Saturday, January 30, 2010

Take Two Bananas And Call Me In The Morning

I'm starting to get out more. Unfortunately, it has been mainly to medical destinations. It is nice to finally get out, but I think I'm starting to get on Donna's nerves. I have another medical appointment in a few weeks and I fear she will bringing my "living will" and "DO NOT RESUSCITATE" directive with her - passing it out to every healthcare worker in the place...several times. I hope she doesn't interfere too much with the care...I need to have the dental hygienist clean my teeth.

A few days ago I went to my doctor to have a pro-time test done. The test checks the efficacy of a blood thinner drug I'm taking due to a cardiac arrhythmia. It prevents clots passing through the heart chambers which I'm told is a very, very bad thing.

Got to thinking, I've been getting the test done monthly for a long time, but couldn't exactly remember how long. I do remember that I included the initial finding in a Christmas newsletter we put out and checked the computer files for past ones. The newsletter went back to 2002 so it has been a while. I don't know what it means when you have to reference newsletters to remember important things in your life, but there you have it. Hopefully, I wrote about our marriage and the birth of our son in one of those old ones.

Anyway, thought I would include it even though it was from 2002.


"This year I seemed to have settled into a more evenhanded and certain life. I approach things in a mature and thoughtful way. A keeper of the routine. In other words, I've become more like my dog. I get excited by food and in a few more years I'm sure I'll expect to be taken out for a walk.

President George Bush (the senior) and I have the same cardiac guy! During a routine physical exam last winter, my check engine light came on. My regular physician, Dr. James, sent me to a cardiologist, Dr. Englehardt, who explained that my heart chambers were working fine except for one that didn't quite pump - it vibrated - like a Skytel pager. During my first and subsequent exams, Dr. Englehardt kept being interrupted with phone calls from around the world. It seems he consults a lot. The number of phone calls got to be so much he gave me the story.

He was a resident at John Hopkins, the very junior member of a senior cardiac team that diagnosed and treated George Bush when he was President...ditto the connection. During Dr. Englehardt's residency, a medical research team was doing studies on some aspect of elderly cardiology and since baboons' hearts are just like human hearts, they were using baboons to do so. Who knew. I didn't ask if they lounged around in the day room wearing old cardigans and smoking cigars...the baboons that is. To make a long story short, the gerontology teams needed a baseline on EKGs. And guess what. No one had ever done EKGs on baboons! Being the junior member, Dr. Englehardt was chosen to analye the EKG results. He took out a calculator, averaged numbers of all those tested, and whallah!...became an international expert. He published a paper on this in a medical journal so now zoos call him every time J Fred Muggs overdoses on bananas or whenever I have an appointment. I wonder if their exams ever get interrupted."

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