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And It’s a Wrap

Well that last post of mine really got out of control now didn’t it! I will endeavor to keep this one at a reasonable length. As I mentioned, somewhere in that lengthy novel, I had the MRI. It really could not be much easier, I mean – you basically just lie there and try not to move. And to be honest, the hardest part was beforehand: the worry. Well, the worry and the prep; part of the prep is to take an enema two hours before the MRI. Apparently the images generated can be partially obscured by anything in the colon, denying the radiologist and doctor a full and clear view of any potential trouble spots in the prostate.

There are many different methods of performing a prostate MRI, and some even involve a “sleepy-time” drug (for the patient – not the doctor lol). There are versions where a coil of some sort is inserted into the rectum as part of the imaging process; I would assume that this is also the procedure that entails the “sleepy-time” drug as well. And most happily, there was no alien probe involved in my MRI. There was some initial concern because when asked, I replied that yes I had once had metal removed from my eye by a doctor. Frankly, it was a two or three time a week occurrence at the shipyard, often 8-10 pieces in each eye. But that was a long time ago and were there any pieces left behind at the time, they are surely gone by now! None the less, I had to have an orbital X-ray taken before the MRI to ensure there was no metal remaining in my eyes; there was not.

Upon arrival, after checking in, I was led to a locker, given “jammies”, and was asked to strip down to my underpants and socks, and to put on the jammies. Then I was led to the room and climbed up onto the table. It was very comfortable and I settled in immediately. It was only 8AM and was single-digit cold outside, but happily the temp in the room was comfortable. As they were inserting an IV in me for injecting the contrast dye, they explained that I would hear a lot of loud and unusual noises from the machine, but not to be alarmed, and above all else – do NOT move!

They inserted ear plugs for the noise, then place headphones on me to allow me to hear the technician’s comments and instructions as well as to hear music. The machine then moved me inside the tube where I would remain – motionless – for the next 40-45 minutes. The machine was quite loud at times, throwing a wildly varied cacophony of clicks, whirs, snaps, and other sounds, but never unnerving. However the machine completely overpowered the ability of the headphones to deliver music for me. Well, that coupled with my bad hearing and the ear plugs they put in basically rendered the music pointless.

And just like that, it was done and I was on my way home, wondering when I would see the results. This place offers a patient portal you can sign up for, which allows you access to your appointments and medical records, so once posted you have instant access. It took until Tuesday afternoon for the report to be posted; I have been checking almost hourly since Monday morning, but ultimately it was an automated email from them that a new report had been loaded to my record that alerted me.

I read that report probably five of six times, each time lingering over the words “clinically significant prostate cancer is highly unlikely to be present” with a huge smile and sigh of relief. There is just so much negative that would have come with a “likely present” evaluation, and not just from the obvious health perspective either. I would have to stop hiking – something I so love to do and something that provides a huge source of health benefits to me. It would really interfere in our babysitting as well; Teddy and Charolotte need us in their lives and my daughter needs the help; I would hate to be the cause of that having to stop, even for a while. And I am no superman but I have a pretty decent track record of being at least mildly bullet-proof in the area of health; I would hate for my prostate to be the pin to pop that balloon of “healthy as a horse” (as silly as it may sound). But no need to fret about any of that, at least for now!!

Next on my list of medical adventures is a cardiac artery calcium scan. Because I have NO family medical history, because I have high blood pressure, and because I have high cholesterol, my doctor has concerns over my cardiac health. Even though I can hike 16 miles or more in the deep swelter of July in New England, that does not mean I cannot drop dead of a stroke or cardio event on a rainy Tuesday. Honestly I am not too concerned, but you can’t bury your head in the sand! I take BP meds but have resisted the cholesterol meds so far due to all I’ve read about the side effects. So a calcium scan uses an ultrasonic scan to look at the buildup calcium in the arteries of the heart and is intended to provide a “score” on your risk of a future cardio event. If the score is low, you’re likely doing things just right and no real need to worry; but if the score is high – best to begin taking those meds ASAP! More to come here.

In the meantime, we are watching two of grandkids two days a week – Mon & Tue. The other three days they are in daycare. That is hard for us; we’ve always tried our best to put our kids and grandkids needs above our own, something I think every parent tries to do. But I am mere days from turning 68 and while I am pretty decent shape, taking care of a two and a half year old and a four month old all day is a lot. And since my wife has underlying health issues, hard for her too. In fact it was she who figured out that two kids, fulltime, five days a week, might not be survivable for us. My daughter completely understood and found a great daycare for them for the other three days a week.

Now I need to say, I am fully aware of how fantastic many daycare places are. And I am completely certain that many of the people that care for these kids in daycare provide more love and care than perhaps many kids would get at home. And I absolutely know how much they will learn there that they would not learn here with us, as well as how tremendously the kids’ social skills will blossom there. I know all these things, but still feel like I am letting them down by not keeping them here; like I am rejecting them. (Which God know I am not.) And that is weighing on me, depressing me. But I have seen pictures of them while they were there and both are obviously having a great time and are receiving incredible care there. So……the die is cast and we’ll see where it ends up. If for some reason either kid was not thriving there, you can bet your bippy that we will figure out how to care for them five days a week.

January has two scant days remaining. So far, I have gotten out hiking six times for 56.2 miles. To place it in perspective, I only got out once last January (for 4.8 miles) so I am thrilled. And seeing that I did not hike at all last February, I should have a decent shot at surpassing that mark as well lol. My goal for this year is 50 miles a month – we’ll see how that goes! But regardless of that specific goal, the real goal is to improve and hone my health. Hoping you are getting out in nature wherever you are. Stay well dear reader!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Sheridan

    Excellent beat

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