Health

Reasons not to stretch

From the NY Times phys Ed blog: Now, two new studies are giving us additional reasons not to stretch. One, a study being published this month in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during

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More on the rowing….

…with some pretty pictures, because my posts are too boring otherwise. I decided not to blow off the rest of my classes, despite my frustration, and that turned out to be a good thing. We went out in a quad and sculled with a “guest coach” – this dude Andy who rowed for Yale –

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Rowing at a Crossroads

I’m having some frustrations with rowing lately, and I think I need to work out on paper some of my thoughts. Indoor rowing – love the heck out of it, and I plan to do it for the rest of my life. I’m looking around for a used ergometer for home so I can erg

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Rowing Updates

I’ve completed Learn to Row 1 and Learn to Row 2 classes at the Indianapolis Rowing Center, although we had enough rain-outs that I’m still not very comfortable on the water. I’m going to take Learn to Row 2 again this summer so I can get more of the basics down. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying

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The 5 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

From Livestrong.com: The 5 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating | LIVESTRONG.COM. Read the whole article for why they’re healthy. NUTRITIONAL YEAST HOW TO EAT IT: Stir 1-2 tablespoons into sauces, soups, or stir-fries to add rich flavor and a protein boost without a lot of extra calories (2 tablespoons has about 60 calories). Chia Seeds

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I really fucking love rowing

So, I joined a rowing class for the next couple months. Not in boats, at least not for winter – it’s indoor rowing on Ergometers. It’s a class through the Indianapolis Rowing Center, and it’s their winter training through January and February. The winter classes are held at the Rivera Club near 56th and Meridian.

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Things I totally did not do at work

“The Tiger could be riding atop a firebolt that is dripping blood, while holding a scotch in one hand and a snickers in the other.” The results of a far-ranging discussion about what our team name and t-shirt design should be for the Global Corporate Challenge that our company is participating in at work. UPDATE:

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Health care reform changes go online today

Democrats.org provides an overview of the changes that go into affect today – helping me and thousands of other Americans with direct, real changes. Bold text indicates changes that affect me personally, italics highlights changes that affect people I know. This week marks six-months since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law–enacting one

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Weekend Update 2010-06-15

We managed to miss out on pride this weekend – I didn’t feel well due to something I ate on Friday (or Thursday) and I didn’t want to spend the entire festival in a port-a-let, or trying to find a port-a-let, or thinking about poo. I felt enough better by noon to visit the INDIEhandicraft

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links for 2010-04-10

Health at Every Size Very simply, it acknowledges that good health can best be realized independent from considerations of size. It supports people–of all sizes–in addressing health directly by adopting healthy behaviors. (tags: nutrition health reference) Onion Store > 'Sometimes I Feel Like I'm The Only One Trying To Gentrify This Neighborhood' Doormat I want

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Home Again

So I got home from SxSW late on Tuesday. I didn’t recap the last couple of days of the event because I was catching up on sleep and fighting what I had thought was a wicked case of allergies. Turns out – walking pneumonia. (Also turns out that I managed to spell that word correctly

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Costochondritis

According to WebMD: Costochondritis is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum. The condition causes localized chest pain that you can reproduce by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your ribcage. Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition and usually

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Ennui

I’ve been rather blue lately. I’m feeling creatively frustrated. I have some idea in my head that I can’t quite get out – like that time when you had that really fantastic dream, and just as you woke up, you thought “I gotta remember this!” at the same time all the details start sliding away

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Asphasia

I have been losing words lately. I seem to have a chronic problem of not being able to find the word I’m thinking of, losing track of what I was going to say mid-sentence, and even sometimes saying words I didn’t intend without realizing I’m doing it–I was talking about the upcoming wedding with someone,

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Homebrew Stand-Up Desk

After reading a couple articles on the health benefits of stand-up work stations, I decided to give it a shot at work. The top is a shelf from my locker/cabinet, and the books are, well, books. I originally planned to find a table of the appropriate height; the shelf/books idea is from my co-worker Rich.

