Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Health Update

Humming Bird, near the restaurant I had lunch at on Monday

Monday morning, bright and early I had my head examined.  I was headed to a new MRI provider, a standard question is if you have ever had an eye injury.  I have, about 25 years ago, back in my gym bunny days I woke up one morning with an eye itching like crazy.  I scratched at it for a while, then looked in the mirror and saw the rust ring around the sliver of bar-bell weight in the white of my eye.  I went to my HMO doctor, who poked around at it for what felt like 2 or 3 hours and then sent me to a specialist.  I will never forget the eye surgeon who removed it, his name was Dr Al Jolson. His parents told him with that name no one would ever forget him.  It worked for me.  So any way, I started out with having my head X-rayed from about five different directions to assure that the metal was all gone.  Like those stray body piercings, you don't want anything being pulled around by the MRI machine.

The last time I had X-rays done, it took 90 minutes - they were having computer trouble.  Monday it took 15 minutes.  As a result I was over an hour early for the MRI.  They had me scheduled for the "large aperture machine" but a standard machine was free with no waiting, slip off your pants and we are ready to go.  They wedged me into the drain pipe and beat on it for about 40 minutes. (If you have ever had an MRI you know what I am talking about.) I thought they were going to have to grease me up, to get me out, I unfolded like an artificial christmas tree coming out of the box when she slid me out of the tube (the operator said, ask for Mag-1 the next time, you will be more comfortable.)

Then I had a couple of hour break before seeing the neuro-oncologist.  I went shopping and went to lunch.  I needed a new pair of fat man jeans, my appetite came back faster then my ability to exercise, I may have reached a new high.  Across from me at lunch was a teenage SOD, son of a doctor.  Easy to spot, looking disinterested in the world, sitting there wearing $1,000 in clothes.

So the update part of this. My spine is were it should be and the alignment remains good.  The tumor is not growing, but will still needs to be watched.  I am making progress on rebuilding strength and control, there continues to be improvement in the sensation in my legs and feet. The odd bulging at the bottom of the ribs on my right side, is normal. The "intercostal muscles"  (I actually knew what they were back in my gym bunny days) no longer have nerves going to them, and the ribs will move and things will bulge that didn't bulge before.  Nothing wrong, the new normal. I need to lose weight, the Doctor is more concerned about rebuilding cardiovascular strength and endurance then he is about a number.  I was off my game for a couple of years, I need to work on that.  For the first time in over year year, when I walk down stairs it does not feel like my right knee is going to buckle out from under me. The fact that I continue to make progress, is a good sign. Someday I will plateau - the Doctor reminded me that there will be some permanent nerve damage.

Where from here, back in the drain pipe in 90 days, X-rays of my spine in 90 days, and another follow up visit.  If that goes well maybe six-month intervals after that.


  1. FABULOUS! keep up the good work!

  2. I am surprised you got away with so litttle nerve damage
    Well done
    Ps still chuckling over the phrase " fat mans jeans"

  3. good news indeed.