Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I must admit that those DVTs were more than a little scary and I'm not really surprised that it took me as long as it did to come up with the logical solution. After the first DVT was diagnosed in Rambam Hospital in Haifa, I should have asked to go to B'nei Zion (Formerly Rothdchild Hospital) also in Haifa. The vascular surgeon there is one of the top two in that field in the country. In fact, he did my rotor rooter a few years ago. His #2 guy is the other one. After finally sitting myself down and giving myself a stern talking to, I decided that I really should get echo Doppler ultrasounds done on my legs and insisted on doing it at the diagnostic center in that hospital because he is the one who reads the tests and signs off on them. After days and days of torrential rain and cold I woke up to a day of a few clouds and much cold. At last. Time to go out. After getting all layered up, I took off on Harley to check my mail box. In it I found the most beautiful purple shawl, a ring with a purple stone, and a very cute key chain that a fellow stroke survivor sent me. Treasures to be sure.
Then, it was off to the clinic to get a refill on the oxy. Dontcha know? Get rid of one pain and another takes it's place. The only thing I can think of is that my left leg is jealous of my right leg, and is now making unreasonable demands on management. Ok. So, I'll feed it oxy. While waiting for my doc to finish with the patient who was already with him, I looked through the stack of mail and found the results from the echo Doppler. When the doc came out to get my card and ask what I needed, I handed it to him before I finished reading it. He came back out all smiles to announce that no evidence of DVTs was found. Those are moments when I never know whether to cry, laugh, or let out a whoop of joy. I opted for a big smile with damp on the verge of tears of happiness eyes. The minor swelling in my left foot is from that ankle injury, not a DVT. The small dose of rat poison, aka coumadin must be doing the trick. I do know that I can not go back to doing stoopid things like sitting at the computer for 26 hours playing WoW, or going on all day drives. With just a little caution I should be able to avoid getting more. Not to mention yet again; it's the coumadin stoopid. I can happily continue taking 2.5 mg forever, and being careful about not sitting still for too long.
What a great day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I will freely admit that I have been amiss about posting lately. Let's just blame that on WoW, shall we? That game can really suck you in.
Last week was actually one to write home about! I'd been wanting to see my orthopedist to get my butt shot again with his magic cocktail of pain killers, but, couldn't face going alone. Golan and I cooked up a plan to get me to the echo Doppler ultra sound on Monday, and him to his post op check up in Tiberius and later the next day, me to the butt shot. It worked quite well as plans like that sometimes do. I was told that my Doppler test was set for 1140 and we left early just in case. We got there an hour early, or so I thought. It turned out that the appointment was really for 1040, and we were a few minutes early for even that. The truly amazing thing was that I found a parking space as close to the entrance as is possible. Any closer, and we would have been inside! Wouldn't you know it? There was a problem with the paper work (typical) but a quick phone call to the clinic had the right one there by fax within minutes. Those ultra sounds are so routine that there is absolutely nothing to say about them. I had it, we left. Part of the deal was that we would stop at the hospice where an ex girlfriend of Golan's is dying. I prepared as much reading material as I could on my character at WoW so that I'd be happily occupied while waiting for Golan. He came out after an hour as promised and we headed off to find lunch. As it was raining, I opted to eat my lunch in the car while he ate his inside. Messing with wheelies in the rain just isn't worth it when all you want is a quick lunch, then, get home before the foot swells up. We made it just in time, and I put that stoopid foot up the minute we got in. Peg had left me huge 'punishment' in the living room. He tends to do that when my schedule changes and I'm gone longer than he thinks I should be. I ignored it, and rested up for a while.
