy of houses.
bunrab: (Sniffy)
Things had been proceeding normally here, although as Kelly threatened a few days ago, the cheerful and funny patient did have occasional moments of tired and cranky as the week wore on. We thought she was on track to leave the hospital Thursday, but some procedural difficulties have interfered, delaying check-out until Sunday.

In order to continue intravenous antibiotics at home for the next several weeks, they wanted to install a PICC (Periferal Inserted Central Catheter, the long-term IV socket I mentioned earlier), but the team that does this was running a couple of days behind. They finally got to Kelly Friday morning, inserting a catheter tube into a big artery in the upper arm and running it through to near the heart, then verifying its proper placement with a big portable X-ray machine.

The only remaining issue now is the daily change of dressing on the wound left by removing the pacemaker, which I will be doing at home on weekends and other days that the in-home nursing visit does not occur. Although I have now seen this done in the hospital, I want to see it with the different set of supplies designed for in-home use. Since the first available visit at home for this is Sunday, Kelly will remain in the hospital, under professional care, until checking out Sunday morning.

It's late, and I need to get some sleep before going back in Saturday. Good night, all.
bunrab: (schneider)
Here's today's report from Kelly at Bandage Central:

- - - - -
Have you ever wondered why people look so sick when they get out of the hospital?

10 PM - evening meds
11 PM - check blood pressure
12 AM - start an IV
2 AM - start another IV
3 AM - one of the IVs is done and beeps loudly
4 AM - time for regular morning blood draw
5:30 AM - The guy who regularly comes around to empty the medical waste and replace bags
6 AM - somebody measuring something
7 AM - nothing being done to me but people here to bother my roomie. Nobody bothers me again till breakfast at 8 AM.

So as you can see, we get a great night's sleep here. My roomie's Miz Turner; she's 4'1", older than dirt, very funny, and has tons of friends visit each evening. Makes for great evesdropping.
- - - - -

Later on, they gave her some painkillers (Dilaudid), leaving her a little muzzy for the afternoon, so that they could change the dressing over the surgical wound site. This evening before I left, she got out of the cell room and walked up and down the corridor.

We still have not received any info on a release date. I think they are waiting on various cultures to be sure they are prescribing medicine to attack ALL the bacteria involved. When Kelly is released, she will have a long-term IV socket plugged into her arm, so we can drip in antibiotics for a couple of weeks.
bunrab: (Default)
Hi, Mr BunRab back with another inside story from the world of big-city hospitals. Here's an approximate rendering of Kelly's notes to be delivered to her friends:

- - - - -
Sunday, early AM:
The excitement of the emergency room! Such as: the guy who runs the pod I was in--very funny; the federal prisoner in handcuffs with several Baltimore Police accompanying him, who had drunk a cup of ammonia cleaning fluid; the seemingly endless blood draws--must have been for party favors.

Finally out of emergency and settled into room 570 of the Cardiac unit--never a chance to sleep more than 45 minutes before another procedure, check-up, etc.

Sunday day:
Doctor #1, asking what happened. Then Dr #2, asking. Then Dr #3, asking. The visiting fellow and the cardiology fellow and the floor doctor and the infectious disease specialist, the infectious disease specialist's attending doctor, the doctor on call, probably a few people who happened to be in the cafeteria with any of the above...

I did get to finish Charles Stross' Atrocity Archive, very interesting. Very odd. A short story follow-up in the same book--I'll never look at traffic cameras the same!

I will admit that being cheerful and funny for all these doctors is tiring. I'm thinking about bitter and sarcastic as a change of pace.
- - - - -

I brought her a print-out of the comments to the previous post. She appreciated them and said you're all very nice people.

Subsequent to her message above, the nice men in white coats came and carried her away...to surgery, not the funny farm...where the operation to remove her ICD (Implantable Cardiovertor Defibrillator) was evidently straight-forward, without incident, and quicker than normal. The time between wheeling her away and the surgeon reporting back to me was only 95 minutes. The next 4 or 5 hours were not too scintillating while the surgical drugs were fading away, but by the end of the day, with 2 meals behind her, she was much closer to normal (her normal, not necessarily normal normal; for me, that's a good thing).

