Monday, January 18, 2010

Kidney Failure Humor

In Seattle with my friend Becky last week, we hit the Barnes and Noble in West Seattle, where I found the complete New Yorker cartoons book on the sale table: $9.99 for the book and accompanying DVD with ALL 73,000 plus cartoons that ever ran in the New Yorker. Of course I snatched it up.
Rick was reading it this morning and came across this George Booth cartoon, which, Rick said, he could really relate to.
He then made a copy of the cartoon and added himself to the picture – and you see the result here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Next Steps

Rick writes:
1/11/20, Monday
The long-awaited meeting with Dr. Oliver and Dr. Pham went well, with Doc Oliver in her usual cheerleader style. “You look fine! You're doing just great, you guys!” Then she upped my heart meds to two in the morning and one at night because my B.P. Was 170/90. Since she took us in early we had an hour & 45 minutes before our/my appointment w/Dr. Pham so we grabbed an early lunch at IHOP.
I've been having some annoying discomfort from the Hickman catheter – sharp stinging pains punctuated by dull oppressive aches – for about a week and a half now. Dr. Oliver removed two sutures around the exit point. They weren't necessary any more so maybe that will help. She had to dig kind of deep to get one of them loose. She also built a small fire under the Polyclinic folks to get cracking on externalizing the peritoneal catheter and starting up the classes for using it. We made a tentative date for our next visit to her office on Feb. 10th.
Once we got to Dr. Pham's, the ultrasound technician took me in and got some pretty good readings on the progress of the maturation process currently taking place upon the vein they connected to the artery on my fistula. At its widest point (which is at the arterial connection itself) the blood flow is moving at the astounding rate of 4 meters per second! By the time it reaches the narrowest point, up by the biceps, it's down to .53 meters meters per second (blood pressure at Dr. Pham's was 150/83).
Dr. Pham set the date for externalizing the peritoneal cath on Feb. 8th or thereabouts and turned me over to Trish, her surgery scheduler. Trish was apparently the recipient of Dr. Oliver's small fire earlier today and wanted me to appear for surgery at 05:30 a.m. On the 8th, same being scheduled for 07:30 since I am to start P.D. School on the 9th and will need 24 hours to purge myself of the effects of the anesthetic before starting class!
One thing I'm not clear on is whether they'll remove the Hickman catheter at the same time; also looks like we get to re-schedule the 2/10 appointment w/Dr. Oliver.
Today's most delightful coincidence: as we passed the Bethlehem Steel foundry on the West Seattle freeway, one of the “cloud factory” smokestacks blew a perfect smoke ring into the sky, a good eight feet in diameter and at great velocity!

Favorite anonymous quote of the week:
“He has the strength of character to refuse to learn from past mistakes.”