Day two of the plan also went like clock work. We got Golan to his post op check up at Tiberius on time (he had two cysts removed from his lower lip, and was waiting for the biopsy reprt too. It was benign). He came out before I got much reading done (do you have any idea how much stuff there is on the interweb about the characters on WoW?) and, as we had 4 hours to kill before my appointment, decided to get some lunch in Acre which is an ancient city on the coast. Way back when I was young, healthy and strong, a friend and I used to walk to the harbor in Acre to lok at the view, shop and eat some great hummus. The key word is walk. I had my very first panic attack ever trying to drive there. The streets are very narrow and no has any patience for someone going slowly. I ended up telling Golan to just direct me out of there, which he did, and we headed for the next place up the coast. We drove by the waterfront, but nothing was open, so we kind of headed away from there. I suddenly saw an un numbered cripple parking space and stopped in it for a few minutes. I had decided that no ancient city traffic was going to stop me from havin lunch where my friend and I used to go, and told Golan that I need a few minutes to get my head around going back there. I swear, I have rarely seen anyone laugh so hard after I said that. He even got me laughing so hard I thought I'd never stop. Long story short; it worked. I got my view of the stormy sea and hummus, with plenty of time to get to the clinic for my shot. Again we were early and had to wait, as he only gets there at 1600. Due to the fortunate timing, I was first in. He had a full list, so, chit chat was minimal. He did say how great the new slimmer me looks. For the shot I need to lie on my stomach. I haven't done that since 1992, but with a lot of help from the nurse I managed it after she untangled my legs which I had some how spaghettisyzed. (don't ask). The doc had to probe around a bit to find the nerve bundle, and the relief from the pain was as close to instantaneous as can be. I did cripple ballet exercises for a few minutes, and with but lingering twinges, headed for home. By the time we got there, the residual pain in my hip was gone. Talk about a medical bulls eye! Guess what I found in the living room again? Yup! More Peg punishment. Again, I ignored it, planning to pick up the bigger pieces in the morning and letting the cleaning lady wassh up the drier harder parts.
When I woke up in the morning, I didn't have to do the whole take the oxy, wait, then, get up ceremony. Not only was the leg ok. The lower back pain was gone as well. I am having a hard time finding the words to express the wonder of it all. Now, all I have to do is keep track of how long it lasts this time. I have decided that even if it only lasts a month or so, it's well worth getting my butt shot that often.
I pretty much stayed in for the rest of the week. The cleaning lady came as planned, but wasn't really all there. I told her to spill soapy (floor soap) water on the hard parts, then, do the stuff she does before she washes the floor. She kind of didn't and I wasn't really paying attention. She took the bag of kitchen trash/garbage out of it's bin, but didn't replace it. She washed the floor, then, happily left without taking out the trash. She left that kitchen bag right next to Peg's chair. Well, yeah, of course he got into it and ate a bunch of raunchy stuff, then, squitted all over the nice clean floor. Ballistic? Who me? Record breaking understatement. The smell was so bad that I just cleaned it up myself. It wasn't really his fault that time. Boy, was I mad. I decided to wait until the next morning to tell her boss about it. Cool down time is good. I really don't know where her head was, but it for sure wasn't on her job. I also had to put all the dishes she'd 'washed' back in the sink to do over again. I'm far from a sterile freak, but, what was left on the plates was too much, even for me.
Last week was quite the week. Things are a little more settled down now, and I can go have some fun at my new game.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I'm not sure about this,but I think I haven't written yet about the computer game one of my best and dearest buddies from high school days sent me for my birthday/Hannukah/Christmas. When he told he wanted to send it to me, I was more than a little skeptical about it. Interweb games never really interested me. The game, WoW duly arrived and I installed it.I started playing with a lot of help from him and a few of his friends who also play.It was really hard at first because I didn't understand anything that was going on. The game set includes 4 books. I started reading them, and came up with 3 characters in 2 different areas of the game. I use one of them to learn,with help from just about everyone one to work on and learn from on my own. I'm slowly starting to figure things out. Wouldn't you know it? I chose one of the most difficult character types to be in the game. That particular one seems like the closest to who I really am, and even though I get frustrated when things don't always go the way I want them to and I often annoy the friend who sent it to me, I am loving every minute of it. My biggest problem is that the DVTs don't let me play for as long as I'd like to.