We're hoping a couple of relatives will be able to visit tomorrow.
bunrab: (chocolate)
Testing, 1, 2, 3... Tap, tap, tap... Is this mike on?... Ah, OK...

Hi, this is Mr BunRab, here with an update on my lovely and talented wife. Due to icky medical reasons I won't go into here, we are now sure that the 95% it's-infected situation applies. I took BunRab to the hospital early Sunday morning; she's on an antibiotic IV drip, in a holding pattern until the scheduled surgery tomorrow morning.

So, she will be off-line for a few days, one day earlier than planned, although she may have me deliver a report from the field occasionally.

Well, crap

Mar. 17th, 2006 07:23 pm
bunrab: (bathtub warning)
It's not the flu. Seems to be an infection in the pacemaker site. Going to have to go back in for surgery Monday morning. 5% chance it's harmless serum, they drain it, I go home. 95% chance it's infected, they will remove the whole pacemaker, which happens to be somewhat more complex and riskier than putting it in was (details provided at some future point when I feel more like typing), and have to stay in the hospital for several days because of the risks and so that they can keep me on IV antibiotics. Crap crapcrapcrapcrapcrap.

Little ray of sunshine, aren't I?
bunrab: (Default)
The bad news is, nothing good happened either, which is why I am back at the keyboard on Thursday evening. After digging around and poking under my heart for a couple more hours than planned, the doctors still could not get through a bit of membrane that's not supposed to be there, to get the new lead into the proper spot. Damn!

The upsides to this: I got to come home Thursday afternoon (although all I did once I got home was sleep). I'm not any worse off than I was before. I met some very nice people - the team of nurses was John, Joanne, and James, which has got to be confusing on occasion; had a nice conversation about motorcycle touring with John, and James has a peculiar sense of humor. Hari (whose full name I actually *can* spell and pronounce, but I'll spare you) told me stuff I didn't know about how Indians usually sign their names and why US counterfeiters/forgers/ID thieves always get it wrong. All in all, I picked up a nice amount of trivia to add to my stores. And the recovery people actually listened to me - when I woke up, there was a turkey sandwich and orange juice and cranberry juice waiting for me, which they let me gobble down right away.

The downsides: well, many things are the same as if the surgery had been successful: there's an incision in my chest, it hurts like hell, I need to take the same painkillers and antibiotics as if we had actually accomplished something. Sitting up to get out of bed is difficult when one can't use one's left arm to balance on or push with. I can tell that the sedative hasn't quite worn completely off yet-I'm making far more typos than usual. I guess that's in part because instead of being out of surgery by 11 or so, they kept trying, and it was after 1:00 before they said let's call it a day before we poke through something wrong, so I've had a larger dose of the sedative than expected.

And my shoulder is sore and I'm not going to keep typing for much longer, but I did want to give y'all this update. What the future holds: sometime in a few months, after this incision heals up, we discuss doing things the hard way - cracking open a couple of ribs so that the dr can peer right in at the heart directly rather than through fiber optics, and can actually push things aside if need be. That will be more serious surgery, requiring several days in the hospital and weeks of recovery, so I told him let's plan on after 4th of July- usually no band concerts from July 5 to the end of August, so if I can't play, that's the time not to. Although it will interfere with some nice bike riding weather. Anyway, not going to worry about it yet - sufficient unto the day is the wickedness thereof.

Now I am going to lie back down and rest my arm. And do my best to keep Pickle from jumping on it to offer me sympathy.


Mar. 1st, 2006 01:30 am
bunrab: (schneider)
Kelly will be away from the keyboard for a few days:
I need to be at Johns Hopkins at 6-freakin-30 Thursday morning for prep for surgery, and will be in the hospital overnight; I'm getting a new lead added to my pacemaker; Wednesday I will be very busy trying to do RL things that I shouldn't put off till after surgery, such as paying bills, getting a new octave key linkage pin put in my bari sax, and assorted other errands in the Montgomery County, area such that I may not get a chance to post on Wednesday (other than this 1:30 a.m. post) and so probably won't sit back down at the computer until Saturday. Just so's y'all know why I am out of sight for a bit.

