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Archive for March, 2008

Grandstanding

March 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Some  of our Congresscritters are trying to grab the spotlight by grilling oil execs about their “windfall profits”.

Perhaps these LEGISLATORS need a lesson in BASIC economics.

The president, legislators, nor the oil company execs have LITTLE control over oil prices. And although he leads everyone to believe that he can through his recent ads, not even Barack Obama can do anything to control prices. It’s the traders in the futures market that are irrationally bidding up the price of oil (as well as OPEC, who determines the amount put out to the market). Be  patient, though, as this price bubble will be certain to burst, causing oil to go down in price.

I don’t like these prices any more than anyone else, but until the market bubble pops, there’s nothing that we can do to fix it.

 

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Dialysis Day 91

March 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Dialysis went well. I slept through 2 hours of it, and watched boring TV for the rest. No problems “self-cannulating”; I’m to the point where I’m able to do it quickly, and quicker means less pain.

I also got the suture removed from the fistulaplasty/balloon angioplasty incision. Today. it’s a little red, but not sore.

Beginning wt: 95.0 kg. End wt: 92.1 kg.

We had dinner with my aunt and uncle from North Carolina last night. In fact, we were at Revello’s in Old Forge, the “pizza capital of the world”. Yes, they do have the best pizza I’ve ever had. People from NYC that say they have the best have never eaten Old Forge pizza. Anyway, we had a nice time catching up on things.

Today, I worked my weekend job. I’m still very tired; this week has been a rough week for me, for some reason.

Digger got sick this morning while he was in his crate. Jackie found an undigested sock, covered with his gastric juices. He just loves to eat socks! He can put his face up to the table while we’re eating, and be inches from food, and won’t touch the food. But he’ll raid the hamper, or Kevin’s room for socks, and  invariably will either carry it around or swallow it.

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Dialysis Day 90

March 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I fell asleep last night by 9:30, and since today was dialysis day, was up at 5am. I was wiped out this morning at work; I was almost falling asleep at my desk. I walked over to dialysis, got put on the machine, and was asleep within a half hour. I was practically comatose, and woke up at 2pm-I felt much better afterwards. 

Dr. H (Nephrologist) was in today, and told me that I was right about the Radiologist saying I would eventually need a graft within my fistula. Since I was sort of out of it, I didn’t quite comprehend all that he said, but it was something along the lines of a problem with the valves in my fistula vein, causing stenosis and aneurysms. I have to monitor the size of the aneurysms, and tell him if they get noticeably larger, so that he can look at them prior to starting dialysis. 

Prior to today, I stuck both needles in the bottom of my fistula, but today, stuck the second needle halfway up. This was major, as it is an odd angle, as well as a more sensitive area. It went well, so I’m over the hesitancy now of sticking in that area. I also used an arm board today for the first, and will continue it from now on. It prevents me from bending my arm, thus reducing the risk of an infiltrate. 

Beginning wt: 95.5 kg. End wt: 92.4 kg. 

We just joined Netflix on Sunday night, and of course, our first order was delayed due to the Netflix computer’s going down. However, they were shipped on Tuesday, and we received them yesterday, along with an email that we would get a 5% discount on our first monthly fee to compensate for the late delivery; I’m impressed! 

Last week, we went to Blockbuster to rent movies, and they didn’t have any that we had wanted. We picked three out that looked good, and they were all terrible, and we paid $15 for the 3. Our Netflix will cost $17/month, and we’ll have a much better selection. 

Tonight we watched our first Netflix movie: I Am Legend. We all liked it, and I would recommend it. Next one is Dan something (comedy-can’t remember the title) and The Italian Job. 

I installed OpenSuse Linux, and like it more than PCLinuxOS. It’s taking some getting used to (although all software has a learning curve), but so far, I like it. I tend to use it more now than I do Windows, although there are still some things I prefer to do on Windows over Linux. Of course, the main advantage is that there are no viruses. 

Kevin went fishing tonight, and got a 15″ largemouth bass in a pond outside of Nescopeck. He was thrilled. (of course, he threw it back in). I’m glad he’s fishing; it keeps him out of trouble. Not that he would get into trouble, but it’s always a potential with a 15 year old.

Categories: Uncategorized

Hurry Up and Wait

March 26, 2008 Leave a comment

 That was my day today. Nothing to eat after 7am, I was at Radiology at 1pm as requested (for my 2pm appt), I wasn’t called back to the holding area until 2:45, and didn’t get to the IR suite until after 5:30! To top it off, it took 5 “sticks” before they could get my IV, and it was a baby one at that (a 24 guage). 

The procedure was noticeably more painful today. They ballooned open 5 areas. The most pronounced area of stenosis was 2mm. The last time, they ballooned up to 8mm; today they took it to 10 mm. Despite the Fentanyl (total of 200 mcg), I still had pain of 9 out of 10. The procedure itself took a while; I wasn’t done until 7:30. Towards the end, I was nauseated (combination of extreme pain and not eating since early this morning). 

