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Three score and ten or more

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Last week we finally got Janet into the hands of the stroke doctor (Stroke Neurologist) at the Medical College of Georgia. She has been thoroughly Cardiac analyzed and Generalist analyzed and now it was time for the stroke analysis. Sounds like cat petting instructions, doesn't it? Any way the stroke guy did his thing (a very thorough and useful thing with analysis of vision, sensory clues, speech and all kinds of stuff. )

I had to see my retina specialist last week at the Medical college as well, and Janet came with me. I mentioned to him that Janet had her six month appointment coming up at the end of the month, and I was glad becauseā€¦. and I told him of our adventures in Finland (She sees the same retina specialist that I do because she has a bunch of scar tissue near the nerve opening of one eye that affects that vision like macular degeneration. These are typical appointments for geezers and geezerettes and after a while they become routine). As he finished up with me, he immediately cleared his schedule and worked her in. I think he considered loss of peripheral vision on the right side something more significant than a routine visit. Anyway he sonogramed her and examined her and made another appointment for next month and sent us both home. (The good thing is that he cancelled the appointment for the end of THIS month which saved an eighty mile trip.)

On Valentines Day we got to go in for the tests prescribed by the stroked doctor. Isn't that a romantic Valentines trip? First she had to have her carotid artery and eyes, and the back of her head sonogramed, which apparently was fun (????) and took up an hour or so. Then she had to go back for an MRI. She did fine in filling out the forms, notifying the doctor that she had a metal plate in her wrist, and had had thumb replacements and a knee replacement (as I said, standard geezer replacement and repair). I, sort of, shocked the technicians by revealing her aortic repair, so they had to have her charts checked to make sure that none of the parts installed at that time were metal. Took about an hour. Then Janet got to the part of the form that asked about claustrophobia. Suddenly bells began to ring and she remembered an MRI of her neck about ten years ago where she had ruined the pictures by hyperventilating, and she began to have serious reservations.

Of course, as a typical chauvinistic "manly Man" I told her that it really wasn't going to be a problem. When I had MRI's I just closed my eyes and let the rhythm of the bong bong bong crash that the machine makes put me to sleep and it would probably work for her. Her response wasn't verbal, but I moved several places down the list in her estimation. Perhaps six weeks of flowers everyday will get me back - - OH well.

She screwed up her courage and went in the room. After about twenty minutes, one of the technicians came out with a shrug. "She's chickening out", said the technician. (She will never know how lucky she is that Jan never heard the comment, though it was true.)
Janet came hesitantly out of the room and said, "I can't do it. They slid me back into that machine where both arms touched the sides and there was not space above my head, and I just lost it."

Pretty soon the technician came back and proposed that we might make another appointment. She would call the doctor and arrange for an anesthesiologist to put Jan to sleep for the procedure. Still not being able to remember about thirty days of her life as a result of her last anesthesia, she expressed reservations. Said Ms.Technician, "Maybe I can find a nurse who can give you some valium?" "Okay," we both said, relieved that there was some option to a return visit.

Now, you would think that in a teaching hospital, with two hundred plus medical students, another hundred or two of nursing students, thousands of patients (You should see the patient's parking garages) they could find a nurse, but it actually took almost an hour, and then the nurse had to call the doctor, but finally in she came with a little orange pill and a glass of water, and down it went. An hour later Janet floated into the MRI room (While she was waiting, a little bitty lady about ninety years old tottered in, climbed up on the table, and got her MRI, then tottered cheerfully away, eliciting from Jan the comment "I bet she's a shill, that they use on all of us "youngsters" who can't do it, just to embarrass us all.")

Anyway she went in, got the exam, put on her clothes and proudly said "I did it", admitting that she had spent to entire exam saying to herself "I can DO this, I can DO this . . . ." The effects of the valium stayed with us for a while (Okay, for the rest of the day). She started off to the parking garage with her rolling walker, and about half way there turned to face me and sat on the little seat of the walker and I pushed her to the edge of the road. She made it by herself into the car, and we drove around Augusta just for fun. The Valentine celebration really occurred when he had lunch at Tony Roma's then wandered out (still a bit valiumy) and drove the eighty miles back to Statesboro.

Today (the fifteenth) we drove back to Augusta for EMG (Nerve ) tests. (We should have stayed overnight. I discovered when we got home that Janet, assuming that we would, had taken her overnight bag, but, of course I hadn't, and hadn't even thought of it. Which one of us is falling apart????) Anyway she had an interesting experience with that as well, but I've got to get my info a little clearer before I talk about it. She went to the Doctor who has been treating my neuropathy for ten years, and came out of her test having discovered that the Doctor doesn't eat cranberries, and loves chocolate chip cookies. She talked them out of a Strawberry /Macadamia nut cookie, learned the life stories of both of the residents who were there, and all kinds of stuff. When I go in for my neuropathy tests, they stick pins in me, pound my joints with little hammers for reflexes, poke me with tuning forks, weigh me (to humiliate me, they always remind me what I weighed last time), make me try in futility to walk on my heels, on my toes, and then ask me to close my eyes and touch my nose with my fingers (That's when I usually fall down.) Nobody ever tell ME the story of their lives or offers me a cookie. That's what comes of being a Manly Man.


At 8:00 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

Hey "Manly Man", don't worry about it! I think you're lovable! :)

Janet is too. She sounds like a trip. I love the part where she said she thought that little old lady was a shill. Your Janet is a pistol!

I had a nice Valentine's Day and a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but somehow the Valium trip Janet was on doesn't sound all that bad. She certainly wasn't feeling any pain.

Bless both of you. Your Valentine's Day presents are each other and I think that both of you are very special people!

Please always let me know when you put up a new post. I really enjoy reading you. :)

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

PS: You could write a book you know.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

Another great episode. I loved it and look forward to the next installment.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Phred said...

Have you ever asked for a cookie?


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