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links for 2008-03-06

Putting Your Kitchen on a Diet – New York Times Blog “If you walked into a new restaurant and saw a messy, disorganized kitchen and dining area, you’d turn around and walk out the door. You wouldn’t eat dinner in a place like that. So why would you do it at home?’’ (tags: health organization

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links for 2008-02-14

Drop.io: Simple Private Exchange Drop.io enables you to create simple private exchange points called “drops.” (tags: freeware mp3 resource tools privacy filesharing) Symptoms: Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda – New York Times I’ve known this for awhile, and I’ve tried to cut soda out of my diet, but it’s rather hard when everyone

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Pack Rat

my utter lack of blogging lately has been entirely due to playing a Facebook game called pack rat. It’s a card trading game and is completely addicting. I’ve completely neglected numerous obligations to friends and household maintenance due to this game. In other news, my eye doctor says my eyes are healing exactly as expected.

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Laser Eye Surgery: Suddenly, I See

I woke up this morning with much improvement in my vision. It’s still not 20/20, but I can read text at a distance, and such. I’m back at work – one thing I’ve noticed is that I still can’t see facial expressions at a distance, so I can’t tell what my co-workers are doing/expressing when

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Laser Eye Surgery: Gradual eyesight improvement

My eyesight has improved quite a bit overnight, and I can read text at least. It’s not perfect, but at least I’m seeing progress. I’ll probably still spend the day listening to audiobooks and watching dvds (I’m part way thorough The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was puttling me to sleep, and a mystery

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Laser Eye Surgery: Buyer’s Remorse

I guess from what the doctor’s were saying, with the PRK surgery (as opposed to lasik, which is quick to heal) it’s fairly normal for my vision to still be pretty bad, even today and tomorrow and even on Thursday. But had I known it would take quite so long and be such a disabling

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Laser Eye Surgery: Eye Update

Forgive me if I make more mistakes than usual; it’s rather hard to see the screen right now. After my last blog post on Saturday morning, we went to see the eye doctor, who told me my vision at that time was perfectly normal one day after surgery. I had 20/50 vision in my right

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Laser Eye Surgery: post-surgery, day 1

Boy I hope this gets better. My vision is somewhat improved, but not nearly what I expected. From what they said in the office, it should be 20/20 today, and then get more blurry on sunday and monday, before turning around and improving again on Tuesday, wednesday, thursday. It’s definitely not 20/20 now. In fact

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Cardiac Catheterization – good news

My cardiac catheterization went really well today. We found out that my arteries are clear and functioning great, and my heart’s in good shape. I have high blood pressure, which I will now be taking medication for. And we were already planning a heart-healthy nutrition and exercise program, so we’re already doing the right thing.

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Cardiac Catheterization

The other day, I wrote about my recent stress test, commenting at the conclusion: “It was all very interesting. I should know my results in a few days, but I’m optimistic.” Well, I spoke a bit too soon on that one. The results of the stress test were rather perplexing to my cardiologist. It seems

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Stress Tests

Ooo – I haven’t done a real blog post (as opposed to link posts) in quite some time. Well let me remedy that. As part of the “ruling things out” process when it comes to my reoccurring bouts with pleurisy, my pulmonologist asked me to go back to my cardiologist and rule out my heart

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I feel like shit

In the myriad of doctors appointments I have, I managed to forget the most important one – my Monday appointment with my new primary care physician. It was scheduled so far from when I actually made the appointment that I completely lost track of it- I thought it was on April 28th, which it turns

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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Wheat Intolerance

A friend pointed out to me that she has Rheumatoid Arthritis (which I’ve written about recently), and that under the care of her doctor, she has eliminated wheat from her diet to control her RA symptoms – because they’re triggered by a wheat intolerance. So I’ve been doing a lot of searches on the subject,

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Meredith Grey’s Heart Surgery

