Things I Think I Know

Well I survived my appointment with the surgeon with all of my limbs still attached.  A lot of you were asking questions so here is what I know.

  1. The treatment with the wound clinic has been ineffective (I knew that… all they did was change a bandage and lecture me most days for things out outside of my control).
  2. The test results show that the infection is taking a serious toll on my entire body.  Part of the body is fighting on, other parts have given up.  It does explain why I go to work, come home and nap until the next morning.  It also explains why I haven’t been that social this year, I am so tired all of the time.
  3. Part of that is that I am probably now a Type I diabetic.  I know this is warped but there has been so many other serious things, this doesn’t seem to be a priority for anyone. The infection drives up my blood sugars which exhausts me.  Part of the problem is that to figure out what to do with the diabetes, the infection needs to be brought back under control. 
  4. Treatment is going to be long and unsurprisingly, expensive.  The treatment the surgeon wants to try isn’t covered under healthcare in Saskatchewan.  Some basic research yesterday shows that it is in other provinces but not here.  That makes sense because it works and is faster than what we cover in Saskatchewan.   I can’t remember if I file this under lean or the New Saskatchewan.  Either way it’s ridiculous because…
  5. Everyone I deal with at the Saskatoon Health Region seems shocked and bothered that I am still working and not laying at home on my bed waiting to die.  Believe me, every single morning I was wake up and say, “I feel like death” and “I just want to stay in bed” but staying in bed causes a lot of pain while being up and about does not.  So I try to get an appointment where I can get treatment and then go to work.  I get told, “well the seniors like those early morning time slots”.  I understand that being retired is hectic but seriously?  I try to get treatment after work and am told, “We don’t offer that treatment in the evenings.”  The best is when I am scheduled for a treatment and am told when I get there, “Oh, we only do that in the morning and at a different facility.”  Or they don’t call me but insist they did.  Or I show up at appointments and am told that I cancelled it.   It is not a lot of fun dealing with CPAS and it is even harder when you are trying to keep working….
  6. I get asked all of the time if they are going to take my leg.  I don’t know yet.  Some doctors are more optimistic then others.  What we do know now is that antibiotics aren’t killing the infection.   When I am on antibiotics, the infection is at bay but as I saw this week, the infection literally moves up my leg in 24 hours after I am off it (I am back on them now).   I also am told that there will be surgeries in my near future and there will be a lot of them.
  7. So that killed the hope of hiking to Grey Owl’s Cabin in August.  I know this is stupid but that makes me incredibly sad.  You have no idea how badly I wanted to take that trip with Wendy, Mark, and Oliver.   The new treatments were going to start today.  Since we had planned to leave for Calgary at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, those treatments are starting next week when I get back.   Wendy and I had talked about her taking the kids to Calgary herself if I needed to stay behind but I am hopped up on antibiotics that will keep me going until I get back.  Without them, I was told I would have been hospitalized in Calgary which is why I was nervous about going.  As the doctor said, I have a long and hard road ahead of me, a vacation right now is a good thing.
  8. I appreciate the advice that EVERYONE is giving me and that is that I go to the Mayo Clinic.  Umm, I have about $200,000 equity in my house.  Wendy and I have looked at re-mortgaging to do this but to go down, it would take every bit of money we have and then what happens if it doesn’t work?  I bring up the costs for just a week of treatment and people’s jaw drop.  Let me be blunt, the Mayo Clinic is for the wealthy.  Wendy and I are very middle class.  Throughout this I am realizing that people see the Mayo Clinic as their last hope.  If everything else goes bad, there is always the Mayo Clinic and “those” doctors can help you.  They may be able to do so but only at a tremendous cost that most of us can’t afford.

Angels Game Rained Out

Good news for Californians (rain that is) and is breaks an old Major League Baseball record for the Angels

After 20 years and 1,609 consecutive home games, the Los Angeles Angels finally lost another game to rain.

Heavy downpours turned Angel Stadium’s outfield into virtual marshlands Sunday night, forcing the postponement of their game against the Boston Red Sox. Los Angeles will host its first doubleheader since 2003 on Monday.

The Big A’s grounds crew and drainage system couldn’t protect the grass from the remnants of Tropical Storm Dolores, which fell steadily all evening and caused a 2 1/2-hour delay before the postponement. Using brooms and rakes, the crew vainly attempted to push water around the outfield before the Angels finally called their first home rainout since June 16, 1995.

"Unfortunately, I guess you never really know how your drainage system works until you get enough water," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the first home rainout of his 16-year tenure in Anaheim. "There’s so much standing water in that outfield that just has nowhere to go. It’s going to be like that all night, probably be like that (Monday) morning. … The field was unplayable, with no way to remedy that."

The Angels were rained out at home for just the 16th time in their 55-year franchise history. They hadn’t even had a rain delay in a stretch of 359 regular-season home games since April 24, 2011.

As a side note, I still feel guilt for using the Los Angeles Angels tag for this post instead of Anaheim Angels.  Please forgive me.

Drones Impede Helicopters Fighting Fires

You read the headline right

Of all the elements they must battle in a wildfire, firefighters face a new foe: drones operated by enthusiasts who presumably take close-up video of the disaster.

Five such "unmanned aircraft systems" prevented California firefighters from dispatching helicopters with water buckets for up to 20 minutes over a wildfire that roared Friday onto a Los Angeles area freeway that leads to Las Vegas.

Helicopters couldn’t drop water because five drones hovered over the blaze, creating hazards in smoky winds for a deadly midair disaster, officials said.

The North Fire torched 20 vehicles on Interstate 15 and incited panic among motorists who fled on foot on the freeway Friday. The wildfire continued to burn uncontrollably Saturday, scorching 3,500 acres with only 5% containment in San Bernardino County, officials said.

Drones hovering over wildfires is a new trend in California, and on Saturday, fire officials condemned the operators of "hobby drones," as officials labeled them. It was unclear Saturday whether authorities would launch an investigation into the five drones.

"Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities to report, but the 15 to 20 minutes that those helicopters were grounded meant that 15 to 20 minutes were lost that could have led to another water drop cycle, and that would have created a much safer environment and we would not have seen as many citizens running for their lives," said spokesman Eric Sherwin of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

At least I’m consistent

After being assured that my latest batch of antibiotics would work on killing the infection in my leg.  Taking the antibiotics via IV was supposed to give me a deeper penetration and therefore kill the infection fully.  I finished my last batch of them on Thursday (and out came the pic line) and things looked better.  Last night I told Wendy that I could feel the infection return.  This morning I could see that it had and it is currently moving up my leg.

Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment with a vascular surgeon and we will talk, umm, options for what to do next.   It’s not going to be a fun appointment.

My white blood cell count is normal which means that my body has just given up fighting the infection.  My protein count is supposed to be 7.  It’s 150.8 because of the infection and inflammation.   Not only that but the ulcer on the bottom of my foot is bleeding horribly this morning after months of improvement. 

So I am off to City Hospital for treatment of the ulcer.  Then I am going to head downtown to shoot some photos and deny what is happening.  This afternoon I am off to Don’s Photo where I am going to calibrate some lenses for Mark and I before returning home to battle the coming chills and fever all night. 

I hate this.  I just want it to end.  Hopefully I have two legs at the end of the process.

Some summer photography posts

Here are some longer pieces I wrote for the Don’s Photo Blog this summer.

Those that can’t… write tutorials about how to do it.

Speaking of photography, I finally went out last night with my new Pentax K-3.  It was dark before Wendy and I left the house so using a new camera with only the light of street lights was fun but I was happy with the results… you know the results that I could see.

A blog about urbanism, technology, & culture.