Category Archives: medical


One of the things you do a lot of while being dialyzed, other than reading, is watching a lot of television.

At first I was watching the usual dreck like Family Feud, or Jeopardy or Wheel..Of..Fortune. After a while, however that gets boring. From there I went to the soap operas like One Life To Live, but the drama was just too dramatic (and silly), but I do check in once a week. 🙂

Now, I am into the Foodnetwork. I find this amazing because I have never had any notion of making my own food, let alone other peoples’. I love it, though. It’s the details that fascinate me. Who knew that you smashed garlic with a broad knife to peel it or the difference between slicing and chopping or that you could be approximate in cooking, but not in baking. And who knew that once you have the basics, it really is pretty easy.

I got so interested in the shows that when I went to Barnes & Noble last weekend, I actually browsed

I love this book!
I love this book!

the food/cooking section (This is a first time ever!!) and ended up purchasing a foodnetwork book entitled, How To Boil Water. For me, it answers so many of the basic questions I have about cooking, plus the recipes are easy for beginners. My wife (who doesn’t cook either) is even encouraging of my new interest.

Also, being able to control my food intake and have a closer assessment of my sodium, potassium, and phosphorus intake is great.


Tuesday, I went into the hospital to get an upgrade to my defibrillator.  I’ve had it since 2005, but it has never gone off.  Tuesday, after the upgrade, on Wednesday morning (4:30am), it went off.  I had been told over the years, that I’d know when it went off and it would feel like getting kicked in the chest.  They were right!!!

Basically it’s a shock to the heart, like when you see a medical program on TV and the medic puts a paddle on either side of the patient’s chest and shouts, “Clear!”.  My heart had not stopped, it went into VTach (ventricular tachycardia).  VTach is when the heart is beating too fast for the heart to do its job correctly.

I”m back home now and my chest is not only sore from the installation of the new defibrillator, but from the defibrillator going off… at least I know it works.

I’m Back

Well it’s been over a month since my last entry. A great deal has happened. The most recent drama was the Friday before last.

I had just gotten off the bus after my dialysis session and went into the store to get the rootbeer soda I had been craving for two hours. As I paid the cashier at the little convenience store (we used to call them ‘candy stores’), I felt a little light headed but no big deal. I walked out, and the next thing I knew, I was luxuriating about the fact that it felt so good to be lying down. Wait… that’s not right… Why am I lying down. Open eyes… The sky. I discover I am lying on the sidewalk. Someone is offering to help me up and saying, “Are you all right?” I had passed out and in the process of my dive, smashed my chin on the concrete (which required eleven stitches) and chipped my front teeth. A bruised knee and scraped eyebrow were the minor injuries.

Anyway, I had the sutures removed today, and will be going to the dentist the week after next.

I’m pretty sure I passed out because I took my heart meds (Coreg) right after dialysis, and I know Coreg drops my blood pressure and I have low blood pressure normally.

Nothing like a little excitement to keep things interesting.


I saw Michael Moore’s Sicko, today. Another one of those movies that had me either laughing or crying (literally). It’s amazing what we put up with as so called health care, and the path to who’s to blame is clear and straight.

This is a must see movie for anyone who plans on voting in 2008. It’s time the politicians were asked serious, open ended questions… both on the right and left. As the movie says if we can spend trillions for war, then there is money for health care.

When A-OK is Not

Apparently, when my donor (MD) had the stress test done, the technicians are the ones who said he was ok. Turns out that the cardiologist says the hole in his heart is significant, and he will not okay the stress of a transplant until MD gets it repaired. Not only that, but after the repair, he has to stay on blood thinners to reduce the possibility of clots for at least 6 months.

I think I’ll try to get on some other states’ transplant list. It doesn’t look like MD will be a viable solution until at least February. Meanwhile his company has been taken over by another, and his medical insurance will change drastically (as will mine).

A-OK, Again

So the doctor says I have nothing to be concerned about, because my defibrillator is not one of the ones causing problems. In fact he claims I didn’t even have to come in. That was good news.


I’ve let more than 2 days slip by again.  At least, now, I start to get a nagging complaint in the back of my head when I’m overdue.

The mail I got was from the manufacturer of my defibrillator who says some of their products may use up the battery to fast and yours might be one of them…call your doctor.  So I see my doc tomorrow.  Sheesh!


My donor had the tests done for his heart yesterday and got the results.  His heart is in fine condition which means not only is he okay, but that means things are okay for me too.  One last test to go.  I’m a little scared to get too excited.

My donor

I had coffee with my donor today. After tortured arguments with myself, I was finally able to tell my donor that if at any point, he got scared or wanted to back out, I wanted him to feel free to tell me. I told him that even if he just had concerns to let me know, and that he could back out at anytime. I was able to tell him that and mean it.

I didn’t want to tell him that, but it’s true. I can handle whatever happens. Hey,… I got two angels watching me.

He has the test to view his heart on Tuesday.