I know it’s just a television show, but, really. There’s no way they could have her on heart bypass for over an hour, and then have her snuggling in bed with McDreamy not long after. That would fracking hurt – it was weeks/months before Stephanie and I could spoon in bed. I adore the show,

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The Whole Story

So apparently, sometime recently the furnace in my old house went out, and the pipes froze and burst. One of the people viewing the house found this, and the contractor they brought with them to see it shut off the water this morning. So the furnace needs replace, the pipes need lots of work, and

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Must Be Naptime

I’m home for the second day in a row with pleurisy and a head cold. Today, though, I’m back on the helpful prescription, so I should back in business soon. Lucy and Huckleberry are snoozing on the bed upstairs, and Dru and Annabelle are curled up and dreaming on the trunk in the library. Spike

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Emergency Room Visit

I’m having another flare-up of pleurisy (this would be the fifth since my surgery, if we’re counting) and last night I was having a lot of trouble breathing. I also had a different symptom than previously — I had a sharp pain on the left side of my chest on Sunday evening. It went away

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No Change!

The message on the answering machine from my cardiologist says that there’s no change in my heart and everything is fine. Yay! I’m apparently a paranoid lunatic for worrying about it. But I’m a healthy paranoid lunatic, and that’s what matters. That’s quite a relief.

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Cardio Appointment

Okay, I have to write about this, because it’s been worrying me for a day, and I have get it out of my head. I went to my cardiologist yesterday for my “routine once a year post-surgery” visit. I had a vague expectation that I would be getting and EKG and seeing the doctor, and

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LA Times article on annual physical exams

The L.A. Times has an article on annual physical exams, discussing what doctors look for and suggesting that there should be a different balance between the physical portion of the exam, and the discussion of personal history and health questions and concerns. The problem is the headline and introductory paragraphs, which suggest that going to

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Home from New York

Stephanie and I are home from New York. It was quite a trip; we had a wonderful time and her cousin Kerry’s wedding was beautiful and fun and amazing. I met most of Stephanie’s mom’s side of the family and they are such nice, fun people. I have a lot to write about because we

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Aptronym

a Wikipedia entry via Kotte.org: Aptronym, a word allegedly coined by United States newspaper columnist Franklin P. Adams, refers to a name that is aptly suited to its owner. Fictional examples of aptronyms include Mr. Talkative and Mr. Worldly Wiseman in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. One of my new cardiologists (who is taking over

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speaking of hating stuff: antiseptic hand sanitizer

I think that Methodist Hospital has gone back to using the hand sanitizer I loathe the smell of. When I was in the hospital for the heart surgery, I know for certain the brand (and scent) was different than the foul stuff that they used back when I had my appendix emergency two years ago.

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I came home around noon

The conclusion the doctors reached was that I lifted too much and put strain on my sternum. Funny, I could have told them that when I went in. I did, actually. So I have painkillers, which didn’t do much. I still think there’s something more wrong than that, but they didn’t, so I’m home.

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Emergency room fun

I’m on my way to the emergency room because I think whatever I did this weekend was pretty serious and now I can’t really lie down or even sit without pain shooting through my chest and back, when I breathe, it hurts like hell. I think I must have hurt my sternum. Stephanie’s coming to

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The sternum is an important part of the body

Which you find out when you have your sternum cut up for surgery. It’s been five months since my surgery, and my sternum still bothers me regularly, and hurts like hell, especially when I lift heavy stuff, like I did this weekend. Today it’s been particularly bad, to the point where when I breathe out

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Open-Heart Surgery on TV

Battlestar Galactica: on a recent episode, Captain Adama was shot, and was starting to code blue. Not having a defibulator handy, the medic opted to crack open his chest and massage his heart to restart it. Immediately after the procedure they show him lying on the table, with very few monitors around, with a simple

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Weekend Update: King Kong at IMA

Stephanie and I saw King Kong with Dan and Doug, Josh, and David and Garrett on the Terrace at the IMA. It was great fun; the sound was much better than in the past, and I love seeing movies with Dan and Doug; I haven’t done that much recently, and I miss it. I spent