The surgery is minor, but it's one of the reasons we moved up here - better technology, better doctors, so they can put in the third lead for bi-ventricular pacing that the doctors in Austin couldn't back when I got the ICD/pacemaker in 2003. Since it involved poking around just under the clavicle, it leaves the shoulder a bit sore for a few days, which may curtail both typing and knitting. Possibly even saxophone playing. Definitely riding - after I got the pacemaker in 2003, I wasn't allowed on the bike for 2 weeks, and I imagine this will be similar, since there will be stitches that they don't want rough pavement and a bouncy ride interfering with. There, that's more than enough detail, right?

Squirrel Magnet will be at the hospital with me, of course, and will have my cell phone, if any of you need to contact me.

Try not to do anything TOO newsworthy till I get back, OK?
bunrab: (music)
This morning I had my appointment over at Johns Hopkins with the electrophysiologist that my cardiologist referred me to, and the EP, Dr. Sinha, is quite confident that he can implant the third lead without having to do a thoracotomy, so we went ahead and scheduled the surgery for Thursday, March 2. Johns Hopkins Outpatient Clinic is a large facility, where one has to wait in line twice in the lobby alone, just to be allowed access to the elevators, in order to get to the floor for the department one is aiming toward, at which point one then stands in line for a sort of concierge for that floor, and she points one toward the correct department, where one finally gets in line to sign in for one's appointment. Then one is directed to one of several waiting rooms, each and every one of which has at least half a dozen people waiting, usually at least one more person than there are chairs in that waiting area. The good news from this waiting is that I finished the first of the wrist-warmers from striped sock yarn that I am making for [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat, and the second will go faster, now that I am no longer winging it but rather just following what I've already done in terms of what to cast on, how many rows of ribbing, where to place the thumb hole, etc.

Anyway, once I established that he didn't have to dumb down the language for me, Dr. Sinha and I got along well and rapidly went over all the options, complete with some quick sketches and requisite hand waving to indicate what would be done. It will be simple; although it could be outpatient surgery he usually keeps people over for one night to be on the safe side, and he foresees no problem in getting my insurance company to pay for that; despite my relatively good appearance, my EF alone is prima facie support for the necessity of this procedure. (Medicalese: the ICD/pacemaker is always a "device" and surgery is always a "procedure.") So you will have the gory details of that to look forward to in a month. Since it will be on a Thursday, I won't miss any rehearsals that week, and as long as I don't try to carry the saxophone from the car myself, should be able to pick them up again the following week. The next concert after that isn't till the 19th of March, on the tenor, the smaller/lighter of the two horns, so that should be do-able; the 25th is a concert where I'd be on the baritone sax. (He was perfectly willing to schedule the surgery for, like, next week, but I have a concert to play in on the 12th!! Not enough time to recover and pick up the larger saxophone!)

Meanwhile, I'm almost finished with a modified plaid crocheted afghan, and have started a quick Q-hook afghan in the car. In addition to that long list of people I already owe stuff to, there's the nephew who recently bought a house; I really should give him a housewarming present, so he'll probably get stuck with the apple green plaid, pictures of which will be forthcoming in the next day or two.
bunrab: (bike)
Lovely day for a ride again, nearly 60 degrees. [livejournal.com profile] fadethecat, it actually hit 60 in Pittsburgh today - warmer than here. Ridiculous, ain't it? Nonetheless, I am more than halfway finished with your afghan. However, the sewing together is the slow part, much less fun than making the granny squares.

While we were at Panera, I noticed a little kid admiring my bike as he and his mom were coming in; on their way out I told the mom it was OK to let the kid touch the bike, and he was in absolute transports of joy. I'm a bad influence.

Symphony tix for tonight - Marin Alsop's conducting.
Sock-knitting session tomorrow night.
Youngest sister's newest baby's christening, up in PA, Sunday afternoon. If the weather keeps up like this, I wonder if we could ride up there instead of driving? Might be risky, if it cools off and precipitation condenses to rain once it gets dark, as we'd be coming home. I will have to think about the risk/benefit ratio there.

boring medical stuff )

Oh yeah, magazines so far this week: New Yorker, New Scientist. Didn't get by the PO today, so tomorrow should see a whole bunch more mags and therefore more reading.


bunrab: (Default)

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