getting there

Things are moving along. We’ve been so busy this week that I am actually looking forward to Friday being a non-eventful day. I’ll finally be able to get in a full day of work again, barring anything ugly from Murphy.

No more bloody mornings. Tuesday we went to see the infectious disease doctor. We didn’t see Zane Saul because he is on vacation (yay). Our doctor was Goran Miljkovic. Who looked faintly like Luka Kovac and definitely sounds like him. Anyway, he listened to Stanley, took a look at his incision to make sure it wasn’t looking like it might be infected, and said he’d been on the big-gun antibiotics long enough to have killed the Bartonella or whatever the hell it was that caused the endocarditis. Almost eight weeks of it, counting the pre-valve time.

But what made Stanley very happy was getting his PICC line removed. He hated having the tubes and assorted lumens or whatever the hell they’re called hanging just above his elbow, and he hated having to spend more than four hours a day pumping meds into himself. But he hated the pain he was in from the endocarditis even more, so he didn’t complain much about the IV regimen. There was a lot of leftover antibiotics and paraphenalia which, unfortunately, we could not give back to the pharmacy (and get our money back), so he donated it to a nurse who collects supplies for a doctor serving poor people in South America. We much preferred that to tossing the stuff.

Wednesday, we went to Dr. Gagne’s office. In a deluge. It was very hard for either of us to get up that morning because it was the type of weather that just says “sleep, sleeeep ... ,” but we managed. Dr. Gagne was a little late because he was trapped by a flooding Route 8 on his way back from Griffin Hospital, but he’d called to let us know so we didn’t mind waiting. Nothing anyone could do about it, anyway.

Dr. G. looked at the incision and talked to us for quite a while, telling us that the bloody nightmare was blood pooling and basically that Stanley needs to elevate his leg above heart level more than anything else (though walking periodically). Pretty much telling Stanley that he shouldn’t have been walking as much as he was. He also told us that Stanley could switch to a full-strength aspirin tablet a day instead of the criminally expensive Plavix when his prescription runs out. I like Dr. Gagne a lot; so does Stanley. He seems down to earth and not as full of himself as too many doctors tend to be.

Today was spent going from place to place to pick up or order Stanley’s medical records. We have two more doctors to ask for our medical records from and Norwalk Radiology. We picked up the records from Cardiology Associates (I don’t think they are all there, though probably most of them are), the trans-esophageal echocardiogram movie and all of the Xrays and CT scans from Norwalk Hospital. We ordered records from Bridgeport Hospital. I think we’ll have just about everything there is to be had within a couple of weeks—then we’ll have the complete set all in one place, at last.

We looked at some of the CT scans—science is amazing. There appears to be more damage to the right kidney than we thought—like half the kidney is gone rather than just a bit of it. But, of course, it’s entirely possible that we’re reading it wrong. But somehow, as much as I’d like to be way wrong, I don’t think we are. I think if one more medical person says to us, “Well, sure, part of your kidney is gone, but you’ve got two of them!” with that dumb cackle that tries to make it seem okay. It’s not. At any rate, I’m going to see if I can capture a couple of the images and post them—it shouldn’t be too hard since the viewer is a browser-based application.

We haven’t watched Stanley’s Heart, The Movie yet. I saw the trailer when I watched the “regular” echocardiogram at Bridgeport Hospital, and it scared the hell outta me.

Nothing is scheduled Friday! I mean nothing medical—I have work scheduled and I have to do some billing and get an estimate out. It’s been about two weeks since I was able to get a “normal” day of work in—I much prefer my rut, thank you very much. I’m looking forward to Stanley being able to travel again so we can get up to Natick (via Rhode Island so we can see Candy’s show before it closes). And in just over a month, we’ll be heading to Michigan I sincerely hope—that’s when I’ll start to recuperate from all this, I think.

We’ve been watching Burn Notice on, I think, USA—love that show. Sam is a perfect role for Bruce Campbell and I think the only actor that could do Westen better than Jeffrey Donovan would be George Clooney. Good dialogue. I like the character Fiona a lot, though Gabrielle Anwar’s lips look weird, like collagen injections gone awry. And Sharon Gless as Michael Westen’s mama is great. I love how she portrays her—a character, but not overblown or hammy.

Tonight I watched the first episode of Mad Men. So far, I think it’s well-written and interesting. It’s early-60s setting was weird to watch—the early 70s in Detroit was not much different from the early 60s in New York, it seems. The Selectric was old hat by the time I entered the workforce, but the attitudes toward women are all too familiar to me from those days. The women’s movement took a while to permeate the Midwest. Quite a while. Maybe it’s a good thing to show what it was like not so very long ago, the racism and sexism that was considered ok if it was even thought about at all. One line that made me laugh was Draper’s (the lead character, star of the ad agency) line about love being invented by ad men to sell nylons. I like seeing 1960 typography and the fashions, though I think the music pretty much sucks. But I don’t know if that will wear off quickly and I’ll get tired of the glib stuff or the underlying, well, immorality of it all. Not immorality in the religious sense, but in the sense that here is a bunch of people who don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves. A vile bunch. The writer managed to make a vile bunch of mafia people fascinating—I never got into the Sopranos though, so I don’t know ...

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