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I have glue in my hair

I had two health appointments last night and this morning: my follow-up sleep study to see how well I’m doing on my CPAP machine, and my follow-up cardiologist appointment to see how I’m doing after my surgery. I didn’t manage to get all the glue washed out of my hair from the electrodes that were

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Back at Work

I’m back at work today for the first time. Woo hoo! It hasn’t bothered me too much, so far. My sternum is still healing, so it still hurts when I move my arms a lot. But I finished up taking the Darvocet last week and I’m just taking Ibuprofen for pain. I can sleep a

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I haven’t blogged in over a week

That’s pretty unusual. I’m feeling a lot better; typing doesn’t feel like it’s pulling on my incision like it did before, so I’m not as uncomfortable. Stephanie went back to work today, so me and Spike are hanging out at home together, staying out of trouble. I already went for my morning walk, all by

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Wow, I had open-heart surgery!

I can’t believe it. I keep walking around the house thinking “wow, I had open-heart surgery. I can’t believe it!” Then I move wrong and I believe it, alright. It’s funny, the doctors and nurses keep saying “You’re not allowed to drive for four weeks! Don’t even think about it!” And I’m thinking I’d rather

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Feeling slightly better

I didn’t sleep much last night either (dreams, and just inability to sleep) but I’m feeling alright today. Typing is not easy to do, however, so not much blogging. Mainly I’ve been watching TV/DVDs and reading magazines.

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worst nightmares I’ve ever had

I’m not sure whether it’s the heart surgery or the Vicodin I’m on, or some terrible combination of both, but I just had two of the most horrible nightmares I’ve ever had. Something is seriously wrong. There is no way I’m going to sleep again tonight.

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yep, I’m home

I’ve been home since this afternoon trying to take it easy. Just for the record, typing with a large chest incision is NOT FUN and I won’t be doing a whole lot of it for a while. Owwww! When Stephanie said earlier that my incision looks really good, she of course meant that in the

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Psych!

So I get a phone call at lunchtime (I went in to work for a few hours this morning): “Dr. Beckman just came in and he said I can go home!” “WHAT?! Oh, my God!” I hurried to Steph’s house to pick out clothes for her to come home in and rushed over to the

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Up and walking

The brochure they gave Steph before the surgery said that she’d walk 50 feet three times today. She actually walked 250 feet three times. She got more tubes out again, too. Her color is better again, and she’s talking a lot more. She’s still pretty tired, but I hope she’ll sleep better tonight. I asked

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Phone call

I talked to Steph just now. They put the phone closer to her bed so she could use it. She walked already this morning (!) and had some breakfast, and the doctor just came to see her and said she’s doing well. She sounds better again today, and she said she feels pretty good, although

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A new room

When I got to the hospital this morning, the nurse told me that Steph had already had some Jell-O and broth for breakfast and they were going to put her in the chair soon and take some tubes out. After she got up into the chair, they had me help give her a bath, which

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Morning update

I woke up early this morning because I had a dream that they wouldn’t tell me how Steph was doing, so I called to check on her (the nurse told me last night that I could). She’s doing really well, and they were already done with all her morning stuff. She had some clear liquids,

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Steph’s doing great!

Just a quick update before I run back to the hospital — Steph’s surgery went really well this morning. They were able to repair her mitral valve, which sounds (from the surgeon’s description) like it was even more damaged than they previously thought. There is no leak remaining at all, which is wonderful. We got

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Are you nervous?

