Friday, May 21, 2010

Good News and Bad

The heart catheterization showed  no blockages, just some plaque buildup. Therefore, I am now home. Although I 'slept' a lot today, I plan to go to bed early to read and then get some natural sleep. I have the perfect excuse to do almost nothing for the next two days. You know I'm going to take advantage of that!

Dr McElroy prescribed Crestor, but my insurance doesn't want to pay for it. The pharmacy is going to see what they can do about that for me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More Medical Stuff

When Dr Winkler walked into the exam room this morning, he said, "Well, you failed your test." They detected some problems with my heart, so he called Dr McElroy of The Heart Group. I will go into Western Baptist Hospital at 6:30 Friday morning. I guess they will do a catheterization to determine if they need to do anything more, like a stent. They said to come prepared to spend the night. I plan to drive myself - no need for anyone else to get up that early. Then when Alyssa goes to work a few hours later, Trevor will ride up with her and drive my car back to their house. Whenever I do leave the hospital, one of them will fetch me.

Because of this, I did not have my Velcade again today. I continue to take the Revlimid at home though. Dr Winkler agreed with me that the pain I had in my teeth over the weekend was probably a reaction to the nuclear stuff they injected into me for the scan part of the stress test. I showed him the small lump I discovered under my left arm during the night Friday/Saturday. He said it was just a cyst that had a 'whitehead' on it. I hadn't been able to see the head. He lanced it, drained what he could, and put a large bandaid on it. I'll try to squeeze out a bit more before I go to bed and put on another bandaid.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend with Lexi

Alyssa had training this weekend for her new job, and Lexi wanted to spend some time with me, so Alyssa brought her out on Friday evening. Saturday morning, Lexi got fancy with her breakfast. She has learned to scramble eggs and also to make omelets. She had meant to make an omelet, but something went wrong, so she wound up with scrambled eggs. Alyssa had brought the huge strawberries, which Lexi and I ate many of over the weekend. Here, they are the eyes and nose. On Sunday morning, she toasted a ciabata sandwich roll (big enough to share), spread it with butter and apricot jam, and then put sliced strawberries on top. It was very good. I wouldn't have thought of combining the apricots and strawberries.
Recently, Lisa G, one of my knitting friends, gave me about four ounces each of wool from four of her sheep. After breakfast, Lexi and I washed that wool. She got very good at putting together the drying racks. Lisa had written the breed of each sheep on a note, and we taped those notes to the rack so we wouldn't loose track of which was what. Next time Lexi comes, we'll need to do some flick-carding or combing with mini-combs. I have to pass this interest in fibers on to another generation, you know.

When the wool was all clean, we went outside and walked around the yard to look at the things we had planted a few weeks ago. I also got rid of some honeysuckle and pulled the dead cypress vine from last year off the fence. I like the honeysuckle on the bank beside the driveway, but I don't want it on the fence. Lexi had disappeared for a few minutes. Then she came out and called me to the back porch. She had my lunch for me. On a small tray, she had a serving of pasta salad, four of the huge strawberries, a glass of water (my favorite beverage), and several roses in a juice glass. It looked wonderful!

Yesterday, we went to church and then came back here for a few hours.. A little after 3 pm, we headed to Mayfield, swinging by to pick up her cousin Jake on the way. They were both invited to a birthday party at Pizza Hut. I took them inside to make sure the birthday girl was there, then went back to the car, rolled down two windows and knitted for about two hours. It was warm, but there were frequent cool breezes, so I was mostly comfortable and I got quite a bit done on the laprobe I started Friday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Stress Test

I got to the medical pavilion a few minutes early this morning, but didn't have long to wait  until a tech called me back. She put in an IV, asked my height, weight and bra size (I kid you not!), and led me to another, smaller waiting room. After checking both arms, she decided that the best place was just below the inside of my right elbow. This meant that I couldn't bend my right arm very much. That made knitting a bit difficult, and slower than usual.

Next they hooked me up to a monitor and did an EKG with me lying down and then on the treadmill for about six minutes. They took blood pressure readings several times, as well. Then they injected some stuff into the IV (radioactive?) and sent me back to the small waiting room, saying I could now partake of the coffee, orange juice, muffins, etc they provided in the next room. I took a cup of coffee, but couldn't drink much of it - Coffeemate is gross!

Next they put me through a scanner of some type. I think the bra size question had something to do with the scanner. By then it was 10:15 and they told me I could leave, but needed to be back by 12:15. I went to the Senior Center to visit with old friends and to eat lunch. I still had that IV in my arm, which made driving a little awkward. Fortunately, I'm semi-ambidextrous, so eating with the fork in my left hand wasn't too difficult.

