Sunday, May 26, 2013

Garage Sale and Other "Fun" Things

I have been so BUSY! We had a garage sale yesterday (made about $550) and the prep work took hours.

The house is still a riotous mess:
  • piles of books everywhere that I have warned CPA Boy to LEAVE ALONE because they are organized: 
    • some to Goodwill
    • some to the shelf where I keep my books for trading on Paperback Swap
    • some to go back on the bookcase
    • some to go to the "to-be-read" bookcase
So every time I pass by CPA Boy (right now he's watching a hockey playoff game) he says, "I moved your books!" Guh.

And I bought a new vacuum cleaner over a month ago and it's still in the box.

We are very tentatively thinking about buying a different house for myriad reasons: I hate the homeowners' association, for one thing.

Anyway, I need to fix a couple of things around the house in the next couple of weeks. Or at least call and schedule the proper people to do it for us. For example, the bathroom mirror in The Boy's bathroom slid down the back splash tiles onto the counter and needs to get re-affixed to the wall properly. Otherwise you can see a 4-inch swath of the previous wallpaper (it has sailboats and baskets of apples, two things that really don't go together). The current wallpaper is a cream and burgundy vertical stripe.

The day the mirror slid down we heard a huge BOOM noise and had no idea what it was until later that night when The Boy came downstairs and said, "You might want to look at this." Thankfully, it held in place and didn't tumble forward over the counter.

Then CPA Boy has another heart-related procedure scheduled on Thursday. We think this should be the last one for this for a while. Then there's the whole leg pain issue which the doctor's now think is completely unrelated to the heart issues.

CPA Boy had a muscle and nerve study done a couple of weeks ago. The nerve portion involved a device (kind of shaped like a taser) sending electrical signals and taking readings. He has no nerve damage which is good. The muscle study involved poking his legs in various spots with an acupuncture-type needle and taking readings. He definitely has some sort of muscle issue. So we will get referred to the next specialist (probably at UC San Francisco) presumably sometime in June.

The pacemaker is working as it should so that's good. Since CPA BOY was asymptomatic before he got the pacemaker he really feels no different since he got it. The doctors keep asking, "Do you feel more energetic? Have you noticed a change?" Nope, still the same. The muscle/nerve doctor called him a zebra. Most patients are horses and their health issues fall into a normal range. Zebras are medical mysteries and the doctors LOVE them.

Kind of a scattered post today but that's what's going on here. Another busy week coming up so we'll see if I get back here any time soon. I hope so!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Bionic Husband

Sorry for not writing a post updating the situation with CPA Boy. We have been so very tired this week that we took lots of naps and watched lots of TV, things that took no brain activity. Everything's fine but we just needed to decompress a bit!

We got to the hospital early on Monday morning and were on our way home by noon. (I believe we were both napping by 2 pm!)

Here he is before the procedure:
"The nurses love me!"

And after, with new pacemaker in place (the blob of bandages just above the sling):
"I went to the hospital and all I got is a souvenir pacemaker!"

The pacemaker itself is just below the surface of the skin but there was a large gauze pad over the top. That came off before his first shower a couple of days later and now there are steri-strips keeping everything together for healing.

All the nurses thought he was adorable (which he is of course!). The whole pacemaker procedure only took about 20 minutes. Since he only had a local anesthetic he was much more alert afterwards than with the angiogram where he was much groggier and slept for several hours before we went home. The doctor apparently likes his pacemaker patients to hang out for three hours after the procedure. We did that and then stopped to get some sandwiches to eat at home. Then the aforementioned naps began...

CPA Boy's heart rate is now a much more normal 60 beats per minute rather than the 30-35 it was before. He gets to wear the sling mainly to keep him from using his arm unnecessarily and when we go out in public it's a good way to let people know to keep from jostling him accidentally.

This coming week is filled with 3 different doctor appointments wherein we find out what's next in the chain of events leading to long-lasting good health for CPA Boy.

