Thursday, February 19, 2009

Procedure - epilog

Today in the mail I got the report from the doctor. Of course, since all my mail is directed to the office that's where they went. And Donna, my assistant, opens my mail to make sure that I don't mis-file anything.

So I'm working and she walks in with my personal mail and a grin. The report is on top. With today's digital photography, the report includes pictures. Don't worry -- even I have enough decorum to NOT post them!

Of course, "Clean as a Whistle" probably isn't the best description to use . . .

Monday, February 16, 2009

My "Procedure"

Friday the 13th; Great day for a 'procedure'. It's been five years since my last colonoscopy, so my good doctor decided I needed another. Besides, she thought I should have a gastroenterologist check out the fact I've got gallstones (see 'ballast')

So I get scheduled for the 'procedure'. And get the instruction sheet. There's good news and bad news: Good news is that the prep isn't as bad as it was five years ago. At least not quite. Bad news is it's still unpleasant.

I was given a sheet of instructions. Don't eat/drink anything 'red' for a few days before. Stop any blood thinners (e.g. aspirin) a week before. Get some laxative pills for the day before; get some 'goop' to drink from the pharmacy. Only "clear liquids" (carefully described) the night before the procedure; after much review it appears that Beer qualifies as a clear liquid. The only thing they don't tell you is make sure you've got PLENTY of toilet paper before you start. And get the softest you can find. Trust me on this. It's important.

The details of the prep would be called "too much information". Even I have a modicum of discretion.

On Friday, Susan came to pick me up and take me to where I was getting 'scoped. I arrived and was almost immediately taken back and given one of those wonderful hospital gowns. I put it on and waited my turn. And durn near fell asleep. Finally the anesthetist came to talk to me, and I was taken back to the procedure room and signed the final paperwork. From this point I don't remember a heck of a lot. I'll let Susan describe what happened from here.


There were two of us sitting in the waiting area -- another woman knitting a loooong scarf. The layout of the place had the recovery rooms fairly near the waiting area, and the walls were as thin as a cheap hourly motel. Pretty soon we heard hiccups. They "belonged" to the knitter's significant other. When the snoring started, I knew it was Ross. It continued for a while, then the door opened and the nurse had me move the car to the back door. As I pulled up, another man hurried out the door, crossed the parking lot and got into his car; just then a nurse came out "Stop Him . . . " and chased the car. Finally the man stopped, rolled down his window, and the nurse said "Can he leave now?" "Yes" was the reply. Turns out the man was Ross' doctor.

So I went in and was led back to the cubicle with Ross; of course I could hear him from the back door. I asked how long the snoring was going on, and told about 45 minutes. She said that when Ross woke up he could get dressed and leave. After a while the nurse returned, made Ross sit up and yanked out the IV which helped him wake some more. What a sight -- Ross in that half-gown medical thing, feet dangling over the edge of the gurney still woozy and swaying back and forth. At least he stopped snoring. She then left me to get him dressed -- a challenge on a good day -- I had to keep him from falling over while getting an undershirt over his head and his arms thru it, then get his shorts and jeans on, and socks, all the while pushing him back upright with either a free hand or using my head butting him in the chest. A You-Tube video would have been a hit.

The nurse came back as he got dressed and she on one side and me on the other hauled him to the car, poured him into the passenger seat and we left for home. Within 3 minutes he was snoring again.

When we got home, shortly after 3:30, Ross kind of stumbled into the house, peeled off his clothes and literally fell into bed. Since he hadn't eaten for 24 hours, I asked if he wanted anything; he asked me to make a simple cheese sandwich with mayo on white squishy bread, wolfed it down and was out for the next four hours.

I thought the "fun part" was over, but then there was Sunday night.

I 'woke up' around 7 or so, with vague, if any, recollections of the stuff Susan wrote. Not that I was full of energy, but I felt OK.

Sunday: after dinner we were watching a movie and I began to feel a pain in the upper central part of my abdomen. Near the gall bladder. I sort of bore with it to see if it would pass, but finally around 11:30 I woke Susan to tell her I thought my gallstones might be acting up. She went from a beautiful, peaceful sleep to wide awake in a half second. She gently probed my belly for tenderness (ouch) and about 12:30 we decided I ought to go to the ER. We went, and it was somewhat uneventful, although it was interesting to learn that the CT scan they did of my gall bladder was "interpreted" in Australia. Anyhow, the doctor determined that it 'must have been a digestive problem', gave me some Prilosec (tm) and sent me home where we arrived just as the alarm clock went off.

Good thing I was planning to take the day off.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rolling over some more

I just got a new toy. An iPhone. And my daughter Allyson got a new phone also. One of my oldest and dearest female friends commented about both on her blog.

ODFF is astute and her commentaries are worthwhile, well written and entertaining. Once in a while my perspective is different from hers; this is one.

It turns out ODFF and I have the same carrier – ATT. I’ve been with what is now ATT since the day Suncom turned on the switch in Roanoke. My contract was up for renewal. Given what I do, being able to schedule something whenever/wherever I am is essential. Setting a hearing while in court, setting a future meeting date, whatever, I don’t want to be double booking accidentally and then having to fix it.

My calendar software is a program called Time&Chaos (actually, I use T&C with an email module called !ntellect) available from It’s a fantastic program and recently got the ability to synchronize with various smart-phones including the iPhone. The iPhone can also get my emails so I can respond to clients and do other business while waiting for my hearing. So my purchase of the iPhone was a business thing, not really a toy thing. However, in spirit of full disclosure, I freely admit that its play capability is a plus.

Allyson has wanted texting for some time. Given her disability she has a very hard time staying in touch with friends, many of whom only text. (Grammatical purists groan at the thought of a noun – text – being used as a verb) So for her it was a natural upgrade. She got a phone with a QWERTY keyboard, not one of those ersatz press the 7 key 3 times to get an “R” thing.

I have to agree that texting is NOT conducive to ‘good spelling’. And that Allyson has a problem with spelling. Allyson has made wonderful progress working with ODFF in reading and it’s natural spin-offs, spelling and writing. “Texting” is controversial as a means of communication, with some scholars applauding it and others not. I’m leaning towards the good side – particularly as some of the text exchanges she’s had with me show writing skills she didn’t have a year ago (again, thanks to ODFF)

At any rate, Allyson’s 21 and can make up her own mind. She wanted to text, she helped pay for the change, so she can do it. Part of my job as a dad is to let her make her own decisions.