Friday, August 12, 2011

Hot Flashes

Global warming is not caused by SUV's, factories, or incandescent lightbulbs. The truth is that half the baby-boomers are going through menopause.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Caution: Automatic Doors

You spend quite a few days wandering about a hospital, with those magic doors that open themselves when they see you coming. You make occasional forays into the big wide world where there are grocery-store doors that likewise open magically upon your arrival. Same for the doors at rest stops along the highway.

And then you go to a gas station. When you try to leave the building, you stand there at the door and wait for it to magically open. It doesn't. What's the deal? Is it broken?

"Oh, it's just a regular door," you think sheepishly, as you use your own muscle-power to push open the door, desperately hoping the clerk and other customers did not notice.

This may or may not be a true story.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Dialysis Decision

My mom has had kidney problems since I was a kid. She spent a couple of years on dialysis before she received a kidney transplant. After 10 years, her kidney began to fail. Over the past half-year, her health has declined. Beginning in late April, her health has become much worse. In July, she became sick and ended up hospitalized after passing blood. She spent 11 days in the hospital, receiving transfusions, undergoing four scoping-procedures in an attempt to find out where she was bleeding. The bleeding ulcers stopped on their own. Mom was discharged from the hospital, but felt confused and unsettled at home. A couple of days later, a CT-scan showed that there had been a mini-stroke, and her lab work had declined seriously. She was rehospitalized on an IV of diuretics to take the swelling down.

So, the question of the weekend was whether to go back on dialysis or whether to refuse the treatment, which would result in death fairly soon. Would dialysis artificially put off a death which was rapidly overtaking her, or would dialysis be a simple treatment that would resolve many of her health problems?

After much input from many sources, Mom's decision was to try the dialysis for a while. The nephrologist was making the point that most of Mom's failing health is due to the uremia. Her body is being poisoned because her kidney is not functioning to clean out the icky stuff. He says her mental state, her strength, her edema, her appetite, and possibly even her ulcers can be fixed by cleaning out the toxins.

Mom is currently receiving an "ash splint catheterization" which will be used temporarily (that is, 2-6 months) for dialysis. The doctor hopes that she will begin to see increased strength and appetite and clarity-of-thought in a week, after maybe three dialysis treatments. They are hoping that, when she feels better about her thinking ability and decision-making ability, she will be able to decide whether she wishes to continue dialysis, and if so, whether she wishes to go with hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. We don't know yet if dialysis starts this afternoon or tomorrow. She has so much swelling/edema and so many toxins in her body, that she says dialysis will hurt a lot from the cramping.

So, for family members who've been wondering how it's going, that's where we stand for this week.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I'm not sure what's going on at work, but there's been a lot of talk about ghosts, haunted houses, and heaven. One of the gals is reading about haunted houses in the area. Another just read a book about a little boy who had a near-death experience. She asked me if I'd read it. There was some compelling evidence for people to believe the little boy: when he was "out of his body" during a surgery, he saw things he could not have known otherwise.

But the kicker for me was that the parents suggested going by the hospital later, and the little boy didn't want to go. He remembered the angels singing, and sitting in Jesus' lap, and some other things. But, no, he did not want to go back to that place. Now, if he really went to heaven, then there would be no fear, no trepidation, no avoidance, of the remembrance or revisiting of the place.

I don't know what does happen in those situations, but if a person doesn't look forward to going "back to heaven," then he wasn't seeing heaven in the first place.