Heck yes. It’s funny, that’s the question that nearly everyone has asked me. I am really nervous. So I’m just in denial about the whole thing, for now. I’m sure I’ll lose it once I get to the hospital. 🙂 Seriously, though, I think I’ll be just fine. I’m young and strong and pretty healthy,

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Surgery details and information

I go in for surgery at 5:30 a.m. this Friday at Methodist Hospital in downtown Indianapolis. 1701 N. Senate Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46206. 1-800-248-1199 is the toll-free number to call for information. If you want to see me in the hospital before surgery, please come at 5:30. If you are visiting while I’m in surgery,

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CPAP Breathing Machine

I’ve been using the breathing machine for my sleep apnea since Thursday evening, and I think it’s a success. I feel much better rested now and able to concentrate. The mask part of the machine is somewhat annoying; I can’t read before falling asleep because I can’t wear my glasses, and I have to take

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Additional Living Will Pointers

The Onion provides a few Living Will pointers I hadn’t thought of, but will now factor into my surgery preparation plans. Among them: Leave at least one reasonably flattering photo for the press. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Explain in no uncertain terms that, should you die and return as a zombie, loved ones

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Sleep Study Results

Sleep apnea is defined as the absence of airflow at the nose and mouth for longer than 10 seconds during sleep. Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is described as the occurrence of more than 30 apnea episodes over a seven-hour period of nocturnal sleep. My doctor says I had 150 – 160 episodes during my study

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Sleep Test

I went to the hospital yesterday evening to participate in a sleep test to figure out why I stop breathing at night. I ended up getting not a lot of sleep at all, and I was so exhausted yesterday I went home from work and crashed. I’m still worn out today, and scrambling to keep

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Cognitive Decline?

In writing about my upcoming heart surgery for IndyScribe, I stumbled across some information during research that is really disturbing, and may change my mind about having open-heart surgery. According to research, being on a heart and lungs machine during the operation can cause “cognitive decline” in 42% of patients — in other words, brain

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How to Have Open Heart Surgery in Indianapolis

I’m kidding, of course; I’m not suggesting you should deliberately go out and have open-heart surgery. Unless, of course, your doctor says you need to. But since I’ll be doing it soon, I’m certain it will be all the rage and everyone will want a fashionable chest scar like I’ll have. Since that’s the case,

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Cool Headstones

In the event that I die, which I’m quite certain will be 50 years from now and not any time soon, I really want to have this cool headstone from Lundgren Monuments. Because it’s glass and is really cool looking.

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Tired

I started to leave for lunch to get some sunshine a little while ago. Unfortunately, although I remembered my wallet and key card, I forgot to take my car keys with me. And on my car keys is the elevator fob to get past the security block on the elevator. So to get back to

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Living Wills

Stephanie and I met with an attorney last night to arrange to get living wills. She’ll draw them up and then send them to us next week. She charges $230 an hour (wow!) and it should take her a couple of hours to get it done. Ouch. But it’s better than the alternative. Here in

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Frustration

I think the thing that bothers me most right now is that there are so many things I’m not supposed to do. In any given day, I do probably 40 or 50 things that are now on the list of restricted activities that aren’t allowed lest they give me congestive heart failure and leave me

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April 22nd – My Surgery Date

So my surgery will be April 22nd. From what Dr. Beckman and his staff told me, it won’t be nearly as difficult a recovery as I’ve been expecting from the reading I’ve been doing. I’ll only be in the hospital about 5 days. After that I will be home, but I won’t be bedridden. I’ll

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Animal Instinct

The other day when I was sitting in the Cardiologist’s waiting room, there was a video playing about health issues and medical breakthroughs. One of the stories was about a woman who had devastating epileptic seizures and who couldn’t live on her own because of them. They came without warning and rendered her helpless, so

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Living Will

Wow, reading this about Terri Schiavo’s case makes it clear why it’s important for me (and everyone!!) to have a living will. As much as the idea of creating that document frightens me, the idea of something like this happening to me frightens me more. God forbid my life become a political football for the

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Dr. Daniel Beckman, M. D.