If you ever get the chance and feel like a challenge, I strongly recommend WoW. If my somewhat vague description has made you a little curious about the game, there is a ton and a half of stuff about it on the web. Just Google Wow and you'll find more there about it than you ever wanted to know.
Today I am going for an echo Doppler Ultrasound on my legs. Golan and I figured out a way to get each of us to medical things on Tuesday. I need to get my butt shot in the hopes of getting it exactly right this time and delaying raising the dose of oxtcontin. He needs a cyst removal looked at. The plan is that I drive him to the hospital in Tiberius for his check up, then, he goes with me to get shot. That's pretty much it for now. I spend way too much time keeping my legs up because the left one swells up so quickly.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Having dodged the DVT=go to hospital bullet, I have come up with a few new rules to live by. But, before I get to the rules; a bit about being luckier than I probably deserve. Way back when they first diagnosed the first DVT, the docs recommended that I start wearing pressure stockings. I was quite willing to wear them. There was just one little problem. They didn't fit on my legs, and I was in no mood to mess around with a made to order thing that cost at least NIS 2000, and would take months to get here. But things have changed since then, I've just had my fourth run in with DVTs and I've lost just over 60 lbs. I decided that the new plan of action would be to get the stockings, have an echo doppler untra sound done on my legs and see the vascular surgeon who cut my neck open. I am now wearing the stockings and have an appointment for the echo doppler on Monday. So far, so good. That brings us to the new rules.
1) stand up every hour and do cripple ballet exercises.
2)take a half hour break after every 2 hours to put feet up.
3) do not under any circumstances even begin to think about not taking the next DVT straight to hospital.
So, there we have them. My three new rules to live by. How many times can anyone coulnt on sheer blind dumb luck to get over a DVT? I got lucky once, and I'm not taking another chance.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


There are times when I wonder if I will ever learn. I did something so stoopid Friday night that I am amazed at myelf. I got so caught up in WoW that I stayed at the computer until almost 0300. I woke up very late Seturday morning with another DVT. Just what I didn't need. I did stay in bed for most of the day, with only very short bathroom trips and even quicker stops here to answer e mails. I even got myself ready to go to hospital like a good girl. I was so slow Sunday morning that I missed morning clinic hours. "Fine", I told myself. "Get your butt in gear earlier and go tomorrow." I was actually up and ready to go when Savta called and said that he'd like to meet up with me and we decided to meet at the clinic. I got a little delayed in leaving thanks to a semi emergency loo stop. I was feeling more than a little crap and decided to not get dressed and headed out in my house coat.On the way I remembered that it was Monday and my doc does not work on Mondays."Ok" Thought me to myself, "I'll just wait another day so I won't have to explain the whole mess to the new doc at the clinic" Savta and I met up at about the half way point between Gimp House and the clinic, and came back here to sit in the sun and chat for a while. The very first thing he told me was that I didn't look at all well. No kidding? So, there we sat in the sun and chattered away, then, I stayed in the sun and chatted with a neighbor for a while, then, went to get the mail. I was feeling much better by the time I got in.
Today I did manage to get the clinic in the nick of time and the doc and I decided that I could skip the hospital this time and came up with a plan. If I have lost enough weight to fit into a stock pressure stocking size, I'll start using them like I was supposed to a year ago, and that I would get an echo doppler ultrasound done on my legs and go see the vascular doc who did my endarterctomy. He also suggested that I go to the store that sells the stockings to be sure they'd fit before giving me the authorization to buy them. I did exactly that, and the owner said, "No problem, they will fit you just fine" and complimented me on my weight loss. Little does he know how I did lose all this weight. I'm so glad it's gone even if the method is highly unrecommended. So, rather than wait until tomorrow, I'll go back to the clinic at 1600 to get the authorization. Might was well get that sorted as soon as possible.
I am well aware that I was just plain lucky this time, and have already told myself that next time, there will be no fooling around. I will take myself off to hospital and not count on blind dumb good luck. I will also never again stay at the computer for so many hours. That was just about the stupidest thing I have ever done. It's not like I don't know any better. I do, and will not do that again. Other than that, not much of note has happened.