Thursday, February 28, 2013

There's a Hole in the Bucket Where I Keep My List

by Pa Rock
Cranky Old Bastard

One of the pluses (and there aren't many) of returning to the States from Okinawa was that here I could receive quality medical care.  My care on Okinawa was provided by the military which featured a different doctor every time I visited the clinic, and a fairly limited formulary of prescription drugs.  I had some really good doctors there, but also several who were not.  After arriving back in Hellizona, I carefully researched available physicians and selected one who turned out to be quite exceptional in his medical and communication skills.  I am pleased with my primary care provider.

My new doctor quickly found that I had been left to flounder, medically speaking, for the previous two years, and he began referring me to a host of specialists, most of whom (with one exception) turned out to be of the same high caliber as my primary care doctor.  Recently while visiting with an endocrinologist whom I also like quite well, I happened to mention that I often have trouble breathing adequately while on the treadmill at the gym.  This doctor immediately gave me the name of a group of cardiologists and referred me onward.

I had a preliminary visit with one of the cardiologists where a cursory exam raised no concerns.  The cardiologist did, however, recommend further testing based on the fact that I am diabetic and was a heavy smoker forty years ago.  The first test, a nuclear scan (not fun), revealed some possible arterial blockage - and that resulted in me being quickly referred for an angiogram which was accomplished this morning.

The angiogram revealed that I have quite a bit of blockage in a couple of places, and I was told that I will need to undergo a triple bypass sooner rather than later.  I meet with the surgeon in one week to work out a plan.

So that's my medical update.  Over the past couple of weeks I have begun making drastic changes in my lifestyle and eating habits, though the effort is obviously more than a day late and a dollar short.  (It is so easy to get religion when the grim reaper suddenly appears strolling your way!)

The hardest change to date has been giving up my McDonald's Sausage-Egg McMuffin in the mornings and substituting with a serving of oatmeal.  That McMuffin represented more than just a meal.  I would drive off-base to pick it up, and then drive back onto base and park outside of my office where I would pull bits of bread and cheese and egg off of the sandwich and throw them out onto the asphalt for my friends, the birds, who often wound up with a quarter or so of my sandwich.  Regular morning visitors outside of my car included a pair of small woodpeckers, a cactus wren or two, a smattering of grackles, and the occasional dove and Gamble's Quail.  Many of them recognize my car and drop by to scavenge regardless of where I park - or when.    (With oatmeal there is nothing to share, and I feel like such a greed head.)  I guess that I will have to invest in some wild bird seed to keep in the car for my friends.

Keep smiling, I am.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Wednesday is the best day to have a car made or a chest tapped! The weekend is over and the next one is far enough away to keep everyone focused on the job at hand. Ask for a Wednesday.