This journey is not over yet --- we still need to address the painful leg issue and the rest of the heart trouble --- but we finally feel we have moved along the path. Up until Monday morning everything was one diagnostic test or another. The pacemaker is an actual treatment course.

I hope to post something more frivolous soon. Medical stuff is SO stressful and serious!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tomorrow, Tomorrow??

Okay, the pacemaker for CPA Boy is scheduled again for tomorrow. We need to be at the hospital by 6:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the MRI results came back and the vascular surgeon went over them with us. It's a very odd situation, where fatty tissue has taken up the place where muscle tissue should be located in his thighs and back. The term for this is "muscular dystrophy" but whether it has anything to do with the childhood disease (the one with the telethon) is unknown at this time. I think the plan is to see a specialist sometime after the heart issues are corrected.

CPA Boy's legs, like those of a lot of men, are little skinny toothpicks. The lack of musculature may be connected to the heart trouble; it may not. It's always frustrating when you don't have answers.

Every single doctor is stunned that a low-risk patient is having these troubles. No smoking, no drinking, regular exerciser (swimming 3 to 5 hours a week), not overweight. Crazy.

So if the procedure is not postponed again, tomorrow CPA Boy will be on his way to becoming a bionic man...but for significantly less than $6 million.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Always More Than I Remember

I haven't made a book list post since early March. I really thought I had read only one or two books but when I went to check it turned out to be 11. Not bad.

  • Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore
    • I had high hopes for this book. I watch "Boardwalk Empire" and I watched the Ken Burns documentary about Prohibition so I had a certain familiarity with the topic.
    • This is one of those books that is not newly researched but rather a narrative based on other sources. I hate these kind of books. (I know I read one a few months back that used Wikipedia as a source!)
    • Lots of mistakes too. One quick example: In the narrative body an actress is referred to as "Mary Miles Minton" but in the index at the end she is named correctly as "Mary Miles Minter".
  • The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean
    • Fun fact: the author's parents are named Gene and Jean Kean!
    • Interesting book about DNA by the same author of The Disappearing Spoon, another fun book about the chemical elements.
  • I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies by Jeanine Basinger
    • Really interesting when you have seen the movie she's referring to but not so interesting when you haven't seen it.
  • Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik & Monica Murphy
    • Totally fascinating book about rabies. The book posits that werewolves, vampires and zombies in literature all sprang from the terror of rabies, a horrifying and incurable disease for almost all of its history.
  • The Wonderful Future That Never Was: Flying Cars, Mail Delivery by Parachute and Other Predictions from the Past by the Editors of "Popular Science" Magazine
    • A compilation of pictures and articles from "Popular Science" through the 1960s.
  • What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
    • A compilation of articles Gladwell wrote for "The New Yorker".
    • My favorite articles were about ketchup versus mustard and the history of hair dye and advertising.
  • The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver
    • Hmm, in hindsight, I am not even sure I finished this book: I remember NOTHING about it.
  • The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
    • Takes place in New York City in the 1870s in the slums and brothels of the time. Supposedly there was a belief that a man could be cured of syphilis (or whatever ailment) if he had sex with a virgin. This book is about the girls in a brothel that specializes in this. The ending kind of fizzles out so I ended up disappointed with it.
  • Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
    • This might be the start of a book series. It's about a society where people die and are soon reincarnated in a newborn. They grow up with all memories of their prior lives and have done so for thousands of years. Then someone dies but the baby born is a brand new soul. Society freaks out.
  • Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
    • This is the first book in a new young adult series about a Victorian era finishing school where the girls are taught, um, etiquette and espionage. LOVED IT! I really enjoyed the author's other series The Parasol Protectorate.
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
    • Time travel story where a man goes back to 1958 and plans to stop Oswald from assassinating Kennedy 5 years later. Really enjoyed this one despite the heft of the book. My wrists are still sore from holding it up; THIS is what Kindles are for!
I started --- but didn't finish --- The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend and 1493: Uncovering the new World Columbus Created. They were actually both extremely interesting and I will pick them up again at a future time.