Another week closer to perfection.
1/ I went to see my family doctor Thursday. When I have been in the hospital the last two times the blood testing they have done has shown a sightly low potassium “K” level. The last time I also had a low white blood cell count. Both readings were corrected in the hospital but they wanted me to continue testing and take the matter up with my family doctor when I was released. (an aside from our main story)
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “Family doctor” refers to a doctor that you go to for all the routine sort of medical care a family needs. I am now on my third one in my entire life. Dr Lewis was chosen for me by my parents and in fact became our family doctor when my mother way back in 1949 was convinced that no self respecting modern woman would dream of having a child without the guidance and help of a doctor to help steer her through the process. The fact that she had accomplished this very thing without a doctor two years earlier for the birth of my older sister is entirely beside the point. At the turn of the middle of the century the medicalization of childbirth was just on the horizon and my mother was one of the first modern women to take proper advantage of all the medical profession had learned. This was also the reason I was fed formula rather than breast feeding. Everyone knows how germy people are but I was fed from a bottle sterilized by boiling it in a large pot of water. Apparently that isn’t an option with live breasts. AT any rate Dr Lewis was my doctor growing up and well into adulthood. Then he had the effrontery to retire in his 70’s. I tried out another doctor for a year or two but was never comfortable with him and then went to my current doctor, Doctor Prince who has taken care of me for the last 30 or so years of my life. I’m not sure about the dates because up till last year it was not uncommon for me to go for a few years at a time without seeing a doctor about anything. (back to the main thought here)
After three more blood tests the doctor told me the levels were both in normal ranges and we will continue monitoring it once a month for a bit longer just to see that they remain ok.
2/ Last Sunday night/ Monday morning I scared myself by thinking I had seen some blood in sputum I managed to clear out of my throat. Since this was what had happened just before the massive bleed had occurred I got a bit panicky. Well so far it turns out that whether or not there was blood then there has been no blood or bleeding since then. Today I had a follow up appointment with surgeons who repaired my throat and carotid artery earlier this month. The results are that everything looks good. The repair is healing properly and is securely in place in my mouth, and there is no sign of any ulcers, sores or other complications. I have also been given permission to start swallowing, carefully small amounts of clear fluids like water, tea, coffee, etc. For those of you that swallow things on a regular basis this might not seem like a big deal but I assure you if you want to try to get through a day without swallowing you’ll find it is a very uncomfortable situation. The saliva that makes its way into my mouth eventually thickens there and sticks to the surfaces including just above the swallowing place. ( A scientific term for that spot where something is so far back in your throat you either have to swallow it or cough it up or it chokes you.) I was also supposed to not cough since that also puts strain on the tissues they had sewn back together there during the surgery. All this meant that my days were spent trying to rinse my mouth with water or salt water and very gently getting this accumulated crud out of my throat with as little stress and strain a possible. Usually it got more and more uncomfortable through the day and night till finally I could get the bolus to come loose and spit it out. Being allowed to swallow means that I can get fluid right back there at the back of my throat and rinse and swallow the stuff rather than saving it all day. Altogether a much nicer way to spend your time. Now if the salivary glands that have been fried by radiation treatments or removed during surgery will just return to normal everything will be hunky dory. At any rate the doctors think everything looks good enough that I don’t have to go see them again till May unless something happens that scares me again.
3/To celebrate my return to drinking Deb and I went out to a little coffee shop in Grimsby. At the outset of this trip it was just to get a coffee and enjoy swallowing again almost like a normal person. It may be TMI but a couple of swallows into the cup I had to excuse myself and go to the men’s washroom where I hoarked up a huge wad of previously thick mucus that had been trapped there just above the swallow point. Altogether a very satisfying result but not really nice for others to witness if you stay at the table. Hardly anyone, and hardly any coffee shops, keep spittoons around anymore so retiring to the bathroom seems like a more polite way to proceed. This meant however a much more comfortable last half of the coffee date. On the way in to the coffee shop however we came across a little Husband and wife jewelers, Ardun Jewelers on Main street in Grimsby. They have custom made stuff of their own as well as some more commercial wares and we found wedding rings for ourselves there. At 60 years old we are not exactly all agog about the things that go into getting married but we had decided we would both like rings and now that is one more of the things we can cross off the to do list. Deb is getting a very plain slightly curve gold band while mine is a bit more ornate with a diamond pattern cast into the surface of an otherwise plain band. I’ll post a picture of them when we get Deb’s back. They had to to keep hers to size it. With mine we got a ring that fits my middle finger right now. I have lost so much weight and expect to put some back on that we decided to get one a bit big for my ring finger now and when I get back to the weight I want to keep we’ll get it sized then if necessary.
4/ The real estate agent that has been working on renting out the house got back to us and informed us the landlord had liked our application and signed the lease back to us so now we know where we are going to be living for the next little while. Now all we have to do is sort out and dispose of all the crap we don’t want to move or which we have duplicates for, get the actual physical move figured out, get the utilities started up in our name, pack up the stuff we do want to take and then actually pick up from our current homes and move in. Piece of cake only made more interesting because I have little energy and almost no strength in my right arm from the surgery.
5/ When we got home from a trip to the Niagara Falls Greenhouse the landlord had gotten the mail from our “superbox” and lo and behold there was the divorce papers I need to get a new marriage licence and get married. The clerk involved at the warehouse had called earlier asking to confirm the mailing address I wanted the papers mailed to. After giving her the address I asked how I should go about paying for the papers. There is supposed to be a $19 fee for finding old files like this and getting a certified copy of them plus the mailing cost. Instead of telling me how to pay she said to just forget the fee and she’d mail it out to me anyway. THen congratulated me and said the papers would be her wedding gift to me.
Now the week is over and all in all it has been one of the best weeks of the new year. No more medical scares, rings found and bought, lease of new place arranged, papers arrived, and a nice little trip to the greenhouse to look at the pretty flowers and remember that summer probably will come around again this year.
I hope your week went at least as well but if not maybe next week will be yours.