Here’s some information about Dr. Beckman, who will be my heart surgeon, apparently. And here’s another bio page on him. Also, here’s some info on some rare procedure that Dr. Beckman is pioneering (not what I need done). Here’s a video [real player required] of Dr. Beckman talking about some rare procedure he’s done on

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TEE Test Update

My Transesphogeal Echocardiogram test went really smoothly yesterday. It’s a relatively painless procedure and all I have is a slight sore throat now which I’m sure will go away soon. And they drugs they give you to knock you out are fantastic. I felt really good after the procedure. I apparently asked Doctor Trippi the

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Transesophageal Echocardiogram Today

I go in for my Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE Test) today at 3 at Methodist Hospital downtown. I had a big breakfast because I can’t eat 5 hours before the test, since they stick a tube down my throat to do an ultrasound from inside my body. They also have to sedate me, so Stephanie’s coming

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This is why my sister should have a blog

She never stops cracking me up: Why, that’s just not true. In addition to good vibes, I can send you goodies for after surgery. Of course, I can’t send anything funny, or you’ll laugh and your chest will hurt. And I can’t send you anything sad because you’ll cry and your chest will hurt. And

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Stuff you read on the internet that scares the crap out of you

From this page: Expectations after surgery: The rate of success of heart valve surgery is high — and increasing. The operation provides symptom relief and prolongs life. The death rate varies depending on the heart valve and averages 2% to 5%. Approximately 2 of every 3 patients who received an artificial mitral valve are still

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Open Heart Surgery

I’ve waited a bit to write about this, because I need to talk to my family and friends first. It appears that I will need to have open heart surgery to repair my defective heart valves. I’m hoping to get some other opinions and information on less invasive types of surgery, but that appears to

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Transesophageal Echocardiogram

More health-related googling and blogging for me. Transesophageal Echocardiogram TEE or Transesophageal Echo Basically, I have to have one of these soon to see what’s actually going on inside my heart. Today I went to the cardiologist (Dr. Yee, Cardiac Care Center, Methodist Hospital) to talk about the results of my recent echocardiogram. While I

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Heart Update

I got a call from the nurse… my cholesterol is down from last time I had it checked. It’s 181, which is considered normal. All my other bloodwork is good, too, including my potassium and calcium levels, so the doctor is quite happy with that, and I need to keep eating healthy and not let

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Echocardiogram fun

I had my test yesterday, but I don’t find out the results of it for a couple more days. It went really smoothly, though, I think. It was very interesting and I want to write more about it when I get some time. I’m hoping that I can write enough about it to make a

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Heart Matters

What an echo-cardiogram is. Also, the dangers of Endocarditis, also known as heart valve infection. I’m googling these things because I have to go get an echo-cardiogram for the first time since I was a kid. I have a congenital heart murmur, which has apparently gotten worse in the last two years. More specifically, I

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I am so tired

I just want to go home and sleep. But even if I did that, I would have to change the sheets and sweep the floor for cat hair before I could, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to breathe. 🙁 Next weekend I’m sleeping the whole weekend.

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The Appendix: a Colorful Guide

The appendix (A) is a small worm-like pouch attached to the large bowel (B) right after the small intestine (C). The function of the appendix is uncertain and there seems to be no long-term problems in living without it. Which is a darn good thing, because I’m going to be living without mine after Thursday,

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Appendix Rupture

Well, I Never Read the Appendixes Anyway I’m back to work today and doing a lot better. I’m still not 100% and I’m pretty tired, but I’ll be fine if I can just get home and crash tonight. This past week and a half has been hell. I’m like a human pin cushion. I was

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I’ve Been in the Hospital

I’ve been in the hospital all week. I went to the emergency room last Monday because I had a massive pain in my right side caused by appendicitis, and they mis-diagnosed it as gall stones. So while they were running me all over town to get tests at the various Methodist facilities, my appendix burst.

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Things You Don’t Want to Hear During Surgery

Author Unknown Better save that. We’ll need it for the autopsy. Someone call the janitor – we’re going to need a mop. Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness. Bo! Bo! Comeback with that! Bad Dog! Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what’s that? Hand me that…uh…that uh…..thingie. Oh no! I

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