By Christopher Green
Oh boy as in I am a little concerned about what this particular news will bring.
To be honest, it wasn’t really news news, but news of my next appointment over at the Cleveland Clinic to see just how I am doing. I was feeling a little John Lennonly this week.
Anyway, I was summoned by the pubahs over at the Cleveland Clinic that I was to report on Tuesday, August 2 for a new round of tests, more probes and some promised prodding. The thing is, I asked if my future appointments could be scheduled for Fridays because it is easier for Laurie since she always has Fridays off.
If she takes a day off now, she loses a day in the future when I might need her more, when she might want to be with me, say if I get really sick again.
I don’t fault the Clinic because I called and just talked to whoever picked up the phone. This time I will make it a point to tell the good Dr. Budev that I would like to schedule the next visit for a Friday. I’m sure she will be accommodating as she always is.
An aside here, as I write this, the Cleveland Clinic was once again recognized as one of the best hospitals in the country by US World and News Report. This year they come in at number four (four), topped only by such legendary hospitals as Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Massachusetts General in Boston and The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. You can see the results and how they measured the Hospitals here at the below address.
While we are at it, there was some spectacular news for people in my condition that came out a few weeks ago. It deals with advances in Stem Cell research specifically concerning lung tissue and repairing of damaged lungs. Here is a snippet from the article that I found so intriguing.
To extend the concrete analogy, in this case the scaffold would be the mold and rebar that the concrete is poured around. It gives form to the stem cells and allows them to grow into the proper shape.
On July 7, Swedish surgeons used this technique to create a “synthetic tissue windpipe,” which they then transplanted into a 36-year-old cancer patient. The windpipe they created was essentially identical to a normal, healthy windpipe, and the surgery was a success.
But it gets even better – in this case, because the organ that they grew was made from cells extracted from the patient’s bone marrow, there was no rejection of the transplanted organ by the patient’s immune system, so there was no need to take medication to reduce immune response – currently a major complication with transplant procedures that use donor cells.
Here is the link to the full article.
You can see why I am literally trying to buy time before I go under the knife. I want to be able to take full advantage of the advances in medicine that would have been, alas, further along if President Bush had taken into consideration the needs of people in life threatening situations, instead of trying to score political points with a base that would have still voted for him anyway. In case you forgot, President Bush restricted federally sponsored stem cell research in the first few months of his administration.
It’s the biggest fight I have ever been in and I have been in many a fight both verbal and physical. Although it has been about 28 years since I last threw a punch in anger I have let loose with verbal jabs whenever I feel the need. But this habit of mine is somewhat unfair because who would hit someone who has an Oxygen hose attached to his nose?
I get away with a lot. I’ll report just how much I can get away when I play at an open mic night next Thursday. If you care to show up, I will be at Smedley’s, a biker bar on the far west side of Cleveland. I plan on lugging the big 3’ tank just so everyone can see I am disabled. They might excuse a few missed notes here or there.
Back to the business at hand. So this time I have a Tuesday Meeting at the Clinic. Curiously, it falls on August 2nd, the same day that the US Debt Crisis comes to a head. I will admit right here and now, I have nothing to do with that debt. However, if the deadline passes without a raise in the US debt ceiling, I may be on the hook for more of my medical bills since Medicare is my secondary Insurance.
So now comes the big test. I slipped a little last time and I fear I may have slipped closer to the transplant that I care to admit. But then again, it has been seven years since I was on the verge of death with all sorts of tubes and wires and such stuff attached to me.
You may recall that I spent 35 days in the hospital, most of that in Intensive Care or Isolation. I went in on the day before Memorial Day and was liberated on, oh the irony, July 4th. Could that be any better planned? Life does mimic art.
I haven’t been keeping up with my exercise regime since the AC crapped out. In the worst part of the year for me as far as weather goes, I was trapped inside a steam house. I had no place to go. My car doesn’t have AC, so I was stuck. It wasn’t so much the heat, but the humidity somehow combined with the natural crud I have clogging up my lungs and turned into an almost constant cough.
It was very productive (I know, it’s gross). At least the rest of me was healthy enough to get the crap out of me. When it can’t get out for whatever reason, the bugs take hold and zippidy do dah, I’m back in the hospital again.
But we got the new AC installed yesterday (thanks Don) and I am almost back to normal. I think I can get on the bike tonight. Perhaps I won’t be able to knock off 25 minutes, but I think I can do an almost full workout tonight.
If things keep up, I could possible get back to the last mean average of that second to last 6-minute walk.
Well, I will be keeping up. The heat and the lack of AC literally kicked my ass. I had no energy and felt so lethargic that I was starting to get concerned. I slept for almost 11 hours between yesterday and today.
So come Tuesday, wish me luck.