After I went back to the lab, they injected more stuff and put me through the scanner again. Then they took out the IV and said I was done. Now I just need to wait to hear from the doctor. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today certainly turned out different than I expected. It started about 5 am when I woke up to go to the bathroom. After I got back in bed, I had some pain in my chest. I only lasted between five and ten minutes, it didn't travel any where, and my breathing was normal. I had my regular weekly oncology appointment at 11:15. When I got in the exam room, I told the nurse about it. She asked me a few questions and said she didn't want to sent her boyfriend (Carlisle County coroner) for me. She left the room and talked to Dr Winkler. When she returned, she handed me a paper bedjacket-type thing and told me to take off my shirt and bra and put that on, while she went to get the EKG machine. The EKG looked OK and my heart rate was 66, which is good. Dr Winkler called my primary care doctor and they agreed that a stress test is in order. Dr Williams' office would make that appointment. Dr Winkler said we would skip the Velcade treatment this week, so I made the appointment for next week and went to Burger King for a side salad for lunch.

By the time I finished lunch it was only noon, so I decided to go to Mayfield and knit at the Art Guild while I visited with the beading group, rather than going to the coffee shop where the other knitters wouldn't be arriving for over an hour. Also, if they were able to do the stress test this afternoon, I'd already be in Mayfield. 

It was about 2 pm when Dr Williams' office called. The test is scheduled for 8 am tomorrow. I am not to eat anything after midnight nor to have any caffeine until after the test. I'm also not to take my Atenolol (a beta blocker) tomorrow morning. Since the other things I would be taking in the morning are vitamins and minerals, I think I'll skip it all. The lady also said to wear comfortable clothes, especially shoes, since I'll probably be on a treadmill for part of the test. She also said to plan to spend most of the day there. That means I'll need to start a new knitting project, since the ones I have on the needles are too large, or otherwise not suitable to take along. I think a scarf for the Seaman's Church Institute will be good.

When I told Dana (Art Guild director) that I'd gotten my phone call, she asked if I had called Alyssa and told her about my new problem. 
"No, not yet."
"But you're going to, aren't you."
I have some good friends around here, haven't I?

I decided to drive past Alyssa's house and stop in if she was home. As I pulled into her driveway, she was coming out the door on her way to the dentist. So I drove her there, and told her about my day and the appointment tomorrow on the way.

So tomorrow will be a new experience for me.

I think I have a pet. There is a skink (a type of small lizard) in the house. I saw it one other time, months ago. I don't know if it has been in here all that time, how it got in, or how to get it out.  

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weaving, knitting, etc.

I found a little 'loom' for sampling and put several warp threads of each of five different colors on it, then wove in royal blue and black filler. The black really makes the colors 'pop.' I have since discovered that one stack of the 'wheels' of stuff I have for filler is navy rather than black, so that gives me another possibility for rugs. I'm still deciding how I want to stripe the warp. I'll probably do several different warps in the next few months.

This morning I took one laprobe and nine shawls or capes to church with me for the prayer shawl ministry. It had been two months since I'd taken such things in. I think the rector was glad to see them. Now I only have two shawls on a drying rack and three on the needles. Then there are also an afghan for a great-niece, a baby hat, a dishcloth and a doll sweater on the needles. The large things will probably be finished before the small ones are.

Late yesterday afternoon, I got a phone call from a woman at church. Olivia, who will be 90 on Tuesday, said she had visited another parishioner who had one of the shawls I made. She said when she saw it she said to herself, "I can do that." She wanted to know if there were any rules about patterns or yarns. I told her that I usually use machine washable yarns because most of us don't like to hand wash things now-a-days, but that any yarn is OK. Also any pattern is OK - I usually make up my own. It was wonderful to have someone else volunteer to knit.


Thursday was my gardening day. I weeded several herb and flower beds, planted some seeds, and mowed the fenced area behind the house. I thought there were 21 gladiolus corms that Lexi planted, but there are 23 coming up.

My neighbor had a friend with a chainsaw helping him that day. While I was taking one of my knitting breaks on the back porch, Robbie asked if they could trim some of the trees on  my side of the driveway. That sounded good to me. So the friend cut down several of the volunteer trees there and they dragged them up the drive behind Robbie's golf cart. That will supply fuel for a nice bonfire later. There is plenty more stuff they can cut down, as well. Maybe it will provide fuel for all of the bonfires Robbie and his friends and family like to have throughout the summer.