Grace and Remington dance

This afternoon I took Grace down the street to play with her pals, Rufus and puppy Remington. They have a fenced in backyard and after the heavy rains it dried out enough today to go wrestling without becoming chocolate labs.

Dialysis time change

they came around and asked us all which “shift” we would want if we could have our choice when to have dialysis.

My choice was 1. Mon Wed Fri  afternoons or 2. Tues, Thurs, Sat afternoon. I am currently doing Tues. Thurs. Sat. mornings

That was on Saturday, any changes would be on the basis of “seniority”.

Today I got the word, and a lot of people decided to stand pat.   I got my second choice.  I start afternoons this Thursday.

BTW, the spot that came open, as I suspected, was because a dialysis patient died.  She had been on dialysis about 6 years and was about 84 years of age.  She was widely known in the community and an article about her life and passing appeared in the local newspaper.  Not the best way I can think of to get my choice.  This winter I will be much happier not to get out on the road by 6:25 AM, sometimes beating the snow plow or worse getting stuck on the highway behind one going just 40 KPH.  84 is a good long life. Rest in peace.

Angioplasty procedure went well

I am out of hospital this morning following an angioplasty and placement of a stent in a cardiac artery that was 90 per cent blocked.  The blockage was discovered through some tests to qualify me for a kidney transplant.  After  the stent was put in via a cardiac catheter inserted in my groin into my femerol artery the flow was 100 per cent open.  The procedure took about an hour.  The tough part was keeping still during recover for about 8 hours.  My back ached a lot and my restless legs kept twitching and clenching but I got through it and was allowed to move finally at around 10 PM last night. I slept in the hospital and was released at 6:30 AM this morning.  This was all done in Newmarket at the South Lake Regional Health Centre.  The staff were all great.  I have to take it a little easy for two days and then after about a week I am back to full duty.  My dialysis, normally doen on Thursday morning is switched to the afternoon.  Newmarket is about 90 minutes away from my home.  My sister drove me down and brought me home.  My interview with the transplant people is Oct. 18th in Toronto.  the normal wait for a cadaverous donor organ is about 8 years.

There were some stories on the kidney transplant situation in Ontario in the Toronto Star this week. For some dumb reason, Ontario is the only province without a central registry for transplant coordination.  There are instead five regional transplant registry.  My town is assigned to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), which has the longest wait for kidney donations, and not surprisingly the lowest number of donor consent cards in the province.  One of the highest places is North Bay with 43 per cent.  GTA is 13 per cent.  So if you live in the GTA please consider signing your donor card.

bumped into

interesting day, I bumped into

  1. a young man who used to be in my dialysis shift but who received a transplant a while back and is doing well,
  2. while he and I were yakking inside McDonalds, I spotted him going in and I pulled over and parked and went in, then in walked my new family doctor who was on a run to buy a chocolate shake to pay back one of her colleagues who did her a special favour

Of course I hassled her about why she of all people was in the BAD FOOD ZONE

I introduced her to my old big D colleague

And then the rain pounded on for the rest of the day pretty much.

Belgians in line for judge, Fall Fair Orillia

Visited the Orillia Fall Fair before noon today and despite some dark clouds found no rain, not too big a crowd, and lots of horses.

Orillia Fall Fair, September 12, 2010, Orillia, Ontario, Canada
Orillia Fall Fair, September 12, 2010, Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Eating Lunch at the Orilla Fall Fair


Yesterday I had an angiogram to check out my heart issues.  This was partly in preparation for an interview on October 18 to see if I am a candidate for transplant and follows a series of preliminary tests.  One price for living on Georgian Bay, not all medical services are around the corner.  The angiogram was done down in Newmarket, about 1.25 hours drive away.  The basic deal with this procedure is this: they give you some local freezing in the right side of your groin, make a small incision,  then push a small tube in your femoral artery, then insert a catheter in the tube and push it up the artery up to your heart and inject a dye.   You are stretched out on your back on a table with a large camera that swings around your chest to view your heart from various angles.  You are awake for this procedure which takes about 30 minutes.  There was no pain from the catheter.  The freezing needle was no big deal.  The tricky part is not to bother the clot that forms after the procedure.  You are to keep your leg straight and not raise your head or your arms over your head, since these movements make the thigh muscles tighten and mess with the clot.  Recovery is about 3.5 to four hours.

My right coronary artery has plaque buildup and is 90  per cent blocked.  I have had no chest pain.  A stent will go in there to widen it.  The procedure is known as an angioplasty and will take place either in the coming week or the week after that.  My heart is a little different. I have a fourth coronary artery called the intermediate artery.  About 5-15 per cent of the population have this.  It is neither pro or con to have this.

Staff were great.  Dr. Chun was more informative with me than some of my other doctors have been, and that communications shortfall is something I am going to have to do some work on in the coming weeks.  More on that another time.

I did not do great during recovery, my fiercely aching lower back (havent had that in almost two years) and my twitchy legs got me to move enough to annoy the clot.  That forced the nurses to take turns standing next to the stretcher and pressing down with enormous pressure on the right side of my groin to stop the bleeing and to make sure that a haemotoma did not develop.  So to take a lighter look at it I had an agiogram and ended up with strange women pressing on my groin.  Almost party time.

I left with a pressure bandage tightly taped against my groin and headed off to Orillia Hospital for a special dialysis run to get the dye out of my system.  That run was about 2.5 hours not the normal four.  This morning I went to Penetang for my normal four hour run of dialysis.

Pressure bandage came off after 24 hours and not much bruising and no other problem signs.  I need to take it easy for a few days.  I hope to get word on the day of the angioplasty on Monday or Tuesday and make a few arrangements to handle that, one being to get the neighbour briefed to help out by walking Grace while my sister and I are off doing the medical thang.

Alan Furst – a must read

Just finished Kingdom of Shadows and Red Gold by Alan Furst, the master of historical spy fiction.  If you like espionage thrillers, you will love his novels.  One thing I cannot figure out is why none has been made into movies.  Maybe they are in the production pipeline.  Many of his spies are people caught up into the espionage game. They are not super heroes or James Bond-like.  That makes their situations and their responses to them all the more interesting.