Despite the long wait and pain, it was worth it; my fistula is noticeably better afterwards (both by feel of the upper end, and the pics afterwards).

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Dialysis Day 89

March 26, 2008 Leave a comment

 Large weight gain over the weekend (hopefully all of it was fluid!), and I paid the price after dialysis. My BP at the end of dialysis was 90/47. I felt fine until I got home, and started getting lightheaded. This is due to the removal of a large amount of fluid in a short amount of time. (imagine peeing 11-1/2 lbs of fluid within 4 hours).  

Yesterday, I had a little bit of apprehension sticking the first needle in. Prior to yesterday, I just would focus on the spot I would stick it in, but yesterday, I looked at the needle instead, which I shouldn’t have done. I stuck it in, and was much slower than I usually am. To top it off, I hit a nerve, and the nurse had to remove it right away. I held  pressure on it for 10 minutes, and it stopped bleeding. I was then able to stick the other 2 needles in, and this time focused on the insertion spot. The only other problem I had was that the upper needle started hurting with a burning intense pain. The nurse repositioned the needle, and that solved the problem; the tip must have been up against the wall of the blood vessel.

Beginning weight: 97.8 kg. End weight: 92.2 kg. 

Fistulaplasty today; I get my fistula “ballooned” again. I’m working 7-1 today, and then go across the parking lot to Interventional Radiology. 

If you are looking for a non-invasive, non-medicine approach to losing weight, someone came up with a new idea-weight loss glasses.  I guess the theory sounds OK, but I think it’s just another way for your money to needlessly part with your wallet….

We’re going to Old Forge on Saturday for pizza. My aunt from North Carolina is coming in, and we’re meeting her and my Uncle. Specifically, we’re going to Revello’s. Hillary just visited there 2 weeks ago; hopefully, we won’t get the same table. (another link  here; since it’s YouTube, and I’m at work, I can’t view it from here).

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Dialysis Day 88

March 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Quiet day at dialysis. Needle insertions went well. I did have a little bit of pain from the one needle site during the treatment; I must have been by another nerve, although this wasn’t as noticeable as Thursday.  

Beginning wt: 96 kg. End wt: 92.3 kg.

Friday night, I had horrendous itching. Some on my  back, but mostly on my arms. I dug open some skin on my arm, and despite Hydrocortisone cream, the itching continued, so I broke down and took some Atarax. I really don’t like that drug, and my urine output seems to drop off after taking it, I drink more (due to it’s drying effect), and I get hung over from it. And, it didn’t help much this time. I then put Witch Hazel on my arm, and that did the trick.  

Today, I’m working, and so far, it’s a 2 (Amish) Buggy Sunday. Some jerk passed me on a 2 lane country highway (PA 254) at about 90 mph, and almost took out one of the buggies. There have been several fatalities around here due to drivers not watching out for these, despite the yellow buggy warning signs on the road. 

Another appointment this week in IR (Interventional Radiology) to get my fistula reemed out again.  My arm is doing much better from the infiltrate, and the aneurysms seem to be smaller. 

Happy Easter!

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Dialysis Day 87

March 21, 2008 Leave a comment

 I inserted my own needles again, this time without local anesthesia (skin refrigerant spray). It went well again, except that the second needle must have gone in by a nerve. I knew it was nerve vs infiltrate, because the pain is different. It was bothersome, but not enough to remove the needle. It did hurt quite a bit when it was removed, but I took Tylenol and it was fine afterwards. 

My weight gain between treatments was acceptable. I think that my dry weight is now at the right level. 

My hemoglobin took a drop from 12.5 two weeks ago to 11.7 this week (due to the hematoma?), but my potassium was normal. Those are the only 2 that they checked.

Beginning wt: 95.3. End wt: 92.3 kg. 

I decided to stop my Celexa. For one, I no longer need it (I started it in the fall for anxiety), as I’m coping well. Also, I’ve gained close to 20 lbs since starting it. The weight gain could also be from feeling better from starting dialysis, but either way, there’s no sense in taking it if it’s not needed. So, I started weaning it, and will be off of it by next week. 

 I don’t hide my identity here, although I don’t think I’ve ever posted my full name (though I “advertise” on all of my outgoing emails which have my full name, and it’s easy to figure out my name based on “jsher”). The reason for saying this is that I came across a blog entry at  GruntDoc that shows that when you post on the internet, you certainly are not anonymous. Big Brother (or “Big Amazon”) is watching? 

I also came across an inventive way for ships to save energy. The only problem would be that the wind has to blow the right way. In other energy news, Nintendo has been named dead last by Greenpeace in rating how “green” their technology is. I think I’ll buy a Wii this weekend….

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